Spotted recently on the blogs: A thinking person

Obama (as himself only) can do more good things working as a gradualist within the system we have (e.g., making ugly compromises that water down programs, postponing unpopular measures until they’re politically acceptable, launching acts of war in a measured way instead of lighting the whole middle- east afire as someone like McCain would do) than Liz-as-Obama could through a speech that would mobilize “patriotic” reactionaries and accomplish nothing otherwise.

“Turner” dropped the above comment at 4&20, and I thought it illustrative of a couple of things.

First, unlike most comments I see around, it has some depth of thought to it, and he worked it a bit to put it in coherent and readable form. To the degree possible, he’s not repeating someone else’s ideas.

Second, he’s making a difficult point, and so has to struggle with it to force it to come out in an understandable manner.

This tells me that Turner knows how too think, and works at it. Thinking is difficult, and made much more so by the fact that as we go about the process, readers drop off. Most who started reading above have now left, are no longer reading here. So Turner’s efforts, admirable, were lost on anyone just skimming the comment string, which is what most do.

Here’s where it gets really tough: Turner is wrong. Obama does not make ugly compromises to water down programs or use restraint in attacking other countries. That is called rationalization, or looking for the good in the bad. If Turner were to visit the planet from Mars, not knowing any names or political affiliations, and observe the behavior of the U.S. military-industrial complex, he would easily see that there has been no change in policy these last thirteen years, and conclude that it is unaffected by partisan politics.

More to the point, there has not been much change since World War II, as if we have had the same leadership throughout, with bad actors occasionally removed (sometimes by violent means). But coming to that conclusion takes time, reading, reflection, and conflict – that is, to make our opinions stand up, they have to be tested by heat and fire. People have to attack us, we have to listen to the attacks, and when wrong, we have to alter our ideas to make them fit. Our ideas are only clarified by battle.

It’s really hard work. Rewards are few. Most folks get their ideas from authority figures and by means of suggestion through TV, and to a lesser degree by confirming their biases at selected Internet outlets. School and teachers reinforce wrong ideas, and group cohesion produces what we have about us, a dumbed-down populace where even the supposed smart ones are clueless.

If you’ve read this far, your name is not Swede and you understand how difficult this game is. I have the ability to size up an opponent, wait for the right moment, and slash his throat and leave a pile of innards. People avoid confronting me, even making up bullshit reasons to ban me. I was tempted to set Turner straight when I read his remarks, but he avoids any interaction with me. So someone else tell him please, he’s got a brain, he’s using it, and needs to keep forging forward. Stay in the game, but listen to your critics.

About Mark Tokarski

Just a man who likes to read, argue, and occasionally be surprised.
This entry was posted in American wilderness, Foreign Affairs, Group groping. Bookmark the permalink.

11 Responses to Spotted recently on the blogs: A thinking person

  1. Big Swede says:

    Turner isn’t wrong he’s focusing on the bigger picture of winning thru incrementalism. While you play small ball fixating on imperialism Obama and his minions plod on with the “change” he promised.

    Health care combined with immigration reform (coming) are/will be major achievements. And how about placing twice as many judges as GW did in the same time period?

    13 years ago our foreign enemies knew that our strength was based on economics so they attacked us at the heart of those institutions. Turner and his party, disguised by good intentions, are doing the same.


  2. steve kelly says:

    Cults begin to dominate when insecurity and fear take over. The CIA, and most in the control business, like to test products before scaling up. Some have speculated that People’s Temple and Branch Davidians were demos for mass application later. We’ll never know for sure.

    You are right about Turner, however, it isn’t ease to break away from the Democratic Party once you “believe” — just another cult with a charismatic leader to avoid.


  3. Rob Kailey says:

    I love the Henry Lee Lucas imagery there at the end. As written, it’s almost noir.

    Have you considered, Mark, that in this post, you treat a thinking person as as one who should be begged to think a certain way? That’s a significant departure from much of your writing. Normally, you entreat people to think, and evangelize on how they should think. Here, you assume that if people aren’t thinking ‘the right things’ then they need to be presented with ‘the right things’, harshly, ‘if they are really thinking at all’. Uh, no. I don’t think you’ve considered any of that.

    This post can be viewed in so very many ways, most all of them valid. Those range from “He wants to control thinking, the fascist” to “Gosh, he knows the right things to think. If I sent him money, would he teach that wisdom?” I don’t speak for any of those folks. I just wonder why you’ve starting ‘grading’ people for thinking your way. I wonder if you would even recognize ‘thinking’, if someone had encountered experiences overlapping with your own and had still come to different conclusion. Mostly, I wonder if you even see that line between thinking and ‘correct thinking’ anymore. So where is that line, Mark?

    Orrr … You wrote this whole post as Swede bait. If so, Good job. Carry on.


    • Thanks for making me search Henry Lee. A friend noticed about me that I lay in wait, and when given opportunity, slash throats.

      Here’s what you don’t seem to know: I don’t want followers, nor do I want people to repeat my thoughts. I did not link to Turner so that he would not be alerted to this post. I don’t care to bait Swede, as I am convinced he can neither read nor think well, and is impenetrable to boot.

      I want people to look at the same evidence as I do, and then explain it. Turner is sitting over there right now, oblivious to most everything and thinking he’s having a Dick Cavett-like in depth discussion, when he’s just a shallow Democrat. I linked to his words because for a brief moment there, he was really trying to make sense of things, from his Democrat point of view. He was trying. I thought maybe this guy can break free. Apparently not.

      It’s shallow out there buddy. You know this. You retired to football, electing to embrace it. I am not one to be admired or followed. I am one to fight with. Just give it to me. That’s all.


      • Rob Kailey says:

        Mark, it’s my opinion but I think you’ve lost the ability to see jokes where applied, even if you don’t find them funny. Recognizing humor is individual; recognizing attempts at humor is a very human trait. Please don’t lose it.

        I don’t care if you want followers. You have them, regardless. Apparently, I’m among them. You’ve got interesting stuff to say. People follow that, and that was never a point of contention.

        You just stated clearly that if people don’t explain things you’ve read to you, to your very satisfaction, then they are oblivious, to what exactly? One doesn’t need a syllogism to see that what those sad folk are oblivious to is what satisfies your expectation. No one is going to do that, nor should they. It’s an impossibility. Yet, you expect it anyway.

        I really don’t want to fight with you, Mark, most especially since you’ve admitted a thrill for such things. I’ve never picked a fight in my life. And … technically … I’ve never lost one, either. You’re right that it’s “shallow out there”. And it’s goddamned lonely “in here”. That is so far beyond my point. My ‘point’ is real simple like: Demanding that thinking people ‘think like you’ is unrealistic, manipulative, and simply not going to happen. Judge them (us) all you like at your website. Please don’t expect your evangelical zeal to have the prescribed consequence you demand. That isn’t ‘organizing’. It’s controlling, manipulating and using. That much critique is very simple.


        • I can be as wrong as anyone, as oblivious, as stupid. So attack me. How else do I know?

          And again, evidence. Not impressions or opinions. Talk about evidence. I mentioned in a recent post that the coroner’s report on RFK said he had been shot at gunpowder range from behind. Sirhan could not have done that. Evidence. The House Select Committee on Assassinations reported that the Warren Commission exhibit bullet 399 was not fired from the Warren Commission exhibit weapon Manlicher Carcano. Evidence.

          And Newton and his laws, which change when the emperor says they are merely suggestions. Evidence, sir, and please, attack! Do not run away. I get enough silence. I want people with balls and the ability to deal with evidence.


          • See what happens? The moment people are confronted by evidence, they shut down. It’s too frightening, I suppose. Better just to believe in mythology and argue D vs R, as it is comfortable, validating, reassuring.


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