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Chomsky on Obama
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Strange Famous Forum > Social stuff. Political stuff. KNOWMORE

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shambhala



Joined: 25 Jul 2002
Posts: 6303
Location: the barber of hard truths
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I just read that Chomsky interview. Two things come to mind:

one, I just want to hug him. just....like hug that motherfucker and say thank you. that guy is an intellectual hero in the truest sense of the word. we're going to really suffer when he passes away. thanks, Noam, for everything.

two, I cannot for the life of me understand what about that interview made anybody up in arms about Obama! it's not news that American politics are business-oriented, and most of us weren't under any illusions about whether or how that would change under an Obama administration. Chomsky clearly says that the majority of the population in the US does better under a Democratic administration, and talks about how health care costs are out of control and absolutely must be addressed through some kind of nationalization. sound familiar? it should, because that's what Obama ran on. he also talked about the danger of right-wing populism, which makes it utterly crucial that centrist governance succeeds in the near future. i personally have stated my opposition to the bailout, so i won't disagree with his points there, but he was much, much less vitriolic than frankly, even I have been at times. if anything, that interview brightened my hopes for the future. :0
Post Wed Apr 22, 2009 10:51 am
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firefly



Joined: 27 Sep 2002
Posts: 3990
Location: Montreal
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shambhala wrote:
this is still america...same as it ever was....its on you to make it better. obama is a huge step forward, perhaps the biggest one of our lifetimes.


Hold on second ... are you saying that because "america" is naturally corrupt it excuses Obama of those horrible choices for cabinet? That he had no control of it? What does "this is still America" have to do with who Obama picks for his cabinet?

Also, the "you're a Canadian therefore you can't have an opinion about another country's President" line is getting really tired. If that were the case I guess you shouldn't comment on Hugo Chavez or any other leader that is often discussed on this board. I can't believe people are still saying that shit.

And Embryo, how is it a crazy conspiracy to say that Obama was being deliberate and careful about his cabinet picks. Futurist was like "oops, he just made a little booboo" and I was calling her out on it. All I said was that we can't use the same old "incompetence" excuse for Obama cause this guy's not an idiot. And even then, I wouldn't buy it. Maybe the Bush comparison was a little exaggerated but I stand by my comment. If you want to hear my conspiracy theories about Obama email me about it.
Post Wed Apr 22, 2009 12:08 pm
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shambhala



Joined: 25 Jul 2002
Posts: 6303
Location: the barber of hard truths
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you're not making a very convincing case for what you're trying to get across. if you want this to be a zero sum game, you'll never see the forest from the trees. agree to disagree.
Post Wed Apr 22, 2009 12:20 pm
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Embryo



Joined: 31 Dec 2002
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firefly wrote:
shambhala wrote:
this is still america...same as it ever was....its on you to make it better. obama is a huge step forward, perhaps the biggest one of our lifetimes.


Hold on second ... are you saying that because "america" is naturally corrupt it excuses Obama of those horrible choices for cabinet? That he had no control of it? What does "this is still America" have to do with who Obama picks for his cabinet?


No, we're not saying that. I agree with your issues with SOME of his cabinet picks. But you are carefully avoiding some of the best picks he's made, like on issues like climate change, science, energy, foreign policy. This is the statement that made me real clear on your overall mentality here:


Quote:

He used jargon like "you can't pick sides, we have to work together" when really he was just picking people who serve the same interests as the last few administrations.


Because this just isn't true. I understand that with a reductionist worldview it might SEEM true. But you reduce things far enough, and black and white are basically the same thing, basically. You have zoomed out too far, my friend. A case could be made that I'm too zoomed in, and I'd be receptive to that. But there is a middle point between no context and too much context that you are missing here. The devil, as they say, is in the details, and the details demonstrate that this administration is running on a completely different mentality than the previous one -- different than any in the last 50 years at least. Even if America is still what it is. What we have is someone who wants to guide it away from a LOT of the issues that I know you and I both have with what the US represents and does and is. He also understands that it is the beginning or middle of a process. We're not at the end yet. Some other leader, pray us all ,will come along and help us with the next phase. But this one... this one is right for this phase. Being cynical is a good way to remember what the last phase should look like. But it's not going to be much help if it keeps us from engaging with THIS phase.
Post Wed Apr 22, 2009 12:32 pm
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Jesse



Joined: 02 Jul 2002
Posts: 6166
Location: privileged homeless
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This may seem fanciful, but I think cats who find themselves wholly apoplectic over certain types of administrative decisions could get a lot out of watching the first few seasons of The West Wing. We (yes, even Canadians) like to think of POTUS as the single most powerful person in the world, but there's a lot of petty concerns that complicate what can be done, and how much, and when.

I know that Obama will not fulfill the golden promise of what we made him into in our battered little hearts. But the night and day differences between the previous admin and his are still extremely meaningful, and can't just be shrugged off because we promised ourselves he would be 100% perfect and fix everything instantly, the way we know we could if it were us in there.

It's hard! Even Martin Sheen had to make some painful choices! Watch that shit!`
Post Wed Apr 22, 2009 1:06 pm
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firefly



Joined: 27 Sep 2002
Posts: 3990
Location: Montreal
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Embryo wrote:
firefly wrote:
shambhala wrote:
this is still america...same as it ever was....its on you to make it better. obama is a huge step forward, perhaps the biggest one of our lifetimes.


Hold on second ... are you saying that because "america" is naturally corrupt it excuses Obama of those horrible choices for cabinet? That he had no control of it? What does "this is still America" have to do with who Obama picks for his cabinet?


No, we're not saying that. I agree with your issues with SOME of his cabinet picks. But you are carefully avoiding some of the best picks he's made, like on issues like climate change, science, energy, foreign policy. This is the statement that made me real clear on your overall mentality here:


Quote:

He used jargon like "you can't pick sides, we have to work together" when really he was just picking people who serve the same interests as the last few administrations.


Because this just isn't true. I understand that with a reductionist worldview it might SEEM true. But you reduce things far enough, and black and white are basically the same thing, basically. You have zoomed out too far, my friend. A case could be made that I'm too zoomed in, and I'd be receptive to that. But there is a middle point between no context and too much context that you are missing here. The devil, as they say, is in the details, and the details demonstrate that this administration is running on a completely different mentality than the previous one -- different than any in the last 50 years at least. Even if America is still what it is. What we have is someone who wants to guide it away from a LOT of the issues that I know you and I both have with what the US represents and does and is. He also understands that it is the beginning or middle of a process. We're not at the end yet. Some other leader, pray us all ,will come along and help us with the next phase. But this one... this one is right for this phase. Being cynical is a good way to remember what the last phase should look like. But it's not going to be much help if it keeps us from engaging with THIS phase.


Am I zoomed out to far or are you zoomed too far in? Good question. Perhaps we're both out on the extremes. I will reflect on that question.

The thing with politics is that a lot of people make it personal. They see someone they like, who they can identify with and they listen to his/her words and like you said, they get too close and can't see the outside picture. This is what I think is happening with a lot of people and Obama. They're getting sucked into the theatre of politics, believing in his words so much they don't see what's actually happening. I'm naturally skeptical of just about all politicians on the Federal level in this continent so perhaps I am like you said "too zoomed out". But my power to self-discriminate is very good and I trust my instincts.

However I will keep an open mind and think about what you said. That's how you self-discriminate.
Post Wed Apr 22, 2009 1:22 pm
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shambhala



Joined: 25 Jul 2002
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Location: the barber of hard truths
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I don't want to make this specific to you firefly, but if I hear one more motherfucker describe intelligent, reasoned support for Obama as some variant of blind dickriding, I am going to start taking fingernails from people.
Post Wed Apr 22, 2009 1:48 pm
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firefly



Joined: 27 Sep 2002
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Location: Montreal
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I didn't say that everyone was "blind dick riding". Some people definitely are though. You've been the most critical Obama supporter on this board actually.
Post Wed Apr 22, 2009 2:04 pm
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redball



Joined: 12 May 2006
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I definitely file Embryo under the category of Democrat apologist. He's done plenty of things to earn that categorization and almost nothing to avoid it.

Firefly just seems to be way too radically far left for reality. There's not much room for differing opinions in his world, it seems. He is also entirely too quick to judge for my taste.

Both have a great aptitude for ignoring or arguing away evidence that their judgment of an individual is wrong.
Post Wed Apr 22, 2009 2:18 pm
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Embryo



Joined: 31 Dec 2002
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redball wrote:
I definitely file Embryo under the category of Democrat apologist. He's done plenty of things to earn that categorization and almost nothing to avoid it.

Firefly just seems to be way too radically far left for reality. There's not much room for differing opinions in his world, it seems. He is also entirely too quick to judge for my taste.

Both have a great aptitude for ignoring or arguing away evidence that their judgment of an individual is wrong.


Can I trouble you to prove it?

I identify as a new Democrat. I don't identify as a Democrat apologist. Right now it's certain Democrats who have the power to make me the most frustrated and angry. Other ones seem to be the leaders of the future I hope to live in. And since I don't think a third party is a viable strategy for getting there, pushing those good Democrats forward while trying to take out the bad ones is my general strategy. That doesn't make me an apologist, but it does make me a partisan. I don't think of the Democratic Party as a single institution in any sense -- it is the vague formalization of the left side of the American political spectrum. So there's no instance in which I would ever ever ever apologize for the party as a whole. If you really think this isn't true, I would love to be shown why.

For example, a few Democrats off the top of my head that I think are among the most disgusting politicians in office today: Jane Harman, Jay Rockefeller, Chuck Schumer, Heath Shuler, Diane Feinstein. And right now I'm not too hot on Pelosi and Reid either, mostly because they are completely feckless -- not because they are necessarily super corrupt like the others I just named. Although I certainly consider their corruptedness an open question waiting for more evidence. Actually on these cats I feel exactly how Firefly seems to about the whole party -- they don't give a fuck, they're playing a game, and they derive their power and sustenance from big industry and really betraying the country they were elected to help run.


Last edited by Embryo on Wed Apr 22, 2009 2:31 pm; edited 3 times in total
Post Wed Apr 22, 2009 2:25 pm
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firefly



Joined: 27 Sep 2002
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Location: Montreal
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redball wrote:
Both have a great aptitude for ignoring or arguing away evidence that their judgment of an individual is wrong.


Give me one example.

My beliefs may be too "far left" or "radical" for you but that doesn't equate me with someone with his head in the sand who is too stubborn to open his mind up to something.
Post Wed Apr 22, 2009 2:25 pm
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futuristxen



Joined: 01 Jul 2002
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I definitely have my criticisms of Obama, and I've definitely voiced them at times. Even in this thread! Firefly just sees what he wants to see, and it's adoreable.

I do think on the whole that Obama is going in the right direction. He could be doing better, but he's changing this country on so many levels right now, it's pretty staggering. I appreciate having a president who I don't feel is out to get me. I'm with him on healthcare, I want the high speed trains, the green economy, the increased focus on education--I like the open discourse with the american people. I don't like either of the two wars we're fighting. Still. I think a lot of people that he's appointed in an effort to have a "team of rivals" are slimy douchebags who if he's not careful will destroy many of his more progressive agenda goals. I think Michelle Obama is a great role model, and I hope she becomes even more of a figure on the political scene. I like that he's throwing the light on the roaches of the past administration. Though I feel like his idea that we need to "move forward" instead of prosecuting these people who BROKE THE LAW, is a bad precedent, and fortunately the last day or so, he's relented, and it seems like he may at least allow the Justice Department to do it's thing, and hold accountable some of these crooks. We can't be a nation that tortures the shit out of people, and then doesn't answer for it.

But on the whole, we're moving in the right direction, and I do feel that he's the most competent person we could have on the job right now. I feel like whether you agree with him or not, that he does actually care a great deal, which is a change from the last president.
Post Wed Apr 22, 2009 2:29 pm
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Embryo



Joined: 31 Dec 2002
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The irony is that I identify as radical too, firefly. I think we could probably learn a lot for hours of debate. It would probably be a lot more interesting offline, though.
Post Wed Apr 22, 2009 2:30 pm
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redball



Joined: 12 May 2006
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Location: Northern New Jersey
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Alright... I'll look through your posts at some point and find some good examples. Perhaps you should look back and think of them yourself, though.

Firefly, I did not say that one thing caused the other, per say.

Anyway, without citing a real example (like a quote or a particular thread), I was going over the threads I participated in related to Obama today. It was sparked by the bad predictions thread. In several of those threads Firefly can be seen declaring that the sky will fall under Obama and Embryo can be seen acting like Obama will be something like FDR+JFK*MLK. Attempts to convince them otherwise seemed to spark endless debate in which it seems little or no progress was ever evident.

Anyway... all this is opinion. If you aren't worried that people see you that way then you can ignore me. If others come out and tell me that my opinion sucks then I'll simply keep it to myself instead of explaining it. That's how it goes. Personally, I like a little self-consciousness. If I sparked that reaction in you then I don't think it's a bad thing.
Post Wed Apr 22, 2009 2:44 pm
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firefly



Joined: 27 Sep 2002
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Location: Montreal
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futuristxen wrote:
Futuristxen just sees what she wants to see, and it's alarming


*Fixeded.


Last edited by firefly on Wed Apr 22, 2009 2:51 pm; edited 1 time in total
Post Wed Apr 22, 2009 2:46 pm
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