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Pwned

Written By: - Date published: 11:20 am, August 20th, 2009 - 67 comments
Categories: International - Tags: , ,

This just in from a reader…

Constituent: [On Obama’s healthcare policy] “Why are you supporting this Nazi policy?”

Barney Frank: “On what planet do you spend most of your time?… You stand there with a picture of the president defaced to look like Hitler and compare the effort to increase healthcare to the Nazis … it’s a tribute to the first amendment that this kind of vile, contemptible nonsense is so freely propagated… Trying to have a conversation with you would be like arguing with a dining room table…”

Here’s Michael Tomasky’s take on putting some passion back into politics over at The Guardian.

67 comments on “Pwned”

  1. Walter 1

    Priceless!

    I made an innocent observation on a forum the other day, stating that in New Zealand, most of us were happy for our tax dollars to pay for the health care of our neighbours, if they needed it.

    My comment was swiftly and viciously attacked by people saying things like, ‘people don’t have a RIGHT to health care’ and surprisingly, lots of talk about ‘charity’ and how it was wrong to give or accept charity. Their viewpoint is so different to our own. I don’t think it’s charity to assist your countrymen in times of need, it’s simply good citizenship. Even our right-wingers believe that.

    These are the same people who squeal about ‘the right to life’ but once their countrymen are born, it appears they need to earn ‘the right to live’ – odd.

  2. r0b 2

    Go Barney! We could have used you over here in the last election.

  3. Lew 3

    OF COARSE a real NAZI would say THAT!!!1

    OMG i carnt belief u ppl

    L

    PS o~xXPalin2012Xx~o

  4. It’s quite incredible that someone would feel so passionately against the provision of healthcare to everyone.

    • Tigger 4.1

      Or compare Obama to Hitler…

      Frank is gay and Jewish – so he’s got special reasons to find the comparison distasteful. I thought he was utterly restrained here…

      • Ag 4.1.1

        You may have seen it, but one of them was doing a Heil Hitler at an Israeli man who was trying to explain Israel’s public health care system. Unsurprisingly, he took offence at this. The offender was some woman of the sort William Burroughs described as having “mean, bitter, pinched, evil faces”, and she was unapologetic and laughed and mocked him as he described some appalling hospital bill he’d had in the US.

        New Zealand’s wingnuts have nothing on the wharrgarrbl that the American right produces.

        • Quoth the Raven 4.1.1.1

          You may be surprised by Burroughs political views.

          I personally was quite surprised when that woman said what she did she didn’t look any sterotype or have a “mean, bitter, pinched” evil face. She just looked ordinary. It’s not helpful to try to make assumptions based on what someone looks like nor is it helpful to talk of “evil”.

          • The Voice of Reason 4.1.1.1.1

            Not sure what you mean there, QTR. Burroughs was a left wing anti-authoritarian trust fund kid who had little time for women and a lot of time for men. And smack.

            Mostly he ignored women, though he rather infamously shot his common law wife dead playing William Tell in a Mexican bar. His misogyny was not a vicious as, say, Paul Henry’s (look, it’s man with a beard!) but more a facet of his sexuality and worldview.

            The ‘mean, bitter, pinched evil face’ line was an attack on bourgeois attitudes, rather than a go at women as a gender.

            • Quoth the Raven 4.1.1.1.1.1

              Burroughs a junky and a queer =) Burroughs was essentially an anarchist. As an anarhcist I just thought it interesting. I wasn’t commenting on his mysogyny.

          • NickS 4.1.1.2.1

            Excepting of course that there’s also plenty of non-LaRouche protesters comparing Obama to Hitler, not to mention either all the lovely pundits making Nazi allusions about the health reform.

            Which makes the “pwn” you claim a mite premature.

          • felix 4.1.1.2.2

            LaRouche is one of your lot, baiter – batshit insane with strong facs*st leanings.

            No surprise that you’re having trouble processing this.

    • infused 4.2

      Not at all supporting her, but the US cannot afford it.

      • Lanthanide 4.2.1

        Funny, because a public healthcare system is generally considered to be cheaper than a private one, which is what America has now.

        captcha: borrow

  5. Irascible 5

    Ah!! Nostalgia… I haven’t heard an exchange like this on the NZ political stage since the early 80’s. Our hermetically sealed campaigns do not allow such exchanges probably because such would display both sides political ignorance. Crosby Textor has a lot to answer for.

  6. NickS 6

    And here’s some related stuff, 1st link is on teh crazies…
    http://shakespearessister.blogspot.com/2009/08/put-this-in-your-keep-for-later-file.html
    Put This in Your “Keep For Later” File
    – Rachael Maddow on Health Reform protesters threats and general rhetoric, which are getting rather violent, anti-abortion level of violence

    Health care reform = Nazi euthanasia: The equivalent of Holocaust denial?
    – Orac on how ridiculously inane the Nazi label is, and how it can be strongly argued as holocaust denial.

  7. NickS 7

    Trying to have a conversation with you would be like arguing with a dining room table

    Hehehe…

    I’m so going to have to borrow this when arguing with Young Earth Creationists, well, use it after cluebatting them with Science when they fail to pick up the criticisms levelled at them…

    • Draco T Bastard 7.1

      I always like asking Young Earth Creationists why they think that evolution isn’t an intelligent design pointing out a couple of advantages that it has:

      1) Self-repairing, a star blows up and the material coalesces with other free material to form a new star or more (also has great visuals)
      2) You don’t have to keep an eye on all the niches within the ecological life cycle – if something isn’t there or not working right a solution will evolve

      • Gosman 7.1.1

        What does a Star blowing up have to do with Evolution? I think you have your Scientific theories mixed up.

        • Pascal's bookie 7.1.1.1

          YECs don’t know that though.

        • Draco T Bastard 7.1.1.2

          Actually, I think it has to do with maintaining the universe. A static universe would break and stay broken working toward it’s “death” faster than one that repairs itself. Of course, that’s just a pet theory and could be completely out of kilter.

          • NickS 7.1.1.2.1

            Actually stellar evolution is nothing like biological evolution, or the genetic algorithm systems that are used today in some electronics design work.
            /science nerd

            Unless we’re talking about Lee Smolin’s speculative Fecund Universe theory, in which universes are selected for producing black-holes 😛

            But it’s extremely speculative physics, so much so, that if you see someone making use of it, or some of Roger Penrose’s speculative stuff, chance’s are they’ve forgotten it’s speculative physics. Without robust empirical support…

            • bill brown 7.1.1.2.1.1

              I’m surprised you lump Penrose in with speculative physicists – generally any speculation on his part is a very small part of the overall discussion. Certainly not in the same league as Smolin, but maybe a bit more speculative than Woit

            • NickS 7.1.1.2.1.2

              Penrose does actually go into some quite speculative stuff in the second half of The Road to Reality. Which has then been taken up and used as though it were not speculative…

              Also, I’m not much a physics geek…

      • Anthony Karinski 7.1.2

        Intelligent design implies that there is an agency acting with intent to shape life. Evolution as a scientific theory does not rely on intent or agency.

        • Draco T Bastard 7.1.2.1

          But it doesn’t exclude it either.

          • Anthony Karinski 7.1.2.1.1

            On evidence it does exclude it.

            Within the realm of possibility it doesn’t. Just like the possibility of gremlins existing somewhere in the universe is feasible as long as we cannot account for everything everywhere. It is however not a very helpful approach as the bar is set so low that anything goes.

            Besides those who argue that evolution is compatible with a creator usually does so from first principle. The creator set everything loose and then stepped back not to interfere again. This is however not a scientific argument as science deals exclusively with the natural world and has nothing to say about metaphysical ventures beyond that. Thus on evidence science does exclude guided evolution as we have no physical proof of that what so ever.

            • Draco T Bastard 7.1.2.1.1.1

              Who said that it was guided? Put the right variables and constants in place and life will evolve without any input whatsoever. The variables and constants are what physicists are trying to find. Even when they do find all those and know how they relate to the existence of life in the universe it still won’t prove the existence of god but that’s not the point of my original comment. My original comment is asking the YECs why God wouldn’t create an evolutionary universe.

          • bill brown 7.1.2.1.2

            Have a read of the selfish gene – there ain’t no room for that loose talk there.

            • Anthony Karinski 7.1.2.1.2.1

              Ironically Dawkins commits the same error by using the term “selfish gene” as those who attribute evolution to an interventionist god; he’s attributing agency with intent to an entity that clearly has none. This is pointed out amusingly and eloquently by Peter Godfrey-Smith in his latest book.

              I also think he does the Atheism cause a great disservice by being such a divisive figure. Not to mention taking untenable positions such as science being able to inform us about the non-existence of god. Science can do no such thing. Only when someone claim interference from god in the natural world can it form an opinion. Then only on what caused that interference. Even when shown not to be god it still says nothing about whether god exists or not. What is or is not of this world does not belong to science but philosophy and religion.

  8. It is easier for Frank when he has one of the safest Democratic seats in the country.

    Rick Perlstein (who wrote ‘Nixonland’) has a good historical analysis of the ‘August of Crazy’ up at the Washington Post:

    Before the “black helicopters” of the 1990s, there were right-wingers claiming access to secret documents from the 1920s proving that the entire concept of a “civil rights movement” had been hatched in the Soviet Union; when the landmark 1964 Civil Rights Act was introduced, one frequently read in the South that it would “enslave” whites. And back before there were Bolsheviks to blame, paranoids didn’t lack for subversives — anti-Catholic conspiracy theorists even had their own powerful political party in the 1840s and ’50s.

    • NickS 8.1

      Thanks for that, both amusing, somewhat disturbing and explains a few things I was wondering about…

  9. Chris G 9

    retarded women, get a fucking real life

  10. Bill 10

    All very amusing, but you might want to consider why it is that a growing minority of working class people are adopting corporate causes and damaging right wing morality as their own.

    Just saying.

    • RedLogix 10.1

      I’m reminded of an encounter just after glasnost, when some ex-Communist leader commented that, “The only difference between our propaganda, and American propaganda was that you had Madison Avenue, and yours got believed’.

      • Gosman 10.1.1

        Typically Leftist view of the cold war. The Commies only lost because of the West’s better PR, not because their particular system stunk when it came to actually delivering people a better life.

        • Eddie 10.1.1.1

          I’ve never heard anyone say that the Soviet system only collapsed because of PR, and it’s not what Redlogix is saying. It collapsed because it was dictatorial, inefficient, oppressive, corrupt, and got suckered into an arms race it couldn’t afford.

          • Lew 10.1.1.1.1

            it was dictatorial, inefficient, oppressive, corrupt, and got suckered into an arms race it couldn’t afford.

            And that’s why the PR didn’t work as well. In many ways Soviet (and general C20th totalitarian) propaganda was more effective than its liberal equivalents, because the disjuncture between the world depicted in the propaganda and the actual observable real world was so much greater. While Madison Avenue had to sell general themes of victory, peace, prosperity (etc) against a backdrop of victory, peace and prosperity, totalitarian propagandists had a much harder time selling the great communist utopia which was always just one more five year plan away against a backdrop of corruption, scarcity, impunity and paranoia. You can only put so much lipstick on a pig.

            L

          • aj 10.1.1.1.2

            ..and some similar characteristics are likely to drag the USA down….

            • Bill 10.1.1.1.2.1

              Meanwhile.

              The preponderance of right wing sentiments emanating from what should be a ‘naturally’ left wing segment, or constituency, of our society?

        • RedLogix 10.1.1.2

          Thanks Eddie. Sorry Gosman, but you jumped the shark on that one.

          It’s a mistake to judge the Cold War from our narrow western perspective, and in particular we are prone to measure the tragic catastophe that befell the Russian people in the aftermath of the October Revolution. In particular we are prone to forgetting that at no time in their history, did the Russian people have any experience with the notion of democracy, nor any inkling of the mechanisms we take for granted in the modern nation state.

          Instead they were propelled headlong from a despotic monarchy, to despotic totalitarianism almost overnight.

          A few bloggers here my recall that I once had the remarkable opportunity to visit Magadan, and for a short few hours drive inland along that most grimly desolate road, the so-called ‘Highway of Bones’. That experience has indelibly burned into me a visceral sense of the cruelty and horror that regime inflicted.

          Nothing typical from me thanks.

          not because their particular system stunk when it came to actually delivering people a better life

          Well after a decade of economic collapse under a particularly vicious form of gangster capitalism, most Russians were pretty nostalgic about how life under Communism was not so bad after all. (Not that so many of them actually wanted to wind the clock back.)

  11. Gosman 11

    You might laugh at this, and may of the other, confrontation at the town hall meetings going on in the US at the moment however it doesn’t detract from the fact that Obama is in a lot of trouble on this policy.

    The botched reform plan that he is supporting has generated an awful lot of anger amongst ordinary Americans.

    You may wish to dismiss them all as ignorant red necks but this sort of elitist and arrogant view doesn’t tend to triumph very often.

    • Lew 11.1

      Gosman, this is a critical point – piss off and ridicule John and Jane Q Public, even if they are delusional fools, at your electoral peril.

      L

    • Draco T Bastard 11.2

      I don’t dismiss them all – I try to educate them by pointing out that a national health service is cheaper than a private one and is available to all insurance companies be damned.

  12. Lanthanide 12

    Here’s an interesting blog post about public vs private healthcare, and the situation in the US. The comments are interesting, with various yanks trying to defend their system, and eventually agreeing that a public system is probably better, as long as there are some limits placed on it, and it isn’t horribly corrupted by the US government, which they think is impossible.

    http://dansdata.blogsome.com/2009/07/31/authoritarianism-its-bad-for-your-health/

  13. Walter 13

    Now imagine – You’ve been paying car insurance all your life, then all of a sudden the government says it will provide free car insurance to those who don’t have it.
    How might you feel?

    Personally, I’d be very happy with the proposal.

    • wtl 13.1

      Apart from the fact that not having a car (because you can’t afford the insurance and it is too risky otherwise) is a little different from not having a life.

    • Gosman 13.2

      What happens if you have full cover protection on your car at the moment and the Government states that it will replace it for free but doesn’t specify whether it will be full cover or just 3rd party?

      Would you be happy with that proposal Walter?

    • Armchair Critic 13.3

      Similar to how I felt when Labour decided to make student loans interest free. That is to say I was disappointed that I had paid mine off a year or so beforehand, but happy for the students that got to benefit because the student loan scheme that National introduced was just rubbish.

  14. Mac1 14

    Having watched various takes of this town hall meeting, and read the bile which right wing Americans spewed out in the attached blog comments in response to a gay, Jewish man supporting a humanitarian medical welfare policy for all Americans put forward by a Black man, I really have to say God Bless America with all that blind hatred. You need all the blessings you can get. I just wish that you could see that Obama is one of them.

    • aj 14.1

      I have to say I despair for America, and this clip doesn’t alter that.

    • Bill 14.2

      “I just wish that you could see that Obama is one of them.”

      Now maybe I’ve got the wrong end of your intended stick here, but…Obama as a right winger, a corporatist? Who the f*ck can’t see that? (nah. please don’t answer that…too despairing}

      Can I remind people that the sentiments behind the term ‘house nigger’ applies equally to wholly white societies like eg Spain in the 30s with their highly hierarchical structures whereby ‘one of us’ was afforded enough privilege to make the lesser but favoured one, one of ‘them’ in intent and purpose.

      Obama might be black or coloured or ‘African American’ or whatever PC or otherwise term you wish to use, but above all Obama is one of them…beyond ‘house nigger’, he has no conferred privilege that a master will revoke. He is a self promoted figurehead ( true, a token one perhaps), but no less so than a Nixon, a Bush or a JFK. Obama is a corporatist. He is not one of us. He serves our enemy…he is our enemy.

      • Mac1 14.2.1

        Yeah, maybe you despair too much, and overstate the opposite case to Obama’s place in the political spectrum. The USA is not NZ and change will be hard-won, starting as he is from a point right of centre and acknowledging that the centre there is to the right of our centre.
        I cannot see that the health reforms proposed are anything but a shift to the left, which is why this virulent opposition is seen in reaction to them.
        My reference to Obama as a black man was to point out the racism which could be seen in the clip and especially in the comments which were generated by various versions of Frank’s comments.
        I don’t see him as a ‘house nigger’. I agree that privilege does not preclude minorities being part of the privileged group. The reality is that candidates for the US Presidency have to come from what could be seen as privileged. But leaders like Mandela, Blair, Brown, Lange, Goff, Clark can be also seen as privileged because of their education and social background, but to a greater or lesser extent represented the interests of people poorer, less educated and privileged than them.
        Obama’s life history has been one of serving the greater good and while he is still young in the presidency, I have hope still, and thus hope to avoid QTR’s characterisation as being a ‘cultist’.

    • Quoth the Raven 14.3

      Here’s a good piece for the Obama cultists: Here are some clues for spotting a conservative. Remember, not all conservatives talk and look like George Bush or Bill O’Reilly. Some conservatives even like to use the word change without telling you what it means. This handy guide may help you discover whether you accidentally voted for one recently.
      – Supports Af-Pak war

      – Supports leaving a large colonial military force in and around Iraq.

      – Spends more money helping big banks than helping people threatened with foreclosures.

      – Spends more money bailing out big auto manufacturers than bailing out small business.

      – Supports unconstitutional wiretapping by agencies like the NSA

      – Supports the anti-gay Defense of Marriage Act.

      – Supports the futile, expensive and deadly war on drugs.

      – Supports withholding funds from cities that refuse to privatize some of their public schools.

      – Supports preventive detention.

      – Supports computerized strip searches of air passengers.

      – Wants to overturn long-standing law that stops police from initiating questions unless a defendant’s lawyer is present.

      – Favors continuation of secret searches of library and bookstore data files

      – Supports giving cabinet level powers to numerous ‘czars’ in an end run around the constitution.

      – Opposes prosecuting George Bush and members of his administration for war and other crimes.

      • Gosman 14.3.1

        Do you have to tick all, some or just one of the boxes to be declared a ‘Conservative’ ?

        If it is just one then pretty much everybody is a Conservative then, other than a small radical minority of people at the extreme left of the political spectrum.

        • Quoth the Raven 14.3.1.1

          It just polemical calling him a conservative. The idea is to show how little things have changed from Bush.

          The small radical minority of people at the extreme left – I guess a profuse love of freedom and peace is a disease that must be eradicated so we can all be social democrats and learn to love the state and the bosses.

          That blog is progressive anyway.

  15. Well done Barney Frank, that was a classic, some of those anti obama nut case protesters, protesting against healthcare are worse than the LEFT wing protestors we have here.

  16. SJ Hawkins 16

    It seems that opposition to the Obamacare plan is coming from all sides. While it doesn’t have that much impact on me since I’m on the other side of the world I have had a browse through some of the debate about it. There is some suggestion that the big pharmacy companies support it because Obama has promised them to limit reductions to $80 billion (I can’t remember how many years this was over). While that is a lot of money from a NZ perspective I think it is actually not that much in terms of the overall revenue those big companies get.
    I was particularly amused by an exchange I saw on an online game oddly enough, between a Canadian and an American. They were exchanging barbs about their healthcare. The Canadian said at least they have universal healthcare, the American replied yes but you have to wait 5 hours to get seen.
    Then I realised 5 hours isn’t that long in the NZ system.

  17. millsy 17

    The ironic thing is, folks, the system that Obama is promoting is some form of nationally run health insurance scheme, he is not proposing government run hospitals, etc like we have here. Sort of like what ACT has talked of in the past.

    So, basically, we have a system promoted by the Democratic party opposed by conservatives and libertarians as being communist, Stalinist, etc, but it is a system that New Zealand’s most right-wing parlimentary party would support and include in its policy plank.

    Of course, the USA has never really been into social democracy, as much as the likes Europe and the commonweath has been. They have always leant towards socail darwinism.

    And the US people have this weird attitude to the State. For example I saw 20/20 last night, about a high school football player in Kentucky, he took the reporter home to meet his family, and they looked like your typical hillbilly stereotype, right down to the pickup truck, and the guns on the rack. I would assume that they would vote republican, and go on about ‘the guv’mint trying to take over our lives’. Yet they appear happy to accept their welfare cheques,

  18. jbc 18

    Meanwhile, Fox News’ Glenn Beck gets the Jon Stewart treatment on his healthcare flip-flop:

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/deadlineusa/2009/aug/14/glenn-beck-healthcare

    Awesome!

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