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Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Julian Assange is a lot smarter than Sarah Palin

Julian Assange is impossibly intelligent. This point is not contestable. Let's take a look at the text of SP's recent post-Arizona-shooting video and see if we can say the same about her..

Like millions of Americans I learned of the tragic events in Arizona on Saturday, and my heart broke for the innocent victims. No words can fill the hole left by the death of an innocent, but we do mourn for the victims’ families as we express our sympathy. I agree with the sentiments shared yesterday at the beautiful Catholic mass held in honor of the victims. The mass will hopefully help begin a healing process for the families touched by this tragedy and for our country.

Okay, nice opener. She's showing she's sad, similar to "millions of Americans", and that she's down with the Catholics, so she's accepting of other faiths. She's positioning herself among "the people". The second sentence has some syntax issues, but okay.

Our exceptional nation, so vibrant with ideas and the passionate exchange and debate of ideas, is a light to the rest of the world.

America, I love you, but please. Please stop deluding yourself into thinking that the rest of the world looks to you as a guiding light. They look to SWEDEN. Well, before all this messy sex business, but never mind that - they still don't look to you the way you think they do.

Congresswoman Giffords and her constituents were exercising their right to exchange ideas that day, to celebrate our Republic’s core values and peacefully assemble to petition our government. It’s inexcusable and incomprehensible why a single evil man took the lives of peaceful citizens that day.

Well, from what I understand, the shooter is a schizophrenic. You're not supposed to be able to understand his state of mind, and yes, you do have to excuse him, because he's mentally ill.

There is a bittersweet irony that the strength of the American spirit shines brightest in times of tragedy. We saw that in Arizona. We saw the tenacity of those clinging to life, the compassion of those who kept the victims alive, and the heroism of those who overpowered a deranged gunman.

This is a goddamn tautology. Of course strength exhibits itself in times of crisis. It's always going to be that way unless 100% of the people die, in which case there's no one left to talk about the strength and heroism. Anyone who survives will be "tenaciously clinging to life" (I mean what else is there to do?) and/or helping the other people. Again, this is something that is not exclusively American. Even non-human animals exhibit this type of behaviour, so in fact it's not "American" at all.

Like many, I’ve spent the past few days reflecting on what happened and praying for guidance. After this shocking tragedy, I listened at first puzzled, then with concern, and now with sadness, to the irresponsible statements from people attempting to apportion blame for this terrible event. President Reagan said, “We must reject the idea that every time a law’s broken, society is guilty rather than the lawbreaker. It is time to restore the American precept that each individual is accountable for his actions.”

Here's where some of that education that the elites have would have come in handy for ya. In school, you would have learned the word "context" and how things happen in a "context". You may have also heard the expression "X doesn't happen in a vacuum." Same idea.

Acts of monstrous criminality stand on their own. They begin and end with the criminals who commit them, not collectively with all the citizens of a state, not with those who listen to talk radio, not with maps of swing districts used by both sides of the aisle, not with law-abiding citizens who respectfully exercise their First Amendment rights at campaign rallies, not with those who proudly voted in the last election.

This is even more narrow than the previous statement. How anyone can say that criminal acts stand on their own is incomprehensible to me. Refer to the discussion of "context" above. The very fact that certain acts are considered criminal presupposes that there is a legal framework within which these acts are designated as criminal or not criminal (see Sweden's rape laws for an example).

The last election was all about taking responsibility for our country’s future. President Obama and I may not agree on everything, but I know he would join me in affirming the health of our democratic process. Two years ago his party was victorious. Last November, the other party won. In both elections the will of the American people was heard, and the peaceful transition of power proved yet again the enduring strength of our Republic.

I think actually this is just the definition of an election as it would happen in any democracy.

Vigorous and spirited public debates during elections are among our most cherished traditions. And after the election, we shake hands and get back to work, and often both sides find common ground back in D.C. and elsewhere. If you don’t like a person’s vision for the country, you’re free to debate that vision. If you don’t like their ideas, you’re free to propose better ideas. But, especially within hours of a tragedy unfolding, journalists and pundits should not manufacture a blood libel that serves only to incite the very hatred and violence they purport to condemn. That is reprehensible.

The phrase "blood libel" has been dealt with extensively elsewhere, so I won't address this here.

There are those who claim political rhetoric is to blame for the despicable act of this deranged, apparently apolitical criminal. And they claim political debate has somehow gotten more heated just recently. But when was it less heated? Back in those “calm days” when political figures literally settled their differences with dueling pistols? In an ideal world all discourse would be civil and all disagreements cordial. But our Founding Fathers knew they weren’t designing a system for perfect men and women. If men and women were angels, there would be no need for government. Our Founders’ genius was to design a system that helped settle the inevitable conflicts caused by our imperfect passions in civil ways. So, we must condemn violence if our Republic is to endure.As I said while campaigning for others last March in Arizona during a very heated primary race, “We know violence isn’t the answer. When we ‘take up our arms’, we’re talking about our vote.” Yes, our debates are full of passion, but we settle our political differences respectfully at the ballot box – as we did just two months ago, and as our Republic enables us to do again in the next election, and the next. That’s who we are as Americans and how we were meant to be. Public discourse and debate isn’t a sign of crisis, but of our enduring strength. It is part of why America is exceptional.

America, I love you, but honestly you need to face the truth. There's no fucking Santa Claus, Barack Obama really was born in America, people evolved from lower animals, and what y'all do is not debate or discourse. It's just screaming. There's no content in what you're yelling. It's just the same phrases and words scrambled around and thrown out. The only people who make sense are the smart people, and their opinions are written off as the words of the "elites". You need to stop yelling, start looking at the way other countries talk about their issues, and start taking notes. And you need to acknowledge that the best people to run a country are the smart people - the people with the high IQ's and the education.

No one should be deterred from speaking up and speaking out in peaceful dissent, and we certainly must not be deterred by those who embrace evil and call it good. And we will not be stopped from celebrating the greatness of our country and our foundational freedoms by those who mock its greatness by being intolerant of differing opinion and seeking to muzzle dissent with shrill cries of imagined insults. Just days before she was shot, Congresswoman Giffords read the First Amendment on the floor of the House. It was a beautiful moment and more than simply “symbolic,” as some claim, to have the Constitution read by our Congress. I am confident she knew that reading our sacred charter of liberty was more than just “symbolic.” But less than a week after Congresswoman Giffords reaffirmed our protected freedoms, another member of Congress announced that he would propose a law that would criminalize speech he found offensive.

Way to pull it back to the woman you had in your crosshairs of civilized debate. Nice work.

It is in the hour when our values are challenged that we must remain resolved to protect those values. Recall how the events of 9-11 challenged our values and we had to fight the tendency to trade our freedoms for perceived security. And so it is today.

I think the freedoms may have lost out on that one. See "Department of Homeland Security", "David House", and "Jacob Appelbaum" for some examples.

Let us honor those precious lives cut short in Tucson by praying for them and their families and by cherishing their memories. Let us pray for the full recovery of the wounded. And let us pray for our country. In times like this we need God’s guidance and the peace He provides. We need strength to not let the random acts of a criminal turn us against ourselves, or weaken our solid foundation, or provide a pretext to stifle debate. America must be stronger than the evil we saw displayed last week. We are better than the mindless finger-pointing we endured in the wake of the tragedy. We will come out of this stronger and more united in our desire to peacefully engage in the great debates of our time, to respectfully embrace our differences in a positive manner, and to unite in the knowledge that, though our ideas may be different, we must all strive for a better future for our country. May God bless America.

And may whatever higher power there is (if such a thing exists) bless the countries of the world where the above does actually happen. And America too.

My overall assessment: It would actually be difficult to construct a less nuanced argument than this. In addition to leaning excessively on the false dichotomy of individual vs collective responsibility (clearly what happened is a mix of the two), it's so peppered with rhetoric as to be a complete waste of everyone's time and cognitive energy. There is nothing real or genuine here, and nothing salvageable. I can't believe someone gets paid to write this crap.

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