Tuesday, January 18, 2011

From Starbucks to Palin

I've completely ruined one of those subjects now. Ah well. At least there'll be more Starbucks goodness. Starbucks is phasing in a new size- the Trenta. For those of you who don't know Italian and need that translated for you (like I did), Trenta is 30. Starbucks is going to be putting a 31-oz size on the market that you can fill with coffee, tea, or lemonade. I'm thinking a 31-oz strawberries and cream frappucino myself, but...yeah.

In other, far less important news, you can hop the border fence between here and Mexico in no less than 18 seconds if you are a roughly 20 year old, fit and trim young woman. Oh, and if you pick the right section of border fence. But don't you know, that fence is sure keeping those immigrants out. Um...yeah.

Iraqi "insurgents" detonated a bomb outside a police station in the midst of police recruits in Tikrit, Iraq. About 50 people died, to the best of my knowledge. Apparently, al Qaeda is trying to destabilize Iraq again. Sounds like a plan. Of course, if these attacks pick up again, we'll have to push back our departure date. Again. Because we can't leave the Iraqis defenseless.

Now to everyone's favorite subject: Sarah Palin. The woman has been constantly in the news lately because she used the term "blood libel" (and obviously doesn't understand the historical connotations of the term), and also perhaps because she used "shut up." Personally, I don't think we should give her the satisfaction. When she made up words, she made us laugh. When she misuses historical terms, that means we should start ignoring her.


Teresa said...

Made up words? What words? Don't you know the Left falsely accused her and other conservative commentators of causing the shooting before the bodies even turned cold on the day of the shooting and before one iota of information was known about the suspected shooter? There were false allegations being made by the Left stream media of their being blood on her hands so her response is justified. Last night on Hannity she displayed that she knew exactly what the term "blood libel" historically referenced and how it has been used in recent times to reference false allegations of blood being on a person's hands. Major fail at your attempt to smear Palin as someone who doesn't know her facts.

Liberty said...

Teresa- to the made up words, I would say one thing: "Refudiate." Yeah. That's about all that needs to be said. In Ms. Palin's infamous tweet earlier this year, she did use that little gem, and then changed her story multiple times about why she had used such a....thing when she clearly meant "repudiate." Then, not only did she refuse to simply say "Sorry I used a made-up word. It won't happen again," she tweeted again using "refute" in the same context, when once again, she quite clearly meant "repudiate." So there's that.

On to the "blood libel." Historically, "blood libel" has always been used to refer to Christian claims that Jews used the blood of children to cook their matzos for Passover. An absolutely ridiculous claim, of course. If you really want to stretch it, the term might apply to religious minorities being accused of murdering children for the use of religious rituals. But since the GOP isn't a religious minority (nor even a political one)...yeah, the term just doesn't seem to fit. Ms. Palin (like Stephenie Meyer) really ought to research the eytomology of the terms she uses before she spouts them on Facebook. That's all I'm saying.

In any case, and to wrap this all up: my original assertion that Ms. Palin is a talk-point spitting, side-stepping politician still stands. That was all I was trying to say. As you know, my dislike of politicians does not extend merely to the GOP: I've poked quite strident fun at Obama, Biden, and multiple other politcians in the past. I just happen to think that, at this point in time, Ms. Palin is a little easier to make fun of than the others. ;)

Teresa said...

Refudiate is cool! Guess that means... you don't like the creation of new words ;) Your being extremely nitpicky but anyways... Please show me an example of a personal attack that you have written about Obama or any other person from the Left.

From Ed Koch: "Today the phrase "blood libel" can be used to describe any monstrous defamation against any person, Jew or non-Jew. It was used by Prime Minister Ariel Sharon when he was falsely accused of permitting the Lebanese Christian militia to kill hundreds of defenseless and innocent Muslim men, women and children in Lebanese refugee camps. The killings were monstrous and indefensible revenge for earlier killings by Muslims of innocent Christian civilians.
Time Magazine published a story implying that Sharon was directly responsible for the massacres. He sued the magazine. At trial it was determined that the magazine story included false allegations, but since Sharon was a public figure, he received no monetary damages."


Liberty said...

"Refudiate" is not a word. "Refudiate" is an example of an extremely ridiculous, near willful butchering of the English language. And no, I don't like the creation of new words when those words are absolutely ridiculous, and there are already words that mean the exact same thing. That's just silly, especially when the English language has existed in its current form for hundreds of years. We don't need new words. v.v And yes, I've been called a nit-pick before. Being a vocab-nazi will do that to ya. :D

As for "personal attacks" against President Obama (which I resent. I try hard not to make "personal attacks." Poking fun at someone's rhetoric? Oh yes. Saying someone wouldn't make a good POTUS? Always. But making "personal attacks"? Never.), go see all my "State of the Union" posts directed at that worthy gentleman, as well as my Afghanistan speech posts. My "Bi-Partisan Interview" here is quite amusing. Also, my post on the President's Nobel Peace Prize "attacked" him, I suppose. See my post about the Obama chia pets for even more fun! Actually, how about this- just go click the "President Obama" tag on my sidebar. ;)

I saw that article just this morning, and Mr. Koch's information is correct. I was incorrect in my assertions. However, I would still point out that, since Mr. Sharon is Jewish, his using the term was still in line with the historical usage. But I defer to Mr. Koch and his exemplary research. :)

suntzusays said...

Palin's use of "blood libel" seemed justified. The offense generated from that was disproportionate, both because the phrase has indeed morphed into a more general use of libelous attacks regarding violence rather than a specific attack of anti-Semitism, and because that line of attack on her speech granted Palin a measure of intellect from people who generally regard her (I think correctly) as a blathering idiot. In part for her "invention" of words, for example.

Knowing this particular phrase and giving her credit there doesn't extend to excusing her overall rambling "defense" however. Which managed to quote Reagan in a way which most people would agree with and then misapply that quote to imply that speech IS or even might be whipping up attacks on officials and bureaucrats!?! Which is it? I cannot tell because her ability to construct and spell out a reasoned argument is seriously flawed. This by now known as her routine: quote famous conservative platitudes or cite famous conservative heroes (which is just Reagan actually), then surround it with the most bizarre series of illogical madlibs such that no sane person could understand her actual point or still find it valid and internally consistent.

In other words, whether or not she used the phrase right does not matter. She's still a buffoon of the "finest" order and should be ignored in political and policy debates forthwith for her lack of serious ability to discuss and contribute on issues in a meaningful way (eg: "panels, death", where she managed to kill a useful idea by mischaracterizing it as something it was not even close to resembling). This newest incident was not a cause for ignoring her, it is simply a reminder that we pay far too much attention to her in our media.

Teresa said...

Thank you for your buffoonery ;)

Liberty said...

Very good Sun Tzu. :))

suntzusays said...

@Teresa, you're welcome.

You never did respond on tax policy, by the way.

As far as this issue, I do not accord her any blame for the actions of some crazy person and thus think it was a huge waste of time to divert attention to her. Not everything in this country is about Sarah. In fact, since she's not an elected official and doesn't know what she's talking about most of the time, very little is.

Liberals would benefit by ignoring her because it is my belief that many conservatives, other than her most die-hard fans who worship her as an idol, like her largely, if not solely, because she irritates liberals. She does not generate or expound upon ideas or a following among moderates for example. So it seems to be entirely a team building exercise in that people are united in hating her on the "other side". If instead people treated her words as the madlibs they are, and nodded patiently with the same tolerance they might show a young child's imaginative rambling stories, we might be rid of her and all of us better for it. Conservatives and liberals alike (after all, if you're a conservative, you probably want someone who can win in '12, and that's not Palin).

Teresa said...

To think that Palin has unreasoned arguments is ludicrous! If you consider the fact that she does not having every word written down for her or posted on a teleprompter she does very well. She is very knowledgeable about energy issues, and knows a great deal on other issues as well. Just because you may disagree with her point of view doesn't make her arguments stupid or incoherent. She agrees with and expresses principles in accordance with how our Founders envisioned this nation as a constitutional our Republic, having a free-market system, individual rights which promote freedom, and morality which is needed to hold our Republic together instead of creeping more and more toward Statism and tyranny as our current president does with his initiatives day in and day out.

I mean think about how Palin was treated when she stated that there were death panels in Obamacare. And, to think that death panels would have to be called "death panels" to actually do the exact same things like deciding who is worth living and who isn't is pure stupidity. Of course the Democrats aren't going to call something "death panels" but in fact they formed boards which will do the same thing. The Democrats wanted to snooker the American people by using a euphemism for the same thing as death panels. Then Paul Krugman a couple months ago verified in a NY Times article that yes indeed there are death panels in Obamacare. So, we find out like many other times that Sarah Palin was correct in her assessment.

Dakota said...

Hey, I just came across your blog by doing a bit of blog-surfing, and I'm glad I did! I've added myself as your newest follower, and I hope you'll check out my Christian devotional site as well: www.nocondemnation81.blogspot.com

Have a blessed day!

In Christ,

Dakota said...

Ps. On her reality show, Sarah Palin made reference to the whole "refudiate" thing. She said it was simply a misspelling of repudiate. We all have a typo in our writing from time to time, don't we?

suntzusays said...

1) "Death panels" referred to funding for living will consultations for people on Medicare/aid. This has nothing to do with officials deciding who lives and dies. It has more to do with how people arrange their own terminal care while on the public's dime.

2) We already have to effectively ration medical resources with terminal care because these are the most costly forms of treatment we have available (and why shouldn't they be if they can sometimes reverse the passage of life into death). The difference is that when these decisions are made ahead of time and made known to the family or legal powers over a person, they will tend to be MUCH cheaper and often with less hero medicine applied. This is true whether someone decides to go the hero medicine route or not in their living will. And they will actually live just as long, on average, as people who don't make these decisions ahead of time. (in other words, terminal care is pretty much as hard as it gets and some people live, and most die, but at the highest possible cost to taxpayers)

Hence, Palin's "death panel" killed a good idea that would actually have cut medical costs. And hence it was a ridiculous piece of nonsense.

I'm not even going to bother responding the rest of that. You're clearly one of the set of "diehard Palin fans" who sees no wrong in her and all the attempt would do is further entrench your like for her against my disdain. I see plenty wrong even with these traits you are advancing that she possesses (constitutional principles, free markets, etc). All one has to do is look at her performance in Alaska to see that these claims are baldly false.

Whether or not someone supports the notion that we are moving toward more statism and tyranny, it does not follow that Palin does not in fact support these things herself in different ways simply because she is not Obama. I would argue that I have observed numerous such statist or anti-free market attempts being described as things the government should do by her reckoning or that she herself has executed while in office.

One should be very skeptical of politicians who advance claims that are at odds with their actual or active performance records when in office or positions of power. Obama is certainly one and Palin is another for which this critique will apply.

suntzusays said...

As a further point, there are many political commentators and politicians for which I disagree but which I find their arguments well reasoned and plausible, if not always convincing. Mitch Daniels for instance appears fairly reasonable when I've seen him speak. Chris Christie is another. I disagree with Ron Paul on almost everything in monetary policy terms, but he at least has well-reasoned and reasonably well supported argument (it proceeds from what I think is a set of false assumptions about the business cycles and the causes of major economic crises), and his tenacity on foreign policy should be well-regarded as reasoned out even if most conservatives still cling to their neoconservative aggressiveness rather than paleoconservative traditions of isolationism. It is true there are few social conservatives and neo-cons which I agree with on much of anything, but I've seen constructive arguments made for laws against abortion or for interventionism abroad (by conservative pundits such as Ross Douthat or Reihan Salam or Eli Lake).

What Palin does is not construct reasoned arguments from ideological perspectives, as these figures have done. She is instead more like a Rush Limbaugh or Glenn Beck figure who attacks the other side (in a less showman-y way) rather than who advances constructive arguments which actually support her positions. This makes her an irritation, but not much of a useful one because she will never convince people who disagree with her that she has a point. She will only entertain her base of support that already agrees with her. As an example of how this works, see most Republican congressman other than Paul Ryan and a few others on fiscal issues (Eric Cantor or John Boehner in particular are renowned at this). Shouting that the other guy is screwing everything up may or may not be useful, but if there is not a sense of "we can do better, here's how" being advanced, then you may as well just shut up. Democrats are often no better on these and other points for defending their actual positions.

suntzusays said...

Incidentally, Paul Krugman is another figure I (very) often disagree with who advances well-reasoned arguments. Part of my frustration with him is that when he does, he can be convincing to people who disagree with him, but he too often dives into the Palin/Beck rhetorical assault bag of tricks (as he did a few months ago).

If you actually look into what he claimed on the "death panels" what he was actually doing was making fun of Palin. His retort there was to claim that, yes, if you simply killed off old people instead of giving them medical care essentially for "free" like we do now, it would save money. It's the same thing he said back in March. This has nothing to do with a) what's in the bill and b) what will actually end up happening.

What he's actually talking about is medical effectiveness or a cost-benefit ratio for medical care. Medical effectiveness (as opposed to calling it a death panel) is another one that seems to annoy people. But if a treatment costs many thousands of dollars and has a very small chance of success, perhaps giving us an average of a few days of extra life at best, then I do think we ought to question whether or not taxpayers should be paying for it as a part of our already massive public sector health care funding. And there are many, many such drugs and procedures for which this is true, which if they were subjected to actual free-market cost benefit analysis, they would fail miserably. Instead, we pay for it. And people like Palin defend that we shall persist in doing so, and indeed, do not even allow us to have an adult discussion on how to cut funding for the massive public sector health care through Medicare/aid (and other sources), which is among our most significant spending outlays in the federal budget, along with other entitlements like social security, while simultaneously demanding that the government shrink and spend less money (without telling us how that will happen in a significant way).

Is any of this making any sense as a problem here? Does this compute as a logic error and poor reasoning, or is it simply masterful politician speak (just as Obama does)? Promise the people what they want, without telling them that they cannot actually have it.

Liberty said...

Dakota- Hi! Welcome to my followers list! :D I might be willing to give Ms. Palin the benefit of the doubt if her story hadn't changed several times. First, she tried to use the "creating a new word" gimmick, and when that was laughed out of the proper English community, she went to the excuse that she had accidentally hit f instead of p, which is also pretty implausible since they're all the way across the keyboard from each other.

But in any case, as Sun Tzu pointed out, it's silly to waste too much time on the merits of the non-word refudiate, and since Ms. Palin obviously doesn't have the gumption to just admit she didn't know the word, we shan't discuss it any more. :D