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Wonderment
09-20-2011, 05:19 AM
Take the opportunity to celebrate. (http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/nation/la-na-military-gay-wedding-20110920,0,3937926.story)

bjkeefe
09-20-2011, 09:10 AM
Take the opportunity to celebrate. (http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/nation/la-na-military-gay-wedding-20110920,0,3937926.story)

Nice.

And see also (http://www.nytimes.com/2011/09/20/us/after-toiling-in-shadows-to-end-dont-ask-dont-tell-1st-lt-josh-seefried-greets-a-new-era.html?pagewanted=all).

uncle ebeneezer
09-20-2011, 12:27 PM
Good stuff. Better late than never. And a salute to all who made it happen.

Hopefully the military won't turn them into real barbarians :)

Florian
09-20-2011, 01:16 PM
Congratulations USA! But the following countries beat you to it (according to Wikipedia):

Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Republic of China (Taiwan), Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Israel, The Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, UK.

Better late than never.

Don Zeko
09-20-2011, 04:29 PM
Better late than never.

That's a line that we deserve from Europeans fairly frequently, but I'm not letting it get me down. Good for Obama, the military, but mostly good for the voters, activists, and citizens that really made it happen.

bjkeefe
09-21-2011, 12:10 AM
That's a line that we deserve from Europeans fairly frequently, but I'm not letting it get me down. Good for Obama, the military, but mostly good for the voters, activists, and citizens that really made it happen.

Yes. However, his statement is, taken narrowly and literally, true: better late than never.

It'd be nice if Flo recognized (or could admit) what we're up against in this country -- a tepid and apathetic liberal majority swamped by a minority of wingnuts who gain disproportionate clout solely by virtue of their volume -- rather than condemning all Americans, but I suppose if I were going to wish for that, I might as well wish for the nonexistence of fundies overall.

Florian
09-21-2011, 04:44 AM
Yes. However, his statement is, taken narrowly and literally, true: better late than never.

It'd be nice if Flo recognized (or could admit) what we're up against in this country -- a tepid and apathetic liberal majority swamped by a minority of wingnuts who gain disproportionate clout solely by virtue of their volume -- rather than condemning all Americans, but I suppose if I were going to wish for that, I might as well wish for the nonexistence of fundies overall.

Oh come now. I know quite well what you are up against. Indeed I think you overestimate the liberal "majority" in the US and underestimate the wingnut minority. Judging from what you usually say on this subject (and what some of the anti-liberal participants in this forum say), how can you expect me to have a balanced view of Americans?

But welcome back in any case. Your vitriolic wit has been missed.

TwinSwords
09-21-2011, 07:48 AM
Your vitriolic wit has been missed.

You can say that again.

Sulla the Dictator
09-21-2011, 02:30 PM
Take the opportunity to celebrate. (http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/nation/la-na-military-gay-wedding-20110920,0,3937926.story)

Bizarre.

Sulla the Dictator
09-21-2011, 02:32 PM
That's a line that we deserve from Europeans fairly frequently

Also bizarre.

Don Zeko
09-21-2011, 02:37 PM
Bizarre.

How so?

Sulla the Dictator
09-21-2011, 02:42 PM
How so?

This is a small, irrelevant thing. So much investment in it is bizarre. Calling it a "revolution", or the MSNBC coverage akin to the Berlin Wall falling are genuinely weird. In the rest of the country, this event was noted and ignored. In the enclaves of elite opinion, we have this strange triumphalism.

Don Zeko
09-21-2011, 02:44 PM
This is a small, irrelevant thing. So much investment in it is bizarre. Calling it a "revolution", or the MSNBC coverage akin to the Berlin Wall falling are genuinely weird. In the rest of the country, this event was noted and ignored. In the enclaves of elite opinion, we have this strange triumphalism.

It's hardly irrelevant for the men in that story, or for the thousands of people who have had their discharges changed to honorable. Just because a minority is small doesn't mean that discrimination against them isn't a big deal.

Sulla the Dictator
09-21-2011, 03:07 PM
It's hardly irrelevant for the men in that story, or for the thousands of people who have had their discharges changed to honorable. Just because a minority is small doesn't mean that discrimination against them isn't a big deal.

Sure it does; it wasn't a big deal. Indeed, it was a compromise. And unlike skin color, sexuality is a behavior set. It is perfectly reasonable for a society to prefer one type of behavior over another when awarding honors, which is what military service is.

Its fine with me for the state to change its mind on this issue, I don't find homosexual politics to be particularly compelling either way. The point is that thousands of years of military tradition were upended. That they weren't flipped on their heads the second a majority of liberals decided they should be what, 10 years ago (?), that there wasn't some kind of moral failing here. The American army is an army in the field. It endures real combat, fairly often. For such a thing as combat readiness, it is important for the Army to be deliberate and careful about their decision.

Meanwhile, this is all so trivial. The world is on the brink of a catastrophic economic and political transformation. America roils under the weight of crushing unemployment, with soldiers engaged in combat abroad. Europe is dying, and if the United States and the Europeans continue in malaise, the Chinese will descend into civil strife. Stability is being ripped from the Arab world at a time the population of the said place is more politically and religiously radical than it has been in a century.

And the American Left wants us to take a moment and care about this?

How insane would it have been for the Romans to fret about the plight of red headed southpaws in Roman society while Alaric's Goths were en route to the Eternal city?

uncle ebeneezer
09-21-2011, 11:59 PM
Shorter Sulla: Support The Troops!!1! (Selectively)

Oh the Esprit De Corps (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bPXC9hMlRqU)....

Sulla the Dictator
09-22-2011, 04:31 AM
Shorter Sulla: Support The Troops!!1! (Selectively)


I stand corrected. Worse than Apartheid.

miceelf
09-23-2011, 08:10 AM
I stand corrected. Worse than Apartheid.

Not everything is as momentous as the blow to freedom that is energy efficient light bulbs.

bjkeefe
09-26-2011, 10:18 AM
Not everything is as momentous as the blow to freedom that is energy efficient light bulbs.

WIN.

bjkeefe
09-26-2011, 12:16 PM
Oh come now. I know quite well what you are up against.

In a charitable mood, I could think that. However, your frequent stereotyping of Americans and America makes it hard for me to be charitable.

Indeed I think you overestimate the liberal "majority" in the US and underestimate the wingnut minority. Judging from what you usually say on this subject (and what some of the anti-liberal participants in this forum say), how can you expect me to have a balanced view of Americans?

The last thing I want to get into is yet another discussion of What is liberalism? I find those incredibly tedious. But to answer your question, I'll say a few brief things.

First, I concede that you probably have a definition of what a liberal society means based on France such that is is plausible to argue that, by comparison, very much of America is conservative. One could point to religious dominance of political discourse, the ridiculous anti-tax attitude, the phobias about national health care and other aspects of OMGSOCIALISM!!!1!, the irrational reverence for all things military, and so on.

That said, my own view of liberalism, particularly as it pertains to American views, still leads me to believe there is a liberal majority in the US. We've been over this numerous times on this site, but the nickel version is this: if you survey people on attitudes toward particular issues and policies, a clear majority favors the more liberal option in case after case, pretty much down the line. People generally favor more progressive taxation, more balanced wealth and income distribution, at least some significant movement towards public health care options and assistance, protecting the environment, taking care of the less fortunate, having sensible regulations to prevent capitalism from running amok, and so on.

The problem is that these majority views are masked by a lack of organization and leadership ("on the left," if you like) and worse, by the success of three decades of highly organized and well-funded FUD pushed by the extremist right and the business interests who see how easy it is to motivate such people. This country now features a chunk of people and a number of media outlets who proudly describe themselves as "conservative," and an overwhelming majority of people who view the word "liberal" as a pejorative, to be hurled or fled from, depending on the individual's leanings on particular issues. The problem is further compounded by the realities of electoral politics in this country: it costs so much to get into office and stay there that almost no candidate can afford to alienate the wealthy, much less the military-industrial complex, and the stridency and lock-step marching of the religious right makes almost all candidates timid on anything that can be portrayed as "an attack on Christianity."

As to how I can expect you "to have a balanced view of Americans," I can only say that I think you are smart enough and well enough informed that everything I wrote above should have provoked in you a feeling of "tell me something I don't know."

But welcome back in any case. Your vitriolic wit has been missed.

Thanks. I wish your view was shared by TPTB.

uncle ebeneezer
09-26-2011, 03:18 PM
Why does the military hate freedom? (http://www.grist.org/renewable-energy/2011-09-21-the-militarys-historic-embrace-of-smart-energy)

Florian
09-27-2011, 03:02 AM
That said, my own view of liberalism, particularly as it pertains to American views, still leads me to believe there is a liberal majority in the US. We've been over this numerous times on this site, but the nickel version is this: if you survey people on attitudes toward particular issues and policies, a clear majority favors the more liberal option in case after case, pretty much down the line. People generally favor more progressive taxation, more balanced wealth and income distribution, at least some significant movement towards public health care options and assistance, protecting the environment, taking care of the less fortunate, having sensible regulations to prevent capitalism from running amok, and so on.

The problem is that these majority views are masked by a lack of organization and leadership ("on the left," if you like) and worse, by the success of three decades of highly organized and well-funded FUD pushed by the extremist right and the business interests who see how easy it is to motivate such people. This country now features a chunk of people and a number of media outlets who proudly describe themselves as "conservative," and an overwhelming majority of people who view the word "liberal" as a pejorative, to be hurled or fled from, depending on the individual's leanings on particular issues. The problem is further compounded by the realities of electoral politics in this country: it costs so much to get into office and stay there that almost no candidate can afford to alienate the wealthy, much less the military-industrial complex, and the stridency and lock-step marching of the religious right makes almost all candidates timid on anything that can be portrayed as "an attack on Christianity."

I would like to believe that a majority of Americans are as "liberal" in their political and social attitudes as you say they are. Your second paragraph makes this difficult to believe. The post-WW II American ideology of laissez-faire capitalism, buttressed by religion and by a sometimes messianic military interventionism, is so pervasive that rational debate about such issues as health care, foreign policy etc. sometimes seems impossible. And then there is the abysmal intellectual quality of the people who go into politics....

But thanks for providing some "balance" anyway.

rfrobison
09-27-2011, 07:01 AM
Thanks [for welcoming me back]. I wish your view [that I was missed] was shared by TPTB.

Oh, BJ, self-pity is so unlike you! ;) I recall quite clearly Mr. Wright thanking you in front of everybody for your technical suggestions on the site and practically begging you to take part in a debate with Eli Lake for cryin' out loud! Why don't you do it, by the way? I think it'd be great.

As usual, I think you're completely slandering me and all my fellow righties with your previous. I can hardly contain my wrath...or my satisfaction at having you back. It's been boring as all get-out around here without you.

uncle ebeneezer
09-27-2011, 03:18 PM
I wish you could teach some of your fellow conservatives how to restrain their wrath. But yes, welcome back Brendan. And you too, Rob.

Sulla the Dictator
10-01-2011, 02:28 AM
Not everything is as momentous as the blow to freedom that is energy efficient light bulbs.

The ability of a man to tell other men the exact configuration he prefers his penis to be arranged in and with whom comes close.

It was like the Berlin Wall came down. Stage two; we end the Apartheid that is gender specific restrooms.

Sulla the Dictator
10-01-2011, 02:34 AM
The last thing I want to get into is yet another discussion of What is liberalism? I find those incredibly tedious. But to answer your question, I'll say a few brief things.

First, I concede that you probably have a definition of what a liberal society means based on France such that is is plausible to argue that, by comparison, very much of America is conservative. One could point to religious dominance of political discourse, the ridiculous anti-tax attitude, the phobias about national health care and other aspects of OMGSOCIALISM!!!1!, the irrational reverence for all things military, and so on.


I think this is so perfect. It is strange how insecure liberals are about their own national identity, and seek some sort of petting or reassurance from Europeans. Perhaps when the news trickles down through MSNBC, the left in America might hear some of the less pretty things about Europe in the coming months.

Sulla the Dictator
10-01-2011, 02:42 AM
I would like to believe that a majority of Americans are as "liberal" in their political and social attitudes as you say they are. Your second paragraph makes this difficult to believe. The post-WW II American ideology of laissez-faire capitalism, buttressed by religion and by a sometimes messianic military interventionism, is so pervasive that rational debate about such issues as health care, foreign policy etc. sometimes seems impossible. And then there is the abysmal intellectual quality of the people who go into politics....

Can you tell me more about the "post-WWII American ideology of laissez-faire capitalism"?

BTW, no nation which birthed Mitterand really has a place lecturing anyone else on "messianic military interventionism". Your nation is responsible for perhaps the most petty series of post-war neo-colonial actions out of any permanent UN Security council member.

Florian
10-01-2011, 03:35 AM
Can you tell me more about the "post-WWII American ideology of laissez-faire capitalism"?.

What other ideology has the United States ever stood for? Or exported to its client states during the Cold War and since then?

Admittedly, the US has always been better at preaching the virtues of unfettered capitalism to other nations than putting the ideology into practice at home. But if contemporary American conservative/libertarians had their way.....

BTW, no nation which birthed Mitterand really has a place lecturing anyone else on "messianic military interventionism". Your nation is responsible for perhaps the most petty series of post-war neo-colonial actions out of any permanent UN Security council member.

Was I lecturing?

Petty neo-colonial actions of Mitterrand? Petty perhaps, but "can you tell me more" about neo-colonial.

Ocean
10-01-2011, 10:30 AM
The ability of a man to tell other men the exact configuration he prefers his penis to be arranged in and with whom comes close.

It was like the Berlin Wall came down. Stage two; we end the Apartheid that is gender specific restrooms.


I think this is so perfect. It is strange how insecure liberals are about their own national identity, and seek some sort of petting or reassurance from Europeans. Perhaps when the news trickles down through MSNBC, the left in America might hear some of the less pretty things about Europe in the coming months.


Can you tell me more about the "post-WWII American ideology of laissez-faire capitalism"?

BTW, no nation which birthed Mitterand really has a place lecturing anyone else on "messianic military interventionism". Your nation is responsible for perhaps the most petty series of post-war neo-colonial actions out of any permanent UN Security council member.


And what's with you that your last three posts here are all about provoking some liberal commenter in whatever ways you can? Are you bored or something?

Just curious.

Florian
10-01-2011, 05:19 PM
And what's with you that your last three posts here are all about provoking some liberal commenter in whatever ways you can? Are you bored or something?

Just curious.

Wouldn't you be bored if you lived in Las Vegas and had nothing but a $10 library card for entertainment?

Sulla the Dictator
10-01-2011, 05:35 PM
And what's with you that your last three posts here are all about provoking some liberal commenter in whatever ways you can? Are you bored or something?

Just curious.

Since they were on three different topics, I don't really see it as provocation. Nor did I consider anything I said to be unique on this board when it comes to tone.

Ocean
10-01-2011, 05:45 PM
Since they were on three different topics, I don't really see it as provocation. Nor did I consider anything I said to be unique on this board when it comes to tone.

I think it was the effect of reading the three posts one after the other.

But now that Florian told me about your unfortunate situation out there in desert land with so little left, I feel bad for you. I guess we'll have to put up with your provocation for a while. ;)

Sulla the Dictator
10-01-2011, 05:51 PM
What other ideology has the United States ever stood for?


Every other one?


Admittedly, the US has always been better at preaching the virtues of unfettered capitalism to other nations than putting the ideology into practice at home.


Have we? We preach against child labor laws abroad? Handrails? Eight hour work days? I never thought we micromanaged that much, but surely you have an example.


But if contemporary American conservative/libertarians had their way.....


Conservatives do not favor laissez faire capitalism as I understand it, which is defined as a historical and economic matter. Of course, the misunderstanding might be that you believe the idea that a business retains some sort of profit, and has the right to fire people, is synonymous with laissez faire capitalism.

As to Libertarians, I doubt even many of them favor unrestricted, free capitalism. Of course, Libertarians make up a much smaller percentage of the American electorate than French supporters of Le Pen, so it is no great matter. Bloggingheads might give the wrong impression.


Was I lecturing?


Are you your nation?


Petty neo-colonial actions of Mitterrand? Petty perhaps, but "can you tell me more" about neo-colonial.

Gladly.

There is remarkable television footage shot in the first days of the genocide in Rwanda. It shows a large room in the French Embassy in Kigali filled floor to ceiling with shredded documents. This was probably the paper trail that might have revealed the depth of involvement between the Elysée Palace and the Hutu faction responsible for massacring hundreds of thousands of Tutsi and opposition Hutu....

.....

Drawing on documents recently released from the Paris archive of Mitterrand, the commission clearly describes the motive for French policy in Rwanda. These documents show how the RPF invasion was considered as clear aggression by an Anglophone neighbour on a Francophone country. The RPF was a part of an “Anglophone plot”, involving the President of Uganda, to create an English-speaking “Tutsi-land”. Once Rwanda was “lost” to Anglophone influence, French credibility in Africa would never recover. The policy was to avoid a military victory by the RPF.

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/comment/columnists/guest_contributors/article4481353.ece

France is known to be home to a large historical reenactor community. People recreate Napoleonic battles, WWII engagements, even Roman legionary armies. Who knew that this hobby extended to the French Foreign ministry, where French bureaucrats pretended they were engaged in the service of Emperor Napoleon III?

And at what cost to the natives! French "image" and power (?) in Africa? English plots? I'm surprised this gaggle of LARP enthusiasts didn't manage to work a German angle into the whole thing.

Florian
10-01-2011, 06:20 PM
If you think I am going to follow you again down the rabbit hole of your rambling, scatter-brained reflections on history, France, the US, capitalism, think again.

My comment to bjkeefe was not intended as a "lecture" to Americans. And I am not interested in being lectured by you about France. You are simply not qualified to lecture me on either country.

Sulla the Dictator
10-01-2011, 07:33 PM
If you think I am going to follow you again down the rabbit hole of your rambling, scatter-brained reflections on history, France, the US, capitalism, think again.

My comment to bjkeefe was not intended as a "lecture" to Americans. And I am not interested in being lectured by you about France. You are simply not qualified to lecture me on either country.

I'll assume you are simply unfamiliar with the subject under discussion, and we'll leave it at that.