Posted by EST in General Discussion: Presidential (Through Nov 2009)
Thu Nov 08th 2007, 05:18 PM
There's no way that it might occur to him that applause has another name. It's called "acknowledgment."
When people are clapping and cheering for you what do you do? Well, you could run around and make a fool of yourself, like Stephen Colbert, you can mock-scold the applause, like Jon Stewart, or you can recognize that these people have busted their asses for you and you are in a close relationship with them.
When you are in close relationship with someone, invariably, you acknowledge them...for their contribution, for their participation, for their humanity, whatever.
I would like to acknowledge Hillary for recognizing this, whether instinctively or developed, and acting on it.
I am no great Hillary fan, but I would be f**king thrilled to be acknowledged by her for some value she perceived!
Posted by EST in General Discussion: Presidential (Through Nov 2009)
Mon Oct 22nd 2007, 09:29 AM
this man is advocating the killing of non-heteros. He won't admit it, but how else would one "destroy" something as nebulous as sexual identity? It is not something one can gird one's loins (wonder why they'd do that, anyway) and go do battle with.
The burning of nine or ten churches in the south by wingnut college age monsters and the subsequent attempt to implicate homosexuals--saw it myself on "Hardball" via Chris Matthews--was reprehensible, yet there was little followup.
Any of those churches could well have had people in them, turning the crime of arson into the crime of murder, and all that that implies.
I am uncomfortable enough with the religious leaders advocating the murder of people they disagree with inside small groups, but these conscienceless morons have grown in influence to an alarming degree. There should be some thought toward prosecuting these people. They have no place in a democracy.
Freedom of speech does not extend to advocating violence against any member of the human community.
I'd like to weigh in on whether or not we are asking the right questions and whether or not one can and should be responsible for one's words, as well as the importance of truth.
Cspan came along with satellite tv in 2002 and I became enthralled by politics and those who practice that dark art, but my experience is limited.
First, congress critters almost never tell the truth about anything. Democrats seem to be a bit better at this than republicans, but both chambers are loaded up with falsehoods, fibs, lies and never telling the straight story, only making points that support your own thesis and even making stuff up, knowing that they will rarely be challenged.
This takes away any demand than Stark run counter to habit and custom and expose himself by telling the truth or having to prove anything he said.except for the demand for truth and honesty by us--and we mostly don't count.
Next, democrats are guilty of being "obsessively intellectual; " we wool things, trying to understand and account for all angles surrounding any issue. We forget that elections and most floor votes are not won necessarily by who is best qualified or who makes the better case; they are won by emotions and emotional appeal. If that emotional appeal also has the facts on its side, so much the better, but it is not essential. Even where the facts are overwhelming, it's the emotional involvement that remains supreme.
Case in point--there is proof, beyond question, that sex education at a fairly young age and ongoing, coupled to a liberal policy on abortion and a growing middle class, is the best course toward lowering both abortions and unwanted pregnancies. Yet, for the most part, our approach is primitive and the currently growing rates of both stand as proof.
The primary reason for the current low polling numbers for congress is the perception that democrats stand for nothing, that they are spineless wimps and can be whipped up into any adventure or bad policy that a stronger, not necessarily better informed, critter wants.
There is ample evidence to support this notion.
Stark was pissed! Not only was he pissed, but he was not about to be railroaded into eating shit and backing off. That simple act has done more to encourage us rank-and-filers than just about anything else could do. No amount of being calmly right and sternly informative will motivate many people to do or support anything. It's all about emotional involvement and a commitment to a cause, not whether a cause is just or pragmatic nor is it about correctness or whether or not in offends someone.
As much as I would like to agree that Stark's comments were offensive enough that they should be retracted, a long lifetime and a lot of study tells me that people don't work that way. Not one person in a hundred has ever heard of representative Stark, but now a hell of a lot know who he is and they will pay attention to the next thing he says. Any retraction now and the "aw, I didn't mean it, I'm sorry" will guarantee chortles and teehees all across the wingnutlery and a virtually total loss of respect by democrats for congressman Stark and the entire entourage.
He had about ten seconds in which he could have softened his comments but that time is long gone. Now we should stand for the justified anger at recalcitrant pukes for their obstructionism and anti-social policies and attitudes and anger at weak-kneed democrats who seem so intent on not waking the monster and making him mad.
People don't respect politicians for their clarity of thought (most anyway) nor their grasp of nuance and detail; they respect them for the stands they take and their ability to drive opinion through emotional appeal.
As an emotional example: Hitler didn't rise to power because of his intellect or because he was right--he wasn't. He won the support of millions, perhaps billions, through emotional appeal.
Bush did not get to where he is (well, was) by dint of intellect, thoughtfulness, values, or pragmatism. He got there because of emotional people who were willing to ignore the facts for reasons that have nothing to do with truth or reality.
No doubt you will get many answers defending police, but those defenders, invariably, are not unbiased, unsurprisingly; almost no one is.
Historically, the job of policing one's fellows is a damn difficult one. It is not the nice guys among one's fellows that a cop has to interact with, most of the time, it is the ones who are fervently against whatever standards exist that need policing. In times of little oversight, the only thing a society can do is to influence one of the violent, lawless practitioners, through money, status, whatever it takes, to abandon the nasty crew he'd normally feel at home with and use his violence and bullying nature in pursuit of higher virtues.
"Command presence" is nothing more than a well developed capacity for bullying and many cops, if they were not cops, would be in prison, not sending other people there. Harnessing the vicious and tawdry nature of some humans is a task that any society has to confront and there is just no place else to put them, other than competing with people like them. Learning to "think like the criminal" is no joke. It is also much easier than most police officers would like to admit. To many, if not most, it's natural.
Of course there are dedicated people working for police organizations who perform the multitude of functions that have to be done who in no way can be said to conform to this pattern, but they are not the ones we normally include when we think of "cops." They are functionaries, scientists, ambassadors, managers, and other necessary workers, but the thing they are not is "cops."
I have worked closely with cops, over the years, and there is no doubt that they are human, they may love their families, and that they are possessed of emotions, but not in the same mix as the majority of the populace.
You will hear from many who repeat the "a few bad apples" meme, and that's just self-gratifying bullshit. They are all bad apples, some worse than others, but they are essential, necessary bad apples. If it weren't for these really necessary bad apples to control the really, really bad guys, we would really be in a world of hurt.
If it weren't for these horrible, lovable people, we would have to give everyone a personality test at sixteen and execute everyone who doesn't score well...unacceptable and impossible.
Authoritarian jerks? No question. Pushy, pissy people who, under other circumstances would be the crooks we set them to catch? Absolutely.
But among them are the wonderful, brave creatures who would save your ass from worse. They are the ones who overcome their own fears of death and injury to wade in and take care of bad situations, who make the moves to save lives while the rest of us intellectual obsessives are still thinking about it.
So, rather than there being some "bad apples" in an otherwise acceptable barrel, we have a whole barrel of bad apples, with a bunch of good ones included, wonderful, selfless people, without whom society would be impossible.
They are also the most paranoid people on the planet.
Next chance you get, go hug and kiss a cop. They make life possible.
At least shake their hands and thank them.
In my childhood, and in many if not most since then, I presume, there were many stories of the "winners never quit and quitters never win" variety. They were designed to instruct and, perhaps more importantly, identify with the protagonist, often the underdog/ultimate winner. Other themes like Steve Martin's A Simple Twist of Fate comes to mind.
One theme of considerable usefulness was the bully or con artist who took advantage of a less violent or less fortunate victim, cheating him or stealing from him and managing to deny to the good guy his well deserved goal. Of course, our hero, thus deflected, winds up on a totally different track, owning the Mayo Clinic or Scotland or something and saves the jerk's life or, maybe, wins the Nobel Prize or some such.
Somebody has to play the role of the jerk-ass bigot whose double dealing or his father's money and influence destroyed his victim. The perfect candidate for this role is someone so devoid of real intelligence and the milk of human kindness that he sympathizes with the bully.
Poetic justice on a scale that we are lucky to have seen in our lifetime. A gawdamn emmy, fer crissakes, and a Nobel peace prize, and the adulation of the world, or, at least, the thinking world, and the very real possibility that he could well be elected president by popular acclaim and write-ins, should he want.
Maybe king of the world or god would be more to his liking.
I wonder who'll play Al Gore in the movie version.
Think of it...he's even got instant credibility with the Arab and Persian world--
Al-Qida, Al-Jazeera, Al-Hamda, Al-Gore...
concerns about it. They apparently feel that lieing is an important and necessary component of free speech and that lieing is totally justified when it is to, or about, democrats. Come to think about it, you don't even have to be a democrat for the gross old perverts to lie to you and about you.
They just do not see the universe, ethics and the necessity of Joe Bloc honesty the same way we do.
The greatest, the most essential element in my world is honesty--and all that implies. It includes hypocrisy, authenticity and square dealing, ie. trust.
The second most important element is the commitment to avoid causing pain, especially gratuitous pain. Associated with that is the responsibility to try to reduce pain, to the limits of my ability.
It this universe, republicans, conservatives, just don't fit.
As much as it seems illogical and retro, the need of humans for some kind of "god" and the attendant trappings that implies has been repeatedly demonstrated all through recorded and not so recorded.history.
With every religion, faith, belief system, there were the devout believers whose desperate need for whatever it is that this sort of practice affords them, somewhat resembles a receptor on a cell for a particular substance. They need it. It fits their need.
Then there were the ones who perhaps envied a bit those who derived pleasure and fulfillment from their addiction or need but didn't get it at all, merely adopting protective coloration for whatever benefits it afforded them, and others who refused to put up with it at all.
They tended to be the examples which provided the envious ones with ample reasons to protect their butts by playing chameleon.
And then there were the charlatans--who did not see themselves as charlatans--who were the best magicians around at the time, providing entertainment and fleecing the rubes in an era with little in the way of diversion.
Each group sees its own worldview as the one with real validity and the others either held onto because of the holder's cupidity, stupidity, naivete or ignorance.
Finding a way to allow someone else to see the validity of your worldview can be done, but, short of stomping in, guns drawn and blazing and killing all who don't agree, can demand a finesse of personal touch and an intention toward understanding can be quite difficult.
Any tools you use can help, applied thoughtfully, but one of the most important lessons I ever learned in exposing delicate psyches to reality is that, while guilt can be powerful tool, shame is not, ever. Shame can only destroy people.
Sadly, that tool of destruction is often employed with abandon, the wielder blissfully unaware of the difference and of the damage they do.
The other helpful tip for me was that people have spent a lifetime getting to where they are so it might take another lifetime for them to discover their own enlightenment. Patience is key--if you have time for it.
At least in this case.
I'm just finishing up listening to and watching the border patrol agent hearing.
The only thing she said of solid value was that, maybe, the minimum sentencing thing was a question. Her opinions other than than were pure, evil rabid republican. I was astonished and disgusted.
It is she and a bunch of republicans who are doing their damnedest to smear the U S Attorney. He made a very clear explanation of the case and these dimwits running the hearing hear only what they want to hear. Not another single democrat on the hearing panel. Travesty.
There is no question.
The two agents were separated-one down in the fifteen foot deep ditch and the other was in possession of the suspect.
The one in charge decided to take a little "this'll teach you to make us work so hard to catch you" swing at the suspect's head with the butt of his shotgun.
The suspect ducked and the agent lost his balance and took a header right into that nasty ol' fifteen foot deep ditch.
The suspect, suddenly finding himself unguarded-both agents plus a third were in the ditch-took to his heels, headed straight for Mexico!
Campion(sp), the agent who landed on his face in the ditch, emerged, enraged, and threw down on the unarmed, fleeing suspect with his forty caliber, emptied his clip, reloaded and continued shooting to kill-fourteen times!
His partner, on emerging from the ditch, drew his own forty and shot the fleeing suspect in the back. They knew they'd hit him because they saw him stagger and start limping.
They shot to kill a fleeing, unarmed suspect who, at that time, had not been proven to have done anything wrong, other than running from them-a rather natural reaction to a hell of a lot of people here and around the world.
They did everything they could to cover up the bad shoot, even recruiting other agents to help them, doing a good enough job to keep it covered for a month.
I am obviously not siding with this interrogation panel, retrying the case ala Bill Frist, and I find, on learning the real non-rush limbaughed facts, that everybody did exactly as they should have, except, of course, the agents. If these fools really want to start a friggin war on our southern border, they are going in the right direction-allowing a police agent to become judge, jury and executioner.
They want to make the same stupid mistake the neo-cons made, escalating the contest from a law enforcement and justice matter to another war, with police personnel becoming soldiers, whose training is to shoot to kill in a war, not deal with humans.
Time after time, in various threads, someone will post a breathless query, worrying about what would happen if Joe Lieberman should switch parties. When all the squawking settles, it becomes obvious that there is a paucity of information and understanding of senate rules.
I'd like to clear that up.
Ever since the direct election of senators was adopted nearly a century ago, consideration of what would happen if the majority in the senate should change mid-term had to be made. This has happened before and could well happen again, so certain rules were adopted to handle just such an occasion. This set of rules is set up early in the life of each new congress and it is called an "organizing resolution."
At the beginning of the 110th congress, the organizing resolution adopted by the senate spelled out that, no matter what happens to individual senators or their seats, the committee leaderships remain the same.
What does this mean? It means that Lieberman's switching parties - which he guaranteed his constituents he would never do ( "I've been a democrat for forty years and I will die a democrat," he said) - means exactly nothing will happen.
Nothing-nada-zip-zilch-nothing. Joe would continue voting mostly with the republicans, which he does right now, but the all important committee leadership positions, which are where the real power lies, would remain in democratic hands.
Had senator Johnson not survived his medical problems and a republican been appointed in his stead prior to the installation of the new congress, all would be different and the senate would now likely be in republican hands, but such was not the case. Now, since the senate organizing resolution was passed, it wouldn't make any difference even if a half dozen democrats became republicans-things would stay the same unless enough seats changed parties so that the democrats could not filibuster a new organizing resolution.
And that's it. From now until the end of the one hundred tenth congress-Jan, 2009-the only way this could change would be if a filibuster proof majority opted to pass a new organizing resolution that delivered the senate into the hands of the republicans. Oh, and by the way, an organizing resolution could be passed-why anyone would want to do it, I don't know-that hands the control of the senate to the republicans even if there were eighty democrats.
So, for now, everybody just relax and stop worrying. Until the 111th congress is sworn in, no amount of party switching is going to make any real difference unless enough democrats become republicans to enact a new organizing resolution over the wishes of the remaining democrats and their ability to filibuster. We can be assured it just ain't gonna happen.
a laziness that of mind that easily crosses the border into illegality, and a predilection for soundbite idealism certainly brings quality of intellect into focus.
Sometimes, critical thinking can take the form of a conversation with one's self. Conversation must have differing opinions; otherwise it becomes merely mental masturbation or cheerleading. That internal debate needs a referee who will allow, at least interimly, each side of that debate equal validity, suspending cheerleading.
Conventional wisdom (soundbite reasoning) has it that "everyone has a right to his own opinion but not his own facts." This erroneous aphorism has at its base the same soundbite thinking that is anathema to critical thinking. No one has any inherent "right" to fallacious, ill-informed opinion and, in the face of real, human problems, opinion of any sort cannot be allowed to trump human reality. (Political parlance-facts on the ground)
If a responsible person is to be able to critically consider the purpose and direction as well as significance of government and regulation, the overwhelming temptation to present opinions and conclusions as "facts" must be abandoned and a more thoughtful regime, including a willingness to question threadbare "facts" that are really no more than cheerleading handmaidens, is at least as important as all the other so-called "values," put together.
Psychological studies inform me that in any sufficiently large group or society, approximately six percent of the population is pathologically anti-social and that tendency ranges across the population in ever decreasing levels until you come to the six to ten percent of the other end of the spectrum, from which come the mother Theresas of the world.
The anti-social types have no respect for anyone, no boundaries, no empathy, no values.
They tend to be authoritarian, can be quite intelligent, even brilliant and, chameleon-like, adapt any cover they need to project an image that advances their interests.
You will always find the serial murderers, child molesters, thieves and haters here and will never find them among the Mother Theresa types.
As I am sure you are aware, these ugly personalities are drawn to the republican point of view, authoritarian, viewing other people as little more than obstructions, tools, weaklings and fools.
Most humans entering politics, especially those who are of a liberal/progressive mien, start out with high ideals and strong ethics but, in the struggle with the destroyers and berserkers, those fine qualities erode and stultify, eventually dying to the point where the possessors thereof find themselves having to triangulate and pretend, faking it to try still to be the high minded persons they once considered themselves to be.
There are some things one cannot compromise on, but an assumed identity has no real steel supporting it, no backbone that supports and defines limits. The "honorable" whatever, who once prized fine mettle, finds himself wandering and compromised, trying to do a good job but somewhat rudderless and trying to keep up a good act. Fakes.
A commendable few get angry. Each challenge, because they make the right choices, is totally defensible; the guiding principles held tightly, serving as both sword and shield. Any ground that is given is given reluctantly, only after a fierce struggle and a vow to self, rattling the rafters, the fight will go on and, eventually, that ground will be retaken.
Majority leader Reid is a profound case study in these principles, a good man, imagining himself the man he used to be. As shallow evidence, witness his continually repeated stories of his heroic youth, a pugnacious, victorious boxer, a buzzsaw prosecutor, keen of eye and strong of limb, moral mettle and mind.
He's still the hero of his own universe, but only of his universe.
We will not bring America back from the edge and off the endangered species list with such men unless they have a strong majority backing them up.
questioning, yesterday, that he does not regard the fundamental reason for this fiasco, that of privatizing everything and destroying government in any aspect other than terrorizing and manipulating the public, as a problem. He is trying to solve the problem by doing the same shit that ruined Walter Reed and put incompetents in control.
The namby-pamby almost neocon democrats in the majority are too politically compromised to do much about it.
THere are a few shining stars in the dem leadership who may make a difference but they are walking a fine line and haven't a lot of authority.
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