Deprecated: Assigning the return value of new by reference is deprecated in /home2/threeroa/public_html/wp-settings.php on line 512

Deprecated: Assigning the return value of new by reference is deprecated in /home2/threeroa/public_html/wp-settings.php on line 527

Deprecated: Assigning the return value of new by reference is deprecated in /home2/threeroa/public_html/wp-settings.php on line 534

Deprecated: Assigning the return value of new by reference is deprecated in /home2/threeroa/public_html/wp-settings.php on line 570

Strict Standards: Declaration of Walker_Page::start_lvl() should be compatible with Walker::start_lvl(&$output) in /home2/threeroa/public_html/wp-includes/classes.php on line 1199

Strict Standards: Declaration of Walker_Page::end_lvl() should be compatible with Walker::end_lvl(&$output) in /home2/threeroa/public_html/wp-includes/classes.php on line 1199

Strict Standards: Declaration of Walker_Page::start_el() should be compatible with Walker::start_el(&$output) in /home2/threeroa/public_html/wp-includes/classes.php on line 1199

Strict Standards: Declaration of Walker_Page::end_el() should be compatible with Walker::end_el(&$output) in /home2/threeroa/public_html/wp-includes/classes.php on line 1199

Strict Standards: Declaration of Walker_PageDropdown::start_el() should be compatible with Walker::start_el(&$output) in /home2/threeroa/public_html/wp-includes/classes.php on line 1244

Strict Standards: Declaration of Walker_Category::start_lvl() should be compatible with Walker::start_lvl(&$output) in /home2/threeroa/public_html/wp-includes/classes.php on line 1391

Strict Standards: Declaration of Walker_Category::end_lvl() should be compatible with Walker::end_lvl(&$output) in /home2/threeroa/public_html/wp-includes/classes.php on line 1391

Strict Standards: Declaration of Walker_Category::start_el() should be compatible with Walker::start_el(&$output) in /home2/threeroa/public_html/wp-includes/classes.php on line 1391

Strict Standards: Declaration of Walker_Category::end_el() should be compatible with Walker::end_el(&$output) in /home2/threeroa/public_html/wp-includes/classes.php on line 1391

Strict Standards: Declaration of Walker_CategoryDropdown::start_el() should be compatible with Walker::start_el(&$output) in /home2/threeroa/public_html/wp-includes/classes.php on line 1442

Strict Standards: Redefining already defined constructor for class wpdb in /home2/threeroa/public_html/wp-includes/wp-db.php on line 306

Deprecated: Assigning the return value of new by reference is deprecated in /home2/threeroa/public_html/wp-includes/cache.php on line 103

Strict Standards: Redefining already defined constructor for class WP_Object_Cache in /home2/threeroa/public_html/wp-includes/cache.php on line 431

Deprecated: Assigning the return value of new by reference is deprecated in /home2/threeroa/public_html/wp-includes/query.php on line 61

Deprecated: Assigning the return value of new by reference is deprecated in /home2/threeroa/public_html/wp-includes/theme.php on line 1109

Strict Standards: Declaration of Walker_Comment::start_lvl() should be compatible with Walker::start_lvl(&$output) in /home2/threeroa/public_html/wp-includes/comment-template.php on line 1266

Strict Standards: Declaration of Walker_Comment::end_lvl() should be compatible with Walker::end_lvl(&$output) in /home2/threeroa/public_html/wp-includes/comment-template.php on line 1266

Strict Standards: Declaration of Walker_Comment::start_el() should be compatible with Walker::start_el(&$output) in /home2/threeroa/public_html/wp-includes/comment-template.php on line 1266

Strict Standards: Declaration of Walker_Comment::end_el() should be compatible with Walker::end_el(&$output) in /home2/threeroa/public_html/wp-includes/comment-template.php on line 1266

Strict Standards: Redefining already defined constructor for class WP_Dependencies in /home2/threeroa/public_html/wp-includes/class.wp-dependencies.php on line 31

Strict Standards: Redefining already defined constructor for class WP_Http in /home2/threeroa/public_html/wp-includes/http.php on line 61

Warning: session_start(): Cannot send session cookie - headers already sent by (output started at /home2/threeroa/public_html/wp-settings.php:512) in /home2/threeroa/public_html/wp-content/plugins/wordpress-automatic-upgrade/wordpress-automatic-upgrade.php on line 114

Warning: session_start(): Cannot send session cache limiter - headers already sent (output started at /home2/threeroa/public_html/wp-settings.php:512) in /home2/threeroa/public_html/wp-content/plugins/wordpress-automatic-upgrade/wordpress-automatic-upgrade.php on line 114

Strict Standards: Redefining already defined constructor for class ftp_base in /home2/threeroa/public_html/wp-content/plugins/wordpress-automatic-upgrade/lib/ftp_class.php on line 56

Strict Standards: Redefining already defined constructor for class ftp in /home2/threeroa/public_html/wp-content/plugins/wordpress-automatic-upgrade/lib/ftp_class_sockets.php on line 8

Strict Standards: Non-static method K2::init() should not be called statically in /home2/threeroa/public_html/wp-content/themes/k2/functions.php on line 31

Strict Standards: Non-static method K2::include_all() should not be called statically in /home2/threeroa/public_html/wp-content/themes/k2/app/classes/k2.php on line 20

Strict Standards: Non-static method K2::include_all() should not be called statically in /home2/threeroa/public_html/wp-content/themes/k2/app/classes/k2.php on line 21

Strict Standards: call_user_func_array() expects parameter 1 to be a valid callback, non-static method K2Options::init() should not be called statically in /home2/threeroa/public_html/wp-includes/plugin.php on line 339

Strict Standards: call_user_func_array() expects parameter 1 to be a valid callback, non-static method K2Header::init() should not be called statically in /home2/threeroa/public_html/wp-includes/plugin.php on line 339

Strict Standards: Non-static method K2::register_scripts() should not be called statically in /home2/threeroa/public_html/wp-content/themes/k2/header.php on line 6
Category Archive for ‘politics’ at Three Roads Blog
Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home2/threeroa/public_html/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1002

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home2/threeroa/public_html/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1003

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home2/threeroa/public_html/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1002

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home2/threeroa/public_html/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1003

Strict Standards: call_user_func_array() expects parameter 1 to be a valid callback, non-static method K2Header::output_header_css() should not be called statically in /home2/threeroa/public_html/wp-includes/plugin.php on line 339

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home2/threeroa/public_html/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1002

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home2/threeroa/public_html/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1003

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home2/threeroa/public_html/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1002

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home2/threeroa/public_html/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1003

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home2/threeroa/public_html/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1002

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home2/threeroa/public_html/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1003

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home2/threeroa/public_html/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1002

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home2/threeroa/public_html/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1003

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home2/threeroa/public_html/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1002

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home2/threeroa/public_html/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1003

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home2/threeroa/public_html/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1002

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home2/threeroa/public_html/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1003

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home2/threeroa/public_html/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1002

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home2/threeroa/public_html/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1003

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home2/threeroa/public_html/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1002

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home2/threeroa/public_html/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1003

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home2/threeroa/public_html/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1002

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home2/threeroa/public_html/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1003

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home2/threeroa/public_html/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1002

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home2/threeroa/public_html/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1003

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home2/threeroa/public_html/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1002

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home2/threeroa/public_html/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1003

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home2/threeroa/public_html/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1002

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home2/threeroa/public_html/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1003

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home2/threeroa/public_html/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1002

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home2/threeroa/public_html/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1003

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home2/threeroa/public_html/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1002

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home2/threeroa/public_html/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1003

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home2/threeroa/public_html/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1002

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home2/threeroa/public_html/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1003

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home2/threeroa/public_html/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1002

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home2/threeroa/public_html/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1003

Archive for the 'politics' Category

Confession

It pains me to say it, but until I Googled ‘Canada’ this morning, I had no idea who the leader of that country was.

That’s messed up. For a well-educated white person who often makes idle threats to move there, it’s pretty sad that I don’t know who leads the country to our north. I feel even worse when I consider the fact that the entire world knows our president’s name and followed the election of Barack Obama with perhaps more fervency than the average American.

So Canada. Do you know?

Continue reading ‘Confession’

Viva el socialismo!

The Republican argument of the moment seems to be that the difference between capitalism and socialism corresponds to the difference between a top marginal income-tax rate of 35 per cent and a top marginal income-tax rate of 39.6 per cent. The latter is what it would be under Obama’s proposal, what it was under President Clinton, and, for that matter, what it will be after 2010 if President Bush’s tax cuts expire on schedule. –Hendrik Hertzberg

The title of this post is meant to be facetious, but the funny thing about the renewed focus (courtesy of the McCain campaign) on the issue of socialism is that the US is much more socialistic than people realize. Every macroeconomics textbook in the country will tell you that the US has what is called a “mixed economy,” an amalgam of private, market-based enterprise (aka capitalism) and public, government-based enterprise (aka socialism).

Here are just a few places where you’ll find socialism at work in the United States:

  • The VA (with its shining example of socialized health care)
  • Public works projects (highways, drinking water, etc.)
  • Your local post office
  • Alaska (taxpayer-paid pork projects, annual rebate checks taken from oil company revenues)
  • Wall Street (bailouts)

Bonus: Here’s Joe (the) Biden vs. a red-baiting TV news anchor from Florida. (Watch) The best part is at 0:54. Notice how Biden moves from surprise to shocked disbelief to disgust.

Added bonus: Here’s an excerpt of a 1908 letter to the editor that decries the socialist policies of … Teddy Roosevelt:

Moreover, most of the [Teddy] Rooseveltian policies - the arid land reclamation schemes, the National forests, the leasing of coal and mineral rights, the renting of grazing lands, the construction of the Panama Canal by direct employment, the development of water powers under public ownership and control - are in strict harmony with Socialist principles…(link)

Teddy Roosevelt is, incidentally, McCain’s favorite ex-President.

Bonus to the added bonus: Ezra Klein explains why red-baiting doesn’t work as well as it did in the past:

There was a time when socialism — and more to the point, communism — was a legitimate thing to fear. It was a living, breathing ideology. It had appeal. What we’re seeing now is that argument divorced from its substantive content. The best McCain can manage is to darkly warn that Obama will “spread the wealth.” To which a struggling electorate says: “Dude! Spread some wealth over here!” McCain has identified a thing to fear, but the failure of his message is that he can’t explain why you should be afraid.

Your choices according to David Sedaris

The chicken or the “platter of shit with bits of broken glass in it.”

“To be undecided in this election is to pause for a moment and then ask how the chicken is cooked,” says Sedaris. “I mean, really, what’s to be confused about?”

Ok, I know there are sane, smart and thoughtful undecided voters out there who still need more information (despite the 24-7 print/web/television coverage of a 20-month primary season) before heading into the voting booth. And I realize that a good many of those sane, smart and thoughtful people will end up pulling the lever for John McCain. They will have their reasons, and absent among them will be an affinity for shit with bits of broken glass in it.

Sedaris’ utter confusion over how people can be undecided in this election is something many on the left are feeling right now (including yours truly).

But that confusion is typical of anyone who believes anything strongly. It’s really hard to understand where other people are coming from when they disagree (or merely hesitate to agree) with something you feel passionately about.

Reading Sedaris’ take on the election, I was reminded of an article in Harper’s by the late David Foster Wallace. The article was about the fierce and ideologically-charged English usage debates. Noting the link between politics and the English language, Wallace offered this incredibly cogent description of what he calls the “Democratic Spirit,” a strength of mind that is required for civilized debate on vexing issues:

A Democratic Spirit is one that combines rigor and humility, i.e., passionate conviction plus sedulous respect for the convictions of others. As any American knows, this is a very difficult spirit to cultivate and maintain, particularly when it comes to issues you feel strongly about. Equally tough is a D.S.’s criterion of 100 percent intellectual integrity — you have to be willing to look honestly at yourself and your motives for believing what you believe, and to do it more or less continually.
This kind of stuff is advanced U.S. citizenship. A true Democratic Spirit is up there with religious faith and emotional maturity and all those other top-of-the-Maslow-Pyramid-type qualities people spend their whole lives working on. A Democratic Spirit’s constituent rigor and humility and honesty are in fact so hard to maintain on certain issues that it’s almost irresistibly tempting to fall in with some established dogmatic camp and to follow that camp’s line on the issue and to let your position harden within the camp and become inflexible and to believe that any other camp is either evil or insane and to spend all your time and energy trying to shout over them.

At this point in the presidential campaign, the Democratic Spirit is much harder to find, and I have to keep reminding myself to strive for it.

But damn, that David Sedaris is funny.

Gotchaware™

The Columbia Journalism Review, in conjunction with the company Journosoft, has thrown Sarah Palin a life line. They’re offering Palin their newest product: Gotchaware™, a great tool for inexperienced pols who have been thrust into the national spotlight only to be hounded with questions (hard questions!) from the snooty news media.

Read more.

“Thanks, but no thanks.”

–Bill Clinton on the prospect of a third Bush term McCain presidency. 

Bill, you found your way back to my heart.

[Update: Poor John Kerry! Imagine having to follow that act.]

The end of globalization?

Paul Krugman takes a big-picture look at the war Russo-Georgian war:

[The] war in Georgia isn’t that big a deal economically. But it does mark the end of the Pax Americana — the era in which the United States more or less maintained a monopoly on the use of military force. And that raises some real questions about the future of globalization.

Krugman sees a parallel between our current situation and that of the run-up to the first world war . The globalization that characterized the early 20th century was trampled by the march of nationalism, militarism and imperialism. By the end of WW2, the world was as fragmented as it had ever been. The post-WW2 era was essentially a rebuilding of that earlier globalized world.

“So, can things fall apart again?” Krugman asks. “Yes, they can.”

[Update: Robert Kagan agrees.]

More coded language from the GOP

Here is Terry Neal, writing for The Root, on the GOP’s dog-whistle politicking:

“Uppity” used to be the preferred term for Negroes who didn’t know their place. There was a time when it was regularly applied to any number of black men and women who strived to be more than day laborers, nannies or sharecroppers.

The GOP, ever aware of the connotative power of words, has steered clear of the direct usage of that loaded term. When they speak of Barack Obama—a man in pursuit of the most lofty of prizes—they simply use the words that define the term. Snobbish. Arrogant. Presumptuous.

The fact that the mainstream media has embraced the uppity-Obama storyline is further evidence of the right’s ability to advance whatever preposterous storyline it chooses, despite its persistent whining about the liberal media.

Republicans have long been able to win races by doing a better job of negatively defining their opponents with coordinated media attacks. What the right does particularly well is not just framing the arguments but coordinating the response to the fallout.

When Obama suggested that McCain was attempting to make him seem different and scary, McCain and his supporters wailed that Obama was “playing the race card.”

That term, of course, has become the de facto line of defense for whites who want to immediately end any uncomfortable conversations about race. “Are you calling me a racist? You’re calling me a racist!”

Interestingly, calling someone a racist has become a worse offense than actually being one. [Emphasis added] And thus the media will allow McCain and his defenders to have it both ways—play to racial sensitivities and express mock horror than anyone would have the audacity to question their motives.

Neal goes on to say that he doesn’t think McCain is racist—he’s just willing to play the role for the sake of getting the racist vote. McCain himself admitted as much after the 2000 primary. Here he is talking about how he censored his true feelings about the Confederate flag:

I should have done this earlier when an honest answer could have affected me personally. I did not do so for one reason alone. I feared that if I answered honestly, I could not win the South Carolina primary. So I chose to compromise my principles. I broke my promise to always tell the truth.

You can admire his candor here, but the troubling fact remains: McCain sacrificed his most cherished principle—straight-talking honesty—when it became politically expedient to do so. And what’s worse, he sacrificed it—and continues to—in order to appeal to the very worst aspect of our country’s character—our persistent racism.