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Thread: This is mostly for Pless

  1. #1
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    Default This is mostly for Pless

    OK, we know where you stand; disaffected by Obama's failure to be the very nearly perfect President, so much so that you'd toss your vote in the trashcan on Jill Stein as some sort of vinidication for your disaffection. I understand, even if I don't agree.

    However, this piece, by John Hodgeman (actor, comedian... you'd recognize him from the 'I'm a PC' Apple commercials) points out a somewhat more pragmatic view, the view of someone just as dissapointed, who nonetheless recognizes that ain't no perfect candidate OR President:

    I will reveal here that I am going to vote for Obama, and I hope he wins, and here is the reason: I LIKE WINNING.

    This was not always the case. For someone who came of age as a long-haired public radio nerd in Brookline, MA in Reagan's eighties and Bush's early nineties, winning was a foreign country. A country that surrounded our northeastern patch of rent control and repertory movie houses and 100 Years of Solitude, but wanted nothing to do with us.

    And while it may surprise you to learn that I was not a sporting person, I did feel some kinship with the Boston Red Sox of this period (a baseball team), because they were perpetual underdogs, which is to say: LOSERS. And I learned from sports the fatalist, self-righteous, weepy thesis of the loser: that winning is stupid. A bully's art in a rigged game. I learned to wear my irrelevance and exile as a kind of pride: that it is better and more wholesome to absorb a principled loss into your abused heart and keep that faded Dukakis sticker upon your Volvo than to make the comprises required to enjoy some meaningless, passing triumph.

    Like many, I first heard of Barack Obama when he spoke at the 2004 Democratic National Convention. Though I lived at that time on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, I was listening to him on the radio at our summer house in the five college area of Western Massachusetts. I say this to set the scene, and also to re-assert my credentials as an elite, affluent, northeastern liberal, and thus, at that time, a non-American. In case you had forgotten.

    Listening to Obama, I realized I agreed with him on most issues, but mostly I was electrified by the premise of the speech, which was essentially that we are all part of the same country, but which I took to mean "people in blue states are actual humans as well." There weren't many people saying this in 2004. Not even many Democrats. And while I was instantly thralled by this on a purely selfish level, I also liked that the sentiment flowed in reverse as well. I have disagreements with, but no need to demonize, conservative America, as indeed many of them are my family, even right here in supposedly liberal Massachusetts. We are all one, he said in 2004, and I was so excited. This guy is going to lose so BEAUTIFULLY, I thought.

    But it didn't happen that way. I can place the moment I knew I was wrong. In July of 2008, I was driving past the empty hole where the new World Trade Center had STILL not been built, and I heard on the radio (I LOVE PUBLIC RADIO, REMEMBER) that Obama had reversed his position on the update of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act and would agree with a compromise that would grant telecom companies immunity from prosecution for cooperating with warrantless wiretaps. I had to look all that up, because I honestly forgot what the specific issue was at the time. All I remember was that knife twist in my gut of deep disappointment. I learned then that Obama was going to disappoint; that his ideals were tempered by a kind of rough pragmatism; and that he would be willing to personally alienate ME. ME OF ALL PEOPLE. The one person who knew best about how to run a presidential campaign and ranked Obama's performance as a candidate solely upon his adherence to a few very specific positions that I cared most about. HOW COULD HE WIN THIS ELECTION WITHOUT ME? And then I realized: Oh. How can he win the election WITH an asshole like me?

    Now that I've looked it up, I still disagree with his decision on the FISA update. But what I remember is this: not only would I have to get used to that knife twist of disappointment, I would have to learn to enjoy it. Because that's the moment that I realized that Obama actually intended to win.

    After that I learned to appreciate Obama in a different way. I appreciated that he inhabited a world in which idealism -- and ideology -- could never by sheer force of will overcome objective reality, and the hard compromises, uneasy truces, and constant errors that must be made to live in that world. I especially felt better about this position when I learned that John McCain carried an indian feather around FOR LUCK. This was not how I wanted my country run. By myth and superstition and magic tokens.

    And, in that real world, I began to appreciate, winning matters. And not just that election. Those who hate how far the legislative Frankenstein's monster called the Affordable Care Act lurched away from the promethean ideal of what it could have been are not wrong. Those who, for this reason, cheered for its failure were dumb. Whether the fight should have been joined just then is a discussion that countless armchair quarterbacks and alternate history novelists can debate, sterilely, forever. Once it WAS joined, that win was galvanizing and essential and re-moralizing, as was its confirmation by the Supreme Court. A court that includes, by the way, two Obama nominees who would not have been there had he not won.

    And science suggests that winning begets winning: that mammals fighting for food or survival tend to win those fights, regardless of comparative size or hunger, if they have recently won fights before. Of course, politics is not mammal-fighting, and that is why winning in politics is even more important.

    Those on the right who began wishing in 1980 to dismantle the Great Society, de-regulate and de-unionize business, and starve the beast of the federal government are, you may have noticed, very close to succeeding. I am not saying this to scare you; maybe you agree with them. But the point is that it happened because they endured the compromises, hypocrisies, and retreats needed to get the wins, and profoundly change policy in ways we barely noticed -- the repeal of Glass-Steagall; the massive tax cuts; the empowerment of corporations as political donors. These things did not happen because conservatives who believed in them kicked Reagan out of office in 1984 for failing to outlaw abortion immediately. It happened because they won elections.

    (And were also willing to settle for the steady erosion of abortion and contraceptive rights, state by state across the country, which, if unchecked, may end up amounting to the same thing).

    And when it came to locating and killing Osama Bin Laden, winning, if you can put it that way, meant the dispassionate, unpleasant, but overdue righting of a profound wrong. That was not a victory I could take a lot of joy in, but after so much life so profligately spent on a war that seemed increasingly designed to NOT find or punish Bin Laden, I was surprised at what a deep sense of relief I felt when I heard the news.

    And of course, the cost of losing is very high. As a supporter of health care reform, same-sex marriage, women's rights, tax fairness, a domestic policy responsive to the realities of the present day as opposed to toxic nostalgia, and an international policy that punishes our enemies more than it rewards our private contractors, I may not always agree with the speed or execution of Obama's policies. But I know that a loss this year would not be seen as a noble failure. It would be seen as a repudiation of these values for a long time to come. Losses transform ideals into irrelevant fantasy, and idealists into weepy self-pitiers, like old-school Red Sox fans and Tea Partiers and people who really believe some day that Firefly might come back.

    Of course, no one remembers now that the Red Sox were losers for so long. Because they won. Because wins remake reality. They transform ideals into policies, and endorse them with a sense of fate and rightness, and then they LAST.

    It may seem strange, then, that this nerd could become so jockish thanks to sports and a president who throws up the Vulcan salute so often you might think he's at Dragon*Con. But I want President Obama to win, because I want the things I believe in to win.

    And also, nerds, I have to tell you: WINNING FEELS F$#KING FANTASTIC.

    -- JOHN HODGMAN
    New York, New York 
    "The rights and interests of the laboring man will be protected and cared for -- not by the labor agitators, but by the Christian men of property to whom God has given control of the property rights of the country, and upon the successful management of which so much depends."
    George Baer




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    Default Re: This is mostly for Pless

    "...John McCain carried an Indian feather around, FOR LUCK..."??????? What the hell is an "Indian feather"?
    Never trust a man with a clean workshop.

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    Default Re: This is mostly for Pless

    good one! here's to pragmatism!

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    Default Re: This is mostly for Pless

    Quote Originally Posted by Mrleft8 View Post
    "...John McCain carried an Indian feather around, FOR LUCK..."??????? What the hell is an "Indian feather"?
    Beats me... first time I've heard of it.... But google is our friend:

    For instance, a positively giddy report in a recent edition of the Washington Times notes, 'Mr. McCain has dozens of superstitions and rituals ... He carries a lucky feather, a lucky compass and a lucky penny -- not to mention a lucky nickel and a lucky quarter.' ...
    "The rights and interests of the laboring man will be protected and cared for -- not by the labor agitators, but by the Christian men of property to whom God has given control of the property rights of the country, and upon the successful management of which so much depends."
    George Baer




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    Default Re: This is mostly for Pless

    For instance, a positively giddy report in a recent edition of the Washington Times notes, 'Mr. McCain has dozens of superstitions and rituals ... He carries a lucky feather, a lucky compass and a lucky penny -- not to mention a lucky nickel and a lucky quarter.' ...
    Hmmm - I wonder if he took that stuff to Vietnam with him?
    Or for that matter to Annapolis, or his run for president?

    Methinks it's not working...


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    Default Re: This is mostly for Pless

    Sounds like McCain should better have been a major league ball player, LOL.
    Gerard>
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    Default Re: This is mostly for Pless

    Sounds a bit OCD
    It really is quite difficult to build an ugly wooden boat.

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    Default Re: This is mostly for Pless

    Bumped.... Because I posted this primarily for pless, and he didn't even comment
    "The rights and interests of the laboring man will be protected and cared for -- not by the labor agitators, but by the Christian men of property to whom God has given control of the property rights of the country, and upon the successful management of which so much depends."
    George Baer




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    Default Re: This is mostly for Pless

    That's OK Norm it's on of the best C&Ps you've posted in long time. I agree completely. The good is the enemy of the best, and I'm generally on the side of the good.

    "For a successful technology, reality must take precedence over public relations,
    for nature cannot be fooled."

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    Default Re: This is mostly for Pless

    Quote Originally Posted by Keith Wilson View Post
    That's OK Norm it's on of the best C&Ps you've posted in long time. I agree completely. The good is the enemy of the best, and I'm generally on the side of the good.
    Too bad Paul is ignoring it.... It was perfect, for him.
    "The rights and interests of the laboring man will be protected and cared for -- not by the labor agitators, but by the Christian men of property to whom God has given control of the property rights of the country, and upon the successful management of which so much depends."
    George Baer




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    Default Re: This is mostly for Pless

    Quote Originally Posted by Norman Bernstein View Post
    Too bad Paul is ignoring it.... It was perfect, for him.
    I imagine that his response will/would be nothing more than his usual "FART"....
    Never trust a man with a clean workshop.

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    Default Re: This is mostly for Pless

    Quote Originally Posted by Norman Bernstein View Post
    However, this piece, by John Hodgeman (actor, comedian...
    Wow, an actor and comedian and I get berated for not using good sources.
    The beach beckons.

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    Default Re: This is mostly for Pless

    Quote Originally Posted by Rum_Pirate View Post
    Wow, an actor and comedian and I get berated for not using good sources.
    It is commentary.... Opinion, not fact. When you are trying to argue fact, you DO need credible sources.
    "The rights and interests of the laboring man will be protected and cared for -- not by the labor agitators, but by the Christian men of property to whom God has given control of the property rights of the country, and upon the successful management of which so much depends."
    George Baer




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    Default Re: This is mostly for Pless

    Quote Originally Posted by Norman Bernstein View Post
    It is commentary.... Opinion, not fact. When you are trying to argue fact, you DO need credible sources.
    Your post is appreciated.

    Note to self: One is allowed to use whatever quote (commentaries not facts) one wishes regardless of source and have no rebuttal on this forum. Duly noted.
    The beach beckons.

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    Default Re: This is mostly for Pless

    Quote Originally Posted by Norman Bernstein View Post
    Too bad Paul is ignoring it.... It was perfect, for him.
    I expect he's read it.

    I think it is a great piece and I'm very pleased it was posted here. In many, many ways it speaks for me.

    Problem is, I think, hatred for Obama runs deep in many circles and simply distorts the view of the people in those circles. Obama walked into the Oval office facing multiple major problems. He faced an opposition party with the singular goal of opposing him. In their efforts to defeat him they have resorted to what seems to be their only weapon: LIES.

    If his record is as poor as they would have us believe, why can they not attack it with honest facts?

    There are subtle things happening that I think are important. Ryan has none of that vast private sector experience Romney says a president must have, so by Romney's own criteria the man he picked for VP is not qualified to be president.

    Obama is willing to compromise to move forward. The opposition is not.
    Social programs help those people whom Capitalism has failed.

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    Default Re: This is mostly for Pless

    Quote Originally Posted by Rum_Pirate View Post
    Wow, an actor and comedian and I get berated for not using good sources.
    Attack the messenger when you can't attack the message. The gentlemen who wrote the above opinion is not only entitled to it, but if you wish to do some fact checking, you'll find the facts support it.

    Or, you can continue to believe the science on Global warmings isn't settled, that women have a built in pregnancy protection when they are raped, or that the earth is flat and the center of the universe.

    That's your right.
    Social programs help those people whom Capitalism has failed.

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    Default Re: This is mostly for Pless

    Quote Originally Posted by John Smith View Post
    I expect he's read it.
    Haven't read it yet. Been busy looking at wooden boats and going sailing with friends. . .
    Simpler is better, except when complicated looks really cool.

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    Default Re: This is mostly for Pless

    Quote Originally Posted by Norman Bernstein View Post
    OK, we know where you stand; disaffected by Obama's failure to be the very nearly perfect President, so much so that you'd toss your vote in the trashcan on Jill Stein as some sort of vinidication for your disaffection. I understand, even if I don't agree
    No, you're quite wrong. My 'disaffection' has nothing to do with Obama's failure to be a perfect. It has to do with how incompetent he actually is at 'politics'. He's been continually rolled by the Republicans. And don't give me any crap about saving political capital; goo leaders make their own capital by being bold and aggressive. Dude sucks. Granted, he doesn't suck as much as nearly every Republican that wants to be president of late, but he still sucks.
    Simpler is better, except when complicated looks really cool.

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    Default Re: This is mostly for Pless

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Pless View Post
    No, you're quite wrong. My 'disaffection' has nothing to do with Obama's failure to be a perfect. It has to do with how incompetent he actually is at 'politics'. He's been continually rolled by the Republicans. And don't give me any crap about saving political capital; goo leaders make their own capital by being bold and aggressive. Dude sucks. Granted, he doesn't suck as much as nearly every Republican that wants to be president of late, but he still sucks.
    I used to think that, but I was wrong. He's been playing the hand he was dealt and has masterfully changed that intangible "board position" and has actually put the Republicans in a position they don't like.

    I ask you: If Obama's been so bad, why do they have to lie about his record?

    Bin Laden is dead. GM and Chrysler are alive. Under a President Romney that would be reversed, and there's a good chance we'd be at war with Iran.

    Obama has made numerous efforts to compromise with the Republicans. They've turned him down. They will not compromise.

    So, you go ahead and reward them.

    Let us remember how this country works. There is little the president can do without congress, and a continued requirement of 60 votes in the senate literally prevents him from doing much.

    When a bill passes the House and goes to the senate, gets 59 votes in the senate, but is filibustered, who's fault is it that bill didn't make it to Obama's desk? How can he sign or veto what does not reach his desk?
    Social programs help those people whom Capitalism has failed.

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    Default Re: This is mostly for Pless

    Goo(d) leaders like Mohandas K.Ghandi, Martin L. King Jr., and Desmond Tutu?
    Never trust a man with a clean workshop.

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    Default Re: This is mostly for Pless

    Quote Originally Posted by John Smith View Post
    Attack the messenger when you can't attack the message.
    Yes that is what the lefties on this forum do. You only have to read the responses to my posts to see the personal attacks.

    Mind you I don't need to say this as you know that already.


    Strange how one tries to have ones cake and eat it depending on which way the wind blows?
    The beach beckons.

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    Default Re: This is mostly for Pless

    Quote Originally Posted by Rum_Pirate View Post
    Yes that is what the lefties on this forum do. You only have to read the responses to my posts to see the personal attacks.

    Mind you I don't need to say this as you know that already.


    Strange how one tries to have ones cake and eat it depending on which way the wind blows?
    Now you sound paranoid. I only recall your facts being attacked, not you.

    The facts are something you continue to ignore. You may construe that as an attack, but it is not the same as you attacking Hodgmen for being a comedian.

    The historical facts show, and many have been posted in articles and charts from numerous reliable sources, that Bush's tax cuts are the primary cause of our deficit and debt, also contributied to by two unpaid for wars and an unpaid for prescription drug bill that was a great benefit to the drug companies.

    Obama's attempts to change Bush's tax policies have not gotten past the Republicans in Congress.

    If you believe Republcan figures, Obama added $787 billion to the deficit under his stimulus plan, but has taken $717 billion out of Medicare, for a net addition to the deficit of$70 billion.

    If he's added more to our deficit by his policies, please show me.

    Not even George Washington took office with a clean slate. Every president walks into what he walks into, and no president leaves office taking his wars etc. with him. It all stays for the next guy.

    G.W. inherited a surplus (a growing surplus) and a shrinking debt. He inherited a world at peace. What did he pass on? Why is no one from his administration spaking at the RNC?

    We've also learned after the fact that Bush was in possession of a great deal of data concerning Al Qaeda and Bin Laden. Had he not ignored it all there is a reasonable possibility 9/11 could have been prevented. An effort to do so would have been nice.
    Social programs help those people whom Capitalism has failed.

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    Default Re: This is mostly for Pless

    Quote Originally Posted by John Smith View Post
    Now you sound paranoid. I only recall your facts being attacked, not you.
    None so blind and all that . . .
    The beach beckons.

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    Default Re: This is mostly for Pless

    Quote Originally Posted by Rum_Pirate View Post
    None so blind and all that . . .
    Rummy, I think it's time to take the "Victim Meter" in for re-calibration, I think the sensitivity setting is a bit out of alignment. Piece was put forth as an opinion, not a fact laden rebuttal to anything.

    Besides, what would be wrong with Hodgman being a comedian, often they put more truth out there then a whole lot of other so called experts.

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    Default Re: This is mostly for Pless

    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin T View Post
    Rummy, I think it's time to take the "Victim Meter" in for re-calibration, I think the sensitivity setting is a bit out of alignment. Piece was put forth as an opinion, not a fact laden rebuttal to anything.

    Besides, what would be wrong with Hodgman being a comedian, often they put more truth out there then a whole lot of other so called experts.
    You think the ' "Victim Meter" in for re-calibration' ?

    This is just an observation:

    On this forum various items/people are quoted for discussion regarding various topics.

    If it does not support the 'Democrat view' then various posters 'poo poo' the source regardless.

    Worse however is that many of 'these posters' also viciously attack the poster personally.
    "Kill the messenger" rather then debate the issue. Sad.

    Then if somebody posts a quotation that does not support the Republicans, if anyone dare point out flaws etc then that poster is attacked and the poor authoritatively made item is strongly supported irrespective of how poor authority of the source. Eg look at the support for a advertisement actor and a comedian. Mind you, perhaps his 'Commentary' was a joke submission. Nah, that must be 'Gospel' on this forum. Why? Because it is anti-Republican.

    Then if somebody takes it to task it is then defended "it is a commentary' it is an 'opinion' etc.
    If this defense is done against the posts that do not support the Democrat view then it is 'poo poo'd' and cries are made for facts etc and the poster maligned.

    Basically this forum is apparently for Democrat supporters only and no other posts or views whatsoever shall be tolerated, naturally all this is my personal opinion based on the posts read here.
    The beach beckons.

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    Default Re: This is mostly for Pless

    That's a really fine whine, rummy.... victimization suits you.

    Get over yourself. There may indeed be more liberals than conservatives here, or maybe they are just more active and willing to post.... but your absurd claim that you get treated worse than many other people is laughable. Since the topic here is often politics, and politics ain't beanbag, it requires a certain amount of toughness to participate. You give as good as you get.
    "The rights and interests of the laboring man will be protected and cared for -- not by the labor agitators, but by the Christian men of property to whom God has given control of the property rights of the country, and upon the successful management of which so much depends."
    George Baer




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    Default Re: This is mostly for Pless

    Quote Originally Posted by Norman Bernstein View Post
    That's a really fine whine, rummy....
    I prefer rum.

    BTW Note you don't comment on the personal attacks.
    The beach beckons.

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    Default Re: This is mostly for Pless

    You know, let's just look back and see precisely what thorn under your saddle got you cranked up with playing the victim card.

    In post #12, you said:

    Wow, an actor and comedian and I get berated for not using good sources.
    To which, I responded:

    It is commentary.... Opinion, not fact. When you are trying to argue fact, you DO need credible sources.
    Wow, what incredible ABUSE!!! I was really HARSH, wasn't I?

    You DO know the difference between commentary and fact, don't you?

    From there, you took off like a rocket, whining big time.
    "The rights and interests of the laboring man will be protected and cared for -- not by the labor agitators, but by the Christian men of property to whom God has given control of the property rights of the country, and upon the successful management of which so much depends."
    George Baer




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    Default Re: This is mostly for Pless

    Hey Rum, I didn't say you were the only one in possession of a meter, there are lots of them out there. If the Rep position is strong and righteous it should be easy to make the case regardless of the audience.

    The other thing that has always made me curious is the quick jump claim that the arguments made by one side are anti-republican when it is a set of ideas that are being debated and asked to be backed up with facts. Like J. Swift, I could make the claim that Republicans roast and eat the children of the poor, but absent facts, that would just be my wild imaginings and would be quite indefensible.

    Got a strong point of view and got facts to go with it, convince me of them, don't automatically cave and claim victimhood.

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    Default Re: This is mostly for Pless

    Quote Originally Posted by Rum_Pirate View Post
    I prefer rum.

    BTW Note you don't comment on the personal attacks.
    I note you've got no facts to base your opinions on.
    Social programs help those people whom Capitalism has failed.

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    Default Re: This is mostly for Pless

    Quote Originally Posted by Norman Bernstein View Post
    You know, let's just look back and see precisely what thorn under your saddle got you cranked up with playing the victim card.

    In post #12, you said:



    To which, I responded:

    It is commentary.... Opinion, not fact. When you are trying to argue fact, you DO need credible sources.
    Wow, what incredible ABUSE!!! I was really HARSH, wasn't I?

    You DO know the difference between commentary and fact, don't you?

    From there, you took off like a rocket, whining big time.
    Did I whine about your response. As you say "you took my post out of context', I actually responded.

    Your post is appreciated.

    Note to self: One is allowed to use whatever quote (commentaries not facts) one wishes regardless of source and have no rebuttal on this forum. Duly noted.
    I stand by my response.
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    Default Re: This is mostly for Pless

    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin T View Post
    .. roast and eat the children of the poor..
    Swift didn't limit preparation techniques to roasting. He also mentioned baking, boiling, stewing, fricassee and ragout.

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    Default Re: This is mostly for Pless

    I just went with the one I like, mmmm slow roasted. . .

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    Default Re: This is mostly for Pless

    Quote Originally Posted by John Smith View Post
    BTW Note you don't comment on the personal attacks.
    I note you've got no facts to base your opinions on.
    The facts are there alright. Read the threads with my posts in them on this forum.
    The beach beckons.

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    Default Re: This is mostly for Pless

    Quote Originally Posted by Keith Wilson View Post
    That's OK Norm it's on of the best C&Ps you've posted in long time. I agree completely. The good is the enemy of the best, and I'm generally on the side of the good.

    Le mieux est l'ennemi du bien?

    But, from the same well - Aime la vérité, mais pardonne ŕ l'erreur.
    Complicated problems usually have simple solutions - which are almost always wrong.

  36. #36
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    Default Re: This is mostly for Pless

    Quote Originally Posted by Rum_Pirate View Post
    The facts are there alright. Read the threads with my posts in them on this forum.
    I've read them. All they contain is falsehoods and misconceptions.

    I'm waiting for you to tell me which part of our current debt is the responsibility of policies Obama put in place. One who believes he is responsible for all this debt should have no trouble pointing to the specifics of how he's initiated things that have added to it.
    Social programs help those people whom Capitalism has failed.

  37. #37
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    Nov 2004
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    44,550

    Default Re: This is mostly for Pless

    Quote Originally Posted by John Smith View Post
    I'm waiting for you to tell me which part of our current debt is the responsibility of policies Obama put in place. One who believes he is responsible for all this debt should have no trouble pointing to the specifics of how he's initiated things that have added to it.
    you'll be waiting a VERY long time, John.
    "The rights and interests of the laboring man will be protected and cared for -- not by the labor agitators, but by the Christian men of property to whom God has given control of the property rights of the country, and upon the successful management of which so much depends."
    George Baer




  38. #38
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
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    11,836

    Default Re: This is mostly for Pless

    Quote Originally Posted by Rum_Pirate View Post
    The facts are there alright. Read the threads with my posts in them on this forum.
    I can see where the victim-meter comment comes from. You say it's because this is a left leaning forum. You are obviously not dumb & you know the difference between opinions & facts as well as anyone.

    If you state something is fact, you will get challenged if people think your fact is wrong. If you state something as opinion, it's different. Surely you get that? Of course if you say it's your opinion that the moon is made of green cheese, you will probably get a few people challenging it. If others come up with valid points & you still believe it is, then fine - but don't expect others to agree with you.

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