January 28, 2007

Barack Strangelove (Or, How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Obama)

Hey, have you heard about this new guy, Barack Obama? I know he's kind of been under-the-RADAR, so you might not have read about THE LAST TIME HE BRUSHED HIS TEETH or seen the news footage of THAT TIME HE SET A MAGAZINE DOWN ON THE COUNTER.

Fine, so I'm the last person in America to hear about Obama. I'm often behind on the latest trends, because in 2000 I took a vow that I wouldn't watch national news until Bush was gone. On the other hand, I've kept some shred of my sanity for the last six years, so I feel like it's been a fair trade-off.

So, I guess everyone loves Obama -- he's warm and charismatic and smart and a hell of a speaker. And, frankly, America really needs a leader like him; someone where we can point to him an proudly say, "See that? That handsome, intellectual man? That well-spoken gentleman? The man who seems like he's from another era; a time when politics was reluctantly performed by men who felt it their moral duty to serve our country, not a free pass to act like a tiny dictator and line the pockets of your friends. Well, that man, my friends from around the world, is OUR president. Yes, I know, you're surprised -- frankly, we shocked ourselves on this one."

--

Here's something you may not know, though: there's a fly in the ointment. Barack, it turns out, is black. Yes, his skin has pigment -- LOTS of pigment, my friends. And some people HATE THEM SOME PIGMENT.

Now, I grew up in the deep South. In Savannah, Georgia -- one of the thirteen original colonies, and one of those cities where that was pretty much their biggest moment. It's a place where some hicks still proudly fly a flag from a war they lost in order to keep their slaves. You'd think one or the other of these facts would be enough to discourage anyone from flying such a flag, but, hey. This is the South, with a capital S. "We got different traditions down here! We eat things called 'chitlins' with a straight face!"

Later I moved to Atlanta, Georgia: "Hotlanta," "The ATL"; a city that was one of the first in the country to have a black majority; a city whose mayor was the great Andrew Young (one of MLK's homies). Atlanta's motto was "The city too busy to hate" (I think Savannah's was "The city too fat to get off the porch and do anything about our hate.")

But even in Atlanta, in a lilly-white suburb of Stone Mountain, Georgia (there was only one black kid in my entire grade school), our neighbors to the east, our neighbors who brought us a home-made pie when we moved into our house, like you see in the movies, these neighbors kept a broom-handle in their trunk, which they introduced to us as their "n----- stick".

For protection, see. You know, in case, like, THEY break down the great wall we'd erected to the north and streamed down on us again, as THEY had so many times... Oh, wait, I'm thinking of the mongols in China. The blacks... well, I guess they pretty much just ran the city and ignored the racists hiding in the burbs.

--

So, can we actually elect a black man in America? Sure, cough, I'm not racist at all, and neither are YOU, of course. In fact, it's hard to find someone who's willing to stand up and say, "Dammit, I kind of fear black people, OK?" Yet we assume racists exist. We know they do -- we saw the police and national "guard" turning displaced black citizens away from white neighborhoods, at gunpoint, after the flooding in New Orleans. We saw the authorities use force to break up groups of blacks who had banded together in the ruins of their city to forage for necessities.

I'm sure each of those policeman, each guardsman, has a story that he'll tell to explain why what he did was perfectly logical. Maybe some of us even believe those stories. But you know, I know, we all KNOW that if that city had been white and middle-class, there would have been a fleet of Army helicopters airlifting every man, woman and child out of that hellhole on the first fucking day. If it had been white and middle-class, it would have been evacuated BEFORE the hurricane by a fleet of Army trucks. If it had been white and middle-class, funding for maintaining the levies would never have been cut in the first place.

--

We Democrats don't want to pick a guy who can't win an election. Lots of people fear Hillary's campaign for this reason -- if a woman cannot be elected in America right now, we Democrats don't want her sucking votes away from a candidate who could be elected, because at this point I think we can all agree that we'd be better of with a squeaky toy in the Oval Office than we would with another fellow named Bush, or really any other crony of Karl Rove's. At this point no leadership would be better than the inverse leadership under Bush -- a squeaky toy wouldn't have started a pointless war with a country that posed no threat when we were in the middle of stamping out a real threat in another part of the world, for example, nor would a squeaky toy have spied on its citizens, lied about it, and then tried to make it legal, nor would a squeaky toy have tortured people in our name.

Me, though, I just don't like Hillary. It's not that I fear her feminist power; I just can't stand her politics. Every time I see her getting behind some bill as a N.Y. senator, it's some crap that's sponsored by the RIAA, or it's some attempt to censor video games or some other family-friendly bullshit. Maybe she's trying to appeal to conservatives, but, damn, that's a stupid strategy. I mean, let's face it, lady, conservatives do NOT like you. They FAMOUSLY don't like you. You are pretty much the flag around which conservatives rally when they want to bond together about something they don't like.

You aren't going to win them over by talking about families and crap, any more than I'm going to suddenly become appealing to lesbians by mentioning how much money I give to Planned Parenthood. (P.S. Your daughter Chelsea is really hot and I'd love to date her.)

--

But back to Barack... as I said, I haven't watched the news, so I've just seen bits and snatches -- headlines about how his was the only moving speech was at the DNC convention, etc. So I went to his website, and watched his video message to American voters.

Actually, I was at the café the first time I watched it, so I didn't have the sound on. And I realized an interesting thing, just watching him and not hearing any words -- it made me focus on how he was speaking, instead of what he was saying, and it struck me: this man has EXTREMELY large ears. I mean, like, really big. Like, he should maybe grow his hair out a little more. Or think about tying them down in back somehow. Surgery should not be ruled out.

Also, possibly as importantly, he really believes what he's saying. He either wrote these words he's speaking that I'm not hearing, or he told someone exactly what he wanted to say, because just watching him speak, I believed in him. Whatever he was saying, he thought it was the truth. And he thought it was important. Wow. When was the last time a politician told us the truth?

Later, I watched him again with the sound on, and his ears didn't seem so big. Also, his words were eloquent, and his message was good, and it was honest.

--

And it was at this point I decided... to hell with it. This is a good man. We need a good person, right now, very badly. I'm not going to worry about Barack's skin color.

Yes, racism will be a factor. Maybe it will even be the deciding factor. That'd suck.

There have been precious few moments in history where we have an opportunity, each one of us, to define who we are simply by picking a side. There were people in Germany who opposed the Nazi party, and they got to brag about it for the rest of their lives. There were people in France who fought for the underground, and they are still held in esteem to this day. There were people who stood up and marched with MLK, there were people who drove black workers around during the bus boycotts, and their grandchildren still remember them for it.

Sometimes the most important thing in a fight is which side you are on, and not whether that side can win or not. Sometimes we just have to believe that, eventually, good will win out, and we have ask ourselves, "How will my children judge me when I tell them the story of this time?"

When my kids ask me about the first black man who really had a shot for the presidency, will I be forced to dissemble: 'Well, see, kids, at the time, I didn't think he could win, so it seemed expedient for me...'

No.

Mr. Obama, you have my vote, and you'll be getting a fat check from me in a few days. I would have just spent that money on booze and cars anyhow, hopefully you'll do something better with it.

And, hey, if you need someone for your "President's Information Technology Advisory Committee" I will gladly serve. (Mr. Bush used to have such a thing, but he abolished it in 2005, apparently because they weren't willing to change science to fit his worldview.) Let me know what else I can do, OK?

Labels: ,

112 Comments:

Blogger wph said...

I hope Obama is in the running, I will vote for him (First time I'm old enough) I can't wait.

January 28, 2007 4:42 PM

 
Blogger Michael said...

When my kids ask me about the first black man who really had a shot for the presidency, will I be forced to dissemble: 'Well, see, kids, at the time, I didn't think he could win, so it seemed expedient for me...'

Well, I have to wonder if you'd be making the same argument for, say, Condoleezza Rice or Alan Keyes.

January 28, 2007 5:10 PM

 
Blogger Wil Shipley said...

Well, I have to wonder if you'd be making the same argument for, say, Condoleezza Rice or Alan Keyes.

I'm not voting for him because he's black, I'm voting for him because he's the right guy.

January 28, 2007 5:12 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm less concerned about who the Democrats pick, as they have a generally strong field of the nine or so candidates that are officially in so far -- and a lot of them are 'firsts' whether it be Clinton, Obama, or Richardson.

What I'm more concerned with is who the Republicans pick because, even though as an independent I generally side with the Democrats on most issues, I would like to see a return of the Republican party to....you know, sanity. Chuck Hagel's about the closest possible candidate to possibly don that mantle, though as appreciative as I am for his frankness and candor on Iraq, I don't agree with his viewpoints on a number of other issues.

The Democrats could nominate a Taco Bell chalupa at this point and they'd have my vote.

January 28, 2007 5:18 PM

 
Blogger Wil Shipley said...

To be fair, chalupas are delicious. It's the chalupacabras you have to watch out for!

January 28, 2007 5:27 PM

 
Anonymous Frank 'viperteq' Young said...

In spite all of the comedy in the post, this is probably the most serious post that I've read from you.

The internet in all it's glory has done one thing really well: helped us mask the color that god gave us. As an African American, it is not lost on me how historic it would be to have a Black man elected as President of the United States. As an African American, I also know that it will never happen. Definitely not in the upcoming election and probably not before the end of either of our lifetimes. America as a whole, is just not ready for that to happen despite all of the talk about America being the great melting pot where anyone can make it.

The Dems, as much as they love Barack, also know that he doesn't have a chance to win and will put all of their muscle behind Hillary or find another candidate altogether to bypass Barack and Hillary. And you know that the Repubs will be gunning hard in this election. If they don't produce a credible candidate of their own, they will convince Repub voters to cross party lines and vote for Hillary with assurances that they should she win, she won't win again in a re-election.

Politics is a dirty game and the only winners will be those upper-class folk who already control the country.....

Here's a really interesting article on Barack that I think you should read:

Fell Clutch of Circumstance

January 28, 2007 5:28 PM

 
Anonymous Alex said...

I'm excited, this is the first presedential election that I'll be old enough to vote in. If you think about it, it's rather insane that it's such a huge deal that Obama is black. Hell other countries have had black and women leaders for years... so much for the home of the free. I think Obama has a very uphill battle ahead of him, but I truly think he's the right man for the job. He will have my vote, and I hope that he will win and become the president we all think he can be.

January 28, 2007 6:55 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nice post Wil - but you spell it "cheque".

(anon for fear of your wrath).

January 28, 2007 7:00 PM

 
Blogger Mike said...

The Republicans are very afraid of Obama - they've already started their Swift Boating on him. They've even managed to come up with a lie that hits both him and Hillary.

January 28, 2007 7:03 PM

 
Blogger Daniel said...

I don't agree with everything he said, but that's the closest I've seen any politician come to it--by a very wide margin.

It's nice to believe there's a glimmer of hope in that big ball of mud we call a government.

January 28, 2007 7:29 PM

 
Blogger lemurs said...

Don't diss on on the chitlins, they're the same stuff found in such tasty dishes as chicharon bulaklak. Mmmmmmmm.

Plus, despite any other shortcomings, Hotlanta has a Chik-Fil-A in the airport, let's not forget, Sir Shipley.

Now, as for the rest of the blog entry, it lacks in more tasty foodstuffs. Let's get on that.

January 28, 2007 7:33 PM

 
Blogger trevorturk said...

A lot of my friends disagree with me, but I think Obama is going to win it. For me, it all comes down to his incredibly inspiring rhetoric. I can hardly listen to him speak without feeling somehow... inspired.

If you're interested, you can read a forum thread that my friends an I have been engaged in here:

http://www.newathens.org/forum/viewtopic.php?pid=20849

I think you make an important point in your comments (not voting for him because he's black, but because he's the right guy) that I feel my friends are missing. Maybe he'll have a harder time getting elected because he's black, but I'm not going to NOT vote for him (or insist that he's isn't the best candidate) just because he's black. To me, that's a defeatist attitude that should get tossed out with the trash.

January 28, 2007 8:06 PM

 
Blogger Devon said...

I was on the ground in Illinois and witnessed Obama's initial run for Senate in 2004, and spent the better part of the last year in Iowa laying groundwork for the 2008 Presidential elections.

I have the upmost respect for well-voiced Democratic candidates, but I roll my eyes at Obama. He's a rising star and a media darling, but an untested one. He went from a safe district in the State Senate to a nearly uncontested US Senate run after Jack Ryan dropped out. Populist folks may like him, but he's a master of double-speak and lacks the footing to commit to any position he speaks of. This isn't a guy with a voting record of consistency, he hasn't introduced any bills, nor has he actually advocated any cause not directly related to himself. Grandma asks "Where's the Beef?" cause he ain't got none.

Furthermore, while he may be popular in national polls, there's really only three states that decide who goes on: Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina (and sort of Nevada now). Of those states, the real battle will be between Hillary Clinton (who I believe stands an excellent chance of winning) and John Edwards (who kept his entire 2004 team going in Iowa these last couple years). Obama won't survive south of the Mason-Dixon line. Hillary's pro-war record most definitely will.

Given the lack of leadership on the Republican side, I'm convinced at this point that whoever wins the Democratic nomination will be the next President. John McCain is old and with baggage, Rudy Giuliani is both pro-gay and pro-choice (in the GOP that'll never fly), and Mitt Romney will hide his Mormonism just long enough to win the nomination and get his ass kicked.

Just my .02, but I'd strongly caution people to be weary of what Obama promises. He's at the poker table going all-in without the cash to pay up.

January 28, 2007 8:15 PM

 
Anonymous Ed Silva said...

When Barak spoke at the 2004 Dem convention I wanted to vote for him, and to hell with Kerry. Hillary has too much baggage.

Obama/Edwards in 2008!

January 28, 2007 8:16 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I would actually just like to congratulate you for having the first blog I have ever read the whole way through.

January 28, 2007 8:41 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I must say that I have been following Obama for over a year now and have been screaming inside for this moment to come... for him to step up and reach for the Presidency. Both of his books are remarkable as well. I agree with you completely about his general sense of honesty and compassion for our country. The racism card will indeed play a factor however, in what direction I am not sure. It could work against him... or FOR him. Either way, my vote is DEEP in his pocket.

January 28, 2007 8:48 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Senators are easily the majority of presidential candidates, but only two have ever won in all of history. Those are terrible odds — even without bringing bigotry into the picture. As long as Democrats continue to put senators up for the presidency, it doesn't matter if their candidate is black, female or pedophile, because we're going to have a Republican in the White House anyway.

January 28, 2007 9:00 PM

 
Blogger Manton said...

Great post. The conclusion you come to is the same that I hope all Democrats reach: we have to vote for who we believe in. Forget so-called "electability". That's the only reason people voted for Kerry and look what that got us.

January 28, 2007 9:05 PM

 
Blogger Brian said...

And at least you'd know what you're getting with a chalupacabra. A tasty delicious blood sucking creature of the night.

I'm leaning heavily towards Obama myself. Who knows what his actual chances are, but I'm not voting for expedience. I tried that in 2004, and the bad aftertaste is still there.

January 28, 2007 10:12 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm glad racism isn't going to keep you from voting for Obama. My misogyny as it pertains to power hungry women will be keeping me from voting for Hillary. Cheers!

January 28, 2007 10:28 PM

 
Blogger Frankie said...

I really enjoyed reading this blog, you've been bookmarked!

I, for one, don't pay attention to party association, and have decided that regardless of GOP or Dem or Liberatarian, I like this Obama guy.

I agree, he seems to really think he can be a good leader to this country, not the would-be tyrant that other canidates seem to come off as.

January 28, 2007 10:42 PM

 
Anonymous Larry said...

That was an excellent use of hyperbole. Nice work. Your English teacher would be proud.

January 28, 2007 10:48 PM

 
Blogger Wil Shipley said...

Larry: Yes, I admit to some hyperbole. On the other hand, life is a series of decisions we make, and most of us never stop and think "this decision is going to affect my next one, which will affect my next, which will affect the rest of my life."

I think this next election will, for some people, be a chance to stretch themselves and pick a new path.

I guess I just inherently believe that every person is capable of incredible things, and that the most important aspect is simply BELIEVING in our ability to achieve them.

It's a philosophy that I would say has worked very well for me.

January 28, 2007 11:40 PM

 
Anonymous Frank 'viperteq' Young said...

Wil, here's another interesting read on Barack:

CDaniels

January 28, 2007 11:51 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great post Wil,

I had a similar epiphany when i heard him speak.

I dont think people realize what a seismic shift in politics electing Obama would be. Not because of anything other than his politics.

Enjoy a web button ^^;

http://nuzzio.googlepages.com/obama_button_sm.gif"

January 29, 2007 12:06 AM

 
Anonymous Mason said...

Just for the record, Frank, I don't find either post you linked to about Obama much more "interesting" than listening to some partisan gasbag yammer on as a guest on some cable TV show.

Two guys think he's not "Black with a capital B" enough, or he's "just another Washington insider"... whatever, fine, we all have opinions.

But I don't think those of us who are inspired by Obama give a damn that he's "black", other than to acknowledge that will make it harder in an election in this country.

And he ISN'T black in the sense that a lot of (most?) people mean it, because that simple word means different things to everybody. Just ask that blacker-than-thou blogger you cite what it means to be black, and then go ask those folks where Wil grew up with Confederate flags in the back windows of their F-150s, and then compare the answers you get.

The point is, electing Obama isn't about him being black, at all. It's about what you think after you hear him talk, or read his books: you come away realizing, "Wow, this guy is really a good person, he really cares about this country and the people who live in it, he's very smart, balanced, and would very likely make a better President of the United States than anybody in my lifetime."

And once you see that, you start thinking like Wil and me and thousands and thousands and now millions of other Americans: yeah, he's black, and yeah that realistically is going to be an obstacle in this country, but fuck that noise let's elect him anyway.

January 29, 2007 1:31 AM

 
Anonymous LKM said...

As a non-american, I have to wonder: Are there many people who *would* vote for a Democrat, but not for a black person? I think the bigger issue would be Obama's perceived lack of chance: Many Democrats may not vote for him because they think he can't get elected and don't want to waste their vote. Either way, I hope he wins, for the sake of "the rest of us."

January 29, 2007 1:53 AM

 
Anonymous StrangerWithCandy said...

His ears ain't that big.

I only hope for you poor americans that you will succeed to elect a president with at least some positive qualities.

And not the one Bush possesses: Being an easy target to caricatures

Should you against odds succed, I hope it will help to improve the openmindness other places.
As, sadly enough, USA is the most powerfull country in the world.

I think we danes would do a better job :P
...allthough we joined your war for some odd reason (did anyone say oil?) - shame on you Fogh

January 29, 2007 2:43 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Here's what you should know about the (would-be) competitors:

http://topsecrethillary.blogspot.com

(http://www.arnoldspeaks.com)

January 29, 2007 2:50 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't know that Obama is the right man for the job. I don't know that he's not. (the main reason being that I don't really know anything about him other than he's an inspiring rags to riches story and he's black) Asside from that, I do know that the problem with the response to Katrina was not race, but class. The people who go screwed in that situation did so becuase they were poor, and couldn't get out of the city on their own. NOT because of the color of their skin. Now, race and class have a high degree of statistical correlation, so it's easy to see where the confusion arrises, but the insistent push to blame large scale social problems on race when really the driving factor is money just makes it harder for us all to talk about the real issues.

January 29, 2007 4:33 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

But back to Barack... as I said, I haven't watched the news, so I've just seen bits and snatches

Blimey Wil, just because you switched off the news channel doesn't mean you have to live 24 hours on the 'one-handed' channels... or is 'snatch' not a euphemism for a lady's sensitive bits over there in the states?

January 29, 2007 5:27 AM

 
Anonymous Robert 'Groby' Blum said...

Since I agree with you and most of the comments made, let me just mention one more thing: The committee you want to serve on is the P.I.T.A committee. Just wanted you to consider that ;)

January 29, 2007 6:45 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

But you know, I know, we all KNOW that if that city had been white and middle-class, there would have been a fleet of Army helicopters airlifting every man, woman and child out of that hellhole on the first fucking day. If it had been white and middle-class, it would have been evacuated BEFORE the hurricane by a fleet of Army trucks.

Yeah, if that city and state would have had a blacks and democrats in charge . . . oh . . . wait . . .

January 29, 2007 7:06 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I guess if we voted for great orators all the time the world would be a better place.

Great Orator

January 29, 2007 7:10 AM

 
Blogger Ben said...

Wil, I too am from the South. I recently moved to Denver, Co to work for Quark. Moving away from the South has taught me alot, and moving to a Democratic city, has taught me even more. I picked up Obama's book "The Audacity of Hope" about three months ago, and I was sold. This man is not a politician, at least by the definition we see on Fox News, CNN, and the like. He is sincere, he cares, and he has been batteling as the underdog his entire political career. He went door to door, in white neighborhoods in Illinois to reach out, and find out what they needed/wanted. Obviously it worked.

Obama is legit. I too plan to support his campaign in whatever way they/he would like.

This note is to your readers. Go to your public library and pick up "The Audacity of Hope". It will open your eyes to what America can be like for our children, and restore our reputation with our friends around the world.

January 29, 2007 7:33 AM

 
Blogger Wil Shipley said...

"Snatch" is slang over here but not so common that we can't say it any more. Like, you still here people talking about purse-snatchers, which, well, I always ASSUMED wasn't slang, but maybe there's some sexual thing I'm missing. As I said, I've been out of the loop.

I remember when I first moved to Canada as a kid and I told my shop teacher I was going to sand down this "bugger", and he about slapped me. He was all, "What did you say?" and I was all "Bugger?" and he was all, "WHAT?" and I'm all "bugger??" and we went on like that until he finally figured I really couldn't be faking that I had no idea what he was getting upset about.

January 29, 2007 8:22 AM

 
Blogger The Nog said...

As a Republican, I can't wait for the Democratic primaries. Hillary's ahead in the polls, so she's obviously going to win, but in a national election, she's far too polarizing and fearful of the media to become president which guarantees another Republican victory. I'm afraid a Democrat would tear down our booming economy out of spite.

Obama is a blank slate that the liberal media has latched onto simply because they think candidates should be judged based on how sexy they are in front of a camera, rather than by their policy. He's the kind of solidly liberal guy who actually banned medical care for fetuses that survived abortions. There's no way that's going to play in a presidential election.

January 29, 2007 8:35 AM

 
Blogger Wil Shipley said...

Oh, nog, you're so lovably detached form reality.

How was the economy under Clinton? Did you suffer? I think you must have been alone.

As a Republican, can you honestly tell me that Ronald Reagan was anything more than a sincere-seeming actor? Yet, you guys love him.

Let he who is without sin cast the first stone. (PS: I know you Republicans have trouble interpreting scripture -- this does NOT mean you're supposed to start throwing stones.)

January 29, 2007 9:00 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

@ mason

you nailed it.

January 29, 2007 9:09 AM

 
Blogger Ian said...

I'm going to vote for Obama, just because he is black. I'm not normally so illogical and narrow-minded, but hey. If in the last election, millions of Americans could vote for GWB just because he is anti-abortion, anti-gay marriage and anti-stem cell research, (in spite of the fact that he has made America the most hated nation on earth), then I can vote for Obama for equally stupid reasons.

There was a modicum of sarcasm in this post.

January 29, 2007 10:27 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh, Wil... Please, please, please don't go painting people with that condascending brush of "you Republicans", it really smacks of elitism.

As for "how great" things were under Clinton. Let's see... We had an average of 4.6% unenmployment. What is unemployment averaging at now? 4.6%. Yeah, it was so much better under Clinton. The Dow was at it's highest, I believe at around 9,000. We have a Dow now in the 12.000 range. Quite a bit better. Oh, and the most important factor, is we had all these damn terrorists attacking us and all we ever did under Clinton was issue subpeonas and occassionally lob a missle at some Aspirin factory in the middle east during off hours.

And finally, the reason why Reagan is so revered with conservatives is because he accomplished quite a bit - bankrupted the USSR, lowered taxes, restored American pride after the drudging of the Carter years, and so on.

And finally, as someone who lives in Georgia now, I gotta say you need to be careful with your sterotypical paintings of the south from the period when you lived here. I'm originally from the NE, and I experienced much more racism there than I ever did living in Georgia.

Come on Wil, we need less MoveOn.org from you and more developer.apple.com.

January 29, 2007 12:09 PM

 
Blogger Yours Truly said...

I can't believe I read the whole thing.

January 29, 2007 12:37 PM

 
Blogger Wil Shipley said...

Anonymous:

Come on, you're squishing all over here. The original guy insinuated that Democrats would screw up the economy just out of spite, and you call me elitist because I respond saying Democrats were at least as good on the economy, which you don't refute, and in fact you only count one statistic, which is one I don't particularly care about.

I'm pretty sure the biggest terrorist attack happened during Bush's administration, that terrorists attacks are UP under Bush according to the government, and that Bush hasn't actually punished the perpetrators -- he just pointed at the Iraqis and said, "Look, they are dark-skinned too -- GET 'EM!"

Osama is still free. If we'd concentrated our troops on where HE is, instead of in Iraq where HE IS NOT, we might have him. Suck on that.

I think my statements on the south were very well qualified. I didn't say, "Let me explain how Atlanta is today."

I may not know the deep south now, but least I understand the difference between its and it's.

January 29, 2007 12:39 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I may not know the deep south now, but least I understand the difference between its and it's.

Touché. But at least I understand the difference between using my blog to inform my customers, versus using it to insult people from differing walks of life.

January 29, 2007 12:52 PM

 
Blogger Wil Shipley said...

Dude, I'm a person. I don't have "customers." Delicious Monster does, but I'm not posting this on the Delicious Monster blog. I reserve the right to say what I want on my personal blog.

January 29, 2007 12:57 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Osama is still free. If we'd concentrated our troops on where HE is, instead of in Iraq where HE IS NOT, we might have him. Suck on that.

Sure, Osama is free, but the guy credited with being the mastermind behind 9/11, Khalid Sheik Mohammed, is not. So to insinuate that because bin Laden hasn't been captured we haven't made progress in to bringing people to justice for 9/11 is disingenuous.

As for Iraq, I remember one bad mofo of a terrorist who was operating out of there named Al Zarqawi, who was part of Al Qaeda. Sure, he didn't have a hand in 9/11, but that's not to say he wasn't an enemy of the US. Oh, and he's dead now too.

But really Wil, who cares? You hate the Pres, and feel the country is on the wrong track. Fair enough. You and those of your mindset will get their opportunity to change course in 2 years. I suspect most people come to your blog to read about Cocoa/Apple/Mac OS X/Delicious Library, and I suspect near half of them are of a differing mind politically than you. Seems a real shame to pick a fight with 50% of your customers, doesn't it?

January 29, 2007 1:05 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wil, I have to say it: you're falling for the shell game. Republicans and democrats are utterly interchangeable, just like the nazis and the commies. They're just our home-grown, watered-down versions of the two competing flavors of authoritarianism in the world.

We all know how their rhetoric differs, but when you look at what they actually DO, they both tax and tax and spend and spend, and they both believe that they're the Annointed Enlightented Ones who are entitled to tell other people not only how to live, but even how to think.

-jcr

January 29, 2007 1:06 PM

 
Blogger Reginald Braithwaite said...

The problem with the response to Katrina was not race, but class. The people who go screwed in that situation did so becuase they were poor, and couldn't get out of the city on their own.

Ahh, that clears everything up! As a Canadian, I was very confused, but I get it now:

It is not ok for someone to die needlessly just because the are Black. It is ok for someone to dies needlessly just because they are poor.

It's not racism. It's, I dunno, the free market or something. Got it.

January 29, 2007 1:19 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh, and about "managing the economy": first of all, giving credit to any politician for the state of the economy is like giving a flea credit for the dog. The greatest effect a politician can have on an economy is to damage it (like the flea), but they really can't help.

It's important to realize that a congressman is a businessman. What he's selling, first and foremost, is promises to manipulate the tax code to the benefit of the people who pay money into his campaign coffers. Some of them deliver on those promises, some of them don't, but it is their stock and trade. Ideology, whether it's promising to "soak the rich", or "get the government off our backs" is just window-dressing.

They will always take most of the tax revenue from the middle class, because it's the middle class that 1) has enough to be worth looting, and 2) doesn't have the resources to dodge taxes like Bushes, the Kennedys and the Kerrys of the world can do.

As for Obama, he may be new enough to not be a cynic like nearly every other congressman, but I'm voting for Ron Paul because for several decades, he's consistently voted for my liberty against both left- and right-wing encroachments.

-jcr

January 29, 2007 1:32 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm sorry to inform you, but the War of Northern Agression was not about the south wanting to keep slaves. That story is revisionist rewriting by the victors. The south wanted to secede for a variety of reasons, and slavery was already on the way out. Loncoln did not free the slaves in the north, was a supporter of slavery (or wanted to "send them back to africa" paraphrased) in the alternative, and was very clearly a racist. Finally, the north fought by pressing immigrants and others into slavery to fight the war-- and being sent to your death is a far worse offense than being made to work in a field.

Further, the War of Northern Agression ended, once and for all, the constitional rule of this country by blocking the ability of states to secede and thus giving the federal government a stranglehold that it was not intended to have. Lincoln didn't free black people, but he did enslave everyone else.

I don't know much about Obama, but I think that the idea that since he's young and articulate, he isn't in politics to line people's pockets is also... sweet, but too kind. The purpose of government is to extract wealth from the productive for the benefit of the charismatic.

But if Obama loses, it won't be because he's black, it will be because he's muslim. Maybe even because "obama" sounds a lot like "osama".

January 29, 2007 1:46 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wil writes:

country that posed no threat

I believe the in-vogue term for this is... hogwash. Really, Wil, this sort of fluff completely undermines the point you were attempting to make.

Regardless of your views on Bush, or Clinton for that matter, Iraq may have posed no immediate, direct threat to you personally, but too bad if you were an actual Iraqi, huh?

Maybe you should ask the families of dead, tortured or raped Kuwaitis if Iraq was a threat.

Or Israelis and Saudis who were subjected to SCUD attacks.

Or Israelis whose family and friends were killed due to suicide bombers funded, in part, from Saddam's regime?

Or Kurds who were gassed? Yes, real WMDs, really used, with real people really dead.

Even if you manage to conveniently shelve all these atrocities in to the past, and somehow assume that Saddam wouldn't do these naughty things again, you'd still be left with the threat he and his thugs posed to actual Iraqis on a daily basis.

Whether you are troubled by this enough to believe that it warranted invasion or not is an entirely different matter. But claiming Iraq wasn't a threat? Come on.

January 29, 2007 1:50 PM

 
Anonymous Nicole Sikora Heschong said...

I (heart) Obama too, and would vote for him/contribute to his campaign/and VERY enthusiastically support him over Hilary for the nomination.

One compelling problem beyond the potential color issues you've identified though -- Only two sitting Senators have ever won the White House: Warren G. Harding and John F. Kennedy.

The cards are stacked against them. And while he'd be a great leader, he's also going to have an uphill battle due to lack of foreign policy experience. If the Republicans put up McCain or Guiliani, Obama's experience in war/terrorism/foreign policy will NOT stand.

My money is absolutely on New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson. He's got the "person of color" potential hotbed too -- would be our first Hispanic -- but his charisma and heartfelt speaking style match Obama's. He's VERY persuasive in his mannerisms.

Even better, the man was the Secretary of Energy under Clinton, and was also the U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. He’s successfully negotiated the release of hostages in Iraq and Sudan. He’s turned his state’s economy into a research and development dream – space science, energy science, etc., etc., capitalizing on the area’s natural strengths and emphasizing the need for our nation to be an intellectual property leader again. He’s kept his state’s budget well under control and advanced education. He’s charismatic, and has consistently ranked as the second most popular governor in the U.S. in recent polls (behind Former Va. Gov. Mark Warner, who has said he won’t run.) He’s a past chair of the DNC.

He's got EVERYTHING we need. And Obama or Mark Warner would make a great VP.

I encourage you and other readers to check him out. You can check out his site and still protect your senses from TV:
http://billrichardsonforpresident.com/

Keep the great posts coming (and if none of this works, I will DEFINITELY be by your side finding an appropriate squeaky toy to nominate!)

January 29, 2007 1:55 PM

 
Blogger Wil Shipley said...

But if Obama loses, it won't be because he's black, it will be because he's muslim.

What what WHAT? How can you repeat this lie with a straight face?

January 29, 2007 2:25 PM

 
Blogger Wil Shipley said...

Maybe you should ask the families of dead, tortured or raped Kuwaitis if Iraq was a threat.

Or Israelis and Saudis who were subjected to SCUD attacks.


Yes, Saddam was bad. However, our effort to be the good-guy world police has resulted in hundreds of thousands of Iraqi civilian deaths. Even if we presme Bush did this as a mission of mercy, which I do not accept, WE FAILED. We did not bring peace or safety or prosperty to Iraq. We brought hatred and ruin.

The Israelis and Saudis strike me as being able to fend pretty well for themselves. I don't recall either of them asking us to come down and polarize the muslim community against us.

January 29, 2007 2:29 PM

 
Blogger Wil Shipley said...

I suspect most people come to your blog to read about Cocoa/Apple/Mac OS X/Delicious Library, and I suspect near half of them are of a differing mind politically than you. Seems a real shame to pick a fight with 50% of your customers, doesn't it?

a) I don't think 50% of my COMPANY's customers are Republican. It turns out that there's a huge correlation between using Macs and being a Democrat. Also, literacy and hating Bush.

b) I don't have customers. I've explained this.

c) I don't think I'm picking a fight. I'm talking about how Bush is both idiotic and corrupt, and how poisonous this has been for our country. If there are people who disagree with me, they are wrong. If there are people who won't buy my products because they can't accept this truth, then I suppose I will be ever-so-slightly less rich because of it. But I'll sleep with a clear conscience.

Essentially, you're saying to me, "Dude, shut up about your political views, or you'll lose money." Well, I think it's more important to be able to speak freely than it is to be loaded. But, hey, I'm a Democrat, not a Republican.

Honestly, if you look at the original ideals of the Republican party, I would qualify as a Republican. My hatred is for the jerks who have taken over the party, and the zealotry they have encouraged in order to stay in power.

Yes, I think Democrats are corrupt. But, the lesser of two evils is still lesser. Right now, we could really use some lesser evils.

January 29, 2007 2:36 PM

 
Blogger jen said...

is your blog tag a Lorrie Moore reference?

January 29, 2007 4:44 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Boy, there are some sensitive, thin skinned republican commenters here ( or are they the same person).

Re: macs and politcs, there is a post on dailykos today about that- and boy, I havent seen such ill informed, vitriolic mac bashing comments since circa 2000 slashdot.

January 29, 2007 4:52 PM

 
Blogger Reginald Braithwaite said...

Essentially, you're saying to me, "Dude, shut up about your political views, or you'll lose money." Well, I think it's more important to be able to speak freely than it is to be loaded.

Anyone who does not get this needs to re-read the entire post again. Twice.

Do you think Wil wants to tell his children "I had a chance to speak up for my beliefs, but I chose the expedient path of making a few more bucks"?

I'm not an American, so I don't realy understand "American Values," but Hollywood certainly sells us on the idea that being an American means standing up for your beliefs.

Who wants to tell Wil to sell the Stars and Stripes out for some greenbacks?

The interesting thing is, this is a false dichotomy anyways. A sham! Pandering to the money isn't really the expedient path, it's just buying someone else's excuses for their own choices.

January 29, 2007 5:10 PM

 
Anonymous Graham Cox said...

As a Brit, I desperately hope that Obama is in with a genuine chance. As you say, we need thoughtful, intellectual well-read world leaders, not barely evolved chimps.

Funny thing though - you say he's black? Hmmm, I hadn't actually noticed! He's not very black though, now you come to mention it. It's amazing that that alone could be the reason that he might not make it. C'mon, USA, get over it! Grow up! We are all descended from black people, we ARE all black people, in fact. It's just an odd accident of evolution that some of us lost the pigmentation gene. And if Obama doesn't make it because he didn't then it proves that a majority of us also gained the stupid gene at the same time.

January 29, 2007 5:14 PM

 
Anonymous Chriz said...

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

That guy was the to-be-the-new-president when he disappears from the surface of the USA...

-It turns out that there's a huge correlation between using Macs and being a Democrat
--Sure... "huge".... and those who eat pizza twice a week drive a lada (pfffrrrr...)

-If there are people who disagree with me, they are wrong.
--Come on Wil ... Let's start those gaz chambers for those who think different...

-Honestly, if you look at the original ideals of the Republican party, I would qualify as a Republican.
-- Black or White, right? No Gray? No Color?

Saying people will not vote for him because he's black is racist. But voting for him because he's black isn't? Sure, racism is a White->Black only thing.

Honestly Wil, I think money is getting to your brain. I don't blame for those words against Bush.. I don't care. It's sad to see you think that Obama (or any other candidate) is the next saviour... Just like any other politician, he's even not writing his own speechs.

By the way, I'm even not a US Citizen. I'm not even living in the US.

"Every baby is the best baby on earth until he says a bad word."

P.S. I don't vote anymore since 4 years now. Voting is not the real democracy for me. it's the only way for politicians to say: "Say something now, then get bent for the next 4 years..." Fortunately, marriage doesn't work the same way. :D

January 29, 2007 5:59 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you're going to vote for Barack Hussain Obama because he's black, or his race is one of the main factors in your decision to vote for him, you're going to have to figure out how you'll be able to give him half a vote. There's no word yet on when he'll be taking a photo op tour to Nebraska to discover the other side of his roots.

He is handsome, has a nice smile, and speaks well, and that's about it. We here in Illinois have noticed that he doesn't do anything except vote on a few things. When he does vote, he'll tell us one thing, and then vote the opposite way, and then smile and dance around it when he's called on it. He's almost as good as "Slick" Dick Durbin.

Our Gov. here in Il. is under all kinds of investigation, particularly for dealings with a crooked individual. While they were doing the investigation, guess whose name came up? "Barry" (as he was known in school in Hawaii) Obama. Seems there was some land sold back and forth, somebody got a good job, etc. The media started to report on it, but then it went away, and there's been no word on it since.

It might be more economical to elect Hillary "We Are The President" Clinton (originally from Illinois). We wouldn't have to spend any money at all on Air Force One to fly her around. No fuel, maintenance, security, staff, nothing. We could put Air Force One in mothballs for the whole four years and let Hillary fly around from place to place on her broomstick!

I'm from Illinois, and I don't think I'd trust any politician that had any kind of ties to this state. (present or future)

January 29, 2007 6:16 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

For my money Obama says things with too many words. He's too verbose like Kerry and by the time he gets the point he's already lost your attention. Note: typical attention span of american voter.

Watch him on Meet the Press or other sometime and you'll see what I mean.

January 29, 2007 7:01 PM

 
Blogger flyinghigh450 said...

This was a very insightful posting. I really enjoyed it, and I hate politics. Kudos to you! I don't root for anyone in particular in politics... just whoever makes the most sense, ya know? But I'll definatly give Obama a chance in the next presidential race (which can't come soon enough). I look forward to reading more by you.

January 29, 2007 7:28 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My godmother once met Obama at the morning show she poduces(Good Morning Arizona) She said that the man had a a sort of glowing energy about him...

January 29, 2007 9:45 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree in large with your blog post and I may well vote for Obama I say may becaue none of the candidates ahave been vetted nearly enough yet. But he's in the lead in my book so far.

However, you said something that needs to be cleared up: The US War Between the States was not fought over slavery. The majority of historians and document from the period agree it was about states rights versus federal rights--a battle that continues today. THe right of the rich in the South did include salvery, but it was already declining when the war started. Heck only a very small minority of southerners even owned slaves. You think your average confederate soldier was risking his life so some rich man could own slaves. Hardly. They were very poor farmers mostly and jsut didn't want slick city folk in the North running their state from a far. A sentiment that survives to day and you can see GW Bush pushing bakc federal rights and building states rights as we speak.

So the flag is a symbol of states rights over federal and secession--not slavery. Kind like a fluttering Boston Tea Party. Slavery has been pushed in the forefront by ignorant people (too many in this country) because its an easy handle to explain the war even if untrue. Ask the average joe on the street about state's rights and you'll get a blank look.

Will, you are a bright guy and great Cocoa programmer, but learn a bit more history--perpetuating myths and falsehoods spreads ignorance.

January 30, 2007 9:19 AM

 
Anonymous Jim said...

Great post, Wil! Barack's biggest problem (IMO) is his relative lack of experience, but I'm voting for him anyway.

January 30, 2007 2:01 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm not voting for him because he's black, I'm voting for him because he's the right guy.

And *yet* if someone doesn't vote for him, you've already said it will be because of racism. Way to poison the well, Mr. Shipley.

If someone agrees with you: yippee
Someone disagrees with you: you're a closet racist
Either way, you've already passed judgement on the motive of the second party.

Other odds and ends--
re: your "katrina example" (if it were white and middle class...)
You have not really looked at the demographics of the disaster, and you're talking out your ass here.

re: "We Democrats don't want to pick a guy who can't win an election."
This says more about the current Democrat desire to *win power*. If the Democrats had a widely popular platform with compelling ideas, communicated in an effective manner, the Democrats wouldn't have to try and fall back on "winability", but could win "on prinicple."

Mr. Obama is a political unknown upon which many Democrats have pinned their hopes. He's a media darling, currently, in spite of not having much if anything of substance to say, and no accomplishments to his name other than "sexy black man who isn't Hillary." He's (currently) all media sizzle and no political steak. In this way, he's very much like Delicious Library, so I'm not surprised, Wil, you want to send him $$.
-anonymous coward

January 30, 2007 2:48 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Has anyone else noticed that with a couple more pounds on him, Obama would look a lot like Bush?

It's the ears I think...

January 30, 2007 3:48 PM

 
Anonymous Chad said...

I just like saying his name: Obama....Obama...Obama-mama. It's even more fun to say than Diefenderfer (which is already fun to say in itself).

But look at it this way. If Hilary Clinton became president, the last 20 years of US presidents would be pretty simple to remember...Bush, Clinton, Bush, Clinton.

Still, I think it's definitely time for the political pendulum to swing the other way. The last election proved that people are ready for a change.

And then we'll get sick of the Democrats and lean back the other way.

Oh, would you look at what e-mail just popped up in my Inbox. The iTunes Store is advertising Obama's audiobook.

January 30, 2007 6:50 PM

 
Blogger Eric Jasso said...

Anonymous (number 22 or whatever...please don't hide behind anon...show yourselves!) the "shady" land deal story disappeard because it was a NON story and a totally legit transaction.

Did you miss the news that day? Get off your swiftboat.

January 30, 2007 11:39 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What what WHAT? How can you repeat this lie with a straight face?

Not a lie, a misunderstanding. I was aware that he was raised muslim, I did not realize he had become a christian.

Anyway, he supports gun control, so he's a tyrant, just like the rest.

God, Gays and Guns-- those are the litmus tests. Any politician that wants to legislate in any of those areas is a scumbag, and a tyrant.

This means that, unless you're a fascist or a fan of tyranny, you have to vote Libertarian. The democrats want to force their religion ("the global warming theory"), oppose gay rights and think that women should not be able to defend themselves against rapists.

Three strikes, just like the republicans.

January 31, 2007 2:23 AM

 
Blogger Wil Shipley said...

First off, I don't accept the hypothesis that rednecks in pickup trucks are saying "YEEE-HAWWW" to the principle of states' rights. I think they worhship the rebel flag because it's a symbol of them rising up (hence "The South Will Rise Again") against the North, and they think that's pretty neat.

In this regard, it's hard to generate any sympathy for them. Yay, you killed lots of people trying to split up America! Hoorah! Celebrate!

If I tried to split up America today with violence, I'd be thrown in jail.

Your analysis of the civil war is one I've heard before, but I think it's worth pointing out that this flag is forever associated with slavery.

You could tell me that the Nazi party REALLY wasn't about killing jews, it was a response to the excessive punishments imposed on Germany after their defeat in WWI, blah blah blah... but I'm still not going to feel a lot of sympathy for people flying the Nazi flag.

January 31, 2007 4:13 AM

 
Blogger Wil Shipley said...

Why are the crazy ones always anonymous? Do you KNOW ahead of time you're nuts?

And *yet* if someone doesn't vote for him, you've already said it will be because of racism.

No, I haven't. You're getting off on a bad foot. I just said racism will be a factor in getting him elected. One among many, see. Not the only one. Come on, elementary logic, here, Mr. Fallacy-quoter.

You have not really looked at the demographics of the disaster, and you're talking out your ass here.

No, I'm not, and you didn't refute my statement. Do you HONESTLY believe this would have happened to poor white people in America? Do you think Bush would have cut funding for the levies on a poor, white city?

If the Democrats had a widely popular platform with compelling ideas, communicated in an effective manner, [blah blah]

Or if the Republicans didn't lie continuously about every Democratic candidate, portraying a war hero as "unfit for command" when their candidate didn't even bother to show up for his MAIL-DELIVERY JOB during the war, and now saying Obama is a Muslim, or, if not, then he must have converted...

Or if the Republicans didn't fix elections, which is pretty well documented in the national press now. There's not a statistician working today who doesn't think the anomolies are too great to have been coincidence.

He's (currently) all media sizzle and no political steak. In this way, he's very much like Delicious Library, so I'm not surprised, Wil, you want to send him $$.

My program has no political steak? Does it have political fries? Or a side politcal baked potato, at least? Is that even an insult?

January 31, 2007 4:24 AM

 
Blogger Wil Shipley said...

In the same vein, the other day I saw Danny Glover at Nishino's here in Seattle, and I realized he looked EXACTLY like my Dad (about the same age, very musular and lean dudes) except for the single obvious difference.

I told the waitress, "Hey, you know, he looks like my dad," but she assumed I was trying to make some kind of racist crack and acted all taken aback. Sensitive topic, race.

January 31, 2007 4:27 AM

 
Blogger Wil Shipley said...

Wow, you guys are wacky.

Here's an article about the source of the Muslim rumors. Hey, turns out Fox News was part of it! SHOCK!

January 31, 2007 4:43 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

chitlins?
Come along Wil, please explain to the class what a pork chitterling is, and, if possible, the racial/cultural subtext that accompanies the eating of such a comestible.

And Wil, I think your writing style is giving me dyslexia. I read one of your sentences and the words I saw first were 'black man', 'presidency', and 'shot'. It took me several attempts to read that sentence and fully grasp what you meant, which was very different from my first impression.

There have been precious few moments in history where we have an opportunity, each one of us, to define who we are simply by picking a side. There were people in Germany who opposed the Nazi party, and they got to brag about it for the rest of their lives.
Well yes but in many cases the rest of their lives was ... short. Real bragging rights went to those Germans still standing on 8th May 1945, irrespective of their politics. Strangely, those survivors generally didn't feel much like bragging. Examples of those who rose to high office in Germany after their opposition to Adolf and all his works include both Willi Brandt -- and Erich Honecker. I really don't like your comparison. How much do you really stand to lose if the wrong candidate wins the 2008 election? Do you really risk being jailed or murdered by the new administration?

Sometimes the most important thing in a fight is which side you are on, and not whether that side can win or not.
Well, I suppose I too could write that I'd like a Democrat to win the 2008 election and that I'm concerned that while both Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton are fine candidates and I favour one over the other, there are obvious rationalisations that much of the electorate will find to justify not voting for either, even before the Neocons start exploiting any internecine split, and I'm pretty sure I could write it in fewer words than you. Oh, wait...

I would have just spent that money on booze and cars anyhow
You left out women, Mr wears-fancy-shirts, have you something to tell us? And anyway, are you really proposing to not spend your money on booze and cars, but to let a Democrat do it for you? Hint: Chappaquiddick!

While all this enthusiasm for Barack as induced by a speech is fine, I have read it before. The late Hunter Thompson wrote extensively of his enthusiasm for Jimmy Carter in 'The Gonzo Papers'. [Mind you I preferred Hunter's increasingly paranoid musings, reproduced in 'Songs Of the Doomed', in 1988 that Richard Nixon was going to emerge from retirement and run for the presidency.]

levies
What, there's a tax on dykes now? Oh, you meant 'levees'.

January 31, 2007 6:31 AM

 
Blogger Wil Shipley said...

Do you really risk being jailed or murdered by the new administration?

If it's another Bush, then, yes. Since he's demonstrated he tortures his enemies, and he's suspended habeas corpus.

I'm pretty sure I could write it in fewer words than you.

Cool, you should start a blog.

Chappaquiddick

You're reaching pretty far into the past there. I guess I get to bring up Nixon and Reagan now, huh?

Mind you I preferred Hunter's increasingly paranoid musings...

You think a famous professional writer is more entertaining than me? Wow, zing! You got me, sir.

Oh, you meant 'levees'.

Actually I meant "levis" - they were being discriminated against because of their jeans.

January 31, 2007 2:14 PM

 
Anonymous Chriz said...

Any plans to stop writing about politic, Wil? How about coming back to Cocoa/Obj-C Programming?

This is an eternal fight...

January 31, 2007 7:06 PM

 
Blogger Wil Shipley said...

Chriz

I have conveniently tagged my posts by category, so you can skip reading the ones that doth offend.

If I can figure out how to get blogger to offer an XML feed for each category, this will be even simpler, but for now you can just go to: http://wilshipley.com/blog/labels/code.html

-W

January 31, 2007 7:10 PM

 
Anonymous Chriz said...

I was just saying that for you... You're losing great fans and slowly become one of those zillions political blogs nobody read anymore ...

It remembers me the Yes-No fight my sister and me were doing when we were young that could only end by a swear of my father :D.

Anyway, your free to write what you want.

Thanks for the URL.

Hope to see you back on the good side (The Programming side :)) )

Chriz

January 31, 2007 7:32 PM

 
Blogger Wil Shipley said...

I guess collecting fans isn't the most important thing to me. That slutty girl on MySpace has a million and a half friends and yet I don't envy her.

January 31, 2007 7:54 PM

 
Blogger jcb said...

Thanks for speaking your mind on a spectrum of stuff, Mr. S. The posts (from Chriz, mostly, I guess) so darned concerned about you alienating some of your total market just seem like the kind of things folks have been writing forever (to you youngsters, the Eisenhower 50s qualifies as forever, so, there you are.) I read Erik Barzeski's blog all the time and his politics are way, way, way away from mine, as is his temperment, but everyoften he says something so spot-on that it's worth taking the whole person.
Same with you (except that politically I'm more in your corner, I think.) Same with everyone...that's what expressing ideas is all about.

Regards from Virginia-Highland, btw.

January 31, 2007 9:23 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well said, Wil.

January 31, 2007 10:20 PM

 
Blogger Michael Babin said...

c) I don't think I'm picking a fight. I'm talking about how Bush is both idiotic and corrupt, and how poisonous this has been for our country. If there are people who disagree with me, they are wrong.

The Church of Wil is now is session. Heretics will be burned.

I may not know the deep south now, but least I understand the difference between its and it's.

Actually, that should be "...but at least I...".

Like, you still here people talking about purse-snatchers,...

But evidently, you don't know the difference between here and hear.

Grammatical nits aside, your zealotry may serve you well in some areas but is not appealing in every conversation.

February 01, 2007 7:04 PM

 
Blogger Wil Shipley said...

Grammatical nits aside, your zealotry may serve you well in some areas but is not appealing in every conversation.

Ok, we've come to the root of the problem. This isn't a conversation. I know some blogs are set up this way.

This site is a peek inside my head, not a chance for me to talk to the world. I don't really have time to attempt to do the latter.

If you don't like what's in my head, you can selectively or entirely censor me very easily on your end.

I have comments enabled so people can, for example, correct my facts if I get them wrong.

I'm not trying to start a conversation with you about Barack Obama. It's not that I don't value your opinion -- if I met you in person I'm sure we could have a very valuable chat. It's that I don't feel this medium really lends itself to conversations.

I've been in online communities for, uh, 25 or so years. Pretty much my experience has consistently been what everyone else has noted before -- giant conversations quickly turn into idiot shouting sessions.

I am strongly considering just turning off comments, like a lot of the blogs I admire, and letting people e-mail me directly if they want, so there isn't any spam and grandstanding.

February 01, 2007 7:14 PM

 
Anonymous Pat said...

Very well said Wil. And impressive work keeping up with all the comments.

February 02, 2007 8:39 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wil mumbled:

a) I don't think 50% of my COMPANY's customers are Republican. It turns out that there's a huge correlation between using Macs and being a Democrat. Also, literacy and hating Bush.

Oh dear. Ignoring the last sentence for the obvious troll that it is...

There is no such correlation between using a Mac and being a Democrat voter. Especially for the majority of Mac users who do not live in the US, let alone the comfortable confines of liberal US states packed with high-tech corridors.

What there is, is a correlation between young geeks and soft-left, abstract (i.e. non-people-oriented) politics. Finding an opinionated, blogging geek with mild, often unexamined and naive lefty views is about as hard as shooting fish in a barrel.

The idea of ascribing a political stance to a choice of a mainstream, consumer-oriented, somewhat-expensive computing platform, is only something a blogger or marketer could come up. And would it suprise anyone to learn that the blogger would just happen to subscribe to those views he sees in his fellow bloggers?

Wil, you are clearly a good salesman. You know how to work your audience, you know how to appeal to your base. You know the value of a polemic, you know how useful division can be, and how people can be polarised for gain. But give your audience some credit. We do know how politicians operate, whether they're on a stump, or crafting a manifesto in a geek-friendly town for a geek-friendly polity.

February 02, 2007 12:58 PM

 
Blogger Wil Shipley said...

Anonymous:

I think I stated how I found out about Obama, and it didn't involve other bloggers.

I also think it's fair to say, at this point, the rest of the world would side with Democrats, since our president is, amazingly, even more reviled outside our country than in it.

I think the only people who like Bush are Al Qaeda -- he has achieved all their goals for them, stirring our nation into a state of constant fear and removing our freedoms in the name of safety.

Who has done more to increase "terror", the terrorists themselves, or the president who, six years after the last major attack, keeps mentioning that one incident every chance he gets?

February 02, 2007 1:23 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wil writes:

I also think it's fair to say, at this point, the rest of the world would side with Democrats, since our president is, amazingly, even more reviled outside our country than in it.

Speaking as one of those on the outside...

The rest of the world would not side with your Democrats. That is merely wishful thinking and indicative of your US-centric, US-liberal worldview.

I use the term US-liberal here, because on a global scale, American liberalism looks very much like touchy-feely, both-ways capitalism. (Hmm, should I purchase the Prius, or a new SUV?) To you, the Democrats may seem like a distinct choice with ideologies that are far removed from your Republican enemies, but to much of the rest of the world, the differences are minor.

Here's where you, and so many other Americans have got it wrong in your stance towards the rest of the world:

Much of the world dislikes/distrusts/hates the US regardless of your choice of government every 4 years.

You cannot coddle up to these people. You cannot make them believe that your beloved Democrats would make a better world for them. You are wrong in believing that you can reform your image in the world by stridently denouncing Bush. Certainly, you will win temporary, convenient friends in Western Europe, but once in office, Hillary or your new found friend Obama will face the same hostility and mistrust that Clinton did.

It's not your choice of Dem or GOP that is the issue. Much of the world hates your very culture (even as it devours that culture through media and scrambles for green cards.)

You need to look outside your own country once in a while. Most people on this planet do not live in democracies, they do not have a tradition of liberal democracy, they do not have the rights that you enjoy, they do not live lives of affluence and excess, they do not have comfy day jobs at computers in their underpants, they do not share your religious views (or lack of them), they do not believe in the power of international bodies to solve problems except as a political tool, they are not at all concerned with the politics of the moment that you find so engrossing, and they're not your friends.

They may look like your friends while you are denouncing Bush as if he were some latter-day Stalin or Mao, and you might find it politically opportune to ally yourself with their concerns, but it will be a very temporary alliance. You may hate the idea, blinded as you are by domestic concerns, but even strident Democrat voters have far more shared values with Bush than they do with most other people on this planet.

February 03, 2007 1:51 PM

 
Blogger Wil Shipley said...

You're right -- we ARE the master race! We are alone in our struggle! Other nations must fall before us! Heil, brother!

February 03, 2007 2:10 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wil, you completely missed the point, deliberately or otherwise.

It wasn't about whether the rest of the world is right in its attitude towards the US, but about your attempt to align yourself with some supposed greater Democrat polity in the rest of the world.

I realize that you don't see this as a conversation, but if you're going to throw out your political views, the least you could do is have the courtesy to consider the views of others in the same way that you expect yours to be viewed.

February 03, 2007 2:25 PM

 
Blogger Gary Patterson said...

I have to disagree with the post from 1:51, quoting "Much of the world dislikes/distrusts/hates the US regardless of your choice of government every 4 years."

I'm an Australian, and we've never had this much anti-Americanism here. The US is a friend and ally, but there's a lot of rancour about how Bush led all of us on the Iraq misadventure, and a feeling that a change of your government would be a good thing.

The Democrats aren't (as far as I can see) paragons of virtue either, but many people believe they're substantially different and that a Democrat White House would see a return to the friend and ally we once knew.

The rest of the world doesn't hate the US all the time. We're too busy dealing with our own elected bozos and all the dumb things they do. A lot of people do hate your current government, though we're aware it's ending one way or another.

February 03, 2007 10:14 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Censoring posts that disagree with your politics now, Wil?

February 04, 2007 2:51 AM

 
Blogger Wil Shipley said...

No, however I have been storing up posts that raise issues to which I want to respond until I feel like responding to them.

But you raise a good point, so I'll give notice: I reserve the right to not publish your post if I think it doesn't really raise any interesting issues, or if you pretty much ignore the points I raise and just repeat yourself, or if I just don't like you, or if I feel grumpy.

February 04, 2007 10:11 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Censorship vs storage. Remember, its augmentation, not escalation. ;)

It's your blog, your call. But if you just want this to be a one-way outlet where only liberal views are presented, you might want to let people know first. Plenty of other Cocoa blogs out there after all, most without approved content processes.

Please think about it, and what you're really saying to your readers and contributors with this move.

February 04, 2007 12:36 PM

 
Blogger Wil Shipley said...

But if you just want this to be a one-way outlet where only liberal views are presented, you might want to let people know first.

Seriously, I feel like I just did.

February 04, 2007 1:44 PM

 
Blogger Anthony said...

Condi '08!

February 04, 2007 3:03 PM

 
Blogger tophu said...

First off, I don't accept the hypothesis that rednecks in pickup trucks are saying "YEEE-HAWWW" to the principle of states' rights. I think they worhship the rebel flag because it's a symbol of them rising up (hence "The South Will Rise Again") against the North, and they think that's pretty neat.

Indeed, I'm sure there are some rednecks flying the flag exactly as such. There are also those who fly it for the same reason I fly the Gadsden flag (the yellow "DONT TREAD ON ME" rattlesnake flag): It is representative of a time that citizens sought to free themselves from tyranny.

In this regard, it's hard to generate any sympathy for them. Yay, you killed lots of people trying to split up America! Hoorah! Celebrate!

Well, they tried to "split up America" peaceably first, but the Federal Government told them the Declaration of Independence doesn't apply anymore. The People are not allowed to "dissolve the political bands which have connected them" and the federal government made clear that it did not derive its "powers from the consent of the governed" as our founding fathers intended.

If I tried to split up America today with violence, I'd be thrown in jail.

Of course you would. Many Americans were also jailed when they dared to oppose the tyrant King George, as are opponents of the current tyrant George.

Your analysis of the civil war is one I've heard before, but I think it's worth pointing out that this flag is forever associated with slavery.

For some, that is surely true. The victors write the history, and the People lost that battle to the Federal Government. Scholars of history and true patriots know the difference. Of course, those terms do not describe the majority of the current American citizenry.

February 04, 2007 3:08 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...


So, I guess everyone loves Obama -- he's warm and charismatic and smart ...


You can stop right there. Being smart is
worse than being black. He can't get elected
even if he goes the Michael Jackson route.

February 06, 2007 12:58 PM

 
Blogger Ralf D. said...

As an european I am constantly shocked if I read republican-talk. Something like: "Clinton couldn't protect America against terrorists."

And then someone points out, that 9/11 happened under Bush and the hawks only took it as an subterfuge to take out of the drawer the war plans for an invasion in the middle east. And than the answer is:

"Yes, but we liberated Iraq for good and be glad that you are not a tortured Iraqi who suffered under badder-than-Mike-Tyson Saddam."

It is ridiculous. It is insane. I think "Are some americans brain-washed?" And then I wonder "Or is only my view twisted and wrong?"

I mean, the war is costing you an immense amount of money, money you don't have but have to borrow from the chinese, your next rival of world superpower. Look how weak the dollar is against the euro or other currencies. And you argue over the issue, if the Democrats would ruin your economy?

You brought not peace to another country but civil war. More US citizens died in Iraq than at 9/11. And you quarrel which political party would bring the land more security?

The whole world hates you. Literally. And not some backward land with strange culture like Kazakhstan or Denmark, but your allies, the western world. Try travel abroad! Whenever you get drunk in a pub and the conversations gets political your magic words should be "Sorry, didn't vote for Bush, it wasn't my fault"

February 08, 2007 6:28 PM

 
Blogger Jeff said...

I'm from Arkansas and in the race for governor this past November I had a choice. I could vote for the lesser of two evils, namely the Republican candidate (former Homeland Security Undersecretary Asa Hutchison) and the Republican-lite (aka Democrat) candidate (AR Attorney General Mike Beebe).

I wasn't too excited about Mr. Beebe, but I didn't want Mr. Hutchison to win since he's a Republican and, well, the spawn of the devil. I guess that makes Mr. Beebe the spawn of some lesser demon. Whatever.

Anyway, when the day came that I went to vote, I stood there for a few minutes deciding whom to vote for. There was a third party candidate, Jim Lendall, a former State Representative, former Democrat and a nurse, who held many of the same beliefs that I do. Sure we didn't match up 100%, but that's extremely rare. What mattered was that we believed the same things on key issues that were of paramount importance to me.

Unfortunately, I let pragmatism sway my vote and I voted for Mr. Beebe because polls that I'd seen suggested that the race was pretty close (Wow were those polls wrong!) and I was determined not to help a Republican win by voting for the Green Party candidate. I abandoned my beliefs in favor of trying to stick it to the Republicans and I still regret the decision.

Either way Mr. Beebe would have won but if I'd voted what I truly believed in I would have felt a lot better.

This may not be 100% on topic, but the core sort of is: Don't let practical considerations of electability get in the way of voting for the person you think is best for the job.

February 08, 2007 9:57 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

OK Wil I have read and reread this blog entry until I finally think I understand it.

You're thinking: under the terms of the 22nd amendment Dubya will soon be gone. [We shall elide the discussion of the wording of the amendment and how Dubya was really elected only once.] It would be nice if the next President was upright and honorable and decent and having personal standards and so on, and amongst the prospective candidates, there's one who might fit the bill.

I'm thinking: I'm just trying to warn you that you'll be very disappointed. I believe the key warning phrase for which you should be looking will be something like "renewing the dialog with the American people". Dubya's presidency is going to be held responsible for a great increase in the depths to which a candidate may sink in their efforts to get elected, and the disparity between the winning candidate's campaign promises and their subsequent administration will be bigger than ever.

I have seen this movie before.

February 09, 2007 1:05 PM

 
Blogger liams_dad said...

Wil,

In general I agree with your comments on Obama, so far he is my preferred candidate (out of the two major parties).

I do take issue with some of your about the civil war and flags.

1. The civil war was not fought over slavery. President Lincoln clearly stated that if he could win the war and leave the slaves in slavery he would or free them if that was what it took. So he wasn't fighting a war to end slavery, rather ending slavery was a tactic to win the war.

Given Lincoln's focus on preserving the Union at all costs, the South could have chosen to stay in (or rejoin) the Union in order to preserve slavery. Instead they chose to leave the union and risk losing slavery.

Also note many prominant Southern Generals had a better track record with respect for African Americans and slavery than Northern ones. I believe General Lee inherited slaves and promptly freed them and General Jackson taught a Sunday School for Blacks. This at a time when Northern General Grant owned slaves and refused to free them even after the proclamation. If this war was fought over slavery clearly Lee, Jackson and Grant were all fighting for the wrong sides.

Many of us see the Civil War as a Federal vs States rights issue not a slavery issue. I think the south was wrong about slavery but right on the Federal vs State issue. I see the Confederate flag as a symbol of State Rights.

>First off, I don't accept the hypothesis that rednecks in pickup trucks are saying "YEEE-HAWWW" to the principle of states' rights.

I totally agree with you on that which is why I would never fly the Confederate flag. I don't think the flag represented a race issue in the Civil War but clearly its associated with that now.

If people were rational about issues, everything said about the Confederate flag would apply equally to the U.S. Flag. After all slavery was legally practiced under the U.S. flag for about 85 years vs just a couple years for the Confederate flag. Not only that but for another 100 years after the war the Feds refused to provide the 'freed' slaves with equal civil rights. Should we be ashamed to fly the U.S Flag?

Note I was raised in the north but am currently living in the south (virginia) and I've enjoyed visiting some of the civil war sites and learning more about it.

Legally I think the South was right and the North was wrong - states did have the legal right to leave the union (at least the original 13). Morally of course slavery was wrong and the North being against it was right. Makes for a mess to decide who was right/wrong especially when the killing and devastation of the war was factored in.

All too similar to the mess in Iraq. Did Bush start the war due to WMS's? Oil? To save Iraqi's from Saddam? Does the current suffering of the Iraqi people justify any possible good intent to start the war?

I wonder what would have been the outcome for African Americans if Lincoln had allowed the South to succeed. Slavery was on the way out due to economic reasons. Would the South have beat the feds to granting them equal rights if left alone? Did the North winning speed up or slow down civil rights for African Americans?

The North winning "freed' the slaves but didn't grant them equal rights and left many of them no better off than before. It took 100 years before Feds really granted them equal rights. Clearly that says something about the Northern views on race, leaving little room to look down their noses at the South - and in my mind the lack of concern for African Americans after they won the war makes it clear the war was not about slavery but control over the states.

Other than that I enjoyed your comments and hope to see a President elected without respect to race.

February 12, 2007 1:02 PM

 
Blogger Wil Shipley said...

Your comments on the war are enlightening, but I'm not as convinced that Southerners were about to drop slavery and grant their former slaves civil rights.

I don't recall many Northern states having troubles during the civil rights movement. MLK didn't get do a lot of marches in Portland. Ray Charles never stopped playing Chicago. Neil Young didn't tell the Northern man to hang his head, and Lynnard Skynnard didn't that we love our governor in Seattle.

I could be wrong, though, most of this was before I learned to talk.

-W

February 12, 2007 2:42 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This thread is almost dead, but... with my.barackobama.com going live...

The site is extremely slick, created by the partisan Blue State Digital ("we only work for Democratic or progressive candidates"), but there's something missing:

about? who are we? who pays for this?

At the bottom of the page we're told that it's "Paid for by Obama for America". But where there should be a link to the money raising arm of this project, there's...nothing.

The message seems to be "Get involved, push this guy for us, don't ask questions.". That's a little sleazy, regardless of your political views.

February 12, 2007 10:54 PM

 
Blogger liams_dad said...

>I'm not as convinced that Southerners were about to drop slavery and grant their former slaves civil rights.

I think the first part of dropping slavery in very near future is realistic. Slavery wasn't dropped by other nations out of the goodness of their hearts but rather the industrial revolution made slavery much less profitable. So yes if left alone I'd expected Southern Plantation owners to swap from slaves to tractors voluntarily just as other countries did.

As to giving them Civil Rights, I agree that wouldn't have happened immediately but left alone might very well have happened before the 100 years it took the feds.

>I don't recall many Northern states having troubles during the civil rights movement.

I haven't done extensive study but I think its very possible that losing the Civil War caused a backlash against African Americans. Had there not been a Civil War there might have been a lot less racial hostility. The U.S. govt made a mess there by 'freeing' them without giving them education or rights or helping them integrate into society. Hmm, reminds me of Iraq, win the war but no plan for peace afterwards.

Before I moved south I held the typical view of North Good, South Bad, Civil War was about slavery. Now however I think that is largely inaccurate, there were Northern racists as well as good Southerners. With Jefferson owning slaves and refusing to free them, while General Lee freed his, its hard to come up simple answers... (well except for history sites being very scenic).

One thing is clear after living here a while... While much progress has been made, more progress is needed. I've had friend (with different skin color) who kept getting tickets for not having a current Virginia Inspection sticker on his car, he would point out his car was licensed in Maryland to no avail. Compare that to my wife and I being stopped by the police at a checkpoint. Nope, can't find the insurance card officer, nope can't find my drivers license either, meanwhile I sitting next to her drinking beer. The Officer wished us a good day and I was left wondering "who were they looking for? They obviously weren't looking for a middle class white couple to harass".

February 13, 2007 12:08 PM

 
Anonymous Joey Lange said...

This post comes from almost a month ago, but I stumbled on it, and I figured I'd somewhat reluctantly, in fear of the flames I'll get in return, give my two cents.

However, these two cents have nothing to do with Barack Obama or my political beliefs, most likely due to the fact that I have none. I am not eighteen and nor will I be in the next presidential election, so the topic of presidency is moot (not moof the dogcow..) to me.

$0.01:

Americans are stupid. I include myself and all the other nearly three hundred million like me. Why do we see it necessary to speak up over something that has no effect anywhere? Do you really think that enough people read any one blog (let alone its comments) to have a drastic effect on an election?



$0.02:

Wil is an American. However stupid you, him, and I may be, he is entitled to his opinion, which he is perfectly able and willing write on a blog of which he has private ownership. It's called free speech. However, when you turn around and speak on his web-based private property, you leave your right for free speech at the door. Now, I don't know Wil, on a personal, or semipersonal, or any level. But I know how a civilized human being acts. They use proper punctuation and grammar, and do not consider alligator tail as a delicacy.




All in all,

do you really think that you have any say in what is going on in the world?

I believe in democracy. I really do. The fact of the matter is, democracy does not exist in today's world. We elect officials who are supposed to represent us but instead represent our bosses.

But, as I have just realized, I am rambling very much without a distinct point. And I've dabbled in a little political talk...which is what I swore not to do at the beginning of this comment. (Call me a hypocrite, if you wish)

Bottom line: the world doesn't give a damn about what you say in response to a writeup that was never meant to be a scream of opinion to the world.

oh, and, Wil Shipley is pretty darned neat.

February 25, 2007 10:45 PM

 
Blogger Wil Shipley said...

Rambly!

I don't need to change the world. I just need to change a small part of it, and trust others to do the same.

February 25, 2007 11:31 PM

 
Blogger Dean Strelau said...

Wil,

Just wanted to say thanks for this post and all the followup comments. I'm surprised you were able to put up with all the idiocy and flames from both sides of the argument. Even if no one else did, I appreciated your light-hearted yet thoughtful responses. Thanks again.

February 27, 2007 11:40 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wil,

I hate to open this again, but I'm new to your blog and I hate even more to let some of what's been said go unchallenged. The claim that Everyone Knows that the Civil War wasn't about slavery is both pervasive and bogus. Yes, the outcome of the war set precedent about states' rights (arguably in a bad direction), but the rights the states seceded for were generally of the right-of-people-to-own-other-people and right-of-slave-states-to-force-free-states-to-return-escaped-slaves variety. It was about slavery. After the war there was an enormous whitewashing effort to claim it was about states' rights, but that was largely ex post facto. James Loewen has written a few very accessible books about this, and other ways that the history curriculum in public schools (especially, but not exclusively, in the South) has come to be dominated by the views of, for example, veterans groups, rather than academic historians. Start with "Lies My Teacher Told Me" -- it's a good read.

July 27, 2007 7:28 AM

 
Blogger mullzk said...

Just one thing: Your post was the first place I read about Obama, you were the first guy I read or heared about supporting Obama - when all others thought supporting a female candidate would quite risky.
I think, this election is something you can brag about for the rest of your life. I envy you for this, even more than I envy you for all the coding stuff.

just had to load this off
greetings from switzerland, mullzk

November 05, 2008 11:53 AM

 
Anonymous Davide said...

I also read about Obama here for the first time. He wasn't on the spotlight at the time, not in Italy. I guess I was was one of the few people who heard his name at the time, thanks to this post.
Well, Will, thanks for sharing your hope and clairvoyance, and thanks for funding the campaign, and doing the right thing at the right time. You folks have given us all lot of hope, after years I can hear Dylan's and Seeger's songs again with a smile in my face.

November 07, 2008 1:39 AM

 

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