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Comments

  1. Taylor says

    As clever and entertaining as this is, I can’t imagine it convincing anyone who isn’t already voting for Obama. The Republicans will say that Samuel Jackson “should shut up and act,” or they’ll make an unfunny parody of their own. (Complete with the cringe-worthy inclusion of a cute little blonde 9-year old who somehow feels threatened by gay marriage and is totally NOT brainwashed.)

  2. Trebuchet says

    That was the most awesome thing I’ve seen all day, other than flying pumpkins. An SFW version is needed, although it can’t be near as good.

  3. Subtract Hominem says

    Paid for by the Jewish Council for Education and Research.

    Huh. That was a bit of a surprise, somehow.

  4. earwig says

    See, this illuminates a faultline between your culture and mine. I don’t know Samuel L. Jackson and how awesome he is, so I’m sitting here feeling all Englishly anxious about the bad language, especially around children, and worrying how that’s going to play to anyone conservatively Democrat, let alone someone undecided. But what do I know?

    I approve of the message.

  5. Gregory Greenwood says

    I can see the point being made, and it is undeniable that Obama is vastly preferable to Romney – in much the same way that syphilis is vastly preferable to ebola.

    Romney has to be kept out of power lest he completely destroy the country, but let’s not entirely forget Obama’s own long litany of broken promises and his at best questionable use of such things as ‘double tap’ drone strikes.

    The brother in the clip is half right. While it is going too far to suggest that all politicians are the same, there is hardly miles of clear water between the Republicans and the Democrats. The Democrats are basically Republicanism light – with only 75% of the fattening evil of Republicanism.

    Looking at his track record in office, Obama is the lesser of two evils and nothing more. I imagine that any American progressive worth their salt will hold their nose and vote for him – considering the horror show that would be the alternative – but I doubt that they will be all that happy about it.

  6. crowepps says

    There is a SafeForWork version in which The F’ Word is bleeped out. As I understand it, this was made to motive those progressives who are unhappy enough with half a loaf that they aren’t motivated to vote, so that they will vote regardless.

    In 2008, an exciting election with our Governor running for VP, only 66% of Alaskans eligible to vote bothered. Motivating the other 33% to register and show up can make a difference.

  7. chigau (違わない) says

    crowepps #10

    …only 66% of Alaskans eligible to vote bothered…

    You had a 66% voter turnout at the polls????
    or did I misunderstand?

  8. crowepps says

    That’s correct, a 66% turnout — 326,197 voted out of 479,429 eligible to vote — and there were some very hotly contested State and local races.

    (Our voting on Presidents is mostly irrelevant, by the time our polls close they’re already declared the winner based on California.)

  9. carlie says

    I’m sitting here feeling all Englishly anxious about the bad language, especially around children, and worrying how that’s going to play to anyone conservatively Democrat, let alone someone undecided.

    Samuel L. Jackson is an actor who is well known for his expletives in character. One of the most recent was “I’ve had it with these motherfucking snakes on this motherfucking plane”*.

    There are several popular children’s books on going ot sleep, all of which are extremely repetitive. Someone made a parody of them called “Go the fuck to sleep”, and the audio version was narrated by Samuel L. Jackson.

    *which was hilariously overdubbed in the broadcast version of the movie as “I’ve had it with these monkey fighting snakes on this Monday to Friday plane.”

  10. sc_b3852da0511075db84e787440ae4d8ec says

    If you look beyond the rhetoric, both obama and romney, democrat and republicans are same in foreign policy and civil liberties. Last 3 1/2 years is the proof.

    NDAA, Iran, Afghan, Israel, prosecuting Whistleblowers, Patriot act, citizen assassination, no due process, DRONES,….

    Disgusting.

    BTW, for me I can’t vote against my consciousness, 2008, know not much about obama, now I am so clear who he is, what he stands for.
    What romney stands for is conspicuously obvious, its money, just money.

    As a servicemember, I received absentee ballot early, and I voted for green Party, guess what, both President and VP candidates are intelligent Ladies. And reset of the local and congress, I voted for all supposedly liberals, democrats.

  11. M, Supreme Anarch of the Queer Illuminati says

    crowepps @ 15 –

    California? Hell, by the time our polls have closed, the media have already declared who the next President will be based on Faux News’s estimate of the votes in the East Coast states. (And, as the Supreme Court declared in the 2000 election, the Faux News estimate is legally binding.)

  12. kreativekaos says

    sc_ @ 18:

    You voted ‘Green’ in twenty-08?? Good for you! I did in 2004, but couldn’t get myself to do it in 2008. Probably won’t in 2012 either, though I’d should. I’ll just,… ‘hold me nose’ and vote for Obama.

    It just seems to be almost impossible to get enough informational and intellectual momentum instilled in the electorate to be able to begin moving out of the limiting Demoratic-Republican lock on political, social, environmental and scientific thought.

  13. alexanderz says

    I’m not American and I can’t tell you what to do with your country, but I’m truly dumbfounded at how some people here are eager to diminish the differences between the candidates. As bad as the Patriot Act and the like may be, they aren’t nearly as damaging to freedom as an attack on Planed Parenthood, bad healthcare and a destroyed economy.
    Let’s not forget that one candidate helped millions in ways unseen since the 1990s, stopped the economic free fall and ended DADT. The other candidate, if he is to be believed at all, wants to sabotage the economy and remove as many social protections as he can from the people. Notice that I don’t even mention his or his circle’s views on torture, LGBT people and foreign policy.

    @chigau (違わない)

    The sexist part is that girls sell cookies, boys go to college.

  14. chigau (違わない) says

    alexanderz #22
    The boy is old enough to be looking at college.
    The girls are looking at high school.
    -
    sexism or ageism?

  15. bad Jim says

    One day it’s “Go the Fuck to Sleep”, the next it’s “Wake the Fuck Up”. He should pick one message and stick to it.

  16. strange gods before me ॐ says

    alexanderz,

    I’m not American and I can’t tell you what to do with your country, but I’m truly dumbfounded at how some people here are eager to diminish the differences between the candidates. As bad as the Patriot Act and the like may be, they aren’t nearly as damaging to freedom as an attack on Planed Parenthood, bad healthcare and a destroyed economy.

    Let’s not forget that one candidate helped millions in ways unseen since the 1990s, stopped the economic free fall and ended DADT. The other candidate, if he is to be believed at all, wants to sabotage the economy and remove as many social protections as he can from the people./blockquote>

    You are right about all this. Thank you for saying something.

  17. strange gods before me ॐ says

    You are right about all that. Thank you for saying something.

    Blockquotes! Grr.

    Except you can tell us what to do with our country. It’s okay. The outcome is going to affect you too, even if not as much.

  18. Lachlan says

    I’ve always found it somewhat repulsive when children are used for political campaigning. A tiny child saying “wake the fuck up” is more than a little off-putting.

  19. Menyambal --- Sambal's Little Helper says

    Yeah, back in the 2000 election, a guy from Fox News declared G. W. Bush as the winner, ‘way to early and based on nothing but his own hope. It snowballed from there, with the conservatives believing what they were told, and fighting like hell to make it true, including those on the Supreme Court (which had no right to get involved).

    It really was a coup d’état, a stolen election—even those who believed that Bush won, had to admit that he’d not won by a majority of the voters, but by a peculiarity of the American electoral system—but Bush-believers don’t care. International observers showed up for the next election (I still own a briefcase one of them gave me).

    Obama hasn’t done all that he could have done, because the conservatives have been fighting him every step of the way, even to the extent of opposing things that they once supported. This election may finish them off, politically.

    There really was a great feeling of hope when Obama won, and I’ll be voting for him again, and voting against Romney and Fox News.

  20. strange gods before me ॐ says

    Cool: the script for this video was also written by Adam Mansbach.

    I’ve always found it somewhat repulsive when children are used for political campaigning.

    She probably got paid for her acting part. (Whether her parents will save the money for her college tuition, I can’t say.)

    A tiny child saying “wake the fuck up” is more than a little off-putting.

    I think it’s cute. Anyway, she’s hardly tiny. I have a hard time judging kids’ ages, but she looks about 9 to me. She’s probably said “fuck” before.

  21. says

    I’ve always found it somewhat repulsive when children are used for political campaigning. A tiny child saying “wake the fuck up” is more than a little off-putting.

    At the age of 6 I came across my daughter yelling things similar to that at Australian politicians on the TV. You can’t assume that just because they are young they have no passions about such things. Its reasonable to figure they don’t know as much and they have not developed their reasoning skills or perspective but they sure can have passion and heartfelt positions on things.

  22. DLC says

    I’m tired of these motherfucking republicans in this motherfucking government!
    They have opposed everything Obama ( a slightly left of center* politician) on everything. GOP in the Senate have filibustered every bill. every fucking bill put forth by Democrats.
    And then they bitch moan and complain that Obama isn’t being bipartisan like he said he would. One GOP Senator even filibustered a bill that would have given a cost of living increase to widows/widowers and orphans of veterans killed in the wars. A bill to succor the families of those killed in their motherfucking misadventure. It makes me ill, just thinking about it.

    (*slightly left of center for what I consider typical values of left, right and center. YMMV, offer void where prohibited. )

    I am DLC and I approved this message

  23. butterflyfish says

    Bunch of letters person, if you think for one second that “democrat and republicans are same in [...] civil liberties,” you either don’t know what those words mean, or you have not been paying one bit of attention.

    Gay marriage, war on women, pro-torture, anti-social safety nets, pro-Christian theocracy…

  24. amyfort says

    I’ve always found it somewhat repulsive when children are used for political campaigning. A tiny child saying “wake the fuck up” is more than a little off-putting.

    I’ve seen a behind the scenes of a film before in which a young girl was swearing and they actually had her saying lines that made it look like her lips were saying the expletives and then overdubbed with a voice actor. Don’t know if that is how this was done though.

  25. davem says

    A tiny child saying “wake the fuck up” is more than a little off-putting.

    Isn’t that the whole point of the video? ‘Out of the mouths of Babes and Sucklings’ and all that?

  26. Walton says

    It’s complicated. On the one hand, Obama is significantly better than Romney on a number of issues which really count: women’s rights, the economy, and support for the DREAM Act, for example. Those things are important. They affect the lives and livelihoods of millions of people. And they’re good enough reasons in themselves to vote for Obama.

    On the other hand, I have a great deal of sympathy with those who say that they can’t, in good conscience, support Obama when his administration is killing large numbers of people in undeclared wars in Pakistan, Somalia and Yemen; assassinating people in drone strikes; persecuting whistleblowers; covering up torture committed by the previous administration; lying; indefinitely imprisoning people without charge or trial; and more.

    I’m also very unhappy that the killing of Bin Laden has been milked for political points by Obama supporters, including in this video. Violent revenge is not something to be proud of. (As Noam Chomsky pointed out, how would we feel if a team of Iraqi commandos landed in Texas and assassinated George W. Bush, in revenge for 600,000 Iraqi deaths? What’s the difference?) Besides, the administration’s policy of assassinating people it doesn’t like hasn’t stopped at Bin Laden, as Glenn Greenwald keeps pointing out.

    I would vote for Obama, if I could vote. Because Romney would be worse on all the issues I’ve listed, and he’s a right-wing asshole who panders to racists. But I can’t in good conscience call myself an “Obama supporter”, or deny the slaughter that is being committed by his administration (as it was by Bush, Clinton, and most presidents before him).

  27. Holms says

    Not sure recruiting kids for politics is a good idea, especially given the criticism we heap on the fundamantalists doing the same. In my view, while minors are encouraged to loot at the world and think critically, recruiting them for a point scoring effort should be avoided.

  28. Holms says

    I’ve seen a behind the scenes of a film before in which a young girl was swearing and they actually had her saying lines that made it look like her lips were saying the expletives and then overdubbed with a voice actor. Don’t know if that is how this was done though.

    I’m leaning towards ‘not’ in this case, but I don’t see any harm in it anyway.

  29. maureenbrian says

    Oh, don’t be so prissy about kids and swearing, kids and politics, kids and the fact that the earth goes around the sun.

    It’s like evolution – the sooner they learn the basics the fewer hang-ups they’ll have. Their chances of looking a complete idiot in later life are also significantly reduced.

    My dad took me canvassing with him – seat on Laxey Village Commissioners which he retained – at age not-quite-3 in 1945. I grew up with the notion that politics can be understood and anyone can participate.

    It’s called democracy. If the truth is that you’d prefer a dictatorship or a theocracy then don’t hide behind the imagined sensitivity of your children. Come right out and say it!

  30. says

    I’ve always found it somewhat repulsive when children are used for political campaigning. A tiny child saying “wake the fuck up” is more than a little off-putting.

    I really hope that no one, on pharyngula of all places, is going to argue about the cussing instead of the message.

    Also it is hard to know the full context of the people this ad, but it seems to me to be scripted and then actors were hired, and one happens to be a little girl. She reads her lines and probably gets more work as a result, her parents are ok with it. That is very different than recruiting kids deceptively and depicting them as being a part of activism (stuff like this happened with prop 8 in california, sometimes without any parental permission at all).

    What I find odd is the idea that kids are apolitical beings until they reach a specific age. Kids can and do help with a variety of political causes that they believe in.

  31. otrame says

    Maureenbrian, you fucking rock. Seriously.

    As for the vid, it is aimed at young voters, especially young black voters. He’s a demi-god and he’s telling those white folks what to do, in language young voters consider merely emphatic.

    And I liked the grandparents segment. Sex positive and old people sex positive.

    Besides. Samuel L. Jackson is cool.

    Great piece of advertising for the intended audience and the intended audience will be completely contemptuous of the reaction that will come from Faux News types.

    Besides, it might give Glen Beck a stroke. Win win.

  32. strange gods before me ॐ says

    On the other hand, I have a great deal of sympathy with those who say that they can’t, in good conscience, support Obama

    I don’t give a fuck what they call themselves, but if they “can’t” vote rationally then you shouldn’t have any sympathy for them, because they are selfish, bad people.

  33. johnmorgan says

    @ kreativkaos #20

    I’ll just,… ‘hold me nose’ and vote for Obama.

    It just seems to be almost impossible to get enough informational and intellectual momentum instilled in the electorate to be able to begin moving out of the limiting Demoratic-Republican lock …

    Well, you just explained how it is “almost impossible”, immediately above where you said it. If you won’t vote for something other than the Democan/Republicrats, they’ll continue to get elected – forever.

    If you are not in a swing state, then why worry about your single vote having any effect. Vote how you feel, not for the lesser of two evils.

    Isn’t it possible to vote,”none of the above” in some states? We dream of having this choice in Europe, where most ‘spoilt’ ballots are simply discarded without being tallied.

  34. Larry says

    This is very personal for me. I’m gay and married to a British man. He’s currently here on a temporary work permit which expires next year. We can’t sponsor him for a green card because of the Defense of Marriage Act. Obama is arguing against DOMA in federal court. Obama has ordered the Department of Homeland Security to use discretion and not deport same sex spouses who are part of their communities and otherwise not criminals. Romney will reverse both of those.

    If someone thinks Obama is not progressive enough, and votes for a third party candidate, and that contributes to Romney getting elected (see Florida – 2000), they’re effectively voting for my husband to get deported. I can’t support that, no matter how principled they say they are.

  35. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Isn’t it possible to vote,”none of the above” in some states?

    Not that I’m aware of. Check the history of third parties in the twentieth century. Not very encouraging, except in theory.

  36. Holms says

    If the truth is that you’d prefer a dictatorship or a theocracy then don’t hide behind the imagined sensitivity of your children. Come right out and say it!

    What I find odd is the idea that kids are apolitical beings until they reach a specific age. Kids can and do help with a variety of political causes that they believe in.

    For my part, it’s more that I dislike the involvement of kids for any political or religions message. The readership here has expressed much the same sentiment when any such party does the same thing; the difference seems to be that it becomes ‘indoctrination’ when the other team does it (whoever that may be), but ‘activism’ when we do it. Remember the disgust we felt at Ken Ham’s triumph over the kids duped into asking “were you there?” You may disagree, but I see this as the same thing.

    To me, there is an element of hypocrisy.

    Kids may be political beings, but they’re also naive ones; they can be taught the ‘truth’ of anything and hence their word carries little to no weight.

  37. Walton says

    If someone thinks Obama is not progressive enough, and votes for a third party candidate, and that contributes to Romney getting elected (see Florida – 2000), they’re effectively voting for my husband to get deported. I can’t support that, no matter how principled they say they are.

    I think this is an important point. Both on LGBT and on immigrants’ rights issues (and on issues where the two intersect, such as your husband’s case), there is a big difference between the candidates. Romney supports DOMA, opposes the DREAM Act, and has been taking campaign advice from open racists like Kris Kobach. That – along with the candidates’ stances on women’s rights – is the primary reason why I would vote for Obama, if I had the opportunity. Romney openly supports bigotry against LGBT people, against immigrants (documented and undocumented), and against other marginalized minorities.

  38. says

    I’m sitting here feeling all Englishly anxious about the bad language, especially around children, and worrying how that’s going to play to anyone conservatively Democrat, let alone someone undecided.

    Do you dry-clean that tweed jacket and what’s your favourite tea?
    Seriously, I’m not English, neither am I American and my two small children will hear a weel-pronounced “shit” and “fuck” and “godsdamn” every now and then. What they won’t hear is slurs or even much other insults because that’s adult language, they can use it when they understand what it means.
    But don’t get your knickers in a twist because of a “fuck”. Unbefuckinglievable.

    +++

    I’ve always found it somewhat repulsive when children are used for political campaigning.

    There’s a line between used (like letting children campaign at the entrance of abortion clinics) and children being paid for acting.

    A tiny child saying “wake the fuck up” is more than a little off-putting.

    2 is tiny. 9 or 10 isn’t. I organized a student demo against desert storm. I was 12 at that time. It’s not like kids can’t have opinions. And what the fuck is the problem about the word fuck. Really.

    DLC

    And then they bitch moan and complain that Obama isn’t being bipartisan like he said he would.

    Ehm, no please. No disagreeent with the sense, but “bitch” is frowned upon around here.

    Holes

    The readership here has expressed much the same sentiment when any such party does the same thing; the difference seems to be that it becomes ‘indoctrination’ when the other team does it (whoever that may be), but ‘activism’ when we do it. Remember the disgust we felt at Ken Ham’s triumph over the kids duped into asking “were you there?” You may disagree, but I see this as the same thing.

    Bullshit
    A) Ken Ham is lying to children. That’s a different matter.
    B) We’re talking about an actress
    C) Children are sensible beings who grow up to be adults. They actually do understand things and do have opinions. You can come back when you find lots of progressive parents who tell their children lies (say, Mitt Romney would sell the girls as child-brides to his Mormon brother, which would be about the same level of truth as the lies told about Obama or abortion)

    Kids may be political beings, but they’re also naive ones; they can be taught the ‘truth’ of anything and hence their word carries little to no weight.

    Well, thank you for telling me that everything I did between the ages of 12 and 18 (like getting a newspaper stand to remove neo-fascist newspapers from their rackets) carries no weight. Or like being active in the students’ council where I actually managed to get some improvements for my fellow students. All worthless.

  39. strange gods before me ॐ says

    Well, you just explained how it is “almost impossible”, immediately above where you said it. If you won’t vote for something other than the Democan/Republicrats, they’ll continue to get elected – forever.

    This is simplistic and wrong. People are voting rationally and they are not going to stop. If we want a multi-party system, then we need to switch to a voting system that makes multi-party voting rational. Something other than first-past-the-post. Either a ranked voting system or a cardinal voting system.

    There is no point lecturing people about your Green Lantern theory of voting. Multi-party systems do not arise naturally from behavior at the voting booth. They require systemic changes. Make those changes, and then you won’t have to lecture anyone; by voting rationally in a ranked voting system, they will naturally create a multi-party system.

  40. DLC says

    Giliel @48 : Apologies. I spoke …well, wrote, in haste, in the heat of the moment, as it were.

    =========================
    Everybody trolling about “how dare you make a little girl say Teh F Word! GASP! ”
    Ho Hum. by her age I knew every cuss-word there is, and used them frequently. At least where there were no adults around.
    Personally, I find Mitt Romney’s lies, half-truths and obfuscations to be far more offensive.

  41. otrame says

    People, voting 3rd party in this country, for president, at least, is effectively not voting at all.

    It’s not that some of your reasons for anger at Obama are not valid, at least things he has actual control of. I even agree with much you say. Hell, I’m a socialist myself, but I am also a realist. Obama is hardly my idea of a perfect candidate but the alternative is so much worse that failing to vote in this election is just plan wrong, and that includes voting 3rd party.

  42. Menyambal --- Sambal's Little Helper says

    Voting third party is not only reducing the chances of Obama getting elected, it is reducing his mandate once he is (please the gods) elected.

    The Republicans are going to be doing everything they can to win, with lots of money left and new depths to plumb. And if Obama wins, they will be doing all they can to once again deny that he is properly president. If they can say that he only won by a few percent of the population, they will use that to continue to obstruct, and to continue to survive as a party.

    If you want a third party, sweep Obama into office with a resounding majority of the popular vote—every vote counts—and help destroy the Republican Party once and for all. Then watch/help new parties form at both ends of the political spectrum.

    But do NOT vote third party this election, no matter how deep you are in a non-battleground state.

    And really, with the half of the entrenched political system regarding Obama as a “black-power” “socialist” “Muslim” “America-hating” “gay-loving” “terrorist” married to a strong woman who is making school lunches healthy, what kind of third-party candidate are you planning to bring in to shake things up more than him?

  43. johnmorgan says

    If we want a multi-party system, then we need to switch to a voting system that makes multi-party voting rational.

    Unfortunately RepublicratDemocans are unlikely to ever have an interest in voting systems that may destroy their hegemony. And they are the only group at present who could effect such a change. Seemingly the only way out of such a Catch-22 is to vote irrationally, supporting candidates who propose an end to FPTP voting.

  44. Aratina Cage says

    (Our voting on Presidents is mostly irrelevant, by the time our polls close they’re already declared the winner based on California.)

    Or Florida …

    Not in the year 2000.

  45. says

    Does someone know of any good articles that might help me understand why third parties are so unsuccessful in the US? Is it just that the main parties are entrenched or is it due to the structure of the voting system? I do not know nearly enough of the details to figure this out. I see a number of references to FPTP voting being the cause, but it must be more than this. Here in Canada we elect members of the House of Commons using FPTP and we have 5 parties represented. Of course, it is a parliamentary system. Perhaps it would be different if we also elected our head of state. Though I also wonder why the system is also so biased toward the two parties in congress and the senate. It is there that I would have thought third and other parties would be much more electable.

  46. Aratina Cage says

    This is very personal for me. I’m gay and married to a British man. He’s currently here on a temporary work permit which expires next year. We can’t sponsor him for a green card because of the Defense of Marriage Act. Obama is arguing against DOMA in federal court. Obama has ordered the Department of Homeland Security to use discretion and not deport same sex spouses who are part of their communities and otherwise not criminals. Romney will reverse both of those. –Larry #44

    Larry, similar circumstance here except we did not get legally married (although we practically are) partly because we’ve never been in a state where it was legal (but we sat through two state-level anti-gay bannings) and mostly because it used to be a surefire way to get the foreign spouse deported. Used to be, that is, until very recently, like you said. I don’t believe for a moment that “Pink Tie” Romney would support our families at all; we’d be pawns in his game just like we were for W. and Clinton.

    It is not just the makeup of the Supreme Court that this election will affect, either. The outcome of this election might also sway the fencesitters currently on the Supreme Court when they end up considering the DOMA cases. We have not had a sitting president stand up for us ever before until Obama. Re-electing Obama will say something in itself, rightly or wrongly, that the values he holds are where the nation itself is at most comfortably. It’s extremely important that Obama wins this one.

    If someone thinks Obama is not progressive enough, and votes for a third party candidate, and that contributes to Romney getting elected (see Florida – 2000), they’re effectively voting for my husband to get deported. I can’t support that, no matter how principled they say they are.

    Of course I sympathize being in the same situation, but that isn’t going to happen this time because the only well-known third party candidates are libertarians who will tear into the GOP voting base.

  47. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Is it just that the main parties are entrenched or is it due to the structure of the voting system?

    My opinion is that third parties in the twentieth century tended to be structured around a person like Ross Perot, a protest for a single implemented policy like George Wallace and integration, or around unpopular ideologies like socialism or strict constitutionalism. The ideologies were never ever able to get up to (much less beyond) single digit percentages in the polls, and the cult of personalities/single policy usually faded away after the election, or in a decade at most.

  48. Aratina Cage says

    If you want a third party, sweep Obama into office with a resounding majority of the popular vote—every vote counts—and help destroy the Republican Party once and for all. Then watch/help new parties form at both ends of the political spectrum.

    Another aspect that I haven’t seen mentioned is that by rewarding the Democratic Party this time, we are also changing its culture in the right direction. A defeat would be terrible for it given how far it has come this election cycle (see The Democratic National Platform 2012–brings tears to my eyes reading it).

  49. strange gods before me ॐ says

    Unfortunately RepublicratDemocans are unlikely to ever have an interest in voting systems that may destroy their hegemony. And they are the only group at present who could effect such a change.

    Bzzzzzt.

    Seemingly the only way out of such a Catch-22 is to vote irrationally, supporting candidates who propose an end to FPTP voting.

    Nope. Still wrong. Irrationality cannot work.

    Stop reacting, and start thinking.

    The way out is to run ballot initiatives directly and bypass the legislatures. Until third party advocates do this, they cannot be taken seriously, and should not be respected. Until third party advocates do this, they are only preening, preferring their own personal purity over the well-being of the people.

  50. kreativekaos says

    [John Morgan@43; strange gods...@49; otrame@52]

    Concerning widening the political vista of choice and ideas, the usual dilemma, I have some sympathy for understanding both positions.

    Without creating a critical mass of voters who would open the door to a more multi-party system by voting in great enough numbers to send a real message to the political world (and the rest of the electorate), we seem to be in a perpetual sink hole of choice-Repubs or Dems.

    And certainly fundamental structural changes in how we vote would provide ways to open up more choice, but that too seems an uphill battle.

    Interest in fundamental change seems to have been decaying for thirty years or more, as evidenced directly and indirectly by things like voter apathy (although it has waxed and waned a bit over the past few decades), decaying education/educational opportunity, decreasing access to accurate/truthful mass media information in the form of newspapers, thirty years of ‘brainwashing’ by right-wing ideology convincing so many to vote against their own interests. It seems almost insurmountable.

    And of course the dilemma seems to be the choice between a personal ethic…
    (1) ‘Do I vote my conscious… for the candidate who I truly want, who I think will make a real difference in my life and the lives of so many others in need of positive change?’
    [which being a progressive these days is virtually a wasted vote (other than the virtue of being autonomous and freethinking and honest to oneself, leaving the conservative candidate closer to the win]

    ..and between a practical strategy:

    (2) ‘Do I vote for the ‘lesser of two evils?’
    [knowing that such a vote would increase the chance of victory of the candidate closer to my/our position]

    This is the rut we’re in that I hate, and like so many feel powerless to affect, other than pay lip service to it, like so many progressive, forward-thinking journalists and pundits.

    I just don’t see any effective way out of the sink hole; no way to begin move/change the behemoth of a seemingly perpetually stagnant electorate mentality in the US.

    (Thanks strange gods before me ॐ for the links on fptp, ranked voting, Green Lantern Theory.)

  51. Holms says

    A) Ken Ham is lying to children. That’s a different matter.
    B) We’re talking about an actress
    C) Children are sensible beings who grow up to be adults. They actually do understand things and do have opinions.

    A) I don’t consider it different at all. If we condemn them for doing something, we should not do it ourselves. The ‘right side’ of a disagreement is subjective, even when disagreeing about something that is objective. We may be able to justify to ourselves that we are not the dishonest ones and thus we can do X, but so can they. Both sides believe themselves to be correct (and for what it’s worth, I agree that Ken et al are liars), but neither side can declare that “our side of X is justified because we believe it to be justified, while theirs isn’t”.

    As far as I’m concerned, if it is unjustified for them, then it is for us too.

    B) Not sure if I see the relevance here… I don’t think it makes a difference that she (or her parents, whichever) recieved money, because my point was not that she is being exploited for cheap / free work, but that kids can be recruited to any cause due to naivete… though I guess ‘due to money’ also works.

    C) Of course kids have knowledge and opinions of things, however they are less informed than ours. Adults are not guaranteed to posess understanding or knowledge – there are plenty of morons everywhere – but the same goes for children, who have had even less time for learning.

    This is why I used ‘naive’ rather than ‘worthless’, so no I definitely did not tell you any such thing about your childhood.

  52. Amphiox says

    If the Republican party wins this election cycle and gets to validate and continue their strategy of voter suppression and obstructionism, then we move one step closer to a SINGLE party system, in function if not in name.

    To even talk about a multi-party system right now is simply naive.

  53. Danny on the Lam says

    Holy shit that made my day. Forwarding it to all my independent and content Democratic friends right now.

  54. strange gods before me ॐ says

    Does someone know of any good articles that might help me understand why third parties are so unsuccessful in the US? Is it just that the main parties are entrenched or is it due to the structure of the voting system? I do not know nearly enough of the details to figure this out. I see a number of references to FPTP voting being the cause, but it must be more than this.

    Only 3 consistent nationwide parties, really. BQ is regional, and the Greens are a blip.

    It’s called Duverger’s rule. There’s considerable discussion about why some countries diverge from it, but these are recognized as exceptions to a real rule — it’s generally agreed that FPTP tends to produce two party systems. This is a fair introduction (pdf) (html) to the debate. And just generally querying Google Scholar will give you more leads if you’re interested; or specifically what’s up with Canada?

  55. strange gods before me ॐ says

    And certainly fundamental structural changes in how we vote would provide ways to open up more choice, but that too seems an uphill battle.

    Well of course it’s an uphill battle. It nevertheless happens to be what’s necessary.

    In the meantime, a person’s considered conscience should lead them to vote based on the consequences of their actions, not on personal purity. Far too many people are mistaking their pre-rational moral disgust for a guide to moral action. They are making the kind of facile decisions which are trivially influenced by fart spray, or when’s the last time they washed their hands or took a shower.

    It really is not respectable to reflexively listen to one’s conscience, especially in situations like this where there are months or years to plan and consider the preferable outcome.

    +++++

    We may be able to justify to ourselves that we are not the dishonest ones and thus we can do X, but so can they. Both sides believe themselves to be correct

    Uh, so what? I never understand why anybody thinks this is important. Bigots think they’re right too. Still they should shut up, and bigots are objectively wrong to teach bigotry to their kids, non-bigots are objectively right to teach anti-bigotry to their kids.

    I don’t think it makes a difference that she (or her parents, whichever) recieved money

    It does. She’s being compensated for her work. You don’t know what her actual beliefs are on the subject.

  56. Walton says

    While I have qualms about saying so, sgbm is right about this. If you live in a battleground state, the only reasonable option for a progressive is to vote for Obama.

    I don’t like to take this position, because I’m exactly the kind of person who prefers to take high-minded but futile moral stands. (And I’ve already outlined the reasons why I dislike Obama.) But, rationally, sgbm is right. You will not achieve anything by voting Green. If you actually want to see some incremental progress towards equal human rights for women, LGBT people, immigrants and other minorities (and I hope we all do), then voting for Obama is the best you can do.

  57. maureenbrian says

    Holms, I’m not suggesting that anyone rock a three-month old to sleep with readings from Marx (or from Hayek for that matter) because if the dear infant understood a word then that would indoctrination. But a child who asks questions is entitled to an answer and a child who is mistakenly “protected” from necessary and useful knowledge has a grievance against her parents and will more likely be at the mercy of fraudsters, charlatans and snake oil salesmen – maybe for life.

    By the time s/he is 3 or 4 your child will know that something happens called politics. She is already a participant in society. Soon she will be a full citizen with the responsibility for deciding every 4 years who is to be president. You would want her to be able to do that rationally, wouldn’t you?

    I’m afraid that I brought mine up on the assumption that if they were old enough to ask the question they were old enough to get a straight answer. The daughter works for a political think-tank now and we disagree about all sorts of political things. So that’s not indoctrination, is it, but simply preparation for life as an adult in the real world.

    As with so much else you probably have to get the basic facts in place before the disturbances of puberty come along but I’d be interested to know what you think is the right age to suddenly start from scratch.

  58. kreativekaos says

    strange gods before me ॐ@60

    The way out is to run ballot initiatives directly and bypass the legislatures. Until third party advocates do this, they cannot be taken seriously, and should not be respected.

    …BZZZT….

    To run initiatives you need names… on petitions… to get these initiatives on ballots.

    Call me cynical,.. but with a perceived generalized apathy among the US electorate (at least in the centrist, and even the progressives demographic), I would think that such petitions to get ballot initiatives enacted would be an uphill climb. Despite all the chatter for years among many about changing the structure of voting to improve it, when the rubber hits the pavement,… it’s out the comfort zone for many, feeling that the calcified Repub/Demo rock is either:

    –preferable to any changes
    – all there is available to us, or
    – that it’s …the ‘American Way’, as is the approach with so many suggested changes in American politics and society.

    As an example, I have heard SO much chatter over the years among journalists and pundits about how much the American electorate rails against ‘negative campaigning’,..and yet,.. it goes on, and on and on. Why? Because in reality, (as various analysts, authors and journalists have commented on) they like,.. and it works.

  59. strange gods before me ॐ says

    To run initiatives you need names… on petitions… to get these initiatives on ballots.

    And?

    That’s it. That’s the option. If it doesn’t work then literally nothing will work. But you are being pessimistic beyond what the evidence indicates is warranted.

    There are initiatives that get on the ballot in various states almost every year to change the way elections are conducted.

    http://ballotpedia.org/wiki/index.php/Direct_democracy_measures_on_the_ballot

    http://ballotpedia.org/wiki/index.php/Elections_and_campaigns_on_the_ballot

    http://ballotpedia.org/wiki/index.php/Recall_measures_on_the_ballot

    http://ballotpedia.org/wiki/index.php/Redistricting_measures_on_the_ballot

    http://ballotpedia.org/wiki/index.php/Term_limits_on_the_ballot

    Have you ever worked on such a campaign? I have. It is not very difficult to knock on doors, or stand outside a business with a clipboard, and explain an issue to someone.

  60. strange gods before me ॐ says

    I forgot to mention that Ballotpedia is run by ultraconservative Tea Party types, so don’t fall for their donation requests.

  61. says

    Holms

    A) I don’t consider it different at all. If we condemn them for doing something, we should not do it ourselves.

    What?
    You don’t consider lying to children different from not lying to them (or for that matter to teach them values)?
    That’s just stupid. When Ken Ham tells them that the earth is 6000 years old and that they should counter anybody who tells them about millions of years with “were you there” it is the same as telling children about evolution or student loans and to teach them to ask “why?”?
    That’s just bullshit.
    Oh and when you say that the words of children carry little or no weight you consider their opinions worthless.

  62. wondering says

    alexanderz #22 The sexist part is that girls sell cookies, boys go to college.

    #23 chigau (違わない): The boy is old enough to be looking at college.
    The girls are looking at high school.
    -
    sexism or ageism?

    Sexism. 4 years ago the young man would also have been in high school but he is quoted as being on the phone and being an active volunteer. 4 years ago the young women were baking cookies… and are still being asked to bake cookies. The young man is shown as studious and serious; the young girls are shown as frivolous. None of that has anything to do with ageism, but does have a lot to do with sexism.

  63. cm's changeable moniker says

    I’m pretty sure my 10-year-old would pay me to be allowed to swear on YouTube …

  64. johnmorgan says

    Irrationality cannot work.

    Then how do you explain the phenomenal success of religions like Islam and Xtianity? If there were an election for world president, the pope would be lined up opposing some faceless ayatollah after the primaries. So which to choose; more child molestation, or more murderous mayhem?

    The way out is to run ballot initiatives directly and bypass the legislatures.

    Many years ago I was involved in a UK initiative called “Campaign for Fair Votes”. We went on the stump and asked householders whether they considered FPTP was preferable to other systems.

    At that time many of us thought proportional representation was better, but thinking has changed since those days. My patch was in a conservative heartland, yet we still polled close to 80% in favour of change.

    Recently the UK had a referendum, in which change to a transferable (ranked/ordinal) vote was proposed. In a 30% turn-out, the vote was 2 to 1 against, probably because mostly loyalists from the two main parties made the effort to get to the poll, and the leaders of those same parties had called for a “No”. It all came back to the legislature in the end. You can’t fight City Hall, we used to say, probably because of apathy in the opposing army.

    Thanks, Strange Gods, for some interesting leads and references, though.

  65. kreativekaos says

    strange gods…

    I appreciate your optimism and efforts, and thank you for them.
    No, I have not actually been involved in such worthy efforts.

  66. Nick Gotts (formerly KG) says

    Recently the UK had a referendum, in which change to a transferable (ranked/ordinal) vote was proposed. In a 30% turn-out, the vote was 2 to 1 against, probably because mostly loyalists from the two main parties made the effort to get to the poll, and the leaders of those same parties had called for a “No”. – johnmorgan

    Two errors there:
    1) The alternative proposed for FPTP was the Alternative Vote. Quite distinct from the Single Transferable Vote/A>.
    2) The Labour Party leadership (Labour being one of the two main parties), called for a vote in favour. So did the Liberal Democrat leadership.

  67. Holms says

    @68

    Uh, so what? I never understand why anybody thinks this is important. Bigots think they’re right too. Still they should shut up, and bigots are objectively wrong to teach bigotry to their kids, non-bigots are objectively right to teach anti-bigotry to their kids.

    No, morality is not objective. Aside from that, I’m not talking about parents teaching their kids, I’m talking about getting kids to endorse a political alignment, especially when we disapprove of it when done by our political opposites / opponents. Saying ‘but my reasons for doing so while theirs aren’t’ is the definition of hypocrisy.

    It does. She’s being compensated for her work. You don’t know what her actual beliefs are on the subject.

    Which is completely irrelevant to the question of getting kids to endorse politics.

    @68
    Perhaps I worded my view poorly. I am not objecting to a child being taught things such as politics, morality or sexuality; in fact I encourage it. This learning will never “start suddenly from scratch” because it begins from day zero, and gains speed alongside other learning, such as speech.

    What I object to is the coopting of kids for the promotion of a political party. I may have been saying it clumsily, but that’s what I’ve been saying.

    @72

    When Ken Ham tells them that the earth is 6000 years old and that they should counter anybody who tells them about millions of years with “were you there” it is the same as telling children about evolution or student loans and to teach them to ask “why?”?

    No.

    That’s just bullshit.

    Yeah no shit, that’s why I didn’t say it. Or at least, it was not my intent to say it; I may have worded it badly. If I may rephrase: I don’t think we should use kids in political ads at all, whether we are also lying to them or not.

    Oh and when you say that the words of children carry little or no weight you consider their opinions worthless.

    Little or no weight… in politics. That’s right.

  68. strange gods before me ॐ says

    Then how do you explain the phenomenal success of religions like Islam and Xtianity?

    Is this a brand new terminology to you?

    Rationality here refers to pursuing one’s preferences. I.e. both Republican and Democratic voters are behaving rationally (even though Republican goals are stupid and evil), because are acting in a way that makes them more likely to achieve their policy goals, while third party voters are irrationally wasting their votes by passing over an electable candidate who would advance some of their goals.

    You can’t fight City Hall, we used to say, probably because of apathy in the opposing army.

    And so you’re giving up. Or maybe you aren’t, and you’re just whinging, but you’ll keep trying. I can’t tell. But jeez, your counsel of despair is boring.

    Get people more used to it, then. Bring in non-FPTP systems at more lower levels of voting. San Francisco got IRV by ballot initiative. There are surely other places in the UK you can get it started too.

    +++++

    No, morality is not objective.

    Yes it is. Not my problem if you don’t understand that.

    Aside from that, I’m not talking about parents teaching their kids, I’m talking about getting kids to endorse a political alignment,

    There’s no difference between these two things. You’re making up a false dichotomy. Getting kids to endorse a political alignment means teaching them. It involves either teaching them something true or teaching them something false. It’s wrong to give them false teachings, but that’s that. It’s not wrong to tell them the truth.

    especially when we disapprove of it when done by our political opposites / opponents.

    There’s no “we” here anyway. I don’t disapprove of anyone teaching their kid how to vote, per se. I do disapprove of anyone of any age voting conservative. Because voting conservative is morally wrong. That’s all.

    Saying ‘but my reasons for doing so while theirs aren’t’ is the definition of hypocrisy.

    Nope. Hypocrisy has a few definitions, but that’s not one of them. Get out of your rut and think. If my reasons are consistent with reality and the other person’s are not, then my reasons are better.

  69. Ogvorbis: broken and cynical says

    And so you’re giving up. Or maybe you aren’t, and you’re just whinging, but you’ll keep trying

    And promoting voter apathy (by stressing non-existent voter fraud, by making sure that the US middle class has far less time to devote to politics, by promoting a he-said-she-said style of political reporting, by promoting the idea that government- no matter which party is in power – is hapless, hopeless and helpless, and by promoting the idea that all politicians are bad) has been a very strong current in modern conservatism since the abject failure of supply-side economics and ‘down-sizing’ government of the Reagan years. I literally would have a difficult time listing the people I know who have decided not to vote because it will not make any difference. And this hleps to feed the radical conservative agenda and, at the same time, makes an issue-based third party insurgency even more unlikely.

    But, then again, I am notoriously cynical.

  70. strange gods before me ॐ says

    I think this is one issue where non-voting is a wash. Right-wingers have as much to gain from non-FPTP voting as left-wingers do. So I think it can be implemented by ballot initiative even if one side is relatively apathetic and unwilling to vote.

  71. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Personally, I would like to see the Australian method of instant run-off adopted here. I see that as having a positive effect on small parties, who can start garnering sympathetic support if the vote isn’t being wasted by their second and later choices.

    I see this being implemented first in a state with easy access to petition referendum, and voter approval, like California. Here in Illinois, any referendum must come from the legislature, which won’t happen.

  72. consciousness razor says

    I don’t like to take this position, because I’m exactly the kind of person who prefers to take high-minded but futile moral stands. (And I’ve already outlined the reasons why I dislike Obama.) But, rationally, sgbm is right.

    It’s just such a weird thing to contrast “high-mindedness” and “rationality.” Why do people think this, and what does it even mean?

    ———

    Irrationality cannot work.

    Then how do you explain the phenomenal success of religions like Islam and Xtianity?

    That is not a kind of “success” anyone should want, and it’s not the same kind of “work” needed for political progress.

    ———

    No, morality is not objective.

    Is that supposed to be a fact or common sense? Either way: citation needed. Is there not really anything wrong with genocide? Hitler wasn’t really doing anything wrong? Is Godwinning this argument really something I shouldn’t have done?

  73. Koshka says

    Nerd,
    As an Australian voter, I often give my vote to a minor party who has policies that I prefer. They have next to no chance of winning, but I can then give my preference to the ‘lesser of two evils’, so my vote is not wasted. As you say, they start to garner support and this helps them. It also gives a message to the main parties that policy from these parties is popular or otherwise and hopefully encourages them to consider other policy directions.

  74. Holms says

    @80

    Yes it is. Not my problem if you don’t understand that.

    Incorrect, but you’ve chosen to designate your judgement call an objective fact. That’s your problem.

    There’s no difference between these two things. You’re making up a false dichotomy. Getting kids to endorse a political alignment means teaching them.

    Pile of shit. You could just pay them to recite some lines, a.k.a. the very thing that prompted my posts in this thread. You even said “She’s being compensated for her work. You don’t know what her actual beliefs are on the subject.” Indicating that you’re well aware of the fact that your noble ‘endorsement = taught’ sentiment might instead be ‘endorsement = bought.’

    So, I guess you’re disingenuous now.

    Nope. Hypocrisy has a few definitions, but that’s not one of them. Get out of your rut and think. If my reasons are consistent with reality and the other person’s are not, then my reasons are better.

    Wait, is that… it’s… is that an argument by dictionary definition? Please. This is the resort of spineless, cretinous ‘agnostics’ and ‘can’t we all just get along with religion’ apologists.

    Fine, whatever, let’s see.

    hypocrisy (hɪˈpɒkrəsɪ)

    — n , pl -sies
    1. the practice of professing standards, beliefs, etc, contrary to one’s real character or actual behaviour, esp the pretence of virtue and piety

    There are people that disapprove of Ham and co. getting kids to champion their cause. Some of these people have no qualms, or perhaps even encourage, the same thing being done for their own cause. This is a contradiction of their earlier standard of behaviour. This is hypocrisy.

    As for the old ‘but my reasons for doing so are justifiable’, all that means is the other side will respond with the same. If you respond further with what amounts to ‘yeah but I’m right’ will, again, be responded to in kind ad nauseum.

    It’s real simple. If you disapprove of a certain behavior, let’s say speeding, don’t do it. If you end up doing it anyway, you’re a hypocrite. If you do it and complain that you’re allowed to because otherwise you were going to be late… then you’re Bill O’Reilly.

  75. Koshka says

    What I object to is the coopting of kids for the promotion of a political party

    How about a politician on a stage with their kids? Is that coopting?

    How about a politician who wants to say that they stand up for families? They can”t use kids in their ads?

    How about trying to promote a policy for schools? No kids?

    I don’t think we should use kids in political ads at all

    Why do you think this? You appear to have a very low opinion on the abilities and resilience of children.

  76. Koshka says

    Complaining about someone referring to the dictionary definition of hypocrisy and then actually directly quoting a dictionary definition of hypocrisy!

    I see what you did there.

  77. Holms says

    How about a politician on a stage with their kids? Is that coopting?

    etc.

    Who do you go to for an informed political opinion for your campaign? Children? No. You go to an adult, not because children are stupid per se, but because they simply have had less time to spend learning.

    You go to a child when you want an emotional response from your audience. The child does not add to the discourse nearly as much as any of the adults, but they send the adorable-ness through the roof.

    I see what you did there.

    Responded to the dictionary ploy by pointing out that it actually backed me up? I agree.

  78. chigau (違わない) says

    Holms
    I don’t think you would be happy here.
    Maybe you should take your shovel and go away.

  79. strange gods before me ॐ says

    Incorrect, but you’ve chosen to designate your judgement call an objective fact. That’s your problem.

    It happens that I’ve learned to recognize this objective fact, and so I’ve aligned my judgment with the fact.

    Pile of shit. You could just pay them to recite some lines, a.k.a. the very thing that prompted my posts in this thread.

    Ah. I misunderstood what you meant by “endorse”. I took it to mean agreeing, rather than reciting. But okay. I can use “endorse” as you intended it — reading from a script.

    Indicating that you’re well aware of the fact that your noble ‘endorsement = taught’ sentiment might instead be ‘endorsement = bought.’

    They certainly are different kinds of endorsement, but they’re both fine. No problem with either one. You certainly haven’t made any kind of case that there’s a problem with either.

    Wait, is that… it’s… is that an argument by dictionary definition?

    Also nothing wrong with that, since words mean things. They certainly don’t mean just whatever you want them to mean. You hadn’t made any coherent argument about why anyone should accept your personal, idiosyncratic definition of “hypocrisy”, so a dictionary is instead a good place to start.

    There are people that disapprove of Ham and co. getting kids to champion their cause.

    Because Ham is teaching kids falsehoods.

    Some of these people have no qualms, or perhaps even encourage, the same thing being done for their own cause.

    Because we’re teaching kids truths.

    This is a contradiction of their earlier standard of behaviour.

    Nope. Disapproving of asking kids to speak falsehoods is quite consistent with approving of asking kids to speak truths.

    If you could find someone who says that they have a problem with asking kids to make political statements per se, but then this same person doesn’t have a problem with this kid making this political statement, then you would have identified hypocrisy.

    But that’s not what you’ve done. You’re putting words in people’s mouths and then asserting that they’re acting in contradiction to those words.

    Proclaiming “aha! you believe in X but you’re doing not-X!” isn’t sufficient to show you’ve actually identified hypocrisy — you have to also show that the person does indeed believe in X, as you’ve characterized X.

    As for the old ‘but my reasons for doing so are justifiable’, all that means is the other side will respond with the same.

    Ah, but they will be wrong, and I will be right. Because I’m in favor of speaking the truth, and it is possible to identify what is true.

    If you respond further with what amounts to ‘yeah but I’m right’ will, again, be responded to in kind ad nauseum.

    But I am right, as you well know. It is possible to identify truths about the world. We live in a shared reality, and it is possible to determine what that reality is like.

    It’s real simple. If you disapprove of a certain behavior, let’s say speeding, don’t do it. If you end up doing it anyway, you’re a hypocrite.

    Yes, I agree with this. Now, show that someone here believes in X, as you’ve characterized X. I know I don’t. Who do you think does, and what is your evidence that supports your belief?

    You go to a child when you want an emotional response from your audience. The child does not add to the discourse nearly as much as any of the adults, but they send the adorable-ness through the roof.

    That’s fine. Kids are important, and they will have to live in the world that Romney or Obama help to construct; many of them will have to live with the consequences further into the future than you or I will. It is worthwhile to keep them in mind when considering who to vote for, and it is therefore helpful to have some reminders that kids exist in a political context.

  80. strange gods before me ॐ says

    Meh. It’s just one argument. Holms might be fine here after getting over this particular argument. I have some hope.

  81. says

    Sorry, young people on Pharyngula, please just leave. You’Re property of your parents without legitimate interests, opinions or voices, as declared by Holms. Come back when you’re 18. Sorry, Jessica Alquist, I guess that means we have to strip you of any credentials and credibility you won before you turned 18, too. You could not have had an informed opinion, we should have asked an adult instead.
    I guess it’s also wrong of PZ to occasionally promote those kids with those cool science blogs. From now on, only blogs written by adults.

  82. Koshka says

    You go to a child when you want an emotional response from your audience.

    So you think children shouldn’t be used in political ads because it gives the audience an emotional response?
    And presumably emotions should not be considered in politics?

  83. maureenbrian says

    Only fear, Koshka. Fear is a legitimate weapon for politicians to wield, or so we are advised by those wielding it!

  84. Koshka says

    I guess it’s also wrong of PZ to occasionally promote those kids with those cool science blogs. From now on, only blogs written by adults

    But isn’t it adorable when a 12 year old blogs. I mean I never read the blogs because kids have nothing to add but to make feel all warm inside.

  85. says

    Koshka

    So you think children shouldn’t be used in political ads because it gives the audience an emotional response?
    And presumably emotions should not be considered in politics?

    Yeah, the straw-vulcan is strong with this one.
    I guess charities also shouldn’t use images of suffering children when they want to raise money to feed them.
    And those damn environmentalists using cute animals instead of some super-rare and endangered maggots.

  86. maureenbrian says

    You won’t believe this but as 95 was loading the phone rang. Some possibly innocent woman wanted to sell me something – I never discovered what – on the basis of the “recent rise in domestic crime.”

    Now as an averagely lazy Guardian reader I asked what rise in domestic crime. She started muttering about how the company had done a survey. I asked what the true figures* are. She had no idea what I was talking about. I realise she’s probably glad to have the job but she found herself putting down the receiver with my shout of BULLSHIT ringing in her ears.

    I am even more convinced that if fear can be used to promote right-wing ideas and to scare 70 year old ladies (sic) into buying things then using a child actor to prompt the idea “think of my future” is positively benign.

    * In UK Home Office figures, usually a couple of years out of date, and British Crime Survey, based on interviews . Each has its limitations: both can be regarded as credible.

  87. Ichthyic says

    Meh. It’s just one argument. Holms might be fine here after getting over this particular argument. I have some hope.

    seeing your endorsement makes me think exactly the opposite.

    are you taking wagers?

  88. says

    I saw the SFW version a couple of days ago, although you know exactly what the esteemed Samuel L. and the little girl are saying.

    Also, Walton at 35 above: I agree on many of your points, but you know we live under a government of three divisions with “checks and balances”. Meh. Obama promised a lot but was saddled with congress, which despite the Dems being in the majority when he was elected contained enough Dems in name only, opposed many of his initiatives.

    In regards to his maintenance of previous administrations military positions-ever seen “Seven Days in May”.

  89. johnmorgan says

    @Nick Gotts.

    Thanks for the corrections. I don’t live in the UK any more, so am only getting partial and peripheral bits of information these days.

    @Strange Gods

    Is this a brand new terminology to you? Rationality here refers to pursuing one’s preferences

    I understood ‘rational’ meant using standard reasoning – logic, if you will. But if one begins to reason by starting with an absurd premise, can’t that be a rational argument? If so, I suppose religious belief becomes rational in the sense you have used it; I always thought religion the most irrational brain fart on the planet.

    I too like the Australian system. Its simplicity can be understood by ordinary people. But the requirement to rank distinctly every name on the list makes for difficulties, as one must decide which of two, say, extremist candidates one likes least, in order not to void one’s ballot.

  90. strange gods before me ॐ says

    But if one begins to reason by starting with an absurd premise, can’t that be a rational argument? If so, I suppose religious belief becomes rational in the sense you have used it

    In this limited kind of rationality, yes, religiosity can be rational. Instrumental rationality, more or less. In this framework, it’s a separate question whether one’s preferences are well-justified in logic and empiricism.

    Please note I don’t wish to endorse claims which suggest that instrumental rationality is the only kind of rationality which can exist or be discoverable. I do think we can determine what are the best kinds of preferences to have. (However, since the commenters here are generally left leaning, both types of rationality coincide for us. ;)

    By the way, I noticed upon rereading that I was more impatient with you than I’m comfortable with. I do get that way when encountering what I perceive as unwarranted political pessimism, but I could have been less short with you. Sorry about that.

  91. strange gods before me ॐ says

    Libertarians (that includes “reason” dot com) are truly awful people, among the worst of the worst.

    We can discuss why it’s a bad idea to vote Green.

    There is no point in discussing why it’s a bad idea to vote for the end of civilization.

  92. Holms says

    @90

    I don’t think you would be happy here.

    Leave that to me to decide.

    Maybe you should take your shovel and go away.

    Or maybe not?

    @91

    It happens that I’ve learned to recognize this objective fact, and so I’ve aligned my judgment with the fact.

    You can feel free to call your judgement an objective observation all you like, it still isn’t so.

    Because Ham is teaching kids falsehoods…

    …Because we’re teaching kids truths…

    …Ah, but they will be wrong, and I will be right.

    Which highlights the problem of forbidding (or at least discouraging) something and then doing it: everyone’s reasons are right, according to that group. Granting yourself an exception ‘because you’re / we’re right’ essentially grants an exception to everyone.

    However we’ve already been around that circle, I have no interest in another trip.

    @92

    Sorry, young people on Pharyngula, please just leave. You’Re property of your parents without legitimate interests, opinions or voices, as declared by Holms. Come back when you’re 18.

    Being that that is not my position atll, you are either interpreting my statements creatively or you are strawmanning. Yawns all round either way.

  93. strange gods before me ॐ says

    You can feel free to call your judgement an objective observation all you like, it still isn’t so.

    Now you’re just being lazy. It doesn’t make sense for you to continue asserting your falsehood without even answering the challenge that’s been made to you in this thread.

    Which highlights the problem of forbidding (or at least discouraging) something and then doing it:

    Uh, nobody here is discouraging something and then doing it. Nobody.

    If you could find someone who says that they have a problem with asking kids to make political statements per se, but then this same person doesn’t have a problem with this kid making this political statement, then you would have identified hypocrisy.

    But that’s not what you’ve done. You’re putting words in people’s mouths and then asserting that they’re acting in contradiction to those words.

    Proclaiming “aha! you believe in X but you’re doing not-X!” isn’t sufficient to show you’ve actually identified hypocrisy — you have to also show that the person does indeed believe in X, as you’ve characterized X.

    Now, show that someone here believes in X, as you’ve characterized X. I know I don’t. Who do you think does, and what is your evidence that supports your belief?

    everyone’s reasons are right, according to that group.

    We are discussing facts here. It is possible to determine what the facts are. It is possible to determine whether Ham is wrong, whether Romney portrays his policies accurately, and whether Romney’s policies would do more harm than Obama’s.

    Granting yourself an exception ‘because you’re / we’re right’ essentially grants an exception to everyone.

    No exception is being granted. People who are correct about an issue should be encouraged to keep on being correct. People who are incorrect about an issue should be discouraged from continuing to be incorrect.

    It is possible to determine what is true about the world.

    You apparently hold that X should not do A if X does not like Y doing A. So let’s substitute: X are anti-racists, Y are white supremacists, and A is advocating for one’s own views.

    If we were to take your silly reasoning seriously, then because we don’t like it when white supremacists “peacefully” advocate for their views — that is, without using physical violence — then we should not peacefully advocate against their views.

    I must conclude that you are very confused.

  94. strange gods before me ॐ says

    Eh, too many X’s now. Let’s rephrase:

    You apparently hold that N should not do A if N does not like M doing A. So let’s substitute: N are anti-racists, M are white supremacists, and A is advocating for one’s own views.

    If we were to take your silly reasoning seriously, then because we don’t like it when white supremacists “peacefully” advocate for their views — that is, without using physical violence — then we should not peacefully advocate against their views.

  95. anteprepro says

    Which highlights the problem of forbidding (or at least discouraging) something and then doing it: everyone’s reasons are right, according to that group. Granting yourself an exception ‘because you’re / we’re right’ essentially grants an exception to everyone.

    Relativistic horseshit. Sure, individual groups are going to think they are right. But, with very few exceptions, there is one group that is actually right and that group can show their work . Sure, there may be some arenas where it is “too close to call”. Evolution vs. creationism is not one of them . Evolution has tons of evidence on its side and is logically sound, and creationism has denialism and strawmen supporting a blatant religious agenda. There are few more blatant cases of Objectively Wrong than creationism. To deny that is to deny scientific facts. And to accept that means you must deny your suggested equivalence between liberal “indoctrination” and creationist indoctrination.

  96. strange gods before me ॐ says

    So as I understand it, the implications of Holms’s argument (not necessarily how Holms would word it, but if I’m wrong I’d like to see Holms explain how these implications do not hold) :

    because it’s pretty much always a given that some people who are wrong will think they’re right and act as if they’re right,

    those people who really are right should not act as if they’re right.

    +++++
    I would respond that it’s unjust to insist that people who are right should have to act as though they are not-right.

  97. Ichthyic says

    Earlier Holms said:

    There are people that disapprove of Ham and co. getting kids to champion their cause. Some of these people have no qualms, or perhaps even encourage, the same thing being done for their own cause.

    really?

    are you sure you’re not confusing the accusations of people like Hamm for reality?

    Has anyone seen large scale examples of people manipulating kids because they disapprove of Ken Hamm?

    because I’ve sure seen enough documented examples of the reverse.

  98. Ichthyic says

    creationism has denialism and strawmen supporting a blatant religious agenda

    I’ve become convinced, by reading Altemeyer and more recent psychology of religion studies that it has more to do with authoritarianism in general.

    religion is just the glue.