Friday, October 19, 2007

tit for tat

My father has been convinced ever since I attended a liberal arts college starting in 1990 that my politics have gone astray, and so for a few years he would every once in a while send me a little column clipping or email joke revealing the evilness of Democrats. He took a few years off, but has sent two items in the past week to myself and a couple other family members. So I, for the first time in 13 years, responded. I usually didn't in the past because I'd rather spend my time visiting with him about other things and not debating political points. So first, we have the forwarded joke. And then below it my response (and, yes, I used the same C.S. Lewis quote yet again. Sorry! It's in my head.) As far as I know my father hasn't come to this blog in a year or more, but in case he does now, "hey, daddio!"

Original joke forwarded to me:

A little history lesson: If you don't know the answer make your best guess. Answer all the questions before looking at the answers. Who said it ?

1) "We're going to take things away from you on behalf of the common good."

A. Karl Marx
B. Adolph Hitler
C. Joseph Stalin
D. None of the above

2) "It's time for a new beginning, for an end to government of the few, by the few, and for the few and to replace it with shared responsibility for shared prosperity."

A. Lenin
B. Mussolini
C. Idi Amin
D. None of the Above

3) "(We)...can't just let business as usual go on, and that means something has to be taken away from some people."

A. Nikita Khrushev
B. Josef Goebbels
C. Boris Yeltsin
D. None of the above

4) "We have to build a political consensus and that requires people to give up a little bit of their own...in order to create this common ground. "

A. Mao Tse Dung
B. Hugo Chavez
C. Kim Jong Il
D. None of the above

5) "I certainly think the free-market has failed."

A. Karl Marx
B. Lenin
C. Molotov
D. None of the above

6) "I think it's time to send a clear message to what has become the most profitable sector in (the) entire economy that they are being watched."

A. Pinochet
B. Milosevic
C. Saddam Hussein
D. None of the above






Answers:

(1) D. None of the above. Statement was made by Hillary Clinton 6/29/2004
(2) D. None of the above. Statement was made by Hillary Clinton 5/29/2007
(3) D. None of the above. Statement was made by Hillary Clinton 6/4/2007
(4) D. None of the above. Statement was made by Hillary Clinton 6/4/2007
(5) D. None of the above. Statement was made by Hillary Clinton 6/4/2007
(6) D. None of the above. Statement was made by Hillary Clinton 9/2/2005

Be afraid. Be very, very afraid and vote



And here is my response:


I thought I would take a few things completely out of context, associate them randomly with evil people with no basis whatsoever, and send it back to show how silly the below joke is, since the joke declares at the end that it provides a good reason for how to cast your vote. For the record, I've never been a supporter of Sen. Clinton, though if she's the best choice left come next year, I might cast a vote that way. Depends on the choices I have.

History Lesson 2:

1) Name the world leader who invaded a country that had never attacked the leader's and continuously changed the reason for the invasion over and over to keep justifying the decision.

a) Hitler
b) Saddam Hussein
c) George W. Bush
d) all of the above

2) Name a world leader who raided the personal communications of his nation's citizens whether or not there was a law on the books expressly forbidding it

a) Joseph Stalin
b) Pinochet
c) George W. Bush
d) all of the above

3) Which world leader continuously redefined the definition of torture so that practices previously forbidden could be made acceptable?

a) Pol Pot
b) The Dark Lord, Satan
c) George W. Bush
d) all of the above

4) Who was quoted once as saying, "yummy!"?

a) The cannibalistic headhunters of Bubutomtom
b) Jeffrey Dahmer
c) George W. Bush
d) all of the above




The answer is of course d) all of the above. At least, I would assume they all said, "yummy" at some point in their lives. Does this poll needlessly obscure possibly justifiable positions of the current administration, randomly associate evilness with these decisions so as to make them sound wrong by association rather than genuine argument, and generally mislead everyone involved by providing no useful context? Yep. But so does the first poll.

My favorite question is #4. It reminds me of an old joke about the mis-use of statistics that used to travel around the internet. One of the lines was something like, "did you know that 99% of convicted criminals are bread eaters?!"

According to conservatives, the left has been suffering from Bush Derangement Syndrome for the last 8 years, so I'm glad to see that we might move straight to Clinton Derangement Syndrome. My own position? Summed up best by this quote from my radical leftie pinko pal, C.S. Lewis, in his classic book, Mere Christianity, which was published in 1943. Quoting:

"Suppose one reads a story of filthy atrocities in the paper. Then suppose that something turns up suggesting that the story might not be quite true, or not quite so bad as it was made out. Is one's first feeling, 'Thank God, even they aren't so bad as that," or is it a feeling of disappointment, and even a determination to cling to the first story for the sheer pleasure of thinking your enemies as bad as possible? If it is the second then it is, I am afraid, the first step in a process which, if allowed to the end, will make us into devils. You see, one is beginning to wish that black was a little blacker. If we give that wish its head, later on we shall wish to see grey as black, and then to see white itself as black."

Your son, nephew, cousin, or brother,

Paca

10 comments:

writtenwyrdd said...

Oh, Paca, that's a fantastic quote. I might rip it off, er, repost it on my blog later. I know CS is a philosopical writer, but I only ever read the Narnia books and tried to read his SF.

Ello said...

Paca - I really loved this post! It really brings to life how anything can be edited out of context to mean something completely different. Although I too am not a big Hilary supporter, like you, if she is the best left standing, I will vote for her. But any extremist group is frightening to me for the reason that they twist the normal into extreme cases of untruth.

And great quote!

Church Lady said...

I'm learning that lawyers and linguists should be my friends. Yep.
:-)

Courtney said...

like i said in my email to u, "ur the mf bomb!!!"

Robin S. said...

Wow with the Hillary stuff. Frightening- context or not. I'm not wild about anyone who's gonna help me help myself because I'm just not smart enough to think for myself.

Are we sure these are actual quotes and not urban legend stuff?

pacatrue said...

Well, robin, we don't know, of course, since the email doesn't tell us (assuming they are accurate at all). Three of the quotes are all from a single day, and they sure sound like the hearings with the oil companies when they were making record profits during some of the highest gas prices the nation has seen. Some people were saying that the companies should give some of their profits back. Even if this is what's going on, and even if this is what Clinton was arguing for, and if that is wrong (which I am inclined to say it is), it's a far cry from that to insinuating that not even Hitler or Stalin would say these horrible things.

Clinton's possibly real flaw is in attacking a large corporation, possibly engaged in questionable practices, but the removal of context is done so we think she's talking about some general principle.

I think it's far more useful to say that Clinton (maybe) once said these things to Exxon and Texaco and how that's wrong than to compare her to people who murdered thousands or millions of their own citizens.

Robin S. said...

Hi paca,

I kinda expected you to know me well enough by now (even by blog!) to know I wasn't comparing her to anyone, but, rather, amazed that these things came out of her mouth. I was wondering if this was urban legend stuff.

I, like ello, am not that into Hillary, for my own reasons - frankly, my own reasons are feminist reasons.

Being politically a moderate, and religiously an agnostic (at most), I have an active dislike for radicals on either said of any fence. They screw the world up, time and time again.

And I believe the way despicable assholes (such as the ones on these lists) get away with screwing-up-the-world crap in the first place, and time and time again, is - they surround themselves with a group of starry-eyed believers (with their own hidden agendas), a group of enforcers (verbal and non-verbal, hidden and non-hidden), and a bunch of sheep around the perimeter of the action. As I'm not a believer type, not an enforcer type and certainly not a sheep, I question and watch -
because I don't believe that there is a human being seeking power who doesn't think they "know the way" more than is healthy for the rest of us.

Whoever it is. Whatever side they're on. Corporate or political.
I'm not paranoid or angry. I'm simply not averse to facing reality, and pretty good, I think, at sussing out human nature.

J said...

Yay! Way to go, Paca. Love the response.

pacatrue said...

Hi, robin, I didn't mean to say that this is what you were doing at all. I was aiming at the original email that was suggesting that. Sorry for the miscommunication!

Robin S. said...

No worries at all. You're such a sweetie.