Today on Blogcritics
Home » Culture and Society » Obama’s Little Back to School Special

Obama’s Little Back to School Special

Please Share...Tweet about this on Twitter0Share on Facebook0Share on Google+0Share on LinkedIn0Pin on Pinterest0Share on TumblrShare on StumbleUpon0Share on Reddit0Email this to someone

One of the few things I have  gone on record as having disagreed with George W. Bush about has been No Child Left Behind (NCLB).  It was a good idea.  Unfortunately good intentions often go awry.

The big problem with NCLB is the fact that the average school administrator is nothing but a sniveling coward.  They are terrified their schools will not score well in testing, so they now demand teachers not teach but prep for tests.  If the average administrator had the backbone of a jellyfish it would be an improvement to the pathetic excuse of men and women who are only interested in looking good in the next report.

They are so terrified of their own shadows that they enact draconian zero tolerance rules which have seriously contributed to the dramatic rise in drop-out rates throughout the nation.  I could tell you the story of a young woman I know, a National Merit Scholar, getting ready to graduate with honors and a fortune in scholarship money.  A few weeks before her graduation she was caught smoking in the parking lot, and suspended for two weeks.  A downward spiral began that led to her dropping out, losing her scholarship, involving herself in a dramatic early marriage, and no college. 

Yes, smoking in the parking lot was a bone-headed move, but it was one that should not have destroyed her life. What was once an extremely bright future turned into yet another New Mexico statistic.  Administrators are so worried about lawsuits they are willing to sacrifice, to cannibalize their young.  Just a thought, perhaps they should be subjected to a lawsuit every time something like this happens.  I wonder what would happen to dropout rates then?

They sure taught her a thing or two. Gone are the days when being busted on school property while smoking pot would result in a week long suspension.  Now the same kid is expelled, out on the streets.  The teachers who do have the milk of humanity within them, those who want to salvage a kid like this, are no longer allowed to do so.  It could result in a lawsuit.

Instead they must cater to administrators who are so woefully ignorant that they do not recognize the professionally acted words of the Witches of Macbeth.  Rather than admit a mistake, the administrator to whom I refer castigated the English lit teacher, demanding to know what sort of thing she was teaching her students.  She glared at him and handed him the literature book they were using that year, with the page marked to the offending passage.  She then suggested he  never set foot in her classroom again if he was that poorly educated.

So, he went back to his zero tolerance, making the school safe from parents who might want to file a lawsuit if their precious darling happened to be the victim of a alien terror attack.  He never did bother to check on a couple of the kids in his school who had serious behavioral problems. Never fear, his crocodile tears were prolific when one of those young people committed suicide.

We can just about guarantee that the pot smoking young Barry Obama who was chilling out in the parking lot of his very exclusive prep school in Hawaii would no longer get a second chance.  Instead, someone like that would be yet another statistic, advertising the joys and pleasures of zero tolerance.  That would bring on a lockdown while the local cops brought in drug dogs and sniffed down every locker and checked every single backpack and handbag on the campus. 

Remember, the courts have ruled that students have no rights.  The only right they have is to remain silent and to have their lives destroyed by those sniveling puddles of alleged humanity.

The average teacher is overworked.  They are underpaid.  Once they were "educators".  Now they are babysitters for a bunch of spoiled brats who cannot be chastised, let alone disciplined.  If they are disciplined, their parents come in and abuse the teacher. 

Teachers have NO time for any extra work.  Their lives are now so programmed, lessons so planned in advance, that there is absolutely no chance for them to do anything else.  Now Obama, in yet another tone-deaf move, wants to add more work to the shoulders of these brave people.  

It just proves how little the Obama Administration actually knows about what is really going on in our schools.  I was going to say they are tone-deaf but that requires a modicum of knowledge.   There is no knowledge, they don't know the law, they don't know their own regulations; even worse, they obviously have no working knowledge of how a modern day classroom functions outside of Chicago or an ACORN project.

Instead of being repeatedly alarmed at the overreach of Barack Obama and his court of czars, Perhaps we should simply be pointing to them and laughing.  The newly crowned emperor has no clothes.  He's stark-nekkid (an old Southern expression for up to no good), exposed for all to see.  The overreach from the DOE, distributing a handout telling overworked and harassed teachers how to teach, is simply icing on a cake that should be part of the old Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In  end-of-episode wall of ridicule.

Never in my life have I seen a leader so lacking in wisdom and common sense.  South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham conducted a meeting of health care professionals the other day.  He observed that Barack Obama had not one health care professional working on health care reform.  Perhaps, Lindsey suggested, we would be better off if we let the people who know something about the field write the reform bill.

Once again, Obama has been exposed in his new clothes.  He's stark-nekkid, his abject incompetence exposed for all to see. Unfortunately it's just not that funny.

Suggesting that students examine their lives and their futures is a good idea.  It's also a hollow idea.  Suggesting they give time and effort for community service is also a nice thought.  Unfortunately, many are already required to perform a number of hours of community service to graduate.  No, they're not criminals serving a jail sentence, they're just high school students trying to graduate.  Community service, volunteer service, when demanded, is not volunteer.  It is like conscription. 

Kids just don't have time.  They are now so busy studying for tests to measure the achievement of their school administrator, they have no time for learning, or doing interesting projects, even if they are promoted by Obama's administration.  They have no time to play, to laugh, to run and just be kids.  They have no time for recess, tag, or the silly things in life.  Instead, to make school administrators and districts look good, even the little ones must be sentenced to 8 hours of hard labor on a daily basis.

Now, you want to know why we have an epidemic of childhood obesity?  The answer is simple, and Barack Obama's administration is helping to contribute to it:  kids don't have time to run and play.

Powered by

About SJ Reidhead

  • Jordan Richardson

    Now, you want to know why we have an epidemic of childhood obesity? The answer is simple, and Barack Obama’s administration is helping to contribute to it: kids don’t have time to run and play.

    Are you serious?

  • http://www.thepinkflamingoblog.com/ SJ Reidhead

    Hyperbole:

    Seriously, I blame No Child Left Behind.

    I do think one of the problems is the fact that kids are so over-burdened with excessive home work, school work, no play time that they don’t get enough exercise.

    When I was in school we had a morning recess of 45 minutes. We had PE for 30 minutes, then another 40 minutes at lunch for recess. School started at 8:30 and was over at 2:30.

    The elementary school I attended was considered one of the top schools in the country. It is still in something like the top 100 school systems in the country.

    Homework was kept at a minimum.

    Today, where I live, kids must be in class at 7:30. They do not get out until 3:30 (even little kids). They have no morning recess. They have 30 minutes at lunch for play. The get 30 minutes gym. That’s it.

    The little kids are marched from one class to another. They must go in line, not move from that line and cannot play in the halls.

    Their breakfast consists of fried Mexican donuts (they are good, but not on a daily basis). They get a snack. Their lunch consists of something akin to fast food.

    I am the last person to complain about a kid’s diet, but even I know there are certain requirements kids need.

    Then, once they get home, they are over-loaded with homework, several hours a night. They aren’t allowed to go outside and play. It is too dangerous. So, when they aren’t doing homework, they are in front of some game, stuffing their little faces with what ever they can get their grubby little hands on.

    There are now neighborhoods in the Denver area where kids are no longer allowed outside to play, unless physically supervised by a parent. Not because of safety, but because the home-owner’s associations don’t want children defacing their subdivisions.

    Where, pray tell do kids get time to be kids, to run, play, and have fun? The worst part is they aren’t learning much of anything, just to fill out test forms.

    No one wants to admit the strict totalitarian methods of today’s education system contribute to childhood obesity. They would rather blame parents, who are over-worked, stressed and can barely make it.

    It is so much easier to demonize MacDonalds and over-tax “fast food” than it is to take responsibility and admit that adults created the problem with their requirements for strict educational standards.

    You know what gym consists of? The girls avoid changing into shorts, parade up and down doing their nails and trashing one another. Boys are almost as bad.

    What you need to know is this is coming from someone who has been over-weight their entire life. I know where the problems are, trust me. No amount of parental monitoring can make up for an inactive lifestyle. I’ve been there and done that.

    Kids don’t need 8 hours of sitting in a desk at school, broken up by 5 minutes to change classes. We’re not talking rocket science here.

  • Jordan Richardson

    Hyperbole indeed.

  • STM

    hyperbole.

    Is that like superbowl?

  • Jordan Richardson

    More like the Grey Cup.

  • zingzing

    or australia.

  • zingzing

    (as in “i was hoping for austria without all the all the alberts.”)

    (“god, i hate the alberts.”)

    (“sqwauck”) (“belch”)

  • http://www.maskedmoviesnobs.com El Bicho

    with more homework, kids can cover more subjects like how to properly use a hyphen

  • http://marksaleski.com MarkSaleski

    who left the gas on?

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    Well, the education system in NM must be seriously fucked up, then.

    I don’t think the 500-odd kids I saw hanging out in the playground of a local high school when I drove past it yesterday lunchtime were doing much schoolwork. If I’m not mistaken they were all, without exception, taking a lunch break.

    When I was at school in the UK, back in the early Bronze Age, we had 15-minute breaks morning and afternoon and an hour for lunch. School started at 8.45(ish, depending on the school) and finished at 3.30. Until cafeterias were introduced in the early 80s (because… wait for it… they were cheaper), most kids stayed in school for lunch and were served a nutritionally-balanced meal. The curriculum incorporated an hour of PE (indoor exercise or gym) and two hours of Games (outdoor sports) per week – in all weathers. (I fondly remember those five-mile cross-country runs in the snow…)

    Schooling has been tinkered with a bit since then, but the overall balance is still roughly the same. There’s a concerted effort to try and get rid of those fucking cafeterias as well, although they’re popular with kids and accountants.

    Compare and contrast.

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    Forgot to mention the homework.

    Always a significant amount (although a savvy kid like myself could always find ways to do the bare minimum), by the time I was in the sixth form (grades 11 and 12 for you Yanks) the expected time to be spent was two to three hours per night.

    Ah, the good old days.

  • http://www.joannehuspek.wordpress.com Joanne Huspek

    I don’t know what to think about this “Barack in my face” phenomenon. The guy is everywhere. I wonder what would have happened to George W, Bush the Elder, or even Clinton and Carter had they been so out there.

    On one hand it feels like indoctrination of the worst kind, on the other, it seems like a colossal waste of time that could be used more wisely.

    While I agree with you on teachers, it’s only to a point. GOOD teachers are overworked and underpaid. If you want to see underworked and overpaid teachers, come to Michigan, where many make much more than I do thanks to an ironclad union.

  • Mark Schannon

    This article is on beyond idiocy. No substance, no point, no argument, no sense…just a bunch of words strung together with the illusion of meaning.

    sigh…are there no editors left at BC who’d reject this piece?

  • Clavos

    Reject an article? How un-PC of you, Mark!

    Don’t you know that rejected writers lose self esteem??

    Do the words “all men are created equal” mean NOTHING to you, man?

    Everybody’s thoughts are equal to everyone else’s, Mark!

    ALL opinions are valid!

    NOBODY is smarter or better than anyone else.

    Sheesh! What is this democracy coming to?

    Where are the liberals when you need them?

  • http://delibernation.com/blog/3 Silas Kain

    Don’t you know that rejected writers lose self esteem??

    I can attest to that. I’m in therapy now.

    Do the words “all men are created equal” mean NOTHING to you, man?

    What about wimmin folk?

    Everybody’s thoughts are equal to everyone else’s, Mark!

    This does not compute.

    ALL opinions are valid!

    Unless they are expressed on FOX News, MSNBC or at a Promise Keepers’ rally.

    NOBODY is smarter or better than anyone else.

    Did SAT scores rise in the South?

    Sheesh! What is this democracy coming to?

    My understanding is under Obama we’re going to become a Socialist country. If we’re saved by the Far Right we will become a Christian autocracy. Seems to me, according to the pundits, we have no hope at all.

    Where are the liberals when you need them?

    They’re all at Nancy Pelosi’s house peeling her some grapes.

  • http://www.indyboomer46.blogspot.com Baritone

    Ah, the vitriol, the sour grapes.

    I must agree with Mark. SJ certainly hit the nail on the head. Well, she hit several nails, pretty much all at the same time causing them to scatter in the wind. It would seem, to hear it from SJ, pretty much everyone is guilty in some way or other. Parents, the politicians, the school administrators, the teachers, and even the spoiled rat assed kids themselves. But, of course, at the head of the list, the man single handedly responsible for the failure of our educational system AND child obesity is none other than that “silver tongued devil” (as per one Dave Nalle,) President Barack Obama – all in the span of his 7 months in office!

    Obama has the audacity to presume to instruct our children about the importance of staying in school, studying and learning. I mean, what credibility does he possess? What’s he ever done in life to consider himself qualified to offer advice to anyone? Columbia, Harvard, Harvard Law Review, Law Degree, Husband and father of two, Author of two best selling books, Elected to Illinois state legislature, Elected to US Senate. Resoundingly elected to the US Presidency. None of that counts for shit, though, because as we all know, he is a Kenyan, an Arab, a muslim, a liberal, a fascist and a damn pinko commie! And he’s an arrogant elitist, to boot, all rolled up in one decidedly dusky ball!

    Oh yes, and SJ states that “South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham conducted a meeting of health care professionals the other day. He observed that Barack Obama had not one health care professional working on health care reform. Perhaps, Lindsey suggested, we would be better off if we let the people who know something about the field write the reform bill.”

    Now there’s an unimpeachable source! Also, it should be considered that no one in the administration is writing any reform bill. That’s been left to that lauded body, the United States Congress, and a bang up job of it they’re doing, by god!

    The only one I can discern here who’s tone deaf (not to mention, clueless) in all this is good ole SJ.

    B

  • Jordan Richardson

    The guy is everywhere.

    He’s your president.

    Where should the president be?

    Oh right. He should be on vacation or clearing brush or doing something more “presidential.” How silly of me.

    I wonder what would have happened to George W, Bush the Elder, or even Clinton and Carter had they been so out there.

    They were.

  • http://www.joannehuspek.wordpress.com Joanne Huspek

    I don’t think so, Jordan. Count the number of magazines featuring an Obama in the last year alone and it’s staggering. Add to that the “news” conferences which seem to be on a weekly schedule. And I’m not even going to address the Internet and other sources.

    Instead of light reading on his vacation (and I disagree, he shouldn’t have gone on vacation after seven months or if he had not flaunted it on chi-chi Martha’s Vineyard), the President should have picked up a couple of the bills that went through Congress and read THEM.

  • Jordan Richardson

    Barack Obama is a popular dude and people want to know about him and see what he’s doing. He’s on the cover of magazines because he’s a “hot item,” like it or not.

    Weekly news conferences are good, especially with so much going on in the country. The president should be visible and should be explaining what is going on to the citizens. I just wish he was doing a better job of it.

    Now if we’re going to contrast that with other presidents, we can start with W. People are still talking about him on the internet and “other sources” and will be for quite some time. There are countless books about him and it’s hard to go a day without hearing the former president (or vice president) mentioned in some capacity on any media source. It could reasonably be argued, thus, that George W. Bush is everywhere.

    And how do you know the president hasn’t read a “couple of the bills that went through Congress?” What are you basing that on?

  • zingzing

    “Instead of light reading on his vacation (and I disagree, he shouldn’t have gone on vacation after seven months or if he had not flaunted it on chi-chi Martha’s Vineyard), the President should have picked up a couple of the bills that went through Congress and read THEM.”

    if you don’t like what he does as president, why do you want him doing presidential things?

  • Mark Schannon

    Clavos, I am truly distressed at your distressful…distress. I’m a liberal, honest. A cranky, curmudgeony liberal but one nonetheless.

    However, that doesn’t mean that all thoughts are created equal. (Sorry Silas.)

    When I was an BC editor, I’d often ask writers to redo articles–sometimes even when I agreed with the point being made. Since I was an editor, I, ipso facto, a priori, and non pluribus unum, knew more than mere writers.

    And did I mention,

    In Jameson Veritas

  • http://www.indyboomer46.blogspot.com Baritone

    Jordan is right. That most past presidents didn’t make it on the cover of a plethora of magazines is simply testamonial to Obama and his family’s intrigue. They are a very attractive and relatively young family. Obama is hip.

    To criticize Obama for taking a vacation is just stupid. Over the course of his eight year tenure how many months – not days or weeks – did W spend in Texas, not to mention other times spent at Camp David, Kennebunkport and elsewhere? Could there BE any more brush in or around Crawford?

    And a great vacation it was. He took time from it to swear in Ben Bernanke and to eugolize Ted Kennedy. And what’s so wrong with Martha’s Vinyard? It’s certainly closer to DC than Crawford, TX. Or should he have just taken Michelle & the kids to, I don’t know, maybe Coney Island, or perhaps the creationist museum?

  • http://delibernation.com/blog/3 Silas Kain

    I guess nobody remembers the days of LIFE and LOOK magazines where Camelot ruled the cover pages. McCall’s, Woman’s Day, Family Circle, Ladies’ Home Journal — they were rich in all things Kennedy. And when Lady Bird began her highway beautification projects she was everywhere as well. The Obama’s are not overexposed.

  • http://www.indyboomer46.blogspot.com Baritone

    I well remember all the Kennedy hype. They were also a beautiful couple with 2 beautiful kids – a fairly rare occurence in the White House.

    Yes, Obama has appeared somewhere, it seems, virtually everyday since his inauguration. A lot of people have noted it including, among others, Bill Maher.

    What bugs the shit out of me is how Obama is now being characterized, by more RW crazies as some kind of degenerate who shouldn’t be allowed within earshot of their kids. A loud contingent of these morons more or less contend that Obama is a menace to society, and someone you wouldn’t want to encounter in a dark alley. I don’t know what could be the basis of such feelings? Hmmm. Oh, crap, I keep forgetting that racism is dead in the good ole US of A.
    Has anyone notified the NAACP?

    The right (AKA – The Losers) just can’t accept that they no longer hold the keys to the kingdom. They truly feel that they were somehow robbed back in November. They are eagerly swallowing every ludicrous, half baked bit of bullshit being fed them by “birthers,” “deathers,” and the likes of Bill O’Reilly, Sean Hannity, Rush Limbaugh and of course the supreme Loon, Glenn Beck who has called Obama a racist who hates all white people, and is now laboring on about how Rockefeller Center is a bastion of communism and communists within. (Odd that Fox News also has a presence in Rock Center, no?) Beck is the kind of loon who, in another time, would have been limited to second or third rate carnival side shows or as the straight man for some snake oil salesman working across rural America from a mule drawn, fleabitten rattletrap of a wagon. But, now, good ole Fox News sees fit to give him a prominent slot on a national television venue. Go figure.

    The Neanderthalic stupidity of a large number of self-righteous, self-serving, righty tighty congresspersons is jaw dropping. The fact that some have encouraged open support for gun toting town hall attendees to become “right wing terrorists” is more than just alarming, it borders on treason. They have adopted the Al Qaida aproach to recruitment. A number of these legislators are also supposedly fundamentalist christians – a maddening legacy left to the Republicans by the Rovians, thank you very much. Some of this crapola has even bled over to the more conservative Dems – the so called Blue Dogs. Many owe their House or Senate seats to Obama’s coattails, a fact which has apparently alluded them.

    In the end, though, all this has far less to do with ideology, morality, any concern for the nation’s health care system, or our children, than it does with politics. Since a significant portion of Republican and right leaning independent voters are also about as bat crap stupid as their respective Representatives and Senators – mainly those who hang on every utterance of the aforementioned gang of four – O’Reilly, Hannity, Limbaugh and Beck – this fear mongering is the route they’ve chosen to ride into another term. Sadly, it just may work.

  • zingzing

    i saw that thing beck did about rockefeller center. fucking hi-larious. i almost fell out of my pants. i’m not quite sure what his point was. most of those pieces were done back in the first half of the 20th century, which is obviously a long time ago. not sure how much connection there is to find there, but he found something, i guess.

    i swear that a certain percentage of fox viewers are people going there for the comedy, and beck is the best of the lot. a laugh a minute, and a catastrophe in the works. it’s like nascar–you watch it for the inevitable blood and fire. high drama.

  • http://www.indyboomer46.blogspot.com Baritone

    It’s been aptly pointed out, mainly by Keith Olbermann, that Beck has lost a plethora of sponsors since his Obama/Racist comment. Beck was also apparently suspended for a couple of days, but I’m not sure what that was about.

    It’s amazing to me that there are a large # of people who truly believe Beck’s idiocy. I have a niece whom I love dearly, but who is sadly a Beck devotee. She is also one who believed that the only properly christian presidential candidate in 2000 and 2004 was GWB – that Gore and Kerry were at best not born again believers and at worst were the embodiment of the anti-christ.

    Of course, that was BO (before Obama.) It is now uncontrovertably clear the dreaded AC is the Barackster. It’s time to make your reservations at the Armageddon Hilton, if you want to get a front row seat for the coming of the apocalypse with the return of General Jesus on his galloping white steed, with blazing 50 calibre machine guns on each arm to do battle against that “silver tongued devil,” the dark lord, Barack Obama bringing forth his satanic hoard, who have transmogrified into Orcs and other disfigured beasties, no longer resembling humans.

  • Spelling Nazi

    incontrovertibly

  • http://www.indyboomer46.blogspot.com Baritone

    SN,

    Oh crap! Now nothing I write will have any kreditubillitee. :(

  • http://delibernation.com/blog/3 Silas Kain

    You know what’s most unfortunate? There was a time when a President was afforded respect because of the office he held. And then came Richard Nixon. That was the beginning of the end. Once Bill Clinton got his infamous servicing by the lady in the blue dress, respect for the holder of the Oval Office was dead. GWB was and continues to be a buffoon. I feel sorry for Obama. No matter what he does, he is screwed.

  • STFU

    What a complete oversimplification of the many dramatic problems facing public education. They don’t have time to run around and play!? You are clearly not a public education student. Why not take a cue from your beloved Sen. Graham and ask someone such as this National Merit Finalist about the decline in public education. I could point out dozens of problems, and while cutting back on gym classes at public schools likely hasn’t helped the problem, your good, old-fashioned “family values,” which tend to emphasize a systematic and arbitrary dismissal of anything “fringe” rather than a constructive and positive emphasis on things like outside time might have something to do with it.

  • Clavos

    Respect has to be (or should be), earned.

  • Clavos

    Charming. Ain’t freedom wonderful?

  • Mark Schannon

    Silas, you’re right. We used to distinguish the office holder from the office itself. The presidency deserves respect; a specific president may be a dick head.

    Which goes to Clavos’ point.

    But we diminish our ability to engage in rational discourse when we treat the office itself with disrespect because our party doesn’t happen to be in power.

    And that’s the truth.

    In Jameson Veritas

  • http://delibernation.com/blog/3 Silas Kain

    One must wonder if our complete lack of respect for the office itself is but a manifestation of what we think of ourselves as a society. We have no sense of national pride any longer. When America The Beautiful was played at Kennedy’s funeral last week, it was the first time in my 50+ years that I did not get goosebumps hearing it. That says a lot for how we have devolved. If we are that unhappy with what we’ve become perhaps it is time to consider breaking this union apart. Perhaps we could all get along better if we had diplomatic relations as opposed to a federal system.

    As in the USSR, perhaps it is time for us to sit down at the table and hammer out how to break apart, walk away and rebuild. My friends, the Constitution is dying and we’re the murderers. As with organized religion, we are hanging on by a thread. Let’s accept it and move on. I hate the thought that when all is said and done our forefathers wasted their time taking a chance coming to these shores so that they and theirs would have a better life. We’ve spit in their memories; disregarded the blood they spilled. If we can’t find a way to come together and rebuild then let’s just get it over with. There’s little time to waste. 2012 is just around the corner.

  • http://www.indyboomer46.blogspot.com Baritone

    Well, I don’t know Silas. I can understand your despondency, but I don’t think it’s all that bad. With the advent of 24/7 news, cell phones, the internet and so on, I don’t think we know where we are. It’s all a bit much to deal with – especially those of us of a certain age.

    In consideration of the larger world, should this country somehow break up, we would be easy pickings for any number of predatory nations. Personally, I wouldn’t mind seeing Texas go its own way, and they seem to be chomping at the bit to do just that, but realistically it just ain’t gonna happen. All those supposed secessionists are simply an extension of the right wing loons I’ve been talking about above.

    I am concerned by the level and intensity of discord which seems to be overtaking this country right now. I think it’s dangerous, that violence is not far away. The problem the left faces is that the right, by comparison, is far more heavily armed and it’s no joke. A good many of them are armed to the teeth and would like nothing better than to draw a bead on a liberal or two or three. Currently, there appears to be at least a few of our Congresspersons who have no problem with that. Fire away patriots!

    B

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    I agree, B-man with the first part of your closing paragraph – the level of intensity and discord. And no doubt we may see a few isolated incidents of the kind you’re describing. But I’m skeptical whether this would escalate into any organized, mass movement and violence. I certainly hope not. And if anyone from the political spectrum is encouraging it, there’s cause for their immediate removal.

  • Clavos

    Here’s an interesting perspective in The Washington Post on the of loss of respect for the presidency. The author, Matt Latimer, is a former WH speech writer.

    He writes:

    The age of the Internet and cable news has opened the world to an onslaught of ideas, opinions and information. It also is stripping away the grandeur — and power — of the highest office in the land. Commanders in chief have become daily, even hourly, television performers, expected to be out yakking in public on everything that happens, from the death of Michael Jackson to the latest NASCAR champion to “An Evening of Country Music.”

  • Clavos

    Personally, I wouldn’t mind seeing Texas go its own way…

    Me too. I think I’d even move back there if they did.

    What an interesting adventure that would be!

  • http://www.indyboomer46.blogspot.com Baritone

    Clavos’ quote above touches on what I was getting at. But, I think it’s simply a natural progression, one actually sought in some respects by our founding fathers by doing away with royalty.

    For many hundreds of years Royals often enjoyed divine status – that they were themselves gods, or that they had at the least been chosen and/or personally blessed by god. By the time of the American Revolution, most of that notion had disappeared. Royalty in much of the world was seen much less as gods, much more as humans – rich ones, powerful ones, but still, just humans.

    Our founding fathers took the next logical step by abolishing royal titles and ascendancy via inheritance. To be sure, and to this day, most of the people who come to power in the US are rich and often follow in the footsteps of their ancestors to seats of political and/or economic power. But, there is no illusion about them. None are looked upon as divine.

    Some of Bush’s devotees believed god had chosen him to lead us out of the depravity of Clinton’s cigar tricks, but even that notion was short lived for most.

    Yes, the presidency is no longer looked upon as possessing any particular grandeur. In time I believe that will be seen as a positive thing. We’re all in this together. I don’t believe presidents need to be revered. They do however need to be respected. Given the ever watchful eye of the media, that becomes more and more problematic. Few skeletons stay in the closet these days. It is much more difficult for candidates and office holders to stray from the straight and narrow without being detected.

    Conversely, things that in the past would have meant the professional/political death of a pol, or anyone in the public eye, are now allowed to slip out of sight. Had Kennedy’s screwing around been made public back in the 50s and 60s, his political career would never have gotten off the ground. Now, presidents can cavort in the Oval Office and “pal around with terrorists” with relative impunity. What if Ike had stained some intern’s dress with his, uh, effluence, and there were pictures of it in Life magazine?

    The public now knows that our elected officials are just people. They understand that they make mistakes just like most everyone else. While we may not like it, we are coming to understand that these things may not necessarily render a pol unfit for his or her job.

    Some see this as a devolution as noted by Silas above. I think it’s just a natural progression that will play itself out over the coming years.

    B

  • http://www.EurocriticsMagazine.com Christopher Rose

    We don’t need leaders as much as we used to. Leaders often get delusional about their abilities and role.

    What we need now are managers, great managers who can make stuff work properly…

  • zingzing

    “What we need now are managers, great managers who can make stuff work properly…”

    nations as football clubs?

  • http://www.EurocriticsMagazine.com Christopher Rose

    Well, football clubs are possibly a bit easier to manage than nations, but it is largely just a matter of scale…

  • zingzing

    i think american has been using the 4-2-4 for too long. time for a nice 3-6-1 so that we can’t get too rowdy and can just work with whatever presents itself to us.

  • http://www.indyboomer46.blogspot.com Baritone

    Zing,

    Be that a football/soccer allusion?

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    Chris,

    Perhaps what’s needed is for a hasty Amendment to the Constitution so that Sir Alex can become President once he finally decides to retire from managing Man U!

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    zing,

    Oh, marvellous. 3-6-1. Nothing like a crowded midfield to make for exciting football.

  • http://www.indyboomer46.blogspot.com Baritone

    U guys…

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    Oh, crap, I keep forgetting that racism is dead in the good ole US of A.
    Has anyone notified the NAACP?

    Actually, that’s pretty much what Obama said in his speech to the NAACP over the weekend. And he’s right. Racism is no longer a meaningful factor in holding minorities back in this country, and it’s certainly not the reason why some people are concerned about Obama’s speech.

    The fear here is clear and simple. People have decided Obama is a communist. They want their kids to grow up believing in a work ethic and being self-sufficient and they want the state to leave them and their kids along. Obama seems to be directly opposed to that.

    Dave

  • zingzing

    “People have decided Obama is a communist.”

    racism is dead! long live mccarthyism!

  • Mark Schannon

    Silas, interesting comment, #34. I’m trying, not very successfully, to write an article questioning whether the Constitution has outlived its usefulness.

    I’m of two minds. In every era, many have been despondent about the bleak future ahead. Even Socrates complained about the youth of Greece back in…whenever. So, to some extent, our despair simply reflects superior minds, LOL.

    On the other, I’m reminded of the chaos scientist in Jurassic Park who said that we’re so excited to be discovering new things that we never stop to ask if we should. Technology & change have become the new religions & who is asking if what we’re discovering is good or bad?

    Oh well, we’ll always have Paris…and

    In Jameson Veritas

  • http://www.indyboomer46.blogspot.com Baritone

    “Actually, that’s pretty much what Obama said in his speech to the NAACP over the weekend.

    Not exactly.

    First Obama DID say: “And I believe that overall, there probably has never been less discrimination in America than there is today. I think we can say that.”

    But, that statement was immediately followed with:

    “But make no mistake: The pain of discrimination is still felt in America.”

    He then went on to delineate the many ways in which racial discrimination persists in this country – perhaps less overtly than in the past, no fire hoses, only the occasional dog – but discrimination which remains substantive and hurtful to many minorities, and especially to African Americans.

    Again, here at BC at any rate, it seems that all these claims of racism being no longer a substantive issue comes from middle aged, middle class, white people. Gee, what would all those poor black folks do without all of you sagacious white folks, who obviously see things much more clearly than they, to point this fact out to them? Blacks should be eternally grateful to ya’ll because clearly they cannot discern the forest for all the trees.

    While the supposition that Obama is any kind of communist is a load of crap, the key word in Dave’s second paragraph is “fear.”

    That has become the operative tool, the mantra, of the right since before Obama was sworn into office. The right has little of substance to offer, so it has opted to use scare tactics – creating commie ghosts and fascist phantoms that are likely to spring out from under the beds of unsuspecting god fearin’ Americans to snatch their minds and hearts and inure them into the collective and/or to send them off to death camps.

    Republicans and other conservatives are for the most part so ideologically bankrupt that their only weapon has become lies, half truths and fear mongering. As I noted above, what makes this so maddening is that there are just enough gullible people out and about who have access to voting machines that it just might work.

    It worked for Bush ala Rove’s fear mongering tactics for 2 elections. Why not again? After all, you’ve got a number of incredibly stupid and/or guileful Republicans in Congress, and the Fox and right wing talk radio media circus eagerly and vociferously spreading the word and several million generally undereducated and non-progressive voters out there just as eagerly eating it up.

    This is a truly singular moment for Republicans. When faced with adversity – lie! It is, after all, their proud tradition.

    B

  • http://thingsalongtheway.blogspot.com/ Cindy

    Mark Schannon,

    I came across an interesting book yesterday. Neo-liberal Genetics: The Myths and Moral Tales of Evolutionary Psychology.

    “Evolutionary psychology claims to be the authoritative science of ‘human nature.’ Its chief architects, including Stephen Pinker and David Buss, have managed to reach well beyond the ivory tower to win large audiences and influence public discourse. But do the answers that evolutionary psychologists provide about language, sex, and social relations add up? Susan McKinnon thinks not.

    Far from being an account of evolution and social relations that has historical and cross-cultural validity, evolutionary psychology is a stunning example of a ‘science’ that twists evolutionary genetics into a myth of human origins. As McKinnon shows, that myth is shaped by neo-liberal economic values and relies on ethnocentric understandings of sex, gender, kinship, and social relations. She also explores the implications for public policy of the moral tales that are told by evolutionary psychologists in the guise of ‘scientific’ inquiry.

    Drawing widely from the anthropological record, Neo-liberal Genetics offers a sustained and accessible critique of the myths of human nature fabricated by evolutionary psychologists.”

    Have you ever read that? I haven’t even read about evolutionary psychology yet and here I already find (what are said to be well-documented) arguments against it’s having figured out the ‘real truth’ in such a truthy way as to leave no room for argument.

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    Technology & change have become the new religions & who is asking if what we’re discovering is good or bad?

    Oy, Mark, you sound like a character in a 1950s sci-fi B-movie. “This knowledge was not meant for man to know…”

    And it’s no coincidence that the 50s was the era of nuclear proliferation. A lot of people wished that the Bomb had never been invented, but what was science supposed to do – uninvent it?

    The true test for humanity is not whether it can restrain itself from pursuing potentially dangerous knowledge, but how it deals with that knowledge once discovered.

    Re the Bomb: well, we’re sitting here discussing the issue rather than softly glowing somewhere, so it appears that in this instance, so far, humanity’s instinct for self-preservation has outweighed its instinct to destroy everything in sight.

    The Test is not finished, of course. Please turn over your papers.

  • http://www.indyboomer46.blogspot.com Baritone

    Cindy,

    I have not studied so called “evolutionary psychology, but have heard little that was not bad about it. It does appear to be based on a number of ethnocentric assumptions and it is said to extrapolate far too much from random behaviours. It may be to the field of psychology what the Piltdown Man was to anthropology.

    Mark & Doc,

    I remember well Jeff Goldblum’s Dr. Ian Malcomb’s line regarding whether some line of inguiry should or should not be followed.

    Personally, I think you almost always have to go for it – at least until it becomes obvious that to continue would likely do far more harm than good. I don’t even think Jurassic Park was a bad idea as depicted in the film and Crichton’s book. Within the context of the story, it was just too soon. Not enough was understood about the consequences. Maybe such an experiment would work if one had access to another planet?

    B

  • http://www.indyboomer46.blogspot.com Baritone

    Hmmm. …line of inquiry…

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Dreadful

    Knowledge = Power. And knowledge is no longer pursued for its own sake. It’s instrumental knowledge, valued for what it can achieve, the only criterion being “performativity.”

    So yes, there’s a crisis at hand, having to do with legitimacy of technoscience with respect to the ends it serves.

  • Mark Schannon

    Oy, so many interesting comments, so few useful brain cells.

    Cindy, I have no idea what evolutionary psychology is, but the description of the book you reference is 90% hype & 10% obfuscation. I’ve read it a couple of times & even went to Amazon to read more, but when one uses name calling, as in “Neo-liberal Genetics” to attack a theory, I get suspicious. First of all, I have no idea what a neo-liberal is. I’m a liberal but an old one, so I guess I can’t be a neo-liberal…sigh.

    For the record, my writings on evolution & the cave stuff sprung unbidden from my own head. It’s supported by much of what I’ve read, and I ignore those things that refute it.

    My primary interest when my brain deals with issues about the conscious vs. the unconscious; the nature of self; and, increasingly, revisiting old philosophical notions of reality (skepticism vs. realism vs. Godism vs. “oh for Christ’s sake, it’s right before your eyes”.

    I’m not familiar with the people cited on Amazon but you’ve piqued my interest so I’ll start with the source & then take a look at the critics.

    Baritone & Doc,

    FYI I am a character in a 50s grade B movie (B+ to you, sir.)

    Can you really say that progress is always good and always to be desired. Progress destroyed America’s manufacturing base. Progress has introduced nanotechnological solutions that have caused more harm that good. Progress has brought us biotechnology which is stripping genetic diversity from our food supply.

    Re the Bomb: well, we’re sitting here discussing the issue rather than softly glowing somewhere, so it appears that in this instance, so far, humanity’s instinct for self-preservation has outweighed its instinct to destroy everything in sight.

    You remind me of the guy who’s fallen off the Empire State building. As he passes the 53rd floor, someone asks him if he’s o.k. and he responds, “hey, so far, so good.”

    You want Iran to have the bomb? Especially after what happened in the last election. Pakistan–a made-up country that’s falling apart at the seems? Ruvy, my dear, beloved brother Ruvy who wants to use Israel’s nukes on Iran?

    Baritone, Crichton himself has said that he’s terrified of science. Virtually all of his books deal with science gone horribly wrong. They didn’t bring back the dinos too soon–Crichton’s point is that we can never have that much control. Chaos theory, if nothing else, should teach us that one cannot manage an infinite number of variables with finite technological tools.

    Discovery and innovation and progress have brought us new strains of tuberculous and other bacteria that our great drugs can’t kill.

    I’m 50.0000001% convinced that global climate change is real, caused by human behavior, and will cause massive global disruption. Read The Great Warming about the period between 900 & 1300 BCE where a temperature rise of about 5 degrees caused world-wide havoc.

    Listen, guys, I love tech & change & revolution but, at the same time, I firmly believe our capacity to create has far outstripped our ability to understand. If you buy (and few do) my believe that, in evolutionary terms, we’re just barely beyond the caves and that we’re driven by primitive unconscious parts of our brain, we should be goddamn careful about what the relatively new parts of our brains discover.

    Phew…sorry for the rant. Remember,

    In Jameson Veritas

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    Oy, so many interesting comments, so few useful brain cells.

    Inside your skull, or everyone else’s? ;-)

    Can you really say that progress is always good and always to be desired. Progress destroyed America’s manufacturing base.

    Is that progress? Progress is a positive word. Besides which, what has businesses relocating their operations overseas got to do with science?

    You want Iran to have the bomb? Especially after what happened in the last election. Pakistan–a made-up country that’s falling apart at the seems? Ruvy, my dear, beloved brother Ruvy who wants to use Israel’s nukes on Iran?

    Look, if they want nukes badly enough, Iran and Ruvy will get them. Pakistan already has them. You seriously think that if there’s ‘regime change’ in Tehran, Islamabad and Ma’ale Levona, the new rulers will renounce their predecessors’ nuclear ambitions? Most of us would agree that these three scenarios (boom!) are a Bad Thing. Now, what do we do about it? Erase our knowledge of atomic theory? How?

    Chaos theory, if nothing else, should teach us that one cannot manage an infinite number of variables with finite technological tools.

    Mr Holmes is constipated. That applies to life in general, not just science and technology. Planes crash. Drugs have side effects. People choke on their chewing gum.

    I firmly believe our capacity to create has far outstripped our ability to understand.

    How is that possible?

    Look, I agree that some of the folks that get their hands on new technology are the last people we ought to be trusting with it. But that’s hardly the responsibility of the discoverer. Is Mr Benz to blame for the 60-car pile-up on the freeway, or the drunk driver who triggered it?

  • http://thingsalongtheway.blogspot.com/ Cindy

    Mark,

    I have no idea what evolutionary psychology is…

    Then I am mistaken? You didn’t reference evolutionary psychology as the ultimate proof, for you, that confirms your pov?

    It’s [the caveman theory] supported by much of what I’ve read, and I ignore those things that refute it.

    Okay, then that is cool. I don’t have to take your position seriously (in the sense of any challenge to what I think), since it’s opinion not subjected to criticism.

    …but the description of the book you reference is 90% hype & 10% obfuscation.

    That might seem more credible, had you not said this:

    First of all, I have no idea what a neo-liberal is.

    Okay, that’s easily remedied if you want, it’s pretty well defined. But, if you have no idea of what neoliberalism is, it becomes hard to imagine you can accurately gauge whether a book you haven’t read (that takes it as a subject) is 90% hype and 10% obfuscation.

    Carry on with that other stuff. I guess you were so passionate, I thought you had more than a casual interest in evolutionary psychology.

    I hereby declassify you as my nemesis and toss you into the ‘nice and often interesting persons’ bin. :-)

  • Mark

    Mark, this might help with that definition deficit.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    I see you’re much into that Harvey guy, Mark. Judging by the last response, I see he’s trying to salvage the Project. Anything groundbreaking that you’d suggest I read?

  • Mark

    Rog, I am not totally convinced by materialism.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    So is he a traditional Marxist, unaffected even by the Frankfurt school? I think it would still be interesting to hear Marxist critique of French thinkers, especially if he’s up-to-date.

  • Mark

    He attempts to ground the observations made by the frankfurters in material conditions.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Mark,

    Personally, I think the issue turns rather on Kant’s view concerning “the incommensurability of the faculties” versus Hegelian dialectic (which totalizes them). So the issue of materialism is in a way bypassed. (Lyotard)

    But I’m afraid I’ll become offensive if I keep posting in this vein.

  • Mark

    I don’t know whether he has written more about the postmodernist problem since his The Condition of Postmodernity.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    I’m glad you didn’t say “the hamburgers.” That would have been a mouthful. But anyways, if there’s anything you think I ought to read by him, let me know.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Well, I’ll pick that one up, then, at least for a different take.

  • http://www.indyboomer46.blogspot.com Baritone

    Mark

    Most of what you cite as evidence of technology run amok is transitional. In this day and age nothing stays the same very long. Change is constant and quick. It is difficult to keep up. I agree that we are, as a species, mightily challenged to assimilate change. In many instances we have been found wanting in the manner in which we have handled things which are changing before our eyes.

    Even people who are on the vanguard of many of the recent changes sometimes find that their personal lives are just as disheveled as everyone else. This has a lot to do with specialization. Science and technology have become so specialized that it is necessary that those involved in the forefront of various high-tech endeavors to focus so tightly on their particular piece of the puzzle, that they often have little or no sense of the larger picture. Fortunately, we have systems which have, so far at least, prevented us from blowing ourselves to smithereens or kill everyone from some virus or other. Obviously, we could fuck up, and there is no shortage of people in the world who believe that such an eventuality is actually desirable, that it may prove to be impossible to stop it. Who knows? Let’s just all keep our fingers crossed. :)

    B

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Actually, I don’t think it’s running amok at all. It is in fact very purposeful and very directed.

  • Clavos

    I’m 50.0000001% convinced that global climate change is real, caused by human behavior, and will cause massive global disruption. Read The Great Warming about the period between 900 & 1300 BCE where a temperature rise of about 5 degrees caused world-wide havoc.

    Mark, do you see the contradiction in those two sentences?

    What in human behavior between the 10th and 14th centuries could possibly have caused the Medieval Warming?

    It happened, another may (or may not — we’re having a 9 year hiatus right now) be happening, but the supposed anthropogenic origin has yet to be confirmed, other than by man-made computer programs — arguably flawed ones, at that.

  • http://delibernation.com/blog/3 Silas Kain

    Mark #50 I’m trying, not very successfully, to write an article questioning whether the Constitution has outlived its usefulness.

    I would love to see a reasoned piece on the subject, Mark. I’ve often wondered if there is no better time than to hold a Constitutional Convention. I know such an event could be volatile and really test the system. Maybe that’s what we need to bitch slap ourselves back to where we should be. Nonetheless, I look forward to your treatise.

  • http://thingsalongtheway.blogspot.com/ Cindy

    48

    Dave,

    I guess people don’t realize the state is not going to leave their children alone if they are in a state funded school.

    It seems people who want the state to leave them and their children alone also seem to like the state to control and reinforce thinking to the extent they approve of it.

    They are ‘with’ the government as long as it’s spouting off their brand of indoctrination. No one will answer me when I ask them, why they didn’t make school a place where children should stand back and criticize their representatives.

    I will answer it myself. They didn’t do it because they don’t mind indoctrination as long as it is their flavor. They want people obeying authority and revering flags. They just want someone with their own mindset in there controlling it.

    It seems awfully disingenuous to be sitting here listening to people ‘remembering’ that they believe ‘representatives’ should do their will when they happily approved of the state teaching their children to just obey authority.

  • http://www.indyboomer46.blogspot.com Baritone

    Cindy,

    I agree. I don’t recall anyone raising a fuss when good ole Ronnie and his coat-tailer GHWB took it upon themselves to directly address school children. As much as I was opposed to both men as President, I had no qualms about either of them talking to kids in school. It all seemed fairly innocuous to me. Both of my kids saw those addresses. Both are left wingers; chips off the old block, I guess.

    This is all about the fever pitch built up by the right against anything Obama says or does. Paranoia has a way of going viral among the populace, which it obviously has. Dave, it would seem, has acquired a particularly acute case of it. The demonization of Obama has a good deal more to do with the Reps’ desparate efforts to regain power in Congress and, ultimately, the White House, than ideology.

    Keep in mind Dave, just because you’re paranoid, doesn’t mean they’re NOT out to get you. :)

    B

  • http://thingsalongtheway.blogspot.com/ Cindy

    To the collective you, who says anarchism can’t work (including Dave).

    Look around and tell me if you like what you see happening better.

    I can’t imagine a Zapatista community saluting a flag and teaching their children to admire power and authority. It seems that has something to do with why their community works for its members.

    They don’t give up their individual power, their representatives really do work for them–each individual one of them–or they sit them down and talk to them directly, and get rid of them if they don’t like what they’re doing.

  • http://thingsalongtheway.blogspot.com/ Cindy

    B,

    Thanks for the heads-up about E.P. I will check out the politics of Stephen Pinker and David Buss.

    Here is just a far-fetched guess (testing my psychic powers).

    They will both be neo-liberals and they’re motivation will be to ‘prove’ via genetics that the neo-liberal view of human nature is correct.

  • Pamela

    I neither like nor dislike our President. I do think he was probably the best of all the candidates that ran (primaries included), but that’s not saying much.
    I think there are two main reasons people are objecting to his speech: a) they just hate him or b) they are really sick of everyone trying to indoctrinate kids.
    I’m not saying that Obama indoctrinated anyone. But I will say that I think there are oodles of people who do try. IT used to be that kids would be raised by their parents, their extended family, neighbors, and local teachers. Now, in many ways, they are raised by those but also by the news media, the television networks, the gaming communities, Hollywood, the government, music personalities… you name it. Now, the first group still are around, but they’re getting drowned out in the crowd.
    Now, I understand one reason behind Obama’s speech. Many people objecting to it are objecting because they do tell their kids to work hard and achieve something. They feel it’s not the president’s place to do it. And maybe not, but as a not too far removed from school person myself (I’m 23) I can tell you that I’d say at least 20% of the kids I went to school with had parents who weren’t like that. Now, I admit, that doesn’t mean that the President is the one who should be speaking up instead. But I can see why he would want to. Every child should be encouraged.

    As for the childhood obesity thing, I have a sad but honest opinion. I think the childhood obesity problem is bad partially because we all talk about it. Kids aren’t blind. When we all talk about it as the worst thing in the world, a crisis, they look at what little baby fat they have and they think “I’m fat”. And mind over matter, they tend to get that way. Maybe through stress eating or getting slightly depressed through lack of self esteem. Now, I’m not saying that that’s the ultimate reason why. But I’m saying talking about it increases, not decreases, the problem. Instead of discussing it, and having programs in schools about it where the fat kids feel singled out and victimized and therefore more likely to either stay fat or get an eating disorder (which has a far greater risk of dying young than obesity, actually), we should just eat and serve them healthy foods. Don’t draw attention to it. Just insist on it. In fact, making unhealthy foods seem like the luxury item just makes Americans want it more, I think. We Americans tend to want luxury even in everyday life. And we should just do active things with kids that are fun. If they don’t enjoy it, find something they do. I can’t tell you how much more fit I would be today if I had discovered a sport I liked in grade school instead of in college. I hate softball, baseball, kickball, running, tennis, etc and wasn’t too keen on basketball and badminton. But turns out I love fencing and water polo! And I’ve always loved swimming, though not necessarily races. I never went to a school that had it’s own pool though. And I’ve always liked yoga. And honestly, one of my favorite exercises is just strolling. I hate to run, but I love taking a 3 or more mile nature walk anyday! I’m not saying all schools should get their own fencing team or pools. But I am saying that if PE departments spent more time encouraging joy in exercise, instead of just the exercise itself, they’d probably have 50% fitter kids!
    I really do worry about this generation coming up, with their minds having been filled with the phrase “childhood obesity”. I didn’t even know what the word obesity was until I was 12 or so, but I’m sure that’s not going to be true of this generations. Kids have major ears and when something is mentioned again and again… I really think when they start hitting puberty we’ll see an epidemic of eating disorders like we never have before.

  • http://www.indyboomer46.blogspot.com Baritone

    I really don’t understand why people are suddenly so critical of a president who wants to address our nation’s children. As I noted, it’s been done in the past with no particular hoopla surrounding it.

    Well, actually I do understand it. It’s not that it’s the president wanting to do this. It’s that President Barack Obama wants to address our children.

    It has been noted by most of the commenters here, that the response has been all a bit much, and I agree.
    The text of his address has been made public and most people – even Newt Gingrich – have found nothing objectionable about it. It has virtually no political overtones. The objections come primarily, as Pamela notes, from people who hate Obama.

    As to so called “indoctrination” I don’t see how this applies to Obama’s address, especially having read it.

    However, “indoctrination” is just what a lot of people do everyday with their own and other children as well. Many kids are heavily indoctrinated into their church – the parent’s belief system – almost from the moment of birth. And, yes, they are indoctrinated by the media, video games and the like.

    Having the President deliver a 10 minute (or so) speech via television is hardly going to brainwash our kids. Thirty minutes playing “Grand Theft Auto,” it seems to me, has far more potential for harm than anything the President could say.

    B

  • http://www.indyboomer46.blogspot.com Baritone

    BTW – Should anyone take 5 or 10 minutes to actually read Obama’s speech, or actually sit and watch it, it would soon become clear that his overarching message is self reliance and self responsibility. Of course that’s dangerous, left wing, commie propaganda, right?

    The message: Working hard = success. Very radical. Vile, liberal trash!

    If this very same address – word for word – was given by, say, Ron Reagan or, I don’t know, Rush Limbaugh, or maybe even Mr. Rogers, everybody would just love it. But, coming from that silver tongued devil, Barack Obama, it is evil, socialist garbage.
    B

  • http://delibernation.com/blog/3 Silas Kain

    That’s where it’s at, B. It’s all about the messenger and nothing about the substance of the message. That’s because of how polarized we’ve become and that polarization is fueled by the likes of FOX News, Anne Coulter, Rush Limbaugh, Keith Olbermann and Rachel Maddow. The ONLY conservative pundit these days who is reasonable is Joe Scarborough.

    I have to commend Laura Bush for being contrary to the right wing. It’s about time. These right wingers, birthers and white racists don’t have any respect for the Oval Office because Barack Obama is the current tenant. If the tables were turned and this venom was being spewed at Dubya, they’d all be crying foul and chastising us for being disrespectful of the office. The disrespect for the Oval Office, as I have previously stated, is less about the politician and more about how we feel about ourselves. Most are just projecting it all upon Obama because they’re too damned cowardly to stand up and do something positive.

    Before we end up in another bloody civil war perhaps it’s time to give consideration to dissolution of the nation. I know it’s radical. I know it is unthinkable in some circles. That being said, it might be the only way to forge something positive out of this mess that we’ve created.

  • http://theugliestamerican.blogspot.com Andy Marsh

    Silas – you don’t want a civil war with us…you gave up your guns…you’ll never win!

  • Mark Schannon

    Doc, alas, the few functioning brain cells are within my head. It’s why I’m not writing many articles. But it’s nothing that another hundred neurologists or so won’t be able to figure out.

    [Which also explains why I’m not as clear in my comments as I may have been in the past, so I apologize for any confusion. Nothing about which to fret or fume–you plays the cards you been dealt.]

    RE: Progress, science, & the end of America: I’m not a Luddite by any means & a comments section is no place for a long diatribe about the difference between humanity’s evolutionary progress as a maker of things vs. it’s relative lack of progress as a moral animal.

    Many people are wonderful scientists creating and discovering extraordinary and wonderful things. Precious few people are morally grounded, asking hard questions about unintended consequences and the long-range implications of science’s discoveries.

    Baritone, it sounds like we agree more than not. Just because all change is transitional doesn’t mean it hasn’t run amok. And I agree completely that increased specialization is a mixed blessing, blinding many to the implications of their discoveries.

    Clavos, o.k., my sense of humor is suffering too. Of course human behavior had nothing to do with the Great Warming…or the Little Ice Age that followed it. The point is that it doesn’t take a large change in temperature to cause massive problems & it’s at least a reasonable hypothesis that we’re about to enter another such period & that human behavior is playing a significant role.

    Even if we’re not, if we can mitigate the climate change, I’d call that a good thing.

    Ok., Cindy. I can be too flip & that often doesn’t come across well in relatively short comments…sorry.

    But I never argued that anything proves my theories about humanity’s lack of evolution since the caves. As I noted above, most of my reading on these subjects has been in neurology and psychology. But of course my theory is open to criticism. I hope it’s more than simply my opinion, and if you go back and read what I’ve written, I do cite a lot of science to support it.

    The other Mark (LOL) provided a link that “defined” neo-liberal. If you can understand this drivel, you’re smarter than I.

    One is, if you like, the theory of neoliberalism and the other is its practice. And they are rather different from each other.

    Excuse me??? The theory and practice are inconsistent? Then you’ve got nothing at all.

    But the theory takes the view that individual liberty and freedom are the high point of civilization and then goes on to argue that individual liberty and freedom can best be protected and achieved by an institutional structure, made up of strong private property rights, free markets, and free trade: a world in which individual initiative can flourish. The implication of that is that the state should not be involved in the economy too much, but it should use its power to preserve private property rights and the institutions of the market and promote those on the global stage if necessary.

    So, a neo-liberal is a Friedman conservative. Big fucking deal. Another example of pseudo-intellectuals manufacturing new terms of confuse others and thereby intensify their self-adoration.

    Obviously I didn’t read the book you referenced, bit I have a fairly well-developed shit-detector, if I say so myself, and the blurb about the book was quite aromatic.

    I am quite passionate about us being barbarians and I probably should read about evolutionary psychology. I just try to avoid politically correct texts–whether they spring from the right or left.

    Finally, I insist on being reinstated as your nemesis. You just have to clue me in on what we’re fighting about, fofl.

    And Silas, I’d love to see my treatise on the Constitution too. It’s just so hard to write these days. Anyway, we’ll always have…

    In Jameson Veritas

  • Mark Schannon

    Cindy, life is nothing if not bizarre, God bless it. Turns out I’ve had a book on evolutionary psych for years: The Moral Animal by Robert Wright. I started it and don’t know why I didn’t finish, but I’m about to pick it up right now. More later.

  • http://theugliestamerican.blogspot.com Andy Marsh

    The way I understand the issue is, that it had nothing to do with the pres’s speech, but the “lesson plan” that went along with it….How can I help the president with his plan? Stuff like that. Obviously it was wrong, or it wouldn’t have been removed.

    But of course, if you only watch MSNBC, you might not know that, unless you get up early enough to watch Morning Joe, the only sane program on that channel.

    Besides the fact that the school year is to short anyway and teachers don’t have time for TV watching, they have lesson plans of their own that they have to follow so no child gets left behind…even YOUR stupid kid!

    You liberals so love to throw race in this all the time…I’d bet that there are more people that voted FOR Obama because of the color of his skin than there are that voted against him because of the color of his skin.

    And as a matter of fact, whether you’re doing it for good or for wrong, when you judge someone (or vote for them)on that basis alone, it’s racist.

    And how many of you almost broke your own arms patting yourselves on the back because you were so proud of yourselves for electing a black man president? You paid absolutely no attention to the mans’ politics or the people he’s spent his entire life with and now look where we are…if you liberals and Obama have your way we’ll be annexed by Venezuela or China within the next three years.

    But hey, those union folks sure enjoyed his sermon on the mount yesterday, didn’t they?

  • Mark

    Hiya Mark — I said that the article might help. Clearly, it didn’t. Enjoy.

  • http://thingsalongtheway.blogspot.com/ Cindy

    Obviously I didn’t read the book you referenced, bit I have a fairly well-developed shit-detector*, if I say so myself, and the blurb about the book was quite aromatic.

    What do you think about this idea? In the ‘now’, it strikes me, we are generally our brightest, most intelligent ever. We know more than we ever did before. The trouble is, we are always in the ‘now’. And we know we’ve been wrong thousands of times in our past ‘nows’. So why don’t we ever notice that this ‘now’ might very well be like all the rest? I don’t know, but we never seem to.

    It’s just my observation, I could be wrong, maybe everyone/someone else if different.

    *My best experience tells me to guess that the book is disagreeable to what you believe.

    But of course my theory is open to criticism.

    Yes, sorry. That’s not what I intended to mean, that you aren’t open to criticism. I’ll try again. I try to disprove my theory*. I don’t think I could ever estimate if it were reasonable or not if I didn’t do that. I am always more enthusiastic when I find agreement. It’s when I find disagreement that I have to account for it or my theory has to change.

    (As brilliant as I am. ;-) I am a mere mortal. And just like every other mind, mine cannot be trusted to not be biased. So, I do my best, which is not to say I don’t sometimes find myself cheating and pretending, to myself, I didn’t.)

    So, what I meant was, you haven’t, yourself, subjected your theory to outside criticism. Therefore while it may be intriguing, or even turn out to be the universal truth we’ve all been waiting for, I don’t have to take it as ‘serious’ criticism of my theory (‘serious’ meaning something that I absolutely have to account for) as it is not something you yourself have subjected to criticism, and therefore it is untested by you against your own enthusiasm.

    (*It’s something my the first of my few amazing teachers taught me. I just rediscovered him at age 75, and am going to get the chance to tell him how much he influenced my life–I suspected recently, he had either Marxist or Anarchist leanings or both. He never said that or taught Marxism or Anarchism…but he posed questions for my consideration and his whole radical teaching style suggest this.)

  • Mark Schannon

    Cindy, the only venue for outside criticism for me right now is here on BC. The articles are there & I welcome discussion and debate about them. Before I was blessed with a brain cloud, I had delusions of writing a book based on Three Steps from the Cave–a combination journey/scientific exploration. Oh well, perhaps someday.

    (Again, the definition of neo-liberal is classic conservatism, which I reject. We don’t need a new label for it. What’s it’s relationship to psychological evolution is remains to be seen as I delve into “The Moral Animal.”)

    In the ‘now’, it strikes me, we are generally our brightest, most intelligent ever. We know more than we ever did before. If you mean the expanding knowledge base of people in general, I agree. If you mean any one individual, hah. There are some “nows” in which I’m dumber than a lamp post.

    The trouble is, we are always in the ‘now’. And we know we’ve been wrong thousands of times in our past ‘nows’. So why don’t we ever notice that this ‘now’ might very well be like all the rest? Absolutely right. You struck at the heart of the unconscious/conscious debate as well as a lot of the neurology & psychology that argues that the emotional and rational parts of our brains are inextricably intertwined.

    Cindy, any theory that does not clearly lay out the means for disproving it is not, by definition, a theory.

    And maybe I’ve missed it, but what is your theory? If you’ve written about it, direct me there. I know you’re an anarchist, a theory for which I have great affection. I’ve read a lot of the 19th century anarchists, but I don’t believe it can work until we’re far more morally and economically advanced than we are now.

    And while we’re always biased, there remains one truth:

    In Jameson Veritas

  • zingzing

    “Silas – you don’t want a civil war with us…you gave up your guns…you’ll never win!”

    andy… you would never make general. we have the ports. ever heard of a blockade? we blockade sc and ga, you=doomed. we also have a good portion of the most productive parts of the midwest (breadbasket). we also control the money. we also have all the allies. i’m sure mexico would love to attack and gain back some land in exchange for their help. and we can get guns. you would be starved, strapped for cash and lacking friends. recognize!

  • zingzing

    andy: “if you liberals and Obama have your way we’ll be annexed by Venezuela or China within the next three years.”

    ahh, the latest in baseless, bullshit accusations. hi-larious. see you in three years, comrade. adios, zai jian.

  • Clavos

    I just rediscovered him at age 75…

    Cindy, I had no idea you’re that old! I must congratulate you on the acuity of your mind in light of your age.

    Props, girl!

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Cindy ain’t 75, let me reassure you. She meant she rediscovered “him” at HIS ripe age of 75. But you knew that already.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Andy must be itching for a fight. So what shall we have, another civil war?

  • http://thingsalongtheway.blogspot.com/ Cindy

    lol Clav.

  • http://thingsalongtheway.blogspot.com/ Cindy

    shhhhh, yes, Roger I am 75, now I can make loads of money selling my new miracle anti-aging cocktail. Which I think might taste suspiciously like a chocolate milkshake. (That way people won’t mind drinking it even if they aren’t sure it works…which is not a problem, because I am sure enough would see results to assure excellent profits.)

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    That’s what I always say. We get decrepit in our old age. The ugly character traits which are quite forgivable when we’re young, because they come across as being charming, get only accentuated when we grow old and rear their ugly head.

    So you’ve become a miser and a penny-pincher in you latter years. And a capitalist pig to boot.

    Shame on you!

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    BTW, Bliffle hasn’t been around for a while.
    I’m certain he didn’t die – too much life in that contrary spirit. But I think the criticism had gotten to him – concerning his use of invectives.

    Bliffe, if you’re anywhere within the sound of this voice, speak up. Let us know you’re alive.

  • Clavos

    They do say wisdom comes with age, Cindy.

    You’re living (barely) proof. :-)

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Wisdom is a static concept. It presupposes knowledge. Cindy is young even if she’s seventy five.

  • http://www.indyboomer46.blogspot.com Baritone

    Note that the ONLY person on MSNBC who Andy finds palatable is Scarborough, one of their few conservatives. I find him marginably acceptable. My wife and I have a notion that given the recent publication of his book, and his work on MSNBC, he may be attempting to position himself for a presidential run in 2012. At least ludicrous crap doesn’t flow out of his mouth every time he speaks as it is with a # of current Reps. Well, sometimes, but not EVERY time.

    I know that Olbermann is sometimes over the top and often far too bombastic, but I still agree with most of his positions. As to Rachael Maddow, she is intelligent and her material is VERY well researched. I don’t believe she is objectionable at all.

    But, of course, MSNBC lacks Fox’s “fair and balanced” approach. Yeah, right!

    B

  • http://www.indyboomer46.blogspot.com Baritone

    Note that the ONLY person on MSNBC who Andy finds palatable is Scarborough, one of their few conservatives. I find him marginably acceptable. My wife and I have a notion that given the recent publication of his book, and his work on MSNBC, he may be attempting to position himself for a presidential run in 2012. At least ludicrous crap doesn’t flow out of his mouth every time he speaks as it is with a # of current Reps. Well, sometimes, but not EVERY time.

    I know that Olbermann is sometimes over the top and often far too bombastic, but I still agree with most of his positions. As to Rachael Maddow, she is intelligent and her material is VERY well researched. I don’t believe she is objectionable at all.

    But, of course, MSNBC lacks Fox’s “fair and balanced” approach. Yeah, right!

    B

  • http://www.indyboomer46.blogspot.com Baritone

    Oops.

  • http://thingsalongtheway.blogspot.com/ Cindy

    87

    I just have to mention. Neoliberalism is short for neoclassical liberalism. It’s not a new label.
    (Go back to sleep. :-)

    The term was coined in 1938 at the Colloque Walter Lippmann by the German sociologist and economist Alexander Rüstow, one of the fathers of Social market economy.[3] The label is referring to a redefinition of classical liberalism, influenced by the neoclassical theories of economics.

    ‘Now’ meaning our personal experience of ourselves when we believe we are seeing clearly and are correct–it’s always in the present. My comment was supposed to be intriguing, to tempt you to consider it–to check against your own experience. I can see I need to work on my act. lol

    What’s it’s relationship to psychological evolution is remains to be seen as I delve into “The Moral Animal.”

    That would be great. I looked through all your material and your threads where we discussed things and I was wrong. You never mentioned evolutionary psychology. You mentioned evolutionary changes related to science. I will have to go back to the articles and see if there are references for what you really mean.

    Evolutionary psychology proposes scientific evidence that human nature is very much like you believe it to be. Thus, you can see my confusion.

    …any theory that does not clearly lay out the means for disproving it is not, by definition, a theory.

    Subterfuge or comedy? You said you don’t test your theory as you don’t read things that disagree with it.

    And maybe I’ve missed it, but what is your theory?

    I think there are actually only a couple original ideas left in ‘my’ theory. By the time I’m done researching, there probably won’t be any left. I am not sure what to call ‘my theory’ any more. I keep discovering it’s nothing more special or less special that something that in parts has been proposed by other people. Maybe I will have a different outlook.

    But, anyway, I argue why we mistake what human nature is.

    And while we’re always biased, there remains one truth…

    That’s one theory. :-)

  • Clavos

    MSNBC and FOX are mirrors of each other, even to the extent that MSNBC watchers hate FOX and vice versa.

    I think they and all TV “news” shows featuring talking heads suck to an unacceptable degree. I make it a point not to watch TV for news.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Watching TV for news is insult to a person’s intelligence.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Forgive the misuse of indefinite articles.

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    Roger, shouldn’t that be ‘Forgive a misuse of the indefinite articles’?

    ;-)

    [spots agitated-looking Clavos approaching at a sprint, hides]

  • zingzing

    “MSNBC and FOX are mirrors of each other, even to the extent that MSNBC watchers hate FOX and vice versa.”

    “fair and balanced” refers to the equal and opposite “realities” displayed here. if one were to look at the invisible product (and, i dare say, move somewhat to the left…) of these two media outlets, one might find that hotly disputed, nebulous thingfish which is, in some sort of actuality, reality.

    msnbc’s fawning is a little less dangerous, however, than fox’s ridiculous fabrications and incendiary bullshit. i must say. but others can disagree, as long as they don’t have a semi-automatic with them. or try to indoctrinate me. or preach me some jebus.

  • http://thingsalongtheway.blogspot.com/ Cindy

    95 lol Roger.

    (Really though, if it weren’t for the chance occurrence of happening upon a few people–pretty recently too–I’d still be stuck having given up and accepted that human nature itself really is selfish and that I was just naive when I thought there was any other possibility. I hadn’t talked to any radical leftists since 1978, Roger. I was the most radical person I knew since then.)

  • http://delibernation.com/blog/3 Silas Kain

    Andy a general? Like the “general” in The Postman or like the character played by Charlotte Rampling in The Night Porter? Insofar as guns are concerned, Randy Andy, intelligence trumps bullets any day. Especially if someone intelligent designs a gun which shoots backwards and sells them to right wing extremists.

  • http://delibernation.com/blog/3 Silas Kain

    “MSNBC and FOX are mirrors of each other, even to the extent that MSNBC watchers hate FOX and vice versa.”

    That’s why I get news from European and Middle Eastern news outlets as well as Bloomberg. MSNBC is entertainment TV, except for Rachel Maddow. She makes my loins warm. CNN is fair and somewhat balanced. FOX is a complete fraud as a news outlet. It is the propaganda machine for the extreme right and for Judeo-Christian fundamentalists who need something to watch when The 700 Club is not on air. I lost all respect for Chris Wallace and Bill Hemmer when they joined. Mike Wallace must have buried his head in the sand when his son sold out to FOX. It’s sad. Daddy Wallace was a fairly good journalist, his son an alien from the Planet Massengill.

  • zingzing

    i think i read somewhere that during (or at least during the buildup to) the civil war, the north (which produced almost all of the guns in america at the time) actually sold guns to the south. given our grand history of war profiteering, i’m pretty sure we could get the right wing to hand them over for a pretty good bulk rate. (of course, they wouldn’t make it out of the room alive…)

    this is fun! it’s like speculative fiction.

  • zingzing

    “the Planet Massengill.”

    planet massengill, where the douches are douches and the uteri are afraid.

    i have no idea.

  • http://www.maskedmoviesnobs.com El Bicho

    Andy, are you part of some affiliate program where you get paid a nickel for every mention of MSNBC?

  • Clavos

    LOL, zing

  • http://thingsalongtheway.blogspot.com/ Cindy

    “the uteri” lol….

  • Clavos

    FOX is a complete fraud as a news outlet.

    Don’t be so partisan, Silas.

    They ALL (american media) are partisan, FOX is just more open about it.

  • http://thingsalongtheway.blogspot.com/ Cindy

    I umpteenth the notion that TV news is not news. It seems not to be about informing you of any particular thing, it just whatever it takes to get you to tune in and stay that way. One day they will assess that people’s attention spans are so limited, they will probably consider reducing the information in each news piece to a single sentence.

  • zingzing

    “FOX is just more open about it.”

    hrm. that’s assuming some intelligence in the audience that’s not always there. they put a thin veneer of “fair and balanced” and “trustworthiness” over their… whatever it is that they do… and a lot of people fall for it. people take that shit as gospel. gospel as a suppository. the metaphors flow thick and stinky.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Correct, Doc. It almost looks contrived.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/christine-lakatos/ Christine

    “I don’t recall anyone raising a fuss when good ole Ronnie and his coat-tailer GHWB took it upon themselves to directly address school children”.

    When President George H.W. Bush delivered a similar speech on October 1, 1991, from Alice Deal Junior High School in Washington DC, the controversy was just beginning. Democrats, then the majority party in Congress, not only denounced Bush’s speech — they also ordered the General Accounting Office to investigate its production and later summoned top Bush administration officials to Capitol Hill for an extensive hearing on the issue…

    Unlike the Obama speech, in 1991 most of the controversy came after, not before, the president’s school appearance. The day after Bush spoke, the Washington Post published a front-page story suggesting the speech was carefully staged for the president’s political benefit. “The White House turned a Northwest Washington junior high classroom into a television studio and its students into props,” the Post reported.

    With the Post article in hand, Democrats pounced. “The Department of Education should not be producing paid political advertising for the president, it should be helping us to produce smarter students,” said Richard Gephardt, then the House Majority Leader. “And the president should be doing more about education than saying, ‘Lights, camera, action.'”

    Democrats did not stop with words. Rep. William Ford, then chairman of the House Education and Labor Committee, ordered the General Accounting Office to investigate the cost and legality of Bush’s appearance…

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    I think you’re right, Christine. What goes around comes around. It’a nasty business, politics, no matter how you look at it. And worst part of it is – the people are taken for suckers. And they fall for it.

  • zingzing

    so the dems once jumped off a cliff and you followed soon after.

    i read the transcript of the speech bush gave and nothing in it seems too political for me. there is some stuff about the specifics of his education goals, numbers, etc, but that’s fine too. i don’t really see what the big deal was. but i do love how political parties forget their own past.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/christine-lakatos/ Christine

    Zing and Roger, thanks for noticing BOTH sides hypocrisy and short-term memories. But remember, my gripe was NEVER with the speech, just the weird lesson plans! I actually liked Obama’s speech today…But it’s the past and we can move on I hope!

  • zingzing

    “But remember, my gripe was NEVER with the speech, just the weird lesson plans!”

    oh, malarkey. the wording of that one assignment was a bit unfortunate, but it was a rhetorical mistake, nothing more. he wasn’t asking kids to help him with the economy or healthcare or the fascist takeover of the united states. he spoke with them about education, and that’s what he was asking.

  • Jordan Richardson

    Actually, Christine, I believe you told me that it was “Obama’s MOTIVES” that you opposed in regards to the speech and/or the lesson plans. You claimed to not know what his motives were and, thus, compared them to swine flu, school violence and teen pregnancy with respect to how concerned we should be with them.

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    The GHWB speech and its aftermath – Gingrich defended it on the grounds that nothing Bush said was political – just goes to show that it’s fine as long as it’s your guy and utterly heinous if it’s the other guy. Objectivity is something that happens to other people.

    As for Reagan, yes, he did speak to schoolchildren and he did talk about his political agenda – but it was a question-and-answer session and he was asked by kids about his policies. I think that was fair enough.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/christine-lakatos/ Christine

    Jordan:
    Yes, it was the motives of the planned event and it was just another thing to add to concerns! AS if we don’t have enough to worry about kind of thing, not that it compares to those things…and they were as slight as homework… Guess you misunderstood.

    I then spent the rest of the article explaining about the lessons plans and even made this comment “A Presidential speech about education, terrific!”.

    Then gave other examples of why I am am miffed with this administration and any potential propaganda. Then I used a speed limit sign to say slow down NOT stop the speech!

    Hope that makes sense because I am not feeling so good tonight. MIGHT be my last political article here on BC!!!!

  • http://delibernation.com/blog/3 Silas Kain

    “I don’t recall anyone raising a fuss when good ole Ronnie and his coat-tailer GHWB took it upon themselves to directly address school children”.

    Oh my Dear Lord Jesus! I just had an epiphany! Two wrongs DO make a right! Ultra right, that is.

  • http://delibernation.com/blog/3 Silas Kain

    Hope that makes sense because I am not feeling so good tonight. MIGHT be my last political article here on BC!!!!

    Hey, Christine, knock it off! You have every right to be here as the rest of us. You add valuable insight and it’s important that we debate all points of view no matter how far to the extreme edge we may arrive at every now and then. Keep writing and encourage prolific debate. Wear the extreme criticisms like a badge of honor. Look at it as your way of inspiring people to THINK. We now return to the Aretha Franklin Anthology Hour.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/christine-lakatos/ Christine

    Silas, thanks for the “pep talk”…I’ll lick my wounds, regroup and get back to you or at you, depending on the day and debate! LOL

  • http://delibernation.com/blog/3 Silas Kain

    I LOVE a woman with PMS (persistent mind set).

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/christine-lakatos/ Christine

    Silas..YOU, Jordan, Roger and even Zing make me laugh! So I guess it’s worth the price of admission!

  • zingzing

    “even zing?”

    “even zing?”

    even when i’m being slightly cruel, all i want is to be laughed at.

  • zingzing

    with! laughed with!

    oh, damn…

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Christine,

    Please don’t get discouraged. You’ve generated a whole bunch of comments, good, bad and indifferent, and that’s saying something. Personally, I happen to think this entire thing is a non-issue, but the times are such that everybody tries to make a big deal out of something. And I don’t blame you for having picked up the baton and running with it. I understand.

    Again, I happen to think that the advice some parents give to their kids, not going to school so they wouldn’t hear the speech, is more damaging than they could imagine. It instills the aura of suspicion in our country and government, in our young ones. I think it’s taking partisanship to its lowest. But as I said, I’d like to think I understand where you’re coming from. So just because we may disagree on this issue or that, don’t let this stop you.

  • http://www.thepinkflamingoblog.com/ SJ Reidhead

    RE: #127

    Christine:

    The comments can get over the top, vicious, nasty, and downright mean. I’ve learned not to reply to them because they are so unkind and replies in kind are simply not productive.

    I’ve come to realize that when some people are online they think they can say anything they wish and there will be no consequences. They think they’re cute, smart, and are trying to prove just how worldly and just how intellectually superior they are. All most are doing is proving just how “little” they actually are. I’ve don’t understand the mindset of people who act this way, other than the fact that there is something rather pathetic about their shallow little lives.

    It is one thing to go after someone because of politics. I’ve learned there is no end to what Democrats will now do to belittle someone with whom they disagree. The whole idea behind their attacks are to dispirit to the point where someone who has an opinion that disagrees with them will simply slink back into the woodwork and never express themselves again. Unfortunately we also have more than a few conservatives who have learned this lesson well.

    On the other hand, there’s nothing wrong with a spirited political debate. My editor is constantly telling me I must develope a thick skin and not to retort to comments or attacks. I can either respond or just keep working on the blasted book. Responding to attacks is not productive, working on the blasted book is.

    One thing I’ve learned about BC is just how much fun it is writing something I know is going to drive people crazy. When dealing with people who take themselves so very seriously I get a kick out of throwing bombs at them and watching the results.

    There are some people who comment on a regular basis who seem to delight in being as nasty as possible. Don’t take them seriously. Remember – everyone is a critic!

    SJR

  • http://www.thepinkflamingoblog.com/ SJ Reidhead

    #135

    Roger;

    I get a kick out of the way Democrats are treating the Obama speech, and the way they treated George H. W. Bush when he made his.

    Something I realized today is the fact that a beginning of the year speech to students should be something a POTUS ought to do every year. It doesn’t matter which party is in power. If it makes a few kids pay attention to the news then mission accomplished, no matter what the ideology.

    Kids who support a POTUS are going to watch because they support him/her. Those who are against are going to watch because they want to take him/her apart. It is a win win situation.

    When I was in high school, this sort of debate was encouraged. That’s how I became so interested in politics. I think Barack Obama is an incompetent joke, but I also think getting kids to debate politics is a very good thing. I will willingly give him credit for that.

    SJR

  • Jordan Richardson

    Christine,

    Yes, it was the motives of the planned event and it was just another thing to add to concerns!

    Exactly. And my main line of thinking throughout this entire non-controversy was akin to “why add yet another log to the fire over absolutely nothing?”

    Now, when you say “as if we don’t have enough to worry about, along comes Obama and this speech/lesson plan crap,” can you not see how you’d be lumping that in with the rest of what you’ve listed? I get that you don’t think that Obama’s speech on education was or is as bad as swine flu, but you were making a comparison, albeit is a moderately indirect one.

    It’s something the media does all the time; there’s an association that takes place, presented in a way that appears to “question” the ideology but in effect actually reinforces it. I cringe when I see it and I saw it in the opening lines of your article.

    I just wish that politics could be discussed without alarmist rhetoric and comparisons that don’t make sense. You did well to address your concerns in the remainder of the article, but the introduction and the way you baselined the debate was unfortunate in my opinion.

    That said, I’m sorry you’re not feeling well today. It’s very, very easy to get bogged down in the politics section here. It’s a good idea to take a few days away from the place or at least some small breaks from time to time, which is what I do regularly. It’s nice to rejoin civilization and learn that the world isn’t necessarily all about twisting and turning every ounce of substance this way or that way.

    I also hope you’re not discouraged by the comments or the rhetoric within the comments section. I deem them to be reflective of the articles written and a valued part of any social or political discussion. I, too, get pissed off, annoyed and downright down in the dumps over some of the stuff that goes on here (you should see some of my angry Facebook status messages after partaking in some of the chaos here). But I also realize that it’s all part of what makes this place and indeed ANY place where people gather to discuss things freely a whole lot of fun.

    So don’t go leave. As Silas said, “look at is as your way of inspiring people to think.” Your article and your comments get me to do that and there’s no reason to shy away from that. In fact, that your articles do that should be celebrated. Keep writing!

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    SJ,

    I’m glad you responded, not to mention the fact that I was one of the few addressees.

    To tell you the truth, I think it’s a national disgrace. I can’t apologize enough for the Democrats for demonizing Bush ( the Iraqi war being the obvious excuse), but what obtains in the present is a real disgrace. I can go along with tit-for-tat in politics to an extent, but whatever good or bad you can say for Obama or his policies, it transcends the all forms of propriety. In short, I can attribute this negativism to nothing other but ill will.

    It’s a really sad page in the history of this nation. We should all be ashamed.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/christine-lakatos/ Christine

    Roger, SJ Reidhead, Jordan and even Zing:
    Thanks for the commentary, will take your advice…all good stuff!! Yeah, need some rest, kind of fluish (is that a word?). See ya for the next debate! LOL

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Same here, Christine. Tomorrow’s another day.

  • zingzing

    of course, sj is notorious for her lack of response to any criticism, so take her comments for what they are: (fill in the blank)

  • http://www.thepinkflamingoblog.com/ SJ Reidhead

    #142
    zingzing:

    Why would I want to respond to criticism I feel is entirely unwarranted and is basically motivated, not by charity, but by a political point of view. When I write something political it is opinion. You have a right to disagree.

    I’m an opera fan. No group of individuals are criticized as much. They never respond to criticism.

    There is another reason I do not respond. I don’t have the time. The only reason I’m doing so tonight is because I am doing the classic writer’s procrastination to avoid working on the blasted book!

    I don’t even have time to do the BC columns I want to write. I need to do a review of a very good book I recently completed.

    Just sitting here, crafting this response has taken 20 minutes. While I respect your right to make snarky comments about my writing, you do not respect my decision not to pick a fight with you.

    Go figure?

    SJR

  • STM

    SJ: “When dealing with people who take themselves so very seriously I get a kick out of throwing bombs at them and watching the results.”

    So all this is just done for your own personal pleasure, then, to stroke your own ego, and no other views here count if they’re as vociferously expressed as yours?

    Seriously, SJ, while I respect your right not to reply and to hold and voice whatever opinions you like, sometimes you sound like you have an ego that needs its own postcode. Or is it zipcode in the US? Whatever …

    I’m sure you get my drift.

    I’ve noticed, however, that you don’t have any problem criticising others who don’t go along with what I’d describe as the narrowed-down world view you often present here.

    I dunno, call me old-fashioned. But have you lost sight of the notion that his whole exercise is just meant to be fun for all concerned?

    I notice Christine got a bollocking but joined in anyway.

    Like we all have when we’ve written stuff on here that others don’t like.

  • STM

    Case in point: Many of those regulars who replied to Christine’s posts on this issue opposed her point of view, but it looks to me like she’s now one of the gang.

    The reason: she’s a good sport.

  • Jordan Richardson

    Why would I want to respond to criticism I feel is entirely unwarranted and is basically motivated, not by charity, but by a political point of view.

    Um, your articles are political…

    How else should comments on them be motivated? By “charity?” Are you serious?

    Other than that, Stan’s got it dead-on in #144.

  • Jordan Richardson

    SJ, as the “don’t have the time argument,” you certainly do have the time to construct articles that you yourself described as intended to piss of liberals and the like. While I’m not going to judge what you choose to do with your time, isn’t fish for and then complaining about the very responses you intend to get a poor use of said time?

  • Jordan Richardson

    isn’t fish for and then complaining about the very responses you intend to get a poor use of said time?

    Blah, that should be “fishing for.”

  • http://www.maskedmoviesnobs.com El Bicho

    “The comments can get over the top, vicious, nasty, and downright mean.”

    SJ castigating of commentors might be worth something if she didn’t behave in exactly the same way in her articles, so she should stop projecting.

  • http://www.maskedmoviesnobs.com El Bicho

    I have no doubt Christine will be back. She appears past the state of being overwhelmed by hundreds of emails and kept returning to the dance. People who couldn’t take just give up and leave

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Christine,

    They’re all talking about your demise. I don’t believe it. So please don’t disappoint us.

  • http://www.EurocriticsMagazine.com Christopher Rose

    SJ Reidhead: It took you twenty minutes to come up with comment #143? That is frankly unbelievable. Maybe you have a medical problem or something…

  • Jordan Richardson

    Christopher, in fairness she did say she was “crafting” the response. Art takes time.

  • STM

    Yeah, Christine .. stick with it. You’re a bloody good sport. We love you really!

  • STM

    PS, if you are coming down with swine-flu, take heart: it’s likely to be THE seasonal flu in the northern hemisphere this winter.

    I’ve had it over the southern hemisphere winter (in Australia) just gone.

    It’s quite mild after the first two days, unlike some other seasonal flus I’ve had.

    We had a bizarre case here where some workers with swine-flu at a pig farm gave the flu to some pigs.

    They quarantined the place … for the sake of the pigs.

    There have been some deaths, but generally they were people with underlying illnesses.

    But not, I’m told, anywhere in the region of the usual number of seasonal flu deaths here.

    My wife took Tamiflu early and got no symptoms at all.

    Hopefully, though, you’ve just got a cold :)

  • http://delibernation.com/blog/3 Silas Kain

    Oh my God. We’ve reached a consensus. Perhaps we should direct members of Congress to Blogcritics. Maybe they can learn something.

  • zingzing

    sj: “Why would I want to respond to criticism I feel is entirely unwarranted and is basically motivated, not by charity, but by a political point of view.”

    i don’t think you realize just what game it is we are playing here…

    “While I respect your right to make snarky comments about my writing, you do not respect my decision not to pick a fight with you.”

    fair enough, but we come here for a fight, not to be preached to. sometimes (and i’m not saying this is the case for your articles), i don’t even read the article in question, i just join the melee. but i find your articles to usually be highly partisan and they often feel like they come from some crack in the wall of reality, where everyone agrees with sj. and your lack of response just reinforces that.

    if you don’t want to respond, write essays and get the published in magazines (on or offline). if you publish here, expect criticism and an argument to unfold. your lack of response also undercuts your points, as if you have no answer for criticisms, be they political or not.

  • http://delibernation.com/blog/3 Silas Kain

    zing, I love you.

    Now to tonight, boys and girls. Be sure to watch Congressperson Boustany’s Republican rebuttal of the President tonight. This guy is not only a physician, but he once got hoodwinked by some British guy claiming to be able to sell titles of nobility from Buckingham Palace. Evidently, Dr./Rep. Boustany wanted to be known as Lord Boustany. Tonight he will be known as the court jester. And when all is said and done his performance will all but kill the drive for tort reform. With people like Rep. Boustany, there IS a need for malpractice insurance.

    Both speeches, the President’s & Boustany’s, should be shown to high school kids across the country.

  • http://theugliestamerican.blogspot.com Andy Marsh

    Silas – I’m hurt, I was NEVER a copy machine repair man! But I do find it amusing that you and I may be the only two people here that have ever seen the Postman! Maybe, you didn’t like it…I actually did. Honestly, I’d be more like Tom Petty, hiding out in the wilderness with a harem!

    B-tone – It amuses me that I can at least find ONE thing on MSNBC that I find palatable, but you and all your liberal buddies, who probably NEVER watch Fox, only listen to what Olberman and Maddow tell you about them, can’t seem to find one thing. Not Colmbs, Williams, Liasson. I’ve been able to find the one and ONLY conservative on your favorite TV station, but you won’t even bother to watch anything else…you’re that kid that wouldn’t eat his veggies ’cause you didn’t like them…even though you never tasted them…aren’t you?

  • zingzing

    “but you and all your liberal buddies, who probably NEVER watch Fox”,” blah blah blah, “I’ve been able to find the one and ONLY conservative on your favorite TV station, but you won’t even bother to watch anything else…you’re that kid that wouldn’t eat his veggies ’cause you didn’t like them…even though you never tasted them…”

    wait, so you came ALLLLLL the way over (by clicking the remote) to a WHOLE OTHER station, and then found a CONSERVATIVE? lovely. we congratulate you on your daring. high adventure, andy style!

    as for fox, sometimes it’s the only choice at the gym (or it often was when i lived in seattle, of all places), in airport lounges, at the bar, and so on. plus, we get to see it on youtube and it’s all over facebook (because it’s such high comedy), so yes, we’ve watched and it’s crap, but it is crap-tacular.

    you really, really think that most of us liberals haven’t watched the occasional beck tirade/meltdown/paranoid fantasy/handjob? they are fucking classic. similarly, i’ve seen clips of msnbc, but find them less entertaining, so i’ve probably seen a quarter as many as i have those wondrous fox clips.

    so i watch fox 3 times as much as i watch msnbc, and i must say i like fox better, because they’re totally bonkers.

  • zingzing

    next week on “high adventure with andy marsh,” andy sails across his bathtub! he feeds his cat–with his own bare hands! andy drops bombs all over a foreigner’s toilet! and he drives his car straight into his… GARAGE!

  • http://theugliestamerican.blogspot.com Andy Marsh

    I own dogs zing…cats are more of a liberal type pet.

  • Deano

    But Obama’s got a dog….

  • Mark

    …the definition of neo-liberal is classic conservatism, which I reject. We don’t need a new label for it.

    Mark Shannon (LOL) my erstwhile bud — this is tripe and some kind of ‘ordinary language’ confused nonsense based on the acceptance of the modern (and politically motivated imo) distortion of political discourse.

    liberalism – 18th century political movement represented by Adam Smith — belief that the free market and laissez-faire backed by moral sentiment are critical to promote economic growth and the good of society

    conservatism – 18th century political movement represented by Edmond Burke — belief that established social institutions are critical to uphold natural law and ensure individual rights

    neoliberalism – 20th century political movement represented by Milton Friedman — belief that the free market and laissez-faire backed by established social institutions are critical to promote economic growth and the good of society

    So, it’s your turn; what the hell is this ‘classic conservatism’ that you’re on about?

    As for your cave theory, we are both primitive and advanced depending on perspective. But so what?

    Enjoy your angst. I can only hope that you are not one of those who would freeze when events required action.

  • zingzing

    andy: ““I own dogs zing…cats are more of a liberal type pet.”

    and dogs are the more individualistic, self-sustaining types, eh? yeah… dogs are slobbering slave-like things, and they smell bad, vomit all the time and leave their poop around for you to pick up… hrm, making you their poop-slave.

    scene 1

    man: go get it, boy!
    dog: woof, woof, woof.

    scene 2

    man: come on boy, let’s go for a walk!
    dog: i’m tired of hearing you call me “boy”, fucker. [squeezes on out.] pick that shit up, bitch.

    so having a dog is like taking turns being a slave.

  • http://delibernation.com/blog/3 Silas Kain

    I own dogs zing…cats are more of a liberal type pet.

    Would one define Andy’s poodle a dog? I mean, come on now. An uber-conservative guy with a poodle named Fifi. That’s not a dog, it’s a dust mop.

  • STM

    Silas: “Would one define Andy’s poodle a dog?”

    Lol.

    I have a pedigree Border Terrier that looks like a brown mutt.

    I keep asking my wife why we spent 800 bucks on a dog that looks like something out of a cartoon show.

    She’s good though … she alerted me the other morning to my daughter having an epileptic seizure in the corridor.

    She kept running backwards and forwards, barking, letting me know something was wrong.

    See, zing, you get more than just poop in the backyard (although let me tell you, you DO get that”.

  • STM

    Andy: “Silas – I’m hurt, I was NEVER a copy machine repair man! But I do find it amusing that you and I may be the only two people here that have ever seen the Postman”

    Make that three of us, mate. Well, I hear him every day at least. Aussie posties ride little 150cc motorbikes. The bastard rides across my front lawn every morning without fail, chewing up the grass in front of my little sandstone stone wall so it now resembles a BMX track between the neighbours’ places on either side. It’s OK when it’s dry but at the slightest hint of rain, he’s tearing the joint up.

    I have complained to Australia Post. Under their new prompt complaints-handling policy, I expect to get a reply by 2011.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    A dog is a man’s best friend. And Andy needs one.

  • http://delibernation.com/blog/3 Silas Kain

    A dog is a man’s best friend. And Andy needs one.

    PETA & the ASPCA don’t think the same.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    I just wanted to cheer Andy up, to tell him that life ain’t that bad.

    But then again, we don’t want to violate the taboo and speak the unspeakable, do we now?

  • zingzing

    stm: “See, zing, you get more than just poop in the backyard (although let me tell you, you DO get that”.”

    years ago, i fell asleep on the couch with my legs curled up, and my cat found a nice warm spot on the back side of my knees and curled up there. when i woke up, i stretched and accidently kicked the cat with my heels, which made him dig his claws into my calf muscle, sending blood shooting all over my mother’s white couch and i shot up with the cat still attached and it was trying to get it’s claw out of me and i’m yelling like a man with a cat attached to his vein and there’s blood everywhere and it’s getting on the cat and my mother rushes in and sees all this and faints (she hates blood) and she hits her head on the door frame and she’s bleeding and the cat finally gets his claw out, but he’s covered in blood and i’m just standing there, trying to hold the blood inside my body, but failing, limping towards my passed out and bleeding mother, muttering at the cat that trying to get my blood off his face by licking the paw what did it. fucking cats.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    The feline instinct, zing. But you’ve got to love ‘em. There’s no more beautiful or more graceful animal in the world.

  • Mark Schannon

    Mark re: #164. Sorry we’re no longer friends. (Actually, I didn’t know we ever were, but, what the hell, I’m easy.)

    But I am impressed with how easily you reduce complex ideas into their most simplistic formulations. I would suggest, however, that you’re confusing liberalism with libertarianism.

    The New School’s profile on Friedman: “An ardent opponent of the Keynesian economics, Friedman led the “Monetarist” incarnation of the Chicago School against the Keynesian orthodoxy in the 1960s and early 1970s.”

    That’s hardly the description of a liberal.

    And as much as I hate to cite Wikipedia, their definition of neolibs is pretty clear: “Broadly speaking, “neoliberalism seeks to transfer part of the control of the economy from public to the private sector.”

    They go on, “The Chicago school of economics emphasizes non-intervention from government and rejects regulation in laissez-faire free markets as inefficient. It is associated with neoclassical price theory and libertarianism and the rejection of Keynesianism in favor of monetarism…”

    So, sorry, Charlie, it still sounds like conservatism to me.

    And as for my cave theory, read it first, then comment. And I’m always ready for a fight as long as I’ve got the superior weaponry, lol. (Whatever the hell you meant by that???)

    Hey, are we still buds though?

    In Jameson Veritas

  • http://thingsalongtheway.blogspot.com/ Cindy

    165

    lol, my stomach hurts from laughing so hard. thanks zing, this is better than sit-ups…

  • http://thingsalongtheway.blogspot.com/ Cindy

    172 lmao!

  • Mark

    feh Mark — I gave you some historical categories to start from. I suggest, if you are a Wiki fan, that you read the sections on liberalism and conservatism. Might change your view. I’ll give you this: the history of how these schools interact over time leading to the (politically motivated) degradation of their names is complex. These schools were not originally in conflict; as noted in Wiki, Adam Smith considered Burke’s economic views to be the same as his own. I’d argue that this agreement remains true today — the so-called disagreement over State participation in he economy is one of degree rather than principle.

    Of course, YMMV

    xxoo Mark (once upon a time aka troll)

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    It’s but labels and no longer workable labels and therefore only impediments to thought. Let’s grow up now, shall we?

  • Mark

    nah

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    I wasn’t criticizing YOU, Eden.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    I should call you “Martin Eden,” my favorite character.

  • zingzing

    cindy: “172 lmao,” “better than sit ups,” etc.

    it’s what i do. i exercise the mind, midsection and bowels all at once.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    I hope you’re doing the latter over the toilet.

  • STM

    Zing, there’s your problem straight away.

    Never get a white couch mate.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Especially not one that’s made of Italian leather.

  • zingzing

    roger: “I hope you’re doing the latter over the toilet.”

    i do like to bring my computer into the bathroom.

    stm: “Zing, there’s your problem straight away. Never get a white couch mate.”

    tell that to my mother. she replaced it with another white couch, the cat died, and she replaced it with two white cats. shrug.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    So I guess you’re not too enamored with the beasts.

  • zingzing

    all of this was long ago. i think the cat that took it upon itself to paint the living room blood red died when i was in my first year of college. mum replaced him a few months later. of those two cats, one has died, but the other one is still alive and she’s the cutest, sweetest thing on earth. ugly little dumb runt, but helplessness is just about the only criteria one needs for cuteness and she’s got that in spades.

  • http://delibernation.com/blog/3 Silas Kain

    All this talk of cats has me craving Moo Shoo Pork.

  • Mark Schannon

    Troll!!!!!

    Son of a thousand mothers, how the hell are you, bud? Jeeze, Louise, I figured most of the old crowd had drifted away into higher states of consciousness.

    However, my dear sir, I hate the Wiki & all it’s obscene children. When there are no editors, there is no wisdom. (Or something like that.)

    And if you want to do history on me, o.k., then I’ll have to start thinking rather than just pontificating…although it’s a lot less fun.

    Only Rush “I Am The Walrus” Limbaugh believes in NO government intervention. It’s all a matter of degree, but there’s a huge difference between the Chicago school of “it’s all mine & fuck any of you who want any of it and don’t have the power to take it from me” economics and the more reasoned “let us all sing Kumbaya as we row the boat ashore, Michael” politics.

    The former is conservative. The latter is liberal. Both suck but they’re very different, as you well know.

    The fact is, there’s history and there’s politics. I’ve always favored the former because fewer people know about history so you can make up lots o’ stuff, but everyone has an opinion (wrong though most are) about politics.

    Anyway, you just messin’ wit’ me, boy.

    Wait ’til they publish my latest article. Then you’ll get your comeuppence. (How do you spell that???)

    Great to reacquaint with you, old Troll.

    In Jameson Veritas

  • http://ruvysroost.blogspot.com Ruvy

    Troll!!!!!

    Mr. Schannon,

    It also took me a while to figure out that Mark Eden was the Troll I used to love to chase under his bridge.

    By the way, there are no small British coins in comeuppance.

  • Mark

    Mark, it’s always nice to kick an old friend for a knuckle dragster such as myself.

    The arguments that go on in the US between the parties over just how much and on what the State should spend money to support the economy are a bunch of hoowie. The wool is pulled over the citizens’ eyes as we get to choose between liberal conservatism – ‘oil’ – and conservative liberalism – ‘wallstreet’. We are asked if we prefer our gray in #A9AAAC or #AAACAD and are led to invest our energies in that argument. Forget about the fact that the palate contains reds, blues, greens, etc; these other colors need not be taken seriously in our (political) mix. Questions of actual State ownership of the means of production vrs anarchy are not considered as they are outside the realm of ‘reasonable’ thought. (Note the disdain with which most all economists treat the Austrians — von Mises, Rothbard — for example.)

    You might wonder why I’m investing time in arguing over this distinction-without-difference. It’s because in the liberal/conservative melding we have marginalized what Smith called our moral sentiment and are left as the blind leading the blind around in a system in which all that makes sense is maximized profit.

    …but it’s true. In the end I’m just messing with you.

  • Mark

    …or is it oil that represents conservative liberalism and wallstreet liberal conservatism? Let’s go to a tea party and yell at one another about it.

  • Zozobra

    BTW, I got my ass fried last night – happens every year…bastards won’t leave me alone – so the doom and gloom expressed in the previous two comments is totally inappropriate.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    “then I’ll have to start thinking rather than just pontificating…although it’s a lot less fun.”

    That’s where you’re mistaken.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    “we have marginalized what Smith called our moral sentiment and are left as the blind leading the blind around in a system in which all that makes sense is maximized profit.”

    Great observation, Eden. Is that why they call you names because it’s over their head?

  • http://thingsalongtheway.blogspot.com/ Cindy

    194, that is hilarious!

  • Mark Schannon

    Mark/Troll:

    You might wonder why I’m investing time in arguing over this distinction-without-difference. It’s because in the liberal/conservative melding we have marginalized what Smith called our moral sentiment and are left as the blind leading the blind around in a system in which all that makes sense is maximized profit.

    No disagreement from me about how meaningless are current labels tossed around like British pence (well done, Ruvy!)

    That’s one of the reasons I got testy over neo-liberal and the label tossing over evolutionary psychology. They’re words that serve only to obfuscate.

    And you weren’t messing, you were simply upping the level of discussion in your own snarky way.

    It’s sad that words such as morality and ethics have become so quaint. There was a time when I thought Obama might be able to reintroduce a sense of moral purpose into our public debates, but I also used to believe in the tooth fairy.

    Just a thought–given what’s been happening in the world over the past decade, I wonder how much the driving force these is maximizing profit as it is minimizing personal economic damage. As people become more frightened for physical and economic security, I think there’s a tendency to become more tribal, to pull inwards to protect those most near and dear.

    To me that’s more unnerving than profit at all costs.

    In Jameson Veritas

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Schannon,

    Get down to earth and start bullshitting. And bringing in Ruvy for support ain’t gonna cut it, you should know that.

    So get with the flow and start thinking. Nobody gives a fuck about your pontificating. So get serious, man, and join the company, or else shut the fuck up.

    Your complaining is really getting stale. Are you an old woman or are you a mensch?

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    stop bullshitting – I meant. But you’re too intelligent not to get my gist.

  • Mark Schannon

    Anyone hear a mosquito buzzing? Probably a Lyme disease carrier. Time to get that 100% Deet out.

  • http://thingsalongtheway.blogspot.com/ Cindy

    Mark (S),

    As people become more frightened for physical and economic security, I think there’s a tendency to become more tribal, to pull inwards to protect those most near and dear.

    That is interesting to me because it is exactly what people who are limited to your ‘hypothetical caveman’ qualities would do, but exclusively.

    That is the story we’re told about why there needs to be a free market. Because people are like your ‘cavemen’. We have to have some constraint and delineation of rights to stop all these cavemen clubbing each other and taking over things.

    You have acknowledged we are more than that. What I don’t understand (and I am thinking of your comment that ‘education’ isn’t the ‘way’. And I agree if you mean what passes for education here. These institutions are all wrong for changing things and serve more to hold the status quo in place.) is how you explain solidarity and acceptance among people of very different groups even past language barriers sometimes.

    How do you explain social movements, with participants from divergent groups, who all recognize something similar.

    Because you do say we are capable of more. So, if we are capable of more, then what is the difference between the person who recognizes this and the one who doesn’t?

    (I’m not sure how to phrase what I want to know, or if these questions will elicit the right info.)

    (I’ll have some wine in case it might help me see the truth :-) Cheers!)

  • Mark Schannon

    Whew, Cindy, do you ever ask easy questions? I’ve never intended to suggest that we are purely primitive creatures–cavemen, and I hope that’s not the impression I’ve left you with. Our prefrontal cortex & other relatively modern parts of the brain are what give us the ability to withstand the almost always unconscious urgings from the more primitive parts which evolved in a society far different and far more dangerous than the one we face today.

    I probably spend more time reading, thinking, and writing about primitive brain elements and how they influence us because it’s so bizarre and is in such conflict with the good Enlightenment education I received.

    We have evolved to the point where concepts such as justice, fairness, equity, liberty, and others can mobilize vast numbers of people.

    You ask what’s the difference between people who recognize this & those who don’t. You might not like my answer, but it’s difficult to deal with issues such as these in a damn comments section where I don’t have the ability to write something, put it away for a while & come back and edit it. So I’ll just throw this out:

    We are all of us driven by “self interest” even if we’re not always aware of it…but try to think of the term in a values-neutral sense. The Golden Rule is a perfect example of enlightened self-interest. We tend to behave in ways that make manifest the environment in which we believe we’ll be most likely to thrive.

    If we’re frightened and see the world as hostile and violent with no real hope for anything else, we’ll be protective. Our self interest is to keep what we have believing that “they” are out there to take it.

    But if we have a different world view, then our self interest is different. Instead of right-wing gun-wielding cohorts manning the barricades, we become “doers of good deeds,” as the Wizard of Oz said (or so I remember.)

    Obviously, I favor the latter approach, and when I’ve said education isn’t the answer, I was using the term in the top-down, teachers smart, students dumb, teachers make students less dumb concept. I am a big fan of the “aha” moment, the sudden awareness of a new way of looking at the world that offers a hint of understanding.

    That can be discussed. People with open minds can learn. But it’s not a collection of facts; read John Spivey’s book, The Great Western Divide (John used to be a BCer) if you want to experience learning without education or teaching. John’s a master of showing rather than telling.

    Oh well, I hope you’ve had enough wine to understand at least some of this. Maybe we’d be better off e-mailing each other. This is such an awkward forum.

    In Jameson Veritas

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    One does indeed a whole bunch of vino, probably a gallon of Gallo, to understand this. YOU said it.

    For starters, what does “self-interest” comes to if it can come out either way. It’s of no account on your account.

    Yes, you had better try another forum, more congenial to this kind of nonsense.

  • Clavos

    Amazing.

    Mark Schannon, one of the most thoughtful and intelligent voices to grace these pages in all my years on BC, accused of spouting “nonsense.”

    And by Roger, no less.

    Pot.

    Kettle.

  • Mark

    Don’t knock nonsense. It’s one of our best methods of communicating.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Why don’t you get engaged in a conversation, Clavos, rather than comment from the side? Do you have anything particular in mind or is it just off the cuff?

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    I don’t Clavos would understand that there’s more than one kind of nonsense – the kind that MS is spouting – either to hide or generate confusion – or the other kind, to uncover the bewitchment of language. It’s a matter of how you want to take Wittgenstein – straight up or upside down.

    Figure that one, Clavos, and get back to me.

  • Mark

    So Mark, what do you make of those amygdala fippers? (I’d add a link, but asskissmet thinks it’s spam.)

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    I don’t think . . .

  • http://thingsalongtheway.blogspot.com/ Cindy

    Mark(S),

    If we’re frightened and see the world as hostile and violent with no real hope for anything else, we’ll be protective. Our self interest is to keep what we have believing that “they” are out there to take it.

    But if we have a different world view, then our self interest is different. Instead of right-wing gun-wielding cohorts manning the barricades, we become “doers of good deeds,” as the Wizard of Oz said (or so I remember.)

    Well, if you say so. But you can’t be my nemesis then, since we see that about the same way.

    I think your caveman proposition was in stronger contrast to my anarchist ideas in the last large conversation we had.

    It was more like a headache yet it seemed like a brain tumor. :-)

    (not yours or mine…of course)

    (P.S. I know what you mean about writing and coming back and editing. So, I understand you might not say it just like you’d prefer. That’s how I do it too. I have probably 75 word docs with ideas. One day I will go back and look at them instead of going forward making new ones. By that time I can edit them into a book.)

  • http://www.fontcraft.com Dave Nalle

    Obama doesn’t need health care professionals to work on health care bills for him, because the insurance companies are glad to write the legislation for him. It’s so convenient.

    Dave

  • zingzing

    i know there’s a republican bill out there written by a former insurance higher up, but what are you talking about dave?

    it also seems like a bit of a random outburst from you. very arch-like. no one’s sure what you’re talking about, you have no back up, and it’s on the wrong thread as well…

  • Mark Schannon

    Clavos & Mark,

    When I first stumbled upon that pesky little insect, also known as RN (not Richard Nixon), I realized that he has no sting. He exists solely to annoy, so I ignore him. It’s simple. I used to enjoy ripping the wings of little insects but I’ve grown mellow in my golden years.

    Mark, amygdala fippers are at least useful for swimming in shark infested waters. What about brain tonsils which can grow longer as one gets older?

    Cindy, yeah, I didn’t think we were that far apart in our views. Do get that book by John Spivey–I really think you’ll enjoy it. Very powerful.

    And,

    In Jameson Veritas

  • http://thingsalongtheway.blogspot.com/ Cindy

    Oh yeah. John Spivey. I remember now, he popped in to chat with you once. I will see if I can find his articles here.

  • http://thingsalongtheway.blogspot.com/ Cindy

    Mark(S),

    Self-interest. I can say yes. Where we might take a different path around the tree is what people are doing in their own ‘self-interest’ isn’t in their ‘self-interest’ as a species. Therefore, evolutionarily speaking, there must be something beyond personal ‘self-interest’ at work…some thing about our ‘self-interest’ as humanity. Unless you think it’s time for extinction.

    I want to present John Stewart’s ideas to you again, some time. I know you say evolution is on an infinitesimal level. But he proposes an idea based on how things develop to complex levels. His proposition is that we have reached a level of complexity–our brains. He proposes that now, rather than the environment haphazardly selecting for us as evolution unfolds, evolution demands it will be driven by selected choices of these complex organs–human brains.

    We are, compared to all the other species, capable of changing our environment. If you see humans in the mix with other species, can you get your thinking around the possibility that ‘survival of the fittest’ entails that ‘the fittest’ have now evolved to allow direction of evolution?

    Although evolution is unfolding at a micro-level, it still entails specific concrete changes to happen in time.

    (You can reply via e-mail, if you prefer. I am a shameless thread usurper. I occasionally get the idea that this stuff makes a nice intermission amid the battle of “Who’s mother is uglier–the Republicans or the Democrats?”)

  • Mark Schannon

    Cindy, your question is a no-brainer. Republican mothers are much uglier. I’d have thought you knew that.

    I have an idea for a joint article we can publish where we have the time to hash these ideas out. Let me play with some of the comments on this threat & e-mail one of the uber-editors & see if we can start something fun.

    In Jameson Veritas

  • http://thingsalongtheway.blogspot.com/ Cindy

    (I agree. Republican mothers are far uglier. :-)

    That sounds very cool. Count me in. :-)

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    It’s not my intention to deflate you, MS, nor to sting you. It’s you who apparently have no other recourse in a losing argument but to resort to name calling. But I am going to call you out on your nonsense, whenever to decide to pontificate rather than think, or on your lack of intellectual integrity, or lack of courage, or whatever it is that makes you keep on coming our with pretentious little bullshit theories you’re apparently so fond of.

    You may be thinking you’re fooling some people, but you’re not fooling anybody.