Sunday, October 18, 2009

Delusions of an Obama Hater

I like disagreement.  I honestly do.  I like to get feedback from people who don't agree with me, in order to get other perspectives on things, as well as to hone my own position by having to explain it to someone who doesn't already agree.  That's how I keep my brain nimble and sharp.  And whether you have too many people telling you what you want to hear, or you spend too much time by yourself and reject everyone else's opinions; you'll get insular thinking which makes your brain lazy and prone to self-deception.  Resistence exercises are necessary for both our mind and bodies if we want to stay in shape.

But all the same, I have yet to find an Obama hater who was capable of offering a good reason for why I shouldn't like him as I do.  That's not to say that I think all Obama lovers are brilliant.  In fact, I think they're about on-par with what you'd expect from the average person.  Some smart; some dumb; most average.  But when it comes to the Obama haters, they remain so blinded by their quest to find something to complain about that they keep bitching about the dumbest things.  And if these people are serious in trying to convince me that I'm wrong for liking Obama, they're sure doing a crappy job at hiding their good evidence, as all I keep getting is the stupid stuff.

And as I've written twice already, I found one such Obama hater in newbie blogger Josh Fulton, who fashions himself a liberal (I think) but is far more aligned with libertarians.  A perusal of his blog shows it to be a series of news stories with a libertarian, anti-capitalist emphasis; occasionally interspersed with his own snarky comments which vaguely allude to the point he imagines he's making.  It's as if he's assuming we already agree with everything he's saying, which sort of defeats the purpose of him saying it.  And just like my fiend Donald Douglas, it's almost as if their entire point of blogging is to test the limits of fair use doctrine.  Not much original thoughts coming from these guys.

And I definitely put this guy in the camp of people who spend so much time with themselves that they can't appreciate the intricities of normal debate; not the least because he instituted comment moderation on his blog because I wasn't respectful enough of him while demolishing his arguments.  I'm obviously one of the very few who reads his blog, yet my tepid insolance was too much for his fragile ego and he'd rather I go away then continue to assail his beautiful mind. 

And just so you know, he encouraged me to read his blog, knowing I was a fan of Obama.  Yet, my debate proved too heated for him and I've now been cut-off.

 The Immoral Lawyer

But enough of that.  You don't read this blog to hear me psychoanalyze people you've never heard of.  You're here to see me snark at people less clever than ourselves.  And thus, I present a greatest hits of hilarious comments which show why Obama haters are so damn crazy; all culled from one two-part comment at my blog and in no particular order.  And trust me, these don't sound better in context. 

In our debate, I had the temerity to suggest that Attorney General Holder's two decades of government service shouldn't be ignored merely because he had chosen to represent Chiquita in a legal dispute.   Just to be clear, I'm the one in quotes.
"Holder has worked for the DOJ for over two decades." And how long have Kissinger, Cheney and Rumsfeld worked for the government? You want them back in their old positions?
Yes, Holder is in the same league as Kissenger, Cheney, and Rumsfeld because they all worked for the government, and since I don't want them back in power, I should be wary of Holder, too.  And this guy can't understand why I mocked him.  And here's Josh's reasoning for why it was wrong for Holder to have once represented the company who brings me my bananas.
Law is not an amoral profession, because we don't live in an amoral world. Everything has moral consequences. It's inescapable. Everyone is definitely entitled to a defense, but that doesn't mean defending them is moral if you don't agree with them. We live in a free enough society that hopefully there will be someone who can take a job because they believe in the client. Otherwise, it's just doing it for the money. That's different from saying people don't deserve a defense attorney who will argue their case to the best of their ability if no one else will represent them.
In other words, if you represent a guilty person and that person could have gotten a different lawyer, you're an immoral person who is defending the immoral deeds that person committed.  And taking a job solely for money is immoral.  How quaint.  Somehow, this guy imagines that only evil lawyers take guilty clients, while the good lawyers wait to find the innocent ones.  Methinks someone's seen a bit too much Matlock.

Oh, and Holder's sin was so egregious that it makes Obama a bad person for having hired him as Attorney General.  And I'm a bad person for not seeing why this is a problem.  Apparently, Chiquita is so evil that they taint anyone even remotely involved with them; including people who defend people who hire people who represent them when they plead guilty for wrongdoing.  But their bananas are so delicious.

Eyewitnessing Lies

In regards to a story in which eyewitnesses claim security guards in military-style uniforms arrested a protester for vandalism at the G20 Summit in Pittsburgh, Josh writes:
a.) You can make the argument they're not military. I don't know. They're wearing military uniforms. I don't know why someone would wear a military uniform if they're not military. They're clearly trying to pass themselves off as military if they're not.

b.) The "proof" that guy was released a few yards down is shoddy. I can't believe you would even consider that adequate. It's from some random blog of a girl who claims to be there, and puts up a picture that doesn't even show the guy's face! It barely shows anything of the person on the ground!
[....]
In the best case scenario, you have absurd security guards dressed in military fatigues abducting someone, handcuffing him 50 yards down the road, then releasing him a few days later, which is itself an example of the police state! How is that tolerable!? How is a peaceful protest allowed to be treated like that!? All these questions go unasked and unanswered by you.
And again, evidence says this guy was arrested for vandalism and I had already provided my sources.  Yet somehow, it's intolerable to have arrested him and I apparently didn't ask or answer why he was arrested, even though I already had.  And he attacks my sources as "shoddy" and "flimsy" yet provided exactly zero of his own.  How dare I try to use actual facts to combat the facts he imagined from a video that lacked context. 

Facts Are For Pussies

But that's nothing.  While denouncing Rahm Emanuel for wanting to use the no-fly list to ban people from buying guns (an idea I don't agree with), he insisted that this was horrible because it would deny the 2nd Amendment to "over a million Americans" on the list. 

And that sounded far-fetched to me.  I mean, I could understand how there could be one million names on the list.  But how could they all be Americans?  That would have to be the dumbest anti-terror list ever.  As if we'd make an enemies list that excluded the people most likely to be our enemies.  For as much as the Bushies were incompetent, this doesn't seem like the sort of thing they'd screw up.  After all, they hate foreigners.  At least the type they'd want to add to this list. 

So I naturally assumed there'd be more than a few foreigners on this list and had to call bull on him.  And being the fact-based kind of guy I am, I went ahead and violated blogger protocal by actually researching this claim.  And sure enough, it's wrong.  According to USA Today, there were one million entries on the list, many of which were variations of the same name, and 95% of which were foreigners.  According to the article, there were roughly 20,000 Americans on the list.

And while it's entirely possible that these numbers are incorrect, this appeared to be the same "one million" claim that Josh was referring to.  And so what does Josh do?  Does he admit the error?  Perhaps post a better source for his claim?  Maybe something to substantiate the idea that we'd only ban American citizens, while allowing foreigners to fly completely unaccosted?  I wish, because then I would have had something to go on.  No, instead I get the sort of "facts are for pussies" claim that Colbert so cleverly satrized.  Check this shit out:
"Over 1,000,000 entries on the no-fly this." Oh, I'm so sorry. This was such a deliberate deception on my part, when it's exactly how it was described in the story and other stories I had read. You're right that does say 400,000 people, but it was written over 2 years ago (over the two years prior the number had ballooned) and it doesn't account for all the people who have been harassed because their name is the same as someone on there. So, I don't feel a need to amend it since by now 1,000,000 is actually probably closer to the real number of people who have been bothered by it than 400,000. I might change it to entries. I don't know. I'm sure if I really wanted to dig I could bust balls on it just like you're busting balls, but it's not in my interest.
Indeed, had he wanted to provide facts to support his unsubstantiated claims, as I had done, he certainly could have.  After all, facts are easy to come by.  But that's just not his style.  Truth doesn't have time for facts.  It's better just to guess and move on.  God forbid we actually know what we're talking about.

And notice the rationalization at the beginning.  I was wrong to correct his numbers because he was just quoting what other people told him.  As if we're merely required to find any source for our claims and can't be held responsible for checking our sources.  But I checked his source, and it said there were "one million names" on the list.  Not American names or, as he assumed, individual citizens.  And so his insistence that these were all Americans was entirely in his mind.

And then he proceeds to justify his incorrect claim by guesstimating that the number probably increased in the two years since the article was written, and if you include the people who were "bothered" by the list, it'd "probably" equal one million.  So he's going to keep his claim of one million Americans, even though it has no factual basis beyond its ability to justify his incorrect claim, and the only source he had said it was 2% of that number.

Oh, and you know what else was in his head: The idea that the article was two years old.  It was written in March of this year. I honestly have no idea why anyone would bother to debate me who is this incapable of reading plain English.  But hey, I'm sure he could have proven that this article was written two years before it was written, but it's not in his interest to bust my balls.  You see, he's too cool for proof.

Debating Crackpots

So anyway, that counts as my post for the day.  Yeah, I know it's kind of weak, but you get what you pay for around here.  And the main point is that this is typical of the Obama bashing I've seen.  At best, you'll get the people who complain that he's not Superman, or that he's not doing enough to pressure Congress into doing things Congress would rather avoid doing.  But most of it is the real crackpot stuff, of people who feel facts rather than learn them, and don't mind paraphrasing the truth when the truth doesn't say what they want it to say.

So when this guy says that Obama will keep troops in Iraq after "military operations" end, while Obama said he's keeping them there after the "combat mission" ends, this guy refuses to make the correction, because he doesn't "particularly care" to know the difference between these phrases.  And sure, if there was no difference, he should be happy to post the phrase that was actually used instead of the phrase he invented.  Hell, if Obama's sin was so offensive, you'd think he'd go ahead and note that Obama says he'll remove ALL the troops by 2012, and this wouldn't hurt his case in the least.  Assuming he thinks this wouldn't make a difference.

But somehow, I think he does know the difference.  Just as he knows the difference between the one million citizens he insisted might have been denied rights by Rahm Emanuel, compared with the 20,000 citizens my link said was accurate.  And when he hears that guys in camos arrested someone for vandalism, he can't help but wonder if there's an untold story of the military kidnapping a random protester and holding him indefinitely for no reason at all.

And all this fits in exactly with what I've thought about the people who don't like Obama.  Because difference of opinion, I understand.  I want people to show me why I shouldn't trust Obama.  I really do.  But when it comes to these people, the facts are all in their heads, and until I can prove to their satisfaction that their imagined facts are wrong, they'll insist that I'm wrong for believing the actual facts I've seen.  And for as much as I enjoy a good challenge, I still haven't figured out how to defeat self-delusion.


And as a final note: Why do people who don't like Obama think the greatest attack they can make against me is to accuse me of liking him and supporting his position?  Do they imagine I didn't already know this?  Perhaps the Obama sign in my yard last year was too subtle for me to notice?  Yes, I like Obama.  Yes, I support him.  I fail to see how that's a character defect.  But I suppose, in their minds, liking Obama is the greatest offense of all.  The rest of their complaints are just icing.

8 comments:

JoshFult said...

Jesus.

The one good point you have is about the no-fly list, which yeah, I'll change it, from names to entries.

Besides, the actual no-fly list isn't even the point, you moron. It's that Rahm was going to use it to strip people of gun rights. Way to totally miss the forest for the trees again.

a.) "Holder doesn't show his principles by defending Chiquita?" Junk.

2.) "This guy was a 'vandal' so it's ok for him to be abducted by people in military uniforms?" Honestly, I don't even know if this is your point, because I don't know what your point is. I mean, you seem to be using one totally unclear and unrevealing picture to say that everything was ok. This also totally ignores the fact that there are other examples of military involvement on US soil, but you seem incapbable of reaching out and seeing them, or probably even watch the Democracy Now story I linked to.

Good luck.

Oh, and I would consider myself a left-leaning Libertarian, not a Liberal, although I don't think there's anything wrong with genuine liberals aside from the fact that they don't really seem to know enough that in the ideal state of the world there would be limited government involvement.

Josh said...

I just saw your comments on my blog. You're so amusing! It's nice to know you're so obsessed with finding something wrong with what I write that you can completely ignore facts and imagine what I say! I'm sure you'd have a great career as a stand-up comedian! *Rolls eyes and looks away out of nervousness that Dr. Biobrain will take his comment seriously*

Oh, and the reason I put how many Al Qaeda there are in Afghanistan is because the whole reason we're interested in Pakistan is because it's supposed to help us deal with Afghanistan. How their border is being flooded with Al Qaeda fighters. You know, you would know these things if you actually read the nnnneewwws, and not just whatever propaganda entrenches you in this left/right paradigm.

Oh, and I just re-looked at the rest of my Obama list that you initially responded to, and it's overwhelming. If you choose only to nitpick minor details, you can't see the forest for the trees.

TRUTH 101 said...

Haven't been here in a while Doc. It's good to see you have a new friend in Mr. Fulton. How long before he starts calling himself "Professor" Fulton?

Tehanu said...

Josh sez: I don't think there's anything wrong with genuine liberals aside from the fact that they don't really seem to know enough that in the ideal state of the world there would be limited government involvement.

Let me see if I can understand this. Liberals don't KNOW that in the IDEAL state there WOULD BE limited government, and that's what's wrong with liberals. Uh, Josh ... nobody KNOWS what govt. would look like in the ideal state -- least of all you -- because there's no such thing. I can, however, state with some certainty that anybody calling himself a "left libertarian" is ... um ... what's the kindest way to put this? oh yes -- deluded. Libertarians are mostly people who don't give a shit about their fellow human beings, while being convinced that those fellow beings are as motivated by wanting their own way as they are. Ain't nothing "left" about that.

Josh said...

Ah, I forgot where I am. It's classical left/right paradigm land. Well, I suppose Noam Chomsky also must be deluded because he also calls himself a left libertarian.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:Left-libertarians

But it's a nice try.

And the reason I became a Libertarian (and I'm not into all these labels really anyway) from being a Socialist (or at least trying to be a Socialist) is because I started learning about fractional reserve banking and the Fed, and yes, learning about those things helped me imagine what a state without them, you know, a state without its fundamental banking system rigged for the elite.

Doctor Biobrain said...

learning about those things helped me imagine what a state without them, you know, a state without its fundamental banking system rigged for the elite.

But how do you ever insure that such people can't do this again? How do you prevent this from happening in an ideal state, with limited regulations to prevent such things from happening?

Unless you can explain how your left-libertarian utopia would prevent me and my buddies from running Ponzi schemes on you and your buddies, you don't know what you're talking about. But please, prove me wrong by explaining how your limited government could prevent the jerks who keep screwing things up now from screwing things up in your society? How do you prevent fractional reserve banking in your utopia?

Doctor Biobrain said...

As for Rahm's use of the no-fly list, I understood why his idea was bad. I told you that I didn't agree with it. Why is this a problem? It's a difference of opinion, ok? Rahm has a different opinion than you have. Why is that a punishable offense? And as a reminder, according to the only numbers we have, he would have only been denying guns to 20,000 citizens; at most. And seeing as how it's quite likely that many of those citizens wouldn't even have tried to acquire firearms, so the number is probably lower than that.

And to recap: Yes, I understand why you don't agree with him, but no, I don't understand why hiring someone who said such a thing should be a punishable offense on the level of denying someone a Nobel Peace Prize. Because again, that was the "forest for the trees." You imagined that Rahm's gun ban was so horrible that Obama should have been denied the peace prize for having hired him. And yes, I'm laughing at you.

As for the number of Al Qaeda in Pakistan, your point makes no sense. The article said it was giving money to Pakistan to fight Al Qaeda and similar groups in Pakistan. And you cite an article suggesting that there are less than one hundred Al Qaeda in Afghanistan. How do these correspond? Al Queda is in Pakistan; not Afghanistan. And the Obama Administration is the one who told you that. This isn't a secret.

And no, I didn't nitpit. I completely demolished your main points, and you've failed to respond to any of that. Or perhaps you'd finally like to show me the link of the protester who was definitely being held by the military for weeks after it was reported that he was in a regular jail. Or explain how the one civilian spy working for local police is proof that Obama is spying on peace groups? Any chance of that? No, I didn't think so.

Josh said...

Alright, dude, well, I'll leave you to your opinions.

We both agree that using the No-Fly List to bar people from carrying guns would be a bad thing, yet you apparently don't think it's that big of a deal. I view it as part of an on-going trend that's been present for at least the last eight years of growing centralization of government. Think about it: all that power would be centralized in the Executive Branch. I don't see that just as an honest mistake. I see it as part of a deliberate pattern, one that has been present in the Obama admin as well as the Bush.

One of the points of this aid to Pakistan has been because its supposedly served as a bulwark against Afghanistan. By minimizing the threat in Afghanistan, it eliminates a commonly given reason for supporting Pakistan.

If you say, "how is fractional reserve banking to be prevented in a perfect world," it makes me think you don't know what fractional reserve banking is. It has to be instituted by laws.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rC720Cl3N-0

The rest of it would be there would be no private Federal Reserve, and the government would print the money itself. Laws could be enacted to make every dollar of the budget, with the possible exception of top secret projects, transparent (no "miscellaneous expenses") to the public. And allow for a petition signed by 25% of all the voting population within a district to allow for a popular vote on an issue.

It's simple. Decentralization and transparency, yet it's presented as impossible.