Thursday, July 31, 2008

The Race Card

Paul Dirks :
I'm going to repost something I put on another thread. Lets look at it again within the context of race.

Michelle Cottle of the New Republic noted, "Americans don't like Presidents who think they are better than the average guy."

Think about the above statement for a moment.

We are a nation of 301 Million People. We are hard at work selecting the ONE PERSON who will represent us all and be the voice of America and the Leader of the Free World and yet we're supposed to believe that this person should be no better than "the average guy"

I'm trying to come up with adjectives but I'm unable to get past 'pathetic' 'sick' or 'insane'.....

If we look at it within the context of racial attitudes, it starts to make more sense but still not enough.

Under what circumstance can we think that the President of The United Sates is too smart, or too successful or too classy? Only if he doesn't already have the proper family membership required to earn those attributes.

Why do we ignore McCains $500 dollor shoes?

Same reason. He has the right to wear expensive shoes by virtue of his birthright.

Even if race has nothing to do with it, there is obviously a priveleged class in America and anyone who deigns to exhibit it's attributes without earning it's membership gets the whole weight of the "Presumptious - Elitist - Celebrity - Rock Star" slur directed at him.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Regarding the 'Obama blew off the wounded troops' manure

This is certainly an interesting exercise because it highlights a complaint that many bloggers have had over the MSM for a long time.

Stories aren't balanced or fair if they are balancing a truth against a lie. Now that we have a nice clear example of a lie to work with we can see which outlets state it clearly.

So how many more times are the McCain campaign and the Republicans going to repeat what is a thoroughly baseless charge? (Karen Tumulty - Swampland)
Certain qualifies as a clear statement.

despite no evidence that the charge is true. (WaPo)
Is also reasonably clear.

Now that I've read the linked article further, I'm getting another picture. Not only are they lying but they're going to continue to do so:

McCain spokesman Tucker Bounds said again yesterday that the Republican's version of events is correct, and that Obama canceled the visit because he was not allowed to take reporters and cameras into the hospital.

"It is safe to say that, according to press reports, Barack Obama avoided, skipped, canceled the visit because of those reasons," he said. "We're not making a leap here.

Asked repeatedly for the "reports," Bounds provided three examples, none of which alleged that Obama had wanted to take members of the media to the hospital

So now we're getting to the meat of the problem. The McCain charge is a lie. Careful investigation has confirmed its a lie. And now they're sticking to their guns.

As I said above, this will provide a very nice test of the courage and integrity of the media outlets one by one.

Let's keep score, shall we?

Friday, July 25, 2008

using our enemy's standards

I've often noted that one of the reason's I beleive so strongly in Freedom of Speech, Freedom of the Press and the Right to Dissent, is that I was taught in school that those were the very things that made us great in comparison to the Soviet Union. It was standard issue, schoolroom indoctrination but it made a lot of sense and I took it seriously at the time.

Now since the collape of the Soviet Union, it seems that our own standards of conduct have taken a significant turn for the worse. How many times have we seen idiots defend the worst of our abuses by noting "Oh yeah, well at least we don't behead people and then post the video on the internet!"

Do people not realize that if we take on all the worst attributes of our enemies, then we know longer need the enemies, we can represent evil all by ourselves?

The shorthand term is 'American exceptionalism', but the amount of denial and self-inflicted blindness that it takes to maintin the illusion of our righteousness boggles the mind.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

I respond to


You can almost hum a tune to the "on the one hand - on the other hand" construction of the story. I suppose that's to be expected however.

The best part:

Orwellian newspeak of the White House, "joint aspirational time horizons"
I'm almost willing to try and take credit for highlighting the absurdity of those word choices.

the worst part:

For McCain, the first priority remains a stable Iraqi nation state, and he is willing to risk ever more American blood and treasure over the coming years in that quest. For Obama, the first priority is an exit from the country, and he is willing to risk civil chaos in Iraq and a loss of American influence in the region.

Again that's an example of the conventional wisdom driving your writing but its basicly claptrap.

For McCain the first priority remains having a large strike force available in the region to be able to protect Oil assets and infrastructure from being utilized in ways unfavorable to US interests. (Note that I'm using the phrase 'US interests" in the standard Republican business friendly manner)
For Obama the first priority is to actually be able to claim that he acted against the real terrorists and was able to defang Al Qaeda as a danger to the US without having to enlarge the US Military sector further in order to accomplish it.

See how I can manage describing the same situation that you are without the "McCain's motives are noble and Obama's are risky" undercurrent that infuses the above sentence.

Think about it.....

Friday, July 18, 2008


"What is the meanIng of the word 'aspirational' and how does it differ from "in your DREAMS!"?"


New York Times

I get all Lakoffian....

the surge has improved security but has not led to the political reconciliation that was supposed to be its purpose.

Here's a perfect example of how the bumper-sticker mentality pollutes our political debates. The above sentence is perfectly accurate and is about as good as its going to get to succinctly explain where we stand in Iraq. But it's 19 words. Compare that to "The Surge is Working!" It's significantly less accurate but its not obviously wrong.

So in the contest to reach people and encourage support for one position or another we have 19 words competing against 4.

You might write off my concern as sour grapes until I restate the problem thusly:

In a democracy it's easier to gain approval for stupid actions than smart ones.

And it shows....

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Flip Flop?
McCain, who lost most conservatives when he supported the president’s immigration reform proposals, confirmed that he did not support the DREAM Act, which was stopped in the Senate Wednesday by a vote of 52-44. The DREAM Act would provide amnesty to millions of illegal aliens who came to America when under the age of 16. It would also give green cards to illegal aliens residing in America for five years and attending college or performing military service,0,5118734.story

During a 15-minute Q&A after McCain's speech, a young woman asked if he would support the Dream Act, which gives illegal immigrant children a chance to earn citizenship by attending college or enlisting in the military.

"Yes. Yes," he replied, then added a sentiment that he incorporated into almost every answer: "I would also enforce existing laws of our country, and the nation's first requirement is the nation's security, and that's why you have to have our borders secured."

Those pesky innertubes strike again!

Monday, July 14, 2008

Must publicize:

But in light of the lastest conference call during which Randy Scheunemann accused Obama of desiring defeat in Iraq, I thought it might be useful to link to Scheunemann's vision of victory in those heady days right after the invasion.....

Well, I think there may be some unfortunately in the U.S. government that are looking at an Afghan model. They don't understand that Iraq is not Afghanistan. It's not a primitive tribal civilization. It's a highly educated, urbanized population, and as for Dr. Chalabi's activity, all I think that we should be seeking and striving for in Iraq is a level playing field. He does in fact have a vision for Iraq. He has expressed it many times including the United States in exile conferences and bridging the differences, and his group has exhaustive contacts inside Iraq. Many of the surrenders or captures of the officials including some who made the CENTCOM playing card deck, have been facilitated or negotiated by the INC under Chalabi's leadership

Saturday, July 12, 2008

If one reads the Federalist papers

One comes away with the knowlege that our system of Government was set up specifically to COUNTER the natural proclivity of humans left unchecked. The founders saw personal ambition and irrational fear as forces to be coralled and set against each other by the system of checks and balances.

It is unsurprising then that it is during times of stress that the Constitution and the Rule of Law are in the greatest danger.

Compounding the problem is what can only be referred to as Cheney's revenge for Nixon. Much of the what the administratrion has done has been specifically to undo the effects of the Church commission. The deliberate violation of FISA when the political capital was available to change it instead is a direct result of the Cheney/Addington project to resupremify the Presidency. Even the erasure of e-mails and the ignoring of subpeonas falls under the same effort.

Part of the problem with the FISA vote is that people just don't understand the stakes involved.

Monday, July 07, 2008

Blog comment of the day:

I know who and what Obama is. He's a mushy centrist and a reflexive compromiser who sometimes says utterly moronic things like this latest abortion spat. He's also not John McCain. That's enough for me.

Posted by FastEddie | July 7, 2008 9:20 PM

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Responding to a Michael Scherer Post

It is legitimate to look at how McCain's time in the military, and his service in Vietnam, informs his approach to foreign policy.


This seems to be the part that everyone is dancing around but few are willing to state.

John McCain's military biography will make him a WORSE President. Between suffering form the 'everything looks like a nail' syndrome that renders the military solution the first resort instead of the last, to the 'Vietnam was a failure of will' syndrome, which encourages people to subvert the Democratic process AND lie about facts on the ground, McCain's experience as well as his choice of diehard PNAC'ers as advisors suggests that his Presidency will incorporate all the worst aspects of GWB's.

It's worth discussing....