The Land That Time Forgot

If you're like me, each year at this time you wait with baited breath for Time to announce it's Person of the Year, and this year, I was particularly giddy with anticipation at the prospect that my guy, Dave Petraeus would get the nod.

All he did was turn a war around in eight months, true, and he had some help, while J.K Rowling wrote all that Potter crap all by herself and it's made billions, so I mean, maybe I was a tad over-optimistic?

If you haven't heard, General Petraeus came in fifth behind communism, filth, fantasy, and, well, more communism. Time felt that Vlad the Derailer was the man of the moment apparently because he's been artfully thuggish, at least that's what Time's explanation said to me.

Al Gore was second. I can see that, since it's been a long time since a fat fool has been able to scam the entire world and transform educated people into absolute idiots..

And of course Ms. Rowling deserves third place since she was able to take so many minds off the global warming idiocy if only for the moment.

Then there's the Chinese leader in fourth. I don't know his name, should I? And I also don't know what he did besides executing the guy who produced tainted drugs, who spread Bird Flu, or who sold us toys that can substitute as x-ray shields, but I'm sure he was more important than Petraeus too.

Here's how Time puts it:

"TIME's Person of the Year is not and never has been an honor. It is not an endorsement. It is not a popularity contest. At its best, it is a clear-eyed recognition of the world as it is and of the most powerful individuals and forces shaping that world for better or for worse."

Uh-huh. But should Person of the Year be cumulative or should it be about someone who was singularly significant in this particular year? Put another way, is Time's pretzel logic… make that, "expanded, concept" merely a way of avoiding giving General David Petraeus the honor he deserves?

Time goes on…

"It is ultimately about leadership bold, earth-changing leadership. Putin is not a boy scout. He is not a democrat in any way that the West would define it. He is not a paragon of free speech. He stands, above all, for stability stability before freedom, stability before choice, stability in a country that has hardly seen it for a hundred years."

Got it?!? Just remember that line the next time some dope like Lenny rails against Bush for trashing the constitution.


"Whether (Putin)… proves to be a reformer or an autocrat who takes Russia back to an era of repression this we will know only over the next decade. At significant cost to the principles and ideas that free nations prize, he has performed an extraordinary feat of leadership in imposing stability on a nation that has rarely known it and brought Russia back to the table of world power. For that reason, Vladimir Putin is TIME's 2007 Person of the Year."

Except that, following that bit of reasoning, Putin could already be named Person of the Year for 2008 right now.

General Petraeus did what he did in far less than a year, and it was THE single most important achievement of 2007, not just for America, but for the world, in 2007. And for that, coming in fifth is not recognition of "the most powerful individuals and forces shaping that world for better or for worse," it's telling the world that to the American Media, a flimflam man and a fantasy writer are more powerful than someone who must manage life and death daily while attempting to stabilize a region where a good many other "powerful individuals and forces" don't want stability – and he's doing it in real-time.

in other words, Time could not have avoided recognizing David Petraeus. It would have provoked the Outcry of the Year. But putting him in last place tells us that Time would have left him off if they could have, and unfortunately, it will minimize the criticism this rotten from the toes up organization deserves.

So may God continue to bless you General Petraeus.

And may God damn Time to the hell it deserves.

And Merry Christmas to all!  Well, to all non-liberals, anyway.

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About tedwest

A longtime veteran of comedy and political forums, I decided that I needed a more restful venue because... well... I finally hate everybody. Except my wife that is... and my ex-wife.. and... no, that's about it. I lead about as simple a life as one can, preferring activities that include anything that doesn't involve going out and seeing YOU! And I particularly enjoy what I call "Get the Bitch" movies on Lifetime. You know the ones where the intended victim finally does something so incredibly stupid that she forfeits her right to live, and from that moment on you're rooting for the stalker. Of course, it rarely works out the way you want, but when it does, the feeling you get is... well, there's nothing else like it, other than, maybe, eating chocolate chip cookies. Oh, and I'm proudly anti-wildlife, both foreign and domestic, and anti-environment - especially foreign environments. I think Howard Stern put it best when he said, "If fifty percent of the population died tomorrow, I can live with that." And I feel the same about the other fifty percent, so together, we've pretty much got it all covered.
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59 Responses to The Land That Time Forgot

  1. Jeff D says:

    I think you put vastly more import on the War in Iraq than it deserves in regards to this award.. As mentioned, bringing stability to a country that hasn't known much of it for 100 years is pretty meaningful. That stability has a meaningful effect on the lives of far more people than the Iraq war does. It also restarts the discussion of what Putin has done to achieve that stability. It could be argued he's the most important American of the year, but that's not what the award is about.

  2. TedWest says:

    Congratulations, Jeff, if I were giving an award for the stupidest reply of the year here, yours along with one by a fellow named Jeremy would certainly be runners-up behind John and Tonto from Toronto (I forget his actual username, but can you blame me?)).
    "I think you put vastly more import on the War in Iraq than it deserves in regards to this award."
    I don't think you didn't put a lot of thought into the relative "import.". At least I hope that's the case because otherwise, at this time I'd rather not say what I think.. "As mentioned, bringing stability to a country that hasn't known much of it for 100 years is pretty meaningful."
    Really? Only "pretty?" Perhaps you might be more clear by indicating where the two rank on the Meaningful Scale?
    "That stability has a meaningful effect on the lives of far more people than the Iraq war does."
    Really²? Speaking for everyone who reads this, I'd love for you to detail how you arrived at that conclusion? And please provide actual figures.
    " It also restarts the discussion of what Putin has done to achieve that stability."
    OK, but don't do it here because I'm already fighting to stay awake.
    "It could be argued he's the most important American of the year, but that's not what the award is about."
    You're right, what the award is about is showing how mindless the liberal media is. Time.thanks you for subscribing.
    Meanwhile, Dennis Miller gives his nod to "the American soldier" and he ranks Petraeus third, I believe. He's wrong in this regard.: certainly our soldiers deserve the award, but it would be more correct to give such an award to "the American soldier led by General David Petraeus."

  3. Jeff D says:

    I almost put a condition in the original post predicting a sophomoric, insulting response just based on what I've read of you in the past. You are nothing but predictable. It's a shame you don't possess any tact, or else you might actually convince people to change their minds. Somehow I doubt that's your actual goal. More likely you just use Vox as a method to show the world how smart you are. It's not working, so keep practicing. History lesson for you. Past winners of Man of The Year have been Hitler, Stalin, Truman and Ronald Reagan (twice) and George W. Bush (twice.) Silly liberal media.So yes, I did.put some thought into it. Unless you completely drank the Kool Aid and actually believe that we went to war in Iraq to stop WMD or Al-Quaeda, you'll admit that we went to war for some fairly trumped up reasons. Taking out Saddam was a good reason, and should have been enough. It wasn't, and I doubt you'll admit that thought. As for numbers and how I arrived at that conclusion:Population of Russia: 141,000,000Population of Russia: 28,000,000.I would think those numbers would be self evident, even to someone as arrogant as yourself. Please, for all your many readers, explain why the American soldier (led by General Petraeus) is the most important person on the planet. More important than the leader of the second strongest military power on the planet, one who introduced stability to a government and military that was near bankrupt.The fact that Dennis Miller agrees with you certainly validates your point, but do share. Somehow I think securing Russia's nuclear arsenal is more important globally than winning the war in Iraq, especially since nothing close to democracy is going to emerge from Iraq. But opinions are like assholes, everyone's got one. Right, Ted?You have the last word, Ted. I won't bother to respond. It's what you crave in any case, so enjoy it.

  4. Urban Lenny says:

    good lord. are all far-right conservatives as angry, bitter, and insulting to anyone they dont agree with as you? i hope not. shit.

  5. TedWest says:

    Congrats, Jeff, you just outdid yourself, but you were at least smart in making your response too long for me to bother parsing in full.
    I'm not interested in trying to convince anyone of something they should already know implicitly – such things as America is the greatest country there ever has been, that global warming is a scam, and that liberals are mentally impaired …
    And no one has ever changed his mind about anything on the Internet, so I'm here to express my opinion and to mock fools who have either never been told they're fools or who are looking for a second opinion.
    Now in your case, you've demonstrated that you can't even determine whether an answer makes sense before you post it, else you'd never say something like:
    "History lesson for you. Past winners of Man of The Year have been Hitler, Stalin, Truman and Ronald Reagan (twice) and George W. Bush (twice.) Silly liberal media."
    That doesn't stand the logic test, and you either don't know that or you were very careless. and you don't seem to proofread well either, btw.
    But there are a couple of things I want to address this;
    "Unless you completely drank the Kool Aid and actually believe that we went to war in Iraq to stop WMD or Al-Quaeda, you'll admit that we went to war for some fairly trumped up reasons. Taking out Saddam was a good reason, and should have been enough. It wasn't, and I doubt you'll admit that thought."
    Have you completely lost your senses? First you cite reasons why liberals say we went to war and then you expect me to deny the obvious? I'm frankly shocked that you would attempt to peddle such nonsense here and none are the reason we actually went to war, as anyone who was paying attention would know..
    "I would think those numbers would be self evident, even to someone as arrogant as yourself."
    First, let me thank you for formally recognizing my arrogance. Second, those numbers would be self-evident if:
    1) one is able to mentally make the necessary correction, and…
    B) The numbers actually meant anything
    And the fact that they don't is further testament to either your inability to extrapolate or that you were unaware of the narrowness of your scope.
    But I hope you're seeing why I don't usually indulge people – it simply takes too much time and effort for no potential payoff, and (don't take this personally) most people are too stupid to know they're stupid (did you hear about the study that showed stupid people actually think they are smarter than smart people?)
    So my problem is a greater one – one you can't solve. See, when I came to the Net circa '95, I was gleeful at the prospect of finally finding people who were intelligent and more importantly, who had a sense of humor… you know, people you can't find in real life? Unfortunately, to date I've found a precious few of either.
    Don't get me wrong, I've found a lot of people who know stuff, but that isn't what I mean by "intelligent." I mean, I had a friend who was an idiot in general, but a genius when it came to technology. He became an force pilot, and afterward, he was killed when the plane he was piloting ran into high tension wires while he was cropdusting.
    For a local example, take John. He seems to know more crap than anyone here, and he never gets tired of trying to demonstrate that. Yet he's a flaming idiot, and with a self-esteem problem to boot.
    And thank you also for promising not to respond further. I only wish you'd had that inclination at the beginning, because as much as the first part of your response wasn't worth the effort, your final ploy has already been tried here by Jeremy who now has jumped ahead of you in the smarts department as a result.
    And Lenny, what did I tell you? Normally I wouldn't give someone a second warning, so you owe me. And I hate to discriminate, but I may have to put the sign back up…

  6. X says:

    Ted, do you really read Time magazine?

  7. TedWest says:

    Hen, I'm miffed at you right now, so I'm not going to tell you.

  8. Urban Lenny says:

    you must a load of fun at parties.

  9. TedWest says:

    It's like I always say, if there's anything worse than a liberal, it's a liberal who can't even post a simple putdown without screwing it up.
    And to think I used to get irritated that you can't edit replies!?!

  10. X says:

    Miffed? But aren't you always miffed?

  11. TedWest says:

    OK, good point.
    But I mean I go out of my way to compliment you, and what do I get, you bad-mouthing me to abject idiots? You know what it caused me to think? That maybe I'd been wrong about you and you're an abject idiot too, and I was sad that you made me consider that for a single second.
    Anyway, bygones, so it's about Time: It depends what you mean by "read" I mean, do you read Time? Because I read selected articles. I have an aggregate site I go to that has Time as one of its selections, and there was one particular article about a year and a half ago that I'll never forget because it offered such a great and different perspective on an important subject.
    Unfortunately, I can't remember who wrote it, nor can I remember the subject, but I'll never forget that it looked at presented said subject in a way I'd never previously considered. And your asking has now caused me to make a mental note to visit Time again in the new year.
    But I can still remember that commentary as if it were yesterday… because my short-term memory isn't any better than my long-term memory.
    It just occurred to me that you probably think I'm joking, but I'm not. it was about healthcare… or Iraq… or immigration.. something really important to me. I probably continue to restate many of its salient points without even knowing it.

  12. Eudora says:

    "explain why the American soldier (led by General Petraeus) is the most important person on the planet."
    ~ I can see it as the "American Solider" is the one out there fighting to allow me to keep my freedom, but I guess that isn't much these days.
    Merry Christmas!

  13. X says:

    No, I don't read Time. I think it is very poor journalism. I am actually really surprised that you and Dox care about Time's Person (Man) of the Year.

  14. Jeff D says:

    Eudora, I agree 100% and have gone out of my way to thank soldiers when I see them about town, at sporting events, etc. However, the award is not about which person is most relevant to 300 million Americans.

  15. TedWest says:

    Merry Christmas to you, Eu!
    Our soldiers do a lot more than that, they give the world what order it has, but as you say, that isn't much.

    I only care in respect to what it shows about the media. I mean, is there any doubt in your mind that what Petraeus has accomplished in Iraq is astounding both in terms of real accomplishment and in the hope it offers?

  16. dox^2 says:

    I really don't care about Time. But if the U.S. led War in Iraq is the biggest foreign policy blunder of all time (according to those on the left), then I think the man that is reversing that should have been the Person of the Year.

  17. X says:

    Alright, I see where you are coming from, Dox, although I think your qualification, "according to those on the left", is irrelevant to a magazine such as Time. I haven't paid attention to its politics, but I have noted that – from my perspective at least – the magazine does not appeal to those on "the left". I figure given the content of its articles that its subscribers also have Reader's Digest next to the toilet and depend upon USA Today for their news.

  18. X says:

    Oops sorry Ted, I missed your comment, because you were responding to Eudora. (That name always reminds me of email even though I haven't used the Eudora client for well over 10 years.)So, as you may have gathered from my comments above to Dox, I do not think Time shows much about "the media" as I think it is an irrelevant magazine.

  19. TedWest says:

    "the magazine does not appeal to those on "the left""\
    The problem with that observation, even if true, is that it says nothing about Time's political bias, it could simply mean that they are failing miserably as your "irrelevant" label would seem to attest, and to which I would agree. In fact, in naming Putin, I can't imagine who Time felt would find that fascinating – other than people like Jeff who are mesmerized by shiny objects, that is.

  20. X says:

    Yes, Time could be unappealing to the left out of sheer incompetence, but I mentioned Reader's Digest and USA Today for a reason; I think the rag leans center right. Unfortunately I'd have to read it to prove this to you, and I will not waste my time doing so. So at this point I can't do much more than agree with you, and point out that I think Jeff's point about Person of the Year is accurate.Now, as you don't really care about Time, the same as I don't, I guess that to you it doesn't matter if Jeff is right or not in his claims about Time's annual anular title.The beef here and in Dox's blog is that Petraeus should have been given recognition. So we might as well open up that conversation:Now I do believe that Petraeus' tactics are the most important thing for the US to come from the Iraq Occupation. But to be honest with you I do not believe that there is much about the Iraq War itself that will stand out in American history books of the future. Now that statement alone could be worthy of quite a thread, but for now just accept it as something I believe. Given that, what does that mean for Petraeus? As brilliant as he is, this war will not elevate him to international fame and importance because this war is not as important as WW2 or even one of the major conflicts of the Cold War.Nope, Petraeus (and thus Iraq) as I see it is simply providing us with more effective (and possible more efficient) ways to fight this kind of war – like a conciliation prize to participating in the debacle that it is. That is all I think his contribution amounts to.

  21. TedWest says:

    Hen, that response is exactly why I like you – it's totally speculative, it makes the wrong point, and yet there's a kernel of truth in it. The problem for me is, as always, I don't want to engage in irrelevant argument when I didn't start it.
    This is not about whether Petraeus should have been recognized – that's a given. No single person has had such an immediate and profound effect on the world in 2007 as General Petraeus, the possibility of it being transitory notwithstanding.
    What this is about is Time's disdain for America and how it represents the rest of MSM in that regard. And that manifests itself not as Putin over Petraeus, but as Putin, Gore, Rowling and the Chi-guy over Petraeus. If it weren't so insulting and serious, it would merely be preposterous.
    So I'm not interested in arguing Putin-Petraeus, as that's like comparing bad apples and precious gems in the first place, and as we sit here, we don't know what effect the actions of either will have on our future environment.
    And as a recognition of the individual, I won't even begin to compare Petraeus to the others people Time ranked ahead of him because I feel revulsion at the thought of it.
    I did enjoy your characterizing Time as center-right though if for no other reason than one of us is wildly off in our conception of where the center is.

  22. X says:

    "What this is about is Time's disdain for America and how it represents the rest of MSM in that regard."Ted, I am willing to join you in your reasoning until you enter this territory. Not only do I find it much less interesting than discussing the merits of Petraeus' contributions, but outside of those that share this view and its deeper implications with you – you won't likely find agreement. I am inclined to call this conspiracy theory.Furthermore, when a rag renders itself irrelevant, why do we care if it shows disdain? I figured that that discussion was closed. Complaining about media bias without discussing causes is like railing at a mob. Pointless.

  23. TedWest says:

    It seems that we've come to label something a "conspiracy theory" we we can't see it, and if you don't see the bias, you're either not looking or you're willfully avoiding it. Notice that I didn't say they avoided acknowledging bias because of Bush hatred. If I had, you'd have a point.
    But the fact is, MSM shuns what used to be glorious (and is now even more so) – American values, as does much of liberaldom, and they simply don't want to credit America for anything done on it's own, that is, they don't want to be seen agreeing that we might do anything that's good for the world unless it's received prior liberal sanction.
    And you also may not see that I'm pleased about what Time did. It, along with the Times and the Post and the networks have done more to hurt their own cause that I or even Rush Limbaugh could ever do. So I welcome this even as I decry it.
    But now I must caution you: if you characterize this as a debate or even a civil discussion and you point to it as an example of how wrong the likes of Jeff can be, well, you and I are back to square one, and I warn you, if you don't know that already, that I can transform any rational exchange into chaos in the blink of an eye, usually without even realizing I'm doing it, which leaves me blameless.

  24. X says:

    I am glad that you expanded upon your position, but as I said this is as far as I am going with you there. Wringing one's hands at the MSM is uninteresting and ineffectual as no solutions are suggested to the problem, nor even a means to frame the problem for constructive debate. My first question was really intended to point at this, at Time's irrelevance as if to say, "No kidding, Ted, but what did you expect?"What I have called out elsewhere in these discussions about media bias and the constellation of complaints that characterize them … is that there are causes. Liberals normally point to deregulation of the media market. Given your own inclinations I won't bother. But I think you DO need to consider one thing: where there is smoke there is fire. Better to find the fire than complain about the smoke.

  25. TedWest says:

    I know where the fire is, but before the shooting start. I can't put it out, legally at least.
    More to the point, there is nothing to do. It will resolve itself. It's just that it takes more time than I care to wait. Newspaper circulation is dropping, Network news ratings continue to decline, and CNN has gone from prominence to a disgraceful state. On the Internet, I think the left thinks it's strong when it is merely shrill, and I mean neither to compliment nor patronize when I say that you are virtually the only person with whom I've ever been able to carry on a civil discussion with, and quite literally the only one with whom I've been willing to do so .
    Which leads me to believe that you're too rational to remain on the left, though friends, family and location can be powerful bonds.
    And hey, we might even have something in common – like, for example, healthcare is a right, right?

  26. X says:

    Well, where do you think the fire is? And I would prefer a serious and somewhat detailed answer, because I am honestly curious about what you think here.

  27. TedWest says:

    The problem has nothing to do with the liberal media, it is only exacerbated by it. I mean we always had liberal media, we just didn't know it, and we wouldn't have if people like Rush and those who came after didn't point out the problems with their reporting. AS I've said, I wasn't political until after Clinton was elected. I even came close to voting for him because I hated Bush so much and Perot an tanked, but luckily I came to my senses in time.
    I would say that while I'd already started to despise Democrats, it was the Lewinsky matter that crystallized everything for me since it was merely evidence of the real, larger problems we faced. When my goof friend and neighbor asked me what I thought about the scandal, I said Clinton had to resign. I would have said exactly the same about a Republican who had so disgraced the office. i mean, Nixon only covered up, Clinton was an initiator.
    But I was shocked to see the lengths to which the left and the media was willing to go from then on to advance the liberal cause, and I must say, I'm still amazed to this day on what gets twisted, ignored and conjured up and then hyped to the nth degree, not to mention the lack of regard for how it affects the country's security and standing.
    However, the media itself is only one aspect of a bigger problem, but that's enough for now.

  28. X says:

    Ah, I better understand where you are coming from then, even if you haven't given me a direct answer. Don't you think I actually read this stuff? Anyway, I also agree, this is enough for now.

  29. When did Time out source their editorial content to The Nation Magazine anyway? Putin gets Thug of The Year Award in my opinion. At least Time didn't give the award to Al Gore or Michael Moore.

  30. TedWest says:

    I actually did give you a direct answer, but I deleted it in favor of what I posted The reason? The fire was caused by liberals. In fact, it IS all things liberal, and I'd love to extinguish it, but my methods would be illegal.
    I think we'd be better off dealing with individual issues. I can't remember what it was that got us off on the wrong track back when, but if you do, this might be the time to revisit it? Because I'd much rather get into what you think.
    I couldn't have said it better. It doesn't matter whether Time is irrelevant to me, it's about what they stand for – and against. I mean if we're all Americans and just looking our for what's best for the country, Thain's one thing… when you're anti-American, even if you won't admit it or don't know it, that's totally another.

  31. Jeff D says:

    Two problems there. First, most Americans aren't going to agree on what's best for the country. Second, who decides what the definition of "anti-American" is? You'll get widely varying answers based on the responder's political beliefs.

  32. TedWest says:

    "First, most Americans aren't going to agree on what's best for the country."
    Which is why I'm perfectly willing to let Michael Savage do it, but I'd compromise on Rush Limbaugh or Ann Coulter.Second, who decides what the definition of "anti-American" is?
    I hear ya… how about those who can find America on a map and are willing to take the Pledge of Allegiance?

  33. Jeff D says:

    I'm not a big fan of Coulter or Savage, but I could deal with Rush. Sometimes I don't think Coulter actually believes what she says, I think it's all about being controversial and selling books. And yes you could make that argument for any far right- or left-wing political commentator, but she seems to revel in it more than most. Probably just her love of seeing liberals squirm.As for the second, agreed and easy to find. Most under 30 are going to be in military service, the rest are fairly self evident. Heck I even know some Dems who'd agree with that (I'm sure my parents would.)On a side note, I'm not the biggest fan of the pledge as I think its the sort of thing that the Founding Fathers acted to get away from. And I'm sure you know that "under God" was added during the McCarthy years, etc. But that's for another discussion.

  34. TedWest says:

    There's no such thing as "another discussion" here. This is a stream of consciousness zone. Like, for example, see the word "thing" above, I originally typed "thihng" for which my spell checker's first choice for replacement was "thong." Is that the past tense of thing now?
    I disagree about Ann, I feel certain she believes what she says, it's how flamboyantly she says it that's meant to sell books. And I believe Ann revels in the fact that she inflames so many people. In that regard, I envy her and aspire to do better.
    Savage is the guy I most agree with, but he's rabid about it, whereas I'm more passive, at least the shooting actually starts, at which time I'll be in no condition to fight, but I'll be there in spirit.
    Now what was that, most people under thirty are in the military? God, I wish that were true. But I believe you mean that most people who can find America and who are under thirty are in the military, and in that case, it pretty well puts Kerry's comment where it belongs.
    On the pledge, I am 100% in favor of it because it's like offering Dracula a drink of holy water. And I am particularly pleased that someone managed to get God into it, and not only do I not believe in God, but I hate him if he exists.
    You see, The word "god" wasn't put there by decree, and it reflected the sentiment of the times – which were far better than now, aside from a little discrimination – much better when people felt shame and self-esteem wasn't artificially inflated, people could say what they felt and meant, and permissiveness was not in the English language – not to mention that people would have been shot for playing rap music – I mean hip hop.

  35. Jeff D says:

    No, no, I meant most people under 30 who meet your criteria (can find US on a map, would recite the pledge) are in service. I'm somewhat inebriated after watching another Patriots victory, so I'll bow out until I sober up tomorrow.

  36. TedWest says:

    OK, and I'm sure you've heard this a lot, but you seem better this way?!?

  37. Jeff D says:

    What drunk, or in agreement with you? 🙂

  38. TedWest says:

    Both actually… I know when I'm drunk that's when I agree with me most, which explains a lot if you think about it.

  39. Jeff D says:

    Indeed…that's a pretty damn wise statement right there. We should all stay drunk more. BTW, Merry Christmas!

  40. TedWest says:

    Thank,s Jeff, you too. And I hope this has been as fun for you as it has for me!?!

  41. Jeff D says:

    Sure. It's going to be fun to see the NH primary from so close as well. Not sure where you are located, but being Boston based has that advantage, at least.

  42. TedWest says:

    Well, see, there it is. if you;d said you were in Boston upfront, we could have saved so much time. It's like my ex-partner in New York City who also swore he wasn't liberal when all he had was his wife and friends as reference points. You aren't, by chance, Jewish, are you Jeff?
    So now it all starts to heat up, and I'm looking forward to Iowa and New Hampshire.

  43. Jeff D says:

    Not Jewish, Irish. Though one could argue that the English have been treating the Irish like the world treats Jews for many centuries now…It's funny, because I know I'm not liberal, I'm just not a conservative across the board. I would say I'm pretty much in the center, probably a little right of it. I mean, I grew up in one of the true bastions of liberalism and almost no one I know agrees with me politically. Trust me on this one. For one, whenever the family starts talking about "how the government should do…" I'm the one who kills the conversation with "well how are you going to pay for it?" They hate when I do that.As for my liberal positions? Not many really. I don't give a damn one way or the other about gay marriage. What gay people do or don't do has zero effect on my life. I think it's a manufactured issue from the more religious conservatives to give them a talking point they can sound firm and authoritative on. I'm against capital punishment in its current from, unless it can be proved with no uncertainty that a person committed the crime. At some point a state is going to execute someone only to find out they were wrongfully convicted (if that hasn't happened already.) I don't think "oh well, that's the cost of doing business" is an acceptable answer if/when that happens. Abortion's one I still give a lot of thought. I'm not sure if I consider a one-second or even one-month old fetus to be a human being. Still have some research/thinking to do on this. From what I have read, I think (God forbid) the Mormons have about as sound a take on this issue as anyone.On the conservative (almost libertarian) side I think less government is better. I'm a strong believer that most illegal drugs, if not all, should be legalized, regulated and taxed. We tried Prohibition by constitutional amendment and it was one of the most spectacular policy failures in American history. Nixon commissioned a committee to examine "the drug problem" and they reported that marijuana should be legalized immediately….so of course we tried Prohibition again because we couldn't be "soft on crime." Please. Another issue politicians can sound firm and authoritative one. Being tough on crime is about as hollow a statement as making sure everyone pays their fair share. Both sound good, but they don't actually mean a thing. Since I don't think our government can actually control its spending, I'd be in favor of a balanced budget amendment. If that means we suffer bigger recessions now and again because the government can't deficit spend to limit the business cycle, that's a price I'm more than willing to pay. The drop in the cost of money as the debt is reduced would more than offset it. Well that got long, I'll end it there.Oh, and I own a rifle and am looking for a handgun in the next year. Though i don't think that means much, as the most liberal dude I ever met was a lifetime NRA member.

  44. TedWest says:

    Well that was quite interesting, as I happen to be both Irish and an IRA sympathizer. though the only time I feel it's OK to kill Britishers is when they're in Northern Ireland.
    I'm opposed to abortion but wouldn't outlaw it. However, the US has the most lenient law, and if there were a limit, I'd live with ti.\
    Re homosexuals, I am adamantly opposed to giving them "rights," since we don't give special rights to pedophiles and environmentalists, do we? I mean, I understand better than anyone that it doesn't matter whether it's due to environment or heredity, people simply can't help being what they are. But that doesn't mean it's normal. For example, and this is strictly hypothetical you understand, if I were so angry that I wanted to kill everyone, you wouldn't indulge me simply because I had feelings I couldn't understand… would you? No, I think you'd want me to control myself and get help. Ditto for homosexuals.
    You seem to be a libertarian. Unfortunately, most libertarians are nuts. I agree about legalizing drugs, but it could be far more damaging than alcohol.
    Guns: can't have too many
    Government: evil – George Bush: pure evil. I just read a headline that said Bush is one of the most admired? Not one single American should respect him, much less admire him.
    Finally, the death penalty. I want it expanded to anyone who commits a violent crime. And I don't care that innocents might die. In fact, I'd like to see a production line.

  45. Jeff D says:

    Truly, an IRA sympathizer? In spite of their Marxist/Communist ideology? I try to maintain my sanity, but I agree that many libertarians do not found their beliefs too firmly in the real world (cough…Ron Paul…cough.) As for drugs, it could be more damaging, and I would totally expect that users who harmed others would be prosecuted harshly for it. DUIs, etc. I'm not generally a fan of Rolling Stone's politics, but they recently had a nice article that gave some costs for the war on drugs vs. the results. Costs, almost $500 billion. Results: None. Drugs are just as easy to get now as when this idiocy started and they are just as cheap if not cheaper. Just seems stupid to keep throwing money down the same well, especially when there is a lot of research showing that treatment for users is a better and cheaper option. I voted for W in 2004. I knew way too much about Kerry to be stupid enough to vote for him. But I agree, Bush has been nothing but a disappointment. How is a president so spineless as to not veto a single bill while his party controls Congress? It's funny that many of my conservative friends (I went to college in North Carolina, so most are from there) go crazy when I criticize Bush and start throwing the old "liberal" word at me. When I ask them to name a single conservative principle that he's expanded or defended in office, they don't have much to say.

  46. Jeff, You are correct about the IRA. What ever happened to personal responsibility? Our founders didn't envision that government needed to regulate every facet of our lives.

  47. TedWest says:

    The IRA thing was a throwaway line. I only meant it in respect to Paul McCartney's "Give Ireland Back To The Irish," and the Catholic Irish at that. But then Catholicism has a lot of communism in it already, but then I didn't mention that I was an Irish Catholic until I became an adult.
    I lean libertarian until I see what some others' concepts of it are. I loved Harry Browne long before anyone knew who he was, but then when he started running for President and saying things, I found I didn't agree with him so much. But don't ask me about those specifics now, although Browne's columns are still available on WorldNetDaily's site.
    Bush has done little right – the trickle down tax cut was the best we could hope for, and attacking Iraq was the zenith. Then he began pulling his punches, signing McCain-Feingold was unforgivable, but who thought he's top that by not vetoing anything and failing to enforce the border? And now he's busy selling out Israel, as if they needed any help since they are selling out themselves.
    But your biggest point to me is about your "conservative" friends. Of course, they aren't, they merely like the label because you can't be conservative and support Bush. And admire him? I saw a poll a few months back that said 70% of Republicans approved of the job he was doing? No wonder Republicans are losers. I mean, you don't have to hate him like I do, but you do have to hate him. He sold America out, and we don't even know for what yet.
    But see, don't feel badly, even I couldn't get away with chastising Bush. One by one they turned on me, and it got really ugly. So while I spend my time excoriating liberals, I feel pretty much the same way toward "conservatives."
    Which reminds me, I had to come up with an expression for my bank today (it's a long story), so I finally picked, "Intelligent Design: It's Out of This World."

  48. Jeff D says:

    That last bit might be worthy of its own post.

  49. Ted, Jeff- It's only a model. We humans think in terms of models and ask why the world is so. You can't criticize the ancients for creating a God who was the creator of heaven and earth- they needed the explanation to make sense of things. Today many look to science, but it's still just a model. More sophisticated and more detailed- it's still just a model.

    I no longer refer to myself as a “Conservative” and sometimes wonder how much longer I can call myself a “Libertarian” maybe I’m just a square peg in a round hole.

  50. malaventura says:

    can't criticize the ancients for creating a God who was the creator of
    heaven and earth- they needed the explanation to make sense of thingsI have the impression that Ted is rather critizising God for making the ancients. Yet here we have the reason why liberals are helpless without conservatives, because they need the explanation to make sense of things. Thus we may step forward and state that conservatives should be to liberals what God was to the ancient. And by that I don't mean "dead", you Nietzscherl.

  51. Jeff D says:

    Zak, I have to disagree. Science is not a model, it's an explanation. Things that are "just a model" don't allow us to build a modern, technology based society on their backs. Next you will tell me evolution is "just a theory," right?

  52. We can only use language from our minds to explain our existance, that's all.

  53. TedWest says:

    "Next you will tell me evolution is 'just a theory,'"
    If Zak won't, I will. It's certainly been shown that organisms adopt to their conditions, but as for species transforming from one to another, kindly show me one transition. There isn't just one missing link, they're all missing. Panspermia is thus more believable than evolution.
    And I understood Zak's use of "model" not to be literal, but as a convenience for saying that science doesn't prove much of anything. Einstein's Theory remains a theory, for example.
    This was stated very well in The Day The Earth Stood Still when the professor asked Clatu if the equation worked, and Clatu said, "Ii works well enough to get me from one planet to another."
    Man, what was the original subject again?
    Anyway, I neither believe in evolution or Intelligent Design, and Mal is right about what I was saying. I usually ask, Why didn't Jesus come when there was videotape? Put another way, why would a God create something so primitive, and why wasn't there videotape in the Garden of Eden?
    And if God did do this creatin' he's neither all good, all just, or all knowing, and if he is, he hides it well. I stand by my statement of years ago that nothing beats my Tabitha Theory of Creation.

  54. I use the term "model" as a convenience, but it is a model as compared to reality. I am not filled with hubris or so arrogant to claim that either myself or another human can know the totality of our existence. But I'm neither a leftist nor a preacher.

  55. TedWest says:

    Regarding your mention of HV, he's been here. But as you know, this is quite different from a forum, and I think not to his liking.. Actually, Vox is a mess in the sense that it's very hard to keep track of where you've been and what you said.
    But I'm curious about what you remember fondly about "the gang," and who that might be aside from yourself, HV, and Me?
    I've been here 13 months now, and this is the first month – actually, this is the first week, and this is the first thread that approximates how I'd like things to be here. I'd like to find a way to make things more communal.
    Zak and Jeff are pretty recent acquaintances. Zak lives relatively close, and we seem to have similar views and outlooks. He may be too nice.
    Jeff is a younger, less Jewish Burt who lives in Boston instead of New York. In fact, I think Boston Burt might make a good nickname, with his permission, of course.
    And you, well, I love how you make me look calm by comparison, even if it's really exactly the opposite and that without you, my head would have exploded long ago.
    But Vox is far more civilized that you're (we're) used to, and in many respects, that's good. The people are nicer and more accepting. I'm talking about those leaning conservative, of course. But of late, even one who characterizes himself as left-leaning he demonstrated that there may indeed be one rational lefty. I'm talking about Hen (or Henrietta when I'm not too happy with him), and we had a lovely exchange in private recently before I overwhelmed him I believe he's still studying my last text and will formulate a reply sometime in the new year.
    Btw, how's the conversion going? And I didn't know you were friends with Tony Blair?!?

  56. TedWest says:

    Did I say "adopt?" I must be devolving.

  57. Jeff D says:

    Not familiar with Burt, but I guess I can dig into the old posts to get a taste of what he's like. I was always an Oscar The Grouch kid myself. I'm not terribly young (37) though the joints are starting to show a bit of age at this point.Ted, I'm not going to bother with the evolution debate. I've done it before, and none of us are going to change our respective positions on it and it will quickly degenerate. It's just not worth the hassle.

  58. TedWest says:

    Jeff, if nothing else, you're a fast learner, but in the spirit of the new year and Mal's surprise appearance, I want to be clear that I live for degeneration. Discussion is a merely a vehicle which, perhaps surprisingly, hastens it.
    But there really is nothing to debate about evolution. Just as with man-made warming, people are either right or they're not, and there is no conclusive evidence to support it. Adaptation, si, evolution, no I always say, though I don't know why since it always causes a scene at parties.
    As for Burt, he hasn't posted here, and I don't believe you'll find any of his posts elsewhere, and I, myself, took great care to eliminate all of them within my purview. But I was just making a joke, you're not a Burt, unless you plan on insulting my wife too?!?
    What was most galling about that was that I'd had plenty of reason and opportunity to insult his crummy wife and had always refrained. I could tell you about all the grammar arguments we had where he was wrong, and after checking with his wife, the English professor, he never once admitted it.
    In fact, as I recall, those grammar arguments were the highlight of our conservative forum.
    But now Jeff, have you ever changed your mind based on anyone's argument? I really want to know because it will help me determine if it's worth it to keep trying with you and I say that as one who has been successful in changing someone's, and you'll think I'm joking, but I assure I'm not: I got a preacher to switch allegiances from Kmart to Walmart, and if I'm lucky, Mal will be able to vouch for it.

  59. Jeff D says:

    I have, actually. I went from pro-death penalty to against and that move started in a discussion/argument about the subject. It wasn't the discussion that swayed me, but it at least made me take another look at what I thought about the matter.Hadn't planned on insulting your wife, but at least I know where to go if I really want to piss you off (kidding…just kidding)

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