Great Society

Archives => Newsday Special: The Mid Terms => Topic started by: fajwat on July 29, 2006, 12:35:55 AM

Title: Let's start this season off right
Post by: fajwat on July 29, 2006, 12:35:55 AM
Very satisfying survey results from an NPR survey:

Quote from: Salon.com
this survey was conducted only in the 50 most hotly contested congressional districts....

People are angry. More than 60 percent of the voters in the NPR survey believe that the country is "pretty seriously" on the wrong track, while only 31 percent believe it is on the right track. Of those who feel that we're on the wrong track, almost two-thirds blame the war in Iraq or the economy. Another 16 percent blame "Bush in general," and only 6 percent blame illegal immigration.

People are especially angry at the president. Of the 50 districts surveyed by NPR, nine are represented by Democrats and one by an independent; the remaining 40 are represented by Republicans. But Bush's approval rating in these overwhelmingly GOP-held districts is a dismal 42 percent.

People want change. Fewer than three in 10 of the voters in these competitive districts say they are likely to vote for the incumbent. Nearly half say they are likely to vote for "someone else."...

People reject the "moral values" demagoguery. Most voters in the contested districts say that they trust Democrats, not Republicans, on such issues as stem cell research,  flag burning and gay rights....

http://www.salon.com/opinion/conason/2006/07/28/dems_2006/
Title: Re: Let's start this season off right
Post by: Cassander on July 29, 2006, 01:19:05 AM
Sounds like the DNC is starting to get the gears working on their own political machine.  Too bad NPR  (and salon.com)  is already preaching to the choir.

we'll see though. 
Title: Re: Let's start this season off right
Post by: Matt on July 30, 2006, 11:05:09 PM
I love how immigration has been such a failed Republican attempt to create an issue to distract from the failure in Iraq, and how it has come back to bite them in the ass by costing them Hispanic support (that Bush tried to win with amnesty back in the 2004 election). It's nice to see that most Americans aren't really taken in by all the media hype and spin.

But really, the "religious right" has lasted for nearly thirty years. That's pretty impressive, all things consider, to keeping a movement alive.
Title: Re: Let's start this season off right
Post by: fajwat on July 30, 2006, 11:32:25 PM
like... the perennial flag burning!
http://www.doonesbury.com/strip/dailydose/index.html?uc_full_date=20060730
Title: Re: Let's start this season off right
Post by: Reginald McGraw on August 10, 2006, 10:28:10 AM
It's nice to see that most Americans aren't really taken in by all the media hype and spin.

Are you kidding me?

The ONLY spin I have seen lately is...WAR BAD, BUSH BAD, EVERYONE MAD AT BUSH, EVERYONE HATE BUSH.

Which seems like what most people are picking up and running with according to various surveys and doo-dads.

I'm not saying people don't feel this way, but certainly that is the "you should believe this if not you're a moron" vibe put out there by most media.  And that does affect people who don't think about things, but instead turn on the TV and find out what to believe (which is a large number).
Title: Re: Let's start this season off right
Post by: Matt on August 10, 2006, 12:52:07 PM
War is bad.

Bush has been bad for the nation and our constitution.

Everyone outside the United States is mad at Bush, and thanks to our idiotic war plan dreamed up by Rumsfeld and the fracturing of our government (Pentagon and State Department). We fucked up Iraq and now the dog is out of the cage. Bush and especially his cabinet have proved to be amazingly ineffective at handling military affairs, yet amazingly effective at stripping our civil liberties.

I was mostly referring to all the pulpit-pounding about immigration and how Congress and seemingly everyone in the news media said "immigration is a big issue!" when most Americans didn't care one way or another where Jose Hispanic was from Mexico or Cuba or El Salvador or Indiana.
Title: Re: Let's start this season off right
Post by: Tatertots on August 10, 2006, 12:55:25 PM
Matt's right, that's where the spin is: Congress can push something as "critical to our people" and the newspapers swallow the whole thing without questioning it. "Fair and balanced" means quoting a Democrat, a Republican, and some conservative whackjob.
Title: Re: Let's start this season off right
Post by: Reginald McGraw on August 10, 2006, 02:25:45 PM
I guess I haven't seen anything on immigration in spin-world in a long time.

Title: Re: Let's start this season off right
Post by: Matt on August 10, 2006, 02:29:12 PM
Exactly - because no one really cared about it and it was just a distraction from how badly Iraq has been fucked up.
Title: Re: Let's start this season off right
Post by: Reginald McGraw on August 10, 2006, 03:11:31 PM
And by that you mean no one in the liberal media* really cared about it!?!

Let's face it...it's been a slow news summer.  People dying is the only thing out there.  When the media constantly pumps out one thing, people get sick of it and hate it.  I'm certainly sick of hearing about Iraq and about Bush being an idiot.  So much so, that I have started to hate the Iraqi people and actual shrubs.

*Fox excluded, they are the conservative media.
Title: Re: Let's start this season off right
Post by: Matt on August 10, 2006, 03:27:35 PM
Oh come off your "liberal media bias! THE LIBERALS WANT US TO FAIL!" bullshit. You can get sick of the truth all you want but it doesn't change what is. I could argue up and down with you, but you're not interested in that. You'd rather keep living in this world where Bush is doing it all for the best of his country, that Islamic terrorists hate America for its freedoms and that all the Arabs are out to get us, that the politicians genuinely care, deeply, about you and I. They want to protect us. They're the fathers we never had, because Daddy was drinking bourbon and hitting Mommy. 

So go on, keep tending your lawn, driving your car and raising your children to stay away from the homosexuals. Pablo down the street has to go because he has five children and for some goddamn reason he is digging holes in the neighbors lawn - for only five dollars an hour! But the TV's on and Desperate Housewives is revving up for a 7th season. Who cares that you can't walk down the street without noticing the second bulb in every street lamp watching you? Who cares that we just eliminated the section of the IRS responsible for auditing the richest people in America? We're going to save thousands of dollars by eliminating that bureacracy! Who cares? Not I. And you know, I would read the New York Times, but they're liberal. They told the terrorists all our secrets. And there was that book by Dan Brown I was meaning to read.
Title: Re: Let's start this season off right
Post by: Reginald McGraw on August 10, 2006, 04:23:19 PM
Yeah...the lmb part was intended as a funny; sorry about that.  And sorry to go point by point here...but I feel that I need to.

Come on, if we agreed more, then I wouldn't believe that Bush is doing it all for the best of his country and then we couldn't argue about it.

That's what I want to believe about him, true, and that's probably stupid of me.  Stupid to hold on to some shred of a belief that there are politicians that act in accordance with their principles.  I don't think that about 99% of politicians; reps, dems or otherwise.  It also has not been disproved that that is what he is doing.

Why do you think Islamic terrorists hate America?

I love homosexuals, Arabs, Jews, and illegal immigrants.  Although I have generalized philosophical disagreements with all of them.

I hate tending my lawn.

I don't watch TV.

I don't like the IRS, but let's eliminate a lot of other pieces of the government too!

I don't like street lamps watching me.

The street lamp in front of my house now works for the first time in 3 years that I have lived here.

Probably because they installed a camera.

I enjoyed all of Dan Brown's books.

I would read the New York Times...but...who reads newspapers these days?!?  Certainly not unenlightened fellows like myself.
Title: Re: Let's start this season off right
Post by: Matt on August 10, 2006, 10:30:00 PM
Politicians don't have that many principles, and that's the key difference between you and I. Time and time again, politicians show that they have none - every presidential race, we see that. I was out with friends a few nights ago and someone was arguing that we don't need term limits, because if we had them the politicians in power would be inexperienced and would still be stooges for whoever pays them off. Well, we've gone for awhile without term limits and I don't see it working.

I think Islamic terrorists hate America because it's easy and it gives them power, just like portraying a faceless, shifting enemy who strikes through terror gives our politicians power. It all comes down to power and who has it. I think "the terrorists won" the day we signed the Patriot Act into law. Osama bin Laden didn't wake up one morning and hate America for its freedom. That's a ridiculous notion. It's the kind of notion that grew in strength when the people that asked, "Why did this happen?" were shouted down as unpatriotic charlatans.
Title: Re: Let's start this season off right
Post by: Matt on August 10, 2006, 10:37:42 PM
and ironically, http://www.zefrank.com/theshow/# <-- nailed it on the head.
Title: Re: Let's start this season off right
Post by: fajwat on August 10, 2006, 10:59:17 PM
Why do you think Islamic terrorists hate America?

People dying is the only thing out there.

if it bleeds, it leads.  And America has been directly and indirectly killing people globally for decades.  Specifically for the Arab world: 1) Supporting, politically and materially, Israel's persecution of Arabs. 2) a decade of baby killing sanctions in Iraq, after bombing their infrastructure. 3) interfering in local and regional politics, e.g. installing and supporting several leaders who ruined their people's lives (Saddam, that Iranian guy, probably Egypt) 4) in the face of billions given to Israel for weapons, our humanitarian and intellectual aid to Arab countries has been shamefully low.  Particularly germane is Afghanistan's situation -- we helped Osama and the locals defeat the Soviets for us, then utterly abandoned the war torn, poverty ridden nation.  5) I'm leaving out a lot in the interest of finishing up some work and going home on time.  From memory, those are the biggies.

Our hedonistic freewheeling lifestyle ("whee look at us!") might be salt in the wounds, but salt ain't no thing without the open cuts.

But don't argue with me over whether these things are enough to kill us over.  Everyone likes to argue with "those misguided liberals" about how we've not really mistreated them at all, or how they started it/deserved it/etc.  Don't argue with me -- we need to start convincing them.  It's not me who needs convincing.  Besides, I don't believe in violence of any kind, and certainly not killing anyone. 
Title: Re: Let's start this season off right
Post by: Tatertots on August 10, 2006, 11:09:14 PM
He nailed it on the head with a sledgehammer the size of a large planet.

Ze Frank 2008!
Title: Re: Let's start this season off right
Post by: nacho on August 11, 2006, 08:57:53 AM

3) interfering in local and regional politics, e.g. installing and supporting several leaders who ruined their people's lives (Saddam, that Iranian guy, probably Egypt)

Good lord, that goes for the entire planet.  The Taliban, as well.  South America... This was one of the key elements to how things were run during the Cold War.  Russia did the same thing.  The agitators who cite this as an example simply lack any historical knowledge.

And there's the great issue, eh?  Revisionist history on the part of the entire planet runs America out as the scapegoat simply because we're not only the last man standing, but we're a rather unique nation in terms of society and politics.  Beating up on Russia for committing similar -- and far, far, far greater crimes during the Cold War -- seems pathetic.  Like kicking the crippled kid.

We may be guilty of sins over the last 50 years, but we didn't commit those sins out of malevolence.  Paranoia, political naivete...okay.  It is clear to the world that we, as a nation, are not guilty but are, instead, driven by a core group of "fanatics," whether they be industrial or political.  The days of painting the enemy as baby-eating gorillas is over because everyone everywhere is plugged in.

But fanatics drive the population.  It's the great flaw of democracy.  The 5-10%, if ever in a position of power,  often speak for the majority.  Basic survival. 

I've always viewed terrorism as an attempt to wake us up and get us active against the ruling minority.  Of course, it backfires with us because, since we were brought in from the farmhouse schools to the cluster schools we've been trained to march to war and machine gun Waffen-SS.
Title: Re: Let's start this season off right
Post by: Reginald McGraw on August 11, 2006, 10:14:05 AM
Politicians don't have that many principles, and that's the key difference between you and I.

Ha!  I don't see that as a key difference.  I agree with you.  Our disagreement is mostly about George Bush having/not having principles.

I don't think hating America because it's easy & gives power are reasons.  They may be true, but people don't really hate things for those reasons...although they may say that they do.  Are you saying that Islamic terrorists don't really hate America, they just say it to be cool?

If so what can we do about it?

Fajwat, how do we start convincing them?

Do we really have any power to do that, or are we bound, as Nacho says,  to be shoved around by the vocal fanatics advancing their agendas?
Title: Re: Let's start this season off right
Post by: fajwat on August 11, 2006, 11:55:03 AM

3) interfering in local and regional politics, e.g. installing and supporting several leaders who ruined their people's lives (Saddam, that Iranian guy, probably Egypt)

Good lord, that goes for the entire planet.  The Taliban, as well.  South America... This was one of the key elements to how things were run during the Cold War.  Russia did the same thing.  The agitators who cite this as an example simply lack any historical knowledge.

...The days of painting the enemy as baby-eating gorillas is over because everyone everywhere is plugged in.

They can still blame us for our actions.  Especially given the abandonment afterward.  Claiming that they're not putting their suffering in proper political perspective ... yeah, that always helps.  I mean, you seem to have a point there but what to do about it?
Title: Re: Let's start this season off right
Post by: fajwat on August 11, 2006, 11:56:09 AM
(Nacho -- you're low on milk.  Sorry for any mess I've left.  My parking space will be free until Sunday evening.)
Title: Re: Let's start this season off right
Post by: nacho on August 11, 2006, 11:58:29 AM
(Nacho -- you're low on milk. Sorry for any mess I've left. My parking space will be free until Sunday evening.)

Thanks.  I'll stand in it and think about how great it would be if the Acura had a working fuel pump.
Title: Re: Let's start this season off right
Post by: fajwat on August 14, 2006, 09:24:50 PM
shit, really?  Is that still dead? Foo.  BTW, I'm cashing another one of your checks soon.  I mixed it up with my aunt's "Evangelical Credit Union" check I'd been keeping in my wallet as a souvineer.
Title: Re: Let's start this season off right
Post by: Cassander on August 15, 2006, 02:11:23 AM
i don't see what's so wrong about giving in.  We're already halfway there with all our new laws, restrictions, and mindset.  Just withrdaw from Israel and stop beating up on the desert and caves jetset.  They say if we give in to the terrorists, they win, but so what?  If we give them everything they want, it's not like they're going to come back for more.

"You stopped supporting those Israeli bastards?"

"Yep."

"And you're not going to try to 'liberate' our countries anymore?"

"That's right."

"And you're going to stop exporting 'Friends' to Al-Jezeera?"

"Prom promise."

"Ok, what about oil?"

"Well, we've worked out a few deals with Russia, China (you know, reasonable countries)  and tried to cut back on our consumption rate by putting money into research on Hybrid engines and shit like that."

"Oh."

"So..."

"Yeah. Well."

"I guess this is goodbye."

"Don't make a big deal of it."

"Fine.  Whatever."

"..."

"..."

"Your phone number's the same, right?"

"Look, can't we just end this nicely?"

"Uh..wait! I have other demands!  Stop with the turtlenecks already!  And I need to know what's in the McDonald's special sauce!  And that Bruce Willis movie 'The Siege'...that's gotta come off of netflix....OR ELSE!"

"Don't do this to yourself.  You just get back out there.  Go bother Spain or something."
Title: Re: Let's start this season off right
Post by: fajwat on August 15, 2006, 04:46:51 AM
no, no, what they REALLY care about is our Freedoms!  That and our freedom fries.
Title: Re: Let's start this season off right
Post by: nacho on August 15, 2006, 08:56:22 AM
shit, really?  Is that still dead? Foo.  BTW, I'm cashing another one of your checks soon.  I mixed it up with my aunt's "Evangelical Credit Union" check I'd been keeping in my wallet as a souvineer.

Special thanks go to you for cashing two of my rent checks during the same pay period!

Yes, the Acura's still dead.

Cass:  I want to put that on the front page.  Or, at least, a version of that.  Can you use that exact exchange for an expanded though still short breakup comedy between oppressor and Mid-East?  Because, if not, I will.
Title: Re: Let's start this season off right
Post by: Reginald McGraw on August 15, 2006, 09:36:42 AM
So if we just ignore terrorists they'll go away?

We were pretty much doing that before they killed 3000 people with airplanes.

Oh, but those people aren't that important.  I mean, they're dead after all.

</principles>

Hahhahahahaha!
Title: Re: Let's start this season off right
Post by: Matt on August 15, 2006, 10:01:06 AM
Republicans are bad for the environment!

Look, Reginald, I can do it too.
Title: Re: Let's start this season off right
Post by: Reginald McGraw on August 15, 2006, 10:24:22 AM
Humans are bad for the environment.

I'm not sure what it is that you're doing too.  So spell it out, I'm not good at subtlety.
Title: Re: Let's start this season off right
Post by: Matt on August 15, 2006, 10:35:30 AM
I was pointing out the way you throw out phrases instead of arguments in rebutting people's arguments and statements. More often than not, those phrases obscure the argument by charging it emotionally.
Title: Re: Let's start this season off right
Post by: fajwat on August 15, 2006, 11:47:43 AM
As was noticed, it's not a great way to communicate.

Ow, we're exposed to the world in the Midday topic now?  I feel nekkid and self conscious.
Title: Re: Let's start this season off right
Post by: Reginald McGraw on August 15, 2006, 11:54:04 AM
Yes, an argumentative style that I use is to present something absurd as a comparison.  By doing that I hope that the logical mind evaluates the comparison and finds that absurdity is present on both ends.

Sometimes when I do it, I just throw out phrases.
I guess when I do that, I'm assuming the blanks get filled-in in peoples minds.  But that's a silly expectation...especially when I have to ask you to spell out what you're talking about because I can't.

Also, the emotional charging has probably already happened for me if my phrases are causing you to charge.  Maybe I'm too emotional.

Charge!!

Here's what I was thinking when I wrote the first post...

Oh that's funny.
It doesn't really work that way, but it's funny.
I should post.
No, I shouldn't.
Okay, I will.
I'll post something that points out that I think this would not work.
Okay, this will be fine.
And now, I would like to mention that I also thought it was funny.

Also, I would like to note that I think it's great that we can discuss things we care about, but also find dark humor in the same things.
Title: Re: Let's start this season off right
Post by: Matt on August 15, 2006, 12:34:48 PM
It's not an argumentative style - there's no argument. "Arguing" or "debating" with you is more like shadowboxing than actual discussion of events, because you're going to throw out simple phrases like rhetorical non sequiturs.
Title: Re: Let's start this season off right
Post by: Reginald McGraw on August 15, 2006, 12:36:11 PM
I'll try to be more concrete in the future.
Title: Re: Let's start this season off right
Post by: nacho on August 15, 2006, 12:46:47 PM
If there were really rules and styles to arguments, we'd all be in a happier world.
Title: Re: Let's start this season off right
Post by: Matt on August 15, 2006, 12:51:30 PM
There are. We're just not taught how communication works in grade school. I think studies in communication and media are essential parts of education nowadays, and every high school should have that as part of their curriculum.
Title: Re: Let's start this season off right
Post by: fajwat on August 15, 2006, 02:53:46 PM
If there were really rules and styles to arguments, we'd all be in a happier world.

Yes, like how our rules for elections and wars have made everyone much happier.  Mmmm.
Title: Re: Let's start this season off right
Post by: nacho on August 15, 2006, 04:02:00 PM
I think a larger point would be that here are no rules in the world and we're all satanic and horrific.