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      This book is a bit long in the tooth now, having been published in 95.  The role it suggests for emotion in the use of reason is, in generalities, no longer controversial. But it was a landmark book for me, when I read it, and it’s still relevant and worth reading. There’s been a LOT […]
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Post Debate Wrap Up: Droooooonnnnes

Update: Leave it to The Onion:

Obama Takes Out Romney in Mid-Debate Drone Attack

BOCA RATON, FL—Saying that the high-value target represented a major threat to their most vital objectives, Obama administration officials confirmed tonight that former governor Mitt Romney was killed by a predator drone while attending a presidential debate at Lynn University.

[…]

“Our information indicated that the target, who had been recently spotted in Ohio, Virginia, and Colorado, was traveling all around America and had access to a fortune consisting of hundreds of millions of dollars,” a military spokesperson said of the mission to “find and kill” the Detroit-born politician “no matter what the cost.” “When we received credible evidence that Romney was going to be in the vicinity of Lynn University the evening of Oct. 22, we realized our opportunity had arisen.”

Hey!  We’ve got ships that go underwater!
And drones.

Turns out Romney likes drones too, the ultimate rings of Gyges.

Cheap, effective, easy to use.  What’s not to love?  Oh sure, no one intends to abuse them and use them against people who we simply do not like, including our fellow Americans, but that’s what’s going to happen.  There’s nothing to stop us from using them any way we want.  Abuse is inevitable without a moratorium and examination of their threat to our civil liberties.  I’m starting to see a pattern of loss of our liberties at the same time technology is accelerating at a rapid pace.  We are not taking the time to safeguard ourselves before we go gung-ho into the next hot tech thing.

IMHO, war has to be personally expensive so that people will be discrouraged from getting into one.   (Note that  while I don’t love war, I am not a Chomskyesque pacifist.) But drones are like land mines.  The people who exercise the power  to use them don’t have to stick around for the slaughter.  They wash their hands and pick up their joysticks.  Those hits cease to be real people after awhile.  The operators *have* to disconnect eventually or they wouldn’t be able to do their jobs, just like the traders and brokers have to stop thinking about screwing hard working people out of their pension funds.  If they didn’t think about that tomorrow, how would they make the big bucks for their companies and themselves today?

As for who won, neither did.  Mitt and Obama don’t really differ all that much when it comes to foreign policy.  It’s just that their goals are different.

Mitt had Obama in defense mode for a good portion of the middle of the debate when he saw an opening to attack Obama’s domestic policies.  Obama had Mitt on the defensive at the end just because after four years in office, Even a guy as indifferent to the suffering of others as Obama eventually learned something about foreign policy.   Maybe that will make a difference to some people but you’d have to be a hard core, chickenshit Democratic loyalist to find anything worthy or inspiring in Obama’s halting, maze-like, non-sequitor laced sentences that wander off to the desert.  I thought someone would have to send out a search party for the point he was trying to make, assuming there was one.  I didn’t get to watch him much this time but he sounded as dweebish as Dukakis again.

So, anyway, that’s my take on it, for what it’s worth.  As the election gets  nearer I am more and more comfortable voting third party.

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Presidential Debate, the Third: Furn Policy- Live blog

Ok, sportsfans, this is the last debate.  Can I get a “Darwin!”?  Tonight’s topic is Foreign Policy.  I hope we don’t get some tedious version of the kerning controversy when it comes to what happened in Benghazi.  That would be death by boredom.  Benghazi was a  terrorist attack brought on by raging maniacal Islamic fundies having a hissy fit over some stupid movie.  Here in the US, we just change the channel or push the back button or leave the theater but apparently that is too much to ask of *some* people in the middle east.  What Muslim nations need to implement is a V-chip that will protect viewers from blasphemy like we can protect kiddies from naughty words and naughtier bits.   It’s a bit regrettable that grown up nations insist on treating their citizens like children who are emotionally incapable of handling a little disrespect but there ya’ go. We’ve got Christian crazies over here too.  Fundamentalist extremists come in all flavors of religion.

On the other hand, if a prophet is dissed somewhere in the world and you don’t hear it, is it still blasphemy?

But anyway, I’m getting a little burned out on debates and foreign policy ranks right up there with Keynesianism vs MMT for me.  I might need some help liveblogging this one.

As I said last time, our “watch with the sound off” patented liveblogging technique has been shamelessly pirated by some cable news channels.  So, it’s your choice, sound off or on.  I’m a cord cutter (by necessity) so I watch the debates on C-Span.  You can catch it here.

Once again for our conservative friends, we don’t have a dog in this fight.  We don’t like either one of these guys.  Obama is no liberal, not even close.  The socialist party wouldn’t have him either.  You’re just going to have to take our word on this because we’re liberals and you’re not.  And Mitt is a Republican.  That just about sums it up for us.  The Republicans are an irrational mob lead by some manipulative conmen who are masquerading as a party.  Many of us are voting third party.  Please don’t comment party propaganda and focus group tested “memes” here.  For one thing, we can spot a meme from a mile away and for another, they just irritate the s^*& out of us.

Other than that, play ball!

Pre-debate warm up

Katiebird sent this to me yesterday.  Enjoy!

Question of the Day: What would Obama have to do to get your vote?

Busy day today.  I’ll be back in time for the debate tonight.  In the meantime, what would Obama have to do to get your vote?

I’m not sure he could actually pull this off for me but here are the things he would have to do immediately to get my vote:

1.) Fire Tim Geithner.  He has to do this before the election.  He has to appoint a Secretary of the Treasury who does not work for Wall Street.  This is my biggest demand.  Geithner and all of Obama’s Wall Street favorite advisors have got to go.  They have caused untold and unnecessary suffering for millions of struggling American workers and homeowners.

2.) Promise that he will under no circumstances sign any bill that reduces benefits or raises the retirement age for future Social Security beneficiaries.  He must promise not to negotiate on a Grand Bargain. (Please, Gawd, don’t let him anywhere near a negotiation table.) See the Campaign for America’s Future Website on the Lame Duck Whip Count on this issue.  Downticket Dems need to commit right this very second.  My two senators have but I have yet to hear from my Republican representative, Leonard Lance, one of the most committed hard ass Republican partisans. Obama must promise to explore cost controls for Medicare that do not fall on the recipients.  It’s time for providers to start making sacrifices since the inability to rein them in is what is going to drain us.

3.) He has to pull out of Iraq and Afghanistan now.  We’ve given him plenty of time to pull out.  No more stalling, no more grandstanding.  Get out now.

4.) He has to rescind the Bush Conscience Rule immediately and without any further wordsmithing.

5.) He has to stop using the drones.  He has to empty Guantanemo expeditiously.  He has to stop siccing his DHS droogs on peaceful protestors.

6.) He has to promise to work for Rush Holt’s HR811 bill for voter verified paper ballots.  Casting votes on e-voting machines is “faith based voting” according to Holt because the machines are so easily hacked.  Obama has to get onboard right this very minute.

I’d like to remind the Democrats that all of the donors in the country can’t win this election for you.  You’ve got to get actual, genuine voter bodies to the polls and make them push buttons, punch chads and fill the circle completely within the lines to win.  There are some voters who will vote for you no matter what, some who are so gullible they’ll believe anything you tell them and US.  I suspect you’re going to need US this year.

What are your demands?  Take the poll below.  Choose up to 3 responses or add your own demand.