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  #41  
Old 08-27-2008, 05:44 PM
ohcomeon ohcomeon is offline
 
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Default Re: Reunited

As for the Republicans having a successful convention - that may be entirley out of thier hands. There is a little storm headed for the Gulf of Mexico that is currently tracking for landing in or around New Orleans, on or around gavel thumping time on Monday.
From many accounts the levees can't withstand a cat 3 storm. NO has 700 buses lined up to evacuate people. At 50 people per bus (SRO) that's 35,000 people. There are many more people than that without transportation out. There will be no mass shelters, so what may happen is anyone's guess.
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  #42  
Old 08-27-2008, 05:51 PM
ohcomeon ohcomeon is offline
 
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Default Re: More praise of Bill Ayers, American War Resister and Hero

You are both articulate and historically accurate. And now you will be punished for it, mercilessly.
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  #43  
Old 08-27-2008, 06:01 PM
ohcomeon ohcomeon is offline
 
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Default Re: Reunited

From ThinK Progress - During his radio show today, conservative talker Rush Limbaugh asked former Gov. Mike Huckabee (R-AR) how he believed the Republican party would respond if Hurricane Gustav makes landfall in New Orleans during the Republican National Convention. “I think they’ve called in Pat Robertson to pray it off the coast,” Huckabee jokingly responded.
http://thinkprogress.org/
That about says it all.
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  #44  
Old 08-27-2008, 06:02 PM
Exeus99 Exeus99 is offline
 
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Default Re: More praise of Bill Ayers, American War Resister and Hero

Um, do you think Wonderment "will be punished" for being articulate, for being historically accurate, or for their judgment? In other words, do you think that it must follow, given Wonderment's historical accuracy, that their promotion of Ayers as an heroic, good example to be emulated and denigration of McCain (and I guess others who served in the armed forces during the Vietnam war) as terrorists who should have been opposed more strongly is the only possible conclusion--that this must necessarily follow? If not, doesn't that mean that there exists some reasons OTHER than Wonderment's historical accuracy and articulateness for which to "punish" Wonderment?
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  #45  
Old 08-27-2008, 06:09 PM
AemJeff AemJeff is offline
 
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Default Re: Wright's IQ (call)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Exeus99 View Post
See, I don't know. Wright implied pretty heavily that he didn't think much of Thomas intellectually in his 'vlog with Althouse. He made a point to highlight the fact that we don't KNOW that Thomas writes his own opinions, and that we don't KNOW that Thomas is qualified to sit on the Court since he hasn't asked many questions--so I'm thinking with Sen. Biden, we do KNOW he hasn't always written some of his speeches, (even parts that were first-person referential), and we KNOW he's said any of the boneheaded things you'd care to choose from the long list of Senator-speak he's spewed over his career--so which way Wright would break, which person he thinks is smarter, isn't clear to me; maybe Wright could tell us.
Why do you think there's a reason to link the two statements? It's a fairly common perception that Thomas isn't quite the sharpest pencil in SCOTUS. Right or wrong, it's nothing new. Thomas' performance on the court, at best, does nothing in particular to allay that suspicion, with his silence from the bench and unremarkable party-line opinions. Biden, on the other hand, is generally reffered to as an obviously bright guy - smarter than your average Senator, again whether or not it's a true judgment.

It seems to me that Bob made a pretty sweeping assertion about his opinion of Biden's intellect - against his (Bob's) political preferences, and against the prevailing wisdom. In Thomas' case, if I remember correctly all he did was lay out that the case for Thomas had some questions to answer - pretty mild stuff in comparison to his deflation of Biden.

So what's the problem?
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  #46  
Old 08-27-2008, 06:15 PM
Abu Noor Al-Irlandee Abu Noor Al-Irlandee is offline
 
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Default Re: More praise of Bill Ayers, American War Resister and Hero

What a fantastic comment Wonderment! I'm more sympathetic to Mr. Ayers' than Dr. Money is, but Dr. Money also makes some good points about the phoniness of the Ayers outrage and the silliness about Chicago. If the charge is that people like Ayers and his wife Ms. Dohrn could only be accepted in Chicago, than I just take that as a huge compliment for my home town.

I don't doubt Mr. Kaus' take that Bill Ayers is politically damaging to Obama and obviously Obama doesn't either.

Still, one cannot help but be offended by the casual way in which Mr. Kaus just blurts out untruths and nonsense. He preempts the obvious correction that he was just factually wrong when he more than once claimed Mr. Ayers' father was a big time lawyer. Then he throws out for no relevant reason, "if someone kills 100,000 people when you're 8 years old...." Later after Mr. Wright points out that actually Mr. Ayers killed zero people, not 100,000 (while the U.S. government killed in the seven figures) he states that Mr. Ayers intended to kill people, of course he has absolutely no evidence of any such thing but it's okay to make up stuff against someone who had the nerve to try to stop the killing of hundreds of thousands of innocent Vietnamese by damaging property here in the U.S. -- the unforgivable sin of being a terrorist.

I'll defend Bill Ayers not because he's perfect or hasn't made mistakes, but because his aims were and are essentially noble and he's humble enough to be engaged with real discussion. I don't defend Obama because he's a politician and he'll throw Mr. Ayers right under that bus with Mr. Wright in a second. I'm sure in some sense he thinks his aims are noble too, but he's too far gone for me.

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Last edited by Abu Noor Al-Irlandee; 08-27-2008 at 06:17 PM..
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  #47  
Old 08-27-2008, 06:30 PM
Exeus99 Exeus99 is offline
 
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Default Re: Wright's IQ (call)

Quote:
Originally Posted by AemJeff
It's a fairly common perception that Thomas isn't quite the sharpest pencil in SCOTUS. Right or wrong, it's nothing new.
Quote:
Originally Posted by AemJeff
Biden, on the other hand, is generally reffered to as an obviously bright guy - smarter than your average Senator, again whether or not it's a true judgment.
AemJeff:

I don't think Wright would admit to following this logic, though, that since a person is widely considered by others to be something, one should believe it to be true. Many people think untrue things! As a standard of evidence, "lots of people believe it" is close to as low as you can go--although arguably not quite as low as "there is some possiblity that it could be true." Wright seems to believe that Thomas isn't very bright and that Biden emphatically isn't stupid--but obviously those two categories have a fair amount of overlap. Wright's given reasons for his (strongly implied) belief that Thomas is unqualified included the fact that he doesn't ask many questions from the bench and that we can't know whether he writes his opinions. He doesn't give many reasons for his emphatic assertion that Sen. Biden isn't stupid, and certainly not many that don't also apply to Thomas, so I wonder what they are. I'm pretty sure Wright wouldn't give "lots of people say it" as a reason.

Knowing neither why Wright thinks Biden isn't stupid nor why Wright has concluded that Thomas isn't very bright (or at any rate not bright enough for anyone to make a plausible argument that he's qualifed fo rthe Court), I'm not sure which of the two he thinks is smarter. Knowing this might give some insight into how Wright judges the intellects of others.
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  #48  
Old 08-27-2008, 06:34 PM
ohcomeon ohcomeon is offline
 
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Default Re: Reunited

I think Wonderment will be punished for it because it is something one is not supposed to say. I lost many friends in that war. It was a stupid waste of life. Trying to stop it was honorable. I am a pacifist so I don't believe in the violent tactics that some fell into. But they certainly inflicted far less terror on both Americans and the people of SE Asia than did the war.
And for those who are not pacifist I will ask; what better time to use violent resistance than when your government is ordering you to kill other innocent people?
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  #49  
Old 08-27-2008, 07:10 PM
Ocean Ocean is offline
 
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Default Re: Reunited

Quote:
Originally Posted by ohcomeon View Post
I think Wonderment will be punished for it because it is something one is not supposed to say. I lost many friends in that war. It was a stupid waste of life. Trying to stop it was honorable. I am a pacifist so I don't believe in the violent tactics that some fell into. But they certainly inflicted far less terror on both Americans and the people of SE Asia than did the war.
And for those who are not pacifist I will ask; what better time to use violent resistance than when your government is ordering you to kill other innocent people?
I need some clarification here. Are we talking about justifying violent means of protest, resistance or actual "terrorism"?
This is a very problematic topic and it shouldn't, in my opinion, be addressed so lightly. Common sense should suffice to grasp the implications of justifying acts of violence by a discontent minority.

There is a democratic process in this country. If such important issues are not being addressed appropriately within the democratic boundaries, it means the system is not serving its main purpose. It is the failure of the democratic process that needs to be addressed through political action. There is a large percentage of the US population that sits in apathy about the political process. Perhaps we should start by educating people about the importance of participation, activism and civic responsibility. It is almost unimaginable that come election day, so many people will be sitting at home, waiting to see what others decided for them.

Don't we all know this? Please say yes...
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  #50  
Old 08-27-2008, 07:16 PM
del del is offline
 
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Default Re: Reunited

Quote:
Originally Posted by ohcomeon View Post
I think Wonderment will be punished for it because it is something one is not supposed to say. I lost many friends in that war. It was a stupid waste of life. Trying to stop it was honorable. I am a pacifist so I don't believe in the violent tactics that some fell into. But they certainly inflicted far less terror on both Americans and the people of SE Asia than did the war.
And for those who are not pacifist I will ask; what better time to use violent resistance than when your government is ordering you to kill other innocent people?
OK, as a sort of Orwellian socialist I guess I'll point out that the US doesn't really "punish" anyone for thought crimes, so I suspect that Wonderment will be OK . . . and as a fan of evolutionary biology I'll say that my standards for pacifistic behavior from organized primate groups are pretty low . . . Sweden, Costa Rica and Switzerland seem to have it down, and I hope that the US continues to move in that direction over time . . . but ALL the combatants in the Vietnam War showed a profound disrespect for civilian lives, and I'm personally pretty eager to turn the page . . . so can we perhaps get back to helping both our "left" blogger and our "right" blogger help the Democrats win?
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  #51  
Old 08-27-2008, 07:24 PM
Abu Noor Al-Irlandee Abu Noor Al-Irlandee is offline
 
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Default Re: More praise of Bill Ayers, American War Resister and Hero

By the way Mr. Ayers has a blog, maybe we can get him on BH TV to discuss these issues.

http://billayers.org/

http://abunooralirlandee.wordpress.com
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  #52  
Old 08-27-2008, 07:28 PM
Wonderment Wonderment is offline
 
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Default Re: More praise of Bill Ayers, American War Resister and Hero

Quote:
I'll defend Bill Ayers not because he's perfect or hasn't made mistakes, but because his aims were and are essentially noble and he's humble enough to be engaged with real discussion. I don't defend Obama because he's a politician and he'll throw Mr. Ayers right under that bus with Mr. Wright in a second. I'm sure in some sense he thinks his aims are noble too, but he's too far gone for me.
It's disturbing that Obama is expected to join a redneck mob in lynching Rev. Wright and Bill Ayers. Obama must denounce anyone and everyone the right-wing inquisitors suggest might flunk the loyalty test.

It's complete BS.

It's clear that Obama likes Bill Ayers and holds J. Wright in the highest esteem. Pretending to denounce, reject and shun them is pure political theater of the creepy Orwellian kind. Something out of 1984.

I also wonder why Obama is obliged to tell us what a "war hero" McCain is. If Obama's excuse is that he was only 8 when Ayers was plotting to bomb buildings, he was only 3 or 4 when McCain was bombing people.

Why does Obama have to celebrate McCain's participation in crimes against humanity?

McCain was a victim of the Vietnam War, and sadly, he was abused by his captors. He had a hard life as a young man, and we can all sympathize and regret what he did and what was done to him. But he's not a hero.

There are heroes of the Vietnam War. One is John Kerry who had the heart and the intellect to question the war, to speak truth to power, to ask forgiveness, to fight to end the conflict, and to support veterans. Martin Luther King was a Vietnam War hero. Eugene McCarthy was a Vietnam War hero. Daniel and Phillip Berrigan, who went to prison to stop the war, were heroes. Thich Nhat Han was a Vietnam War hero. Joan Baez was a hero. Heroes don't drop bombs.
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  #53  
Old 08-27-2008, 07:58 PM
ohcomeon ohcomeon is offline
 
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Default Re: Reunited

I don't know how old you are but that "democratic process" was not so democratic back then. Where I lived black people still weren't allowed to swim in the public pool. Those being drafted to fight could not vote. I had friends who were dead before they could legally vote.
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  #54  
Old 08-27-2008, 08:06 PM
ohcomeon ohcomeon is offline
 
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Default Re: Reunited

By punish I didn''t mean the government will come and take Wonderment away. But I will point out that many people have been "detained" for speech since 9/11. Elderly librarians have been arrested for wearing t shirts with political slogans. And in 1968, plenty of people were dragged away in handcuffs at peaceful demonstrations. I had friends who were arrested for wearing shirts critical of Vice President Agnew when he was invited to speak at their college graduation ceremony. I guess you can't say they were really punished unless you count one night in jail in Oklahoma and many dollars spent on lawyers.
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  #55  
Old 08-27-2008, 08:12 PM
del del is offline
 
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Default Re: More praise of Bill Ayers, American War Resister and Hero

So suppose Obama calls McCain a war criminal and Bill Ayers a hero in his acceptance speech . . . is it wrong to predict that he'll certainly lose the election if so? If so, how will that statement about a war that began over 40 years ago have helped needy people today?

Similarly, imagine that contemporary Vietnam is a democracy (of course it's not) and that a generally dovish and progressive candidate is deciding whether or not to call his country's torturing of McCain et al. a "crime against humanity." How do you think it would help people today were the candidate to do that?
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  #56  
Old 08-27-2008, 08:19 PM
Exeus99 Exeus99 is offline
 
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Default Re: More praise of Bill Ayers, American War Resister and Hero

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wonderment
Heroes don't drop bombs.
Can heroes build bombs? Can heroes use violence at all?

And just so I'm clear, on the official hero list, we've got John Kerry--MLK--William Ayers, yeah?
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  #57  
Old 08-27-2008, 08:25 PM
Ocean Ocean is offline
 
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Default Re: Reunited

Quote:
Originally Posted by ohcomeon View Post
I don't know how old you are but that "democratic process" was not so democratic back then. Where I lived black people still weren't allowed to swim in the public pool. Those being drafted to fight could not vote. I had friends who were dead before they could legally vote.
What you say is that the democratic process wasn't effective to address serious problems that affected large numbers of people. In my opinion, the democratic process wasn't effective then and isn't effective now.
My point is that if you want to effect change, you can't wait until a disastrous situation like the above arises, only to find out that it's too late for the democratic process to address it. Most people in the US don't have civic responsibility. They don't even vote. It appears that a significant number of those who vote, do that based on the charm or lack of charm of the candidate. When the apathy is so great, the interest in political participation is so low, and the political mindedness of the population is so absent, there is no real democratic process. Politics are driven by a willing few, and brainwashed many. In my view this is where the correction has to start.

Even when you think that at certain moment in history, violent action was driven by noble causes, I wouldn't endorse this strategy. You would be validating the same action for all kinds of other causes, noble or not.

I do know, from what I've read and heard, about the sociopolitical tensions and turmoil of the time. I'm sure it was painful. It was a great opportunity for people in this country to learn a lesson of responsibility. According to the results, I guess it wasn't bad enough to reach that threshold.
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  #58  
Old 08-27-2008, 08:33 PM
del del is offline
 
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Default Re: More praise of Bill Ayers, American War Resister and Hero

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wonderment View Post

It's complete BS.

It's clear that Obama . . . holds J. Wright in the highest esteem.
I don't think we know this . . . based on your sig file, you seem to kind of dig the Bible, and in that you're united with the vast majority of Americans. I, on the other hand, tend to agree with Sam Harris about the Bible, and in theory I'd love to see Obama give a speech denouncing religion and calling Wright at best an insightful charlatan . . . while he's at it, he could say that your sig file quotes a sentence of kindness torn from a tome of cruelty . . . but I don't get my way here because it's a democracy, and I kind of feel that's for the best . . .

Last edited by del; 08-27-2008 at 08:37 PM..
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  #59  
Old 08-27-2008, 08:35 PM
Exeus99 Exeus99 is offline
 
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Default Re: Reunited

Quote:
Originally Posted by ohcomeon
what better time to use violent resistance
This seems...a little vague, even for a euphemism...but I have to say I'm really getting a feel for where some of the posters have been coming from all along. It's good to know!
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  #60  
Old 08-27-2008, 08:39 PM
uncle ebeneezer uncle ebeneezer is offline
 
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Default Re: Reunited

If only someone had supervised Cheney...
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  #61  
Old 08-27-2008, 08:39 PM
Exeus99 Exeus99 is offline
 
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Default Re: More praise of Bill Ayers, American War Resister and Hero

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wonderment
It's clear that Obama likes Bill Ayers and holds J. Wright in the highest esteem
Good to know, good to know.
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  #62  
Old 08-27-2008, 08:46 PM
Wonderment Wonderment is offline
 
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Default Re: More praise of Bill Ayers, American War Resister and Hero

Quote:
So suppose Obama calls McCain a war criminal and Bill Ayers a hero in his acceptance speech . . . is it wrong to predict that he'll certainly lose the election if so? If so, how will that statement about a war that began over 40 years ago have helped needy people today?
Yes, of course he would lose. And it would help no one.

I'm not saying Obama should name Rev. Wright or Bill Ayers to his cabinet. I'm just suggesting there may be some strategy that doesn't require the complete betrayal of friendship (throwing under the bus).

I don't blame Obama. He's doing what it takes to win. Rev. Wright understood that, and I'm sure Ayers does as well. It's gutter politics, however, and the gutter is FOX News, MickeyKausland and Republican attack dogs. We see it every election. Inevitable, I suppose.

But it's somewhat more hideous when used against Obama because of the racial undertones. He and Michelle have to prove their "patriotism," piety and cultural creds (Michelle memorized all the episodes of the Brady Bunch) beyond what would be expected of Joe Whitebread Biden or John White War Hero McCain.
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  #63  
Old 08-27-2008, 08:47 PM
Wonderment Wonderment is offline
 
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Default Re: More praise of Bill Ayers, American War Resister and Hero

Quote:
....based on your sig file, you seem to kind of dig the Bible,...
Only as literature. I'm an atheist.
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  #64  
Old 08-27-2008, 09:06 PM
Lily Lily is offline
 
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Default The Mickey Kaus Club

Fans of Mickey Kaus now have their own group on Facebook.

Anyone can join; just search for "Fans of Mickey Kaus."

I'm not aware of any other Blogginghead with his or her own Facebook fan page.

That is all.

Lily
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  #65  
Old 08-27-2008, 09:17 PM
John M John M is offline
 
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Default Newsflash: I have decided on my VP

Quote:
I'm not aware of any other Blogginghead with his or her own Facebook fan page.
I have one.

It has 17 members already.

God Bless (Not God Damn) America
War is Peace

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P.S. I'll be announcing my VP tomorrow. Bloggingheads readers will be the first to know. Expect my text message at 3 a.m. (I took a nap, so don't worry that I'll doze off and forget)
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  #66  
Old 08-27-2008, 09:53 PM
Simon Willard Simon Willard is offline
 
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Default Re: I think we know why Mickey supports Obama

http://bloggingheads.tv/diavlogs/139...1:13&out=51:22

Mine is really tasteless. Sorry.
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  #67  
Old 08-27-2008, 09:59 PM
Abu Noor Al-Irlandee Abu Noor Al-Irlandee is offline
 
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Default Re: The Mickey Kaus Club

Mr. Yglesias and Ms. McArdle have facebook fan clubs.

http://abunooralirlandee.wordpress.com
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  #68  
Old 08-27-2008, 10:36 PM
Simon Willard Simon Willard is offline
 
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Default Re: Reality inversion

Bob goes a bit too far with some of his other reality inversion arguments. I take his point about the Republican's skill at spinning the "elitism" argument. But it doesn't rise to the level of reality inversion unless you can prove that McCain is the elitist and Obama is not. In their current roles, Obama and McCain are both elites. They may or may not harbor elitist views; that's harder to judge. We know they both have been educated at some of the most elite schools. Furthermore, it seems to me that elitism is not directly connected to how much money is in the bank.
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  #69  
Old 08-27-2008, 11:00 PM
bjkeefe bjkeefe is offline
 
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Default Re: Reunited

Quote:
Originally Posted by gwlaw99 View Post
This sounds exactly like one of those automated responses you can generate on the internet.
You sound like someone who saw something more than two sentences long and couldn't be bothered to read it.

I thought Ocean's distinction between adult/child reaction as it applies to Obama's measured response vs. McCain's empty bellicosity was spot on.
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  #70  
Old 08-27-2008, 11:03 PM
bjkeefe bjkeefe is offline
 
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Default Re: Reunited

Quote:
Originally Posted by EliasCepeda View Post
It would be one thing for Mr. Kaus to have some first hand knowledge of the successes and failures of these organizations, departments, centers, etc. that the Obamas have done work with and then make a criticism based on that. But it's pretty clear that he made a value judgement without any real knowledge of this particular topic.
B-b-but he reads Hot Air and Gateway Pundit every day.
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  #71  
Old 08-27-2008, 11:11 PM
bjkeefe bjkeefe is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by del View Post
Obama could pay lip service to a fence and securing our borders, but beyond that he could avoid sounding unelectably dovish by picking a popular and relatively inexpensive hawkish program like ballistic missile defense and saying that that has a bigger bang for the buck than a trillion dollar war.
That would cost him my support. I suspect I'm not the only one on the left that would react this way.
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  #72  
Old 08-27-2008, 11:13 PM
bjkeefe bjkeefe is offline
 
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Default Re: Ayers and Chicago

DoctorMoney:

Very well said. It's a pity the average voter isn't smart enough to understand that, though. They have devolved from being swayed by sound bites to being swayed by single words.

Wonderment:

Same goes to you.
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Last edited by bjkeefe; 08-28-2008 at 03:36 PM..
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  #73  
Old 08-27-2008, 11:40 PM
del del is offline
 
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Default Re: Reunited

Quote:
Originally Posted by bjkeefe View Post
That would cost him my support. I suspect I'm not the only one on the left that would react this way.
for reals? i'm kind of steamed about the bombing pakistan thing (which would presumably kill lots of innocent people) but fences and missile shields strike me as relatively unobjectionable . . . would you go nader? i think i did that back in 2000 but i really think he's as senile as mccain now . .
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  #74  
Old 08-28-2008, 12:01 AM
del del is offline
 
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Default Re: Ayers and Chicago

meh, i actually think at least US FOREIGN policy would have been better if leaders had slavishly governed by polls for the last 40 years . . . that's not a tough threshold to exceed, in my opinion, and every military conflict has its own opinion dynamics, but, for starters, we would have sent most of our foreign aid money to Africa rather than to Israel and to Middle East dictators . . .
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  #75  
Old 08-28-2008, 12:13 AM
bjkeefe bjkeefe is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by del View Post
for reals? i'm kind of steamed about the bombing pakistan thing (which would presumably kill lots of innocent people) but fences and missile shields strike me as relatively unobjectionable . . . would you go nader? i think i did that back in 2000 but i really think he's as senile as mccain now . .
I'm not sure that Obama has ever advocated general bombing of Pakistan. The only thing I've ever heard him say that could be construed as hawkish that involved Pakistan was his statement that he'd go after bin Laden in Pakistan if we knew where he was and the Pakistanis wouldn't act. If there's anything else, I'm unaware of it, but I am sure it's at least a reasonable point of view that even if I didn't agree with it, I could see how it could be debated.

By contrast, a missile shield is a fantasy, it always has been, and it always will be. I could not respect the judgment of any politician who supported it. Its mission and definition of success at achieving milestones have been downgraded countless times since it was first proposed as a way to neutralize the Soviet Union's entire nuclear arsenal. All of the tests that have been done that I have ever heard about have been highly artificial. It is, and has been for two decades, a boondoggle. No one even knows how much money has been thrown down that rat hole, since most of its funding is down through black programs. The best we'll ever be able to do, and this is optimistic, is stop one or a very few missiles under very favorable conditions, and even to have achieved this, we'll have spent untold billions that could have been spent in much more efficient ways.

The fence is an equally stupid idea. It won't work. It will end up being nothing but more welfare for defense contractors, where deadlines are pushed back, thresholds for success are degraded, extra funding is tossed in to paint more lipstick on the pig, and the longer it is allowed to persist, the more inertia it will acquire. It might not quite grow to Star Wars size, but it will still be an utter waste of billions of dollars at minimum.

And even leaving aside the ineffectiveness and expense, both of these programs carry another downside -- they irritate the very people that we're trying to deal with. Making Russia more paranoid or Mexico more alienated is the exact wrong strategy if we're hoping to get along with them in the long run.
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Old 08-28-2008, 12:24 AM
del del is offline
 
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On missile defense, as a good lefty I'd always assumed it wouldn't work but as an international relations scholar I've had to sit through enough boring presentations on it at this point that I'm willing to concede that it probably kinda works now and that in any case the definition of "works" keeps shifting to higher standards . . . i.e., "will it deter a truck bomb in NYC . . .well, no."

On the fence, anything more than lip service does kind of bother me, and I'm not saying it'll work either, but I try keep some perspective on it . . .

As for pissing off people we should worry about (if anyone), even kinda sorta bombing Pakistan is higher on my list than annoying Russia or Mexico . . . I agree that what he actually said was debatable, but IIRC it was right after Clinton attacked him for (quite reasonably) being willing to talk to Iran, so it came off as the epitome of stupid hawkishness and I think he should have picked a different battle
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Old 08-28-2008, 12:24 AM
Wonderment Wonderment is offline
 
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Quote:
for reals? i'm kind of steamed about the bombing pakistan thing (which would presumably kill lots of innocent people) but fences and missile shields strike me as relatively unobjectionable . . . would you go nader? i think i did that back in 2000 but i really think he's as senile as mccain now . .
The Wall is a hot-button issue in the Latino community and throughout Latin America. Obama would lose a lot of Latino support and squander political capital by playing to anti-immigrant voters.

It may be a temptation because I suspect anti-immigrant voters represent the same demographic of non-college-educated white males that supported Hillary in states like Pennsylvania, Ohio and throughout the South.

As for the missile shield, don't forget that Obama has tremendous political capital as the anti-Iraq war candidate. That's what won the nomination for him, and he's already started to alienate those voters by the Pakistan remark and his insistence on escalating the war in Afghanistan. I wouldn't push it by pandering more to the Pentagon.

Having said that, there's no way Obama could lose me. The idea of John McCain winning the presidency is simply too horrifying to contemplate. (I hope Barack doesn't know that).
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Old 08-28-2008, 12:31 AM
del del is offline
 
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I agree that in the long term Latino voters are going to be a really important voting bloc, but having looked at the voter registration statistics a bit I don't think there are enough registered Latino voters in key states for it to matter as much as many assume in this particular election . . . again, in the future it'll definitely matter more, but I don't know if Obama has the luxury of looking ahead by actually getting to the left of McCain on this issue . . . that said, I wouldn't go so far as to say he actually needs to get to the right of McCain on it either . . .
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Old 08-28-2008, 02:47 AM
bjkeefe bjkeefe is offline
 
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Originally Posted by del View Post
On missile defense, as a good lefty I'd always assumed it wouldn't work but as an international relations scholar I've had to sit through enough boring presentations on it at this point that I'm willing to concede that it probably kinda works now ...
If you have anything to link to I'd be willing to look at it, but I suspect you were sitting through little besides sales pitches in those presentations. I used to work in DoD-related R&D, and believe me, I know how those "briefings" work.

Quote:
... and that in any case the definition of "works" keeps shifting to higher standards . . . i.e., "will it deter a truck bomb in NYC . . .well, no."
That's not a "higher standard." It's just plain common sense. The point is: why keep spending billions on a Rube Goldberg system that even if it ever could be made to work, is so easily made obsolete by other, vastly cheaper methods of attack? Calling this a "higher standard" is Kool Aid talk.

Quote:
On the fence, anything more than lip service does kind of bother me, and I'm not saying it'll work either, but I try keep some perspective on it . . .
Sorry, but that's just squishiness. When an idea is dumb, expensive, likely to alienate people, and guaranteed not to work even in a narrow sense, it behooves you to say so. If you give "lip service" to ideas like this rather than opposing them, they don't get thrown in the trash where they belong, and better ideas end up not being tried for lack of funds.

Quote:
As for pissing off people we should worry about (if anyone), even kinda sorta bombing Pakistan is higher on my list than annoying Russia or Mexico . . . I agree that what he actually said was debatable, but IIRC it was right after Clinton attacked him for (quite reasonably) being willing to talk to Iran, so it came off as the epitome of stupid hawkishness and I think he should have picked a different battle
I don't want to get in a long debate on this, but to my mind, this is an apples and oranges comparison. I don't see why you can't assert that you'd be willing to talk to unfriendly countries, and also assert that you'll go after the most wanted criminal in the world if the locals won't, and have both be seen as anything more than common sense. Just slapping a label on the latter ("stupid hawkishness") doesn't explain to me why it's a bad idea. Coming from Clinton, it came off to me as nothing more than a cheap attack, designed to be a sound bite, just as her response to Obama's statement about talking to Iran did. Any idea can be made to sound stupid if all you do is play a snippet of it, and the ridiculing response, all within fifteen seconds. And as a larger point, to try to force the two to be judged by some imaginary same standard is just an attempt to score a quick "flip-flop" or "hypocrisy" point.

You're entitled to dislike whatever Obama said about Pakistan, but that's my take on the irritating superficiality of the foreign policy debate, especially in the context of the campaign.
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Last edited by bjkeefe; 08-28-2008 at 02:50 AM..
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Old 08-28-2008, 03:51 AM
del del is offline
 
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Hi BJ,

On missile defense, I don't think that the technical presentations which will dominate if you search Google Scholar are going to get us anywhere (not least of all as my specialty is international public opinion) nor would it prove anything for me to cherry-pick a couple of poli sci articles on it, but I do think one sort of fair way to assess it is to Google "Ballistic Missile Defense Japan," which should give a sense of how it's at least "taken seriously" in a genuinely pacific country.

On the fence, I think the fact that elites are pretty united in not wanting it has a considerable effect on media coverage as to how much it's going to cost and so forth . . . I remember being pretty surprised at how cheap the projections were when I assigned some Congressional hearings on it a couple of years ago, but if there were a national referendum on it I'd certainly vote against it (and lose).

On Pakistan, yeah, I don't really want to debate it either . . . if Obama's never really pissed you off on any issue I'd be kind of surprised, as while I think you're to the left of me for me it's one of several . . .

Last edited by del; 08-28-2008 at 04:02 AM..
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