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  1. #31
    Senior Member "?"'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by booyalab View Post
    Damn! My secret skinhead identity has been revealed!

    But speaking of dubious perceptions, did you know that "?" represents a mistake in algebraic chess notation?
    And "??" represents a blunder, so you might want to be on the safe side and not post again.
    LOL, it also represents an enigma. But since the english language is so versatile, it would be hard to find a name don't you think?

  2. #32
    Plumage and Moult proteanmix's Avatar
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    Hey peeps, let's calm it down some.

  3. #33
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    Here is a link to an editorial about Obama's speech written by Peggy Noonan, a moderately-conservative columnist for the WSJ again.

    Declarations - WSJ.com

    Noonan is generally complimentary; she nitpicks some points. In the end, she seems to think that the speech will be decisive for Obama's candidacy one way or the other. Here is the final paragraph:

    [...] it was a good speech, and a serious one. I don't know if it will help him. We're in uncharted territory. We've never had a major-party presidential front-runner who is black, or rather black and white, who has given such an address. We don't know if more voters will be alienated by Mr. Wright than will be impressed by the speech about Mr. Wright. We don't know if voters will welcome a meditation on race. My sense: The speech will be labeled by history as the speech that saved a candidacy or the speech that helped do it in. I hope the former.
    Noonan thinks that it's not so important what Obama said as much as how he said it. By giving a long, thoughtful speech that didn't have the usual easy 8-second sound bites and applause points, Obama takes the risk that the general public is going to miss the points he was making altogether or simply not care.

    I suppose Noonan may have a point. Politicians get "tagged" with a simplistic label after a time: Hillary is a bitch, Bush is a simpleton, McCain has a fierce temper and snaps under pressure, Bill Clinton is a philanderer, and so on. With a speech like this, maybe Obama runs the risk of getting tagged as too complex or philosophical or even naive to be effective.

    It's a debatable point, of course. But I think Noonan makes one thing clear: The speech really was different from the usual election-year damage-control stump speeches. I think it does mark Obama as a "different kind of politician."

    That could have good or bad political consequences. It could be a sign of "vision," or it could be a sign that Obama is politically naive and out of touch with the lives of the ordinary American. Time will tell.

  4. #34
    homo-loving sonovagun anii's Avatar
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    We just watched Obama's speech on race (Tues. 3/18) on youtube, the entire 37-minute version. If you haven't seen it yet, I strongly recommend watching the longer version of the speech; that way you can judge its merits on the full context.

    I have to say it's one of the best pieces of oration I've ever seen or heard. We watched JFK's inauguration speech ("ask not what your country can do for you") immediately after to compare and, I have to say it either matches or even bests what is considered to be one of the best speeches ever delivered by an American politician.

    I want to say that, I have no illusions that Obama wrote this speech; that said, his speechwriters are phenomenal. However, he did deliver it and did so flawlessly. I also want to say that, contrary to how some would describe his supporters, I'm not so naive that I view him as the second coming of christ or that he will be the savior of this nation or even that he is nothing more than a very shrewd, very savvy, and very capable politician. However, as far as politicians in general go, and as far as the 3 current options for President are concerned - he is by far the best of the bunch in this current campaign. I'd even go so far as to say that, John Kerry couldn't have delivered the kind of speech Obama did on Tuesday, nor could have Al Gore. And certainly not Bush.

    Of the many reasons I'm supporting Obama, his speechmaking ability maybe shouldn't be the primary one. Have those engaged in the study of rhetorical criticism said that some of the best leaders have often been the best speakers as well? I believe there is a correlation between the two. To me, the difference between a great leader and a boss or person in charge or even dictator is that great leaders can get people to make sacrifices, do unpleasant things, roll up their sleeves and get to work by the power of *Inspiration*, whereas the others can merely do so by direction or coercion. The mark of a great leader is that people do what is needed out of love, for lack of a better word. The mark of an ungreat leader is that the motivation is fear or worse. We've seen plenty of that in the last 7+ years.

    My husband said that since Obama gave his speech, many of those who already support him are strengthened in it, some critics are won over, and that some of those who were on the fence or opposing him are strengthened in that opposition. I have no idea what to attribute that to. I can say that even just the mention of race in America can be perceived as an act of divisiveness; still, those who are ready to see it and talk about it will, and those who are not, won't. I think one of the things Obama demonstrated in his speech is not just a willingness to look at it and talk about it, but a model of how he has addressed it in the past/present and how he will address it in the future if he's elected - with clarity, reason, neither defensiveness nor offensiveness, with a strong understanding of the *complexity* of the issue, and with an attitude of "let's get to work and *do* something about it."

    I thought the speech was above-average in its use of comparison/contrast as applied to both his pastor and his grandmother. It tied the thread of "forming a more perfect union" up effectively with the anecdote at the end about the young white woman and the old black man at the meeting of Obama supporters. And his demeanor throughout was calm and cool but still impassioned. He is a master of self-controlled yet powerful delivery.

    His speech was not a pie-in-the-sky exercise in blind hope. Rather it was a rational and clear-eyed analysis of what the situation is now, and where it could potentially go. The fact is - we in the US have to elect a new president by the end of this year. We have a limited number of choices; all with their pluses and minuses. Thankfully I can say I at least respect all 3 of them. However, I hope that at least 51% of the electorate will really see with unveiled eyes that right now, at this moment in history, Barack Obama is the best candidate for this job at this time. He's not the christ, he's not the anti-christ (as some are saying, unfortunately). He is just the best American for the job.

    I think that once again, he has taken what was a low-blow, potentially crippling attack on his campaign, and turned it into an opportunity to not only address the presence of *the* elephant in America's living room, but to demonstrate exactly how he would continue to address it if elected President. I personally want a candidate - black, white or other - who will finally(!) acknowledge *what is* and will then inspire *all of us* to start doing something about it.

    I think that, by extension, he has also demonstrated how he will deal with tough questions by the Washington press corps (he will welcome them instead of prescreen them out like Bush did). By extension, he has demonstrated how he will negotiate with the UN and with other nations (he *will* negotiate, unlike Bush). He has demonstrated that he has the ability to disarm critics of him, the US, and it's domestic and foreign policy by his words, and to potentially turn both critics and enemies into allies and friends. I really see this and I hope it comes to fruition.

    Again, this isn't because I think he has some magical ability - it's because he is a very skilled and savvy communicator. In my opinion, communication is one of the most important jobs of the President - in a way, even though they have and can wield true power, they are also figureheads or spokerspersons of a sort for our nation. It's their job to use diplomatic techniques to negotiate sticky situations with the rest of the world. The US has been sorely lacking in this aspect of leadership for the past 7+ years and we sorely need it back, now, if we are going to clean up the mess we made in Iraq and other places.

    We need someone who can field any curveball, any verbal attack in such a way as to not only not exacerbate the conflict but to diffuse, de-escalate, and take what was a conflict or attack into a totally new direction. I have seen this ability at work in NTs in particular. I believe Obama is an ENTJ, and IMO his type is relevant to my opinion of his potential as the elected Leader of the US. I've lived and worked with ENTJs and I have seen the potential they can draw out of other people when they are healthy and well-developed. So if anything, I might be over-attributing to personality type what I see as Obama's gifts. I realize that people are much more than their type; for me it's just one more aspect of him that makes it easy to support his candidacy.

    Even if he only accomplishes 25% of what he promises, that will be more than what we've had so far. Will he make mistakes, some of them potentially major? Of course, he's a flawed human, but no one seems to acknowledge the imperfect nature of his humanity more than he does. He has a stable and pragmatic head on his shoulders. At the same time, he's on my side when it comes to the issues that are important to me (healthcare, eliminating our dependence on fossil fuels, education, and the economy, among others). And he has that rare quality that has been absent far too long - the ability to win friends and influence people - not with might or threats, but with the power of inspired communication that addresses our shared concerns.
    Last edited by anii; 03-27-2008 at 03:47 PM.
    There's reason to be afraid, and reason to open your heart. ~ Seal

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  5. #35
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    Obama voted to renew the Patriot Act. So did Hillary. This all on its own troubles me.

    There is nothing to believe in or to get excited in this election as far as I am concerned. Just figure out who is the least frightening and vote for them. That's all.

  6. #36
    Glowy Goopy Goodness The_Liquid_Laser's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by anii View Post
    Of the many reasons I'm supporting Obama, his speechmaking ability maybe shouldn't be the primary one. Have those engaged in the study of rhetorical criticism said that some of the best leaders have often been the best speakers as well? I believe there is a correlation between the two. To me, the difference between a great leader and a boss or person in charge or even dictator is that great leaders can get people to make sacrifices, do unpleasant things, roll up their sleeves and get to work by the power of *Inspiration*, whereas the others can merely do so by direction or coercion. The mark of a great leader is that people do what is needed out of love, for lack of a better word. The mark of an ungreat leader is that the motivation is fear or worse. We've seen plenty of that in the last 7+ years.
    Actually this is one of the main reasons why I like Obama. The ability to influence and inspire people is extremely important to a leader. This is doubly true in the realm of politics. Other politicians tell you that they can lead, but Obama actually shows you that he can lead. For me seeing is believing.
    My wife and I made a game to teach kids about nutrition. Please try our game and vote for us to win. (Voting period: July 14 - August 14)
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  7. #37
    Senior Member "?"'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by heart View Post
    Obama voted to renew the Patriot Act. So did Hillary. This all on its own troubles me.

    There is nothing to believe in or to get excited in this election as far as I am concerned. Just figure out who is the least frightening and vote for them. That's all.
    Yet so did McCain. However I wonder whether the passport breaches may change everyones consideration.

  8. #38
    Order Now! pure_mercury's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by "?" View Post
    Yet so did McCain. However I wonder whether the passport breaches may change everyones consideration.
    You think that the passport breaches may actually have an effect on whether or not people would vote for/against Obama?
    Who wants to try a bottle of merc's "Extroversion Olive Oil?"

  9. #39
    Senior Member lowtech redneck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Magic Poriferan View Post
    I don't think you're giving him credit for how hard he tried to bring both sides together. I mean, he absolved Ferraro(who idiotically complained about it) and remarked how he couldn't denounce his white grandmother for being a racist. He was unusually candid about race for such a mainstream politician.
    If I was Ferraro, I would also be offended by the comparison (and not-so-subtle moral equivalency) to Jeremiah Wright. Also, his grandmother's "racism" does not seem to exceed that of Jesse Jackson towards his own race (they are apparently both nervous being alone on a street at night with young black men). Obama did not adequately address his twenty-year association and continued patronage of an institution that actively instills a profoundly "distorted" mindset onto a new generation. Instead, he cleverly diverted the issue away from his own poor judgement. This would be like a white politician that not only spoke at Bob Jones University, but also graduated from, earned a Phd from, and proceeded to send his children to that institution answering critical questions about the institutions he supports above others with diversionary claims that the issue is about misunderstandings and prejudice between evangelicals and non-evangelicals.

  10. #40
    heart on fire
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    Quote Originally Posted by heart View Post
    Obama voted to renew the Patriot Act. So did Hillary. This all on its own troubles me.

    There is nothing to believe in or to get excited in this election as far as I am concerned. Just figure out who is the least frightening and vote for them. That's all.
    Quote Originally Posted by "?" View Post
    Yet so did McCain. However I wonder whether the passport breaches may change everyones consideration.
    I am not a fan of any Republican running in the election.

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