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The Big Obama Administration Thread

Discussion in 'Alley of Lingering Sighs' started by Death Rabbit, Mar 2, 2009.

  1. countduckula Banned

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    Why would I care about the utility of something to individuals other than myself? I'm hardly going to prioritise the experiences, perceptions and interpretations of other people over my own, unless there is a damned good reason for me to do so.

    For example, if I experience tremendous stomach pain every time I take Drug X, and another individual swears to God almighty that Drug X has never given them a stomach ache, I think I'll make a decision based on my own subjective experiences.

    And the problem with that is...?

    And subjectivity is unfortunately often attached to objectivity. In fact, I'd argue that all observations are subjective (to a degree) by nature of a human's sensory apparatus.

    Furthermore, how one interprets 'objective' facts is often partly subjective, and depends on experience, biases, and the context in which the observation is made. For example, a microbiologist will be able to observe a mitochondria through a microscope, whereas the average layman will be unable to distinguish any organelles from the same sample.
     
  2. Chandos the Red

    Chandos the Red This Wheel's on Fire

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    General David will be next on the attack list of the conservative punditry:

    But why bother to LISTEN to the people who actually have to fight the "War on Terror?" The answer should be obvious: It is to become more like the people we are fighting. The more we become terrorists ourselves, the better our chances of "winning the war." Just ask Dick.



    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/05/26/petraeus-endorses-obamas_n_207513.html
     
  3. Ragusa

    Ragusa Eternal Halfling Paladin Veteran

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    Brilliant. It has something to do with how convincing your argument is ...? Let us put that reply back into context.
    So what personal experience of yours is it that gives your personal opinion on torture a greater validity than that of an experienced interrogator (besides, the guy from the article is the guy in that video)? Or what good reason is there to disagree with him?
     
  4. countduckula Banned

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    My personal experience of having read accounts of torture being used to successfully extract information?
     
  5. The Shaman Gems: 28/31
    Latest gem: Star Sapphire


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    That it is sometimes not effective has nothing to do with whether it was abused or not. Also, even if it were effective it need not be legitimate, at least in the sense I understand the word.


    Not quite. Torture may yield useful information, but definitely does not guarantee it any more than any other method does. As for your common sense - sure, people have breaking points, but there is no guarantee that the torturer knows when to reach it or when it has been reached and they are just spewing whatever they can to make it stop. In any case, you need information to collaborate it. You seem to suggest torture is infallible (at least, if done right) - I say that other methods are more effective and less problematic in the short or long run. You can not prove that torture "not abused" is more effective than any other method "done right".


    See before. Yes, torture may yield the right results. So can building trust with the prisoner, bribing them, promising cookies (oh, and by the way, sanctuary), just asking nice and any number of things up to and including asking oracles or reading pig entrails. Most of them don't have the additional effect of various people hating your guts, possibly enough to pick up an AK-47 or two. Also, torture severely limits any the subsequent use of any non-hostile interrogation method. If someone spent several days shocking your scrotum, then tried to gain your trust, would you give it?

    It can be effective. It can also backfire, in more ways than one. People can, and have been shown to, lie or invent even under duress - arguably, given some of the "information" collected in Gitmo, particularly under duress.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 27, 2009
  6. T2Bruno

    T2Bruno The only source of knowledge is experience Distinguished Member ★ SPS Account Holder Adored Veteran New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!) Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    When men like Petraeus and McCain say 'no' to torture, I think it's time other leaders listen.
     
  7. Ragusa

    Ragusa Eternal Halfling Paladin Veteran

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    Ah yes, accounts. I myself can't help being permanently smitten by the subjective experience of reading. Op-Eds? First hand accounts? Major Alexander offers that. He interrogated about 300 people personally, supervised hundreds of interrogations and led the team that located Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the head of al-Qaeda in Iraq. Impeccable source.

    How do you decide on what accounts you want to trust and which to ignore? Strictly subjectively, by gut feeling?

     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 19, 2015
  8. LKD Gems: 31/31
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    Not to derail the current line of argument, but what has Obama been doing lately -- as in the last few days? Anything interesting BESIDES the whole Gitmo thing? If I were an American, I'd be concerned about Gitmo, sure, but I'd be a lot more concerned about the unemployment rate, the crime rate, the current cost of gas and groceries, and other little issues like that.
     
  9. Blades of Vanatar

    Blades of Vanatar Vanatar will rise again Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    LKD - I agree. It's disturbing what's going on down on the border of Mexico and all the related kidnappings in the Phoenix area. Plus gas prices have shot thru the roof lately. It cost me 50 bucks to fill up my Camry this week, aarrgghh!:mad: I was hoping with a Dem in office, the gas prices would of lowered and stabilized, but they have been climbing back up instead.
     
  10. Aldeth the Foppish Idiot

    Aldeth the Foppish Idiot Armed with My Mallet O' Thinking Veteran

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    Blades - it was Memorial Day weekend, the unofficial start of summer, and the time when people start taking vacations (and usually driving to get there). Gas prices ALWAYS go up in the summer months. I've read a few economist forecasts, and while they do anticipate a continued rise in gas prices in June and July, they aren't forecasting anywhere near the $4 per gallon we were paying last year at this time. Most economists predict summer gas prices between $2.60 and $2.75 per gallon - high, but not like last year.

    As for what Obama has been doing the last couple of days, I imagine that a lot of it has been taken up by making his SC nomination.
     
  11. Drew

    Drew Arrogant, contemptible, and obnoxious Adored Veteran

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    Sadly, this is one thing that Obama probably can't fix. The reason US gas prices rose so much had a lot more to do with our weaker dollar than it did with an increase in demand (and when the price started to taper off a bit, it had a lot more to do with decreased US demand than it did with increased faith in the dollar worldwide). The US dollar is now worth about half of what it was worth in 2000, so it's hardly surprising that gas would cost nearly twice as much. Unless Obama wants to change our economic model to one that encourages Deflation in order to bring the value of our currency back to where it was*, you can expect gas prices to stay pretty much where they are -- at least until the rest of the world's currency drops as far as ours has.

    * Economists would consider this a very risky move.
     
  12. Chandos the Red

    Chandos the Red This Wheel's on Fire

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    The battle on healthcare is about to begin (June 6th). It will be an epic battle as well. We may even have to declare a "National War on Healthcare."
     
  13. Death Rabbit

    Death Rabbit Straight, no chaser Adored Veteran Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    Gas prices are really pretty decent, all things considered. Yes they're going back up (summer's starting), but prices are about $1.50/gallon lower than they were this time last year.

    Don't jinx it - I've got a road trip next month! :D
     
  14. joacqin

    joacqin Confused Jerk Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    I get really resentful when I hear you guys talk about how expensive your gas is. Here it costs around €1.30 per litre. Gas is cheap in the states, real cheap.
     
  15. Death Rabbit

    Death Rabbit Straight, no chaser Adored Veteran Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    Oh believe me, I know this jaoquin - we are lucky. Americans are spoiled little babies when it comes to energy prices, I'll be the first to say it. You don't win elections by telling Americans they are spoiled little babies, however (which is why it was brought up here). ;)

    My comment was within the context of what we're used to paying, and how that price effects our economy at large.
     
  16. The Shaman Gems: 28/31
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    Oh yeah, that will be a big one. Good luck to Obama - he'll need it. The insurers might have posed for a photo op with him, but if they think their interests are threatened he may find so many knives in his back that he looks like a anthropomorphic hedgehog. BTW, I'm not very clear what his position on the topic is. During the elections, he didn't go as far as Clinton and Edwards in proposing unversal (adult) coverage, so he may have some leeway. Still, his programs so far seem quite ambitious, so I think he will at least try to get a very inclusive package in. There was talk about offering everyone the option to buy the kind of coverage US politicians are getting (though probably with decreased fees and premiums), is this still in the works?

    Frankly, between this, the currently brewing crisis with North Korea and everything else on the table (hello, Iraq and Afghanistan, we will get to you soon enough) Obama may need a magic wand the size of the Washington Monument to keep everything in some semblance of order.
     
    Last edited: May 27, 2009
  17. Aldeth the Foppish Idiot

    Aldeth the Foppish Idiot Armed with My Mallet O' Thinking Veteran

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    I don't think Obama will get universal health care. What I think he can get is to stop the health insurance companies for denying appliants due to "pre-existing conditions". Another thing that I think he can get (and I think it is unconscionable that we don't have this already) is to get universal health care for children. It's not a kid's fault if his parents don't have health insurance.

    The thing is though, UHC for children would be a good stepping stone. If we guarantee health care for those under 18, and we already have a system in place for those over 65, we are already paying for the two most expensive groups - the elderly and young. The cost per capita of the 18-64 group is less than the under 18 and the 65+ group.
     
  18. T2Bruno

    T2Bruno The only source of knowledge is experience Distinguished Member ★ SPS Account Holder Adored Veteran New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!) Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    The key question is how will the health insurance be paid for. Medicare and medicaid are in dire straights right now. Health care for all children will also be very costly. A recession (bordering on a depression) is not the time to be asking for that kind of money.
     
  19. Chandos the Red

    Chandos the Red This Wheel's on Fire

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    T2 - A national sales tax?
     
  20. Blades of Vanatar

    Blades of Vanatar Vanatar will rise again Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    Prices do go up every year at Memorial day, but this much? I don't think so. Here in Rockford they jumped 42 cents in a month. One night, they jumped 18 cents on average around here! Some stations went up as much as 21 cents. Overnight! That's just ridiculous!
     
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