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Obama’s done a good job

with 34 comments

I would have to say he has surprised me with his ability to displease both of the normal sides of debate in America.

Well done Obama.

His publishing of the Bush interogation memos are balanced by his decision not to prosecute those who followed the brief.

His interaction with explicit enemies of the USA such as Chavez and Ahmedinejad is balanced by his approval the use force against the Somali pirates.

He’s putting in a tax cut for the middle classes, and not raising taxes for the rich, just allowing their tax credit to expire.

I think the hallmark of a good leader is that he or she is attacked from both sides of a debate. So far it would appear that no one is pleased, so I give him a very good grade.

What do you think?

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Written by rexinfinite

April 23, 2009 at 11:48 am

Posted in politics

34 Responses

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  1. ‘Obama’s Health Care Victory Puts His Critics to Shame’ (The Huffington Post)
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/frank-schaeffer/obamas-health-care-victor_b_507595.html

    tree2one

    March 22, 2010 at 3:59 pm

  2. Victory implies that someone was defeated, here it is “his critics”.
    On this issue that would be two-thirds of “we the people”.
    “Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed…”

    We haven’t been defeated, we’ve been conquered and our Constitution torn apart in our faces.
    Those who supposedly represent us sold us out in the face of their own greed and lust for power.
    The Louisiana Purchase, Cornhusker Kickback, Bismarck Bribe and Stupak’s very soul for some airports.

    All hail our great and glorious leader.
    We kneel at the feet of his infinite wisdom, for we are too stupid to understand that what we want is not what we NEED.
    He knows better than us, he knows that there is no other way for human beings to fulfill their needs
    than by sucking on the tit of the State.

    Now he has mandated what we must buy and from whom or face prison, what next?

    France called they want their statue back.

    gipperfan

    March 24, 2010 at 12:48 pm

    • La Partie de Thé est terminée?

      tree2one

      March 24, 2010 at 9:10 pm

  3. Obama finalises new arms control treaty with Russia that will significantly pare back their cold war nuclear arsenals.

    tree2one

    March 26, 2010 at 10:06 pm

    • And Russia responds by renewing the promise to make Venezuela a nuclear power and to sell them a shitload of weapons.
      If only Saul Alinsky were alive to see it all.

      gipperfan

      April 7, 2010 at 3:06 am

      • nonsense –

        “With Russia we have created an atomic energy commission and I tell the world – Venezuela is going to start developing nuclear energy, but we are not going to make an atomic bomb” Chavez

        tree2one

        April 12, 2010 at 6:01 pm

  4. Ah well that’s alright then, Chavez promised.
    Iran, who are also helping out Venezuela, are about a year away from acquiring enough material for a bomb. When I think about world leaders who I really trust I immediately think of Putin, Chavez and Ahmedinejad. Absolutely no need to worry at all, their word is their bond.
    Also no worries about Syria, three years ago they were well on their way to building a North Korean designed nuclear reactor, but then those fucking Israelis had the gall to take it out – I hope their nuclear program wasn’t stalled forever.
    Obama held a great summit too.
    We have agreed to freeze our nuclear missile defense deployment, the single greatest anti-nuclear deterrent, and we’ve also sworn not to go nuclear on lots of ‘good’ folks if they use biochemical weapons against us.
    That’s all super, but it doesn’t come close to how Obama has tamed the greatest threat to world peace.
    Canada has got rid of their enriched uranium stockpiles. I can certainly sleep easy now that those terrifying Canadians are part of the awesome non-binding work plan that came out of the summit.

    gipperfan

    April 18, 2010 at 3:05 pm

  5. Thing is, you are talking from one of the most terrifying countries in the world. America hardly measures well by your trustworthy, non-threatening standards. Of course before Obama came along, you were loved around the globe:

    “The next president should abandon the double standard, whereby the US closes its eyes to all sorts of faults in countries it likes, and declares them fully democratic when they clearly aren’t.” (Natalia Narochnitskaya, head of Russia’s Institute of Democracy and Co-operation)

    “From Europe in general, there is the need to see the reconciliation of America with the world.” (Dominique Moisi, founder of the French Institute for International Relations)

    “The US has been accustomed for over 100 years to acting as the dominant partner in dealings with Latin America. You cannot subject countries to this kind of treatment indefinitely, so the US should not be shocked if Hugo Chavez looks to Russia.” (Professor Samuel Schmidt, director of North American studies at El Colegio de Chihuahua, Mexico)

    tree2one

    April 18, 2010 at 9:07 pm

  6. Like it or not you cannot change the reality that America is the world’s police force.
    Like us or not, strength is respected and where Bush was arrogant and strong, Obama is arrogant and weak.
    He can shun the special relationship with Britain to the point of utterly disrespecting Brown. He can diss Brazil’s president, refuse to have dinner with Sarkozy, snub the German chancellor and Vaclev Havel. He can turn away the Dalai Lama to appease China. He can hold all these kumbaya fest summits – Copenhagen FTW and at the same time refuse to attend those held by ‘non-entities’ like Europe. 
    He can win another Nobel Peace Prize, bow to foreign leaders and continue apologising to Muslims, but they are still burning his pictures in Iran.
    Yes by the miracle of the second coming nothing has actually changed except we are perceived as weaker. 
    That worked out so well with Clinton.
    Perceived weakness is what matters to most Americans, not how much we are liked (excepting those who wish they were European), and that is the supreme arrogance the rest of the world so despises. Americans don’t think that they are better than you, they just don’t give a fuck about your opinion of them and no President, no matter how self flagellating, will ever change that.

    gipperfan

    April 19, 2010 at 2:38 pm

  7. One thing is for sure: the reality that America is the world’s police force will not last forever, particularly given that they are not very good at it.

    It is a sad indictment of yankee ignorance to suggest that most don’t give a fuck about other people’s opinion of them. I don’t think it is as bad as that:

    A 2008 Poll (Chicago Council on global affairs) showed that Americans are troubled by thier loss of standing in the world. Standing is not about whether others are for or against the United States, but instead whether they view the United States as a credible, with traits that should be admired or emulated.

    Overall, 83 percent of Americans — including 81 percent of Republicans and 88 percent of Democrats —think that improving America’s standing in the world should be a “very important” foreign policy goal of the United States.

    This places it first among fourteen goals presented, higher than protecting the jobs of American workers (80%), securing adequate supplies of energy (80%), preventing the spread of nuclear weapons (73%), and combating international terrorism (67%).

    The U.S. trades on its ‘standing’ as a form of political capital akin to what accountants call “good will”. This is not self flagellation it is just good business sense.

    “Diplomacy uses the reputation of power to achieve what power itself often cannot achieve, or can achieve only at greater and sometimes excessive cost.” (Colin Powell)

    tree2one

    April 20, 2010 at 10:41 am

  8. I don’t want to just dismiss the poll you cited out of hand, but it is from a group in Chicago (of all places) whose very existence is vindicated by the results they gathered and it is one poll.
    Show me more from unbiased sources and I will be more willing to accept the findings, but that poll alone just doesn’t pass the sniff test.

    Also, did you read the speech that Obama gave to that group.
    There are some interesting parts about closing Guantanamo Bay and ending the war in Iraq being essential to ‘repairing’ the image of America.
    There was also some good stuff about not allowing nations to obtain nuclear material under the auspices of peaceful nuclear power.
    That’s all panned out great.

    My point is that I have lived here on and off for 20 years, been here permanently for the past 11 years and I don’t live in flyover country, I live in the Northeast on the coast in a liberal haven and yes SWPL people are concerned about America’s image. These are the hard-core Whole Foods shopping, Birkenstock wearing, anti-paper industry (it’s a big deal in Maine) brigade, but they are not a majority. Most people who do not work in the public sector or in non-profits do not care one iota about what the rest of the world thinks about them. And the reason has nothing to do with ignorance, it is simply a pointless exercise.
    The last thing Americans want to do is to change their way of life to appease their enemies and even if they did it would just be perceived as weakness and be exploited at the very first opportunity.
    Tell me with a straight face that if we wiped Israel off the map tomorrow, the Arab world would all of sudden change how they view America?
    Bullshit they would. We wouldn’t be their allies, we’d be their next target.
    And if this country is brought to its knees and dramatically altered from how it is now, who will fill the void?

    Hating America is a fashionable pastime amongst cultured Europeans, you’d think Obama would embrace them, but he snubs them.
    Blaming America first is a handy tool for dictatorial regimes and Obama is a master of the mea culpa, yet for all his echoing of their sentiments they still hate us.

    Soon after he took office he postured about Bush being dismissive of Europe and yet he has been downright rude to European leaders.
    He has opened his arms wide to Ahmedinejad and read to riot act to Karzai.
    Courted Chavez and shut the door in Netanyahu’s face.
    While Obama and Medvedev smiled for the cameras at the nuclear summit, Putin was presiding over a coup in Kyrgyzstan and closing the US base there that supplies Afghanistan.
    The enemies of this country have looked into Obama’s eyes and they have seen a SUCKER.

    As for the Colin Powell quote, diplomacy will only work if the other side fears that you actually have the balls to follow through.
    No one thinks Obama has got them and we are going to all pay the price.

    gipperfan

    April 21, 2010 at 9:55 pm

  9. So if your ‘enemies’ do NOT attack you you will admit that Obama did the right thing?
    PS It is the McVeigh wannabes you speak so proudly of who are the what will bring the US down – it is them who have made them hated around the world. How can you walk hand in hand with those red-neck patriot idiots?

    jackshaftoe

    April 22, 2010 at 7:10 am

  10. Dissent stops being “the highest form of patriotism” when the left is in power, the word you are supposed to use now is seditious. Get with the latest talking points, patriotism being an insult is so 2006.
    Did you forget to call me racist as well as being a terrorist, or is that implicit in red-neck?

    gipperfan

    April 22, 2010 at 2:22 pm

    • I am increasingly of the opinion that Obama is doing a good job.

      I wish the rhetoric against him wasn’t so flagrantly ritualistic and parroting of people like the “GREAT IDIOT” Glenn Beck, who turns argument into the art of pestering like a spoiled child.

      The fact is that Obama has kept troops in Iraq, put more troops into Afghanistan, and hasn’t shut down Guantamo Bay. These are all things he didn’t want to do, but reality has made him do it, until he finds a way to stop. That’s not an idealogue, that’s a practical man working towards an agenda realistically.

      In terms of his health care victory, Obama has always said he would pursue goals in the face of short term polls because that’s good leadership, and he showed it here, doing something no president has been able to do in 40 years. So he has nerve and persistence to add to his realism.

      He has also done a good job delegating, working with strong characters.

      As far as the whole idea that he is weakening america by NOT being a blustering fool, well, that falls apart on quick perusal.

      He is giving people enough room to hang themselves. When he goes to attack Iran, which he will do, because that is the Agenda and the real reason there are troops in both Iraq and Afghanistan, people will accept it because at least he gave them a chance and it all seems more reasonable coming from him.

      Obama just isn’t into being a bully, but he will still use brute force. The two are quite different.

      The fact is he hasn’t alienated any real allies.

      You think the middle east would really consider America an enemy if it wasn’t for Israel and colonialism? You’ve never read history if that’s the case. People in Iran for instance loved (and somehow still love) America and what it stands for. But when the American’s continued British colonial policies after the Iranian’s got rid of the Brits, then the hypocracy of it all was more like a the betrayal of a loved one than anything else.

      And that led directly to the current religious elite which have now ceded power to the Rev Guards.

      Israel itself was beginning to act like it’s policies and American policies were one and the same, and that it could push America into supporting any decision it makes.

      That is not the way to have an effective alliance, nor is it good friendship.

      I’ve had that type of friend in the past. the small little brat who starts fights in clubs and waits for his friends to bale him out.

      Sometimes you have to tell that friend, enough is enough, if you keep starting fights I’m going to stop hanging out with you.

      The friend never likes it, and says it’s betrayal, it’s a failure to be a good friend etc, but what kind of friend starts fights they can’t win in the expectation that the friend will finish it? And for no reason that the friend can fathom or appreciate?

      It’s called abuse, and Israel abuses it’s relationship with America to it’s own end, with little consideration for what is best for America.

      If Israel is attacked, Obama and Clinton will support it, but until then, why should they marry their foreign policy to that of Israel? And if they don’t, how is that somehow a betrayal? Are you suggesting Israeli PM’s should set all American foreign policy?

      Don’t forget, it was Bush senior who was the most rude with Israel….

      So I would have to say Obama is being a leader, and a good one at that. Not that I agree with all of it, but fair enough.

      rexinfinite

      April 30, 2010 at 3:07 pm

  11. Strong characters like Ron Bloom, Bill Ayers, Cass Sunstein, Van Jones, Carol Browner and Valerie Jarrett and on and on?

    gipperfan

    May 11, 2010 at 8:57 pm

  12. Yep, you picked some gooduns:

    “Generally speaking we get the joke. We know that the free market is nonsense. We know that the whole point is to game the system, to beat the market, or at least find someone who will pay you a lot of money because they’re convinced that there is a free lunch. We know this is largely about power, that it’s an adults only, no limit game. We kind of agree with Mao that political power comes largely from the barrel of a gun. And we get it that if you want a friend, you should get a dog.” (Ron Bloom)

    “You need to find a way to live your life, that it doesn’t make a mockery of your values.” (Bill Ayers)

    “I want to reinvigorate processes of democratic deliberation, by ensuring greater attention to public issues and greater diversity of views.” (rather than the the present) “situation in which like-minded people speak or listen mostly to one another,” (Cass Sunstein)

    “Mr. Vice President, the most fiscally conservative thing this government has ever done, is to invest massively in the green part of the recovery. Because those green dollars are the hardest working dollars in the history of American politics. That same dollar that is being used to cut energy bills, is also cutting global warming gas emissions, is also cutting unemployment, is also cutting poverty, through retrofits it’s also raising the value of homes, is also by cleaning the air, cutting asthma rates.” (Van Jones)

    “For those that are working part time, in small businesses, or who are unemployed and do not currently have health insurance, we want to make sure that you are covered.” (Valerie Jarrett)

    tree2one

    May 14, 2010 at 3:59 pm

  13. Tree – One out of five.
    Rex – seeing the hate and the vitriol being heaped upon Glenn Beck has made me think I should start listening to him again. Judging by the enemies he has attracted I reckon he’s got to be on the right track. Excuse me now while I go bury my gold in the garden, can some fruit, convert to Mormonism and repack my emergency escape kit. Time is a wasting, so much to do before doomsday.    

    gipperfan

    May 18, 2010 at 9:06 pm

  14. 🙂 Hopefully you haven’t told anyone where you live, gold has gone up in price massively, based on pure hype of course. the markets are loving it, then when gold prices collapse they’ll be primed to make another killing.

    It’s all part of a hype cycle.

    Just 10 months ago Obama was being voted in on a change card, to shake up washington. After a month in power he was washington and now the hype is to change it again….

    Glenn Beck is a master of hype, but also a fool. I have to say the contrarian in me likes it when people go against the norm, and I am as suspicious of others as anyone, and I do agree it’s often right to be maligned, but in the case of Glenn Beck, I have to say, he’s an idiot.

    Have fun as a Mormon, your husband should be happy, more than one wife 🙂 are you ready to be wife number 1?

    p.s. doomsday was inevitable the moment we were born

    rexinfinite

    May 19, 2010 at 12:13 pm

  15. Rex – have you listened to/watched Glenn Beck?

    Also, not wanting to be an arse, but Obama has been President for 16 months, vote was 18 months ago.
    As for where I live, I will tell you that I can see November from my house. Just like they have been able to for a while in NJ, MA and VA and as of yesterday in KY too.

    gipperfan

    May 19, 2010 at 2:58 pm

    • 10 months, 18 months, it’s not really a big deal to the point I made which was the anti-Washington rhetoric was applied to Obama almost immediately, and it was the same rhetoric his whole campaign was built on. You even have guys like McCain trying to use the phrase.

      My point is that it’s a false hype, and if you get too heavily involved in it, you are basically dancing to someone’s fiddle. Basically the anti-government rhetoric is part of the fabric of governmental code in a system of elections (I forget if the US is supposedly a democracy or not (and not supposed to be), a republic of not (like China?), or a Constitutionality or some such newspeak creation from Glenn.

      I’ve tried to watch a bit of Glenn, but the guy is such an almighty idiot, I just can’t do it. I have to say I used to listen to quite a lot of Rush Limbaugh, who, while provocative and, at times, disagreeable, I did not find to be such an out and out idiot.

      Basically Glenn Beck is the retard in the room who tries to win an argument by sheer conviction and the belief in his own flawed reasoning- it’s like watching a schizophrenic who has followers and so is lauded as a prophet rather than insane. The world could definitely do without him and his ilk, since it is that kind of idiocy which feeds fascist systems of government.

      I do have to give him credit for agreeing that the Times bomber did have a right to his rights for arrest (miranda etc) unlike the other FOX trash who seemed to think he should be summarily executed on the spot.

      Ron Paul I respect and like a lot of what he says.

      Rush I don’t agree with on some things, find other things interesting, and he’s always provocative and entertaining.

      Glenn- I would literally cut out my eyes and gouge out my ears to avoid too much of his insanity.

      Have fun riding the roller coaster of media hype. (as if FOX isn’t part of the establishment media, and as if buying Gold is somehow avoiding the capitalist system when it was the Rothschilds who bought up all the gold from the central banks and who have seen their profits pumped by the scare factor in the “alternative” media.

      The best story I can relate is a friend of mine who reads and buys into all this mumbo jumbo Obama is anti-christ, Hitler, Communist, Fascist, Muslim, non-american. He also strongly believed that the US dollar was going to cease to exist on November 24th of 2009. (That didn’t happen- so on to the next one, and yes he believes in 2012, and yes, he was freaked out about Y2K and if it was the year 666 I’m sure he would have panicked as well). He believed the next step was for the dollar to disappear sometime this summer followed by every currency on the planet- i.e. buy gold.

      Apart from guaranteeing that the dollar wasn’t going to disappear on Nov 24th (and it didn’t, wow, I should be a pundit), I also assured him it wouldn’t cease to exist this summer (although it can get weaker and obviously there are problems with it). And I suggested Gold wasn’t the answer since it is over priced, 5 years ago it would have been a good idea.

      Anyhow, so he’s been worried about all these things. I should add he’s a very nice man, and someone I appreciate, and he’s not a fool, he just knows he can’t believe the normal media, so defaults to thinking he can believe the abnormal media, (kinda like your suggestion that you can trust Glenn Beck because he’s supposedly vilified- when in fact he’s just an idiot). You can’t believe either, which is why your complete identification with the right is such a tragedy, because it replaces thoughtfulness with slogans, and reason why hype.

      Anyhow, how did his story end? Not with the collapse of either currency, but one night his wife died in her sleep from a sudden brain stroke. Completely out of the blue. She was just dead. No doctors, no pain, no symptoms.

      I would suggest that the right, especially, try to keep some perspective. We still live in great abundance in the west, and we still have more rights than most, and life is short.

      So while I find it fascinating, and while I find it intriguing and fun, and a game, and something to have thoughts about. At the end of the day, I don’t give a shit about any of it. What I care about are my good friends and doing what’s right as a person, and putting my energy into politics that agrees with my self references perspective, built up from everything that I have read. And that means I like some things from communism, others from fascism, others from the founders of america, some things even from Rush, and I choose as it makes sense, and half the time it’s the same thing from two sides.

      rexinfinite

      May 19, 2010 at 3:25 pm

  16. So many, many, many assumptions about me.
    I admit I made one about you, but I was right. 😉
    You haven’t ever listened to Glenn Beck and that was why you took me so seriously.

    Why are you trying to cloak your leftyism in a blanket of oh-so-evolved faux moderation?

    gipperfan

    May 19, 2010 at 5:04 pm

  17. Rex is soooooo NOT a lefty!
    What he wrote is spot on! Except that Gipper does research much weightier sources than those of Beck/Rush etc.
    Gipper…you are looking for your devil EVERYWHERE.

    jackshaftoe

    May 19, 2010 at 7:37 pm

  18. Is there something wrong with being a lefty?
    That was a bit of an over protestation there Jack.
    Also what was spot on?
    Aside from listening to Rush (and I have for 15 years), I don’t watch/listen to any of the lamestream media.

    Sort of like Rex not giving a shit, I can’t find the motivation to really care at the moment, but I am happy to identify myself as on the right/conservative – but I do not identify with any political party and certainly not the RINOs.
    I am currently vacillating between we’re all fucked anyway and everything’s gonna be alright so I’ll wind my neck back in already.

    I am intrigued to know what the good parts of communism and fascism are though.

    gipperfan

    May 21, 2010 at 2:02 pm

  19. Over protestation on behalf of Rex – its just absurd to call him a lefty. (Leftys & Rightys (or anyone who thinks they KNOW what the right system should be) are all twats as far as I’m concerned).
    Spot-on bit: “You can’t believe either, which is why your complete identification with the right is such a tragedy, because it replaces thoughtfulness with slogans, and reason why hype.”

    jackshaftoe

    May 25, 2010 at 7:13 am

  20. There is a spectrum of political opinion, you cannot wish it away.
    What I believe places me on the right hand side of it.
    There is also historical fact and so to “know” what the right system is simply to have learned what has and has not worked in the past.
    This is why I am intrigued as to what the good bits of communism and fascism are?

    I am an ideologue, I accept that – my best possible world is a utopia that cannot exist in reality. However the fundamental principles that make up my ideology are ones that I look for close approximations of in who I vote for. I do not expect my politicians to be principled though, the system and human nature doesn’t work like that.
    I believe in the autonomy of the individual first and foremost and because I comprehend that we all act in our own self interest and that of our immediate family then why would I expect something more altruistic from any politician. I don’t even want altruism, I just want people who will do the least harm. The reality is that politicians exist to create law, to perpetuate their own existence, and there are very very few who believe that their purpose is to negate their necessity.

    Do you believe that the state should grow ever larger and more intrusive? 
    If you believe so then you are on the left.

    If you believe that government involvement in our lives should be at a minimal level then you are on the right.
    These labels do correlate somewhat to political party affiliation, but really only on the left these days, unless you want to step into the abyss of libertarianism.

    So my wanting limited government and for all of us as human beings to not be slaves to an almighty state is a tragedy, because I am an unthinking twat lacking in the ability to reason, and for good measure if you don’t like what someone is saying then we’d all be better served if they ceased to exist? (Is this a bit of communism/fascism that you quite like Rex?) 
    Tell me how did you reach this level of enlightenment?  
      
       

    gipperfan

    May 26, 2010 at 12:43 pm

  21. It’s interesting. I actually consider myself to be an anarchist. At the extreme end of the libertarian spectrum. So yes, I believe governments job is to be nimble, to be minimal, and to stay out of my way as much as it can, while protecting me from others, through intelligent regulation and effective correction.

    Regulation is more and more essential in the modern day. It’s all well and good to be an anarchist, but when an oil company can pollute hundreds of miles in all directions and destroy the livelihood of hundreds of thousands, being an independent actor is not enough, you need government to have strong regulation, to enforce it, and, in fact, to help those people.

    In other words, our ability to be libertarians has shifted and dulled with the transformations in society.

    There is not only a left right axis, but a authority axis as well. So fascism and communism were extreme left and right, but high on the authoritarian scale.

    Norway is very socialist, but low on the authoritarian scale.

    That probably shocks most American’s who wouldn’t be comfortable in the Norwegian society, but that is their social compact.

    And as an anarchist, I believe in the social compact, I believe in the voluntary surrender of authority for the benefit of myself and society.

    So I see a need for roads, so I like the local council, and to stop freeloaders, the perennial scourge of anarchistic thinking, I like that taxation is enforced to pay for those roads.

    Bush expanded government reach, spending, and size but he was still considered on the right. Or is it only some bits of government? What if I didn’t agree to spend my taxes on nuclear submarines and instead agree to spend my taxes on social welfare? Why can’t I voluntarily agree that insurance is as good for the nation as a strong army?

    Who set the rules for what a limited government can be limited to?

    Why can’t I limit government military activity? To his credit Ron Paul is against foreign wars that are not necessary- i.e. Iraq. I respect him for that. I actually like a lot of what he says.

    As for the good things of facism and communism, I would say that communism’s appreciation for the plight of workers is a plus and the formation of unions important for our social development.

    Don’t get me wrong, that can go too far, and become entrenched and corrupted.

    But as you say, you can learn from history. And for much of history societies used slaves, and in effect they still used slaves, and still do in places like China today. Paying workers a reasonable rate of income for their labour is a very new invention, and if you ever read Dickens, then you have some insight into what it was like to be a worker in the industrial age. Look at the history of the chinese making the railroads on the west coast. Tremendous amount of death, hardship, and capital abuse.

    Communism was an extreme reaction to that, and most societies have compromised with that to give labour some aspect of protection and share in the economic wealth of society.

    So whilst communism itself, as an extreme, was a dangerous utopia, the reason for it, the protection and safety of labour, is not.

    And this is one lesson I’m surprised you haven’t learnt from history, every utopian social attempt ends in authoritarianism, because we are all of different natures, and only way to make us fit a utopian ideal is to kill those who don’t. And every utopian ideal has liberty, freedom, and equality at it’s heart.

    The french revolution- bad for people. Communism, bad for people. Facism bad for people… That’s why I talk about mindlessly embracing extremes, because over and over again it’s proven that they don’t work.

    The best thing that ever happened to America is that Hamilton, Adams, and Jefferson all existed at the same time and place, and that Washington neutralised all of their excesses. He moderated and diluted their ideals into a functional and realistic and highly innovative social compact and structure.

    If any one of them had had his power and authority in the beginning, it would have been a whole different story.

    Thankfully by the time Jefferson had power, he was older, wiser, and constrained by the political system. And it’s probably good that Hamilton didn’t get a chance.

    What is good about fascism? It is the motivational effort of society. People in fascist societies are engaged, active, mobilised. I appreciate that, it’s a good thing to be able to do that with your society.

    Of course, it was badly channeled, in the end, but in the beginning, it produced a revitalisation of the nations that practiced it, and it was admired everywhere.

    We still see a need for people to make sacrifices for one another, to become engaged and mobilised in society, just for better reasons that racism, war, and fear.

    So yes, those are bits I quite like, but moderated into the middle ground, which is where every good society lives.

    There isn’t much difference between America and Canada, but they have different social compacts. Because both societies are middle ground in the scheme of the world, they get along splendidly.

    So I can say with certainty that social medical care is not the end of the world. It fits inside a functional moderate social compact.

    The problem the right wing has, is that it’s on the extreme, and isn’t comfortable with a new social compact. And it’s natural, that’s how wars are fought in these intelligently designed political systems.

    A similar war is being fought in Thailand, except that they don’t have a well designed political system, so they verge on civil war. They can’t revise their social compact.

    Sure it sucks to be the loser in these things, but at the end of the day, our systems moderate, dull, our extreme ideas. And ahmen to that.

    Look into the british utopian system under Cromwell for another view of how terrible it is to actually implement any utopian ideas, including yours or mine.

    I love to dream, but never let a utopian vision guide your actual society, you have to do a lot of killing to make it happen. And frankly, killing is bad, it’s worse than socialised medical care.

    rexinfinite

    May 26, 2010 at 1:36 pm

  22. Just to start with the oil spill, government regulation and unions.
    Government regulation in favour of unions is hindering the clean up. The government hasn’t waived the Jones Act to allow non-unionized, foreign ships with better technology into American waters to help.

    gipperfan

    June 22, 2010 at 12:44 pm

  23. Are you seriously blaming Obama for the oil problem?!
    And after you defended the inaction of Bush in New Orleans!!
    You must stop looking at everything through your Fox-tinted glasses!

    jackshaftoe

    June 23, 2010 at 9:34 am

  24. I haven’t actually watched any news coverage of the spill, any televised news at all in about six months now.
    I am not blaming Obama either, what can he actually do?
    Even if this act was waived the thing is still leaking.

    And I am certainly not accusing him of blowing up the rig like Bush was accused of destroying the levies and having secret hurricane manufacturing machines.

    The one issue I have with this administration is that something so tragic is being used to further their agenda, it’s like Rahm Emmnanuel said about not wasting any crisis. Bad things for the country = good opportunities for the government. That pisses me off.

    But if there is anyone who needs a bit of blame then environmentalists and the fact that we have to drill so bloody far offshore in such deep water in the first place. 😉

    Oh and I loathed BP enough before all this. I don’t need anymore reasons to be disgusted with them.

    gipperfan

    June 23, 2010 at 5:41 pm

  25. Wouldn’t you take advantage?

    Surely you can see that governments sorting out bad events is a good thing.
    Governments are attacked continuously from every angle – of course they are going to try and utilise good opportunities when they can – they would be fools not to.

    Blame the environmentalists – that’s a new one…no doubt they deliberately caused it to defame the oil companies?!

    I thought you were a big fan of the big oil companies?

    jackshaftoe

    June 24, 2010 at 7:37 am

  26. I do agree that Obama has done a bad job of dealing with a bad situation that was not his fault, but is his to address.

    The initial comparisons to Bush and Katrina were unfair, as there was no time to really evaluate Obama. But subsequently he has shown himself to waffle, as Bush did in Katrina, when there is little time to be so deliberate and thoughtful.

    Sometimes you have to step forward and throw energy at a problem, issues be damned.

    There are far too many stories of regulations hurting the cleanup efforts.

    For instance, the Duth government has special oil clean up machines which they offered to lend to BP. These machines clean up 95% of the water oil mixture.

    Initially they were ignored.

    Subsequently they were politely told no, because US regulation doesn’t allow anyone to pollute the ocean beyond a certain amount, which means the fact that they put back into the ocean a mixture that is 5% oil (having taken out 95% of the oil), means they break that regulation.

    It was only months later than this regulation was waved.

    There are plenty of other instances like that.

    You can’t necessarily blame it to Obama as president. BP itself and the Coast Guard have more responsibility. But he was initially thoughtful, and that energy and emphasis circles down to others below him who also feel they can take their time investigating solutions.

    However, what is interesting is that a lot of the blogs are filled with stories saying that the whole situation has been underestimated from the start and under reported by the media, and that there is a chance, for instance, that the blow out preventer could collapse which would allow for in excess of 100 thousand barrels to rush out per day, and the leak could go on until billions of gallons have leaked out.

    In that circumstance, it may be that the government is looking complacent because to do otherwise would reveal the true extent of the situation, and that behind the scenes they realise all the skimmers and such are pointless compared to getting the relief well drilled because that is the only way to actually stop the leak for good, and bypass the issue of a full collapse.

    In that sense, not distracting BP with payments and beach clean up when their energies are fully needed to dig the vital well before they have to stop because of hurricane season makes sense.

    If you do some basic maths and project the current flow rate, which is horrible, but could be finished by August, against a collapsed flow rate which isn’t finished for 6 months, you see that what they are doing behind the scenes could be of more relevance than the scandal in the clear light of day.

    That could be giving them too much of the benefit of the doubt, but I do think the situation is worse than they let on.

    I do think it’s completely and utterly irresponsible of the right to try to tack all this on environmentalists who don’t let them drill in shallow waters. The right had the slogan, drill baby drill. And it was that retard in chief Sarah Palin who was the first to volte face and say they meant only shallow water drilling, as if that was somehow more environmental, and as if somehow that oil wouldn’t also run out and we would end up drilling in the deep offshore anyways!!!

    The fact the right doesn’t like to face up to is that oil has a short term lifespan. whether it is 10 year, 20 years, or 100 years, it has a limited lifespan and the use and consumption of oil is only increasing.

    That is the environmentalists point, alongside the damage done, and that is completely avoided.

    rexinfinite

    June 24, 2010 at 7:52 am

  27. Rex, two articles that I read in my most recent Weekly Standard.
    Struck me that they were both in the same issue and also thought you might find them interesting.

    Glenn Beck & The Tea Party:
    http://weeklystandard.com/articles/two-faces-tea-party

    BP:
    http://weeklystandard.com/articles/beyond-pathetic

    gipperfan

    June 28, 2010 at 4:07 pm

  28. Thanks for the article links gipperfan.

    I found both of them quite interesting.

    In particular the first one which tries to distinguish Glenn Beck from the Tea Party, an attempt which I can only applaud, as many of the Tea Party positions I agree with.

    I could even imagine myself as an initial Tea Party member, but if that had been the case, I would not be one now. That energy is being channeled in a wholy absurd manner, with it’s guru Glenn Beck cultivating it all the way along.

    It’s unfortunate that the welfare state will always be abused, because welfare has always been an important part of society, but at some point it becomes a space only for freeloaders to over burden society as a whole.

    rexinfinite

    June 29, 2010 at 9:06 am


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