Is Barack Obama the right leader for America?

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Re: Is Barack Obama the right leader for America?

Postby barfle » Thu Mar 05, 2009 9:06 am

Shapley wrote:"Cuz we is McCoys."

I remember hearing about some blood feuds being reignited in what had been Yugoslavia when it broke up.

True civilzation seems to have eluded far too many human beings.
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Re: Is Barack Obama the right leader for America?

Postby Shapley » Thu Mar 05, 2009 9:22 am

God, or the gods, or nature, or whatever term one chooses to define the eternal order of things, always seems to find interesting ways of thinning the herd.
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Re: Is Barack Obama the right leader for America?

Postby barfle » Thu Mar 05, 2009 4:23 pm

Shapley wrote:God, or the gods, or nature, or whatever term one chooses to define the eternal order of things, always seems to find interesting ways of thinning the herd.

Unfortunately for the rest of us, those herds reproduce and make acquaintances with innocents.
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Re: Is Barack Obama the right leader for America?

Postby dai bread » Thu Mar 05, 2009 4:55 pm

That's why the price of liberty is eternal vigilance.
We have no money; we must use our brains. -Ernest Rutherford.
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Re: Is Barack Obama the right leader for America?

Postby Haggis@wk » Thu Mar 05, 2009 6:16 pm

I posted this a few years ago about feuds, clans, and Europe in relation to us. I still think it is valid.

In broad, but telling, generalities it's a tribal mentality.

The Germans are just that, a tribe, the Germanic tribe is the main one, but there are other sub-tribes that make up what we call “Germany.” In varying degrees almost all Europe is made up of tribes. They owe their allegiance to their tribe and don't really consider themselves to be a country. In Germany you have two and even three generations of Turks who were born in that country and are still considered to be "foreigners."


Research almost any European country and you'll find that the basis for their existence is essentially tribal; Franks, Germanics, Czechs, Slovaks, (anyone remember Czechoslovakia?) Basques - don't get me started on the tribal diversity of the country we know as "Spain" - the list is endless and I'm only talking about Europe. For a classic example of tribal disfunctionality look no further than the many countries of Africa.

From the obvious racial differences of Hutus and Tutsi (they look different) juxtaposed against the violence among Somalis who share ethnicity, language, and religion. They just kill each other because they belong to warring clans (tribes). If you take them out of their tribal boundaries and put them in, say the U.S., and they don't know what clan each other belongs to then they don't know they are suppose to kill each other.

In much of the world being a country is a polite fiction employed in order to be able to deal with the world's countries, many of which are also tribes masquerading as countries.

Don’t you ever wonder what, exactly, makes the U.S. a great country? A large portion of the credit goes to the cultural and racial diversity of our forebears who laid aside most of their tribal prejudices in order to make a better life for themselves and their families. To be sure, there are examples of tribal diversity within the U.S. but most of that diversity has been channeled (consciously or unconsciously) to the greater good of the country as a whole, how many non-Irish wear green on St. Patrick ’s Day?

And yet, there is something else at work in the U.S. besides the “melting pot” theory. I’m not sure what, exactly, it is, but it’s there and it’s been there since the beginning. Personally I think it is a recognition that to succeed we must have rules.

How else can you explain why, two hundred years ago, a bunch of rich, upper class white guys sat down and hammered out (what I believe to be) the most important set of rules for the conduct of humanity in the history of humanity? If we are a “tribe” then we are the most open and welcoming tribe in the history of mankind

I think this complete reliance on rules is what makes many of us ambivalent in the current fracas surround the immigration issue; in our very souls we want to welcome new people to our country/tribe, but we recognize that we only survive because we have rules.

And that’s what makes us special. We believe that we have rules; rules that apply, more or less, to all of us. Yes, those rules are imperfect at times but we believe in them and we believe that those rules make our lives betters.
Maybe its as simple as this; our dedication to our rules has replace the dedication to a tribe. We are a bastardized group and we are proud of that. How many countries recognize that your birth in the U.S., regardless of your parents’ citizenship, automatically confers U.S. citizenship to you? Hint, not many.

But…I could be completely wrong……go figure


To expand and update my original comments, if we behaved as most Europeans we’d still be taking pot shots at every Brit who visits the U.S. and don’t even get me started about the North and South feuds!!

Think about Northern Ireland and reflect that all the violence in that small place is a direct extension of something that happened n 1795.

I think as a nation we have moved beyond those tribal behaviors and that is what makes us special.
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Re: Is Barack Obama the right leader for America?

Postby dai bread » Fri Mar 06, 2009 5:33 pm

I think the Ten Commandments trump the American constitution as a set of rules for living, but otherwise I think the author makes good points.

I am not surprised that a child born in the U.S. is automatically a citizen. The same thing happened here until recently, when it became apparent that pregnant women were arriving as "visitors", then having their babies here, and, because the child was a citizen, all medical costs were picked up by the long-suffering taxpayer. In addition, the child and his family had a bolt-hole in case of need in later life. Many of the women were Asians of one sort or another, and our Polynesian sisters had been working this scheme for years.

Dare I say that Hutus & Tutsis both look the same to me? As do Serbs, Croats, and that curiously-named Balkan race, Muslims.

Anyway, more power to your elbow in creating an American tribe. You're further along the path than we are. The New Zealander of the 23rd century will be tan-coloured, dark-haired and probably dark-eyed. Blue eyes are apparently dominant, so blue may survive. The only doubt I have is over eye shape- round or oval?
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Re: Is Barack Obama the right leader for America?

Postby Serenity » Fri Mar 06, 2009 7:40 pm

Why can't we accept our commonalities and refrain from highlighting our differences? '
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Re: Is Barack Obama the right leader for America?

Postby Haggis@wk » Sat Mar 07, 2009 5:03 pm

After insulting Gordon Brown during the British prime minister’s visit this week by ignoring protocol and cheaping out on the traditional gift exchange, the UK media has erupted in outrage. The Obama White House has now started to recognize the firestorm the new President created with our closest ally, and wants to assure the Brits that he meant no disrespect. Instead, Obama apparently wants to assure them that he’s simply in over his head:

Sources close to the White House say Mr Obama and his staff have been “overwhelmed” by the economic meltdown and have voiced concerns that the new president is not getting enough rest.

British officials, meanwhile, admit that the White House and US State Department staff were utterly bemused by complaints that the Prime Minister should have been granted full-blown press conference and a formal dinner, as has been customary. They concede that Obama aides seemed unfamiliar with the expectations that surround a major visit by a British prime minister. …

Allies of Mr Obama say his weary appearance in the Oval Office with Mr Brown illustrates the strain he is now under, and the president’s surprise at the sheer volume of business that crosses his desk.

A well-connected Washington figure, who is close to members of Mr Obama’s inner circle, expressed concern that Mr Obama had failed so far to “even fake an interest in foreign policy”. …
The American source said: “Obama is overwhelmed. There is a zero sum tension between his ability to attend to the economic issues and his ability to be a proactive sculptor of the national security agenda.

“That was the gamble these guys made at the front end of this presidency and I think they’re finding it a hard thing to do everything.”


I’m not sure which is worse. At least if he meant to snub Brown, it would suggest a certain competence at this brand of diplomacy. Instead, we’re told that the Obama White House and their staff are just a bunch of incompetents who got in over their heads.
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Re: Is Barack Obama the right leader for America?

Postby Serenity » Sat Mar 07, 2009 11:04 pm

If someone comes to visit you and then is outraged by the fact that you did not follow their protocol for proper interaction, what would you think? What would you do?
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Re: Is Barack Obama the right leader for America?

Postby Haggis@wk » Sun Mar 08, 2009 5:31 am

Serenity wrote:If someone comes to visit you and then is outraged by the fact that you did not follow their protocol for proper interaction, what would you think? What would you do?


Pretty lame answer Serenity. Did you read it?

Obama violated our protocol which has been in place for decades for the staunchest ally the U.S. has.

As I said, if he had intentional done it to make a point then it was at least planned, whether anyone liked it the intente or not.

Now it turns out the White House offended England simply because Obama didn't know how to act.

Besides, I thought Obama was going to mend all the "badwill" the GWB caused all over the world. Even though England has been our ally most Brits hated GWB; that why I cancelled a vacation there last years. I'd been there in 2004 and was tired of all the snide comments. Giving a few DVDs was pathetic.

The best that can be said about Obama is that which has already been said, he is inexperienced, egotistical, inarticulate and ignorant; petty much the way you painted Bush.
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Re: Is Barack Obama the right leader for America?

Postby Shapley » Sun Mar 08, 2009 11:16 am

I said a month ago that he was in over his head, but I thought he would be a quick study. Apparently not.

The staff is normally responsible for making sure that all the details and protocols are properly met. It would seem that he his staff is not ready for the big time. Where did he get these guys? President Bush had a competent staff, that took care of the details. President Clinton also had a fairly reliable group that took care of such things, though I seem to recall a few 'gaffes' on his part, as well. Perhaps Republicans have a better handle on these things, or perhaps it just seems that way to me.

I recalll that, during President Nixon's term, we were actually given a glimpse of the preperation that goes into meetings with foreign dignitaries: protocol briefings, dress rehersals, etc., right down to the seating of the people at dinner. Such things vary from country to country, and a good host wants to ensure that he does not place his guest in an uncomfortable situation. Say what you will about President Nixon, he knew his diplomacy. The Democrats could learn a lesson or two from him.
Last edited by Shapley on Sun Mar 08, 2009 10:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Is Barack Obama the right leader for America?

Postby Serenity » Sun Mar 08, 2009 4:27 pm

Haggis@wk wrote:
Serenity wrote:If someone comes to visit you and then is outraged by the fact that you did not follow their protocol for proper interaction, what would you think? What would you do?


Pretty lame answer Serenity. Did you read it?

Obama violated our protocol which has been in place for decades for the staunchest ally the U.S. has.

As I said, if he had intentional done it to make a point then it was at least planned, whether anyone liked it the intente or not.

Now it turns out the White House offended England simply because Obama didn't know how to act.

Besides, I thought Obama was going to mend all the "badwill" the GWB caused all over the world. Even though England has been our ally most Brits hated GWB; that why I cancelled a vacation there last years. I'd been there in 2004 and was tired of all the snide comments. Giving a few DVDs was pathetic.

The best that can be said about Obama is that which has already been said, he is inexperienced, egotistical, inarticulate and ignorant; petty much the way you painted Bush.


No I didn't read it thoroughly, I just jumped at the headline and didn't understand why the Brits were so indignant. I just thought that if someone came to my house and complained about my hospitality because I didn't wine and dine them this year compared to past years..........."Well, I'm sorry about that ("I screwed up")....how can I make it up to you?"
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Re: Is Barack Obama the right leader for America?

Postby Haggis@wk » Sun Mar 08, 2009 5:50 pm

...and for you and I that would be an acceptable excuse, but neither of us is the President of the United States. He really isn't allowed to make faux pas on that scale, especially given his rhetoric about how he's going mend our relations with the rest of the world. He’s supposed to be on game, and in this instance he wasn't.
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Re: Is Barack Obama the right leader for America?

Postby Serenity » Sun Mar 08, 2009 6:36 pm

I think his staff was mostly at fault and somehow failed to convey the significance of the occassion to him (maybe). Nobody is perfect, though.
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Re: Is Barack Obama the right leader for America?

Postby analog » Sun Mar 08, 2009 8:50 pm

one has to wonder though, as this comes on top of his banishing the Winston Churchill bust last month...


http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldne ... itain.html

...has he really set all his anger aside?
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Re: Is Barack Obama the right leader for America?

Postby Shapley » Sun Mar 08, 2009 10:22 pm

Valid question. Perhaps Mr. Obama cannot put aside his ancestral hatred.

Haggis@wk wrote:I think as a nation we have moved beyond those tribal behaviors and that is what makes us special.


Perhaps that, too, is undergoing the change we can believe in...
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Re: Is Barack Obama the right leader for America?

Postby Selma in Sandy Eggo » Mon Mar 09, 2009 12:35 am

I thought that there were Protocol Officers in the State Department, and that they serve the Government of the United States, no matter whose name is on the various political doors. Did the current administration not listen to guidance from State? Is anyone listening to the senior career civil servants? They are the guys who provide governmental continuity, but only if the temporary political guys will listen.

Seriously, protocol gaffes indicate that there's some system disconnect that shouldn't be there. This is not good.
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Re: Is Barack Obama the right leader for America?

Postby Haggis@wk » Mon Mar 09, 2009 8:48 am

Selma in Sandy Eggo wrote:I thought that there were Protocol Officers in the State Department, and that they serve the Government of the United States, no matter whose name is on the various political doors. Did the current administration not listen to guidance from State? Is anyone listening to the senior career civil servants? They are the guys who provide governmental continuity, but only if the temporary political guys will listen.

Seriously, protocol gaffes indicate that there's some system disconnect that shouldn't be there. This is not good.


Live and learn, who, other than me, thought our State Department knew how to speak Russian?
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Re: Is Barack Obama the right leader for America?

Postby Shapley » Mon Mar 09, 2009 10:18 am

Quod scripsi, scripsi.
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Re: Is Barack Obama the right leader for America?

Postby Serenity » Mon Mar 09, 2009 9:36 pm

:confuscious:
Last edited by Serenity on Tue Mar 10, 2009 8:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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