Free Markets, Free People

Watching the usual “national debate” and shaking my head

And, as usual, stupid words and not on the underlying issue – government cronyism/dependency – are now the focus.

Rush Limbaugh shot off his mouth and made what is apparently a much worse faux pas than the argument made by a woman who posed as a 23 year old co-ed when in fact she’s a 30 year old reproductive rights activist.

Sandra Fluke testified before a committee chaired by Nancy Pelosi in a bit of political theater to try to justify government mandating birth control be provided “free” to all women by insurance plans.

Plenty to discuss there.  Lots.  And that should have been the sum and total focus of any discussion, the entitlement mentality she reflected in what can only be characterized as an astonishing lack of awareness of what she was asking for and why.

gty_rush_limbaugh_sandra_fluke_dm_120302_wg (1)Calling a woman a “slut” however, is a sure fire way to totally distract from the topic at hand and make yourself the topic of discussion.  Limbaugh of all people should know that (of course he might have been lulled into a false sense of security given the fact that many on the left felt secure in calling Sarah Palin everything but a child of God – Bill Maher and the “C” word as an example — and they seemingly got away with it).

So yes, the double standard was in its usual place and functioning well. 

But so what?   Everyone with a room-temperature IQ knows the game and how it works – especially Limbaugh.  So it’s hard to feel particularly sorry for a guy who claims to be so freaking media savvy doing the foreskin foxtrot and suffering the predictable result.

More importantly though, the result is the woman who should be the subject of a sound rhetorical thrashing for her disingenuousness and her collectivist arguments is now a “victim”.  She even got a sympathetic call from Obama to console her (and enable him to grab a few headlines).

We have the hypocritical left all up in arms at … Limbaugh.  The story and discussion is now about … Limbaugh.  Advertisers are now deserting … Limbaugh.  The DSCC is now fundraising off of … Limbaugh.  The media is having a field day at the expense of … Limbaugh.  Even GOP candidates are remarking about … Limbaugh.

Meanwhile the topic that should be the focus – an entitlement mentality voiced by a young woman who seems to believe it is the job of others to pay for her contraception needs – is pretty much shunted to the side.

What’s new?

~McQ

Twitter: @McQandO

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82 Responses to Watching the usual “national debate” and shaking my head

  • I’m impressed that a Gitmo defense lawyer is now running Gitmo policy.

    That Pres. Pond-Scum sure can pick ‘em…

    • @Ragspierre I am told lawyers can just as easily play either side. I would be very interested to see what changes would be made.

      • @Harun Not quite, Harun. We are taught to be able to argue various sides of a controversy. We are never taught…well, some of us never swallow it…to believe our own bullshit. I believe in liberty, for instance. I would not take a position adverse to that ideal. You can bet that is true of the feller in question, too, who has a very different orientation.

  • It’s all about controlling the narrative. And the right isn’t doing a good job, at all. I’m really beginning, beyond all reason, to think big ears will be back in the White House come January, because it’s clear the right is just too damned stupid or too damned cowardly, to stop it.

    • @looker Dunno, looker. This could be the ignition point for the TEA Party reinvigoration. We’ll see…

      • @Ragspierre And man, I hope so, right now I’m being told that the economy has turned around and big ears has saved us all.

        • @looker By the same liars that brought you all the PREVIOUS lies…??? I would counsel caution… Or uproarious laughter…

    • @looker It is indeed about the narrative. And the right isn’t doing a good job. But don’t forget; most on the right are indoctrinated into the dominant narratives too. They went to schools feeding them leftist pap. They have read left-leaning media most of their lives. They have been also been shown, in some cases personally, just how ruthless the left will be when those narratives are challenged.

      These are huge obstacles to overcome, both for those on the right and anyone in the middle who is trying to figure out what’s really going on. We need clarity, and the left works tirelessly, as we see regularly in our comments, to muddle things, inject moral equivalence, and protect the narrative at all costs. They *hate* clarity.

      This has an interesting corollary for me. I consider an Obama win to have a bright side, because it will increase the clarity of who is really at fault when the (probably inevitable) financial reckoning comes. For the long term prospects of the right, it would be a disaster if Romney were in office when it happened. He is a scapegoat straight out of central casting. I shudder to think of what the left would do with the mess, given that they would likely beat Romney and his gentry GOP buddies in the following election even worse than they beat Bush’s gentry GOP in 2006-2008.

      • @Billy Hollis well said, you’re right about the indoctrination, and contrary to what I used to do, which was be passive about leaving it alone, I now comment on it and do my best not to necessarily champion my views, but to at least get friends and family to ASK QUESTIONS and think instead of just accepting everything they’re told.
        You’re right, Obama getting back is a disaster, but less of a disaster long term than Romney getting all the blame for Obama’s “good work”. I wasn’t prepared for another 4 years of Great Depression, but perhaps the bankrupting of America to pay for Flake’s recreational sex (a mere example and not seriously to be taken as the sole cause) is what is needed to redress the last 100 years of Constitutional encroachment and destruction.

      • @Billy Hollis Or maybe your narrative is just unpersausive and your ideology wrong. I think that’s your real problem. Also there seems to be an inability to accept that the US was built on the notion of compromise and slow change.

        The Republicans have squandered an opportunity. After the 2010 election President Obama was willing to deal and compromise, but due to tea party pressure and a weird “commitment” to Grover Norquist, they decided to hold out and demand things be done their way or no way. Instead of using the election to force Democrats to accept Republican policies and tweaks of health care as a quid pro quo for Democratic priorities, they hunkered down. And now, with Rush Limbaugh and Rick Santorum leading the way with inane, bizarre and even offensive quotes, they may be on the verge of handing power back to the Democrats. Ideological jihads don’t work in the US system of government.

        • @scotterb Ignore the TWOT.

        • @scotterb No he wasn’t, but feel free to continue to be yourself. This is a long term issue of thought control. It may very well be that come November we’ll see that our worst fears, that Americans really are THAT stupid, were unfounded. I think we operate on the FEAR that Americans ARE that stupid, you, on the other hand, count on it, and do your level best to see that it is, and becomes so. Keep up the good work, if we’re right, you’ll suffer with the rest of us, if you’re right, well, we’ll just have to adjust to living in your rainbow garden full of unicorns, won’t we. Historically speaking, it’s regularly been proven your fantasy is a lot less likely than ours. The Gods of the Copy Book headings are pretty unforgiving.

        • @scotterb “Or maybe your narrative is just unpersausive and your ideology wrong.” And there’s where you lose the thread, as usual. I’m not interested in having a “narrative”, unpersuasive or otherwise. I’m only interested in reality: the unsustainability of the current course, what happens afterwards, and how many, many people are going to be caught up in the maelstrom. The very fact that you prattle on about the “narrative” and whether it’s persuasive or not gives away your whole game, and your complete indoctrination into the post-modern leftist camp. Schmuck. By the way, are you still having fun coming here and irritating people, as you’ve admitted multiple times in the past? Have you figured out yet how psychologically sick it is to gain pleasure through the irritation of other people? No, of course not. It’s reality; all you care about is narrative. Oh, and getting threads sidetracked so they can feed your narcissism.

        • @Billy Hollis It’s a spiritual thing Billy, kinda quantum stuff that we couldn’t understand.

        • @Billy Hollis Post-modern leftist? You’re over the top silly there, Billy. Indoctrination? The talk of narratives comes from you all. The conspiracy theories of the media, people “indoctrinating” and all that comes from the right.

          Your problem is evident in the way you think there must be some kind of psychological reason I’d post in a group that clearly disagrees with me. (And given how people call me names and insult me, there is something ironic to the claim that “it’s psychologicallyl sick to gain pleasure through the irritation of others” – I’m polite and willing to engage in discourse. Those who call names and insults are trying to irritate. I don’t think you realize how self-damning your prose there is!

          Perhaps you should detach yourself from all the personal stuff and consider just the words. Cast aside the emotion – as I tell my kids, if you let someone else irritate you or make you mad, you’re giving that person power over you. Why would anyone want to give someone they disagree with power over their mood?

          Here is the point and why I post: disagreement is good. Exchanging ideas between like minded people only reinforces biases and causes a kind of group think. People start to think it is self-evident that their perspective is right, and start harboring very negative views (things like conspiracy theories about ‘indoctrination’) of others. I read and respond to ideas I disagree with because I want to understand and learn other perspectives to check my own and work against bias. I’m distressed by how so many on the left and the right have fallen into ideological wars rather than recognizing that as Walter Lippmann said, democracy is about listening to each other and finding the best path through debate and an exchange of ideas. It’s sad to me that intelligent people like you all get so caught up in the ideology that you personalize things and avoid critical thought about your own perspective. I don’t mind insults, but I don’t get pleasure from them. I’d get far more pleasure from a real discussion. Good, sometimes heated discussions on substance that avoid ad hominems are fun and intellectualy challenging. Ad hominems are usually the sign of a weak argument.

        • @scotterb It would be unlikely, nay, wildly improbable, that someone practicing indoctrination in a public or private institution of learning would admit to doing so, regardless of which way they were attempting to indoctrinate. When I read instructional references in Teaching study papers that address teachers working towards a ‘more fair and equitable society’ and how to go about that in the class room, you have to admit, there’s some very intentional indoctrination going on.

        • @looker “…you have to admit, there’s some very intentional indoctrination going on.”

          But for the fact he’s a big fat liar. Other than that…yeh…

        • @Ragspierre He’s happy with ‘fair and equitable” because he thinks the only way that can be taught is his version. Foolish.

        • @Ragspierre Remember, once his chosen party were the champions of the idea that ‘fair and equitable’ meant keeping people who had been forcibly imported from Africa as farm equipment and/or livestock.

        • @looker You mean…cultures CHANGE…???? OMG…!!! (Fair and equitable used to be “separate but equal”, too).

        • @Ragspierre Well, we must be realistic, in HIS version of history Republicans were slave holders, started and encouraged the Klan, tried to prevent black students from attending “white” schools and voted against civil rights in 1964. He has that whole quantum universe history thing going for himself.

        • @scotterb
          “Those who call names and insults are trying to irritate.”

          Horse hockey. When I call you an ignorant, deceitful putz I don’t give a rats hams if you get irritated or not. Your feelings are irrelevant to me.

        • @looker Keep saying education is “indoctrination” and you’ll have people shaking their heads and backing away from you, it’s over the top silly. In political science we say “disagreement is good” and have good discussions from people of diverse perspectives. The only rule is to respect those who disagree and have a different perspective, and try to engage the argument, not the person. Indoctrination is to to do like people do in this blog – ridicule those who have a different perspective, label those who have a different view as somehow evil, bad or dishonest, and demonize (Murtha, Kerry, Pelosi, Kennedy…the demonization of any strong democrat is common in blogs like this). The left does the same thing. In teaching, my own blog, and in life I try to promote the idea that one can have a point of view and still be considerate, kind and fair to those with a different point of view. One can disagree without being disagreeable. Alas, the toxicity of political discourse is getting worse, and that’s a bad sign for the Republic — that’s what could bring us down, not “the liberals” or “the conservatives.” Political dysfunction is the real threat.

        • @timactual It would be more impressive, timactual, if you didn’t feel a need to insult and would actually engage ideas and arguments. Name calling is unimpressive amongst adults.

        • @scotterb ‘Keep saying education is “indoctrination” and you’ll have people shaking their heads and backing away from you’
          _______________________________________

          And who would know better about people backing away…

        • @scotterb “Keep saying education is “indoctrination” and you’ll have people shaking their heads and backing away from you,”
          Ah, I see, really. Good to know, I’m quite concerned at the idea you might back away.
          ——————————————————————————————————

          And I’ll bear that in mind, NEXT time I think of saying whatever you think I said.
          So, let me help you out since your comprehension seems flawed, today.
          “When I read instructional references in Teaching study papers that address teachers working towards a ‘more fair and equitable society’ and how to go about that in the class room, you have to admit, there’s some very intentional indoctrination going on. ”

          ——————————————————————————————————
          Perhaps you’re hearing dog whistles, where did I say teaching=indoctrination?
          What I, pretty clearly said was, it is happening, which doesn’t equate to teaching=indoctrination, it equates to in some places teachers are indoctrinating students. “regardless of which way they were attempting to indoctrinate.” – I even allowed it will happen from both sides of the political aisle.
          ————————————————————————————————— Is this one of your little “ALL” games? Where you say ALL to cover yourself, and when I don’t say ALL, I really mean ALL? And, if you’re saying that it does not happen in educational settings, you’re being disingenuous just so you could tell me people will think I’m a nut job because we disagree about….a lot of things.

        • @looker I don’t believe teachers are indoctrinating children. In K-12 progressives tend to be very upset about how schools teach very establishment versions of history and politics. In many cases science gets pushed aside because of religious beliefs. Local school boards control much of what education entails, unlike other countries there isn’t control from above. I really think it’s over the top to say schools indoctrinate. I do think that wanting a more fair and equitable society is a laudable goal — those were goals of the US revolutionaries after all. I don’t read that as equitable in an income redistribution sense. Who can be against having a fair society? I am a bit confused by your response though, I thought you were implying that kids are being indoctrinated in schools (obviously knowing you wouldn’t mean ‘all’). If you don’t think that, then fine.

        • @scotterb “In many cases science gets pushed aside because of religious beliefs.”

          But enough about Gorebal warming/cooling/change/chaos/whatever…

          And…BWAAAAAAHHHHHAAAAAAHHHHHAAAAAAHHHHAAA

        • @Ragspierre Climate change is real science. The skeptics have very weak and easy to disprove arguments (and often degenerate into claims about hacked e-mails or some such silliness). A good source: http://grist.org/series/skeptics/

        • @scotterb “I really think it’s over the top to say schools indoctrinate.” I will again, use the word, disingenuous. Of course it’s not over the top. You yourself say “In teaching, my own blog, and in life I try to promote the idea that one can have a point of view and still be considerate, kind and fair to those with a different point of view.”. And where did you begin “in teaching”. I went to college, I have sons who are still being educated, let’s not sit here and pretend that some teachers and administrators are not all about their own personal views and the student’s be damned. You know there are, or you wouldn’t have to bother to say you yourself don’t do it, it would be a given like saying fireman fight fires. But you noted you don’t, implying you know of, have heard of, others who have, and who do, which is why you’re distinguishing yourself from them.

        • @Ragspierre Yeah, speaking of religious beliefs and the indoctrination of children.

        • @scotterb “Climate change is real science.”
          ____________________________________________________________

          P…p…pleeeeeese….LORD…make him….STOP…sides…burninggggg…can….not…catch….breath….

        • @scotterb “…unpersausive…”

          I’m calling this your top weasel word. Close contenders are “all”, “always”, “every”, “never”, and similar quantitative descriptors.

          “…the US was built on the notion of compromise and slow change.”

          Like, slavery.

          Compromise is not always a good thing.

          When it comes to the budget, as Bush demonstrated by exploding the deficit with both houses in Republican hands, the GOP is not the loyal opposition to the tax and spend Democrats. They’re collaborators who make a big fuss over minor differences. (There are a few rare exceptions, but when the best Boehner can do is a few hundred million and handwaving to pretend it’s a few billions, anyone who is serious about ending deficit spending immediately has no power.) Thus, compromise in Washington is, despite all the fireworks, agreeing to expand the debt by $1.99998 trillion instead of $2 trillion in a given time period.

          “Ideological jihads don’t work in the US system of government.”

          They work for the Democrats and their special interests. How do you think they got ObamaPelosiCare past the goal line even after the Republicans gained the MA seat previously held by human excrement and runt of the Kennedy litter?

        • @scotterb “I don’t believe teachers are indoctrinating children. In K-12 progressives tend to be very upset about how schools teach very establishment versions of history and politics.”

          *face palm*

          They can be correct (sometimes) and so can @looker. This is not an either-or proposition.

          The Pledge of Allegiance *is* indoctrination, which is sickeningly similar to the sorts of things children in the authoritarian regimes were/are made to recite without knowing the meaning.

          So is the egalitarianism and the environmental brainwashing.

          While I’m disheartened at the smattering of examples of religious zealots influencing science, I think their influence is far weaker than the collectivists.

          “I do think that wanting a more fair and equitable society is a laudable goal…”

          Of course you do, and so you’re blind to the numerous teachers and administrators who make it their purpose to *indoctrinate* children with that garbage.

          “…those were goals of the US revolutionaries after all.”

          You attack those of us who express the very sentiments of the Sons of Liberty as marginal and crazy. Quit pretending that your goals are theirs. They would have tarred and feathered the likes of you and shipped you COD to King George.

          “I don’t read that as equitable in an income redistribution sense. Who can be against having a fair society?”

          Except your answer always ends up being the redistributionist one. So, your version of a “fair society” is one in which the rich are heavily taxed to “level the playing field” because of “powerful actors” (handwave, handwave).

        • @scotterb “Climate change is real science.”

          The climate has continuously changed for billions of years.

          The issue is not changing climates or even warming temperatures, but *catastrophic* anthropogenic global warming. As CO2 keeps rising, but the past decade has been flat, it pretty much debunks the alarmist assertion that CO2 is going to swamp the coastlines.

          A better source: http://www.climate-skeptic.com/

        • @looker I don’t thin a teacher who tries to push his own political perspective or belief system on students is qualified to teach. Disagreement is good and teachers especially in higher education must reward independent thought. It can’t be sloppy thought (e.g., ideological rote without support or argumentation) no matter what the perspective. My professors as an undergrad always encouraged that and I got excellent grades despite me often disagreeing with them (if you recall, I was a Republican at that point in my life). I know my colleagues share that respect for disagreement. I’m sure some people don’t, but indoctrination? That word has much more malevolent connotations.

        • @myweeklycrime “Compromise is not always a good thing…” wait, weren’t you complaining about weasel words like all, always, etc. I mean, you could have a sentence inbetween you calling them weasel words and then doing it yourself!

          Compromise is the essence of the American political system, it’s designed for and can only operate through compromise. Moreover, democracy is strong because it encourages people with different perspectives to engage and listen to each other, and perhaps learn from each other. Ideological mindsets are inherently closed minded and interpret data into their ideology (and given how complex the world everyone can interpret reality into a pre-existing ideological perspective). Democracy at its best forces people away from that and causes constructive dialogue and mutual learning — and thus better policy.

        • @myweeklycrime I think I’m more in the spirit of the founders than you are. I also don’t thin they’d have tarred and feathered people for having different political perspectives and being willing to engage in spirited debate. They rather welcomed that.

        • @myweeklycrime I think I’m more in the spirit of the founders than you are. I also don’t thin they’d have tarred and feathered people for having different political perspectives and being willing to engage in spirited debate. They rather welcomed that.

        • @scotterb

          “After the 2010 election President Obama was willing to deal and compromise”

          How do you know this is true? Were you there? No. You think this is true because this is what the media told you, based on what some Democrat political told them. The Republicans said it was Obama who came back with the “Actually, I’m breaking our deal and wanting more taxes.”

          So, you need to think about this like a scientist. What evidence do you have that Obama wants to compromise on the budget?

          1) His first budget was laughed out of town by both parties due to high spending.
          2) His current budget is being laughed at.
          3) He didn’t follow his own deficit commission and pooh-poohed it.
          4) His signature political move is have all hard decisions, serious tax increases etc, come after 2013 or even later.

          These are all facts, not opinions passed to you from the MSM from political operatives, who of course will say their side was righteous and the other side were playing dirty pool.

          Now, you can also plug in Obama’s “I won” comment after his election – does that sound like a guy who want to compromise? No. And if you now say “b…b…but after 2010, he was willing” you only need to ask yourself, why should the GOP compromise when “they win” but King Obama doesn’t need to do any of that?

        • @Harun All the evidence from inside reports were that Obama and even Boehner were hoping for a grand compromise. Now I suppose I could buy your conspiracy theory that its all a farce by the Democrats and the media played along. But that is a very weak position on your part since Republicans were clearly and adamantly saying no to any compromise that included a tax increase, and that the tea party wing was not wanting to do anything that might give Obama an accomplishment. They saw how Clinton benefited from working with the GOP and they were holding out to win in 2012 and simply take control. So I think I’m on pretty solid ground with accepting the reports on how Obama wanted to compromise – the evidence strongly favors that.

          I have seen serious analyses of Obama’s budgets — I haven’t seen them “laughed at,” but as has been the case since Reagan sent up budgets that had no chance of being passed, a budget is the starting point of negotiation. A lot of people laugh at Republican proposals too. That’s OK – you start with a position you stake out and negotiate in there, hopefully in good faith. For you to take one comment “I won” and somehow fantasize that it means Obama won’t compromise is absurd — it’s hypersensitive to read so much into one factual claim by the President.

          Nope, the evidence is overwhelming that the GOP refused to compromise – hell, they even bragged about it – with the goal of denying accomplishments to Obama and trying to weaken him. The result is nothing really got done, the 112th Congress has little to show for itself, and has far lower popularity than the 111th Congress ever had. But when you say things like “King Obama” it shows you’re simply buying into the talk radio blogosphere demonization of Obama that has nothing to do with the man himself. Heck, you may actually believe it, if that’s the stuff you read. Meanwhile, his personal approval is still over 70% and Americans generally like the man. He’s self-effacing, gracious, and has won over many Republicans he works closely with (as well as former Democratic rivals). The Obama you imagine is a right wing caricature.

        • @scotterb “Keep saying education is “indoctrination” and you’ll have people shaking their heads and backing away from you, it’s over the top silly.”

          It is so well documented, Scott, that you sound like a lying fool denying it. You yourself are living proof of it, an indoctrinated imbecile trying to indoctrinate others, although I’d like to believe that a healthy number of your students, especially the young men, have some good laughs at your expense. I’m hoping, for the sake of the country’s future, that more and more kids sidestep universities, and simpering fools like you, and get down to the business of life. Those who need hard sciences and math can secure themselves in those enclaves when they go to universities, but no one needs what you teach. If they let you teach required courses that someone has to take, I’d call that fraud and extortion.

        • @scotterb “I don’t thin[k] a teacher who tries to push his own political perspective or belief system on students is qualified to teach.”

          Somehow ‘irony’ just doesn’t seem like a strong enough word here…

        • @scotterb “I don’t thin a teacher who tries to push his own political perspective or belief system on students is qualified to teach.

        • @martinmcphillips Especially the young men? What a sexist you be!

        • @coolpapa How so? Also, here’s what I think the GOP needs to do: http://scotterb.wordpress.com/2012/03/06/a-sustainable-america/

        • @scotterb “I don’t thin a teacher who tries to push his own political perspective or belief system on students is qualified to teach.” This from a man who in 2005 wrote in this venue of how he was going to “do everything in my power to counter the right-wing ideology as proposed by sites such as this one” just prior to one of your so-called permanent departures from commenting on this blog.

        • @scotterb “Especially the young men? What a sexist you be!” Even your lamest jokes unintentionally reveal and mock the indoctrination you deny. I recall one of you richest little lectures about how “anyone who had been to college” knew that sex and gender were different things, easily one of your most perfervid hopes.

        • @scotterb “Especially the young men? What a sexist you be!” Even your lamest jokes unintentionally reveal and mock the indoctrination you deny. I recall one of your richest little lectures about how “anyone who had been to college” knew that sex and gender were different things, easily one of your most perfervid hopes.

        • @scotterb malevolent, sure like watching a captain planet cartoon for kids present the viewpoint that industrie’s sole intent is to rape the planet, kill the animals, and pollute the sea, sky and land. Possibly to enslave the ‘free’ people, depends on the episode.
          ————————————————————————————————-
          Now, about that global warming settled science thing, monsignor, explain to me again how sheep’s bladders may be used to prevent warming.

        • yeah, I know Scott, it’s a cartoon. Instead let’s talk about my kid coming home with a piece of paper from school asking for money so they could ‘buy’ land in Brazil to keep loggers from deforesting the property. Yeah, I’m sure the ‘deed’ was real, and that the enforcement was real, and, and, and…..nothing more than indoctrination. And Myweeklycrime is quite right, even the pledge of allegiance is indoctrination. We managed to get by for over 100 years as a country without such a thing. I rather think if the founders had thought there was value in it, they’d have created it themselves. I also rather think the fact they didn’t tells you something. Now, that sort of indoctrination would seem patriotic, and ‘rightwing’, and here I am telling you that’s what it is, and here you are, telling me it’s not happening. Go figure. And you genuinely think there are NOT other instances?
          ———————————————————————————————
          Let’s go back to ‘fair and equitable’ as we pointed out to you, separate but equal was ‘fair and equitable’, slavery was ‘fair and equitable’. You don’t get that what we’re trying to do is protect you not only from yourself (and us from you….) but from people to the right of US and the left of you too.

        • @looker I think that’s a cool idea — deforestation is a problem in Brazil. Politicians right and left have tried to pressure Brazil to stop it since the Amazon rain forest is so important to the planet’s ecosystem. That’s not a political stance, that’s a scientific fact. You seem to be grasping at straws to try to prove “indoctrination”. I can’t believe teaching science is indoctrination! All you have is the pledge of allegiance and a cartoon (I’ve seen cartoons where the bad guys turned out to be environmentalists — you can’t fashion a conspiracy from one particular story line). You need to relax and not try to see conspiracies in everything.

        • @scotterb “I’ve seen cartoons where the bad guys turned out to be environmentalists”

          Name it.

        • @Ragspierre It was a Scooby Doo episode my kids were watching.

        • @scotterb http://scoobydoo.wikia.com/wiki/List_of_monsters_and_villains

          I’m calling bullshit. You sure it wasn’t a documentary on domestic terrorists?

        • @scotterb Yeah, that’s a big no way on Scooby Doo dude. Sure, the idea of buying rain forest is great, there’s just the problem of title to the property, and enforcement. Well, and the small problem of taking money from the kiddies to save the cuddly animals and trees when that’s probably not where the money went. That’s called fraud and misrepresentation when you do it in the business world.

        • @Ragspierre You!!! you did that internet lookie uppy thingie again didn’t you! Damn you man!, you’re supposed to take everything he says at face value! You are getting sleeeeepyyyyyyy, sleeeepppyyyyyy……Obama is loved by all, by all, conservatives are evil….evillllllllll.

        • @looker But the real deforesters are slash and burn farmers. You know, the leetle peeples, who are trying to feed themselves and their families. So, us all-knowing rich peeples are going to practice good old do-gooder jingo-ism and tell them what to do with their country. See…???

        • @scotterb “Meanwhile, his personal approval is still over 70% and Americans generally like the man. He’s self-effacing, gracious, and has won over many Republicans he works closely with (as well as former Democratic rivals).”
          Oh gosh, thank you, nothing expresses so well as this sort of delusion written for the world to see.

        • @scotterb “…weren’t you complaining about weasel words like all, always, etc. I mean, you could have a sentence inbetween you calling them weasel words and then doing it yourself!”

          The very opposite is the case. You make a blanket statement about compromise. I offered a historical counterexample to show that it is “*NOT* always” the case. The concrete example made my statement not ambiguous, which is the criticism of you using qualifiers in a weasly way to be ambiguous.

          “Compromise is the essence of the American political system…”

          The state of American politics and the destruction on the finances and freedom of the citizens is a strong indication that compromise amongst legislative/executive *collaborators* (who pretend to be diametrical opponents) does not produce good results for most of the people affected by their rule.

          “Moreover, democracy is strong because it encourages people with different perspectives to engage and listen to each other, and perhaps learn from each other.”

          You’ve built assumptions into that. But elections don’t actually work that way. As others have pointed out, an election is like a battle in which both armies show up on the battlefield and the one with the most soldiers wins, without shedding blood. At that point, the winners get to make the rules, and most often they do so without “engag[ing] and listen[ing] to” the losing side.

          In a winner-take-all form of rule, in which the winning party may not only address problems which relate to the people who voted for them, but also assert control over everyone else, butting into issues for which they don’t have a direct stake.

          On the other hand, when “private sector” (for lack of a better term) groups of people have common problems, competing interests, potential opportunities, etc. and they sit down and negotiate compromises by making offers and finding solutions which the various participants can accept, without the winner-take-all diktats, it is far more likely that the compromise solves problems. Only those with a stake in the outcome get to participate (i.e., I don’t get to tell people in Maine how they can pay for their doctor visits, and I don’t get to tell the contractor or his laborers that the agreement they made between themselves isn’t good enough *FOR ME*). And, if people disagree, they can withdraw their consent from the negotiations, instead of being compelled (ultimately by aggressive force, if they dare to resist) to follow the rule of those “in charge”.

          “Ideological mindsets are inherently closed minded…”

          Which is why you’re closed-minded to anything which challenges your egalitarian ideology.

          But when people negotiate without the underlying threat of aggressive force, those who are closed-minded to good arguments tend to fail at achieving opportunities presented by finding common ground.

          “Democracy at its best forces people…”

          You said it. The best democracy can do is force the minority to obey the rule of the majority.

          “…causes constructive dialogue and mutual learning — and thus better policy.”

          Actually, it doesn’t. The US political system is proof of that.

          And, “better” than what? Dictatorships? Oligarchies? OK, I’ll grant that, for people who lack political connections, democracy is usually better than those other forms of government. Though, from the point of view of civil liberties and economic freedom, the burgeoning federal government, crony capitalism, War on Drugs, War on Terror, etc. have caused the US government (like other Western democracies) to trend towards the oligarchies. Democracy hasn’t prevented this trend, nor, as you suggest, made it trend the opposite way.

        • @scotterb “I also don’t thin they’d have tarred and feathered people for having different political perspectives and being willing to engage in spirited debate. They rather welcomed that.”

          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Mobbing_the_Tories_-_Project_Gutenberg_eText_16960.jpg

          They went to war against people who supported the British government, which imposed taxes at a fraction of today’s rates, and which imposed far fewer mandates and restrictions on the colonists.

          In any election or debate over pending legislation, you have nearly always (to my memory) taken the side of big government and less economic freedom. At the root of your ideology, you reject the principle that each person owns his or her own life (you even mock the idea, which has its roots with John Locke). And, you’ve argued that rights are not inherent, which is completely at odds with the Declaration of Independence.

          Tar and feathers, boy. Tar and feathers.

        • @sshiell @scotterb “This from a man who in 2005 wrote in this venue of how he was going to ‘do everything in my power to counter the right-wing ideology as proposed by sites such as this one’ just prior to one of your so-called permanent departures from commenting on this blog.”

          For years, he’s smirked at on-line opponents, telling them they have no power and bragging about how he has taught or plans to teach various political ideas which mirror his ideology. He gloats about it.

        • @looker “He’s self-effacing, gracious, and has won over many Republicans he works closely with (as well as former Democratic rivals).” Yes, yes… The Queen is still treasuring her iPod with Barry’s Greatest Hits…!!! And we ALLLLL know him for his lack of ego! Really, they have meds for that level of delusion.

        • @Ragspierre “‘I’ve seen cartoons where the bad guys turned out to be environmentalists’ Name it.”

          South Park. Look up “manbearpig” and “smug alert”.

          If you can tolerate the obscene humor, they often have scathing political and cultural satire.

        • @myweeklycrime Well, yeah, but I bet his kiddies were not watching South Park, and even he would not confuse that with Scooby Doo.

        • The “Mobbing the Tories” link isn’t clickable. Try http://bit.ly/aIcGNn

        • @Ragspierre Nothing says self effacing and gracious like the words, “I won”.
          ——————————————————————————–
          “The top congressional leaders from both parties gathered at the White House for a working discussion over the shape and size of President Barack Obama’s economic stimulus plan. The meeting was designed to promote bipartisanship.

          But Obama showed that in an ideological debate, he’s not averse to using a jab.

          Challenged by one Republican senator over the contents of the package, the new president, according to participants, replied: “I won.”
          ——————————————————————————–
          http://blogs.wsj.com/washwire/2009/01/23/obama-to-gop-i-won/

      • @Billy Hollis Billy, we’ve all been exposed to the Collectivist attempt to cow us into silence. That was one of the insights that Breitbart brought to mass appreciation. He spotlighted it, and told them to screw off…and did it all very effectively.

  • Here’s some narrative I missed, and Breitbart just surfaced (indirectly) – via the “love song of Saul Alinsky” poster.

    http://www.afroamerica.net/pages/2/Obama12252004.html

    Baraka? Who IS this guy, Barry, Baraka, Barack? Can I call him Bob? Is this like a call center in Mumbai where Rajesh will let you call him Randy because you’ll be more comfortable with that?

    • @looker Barackah is the culturally sensitive form used in North Africa…as shown by GaDaffy when speaking of his “son” (as I recall).

      • @Ragspierre And to think we once had a minor controversy over whether or not it was proper to inaugurate a President using “Jimmy Carter” instead of James Earl Carter Jr during the swearing in.
        Now it’s President Colorforms – stick whatever name you like on him, he can be whatever you want.

  • “Ideological jihads don’t work in the US system of government.”

    Wow. Somebody better get the memo to Pres. Pond-Scum.

    Can anybody who knows ANY history name a president of the United States who went after individual law-abiding citizens and businesses like Bad Luck Barry??? Nixon was a ACLU paragon by comparison.

  • These things come in waves from the Left and never end. They never seem to muster any indignation for the truly disgusting things done by their friends and associates, however.

    • @martinmcphillips All of a piece, martin. All of a piece. The only people to whom standards apply is us…the little people. See Erp, Scott.

    • Bill Maher, for instance, is someone I class with Harry Reid as proof that the U.S. is not a violent country.

  • Newt is on Hannity talking about how Barack Hussein’s proposal that algae was the solution to American energy problems should have had the media falling off their chairs laughing, but of course that’s not allowed, to laugh at Barack. But have you noticed that Barack, when he makes speeches now, is constantly mocking and laughing at anyone who disagrees with him? He’s proposing algae as a solution to high gas prices, but laughing at people who think we should actually be drilling more to recover more oil. Get ready for more of it, constantly, endlessly. These are sick people with a desperate sickness unto death, as everyone around here knows from the petri dish full of it that shows up as a matter of routine.

    • @martinmcphillips Baracka, I like the new name (old name) so much better. Since I just discovered it, I’m test driving it and encouraging others to do so. Sort of like my discovery of Kilkenny beer over the weekend, but not nearly so pleasant.

  • OT: Has anyone read this book I’m hearing advertised: “Becoming China’s Bitch?” [My question mark] The author, whose name I keep missing, is being plugged as “former Goldman-Sachs” something or other.