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  1. #21
    Senior Member cafe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DiscoBiscuit View Post
    Spare me.

    Understanding is a street paved in respect that goes both ways.

    When you're oldest friend's entire village was massacred with machete's by the Hutu's for no reason at all, or your friend is a member of the underclass in Mexico city that picks trash out of dumps all day long for a living, then come talk to me.

    Sure relative to my experience, yours seems more difficult, but to others your life is a fairy tale dream.

    It's all relative, and within that relativity we all have it tough.

    Most importantly, who's to say that money even buys happiness, or real comfort? There are plenty of studies out there comparing the relative levels of happiness between third and first world nations.

    Like I've said, we only ask of you what you are already asking of us.
    I'm asking you to take care of your basic living expenses and then, instead of thinking about how bad you've got it, think about how good you've got it. (I know I have it good. I have a warm home. I have food. I have reliable transportation, I have health insurance.) And once you've counted your blessings, do what is in your power to make life better for those with less than you. I'm not asking you to make yourself homeless, I won't do that myself, but I will give my second coat to someone that needs it. If I have more than enough groceries to last until payday, and I know someone doesn't have enough to eat, I'll take them some groceries. If they need a ride and I have gas in my van, I will give them a ride. If someone needs a place to live for a little while, I've taken them in. To a degree that is not detrimental to the health and basic needs of my family, I try to help people. Thank you for your willingness to do the same.

    Edit: And the Hutus did not kill people for no reason. I mean, the individuals they killed did not deserve in any way to be killed, but that was an almost direct result of colonialism. It was engineered by rich people so they could plunder the natural resources of that area.
    “There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old’s life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs.”
    ~ John Rogers

  2. #22
    Senior Member Pseudo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DiscoBiscuit View Post
    The key is to not open your mouth about things, and especially people (or groups of them) that you know literally nothing about.
    You never off counter arguments. Just complaints. Respond legitimately and maybe you can sway people. Right now you just seem intent on making appear that I'm throwing rocks at your castle.

  3. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by cafe View Post
    I'm asking you to take care of your basic living expenses and then, instead of thinking about how bad you've got it, think about how good you've got it. (I know I have it good. I have a warm home. I have food. I have reliable transportation, I have health insurance.) And once you've counted your blessings, do what is in your power to make life better for those with less than you. I'm not asking you to make yourself homeless, I won't do that myself, but I will give my second coat to someone that needs it. If I have more than enough groceries to last until payday, and I know someone doesn't have enough to eat, I'll take them some groceries. If they need a ride and I have gas in my van, I will give them a ride. If someone needs a place to live for a little while, I've taken them in. To a degree that is not detrimental to the health and basic needs of my family, I try to help people. Thank you for your willingness to do the same.

    Edit: And the Hutus did not kill people for no reason. I mean, the individuals they killed did not deserve in any way to be killed, but that was an almost direct result of colonialism. It was engineered by rich people so they could plunder the natural resources of that area.
    Yes lets bring it back to the rich, and how they are the font of all evil in the world.

    Quote Originally Posted by Pseudo View Post
    You never off counter arguments. Just complaints. Respond legitimately and maybe you can sway people. Right now you just seem intent on making appear that I'm throwing rocks at your castle.
    Which is exactly what you two, and many others here, do on a basically daily basis.

    When the conversation is framed as a choice between spending more on social programs, and being a monster, its hard to sway anyone.

  4. #24
    royal member Rasofy's Avatar
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    When your best friend is eating his own shit because he has nothing else to eat, then you guys come talk to me.


  5. #25
    Senior Member cafe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DiscoBiscuit View Post
    Yes lets bring it back to the rich, and how they are the font of all evil in the world.
    Not the rich. The greedy and unethical rich. It's not that poor people can't be evil, they just generally can't damage as many people when they are.

    Quote Originally Posted by DiscoBiscuit View Post
    Which is exactly what you two, and many others here, do on a basically daily basis.

    When the conversation is framed as a choice between spending more on social programs, and being a monster, its hard to sway anyone.
    Well, yeah. If I was sitting on a two story pile of food and there were hungry people all around me and I got upset when someone tried to take more than 15% of my food and started paying people (just enough food to keep them from starving) to try to convince the hungry people that they were greedy and selfish, I'd look like a dick. That would be because I was being a dick.
    “There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old’s life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs.”
    ~ John Rogers

  6. #26
    Senior Member Pseudo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DiscoBiscuit View Post
    Yes lets bring it back to the rich, and how they are the font of all evil in the world.



    Which is exactly what you two, and many others here, do on a basically daily basis.

    When the conversation is framed as a choice between spending more on social programs, and being a monster, its hard to sway anyone.
    Are you arguing with me or just some liberal phantom you've given my name. Seems like the former since you are arguing against things I never said.

  7. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by cafe View Post
    Well, yeah. If I was sitting on a two story pile of food and there were hungry people all around me and I got upset when someone tried to take more than 15% of my food and started paying people (just enough food to keep them from starving) to try to convince the hungry people that they were greedy and selfish, I'd look like a dick. That would be because I was being a dick.
    If that's being a dick then what is this:

    I'll pull out a part in lieu of the length of the article.

    From the Guardian

    Obama: a GOP president should have rules limiting the kill list

    The president's flattering view of himself reflects the political sentiments in his party and the citizenry generally

    For the last four years, Barack Obama has not only asserted, but aggressively exercised, the power to target for execution anyone he wants, including US citizens, anywhere in the world. He has vigorously resisted not only legal limits on this assassination power, but even efforts to bring some minimal transparency to the execution orders he issues.

    This claimed power has resulted in four straight years of air bombings in multiple Muslim countries in which no war has been declared – using drones, cruise missiles and cluster bombs – ending the lives of more than 2,500 people, almost always far away from any actual battlefield. They are typically targeted while riding in cars, at work, at home, and even while rescuing or attending funerals for others whom Obama has targeted. A substantial portion of those whom he has killed – at the very least – have been civilians, including dozens of children.

    Worse still, his administration has worked to ensure that this power is subject to the fewest constraints possible. This was accomplished first by advocating the vague, sweeping Bush/Cheney interpretation of the 2001 Authorization to Use Military Force (AUMF) - whereby the President can target not only the groups which perpetrated the 9/11 attack (as the AUMF provides) but also those he claims are "associated" which such groups, and can target not only members of such groups (as the AUMF states) but also individuals he claims provide "substantial support" to those groups. Obama then entrenched these broad theories by signing into law the 2012 National Defense Authorization Act, which permanently codified those Bush/Cheney interpretation of these war powers.

    From the start, Obama officials have also ensured that these powers have no physical limits, as they unequivocally embraced what was once the core and highly controversial precept of Bush/Cheney radicalism: that the US is fighting a "global war" in which the "whole world is a battlefield", which means there are no geographical constraints to the president's war powers. In sum, we have had four straight years of a president who has wielded what is literally the most extreme and tyrannical power a government can claim – to execute anyone the leader wants, even his own citizens, in total secrecy and without a whiff of due process – and who has resisted all efforts to impose a framework of limits or even transparency.

    But finally, according to a new article on Sunday by The New York Times' Scott Shane, President Obama was recently convinced that some limits and a real legal framework might be needed to govern the exercise of this assassination power. What was it that prompted Obama finally to reach this conclusion? It was the fear that he might lose the election, which meant that a Big, Bad Republican would wield these powers, rather than a benevolent, trustworthy, noble Democrat - i.e., himself [emphasis added]:

    "Facing the possibility that President Obama might not win a second term, his administration accelerated work in the weeks before the election to develop explicit rules for the targeted killing of terrorists by unmanned drones, so that a new president would inherit clear standards and procedures, according to two administration officials. . . .

    "The matter may have lost some urgency after Nov. 6. But . . . Mr. Obama and his advisers are still debating whether remote-control killing should be a measure of last resort against imminent threats to the United States, or a more flexible tool, available to help allied governments attack their enemies or to prevent militants from controlling territory. . . .

    "For years before the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, the United States routinely condemned targeted killings of suspected terrorists by Israel, and most countries still object to such measures.

    "But since the first targeted killing by the United States in 2002, two administrations have taken the position that the United States is at war with Al Qaeda and its allies and can legally defend itself by striking its enemies wherever they are found.

    "Partly because United Nations officials know that the United States is setting a legal and ethical precedent for other countries developing armed drones, the U.N. plans to open a unit in Geneva early next year to investigate American drone strikes. . . .

    "The attempt to write a formal rule book for targeted killing began last summer after news reports on the drone program, started under President George W. Bush and expanded by Mr. Obama, revealed some details of the president's role in the shifting procedures for compiling 'kill lists' and approving strikes. Though national security officials insist that the process is meticulous and lawful, the president and top aides believe it should be institutionalized, a course of action that seemed particularly urgent when it appeared that Mitt Romney might win the presidency.

    "'There was concern that the levers might no longer be in our hands,' said one official, speaking on condition of anonymity. With a continuing debate about the proper limits of drone strikes, Mr. Obama did not want to leave an 'amorphous' program to his successor, the official said. The effort, which would have been rushed to completion by January had Mr. Romney won, will now be finished at a more leisurely pace, the official said."
    Now that Obama rather than Romney won, such rules will be developed "at a more leisurely pace". Despite Obama's suggestion that it might be good if even he had some legal framework in which to operate, he's been in no rush to subject himself to any such rules in four full years of killing thousands of people. This makes it safe to assume that by "a more leisurely pace", this anonymous Obama official means: "never".

    There are many important points raised by this report: Kevin Gosztola and Marcy Wheeler, among others, have done their typically excellent job of discussing some of them, while this Guardian article from Sunday reports on the reaction of the ACLU and others to the typical Obama manipulation of secrecy powers on display here (as usual, these matters are too secret to permit any FOIA disclosure or judicial scrutiny, but Obama officials are free to selectively leak what they want us to know to the front page of the New York Times). I want to focus on one key point highlighted by all of this:

    Democratic Party benevolence

    The hubris and self-regard driving this is stunning – but also quite typical of Democratic thinking generally in the Obama era. The premise here is as self-evident as it is repellent:


    I'm a Good Democrat and a benevolent leader; therefore, no limits, oversight, checks and balances, legal or Constitutional constraints, transparency or due process are necessary for me to exercise even the most awesome powers, such as ordering people executed. Because of my inherent Goodness and proven progressive wisdom, I can be trusted to wield these unlimited powers unilaterally and in the dark.

    Things like checks, oversight and due process are desperately needed only for Republicans, because – unlike me – those people are malevolent and therefore might abuse these powers and thus shouldn't be trusted with absolute, unchecked authority. They – but not I – urgently need restrictions on their powers.
    This mentality is not only the animating belief of President Obama, but also the sizable portion of American Democrats which adores him.

    There are many reasons why so many self-identified progressives in the US have so radically changed their posture on these issues when Barack Obama replaced George W. Bush. Those include (a) the subordination of all ostensible beliefs to their hunger for partisan power; (b) they never actually believed these claimed principles in the first place but only advocated them for partisan opportunism, i.e., as a way to discredit the GOP President; and (c) they are now convinced that these abuses will only be used against Muslims and, consumed by self-interest, they concluded that these abuses are not worth caring about because it only affects Others (this is the non-Muslim privilege enjoyed by most US progressives, which shields them from ever being targeted, so they simply do not care; the more honest ones of this type even admit this motivation).

    But the primary reason for this fundamental change in posture is that they genuinely share the self-glorifying worldview driving Obama here. The core premise is that the political world is shaped by a clean battle of Good v. Evil. The side of Good is the Democratic Party; the side of Evil is the GOP. All political truths are ascertainable through this Manichean prism.

    This is the simplistic, self-flattering morality narrative that gets reinforced for them over and over as they sit for hours every day having their assumptions flattered and validated (and never questioned or challenged) by watching MSNBC, reading pro-Obama blogs that regularly churn out paeans to his greatness, and drinking up the hundreds of millions of dollars of expertly crafted election-year propaganda from the Party that peddles this Justice League cartoon.

    The result is that, for so many, it is genuinely inconceivable that a leader as noble, kind and wise as Barack Obama would abuse his assassination and detention powers. It isn't just rank partisan opportunism or privilege that leads them not to object to Obama's embrace of these radical powers and the dangerous theories that shield those powers from checks or scrutiny. It's that they sincerely admire him as a leader and a man so much that they believe in their heart (like Obama himself obviously believes) that due process, checks and transparency are not necessary when he wields these powers. Unlike when a GOP villain is empowered, Obama's Goodness and his wisdom are the only safeguards we need.

    Thus, when Obama orders someone killed, no due process is necessary and we don't need to see any evidence of their guilt; we can (and do) just assume that the targeted person is a Terrorist and deserves death because Obama has decreed this to be so. When Obama orders a person to remain indefinitely in a cage without any charges or any opportunity to contest the validity of the imprisonment, that's unobjectionable because the person must be a Terrorist or otherwise dangerous - or else Obama wouldn't order him imprisoned. We don't need proof, or disclosed evidence, or due process to determine the validity of these accusations; that it is Obama making these decisions is all the assurance we need because we trust him.

    Similar sentiments shaping the Bush era

    This mindset is so recognizable because it is also what drove Bush followers for years as they defended his seizures of unchecked authority and secrecy powers. Those who spent years arguing against the Bush/Cheney seizure of extremist powers always confronted this mentality at bottom, once the pseudo-intellectual justifications were debunked: George Bush is a Good man and a noble leader who can be trusted to exercise these powers in secret and with no checks, because he only wants to keep us safe and will only target the Terrorists.

    Molded by exactly the same species of drooling presidential hagiography now so prevalent in progressive circles - compare this from the Bush era to things like this and this - conservatives believed that Bush was a good man and a great leader and thus needed no safeguards or transparency. If Bush wanted to eavesdrop on someone, or wanted to imprison someone, then - solely by virtue of his decree - we could and should assume the person was a Terrorist, or at least there was ample evidence to believe he was.

    We were graced with a leader we could trust to exercise unlimited war powers in the dark. This is precisely the same mentality applied by Democrats (and by Obama himself) to the current President, except it not only justifies due-process-free eavesdropping and detention but also execution.

  8. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pseudo View Post
    Are you arguing with me or just some liberal phantom you've given my name. Seems like the former since you are arguing against things I never said.
    Im arguing with the liberal wing of TypoC.

    So basically I'm arguing with 85% of TypoC.

  9. #29
    @.~*virinaĉo*~.@ Totenkindly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DiscoBiscuit View Post
    Im arguing with the liberal wind of TypoC.

    So basically I'm arguing with 85% of TypoC.
    Oh come on, DB -- you're telling me you don't ENJOY that kind of challenge?
    "Hey Capa -- We're only stardust." ~ "Sunshine"

    “Pleasure to me is wonder—the unexplored, the unexpected, the thing that is hidden and the changeless thing that lurks behind superficial mutability. To trace the remote in the immediate; the eternal in the ephemeral; the past in the present; the infinite in the finite; these are to me the springs of delight and beauty.” ~ H.P. Lovecraft

  10. #30
    Senior Member cafe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DiscoBiscuit View Post
    If that's being a dick then what is this:

    I'll pull out a part in lieu of the length of the article.

    From the Guardian

    Obama: a GOP president should have rules limiting the kill list

    The president's flattering view of himself reflects the political sentiments in his party and the citizenry generally
    Hey, I only voted Democrat because they are, IMO, marginally better than Republicans. If there was a viable Peace and Freedom Party candidate, I would have voted for her. If I had the means to get to a protest about the crap Obama is pulling on the civil rights front, I'd be there holding a sign.

    Edit: I have posted my opinion on Obama's drones before, BTW.
    “There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old’s life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs.”
    ~ John Rogers

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