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Ocean
10-09-2009, 08:10 AM
Who would have said...? Not even nine months into his term?

Yay!

Congrats, President Obama!

nikkibong
10-09-2009, 08:14 AM
...I think it's terrible news. The Prez needed a victory, but not this victory! It will only further stir up resentment among right wingers and alleged "independents" against the Prez. He lost Copenhagen, but took Stockholm.

...and then there's the whole problem of the merits. It's difficult indeed to make the case that Obama's achievments deserve the Nobel Peace Prize. Considering what is happening in Afghanistan - this makes a mockery of "peace."

...but the Nobel Committe will always have my undying appreciation for giving JM Coetzee the literature prize a few years back. A wiser choice was never made.

PreppyMcPrepperson
10-09-2009, 08:24 AM
...but the Nobel Committe will always have my undying appreciation for giving JM Coetzee the literature prize a few years back. A wiser choice was never made.

That's about the last good choice they made. This Obama prize is disgraceful--not that I didn't vote for the guy, but he hasn't accomplished anything yet. War-making US presidents have won it before, but AFTER their terms in office.

BHead Kaus has a solution (http://www.slate.com/blogs/blogs/kausfiles/archive/2009/10/09/what-obama-should-do-with-his-nobel-peace-prize.aspx), by the way.

Also, Nikki, did you follow--and do you have a view on--this debate (http://www.slate.com/id/2201447)?

Starwatcher162536
10-09-2009, 08:28 AM
Well, that is certainly surprising.

Ocean
10-09-2009, 08:32 AM
...I think it's terrible news. The Prez needed a victory, but not this victory! It will only further stir up resentment among right wingers and alleged "independents" against the Prez. He lost Copenhagen, but took Stockholm.

You will have to work harder at explaining the above. First, I don't agree that he "lost" Copenhagen. Second, the resentment among right wingers doesn't need much to be fueled. Better it be fueled by a good reason. Third, in your comment there is an implicit assumption that the right wingers are only operating in an "against-Obama" mode. U.S. citizens would resent that their President gets a Nobel Prize? That is bad news!

...and then there's the whole problem of the merits. It's difficult indeed to make the case that Obama's achievments deserve the Nobel Peace Prize. Considering what is happening in Afghanistan - this makes a mockery of "peace."

Well, of course you can have an opinion on that, but I would leave it to the committee to decide who is deserving of what...

...but the Nobel Committe will always have my undying appreciation for giving JM Coetzee the literature prize a few years back. A wiser choice was never made.

I have no idea about that. Sorry.

But, for god's sake, cheer up!

nikkibong
10-09-2009, 08:45 AM
That's about the last good choice they made. This Obama prize is disgraceful--not that I didn't vote for the guy, but he hasn't accomplished anything yet. War-making US presidents have won it before, but AFTER their terms in office.

BHead Kaus has a solution (http://www.slate.com/blogs/blogs/kausfiles/archive/2009/10/09/what-obama-should-do-with-his-nobel-peace-prize.aspx), by the way.

Also, Nikki, did you follow--and do you have a view on--this debate (http://www.slate.com/id/2201447)?

Thanks for the links -- I hadn't seen either. For what it's worth, I totally agree with Mickey.

As for Kirsch's piece; I really know quite little about the Nobel Committee and what they do - or whom they allegedly speak for. Why do we get so worked up about it? The notion that contemporary American literature is inferior to that of the continent is, of course, laughable. But it's obviously outdated to call the Nobel Committe a hotbed of Anti-Americanism, what with Obama's undeserved world coronation.

But I wonder which American would be considered Nobel-worthy at present? I like Philip Roth a lot, but it seems that his canvas - and, attendantly, his appeal - is so narrow: American Judaism, New Jersey, sexual depravity. (Well, maybe the last bit is more universal.) I personally can't stand Don Dellilo. I guess Pynchon would have to the favorite, but I've read nothing of his, and can't really comment. Updike was still alive when Kirsch wrote the piece - the fact that that middling novelist was mentioned in the same breath as Pynchon and Roth demonstrates that maybe the field is a bit thin right now...? (Disclaimer: I LOVE Rabbit Run, but there is just so much junk, i.e. Witches of Eastwick, that Updike came out with.) Which is to say, I don't think that the prize is particularly relevant, or that there are any American authors who obviously deserve it, who don't have it.

Did you ever read this (http://www.tnr.com/article/books/the-deadly-jester) masterful Kirsch piece on Slavo Zizek?

nikkibong
10-09-2009, 09:00 AM
I think there's an important distinction here: getting the Olympics would have been victory for the entire United States. Winning the Nobel Peace Prize is a victory only for one man: Barack Obama.

So what I am saying, Ocean, is that I think you are going to see an inevitable backlash from "independents," already fed up with the Prez's "narcissism." For God's sake, this is a President who can barely get away with going out to a modest dinner with his wife on their anniversary. A trip to Stockholm to be feted for ...what exactly? ... is not going to play well. And understandably so. The celebration over Chicago losing the Olympics was indefensible; opposition to Obama getting the Nobel Peace Prize is understandable, justifiable, even ...well, correct, in my opinion.

And, yes, we obviously "leave to the committee" who wins the Prize, but Preppy and I are saying we disagree with the committe's decision.

Also, you should really read with some Coetzee if you have the time. Start here (http://www.powells.com/biblio/1-9780140061109-3).

Ocean
10-09-2009, 09:07 AM
Well, that is certainly surprising.

Yes, it is surprising. And I also hear the criticisms: "It's too soon", "Does he really deserve it?", etc. I look at it from a totally different angle. It's a message from this committee, which articulates the voice of the international community (whatever that means). It validates Obama's attempts to change course and mend the mistakes from the previous administration, and also, by raising expectations, puts pressure for him to stay on this path.

Should Obama turn it down? I have no opinion on that. I would have to hear some solid arguments one way or the other. Once the prize is given, turning it down also has political consequences.

nikkibong
10-09-2009, 09:15 AM
From Slate (http://www.slate.com/id/2231909/):

Obama took office less than 10 days before the Feb. 1 deadline for Nobel Prize nominations. It was not a weak field. This year there were 205 submissions, more than ever. Obama was not a part of the pregame speculation, which had centered on human rights activists in China and Afghanistan and political figures in Africa. Human rights activists in China must be particularly miffed, since the Obama administration has downplayed China's bad human rights record.

Ocean
10-09-2009, 09:21 AM
I think there's an important distinction here: getting the Olympics would have been victory for the entire United States. Winning the Nobel Peace Prize is a victory only for one man: Barack Obama.

Obama's role in getting or not the Olympics was irrelevant. It wasn't up to him, and there was nothing he could have said that had enough weight to change that decision. Although winning the Nobel Prize is a "victory" (I would call it honor) for him, you can appreciate that has some clear and important implications about how this country is seen by the international community.

So what I am saying, Ocean, is that I think you are going to see an inevitable backlash from "independents," already fed up with the Prez's "narcissism." For God's sake, this is a President who can barely get away with going out to a modest dinner with his wife on their anniversary. A trip to Stockholm to be feted for ...what exactly? ... is not going to play well. And understandably so.

Exactly, he will be criticized no matter what. I favor working cooperatively and reaching out to the opposition. But he shouldn't cater to his critics or to their capricious tastes.


The celebration over Chicago losing the Olympics was indefensible; opposition to Obama getting the Nobel Peace Prize is understandable, justifiable, even ...well, correct, in my opinion.

Sure. That's the way you see it.

And, yes, we obviously "leave to the committee" who wins the Prize, but Preppy and I are saying we disagree with the committe's decision.

Preppy and you are not going to be alone on this one.

Also, you should really read with some Coetzee if you have the time. Start here (http://www.powells.com/biblio/1-9780140061109-3).

Thank you for the link.

PreppyMcPrepperson
10-09-2009, 09:22 AM
We leave it to the committee, Ocean, to execute their mandate, but there's good reason to speak up when that mandate itself is violated. Here's what the prize is meant to reward: "to the person who shall have done the most or the best work for fraternity between nations, for the abolition or reduction of standing armies and for the holding and promotion of peace congresses."

You can't justify the prize in light of his military agenda, nor can you simply take his goals for future peace as good enough--the prize rewards work, not intentions.

Whatfur
10-09-2009, 09:34 AM
Who would have said...? Not even nine months into his term?

Yay!

Congrats, President Obama!


Yes!!! Lets hope the President uses his "major award" (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3mjruvE310Y) as a starting point to keeping women from being treated worse than dogs in Afghanistan and as a lever against the crazys running Iran.

http://www.stltoday.com/blogzone/hit-the-road-jack/files/2008/12/deluxe20lit20leg20lamp.jpg

Ocean
10-09-2009, 09:38 AM
We leave it to the committee, Ocean, to execute their mandate, but there's good reason to speak up when that mandate itself is violated. Here's what the prize is meant to reward: "to the person who shall have done the most or the best work for fraternity between nations, for the abolition or reduction of standing armies and for the holding and promotion of peace congresses."

You can't justify the prize in light of his military agenda, nor can you simply take his goals for future peace as good enough--the prize rewards work, not intentions.

Preppy, why do you think the Nobel Prize committee "ignored" its mandate and decided to go ahead giving Obama the prize? I'm pretty sure they had the guidelines handy...

PreppyMcPrepperson
10-09-2009, 09:54 AM
As for Kirsch's piece; I really know quite little about the Nobel Committee and what they do - or whom they allegedly speak for. Why do we get so worked up about it? The notion that contemporary American literature is inferior to that of the continent is, of course, laughable. But it's obviously outdated to call the Nobel Committe a hotbed of Anti-Americanism, what with Obama's undeserved world coronation.

But I wonder which American would be considered Nobel-worthy at present? I like Philip Roth a lot, but it seems that his canvas - and, attendantly, his appeal - is so narrow: American Judaism, New Jersey, sexual depravity. (Well, maybe the last bit is more universal.) I personally can't stand Don Dellilo. I guess Pynchon would have to the favorite, but I've read nothing of his, and can't really comment. Updike was still alive when Kirsch wrote the piece - the fact that that middling novelist was mentioned in the same breath as Pynchon and Roth demonstrates that maybe the field is a bit thin right now...? (Disclaimer: I LOVE Rabbit Run, but there is just so much junk, i.e. Witches of Eastwick, that Updike came out with.) Which is to say, I don't think that the prize is particularly relevant, or that there are any American authors who obviously deserve it, who don't have it.

My impression of the literature Nobel is that it's basically a European prize that rewards world literature which comes closest to a European notion of literature's purpose. By this I mean: they are very much wrapped up in a 19th century notion of the novelist-as-social-crusader-and-political-pundit. That's what gets Coetzee on the list: his commentary on South Africa, not his stylistic innovations. Orhan Pamuk is a similar case. The Americans they have rewarded--John Steinbeck, Toni Morrison--are people who actively pursued the position of public intellectuals. Pynchon, for all the social and political content of his work, does the opposite--I think that's what Engdahl means about insulation. Moreover, America is still thought of in Europe, mistakenly, as being the home of individualist literature, of the literature of the self--that is another reason someone like Pynchon stays off the radar. Writers who tackle social problems through the psychological tend to get overlooked unless, like Coetzee, they become pundits too. Finally, the best American writers are of course at the cutting edge of literary dialogue, but they tend to be in dialogue with each other because that's how literary tradition works. Because of colonialism, among other things, the rest of world seems to be in dialogue with Europe and that fits the model of literature the prize rewards. The America writers I think really met the committee's own mantra are Roth and Cormac McCarthy; no explanation for the neglect of either one.

(On my own personal literary preferences, I agree with you about DeLillo and Updike. I always preferred Roth's short fiction to his novels. And I think Pynchon is overrated prose acrobatics.)

Thanks for the Zizek piece--talk about nailing someone.

PreppyMcPrepperson
10-09-2009, 09:58 AM
Only one reason. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wKsoXHYICqU)

Lyle
10-09-2009, 10:07 AM
They need to stop giving this thing out every year. They just poohed all over his Presidency. What a joke of an award. Give it out every four years or once a decade if you really need to.

nikkibong
10-09-2009, 10:09 AM
...The America writers I think really met the committee's own mantra are Roth and Cormac McCarthy; no explanation for the neglect of either one.

.

I'm curious: in what way do you see Roth as a social crusader novelist, a la Orhan Pamuk? (Perhaps his grappling with black self-loathing in The Human Stain?) In many ways, Roth seems to me to be the epitome of the self-expressive novelist. What is Portnoy's Complain if not a rambling - and extremely compelling - exposition of the self? Upton Sinclair he is not.

I agree that Coetzee won in part because of his politics. In a sense, he may have won despite his literary innovation.

bjkeefe
10-09-2009, 10:15 AM
It will only further stir up resentment among right wingers ...

Well, you're right about that (http://bjkeefe.blogspot.com/2009/10/more-peace-prize-fallout.html), at least.

Lyle
10-09-2009, 10:19 AM
As for Kirsch's piece; I really know quite little about the Nobel Committee and what they do - or whom they allegedly speak for. Why do we get so worked up about it? The notion that contemporary American literature is inferior to that of the continent is, of course, laughable. But it's obviously outdated to call the Nobel Committee a hotbed of Anti-Americanism, what with Obama's undeserved world coronation.

Actually, I think awarding President Obama the award might arguably confirm the Nobel committee's anti-Americanism. They only like Americans of a certain stripe. So arguably they're anti-American to a certain degree. They don't fully appreciate what America is, just the parts of it they like... especially the parts that want to take the European way on certain issues like the environment, and now international politics. Do you think they'd ever give George W. Bush the prize for ridding Iraq and the World of Saddam Hussein? No, I don't they will ever... even if it has laid the groundwork for a more stable and peaceful Middle East.

Lyle
10-09-2009, 10:20 AM
He doesn't have to go to Stockholm, I think. He might can reject it. He probably should reject it and try to avoid going to Stockholm.

nikkibong
10-09-2009, 10:21 AM
Actually, I think awarding President Obama the award might arguably confirm the Nobel committee's anti-Americanism. They only like Americans of a certain stripe. So arguably they're anti-American to a certain degree. They don't fully appreciate what America is, just the parts of it they like... especially the parts that want to take the European way on certain issues like the environment, and now international politics. Do you think they'd ever give George W. Bush the prize for ridding Iraq and the World of Saddam Hussein? No, I don't they will ever... even if it has laid the groundwork for a more stable and world integrated Middle East.

Lyle, then what you are describing is an anti-conservative world view, not an anti-American worldview.

As evidenced by the fact that, ya know, Barack Obama is the, uh, president of the United States.

Lyle
10-09-2009, 10:27 AM
America is a center-right kind of country though nikkibong, not a center-left kind of a country. So yes, they reject America to a large degree, I'd argue. Maybe not your America nikkibong, but definitely many other Americans' America.

That's all I'm saying.

Although I agree it is probably better described as simply being an institution of the European Left and fully left-of-center in international politics.

nikkibong
10-09-2009, 10:32 AM
America is a center-right kind of country though nikkibong, not a center-left kind of a country. So yes, they reject America to a large degree, I'd argue. Maybe not your America nikkibong, but definitely many other Americans' America.

That's all I'm saying.

Although I agree it is probably better described as simply being an institution of the European Left and fully left-of-center in international politics.

Oh yes, right. Which is why Obama is president and both houses of Congress are controlled by Democrats.

But that just must be the other America.

Lyle
10-09-2009, 10:42 AM
And how long will this be? And how easy has Obama had it so far with pushing through left-of-center bills?

I understand what you're saying, but the committee is projecting their image of America on to Obama. Giving the award to Obama is not even about America, but about Obama and what he symbolizes to the international community.

... and by the way, didn't Obama campaign as a centrist? He ran in the middle politically to get elected, right?

Barack Obama doesn't even support gay marriage!!!

PreppyMcPrepperson
10-09-2009, 11:48 AM
On Roth: if he were gonna get the prize, it would be for the historical trilogy--American Pastoral, I Married a Communist and Human Stain--as well as for Goodbye, Columbus and other bits of his short fiction. His stories are definitely more sociological than his longer work. His late '70s/1980s work, however, is absolute self-exploration, so perhaps the balance is against him.

popcorn_karate
10-09-2009, 12:22 PM
...and then there's the whole problem of the merits. It's difficult indeed to make the case that Obama's achievments deserve the Nobel Peace Prize. Considering what is happening in Afghanistan - this makes a mockery of "peace."

totally agree. i heard about it this morning and I thought, "hmmm maybe the right-wing fucktards have a point about calling him the 'chosen one' "

It almost seems designed to play into the rights paranoid fantasies, and clearly he has done approximately zero to deserve it.

sad.

Jyminee
10-09-2009, 12:28 PM
Actually, I think awarding President Obama the award might arguably confirm the Nobel committee's anti-Americanism.

Is the Pope anti-Catholic?

Are bears anti-shitting in the woods?

PreppyMcPrepperson
10-09-2009, 12:35 PM
I disagree. Just because the conflicts and their resolutions aren't on the US news radar doesn't mean war and peace aren't being made in significant ways around the world. I think there would've been good reason this year to give it to someone who had worked to stop the violence in Sri Lanka, to the extent that it's at least temporarily abated, or someone who's working on the refugee crisis that's resulted from the war. Just an example.

popcorn_karate
10-09-2009, 12:36 PM
Cormac McCarthy; no explanation for the neglect of either one.

he is on the top of my list for current writers that could get a nobel.

Blood Meridian and All The Pretty Horses both knocked me out, perhaps All the Pretty Horses more so than Blood Meridian. Actually, Sometimes a Great Notion had a similar impression on me - but none of kesey's other work rises to that level for me.

I haven't had the emotional fortitude to delve into The Road...yet.

Lyle
10-09-2009, 01:15 PM
It's not that simple dude.

Lyle
10-09-2009, 01:28 PM
There are people who could win it for something every single year. I don't disagree with that, but it would be more prestigous if it was handed out less often, although that's not what Nobel willed, so they'll be handing it out annually. However, clearly the guidelines they work on and the fact they have to come up with someone or some group annually means they can do something like they just did, and embarass themselves and the person they're trying to celebrate.

The Sri Lankan military should have gotten it maybe, but not somebody trying to stop them from subduing the last of the Tamil Tigers. That would be laughable too, because nobody did stop the Sri Lankan military from killing off the last of Tamil Tigers and finally getting full control of the island... which will hopefully now allow a lasting peace come to fruition. The prize isn't an anti-violence prize, but a peace prize and sometimes you've got to be violent so there can be peace. Such is humanity.

Arguably the U.S. military deserves it for all that is has done and will do in the future.

It's all a matter of perspective really. What does it truly mean to work towards peace or accomplish peace?

edit: I also wasn't commenting from an American-centric viewpoint. I'm quite aware all kinds of people in the world are going about doing good deeds and not just Americans. Anyone culturally or politically literate knows this. My news radar doesn't just cover America. We're all world citizens now!

AemJeff
10-09-2009, 01:37 PM
totally agree. i heard about it this morning and I thought, "hmmm maybe the right-wing fucktards have a point about calling him the 'chosen one' "

It almost seems designed to play into the rights paranoid fantasies, and clearly he has done approximately zero to deserve it.

sad.

He put an equal effort into becoming the recipient - unless those paranoid fantasies have a basis - so, I'm not sure how this action by a third party has any bearing on how we're to judge him. If anything, I'd guess that he's being rewarded for two things - not being George W. Bush and his status as the first black President of the United States. You can argue (and I'd agree) that those don't resemble the general set of requirements for receiving that prize - but the fact that that rubs the noses of "fucktards" into their own stink does not seem like a downside to me. If it helps them score rhetorical points, that's another issue, but it's not clear that that effect will be greater than the direct benefit that accrues from his status as the prize recipient, which I assume will be considerable.

Francoamerican
10-09-2009, 01:51 PM
...I think it's terrible news. The Prez needed a victory, but not this victory! It will only further stir up resentment among right wingers and alleged "independents" against the Prez. He lost Copenhagen, but took Stockholm.

...and then there's the whole problem of the merits. It's difficult indeed to make the case that Obama's achievments deserve the Nobel Peace Prize. Considering what is happening in Afghanistan - this makes a mockery of "peace."

...but the Nobel Committe will always have my undying appreciation for giving JM Coetzee the literature prize a few years back. A wiser choice was never made.

What an ignorant, pretentious nitwit you are. Have you ever looked at a list of winners of the Nobel Prize for Peace? For God's sake, Kissinger won the Nobel Peace Award!----for his noble efforts to bring about the destruction of Vietnam.

And why are you so concerned about the opinion of the rightwing loons?

Oh I forgot, you write for the Weekly Standard.

Whatfur
10-09-2009, 01:53 PM
He put an equal effort into becoming the recipient - unless those paranoid fantasies have a basis - so, I'm not sure how this action by a third party has any bearing on how we're to judge him. If anything, I'd guess that he's being rewarded for two things - not being George W. Bush and his status as the first black President of the United States. You can argue (and I'd agree) that those don't resemble the general set of requirements for receiving that prize - but the fact that that rubs the noses of "fucktards" into their own stink does not seem like a downside to me. If it helps them score rhetorical points, that's another issue, but it's not clear that that effect will be greater than the direct benefit that accrues from his status as the prize recipient, which I assume will be considerable.

Some of us think it is a great thing. Pathetically humerous but still a perfect example analogous to his "empty suit" comparisons. Yep, an award without validity necessitating people like yourself to invent reasons for its giving (sheeeit I'm not George Bush either...wonder if I was nominated) The only noses getting rubbed in the stink are previous winners or this year's deserving.

nikkibong
10-09-2009, 01:55 PM
Don't worry. Maybe one day these guys (http://www.adjunctnation.com/) will accept one of your submissions.

The "pretentious" slam was funny though ... intentionally?

popcorn_karate
10-09-2009, 02:01 PM
He put an equal effort into becoming the recipient - unless those paranoid fantasies have a basis - so, I'm not sure how this action by a third party has any bearing on how we're to judge him.

no bearing on judging him - agreed


If anything, I'd guess that he's being rewarded for two things - not being George W. Bush and his status as the first black President of the United States. You can argue (and I'd agree) that those don't resemble the general set of requirements for receiving that prize

yep - he is getting the prize based on an imagining of what he represents, not for anything he has done, and that is contrary to the statement of purpose for the nobel.


but the fact that that rubs the noses of "fucktards" into their own stink does not seem like a downside to me. If it helps them score rhetorical points, that's another issue,

exactly. rather than rubbing their noses in anything, it gives credence to their paranoid fantasies and gives them a talking point that is hard to disagree with - clearly Obama does not deserve this prize.


but it's not clear that that effect will be greater than the direct benefit that accrues from his status as the prize recipient, which I assume will be considerable.

this is where we disagree. the only people that will be impressed were probably already impressed. I know it does zero for me. actually, i can't really imagine what possible good could come from it.

Francoamerican
10-09-2009, 02:03 PM
Don't worry. Maybe one day these guys (http://www.adjunctnation.com/) will accept one of your submissions.

The "pretentious" slam was funny though ... intentionally?

Sorry, but I fail to understand your link. Your attempt at wit in the second sentence is even more feeble than your usual feeble efforts.

nikkibong
10-09-2009, 02:07 PM
So much anger.

I'm sure French health care can hook you up with some free zoloft or something.

Francoamerican
10-09-2009, 02:13 PM
So much anger.

I'm sure French health care can hook you up with some free zoloft or something.

Absolutely no anger on my part. I enjoy every moment of life. I am just amused that someone of such little knowledge as you pontificates with such asinine self-assurance.

And again what is the point of the link? If you think I am an adjunct professor, think again nikkibong.

nikkibong
10-09-2009, 02:17 PM
ugh, anger is getting the best of me, though.

too much "nitwit," and "simple-minded" from you.

i'm done with it.

graz
10-09-2009, 02:30 PM
FU FA

Of course, I often enjoy this sort of exchange.
But I must say that this fufa has a certain june essay qua to it.

ugh, anger is getting the best of me, though.


Rise above.

Wonderment
10-09-2009, 02:47 PM
...but the Nobel Committe will always have my undying appreciation for giving JM Coetzee the literature prize a few years back. A wiser choice was never made.

Yes! They definitely got that right. Real genius is hard to ignore (although they've managed to in the past)

Wonderment
10-09-2009, 02:57 PM
I haven't had the emotional fortitude to delve into The Road...yet.


THE ROAD is powerful and unique. Cormac McCarthy has gotten a lot of Nobel buzz in the past.

I hope he learned his lesson with "No Country for Old Men," however, and never sells another novel to Hollywood. I hated that movie.

The whole Nobel Lit Prize is a bit of a joke. No one can keep up with world literature anymore. It's just too vast. Pretending that one author rises above the rest is a vestigial myth of European imperialism, from back in the day when "everyone" read the same books.

pampl
10-09-2009, 02:57 PM
There's a lot of dumb commentary about this out there.

"He didn't do anything to deserve it!"
The Noble Peace Prize, unlike other Nobels, isn't solely awarded based on past accomplishments. Obama has already accomplished more than 27 of the past 37 Peace Prize winners. If you didn't complain those 27 times, then don't pretend you care about whether the winner deserves it this time.

"This'll just make the Nobel Peace Prize irrelevant!"
The great part about this complaint is that the person writing it almost certainly only knows of 3 Nobel prize winners: Gore, Carter, and Arafat. I guarantee you that each of those past 3 times they complained about the Peace prize becoming irrelevant, too, before going back to ignoring it. I don't think "irrelevant" is really the adjective they want.

"They're giving it to an appeaser!"
If you view all pursuit of peace as appeasement then the prize will always go to someone you think is an appeaser.

"It should go to someone fighting a tyrannical dictatorship!"
This describes about 20% of Peace Prize winners, who tend to spend the rest of their life in jail, under house arrest, or they just disappear. It's important to confront regimes that violate human rights, but doing so through the medium of Nobel Peace Prizes has a really bad track record.

Wonderment
10-09-2009, 03:04 PM
"to the person who shall have done the most or the best work for fraternity between nations, for the abolition or reduction of standing armies and for the holding and promotion of peace congresses."

Nukes. Everyone with a brain knows that global warming and nuclear weapons are monumental problems facing humanity. Al Gore got the prize for proclaiming the former priority and Obama for the latter.

Just as the stars were aligned for a global warming prize when Gore's movie came out, the stars are aligned for a nuclear abolition prize when Obama says he's serious about that goal.

There's a good case to be made that the Prize should be for accomplishments rather than setting goals. On the other hand, the award can be viewed as a challenge to deliver on promise and potential.

Whatfur
10-09-2009, 03:39 PM
"to the person who shall have done the most or the best work for fraternity between nations, for the abolition or reduction of standing armies and for the holding and promotion of peace congresses."

Nukes. Everyone with a brain knows that global warming and nuclear weapons are monumental problems facing humanity. Al Gore got the prize for proclaiming the former priority and Obama for the latter.

Just as the stars were aligned for a global warming prize when Gore's movie came out, the stars are aligned for a nuclear abolition prize when Obama says he's serious about that goal.

There's a good case to be made that the Prize should be for accomplishments rather than setting goals. On the other hand, the award can be viewed as a challenge to deliver on promise and potential.

Thats sweet. I would like to nominate the following band (http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/7/7f/All-or-nothing.jpg) to sing at the award ceremony.

JonIrenicus
10-09-2009, 05:24 PM
I am glad many liberals here are being honest about this award to Obama. It is silly on its face.


At least with Krugman there was SOME link to something technical in economics, even though that was still likely more an endorsement of his columns and a want to lend extra weight to what he says.



The committee who gives out this award need to be more tactful, we get it, they like Obama, but this kind of stuff does not help him. What it does do it tarnish the meaning of the reward and their judgement. it is the sort of over the top gushing that just makes things look nonsensical.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uhnynk6XkkU



That committee needs to admire him in a more subdued way. Saving that at least they need to get off their knees and put their pants back on for gods sakes.

pampl
10-09-2009, 07:17 PM
The committee who gives out this award need to be more tactful, we get it, they like Obama, but this kind of stuff does not help him. What it does do it tarnish the meaning of the reward and their judgement. it is the sort of over the top gushing that just makes things look nonsensical.
Please spend 5 minutes on google looking up the actual meaning of the Nobel Peace Prize as well as its history. Thanks in advance.

pampl
10-09-2009, 07:21 PM
yep - he is getting the prize based on an imagining of what he represents, not for anything he has done, and that is contrary to the statement of purpose for the nobel.
It may be contrary to the original stated purpose but it's absolutely consistent with the past forty years, both in stated reasoning and the actual choosing of recipients.

Ocean
10-09-2009, 08:04 PM
Only one reason. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wKsoXHYICqU)

Evil, Preppy, evil indeed... ;)

JonIrenicus
10-09-2009, 10:11 PM
Please spend 5 minutes on google looking up the actual meaning of the Nobel Peace Prize as well as its history. Thanks in advance.

Just because in some sense this is par for the course does not negate the fact that this is just more evidence piling up showing it to be an empty award.

Not all of the selections were empty. They could do better. They don't. Stop excusing it, you do not have the high ground here.

pampl
10-09-2009, 10:52 PM
Just because in some sense this is par for the course does not negate the fact that this is just more evidence piling up showing it to be an empty award.

Not all of the selections were empty. They could do better. They don't. Stop excusing it, you do not have the high ground here.

Again, spend 5 minutes actually researching the reward. Just because the criteria aren't what you assume they are doesn't mean it's an "empty award".

JonIrenicus
10-10-2009, 12:04 AM
Again, spend 5 minutes actually researching the reward. Just because the criteria aren't what you assume they are doesn't mean it's an "empty award".

http://nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/peace/shortfacts.html

"As described in Nobel's will, one part was dedicated to 'the person who shall have done the most or the best work for fraternity between nations, for the abolition or reduction of standing armies and for the holding and promotion of peace congresses'."

There is the 5 minute quote.

We can take out the last two right off the bat. No "peace congresses" and no reduction of standing armies, net. Yes troops in Iraq are drawing down, but he already increased troop levels in Afghanistan, and may or may not increase that more. So let's call that a we'll see.


What is left is the most or best work for the fraternity between nations.

Too soon for most, and remains to be seen if it is the best. Sorry, this fails the test. If you cannot see this award being the slightest bit facetious then I have trouble seeing your take as either honest or reasonable.

pampl
10-10-2009, 12:25 AM
Too soon for most, and remains to be seen if it is the best. Sorry, this fails the test. If you cannot see this award being the slightest bit facetious then I have trouble seeing your take as either honest or reasonable.
First, a nitpick: you mean "absurd" not "facetious". Being facetious is like being sarcastic or sardonic.

Second, 27 of the last 37 peace prize winners have done nothing besides give nice speeches and empty words. If you have it, please present either of the following:
1. Evidence of past criticism of the process used in picking any of these twenty seven besides the right-wing talking point targets (Arafat, Gore, Carter). Ideally this past criticism would be comparable in tone and effort to your current complaints.
2. Evidence of past criticism of members of the Peace Prize Committee when they've explicitly said they don't award it based solely on past achievements

Right now it seems to me that you have no actual interest in or knowledge of the process and you're just looking for an excuse to criticize it because you don't want to come out and say you don't like it when something good happens to Obama. If you can give the above evidence of actual concern about the process then I'll concede you have credibility to criticize it and aren't just being a whiny dishonest baby about an outcome you didn't like.

TwinSwords
10-10-2009, 01:04 AM
"As described in Nobel's will, one part was dedicated to 'the person who shall have done the most or the best work for fraternity between nations, for the abolition or reduction of standing armies and for the holding and promotion of peace congresses'."]
It is clear to those who are objective or fair that in the past year, Obama has done more than anyone else to foster "fraternity between nations." The decision to give Obama the Peace Prize can easily be defended on the merits, and I'm surprised so few are even willing to try – even among his ostensible supporters. If someone wants to prove how "edgy" and "outside the box" their powers of analysis are, they might consider thinking for themselves instead of moving with the dumb herd of conventional wisdom. Instead we get a bunch of people hewing to the most banal of conventional wisdom while acting like they are courageously staking out unconventional territory.

Step one is to stop thinking so highly of yourselves, even as you follow the herd.

Step two is to think fairly about what this award means and why it might have been given to Obama.

kezboard
10-10-2009, 01:47 AM
I kind of didn't get it when I first heard about it either, but now that I've heard Althouse complaining about how this was a gambit by the Norwegians to redefine what an American president should be doing, suggesting that if we really want to pursue peace we ought to quit thinking of ourselves as the superpower who can do what we want and instead try to create consensus among our allies, I'm all for it. But I don't like our being the superpower, I think it's bad for us and everyone else. I'm sure others will disagree, but whatever. Down with American hegemony.

Francoamerican
10-10-2009, 07:01 AM
nikkibong says...

Sorry, I was just too caught up in the heat of the moment after listening to the babbling of Ann Althouse. I understand your anger, but I seem to recall that you like to namecall as well.

JonIrenicus
10-10-2009, 07:39 AM
First, a nitpick: you mean "absurd" not "facetious". Being facetious is like being sarcastic or sardonic.

Second, 27 of the last 37 peace prize winners have done nothing besides give nice speeches and empty words. If you have it, please present either of the following:
1. Evidence of past criticism of the process used in picking any of these twenty seven besides the right-wing talking point targets (Arafat, Gore, Carter). Ideally this past criticism would be comparable in tone and effort to your current complaints.
2. Evidence of past criticism of members of the Peace Prize Committee when they've explicitly said they don't award it based solely on past achievements

Right now it seems to me that you have no actual interest in or knowledge of the process and you're just looking for an excuse to criticize it because you don't want to come out and say you don't like it when something good happens to Obama. If you can give the above evidence of actual concern about the process then I'll concede you have credibility to criticize it and aren't just being a whiny dishonest baby about an outcome you didn't like.

There is no evidence of past criticisms of nobel peace recipients or the selection process on my part because I never have criticized anyone or the committee.

Why did I say anything now? because Obama is more known, I have no idea who the vast majority of past recipients are, or what they have done and been awarded for. If empty recipients from the past were on my radar then I would reach the same conclusion, though with Obama there is an added sense of endorsement beyond work related to peace.

I know about this guy only because he was on Charlie Rose

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Muhammad_Yunus

I know about King, and some of the more infamous recipients.


This has nothing to do with me wanting to give Obama credit or knock him down, Obama is not the issue here, it is the committee. It's like when Bush selected Harriet Miers to be a supreme court justice. It just did not fit, and the greater error was on Bush's part for selecting her, not Miers.


If your argument is that the nobel peace prize never has required substance or merit to obtain the reward, fine. That does not change the issue of whether the reward is deserved in the common understanding of deserving such a prize.


Yunus had tangible contributions, so did King, and Obama? Others who did nothing but speak air?

A guy like Yunus deserves such a prize in ways a guy like Obama cannot at this time. That is all. Dodge that reality and celebrate the emptiness of his selection and others all you like. It is precisely because the committees standards are as low as yours that people like Yunus and King share the prize with people like Arafat.

equally eligible =/= equally worthy

big difference


That is the critique, not of Obama, but of those who chose him at this time.

pampl
10-10-2009, 08:44 AM
Dodge that reality and celebrate the emptiness of his selection and others all you like. It is precisely because the committees standards are as low as yours that people like Yunus and King share the prize with people like Arafat.

Sorry, but an ignorant opinion isn't "reality". You didn't understand the selection criteria. That's not the committee's fault, that's your fault. If you had spent an additional 5 seconds thinking about the award you'd realize how stupid it is to say it's 'low standards' to choose people who have no accomplishments yet. MLK Jr. had no accomplishments beyond pretty speeches when he was given the award. Neither did Aung Suu Kyi.

I don't care whether the award is given based on your "common understanding" of what it means to be deserving, and thankfully neither does the committee, nor has it thought so at any time in living memory.

Lyle
10-10-2009, 11:54 AM
pampl,

People don't need to understand the criteria to know how absurd the award is. They also don't need to understand it to know how awful it is to give it President Obama at this time.

So the point you're trying to make is pointless.

Lyle
10-10-2009, 11:56 AM
Actually, Obama's actual policy and most of his speeches aren't substantially different than Bush's speeches or actual policy. This is why people are so gobsmacked by him getting the award.

Lyle
10-10-2009, 11:57 AM
America being a superpower is bad for everyone else? Quite the opposite dear.

pampl
10-10-2009, 02:44 PM
People don't need to understand the criteria to know how absurd the award is. They also don't need to understand it to know how awful it is to give it President Obama at this time..

Uh, yeah, actually they do. You'd have to be retarded to think otherwise. It's like complaining about someone getting a rookie of the year award when they've only been playing a short time. Again, if you're just angry about Obama receiving any kind of plaudit, then say so. Don't pretend your problem is with the award itself and how its winners are selected when you don't know a damn thing about it.

Lyle
10-10-2009, 03:53 PM
No one is angry at President Obama, pampl. It is simply ludicrous that he was given the award. Ardent Obama supporters are scratching their heads on this one as well.

JonIrenicus
10-10-2009, 07:31 PM
Sorry, but an ignorant opinion isn't "reality". You didn't understand the selection criteria. That's not the committee's fault, that's your fault. If you had spent an additional 5 seconds thinking about the award you'd realize how stupid it is to say it's 'low standards' to choose people who have no accomplishments yet. MLK Jr. had no accomplishments beyond pretty speeches when he was given the award. Neither did Aung Suu Kyi.

I don't care whether the award is given based on your "common understanding" of what it means to be deserving, and thankfully neither does the committee, nor has it thought so at any time in living memory.

You don't care about quite a lot.


King accomplished nothing but petty speeches? I seem to recall quite a bit more than that before he was awarded.


I suppose you would make the case that there is no substantive difference when sports organizers award trophies to all players in a series vs only the players who actually won more games.

Who cares, if the rules are so wide about who is allowed to receive such trophies, then it makes no difference!


I swear to you this thinking is so profoundly stupid it is almost like responding to a brick wall.


It makes a difference if you want the award to mean more than dirt. Clearly you don't care about that. The committee has something called discretion, there are surely innumerable people who are technically eligible that do not win. But rather than highlight someone with substantive accomplishments, they pick Obama. They chose to pick the superficial when they have the capacity to pick the substantive.

Even if the rules allow for both, why the hell should anyone have any respect for the award if it is deluded by such piss poor selections and discretion on the committees part?

You do NOT have to be conservative to think that. You have to be sane.



Selections like this increase the evidence that it is a meaningless award. Even if the times it has been meaningful are the exception to the rule, the point still stands. Obamas efforts towards peace are not in the same league as many other past recipients. And just because he may have quite a bit of company in that regard does not negate the fact that the selection committee standards for these awards are often pathetic and indifferent to ACTUAL work and progress towards a more peaceful world.

I get that you don't care about these distinctions. But if you were any more than a hack, you would.

As the villain of the Incredibles said, when everybody's special, no one is.

kezboard
10-10-2009, 07:37 PM
America being a superpower is bad for everyone else? Quite the opposite dear.

Oh, are you referring to how we managed, with our awesome superpower status, to bring down the Berlin Wall and destroy the USSR? Because I have a rather different interpretation of those events.

My primary concern is for my own country, honeybuns, and it seems quite clear that we're spending too much time, money, and energy trying to expand American power and it would be better to let our allies take care of themselves when they're capable of it. Unlike many people, it seems, I don't think maintaining American "leadership" (or domination or hegemony or whatever you'd like to call it) is a very good end in itself.

Lyle
10-11-2009, 08:46 AM
Of course you do Toots, but that doesn't mean I'm wrong. The world is better off because of America, not just by what we do today, but what we've been doing since 1776.

Tom Friedman agrees with me, see here:

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/10/11/opinion/11friedman.html?_r=1

Lyle
10-11-2009, 08:47 AM
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/10/11/opinion/11friedman.html?_r=1

“But I will accept it on behalf of the most important peacekeepers in the world for the last century — the men and women of the U.S. Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps".

kezboard
10-11-2009, 10:25 AM
The world is better off because of America, not just by what we do today, but what we've been doing since 1776.

That may be true, but that's not what I'm arguing against.

bjkeefe
10-11-2009, 11:52 AM
Of course you do Toots ...

And of course he means "Toots" in a fully respectful way (http://bloggingheads.tv/forum/showthread.php?p=132254#post132254).

Francoamerican
10-11-2009, 01:28 PM
Of course you do Toots, but that doesn't mean I'm wrong. The world is better off because of America, not just by what we do today, but what we've been doing since 1776.

Tom Friedman agrees with me, see here:

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/10/11/opinion/11friedman.html?_r=1

Tom Friedman agrees with Lyle... A meeting of truly great minds. Or of colossal imbeciles?

An enigma.

pampl
10-11-2009, 03:12 PM
No one is angry at President Obama, pampl. It is simply ludicrous that he was given the award. Ardent Obama supporters are scratching their heads on this one as well.

You obviously are. You've confused this with being angry at the award giving process, but because you didn't know or care about this process, and nothing about it was exceptional, that can't be the real problem.

pampl
10-11-2009, 03:22 PM
King accomplished nothing but petty speeches? I seem to recall quite a bit more than that before he was awarded.
You're wrong. What's funny is you don't realize your argument is identical to the conservative whining about the prize when it was given to MLK Jr. Do some research.

It makes a difference if you want the award to mean more than dirt. Clearly you don't care about that. The committee has something called discretion, there are surely innumerable people who are technically eligible that do not win. But rather than highlight someone with substantive accomplishments, they pick Obama. They chose to pick the superficial when they have the capacity to pick the substantive.

Even if the rules allow for both, why the hell should anyone have any respect for the award if it is deluded by such piss poor selections and discretion on the committees part?
I don't care if the award means more to "dirt" than you, because your appraisal of it is based on nothing besides your politics and it will always be worth "dirt" to you if it's given to anyone you don't like.

People should have respect for the award if they respect awards that are given to people in pursuit of peace and human rights. If they only respect awards given to people who have substantive accomplishments in those areas, then they will never respect an award that's been given to Aung Suu Kyi among others.Selections like this increase the evidence that it is a meaningless award. Even if the times it has been meaningful are the exception to the rule, the point still stands. Obamas efforts towards peace are not in the same league as many other past recipients. And just because he may have quite a bit of company in that regard does not negate the fact that the selection committee standards for these awards are often pathetic and indifferent to ACTUAL work and progress towards a more peaceful world.

It's "meaningless" to you because you're a moron and can't find meaning in anything more subtle than a brick to the side of your head. Your completely and obviously uninformed opinions about the other winners just show how little you know and care about "ACTUAL work and progress towards a more peaceful world".

Look, if you don't care about the award then say so. But it's insulting to pretend to care about something that A) you've never cared or known about, B) you still don't care or know anything about, and C) you have no intention of caring or learning about in the future.

Lyle
10-11-2009, 04:30 PM
Compared to the two previous American Presidents to get it while in office it is exceptional. Roosevelt and Wilson both got it for something they actually accomplished.

TwinSwords
10-11-2009, 05:19 PM
A commenter at the New York Times:

I think Shimon Peres said it best.

In the not too distant future, people are going to look at this period of time and marvel that President Obama kept the US and world economies from cratering, passed major healthcare reform, inspired and engaged students, re-energized diplomacy, and re-legitimized the United States' leadership role in trying to build a better world. The naysayers will be forgotten.

Here's what Peres said:

[A]nother laureate, President Shimon Peres of Israel, sent a letter to President Obama on Friday morning, saying: “Very few leaders if at all were able to change the mood of the entire world in such a short while with such a profound impact. You provided the entire humanity with fresh hope, with intellectual determination, and a feeling that there is a lord in heaven and believers on earth.”

As I said before, it's exceedingly easy to defend the decision to give the Peace Prize to Obama on the merits. The "problem" is that the prize is an enormous honor, and there are tens of millions of people in this country (on both the left and right) who don't feel Obama is due any honor, and never will.

JonIrenicus
10-11-2009, 08:25 PM
...

mindless drivel...


more drivel...


Look, if you don't care about the award then say so. But it's insulting to pretend to care about something that A) you've never cared or known about, B) you still don't care or know anything about, and C) you have no intention of caring or learning about in the future.

I care about the award and those awarded to the extent that such an award is deserved. Clearly my definition of desert and that of the committee is at odds here. Now if the only valid definition of desert and worthiness is what the committee decides, fine, I see some enjoy that kind of intellectual slavery. What is deserving is what the master says is deserving, have a different view on the merits of a selection, blasphemy, invalid. You have done nothing but make the case that Obama is eligible for the award. But you are too confused and delirious with anti conservative rage to understand the difference between that and the merits of such an award, the closest thing you can muster is an appeal to piss poor and equally tepid selections of the past.

Bottom line, no sane person thinks Obama, at this point in time, deserves a Nobel Peace Prize.

I do not care if he is eligible. I do not care if his selection is par for the course based off past selections, I care about the quality of his actions, and it is too soon to give him any award like this AND for the award to be considered reasonable, by me, and MANY liberals.

I get that you are too thick to think ANY raised eyebrows to his desert of this award is purely political, that is because you are a blind hack and fool, at best. If that seems like a personal attack, soothe it with the knowledge that in this case, it is accurate. An accounting that requires no political lens to judge, unlike the case you want to peddle that Obama deserved this award.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jgegXlOjyUM&feature=player_embedded

The above comment is from a liberal. Lie to yourself all you want, but don't expect me or others to concede that problems with his selection is a uniquely conservative phenomenon.

Your crusade to set the record straight on Obamas current worthiness of this award has a broader set of opponents than mere conservatives. I'm afraid you have to convince the sane to believe the insane. Good luck with that.

pampl
10-12-2009, 04:46 PM
Compared to the two previous American Presidents to get it while in office it is exceptional. Roosevelt and Wilson both got it for something they actually accomplished. Haha.

Yeah, and Wilson's accomplishment was to cause the second World War. Great thinking, Lyleinstein

Lyle
10-12-2009, 04:58 PM
Yeah, WWII, that's what Woodrow Wilson was going for. Guess you just came up with a reason for Obama not to have gotten it though... the unforeseen consequences of his Presidency.

AemJeff
10-12-2009, 05:01 PM
... Lyleinstein

That seems... ambiguous.

pampl
10-12-2009, 05:06 PM
I was going to respond to your giant turd of a post line by line, but here's the short summary of why your retarded gibbering will embarrass even you as you grow older and lose the Penn&Teller pajamas:

No one remembers inane arguments spewed by ignorant tools, so no one ever retrospectively talks about Nobels being given 'too early'. MLK Jr.'s prize was given before he accomplished anything, yet everyone remembers the real reason why conservatives were opposed to it, not all the stated arguments of it being "too early". Kissinger's prize was given in advance of peacemaking, and specifically in advance of peacemaking which fell through. That's not why it's considered a joke. Arafat's was given in advance of peacemaking that fell through as well. Almost no one likes that he got that award, yet no one complains that it was given 'too soon'. The simple fact is that you have to be too stupid or too young to remember any other Nobel prize, and too proud of your own stupidity to learn anything about any of them, to think that "too soon" matters at all to anyone past the initial 5 minute reaction to the news. You might as well complain that Obama shouldn't have gotten the award when you had indigestion because it made the award seem less significant.

kezboard
10-12-2009, 05:11 PM
Yeah, and Wilson's accomplishment was to cause the second World War.

I'm not going to spend a lot of time defending Woodrow Wilson lest someone accuse me of liberal fascism, but the really dumb parts of the post-World War I treaties weren't his fault.

JonIrenicus
10-12-2009, 05:31 PM
I was going to respond to your giant turd of a post line by line, but here's the short summary of why your retarded gibbering will embarrass even you as you grow older and lose the Penn&Teller pajamas:

No one remembers inane arguments spewed by ignorant tools, so no one ever retrospectively talks about Nobels being given 'too early'. MLK Jr.'s prize was given before he accomplished anything, yet everyone remembers the real reason why conservatives were opposed to it, not all the stated arguments of it being "too early". Kissinger's prize was given in advance of peacemaking, and specifically in advance of peacemaking which fell through. That's not why it's considered a joke. Arafat's was given in advance of peacemaking that fell through as well. Almost no one likes that he got that award, yet no one complains that it was given 'too soon'. The simple fact is that you have to be too stupid or too young to remember any other Nobel prize, and too proud of your own stupidity to learn anything about any of them, to think that "too soon" matters at all to anyone past the initial 5 minute reaction to the news. You might as well complain that Obama shouldn't have gotten the award when you had indigestion because it made the award seem less significant.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Birmingham_campaign

that predates Kings award in 64, that, alone, was enough. It changed policy and hearts in a dramatic way. Most importantly in a non violent way, a hallmark and archetype of a peaceful process.


I suspect many against his winning did so more on the basis of racism than substance. But then, racism, by definition, is a conservative sphere is it not?


So it does not matter that people made the case that King had done nothing to deserve the award, they were wrong. Not all cases are equal. If I make the case that the sun is blue you would be right to look at me with crossed eyes. But here again, you cannot see the difference between the charges against King, and the those against Obamas selection that have MUCH more merit.



I have to thank you pampl, I am virtually certain I changed none of your perceptions, but the arguments you have laid out have given me a remarkable Kafkaesque series of posts to refer to in the future. I am going to save them for times I need some added processing power for a puzzle or test.

So all was not wasted.

claymisher
10-12-2009, 05:35 PM
This is good news for John McCain!

nikkibong
10-12-2009, 05:38 PM
Obama has not brought peace to this thread!

JonIrenicus
10-12-2009, 05:43 PM
A commenter at the New York Times:



Here's what Peres said:



As I said before, it's exceedingly easy to defend the decision to give the Peace Prize to Obama on the merits. The "problem" is that the prize is an enormous honor, and there are tens of millions of people in this country (on both the left and right) who don't feel Obama is due any honor, and never will.

Yes there are. But there are more still who would be fine honoring him if he just had a longer track record of positive developments from his efforts around the globe.

Ocean
10-12-2009, 05:53 PM
Obama has not brought peace to this thread!

Should we call him?

PreppyMcPrepperson
10-12-2009, 06:16 PM
I'm not going to spend a lot of time defending Woodrow Wilson lest someone accuse me of liberal fascism, but the really dumb parts of the post-World War I treaties weren't his fault.

Yes and no. A book worth reading is Paris 1919, by Margaret Macmillan. In it, you get the sense that Wilson was more involved in some of the crappy parts of that settlement than he gets credit for and at the same time that the settlement wasn't quite as crappy as is normally assumed. One problem with the book is that it's too easy on Lloyd George, perhaps because Macmillan is related to him, but still, the portrait of Wilson is compelling and complex.

AemJeff
10-12-2009, 06:46 PM
Should we call him?

We could just announce an award...

TwinSwords
10-12-2009, 07:08 PM
Yes there are. But there are more still who would be fine honoring him if he just had a longer track record of positive developments from his efforts around the globe.

More still? I'm not so sure. But clearly, there are some who would be fine honoring him if they weren't possessed by their hangups. How many of these there are, I don't think either of us knows. I will say that among the visible, vocal pundits on the left, the reaction has been disappointing; they, too, are either hung up on their own sense of importance, or in thrall to the concerns of the right. But again, I'm not sure "the visible, vocal left" really represent anyone except except themselves.

As for the reaction from the right, we both know that Obama could personally find the cure for cancer, eliminate every weapon on the face of the earth, and extend life expectancy by 1000 years — and Republicans would still hate him.

Someone else said in a blog a day or two ago that the conservatives are people who don't like peace; they like war. So, again, their definition of success is very different from ours, and from the Nobel committee's. These are people who like Bush, and Cheney, and applauded the appointment of the ultra-confrontational and clearly deranged John Bolton as US Ambassador to the United Nations. Their whole approach to the rest of the world is "fuck you, and be glad I don't kill you." And, "come to think of it, maybe I will kill you."

You and I are not surprised that this crowd frowns upon peace, peace-makers, and the recipients of peace prizes. Nothing else is possible for them. You should expect they would trash Obama for becoming a symbol of international harmony.

I will still say, though, that as oblivious as most of the vocal critics have been, Obama has already had an enormous impact on the globe simply through the rhetoric he has chosen to employ, the tone he has set, the gestures he has made, and the reassurance he has given the world.

Conservatives in this country are tied up in fits of rage that have possessed them since they were defeated at the polls last year. And many on the left, perhaps to include Nikkibong, are too concerned with whatever is the latest wingnut "Concern of the Moment." When these types of liberals (Richard Cohen, Peter Beinart, et al.) detect that something is going to cause a shitstorm on the right, they react by blaming the left.

It's like the dynamic in families with violent drunks. We don't want to upset daddy, he might hit mommy. So if little Billy makes a sound and sets daddy into one of his drunken rages, we know we can't reason with daddy -- he's the belligerent drunk, after all -- so we blame little Billy. "Why did you have to upset daddy! Now you've gone and ruined it for all of us!!!"

There are certain liberals who appear to be effectively terrorized by the right, terrified of their next fit. And each time that fit happens, this type of liberal doesn't blame the conservatives, they blame the liberals that provoked this reaction. It's weird; maybe a psychologist could explain the dynamic.

Incidentally, this is the kind of liberal that Bob Wright appears to be. Remember during the campaign last year when Bob was agonizing over who Obama would pick as his VP candidate? Mickey suggested it should be Chuck Hagel, because he's a Republican and that way Republicans would not be able to complain. But when you completely surrender to the opposition in this cowardly way, you don't actually need to have your own party. You can just join theirs.

Speaking for myself, I'm proud of what Obama has done as president in the very short nine months he has been in office. I think it's fucking preposterous that he's being bashed for not having done more to earn a Nobel Peace Prize in nine months after the totally horrific Bush Cheney years and their reign of death and destruction around the world. Maybe the people with the completely unrealistic expectations and standards are not the "Obamabots," but the pants-wetting liberals and the hate mongering wingnut lunatics who fill the ranks of the Republican Party.*


*Incidentally, I don't think all Republicans are hatemongering lunatics. You, for example, seem reasonable and nice enough. I know some reasonable Republicans in real life, too. I cannot fathom why you would want to associate yourself with that party.

claymisher
10-12-2009, 07:51 PM
...

And how. The Republican/fox hissy fit routine only works when Democrats play along. So far Obama and co have done a good job of ignoring it, and sometimes waging effective counter-attacks.

Twin, did you see the post on 538 about research into the authoritarian personality (http://www.fivethirtyeight.com/2009/10/authoritarianism-in-american-politics.html)?

kezboard
10-12-2009, 10:23 PM
If he brings the beer, I'm sure we could hammer out our differences.

pampl
10-13-2009, 03:50 PM
So it does not matter that people made the case that King had done nothing to deserve the award, they were wrong. Not all cases are equal. If I make the case that the sun is blue you would be right to look at me with crossed eyes. But here again, you cannot see the difference between the charges against King, and the those against Obamas selection that have MUCH more merit.
Ahaha, now that you realize you were full of crap for claiming that the prize should be based on accomplishments you retroactively changed what you meant by 'accomplishments' and are trying to pretend you're making a principled distinction. That's priceless. Of course, in setting the bar at "a single rally that in retrospect looks important" you're basically saying Obama's accomplished about a million times enough to justify winning it. Whoops! In 5 years, when everyone looks at you like you're a moron (moreso than they do today, I mean) for talking about how it was "too soon", please remember how you were faced with a clear choice between being a dumbass and not being a dumbass and you chose the former rather than admit an error.

pampl
10-13-2009, 04:06 PM
Yeah, WWII, that's what Woodrow Wilson was going for. Guess you just came up with a reason for Obama not to have gotten it though... the unforeseen consequences of his Presidency.

I actually thought (hoped) that was the argument you were making, instead of sticking with the repeatedly-proven-wrong "too soon" argument. The point was that while his accomplishments could end up tarnished, like Wilson's, not-leading-the-world-into-war is an incredibly low bar and even then no one really speaks ill of Wilson getting it. If you're just saying that the standard for US Presidents should be higher than it is for the common Nobel laureate riff-raff then I disagree.

If you were literate you'd know already that unforeseen consequences can't be avoided given the peace prize's selection criteria, so claiming it as a blanket disqualifier would have been dumb even if you weren't responding to a post that already argued against its specific use here.

Lyle
10-13-2009, 04:20 PM
pampl,

Nobody has argued that the Nobel committee can't give the award to Obama. That they can and have, doesn't mean they should have. What do you not understand about this? Lots of people think he doesn't deserves it. It's their opinion. Get over it.

JonIrenicus
10-13-2009, 06:58 PM
Ahaha, now that you realize you were full of crap for claiming that the prize should be based on accomplishments you retroactively changed what you meant by 'accomplishments' and are trying to pretend you're making a principled distinction. That's priceless. Of course, in setting the bar at "a single rally that in retrospect looks important" you're basically saying Obama's accomplished about a million times enough to justify winning it. Whoops! In 5 years, when everyone looks at you like you're a moron (moreso than they do today, I mean) for talking about how it was "too soon", please remember how you were faced with a clear choice between being a dumbass and not being a dumbass and you chose the former rather than admit an error.

If in 5 years everyone looks at me like a moron, then THAT would have been a better time to give the award. Not now. It need not be decades after the fact, just after the efforts bare some substantive fruit. "We like him more than Bush and his policies and demeanor" does not qualify as enough in my view.

AemJeff
10-13-2009, 07:04 PM
If in 5 years everyone looks at me like a moron...

It's not fair tempting us with such low hanging fruit.

TwinSwords
10-13-2009, 09:16 PM
And how. The Republican/fox hissy fit routine only works when Democrats play along. So far Obama and co have done a good job of ignoring it, and sometimes waging effective counter-attacks.

Twin, did you see the post on 538 about research into the authoritarian personality (http://www.fivethirtyeight.com/2009/10/authoritarianism-in-american-politics.html)?

Absolutely fascinating. Thank you for the link. The authoritarianism by group is especially interesting. This is the kind of subject matter I don't think has ever been adequately addressed on BhTV -- maybe a little bit by a couple of guests: the psychological foundations for political ideology, or how you can trace political differences to personality differences. It goes much deeper, emotionally speaking, than the patina of facts and figures we all use to decorate (and obscure) our base motives.

I have long thought that people don't decide they are liberal or conservative because they have carefully contemplated the contents of thousands of pages of policy analysis. Most people don't advocate an increase in tank strength in Europe because they did a careful analysis of current force strength relative to needs. They advocate increases in military strength because at some deep, visceral level, they love the idea of blowing shit up and they look forward to opportunities to do so. People who favor decreases tend to be differently disposed.

Likewise, most people who advocate reductions in welfare don't do so because they have carefully studied the effect of different incentive structures and concluded that the optimal strategy for returning people to the workforce would be a reduction in welfare. Those are post hoc rationalizations for what is really a base emotional instinct, a gut feeling that the poor are lazy and shiftless and should not be tolerated. People who favor increases, likewise, tend to believe that the poor can be virtuous and don't deserve to be destitute. We could go on and on.

The difference between the left and the right is one of psychology. And, to the point of the article you linked to about the Authoritarian Personality: At least at this time in this country, conservatives are devoted to the total worship of authority. Indeed, they are proud of it and won't miss a chance to tell you, if they think you don't know. You can see it in their defense of the cop who arrested Henry Louis Gates. They didn't arrive at their defense of the cop after carefully consideration of (a) the law, and (b) both sides of the story. Instead, they formed a snap judgement based on a gut feeling that Gates should not be talking back to a cop. Period. (Who does he think he is!?) Feeling a deep sense of satisfaction about humiliating Gates is an emotional rather than intellectual reaction, proving the psychological roots of the motivation for conservatives.

Authoritarian conservatives are the ones who are furious that Obama won the Peace Prize. Why? Because Obama falls so far short of the authoritarian ideal. He bowed to the King of Saudi Arabia, for chrissakes! He told the Germans he was a citizen of the world. He apologizes for America everywhere he goes!!!1! He shook hands with — and smiled at! — Hugo Chavez! Obama promised in his campaign that he would show our enemies "an open hand." To the authoritarian, all of this proves Obama's weakness, and therefore, his unsuitability for the Nobel Peace Prize; weak leaders don't avert danger; they invite it. Authoritarians favor the clenched fist, preferably in motion, toward a target. And they really believe this is how you keep the peace. An oxymoron to you and peace; inviolable truth to them.

Who do authoritarians believe should win a Nobel? They nominated Reagan and Thatcher. You know, ass kickers. Like Chuck Norris. Chuck Norris – Peacemaker. A wingnut will tell you with a straight face that in every episode, when Chuck Norris was going around smashing shit and laying waste to his enemies, he was creating the perfect conditions for peace. They don't even mean it ironically. Reagan named his ICBM's Peacekeepers. And they named a nuclear-armed submarine "Corpus Christie." Body of Christ. Christ, the king of peace.

The idea is that you kick the asses of your opponents and when they're all dead, you collect the peace prize. "No one left to kill! The perfect conditions for peace!" Lyle seriously suggested that George W. Bush be given the Nobel Peace Prize for starting a war that has cost the lives of about 1,000,000 Iraqis, the overwhelming majority of whom were women and children – civilians.

And he's dead serious about it.

Of course they don't think Obama deserves the Nobel Peace Prize. He's going to have to kill a lot more people than a few pirates before he comes close in their eyes to qualifying for any "peace prize."

TwinSwords
10-13-2009, 09:21 PM
More on the authoritarian personality:

The complete text of Bob Altemeyer's The Authoritarians (http://home.cc.umanitoba.ca/~altemey/)

And from Wikipedia, an interesting short article:

— The Authoritarian Personality (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Authoritarian_Personality)

TwinSwords
10-13-2009, 09:24 PM
How Barack Obama earned the Nobel Peace Prize
by Mark Kleiman

Alfred Nobel left part of the fortune he made from the invention of dynamite to establish a prize for ”the person who shall have done the most or the best work for fraternity between nations, for the abolition or reduction of standing armies and for the holding and promotion of peace congresses.”

Nobel hadn’t heard of nuclear weapons, let alone nuclear non-proliferation. But no doubt he would have recognized the drive to prevent the proliferation of nuclear arms and to reduce the size of nuclear stockpiles as the contemporary equivalent of the arms-control movement of his own time.

The Non-Proliferation Treaty commits its nuclear-power signatories to work toward the abolition of nuclear weapons. Under Cold War conditions, that goal seemed merely aspirational, with no immediate practical implication.

But after the Cold War, with U.S. conventional forces overwhelmingly superior to those of any potential rival, it became very much in the security interest of the United States to reduce or abolish nuclear weaponry, and Bill Perry, Sam Nunn, Henry Kissinger, and George Shultz proposed exactly that.

Last month at the U.N. Barack Obama committed the United States to that program, which (among other good effects) strengthened our hand against Iranian and North Korean proliferation efforts; it was hard to denounce their violations of the NPT with a straight face when we weren’t even pretending to try to live up to ours.

So when the usually intelligent Megan McArdle announces loftily that "it’s kind of ludicrous that anyone is even trying to argue that Barack Obama truly deserves this Nobel Peace Prize," she is, to put it bluntly, talking through her hat.

That’s not to mention the importance of killing the “missile shield” that threatened a new arms race with Russia, or the work for “fraternity between nations” done by making it clear that the United States of America was no longer fighting a “crusade” against al-Islam, or putting an end to the torture regime.

Yes, it’s really rather surprising that the President has actually done, in nine short months, enough to justify a Nobel Peace Prize. But “surprising” does not equal “false.”


(Source (http://www.samefacts.com/2009/10/barack-obama/how-barack-obama-earned-the-nobel-peace-prize/))

TwinSwords
10-13-2009, 09:30 PM
From the esteemed Juan Cole:

"The Right in the US objected to Obama getting the peace prize on the alleged grounds that he had not yet done anything to deserve it. But the Right in the United States is to peace as velociraptors were to vegetarianism. They don't believe in the ideal for which the award stands in the first place. And they find President Obama laughable, so they can't imagine him getting any awards. They have underestimated him badly and will probably pay a price for that. They misunderstand the Nobel Peace Prize and its history, and the Rupert Murdoch Right (he pays for a lot of this pollution of our airwaves) would not have agreed with any of the past awards.

"Alfred Nobel outlined in his will the grounds on which the Peace Prize was to be given, saying it should go annually to the person who "shall have done the most or the best work for fraternity between nations, for the abolition or reduction of standing armies and for the holding of peace congresses." The modern committee considers work toward the reduction of nuclear arsenals in the same light as the reduction of standing armies, hence its award to Linus Pauling.

"The American Rightwing would not have approved of Woodrow Wilson getting the prize for helping found the League of Nations. They do not believe in international cooperation or multilateralism in the first place. They think America should cowboy it. They are the tribe of 'bring'em on' and 'wanted dead or alive.' They are about trapping the country in quagmires so as to throw cash to their cronies in the military-industrial complex. They like wars, not peace. They don't care how many people they kill in the global south. A million Iraqis dead? They deny it or justify it or blame it on someone else. They are bottom feeders."


— Read the whole thing (http://juancole.com/2009/10/obama-as-nobelist-obama-as-game-changer.html).

JonIrenicus
10-14-2009, 06:33 AM
More on the authoritarian personality:

The complete text of Bob Altemeyer's The Authoritarians (http://home.cc.umanitoba.ca/~altemey/)

And from Wikipedia, an interesting short article:

— The Authoritarian Personality (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Authoritarian_Personality)

Yes, clearly authoritarianism is a uniquely conservative domain.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_smoking_bans_in_the_United_States


That does not count? even the states that do so in bars !!! Clearly this an the example of conservative will seeking to force certain behavior upon others. Or not.

Personally I am not the biggest fan of anyone telling someone else how to behave, especially in the social sphere with laws, but if you have the slightest bit of honesty within yourself you have to admit that this streak to force ones will upon others, in pretty obnoxious ways, is FAR from absent on the left.

JonIrenicus
10-14-2009, 06:57 AM
It's not fair tempting us with such low hanging fruit.

You do have a point.. Depending on the judges it could be like asking a pack of starving jackals whether a rabbit deserves to be eaten.

Whatfur
10-14-2009, 02:57 PM
Who would have said...? Not even nine months into his term?

Yay!

Congrats, President Obama!

Sometimes you have to break a few kneecaps to achieve a noble or nobel peace. (http://gatewaypundit.blogspot.com/2009/10/top-quotes-from-this-years-nobel-peace.html)

pampl
10-14-2009, 04:41 PM
pampl,

Nobody has argued that the Nobel committee can't give the award to Obama. That they can and have, doesn't mean they should have. What do you not understand about this? Lots of people think he doesn't deserves it. It's their opinion. Get over it.

OK? I'm explicitly arguing against the claim that they shouldn't have. I don't know where your first sentence comes from or why you think it's relevant.

The problem is that it's an opinion that requires being either ignorant or stupid. It's like having the opinion that the Tour de France shouldn't have been won by Astana's team because Astana is basically run by Kazakhstan, a notorious human-rights violator. While it is true that Kazakhstan has a nasty government, that's a really dumb criticism of the Tour de France. It may be true that Obama is Hitler and will bring the end of civilization, or more realistically that he won't measurably improve world peace, but that misses the point of the Nobel Peace Prize. Some of the most celebrated winners - e.g. Mother Theresa, Aung Suu Kyi, MLK Jr - accomplished nothing for international peace and sometimes nothing at all.

pampl
10-14-2009, 04:52 PM
If in 5 years everyone looks at me like a moron, then THAT would have been a better time to give the award. Not now. It need not be decades after the fact, just after the efforts bare some substantive fruit. "We like him more than Bush and his policies and demeanor" does not qualify as enough in my view.
What does "better time" matter? Assuming that the Nobel committee hadn't decided in advance that Obama would get it some year and they just had to pick which year*, Obama wasn't competing with 2010 Obama or 2011 Obama etc. At least, I don't think they consider Nobel nominees that way, or if they do then they pretty consistently value accomplishments less than getting there early.

His current legacy might not qualify him for the JonIrenicus Peace Prize, but it's consistent with decades of Nobel Peace Prizes, which do value policies and demeanor over accomplishments and age.

* not a 100% sure thing, but if they were actually in that position then it'd still probably make sense to give it earlier rather than risking being too late because of an assassination or accident.

Whatfur
10-14-2009, 05:27 PM
What does "better time" matter? Assuming that the Nobel committee hadn't decided in advance that Obama would get it some year and they just had to pick which year*, Obama wasn't competing with 2010 Obama or 2011 Obama etc. At least, I don't think they consider Nobel nominees that way, or if they do then they pretty consistently value accomplishments less than getting there early.

His current legacy might not qualify him for the JonIrenicus Peace Prize, but it's consistent with decades of Nobel Peace Prizes, which do value policies and demeanor over accomplishments and age.

* not a 100% sure thing, but if they were actually in that position then it'd still probably make sense to give it earlier rather than risking being too late because of an assassination or accident.


That is about as silly a comment as I have seen in this thread.

PreppyMcPrepperson
10-14-2009, 06:31 PM
but it's consistent with decades of Nobel Peace Prizes, which do value policies and demeanor over accomplishments and age.

Pampl, I've been following this thread for almost a week now with a mix of amusement and horror. Here is the problem--you keep encouraging folks to look at the history of the prize, because you say awards given for general values/declared intentions towards peace have mattered more than specific peace treaties signed in determining who got the prize. Then you suggest that detractors' unwillingness to engage in the history suggests their true motivation is just a form of Obama-bashing.

But I am a lifelong Democrat who voted for Obama and will probably vote for him again, as well as a student of history who has published in academic journals and done some work on the rise of academic prizes and associations like the Nobel in the 19th century. I do actually know something about this, and it's simply not the case that the criteria for Obama's prize--his disarmament goals and kumbaya rhetoric--are par for the course.

Up until the VERY recently (maybe the last decade?), the prize was given to commemorate specific peace EVENTS, even if the people involved in those events weren't generally peaceful types. That is consistent with what Alfred Nobel stipulated in his will. That is also why someone like Teddy Roosevelt, who certainly made plenty of war, could get the prize--the prize was given to commemorate a specific treaty he negotiated, not to commemorate him as a person. It's only recently that the prize has become a commemoration of individual personality--Al Gore (2007) is an example of that trend. If you want to check my facts on this, I suggest you look not at the names of the people to whom the prizes were given, but the specific text/citation that was given to justify their award. The Nobel foundation has that info on its website.

And for many years, no one seemed to complain about this trend away from the Nobel's stated purpose because the age of the recipients masked the fundamental lack of peace events on their CVs. Obama is sort of the apotheosis of the personality-driven Nobel recipient, since he certainly has more peace rhetoric in his personal demeanor than many, while being--as a commander of forces presently at war--even LESS peaceful in deed. Moreover he lacks the mask of age that let folks like Al Gore get away without a peace treaty or a specific act of peacemaking under their belt. And the people protesting his Nobel are reacting against that broader trend, saying, "Hey maybe there's something wrong with turning this into a personality prize when that's not what Alfred wanted," and it's simply taken Obama, who is an extreme version of that trend, for them to notice.

Granted, there are some people just using the prize as an occasion to smear Obama, but not everyone has such base motives. I think you need to understand that:
A. while YOU may think a prize based on demeanor and stated policies is fine, it's a legitimate position for other people to have a different view of what makes a good prize
B. while recent Nobel laureates have been more like Obama than TR, it's not the case that the history or provenance of the prize condones this recent trend towards popularity-based awards

Wonderment
10-14-2009, 06:48 PM
Up until the VERY recently (maybe the last decade?), the prize was given to commemorate specific peace EVENTS, even if the people involved in those events weren't generally peaceful types.

Winning the election, -- i.e., becoming the first black leader of a former Western slave nation, (and a nation that only abolished segregation in Obama's lifetime) -- IS a specific peace event.

It is even a more striking peace event given that the vanquished opposition was a gang of crazed warlords who waged pointless war, practiced torture, and imprisoned people without charges, trial or a paper trail.

Publicly declaring a US commitment to the abolition of nuclear weapons is also a peace event, although arguably a less substantive one. On that last criterion alone, I would have waited till Obama actually achieved some nuclear progress toward abolition.

PreppyMcPrepperson
10-14-2009, 07:12 PM
Except that Nobel's will specifically stipulates what qualifies as the peace event, and the things you describe aren't in there.

Lyle
10-14-2009, 08:49 PM
Go read Preppy's comments to you farther down in the thread, please. I "hear, hear" her comment to you.

Wonderment
10-14-2009, 11:33 PM
So you would rule out MLK too?

PreppyMcPrepperson
10-14-2009, 11:44 PM
So you would rule out MLK too?

I am not ruling people in or out. I'm not even sure what I personally would set up as prize criteria if I had millions of dollars to endow a foundation. I'm simply noting what Alfred Nobel's criteria were for the fund HE bankrolled and pointing out that overtime, we have drifted away from those criteria with Obama as the latest evidence of that drift.

Secondly, by Alfred Nobel's own criterion, MLK earned his award. It was given in December of 1964 months AFTER the Civil Rights Act had been signed. MLK had effectively brokered the first of several official peace events between the races. And that's what it was given for.

claymisher
10-15-2009, 01:33 AM
I am not ruling people in or out. I'm not even sure what I personally would set up as prize criteria if I had millions of dollars to endow a foundation. I'm simply noting what Alfred Nobel's criteria were for the fund HE bankrolled and pointing out that overtime, we have drifted away from those criteria with Obama as the latest evidence of that drift.

Secondly, by Alfred Nobel's own criterion, MLK earned his award. It was given in December of 1964 months AFTER the Civil Rights Act had been signed. MLK had effectively brokered the first of several official peace events between the races. And that's what it was given for.

Awful lot of typing for a quibble.

JonIrenicus
10-15-2009, 02:05 AM
I am not ruling people in or out. I'm not even sure what I personally would set up as prize criteria if I had millions of dollars to endow a foundation. I'm simply noting what Alfred Nobel's criteria were for the fund HE bankrolled and pointing out that overtime, we have drifted away from those criteria with Obama as the latest evidence of that drift.

Secondly, by Alfred Nobel's own criterion, MLK earned his award. It was given in December of 1964 months AFTER the Civil Rights Act had been signed. MLK had effectively brokered the first of several official peace events between the races. And that's what it was given for.

This response reminds me of this scene from the 3rd star wars movie

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pSwy412nttI#t=6m25s


Obi-Wan tries to tell Anakin he does not have the high ground, tries to make him yield, but he just cannot bring himself to do it.

And posts like these are the kill stroke, the stroke that could have been avoided had they simply listened earlier and recognized they were NOT standing on firmer ground.

Wonderment
10-15-2009, 03:39 AM
Secondly, by Alfred Nobel's own criterion, MLK earned his award. It was given in December of 1964 months AFTER the Civil Rights Act had been signed. MLK had effectively brokered the first of several official peace events between the races. And that's what it was given for.

Really? I thought previously you had a strict interpretation of Nobel's will, where he stated that it was fraternity between the "nations", not "official peace events" (whatever they are) between the "races":

....one part to the person who shall have done the most or the best work for fraternity among nations, for the abolition or reduction of standing armies and for the holding and promotion of peace congresses.


By the racial standard, Obama clearly deserves a Nobel, since he ended centuries of the for-whites-only presidency -- an amazing feat of reconciliation. I wish I had a nickel for every person I've heard say, "I never thought it would happen in my lifetime."

JonIrenicus
10-15-2009, 04:58 AM
...



By the racial standard, Obama clearly deserves a Nobel, since he ended centuries of the for-whites-only presidency -- an amazing feat of reconciliation. I wish I had a nickel for every person I've heard say, "I never thought it would happen in my lifetime."

Did his personal vote do that? Or the votes of the American population? The same population some believed is inherently racist btw.

I think that says more about the lie that the US, today, is essentially populated by racist whites that are so bigoted they could not bring themselves to vote for a black man. Guess that was not true.

When I heard people say they did not think it could happen in their lifetime I always thought they thought too little of the character of their fellow americans.

Generations die off, and the standards of the past do not persist in the same numbers, but it took the actual election for liberals to be convinced of that.

TwinSwords
10-15-2009, 07:37 AM
This response reminds me of this scene from the 3rd star wars movie

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pSwy412nttI#t=6m25s


Obi-Wan tries to tell Anakin he does not have the high ground, tries to make him yield, but he just cannot bring himself to do it.

And posts like these are the kill stroke, the stroke that could have been avoided had they simply listened earlier and recognized they were NOT standing on firmer ground.

You should probably warn people when you are posting THE spoiler of the entire six movie series. Your link also starts 6 minutes and 25 seconds into the clip.

Nevertheless, a great scene.

Francoamerican
10-15-2009, 11:25 AM
From the esteemed Juan Cole:
.
"The American Rightwing would not have approved of Woodrow Wilson getting the prize for helping found the League of Nations. They do not believe in international cooperation or multilateralism in the first place. They think America should cowboy it. They are the tribe of 'bring'em on' and 'wanted dead or alive.' They are about trapping the country in quagmires so as to throw cash to their cronies in the military-industrial complex. They like wars, not peace. They don't care how many people they kill in the global south. A million Iraqis dead? They deny it or justify it or blame it on someone else. They are bottom feeders."

Thanks for quoting this. An accurate portrait, I think, of a significant portion of the American Right.

The Woodrow Wilson analogy is relevant for another reason. The Nobel Peace Prize was given to Wilson less for his role as a negotiator at the Versailles Peace Conference, where he was outwitted by Lloyd George and Clemenceau, than for his efforts to get Congress to ratify the treaty committing the US to join the League of Nations. An isolationist, Republican- led Congress was opposed to ratification and the Nobel Committee thought, wrongly as we know in retrospect, that awarding Wilson the Peace Prize would improve his chances of persuading Congress to change its mind.

The Republicans are always behind the times, but they eventually catch up.

kezboard
10-15-2009, 11:43 AM
These quotes are crap. Obama was not suggesting that the brutality shown by the Iranian regime at the protests over the stolen election was a "robust debate". That quote was from June 12, the day of the election, before the protests, which began the next day, after the election had been stolen. The "I'm angry" quote was in reference to the giant bonuses received by AIG executives -- and after Obama had received a lot of criticism about appearing too cool and detached when most Americans were pretty angry about this sort of thing. And I don't know where Acorn comes in here. Whatever. The worst is the "hit back twice as hard" quote, which was not actually said by Obama at all, and which was in the context of a political strategy meeting where the Senate Democrats were reviewing their opponents' attacks on health care reform. Also, somehow I don't buy lisping Ron Wyden as the head of a mercenary army.

PreppyMcPrepperson
10-15-2009, 01:09 PM
Really? I thought previously you had a strict interpretation of Nobel's will, where he stated that it was fraternity between the "nations", not "official peace events" (whatever they are) between the "races":



By the racial standard, Obama clearly deserves a Nobel, since he ended centuries of the for-whites-only presidency -- an amazing feat of reconciliation. I wish I had a nickel for every person I've heard say, "I never thought it would happen in my lifetime."

I actually did some research before posting that. When the award was given to MLK, it was controversial and the explanation in light of Nobel's will was that the Civil Rights Act and any laws that might follow should be treated as the equivalent of an interracial treaty. So he was given the award for fulfilling both the first and third clauses of Nobel's definition.

On nations vs. races--in the 1890s, when Nobel died, the word 'nation' didn't have the meaning we use now, it meant ethnic group. So someone who makes peace in an ethnic civil war, for example, qualifies for the prize. But again, the clinch is negotiating something akin to an actual treaty or legal agreement.

PreppyMcPrepperson
10-15-2009, 01:10 PM
PS "peace congresses" are another piece of 19C jargon to unpack here, but those are meetings to negotiate treaties.

kezboard
10-15-2009, 02:34 PM
Is it really a fact that smoking bans have more support on the left than on the right? I guess you would suppose that it would, if people were really consistent and if whether you were a liberal or a conservative was entirely dependent on how much government you want in your life. Neither of these things are true, though, and it seems to me that support for smoking bans is more a hallmark of sort of post-partisan urban technocrat types (i.e. Bloomberg) than it is of liberals or conservatives. It's true that smoking bans are more common in blue states, but I don't think that shows that the correlation is that more liberals means more smoking bans, rather that more urban states mean both more liberals and more smoking bans.

In any case, that's not what the authoritarian personality article was about. If I read it right, it was basically saying that authoritarian types are more likely to support politicians who appeal to in-group loyalty and supporting a challenged traditional order. Only tangentially related to "telling you how to behave".

Wonderment
10-15-2009, 02:47 PM
I think that says more about the lie that the US, today, is essentially populated by racist whites that are so bigoted they could not bring themselves to vote for a black man. Guess that was not true.

It was (happily) not true in most parts of the country. But in several states Obama got in the neighborhood of 10% of the white vote.

bjkeefe
10-15-2009, 02:54 PM
More on the authoritarian personality:

The complete text of Bob Altemeyer's The Authoritarians (http://home.cc.umanitoba.ca/~altemey/)

I've read the introductory sections and the first chapter so far. Good stuff. I second your recommendation.

To others: even if you think he's going to be preaching to your choir, it's worth a look for the quality of writing and sense of humor alone.

P.S. My RWA score was 24, fwiw.

JonIrenicus
10-15-2009, 02:59 PM
It was (happily) not true in most parts of the country. But in several states Obama got in the neighborhood of 10% of the white vote.

I am willing to grant that it probably was true in some neighborhoods over and above simply not voting democratic, I just think that population is such small and shrinking number that it is time we removed that charge against white Americans in general.

Based off some perceptions people throw out there about the conservative population at large, it seems like they have the spike lee take on white republicans as spoofed on Family Guy.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m1Tgu3CEn9k


Obama NEVER had that, he gave people the benefit of the doubt, unlike Jackson or Sharpton or that annoying swine Dyson, and he was appreciated for it far more than he was hurt by a shrinking number of proto racists.

pampl
10-18-2009, 12:23 AM
Granted, there are some people just using the prize as an occasion to smear Obama, but not everyone has such base motives. I think you need to understand that:
A. while YOU may think a prize based on demeanor and stated policies is fine, it's a legitimate position for other people to have a different view of what makes a good prize
B. while recent Nobel laureates have been more like Obama than TR, it's not the case that the history or provenance of the prize condones this recent trend towards popularity-based awards
After 40 years (out of about a hundred total) it stops being a "recent" phonomenon and starts counting as the history.

It would be a legitimate position if people were consistent. No one is, though. They view other personality-driven Nobel prizes as perfectly fine, as I've pointed out repeatedly and the critics have repeatedly acknowledged. It didn't take Obama winning for them to notice, it took Obama winning for them to consider it a bad thing and even then they aren't willing to stick to that position.

edit: for an example of a legitimate position, see the diavlogue thread about the peace prize. A conservative poster gave a list of past awards that he also considered wrongheaded. He had an actual principle guiding his criticism of the prize. The vast majority of people weighing in, though, clearly aren't trying to think out a criticism of the prize that they're willing to consistently apply. They're just giving post-hoc justifications for not liking it.

Seriously, just try looking at the complaints, in this thread or in op-eds or anywhere. Next to no one is leveling the criticism you justify above, that this is the culmination of a downward trend; rather they're trying to describe it as a shocking and momentous change.

PreppyMcPrepperson
10-18-2009, 03:43 AM
edit: for an example of a legitimate position, see the diavlogue thread about the peace prize. A conservative poster gave a list of past awards that he also considered wrongheaded. He had an actual principle guiding his criticism of the prize. The vast majority of people weighing in, though, clearly aren't trying to think out a criticism of the prize that they're willing to consistently apply. They're just giving post-hoc justifications for not liking it.

Seriously, just try looking at the complaints, in this thread or in op-eds or anywhere. Next to no one is leveling the criticism you justify above, that this is the culmination of a downward trend; rather they're trying to describe it as a shocking and momentous change.

I have in fact been reading that thread.

I have a principle too: that the prize should be given with an explicit justification relative to Mr. Nobel's will, and with a strict reading of that will's tenets. On those grounds, I personally thought most of the Nobels of recent years were unjustified . That is despite the fact that I otherwise liked some of the recipients and respected their work; I just didn't think it fit Nobel's particular description. (The prize to Gore I found particularly egregious; a lot of the prizes awarded vaguely for human rights, like Maathai's and Ebadi's, I also have problems with).

I agree that some people criticizing Obama don't have such principles and are just making them up to justify a general opposition to him. I'm not trying to exonerate those folks. I have simply been trying to point out that in your haste to attack those folks, you are behaving as though ALL opponents of the Obama Nobel were just opponents of Obama himself. And we're not. So, you know, calm down.

TwinSwords
10-18-2009, 08:19 PM
Except that Nobel's will specifically stipulates what qualifies as the peace event, and the things you describe aren't in there.

.... in your opinion, and as far as you are able to judge.

Of course Nobel's will doesn't specifically cite Obama's election, or the end of torture, or the embrace of diplomacy, or the extension of friendship to the rest of the world, or the efforts to build bridges to the Muslim world, in his will. But he says very little in his will, despite the implication that the will contains a comprehensive checklist of qualitifications.

Here's the full text (http://nobelprize.org/alfred_nobel/will/will-full.html) of Nobel's will.

Here's the relevant text: The Nobel Peace Prize shall go to "the person who shall have done the most or the best work for fraternity between nations, for the abolition or reduction of standing armies and for the holding and promotion of peace congresses."

No one in 2008-2009 has done more "for the fraternity of nations" than Barack Obama.

hansolov
10-18-2009, 10:35 PM
... He lost Copenhagen, but took Stockholm ...

...but the Nobel Committe will always have my undying appreciation for giving JM Coetzee the literature prize a few years back. A wiser choice was never made.

I think that should be "he took Oslo". The various Nobel prizes are awarded by different institutions. The peace prize is awarded by a committee appointed by the Norwegian parliament.

PreppyMcPrepperson
10-19-2009, 12:04 AM
No one in 2008-2009 has done more "for the fraternity of nations" than Barack Obama.

.... in your opinion, and as far as you are able to judge, TS.

I fully accept that reading Nobel's will and determining what fits his description is a subjective process. All I was trying to point out is that there are valid reasons to look at the Obama prize, and others, and deem them outside that description. Pampl seemed to be suggesting that any arguments against the Obama prize were invalid.

Secondly, he seemed to suggest that any arguments against the prize were historically unfounded, and I was offering a reading of Nobel's will that would ground a critique of the Obama prize in history.

Thirdly, to address your point about fraternity between nations, one reason I find my reading of Nobel's will convincing as compared to other readings is that my reading uses the 19c definition of 'nations.' At the time, this word meant two things--nation-states and ethnic groups--but it didn't mean populations of nation states.

Let me explain: if a nation-state had people of various ethnic groups living in it, which nation-states often do, the state might be referred to as a 'nation,' and each ethnic group might be referred to individually as a 'nation,' but when collected together as the population of the nation-state, they would be referred to as the 'people' of that state and NOT as a 'nation.'

What Obama has done in CONCRETE terms is provide new bridges between the populations of the world's nation-states, to build general global goodwill for the United States. This is laudable, I welcome it, and I voted for it. But in the 19c parlance, that doesn't work as fraternity between nations.