Doug's Darkworld

War, Science, and Philosophy in a Fractured World.

“It doesn’t matter if the cast changes when the script remains the same.”

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Not sure where I read my post headline, but it struck me as an apt description of the Obama administration. Or as I like to put it recently, the only difference between Bush and Obama is their skin tone. A concept the (possibly imginary) fellow above apparently doesn’t endorse. Apparently he was in a coma during the entire Bush Administration when all of Obama’s current policies were put into practice.  Good thing he’s retired Navy, because if he was active Navy, the bottom line is clearly insubordination if not worse. But hey, hypocrisy is the hallmark of all hard core conservatives … and liberals! I think if a person is unable to come up with opinions of their own and just regurgitates what they saw on Fox News or read in Mother Jones, they’re pretty much doomed to hypocrisy.

Have I crossed the line into mocking yet? Is it OK to mock if you’re mocking everyone? Joking aside, ET had an interesting point the other day. It certainly does seem more fashionable these days to mock and name call. Of course it’s always been fashionable on a personal basis, but in recent decades more and more it seems like institutions are and other formerly august voices are doing it. Compare Walter Cronkite to Lou Dobbs or Rush Limbaugh. One of the things that’s cool about growing older, eventually you get a bit of perspective and can see that indeed, the “natural order of things” is in fact constantly evolving.

An example is gay marriage. I keep hearing people say that we need to preserve “traditional marriage” and thus can’t make any changes in laws about who can marry who. And apparently the folks who maintain this stance are unaware that if we are going to talk about “traditional marriage” in any historic sense … we need to make miscegenation illegal again. Because traditionally (until the 1960s!) it was widely considered a crime against God and nature for blacks to marry whites. And was illegal in many states. Yet I don’t hear any calls from the anti-gay marriage crowd to reinstate miscegenation laws. Yet if they are truly standing for “traditional” marriage, that’s what they should be doing. Curious, nu?

It’s Friday, so I’m allowed to wander all over the place. And while I agree with ET that mocking is a bad thing, and I do in fact try to avoid using labels, I could do more. I was thinking for example of writing an extremely sarcastic and mocking post about the people who are worried about the 2012 doomsday predictions. Then I thought about ETs comment and reconsidered. And it was also pointed out, again something I forget sometimes, even if logically the prediction is unfounded … the anxiety some people are deriving from it is very real indeed. Read an article the other day where an astronomer said he gets some very disturbing emails from people about 2012, IE they are contemplating suicide or even killing their kids and committing suicide so that they are spared the 2012 apocalypse. I’m pretty sure mocking someone like that isn’t particularly helpful.

On the other hand, while I agree we shouldn’t mock, it doesn’t necessarily follow that all difference of opinion are debatable. IE if one person says 2+2=4 and the other person says 2+2=5 … there’s no room for debate. If someone actually believes that 2+2=5, they’re wrong. I’m not going to mock someone who believes that, but I’m not going to debate them either. And I’m not going to hire them to do my accounting or build my house either. I’d make an Enron joke here, but then I wondered at what point does “poking fun at” turn into “mocking?” That’s the big problem, how does one determine what is a debatable difference of opinion, and what isn’t worth debating?

And as I get older, it’s getting even harder to tell. As someone once said about Martin Gardner, “I wish I could be as sure about anything as he is about everything.” Sigh. Oh well, that’s what this blog is for, to explore the boundary lines between what is real and what is memorex. And in that vein, I’ll conclude by “debating” a few of the claims in the above image:


PEACE: Well, we lost that when we invaded Afghanistan and Iraq, in fact Bush promised us a war that would last a generation at least. So peace is already lost, Obama can’t lose it anymore.

SECURITY: This concept is so nebulous as to be meaningless, but I don’t see Obama dismantling Homeland Security or cutting the defence budget.

DEFENCE SYSTEMS: Obama has raised the military’s budget, so even if some systems have been cut, they’ve been replaced with others.  IE this claim assumes that all defence systems are equally valid … an unsupportable claim if their ever was one.

JOBS: Well, the economy was crashing just fine under Bush, predicting that it will continue its nose-dive is a no brainer. Blaming Obama when he hasn’t made any changes in Bush’s policies seems like a stretch to me.

GUN RIGHTS: Well, aside from the FACT that the Supreme court recently ruled that we do indeed have a constitutional right to bear arms, Obama’s position on the issue is hardly extremist. Well, unless one thinks there’s no debate possible on the issue.

LOW TAXES: Since the Reagan’s and Bush’s made sure our grandchildren will still be paying taxes to pay of the USA’s debts, so I’m a little unclear where the idea that there were any “low taxes” to lose to begin with came from. I do agree that Obama does seem amazingly willing to spend money we don’t have, but it’s not like Bush II had any problem with the concept.

SMALL BUSINESS: Again, Bush II was one of the most pro-big business presidents in history, it’s hard for me  to understand how Obama following in his foosteps is now a problem?

SAVINGS: Honestly, not even sure what he means here. Americans have been losing their saving steadily since the mid/late 1970s, so it’s not like this is something new. And if he means that Obama plans to confiscate people’s savings, I haven’t heard any talk of that yet. (And it’s not like there’s a whole lot  left to confiscate either.)

GOD IN PUBLIC: I been meaning to blog about this. God isn’t actually bound by human law, and he can be found anywhere and everywhere no matter how many laws are passed! So we’re talking about religious symbols and practises on public property … and people have been clogging the courts with that debate for decades, that’s hardly Obama’s fault.

FREE SPEECH Well, he’s still got his bumper stickers, doesn’t he? And again, it was Bush I who introduced the concept of  “the privilege of freedom of speech,” and Bush II who declared he could strip Americans of their rights by labelling them “enemy combatants.” Obama can’t take away a right that was previously taken away from us.

Oh well, I still think Ron Paul was the best of a bad lot. Have a great weekend everyone.

(The above image is claimed as Fair Use under US copyright law. It’s not being used for profit and its use here is central to illustrating the post pretty much by definition. Credit and Copyright, who knows, but I found the pic here. The comments are especially fun, my favourite so far: “Ho hum, see what happens when there’s only two major parties =/ “)


Written by unitedcats

November 13, 2009 at 9:40 am

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