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Author Topic: The Obama Presidency  (Read 23086 times)

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Offline Hootenany

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Re: The Obama Presidency
« Reply #270 on: January 21, 2009, 07:44:31 AM »
Does anyone else think that Obama seems a little worried about the unrealistically high expectations many of his supporters have for him?  The tone of his speeches changed dramatically after he won the election.  He now has a much more subdued tone and I feel like he's trying to bring everyone back down to earth so that in a couple months when the change isn't what people expected they don't have too bad of a hangover.

I was also a little upset to learn that Obama's Chief of Staff put a halt to further consideration of pending regulations from the Bush administration.  What happened to unity?  People are saying that this was an extremely smooth transition... then why does the incoming leadership need to freeze everything that the former leadership was working on?  Maybe I'm just upset by this because I find Rahm Emanuel to be cocky, combative, and extremely partisan.  I watched him on Meet the Press on Sunday and I was not impressed.

I was not an Obama supporter but I honestly hope and believe that he can do great things for this country.  Our nations image world wide is already changing for the better thanks solely to President Obama.  And now that the election is over and he's in office... Sarah Palin???  Honestly???  WTF were they thinking?

Offline TBideon

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Re: The Obama Presidency
« Reply #271 on: January 21, 2009, 07:47:25 AM »
Do you guys think the Obama (not him directly but you know what I mean) should investigate Bush and his cronies for any number of their illegal and unethical acts or just let bygones be bygones.  I'm a little mixed.  On the one hand, we need to look forward and fix our country rather than be focused on grudges.  On the other hand, we didn't have to try war criminals after World War 2 either, but we did anyway and were right for doing so.

Offline Hootenany

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Re: The Obama Presidency
« Reply #272 on: January 21, 2009, 07:52:20 AM »
Do you guys think the Obama (not him directly but you know what I mean) should investigate Bush and his cronies for any number of their illegal and unethical acts or just let bygones be bygones.  I'm a little mixed.  On the one hand, we need to look forward and fix our country rather than be focused on grudges.  On the other hand, we didn't have to try war criminals after World War 2 either, but we did anyway and were right for doing so.

Are you serious?  You're comparing the Bush presidency to WWII war criminals?  He made a few mistakes.  Good God, let it go people.

Offline rockandroller

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Re: The Obama Presidency
« Reply #273 on: January 21, 2009, 07:53:26 AM »
War crimes were definitely committed and mostly under the direction and approval of guys like Rumsfeld and Cheney, but nothing will ever stick to them and it would IMO just be a waste of taxpayer money at this point to try to pin anything on them.

Offline Florida Guy

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Re: The Obama Presidency
« Reply #274 on: January 21, 2009, 07:57:12 AM »
Am I the only one who think Michelle Obama's white feathery dress references Bjork's infamous swan dress?  Seriously, the woman's sense of style is simply frumpy, and that that's coming from a jeans & sweatshirt guy. 
But it still was a notch up....

Offline Hootenany

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Re: The Obama Presidency
« Reply #275 on: January 21, 2009, 08:02:50 AM »
War crimes were definitely committed and mostly under the direction and approval of guys like Rumsfeld and Cheney, but nothing will ever stick to them and it would IMO just be a waste of taxpayer money at this point to try to pin anything on them.

I would argue that every nation that is in a conflict commits some type of war crime or breaks some international law during the operation.  It is very difficult to control the actions of every soldier during a conflict, but the United States carries out the most ethical, law abiding military operations in the world.

Offline DanB

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Re: The Obama Presidency
« Reply #276 on: January 21, 2009, 08:26:23 AM »
^ Funny you should ask about trials for war criminals when Obama just suspended all of their trials for 120 days!


Offline Boreal

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Re: The Obama Presidency
« Reply #277 on: January 21, 2009, 08:40:28 AM »
Do you guys think the Obama (not him directly but you know what I mean) should investigate Bush and his cronies for any number of their illegal and unethical acts or just let bygones be bygones.  I'm a little mixed.  On the one hand, we need to look forward and fix our country rather than be focused on grudges.  On the other hand, we didn't have to try war criminals after World War 2 either, but we did anyway and were right for doing so.
The victims are owed the justice of trials for those who committed torture or ordered people to be "rendered" to countries where they were subsequently tortured.  I imagine that a "truth and reconciliation" process could be set up so that perpetrators and suspects could speak without fear of punishment.  Truth and reconciliation process was used after the end of the apartheid government in South Africa. 

Obama is an attorney and a former law school professor.  He surely has a better understanding of this than I do.  We will see his direction on this issue soon.  I wholly expect the right wing to cry "retaliation" for whatever Obama does with respect to these gross violations of civil rights and human rights.

Offline DanB

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Re: The Obama Presidency
« Reply #278 on: January 21, 2009, 08:49:22 AM »
I guess it depends what your definition of torture is.

Pulling out someones fingernails or teeth is torture.  Parading them around naked with dog collars is humiliation.

Offline MayDay

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Re: The Obama Presidency
« Reply #279 on: January 21, 2009, 08:53:46 AM »
"Pulling out someones fingernails or teeth is torture.  Parading them around naked with dog collars is humiliation."

And some people get into that sort of thing :whip: ;-)

Offline DanB

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Re: The Obama Presidency
« Reply #280 on: January 21, 2009, 08:59:05 AM »
So it should be considered a perk?   :-D

Offline rockandroller

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Re: The Obama Presidency
« Reply #281 on: January 21, 2009, 09:00:35 AM »
Just about everything I've read makes it pretty clear that the torture and abuse at Gitmo qualify as war crimes. 
http://www.commondreams.org/archive/2008/06/19/9737 as but one example.

Offline Boreal

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Re: The Obama Presidency
« Reply #282 on: January 21, 2009, 09:37:39 AM »
I guess it depends what your definition of torture is.
Pulling out someones fingernails or teeth is torture.  Parading them around naked with dog collars is humiliation.
Just about everything I've read makes it pretty clear that the torture and abuse at Gitmo qualify as war crimes. 
http://www.commondreams.org/archive/2008/06/19/9737 as but one example.
Laugh while you can, DanB, but they hung a man by his hands which were tied behind his back until he was asphyxiated.  That means they killed him. 

People like you think that patriotism is going along with whatever authority tells them.  Men like me think it means fighting for what is right.  That's what President Obama meant yesterday when he spoke about our ideals.

"A hard rain is gonna fall" -- Bob Dylan

Offline DanB

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Re: The Obama Presidency
« Reply #283 on: January 21, 2009, 09:48:18 AM »
  Men like me think it means fighting for what is right. 

No, men like you sit back and worry more about the rights of the criminals than the victims.  It's men like you that have caused us to require Hate Crime Legislation instead of just punishing those who commit crimes.


Offline Jimmy_James

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Re: The Obama Presidency
« Reply #284 on: January 21, 2009, 09:48:44 AM »
Laugh while you can, DanB, but they hung a man by his hands which were tied behind his back until he was asphyxiated.  That means they killed him. 

If you're going to make an accusation as serious as that, please provide some material to back it up.  I've never heard that story, and if true, I would expect it to be covered by major news outlets.  I'm not saying that it couldn't happen, just that I'd be surprised if it did.
« Last Edit: January 21, 2009, 09:49:40 AM by Jimmy_James »

Offline MayDay

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Re: The Obama Presidency
« Reply #285 on: January 21, 2009, 09:50:45 AM »
I'll just remind everyone to keep things civil if they wish to continue participating in this forum. There are plenty of political forums out there folks.

Offline eastvillagedon

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Re: The Obama Presidency
« Reply #286 on: January 21, 2009, 10:12:42 AM »
I guess it depends what your definition of torture is.

Pulling out someones fingernails or teeth is torture.  Parading them around naked with dog collars is humiliation.

Likewise, I had a great-aunt who would become extremely uncomfortable and complain of "getting a draft" if she was exposed to air-conditioning for long periods even on hot summer days. To her that was torture. Something tells me those poor souls in Gitmo are suffering the same fate! :cry:

Offline Jimmy_James

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Re: The Obama Presidency
« Reply #287 on: January 21, 2009, 10:24:35 AM »
Likewise, I had a great-aunt who would become extremely uncomfortable and complain of "getting a draft" if she was exposed to air-conditioning for long periods even on hot summer days. To her that was torture.

That's an awfully loose definition of torture.  The state of being in discomfort or even pain isn't the same thing as being tortured.  If I had a root canal done, would that be torture?


Offline KJP

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Re: The Obama Presidency
« Reply #288 on: January 21, 2009, 10:24:56 AM »
I don't know what Obama will do in his presidency. No one does, of course.

All I know is I had a smile on my face all day yesterday (and occasionally a tear in my eye) for so many reasons that I couldn't single any one of them out.

I have distrusted and even hated politicians at all levels of government and in both major parties for nearly 30 years. Obama has something intangible that I like very much. I only hope that the dispassionate anti-idealism and wretched politics of Washington DC doesn't erode what makes him special.
"Give me control of a nation's money supply, and I care not who writes the laws." -- Mayer Amschel Rothschild, founder of the European banking dynasty.

Offline AJ93

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Re: The Obama Presidency
« Reply #289 on: January 21, 2009, 10:24:58 AM »
I guess it depends what your definition of torture is.

Pulling out someones fingernails or teeth is torture.  Parading them around naked with dog collars is humiliation.

Likewise, I had a great-aunt who would become extremely uncomfortable and complain of "getting a draft" if she was exposed to air-conditioning for long periods even on hot summer days. To her that was torture. Something tells me those poor souls in Gitmo are suffering the same fate! :cry:

that's a silly comparison. I'm sure the conditions in Gitmo aren't ideal. Nor should they be. It's a prison. People who are in prison shouldn't be afforded the same creature comforts as your grandmother.

That said, we've done a terrible job of determining those who are true war criminals, and those who shouldn't be there. Due process is a right that we owe not to the accused terrorists, but to ourselves. God-d@mmit, we're supposed to be better than the people we're fighting. It's about d@mn time we showed them that we are.

Offline DanB

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Re: The Obama Presidency
« Reply #290 on: January 21, 2009, 10:28:14 AM »
^and I would respond by saying we have shown we are better than they, by the humanitarian things we do and have done in Iraq.  Certainly there are those who may be guilty of criminal acts, and they should be punished, but the actions of a few do not define us as a people.

Offline AJ93

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Re: The Obama Presidency
« Reply #291 on: January 21, 2009, 10:32:23 AM »
^and I would respond by saying we have shown we are better than they, by the humanitarian things we do and have done in Iraq.  Certainly there are those who may be guilty of criminal acts, and they should be punished, but the actions of a few do not define us as a people.

I agree with you completely, but unfortunately, the "few" that you speak of were our elected officials, who were our representatives to the world.

I'm pointing out one instance here. I'm not condemning an entire administration or every action thereof. But this is an important instance.

Offline kingfish out of water

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Re: The Obama Presidency
« Reply #292 on: January 21, 2009, 10:37:11 AM »
Even if folks don't have the stomach to call torture torture, profiteering is considered a treasonous war-time offense. I think we could point to a few instances of that...and its accessories.

Offline Jimmy_James

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Re: The Obama Presidency
« Reply #293 on: January 21, 2009, 10:47:20 AM »
^Well, apparently there is a misunderstanding of what the word actually means.  When people throw around a word too much, it begins to lose its meaning.

torture, verb: the act of inflicting excruciating pain, as punishment or revenge, as a means of getting a confession or information, or for sheer cruelty.   (from dictionary.com)
« Last Edit: January 21, 2009, 10:48:13 AM by Jimmy_James »

Offline eastvillagedon

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Re: The Obama Presidency
« Reply #294 on: January 21, 2009, 10:52:45 AM »
I guess it depends what your definition of torture is.

Pulling out someones fingernails or teeth is torture.  Parading them around naked with dog collars is humiliation.

Likewise, I had a great-aunt who would become extremely uncomfortable and complain of "getting a draft" if she was exposed to air-conditioning for long periods even on hot summer days. To her that was torture. Something tells me those poor souls in Gitmo are suffering the same fate! :cry:

that's a silly comparison. I'm sure the conditions in Gitmo aren't ideal. Nor should they be. It's a prison. People who are in prison shouldn't be afforded the same creature comforts as your grandmother.

That said, we've done a terrible job of determining those who are true war criminals, and those who shouldn't be there. Due process is a right that we owe not to the accused terrorists, but to ourselves. God-d@mmit, we're supposed to be better than the people we're fighting. It's about d@mn time we showed them that we are.
I was being facetious! Well, only partly. My point was that there have been so few incidents of “torture,” and even those are subject to interpretation. It only seems ubiquitous because the media (which--as if this wasn’t and continues to be obvious—is also greatly responsible for getting Obama elected by failing to vet him during the campaign and effectively acting as his p.r. agency), as a result of their collective hatred of Bush, kept the incessant drumbeat of “torture” going in order to try and drum him out of office early. The fact is that prisoners in Gitmo are treated relatively well compared to even those incarcerated in US domestic prisons. That’s all I meant.

Offline Jimmy_James

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Re: The Obama Presidency
« Reply #295 on: January 21, 2009, 10:56:00 AM »
Oh, I wasn't referring to you, eastvillagedon, and I totally agree.

Offline Boreal

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Re: The Obama Presidency
« Reply #296 on: January 21, 2009, 11:15:34 AM »
From 2005:

A recent report by Jane Mayer in the New Yorker revealed how the joint operations can shield any single agency from responsibility for torture. The killing of a terrorist suspect in U.S. hands at Abu Ghraib in 2003 may go unpunished, according to the report, because of murky circumstances over whether the military or CIA had custody of him. The prisoner, Manadel al-Jamadi, was first captured and roughed up by Navy SEALS before being handed over to a CIA interrogator at the prison. The CIA interrogator reportedly placed a bag over al-Jamadi's head, bound his hands behind his back, and hung him by his hands. Top forensics experts who examined the case said al-Jamadi, who had broken ribs, suffocated to death.

http://dir.salon.com/story/news/feature/2005/12/05/torture_backlash/index2.html
« Last Edit: September 05, 2009, 07:58:11 PM by kingfish out of water »

Offline shs96

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Re: The Obama Presidency
« Reply #297 on: January 21, 2009, 11:31:58 AM »
I guess no one likes Jack Bauer around here either

Offline StapHanger

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Re: The Obama Presidency
« Reply #298 on: January 21, 2009, 11:46:17 AM »
I guess no one likes Jack Bauer around here either

For what it's worth, I'm not sure even Kiefer likes Jack Bauer, or at least Kiefer thinks of his successes as mere entertainment and not an endorsement of his methods: http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2007/02/19/070219fa_fact_mayer?printable=true

Offline Jimmy_James

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Re: The Obama Presidency
« Reply #299 on: January 21, 2009, 12:02:00 PM »
I guess no one likes Jack Bauer around here either

For what it's worth, I'm not sure even Kiefer likes Jack Bauer, or at least Kiefer thinks of his successes as mere entertainment and not an endorsement of his methods: http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2007/02/19/070219fa_fact_mayer?printable=true

I'm pretty sure there's at least one xmas tree out there that disagree about Kiefer's methods: