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Bloggingheads 02-10-2009 05:39 PM

Young and Irresponsible Edition
 

brucds 02-10-2009 06:13 PM

Re: Young and Irresponsible Edition
 
"'My country, right or wrong,' is a thing that no patriot would think of saying. It is like saying, 'My mother, drunk or sober.'" GK Chesterton


George Orwell - "Notes on Nationalism": By 'nationalism' I mean first of all the habit of assuming that human beings can be classified like insects and that whole blocks of millions or tens of millions of people can be confidently labelled 'good' or 'bad'. But secondly - and this is much more important - I mean the habit of identifying oneself with a single nation or other unit, placing it beyond good and evil and recognising no other duty than that of advancing its interests. Nationalism is not to be confused with patriotism. Both words are normally used in so vague a way that any definition is liable to be challenged, but one must draw a distinction between them, since two different and even opposing ideas are involved. By 'patriotism' I mean devotion to a particular place and a particular way of life, which one believes to be the best in the world but has no wish to force on other people. Patriotism is of its nature defensive, both militarily and culturally. Nationalism, on the other hand, is inseparable from the desire for power. The abiding purpose of every nationalist is to secure more power and more prestige, not for himself but for the nation or other unit in which he has chosen to sink his own individuality.

http://www.orwell.ru/library/essays/.../english/e_nat

(Would that Ponnuru came from a tradition that didn't routinely confuse the two.)

claymisher 02-10-2009 07:04 PM

Re: Young and Irresponsible Edition
 
I keep hearing about this party of death, but I never get an invitation!

pampl 02-10-2009 07:19 PM

Re: Young and Irresponsible Edition
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by brucds (Post 103700)
"'My country, right or wrong,' is a thing that no patriot would think of saying. It is like saying, 'My mother, drunk or sober.'" GK Chesterton

I don't get this quotation. Why would no [whatever the analogy to patriot is, a loving child or something] say "My mother, drunk or sober"? That sounds like something they'd think of saying a lot, especially if they were talking to people who were trying to exaggerate the mother's drunkenness to justify attacking her or to distract from their own rampant alcoholism

I thought Wright's position on Phelps was really unusual. He didn't seem to have a problem with the act of smoking weed itself, just that Phelps was putting lie to the story Wright tells his kids. I know kids don't get nuance very well but I don't think Phelps should be sanctioned just because you've told them a story as inaccurate as 'everyone who smokes weed ends up as a complete failure'. As a sidenote, I think it's to Kellogs' credit that they didn't confuse a wholesome image with goodness.

bjkeefe 02-10-2009 07:37 PM

Re: Young and Irresponsible Edition
 
The Christian Bale/Bill O'Reilly mashup is far better.

bjkeefe 02-10-2009 07:47 PM

Re: Young and Irresponsible Edition
 
Orwell's definitions as supplied by brucds speak well to the wrongness of this new conservative talking point that liberals are somehow suddenly embracing patriotism. What that claim fails to recognize is that liberals' patriotism over the past eight years manifested as anger and despair at the Bush Adminstration's eagerness to cast aside what we think of as the most important American ideals.

The Chesterton line reminds me of a difference that Al Franken identified, which Bob also touched on in this diavlog. There is an adult way to love, whether it is another person or one's country, that involves being critical when the object of affection does something wrong, and then there is the uncritical way children love their mommies.

Anyuser 02-10-2009 07:48 PM

Orwell and nationalism
 
I agree with Orwell's ideas (despite his straw man argument), but I don't know that the use of the word "nationalism" is always, or even usually, pejorative. Nationalism is often used to distinguish a sentiment from some less preferred 'ism, tribalism, for example. An argument against the Vietnam War was that Southeast Asia was not really a Cold War theater because nationalism in that part of the world would always trump political ideology, which was viewed as a good thing. Anybody talking about Iraqi nationalism today would probably be talking approvingly. In the US, if a politician were a "nationalist" I would take that to mean in favor of a "realist" foreign policy and more restrictive immigration policies. Whether I agree with such policies or not, the word nationalist doesn't connote to me "placing [a single nation or other unit] beyond good and evil and recognising no other duty than that of advancing its interests."

I really don't hear the word used very much.

bjkeefe 02-10-2009 07:51 PM

Re: Young and Irresponsible Edition
 
For parents concerned over Phelps as role model, I read a good answer the other day (I've forgotten where, sorry): If your kid wants to smoke pot because Michael Phelps did, just say, "Sure, as soon as you win eight Olympic gold medals, smoke all the pot you want. Until then ..."

bjkeefe 02-10-2009 07:54 PM

Re: Young and Irresponsible Edition
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by claymisher (Post 103703)
I keep hearing about this party of death, but I never get an invitation!

What, you're not on Krispy Kreme's mailing list?

Gravy 02-10-2009 08:20 PM

Re: Young and Irresponsible Edition
 
What is this obsession with these trains? Please have a Trains diavlog to help me understand, because it looks like a colossal investment with very little promise of a sensible return. Better yet, Bob, why don't you expand your business to include these trains? Plenty of airlines have been founded in the last two decades - some are even still in business. Why don't you and that Scher guy set up a railroad? He is very anxious to ride around on these trains, too. It isn't like the Apollo program as the technology already exists. Round up some investors and just do it.

Nate 02-10-2009 09:41 PM

Christian Bale tirade and apology
 
Just in case anyone hasn't heard it by now, here is the audio of Bale's tirade, and here is the audio of his apology from a few days ago. (It actually seems pretty heartfelt.)

bjkeefe 02-10-2009 09:49 PM

Re: Christian Bale tirade and apology
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Nate (Post 103714)
Just in case anyone hasn't heard it by now, here is the audio of Bale's tirade, and here is the audio of his apology from a few days ago. (It actually seems pretty heartfelt.)

Tell me again why I'm supposed to care or think it unusual that someone had a bit of a tantrum at work, especially an actor?

Nothing against you, Nate. This is more a complaint with the MSM and what sort of thing becomes The Story lately. Maybe it's that we have so many dreadful problems that no one knows how to solve that we welcome a chance to obsess over such trivial distractions, but I can't help but wonder if we're all twittering while Rome burns.

bjkeefe 02-10-2009 10:16 PM

Re: Christian Bale tirade and apology
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by bjkeefe (Post 103715)
... but I can't help but wonder if we're all twittering while Rome burns.

See also.

In fairness, the reporter was from the WaPo, and we know what that means, but still.

Namazu 02-10-2009 10:29 PM

I want bloggingheads tv to fail...
 
...if it gets as bad as listening to Kooky Roberts on NPR. On a serious note, I smelled a rat, so I looked it up:
http://www.rushlimbaugh.com/home/dai...108.guest.html
The joke is that some of the lost souls appear to have actually listened to the quote in context and still figured out a way to equate Limbaugh with Osama bin Laden. I blame the influence of Satan (and public education).

bjkeefe 02-10-2009 10:56 PM

Re: I want bloggingheads tv to fail...
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Namazu (Post 103719)
...if it gets as bad as listening to Kooky Roberts on NPR. On a serious note, I smelled a rat, so I looked it up:
http://www.rushlimbaugh.com/home/dai...108.guest.html
The joke is that some of the lost souls appear to have actually listened to the quote in context and still figured out a way to equate Limbaugh with Osama bin Laden. I blame the influence of Satan (and public education).

That's not the original. That's Rush "clarifying" after the first utterance caused such an uproar.

Note the date of the post you linked to: 21 Jan. The transcript and audio from the first occurrence: 16 Jan.

claymisher 02-10-2009 10:56 PM

Re: Christian Bale tirade and apology
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by bjkeefe (Post 103715)
I can't help but wonder if we're all twittering while Rome burns.

Are you talking about this?
https://twitter.com/emperor_nero

claymisher 02-10-2009 10:57 PM

Re: Young and Irresponsible Edition
 
Listening to Ramesh reminded me of when I was a grader for econ classes.

Nate 02-10-2009 11:09 PM

Re: Christian Bale tirade and apology
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by bjkeefe (Post 103715)
Tell me again why I'm supposed to care or think it unusual that someone had a bit of a tantrum at work, especially an actor?

It definitely smacks of having an "Entertainment Tonight"/overindulgence in the lives of celebrity. I don't necessarily think this is a function of modern society, as we see this type of behavior in other time periods and cultures, but like many things the indulgence can be fed more easily in our information age.

On the question of whether someone should be interested in things like this in general; I find the interest in and of itself no more or less fallacious than preoccupation with sports, politics, cars, or any of thousands of different interests that one may have.

bjkeefe 02-10-2009 11:17 PM

Re: Christian Bale tirade and apology
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Nate (Post 103725)
[...]

There is something to that, but I was talking less about one's interest than the media obsessing over such matters.

nikkibong 02-10-2009 11:20 PM

Re: Young and Irresponsible Edition
 
bhtv's strategy for the recession:

http://bloggingheads.tv/diavlogs/176...9:45&out=09:57

Nate 02-10-2009 11:29 PM

Re: Christian Bale tirade and apology
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by bjkeefe (Post 103727)
There is something to that, but I was talking less about one's interest than the media obsessing over such matters.

The media does tend to follow what interests people. I agree with you that they probably should set themselves to a higher standard, but chasing those <insert something here: Ad dollars, page views, eyeballs, etc.> can be tempting, I would imagine. If Christian Bale (or any "hot" celebrity) came to Bob and said he would appear on BH.tv, I am guessing he would not be turned down. (Which isn't saying BH.tv is just as bad as the main stream media or anything like that, just that human interest in something is profitable.)

bjkeefe 02-10-2009 11:37 PM

Re: Christian Bale tirade and apology
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Nate (Post 103731)
The media does tend to follow what interests people.

To some degree, yeah. Hard to say where to draw the line between their having a right to make money and their responsibility to inform the public.

But anyway, as to other irritating bit of obsessed-over gossip: the stupid, it expands.

It's all fun and games until somebody loses a house.

On the bright side, I'm having a fantasy that the sheer lunacy of this case will be the tipping point into making marijuana legal.

brucds 02-11-2009 12:43 AM

Re: Young and Irresponsible Edition
 
It just hit me that the guy who wrote "Rush Limbaugh is a Big Fat Idiot" will be in the Senate in a few weeks.

Nice.

Unit 02-11-2009 01:11 AM

Re: Young and Irresponsible Edition
 
Amity Shlaes did not come up wit the theory that the New Deal might have prolongued the Great Depression. There are actually historians such as Bob Higgs that make a convincing argument:

http://www.amazon.com/Depression-War...4332272&sr=8-1

And for a brief summary which include a real portrait of Hoover, see this:

http://fee.org/library/books/great-m...at-depression/

harkin 02-11-2009 01:14 AM

Re: Young and Irresponsible Edition
 
The most amazing thing about the stimulus package for me is not even the bill itself, but that it turned Obama from the candidate who was going to bring people together, lead with his calm intellect and bring hope and change in less than a month into a partisan fear-mongering doom and gloomer willing to hand over his first major act to Pelosi and Reid to load up with pork, cronie rewards, social engineering and a bailout for the states inability to control their spending.

Anyone who can listen to Rush Limbaugh and think he implied that he hoped President Obama failed to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States to the best of his ability has no clue what Rush stands for. These are the same people who think that people who say 'ditto' on Rush's radio show are saying that they are agreeing with him (well, some may be, considering the meaning of 'ditto' but most listeners, especially those from the KFBK days know what it really means in the context of his show). I only catch pieces of Rush's show about least once or twice a week and it's amazing the way people go out of their way to misrepresent what he says. The most guilty party are those who cast his show as hate-mongering and racist. I have heard him say some very nonsensical and ridiculous things but hate for anyone and racism are not in the same universe.
To the question of whether he's the voice of (or 'running', whatever that means) the Republican party........I have to wonder if anyone who even asks that has ever listened to him at all. He is one of the most popular voices for conservative Americans, and to pigeonhole him with the tag of what the Republicans have become is an insult.


As to Bale's incredible meltdown, I liked this little video much more than than the others I've seen.


Quote:

It just hit me that the guy who wrote "Rush Limbaugh is a Big Fat Idiot" will be in the Senate in a few weeks.
I've been working a project in Minneapolis/St Paul for the last 10 months and it's amazing that Coleman found a way to lose. The two liberal papers there each endorsed Coleman and most of the local Democrats I talked to couldn't stand Franken (in fairness, they couldn't stand Coleman either). Post election, and with a recount coming, I was surprised that even these local democrats admitted that the state party would 'amazingly find' enough ballots to put Al over the top. It looks like they were right.

bjkeefe 02-11-2009 01:24 AM

Re: Young and Irresponsible Edition
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by harkin (Post 103735)
These are the same people who think that people who say 'ditto' on Rush's radio show are saying that they are agreeing with him ...

Well, what does it mean, then?

Quote:

Originally Posted by harkin (Post 103735)
... to pigeonhole him with the tag of what the Republicans have become is an insult.

Are you saying Rush is better than the GOP? If so, in what way(s)?

harkin 02-11-2009 02:01 AM

Re: Young and Irresponsible Edition
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by bjkeefe (Post 103736)
Well, what does it mean, then?

It took me only seconds to find an accurate description by googling.

"The term came into use because callers would frequently begin by giving praise and thanks to Limbaugh. Knowing that the caller’s and listener’s time is valuable, one caller simply said roughly "ditto to what those guys said (how much they enjoyed the show)." Thereafter, callers were encouraged to simply say, “Dittos,” and then get right to their point. Thus, long-time listeners would begin their calls with “Dittos, Rush,” leading to the term “dittoheads.” The term is also used pejoratively by critics of Limbaugh, who claim that his listeners simply copy his political views without any independent thought."


Quote:

Originally Posted by bjkeefe (Post 103736)
Are you saying Rush is better than the GOP? If so, in what way(s)?

Better? No, I don't see how you can compare one man and his statements/beliefs to the millions of members and thousands of representatives of one of the two main American political parties. The 'insult' I mentioned was only regarding that casting him as the spokesperson, leader, 'man-behind-the-curtain' whatever of the Republican party is to show little knowledge of the many times he has taken the party and its leaders to task for things he disagreed with.

bjkeefe 02-11-2009 02:08 AM

Re: Young and Irresponsible Edition
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by harkin (Post 103737)
[...]

Thanks.

matthawk 02-11-2009 03:09 AM

Re: Young and Irresponsible Edition
 
Gee, I hope Ponnuru is right -- that Limbugh's ditto heads are the activist core of the Republican Party, and that the Party's taste, message and communications will continue to reflect the sensibilities of the dittoheads. Appeal to that mentality worked so well for the Republicans in 2008. It remains to be seen what Steele will be able to do for the Party -- or if he will even be able to move out of the defensive mode of justifying the spending for his senatorial campaign -- but the "big tent" thing seems to be a difficult concept for the Republican Party to master.

As a practical matter, I don't think that anger works in national politics anymore, at least for the time being. That's why Obama (representing "healing" and "hope") so soundly defeated McCain (representing bitterness and anger -- at least in terms of how he came across). Plus, isn't Limbugh anti-immigrant, or doesn't he flirt with such concepts? The one thing W got right is that the Republicans cannot be a majority party without winning swing voters and Hispanics.

So, go for it, Republicans -- push the country further in the direction of being a one-Party nation.

sharkdog 02-11-2009 03:49 AM

Re: Young and Irresponsible Edition
 
You have got to be kidding. Liberals are the ones who are always, always and always confusing patriotism and nationalism. Your side is the one who wants to paint a swastika on the shoulder of anyone who puts up a US flag in their yard.

bjkeefe 02-11-2009 04:07 AM

Re: Young and Irresponsible Edition
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by bjkeefe (Post 103708)
... (I've forgotten where, sorry) ...

Came across the original source.

Who knew Seth Meyers could be funny?

Francoamerican 02-11-2009 05:07 AM

Re: Orwell and nationalism
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Anyuser (Post 103707)
I agree with Orwell's ideas (despite his straw man argument), but I don't know that the use of the word "nationalism" is always, or even usually, pejorative. Nationalism is often used to distinguish a sentiment from some less preferred 'ism, tribalism, for example. An argument against the Vietnam War was that Southeast Asia was not really a Cold War theater because nationalism in that part of the world would always trump political ideology, which was viewed as a good thing. Anybody talking about Iraqi nationalism today would probably be talking approvingly. In the US, if a politician were a "nationalist" I would take that to mean in favor of a "realist" foreign policy and more restrictive immigration policies. Whether I agree with such policies or not, the word nationalist doesn't connote to me "placing [a single nation or other unit] beyond good and evil and recognising no other duty than that of advancing its interests."

I really don't hear the word used very much.

True, but when Orwell was writing there were obvious examples of nations bent on advancing their own interests at the expense of other nations--Germany and Japan. But more generally Orwell was concerned to define a mentality that perverts the perception of reality, and is probably latent in everyone. On a scale going from the relatively benign to the distinctly odious, Orwell speaks of "positive nationalism" (Neo-Toryism, Zionism), "transferred nationalism" (racism, class prejudice, pacifism), "negative nationalism" (antisemistism, anglophobia trotskyism). Some of his examples are quite suprising from our contemporary vantage point, but I think one could easily find equivalents for them today today because they are all examples of "groupthink." A nationalist is someone who simply cannot imagine that he may be wrong about his cause, he is "an enormous mouth bellowing the same lie over and over again" and whose loyalty to his group and a set of beliefs prevents him from registering undeniable facts about the world.

Illegitimate extension of the word? Maybe, but I think Orwell was right to identify the core of nationalism as a kind of mental blindness and obtuseness that is reinforced by loyalty to a group.

brucds 02-11-2009 08:13 AM

Re: Young and Irresponsible Edition
 
Sharkdog: "Your side is the one who wants to paint a swastika on the shoulder of anyone who puts up a US flag in their yard."

Suffice to say, pal, that you clearly suffer from severe paranoia.

maximus444 02-11-2009 08:22 AM

Re: Young and Irresponsible Edition
 
Patriotism
http://www.colbertnation.com/the-col...-loves-america

brucds 02-11-2009 08:29 AM

Re: Young and Irresponsible Edition
 
"Conservatives" like Harkin do their cause no favors when they give a wingnut clown like Limbaugh a pass, presumably because listening to his dishonest crap makes them feel good. Limbaugh once told a black caller to "take the bone out of your nose" and mused that "all composite pictures of criminals look like Jesse Jackson."

Rush Limbaugh is a racist. Among other disgusting behaviors, personal and polemical. Franken's book title was too kind.

Frankly, based on your Limbaugh apologetics, not taking your comments seriously is a no-brainer. You are swimming in the gutter.

Namazu 02-11-2009 08:51 AM

Re: I want bloggingheads tv to fail...
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by bjkeefe (Post 103720)
That's not the original. That's Rush "clarifying" after the first utterance caused such an uproar.

Note the date of the post you linked to: 21 Jan. The transcript and audio from the first occurrence: 16 Jan.

Brendan: I stand corrected, but the earlier comments don't strike me as terribly different, nor terribly inflammatory.

bjkeefe 02-11-2009 09:22 AM

Re: I want bloggingheads tv to fail...
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Namazu (Post 103746)
Brendan: I stand corrected, but the earlier comments don't strike me as terribly different, nor terribly inflammatory.

In the eye of the beholder, as always, I suppose. In light of Rush and the rest of the rightwing noise machine's non-stop insistence that we all had to "get behind the President" during most of the previous administration, to the extent of equating dissent with treason, I found it two-faced, to say the least.

I also think it rang pretty sour in that he's clearly showing that he's not even interested in giving Obama a chance. It's hard to say, but I'd think even if I were in general agreement with his outlook, I'd be uncomfortable with the idea of the most prominent spokesman for that point of view being interested only in reacquiring power by destroying the opposition, right out of the gate, when the country is in a pretty bad place. I'd say this is especially so given that Rush has frequently expressed unhappiness with the results from the GOP's last turn in power. I'd also wonder how much good it was doing to risk alienating everybody not already firmly in the camp, especially when it's so easy to tie him to the GOP in general in the minds of casual observers.

Of course, I don't take his views seriously at all. I do worry about his clout, though, so I guess as a liberal and supporter of Obama, the more extreme and obstructionist and against everything he wants to come off, the better I like it.

DoctorMoney 02-11-2009 11:09 AM

Re: Young and Irresponsible Edition
 
Ramesh on how those who don't govern usually won't reach consensus positions: http://bloggingheads.tv/diavlogs/176...2:24&out=12:46

Is this just a recipe that can only lead to minority party stone throwing (which leads to irrelevance) or do parties without a consensus find newer and better ideas after they lose the responsibility of governing?

I suspect that the minority party doesn't get smarter just because it's the minority party. At least, that's the feeling I get after having watched American liberalism live in exile through the back end of the 20th century. Desperation to win doesn't always produce valuable political innovation. Sometimes it just lowers expectations.

nikkibong 02-11-2009 11:49 AM

Re: In the digital age, be careful what you do and say outside of your utility closet
 
there go his endorsement deals!

bjkeefe 02-11-2009 11:57 AM

Re: In the digital age, be careful what you do and say outside of your utility closet
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by nikkibong (Post 103755)
there go his endorsement deals!

And the investors? Gone, baby, gone.

On the bright side, I guess we can start being sarcastic in the comments again.

;^)

Great dingalink, WZA.


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