SOTU barada nikto

U.S. Constitution, Article II, Section 3:

[The President] shall from time to time give to the Congress information of the state of the union, and recommend to their consideration such measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient …

(Over time, it seems, "such measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient" has evolved into "such measures as polls shall judge likely to provide a bump in his sagging approval ratings.")

Here's the transcript of last night's State of the Union address.

So anyway, what'd you think?

  • Simon St.Laurent

    This was a good start:
    The rite of custom brings us together at a defining hour — when decisions are hard and courage is needed.
    But then you get into the usual:
    What every terrorist fears most is human freedom — societies where men and women make their own choices, answer to their own conscience, and live by their hopes instead of their resentments….
    In the last two years, we’ve seen the desire for liberty in the broader Middle East — and we have been sobered by the enemy’s fierce reaction….
    Yet it would not be like us to leave our promises unkept, our friends abandoned, and our own security at risk.
    The war on terror we fight today is a generational struggle that will continue long after you and I have turned our duties over to others. And that’s why it’s important to work together so our nation can see this great effort through.
    At least reading it in print spares me hearing Bush’s voice and watching his delivery.

  • cjmr’s husband

    That was the dullest SOTU I have ever seen. I have never seen a Congress so bored. I even saw Cheney pop a pill. Senator Webb’s Response was more engaging. The Response is never more interesting than the speech. Egad.

  • Mouse

    You mean people still actually watch these things?! Frankly I don’t know how anyone can. Not only is it all a steaming pile of bullshit, but George has to be one of the worse speechmakers ever. He makes me think of the slow kid in English who was always tripping over any word greater than two syllables until you just want to smack him.

  • cjmr’s husband

    I was playing the SOTU Drinking game.
    Actually, W didn’t mess the speech up much; he was amazingly coherent. But he had no interest in what he was saying. Maybe it would have been interesting if he had been believable; W calling for reductions in gasoline usage is astonishing, but he was very obviously trying to take credit for something he knew was going to happen anyway.

  • the opoponax

    i just tuned in for the first 10 minutes or so to see everybody being all psyched about pelosi. it struck me as the cabinet made their entrances that we’ve had two female secretaries of state in the past 15 years (and the sec of state has been either a woman or a person of color for all of the last 2 administrations), and that now the sec. of state, speaker of the house, and presidential frontrunner are all women.
    and then when geedub opened his mouth, i went off and had a nice warm bath for the entirety of the speech.

  • NonyNony

    Speeches like this make me want to revive the old practice of having the President deliver a written “State of the Union” letter to the Congress and having it read into the record by a clerk. Hell, the clerk might have put some more energy into it.

  • Reverend Ref

    I had to be out of town to pick up Mrs. Ref and The Kid from the airport. I went to see “Children of Men” instead.
    I think I made the right choice.

  • cjmr

    Children of Men was surely far more believable of fiction than what I heard from Bush last night. Suddenly the man is for balanced budgets and conserving fossil fuels???

  • grenadine

    at least we can breathe a sigh of relief that the admin has finally – kinda, sorta – admitted that gloabal warming… excuse me, climate change… is a real thing. of course, merely replacing fossil fuels with ethanol is a band-aid. what we need to do is reduce overall energy consumption, and i didn’t hear anything about that last night. because buses and bikes are for commies, donchya know.

  • bulbul

    Does anybody else physically feel the jarring disconnect between the words and the man/his delivery? The speechwriters did their usual good job, but what might sound nobly and inspiringly coming from almost anybody else’s mouth* sounds like a parody coming from Dubya. I had enough by “The rite of custom brings us together at a defining hour”. It just … The words and the guy just don’t match. They simply don’t.
    *Just *might*, mind you. It almost never does.

  • cjmr

    Haliburton and Exxon can build ethanol plants and still make money–it’s an emerging field. The market for bicycles and buses is pretty much covered already.

  • cjmr

    but what might sound nobly and inspiringly coming from almost anybody else’s mouth* sounds like a parody coming from Dubya.

    *Just *might*, mind you. It almost never does.
    That speech would have been much more persuasive if spoken by, say, James Earl Jones. And much more entertaining if spoken by the ‘hot chicks’ from the Blasphemy Challenge.

  • Erick Oppeen

    *mega-sigh*
    Insofar as Earth’s climate _is_ heating up, it doesn’t follow as night does day that Evol Industrial Civilization or gas-guzzling SUVs are responsible. I’ve read that astronomers are saying that Mars, Jupiter and other planets are showing signs of being warmer than they were.
    I’m also ve-ry suspicious of the global-warming crowd; their reaction to _even being questioned_ is more hysterical “how DARE you question us, you greedy, evil pollution-loving scumbag, you!” than “Okay, this is the answer to your question,” which is what I would _expect_ of scientists.

  • wintermute

    > Insofar as Earth’s climate _is_ heating up, it doesn’t follow as night does day that Evol Industrial Civilization or gas-guzzling SUVs are responsible.
    No, it doesn’t follow. But very few climatologists say “the Earth is getting warmer, therefore humans must be to blame” – rather, they tend to point out that things like our dumping millions of tonnes of known greenhouse gasses into the atmosphere probably has some effect.
    > I’ve read that astronomers are saying that Mars, Jupiter and other planets are showing signs of being warmer than they were.
    Solar warming over the last 20 years certainly accounts for some proportion of global warming, yes. But it’s worth noting that the Earth has warmed up significantly more than any other planet, and when solar warming stopped a few years ago, Earth was the only planet that continued to warm. Solar warming certainly cannot explain all (or even a significant proportion of) the warming we experience on Earth.
    > I’m also ve-ry suspicious of the global-warming crowd; their reaction to _even being questioned_ is more hysterical “how DARE you question us, you greedy, evil pollution-loving scumbag, you!” than “Okay, this is the answer to your question,” which is what I would _expect_ of scientists.
    Really? I find that their answers tend more towards “*sigh* We’ve answered this a thousand times already – why don’t you try doing some basic research first?” Kind of the same answer that biologists give to creationists. And in both cases it has the unfortunate effect of making the deniers believe that their questions cannot be answered, when all they’d really have to do is look at the scientific literature rather than what a couple of demagogues (Michael Creighton, I’m looking at you!) tells you the scientific literature says.
    Science does not proceed by orthodoxy and conspiracy, and pretending that 99.9% or scientists in a field agree on something that is not supportable by science is simply laughable.

  • the opoponax

    if you called up your local university physics department and asked them loaded questions about the possibility that the theory of gravity (ya see, it’s only a THEORY, after all!) is incorrect, they would also probably have a relatively hysterical reaction to even being asked such a question. they probably would not be able to keep their cool and spout off the facts and figures.

  • Bugmaster

    My personal view has always been that it doesn’t particularly matter if global warming is caused primarily by human activity (most likely), or natural causes (less likely, but still possible). The bottom line is that our climate is heating up. If the climate keeps heating up, it will be very bad for us. So, we should use some technique to cool down the climate. As it happens, reducing greenhouse gases is a good way to cool down the climate, which is within our reach technologically. So, we should do that, regardless of wether we are the main cause of global warming or not.

  • bulbul

    The way I see it, there are three types of global warming deniers:
    1. There is no global warming.
    2. The planet IS heating up, but that has nothing to do with what we do.
    3. All of the above (yo Erick!).
    On bad days, I would like to go Gitmo on all their asses and beat them with a copy of Popper’s “The Logic of Scientific Discovery” and any peer-reviewed journal of climatology to make them understand what the words “science” and “scientific consensus” mean.
    I know this global warming denier nutjob who’s the first on the list of candidates for the procedure described above. His counterargument every time I bring up the issues of scientific method and accuracy? The “next ice age scare” back in the seventies. Arrrrgh.

  • wintermute

    I’ve spoken to a global warming denier who told me that the real (suppressed for the last 30 years) science showed that the planet was actually cooling down, and then, in the very next breath, that it was a straw man for me to suggest that anyone denied that global warming was actually happening.
    When I pointed out that she herself had claimed that global warming wasn’t actually happening, she repeated her claim about how True Science has been suppressed in favour of ideology, and the planet is actually cooling down.
    It’s a novel approach, claiming that arguing against her actual beliefs is a “straw man”, and arguing against that she actually accepted as a rational basis for discussion is irrelevant. I’m not sure if she was just trying to be annoying, or if there were mental problems there. I didn’t really stick around long enough to find out…

  • Doctor Science

    I am just here to say how geekily happy it makes me to see a reference to The Day the Earth Stood Still. Back when the dinosaurs & I were young “Gort, Klaatu barada nikto!” was an all-purpose catchphrase or even shibboleth for my circle of friends.

  • Bugmaster

    Actually, I believe it’s a reference to Army of Darkness… Or did they steal the reference themselves ?

  • wintermute

    They stole the reference.
    http://imdb.com/title/tt0043456/quotes

  • wintermute

    Actually, the last time I watched The Day The Earth Stood Still, I was moved to work out where Klaatu came from.
    (short answer: probably Mars)

  • J

    I know that, as an SOTU, Bush was obligated to make last night’s speech. But, not counting his SOTUs, has anyone kept track of how many times he’s “tried to reasure the American people”? Has it ever worked in 9/11?
    Bush is a Foecal King Midas: Everything he touches turns to shit.

  • cjmr

    He’s tried to ‘reassure the American people’ with speeches/press conferences at least two other times that I can think of since the Congressional elections. Are we at all reassured that he knows what the F*** we’re supposed to be doing in Iraq (or, God forbid, Iran)? NO.

  • Jeff

    I’ve heard that “barutu nikto” means “told me to f***** you”. But I could be wrong.
    I missed most of the speech, and just came in on this:
    Dikembe Mutombo grew up in Africa, amid great poverty and disease. He came to Georgetown University on a scholarship to study medicine — but Coach John Thompson got a look at Dikembe and had a different idea.
    What a silly idea — a tall black man wanting to be a doctor. He’s much better off as a basketball player. Argggh, what a repellant man!

  • Rachel

    My alarm clock plays NPR at me in the morning, because it’s usually interesting enough to wake me up. Bushboy, on the other hand, makes me roll over and go back to sleep. I hate the State of the Union — NPR plays clips of the speech all morning, and I sleep through my alarm.
    And global warming. That’s a sore spot with me. I read scientific journals for a living, on topics ranging from physical therapy to phylogeny. Every article that so much as brushes up against environmental issues takes global warming as a given. It’s never “if humans are causing the planet to heat up,” it’s “this might be due to the fact that humans are making the planet heat up.” Everyone talks like that — from Russians who are tracking the collapse of the permafrost to Indians who research new ways to control mosquito populations as more and more places become home to plague-bearing species.
    It’s not a theory, and it’s not a problem for the future. We’re too late. It’s already here.

  • New Duane

    I thought it was his best speech ever and six years too late.

  • L

    The planet is warming up. This is unquestionably true. There had been satellite data that appeared to contradict this, but that was shown to be an error in timing — measurements were taken at night instead of during the day, so they were naturally cooler. When that was taken into account, the satellite data correlated well with measurements on the ground.
    Is this warming trend anthropogenic? Maybe, maybe not. The fact that we might possibly be responsible for it is an excellent argument by itself for cutting down greenhouse gas emissions. The consequences are sufficiently grave that even a “percentage shot” is worthwhile by any reasonable analysis.
    But even if we knew for a fact that is not the case we should still cut back on fossil fuel use, and drastically. It’s known to be in finite supply and we’re using a lot of it, so we cannot go on like this in any event. The US doesn’t produce enough for itself on its own and has to buy much of it from nations that are either themselves hostile to us or support those who are. (You fund terrorism every time you fuel up your car. Some of the money trickles down to them eventually.) There are other pollutants it releases, and even if these are kept to a tolerable level why have them around at all?
    Ethanol isn’t a “band-aid” solution as someone said, but is a valuable step in the transition away from fossil fuels. It’s carbon-neutral if it’s produced from agricultural sources, since all the carbon liberated when it’s burned was taken from the atmosphere at the time it was produced. But it can never be more than a portion of our total energy solution.
    The energy problem can actually be solved using technology already to hand. We just need the will to implement it.

  • bulbul

    I’ve heard that “barutu nikto” means “told me to f***** you”. But I could be wrong.
    What language?
    In Slovak, “nikto” means “noone, nobody” (pronounced NYEEK-to).

  • Angelika

    bulbul: The “next ice age scare” back in the seventies.
    Next time your obnoxious discussion partner brings that one, let him know that the the scientific consensus still is, that earth are heading towards the next ice-age. Of course, that is not our immediate future, but a few thousand years down the road it’s bound to get cold.
    To elaborate a bit: ice-ages are caused by a.) relatively low insolation, which depends on the orbit of the earth and b.) relatively low levels of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, which in turn is a function of plate tectonic (raising mountain chains bind lots of carbon dioxide). Our geological age is one of relatively low atmospheric greenhouse gas concentrations. The earth’s orbit is moving towards the minimum insolation. Without the massive CO2 releases through industralisation, and probably the invention of agriculture it would already be much colder now, than it is. So we basically experience the opposite trend of what paleoclimatic research would predict and we are expecting considerable more warming in near future. However, once that excessively released CO2 is used up, the ice-age is to come (chances are that it might be somewhat less severe than the last one, since its start is delayed.)

  • bulbul

    Next time your obnoxious discussion partner brings that one
    Ah, I see you know Ondrej, too. :o)
    Thanks for the info and yes, I will try to educate him, vain as this undertaking might be. He seems to be impervious to any science but math.

  • Tangurena

    There are basically 4 possibilities:
    A – There is no global warming, global temperatures are not changing.
    B – There is some global warming, humans have little to no effect on the temperature changes.
    C – There is some global warming, humans are responsible for half or more of the changes.
    D – There is global warming, and humans are totally responsible for the effects.
    Historical evidence shows that cases A & D are false. The MSM tries to paint the picture as existing only in cases A & D to distract the public from being able to even think about the issue. Only truly insane people continue to make the assertions of A & D. Things like the Maunder minimum and what crops the Romans grew, show it was parts of europe were warmer 2000 years ago than it is now, as well as periods of weather colder than it is now.
    The real issue is the degree of how much of the warming is caused by humans. If the amount of damage is about half, or more, of the warming, then we stand a good chance of surviving changes when the sun produces more energy, or cuts down a bit. If the amount of human influenced global warming is less than half, then I don’t see our economic system surviving the next maunder minimum.
    Humans have always tried to change the environment to suit our needs. What we must do is to make sure that our changes are not irrevocably disasterous. Diamond’s Collapse points out a number of civilizations that perished because they no longer were able, or willing, to adapt to survive. In the case of the viking colony in Greenland, survival meant they had to stop being vikings, which they were unwilling to do. So they died out.
    The logic of the global warming deniers goes like this:
    1 – global warming doesn’t exist.
    2 – even if global warming exists, there is no evidence that it is caused by humans.
    3 – even if global warming exists, and even if it is caused by humans, there is no evidence that it is bad.
    4 – even if global warming exists, and even if it is caused by humans, and even if it is bad, the cure for global warming is worse than the disease.
    When step 5 gets added, it will be to blame the existance of global warming on liberals or terrorists somehow, because clinton got a blowjob. I consider criticism of the Kyoto Accords to fall into number 4 above.

  • Bugmaster

    He seems to be impervious to any science but math.
    Math is not a science.
    Asbestos underpants, engage !

  • Lurker

    The words about “generational struggle” remind me of the situation in my homeland Finland during the late 16th and early 17th century. At that time, the realm of Sweden (which Finland was part of) was continously at war against one or more of her neighbours. Little by little, you could actually see how the legislation took a stance that war was the state of normality, peace just a temporary state of non-emergency. I think that the present US adminstration is trying to do the same thing in the US.

  • wintermute

    Tangurena:
    Have you been reading Tom The Dancing Bug? I’d been looking for this comic for a while, and then you went and summarised it…

  • Doctor Science

    just in case you’re confused — as originally used, “X klaatu barada nikto” seems to mean “take X back to the spaceship for medical treatment.”
    So the title of Fred’s post may be intended to mean, “This SOTU address can only be healed with super-smart alien technology.”

  • wintermute

    That would be “X Barada Nikto”, as Klaatu was the alien’s name.

  • Steve

    wintermute: Actually, the last time I watched The Day The Earth Stood Still, I was moved to work out where Klaatu came from.
    Wow. You went to Mars to exercise?

  • Doctor Science

    Klaatu was the alien’s name
    *whaps forehead* I knew that! Clearly I need more coffee.

  • Been There Duane

    Wow. You went to Mars to exercise?
    hehe.

  • the opoponax

    you should be ‘Been There Duane That’.
    unless you’re averse to puns, that is.

  • hapax

    Hee. “Bien Ther Dien That” — the Vietnamese player/character for the LB video game!

  • wintermute

    > Hee. “Bien Ther Dien That” — the Vietnamese player/character for the LB video game!
    Nah, that’s Bien Mekong.

  • the opoponax

    no, the correct spelling is Dien Mekong.

  • Jeffk

    the opoponax wrote:
    “i went off and had a nice warm bath for the entirety of the speech.”
    I first read that as “the eternity of the speech”, which I guess reveals my prejudice against speechifying, TV, and especially Dubya. I avoided the whole thing and read summaries and highlights on the blogs, and realized, once again, that Dubya is a waste of oxygen that would be better spent rusting out old cars or something.
    For those of you who did watch it, I salute your sacrifice!

  • 25% Gay Duane

    For those of you who did watch it, I salute your sacrifice!
    Meh, nothing much else to watch while Project Runway is in hiatus.


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