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Thread: Obama: We're still working on our democracy

  1. #41
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    Re: Obama: We're still working on our democracy

    Quote Originally Posted by Goobieman View Post
    As noted before -- if He says there are problems, and He is said to have fixed some of them, it is -more- than reeaonable to ask what those problems are, which ones He has fixed, which problems remain, and what He plans to do about them.

    Give Him a pass if you want -- I'm not surprised -- but don't try to blame -your- lack of curiosity on anything having to do with me.
    He may well be talking about the mess Bush left, which needed fixing to say the least. But again, it was just a general statement and not something requiring this discourse. It is a silly issue that makes the person making it seem like he or she suffers from poor countryesteem.

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    Re: Obama: We're still working on our democracy

    Quote Originally Posted by Hoplite View Post
    "Private interests" are people or persons influencing the political system for personal gain such as businesses.
    OK... and how is that a problem?
    Don't people have the right to ask the government for things that benefit them, and to contribue to the election of those that will work to give it to them?

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    Re: Obama: We're still working on our democracy

    Quote Originally Posted by Boo Radley View Post
    He may well be talking about the mess Bush left, which needed fixing to say the least.
    What democracy-related mess did GWB leave?

    But again, it was just a general statement and not something requiring this discourse.
    The questions are perfectly reasonable; anyone with any degree of intellectual curiosity would raise them.

    It is a silly issue that makes the person making it seem like he or she suffers from poor countryesteem.
    Your ad-hom, the final resort of those without an argumentative leg to stand on, is noted.

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    Re: Obama: We're still working on our democracy

    Quote Originally Posted by Goobieman View Post
    What democracy-related mess did GWB leave?
    Lord, lack of due process, spying on citizens, normalizing torture, . . . there is a list.

    The questions are perfectly reasonable; anyone with any degree of intellectual curiosity would raise them.
    No, they are not and there is nothing to be curious about. It's a manufactured issue and not a real one.

    Your ad-hom, the final resort of those without an argumentative leg to stand on, is noted.
    No, just how it strikes me. I feel the same about all those who claim and criticism is hate America first crowd stuff. I really believe there is some poor countryesteem issues going on.

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    Re: Obama: We're still working on our democracy

    Quote Originally Posted by Boo Radley View Post
    Lord, lack of due process, spying on citizens, normalizing torture, . . . there is a list.
    These dont have anything to do with democracy, per se, as none of these things are inherently related to same. So, no.

    And, it should be noted, that The Obama has chosen to contine most of these Bush-Era policies.

    No, they are not and there is nothing to be curious about. It's a manufactured issue and not a real one.
    It is not surprising that the incurious would think this.
    Isn't a lack of curiosity of one the criticisms people like you had with GWB?

  6. #46
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    Re: Obama: We're still working on our democracy

    Quote Originally Posted by Goobieman View Post
    These dont have anything to do with democracy, per se, as none of these things are inherently related to same. So, no.

    And, it should be noted, that The Obama has chosen to contine most of these Bush-Era policies.
    No, they are related. Inherently related. Freedom and democracy always suffer where there is a lack of respect for the rule of law.

    And while Obama hasn't been as proactive and quick as I'd like, he isn't torturing to my knowledge, he is working to close gitmo, and I have no evidence he is spying on citizens. It would be a lie to say he is the same as Bush.

    It is not surprising that the incurious would think this.
    Isn't a lack of curiosity of one the criticisms people like you had with GWB?
    Be curious about things of substance. I would still like that. And if you or anyone else brings up anything of substance, we might have a good discussion.

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    Re: Obama: We're still working on our democracy

    Quote Originally Posted by Boo Radley View Post
    No, they are related. Inherently related.
    -Nothing- about democracy necessitates the inclusion of -any- of those things -- so, no.

    And while Obama hasn't been as proactive and quick as I'd like...
    Equivocation.

    Be curious about things of substance.
    The nature of our democracy, what's wrong with it, what's been done to fix it, and what will be done to fix the rest is very much of substance.

  8. #48
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    Re: Obama: We're still working on our democracy

    as per the OP, an interesting (i thought) response:


    ...I just read about Obama's comments to the Kazakh president; my wife and I have lived and worked in Almaty, Kazakhstan, since August 2008—this country has no idea what democracy is, and Nazerbayev prefers to keep it that way. He is the quintessential post-modern dictator. My wife and I teach at a school where the majority of our students' parents are either in government or organized crime (it's often a very fine line, and sometimes it doesn't exist at all). I teach the comparative governments class, and it's painful to watch my Kazakh students learn what terms like "liberal democracy" and "illiberal democracy" mean, then try to make the Kazakh square peg fit the liberal democracy round hole. When I raise even the mildest of criticisms in class, I can see the Kazakhs looking around the room to see who is present, so as to know what will be acceptable to say. It's unbelievable how often I will hear a Kazakh student identify government propaganda for exactly what it is—propaganda—then follow up their analysis by immediately stating something to the effect of "but it's also the truth." No opposition parties are allowed; no negative press coverage is permitted; five-year plans are still being written with all of the passion and fanfare (and possibilities of success) of the Soviet era. And the U.S. president just told this Russian lap dog that the U.S. is still working on democracy, too. I can't stress this enough: THE KAZAKHS WILL TAKE THAT STATEMENT AT FACE VALUE!!! "Hey, I guess that we're not doing so bad, huh?"

    Here's the most damning thing that I can say about a country: I spent three years teaching in Kabul, Afghanistan, and it's easy for me to imagine Afghans enjoying a more western liberal society 50 years from now than the Kazakhs. The Afghans, for the most part, have very few illusions about their place in the world and about how far they have to go to catch up; but the Kazakhs? About half of my Kazakh students are still defending the Soviet Union, and the other half are spouting government propaganda along these lines: Kazakhs have to keep out American beef because it's "more expensive, poorer quality, and loaded with drugs" (which wouldn't seem to be a winning trio in the market place, but apparently so as it must be kept out).

    I'd like to personally thank Obama for confirming the suspicions and conspiracy theories of my Kazakh students. Unbelievable.

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    Re: Obama: We're still working on our democracy

    Quote Originally Posted by Goobieman View Post
    -Nothing- about democracy necessitates the inclusion of -any- of those things -- so, no.


    Equivocation.


    The nature of our democracy, what's wrong with it, what's been done to fix it, and what will be done to fix the rest is very much of substance.
    I disagree with you on all three counts. Again, get some substance and let's see where that takes us.

  10. #50
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    Re: Obama: We're still working on our democracy

    Quote Originally Posted by cpwill View Post
    as per the OP, an interesting (i thought) response:


    ...I just read about Obama's comments to the Kazakh president; my wife and I have lived and worked in Almaty, Kazakhstan, since August 2008—this country has no idea what democracy is, and Nazerbayev prefers to keep it that way. He is the quintessential post-modern dictator. My wife and I teach at a school where the majority of our students' parents are either in government or organized crime (it's often a very fine line, and sometimes it doesn't exist at all). I teach the comparative governments class, and it's painful to watch my Kazakh students learn what terms like "liberal democracy" and "illiberal democracy" mean, then try to make the Kazakh square peg fit the liberal democracy round hole. When I raise even the mildest of criticisms in class, I can see the Kazakhs looking around the room to see who is present, so as to know what will be acceptable to say. It's unbelievable how often I will hear a Kazakh student identify government propaganda for exactly what it is—propaganda—then follow up their analysis by immediately stating something to the effect of "but it's also the truth." No opposition parties are allowed; no negative press coverage is permitted; five-year plans are still being written with all of the passion and fanfare (and possibilities of success) of the Soviet era. And the U.S. president just told this Russian lap dog that the U.S. is still working on democracy, too. I can't stress this enough: THE KAZAKHS WILL TAKE THAT STATEMENT AT FACE VALUE!!! "Hey, I guess that we're not doing so bad, huh?"

    Here's the most damning thing that I can say about a country: I spent three years teaching in Kabul, Afghanistan, and it's easy for me to imagine Afghans enjoying a more western liberal society 50 years from now than the Kazakhs. The Afghans, for the most part, have very few illusions about their place in the world and about how far they have to go to catch up; but the Kazakhs? About half of my Kazakh students are still defending the Soviet Union, and the other half are spouting government propaganda along these lines: Kazakhs have to keep out American beef because it's "more expensive, poorer quality, and loaded with drugs" (which wouldn't seem to be a winning trio in the market place, but apparently so as it must be kept out).

    I'd like to personally thank Obama for confirming the suspicions and conspiracy theories of my Kazakh students. Unbelievable.
    NRO.

    Well, we must always say everything is perfect. Anything less has to be a disaster. No one can ever admit to working on anything because the human being is too fragile to consider any thing in relationship to reality. Always keep the illusion alive, close our eyes and keeping saying "I believe, I believe." And be sure to demonize the most innocent of statements.

    Like I said, poor country esteem issues.

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