That's It. . .

Right now, I could care less that people who disagree with me buy books, too.

I know that Obama's fond of saying there's one America, and that reaching across the aisle is the key for salvaging our country and snaring swing votes. But after tonight, I'll say it: I have zero interest in being a part of a country that includes Palin, Rudy, their adoring audience, and anyone with whom that speech resonated. And honestly, I don't think I've ever been more embarrassed to be an American.

Great. That woman knows her family's names, is a friend of parents with retarded children, went to high school, is a bitch (sorry, "pitbull with lipstick"), hates a media that's refused to let her write her own script, and hates community organizers. That was Palin's "star is born" turn—one that proved, incidentally, that with enough applause lines, and rabid reaction that turns most of the other lines into applause lines, anyone can give a cohesive speech. Like using your baptism to pass a swim test. Bush is an imbecile, but at least he had a smart father. There's nothing here. A trashy hockey mom and her sidekick, the shell of a major political figure running on his ability to withstand torture. Which, if that's the measure of character, says a hell of a lot about our enemies in the war on terror.

Look, I've always acknowledged that I'm an elitist. I'm a faculty brat who got an expensive education, work from home, just got a printed copy of my first book in the mail, have health insurance, and live in a city that exists in a bubble of excessive liberalism. We have the world's only green ashtrays, for real. I've spent time on the East Coast, but also in the Southeast and Texas—albeit mostly in college towns. Until now, though, I've been predictably defensive about it. Now, I'll say it: If this is how the other half lives, I'm not at all ashamed to look down on them.

These people are vindictive, small-minded, stupid, arrogant, lazy, and manipulative liars. How they can be so hateful, venomous, and foolhardy, and then blast the Dems for not respecting them, is beyond me. I could give a fuck less about them, no matter how small their towns are, how virtuous they are, or how much they value weaponry (which I am currently stocking up on, thank you very much). Nor do I have any sympathy for someone out a job, or low on gas money, or having problems with insurance, if those speeches didn't repel them.

I hate to be a total asshole, but I don't think this what my great-grandparents came to this country for. It's not why friends of mine go to law school. It certainly has nothing to do with women trying to gain equality with men, or minorities getting a seat at the table. I'll take it even further than Robert Reich, who said the right lacks reason. I don't live in the same country as them, and am damn proud of it. Obama may not be perfect, and of course he's running a political campaign. But he's a thoughtful, genuine man with real intellectual curiosity, and optimism that makes even me want to stop sneering.

That's what America means to me. Not this bullshit. Obama's life is a Great American Story, and the American Dream—not this Matt Scully-spun nonsense. Give me evolution, urbanism, big spending, and a foreign policy that can read a map. If that's a problem, I'd be fine with someone seceding. Or leaving.

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At 9/04/2008 12:52 AM, Blogger McFruity said...

Agreed, on all of it.

I felt so sick after having seen that whole thing. And it's disgusting to think that these people have any intention of claiming to represent me, ever.

Not to mention how frustrating it must be to be living in, say, Iran, not wanting to be bombed, and seeing that it could come down to how people respond to a series of shitty one-liners.

At 9/04/2008 1:01 AM, Blogger R. Lobstah said...

I'm still buying your book.

At 9/04/2008 1:05 AM, Blogger Business or Leisure? said...

I don't live in the same country as Spencer Hawes either.

At 9/04/2008 1:06 AM, Blogger Alap said...

and then it's cute to lick your palm and stroke your sister's hair for some reason.

At 9/04/2008 1:16 AM, Blogger FunWithLogic said...

Poorly executed speech. No music at the end. You could see the lack of rapport or even familiarity when McCain and Pailn were both on stage and they did not know what to do (though at the end it looked as if she could not get offstage fast enough).

I watched Obama's, Biden's, and Bill Clinton's speeches right after to clear the bad taste. (I recommend this tomorrow after McCain's attempt at a speech.) There is no comparison, notwithstanding the Dem's superior pomp and circumstance: the Dems discussed so many more relevant issues with so much more intelligence and in so much more of a constructive way. It might have been lofty, but it was not bullshit, like the one tonight.

Also, what I found most poignant: "As the story is told, 'When McCain shuffled back from torturous interrogations, he would turn toward Moe's door and flash a grin and thumbs up" - as if to say, "We're going to pull through this.' My fellow Americans, that is the kind of man America needs to see us through these next four years."
- It sounds as if McCain will be giving us the thumbs up for four years while we are tortured and hopeless... her statement, if read between the lines, is both demeaning and demoralizing.

Finally, I don't know if this has been written about already, but here is a (Sacto!) b-baller who has cultivated a political identity: http://www.kevinjohnsonformayor.com/

At 9/04/2008 1:17 AM, Blogger BPH said...

I hope writing this post was cathartic for you, Shoals; at the very least, it was cathartic for me to read. I feel many of the same ways, in particular that I'm intolerant of intolerance and have no reason to apologize for it.

Also, this is sort of not the point, but: Did 9/11 misspeak when he said that calling terrorists "Islamic terrorists" was insulting to terrorists? Or does that shit actually fly.

At 9/04/2008 1:28 AM, Blogger Justin said...

it's rants like this that will lead to four more years of republican leadership.

it's like the perfect stereotypical snotty liberal response, and i'm sure even obama would treat you like Jeremiah Wright as soon as he read this post.

At 9/04/2008 1:39 AM, Blogger The Other Van Gundy said...

The conservatives really have done a great job ever since Goldwater in '64, no? When I read this sentence: "it's like the perfect stereotypical snotty liberal response", it's liberal and not snotty that's the insult.

Why has liberalism become a dirty word? Shit, you know Thomas Jefferson was all about it, right?

Anyways, I haven't watched the speech yet, but believe me Shoals, Obama's approach is the better one. Right now you sound like those divisive and vindictive conservatives, only coming from the other side of the spectrum.

Though frankly, I'm with you - if Obama's name isn't called in November, I really will give up on America, because that means we haven't woken up as a people, that George W Bush's tour of rock bottom wasn't chilling enough.

We're lost in the wilderness here, but I believe Obama's got a roadmap for this particular desert.

At 9/04/2008 1:48 AM, Blogger Sheetal said...

The sarcasm, taunting, and outright mocking tone that the Republican Convention speeches contain are flat out immature and desperate. At this point in the game, I expect to hear both sides talk about what they are going to do for this country. What are their policies and strategies? The Democratic Convention showed elegance, and I think if we left it up to McCain, the tone of the Republican Convention would hold the same integrity. Unfortunately, he seems forced to appeal to the lowest common denominator – to the fundamentalism and extreme conservatism of the far right, that in my opinion is a hair’s width away from a different kind of terrorism. Regardless what party affiliation one is, it is embarrassing to witness grown men and women who are on the path to lead our country, devolve into 7th grade nastiness, the kind of bottom-feeding of “Reality-TV”. Both Governer Palin and Mayor Giuliani delivered speeches that sounded more like the scribbling on the wall of a junior high school bathroom.

At 9/04/2008 1:49 AM, Blogger Osiris said...

Go raptors!

At 9/04/2008 2:18 AM, Blogger Bethlehem Shoals said...

You know, it's possible to be to the left of Obama and still support him for president. I am the perfect stereotypical snooty liberal; he isn't. He would run from this even if he weren't running for office.

At 9/04/2008 2:18 AM, Blogger Ty Keenan said...

I hope I'm not the only one disgusted by Shoals's sexism.

At 9/04/2008 2:21 AM, Blogger Pulp said...

Riddle me this Justin, or anyone else who agrees with him: why is it that liberals always need to play nice and not use words like "monsters", "scum", "animal fuckers" or "theocratic"?

Rudy Giuliani Sarah Palin spent more time calling the first black president of the Harvard Law Review a do-nothing elitist than they did explaining why their man was the right choice to lead America. You would have to be a fucking idiot or gross liar to make the assertion that a community organizer doesn't have any actual responsibilities, and you'd have to be pretty evil to suggest it lacks any semblance of nobility to go into that field.

What's worse, Shoals' "stereotypical liberal" response and feeling gross after watching that speech or Palin's snotty digs and use of her children as political props? Liberals shouldn't be forced to play nice in the era of Michael Savage, Ann Coulter and that loathsome ape Sean Hannity.

I for one am tired of being told I don't live in the real America and if people like Sarah Palin continue to tell me I don't, I won't couch my rebuttal in politeness. I'll just calmly let them know that brain dead rednecks don't live there either.

At 9/04/2008 2:38 AM, Blogger Ravi said...

Major effing word, Shoals.

The fact that there's an actual possibility that this ticket could be pronounced the winner in November makes me ill.

At 9/04/2008 3:10 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Agreed on everything except Mrs. Palin's trashiness. She hot in a crazy lady way

At 9/04/2008 3:14 AM, Blogger Archimedes said...

The only person possibly hoping more for an Obama victory than Shoals is the 'fiancee' of Palin's un-wed pregnant daughter.

Could he have possibly looked more uncomfortable? I'll bet he votes Democrat just so we never have to hear about him or his bastard child ever again.

At 9/04/2008 3:34 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

That was a hot pile of awesome, Shoals. I can't believe my favorite FD post ever has so little to do with basketball, but hey. Well done.

At 9/04/2008 3:53 AM, Blogger philoguy24 said...

I have to say that's probably my favorite FD article ever. Sometimes it becomes readily apparent that some things just aren't logical and attempting to treat them as such only causes you to lose what little logic you have left. Watching the RNC was an example of that.

At 9/04/2008 3:56 AM, Blogger Archimedes said...


At 9/04/2008 4:04 AM, Blogger R. Lobstah said...

I think ad hominum attacks and the use of various derogatory language has replaced real discourse. It happens on the Left, it happens on the Right. It happens on Freedarko. Its fucked when either one does it. I see it more from the left... but that might be bias.

Palin got under BS' skin, along with a whole slew of others who frequent this site. I've gotten pretty pissed off at some the things I've heard come out of the Big O's pie-hole too. I tend to let that subside seeing that at some point he may be my president and I hope I'm wrong about how bad he'll be for our country. I stop because I want to be able to discuss the differences between my guesswork and the guesswork of those I disagree with. I stop because I realize that exchanges of that sort only really use the ears or eyes of those who are listening or reading for some sort of perpetuation of a self-righteousness rather then trying to come to an understanding with my fellow citizen.

I've erased plenty of comments before posting for this site because I truly don't want to bull-shit on someone else's blog, as Mr Electric Z recently wrote, but I find it hard to look away. One thing I can take away from tonight's reaction is that most of the political dialog on FD, when it does involve an expression of the "other", so to speak, is a thinly veiled, semi-civilized version of this poorly thought out, emotional, reactionary, derogatory and self-righteous response as this post and the affirming comments have been. You are simply blind if you think only stupid folk relate to what Palin said. Shoals recognizes the bubble he lives in. He just can't reconcile his bubble-centric view with any concept his brand of soap hasn't washed.

I thought Obama was really classy yesterday. When he reminded whoever it was he was speaking to that his mother had him when she was 18, I thought that showed a great touch. Because he might be my president, I hope it was a genuine reflection. I can't stand how McCain speaks. He doesn't have the gift that Obama or even Palin have. Its McCain;s perception of the world that I can come to terms with while the style in which Obama talks about our country sounds nice the substance does not jibe with what I see. The country ain't sick in my eyes. I think its amazing that we have produced a civilization where our poor people are fat. Do you get what that means? Do you get how that contrasts with every other civilization? I am proud of our obesity. I love that I was on the Max with my dad and we started talking to a couple of dudes, greasy jeans, burnt Red Wings, bits scorched out of their hand's flesh, headed home and they were complaining about the incompetence of their managers. One was complaining about his eyes and I realized they torch metal. We talked to them and it turns out they weld the armor onto Bradley's and I thanked them for the work they were doing. I thanked them because if they have enough pride in their work then maybe one more of us comes home from winning the war. I've never welded. I don't listen to their music, I probably celebrate different holidays then them, I am educated differently then them and I probably wouldn't enjoy sitting at a bar with them for longer then it takes to empty a pint but I loved them and appreciated what they were doing for our country. I hope you fuckers feel that one day. I know it seems primitive but so is fucking and so is that urge that Shoals displayed in the above post.

and Van Gundy, you know Thomas Jefferson commissioned our Navy and the Marines. You do know he was the first American president to deal with the Mohammedans with a superior dose of their own medicine. He was no Montezuma but he sent our boys out to the shores of Tripoli. All you boys should read Power, Faith and Fantasy by Micheal Oren. You might understand what you think of as an American Theocracy a little better.

At 9/04/2008 5:46 AM, Blogger Z said...

I don't comment often, but being proud of American obesity is one of the most ignorant things I've ever heard. The ramifications of obesity and the broken food system in America are unending, from rising health care costs, to weakening soil (that can and should make America great), to dead zones in the Gulf of Mexico, to global warming.

Americans are obese because they're overfed, yet they're still undernourished. We're eating loads of calories that have no substance. Americans are obese because tax subsidies make corn and soybean cheap, which then get turned into cheap food products, which get turned into fat.

An abundance of this cheap food is made possible because farmers have managed to get incredibly high yields from their crops. To do so, however, they are forced to overuse pesticides and fertilizer which in turn damages our nations soil, waterways and oceans. Not to mention, the crops are grown with substantially less nutrients than those grown organically or in polycultures.

The country ain't sick in your eyes, one reason being because poor people are fat?

Fat people, if they aren't now, will soon be sick. Diabetes. Heart disease. Stroke. Americans spend a greater percentage of their income on health care than they do on food.

Some of these problems individuals need to fix for themselves. However, it's also essential to have access to healthy foods as well as education about proper nutrition that isn't affected by the multi-billion dollar food industries.

To be honest, I don't know what either candidate plans to do about the obesity problem in America, but I do know that it's not something to be proud of.

At 9/04/2008 6:30 AM, Blogger db said...

I'm also with Ty, but not so much disgusted, as disappointed to see the lack of self-consciousness. Shoals, if the problem with the GOP is that they can't put basic infrastructure in place to allow people not like themselves to thrive, why isn't the fact that you're talking about a woman to an overwhelmingly male audience able to be given some visibility here, or some questions raised about how that makes you so passionate about it?

I understand that our sport is about male bonding, and no qualms about it. But I kind of come to FD in the hope that the FD approach transcends a certain blithe acceptance of what we are presented with as reality, to get to a deeper reality. Here, the deeper reality (the sexual politics of the analysis) just seems repressed. And I'm not as far away from Simmons as I hoped I was.

FWIW, I'm not averse to sexualising Palin - Susie Bright did a great job here.

At 9/04/2008 8:25 AM, Blogger Ziller said...

This post makes me infinitely glad I made the conscious decision to skip watching those louts preach to the flock.

At 9/04/2008 9:13 AM, Blogger mdesus said...

Hey man republicans buy macrophenomenal basketball encyclopedias also. Moreover I do not understand how you can have such extensive vitriol dedicated towards one side, and not see it as a mechanism thing. You say barak is running a political campaign, and thus must make ethical and personal compromises (ok I'm saying the latter). What you're missing is barak is a politician (as, obviously, are everyone on the other side). These compromises are not endemic of the campaign, but of the system. Perhaps it's my anarcho-capitalist soul running amok, but I just have trouble relating to anyone who isn't in favor of revolutionary politics. In my mind it's just a very small difference of who taxes get funneled to. Obama is not the realization of a socialist utopia (or even baby steps in that direction), and Mccainn is not the libertarian/theocratic/military leader those on the otherside have been dreaming about. To make it to this stage within the system all parties involved must be reliable stooges. This is the part that kills me. No one wants to talk about how the numerous compromises these candidates must make represent stoogedom at its finest. Palin has an atrocious record on pork barrel spending (Mccains pet issue), and Biden could not be a more typical washington insider (baraks). Both VP picks show how deeply tainted the presidential candidates are. Vive la revolucion!!!

At 9/04/2008 9:58 AM, Blogger Dr. Lawyer IndianChief said...

so much to say. where to begin. found this little bit by eamonn brennan particularly funny.

At 9/04/2008 10:13 AM, Blogger Michael said...

At least Shoals is being open that his bias is his bias. What stuns me is that Republicans have the gall to stand up there and act like this insurgent force in politics, when they had a congressional majority from 1994 to 2006, and the presidency since 2000. McCain was there, and has been, for years - a consummate insider.
Whatever is broken, in other words, is their fault.
And whatever else about Palin's speech, it is extremely classless to hate on Obama for being a community organizer.

At 9/04/2008 10:22 AM, Blogger Graydon said...

Agreed, Shoals.

Brief note of optimism: Don't allow yourselves to get caught up in the game of low expectations. Palin's speech was the only "good" moment for the Republicans at the entire convention. The Democratic Convention was packed with memorable speeches and deft visual/audio orchestration. We can't expect the Republicans to fuck up constantly- Conventions are supposed to go swimmingly, if this is the best thing that comes out of it, put a notch in the win column for the left.

At 9/04/2008 10:32 AM, Blogger Graydon said...

Also, did anybody notice that when Giuliani was speaking, they had him in front of this image of what seemed to be the Mississippi (I assume because it wasn't the NY skyline and they are in St. Paul). Which is fine, except when they zoomed in he was speaking in front of this weird, shit brown color. I found it to be odd/hilarious.

At 9/04/2008 10:33 AM, Blogger Brown Recluse, Esq. said...

I try to stop, but I can't quit you, Lobstah! I just want to give you kudos for seeming like a reasonable and reflective person for a paragraph or so and then dropping bombs about how you're proud of people being UNHEALTHY AND A BURDEN ON THE HEALTH CARE SYSTEM and use the word MOHAMMEDANS. Well done.

Anyway, let's not treat Shoals's post like political campaign strategy, that was just an honest reaction to a very frustrating night.

At 9/04/2008 10:37 AM, Blogger Bethlehem Shoals said...

I like Lobstah just fine when he's a crazy Zionist. Also, Mohammedan terrorists are an insult to Islamic terrorists.

Shoddy research: Would any of you buy a "Fuck Community Organizers" tee or an Undrcrwn-style name tee with all the Palin kids on it? What about a "I'm the next Harry Truman" joint?

At 9/04/2008 10:56 AM, Blogger Graydon said...

If Recluse's "political campaign strategy" comment was aimed at me, Sorry. I didn't mean to get too tactical, but my calculated side always likes to counterbalance the righteous anger I feel when I hear truth being preached the way Shoals did here today.

I would totally rock the Palin's kids name T-shirt.

At 9/04/2008 11:05 AM, Blogger Bethlehem Shoals said...

Yeah, to clarify again: This was distorted by pure vitriol. I know Obama's the only way to win an election, because I'm not going to get my own country (and don't want to end up in Israel or Canada). Were I formally employed by a campaign, I would comport myself as such, and do shit like, you know, dissect the flaws in the speech. I'm not wholly ignorant of how political business gets done, and like I said, I don't myself reject the very idea of gamesmanship and maneuvering.

But this was rage, pure and simple, from the bottom of my heart, in a setting that has little to no bearing on the campaign, or the discourse surrounding it.

At 9/04/2008 12:13 PM, Blogger antonymous said...

Thanks for that, BS - I sometimes get so wrapped up in the nit-pickery of "political analysis" that I miss the bigger picture.

Let's also not lose sight of the pact that both Palin and Biden are hangers-on. This race is between two men with very different outlooks on the world, and Palin's ability to tap into her inner bitch (if that cheapens this dialogue too much, you may use the bafflingly P.C. "pitbull-with-lipstick") is not going to make a grand difference come November.

Anyway, it's your blog and you can rant if you want to, I don't think your readers are going anywhere. And "no" on all your shirt ideas (except MAYBE the Palin's kids one) - just wait until McCain tries to fire up his base tomorrow and you'll have much better material.

At 9/04/2008 12:20 PM, Blogger Timur said...

Shoals, it was good to read the piece this morning. Thanks for that.

Coming from a similar academic background, I wrote a little bit about narcissistic and hysterical politics. The former, I think, comes from a situation in which people see themselves in the candidate: Palin's nomination lets a whole host of previously marginalized (though that's open to debate) people stand up and say, That could be me. One of the compelling things about her story is just how normal she is. Hell, Palin could have been any mom in any small town in any state of the Union, and if her ticket is punched in November, you'll have this exceedingly regular woman (no slouch herself) a McCain collapse away from the presidency. If you believe that you - as an individual - could be President too, or if you think the President should be someone you want to have a beer with, Palin's great - but I think it's an extremely narcissistic choice. And for those for whom she's not a narcissistic choice, I think it suggests - as a bunch of other people already have - a real cynicism about politics.

Obama's candidacy, on the other hand, has a kind of hysterical slant to it; not in the pejorative terms that we usually think of hysterics, but in Freud's original sense of a structural identification. What's resonant about Obama isn't so much him as a person - though as several have noted, his story is incredibly compelling - but what he might suggest about a structural change.

And at the center of things, though both sides have now hit upon change as a kind of leitmotif, I want to think that they're two different kinds of change. The McCain (through Palin last night) change is this: Vote for McCain and they'll make America look like you (white, powerful, large and in charge). Obama's change is, I think, a kind of opening up to the world as it is and not as we wish it were.

At 9/04/2008 12:29 PM, Blogger Enjorlas said...

Palin's existence as VP was a master stroke by the Grand Ole Party. Shoal's response (much like my own) to this mucking about helps to further divide the two parties. More susceptible citizens can now turn their vote not on whether they like Palin but if they agree with NBC/blogger/NYT/youth reactions to her. If anything, the polarizing nature of Palin has worked better than anyone can expect, as tabloids and gossip rags hit below the belt in a way that the Dems could not. Whether the issues in her speech were tangible ones to America didn't matter; an audience was spoken to in a manner they could fully comprehend. Whether the swing states will respond or not, we will wait and see.

Me, I wouldn't vote for her, not in this town, not in any of my five towns.

At 9/04/2008 12:33 PM, Blogger Bethlehem Shoals said...

Is the "she's like us" of Palin-mania any different (worse?) than the "I'd like to have a beer with him" of Bush? That would account for my absolutely losing it.

Maybe it's that Bush at least had "strong leader," and before that "compassionate conservative governor," whereas here, "personality, like us" is the only plausible selling point. No one's buying this mayor and governor of a state no one's heard of crap.

At 9/04/2008 12:34 PM, Blogger Ty Keenan said...

db, I think you missed my joke.

At 9/04/2008 12:36 PM, Blogger Otter said...

Well said. Thanks for this. I'm not sure why the media is unwilling to point some of this out.

Either way, I apparently don't hate enough either.

At 9/04/2008 12:41 PM, Blogger Pulp said...

I would absolutely buy a "Fuck Community Organizers" shirt.

At 9/04/2008 12:43 PM, Blogger The Hypnotoad said...

I think we should calm down. Yes, the Republican machine is using all the old tricks in the book to secure the presidency, and yes it looks like plenty of Americans will fall for it. And Palin seems like the most superficial candidate one could pick to be VP; no experience, there to win demographic points. But i'll say this, McCain himself, is not that bad. Sure, he's succumbing to what NEEDS to be done to win an election. ALL candidates do, thats the breaks of the game. I don't think he'll screw us over like Bush did.

That said i'm still voting Obama, but i really won't think its the end of the U.S. if McCain gets elected. He's the one Republican i could stand.

At 9/04/2008 12:48 PM, Blogger R. Lobstah said...

Come on mate, I expect you to reflect over what I'm writing a little more then considering the strain on a system you'd like socialized. Historically, poor people starve many times over the course of their lives. Z's list of well known problems with obesity could be similarly positioned to rail against the use of anti-biotics. There are negative concequences to everything. At least, as things are, people can choose.

At 9/04/2008 1:01 PM, Blogger Bethlehem Shoals said...

I don't see how just trying to survive jibes with being a fearless maverick. Also, what scrap of the "real" McCain is there left to hold onto? He's going to get elected and suddenly fire everyone and become more measured and bipartisan than he ever campaigned to be?

Eight years ago, maybe even a little more recently, I would've agreed with you. But he's completely played himself—and having noticeably deteriorated doesn't exactly help this "no, I'm really still the flamethrower of 2000" cause.

At 9/04/2008 1:06 PM, Blogger Ritchie said...


I wrote another emotionally charged comment that sadly seems lost in comment purgatory. I work for the BO campaign and this election is killing me. I am in a traditionally red state, in a terribly red town. Everyday I struggle to understand what exactly I am working for. At any point I could say I am done and head back to the west coast to rejoin my elitist liberal friends who actually care about their communities enough to volunteer, spend their efforts improving those communities and create things rather than watch TV, attend hateful, hypocritical church sermons and tell "FAG!" at anyone not dressed like you. Is it really worth my time trying to sell these people on the democratic ticket if they are not convinced by Palin standing in front of them to say she's going to help the struggling farmer in Minnesota by making Bush's upper class tax cuts permanent? It's true that the way the other half lives is awful and true that many of them are proud of it. They don't see any other way and don't want to see any other way.

At 9/04/2008 1:30 PM, Blogger Z said...

(I know this isn't the main conversation, but I can't help myself)


I'm sure you've read about the appalling lack of grocery markets with quality produce in many of today's inner-cities. Unfortunately, now many people can't choose. They rely on convenience stores that sell bread, eggs & milk loaded with anti-biotics and growth hormone, and mostly, snacks.

Also, unfortunately, those people that can choose, choose not to eat healthy foods, often with the excuse that it's too expensive.

Of course, it's true that countries that get introduced to a Western/American diet would rather eat now (and suffer later) than starve now, but I'm not sure the consequences are clear from the outset of that decision.

Either way, our policy (Farm Bill) makes certain (junk) foods cheap, and certain (whole) foods expensive. I think it's a major issue (obviously), but I don't see either side addressing it.

At 9/04/2008 1:32 PM, Blogger Bethlehem Shoals said...

Two more things before I pass out:

1) db, gender is a smokescreen here. Just as Joe Lieberman's ethnicity has never mattered to me, and the one black P.O.W. they kept showing did little to convince me that the GOP was diverse. Palin is a disingenuous gimmick who wants to reap the P.C. benefits of being a woman and a mom—hide behind them, even—while doing nothing to advance women's rights, or prove that women should be recognized for their accomplishments just like men (i.e. the Hillary argument).

2. Ritchie--Apologies if your earlier comment disappeared. I applaud everyone actually doing something for the Obama campaign, especially in states where, while the odds are long, the sheer presence on the ground is putting some pressure on the Republicans, and distracting their time and resources. It's not that I don't think the Democrats can win, or feel this post is a valid political position, or would even be averse to doing "real" political work in service of the campaign. More that, beyond this election, or even the "it's all a game" aspect of politics, I'm sick of mincing words and making apologies for MY values and priorities.

At 9/04/2008 2:56 PM, Blogger lundym said...

I wouldn't let McCain be a spokesperson for Werther's Original, let alone Commander-in-Chief of the most powerful nation in the world. (Fortunately I live in Canada, but seriously, if McCain/Palin falls through, I'm moving to Switzerland or some shit.)

What gets me is that America is going to rally behind her shitty excuse for a family. The fact is that a Governor from Alaska doesn't plan to get knocked up in middle-age. Her pro-life Bible-belt methodology is going to strong-arm some poor hockey boy into joining her pregnant daughter in holy matrimony. The only thing I get out of this is that the Palin clan is a horny bunch.

Lastly, she is a caricature of a stereotypical Republican. Choosing an anti-abortion, gun-toting, Jesus-loving candidate is spineless. I would rather have Bush.

At 9/04/2008 3:03 PM, Blogger R. Lobstah said...

Palin is the proof that women's accomplishments are equal rights to men's. The supposed ogre party nominated a woman for VP. The point many spin artists on the Right and Palin herself makes is that she has accomplished more then the male top billing from the Dems. Those are facts that I've read not a single dispute of. I never ask you to apologize for your views or opinions. I would hope you might retract bad facts. Your views and opinions are a matter that you personally can work out for yourself if you ever see errors in them. You don't owe anyone an apology for externalizing the internal.

I've lived in the ghetto. I spent a year in Bushwick. I had a huge Latino supermarket easily available to me. The bodegas sold fruit and vegis because locals bought them. Some have salad bars. Others don't. It's partly a function of cost but it's also a function of preference. Stores sell what people buy. It's called freedom.

BTW, when I balled in the Black Hole in Brooklyn I was called names and fights started because this Jew Boy usually stayed in front the man he defended. Walking through the Puerto Rician neighborhood that I lived in I used to get taunted and threatened just headed out to the local court. They used to shit on me calling me Elder because I must be Mormon. Shit, two blocks from my mom's house, where most of the ballers are black or Persian, the menace can get intense. How much can we bet that 95% of those I just listed are voting Obama? Fuck it... People are tribal. Have a look at some of the responses to my comments on this site. Leftist, educated, urba,n hipsters are tribal too.

At 9/04/2008 3:12 PM, Blogger Quantavius Sturdivant said...

the only thing that palin proves is that the john mccain of 8 years ago is very dead. the straight talk express is gone, and the veep choice is pandering to the same group that he once opposed.

to sort of relate this to basketball, we know that drafting for need usually doesn't work out as well as drafing the best possible talent (see sam bowie.) it seems that palin was picked to fill a need within the republican party as opposed to any of her own particular merit. i don't really see it working out.

At 9/04/2008 3:36 PM, Blogger Joey said...

this country has moved further and further from "theocracy" ever since its creation. Weve never been farther from having theocracy than now, and no significant number of religious people in this country even want it. secularism allows us to practice any religion however we want, and 90% of american believers understand that, so, on that point, everyone just calm down. the mention of it, ever, shows how paranoid and ignorant of religious conservatives liberals are....... and Shoals, if you admit to being in a bubble, then you should understand that you DONT UNDERSTAND things outside the bubble, even before i knew your politics, i had you pegged as a hyper-emotional person. your basketball analysis is plagued with unsubstantiated impressions and imaginative constructions. i loved that about it, it was so overintellectualized that its hilarious. i guess im slowly finding out that its serious, and thats less funny.

At 9/04/2008 3:42 PM, Blogger MC Welk said...

about 10 years ago McCain really was a maverick. wha'appen? Sadly, I do live in the same country as they. It's called yewtah and the obese ditto-head seems particularly giddy today. dead serious here, Shoals: Vancouver's not that far away. compared to her, Seattle is the ugly stepsister.

At 9/04/2008 3:42 PM, Blogger steveh46 said...

"The point many spin artists on the Right and Palin herself makes is that she has accomplished more then the male top billing from the Dems. Those are facts that I've read not a single dispute of."

Then you don't know how to read. What has Sarah Palin done? Been mayor of a town of less than 6,000 people. She came into office, kicked out everyone who didn't kowtow to her, and left after she'd put the town $22 million in debt. The town had zero debt when she took office. The town had no sewage treatment when she was first elected and didn't when she left either because she chose to build a money-losing sports complex instead. Way to go!

The Great State of Alaska is a socialist paradise. Gov. Palin doesn't have to make many tough choices because they don't tax people in Alaska, they squeeze money out of their oil and gas leases and hand it out in welfare payments to every resident in the State.

They also like every other American taxpayer to fork over money so they can live there. That's why Palin hired a bigtime Washington DC lobbying firm to get bucks for her town. God forbid, Alaskans should pay their own way!

Her big push is to build a natural gas pipeline sometime in the future. She gave the contract to a Canadian company with a promise to pay them a half billion! Way to go!

You might also google the Matanuska dairy and see what you find. Real accomplishments? She ain't got none.

At 9/04/2008 3:46 PM, Blogger Graydon said...

Holy shit I am trying to remain calm.

R. Lobstah-

"She accomplished more then the male top billing for the Dems. THose are the fact I've read not a single dispute of."

You don't really do a lot of reading, do you? Palin was mayor of a small town, and has been governor of Alaska for two years. She has done some stuff, Governors tend to do so.

Obama has done extensive work while in the Senate, pioneering not only ethics reform legislation but also taking the lead on nuclear non-proliferation legislation. Before that he was a member of the Illinois State Senate from 1997 to 2004. As a state senator, he sponsored legislation on a wide range of issues, including ethics reform, welfare reform, the death penalty and Health Care . The idea that Palin has accomplished more than Obama is patently absurd, so much so that I am embarrassed for myself that I have even wasted my time addressing it.

That being said, as a Puerto Rican who formerly lived in Brooklyn, I will refrain from informing you how wildly offended I am that you referred to non-white Brooklynites as "tribal," and instead just say that the use of anecdotal evidence such as "people were not nice to me when I played pick-up basketball" is a rather egregious logical fallacy. You know what, I'm done with shit.

Shoals, Recluse, DLIC, everybody, keep up the good work.

At 9/04/2008 3:47 PM, Blogger Graydon said...

Steve and I are on the same page.

At 9/04/2008 4:07 PM, Blogger Bethlehem Shoals said...

First, Joey, if this is Joey Joey, nice one.


1. Note, the entire post—as unhinged as it was—went to great pains to distinguish between all red staters, or conservatives, or people of faith, and those who would've nodded their head in approval to Palin and Guilliani.

2. The "bubble" was a reference to Seattle. This place kind of pisses me off for a lot of reasons.

3. even before i knew your politics, i had you pegged as a hyper-emotional person.

Umm, okay. I don't quite see the connection here. I am hyper-emotional, and even I don't know the exact nature of my politics. I don't think "values" counts as a politics.

4. your basketball analysis is plagued with unsubstantiated impressions and imaginative constructions. i loved that about it, it was so overintellectualized that its hilarious. i guess im slowly finding out that its serious, and thats less funny.

Yeah, about that. . . you should take my basketball writing seriously at your own peril. Some is, some isn't. Sometimes I can't even tell the difference. But it would be a mistake to think that this post is the manifesto underlying all my hoops criticism. For one, it's ridiculously raw, confessive, and un-self-consciously provocative. Not exactly the usual character of this site.

I'm not even sure it makes sense to as a rule take sports seriously, or if a lot of the writing on here isn't just an excuse to write about something more serious than basketball.

AND, Palin got 37 million viewers. STILL ON TOP!!!!!!!

At 9/04/2008 4:33 PM, Blogger Tom said...

Spot motherfuckin' on, Shoals.

What bothered me so much about last night wasn't the things she said. The VP candidate for the Republicans attacking the Democratic candidates shouldn't shock any one at this point.

What bothered me is that Sarah Palin is a neocon in every sense of the word. Anti-science. Cynical view of the electorate. Deficit spending while giving her cronies major paydays. A focus on extremist wedge issues rather than any attempts at unifying the country.

For some reason, when I looked at Bush's historically low approval ratings, and the crushing losses the GOP has faced (and continues to face) in Congress, I thought this disasterous philsophy was dying. Last night's conservagasm proved that not only is it not dead, it's not going anywhere.

Fiscal responsibility was the one admirable trait the Republican party had going for it, IMO. And we will never see that again.

At 9/04/2008 4:47 PM, Blogger Daniel said...

Seeing people talk themselves (whether republicans or not) into the idea that palin is a reasonable, logical pick is like watching the raptors brass and fanbase trying to get excited about picking Rafael Araujo.

"Why yes... we DO need size underneath! And he IS tall! And BRUISER to boot! Selecting him in the lottery?! EXACTLY WHAT WE NEED! WOOOOOOOOOO!!!"

/apologies to any offended raptors fans

At 9/04/2008 5:03 PM, Blogger Brown Recluse, Esq. said...

@Lobstah: Please tell me where I said I wanted the health care system socialized. Anyway, it's stupid to say that because some poor people starve, it's good that other poor people are obese. In neither case are they getting good nutrition. That's a problem. You also act like there are benefits to being fat--what are they? Others have already pointed out the LACK of choices that is often a major contributing factor to obesity among poor people.

For someone who likes to think of himself as such a free thinker, I'm amazed that you buy into right wing talking points so willingly and without questioning them. Since "executive experience" is being touted so much in this election, do I need to remind people that, for the most part, laws are passed by the legislature? Confused and ignorant people may think they only "talk and write" (and when did these become BAD THINGS anyway?) in the Senate, but pretty serious shit happens there, like making laws and, back in the old days, declaring war.

Anyway, here's a couple of Obama's legislative accomplishments to ponder. While in the Illinois Senate, Obama co-sponsored the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program in 1997, which set limits on public assistance and required welfare recipients to outline plans for moving into the workforce. Wait, I thought he was going to increase the size of government?

He also co-sponsored a bill instituting an earned income-tax credit for Illinois. Wait, I thought he was a tax and spend liberal?

In the U.S. Senate, a number of bills Obama proposed were incorporated into Public Law 110-181, which provides health care for wounded vets. Wait, I thought he hated the troops? [McCain skipped that vote by the way. So did Obama, actually, but it passed by a huge margin, and he wrote part of it, so whatevs.]

All I know about Palin's accomplishments is that she's fired a bunch of people and cut funding for a bunch of stuff, including schools for special needs kids like poor little Trig. I honestly haven't heard a word about what she's done to help people, but I guess you guys think cutting taxes and deregulating business solves all problems. If that's what you're into, then I guess she'd done a lot.

At 9/04/2008 5:11 PM, Blogger Graydon said...

God bless Daniel for making a good point AND relating it to basketball. Thinking oh so briefly about the Raps took a huge weight of my shoulders for some reason.

And God bless Recluse for continuing to bring the fucking ruckus.

At 9/04/2008 5:28 PM, Blogger Michael said...

The GOP is all about the politics of fear and hate. The Dems are about the politics of disappointment and exasperation, as well as, sometimes, hope. So which is more powerful?

The GOP has no shame about flat-out lying, fear-mongering, and rank, RANK, hypocrisy. The Dems ain't perfect, and are sometimes hypocritical, but there is still shame. Hence the focus on, holy shit, ISSUES at the Dem convention, and steering clear of direct attacks on McCain's character, while the GOP convention is nothing but personal attacks and fear-mongering.

In 2004, there was all this talk from the GOP mouthpieces about Kerry being a gigolo for living off of his rich wife. This was seen to be something that made him unfit to be president. Has anyone heard a peep about the fact that this exactly describes McCain?

But whatever. That's a small hypocrisy compared to claiming to be for regular working people. Try this one on:


Summary: the economy has grown faster, while income equality has INCREASED, under Democratic presidents, than under Republicans. Growth has been slower, while INequality has great increased.

Right. The party for regular working people.

At 9/04/2008 5:32 PM, Blogger Brown Recluse, Esq. said...

For those who buy the bullshit line about Obama spending his three and a half years in the Senate campaigning, check out THOMAS. Obama has sponsored or co-sponsored over 800 bills.

At 9/04/2008 5:47 PM, Blogger R. Lobstah said...

Thanks Recluse,
Finally valid points. It has been my understanding that his involvement in those Federal issues were largely cosmetic. I hope not. BTW, in a previous post you mentioned the website. I reread it since and its just as nonspecific regarding his position as its ever been. I'm very happy that socialized healthcare is not so universal a desire as i presumed. We seem all to be prone to bad assumptions. Anything else?

Shoals, the point joey was making regarding your writing is that when your FD thought experiment is played in the realm of basketball blogging it's entertaining, interesting and playfull. When applied to politics it's childish.

Graydon, my point is that tribalism is human. Sorry you got offended by the Puerto Rican inclusion in our species.

At 9/04/2008 5:58 PM, Blogger Brown Recluse, Esq. said...

Palin's 80% approval rating is a lie, by the way. That figure comes from a survey done by American Viewpoint, which is a Republican polling firm whose client list includes the RNC. A non-partisan Rasmussen poll from July 30, 2008 has her at 64%, which is good, but not the 80% her camp is claiming. By comparison, John Hoeven of North Dakota gets the crown with 72%. Mike Beebe of Arkansas and John Huntman, Jr. of Utah are chilling at 68%.

At 9/04/2008 6:34 PM, Blogger db said...

@ty: Indeed! Late night bleariness. Great, so now I'm even more depressed and alienated.

FWIW - I think Jeff Chang's post on Palin would be interesting to a lot of FD folk.

At 9/04/2008 6:35 PM, Blogger Zeke said...

I could not believe my ears when I heard the following things:

- The former mayor of New York City using "cosmopolitan" as a pejorative

- Republicans talking up a war most people don't like and most of the rest couldn't care less about.

- Chants of "zero, zero, zero" from Republicans, apparently digging Obama on his meteoric rise in politics. This after Democrats went out of their way to pay respect to McCain's sacrifice and public career and Obama personally defended Palin's credentials and boundaries.

- Teen pregnancy being exalted and a good education mocked by the party that used to pride itself on values.

- Community service being demeaned in the most cruel and base way imaginable. As a person who has done community service before and not because I had to, I was saddened and repulsed.

- A VP candidate promising to be "a friend to families with special needs children" while her own special-needs baby was handed off to a seven-year-old (and no, the father didn't step up to hold the baby).

- Civil rights--a proud American tradition--being turned into nothing more into a nasty laugh line by a major party candidate. I bet McCain's captors never "read him his rights" either.

- A nineteen-year-old future soldier identified to the world as the child of a prominent political figure. I didn't appreciate that when Biden did it either.

- Hockey moms being called pit bulls with lipstick. That stuff may play in Peoria, but it's a sexist remark that should be beneath a major party candidate.

- Republicans talking out of one side of their mouth about how waterboarding isn't torture while on the other side they manage to give us every last detail of McCain's ordeal in Hanoi without using the word.

- Republicans somehow taking up the mantle for "real change" after their party has been in power for 6 of the last 8 years and held the presidency all that time. Better late than never, I guess.

This was jaw-dropping, and not in a good way. I was for Obama all along, and the Democrats certainly used harsh rhetoric of their own in Denver, but it was aimed squarely at GOP policies and McCain's stances on the issues.

To question Obama's lack of extensive political officeholdership and readiness to be Prez is surely fair game. With that in mind, let me just say that snickering at helping poor people pay their electric bills is genius! Bravo Rudy! It figures that Guiliani would find working with the poor comical and worthy of a laugh.

What the fuck was that? "Community Organizer?" What does that even mean? It's one thing to say his resume doesn't qualify him to be President, but it's another to look down on and demean his work with the indigent in Chicago, especially when he probably turned down an extremely lucrative career in corporate law in order to do so. There seemed to be something ugly and personal about the way they were attacking Obama, and I think it will backfire.

At 9/04/2008 6:44 PM, Blogger Brown Recluse, Esq. said...

If you want to see all the stuff Palin plans to cut from the budget, here's a nice pie chart. It's interesting that such a huge chunk of it is from education, especially since she may home school her kids. And that Alaska has the highest high school drop out rate in the country and was the only state in the nation to not increase its graduation rate in 2008.

It is a little troubling that so far it doesn't seem like she's planning to send any of her kids to college. That's her choice (and/or her kids'), of course, but it's telling. She doesn't seem to like dissent as an executive, and she doesn't seem very intellectually curious. Maybe this makes me a coastal elite, but that's disturbing to me.

At 9/04/2008 6:48 PM, Blogger Brown Recluse, Esq. said...

@Zeke: I agree 1000% with your post. You hit on almost every thing about last night that bugged the shit out of me. I do have a slight correction, though. Obama was a community organizer before law school, but he certainly could've done something more lucrative. And, after law school, he was a civil rights attorney and part-time lecturer before he became a state senator. But, he's always been about some kind of public service, that much is certain. And to disparage and mock dedication to public service (even if it's wrong-headed) is pretty disgusting and should be beneath anyone seeking higher office.

At 9/04/2008 6:49 PM, Blogger Nate Jones said...

Lobstah: My girlfriend spent part of her summer composing a report for a non-profit here in L.A. on why supermarkets don't build in poor neighborhoods in Los Angeles. And believe me, demand is not the driving force behind what food options are available in those neighborhoods. When she first started, I totally thought that lack of demand was the reason for the lack of food options, but that is really wrong. It really has to do with stores unwilling to pay for higher insurance costs to set up in those neighborhoods, costs of stolen shopping carts (I'm not joking), misconceptions about how people from those neighborhoods that are hired to work in grocery stores don't work hard and will steal a ton, the cost of building adequate stores in an already dense area (lack of space for normal store sizes and parking lots), and just blatant discrimination and racism. But there is demand that is not being met. I'm going to get a copy of the report and quote directly from it when I have a chance.

At 9/04/2008 6:51 PM, Blogger Ty Keenan said...

Zeke put together one hell of a list, but he missed my favorite one: Mitt Romney attacking Eastern elites.

At 9/04/2008 6:55 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

R Lobstah,

Palin, inaugurated as Gov on Dec 4, 2006
640 days experience

Obama, inaugurated as US Senator on Jan 3, 2005
1,340 days experience

Not to mention he was a state senator of the 13th IL district, population 781,037 for 8 years, and has a PHD in Constitutional Law

Palin: Mayor of town under 10,000 people currently, under 6,000 when she ran it. And PTA experience.

I am impressed by how much more vast her experience is over Obama. Your facts are impeccable, is there WMD in Iraq too?

At 9/04/2008 7:30 PM, Blogger Steve said...

As a community organizer who works upwards of 50 hours a week, I would gladly scrape together what's left of my meager salary after rent, food, and student loan debt, to buy a "FUCK COMMUNITY ORGANIZERS" t-shirt.

At 9/04/2008 8:07 PM, Blogger R. Lobstah said...

Take all those days and multiply it by 20 and its still less then McCain's time in office. Its great that you realize that comparisons between Obama and Palin are more appropriate then to compare Obama to McCain. You miss the point. I can see where Obama's time running for President counts for some executive leadership but lets not pretend that Palin's record is doctored or that she is too inexperienced unless you are ready to accept the same for Obama.

I remember defenses of "G-d damn America" on this site. Somehow the context of that attitude seems to fit the view of some who visit the site but context for what was spoken last night seems too much to ask.

At 9/04/2008 8:09 PM, Blogger Zeke said...

Mitt Romney basically criticizing himself was gold. As was the crowd chanting "pinko, pinko" at Guiliani's community organizer line, yet managing to restrain themselves when Palin introduced her husband as a proud union member.

I don't get the cries of "Elitism." The country club set criticizing a self-made success of humble origins? Bush and McCain come from wealth and privilege, but it's obvious that they're not very bright. Obama was clearly paying attention in law school. It's amazing to me that they have the cynicism to sneer at a genuine Horatio Alger story. Obama is a politician and not a saint, so I can understand the cult of personality is annoying. But the GOP is so morally and intellectually bankrupt if they have to resort to attacking people for basically pursuing what is known in popular nomenclature as the "American Dream."

At 9/04/2008 8:17 PM, Blogger Brown Recluse, Esq. said...

@Packers: I totally respect the sentiment, dude, but Obama does not have a PhD. in constitutional law. He has a JD, which is a law degree, which is the same degree I have and which most law professors have (increasingly, law professors have PhD's in subjects like political science, economics, etc.).

I don't want to use you as an example (this is directed at others, mostly people who don't even read this site), but dudes, we have the internet now. It's soooo easy to look shit up. Please stop saying stuff if you haven't verified it with a good source. I heard heads on the radio talking about McCain was almost like a Democrat he worked across the aisle so much. That's just not true! The facts don't support it.

Take some time and do some research. If, after studying up for an hour or two, you really think McCain's (non)policies are the way to go, that's cool with me. Just don't base your decision on shit like, "McCain is a war hero," or "McCain will make the country safer."

At 9/04/2008 8:43 PM, Blogger Sooze said...

slow clap.

At 9/04/2008 9:17 PM, Blogger BPH said...

R Lobstah,

Your last comment was too much. You say Packers missed the point even as s/he was, instead, directly addressing a statement you previously made.

I believe this makes me the third person to quote this line back to you:

"The point many spin artists on the Right and Palin herself makes is that she has accomplished more then the male top billing from the Dems. Those are facts that I've read not a single dispute of."

Emphasis mine, bullisht yours.

Packers was correcting you, very simply, without even getting into their time previous to elected office, during which the accomplishment gap seems to widen.

At 9/04/2008 9:51 PM, Blogger Mr. Six said...

Plus, it's Mr. Lobstah's argument that Palin is more accomplished than Obama, so he bears the burden of proof. To carry that burden, he must first define an "accomplishment" and establish objective criteria to measure accomplishment and prove their objectivity. Second, he must lay out objectively all known accomplishments of each. To conclude, he must apply the previously established standards to the now-identified accomplishments, demonstrating by at least a preponderence of the evidence that Palin has accomplished more than Obama.

I look forward to his efforts. I expect them to be as thorough as his alleged time spent reading Obama's website, during which he could identify no specific proposals.

The speeches were speeches were interestingly content-free and personally critical. (The lynch mob chanting didn't help.) To me, they stank of the desperation of a party with high unfavorables and a campaign behind in organization and floundering on its message, if it ever had one.

At 9/04/2008 10:16 PM, Blogger embot said...

I thought this was a decent assessment of the conundrum both parties are in re: winning the vote of people other than elite professionals.

At 9/04/2008 11:11 PM, Blogger R. Lobstah said...

Mr. Six,
Am I supposed to go to all that trouble at the request of a man who wrote,

"As for Pallin, I don't know why anyone cares about her experience or where in government she got it. I don't know why any Dem would focus on that either. She's a creationist. She opposes abortion rights. (i.e. a woman who actually believes in the regression of women's rights. That's a winning pick?) She's evangenlical. I take those as the hallmarks of the many loyalists who fall in line and take their orders when they come from GOP central."

At 9/05/2008 12:30 AM, Blogger Andrew said...

The Republican Party is filled with exploitative hypocrites who trot out the same old chestnuts to try and scare idiots into voting for them.

That terrorism video tonight that those assholes stood up and applauded was repugnant. After that, I reread this, and agree with every last word.

If McCain wins, we are fucked as a nation.

At 9/05/2008 1:26 AM, Blogger Enjorlas said...

We have been fucked as a nation for a while now. How rare is it that the democrats are the "elitists" and the republicans are the blue collar ones? This shit is getting more racist by the minute. You can't even be overqualified to win an election anymore. That is what scares me the most. Poor Barack. Supreme Court Justice's rarely have the pedigree he does.

If Palin is a success then the feminist movement dies on the spot.

At 9/05/2008 1:52 AM, Blogger Graydon said...

I guess you're right. I didn't really take offense that you deftly used the word "tribal" after you had just finished describing the "menacing" persian and black guys in your neighborhood. I guess I was more offended by how intellectually unsophisticated your red herring about "living in the ghetto" was. Spending some time on the frontier of gentrification does not mean that some how your obnoxiously rehearsed and tired defense of economic and social regressivism somehow gains validity.

Oh, and if by all people are tribal you mean the Republican Party continues to base its social policy off the writings of a B.C.E. middle eastern tribe, than sure, all types of people whom you wouldn't expect to be are tribal.

That being said, I, like many of us, was very frustrated while watching the RNC last night. And I am sure I will be equally pissed tonight (although there is a decent chance I check out the football game instead of watching McCain display his mastery of the subtle art of oratory). But part of me is actually quite relieved, and Zeke's comment reminds me why:

They just don't have a policy leg to stand on. Even the '04 Bush campaign, as open to low-blow tactics as it was, had several substantive policy initiatives: Flat Tax, Social Security Reform, Personal Health Savings Accounts, etc...

I happen to think those are all awful ideas, but they were real policy ideas. The entire McCain campaign is completely hampered by the fact that they don't have any policy proposals which don't fall completely in line with the least inventive and most unappreciated parts of the Bush Agenda.

This is why you see them harping on off-shore drilling so forcefully. For some reasonn I don't understand, it is the only issue that the majority of Americans agree with them on. So they push it as if it is a comprehensive energy plan when really it is a band-aid on what may end up being the most severe socio-economic crisis in the history of late capitalism: Our dependence on oil. Not foreign oil. Oil.

At 9/05/2008 5:45 AM, Blogger R. Lobstah said...

"Spending some time on the frontier of gentrification does not mean that some how your obnoxiously rehearsed and tired defense of economic and social regressivism somehow gains validity."

If there is anything obnoxiously rehearsed it's the claim that the Republicans are in the thrall of BCE concepts. There's an original idea. Keep screaming Theocracy and seeking kings to garrote with a priest's entrails.

Spending some time on the frontiers of anything provides validity for plenty.

At 9/05/2008 10:45 AM, Blogger Mr. Six said...

@ R. Lobstah

For me? Of course not. But I appreciate that at least you're consistent in your efforts to shift the focus of the discussion when your bullshit has been called.

I think Palin's experience is irrelevant. You, however, think it is, and you made the assertion that it's greater than Obama's. You, therefore, bear the burden of proof.

So, either provide the proof or withdraw the assertion.

At 9/05/2008 1:04 PM, Blogger Lady Zora, Chauncey DeVega, and Gordon Gartrelle said...

Damn, you nailed it my fellow elitist!

That was a Jake the Snake Roberts pile driver transformed into a political polemic (I mean that as a complement).

Chauncey Devega
We are respectable negroes

At 9/05/2008 4:04 PM, Blogger Sarah said...

A big fat WORD.

I am just flabbergasted by the number of people in this country who appear to fear highly educated people. Guess I'm an elitist too.

At 9/05/2008 5:57 PM, Blogger Joe said...


I am a Seattle resident, but a transplant. I love the city for many things. I also am routinely pissed off by certain things. I am interested to hear what annoys you....

By the way, I had a very similar emotional response during Rudy's speech, specifically "Burn baby burn"....I could not believe what I was hearing.

At 9/05/2008 7:29 PM, Blogger Z said...

I'm not from Seattle but from what I can gather by listening to Blue Scholars (Seattle based) and reading Black Planet, there's a not-surprising gap between the bubble of (white) liberalism and the black experience in Seattle.

I don't know if there's anything drastically new here, but Joe it's probably interesting to see an MC talking about gentrification & liberalism in Seattle, from North by Northwest:

And they say desegregation was a big step forward
But integration only covered up a rotten core
The surface might’ve changed but the cauldron is still hot
Now we more politically correct with less real talk
They say we liberal but literally not
When the cops bend us over while upholding the law
Despite the sight of coffee shops on every single block
Nearby its supply and demand for the rock
It’s two types of crack, one legal, one felonious
The lump-in-throat (?) push keys like Thelonious
The corporation pushing blood with the beans
I heard people moving up here for the love of the green
New homes, new stores, still a hood underneath
No good how we chilling in the gut of the beast
A national question, with no answer in the least
It’s no resting ‘til the cancer meets defeat

Of course, I'm coming from a white, liberal, college town in the PNW that had this in the paper when the local Farmers Market had a "Meet a Black Guy" booth:

"Sherry Littlefield of Corvallis said the booth was unnecessary. She and friend Ron Naasko said they have black friends, and would be voting for Barack Obama for president."

At 9/05/2008 7:32 PM, Blogger Z said...

However on a basketball note, Simmons was right about Seattle being a town where basketball players get groomed:

Roy, Nate Robinson, JET, Hawes, Marvin Williams, Martell Webster, Jamal Crawford. Probably others.

At 9/06/2008 3:38 AM, Blogger R. Lobstah said...

Mr. Six
I'll withdraw achieved more. I went too far with that. More elected executive experience is pretty obviously in her favor. I wouldn't say that this executive experience is required for the job. I'm guessing it might help. Its just as ridiculous to denigrate his achievements as it is to denigrate hers.

If there have been shifts in focus its because I have chosen to reply to points made by various other commentators. One dude was whining about red-necks shouting "fag" at him for dressing funny. Another shits before thinking about my point regarding obesity. Another complains that he's Puerto Rican and can't quite get that the Persians and Blacks were menacing each other. Then someone else makes the scholarly assertion that an educated citizen is what "some people" fear.

Vonnegut once wrote, "An intellectual is someone who has been educated beyond their intelligence". That may not be something to fear, but be wary. I'll wait for comments on Bush's Yale education on the other side of Publish.

At 9/06/2008 4:47 AM, Blogger m. Alana said...

I'm late on this, but I think it's ironic that the only people I've seen talk about this Palin choice as any kind of coup for feminism have been in one of two groups: conservative men, desperately trying to convince themselves that their party did something good for women once; and women like McCain's campaign director, who have some kind of personal stake in the matter. It is nothing of the sort. It is insulting.

As a woman to whom choice and comprehensive sex education are extremely important - both of which Sarah Palin opposes - this pick was antithetical to every single feminist ideal I hold. To choose such a stunningly poor candidate reveals McCain's inherent lack of understanding; if his people really think that's the best they can do, as they should, then they are revealing only their own inherent misogyny. It is tokenism of the lowest sort, and it insults not only the many exponentially more qualified female politicians, but all the women they thought they could somehow appeal to with this knowledge.

Regarding her family, she was picked precisely because of her status as a mother, and indeed has based her entire national persona on that. But, as my own mother said, any idiot can have a baby. Women are not so simple-minded as to be swayed by that, and that, indeed, is the heart of why Palin, the pick, McCain, and the Republican party are absolutely not feminist: we are better than that, and they won't, and can't, realize it.

At 9/06/2008 5:01 AM, Blogger m. Alana said...

R: Sarah Palin was a medium-sized fish in a miniscule pond. She is not only unqualified and inexperienced, she is intellectually incurious, undereducated in the deeper sense of the word, and self-contradicting or self-admittedly ignorant on almost every issue. Her entire campaign is based on her family, which is falling apart. She has been out of the country once - in 2007 - took six years and four schools to get a degree in journalism, and is hypocritical and intellectually dishonest about both her own life and her policy. She is a poor administrator and a poorer economist. I will not go into the birth of her latest child, but it was deeply, viscerally unsettling to me, politics completely notwithstanding, and makes me feel that she lacks judgment entirely - as, I feel, does McCain, for picking her in the first place. Your guys fucked all the way up on this one, dude. Trying to defend it just looks sad.

At 9/06/2008 7:11 PM, Blogger R. Lobstah said...

I love it, what other mind would convince themselves that the growth of a family, the addition of a new generation, is symptomatic of a family falling apart? I know, a real feminist.

I'm just curious how a movement dedicated to getting woman the right to vote, securing women access to the schools and then the higher education they have the merit for, to secure women the right to earn a living on their own merit and skill, to do with what they earn what they will no matter what a father or husband says, the right to choose who they marry and to remove themselves from abusive selections, they get all that to be fully empowered to effect their destiny as a man can and then get stuck on the right to kill their own children. That shows a real education in the deeper sense of the word. If actualizing your abilities and merits steals them from another individual then those were not your abilities or merits in the first place. Killing your child so you don't have to change your plans seems a copout to some. I wonder if you'll support a woman's right to drown her three year old if she decided getting that PhD would be too hard while raising a child. I would like to add this fact of feminism to be the truly sad position to defend.

At 9/07/2008 1:04 AM, Blogger m. Alana said...

R; Regarding Bristol Palin, I don't have a problem with her having a child. But I think she, her mother, and most children and parents would rather that she had done so as an adult, rather than as a child. The party of family values has decried teen pregnancy for decades. Yet, now they are proud of her choice.

The right to choose is not, at its heart, about abortion. It's about the right to choose. It's about women's rights to control their own bodies.

I personally am not pro-abortion, and I don't think anyone is. It's not an easy choice for anyone to make. But it is a choice, as it should be. The government has no right to legislate the workings of someone's body, and you, as a Republican, should be the one espousing that.

At 9/07/2008 5:36 AM, Blogger Joe said...


Don't forget Rodney Stuckey!

Blue Scholars touch on a great point: For every beautiful mountain vista, I see a brand new, poorly constructed condo complex going up in this city. Gentrification is a struggle for many (all?) American cities with any leaning toward the cosmopolitan. However, the way Seattle has handled it (with little regard for true urban density, ie low to middle income housing) is disturbing. Is the expectation that all urban dwellers will be white and work for a tech company? Looks like it....

At 9/07/2008 1:16 PM, Blogger R. Lobstah said...

First, I'm not a Republican. I have and will again vote for Dems. Nationally, wit Pelpsi, Reed and Obama leading the party, they have gone nuts and I'm not voting for them this season.

Second, I'll not tell anyone what to do with their body unless they are presuming to kill their child with it. I'm not going so far as to swim in the Pro-Life pool. My point is you can be a feminist and still be strongly pro-life. It's a question of whether you think a woman's right to her body over the course of a pregnancy she chose to put herself in the risk of is more important then the child's right to it's body over the course of a lifetime.

You said Palin's family is falling apart. I'm saying that nobody in that family wanted that pregnancy to happen. Since it did, how much better that her daughter chose the adult and responsible route through life rather then the "easy" choice of killing her baby. I see a family banding together during a trying time and hopefully becoming stronger because of it. BTW, you don't get to define what abortion is about. For some people it's about the choice to do with ones body. For others it's about the choice to kill a baby. Both can be strong feminists.

At 9/08/2008 4:10 AM, Blogger jwilson said...

"My point is you can be a feminist and still be strongly pro-life."

You cannot be a feminist and be in favor of banning abortion even in cases of rape an incest. No, you can't. Sorry. Case closed.

That is that dehumization of women. That is the opposite of feminism.

At 9/09/2008 12:00 AM, Blogger R. Lobstah said...

Let me throw your logic back at you.

You cannot be a patriot and still be a member of a church where the pastor yells out, "G-d damn America" and tells his audience that the US spread AIDS in order to kill people of color. No, you can't. Sorry. Case closed.

That is demonizing of America. That is the opposite of patriotic.

Since being a patriot is a requirement of being president of the US while being a feminist is not, Palin is not disqualified from the Vice-Presidency, by your logic, while Obama is.

Rape or incest do not negate the humanness of a child produced by those acts. Killing them does. For some people, the urge to nurture and protect a child is more feminine then the will to kill one.

At 9/09/2008 1:19 AM, Blogger m. Alana said...

Hey, R.

I was going to argue with you for a little while longer. In fact, blogger ate my reply the other day, which I hadn't realized. I was going to say something like, You should look some shit up some time. Roe vs. Wade? Not actually based on abortion. Look the shit up; the decision was about the RIGHT TO PRIVACY. About LESS GOVERNMENT INTERFERENCE. About women's rights to control their own bodies. Not about the moral status of abortion. And that you should also look up logical and rhetorical fallacies; you've made at least five of each, several in each comment, rendering all of your arguments not only wrong, but irrelevant.

But then I got to that "more feminine" part.

About rape.

About being forced to keep the product of rape.

About being forced to have no control over one's body AGAIN. After the most dehumanizing experience a person can go through.

And realized that you are one of those people that is incapable of thinking outside of yourself. You lack empathy, and that's the worst thing I can say about anyone.

Your little throw-away line is possibly the most offensive thing I've ever seen anyone say. Deeply, personally offensive.

You know that huge, throbbing ignorance of yours?

Go on and fuck yourself with it.

At 9/09/2008 10:12 AM, Blogger wondahbap said...


How can you say that? You can too be a patriot and agree with those sentiments. That's the problem with so called "patriotism." They think patriotism means falling in line. True patriotism would question the thing wrong with this country then attempt to fix it.

At 9/09/2008 1:20 PM, Blogger R. Lobstah said...


I would appreciate some examples of my logical fallacies. My point has been that one can be a feminist and be pro-life. No matter how angry that concept makes you, you've not made a warm, wet and engorged case that negates the concept.

So, you use the phrase, "the product of rape" and I'm not supposed to notice that the humanizing term would be "a child". I lack empathy? You say that rape is the most dehumanizing act, I think murder is worse. As a man, I would rather be raped by a man then murdered by a baby.

Roe v Wade is a judicial opinion. I can disagree with an opinion. I'm not even sure I disagree with it. I paid for, was present for, and had argued for my child to be aborted about 15 years ago.

The problem with folk like you is you can't imagine the relevence of ideas you disagree with. A woman who achieved everything feminists fought for, is fully empowered to the extent to which men can be empowered, and her feminism is negated because she thinks that babies, even those who've not managed to get born yet, that their right to life supercedes the mother's right to privacy. Instead of recognizing the validity of that concept you have chosen to demonize it.

So, I take it that you agree with me that jwilson's argument makes no sense. You did get that I constructed the patriot argument to show the weakness of that structure, not to make a point regarding Obama's patriotism?

You bring up "falling in line" and it seems to me that the Left is just as guilty of that requirement. Just look how angry they get over someone questioning the right to kill babies. I lack empathy, I should go fuck myself. You'd think I was defending baby killers, not the opposit.

At 9/09/2008 4:04 PM, Blogger Mr. Six said...

Some of that anger may be the result of you defending the enslavement of women and calling it "feminism."

Sarah Palin's shared willingness to enslave women similarly calls into question whether she's a feminist and whether her candidacy advances the feminist cause. Her attempts at taking on the mantle of feminism ("18 million cracks ...") reeks of political opportunism. And some of the backlash against her may stem from the (I think reasonable) perception that she's reaping the benefits of past feminist efforts while advancing an agenda that's regressive toward women's rights and issues.

wv: xzpig (you can't make this stuff up)

At 9/09/2008 5:32 PM, Blogger R. Lobstah said...

Mr Six,
You have to twist the points I'm making so the degree of saying I would enslave women in order to make yourself comfortable with the irrationality of your rage. Notice you all ignore the fact that a baby is being killed. Who am I advocating to master women? Your points are bike seat on a stool absrurd, minus the screw driver skill.

At 9/09/2008 6:12 PM, Blogger Mr. Six said...

Really, you can't figure out who's enslaving women when abortion is banned? Think on it a while, and if this puzzle really escapes you, I'll let you know.

For the sake of argument only, I'm willing to concede that abortion in some cases results in the death of an unborn person; unlike you, I won't pretend that other important rights don't exist on the other side of the balance.

And who said I was angry? Reads like projection to me.

At 9/09/2008 7:01 PM, Blogger m. Alana said...

R. As I said, I am pro-life. Hear that? I am a feminist that is pro-life. At the same time, I am also pro-choice. Is that too complicated a concept for you? As I said, no one is pro-abortion. I wish no one ever had to make that choice. But I also recognize that neither I nor anyone else, including the government - especially including the government - has the right to make that choice for any woman. Or, more to the point, to take that choice away.

Pardon me for losing my temper. You speak with the assurance of congenital and permanent ignorance, and it's clear to me now that this discussion is a waste of time.

At 9/09/2008 7:45 PM, Blogger R. Lobstah said...

Mr Six,
Ya, I really can't figure out how a ban on abortion enslaves women. Does a ban on drunk driving enslave drunk drivers? Does a ban on shooting a gun off in public places enslave gun lovers? Does a ban on earning money from your labors enslave laborers? Oh wait, that third one is enslavement. So, I guess I need an answer on the first three questions. Who is enslaved by a ban on shooting in public, a ban on driving drunk or a ban on killing unborn children?

You are right, you didn't say that you were angry. You only advocated for the anger of others. Fair enough, I take it back. I'm still unclear as to how you can say that abortion in some cases result in the death of an unborn person. The rarity is when the unborn person does survive the abortion.

I never pretended that the right of the other person in the equation does not exist. Now its your turn to find where I said women, pregnant women no less, should have no rights. I am sure that in the above comments I wrote that an individual's right to life over-rules another individual's right to do as they please with their body. Just as I don't think the right one has to run protects the runner from penalties for running into another person who will then go flying into oncoming traffic.

m. Alana,
Good for you on your position. I don't know if I disagree with pro-choice. I can understand, to a high degree of empathy, where they are coming from. They feel a child's right to life supersedes the mother's right to not be pregnant. The position that human life is more valuable then certain choices is not an inhuman position, it certainly is not an advocacy of enslavement and it does not disqualify one who holds this position from believing that all the rights the government protects for men should be protected for women as well.

You might try something a little more creative then condescending to my intelligence just because I disagree with you. Just to make a point, nobody is congenitally knowledgeable and you are right, I am ignorant of many things. You come from a position that information is the difference between a pro-choice advocate and one who is pro-life. You might find one day that many people who are much smarter then either of us, much better informed then us all, hold positions that align more closely to pro-life then not. You might even waste less of your time if you recognized that you are not arguing facts but rather moral codes. You'll need to be relevant to the topic and have some strong points to shake me from the belief that maybe a child's life is worth protecting.

At 9/10/2008 1:26 AM, Blogger Mr. Six said...

A ban on abortion results in a pregnant woman's direct enslavement to the fetus and indirect enslavement by the government that forces her to provide it services. That's just a quick articulation; for a fuller explanation you might want to read this. I know people don't like to discuss it in those terms, but it's pretty much irrefutable.

Although this isn't a perfect analogy, expanded to be more general, your argument is that, if I need to enslave you to save my own life, the government may legally and morally prevent you from using lethal force to defend against being enslaved.

If you're willing to agree with that, you're at least consistent.

But I have no problem coming down the side against enslavement. I have yet to read a convincing argument that that position is immoral. I further haven't seen anyone explain how it isn't a violation of the Thirteenth Amendment.

At 9/11/2008 1:01 AM, Blogger R. Lobstah said...

Mr. Six,
Enslavement means something specific. The imperfection of the analogy provided by your ink is pretty extensive. I'll provide some analogies to make my point.

If you, as a water buffalo, wanted to have a drink of water, you might expect that a predator will be lurking but getting eaten is not a direct outcome of going to a watering hole. The direct outcome of going to the watering hole, for the water buffalo, is to get a few licks off the surface and so hydrate itself. The same can be said for a child going to that watering hole. The child expects to head out, dip pottery and come up with water. An indirect result of going to the watering hole, for both the water buffalo or the child, could be an attack by a lion which results in the death and consumption of either. The result for the water buffalo, or the child, could be the capture of either creature and be made to work for the benefit of those who captured it. We call this domestication when applied to an animal. We call it enslavement when applied to a human being. You could argue that when an animal is killed and eaten then the natural cycle has claimed one creature for the benefit of another and so the cycle goes. One can make the same argument for the sake of the domesticated or enslaved creature. Human beings have recently argued that the enslavement of another human being is universally unacceptable. We are still OK with animals being used as chattel but humans are exempt from this cruelty. It is considered cruel because human beings have an equal right to work and earn as they see fit and to have an opportunity to better themselves. To have one human being say to another, no you may not learn to read, no you may not stop picking my fruit, no you will not have food unless I permit it, no you may not reap the benefits of your work, it will all come to me, is the nature of the relationship between slave master and his slave. In what way does the child or government express these limits. Neither tells the mother that she cannot continue her studies, continue her work, keep her accounts in her name, etc. Of course these tasks may or may not become more difficult and with the support of parents, siblings, spouses, and the rest then the difficulty in maintaining one's life style is minimized. Yet at no time does the child demand obedience from the mother. It is not enslavement.

If the mother must remain in bed it is almost exclusively for the health of the child, not the mother. One can show the absurdity of the extreme positions of both sides of the debate. For the writer you linked to to argue that since some pro-lifers say that you must keep a child even if it risks the mother's life, in order to make an example of the absurdity of the whole pro-life mindset is an extremest method. It would be like arguing that because some artists made meatballs of their own fat so eating any meat is art, or all art's purpose is to degrade taboos. Cannibalism means something, art means something, and slavery means something.

I can think of examples, cruel examples, in which a woman could be forced to conceive, carry and birth a child. There is personal discomfort that I feel in considering those instances. I feel no discomfort with the abortion that I participated in. My point now, and as I tried to make through out this abortion portion of this dialog, has been that one can be a feminist and still think abortions should be banned. If you were to be asked if I would be comfortable with the abortion option being taken away, I cannot say that I am sure I would. I can imagine that there would be instances, many instances, where people would be made unhappy with the lack of that option. On the other hand, there can be no doubt that a human life is lost through abortion. That is a guaranteed disquiet and I suspect there are negative social ramifications to the preponderance of that procedure.


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