Tag Archive: SOTU

Feb 02 2014

Anti-Capitalist Meetup: A Non-Capitalist Response to the SOTU by UnaSpenser

Author’s Note: Hi everybody! Welcome to a participatory diary. That’s right, participatory. I’m offering this up as an exercise for everyone to try. The original text is  an explanation of the exercise and why I’m suggesting it, followed by a couple of examples. Then, it’s up to you to complete the diary. Add comments with your own examples and I’ll build out the diary with your content. Let’s see what the whole feels like when we make an attempt to respond to the State of the Union address together. When we make a conscious effort to dig into the principles we find buried in the speech and compare them to the principles we would like to live by, how aligned do they feel?

We’ve heard a lot of responses this week to President Obama’s State of the Union Address. What I find persistently frustrating with any US political speech the lack of unpacking the “capitalist”, “democratic” and “American Way” framework. Or rather, the lack of establishing the principles behind what is being said to see whether it’s fits with the principles and values that we hold.

I have not framed this diary as an “anti-capitalist” one. I am suggesting that regardless of how you feel about capitalism, you might find it useful to analyze what another capitalist is saying by setting aside the supposed common ground of capitalism and searching for what values are reflected in what is being said. Capitalism isn’t a value. It’s a type of economic system. When we identify as a capitalist, however, we probably attach a value system to that identity. What I’m wondering here is whether everyone attaches the same value system. Do you even know if the speaker has the same value system as you?

I am someone who gets frustrated when people try to make decisions or solve problems together without establishing their shared principles. “Capitalism” is not a principle. Principles are about values and beliefs. They are guides to how we behave, how we treat one another. You could claim to be a capitalist and believe that everyone has a right to food and shelter. You could claim to be a capitalist and believe that food and shelter are not rights, they must be “earned.” Those are mutually exclusive principles which two different people are claiming as part of the capitalist construct. If they simply greet each other as capitalists, it is possible for them to think they are aligned when they are not. This opens the door for misunderstanding, at best, and deception, manipulation and oppression, at worst.

Is that happening in this speech? The answer to that and the places where we feel it is happening may be different for each person. Hence, the participatory nature of this diary. What feels unaligned for me may feel aligned for you and vice versa. But, perhaps, we’ll find some common threads of values that we would like to see underpinning our governance and social life. Perhaps ….

Feb 13 2013

Live Steam: 2013 State of the Union & Your Guide to Not Watching

Tonight President Barack Obama addresses a joint session of Congress as prescribed by the Constitution. If you prefer not to watch, you can join is for the live blog of the 2013 Westminster American Kennel Club Dog Show that starts at the same time. For those who still want to know what the president says, here is a guide of this year’s SOTU provided by Slate‘s David Weigel so you don’t have to watch:

The State of the Union is the most predictable, rote, pointless exercise of pomp in American politics. That’s good news for you. The pre-speech period, roughly 24 to 48 hours of spin and leaks, spoils the policy details that’ll be remembered when the speech is complete. (I say “policy” because they obviously can’t predict which lawmakers’ eye-rolls will make the Top 10 .gif lists.)

Based on my own close reading of this stuff, here’s what will be happening in the House of Representatives tonight.

Obama blames Republicans for things Republicans actually did, which will be seen as unfair. [..]

Republicans ask why Obama’s still not endorsing their bills. [..]

An emotional appeal on gun rights grips America. [..]

Republicans accuse Obama of ignoring the debt, while basically agreeing with his approach to it. [..]

Obama tells a horrendous, sub-Tosh.0 quality joke.

Now for your entertainment, or not, the President of the United States.

ek hornbeck says:

To tell you the truth, I don’t know why anyone is watching the Washington (Hollywood for the Ugly) Oscars when there are cute doggies on display.

Maybe you just hate dogs.

In any event you will hope (foolishly and in vain) that they don’t say anything too destructive, evil, and stupid.

The space below is provided so you don’t have to kill any more Chinese Walmart slaves through damaging your TV during any of the more egregiously wrong-headed and mendacious moments by venting your frustration in soothing pixels of insight instead of poorly aimed remotes.

Or, you know, kicking your dog.

Feb 01 2011

The Week in Editorial Cartoons – Comedy Central Presents… Michele Bachmann

Crossposted at Daily Kos and Docudharma

Clay Bennett

Clay Bennett, Comics.com, see the large number of reader comments in the Chattanooga Times Free Press

:: ::

Trying to watch her taped response is worse than annoying, and the woman makes up her own facts as she goes, which has come to define her.

In short, if this is the best that the Tea Pot party has to offer, then there’s really nothing to see or hear that has not been offered time and again.  I really don’t care for parrots.

Michele Bachmann is also defined by her presumptive beliefs, obtained God only knows where.