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Thread: Political Opinions

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    About this video, please watch the entire thing (if you can) before giving your opinions on it


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    If there's anything Bill Maher proves here, it's that Democrats can be every bit as politically shallow as Republicans. The idea that gun laws or inflamatory rhetoric are culprits in this tragedy is laughable, and it's another good example of how Democrats love to serve up childishly simplistic explanations that distance them from events like this that unfold as the result of deeply rooted social, psychological, economic forces -- as if they aren't complicit in the system that propogates all this violence in the first place.

    But what can you expect from people who do politics for a living, whether they're politicians or talk show hosts. Their thinking is something like this:

    Some guy shot a congresswoman in Arizona --> There must be a political motive, this is a political issue --> Take a stand on this event by trying to explain it away by choosing from a myriad of prepackaged political opinions

    But everything in a society is interconnected -- this isn't a purely political issue, nor is it something that transpired in a political vacuum. Pretending that stricter gun laws or changes in political rhetoric even come close to remedying the problem helps no one.

    I mean... "does the right wing's rhetoric kill?" Seriously??

    All this trivialization of life, the reduction of everything to one-dimensional labels just saturates communication with white noise that destroys any chance we have of discussing anything important.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ashton2 View Post
    just trolling for applause from people equally as banal in mentality as he is.
    I think you just captured the essence of the media in general...

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    I didn't watch the whole thing because I'm not really a fan of Maher or Leno, but in the first couple minutes he touched upon a couple of key ideas:

    -People upset about the debt, but apparently okay with the deficit overload during Bush's 8 year administration (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nationa...idential_terms), given that the tea party is a post-2008 phenomenon

    -The practical non-effect on the debt of the speaker's plan to cut congress: 0.0002% ($25 million savings on a $14 trillion debt and lesser, but still substantial deficit).
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ashton2 View Post
    Who was okay with it? It's just as inexcusable then as it is now (actually, it's less excusable now considering the dangers). I don't see why it matters what Bush fucked up—just fix the current problem.
    Who was okay with it? It appears those who comprise the presently-vocal tea party were okay with it, given that they were silent prior to the Obama democrats coming to power. Current record-high deficits have less to do with social democratic policies enacted in the past two years that opponents of "big government" criticize than two ongoing Bush-era wars magnified by a severe recession. Even if one disputes this explanation, it doesn't cover the fact that Bush-era deficits exceed the Clinton years. In this context, the obvious question is to ask why this libertarian and/or right-wing contingent was not motivated to speak out earlier in such force? *Edit - I suspect it's coincidence, in part with that fact that populist movements frequently exhibit a short, or complete lack of memory.

    Whether or not that is Maher's implication is up for debate, but this sort of argument is generally made quite often by tea-party and Republican critics. Given Maher's general outlook and presentation within the portion of the clip watched, I'm comfortable ascribing this view - or one similar - to him.

    Sounds like Maher was just cherry-picking one proposal of many.
    Probably. But the sincerity of Maher's argument does not impinge any way on the fact that such a measure is completely pointless.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ashton2 View Post
    It strikes me as immature and completely irrelevant to make an issue of this supposed 'hypocrisy', and it's beyond me why someone would even bother. Obviously there's a debt problem right now, obviously it can't continue like this, why not focus on a solution to that instead of grinding away at meaningless political scapegoating?
    I imagine people follow this line of thinking because it potentially illustrates how the tea party is largely rhetorical. Why is that relevant? Part of the solution requires that Americans come to terms with the state of public discourse, and that requires examining who's doing the bullshitting and to what extent.

    The obvious reply to that is 'everyone' and 'a lot', but part of moving forward is learning what not to do and I think I'm seeing signs that this process is starting to expand beyond mere finger-pointing.

    Simply expressing the desire to fix things is insufficient in a context of massive political inertia.

    Could give a shit less how 'sincere' he's being, if he's either too incompetent or too unwilling to represent the complete issue accurately.
    He's a comedian on a comedian's show, so it's reflect in his presentation. You're free to dislike him for that, but you need to realize that your personal apathy has no bearing on the functional relevence of Boehner's proposal(s).
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ashton2 View Post
    All this emphasis on "coming to terms with the state of public discourse and examining who's bullshitting" sounds exactly like what's impelling the state of political inertia. What a waste of fucking time. Just fix the problem and stop spending so much money.
    I'm not going to say I disagree because I have much the same opinion - keep in mind Canada's biggest trading partner is the US, hence my interest in the issue. That said, Americans are a highly-politicized society and I don't think they can escape from that kind of navel-gazing. Better to get it out of their system (if possible).

    I don't even know what Boehner's proposal(s) are. For all I know that minor Congressional cut measure could be part of a much larger complex suite of budget-cutting initiatives, which Maher happened to single out completely without appropriate context whatsoever.
    That's a fair point for sure. I won't debate it further, save to recall I only made it based on the spirit of the OP.
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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by limNol View Post
    If there's anything Bill Maher proves here, it's that Democrats can be every bit as politically shallow as Republicans.
    I guess but Bill Maher isn't a pundit or politician he is a satirist and critic, and is a left leaning libertarian.

    Quote Originally Posted by limNol View Post
    The idea that gun laws or inflamatory rhetoric are culprits in this tragedy is laughable, and it's another good example of how Democrats love to serve up childishly simplistic explanations that distance them from events like this that unfold as the result of deeply rooted social, psychological, economic forces -- as if they aren't complicit in the system that propogates all this violence in the first place.
    Lol well he never mentioned the tragedy besides saying it will re-ignite the gun lobby. Also remember he's not a policy maker, he's a satirist and critic, all he is doing is ranting about his dislike over the gun lobby. He never said he was interested in gun laws, but felt like people who try to debate the issue get immediately silenced by the gun lobby as being un-american. He's not a liberal but a libertarian and extremely big on free speech.

    Quote Originally Posted by limNol View Post
    But what can you expect from people who do politics for a living, whether they're politicians or talk show hosts. Their thinking is something like this:
    Once again he's a critic or satirist, his career is in this style of rhetoric.

    Quote Originally Posted by limNol View Post
    Some guy shot a congresswoman in Arizona --> There must be a political motive, this is a political issue --> Take a stand on this event by trying to explain it away by choosing from a myriad of prepackaged political opinions
    No once again he is mostly talking about the gun lobby as a reaction to the shooting and the culture of violence in the right (at least as he perceives it).

    Quote Originally Posted by limNol View Post
    But everything in a society is interconnected -- this isn't a purely political issue, nor is it something that transpired in a political vacuum. Pretending that stricter gun laws or changes in political rhetoric even come close to remedying the problem helps no one.
    He never said that, at least from what I gathered. He said that everytime there is a major shooting disaster the NRA gun lobby responds by shutting down debate on gun control. I don't get the feeling he is personally invested in the gun control issue at that level, but merely criticizing the gun control lobby as ridiculous in its statements.

    Quote Originally Posted by limNol View Post
    I mean... "does the right wing's rhetoric kill?" Seriously??
    That's a good question, it's definitely not any political parties rhetoric kills in the sense of giving orders.... but one undeniable fact is that it doesn't feel good to be threatened with violence during a civil discourse. That's part of the problem with the right wing's rhetoric recently... not only that but references to the word's "nigger" and so forth (obamas a nigger etc). It's not so much the political correctness as it is the social issues surrounding this kind of dialogue re-appearing. They engage in debate with these kinds of tactics, that's the issue. No one should feel intimidated for their life and called indignant demeaning names purely for discussing important issues which affect our society.

    Quote Originally Posted by limNol View Post
    All this trivialization of life, the reduction of everything to one-dimensional labels just saturates communication with white noise that destroys any chance we have of discussing anything important.
    Sure, but part of the reason I think he does that is once again this is his rhetoric style, he has to be criticizing something for being ridiculous.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ashton2 View Post
    He seems childish and annoying. And just trolling for applause from people equally as banal in mentality as he is.
    Yea fair enough, I always found Maher to be a little bit zealous, but like I said above his rhetoric style is like this.

    I think a lot of people find him to be kind of off putting for being to strong in his criticism and rants.

    But I did lol pretty hard when he said

    "armed rural compound in a secluded rural area, is that a bunch of democrats, is that dennis kuccinich out there?"

    because that was fucking dead on in my opinion, even if its a stereotype

    and the psychology of these sorts of people interest me, its almost like a fantasy of there's that something will go down, and they'll shoot up a bunch of people and save the day. I think those people need to get taken to a real war zone to experience how un glorious, efficient, and brutal real war can be.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ashton2 View Post
    BTW, just to put this in perspective with actual numbers from the Treasury Dept.:
    Interesting, although its hard to see what exactly caused the increase in spending and how it relates to the economy at large.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ashton2 View Post
    A left-leaning libertarian? Isn't that an oxymoron?
    I guess what I meant, is he tends to socially value liberals more, but political he is a libertarian. He doesn't categorize himself like this though, that's just my take. He categorizes himself as libertarian.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ashton2 View Post
    Good, I'm glad the NRA shuts down debate on gun control because it doesn't need to be debated. The last thing needed is more gun control and obviously Mr. Maher doesn't understand the nature of the 2nd Amendment. He should read more Thomas Jefferson sometime.
    Well that's you, personally I think two sides should be represented in a debate. I can definitely understand what he means, immediately people revert back to the constitution when talking about gun control and immediately frame it simply as unconstitutional. At one time drinking alcohol was un-constitutional, at one time slavery was constitutional. There are such things as ammendmants which change as time progresses. Just because it was written down 200 years ago doesn't make it a good enough point, I think if the NRA has a case maybe they should debate it instead of just framing it as un-american and un-constitutional.

    It's not so much whether gun control is a bad policy, it's a matter of trying to lock up the flow of information through emotionally framing the issue. The NRA emotionally frames the issue as taking away of freedoms. I may actually agree with the NRA, speaking personally, but its hard to really see two sides face off in a debate and examine the issue.


    Quote Originally Posted by Ashton2 View Post
    Left-wingers do the exact same kinds of shit in equal proportion lol.
    Of course, lol I'm by no means defending left-wingers. But there speech is different, they don't really call republicans niggers and threaten violence. Is more like impeach bush, conspiracy theories, and so forth. They have there own "propaganda" and occasionally there own violence... but that violence is more geared towards destruction of the establishment than its geared towards people that disagree with them. Most of the time its citizen vs police (which pwn them 99% of the time). I don't really like either, but busting the windows out of some office building isn't the same as personally being targeted because you see things differently.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ashton2 View Post
    It's stupid rhetoric that just gets people emotionally wired. And then nobody's thinking rationally about anything, they're just reacting like little kids.
    Lol well I'm not going to defend bill maher's rhetoric I'll chuck that up to this, "You either like it or you hate it". You obviously hate it, I'm more neutral, some people love it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ashton2 View Post
    I could say, "hairy-legged birkenstock-wielding eco troglo-dyke w/ a sociology degree living in a hippy commune" and you could probably guess I wasn't referring to someone on the right. But who cares? In spite of being an accurate characterization, it would just be stupid rhetoric to spew.
    You could lol, and I can't speak for everyone, but me personally that wouldn't bother me... its a stereotype sure, but the stupidity in stereotypes isn't saying them, its in pretending they apply to individuals, if you called me that I would be offended, but if you characterized the left in america like that I wouldn't be offended.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ashton2 View Post
    Dunno about you, but personally I'd rather at least have a fighting chance if the shit hits the fan. There are many cases of gun owners preventing violent incidents and other crime where a timely response from law enforcement was otherwise impossible. I can dig up stats and anecdotes if you want.
    Statistics are useless unless they are compared to all the incidents a gun owner was present and either didn't have their gun on them, didn't use it, or used it improperly. That's what you really want to compare. Further it can't account for other potential problems, like weapons being distributed, while maybe not all NRA members directly use their weapons to commit violent acts, its possible there weapons get distributed and eventually end up in the black market. There are probably other issues also.

    In general though I think its ridiculous, I think if your talking about settling militant incidents, personally I'd prefer to leave that to trained professionals that have combat experience or some kind of rigorous training which not only tests their ability to shot accurately but do so under extreme pressure. I don't think that means directly the military and police should only bear arms, because that presents the potential for state domination of the citizen, but definitely a trained professional should handle incidents. Being a gun hobbyist who likes to go down to the range and fire off a few clips from different weapons, doesn't mean you have the nerve and tactical knowledge to handle a real life situation.

    What's even more troubling in my opinion is the connection between the attitude of people who want to keep guns free and legal and there proposed use - protecting other people. I honestly wouldn't care so much if a level headed professional carried a firearm in the event of protecting their fellow citizens. However many of the people who support this movement are the same people who get inflammed over the political opposition, and in my opinion people should have no business having the power to kill, even if it protects other people unless they have the discipline to deal with stress and people who disagree with them calmly and level headed. I think this about citizens who carry weapons, I think this about members in the military, and I think this about police personal.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ashton2 View Post
    Surely all the monolithic spending bills passed in the last 2 yrs hasn't helped matters.
    Yea, I'm not really interested in this issue enough to comment, mainly because I won't deny their is a major problem with government spending.

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    The ATF released a report yesterday that showed Mexican drug lords are smuggling AK-47s out of Arizona for use against Mexican troops. The state of Arizona is, today, a literal national security problem for Mexico.

    If I were Mexico, I'd invade Arizona and not leave until the assault weapons ban was reinstated.

    BG do you see what this has done? I told you about Brewer... I told you that she WAS the problem, not the solution. Do you see now, with the evidence before you, that she and her flunkies need to go for Arizona to be safe?

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    Quote Originally Posted by tcaudilllg View Post
    The ATF released a report yesterday that showed Mexican drug lords are smuggling AK-47s out of Arizona for use against Mexican troops. The state of Arizona is, today, a literal national security problem for Mexico.

    If I were Mexico, I'd invade Arizona and not leave until the assault weapons ban was reinstated.

    BG do you see what this has done? I told you about Brewer... I told you that she WAS the problem, not the solution. Do you see now, with the evidence before you, that she and her flunkies need to go for Arizona to be safe?
    I really couldn't care less. the mexicans bring us drugs across, we give them AK-47s to take back. seems like a fair trade to me.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bionicgoat View Post
    I really couldn't care less.
    Lol

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