Daniel Eran Dilger
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Apple TV Promises to Take 2008

Apple TV 2008
Daniel Eran Dilger
While 2007 was the Year of the iPhone, 2008 appears to be set as the Year of Apple TV. After languishing for a year with weak sales, derisive media scoffing, and an official designation as a “hobby” for Apple, the product’s newly unveiled software upgrade has already kick started sales, even prior to the new “take two” software being released.

As one Apple Store employee observed a day after Macworld ended, “Apple TV is crackin. We went from selling one a week to one or two an hour.”


The Humble Placeholder.
Apple first announced its plans to deliver a living room set top box in the fall of 2006, shortly before the unveiling of the iPhone. That unusual prerelease preview was clearly made in order to create a bump of attention that would fade just in time for its fated overshadowing by the climate changing, meteoric impact of the iPhone’s release.

Once the iPhone hit, nobody had much reason to talk about Apple TV. That was fine because in 2007, Apple wasn’t big enough to manage more than the three huge hits on its plate: iTunes and iPods, Leopard and the Macintosh, and the new iPhone. Apple TV was a side dish sharing the spotlight of iTunes, and was commonly described as “an iPod for your TV.”

That didn’t exactly cause a rush of consumer attention, because everything Apple TV could do was pretty much possible using a long DVI cable, for anyone who has a Mac within close range of their TV. Given the popularity of MacBooks, it’s simply not that hard to play iTunes movies on TV, and unlike Apple TV, a Mac of any type can also play DVDs.

Why Apple TV?
Why pay $299 for a box that can only sync with iTunes? Most early Apple TV buyers were enamored with its slick ability to display photos effortlessly and serve as a playback repository for ripped DVDs, but ripping a DVD takes a lot of time and is still somewhat legally questionable. Outside of those users, finding a reason to buy Apple TV was more difficult.

Pundits demanded that the Apple TV play DVDs and HD discs, and act like a DVR for straining content from cable feeds. That wasn’t at all what Apple had in mind for Apple TV, however. A more intelligent minority suggested that Apple TV should act more like iTunes itself, allowing users to buy music and movies directly from their TV. I originally argued against this, noting that it’s simply much easier to search and shop for content from the rich iTunes interface, and that trying to duplicate that on a TV display would be difficult to do.

It turned out that I was wrong. I first realized this when Apple delivered the WiFi store for the iPhone and iPod Touch. Rather than cramming the full iTunes interface into the small display, Apple put together a custom client for the iTunes Store that was graphical and intuitive and a perfect fit for a mobile device. The WiFi Store not only made shopping easy, but also integrated into iTunes so that purchases could flow from the mobile to any central iTunes desktop library connected to the same account. Once it was released, the obviousness of creating the same thing for Apple TV was evident.

Curious Stuff About the New iPods
Something in the Air: Anticipating Macworld 2008
Windows XP Media Center Edition vs Apple TV

Apple TV Take 2.0.
I’m happy to admit that my initial expectation for the pace of Apple TV development was too conservative. In a single year, Apple TV has jumped from a placeholder product designed to serve as an alternative to manually cabling your laptop to your TV into a full fledged, self contained media computer for watching and ordering Internet content.

Apple’s overview of the device’s new ability to preview and order any existing iTunes paid content (music, music videos, TV shows, and movies), as well as new HD movie rentals and a new and improved interface for bringing up free YouTube videos, Flickr and .Mac Web Galleries photos, and podcast content streamed directly from the podcasters’ servers is big, really big.

When I recommended that Apple plug into alternative networks and allow broadcasters to pump their programming through Apple TV, it didn’t immediately occur to me that all the pieces to do this were already in place. Apple already maintains a huge selection of podcasts, all organized and tagged and rated and commented upon by users. Anyone can podcast.

Podcast Prowess Plus.
Apple doesn’t archive, manage, or broadcast the podcasts listed within iTunes; it simply hosts the RSS feeds of those programs. When you select and watch a podcast from iTunes (or from the new Apple TV software), you’re watching it directly from the server of those hosting the program. That means podcasters can broadcast HD content, line up their own ad supported revenue models, and begin broadcasting simply by giving Apple a simple RSS feed.

That also means Apple has no proprietary lock on podcast content. Apple’s contribution has been to encourage the development of standards-based content publishing: MP3 or AAC audio, and H.264 video. Any modern device and software running on any platform can download and play back the free, open content delivered for podcasts. Apple is competing in an open race on a level playing field, competing on the merits of its own ability to deliver smart, convenient software and competitive, compelling hardware.

What Apple has helped to cultivate in podcasting is a worldwide, decentralized, uncensored medium that allows any group with news, entertainment, or a information a way to reach millions of viewers without massive investment and without having to build and maintain a distribution network or court the favor of a broadcasting network that already has.

Apple TV Take Two appears to be among the best ways to watch podcast segments, but it also offers commercial music, TV, and movie downloads, movie rentals, and local and Internet photo viewing. That means while anyone can copy Apple’s podcast prowess, to compete with Apple TV, they’ll also have to figure out how to match the sophistication of iTunes and the desktop and web-service savvy that Apple has been developing over the last several years. Given the flaccid competition to the iPod and iTunes in general, Apple’s position on HDTV integration looks pretty secure.

That means Apple is currently the best shot at deploying this wide open pipe, and consumers who are attracted to movie rentals and pop music downloads will unwittingly open themselves to a wide open font of information with the capacity to broaden their perspective and outlook on the world around them.

Five Ways Apple Will Change TV: 1
Five Ways Apple Will Change TV: 2
Five Ways Apple Will Change TV: 3
Five Ways Apple Will Change TV: 4
Five Ways Apple Will Change TV: 5

Why No Composite Video?
Apple TV observers learned last year that the hardware has the native ability to deliver composite video output for use with older TV sets. There wasn’t any obvious reason for Apple to turn this off by default in the existing software. Now that the Take Two software has been unveiled however, the method behind Apple’s madness is more evident.

While composite output would have been marginally good enough for many users of the 1.0 software, fewer would have been happy to see an ambitious 2.0 software release that shoehorned in enough features to make the overall experience too soft and unreadable on anything less than a widescreen display offering 480p quality.

Apple clearly had more ambitious plans for Apple TV than it revealed last year, when the unit was rather quietly advanced in the shadow of the far more spectacular iPhone. Both products were 1.0 releases, but the iPhone was a much bigger bet with a much larger payoff, so Apple invested its resources to ensure that the new smartphone would hit the ground running in 2007. Apple TV could hang out as a hobby while Apple lined up the content and finished the software.

With the iPhone now running along smoothly at top speed, Apple now has the opportunity to fire up Apple TV as its fourth engine. This time, the professional naysayers only have a couple weeks to disgorge their rivers of fear, uncertainty, and doubt before Take Two hits the public’s hands and shows up their analysis as the stupefying nonsense that it is.

Brent Schlender's Apple TV: Fortune Dud or Fortune FUD?

Brent Schlender’s Apple TV: Fortune Dud or Fortune FUD?
Scott Woolley Attacks Apple TV in Forbes, Gets the Facts Wrong
Forbes’ Fake Steve Jobs Is Also Fake On Apple

The Impact of Apple TV.
So far, the biggest complaints they’ve managed to lodge relate to the industry standard, 24 hour limitation on movie rentals once the play button has been hit. I’ve railed against exploding media rentals for years now, and insisted that Apple wouldn’t sell a media rental model. While that’s still the case in terms of music and subscription media rentals, it turns out that Apple can’t always lead every tango.

When the company dances with the Devil in the pale moonlight, it sometimes has to let its partners bust out a few moves of their own. Apple wasn’t able to force Cocoa down the throats of its major Mac developers back in the late 90s, so it went out of its way to produce Carbon for them. It couldn’t squeeze DRM free tracks from the RIAA labels from the beginning of iTunes back in 2003, and was forced to develop FairPlay to appease them. It couldn’t wean AT&T off of pay per message SMS with the iPhone to deliver a standard instant messaging client, it couldn’t immediately ship a free ringtone construction set without throwing coins toward the RIAA, and it couldn’t get Microsoft to support a variety of Mac OS X features in Office.

Apple also couldn’t force all of the labels to sell their movies in iTunes as digital downloads. It could, however, get them all to sign up for movie rentals if it matched the rules the studios have laid out for Pay Per View TV and every other digital rental service. So Apple did. And after things begin to sell, Apple’s movie rentals will obsolesce the NetFlix mail model and the mainstream rental store. This is as obvious as the big Apple logo on top of the box.

Apple might have been unable to deliver the NetFlix ‘return at your leisure’ rental subscription model that I envisioned due to external factors, but the upside is that, as demonstrated, Apple TV’s rental model matches the features of other digital competitors without requiring a monthly subscriber fee as NetFlix does. Based on the forums survey related to the iTunes Rentals article I wrote, users will be happier being able to rent when they want on occasion as opposed to signing up to an all you can eat monthly service with the subscription obligation that entails. The service subscription model certainly has been a huge failure for the music business.

Rise of the iTunes Killers Myth

Rise of the iTunes Killers Myth
Cocoa and the Death of Yellow Box and Rhapsody
How FairPlay Works: Apple’s iTunes DRM Dilemma
How Apple Could Deliver Workable iTunes Rentals

Rated M for Massive Impact.
Good riddance to Blockbuster and its moral monitoring that prevents the rental distribution of anything that might spin the crusty corpse of the MPAA’s Jack Valenti. Apple TV will not make Apple rich on its low profit hardware nor its nickels of rental profits, but it will further establish the company as a major media outlet and bust open the floodgates of content to America’s living rooms.

Apple has included easy to use content ratings limitations for families who want to control access to the content their kids watch, but it won’t act as the nanny of the nation. This is a company that invited Randy Newman on stage to perform “A Few Words in Defense of Our Country,” a song that defends the people of America and observes, “Now the leaders we have, while they’re the worst we’ve had, are hardly the worst this poor world has seen.”

Apple didn’t just serve as the stage for independent political expression, but also allowed Newman a moment of uncensored speech that the company then broadcast to millions in its streaming keynote feed. Seriously, which is more impressive: Newman casually saying “shit” in an inoffensive context on stage at Macworld, or Apple, Inc. making no effort to bleep it out in its keynote feed?

Apple – QuickTime – Macworld 2008 Keynote

Reality TV, Take Two.
Perhaps once we expose ourselves to enough uncensored, unpolished, unscripted reality, we’ll realize that the occasional broadcast of a casual expletive or an exposed boob is really not as big of a deal as widespread corruption that results in the deaths of hundreds of thousands of innocent people and ensures a world full of fundamentalist violence.

Perhaps if we all have access to real news, published by anyone with a camera and a voice rather than by a few huge media organizations with a documented desire to convert the world into a single fascist global government, we’ll figure things out for ourselves.

Until this year, the best hope for such a conduit of reality was the Internet. Unfortunately, there’s no accountability or security on the Internet, and no way to really know who’s behind what’s being said. If you trust the Internet, you’ll be led to believe that the Microsoft Zune is a phenomenal hit, that Leopard is as problematic as Vista, that iTunes sales collapsed in late 2006, that the iPhone is in critical danger of turning into a spybot network, and that a Trojan is a Virus if Macworld UK wants it to be.

 Wp-Content Uploads 2007 11 Leopard.Vs.Vista.016-2

Ten Myths of Leopard: 10 Leopard is a Vista Knockoff!
Zune vs. iPhone: Five Phases of Media Coverage

Free TV.
Apple TV promises to deliver the freedom of the Internet with an additional measure of accountability. Watchers will be able to watch Fox News next to news feeds from around the world and actually decide for themselves what’s really happening. It won’t single handily force open the minds of people who don’t want to face reality, but it will serve up reality to those who want it.

Delivering movie rentals is just a way into living rooms for the new box; once there, Apple TV will pipe the world to users over the impartial Internet Protocol, without any external filters imposed by big businesses. No cable cartels, no telephone company filtering or NSA spying, no Blockbuster, no FCC, no MPAA, no Microsoft, no Think Tanks in the Public Interest, and no witch hunting fundamentalists hell bent on inflaming perpetual wars.

Apple TV will be a commercial success as an expansion of iTunes, but more importantly, it will dramatically challenge the hypocritically puritanical layers of mind-control, groupthink conformity erected by a well meaning but wholly delusional minority that think they need to roundup Americans into the OK Corral.

It is fitting that Apple TV is springing on stage in 2008, the year that will define the future of America as either a deeper dive into the black waters of willful ignorance and fear, or a targeting of the moon as John Kennedy did back in the 60s, when America aspired to lead the world as a well educated, optimistic, liberal minded, progressive role model rather than as a inquisitional holy crusader running roughshod over international conventions and hypocritically killing babies while outlawing stem cell research.

I for one welcome our new set top box liberators.

What do you think? I really like to hear from readers. Comment in the Forum or email me with your ideas.

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  • UrbanBard

    It’s clear that there is little reason for me to write to you, s00p3rd00d. You make no sense.

    1. The Senate and the house of representatives have their own rules; the executive branch does, too. None of that is mandated in the Constitution. The Supreme Court has not forbidden this, because it can’t. It has no jurisdiction. Who would enforce it?

    Clinton fired all the political appointees in the Justice department, but Bush cannot fire eight democrats?

    2. First, the president has to commit those crimes then there has to be sufficient numbers of members willing to try him. That is not the same as giving them supreme control. Supposedly, the electorate has that.

    Yes, I dispute Marbury v. Madison. There is nothing in the Constitution or English common law to warrant that ruling. Thomas Jefferson believed that the Supreme Court would be less open to political corruption, but he was wrong. Allowing the court to “make” law through Judicial Activism is a violation of the separation of powers. The usurpation of power by the court started with McCulloch v. Maryland in 1819.

    3. Yes, Libby was convicted of lying in his statements to the grand Jury. But, he wasn’t guilty of lying about Plame. There was nothing to lie about. He did not divulge Plame’s identity to reporters. They got it from Novak who got it from Armatige. The word spread. That made this an open secret. There was no plot by the White House or Libby to “out” Plame. This was the Left trying to rerun “watergate.” But, there was no smoking gun in this case.

    4. I said that we are winning the war in Iraq. What we are winning is a peaceful society with a free market and a representative government. It was the judgement of the Bush Administration that many of the problems in the mid east are because there is no freedom and no jobs. All the government are tyrannies and have controlled economies. No future make the young men an easy target for terrorist recruiters.

    You must be using bogus figures. Violence is well below Saddam’s levels; Saddam was killing about 20 to 30 thousand of his political opponents a year. There were unmarked graves in the desert where Saddam buried 300 thousand people.

    The point is that we will be able to turn over the defense of Iraq next year to the Iraqi Defense forces. May I remind you that we stationed 350 thousand troops in Southern Germany for sixty years? Are you saying that the Germans weren’t free because our troops were there. That is nutty. Besides, Saddam caused the destabilization by refusing to carry through with his promises in UN resolution 687.

    China first has to have Democracy, before it can impose it on us by force. Then, we have to be run by the Liberals.

    You are creating a specious argument. Iraq was already a mess because of the sanctions. The economy today is larger than it was under Saddam. Saddam wasn’t giving his people the money from the “oil for Food ” program. Oil is being pumped at a faster rate than under Saddam and the money goes to the Iraqi Government which is passing it out to the provinces.

    Saddam was using that money to build palaces, to buy off UN officials, reporters and the aid of France, Germany and Russia in ending sanctions.

    Talk to the Iraqi people. Their polls show that they are glad that Saddam is gone. The Iraqi’s show a greater expectation that next year will be better than today than the American people do. But then, they don’t have to listen to the Propaganda endlessly from the Mainstream Media.

    The Iraqi’s want us to leave, but not until the Terrorists are abated.

    There is a robust economy in Iraq where people have a chance for self improvement. In other words, we are doing what we did to Germany and Japan after WWII. The real reason was that we didn’t want to go to war with them again. Setting up a free economy in Iraq means the same thing.

  • kent

    Urban Bard

    You make sensible statements and support them with facts. That is not a way to converse. You are supposed to make wild unsupported accusations and use CAPITAL LETTERS when you really want to make a point. And only make accusations about Republicans are open to discussion. There is no history of Democrat misbehavior. If it ever were to occur, it would only be a fiction perpetrated by Bush and Reagan, two Presidents of extremely low intelligence who use tricks to fool Democrats in Congress, like they did when they tricked almost all Democrats to support the use of force to end Saddam’s regime. When Democrats appear to do bad things, like using innuendo to suggest Barack “Hussein” Obama was a drug dealer, as the Clinton’s have done, this is actually the work of Republicans trying to make Democrats look bad. Forget the tapes of the Clinton’s and their paid surrogates making the statements.

  • L

    I like this blog for the dry tech reading. The looney projections almost sound like Bill Gates. Politics…I go to Mises.org.

  • UrbanBard

    Oh Yes, kent, it a much better life to take no responsibility for your actions or any accountability for your beliefs. That way you can blame everything that goes wrong in your life on someone else. If you are irresponsible and wreck your life by your choices, you can take a “do over.” You can go into rehab or go on welfare. All you must do is put on a sad face and blame it all on the Republicans. It’s so handy to have all purpose villain. If you have an erectial disfunction, it must be a Republican plot.

    It’s such a blessing not to have to think; the Mainstream Media and organizations such as Mediamatters and Moveon.org are eager to do your thinking for you. It is easier to be someone’s mental slave. You don’t have to worry about making mistakes; you don’t have to read history or study economics r politics. You don’t have to find out what worked on the past or in other places. It must be such a comfort to turn off your brain.

    But, I’ve been there and done that. I was born into a Democratic Party working class family. I had to struggle to leave behind my roots and my family’s political predisposition. It’s a real pain to live in constant doubt where I have to double check the evidence before opening my mouth. It was more pleasant not to have to care about what I said. It’s much easier not to have to listen to what you opponent is saying. It’s a real stretch to have to give your opponent the benefits of any doubts and to accept them as people of good will. It’s a much easier life to be a Liberal.

    But, I couldn’t do it. Something in my nature would not allow it. I know it is a flaw in my personality which causes me to question everything and to make my own decisions. That disgusting habit was why I was thrown out of the Democratic Party.

    I miss it; I miss being part of the Liberal herd. I miss being able to dump all my responsibilities, problems and mistakes, with their assorted expenses, onto someone else’s shoulder.

    It’s hard being a grown-up.

  • http://www.jon-wright.co.uk/oldarchives/ mrunderhill

    hmm…101 comments, is that a record?

    This is why you shouldn’t mix politics with technology Daniel in the same post. I mean we’ve kinda drifted off course a little wouldn’t you agree?

    [Drifting off course is so much fun. Who wants to stay on a predictable path? Growth comes through facing new challenges. - Dan]

  • JeffB.

    I’d like to respectfully agree with Mike in Helsinki. I really, really enjoy the technical content of this blog. It’s superb. But I really, really don’t care for the political ads that get inserted. A second political blog is a good idea. It’s not that I don’t respect your opinions, it’s just that politics are a wholly different discussion. I will probably stop reading if the politics get heavier than what I already have to read through.

    I often muse about why it is that people allow politics and computers to go together. In that some dislike Steve Jobs personality, politics, board members, etc. and then use that as a justification for not buying his products. The reality is that the best products and ideas, and yes, even political ideas are a-la-carte.

    And that’s why it would be great to separate your blog into two sections, I’d like plenty more helpings of the tech, and no helpings of the politics.

  • Pingback: Just a Mac Guy in South Beach » Blog Archive » The Pundidiots help AAPL Stock Price Tank……before or after Macworld hardware announcements?()

  • Dowap

    Dan,
    I have no issues with someone posting some politics.
    I must admit I stopped reading the comments when obviously close minded people start throwing around the BS words, such as leftist, liberal, etc.

    So to those commentors, you word bashing fell on deaf ears because I skipped what you wrote. Now, perhaps you can learn something and see how the author wrote. You may disagree with his political view but he says it in a way that doesn’t make you want to puke, unlike some of the commentors.

  • kent

    “BS words, such as leftist, liberal, etc.” How about “fascist” and killers of “hundreds of thousands of innocent people. Now that is BS. Makes me want to puke.

  • UrbanBard

    Dowap, words like leftist, liberal, fascist and communist have meanings, they aren’t merely an insult to hurl at an opponent.

    The question is if those meanings fit people’s actions, words or goals. The word “Liberal” used to mean “freedom seeker,” but leftists, who want to turn all important decisions in life over to the government, defaced that value long ago.

    When the public began to associate the word “Liberal” with big government projects which always failed and produced onerous taxes, the Left dropped that word and started using Progressive, instead.

    The Left are propagandists. Daniel’s original sentence, which I objected to, was loaded with leftist concepts and projects.

    He didn’t try to persuade us on them, but used soft intimidation as his tool. If we liked his previous writings and thought him insightful, we were supposed to agree with any nonsense he had to say. I was merely objecting to that.

    Since Leftist, such as Daniel, use taxes as a means to accomplish anything, all those items that he was crowing about was paid for by other people. Those other people, if they were allowed to keep that money, were likely to have spent it on other things. Leftists believe that the money that we earn really belongs to them. That we are their slaves. I consider this to be rude and arrogant.

    Besides, none of those leftist projects work. The money is either stolen by the bureaucrats or is used in ways which ultimately harm people by ending their independence. The projects were not really intended to help anyone. They were designed to further the interests of the Left in collectivizing our society.

    The government can’t even operate a charity (welfare) efficiently. A church spends 9 cents to give away a dollar, while a private charity, because they have advertising expenses, spends 27 cents to give away a dollar. The government spends between three to four dollars to give away a dollar. The Left love that, because they are employed by the government and are the main beneficiaries of the projects.

    We taxpayers may want the poor to be helped, but using the government to do it is too inefficient.

    The Left, knowing that their methods do not lead their stated goals, must lie about results. They refuse to do any serious thinking about governmental projects and they don’t want you to think about them either. That is why they have taken control of the means of communication in this country. They get to control the intellectual agenda. They can cover things up. They can confuse issues by not allowing a rebuttal. They can tell lies and get away with it. But mostly, they get to defame anyone who dares to question their positions. That is why the Left spends most of their time throwing hate language at people. That is also why they will not argue honestly. They cannot because they have no case; their motives are tainted. They merely have special interests.

    We taxpayers are their vicim and are not supposed to question them. They are parasites who think that we never give them enough.

    [Louis: You should be cautious about the insults you "hurl at an opponent," particularly in branding me with your jingoism sloganeering. It's easy to write me off as a "leftist" after defining that word as someone who thinks all important decisions should be handed to the government, but your definitions and your characterizations of me are both inaccurate and simplistic. I have never advocated a communist state or the broad expansion of government. Your knee jerk attacks are just silly.

    In your same posting, you start providing neocon fundamentalist figures for why the government should spin off its responsibilities and and funding to religious organizations. Unfortunately, this "faith-based" outsourcing of government functions to politically established religions is not only contemptuous of the US Constitution, but has resulted in all sorts of neocon backscratching like the "no questions asked" blank checks of support for the murderous Blackwater, which as a privatized fundamentalist Crusade outfit is supposedly more effective at being our military that our actual armed forces.

    The more you deceptively try to brand me as a "leftist," the more obvious it is that you are a lied in the wool fascist, promoting an unquestionable police state with strong ties to established religious groups sanctioned by the government. You are not even advocating classically conservative ideals of small government, personal freedoms, and fiscal responsibility, but instead supporting a disastrous boondoggle Crusade and an Inquisition police force that has broad powers to detain and torture anyone without due process. It's not that I disagree with your political views, it's that I don't want to publicize your incessant pogroms against reality and your propaganda that seeks to inflame rather than inform, and predictably and blindly supports a reprehensible, criminal, and very UnAmerican plot to overthrow the US with a right wing fundamentalist regime that obeys no law and demands absolute conformity. No Thanks, Dan ]

  • UrbanBard

    Please, Daniel, Do not answer my posts by appending your comments to my post. If you want to discuss an issue then write it under your own name. It is less confusing to the reader. Fisk me if you want.

    Here is what you appended to my comment. Let makes some remarks:

    “[Louis: You should be cautious about the insults you “hurl at an opponent,” particularly in branding me with your jingoism sloganeering.”

    Daniel, The words that I use have common definitions. If your actions fit the definition, that is how I call it.

    “It’s easy to write me off as a “leftist” after defining that word as someone who thinks all important decisions should be handed to the government, but your definitions and your characterizations of me are both inaccurate and simplistic.”

    The truth is often simple and accurate, but you can’t get everyone to agree with it.

    There are many groups inside the Democratic party. It is quite legitimate of me to say what the party leadership thinks. Are you a proponent of the Democratic Leadership Council? Your words do not indicate that.

    If what I describe is inaccurate, then tell me the differences. You will not debate me on the issues, so how would I know? You merely misrepresent my values. There is a chance for understanding here. All you have to do is argue a case.

    “I have never advocated a communist state or the broad expansion of government. Your knee jerk attacks are just silly.”

    Daniel, The Progressives in the Democratic Party act in ways which will lead to a Social Democratic and eventually a communist state. You may be ignorant of their aims. Most Democrats are. That is why they remain Democrats.

    I left the party in 1976, because I couldn’t stand the “New Left” leadership. They are still in charge, but they have move further to the left.

    I merely reacted to you cramming your views down the reader’s throats. Listen to your other reader, Daniel. They would just as soon that you took your politics to another arena, because your statements serve no useful purpose, are divisive and spoil the impact of your writings. So would I. That is why I posted.

    “In your same posting, you start providing neocon fundamentalist figures for why the government should spin off its responsibilities and funding to religious organizations.”

    I merely said that this was shown to be the most efficient way of achieving those results. You must favor inefficiency. Why?

    I don’t assume that the government is bad at everything. Politics tends to be a poor way of achieving social goals. I am a pragmatist. If you have a method that works better, why not use it?

    “Unfortunately, this “faith-based” outsourcing of government functions to politically established religions is not only contemptuous of the US Constitution,”

    Where would you get that idea? The US Constitution is not hostile to religion. It merely forbids, in the First Amendment, the Establishing of a state religion. An established religion is one where the buildings and the ministers are paid out of tax funds, such as the Church of England was. No Conservative I know of is recommending that.

    Evangelical Atheists, who are often Leftists, are attempting to remove the Christian religion from the public arena. This denies a legitimate expression of faith that should be protected by the First amendment.

    “But has resulted in all sorts of neocon backscratching like the “no questions asked” blank checks of support for the murderous Blackwater, which as a privatized fundamentalist Crusade outfit is supposedly more effective at being our military that our actual armed forces.”

    That is weird talk; you act as if that is common knowledge. There are two points that you introduce: that Blackwater is unlawful and that conservatives are behind them. I read the “so called Neocon” magazines like National Review on line as well as the religious right publications, so I’m up on the various groups in the Conservative side. I’ve never heard of Blackwater, so it is news to me.

    “The more you deceptively try to brand me as a “leftist,” the more obvious it is that you are a lied in the wool fascist, promoting an unquestionable police state with strong ties to established religious groups sanctioned by the government.”

    You are way off base here, Daniel. Your paranoid fantasies are carrying you away.

    BTW, Fascism is a competing form of Socialism. The Communists bad mouth the Fascists because they are like competing religions squabbling over adherents. It keeps them from having to mention that there are “Freedom Seekers” like me. All they have to do is tar us Conservatives with the wrong name.

    I wish you knew more about politics, Daniel, and fewer Leftist talking points. I could advise some history books.

    I am neither a Leftist, nor a Fascist. I want less government, not more. I want the government out of the citizen lives. Do I want private, individual, social and religious groups to take over functions now done badly by the government? Yes. In short, I want to go back to how it was before the government intruded on those functions. The government does a poor job at them, Daniel. Private organizations are more efficient. The facts are quite clear.

    “You are not even advocating classically conservative ideals of small government, personal freedoms, and fiscal responsibility, but instead supporting a disastrous boondoggle Crusade and an Inquisition police force that has broad powers to detain and torture anyone without due process.”

    Where would you get that idea? That is loony tunes. I guess that screwy statement has something to do with the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay and the government fighting the war on Islamic Terrorism. But, the sentence makes no sense. It’s a mishmash of leftist talking points. Individually, those points are historically and legally false.

    “It’s not that I disagree with your political views, it’s that I don’t want to publicize your incessant pogroms against reality and your propaganda that seeks to inflame rather than inform,”

    I am a mild mannered man, Daniel, if persistent. The country is quite politicized. All I have to tell the truth, as I see it, and Leftists will argue with me.

    That is not a pogrom, since I am not a government. It is freedom of speech. When people are nasty to me, I will sometimes reply in kind.

    What you complain about is that I am better at it than my opponents, because I know how to think and can argue a case effectively. You merely disagree with my opinions. I would like to inform my opponents, but bigots have, by definition, a closed mind.

    “and predictably and blindly supports a reprehensible, criminal, and very UnAmerican plot to overthrow the US with a right wing fundamentalist regime that obeys no law and demands absolute conformity.”

    More looney tunes, Daniel. I have clearly stated my positions. You choose to ignore them and, instead, construct a malignant fantasy of your own.

    The Conservatives do not have to overthrow the government. We just need to get elected to political office. We need to do so to remove the Leftist usurpations which were foisted upon the Republic. Hint, it’s called exercising our civil liberties to change the government more to our liking. What’s wrong with that? It’s what the Left did.

    There are fads in politics, Daniel. There was a big push toward Socialism and interventionist government from the 1920s on which did not lead to good results. The electorate increasingly does not believe that the government is the solution to all problems. This is a slow and progressive thing. The politics in this county is evenly balanced now, but it is moving toward the Conservative position. Socialism does not work, Daniel; it has never worked, anywhere.

    You must partially agree. You can see the evidence. There are things that governments cannot do well. You detailed how messed up the city rail system is.

    The Leftists love mass transit while the public hates it. The pragmatic answer, since governments can’t do transportation systems well, is that they shouldn’t even try. There are other methods, Daniel. One’s which were tried elsewhere and have worked. But, Leftist will not listen to them. Why? Because it does not serve their social agenda.

  • kent

    UrbanBard,

    I believe you have made clear points in a very friendly way. Others may differ with your views, but you have definitely stated solid reasons for your views. You are not a fascist. You are not conducting pograms. You are not part of a blind right wing fundamentalist regime. Your views are very much in line with what virtually all Americans thought for the first 150 years of our existence.

    This long political food fight in this technology blog is happening simply because Daniel likes to insert inflammatory leftist distortions of reality in the midst of otherwise sensible technical discussion. While Daniel has a high degree of knowledge about technology, his political statements are more a form of “fashion”. He makes the appropriate comments to survive and thrive in San Francisco and be cool. Adopting these views is as sensible an act as taking up smoking as a teenager. Daniel wants to have the “cool” “hip” views that will make him popular at parties – even though they don’t stand scrutiny, are not based on facts. His political comments could be picked up from surfing MSNBC and watching Keith Olberman or Bill Maher rants. Daniel does not have a true interest in understanding politics – he is motivated by a dislike of our founding values – freedom, defense of our freedom, the Bill of Rights, liberty, capitalism, federalism, etc. He has a visceral dislike for any position that is not part of the leftist Democrat agenda. This is sad, because it means things like school choice (NEA says it is no good) won’t get a chance which sentences inner city blacks to lives of ignorance due to inferior education; nuclear power, which is truly better for the environment will never be tried, because Democrats have an emotional requirement to fight it despite its virtues; the good news out of Iraq will not be allowed to be transmitted, because the Democrats are committed to the US effort failing because they believe that if they help us fail in Iraq that will hurt Bush. Of course this makes no sense since this is our country’s endeavor, and all of us would be safer if stable democratic countries replaced the violent dictatorships that dominate the Mideast. But this entire party intensely desires that our effort fail. If it were possible to throw a switch that would create true Democracy and stability in Iraq, the entire Democratic party would scream in unison – “Don’t throw that switch”. They prefer that we fail for the simple reason that they hate the US acting strongly defend its interest and to spread freedom. These same people fought freedom efforts in Central America in the 80s. These same people who talk of George Bush being a fascist, have a decades long love affair going with dictator Fidel Castro, who runs a tyrannical regime that steals the liberty “endowed by our creator” from every Cuban citizen. These people believe George Bush is more a dictator than Castro, though they can’t provide a any credible evidence of his doing anything illegal or abridging any freedoms. It makes no sense, but it is a fact. They hate the military – just look at how they react to the presence of simple recruiters on college campuses. These are representatives of the forces which protect our freedom.

    Bottom line – these are not rational positions. They are rooted in very strong emotions. The need to hold popular positions. Groupthink like George Orwell described in 1984. A strong dislike of traditional American values. So, your spirit of persistent, polite persuasion is admirable, but not likely to work. Still – good luck.

    [Kent, while I don't drop acid in hippie communes, I do live in SF and have never ran into anyone with a "long love affair going with dictator Fidel Castro." This is extreme right wing nonsense from the kind of inflammatory liars who advocate terrorist attacks on the City because it passed restrictions on military recruitment of teenagers in high schools.

    Your "you hate freedom" rants are so blind and ignorant that it's simply impossible to wade through you brain dumps. However, if you'd like an outline of why the world, including the educated portions of the US, are not happy with Bush, let me clue you in on a couple obvious ones (and note that Bush has had a ~30% or less approval rating for some time now) :

    - he mismanaged the Katrina disaster by appointing a retard to run FEMA. Note the the F in FEMA is for Federal. We set this up to help manage disasters that affect the country overall. Blaming Bush's incompetence on the local governments is irresponsible. Suggesting that we shouldn't have had a competent administrator running FEMA instead of a moron political friend is also criminal, since it resulted in the unnecessary death of lots of innocent people.

    - he started a war based on false information and false presences, and used the tragedy of 9/11 to inflame an extremist, unthinking nationalism that allowed him to not just react in Afghanistan, but to shift the military's legitimate efforts into an attack on an unrelated country which resulted in the unnecessary death of thousands of Americans and untold hundreds of thousands of Iraqis, and turned a bad but stable country into a lawless war zone that can't simply be sanctioned.

    - after deciding to attack Iraq, Bush and his small group ignored all recommendations on planning for the rebuilding and policing of the country, which resulted in an unplanned, incompetent war strategy that put US soldiers in far more dangerous conditions than necessary, resulted in the permanent destruction of critically important historical works, and more importantly turned Iraq from a banana republic into a terrorist training camp and perpetual war zone, at the cost of untold lives and risking the security of America's future.

    - failing to heed any of the mistakes made in Iraq, Bush now hopes to push the war effort into Iran.

    - Bush has done nothing to unite the country as promised, and has instead worked to fanaticize and divide us into a partisan civil war where differing viewpoints are regarded as unamerican and taboo and terrorist threats. America is supposed to be about the democratic ideals of open political debate, not a fascist police state where opponents are tarred and feathered by propagandists.

    That's the groupthink, and you're on the wrong end of it to be blaming it on somebody else.

    As for my political views, you've got everything wrong. I think the US educational system desperately needs reform (please spare us the purported interest in serving inner city Blacks, as we know the Red States are the former Slave States and little has changed in the bac-kkk-roads of the country in the last century); I think nuclear power is a critical part of meeting the nation's energy needs, as opposed to the pro-Oil lobby which wants to keep us dependent upon a single source that flows from the Holy Land; however, I also know there is no "good news" in Iraq that is being held up by the Left Media to prevent us from celebrating a glorious victory, because I'm not an ignorant jackass that gets my perspective from reading Right Wing Books. - Dan]

  • UrbanBard

    You are right, Daniel. I do not know you. You do not reveal yourself.

    So let us start by asking the fundamental question: “Where do rights come from?” There are three common answers: the religious and traditional, the Libertarian and the Leftist. Choose one.

    The Religious and Traditional answer is that rights are a gift from God that governments should not trespass upon. It is found in the Declaration of Independence,

    “We hold these Truths to be self-evident, that all Men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness — That to secure these Rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just Powers from the Consent of the Governed, that whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these Ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it…

    Thomas Jefferson, “The Declaration of Independence,” 1776

    So, when the government becomes a tyranny, the people can overturn it, But, I do not advise that. Why? Because the Right is winning anyway. Another revolution would be too unsettling. In another thirty years, the Democratic Party will either be dead or under new management.

    The Libertarian answer is secular. It says that there are only humans on Earth and none should have more rights than another. Nor does any group have any more rights than the individual members.

    Both of these beliefs lead to the same place: a small government which protects the rights of the individual.

    The Left’s answer is that there are no individual rights; rights are the domain of the group or the state. Individuals may share in those rights granted to the group. The group or the state may change them at will. The rule of law does not matter.

    Of course, there are the power hungry and the rent-seekers who comprise most of the politicians, bureaucrats and nobles. They say that there are no rights which the government must pay attention to. The reason that they say this is that the government is where they get their money.

    They are the noble thieves. The petty thief steals and gets caught. The noble thief gets in control of a government so that he can steal all the money he wants and never gets caught. The Latin American version is called a kleptocracy. Mexico is a good example.

    [Hypothetically, lots of things sound great on paper. Lots of intellectuals thought Communism would work, and tried it over and over again in various guises of the last century. Most people now see that as an idealist pipe dream that can't really work. One can talk about how great conservative values are, but again, the problem isn't the idealist dream, but the results of an actual implementation.

    The Constitution says a lot of nice things, and its easy to appreciate the well meaning altruism that inspired its writing. It did not however prevent the savage fratricide of Native Americans, the ugly enslavement of Africans, nor the poor treatment of women and other minorities over the majority of the country's history. It also isn't stopping the current administration from establishing religion and setting up torture camps that detain and kill individuals accused of crimes that have not committed.

    There are laudable and convincing ideas advanced by republicans and by democrats, and neither side is immune to corruption or misuse of power. It is my opinion that the worst situation for the US is not control by a particular party but control by any party, particularly one that does not represent the interests of the majority of the populace. I don't think the democrats have all the answers nor are infallible, but after 8 years of tragic incompetence that has dragged the US into worldwide shame, I'd like to see somebody else take a shot at leading the country.

    That doesn't mean that democratic majority in government would solve every problem nor clean up every corner of politics as usual, but at least we'd get a reprieve from what has become a very shameful, very hypocritical administrative strategy that really doesn't represent classically conservative ideals anyway. - Dan ]

  • nat

    UrbanBard,

    It’s pretty easy to be contrarian. I can already hear you saying “Nuh, uh! It’s hard work. Leftist, loony tunes, blah blah blah…”

    Freedom of speech has its boundaries though. Don’t expect to get away with misrepresenting the world and labeling people you don’t even know (nor would have the balls to say to their face what you’ve said here) away from the conformable anonymity of your computer.

    There’s no line all of one political persuasion would cross in agreement. By sensationalizing a perceived “deep” divide in America, you paint yourself into one extreme minority, which is no better than the other, opposite end of the political spectrum (which Daniel is not a part), and likewise, will never gain significant control of anything.

    Bush is the closest you’ve got, will ever get, so enjoy his last incompetent days while Democrats turn out in record numbers to vote for change and Republicans get their pick of the Worst of the Worst same old, same old candidates.

  • slayerjr

    I, for one am happy to defend Daniel for coloring his work with sloppy politics and name calling. I can also understamd his shifts in mood and style depending on the topic covered as well as the psychological reactions he must resolve within to give weight to the replies from his readers received here and on his forum.

    It must be truly daunting and frightening to invite as much criticism into one’s life as Roughly Drafted must have brought into his. While posts that are supportive are encouraging and worthwhile in a supportive context they should be sent as a personal e-mail but what really make an impact on the creator are always the posts that are negative and critical.

    Think about that the next time you feel slighted or insulted by one of Daniel’s rants and decide to tell him so via this Forum.

    Words that most perceive to be harsh and provoking or offensive, are nothing but buttons that provoke different impulses among those that allow such impulses to provoke a reaction strong enough to act upon them.

    Your actions and comments have direct consequences on his writing style and mood. Your seemingly passionate defence of what you know or feel as the truth in Politics, Democracy, God, Microsoft, Apple etc provide an ungly distortion effect on Daniel’s brand of color. You are denying him his triumph. His chance to evolve and grow is stunted by your interjections.

    If you want to help rather then sit on the fence and argue semantics then provide Daniel with relevant, well documented and official information information that he can use in his articles. This will raise him well above the current crop of wannabe’s. This also creates a rich resource for all to benefit from.

    Chances also are that if you ignore the politics, they will go away.

    Daniel has exposed himself to be a human being who genuinely means well. He has seen what he perceives to be a wrong and has decided to do something about it. To his credit, he created a fascinating repository of alternative information. To his shame he opened it to public debate.

  • UrbanBard

    Thank you, Kent, for your encouraging words.

    I do not dislike Daniel. I really appreciate the thought and effort that Daniel puts into his articles. He has a technical background that few of us can match. This means that he can provide his opinions in a clear manner while support them with evidence and impeccable logic. I applaud your technical articles, Daniel.

    But, Daniel does not support his political opinions in such a rigorous manner. His political opinions are copied straight out of the New York Times or the Washington Post. He neither provides believable evidence nor good logic. The result is that he throws political crud at his readers that only a portion of them can agree with. Thus, he does a disservice to his readers. He devalues the worth of his technical articles by including nonsense.

    I have tried to persuade Daniel that this is the wrong venue for his political opinions. Or that, if he throws them out, at least, he should defend his beliefs like a man. On another thread, he started deleting my post because he could not win any arguments against me.

    This is not about Daniel’s freedom to post anything he wants on his web site. It is the fact that if he chooses to post material that will provoke a response from those who disagree with him, then he was no one to blame but himself if they expose his sycophancy to the Mainstream Media. It is simply too easy to take daniel’s political opinions down.

    Daniel, I’ve said this many times, that you are an ignoramus when it comes to economics and politics. Please go get some knowledge, besides your leftist views, before you talk through your hat. It offends those of us who have long studied economics and politics.

    [Perhaps you should stick to pointing out actual cases where I make mistakes rather than just reiterating your contempt for anything I say that doesn't align with neocon dogma. I haven't actually read politics in the New York Times or the Washington Post, so your assertion that I'm repeating other's opinions without thinking is simply another example of how you copy and paste fundamentalist right wing talking points when trying to tear down another person instead of discussing issues as a free thinking adult. I imagine you are significantly older than me and have a lot of experience and perspective you could share; I would appreciate it if you'd stick to that rather than just regurgitating Sean Hannity style character assassination, because that is really tiresome. - Dan ]

  • UrbanBard

    nat, I did little more than to say that I disagree with Daniel’s last paragraph. I did not even take it apart, because it would have taken thirty minutes or more to decipher what Daniel was referring to and make a reply. It was you Leftist who would not let my comments lie. So, I had to replied to your contentions.

    slayerjr, I have tried emailing Daniel. He no longer replies to my emails. I would not object to his political diatribes if he would honestly debate them, but he will not.

    It expects his peanut gallery to take down anyone who objects. But, they cannot do that with me, because I know how to think, have studied the evidence before making my judgment and know how to build a logical case. The peanut gallery is just as ignorant of economic, politics and history as Daniel is.

    I have studied Saul Alinski’s methods for radicals, so they do not work on me. Consequently, I am not an easy mark. I invite a rigorous debate with a knowledgeable opponent. I would like a courteous tussle. But, I’ve had no one from the Left, in the last two years, who could meet that level of competence.

    What Daniel dislikes about me is that I will neither go away nor let him win. If anyone is to win against me, then they have to earn it. No easy propaganda or soft intimidation will do it. It is pathetic how low the Left have let their debate skills lapse.

  • nat

    UrbanBard said:
    “I did little more than to say that I disagree with Daniel’s last paragraph.”

    That’s exactly my point! All you do is stonewall and then complement yourself for it. You just did it again.

    UrbanBard said:
    “It was you Leftist who would not let my comments lie.”

    Let me quote what you obviously didn’t read from my post: “Don’t expect to get away with misrepresenting the world and labeling people you don’t even know (nor would have the balls to say to their face what you’ve said here) away from the conformable anonymity of your computer.”

    UrbanBard said:
    “So, I had to replied to your contentions.”

    What? You didn’t address my comments, just the opposite, proving my points and giving a response I predicted: “Nuh, uh! It’s hard work. Leftist, loony tunes, blah blah blah…”

  • UrbanBard

    Nat, I do give explanations, but you can’t seem to understand them. Perhaps, I need to expand my remarks. What comments do you say were neglected? Oh! I see. You are saying that I am merely a contrarian. That assumes that the Left are the consensus. Not so. Polls show that there are far fewer Liberals and Socialists in America than Conservatives, but for various reasons not all of the vote Republican. Hey! I was a Democrat until 1976. We all have a varying tolerance for lies and deception.

    I don’t misrepresent the world. I merely have a different viewpoint which you will not credit.

    I did give my world view in the previous post to Kent. Too bad you missed it in your rush to pound on me.

    BTW, I am replying to your comments which I find to be poorly constructed, illogical and biased. I am not attacking you personally. I’m sure you are a grand fellow, kind to strangers and have a single harsh feeling toward anyone. Except Conservatives and Republicans, but that’s okay.

    I invite you to make a better arguments.

    It is true that I did not address many of your remarks because they were too bigoted to warrant a reply. I cannot take seriously a person so blinkered.

  • nat

    UrbanBard said:
    “What comments do you say were neglected? Oh! I see. You are saying that I am merely a contrarian. That assumes that the Left are the consensus.”

    You being contrarian has no real connection with politics; that’s simply the subject being discussed. By simply stating “no” for every “yes,” never compromising, you don’t advance the discussion. You could be an extreme liberal and still be contrarian, as I said in my comment, which I’ll quote here:

    “By sensationalizing a perceived “deep” divide in America, you paint yourself into one extreme minority, WHICH IS NO BETTER THAN THE OTHER, OPPOSITE END OF THE POLITICAL SPECTRUM (which Daniel is not a part), AND LIKEWISE, WILL NEVER GAIN SIGNIFICANT CONTROL OF ANYTHING.”

    UrbanBard said:
    “Not so. Polls show that there are far fewer Liberals and Socialists in America than Conservatives, but for various reasons not all of the vote Republican. Hey! I was a Democrat until 1976. We all have a varying tolerance for lies and deception.”

    Where are you getting these polls from and why are you bringing them up?

    UrbanBard said:
    “I don’t misrepresent the world. I merely have a different viewpoint which you will not credit.”

    Perhaps I was a bit overzealous by saying you falsely describe the entire world. I’m too lazy to read all of your previous posts that could possibly hold a more realistic picture of everywhere other than the U.S. However if you read my post, I was mainly alluding to your unsubstantiated deep divide between people of differing values and perspectives. The first line of that quote I reposted above, on being contrarian, addresses that.

    UrbanBard said:
    “I did give my world view in the previous post to Kent. Too bad you missed it in your rush to pound on me.”

    Which post was that? Where?

    UrbanBard said:
    “I am not attacking you personally.”

    UrbanBard THEN said:
    “It is true that I did not address many of your remarks because they were too bigoted to warrant a reply. I cannot take seriously a person so blinkered.”

    What’s that term Bush coined? …Flip-Flop, Flip-Flop, Flip-Flop!

  • Pingback: The Unrealized Potential of Apple’s Hybrid Platform: Mac, iPod, iPhone, and TV — RoughlyDrafted Magazine()

  • UrbanBard

    UrbanBard said:
    “What comments do you say were neglected? Oh! I see. You are saying that I am merely a contrarian. That assumes that the Left are the consensus.”

    nat said”
    “You being contrarian has no real connection with politics; that’s simply the subject being discussed. By simply stating “no” for every “yes,” never compromising, you don’t advance the discussion. ”

    I’m not being contrarian, nat. I have specific criticisms and arguments which I am fielding. I can’t help it if you are too obtuse or bigoted to perceive them.

    My major argument is that these webpages are the wrong venue for political propaganda, Daniel’s or anyone else’s.

    I would welcome a real debate. I posted about “Natural Law” in an attempt to get Daniel, or anyone else, to state where they line up on the political spectrum, but got no takers.

    “UrbanBard said:
    “Not so. Polls show that there are far fewer Liberals and Socialists in America than Conservatives, but for various reasons not all of the vote Republican. Hey! I was a Democrat until 1976. We all have a varying tolerance for lies and deception.”

    Where are you getting these polls from and why are you bringing them up?”

    There are two problems here: The Left will not read, let alone believe, anything from unapproved sources. They consequently have a distorted view of where their candidates stand versus the common voter. That is why they are constantly surprised when Republicans win.

    Very often people on the far left think that they are moderates because they live in a liberal enclave like Daniel does. They are merely responding to their locale; none of their acquaintances are Republicans. I suggest that you read about the implications of a recent Pew study at:

    http://www.modernconservative.com/the_metablog/1365_Pew_study_shows_Democrats_are_delusional.html

    I hesitate to provide source material, because Daniel resents my trying to inform people, so he deletes my posts.

    The chart is what is important. The chart for “all voters” says that the electorate stands to the right of the center moderate position. Thirty years ago, the electorate was slightly to the left of moderate. Just to the electorate’s right is Giuliani while McCain stands moderately to right of him. Romney is one and half times farther to the right than McCain. Bush and Huckabee are a bit farther on. Clinton and Obama are seen as far to the left of center as Bush and Huckabee are.

    The Republican voters use the same political spectrum as “all voters,” but there are minor position changes. Bush is seen as more conservative than Huckabee. There is a wider space between Giuliani and McCain as Giuliani moves to the center. Most Republicans see themselves at Huckabee’s position between Romney and Bush, but there isn’t much difference seen between them. The Democratic Candidates are extremely to the left with Clinton seen as more leftist than Obama.

    It is the Democratic Voters who’s political spectrum is skewed. They see themselves as moderates with Clinton slightly to the right and Obama moderately to the left. All the Republicans are, thus, seen as the far right.

    But, you are probably so blinkered that you cannot credit this source.

    Another source is one that has been true for the last thirty years as it accurately indicates where members of the American electorate stands. Its evidence is put into a quiz where you can see where you fit:

    http://www.theadvocates.org/quiz.html

    “UrbanBard said:
    “I did give my world view in the previous post to Kent. Too bad you missed it in your rush to pound on me.”

    Which post was that? Where?”

    Post #116.

    “UrbanBard THEN said:
    “It is true that I did not address many of your remarks because they were too bigoted to warrant a reply. I cannot take seriously a person so blinkered.”

    What’s that term Bush coined? …Flip-Flop, Flip-Flop, Flip-Flop!”

    No. Your post seemed like one long personal attack. I do not respond to personal insults. I have trained myself to pay them no mind once I have discovered that hey are devoid of content.

  • UrbanBard

    Daniel snuck this into my previous post #116 probably hoping that the readers will not see it. It toggles no automatic emails, so many readers may miss it. I expect next that Daniel will be editing my posts to render them nonsensical.

    “[Perhaps you should stick to pointing out actual cases where I make mistakes rather than just reiterating your contempt for anything I say that doesn’t align with neocon dogma. I haven’t actually read politics in the New York Times or the Washington Post, so your assertion that I’m repeating other’s opinions without thinking is simply another example of how you copy and paste fundamentalist right wing talking points when trying to tear down another person instead of discussing issues as a free thinking adult. I imagine you are significantly older than me and have a lot of experience and perspective you could share; I would appreciate it if you’d stick to that rather than just regurgitating Sean Hannity style character assassination, because that is really tiresome. - Dan ]”

    Daniel, you will not debate me honestly on the specifics of my contentions. You refuse to divulge yourself and lob potshots from behind a shield of anonymity.

    You ask for specifics that you will not provide, so I must guess by your comments what political group on the left that you inhabit. You say that I make mistakes. If so, it is your fault in not revealing yourself.

    Furthermore, the far leftist diatribes and your character assassinations of me, with its distorted worldview of Conservatives and the Religious Right, place you far to the left of Clinton. If you will not reveal yourself, how should I know differently?

  • UrbanBard

    Daniel snuck this into my previous post #113 probably hoping that the readers will not see it. It toggles no automatic emails, so many readers may have missed it. I expect next that Daniel will be editing my posts to render them nonsensical.

    “[Hypothetically, lots of things sound great on paper. Lots of intellectuals thought Communism would work, and tried it over and over again in various guises of the last century. Most people now see that as an idealist pipe dream that can’t really work. One can talk about how great conservative values are, but again, the problem isn’t the idealist dream, but the results of an actual implementation."

    Again, Daniel, you refuse to debate issues. You have no real alternatives. You merely ignore your opponent's issues. I was talking about basic values which determine current politics. I asked you to choose and you refused.

    "The Constitution says a lot of nice things, and its easy to appreciate the well meaning altruism that inspired it's writing."

    The Constitution provided a means to a political alternative to the monarchy. Since the United States is the longest existing government on the planet, I'd say that it did rather well.

    No, England does not qualify as the longest existing government. As wikipedia says, "The Act of Union of 1800 formally assimilated Ireland within the British political process and from 1 January 1801 created a new state called the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, which united the Kingdom of Great Britain with the Kingdom of Ireland to form a single political entity." Thus, it became a new government, since there was no existing mechanism which allowed for expansion.

    None of the Left's userpations have been voted on by the electorate. The Left found it impossible to legally change the Constitution and the Federal Government to their liking, so they used the fact that they controlled Congress and Judicial appointments for thirty years. Thus, they used the illegal method of judicial activism to subvert the meaning of the Constitution rather than using the legal methods inside it. None of the legal methods would have been approved by the voters. Even the ERA amendment failed.

    "It did not however prevent the savage fratricide of Native Americans, the ugly enslavement of Africans, nor the poor treatment of women and other minorities over the majority of the country’s history. "

    True. The Constitution's protections were extended to only the white voters. Your argument does not contend that there was any flaw in the original Constitution, but that it's protections were not extended widely enough.

    That is the nature of politics, Daniel; American Society is imperfect and always will be. We grew out of the constraints imposed by the original thirteen colonies. If the anti-slave states of the North had insisted on freeing the slaves in the South then there would be no United States. You'd love that, wouldn't you?

    "It also isn’t stopping the current administration from establishing religion and setting up torture camps that detain and kill individuals accused of crimes that have not committed."

    We disagree on those points, but you will not seriously debate them.

    "There are laudable and convincing ideas advanced by republicans and by democrats, and neither side is immune to corruption or misuse of power. "

    True. My greatest problem is with the Republicans who are not Conservatives--that includes President Bush. He is a Big Government Republican with some Conservative tendencies while I am a Small Government Conservative.

    But, Bush may have a better reading of the electorate than me. Is the electorate ready to be freed from intervention and political spoils system provided by the Federal Government? I doubt it.

    "It is my opinion that the worst situation for the US is not control by a particular party but control by any party, particularly one that does not represent the interests of the majority of the populace. "

    Daniel, the Democrats have deluded themselves into thinking that they represent the majority of voters when many studies say that they do not. The Democratic Party is in serious decline. What is likely to happen, when the Democratic Party becomes too small to contest elections, is that a mass political realignment will take place between the Small Government Republicans and the Big Government Republicans.

    Socialism has lost in the real world, but its current adherents must die off before major changes can occur. Twenty years is likely to do it.

    "I don’t think the democrats have all the answers nor are infallible, but after 8 years of tragic incompetence that has dragged the US into worldwide shame, I’d like to see somebody else take a shot at leading the country."

    Again, you are buying into Left wing propaganda. The Left have no solutions which have not been tried and failed repeatedly, The Left even failed to confront our Terrorist enemies under President Clinton. You want a repeat of that?

    "That doesn’t mean that democratic majority in government would solve every problem nor clean up every corner of politics as usual, but at least we’d get a reprieve from what has become a very shameful, very hypocritical administrative strategy that really doesn’t represent classically conservative ideals anyway. - Dan ]”

    Since you show a complete ignorance of Conservative ideals, you are no one to make recommendations.

    [You are such a nut its both painful and oddly amusing to read your rants sometimes. You can't keep posting books of rambling off topic junk though, as it really isn't fair to other readers who are forced to skip over your stuff. Post that in your own blog. Also, don't tell me what I think. You are welcome to take issue with or disagree with any point I make, but don't ramble on for pages copied verbatim from some neocon playbook and then stuff words in my mouth about what my position is in your mind, based on what you've been programed to attack by your red state brainwashings. I'm not your scarecrow, and your stereotypes have grown tiresome. You have also failed to ever respond to any of the issues I present, so I see your frequent, off topic musings as spam and will remove them if they continue to grow in vitriol or mass. - Dan]

  • UrbanBard

    I agree with you, Daniel, that the Educational System needs a major reform. Technology has improved to the point that sites on the web can provide central instruction and testing.

    Home schooling is mainly better than Public Schooling, these days. That is why National Merit Scholar winners and National Spelling Bee winners are most often home schooled.

    Great gains in productivity can be achieved by using such a system and the costs are minimal. But, the Educational Establishment will not have that, because it means losing their jobs.

    The Public Schools cost between 10 and 20 thousand dollars per year per child. Private Schools are usually half of that. Home schooling for children with “stay at home moms” is about a thousand dollars a year. The State Politicians should be eager to endorse that, but they are not because the teacher unions are a huge voting block. Instead, those politicians do all they can to retard private adoption of Home Schooling.

    This educational reform also isn’t being implemented because the Democratic Party objects. Why? Because this would undercut the Teacher’s Unions since this instruction could, and mostly would be, done at home.

    Next, an open instructional system would not allow the covert leftist indoctrination which is routinely practiced in the Public Schools. Without that early indoctrination, few Liberals would graduate from high school. The reason that so many children graduate as Functional Illiterates is that the Public Schools spent the children’s time of social and political issues, not fundamentals.

    Parents could choose the form of religious or social indoctrination they want their children to experience. Since, even atheists want to have their children to experience exposure to religious values, the parents are likely to ask for much less leftist indoctrination than is currently experienced. This is not in the Democratic Party’s special interest.

    [Steve Jobs advocated education reform. Making broad generalizations about what democrats or the "left" do and think is just ignorant and shallow. There is scant functional difference between various party designations and how members of congress act. Lieberman was a D but is a fascist war monger for instance.

    Public schools are not really any bastion of liberal thought; that would be higher education. Privatized schools like Edison failed in the market. There isn't any conclusive proof that profit-based schools would do a good job teaching our kids. The US should examine what's working around the world in successful countries, not blindly try to turn over the public welfare over to profiteering experimentalists. Our kids deserve better.

    Home schooling might work well for some families, but most parents aren't equipped to be their children's general purpose teachers (let alone parents) - Dan ]

  • nat

    UrbanBard,

    I’m pretty much done with this conversation. Good debates are not about winning or reaching a consensus, they’re about moving the discussion forward in a respectful manner. This should be a fun and enlightening back-and-fourth, with each side willing to accept some hypotheses. I’m tired of debating a brick wall.

    You call me bigoted and obtuse for having stances on issues that differ from yours, yet I’m sure you realize just about everything in this world, save 2+2=4, is relative. What may feel “good” to you might bother me and likewise, things I spend my time doing that I consider “fun” you may find incessantly boring. That doesn’t make you “wrong,” blinkered, bigoted, and it doesn’t make me “right.” That’s just how it is.

    The sun doesn’t revolve around the earth, let alone one person.

    Now I’d like to address a few lingering remarks from your most recent response to my posts.

    UrbanBard said:
    “The Left will not read, let alone believe, anything from unapproved sources.”

    My asking for your source and the reason you even brought up these polls had nothing to do with me being Right or Left. If I randomly throughout statistics for no apparent reason that supported “the Left” without backing them up, you would have done the same thing. Sheesh!

    UrbanBard said:
    “It is the Democratic Voters who’s political spectrum is skewed.”

    Democrats lean to the left while Republicans lean to the right. That’s the idea.

    At the end of your post (#122), you took the last part of my original comment out of context, which is ironic considering I was quoting you.

    For those that wish to read my original post, scroll back up to #120. For those that don’t, here it is again:

    UrbanBard said:
    “I am not attacking you personally.”

    UrbanBard THEN said:
    “It is true that I did not address many of your remarks because they were too bigoted to warrant a reply. I cannot take seriously a person so blinkered.”

    I placed those two posts of yours next to each to illustrate you are contrarian unto yourself.

    UrbanBard said:
    “Your post seemed like one long personal attack. I do not respond to personal insults. I have trained myself to pay them no mind once I have discovered that hey are devoid of content.”

    There’s a difference between calling someone bigoted, obtuse, and blinkered and giving some constructive criticism. I find it ironic that you claim my post was nothing but a personal attack considering it was largely made up of your own statements in quotes.

    I’d like to suggest something you might actually agree to: READ WHAT YOU WRITE.

  • UrbanBard

    I’m sorry that you are too blinkered or biased to keep up with the conversation.

    In a good debate, the person who has the best argument should win. But, that only happens when both parties are persuadable–that is, intellectually honest.

    All I wanted from you was to provide me with good arguments. You should have gathered your evidence, put it into a logical case and fired it at me. Unsupported opinions are ignored as rubbish. Where I can, I will agree. If not, I will provide counter evidence and logic. So, we will continue. That is a debate.

    Perhaps, we will reach a point where neither of us can convince the other. That is fine, too. But, obstinately and blindly holding onto an opinion when all your arguments have proven flawed, is not. That is bigotry.

    “nat said:
    “You call me bigoted and obtuse for having stances on issues that differ from yours, yet I’m sure you realize just about everything in this world, save 2+2=4, is relative.”

    That is where we disagree. There is absolute truth. Those people who believe that every person has his own truth are subscribing to a logical error. Relative truth cannot prove itself, but absolute truth can. It is circular logic. I suggest to take a philosophy course. You might learn how to think from it.

    “UrbanBard said:
    “The Left will not read, let alone believe, anything from unapproved sources.”

    My asking for your source and the reason you even brought up these polls had nothing to do with me being Right or Left. If I randomly throw out statistics for no apparent reason that supported “the Left” without backing them up, you would have done the same thing. Sheesh!”

    See? You did exactly what I said you would do. Since the article I sent you to and the Pew study do not come from approved Leftist sources, you rejected it.

    “UrbanBard said:
    “It is the Democratic Voters who’s political spectrum is skewed.”

    Democrats lean to the left while Republicans lean to the right. That’s the idea.”

    No. What makes the Democrats skewed is that they place themselves as moderates when they are really on the far left. This is delusive. Since they are not addressing the centrist issues of the moderates, they constantly lose elections.

    In the 2006 elections, they had to pretend to be Conservatives by fielding 40 “Blue Dog” Democrats who ran to the right of their Republican opponents. Then when those “Blue Dogs” convened in Congress, they turned out to vote little different from the Democratic herd. So, it was all a fraud.

    George Soros and is ilk are even farther to the left of Clinton or Obama. Since they have the money they are pulling the Democratic Party further toward the left. But, that path leads to doom, because it is away from the centrist position. Increasingly, the Left come off as nutty.

    “There’s a difference between calling someone bigoted, obtuse, and blinkered and giving some constructive criticism. I find it ironic that you claim my post was nothing but a personal attack considering it was largely made up of your own statements in quotes.”

    When I read your statement I saw little of substance to reply to. So, I replied to what I could. You can insult me all day and I will pay it no mind.

    You are blinkered because you will not even entertain the possibility that I could be right. Therefore, you reject my contentions out of hand, rather than expose my contentions to logical analysis.

    You see, I have studied the Left. I used to be a member of the Democratic Party. I was a Small government, strong defense “Scoop” Jackson type of Democrat. But I had to leave when the “New Left” took over the Democratic Party leadership under the McGovern reforms in 1976. So, I know exactly where you are coming from and why you are wrong.

  • UrbanBard

    [You are such a nut its both painful and oddly amusing to read your rants sometimes. You can’t keep posting books of rambling off topic junk though, as it really isn’t fair to other readers who are forced to skip over your stuff. Post that in your own blog. Also, don’t tell me what I think. You are welcome to take issue with or disagree with any point I make, but don’t ramble on for pages copied verbatim from some neocon playbook and then stuff words in my mouth about what my position is in your mind, based on what you’ve been programed to attack by your red state brainwashings. I’m not your scarecrow, and your stereotypes have grown tiresome. You have also failed to ever respond to any of the issues I present, so I see your frequent, off topic musings as spam and will remove them if they continue to grow in vitriol or mass. - Dan]

    Of course, I am painful, in the same way that Socrates was. Anyone who relentlessly points out the flaws in your thinking must be painful.

    I don’t tell you what to think; I ask you to honestly defend your positions. This you will not do.

    [No, you tell me "what I think," and prattle on about how I love Cuba and and hate freedom and oppose States Rights of the 1850s and whatever other nutty stuff that jumps from your keyboard. I don't like being at the wrong end of your stereotype marker, and your batshit comments are scaring away the smart people, so please cool it down several notches.

    I have yet to see anywhere you have pointed out any rational flaw in my thinking, but I also don't want any examples from you, so let it go. Your inflammatory castigations of people is really becoming a problem. It's not opinion or politics or world view, it's just that you are acerbic and rude and don't say anything really interesting, and can apparently only repeat right wing jingoism that I've already heard. So stop. - Dan]

  • nat

    UrbanBard said:
    “Of course, I am painful, in the same way that Socrates was. Anyone who relentlessly points out the flaws in your thinking must be painful.”

    *on hands and knees* UrbanBard, PLEASE, I’m begging you, end your all-knowing, almighty, absolute, intellectual torture on we, the unworthy Leftists, for a debate with your ego. :’(

  • http://www.fipscamp.com Michael Vasovski

    I fully support Ron Paul for President, having recognized that all other candidates, both Republican and Democrat, only exist to further the agenda of the elite. Democrats pander to inner city welfare recipients; NeoCons, to war loving heehaws. Neither will touch big business -ever.

    Ron Paul is the only one that will bring the troops home, immediately, without question. Incidentally, this is also more than slightly ‘touching’ big business. Certainly no NeoCon will support that. Hillary has received more money, from military contractors, than any other candidate (Rep or Dem). Obama talks of bombing Iran… Ron is the only candidate that will end that nonsense, as he recognizes not only the significant moral compromise that we’ve allowed our government to impose on our reputations; But that the war is draining our resources faster than any of us can imagine.

    Ron will do his best to end the wasteful and inefficient Department of Education. He’ll return educational decisions to the states, where parents will have an easier time directly influencing their children’s educational futures. Possibly, for once, high school kids will be taught, in their economics courses, the realities of the credit system; the odds that if they take the credit, they will spend the next 10-15 years paying it back; the odds that most of them WILL take that credit and end up in serious debt. Perhaps, kids will be taught, flat out, to tear up the credit offers. However, that is unlikely, as the banks will put significant resources into making sure this never happens. It would take a concerted effort, on the part of the parents, to travel to their capitols and apply the proper pressure.

    Ron will end the war on drugs and pardon app. 120,000 ‘criminals’ that were convicted of drug-related, non-violent crimes. Platform Lesson: What you do on your time, as long as it causes no harm to anyone else, is your business. This is not a libertarian view. This is common sense and the simple respect that any human adult deserves. No government should be watching over us and dictating our decisions, ever.

    The media continues to do their best to ignore Ron and hope that mainstream America doesn’t come to know him. But we have loud mouths…

    I nominate Urban for the Poon Award for managing to get his post past my junk mail filter and into my Inbox *How’d he do that?* and for managing to spur me to write this. I love reading Daniel’s RDM. I just never thought it would go off in this interesting direction… I’d also give Urban a Zoon Nomination for sounding like a pompous pr!ck that could only rival Frasier for intellectual egotism. That dude needs to take it down a notch. It really is nauseating.

  • UrbanBard

    nat, it is my intellect that you are contending with, not my ego. I am not emotionally involved in this discussion. I am merely making the best case that I can.

    Am I being provocative? Yes. Why. Because it works on you liberals; you are unused to having your motives questioned. I don’t want the Left to have any sacred cows, specially one’s that they force me to pay for. Too often, the left stands on supposedly high moral ground while looking down their noses at us lesser fellows when there is no support under them. So, when I am attacked, I go for the Left’s jugular. Nothing personal about it though.

    All I have asked of Daniel, or you, is an honest discussion and have attempted to start one and had no takers.

    The Left have nothing valuable to argue for. All leftist contentions run aground on the fact that their fancies must be enforced and paid for. When those fancies are enforced deprivation, starvation and death follows because those fancies are not grounded in reality or human nature. Socialism is a mass delusion.

  • nat

    Michael Vasovski,

    While you’re kind of spamming here, it’s nice to hear from what I consider a true conservative. People love to compare Hillarycrats and Neocons like Bush to make it seem as if there will only ever be a deadlock in government. Fortunately, neither of those groups are very popular. Bush has the lowest approval ratings ever and Hillary, with her grandstanding and continuous misrepresentation of the facts in her rather uninspiring speeches with help from Bill, show both sides don’t appeal to the mainstream.

    However, while I wouldn’t mind having Ron Paul as president, and I would most definitely vote for him over Clinton, Obama is who I really want. Paul is great, but due to there being a higher percentage of Neocons voting than true conservatives, he doesn’t have much of a chance. However, if a centrist like Obama got in for a term or two, someone like Ron would have a much better chance.

    On that note, I would like to know what you meant by “Obama talks of bombing Iran.” When and where was this said? What was said? I don’t see the point in badmouthing a candidate Ron himself said he agreed with and related to.

  • UrbanBard

    “[No, you tell me “what I think,” and prattle on about how I love Cuba and hate freedom and oppose States Rights of the 1850s and whatever other nutty stuff that jumps from your keyboard. "

    Stop being so narcissistic, Daniel. The world does not revolve around you. I may speak of the Left in general terms hoping that I will expose you. This is a direct consequence of you refusing to reveal yourself or to argue issues. I force me to judge your position on the left by what little you reveal. When you go into a Leftist rant, I place you far to the left of Hillary and Obama. Why wouldn't you love Castro?

    Why get so emotional about it? If I am wrong, simply state that and I will believe it. There is nothing personal in this, Daniel. I am trying to correct you atrociously bad manners. Hence, I must come across harder and less compromising than I ordinarily am.

    "I don’t like being at the wrong end of your stereotype marker, and your batshit comments are scaring away the smart people, so please cool it down several notches."

    The Left are used to giving insults, but not receiving them. Again, If you want to avoid my derision, then argue a case, rather than giving me Leftist rants.

    My main point is that politics is not the proper venue for these technical webpages. So, if you stop throwing leftist crap at me, then you will never hear from me. Do you think that your leftist bullshit isn't scaring away smart people? Apparently not, since you believe that no Conservative can be "Smart Person."

    "I have yet to see anywhere you have pointed out any rational flaw in my thinking, but I also don’t want any examples from you, so let it go. "

    That is your flaw, Daniel. You ask me to point out the flaws in your thinking while simultaneously asking that I don't ask them. That is an idiotic position to take.

    What you want to do is to take potshots at other people while receiving none in return. You disrespect me and my values and I am supposed to respect yours? Get real. Your behavior provokes a reply, so I give you one. If you stop disrespecting other people, Daniel, they might be nice to you. Your behavior, so far, deserves a whipping.

    "Your inflammatory castigations of people is really becoming a problem. "

    It is a problem that you started.

    "It’s not opinion or politics or world view, it’s just that you are acerbic and rude and don’t say anything really interesting, and can apparently only repeat right wing jingoism that I’ve already heard. So stop. - Dan]”

    Daniel, I am merely replying to your disrespect. Reread my first post; it was rather mild. I merely stated that I disagreed with you but it was too time consuming for me to dissect your mixed up rant.

    The Leftist on this web pages could not tolerate a contrary opinion. Of course, neither they or you addressed my contention: that if you persist in disrespecting your Conservative readers by throwing out irrelevant leftist rubbish, then you will get an argument. You are acting rather childishly, Daniel.

    [It is juvenile and disrespectful for you to post another long missive of self-indulgent bullshit after I asked you to tone down your off-topic and irrelevant foaming. Seriously, stop or I'll ban your account. I'd prefer not to have to do that, so self regulate and we can keep our government small and limited as we both prefer. - Dan ]

  • UrbanBard

    nat, Michael Vasovski is not a Conservative, let alone a true one. He is a Libertarian. There is a decided difference.

    In normal conditions, the Libertarians and the Small Government Conservatives work together. But, this war had divided many people.

  • http://www.fipscamp.com Michael Vasovski

    Nat,

    Google ‘Obama bombing Iran’. It should give you enough quotes… As for spamming, I was content to leave this well-enough alone. Like I said, somehow this all ended up in my inbox. And that’s what prompted this. I just wanted to get my two cents in…

    Urban,

    I don’t know what is correctly considered to be a true conservative. From my personal experience, as a high school kid, I had the unique experience of having parents that purchased a house owned by the late Senator Strom Thurmond. Because he and his wife, Nancy, were having problems in their relationships, he ended up living, in the apartment, over our garage, for app. 1.5 years. He would come home, every other weekend, from Washington. And he’d always spend some time talking with us about DC politics. It was because of that that I ended up serving as a page for him in DC. The list may be short but distinguished of the ‘true’ conservatives that I met and shook hands with. But I certainly know who I am and who I identify with.

    Despite all of this, I never saw it upon myself to cast a vote for any candidate. To me, all of the guys that ran for Pres came across like used-car salesmen. When Kerry was asked a question, he would start to answer it. Then he would pause, look at the camera, and say, “…But as President of the United States, I would…” I was like, “Come on. Sell that to someone else.” It also didn’t take much to see past G.W. either. I was none-too-surprised to learn that the reason he lost his first run, as Gov of Texas, was that the general public thought he sounded too much like a know-it-all from the North. Obviously, he did a decent job of reinventing himself and dumbing down his rhetoric.

    Point is, if I’d had my way, there’d have been a check box, on the ballot, that read, “Do over.” I don’t believe in voting for the ‘lesser of two evils’. And I won’t cast a ‘protest vote’. To be frank, I’ve never voted at all, much less registered to vote, until I heard of Ron… I just never saw a reason to.

    As far as whether I’m a ‘true’ conservative, I guess that may be appropriately gauged on the modern definition of the word. And if, by modern definition, what I consider to be a NeoCon is a true conservative, then I suppose I’m not. I’m quite proud to say that. Possibly, you and I are too young to remember what real Republicans were, unlike the older Dr. Paul. We’re definitely too young to remember when the conservatives were considered Democrats and the liberals, Republicans. But I think that party affiliations and political ideals are only divisive machines meant to separate us.

    Call me what you will. You’re still pompous and irritating.

  • nat

    Michael Vasovski,

    I did a search for those exact words and came up with nothing on YouTube. I even searched Google Video, but I’m not finding the video. Could you provide a link? I think I actually remember hearing about him saying something about Iran a while ago, but when I search Google, I only find stories that seem to have been written during Kerry’s run for president. I usually prefer to do my own research on stuff like this, but since this is a point you’re trying to make, I think I’ll let you make it with some links. Thanks. :)

  • http://olb.tumblr.com avocade

    Bravo! Your best article in a long while. You write the best when you’re the most passionate about a subject, that’s for sure.

  • http://www.fipscamp.com Michael Vasovski

    nat,

    Correct me. The links I found were also dated. Have been searching on and off for any recent reference. But I’ve not been able to find anything… Bravo for him… War is the big issue for me. If he’ll join my man in an unconditional pull out of the middle east, and if my guy doesn’t make it to the g.e., I have to say that I’d consider it. Thanks for bringing me up to speed. I admit that I don’t research the others as much as I should. I did like Kucinich a lot, though. They rail him for the UFO thing. But did you see that youtube video of the Fox News report? The Mex gov. released official video of their jets tracking the things. They said they and the other nations are tired of deferring to the U.S. gov to make the official announcement -Holy sh!t! Next thing you know, G.W. will take off his mask and reveal his true reptilian nature:)

  • nat

    Michael,

    Glad to hear you’d consider voting for Obama if Ron doesn’t win the Republican Primary. If you don’t wanna go about researching him in a traditional way, just look up some of his speeches on YouTube. My favorite was made when he won South Carolina last weekend. It addresses racism a little bit due to the Clintons making that an issue, but it’s mainly has a universal message of hope and change.
    You can watch it here:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-iVAPH_EcmQ

    I liked Kucinich too, but apparently he was too liberal. While I had initially hoped he might be Obama’s running mate, wouldn’t it be amazing if Ron Paul became Obama’s VP, or vice versa? I know, nothing like that has ever really happened, but man it would be extraordinary!

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  • NB

    Nice article, I’m pretty much in agreement. Too bad about the trolling in the comments but such is blogging, I suppose.

    The Russians used pencils and consequently littered their space station (a closed system) with lots of floating particles from the shavings, leading to polluted atmosphere and short circuits in electronics. Not a good tradeoff. Remember that the Mir project was jettisoned after almost a decade.

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