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The State of the Union.
January 28, 2003 7:10 PM   Subscribe

The State of the Union address. "Yet there is power -- wonder-working power"
posted by four panels (176 comments total)

 
Bush Trolls Metafilter. Self-Imploding discussion in 5 4 3 2....
posted by Stan Chin at 7:11 PM on January 28, 2003


There is Power in the Blood.
posted by four panels at 7:12 PM on January 28, 2003


Damn. Where are the enlargements? I wanted to see the enlargements of the reconnaisance imagery showing where the WMDs are.

(sigh)
posted by alumshubby at 7:13 PM on January 28, 2003


**puts on football helmet**
**takes cover**
posted by jonmc at 7:13 PM on January 28, 2003


four panels, that's kinda cool, never heard that spiritual before. What's the decoration on that page? Not familiar with it....
posted by alumshubby at 7:14 PM on January 28, 2003


(zooms in from 1600x1200 to 1024x768, looks again, slaps forehead)
posted by alumshubby at 7:16 PM on January 28, 2003


OK, I'll bite. Wouldn't it be funny if Saddam said "NUCLEAR weapons? Oh yeah, I got plenty of those - I never said I didn't! You only asked me if I had any NUKEYOOLER weapons!!"

I mean, really, am I the only one who can't suppress the cringe reflex each time our representative to the world shows off his refusal to learn and speak the crucial words of his own language?
posted by soyjoy at 7:18 PM on January 28, 2003


You've probably seen it before... but if you haven't - it's the other "State of the Union" video.
posted by Stuart_R at 7:19 PM on January 28, 2003


Gag. Gag. Gag.
posted by scarabic at 7:21 PM on January 28, 2003


Good one! How witty and astute of you. You're obviously smarter than him and have no shortcomings, absolutely none, in your language abilities.
posted by ParisParamus at 7:21 PM on January 28, 2003


I know whutcha mean. I'd promise him my vote in 2004 if he'd pledge to take some damned diction lessons.
posted by alumshubby at 7:22 PM on January 28, 2003


It has taken me more than two years to be able to listen to this man's voice for more than 15 seconds. I'd almost rather listen to a catfight between Gilbert Gottfried and Fran Drescher.

That said, my commentary:

--While Colin Powell is more hawkish these days, Bush seems more dovish. I hope it's for real. Will the American government really work to persuade other world governments to join us by presenting facts and demonstrating a willingness to develop consensus, or will it be a whitewash, bullshit marketing image-building campaign intended to mask Bush's cowboy-goes-it-alone maverick maneuvers?

--Still no concrete evidence of weapons of mass destruction. Yes, we have no chemicals. Yes, we have no nukes. Yes, we have no anthrax. What we do have is a major world government trying to prove a fact by the absence of evidence. It just doesn't work that way.

--Millions of dollars for cleaner cars? Oh, you mean millions of dollars of pork for some of the largest corporations in America. How nice! It matches the curtains on the new tax cut for corporate dividends.
posted by Mo Nickels at 7:23 PM on January 28, 2003


Paris - hwuh???

It's not like Bush CAN'T say nuclear, or that he doesn't KNOW it's wrong. If you're making either of those arguments, you must think he's a bigger idiot than I do. He sticks with the wrong version for the same reason his daddy wouldn't eat broccoli - cause he didn't have to, he's the prezdint!
posted by soyjoy at 7:25 PM on January 28, 2003


No soyjoy, you are not the only one. Yet, grousing about it (as I do often) really does not seem to accomplish much. Sigh.
posted by kokogiak at 7:27 PM on January 28, 2003


In Iran, we continue to see a government that represses its people, pursues weapons of mass destruction, and supports terror.

And that's why we're attacking Iraq.

And today the North Korean regime is using its nuclear program to incite fear and seek concessions. America and the world will not be blackmailed.

And that's why were attacking Iraq.
posted by kirkaracha at 7:28 PM on January 28, 2003


What I want to know is: why didn't the men in uniform stand up and clap like everyone else? They were completely motionless.
posted by swift at 7:29 PM on January 28, 2003


Come on guys, for the Love of God, could we please desist with the diction slams against Dubya? It's becoming rather mundane to hear everyone slamming his pronunciation.

I, for one, was mildly and pleasantly surprised by the speech. More "progressive" than I've heard from him, overall, in quite some time. However, I still don't think he made a strong Iraq case.
posted by tgrundke at 7:30 PM on January 28, 2003


hey, quonsar's got a good idea... Pass it on.
posted by amberglow at 7:35 PM on January 28, 2003


hey, quonsar's got a good idea... Pass it on.

Hey, isn't that illegal? quonsar is an enemy combatant!
posted by soyjoy at 7:36 PM on January 28, 2003


Are we really going to rehash the nuclear thing all over again? Unbelievable.

When I get a break here [at work], I'll take a stab at reading this address and perhaps commenting on it's content... what it means for the future of this administration, this country, this world. I don't feel sorry for you fucks that want to babble thread after thread about the peculiarities of George Bush. Your continued lack of reasonable discourse on the topic of the FPP says a lot for just how genuinely interested you are about the current state of affairs. Go back to flipping between COPS and Ricki Lake and leave the rest of us alone.
posted by Witty at 7:36 PM on January 28, 2003


soyjoy, it's a symbol of distress.
posted by madamjujujive at 7:39 PM on January 28, 2003


Sorry, Witty, but my comment was exactly about the experience of watching and listening to the State of the Union, pretty relevant to the FPP I think. What I was expressing is that even though, yeah, we should be over it by now, I was surprised at how every new time the guy said "Nucular" I cringed all over again. Apparently I'm not alone. I guess I should've used your strategy and not watched. I'll know better next time.

on preview: madamjujujive, got it. Just being silly on that one.
posted by soyjoy at 7:42 PM on January 28, 2003


Hilarious speech:

Hydrogen car? Sure in 20+ years we'll have a magic mode of transportation but in the meantime lower CAFE standards and don't even mention public transportation, which is already pretty clean not to mention much safer than any automobile.

Taking care of Seniors now means privitizing healthcare and handing out Medicare monies to the HMOs who there seniors are running scared from in the first place. Oh boy.

War. How can this guy not even try it? The defense industry wants it, the oil industry wants it, and the huge Pro-Israel lobby wants it. Its a win/win situation if you ignore things like precendent for pre-emptive wars, flipping off the international community, standards of evidence, sovereignty, thousands of innocent deaths, etc. On top of it I got a kick out of how much of a bad guy Saddam is. Don't mention what goes on in Saudi Arabia or Turkey everyday. Saddam wishes he could wipe out Kurds as fast as our Turkish buddies can.

I should have just given in and played the SotU drinking game.
posted by skallas at 7:43 PM on January 28, 2003


Man, why can't we have broadbased federally funded government initiatives to ensure that COPS and Ricky Lake are always available to flip between? I guess it would mean Ricky Lake would actually have a show on TV again, but well worth my tax dollars.

btw, did Bush say 100's of millions for drug rehab and medicare and 10's of billions for biowarfare preparedness? We'll have an uninsured junky population ready to take on a full fledged attack by crop dusters spraying sarin.
posted by jdaura at 7:44 PM on January 28, 2003


"...a child born today could be powered by hydrogen, and pollution-free."

If only there hadn't been a first half to that sentence...
posted by Inkslinger at 7:45 PM on January 28, 2003


I'd almost rather listen to a catfight between Gilbert Gottfried and Fran Drescher.

that's the funniest thing i've read all week.
posted by donkeyschlong at 7:46 PM on January 28, 2003


Whoops, link for SotU drinking game.
posted by skallas at 7:47 PM on January 28, 2003


The first half of the speech was all about how compassionate a conservative Bush is. But the substance was gossamer.

For example, 200 million a year for drug rehab? Compare that to an estimated thirty billion dollars a year spent on the War on Drugs.

What a liar.
posted by kozad at 7:47 PM on January 28, 2003


I played the drinking game. When he got to Al Qaeda and terrorism I thought I was gonna throw up.

All that aside, I want Gary Locke to run for president. But maybe its the booze talking.
posted by jopreacher at 7:49 PM on January 28, 2003


Even more embarrassing than his painful speech problems (honestly, can't someone teach the most powerful man on earth how to say "nuclear"?) was W's mention of the aluminum tubes being used in nuclear weapons development. Not more than a few minutes prior to the State of the Union address, I saw Scott Ritter (former UNSCOM inspector) on WorldLinkTV saying that these tubes were not the kind required for use in a centrifuge, as they wouldn't be strong enough.

If this wasn't so scary, I'd be laughing.
posted by drstrangelove at 7:50 PM on January 28, 2003


So we can't diss those that speak pidgin english but we can diss the president for pronouncing 'nuclear.' Gotcha.
posted by Tacodog at 7:51 PM on January 28, 2003


soyjoy: And did his tie clash with his socks? Maybe you should go to the Rivers girls' chat room for all the exciting post-speech hoopla!

I would have watched, if I weren't working. But I also would have listened to what he had to say, not how he said it. Which is more important to you?

Maybe you can go over to skallas' house and play some Vice City or something totally awesome.
posted by Witty at 7:51 PM on January 28, 2003


Lower taxes and greater investment will help this economy expand. More jobs mean more taxpayers and higher revenues to our government.

Two words: Voodoo economics.

When George H. W. Bush challenged Reagan's tax plan with these words, he was summing up the sentiment of virtually every economist with any sense. Yes, if tax burdens are too high, cutting taxes could, all other things being equal, conceivably increase tax revenue. Unfortunately, the likelihood that tax rates fall in that backward range are exceedingly small—particularly for the people who are receiving the proposed tax breaks. And add to that increased spending measures, and the mystical gains are swamped in deficits.
posted by dilettanti at 7:53 PM on January 28, 2003


Look. Here's the thing about George W. Bush saying "nucluar."

He grew up in DC, Connecticut, and Maine. He went to Groton. He went to Yale. He went to Harvard Business School. He KNOWS how to pronounce the word correctly.

He just chooses not to do it, in order to boost some kind of faux-populist street cred. THAT's what bugs people.

It's like Henry Kissinger's accent. Jesus, after fifty years in the country, you'd think the guy would have caught on a bit. His brother speaks English perfectly, too.
posted by Sidhedevil at 7:56 PM on January 28, 2003


What was up with the dems having a governor give the response? The speech was nice enough I suppose, but it's not like a governor can respond with any kind of authority about foreign policy or federal programs--the meat of Bush's speech. Are they feeling so whipped that they can't even dredge up a single Congressperson to stand up to Bush?
posted by boltman at 7:57 PM on January 28, 2003


He spoke of tax cuts to stimulate the economy in order to have people making more money to pay more taxes that will be again cut. All this in order to obtain "a balanced budget" and "reduce deficit".

Didn't we have a balanced budget? A couple years ago, when ol' whats-his-name was President. Yeah, a balanced budget. Or maybe even a surplus.

If we can get back to a surplus, then it will be more money he can give to his corporate backers.

Taxing dividends is not "unfair" and it is not "double taxation". The government taxes income. The corporation receive the money is income, and so it is taxed. They then give some money to shareholders, and when the shareholders receive the money, they are taxed on the income they just received.

On the malpropisms: It's getting old, yes. But this man, he is the leader of the "most powerful country in the world" and I do not think it is too much to ask for him to properly pronounce certain words, especially when he is using them repeatedly.

There is a lot of talk about giving money to families. Why not give money to families for credits when they buy a reasonable sized car? Or how about actually giving money to single people who will buy goods and services, and not consumables. Which stimulates the economy more? Low-profit-margin food, or high profit margin consumer electronics? Who buys more of the high profit margin items? Yeah, exactly.

In Summary, "I'm gonna run this country like I run my companies. I'm gonna raid the pension fund, drop a whole mess of bombs, and sell our best assets to the Japanese." Hey, it worked for Reagan, right?
posted by benjh at 7:57 PM on January 28, 2003


Sidhedevil -

You're absolutely right, and it's gonna sound so down home in two years when bush says "Ya'all heathens messed with texas, so we had to rain down nucl-yer death on ya'all."
posted by jdaura at 8:01 PM on January 28, 2003


My favorite portion, the AIDS in Africa segment. Here's an opportunity to make millions for my pharmaceutical cronies, since I'm too friggin' riddled with agenda to admit that people don't practice abstinence. The condom lobbyists must have shallow pockets.
posted by machaus at 8:02 PM on January 28, 2003


There was an interesting article in Time magazine (I almost never find myself typing those words) about the "double taxation" that affects almost all Americans--taxes on Social Security benefits.

Too lazy to link to it, though.
posted by Sidhedevil at 8:02 PM on January 28, 2003


Anyone know somewhere online where I can watch the bastard read his script and work up a good head of righteous indignation? I missed the televised version here in my wacky timezone.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 8:05 PM on January 28, 2003


Mo:

What we do have is a major world government trying to prove a fact by the absence of evidence.

But isn't the whole point of the inspections that absence of evidence is itself damning? I mean, strictly in terms of non-compliance, an absence of evidence is enough. Iraq had the chance to tell the UN where these materials were, and didn't. Why should the inspectors have to produce evidence, in what is frankly hostile territory, when a requirement of the peace settlement was that Iraq comply voluntarily?

(I'll allow that I may be talking out of my ass a little bit.)
posted by claxton6 at 8:06 PM on January 28, 2003


My favorite moment was "distinguished citizens and fellow ... citizens." Other than that, it was pretty much exactly what I expected, no more or less. But it was sad to hear such a dark and hopeless speech after only two years ago, President Clinton was celebrating all that had gone right leading up to that moment, and looking forward to the possibility of an even brighter future.

"Never before has our nation enjoyed, at once, so much prosperity and social progress with so little internal crisis and so few external threats. Never before have we had such a blessed opportunity -- and, therefore, such a profound obligation -- to build the more perfect union of our founders' dreams."

That seems a million miles away right now. That, to me, is chiefly the fault of the SOBs that threw planes at Manhattan, but at least partially reflective of an administration whose policies incur division and work towards the further separation of classes and nations of people.

"After recession, terrorist attacks, corporate scandals and stock market declines, our economy is recovering. Yet it is not growing fast enough, or strongly enough."
posted by grrarrgh00 at 8:06 PM on January 28, 2003


Please look in the dictionary. The way President Bush pronounces nuclear is one of the accepted pronunciations.
check M-W, the site will even speak the word for you.
posted by reverendX at 8:08 PM on January 28, 2003


I prefer my nickname for the SotU.. "The State of the Onion"

and it's time to give money to AIDS in Africa while Education suffers due to lack of funds.. silly kids, Bush hopes they didn't believe his hype about education back in the days of 2001. :)

Bring on those hydro funny cars!
posted by RobbieFal at 8:10 PM on January 28, 2003


i cant believe that damn saddam is producing mustard!!!! what next?!
posted by specialk420 at 8:12 PM on January 28, 2003


if Saddam is hiding the ketchup, their'll be hell to pay!

their'll? is that really a word???

remember kids.. Bush sends money to Africa to fight AIDS but he opposes the UN teaching people in Africa to use condoms. I guess he comes from the "Let him get shocked, he'll learn not to stick his finger there" school of thought
posted by RobbieFal at 8:15 PM on January 28, 2003


"...don't even mention public transportation, which is already pretty clean not to mention much safer than any automobile..."

I've read that buses are about 20x more polluting than cars. Around here, that makes them far, far worse than private transportation, as I've yet to see more than three people on a bus at one time. It'd be cleaner and cheaper to send taxis to those that would normally ride the bus.


I always mistake Scott Ritter for John Ritter. Freaks me out. "That Three's Company guy is where? Doing what? Sheeeeyit, we're all in trouble now!"
posted by five fresh fish at 8:16 PM on January 28, 2003


It's not just Ritter saying that Bush's ranting about aluminum tubes is - well - hollow. That's what the International Atomic Energy Agency says too. Frankly, this has been so strongly refuted, I am amazed that this is the best Bush could come up with.

Meanwhile, there is a great article on the Washington Post about how Gen. 'Stormin' Norman' Schwarzkopf thinks war is a bad idea and the inspections should be given a chance.

What does he think of those around Bush right now?

"Candidly, I have gotten somewhat nervous at some of the pronouncements Rumsfeld has made." "When he makes his comments, it appears that he disregards the Army. He gives the perception when he's on TV that he is the guy driving the train and everybody else better fall in line behind him -- or else."...."It's scary, okay? Let's face it: There are guys at the Pentagon who have been involved in operational planning for their entire lives, okay? . . . And for this wisdom, acquired during many operations, wars, schools, for that just to be ignored, and in its place have somebody who doesn't have any of that training, is of concern."

On Cheney - "He almost sometimes seems to be enjoying it."
posted by insomnia_lj at 8:17 PM on January 28, 2003


Sidhedevil, here it is.
posted by notsnot at 8:19 PM on January 28, 2003


Please look in the dictionary. The way President Bush pronounces nuclear is one of the accepted pronunciations.


M-W is not an authority on correct ways to pronounce things. It's a descriptive, rather than proscriptive, dictionary, and it lists "nookyoolar" for the same reason that it lists numerous other questionable, depricated, or plain wrong usages.

"nookyoolar" is accepted in the same way "ain't" is accepted, but that doesn't mean you should go around saying "ain't" just because it's in the dictionary.
posted by oissubke at 8:19 PM on January 28, 2003


five fresh fish:

how confusing was the news of Scott Ritter's arrest when you were thinking he was John Ritter?

Granted.. if you're starring on a show as a strict dad with a daughter to nail, you wouldn't be on the net trying to introduce girls to your 'Jack Tripper", ifyaknowwhatimean

;)
posted by RobbieFal at 8:19 PM on January 28, 2003


I'd almost rather listen to a catfight between Gilbert Gottfried and Fran Drescher.

perfect.

What I want to know is: why didn't the men in uniform stand up and clap like everyone else?

Not sure, but I intend to find out. I was told (I was listening to the radio) that they did make some funny motions when the issue was related to the military.
posted by anathema at 8:19 PM on January 28, 2003


I'm new to these political threads. Does Witty always get this pissed off when someone points out Bush's carefully effected good ol' boy drawl and bad pronunciation? Touchy. What happens when we escalate to actual issues?
posted by Shane at 8:23 PM on January 28, 2003


To boost investor confidence, and to help the nearly 10 million seniors who receive dividend income

Last time I checked, many companies didn't pay dividends, but rather keep the cash in company to reduce financement need. Obviously eliminating the double taxation will encourage stockowners to ask for dividend payments, but obviously as well that doesn't mean companies will be forced to pay them.


Because of excessive litigation, everybody pays more for health care, and many parts of America are losing fine doctors. No one has ever been healed by a frivolous lawsuit; I urge the Congress to pass medical liability reform.

I have sent youclear skies legislation that mandates a 70 percent cut in air pollution from power plants over the next 15 years.



I urge you to pass both my faith-based initiative and theCitizen Service Act to encourage acts of compassion that can transform America one heart and one soul at a time.
posted by elpapacito at 8:24 PM on January 28, 2003


reverendX: dictionary.com does not agree. "Usage Note: The pronunciation (nky-lr), which is generally considered incorrect, is an example of how a familiar phonological pattern can influence an unfamiliar one. The usual pronunciation of the final two syllables of this word is (-kl-r), but this sequence of sounds is rare in English. Much more common is the similar sequence (-ky-lr), which occurs in words like particular, circular, spectacular, and in many scientific words like molecular, ocular, and vascular." The letters just aren't in that order.

My favourite part of the speech was the creepy bit about how some of the terra-ists "...have met a different fate. Let's put it this way: They are no longer a problem...". I kept expecting him to rub his chin with the backs of his fingers and talk about sleeping with the fishes.
posted by biscotti at 8:24 PM on January 28, 2003


Oh wait, I almost forgot the most disturbing part of the speech:

"All told, more than 3,000 suspected terrorists have been arrested in many countries.

And many others have met a different fate. Let's put it this way: They are no longer a problem to the United States and our friends and allies."


He says, with the hint of a smirk on his face.

Well, allrighty then, John Wayne. You can holster your gun and swagger on into the sunset, now that those suspected terrorists have been dispatched.
posted by grrarrgh00 at 8:24 PM on January 28, 2003


claxton6: But isn't the whole point of the inspections that absence of evidence is itself damning? I mean, strictly in terms of non-compliance, an absence of evidence is enough. Iraq had the chance to tell the UN where these materials were, and didn't. Why should the inspectors have to produce evidence, in what is frankly hostile territory, when a requirement of the peace settlement was that Iraq comply voluntarily?

Does anyone have evidence that Iraq is lying? That they're secreting WMD's somewhere?

It seems like until someone comes forward with some evidence, there's no reason to think that Saddam is lying. Otherwise we're in a catch-22: if he says he's got weapons then he has them; if he says he doesn't, then he has them.
posted by bshort at 8:25 PM on January 28, 2003


The Republicans are the strongest humans on the planet. No, really, I mean it. They di more squat thrusts to applaud than any humans are capable of.

My fave part was the snide ass comment about all them terra-ists who (heh, heh) won't be frettin' none of us world type folk agin' . Of course, any of the documented non-combatants who happened to be in the way won't be frettin' us none neither, I reckin'.

kirkaracha - a perfect comment. I salute you.
posted by Wulfgar! at 8:25 PM on January 28, 2003


Opps I forgot the Democrats response transcript link
posted by elpapacito at 8:26 PM on January 28, 2003


The Dem. Gov. said at the end: Yes, these are challenging times...
Very, very close from the old chinese curse: "May you live interesting times"
posted by MzB at 8:28 PM on January 28, 2003


In the ruins of two towers, at the western wall of the Pentagon, on a field in Pennsylvania, this nation made a pledge

Bush trying to be hip but not realizing the Two Towers are the Axis of Evil (Sauron and Sauruman).
posted by stbalbach at 8:29 PM on January 28, 2003


By the way, the meaning of "evil" has been debated for a documented span of 3500 years. I find Bush's appeal to the common concept of it as a manipulative plea for support somewhat annoying.
posted by Wulfgar! at 8:29 PM on January 28, 2003


I'm glad that he spent some of his time pushing hydrogen. I just wish he'd reversed the ratio of time spent pushing his war and pushing hydrogen.
posted by woil at 8:30 PM on January 28, 2003


He actually boasted about murdering people who weren't definitely terrorists? What a sick bastard.

I thought there were rules about this sort of thing, or at least a gentleman's understanding re: fair trial and all that jazz.
posted by five fresh fish at 8:32 PM on January 28, 2003


...he spent some of his time pushing hydrogen.

"The two most common elements in the Universe are Hydrogen...and Stupidity."

May as well find a use for one of them.
posted by Shane at 8:33 PM on January 28, 2003


bshort:

Does anyone have evidence that Iraq is lying? That they're secreting WMD's somewhere?

My impression is that there are weapons that, from prior inspections, we know existed. Iraq says it has disposed of them, but has not produced evidence or documentation of that claim. My understanding is that not producing that documentation is noncompliance.
posted by claxton6 at 8:37 PM on January 28, 2003


I'm glad that he spent some of his time pushing hydrogen.

Yeah, an expensive new technology that can be easily controlled by a few large companies. Meanwhile, God's *real* gift to the USA, the winds of the Great Plains, go untapped and unmentioned:

According to the U.S. Department of Energy, the world's winds could supply more than 10 times the current total world energy demand. With today's wind turbine technology, wind power could supply 20% of the United States' electricity.

Jesus. Talk about your "wonder-working power." Too bad it doesn't line Cheney's pockets.
posted by mediareport at 8:42 PM on January 28, 2003


Otherwise we're in a catch-22: if he says he's got weapons then he has them; if he says he doesn't, then he has them.

Sorry, but the speech I heard was much better than that. If we cut taxes and spend more, and the economy fails, its Clinton and Congress' fault. If we spend responsibly and we don't succeed in killing everything in the middle east until Saddam is dead, then its Clinton and Congress' fault. Bush did a very good job of shielding the cost of his personal vendetta/war from the economic woes of America.
posted by Wulfgar! at 8:45 PM on January 28, 2003


speaking of wind, does anyone here know if harnessing wind power, to the level that mediareport suggests, would affect weather patterns to any discernible (-able?) degree? Any studies from major wind farms - Cali?

The other problem with wind is the NIMBY effect - powerful people in and around Cape Cod are trying to monkeywrench plans to put a number of offshore windmills in that area.
posted by notsnot at 8:47 PM on January 28, 2003


claxton6: My impression is that there are weapons that, from prior inspections, we know existed. Iraq says it has disposed of them, but has not produced evidence or documentation of that claim. My understanding is that not producing that documentation is noncompliance.

Well, it sounds like its devolving into a he said, she said sort of situation. The only way out of that is for the US (or the accusing agency) to come forward with some sort of proof that Iraq does, in fact, posess WMDs.

So far we've only heard the Bush regime assert that Saddam is lying, but with no proof to back it up.
posted by bshort at 8:49 PM on January 28, 2003


Just so's y'all know why I've been commenting so much here; my wife has forbidden me from speaking of the SotU speech. I just have to let it all out here or I'll explode.

What the hell was with Cheney, the hunchback of Notre Domination? He doesn't look well.
posted by Wulfgar! at 8:50 PM on January 28, 2003


Collin Powell is supposed to present the UN Security council with more hard-evidence on Feb 5th. We'll have to watch the reaction from France / Germany to see if they were swayed at all, which would indicate compelling evidence.
posted by Stuart_R at 8:53 PM on January 28, 2003


What happens when we escalate to actual issues?

I would certainly welcome the change. The first 10 posts or so didn't bode well for a reasonable discussion on a topic I was hoping to get something out of (since I missed the speech). The easy quips and jabs just get old, not funny, and they're pointless.
posted by Witty at 8:53 PM on January 28, 2003


BTW, USA Today has an excellent editorial outlining questions about an invasion of Iraq that the president still hasn't answered. Here's an excerpt:
posted by bshort at 8:55 PM on January 28, 2003


@Mzb: As far as I know from my study of Chinese, that is not an ancient Chinese proverb, despite the oft-given citation. I'm not sure it's etymology.

As for everyone else, as an Independent, I'm amazed by this thread. I think only a few people noticed that Bush gave the most progressive speech of any Republican leader in decades. AIDS funding on a massive scale? Speeding up child tax credits? Did you guys even watch the speech?

But I guess since Bush can't say "nuclear" like a proper Yalie, he's the Devil and should be sent to live with the fishes.

And on Iraq, the UN Resolution specifically says that the burden of proof is on them. There's no catch 22; To paraphrase Mr. Blix, there are certain items and chemicals that they admitted to having and have no proof of destroying. The Iraqis won't say where those items are.
posted by Kevs at 8:57 PM on January 28, 2003


What happened? I thought we were supposed to hate and destroy those who torture people? Don't we all hate dictators? Dems? don't you? I sure do.
posted by tomplus2 at 8:58 PM on January 28, 2003


...we were supposed to hate and destroy...

Ah-hahahah! Good one!



Oh, wait, that's not meant to be a self-referential joke, is it?
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 9:04 PM on January 28, 2003


AIDS funding on a massive scale? Speeding up child tax credits? Did you guys even watch the speech?

Offering empty concessions is an established trick used by both sides of the aisle. No rational congress will trade billions in aid for Africa for billion dollor deficits at home. Bush looks good, Congress carries the responsibility.

Immediate child tax credits do sound appealing, but they have no appeal (or rather an unfair sounding one) to those with no children or to those who are free choice. Has Bush done enough in two years to earn your trust in what he said tonight? Not mine.
posted by Wulfgar! at 9:05 PM on January 28, 2003


[retching noises]
posted by quonsar at 9:05 PM on January 28, 2003


We Americans have faith in ourselves, but not in ourselves alone. We do not claim to know all the ways of Providence, yet we can trust in them, placing our confidence in the loving god behind all of life and all of history. May he guide us now

Would someone please tell this man that he is speaking on behalf of a secular institution (the government). He began to sound like the nut case on my local access cable TV station.
posted by EmoChild at 9:05 PM on January 28, 2003



Well, it sounds like its devolving into a he said, she said sort of situation.


Actually, that's what I speaking against. It's Iraq's responsibility to clearly document what it did to dispose of weapons. They did not do so. I'm not sure where (if this is accurate) the he-said/she-said semblance comes in.
posted by claxton6 at 9:10 PM on January 28, 2003


What happened? I thought we were supposed to hate and destroy those who torture people?

Why haven't we been in Rwanda then? Strip out the crocodile tears over human rights, the bullshit about aluminum tubes and murky ties to Al Queda, and you're left with very little.
posted by machaus at 9:12 PM on January 28, 2003


machaus, not hardly. We done bagged us some suspected terra-ists, by God Almighty.
posted by Wulfgar! at 9:14 PM on January 28, 2003


Chances are that if you ask someone to identify the most moving portion of Bush's State of the Union speech last night, you'll be told it was the part about how Bush will get additional money to those African nations who are fighting AIDS. The cynics among us might suggest that the AIDS part of the speech was meant show the world that America is a compassionate nation, not a country of warmongers.

It turns out that Bush has recently been accused of harming Africa's fight against AIDS, and nothing that he said changes that.

According to Nicholas Kristof in a reccent NYT column, "Over the last few years conservative groups in President Bush's support base have declared war on condoms, in a campaign that is downright weird — but that, if successful, could lead to millions of deaths from AIDS around the world." If true, the most moving part of the Bush speech turns out to be just one more example of the growing realization that there's a big gap between what Bush says and what he does.

Bush/Orwell 2004!!!
posted by EmoChild at 9:15 PM on January 28, 2003


Why haven't we been in Rwanda then?

We should have been. If anything, the US should go overseas more in the name of human rights, since clearly many other nations (specifically European nations) are unwilling to do so.

As for why the US didn't, the genocide was right after Somalia. There was tremendous political resistance to sending troops back into a hostile part of Africa that was of no direct threat to the United States. That situation is no longer the case - in today's world, it would be much easier politically to convince the public to go into a Rwanda-like situation.

Europe is also following this trend. France was quicker to intervene in the Ivory Coast than they have been in a long time (possibly since the Algerian debacle).
posted by Kevs at 9:16 PM on January 28, 2003


Why haven't we been in Rwanda then?

I'm sure if that was suggested people here would quickly find some 'war for oil' angle, soundly condemn the President for his adventurism, scoff at the human rights issues offered and scream about the imperialistic actions of Amerika. Or something like that...
posted by Plunge at 9:20 PM on January 28, 2003


Kevs : And the people of the Ivory Coast, are angry at France for backing a peace deal that grants massive gains to the rebels and greatly diminishes the power of their democratically elected President.

As an aside, my nephew lives in the Ivory Coast of all places.
posted by Plunge at 9:25 PM on January 28, 2003


What I want to know is: why didn't the men in uniform stand up and clap like everyone else?

Not sure, but I intend to find out. I was told (I was listening to the radio) that they did make some funny motions when the issue was related to the military.


the military guys would stand up whenever the president talked about the military or protecting america. my personal feeling was that they only clapped at moments that pretained to the defense of the country and didn't clap at any statement that sounded partisian. the military is suppose to defend the american people and stay out of its politics.

or so i've been told...
posted by Stynxno at 9:27 PM on January 28, 2003


Plunge, if you really think people here are that shallow, with all the links and supporting arguments that have been given re: Iraq, purhaps you'd be happier somewhere else. I suggest Little Green Footballs. They're little, and green. You'll like it there, really.

I'm not trying to silence your sarcasm. I'm just pointing out that you're painting with too broad a brush about unrelated hypotheticals. An excursion into Rwanda would be more like the Bosnia campaign than it would be like the finishing-daddy's-war that faces us now.
posted by Wulfgar! at 9:29 PM on January 28, 2003


To argue (as Kev did, reasonably well) that America did not intervene in the slaughter in Rwanda in no way argues against machaus's point, which if I am correct, is that there are and have been good humanitarian, geopolitically-sound (or apply your own yardstick) reasons for US action in a variety of other places around the globe that far outweigh those being presented for an attack on Iraq.

It seems reasonably clear to me at least that they are being ignored in favour of this disturbing fixation on Hussein because they do not marry up well enough with the preconceived and already-laid plans of the Bush administration with regard to the middle east and oil supplies, and that murder is being planned not because it is right, but because it is expedient.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 9:31 PM on January 28, 2003


Sorry. Change 'did not intervene' to 'had good reasons for not intervening'.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 9:33 PM on January 28, 2003


I got exactly what I expected from Bush's SOU. What really upset me was what he didn't talk about : The looming threat that is quickly becoming the greatest force our nation has ever faced...
posted by jdaura at 9:47 PM on January 28, 2003


Wulfgar! Except for the fact that the horrific human rights issues in Iraq are well documented.

To say I'm painting with a broad brush is true. Looking at the comments in this thread and most other threads that mention Bush makes me think I'm not too far off the mark.
posted by Plunge at 9:48 PM on January 28, 2003


What a fascist liar. Lying, sneering at the American people in prime time. This guy is evil. Absolutely evil.

Thanks for tuning into President Bush's Storytelling Hour.

He said that "Iraqi scientists have been coached." What the fuck was that smug fratboy doing for the last week? Being coached. This guy and his writers are such idiots that they believe the American people are such idiots that his act doesn't rub the wrong way. He spoke of nothing but the traditional bloated government platitudes that have been the mantra versus the "tax and spend" Democrats and then admonished us on all the ways we should fear the world and trust in Him.



Did anybody notice how unfamiliar he is with his piecing together of concepts when used in a thesis-presenting style. How does eye-raq become ee-raq when it falls midsentence? Probably the way America becomes uhhhmrrkuh.
posted by crasspastor at 9:53 PM on January 28, 2003


What happens when we escalate to actual issues?

Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ... Good God - this is MetaFilter. Snide little one-liners taking petty shots at the President is considered to be a substantive discussion of actual issues.
posted by MidasMulligan at 9:54 PM on January 28, 2003


Hahahahaha

Mida$Mulligan has arrived.

Blech
posted by crasspastor at 9:58 PM on January 28, 2003


I'm sure if that was suggested people here would quickly find some 'war for oil' angle, soundly condemn the President for his adventurism, scoff at the human rights issues offered and scream about the imperialistic actions of Amerika. Or something like that...

Ok, let's say that the left used intervention in Rwanda as an excuse to bash Bush for one thing or another.

Bush is already getting bashed for Iraq, but that's not stopping him from planning to intervene there. Indeed, if he was actually doing it for moral (or ethical) reasons, no amount of complaining should change his mind. Clearly, fear of insult is not what's keeping him from acting. It must be something else.

Now let's repeat the question again: why haven't we been in Rwanda?
posted by Hildago at 9:59 PM on January 28, 2003


Crasspastor: what did he lie about? The thing about Iraqi scientists? What's the scoop?
$hoo$.
posted by shoos at 10:01 PM on January 28, 2003


One other aside and not meant to derail but, John Ashcroft was the administration official in a secure location in case something catastrophic happened.

Isn't that a joyful thought.
posted by Plunge at 10:02 PM on January 28, 2003


I gotch yer back Plunge. Bush can't win for losin' on this site. Everything is an evil lie. Wulfgar! litters the thread with his/her own sarcasm then takes issue with yours because it happens to conflict with his/her own liberal shenanigans.
posted by Witty at 10:02 PM on January 28, 2003


--Still no concrete evidence of weapons of mass destruction. Yes, we have no chemicals. Yes, we have no nukes. Yes, we have no anthrax. What we do have is a major world government trying to prove a fact by the absence of evidence. It just doesn't work that way.


claxton6: My impression is that there are weapons that, from prior inspections, we know existed. Iraq says it has disposed of them, but has not produced evidence or documentation of that claim. My understanding is that not producing that documentation is noncompliance.

And on Iraq, the UN Resolution specifically says that the burden of proof is on them. There's no catch 22; To paraphrase Mr. Blix, there are certain items and chemicals that they admitted to having and have no proof of destroying. The Iraqis won't say where those items are.

From my understanding, it's more serious than this. A nation has been charged by another nation of possessing illegal weapons. As noted above, UN Resolutions mandate that the accused nation prove its innocence (the "burden of proof" is NOT on the "prosecutor").

In this situation, it is expected that Iraq help the investigation as much as possible. Instead, the reality is that they are interfering as much as they can get away with. They're verbally denying guilt while covertly acting guilty as hell. Their interference is an admission of guilt.

What confuses me, is what does Saddam hope to gain with this behavior? He is aware of the UN resolutions, and yet he continues behavior that reveals his guilt. The only foreseeable outcome in this scenario is outright American-led war, but with UN support.

Any ideas?
posted by cohappy at 10:03 PM on January 28, 2003


I think Saddam is just that crazy... simply put. I think he wants us to attack and destroy, so he can go down as some sort of martyr.
posted by Witty at 10:07 PM on January 28, 2003


One other aside and not meant to derail but, John Ashcroft was the administration official in a secure location in case something catastrophic happened.

Well, there goes any chance I had of falling asleep tonight.
posted by Ufez Jones at 10:08 PM on January 28, 2003


[quote]I think Saddam is just that crazy... simply put. [/quote]

Whatever keeps you sleeping at night, I guess. To me, that sounds like something one might hear on a talkshow: I just hit you 'cuz I loves you, baby.
posted by The God Complex at 10:25 PM on January 28, 2003


Look what happens when you don't post for a month. For shame.
posted by The God Complex at 10:25 PM on January 28, 2003


Lower taxes and greater investment will help this economy expand. More jobs mean more taxpayers and higher revenues to our government.


So let me get this straight.... We're going to give back $670Billion, in the hope that a few thousand people will get entry-level jobs and pay a few hundred dollars of taxes at most? I actually do have a degree in math, and something here doesn't add up.

I watched until the 'let's just say they won't be bothering us anymore' which caused me to get physically ill. Resident Bush then used the word 'Hitlerism' giving me excuse to call Godwin and leave victorious.
posted by krakedhalo at 10:27 PM on January 28, 2003


Crasspastor: what did he lie about? The thing about Iraqi scientists? What's the scoop?
$hoo$.


What did he tell the truth about? You tell me.

Are you saying he stands by what he says? That he cares about the public, the poor, the *twitch* homeless, the *twitch again* single mothers? Are you insinuating that here cares about these things? Show us where he's ever made one nod towards the underpriviledged (and not in his readi-made speeches of trust in Him propaganda). Didn't your mom ever say "I wanna see actions not words"?

The "Iraqi scientist" bit is that he dares not draw the poli/philosophical conclusion himself and announce out loud, "What the Fuck am I saying????"

Dubya knows it's as much of a plausible argument insofar as he is coached by the interests that make sure he sheds no light on him and his interests and his interest's plans. Why coach in the first place? We're supposed to find fault with "Iraqi scientists" who have been "coached" to uphold the party line as much as Bush himself was coached to do so himself? At the risk of thousands of innocent lives? At the risk of the next world war?

We just coach people into believing what they need to believe.
posted by crasspastor at 10:28 PM on January 28, 2003


cp: You just insinuated you had some insight into the story, that's all. Just thought I'd check.
posted by shoos at 10:49 PM on January 28, 2003


I say no one can make fun of Bush's pronunciation until they learn the difference between its and it's.

And I mean it.

Otherwise, all this discussion was exactly what I expected from MeFi.
posted by TheManWhoKnowsMostThings at 10:51 PM on January 28, 2003


Whom, may I ask, committed this horrible faux pas?

What if someone knew the difference between its and it's but left out or included the apostrophe?

Does that mean they should support Bush because they're just as sstupid?

What about he who puts two ss together? (should that be with an apostrophe? The S has no possession. But I'm unsure here. Two S's together seems odd)

Being chronically inept with English is not something your grandfather would have supported. Leaving out an apostrophe or two is something that he did.
posted by crasspastor at 11:06 PM on January 28, 2003


Ah, let it go, cp. TheManWhoKnowsMostThings apparently doesn't know how to avoid coming off sounding pretentious and annoying, is all.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 11:10 PM on January 28, 2003


"I mean, strictly in terms of non-compliance, an absence of evidence is enough. Iraq had the chance to tell the UN where these materials were, and didn't."

See this document...

"From 1994 to 1998 Iraq was subjected to a strenuous program of ongoing monitoring of industrial and research facilities" .... "It allowed UNSCOM to ascertain, with a high level of confidence, that Iraq was not rebuilding its prohibited weapons programs and that it lacked the means to do so without an infusion of advanced technology and a significant investment of time and money."

"Verifying Iraq's complete disarmament was complicated by the fact that in the summer of 1991 Iraq, disregarding its obligation to submit a complete declaration of its WMD programs, undertook a systematic program of 'unilateral destruction,' disposing of munitions, components, and production equipment related to all categories of WMD. When Iraq admitted this to UNSCOM, it claimed it had no documentation to prove its professed destruction."

"While UNSCOM was able to verify that Iraq had in fact destroyed significant quantities of WMD-related material, without any documents or other hard evidence, it was impossible to confirm Iraq's assertions that it had disposed of all its weapons. UNSCOM's quantitative mandate had become a trap. However, through its extensive investigations, UNSCOM was able to ensure that the vast majority of Iraq's WMD arsenal, along with the means to produce such weaponry, was eliminated."

"As such, the world found itself in a situation where the considerable accomplishments of the UNSCOM weapons inspectors?the elimination of entire categories of WMD and their means of production?were ignored in light of UNSCOM's inability to verify that every aspect of these programs was fully accounted for."
posted by insomnia_lj at 11:11 PM on January 28, 2003


Okay, watched the 9PM repeat. Two points:

AIDS as "the infection": I'm sorry. Maybe it's growing up in the suburbs and paying an unhealthy amount of attention to homilies and folksy language, but I would categorize "infection" as either a boo-boo, an oughie, or a cut you bandage up shortly after applying hydrogen peroxide. AIDS is hardly something that drugs alone can cure (and, boy, there was an awful lot of drugs being thrown around to solve problems, whether for Africa or for medicine in general; are drugs always the best solution for proper care?). At best, it is something that whittles away stamina by systematically attacking the immune system and hittinjg nearly every organ in the human body. Also, the word "infection" implies that HIV-positive people are somehow abnormal, "infected" because they have obtained a disease out of some immoral indiscretion.

And what kind of sick bastard saves face with unilateral aid to those who are suffering? (The African AIDS package as opposed to UN family aid.)

Frivolous Lawsuits: So medical malpractice claims are frivolous, eh? Sure, let's ensure the proper standard of care by making doctors completely unaccountable for their mistakes while simultaneously encouraging HMOs to continue lowballing physicians so that they remain just as overworked and prone to making mistakes as they are under the current system. And how do frivolous lawsuits affect the sometimes extraordinary costs of drugs, medical supplies and, in particular, wheelchairs?

Other Curious Pronunciations: Peninsula with the spanish tilded N, "timidate" instead of "intimidate," "preventive" instead of "preventative." And then the whole cowboy swagger with the "Let's put it this way" preface.
posted by ed at 11:19 PM on January 28, 2003


Dawn of the Hydrogen Age: Wired, Oct 97, "Though most experts believe that the element is at least no more dangerous than gasoline, the public perception, based on memories of hydrogen-bomb tests and accounts of the 1937 Hindenburg airship crash, is that it's extremely unsafe. More worrisome, hydrogen can't easily be stored in a car. If it's stored as a compressed gas using current technology, the amount required to provide the range equal to 15 gallons of gasoline takes up four times as much space and weighs twice as much as afilled gas tank. If it's liquefied, it must be kept below - 423 degrees Fahrenheit, just 36 degrees above absolute zero. Both the safety and storage problems are considered surmountable, but they have discouraged some car manufacturers from embracing pure hydrogen fuel."

University of Melbourne's solution: A delayed port admission valve.

BBC World Service, Sept 2000: "But in order to produce the large amounts of hydrogen, more effort will be required in developing renewable energy sources, such as solar power, and that may take some time yet."
posted by ed at 11:36 PM on January 28, 2003


"He has shown instead utter contempt for the United Nations and for the opinion of the world."

Did anyone else's irony alarm go off on this one, particularly with respect to Kyoto, the International Criminal Court, and the current situation in Iraq?
posted by alphanerd at 11:57 PM on January 28, 2003


Machaus: "The condom lobbyists must have shallow pockets."

Condom lobbyists? Neat.

RobbieFal: "if Saddam is hiding the ketchup, their'll be hell to pay!

their'll? is that really a word???"

I see some of you have been playing that drinking game. An aside: ketchup was originally not a tomato based sauce but anchovy based. The anchovies were eventually replaced by tomatoes so as not to overwhelm the flavor of the main dish.

5FF: "I've read that buses are about 20x more polluting than cars. Around here, that makes them far, far worse than private transportation, as I've yet to see more than three people on a bus at one time. It'd be cleaner and cheaper to send taxis to those that would normally ride the bus."

Sure, maybe buses are 20x more polluting than cars. They also hold 40-60x more people, use less road space per traveler, require no parking garages within the center of cities and, with their successful use, reflect a communal civility and development pattern which is compatible with their use.

Wulfgar!: "Cheney, the hunchback of Notre Domination" Funny!

Witty: "liberal shenanigans" Also funny!



Back to the speech: I am troubled by a lack of vision in the President's address and, more particularly, the Democratic response. We might be able to extract vision, especially from the surprising (red herrings -- upon further reading, see Wulfgar!) thrown about early in the speech. These did not even sound like they could be coming from his Whitehouse. Yes, Bush's speech does have some vision: it's as if the Enlightenment never happened, we can talk with a nudge and a wink about killing people and we all ought to be damn well thankful for the gracious glory of God. Praise Jesus, our Lord and Savior! /me continuing quonsor's retching sounds
posted by Dick Paris at 12:30 AM on January 29, 2003


ed - Frivolous Lawsuits: So medical malpractice claims are frivolous, eh? Sure, let's ensure the proper standard of care by making doctors completely unaccountable for their mistakes...

Actually, his reference was to limits, so that Doctors will continued to be held accountable, but that punitive damages wouldn't be greater than X (assume something with way too many zeroes).

Actually, I think Bush did an excellent job, and that Iraq is in complete violation of the 1991 Cease Fire Agreement and the 2002 Security Council resolution.

There are a lot of issues related to this administration, but I believe he is doing the right thing. If the UN had any ability to get out of committee and act, we wouldn't be in this position; Iraq, Korea, or have experienced the horror of Yugoslavia and Rwanda (the list continues on).
posted by npost at 12:42 AM on January 29, 2003


It's fun to read all the well intentioned efforts to explain the UN inspectors true role and directive to all the Jeneane Garafolos who simply refuse to grasp the concept, preferring to hold fast to their BushBash Nucular rantings.
posted by HTuttle at 1:17 AM on January 29, 2003


Did anyone else's irony alarm go off on this one, particularly with respect to Kyoto, the International Criminal Court, and the current situation in Iraq?

Alphanerd: It was like Big Ben going off in my head. The word "unilateral" keeps flashing before my eyes.
posted by Electrin at 1:18 AM on January 29, 2003


I just saw the address and it was splendid.

Especially compelling were the details on Iraq.

Other extremely lovely high points: Fed tax cuts (big, finally!!!), personal retirement account control, affordable medicine and accessible private (not socialized, for all those outside the U.S.) health insurance, continued humanitarian aid and possible pollution-free hydrogen power. Awesome.

I've never been prouder to be American.
posted by hama7 at 2:22 AM on January 29, 2003


"we must also remember our calling, as a blessed country, is to make the world better".

Shite. When I was a young fella I was always told that Jesus loved me 'cos I was one of God's children too - nobody mentioned that he'd love me even more if I had a U.S. passport. I feel somehow cheated...........

Please tell me that Saint George is playing to the Christian Looney Party here, and that the idea of the U.S as a blessed nation is not an underlying principle of U.S Foreign policy??!! Smacks too much of some seriously dodgy regimes from the past.....

Anyhoo, Hama, without discounting them, surely the 'details on Iraq' are just more of the usual common-or-garden hypotheticals??? Personally, I found that this site contained far more interesting and complex information.
posted by Doozer at 2:37 AM on January 29, 2003


Shite. When I was a young fella I was always told that Jesus loved me 'cos I was one of God's children too - nobody mentioned that he'd love me even more if I had a U.S. passport

That humans beings have a right to liberty and freedom and choice was the point, and that has nothing to do with passports.

Your "interesting and complex" site overlooks the simplicities: Hussein is breaking his 1991 promises of proof of full declarations of disarmament to the U.N.
posted by hama7 at 2:51 AM on January 29, 2003


I've never been prouder to be American.

And I've never been more inclined to be anti-American. But I reckon we can still get along. Funny, that.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 4:17 AM on January 29, 2003


Interesting comment from Andrew Sullivan ".. when he spoke about addiction - a problem I also see all around me - I also felt a genuineness in his words that surprised me. I shouldn't be surprised, of course. Bush was an addict. And he came thisclose to saying it."

Do we know this for sure? Bush as a twelve-stepper makes a lot of sense.
posted by grahamwell at 5:04 AM on January 29, 2003


Do we know this for sure? Bush as a twelve-stepper makes a lot of sense.

I'd rather have this nation run by someone who's seen darkness and willingly escaped it than by someone who's never known it.
posted by oissubke at 5:08 AM on January 29, 2003


boltman wrote:
What was up with the dems having a governor give the response? The speech was nice enough I suppose, but it's not like a governor can respond with any kind of authority about foreign policy or federal programs--the meat of Bush's speech.

Considering that 4 out of our 5 most recent presidents were former governors, I guess I'd be asking why we elect state governors and expect to hear solid foreign policy -- not why we ask a state governor to rebut the state of the union address.

I mean... last night we were basically asking a former governor/oil guy/football team owner to tell us about foreign policy in a "time of war". That doesn't bother you, but a televised rebuttal does?
posted by dryad at 5:14 AM on January 29, 2003


Did anyone else's irony alarm go off on this one, particularly with respect to Kyoto, the International Criminal Court, and the current situation in Iraq?

No.
posted by ParisParamus at 5:19 AM on January 29, 2003


I was suprised to see no one comment on "Throughout the 20th century, small groups of men seized control of great nations, built armies and arsenals, and set out to dominate the weak and intimidate the world. "

It's comforting to see the 21st Century is business as usual.
posted by ?! at 5:23 AM on January 29, 2003


I'd rather have this nation run by someone who's seen darkness and willingly escaped it than by someone who's never known it.

Who said he escaped it?
posted by Kikkoman at 5:36 AM on January 29, 2003


Yes, that was my question. Pretzel anyone?
posted by grahamwell at 5:41 AM on January 29, 2003


But I reckon we can still get along. Funny, that

You've hit the nail on the head, my good man.
posted by hama7 at 5:51 AM on January 29, 2003


I'd rather have this nation run by someone who's seen darkness and willingly escaped it than by someone who's never known it.

Well said. "Rejected" also comes to mind, via "escaped".
posted by hama7 at 5:58 AM on January 29, 2003


"It's fun to read all the well intentioned efforts to explain the UN inspectors true role and directive to all the Jeneane Garafolos who simply refuse to grasp the concept, preferring to hold fast to their BushBash Nucular rantings."

It's not fun to see the world's most powerful leader try unilaterally 'explaining' the UN inspector's true role to the rest of the UN.

Bush has contempt for the hard work of the inspectors, who he called "so-called inspectors" not all that long ago. He also has contempt for the U.N. and its declarations, insisting on acting unilaterally to enforce them, without the approval of the U.N.

He treats their declarations like he treats our Constitution -- he twists them around and interprets them in such a way as to serve his purposes.

(Five bucks to the first person who can show me where in the Constitution it gives the president the power to declare war... any takers?!)
posted by insomnia_lj at 6:09 AM on January 29, 2003


the word "infection" implies that HIV-positive people are somehow abnormal, "infected" because they have obtained a disease out of some immoral indiscretion.

Does this mean that if a doctor told you that you've a throat infection, you would castigate him for slandering your moral uprightness? The word 'infection' implies nothing with regard to morality, it is a purely medical term.
posted by biffa at 6:13 AM on January 29, 2003


I hear the Great Defenders of Duhbya saying that we should invade Iraq because Saddam violated UN declarations.

Are these the same folks who say that we should ignore the UN and invade Iraq anyway if the members of the UN don't agree with Duhbya? There's that irony alarm again ParisParamus, can you hear it this time?

If we're going to invade countries that violate UN declarations then Israel better watch out because I'm pretty sure they've violated more UN declarations than any other country.
posted by nofundy at 6:46 AM on January 29, 2003


The AIDS virus. Hmmmmmmm. Last I checked, HIV is the virus that leads to the condition, AIDS.

Yeah, it's petty to criticize pronunciation and misuse of facts, but people have been fired from jobs for less than that. It's hard to take someone seriously when he sounds like Homer Simpson.

I'm surprised to find a lack of comment here about Bush pushing his faith based initiatives.

Let's reconvene in a year and see how much of his speech has actually taken the form of action. Oh, expect for war. War will happen. The rest of his speech was the usual BS.
posted by archimago at 6:46 AM on January 29, 2003


Oh, I forgot another example of how misinformed and out of touch Bush is. He mentioned HIV medications have dropped from $12,000/year to $300/year. I know plenty of people on the cocktails who would lose their homes if their insurance suddenly stopped paying for the meds. Depending on what combination one is on, the cost today can be well over $1000/MONTH.
posted by archimago at 6:50 AM on January 29, 2003


Ed: Other Curious Pronunciations: Peninsula with the spanish tilded N, "timidate" instead of "intimidate," "preventive" instead of "preventative." And then the whole cowboy swagger with the "Let's put it this way" preface.

"Preventive" is perfectly acceptable. Nothing "curious" about it.

But why let a little English get in the way of a good smearing?
posted by trharlan at 7:07 AM on January 29, 2003


Re: Iraq

Everything become clear to me when I just turn off the talk tracks of all the "chattering classes", both pro and con a US invasion of Iraq, and stare at simple, well accepted maps of the Gulf region showing the proximity of the dense cluster of US military bases to the #1 and #2 largest proven oil reserves in the world (Saudi Arabi and Iraq, respectively).

I think Israel is quite capable of defending itself. So what's up with all the US bases in the region?

I guess that we Americans have some strange fetish for sand, and camels - hey now! - better camels than the poor endangered Tapirs
posted by troutfishing at 7:34 AM on January 29, 2003


Re the pronunciation of "nuclear". He's just pronouncing it the way Carter did.

Re the speech. I liked it.

Re Iraq: The impression I got when I listened to the inspectors' report is that they do not believe Iraq is cooperating.

Have you had your anthrax shot yet?
posted by konolia at 7:37 AM on January 29, 2003


I'll preface this by saying (in somewhat self-indulgent fashion) that, unlike 99% of the posters in this thread, I approached this speech without preconceived notions. I wanted to listen to what he actually had to say -- particularly on Iraq -- without prejudging or filtering it through either knee-jerk support or condemnation. Let's face it, if Bush stood up and read the Democratic Party Platform, most of the people in this thread would criticize the way he pronounced the words (because that's so important). I've said before that I've never voted for a Republican -- including Bush -- for whatever that's worth.

I thought the speech itself, particularly the Iraq portion, was excellent. Well-written and persuasive. I thought Bush's delivery was good, too. For those who disliked his "cowboy" moments, you'd do well to watch historic speeches by the likes of Roosevelt, Churchill, Truman, and Kennedy. You don't prepare a nation for possible war by acting like it doesn't matter. Am I sold? Not yet. From the beginning, I've wanted proof. I've wanted satellite photos, or eyewitness accounts, or verified intelligence. I would have liked to have heard some of those things in this speech, but I'll hold judgment for February 5. Bush has essentially promised the world that Powell will lay our cards on the table. If the evidence shows that Iraq has violated its commitment to disarm, and is actively involved in producing weapons of mass destruction, I don't see how the UN could do anything but authorize force (unless it is willing to accept that it will never be anything but an impotent organization -- the blue hats that cried wolf). I don't believe in war -- I think it represents a failure of humanity. But as long as we live in a world where psychopaths like Saddam Hussein have the means to kill millions of people, diplomacy isn't proving to be an effective option. And I tend to agree with Bush that you can't wait until the threat is "imminent" or until something actually happens. When millions of lives are at stake, you may have to act before the threat becomes viable. If Hussein is developing WMDs (and there's proof on Feb. 5), I think it's the height of ignorance to think that he won't one day use them -- either directly or by giving them to terrorists. Hussein isn't developing WMD to become a player in the mutually assured destruction game. He's developing them to use them. And God help us all if we do nothing and a suitcase nuke kills a million Americans. The blame will fall squarely on the shoulders of those who knew Hussein was developing such weapons, who knew he was irrational and willing to use them, and who nevertheless thought endless talking was the best strategy.

Another question for those who are adamantly against any military action. It's one thing to criticize Bush's approach (and I'm not saying it's not subject to criticism). It's a whole 'nother thing to propose an alternative. Let's assume for a minute that Hussein is, in fact, actively pursuing biological, chemical, and nuclear weapons. What's your alternative? I never hear anyone articulate a viable alternative. Here are some I can think of, but none seem to solve the problem:

* Halt all UN inspections/sanctions. Leave Iraq alone.
* Continue UN inspections, but no threat of force
* Continue diplomatic efforts (if this is your suggestion -- continue until when? what is the threshold for failure? and if the threshold is met, what then?)
* Use military force if and when Hussein attacks the US
* Use military force if and when it appears that an attack against the US is imminent
* Never use military force, even if attacked

Finally, here's another interesting thought. Just two years ago, the debate was about whether sanctions against Iraq should be lifted, let alone whether Iraq should be accountable for its weapons programs. No matter what else happens, Bush has already managed to move the debate way over on the spectrum towards military action. He's secured a strong commitment from the UN against Iraq. The debate now is over whether and when to use force, not whether Iraq should be allowed to be free from sanctions. Matt Welch probably put it better:

I argued my going theory, about how the administration has fine-tuned the tactic of making crazy-sounding unilateralist threats, driving its political opponents (Democrats, the U.N., France) to squeal about being ignored, and then suddenly relenting and forcing the naysayers for an up-or-down vote (which always ends in up). By doing this, I think, he has managed to shift the terms of the debate again and again, to the point where the same people who opposed U.N. sanctions against Iraq (let alone intrusive weapons inspections) are now begging for those inspectors to have more time.

OK. I'm done. That was long.
posted by pardonyou? at 7:47 AM on January 29, 2003


"AIDS as "the infection": I'm sorry. Maybe it's growing up in the suburbs and paying an unhealthy amount of attention to homilies and folksy language, but..." [snip]

I think Bush should have called it "The Chronic" and shown us just how down with the hip kids he really is. That said, from the reaction here it sounds the speech was a roaring success. Sort of distressing, really.
posted by wobh at 7:55 AM on January 29, 2003


Bush can't win for losin' on this site.

Oh, please. One of the quickest and most succinct rebuttals I saw to the spin on that "SUV tax credit" story came from tax lawyers "on this site" a whopping 33 minutes after the original link.

I'm so over the conservative whining about how liberal MeFi is, when conservative opinions get more than a fair hearing here and liberal spin is called out immediately. Drop the victim mentality already, please. Sometimes it seems that what's being objected to is the very existence of people here with liberal views.
posted by mediareport at 7:59 AM on January 29, 2003


Well done, Pardonyou?. My kneejerk ;-) reaction was to take you to task for claiming that you listened to the address on its own terms, wondering if one needs to remove their brain or soul to be unfettered by preconceived notions, but I think you were successful. Your 99% comment is unnecessary though, but I do believe your response is a genuine, mature and thoughtful.

Me, I'll take alternative no 4 please, hold the pickles. (Viability? I reckon that when applied to the question at hand, viability is a measure of one's _________.)

Upon preview: ditto that, Mediareport, and apply it to all media, er, reports. :-)
posted by Dick Paris at 8:17 AM on January 29, 2003


PardonYou - a well written opinion, and it sounded rather reasonable ......except when your argument is placed in the context of the recent writings of the top, dominant group of Bush Adminstration officials (see below).

There is - on Mefi and off - a bizzare refusal on the part of some Americans who call themselves "conservative" to acknowledge stark geopolitcal realities which have been underscored with very, very heavy black magic marker underlining (so to speak) in the writings of Rumsfeld, Cheney and Wolfowitz (see "Rebuilding America's Defenses")

"Though the immediate mission of those forces is to enforce the no-fly zones over northern and southern Iraq, they represent the long-term commitment of the United States and its major allies to a region of vital importance. Indeed, the United States has for decades sought to play a more permanent role in Gulf regional security. While the unresolved conflict with Iraq provides the immediate justification, the need for a substantial American force presence in the Gulf transcends the issue of the regime of Saddam Hussein." (from "Rebuilding...", page 26)

The above document, almost a decade in the making, was initiated by Dick Cheney, as Secretary of Defense, in '91 - as a re-anaylsis of US global military and strategic policy after the Cold War. One of it's principle authors was Paul Wolfowitz, with heavy contribution from Cheney and Rumsfeld. It was finally published in 2000 by "The Project for a New American Century" (see link above, "Rebuilding...")

(From the preface): "If we shirk our responsibilities, we invite challenges to our fundamental interests. The history of the 20th century should have taught us that it is important to shape circumstances before crises emerge, and to meet threats before they become dire."

There it is, the Bush Policy of 'unilateral preventive preemption' and, as this document makes clear, the security of the Gulf region is considered to be of the highest importance by the current, top Bush adminstration officials.

Why? The answer is thick, black and viscous.

So: given this continued refusal -by some conservatives- to acknowledge what Bush officials have made quite explicit ......it reminds me of the sorts of odd neurological conditions written of by the now famous neurologist Oliver Sacks, author of "The man Who mistook his wife for a hat"

"When there is a regime change in Iraq, you could add three million to five million barrels [per day] of production to world supply," he said. "The successful prosecution of the war would be good for the economy." - Larry Lindsey

woo woo woo woo woo woo woo woo woo woo
Godwin alert! Godwin alert! Godwin alert! Godwin alert! Godwin alert! Godwin alert!


"Everybody says I seek war, but I must be conscious of my responsibilities. The menace to our country is such that it cannot be ignored. There is ample proof of the aims of our enemy, and I thank God Almighty for giving me the strength and the knowledge to do what must be done." - Adolf Hitler

"I...did...not..have sex with that woman" - Bill Clinton

posted by troutfishing at 8:22 AM on January 29, 2003


The impression I got when I listened to the inspectors' report is that they do not believe Iraq is cooperating.

Absolutely. The comparison in Dr. Blix's speech (PDF) between cooperation on process (where Iraq is doing a decent job) and cooperation on substance (where Iraq is not doing much at all) speaks to this, I think.

Of course, as was noted above, if Iraq has gone ahead and destroyed things without any record of what and how much was destroyed, then they are going to have a lot of trouble with cooperating in subtance with the UN Resolutions. This means that inspectors will have to either piece together evidence that the weapons existed and were destroyed, or will have to scour the entire country to find out that there is noting to find. Either will take time.

Moreover, the UN resolutions were built on the South Africa disarmament model (which Blix referenced). The trouble is that South Africa wanted to give up their nuclear weapons, and was thus willing to be an actrive participant, while Iraq considers inspections an afront to their soveriengty. Resistance slows things down.

A further problem could be the lousy accounting that usually goes on in gigantic bureaucracies: if the US government was called on to account for each and every WMD that it possesses, I suspect that the numbers would not and could not match up, just due to bureaucratic inefficiency. Iraq's government certainly cannot be more efficient. This only makes inspections more difficult. It doesn't make them impossible, but with Iraq's lack of cooperation, ferreting out errors will take more time.

Here's the thing though. I don't think that the interim report from the UN inspectors can be used to justify war. I read Blix as arguing for a long period (i.e. years of inspections). In fact, Blix argued that inspections are more effective than war in destroying weapons:

From the interim report: It has been recognized that more weapons of mass destruction were destroyed under this resolution [UN Security Council resolution 687 (1991)] than were destroyed during the Gulf War.

Iraq is certainly not cooperating, but the UN inspectors believe that they will be able to make significant inroads. The State of the Union address cited numbers of weapons based on intelligence sources, and noted that Iraq has not accounted for these weapons. A fair question to ask might be whether war or inspections would be more effective in accounting for these all of these weapons in order to make sure that they do not fall into the wrong hands whether by finding them, finding documentation about them, or by finding out that intelligence sources were misinformed).
posted by iceberg273 at 8:34 AM on January 29, 2003


if the US government was called on to account for each and every WMD that it possesses, I suspect that the numbers would not and could not match up, just due to bureaucratic inefficiency. Iraq's government certainly cannot be more efficient.

Smart point, iceberg273. Thanks.
posted by mediareport at 8:39 AM on January 29, 2003


where was the LEADERSHIP?

on reducing energy consumption? - the easy way - "if you've got an SUV... rideshare. do you need to go to the shopping mall twice today? if so? walk or bike one time. turn off the lights. lets all conserve just a little - quit being wasteful." from dubya? nah.

how about leadership on descalating global tension and conflict? pakistan-india (nothing) israel-palestine (almost nothing) russia-chechnya (nothing) venezuela (nothing) ..etc. etc.


on iraq. more of the same.
posted by specialk420 at 8:43 AM on January 29, 2003


Other extremely lovely high points: Fed tax cuts (big, finally!!!), personal retirement account control, affordable medicine and accessible private (not socialized, for all those outside the U.S.) health insurance, continued humanitarian aid and possible pollution-free hydrogen power. Awesome.

re tax cuts: When will people learn that tax cuts don't work? Not only will we be running huge deficits, but tax cuts have never led to economic growth and I doubt they ever will. Meanwhile, state and local governments are being forced to raise taxes, completely offsetting any gains on the Fed level, and cut workers and programs, meaning even more people out of work with less money to spend to stimulate the economy. Is that not backward-assed or what?

re personal retirement accounts: This is a great idea, because, you know, Americans have shown tremendous acumen at managing their 401(k) and IRA accounts over the past couple of years. The dream is over; private, individual investment will rarely lead to higher returns and more probably will lead to less secure financial futures than defined benefits plans.

re accessible private health insurance: Do you really think that you can trust private health insurers, who have historically driven prices up while cutting service, to pander to the greater good of the public? puh-leeze.

re continued humanitarian aid: 1) I'll believe it when I see it, and 2) I wonder how much of that aid will go to 'faith-based' charities?

re hydrogen: Only if today's big oil companies get the jump on building and controlling the architecture for delivering this new alternative fuel.
posted by dogmatic at 8:53 AM on January 29, 2003


William Saletan wrote an interesting piece in Slate wondering where the "state of the union" was in his address. I'm inclined to agree. Two years into his administration, and what has the man accomplished? By giving a "vision sell" at this point, he's clearly positioning himself for a two-term administration. Yeah, sit down, boy- don't count your chickens. We have elections in this alleged democracy.

pardonyou- the proper route is to (a) not prop up dictators like him for decades to begin with, and (b) promote democratic institutions in the region so that they can take care of themselves. If you remove the oil angle, Hussein is a regional problem.
posted by mkultra at 9:03 AM on January 29, 2003


FYI and sort of off-topic, here's a curious Iraqi-type thing that might make some people laugh and will probably give the UN-baiters something else to whinge about, and here's a more interesting Iraq-based morsel that is unlikely to raise too many smiles, but is worth considering nonetheless.
posted by Doozer at 9:09 AM on January 29, 2003


Has anyone watched the SotU address with the sound turned off? What's his body language really saying?
posted by five fresh fish at 9:24 AM on January 29, 2003


A bit off topic (but not really), Over on this Mefi post, you can read about how some of our nations leaders are getting together this saturday at the annual "Wallow" which "celebrates the bloody conquest of the nascent Philippine Republic a century ago in the aftermath of the Spanish-American War. ..."

By the US government's own admission, US troops killed hundreds of thousands of Filippinos, at least (and up to even a few million - they weren't counting very carefully, just shooting a lot) in the war to supress the Phillipine rebellion. In same areas, everyone - men women and children - were slaughtered. (see the Mefi post discussion link above for specific references)
  
But many in the US celebrate this War (really just a slaughter) with amazing zest, reports the Village Voice (see link to article above): "...Recent guests have included Colin Powell and General Richard B. Myers, current chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and many of the country's top military leaders are listed as members..... the guys will toss around revered imperial slogans, such as "Civilize 'em with a Krag!" referring to the rifles used by Americans to kill thousands of Filipinos, who had fought Spain for their freedom and didn't want to be handed over to another colonial power. ...And there will be rousing speeches, like last year's address by top honoree James Schlesinger, the Nixon-era CIA director and defense secretary, who decades later is still an influential hawk urging a new war with Iraq. ...A place was reserved at the head table for President George W. Bush, who was a no-show, but Schlesinger, who received the Carabaos' Distinguished Service Award, delivered an appropriately bellicose speech, telling the crowd, "Someone once said that war is hell, and peace is heaven. But we know that the opposite is true: War is heaven, and peace is hell." (from the Village Voice article "The Empire Strikes Back, Feb 29-Jan 4 2003 issue, by Ian Urbana - linked to above)

Yep, Jim. Peace IS hell. Welcome to Heaven!
posted by troutfishing at 9:30 AM on January 29, 2003


Has anyone watched the SotU address with the sound turned off?

I watched it with Pink Floyd playing in the background. The synchronicity between the musical tempo and Bush's conductoresque movements was breathtaking.
posted by adampsyche at 9:31 AM on January 29, 2003


bio-warfare preparedness? does this include not employing sociopaths as bio-weapons developers? that would cut down on the amount of deaths by anthrax poisoning in the us. not that anyone has been convicted, or even charged as yet.
'...spending...on bio labs to house the most dangerous pathogens known to humankind and the US has some serious explaining to do. Are the USA’s programmes "defensive" and therefore legal? The only thing that could establish that would be an independent inspection team created under the treaty the US destroyed. So the US is asking Iraq to comply with it’s international obligations while hiding from its own.'
posted by asok at 9:32 AM on January 29, 2003


Trout: Humans disgust me sometimes.
posted by five fresh fish at 10:14 AM on January 29, 2003


FFF - Me too. I like Tapirs better (but not in that way...)

Asok - Groovy quote from my favorite document, Rebuilding America's Defenses, page 72 (link above): "

Space itself will become a theater of war, as
nations gain access to space capabilities and
come to rely on them; further, the distinction
between military and commercial space
systems – combatants and noncombatants –
will become blurred. Information systems
will become an important focus of attack,
particularly for U.S. enemies seeking to
short-circuit sophisticated American forces.
And advanced forms of biological warfare
that can “target” specific genotypes may
transform biological warfare from the realm
of terror to a politically useful tool."



Politically usefull tool? For whom?
posted by troutfishing at 10:25 AM on January 29, 2003


Yeah, it's petty to criticize pronunciation and misuse of facts, but people have been fired from jobs for less than that.

I'm sorry — I really don't give a damn about Bush or the SotU, but I couldn't let this slide. Give me a break. Find me one person — ONE — who has been fired for saying 'nucular' instead of 'nuclear.'
posted by IshmaelGraves at 11:04 AM on January 29, 2003


"He has shown instead utter contempt for the United Nations and for the opinion of the world."
Did anyone else's irony alarm go off on this one, particularly with respect to Kyoto, the International Criminal Court, and the current situation in Iraq?

- Yup

I was suprised to see no one comment on "Throughout the 20th century, small groups of men seized control of great nations, built armies and arsenals, and set out to dominate the weak and intimidate the world. "
- Ditto
posted by jacobsee at 11:19 AM on January 29, 2003


For me here's the breakdown:

The Good:
Hydrogen R&D. Though it's two years late, still in my opinion under funded, and there questions linger about his Energy Policy overall, at least he's taking some steps in the right direction.


The Bad:
Tax cuts that won't have an immediate economic impact and again benefit the richest most. He wants this when we already have deficit spending at both the national and state levels and a war eminent. I'm sorry but this is turning out to be the most fiscally irresponsible president I can recall.

Iraq: Unfortunately he took this opportunity to provide the same rhetorical justifications for war as he had already used over and over again. We can't prove that they have WoMD and they can't prove that they don't so we're going to go and take them out just to be safe. Meanwhile the same arguments could be applied countries like Israel, N. Korea, China, Pakistan, India, Saudi Arabia and Iran but surprisingly there is no military action being planned in these areas. In my opinion so far the justification just doesn't wash yet. Maybe they'll come up with some better evidence but I just don't think they have it.

The Trojan Horse Environmental regulations that would allow for logging of National forest land "to protect against forest fires" seems like a good enough excuse...NOT. Or the same voluntary air pollution scheme that seems to have worked so well in Texas that Houston now as the worst air pollution in the nation...

On the Bubble:
Prescription Drug Benefits that were promised three years ago may actually see some action now? I'd say something needs to be but will Bush Inc. make the right choices?

The African Aids Charity seems nice on the surface but again with the tax cuts and a war and a bad economy is the treatment of disease that almost certainly means death a more noble pursuit than the prevention, and research into cures/vaccines? We'll need to see the specifics on this one as well...
posted by aaronscool at 11:26 AM on January 29, 2003


small groups of men seized control of great nations, built armies and arsenals, and set out to dominate the weak and intimidate the world."

That one got a particularly loud, long guffaw out of the group I watched with last night.
posted by mediareport at 11:32 AM on January 29, 2003


The English language is changing, has always been changing, will always be changing.

The shift from "nuclear" (an awkward pronunciation) to "nucular" (a smooth, easy pronunciation) is typical of the way English pronunciation has always changed. It's probably unstopable, so you might as well get with the program.

In another generation, "nuclear" will be yet another one of the thousands of English words that is not pronounced like it is spelled.
posted by straight at 12:09 PM on January 29, 2003


I was willing to let this whole nucular thing drop - it wasn't the main issue for me in watching the SotU, just one thing that came up - but this is nonsense:

"nuclear" (an awkward pronunciation) to "nucular" (a smooth, easy pronunciation)

What's your source on this "ease of pronunciation" comparison? After all, "nuclear" can be said in two syllables (new, clear) with the only bump being the "KL" combination. "Nucular" is three syllables, with a "KYa" in the same spot as the KL. It's not easier for the mouth to say. It's just easier for some brains to remember along with other "ular" words.

And again, it's not that Bush mispronounces words and I'm grasping for something to make fun of him - there's plenty of substantive things I could cite for that purpose. It's that he knows the correct pronunciation, but refuses to use it, of a terribly important word that is at the center of this entire debate. That makes me cringe, and makes me doubt whether we'll ever get to that future where "nucular" is standard.
posted by soyjoy at 12:25 PM on January 29, 2003


Orwell's "Politics and the English Language": "Orthodoxy, of whatever color, seems to demand a lifeless, imitative style. The political dialects to be found in pamphlets, leading articles, manifestoes, White papers and the speeches of undersecretaries do, of course, vary from party to party, but they are all alike in that one almost never finds in them a fresh, vivid, homemade turn of speech. When one watches some tired hack on the platform mechanically repeating the familiar phrases -- bestial, atrocities, iron heel, bloodstained tyranny, free peoples of the world, stand shoulder to shoulder -- one often has a curious feeling that one is not watching a live human being but some kind of dummy: a feeling which suddenly becomes stronger at moments when the light catches the speaker's spectacles and turns them into blank discs which seem to have no eyes behind them. And this is not altogether fanciful. A speaker who uses that kind of phraseology has gone some distance toward turning himself into a machine. The appropriate noises are coming out of his larynx, but his brain is not involved as it would be if he were choosing his words for himself. If the speech he is making is one that he is accustomed to make over and over again, he may be almost unconscious of what he is saying, as one is when one utters the responses in church. And this reduced state of consciousness, if not indispensable, is at any rate favorable to political conformity."
posted by ed at 12:58 PM on January 29, 2003


I find Bush's attempts at Joe Six-Pack cred through mispronunciation of "nuclear" annoying, too. But, really, get an issue.

Also: what drunken Democrat came up with the idea of Gary Locke giving the Democratic response? Forget selling the Democrats to America, after watching last night's 7th grade civics lecture I doubt this guy could sell raffle tickets to his own mother (okay, I voted for him...but only because his Republican opponent would've made the perfect Morticia to Ashcroft's Gomez...)
posted by Ty Webb at 1:17 PM on January 29, 2003


What's your source on this "ease of pronunciation" comparison?

Why else do you think people say it that way? Do you think there's a bunch of rednecks who think saying 'nuclear' is for wimps cause it's too easy and decide to say it the "hard" way instead? Of course not. The "kl" is a stumbling block. The word just comes out more easily as "nucular." It's a general rule of linguistic change that stumbling blocks like that get eroded.

Someone will probably frame me for my pitiful understanding of linguistics, but I think the principle is probably the same as that of the Great Vowell Shift.

Here's a couple more links on the subject.

It's that he knows the correct pronunciation, but refuses to use it
See, I think it's that he (or his advisors) knows "nucular" has become the correct pronunciation for the people he most cares about communicating to. Speaking the language of the people you're addressing is just good oratory.
posted by straight at 1:40 PM on January 29, 2003


"Of course, as was noted above, if Iraq has gone ahead and destroyed things without any record of what and how much was destroyed, then they are going to have a lot of trouble with cooperating in substance with the UN Resolutions."

Exactly, although there is no *if*. Through testing and inspections, they *KNOW* Iraq has destroyed a substantial amount of their WMD, but they don't know exactly how much.

"Moreover, the UN resolutions were built on the South Africa disarmament model (which Blix referenced). The trouble is that South Africa wanted to give up their nuclear weapons, and was thus willing to be an active participant, while Iraq considers inspections an affront to their sovereignty. Resistance slows things down."

Indeed. What was interesting was the comment made by the South African rep. to the U.N. They argued for continued inspections, because, based on their own experience of giving unprecedented cooperation to weapons inspectors, it took the UN two years to verify that South Africa no longer had weapons of mass destruction.
posted by insomnia_lj at 1:42 PM on January 29, 2003


Ed -one good quote deserves another (or two or three or ten...heh):

"The illegal we do immediately. The unconstitutional takes a little longer." --Henry Kissinger

"Throughout the 20th century, small groups of men seized control of great nations, built armies and arsenals, and set out to dominate the weak and intimidate the world. - George W. Bush, 2003 State of the Union Address

"Make yourselves sheep and the wolves will eat you."-Benjamin Franklin

"If this were a dictatorship, it'd be a heck of a lot easier...just as long as I'm the dictator..."-George W. Bush, Washington, DC, Dec 18, 2000, during his first trip to Washington as President-Elect.

"Through technical devices like the radio and the loud-speaker, eighty million people were deprived of independent thought. It was thereby possible to subject them to the will of one man. – Albert Speer, Hitler's Minister for Armaments (at his trial after World War II)

"19 terrorists in 6 weeks have been able to command 300 million North Americans to do away with the entirety of their civil liberties that took 700 years to advance from the Magna Carta onward. The terrorists have already won the political and ideological war with one terrorist act. It is mindboggling that we are that weak as a society." - Rocco Galati

"Today Americans would be outraged if U.N. troops entered Los Angeles to restore order; tomorrow they will be grateful. This is especially true if they were told there was an outside threat from beyond, whether real or promulgated, that threatened our very existence. It is then that all peoples of the world will plead with world leaders to deliver them from this evil. The one thing every man fears is the unknown. When presented with this scenario, individual rights will be willingly relinquished for the guarantee of their well being granted to them by their world government."
-- Henry Kissinger speaking at Evian, France, May 21, 1992 Bilderburgers meeting. Unbeknownst to Kissinger, his speech was taped by a Swiss delegate to the meeting.

"It is clear our nation is reliant upon big foreign oil. More and more of our imports come from overseas."
George W. Bush--Beaverton, Ore., Sep. 25, 2000

"A dictatorship would be a heck of a lot easier, there's no question about it." —George W. Bush, July 27, 2001

"Why of course the people don't want war. Why should some poor slob on a farm want to risk his life in a war when the best he can get out of it is to come back to his farm in one piece? Naturally the common people don't want war neither in Russia, nor in England, nor for that matter in Germany. That is understood. But, after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy, or a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the peacemakers for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country." - Hermann Goering

"The last stage but one of every civilisation, is characterised by the forced political unification of its constituent parts, into a single greater whole."-Arnold Toynbee

"The price of freedom is eternal vigilance." - Thomas Jefferson

"There's no question that the minute I got elected, the storm clouds on the horizon were getting nearly directly overhead." —George W. Bush, May 11, 2001

"Human beings will generally exercise power when they can get it, and they will exercise it most undoubtedly in popular governments under pretense of public safety." -Daniel Webster

"When there is a regime change in Iraq, you could add three million to five million barrels [per day] of production to world supply," he said. "The successful prosecution of the war would be good for the economy." - Larry Lindsey

"Redefining the role of the United States from enablers to keep the peace to enablers to keep the peace from peacekeepers is going to be an assignment." —George W. Bush, Jan. 2001

"Hold on, my friends, to the Constitution and to the Republic for which it stands. Miracles do not cluster and what has happened once in 6,000 years, may not happen again. Hold on to the Constitution, for if the American Constitution should fail, there will be anarchy throughout the world." -Daniel Webster

"You fucking son of a bitch. I saw what you wrote. We're not going to forget this." - George W. Bush to writer and editor Al Hunt, 1988

"If freedom of speech is taken away, then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter." -George Washington

"Everybody says I seek war, but I must be conscious of my responsibilities. The menace to our country is such that it cannot be ignored. There is ample proof of the aims of our enemy, and I thank God Almighty for giving me the strength and the knowledge to do what must be done." - Adolf Hitler

"...advanced forms of biological warfare that can “target” specific genotypes may transform biological warfare from the realm of terror to a politically useful tool." - page 72, "Rebuilding America's Defenses (link above in thread)

"Freedom does not always win. This is one of the bitterest lessons of history." -A. J. P. TAYLOR
 
"I know the human being and fish can coexist peacefully"
-George W, Bush, Saginaw, Mich., Sept. 29, 2000
posted by troutfishing at 2:13 PM on January 29, 2003


I find Bush's attempts at Joe Six-Pack cred through mispronunciation of "nuclear" annoying, too. But, really, get an issue.

Oh, I got issues, don't you worry. But since this one came up for me in watching the speech, this is the one I'll stick with on this thread.

Straight, thanks for the links - they look like interesting pages - but they don't back you up on "nucular," or even mention it, or in fact, any other English word where "KL" was too hard to say and so changed. Having done a good bit of study on how languages evolve in college (for my major), I know that language change doesn't always go from "harder" to "easier" (affectations like "modren" and "aluminium," for example). But even if it did, you haven't given anything but your own subjective interpretation as to why nuclear is hard to say. Conversely, when you ask, "Why else do you think people say it that way?" I've already answered that question: Because it's easier on the brain to remember a bunch of words ending in "ular" than to make an exception for one odd one with a similar ending and remember to say it correctly.

Speaking the language of the people you're addressing is just good oratory.

Yes, and this goes right to my point: This would be perfect if his audience were only a bunch of inbred troglodytes. Unfortunately, the whole world is watching. And I assert that most world leaders and other non-American English-speaking citizens see this as yet another sign - a small sign, yes, but a relentless one - of "America's" arrogance.
posted by soyjoy at 2:42 PM on January 29, 2003


From CNN today: "According to a CNN/USA Today/Gallup Poll of people who watched Bush's speech Tuesday night, 67 percent think he has made a convincing case for military action to disarm Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein, while 30 percent do not. Before the speech, 47 percent of the same group thought Bush had made his case, and 52 percent didn't. "

Did anyone here change their mind based on that speech? I'd like to hear what exactly he said that did it for you.
posted by ?! at 2:44 PM on January 29, 2003


"'nucular' has become the correct pronunciation for the people he most cares about communicating to"

Right. Other morons.

On preview, I see that soyjoy said the same, but with better epithets.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 3:36 PM on January 29, 2003


Forgive me please, but feel free to sing along to "if you're happy and you know it."
*****
If you cannot find Osama, bomb Iraq.
If the markets are a drama, bomb Iraq.
If the terrorists are frisky,
Pakistan is looking shifty,
North Korea is too risky,
Bomb Iraq.

If we have no allies with us, bomb Iraq.
If we think that someone's dissed us, bomb Iraq.
So to hell with the inspections,
Let's look tough for the elections,
Close your mind and take directions,
Bomb Iraq.

It's pre-emptive non-aggression, bomb Iraq.
To prevent this mass destruction, bomb Iraq.
They've got weapons we can't see,
And that's all the proof we need,
If they're not there, they must be there,
Bomb Iraq.

If you never were elected, bomb Iraq.
If your mood is quite dejected, bomb Iraq.
If you think Saddam's gone mad,
With the weapons that he had,
And he tried to kill your dad,
Bomb Iraq.

If corporate fraud is growin', bomb Iraq.
If your ties to it are showin', bomb Iraq.
If your politics are sleazy,
And hiding that ain't easy,
And your manhood's getting queasy,
Bomb Iraq.

Fall in line and follow orders, bomb Iraq.
For our might knows not our borders, bomb Iraq.
Disagree? We'll call it treason,
Let's make war not love this season,
Even if we have no reason,
Bomb Iraq.
posted by aacheson at 3:37 PM on January 29, 2003


whether you agree with bush or not,
that was a great speech.
posted by sgt.serenity at 3:43 PM on January 29, 2003


Well, it sounds like its devolving into a he said, she said sort of situation. The only way out of that is for the US (or the accusing agency) to come forward with some sort of proof that Iraq does, in fact, posess WMDs.

I keep gritting my teeth at the widespread notion, even among those against this idiot war, that all that's missing from our war plank is the presence of "weapons of mass destruction". If there were such weapons discovered, something must be done about it - but all out war would be a terribly unjust overkill.

And overkill is the right word for it.

Recently, details of this upcoming tragedy have come to light, namely the tactic of "Shock and Awe" wherein over 800 warheads will be launched on Baghdad in each of the first several days - ideally, to the administration at least, crippling Iraqs desire to fight back. This is a very clinical way of saying that thousands (tens, hundreds) of Iraq civilians will die in a very short period of time.

For war, any war, there are but a few justifications accepted by the UN (drafted, with our leadership at it's inception). These are:

A nation attacked you.

A nation attacked another nation (a neighbor, an ally)

A nation is has plans to attack you in the near future.

A nation plans to attack another nation in the near future.

A nation has treated it's citizens (and others) with particular inhumanity.

For sure, there's some debate that Iraq meets some of these criteria, but I think they've all been shot down.

-Iraq has attacked America.

Well. Contrary to what far too many Americans believe, there were no Iraqi's involved with 9/11. And Iraq has never made any sort of military offensive against the US.

The supposed assassination attempt on Bush, Sr. has never been conclusively been tied to Iraq, or even that it was indeed an assassination attempt.

-Iraq has attacked another country.

Sure. Kuwait. Over ten years ago. And it was dealt with rather handily at the time - though there are those who would argue that US involvement was wrong. No matter.
There are others that say the allied forces stopped Saddam's megalomaniacal conquering spree through the mideast like a modern day Hitler. No evidence supports this. Is seems that the Iraq/Kuwait conflict was an isolated incident of neighborly squabbling over borders and bank loans.

At any rate, this bullet point justification doesn't cut it as a reason for this current massive war.

-Iraq is an imminent threat to the US.

Saddam possesses or may possess soon WMD that pose a grave threat to the US.

Well. (Again). This is why the inspectors are there. And they are doing that job - to find - and account for known WMD. Good for them. Diplomacy works. But, if, somehow, Saddam has these weapons and the inspectors didn't uncover them, would we here in the Continental US be at risk? The short answer is no. Saddam could have any number of nuclear, chemical or biological warheads, but he does not have the means to deliver it to American shores.
I don't think there's a credible military analyst who would say otherwise.

And the chances of him launching a conventional strike against the US are negative nil.

In short, Iraq is nowhere near being an imminent threat to our borders.

-Iraq may attack another country in the near future.

No evidence suggests this. None of Iraqs immediate neighboring countries have expressed the fear of this happening. The only real threat Iraq posses to the region is a possible attack on Israel....in retaliation to any attack upon it. I don't believe that Iraq would independently launch an offensive against Israel - and I don't believe that any credible analyst would either.

-Iraq has treated it's civilian population terribly.

I'll only briefly mention the fact that there are other countries on this planet, some the US calls its allies, that treat their citizens as bad or worse and the US doesn't feel the need to make much noise about them.

This administration likes to wave the fact that Hussein "gassed his own people" - a statement, that no doubt, most Mefi'ers have thrown out of the house. Saddam did indeed gass separatist Kurds (many civilians, to be sure) as did Iran, but that was over 13 years ago, with tacit US support - and in fact the US blocked a UN investigation at the time.
There has been substantial reportage that the US in fact supplied or helped in supplying Iraq with the means and materials to manufacture such weapons in the first place.


So it all boils down to no real reason to attack and invade a sovereign nation that will no doubt result in - at minimum - the death of tens of thousands of innocent civilians.

Also, it this all just in my head? Isn't this just all common knowledge to everyone?


cd

"The people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. . . .
All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce
the peacemakers for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to
danger. It works the same in any country."

--Hermann Goering, before sentencing
posted by crumblydonut at 4:07 PM on January 29, 2003


"peace in our time"

- neville chamberlain , before world war 2.
posted by sgt.serenity at 10:37 PM on January 30, 2003


"I know the human being and fish can coexist peacefully"
-George W, Bush, Saginaw, Mich., Sept. 29, 2000
posted by troutfishing at 7:15 AM on January 31, 2003


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