Showing posts with label Good Words. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Good Words. Show all posts

Monday, October 09, 2017

Quote of the Day

It's a shame the White House has become an adult day care center. Someone obviously missed their shift this morning.

Monday, October 02, 2017

Quote of the Day

...even with those who have the strange American fixation on the right to own military-style firearms. They don’t have a reason for this fixation—no reason can be found. There’s no argument for it—such weapons are useless in sport, except for the sport of using them; they play no role in hunting, or not hunting anything except helpless people; and they protect no one from a tyrannical government, since the tyrannical government, if it would ever come to that, is hardly in need of small-arms fire to assert its will. Absent an argument for it, they merely have a fixation about it, but it remains practically religious in its intensity. 

Adam Gopnik, The New Yorker

Sunday, October 01, 2017

Quote of the Day

A recent answer I gave on Quora elicited this comment.

This is… one of the best explanations I've seen regarding Trump supporters and fits the bill perfectly. Every Trump supporter I've met thus far is petty and miserable, and thinks nothing of making everyone around them miserable, including their own families.

Why they are petty and miserable is the key to understanding how to either win them over or beat them. We aren't anywhere near having all the answers yet but I think we are getting some idea. Economics matters, fear of change, insecurity, a sense of control loss...all of these drove them to be the trolls they are today.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Good Words

My mother was an elementary school principal, not a Marine who signed up to be on the frontlines of a shootout. 

--Erica Lafferty, daughter of Dawn Hochsprung, principal of Sandy Hook elementary school.

And Erica? They are beyond morally bankrupt. They are criminally responsible for what's happening in this country in terms gun violence and they need to be taken out.

We've done it in the past with previous totalitarian and ideological instransigent groups. The time is now to do it again.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Good Words

"Ronald Reagan didn't attack the people around him. He didn't demean the people around him. He brought everybody together at the end. If Republicans don't bring everybody together at the end of the day, we do not win elections"

(Michael Reaganson of Ronald Reagan)


If conservatives love Reagan as much as they say they do, the should heed this advice. This is especially true for the right wing bloggers and commenters. We all know you were bullied as kids and need your guns to feel empowered. Consistently attacking those that are different than you because they are liberal, not white, not Christian, and not part of your tribe means you lose.

Sunday, August 02, 2015


From Tom Teves, father of Alex Teves killed in the Aurora shooting.

Another man with a gun. Another movie theater. Another devastated community. Something is very wrong in our society when Americans can’t feel safe in a movie theater, their school, where they worship, or in a shopping mall.

We have an entire federal department devoted to terrorism from outside our borders. What about the terror our communities and families are experiencing right here within our borders? It’s time for meaningful solutions to ensure Not One More life is taken by gun violence. Failure to act makes our politicians culpable for this unending carnage.

The ones that are really culpable are the members and leaders of the gun rights lobby.

If you are actively supporting the loosening of gun laws, you are allowing irresponsible people to gain access to weapons and hurt or kill people. As far as I'm concerned, that makes you an accessory to murder.

And you should be thrown in jail.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Amazing Words

A response on Quora regarding Wayne LaPierre's speech at the NRA convention this year.

Fear, fear, and more fear. Keep the boogeyman alive, lurking in the shadows, ready to jump out and snatch our children, our guns, and our freedom. It rallies the base and keeps the donations coming.

To paraphrase Mr. LaPierre, all around the country people tell him they have never been more worried about their country. They "feel" like their freedoms are slipping away, and lie awake at night worrying about their families, their children, and the future.

What a miserable existence they must have, and all unwarranted.

To quote directly from his speech:
"In a nation in which, almost everywhere you look, in profoundly troubling ways, freedom has been diminished. Our right to gather, our right to speak, our financial freedom, our right to care for our families as we see fit, our religious freedom, our right to privacy - all of it in decline."

What the hell is he talking about? 

Our right to peacefully gather is still safe. Does he not remember the March for Life in Washington in January? Or the Occupy movement?

Our right to speak? What? What was he doing at the NRA convention? Isn't Fox News and MSNBC still on the air? Can he name one newspaper the government has shut down? Aren't birthers still challenging President Obama's citizenship?

Our financial freedom? Sure, the economy took a dive in 2008. People lost their jobs and suffered economically. Banks and corporations suffered, though many got immediate government assistance. Some regulations have been restored to about what they were in the mid 1990s, when the economy was booming. There is bickering about raising taxes, like there has been over the last century. But can he name one instance where the government has seized assets of an individual or company without cause? Or one instance where the government without cause specifically restricted the ability of an individual or company to do business? No, laws and regulations are equally applied.

Our right to care for our families as we see fit? Can he name one instance where the federal government interfered with what a law-abiding family did in their own home as far as what they taught their children, chose for their diet, what media they watched, what entertainment they chose, or dictated what places they went, or what church they intended? If a family uses any public service, such as the schools, what family has been forced to live under rules that did not apply to everyone else?

Our religious freedom? Can he name one church, synagogue, or mosque that has been shut down? Or one instance where a government official walked into a place or worship and told the minister, priest, rabbi, or imam they could not express what they believed (as long as they did not illegally advocate violence against others)? Certain conservative groups have tried to prevent the building of new mosques, but not the government.

Can Mr. LaPierre name one instance where Christians or those of any other religion have been denied the right to peacefully assemble or express their views? Did he miss the following events where they did so?

Again, as far as religious freedom, can he name one instance where a church or individual has been told they could not display a nativity scene or other religious symbol on private property? 

There are those who feel the government should favor and support their religion above others in government-funded institutions, and these issues are being sorted out in court as they always have been. However, as far as direct government restrictions upon individuals or places of worship, there is not one instance where a US citizen has been prohibited free exercise of religion while in their home, place of worship, or in a lawful public assembly.

Now, on our right to privacy, I agree that both liberals and conservatives have questioned the provisions of the Patriot Act and Executive Orders issued under both President Bush and President Obama. That will be sorted out by the courts and Congress, as is appropriate.

The rest of it is the usual rhetoric, and by usual I mean baseles and inaccurate, to create enough fear to rally the base into a frenzy and oppose anything linked to a Democratic initiative or President Obama. And of course, to keep financial donations to the NRA coming so the NRA can save us from all this peril.

Does anyone wonder why US politics and culture are polarized?

And as far as the Second Amendment right to bear arms, The ten-year ban on assault rifles that started in 1994 expired in 2004. Legislation was proposed in 2013 to basically renew the ban, but it failed to pass. If it had passed it would have banned the sale of assault weapons but would not have affected the ones already owned. President Obama's Executive Orders concerning the purchase of firearms merely clarified existing regulations or brought them to levels that previously existed. 

As far as gun laws passed by state legislatures after the shooting at Sandy Hook, about two thirds of those laws loosened restrictions on firearms. 

Like it or not, the right to buy and own firearms in the United States has not changed in any significant way during the administration of President Obama. Some may see that as a failure, others as success, but that is the reality of the situation.

One of the finest comments I have ever read. I hope it will change some minds. 

Friday, March 20, 2015

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Good Words

I got a message on Quora from someone who has recently been engaging Kevin Baker in a discussion.

This Kevin Baker guy can be difficult to take! :) My goal in my discussions with him is to have fun, to improve my skills making arguments, and to learn. I absolutely agree his arguments are largely semantic (he seems quite satisfied to zero in on minor discrepancies to "prove" his point), and his need for sharing his "wins" on his site frankly makes me a bit sad. I've commented on that site as well as here, and he (along with his followers) aren't shy about making personal attacks or snide remarks.

Sound familiar?:)

I wonder if Kevin will take anything from this and, perhaps, change.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Good Words

And they happen to be mine...

There are a number of reasons why they hate President Obama.

1. Conservatives are very tribal. Anyone that doesn't adhere strictly to their ideology is vilified (progressives, liberals, Democrats, RINOs). 

2. He's been more successful than George W. Bush and other conservative leaders. Anyone that demonstrates greater skill or intelligence than a conservative is immediately tarred and feathered, especially if said person's words or actions prove conservative ideology wrong. Today's conservative is very adolescent, suffering from insecurity and a massive inferiority complex similar to "short man's syndrome." Like a child rebelling against their parents, they behave irrationally and that's where a lot of the hate comes from. 

3. He's black. The conservative base in the South is still racist, bigoted, prejudiced, and believes in stereotypes about blacks. He also has a "Moose-lem" sounding name so that makes the bigots from other parts of the country hate him too.

4. He beat them twice. Echoing the adolescent thing again from #2, conservatives hate to lose. Like adolescent bullies, they retreat further into hate rather than reflecting on why they have those feelings in the first place (again, some sort of inadequacy probably going back to issues with their parents when they were younger). 

5. He's young. Not talked about too much but given that the average age of the conservative base is 68, they are likely pissed that some young whipper snapper is running the country.

6. Problems with authority. Conservatives don't like anyone telling them what to do. They know what is best for themselves on every issue, even the ones where they lack knowledge (again, back to the adolescent thing again). They especially don't like Democrats telling them what to do because they don't think any liberal deserves the White House. This sentiment comes from the Antebellum South where only certain people should be in positions of authority. Conservatives are very aristocratic. 

7. He represents change. Conservatives today see the world changing and they won't have any of it. This again has to do with the average age. Old people get scared when they age and become more irrational when things don't look the same. In some ways, they revert to childhood and pine for "the good ol' days." President Obama represents moving forward, not looking back, on nearly every issue so it's terribly frightening for them.

Saturday, November 08, 2014

Good Words

Regarding the election being a referendum on President Obama...

This election was a weird referendum on Obama. His core supporters voted by not voting. We saw a decline in youth voter turnout. There could be a couple of explanations for this: 

-They could be unhappy with the job Obama is doing 

-They could be apathetic, believing that they have better things to do than vote 

-They may have seen that there was a Republican takeover of the Senate projected and said "why bother?" 

For those that didn't turn out to vote, they found themselves not supporting Obama for the policies that he hasn't dealt with. We haven't seen any major work on climate change, we haven't seen any major work on immigration, we haven't seen any major work on student loans. If you're a voter who is unhappy with lack of progress on those fronts, why would you take time out of your day to go out an support someone who doesn't seem to be fighting for your issues?

This pretty much sums up the liberal sentiment towards the president. That's why I think he should go all in on immigration and tell Congress to fuck off. He should do as much as he can within the limits of his executive power. After doing that, he should take a look at all the major issues of the day (jobs, economy, climate change) and push for the solutions that actually address these problems. Because the GOP's only response will be "We stand for...NOT OBAMA."

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Good Words

As she has since she stepped onto the national stage six years ago, Palin is the ultimate avatar of base Republican culture since she views herself as an eternal victim, with all the grievance and resentment that entails. 

So now, liberals, the media, Democrats, apparently anyone who thinks Palin is a buffoon of almost world historic proportions (which gets you to something like 80% of the country) are all abominable hypocrites for 'laughing' at what is now fairly preposterously portrayed as a violent assault against a woman. If you listen to the police interviews, which occurred just as the brawl had barely ended, all the witnesses beside Bristol said she attacked the homeowner. Indeed, even Bristol's younger sister Willow backed up the these other witnesses' account. She just said Bristol missed with her punches.

--Josh Marshall 

Ultimate avatar indeed. This is exactly why conservatives blow a bowel about the so-called victim culture. They are the ultimate self-loathers.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Good Words (Renewable Energy Version)

Vivek Wadhwa's recent piece on solar energy really puts things in perspective. He notes one of my favorite thinkers and his astute prediction.

Futurist Ray Kurzweil notes that solar power has been doubling every two years for the past 30 years — as costs have been dropping. He says solar energy is only six doublings — or less than 14 years — away from meeting 100 percent of today’s energy needs. Energy usage will keep increasing, so this is a moving target. But, by Kurzweil’s estimates, inexpensive renewable sources will provide more energy than the world needs in less than 20 years. Even then, we will be using only one part in 10,000 of the sunlight that falls on the Earth.

In places such as Germany, Spain, Portugal, Australia and the Southwest United States, residential-scale solar production has already reached “grid parity” with average residential electricity prices. In other words, it costs no more in the long term to install solar panels than to buy electricity from utility companies. The prices of solar panels have fallen 75 percent in the past five years alone and will fall much further as the technologies to create them improve and scale of production increases. By 2020, solar energy will be price-competitive with energy generated from fossil fuels on an unsubsidized basis in most parts of the world. Within the next decade, it will cost a fraction of what fossil fuel-based alternatives do.

Yes, it will. And then all this silliness over the validity of climate change being a "hoax" won't matter. The free market will have simply taken care of all of it.

The rest of the piece contains some very interesting chestnuts. These two are my favorites.

There will be disruption of the entire fossil-fuel industry, starting with utility companies, which will face declining demand and then bankruptcy.

We will go from debating incentives for installing clean energies to debating subsidies for utility companies to keep their operations going.

Indeed. It will be a pleasure to see climate change skeptics, who rabidly defend fossil fuel producers, turn on them for taking government handouts. Or will they?

They are insanely stubborn people, after all:)

Monday, September 15, 2014

Good Words

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Good Words

From a question on Quora...

Some advocate for it because they believe it's essential to self-defense. Let's leave that aside, and the people who want to own guns for hunting. Do some conservatives believe it's important on the grounds that it enables an armed revolt against the US government? Yes. Look at the responses here. Now read the text of the 2nd amendment. It connects the right to the security of the State. Not rebellion against it, which is rather its opposite. People here will howl that, well, it doesn't say it's not about fighting the State! 

These are usually the same people that pride themselves on being strict "constructionists" and hewing to the plain meaning of the text. This interpretation is a fantastical stretch not supported by commentary from the founding fathers. It's important to think about why this odd idea persists. It is not just people sort of disagreeing about something reasonable people can disagree about. It's because it plays into a certain fantasy fulfillment for a certain demographic in our country. You're a patriot. You'll fight your government just like we fought the Redcoats. 

Tired of these liberals making all these rules you have heard from someone who heard from someone are illegal? Relax, you're the salt of the earth, what made this country great, and you can always start shooting. I have literally heard these words come out of the mouths of advocates. These people aren't homicidal. They actually think their backs are against a wall, since they've experienced nothing of the sort. That the relatively awfully peaceful and prosperous America of the past 20 years is somehow just about as bad as the Khmer Rouge's Cambodia. 

It's childish and deluded. Lots of people are childish and deluded on all points of the political spectrum. These people differ in that they have talked themselves into the idea that lethal weapons are just fine to use to settle disagreements. It's not that these 'patriots' are afraid they'll have to use their guns one day. It's that they're afraid they'll never get the chance. The tragedy is it stems from some good, self-sacrificing principle -- I'd go to war to fight and die for something right if necessary. For someone in the rural US, sliding further behind as the 21st century powers forward, this patriot narrative must be so powerfully seductive. For me, building the US forward into the future, it is not at all seductive. 

This doesn't make this view of the 2nd amendment understandable or permissible. It makes it scary. These people have literally staked the meaning of their lives on killing people they disagree with.


Thursday, July 17, 2014

Good Words

From a recent Quora question...

There are many arguably valid interpretations of the Constitution, and there are lengthy treatises available on the history, compromises, and application of each of the Amendments throughout the course of American history.

Somewhere, one of my old commenters, that went by the handle "Not My Name," is picking up the pieces of his exploded head.

In later comment from the same author...

I don't believe that there is a "right" or "wrong" interpretation (well, if you said that the 2nd Amendment gives you the right to keep elephants, that would be "wrong"). Keep in mind that even the Founders disagreed on what ultimately was placed in our Constitution -- the entire document is nothing but compromises that took many different viewpoints on government and rights and created what we now see as the Constitution.

Gee, that sounds pretty familiar...:)

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Good Words

Friday, May 02, 2014

Good Words (I ♥ Quora Edition)

From one of my Quora questions...

I can't speak to the conservative pundits who I don't listen to or follow, but I can say a few things about conservative forums I've trolled. The typical commenter has a very different POV, informed by an entirely different set of 'facts'. If I can make some gross generalizations about their worldview: 

  • the world they live in is a scary, scary place filled with monsters they are constantly being beseiged by: the federal government, lazy brown people who commit crimes and appropriate their hard earned tax dollars, liberal bureaucracy, liberal media trying to brainwash them 
  • the world is full of sinister conspiracies--malevolent, omniscient forces are always at work in the world and target them specifically 
  • they are amongst a band of surviving 'real Americans' that still uphold 'traditional values' in contrast to the sinful, frivolous, un-American populace 
  • news and events are local--they have little interest in international affairs or global perspectives on American issues 
  • America is the best, the greatest, and is exceptional in every way--that specialness is constantly being threatened from within by liberal elements who are sabotaging this ideal and trying to make the country more like the rest 
  • you must agree entirely with all of the stated beliefs of their conservative agenda, or you are a dangerous, free-thinking liberal--it's very binary 
  • if you are hold progressive positions, or don't identify with reactionary paranoid extremism, you are immediately presumed to be lazy, non-taxpaying, of dubious virtue and poorly educated.

Well, that pretty much sums up Kevin Baker, every single one of his commenters, and the right wing blogsphere! I wonder if they will ever realize this is exactly how they are and change...

I have to admit as well that I appreciate the wider audience.