Tuesday, August 19, 2008

McCain and Obama--Bad Software

Someone posting as "fluorescent" took strong exception to my train analogy, especially the part where I say:

“It is incredibly bourgeois, decadent, arrogant, and selfish to sacrifice the lives of literally millions of foreigners so you can make your little progressive or libertarian point at the ballot box!”

Fluorescent writes, "Wow how intellectually dishonest and scraping the bottom of the barrel of you. You not only imply that because i want to vote for Cynthia Mckinney i have blood on my hands but you also put it in red font?"

OK, "fluorescent" or Lord Farquaad, or whatever your name is, I can dig that you don't like my tone, but you seem to have missed the most important point of my essay. I think you honestly don't realize how simple and binary our present situation is. My words in "Stop the Train or Just Slow It Down?" are perfectly true, and as provable as a simple math equation.

Having worked for many years as a network administrator, I find myself often dealing with situations in life that seem exactly analogous to situations with computers. Right now America is like a computer with two crappy programs on it, and if you type in a certain password, the Obama program will run, and if you type in several other possible passwords, the McCain program will run. This is something I'm right about. It's as basic and absolute as hitting Ctrl-Alt-Delete to restart your computer or typing your own password to access your credit card on line. It is immoral and stupid to let McCain drive a bus with our children aboard for even a minute! But if you type in the password "Nader," "Paul," "Barr," or "McKenney," or if you type in the password "McCain," it's a fact that this dangerous McCain software virus will run.

However, if you and all the other wavering progressives type in the password "Obama," it's highly likely that we will have someone at the wheel who hasn't yet murdered, someone who spoke out strongly and very clearly against the invasion of Iraq and tried to stop it. You sound like a very spoiled, self-absorbed individual who thinks her/his vote is so important and meaningful that she/he is actually going to type in the code that starts McCain. I wish it weren't that simple, but it is. We are dealing with a fucked up computer and two fucked up pieces of software, but that's what we've got to deal with right now.

I admitted that I think McKenney is the best (although in light of my train analogy, I'm scratching my head wondering about her motives, and I'm hoping she'll endorse Obama at the last minute). And I even hinted that of all the candidates, Jesus would probably choose McKenney. So I'm not putting her down. I'm just saying that her name is one of the passwords that will start up the McCain program.

If you really research Obama, he might turn out to be almost as slimy as McCain and Hillary, but at least he's competent to drive the bus. McCain and Hillary, by their support of the illegal invasion and occupation of Iraq, have already run over a bunch (a million!) of innocent pedestrians, so they're clearly not fit to drive!

"You remind me of someone you probably hate . . . Fox News," "Fluorescent" writes.
 
The difference between Fox News and myself is that they put out lies and propaganda, while I tell the simple truth. There may be some style similarities, however. I'd like to think that I'm fighting fire with fire.


5 comments:

  1. hi Jeff, my real name is Robbie. I was not attempting to be anonymous google just took my gmail name and auto labeled me as 'fluorescent'


    If you really research Obama, he might turn out to be almost as slimy as McCain and Hillary, but at least he's competent to drive the bus. McCain and Hillary, by their support of the illegal invasion and occupation of Iraq, have already run over a bunch (a million!) of innocent pedestrians, so they're clearly not fit to drive!"

    I'm not sure I understand this point. I was very much excited about Obama until i did some extensive research on him. Obama wasn't in the senate to vote either yes or no on the original authorization of force bill. Pretty convenient that he is STILL labeled anti-war because of his statements at the time (which i agreed with), but if he HAD been in the senate, how do you honestly think he would have voted? His current votes tell me a different story; he has voted, not once, but many times to give Bush the exact supplemental war funds he asked for to do the exact killing you describe. Obama maybe has 'spoken out' against the war, but in my mind a vote to end it is the only important stance. He hasn't given me any indication whatsoever that he is going to end the illegal occupation in Iraq.
    As far as I understand, Obama has only gone as far as saying he will withdraw 'major combat' troops from Iraq by 2013; don't you see that as open-endedly vague?
    How many troops count as 'non combat' ? 10,000? 20,000? 30,000? 50,000? I personally have no idea.
    He has also recently said that the 50,000 + armed private security contractors in Iraq will not be part of this proposed withdrawal. He has said negative things about Blackwater, but when asked specifcally if he would remove them from Iraq he has given a very clear 'no'. So maybe you can help me understand how Obama is actually going to end this war or that he even intends to. In my opinion he is only paying lip service to staunchly anti-war liberals like you and me.

    Other important issues for me where Obama fails; all of these combined make it impossible for me to support such a candidate.

    -gay marriage, his statements on what marriage is are a slap in the face to every gay liberal person in the country.
    -telecom company immunity vote; to me this reads that he cares more about corporations' immunity from breaking the law than he does about everday citizens' privacy rights. This is extremely scary to me and should be to every American.
    -his votes to reauthorize the Patriot act and his subsequent very odd defense of his reasoning for doing so. Patriot act reversal is one of the most important issues for me, and to my knowledge he has made absolutely no statements about abolishing it.
    -he plans to continue Bush's unprecedented governmental monetary support of Christian organizations and actually increase the level of funding. When Bush did this it horrified all liberals, but why is it okay for Obama?
    -he has no problem with continuing our 'war on terror', a war based on a false premise that you can somehow fight militarily against a concept, a concept invented and furthered by the evil GWBush administration. Not that Edwards is a shining example of how things should be done, but at least that guy had the balls to call the concept of the war on terror false.
    -he wants a troop surge in Afghanistan and he calls it the conflict we should be fighting or in more simple terms, the "right war." So let me get this straight... Iraq bad, Afghanistan good? Afghanistan didn't attack us, Iraq didn't attack us. I watched the Taliban on live tv on the morning of 9/11 say very clearly 'if the us provides us with evidence we will hand over Osama bin Laden'.
    Did the US ever care to provide them with evidence? No, because we already had plans to invade Afghanistan in the months prior to 9/11 for completely different reasons than 'fighting terror'. So attacking an entire country to find one man is a 'good war'? I find it EXTREMELY disturbing how democrats or liberals can swallow that large chunk of bullshit. I take particular issue with Obama on his Afghanistan stance because I have a good friend who just came back from a horrific military service tour of Afghanistan. When he came back he looked and acted like he had gone through 10 years of hard education. You could almost see in his face the trauma he experienced. One of the first things he told me when he got back was "we're not fighting terrorists over there, I've never even seen a taliban or heard about them doing anything, no al queda to be seen, all I do is get orders to siege villages full of civilians, disarm them and then find farmers growing opium poppies and kill them. The w ar in Afghanistan has nothing to do with the war on terror, it's become an extension of the war on drugs."

    So for me, if it's Obama continuing these policies or Mcain, it really doesn't make much of a difference. The George W Bush legacy will still continue, only it will just be under a Democratic or Republican polish. Yes, I have read Obama's book 'Audacity of Hope'. The man is very talanted and I like his personality, but I can't say I particularly like any of his policies. He has disappointed me and many liberals I know time and time again.



    "You sound like a very spoiled, self-absorbed individual who thinks her/his vote is so important and meaningful."

    Too bad, you sound intelligent and well spoken, so why did you have to resort to ad hominem attacks and name calling? You appear to be intelligent enough to know that if this were a debate exercise, you should know you would have points subtracted for using a logical fallacy.

    But to adress your point , you are acting like a vote for Obama is the only way we can save this country, Isn't that taking YOURSELF and your vote a little too seriously?


    " (although in light of my train analogy, I'm scratching my head wondering about her motives, and I'm hoping she'll endorse Obama at the last minute). "

    So I gather you just think it's to risky to ever try to push the discourse and election season into the arena of a 3rd party? Don't you see that every 4 years the Democratic and Republican spin machines will always try to convince us that we are facing a life or death ultimatum? If the voters always acquiesce and vote for the lesser of two evils you are creating a self fufilling prophecy. In my opinion this mindset is why 3rd parties haven't been given proper traction in our country because of people like you who always think every 4 years we are facing a 'life or death situation'. For me, every 4 years seems like the same old story, a 'death or death' situation, so why not vote for who I truly want instead of acquiescing to someone I do not agree with on the MOST important issues facing our country? We have a democratic voting system; whoever wants to run for president can and since I live in a democracy, I can vote for whomever I want to. The way you describe this world you be lieve in, we only can vote for 2 people? That is not a democracy but an an oscillating dictatorship.


    "There may be some style similarities, however. I'd like to think that I'm fighting fire with fire."

    If you really believe the choice between Mcain and Obama is a matter of life and death, fine, I can't convince you otherwise. But when you publically exclaim such things on blogs, in my opinion it is fear mongering to the left. Don't spread your fear mongering stance to anybody, especially people on the left (we already get enough of that from our president and Rupert Murdoch) and perhaps we can have a more productive discussion.

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  2. Interesting point about the Taliban asking for evidence. Bin Laden himself, the man, never said anything but “hell yeah, that was me”. I am wondering what evidence the Taliban wanted to have.

    And there is a very big difference between the war in Iraq and Afghanistan. The war in Afghanistan ended a terror regime that not only affected the people living there but also the rest of the world.

    Whereas in Iraq, the US only exchanged one (non-religous) dictator with ultimately probably a fundamental Islamic gouvernment. Probably something like the Taliban in Afghanistan.

    But all this misses the point. A vot against Obama is in fact a vote pro McCain. You are right: This is something the 2 big parties wants you to believe. But it still is a fact. Your firm believes will not change the outcome of the votes.

    The question is: Can you live with the fact that McCain wins again because of some 500 votes that your candidate got?

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  3. "The question is: Can you live with the fact that McCain wins again because of some 500 votes that your candidate got?"

    yes because neither candidate, not Obama not Mcain is talking about making any of the changes i care about. They both want a continuation of George W Bush creations.
    For me at most the candidates will be aesthetically different, but on substance they seem the same on these issues (That i listed). I've already accepted the idea of living under another 4-8 years George W Bush policies.

    "Interesting point about the Taliban asking for evidence. Bin Laden himself, the man, never said anything but “hell yeah, that was me”. I am wondering what evidence the Taliban wanted to have."

    Are you aware of how a criminal investigation is done? a poorly translated tape of bin laden saying he was happy the towers fell is not PROOF that he had anything to do with the attacks. IF you find this as suitable evidence to attack an ENTIRE COUNTRY while killing thousands of civilians in the process, you must have also found WMDS (if they really existed) to be suitable reason to invade iraq.


    "And there is a very big difference between the war in Iraq and Afghanistan. The war in Afghanistan ended a terror regime that not only affected the people living there but also the rest of the world."


    wow are you a liberal? and you use words like 'terror regime' who are you Bush? Did you know that Clinton helped prop up the Taliban? We unconditionally supported the Taliban for many years until the 9/11 attacks.
    Also i just cannot fathom how you can find some sort of moral justification in preemptively invading a country PERIOD. Even if the Taliban was a 'terror' regime as you claim, how is that still justifiable in any way to invade a country who poses ZERO threat to us and frankly zero threat to any surrounding countries? oh i forgot there are 'terrorists' there.
    And the democratic party has called this the 'right war' so i guess you have to think its right too eh?

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  4. "The war in Afghanistan ended a terror regime"

    also i had to take issue with this statement because its totally false. The Taliban is not who we are after in this war. If it was at one point it is no longer the goal. We burn opium poppy fields down in civilian town raids. This is what the Afghanistan war is today. Polls from Afghanistan show that the people would prefer the Taliban be in power than US soldiers be occupying their country.

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  5. Criminal Investigation: The Taliban did not want to hand over Bin Laden. Never. If they asked for proof and did not accept the confession of Bin Laden himself they just wanted to buy time. The confession is not some viral marketing video from YouTube, but a message that was used by Bin Laden over and over again to proof his crusade against the Western world.

    WMDS: This is not worth a discussion, as there were no WMDS in Iraq. The reason to invade was obviously not to find those weapons, as any “evidence” about their existance was made up AFTER the decision to go to war.

    As for my vocabulary: I might have some issues finding the perfect words as English is not my first language. So yes, I probably would not have used something as harsh as “terror regime” in German. Sorry for that.

    Afghanistan: We might have a different point of view because we see different parts of the war. I tend to be focussed on the German part of this war, where up to now, one single Afghan was killed by our soldiers.

    The bad thing about any war with real fighting (as opposed to the peace-keeping mission in the north of Afghanistan) is that both sides tend to fight more brutally over time. Look into WWI, II, Vietnam, whatever war there is. The longer and the bloodier the war is, the more atrocities there will be.

    Having said this, I still agree about the original goals of the invasion into Afghanistan.

    But I doubt that we have a common base for a discussion. If you don't see any differences between Obama and McCain (or Bush), we can argue forever and will never agree.

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