Jots with dots 4/3

My wife and blog commentor appear to think I’m close to redlining on the misanthropy.  I take that seriously, so from here in you can expect lots of cat videos, amusing anecdotes, and lifestyle observations.  No, don’t expect that completely.  But I am sensitive to that idea of anger of anger and unhappiness.  It’s not obvious to me actually that conservatives are angrier than liberals.  I think that’s a bit of a trope, and we could argue about that.  But anger is bad, kinda corrosive, and I don’t want to be ‘that guy’.   So I am looking to a different, disciplined manner of contemplation that is not a misplaced aspiration for kinda dicky wit and wryness… which is not actually my strong suit and has been almost impervious to improvement through practice here.

To conclude gay wedding pizza week:    I do, and gotta continue, watching what I believe from the righties.  I said, yeah, RFRA in Indiana, no big deal….  I ended up being persuaded by this

Engagement is why.  So as method, you have engagement, and you have non-engagement (..boycotts, imposing of quasi isolation).  I would think it’s fair to say there’s wisdom in either, depending on circumstances.  They are both valid methods.  And ya know, one of my truths of life is, there’s never only one way….  It’s to say as well, non-engagement probably has a chance to work here too, but that’s not the direction the people in charge want to point the efforts.  So the President believes in engagement, that’s what is happening.  Another one of my truths of life is, don’t be apocryphal.  Realists should understand the deal is very unlikely to lead to nuclear war, things will be fine, (more or less…)

Let’s note that I’ve articulated 2 of my truths of life:

  • There’s never only one way / there always is a way (maybe these should be separate)
  • Don’t be apocryphal

I’ll think of more.  Never swing on 3-0 is one.

I recall ‘engagement’ as ‘constructive engagement’ during the 80’s, which represented the Reagan Administration’s unwillingness to bring the economic hammer down on South Africa over apartheid.  My debate teacher, who was also the current White House Chief of Staff’s debate teacher, was keenly interested in this.  He disapproved, and it was the kind of thing Democrats felt pretty self-righteous about.  Shoe is on the other foot now with Democrats being in at least tacit approval of nuclear talks.  You could say apples / oranges, so I don’t know if that’s ‘hypocrisy’ on engagement or not.  If it were a Republican president there would though certainly be more Democrats feeling free to give voice to their discomfort now and be non-engagers.

Hillary land:  I’m looking for a proper article on Martin O’Malley to make my point, and I can’t find one.  But the point would be, the Democrats never do coronations.  I can’t think of where they have, and I’m not convinced that’s changed.  And to expect a reasonably uncontested nomination now is kinda fanciful, because they have never happened before…. And to expect Hillary to prevail in a vigorous nomination contest in which a second tier candidate of some skill becomes a first tier candidate by virtue of their mere presence and appeal as an alternative to the establishment candidate…. That’s danger territory for Hillary, see Barack Obama…

Readers, join my fantasy baseball league…. If you are a candidate for that and care to.  It’s fun, but its always hard rounding these things out.


3 thoughts on “Jots with dots 4/3

  1. pm1956

    please, forget the cat videos.

    I do think that, at the moment, conservatives are more angry than liberals. that is because they have been on a losing streak, Back when Bush II was in the White House, things were different. Liberals were more angry than conservatives. but I do think that conservatives are more angry now than liberals were then, but that may just be because there is a general increase in anger over time (going back to Goldwater).

    regarding Iran, i thought that O’Reilly (who i usually think is a pompous self important windbag) got it right in that he notes that an alternative to an agreement with Iran is war with Iran. And we would not be able to win a war with Iran…long term. just as we did not win in Vietnam, nor did we win in Iraq or Afghanistan (we may not have lost, either, but…it would not be the type of war that we could win)

    Hillary: Hillary will be a stronger and better candidate if she is challenged. Just like pitchers need spring training to beat off the rust, so hillary needs to be challenged. She needs to test out her sound bites in primaries, where easy/early mistakes won’t really hurt her. And the Dems need a sound minor league system as well, and the best way to get one is to have some try out against Hillary

    As for engagement, i don’t think the analogy really holds up. Besides, frankly, i don’t think that Reagan wanted to change apartheid. He wanted to keep the National Party in control, because they were anti-communists, and the ANC/Mandela were communists (in his mind–obviously have not turned out that way, but then that wasn’t the only thing Reagan got wrong….) (interesting that this whole “the ANC are Reds” thing emerged again on the right when mandela died…)

    1. pm1956

      Well, that one is rather close to home for me. When I was in college, I did a year of foreign study in south Africa (1977), and got arrested by the Security Police for participating in protest demonstrations when Stephen Biko was murdered by the police. While i was never in prison (the President of the University bailed us out–his daughter also got arrested), I did get to see the South African police force up close and experience some of the joys of apartheid.

      Remember, Reagan was all about ending the Evil Empire, and he saw pretty much everything thru that lens. The National Party in South Africa (the ruling party that thought up and implemented apartheid) saw themselves as the frontline in countering the communist onslaught, and called every black protest communist inspired. And Reagan bought into that hook line and sinker. I don’t think that everyone in his administration did, however (Jim Baker and George Schultz were realists who did not see a red under every bed, but Cap Weinberger and Al Haig…)

      the history is, of course, a bit more tangled, but the South African Communist Party did indeed support Nelson Mandela and the ANC, and many in the ANC who went into exiled lived in moscow, or went to school in moscow, or got military training courtesy of Moscow, and the USSR certainly were the major financial supporters of the ANC. Frankly, the ANC and the South African Communist P[srty had no presence inside South Africa after the later 1960’s, and all of the internal protests in South Africa (like the Soweto Riots) surprised the ANC as much as they surprised the ruling National Party. And the ANC really had little or nothing to do with the end of apartheid.

      Still, there were many in the ANC who had nothing to do with the Russians or with communism, and ANC policies since winning election in 1994 have been pretty damn capitalistic. Sure, there is some socialist pontificating from time to time, but all the politicians are safely in the pay of the large corporations, so the likelihood of anything being nationalized is pretty remote.


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