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Author Topic: Why so socialist?
G2
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Seen the poster? It's apparently going viral. Several site have it available for print out to take to your local kinko's for mass production. Definitely a trend I'd like to see catch on.

[ August 04, 2009, 11:44 AM: Message edited by: G2 ]

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TommySama
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Of course, Obama won't overdose on sleeping pills and pain killers. He will be assassinated by some nutjob 'birther', white supremecist, or some other out of the many lunatics and crackpots the Right is riling up with claims of 'socialism' or some other inane and baseless assertions.
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KnightEnder
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That "Socialism" thing is stupid. And just more proof that the far-right nutjobs are out of touch with main-stream Americans. "Socialism" is not a nasty world like it used to be. Joe Mac would be appalled. [Smile]

G2's "Why So Socialist?" Would have been awesome. (Never let it be said I let personal feelings stand in the way of acknowledging a good idea. [Smile] )

KE

[ August 04, 2009, 11:59 AM: Message edited by: KnightEnder ]

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G2
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"Why so socialist?" is on the bumper sticker.
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KnightEnder
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Hey, I tried to give you credit.
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JoshCrow
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Good grief. The people who call Obama a socialist have never really met a socialist. They are content to trot out the most slippery-slope of all fear cards they can play. It's like somebody afraid of fire accusing someone who lit a candle of being an arsonist.
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G2
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quote:
Originally posted by TommySama:
Of course, Obama won't overdose on sleeping pills and pain killers. He will be assassinated by some nutjob 'birther', white supremecist, or some other out of the many lunatics and crackpots the Right is riling up with claims of 'socialism' or some other inane and baseless assertions.

I guess we won't really know until the movie like the one in 2006 comes out - you know the one, where they assassinate Bush. Remember the good old days when fervently hoping for the assassination of a sitting president was a good thing?

[ August 04, 2009, 12:07 PM: Message edited by: G2 ]

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Lina Inverse
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To go off on a bit of a tangent, I find it really interesting how words like 'socialism' and 'communism' are used in campaigns like this.

Speaking personally, I'm 24; the Berlin Wall fell when I was about 3 or 4 years old, and the USSR dissolved when I was in first grade. I mostly associate socialism with Canada and western European countries (which seem to be getting on okay), and the narrative I've grown up with is that communism simply can't compete with capitalism, and that if we wait it out, it'll end on its own (see: USSR, China).

I get the impression that for older people those words evoke the Cold War, but that whole mindset is completely alien to me, so campaigns like this don't really have any resonance. I mean, maybe (probably) there are specific socialist policies that I would strongly oppose, but if someone says socialism... it's just a neutral word for me. There's nothing in my life experience that suggests that I should be wary of it.

Anyway, just some thoughts.

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TomDavidson
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I'm a little confused. Is the Joker seen as being particularly socialist?

I'm trying to understand the link. Obama has as much in common with the Joker as he does Hannibal Lecter, and yet we haven't seen him in Lecter facemasks on posters -- yet. Is that the next trend? Or is there actually some link that's being made, other than "the Joker was a fictional bad guy, and we think Obama is also a bad guy?"

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G2
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Couple of good explanations:
quote:
The poster represents a caricature of chaos. This poster is symbolic of the quintessence of Obama. The chaos of the astroturfing misinformation to the masses with the assistance of a compliant state run media. The economic chaos of the stimulus, cap & trade, Obamascare and whatever else this anti-capitalist will propose in order to remake America into a socialistic utopia.
And:
quote:
The joker was an anarchist intent on destroying everything that made society what it was, and therein lies the parallel to Obama. While he is not an anarchist, he is an Alinskyite, sewing discord and encouraging chaos, so he can take advantage of the crisis. He is actively trying to destroy the dominance of the private sector by refusing to enact policies that will end the uncertainty and chaos, while he transfers trillions to the public sector.

Anarchy is never an end, it is a means. It cannot exist over time, a tyranny always rises to fill the void. Obama has thus far used crisis to nationalize the banks, the auto industry, and is working on nationalizing the health care and energy industries. And he is doing so using chaos.

This thing is going viral because it resonates, it's accurate and captures the essence of Obama in one striking picture.
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TomDavidson
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That is one heck of a stretch. *laugh* I can understand why it "resonates," but to call it "accurate" is as ridiculous as drawing a little black moustache on Bush and calling that political commentary.
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G2
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quote:
Originally posted by Lina Inverse:
To go off on a bit of a tangent, I find it really interesting how words like 'socialism' and 'communism' are used in campaigns like this.

Speaking personally, I'm 24; the Berlin Wall fell when I was about 3 or 4 years old, and the USSR dissolved when I was in first grade. I mostly associate socialism with Canada and western European countries (which seem to be getting on okay), and the narrative I've grown up with is that communism simply can't compete with capitalism, and that if we wait it out, it'll end on its own (see: USSR, China).

I get the impression that for older people those words evoke the Cold War, but that whole mindset is completely alien to me, so campaigns like this don't really have any resonance. I mean, maybe (probably) there are specific socialist policies that I would strongly oppose, but if someone says socialism... it's just a neutral word for me. There's nothing in my life experience that suggests that I should be wary of it.

Anyway, just some thoughts.

This is rather amazing. Right up until the Soviet Union fell, it was supposed to be the destroyer of America. We were assured constantly that it was superior to capitalism in every way; economically, militarily, etc. Your generation has forgotten, indeed it never knew, the threat of socialism. Probably why so many young people believe in the Obama message, they have no reference to how bad it is. But you know its destined for failure at least. However, that failure is a long slow painful slide with more than a few mass graves.

I spent almost my entire military career preparing for the Soviet threat. You should thank God every day that Ronald Reagan had the strength and political foresite to bring down the Soviet Union. Now watch the wailing commence as they claim Reagan didn't do that but that's total historical revision. In the 80's, the same guys told us Soviet victory was inevitable but only a few years of true conservatism ended that.

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TommySama
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No, G2, I didn't hear about it. Probably because the film grossed less than 1 million dollars worldwide, and wasn't seriously calling for the assassination of Bush. Not mainstream. As opposed to the far right Republican party ensuring that enough hatred and mania is built up that eventually someone will take a shot at Obama. Claims about him being "socialist", an illegal resident, a Communist, baby-killer have a clear intent.

quote:

I spent almost my entire military career preparing for the Soviet threat. You should thank God every day that Ronald Reagan had the strength and political foresite to bring down the Soviet Union. Now watch the wailing commence as they claim Reagan didn't do that but that's total historical revision. In the 80's, the same guys told us Soviet victory was inevitable but only a few years of true conservatism ended that.

Jesus titty ****ing Christ.

[ August 04, 2009, 12:49 PM: Message edited by: TommySama ]

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G2
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quote:
Originally posted by TomDavidson:
That is one heck of a stretch. *laugh* I can understand why it "resonates," but to call it "accurate" is as ridiculous as drawing a little black moustache on Bush and calling that political commentary.

Laugh away but for a while liberals considered such drawings brilliant political commentary. Once again we see that it's suddenly not so cool when directed at The One.
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G2
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quote:
Originally posted by TommySama:
No, G2, I didn't hear about it. Probably because the film grossed less than 1 million dollars worldwide, and wasn't seriously calling for the assassination of Bush. Not mainstream. As opposed to the far right Republican party ensuring that enough hatred and mania is built up that eventually someone will take a shot at Obama. Claims about him being "socialist", an illegal resident, a Communist, baby-killer have a clear intent.

Remember the good old days when such dissent was a good thing? Now these disagreements are threatening. I love to see the worm turn.
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TomDavidson
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quote:
We were assured constantly that it was superior to capitalism in every way; economically, militarily, etc.
Oh, that's a load of B.S.
Who assured us that, exactly? I'm just about as old as you are, IIRC, and I certainly don't recall the Soviets crushing the heck out of a bunch of teenagers led by Patrick Swayze in all the popular portrayals of the day. The Soviets could be defeated by Bill Murray and the power of our conviction. The media wasn't presenting article after article on the Soviet threat; in fact, it was Republicans in Congress who kept insisting that we needed to keep the pressure on, because they were just so dangerous.

I grew up thinking our "fear" of the USSR was ridiculous. I was proved right. And now I hear the same sort of wingnuts who thought I should have been more afraid of them at the time telling me that I was brainwashed by the media into being too afraid of their superiority?

Heh. Spin it how you like; Russia was irrelevant to our generation by the time we were in high school.

[ August 04, 2009, 12:51 PM: Message edited by: TomDavidson ]

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Lina Inverse
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quote:
Originally posted by G2:
This is rather amazing. Right up until the Soviet Union fell, it was supposed to be the destroyer of America. We were assured constantly that it was superior to capitalism in every way; economically, militarily, etc. Your generation has forgotten, indeed it never knew, the threat of socialism. Probably why so many young people believe in the Obama message, they have no reference to how bad it is. But you know its destined for failure at least. However, that failure is a long slow painful slide with more than a few mass graves.

I spent almost my entire military career preparing for the Soviet threat. You should thank God every day that Ronald Reagan had the strength and political foresite to bring down the Soviet Union. Now watch the wailing commence as they claim Reagan didn't do that but that's total historical revision. In the 80's, the same guys told us Soviet victory was inevitable but only a few years of true conservatism ended that.

It's weird how much a generation changes things, isn't it? I mean, obviously it does mean something to you, and intellectually I can definitely understand that, but... again, when I think of socialism, I think of Canada or Norway. The USSR isn't even a blip on my radar; I might think of it in reference to communism, but only as something historical that very publicly failed, and that nobody would ever try again. (Reagan is maybe a bit more fraught, but my father is a Democrat and both of my parents were big on Carter, so I think there are more complicating factors there.)

IDK, maybe if they framed it more in terms of dictatorship or 'terrorism', it would hold more resonance for me, but personally I wouldn't take accusations of dictatorship seriously (though more conservative people in my generation might), and terrorism is such a loaded word that I wouldn't want it applied to any US president, at least not in a contextless poster/bumper sticker form.

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KidB
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I'm 36, and therefore old enough to recall that communism was the perceived threat back in the day, not socialism.

I'm also aware, as G2 apparently is not, that the United States is far less socialist than it was 40 or even 20 years ago, and would still be even if Obama checks off every box on his wish list.

[ August 04, 2009, 01:10 PM: Message edited by: KidB ]

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KidB
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quote:
You should thank God every day that Ronald Reagan had the strength and political foresite to bring down the Soviet Union. Now watch the wailing commence as they claim Reagan didn't do that but that's total historical revision. In the 80's, the same guys told us Soviet victory was inevitable but only a few years of true conservatism ended that.
Again, having been there, I have clear memories on this as well. I don't recall anyone in the United States claiming that Soviet victory was inevitable.

I do remember that there was a man named Mikhail Gorbachev. You know, the guy who was the Soviet president? The one who won the Nobel? Who made all those reforms? Glasnost? You never his name any more, oddly enough. It's always Reagan, just Reagan, whose cowboy theatrics, had they been tried against any of the previous Soviet heads, would've left the planet a crispy cinder.

[ August 04, 2009, 01:19 PM: Message edited by: KidB ]

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G2
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Won't be long until you guys claim it was Obama that brought about the fall of the Berlin Wall...
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TomDavidson
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Why would we do that, when everyone knows it was Ronald Reagan, all by himself, with a red-white-and-blue sledgehammer made of the ground bones of Nicaraguan orphans? *rolls eyes*
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KidB
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quote:
Won't be long until you guys claim it was Obama that brought about the fall of the Berlin Wall...
Why are you here, if you are completely uninterested in having an actual discussion in which facts are acknowledged?
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Aris Katsaris
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That Republicans claim the Joker to have been a socialist, only proves definitively that they have no idea what socialism is.

And more simply, it proves them to be morons. If this poster is going viral among them, it only proves that a many great of them are morons.

--

Alexander brought the Persian Empire down by waging war against them.
The Ottomans brought the Byzantine Empire down by waging war against them.
The Spanish brought the Aztec Empire down by waging war against them.

As for Ronald Reagan -- I think he's supposed to have brought down the Soviets by funding Osama Bin Laden. Isn't the funding of Osama Bin Laden the closest to a direct action against the Soviets that Ronald Reagan ever took?

Or is there some other thing (e.g. opposing democracy in Nicaragua, selling weapons to Iranians etc) that is supposed to have been Reagan's definitive action against Soviet communism?

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TommySama
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Aris, he waved his prick way harder than the soviets.
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TomDavidson
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I think the argument is that he forced Russia to spend a lot of money they didn't have on their army, the same way we did, so that the country eventually collapsed into poverty. Because our economy worked slightly better, we survived -- but unfortunately became addicted to spending more than we actually had, having had a taste of that for a few years.
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TommySama
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Plus, to build on what Tom irrelevantly wrote, his penis was at least twice as large.
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Athelstan
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quote:
The British intelligence operative who presents the idea to the Eisenhower administration later will write in his memoirs, "If I ask the Americans to overthrow Mosaddeq in order to rescue a British oil company, they are not going to respond. This is not an argument that’s going to cut much mustard in Washington. I’ve got to have a different argument. I’m going to tell the Americans that Mosaddeq is leading Iran towards Communism." This argument wins over the Eisenhower administration, who promptly decides to organize a coup in Iran.


Perhaps in future the British will have to use the word Socialism instead of Communism to get the Great Satan to move. Speaking for myself, much as I dislike labels, I would be happy to be known as a Socialist. Not that I’ve done anything to be worthy of the title.
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Aris Katsaris
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quote:
Originally posted by TomDavidson:
I think the argument is that he forced Russia to spend a lot of money they didn't have on their army, the same way we did, so that the country eventually collapsed into poverty. Because our economy worked slightly better, we survived -- but unfortunately became addicted to spending more than we actually had, having had a taste of that for a few years.

So it's the lots and lots of government spending that G2 is describing as the "true conservatism" that brought down the Soviets?
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TomDavidson
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Maybe, years later, G2 will be giving Obama credit for outspending Islamic fundamentalism until it collapsed.
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JoshCrow
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quote:
Originally posted by TomDavidson:
Maybe, years later, G2 will be giving Obama credit for outspending Islamic fundamentalism until it collapsed.

This is the funniest thing I've read all week.
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The Drake
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Reagan certainly did a great deal to both oppose the Soviets in rhetoric and defense (which Democrats thought was dangerous, and the embracing of Gorbachev's reforms (which conservatives thought was dangerous).

Sadly, along the way Reagan's policies brought power to the Taliban and Saddam Hussein. (oops)

I don't think Americans really understand socialism. I don't think they realize that their unemployment checks are socialist. Or that SSI Disability is socialist. Or that public education is socialist. I hear no cries that these programs should be dismantled, even from the rabidly "anti-socialist" right.

Obama may be slightly to the left of FDR (although I'm not even sure that's true). He's certainly nowhere near Castro or Chavez. I've never heard him call for national strikes. He's not currently pulling troops out of Afghanistan.

To allude to an anarchist makes little sense. I suspect it is only resonant with those who see Obama as an out-of-control lunatic who is deliberately trying to kill mass quantities of people.

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KnightEnder
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I grew up afraid that the bombs would fall. But I never heard that the USSR was better than us in any way. Just that they had enough bombs to do the job. (And hey the CIA and the military had a HUGE incentive to make the USSR seem like more of a threat than it was.) Mostly I heard about Gulags and bread-lines.

Communism was a bad word. But it meant Russia. Not true communism. And certainly not Socialism.

I commend Reagan for TALKING TO GORBACHEV! Wonder if there were preconditions? [Smile]

But I would love to have a poster of Gorbi in my weightroom. I've told y'all this before but I woke Stacy up and forced her to watch the tv while Gorbachev announced Perestroika. That was a great day.

KE

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G2
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quote:
Originally posted by KidB:
quote:
Won't be long until you guys claim it was Obama that brought about the fall of the Berlin Wall...
Why are you here, if you are completely uninterested in having an actual discussion in which facts are acknowledged?
Do you think that's what TomDavidson and his ilk do? Really? The facts are available, you can find them. Ask yourself this while you're at it, why is everything with TomDavidson always laced with his personal attacks? What does that tell us about his "facts"? Why do you think he relies almost exclusively on such personal attacks?

You can read the book "Reagan's War" if you want the facts:
quote:
Schweizer takes pains to establish the widespread belief in the West by 1980 that the balance of economic, military, and political forces had irrevocably shifted in favor of the U.S.S.R.
Or simply stay here and only read Tom's personal attacks that masquerade as facts.

[ August 04, 2009, 04:52 PM: Message edited by: G2 ]

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KidB
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quote:
Do you think that's what TomDavidson and his ilk do? Really? The facts are available, you can find them. Ask yourself this while you're at it, why is everything with TomDavidson always laced with his personal attacks? What does that tell us about his "facts"? Why do you think he relies almost exclusively on such personal attacks?

I don't know why you bring up TD here. You posted the following comment:

quote:
Won't be long until you guys claim it was Obama that brought about the fall of the Berlin Wall...
immediately following in sequence from two of my comments, so I took it as primarily (but not exclusively) a response to me. And my point was that you do not acknowledge the issue I addressed, but rather made a snarky non-response.

If you wanted to participate in an actual discussion, you could instead give your opinion on why you think Ronald Reagan was more important than Mikhail Gorbachev in bringing about the downfall of the Soviet Union. A brief analysis, citing a fact or two...you know, a conversation.

But I've noticed that you often come in making sweeping generalizations which you neither factually defend nor clarify. Furthermore, you seem much more interested in the character of people who disagree with you than in whether what they say is true or not. I just don't see you grappling with facts very much. It's more like you think you have some invisible audience of G2 fans, and that you and they are all in the "know," and you're just here to entertain them by doing battle with us ruffians and plebes.

As for

quote:
The facts are available, you can find them.
The point is, there are a bazillion facts out there. But the first stap in having and presenting in opinion is that YOU have to explain WHICH facts you think are the most important. I'm not a mindreader. The "facts" that I have found and which I remember from my high school years paint a different picture of reality than that Reagan was solely responsible for the downfall of the USSR. Even a cursory look at history shows that Gorbachev was the prime player here, which also fits with common sense, since he was directly responsible for the reforms which made it happen. Not only that, he was willing to have a civilized, good-faith conversation with Ronnie, without which Reagan's postering, however effective, would have gone nowhere fast.

Do you have a response to that which is factual and substantive?

BTW, a book recommendation is not a response. I'm not going to go read your book and then come back and post my review on this thread.

[ August 04, 2009, 05:08 PM: Message edited by: KidB ]

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The Drake
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quote:
Originally posted by KidB:
Reagan, whose cowboy theatrics, had they been tried against any of the previous Soviet heads, would've left the planet a crispy cinder.

In fact, Gorbachev didn't come to power until 1985. Reagan's rhetoric did in fact fall upon the ears of Brezhnev, Andropov, and Chernenko during Reagan's first term - which was decidedly non-crispy.
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kenmeer livermaile
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Somehow we managed not to drop the chicken into the frying grease:

Near-Hit
quote:
Petrov was watching horrified as a warning system he had helped create reported five U.S. missiles launched and headed toward Soviet territory.
Blair says this was the closest we've ever come to accidental nuclear war. "By all rights we should have blown ourselves to bits by now, but good luck and good judgment up and down the chain of command have spared us this fate ... so far."

All the data checked out; there was no sign of any glitch or error. Yet Petrov says, "I just couldn't believe that just like that, all of a sudden, someone would hurl five missiles at us." And: "I imagined if I'd assume the responsibility for unleashing the Third World War -- and I said, 'No, I wouldn't.'"


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KidB
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quote:
In fact, Gorbachev didn't come to power until 1985. Reagan's rhetoric did in fact fall upon the ears of Brezhnev, Andropov, and Chernenko during Reagan's first term - which was decidedly non-crispy.
True, but I was thinking more specifically of the aggressive brinksmanship which he employed with Gorbachev, for which no parallel exists (that I know of) with previous USSR heads prior to him during the Reagan years. He was able to take it to a new level because he knew he was dealing with someone reasonable and willing to embrace change.

And your point really just backs up my point. Reagan had 4 years with 3 previous USSR prez's, but nothing changed fundamentally until Gorbachev initiated reform - and then it changed very quickly.

[ August 04, 2009, 06:42 PM: Message edited by: KidB ]

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Rallan
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quote:
Originally posted by KnightEnder:
That "Socialism" thing is stupid. And just more proof that the far-right nutjobs are out of touch with main-stream Americans. "Socialism" is not a nasty world like it used to be. Joe Mac would be appalled. [Smile]

G2's "Why So Socialist?" Would have been awesome. (Never let it be said I let personal feelings stand in the way of acknowledging a good idea. [Smile] )

KE

I'm with Knightender on this one. Whoever made that poster fails at meme.
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Rallan
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quote:
Originally posted by TomDavidson:
I'm a little confused. Is the Joker seen as being particularly socialist?

I'm trying to understand the link. Obama has as much in common with the Joker as he does Hannibal Lecter, and yet we haven't seen him in Lecter facemasks on posters -- yet. Is that the next trend? Or is there actually some link that's being made, other than "the Joker was a fictional bad guy, and we think Obama is also a bad guy?"

It's an internet meme Tom. You take a famous character or personality, photoshop them to look like they're wearing Joker makeup, and throw in a "Why so X?" caption.
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Rallan
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quote:
Originally posted by Aris Katsaris:
That Republicans claim the Joker to have been a socialist, only proves definitively that they have no idea what socialism is.

That you claim this is what the Republicans are trying to say, only proves definitively that you have a life and don't spend all day on the internet looking up silly memes [Smile]
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