TPOJ comments

Posted in: Pregnant junior high school teacher harassed by students’ 'Miscarriage Club' See in context

The only people with any spine whatsoever in this country are bullies.

Seriously. How bad does it have to get?

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Posted in: Horie says legal system unfairly crucifies rich and famous See in context

He should have been rather more specific - the system here crucifies those rich and famous who refuse to play by the "rules" of 'normal' corporate malfeasance in Japan. He didn't buy off the right politicians and civil servants.

Exactly. The guy's a criminal, and I don't feel bad for him, but the reason he went to jail wasn't because he was a criminal. He went to jail because he was a different type of criminal.

The right thing to do isn't to let him off the hook, but go after the similarly corrupt, but more "Japanese" criminals with the same enthusiasm.

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Posted in: Man arrested for attempted murder after pushing woman off platform at Tokyo station See in context

There are many people who started lower in life than most Japanese and still rise to the top.

Not in Japan, they didn't.

Not defending this nutjob, but failure works a bit differently over here. The whole "bootstrapping" thing is a good idea (if occasionally questionable) in cultures that embrace it, but here?

This guy was hosed. Doesn't come within light years of justifying what he did, but yeah, he was screwed in a very material way.

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Posted in: Reading, writing, math and English conversation are important. Note I said English conversation, not English. See in context

My God, he said something logical.

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Posted in: Obama abandons term 'enemy combatant' See in context

Change!

Yes! Yes, Sarge! Every single molecule must be different, or else the word "change" is ironic!

There's a reason you're not taken seriously, and it had very little to do with the left.

We already had rules to deal with this situation, and they were openly perverted. Removing the term "enemy combatant" is a tiny step, but a psychologically significant one. Why else would Bush and Co. have come up with the new term in the first place?

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Posted in: While education is the key to breaking the cycle of poverty, children who have lost parents have given up hopes of advancing to higher education, including college See in context

Seems like you and I aren't gonna agree on what the definition of 'free' is either.

As in, costing no money.

Yes, I know, taxes etc. Nothing is "free." We get it. Those free tissues you get on the street? They cost money somewhere.

I get your "point," but it might benefit you to make said point in a way that doesn't make you look stupid.

Convince me why I should pay for your university tuition instead of you payin' for it yourself.

This was already addressed in the post you were responding to. But I'll play along anyway.

Convince me why we should pay for any education instead of you paying for it yourself.

Of course, there's that whole "improving society" thing, but hey, why should you have to pay anything? Your glorious opinions should be enough.

"Yeah, we could do this and it might help. But I need more money for beer and hentai porn."

Societies don't run on sunshine and lollipops. Yes, there's a lot of BS government spending, yes, I know there are people who are getting an unjustifiable free ride. If you genuinely believe that higher education for the general population has no worth to society, well, I honestly don't know if your "values" are grounded enough to justify the time necessary to debate with you.

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Posted in: Obama reverses Bush stem cell restrictions See in context

And the swooning media spins this as some kind of a great liberation from a prohibition, which wasnt there in the first place.

Not real big on reading the thread, are you?

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Posted in: Obama reverses Bush stem cell restrictions See in context

Neither GWB´s ban on using government funds for this research nor Obamas decision to use government funds for this research has anyting to do with anyone "preventin your choice of medical treatmen". That is a strawman.

Not exactly. The word "ban" is, admittedly, somewhat misused (although there was indeed a ban on government spending,) but removing a huge chunk of financing on something this important, all to satisfy a thoroughly illogical and short sighted "ethical" code, does most definitely have an effect.

All that Obama has done is take money from the people who earn money and give it to research which many of the people he takes the money from find unethical. It is entirely reasonable to question this attitude.

Yes, but that reasonability needs to extend to the issue itself. It's reasonable to question it, but in doing so, there is the implied responsibility that the answer you get should be accepted or rejected based on rational thought, not a flurry of strawmen and spite. I have yet to see any rational argument against the government funding of stem cell research. I HAVE seen a bunch of "why should I pay for that," which could apply to literally thousands of other, infinitely less worthy recipients of funding.

"Many of the people he takes the money from find (it) unethical."

Fair enough. But if their explanation for finding it unethical is contemptible, arrogant, rich in bizarre misconceptions and completely lacking in intellectual integrity, "finding it" unethical isn't good enough.

The democratic process is intended to allow a society to guide itself, not to allow immature attitudes and embarrassingly bad logic to rule just because it finds a majority. There's nothing wrong with questioning the attitude you underlined above, but there's also nothing wrong with rejecting said questioning if it fails to show any legitimate worth. If there's genuine potential, and the arguments against it fail basic logic, reasoning that boils down to little more than "I don't like it" isn't good enough.

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Posted in: Obama reverses Bush stem cell restrictions See in context

Maybe English isn't your first language, but when you single out one side in a debate, it implies you don't think your points apply to the other side.

It has become liberal ideology to blow off ethical concerns due to their Utilitarian world view.

Yeah, like the Iraq war, Laissez Faire capitalism, and the death penalty. The "conservative" position on those is all about ethics. Utilitarianism doesn't enter into it at all.

Try this: Bush's ban on stem cell research was moronic, since the ethical concerns related to the fetuses in question have nothing to do with abortion. In fact, there really don't seem to be ANY ethical concerns addressed by his actions at all, outside of kowtowing to comically misinformed and/or stubbornly ignorant special interests.

Now: can you say that the "liberal's" position on stem cell research does the same? Does their position have no basis on ethical concerns, instead kowtowing to comically misinformed and/or stubbornly ignorant special interests? If so, you need to explain (1) who the hell these special interests are, (2) how their ideology would be furthered by using stem cell research, (3) what ethics they are ignoring in their support of it?

If you can't do that then you, Sir or Madam, are a windbag.

Hugs, TPOJ

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Posted in: The more Japanese come under attack by Westerners, the more implacable they become in defending their values and culture. See in context

Even if they don't really value it, or if it's not really an important part of their culture anymore.

This attitude of course isn't specific to Japan, but it is a lot more prevalent. Obviously, Americans (my "people") have blown a lot of hot air in that direction, but the culture at large at least has the common sense to be ashamed of it.

Ridiculous as it sounds, imagine if America tried to segregate again...sadly, a lot of people would probably get behind this. How much respect would people give its defenders if they said "racism is an American tradition, you can't judge us?"

Sorry for the ridiculous example, but that's part of the point. There is no feasible parallel, because, bad as we can be, we're ultimately part of the modern world. Hence, there's no feasible parallel to Japanese whaling because we, as a culture, don't tolerate that kind of behavior. We certainly have plenty of issues, yes, but we'll at least expect substantial reasons for the assorted positions. We don't simply say "we're American, so it's OK" as our countrymen comply by silence.

When America's got you beat in the emotional maturity department, you've got serious issues.

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Posted in: Amazon yanks Japanese rape simulation computer game See in context

TPOJ- I had u pegged after the first sentence. No reason to read your entire histrionics. An American who has fled to Japan in order to pursue certain (ahem) "interests". Unfortunately for you, there are other gaijin around reminding you of what is right and wrong. Like Rape porn.

Yep. You CLEARLY didn't read the rest.

Shortened for the lazy: reality and fantasy are not the same thing. No matter how disgusting you may find a fantasy, it is still a fantasy. If the potential reality bothers you that much, stop whining about video games and do something of substance about the ACTUAL problem, not what you think sounds like it could be an indicator in some cases.

Try to stop the reality. Stop wasting your time on the frivolous stuff.

I was unawares that only white Christians find rape an improper "game".

They aren't, and there's nothing in my post that suggests that. Nice try, but no.

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Posted in: Amazon yanks Japanese rape simulation computer game See in context

"Disturbing" does not mean "immoral."

I know this is going to be difficult for some people to swallow, but there are couples...consenting couples...who simulate rape as part of their sex lives. Not everybody had a white Christian upbringing (and many who did really get into the fantasy, but I digress.)

Do I find this personally nauseating? Yes. So what? When did our standards fall so low that adjectives became legitimate points in a discussion?

This. Is. A. Game.

I do not accept, on any level, this idiotic idea that we should ban games because it "encourages" violent behavior. Millions of people consume violent media, then go through their lives without so much as a bar fight. The others? The others are sick, and I'm not willing to screw up people's freedom of choice for the sake of an unproven theory just because these sick people might be encouraged to do something.

And while I'm guilty of Japan bashing from time to time, there is one thing I will NOT swallow, and that's this retarded idea that the country's full of rape fetishists who would like nothing better than to expose themselves to schoolgirls while reading tentacle porn. I'm an American, and I've spent some time (and worked) in less than savory places. Trust me...Japan is NOT a country of perverts, comparatively. The only difference is that there are so many busybodies in America that all the whining creates the illusion of piety.

Hand wringing over a video game...which is physically incapable of hurting anyone (unless you raped them with it, I guess...) is childish. It doesn't matter whether you like it or not. What matters is what matters...ACTUAL INCIDENTS. If the idea bothers you so much, then do something: volunteer at a rape crisis center, give money to a battered women's' cause, something.

Shouting WAHH I DON'T LIKE IT MAKE IT GO AWAY is not just infantile, it gives people a thoroughly indefensible feeling of self satisfaction. Modern society puts far too much emphasis on speech as action. Speech is, in 99% of real life, not action. How many people here are willing to do more than complain? Will you complain, then take action...LEGITIMATE action, against the GENUINE CRIME...if it bothers you so much?

Decrying this game does not make you a morally superior person, and it is not a noble pursuit. It merely allows you to feel like you've done something, when you've actually done nothing.

And before people start looking for excuses to tear me down, rape is a very hot button topic with me. I've spent more time than I care to think about helping friends get over actual rapes, which I dealt with by loaning money, offering a place to stay, calling police, offering a sympathetic ear. In one case, I was arrested for beating someone up in the middle of an attempted rape (the charges were dropped when she calmed down enough to explain what happened.)

A rape video game is just a game, although many who are unfortunate enough to have their lives affected by rape may be deeply offended. I get that, and my heart goes out to them. But life's tough, and I do think occasional offensiveness, no matter how deep it may be, is a small price to pay for freedom (yes, other people have freedoms, not just Americans.) If you're genuinely offended, get off your butt and do something about the actual problem, don't just whine then go back to your safe little world.

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Posted in: 83-yr-old man arrested for exposing himself to junior high school boys in Saitama See in context

Sekiguchi has admitted to the allegation and told police he considered it useful for the boys’ sex education.

I don't know what's worse: the flimsiness of the excuse, the stupidity of someone who thought it would work, or the thought that there might actually be people out there who consider this logical.

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Posted in: Police baffled by Y360 million that disappeared from backyard See in context

Uh, are we sure the money actually existed?

Guy was 83, and sounds like he wasn't the nicest person. "There were not many people at his funeral." As in, he most likely wasn't exactly flooded with social calls.

Hmm.

Some people just make stuff up as an excuse to talk to people. And reporting something like that would most likely take up a whole day...

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Posted in: J-pop industry taking the music out of music business See in context

Rants like this drive me ABSOLUTELY INSANE.

There is ALWAYS vapid music made by pretty people. There is no point in pop music history in which this has not been the case. Yes, even the time periods from which the above musicians were taken from...THIS IS NOT A NEW THING.

That in and of itself doesn't bother me. What bothers me is that these people complaining about a lack of "good" music (1) have clearly put absolutely no effort whatsoever into looking, and (2) judge the music purely by its image, while complaining about how "it's all image."

No. YOU only NOTICED the image, but the music is (often) not all image.

First thing that comes to mind: there's a song on the latest Kaela Kimura album called "No Reason Why" that is a perfect power pop song. Her last album had a couple as well. Power pop is a subgenre that has been going strong for about 40 years, often going underground but never disappearing. But since most power pop musicians aren't as cute as Kaela Kimura, they get ignored. Then we hear about how there's no good music.

Conclusion: people who complain about how there's no good music are REALLY complaining that there's no good music being made by people pretty enough to attract their attention...and even then, they're obviously not looking very closely.

Go here...

http://www.jrawk.com

A lot of it is avant garde, or relatively inaccessible, but there's also some stuff that is pretty commercial (sometimes even...gasp!...Jpop.)

It's not the world's job to figure everything out for you. Try being a little more curious.

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Posted in: Five-car pileup in Tokyo caused by 80-year-old driver See in context

Before knocking and stirring the pensioners you should remember they were the ones who provided all the money and built all the roads you are driving on. If they charged you for using them they would not need a pension.

1- The problem is safety. Are you suggesting that we should let them put us in danger out of respect?

2- This is Japan. Anything made of cement is torn up and replaced every six months or so. The roads they paid for haven't been in existence since the late 80s.

under 25 year olds cause the majority of accidents that is why their insurance costs are so high

For now. Look at birth statistics. Do you think that's going to hold?

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Posted in: Five-car pileup in Tokyo caused by 80-year-old driver See in context

Yesterday, biking through Kawaguchi, I had an awful time moving forward. It seemed that every fifteen feet was some retiree who had decided to stop cold in the middle of everything to reflect on...whatever.

It wasn't even that crowded.

I understand that you lose speed and agility as you get older. I also understand that your alertness goes down. That's normal: you, I and everyone else will most likely do the same thing when we're old.

But what's with placing yourself in the middle of traffic at every opportunity? One would think that living a full life would instill some basic habits that would simply be muscle memory: i.e. stick to one side in two way traffic, don't take your half out of the middle...

Apologies for the long windup, but my point is: the government is going to have to do SOMEthing to deal with this. I'm a big fan of the government staying the hell out of everything, but if it does have a purpose, it would be to deal with things like this. It's bad enough that the country's going to get screwed financially, but (and I only wish this were an exaggeration,) it's going to get physically dangerous.

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Posted in: High school boy commits suicide in Saitama park after argument with father See in context

I'd say a high percentage of the kids in this country wouldn't last two days in a western style upbringing where it is common place to find yourself involved in daily fracas with the 'so called' bullies. As for the kids father in this story, if he is going to work his socks of to provide for his son, I would expect him to pull his weight too.

Where is this "bottle" supposed to come from? Are these kids, raised in this society, just supposed to pull this confidence out of thin air? After (what can reasonably be presumed) 17 years of a reinforcing environment?

There are way too many parents who think parenting is keeping the kid clothed, fed, and lectured...and that they'll somehow learn everything else from osmosis. Giving the kid a lecture is a nice enough gesture, I guess, in terms of intent, but singularly useless. People, especially kids, learn by doing, not by absorbing lectures. I agree with the above poster in that the father should have enrolled him in kendo classes, or SOMEthing. Speech is not action, and instructions are not education.

Obviously not in todays society, where some youths expect everything to be handed to them on a silver spoon!!

If they do, it's because they were raised that way. Behavior doesn't just come out of thin air.

I see your point, but really, everything you said boils down to "why doesn't this problem just fix itself?" Or, perhaps less charitably, a formless complaint with no real point. Seriously, what do you propose, beyond some vague "make them tougher" agenda?

"Stop bad stuff! Start good stuff! THAT'LL fix everything!"

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Posted in: Obama calls executive bonuses 'shameful' See in context

Whether executives deserve bonuses depends on whether or not they meet the goals on which the bonuses are determined...I would agree with you that a good bonus system should take into account the overall prosperity of the company, but that begs the question of whether these were good bonus systems or not.

Well, that was the context in which I was discussing this. If you remove that context, the meaning changes considerably.

And if they weren't "good" bonus systems, that brings us back to square one: why are we rewarding poor performance?

Furthermore, any meaningful discussion of worthiness cannot proceed unless we know exactly what executives we are talking about, what they did to earn the bonuses and whether the bonus programs were soundly constructed or whether they were simply executive flim-flam.

I don't have specifics, but I don't think it's unreasonable to go by a simple rule of thumb: if your company falters to the point that the government has to bail you out, you have most likely not performed well. At ALL. I suppose it's possible there are bonus programs that say the bonus will be paid even when the company falls apart, but once again, that brings us back to square one.

You seem to be--to use your own words--taking this as a matter of right or wrong. I think it is a matter of right and wrong only in popular imagination--as in the expression, "That ain't right!".

Then this entire debate is worthless.

There's legality, and there's morality. We seem to be using two different ways of looking at this, and therefore are unlikely to come to any useful conclusion. I'm sure there are legal defenses for this...there always are. What's your point? Which are you fighting for, morally right, or technically correct?

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Posted in: Women in their 20s want to get married, live in a big apartment and become cute moms. See in context

If that's what they genuinely want, more power to 'em.

If some salaryman tries to squeeze his wife, girlfriend or daughter into that kind of mold when they don't want it, THEN get offended.

How about learn to converse at an adult level with other human beings? That could almost find you a husband.

Sometimes. Don't forget where this is.

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Posted in: Obama calls executive bonuses 'shameful' See in context

To simply say that earned bonuses should not be paid because the financial institutions received taxpayer money does not look good even on paper--especially when there were no strings attached to the taxpayer money.

That's not even close to what I'm saying. I'd also like to point out that your "no strings attached" point is built on law, not right and wrong.

The context of my comments, which is missing in your assertion, is that these bonuses can not have possibly been "earned" through "performance" if the CEO in question is running a failed company.

If you perform...if the company you run makes money...you receive a bonus. If you don't perform...if the company you run fails so badly the government has to come along and bail you out...you don't receive a bonus.

Why do people insist on obfuscating this screamingly obvious point? I'm not decrying a 50 million dollar bonus for the CEO of a wildly successful company. I am...and sorry to repeat myself, but I want to make sure that nothing extra is read into my point...simply stating that if a bonus is attached to performance, and the company doesn't perform, then you don't get the bonus. That's what "attached to" means.

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Posted in: Obama calls executive bonuses 'shameful' See in context

However, on an ongoing basis executives earn bonuses for performance and those bonus programs are often rather meticulously designed by big accounting firms or actuarial firms to incentivize productivity.

Which sounds logical, if it weren't for the current predicament. If people running failed companies receive bonuses, particularly ones of this size, then the programs couldn't have been THAT meticulous.

People are receiving bonuses...large ones...after failure. Your scenario looks good on paper, but in practice...well, we're still having this conversation.

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Posted in: Obama calls executive bonuses 'shameful' See in context

People qualify for bonuses on the basis of performance. That performance is defined in their contracts and bonuses are often a trade-off for salary.

In the lower ranks, yes. But look closer. As the positions and salaries get more stratospheric, a different element emerges. In Hollywood, for example, everyone naturally wants a hit. But who gets the HUGE money? The people who handle it. A producer can have a chain of flops, but if he's comfortable wrangling budgets, his esteem increases (ask Richard Rush, director of "The Stunt Man," about how little success matters when put up against CEO mentality.)

Look up Carly Fiorina, former CEO for HP. She unambiguously ran that company in the ground, and after getting shown the door (WAY too late,) she was given an absurd severance package, then (unsurprisingly) found herself on McCain's campaign team. Hell, how many bankruptcies did Bush oversee before being elected President?

Your assessment of money=performance might be accurate in the lower depths, but as you get higher, power, connections and ego gain much more influence. And frankly, defending the "worth" of CEOs that are in the process of getting handouts due to the FAILURE of their companies makes your argument a bizarre one indeed.

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Posted in: Gov't to encourage jobless to work the land See in context

So long as this is handled with a degree of dignity and smarts, it's a great idea.

In other words, it's going to fail incredibly.

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Posted in: Ask why: American states seek efficiency via Japanese way See in context

Just because the Japanese have a word for it doesn't make it the "Japanese way."

Do people really believe in "Japanese efficiency?" They haven't spent much time here, have they?

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Posted in: Cheney blames Congress for failing to help struggling automakers See in context

Biden has no class.

Wait wait wait...Sarge? Disapprove of a Democrat? Let me mark my calendar.

At this point, there are some people who will simply never stop or give up. Although appropriate, I'm not talking about Bin Laden. I'm talking about the "old" "Republicans," the people like Sarge who are infinitely more concerned about maintaining their personal sense of superiority than anything that might legitimately benefit America.

Cheney not only knows this, he's playing it for everything its worth. He knows that no matter what he does, his supporters will always...ALWAYS...find something else to talk about, usually a Democrat. Hey, look, there's Biden!

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Posted in: What bad manners annoy you the most in public places? See in context

People who stop cold the second their feet are inside the train. Yeah, genius, there are people behind you. Same goes for people standing near the doors in a crowded train, and stand firm at the stop, so everyone has to worm their way around them to get out. I feel like body checking these people (gah.)

Halitosis. I get that everyone's hygiene varies, but when when I can tell what your breath smells like for a few seconds AFTER you walk past me in my seat, that's just plain absurd. Halitosis is the Japanese version of America's morbid obesity: how does anyone let themselves GO like that?

People that camp out in toilet stalls. Guys, you're supposed to go in, do your business, clean up, and get out. If that process takes more than a few minutes, go see a doctor. I was in Ueno station a while ago, and went into the men's restroom. There was a line waiting for the stalls. I waited, no lie, 20 minutes, and not one stall out of SIX freed up. I finally gave up, went inside the gates, used one of the restrooms in the station proper, then apologized to the guy at the ticket office and had him reset my Suica.

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Posted in: Physics requires the ability to think creatively using mathematical formulas, so English isn't essential to pursue theoretical physics in Japan. See in context

Why ridiculous? Reading literature is important part of his job. Write papers is important part of his job. Train students to be able scientists is important part of this job. And he cannot even read a written speech in English, it seriously question how he was able to do his job so far.

Er..so did he get the NOBEL PRIZE because the committee wanted to be nice to him?

You seem to think his inability to read or speak in English is an indicator of his quality as a scientist. OK. Are there any other elements that could attest to his ability? Like WINNING A NOBEL PRIZE?

I understand that bilingual abilities can be useful in a field. But if you think it's a necessity to excel, well...how do you think this guy won? It's a bit bizarre to see people saying things like this about a guy who has just gotten definitive proof of his excellence as a scientist.

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Posted in: Physics requires the ability to think creatively using mathematical formulas, so English isn't essential to pursue theoretical physics in Japan. See in context

So the guy wins a Nobel Prize, and he gets yelled at for only speaking in his mother tongue.

I get that he limits his chances in some ways, but come on. This is ludicrous.

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Posted in: Where is Obama's change we can believe in? See in context

As derisive as everyone is being, I hope all will be equally as conciliatory if Chuck is proven correct.

Well, I won't. He may be right. He's still jumping the gun in a petulant, childish manner.

(In response to my post) Why does everyone on the left scream that as loud as they can?

GAAAAHHHH! I am SO SICK of people assuming I'm on the left just because I'm not a jingoistic idiot. If my post made you think I'm a Dem just because I didn't agree with an attack on Obama, I truly pity you.

"Change takes time?" What happened to "Yes, we can"?? Why are you lowering expectations?

Are they lowering expectations? Or did you completely, totally, and utterly misread what was meant by the word "change," and are now blaming them for your mistake...much like you did with my post? If your understanding of "yes we can" was that poor, I can't help you.

Let me see how far I can dumb this down: I am not a Democrat. I am a lifelong conservative. I am also a realist. If we get our panties in a bunch at every opportunity, we're going to completely squander all our political capital before the guy even takes office.

He WILL screw up, and we need to keep him in line. How do you propose we do that if, every time we talk, we prove (as you did with your post) that we're just as bitter and sopolistic as our opponents say we are?

"Traffic is bad today. I thought we voted for CHANGE?" It was snowing yesterday, and it's snowing even harder today. What happened to CHANGE?"

Please. I implore you. Stop it.

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