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-   -   The Age of Obama (http://bloggingheads.tv/forum/showthread.php?t=2357)

Wonderment 11-14-2008 08:24 PM

Re: Please Make It Stop!
 
Quote:

Driving up Crenshaw Blvd. around 57th St. and beyond in Los Angeles and seeing all these sidewalk concessions with Obama t-shirts and other paraphenalia it is truly amazing. At least for the short term people deserve to bask in the glow of the recent election.
Beautiful!

Wonderment 11-14-2008 08:30 PM

Re: Please Make It Stop!
 
Another possibility is that the Hillary deal for SecState was in since the Biden pick.

Baltimoron 11-14-2008 08:37 PM

Re: Please Make It Stop!
 
I guess all that spin about HRC becoming the new Ted Kennedy was just that.

Damn Bill Clinton for starting rule by trial balloon! Something tells me it's too early to count coup.

Unit 11-14-2008 08:43 PM

Re: The Age of Obama
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by handle (Post 97510)
Thoughtfulness, introspection, self examination, insight, intelligence, common sense, communication skills, openness to different points of view and the willingness to weigh them in his decision making, and the ability to articulate his intent to others.
I happen to be the cynics cynic, and who amongst us especially here, believe in superheros? But I value these characteristics above all others in a leader. He may fall on his face, it may turn out that he possesses only some, or none of these, but I am encouraged by what I've seen so far.

I now yield the floor to the brave conservocons who echo the corporate propaganda arm of the media out of child-like fear of the "unknown" or, as I see it, the ignored. I know your fingers are quaking on your keyboards. The daily show has a quick, condensed fox news talking point montage if you need something to fire you up... click on "Baracknophobia - Post-Election Edition"

I'm sorry, I thought I had been clear that I was separating the individual qualities of a president from the institutional role.

Wonderment 11-14-2008 08:44 PM

Re: Please Make It Stop!
 
Quote:

I guess all that spin about HRC becoming the new Ted Kennedy was just that.
I would much rather see HRC replacing a retiring Ruth Bader Ginsburg on the Supreme Court.

I don't trust her on foreign policy, but she'd be a solid liberal on the Court.

It would also be better for her. No one can fire her, and she's there for life.

On the other hand, it closes off forever the path to the presidency, but that's 99% closed now anyway.

Baltimoron 11-14-2008 08:58 PM

Re: Please Make It Stop!
 
I guess I feel a little more "pull" for Congress than even SCOTUS. Not only is the Capitol less garish, but it's a darker zone of corruption. Still, I think that other end of Penn Avenue is far more "republican" (and, recalling that, is tonic to reform in a safer direction than an imperial president) than the one where that ugly mansion sits. On my wife's first visit to Washington, DC, I made sure she saw the Capitol end first (we actually never made it the the WH - ironically, one can get a cheap tour of the Confederate WH for less hassle). To her credit, and my relief, she thought SCOTUS just grand.

But, SCOTUS would be such a placid place for such a pair of expert fund-raisers. Without the rough-and-tumble of elections, what would Clintons do?

cmonsour 11-14-2008 09:11 PM

Re: The Age of Obama
 
I am a fan of John McWhorter -- mostly based on his truly wonderful lecture series, The Story of Human Language, which you should all buy and listen to. That said, these McWhorter-Loury diavlogs are getting a little stale, because they mostly seem to be talking past each other and repeating themselves in doing it.

I would really, really like to see Loury do a Bloggingheads (or several) with someone who would engage him on the conversations he seems to really want to have. Whither economic and social policy under Obama? What is to be done about America's massive rates of incarceration? The shifting demographics of its cities? The continuing long-term flux of its economic order? The man clearly has some things he wants to say; let's give him a chance to say them to someone who is interested in having the same conversation.

Loury's diavlog with Heather Mac Donald was great (though I wouldn't necessarily want to watch more of the two of them). McWhorter's conversation with Ta-Nehisi Coates was pretty good, too, and I think their conversations would get even more interesting if they talked a little more and got past the mental caricature they each seem to have of the other.

More McWhorter, more Loury, less of the two together, please!

Baltimoron 11-14-2008 09:48 PM

louryheads.tv
 
I agree - more Loury on economics...Loury on "ginger ale"!

How about Loury the economist vs. Loury the older, African-American? A first for bhTV - 'heads debating themselves!

BornAgainDemocrat 11-14-2008 09:56 PM

Re: The Age of Obama
 
Another episode in the best conversation in America! The whole is greater than the sum of its parts.

Heads up, Glen: I am coming to Brown next Tuesday or Monday to promote my new book, and I plan to knock on your door. I hope you will hear me out when I try to explain why I think it is class, not race, that is responsible for what you refered to as "structural racism" (stuctural unemployment would be more accurate).

More specifically, the problem is than ordinary working-class people in America, black or white, can no longer realistically imagine a good life for themselves in the new global economy. It is out of reach of them all, which only exacerbates the fears and tensions between working-class ethnics of all descriptions.

For BloggingHeads readers who are interested, btw, the title of my book is THE SOFT PATH: Notes for a New Way of Life in America. Here is the copy on the back cover:

"In place of the old middle-class dream of a house in the suburbs and a full-time Mom who stays at home with the kids, Luke Lea proposes something entirely different: a program to build New Towns in the Country and supply the inhabitants with well-paying half-time jobs. Under this arrangement both parents would work part-time outside the home, and in their leisure-time would build their own houses, cultivate gardens, cook and eat at home, and care their own children and grand-parents instead of placing them in day-care and nursing homes. Instead of retiring at 65, people would take easier jobs as they grow older and continue working for as long as they are able. And instead of relying on high-speed automobiles, the new towns would be small enough (10,000-to-30,000 inhabitants) and laid out in such a way that the townspeople could get around on foot, by bicycle, and in “neighborhood electric vehicles” (NEV’s). Combining these elements, we have the formula for new communities of “leisure and liberty,” as the author describes them, well-suited to the economic realities of the 21st century, and to the egalitarian ideals upon which our republic is founded."

I am frankly touring the Ivy League looking to recruit a new generation of student leaders interested in organizing a grass-roots democratic mass-movement for change, something appropriate in this new age of Obama -- or rather, in this new age of Barack Hussein Obama!

After Brown I'll be in Cambridge for 4 or 5 days, and then on up to Dartmouth. I am in New Haven at the moment after a couple of days in NYC (where I somehow managed to get the editor-in-chief at Fararr Straus interested in my little pocket-sized, hand-sewn, French-style paperback) review copies available upon demand (luke.leas@gmail.com)>

Please forgive this shameless self-promotion, Robert Wright. And congratulations to John and Glen for another magnificent contribution to our American civilization. I really mean it.

ed fielding 11-14-2008 11:22 PM

Re: The Age of Obama
 
http://bloggingheads.tv/diavlogs/158...0:45&out=21:20

Yeahh: Glenn hits it.
Transforming institutions toward mutuality and grace. Progressing toward a shared Humanity. Common respect toward the foreigner and the stranger. (I do know he's just an exceptional human person but he has won the world back from cynicism.)
Yes. We can. We will. And surely we must.
And everywhere people who think of the world engaging serious purpose are talking about what must now be done. Without the customary because necessary irony and bitter disappointment of the loss of it all. The preceding diavlog is in fact the one I have in mind at the at the moment, but that conversation has analogs all over the web. The kids over at Obsidian Wings are writing better brighter stuff and they're no slouches. The pieces seemed to expand out in ripples from Ezra Klein’s pieces (which I’m not linking because it will drive me crazy futzing with ‘insert link’) at the American Prospect on health insurance. GUANTANAMO IS CLOSING! Never in my 65 years have I seen the world light up like this.

And the real revolution is that person came to be where he is not in a blatant prancing power grab where you know as I have since 1972 that the game was rigged, and never voted again until this election.
The real revolution is he has chosen not to serve greed or lust for power, though he speaks to them graciously in their own tongue, but that he came to this place with an intention to make the world a little safer and a little less terrified and a little more gracious toward everyone. That's how we won. He comes not to rule America but to enable it.
Forget black; and don't, but the miracle is that we are looking with expectation and understanding that a new and far better future is already beginning to emerge. From a sort of purity of heart, that encourages that quality in everyone. Commitment to do well by doing good.
Please, despite your impulse leap to crown me Pollyanna. The world is a far darker place than any of us can bear. The void waits for the unwary. Okay. The Void lives and breathes in Guantanamo, and the Vice-President’s office.
But really: take your bitter selfish contemptuous mockery home, fry it up with your steak and eggs, and have a great meal.
But really: if you're so smart and see so clearly shouldn’t you be a little ashamed of what a waste you are making of your potential to contribute, to help. The world prefers not to be about you; it feels there are better and more interesting and exciting and more productive conversations to be had.
Barack Hussein Obama came to be where he now is and we are by inviting us, urging us, encouraging us, to do it better, to do it well, to do it in a way that helps everyone, not just the entitled jewel-encrusted toads who have always run the show.
Glenn does get it, and he’s right, and it’s already happening. Serious about the world has gained ground and is grounding itself in something new, at least in my lifetime. It’s way beyond Kennedy at a time far later than his.
I had lost hope long before you were born; or at least not long after. And can see Hell waiting to break loose.
Glenn is right about faith being the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
Anyway essay enough.
Glenn got it.
Thanks, guys.

Baltimoron 11-14-2008 11:37 PM

Re: The Age of Obama
 
I wish you luck on your new political fantasy novel.

bjkeefe 11-15-2008 01:12 AM

Re: Scum Don't Deserve a Triumph!
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Baltimoron (Post 97522)
If Barack H. Obama is so paradigm-changing, why do we have the same politics of factionalism polluting the appointment process? The prez-elect has a majority vote with a huge popular vote, but he can't mobilize his online battalions to weed out the narcissists and dross to get to the people's cabinet?

At some point, you have to have staff who know how to get things done within the existing system. Just chucking out everybody who has any past connection with Washington is a virtually guaranteed prescription for disaster. Even a new president with a powerful swell of popular support can't just sweep into office and implement his plans by fiat.

In part, the hope is that Obama chooses people who are willing to subsume themselves to some degree -- to trade a slightly different ideological outlook for a chance to be a part of implementing generally agreed-upon goals. Another piece is that Obama is not a my-way-or-the-highway kind of leader, so you should take some comfort in his willingness to bring on board people who are going to challenge him.

bjkeefe 11-15-2008 01:23 AM

Re: The Age of Obama
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Unit (Post 97490)
Brendan,

I'm sorry if I don't share TwinSwords (and your?) simple view of the world: when the bad party of hate is in power everything is bad, when the good party of love is in power, everything will be good.

What you should be apologizing for is failing to understand that neither Twin nor I have anywhere near as simplistic a view of the world as the caricature you suggest.

ed fielding 11-15-2008 03:46 AM

Re: The Age of Obama
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by ed fielding (Post 97551)
http://bloggingheads.tv/diavlogs/158...0:45&out=21:20


But really: take your bitter selfish contemptuous mockery home, fry it up with your steak and eggs, and have a great meal.
But really: if you're so smart and see so clearly shouldn’t you be a little ashamed of what a waste you are making of your potential to contribute, to help.

Glenn does get it, and he’s right, and it’s already happening. Serious about the world has gained ground and is grounding itself in something new, at least in my lifetime. It’s way beyond Kennedy at a time far later than his.

Wrote before I read the comments expecting the same sour souls to be at their muddying; but then I read and behold: No trolls! A miracle!
This is the time of miracles and wonders. And none too soon.

Of course, and I fear it, there are people seeing all this as a Sign of the End Times. (It’s how I was raised.) Christian militias, people like that. They may be our next terrorists.
I hope and pray they will realize their proper activity is to look up at the sky rather than look around craving blood. And then I wish them well.

N.B. Thanks for the improved sound! At last and well done.

bkjazfan 11-15-2008 09:24 AM

Re: The Age of Obama
 
Born Again Democrat,

Hello! You are correct that the middle class is disappearing and has been so since the 70's. Kevin Phillips has pointed this out in at least 3 of his books. I have addressed it in an earlier reply that this problem is one that President Obama should address since his predecessors have not. In hindsight, this is probably wishful thinking. It will take more than an enlightened chief executive to help the bottom 70% of the population achieve a higher standard of living. I have no answers so I will look into what you have to say.

John

Unit 11-15-2008 10:37 AM

Re: The Age of Obama
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by bjkeefe (Post 97559)
What you should be apologizing for is failing to understand that neither Twin nor I have anywhere near as simplistic a view of the world as the caricature you suggest.

Ok, sorry for that.

Unit 11-15-2008 10:55 AM

Re: The Age of Obama
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by uncle ebeneezer (Post 97491)
Disagree. Though it doesn't change the institutional role, the persona of the President (or any other grand figure in world goverment) directly effects the way people respond to him and thus his ability to get things done. While it doesn't necesarrily make or break him, his/her character (as it is perceived) is often the first consideration by whoever they deal with. Ahmedinajad is a case in point. His policies are not that much crazier than the typical Iranian ruler, but his offensive antics and attitude have made him into even more of a boogeyman than he would be otherwise. President Clinton's persona helped him in good ways (seen relatively favorably by the world) and bad ways (persecution by the GOP.) George W Bush has been perceived by many to be arrogant and to not even consider the positions of all the other countries on earth, or the established systems of law. This is why so many around the world are thrilled at the prospect of Obama as President. Reagan would be another prime example of persona playing a tremendous role in his ability to govern. So much so that when we discuss Reagan, we rarely get beyond his persona and focus on the real results of his policies.

That's exactly what I'm saying. Reagan is a good example. Despite all his rhetoric about small government his administration spent by leaps and bounds. The left was very good in the last 8 years at not taking what GW said at face value: freedom, democracy, etc...instead focusing on his deeds. I think it's really important to separate what a president says and how he says it (the persona), from what he does, and even more importantly, from the real consequences of his actions, especially the ones that were not intended and overtly publicized. With that in mind, I worry when people respond positively to a president (as you say), because it fogs our collective analysis of what will actually happen. I also worry when "presidents get things done", that per se is nothing to cheer about. Hasn't GW toppled a couple of regimes and dictators? People were saying he was getting things done and in fact he was able to do so because after 9-11 his approval was pretty good. People responded to him and he got things done.

Take for instance the Nordic countries or, say, Canada and Australia, do they need to have charismatic leaders that give the impression they are getting things done?

JIM3CH 11-15-2008 11:18 AM

Re: Glen's Pose on BH.tv
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by nikkibong (Post 97496)
also, i'm not sure if it's my own residual intolerance, but something grates when Glenn exclaims "Barack Hussein Obama!" can't really put my finger on why, but something about that particular phrasing bothers me . . .

I also felt it. I think it was Glenn’s "in your face" way of delivery.

Never-the-less, I am surprised by how many presidential middle names I can remember just by using my "mental Google". They become household. In just a few months we will all hear our next President start his term in office with the words: I, Barack Hussein Obama, do solemnly swear…,

Frankly, I can hardly wait to hear them.

bjkeefe 11-15-2008 11:57 AM

Re: The Age of Obama
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Unit (Post 97572)
Ok, sorry for that.

Thanks.

And please understand when I do a "shorter" that I'm almost always partly goofing around -- it's partly serious criticism/disagreement, but I'm also going for the laugh (or at least, amusing myself), so there necessarily will be some oversimplification involved.

Unit 11-15-2008 12:55 PM

Re: The Age of Obama
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by bjkeefe (Post 97581)
Thanks.

And please understand when I do a "shorter" that I'm almost always partly goofing around -- it's partly serious criticism/disagreement, but I'm also going for the laugh (or at least, amusing myself), so there necessarily will be some oversimplification involved.

That's fine. Besides, "sophomoric" is half wise (sophos) and half moronic...So I'll take the half wise :-).

harkin 11-15-2008 01:39 PM

Re: The Age of Obama
 
I really think John sells many blacks short by his declaration that bookish black kids will now not be teased about 'acting white' because Obama is president. I doubt he realizes it, but he's also saying that Bill Cosby is light years ahead of the blacks who criticized him for stating the obvious. That it's slightly more obvious now (but just enough to reach into JM's brain) is not a comment on Cosby or Obama, but really a comment on McWhorter. One also wonders if JM even realizes that he works for an instutute that agreed with Cosby way before those who needed a mixed-race president-elect to decide whether reading was beneficial.

Glenn slowly moves off his 'now we can say his name' posture from his last dialogue to now claiming he was pushing Obama's middle name before the election. Yeah, OK.
And if he's going to tout Muhammad Ali for his pronouncements, he should also condemn him for pandering to racists by stating Joe Frazier resembled a 'gorilla' and promising Madison Square Garden to be the launching pad of the first 'black satellite'.

I didn't have time to listen to the whole thing but I wish they would have stopped congratulating each other long enough to address two fine post-election pieces:

What Obama's Victory Means for Racial Politics by Juan Williams

and

Do You Need an Obama To Believe? by Larry Elder

Williams wonders whether anger and victimization will continue to be the driving force in black politics and Williams asks why it took Obama for some to believe they could succeed.

btw - would love to have Elder and/or Juan Williams here to widen the perspectives.

Ocean 11-15-2008 04:09 PM

Re: The Age of Obama
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by harkin (Post 97586)
Williams wonders whether anger and victimization will continue to be the driving force in black politics and Williams asks why it took Obama for some to believe they could succeed.

btw - would love to have Elder and/or Juan Williams here to widen the perspectives.

I read both articles and found them very interesting. Here are some excerpts from Juan Williams:

Quote:

The idea of black politics now tilts away from leadership based on voicing grievance, and identity politics based on victimization and anger. In its place is an era in which it is assumed that talented, tough people of any background will find a way to their rightful seat of power in mainstream political life.


The emphasis on racial threats and extortion-like demands -- all aimed at maximizing white guilt as leverage for getting government and corporate money -- has lost its moment. How does anyone waste time on racial fantasies like reparations for slavery when there is a black man who earned his way into the White House?


Make no mistake, there is still discrimination against people of color in America. And inside black America, there is still disproportionate poverty, school dropouts, criminal activity, incarceration and single motherhood. But with the example of Mr. Obama's achievements, from Harvard Law to the state legislature, U.S. Senate and the White House, the focus of discussion now is how the child of even the most oppressed of racial minorities can maximize his or her strengths and overcome negative stereotypes through achievement.

The article poses interesting ideas, but there has to be clarity that in order to get to that point there has to be a transition.

Overcoming racism involves being able to move on from the victimization role and truly experiencing equality. This is an attitude that has to be understood by everybody involved. I don't think that Obama has too many deep seated issues regarding race since he is the living example of the absurdity of racial stereotyping. That doesn't mean he would be insensitive to the still existent racism and the multiple subtle or not so subtle ways it can manifest. But, there is an aspect that has to be clear. Starting now, this reality has to be accepted and Obama has to be supported in constructing a reality beyond racism. The American people have moved beyond as shown by the result of the election. Why can't the media and the political parties do the same? What benefit is there in throwing roadblocks every time Obama wants to make headway in a productive direction? We don't need to have every black and white person in America in love with each other. All we need is to have every black and white (and any other racial or ethnic group for that matter), treat each other respectfully, negotiate their disagreements like equals, and provide the necessary opportunities for growth and development. But first and most of all, we need to end hostility and the primitive desire to dominate. The politics of twisted agendas, conspiracies, revenge and unnecessary obstacles has to end. There is so much mockery of the grandiosity of "paradigm shift" or the tacky "Yes, we can"! But I don't think too many people understand what those two ideas put together mean. The real shift would be to move from domination to cooperation. It would involve to have some willingness from all parties, those that dominate and those who have been dominated to work cooperatively to end it. It means to empower those who haven't had the opportunity to experience freedom and privilege and to educate those in power that there is only one sensible way to proceed from now on, and that is to give up their domination. We should teach the dominant powers that it is possible to live with less power. They should just look at those who have never had access to their level of power and privilege, and understand that there are different ways of living and reaching balance which don't require absolute power. They should also know that giving up that excess of power will open other opportunities of which they may not be aware.


If Obama is going to be forced to fight for race issues every step of the way, and mainly if these issues are going to manifest by on going massive hostility that trigger counter-hostilities, he will not be able to govern. His inability to govern will be the logical consequence of his inability to plan and to create a vision based on the current circumstances. Of course, it will be hard work and it will involve taking on challenges. But there has to be as much support as needed to allow him to accomplish his tasks. Perhaps, as the article mentions there can be other leaders that can take on more directly the remaining issues. The meaning of empowering includes gradual steps, and some monitoring of the results. We wouldn't want (certainly I wouldn't), to end up with an irreversibly confused and depleted president well before the inauguration.

Perhaps the roads in our nation can stop the black and white dichotomies and start to show the rich colors of a more cooperative, and less hostile future.

cognitive madisonian 11-15-2008 07:01 PM

Re: Please Make It Stop!
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Wonderment (Post 97511)
Given Mr. Emanuel's (senior) former life as an Israeli terrorist whose organization massacred Arabs ,

oh dear...you're in that wing of the netroots, eh?

The only thing that relieved me about Immanuel is his pro-Israel leaning. Other than that, he's a bitter, mercurial hard ball player who totally contradicts Obama's peace love and butterflies message.

Anyway, my predictions:

Sec of defense: Bob Gates
Sec of state: Hillary Clinton (not as good as Dick Lugar, but still a good pick)
Sec of treasury: Sumners

Still thinking about the other ones...

Ocean 11-15-2008 07:57 PM

Re: Please Make It Stop!
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by cognitive madisonian (Post 97601)

Obama's peace love and butterflies message.

I'm hoping you don't underestimate the strength required to deliver this message.

Baltimoron 11-15-2008 08:45 PM

Re: Scum Don't Deserve a Triumph!
 
I believe I was making a point about limits - even a messiah can't change Washington, DC, even with a dozen Matthew's (the tax collector of the group).

I just would like to ask for a cabinet officer who actually has specific experience to run a department. I worked in restaurants, so now I can aspire to be chief of staff. Then again, the Clinton marriage might just be the epitome of diplomacy between two sovereigns where Bill keeps allying himself with the wrong woman in return for no gain.

Hopefully, by the end of January, we will find out that Obama is savvy enough to soothe egos and select a competent cabinet. Clinton fucked in the WH, Bush fucked us over in the WH, and now Obama won't force us to sleep in the cold spot. It's progress in America.

ed fielding 11-15-2008 09:28 PM

Re: Please Make It Stop!
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Ocean (Post 97603)
I'm hoping you don't underestimate the strength required to deliver this message.

Interesting, y’know? I myself can recall no reference to peace or love during the campaign. Sure and certainly they were implicit in a variety of positions and promises; but the only explicit pie-in-the-sky words I heard were ‘yes we can’, and while the coupon-clipping (that was) what’s-mine-is-mine toads (it’s a metaphor; apologies to the fine members or the bufo family) grumble, whine, and spit, as noted above we already are becoming energized and it is already unfolding. Swallow your bile awhile. If you keep your eyes open you may, as you already can, see things never seen before, things that promise healing and productivity where it is most needed.
It has taken an unprecedented degree of skill and endurance and self-control and organizational effectiveness to reach this point, which almost no one was capable of honestly imagining. If that doesn’t signify strength to you you’re looking through the wrong end of the telescope.

Ocean 11-15-2008 10:15 PM

Re: Please Make It Stop!
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by ed fielding (Post 97608)
Interesting, y’know? I myself can recall no reference to peace or love during the campaign. Sure and certainly they were implicit in a variety of positions and promises; but the only explicit pie-in-the-sky words I heard were ‘yes we can’, and while the coupon-clipping (that was) what’s-mine-is-mine toads (it’s a metaphor; apologies to the fine members or the bufo family) grumble, whine, and spit, as noted above we already are becoming energized and it is already unfolding. Swallow your bile awhile. If you keep your eyes open you may, as you already can, see things never seen before, things that promise healing and productivity where it is most needed.

I wish I could respond to this knowing what exactly I'm responding to. But, I still have my eyes too closed or blurry to understand the exact meaning of your (sarcastic?) remarks. I will be very happy to get some clarity and energy and come out of this tragic comedy I'm still struggling with. I have no comments about the bufo family, other than to say that they are all too human and in need of growth.

Quote:

It has taken an unprecedented degree of skill and endurance and self-control and organizational effectiveness to reach this point, which almost no one was capable of honestly imagining. If that doesn’t signify strength to you you’re looking through the wrong end of the telescope.
I still don't quite comprehend the full dimension of the events. I'm again hoping to have a better understanding and appreciation soon.

I really can't say much more for now.

bjkeefe 11-16-2008 01:34 AM

Re: Please Make It Stop!
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Ocean (Post 97609)
I wish I could respond to this knowing what exactly I'm responding to. But, I still have my eyes too closed or blurry to understand the exact meaning of your (sarcastic?) remarks.

I don't think Ed was being sarcastic at all. I hope not, anyway, because I completely agree with him -- Obama wasn't campaigning on a message of squishiness, but on a message of strength. To the degree that some find it easy to mock his insistence that "there is no red America and blue America," this is just a measure of how long a childish worldview of us-vs-them has been allowed to fester. That he has enough optimism to believe that people are fundamentally good and that there is reason to hope that we can work together is, ultimately, a challenge to all of us to grow up.

Ocean 11-16-2008 01:42 AM

Re: Please Make It Stop!
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by bjkeefe (Post 97622)
I don't think Ed was being sarcastic at all. I hope not, anyway, because I completely agree with him -- Obama wasn't campaigning on a message of squishiness, but on a message of strength. To the degree that some find it easy to mock his insistence that "there is no red America and blue America," this is just a measure of how long a childish worldview of us-vs-them has been allowed to fester. That he has enough optimism to believe that people are fundamentally good and that there is reason to hope that we can work together is, ultimately, a challenge to all of us to grow up.

Well, I obviously agree, since this is what I've been saying. I also know that for many people these are empty ideas because they are too cynic to believe there will ever be change. I reject that position. We can speculate about how near or far in the future this can be realized, but we should all believe that it can happen. It just gives us the right perspective.

bjkeefe 11-16-2008 01:45 AM

Re: Please Make It Stop!
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Ocean (Post 97625)
Well, I obviously agree, since this is what I've been saying. I also know that for many people these are empty ideas because they are too cynic to believe there will ever be change. I reject that position. We can speculate about how near or far in the future this can be realized, but we should all believe that it can happen. It just gives us the right perspective.

Okay. If I misunderstood you, I apologize, but I did want to come to Ed's defense regarding your speculation that he was being sarcastic. Then I got a little carried away and ended up responding to things others besides you have said.

Ocean 11-16-2008 01:55 AM

Re: Please Make It Stop!
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by bjkeefe (Post 97626)
Okay. If I misunderstood you, I apologize, but I did want to come to Ed's defense regarding your speculation that he was being sarcastic. Then I got a little carried away and ended up responding to things others besides you have said.

I placed a question mark after the word sarcastic, implying that I didn't know whether some of his comments were sarcastic, or simply a sample of Ed's literary style.

graz 11-16-2008 06:41 AM

Re: Please Make It Stop!
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Ocean (Post 97628)
I placed a question mark after the word sarcastic, implying that I didn't know whether some of his comments were sarcastic, or simply a sample of Ed's literary style.

Physician, heal thyself. Get over your sarcasm aversion... you are even sensing it where it may not exist.

I am selfish and sarcastic (often). I miss the bold and free-flowing Ocean.
Let it flow.

Ocean 11-16-2008 10:06 AM

Re: Please Make It Stop!
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by graz (Post 97636)
Physician, heal thyself. Get over your sarcasm aversion... you are even sensing it where it may not exist.

I am selfish and sarcastic (often). I miss the bold and free-flowing Ocean.
Let it flow.

Thank you for your advice, Graz. I wish I could follow it. But, in spite of global warming, I think Ocean is 'frozen'. Or would it be a better metaphor to say that the Ocean doesn't know in what direction to flow? Or both. :)

cognitive madisonian 11-16-2008 10:37 AM

Re: Please Make It Stop!
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by bjkeefe (Post 97622)
I don't think Ed was being sarcastic at all. I hope not, anyway, because I completely agree with him -- Obama wasn't campaigning on a message of squishiness, but on a message of strength. To the degree that some find it easy to mock his insistence that "there is no red America and blue America," this is just a measure of how long a childish worldview of us-vs-them has been allowed to fester. That he has enough optimism to believe that people are fundamentally good and that there is reason to hope that we can work together is, ultimately, a challenge to all of us to grow up.

This coming from someone who advocates a "truth and reconciliation" panel to go after Bush administration figures is more than a bit ironic.

Obama's whole message "yes we can"...yes you can what? Electing a politician is no accomplishment, yet Obama is telling his supporters that they changed the world by electing him. It's the most vacuous campaign since William Henry Harrisson ran on Log Cabin and Hard Cider.

Obama didn't run on uniting the country. He ran on calling Republicans racists, claiming criticisms of him were all just "distractions", and trying to talk as little substance as possible while running a Machiavellian campaign.

bjkeefe 11-16-2008 10:47 AM

Re: Please Make It Stop!
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Ocean (Post 97639)
Thank you for your advice, Graz. I wish I could follow it. But, in spite of global warming, I think Ocean is 'frozen'. Or would it be a better metaphor to say that the Ocean doesn't know in what direction to flow? Or both. :)

Ocean has deep currents flowing within?

bjkeefe 11-16-2008 10:55 AM

Re: Please Make It Stop!
 
Shorter cog. mad.:

Quote:

I believe everything I read on NoQuarter.

cognitive madisonian 11-16-2008 10:59 AM

Re: Please Make It Stop!
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by bjkeefe (Post 97643)
Shorter cog. mad.:

See this is why we need actual right wing wingnuts so left wing WNs such as yourself can get a genuine counterbalance. This site is incomplete without posters responding to left wing lunacy with claims of Obama's birth certificate, secret Muslim faith, etc.

On the bad news front, a blog I had been reading recently got into the whole birth certificate silliness. So now I have one less blog to read :(

Ocean 11-16-2008 11:55 AM

Re: Please Make It Stop!
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by cognitive madisonian (Post 97640)
This coming from someone who advocates a "truth and reconciliation" panel to go after Bush administration figures is more than a bit ironic.

You are showing black and white mentality. You are thinking of 'this state' (Bush government) versus 'that state' (Obama government), as if you could turn a switch and that's it. There is a process of transition that has to occur between those two states. If there are aspects of the Bush legacy that are going to be a major impediment for Obama to effectively affect change, those aspects will have to be addressed. I don't think, personally at least, that this is about retaliation or witch hunting. It's more about teaching the right principles and start reversing the damage that may have been done by years of corruption and disdain for civil rights and human life.

I have repeatedly said that it would be unrealistic to expect all goals to be achieved, and even less so in a short period of time. And it's only fair to recognize that in every human endeavor there are mistakes made by all parties involved. We all have to learn from our mistakes and try to do a better job in the future. But first we need to have an environment that allows that growth to occur. An environment of cooperation permits the maximum of personal freedom while respecting the obligations to the common good. There will only be people that whether voluntarily or by virtue of their own limitations (which, of course we all have), can't engage in a model of true cooperation. Perhaps some can cooperate under certain circumstances but not others. If we take the task of cooperation seriously, we have to be aware of the limitations that may exist and perhaps, work on providing the right context that each individual needs to be able to learn and/or exercise cooperation.

And just let me make one last comment on truth and reconciliation. My interpretation is that "truth" stands for a principle of honesty and sincerity. It's aimed at eliminating corruption, manipulation and lies. Does that mean that anyone would be aiming at complete and absolute 'truth'? Well, we wouldn't even be able to define what that means. It's more about fairness. The problem with this concept is that in order to have such system working optimally, you need to apply the same rules to all the parties involved.

The idea of reconciliation has to do with ending hostility. If there is hostility or coercion there is no chance of reconciliation. Once coercion (dominance) ends, reconciliation means to find a common ground that all parties agree on and build from there. There may aspects that are irreconcilable. Parties may cooperate for common goals, compromise on others, and yet separately pursue other individual interests that are not shared or compatible. When compatibility is very limited, there may be only discrete areas of necessary agreement.

For example, it is unlikely that religious fundamentalists and secular people will be able to agree on religious topics. But it is clear that secularists agree to have religious people practice their religion in their churches and their homes, but not in public domains (like government or schools). And fundamentalists should agree that secularists have a right to stay clear of religious influence in their personal and family life as well as in public domains. The principle of dominance is corrupting and threatening our civilization by means of, for example, religious dominance. There has to be a universal understanding that religious beliefs are a personal choice based on a multitude of cultural and personal factors, that cannot be imposed onto others. No one has a right to put pressure on others to adopt their religious beliefs, or discourage another person's beliefs, as long as those beliefs don't pose a direct threat to society. That's why it's so important to maintain separation between church and state. Religion is a personal and individual experience, not to be in any way imposed on others or discouraged by others, again, as long as the individual or group that holds a specific position doesn't impinge on someone else's rights.

I have probably gone way off topic, but, on the one hand I haven't been participating in this forum for a while, and additionally, I recently had a personal experience that involved a religious component, which I didn't mind but puzzled me in its deeper meaning. Morality, honesty, respect, responsibility, and any of the highest principles and values that one can hold don't have to be tied to any religion. As a matter of fact, it is desirable that humanity learns to hold moral principles because they are the best path for the common good and not because there is a dictate from a superior being. There are still people, though, that haven't developed the necessary understanding of moral principles and still need to follow someone else's rules. And when I say 'some people', I probably should say all of us, although at different stages of development and understanding. Perhaps it's a topic for a future diavlog.

cognitive madisonian 11-16-2008 12:57 PM

Re: Please Make It Stop!
 
I applaud the overall tone and sophistication of your post, but I was rather disappointed by this line:

Quote:

the damage that may have been done by years of corruption and disdain for civil rights and human life.
Come now. This is the type of statement you should make against Hu Jintao, not George Bush. Bush does not disdain civil rights, let alone human life.


Quote:

And it's only fair to recognize that in every human endeavor there are mistakes made by all parties involved.
Absolutely.


Regarding the semantics of the term, I'm sure you're well aware that the term is a direct reference to Apartheid South Africa. Let's not kid ourselves. The inference is of gross illegality and disrespect of human life, and as not just a Republican (who happened to vote against Bush in 04) but as an American I find that insulting.

Specifically in regards to ending hostility, what hostility? An unpopular president is soon to be replaced by a politician from the other party. Same deal as when Eisenhower took over after Truman. As with Bush, Truman was quite unpopular. His opponents made abundant accusations of illegalities. Then the people had their time to choose, and they passed their verdict: they wanted to give the other party a chance to govern. And that was it.

I am thoroughly convinced that massive fraud was committed by the Obama fundraising campaign. But in four years, if Jindal or whoever wins defeats him, you won't find me calling for investigations. The people's mandate will be enough. I'm plenty 'hostile' to the Obama campaign in the sense that I think they are downright Machiavellian, but that hostility does not extend beyond the desire to vote the candidate out of office.

Anyway, you certainly won't get an argument against a separation of church and state from me ;)

While we're on this philosophical ground though, what is your opinion of sites like antigayblackist.com? I find them to be atrocious, and I'd say the same thing if it were a group supporting a position I'm fond of. Just as we need a separation of church and state, we need a separation of political and social life. Sites that intend on destroying people's lives for supporting a different political cause are a grave threat to the health of our democracy.

In regards to your final paragraph, you seem to be arguing against religion. I wouldn't say religion provides such ethics as your speak of so much as it confirms them. It gives greater accountability. After all, many humans spend much of their time rationalizing deviations from conventionally held ethics and morals.

Wonderment 11-16-2008 04:11 PM

Re: Please Make It Stop!
 
First off, I would just reiterate my view that Bush and Cheney are war criminals who should be held accountable for their crimes.

The "forgive, forget and move on" attitude is really bad for democracy. Impeachment efforts failed because Congress abdicated its responsibility, and since Congress will continue to do so, the Truth and Reconciliation Commissions idea is an excellent one. Let it all come out, and let Americans and the world learn how we started an illegal war and ended up torturing and holding people in prison without charges or trial for years.

Second,

Quote:

While we're on this philosophical ground though, what is your opinion of sites like antigayblackist.com? I find them to be atrocious, and I'd say the same thing if it were a group supporting a position I'm fond of. Just as we need a separation of church and state, we need a separation of political and social life. Sites that intend on destroying people's lives for supporting a different political cause are a grave threat to the health of our democracy.
The purpose of those lists is to identify businesses to boycott. Individuals who don't own businesses should not be on there, but businesses should.

I certainly have a right to know if the restaurant in my neighborhood gives $$ to homophobic causes. There is no expectation of privacy in these donations, as they are a matter of public record.

Boycotts and divestments are historically important in civil rights struggles.


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