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Comment Re:moof (Score 1) 16

I see it completely differently -- I see one political philosophy where that underlies basically all of it, and another that's vehemently against that. And so I see it as independent of fanaticism. For example, I'm a far-Right guy, a "fanatic" if you will, but I don't believe in doing any of that. In general I reject the "both sides are basically the same" simplisticism, in most of its popular applications, as naive and insufficiently studied.

This is really the part that bothers me about your entire post--when I've got my dad saying that any news source that isn't Fox News is lying and unpatriotic, I've got presidents of both parties using "Free Speech Zones", I watch the cops shut down demonstrators and performers alike at both conventions every time, etc. I really can't see any institutional difference between the Democrats and Republicans in this regard.

It's certainly possible to be a far-Right guy and NOT be a fanatic--I don't reject the political positions of the far Right as wrong on their face, after all, I'm a pretty adamant balanced-budget and strong-military kinda guy.

Really, I think when you can't acknowledge there are complete jerks on all sides of the political spectrum, THAT gets dangerous. From my point of view, I feel like you're putting on the blinders a bit and ignoring the people who are calling for this kind of stuff while they're on your side. Speaking as a guy who votes split ticket all the time, and who votes in every election, I just can't see that neo-Liberalism and neo-Conservatism are any different--both of 'em want to take away more of my freedoms than I'm comfortable with, both have a habit of trying to suppress debate, etc.

If this isn't happening where you are, you're arguably lucky, but here in State College, it seems like there are more disruptors than there are debaters on all sides.

Oh, and as for "how it should be" with regard to the university's influence on this area, that kind of stuff only goes so far with me when it's people outside of my district trying to media-saturate my district--this is probably, for example, the number one reason why I'm going to not vote R for Senate next time it comes around, because Twoomey is 100% grade-A jerk and it comes across in everything he says (aside from being an anti-liberty force of the Christian Fundie type--again, I know a lot of Christian Fundies who are great people and NOT interested in taking my rights away. He's not one of them.)

It's entirely possible that I'm biased because I'm in an area that's a focused target of the worst the Republican and Libertarian parties have to offer--the former because it's a blue county in a swing state, and the latter because it's a college town and therefore their most fertile recruiting ground. On the other hand, I see these efforts as just as potentially frightening as anything on the national stage, especially if a lot of us here, including me, get our way with regard to the relatively higher importance of state and local governance.

Comment Re:moof (Score 1) 16

It's not as bad as it used to be, but I definitely remember back in the early G.W. Bush days that there was a lot of local stuff complaining about how liberal CNN was and how Fox News was superior in every way for people who cared about the truth and America, etc. I wasn't consuming a large amount of national news (or really, anything at all except textbooks and beer) at that point, so I can't say how prevalent that was on the national stage.

It does, however, suggest to me a potential working theory that Democrats tend to prefer working on a national level and Republicans tend to prefer working on a local level when they do this--I've noticed in our previous discussions a significant difference between the local Republican/conservative political apparati between your home and mine, but not all that much of one with the Democrats/liberals (not to the same degree, certainly, even if there are some).

As for the ranking of the hosts, man, I really can't say I enjoy listening to them (when I was talking about news sources being aesthetically unpleasing, I was thinking primarily of Beck, Olbermann, and O'Reilly, in roughly that order).

Comment Re:moof (Score 1) 16

that is, really, for all the force it has it's a review and not a command.

To me this is true, and at the same time, weaseling. Telling people what not to listen to smacks of the fascism that underlies what I'll call American neo-Liberalism. Maybe I would take less offense from a known more harmless group of people, but either way I have to interpret peoples' statements in the context of what I know about them. And it's certainly creepy and to me bordering on scary coming from someone in a position like POTUS, no matter who the person is.

This is one of those things, I suppose, that we're going to disagree on. Anyone can tell me anything they want to on their own time and property, and I'm just as free to ignore 'em.

"(news source) has a noted history of falsehoods"

Undoubtedly you mean "(news source) has a noted history of falsehoods that exceeds my personal threshold of tolerance for such".

I'd've assumed that was implied, unless you know of a perfect news source, but point taken and accepted.

(short answer, the hell with THAT, my freedoms are inherent regardless of the metaphysical ordering of the cosmos)

I'm completely tolerant of your rejection of the "God-given" part, as the purpose of it is still satisfied by the understanding you expressed -- "inherent". (I.e. does not come from man, or govt., etc.)

Figured you would be, you have your head screwed on straight. Mind talking to my dad about it at some point?

The other point that I wanted to address was the comment on "American neo-Liberalism". I really think a fair part of that is selection bias or regional bias--from my personal experience, the larger portion of attempts to convince me to ignore news sources or boycott whatever come from what has been being called neo-conservative sources, particularly the scary fundamentalist wings of a variety of religions. This is largely because I'm living in a relatively liberal college town surrounded by Appalachia, as I mentioned, which means that there's a lot of money invested in the local news media that's NOT in the university town in order to drown out as much as possible the university's influence on state politics, especially by conservatives whose districts encompass both rural and in-town areas.

On the other hand, we'll get days where there's a pro-Palestine-nationhood rally, a pro-Israel counter-rally, a fundamentalist Baptist preacher, a fundamentalist Orthodox deacon, and a fundamentalist Hasidic Jew all screaming vaguely in the general direction of everyone else. (to which I usually sigh, smile, and mutter about how politically awesome this particular region is).

For the rest, I really think it's less a function of political alignment than a function of relative fanaticism, and I think we'll see as the next few years go by that there will be relatively less left-wing idiocy of this type and relatively more right-wing, simply because of the galvanizing effect the President's political behaviors have on the fanatic wings of the opposition.

I'd also like to clarify that "the fanatic wing" of any given party is the group that thinks they're so right it's worth oppressing people or committing crimes against democracy in order that "their guy" be in charge, regardless of the strength or orthodoxy of their particular party platform: I'd lump in anyone from the Black Panthers to Nixon's Watergate crew in this category.

Comment More and more, I want to move to Washington (Score 1) 16

The off-the-deep-end wing of the "right-wing" types here definitely are making it known that they plan to be not just present, but actively disruptive.

Of course, this is partially a problem of it being a college town surrounded by a significant amount of very rural Appalachia--I can't think of the last event of ANY type that didn't have disruptive types trying to shout down the speaker.

Comment Re:moof (Score 1) 16

I don't know that I necessarily agree completely with your position here--I certainly believe it's un-American to censor, but at the same time, freedom of speech includes the freedom to give advice, and "don't watch Fox News" is functionally the same as "don't read Dan Brown novels" or something similar--that is, really, for all the force it has it's a review and not a command.

For example, I admit that I have said similar things to the former to my father, but less as a "(news source) has ideas I don't like" and more of a "(news source) has a noted history of falsehoods" or "(news source) is aesthetically displeasing, and you can get less ugly but similarly aligned views from (other news source)".

I'm sure, on a side note, we could have a great discussion on "God-given" freedoms (short answer, the hell with THAT, my freedoms are inherent regardless of the metaphysical ordering of the cosmos).

I also disagree, given the examples I've seen, that either major party is fundamentally better in terms of how they treat news sources that they perceive as being aligned with the opposition party.

Comment Re:A bit late but I was away all weekend celebrati (Score 1) 10

Sure, but you also can't have free press without liberty, so maybe the theme of the parade should be the free press! That would be just as dumb.

That's a fair point as well. On the other hand, it's more relevant than the aforementioned hometown's theme this year, which was something along the lines of "hometown pride". (Last years, arguably even less to the point, was "our Christian heritage".) Compared to that, "diversity" (or "the free press") are way closer to the mark.

Ha. :-)

I need to start a My Dad series, he's my poster child for the ideal conservative--in other words, the kind of entrepreneur that doesn't need an Equal Employment law to tell him to hire qualified minorities and women, etc. Sadly he won't even run for mayor, much less anything serious. That's neither here nor there, though.

Comment A bit late but I was away all weekend celebrating (Score 1) 10

I'd argue that you almost necessarily CAN'T really have diversity without liberty, so celebrating the former is effectively celebrating the latter.

Somewhat related--I walked in on my dad (the American Legion post commander for my hometown) having an argument with the color guard commander (an old WWII vet) because the latter couldn't wrap his head around the idea that a twentysomething female army sergeant would be better suited to carrying a rifle than my dad (who retired a Chief Electronics Technician from the Navy) despite her gender.

Dad won when he pointed out he had no idea where the safety on an M1 was and, in fact, had never fired anything other than a .22 in the last two decades.

Comment You know... (Score 2, Funny) 34

Since Michael was 80% plastic anyway, he should be recycled.

Specifically, he should be recycled into plastic shopping bags so he can remain white, unsightly, and a menace to small children.

Comment Re:Don't... (Score 1) 11

I suspect it'd be the same as anyone else's reason for incest prohibitions in the first place--that is, "the state has an interest in regulating this due to the vastly increased risk of disabled children in such marriages." Nothing in there about social stigma at all, even if the biology is arguable (and it'd be far from the worse scientific mistake made in legislatures this decade, after all, on either side of the left-right divide).

Comment Re:Don't... (Score 1) 11

As a staunch supporter of gay marriage rights, I find myself in the position of happily supporting the right of consenting adults in situations where there are no power imbalance issues to marry even incestuously, preferably with some kind of genetic testing requirement so as to avoid the kind of birth defects that occasionally result. In practice this means that I'd allow sibling and first cousin incest, but not intergenerational ones due to the potential for abuse.

I'm perfectly happy with polyamory too if one can think of a reasonable legal framework for it--I've heard seriously proposed a system whereby people can be in multiple one-to-one marriages, and the sole additions to the code would be a reinforcement that each person can only be claimed once as a dependent/exception regardless of how many people they're living with, and some concept of ranking the order of one's marriages to un-muddy the waters with regard to decision-making.

Pets can't consent, they're not humans. So no worries there.

Who's the "them" you're talking about?

Oh, and Pudge? I think you'll probably find that the reality is that A) no one thought it through or B) they left the incest prohibitions in so as to keep people (like FroMan here) from being able to use support of incest as evidence for a general support of amorality in the writers of the bill.

Comment Re:From the front lines (Score 1) 39

I know at least one poli-sci guy who's theorizing that the Democrats' schizophrenic big-tentness with regard to defectors like Specter is going to cause them to bud off a new middle-left party in the next 10-20 years if the Republicans can't regain ground or lose ground in 2010-2012-2016.

Comment Re:From the front lines (Score 1) 39

Tea Parties and the like are going to make people look harder at the GOP, and if the GOP has any sense it will push those issues, and it will pick up seats in both houses.

From here, it looks like it's anyone's game, depending mostly on the perceived results of Obama's current policies and on which parties can pick up some of the protest issues and successfully run with them.

Current smart money is on Specter, if only because Toomey's a jerk. It'd be totally awesome if Tom Ridge comes back up here and runs, on the other hand.

Comment Re:From the front lines (Score 1) 39

Sigh. That's just stupid. How much (literal) communist rhetoric was going on at the antiwar rallies? (A lot.)

I'm under no illusions that the larger part of it is that these folks could safely ignore the anti-war rallies as being pointless, but don't like their position vis-a-vis taxes being "tainted" by the moral majority stuff.

a. A small minority of Republicans (except on the issues of abortion and gay marriage, which are arguably not about social repression in any significant way, of course)

For most of the Libertarians/fiscal conservatives I deal with in real life on a regular basis, gay marriage is THE huge social repression issue (the group is, for whatever reason, disproportionately gay on the order of 20%+) and while I'm not really convinced it's true now, I think in the next two decades with demographic shifts we're going to see gay rights become less of a third rail and more something that is embrace it or lose.

And there was a lot of "McCain changed" rhetoric around, but mostly from moderate Democrats and Independents trying to find a reason to vote for Obama, less so from the Libertarian/Republican folks I know.

Tying that back to the Specter thing, there's a feeling from the younger generation of Republicans (it was pointed out to me that Meghan McCain is also in this camp) that, big tent or not, the Christian Right wields disproportionate influence in the current structure. I'm not saying I think it's true, I'm saying that meme is winning the battle of ideas right now--and at least around here, it seems like Specter is trying to capitalize on it.

What it really points up, as usual, is how there's a lot of free-floating rhetoric that doesn't really have much bearing on the issues.

2010 is going to be an interesting election year.

Comment Re:From the front lines (Score 1) 39

I don't really understand why it is, either, honestly. I mean, I heard it most recently from a few friends, Libertarians, who were utterly disgusted by how much Christian Nation rhetoric was going on at the local Tea Party.

There's a perception around that the Republicans are all monsters of social repression, and the scary thing is that on the other discussion forum I talk politics in online, the self-professed Republicans/conservatives openly revel in it--the poster boy thereof calling outright for a return to the 1950s Ward Cleaver-style lifestyle where everything is homogenized and safe.

It seems largely due to the ongoing perception in the last few years by the annoying wing of the Christian Evangelical movement that they are the ones with their hands on the wheel of conservatism, and they're doing a lot of subtle and blatant things to keep tying themselves to the Republicans.

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