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#41477 - 11/12/08 03:54 PM letter to the Red States :-)
Mim Offline
old hand

Registered: 01/27/00
Posts: 1000
Loc: Gunks
Passing this one along... Mim

Dear Red States:

If you had managed to steal this election too, we'd decided we would be leaving. We intended to form our own country, and we'd be taking the other Blue States with us. In case you aren't aware, that includes California, Hawaii, Oregon, Washington, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, Illinois and all the Northeast. We believe this split would have been beneficial to the nation, and especially to the people of the new country of New California.

To sum up briefly:
You get Texas, Oklahoma and all the slave states.
We get stem cell research and the best beaches.
We get the Statue of Liberty.
You get Dollywood.
We get Intel and Microsoft.
You get WorldCom.
We get Harvard.
You get Ole' Miss.
We get 85% of America's venture capital and entrepreneurs.
You get Alabama.

We get two-thirds of the tax revenue, you get to make the red states pay their fair share.

Since our aggregate divorce rate is 22% lower than the Christian Coalition's, we get a bunch of happy families.
You get a bunch of single moms.

Please be aware that Nuevo California will be pro-choice and anti-war, and we're going to want all our citizens back from Iraq at once. If you need people to fight, ask your evangelicals. They have kids they're apparently willing to send to their deaths for no purpose, and they don't care if you don't show pictures of their children's caskets coming home. We do wish you success in Iraq , and hope that the WMDs turn up, but we're not willing to spend our resources in Bush's Quagmire.

With the Blue States in hand, we will have firm control of 80% of the country's fresh water, more than 90% of the pineapple and lettuce, 92% of the nation's fresh fruit, 95% of America's quality wines, 90% of all cheese, 90% of the high tech industry, 95% of the corn and soybeans (thanks Iowa!), most of the U.S. low-sulfur coal, all living redwoods, sequoias and condors, all the Ivy and Seven Sister schools plus Stanford, Cal Tech and MIT.

With the Red States, on the other hand, you will have to cope with 88% of all obese Americans (and their projected health care costs), 92% of all U.S. mosquitoes, nearly 100% of the tornadoes, 90% of the hurricanes, 99% of all Southern Baptists, virtually 100% of all televangelists, Rush Limbaugh, Bob Jones University, Clemson and the University of Georgia.

We get Hollywood and Yosemite, thank you.

Additionally, 38% of those in the Red states believe Jonah was actually swallowed by a whale, 62% believe life is sacred unless we're discussing the war, the death penalty or gun laws, 44% say that evolution is only a theory, 53% believe that Saddam was involved in 9/11 and 61% of you crazy bastards believe you are people with higher morals then we lefties.

Finally, we're taking the good pot, too. You can have that dirt weed they grow in Mexico.

Peace out,

Blue States

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#41480 - 11/12/08 04:41 PM Re: letter to the Red States :-) [Re: Mim]
quanto_the_mad Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 05/14/02
Posts: 2628
Loc: brooklyn
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#41482 - 11/12/08 04:55 PM Re: letter to the Red States :-) [Re: Mim]
strat Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 04/30/01
Posts: 4242
Precisely the kind of devisive bullshit that this election shows the world we're sick and tired of. Thanks for propagating it.

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#41485 - 11/12/08 05:10 PM Re: letter to the Red States :-) [Re: quanto_the_mad]
oenophore Online   confused
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 09/24/01
Posts: 5981
Loc: 212 land
According to the Jesusland map, Canadians apparently don't give a you-know-what about the Savior. Strat doesn’t find it all as funny as does Mim. Ooh, too divisive – Jesus, save us from that.
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#41487 - 11/12/08 05:27 PM Re: letter to the Red States :-) [Re: Mim]
talus Offline
veteran

Registered: 08/23/04
Posts: 1259
sounds like a Sore Winner.

That's ok i dig Wyoming, Montana, Utah and Alaska.

Go Tigers!
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John Okner Photography

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#41491 - 11/12/08 06:00 PM Re: letter to the Red States :-) [Re: Mim]
alicex4 Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 07/05/00
Posts: 3400
You stay classy, Mim.

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#41493 - 11/12/08 06:38 PM Re: letter to the Red States :-) [Re: talus]
quanto_the_mad Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 05/14/02
Posts: 2628
Loc: brooklyn
Actually, looks like the original is from the 2004 elections as is the Jesusland map.

Blue won DE, MD, VA, NC and FL which were all slave states, but we lost Kansas which wasn't. Florida has the most hurricanes and Rush broadcasts from FL (but also NYC). And Worldcom? That's old news, Fannie and Freddy, AIG, Lehman, GM/Ford/Chrysler are more relevant, but well they're all in blue states.
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#41496 - 11/12/08 06:47 PM Re: letter to the Red States :-) [Re: quanto_the_mad]
pedestrian Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 08/05/02
Posts: 2244
Loc: a heavily fortified bunker!
Mim, please, don't make me regret my vote. That was un-called-for.

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#41508 - 11/12/08 08:18 PM Re: letter to the Red States :-) [Re: pedestrian]
oenophore Online   confused
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 09/24/01
Posts: 5981
Loc: 212 land
 Originally Posted By: pedestrian
Mim, please, don't make me regret my vote. That was un-called-for.
Wouldn't you think that the only one who could make you regret your vote is the person you voted for?
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#41513 - 11/12/08 08:44 PM Re: letter to the Red States :-) [Re: oenophore]
Dillbag Offline
old hand

Registered: 05/02/06
Posts: 1130
Loc: "The Town"
Recycled!

Come on... It was funny in 2004, but it's just kinda tired now...

Now those cool maps that someone posted up the other day! That was worth it!
_________________________
...anethum graveolens cucumis sativus!

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#41525 - 11/12/08 09:51 PM Re: letter to the Red States :-) [Re: Dillbag]
Mim Offline
old hand

Registered: 01/27/00
Posts: 1000
Loc: Gunks
Okay - so it is recycled, lame, old news, unclassy, yadayadayada. Let's call it PBATSS (Post Bush Administration Traumatic Stress Syndrome, soon to appear in the new DSM V - a syndrome that seems prevalent given how much tension there is on the posts on this site lately...).

AND as long as Palin is still in the news, you are likely to see me post more things with a sour face on... so just get used to it...


However, when I sent this to one of my Red friends, he replied with: "and lets add 'clinging to their guns and religion'..." and he replied with an attached Beretta ad...! You gotta keep some sense of humor.

This said, some people on this forum are taking some things waaaayyyy too seriously... IMHO... for whatever it is worth on this forum.


I still have my BUSH OUT license plate, and although it is soooo old news (last election) there isn't a day that passes by with someone giving me the thumbs up. Positive reinforcement is a strange thing... so over time I collected a host of bumber stickers:
Practice Abstinence in 2004: No Bush, No Dick
Worst. President. Ever.
Bring them home now
Of Course it Hurts, you are being screwed by an elephant!
and my favorite...
Dubya, your dad shoulda pulled out too!

Elections are over, but politics are not. And we'll have four years of "because of the Democrats" (fill in the blanks). It has already begun and he is not even in the office... Some pundit said that we are in this economic mess because of Obama. Go figure. So be it... not loosing sleep over that, but it will take a while to recover from the last eight years. Who knows how long PBATSS will last...

_________________________
Mim

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#41530 - 11/12/08 10:52 PM Re: letter to the Red States :-) [Re: Mim]
Mike Rawdon Offline

Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 11/29/99
Posts: 4276
Loc: Poughkeepsie
My favorite bumper sticker of the last 8 years:

When Government Lies, Democracy Dies

(I suppose there aren't any words that rhyme with "torture")

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#41531 - 11/12/08 10:54 PM Re: letter to the Red States :-) [Re: Mim]
oenophore Online   confused
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 09/24/01
Posts: 5981
Loc: 212 land
so over time I collected a host of bumber stickers

Will you try to scrape off these anachronisms?

I still have my BUSH OUT license plate

If it doesn't expire soon, might you have wasted some cash for this "vanity" plate?

Some pundit said that we are in this economic mess because of Obama.

In another thread, I posted a link to news of an impeach Obama movement. Look for post-election anti-Obama bumper stickers soon.
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#41532 - 11/12/08 10:57 PM Re: letter to the Red States :-) [Re: Dillbag]
Julie Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 01/16/00
Posts: 2090
Loc: SoCal
 Originally Posted By: Dillbag
Now those cool maps that someone posted up the other day! That was worth it!


That had to have been these - as a data nut, I'm duly awed.



Mim, don't worry, Palin is busy digging her own political grave.

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#41534 - 11/12/08 11:46 PM Re: letter to the Red States :-) [Re: oenophore]
Mim Offline
old hand

Registered: 01/27/00
Posts: 1000
Loc: Gunks
 Originally Posted By: oenophore
so over time I collected a host of bumber stickers

Will you try to scrape off these anachronisms?


Waiting until after the Inauguration - I have go to DC with it!

 Originally Posted By: oenophore
I still have my BUSH OUT license plate

If it doesn't expire soon, might you have wasted some cash for this "vanity" plate?


They pro-rate it, so there is no $ lost... and I might wait for my car to die - it is 12 years old with 200,000 miles on it. But it runs great. So who knows, it might last until the next election... so I might have to come up with a new plate soon...
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Mim

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#41535 - 11/12/08 11:48 PM Re: letter to the Red States :-) [Re: Mim]
strat Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 04/30/01
Posts: 4242
Divisive bullshit that this presidential election teaches us the country is fed up with.....

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#41549 - 11/13/08 04:17 AM Re: letter to the Red States :-) [Re: strat]
pedestrian Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 08/05/02
Posts: 2244
Loc: a heavily fortified bunker!
Mim:

Down girl. Down girl.

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#41556 - 11/13/08 11:48 AM Re: letter to the Red States :-) [Re: Mike Rawdon]
AOR Offline
enthusiast

Registered: 08/27/04
Posts: 392
 Originally Posted By: Mike Rawdon
My favorite bumper sticker of the last 8 years:

When Government Lies, Democracy Dies

(I suppose there aren't any words that rhyme with "torture")


Do you really think anything's going to change?...whoever has this on their car might as well keep it there.


Edited by AOR (11/13/08 11:49 AM)

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#41561 - 11/13/08 12:51 PM Re: letter to the Red States :-) [Re: AOR]
felix m Offline
journeyman

Registered: 05/01/06
Posts: 63
"So who knows, it might last until the next election... so I might have to come up with a new plate soon... "

OBombr

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#41612 - 11/13/08 07:50 PM Re: letter to the Red States :-) [Re: AOR]
Mike Rawdon Offline

Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 11/29/99
Posts: 4276
Loc: Poughkeepsie
 Originally Posted By: AOR
 Originally Posted By: Mike Rawdon
My favorite bumper sticker of the last 8 years:

When Government Lies, Democracy Dies

(I suppose there aren't any words that rhyme with "torture")


Do you really think anything's going to change?...whoever has this on their car might as well keep it there.


If it was on my car, yea, I'd keep it there. As a "Never again" sort of reminder if nothing else. My take on it though is that the W admin. engaged in the most determined, orchestrated, widespread dis-information campaign of the last few decades. Disregard for truth, not to mention science and the law, were seemingly hard-wired into the administration. Take your pick: "WMD", "We don't torture", "Plame's exposers will be held responsible" Hussein 9/11 link etc etc.

But I'm getting tired of all that stuff, so maybe I'll try to put it in the past/not mention it here again.

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#41658 - 11/14/08 04:54 AM Re: letter to the Red States :-) [Re: Mim]
Daniel Offline
veteran

Registered: 05/23/01
Posts: 1515
 Originally Posted By: Mim
Dubya, your dad shoulda pulled out too!


Now that one is really recycled. I saw a sign that said the same thing about Nixon in a family home video of a 70s march on Washington.

As for the op, as much as I disdain Bush and supported Obama, I found it more cringe-worthy than funny, more snide than amusing. For what it's worth. I think there are ways of being humorous without being derogatory to the opposition, most of whom really believe that they want the best for the country. Unless we want similar treatment in return....

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#41660 - 11/14/08 11:19 AM Re: letter to the Red States :-) [Re: Daniel]
oenophore Online   confused
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 09/24/01
Posts: 5981
Loc: 212 land
I think there are ways of being humorous without being derogatory to the opposition, most of whom really believe that they want the best for the country. Unless we want similar treatment in return....

Treatment in return? Apparently you don't listen to or read the webpages of the wingnut radio bloviators and Ann Coulter.
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#41666 - 11/14/08 03:26 PM Re: letter to the Red States :-) [Re: oenophore]
Daniel Offline
veteran

Registered: 05/23/01
Posts: 1515
 Originally Posted By: oenophore
Treatment in return? Apparently you don't listen to or read the webpages of the wingnut radio bloviators and Ann Coulter.


Just because they do it doesn't mean I'm justified in returning it. I think returning it only encourages more of it, and that doesn't advance any goals I have.

The best solution for Ann Coulter is to ignore her. She has nothing to say and doesn't change anyone's mind. Paying attention to her only encourages ridiculous, exaggerated, one-sided, baseless accusations by one side against the other.

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#41681 - 11/14/08 05:27 PM Re: letter to the Red States :-) [Re: Daniel]
Dillbag Offline
old hand

Registered: 05/02/06
Posts: 1130
Loc: "The Town"
 Quote:
Paying attention to [them] only encourages ridiculous, exaggerated, one-sided, baseless accusations by one side against the other.


Sounds like some of the other stuff going on on gunks.com these days!
_________________________
...anethum graveolens cucumis sativus!

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#41713 - 11/14/08 08:18 PM Re: letter to the Red States :-) [Re: Dillbag]
oenophore Online   confused
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 09/24/01
Posts: 5981
Loc: 212 land
If you guys want to declare a moratorium or at least a hiatus on verbal vitriol, I'm in.
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#41720 - 11/14/08 08:53 PM Re: letter to the Red States :-) [Re: oenophore]
The Lisa Offline
addict

Registered: 04/26/05
Posts: 411
Loc: Da Bronx
 Originally Posted By: oenophore
If you guys want to declare a moratorium or at least a hiatus on verbal vitriol, I'm in.


So am I. I feel the need to start a thread with photos of fluffy kittens, and rainbows, and unicorns, and lot of happy thoughts to counteract some of the acrimony in the air here these days.
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Sent from my iPad.

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#41724 - 11/14/08 09:15 PM Re: letter to the Red States :-) [Re: The Lisa]
Dillbag Offline
old hand

Registered: 05/02/06
Posts: 1130
Loc: "The Town"
What gives the two of you the right to take away my vitriol?
_________________________
...anethum graveolens cucumis sativus!

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#41725 - 11/14/08 09:20 PM Re: letter to the Red States :-) [Re: The Lisa]
oenophore Online   confused
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 09/24/01
Posts: 5981
Loc: 212 land
I feel the need to start a thread with photos of fluffy kittens, and rainbows, and unicorns, and lot of happy thoughts to counteract some of the acrimony in the air here these days.



Well, I'm not a kitten, but am I fluffy enough?

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#41727 - 11/14/08 09:28 PM Re: letter to the Red States :-) [Re: The Lisa]
Kent Offline
old hand

Registered: 01/21/00
Posts: 1038
Loc: The Bayards

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#41729 - 11/14/08 09:39 PM Re: letter to the Red States :-) [Re: Kent]
The Lisa Offline
addict

Registered: 04/26/05
Posts: 411
Loc: Da Bronx
Yes! Everyone needs to chew on some eucalyptus leaves and mellow out. It is almost the weekend, after all.
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Sent from my iPad.

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#41730 - 11/14/08 09:42 PM Re: letter to the Red States :-) [Re: Kent]
Dillbag Offline
old hand

Registered: 05/02/06
Posts: 1130
Loc: "The Town"
Kent... that those people are obviously trespassing in the koala's backyard!

_________________________
...anethum graveolens cucumis sativus!

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#41731 - 11/14/08 09:48 PM Re: letter to the Red States :-) [Re: Dillbag]
Kent Offline
old hand

Registered: 01/21/00
Posts: 1038
Loc: The Bayards

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#41732 - 11/14/08 09:52 PM Re: letter to the Red States :-) [Re: Kent]
Kent Offline
old hand

Registered: 01/21/00
Posts: 1038
Loc: The Bayards

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#41733 - 11/14/08 09:57 PM Re: letter to the Red States :-) [Re: Kent]
Smike Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 05/01/01
Posts: 3143
Loc: in your backyard

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#41737 - 11/14/08 10:23 PM Re: letter to the Red States :-) [Re: Smike]
The Lisa Offline
addict

Registered: 04/26/05
Posts: 411
Loc: Da Bronx
_________________________
Sent from my iPad.

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#41738 - 11/14/08 10:25 PM Re: letter to the Red States :-) [Re: The Lisa]
Kent Offline
old hand

Registered: 01/21/00
Posts: 1038
Loc: The Bayards

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#41740 - 11/14/08 10:36 PM Re: letter to the Red States :-) [Re: Kent]
oenophore Online   confused
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 09/24/01
Posts: 5981
Loc: 212 land
Here we go again -- now we have a fluffier-than-thou battle.
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#41741 - 11/14/08 10:39 PM Re: letter to the Red States :-) [Re: oenophore]
pedestrian Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 08/05/02
Posts: 2244
Loc: a heavily fortified bunker!
Here, ya happy wineguy?


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#41744 - 11/14/08 11:49 PM Re: letter to the Red States :-) [Re: pedestrian]
oenophore Online   confused
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 09/24/01
Posts: 5981
Loc: 212 land
My *&&(^^%#@@ squirrel is fluffier than your ^%%$@#&* ape, you $#%$$&(^!!
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#41748 - 11/15/08 04:28 AM Re: letter to the Red States :-) [Re: oenophore]
pedestrian Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 08/05/02
Posts: 2244
Loc: a heavily fortified bunker!
How about a squirrel monkey, then?


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#41750 - 11/15/08 11:54 AM Re: letter to the Red States :-) [Re: pedestrian]
oenophore Online   confused
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 09/24/01
Posts: 5981
Loc: 212 land
Ah Mim; could you ever have conceived that the thread you started could wind up this way?
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#41755 - 11/15/08 10:06 PM Re: letter to the Red States :-) [Re: oenophore]
Mim Offline
old hand

Registered: 01/27/00
Posts: 1000
Loc: Gunks
Yes - totally!! ;\)

All this time I was thinking, "If they can only get all their fluffy selves out, maybe they could all get mushy and nice inside and feel like they now want to vote for the best pet ever!"

Meo, (short for Romeo - were are his fourth family...), just turned 10 this week and is the coolest dude ever - see for yourself here .

_________________________
Mim

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#41756 - 11/15/08 11:03 PM Re: letter to the Red States :-) [Re: Mim]
oenophore Online   confused
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 09/24/01
Posts: 5981
Loc: 212 land
Please pull our legs equally so that one leg doesn't wind up longer than the other.
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#41757 - 11/15/08 11:47 PM Re: letter to the Red States :-) [Re: Mike Rawdon]
mworking Offline
old hand

Registered: 05/26/04
Posts: 764
 Originally Posted By: Mike Rawdon
 Originally Posted By: AOR
 Originally Posted By: Mike Rawdon
My favorite bumper sticker of the last 8 years:

When Government Lies, Democracy Dies

(I suppose there aren't any words that rhyme with "torture")


Do you really think anything's going to change?...whoever has this on their car might as well keep it there.


If it was on my car, yea, I'd keep it there. As a "Never again" sort of reminder if nothing else. My take on it though is that the W admin. engaged in the most determined, orchestrated, widespread dis-information campaign of the last few decades. Disregard for truth, not to mention science and the law, were seemingly hard-wired into the administration. Take your pick: "WMD", "We don't torture", "Plame's exposers will be held responsible" Hussein 9/11 link etc etc.

But I'm getting tired of all that stuff, so maybe I'll try to put it in the past/not mention it here again.


Sorry guy & gals. The Regan administration gave me vitriol for a decade and Bush administration is deserving of a far more – probably my life time. Truth is I hope so, cause that will mean there will be nothing worse to take its place. Anyway BUSH OUT is a great plate. I’d keep it for years and years. It would help me remember and help me forget.

On the other hand I do feel relief that it’s almost over, and no
I don’t expect any miracles, just an honest intelligent president and administration who really works for our country rather specifically to increase and maintain his power and profit for his friends and associates.

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#41759 - 11/16/08 01:17 AM Re: letter to the Red States :-) [Re: mworking]
pedestrian Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 08/05/02
Posts: 2244
Loc: a heavily fortified bunker!
 Originally Posted By: mworking
...[words]...




Edited by pedestrian (11/16/08 01:22 AM)

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#42942 - 02/03/09 11:07 AM Re: letter to the Red States :-) [Re: Mim]
oenophore Online   confused
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 09/24/01
Posts: 5981
Loc: 212 land

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#46463 - 07/06/09 09:45 AM Re: letter to the Red States :-) [Re: Julie]
oenophore Online   confused
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 09/24/01
Posts: 5981
Loc: 212 land
Mim, don't worry, Palin is busy digging her own political grave.

You were quite prescient, Julie.


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#48373 - 10/06/09 01:12 PM Re: letter to the Red States :-) [Re: oenophore]
talus Offline
veteran

Registered: 08/23/04
Posts: 1259
Mim What does a Obama and a Deer have in common? They both enjoy ACORN.
_________________________
John Okner Photography

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#49901 - 12/02/09 10:25 PM Re: letter to the Red States :-) [Re: Mim]
talus Offline
veteran

Registered: 08/23/04
Posts: 1259
Originally Posted By: Mim
Passing this one along... Mim

Please be aware that Nuevo California will be pro-choice and anti-war, and we're going to want all our citizens back from Iraq at once. If you need people to fight, ask your evangelicals. They have kids they're apparently willing to send to their deaths for no purpose, and they don't care if you don't show pictures of their children's caskets coming home. We do wish you success in Iraq , and hope that the WMDs turn up, but we're not willing to spend our resources in Bush's Quagmire.



Back from Iraq now heading to Afgan.
That's some change! so one term
_________________________
John Okner Photography

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#49902 - 12/02/09 10:41 PM Re: letter to the Red States :-) [Re: talus]
oenophore Online   confused
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 09/24/01
Posts: 5981
Loc: 212 land
Back from Iraq now heading to Afgan.

First the good news then the bad news, eh?
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#49903 - 12/02/09 11:31 PM Re: letter to the Red States :-) [Re: talus]
Daniel Offline
veteran

Registered: 05/23/01
Posts: 1515
Originally Posted By: talus
Back from Iraq now heading to Afgan.
That's some change! so one term


I think that's too harsh. There is at least an attempt at a timeline to start transitioning responsibility to the Afghan government. Now perhaps the Afghan government will be able to handle it, perhaps not. If not, then we will have to see if Obama is willing to say "we did what we can do, but we can't stay indefinitely, so it's time to go," or whether he'll argue that the area is too important to abandon (remember it affects Pakistan too).

I heard someone in the military quoted as saying that we haven't fought an eight year war in Afghanistan, we've fought a one year war for eight years in a row. I'm willing to give the locals one more shot; with a serious prospect of a drawdown, maybe they'll do a better job of getting their act together. If it looks like we're going to stay regardless, then we can start talking "quagmire."

As for change...he did run on Afghanistan being the "good" war. One may disagree with the policy, but his decision here shouldn't be a surprise.

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#49904 - 12/02/09 11:38 PM Re: letter to the Red States :-) [Re: Daniel]
oenophore Online   confused
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 09/24/01
Posts: 5981
Loc: 212 land
The more I read of what the president has done or hasn't done, the more convinced I am that my voting for Nader was the right thing to do.
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#49905 - 12/03/09 12:29 AM Re: letter to the Red States :-) [Re: Daniel]
talus Offline
veteran

Registered: 08/23/04
Posts: 1259
So the initial surge of troops, equipment etc would be just a big waste of money and US troops. Well I hope the best for US troops standing up for Our country.
_________________________
John Okner Photography

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#49908 - 12/03/09 03:37 AM Re: letter to the Red States :-) [Re: talus]
Daniel Offline
veteran

Registered: 05/23/01
Posts: 1515
Originally Posted By: talus
So the initial surge of troops, equipment etc would be just a big waste of money and US troops. Well I hope the best for US troops standing up for Our country.


Just because something may not work out doesn't mean it isn't worth trying. Some things you can't know unless you make the attempt (climbers should know this), and eventual failure doesn't mean that the choice to try was incorrect.

The question is whether the odds of success, to the extent we can determine them (and depending on what the goals are), are worth the lives and expense. I don't think it's an easy call, but I also think it's too easy to say we should just get out. Perhaps we should just get out, but it's a complicated question and I think reasonable minds can differ.

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#49909 - 12/03/09 03:51 AM Re: letter to the Red States :-) [Re: oenophore]
Daniel Offline
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Registered: 05/23/01
Posts: 1515
Originally Posted By: oenophore
The more I read of what the president has done or hasn't done, the more convinced I am that my voting for Nader was the right thing to do.


Some people think that avoiding a full scale global meltdown, getting a somewhat effective stimulus package passed, repositioning the nation's foreign policy approaches, and being close to at least some degree of health care reform (a goal that has eluded so many predecessors) isn't half bad for one year. One commentator says it's the most any first-year president has accomplished since FDR. Sure, I'd like to see more, but presidents operate in the political realities they were given, and the many messes are going to take time to unwind. At least the big issues of the day which have been festering for over a decade--health care, energy, and I hear fiscal policy will be on the table for next year--are being addressed instead of being ignored and allowed to fester for another four years.

And if enough people agreed that voting for Nader was the right thing to do and had acted accordingly, we'd have President McCain (and VP Palin). Think about how he would have handled the economy, or where we'd be on health care today, or what his approach to Afghanistan would have been.

I have my ideals and goals. But politics is the art of the possible.

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#49910 - 12/03/09 10:52 AM Re: letter to the Red States :-) [Re: Daniel]
oenophore Online   confused
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And if enough people agreed that voting for Nader was the right thing to do and had acted accordingly, we'd have President McCain (and VP Palin).

If enough people agreed that voting for Nader was the right thing to do and had acted accordingly, Nader would be president -- after all, that's what one wishes for in voting for a candidate. It is better, in my opinion, not to be intimidated into voting for a so-called lesser evil by the specter of indirectly voting in the greater one.
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#49912 - 12/03/09 01:52 PM Re: letter to the Red States :-) [Re: Daniel]
talus Offline
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Registered: 08/23/04
Posts: 1259
Originally Posted By: Daniel

Just because something may not work out doesn't mean it isn't worth trying. Some things you can't know unless you make the attempt (climbers should know this), and eventual failure doesn't mean that the choice to try was incorrect.


As you gain experience you know well it's not going to work out. Plus who are we to go in tell other countries how to live. We should be at home protecting our own.
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#49913 - 12/03/09 03:06 PM Re: letter to the Red States :-) [Re: talus]
Daniel Offline
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Registered: 05/23/01
Posts: 1515
Originally Posted By: talus
As you gain experience you know well it's not going to work out. Plus who are we to go in tell other countries how to live. We should be at home protecting our own.


As I wrote, I think reasonable people can disagree as to how well we "know" whether it's going to work out. And I also think one can't disregard the possible consequences of abandonment, though that may not be enough of an argument to stay.

Also, I don't think we're telling Afghanis "how to live." My understanding is that most of them don't want to live under the Taliban. Whether the central or local governments can provide an alternative is an unanswered question, and one that Obama wants to provide 20 months to try to get an answer. I understand why some people think it's not worth even trying to get an answer, but I also understand why some people think it's worth one last shot--assuming it stays a last shot.

Moreover, Obama claims his plan is about protecting "our own," that there is a link between what happens there and what happens here. Again, people disagree about the link, but my understanding is that this is not a humanitarian mission.

I think this Slate article has a good discussion on the difficulties of any approach in Afghanistan.

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#49914 - 12/03/09 03:14 PM Re: letter to the Red States :-) [Re: oenophore]
Daniel Offline
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Posts: 1515
Originally Posted By: oenophore
If enough people agreed that voting for Nader was the right thing to do and had acted accordingly, Nader would be president -- after all, that's what one wishes for in voting for a candidate. It is better, in my opinion, not to be intimidated into voting for a so-called lesser evil by the specter of indirectly voting in the greater one.


Yeah, but he's got to build a greater platform first if he's going to be anything but a spoiler. In my opinion, such candidates cause more harm than good unless they have a reasonable shot to begin with, and one can create a reasonable basis for success without running for office and making things worse for everyone. I mean, 8 years of Bush? That wasn't just the worse of two evils; that was an unmitigated disaster that endangered the very constitutional basis of our government.

Nader said that he ran because he wanted to move the Democratic party to the left. But if you move the party to the left without moving the public to the left, you're just ceding territory to the opposition (much like the Republican party may be doing in reverse today). If Nader had used his considerable skills and resources to move public opinion first, maybe he would have had more support. But I think he harmed himself by taking the approach he did.

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#49915 - 12/03/09 03:26 PM Re: letter to the Red States :-) [Re: Daniel]
talus Offline
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Originally Posted By: Daniel

Also, I don't think we're telling Afghanis "how to live." My understanding is that most of them don't want to live under the Taliban. Whether the central or local governments can provide an alternative is an unanswered question, and one that Obama wants to provide 20 months to try to get an answer. I understand why some people think it's not worth even trying to get an answer, but I also understand why some people think it's worth one last shot--assuming it stays a last shot.


Then if they don't want live under Taliban let them fight their own civil war. No need for the US to go over.

Obama really has you mesmerized that everything he does is right, kind of scary.
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#49916 - 12/03/09 04:09 PM Re: letter to the Red States :-) [Re: Daniel]
oenophore Online   confused
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Originally Posted By: Daniel
Originally Posted By: oenophore
If enough people agreed that voting for Nader was the right thing to do and had acted accordingly, Nader would be president -- after all, that's what one wishes for in voting for a candidate. It is better, in my opinion, not to be intimidated into voting for a so-called lesser evil by the specter of indirectly voting in the greater one.


Yeah, but he's got to build a greater platform first if he's going to be anything but a spoiler. In my opinion, such candidates cause more harm than good unless they have a reasonable shot to begin with, and one can create a reasonable basis for success without running for office and making things worse for everyone. I mean, 8 years of Bush? That wasn't just the worse of two evils; that was an unmitigated disaster that endangered the very constitutional basis of our government.

Nader said that he ran because he wanted to move the Democratic party to the left. But if you move the party to the left without moving the public to the left, you're just ceding territory to the opposition (much like the Republican party may be doing in reverse today). If Nader had used his considerable skills and resources to move public opinion first, maybe he would have had more support. But I think he harmed himself by taking the approach he did.
I won't comment on what Daniel wrote above other than to say it's not inconsistent with my position -- to vote for the candidate of one's first choice.
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#49925 - 12/04/09 04:10 PM Re: letter to the Red States :-) [Re: talus]
Daniel Offline
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Originally Posted By: talus
Then if they don't want live under Taliban let them fight their own civil war. No need for the US to go over.

Obama really has you mesmerized that everything he does is right, kind of scary.


I think that last comment is unfair. There's no evidence that I think that "everything" Obama does is right. I've criticized him elsewhere on several issues. Nor have I stated that his Afghanistan plan is necessarily right; I've only argued that it's not so easily dismissed as necessarily wrong. I think that in the face of so many unknowns, a little humility in our own opinions is probably a good idea.

As for the Afghans fighting their own war, they can probably do so right now in the cities. But there's no way for a small village in a rural area to stand up to a concentrated number of opponents, especially in rugged terrain. And it's these areas which some people claim would be the "safe havens" for those who would endanger the security of the US. Now, one may disagree with the claim that eliminating these "safe havens" is really necessary or even possible. But I think to say "let them fight their own war" is too easily dismissive of arguments that should be taken seriously. (In addition, I think it's worth considering the potential effects that a Taliban enclave would have on Pakistan, which would lead to a whole host of concerns. This is not an Afghanistan-only issue.)

And, by the way, the plan is to let them fight their own war: with the timeline for a drawdown to start in 2011, the idea is to expand and train local forces so they can do just that. If responsibility doesn't start to transition to Afghan forces, either because the task is just too difficult or the national or local governments prove to be too corrupt, then I think it's useless to stay because no more help can be given unless we stay indefinitely, which we simply couldn't do even if we wanted to (which I don't).

I just don't think it's so clear yet that this plan will fail, which is why I'm willing to give it some time--and one shot. But I understand given the history why others are less willing to do so.

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#49927 - 12/04/09 04:24 PM Re: letter to the Red States :-) [Re: oenophore]
Daniel Offline
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Originally Posted By: oenophore
I won't comment on what Daniel wrote above other than to say it's not inconsistent with my position -- to vote for the candidate of one's first choice.


I don't know about that. My argument is that candidates should build a larger base of support and show viability before running, otherwise that candidate is just being a spoiler. I don't see why that doesn't apply to voting too. Once a candidate has a critical mass of people willing to vote for that candidate as long as the others in that critical mass do as well, then that candidate becomes viable and it makes sense for those voters to jump in together. But where a small number of votes may decide an election, then I don't see how a vote that creates a worse outcome makes sense except as a protest vote (which is not necessarily a bad justification).

It would be interesting to see how many Nader voters in Florida 2000 were happy with their decision in retrospect. And instant runoff voting would resolve some of the problems, though it has problems of its own.

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#49928 - 12/04/09 04:52 PM Re: letter to the Red States :-) [Re: talus]
Leemouse2 Offline
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Our pulling out of Afghanistan all of a sudden would have larger repercussions than Afghani's having to choose either to live under the Taliban or to fight their own civil war. While in power, the Taliban, among other things banned all employment, education, or sports activities for women - many of whom were widows supporting children (after years of war) for whom complying with such a ban would literally be a death sentence. Instead they worked in secret and would regularly receive beatings from the religious police for it.
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#49930 - 12/04/09 06:55 PM Re: letter to the Red States :-) [Re: Daniel]
yorick Offline
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Posts: 1041
Loc: hamlet\'s hand
Originally Posted By: Daniel
It would be interesting to see how many Nader voters in Florida 2000 were happy with their decision in retrospect. And instant runoff voting would resolve some of the problems, though it has problems of its own.


You might be right about viability and building support, but it's bullshit that Nader lost the election for Gore. Gore won Florida. He didn't have the political savvy or chutzpah or guts to figure out how to hold onto it. Not to mention, Gore couldn't carry his own fuc*ing state. You can't pin that on Nader. Like Kerry after him, who never challenged the abuses in Ohio, he didn't want it. Gore and Kerry didn't want it badly enough, and the Democratic party couldn't muster it up to defend them.

What we have in there now is Clinton III. Another disgrace, and boy am I sorry I swallowed that snakeoil.

The only objective in Afghanistan is to get Bin Laden. The rest is garbage face-saving, as we go deeper and deeper into the pockets of China to pay for it. Can't wait to see what happens when the bill for most expensive facial in history comes due.
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#49931 - 12/04/09 07:22 PM Re: letter to the Red States :-) [Re: Leemouse2]
talus Offline
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Registered: 08/23/04
Posts: 1259
Originally Posted By: Leemouse2
Our pulling out of Afghanistan all of a sudden would have larger repercussions than Afghani's having to choose either to live under the Taliban or to fight their own civil war. While in power, the Taliban, among other things banned all employment, education, or sports activities for women - many of whom were widows supporting children (after years of war) for whom complying with such a ban would literally be a death sentence. Instead they worked in secret and would regularly receive beatings from the religious police for it.


Sorry Lee I don't buy that same old larger repercussions argument. Please tell me how it is the US responsibility to invade Afghan, so US troops can be trapped like a rat while Taliban surround our troops.

Funny during Bush all Donkey's were against Iraq, yet now are supporting Afghan.
Peace
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#49932 - 12/04/09 07:39 PM Re: letter to the Red States :-) [Re: Daniel]
talus Offline
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Posts: 1259
Originally Posted By: Daniel
And, by the way, the plan is to let them fight their own war: with the timeline for a drawdown to start in 2011, the idea is to expand and train local forces so they can do just that. If responsibility doesn't start to transition to Afghan forces, either because the task is just too difficult or the national or local governments prove to be too corrupt, then I think it's useless to stay because no more help can be given unless we stay indefinitely, which we simply couldn't do even if we wanted to (which I don't).

I just don't think it's so clear yet that this plan will fail, which is why I'm willing to give it some time--and one shot. But I understand given the history why others are less willing to do so.


To put a time line on this is just plan dumb. There is no way you can tell how long this will take. Plus with Obama saying let's go in there in see what happens is a lousy attitude! If you go in you go in to win not pussy foot around.

Also why the hell does Obama think NY should put the terrorists on trial? so the terrorists can say how horrible the US is and open NY up for another attack?
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#49934 - 12/04/09 10:04 PM Re: letter to the Red States :-) [Re: Daniel]
oenophore Online   confused
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Originally Posted By: Daniel
Originally Posted By: oenophore
I won't comment on what Daniel wrote above other than to say it's not inconsistent with my position -- to vote for the candidate of one's first choice.


I don't know about that. My argument is that candidates should build a larger base of support and show viability before running, otherwise that candidate is just being a spoiler. I don't see why that doesn't apply to voting too. Once a candidate has a critical mass of people willing to vote for that candidate as long as the others in that critical mass do as well, then that candidate becomes viable and it makes sense for those voters to jump in together. But where a small number of votes may decide an election, then I don't see how a vote that creates a worse outcome makes sense except as a protest vote (which is not necessarily a bad justification).

It would be interesting to see how many Nader voters in Florida 2000 were happy with their decision in retrospect. And instant runoff voting would resolve some of the problems, though it has problems of its own.
Shall one who ardently agrees with a candidate's platform restrain voting for that candidate if there is no visible "critical mass" for him? Note that no "third party" has ever risen to nationwide major status since the Republican Party in the 1850s. Many a voter, no just me, feels that both major parties need a serious colon cleansing and that it won't take place until they are strongly challenged. Viability be damned; I'm willing to leave the mainstream on this even if few follow.
I'll agree that instant runoff voting may be a good idea. Perhaps this might require amendments of state constitutions (I'm rather ignorant here) and that would take considerable time and effort.
.................................................................

Also why the hell does Obama think NY should put the terrorists on trial? so the terrorists can say how horrible the US is and open NY up for another attack?

You can't be serious, Talus.
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#49935 - 12/04/09 10:18 PM Re: letter to the Red States :-) [Re: oenophore]
talus Offline
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Posts: 1259
Originally Posted By: oenophore

You can't be serious, Talus.


dead serious! you think this is a good idea? this is a matter for the military to handle!
what's your real name anyway oeno?
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#49937 - 12/04/09 10:56 PM Re: letter to the Red States :-) [Re: talus]
oenophore Online   confused
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you think this is a good idea?

Criminal suspects are to be tried in accordance with law.

US Constitution
Article III
...
The trial of all crimes, except in cases of impeachment, shall be by jury; and such trial shall be held in the state where the said crimes shall have been committed; but when not committed within any state, the trial shall be at such place or places as the Congress may by law have directed.



And not to disappoint my fans (if any) here's a relevant strip.


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#49939 - 12/05/09 05:27 PM Re: letter to the Red States :-) [Re: talus]
mworking Offline
old hand

Registered: 05/26/04
Posts: 764
Originally Posted By: Daniel
As for change...he did run on Afghanistan being the "good" war. One may disagree with the policy, but his decision here shouldn't be a surprise


Originally Posted By: talus
So the initial surge of troops, equipment etc would be just a big waste of money and US troops.


Doesn't this evaluation depend on what we actually do and the result?

Originally Posted By: talus
US troops standing up for Our country.


Please inform me fwhat this even means. Is it related to defence?


Edited by mworking (12/05/09 05:27 PM)

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#49960 - 12/07/09 08:58 PM Re: letter to the Red States :-) [Re: Daniel]
oenophore Online   confused
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Daniel:

I just don't think it's so clear yet that this plan will fail, which is why I'm willing to give it some time--and one shot. But I understand given the history why others are less willing to do so.

The reader may wonder what he might do if he were president and heard and saw the briefings that the president did. Yet Colin Powell, no less intelligent than the president, relayed to the public the bullshit that he was fed, to his lifelong embarrassment.

___________________________________________________________________


And you know Tom Tomorrow has something to say about this.


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#50047 - 12/12/09 10:59 PM Re: letter to the Red States :-) [Re: talus]
Daniel Offline
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Registered: 05/23/01
Posts: 1515
Originally Posted By: talus
To put a time line on this is just plan dumb. There is no way you can tell how long this will take.


One should be able to tell in 18 months whether there is progress. One should be able to tell in 18 months whether it's possible to train local people adequately to start taking over security responsibilities (one would hope that was one of the questions the administration was evaluating before the decision was made). If we can't figure out these things in 18 months, then we've got far more serious systemic problems with our own government than we thought. And if there isn't progress, then there's no more we can do, and we should start getting out anyway (since we can't stay indefinitely).

Originally Posted By: talus
Also why the hell does Obama think NY should put the terrorists on trial? so the terrorists can say how horrible the US is and open NY up for another attack?


Maybe it's just a little thing like living up to our own values. The lack of faith some people have in our own justice system is astounding to me. Our criminal justice system has already tried plenty of terrorists--including several here in New York--quite successfully. I recommend this Slate article on the topic. If we think we have the best justice system for sorting out the guilty from the not guilty, then it should apply to everyone. When we start making exceptions, others rightly point to us as hypocrites.

As for the threat of another terrorist attack...as if NYC isn't already a target? And even if a trial marginally increases that risk, as someone who lives in NY that's a risk I'm willing to take to stand up for the values that make this country worth defending in the first place. If security were the ultimate reason for government, this nation would never have gotten off the ground because the Founders could all have lived far more securely under the British. Sometimes we have to put something on the line for the values we supposedly believe in.

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#50048 - 12/12/09 11:13 PM Re: letter to the Red States :-) [Re: Daniel]
oenophore Online   confused
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Need anyone justify a NYC civilian trial for these defendants on a basis other than that the law demands it be done this way?
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#50052 - 12/13/09 03:54 AM Re: letter to the Red States :-) [Re: yorick]
Daniel Offline
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Registered: 05/23/01
Posts: 1515
Originally Posted By: yorick
it's bullshit that Nader lost the election for Gore. Gore won Florida. He didn't have the political savvy or chutzpah or guts to figure out how to hold onto it. Not to mention, Gore couldn't carry his own fuc*ing state. You can't pin that on Nader.


I can pin Gore's loss on his inability to carry his own state (though I could pick any other state he didn't win as well). Or on the "butterfly ballot" that confused people into voting for Buchanan. Or on the failure of Gore to try to recount overvotes as well as undervotes (apparently Gore would still have lost if only undervotes were recounted, which was the only course considered by either party). Or on Nader, without whom Gore would almost certainly have won a majority in Florida.

Just because there are multiple causes doesn't mean each cause gets the other off the hook. Had the butterfly ballot been differently designed, Gore probably would have won. Had the campaign tried to get overvotes counted, Gore probably would have won (assuming it hadn't been stopped by the Supreme Court, which after all stopped the recount that was going on at the time). And had Nader not run, Gore probably would have won. I see no reason to privilege one of these causes over the others.

Originally Posted By: yorick
The only objective in Afghanistan is to get Bin Laden.


Perhaps you think that's the only objective, and you're entitled to believe that, as many others do. Others think getting bin Laden is moot at this point and that al Qaeda can operate as independent cells (whether that cuts before or against escalation is subject to debate). Still others think the objective is to prevent the Taliban from having a base from which to destabilize Pakistan, which has nukes, which could draw in India, which also has nukes.

I'm not saying what point of view is right, only that reasonable people can disagree, and that there are other conceivable "objectives" out there. Whether they're worth American lives and money, well, that's what makes this issue so difficult. But I think it's wrong to dismiss them out of hand.

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#50054 - 12/13/09 06:39 AM Re: letter to the Red States :-) [Re: oenophore]
Daniel Offline
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Registered: 05/23/01
Posts: 1515
Originally Posted By: oenophore
Need anyone justify a NYC civilian trial for these defendants on a basis other than that the law demands it be done this way?


I believe the argument is that the WTC attack is akin to an act of war, therefore a civilian trial is not required.

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#50055 - 12/13/09 11:10 AM Re: letter to the Red States :-) [Re: Daniel]
oenophore Online   confused
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Might the St.Valentine's Day Massacre be deemed akin to an act of war as well?
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#50057 - 12/13/09 01:45 PM Re: letter to the Red States :-) [Re: oenophore]
AOR Offline
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Registered: 08/27/04
Posts: 392
Originally Posted By: oenophore
Might the St.Valentine's Day Massacre be deemed akin to an act of war as well?


Ummm...based on what?

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#50369 - 01/26/10 11:11 AM Re: letter to the Red States :-) [Re: strat]
oenophore Online   confused
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Originally Posted By: strat
Precisely the kind of devisive bullshit that this election shows the world we're sick and tired of. Thanks for propagating it.
Yeah. And if you like your messages ultra-simplistic ...


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#51162 - 04/02/10 08:13 PM Re: letter to the Red States :-) [Re: oenophore]
oenophore Online   confused
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A similar idea with a different slant


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#52151 - 05/19/10 07:00 PM Re: letter to the Red States :-) [Re: talus]
oenophore Online   confused
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We do wish you success in Iraq

The late General George S. Patton is resurrected (8 1/3 min video production) to comment on this subject.
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#52379 - 05/30/10 10:39 AM Re: letter to the Red States :-) [Re: Daniel]
oenophore Online   confused
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There's no evidence that I think that "everything" Obama does is right. I've criticized him elsewhere on several issues

And someone else does as well.
==============================

George Lakoff: Obama's Missing Moral Narrative
May 28, 2010

Barack Obama may be one of the best communicators of this generation, but he is not living up to his own talents. In a year of disasters, communication failure doubles the disasters.

If, as he says, the monster spill was his highest priority from Day 1, he needed to communicate that from Day 1 - or at least Day 3 or 4. It took five weeks for him to tell the nation what he and his administration were doing. The result was visible in the press conference today. He was on the defensive. He needed to be on the offensive - from early on. The choice is not doing or communicating. It is doing and communicating.

His narrative: This is a tough, unprecedented situation, but I'm in charge, and I've been very busy, in the Situation Room where I belong, not on tv. I'm fully competent. I'm a good policy wonk - ask me any question about details. I'm honest. I admit my few policy mistakes. I think about the details day and night. Don't think I'm oblivious.

It's defensive, trying to overcome criticism that should never have been allowed to accumulate. But worse, it's weak when it needs to be strong.

The president did do the required minimum. He placed a moratorium on offshore drilling and cancelled oil leases in the Gulf and off Virginia. He appointed a commission to make safety recommendations. And he is reorganizing the Mining Management Service. All to the good, but ...

Crises are opportunities. He has consistently missed them. Today was a grand opportunity to pull together the threads - BP and the spill, Massey and the mine disaster, Wall Street and the economic disaster, Anthem BlueCross and health care, the Arizona Immigration Law, Don't Ask, Don't Tell - even Afghanistan. The press threw him fastballs straight down the middle, and he hit dribblers every time.

It's not that he said nothing to tie them together. But there was no home run, no unifying narrative, no patriotic call to the nation on the full gamut of issues. Instead, there were only hints, suggestions, possible implications, notes of concern - as if he had been intimidated by the right-wing message machine.

And yet, Obama of all political leaders, could have done it, because he did before in his campaign.

The central idea is Empathy. Democracy is based on empathy, on people caring about one another and acting to the very best of their ability on that care, for their families, their communities, their nation, and the world. Government must also care and act on that care. Government's job is to protect and empower its citizens.

That idea is what draws together all the threads. The bottom line for corporations (whether BP, Massey, Anthem or Goldman Sachs) is money, not empathy. The bottom line for those who hate (whether homophobes, the Arizona Legislature, or al Qaeda) is domination and oppression, not empathy.

Empathy, and acting on it effectively, is the main business of government. And Obama knows it in his heart.

Yet the right-wing has intimidated Obama into dropping not just the word "empathy," but the idea. Empathy is a positive deep connection with other people in general and with all living things, the ability to see and feel as they do. The right-wing, which shows little empathy, has confused empathy with a bleeding-heart sympathy for individuals, which they see as a weakness. And though Obama has repeatedly made the distinction clear, he has allowed the right wing to intimidate him into abandoning "the most important thing my mother taught me."

At the very end of the press' questions, there was a hint of the campaign Obama.

...I think everybody understands that when we are fouling the Earth like this, it has concrete implications not just for this generation, but for future generations.

I grew up in Hawaii where the ocean is sacred. And when you see birds flying around with oil all over their feathers and turtles dying, that doesn't just speak to the immediate economic consequences of this; this speaks to how are we caring for this incredible bounty that we have.

And so sometimes when I hear folks down in Louisiana expressing frustrations, I may not always think that they're comments are fair; on the other hand, I probably think to myself, these are folks who grew up fishing in these wetlands and seeing this as an integral part of who they are -- and to see that messed up in this fashion would be infuriating.

So the thing that the American people need to understand is that not a day goes by where the federal government is not constantly thinking about how do we make sure that we minimize the damage on this, we close this thing down, we review what happened to make sure that it does not happen again. And in that sense, there are analogies to what's been happening in terms of in the financial markets and some of these other areas where big crises happen -- it forces us to do some soul searching. And I think that's important for all of us to do.

Here, at the very end, he allows the empathy and the moral vision to come out. Future generations, the sacredness of nature over the immediate economic consequences, caring for this incredible bounty that we have, identifying with folks who see fishing as part of who they are, analogies to what's been happening in the financial markets, soul searching.

That should have - and could have - been the central narrative drawing all the threads together. The narrative about the daily competence and effort should have been in service of the central narrative of his administration. It should be, and can be, the central narrative of American democracy.

But to make it central and powerful would be confrontational. It would bring him head-to-head with right-wing ideology - empathy-free, self-interest maximizing, with disdain or even hatred for those seen as lesser beings. It is self-reinforcing: a value-system that above all promotes that value-system itself. That is why right-wing Republicans always vote no to his proposals. Because to vote yes would strengthen an empathy-based moral system and weaken their own.

Because right-wing ideology takes precedence over empathy, there will be little or any real bipartisanship with those on the hard-core right. The right is provoking confrontation. It cannot be avoided. The president should be confronting the right-wing on all issues - not issue-by-issue as a policy wonk, but with the master moral narrative that makes sense of our country's values.

Here's what that would mean. The following "shoulds" are not mine. They follow naturally from President Obama's own values as he articulated them is his 2008 campaign, and as they leaked out, largely unnoticed, during his press conference.

The president recognizes that financial reform requires dealing with systemic risk, which means not mere regulation, but restructuring the financial system to minimize, and if possible eliminate, systemic risk. Applying the analogy to oil spills, it would mean no more deep-water drilling because major systemic risks ("worst case scenarios") cannot be eliminated when you drill starting a mile down where no human being can go and drilling three miles deeper.

Like other large corporations, BP uses cost-benefit analysis to maximize profits. It is no surprise that, to save money, BP chose inferior materials in Deepwater Horizon, materials whose defects may well have caused the explosion. The use of cost-benefit analysis for a corporation's benefit (and not the public's) is a dangerous practice in many industries. Cost-benefit analysis itself, used this way, should be considered as an important component of systemic risk by the President's commission on safety.

The president should support the Cantwell-Collins CLEAR ACT, which will actually cut gasoline consumption radically by 2050 and carbon emissions by 80% by 2050, while stimulating the economy by providing significant financial dividends to all adult citizens, eliminating government imposition on business, and making those who profit from selling polluting fuel pay to clean it up and develop alternative energy. CLEAR is far superior to cap-and-trade alternatives.

The president should generalize from oil spills to coal mining, banning the blowing up of mountain tops and the fouling of streams, and imposing serious safety restrictions on all mining.

The president should review the covert operations imposed by the military and cancel those that are inconsistent with American values.

The president should order military leaders under his command to support the elimination of Don't Ask, Don't Tell.

The president should ask the First Lady to sponsor a major government program to do research on and support empathetic parenting, along the lines of his 2008 Father's Day speech.

And much more. A great deal follows from a unified moral stance.

Empathy and the discipline to act effectively on it, when seen as the basis of democracy and American values, can be powerful. It can unify the major policies of the administration, and unify people of good will - and that is a majority of our citizens. But only if the president communicates empathy effectively, and acts on it consistently.


Empathy Now!

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#52790 - 06/18/10 11:18 AM Re: letter to the Red States :-) [Re: Daniel]
oenophore Online   confused
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 09/24/01
Posts: 5981
Loc: 212 land
Daniel: The best solution for Ann Coulter is to ignore her.

Another alternative


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#52816 - 06/19/10 02:54 AM Re: letter to the Red States :-) [Re: oenophore]
mworking Offline
old hand

Registered: 05/26/04
Posts: 764
Originally Posted By: oenophore
There's no evidence that I think that "everything" Obama does is right. I've criticized him elsewhere on several issues

And someone else does as well.
==============================

[size:14pt]George Lakoff: Obama
...

Damm close to exaclty how I feel - except that GL left out the heath Care public option - perhaps because the best opportunity for it has passed. It was still a failure even if the rest of the bill isn't.

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#52818 - 06/19/10 11:05 AM Re: letter to the Red States :-) [Re: mworking]
oenophore Online   confused
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 09/24/01
Posts: 5981
Loc: 212 land
Even projection of the illusion of empathy (George Lakoff's point is that Obama sadly fails to do this) could not overcome the power of the insurance lobby.
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#52842 - 06/21/10 12:38 AM Re: letter to the Red States :-) [Re: oenophore]
Daniel Offline
veteran

Registered: 05/23/01
Posts: 1515
While I think Lakoff makes some valid points--that people (in my opinion unfortunately) often vote on emotion rather than real action and policy--I think he misses an important aspect of empathy: that to solve our problems will not only require understanding what others are going through but a willingness to do something about them.

That was one of the problems in framing the health care debate: the first line out of the White House was that if you like what you have, you'll get to keep it. That's a classic me-first approach. What Obama could have said was: do we want to live in a society where people die because they can't get insurance and families go bankrupt because someone got sick? That's the "empathy" approach. Once that initial moral decision is made, then there are various ways to structure the system as our peer nations have shown.

But I think there is a serious question as to whether that would work these days. Because empathy is not enough to provide everyone with affordable insurance; it requires people to agree to use health care differently, with higher taxes for some to make care affordable for others. Similarly, reducing dependence on oil, whether from abroad or from the Gulf, requires people to do something: drive a little less, or get a more efficient car, or both. (If we were serious about our dependence on oil, we'd be asking for a higher gas tax instead of running away from it.)

Empathy is all well and good, but in the end it's just talk unless followed up with action. The question to me is whether enough people are willing to act on their empathy to create the change some say they want. And I don't think anyone knows the answer. Obama came close to asking it in his speech when he said that "Each of us has a part to play in a new future that will benefit all of us," but then he didn't say what we can or should or could do. Maybe it's been deemed too risky to ask for something when most people are feeling very insecure, especially with elections around the corner. But we won't know until someone tries.

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#52846 - 06/21/10 10:18 AM Re: letter to the Red States :-) [Re: Daniel]
oenophore Online   confused
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 09/24/01
Posts: 5981
Loc: 212 land
But would an empathy approach work? Or are most of the opinion expressed in this sentence below?

I bust my hump to get what little I get and screw those &^%*%#@@s who allow someone who doesn't do that to get what I get or more at my expense.
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