Friday, February 22, 2013

Professional Left Podcast #168


  1. A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm. 
  2. A robot must obey orders given it by human beings except where such orders would conflict with the First Law. 
  3. A robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Law.
-- Isaac Asimov's Three Laws of Robotics

  • The Verge: Romancing the drone: how America's flying robots are invading pop culture 
  • Joan Walsh in Salon: Targeted Killings: Okay If Obama Does It?

Da' money goes here:


Jack said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jack said...

Hi Driftglass,
I have not yet listened to this week's podcast. (For which, *thank you* and thank Blue Gal.)

But I did just start it, and have listened to the first minute or two, and I see you got some pushback from purity trolls about last week's podcast. So, before I go any further in listening to this week's podcast, I want to say that last week's, in which you went after the false equivalence of the purity troll left and attacked the idiotic notion that "Obama's just as bad," was one of your best. You explained beautifully the reasons why that thinking is dangerous and stupid.

So, yeah, some "clever" poster accusing you of saying "but the Republicans." Har har har. That may strike them as very clever, but you and Blue Gal also popularized the notion that "both sides don't," and let's face it: "Both sides don't" is just another way of highlighting the critical point lost on the false equivalencers: while yes, the Democrats are far from perfectm, the Republicans are far, far worse.

If people think it's hypocritical to say "but the Republicans are worse," they are totally missing a point you have been making since you started your podcast: The parties ARE NOT equivalent; the Democrats are the moderate conservatives, and the Repbulicans are crazy.

Know that you have at least one person in your corner, and I hope you never feel the need to muddy your message to appease the purity trolls of the left.

After listening to your ruminations about Gore in 2000 in your last podcast, I did resign myself to the thought that the left is bound to do the same thing this time around: instead of recognizing what a blessing Obama's presidency is (all faults stipulated), we are increasingly likely as we approach 2016 to find many on our side screaming about how he's no different from the CEO of Exxon or the head of the Westboro Baptist Church. I appreciate the fact that you are fighting this tendency, because it could lead - as it did in 2000 - to another horrific Republican presidency, with disasterous consequences for the world.

Keep fighting the false equivalence and the purity trolls who refuse to recognize that both sides DON'T, and Obama is NOT equivalent to the protofascist GOP.

Anonymous said...

a comment about our form of government and trusting dear leader...

My understanding is that our Constitution was premised on a grim view of human nature. Under this view lying, thievery, embezzlement, murder and torture for personal gain were seen as very real possibilities- perhaps even likely events. Madison particularly saw humans as untrustworthy, so he devised a system of government that placed severe constraints on what dear leader could do. Divisions of power and checks and balances were instituted in an effort to take trust out of the equation.

According to my reading of the Constitution, Madison would have found grounds for impeaching both Barack Obama and George Bush. (And No, I'm not saying both sides are the same.... There are no differences between the parties.... blah blah blah)

We don't need cheerleaders. Don't place trust in politicians of either party. Be suspicious and wary of all government officials. Pay attention to what politicians do and demand accountability by exercising your right to vote.

Anonymous said...

According to my reading of the Constitution, Madison would have found grounds for impeaching both Barack Obama and George Bush

According to any specific reading of the Constitution you can likely find reason to impeach every single chief executive who ever took the oath, including Madison.

Though I have to think that since Congress gave both these CINCs the authority to do a thing they aren't likely to turn around and impeach them for then doing that thing. Maybe I'm mistaken.

Sean Riley said...

I can't decide which of you I Bro-love more!

Kevin Holsinger said...

Good morning, Mr. Glass.

For what it's worth... I've been yapping since about 2005, the "War on Terror" needs to be called off (in my opinion), and we need to go back to treating terrorism as a law enforcement problem.

A sizeable chunk of the American people were traumatized by the 9/11/01 attacks, and told that if we went to war with terrorism, the government could guarantee that we'd never have to suffer like that again. It's an understandable reaction, but not practical.

It's like if after the Kennedy assassination, Mr. Johnson said, "Well, we treated assassination as a criminal matter, and that approach failed us. So from this point forward, we're waging a war against assassination."

Had we done that, we'd either be:

1. Bankrupt from the mini-wars that were part of the larger "War on Assassination"
2. A dictatorship thanks to giving up all our liberties in the name of fighting the war
3. Still fighting the "War on Assassination" a half-century later, and no closer to victory

But we could eliminate a lot of your practical concerns over drones and whatnot by just accepting that we can never guarantee that we won't be attacked again, and call off the war.

The world isn’t a battlefield. There’s no “emergency” that the government needs supposedly fleeting powers for. There’s no war that you can lock people up “for the duration of.”

We’re not Klingons, and we need not reconstruct our culture around perpetual warfare.

Enjoy the rest of your weekend.

Balak said...

You liberal gatekeepers have just one real purpose: Behind all your gooey sympathetic phrases, you have to hide from your dupes who is meant by 'WE'...

Just listen for it in every podcast. 'We' is the gooey invisible paste they use to make decent - ordinary working people, blacks and other oppressed minorities et al. co-responsible for the crimes of their rulers and oppressors (Washington's wars, drones, torture, mass-murder, etc)

This is what underlies Driftglass' predicament - waking up every morning, looking in the mirror and seeing none other than... David Brooks.

Instead of rewriting history to create an imaginary benevolent and rational Republican Party, DG must wake up every day to rewrite history to create an imaginary benevolent and rational U.S. imperialism... while spitting on, demonizing etc the 'dirty hippies' - i.e. principled opponents of the ruling class and THEIR system capitalist imperialism.

driftglass said...

"You liberal gatekeepers..."

Ok, that made me laugh.

Anonymous said...

I have to give some credit to "Balak". Its one thing to be an attention starved, reality detached, thread jacking purity troll, but its quite another thing to be an entertaining one (or possibly to do an entertaining impression of one).

Hamfast Ruddyneck said...

This is why I still have hope for Drifty. He still has the cojones to let comments like Balak's through.

@Balak: NICE one. You make me sound like an Obot. ^_^

ScottK said...

Just got round to listening on the drive home tonight. You were talking about why Republicans let their guys get away with murder while the Democrats can't stop criticizing their own.

It comes down, in my opinion, to policy vs. tribalism. Liberals want certain things, certain policies, and we'll try to choose the right person to achieve them. When they don't, we feel angry and betrayed, and talk about it. Republicans believe in only one thing: Republicans should be in charge. Once they put their man in the big chair, all's right with the world- and Obama is ever so not one of them.

He's the star player for the visiting team; he might hit .500 and cure scrofula with a touch, but to the fans in the stands, he sucks!