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Making the case for United Nations intervention against the United States
September 27, 2002 3:56 PM   Subscribe

Making the case for United Nations intervention against the United States - Ted Rall takes a look at the world situation from a slightly different perspective. The scary thing is that this could run unedited in the newspapers of many countries around the world and their readers would agree with it. Is America out of touch with the rest of the world?
posted by Argyle (68 comments total)

 
Is America out of touch with the rest of the world?

I think the obvious answer is "Yes".
posted by QuestionableSwami at 4:11 PM on September 27, 2002


Followed by a not-so-obvious but more deliberate "No."
posted by techgnollogic at 4:16 PM on September 27, 2002


Oh, this is beautiful... He put into words the thoughts that have been lurking at the back on my brain for months now.
posted by illusionaire at 4:16 PM on September 27, 2002


While I'm fully aware of America's less than unblemished record in foreign affairs and its own role in helping create the current mess.... don't for a second think this article doesn't overstate its case.

That's the point, of course. Even with its fault, America isn't (yet) as bad as it's made out to be. Follow the line of reasoning through and you realize... wait... if America can be painted that way... maybe Iraq could be too...

Just my two cents for those who will actually take the article literally and say either "A-men" or "No way!"
posted by namespan at 4:18 PM on September 27, 2002


Heh.

I had something to say, but I'm so tired it's not even funny.

Oh yeah, Most taxes are actualy paid by the richest people, more-so then in the 1980s, actualy. Not the working class.
posted by delmoi at 4:22 PM on September 27, 2002


I'm so tired it's not even funny.

You said a mouthful.
posted by goethean at 4:26 PM on September 27, 2002


Can't write, can't draw... What else can't Ted Rall do?

I'd suggest that, since he seems to hate the US so much, he should leave, but I have a feeling he'd be miserable wherever he went. Maybe it's time for him to pull a Hemingway.

Is America out of touch with the rest of the world?

Yes, thank goodness.
posted by evanizer at 4:27 PM on September 27, 2002


"
Is America out of touch with the rest of the world?

I think the obvious answer is "Yes".
"

*sound of guitar wailing.
posted by luckyclone at 4:47 PM on September 27, 2002


The richest people pay the most taxes? Are you high? Sure, individually, they pay a lot. But overall? Pass me that joint.
posted by luriete at 4:58 PM on September 27, 2002


The point is, the US could have stirred up support against Iraq any time since the weapons inspectors left in '98. Suddenly after Afganistan, Iraq was back on the agenda. Why are they suddenly a credible threat? Can I risk the word 'opportunism' here?
posted by feelinglistless at 4:59 PM on September 27, 2002


I've met Ted Rall on more than one occasion at various events; despite his attitude in his work he is a genuinely honest and intelligent person. He isn't miserable, he's a nice guy.

evanizer, before you babble any more, perhaps you should read more of Ted's work than just his weekly articles. His book To Afghanistan and Back, which, by the way he left, as per your request, to write, is some of the best war reporting since 9/11. Any sentence in it is more deep and insighful that that trollish catchphrase-laden excuse for a post you just made.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 5:08 PM on September 27, 2002


yes you can.
posted by Espoo2 at 5:08 PM on September 27, 2002


"Risk it," feelinglistless? Jebus, have things gotten so impossible in this country that we can't state the obvious without taking a "risk?"

This cartoon says it all (thanks for the heads up, owillis).
posted by mediareport at 5:12 PM on September 27, 2002


Rall's comments are so trite and simplistic and idiotic. Let's see, we dropped bombs on Japan to end a war we didn't start. We bombed Afghanistan in pursuit of the masterminds of another attack on the U.S.

Oh puh-leese... No community always lives up to its expressed values, but which would you rather live in: a (flawed) democracy or a (flawed OR perfect) fundamentalist Islamic regime...?
posted by twsf at 5:23 PM on September 27, 2002


French invasion forces, huh? Jeez ... should I go with:

(a) "U.S. surrenders", or

(b) "I for one would like to welcome our new French overlords".
posted by yhbc at 5:32 PM on September 27, 2002


Ted Rall is the liberal equivalent of Ann Coulter.
posted by swell at 5:36 PM on September 27, 2002


mediareport -- I'm not in your country. In the UK it's difficult to be partisan about anything anymore.
posted by feelinglistless at 5:36 PM on September 27, 2002


mediareport- Before you start quoting Orwell and such, note that feelinglistless isn't even "in this country". You of all people shouldn't be afraid of "stating the obvious".

Pretending that Rall represents intelligent dissent is like pretending that Pat Buchanan does- miserable nutjobs, both. I like my liberals without a castor oil chaser, and I'm sick and tired of liberalism being co opted by the likes of Rall et all.
posted by evanizer at 5:36 PM on September 27, 2002


Ted Rall is the liberal equivalent of Ann Coulter.

Bingo

But to address his point.

Considering that the United States bankrolls the UN as well as providing the most of the muscle....

bring it on! anyone, anyone,..... I thought so.
posted by WLW at 5:47 PM on September 27, 2002


The richest people pay the most taxes? Are you high? Sure, individually, they pay a lot. But overall?

Um, I think its time for some math classes
posted by WLW at 5:50 PM on September 27, 2002


Any sentence in it is more deep and insightful that that trollish catchphrase-laden excuse for a post you just made.

don't strip away evanizer's mystique like that! haha.
posted by donkeyschlong at 5:57 PM on September 27, 2002


[Off Topic]
The richest people pay the most taxes? Are you high? Sure, individually, they pay a lot. But overall?

Top 20% of Taxes Payers pay 65% of all Federal taxes
Bottom 40% only pay 6%


For further proof, follow the Congressional Budget Office link
[/Off Topic]
posted by Steve_at_Linnwood at 6:13 PM on September 27, 2002


It's a humor piece that's been done before.

On preview:

Considering that the United States bankrolls the UN as well as providing the most of the muscle

True, we are the largest financial contributor to the UN, in real terms, outspending Japan by a few tens of millions of dollars. However, since technically the muscle of the UN would be it's peacekeepers we're a little down the list. Of course, if it's in our own interest we'll bomb the heck out of an opponent, but then the UN is really just dragged along for the ride. Like the upcoming war with Iraq.
posted by moonbiter at 6:14 PM on September 27, 2002


Moral equivalence always seems like a good idea, until somebody else uses it on you.
posted by coelecanth at 6:27 PM on September 27, 2002


It's a humor piece that's been done before

It's also been done as non-fiction--by Nelson Mandela, for example, in the Newsweek interview that was linked here a week or two ago. So maybe not so pathetic wacko left-wing attempt at humor after all?

Ted Rall is the liberal equivalent of Ann Coulter.

Perhaps (although Ted Rall was at Columbia with me, and is a smart, well-informed guy, who prefers to sweeten his political rhetoric with a touch of comedy rather than soak it in venom).
posted by Raya at 6:39 PM on September 27, 2002


The rich pay more taxes because, gasp, they make more money. Based on a percentage, the higher the income.

So how about if we tax each person individually. We'll call it an existance tax. If you're a parent, you pay existance tax on each child you have. Budget Income Tax of a shade over $2,000 billion estimated for 2002 divided by the U.S. Population gives us a rough average of around $7,000 per person. So now everyone is paying the same. It'll work great for an average middle-class single person, or the wealthy. And that's who really matters, isn't it? I mean, forget the woman who's husband left her after 10 years of marriage, with his high power job. She left the workplace to stay at home with the kids, and since she has no marketable skills, must work at McDonalds making $18,000 a year. Should be a cinch for her to make those payments. After all, the tax system is only fair when everyone pays the same amount, right?
posted by benjh at 6:49 PM on September 27, 2002


benjh, I would love to debate this with you, but this thread is not the right place. I, my self, shouldn't have replied to that post... I couldn't resist...

But lets not derail this thread anymore than it already has...
posted by Steve_at_Linnwood at 6:54 PM on September 27, 2002


Steve_at_Linnwood:

The top 20% pay 10x as much income tax as the bottom 20% despite having income 15x as high. How's that for your progressive tax? The reason the top 20% pay so much tax is that income is distributed in such an unequal way in this country.
posted by cameldrv at 7:05 PM on September 27, 2002


Average income for Top 20% as of 1999: $120,000

Those Rich Bastards!
posted by Steve_at_Linnwood at 7:24 PM on September 27, 2002


While I'm fully aware of America's less than unblemished record in foreign affairs and its own role in helping create the current mess.... don't for a second think this article doesn't overstate its case.

That's the point, of course. Even with its fault, America isn't (yet) as bad as it's made out to be. Follow the line of reasoning through and you realize... wait... if America can be painted that way... maybe Iraq could be too...

Just my two cents for those who will actually take the article literally and say either "A-men" or "No way!"


Couldn't have put it better myself.

Take it easy folks Ted doesn't believe what he wrote, just like we shouldn't believe everything Bush is telling us. Rall is no Coulter, she isn't smart enough to pull subtle tricks like this.
posted by jbou at 7:31 PM on September 27, 2002


I thought Rall was playing it seriously right up until that "European invasion force" thing, then I just laughed until I wet myself.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 7:56 PM on September 27, 2002


I'd suggest that, since he seems to hate the US so much, he should leave

Evan, you're smart enough not to have to trot out that tired line. It whines like a lame playground taunt.

I expect better than we have been getting lately from the conservatives and pro-war gang. Too much time spent trying to keep the votes of the nutjobs and psychos while also keeping them quiet so they don't blow your cover and make it apparent what kind of company you've been keeping, I guess.
posted by Mo Nickels at 8:18 PM on September 27, 2002


I'm with Crash on that one...I imagined an international task force trying to invade and "liberate" certain parts of South Carolina, for instance. We'd stop 'em in Bishopville.
posted by alumshubby at 8:35 PM on September 27, 2002


I expect better than we have been getting lately from the conservatives and pro-war gang. Too much time spent trying to keep the votes of the nutjobs and psychos while also keeping them quiet so they don't blow your cover and make it apparent what kind of company you've been keeping, I guess.

Unpack that and get back to me, Mo, when you have some idea what you might be trying to accuse me of.

As for my "love it or leave it" comment for Rall, it's a perfectly resonable sentiment. Rall's rhetoric goes beyond healthy criticism and into visceral loathing. If you loathe and despise America so much and think that it's an irreperable train wreck, then for your own mental health and happiness, it might be adviseable to move somewhere else. Berlin, for instance, would welcome you with open arms.

My comment was meant it for his sake, not my own, since he barely causes a ripple in on my radar; the existence of me and those like me (read: people who don't wear the angry hairshirt of far leftism) however, seems to make his radar short circuit and burst into flames, and frankly, I'm worried about the guy. Him and his ilk are starting to sound like a gaggle of 17th century Puritan preachers gone hoarse from screaming at the sinners and gone mad from penning poisonous sermons. They need a vacation. I'd part with much of my ill-gotten capitalist gains to help buy him Lance Bass's aborted place on that Russian space flight, for instance, since the vacuum of outer space is probably the only environment he'd ever feel comfortable in.
posted by evanizer at 9:14 PM on September 27, 2002


Sorry to add yet another income distribution post, but I'm intruiged by it.

I went and found some 2001 U.S. Census Data on Income for men. I dropped it into a spreadsheet. Then....
  1. I found out where the 80/20 line was. That's right about at the $52500 line. There were 84,807 men in the sample who made less than that. There were 22,103 who made more.
  2. I multiplied the mean income in each category by the number of individuals in each category to get a rough idea of total income for each category as a group.
  3. I created a column that kept a running sum of those totals. When I got to the 80/20 line, that sum was about $1.8 trillion ($1,772,005,549.00). I started the running sum over at that point, and found that the top 20% made about $2.3 trillion (damn. Excel just froze. Sorry, no exact number. But I promise it's close). Total amount of money: roughly $4.1 trillion.
  4. So, 80% of the population, as a group, makes $1.8 trillion/$4.1 trillion = 44% of the total pie.
  5. And 20% of the population, as a group, makes $2.3 trillion/$4.1 trillion = 56% of the total pie.
At this point, if the fact were that the top 20% of earners pay 56% of taxes, no one could say this was anything but fair. If the fact is, as Steve_at_Linwood cited, that they pay 65%, yes, the system is slightly skewed against them.

However, there's a couple of mitigating factors. One is that somewhere between 10-12% of those individuals make less than $2500 per year. That's right, at least 10% of the men sampled do not see over 3 grand in a year. The next 10% doesn't see over 10 grand in a year. This is less than a professional athletes' per diem. These people don't pay much of anything as far as taxes go, and honestly, I'm not sure how you could begrudge them that. When you're surviving on under a grand a month, every dollar counts.

Second of all, women aren't figured in here. I picked men because I figured it'd be fair to pick what is probably the better case scenario. Women's incomes generally lag behind men's. If you add them into the equation, the bottom income ranges will become more heavily weighted.

Finally, note the average income in the top category ($250,000 and above). Since it tops out below 500 grand, you can fairly safely assume the sample did not include any of the really, really wealthy members of the country. We're talking about the Bill Gates, Larry Ellisons, Steve Youngs, J Marriotts, Rockafeller descendants, Steve Forbess, Mick Jaggers, and other people who make way more than 1 million. There's not any where near as many of them as there are people who make under 1 million, and so they don't make it into the survey, but their annual income would really make the over $250,000 crowd quite top heavy in terms of total earnings for the group. Very likely as much would be required to make up for that 9% difference.

All in all, it really seems like the top 20% of earners paying 65% of the taxes isn't that progressive of a scheme after all, given the income distribution. It would seem it's not all that far off of a flat scheme.

OK, time to find something else to do with a Friday night....
posted by namespan at 9:28 PM on September 27, 2002


I'd suggest that, since he seems to hate the US so much, he should leave, but I have a feeling he'd be miserable wherever he went. Maybe it's time for him to pull a Hemingway.

How absolutely Ann Coulter of you Evan! Describe the one you disagree with as "hating America" and then suggest that they die in some violent fashion while simultaneously ignoring the issue they raise. Way to go! You just made birdie on your 9 hole putt putt.
posted by McBain at 9:34 PM on September 27, 2002


>Ted Rall is the liberal equivalent of Ann Coulter.

Uh... no. Ted Rall is a satirist. Totally different set of rules. And he hasn't started pathologically lying or declaring who needs to die next. At least not yet. Sorry, try again.
posted by McBain at 9:37 PM on September 27, 2002


It's a marginally funny piece. What makes it funny is that, of course, it is a fantasy -- the world combined can't lay a finger on the US, 9/11 style impotent gestures aside, to say the least of whatever rag-tag alliance might be stupid enough to do anything.

I wonder when some Euroleftist columnist is actually going to get it right, and publish the article which says, "If we want to force the US to behave in a truly multilateral fashion, we must build a military equally as formidable."

When the EU forms a unified command and invests the trillions it would cost them to build a 7-seas Navy with a dozen carrier groups, equip a dozen active duty divisions and a dozen more division-equivalents worth of reserve and guard divisions, and build up a global reach air transport and air combat force; or when Africa does the same, or wherever, then the US will have a conversation.
posted by MattD at 9:40 PM on September 27, 2002


This namespan character has got to go. Facts? Objective criteria? Actual analysis to support a hypothesis? Hit the road, you freak.
posted by yhbc at 9:48 PM on September 27, 2002


Can we put this tax thing to bed?

1999 stats:

The top 1% of income earners earned 19% of the total income, but paid over 36% of the total income taxes. The top 5% of income earners earned 34.0% of the income and paid 55.5% of the taxes. The top 10% earned 44.9% of the income, paid 66.5% of the income taxes. The top 25% earned 66.5%. Paid 83.5%. Top 50%? Earned 86.3%, paid 96.0% and the bottom 50% … where you’ll find a preponderance of Democratic voters … they earned 13.3% of the income and paid only 4% of the income taxes.

http://www.taxfoundation.org/prtopincometable.html
posted by ZupanGOD at 10:26 PM on September 27, 2002


When the EU forms a unified command and invests the trillions [...] then the US will have a conversation.

This is a moot argument, because the US would never allow the EU or the nations of Africa to build such a military force. You can be pretty sure that, were these entities to aggressively pursue such policies, the current administration would act to prevent it.
posted by moonbiter at 10:28 PM on September 27, 2002


Is America out of touch with the rest of the world?

Yes, thank god!

A lot of the "rest of the world" is infected with fundamentalist Islamists, Communists and relativist (moral equivalence) Western quasi-intellectuals. I don't WANT to be in "touch" with such creatures, thank you very much.
posted by dagny at 10:46 PM on September 27, 2002


Ah well dagny, there's always New York.
posted by stinglessbee at 11:34 PM on September 27, 2002


[Off Topic: Taxes]

For those upset about the progressive income tax, keep in mind that these stats only refer to income tax. A huge chunk of federal tax money comes from payroll taxes (for Soc. Security), which lower the wages/salaries of those whose jobs its affecting. These taxes generally have the highest incidence on workers in the middle of the tax bracket (sorry, no references come to mind at 3 in the morning)... which means data for just income taxes would overstate the tax share of the upper brackets and underestimate the tax share of the middle brackets.

[/Off Topic]
posted by Locke at 11:46 PM on September 27, 2002


The UN in Brussels? My god, will they be any Belgian left in the city? This is cultural cleansing by an international mob. Den Haag must intervene.
posted by ugly_n_sticky at 1:00 AM on September 28, 2002


This is just a nit, since I couldn't bring myself to care enough about what such a complete wanker as Ted Rall thinks about anything in order to read the whole thing, but this jumped out at me...

...accusing him of defying U.N. resolutions...

I get fed up with people who claim that the US is denying UN resolutions because when people make that claim, they're proving that they don't know anything about how UN resolutions actually work.

UN Security Council resolutions are binding and are "actionable" if people are in violation of them.

UN General Assembly resolutions are not binding and are recommendations only.

The US is not in violation of any UNSC resolutions. And those are the only ones that actually matter.
posted by wrffr at 2:09 AM on September 28, 2002


Okay, maybe I'm stoned, but this tax discussion seems to depend upon the amount of taxes paid per wage and salary, right? Aren't the truly wealthy paid in stock options and other forms of compensation? The truly richest Americans do not acquire wealth through wages but through capitol gains, stock swaps and other creatively accounted means that are largely untaxed. Face it, you (meaning anybody) probably paid more taxes in 1999 than Ken Lay and Enron combined. Especially after considering the 'economic stimulus package' passed just last year in which corporations received tax refunds based upon their payments of the alternative minimum tax. Enron, after it's bankruptcy received more than $200 million.
Anyway I thought the article was hilarious. the US government should try to apply it's 'morality' to itself.
posted by elwoodwiles at 2:50 AM on September 28, 2002


I'm sitting here on the south coast of England typing this just before I plug into the hive-mind of Europe so we can get our think-orders from today's left-wing Parisian newspaper columnist [no doubt a EuroLefty version of your own Ann Coulter] so we are all synchronized to the same 'hate those Yanks' agenda. Apparently.

I'm not sure which is funnier, the article of some of the posts that have used the article to get their digs in at those 'stoopid furriners who hate the US.'

Satire. That's all. Humo(u)r. No need to run for the hills just yet. Fuh-nee.

MattD: Just in case you weren't being sarcastic...If the 'The Rest of the World' really wanted to screw the US 'we' would just stop making/digging up things for 'you'. Then again 'we' might just sit back and let 'you' self-implode under a pile of SUVs, medication & strip malls. Just like the as the US sat back & watched Europe implode in general stupidity & war in the first half of last century. Then again (again) 'you' will probably take 'us' all with 'you' so it all gets left for the ants anyways.

And let me be the first to welcome our... [the original & still the best]

{Thinks - Do I need to tag [div class="attempted humor"]?}
posted by i_cola at 5:36 AM on September 28, 2002


Okay, maybe I'm stoned

Duuude.......~ ~

Ted Rall. Remember? Heh Heh. The idiot?

Right, right, man.

Actually this pretty much cinched it for me:

"Iranian President Mohammad Khatami ( news - web sites) told the organization yesterday that military action will be "unavoidable" unless the U.S. agrees to destroy its weapons of mass destruction."

Heh Heh, Duuude..., those dudes must be so totally tweaked, man. Dude? Dude?

Khatami must totally be way into most of the doobage he planned for the rest of the week.

We heard from Cheech, so here's Chong, 'Up In Smoke':

"Even before Bush, the American political system was a shambles," said Prof. Salvatore Deluna of the University of Madrid. "Their single-party plutocracy will have to be reshaped into true parliamentary-style democracy. Moreover, the economy will have to be retooled from its current military dictatorship model--in which a third of the federal budget goes to arms, and taxes are paid almost exclusively by the working class--to one in which basic human needs such as education and poverty are addressed."

Cool.........shambles allusion.....huh? Heh heh.

Failed commie-socialists preaching to the United States? And it's not even satire? All thanks to Ted Rall. Dude....

I'll just come right out and say that I'd support Ted Rall's citizenship in Atlantis.
posted by hama7 at 6:00 AM on September 28, 2002


Well, I'm 100% Yank and I think an awful lot of people responding to this thread have taken Rall's satire waaaaaay too seriously. Which proves its effectiveness.
posted by alumshubby at 6:20 AM on September 28, 2002


"Then again 'we' might just sit back and let 'you' self-implode under a pile of SUVs, medication & strip malls. Just like the as the US sat back & watched Europe implode in general stupidity & war in the first half of last century."


hmmm...rant.
posted by clavdivs at 6:59 AM on September 28, 2002


I'll just come right out and say that I'd support Ted Rall's citizenship in Atlantis.

Perhaps your only regret about Timothy McVeigh is that he didn't stop at Rall's house.

A lot of the "rest of the world" is infected with fundamentalist Islamists, Communists and relativist (moral equivalence) Western quasi-intellectuals.

Ah, I get it now. Every spot in the universe except America is stupider and less important than us. We're God's chosen country, after all. Good thing we actually care about that atittude we're conveying to the rest of the world; I mean it's not like we want anyone to get angry at us enough to fly a plane into a building or anything.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 8:19 AM on September 28, 2002


That was beautiful namespan.


I mean it's not like we want anyone to get angry at us enough to fly a plane into a building or anything.

Yeah it was our fault. We asked for it, we get what we deserve. We arent superior to any nation at all. They are great. Especially Iran. Maybe you ought to take your anti-american attitude and go live there.
posted by Recockulous at 8:33 AM on September 28, 2002


^all after the word they
posted by Recockulous at 8:38 AM on September 28, 2002


mediareport -- I'm not in your country.

My mistake, sorry.

In the UK it's difficult to be partisan about anything anymore.

Thanks for linking the Rod Liddle episode. Do you agree there was a double standard? That his attacks on the left but not the right were tolerated by the BBC?

Oh, and for the record, I don't usually like Ted Rall's writings about foreign policy. Hell, I don't even like his writings on cartooning; his introduction to a new collection of alternative cartoonists, for example, is needlessly inflammatory and sloppily argued--a style I associate with most of his stuff (but, strangely, not his cartoons). That said, I did like this piece. It's provocative in a funny way.

Question: Why does Europe let the U.S. dictate so much foreign policy?
Answer: Europe's leaders like it that way.
posted by mediareport at 9:18 AM on September 28, 2002


The rest of the world is crazy.
Our president is an idiot.

In some places, it is possible to believe both of these things. (and Rall is quite Coulteresque, though he never gets the publicity of Typhoid Anne - maybe because he isn't an emaciated blonde)
posted by owillis at 9:38 AM on September 28, 2002


Amazing how many clueless can take such a piece of garbage (not funny not containing enough truth to be satirical) seriously enough to comment on it. And Actually, I thought this was a VERY pro-American piece: if the opposition to the US has to come from a horrid place like Iran, that's a pretty good compliment!

This is a moot argument, because the US would never allow the EU or the nations of Africa to build such a military force.

Which, essentially means that the wacky left doesn't take what it says seriously. Which is why the United States will continue to dominate (even in a benevolent way) the world. Americans take things seriously. As for the rest of you, look in the mirror.
posted by ParisParamus at 9:38 AM on September 28, 2002


ParisParamus: "Amazing how many clueless can take such a piece of garbage (not funny not containing enough truth to be satirical) seriously enough to comment on it."

and then, you comment on it?!?

ParisParamus: "And Actually, I thought this was a VERY pro-American piece: if the opposition to the US has to come from a horrid place like Iran, that's a pretty good compliment!"

Why did you make the denigrating and disparaging comment in the first sentence of your post then?
posted by ruggles at 10:51 AM on September 28, 2002


Ruggles: because I don't think the author realizes how lame his "line of satire" is.
posted by ParisParamus at 11:09 AM on September 28, 2002


The New York Times Web site has, basically announced: THE WAR IS ON. Sorry boys.
posted by ParisParamus at 11:19 AM on September 28, 2002


Thanks for linking the Rod Liddle episode. Do you agree there was a double standard? That his attacks on the left but not the right were tolerated by the BBC?

Sort of. Pissing off the countryside lobby when you work for the station that broadcasts 'The Archers' is not really a recipe for long-term job security.

The New York Times Web site has, basically announced: THE WAR IS ON. Sorry boys.

Is William Safire leading the tank batallions now? Try to stop being such a gormless twunt, for goodness' sake.
posted by riviera at 12:15 PM on September 28, 2002


btw, where can i order an 'angry hairshirt of far leftism'?

i've checked amazon, and they don't seem to carry them.
posted by jazzkat11 at 12:20 PM on September 28, 2002


stop being such a gormless twunt

Love it! I'm using 'twunt' whenever the synonymous foreparents (cunt & twat) are deemed inappropriate...
posted by dash_slot- at 2:33 PM on September 28, 2002


Those comparing Rall to Coulter seem to have no idea what we find so horrible about the woman. "Seem" is, of course, the operative word; they know well enough that Rall has never endorsed violent rhetoric, is almost as critical of Democrats as of Republicans, and isn't a particularly mean person.

It just feels better for them to be able to say that journalism on the left is just as slimy as it is on the right.
posted by Epenthesis at 3:47 PM on September 28, 2002


"Uh... no. Ted Rall is a satirist. Totally different set of rules. And he hasn't started pathologically lying or declaring who needs to die next. At least not yet. Sorry, try again."

Only a different set of rules if you want to excuse Rall, and crucify Coulter. They are both social commentators. They both use rhetorical tactics to make their point in an engaging way. The tactics are different, but you can't say Coulter is completely serious when she makes statements about who ought ot die, and then change the "rules" and claim Rall is merely a "subtle" satirist when he writes a completely false article about military intervention in the US.

Those comparing Rall to Coulter seem to have no idea what we find so horrible about the woman...

As you seem to have no idea what we find so offensive about Rall. Mostly, this is just POV.

"... they know well enough that Rall has never endorsed violent rhetoric ..."

Like, er, writing an article calling for the world to use military force in the US, whose consequesnces "would likely include a prolonged bombing campaign targeting major U.S. cities and military installations, followed by a ground invasion led by European forces. "Civilian casualties would likely be substantial," said a French military analyst."

Coulter makes extreme statements clearly meant to simply get a rise out of people. Rall uses satire to get a rise out of people. Both, at times have "endorsed violence". Kinda difficult to argue that it is deeply evil when Coulter does it, but cleverly brilliant when Rall does it.
posted by MidasMulligan at 6:20 PM on September 28, 2002


Ack! Did anybody in this thread get the point of Rall's column?

He's not arguing that any of these things are true, or that the USA ought to be invaded. He's trying to get people to wonder if all the fuss about Iraq isn't highly exaggerated, if some of it might not be as false as the stuff he's saying about the USA. The whole point is that all the stuff he's saying about the US is not true.

He may also be trying to get people to think about what war would mean to the Iraqui people. Try to imagine stores, government buildings, offices, homes, in your town being bombed (those of you in NYC don't have to imagine it). Rall is saying, "Let's make damned sure that we don't do that to the people of Iraq for reasons that aren't much better than these exaggerated ones."
posted by straight at 10:00 PM on September 28, 2002


Kinda difficult to argue that it is deeply evil when Coulter does it, but cleverly brilliant when Rall does it.

...

What point is there to responding to this nonsense? If you actually think there's no difference between real violent rhetoric and violent rhetoric made in the context of a satirical piece, you're really not worth talking to.

I don't believe that of you, however. I stand by my statement: you know damn well that there's a difference, and you choose to ignore it so you can continue to hold Rall up as your little demon puppet.

As you seem to have no idea what we find so offensive about Rall. Mostly, this is just POV.

Mostly, this is because you have not explained what you find so offensive about Rall, nor has anyone in this thread. Discussion on Coulter's repulsive nature abounds; but what I'm getting on Rall is either a gratuitous Coulter comparison (again, why?) or "he's not funny."

It smells like a deceptive tactic to me -- allude to your argument often enough, and eventually people will forget that you've never actually made it.
posted by Epenthesis at 12:43 AM on September 29, 2002


Locke: Than lets cut payroll taxes. That's quite another battle the left is advocating for, which is to raise payroll taxes on the wealthy to insitute yet another progressive tax. But this is the catch, again how is it fair to pay into a system overwhelming more than some other individual but yet recieve the same benefits or less? I don't here any of the left advocating that the wealthy who would be paying more payroll taxes should recieve more benefits later in the end.

-Z
posted by ZupanGOD at 12:23 PM on September 29, 2002


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