Tuesday, March 29, 2011

What did you make of Obama?

I'm in Chicago for the day and wasn't able to listen to Obama last night.  What did he say?  What is your evaluation?

I was thinking last night that it would be fun to start an electronic newspaper that solicited articles on topics with the goal of posting calmly argued but contrasting points of view on contemporary questions.  Then maybe editors could post a summary of the debate, including the comments, the next day.  The ground rules would simply be the rules of logic and the scientific method of using evidence to form hypotheses.

Oh well...

17 comments:

::athada:: said...

Sounds so rational. Maybe it will make it onto an obscure corner of an NPR blog. But don't expect to get enough advertising revenue to even pay for the server.

In the meantime, Quadrilateral Thoughts is the next best thing :)

Ken Schenck said...

Ah, but Google Adsense can auto-generate ads ;-)

::athada:: said...

Yes, I was referring to the number of even-headed, generous, sensible, truth-seeking people that would be interested in such an endeavor.

At least it would save you the 26-minute speech, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hUXEiwJiKj4

BC said...

Welcome to Chicago. Hope the (somewhat) unseasonal cold doesn't take you by surprise!

Angie Van De Merwe said...

The question was "what did you make of Obama?".

I think Obama is using symbolism with Libya. The Treaty of Tripoli has much to "say" to the Arab world. And as Libya isn't important to our vested interests, and the U.N. was who sanctioned NATO's involvement, then I think it is a play to "speak to the Arab world" and undermine our sovereignty.

Such global visions have to be implemented by "whole segments" of society. A re-formuation and re-framing of one's identity is in store if Obama has his way. America will no longer be a "super power" that "calls the shots" and average Americans will have to eat with those at the "bottmom of the food chain"...

Angie Van De Merwe said...

The question for me, when it comes to those that think they are morally superior, whether throught their religious evaluations or any other.

1.)we have to be aware of our biases and understand why we hold them, regarding "morality".

2.) we must question whether universalizing our priority will bring about a better morality?!

3.) morality is about personal commitments of value, which can't be universalized, aren't they?

ex. If I believe that that all humans deserve a right to liberty, how do I go about that without undermining another's bias against it? that is, we should seek a "one world government", versus those that believe in the nation-state? Differences of opinion have a right to exist in a free society that values liberty. But, those that are bent on making the world into their own image will not stop at anything to get their vision implemented, and that means using dubious means to "make it happen". Even the use of the law, can be questionable when it imposes upon another's values, as to life, liberty and private property and happiness....

Angie Van De Merwe said...

But getting things done in the way that our supporters want is what politics is about.

Craig Moore said...

He needs to give back his Peace Prize. Attacking a country that did not attack us first, he is as bad as Bush.

Angie Van De Merwe said...

craig,
Pleasing our supporters is what politics is about.....

Ken Schenck said...

My problem is not the intervention but intervention with the strong possibility of failure. Right now it's looking like Gaddafi is going nowhere. Unless he knows something we don't, I think Obama should have been more careful with his rhetoric.

Ken Schenck said...

I stand by my initial sense of the calculus before I knew any of the political spins on the issue (e.g., Michele Bachmann labeling it the "Obama Doctrine," Obama too open about our desire for Gaddafi to be gone).

Angie Van De Merwe said...

Ken,
That calculus doesn't get anyone anywhere in the real world. It doesn't work.

Real world problems are settled by real world solutions not "hoping that something is true"!

International relations acting on the premises of "love" is so naive', it doesn't pass the test of being laughable!

Believers take their belief claims seriously, and this is the VERY problem! When Jefferson believed the best at the signing of Tripoli, did he get "the best" in return? Or was the country hostage to the cultural values of Islam? We needed protection for our fleets. And many African nations bribe, barter and deal, as this is their way of life.

In fact, in reading about the Treaty of Tripoli, the Founders weren't Christians at all! Where did we get to "here" (unless it shows the defects in our educational system!)...

Ken Schenck said...

From a national, secular standpoint, it becomes utilitarian and we call it "good will," "building allies," and "promoting democracy." A regime in Libya that is broadly democratic and friends with us is in our self-interest if the process of getting there is not to our disadvantage. I stand-by the basic ethical calculus.

If I were to apply this calculus to Iraq, for example, I would say that the current situation in Iraq is indeed better for us than it was under Hussein, but the cost of getting to this point was too great to justify it.

Craig Moore said...

I think we can conclude that the real issue is about oil. If Libya was exported carrots do you think Nato or the US would attack them? They let other thug rulers abuse and kill their own people. Obama is just like Bush and all the other politicians, there is a scramble over oil reserves and who will get access to them. When Bush does it, it is bad. When Obama does it we are silent.

Angie Van De Merwe said...

craig,
I'm sure you haven't fallen "prey" to the ideal that one can live without surviving! :-)....

We don't have a clear way of viewing our nation, these days. The liberal affirms certain truths and the conservative affirms certain values that are important. So, we are at the stalemante of the liberal truths of history, and the conservative values that maintain our social structures. Both are needed, aren't they?

::athada:: said...

Craig -

I totally agree... we should raise taxes on gasoline and get off the oil habit, just like Bush Jr. said ;)

And to get the votes, sure, let's expand domestic production. The truth is that the amount is not at all internationally significant, therefore cannot lower the price of this international commodity. It will only benefit in a significant way local producers and local tax revenue.

Let's do it!

Craig Moore said...

Adam, Kicking the oil addiction would be an ideal accomplishment for western civilization. But dont you think the withdraw off petroleum would bring havoc to our way of life. Not sure the average Joe could adjust without some serious civil unrest. Raise gas taxes? Goodbye political careers!
Do you actually think the US and Europeans are actually in Libya to protect people? Why is Gaddaffi worthy of removal and not Hussein (Saddam, not Barack)? Saddam was a far worse tyrant.

Angie...Oh no, I am a survivor or a prepper. In times of "radical transformation" be prepared because it is going to get messy.