Thursday, November 22, 2007

It's always the throwaway post...

By Libby

Word up friends. Do not compare Chavez to George Bush unless you want to spend a lot of time defending your position. It happens every time I post about Hugo and yet I'm always surprised that people don't see how a tin horn despot like Chavez is acting less criminally than our own president. I keep waiting for horrified realization, but I get indignation. Go figure.

On the bright side, it's been an interesting debate.

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13 Comments:

Blogger Cernig said...

Hi Libby,

I think you have to be aware that the knee-jerk mental reaction is often "but Bush is at least our tinhorn despot" - followed by a quick mental horror that patriotism counts even when comparing despots...then what actually gets written is indignation.

Regards, C

11:28:00 PM  
Blogger Libby Spencer said...

I should know it C. I do know it. It's why I so rarely post on Chavez.

11:44:00 PM  
Anonymous Michael van der Galien said...

Cernig, it's absolutely amazing. That's not what the problem is at all and... in fact, it says tons about you if you think it is.

The problem is that Bush is, despite whether you agree with his policies or not, not a tyrant (look it up in the dictionary, do some historical research, and you will quickly learn what real tyrants are like).

If Bush was the tyrant the two of you think he is, both of you would've been sent to a camp already.

Seriously: stop exaggerating the 'evil' of Bush. You're making yourself completely irrelevant.

8:16:00 AM  
Anonymous lester said...

if we had even a mediocre president Chavez would be relegated to C25 in the Boston GLobe everyone once in while. socialism isn't impresive. Seen any good venezuelan movies lately? It's only because he mouths off to bush and asserts against bush's imperialism that we've even heard of him. What is it that the libs say about BUchanan, a broken clock is right twice a day? that's hugo. yucking it up in his 15 minutes

10:15:00 AM  
Blogger Libby Spencer said...

ty·rant (tī'rənt)
n.
1. An absolute ruler who governs without restrictions.
2. A ruler who exercises power in a harsh, cruel manner.
3. An oppressive, harsh, arbitrary person.

Here's the definition, so tell me how it doesn't fit. Has Bush not declared himself to be above the law as a 'war president?' Has he not refused to cooperate with any attempts the Congress has made to hold him accountable as proscribed under our constitution? Has he not repeatedly refused to provide evidence to the judiciary under the aegis of 'state secrets?'

Have citizens not been arrested for expressing their dissent, even in as simple a way as wearing a tshirt outside of the 'free speech zones." Has he not publicly condoned torture?

Has he not cruelly advocated to cut spending on war veterans and social programs for the poor, while demanding billions to escalate armed conflicts in which his favored cronies profit handsomely? Did he not arbitrarily walk away from Afghanistan in order to invade Iraq, a goal he had been planning for years, and decided military strategies based on political gain at home instead of tactical advantage on the battlefield?

I don't want to debate this forever. Either you see the parallels or you refuse to. No offense intended, but you need to stop using BDS as a shield against valid arguments. It makes your counter-arguments look weak if you can't address the specifics.

I'm not saying Bush is evil. I'm saying he's guilty of criminal acts. It seems to me any dispassionate, pragmatic assessment of his actions, would lead to that conclusion. I don't understand why you can't see it.

10:30:00 AM  
Anonymous Michael van der Galien said...

"1. An absolute ruler who governs without restrictions.
2. A ruler who exercises power in a harsh, cruel manner.
3. An oppressive, harsh, arbitrary person."

Exactly. Does Bush fit that description in your eyes? If he does... well... that's quite sad actually.

"BDS shield": this isn't 'fair' criticism. And, I didn't bring BDS up. You did. Now you mentioned it, however, yes, I do think that's one of the problems, although I think that the problem is more nuanced (deeper) than that, as I explained at my blog.

Libby, I'm serious, try to read some moderate and conservative blogs on a daily basis. Get out of the echo chamber.

10:58:00 AM  
Blogger Libby Spencer said...

Michael, darling, I do not live in an echo chamber. I read a wide variety of opinions and avoiding my specific points while asserting my problem is that I just think Bush is evil is the same as asserting BDS.

I'm afraid we'll have agree to disagree on this one. It's clear neither one of us is going to change our minds.

11:10:00 AM  
Blogger Capt. Fogg said...

What's in a word? Every tyrant of the last century was also seen as a strong leader dealing with the harsh realities of a dangerous world - and every strong leader has been seen as a tyrant. Ask the shade of Lincoln.

Which you choose in any case has more to do with your estimation of those harsh realities versus the means used to "protect" against them. Personally I think saying that Bush isn't a tyrant is a way to evade discussing the direction in which he is proceeding and the goals he seems to have. It's also a way to divert discussion of whether he is a dangerous president, or a dangerously dishonest president or even a deranged president leading us toward a calamity at the expense of freedom and prosperity.

His is an administration that is straining the definition of liberty and fussing about the shady borderlines of the land of tyranny seems like a tedious argument of insidious intent to me. Do we have to wait until the point of no return, as the Germans did in the 1930's to use the T word?

Killing Habeas Corpus was a little act of tyranny, legitimizing torture, surveillance without probable cause - all little acts of tyranny that fit together with others in a picture puzzle that looks familiar. How many puzzle pieces it takes before it looks like Mussolini is subjective, but I think it says "tons" about you that you are willing to insult someone more willing or able to see what's in front of him. It reminds me a little of the current (and somewhat tyrannical)definition of torture that requires death or organ failure to be called torture.

11:12:00 AM  
Blogger Capt. Fogg said...

Oh - and another thing: the idea that truth is moderate and found between two extremes is another rhetorical ploy without any basis in fact. It's rigged from the beginning as the definition of moderate is subjective and it's just another way to give false dignity to a bad argument.

11:17:00 AM  
Anonymous lester said...

bush is a tyrant, but he's a tyrant on top of an innovative and competitive society. chavez isn't. he's not a player without his massive oil reserves

3:09:00 PM  
Blogger Libby Spencer said...

Fogg, you always put it so well, I never have anything to add.

Lester, you're right. Without his oil, no one would be even paying attention to Hugo.

4:21:00 PM  
Blogger Capt. Fogg said...

Thank you and of course this BDS bullshit is another turd masquerading as a candy bar.

The word preposterous means turned around; result confused with cause and it makes no more sense than saying I think Charles Manson (or substitute any villain of your choice) is a bad guy because I hate him rather than the reverse. It serves only to annoy and to make the opponent deny the baseless charge and thus lend credibility to it. It's an old political gambit.

But of course if anyone can suggest that Bush shouldn't be considered tyrant material about because we aren't in camps yet isn't much above the level of someone who sits in a burning plane and says they're not crashing because they're not dead yet.

If it seems that I'm being over the top and excessively hostile, then consider that anyone who is offended is only being so because they dislike me.

Let me make it clear. I dislike Bush because I think he started a war for personal gain, because many people have died and many have been maimed, displaced, exiled and ruined by it while he has profited and his friends have profited.
I dislike his use of irrational fear to ignore the law, step on personal liberty.

I would hate him for that if he were God himself - and not the devil I think he is.

4:44:00 PM  
Anonymous swampcracker said...

Michael van der Galien: I'm serious [sic], try to read some moderate and conservative blogs on a daily basis. Get out of the echo chamber.

If I were Libby, I would be less generous in my response to your comment. I too read opinions from a variety of sources, i.e., well-written and well-documented conservative blogs that at least challenge me. In your case, I checked your blog and found it lacking.

For instance, this article by Jason Steck on Global Warming Irony (November 24, 2007). It was all snark and innuendo but no substance. Who were those attendees of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change? According to my reading, they were representatives from 180 countries … entire delegations from intergovernmental agencies and other organizations. Assuming representation from energy-consuming and energy-producing countries alike, who among these are the hypocrites? Since when is a government jet carrying an entire delegation also considered a private jet? Is Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, a Republican spokesperson for global climate change, also a hypocrite? Is the term, global climate change, always synonymous with the name of former Vice President Al Gore … and always an occasion to take an ad hominem swipe at him for any reason, regardless of occasion or circumstance?

Michael, I also noticed your article Atheism: Just Another Religion (November 24, 2007) and your blanket claim that atheists are among the least tolerant of people. I found no social research, no statistics, no anecdotal reports, and no news accounts to support your claim. Are you the sole authority on this subject?

My point is, Michael: Your blog contains nothing more than wingnut group-think with the customary buzz words designed to elicit approving grunts from a stereotypic wingnut audience. I found no academic rigor in your blog whatsoever, and your reasoning is shallow and vacuous. At least the Jerry Springer show offers more theater.

6:52:00 PM  

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