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I haven't made a political post in a long, long time.

I'd make one now, except just thinking about it depresses me. I was not happy about the results of the midterm, needless to say... and I am even less happy, if possible, about this "compromise" that Obama has made with the GOP on taxes. From where I sit, it smells more like capitulation than compromise. Give a lot, get almost nothing.

Obama is the most intelligent president we've had since Jimmy Carter... and, sad to say, he is looking more and more like Jimmy every day. A good man, but not a good leader. At least not so far. He doesn't seem to have the stomach for a fight. We need another FDR, another JFK, another LBJ. NOT Jimmy II. (And, yes, I know, Obama has accomplished some important stuff. But so did Jimmy. Camp David accords, remember?)

Yeats was writing about his own time in "The Second Coming," I know, but sometimes I think he was prescient:

Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.

And could that rough beast whose hour has come round at least be... Sarah Palin?

No, please. Tell me that's just a bad dream. Somebody wake me up.



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Dec. 16th, 2010 06:47 am (UTC)
Grad School
Just read that poem for grad school English class... was thinking the same thing. Time to start planet hopping our way to sanity?
Dec. 16th, 2010 07:18 am (UTC)
Comparing Obama to FDR JFK and LBJ
I feel like those presidents' legacy was made more by the times that they lived in more then their character. Back then society was different, I don't quite know how to articulate my thesis on the matter, but I guess I'd say society at large had more of a "backbone" back then? People where more willing to get things done, whereas now we have a bunch of critics. . . and not much else, and its pretty easy to be a critic.

On the tax issue, if you compare it to the other issues being debated in congress at the moment, it's not as big of an issue as some of the monumental issues being debated in congress. Yet they choose to focus on the issue because of politics. Special interest ie those with money and high income are highly interested in the matter, so they pander to these special interest because its these interest that fund their campaigns and political commercials which in turn are used to inform the ignorant masses on what the truth really is.

So in the end its all about politics and money, and as long as the special interest are the ones calling the shots, all the serious issues will be thrown to the wayside.

I'm kind of a pessimistic person but I still have some hope. In times of conflict and struggle, people and civilizations usually find the will to change and to evolve, and right now we seem to be on the precipice of an international struggle that will involve everyone everywhere due to globalization and quality of life issues. I believe in the human condition.
Dec. 16th, 2010 07:19 am (UTC)
Funny, I was just thinking about that Yeats poem yesterday. I'm really not very inclined to doom and gloom, however. Things look bad for Obama right now, but both Reagan and Clinton were in similar difficulties, two years into their presidencies.

As a moderate, I think the tax package is probably the best deal that can be gotten right now. It's not going to fix everything, but it's not a huge disaster, either.

I'm not an Obama fan (I hope for his success, for the sake of the country), but whenever I get frustrated with him, I remember the unmitigated disaster that was the Bush presidency and feel we have moved at least a little bit in the right direction.

I can't believe all of those people already pinning "worst President ever" on Obama have forgotten Bush. Or maybe his war-mongering liberty-stealing was A-Okay with them.
Dec. 16th, 2010 08:46 am (UTC)
Have to say I really disagree with you on this one Martin. For one it's hard to get this country in the right direction when all anyone wants right now is fighting. Here's a question how is that supposed to solve anything? Isn't a better solution to compromise rather than fight or have some form of needless conflict that will never be resolved.

I also think its very unfair to call Obama Carter II. Not working with the other side is what got us in this mess in the first place. AKA George W. Bush, its funny how so many complained about him but want someone that is very much like him such as someone who refuses to budge on anything. Doesn't work with the other side ever as a matter of principle. Need I go on?
Nathan Millicheap
Dec. 16th, 2010 08:55 am (UTC)
Can someone read this please for i think its important
the books that you our writing George our coming true... this is the truth... you have been spoken through or from with in by a being that is not of conscious human being. Our world needs to open its third eye because Èpandoras boxÈ is opening, what ever you call it, it is opening. from the pyramids to aliens, philosophy and spiritualism, animals, life, stillness. I am just telling you George that you have energy in you that was possibly from the source. Through writing you have subliminally given it to the world, carried by your imagination... believe me or not... im not a fan, my belief is not that small, i am just telling you George... u understand.
Dec. 16th, 2010 09:36 am (UTC)
My .02 $
I read just a part of comments, but as a neutral party i want to share some thoughts. Probably gonna be a long post, so I assume most wont bother reading... I like to call my self a "classic liberal" with strong belief in personal freedom and personal responsibility, and I must say I am actually bothered by this modern use of liberal to mean left-leaning as I find it, personally, a perversion of the word "liberal". And as I see in the US right now no party protects freedoms and I am quite libertarian leaning in the way that I oppose democracy as "the tyranny of the mob". Democracy should refer just to common issues.

That being said I think the main issue with the US, and every other country, is that it's way to polarized, and despite people calling themselves moderate, very few are. Everything is partisan and ideological. I read many comments to various politics end economy articles and most have very little critical thinking on the issue and are mostly keeping the ideological lines. Both the right and left ideologies right now are, with all due respect, simple brainwashing from politicians who want to buy votes, politicians with little qualifications to lead a country, mostly lawyers and they get elected by promising to spend other peoples money. Obama may be smart but I don't see how that qualified him to take macroeconomic decisions.

I live in a former communist eastern European country and I can say one thing for certain. Big government does not work and left ideology is the path to ruin for a society. Most here being socialist will disagree, but the truth is that government is inefficient and cannot give someone prosperity. I am not comparing US to communism, but that is where left ideology leads to, sometimes fast in a revolution sometimes slow over centuries. I hear many people giving the northern european systems as example, but those systems wont last long in this current form, they benefited by some very special global conditions. Most welfare states in Europe are destined to bankruptcy in the long run, as they are just Ponzi schemes, they work great until the crash. A bit of background on my beliefs.

Regarding taxation, I believe no tax increase should be allowed until the government cuts wasteful spending. Government, a coercive monopoly, has no way of correcting inefficiencies, the only way of reducing them is reducing government. Allowing tax breaks to expire would not fix the problem, which is spending, because it sends the message to politicians that they can continue spending and just increase taxes. off course, I generally support a flat tax rate, not increased taxation on people declared arbitrarily rich (why 250k and not 240 or 260 ?). I believe in free markets, not government spending, as the economy is something to complex to be regulated by various bureaucrats. Regulation should be clear and minimal (I unlike many libertarians believe in some environmental regulations for example ).All centrally planed governments failed and every economy that moved from regulation to freedom prospered. All citizens should get equal protection, equal treatment. Taxes should go to common goals - infrastructure, defense (not in the invade small countries kind of way), justice and law enforcement. And maybe some minimal, short term, social spending. That can be achieved with low taxes not the overbearing ones prevalent right now in most OECD countries. I am especially bothered by some on the left who claim that the tax deal is "giving" rich people money as it assumes that all income belongs to the government and they give you some of it. Taking less does not equal giving. I am also against this ideal of wealth redistribution as it implies arbitrarily taking money from some people, wasting most of it in government bureaucracy and giving a small part to other people.
Dec. 16th, 2010 09:37 am (UTC)
Part two
Again sorry for the length don't mean to be spamming ...

The problem with welfare is that in the end it will end up with a larger number of parasites and profiteers than people who actually need help. If people were taking welfare only when in absolute need there probably be a lot less need of it, but in reality it creates moral hazard for some, a welfare trap for others and does little to assure prosperity. It also takes away the idea that each and every person is responsible for his prosperity and that it should be given by government, the idea that hard work is the way to a good life. It creates various privileges that pretty soon become "rights" and it feeds the privileged group of career politicians and government workers, getting more and more benefits when private sector people are losing theirs, and it divides society by means of artificially induced "class warfare". Also it sends the message that its not people who should take care of each other. I herd many a time, in the face of some problems, people saying the government should do something, not we should do something. And if you follow news in Europe you will see that as much as government and welfare increased, it did little to solve most social problems.

Another problem with the US is the Federal Government. I have worked in several companies of different sizes and I can tell you the bigger the management structure the more inefficient it is. Of course you need big entities for big projects, but you should do at department level everything that can be done. The government is the same inefficiency increases exponentially with size. You cannot govern 300 mil people centrally. Even those who admire northern European countries, those countries have 4-5 million people and still they have most done at local level. Federal should cover defense, supreme court justice, diplomacy and external affairs, some form of federal police and interstate highways. The rest should be left to state governments, county, city etc . Which would also solve a lot of the division of society.

And I'm done ...
Tanto Ten
Dec. 16th, 2010 09:59 am (UTC)
Christmas is coming.....
Dec. 16th, 2010 10:21 am (UTC)
I just want to mention that life is anarchy by default and it works the best because there is only one person who needs to make a decision and only one person who can immediately put that decision into action.

However, it only works if all life has been sufficiently integrated into the environment and does not cause any harm to any other life...humans have yet to properly integrate and in fact are constantly changing their environment so that it's possible that we will never fully integrate. So, we need government...and the extent and power of that institution depends on how disruptive individual anarchies are to each other.

For the past 100 years we have been growing more and more able to devistate ourselves and others...sometimes without any malace or knowledge that events lead to such damage. I'm making a wild guess, but I believe at least 50% of the people in the world actively try to gain advantage in life by damaging others who are competing for the same resources. If we want to reduce the strength, and cost, of our government institutions then we need to actively find those people that are damaging others and stop them from causing problems.

If we take an active role in governing ourselves and helping others fit into the environment (both physical and social) then our cost of government will decline...no other effort will really do the job. In fact, if we don't take an active role then government costs will most likely continue to increase until we can't afford the freedoms that we are paying such governments for the rights to them...we would have the privilege, but not the means to enjoy those freedoms. A thought which I'm sure many of us have already felt or perhaps feel now.
Dec. 16th, 2010 11:01 am (UTC)
Obama et al
I love that Yates poem, and have felt for some time now that it well describes our current times. I don't think we should harsh on Obama too much, as the "no room for compromise" is one of the evils that Yates speaks of in that poem. Obama was always going to fail because his supporters thought he could make wine out of water, and his detractors were ready to believe anything, no matter how stupid, said about Obama.

On Sarah, I met her back when she was still just a poodunk state Governor. I thought she was smart, personable, and *cough* hot. This thing that calls itself Sarah we see on TV now is a creation of the most evil conspiracy in America....the spin doctors. Someone somewhere decided that conservatives were stupid, and revel in that like pigs in filth. Anyone running for office as a conservative had to prove their loyalty to the movement by demonstrating their own stupidity.

As for drawing comparisons to Cersei....I don't think Sarah is that hot. I do think that with all the idiotic moves by governments around the world the parallel between our favorite fantasy series and real life is the unspoken, unrevealed, conspiracy that push the 7 Kingdoms into crisis. As Tyrion said "We may not be the only wolf in these woods". (George, sorry if I butchered that one, but I am pretty sure it was close).
Dec. 16th, 2010 12:01 pm (UTC)
If I'd been president of your country, I'd just have let the republicans carry on and just be clear towards the media. "Today we wanted to get healthcare for 9/11 first responders, but the Republicans felt that a minor taxation increase on millionaires was more important to stave off than to reward the greatest, most iconic american heroes." "Today we tried to suggest that maybe we shouldn't let our children eat cadmium, but millionaires was more important." etc etc. Turn their hostage-taking of your country towards themselves.

But I guess a president needs to think about stuff differently.

But yeah if it was me living there? I'd say a few more months of misery would be worth seeing republicans crush themselves. :(
Dec. 16th, 2010 12:32 pm (UTC)
Health Care reform was incremental at best, financial reform was a joke that didn't address the real issues (derivatives etc.), a senseless war is prolonged until at least 2014, many civil rights are not worth the paper they've been written on, the legality of torture is merely a matter of opinion, rendition is still going on, etc. etc.
Also take a look at the results of that deficit commission. They're going to cut your social security to pay for further tax breaks for higher incomes.
Wake up, guys. We thought Obama would be a real progressive because of his background, slogans and, yes, maybe the color of his skin. Think about it, had he been some white senator, we would have long given up on him. Well you can't predict someone's approach by his background. He's a corporatist. Hillary is too, but she would have fought the right wing. This guy is caving in before any fight begins. He's pathetic as a leader, and the worst thing is that we have to defend him against the likes of Sarah Palin, who are worse. It's sickening.
Dec. 16th, 2010 12:38 pm (UTC)
I find i passing strange that we have allowed things to get to this point...What is to be done....

I love the stories in retrospect, so i guess it seems proper that we always suffer through the likeness of them.

I am in my fucking cups bout now....but i thought i should stop by and drop my praise.....a song of ice and fire has changed my life....for the better.....George, You are my favorite writer...my whole social circle has tattoo's reflecting your work.....

Thanks for kickin ass.....and being a wall to wall end all bad ass motherfucking story teller.

kinda lost sight of the comment point....but in all points i agree with the Jimmy Carter analogy. and fear what my generation will do when they see Palin in a puma tracksuit wavin a flag.

Here's hoping there's still hope....

signin out
-Jameson Lannister
Dec. 16th, 2010 12:49 pm (UTC)
The only hope this country has....
is Ron Paul.

He is the only honest politician we have left. You can't tell me that Bush or Obama are good people after reading some of the stuff on Wikileaks. We have a secretive government that does what it wants and hides the things that make it look bad. Obama ran on a platform of getting us out of two wars, yet all I've seen is him following the same plans that Bush had. And now we hear more talk of war with Iran and North Korea.

But none of this is going to matter until we get control of our money. As long as the secretive Federal Reserve is printing money and giving it out to anyone that want, with no oversight and in secrecy, we are eventually going to destroy the dollar (it's almost there now) and the United States, as we know it today, will cease to exist. Superpowers throughout history have not been overthrown by military force (or terrorism). They have all been destroyed from the inside economically. We are heading down that same path. Ron Paul understands this, and has been fighting to open up the secrets of, and eventually bring an end to, the Federal Reserve. Central Banking and Keynesian economics are what put us in this mess, and they are only making it worse by trying to fix it. And all they do is print money and cause inflation. We live with inflation as if it is something that just is. But it doesn't have to be. Inflation is an increase in the money supply, and as you get more of something, it becomes worth less. And the Fed keeps printing more money every year.

Both sides are the same any more. Republicans or Democrats, they are all the same. All they do is spend our money on wasteful government programs and pet projects, and we are being left with the bill. More and more people are starting to wake up to the realization that neither "party" is going to save this country. We need to elect individuals who truly believe in an honest, open, non-interventionist, free-market society that defends the liberties of the people. And no, Sarah Palin and Mitt Romney are not those people. They will continue to do the same things we are doing, while talking about how we need to cut spending.

So while I totally disagree with you on politics, I still love the books, and I can't wait for the series on HBO!!!
Dec. 19th, 2010 05:53 am (UTC)
Re: The only hope this country has....
Well said.
Dec. 16th, 2010 01:28 pm (UTC)
GRRM, I don't know much about politics. But I get this weird feeling that every election in the past 2 years (and next 2 years to come) is a dramatic reaction, railing against what just came before. People hate 1 administration and go WAY opposite in the next election. And the candidates are catering to this! I wish we could moderate our reactions better, I guess.
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George R.R. Martin
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