Thursday, June 19, 2008

No Need For A Make-Over

"The things that he does doesn't make him any more pro-woman, pro-man, anti-anything. He is about America, making America strong."

-- Cindy McCain, saying John McCain is a patriot, and thus beyond the bullshit of the Left's cultish identity politics, as reported by ABC News.

8 comments:

  1. Well that's no better as an ideology than all the others; it's equally dangerous. Because a belief is individual (despite your attempts to lump 'basketcases' together), one's understanding of what is pro-woman or anti-logging is going to vary. But pro-American far more so.

    Is the America you're being patriotic towards, that you wish to see stronger, the America of Nixon's hate list or J Edgar Hoover's? Is it the America of the McCarthy witch hunts or the domino theory?
    Some of the best intentions have been incredibly harmful not only to those to whom the US has come in contact with, but to America itself.

    And this is precisely because of a blinkered flag-waving imbecility that will any number of dollars and lives at what it thinks will position it better and extract ever more profit.

    Why do you think the US is so inconsistent on who it picks a fight with? Burma is not a strategic target, Iraq is. Hell occasionally, as in Chile, the US kicks out a good man who was democratically elected and installs a callous dictator. The LAST person you want or need as a leader who is committed solely to making America strong.

    You really need a thinker and a person of great integrity who believes that what really makes America great is it's highest ideals and greatest aspirations. Unfortunately there's just nobody of the calibre of a Thomas Paine or Jefferson alive today and if there were, they wouldn't go within a mile of the Capitol.

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  2. Berko,

    Glad to hear from you:

    First, I'm not positing it as an ideology, and I don't think Cindy McCain is either. I can't stand ideologies, and that's (partially) why the Left - and the french - bother me so much: they can't see past such thinking. I support women - can't stand feminism. I'm all for being a good steward of the planet - can't stand environmentalism. You feel me? I look at being pro-American like I look at being pro-my house: you don't screw up your own home; you don't let people come over and tell you what to do in it, etc. The Left is like a roommate who always leaves a mess, brings over assholes, and always fails to pay it's share of the bills - and all the while complaining about YOU.

    "Is the America you're being patriotic towards, that you wish to see stronger, the America of Nixon's hate list or J Edgar Hoover's? Is it the America of the McCarthy witch hunts or the domino theory? Some of the best intentions have been incredibly harmful not only to those to whom the US has come in contact with, but to America itself."

    Just to be clear - my short answer is "yes." But, that said, the longer answer is that to expect perfection, out of any nation's history, is extremely childish. And to not recognize - as citizens of a country that's only 270+ years - that not only haven't we had time enough to screw up as badly as the others, but that America has done an outstanding amount of good, world-wide, in that short time is unfair and extremely relativistic. (I hate relativism, too.) I think Americans should be more circumspect than that when judging ourselves - the citizens of other nations don't do it, why should we? And to use it's mistakes (real or imagined) as a hammer, to wail on yourself, is just wrong. Other nations, which don't have your interests at heart at all, are watching and they use that as leverage against us - against you - so it serves no purpose but to weaken us, internationally, and demoralize us at home. Neither of which serves any good purpose.

    About your specifics:

    Nixon may have been a flawed man, but he tried to do good, and his opening to China will always mark him for greatness. As Bill Clinton said when he died, we must judge him on the totality of his life now, not pick-and-choose the things we want to condemn him for, because, under that framework, no one would be worth shit.

    I look at Hoover just as I look at the hippies: the first - so "mistakes were made". But, unlike the hippies, the FBI copped to theirs. The hippies just never learned and continue to make things worse.

    History seems to be saying that McCarthy was right, so I don't know how to answer that one yet, except to say that just because people screamed doesn't mean they were necessarily right. The jury's still out, but the search for historical truth doesn't seem to be going in the direction of the liberals, so I'll mostly keep my powder dry until it's definitive. I'd suggest you do the same.

    The Domino Theory is another tough call - because nothing associated with Vietnam is what it seems, considering all the propaganda that surrounds it - I'll take a pass, mostly, because of time constraints. Honestly.

    "And this is precisely because of a blinkered flag-waving imbecility that will any number of dollars and lives at what it thinks will position it better and extract ever more profit."

    You're indicating you hate the game of foreign policy - the biggest game nations play - and you know what? You need to grow up. If your nation isn't trying to win for "your side," then another nation is trying to screw you for theirs. That's the nature of the beast; America didn't invent it; and it's not going away just because you've been to Burning Man and developed a taste for utopia. You love your country because it's your home, it defined (and re-defines) your values, and - especially in the case of America - it's the best symbol of peace on earth the world has ever seen. It's not, still, called "The New World" for nothing - with people willing to die in their attempts to get here for "a better life." Like I said, you need to be circumspect with criticisms like that. They serve no good purpose.

    Why do you think the US is so inconsistent on who it picks a fight with?

    Because the world is big, and complex, with allegiances that change all-the-time. (Something too many Americans fail to grasp as they search for too-easy answers to complicated questions.) Make a friend, here, and your pal, there, gets pissed. That kind of thing is common - and should make more Americans become more sympathetic to (and humble about) criticisms of our presidents. Example: Japan viciously attacked us in WWII. We coupled with China, against Japan, during the war. After the war, Japan became our friend, while China spooked us by going communist under Mao. Then Nixon went to China and Japan got momentarily spooked. We used to trade so much with Japan (our friend) we were afraid of it's effects, but now we trade mostly with China (who we're still not totally comfortable with) and fear the effect of that. That's "life in the big city" of foreign relations Berk. Like I said: grow up, become knowledgeable, and hang on to your flag because the sands are always shifting under your feet.

    "You really need a thinker and a person of great integrity who believes that what really makes America great is it's highest ideals and greatest aspirations. Unfortunately there's just nobody of the calibre of a Thomas Paine or Jefferson alive today and if there were, they wouldn't go within a mile of the Capitol."

    We can both agree on that. So, taking the best I can get, I'm voting for McCain.

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  3. I'll respond to this and then I might leave you to it, at least for a while. I wouldn't normally engage in this degree of dialogue but discovering your blog is a little like hearing that DH Pelligro played drums at a house party for Donald Rumsfeld.

    I have grown up very well. I've made it my business to know as much as I can about world religion, world politics, the natural sciences. Sure I don't know everything, or even nearly everything, but it does mean that I can see straight through the belief systems and ideas of some high ranking figures on the world stage.

    I have taken a pragmatic turn. there is much that is meritorious about Berkman, Bakunin, Kropotkin but one needs to support the least worst evil in the world as it is, not as we would wish it to be.

    But you see, as an outsider, I view America as being far too caught up with what is going to be good for it as a nation in terms of its power and influence, rather than in expounding - and upholding - the ideals set for it by the founding fathers. The presidency has degenerated substantially even from where it was with Eisenhower and Kennedy, never mind Lincoln and the Rooseveldts. And I don't think there's enough analysis as to why this is so.

    I can tell you it is largely the influence of evengelical lobbyists; your Achilles heel if ever there was. You're right to decry superstition, you've just got your barrels pointed in the wrong direction. New Age periphery can never hope to have the influence or destructive power of mainstream pro-life moral crusaders. They are what makes your society a far cry from the Deists who wrote the Declaration of Independence.

    And I hope you pause for a moment to consider the irony of pardoning Nixon for his work on China while lambasting groups who will never commit a Kent State or Watergate and who would not consider binning a report just because they didn't like the conclusions it reached. I thought you abhorred liars?

    Anyway I'll keep watching so that I can learn the downside of Obama as we don't get much of that in the press.

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  4. I find it interesting that you say, :I can see straight through the belief systems and ideas of some high ranking figures on the world stage." Fine. Ever considered understanding the outlook of the people they lead and seeing if there's any flaws there? I doubt it, even with the presence of BDS, etc. People, like you, can never be wrong.

    I also found that you're "an outsider," with all these opinions of my country, fascinating. I doubt if you understand it like I do - since I'm a citizen, born and raised with it's values - but you blast away, telling me I'm being fooled, etc. Excuse me if I say you don't qualify as an authority of merit. I don't know where you're from but, I betcha, my country (in only a few centuries) has done more good for the entire world than yours - wherever you're from. And, yet, you can't wait to talk shit. Jealous foreigner.

    The idea that well-known, constantly-watched, and ethically-based, religious groups pose the same (or more) danger than an ocean of NewAge followers that are not well-known, are barely noticed, and primarily overlap through members believing and acting (in many cases, literally) as their own gods - and now backing a political candidate who can talk for years without anyone knowing what he stands for - is a sure sign you're a NewAge relativist who doesn't understand anything of worth.

    President Ford pardoned Nixon - and Clinton pardoned him when he died - who are you, a foreigner, to pass judgement on such things? Especially since you're still insisting on cherry-picking a dead man's life? Nixon had his faults - many - but no one can deny he was a patriot who did great things and, before he died, his image was already being rehabilitated. Many of the charges against him, like Bush, are unfair whining by the losers. Children who want their way, no matter what. That's sad. I said it before and I'll say it again:

    Grow up.

    Now I, too, am done with you.

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  5. Okay first up, I'm not a 'jealous foreigner'. I live in a country with a robust democratic system of government, a climate that is the envy of the world, and a standard of education and literacy that has produced many firsts. We also, for a small country, have some outstanding athletes.

    What's to be jealous of? Schoolyard massacres, gangsta rap, a crummy healthcare/welfare system? I'll get my fill from received media thanks.

    What gives me the right to comment is that, first, I am a citizen of the world, and, second, as the last remaining superpower, anything the US does has a great impact on what happens here and everywhere else on this mudball.

    I could easily trade 'grow up' insults with you as there is a tinge of the American arrogance and insularity; not even knowing or understanding the countries you're blowing up or suppressing economically. But I take you at face value and assume you are not like a know-nothing loudmouth Bill O'Reilly or Rosie O'Donnell (yes, Left and Right just as bad) whose line of argument is to shout their guests down.

    Coming from a country doesn't make you more insightful. If it did then any good ol' boy from the South with a grade school edjikation would be better qualified to comment than the most astute political observer. Though, judging by the way you run things there, perhaps that is how you operate.

    President Ford also went on record as being highly critical of the current administration's record and foreign policy objectives. And he stated that the reason for his loss to Carter was that infamous pardon.

    And, just so I don't have to go and comment elsewhere on your blog - as I know you're already sick of me - your criticisms are nothing but reflex insults delivered in anger. I come from a small conservative rural community (you could have found out which country if you weren't so typically American incurious) digesting old Reader's Digests from the sixties, with articles by some bloke named, uh, Nixon. We were steeped in the Church.
    Yet, here I am, a freethinker. I sought out opinions from all sides, all persuasions, and then made my decision. I would suggest, the complete antithesis of a sheep-like slave to New Age thinking.

    You on the other hand, cop all your opinions from links to right wing commentators, which must take a lot of work I'm sure.

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  6. 1) You are jealous. Your country doesn't have "a great impact on what happens here and everywhere else on this mudball," so, please, spare me. You faggots love singing "I'm so bored with the U.S.A." while your faces are constantly pressed against the glass. Well, sorry but you can't come in. Go do something with yourselves. We're busy.

    2) Rap Music is the envy of the world. Suck it up, Berko. What have your guys invented lately that the world responded to? Let me guess: nothing. You just talk shit.

    3) The American arrogance. Ah yes, you would like us more humble, wouldn't you? Bowing and scraping and asking for approval? Well, fuck you. You don't run or rule us. You don't get a vote and your voice doesn't matter. If there's one thing I'm sick of, it's the assumption that people outside of my country get a say in it, or we should give a shit what you think. That's another reason to hate hippies: they're the losers that gave you bastards the idea any of that's true.

    4) Coming from this country makes us a lot of things - and even a "good ol' boy from the South" has more going for him than you're giving him credit for. (You live on American stereotypes, don't you?) Berko, I'm a proud black American: you can't win. I know more about my country, and it's place in the world, than you ever will.

    5) "President Ford also went on record as being highly critical of the current administration's record and foreign policy objectives. And he stated that the reason for his loss to Carter was that infamous pardon."

    So what's your point? Just throwing shit out to say you read but it serves no purpose but to make you look stupid. Watch me do it right: Ford fell down and bumped his head more than any other president and Carter was one of only two Democratic presidents in the last 40 years. Hell of a record, those guys. Leftists. Like you, Berko: born to lose. Hardly a freethinker to me. Just another leftist sheep.

    And - finally - no, Berko, I don't cop my opinions from right-wing mags - I provide those for your amusement: I have my own ideas. Ain't too many black atheist Republicans for me to read.

    And I'm the only one you got either.

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  7. As I say, so incurious. I'm on Blogger. That's really my photo and description. You're hurling your crap out in the wind and having it blow back in your face. You really don't need an opinion different to your own so that makes you at least as boring as me. I've had better arguments from a pneumatic drill.

    Leftist sheep. I thought the point was whether one just snuffled up every piece of received wisdom that was out there or sought out 'the answer'. You are an atheist that cheerleads an end-times evangelical and doesn't see the danger that this poses. You may be a student of your country's history, you're just not a good one.

    And, no, fuck you. Of course you can vote for whoever you want: crooks, philanderers, warmongers, morally bankrupt godbotherers. You will whether us interfering foreigners put in our two bobs' worth or not but expecting us not to, takes disingenuousness to a new level.

    Where are your military bases? Who do you coopt into, even your bad loser wars? You expect to just go where you please, pretending that your spreading democracy to the world, without explaining how this action squares with the motivations of a true freedom-loving democrat.

    I don't see why you see acting sanely and rationally is a weakness. Spending far too much in lives and money to wage a war you're bound to lose is weakness. Countries looking on are NOT impressed; they're just looking at what major boofheads you are, blowing up the wrong guys, committing the atrocities that you pillory the 'enemy' for. Until you do look learn to look at yourselves in the cold hard light of day, you're like children with toys that are too big for them. And there's nothing but nothing that's worthy of looking in and respecting.

    And hurling insults, especially reductive and highly inaccurate ones, doesn't further your claims any.

    To directly address one of your assertions, rather than using Bill 'Boring Ass' O'Reilly insults to muffle dissent, Bush has made America worse by:

    (i) through ignoring specific warnings about the hijacking of planes by terrorists.( Oop, there are Arabs learning how to fly a plane but not to land it. Oop, there's a (much lambasted) French intelligence report about the specific modus operandi but the great superpower had NOTHING in place to prepare for this. Thanks George, for stopping it from happening again. Yeah. ) creating a far worse, more suspicious and divisive society.

    (ii) by going it alone showing that America is willing to flaunt its powers against the wishes of its allies and then get it flagrantly wrong, degrading the state of play on the world stage.

    (iii) offshore torture camps and renditions. Can't recall those under previous govts. Kind of suck something fierce. If he had done nothing else, the climate that encouraged this anti-democratic and anti-American behaviour should condemn this administration alone.

    Pardon me for seeing those photos that were leaked from Abu Ghraib and being mortified. Sorry that your macho posturing thinks this is in any way tolerable. Guess being a foreigner I should leave those uniformed thugs to get their upper body workout, but couldn't they have the decency to stay and do it to each other, instead of picking on prisoners under their command? Not what the Geneva convention was about. Gerry and Tojo would have been proud.

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  8. Berko,

    "As I say, so incurious. I'm on Blogger. That's really my photo and description. You're hurling your crap out in the wind and having it blow back in your face. You really don't need an opinion different to your own so that makes you at least as boring as me. I've had better arguments from a pneumatic drill."

    First, I told you (on another thread) I was busy - too busy to investigate all my attackers (and I do have many) and, right now, too busy to even write. That's why there's so many "bullet posts" right now.

    Sorry, but you're wrong, Berko: I'm not like you. My mind is open to everything. I read right, left, and center, and not to cynically back-up what I think.( The fact I turn out to be right is just a plus.) That pneumatic drill you hear is your single brain cell banging against your skull. Contrary to popular opinion, I am capable of changing my mind, and that's exactly what pisses off liberals: I've changed my mind about them. They like the idea of blacks falling in line behind their bullshit, but question what they say, and you've become "close-minded." But the truth is you're wrong. Getting you to admit it is all that's left to do.

    "Leftist sheep. I thought the point was whether one just snuffled up every piece of received wisdom that was out there or sought out 'the answer'. You are an atheist that cheerleads an end-times evangelical and doesn't see the danger that this poses. You may be a student of your country's history, you're just not a good one."

    My support for my president should tell you a whole lot of things: I'm not as closed-minded as people make out. I respect the office of the presidency. I accept American exceptualism. I know how to back up my quarterback in the big game of war. Etc.

    As far as knowing my country's history: at least I didn't learn it from Reader's Digest.

    "Of course you can vote for whoever you want: crooks, philanderers, warmongers, morally bankrupt godbotherers. You will whether us interfering foreigners put in our two bobs' worth or not but expecting us not to, takes disingenuousness to a new level."

    Why don't you dickheads focus on your own countries? When I was in France, I was amazed how 1/2 of a newscast was about what the fuck we do. Not just shit that might matter to them but just bullshit from America. You people have no lives.

    "Where are your military bases? Who do you coopt into, even your bad loser wars? You expect to just go where you please, pretending that your spreading democracy to the world, without explaining how this action squares with the motivations of a true freedom-loving democrat."

    We've saved more people world-wide than your country. We've brought more peace to more people world-wide than your country. We've brought more prosperity to more people world-wide than your country. And you know what? I can say that about any other country in the world. Face it: we're not as cynical as you. We're not as defeatist as you. We're not as scared as you. We are The New World.

    Suck it up.

    "I don't see why you see acting sanely and rationally is a weakness. Spending far too much in lives and money to wage a war you're bound to lose is weakness. Countries looking on are NOT impressed; they're just looking at what major boofheads you are, blowing up the wrong guys, committing the atrocities that you pillory the 'enemy' for. Until you do look learn to look at yourselves in the cold hard light of day, you're like children with toys that are too big for them. And there's nothing but nothing that's worthy of looking in and respecting."

    You've got it backwards, Berk: I don't see acting sanely and rationally as a weakness, but rather I'm rejecting the idea that acting weak is sane or rational. That's why the term "macho" pisses so many people off: it says I'll stand up - not be a sheep.

    And you say, post-surge, we're bound to lose this war (defeatist and delusional) deny other countries - France, Germany, etc. - are coming around to our position (delusional) and seem to be squeamish about the cost of war (cowardly). Sorry, Berk, but this is the Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave. You wouldn't qualify.

    "And hurling insults, especially reductive and highly inaccurate ones, doesn't further your claims any."

    Sure it does. Liberals treat being nice to them as weakness. I refuse. Fuck you. You're wrong.

    "To directly address one of your assertions, rather than using Bill 'Boring Ass' O'Reilly insults to muffle dissent, Bush has made America worse by:

    (i) through ignoring specific warnings about the hijacking of planes by terrorists.( Oop, there are Arabs learning how to fly a plane but not to land it. Oop, there's a (much lambasted) French intelligence report about the specific modus operandi but the great superpower had NOTHING in place to prepare for this. Thanks George, for stopping it from happening again. Yeah. ) creating a far worse, more suspicious and divisive society.

    (ii) by going it alone showing that America is willing to flaunt its powers against the wishes of its allies and then get it flagrantly wrong, degrading the state of play on the world stage.

    (iii) offshore torture camps and renditions. Can't recall those under previous govts. Kind of suck something fierce. If he had done nothing else, the climate that encouraged this anti-democratic and anti-American behaviour should condemn this administration alone.

    Pardon me for seeing those photos that were leaked from Abu Ghraib and being mortified. Sorry that your macho posturing thinks this is in any way tolerable. Guess being a foreigner I should leave those uniformed thugs to get their upper body workout, but couldn't they have the decency to stay and do it to each other, instead of picking on prisoners under their command? Not what the Geneva convention was about. Gerry and Tojo would have been proud."


    Your hang-up with Bill O'Reilly says more than you know. O.K. here goes:

    1) That was an FBI and CIA fuck up - not the president's - proving you don't understand the structure of my government. (Both of those entities were - and will still - be there no matter who the president is.) And not listening to the french is smart: if you think they're prepared for anything you don't understand France. I lived there and it's a hole. A hole filled with angry Arabs. The last time I was in a french airport, I saw no - no - security what-so-ever.

    2) Gitmo has always been there. You just started paying attention to it, proving your ignorance of my government, again. And CIA renditions have always occurred in war. You're a wimp, facing people who chop off heads with dull steak knives. Worry about yourself, I feel secure, and ain't worried about my freedom, or democracy, at all. You're a cherry-picker of information - listening to the "drive-by media" as Rush Limbaugh says - so you're blinded to the whole of what we do, or who we are. It's sad to discover such wimpy folks exist, but nice to know you're not our problem.

    3) Abu Ghraib is bullshit. We're in a war - we're supposed to be killing people - and you're upset we put underwear on some guys head? Puh-leaze.

    Grow a couple, Berko, if that's possible.

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