Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Awesome

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  • giovanni tiso,

    How many protestors are there in Denver right now? Plenty. Try protesting outside the next Chinese Communist Party's People's Congress in Beijing and see how it goes for you.

    Then again, try not being a US citizen living in the comfort of your own country, and we may feel free to torture you and/or drop bombs on your house.

    I'd personally say it's about 50-50 at the moment.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

  • Sue,

    oh yay hillary totally nailed John McCain
    and also those stupid P.U.M.A.s

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 527 posts Report Reply

  • dc_red,

    Re: US-FTA.

    Quite a few years back I read something on-line (in the Guardian if memory serves) about how Britain deludes itself by thinking it has a "special relationship" with the US. The US acts only out of what its perceived self-interest. Any agreement will benefit the US first and foremost.

    The article (which I've never been able to re-locate) concluded with the very sage warning: "The only special relationship the United States has is with itself."

    Oil Patch, Alberta • Since Nov 2006 • 706 posts Report Reply

  • Caleb D'Anvers,

    I find Americans' evident fascination with McCain's ex-POW status deeply odd. Maybe it's part of the post-Vietnam US obsession with victimhood -- the idea that having suffered makes you a better human being.

    There's something deeply masochistic going on here. It's like McCain's experiences give his supporters an excuse to revel in victimhood -- to claim the status of victim for themselves. Because being a victim means never having to say you're sorry.

    I know McCain's bondage and subsequent return, with its obvious Christian overtones, is meant to seem mythic and powerful, but to me it just seems pathetic and weird. Because, honestly, what is so heroic about being shot down and captured? I just don't get it.

    London SE16 • Since Mar 2008 • 482 posts Report Reply

  • Gareth Ward,

    Matthew:
    1. Quite possibly.
    2. Well I certainly wouldn't expect us to sign up to a negative FTA - but the scenario of using us as a "look, see, I'm not THAT bad on free trade" is at least a possiblity that a good trade negotiator could have a go at.

    Auckland, NZ • Since Mar 2007 • 1727 posts Report Reply

  • Simon Grigg,

    Then again, try not being a US citizen living in the comfort of your own country, and we may feel free to torture you and/or drop bombs on your house.

    I'd personally say it's about 50-50 at the moment.

    or the 51,000 held in Iraq without trial as of May.

    Giovanni, James deals in themes rather than facts and has what is best described as selective morality. When he's questioned he wails 'libs, libs" and then wanders off.

    Just another klong... • Since Nov 2006 • 3283 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    Because, honestly, what is so heroic about being shot down and captured? I just don't get it.

    He didn't talk under torture, spent two years in solitary confinement, and when offered repatriation he refused unless the other prisoners would be allowed to go with him. I'm a pacifist and was a conscientious objector back home, but I call that character. When seeking the best leader, in that weird race for roman Emperorship that is the presidential race in the US, I don't find it especially weird that such a quality should be deemed desirable.

    There's also something else, and that is the service to the country. We recognise it in our fallen soldiers when Anzac day rolls by, even in pacifist ol' New Zealand.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

  • rodgerd,

    Giovanni, James deals in themes rather than facts and has what is best described as selective morality.

    But remember, if you try to suggest that detention without trial or torture is always wrong, even when Americans do it, you're a filthy moral relativist.

    "You keep using those words, but I do not think you know what they mean."

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 512 posts Report Reply

  • Simon Grigg,

    There's also something else, and that is the service to the country. We recognise it in our fallen soldiers when Anzac day rolls by, even in pacifist ol' New Zealand.

    I think there is a gulf between recognising sacrifice which that does and service. We also recognise on 25th of April the fallen of our enemies.

    But I agree McCain deserves some level of respect for his ordeal and stand. Whether that in any way qualifies him to lead a nation like the US is another question.

    And if service is to be honoured then surely John Kerry deserved the same from the GOP's attack dogs.

    Just another klong... • Since Nov 2006 • 3283 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    Yeah dont fuck up. Vote for the candidate with integrity and a long history of non partisan legislation rather than the charismatic preacher.

    What I find really funny about that crack, Sage, is that McCain has been pandering his arse off to the very people who'd find being compared to their pastor a compliment. Well, unless he got caught scoring meth off the rent boy he had a standing appointment with or something.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • dc_red,

    I also think that Obama has made a huge mistake in selecting Joe Biden as running mate.

    Just saw him in the crowd at the convention. With his unnaturally carrot-toned tan, and radioactively glowing teeth, he looks like a cross between a sleazy used car salesman, and something out of Miami Vice.

    And yet he's still less creepy than Romney.

    Oil Patch, Alberta • Since Nov 2006 • 706 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    @RB
    Caught the last few minutes of Hilary on BBC - looked wild eyed and p-fueled to me.

    Fair enough. I only saw the first part, where she seemed to have some stature.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22843 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    I think there is a gulf between recognising sacrifice which that does and service.

    Are you saying he'd be a hero only if he had died? I was under the impression that we honoured the veterans too.

    Whether that in any way qualifies him to lead a nation like the US is another question.

    Well, he has spent the last quarter century in the house and senate, so it's not as if his only qualification is having served in the army. But I suppose he'll have to go to that well more and more often, since on policies and politics alone he's likely to get creamed from the left and the right.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

  • Rich Lock,

    Caught the last few minutes of Hilary on BBC - looked wild eyed and p-fueled to me.

    Really? She looked quite measured and in control to me.

    If anyone is P-fuelled around here, it's the Harold's headline writers. According to them, Hilary http://www.nzherald.co.nz/section/2/story.cfm?c_id=2&objectid=10529292 screamed
    screamed. I'm really not seeing it.

    back in the mother countr… • Since Feb 2007 • 2728 posts Report Reply

  • Caleb D'Anvers,

    There's also something else, and that is the service to the country. We recognise it in our fallen soldiers when Anzac day rolls by, even in pacifist ol' New Zealand.

    Sure, but it's the universalism of that 'we' that gets me. It's too redolent of that old cultural nationalist cliche that our (that word again) identity was shaped in the crucible of war. It's the concentration on individual suffering which allows questions about the legitimacy of the wider conflict to go unaddressed.

    It's the same thing with McCain. He is trying -- with some success -- to use his forty-year-old experiences to deflect political criticism being aimed at him in the present. And on the wider level, abstracting or idealizing soldiers' experiences in terms of 'sacrifice' or 'service' or 'character' again allows Americans to avoid thinking too hard about the Vietnam War itself. Because, frankly, I don't think the USN's actions in the skies of North Vietnam in 1967 were especially honourable.

    London SE16 • Since Mar 2008 • 482 posts Report Reply

  • Tom Beard,

    Now tell me what you love about McCain's policies.

    Sage uses the word "Helengrad" unironically, so it's not too hard to tell where he's coming from.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1040 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    Because, frankly, I don't think the USN's actions in the skies of North Vietnam in 1967 were especially honourable.

    I'm with you there, and of course on April 25th my country doesn't honour its fallen in the regular army, only those who fought fascism (although attempts have been made to broaden the change that). I was referring strictly to his behaviour has a POW, though, which seems honourable to me, especially the part where he refused to go home. And Americans are electing the commander in chief of the largest army in the world, let's not forget that. A military CV can't hurt.

    Let's not also forget that the DNC convention of four years ago was all about Kerry and his frigging service in Vietnam.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

  • Tom Beard,

    Just saw [Biden] in the crowd at the convention. With his unnaturally carrot-toned tan, and radioactively glowing teeth, he looks like a cross between a sleazy used car salesman, and something out of Miami Vice.

    A pity. The guy used to have some real style back in the day.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1040 posts Report Reply

  • Blake Monkley,

    When they remember that she sat in Rev Wright's Church for 20 years, they will realize what she really thinks.

    What about the Rev.John Hagee and John McCain association ,not for one moment do I believe McCain thinks New Orleans got a hurricane because of a gay parade....it's ridiculous James.

    Auckland • Since Jul 2008 • 215 posts Report Reply

  • Simon Grigg,

    Are you saying he'd be a hero only if he had died? I was under the impression that we honoured the veterans too.

    Yes and no..I think there is a great tragedy looking at men whose lives were ripped from them (not just the dead but the survivors) and for that we, I'm not sure if salute is the right word, join with them and hopefully reflect. Most, I think would rather not be walking in that dawn parade if given the choice 60 years back. As much as anything we are remembering the tragedy, often unnecessary, sometimes righteous, that befell these people. But I find a gulf between that and the rather mindless honouring the troops simply because they served which is so much a part of the American Imperial psyche.

    It's the same thing with McCain. He is trying -- with some success -- to use his forty-year-old experiences to deflect political criticism being aimed at him in the present.

    Exactly, and it's a mindset in America, which we thankfully don't really share in NZ...the service in the military card doesn't have the same resonance.

    Just another klong... • Since Nov 2006 • 3283 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    @James:

    According to Michelle back then America was a terrible place, overflowing with misery and suffering, but last night it was a real swell place and she loves it.

    Or so Powerline, Hugh Hewitt and Michelle Malkin would have you believe. A reasonable person who actually read those speeches might not see any real conflict between them and the America "not as it is, but as it should be" message of this week's.

    Is it really such an offence for a Democratic stump speech to point out that some people in modern America are doing it hard? Bollocks it is. They are perfectly normal political speeches. It's the infantile characterisations of them -- and in the case of the "whitey" slander, the outright fabrications -- that are weird.

    That said, there's more god-bothering than I;m comfortable with in some of them.

    Anyway, here's one.

    And another, to a Women for Obama luncheon.

    I guess people can decide for themselves.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22843 posts Report Reply

  • dc_red,

    And Americans are electing the commander in chief of the largest army in the world, let's not forget that.

    Err, no, you have to be a member of the Chinese Communist Party to have any say in who the commander in chief of the world's largest army is.

    The Americans place second, and the North Koreans fifth, on this list of dubious honour.

    Oil Patch, Alberta • Since Nov 2006 • 706 posts Report Reply

  • Simon Grigg,

    Because, frankly, I don't think the USN's actions in the skies of North Vietnam in 1967 were especially honourable.

    I don't think you'd find much disagreement here in SEA, and lets not forget that he volunteered twice to drop those bombs on a largely civilian population. It rubs a little of the sheen off the service record.

    Just another klong... • Since Nov 2006 • 3283 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    It's the same thing with McCain. He is trying -- with some success -- to use his forty-year-old experiences to deflect political criticism being aimed at him in the present.

    Quite. His team's comeback for the "kitchen table" crack this week was to declare that when he was a POW, he didn't even have a kitchen table!

    Gah.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22843 posts Report Reply

  • dc_red,

    Exactly, and it's a mindset in America, which we thankfully don't really share in NZ...the service in the military card doesn't have the same resonance.

    Thankfully, otherwise it would be the likes of Ron Mark and that ACT woman (who has recently awoken from a two-and-a-half-year slumber, I notice) running the place.

    Oil Patch, Alberta • Since Nov 2006 • 706 posts Report Reply

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