In general I think Libertarianism is a mean-minded 14 yr old’s vision of the world that is completely bereft of any value or even functionality in the modern world and based on the selfish/hypocritical and hysterical ravings of an incredibly bizarre and likely half crazy Ayn Rand….however, every idea should be evaluated on it’s own merits, NOT in the context of who puts the idea out there, and fact is THIS suit needs to happen, and it needs to win.
Paul’s letter explaining why what and how is dead on the money, and his other stances notwithstanding, when someone has a good idea and we agree, then I will support that idea. I firmly believe in moving forward together with anyone that believes as I do on a particular issue, and that it can breed a massive amount of understanding and tolerance in ways that almost nothing else can, regardless of their other views.
The accompanying video is not nearly as interesting as what Paul writes, but it’s there if you care to look….
We now know WHAT they did, HOW they did it, and of course WHY……and yet people are still arguing about the most illegitimate issues, while people CONTINUE to pay for what has to be considered one of the most heinous non-violent (though not victimless by any measure) criminal acts in recorded history.
How can YOU not be furious?
Do YOU not agree about the facts? Do YOU think that what happened is some accident? Are YOU so afraid that your precious ideas of “free markets”, (no such thing, only protection of monopolistic markets by government), will be refuted (when even Greenspan himself has admitted that he was wrong), and that there will HAVE to be regulation in order for these things to function correctly, and that will mean you were WRONG!?!?
Is that why you’re not MADDENED by what is going on?
Is it just a right -wing idea that ANY government involvement in ANYTHING is somehow “BAD”?
What the hell?
Again, we’re seeing the effects, we’re all feeling them as well and MANY people’s lives are being absolutely destroyed, (in many cases even lost) by these scum, and yet still we don’t have even the most basic official responses to this thing that even a child would suggest. And no one is SCREAMING BLOODY MURDER ABOUT THIS!!
AND…..the same people that engineered this fiasco, profited from it, and made sure that the one person who COULD have done something about it was hamstrung, those same people are STILL in power, and in some cases are even more powerful, richer and closer to the decision making center than they were BEFORE?!?!??
And you think that Obama is your friend?
It’s completely insane. Watch this, please! Really WATCH it, and research it if you don’t believe the information reported. You will see how the people that tried to stop this thing were stifled and pushed out of the process, which led to what we have now.
You will see the same players being rewarded, and the same players continuing to run the GAME?!?!?!?
It’s insanity, how can YOU continue to sit still for it?
A good friend, (who I really like as a person and have always enjoyed his company and thoughts), has always had a real problem with Obama, from way back when he started as a candidate, and lately he has admitted that there is a racial component to how he feels. How much of what he thinks about Obama is racial, and how much is simple disagreement is hard to tell, since a prejudice by definition influences rational and objective thought, so you have to wonder if there is ANY rational basis to objections when there is prejudice present, but I always try to give him the benefit of the doubt when he raises specific points……
But he has REALLY gotten into a lather about Obama getting the Nobel peace prize, and after he sent another email that was frankly pretty clearly a bit silly and childish, I decided to look into what actually happened with the award, why they did it, and what I felt about it, so that I could respond in a meaningful way to my friend’s anger and outrage about the award, and Obama in general to some degree.
So here’s what he wrote to me (a bit out of context I admit, but you’ll get the general point), followed by my response, including some reference links.
ME: But remember, it’s not HIS fault it happened, he didn’t choose it. People that dog him for it aren’t thinking clearly, the choice is not for him to make. And I think people are behaving brutally stupid about it, the first feeling they should have, even if justifiably confused about it, is that they should be proud, and NOT do what the right is doing, which is to senselessly attack him for something that’s outside of his control. That part of this is shameful…..and it literally makes me feel bad about what’s happening in this country because of a few self-interested and callous scum who get airtime….
FRIEND: i think he’s a damned idiot (as you know) anyway
but if i were him i would just flat out refuse to accept it, since
he didnt do anything at all to deserve it and he damn well knows it
it’s jsut a further coronation of him for doing nothing
also it jsut turns the nobel peace prize into a piece of toilet paper
which these stupid norwegian liberals are handing out since they’re so overjoyed that bakwardes america finally got a black president
So here’s my response –
Well, to call him a damn idiot is obviously idiotic, and while I can understand a negative knee-jerk reaction to the award, reading the ACTUAL STATEMENT from the Nobel people can be enlightening and explains a lot. Please attempt to actually read it before you slag it or him, at least in the context of the award anyway……
And again remember, THEY are the people that decide what agenda they want to push forward, NOT Obama.
These are both reasonable statements to make, ESPECIALLY in the light of this statement from the Nobel people –
“Obama has as President created a new climate in international politics. Multilateral diplomacy has regained a central position, with emphasis on the role that the United Nations and other international institutions can play. Dialogue and negotiations are preferred as instruments for resolving even the most difficult international conflicts. The vision of a world free from nuclear arms has powerfully stimulated disarmament and arms control negotiations. Thanks to Obama’s initiative, the USA is now playing a more constructive role in meeting the great climatic challenges the world is confronting. Democracy and human rights are to be strengthened.”
“For 108 years, the Norwegian Nobel Committee has sought to stimulate precisely that international policy and those attitudes for which Obama is now the world’s leading spokesman. The Committee endorses Obama’s appeal that “Now is the time for all of us to take our share of responsibility for a global response to global challenges.””
These are reasonable and even lofty, idealistic goals and purposes, which SHOULD be encouraged. We’ve done nothing for the last 8 years but allowed ourselves to be driven down into ugliness and insanity as a national stance, taking the rest of the world down with us. The level of the global agenda SHOULD be lofty and idealistic, I would argue that it’s the best kind of dialogue for world’s governments to have in the global context, and this kind of movement MUST be encouraged.
Taking note of their own direct statements that this is their intent, I can support the award, since it is VERY clear that the change Obama and his international stance has brought mostly DO reflect those ideals, and the changes they mention as a result are indeed true.
This anger towards Obama is misdirected, and in my view reflects a powerful need by a group of people in this country to vilify by any means available a person of color that does not fit the idea “people of prejudice” have of him and his race. And to the extent that many people are prejudiced, it needs to remain personal, and not be dragged into the public discourse. It’s a base and shallow response with ugly roots, and cannot be given any value in any context, no matter how peripherally it is applied, and no matter what illusions are used to disguise it.
And yes, I DO think that “people of prejudice” are not looking at this thing for what it IS, they are instead turning it into another outlet for their racist rage, without bothering to actually understand what has actually been done here. For me, that makes them “people of willful ignorance”, and I have a bias against that.
An email from my buddy Harry O., which I’m just going to pass on except to say of course!
This was an open letter in the LA Times to the President from writer Anne Lamott. I’ve sent it to the White House and I suggest like-minded others do the same. What do you say…….?
I am afraid there has been a misunderstanding since that election in 2008, during which 66,882,230 Americans cast their votes for you. Perhaps one of your trusted advisors has given you bum information. Maybe they told you that we voted for you — walked, marched, prayed, fund-raised and knocked on doors for you — because we hoped you would try to reunite the country. Of the total votes cast that long-ago November day, I’m guessing that about 1,575 people wanted you to try to reconcile the toxic bipartisanship that culminated in those Sarah Palin rallies.
The other 66,880,655 of us wanted universal healthcare.
You inherited a country that was in the most desperate shape since the Civil War, or the Depression, and we voted for you to heal the catastrophic wounds Bush inflicted on our country and our world. You said that you were up to that challenge.
We did not vote for you to see if you could get Chuck Grassley or Michael Enzi to date you. The spectacle of you wooing them fills us with horror and even disgust. We recoil as from hot flame at each mention of your new friends. Believe me, I know exactly how painful this can be, how reminiscent of 7th-grade yearning to be popular, because I went through it myself this summer. I did not lower my bar quite as low as you have, but I was sitting on the couch one afternoon, thinking that this adorable guy and I were totally on the same sheet of music — he had given me absolutely every indication that we were — and were moving into the kissing stage. Out of nowhere, I thought to ask him if he liked me in the same way I liked him.
He said, in so many words, no.
And Mr. President, that is what the Republicans are saying to you: They are just not that into you, sir.
This may have thrown you for such a loop that you have forgotten why you were elected — which was to lead your people back to the promises of our founding parents. Many of us no longer recognized our country after eight years of Bush and Cheney, and you gave us your word that you would help restore the great headway we had made on matters of race, equality and plain old social justice.
People, get ready, you said; there’s a train a ‘coming. And we did get ready. We hit the streets. We roared, whispered, cried, whooped and went door to door, convinced that even if Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. had not specifically dreamed of you, his dream of justice and equality and pride might come into being through your vision, your greatness, through the hope that your words gave us, through the change you promised.
He dreamed of a leader like you. Just like you. And something in the deepest part of this country’s soul heard.
After eight years of Bush, and then the Palin nomination, we were battered and anguished and punch-drunk. But in rallying behind you, we came back to life, like in Ezekiel when the prophet breathes the spirit of bearing witness and caring onto the dry bones, and those bones come back to life, become living people again, cherished and tended to.
We did not know exactly how you would proceed to restore our beloved Constitution. It seemed beyond redemption, like my kitchen floor did briefly last week after my dog, Bodhi, accidentally ate 24 corn bread muffins. You said you would push back your sleeves and begin, that it would take all of us working harder than we ever had before, but that you would lead. While acknowledging the financial and moral devastation of the last eight years, you said you would start by giving your people healthcare. You would do battle with the conservatives and insurance companies. You said in your beautiful way many times that this was the overarching moral and spiritual issue of our times, and we understood this to mean that you took this to be your Selma, your Little Rock.
I hate to sound like a betrayed 7-year-old, but you said. And we believed you. Now you seem to have abandoned the dream. That is why moderates and liberals and progressives like myself all seem a little tense this summer. It is time to call your spirit back. We will be here to help when you get back from vacation. We want to help you get over the disappointment of Mr. Grassley’s cold shoulder, of Mr. Enzi blowing you off, even that nice Olympia Snowe standing you up. We can and will take to the streets again, march and hold peaceful rallies, go door to door, donate to any causes that will help get out the truth of what a public option would mean. But we need you to shake off the dust of the journey and remember the promises of Dr. King, and we need you to lead us toward what is no longer so distant a shore.
Do it for Teddy Kennedy, boss. Do it for the other Kennedys too, for Dr. King, for Big Mama, for the poorest kids you met on the trail, the kids who go to emergency rooms for their healthcare, do it for their mothers and for Michelle. Just do it.
*UPDATED BELOW**UPDATED AGAIN below – new video*
If Bush and his people admit that they ok’ed using torture (and they do admit it), and we have a law specifically forbidding it, even under the circumstances Bush et al describe as being the reasons they ok’ed it (and we do)…..and the Obama administration says that the acts used constitute torture (and they have), then they HAVE TO prosecute everyone involved, end of story.
Sorry, “opinions” are not laws, that’s why they are called “opinions”, and laws are called “laws”. A law is….well…a LAW! And everyone has to adhere to it’s standard. And opinions…..well…they are like assholes, everyone has one, and for the most part, nobody else cares about anyone else’s. Unless you happen to be getting waterboarded by the Bush administration, then you probably wish they had a different “opinion”.
Now I like Obama in general, ( though as I’ve said before, he’s HARDLY a liberal or anything even close to it), but it’s time to get our legal bearings set straght again in this country. And screw “moral”, this is simple unbiased no point of view LAW BREAKING we’re talking about, not some “morality” that’s open to debate or subjective interpretation. This is objective, court-testable “you broke the law, and in this country NO ONE is above the law, for ANY reason“.
Now maybe they wouldn’t be found guilty (!?!?!?!?), but THEY MUST BE TRIED FOR THE CRIMES!
A precedent (if you can call it that) must be set, that no matter who you are, or your justifications, or the political climate at the time, or what’s expedient, or what the other side will do if you do it, the bottom line is that THE PUBLIC has the right to have it’s leaders held to the same standards they themselves must adhere to. And future political leaders and their administrations must know that they WILL be held to account for their actions. You break the law, you get to go to court to have a conversation about it. Maybe (probably) you get off, but the public has the right to see it all, and to make sure the law is equal, and no one is above it. Not even the people who make it.
If you want to keep these people under control, you have to force them, otherwise they will own you every time.
Here’s an excellent bit on this from a constitutional law professor..
Here’s a UN investigator speaking about the treaty and what we have to do about it.
“We have clear evidence,” he said. “In our report that we sent to the United Nations, we made it clear that former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld clearly authorized torture methods and he was told at that time by Alberto Mora, the legal council of the Navy, ‘Mr. Secretary, what you are actual ordering here amounts to torture.’ So, there we have the clear evidence that Mr. Rumsfeld knew what he was doing but, nevertheless, he ordered torture.”