On Another Tentacle

by John Hertz: (reprinted from Vanamonde 1230; italics, parentheses after this, in original)  My exhorting my companions on the Left (Mike Glyer once said I have the gift of exhortation; I warned him I was taking that as a compliment) not to be so smug, self-righteous, arrogant about our opinions (see Van 1228) shouldn’t be taken to imply I think you folks on the Right ought to be smug, self-righteous, arrogant about yours.  Indeed you have trumped us (8 Nov 16).  But triumphalism isn’t good argument.  It isn’t good politics.  It isn’t neighborly.  And since you are fond of saying you, not we, are the true guardians of liberty, I believe I may add It violates your own principles.  Now is the time for you to be better preachers, teachers, reachers.  I’ve insisted “Democracy is not Give me what I wish no matter what but I can be outvoted” (Van 1224); however, as Samuel Johnson said, people “may be convinced, but they cannot be pleased, against their will” (Lives of the English Poets, 1781; Congreve); and lest you fall into the pit beside the road of victory, I remind you of a remark by Isak Dinesen (who called it the saying of the hero of a book read as a child, Out of Africa ch. IV pt. 5 “The Iguana”, 1937): “I have conquered them all, but I am standing amongst graves.”

37 thoughts on “On Another Tentacle

  1. 1) Could I get a link to the original post? I did a google on the name and could not find the original source.

    2) It was rude at the inaugural to boo/cat-call Ms. Clinton. It was also horrid in 2008 to boo/cat-call President Bush, VP Chaney and especially their wives. Public courtesy seems to be less common.

    3) If you are interested in vote demographics, here is just the data on why trump won: http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2017/01/20/how_trump_won_–_conclusions_132846.html

    To summarize, the Dem vote has collapsed in rural areas, small towns and medium size towns. It has grown in mega-cities. You can attach whatever interpretation you wish on this, but the votes in Presidential elections from Dukakis to Hillary show this very clear trend. This also explains the collapse of Dem support in the House and in State Legislatures.

  2. The thing about your Item Two, airboy, is that it draws an equivalence between “someone who led the United States into war under false pretenses after ignoring a clear and present danger to the country until we suffered the biggest attack on American soil since the War of 1812” and “someone who stood for election as a member of an opposing political party”. That context matters, and removing it to suggest that there should be a clear-cut “don’t boo” rule is essentially excusing political leaders from being held accountable for their conduct. I can’t agree with that.

    At some point, false equivalency has to end. Both sides have problems, but that doesn’t mean they’re equally bad.

  3. airboy: 1) Could I get a link to the original post? I did a google on the name and could not find the original source.

    What is it you’re trying to look up? I can’t tell.

  4. I think it was rude of Bush, Cheney et al to start a genocidal war. I think it was the correct thing to boo some of the worst genocidal murderers of today.

    It is of course correct to boo Clinton too as a supporter of that genocidal war.

  5. Where’s the darned “thumbs up” clicky thing for the OP?

    Exchanging one “rub it in their face” set of policies for a different version doesn’t seem productive. Sadly, it seems likely.

    Regards,
    Dann

  6. Mr. Glyer:

    I’m trying to find Vanamonde 1230 which was referenced and I cannot find the website.

    Shao Ping – thanks, but I was looking for the original website not the 770 reprint. But I appreciate your link as well.

    Thanks!

  7. @John Seavey/Hampus – I could not disagree more strongly. Inaugurations are a peaceful transfer of power. They should not be forums for partisan, public, jerk behavior.

    “essentially excusing political leaders from being held accountable for their conduct” as an excuse to boo at inaugurations is a crap excuse. There is a time and place for everything. Respecting in a public forum the peaceful transfer of amazing power is part of basic civility in the political process. Unfortunately, this is part and parcel of the increasing coarseness and rudeness we see in politics.

  8. The correct thing to do would have been to arrest Bush for war crimes before he was sworn in the second time. Booing is the second best. Never, ever peacefully transfer powers to genocidal war criminals.

  9. Gosh Hampus you are a leftist nut today! “arrest Bush for war crimes” is classic. I love your use of the word “genocidal.”

    Exactly what group was “genocide” done upon? Since you are delusional, as a reminder: “Genocide is intentional action to destroy a people (usually defined as an ethnic, national, racial, or religious group) in whole or in part.”

    The US Congress gave Bush war powers in Afghanistan and Iraq. You may not like that, but the votes of Congress followed US law.

  10. @airboy

    If you’re concerned about “coarseness and rudeness” then how about you drop the “leftist nut” stuff?

  11. “Gosh Hampus you are a leftist nut today! “

    You can’t be serious in wanting to turn being for or against war crimes the same as being left or right. Bush killed over a million Iraqis in his war based on lies. That makes him on par with Saddam Hussein himself.

    That the US congress has a thing for condoning war crimes does not make it better.

  12. @airboy: “This also explains the collapse of Dem support in the House and in State Legislatures.” Bing! Thank you for playing….

    As a group, Democrats running for the House have consistently outpolled the Republicans, whose party deliberately went for governorships to get leverage for gerrymandering. e.g., IIRC in 2014 there were 49.6 million votes cast for Democratic candidates and 48.0 million cast for Republicans. The irony (or unmitigated gall) of Trump saying that the election would be crooked if he didn’t win is sickening.

  13. @Hampus Bush killed over a million Iraqis in his war based on lies.

    Nobody accepts that number. Your own link disowns it.

  14. @airboy

    Re: gerrymandering, the state of Alabama just today was found guilty of it by a federal court.

    A federal appeals court ruled Friday that the state of Alabama engaged in unconstitutional racial gerrymandering in at least 12 districts in order to preserve a Republican supermajority. The ruling is a victory for the state’s Legislative Black Caucus, which has been fighting in court for years against voting maps that intentionally limit the voting power of African Americans by packing them into as few oddly-shaped districts as possible.

    Oddly enough, this is also where Jeff Sessions, the nominee for Attorney General, hails from. Quite a coincidence, eh?

  15. Bill:

    “Nobody accepts that number. Your own link disowns it.”

    No one!? You are in denial. These figures are commonly accepted. The Lancet did a survey that said around 650 000 excess deaths and that was already in 2006. And we have Physicians for Social Responsibility that estimate far more than one million.

    US has a tendency to ignore absolutely all but the violent deaths (and mostly try to leave even them out), which leaves out everyone who dies of secondary causes like diseases or ruined sanitation caused by the war. Even the sanctions against Iraq killed more than one million people, half of them children under five year.

  16. @ airboy
    “Leftist nut” is abuse, not an argument. Civility starts at home. If you want people to be courteous, give them an example to follow.

  17. Chip Hitchcock – You might try reading the article. Dem votes are heavily concentrated in very narrow geographic areas. That hurts especially in the House and in State Legislatures. But “thank you for playing” and your unwillingness to comprehend how geography is tied to legislative districts.

    @Msb & Mark – “leftist nut” is an appropriate moniker for anyone who states that a war voted upon by the US Congress makes the President who requested the authorization “a war criminal.” Much less a claim of “genocidal war criminals.” I have no respect for those who throw around baseless charges of ‘war criminal” or “genocide” without a rational basis in fact. “Leftist nut” is an accurate description, not abuse.

  18. If we learned anything from the last 8 years, it’s that unremitting, bitter opposition and denying the enemy legitimacy WORKS. The Republicans engaged in a scorched Earth opposition to Obama that did not cede any amount of respect. They never even conceded that Obama was an American citizen. And, they eventually seized the government.

    We can learn from experience as well. We have nothing to gain from heeding to politeness and respect, and everything to to gain from adopting the same tactics the Republicans used. I’m sorry if that makes people uncomfortable, but after 8 years of Republicans treating this like a wayr it’s disingenuous to call for civility now.

  19. @Rose [Republicans] never even conceded that Obama was an American citizen.
    Bullshit. Trump says he is American. Romney says he is American. Paul Ryan says he is American. Tim Pence says Obama was born in America. John Boehner said Obama was American.

  20. @airboy

    “Leftist nut” is an accurate description, not abuse

    I’m very disappointed here. If you want a “discussion” where pure insults are fair game then I’ll leave you to your fate. (Which is that people can now call you what they like and claim it’s “an accurate description”.)

  21. @ airboy
    Your response to me included an actual argument, and wa therefore welcome, although irrelevant. Attacking another country without provocation is a war crime, as the US agreed at Nuremburg. Getting Congress to cover one’s butt by telling it a lot of lies about WMDs does not change that.
    If you really want civil discourse, I suggest that you say, for example, “I disagree”, or “That argument is ridiculous”. Although neither of those will change anybody’s mind, personal abuse makes people stop listening. This matters, unless one’s purpose is merely to toss abuse around in order to shut down dissent.

    @ Mark
    Much more elegant response than mine!

    @Bill
    So glad to hear that leading Reublicans, after a mere 4-8 years, finally agreed that President Obama is a native-born citizen. Anyone not born yesterday will remember that most of them merely “believed” he was, or really couldn’t say, for periods extending from several months to nearly 8 years (D. trump).

  22. If you perform a genocidal war, which the Iraq war was by any definition (including the one given by airboy), if you in this war permitt war crimes such as bombing of civilians (on larger scale than Russia has done in Syria), use of torture, use of white phosphor, use of depleted uranium, then you are a genocidal war criminal.

    Regardless if how many supporters the war crimes have in congress. US congress has a long and proud tradition of condoning war crimes.

    Msb mentioned Nürnberg. At that, trial it was concluded that the one who starts a war bears the full responsibility for all the effects of the war. That responsibility with a Middle-East in flames rest on war criminals Bush and Blair.

  23. @airboy: geography has little to do with whether districts are gerrymandered; see, for instance, Massachusetts’s 1st district from 1983 to 2012. As a 45-year resident of MA, I can tell you that the western end of the state has little to do with the north-central and north-eastern edges aside from the belief of a pair of unscrupulous Republican governors that the collection would return a Republican representative. Note also that the article I first pointed to you explicitly describes how a Democratic area was fragmented among Republican territories in Texas, and look at the how-to-gerrymander diagrams. I have little besides contempt for the Democratic party officials who failed to vigorously contest gubernatorial races in states where the governor does the redistricting, but that doesn’t excuse what the Republican governors did.

    Geography and history combined give the Republicans an edge in the Senate, but it has nothing to do with what has happened in the House, despite your unsupported claim.

  24. @airboy

    “Leftist nut” is an accurate description, not abuse

    And yet most conservatives get all bent out of shape whenever they’re called (rightly, from my point of view) “right wing nut jobs.”

    So what exactly, pray tell, is the difference?

    (Other than “It’s Okay If You’re a Republican,” of course.)

  25. @Bill

    Trump says former president Obama is an American now, and that’s only because he was pretty much forced to. I don’t appreciate your wiping away all the years he questioned Obama’s citizenship, and the existence of his birth certificate, like they never happened.

  26. @Bill Don’t try to fake up history. The never should have brought up that line of bullshit in the first place. And there was years of a circus of bullshit over Obama`s birth certificate. When the majority of Republicans believe that Obama is non— American and a secret Muslim, you see how well the propaganda machine works.

    So stop being such a delicate white snowflake and deal. I am not ceding any legitimacy to the Molester in Chief, or give any courtesy to the fascists who support him.

  27. I see no one has responded to Mr airboy’s request of “I’m trying to find Vanamonde 1230 which was referenced and I cannot find the website.”

    Well, that’s because it isn’t online. John Hertz is a paper kind of guy.

    “Vanamonde is two pages a week, first published in APA-L (Amateur Publishing Association — Los Angeles), then mailed monthly to people outside that apa.”

    http://johnhertz.sciencefictionleague.org/jh-van.htm

  28. Former President Barack Hussein Obama (AKA Barry Soetoro, who held an Indonesian passport stating that he is Muslim) is an American citizen because his mother was American. He may or may not have been born in the United States. The two different birth certificates he has provided have both been proven to be fakes. His own lawyers admitted the first one he provided was fraudulent in a court of law. His grandmother states that she witnessed his birth in Kenya. The hospital listed on his birth certificate did not exist at the time of his birth. The State Department refuses to release the immigration records for the three month period surrounding his birth.

    There is no such thing as a ‘war criminal’ People conduct criminal acts all the time. ‘War criminal’ has no definition and no meaning other than ‘somebody vaguely connected to the military whom I do not like.”

    If the US conducted genocide against Arabs in Iraq for 15 years, why is the population there higher now than when we invaded in 2003? As for the million dead Arabs, that’s ridiculous. Nobody with any credibility believes that. Unless maybe you count all the Arabs that other Arabs killed, because they are constantly killing each other. You know, like the Iraqi civil war between the Sunni and Shia, continuing on to the Syrian civil war. Don’t forget the tribal conflicts, and the actual ISIS genocide of the Yazidi, and never forget the Kurds. Go look at a map some time and notice the hundreds of Kurdish villages destroyed by Saddam Hussein, their people exiled or murdered by Arabs for the crime of being Kurdish. The Turks don’t like them very much, either.

    As for the outcome of the election, please allow me to paraphrase and quote your favorite ex-president. Elections matter. I won; you lost. Deal with it. “You don’t like a particular policy or a particular president? Then argue for your position. Go out there and win an election.”

    Third world barbarians believe that democracy means “my side wins, and we get to crush your side.” This is the same argument that the Democrats are making now every time they say “Not my president” and “Bush/Trump stole the election” and “This is not how democracy works” and especially when they riot in the streets after their favorite America-hating socialist candidate loses an election which the Democrats work so hard at vote-rigging to win.

    If you want to ensure that the regular, normal, same American people continue to vote Republican, all you have to do is keep on doing what you’re doing now.

  29. Oh, did Mike let another set of spammers out of the bin by mistake again? They’re normally more amusing though….

  30. @McChuck

    Good heavens, a Falsehoodia Spewingus Trumpertwit! Up till now, that species has been relatively rare around here.

    Unfortunately, your first paragraph, full of those “alternative facts,” pretty much disqualifies you from having an informed opinion in these parts.

    But I do congratulate you on your hitherto-unrevealed invention of a time machine, which enabled young Barack Hussein Obama to travel to Hawaii in the early morning hours of August 4, 1961, to plant those fake birth announcements in Hawaii newspapers, and manufacture the nurses and doctors who assisted his mother in giving birth (oh, but his mother, with her false swollen belly, was just a sophisticated hologram as well–congratulations on another invention). Yes, it was because of you that young Barack Hussein Obama was able to transport a 3-D printer back in time, with which he manufactured a proper Hawaiian birth certificate, complete with the watermarks, fonts and paper in use during the time period.

    Where is your Nobel Prize for Physics? Don’t hide your light under a bushel, now!!

  31. Former President Barack Hussein Obama

    Well, at least you got one thing right.

    Barry Soetoro, who held an Indonesian passport stating that he is Muslim

    No, he did not.

    The two different birth certificates he has provided have both been proven to be fakes.

    No, they have not.

    His own lawyers admitted the first one he provided was fraudulent in a court of law.

    No, they did not.

    His grandmother states that she witnessed his birth in Kenya.

    No, she did not.

    The hospital listed on his birth certificate did not exist at the time of his birth.

    The Kapi’olani Maternity & Gynecological Hospital was originally built as a maternity home in 1918 and got its current name in 1931.

    The State Department refuses to release the immigration records for the three month period surrounding his birth.

    The State Department would not have any immigration records of any kind. The proper agency would be the Immigration and Naturalization Service. They have a comprehensive data base of all of their archived records available in the National Archives. Data from 1961 is included in this database.

    Are there any other false claims you’d like to make about the former President?

  32. “If the US conducted genocide against Arabs in Iraq for 15 years, why is the population there higher now than when we invaded in 2003? “

    Because people in times of famine and lack of medicines tends to have more childbirths.

    Also, when US invaded, Iraq hadn’t been involved in any war for the last 12 years. During those years, the US imposed sanctions were the great killer, killing more children under five years than Saddam Hussein killed civilians during the whole of his reign.

  33. Especially as a former resident of Hawai’i, I sometimes wonder if birthers don’t really consider Hawai’i part of the US. For them it’s closer to a foreign country, full of tricky non-whites you can’t really trust.

  34. @Hampus During those years, the US imposed sanctions were the great killer, killing more children under five years

    1. I don’t know why you call these “US imposed” — your own link clearly states they were UN imposed. Resolutions 661 and 687 were the big ones that imposed sanctions (and I’ll note that UNR 1115, 1134, 1137, 1154, and 1194, all of which reaffirmed 687, were all voted for by Sweden — so put some of those US deaths onto your country).
    2. The sanctions could have been lifted at any time if Hussein had only complied with the relevant UN resolutions. But he preferred to let his people suffer rather than comply. The responsibility of the side effects of punishment fall on the criminal, not on the police.
    3. One of authors of the study you link to, Sarah Zaidi, later backed off the numbers originally reported.

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