I am extremely proud to be an American right now

>> Tuesday, January 20, 2009


Leanright,  Tuesday, January 20, 2009 at 1:44:00 PM EST  

Today was pretty special. Even for me. It's good to see America "growing up".

I REALLY hope the result is as good as the hype. I think it would be wonderful to vote for Obama in four years, and tell you that you were all right.

God Bless Barack Obama.

vince Tuesday, January 20, 2009 at 2:41:00 PM EST  

Leanright, the bar is set is pretty high for President Obama, but I think if we all do our part as Americans, left and right, government and the people, we can make our country better.

I, too, am extremely proud to be an American.

rbird Tuesday, January 20, 2009 at 3:10:00 PM EST  

I think we all deserve to have a little extra swagger in our step today.

Random Michelle K Tuesday, January 20, 2009 at 7:39:00 PM EST  

C-SPAN is replaying the whole thing, so I'm getting to see what I only heard when I was at work.


rbird Tuesday, January 20, 2009 at 9:29:00 PM EST  

I'm watching the Rachel Maddow show (she is excellent),and she just showed "one of the most obscure clips of the day," and it was none other than Pat Buchannon quoting Obama's speech at length and approving it with great admiration. And Maddow said, "I love this. What a day, what a country." I agree.

Kathy Wednesday, January 21, 2009 at 1:58:00 PM EST  

It does feel really nice to be an American these days. And to have a president who can correctly (and effectively) use the English language!

Leanright,  Thursday, January 22, 2009 at 12:51:00 PM EST  

Correctly use the English language, Yes. Effectively? That remains to be seen.

He's only 2 days into this. That would be like saying a "Diet" is effective after 2 days.

rbird Friday, January 23, 2009 at 12:11:00 AM EST  

If effectively means to inspire millions of people to tune in on inauguration day, and more people than ever before to stand out in freezing temperatures, to hear Obama get sworn in and give his first speech as president, then yes, I'd say it's pretty effective so far.

Leanright,  Friday, January 23, 2009 at 9:47:00 PM EST  

You're right.. Because of that alone, I will vote for him in 2012.

I'd like the president to have effective policies, no speeches full of flowery rhetoric. So far, the "idea" of Barack Obama is inspirational. Let's see what the actual "Man" does.

Eric Friday, January 23, 2009 at 10:11:00 PM EST  

1) So far, Leanright, Obama's drafted an Executive Order restricting lobbyist access and taken the first steps to close Gitmo. I'm happy. He's hit the ground running, and largely taken steps I approve of thus far.

2) As far as Obama's rhetorical skills go--i.e., his effective use of English--he's shown himself a far more effective user of the English language than his predecessor, who has at least earned his own neologism to describe his malapropisms. You're right insofar as we have yet to see if President Obama's presidential acts match his rhetorical faculties, but there's no doubt that Mr. Obama knows the correct pronunciation of "nuclear" and is less wont to abuse English than Mr. Bush is.

3) I almost hate to say it because she can more than take care of herself and might get a little pissed at my exercise of an older brother's prerogatives, but "Rbird" is my sister, Leanright--tread lightly. Not to discourage you--I'd be happy to see her take you apart, Leanright--but I do feel honorably obligated to give you due warning.

Leanright,  Saturday, January 24, 2009 at 2:40:00 AM EST  

I mean no disrespect to you, your sister, nor anyone else in your family and general circle.
I wouldn't want you to hop on the next plane out of Charlotte to John Wayne in OC, drive to my office and ask me to "step outside". So, I will take your advice and "tread lightly".

I'm sorry you don't like Gitmo, but really, what is going to happen with these suspected terrorists? I don't want them in California.

As far as the mispronunciation of words, that is pretty common all over the country, I mean, you are in North Carolina, I don't believe Y'all is actually a word. Do you know how I know that? Because my MAC just underlined it in red. And...your basketball there ISN'T very good AT ALL.. Just sayin'

Eric Saturday, January 24, 2009 at 10:59:00 AM EST  

There's a difference between dialect--including "non-standard" pronunciations and distinctive local phrases--and outright abuse of language. A person--Bush, Clinton, or anyone else--who says "y'all" is using dialect; a person who uses a neologism like "misunderestimate" or who frequently appears to be incapable of finishing a coherent thought is abusing the language.

Given that the broad general region Bush and myself proudly hail from is the birthplace of some of America's greatest users of English--Poe, Twain, Bierce, Faulkner, Percy, et al.--I think Bush ought to be a little ashamed, and that statement is outside politics, Leanright, that's a statement of one proud Southerner about another proud Southerner. There's a proud tradition of Southern oratory and writing, and regrettably Bush isn't a part of it.

As for Gitmo, your statement contains its own absurdity. Federal Prisons are good enough for mobsters, serial killers, mad bombers and some of the worst people on Earth, but you don't think they can hold a few dozen fish-out-of-water? Assuming, of course, that they can still get a fair trial after what we've done to them? You don't think these guys could be held in Supermax facilities if they were proven to be dangerous enough to merit it?

There's a wise old saying, "If there's a wasp in the room, I want it where I can see it." Assuming, for the sake of argument, that some of these guys are enormously dangerous, as dangerous as or more dangerous than the Bush Administration said they are, I for one don't want them sent off. I want them in a secure facility somewhere in the United States where trained pros with access to munitions can keep a constant watchful eye on them. Don't you? What kind of chickenshit irresponsibility would it be for somebody to say, "Well, I want this guy locked down, but somewhere else"? It's a bunch of wussy, wimpy, childish NIMBY-ing that's helping make the detainee problem such a huge issue.

Oh, and by the way, "don't like" Gitmo is putting it a little mildly. I loathe extralegal, illegal, immoral, abusive travesties that dirty my nation's collective hands and embarrass my country around the world. Not to mention that I detest people and things that treat me like I'm stupid--e.g. by claiming to make me safer while making me less safe by creating a rallying point and breeding ground for aspiring terrorists and making real terrorists impossible to prosecute under the laws of the land. What should have been done with terror suspects all along is what we do with all dangerous criminals, including people who have killed and injured far more than some of the guys at Gitmo ever got around to: detention, investigation (including non-coercive interrogations that not only produce valid results but also produce evidence for trial, fancy that), and trial and punishment if convicted per the hallowed Anglo-American tradition of jurisprudence that we used to be proud of and strut before the world. (I blame those "conservatives," who for all their alleged pride in our nation's institutions, have spent much of the past thirty years or so attacking judges and jury verdicts and generally undermining our legal system while distracting the nation from legitimate issues by hammering bogus claims about "activist judges" etc.) The criminal justice system was good enough for the likes of Ted Bundy, the Unabomber, and Timothy McVeigh, among others--people with body counts in excess of a lot of the guys we've detained, in other words--it should have been good enough for some guy who used to live in a cave in Afghanistan and talked smack about the U.S. while teaching a bunch of jackasses how to ferment castor beans.

Leanright,  Saturday, January 24, 2009 at 12:06:00 PM EST  

I know you believe me to be an idiot, probably base solely on the fact that I'm a conservative, or, at least that is a launching point for you, but I do want to ask you...can you say ONE good thing about George W. Bush? (seriously...not something like "he's not our president any more")


I'm sure you won't agree with 8 or 9 of these, but take a look.

As "Lawyerly" as it is, I ask that you not respond to me with sarcasm. The Gitmo question was a serious question, so, I don't particularly like the word "idiocy".

Leanright,  Saturday, January 24, 2009 at 12:07:00 PM EST  


I shrunk it down a bit.

Eric Saturday, January 24, 2009 at 1:22:00 PM EST  

Leanright, that opinion piece didn't offer a whole hell of a lot, no. Several of the things they mentioned are speculative, for instance.

To respond to your question about good things Bush did, yes, there are a few things, including the creation of the world's largest marine sanctuary near the end of his term.

And yes, there's probably other things, too. But so what? If I bring in a client during a plea, and start talking about how well he treats his mother and all the other nice things he's done, it doesn't really alter the fact he broke the law, does it? It may be something to take into account in terms of mitigating the sentence handed down as part of the judgment--or it might not matter.

If I was unabashedly pro-Bush, I'd go on and on about his few foreign and domestic achievements and I'd continue to stick my fingers in my ears every time somebody pointed out the awful things his Administration had done and say "Nahnannananna--I can't hear yoooooou." Which is basically what you're doing, Leanright. Every time it's pointed out that the Bush Administration broke the law or did something unethical or immoral, you want to change the subject.

I'm happy we got a marine sanctuary out of Bush. I still wish he hadn't tortured people and I still wouldn't mind seeing people who broke Federal and international law and violated human rights prosecuted. And I still think it was flat-out stupid to not use the tools we had to deal with international criminals, in favor of tools that only work on television.

Speaking of stupid, when I do a "find in page" on the word "idiocy," the only occurrence of the word in this thread is in your comment saying you don't appreciate the word being used. (Well, and now this one.) I did use the word "absurdity," and your comment was absurd. And, yes Leanright, while I hope conversation 'round here remains civil, if you say something absurd (or something idiotic), I think you can expect to be called on it. You said you didn't want the Gitmo guys in Cali--well, your state hosts guys at Pelican Bay, Corcoran and Atwater who would eat the guys at Gitmo for breakfast and shit them out before lunch. So, yeah, I'll stick with "absurd," though now that you've put the word "idiotic" into my mouth, I'm seriously considering keeping it.

Leanright,  Saturday, January 24, 2009 at 7:30:00 PM EST  

To think I am 100% pro-Bush is not the case. I think his illegal immigration stance borders on horrendous, and his economic bail-out package is the start of something horrible.

Perhaps you didn't call me an idiot; I stand corrected.

It DID cross your mind though, didn't it?

Actually the thought of the Gitmo terror suspects being surrounded by a group of Pro-U.S. prisoners, with tainted past's would entice me after all. You bring up a good point.

Question: do you associate with ANY conservatives at all? Really just a question of curiosity.

Eric Saturday, January 24, 2009 at 7:56:00 PM EST  

Question: do you associate with ANY conservatives at all? Really just a question of curiosity.


Random Michelle K Saturday, January 24, 2009 at 9:29:00 PM EST  

Question: do you associate with ANY conservatives at all? Really just a question of curiosity.


You mean that pinko John the Scientist?

Random Michelle K Saturday, January 24, 2009 at 9:30:00 PM EST  

(Sorry Eric, had to do it. You're posting too many thought provoking posts, and I'm too damned tired to think no less formulate a coherent reply. But I wanted you to know I wasn't dissing you.)

Leanright,  Saturday, January 24, 2009 at 9:55:00 PM EST  

Good. I'm happy to hear that. I too, have many liberal friends (perhaps TOO many;))

I don't agree much of what you say Eric, but, I DO agree with you. I don't get a chance to speak with many liberals with such well-thought-out opinions. Just giving "props" where "props" are due.

Leanright,  Saturday, January 24, 2009 at 10:08:00 PM EST  

I know what a fan you are of "slate"


rbird Saturday, January 24, 2009 at 11:09:00 PM EST  

I don't think I can say anything that Eric has already said any better, but I would like to add that as a person who works in a field dealing with international politics I can tell you that Bush was an international disgrace, and Gitmo was a very large part of that. One thing I have rarely seen mention of in the mainstream media is that many of the people that were placed in Gitmo were CHILDREN. My organization covers "children in armed conflict" as a thematic issue facing all war torn regions, and human rights experts are applauding the shutting down of Gitmo, if nothing else, to draw attention to the fact that some of these "dangerous terrorists" were 14 at the time of their detention. One of them, was accused of plotting a terrorist attack in 1998 when he was 12 years old and living at home with his parents.


While I would not argue that some of the people held in Cuba are not indeed guilty of horrible crimes or are a threat to international security, until all of them are provided fair legal defense as defined under the great constitution of the United States and are provided with trials in REAL courtrooms, they should be presumed innocent.

This isn't just about being conservative versus being liberal. People living outside of that dichotomy have come to their own conclusions about the Bush administration, and unfortunately, the United States. Bush destroyed America's reputation all over the world. If that doesn't make us a more likely target for terrorism, I don't know what does.

Recently, a man that I work with who is from Ghana and before becoming a research analyst at our organization worked in the Secretariat of the Security Council of the United Nations, told me that all his friends and family in Ghana (and all over Africa) are following Obama's new presidency closely and with excitement and hope. But he went on to say that they did the same thing during the time directly after 9/11. They were on our side and watching the events afterward closely and with great admiration for President Bush...and then that quickly turned. I think he said something like, "Bush had everyone's support and then he threw it away." He also said that Bush should be tried for war crimes. Something I don't think is going to happen. My point is that the world's faith in our country is being restored and quickly! I can almost remember what it was like to live in what is known as "the great land of opportunity."

Anyway, I understand that Obama is going to do things that will disappoint me, but I can promise you it will never be the depth of disappointment and despair I felt for the last eight years. Obama taught university courses in constitutional law, and he understands what real patriotism is from both a personal and professional level. And his language effectively illustrates this.

Leanright,  Sunday, January 25, 2009 at 12:39:00 AM EST  

Your brother said you were good. He was right. I feel differently on many issues from the two of you, but I really respect your opinion. It's kind of a nice change of pace from Eric's pointed sarcasm and wit.

You are good people.

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