One does not have to be in favor of US military intervention in Syria to find this op-ed offensive. What is more reviling? Being lectured on morality by a tyrant or reading dozens and dozens of comments by people apparently oblivious to his hypocrisy? Additionally, Mr. Putin and a great many commenters misunderstand the meaning of "American exceptionalism." Although, to be fair, so do many Americans who choose to use the term and this has lead to a lot of confusion.American exceptionalism refers to the unique nature of this country - its government, instutions, culture, etc. - compared to all others in history. It's a theory based on empirical observation and not meant to be a moral judgement on this or other nations. However, it has come to be used in such a way. Regardless, Putin's mangling of the meaning of American exceptionalism is intentional. A real understanding and discussion of it would lead to a comparison of Russian and American government and culture of the past and present. That is something he very badly does not want.
"Her apology for being “wrong” about voting to authorize W. to invade Iraq took 11 years to spit out" Now why, after 11 years, would she bother to admit that she made a gigantic mistake in backing Dubya's war? Well, because she knows it doesn't look good for a Democratic presidential contender to have embraced such a criminal travesty as the Iraq war. Never mind that her support of Dubya's war helped cause thousands of unnecessary deaths. Better to get this out of the way now before the race begins in earnest. This is her last chance after all. I would say the apology is worth less than the paper it is printed on. She is about as trustworthy as a con man selling genuine Rolexes on a street corner. For Pete's sake, Democrats, you can do better than this. Hey, I would be delighted to see a woman as president also. That doesn't mean I will support any unprincipled, warmongering female for president who comes along. One can only hope that a real progressive will enter the fray before Democrats award their nomination to Hillary. If not, they've lost my vote.
I remember my first drink, or rather drinks. I danced with a mop and then spent the next eight hours throwing up. My sixteen year old self could not believe it, why do people do this? I vowed there and then never to touch another drop of alcohol. Of course, I broke that promise only weeks later and through steady and dedicated use, developed a real love for booze. I would argue most of us (our NYT correspondent included) have likely gone through a similar process with their relationship with alcohol.So why the big surprise with marijuana? Of course many fools will overdo it their first time out (although hopefully most that have reached Ms. Dowd’s age will apply a little common sense first) but nonetheless pot like booze is relatively harmless, if not abused – I assumed that we all knew that by now.Please stop Ms. Dowd, report on something less tricky, because the argument has long since moved on from whether or not pot is dangerous to why are we spending billions of dollars and why so many people are losing their lives to violence in a patently futile attempt to enforce a law that cannot be. Seen in this light your story is fatuous at best and conservative propaganda at worst.
Much as everyone wants it to be, this shooting is not about oppressed and oppressors. It is about finding out, actually, factually, what happened that ended up with Michael Brown being shot dead. Darren Wilson is only one particular human being, not a sacrificial stand in for all police officers. He deserves to have his behavior and character judged as an individual, based on evidence evaluated in context. The same is true of Michael Brown, Chiefs Jackson and Johnson, and the protesters, who should not be lumped together with the looters. The habit of filling ourselves with righteous indignation based on a few facts strung together into plausible propaganda and then demanding punitive action is a dangerous one. It is much less satisfying to sit back and say, "I don't know all the details. I should pay careful attention before I start condemning anyone." Think Atticus Finch noticing the withered arm of his client and realizing why the "preferred" narrative couldn't be true.Truth matters - real physical truth.
Look at the creatures, some more or less human, that populate these games. They are heavily armored and weaponized.Who needs to create games filled with armor and weapons? People (mostly men) who are terrified. Who spends many hours per day identifying with characters created by terrified people? Other terrified guys, who feel constantly in danger of attacks they feel too weak to repel. Just to get through an ordinary day, they must live within a fantasy world in which they have superhuman powers.Along comes a woman who speaks truth to weakness. Weakness screams, "I'll grab REAL weapons and murder you!"Having worked on inpatient psychiatric units, I can assure you that it's the most weak and frightened people who are the most dangerous. These perennially scared male gamers live in everyone's community. Their easy access to guns and apparent impunity after making threats are troubling.
@Cantor43:The concepts of increase/decrease or percent increase/derease in spending or taxation is very relative: all results depend on start and end points. You can read the numbers, but need statistics training to understand what they mean. When Obama and libs increased the government severely in their first two years, the people rebelled, and elected many Republicans to slow them down. That is the real empirical evidence, not government accounting books. @EDC:Good for economists that most of them are liberals? Who knows, may be you are correct - good for them; but good for the country? The election dynamics show the reverse. @Chuck Mella:That is the liberal trick - discredit the opposition. Many people with preliminary knowledge of statistics can take numbers and conclude from them anything they like, or hire others to do it for them. Liberals do that with abandon; conservatives only question their methods and conclusions, but most often their motives. You are confusing "challenge" with "discreditation".
Let me make some slight corrections:Democrats believe climate change is real, Republicans know it is not happening and that all the climate models have been terribly wrong.Democrats want to regulate polluters, Republicans do too, but do not want to regulate CO2 since it is not pollution.Democrats want to overturn Citizens United with legislation, Republicans don’t because they believe in the 1st Amendment.Democrats want to raise the minimum wage, Republicans don’t because they know it will hurt the very people it is supposed to help.Republicans want to privatize social Security, Democrats don’t. (Personal note: my mother was a teacher, and her union made teachers have privatized pensions instead of SS, which meant my mother's retirement is better).Republicans want more corporate welfare, Democrats have pushed through the most corporate welfare in history during the last 6 years.Republicans want to overturn Roe v Wade, Democrats don’t. This is good, because abortion should be settled legislatively and not by the courts.Republicans want to cut taxes on everybody like JFK did, Democrats don’t.
The comments and the article both seem fixated on the numbers yet fail to recognize something pretty simple: Large swaths of the country actually (gasp) ARE very conservative in their thought and preferences. You can say that democracy has failed, or that people are ignorant, or blame gerrymandering, or a conservative propaganda machine that has convinced people to vote against their interests, but the fact is that conservative culture is what it is: people actually DO love guns, are anti-abortion and anti-tax and anti- public investment, are not concerned about corporate poisoning of the environment, and are very religious. Culture and values is the real reason, and unless those values start to shift (people really do start to recognize that guns pose more problems than they solve, or that mining and industry actually pollute more than they employ, or that maybe women really should make their own choices) conservatives will have the advantage.