MOSCOW – Russian President Vladimir Putin said today that Mitt Romney’s characterization of Moscow as the United States’ “number one geopolitical foe” has actually helped Russia.
The Russian leader said Romney’s comments strengthened his resolve to oppose NATO’s plan for a missile defense shield in Eastern Europe, a system Russia believes will degrade its nuclear deterrent. The U.S. insists the system is aimed at Iran, not Russia.
“I’m grateful to him (Romney) for formulating his stance so clearly because he has once again proven the correctness of our approach to missile defense problems,” Putin told reporters, according to the Russian news agency RIA Novosti.
“The most important thing for us is that even if he doesn’t win now, he or a person with similar views may come to power in four years. We must take that into consideration while dealing with security issues for a long perspective,” he said… [Ari’s emphasis, except for headline.]
Between this and his London Olympics gaffe, Romney is amply demonstrating that he has zero understanding of the delicate nature of foreign relations. He is causing setbacks on multiple diplomatic fronts and he isn’t even president.
Add to this Romney’s widely reported condemnation of the statement issued by our embassy in Egypt, even though they occurred prior to the deadly attacks upon it and our embassy in Libya. Besides drawing widespread criticism from all over the media and blogosphere, one has to wonder what message this sends to our diplomatic corps. I personally doubt it’s one they would find encouraging.
America can’t afford to elect this man. What costly wars and showdowns will he get us into?
Back in 2006, when Pols had been online for something like a year and a half but I was still pretty new to the site, they upgraded the blogging software they were using to soapblox. At the time, it was a hell of an improvement. Besides debuting a login system, soapblox has a lot of really cool features you don’t see all together with other platforms: cascading comments, clear “new” labels on comments and diaries, the ability to see not only your own comments but direct replies to them (this one might be totally unique to soapbox), seeing who is currently logged in, just to name a few. It’s very cool.
But it’s been six years since the switchover, and as far as I can tell, nothing new has been introduced. Six years is a long time on the web.
Now, I don’t want to seem ungrateful. Like other blogs, Pols provides this to users like me for free, and it’s a wonderful service. I don’t know what their revenue stream is like (for good reason – it ain’t any of my business), so I don’t know what they can afford. I know also that soapblox is local, and it’s good to support the local developers. I can live with it if things remain the same. But there are things I’d like to do with Pols that I cannot at this time.
I have two chief concerns. One, soapblox seems to be compatible only with old versions of HTML. You can’t easily embed most videos, and now that youtube is taking away the “use old code” option, it’s virtually impossible to post any videos now. Two, there seems to be no mobile version of ColoradoPols. (My guess is that soapblox is the issue again, but I’m no web guru.) When I’m out and about, I have to basically forget about checking up on Pols because the full pages take so long to load and I constantly have to zoom in. Nothing fits the mobile unit’s screen.
There are other improvements I’d like to see on the Pols site. I have the ability to refresh the page at some other blogs and not lose whatever I’ve written in the unpublished comment I’ve just written. This is minor; I can (and do) copy the comment when I need to do this. (There are times when it’s taken me some time to write what I’m trying to say – I refresh to make sure someone else hasn’t already made the same point because I hate jumping on top of a pile. Well, most of the time anyway.)
Other things have changed since 2006, notably the advent of social networks. Most professional blogs have little Twitter and Facebook symbols (and sometimes others) which allow you to share diaries and stories easily. I think it would be cool if Pols incorporated those into their diaries.
These are things that I’ve been thinking about when using Pols for a while now. Do you think Pols needs (or should) upgrade their system at all?
(With Tad in the penalty box once again… – promoted by Pita)
UPDATE FROM COLORADO POLS: It has always been our intention to use The Penalty Box as a cooling-off area and as a warning to behave nicely on these pages. But it appears as though The Penalty Box doesn’t always rehabilitate a Pols criminal. This is the third stay for Libertad in The Penalty Box, and there will not be a fourth. If you can’t follow the rules, then go somewhere else. Hopefully Libertad will not make any further transgressions, but if he does, he will be banned from Pols.
Every regular Polster is familiar with Libertad. He has been part of the Pols family for years (can’t access his suspended account now, so I can’t see how long it’s been, exactly) and is known for conservative views, the quality of which ranges from factually wrong to incoherent. He was fond of posting poll information from Rasmussen, an outfit known for it’s conservative bias, until even they showed good approval ratings for President Obama. And he holds the distinction of being the only Polster to be sent to the penalty box more than once – and more than twice, too.
This really raises the issue of why he isn’t simply given the boot for good. At best, he’s colorful, a buffoon tolerated because his posts have entertainment value. At worst, he’s an insulting moron who has a long record of disruptive posts. Until his first trip to the penalty box, he was known for posting irrelevant videos that sometimes autoplayed. He’s also posted many mean-spirited accounts. And while his most recent banishment was for racism, I recall previous racist posts about our president, usually phrased in subtle enough ways that some folks here (notably Laughing Boy) believed I was overreacting when I called him on it.* I no longer think anyone will dispute it.
Last I checked, Pols has no rules regarding the use of racism in posting. (The TOS page seems to be down at the moment, so I can’t totally confirm this, but it’s not mentioned anywhere on the Pols Posting Policy page.) So it may be that Pols simply has no rules about it, and thus a temporary ban is their only real remedy. But again, we’re speaking of a polster who has earned three trips to the box, and had one of those stays extended when he registered a sockpuppet account to get around it, which essentially means that he’s had four temporary bans. This in a span of 16 months.
I should note that the Posting Policy Page defines banishment terms of 2, 5, and 10 days, and that ‘tad’s latest 3 day stay isn’t in conformity with what Pols has written.
When is it enough? Should polsters be allowed to remain with a record of disruption like this? Do these incidents add up to equal the transgressions that have led to previous permanent bans? Should Pols adapt a “three strikes” rule?
* I tried using google to find those earlier instances, but was unable. It’s unfortunate, but I can no longer remember the exact word he used. I will look again later – maybe I’ll remember what he actually said, which would make locating it easier.
UPDATE: Made this more of a “diary” and less of a “comment.”
It seems Mark G. keeps saying things that get deleted by the administrators of Colorado Pols. I know of at least one instance where he used a certain anti-gay slur that begins with the letter F. Another comment, which was in response to something I said, is also gone, although I believe it was because someone upthread used that same slur in a mock-quote of Mark G.
As one commenter noted, once-prolific Polster Steve Harvey got banned in part for using the word “cracker.” Why isn’t Mark G. in the penalty box, Pols? If one contributes to one person’s permanent ouster, the other ought at least to contribute to another’s temporary banishment.
Ordinarily, I’d say this isn’t a topic for Colorado Pols, but since Craig Silverman’s opinions about this have made their way here, I feel that it’s worthy of discussion.
To recap: Last week, President Obama stated in a speech that Israel / Palestine peace talks need to go forward, with the “1967 borders” as a starting point. As most of you recall, this made the American right flip out. (Not just the right; Harry Reid got in on the act, too.)
There’s a good reason why this might rub some the wrong way. Up til 1967, Israel was extremely narrow at points, as slender as 7 miles from border to Mediterranean at one point. Several important towns and cities, including Tel Aviv, were mere miles from the frontier, and the lines even divided Jerusalem down the middle. The Six Days War, launched by Israel as Egypt, Syria and Jordan were massing troops, pushed these lines far away and gave Israel some much needed breathing room. Given the fact that Israel remains in a state of war with Syria, has no peace agreement with Lebanon (which is still under Syria’s sway), not to mention Iran and their influence in the region, I can understand why Israelis might be nervous about this.
From a joint statement issued by Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu and American Secretary of State Hilary Clinton, November 11, 2010:
The Prime Minister and the Secretary agreed on the importance of continuing direct negotiations to achieve our goals. The Secretary reiterated that “the United States believes that through good-faith negotiations, the parties can mutually agree on an outcome which ends the conflict and reconciles the Palestinian goal of an independent and viable state, based on the 1967 lines, with agreed swaps, and the Israeli goal of a Jewish state with secure and recognized borders that reflect subsequent developments and meet Israeli security requirements.” Those requirements will be fully taken into account in any future peace agreement. H/T toAndrew Sullivan.
I’m not an expert in foreign affairs, let alone the complex relationship the USA has with Israel. But I do know that Obama’s recent statement accurately reflects what Netanyahu and Clinton said here. I also know that there was no uproar at the time.
Earlier today, former Sen. Rick Santorum (R-PA) announced that he will begin fundraising for a presidential run using the campaign slogan “Fighting to make America America again.” This eloquent turn of phrase, however, was not invented by Santorum. It is borrowed from the title of a pro-union, pro-racial justice, and pro-immigrant poem written by Harlem Renaissance poet Langston Hughes – “Let America Be America Again.”
Langston Hughes was also a homo. And Hughes, unlike an idiot social conservative I could name/rename, wasn’t longing for a lost America. Hughes wasn’t trafficking in cheap and/or racist nostalgia for some supposed golden age. He was angry about America’s broken promises, by America’s failure to live up to its own land-of-the-free hype.
The poem is below the jump.
O, I’m the man who sailed those early seas
In search of what I meant to be my home-
For I’m the one who left dark Ireland’s shore,
And Poland’s plain, and England’s grassy lea,
And torn from Black Africa’s strand I came
To build a “homeland of the free.”
Who said the free? Not me?
Surely not me? The millions on relief today?
The millions shot down when we strike?
The millions who have nothing for our pay?
For all the dreams we’ve dreamed
And all the songs we’ve sung
And all the hopes we’ve held
And all the flags we’ve hung,
The millions who have nothing for our pay-
Except the dream that’s almost dead today.
O, let America be America again-
The land that never has been yet-
And yet must be-the land where every man is free.
The land that’s mine-the poor man’s, Indian’s, Negro’s, ME-
Vegetarian Future – World population growth and spreading affluence leading to more meat consumption; planet will be unrecognizable by 2050 unless trends take a new course. Like, say, MORE funding for family planning.
Today in Marriage Equality – Supporters of Sen. Pat Steadman’s civil unions bill declare today LGBT Lobbying Day.
Outside of questionable mid-term recall efforts and reprehensible actions by interested parties, I assume that the Denver Board of Education is trying to tackle the enormous problems facing Denver Public Schools.
Personally, I’m nowhere near up to speed on the issue, which is a little embarrassing to admit because I’m a Denver parent. I have one school-age child who is going out of district because the nearby DPS schools score bad or mediocre, and another one who will be old enough for preschool next school year. Although I’ve researched enough to know that my local DPS elementary school has some real problems (like rating 4 out of a possible 10 on the “Great Schools” rankings, compared to much better scores in nearby Littleton), I don’t know how DPS has come to this.
I’m a product of the Denver school system. I grew up in the 70s and 80s and went to the now-thoroughly maligned Manual High School at the same time as Michael Hancock. I can testify that it was a very good school, although in retrospect I have to wonder if I benefited from my socio-economic background more than I realized.
I do believe that at least two things took their toll on DPS – the ending of desegregation (which was in effect from before I started kindergarten until well into the 90s, long after I graduated), and open enrollment across district boundaries (which I admit I don’t know when that came into effect).
I spent a good portion of the last 15 years living in another state, and I didn’t pay a bit of attention to education while living there, or during the near-decade in Boulder and Denver after graduation (before relocating). A lot has happened in the over 20 years since I earned my diploma.
So the purpose of this is this: I’m basically asking for your help. Those of you who have followed education – please tell me: What is the problem with DPS? How did a good system turn into a shitty one? How much of this is due to right wing noise that’s been sounding since the Reagan years? How much can be blamed on socioeconomic factors? How many other Colorado districts are struggling with these challenges?
(For those Polsters who like to mix in a bit of conversation and strong drink with our strong opinions, please note the change of venue for Saturday’s meet up. – promoted by Voyageur)
The Pols gathering (this Saturday at 3:00pm) will NOT be taking place at the Wynkoop Brewery. It will be at the Falling Rock Taphouse at 1919 Blake Street, just a couple of blocks over and up from the Wynkoop. The reason for the change follows….
I did this because the Wynkoop requires an hourly fee for large parties, even if you don’t get one of their banquet rooms, and won’t split the check up more than a couple of ways.
I want this to be a pretty casual event. Doing something like the Wynkoop required would mean I’d be on the hook for their fee (which I frankly can’t afford) as well as knowing exactly who was coming, etc. Just more of a hassle than it’s worth.
Anyway, the Falling Rock is nearby, so people who have to take the light rail won’t have to walk a lot further. I AM a little nervous about them, though: I called, someone took down my name, no one called back, I called and talked to someone else, and they said I should just phone before I head over. Um, okay.
Anyway, I’m sorry if anyone had their heart set on the Wynkoop and I’ll be really sorry if this means someone might not be able to make it after all.
It’s settled. On Saturday, November 20, 3:00pm, Wynkoop Brewery, you’re invited to come meet your fellow freaks n geeks and knock back a few. I will call to arrange a room or whatever they have for parties, but first I need an idea of how many people are going to come.
This is obviously not binding, or some kind of formal RSVP. But if you’re pretty sure you’re coming, please vote in the poll. (Only one option; if you can’t make it, don’t vote.)
I’ll post a reminder a day or two in advance.
Look forward to meeting you all! (And seeing those who went to the one I attended again!)
UPDATE: If you’re planning on bringing guests, please leave a comment.
I think it should be in the afternoon – say, 2:00 or 3:00. Downtown is a nightmare to get around if you’re driving (although you can park at the Broadway & I-25 station and take RTD or the light rail from there), and all the restaurants and bars are going to be jammed by 5:30, maybe earlier. (There’s a Nuggets game that evening.) If you all agree, that’s the time I’ll make the reservation for.
Also, I want to put up a poll for the place. We have ahttp://www.wynkoop.com/ lot of nominations for the Wynkoop (close to light rail [route X on weekends] and 16th Street shuttle, big, was founded by the governor elect); the Cheeky Monk (the best beer selection, not far from the other end of the 16th St. shuttle and the Broadway and Colfax buses, cozy), and the Falling Rock Taphouse (good beer selection, a bit further from the light rail but not too far, someplace new).
So please vote! I’ll take the tally tomorrow morning at 9:00 as final. In the meantime, if anyone feels strongly about the time, please comment now.
UPDATE: The votes are in and we’re going to the Wynkoop! I have posted a new diary in which I ask you to indicate if you’re planning to attend.
Thanks for helping with the planning, and thanks to Ralphie and Ellie for organizing a gathering for our West Slope friends.
(If there’s beer, I’m in – promoted by DavidThi808)
I hope Laughing Boy doesn’t mind that I swiped his diary title from two years ago….
Anyway, the election is over, the dust is still in the air but is beginning to settle, and it’s been a long, long time since we last had some kind of get together. I’ll take point on getting this one organized, but as always you need to help decide when and where it happens.
So, do we want to drink in Denver (as usually happens) or would we like to see the other parts of the state? What day of the week works best? Any favorite watering holes to recommend? Let’s hear it!
UPDATE 1: So far people are saying let’s do it in Denver, with one vote for a Saturday. I will tentatively propose Saturday, November 20th.
I want to hear from people outside of Denver (other than those who expressed willingness to come here already) before deciding to do it here. What say you, non-Denverites?
UPDATE 2: Denver it is, downtown location preferred. We have nominations for the Wynkoop and the Cheeky Monk. I’m leaning Wynkoop per RSB’s satisfactory review. If you have strong feelings about another locale, now’s the time to bring it up.
UPDATE 3: I’ve put up a new diary with a poll for deciding where to meet. Check it out…
First off – PLEASE DON’T PROMOTE THIS TO THE FRONT PAGE. This is a bit of whimsy that’s unworthy of it.
Now, to the main point… Beej, who every reliable poll indicates is soon to be $100 poorer thanks to betting that Tancredo will beat Hickenlooper with Voyageur, has recently demanded an apology from V over a comment said in anger when beej insulted V. (Personally, I think beej is trying to lay cover for his intent to welsh on his foolish bet.) Alright, I know better than to put my hand in the middle of a catfight, but this comment leaped out at me:
Actually, the more likely situation is that your narcissism won’t let you apologize to a “pissant grad student” who has bested you.
In my judgment, the true victor in all their exchanges has been Voyageur, based upon his superior wit and reasoning ability, but I think it ought to be put to the greater Pols community for a vote.
UPDATE (10/24, 10:50am): Don’t forget to discuss your reasons why you voted as you did, especially those of you voting “yes.”
The other day, longtime polster Arvadonian wrote about how he would abstain from voting in the federal races in protest of President Obama’s poor record in “fierce advocacy” for LGBT equality. That prompted much discussion about how sound such a decision others felt that to be, and also a bit of discussion about the state of LGBT affairs in general.
I can’t recall if this came up (there were a lot of comments and I skimmed through most of them) but something that’s been happening in recent weeks is Dan Savage’s “It Gets Better” video series. This was prompted by the wave of heavily covered suicides of bullied teens, most of whom were gay or just believed by their bullies to be so. These videos are from various LGBT adults who relate their stories of harassment and victimization when they were growing up, but who survived as assure today’s queer youth that there’s hope; once you get out of high school, it gets better.
This project has quickly gathered a lot of steam, and higher and higher profile celebrities and other VIP’s have come out with videos, and now include non-LGBT people who are coming around to assure the kids that not all straights are out to get them. It’s important to note that a lot of these kids are completely isolated; besides being bullied with the school officials looking the other way, they go to church where they’re told that they’re going to Hell and are an abomination, then go home where their families affirm such drivel. These are the kids that “It Gets Better” is trying to reach.
So how does this affect Arvadonian? Well, none other than President Barack Obama has contributed to this series:
Personally, I believe this is HUGE. Think about it – can you, or anyone, imagine that the President of the United States of America would come out and contribute to a truly grass roots video project like this? And say that queer kids are okay just the way they are? Do you think any Republican would have done this?
I don’t think so. Especially not two weeks BEFORE Election Day.
This video was over at SLOG (the blog of Dan Savage and The Stranger) and it prompted a lot of discussion over there. There were a few people who basically took the “all words, no action” route of criticism, but I want to point you to two comments.
YEAH FUCK THIS!
This is CRAP. It has been TWO WHOLE YEARS and Obama hasn’t fixed thousands of years of homophobia, racism, sexism, xenophobia, classism, fear, stupidity, etc.
Fuck you obama! I am so terribly let down by realizing that voting for one moderate liberal president doesn’t instantly transform the world.
I expected to be able to do nothing except spend 5 minutes to vote for ONE GUY and everything would be better without having to do a whole lot about it.
I WANT MY JETPACK!!
All you single-issue Obama-bashers are as nuts as the teabaggers. It’s like you never picked up a book of history in your life.
Posted by Captain Wiggette on October 21, 2010 at 9:16 PM
I wonder sometimes how many of you remember The Bad Old Days. You may think it’s bad to be queer now, but I was reared by a lesbian couple in the early 1960s, and I remember. They had to be COMPLETELY in the closet, or they could be imprisoned, lose their jobs, lose custody of me to my bio-father, be forced into mental institutions where they could be electroshocked and drugged against their will (the latter happened to one of their friends, when her ex-husband found she was living with another woman – he had her committed to Western State).
For the gay or lesbian living in the 1960s, walking down the street was akin to a soldier going into enemy territory. If anyone could detect any signs of gayness in you, you were basically fair game. If you were beaten and had the temerity to make a police report, you could expect further abuse at the hands of the police – after all, it’s what you deserved for being a “deviate.”
Think about that. That’s in the lifetime of many of us here. That’s part of our experience.
Now, look at this. You have the President of the United States telling gay and lesbian kids that they are okay the way they are. If you don’t see the difference, if you’re just hung up on the fact that he hasn’t yet solved every single problem every individual gay faces, you’re not seeing the big picture here. You’re not seeing how hideously difficult it is to make large-scale societal changes – yet how far we have come in 40 years! Unimaginably far. There is no way my mother and her girlfriend imagined this in 1964. No way. I would bet you money they cried real tears of joy today.
Yes, it’s not enough. But, god, it’s a start, isn’t it?
And remember, he isn’t just President of Greenwich Village and Capitol Hill and the Castro. He’s President of Lubbock, and Peoria, and Fayetteville. I imagine there’s some frothing at the mouth going on in the hardcore god-botherer communities today – and isn’t that always a positive thing?
(“Let he who is without sin cast the first stone.” Since I am the soul of decorum at all times, I accept that challenge and hereby warn you #*$*#($*&@! to clean up your mother@!@#%& acts! That didn’t quite come out right, but anyway, the Pols injunction to “Be Excellent With One Another” is worth remembering here. – promoted by Voyageur)
This is Colorado Pols. This is a political blog that’s open to all who care about Colorado politics. It allows people to post anonymously and the site’s administrators aggressively protect the registered users from outing. Because of all these factors, discussions often grow heated and many have degenerated into juvenile name calling pissing matches over the years. Such is life here on Pols, and as one who has done his fair share I wouldn’t go around telling anyone else not to do that.
However, I’ve noticed lately that things have started sinking to lows I haven’t seen since I first made the scene in the Spring of 2006. Namely, certain participants have gone beyond simple name calling and degenerated into gross sexual innuendos. (I may be using the wrong word, but the old mental thesaurus is down.)
Seeing as this is unusual for Pols (unlike the rest), I’m calling on all the regular participants to please stop going there. It’s going to be a hot two weeks, and I’m sure we’ll all getting into a lot of arguments, but let’s keep this just a bit above the gutters, please?
At an anti-Islam rally yesterday at Ground Zero, a person of color wearing a skull cap and wandering through the crowd was targeted with insults and nearly attacked by protesters for the offense of looking vaguely Muslim.
Here’s the video (WARNING: Audio NSFW):
Given all the heated rhtoric surrounding the Mosque, this is an unfortunate but completely unsurprising development. Thankfully violence was averted, but sooner or later someone will die unless the Right and the anti-Islamacists cool down their rhetoric. I remember how talk of “jack booted thugs” preceded the OKC bombing, so it’s not an idle concern.
I’m speaking of Judge Vaughn Walker, who ruled that California’s Proposition 8 was unconstitutional earlier today.
Judge Walker is naturally being assailed by all kinds of right wing loons spouting the usual charges of “judicial activism” and many are pointing out that the “liberal” is based in San Francisco. Bias!!
Judge Walker was first appointed to the federal bench by President Ronald Reagan in 1987, at the recommendation of Attorney General Edwin Meese III… Democratic opposition led by Sen. Alan Cranston (D-CA) prevented the nomination from coming to a vote during Reagan’s term. Walker was renominated by President George H. W. Bush in February 1989. Again the Democratic Senate refused to act on the nomination. Finally Bush renominated Walker in August, and the Senate confirmed him in December.
Turns out Walker wasn’t politically correct, being a) a member of an all-male club and b) having “represented the U.S. Olympic Committee in a suit that prevented a Bay Area group from calling its athletic competition the Gay Olympics.” Dems including Joe Biden and Ted Kennedy were among those holding it up.
That’s your “liberal SF judge” – handpicked by Ed Meese (now part of the Heritage Foundation, which is among this decision’s harsh critics) and nominated by Saint Ronald, and opposed by the Senate’s then-most prominent liberals.
But wait! There’s more:
Josh Green of the Atlantic notes a pattern: the federal judge in Boston who struck down a significant portion of the Defense of Marriage Act, ruling that it denied gay and lesbian couples the federal benefits afforded to straight couples, was appointed to the bench by President Richard Nixon. And the chief judge of the Iowa Supreme Court who wrote the unanimous decision striking down that state’s marriage ban was appointed by Republican governor Terry Branstad, who was just renominated for governor by Iowa Republican voters. Of course, Nixon and Branstad don’t have the conservative cred of Reagan and Meese.
I’m reminded of the fact that Earl Warren was appointed Chief Justice by a Republican president, too.