Widgetized Section

Go to Admin » Appearance » Widgets » and move Gabfire Widget: Social into that MastheadOverlay zone

Is Biden a change Vice President?

By Doug Thompson
August 23, 2008

On January 20, 2009, if John McCain takes the oath of office as the next President and Barack Obama returns to the Senate to figure out what happened to his once promising campaign, he should remember Friday, August 22, 2008 as the day he made a mistake that cost him the Presidency.

That was the day Obama named Joseph Robinette Biden Jr. as his running mate.

So much for the dream, so much for the promises of change, so much for casting aside the old way of doing things. If you want to deliver on those promises, you don’t pick a two-time loser as a Presidential candidate, a long-winded speaker who puts people to sleep or a known plagiarist who also lied outright when he said he would never accept an offer of the vice presidency.

Obama might, possibly, have come up with a worse choice than Joe Biden but that would be a short list.

Bringing Biden into the fold is a sellout of the highest order, a capitulation to the old-style liberalism that has sunk the Democratic Party time and again.

Picking Biden suggests Obama is not an agent of change but simply a purveyor of false hopes and impossible dreams.

Like many, I wanted to believe in the guy. He talked good but his actions since wrapping up the nomination have betrayed the trust of those who supported him and offered nothing but the same political pabulum to a nation that needed a candidate who would deliver on his promises.

Joe Biden? This is change?

Forget the future. Forget any hope of salvation for a nation in need.  Get ready for the Presidency of John McCain.

The mafia has a saying for what we are facing:  new boss, same as the old boss.

(AUTHOR’S NOTE: I revised this column on August 27 after deciding some of the original column was just too far over the top. I still think Biden was a bad choice but was wrong to consider it a fatal one. My bad.)

104 Responses to Is Biden a change Vice President?

  1. Southerner

    August 23, 2008 at 5:32 pm

    The world always lets you down, doesn’t it, Doug.

  2. churlpat

    August 23, 2008 at 1:51 pm

    “Like many, I wanted to believe in the guy.”

    HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA!!

    Sure, just like you want to believe in the tooth fairy.

    Mr. Thompson, you should have been a stand-up comedian. That’s the funniest thing I have ever heard you say. I defy you to show me ONE line you have published here that was anything other than a concerted effort to show your disdain and disrespect for Senator Obama.

    Churlpat — a plutarch by any name is still a plutarch

  3. JudyB

    August 23, 2008 at 1:56 pm

    Does anybody around here remember when G.W.B. asked Cheney to take charge of finding him a running mate? Well he did just that. It was only after much soul searching & research, that Cheney came to the conclusion that he himself was the best choice. Cheney was has been calling the shots every since.

    So far at least, we haven’t heard any rumors that was this was the case in Obama’s choice… and he will have to be given credit for having found his own running mate. I’d say this is a plus to start with.

  4. almandine

    August 23, 2008 at 2:47 pm

    Yep, THE ANTAGONISTIC ATMOSPHERE HERE is alive and well…

  5. sawbuck

    August 23, 2008 at 5:53 pm

    Yes, we all know that a McCain/Romney ticket will bring lots of fresh ideas and new solutions to America’s problems. A real pair of young, energetic mavericks with lots of new plans. Americans will line up to vote for that ticket.

  6. churlpat

    August 23, 2008 at 6:00 pm

    Ms Almandine:

    So you accept what Doug Thompson tried to say to us above?

    This is more of the same old same old that he said earlier he was going to eschew in the future.

    Set forth ideas. Try to be constructive. Work to make things better. Yeah. Right. When pigs fly.

    Reminds me of the story told about Oscar Wilde when he told his friends that he was no longer going to live a homosexual lifestyle, that he was going to go straight. A couple of weeks later a friend visited Wilde in his hotel suite, where he found Wilde chasing a bellhop around the room. “Oscar!” remonstrated the friend. “I thought you were going to turn over a new leaf.” II am,” panted Wilde, “just as soon as I get to the bottom of this page.”

    And I predict we will wait in vain for Mr. Thompson to turn over a new leaf.

    I defy YOU to show us one thing that he has said constructively since he wrote that rant.

    Churlpat — a plutarch by any name is still a plutarch

  7. Doug Thompson

    August 23, 2008 at 6:39 pm

    Churlpat wrote:

    I defy you to show me ONE line you have published here that was anything other than a concerted effort to show your disdain and disrespect for Senator Obama.

    Tell me something Churl: Are you just uninformed or just too lazy to do basic research on this site and/or my writing? It’s not rocket science to check the archives of my past columns to find one like the Rant of February 15 of this year: Time for a real leader.

    In it, I wrote:

    Barack Obama is an exciting candidate and his charismatic appeal restores faith in a political system that many Americans despise because of the last seven years of George W. Bush, the eight years before that of Bill and Hillary Clinton and the terms of other Presidents going back to Richard M. Mixon and Watergate.

    Obama brings hope in a time of despair and attracts those disillusioned by the system back into the electoral process.

    On April 14, in a column entitled The bitter truth about America, I wrote:

    Obama told the truth when he said small town America is bitter about the declining quality of life. He told the truth when he said the small-minded cling to their guns and their religion as crutches to prop themselves up against the pathetic realities of their failed lives.

    Regular readers of Capitol Hill Blue know that I play no favorites and measure every candidate and elected official by the same yardstick. It’s only the shortimers and drive-bys who make judgements without foundation and issue stupid comments that claim I favor one side over another.

    If you’re not going to take the time to know the background and history of this site and my writing I suggest you take your incorrect observations and misinformation elsewhere. If you try to debate me on my political philosophy you are — at best — bringing a knife to a gunfight.

  8. Ladywolf55

    August 24, 2008 at 4:16 am

    TJ, that was inspired! Dan Akroyd would be proud of you. :-)

  9. jay_spaan_sr

    August 24, 2008 at 5:00 am

    Doug, you have lost it. Remember “Obama says We, Hillary says I” column?

    You need to quit this site. You helped make this monster, goose-stepping with the rest of the idiots, and now you, like the Judas you are, act like a teen age girl that can’t make up her mind.

    I used to have respect for you. Now I pity you.

    You made your choice. Now you are a traitor.

    Just plain disgusting.

  10. GAR

    August 23, 2008 at 7:24 pm

    Doug: For the most part the Rant is a thoughtful and well- presented column. I may not always agree with you, but appreciate the spirit and background knowledge that goes into its preparation.

    Today’s Rant is an exception. Why not give us your suggestion who the VP nominee should have been — and why? Why let anger or frustration or whatever overtake your ability to express yourself?

    On Thursday I was one of the 150 or so people who gathered around some picnic tables at a VA community college at an Obama event. I watched folks of all ages and ethnicities and income levels. Their reactions to this young man were unlike what I’ve seen at political events over more than 30 years of active involvement. From the youngest to the oldest in attendance I witnessed people really listening – not just caught up in the moments with a celebrity.

    I doubt all of us agree completely with his views. Along with many others I was disappointed in his vote re: FISA. Neither do I think Joe Biden is perfect. Yeah, he’s got some real blemishes in his past. So do you and most of us who read Capitol Hill Blue.

    Yes, I know we’re not the ones putting ourselves out there as national candidates. These two guys are doing that. I am still inspired by one of them and think that the foreign policy experience of the other helps complement the ticket.

    I may end up disappointed by Obama-Biden. I can’t claim perfect judgement – have been wrong before and will be again. But I’ve chosen to give my support to a couple of guys who offer the best chance for the type of leadership I want to see in the President and VP. Even after all this time in politics – I still think people can make a difference. Georgia

  11. bryan mcclellan

    August 23, 2008 at 7:25 pm

    I can’t remember his name but it went something like this, an old time Baseball announcer once said of a plucky young man at the plate;
    This guy just wants to get the merry-go-round to go faster and the pitchers lost his breaks, (Curve ball).

    Doug. Keep swingin.

  12. almandine

    August 23, 2008 at 8:17 pm

    I believe my post above shows clearly that I disagree with Doug on this one… as I have before. AND I called him out straight-forwardly on his “new and improved, warmer and fuzzier” way of bringing us all together article.

    I also find that I disagree more and more with you!

    Not that I’m alone …

    Pay attention or take a hike !!!

  13. griff

    August 23, 2008 at 9:55 pm

    “Know how to listen, and you will profit even from those who talk badly.”

    “An imbalance between rich and poor is the oldest and most fatal ailment of all republics.”

    – Plutarch

  14. Flapsaddle

    August 23, 2008 at 11:23 pm

    It’s too bad that all of the passion and all of the energy found in the forum isn’t found in the House and the Senate.Where are the Burrs and the Hamiltons who would take the debate to the field of honor? Where is the John C. Calhoun who would cane a fellow congressman or a newspaper editor over his remarks? Where is the Andrew Jackson who would challenge some loose-mouth to a duel over remarks about his wife?

    No, that sort of fire and energy is gone. Like reptiles denned up for winter or for breeding, our coifed and tailored legislators of this age coil and slither between and among their fellow ophiuchians, their flickering, forked tongues creating veils of weasel-words that reveal nothing but their contempt for us and for the truth. Oleagenous charm and fluff bury the real meaning of every statement as they wriggle in an obscene pavane of misdirection and avoidance of responsibility.

    When the President asked us to go to war in Iraq, the Senate majority leader should have stood up and announced “Mr. President, the Senate will consider a bill declaring war once your children and the children who have not served of every other senator has enlisted in the active armed forces, completed traning and are ready to go in harm’s way.”

    When the SotH announced that impeachment was off of the table, a Democrat should have jumped up and pounded on the table and declared “Madam Speaker, you ignorant slut! Just why the phuque do you think the voters sent us to take charge?”

    But we dare not show that much raw passion, that much energy for justice, we must be sure that we go along so that we can get along.

    Most sincerely,

    T. J. Flapsaddle

  15. almandine

    August 23, 2008 at 11:27 pm

    Dammit, TJ…………….

    I was gonna use that ignorant slut line, myself !

  16. bryan mcclellan

    August 24, 2008 at 3:21 am

    Only if we let them catch us with our pants down.

  17. almandine

    August 23, 2008 at 11:35 pm

    Is there a full moon ???

  18. Nick Lento

    August 24, 2008 at 3:57 am

    Obama is flawed and imperfect, as is Biden.

    McCain is damaged corrupted hypocritical goods and massively wrong on most issues. The man is actually dangerous…even some of his Republican colleagues have said as much.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2008/jun/22/johnmccain.uselections2008

    The list of worrying incidents is long. In 1995 he ended up almost physically scuffling with aged Senator Strom Thurmond on the Senate floor. And, according to some accounts, in 2006 he had a fight with Arizona congressman Rick Renzi, throwing blows in a scrap whose details have only recently been detailed in Schecter’s book. Schecter unearthed another unpleasant incident from 1992 in which McCain, tired after a long day’s campaign, reacted badly to his wife Cindy teasing him about his baldness. ‘At least I don’t plaster on the make-up like a trollop, you cunt,’ McCain snapped in front of eyewitnesses. Schecter says he has three sources for the story. McCain’s campaign have denied it.

    Such public outbursts, and many other private ones, have concerned people even in his own party. Former New Hampshire Republican Senator Robert Smith publicly voiced his concerns, once saying McCain’s temper ‘ … would place this country at risk in international affairs, and the world perhaps in danger’. That sentiment was echoed by Mississippi Republican Senator Thad Cochran, who told a Boston newspaper: ‘The thought of his being president sends a cold chill down my spine. He is erratic. He is hotheaded. He loses his temper and he worries me.”

    To petulantly abandon Obama simply because he made a pragmatic choice in Biden is not productive.

    I would love to live in an America where Dennis Kucinich could win the nomination and the general election.

    Let’s light a candle and get Obama elected as opposed to cursing the darkness and allowing McCain to win because “good” people sat on their hands when they realized that Obama was/is an establishmentarian.

    In a best case scenario an Obama landslide just might yield a 60+ Democratic senate, and then all sorts of things become possible.

    On one level it comes down to being mugged or murdered, take yer pick.

    The stakes are way too high, one of these two imperfect humans will be the next potus we don’t have the luxury of being too pique-y.

  19. sherry

    August 24, 2008 at 10:08 am

    TJ, I adore your posts. This one in particular is one of the best. I also like your creative spelling for my very least favorite word.

  20. sherry

    August 24, 2008 at 10:13 am

    Doug tells it like it is. I don’t pretend to speak for him but having read this column for years he is an equal opportunity offender. That is what happens when one consistently tells the truth.
    I never cease to be amazed at those in the tank for Obama run after him as if he is the last hope for Americe. It he is the last hope we are in trouble.
    I never understood the people who fell for it to begin with.

  21. Klaus Hergeschimmer

    August 24, 2008 at 11:16 am

    All Democrappers know how to do is preserve their power. Witness Fancy Pants ‘the care of our country is off the table’ Pelosi and her continual promotion that Congress can not simply cut funds for Iraq, Period.

    And then we have Hairy Reed selling the 4th amendmant down the tubes giving telecoms retro-active immunity as did Sir Obama of Camelot.

    I am gratefull that the Pants Suit Wench is out of the equation but it is little consolation with the ‘Run Away -Run Away’ pavlov mode of the Democrappers.

    Even if Sir Obama does get in, the Neo-Cons will cook up another National Security Threat and the Spineless Sheep Democrappers will run around like Cockroaches that have just been flushed out of their hiding places and vote for whatever the Neo-Cons so desire.

    Demofloppers will continue in their noble mission to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.

    VOTE NADER, NO MORE LEXUS LIBERALS OR PANTS SUITS!

  22. incog99

    August 24, 2008 at 11:39 am

    America loves pablum. Biden is just another ordinary guy like the Pennsylvania and West Virginny voters who voted for Hillary. I think it was a practical choice.

    Pandering to Progressives won’t work so I guess that’s why we are unhappy. We have a lot of work to do before a Rahm Emanuel will even open the door for us.

    Who do we think we are, the base?

    incog99

  23. Ladywolf55

    August 24, 2008 at 12:16 pm

    I must say, I feel the same. I don’t always agree with Doug, but this is his platform and I will defend to the death his right to post whatever he pleases here. If we don’t like it, we know where the door is, too.

    Obama is no different than any other politician. Americans as a whole tend to look for “saviors” as if they are looking for Jesus Christ to come down from a cloud and make everything all right. It doesn’t work that way, and it’s time to wake up and smell the coffee. America is going down, and it’s the Americans themselves who let it happen. There’s strength in numbers, and the huge amount of Americans who voted for the Bush administration are getting exactly what they asked for. They need to stop whining about it and take back their country, if they have the guts to, which I doubt.

    Obama cannot and will not save America. It’s TOO LATE.

  24. griff

    August 24, 2008 at 1:07 pm

    A traitor? No, that term would better define not only the majority of our Political Class but also the uninformed, lazy voters that continue to perpetuate this two-party abomination.

    Your teen-aged girl reference would more accurately define the average Obama-lite, not someone who dares step outside the tightly controlled facade of opposing parties and ideals. Like a bunch of schoolgirls worshipping the latest teen idol. He’s just sooooo dreamy!

    The real idiots are the ones that put their lives and futures, the futures of their children, in the hands of elitist politicians and their corporate overlords.

    The real idiots are those that believe that a shiny new label on the same faulty product represents real and fundamental change.

    Real change would mean less government, not more.

    The idea that more government is the answer to too much government is ridiculous. This cancerous system has eaten away the vital organs of this country, leaving only the picked-over remains of a great Republic.

  25. almandine

    August 24, 2008 at 4:00 pm

    I’m chuckling now…touche !!!

  26. bezelt

    August 24, 2008 at 4:05 pm

    The neocon’s dreams of

    (1) Bullying the world into military submission.
    (2) Keeping the cause of the Iraq war secret.
    (3) Ensuring that President bush is not held accountable for his role in started the Iraq war.
    (4) Ensuring that the double standard in presidential impeachments remains.
    (5) Ensuring that presidential signing statements be held in high esteem.
    (6) Ensuring that the “mail room” personnel are protected from politicizing.
    (7) Ensuring that RHETORIC is just as important as PERFORMANCE in getting a job done.
    (8) Ensuring that the “train-wreck” performances of eight years of neocon “management” are kept quiet.
    (9) Ensuring that the official cause of “Iraq’s quiet” is Mr. Bush, General Petraeus and the SURGE(too little, too late).
    (10)Ensuring that the Constitution of the United States of America remain an “expletive deleted” piece of paper.
    (11) To be continued:

  27. bezelt

    August 24, 2008 at 4:27 pm

    Notice the name-calling.

  28. Timr

    August 24, 2008 at 5:02 pm

    Doug, it no longer matters just who might be president, a repdem or a demrep, 2 sides of the same coin. The primaries and fall campaigns are presented solely for our entertainment and amusement. The oligarchs already own congress they will tell them how to spend all the money and what laws to pass-bush usurped the powers of congress and neither the demrep or the repdem will want to give back those powers. Meanwhile, the neocons have been busy little beavers, making sure that the money train will continue to run to the Military-Industrial complex by instigating a new cold war with Russia the opponent this time. Back in the Ford days the neocons-led by cheney and rumsfeld- took over CIA analysis and used it to spread the fear that the USSR had a sub that we could not track. FEAR followed,money flowed. The boss of the CIA then was GHWB. They tied Carter into knots and undermined him at every turn. Then came Reagan. cheney, bush, rumsfeld, wolfowitz and the rest of the neocons again pandered to the MI oligarchs who got us to spend the USSR into oblivion. It was only then that we found out how cheney and his merry group of pirates had managed the CIA-the truth came out-those who had said back in 1975 that the USSR was in a death spiral were right all along, even tho they had been pushed aside by feith type operators. The USSR military machine that the neocons threatened us with, did not exist. All we did was spend money that enriched the corporations. Everything continued merrily along when GHWB became prez. Then clinton came and slightly screwed up the works. But never fear, the republicians won congress, so the money continued to flow. Then came junior. To get the money river going full blast he and his neocon cronies started 2 wars,bailed on the ABM treaty, got former parts of the USSR into NATO and pretty much tried like hell to push Russia into returning to the old days. Now, here we are 8 years later, the Iraq war winding down, not because of anything bush or Obama want, but because the Iraqis are tired of being the ones being slaughtered in order to give the MI neocons a reason for more military spending. So the neocons came up with still another in their long string of schemes, they insured that Georgia, and its president, would be told-on the q.t.-that we would be there for them if they attacked South Ossetia. They fired the first shot, Russia came running like Pavlovs dogs, and we sat on our thumbs because we could not support Georgia-other than with some Bush bluster and making funny faces at them-Now we come to the last 4 months of the bush years and what the neocons are doing to insure that the money keeps flowing to the M-I complex. They want, and with cheney’s help will probably get, a new cold war. Call it cold war II. So we leave Iraq. That war has become meaningless, the new money tree is cold war II with Russia rather than the USSR being the enemy. COLD WAR. WOW, the money will pour out of WaDC in a flood. New and better equipment, more $2Billion each B-2 bombers, more ships for the Navy, lets once again get a 300, no a 500 ship Navy. Lets increase the Army once more, we will have to, of course, reopen many of the military bases previously closed. Spending will double, triple, quadruple for everything that the military wants. People, we need more people. Reinstate the draft. This time, no deferments, everybody, joe and jill alike, goes.This is war people, we must face Russia everywhere. Who wins? Only big business, the MI complex that Ike warned us about 2 generations ago. That is why it doesn’t matter who gets elected. More spending means more taxes-our lenders are starting to get antsy-so we won’t be able to put it all on the credit card. But deficit spending, whoo boy, you ain’t seen nothing yet. The template that we followed during the great arms build up in the 50’s, anti missile batteries all around the coast of the US. Masses of fighters to deter Russian agression stationed all over once more. Bombers and boomers on alert once more. The Army expanding at a tremendous rate. The private contractors will be gone, it is cheaper to staff with soldiers than civs. The outer framework of a republic will continue, we will keep our right to vote. But it will be a meaningless exercise because the oligarchs of the MI complex will be the ones who are really running the show. Nukes on alert, hairtrigger hot war footing. What was old is new again.

  29. almandine

    August 24, 2008 at 5:09 pm

    I read something the other day that made me ponder…

    “Bush and his neocon buddies want a New World Order – with the US as its head.”

    Assuming that statement is true, then all this neocon bashing is an assault against those who would make us preeminent.

    Motives aside, the questions become:

    Is such a thing possible???

    If not, where did they get the idea it is???

    If so, how would we run it???

    Where would it lead???

  30. almandine

    August 24, 2008 at 4:59 pm

    Doug tells it like it is.

    Doug tells it like he sees it…

    Sometimes he’s right, sometimes he’s wrong.

    At least he takes a stand.

  31. almandine

    August 24, 2008 at 5:14 pm

    Calm down Klaus…

    Take your meds and take off the Green brownshirt.

  32. griff

    August 24, 2008 at 6:09 pm

    Ah, now that is one large can of worms you seek to open. Think of the world under the Chinese model, and you have your answer.

    The elites will enjoy the fuits of scientific discovery while the rest of us will become victims of it.

  33. bryan mcclellan

    August 24, 2008 at 6:13 pm

    Hey Timr, I enjoy your posts but it’s difficult to read them without paragraph structure. If it’s intentional tell me to shut the hell up, if not, try the enter key every now and then to break things up.
    My wife gave me a format lesson not long ago as my puter skills are infantile at best so please don’t think I’m lecturing.Thanks

    Your point about the money river is spot on and I agree that appearances are that we’re well into the next cold war with manufactured boogie men everywhere.

  34. bryan mcclellan

    August 24, 2008 at 6:18 pm

    Tanks in the streets and cameras in every outhouse. I feel for the young , they have no idea where this is going.

  35. griff

    August 24, 2008 at 6:39 pm

    Don’t worry Bryan, they’ll be the good guys in blue helmets!

  36. almandine

    August 24, 2008 at 6:46 pm

    One large can ??? TWO???

    Yeah, an oil can… 55 gallon variety.

    Actually, I think the Chinese model is probably more than mere speculation.

  37. AveryMoore

    August 24, 2008 at 7:00 pm

    So what have we learned today from this remarkable display of acrobatics and fireworks?

    The Democratic Party in the House and Senate is as popular as a rattlesnake in the family bathtub.

    They have earned a contempt rating unsurpassed in political history, but remain confident that their, ah vision, is the best way forward. This despite universal condemnation of their me-tooism, passivity, vacillation, deafness to party reform, chronic indecision and well, snobbery.

    The expectations of many onlookers (who have made no bones about their long disenchantment over the Dems apparent aphasia) have been crushed by the selection of a VP. It was a blow beyond suffering gladly. Seriously? You are that sensitive?

    Remembering every other past VP back to Eisenhower’s forced choice of Nixon, (and excluding Cheney) – not one of them was asked to do much more than serve as Butler to The Boss. For 50 years minimum it was the most despised job in US politics.

    But Obama’s, meaning the top brass’s, investiture of old-hand and back-stop Biden as potential VP crushes all hope that anything different can happen? The election is certain now to be lost?

    Are there anti-omniscience pills in the house? We need some.

    What have we not learned? Delegates from across America assembled to select a Presidential candidate and rejected every single White Male offered to lead the country. Was that Radical of them?

    Ponder it a moment. Most of the people on these pages are not fond of the Dems at all. But way past our ire on paper, those delegates enacted, in full public view, an historic repudiation and incredible insult to the Democratic High Command. ‘Up yours!’

    Instead of another patented Great White Hope emerging from the fray, the two most unlikely candidates to be acceptable to a majority of Americans tilted at each other till one was left standing.

    The one on top was a no one, who with certainty was not expected to enter, let alone win. Hillary’s coronation was simply a dead certainty. The fix was in. Then following advice from head office it fell apart.

    It has been mentioned that this site is impartial by design. All well and good. Until you read the various author’s articles and their natural preferences appear.

    Like most of the respondents, including the author of this piece, I want the Democratic Party to purge the plutocracy that strangles a supposedly progressive and inclusive regime from being either. That Obama, like Ike in 1960, had any control over selection of a VP I do not believe for a nanosecond. That Obama’s best policies and ideas will be filtered and compromised by the hierarchy above him, I have no doubt. That he should take the blame for circumstances completely out of his control? No deal.

    We can all keep bickering and at least be satisfied that we have vented. But if you don’t want 4 more years of a reincarnated Bush – a guy too erratic and feeble to be safely given an air traffic controller’s post – it’s time to swallow the indignation, stop kvetching about what you’d rather see, and get rid of two disasters.

    First: the Bush machine.

    Second: reform the Democratic Party from the top down.

    Neither will happen if McCain wins. It’s dead certain that if Obama loses that’s what a fool’s bargain will bring us: Four more years of crap in your corn flakes.

  38. Carl Nemo

    August 25, 2008 at 3:32 am

    deleted by poster

  39. Carl Nemo

    August 25, 2008 at 3:15 am

    deleted by poster

  40. AveryMoore

    August 25, 2008 at 6:05 am

    Warren,

    Just checked your site reference. Very Interesting and sane points!

    And yes, the Phd’s are tiresome to read in their own level of detail, often incredibly obscurantist and equivocal, but agreed, sometimes unexpectedly useful. Sometimes unexpectedly not.

    Go back to “A Beautiful Mind”

    The subject, John Forbes Nash, Jr., was not only a co-winner of the 1994 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences, and RAND Corporation employee in the 50’s, he was a bridge too far into the cold war as an academic warrior.

    A genius as patriot in a best and brightest team effort. The Soviet Union would be defeated by collective high-level brainpower and the planet spared from nuclear annihilation. Who could argue with an objective like that? With the utmost subtlety, his work would help brains triumph over brute force threats of war.

    With passing of time his work in games theory and tacit bargaining as ‘tools’ spread to high-level negotiations. Diplomatic, and later to the surprise of many academics, corporate.

    But with eventual publication of these efforts in learned journals knowledge of these techniques spread far beyond the initial intended recipients. The strategies weren’t ‘common knowledge’ in that the thinking required is complex, but knowledge that coercive techniques existed opened a Pandora’s Box on Credibility and Propaganda.

    In the Soviet Union, long before collapse, the public ceased to trust the propo-tainment of Pravda and Izvestia and sought their information – the hard stuff – elsewhere. Considering that any of us are tourists through these pages now it has happened here, to our media. We are looking for better material to chew over than the media offers. And not just because Chomsky’s seldom-read book challenged media language usage and the assumption of media impartiality with a professor’s linguistic analysis. As the ideas of psychology as ‘manipulation’ spread it tweaked interest and paranoia both.

    The internet now contains sites explaining “The Delphi Technique,”

    It was “developed by the RAND Corporation for the U.S. Department of Defense back in the 1950s. It was originally intended for use as a psychological weapon during the cold war.” and now it is being discussed, and its techniques revealed, by public, not private interest groups

    http://www.vlrc.org/articles/110.html

    The site above promotes the views of “The Virgina Land Rights Coalition” and counsels readers on how to use psy-op techniques to disrupt other psy-op techniques. “Spy Versus Spy!” A comic feature of Mad Magazine. Circa 1950.

    There is no way that Nash or Von Neumann or countless others in games theory work imagined that the public would turn hostile to each other at a time when the Bear threatened to put out the lights. They got it right.

    But now, with the help of a public fed up with being spoon-fed strategic ‘bargaining positions’ and not straight answers, no one knows who can be trusted. And it undermines cohesion in the west at the same time that military and economic power are building confidence off shore.

    This is a very dangerous schism for any power.

    Pandora’s Box needed a lid kept on it.

  41. Warren

    August 24, 2008 at 10:58 pm

    Doug and Pollchecker:

    Quite a few psychology PhDs have done their thesis on group dynamics. There seems to be agreement among them that there are several stages a group MUST go through to become effective. I don’t usually have a lot of respect for the opinions of overly-educated ivory tower sorts, especially psychologists, but in this case I believe them. I have seen this over and over again in my 35 years of managing teams in industry.

    Teams go through stages in development. To way oversimplify, there are more or less five, and they are usually called:
    1) Forming
    2) Norming
    3) Storming
    4) Performing
    5) Adjourning

    Doug, consider that your website is a group effort. Your group will go through these phases. Welcome to the “storming” phase. This is perfectly normal and healthy. You and pollchecker and hopefully others are learning how to deal with disagreement in this project. The synthesis will be a better product.

    Please consider the disagreement that you’ve been through to be a positive experience, one more step on the road. Don’t give up here. Work it out. Everyone will be better off for it.

    -Warren

    Here’s a link if you’re interested:
    http://www.sa.ucsb.edu/osl/LeadershipDevelopment/LeadershipResources/pdf/StagesOfGroupDevelopment.pdf

  42. almandine

    August 24, 2008 at 11:50 pm

    Well Timr… you got this one nailed.

    And otherwise, one might wonder why 83% of the manufacturing activity left in this country is devoted to military hardware.

  43. btchakir

    August 25, 2008 at 8:01 am

    Do I take it that you don’t like Biden?

    When McCain does NOT take the oath of office in Jan. 2009, what will you be saying then?

    Under The LobsterScope

  44. Janice

    August 25, 2008 at 8:19 am

    I think you are wrong on this rant, Doug. We have two choices in this election, Obama/Biden, or McCain/??. Given these two choices, Obama/Biden is the only sane one. Do you really want four more years of the failed policies that have us were we are today? McCain is a loose cannon who can’t remember how many homes he owns, trashes his wife, and has an explosive temper, etc….. To suggest that Obama is out of the race because he choose Biden (who I happen to like – no one is perfect) is being a short-sited defeatest. I realize you are saying it as you see it and I will defend your right to say it, however, because of this site, and your status in the online political world – your words and opinions hold more weight than most do. I would hate to think that such negativity – spoken as words of frustration or for some other reasons – could sway the election through cause and effect, … but, they could.

    In my humble opinion, Obama/Biden is the best we have this election – and either we vote for our best chance, start a revolution, or shut up and head for the hills. Personally, I’m willing to give the electorial process one more chance – and if it fails again – then either of the last two options are a toss up.

    If you tell the truth you don’t have to remember anything.
    Mark Twain

  45. eric

    August 25, 2008 at 10:13 am

    How many times have you said you were done with this sort of thing just to come back with these sort of flailing, vitriolic posts?

    Maybe Joe Biden should post something pointing out how you’re a liar for saying over and over that you’re done with the rants and hate-filled posts…only to come back a few weeks later with these long-winded, hate-filled posts.

    Growing up in the very northeastern tip of Maryland, right next to Delaware, I’ve been a fan of Joe Biden for a long time. Let’s take a look at what the hatemongers don’t say about him. He’s very intelligent. He’s one of the least wealthy Senators. He’s been knocked down a lot and got up to keep going (lost his first wife and a child in a car crash, multiple aneurysms). I’ve never heard an inkling about any lapses in his family values. He’s a pretty religious guy, but doesn’t allow his personal faith to leak over into his public policy stances.

    Joe Biden is an excellent choice for a first-term VP.

  46. Flapsaddle

    August 25, 2008 at 10:40 am

    I love Akroyd! I thought that his spoof of Sgt. Joe Friday of Dragnet was one of the best comedies ever.

    Thanks you for the kind words.

    Most sincerely,

    T. J. Flapsaddle

  47. Flapsaddle

    August 25, 2008 at 10:47 am

    To be perfectly honest, I got the idea from an old – ca. 1965 -Playboy cartoon, where one old English professor glares at the other and says something like “Smithers, you are, in plain old English, a phinque!”

    It serves well for getting around those filters that scan for the standard one-syllable Anglo-Saxon expletives.

    And thank you as well for your kind words.

    Most sincerely,

    T. J. Flapsaddle

  48. old_curmudgeon

    August 25, 2008 at 12:19 pm

    Touche’

  49. Timr

    August 25, 2008 at 1:33 pm

    You are 100% correct. I do indeed need to make paragraphs, but I tend to get caught up in my rant, so other than insuring that I spelled everything correctly, I forget to make paragraphs. Will attempt to improve.

  50. griff

    August 25, 2008 at 6:48 pm

    Democrat Party reform will never happen for the same reasons the Republican Party is unable to reform – because the real power in this country will have none of it, no matter how much we stamp our feet and hold our breath.

    Or, as New York Magazine stated 10/7/96 – “The elites govern, while the lowly men of elected office…dirty their hands with politics.”

    How many years and how many failed attempts will it take for the diehard utopians to realize this? It will not happen. Period. Barack Obama isn’t going to do it. John McCain isn’t going to do it. They are both “lowly men” in the grand scheme of things.

    To believe that Obama will undo all the horrible wrongs of the Bush administration is completely naive. If the Democrats wished to do so, they ahould have given us a preview in this last Congressional session. They have not.

    No, the Democrats have seen fit to allow all these things to pass, and were content to wait so that they may taste the sweet wine of power that they will inherit.

    Hope is an emotion, not a campaign platform.

    Patrick Henry had this to say about hope before the Virginia Ratifying Convention March 23, 1775, when some Americans were content to “hope” that king George would hear their grievances –

    “It is natural to man to indulge in the illusions of hope. We are apt to shut our eyes against a painful truth — and listen to the song of that siren, till she transforms us into beasts. Is this the part of wise men, engaged in a great and arduous struggle for liberty? Are we disposed to be of the number of those, who having eyes, see not, and having ears, hear not, the things which so nearly concern their temporal salvation? For my part, whatever anguish of spirit it might cost, I am willing to know the whole truth; to know the worst, and to provide for it.”

    So the Democrats continue to play their role as victims of the big, bad Republicans, suffering immensely these last eight years while refusing to employ any constitutional tools afforded the minority party to be a check on unbalanced power, just so they can gain that same unchecked power that Bush so greedily abused.

    And we are to believe the Democrats won’t follow suit?