A Christmas of Crazy: CPAC begins

LobsterMobster wrote:
MilkmanDanimal wrote:
LobsterMobster wrote:

Are we faulting Bachmann for placing diplomatic advantage over our founding principles, or for being blunt about it? She's right (just this one time). Arab Spring was bad for US interests in the region. It was good for the people actually LIVING there and it was good for humanity but if the US was really in the business of liberation we would have bailed on those dictators long before it was cool.

No, she's not right. Supporting brutal dictators may be a good short-term strategy (the word "short" here is tragically inaccurate), but long-term, you need the people in these countries to respect you, not their bastard leaders. The big problem with the way many people view the Islamic world is that there's a depressing tendency to view it as some unified whole, just like the giant mess we got ourselves in during the Cold War about the Communist world, where we assumed every action from every Communist country was dictated by Moscow. Had the U.S. been willing to see that Stalin and Mao hated each other, or that Ho Chi Minh was really just a nationalist who happened to be a Communist, we'd have had a much smoother go in the latter half of the 20th century rather than getting ourselves dragged into a bunch of military conflicts and into supporting lord knows how many complete bastards just because they were willing to say "COMMUNISM BAD".

Supporting Middle Eastern dictators because we're scared of Islamist parties is the same thing. There is no single, giant Islamist movement where the dictates are coming down from Mecca. What will happen in all these countries is that varied flavors of Islamist governments will pop up. They will be repressive or free in various ways, and there will undoubtedly be violence and civil wars, but it's not like repression and violence are exactly absent from these places now. In the end, people in that part of the world will go back to hating each other rather than bothering the U.S., because that's what they've always done. By sticking our foot in, we give them a common enemy, and they'll give us the finger. Get. The. Hell. Out. Let them work out their own problems.

The whole GOP party line of opposing the Arab Spring is incredibly short-sighted and a terrible, terrible idea.

Just because it's a short-sighted, wrong idea doesn't mean that's not what's going on, no matter who's in office. Do you really think a Republican administration would have handled things any differently?

A Republican administration likely wouldn't have been involved at all in Libya, and I think we'd be continuing to keep higher numbers of ground forces in Iraq. So, yes, different. As to whether U.S.' involvement in Libya will be good or bad long-term remains to be seen (it depends on how any new Libyan government is treated by the U.S.), and getting out of Iraq is absolutely and utterly a good thing, so I'd say things have been handled better by the Obama administration than a GOP one.

I'm not going to say it's bad we got out of Iraq, or that I'm confident a Republican administration would have. I just don't think Libya would have gone down any differently, at any stage in the process. Not when we held them up as a beacon of progress after they gave up a WMD program and not when we decided to jump into the fray.

EDIT: Not worth it. Back to lurking.

Oh man, my post wasn't intended as an attack, or piling on, or shouting you down, or mockery. It was just inspired by the conversation.

I really hate that saying. I really do. It is overused so much (to demonize people who are "flavor-of-the-month" different) that I felt compelled to use it in what I saw as proper context.

A Republican administration likely wouldn't have been involved at all in Libya, and I think we'd be continuing to keep higher numbers of ground forces in Iraq.

I can't think why this would be true, given that Reagan, Bush I, Clinton and Bush II all supported spreading democracy. What's your reasoning for a Republican president *not* wanting to get involved in Libya, given the choices and rhetoric of the last 30 years? Bear in mind, Obama would have been considered a Republican in the 80's, and even into the early 90's.

Heh, found this amusing:

Conservatives cruising for gay sex at CPAC.

Now, I don't know anything about these particular guys, but it amazes me that anyone would go to a convention that professes to hate "their kind" so much.

Malor wrote:

Heh, found this amusing:

Conservatives cruising for gay sex at CPAC.

Now, I don't know anything about these particular guys, but it amazes me that anyone would go to a convention that professes to hate "their kind" so much.

Pure hilarity.

And it also shows just how futile trying to discriminate against gays is -- they're all over the Republican party, home of gay hatred. The strategy is not working.

How awesome would it be to see one or two of the bigoted asshats out'd.

The Obama Administration's birth control coverage mandate was discussed by an all female panel at CPAC yesterday. They wanted to know how good conservatives should "message" the new healthcare rule. Their answer? It's an "abortion mandate."

How, exactly, does birth control become abortion? Well, the pro-life crowd believe that emergency contraceptives like Plan B can cause abortions--a claim disputed by the drug makers, the FDA, and pro-choice groups--so, ipso facto, contraceptives are really just abortion by another name.

An obstetrician-gynecologist in the audience who said she works for a religiously affiliated institution, likened taking emergency birth control to going to a playground where 100 kids are playing and shooting one of them. It’s a one-in-100 chance that taking an emergency birth control pill will kill a fetus, the doctor said.

Following that same logic God must be going to that playground with an AK because between 10 and 30% of all pregnancies end with a miscarriage.

Wow, OG, I just started a thread on that.

What's truly astounding is that none of these Conservatives has even considered the social and economic implications of a lack of contraception.

Picture a U.S. where every family has 8 to 12 kids, maybe more.

Bear wrote:

What's truly astounding is that none of these Conservatives has even considered the social and economic implications of a lack of contraception.

But, but, but... Abstinence works... Just ask Rick Perry.

Well now it's being framed as an attack on the freedom of religion of the employers. No one's talking about the employees this affects, or how it might be discriminatory to them.

Kurrelgyre wrote:

Well now it's being framed as an attack on the freedom of religion of the employers. No one's talking about the employees this affects, or how it might be discriminatory to them.

They never do. It's distressing how many people worry only about their right to inflict their small-mindedness on others.

Bear wrote:

What's truly astounding is that none of these Conservatives has even considered the social and economic implications of a lack of contraception.

Picture a U.S. where every family has 8 to 12 kids, maybe more.

I wonder if those who say contraception is abortion would consider educating girls to be abortion as well? There is plenty of evidence to suggest that it lowers birthrates, so...

Picture a U.S. where every family has 8 to 12 kids, maybe more.

This may be why, over the long haul, liberalism always gets drowned out by conservatism -- liberals don't have as many children.

Malor wrote:
Picture a U.S. where every family has 8 to 12 kids, maybe more.

This may be why, over the long haul, liberalism always gets drowned out by conservatism -- liberals don't have as many children.

I tend to think the same way about various opposing demographic groups. Over the long haul, whoever has the most kids wins.

Here's what I don't understand: why has no one mentioned the fact that in the contraception fiasco, if a religious organization gets a free pass (a Supreme Court ruling) to not abide by the law, doesn't it mean that anyone can do anything they want so long as they claim it's in their religion's teachings?
I also worried about this when I heard about the unanimous u.s. supreme court decision in favor of the lutheran(?) institution that fired a teacher (she sued under the Americans with Disabilities Act) but that was narrower than I thought, she was deemed a 'minister' by the church. Still, it seems to set a precedent, do whatever you want so long as it's in your religion.

Malor wrote:
Picture a U.S. where every family has 8 to 12 kids, maybe more.

This may be why, over the long haul, liberalism always gets drowned out by conservatism -- liberals don't have as many children.

I'd argue the opposite is pretty clearly true; liberalism wins in the long run. Society liberalizes over time, because those children, regardless of parentage, are exposed to new ideas and new cultures, and it forces people to consider alternative viewpoints. Things like women being able to vote and racial equality were radically liberal viewpoints at one point. 20 years from now I expect to hear a lot of, "Really, you guys once cared whether people were gay or not? Really?"

My take on the current radical nature of the GOP is that they know they're losing, and are scrabbling to hold on as long as they can. The next generation (the so-called "Millenials") are less religious than my generation, who were less religious than their parents. Thanks to constant connection with the rest of the world, it's harder to hold the traditional "I'm right, you're wrong" conservative viewpoints, because, having grown up talking to people from all around the world, it's much more difficult to sit in your silo and declare it the word of God. Anybody with a vague clue would recognize that gay rights are absolutely going to be considered as normal as letting non-white people drink out of the same water fountains, and nothing will stop that cultural change unless about of radical religious whackos decide to hijack the democratic process and pass specific laws to oppress people in the name of "religious freedom".

They're losing. They know it. The current GOP base slants angry, old, and white, and once those people die off? They're not being replaced.

MilkmanDanimal wrote:

I'd argue the opposite is pretty clearly true; liberalism wins in the long run. Society liberalizes over time, because those children, regardless of parentage, are exposed to new ideas and new cultures, and it forces people to consider alternative viewpoints. Things like women being able to vote and racial equality were radically liberal viewpoints at one point. 20 years from now I expect to hear a lot of, "Really, you guys once cared whether people were gay or not? Really?"

My take on the current radical nature of the GOP is that they know they're losing, and are scrabbling to hold on as long as they can. The next generation (the so-called "Millenials") are less religious than my generation, who were less religious than their parents. Thanks to constant connection with the rest of the world, it's harder to hold the traditional "I'm right, you're wrong" conservative viewpoints, because, having grown up talking to people from all around the world, it's much more difficult to sit in your silo and declare it the word of God. Anybody with a vague clue would recognize that gay rights are absolutely going to be considered as normal as letting non-white people drink out of the same water fountains, and nothing will stop that cultural change unless about of radical religious whackos decide to hijack the democratic process and pass specific laws to oppress people in the name of "religious freedom".

They're losing. They know it. The current GOP base slants angry, old, and white, and once those people die off? They're not being replaced.

I agree with you. I think the current generation of children are the most exposed, most open, most accepting group we've ever had. Technology is only going to accelerate that process. There a numerous signs that make me think that much of the underlying ugliness that forms the most fundamentalist base of Conservatism is dying and they know it.

I have been thinking about this sort of thing a bit lately because I'm going through the police department selection process, but if someone declared that he was, in the past, a habitual user of marijuana because it was mandated by his religion, could he sue a police department for religious discrimination if they eliminated him from the selection process due to his past drug use?

edit: While we're at it, why limit it to past drug use? Can someone now sue an employer for wrongful termination if he is fired for failing a drug test if he is able to document that cannabis use is consistent with his religious beliefs?

Paleocon wrote:

I have been thinking about this sort of thing a bit lately because I'm going through the police department selection process, but if someone declared that he was, in the past, a habitual user of marijuana because it was mandated by his religion, could he sue a police department for religious discrimination if they eliminated him from the selection process due to his past drug use?

"Freedom of Religion" is pretty clearly understood in this country to be "Freedom of Religion for Christians and Only Jews Because Israel Is Awesome".

Paleocon wrote:

I have been thinking about this sort of thing a bit lately because I'm going through the police department selection process, but if someone declared that he was, in the past, a habitual user of marijuana because it was mandated by his religion, could he sue a police department for religious discrimination if they eliminated him from the selection process due to his past drug use?

edit: While we're at it, why limit it to past drug use? Can someone now sue an employer for wrongful termination if he is fired for failing a drug test if he is able to document that cannabis use is consistent with his religious beliefs?

I wouldn't think so unless the police force you were on was the Catholic/whatever church force.

MilkmanDanimal wrote:
Paleocon wrote:

I have been thinking about this sort of thing a bit lately because I'm going through the police department selection process, but if someone declared that he was, in the past, a habitual user of marijuana because it was mandated by his religion, could he sue a police department for religious discrimination if they eliminated him from the selection process due to his past drug use?

"Freedom of Religion" is pretty clearly understood in this country to be "Freedom of Religion for Christians and Only Jews Because Israel Is Awesome".

In the state of Maryland and several other states, someone can claim unemployment benefits if he/she works part time and fewer than a certain number of hours so long as he/she works all the hours the employer asked him/her to work.

Given this whole sanctity of "religious freedom", can an employee now claim unemployment if he/she refuses to work Sundays and holidays?

Bear wrote:

I think the current generation of children are the most exposed, most open, most accepting group we've ever had. Technology is only going to accelerate that process. There a numerous signs that make me think that much of the underlying ugliness that forms the most fundamentalist base of Conservatism is dying and they know it.

You mean the generation where http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cyber-bullying has led to high-profile suicides?
Yep, technology solves everything.

RolandofGilead wrote:
Bear wrote:

I think the current generation of children are the most exposed, most open, most accepting group we've ever had. Technology is only going to accelerate that process. There a numerous signs that make me think that much of the underlying ugliness that forms the most fundamentalist base of Conservatism is dying and they know it.

You mean the generation where http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cyber-bullying has led to high-profile suicides?
Yep, technology solves everything.

My reference to technology wasn't aimed at social media. My thought was that currently technology makes the world a much smaller place and we're much more aware of what's happening in every corner of the world.

And at the risk of a complete derail, bullying isn't new. It's been around forever but now instead of people physically beating the piss out of you, they write sh*t on facebook. Just a different medium.

MilkmanDanimal wrote:
Paleocon wrote:

I have been thinking about this sort of thing a bit lately because I'm going through the police department selection process, but if someone declared that he was, in the past, a habitual user of marijuana because it was mandated by his religion, could he sue a police department for religious discrimination if they eliminated him from the selection process due to his past drug use?

"Freedom of Religion" is pretty clearly understood in this country to be "Freedom of Religion for Christians and Only Jews Because Israel Is Awesome Where the Temple Needs To Be Rebuilt Before Jesus Comes Back".

FTFY.

Bear wrote:
RolandofGilead wrote:
Bear wrote:

I think the current generation of children are the most exposed, most open, most accepting group we've ever had. Technology is only going to accelerate that process. There a numerous signs that make me think that much of the underlying ugliness that forms the most fundamentalist base of Conservatism is dying and they know it.

You mean the generation where http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cyber-bullying has led to high-profile suicides?
Yep, technology solves everything.

My reference to technology wasn't aimed at social media. My thought was that currently technology makes the world a much smaller place and we're much more aware of what's happening in every corner of the world.

And at the risk of a complete derail, bullying isn't new. It's been around forever but now instead of people physically beating the piss out of you, they write sh*t on facebook. Just a different medium.

Right, what's different now is the "high-profile" part, not the bullying or the suicide.

RolandofGilead wrote:
Bear wrote:

I think the current generation of children are the most exposed, most open, most accepting group we've ever had. Technology is only going to accelerate that process. There a numerous signs that make me think that much of the underlying ugliness that forms the most fundamentalist base of Conservatism is dying and they know it.

You mean the generation where http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cyber-bullying has led to high-profile suicides?
Yep, technology solves everything.

That is an incredible leap that you made there. Bear isn't saying that technology will solve everything. Just that it is helping make today's kids much more exposed, open and accepting.

That has *nothing* to do with whether they are also bullies.

Malor wrote:

Heh, found this amusing:

Conservatives cruising for gay sex at CPAC.

Now, I don't know anything about these particular guys, but it amazes me that anyone would go to a convention that professes to hate "their kind" so much.

1. Now we know what Marcus Bachmann is doing during his wife's oration.

2.

[size=20]If this log cabin's rockin'
Don't come a-knockin'![/size][size=8]*
*Please just leave a copy of HR 1533 under the door along with your typed personal notes[/size]
Now, I don't know anything about these particular guys, but it amazes me that anyone would go to a convention that professes to hate "their kind" so much.

Is it really that difficult? There is a significant portion of the population that have different rules that apply to themselves versus rules that apply to others. There are enough of them to have national political clout.

And to be honest. I have different rules and expectations for myself than I do for others. It is just the opposite mindset. I am much more critical of myself and expect more of myself than I do of others.