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Links With Your Coffee - Monday

  • I'm sorry, but Barack is a wimp. His recent equivocation on offshore drilling is digusting. All he has to say is offshore drilling, according to the Bush administration, will have no effect on prices for ten years and then no more than a nickle a gallon, but no, he demonstrates once again that his principles are as light as the air. He really ought to change his slogan from Hope and Change to Polls and Change. And yes, he is by far the better choice when compared to McSame, but the distance seems to narrow every day. You'd think he was trying to lose it.
  • McCain, the Analog Candidate
    . . . Presidents can avoid using computers if they want to. That’s one of the privileges of the office. They are surrounded by a staff entrusted with keeping them plugged in, day and night.

    So why have Mr. McCain’s admissions of digital illiteracy sparked such ridicule in wiseguy circles?

    Computers have become something of a cultural marker — in politics and in the real world. Proficiency with them suggests a basic familiarity with the day-to-day experience of most Americans — just as ignorance to them can suggest someone is “out of touch,” or “old.”

    “We’re not asking for a president to answer his own e-mail,” said Paul Saffo, a Silicon Valley futurist who teaches at Stanford. “We’re asking for a president who understands the context of what e-mail means.”

    The “user experience,” Mr. Saffo said, brings with it an implicit understanding of how the country lives, and where it might be heading. As Mr. McCain would lack this, he would also be deficient in this broader appreciation for how technology affects lives

    .

  • Anthrax » Listics
    In the 1950s, a spin off from the 1939 Gene Autry movie “Home on the Prairie” was serialized in comic format and syndicated in daily papers across the country. “Home on the Prairie” was about the bad guys importing anthrax infected cattle across that darn Texas/Mexican border. Texas Ranger Gene Autry went toe-to-toe with the bad guys. He got in a few scrapes, had some narrow escapes, and managed to beat the bad guys and protect the lady rancher’s honor in the end.

  • Church exorcism protected by First Amendment - Telegraph

  • 'Daniel Dennett: Autobiography (Part 1)' by Daniel Dennett, Philosophy Now - RichardDawkins.net

  • Notes Archive
    Do we want 'Christian Voice' telling newspapers what they can publish? No, we damn well don't. We don't trust 'Christian Voice' to choose wisely; we prefer to take our chances with competent newspaper editors rather than with puffed-up publicity-seeking tiny-minded religious zealots.

  • Philosophy Bites
    How can we enjoy watching tragedy when it is a genre that deals with suffering and pain? In this episode of the Philosophy Bites podcast Alex Neill explains what the paradox of tragedy is, and shows how he thinks it can be dissolved. He also relates this discussion to related questions about our experience of horror movies
    .

  • Jesus and Mo » Questions and Anwers
  • Solzhenitsyn, Who Defied Soviets, Dies at 89 - Obituary (Obit) - NYTimes.com
    Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, whose stubborn, lonely and combative literary struggles gained the force of prophecy as he revealed the heavy afflictions of Soviet Communism in some of the most powerful works of the 20th century, died late on Sunday at the age of 89 in Moscow.

    I enjoyed One Day In The Life of Ivan Denisovich the most of his work I read, including Cancer Ward, and the Red Circle. I started Gulag, but never finished it.




 

Comments

Actually, Barack "capitulating" on offshore drilling is brilliant politics. He will win all sorts of renewable energy measures as a compromise and the oil companies will never use the offshore permits. They don't use the permits they have now in the Gulf because of the current trend for very violent hurricanes in the Gulf. Katrina knocked out about five oil dericks. Those are very expensive.

And yes, he is by far the better choice when compared to McSame, but the distance seems to narrow every day.

I'm sorry? Yes - he is a wimp. Yes - he needs to trust that he can be elected on his beliefs (although even someone here was saying something like, couldn't he just agree to do some off-shore oil drilling because 70% of the people want to or some other argument).

But the distance seems to narrow? McCain wants to keep Bush's economy plans going --- in fact - I think he wants to make it worse. He is going to lose $$billions in tax cuts which he is going to "find" in the budget (gee - let's see whose programs they are going after.) Republicans have declared war on the middle class (and - don't kid yourself - unless you don't ever have to work again while keeping up a very active consumer lifestyle, you are middle class -- my quite wealthy ex-father-in-law made that very clear to me) You might think Obama was the worst of all the candidates running but he is the candidate that needs to get elected or we've got to burrow down (or move) for another four years (although, I truly think McCain will get impeached if he is elected - I think the sins of the Bush administration will reign down on the conservative outsider.) I am tired of being slave labor (and, even worse, cannon fodder) for some inadequate super wealthy.

I can only compare Democratic administrations to Republican. Yes, Obama is a wimp. And, most recently, I remember thinking Clinton sucked the first year he was in office and I still didn't like a lot of his decisions but...is there any comparison to the disaster of the Bush years? And this is who McCain is proud to stand next to.

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"...You'd think he was trying to lose it."

You know Norm, this idea that by sticking to Liberal principles at all costs will increase one's chances of winning has never been proven. Of what experience are you speaking from? Edwards and Kucinich stoke too their guns on being the most liberal of all the potential candidates, and look where that got them. A little compromise is not the end of the world, last thing we need is another president who is unwilling to compromise out of sheer stubbornness, and then points to that as being a "strength"! It's not a strength, it's stupidity! We're never going to get anything done in this country if we can't learn to work together, and that means compromise on both ends, even if you don't fully agree with it. Welcome to a functioning Democracy Norm. There is a reason McCain and Obama are our Candidates, and it's certainly NOT because voters want anther stubbornly partisan President.

Offering to open up some (not to the extent industry want's) offshore drilling is exactly the kind of horse-trading democracy demands. It displays a willingness to compromise, a genuine bipartisanship and the moderation.

What Barack has shown he is NOT is a hidebound ideologue.

I am frankly more disappointed in his joining in on the suggestion that we tap the Strategic Oil Reserve. The high price of crude, like the California Energy Crises, is the result of an industry scam and targeted de-regulation. Closing the Enron Loophole was suggested months ago and nothing's been done to accomplish it.

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Actually, Barack "capitulating" on offshore drilling is brilliant politics

Yeah, I agree. It turns the whole issue back on the republicans, they were going to block every bill that didn't include this.

We put drilling in a global warming bill, suddenly they have to go back on their word.

There is a growing gap between McSame and Obama. Obama keeps looking smarter, MCBush keeps looking like a PTSD sufferer with Dementia.

"...suddenly they have to go back on their word." - RedSeven

Since when has that been a concern for the Republicans - or any of our current crop of political floozies? It's not like our media will call them out on it.

Obama needs to learn that he'll be attacked if he trades in his principles just as bad as he'll be attacked if he stands up for them.

As for FDP's comment about "the kind of horse-trading democracy demands." I agree in most cases but there are also things that aren't worth being fair and balanced about. The environment is one. All that matters is doing what's right, not what makes the greedy and ignorant happiest. And, voter who actually believes more drilling will lower gas prices or that the Republican's have their best interests at stake when it comes to dealing with the oil industry is out to lunch.

I'm sorry, but Barack is a wimp. His recent equivocation on offshore drilling is digusting.

By some estimates the US consumes 400 million gallons of gasoline per day. That's seven billion three hundred million dollars per year if they save a nickle Norm.

How about not taking a ban on drilling off the table until a more comprehensive plan is in motion? Is that being a wimp or being practical and flexible? There are advancments in drilling technology all the time which allow greater recovery, their could be higher productivity (and greater savings) in the future than we can predict using todays estimates.

He should have been vague about this and taken a bi-partisan approach from the start. After he won the election he could just put forward whatever strategy he wanted to. It's not like he doesn't have experience in the tactic of being vague. I think this is more damage control anyway, saying no to offshore drilling with gas prices as high as they are seemed like a pretty quick way to lose ground to McCain. Yes this comes across as weak, but he had to get rid of this glaring opertunity for McCain to score points. I just don't understand how they didn't see this coming in the first place. It is hard to gain respect if you keep changing your opinions. That is unfortunately why many democrats including the last democratic candidate, come across as 'weak'.

I've always thought that Negotiation 101 taught that you never compromise before you sit down at the table. Obama is moving the starting point of the negotiations and getting nothing in return. The Republicans defined there starting point as offshore drilling or else. Progressives as no offshore drilling, but now Obama as moved the starting point and why? As I pointed out the argument for no offshore drilling is both easy to make and the facts are on our side. But the real point is that Obama damages his credibility every time he changes a principled position. How is it really any different from a Kerry, I was against it before I was for it, débâcle. The republicans will use it, and I think it will cost the Democrats votes. The voting public sees the Democrats as unprincipled wimps and Obama confirms their view. Of course we're voting for him as Frank so aptly puts it, but let's not pretend it is some secret strategy, it's not.

Of course we're voting for him as Frank so aptly puts it, but let's not pretend it is some secret strategy, it's not.<\Blockquote>

How can you say he’s not being strategic? It’s nothing but strategy. Obama is trying to keep up with the Republicans, who know how to tap into people’s insecurities like nobody else. He—Obama that is—knows if McCain is able to convince people that offshore drilling is key to economic security, then that might swing some of the more moderate voting block in his corner. Because, when it comes to the economy, Democrats in general are seen as more in tune with solutions for domestic problems (think Bill Clinton). That’s explains McCain’s emphasis on Afghanistan and Iraq.

I don’t see any negotiations beginning until Obama is a branch of the government, and until that time, he’s really got no chips to bargain with, as a mere candidate.

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"I don’t see any negotiations beginning until Obama is a branch of the government, and until that time, he’s really got no chips to bargain with, as a mere candidate."

Wow. All this time I thought Barack Obama was a sitting U.S. Senator. Now I find out he is "a mere candidate." I guess I've been a little hard on him the past few years then. I was operating under the assumption that, as a U.S. Senator, Obama could have actually done something, like oppose the Patriot Act, oppose the rubberstamping of Bush's judicial appointments, oppose the continual funding of the Iraq slaughter, oppose the gutting of the Fourth Amendment with the FISA bill, etc. But no, apparently The Messiah is powerless unless he is anointed as his own "branch of the government." That's some Messiah you've got there . . .

apparently The Messiah is powerless unless he is anointed as his own "branch of the government."

The Messiah? What is that about? He is the Democratic candidate and, yep, people are hopeful because right now things are SO bad, there isn't much that could be worse. I don't see where that translates into the Messiah and I don't see where there was anything said that deserved that level of snark. And - I would say that the difference in being in a Senate with an ineffectual Democratic margin and being the President is pretty massive.

Wow, I go away for a few weeks and come back to even greater idiocy. If you think Obama is a wimp, you don't understand his strategy at all. Of course, you haven't tried to understand. You're still pissed that tired old Hillary didn't win. Get over it. Better yet, give your blog over to somebody who hasn't lost their ability to think critically instead of just criticize. You sound like the adults on a Peanuts cartoon special.

The Messiah? What is that about? He is the Democratic candidate

Well, Jill, apparently it is legit to speak of Obama in complete and utterly derogatory and insulting terms.. messiah, uppity, arrogant, aruguala-eating... etc... However, no one dare refer to war-hero McCain in such terms... oh no..

Obama is vacuous? What if the Obama camp said that McCain was vacuous? Well, people would say that the Obamaites, Obamalovers, Obamafans, or whatever the hell other terms are leveled against those who deign to support Obama, ...well, people would say that this type of charge agains McCain was arrogant... arrogant I tell you! How dare this little upstart, Obama, speak of the venerated old man this way?

Marco - "if McCain is able to convince people that offshore drilling is key to economic security, then that might swing some of the more moderate voting block"<\Blockquote>

Why doesn't Obama just try to convince people that offshore drilling isn't key to economic security? Isn't that the reason we're supposed to like Obama, that he can make intelligent arguments the American people can understand, not that he can agree with McCain?

JoAnn - "However, no one dare refer to war-hero McCain in such terms... oh no.."<\Blockquote>

Yeah, no one here dares refer to McCain in negative ways. It's the inability to criticize Obama that makes some of us feel too many of his supporters are either overly optimistic about the whole "change" thing or that they'll happily trade a few civil liberties, environmental protections, supreme court nominees, and whatever other issues he decides to cave in on just to get him in to office. No one here is saying McCain is better, we're just saying Obama ain't exactly hot sh!t either.

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"apparently it is legit to speak of Obama in complete and utterly derogatory and insulting terms.."

When a guy trades my Fourth Amendment rights for a corporate bribe, damn right I'll be derogatory.

but let's not pretend it is some secret strategy, it's not.

Nothing Secret about it. The issue is being debated in the court of public opinion. Obama is softening his stance so he isn't obstructing a whole gambit of solutions based on the pointless waste of one proposal.

we're just saying Obama ain't exactly hot sh!t either.

I don't recall ever calling him hot sh@t - never thought he was. I don't like this rollover AT ALL. I'm happy that some people find it a politically smart move and I hope they're right because I'm HOPING we are stuck with Obama. (if we are lucky! Although I don't like JoAnn's doom and gloom approach, I'm also not naive to the good possibility of another Republican getting in.)

But - to cry bloody murder over FISA and forget who is busy shredding the Constitution where this is even in play; to complain about the offshore drilling and forget how Americans have gotten to the point of desperation where this bill is a popular choice ---- and then to say the difference between McCain and Obama is narrowing ---- c'mon!

Cheney and his cohorts don't give a @#$% about the Constitution or the environment including global warming and yes - I wish Obama was standing up to them but I don't get where that is even close to the problem of getting them out.

Norm makes the comment about Obama trying to lose...that would imply he is losing the more liberal voters by moving toward the right (or just not standing up to the right...) Is that really something that's happening? If that is a possible vote then tell me - what is McCain's stance on FISA, offshore drilling, or drilling in ANWR, or Iraq, Iran, the Supreme Court, Big Oil, taxes for the super wealthy and corporations, the Constitution, lobbyists or even Bush? Kissing the @ss of a man who screwed him over completely - talk about your wimps!!!

Norm et al are doing the same thing that someone always says from the left. "Don't believe the democrats, they are a fraud."

Well they aren't. They are a moderate coalition. It's no secret and certainly nothing new. The difference this year is that the left's voice is actually being listened to, at least on some small level. If Obama wins, he will owe some of that success to the left and might have some reason to keep listening. When is the last president that felt that way? maybe never. This assumes that liberals don't run away from the process and go sulk.

But I enjoy Noam's assessment of the state of our democracy its broke.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OZuHAqjI3CY

but in a system, you work to create the best possible outcome given the rules that govern it.

There is going to compromise and it will inevitably violate principles, the questions are, is it smart? Will it lead to victory and progress.

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"They are a moderate coalition."

Right. And the FISA sellout was a "compromise." Give me a break.

In the United States a moderate/centrist position lies somewhere between anti-worker, anti-union, pro-corporate Capitalism on the left, and full-blown Fascism on the right.

Why doesn't Obama just try to convince people that offshore drilling isn't key to economic security?

Good questions. I don't know. Maybe he feels like a move to the middle will play out better for him in the long run.

For me, it's perfectly OK for someone to change his opinion on something. However, Obama's new point of view is bad at best. I don't really care. But, he's taking a risk. He's vying for votes with McCain. His flip-flopping is a part of the game of American democracy. When the primaries are over, the pandering-to-the-middle-without-alienating-the-base-too-much begins. I don't like the idea of piggybacking Republican ideas to attain a higher percentage of electorial sway, but that's the game—and he knows it.

Why doesn't Obama just try to convince people that offshore drilling isn't key to economic security?

Good questions. I don't know. Maybe he feels like a move to the middle will play out better for him in the long run.

Answer: Educating people costs Money. If Obama spent time and money convincing people that drilling is no solution, then he he wouldn't be spending it on convincing them to vote for him. Truth is just as Obama has said, drilling is an insignificant solution to the problems we face. So why not do Paris' plan?

In the United States a moderate/centrist position lies somewhere between anti-worker, anti-union, pro-corporate Capitalism on the left, and full-blown Fascism on the right.

Well Vote Nader, go from little representation to no representation.

Good luck with that.

Well Vote Nader, go from little representation to no representation.

There are those who prefer no representation to little representation. This is precisely why George W Bush was elected twice over Kerry and Gore (yeah, yeah, I know, popular vote and irregularities and shit.. still it was a narrow vote)

The Republicans go with their candidate, even if he/she (never a she, but still) doesn't represent their views goose step and lock step. As for Dems, well, they have their ideals and will toss their candidate under the bus..

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