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DNC 2012 -  Wow!
Posted: 05 September 2012 07:29 AM   [ Ignore ]
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What a start to the 2012 Democratic National Convention. Here is a sampling of some amazing speeches, from the 1st night:

http://news.yahoo.com/watch-michelle-obama-speech-destroyed-twitter-video-001002700.html
http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0912/80691.html
http://www.politico.com/multimedia/video/2012/09/deval-patrick-attacks-romney-in-dnc-speech.html

If you missed it, and are interested, I recommend that you also try to find video of the speeches by Ted Strickland, Rahm Emanuel, and even Lily Ledbetter (her message and delivery were simple but powerful, despite, or perhaps enhanced by, her Forest-Gump-like speaking cadence/accent).

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Posted: 05 September 2012 09:48 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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Yeah, good speeches Michelle, Castro, and others did very well.  They mentioned God plenty of times, Fox News might be trying to hide that fact, but where was the Humanism in the speeches?  I guess the Dems don’t think that we show up on the population statistics yet.

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Posted: 05 September 2012 10:04 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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jump_in_the_pit - 05 September 2012 09:48 AM

Yeah, good speeches Michelle, Castro, and others did very well.  They mentioned God plenty of times, Fox News might be trying to hide that fact, but where was the Humanism in the speeches?  I guess the Dems don’t think that we show up on the population statistics yet.

True, but the power of humanism apparently cursed both conventions with problems related to the weather. smile  As much as both parties refer to God, you would think that if God existed, he would have helped them out with a little thing like fair weather for a few days. 

But despite, the ubiquitous references to God, humanism was evident at the DNC in the content of the speeches which consistently supported issues in line with the ideals of humanism.

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Posted: 05 September 2012 10:10 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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I agree with Tim. Humanist principals certainly permeated the DNC speeches even if the word wasn’t used. Unfortunately any connection with atheism is still a big bugaboo in politics. Americans are still less receptive of atheists than they are of homosexuality and the DNC speeches only indirectly referred to gay marriage ( “we dont care who you love”) so it will be a long time yet before they openly support atheism/humanism. They can’t win a presidential election if they only win over their own party. They have to convince the independents and many of them are still pretty conservative on some issues.

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Posted: 05 September 2012 10:20 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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macgyver - 05 September 2012 10:10 AM

I agree with Tim. Humanist principals certainly permeated the DNC speeches even if the word wasn’t used. Unfortunately any connection with atheism is still a big bugaboo in politics. Americans are still less receptive of atheists than they are of homosexuality and the DNC speeches only indirectly referred to gay marriage ( “we dont care who you love”) so it will be a long time yet before they openly support atheism/humanism. They can’t win a presidential election if they only win over their own party. They have to convince the independents and many of them are still pretty conservative on some issues.

Maybe . . . but I tend to think that in the U.S. it’s more an issue of inspiring people of their own party to overcome apathy and vote more than it is swaying independents. Hence all the talk about how horrible the other party is and how if they’re elected the world will end and they will abuse your dog. That kind of talk doesn’t really inspire independents, but it does inspire apathetic party-line voters.

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Posted: 05 September 2012 10:43 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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I’m sorry, but I can’t bring myself to put any creedence into speeches anymore.  As someone who was roused by Obama’s great speeches, especially the one in 2004, I was devastated to realize the Faux News right wing nutjobs were right, that he’s nothing but a nice speech. In almost every regard Obama, and the Dems in general, have turned out to be the greatest gift to conservatives since Reagan.  My god he even says it publically: “what are they (the Repubs) complaining about, my policy comes straight from the conservative republican idea of ___”. Sorry folks, there’s a game being played on all of us, Dem and Repub alike, and it has very little to do with the results any candidate says will accrue from his or her election. (I’ll give you a hint…it has something to do with this: http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article7260.htm)

[ Edited: 05 September 2012 10:51 AM by CuthbertJ ]
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Posted: 05 September 2012 11:44 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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CuthbertJ - 05 September 2012 10:43 AM

I’m sorry, but I can’t bring myself to put any creedence into speeches anymore.  As someone who was roused by Obama’s great speeches, especially the one in 2004, I was devastated to realize the Faux News right wing nutjobs were right, that he’s nothing but a nice speech. In almost every regard Obama, and the Dems in general, have turned out to be the greatest gift to conservatives since Reagan.  My god he even says it publically: “what are they (the Repubs) complaining about, my policy comes straight from the conservative republican idea of ___”. Sorry folks, there’s a game being played on all of us, Dem and Repub alike, and it has very little to do with the results any candidate says will accrue from his or her election. (I’ll give you a hint…it has something to do with this: http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article7260.htm)

Your cynicism is supported by the power of corporate influence in our society, but I think it goes too far.Ask yourself, if Obama had not been elected, would “Don’t ask-Don’t tell” have been ended?  Would there have been any kind of affordable health care bill passed, at all?  Would there be any meaningful effort to end the tax cuts that the exorbitantly wealthy enjoy? At least you have to admit that there are major differences in the ideals that the 2 parties espouse.

Your suggestion is that ideals don’t matter.  With the advent of Citizen’s United this may turn out to be true, but believing that the game is rigged and over, could also be a self-defeating prophesy.

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Posted: 05 September 2012 11:59 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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macgyver - 05 September 2012 10:10 AM

I agree with Tim. Humanist principals certainly permeated the DNC speeches even if the word wasn’t used. Unfortunately any connection with atheism is still a big bugaboo in politics. Americans are still less receptive of atheists than they are of homosexuality and the DNC speeches only indirectly referred to gay marriage ( “we dont care who you love”) so it will be a long time yet before they openly support atheism/humanism. They can’t win a presidential election if they only win over their own party. They have to convince the independents and many of them are still pretty conservative on some issues.

Of possible interest, to Non-theistic humanists, is that the DNC platform has no mention of “God”, and opponents have jumped on this.


http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/democratic-platform-makes-no-reference-to-god-drawing-criticism-from-republicans/2012/09/05/095da1c8-f768-11e1-a93b-7185e3f88849_story.html

Meanwhile the Empty Chair Party (aka, GOP) has a platform that mentions the invisible supreme being 12 times.

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Posted: 05 September 2012 01:40 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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You don’t need to take the speeches seriously, Cuthbert, to be able enjoy them. Take it for what it is: a show. Shot down your rational part of the brain and let your emotional senses take over. I can certainly enjoy a well performed speech by a liberal, even though I know it’s all just BS. I can similarly enjoy celebrating Christmas in the Christian tradition although I am an atheist or a sport game once in a while, trying not to think too much about how primitive sports actually are. Politics is fun. Stupid but fun.

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Posted: 05 September 2012 02:24 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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TimB - 05 September 2012 11:59 AM
macgyver - 05 September 2012 10:10 AM

I agree with Tim. Humanist principals certainly permeated the DNC speeches even if the word wasn’t used. Unfortunately any connection with atheism is still a big bugaboo in politics. Americans are still less receptive of atheists than they are of homosexuality and the DNC speeches only indirectly referred to gay marriage ( “we dont care who you love”) so it will be a long time yet before they openly support atheism/humanism. They can’t win a presidential election if they only win over their own party. They have to convince the independents and many of them are still pretty conservative on some issues.

Of possible interest, to Non-theistic humanists, is that the DNC platform has no mention of “God”, and opponents have jumped on this.


http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/democratic-platform-makes-no-reference-to-god-drawing-criticism-from-republicans/2012/09/05/095da1c8-f768-11e1-a93b-7185e3f88849_story.html

Meanwhile the Empty Chair Party (aka, GOP) has a platform that mentions the invisible supreme being 12 times.

Woops! As of 5:05 pm eastern time, the platform was amended to include 2 changes, 1 of them included the phrase “God-given rights”.  Interestingly, the chair called for a voice vote (a 2/3 majority was needed.  He called for the voice vote 3 times because it was never clear that the “ayes” were louder than the “nos”, but on the 3rd voice vote, the chairman said it passed anyway. ( If he had not, the entire time-table of the “show” would have been thrown off with a role call vote.)  Something, similar happened at the RNC when Ron Pail supporters were bulldozed. The other change to the platform was about Jerusalem being considered the capital of Israel.  So I don’t know which revision (if not both) was more important to the “nos”.

Anyway the DNC platform, now, again, as usual, has 1 mention of an invisible supreme being.  This was a crack in what was up to now a perfectly orchestrated show.

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Posted: 05 September 2012 02:32 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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George - 05 September 2012 01:40 PM

You don’t need to take the speeches seriously, Cuthbert, to be able enjoy them. Take it for what it is: a show. Shot down your rational part of the brain and let your emotional senses take over. I can certainly enjoy a well performed speech by a liberal, even though I know it’s all just BS. I can similarly enjoy celebrating Christmas in the Christian tradition although I am an atheist or a sport game once in a while, trying not to think too much about how primitive sports actually are. Politics is fun. Stupid but fun.

Cynicism is easy as it alleviates any sense of responsibility to participate in the process.  But, I am pretty sure that it makes a big difference who is selected President.  e.g., I think that world events would have proceeded quite differently if George W. Bush had not become POTUS in 2000.

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Posted: 05 September 2012 02:54 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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TimB - 05 September 2012 02:32 PM
George - 05 September 2012 01:40 PM

You don’t need to take the speeches seriously, Cuthbert, to be able enjoy them. Take it for what it is: a show. Shot down your rational part of the brain and let your emotional senses take over. I can certainly enjoy a well performed speech by a liberal, even though I know it’s all just BS. I can similarly enjoy celebrating Christmas in the Christian tradition although I am an atheist or a sport game once in a while, trying not to think too much about how primitive sports actually are. Politics is fun. Stupid but fun.

Cynicism is easy as it alleviates any sense of responsibility to participate in the process.  But, I am pretty sure that it makes a big difference who is selected President.  e.g., I think that world events would have proceeded quite differently if George W. Bush had not become POTUS in 2000.

Sure. And I imagine many people take the speeches quite seriously, just like many take seriously sports or Christianity. My point, though, was that one needs not to take them seriously to be able to enjoy them. For me, the U.S. elections are the best reality TV show. Surely beats our Canadian politics.

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Posted: 05 September 2012 03:14 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]
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I don’t know George; this incident looks pretty exciting. Those volatile French-Canadians and their Gallic temperament!

https://plus.google.com/+MikeDownes/posts/HYNGsHkF2S5


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Posted: 05 September 2012 03:34 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]
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I’ve been disappointed by most of the speeches on both sides.  While the anecdotes about their early lives, relatives, and people they’ve met are sweet, they don’t tell me anything about what I can expect them to work toward if elected.  The few that were at all substantive, like Ryan’s, seemed to be based mostly on lies and twisting history.

I do feel the DNC missed a bet after Romney’s people screwed Ron Paul’s delegates and prevented him from speaking at the Republican convention.  They should have had Obama publically invite Paul to speak for, say, ten minutes at the Democratic convention, with the only proviso being that he didn’t attack either side, but talked about his ideas and proposals even if they were opposite of those Obama had.  It might not have gotten many Libertarian votes, but it certainly would have made a fair number of Independents and Libertarians less likely to work for Romney or possibly even vote in the election.

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Posted: 05 September 2012 03:46 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]
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As Occam says, most political speeches are pretty empty of intellectual content. But I do agree with George that a well-delivered oratory can be aesthetically enjoyable. And I actually think it does matter when mainstream politicians are willing to make even the relatively tame statements the Dems have made about gay rights, equality for women, and social justice. Using the bully pulpit probably does have some influence on the acceptability of certain ideas even when little is actually done about them.

And any doubt I had about whether or not it matters who is president evaporated after Bush narrowly beat Gore (in what was, statistically, really more or less a tie) and drove the country off the road in terms of the economy, foreign policy, civil liberties, and so many other substantive policy areas. Yes, Obama is closer to Reagan than to my brand of old-school liberalism, but he’s a damn site better than the alternative!

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Posted: 05 September 2012 03:50 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 15 ]
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George - 05 September 2012 01:40 PM

You don’t need to take the speeches seriously, Cuthbert, to be able enjoy them. Take it for what it is: a show. Shot down your rational part of the brain and let your emotional senses take over. I can certainly enjoy a well performed speech by a liberal, even though I know it’s all just BS. I can similarly enjoy celebrating Christmas in the Christian tradition although I am an atheist or a sport game once in a while, trying not to think too much about how primitive sports actually are. Politics is fun. Stupid but fun.

Good point.  My wife always asks me, if the game is rigged, why do you still follow politics. I answer like you, it’s fun, as in circus fun.

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