Pharyngula

Warmonger McCain

I hope the Democrats cultivate some ferocity soon and start running ads based on this:

Comments

  1. #1 Renier
    September 10, 2008

    Will it never end?

  2. #2 Dagger
    September 10, 2008

    Get this out of youtube and on to the networks. Everyone needs to see this.

  3. #3 Michael
    September 10, 2008

    The Dems tried that back in 2004, with John Kerry and failed. McCain has a long history…In 1983, he fought against Ronald Reagan urging U.S. withdrawal from Lebanon. “I do not see any obtainable objectives in Lebanon, and the longer we stay there, the harder it will be to leave,” he said. McCain also said the troops were sitting ducks for terrorists.

    One month later, guess what? A terrorist attack killing about 241 troops in Lebanon. In 2004, McCain angry about how the war was being conducted declared; “no confidence” in Rumsfeld. McCain was first to suggest a troop surge in 2006. The surge has worked, troops are coming home around 8,000 this year, and more next year as progress rolls along…

  4. #4 Spero Melior
    September 10, 2008

    He truly still is a prisoner of war.

  5. #5 Sven DiMilo
    September 10, 2008

    “He’ll make Cheney look like Gandhi” sez Pat Buchanan.
    Nice.
    Hey Michael: “the surge has worked”??? Are you insane? Ah, clicking on your name reveals the truth to be: yes!

  6. #6 Erica
    September 10, 2008

    Love that last quote, “He’ll make Cheney look like Gandhi”.

    Holy crap! eerr unholy crap?

  7. #7 SC
    September 10, 2008

    It’s the middle of the night and I just awoke and watched this. I wish I were still asleep and it a nightmare. Almost defies comprehension that this person could become President – it would be a disaster for the US and for the world. We’re standing at the edge of a precipice in this election.

  8. #8 Erica
    September 10, 2008

    On the upside, maybe he’ll kick the bucket and leave Palin in charge so she can build bridges to nowhere and fire everyone that’s ever ‘intimidated’ her.

  9. #9 Ali
    September 10, 2008

    Wow, pretty powerful. It is sad to see in recent years that war is being considered among the first things to do in order to deal with “shaky” nations. I guess I’ll quote Bill Clinton with what he said at the DNC, “People are most impress by our power of example, not our example of power”.

  10. #10 tinyfrog
    September 10, 2008

    There’s no way we’re going into Iran, and there’s no way we’re going to use nukes on them. Just think about the fact that Iraq has 27 million people. Iran? 65 million. There are 2.4 times as many Iranians as there are Iraqis. Think we have a problem in Iraq right now? And we won’t use nukes – it would create a massive backlash in the Arab world, and every nation in the world would condemn the use of nukes on civilians. Not even the Republicans are stupid enough to think that going into Iran is a good idea.

  11. #11 Dagger
    September 10, 2008

    Michael @ 3

    Ah yes, the peace thru superior firepower mantra. You’ve never served a day in your life have you you pathetic toad.
    People like you make me sick. I’d like to load all your kind into a cargo and drop you in the middle of the shit. Then we’d see how long you kept up your insane ramblings. But since that ain’t gonna happen, I’ll have to settle for;

    1) F**k you
    2) F**k your god
    3) F**k the religious lying sacks of shit on both sides that got the world into this mess
    4) And a big f**k you for anyone who thinks that continuing it is the right thing to do

  12. #12 Johnny
    September 10, 2008

    To be fair (which is admittedly kind of foolish in this race), I’m sure most of us think that anything coming out of Pat Buchanan’s mouth smells like the south end of a bull’s digestive system. Should this be any different?

    McCain’s words do speak for themselves though.

  13. #13 Perturbed reader
    September 10, 2008

    I don’t like those ads. Displaying horrific pictures of mutilated children is unethical. Does anyone really know if any of those pictures are from the Iraq war? We’re all scientists here (well, besides the obvious kooks) and we shouldn’t be suckered by unreferenced images or partial truths. They could be taken completely out of context and now some child’s tragedy is another’s political stunt…….sickening.

  14. #14 Nibien
    September 10, 2008

    Does anyone really know if any of those pictures are from the Iraq war?

    Even assuming they’re not, do you think that given all the Iraqi civilians that have died and been injured that those pictures aren’t accurately conveying what a number of them have gone through and are going through?

  15. #15 raven
    September 10, 2008

    Actually the chicken hawks have made the USA a sitting duck for any thugs that come along. The US military is overextended fighting two endless wars in the middle east, bled out and weary. We are also broke. Anyone reading the news knows two of the largest banks in the world failed yesterday, fnma and fre.

    When Russia invaded Georgia, all we could do is have Bush mumble something forgettable and stupid. Putin laughed and called him a moron.

    I’m a big fan of the Roosevelt/Reagan principle. No one ever lost a war by being too strong and prepared. We need a strong military and need to use it for legitimate self defense. Not for foolish cowboy adventures that accomplish nothing.

    All empires overextend themselves and then collapse. Rome, USSR, UK, and on and on. As George Santayana pointed out, “those who ignore the lessons of history are doomed to repeat them.” Already in the foreign European and Asian press, there are frequent references to the “former superpower.” A country called the USA.

  16. #16 Kel
    September 10, 2008

    And we won’t use nukes – it would create a massive backlash in the Arab world, and every nation in the world would condemn the use of nukes on civilians. Not even the Republicans are stupid enough to think that going into Iran is a good idea.

    That seems the odd thing about nuclear warfare. The whole purpose for having nukes is wholly as a deterant for others who have them. But of course that builds up the number of nukes that nations have, and leads us to Mutually Assured Destruction on an ever-increasing arsenal of devastating weaponry.

    There’s no way any nation would ever think of using a nuclear weapon these days because that would mean that almost instantaenously would bring about their swift demise. So looking to use military operations on countries that do have nuclear weapons in an aggressive manner could envoke that scenario. Maybe the US are looking for an excuse to use their nukes on Iran, get them to attack Israel and give the US justification in actually using one of the many thousands they have laying around.

  17. #17 Jim1138
    September 10, 2008

    Michael: John McCain is an unadulterated hot head who does not think before making decisions i.e. the non-vetting of Sarah Palin. Just what we need for president [/sarcasm] Mikey, your URL link reveals you for the fundie nut-case that you are. McCain’s and Palin’s records speak loudly, but fundies can only hear the lies.

    Here is a good article on people like Michael and why they do what they do:
    Jonathan Haidt “What Makes People Vote Republican

  18. #18 amk
    September 10, 2008

    The 93K Iraqi civilian deaths figure is presumably taken from Iraq Body Count. This is bound to be an underestimate, and does not count deaths caused by collapsing sanitation and medical systems or crime. The IBC is the lowest estimate I know of. Others are over a million dead.

    There was an unsightly row between the authors of the (in)famous Lancet-published studies (98k and 650k) and the IBC.

  19. #19 SC
    September 10, 2008

    The numbers given in the video of Iraqi civilians killed and dollars spent in the war are far too low.

  20. #20 Phil
    September 10, 2008

    And what did Wesley Clark get for his troubles? The media raked him over the coals for criticizing their war hero, even though Clark is the only one who actually was a general.
    When Dems criticize, they get roasted. When Republicans do it, their lies get repeated over and over.

  21. #21 John
    September 10, 2008

    Michael told a cowardly lie:
    “A terrorist attack killing about 241 troops in Lebanon.”

    Michael, you douchebag, no attack on any troops, particularly troops taking sides in a civil war, can EVER be termed a “terrorist attack.”

    It was a military attack and the US was defeated. Reagan retreated.

    Let’s see if you can get a basic definition straight. What is your definition of terrorism?

    Was the attack on the WTC terrorism? Yes.
    Was the attack on the Pentagon terrorism? No.

  22. #22 truth machine, OM
    September 10, 2008

    Completely out of context? You are in deep deep denial. Unethical to show their pictures, but not unethical to cause their injuries?Sick.

  23. #23 amk
    September 10, 2008

    I should say that the IBC does not include uniformed soldiers (not sure about police), whereas the Lancet and ORB studies do.

    There was an IBC pdf which suggested that the IBC and Lanet I (98k) were in broad agreement with each other and other sources. I’m trying to find it.

    Apparently IBC was unimpressed with Lancet II though.

  24. #24 raven
    September 10, 2008

    The 93K Iraqi civilian deaths figure is presumably taken from Iraq Body Count.

    Iraq is such a hellhole that no one really knows how many Iraqis have died. Most of them in sectarian violence between Sunnis and Shiites. Despite the propaganda, the vast majority of victims from Islamic terrorists are… other Moslems.

    The best estimates I’ve seen are somewhere between 250,000 and 800,000. The wide spread is because really, in that sort of chaos, we just don’t know.

  25. #25 BobC
    September 10, 2008

    93,835 Iraq civilians killed, and probably many thousands more permanently injured. They probably wish we didn’t liberate their country.

    More than 1/2 trillion dollars of American taxpayer money spent, more than 4,000 American soldiers killed, many thousands more Americans without their limbs or their eyesight or worse. A few years ago I read about an American soldier returning to his small town in Illinois without his nose and without both of his hands. Did Bush care? I doubt it.

    Maybe we shouldn’t be starting wars without a plan to end it. Our two religious wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have lasted longer than World War II and there’s still no end in sight.

  26. #27 amk
    September 10, 2008

    This is the report I was looking for on IBC and Lancet I, plus others. It’s IBC’s response to a quarrel between IBC on one side and the Lancet paper’s authors and MediaLens on the other. It’s quite old now though.

  27. #28 Karl
    September 10, 2008

    That video seems slightly…unfair.
    Don’t get me wrong, I’m totally against McCain.
    But you guys always complain about quote miners, And a lot of the quotes from McCain in that video seemed as thought they could very well have been taken out of context.
    Maybe they weren’t, maybe he really was saying he wants to “Bomb bomb bomb bomb Iran” But I don’t trust that video.
    And showing a heap of war photos ending with a picture of McCain pulling a retarded face?..That doesn’t do it for me.

    Again, I’m completely on your side, But I don’t like the way that video was edited.
    Oh, and Kronos Quartet rocks :)

  28. #29 Schubertiad
    September 10, 2008

    I think the bombastic music in the ad is unfortunate. It’s a bit manipulative in a Hollywood way, and at least for me undermines the truth of the ad. Yeah, I don’t want McCain in the Oval Office. Bad, bad idea.

  29. #30 mayhempix
    September 10, 2008

    #13 is a fucking concern troll I and even doubt it is a scientist. Thousands of innocent children have been killed and maimed in Iraq. And it looks like we just killed 60 more in Afghanistan.

    I can’t even comment on a sick fundie war nut like Michael… like he even represents the teachings of the Jesus he professes to love.

    And to all the others who are “concerned” about the images and music:
    it says much about your priorities if that is what you respond to instead of the insanity of the mass human suffering inflicted by these wars. The video is meant to wake people up, it is meant to shock, because the public is so inured to the never ending slaughter of innocent people.

  30. #31 MTran
    September 10, 2008

    Ya know, I loathe McCain and will be voting for Obama but that video did nothing for me aesthetically or politically. If anything, it was a turnoff. I would never have watched the entire thing except that most of the time the videos on Pharyngula are well worth watching.

    I can’t imagine that video swaying any fence sitters away from McCain. If anything, it may have a boomerang effect.

  31. #32 Rob J
    September 10, 2008

    Does anyone not completely tune out political commercials (or immediately change the channel)?

    The dems need to buy 5 min ad slots and play this video as is rather than their stupid stereotypical “i support this message” political ad spots that nobody gives a damn about.

  32. #33 AndrewG
    September 10, 2008

    Sorry – wholly OT, maybe PZ can start a thread : As I speak, the largest physics experiment ever undertaken has started at the LHC in Europe. They’re getting the proton beam about half way around the 27km ring at the moment, and should have it all the way around in the next hour or so…

    Two things struck me this morning – the first was the way the BBC anchors on the breakfast show just said that the Collider will be looking at the conditions of the Big Bang, 13.7 billion years ago… I actually had to stop and marvel at how lucky we are over here in Europe. there was no ‘Some scientists think that the universe was created…’, or ‘The theory supposes that the universe was created…’, etc, it was just said, straight, as an accepted fact… Wonderful.

    Then I got to wonder how this might be reported in the US – given the subject matter, and the beliefs of the majority of the population.

    The thing I worry about most though, is for the future of science in the US. If science is stifled, and muddied up with myth and nonsense, in a hundred years, what scientific breakthroughs will the US be making? If all children are brought up to believe creationism as fact, or god as fact, then where will all the great US scientists come from… Europe, China, Russia, etc I suppose.

    Oh, and I’m a Brit, who loves, and fears for, America.

  33. #34 Kel
    September 10, 2008

    That video was pretty poor tbh

    It would be better if it were less alarmist.

  34. #35 Dan druff
    September 10, 2008

    Is no one worried that as we speak, The LHC is colliding gravitons and graviolis into each other, (inevitably) creating a portal to a dimension of pure chaos?

  35. #36 Kel
    September 10, 2008

    Is no one worried that as we speak, The LHC is colliding gravitons and graviolis into each other, (inevitably) creating a portal to a dimension of pure chaos?

    No, because if those kinds of collisions were to cause problems, the earth would have been long dead given they happen in our atmosphere all the time… The only difference is now we can measure it.

  36. #37 natural cynic
    September 10, 2008

    For better or worse, the negative reactions to the video demonstrate the values of a large segment of the left side of the political spectrum. There is a question whether what is presented is fair or accurate. The reaction to many of the images and the use of the background music is negative because we use our heads and try to live in the rational world, not with gut feelings and limbic reactiveness. To many, it seems to be over the top. The video does not look for complexity or rational argument – it is much more visceral. And therefore anathema to many who still strongly oppose McCain.

    Will this kind of ad work? Virtually all McCain supporters will whine and react adversely. Big deal, that’s expected. But will it have the desired affect on the fence-sitters?

  37. #38 Dave Godfrey
    September 10, 2008

    Is no one worried that as we speak, The LHC is colliding gravitons and graviolis into each other, (inevitably) creating a portal to a dimension of pure chaos?

    Actually its lead ions. We don’t know if gravitons exist, and the LHC isn’t big enough to see them anyway.

    McCain is running at 50% in the poll the last I heard. Aren’t we already in a dimension of pure chaos in that case?

  38. #39 negentropyeater
    September 10, 2008

    natural cynic #37,

    But will it have the desired affect on the fence-sitters?

    No !
    I think this vdeo is an example of what not to do to sway in the independent voters and other fence sitters, because it appears partial.

    An efficient video would only include McCain talking, nobody else.

    When will these amateurs in communication learn ?

    JUST LET McCAIN TALK ! That will do the job marvelously.

  39. #40 Robert Byers
    September 10, 2008

    I am a Evangelical conservative canadian. Yes this unwise McCain is totally in the grip of the neo-conservative Jewish agenda to use american soldiers, wealth, prestige to get Israels will and whim. Just like Bush.
    The whole interest of the establishment in america is from a passion in the establishment for Israel. Jewish influence in the establishment and groups galore pushes the rest toward this passion for this obscure place of six million people.
    Neither Iraq or Iran is about American morality, interests, or basic attention -worthyness.
    Israel is the bad guy and those who secretly or openly place Israel’s cause as the important agenda for America are the bad guys friends.
    This hugh great world of billions is not affected by the very small circles of trouble in third world countries like Israel, Iraq, Syria or even bigger Iran.
    It is all from the over represented and unpatriotic and unjust influence of ethnic Jews with foreign identity in their hearts if not passports in high but small circles in the american establishment.
    Pat Buchanan penned the most important analysis of motivations for the iraq war called “Whose war”. America didn’t listen to him then but should now about Iran. truly before its too late.
    Can the Admirals kid or the Kenyan really deal with the American establishments passion for Israel and apathy for America?
    For the record if dropping nukes on Iran watch out for downwind.

  40. #41 Blake Stacey
    September 10, 2008

    It’s been mentioned here, so I should note that as of 10:23 Geneva time, the LHC has achieved first beam.

  41. #42 negentropyeater
    September 10, 2008

    If you want to see a really powerful video about McCain and his multiple positions on the war :

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8ieHwOm4ljA

    (a 9 minute video of just McCain talking about the war)

    Just let McCain talk ! That will convince all the fence sitters not to vote for him.

  42. #43 Emmet Caulfield
    September 10, 2008

    Why do people vote Republican?

    Not sure about the accuracy of it, of course, but it gave me a laugh.

  43. #44 Trish
    September 10, 2008

    @ Perturbed Reader #13: No, not everyone here is a scientist or a kook. Some of us simply enjoy the company of people who make sense. You can be sure that your elitism has not gone unnoticed.

    I don’t particularly care for the use of fear tactics in politics, and this video is alarming. But I will have to agree with #30 that the time has come to shake the general public out of a disassociated delirium.

  44. #45 Clemens
    September 10, 2008

    You guys should have got the Poe-hint on the LHC post: Graviolis. This, I presume, would then be the FSM’s god particle.

  45. #46 negentropyeater
    September 10, 2008

    Emmet,

    want to see a quasi perfect correlation ?

    go to :

    http://religions.pewforum.org/maps

    choose tab “beliefs and practices”, then “interpretation of scripture”

    National average of those who believe that the bible is the word of God, litteraly true word for word : 33%

    All states >= 35% are now on McCain’s safe or likely list
    All states <= 28% are now on Obama’s safe or likely list
    All states in between are the battleground states.

  46. #47 negentropyeater
    September 10, 2008

    sorry screwed up

    All states sup.or equal to 35% are now on McCain’s safe or likely list
    All states inf.or equal to 28% are now on Obama’s safe or likely list
    All states in between are the battleground states

  47. #48 JasonTD
    September 10, 2008

    Typing this will make me run a bit late, but I just couldn’t wait until there were 200+ comments later this afternoon.

    As natural cynic pointed out in #37, this video and its responses here don’t show much rational debate. All this will do is show people that you are reacting with your emotions and ideology rather than actual analysis.

    John @ #21,

    The attack in Lebanon may or may not be ‘terrorism’ by your definition. That, I suppose, is debatable. But we weren’t in an armed conflict, nor did we have troops ‘taking sides’ in any armed conflict, with any nation or group represented by Al Qaeda on Sept. 11, so calling any of those attacks less than terrorism is silly.

  48. #49 foxfire
    September 10, 2008

    PZ, just a comment

    I’m writing without even looking at what you posted because I want to bitch about the fact that our species will NOT survive unless we use our reason (however it evolved). I’m sick and tired of the political crap and that’s what we get when we are too fucking lazy to read a couple of history books about the thought process that brought us our constitution. Much less take the time and effort to vote when you have to decide between the best of “none”

    Denigrating one another because of fear keeps us in the Paleolithic mindset from which we evolved.

    To those who are thinking about NOT voting. Thinking you have no alternative and you won’t therefore vote is a cop out. It’s your responsibility. Use it or lose it (notice the write-in potential)

  49. #50 amk
    September 10, 2008

    @Emmet: Well, it made me laugh. One of the alleged problems though with IQ tests is that they are culturally biased.

  50. #51 Shane Killian
    September 10, 2008

    And then, what? Vote for Obama, who went along with all of this, consistently voting in lockstep with what the Bush administration wanted? INCLUDING the 2006 Military Commissions Act and the suspension of habeas corpus? That alone is enough to lose my vote!

    It’s Bob Barr for me. Enough is enough!

  51. #52 pfft
    September 10, 2008

    Is Ralph Nadir still running?

  52. #53 Trish
    September 10, 2008

    Rational debates are surely preferable. But how do we debate with the irrational?

    We need to define the stark reality of the situation. This video may not be nice, but who says we have to be nice about it?

    Personally I’m done being nice. If that’s an emotional response so be it.

  53. #54 negentropyeater
    September 10, 2008
  54. #55 negentropyeater
    September 10, 2008

    It’s Bob Barr for me. Enough is enough!

    And vive McCain !

    If all people who consider that Obama is not good enough to become President, but still better than McCain, end up voting for Barr or any other 3rd party candidate or not voting, McCain will be the next President, and not Barr.

  55. #56 Tolga K.
    September 10, 2008

    This needs to be posted without the music. If we showed this to die-hard Republicans in its current form, they’ll dismiss it as propaganda.

  56. #57 Y. Lin
    September 10, 2008

    Sorry, I keep posting off topic comments, but if you haven’t seen this yet, I think you’ll find it amusing:

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/30336855@N02/2843905157/

  57. #58 Mike Haubrich, FCD
    September 10, 2008

    Oh, How CUTE! Protest voters for Bob Barr and Ralph “Nadir!” Oh, Momma, aren’t they just so precious! Gonna save America from the evil two-party system. I just want to give them a hug.

    I don’t care what the independents do. We are going to have a two-party system until big money is taken out of the election. And when is that gonna happen? NEVER. Face it. I don’t think that Barack Obama is the cat’s pajamas, but a Deomcratic president scares me less than a Republican one. So vote for Barr and Nader and be all smug about it. It reminds me of those baseball purists in 1987 crying about the World Series because the Detrot Tigers weren’t in it. Guess what? The Twins won it anyway, without an asterisk. Either McCain or Obama is going to win the election, and the Barr-Nader story will be about a small percentage of idealists who voted their conscience.

    In the meantime the Supreme Court is going to be appointed either by a former editor of the Harvard Law Review, or a guy who ranked 895th in his class and is running with a woman who thinks that The Founding Fathers wrote the pledge of allegiance with “under God.”

    I don’t like those ads. Displaying horrific pictures of mutilated children is unethical. Does anyone really know if any of those pictures are from the Iraq war? We’re all scientists here (well, besides the obvious kooks) and we shouldn’t be suckered by unreferenced images or partial truths. They could be taken completely out of context and now some child’s tragedy is another’s political stunt…….sickening.

    Spare me your crocodile tears. The reason that people are allowing this war to continue is because we never see these pictures; all we hear about the war is that the Surge is working.

  58. #59 Mike Haubrich, FCD
    September 10, 2008

    sorry about screwing up closing the blockquote tag.

  59. #60 Ian
    September 10, 2008

    “The surge has worked, troops are coming home around 8,000 this year, and more next year as progress rolls along…”

    And sending the same number right back into Afghanistan.

    That’s a return on success? No, it isn’t.

  60. #61 sailor
    September 10, 2008

    Unfortunately, I think McCain is quite likely to win. Why? “Liptick on a pig”. He manages to take a remark made by Obama and make the campaign about whether Obama called Palin a pig the issue of the day. The superpower is crumbling, health care is shot, the US in a recession and all the press can talk about is lipstick on a pig. I have to say those republicans are brilliant strategists. Keep distracting the public about inanities, and the will forget the issues. And guess what? It is working.

  61. #62 John C. Welch
    September 10, 2008

    No, 8,000 troops aren’t coming home. 8,000 troops are leaving Iraq, because we need more troops in Afghanistan. Sending about 4,000 there, with more to come. They only come home if they stay home.

  62. #63 MissPrism
    September 10, 2008

    Kel #34 – Alarmist? Well, it certainly alarms me that within a few months this foul-tempered warmonger might be in a position where he’s capable of destroying the world if his piles are playing up, or that he might die and put that ignorant loon Palin in charge.

  63. #64 The Chemist
    September 10, 2008

    “I don’t like those ads. Displaying horrific pictures of mutilated children is unethical.”

    Unethical? UNETHICAL? Why? Is it because it grates on your pathetic conscience.

    In the context of the American people deciding the course of this war it is not only ethical, it is NECESSARY.

    It is NECESSARY that Americans understand the nature of their actions, and the effects they will have.

    It is NECESSARY that Americans see what the Iraqis see firsthand.

    It is NECESSARY that if we decide to continue this war, we face the consequences head on. There can be no democracy without collective accountability.

    To answer your incredulous question, yes those pictures are from Iraq, you see them every day if you read anything other than American mainstream media. They don’t want anything unappetizgin next to the Pringles ad.

    Denial. Go figure, the moment someone decides to show you something like you’re not a child, you go and act like one.

  64. #65 Joel
    September 10, 2008

    The only thing missing in this video is the Democrats voting for war.

  65. #66 negentropyeater
    September 10, 2008

    And the trend for 3rd party candidates doesn’t look very good :

    Sum of all votes for another candidate than the GOP or the dems :

    1996 election : 10.0% (Highest : billionaire Perrot 8.4%)
    2000 election : 3.8% (Highest : Nader 2.7%)
    2004 election : 1.0% (Highest : Nader 0.38%)

    For 2008, right now it looks like alltogether they can do 4 to 5 % according to the polls, but as with all previous elections, the actual result was much lower than poll results at the end of the conventions.

    So, let’s see if they can beat the 3.8% of the 2000 election. Anyway, there’s no billionaire running is there ?

  66. #67 Nick Gotts
    September 10, 2008

    Excellent video for the most part, though weird to see Buchanan in there – my immediate inclination is to say that anyone Buchanan hates can’t be all bad. Still, Obama’s campaign should be shouting the message of this video, and the desperately serious nature of the financial crisis, from the rooftops. Surely, also, time to break out the old anti-Goldwater slogan: “in your guts, you know he’s nuts!” or an update. I think what some people are missing in saying ads like this would look too partial, wouldn’t appeal to independents etc., is that the first aim in politics is to mobilise your own supporters.

    Interesting to see Robert Byers@40 reveal the depths of his anti-semitism. Mr. Byers: many Jews are not Zionists, many who are, do not support current Israeli government and US neocon policies; and many Zionists, including many of the most hardline US Zionists, are not Jews. The US-Israel alliance is strategically vital to the elites in both countries.

  67. #68 Nick Gotts
    September 10, 2008

    Part of the reason for the IBC/Lancet difference in Iraqi death estimates is that IBC is only trying to count those shot, bombed or otherwise directly killed in the war. The Lancet studies try to estimate total excess deaths. Most of those who have died as a result of the invasion have done so because of the breakdown of medical, social, sanitary, electricity and other systems.

  68. #69 Rev. BigDumbChimp, KoT
    September 10, 2008

    And then, what? Vote for Obama, who went along with all of this, consistently voting in lockstep with what the Bush administration wanted? INCLUDING the 2006 Military Commissions Act and the suspension of habeas corpus? That alone is enough to lose my vote!

    It’s Bob Barr for me. Enough is enough!

    Wait

    What?

    Am I missing something here?

  69. #70 negentropyeater
    September 10, 2008

    Am I missing something here?

    Nice catch Rev !

    A Barr suporter who propagates lies about Obama.
    Why am I not surprised ?

  70. #71 Nick Gotts
    September 10, 2008

    raven@15,

    You’re right about the US’s overextension and the seriousness of the financial crisis (for anyone who doubts the latter, would Bush have nationalised two of the biggest banks – if he’d had any feasible alternative way to prevent a full-scale crash?). However, the US has faced such overextension and apparent decline as a superpower before, in the 1970s, and recovered. Invading Iraq was risky with the war in Afghanistan unfinished, but was far from a “cowboy adventure”: it was and is aimed at effective US control first of Iraq, then of mid-East oil supplies, and may yet succeed. While many people are still dying in the Iraqi war, there’s no doubt the US and its puppets currently have the upper hand (unlike in Afghanistan). Even if there had been no wars in Iraq or Afghanistan, I can’t see the US having being able to prevent the Russian counter-attack against Georgia, unless possibly Georgia had already been in NATO – which would have been incredibly risky.

  71. #72 Lilly de Lure
    September 10, 2008

    Sailor said:

    I have to say those republicans are brilliant strategists. Keep distracting the public about inanities, and the will forget the issues. And guess what? It is working.

    Sort of like “Bread and Circuses” isn’t it – except with a more frenetic circus in the hope that the punters don’t notice that the bread’s running out.

    However, given how close the polls are in the immediate aftermath of the RNC I don’t think it’s fair to say that “it’s working” just yet – although the dems really need to go back on to the offensive if they’re going to win this.

  72. #73 Snitzels
    September 10, 2008

    That man is flat-out terrifying. I wish the popular vote counted for something more in this country than simply making people feel like they are participating. Let’s just hope the electoral college votes against McCain, since they’re the ones that make the decisions anyway. *sigh*

  73. #74 Ryan Cunningham
    September 10, 2008

    The surge has worked, troops are coming home around 8,000 this year, and more next year as progress rolls along…

    Apparently you haven’t been paying attention. That’s a scaled back number. They’re being redeployed to Afghanistan. No more withdraws will happen in the Bush presidency. There are currently 146,000 troops there. The surge added around 30,000 soldiers. We haven’t even started to decrease our presence in that country.

    So when do we bring them home? When do we tell those young men and women they’ve done their job and they can come home to their families? What’s their mission? Why are they there? If you can’t answer those questions (our president has stopped trying,) we shouldn’t be asking these soldiers to fight and sacrifice.

    Bring our soldiers home. Political hacks have failed, mistreated, and abandoned them long enough.

  74. #75 Rob
    September 10, 2008

    There’s no way any nation would ever think of using a nuclear weapon these days because that would mean that almost instantaenously would bring about their swift demise

    You make one very large assumption. That the leaders necessarily care about the country being destroyed. Any theocratic wackaloon that thinks they’re doing god’s work won’t think twice about it if they have a delivery mechanism. That’s why Iran is scary. That’s why Palin is scary.

  75. #76 Julian
    September 10, 2008

    I call shenanigans on that Why People Vote Republican article.

  76. #77 negentropyeater
    September 10, 2008

    Sailor,

    I think McCain is quite likely to win.

    So is Obama.

    I have to say those republicans are brilliant strategists. Keep distracting the public about inanities, and the will forget the issues.

    Sure, it will have worked for a week. They’re not brilliant strategists, they just know that they can count on a stable base who’ll now vote for their ticket just because Palin is a small town working mum, Evangelical Christian, and pro-life.

    And guess what? It is working.

    I’ll wait a few more days to get an idea of whether it’s working to convince a sufficient % of independent voters, if I were you.
    That there’s a bump in the polls is very expectable, just points to the methodological problem of polling when people have been focussed for a whole week on a convention.
    When people get called on the phone, some people will just say McCain/Palin because it’s the last thing they heard about.
    Politicians (who need to sell their useless megaconventions to the public) and pollsters (who need to sell their polls) know that but prefer to leave so many idiotic press commentators talking about swings in the polls thinking those are trends.

  77. #78 Joel
    September 10, 2008

    So when do we bring them home?

    How about when we’ve fixed what we’ve broken?

  78. #79 Rick Schauer
    September 10, 2008

    I call it exploitation of natural resources via human sacrifice all in the name of gawd! (!–insert body-shaking spirit movements here-)

  79. #80 David Marjanovi?, OM
    September 10, 2008

    I’m sure most of us think that anything coming out of Pat Buchanan’s mouth smells like the south end of a bull’s digestive system. Should this be any different?

    Buchanan is a stopped clock.

    Displaying horrific pictures of mutilated children is unethical.

    No… not at all, no. Publishing what war looks like is crucial. Not displaying them would be unethical.

    When Dems criticize, they get roasted. When Republicans do it, their lies get repeated over and over.

    “Liberal media”.

    That video was pretty poor tbh

    It would be better if it were less alarmist.

    The video is great. First it lets Fearless Flightsuit speak for himself, and then it lets McSame speak for… for himself, for Fearless Flightsuit, where’s the difference.

    “Less alarmist”? How harmless exactly do you think McPain will be?!?

    Is no one worried that as we speak, The LHC is colliding [...] [protons] into each other, (inevitably) creating a portal to a dimension of pure chaos?

    You keep using the word “dimension”. It does not mean what you think it means.

    We are going to have a two-party system until big money is taken out of the election.

    No, you’re going to have a two-party system until you amend the Constitution to introduce separation of president and government.

    The only thing missing in this video is the Democrats voting for war.

    Or Obama voting against it.

    This is an election for a person, not for a party.

  80. #81 David Marjanovi?, OM
    September 10, 2008

    So when do we bring them home?

    How about when we’ve fixed what we’ve broken?

    The Reptiles are not even trying, and the Iraqis themselves are beyond trusting any American for the next generation or two anyway. Get out now, get the UN in instead, and pay for it. I’m serious.

  81. #82 Nick Gotts
    September 10, 2008

    Get out now, get the UN in instead, and pay for it. I’m serious. – David Marjanovi?, OM

    That would be the morally right thing to do, certainly. Whether it is the course of action that best serves to preserve and enhance the power and wealth of those making the decision, is another matter.

  82. #83 raven
    September 10, 2008

    Is no one worried that as we speak, The LHC is colliding gravitons and graviolis into each other, (inevitably) creating a portal to a dimension of pure chaos?

    Why? We wouldn’t notice any difference. If anything has something to worry about, it’s the dimension of pure chaos.

  83. #84 David
    September 10, 2008

    What about Obama the fool?
    In 2004 at the height of the war and lies Obama said:
    “I’m not privy to Senate intelligence reports. What would I have done? I don’t know,” in terms of how you would have voted on the war. And then this: “There’s not much of a difference between my position on Iraq and George Bush’s position at this stage.”

    SEN. OBAMA: Now, Tim, that first quote was made with an interview with a guy named Tim Russert on MEET THE PRESS during the convention when we had a nominee for the presidency and a vice president, both of whom had voted for the war. And so it, it probably was the wrong time for me to be making a strong case against our party’s nominees’ decisions when it came to Iraq.

    I’m sorry, but did he just say the only reason he refused to stand by his principles (opposing the war) was because his party’s nominees had voted for the war resolution???? This is not the bold change we have been waiting for

  84. #85 negentropyeater
    September 10, 2008

    Joel,

    The only thing missing in this video is the Democrats voting for war.

    So did an immense majority of Americans who supported the authorization for this war, and never paid any attention to the vehement opposition of a certain state senator from Illinois, or the arguments that the french de Villepin was putting forward in the UN.
    BTW all these arguments became reality : de Villepin and Chirac (who knew far more about Iraq for historical reasons than all of America’s intelligence community) explained that there weren’t any WMDs and that you’d easily win the invasion but would completely destabilize Iraq and the region and would pay a dear cost to solve that problem. Your failure was not a military one, but a conceptual one.
    That’s what French politicians predicted, but most Americans concluded that the French were anti-american, were only thinking of their own interests and that we were assholes because we didn’t want to help those who had liberated us from tirany.

    You know, I’m French and have many American friends and lived a long time in the USA. But that period, which I remember very well, was very difficult for me personally. Hearing so many insults from so many of your compatriots was unbearable.

    Obama OPPOSED the authorisation for this war. The only one on any of these two tickets. And that matters a lot, he can say that he will only wage war in a last resort, I can trust him more on this, than the other 3 politicians.

    And if the president refuses to wage a war, his administration and his party will follow.

    At least, he wouldn’t have forced the CIA to fabricate evidence for WMDs.

    You defintely can’t say this of McCain.

  85. #86 Naked Bunny with a Whip
    September 10, 2008

    How about when we’ve fixed what we’ve broken?

    The Iraqis have said repeatedly they don’t want our “help” any more, thank you very much. Or doesn’t that matter?

  86. #87 Badjuggler
    September 10, 2008

    “Does anyone not completely tune out political commercials (or immediately change the channel)?”

    I haven’t watched a commercial of any kind in five years. The DVR is the greatest invention in the history of mankind. That sliced bread thing is probably second…

  87. #88 negentropyeater
    September 10, 2008

    David #84,

    “There’s not much of a difference between my position on Iraq and George Bush’s position at this stage.”

    Thin a little bit more : tell me, at this stage, that is in 2004, after the invasion had already been completed, and at the highest of the insurgency, would you have recommended to pull out ?

  88. #89 negentropyeater
    September 10, 2008

    David #84,

    why is it so difficult for you to understand, that one can be vehemently opposed to the USA starting a war, but that once it has started and the USA has already invaded a country, one can’t simply demand that one pulls out and leave that country in a total chaos ?

    Really that difficult ?

  89. #90 raven
    September 10, 2008

    However, the US has faced such overextension and apparent decline as a superpower before, in the 1970s, and recovered.

    Yes, but sometimes it really is different this time.

    I said exactly that up until 6 months ago. “We have been down before, but the USA is full of resilient and clever people and we have always bounced back.”

    I’m not seeing that resilience and cleverness anymore. We make stupid mistakes and don’t learn from even recent history such as the USSR collapse, Vietnam, or the previous oil crisises. Our scientific establishment is gradually slipping away and our economic power is slipping away faster. We scour the land for morons and then elect them leaders.

    This blog format isn’t enough space to reason out something complicated. But the basic principles are well known.
    1. Every civilization has crashed sooner or later. The probability is 100% that sooner or later the US civiliation will.

    2. Toynbee pointed out that 19 of 22 civilizations rotted from within.

    Wait and see but the FSM helps those who help themselves and she didn’t mean by shooting the other foot too.

    PS The Georgia conflict was started by about 40,000 South Ossetians, whoever the hell they are. IMO, we shouldn’t let a few SO’s drag the world into WWIII. But we didn’t even have the option of responding to the Russians. We are overextended and defenseless right now.

  90. #91 Brad
    September 10, 2008

    The video is annoying. I don’t like McCain, but I think that the end result of playing this on tv would be backlash in his favor.

  91. #92 Alan Chapman
    September 10, 2008

    “The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed – and hence clamorous to be led to safety – by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.” – H. L. Mencken

  92. #93 Michael
    September 10, 2008

    I’m not sure it matters what Obama does. After all we elected Bush twice. Can you honestly say McCain is worse. Until the economy crashes or we get an informed electorate I don’t think things are going to change much.

    In 2000, it wasn’t that Bush stole the election – why was it even close to begin with. Do Americans need to have their heads banged several times by a 2X4 to knock sense in to them. I’m at a loss to understand my fellow citizens. Sorry to be so optimistic.

  93. #94 Nick Gotts
    September 10, 2008

    raven@90,
    I wouldn’t take Toynbee too seriously – he had an essentialist view of civilisations as organisms that are born, mature and die; they are no such thing. His identification of individual “civilisations” is largely arbitrary.

    You’re right that the fact the US recovered from the ’70s doesn’t mean it will recover now, but in some ways it’s in a stronger position: its military predominance is much greater, and the prosperity of its potential rivals much more bound up with its own (e.g. China could sell lots of Us dollars, but in doing so would risk destroying its own economy).

    PS While there had been preceding clashes, there’s no doubt that the 2008 war between Georgia and Russia was started by Saakashvili’s foolish attempt to take Tshkinvali, which had been under South Ossetian/Russian control since 1992. Both Russia and the US reacted opportunistically – Russia to seize chunks of Georgia, the US to tighten links with eastern Europe and specifically, get its anti-missile system into Poland.

  94. #95 Kelly
    September 10, 2008

    I like the video. Too many Americans that I know are clueless about the real costs of war and don’t think about impact on innocent people. They have bought into the “oh well they are price we pay.” (I cannot for the life of me think of the term I want at the moment :/) These are generally people who also buy into the fallacy that torture is ok even if it means torturing innocents “if it saves 100s of lives.” Argh critical thinking skills in the country truly suck!
    BTW, I tried to copy/paste the url shown at the end to go directly to the YouTube page and it RickRolled me :/ I wanted to share just the video via my facebook.

  95. #96 silkworm
    September 10, 2008

    This video seems to have attracted a record number of concern trolls. It has hit a raw nerve. It is definitely the one to go with. Good work, PZ!

  96. #97 SC
    September 10, 2008

    Nick Gotts,

    Did you see my link to my post on the Molly thread yesterday?

    Anyway, glad to see you around more.

  97. #98 Nick Gotts
    September 10, 2008

    Hi SC,

    Yes – thank you so much, you’re too kind! I haven’t been around so much recently (away on holiday one week, at a conference with limited net access last week), and may be too busy to comment as much as I’d like in future as I (hope to) have a new 3-year project starting soon at work, but I’m not planning to vanish from the blog altogether.

  98. #99 Joel
    September 10, 2008

    Get out now, get the UN in instead, and pay for it. I’m serious.

    Would the UN do it? Would the Iraqis would happier with the U.N. rather than the U.S.? I don’t know.

  99. #100 Warren
    September 10, 2008

    I hate it when I agree with Pat Buchanan.

  100. #101 jimvj
    September 10, 2008

    #3:
    McCain’s opposition to Reagan’s Lebanese fiasco came after the Marines had been there a full year. When they first entered Lebanon – to support the minority Christians against the PLO – they were greeted with great fanfare. At that time McCain was silent. It was only after months of bad news from Lebanon that McCain changed his tune.

    Another reason McCain voted the way he did then, is that he opposes the War Powers Act. Like W – he thinks it illegitimately interferes with presidential authority to wage war. (See http://middleeast.about.com/od/usmideastpolicy/a/me080819a.htm).

    The last thing America (and the world) needs is another hot-headed, ill-informed loose cannon in the White House. Like W, McCain cannot get his facts straight about Sunni and Shia, let alone nuances about other cultures.

    So, as usual, if you dig deeper into anything McCain says, you find that he lies to cover his flip flops and bad judgement.

    PS: During the military engagements in Bosnia under President Clinton, McCain wanted to send in ground troops, which might have caused Lebanon (or even Iraq) like casualties for NATO troops. Fortunately, Clinton ignored him and completed the Balkan fighting with ZERO American military casualties.

  101. #102 The Chemist
    September 10, 2008

    #89,

    …one can’t simply demand that one pulls out and leave that country in a total chaos ?

    Ah, because it’s been going so swimmingly with us staying there.

    How bout this, we leave it up to the Iraqis? They don’t want us there. It’s there country, we have no right to impose our version of order on them. We started it, and I’m in no way confident we will finish it for the Iraqis before they finish it themselves.

  102. #103 raven
    September 10, 2008

    You’re right that the fact the US recovered from the ’70s doesn’t mean it will recover now, but in some ways it’s in a stronger position: its military predominance is much greater,…

    Yes, we could recover from our $2 trillion Vietnam in the middle east. But will we?

    This is where we are going off the rails. Bushco wrecked the economy* and the country. Clinton left a huge surplus and now we are running huge deficits, our financial system and dollar are hurting, and heading into a recession and so on.

    We need someone to clean up the mess they made. So who is running neck and neck with the other party. McBush and Palin, a 72 year old showing signs of age related cognitive decline and a vindictive and ruthless religious kook.

    Can we really survive 4 or 8 more years of the same old failed policies? Doubtful and the Americans will be the ones who vote them in, assuming the not impossible-that the theothuglicans get elected, and then wonder why things go from bad to worse. The old rule, “when you find yourself in a hole, stop digging. McCain/Palin will just dig us a deeper hole.

    This is where Toynbee comes in, civilizations fall from within.

    *I thought my area didn’t get too hard from the subprime mess. Someone from the local animal shelter just told me that they are swamped and running out of money and space. Many people have lost their houses and have had to take their dogs and cats to the shelter because they are no longer able to house them. That is pathetic desperation.

  103. #104 sailor
    September 10, 2008

    “Sailor,
    I think McCain is quite likely to win.
    So is Obama.”
    Agreed, but that is what hurts. With the US in the state it is today due to 8 years of misrule by right wing republicans, Obama should be far and away ahead. He would be in any European country.

  104. #105 DavidONE
    September 10, 2008

    The Iraqi civilian deaths due to the war are grossly under-estimated in this movie – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Casualties_of_the_conflict_in_Iraq_since_2003

    Also, USA casualties are under-reported as they only include the people killed in combat. If they die of their wounds after being shipped out, they don’t count.

    And there’s no mention of the massive suffering through injury, maiming and mental damage done as a result of the war.

    It’s all sickening.

    McCain / Palin ’08
    10% Maverick, 90% Bush, 100% Lies

  105. #106 Nova
    September 10, 2008

    tinyfrog:

    Just think about the fact that Iraq has 27 million people. Iran? 65 million.

    Iran is also far richer and more technologically advanced.

  106. #107 dubiquiabs
    September 10, 2008

    @ Perturbed reader #13
    Having survived being bombed, I can assure you that the pictures you find offensive do not begin to convey the horrors of crushed bodies; torn and bizzarely contorted limbs; pierced organs; flayed and burned skin; charred and still steaming corpses, that used to be your relatives and neighbors.

    I have no respect for someone who pushes those buttons miles above utterly innocent people, nor do I have any respect for anyone who averts his face from the consequences of the actions he advocates – or tolerates.

  107. #108 Scott from Oregon
    September 10, 2008

    “You’re right that the fact the US recovered from the ’70s doesn’t mean it will recover now, but in some ways it’s in a stronger position: its military predominance is much greater, and the prosperity of its potential rivals much more bound up with its own (e.g. China could sell lots of Us dollars, but in doing so would risk destroying its own economy).”

    Ummm, no. The US is in a far weaker position because it has handed over its manufacturing supremacy to Asian nations. America no longer produces wealth, it has simply been “declaring it” much in the same way Japan did during its economic bubble in the 80’s (although Japan kept its manufacturing supremacy so it could work its way out)…

    The moment China decides to end the goods-for-dollars relationship, the US will be seen to be the naked giant it is. Right now, China is still happy to sell us its consumer junk while our government continues to tell the populace that all is going swimmingly as Americans pray there is still more room at the top end of their credit cards…

    As more ARMS get walked away from, the US taxpayer will take more huge hits thanks to the new bailouts and the US government will be forced to print its way out of the deep hole it spent its way into.

    Can you spell hyper-inflation?

    I never liked the idea of America being the “lone Superpower” anyways. This kind of hubris was born out of war in the 40’s and it hasn’t done the good people claim. It killed a couple of million of Vietnamese peasants, for example, to what end?

    McCain has a scary angle on overseas adventurism, and should be ridiculed and opposed all day and all night.

    However, the Dems have the same basic attitude toward the rest of the world– the idea that the US needs to be a police force and we need to spend 20% of our nations wealth each year maintaining our presence in 130 countries, using up the world’s oil supplies cruising our big Navy around and flying our jets back and forth…

    It’s time to pack it in folks.

  108. #109 negentropyeater
    September 10, 2008

    BTW the latest polls with data collected Monday onwards, where the RNC is not anymore dominating news coverage already seem to indicate that McCain’s convention bounce is starting to fade.

    eg :
    http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/politics/election_20082/2008_presidential_election/general_election_match_up_history

    I even wonder why pollsters continue to poll during the conventions, and why so many people analyse them (and even CONCLUDE that the McPalin strategy is working, that they are in the lead, or Obama won’t win, or god knows what).

    Only now is it going to start becoming interesting to analyse polls again…

    We’ll see if I’m wrong but I expect Obama to be back with a slight lead for the rest of the week.
    And on a state per state basis, still with a healthy electoral vote lead over McCain.

    Sure OHIO & FLORIDA will continue to be the two key battleground states, but if Obama continues to hold in all Kerry states + Iowa + Colorado (as he seems to be doing now), he’ll have enough to win the election.

  109. #110 Scott from Oregon
    September 10, 2008

    “Agreed, but that is what hurts. With the US in the state it is today due to 8 years of misrule by right wing republicans, Obama should be far and away ahead. He would be in any European country.”

    I am surprised there hasn’t been a third party ascendancy after the collusion of BOTH PARTIES to OVERSPEND and simply create MORE GOVERNMENT.

    Looking at who owns the media and their connections to military profiteering, and watching the two parties collude to muscle out all third party candidates from debates and such, I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised.

    OK. So I am not surprised just pissed off.

    Yeah. I’m gonna run to my window now.

  110. #111 negentropyeater
    September 10, 2008

    Sorry, forgot to add New Mexico !

    Kerry states + Iowa + Colorado + New Mexico = 272
    (even if Ohio and Florida both stick with McCain)

    Obama can win that election !

  111. #112 negentropyeater
    September 10, 2008

    SfO,

    However, the Dems have the same basic attitude toward the rest of the world– the idea that the US needs to be a police force and we need to spend 20% of our nations wealth each year maintaining our presence in 130 countries, using up the world’s oil supplies cruising our big Navy around and flying our jets back and forth…

    It’s time to pack it in folks.

    I basically agree with you that this has been the attitude of the dems, but I think this WILL CHANGE under Obama’s presidency.
    Not because of the dems, but because Obama won’t have any alternative.

    McCain won’t do anything. He’ll let the budget deficit continue to increase and the economy of the country go further down the drain.

  112. #113 Steve_C
    September 10, 2008

    Just remember, McCain dropped bombs as a pilot. He was doing his job of course. But he’s already accepted that bombing is ok. When he jokes around about “bomb bomb bomb Iran” to the beach boys. It just shows how easy for it is for him to take military steps rather than diplomatic ones.

    Plus he’s lying on the campaign trail and he’s getting sleazy. Willie Horton will seem quaint.

    He’s not morally prepared for the job.

  113. #114 Scott from Oregon
    September 10, 2008

    “I basically agree with you that this has been the attitude of the dems, but I think this WILL CHANGE under Obama’s presidency.
    Not because of the dems, but because Obama won’t have any alternative.”

    I could stomach an Obama presidency IF we had far more paleo-conservatives elected in house and Senate seats.

    Clinton had to deal with a Republican (pre-neocon) Congress and it reigned in some of the Dem’s tendencies to just spend money. Having to parry off Whitewater attacks and blue dress assaults also made Bill more likely to run off to Ireland and play peacekeeper and less likely to try and start more programs and grow big government here at home.

    I once saw a small plaque on a sailboat that reminds me of the federal government–

    “A sailboat is a hole in the water, surrounded by wood, into which one pours money”.

    At some point before it is too late, the Ameerican people really need to stap up and cut off the big Washington leaky boat and make it reconfigure itself into a smaller, leaner, less-likely-to-get-itself-in-trouble-overseas vessel.

    Getting rid of the income tax will do it sufficiently, allowing local government to tax accordingly and giving the local populace more control.

  114. #115 Nerd of Redhead
    September 10, 2008

    Scott, have you ever lived in a company town? One where one company employs a majority of the wage earners? Or a state with one industry in control? Did the companies pretty much control the local politics? If not, you have been lucky.

    Been there, done that, and found that companies need somebody bigger than them to make them behave.

  115. #116 Natalie
    September 10, 2008

    Agreed, but that is what hurts. With the US in the state it is today due to 8 years of misrule by right wing republicans, Obama should be far and away ahead. He would be in any European country.

    This makes me incredibly sad every time I think about it. Why are people so stupid?

    Scott:

    I am surprised there hasn’t been a third party ascendancy after the collusion of BOTH PARTIES to OVERSPEND and simply create MORE GOVERNMENT.

    Maybe because most people benefit from help provided by the government?

    Getting rid of the income tax will do it sufficiently, allowing local government to tax accordingly and giving the local populace more control.

    Historically there has been far, far more corruption, cronyism, and so on in local government than in the federal government. Putting mass amounts of power in the hands of local government is, in most places, a terrible idea.

  116. #117 negentropyeater
    September 10, 2008

    Anyway, I don’t think the war should be the issue that Obama focusses on.

    He needs to focus on digging a hole for McCain:
    McCain, what Bush economic policies will you change ?

    Everybody in America, by now, knows that Bush’s “economic revitalization programme” hasn’t worked that well. It’s a complete disaster.

    And McCain promissing tax cuts to the rich, even with a working mom pedigree, won’t get out of that hole.

  117. #118 richbank
    September 10, 2008

    I knew there was a reason i liked matt damon: http://www.breitbart.tv/html/171553.html

  118. #119 Scott from Oregon
    September 10, 2008

    “Historically there has been far, far more corruption, cronyism, and so on in local government than in the federal government”.

    Oh really? Not if you do your calculations based on level of power and damage done. Think about the corruption that is the Iraq debacle and the cost of it? Or the Vietnam debacle. Both were cronyism-induced and loaded with corruption. How much money do you think gets siphoned out of your pocket to buy military equipment as an act of cronyism?

    IN OTHER WORDS, IF YOU ADD UP THE DEGREE OF DAMAGE DONE BY THE FEW OVER OTHERS (oops, sorry, caps lock) and the amount of backroom cronyism you can’t see, you’ll find out just how much you are wrong.

    “Scott, have you ever lived in a company town? One where one company employs a majority of the wage earners? Or a state with one industry in control? Did the companies pretty much control the local politics? If not, you have been lucky”.

    Ummm, yeah, I worked in a mining town in Australia owned and operated by Comalco, but that was a little different than you are asking. The federal government SHOULD be used to oversee those who break the laws as set forth by the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. Of course.

    But you are suggesting that someone else is responsible for letting your town be politically run by the industry that maintains the town’s viability, and I am saying that the people who live in that town are responsible for the bad government they are recieving.

    You get the government you deserve applies only if you have access to the strings and levers, which you do in a small town at a local government level.

    That no longer applies to federal government.

    Here is that cantakerous crazy old uncle suggesting we all wake up to the two-party charade…

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OZ7fcbst3VE&eurl=http://www.ronpaulforpresident2008.com/news/

  119. #120 Scott from Oregon
    September 10, 2008

    “Putting mass amounts of power in the hands of local government is, in most places, a terrible idea”.

    MASS AMOUNTS? Putting mass amounts of power anywhere is a bad idea, which is what led us into Iraq to begin with.

    We still live in a Democracy of sorts. Putting the power into the hands of the people is bad in your estimation?

    Giving it all to a few at the top is better? Humans will always screw up. Better to screw up on a smaller scale than on a large one.

    The mind boggles.

  120. #121 negentropyeater
    September 10, 2008

    Getting rid of the income tax will do it sufficiently, allowing local government to tax accordingly and giving the local populace more control.

    Even without discussing the validity of this statement, do you know of any charismatic and skillful politician, with extremely deep pockets, who is in this race right now, pouring a few hundred millions into a super-efficient campaign ?

    Hint : Nope

    So, it’s not gonna happen right now. Nobody pays attention.

    So why do you keep repeating this, when it’s simply irrelevant for this election ?

    Wishful thinking maybe ? (if you repeat it often enough maybe this politician will come out of the blue, a last minute savior of the nation)

  121. #122 Nerd of Redhead
    September 10, 2008

    I think Scott is a True Believer(TM) for his cause. Like a Creobot, no amount of argument of the facts will change his opionion. He avoids answering the hard questions, and will ignore all refutations. He is just going to continue to spread his irrational belief here either until he realizes we see beyond him, or PZ gets tired of him and bans him.
    Personally, some disemvoweling is in order.

  122. #123 Geral
    September 10, 2008

    “My concern is that we will use nuclear weopons to break the backbone of Iranian resistance, and it may not work. But what it will do is this: It will unleash the nuclear genie.
    And if we use nuclear weapons, the genie ain’t going back into the bottle, until an American city is taken out by an Islamic weapon in retaliation!

    So tell me: You want to go to war with Iran? Pick your city! Pick your city! Tell me which one you want gone! Seattle, LA, Boston, New York, Miami… Pick one! ‘Cause at least one’s going! And that’s something we should all think about before we march down this path of INSANITY!”

    Geez. Strong, strong words but Scott Ritter is right. I might not a friend of the Muslims but I don’t want to live in a country that has just nuked one of their cities. The people in the Middle East hold grudges for a long, long time and something like a nuclear blast won’t go unpunished – whether it’s that day, the next year, or in the next century.

  123. #124 Natalie
    September 10, 2008

    We still live in a Democracy of sorts. Putting the power into the hands of the people is bad in your estimation?

    You fucking moron, the power is already in the hands of the people. The people can still vote, the people can still protest, the people can still argue passionately without being sent to jail. Despite what you seem to think, this is not a dictatorship. Even the abuses of power by the Bush administration have not killed democracy.

    Giving it all to a few at the top is better? Humans will always screw up. Better to screw up on a smaller scale than on a large one.

    Why? Because fewer people are affected? What if that affect is a greater violation of their human rights? And, as others have mentioned, what about when some large non-government organization (church or corporation) starts screwing up as you say they will inevitably do. How will local government take care of that?

    IN OTHER WORDS, IF YOU ADD UP THE DEGREE OF DAMAGE DONE BY THE FEW OVER OTHERS (oops, sorry, caps lock) and the amount of backroom cronyism you can’t see, you’ll find out just how much you are wrong.

    Ah, you’re somehow able to see the secret backroom cronyism. Let us in on your source, Scott!

    In seriousness, there’s no reason that the damage of a large organization is going to be inherently worse than the damage of a small organization. The Atlantic slave trade was a whole lot of little tiny companies and yet they managed to do an incredible amount of damage to a large number of people.

    I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, you need to stop focusing solely on the past 30 years. I don’t know how old you are so I’m not sure if you myopic viewpoint is a product of not having any personal experience with another era, but history is much wider and deeper than the recent past.

    The mind boggles.

    Do you repeat this because you think it makes you seem smart, or are you just trying to be annoying? Why not make your fucking point without being a smarmy condescending ass about it?

  124. #125 Scott from Oregon
    September 10, 2008

    “So, it’s not gonna happen right now. Nobody pays attention.

    So why do you keep repeating this, when it’s simply irrelevant for this election ?”

    Because as the nation starts to slide sideways toward a lesser nation, people will remember those who warned them, and perhaps they’ll start to understand what it was they heard and vote accordingly in the future.

    Maybe a war with Iran will wake them up? Who knows?

    When was the last time a country like Belgium or Sweden or Kenya ran around trying to make the world safe for democracy? (Or claimed to be doing so?)

    If you are anti-war, you should want to remove the ability of the ruling elite in the US to make war…

    And vote out those who so easily are led to war from both parties.

    And take away their financial ability to wage war and constrict their use of their toys by reducing their tax intake…

  125. #126 Natalie
    September 10, 2008

    OK, no more posting with low blood sugar for me: “affect” should be “effect”, “worse than the damage of a small organization” should be worse than the damage of several small organizations, and “you myopic viewpoint” should be “your myopic viewpoint”. Yargh.

    Nerd of Redhead, I think you’re right about the true believer bit. #125 certainly suggests a martyr complex of some sort.

  126. #127 Scott from Oregon
    September 10, 2008

    “You fucking moron, the power is already in the hands of the people. The people can still vote, the people can still protest, the people can still argue passionately without being sent to jail. Despite what you seem to think, this is not a dictatorship”.

    Gotta love the great intellectual proclamations initiated by “you fucking moron”…

    The “power” is never in the hands of “the people” when it is too far from home to have any influence over. If the government rushes off to fight wars and the people object…

    If the government lies to promote wars that the people would object to if told the truth…

    If the lies go unpunished by the government that is the only entity powerful enough to mete out the punishment…

    “I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, you need to stop focusing solely on the past 30 years. I don’t know how old you are so I’m not sure if you myopic viewpoint is a product of not having any personal experience with another era, but history is much wider and deeper than the recent past”.

    And History is full of examples where too much power placed in one central place is essentially a recipe for MASS UGLINESS.

    Wanna do a body count?

    “Ah, you’re somehow able to see the secret backroom cronyism. Let us in on your source, Scott!”

    “By their deeds, you will know them”…

    Ask yourself why the same “advisory” positions are filled with the same people, regardless of a Dem or Repub in power? Ask yourself why there is a revolving door from advisory to corporate back to advisory positions, and if this isn’t cronyism, what is?

    The mind boggles…

  127. #128 raven
    September 10, 2008

    And if we use nuclear weapons, the genie ain’t going back into the bottle, until an American city is taken out by an Islamic weapon in retaliation!

    Yeah. The day we nuke someone because they might in the future nuke us guarantees that someday someone will, in fact, nuke us back. It would just be survival and common sense.

    If it happened, the entire rest of the world including our allies would be real nice to us overtly while getting the hell as far away from us as possible. While simultaneously developing and stockpiling nukes like mad.

    The Moslems already have nukes, Pakistan, a shaky country full of medieval tribes. And they are based on 1940s technology, with plans readily available on ebay and amazon.com. Not hard to make.

  128. #129 Scott from Oregon
    September 10, 2008

    “I think Scott is a True Believer(TM) for his cause. Like a Creobot, no amount of argument of the facts will change his opionion”.

    Haven’t seen too many “facts” tossed around. Just some name calling, some over-stated strawmen, and a profound willingness to ignore what is actually transpiring under the surface in this country.

    One cannot oppose a “true believer” without actually being a “true believer”, making your assertions hypocritical and laughably sad.

    A political position is nothing but a position, based on observed realities and internal propensities and desires.

    I desire to have a modicum of control over who I pay taxes to, what kind of services I need, and what evil military adventure I don’t want to support.

    Y’all apparently, want to be dictated to, and don’t care that the federal system, with a powerful pentagon, don’t really have to listen to you when you tell them to stop parading around the world bullying others and dropping bombs on poor brown people…

  129. #130 negentropyeater
    September 10, 2008

    SfO,

    I don’t think most people on this blog need to be warned by you about the risks of the USA sliding down towards a lesser nation (for whatever that means, I think we understand the idea), or the risks of a war with Iran.

    I think they are well aware of those risks.

    Right now, the question is, what is the less risky path ? McCain or Obama.
    Whereas I’m not certain that Obama will lead this nation on a less risky path, I’m much more certain that he will do so than McCain.

    And that’s all that matters for the next 2 months. After that, once he gets elected, we can blog all we want about how to influence the new adminstration’s policies for the longer term.

    Right now, it’s pointless.

  130. #131 Alan Chapman
    September 10, 2008

    #115 “…have you ever lived in a company town? One where one company employs a majority of the wage earners? Or a state with one industry in control? Did the companies pretty much control the local politics?”

    If you live in the U.S. then there is a high degree of probability that you live under these conditions. In virtually every jurisdiction, either the government owns and operates certain services, or has granted a franchise monopoly to a private company. The federal government is the single largest employer in the country (over 14 million directly employed, contracted, or given grants in 2006). Government at all levels employs 20% of the American workforce, and you can be certain that those people exert enormous influence over politics because the government affords them the opportunity to insulate their jobs and benefits from competition.

    BTW, the “somebody bigger than them” are called consumers, and they have the power to put a company out of business in short order.

  131. #132 Sean
    September 10, 2008

    Just an FYI: Some people are commenting on the music used in the video. Here’s a little info on it.

    I Believe the the music is called “Requiem for a Tower”. It was a mashup between “Requiem for a Dream” and “The Lord of the Rings”. It was used in the movie trailer for “The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers” and in the trailer for the movie “Sunshine”. I believe the composer is Clint Mansell.

  132. #133 Scott from Oregon
    September 10, 2008

    “”Government at all levels employs 20% of the American workforce, and you can be certain that those people exert enormous influence over politics because the government affords them the opportunity to insulate their jobs and benefits from competition.””

    EXACTLY.

    Not only that, but the jobs are non-productive for the most part. In other words, they aren’t jobs that produce wealth but jobs that can only exist IF wealth is produced.

    Accountants. Lawyers. IRS agents. Administrators. Inspectors. Law enforcement…

    None of these jobs produce wealth, or “goods”.

    They are like real estate agents, they can only exist if a market exists, they don’t build or produce anything that people buy and sell.

    And the problem with this is that too large a percentage of non-productive citizens (which is where we are currently) produce too little wealth and consume too much.

    Good, perhaps, for the golfing class but bad economically.

    The low end of the middle class will fall to poverty because of this, and we are starting to see that now.

  133. #134 Norman Doering
    September 10, 2008

    Scott from Oregon wrote:

    Ask yourself why there is a revolving door from advisory to corporate back to advisory positions, and if this isn’t cronyism, what is?

    And you ask yourself why you want to vote for a known crook:
    http://normdoering.blogspot.com/2008/09/can-mccain-be-redefined-as-crook.html

  134. #135 ennui
    September 10, 2008

    Maybe slightly OT, but

    What makes people vote Republican?

    Interesting discussion over at Edge.org

  135. #136 Nerd of Redhead
    September 10, 2008

    Scott, would you please, in on post with only one paragraph, explain why you continue to post here? I’ve asked you repeatedly, and it is time for you to address this.

  136. #137 Flonkbob
    September 10, 2008

    The simple fact is that most of the American voters are pig-ignorant (lipstick or not) and the country is shot. I love America. I’m very very happy I was born and raised here. However, I’m not blind. Can we use the popular phrase “Jumping the shark” in relation to a nation?

    This country is unlikely to survive long. And if it doesn’t it will be because it’s people chose to let it die. We need an infusion of rational thought and an escape from superstition. Neither is likely.

    I will most likely be dead before the end comes, a fact that gives me no end of solace.

  137. #138 Robbie Taylor
    September 10, 2008

    If you are so far to the right that you’re making Pat freaking Buchanan nervous, then you need to be locked away…

  138. #139 Scott from Oregon
    September 10, 2008

    “Scott, would you please, in on post with only one paragraph, explain why you continue to post here? I’ve asked you repeatedly, and it is time for you to address this.”

    And I answered it. But here ya go again–

    I have family in Iraq doing a second tour. I have friends and family going belly up because they are in California where the real estate bubble hit hardest.
    Oregon forest are sick in so many ways and we’ve had to fight Washington from a distance with no money behind us to change anything. I have a sister in chemo who is breaking federal law by using THC tinctures to help with her appetite and discomfort. I am fighting the federal beauracrats daily over money my Mum paid into the system for 35 years because she suffered a stroke a few weeks ago.

    Unlike most of y’all, I’ve actually been to many of our bases in Asia. I used to go the bases to buy Oreo cookies which I love. If you saw the amount of human resources and money taken from average working Americans and spent at these places, you might reconsider the notion of maintaining a military empire because Washington wants you to.

    In a few words, the system AFFECTS me. I want to see it changed.

    Lastly, the building industry is suffering due to the bubble-boom produced by the federal reserve and carried by the hysteria of ordinary citizens who wanted free money, which means I am living off of savings and have time to bug y’all into looking past what they show you on the boob-tube.

    Besides, I’ve been anti-religion since I could talk (according to Mum) and growing up in Jerusalem as a UN brat makes me even more anti-nutjobberdoodoohead than most, so I come to see what the anti-religionists are saying and doing.

    And I like beer too.

    Questions? Comments? Names you want to call me?

  139. #140 karen marie
    September 10, 2008

    scott from oregon apparently likes to hear himself talk and his ego will take any attention it can get. just don’t ask him not to be a putz.

  140. #141 negentropyeater
    September 10, 2008

    SfO,

    In a few words, the system AFFECTS me. I want to see it changed.

    Don’t we all, each one for his own personal reasons ?

    But “the sytem” won’t change with this comming election.
    So the question is, who of McCain or Obama will react best to the demands from citizens asking to change the system ?

    Same with risks as I mentionned in post #130.

    It’s after this election that you need to manifest yourself, that’s when the real work starts.

    Right now, blogging about “changing the system” is pointless.

  141. #142 Vidar
    September 10, 2008

    Did I hear the words “useable nukes” in that video? Did I hear intent to actually use them? ARE THEY FUCKING NUTS?
    How the hell can anyone think that deploying nukes of any kind anywhere in the world is a good idea?

  142. #143 Scott from Oregon
    September 10, 2008

    “It’s after this election that you need to manifest yourself, that’s when the real work starts”.

    That would be true if only the potus were up for grabs. The system is still a system, and there are those who are fighting for house seats, for example, who want what I want.

    There are those in both Democratic and Republican seats that should be ousted. Anyone who voted against the Bill of Rights for whatever reason should be booted, and that includes all those who supported FISA.

    Taking an oath to “uphold the Constitution” should be taken seriously.

    If we are indeed a government by a free people, then it is high time we acted like one.

  143. #144 SC
    September 10, 2008

    I see SfO’s snuck back onto another thread without answering the questions that were posed to him on several previous ones.

    http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2008/09/john_mccain_is_a_flipflopping.php#comment-1093059

    Why so coy? Is it cowardice, or do you not have an answer? ANSWER THE QUESTION, SCOTT.

  144. #145 negentropyeater
    September 10, 2008

    there are those who are fighting for house seats, for example, who want what I want.

    Agreed.
    But this thread is titled “Warmonger McCain”, not about a particular house race.

  145. #146 Scott from Oregon
    September 10, 2008

    “But this thread is titled “Warmonger McCain”, not about a particular house race”.

    There is an implied advocacy for a Democrat in the post itself, and this mindless two party obeisance is what I object to.

    SC–I live in Southern Oregon. You know nothing about the candidates in Southern Oregon, so my telling you who I will vote for is irrelevant. The question is actually rude, as are your manners in general. A simple investigation into Oregon politics might lead you to answer the question yourself if you are so interested.

    Otherwise, your rudeness just makes me want to reply in kind…

  146. #147 Nerd of Redhead
    September 10, 2008

    Scott, so you want change. So do we. But why post here? What can we do that another, perhaps more receptive, blog can’t?

    In case you noticed, people aren’t agreeing with you. They are arguing with you (and you are losing, you just don’t believe it–hence the True Believer(TM)). Unless you acknowledge that have been refuted on occasion the True Believer(TM) will stick. And we will continue to treat you like a Creobot.

  147. #148 negentropyeater
    September 10, 2008

    and this mindless two party obeisance is what I object to.

    So does everybody.
    And have you given much thought about what needs to be done to change this ?

  148. #149 SC
    September 10, 2008

    SC–I live in Southern Oregon. You know nothing about the candidates in Southern Oregon, so my telling you who I will vote for is irrelevant. The question is actually rude, as are your manners in general. A simple investigation into Oregon politics might lead you to answer the question yourself if you are so interested.

    Another dodge. I said will or would vote for. You can include any House or Senate race (not that your local races are irrelevant in the slightest). This is the centerpiece of your so-called strategy. You’ve been haranguing and belittling people here for weeks who are doing something, and in place of doing something you’re proposing exactly nothing.

    Repeatedly saying things like

    There are those in both Democratic and Republican seats that should be ousted. Anyone who voted against the Bill of Rights for whatever reason should be booted, and that includes all those who supported FISA.

    makes it necessary for you to articulate an alternative. What is it?

  149. #150 Scott from Oregon
    September 10, 2008

    “And we will continue to treat you like a Creobot”.

    And just who is this mysterious “we” you are referring to?

    One of the coagulating non-feral cat herds you belong to? Rational people think for themselves and do not try and use “majority of us” or “group-think” to claim “winning” an argument. Ideas stand on their own merit, and are subject to scrutiny which is a good thing.

    “”and this mindless two party obeisance is what I object to.
    So does everybody.
    And have you given much thought about what needs to be done to change this ?””

    Do what this crazy old uncle is doing. Be proactive. Think and look. Talk. Stop feeding the system with your own obeisance.

    Be appreciative when average citizens take the time to speak their minds.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OZ7fcbst3VE&eurl=http://www.ronpaulforpresident2008.com/news/

  150. #151 Scott from Oregon
    September 10, 2008

    “”makes it necessary for you to articulate an alternative. What is it?””

    I already have. Look for paleo-conservatives (especially those with liberal social leanings) and support them. If you are one, then run for office. The best way to fix a broken system is the same way I fix broken down houses. I tear them partway down, and build them up the way I want.

    Think “Extreme Make-over” of Washington, and ignore the platitudes of those whose records have shown this “change” mantra to be just a slogan trotted out every election season.

    Vote out every Congressman/woman who voted for FISA and the Patriot Act and the rush to Baghdad. Vote out Nancy “have you read my book” Pelosi and those who refuse to hold Bush accountable for lying gravely to the American people and the world.

    Keep the cute blonde from Florida (for standing up to Bush and supporting the impeachment process, and that big goofy young guy (also a Dem.) for doing the same.

    I guess we can keep Dennis “I saw UFO’s”Kucinich because his wife is a hottie…

    Vote for those in your state elections who will fight against the federal government’s imposition of its power on local issues.

    THAT’S PRETTY MUCH IT.

  151. #152 ndt
    September 10, 2008

    Posted by: Michael | September 10, 2008 2:04 AM

    The Dems tried that back in 2004, with John Kerry and failed

    Actually they didn’t try that with John Kerry, and that’s why they failed. They excoriated Howard Dean for daring to say that the war in Iraq was a huge mistake and based on fake intelligence.

  152. #153 ndt
    September 10, 2008

    Posted by: Joel | September 10, 2008 9:15 AM

    So when do we bring them home?

    How about when we’ve fixed what we’ve broken?

    Bringing them home is the fix.

  153. #154 daveb
    September 10, 2008

    I have to say, I’m really impressed with how grossly inept the Obama campaign has been since capturing the nomination. All he had to do was tab Hillary, and it would’ve been just a matter of waiting to count the votes in November. Apparently, she wasn’t even in consideration. It’s like he’s still trying to win the nomination.

    Obama has the Code Pink types sewn up. If he wants to win he needs to capture the center. So how well do you think the “warmonger” video would play with the center?

  154. #155 SC
    September 10, 2008

    I already have. Look for paleo-conservatives (especially those with liberal social leanings) and support them.

    Name them, especially those with “liberal social leanings.”

    Think “Extreme Make-over” of Washington, and ignore the platitudes of those whose records have shown this “change” mantra to be just a slogan trotted out every election season.

    Yes, because the name of a TV show represents a profound, substantive, empirically-based, practical, and viable political project.

    Vote out every Congressman/woman who voted for FISA and the Patriot Act and the rush to Baghdad. Vote out Nancy “have you read my book” Pelosi and those who refuse to hold Bush accountable for lying gravely to the American people and the world.

    And replace them with whom? Are you under the impression that these positions, their power, or the pressures on their holders will magically disappear if you vote out incumbents? You seem to be, as idiotic as that seems.

    Keep the cute blonde from Florida (for standing up to Bush and supporting the impeachment process, and that big goofy young guy (also a Dem.) for doing the same.

    Names, please.

    I guess we can keep Dennis “I saw UFO’s”Kucinich because his wife is a hottie…

    I’ll let this stand on its own. Do you think this is a fucking game, Scott?

    Vote for those in your state elections who will fight against the federal government’s imposition of its power on local issues.

    This has been dealt with time and time again by me, and more recently by Pimientita on the “This is how we will lose” thread. Corporate power and regulatory capture are problems at the state and local levels (perhaps you didn’t read my links about industrial pig farms in PA). This situation would not improve if local or state governments were granted more power. Oppressive small and local regimes have existed throughout history and do at present, and a federation of them is no more free than a large, oppressive regime. You have to deal with the problem at its roots (and I gave you suggestions for doing so; or work with organizations that are fighting for the decriminalization of pot and against other noxious aspects of the “war on drugs” – put your efforts there). You don’t vote your way to power. People have to take power by organizing for social change.

    THAT’S PRETTY MUCH IT.

    That’s pretty much the lamest political manifesto ever to disgrace the pages of this blog.

    Are we done with this clown yet?

  155. #156 Escuerd
    September 10, 2008

    @ Emmet Caulfield #43

    That set of average IQs by state is apparently not accurate. I think the actual variation tends to be a bit more modest, though it appears that blue still tends to be a bit higher.

    http://www.isteve.com/Web_Exclusives_Archive-May2004.htm#38115.6465670139

  156. #157 Scott from Oregon
    September 10, 2008

    “”This has been dealt with time and time again by me, and more recently by Pimientita on the “This is how we will lose” thread. Corporate power and regulatory capture are problems at the state and local levels (perhaps you didn’t read my links about industrial pig farms in PA).””

    Of course they are, and they are dealt with on the local level by an active and concerned populace or they are not by an apathetic and unconcerned local populace. I DID read your article and a simple county ordinance would have solved the problem. The question is, why didn’t the locals elect county people to solve the problem? Corporations should not be any more able to break local laws than any local.

    Again, you “get the government you deserve” when you have local control of the strings and levers and you get no such thing when all of the levers are out of your control (as is the present case).

    If your local government is over run by corporate interests, it is your own (as in your community’s) damn fault.

  157. #158 SC
    September 10, 2008

    I DID read your article and a simple county ordinance would have solved the problem. The question is, why didn’t the locals elect county people to solve the problem? Corporations should not be any more able to break local laws than any local.

    You’re astoundingly naïve, and you don’t get it at a very basic level.

    Way to ignore every point I made and question I asked.

    I know I’m only the latest in a long line of commenters to say this, but… You’ve made your own position and your plan for (in)action perfectly clear. Everyone gets it. You refuse to listen to anyone’s reasoning and insist that everyone here – from anarchists to European social democracts and liberals to US Democrats – is simply a blind follower of Obama’s or the Democrats’ or a statist. You’re wrong, you’re dense, you’re tiresome, and you have nothing of substance to contribute. Whatever your intention, you’ve been less than successful.

  158. #159 Scott from Oregon
    September 10, 2008

    “That’s pretty much the lamest political manifesto ever to disgrace the pages of this blog.

    Are we done with this clown yet?”

    You pretty much get ignored because you are rude and offer statements of opinion and call them “facts”, beating your own chest and proclaiming your very own rectumtude. So what? Why should I be impressed?

    I at least know when I am offering political opinion and am unconcerned whether you think I offer “substance” to your deeply engraved political beliefs.

    What is obvious is that the two political parties are failing America, and the “lesser of the two” is still a failure.

    This is an interesting vid with Ralph Nader and Jesse Ventura both speaking about third party politics in America–
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KXuPzJOTidE&feature=related

  159. #160 Patricia
    September 10, 2008

    SC – You’re right. He keeps getting told that, and just refuses to listen. You have the patience of Job. ;o)

  160. #161 Eclogite
    September 10, 2008
  161. #162 SC
    September 10, 2008

    you are rude and offer statements of opinion and call them “facts”, beating your own chest and proclaiming your very own rectumtude.

    Classic projection. Bonehead.

    Patricia – Funny, I was just thinking the same thing about negentropeater. ;)

  162. #163 Patricia
    September 10, 2008

    Ha! Ha! Yeah, I’m expecting Ichthyic to swing through any time and ask him what color curtains he wants. *grin*

  163. #164 David Marjanovi?, OM
    September 10, 2008

    Would the UN do it?

    Sure, why not?

    Would the Iraqis would happier with the U.N. rather than the U.S.? I don’t know.

    At worst, the UN would be considered the lesser evil. :-)

  164. #165 David Marjanovi?, OM
    September 10, 2008

    and this mindless two party obeisance is what I object to.

    But you cannot get rid of the two-party system without changing the Constitution.

    As long as that isn’t done, all you can do is vote against the greater evil — and that is McPain.

    That said, you live in Oregon, which is a pretty safe state, so it may not matter if you vote at all, “thanks” to the electoral college.

  165. #166 Scott from Oregon
    September 10, 2008

    “But you cannot get rid of the two-party system without changing the Constitution.”

    Please explain. We have third parties already, it is just the way the two parties are treated compared to the other parties that causes the problems.

    And Patricia. Are you one of those coagulated non-feral herd cats? Do you enjoy being among “your group” and hurling insults at outsiders? Are you waiting to evolve?

  166. #167 robbrown
    September 10, 2008

    “Please explain. We have third parties already, it is just the way the two parties are treated compared to the other parties that causes the problems.”

    I’ll explain. It’s called Duverger’s law, and is a mathematical consequence of a plurality voting system (where you vote for one candidate out of many, and the one with the most votes wins). People cluster into parties to minimize splitting the vote, and it will almost always end up with two dominant parties. People who don’t join one of the two main parties simply don’t win.

    This is not just that people are being stupid and ignoring third parties. Other systems don’t succumb to this. Here in san francisco we rank the candidates for local elections.

  167. #168 Redf
    September 11, 2008

    in response to the video, the video itself is extreme but thats ok since its on youtube it doesn’t necessarily have that much validity. THIS IS NOT TRUE for everything on youtube. BUT this video for what it is, is ridiculous. There’s a part in the video where Mccain says “…and you young men sitting in this front row, I want you to serve” the video conveniently cuts off at that point making it sound like some sort of future draft. Which may have not been what he have said so that is some harsh propaganda right there to make a point.

    That is just one example in the video, if you only let someone say one line it will stand out just to prove your point. But for the sake of the anti-mccain montage i suppose it serves its purpose. SO this video is highly ridiculous the American soldier death toll does not rise at a steady rate like so, that is highly disrespectful to place that in a video. Disrespectful to this country and soldiers. I mean that is going overboard, you made your damn point with the rest of the video, you don’t need to place fake information in your video.

    All in all I personally believe this country will not let another draft occur. We will not stay in Iraq for a 100 years. There is a chance that there will be an American presence in Iraq in a hundred years but not a military one unless we have American army bases such as in Japan, Germany, etc. WE will not be at war with insurgents in Iraq in 100 years. Things end. People can argue all they want that this war is failure. It was a failure in so many ways, just in comparison to how America is “supposed to do things” But as of 2007 America is winning in Iraq, America was on the brink of defeat in 2006 but the surge amongst other factors has turned the tide, new strategies, ridding of old policies and replacing higher military staff have made victory in Iraq imminent.

  168. #169 mdh
    September 11, 2008

    aw hells yeah!

  169. #170 mike L
    September 11, 2008

    The figure of 90000 deaths is grossly misleading. I assume its based on the Iraqi Body Count figures, that only count deaths verifiable from meadia sources e.g. the news, newpapers. A proper scientific study was published in the Lancet back in 2006. The leading scientists in their field estimated that figure was more than 600000. That was way back then!!! Its probably more like a million now and thats on top of the 1.5 million that died in the US imposed sanctions (see Madaline Albrights quote “It was woth it”)– that sounds like genocide to me!!!

  170. #171 JasonTD
    September 11, 2008

    Re: 164

    The UN has not shown much in the way of success with ‘peacekeeping’ in recent history. With something of this magnitude (100,000+ troops), I don’t see how they could do it without the advantage of direct US military support.

    Re: 56
    “This needs to be posted without the music. If we showed this to die-hard Republicans in its current form, they’ll dismiss it as propaganda.”

    I’m not even a “die-hard” Republican, and I dismiss it as propaganda. (In 4 previous presidential elections, it’s Dems – 2, Republicans – 0 for my votes.) Quotes with no context + graphic images of human suffering = propaganda, in my book. All you need to do is substitute images of Jews from the holocaust for the mutilated bodies in this video and some quote mined clips of scientists instead of politicians and you have a movie that was soundly and deservedly torn apart on this very blog.

  171. #172 Sven DiMilo
    September 11, 2008

    What he actually sez in the (admittedly out-of-context) young-men-in-the-front-row quote is (my emphasis) “I will be asking you to serve,” which, especially in combination with his repeated reassurances to McDonnell-Douglas that “there will be more wars” is, I think, justifiably worrisome.

  172. #173 negentropyeater
    September 11, 2008

    Th extreme polarisation of American politics in a two party system is a direct consequence of two key factors :

    1) the Constitution whch guarantees that the choice for a president and his government is ONE electoral choice.
    When you have a president who nominates a prime minister who forms the government and needs to be approved by parliament, multiple parties are more likely to play a key role, by forming coalitions despite not being the top two parties.
    Smaller parties in the USA can play no efficent role, and because of this, over time, they just tend to dissapear.

    2) the electoral process itself, its length and the amount of money involved, drives polarisation towards two dominant parties. And it gets worse election after election.

    The only way the USA will enjoy a political system where efficient third parties can play a role, will be if it accepts to activily work on those two critical factors.

    Which obviously is not the case as it seems very few people in the USA are conscient about the causes of the problem, and is not even a matter of debate.

    The rest (just complaining about it like SfO) is just wishful thinking and will get nowhere.

  173. #174 negentropyeater
    September 11, 2008

    If Americans want a multiple party system, they will need to :

    1) create a position of Prime Minister in charge of the government, nominated by the president, but who needs to be approved by congress. (& eliminate the VP, who serves no purpose)

    2) Start electoral campaigns in January, have all primaries on the same day in February. Elimnate megaconventions. Have the actual election in April. Alltogether this should ensure that the whole election process gets reduced from 1 year to 4 months.

    3) Reform campaign financing and impose a cap on maximum amount allowed to be spent by a single party.

    That will do the job.

  174. #175 Joe
    September 11, 2008

    As an Irish citizen watching from afar, it is really hard to fathom the nature of American politics. Opinion seems to revolve around easy to digest tag lines and unsubstantiated political attacks. This infatuation with Sarah Palin is absolutely hilarious to me. Firstly let me say that I do not subscribe to the typical European jibe that “all Americans are dumb”. However Europeans seem to be able to cut through the nonsense and bluff that tends to dominate politics. McCain clearly chose Palin to create a stir, generate interest, energise the Republican base (wing-nut christians) and dominate media coverage. By all accounts, many seem to have been charmed by Palin. In an alternate example from the UK, David Cameron was nominated by the Tories for similar political reasons. He is skilled in creating his image and brand. However he gets ripped to shreds daily in the press. Anything he says about himself gets analyzed to death and public opinion suggests that Cameron is still viewed as an elitist toff. My point is that image management doesn’t work in the UK like it does in America.
    Just an added thought. Foxnews reported the “lipstick on a dog” story by putting a headline on their website saying “obama under attack for labelling Palin a dog”. How misleading is that. Shocking!

  175. #176 Steve_C
    September 11, 2008

    American’s watch too much TV. It’s that simple. How much TV does Europe watch?
    There’s hundreds of channels on cable. There’s always something to watch. American news shows and channels are horrible at calling politicians, especially the Republican’s out on their shit. Apparently a good portion of the american public prefers catty gossip, put downs, and empty slogans to ideas.

  176. #177 Robert Byers
    September 12, 2008

    Nick gotts 40#
    I insist. Its not just a few Jews. It is so a general passion of the six million Jews in America to bring gain in any and every way to their fellow Jews in Israel. From there it manifests itself in big groups, big media, Hollywood propaganda , Universities and politics galore.
    The , at the moment, unfortuate and illegal over representation of Jews in high places or anything is the cause of the death and fear and unhappiness and loss of wealth in regards to the middle east. The Arabs/Persians have no beef with america except her backing the bad guys called Israel.
    I am a Evangelical Christian Canadian and insist that Jewish influence in the establishment and both parties is directing opinion entirely for the agenda to make israel secure and safe and wealthy. It is a passion in the establishment ahead of everything else. There are lots of passions. nothing about america being involved in these obscure third world countries makes sense until one understands its the obscure third world “country” of Israel that is the great driving motive for all. Not America, not God, not justice, not peace but to establish Israels will and whim in regard to its neighbours.
    Let every mans sin be on his own head but most or all Jews in America have been at fault for getting America involved in these problems. Its not from main street.
    The Jews show by this alone they are not and never will be Americans of any loyalty, equity, worth writing home about. They are foreigners who will endanger the american man and other ethnic americans for Jewish interests. This has come up before.
    Deal with the arabs and Persians with justice and equity and America will not be wasting life, limb,prestige, and soul in these foolish wars and rumours of wars.
    You can quote me.

  177. #178 llewelly
    September 12, 2008

    Robert Byers:

    The , at the moment, unfortuate and illegal over representation of Jews in high places or anything is the cause of the death and fear and unhappiness and loss of wealth in regards to the middle east.

    I’ve been seeing for years this claim that there is ‘illegal over representation of Jews in high places’ . I’ve yet to see a shred of evidence. Could provide at least a link, Robert Byers?

  178. #179 Nick Gotts
    September 12, 2008

    Has anyone seen Byers in this vein before? I knew he was a rightwing creationist nutter, but hadn’t realised he was a nazoid fantasist of this stripe. I bet it’s all laid out in the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, eh Byers?

  179. #180 Nick Gotts
    September 12, 2008

    By the way, Byers, Watch out for the ZOG’s black helicopters! Whatever you do, don’t go out without your tinfoil hat!

  180. #181 Rev. BigDumbChimp, KoT
    September 12, 2008

    Could provide at least a link, Robert Byers?

    This should be interesting.

  181. #182 Nick Gotts
    September 12, 2008

    Talking of warmongers, I’m surprised how little comment there’s been (here and elsewhere) on the facts that the Bush regime has:
    a) Launched military strikes at the territory of a supposed ally, and nuclear-armed power. (Today’s Grauniad reports a secret memo signed by Bush in July, allowing raids on targets in Pakistan without the agreement or knowledge of the Pakistan government.)
    b) Taken a huge step in the direction of nationalising the banks.
    These seem to me in the first case very alarming, in the second very surprising, and indicating that the financial crisis is still deepening. What if there were actual fighting with Pakistan, and/or a substantial financial crash, just before the election? How would McCain’s chances be affected?

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