May 21, 2008

Is Barack Obama "a walking, talking gaffe machine"?

Michelle Malkin marshals the evidence. I'm inclined to be a little lenient about gaffes, though I understand the urge to avenge Dan Quayle, who was — the legend has it — destroyed over the misspelling of a single word. A presidential candidate is constantly talking, responding to questions and situations ad lib, and he's going to make some gaffes. It can't mean that he's incompetent or an idiot. I love to post and laugh about these gaffes — like the "57 states" one — but it has almost no effect on what I think of the man. A good candidate should try to avoid giving his opponents this ammunition as much as he can, but there are more important things than avoiding ever saying anything wrong.

But there's one thing on Malkin's long list of gaffes that mattered to me:
Last March, the Chicago Tribune reported this little-noticed nugget about a fake autobiographical detail in Obama’s Dreams from My Father: “Then, there’s the copy of Life magazine that Obama presents as his racial awakening at age 9. In it, he wrote, was an article and two accompanying photographs of an African-American man physically and mentally scarred by his efforts to lighten his skin. In fact, the Life article and the photographs don’t exist, say the magazine’s own historians.”
I don't remember seeing that Chicago Tribune story. Malkin's piece — in the National Review — doesn't link to anything, but here's the article. I read "Dreams from My Father" and took it to be a truthful story. Obama makes seeing those pictures in Life magazine a pivotal event in his life:
He is 9 years old, living in Indonesia, where he and his mother moved with her new husband, Lolo Soetoro, a few years earlier. One day while visiting his mother, who was working at the U.S. Embassy in Jakarta, Obama passed time by looking through several issues of Life magazine. He came across an article that he later would describe as feeling like an "ambush attack."

The article included photos of a black man who had destroyed his skin with powerful chemical lighteners that promised to make him white. Instead, the chemicals had peeled off much of his skin, leaving him sad and scarred, Obama recalled.

"I imagine other black children, then and now, undergoing similar moments of revelation," Obama wrote of the magazine photos in "Dreams."

Yet no such Life issue exists, according to historians at the magazine. No such photos, no such article. When asked about the discrepancy, Obama said in a recent interview, "It might have been an Ebony or it might have been ... who knows what it was?" (At the request of the Tribune, archivists at Ebony searched their catalogue of past articles, none of which matched what Obama recalled.)

In fact, it is surprising, based on interviews with more than two dozen people who knew Obama during his nearly four years in Indonesia, that it would take a photograph in a magazine to make him conscious of the fact that some people might treat him differently in part because of the color of his skin.

Obama, who has talked and written so much about struggling to find a sense of belonging due to his mixed race, brushes over this time of his life in "Dreams." He describes making friends easily, becoming fluent in Indonesian in just six months and melding quite easily into the very foreign fabric of Jakarta.

The reality was less tidy....

Former playmates remember Obama as "Barry Soetoro," or simply "Barry," a chubby little boy very different from the gangly Obama people know today. All say he was teased more than any other kid in the neighborhood--primarily because he was bigger and had black features.

He was the only foreign child in the neighborhood. He also was one of the only neighborhood children whose parents enrolled him in a new Catholic school in an area populated almost entirely by Betawis, the old tribal landowning Jakarta natives who were very traditional Muslims. Some of the Betawi children threw rocks at the open Catholic classrooms, remembered Cecilia Sugini Hananto, who taught Obama in 2nd grade.

Teachers, former playmates and friends recall a boy who never fully grasped their language and who was very quiet as a result. But one word Obama learned quickly in his new home was curang, which means "cheater."

When kids teased him, Obama yelled back, "Curang, curang!" When a friend gave him shrimp paste instead of chocolate, he yelled, "Curang, curang!"

Zulfan Adi was one of the neighborhood kids who teased Obama most mercilessly. He remembers one day when young Obama, a hopelessly upbeat boy who seemed oblivious to the fact that the older kids didn't want him tagging along, followed a group of Adi's friends to a nearby swamp.

"They held his hands and feet and said, `One, two, three,' and threw him in the swamp," recalled Adi, who still lives in the same house where he grew up. "Luckily he could swim. They only did it to Barry."

The other kids would scrap with him sometimes, but because Obama was bigger and better-fed than many of them, he was hard to defeat.

"He was built like a bull. So we'd get three kids together to fight him," recalled Yunaldi Askiar, 45, a former neighborhood friend. "But it was only playing."

Obama has claimed on numerous occasions to have become fluent in Indonesian in six months. Yet those who knew him disputed that during recent interviews.

Israella Pareira Darmawan, Obama's 1st-grade teacher, said she attempted to help him learn the Indonesian language by going over pronunciation and vowel sounds. He struggled greatly with the foreign language, she said, and with his studies as a result.

The teacher, who still lives in Obama's old neighborhood, remembers that he always sat in the back corner of her classroom. "His friends called him 'Negro,'" Darmawan said. The term wasn't considered a slur at the time in Indonesia.

Still, all of his teachers at the Catholic school recognized leadership qualities in him. "He would be very helpful with friends. He'd pick them up if they fell down,'' Darmawan recalled. "He would protect the smaller ones."

Third-grade teacher Fermina Katarina Sinaga, now 67, has perhaps the most telling story. In an essay about what he wanted to be when he grew up, Obama "wrote he wanted to be president," Sinaga recalled. "He didn't say what country he wanted to be president of. But he wanted to make everybody happy."

When Obama was in 4th grade, the Soetoro family moved. Their new neighborhood was only 3 miles to the west, but a world away. Elite Dutch colonists once lived there; the Japanese moved in during their occupation of Indonesia in World War II. In the early 1970s, diplomats and Indonesian businessmen lived there in fancy gated houses with wide paved roads and sculpted bushes.

Obama never became terribly close with the children of the new school--this time a predominantly Muslim one--where he was enrolled. As he had at the old school, Obama sat in a back corner. He sketched decidedly American cartoon characters during class.

"He liked drawing Spider-Man and Batman," said another friend, Widiyanto Hendro Cahyono, 46. "Barry liked to draw heroes."
Uh oh. I'm quoting way too much. And there's much, much more really interesting stuff — really humanizing stuff. Much better material than you'll find in "Dreams from My Father." Thanks to Michelle Malkin for prompting me to pull this thing out of the archive! For whatever reasons, Obama wrote a book framing his life story as a story about the search for racial identity. I think it was probably what the publishers wanted from him, and it may have also seemed like a good way to build his career. He's much more lovable in the Chicago Tribune version — even if it does call him out on the Life magazine story.

177 comments:

George said...

It could have been Look Magazine.

Same size, similar format.

Easy to confuse the two, if you are a little boy.

A 30 second Google search finds that the June 11, 1968, issue of Look was devoted to Cities, Black America, and the Uptight Life. And other issues clearly have articles about blacks.

Bob said...

I second what george said. As soon as I read the story I thought of Look, now defunct.

downtownlad said...

Michael Jackson was dying his skin way back then????

downtownlad said...

And even if it is Look Magazine, it's irrelevant. He's still a liar because he said "Life", and that disqualifies him from being President.

George said...

One of the lines that stands out is: "He didn't say what country he wanted to be president of. But he wanted to make everybody happy."

I don't know that I ever thought the job of president was to create happiness. Not sure I even thought about what a president was.

Here's an intelligent, sensitive boy in a strange and distant land. He's lost one father, who was from another country, culture, and religion; now he has another father, who's from a third country and culture.

Seems like a sad and lonely childhood. He wants a father (figure) to make him happy.

Also interesting that McCain's father was away for very extended periods, and he, too, moved constantly and lived on Navy bases.

Only Hillary had a normal childhood. Maybe that's her problem.

former law student said...

Look was always a distant runner up to Life. I remember Look's last gasp advertising campaign: "Look. It's bigger than life."

Both magazines were good practice for online media -- lots of pictures and a minimum of well-chosen text.

Michael_H said...

He was named after Sir Edmund Barack.

Sloanasaurus said...

One of the problems with Dreams of my Father is that it is written in a novelist type format rather than a factual format. Obama creates conversation between himself and others in the book to communicate facts about his life. This makes the book more interesting to read, but it also blurs the line between fact and fiction. There are bound to be hundreds of more errors.

Obama had an agenda with the book - that is to communicate that he preferred to be more black culturally than white. Thus, using the made-up Life article as a way to communicate a feeling in his journey to being black is perfectly acceptable. However, because Obama is running for president, determining whether he continues to use made up facts to communicate ideas becomes a much larger concern.

P. Rich said...

AA said: "He's much more lovable in the Chicago Tribune version..."

And is lovable what qualifies him for the presidency in your view?

the Rising Jurist said...

The current president is cut zero slack when it comes to gaffes. There's a whole industry of calendars and books centered around scrutinizing his every word. It's simply Obama's turn.

Padre Steve said...

I think the gaffes are really the least of Obama's problems. The real problem is that he doesn't share the values of most Americans. He would be the most liberal president ever. His endorsment by NARAL tells me a lot too. Can we afford to have a Jimmy Carter the Second in this crucial time in history? Let's pray most voters think otherwise! God bless! Padre Steve

Sloanasaurus said...

A possible explanation for Obama's reference to the Life Magazine article could be that Obama saw a similar article in another magazine when he was an adult or saw an article about such articles and then created the event in his book to get the idea across that he was thinking about these issues at that age or that he wanted people to believe that he was thinking about these issues at that age. Such a loose use of facts to explain ideas would fit in with the general methodology he uses throughout the entire book to explain his transformation.

michael farris said...

I think it could have been Look (generally more interesting than Life IIRC) except I think that's been checked out already and also found wanting.

It may have been an Indonesian magazine (the exact content of which he may not have completely understood).

IME SEAsians have a light-skin complex (the lighter the better). If anything I find the idea of an Indonesian doing harm to himself by trying to lighten his skin easier to believe than an American black doing that.

Trooper York said...

He was actually referring to the time Prince Namor the Sub-Mariner tried to lighten his green skin in Tales to Astonish #2. It actually worked but he couldn’t do anything with the gills.

Stephen said...

Lovable?
Alright already!
Get a dog, blog about dogs.

John A said...

"The article included photos of a black man who had destroyed his skin with powerful chemical lighteners that promised to make him white. Instead, the chemicals had peeled off much of his skin, leaving him sad and scarred,"

I recall the article. I do not recall in what forum it was posted, but it existed. I can even remember thinking "This guy is a complete idiot" rather as we would now think of a person who, hearing that lye kills germs, injects himself wit it (yes, that actually happened, too).

But has anyone noticed that for what seems to be 19 of 20 statements that later trouble him, BHO"s "staff" or "acquaintances" or "volunteer workers" are found by him to blame? This is very troubling to me. And "It is OK for me to criticise her spouse for what he says, but what my wife says must never be criticised." And his defending having said something he did not say (that "with no preconditions" quote was from the interviewer, and an easily over-looked of a long question) is unacceptable for a city council member, let alone a probable Presidential candidate.

Sloanasaurus said...

Of course Obama's real gaff will be his vocal support of the idea that the war in Iraq was lost and urging withdrawl back in 2006. By September, 2008, it will be clear to everyone that the war in Iraq has been won.

Then conventional wisdom will ask, would it have been good judgment to accept defeat in 2006 as Obama wanted? Would it have made America safer to lose in Iraq? Why would we ever elect a President who was willing to give up on our troops? Would Obama be prone to give up in other areas. Would he give up on the perserverance of the American economy or its people?

Balfegor said...

And his defending having said something he did not say (that "with no preconditions" quote was from the interviewer, and an easily over-looked of a long question) is unacceptable for a city council member, let alone a probable Presidential candidate.

Not sure what you're saying re: his never having said no preconditions, and the line coming only from an interviewer. I don't know that he said it in a speech -- maybe it's another one of those things where he says something silly, and his campaign leaps into action to say he totally meant to do that, seriously, it wasn't a mistake -- but readers of his campaign site might be forgiven for thinking that was his explicit position. At the moment, it still says:

Obama is the only major candidate who supports tough, direct presidential diplomacy with Iran without preconditions.

Ann Althouse said...

"He didn't say what country he wanted to be president of. But he wanted to make everybody happy."

That makes me love him. He was lonely and picked on, and his response was to think of making everyone happy. That is really sweet. It makes me want to go back in time and hug that little boy. He could have hated the Indonesian kids but he didn't. But that doesn't mean he's not American. He was drawing American superheroes.

PrestoPundit said...

There are many other false notes in Dreams From My Father.

-- Obama's accounts of the midwest seem taken right out of college lit course on 1920's American literature.

-- Obama's "memories" of watching "I Spy" and "Mission Impossible" at age 6 or 7 or 8 in Indonesia reflect commentary you read in Black Studies text books, not the thoughts of a little boy.

-- The real "Ray" was half Japanese and half black, a detailed left out by Obama. The real "Ray" says he was not an "angry young black man" at all, and the thoughts and remarks about black anger written of by Obama must reflect Obama's own thoughts, _which they never discussed_, according to "Ray" (source: LA Times)

I'll stop there, but there's lots, lots more.

Google "Nice Deb" and "lies" to get a sense for Obama's large capacity for sayings what fits his story line rather than the truth of the matter.

This is a serious issue for those voting this November.

PrestoPundit said...

"The article included photos of a black man who had destroyed his skin with powerful chemical lighteners that promised to make him white. Instead, the chemicals had peeled off much of his skin, leaving him sad and scarred,"

I'm guessing Obama developed this story line out of something he came across in a textbook or work of literature he'd been assigned in college. I'm guessing someone out there could give you a source on this they've come across in one of their own college classes.

It's a guess, but going on experience with Obama, it's a good one.

Trooper York said...

Well the only indonesian super hero was Sukarno-man who was a chubby little guy who wore a fez and flew around on a magic carpet beating up Hindus. That’s pretty hard to draw.

TitusTheLookOfLove said...

My favorite Michelle Malkin video is where she puts on a cheerleader outfit and has pom poms and spells out LOSER with her body to describe the defeatocrats.

At the end she has two white flags.

And oh yea a chick is clucking the entire time.

The video is amazing, patriotic, totally republican, and one of the best pieces of political theater I have ever seen.

She is fierce.

former law student said...

Why would we ever elect a President who was willing to give up on our troops?

In the only incident I recall, because of a White House dirty tricks squad, which was behind an orchestrated campaign of political sabotage, an enemies list, a "plumbers" unit to plug political leaks and a secret campaign slush fund associated with CREEP, all with high-level administration involvement. They produced campaign fraud, political espionage and sabotage, illegal break-ins, improper tax audits, illegal wiretapping on a massive scale, and a secret slush fund laundered in Mexico to pay those who conducted these operations.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Watergate_scandal

would it have been good judgment to accept defeat in 2006 as Obama wanted?

Defeat by whom? We conquered Iraq and executed its tyrant leader. The only thing that wasn't going well was the nation building process that Candidate W. had wisely warned against. But I'm sure that Ahmad Chalabi will eventually win the hearts and minds of the Iraqi people, and lead them to peace and prosperity.

Trooper York said...

Actually Prince Namor was not an American as he was from Atlantis, which was formerly his undersea kingdom but is currently a casino.

George said...

Ann--

He was probably a sweet little boy. He's probably a good father and is as well-intentioned as anyone.

Not reasons to vote for the man, though.

We will be awash with images of his children, him playing with them, watching Sponge Bob (his favorite TV character), and his wife helping his girls bake cookies. Good stuff, but no reason to vote for him.

Pastor_Jeff said...

"He didn't say what country he wanted to be president of. But he wanted to make everybody happy."

That makes me love him. He was lonely and picked on, and his response was to think of making everyone happy. That is really sweet. It makes me want to go back in time and hug that little boy.

Ann, your response is sweet. But as noted, wanting to make everyone happy is a good reason to become a therapist, not President of the US.

Is Philippe running for President again? "Huuuuuuuugs!"

Balfegor said...

I had a big long bit of blather about sympathising with the portrait of the young Obama, particularly on the cultural/religious disconnect, and the language issue (I went through the same kind of thing as a young boy myself, though in rather milder form). But it got eaten.

The point I wanted to make was that there's a kind of sad wish-fulfillment that hangs over his Dreams from My Father narrative, in light of the alternative narrative we see here. He was picked on, but dreams that he made fast friends with everyone around him. He struggled with the language and the culture, but dreams that he attained fluency in six months. Did he change himself from pudgy to athletic too? There's something very understandable, but very sad, about his rewriting his own history like that.

Of the presidential candidates, Obama is, in some ways, the one I feel closest to -- his experience is full of tidbits I can relate to, in a way that, say, McCain's is not (I don't come from a long line of military officers, and I've never been tortured by Communists). I can even think of a distant, venerated presence in my childhood and early adult life, vaguely analogous to the presence of Obama's father in Obama's.

But perhaps because I can relate, in some sense, to his position, and sympathise with him as a child or as a young man, I find I have much less sympathy for him now as an adult.

Zeb Quinn said...

I love to post and laugh about these gaffes — like the "57 states" one — but it has almost no effect on what I think of the man.

Not the man per se, but what about his education? Put his 57 states comment together with his comment about Arkansas being closer to Kentucky than is Illinois, and then let the rest of your post remind us that he didn't go through the usual grammar school ritual of identifying and memorizing the states and their capitols. The picture emerges of a man who would be president who is woefully ignorant of US geography.

PatCA said...

The story of the man who used chemicals on his skin was sort of an urban legend when I was a kid. Maybe Barry sort of absorbed it...

His reasons as a kid for wanting to be president sound like something an American Idol contestant would say. Make everybody happy, get love in return. Not so much for a president.

former law student said...

Anyone got $18? Order this issue of Look from 2neat.com, and see if the chemical peeling story is there. The timing is pretty close, and there is a "lovely piece on black beauty."

LOOK Magazine – January 7, 1969
$18.00
Cover : Silhouette of a black woman against a white background.

- Special Issue : Blacks and Whites, can we bridge the gap?, Patricia Coffin and George Goodman.
- Norman Mailer on Black Power.
- Black and white pro football, Don Meredith, Don Perkins, Dallas Cowboys.

- Black Power shakes the white church.
- Black America’s African heritage.

- Godfrey Cambridge declares peace.
- Jimi Hendrix socks it to the white cats, Rock and Roll music.
- Black and white sex hang-ups, the positive story of Bob Boudreaux and Katie Jones.
- William Attwood gives his personal recollection of Malcolm X.

- Harlem’s Yorubas, Baba.
- The radicals, are they poles apart?, White segregationist Roy Harris, Black Panther Eldridge Cleaver.
- Artist Daniel LaRue Johnson.
- A lovely piece on black beauty, Win and Joyce Wilford, Charlene Dash, more.
- Rick Haynes seeks black brains for white business.

Henry said...

The anecdote, true or note, reminds me of Malcolm X's self-disgust at his younger self's use of lye-based hair-straighteners.

Sloanasaurus' note that Dreams is written in novelistic form is important. We have seen that many memoirists get facts wrong. People misremember things. They recast their memories in dramatic form, without even knowing it. Events get compressed. Characters get combined. The inner voice of the young character is compromised by the authorial voice of the older -- the one that is actually writing the story.

Obama was clearly trying to pack a lot of thought into his book. Parsing it for inconsistencies and mistakes seems petty and fruitless to me.

former law student said...

The picture emerges of a man who would be president who is woefully ignorant of US geography.

Heck, comments on this blog show that not even people born and raised in this country know where the Mason-Dixon line is.

World Politics said...

I think Ann must have been on humorous side when she said 'That makes me love him. He was lonely and picked on, and his response was to think of making everyone happy. That is really sweet. It makes me want to go back in time and hug that little boy.'

I agree slightly with pastor Jeff that wanting to make everyone happy is a good reason to become a therapist, not President of the US. In fact, that is not all good for a therapist either.

Trevor Jackson said...

Thanks for making that point, Henry. There's a lot of slipperiness between nonfiction and memoir.

Just ask James Frey. Though maybe he's not the best example given the evidence that he more knowingly tried to pass off his art as a factual account.

PrestoPundit said...

In the Pacific Northwest, not having any idea what the Hanford site might be is not a gaffe, it shows a serious lack of knowledge about the biggest environmental cleanup project in the country -- perhaps the most widely discussed environmental problem in the region over say, the last 3 decades.

The Hanford site also happens to be one of the premier U.S. government research labs for alternative energy development -- a candidate serious about alternative energy would be well familiar with the Hanford site.

Obama evidently is not.

Richard Dolan said...

"I'm inclined to be a little lenient about gaffes ...." So am I, but not when the "gaffe" amounts to saying plainly what one is trying to disguise.

His slip about the 57 states was funny but that was all. The stuff he has been saying about those who "cling" to religion and guns, or his pathetic back-and-forth with the flag pin, or his efforts to deal with his long association with Rev. Wright and its implications, or the "I'll meet unconditionally with" the Iranian nut-jobs, falls into the category of saying plainly what he is trying to disguise. They reveal something about the man that he'd prefer to keep under wraps.

Chip Ahoy said...

^^^ What George said ^^^

^^^ and Bob seconded ^^^

Oh hell, I agree with everything everybody said, except of course, DTL, who's being a snark, but as usual, snarky in a way that backfires. I'm detecting a very serious problem with cognition here.

Reading about Obama yet again against my general will, made my eyeballs protest which added to the pain already felt inside my head associated with a head cold I'm presently suffering. That forced me to make a sandwich in order to change the subject, internally at least, and produce some measure of self-nurturing.

former law student said...

a serious lack of knowledge about the biggest environmental cleanup project in the country

Why would you expect a Presidential candidate to know this level of detail? Is the cleanup controversial? Is it not being executed per plan? How much do you know about the Southeast's Savannah River site and its environmental problems? Or Oak Ridge, Tennessee?

Obama has addressed the live issue of the Yucca repository, which is the only federal government issue on the table.

William said...

Thanks for posting. Obama seems an intelligent and sympathetic human being. There are many reasons not to vote for him, but lack of intelligence or magnetism are not among them. A black person in America (and Indonesia apparently) is given to understand that the most important fact about themselves is their skin color. I suppose this distorts in many ways their judgements and memories. But Obama's memories are no more fraudulent than those of Kerry and Hillary and a great deal more understandable. We all try to edit our childhood memories to explain what wonderful people we are or gain forgiveness for what wonderful people we are not. Barack seems not to be trying to escape a stereotype as trying to find a stereotype in which to fit.

Sloanasaurus said...

Defeat by whom? We conquered Iraq and executed its tyrant leader. The only thing that wasn't going well was the nation building process that Candidate W. had wisely warned against. But I'm sure that Ahmad Chalabi will eventually win the hearts and minds of the Iraqi people, and lead them to peace and prosperity.

Nice try at revisionism. The anti-war Democrats declared the war lost in 2006.

There is going to be this prickly fact this fall that we have undeniably won in Iraq and that we won because we gave our soldiers a chance to win it. This will be seen in contrast to democrats like Obama who di dnot have the faith in our soldiers and wanted to give Iraq up to Al Qaeda and Iran in 2006.

Obama's only response will be that he thought the whole war was wrong to begin with. However, such a belief does not mean giving up would have been good judgment.

Maguro said...

It's very sweet to want to make everyone happy when you're in the
3rd grade but a sure recipe for disaster in a president.

His foreign policy seems predicated on the notion that he (alone) can make everyone like us. Frighteningly naive.

Obama seems to think that he is one of the cool teachers on Room 222. Just sit down with Mahmoud and Hugo and have a rap session. They'll all learn something and Obama will achieve world peace by the end of the week's episode.

Trooper York said...

I would love to negogiate with Karne Valentine.

Trooper York said...

That's Karen Valentine.

I was thinking of carne which is meat, which is what Karen Valentine has always been. One sweet piece of meat.

Yummy.

Cyrus Pinkerton said...

...Dan Quayle, who was — the legend has it — destroyed over the misspelling of a single word.

A few examples of the wit and wisdom of Dan Quayle ...

"Bobby Knight told me this: 'There is nothing that a good defense cannot beat a better offense.' In other words a good offense wins."

"I believe we are on an irreversible trend toward more freedom and democracy - but that could change."

"If we don't succeed we run the risk of failure."

"It isn't pollution that's harming the environment. It's the impurities in our air and water that are doing it."

"Illegitimacy is something we should talk about in terms of not having it."

"I love California, I practically grew up in Phoenix."

"I have made good judgments in the past. I have made good judgments in the future."

"It's time for the human race to enter the solar system."

"What a waste it is to lose one's mind. Or not to have a mind is being very wasteful. How true that is."

Cyrus Pinkerton said...

It is particularly amusing to see Bush supporters yammering about Obama's gaffes (or as Sloan insists on calling them, "gaffs"). These commenters must have unbelievably short memories or perhaps they simply aren't very bright.

Seven Machos said...

Given the outcome, that's a great story. He should be telling that one.

Zachary Paul Sire said...

The real problem is that he doesn't share the values of most Americans.

Well he leads in all national polls against McCain, so something is working in his favor. Maybe he just doesn't share the values of most Althouse commenters.

BJK said...

Actually Prince Namor was not an American as he was from Atlantis, which was formerly his undersea kingdom but is currently a casino.

Namor's mother is Atlantean; his father was a sea captain. The Wikipedia article doesn't provide his father's nationality.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Namor_%28comics%29

As for BHO's autobiography, I guess Oprah just has a thing for guys who can't get their life stories straight. (Frey, Obama, Tom Cruise, etc.)

Seven Machos said...

Cyrus -- Conservatives are all stupid. We've been over this.

Palladian said...

haha, Amanda Mar...I mean Cyrus Pinkerton is taking about Dan Quayle. I mean, hello? It's 2008!

But since you want to play that game:

This following group, however, are Quayleisms, that is, comments now widely attributed to the former Vice-President that were coined by humor writers as things he might say.

"If we don't succeed, we run the risk of failure."
"A low voter turnout is an indication of fewer people going to the polls."
"It isn't pollution that's harming the environment. It's the impurities in our air and water that are doing it."

Palladian said...

"The real problem is that he doesn't share the values of most Americans.

Well he leads in all national polls against McCain, so something is working in his favor."

He does? Citation?

Palladian said...

Well, I put no stock in polls generally, but Ugh, you're right. I don't think that has anything to do with Obama's values really. Maybe more to do with McCain's deficiencies. I mean, Hillary polls better than McCain.

Trooper York said...

Well I didn't want to go into it, but his father was a flounder from the African sea. After he abandoned the young prince, his mother left him with her parents while she traipsed off to the Bering sea to have an affair with a walrus. Young Namor was very upset since his grandparents were typical fish people.

It's all in his book of letters to his father:

Dreams of My Father, Fanmail for a Flounder.

Zachary Paul Sire said...

I don't put much stock in polls either, unless of course they favor a candidate or issue that I support. Then, I am totally down with polls. Otherwise, they're useless.

Palladian said...

"I don't put much stock in polls either, unless of course they favor a candidate or issue that I support. Then, I am totally down with polls. Otherwise, they're useless."

I thought that was the purpose of polls.

AJ Lynch said...

Polls are funny. Rasmussen is my favorite but that name does not sound Polish to me. Maybe he should take a poll and see if people think Rasmussen is Polish enough sounding.

Cyrus Pinkerton said...

Seven Machos wrote:

Cyrus -- Conservatives are all stupid.

Seven Machos, the problem is that a good fraction of the so-called "conservatives" who comment here have no idea what conservatism entails. That's why I am careful to refer to these people as rightwingers.

However, as I observed previously, based on substantial evidence, it's clear that some of these people aren't particularly bright. If you want to extrapolate that observation to a broader group of people, that's your choice.

Balfegor said...

It is particularly amusing to see Bush supporters yammering about Obama's gaffes (or as Sloan insists on calling them, "gaffs"). These commenters must have unbelievably short memories or perhaps they simply aren't very bright.

Most of his gaffes are just that -- the 57 states gaffe, for example. And I don't think people would make such a big deal out of them . . . if it weren't for the lengths his crazy supporters will go to just to argue that he totally meant to say that, that it was not a slip of the tongue, that their perfect idol never makes mistakes.

If you go back to the 57 states gaffe, that's a simple slip of the tongue, one with a perfectly innocuous explanation. Yes, it makes him look stupid and we can all laugh about that. But it's just a slip of the tongue. I don't think anyone actually thinks Obama has the number of states in the Union confused.

But then you had these loony Obamaists posting all over the message boards (youtube, of course, but even right here) with this theory that somehow Obama totally meant to say "57 states," even though he knows there are 50. Because he was, ah, trying to make a joke.

Eh?

Um. No. That's pretty much the dumbest attempt at spin I've ever seen. The idea that you'd go out there and try and defend an innocent slip of the tongue by your preferred candidate as something intentional -- that's just idiotic. Why would you do that?

But do it they do.

Cyrus Pinkerton said...

Palladian wrote:

haha, Amanda Mar...I mean Cyrus Pinkerton is taking about Dan Quayle. I mean, hello? It's 2008!

Actually, Michelle Malkin (in the linked piece of garbage) and Professor Althouse both mention Dan Quayle. Both incorrectly imply that Quayle's intellectual lightweight reputation rests with the "potatoe" incident. I simply supplied a small bit of evidence to show otherwise.

Thanks for paying attention.

PrestoPundit said...

Yes I know about the Savannah River site and Oak Ridge. I worked on a congressional campaign in the Portland area in the mid 1980s, and the Hanford site environmental issue was a top campaign issue, and was the focus of a good deal of the policy research in the campaign.

Hanford as an environmental issue is a regular topic on the front page of the Seattle and Portland papers. Presidential candidates are always asked about it when they come to the region.

An Obama groupie commenting above wrote:

"Why would you expect a Presidential candidate to know this level of detail? Is the cleanup controversial? Is it not being executed per plan? How much do you know about the Southeast's Savannah River site and its environmental problems? Or Oak Ridge, Tennessee?"

Seven Machos said...

Cyrus -- Plenty of people are stupid, on both the left and the right, and plenty of smart people are stupid about most things.

I do find it interesting that you have fallen for the hoax that Dan Quayle said those things he did not say. Perhaps you need to shine up your bullshit detector.

SteveR said...

I am getting a colonscopy tomorrow and thankfully Cyrus has helped me cleanse my system without the excessive use of laxatives.

Summer Anne said...

There are so many comments on this post I wanted to respond to, but let me just say, generally, that most of you guys are making yourselves look simple and narrow minded here. I understand that you don't (and why you don't) support Obama, but the implication from some of these comments seems to be that no one should be able to find any merit or charm in his qualities. Ann didn't say she was voting for him because she found the story 'lovable', she said it made her want to travel Back In Time (!) and hug him. And a person can have those qualities and still be qualified as commander in chief for completely unrelated reasons. AND I agree that Obama supporters saying that the '57 states' thing is someone how purposeful or explicable as anything other than a slip of the tongue is pretty ridiculous, but they are responding to an awful lot of conservatives who are also making a mountain out of that molehill. And I think every candidate has some supporters who are blind to their faults and willing to justify their every move. AND, lastly, whoever said that when 'everyone' can see that the war in Iraq is 'won' in September (4 months!)... I'm gonna hold you to that one, dear. Wanna put five dollars on it?

Hoosier Daddy said...

It is particularly amusing to see Bush supporters yammering about Obama's gaffes (or as Sloan insists on calling them, "gaffs"). These commenters must have unbelievably short memories or perhaps they simply aren't very bright.

No just whats good for the goose is good for the gander. We've seen eight years of dumb Bush comments made into books and calendars yet intelligent Obama should get a pass for 57 states or saying Arkansas is nearer to Kentucky than Illinois.

Few conservatives or wingers as you call them will defend Quayle or even Bush as some intellectual giant. On the other hand Obama and his flock will spin every gaffe he makes. Or blame his staff, whatever is more convenient I guess.

Trooper York said...

Cyrus, you still didn’t tell me your team. I’m thinking the Houston Astros. I had been storing up a bunch of Jimmy Wynn jokes and anecdotes.

Summer Anne said...

& for the record on the Quayle quotes -- two of the ones of Cyrus's list are fake... the rest are real. The snopes article on the topic is fun. I agree that gaffes are overplayed, but you can't expect democrats to not defend theirs just as hard as you guys defend GWB's. :)

Sloanasaurus said...

Some of Obama's statements, however, are not gaffes in the sense that he mispoke.

For example, the argument he was trying to make about not having enough arabic to use in Afghanistan because they were all being used in Iraq was not a misstatement. It was just plain wrong. Obama was trying to use it to justify his argument that Iraq is a distraction to Afghanistan. It wasn't a gaffe, it was a total outright lie.

Balfegor said...

but you can't expect democrats to not defend theirs just as hard as you guys defend GWB's. :)

Um, yeaaah . . . I don't think this is quite on the same level here. Are there Republicans who claim that Bush never misspeaks? If anything, it's like a charm-point -- part of his appeal as a politician whose language is neither slick or overly sophisticated.

"Misunderestimated." The office of "Strategery." "Make the pie higher." Frankly, Republicans have, well, not nearly as much fun as Democrats, but they do have fun with Bush II's misstatements. You just don't get the rabid defense of Bush's verbal gaffes -- everyone knows he makes them, and no one feels it necessary to pretend that he doesn't.

Obama? Completely different kettle of fish.

Fen said...

Ann, FWIW, Quayle was reading off the spelling cue cards the teacher had provided. Some of the cards had words deliberately mispelled on them, to test the kids. The teacher failed to mention this to Qualye.

I'll bet I could catch you in the same gaffe.

Fen said...

but they are responding to an awful lot of conservatives who are also making a mountain out of that molehill

I don't think its a molehill when it demonstrates Obama's complete ignorance of flyover country. He's been insulated in the Chicago bubble too long, never exposed to "red state" pov's. It dovetails with his statement that we're all just bitter xenophobic gun-clinging rednecks.

SteveR said...

come on Trooper, just give us a few Toy Cannon jokes.

Hoosier Daddy said...

It dovetails with his statement that we're all just bitter xenophobic,God-fearing gun-clinging rednecks.

Fix that for you Fen. Can't leave out us Jesus-freaks

Balfegor said...

For example, the argument he was trying to make about not having enough arabic to use in Afghanistan because they were all being used in Iraq was not a misstatement. It was just plain wrong. Obama was trying to use it to justify his argument that Iraq is a distraction to Afghanistan. It wasn't a gaffe, it was a total outright lie.

My recollection from what I've read is that he went back and corrected that almost immediately -- I'd have to see a transcript to be sure it was that same conversation, but I think he did realise that he'd just said something idiotic.

Even if it doesn't show a total ignorance of the situation in the Middle East, it is revealing in a way. What it does show is that he's just making up his objections to Iraq on the fly -- they're not the product of a serious look at the problem, in which he weeded out the silly objections and got supporting material for the strong objections. It's just whatever pops into his head at the moment:

Now why was Iraq a distraction from Afghanistan? . . . I know this . . . Translators? Oh, hey! Translators! We're using them in Iraq, so we can't use them in Afghanistan. That sounds good. No, wait! D'oh!

You'd think he'd have thought about it and prepared an answer beforehand -- the "Iraq distracts from Afghanistan" could be a strong argument, given that Afghanistan has been doing so much worse than Iraq for a couple years now, yet all our attention -- both media and political -- is concentrated on Iraq. It could be a strong point for him to make. If, you know, he had actually bothered to think about it first. Or if he ever listened to his advisors.

Pogo said...

I used to think Dan Quayle was a complete idiot. I picked up a copy of Joe Queenan's Imperial Caddy: The Rise of Dan Quayle in America and the Decline and Fall of Practically Everything Else hopingfor a delicious destruction of the man by a humorist.

There was that, but I gained a begrudging respect for the man after Queenan delved into the job of the Veep and DQ's role as determined by the monolithic left MSM of the time: court jester.

Obama is just getting what comes around. I hope he likes it; there will be more.

I like this quote from the book:
""Leftist intellectuals with hare-brained Marxist ideas get to control Stanford, MIT, Yale, and the American Studies department at the University of Vermont. In return, the Right gets IBM, Honeywell, Disney World and the New York Stock Exchange. Leftist academics get to try out their stupid ideas on impressionable youths between 17 and 21 who don't have any money or power. The Right gets to try out its ideas on North America, South America, Europe, Asia, Australia, and parts of Africa, most of which take MasterCard. The Left gets Harvard, Oberlin, Twyla Tharp's dance company, and Madison, Wis. The Right gets NASDAQ, Boeing, General Motors, Apple, McDonnell Douglas, Washington, DC, Citicorp, Texas, Coca-Cola, General Electric, Japan, and outer space."

Trooper York said...

Jimmy Wynn was a feminist icon during the seventies. Although he had 1665 hits and 291 home runs in a fifteen year major league career, he is fondly remembered by legions of Birkenstock wearing harridans for being stabbed by his wife.

She got a walk.

Hoosier Daddy said...

What it does show is that he's just making up his objections to Iraq on the fly -- they're not the product of a serious look at the problem

Hell you can say the same thing about most of his proposed policies. "We're going to tax pol companies windfall profits.'

Sounds superb. Which means oil companies will 1) pass off the tax to the consumer or 2) reduce production to cap profits below the 'windfall' figure.

Yeah that'll work.

former law student said...

An Obama groupie commenting above wrote:

Everybody thinks their own pet issue is the most important thing in the universe. There's no salmon season on the West Coast this year -- that's the biggest concern in the PNW.

Trooper York said...

When Jimmy Wynn arrived in the Yankee clubhouse in 1977, he was welcomed as professional hitter and solid teammate. However he only hit one home run as a Yankee and by midseason was on the Milwaukee Brewers. He had been untracked by the constant ridicule he received in the Yankee clubhouse because of the diminutive size of his penis. The Yankees publicly called him the “Toy Cannon” but used other nicknames in the clubhouse. The Pea-shooter, Tiny Dancer, Midget Monkey Boy and my personal favorite, Seamus O’Tinydick. He was tormented by ridicule from Thurman Munson and Reggie Jackson but found happiness in his final stop of Wisconsin which is of course famous for its cheese and men with small penises.

PrestoPundit said...

Reply to "former law student":

Every single Democrat candidate running for President this year could have answered the Hanford question -- except Obama. This tells us something about Obama.

Hanford is an environmental issue for every city down river from the site, which includes Portland. This isn't my pet issue, this is a going on three decade major issue of every environmentalist activist in the Northwest.

Bottom line is if you go to Pendlelton, Ore. and take questions from the audience you should be ready for a question about Hanford. As I say, every other Democrat running this year would have been.

vbspurs said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Palladian said...

"I agree that gaffes are overplayed, but you can't expect democrats to not defend theirs just as hard as you guys defend GWB's."

I don't think you'll find many people here defending Bush's poor speaking and mistakes.

vbspurs said...

Kids who are lonely, picked on, or display a need to court sadists, and whose parents either are too self-involved to notice...

...or want the kid to work out his own problems (without addressing the feelings of worthlessness at home), grow up wanting either to kick everyone in the teeth or desiring happiness all around.

If severe, the first kind either become frustrated Emos --or-- can-do fantasists.

I think it's the latter that Barack resembles.

Fantasists reinvent their life story so that they can relate to everyone.

This need to elicit a positive response from people (making not only that person, but themselves glow) is like heroin. It keeps the stories flowing.

- Oh, you are a Hindu? My best friend in Indonesia was a Hindu.

Is not such a leap from:

- My parents met in Selma during a civil rights march.

Ironically, it gives the person the authenticity of expertise. This tendency to invent or fudge reminds me of two people:

Al Gore, who constantly feels the need to connect with people, probably because he's had a removed life and wasn't very popular at school. This prompts howlers like "I invented the internet".

And Admiral Jeremy Michael Boorda.

Remember him?

The admiral who blew his brains out in 1996 because he wore "valour enhancement" devices on two medals. He claimed that he had been awarded them, but he hadn't been. The Navy were about to investigate the matter.

Why did a 4 star Admiral feel the need to pad his already impressive resumé?

Because it made him happy, and proud, and I'd probably wanted to hug him because of his humanity too.

But he also had a conscience. He knew he was caught out, and couldn't bear the consequences.

I guess some can bear it better than others.

Cheers,
Victoria

Balfegor said...

Hell you can say the same thing about most of his proposed policies.

The sad thing is, he's got some very smart people advising him, but he doesn't seem to be paying attention.

Some incidents, like the Arabic translators to Afghanistan moment, suggest that he's been briefed on, maybe, the bullet point version of the ideas his campaign advisers want him to convey, but he has no depth past the talking point. He knows that he's supposed to argue the Afghan and Iraqi wars are competing for resources, but he doesn't recall the details, so he has to make them up (and gets them wrong).

Another example is the moment in the last Democratic debate when the moderator pointed out that he can't both promise no tax increases on people making < $175K and promise to increase the social security tax cap, thereby raising taxes a large subset of those same people, at the same time. Obama had clearly never thought of it that way before -- he had probably always been presented the two pieces of "his" tax plans (his pander to his yuppie base and his plan to keep social security solvent) separately, and had never made the connection himself. So he had to make up something on the fly. I think it was that he was going to look into maybe giving people in that income bracket tax rebates on the extra payroll tax they paid. Or something.

Either way, though, we're not seeing a man who is in command of the details of the policies that are supposedly his.

Trooper York said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Trooper York said...

The Toy Cannon tried to live up to his nickname He repeatedly stuffed his jock to so to enhance the “package” as it were. He was released by the Yankees when he stole Thurman Munson’s toupee to stuff his jock in a theft unprecedented in Yankee lore until the unfortunate Ruben Rivera scandal in the early years of this century.

Balfegor said...

Sorry -- went back and looked at the transcript. Obama actually said he wouldn't raise any taxes for people making less than some amount between $200,000 and $250,000. Not $175,000. Not sure where I got that.

Richard said...

Obama doesn't make gaffes. You see, he's black. Black people don't make gaffes. If you think they do (or if you're from Ohio, Pennsylvania, West Virgina or Kentucky) you are a racist.

Trooper York said...

A gaff is a long stick used to land a fish on a boat. It can be a veritable 10 foot pole. He might need one to deal with Hillary. So a few gaffs might come in handy.

Maybe he can borrow one from Prince Namor.

former law student said...

Bottom line is if you go to Pendlelton, Ore. and take questions from the audience you should be ready for a question about

Sheep. Or wool. How much do I win?

As I say, every other Democrat running this year would have been.

So, like, where were those guys? What did Hill have to say when she was asked about Hanford?

knoxwhirled said...

He was lonely and picked on, and his response was to think of making everyone happy

or to hang out with perpetual 'poor-me-ers" like Rev. Wright

a psychiatrist who learned from veterans said...

Of litttle note perhaps.. Another site was discussing his book and somebdy came on who said he had worked with him in the 'New York investement office' that apparently occurs in one of his 2 books. BHO portrayed himself as banker but the firm was a minor tipsheet or information office and Obama was really just a copy editor at best. Nothing wrong with that except it was puffed up into something he clealry wasn't.

Pogo said...

In the movies, a gaffer is the guy responsible for the design and execution of the lighting plan for a film.

Obama, the Gaffer Supreme, is trying out his Luminousness on us rubes, wingnuts, middle staters, crackers, and flyover folks, but much like an extreme closeup in high-def, BHO's acne, scars, and other defects are all too evident.

former law student said...

Victoria, Barack was using Selma as a metonym for the civil rights movement. His speech references linked the civil rights movement to the scholarship his African father won to come to the US to study. Here's the quote from his Selma speech:

Yet something happened back here in Selma, Alabama. Something happened in Birmingham that sent out what Bobby Kennedy called, “Ripples of hope all around the world.” Something happened when a bunch of women decided they were going to walk instead of ride the bus after a long day of doing somebody else's laundry, looking after somebody else's children. When men who had PhD’s decided that's enough and we’re going to stand up for our dignity. That sent a shout across oceans so that my grandfather began to imagine something different for his son. His son, who grew up herding goats in a small village in Africa could suddenly set his sights a little higher and believe that maybe a black man in this world had a chance.

What happened in Selma, Alabama and Birmingham also stirred the conscience of the nation. It worried folks in the White House who said, “You know, we're battling Communism. How are we going to win hearts and minds all across the world? If right here in our own country, John, we're not observing the ideals set fort in our Constitution, we might be accused of being hypocrites.” So the Kennedy’s decided we're going to do an air lift. We're going to go to Africa and start bringing young Africans over to this country and give them scholarships to study so they can learn what a wonderful country America is.


Obama did exaggerate the Kennedys' role according to this document. They did airlift the Kenyans; they did not provide the scholarships:

BACKGROUND MEMORANDUM PREPARED BY
SENATOR KENNEDY'S OFFICE, AUGUST 1960

THE FACTS ON GRANT TO AMERICAN STUDENTS AIRLIFT

SUMMARY

On July 26 when Tom Mboya of Kenya visited Senator Kennedy at Hyannis Port, the State Department, despite intervention by Mr. Nixon, had with finality turned down a request to provide an airlift for over 200 African students who had received U.S. scholarships.
Senator Kennedy arranged for the Joseph P. Kennedy, Jr., Foundation, established in the memory of his brother who was killed in World War II, to finance the airlift when other foundations were not prepared to do so. In order to keep this project out of politics, it was provided that no public announcement be made of the grant.


http://www.jfklink.com/speeches/jfk/misc60/jfk010860_africangrant.html

former law student said...

For those still worrying about the timeline, note that Obama's Selma speech alludes to the Montgomery Ala bus boycott of 1955-1956, long before his parents met.

vbspurs said...

FLS, did you read the Malkin link?

I'm willing to believe in metonyms for the Selma reference, which BTW, here is his Selma speech in its entirety.

But how about the other stuff?

When does this:

Last May, he claimed that tornadoes in Kansas killed a whopping 10,000 people: “In case you missed it, this week, there was a tragedy in Kansas. Ten thousand people died — an entire town destroyed.” The actual death toll: 12.

And the 57 states, etc. etc. get a real going over by media as factual errors?

When do they become (a) gaffes made because he's tired, he misremembered the magazine title, he was using allegory, into (b) something more troubling?

We're not even at (a) yet, because media give him a constant pass. I doubt we'll ever get to (b) without being called a racist.

Cheers,
Victoria

vbspurs said...

Pogo, in British English a "gaffer" is a boss or older guy.

More here. :)

TitusTheLookOfLove said...

God we hate Obama.

And we certainly don't need to bring up anything about Bush's speaking skills. They are exceptional and we will never mention it because it is not appropriate. Obama on the other hand- lets get him. He is evil and awful and his wife is awful and his kids are awful and he is elite and we are mad and absolutely hate him.

Now we feel much better abouts ourselves and know that the 80% of the country that don't approve of George W Bush are unpatriotic, liberal traitors.

TitusTheLookOfLove said...

But we don't have any kind of Derangement Syndrome-just thoughtfully analyzing the commie.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

"Why would you expect a Presidential candidate to know this level of detail? Is the cleanup controversial? Is it not being executed per plan? How much do you know about the Southeast's Savannah River site and its environmental problems? Or Oak Ridge, Tennessee?"


I would expect a Presidential candidate to be at least bright enough to hire campaign staffers who would research these types of things, so that when he/she went out on the stump in a particular area he/she would be able to address or at least be aware of issues that are of major importance to the people in that particular area. (whew...long sentence)

The fact that Obama says such stupid things (Whole Foods stores and arugula) and seems completely ignorant of what is a major issue doesn't speak well of either his campaign staff or his own abilities to be prepared. It's one thing to be a clueless academic with your head in the clouds and another to be a clueless CEO of the most important country in the world.

a psychiatrist who learned from veterans said...

God we hate Obama.

Some love him and some don't. Can we compromise and let him win American Idol?

Dust Bunny Queen said...

"He is evil and awful and his wife is awful and his kids are awful and he is elite and we are mad and absolutely hate him."

Oh,I don't know. His kids might be pretty nice. However, it's hard to say since they did spend their entire lives listening to hate speech every Sunday. Difficult to overcome that.

Zachary Paul Sire said...

I'll take Obama's gaffes about magazine stories from 40 years ago over McCain's repeated current foreign policy "gaffes" (a.k.a. sincere cluelessness) about Iran, Al Qaeda, Sunnis. Shiites, etc.etc.etc.

former law student said...

But how about the other stuff?

Having grown up with Mayor Daley's malapropisms, ("The police are not here to create disorder. The police are here to preserve disorder.") ordinary misstatements don't bother me.

The statement that did bother me was Obama told a Portland crowd over the weekend that Iran doesn’t “pose a serious threat to us” — cluelessly arguing that “tiny countries” with small defense budgets can’t do us harm — and then promptly flip-flopped the next day, claiming, “I’ve made it clear for years that the threat from Iran is grave.” so I checked it out.

I had a hard time finding the first quote because Malkin made a gaffe of her own -- Obama delivered this speech in Pendleton, not Portland. (Where are her fact checkers? Oh well, to err is human..) Obama said that his proposal to speak to the head of Iran was well within established precedent because Kennedy spoke to Khrushchev, and at that time the Soviet Union was much, much, MUCH, more of a threat to the US than Iran is to us now.

Which is true. At that time we had atomic bomb drills at school every day. My dad read and reread a pamphlet on how to dig a fallout shelter in the back yard. My mom's best friend had just moved to a new house across a meadow from a Nike missile base, waiting for waves of Soviet bombers to fly overhead. Along with bombers armed with nuclear payloads, the Soviets had ICBMs pointed at us, and us with no practical means of stopping them. The threat was real; Khrushchev had said to America, "We will bury you." Mutual Assured Destruction would lead to Global Thermonuclear war and the destruction of all life on our planet.

Now, compared to that, what the hell could the Iranians do to us?

Seven Machos said...

Conservative has a trend of saying things wrong (e.g., Eisenhower, Reagan, Quayle, W., etc., etc.): doddering old man! simpleton! moron! drooling moron!

Liberal has a trend of saying something wrong: a lovable slip of the tongue

That about right, Summer Anne. By the way, I'm still waiting for you to explain to me how poor, obese Americans need massive amounts of federal aid.

former law student said...

whoops, not every day.

about as often as we had fire drills.

Seven Machos said...

McCain confuses Shiites and Sunnis: sincere cluelessness!

Obama thinks they speak Arabic in Afghanistan: Brilliant! Truly, we are not worthy!

Right, Zach?

Zach?

Maguro said...

Kennedy spoke to Khrushchev, and at that time the Soviet Union was much, much, MUCH, more of a threat to the US than Iran is to us now.

Would you consider the Vienna summit an example of successful American diplomacy? As I recall, Kruschev left Vienna with the impression that JFK was a weakling which encouraged him to place missiles in Cuba, very nearly causing WWIII.

Seven Machos said...

Iran and America are similar in that all they really need are a good talking to.

Put away your stupid religion, the both of you, and your weapons. Iran, you stop trying to expand your regional power and acting in what you perceive as your national interest. America, eat less, travel less, and goddammit turn of Guitar Hero and crack your books.

vbspurs said...

To those who are saying that it's okay for some that Bush makes blunders and we'll forgive him but let's roast Obama on a spit for harmless mistakes, I call bullcrap.

A) Everyone makes fun of Bushisms. Lefties, most if not all Conservatives, me, my momma, probably his momma too.

B) We all know Bush isn't the American Einstein.

C) But we're given to understand that Obama is a Columbia/Harvard grad who did so on his own intellectual merits.

1- Furthermore, he's an orator.
2- Furthermore, he's a writer.
3- Furthermore, he's thinker.

The reason why these gaffes are so puzzling is that they are not expected of him, unlike Bush.

We're just happy Bush can string to coherent sentences together without a slip-up. And what a red-letter day that was.

But Obama?

Oh no, babies. You're going to have to find a better reason than just "lovable slips of the tongue", as Seven Machos noted.

That is, if you even acknowledge their existence. That's the whole point of Malkin's article.

Cheers,
Victoria

Cyrus Pinkerton said...

Summer Anne wrote:

& for the record on the Quayle quotes -- two of the ones of Cyrus's list are fake... the rest are real.

Thank you for the correction. Of the nine examples (quotes) I cited, two of them do appear to be improperly attributed to Quayle. It was sloppy to include them in the list. My apologies.

However, the point I was making stands. Seven of the examples are properly attributed to Quayle. If you check the snopes entry that Summer Anne cites, you will find a further 15 examples of Quayle gaffes. In terms of the density of idiocy, this Quayle jewel is hard to beat:

"Mars is essentially in the same orbit [as earth]....Mars is somewhat the same distance from the Sun, which is very important. We have seen pictures where there are canals, we believe, and water. If there is water, that means there is oxygen. If oxygen, that means we can breathe."

By the way, John McCain approved of the selection of Dan Quayle to be Poppy Bush's running mate, again showing his wonderful judgment with this statement:

"I can't believe a guy that handsome wouldn't have some impact."

former law student said...

Would you consider the Vienna summit an example of successful American diplomacy?

His association with the failed Bay of Pigs invasion had already persuaded Khrushchev that JFK was a pretty-boy weakling, and the Vienna summit made it clear that JFK lacked political support. Thus he looked like easy pickings to the tough Khrushchev.

Hopefully Obama will not begin his Presidency by trying to execute a poorly-planned invasion -- that always seems to trip Presidents up. But, unlike the unfortunate JFK, Obama will have Democratic majorities in both the House and the Senate.

Cyrus Pinkerton said...

Seven Machos wrote:

I do find it interesting that you have fallen for the hoax that Dan Quayle said those things he did not say. Perhaps you need to shine up your bullshit detector.

See my comment above. I was incorrect about 2 of the 9 quotes attributed to Quayle. However, 7 were correctly attributed to him. Perhaps you would care to explain why you believe those seven correctly attributed quotes represent a "hoax?"

Cheers.

ricpic said...

Obama doesn't make gaffes. You see, he's black. Black people don't make gaffes. If you think they do (or if you're from Ohio, West Virginia, Pennsylvania or Kentucky) you are a racist.

Amazing that our own Enforcer, our own Nurse Ratchet, the half-man half-woman Victor/Victoria, hasn't called you on this one yet, Richard. Why you've had the nerve, the audacity, the unmitigated chutzpah to hold blacks to the same standards as whites, you racist, you.

Really Vicky, awfully lax of you not to go after Richard in that patented jackboot manner we've all come to expect from our own in-house enforcer of the one and only correct position; especially when it comes to a matter as central to our definition as the paying of proper respect to blacks - regardless of their words or deeds - at all times.

Expecting much greater vigilance from you in future, Vicky.

Cheers,
ricpic

Cyrus Pinkerton said...

stever,

Good luck tomorrow. Unfortunately, no amount of "system cleansing" will help in your case; you're always full of it.

Seven Machos said...

Cyrus -- Well, you've certainly gone to great lengths to convince us that an unpopular politician from the late 1980s wasn't super-bright.

What will you do for an encore? Will you now demonstrate that the earth rotates around the sun? Will you prove that Daryl Hall was more creative than John Oates.

We're all waiting with bated breath over here.

Seven Machos said...

1. You said Dan Quayle said things he did not say.

2. Dan Quayle did not say those things.

3. You said Dan Quayle said them.

4. I'm the bad guy.

5. Alrighty then.

Seven Machos said...

Ricpic -- If it's really true that you said that you wouldn't vote for a black person simply because the person is black, you have no standing here or anywhere where decent people argue.

If you didn't say that, you really ought to stridently defend yourself from such a terrible libel. Victoria's distaste for you is the least of your worries.

Cyrus Pinkerton said...

hoosier daddy wrote:

No just whats good for the goose is good for the gander. We've seen eight years of dumb Bush comments made into books and calendars yet intelligent Obama should get a pass for 57 states or saying Arkansas is nearer to Kentucky than Illinois.

You're right, we've seen eight years of people creating long lists of stupid Bush remarks. We've also seen eight years of many rightwingers telling us that these "gaffes" don't matter.

That's the problem, Hoosier. I was perfectly willing to accept the claim that "bloopers" don't matter to rightwing voters. I don't agree with it entirely, but I accepted it as a firmly held position by many Bush supporters.

Unfortunately, partisan hacks don't operate on "principle," and as Malkin's column indicates and some of the comments here confirm, partisan hacks aren't particularly concerned about putting their hypocrisy on full display. That's why I made the comment I did. As long as these folks are happy to put their hypocrisy on record, I'm happy to call them on it.

Maguro said...

But, unlike the unfortunate JFK, Obama will have Democratic majorities in both the House and the Senate.

You're wrong about that. The Dems had huge majorities in both houses in 1961.

Anyway, can you explain why you are you so sure that Achminejad won't size up Obama and decide he's a pretty-boy weakling? The very act of the US asking Iran for a summit implies weakness. Why wouldn't Iran decide to test him a bit, just like the Russians did with JFK?

Zachary Paul Sire said...

Right!

Check your facts (as usual) Seven: Obama never said Afghanis speak Arabic. The point was being made about a lack of translators in general, but hey, whatever you need to do to make your point.

Oh, and don't forget there are Farsi translators in Iraq, who could be better used in Afghanistan (where Farsi is spoken).

And oh, never mind the fact that there are tons of foreign fighters in Afghanistan who, gasp, speak Arabic!

P.S. Michelle Malkin is such a great, reliable, factual resource, isn't she?

Cyrus Pinkerton said...

Fen wrote:

Ann, FWIW, Quayle was reading off the spelling cue cards the teacher had provided. Some of the cards had words deliberately mispelled on them, to test the kids. The teacher failed to mention this to Qualye.

I'll bet I could catch you in the same gaffe.


You can't seriously expect us to believe that Professor Althouse doesn't know how to spell potato.

Seven Machos said...

Cyrus -- I have experienced seeing Bush speak three times in person -- twice delivering a prepared text and once extemporaneously. All three incidents were cringe-worthy.

Let's say it again, one more time, so maybe you can understand it, but pay attention, because we are kind of getting sick and tired of saying it: Bush is an awful speaker and it'd be better if was a better speaker.

For you to sit here and suggest that it's okay for your candidate to sound stupid because the last guy was stupid (while dredging up dumb-ass quotes by Dan Quayle, some of which were even uttered) -- that's simply disingenuous. We are arguing substance here, not for clever style points. It's not a high school debate.

Please rise to the challenge.

Seven Machos said...

Try this thought experiment, Zach.

George W. Bush says, in his twangy twang: What we need in Afghanistan is Arabic speakers. And he pounds the lectern for emphasis.

Your response?

former law student said...

That is, if you even acknowledge their existence.

I'm happy to acknowledge that 12, and not 10,000 people were killed by tornadoes in Kansas.

Heinz has 57 varieties; the US has 50 states, not including delegate-selecting bodies such as the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, American Samoa, the Virgin Islands, Guam, and the Democrats Abroad. Well, heckfire, that adds up to 56, doesn't it. Obama was off by one.

No matter how much time you spend in Iowa, the city in SD is Sioux Falls, not Sioux City, even if you're biting your tongue not to say it.

The Little Egypt section of Illinois does indeed touch Kentucky. However, Kentucky and Arkansas have many regional ties that they do not share with Illinois. As for most states below the Mason-Dixon line, both Kentucky and Arkansas were slave states, while Illinois law prohibited slavery. Both Kentucky and Arkansas are in the Southern Educational Conference of the NCAA.

Further, Afghanis have their own non-Arabic languages. Obama drew a blank when the Hanford nuclear weapons plant was mentioned, and he forgot the name of a magazine he read an article in when he was a kid.

Seven Machos said...

Southern Educational Conference

Too funny, Einstein.

Trooper York said...

Also please rise to the challenge of letting me know your home team so I can prepare some jokes. You are certainly a knowledgeable baseball fan with some cogent arguments. Wrongheaded but respectable positions that need to be changed by the gentle suasion of my feeble wit

Cyrus Pinkerton said...

Trooper York,

I'm a Twins fan. In my lifetime they've won 2 World Series (compared to 4 won by the Yankees). Considering that for much of this time the Yankees typically outspent the small market Twins by a factor of four or five, the Twins have done fairly well.

I should add that the owner of the Twins is despicable. He's not quite as bad as Steinbrenner (he's not a convicted felon, for example), but he's very, very close. Any man who supports the contraction of his own team shouldn't be allowed to be an owner.

It must be tough being a billionaire nowadays.

Trooper York said...

Well that's great Cyrus. I have a lot of respect for the Twins. I remember when I was a kid they had great teams with guys like Tony Oliva and Harmon Killebrew. Did you see that Lyman Bostock referance I threw in there a while ago? The Twins do great with drafting players and building a team. But what they don't have is an owner who is willing to spend the money that you need to compete in the real world. Hunter and Santana should still be Twins. It's just that the owners are cheap and won't put the money back into the team. You can't let your home grown guys leave and not maintain your traditions. But I am glad that you root for such a great franchise.

Now for some Rod Carew jokes.

former law student said...

You're wrong about that. The Dems had huge majorities in both houses in 1961.

OK, unlike JFK, Obama will have liberal majorities in both the House and Senate. By voting in step with the Republicans, JFK's Southern Democratic Congressmen were more of a hindrance than a help.

Anyway, can you explain why you are you so sure that Achminejad won't size up Obama and decide he's a pretty-boy weakling?

Ahmadinejad is not the world's cleverest man; I think Obama can handle him.

The very act of the US asking Iran for a summit implies weakness.

Oh, I don't think so. Whenever my mother told me, "We need to talk. Now." she was never operating from a position of weakness.

PrestoPundit said...

Reply to "former law student" (and Obama suck up):

I don't know about Hillary, but McCain was asked about Hanford -- predictably -- and he did know what he was talking about and he did address the serious environmental and funding issues involved.

There is no getting the fact that for folks in the PNW, it was the amateur hour from Obama on this one.

Seven Machos said...

Ahmadinejad is not the world's cleverest man; I think Obama can handle him.

Obama, on the other hand, is the world's cleverest man. Just listen to him hold forth on matters of geography, for example.

Whenever my mother told me, "We need to talk. Now." she was never operating from a position of weakness.

A more apt analogy of left-liberalism there never was. Government as whiny, bitchy mother who heroically manages your health care and tells you to eat less, travel less, and stop playing video games.

Cyrus Pinkerton said...

Seven Machos wrote:

For you to sit here and suggest that it's okay for your candidate to sound stupid because the last guy was stupid (while dredging up dumb-ass quotes by Dan Quayle, some of which were even uttered) -- that's simply disingenuous. We are arguing substance here, not for clever style points.

As often happens, you've missed the point of my original comment. And as often happens in response, I have to explain it to you again.

Seven Machos, the subject of Dan Quayle and his gaffes was raised first by Malkin, and then by Althouse. They both wrongly imply that Quayle's reputation as an intellectual lightweight is based on the "potatoe" incident. I've provided a number of Quayle gaffes that show otherwise. If you like, you can research the topic further, and you will find, for example, that Quayle's Ig Nobel Prize was not based on his close study of the "potatoe."

I hope you understand the original point now. However, in the meantime, you've made a series of additional ignorant comments. For example, you assume that I'm a supporter of Obama. That assumption is incorrect. You also assume that I'm generally defending Obama's "gaffes." Again, you are incorrect. You also assume that I'm attacking Bush in general for his gaffes. Again, you are incorrect. To be fair, the stupid things that Bush has done in the last eight years are far more significant to me than the often stupid and sometimes silly things that he's said.

In summary, you need to pay closer attention to my line of argument if you are going to understand it. Also, you ought to stop crippling your comments with incorrect assumptions and logical errors if you hope to make a coherent argument.

Now, I've admitted that I was in error in incorrectly attributing two of the listed nine quotes to Quayle. Seven of the quotes were correctly attributed. For some reason, you believe that these seven correctly attributed quotes constitute a "hoax." I'd love to hear the reasoning that leads you to this conclusion. Please share it with us if you can.

Seven Machos said...

Furthermore, what's Iran going to do when we command them to speak to us? They're going to tell us to fuck right off, that's what.

How are those talks with North Korea proceeding? What's that? Not sure? Don't follow it much?

They'll go more smoothly when Obama is in charge. Everything will. And you'll eat your cauliflower; and help out your community in positive, approved ways; and you'll put away those dastardly video games.

Seven Machos said...

Cyrus -- You have proven that a minor politician from 20 years ago is dumb. Again and again and again and again. I commend you for that.

You have also shown us "righwingers" are stupid, as opposed to conservatives, about whom you express no opinion as I recall.

And you aren't voting for Obama. Got it. Check. You betcha.

Cyrus Pinkerton said...

Trooper York,

I remember seeing the Bostock reference. Again, he was before my time, but I've seen video of him playing and I know about his tragically short career.

Hey Trooper, what is it with the Yankees and second basemen with Steve Blass Disease? Steve Sax, Chuck Knoblauch ... Do you find it as amusing as I do?

Cyrus Pinkerton said...

Seven Machos,

I haven't decided for whom I will vote. I'll let you know closer to the election.

Seven Machos said...

Certainly, we are waiting with bated breath. Whoever will it be?

Trooper York said...

Well that problem is a lot more common than you might think. The Yankees actually have had a lot of great second basemen through the years. Bobby Richardson. Horace Clarke. Willie Randolph. Alfonso Soriano. Robbie Cano. Each emblematic of the times.

None of them could match your guy Rod Carew, who was a great hitter and a great guy. I wish he could have been a Yankee.

vbspurs said...

OMG. Is Harmon Killebrew going to be the one who brings us all together?

I used to "play as him" as a kid when I had a Sega Genesis baseball game, in the Homerun Derby.

He'll bring Harmon-y to Althouse!

Cheers,
Victoria

The Exalted said...

I find the extended discussion of 5-9 year old Obama highly relevant and important to the nation's choice of its next leader.

Thank god we have investigative journalists devoted to this significant topic.

blake said...

We all try to edit our childhood memories to explain what wonderful people we are or gain forgiveness for what wonderful people we are not.

We do?

Ralph said...

An episode of the British "Cracker" series had a Black serial rapist (adopted by a white woman) who'd bathed in bleach as a boy to lighten his skin, leaving him scarred from the waist down. He would blindfold the women and be very nice to them, well, apart from the kidnapping and rape.

Maguro said...

By voting in step with the Republicans, JFK's Southern Democratic Congressmen were more of a hindrance than a help.

No idea what you're talking about. Congress had nothing to do with the Bay of Pigs or the Missile Crisis. Or are mean old Republicans automatically responsible for every US fuck-up?

Oh, I don't think so. Whenever my mother told me, "We need to talk. Now." she was never operating from a position of weakness.

Brilliant analogy. Don't tell me, are you on Obama's foreign policy team?

Hoosier Daddy said...

You're right, we've seen eight years of people creating long lists of stupid Bush remarks. We've also seen eight years of many rightwingers telling us that these "gaffes" don't matter.

Probably because they don't. That's the point. Bush nor anyone who supports him claim that he's a Mensa candidate. In fact, I hear more from the left that his horrible speaking skills are a testament to him holding the prize as the stupidest man on the face of the earth. Fine, whatever. Then I hear about how intelligent Obama is and his oratorical skills are second to none yet he comes off with gaffes that make Bush look like Copernicus.

I don't think many commenters think Obama's gaffes matter either only to the extent that he evidently is just as dumb as Bush. Using the liberal measuring stick of course.

Trooper York said...

I think we could do a lot better if we took our presidential candidates from the world of baseball instead of the idiots (lawyers) that form our current talent pool. Joe Torre or Frank Robinson or Jim Leyland or Terry Francona would be much better choices to manage our country. They know about winning and losing and coming back from adversity. They have handled tough personalities like David Wells, Manny Ramirez and Jim Morris. They can make decisions and delegate authority. They have honor and integrity. There are plenty of people in many walks of life who would be much better for us all than the three stooges currently running. It’s a sin and a shame that they can’t be the ones we are voting for.

Cal Ripken Jr. for President. (Even if he is a freakin’ Oriole)

At least he would show up every day.

vbspurs said...

Tangential threajack, Ralph:

The famous Bollywood actor, Sharukh Khan, is a spokesman for a skin lightening cream -- "Fair and Handsome".

"The World's #1 Fairness Cream For Men"

Fairness cream...can you imagine? Metrosexuality meets Racialism.

The television advert, seen here on Youtube, caused a lot of embarrassment to some who saw it.

It makes people uncomfortable to imagine there are still folks out there that haven't gotten the message that black (or dark) is beautiful.

BTW, this wouldn't have been an issue in India, where it's accepted that darker people are not seen as handsome, successful, etc. than lighter ones, thus you need these ointments to get you there.

What made it controversial, was that the ad on an Indian channel on Dish Network was beamed to the US. And Indian guys all over America went in search of the cream.

This topic, which makes me cringe because I too feel badly people think this way, is commonly spoken of on African forums.

Here is one such discussion.

"Last week I was supposed to hitch a ride with a friend's boyfrend and I asked if I could bring a friend along. And when the dude saw how dark-skinned she was, he was like "hope that 'black one' isn't your friend because there's no room for her". I was so put off by what he said. I gave him a piece of my mind and got out of the car. I saw him as one of dose feeble minded few who don't know better. What did he mean by "that black one"? The last time I checked we were all black."

On that level, I feel for Barack. It must've been a real eye-opener, not to mention very traumatic.

Cheers,
Victoria

Revenant said...

Oh, I don't think so. Whenever my mother told me, "We need to talk. Now." she was never operating from a position of weakness.

She also wasn't interested in a "dialogue". She was saying that SHE needed to talk, and YOU needed to listen.

I.e., she was practicing Bush diplomacy.

Trooper York said...

I think the most interesting thing we found out today is that Victoria looks like Harmon Killibrew.

vbspurs said...

Killer, not Victoria, please.

Trooper York said...

Personally, I am a dead ringer for David Wells. Got me into Butter once.

vbspurs said...

Got me into Butter once.

So did Marlon Brando.

Seven Machos said...

I am a sexier Michelle Meyrink.

Trooper York said...

No, he used butter to get into the Tunnel.

vbspurs said...

I am a sexier Michelle Meyrink.

Ooh, didn't know who that was, so I Wiki'ed.

Very sexy. I love a man in a pageboy.

Well, it's been lovely to bandinage, but I must dine. Catch you guys on the AI thread!

(At last, I'm breaking down and watching the Final).

Cheers,
Victoria

Donna B. said...

This whole thread and Obama's vagueness in general reminded me of a couple of posts Ann wrote about John Kerry:

http://althouse.blogspot.com/2004/08/cipher-who-went-to-vietnam.html

http://althouse.blogspot.com/2004/09/how-kerry-lost-me.html

Here's the quote I remembered:

"[M]y questions about Kerry's intelligence do not arise solely from my inference that he had a poor academic record and low standardized test scores. My questions are also based on his exasperatingly convoluted and unclear manner of speaking. This has been excused as a propensity for "nuance" and "complexity," but could also be caused by a lack of mental capacity. It could also be willful evasion. I'd really like to know. ... I've been listening to him talk for a long, long time, and I'm not impressed at all. And I'm sure not impressed by the mere fact of someone managing to hold a Senate seat for a long time!"

Other than Obama has held a Senate seat for a short time, that fairly sums up the way Obama sounds to me.

Hoosier Daddy said...

I think we could do a lot better if we took our presidential candidates from the world of baseball

Trooper would you think less of me if I said baseball is like watching paint dry? I mean is there any other sport other than golf where you really don't have to be in shape to play? I mean other than the catcher who is gonna blow his knees, the rest of them have a paunch like I do after a weekend bender of Guinness and Imperial Stout.

And they fight like pussies. If the pitcher beans me with the ball, I'm not going to run and bitch slap him like Titus would. No, I'm taking that baseball bat and going DeNiro all over his sorry ass.

Thank God for hockey. Last manly sport left for middle sized white guys.

Hoosier Daddy said...

Got me into Butter once.

So did Marlon Brando.


Wow. That was good.

You owe me a beer and a new keyboard.

Hoosier Daddy said...

Furthermore, what's Iran going to do when we command them to speak to us? They're going to tell us to fuck right off, that's what.

Well of course. They've been doing it to the Europeans for going on 4 years now and they certainly aren't worse for the wear.

They certainly did it to the Brits when they kidnapped their sailors and gave them all matching leisure suits like Armageddonjad. Except for the female. She got the complimentary and mandatory hjiab.

Trooper York said...

No worries Hooiser. If you like hockey that's fine with me. Just be aware that only President we ever had with no teeth was George Washington.

I had many an argument with dicks from Long Island who tried to tell me why hockey was so superior to basketball. They just liked it because there wasn't any black guys. (But I know that's not you, cause I know you have to be a college b-ball fan)

And I must admit that no one is tougher then a guy who when he gets in a fight just tries to pull the shirt up over the other guys head. That's manly.

And the sport with guys with big guts: Bowling.

Trooper York said...

As a side note, I am doing a lot of advertising with a woman's roller derby team. They can kick the shit out of any hockey team, no questions asked.

And they clean up real nice.

Plus no teeth can be a bonus in a hetero-norm way if ya know what I mean there killer.

Synova said...

It could have been a local magazine of some sort, too.

I know that when I was in the Philippines 18 years ago the local television had skin lightener ads on all the time. Yes, I realize that Indonesia isn't the PI, but I'd be surprised if it didn't have that in common.

The thing is... it's not necessarily racial. It's a class thing. A friend of mine wanted to get a domestic job in Kuwait (I hope she didn't!) and said you never got to go outside so when you came home your skin would be nice and white. Anyone from SE Asia who works outside might start out brown but they end up black. Having light skin means you are probably wealthy and work indoors.

Randy (Internet Ronin) said...

I was a charter subscriber to the Quayle Quarterly, which began publication long before the infamous potato episode. Highly entertainng.

Balfegor Your posts hit home, I think. The first about Indonesia and the one that ended we're not seeing a man who is in command of the details of the policies that are supposedly his.

Obama's responses in the much-derided final ABC debate about capital gains were appalling.

As for the supposed language barrier, children are remarkably capable at picking up languages, Obama was at a good age to do so, and Indonesian is reputed to be one of the easiest languages in the world to learn. What a child thinks constitutes fluency may not equal what adults consider fluent, but I can understand how, in his memory, he was that.

vbspurs said...

Having light skin means you are probably wealthy and work indoors.

I've heard many arguments throughout the years for what it is.

In Egypt, this Egyptian statue dating from 2600 BC, shows Pharaoh Rahotep and his wife, Nofret.

You can see that he is much darker than his Consort.

The thing is, that statue is not unique. All males were portrayed as significantly darker than their female counterparts.

Is this what they favoured?

Darker males who preferred light-toned females, probably in an effort to "lighten" his own offspring?

We don't know.

In India itself, the overriding view about this need to lighten themselves is that it was a colonial holdover from the racist British administrators.

But India has always been a caste-ridden society. The lighter castes are much better regarded than the swarthier Southern Indians. The untouchables of India are almost all very dark. That happened many hundreds of years before the British arrived.

So whatever the truth is, whether it's a racial component from within or just a human desire to be different (fairer being rarer, therefore sometimes more covetable), it exists and isn't as easy to define than just class-consciousness.

Cheers,
Victoria

Ralph said...

It's a class thing
In northern Europe, tans on "ladies" were unfashionable until the 1920's, when they showed you could afford to vacation in the Mediterranean. See also, foot-binding, high heels, long nails.

SteveR said...

Hey Cyrus, I may be full of it, but unlike you, I'm not passing it off as intelligence. Thanks for the best wishes (really).

vbspurs said...

In northern Europe, tans on "ladies" were unfashionable until the 1920's

That's exactly right.

But that doesn't explain why women like Good Queen Bess used a face potion with corrosive alum and arsenic paste, in an effort to make her face whiter.

There was no need for her or her ladies-in-waiting to make sure everyone knew they didn't work in the fields.

Racism as a theory is a 19th century invention. But we humans have noticed skin tone differences since word go.

And for some reason it seems, almost across all cultures, lighter is preferrable.

Fen said...

Don't tell me, are you on Obama's foreign policy team?

Quick, ask him if he thinks reports of Syria's nuclear reactor were "nonsense"

Cyrus Pinkerton said...

Hey Trooper,

I played basketball with David Wells at the OB gym when I was a kid. He was surprisingly quick considering his bulk. In terms of rebounding, he wasn't a great leaper, but he took up a ton of room under the basket.

Cyrus Pinkerton said...

Hoosier Daddy wrote:

Then I hear about how intelligent Obama is and his oratorical skills are second to none yet he comes off with gaffes that make Bush look like Copernicus.

You're truly delusional, Hoosier. If I were to compile all of the stupid things said by every presidential candidate in my lifetime and assign them to Obama, it still wouldn't make Bush look like Copernicus. Sadly Bush would still look a lot more like Cletus Del Roy Spuckler than Copernicus.

Thanks for sharing your goofy ideas with us though.

Hoosier Daddy said...

Thanks for sharing your goofy ideas with us though.

You're welcome. Just trying to reciprocate.

Hoosier Daddy said...

They just liked it because there wasn't any black guys. (But I know that's not you, cause I know you have to be a college b-ball fan)

I'm a college football nut. Basketball doesn't interest me unless I'm in a pickup game although I do go to Pacers games if given the chance. Lot of real hot chicks there and its close to my favorite pub.

Trooper York said...

Cyrus, that is exactly my game. Except that I developed a wicked hook shot from watching Phil Jackson when he was a Knick. And the last two handed set shot to be seen on the schoolyards of Brooklyn. Of course that didn't help me when Bernard King scored 86 points off me in a game on Shore Road, and it was only a game to 21. Go figure.

Cyrus Pinkerton said...

stever wrote:

I may be full of it, but ... I'm not passing it off as intelligence.

So true.

SteveR said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
SteveR said...

Don't forget the "unlike you"

Fen said...

Yah, Cyrus is pulling a Dowd. How dishonest. The actual quote is:

I may be full of it, but unlike you, I'm not passing it off as intelligence.

But thats fine. Cyrus is now open game for any mischevious Dowdist. Enjoy!