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Everything posted by Pangloss

  1. Pretty much. I guess it's a shame that not all people share the same core values, which might allow the removal of those borders. You can wax philosophical all you like, but you go right on ahead and remove those borders and then you can figure out how to deal with the Taliban. Not everyone wants to just get along. False dichotomy. Those are not the only two types of society in existence today. I note that you haven't responded to my point that there are no mainstream political groups in the United States that are opposed to immigration.
  2. There are lots of arguments you could put up here regarding that woman's testimony, but that's not the point. She's not an expert on firearms tactics, and her testimony isn't useful for supporting absolutes. The point is simply to counter excessive, exaggerated arguments for gun control, given that guns are already legal. And it works just fine on that level.
  3. What I can't think of is a valid reason why economic impact would factor into consideration for a Food Stamp program.
  4. Uh huh. What you really mean is that some people ascribe motives to their statements and actions that may or may not accurately reflect the accused. I believe in a secure border, and I'm not going to accept responsibility for someone else deciding erroneously that I am opposed to immigration. That's a YP, not an MP. The political context I was referring to is highlighted by the need for national defense, which answers your question. If you want to talk about that perception being in error, we can do that. I'm not really interested in a discussion about idyllic utopias, though.
  5. Glad you're okay. Thanks for the report, that was interesting.
  6. I don't see why it's my fault that they're erecting additional psychological barriers for themselves that I certainly didn't put in place. The idea of rules is to prevent abuse of a temporary aid program. If they don't like the rules, they can get off the program. I've personally seen people waltz through unimaginable adversity to achieve success. Students who get four hours of sleep between two jobs and coming two school, and still get every homework assignment and extra credit done on time -- THAT's how you behave when you're on welfare. Feeling "stigmatized" because you have to buy "cola" instead of "Coca-Cola" is not something I'm going to lose any sleep over.
  7. Okay. I know of no mainstream movement to that effect in American politics. For the paycheck. And I am aware of no restrictions on movement within this country. Nor is the national boundary in place in order to restrict the movement of workers. If you want to talk about whether national boundaries should ultimately be merged to reflect economic realities, fine, we can talk about that, but there is a political context to those boundaries too. Like the products I buy that are made in China and benefit a socialist economy? I don't see why I should boycott their products just because I am benefitting their economies. I like their products, I buy them. What's the problem?
  8. How do you feel that that applies in this case?
  9. I don't accept the notion that you appear to put forth in your statement that campaigns against illegal immigrants are "anti-immigrant". Just as liberals get angry at being called "unpatriotic", conservatives get angry at being labeled "anti-immigrant". These stereotypes are unhelpful and get in the way of constructive discourse. And I think this reframes your question, too. It's not a matter of immigrants being rejected, it's a matter of them not understanding the argument. And finally, the question of whether workers in any country "participate in economic activities" was never a political one anyway. They're there for a paycheck, not to make an ideological statement. The people who work in Mexican factories producing goods for American markets are not slave labor, lemur, they're a paid workforce chasing their own dreams.
  10. Interesting poll out today. This is also interesting: http://www.usatoday.com/news/washington/2011-01-12-poll-ariz-shooting_N.htm The way I read these somewhat conflicting results is that the people generally agree with the point about violent rhetoric, but are overwhelmingly tired of being manipulated by political pundits. This blame game fell into an existing narration that the mainstream left has it in for Sarah Palin and the Tea Party Movement, and will stop at nothing to shut down any dissent. It also strikes me as a clear signal that people's trust in the media is almost as bad as their trust in government right now. They listen to what outlets like NBC, CBS and the New York Times say, and then immediately reverse it and believe the opposite. I don't think the New York Times or Paul Krugman could have picked a better way to bump Sarah Palin's approval ratings, and I'll bet those ratings are soaring right now. Yeesh. I think it's also important to notice how the different outlets responded to this situation. The New York Times pronounced the American people wrong and stupid, thereby making itself part of the story, and in a very inflammatory way. Fox News, on the other hand, stayed out of the firing line, focusing on complimentary analysis that turned the heat down and asked what can be done better in the future. Yeah they'll blow it up later, especially now that they have another fun thing to throw at liberals, but in the initial aftermath Fox News reacted better. That's why they keep coming out on top. Fox News isn't a controlling influence, it's a reactionary one. They have a better feel for the American pulse right now, so they're responding better than older institutions like the New York Times.
  11. Sheriff Joe Arpaio from Maricopa County (which is adjacent to Pima county, where the shooting took place) was on Bill O'Reilly tonight in an absolutely flame-strewn interview that practically set my television on fire. He came on to accuse Pima County Sheriff Clarence Dupnik, who's been all over the airwaves since the shooting, of politicizing the event (hehe, I guess Arpaio would know!). Dupnik, of course, is the one who ignited this firestorm over whether the "hard right" (in his words) are partly responsible for this incident due to violent rhetoric. The most stunning moment was when Arpaio, who is frequently protested against because of his stance in favor of Arizona's new immigration law (Dupnik, btw, is opposed and has vowed not to enforce it), accused Dupnik of having his own people arrange to have Sheriff Arpaio beaten in effigy during a visit Arpaio made to the area. Wow! No evidence was provided, but I suppose someone had to inflame them, if we go by the liberal meme that misguided extremists must be too stupid to think for themselves. O'Reilly also made the point that he himself is a frequent target of death threats, and has to maintain 24-hour security. Gee. I found an article on the incident here: http://tucsoncitizen.com/morgue/2008/07/15/90939-denogean-protesters-as-offensive-as-sheriff-arpaio/ ---------- Let's take a look at a few more examples of "violent rhetoric", shall we? President Obama, quoting The Untouchables: "If They Bring a Knife to the Fight, We Bring a Gun". (That's "the Chicago way", right?) Below are a bunch from Michelle Malkin, who I'm not a big fan of (way too partisan), but she has a Big Gulp-sized collection of violent liberal rhetoric so it's worth sampling a bit of it. The full collection can be viewed here.
  12. The Taliban wasn't going to cooperate. Ever. Afghanistan's one and only chance for peaceful coexistence in the community of nations is the one you've seen played out over the last ten years. No reasonable analysis, anywhere, has ever provided a path that's more likely to succeed than the one they're on right now. I think your argument makes more sense with regard to Iraq in 2003. The Bush administration should have paid more attention to reports from weapons inspectors than the faulty intelligence he was receiving, and continued to wait.
  13. A new explanation for Loughner's actions appeared in the media today. It's our old friend lucid dreaming. Oh dear. http://abcnews.go.com/US/jared-lee-loughner-lucid-dreams-alleged-arizona-shooter/story?id=12585475
  14. Jon Stewart last night: "I wouldn't blame our political rhetoric any more than I would blame heavy metal music for Columbine."
  15. I brought it up because it's relevant. I supported my case in my previous post -- society is already conflating the issue. It doesn't help that your "violent rhetoric" apparently includes highly generalized metaphors with numerous meanings that when interpreted by any sane person, so far as we have seen, are harmlessly motivational. I can understand why you think we should amend speech because of the actions of the insane, I just think your concerns are misplaced and trivial. Pundit theater is just theater, the real danger is divisive impact on public opinion, not silly, immature imagery aimed at motivating door-to-door poll workers. But slip-sliding the blame dynamic from "violent" to "inflammatory", THAT's a serious concern. Once we start categorizing any opposition as being a cause for violence, and compliant people as doing the right thing, we might as well all hitch ourselves to the wagon and start beggin' massa for scraps of food. From today's New York Times: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/01/10/opinion/10mon1.html?_r=1&_...
  16. The US participated in humanitarian missions all over the world long before 9/11.
  17. Well that's the thing, now we're going to have to listen to all manner of "yeah, just like the time when" comparisons. Krugman posted a longer editorial yesterday that immediately prompted hundreds of user comments (no surprise there), and I noticed that one of them said something along the lines of "Bill O'Reilly is doing the same thing with his comments on abortion doctors killing babies". Krugman himself directly invited that comment when he stated in his piece that Bill O'Reilly was one of those who has been inciting violence, though he wasn't as specific. I don't know about Beck, but I've never heard O'Reilly joke about shooting government officials. Anyway, getting back to the point, with regard to Palin he used the phrase "Mission Accomplished". I agree that's not the same as "don't retreat - RELOAD", but aren't those kinds of accusations just as inflammatory and inciting as "baby killer"? One man's valid political commentary is another man's "inflammatory rhetoric". ----------- BTW, just to throw fuel on the fire, the Westerboro Baptist Church loons are planning to protest the funerals of the victims. And it looks like there will be another court fight over their right to do that. (sigh) http://edition.cnn.com/2011/US/01/11/arizona.funeral.westboro/?hpt=Mid
  18. So, as with your post directly stating that crosshairs imply violence, you're again giving specific examples without providing a usable guidelines that will likely be recognizable BEFORE the slogan is written. It's easy to say "that's inflammatory" in hindsight. Much harder to provide a guiding principle. This is the point I was trying to make before. And, by the way, there's no evidence that this incident was influenced in any way by any such rhetoric. Sure fits in the elitist meme about the average American being too stupid for their own good, though. If you really want to talk about inflammatory rhetoric, perhaps we could start right there.
  19. Isn't that what you said? Bullseye okay, crosshairs bad? I don't think you're mistaken in your analysis, I just think it's amusing that we're going to parse political rhetoric at that level of detail. Gotta get at those "root causes", right? I don't think I'm going to be the only one who finds that amusing, either. The very first time someone puts out guidelines on this it's going to become instant fodder for the late-night talk-show hosts. Let's see if we can come up with some effective guidelines for acceptable rhetoric, shall we? I'll start with a few frequently-cited points: - Finger-pointing - Use of the words "holocaust", "armageddon", "disaster", or "apocalypse" in any political analogy - Photos of nuclear bombs going off Bear in mind that we have to apply these rules to the media and its punditry too, which of course enjoys far more frequent viewership than any politician's speech or town hall meeting.
  20. Yes, they took oil from a Nazi ally and used it to fight Hitler. And promptly gave it back to them at the end of the war. Sure sure, victory of the common man over the violent colonialist oppressor. And yet poverty remains. Go figure. You go ahead and spin all the history you like, Marat. I'm just correcting the errors.
  21. Okay, so, a bullseye is acceptable and a crosshairs is not. Got it. Someone's writing these rules down, right?
  22. Thanks for the article, Cap'n. I just pasted several paragraphs of it into an inter-office email that I expect is going to raise a few eyebrows at work in the morning. There's some fascinating between-the-lines stuff there on page 3 about the way that community college handled his case. We've had cases where we removed students, but only after overt threats (like a bomb scare). Results in borderline cases usually range from need-for-improvement recommendations to psych evaluations, but not expulsion. Apparently this school had the same general practice, but somehow actually talked him into quitting and then slapped a psych requirement on any future readmission. That's pretty proactive thinking, and I'll bet a few backs are going to be patted on that campus tomorrow morning. I worry a lot about stuff like this. Loughner doesn't seem all that different from some of the kids I see every day. It doesn't seem like a very long trip from ranting on Facebook and YouTube to pulling out a Glock at a supermarket. --------- BTW, here's Gabby Giffords' On the Issues rating. Being in a conservative state it's probably not surprising that she's pretty moderate. She's pro-gun ownership, and in fact I read somewhere that she owns the same model Glock that was used in the incident. She's also pretty tough on immigration, being a supporter of Federal troops on the border, though she was opposed to 1070.
  23. That's not correct. Historically when the price of oil is low it's because of oversupply. I would refer you to the Pulitzer-winning "The Prize" by Daniel Yergin for starters. Oil drilling is frequently cited as an example of the Tragedy of the Commons. This was also part of the reasoning behind the creation of OPEC -- to control supply in order to prevent another repetition of the oversupply crash cycles that so plagued the early industry. Yeah that's a nice theory, so long as the casual observer overlooks the date. The Shah was sympathetic with the Nazi cause. Persians are Aryans, not Semitics like most of their Arab and Jewish neighbors, and there was an obvious identification with that whole master-race god complex thing going on. The Nazi movement had a foothold there that continued after the war and even (albeit rarely) still crops up today. The Persian word for Aryan, by the way, is "Iran". (Not to suggest that mainstream modern Persians are Nazis, of course, I've just always thought that fact interesting, not to mention little-recognized in the West.) Anyway, one of the outcomes of that invasion is that Hitler had virtually zero access to petroleum for the remainder of the war. Germany actually *manufactured* its petrol during most of the war (which made for some rather obvious bomber targets). Another outcome is that it provided the Soviets with oil to fight Hitler with. Sounds like a pretty good plan to me.
  24. Actually that was just a page from the history books. My actual list of horrors contains mainly zombie apocalypse scenarios and Golan Globus movies from the 1980s. So Saddam was justified? Wow, I guess it's just too bad for the Kuwaitis, huh? So your advice is not to help our friends when they're invaded because it's too expensive? Or... perhaps they wouldn't. Got any data?
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