The Right Height of Trees

Vocalizing to a small group of carbon-based supporters in Michigan earlier this week, “Mitt Romney” – the android launched many years ago by a venture capital fund to become the first completely non-human Republican nominee for President – pretended to express his/its deep affinities with and positive responses to various aspects of the state where he/it was, so to speak, “born and raised”…

Amongst the utterly predictable elements of Mittbot’s pandering subroutine about his/its enduring “love” of American cars, lakes (both great and little ones), etc., a notable standout was the mysterious observation that, “It seems right here. The trees are the right height.”

Some political pundits found the remark to be oddly disturbing, but jokingly sloughed it off as yet another unfortunate “Conehead” moment where the logical analytics of Mittbot’s programming simply failed to connect with actual human experience.

That’s certainly one way of looking at it, but I really think the press should insist on a more detailed explanation of Mittbot’s curious expression, or at the very least attempt to gain a better understanding of what he/it regards as the qualitative indicators for optimal forestry.

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34 Comments

Filed under 2012 U.S. Election, Humour, Republican Party

34 responses to “The Right Height of Trees

  1. MoS

    When Romney speaks he comes across as though he’s struggling to become fluent in “dog.”

  2. It’s difficult to understand why someone as painfully unnatural in demeanour and woefully unsuited to interacting with people as Romney quite evidently is, would feel so insanely compelled to run for office.

  3. tofkw

    As someone who’s visited Michigan on many, many occasions; I’ve felt the majority of the trees in the southern part of the state appeared to be rather stunted and pudgy looking (the upper peninsula is another story). Does that mean Michigan’s vegetation is kind of like Newt Gingrich?

  4. The only notable thing I can recall about the trees of Michigan is that vast swathes of them weren’t on fire at the times I happened to be there. As to their height, they appeared much the same as the ones in my then home town, located directly across the river… Quite unexceptional, actually. Maybe that was Romney’s point.. who knows?

  5. Corporations are people, certainly when compared to Mitt.

  6. Fred from BC

    Why do you call yourself “Red Tory”, but write a supposedly Liberal blog while seeming to be obsessed with American politics?

  7. tofkw

    Fred from BC – the fact that you can’t tell a traditional Tory from a Liberal only confirms that “the base” of those who identify themselves as conservatives are anything but. A Tory is not a populist neo-liberal corporatist, which is what the CPC is all about.

    As for why Martin prefers to comment about US politics, he’s explained it often enough now that even a casual visitor to this blog knows the answer.

  8. tofkw

    Great caught in the spam filter … trying this again:

    Fred from BC – the fact that you can’t tell a traditional Tory from a Liberal only confirms that “the base” of those who identify themselves as conservatives are anything but. A Tory is not a populist neo-liberal corporatist, which is what the CPC is all about.

    As for why Martin prefers to comment about US politics, he’s explained it often enough now that even a casual visitor to this blog knows the answer.

  9. Carried away by the emotive force of the moment, the lakes, the cars, the people, Mittster began to wax poetic. Really…that’s an almost Hemingwayan
    trope that is seeking to emphasize the way in which h feels “at home” in
    Michigan: “the trees (for him) are the right height.”

  10. Fred: Having explained this apparent contradiction to readers/commenters countless times in the past, I really don’t feel like bothering to do it yet again. Instead, I suggest you do some research into the term – you’ll a find that it’s a reasonable approximation of my political orientation (certainly as “accurate” as those describing themselves otherwise)..

    As for being “obsessed” with American politics… Allow me to also suggest that you pose the exact same question to each and every one of the “Bloggin’ Tories” and then report back on the response(s) received. And I’m not just being flippant about that – I seriously wish that you would because, quite frankly, I find it curious that SDA (or whomever) can rail on constantly about U.S. politics, but nobody ever questions the legitimacy of why they do so…

  11. Mark: Truth be told, I kind of “got” what Romney was artlessly attempting to express with “the trees are the right height” thing, which is a vague sensation everyone feels when returning to what they innately regard as “home”… Having lived in various places across the country over the years, I can relate to that. For example, growing up on the coast, when you return after a long absence having lived inland and suddenly smell the salt air on the way to the ferry terminal… well, it just feels “right” somehow. If I were a politician, however, I would never say “the air here has just the right odour.”

  12. Craig Chamberlain

    There was (is?) a tourism ad campaign for Michigan that was very much, “come to a state where the trees are the right height” kind of yarn. So, really, I’m thinking the Mittbot or his/its programmer saw the ad and thought the Mittbot 2011.2012 could say it back. But not so well as to be obviously lifting it.

    I suppose if the President talked about trees being the right height, his adversaries would jump on him for intending as he “obviously” would be to regulate that kind of thing as well. You can imagine what the voice ads would be for that one.

    RT, thanks for the blog post on this one.

  13. LOL I never thought of that particular spin on the comment had it been expressed by Obama, but you’re probably right.

    “BARACK HUSSEIN OBAMA WANTS TO CONTROL AND REGULATE THE HEIGHT OF YOUR STATE’S TREES!!!”

  14. Craig Chamberlain

    SAY NO TO USELESS TREE REGULATION! SAY YES TO LOWER GAS PRICES!

  15. Fred from BC

    Fred: Having explained this apparent contradiction to readers/commenters countless times in the past, I really don’t feel like bothering to do it yet again. Instead, I suggest you do some research into the term – you’ll a find that it’s a reasonable approximation of my political orientation (certainly as “accurate” as those describing themselves otherwise)..

    I don’t need to research the term, because it’s nonsensical. Red Tory =Liberal (where do you think Reform came from? Why do you think we turned on Mulroney?). Besides, if you really had any Conservative in you, you wouldn’t spend so much time attacking the Republican party, would you?

    (and yes, I know the political spectrums of the two countries aren’t directly comparable)

    As for being “obsessed” with American politics… Allow me to also suggest that you pose the exact same question to each and every one of the “Bloggin’ Tories” and then report back on the response(s) received. And I’m not just being flippant about that – I seriously wish that you would because, quite frankly, I find it curious that SDA (or whomever) can rail on constantly about U.S. politics, but nobody ever questions the legitimacy of why they do so…

    You mention one blog by name, and rightly so…SDA does post a lot on American issues (not nearly as much as you, however; care to do a count?). Halls of Macadamia does it a bit as well (but again, not even close to what you do). Most of the other Blogging Tories are quite content to talk about Canadian politics. What exactly is it about Republicans that fascinates you so much?

  16. Fred from BC

    Fred from BC – the fact that you can’t tell a traditional Tory from a Liberal only confirms that “the base” of those who identify themselves as conservatives are anything but. A Tory is not a populist neo-liberal corporatist, which is what the CPC is all about.

    Ahh…so not only can I not tell what his political orientation is, I don’t know my own either? And my party doesn’t stand for what it says it does, but rather for *your* interpretation of it? Wow…there’s that Liberal arrogance on display once again, T (and you wonder why your party got slapped down the way it did?)…

    As for why Martin prefers to comment about US politics, he’s explained it often enough now that even a casual visitor to this blog knows the answer.

    So…because he sees a couple of Blogging Tories doing it? Because that’s the answer I got…

  17. sapphireandsteel

    From the Oxford dictionary:

    Red Tory

    noun
    (in Canada) a member of a political group who holds more liberal views than other members.

    More liberal views does not necessarily mean liberal in total Fred. Did the heavy lifting for you as googling seems to be beyond your grasp.

    “Most of the other Blogging Tories are quite content to talk about Canadian politics.”

    Most but this point obviously went over your head.

    Your welcome Fred.

  18. Fred: I don’t need to research the term, because it’s nonsensical.

    Okay, so I understand that you are completely ignorant and, apparently, happy to remain so. You clearly don’t understand the historical roots of conservatism in Canada and how terms such as “Red Tory” and “Progressive Conservative” came into existence.

    Red Tory =Liberal (where do you think Reform came from? Why do you think we turned on Mulroney?).

    There’s a lengthy and complicated explanation in answer to that but I’m not about to waste my time reiterating it here for the benefit of a willfully ignorant fuckwit like you (see above).

    Besides, if you really had any Conservative in you, you wouldn’t spend so much time attacking the Republican party, would you?

    Well, you really got me nailed dead to rights with that brilliant logic, didn’t you? Are you speaking of the same “conservative” Republican Party that spends the majority of its time these days advocating utterly pointless, unproductive, divisive “culture war” issues even to the point where they’re now insisting that the State has the right to mandate such personally intrusive things as the insertion of transvaginal scopes into any woman daring to have an abortion or determining when “persons” are formed? The same “conservative” Republican Party that wants to meddle in the affairs of every country on earth and become hopelessly entangled in foreign wars for the sake of “spreading democracy”? The same “conservative” Republican Party that wants to ensure that an incredibly tiny, elite sliver of the people has a permanent lock on the overwhelming majority of wealth and resources of that country through a rigged system of privilege… in perpetuity?

    The fact you support those things without question doesn’t make you a conservative, Fred… it makes you a complete fucking idiot.

    You mention one blog by name, and rightly so…SDA does post a lot on American issues (not nearly as much as you, however; care to do a count?).

    No. Why don’t YOU do it, seeing as it’s an “issue” for you? And go check out “Celestial Junk” while you’re at it and see how intensely focused Herr Junkster is on Canadian politics. Then go interrogate him about the matter…

    Halls of Macadamia does it a bit as well (but again, not even close to what you do).

    I haven’t visited that site in ages, but as I recall, it was little more than a snarky daily re-cap of the GTA police-blotter with the intent of relentlessly slagging immigrants and non-whites involved in CRIMINAL activities. Zzzzz.

    Most of the other Blogging Tories are quite content to talk about Canadian politics.

    Not that I really care what that concatenation of fatuous nitwits yammers on about at any given time, but you’re full of shit. A quick scan of the BT aggregator page shows about a third of the stories relate to things other than Canadian politics.

    What exactly is it about Republicans that fascinates you so much?

    It’s their mindset… which is, yes, morbidly fascinating. Especially so, given that it infects and deeply influences the “thinking” of our own homegrown “conservative” luminaries.

  19. Fred: So…because he sees a couple of Blogging Tories doing it? Because that’s the answer I got…

    Not to belabour the point to death, but it’s more than “a couple” as any observer of the BT aggregator will admit. But of course, the content varies markedly at times, given that it’s fluid and dynamically responsive to the news… when interest is keen on Canadian issues such as our rather brief federal/provincial election periods, party leadership races or matters of notable concern then the focus will naturally shift more heavily to Canadian politics. Heck, in the past I’ve even hosted “live blogging” of results from the Quebec provincial election!

    I might also note that a lot of the content here (granted not as much as I’d like of late) has focused on cosmology, philosophy, religion and entertainment.

    So… let me turn the question back on YOU, Mr. Fred from B.C. – what is it that you find so irksome about a supposedly “liberal” blog that pokes fun at Republicans? Do you secretly desire to be a Republican? Do you identify deeply and spiritually with the insane ravings of their comical, ever-changing front-runners? What is it specifically that offends you?

    p.s. By the way, where were YOU commenting when I posted about the B.C. elections, the STV referendum, the HST v. PST debate, the call for infrastructure upgrades in the GVA, etc. Oh right… NOWHERE!

  20. Oh dear. Fred’s a mite confused. First, he scolds you for not being the conservative that someone called “Red Tory” should be shortly before denouncing Red Toryism as faux- [i.e. insufficiently Reform-like] conservatism. He seems unaware that you are precisely what he expects you to be.

    On an historical note, the people who “turned on” Mulroney had never been loyal Conservatives or Progressive Conservatives. They strategically supported Mulroney in order to get the NEP dismantled and to shift the axis of national power to Calgary-Edmonton. When Mulroney attempted to govern on behalf of all Canadians (not just blue-eyed sheiks), whilst also speaking against anti-abortion and pro-capital punishment private member’s bills from the government benches in the process, the cowboys bolted.

    I also note that Fred expects “real” conservatives to be pro-Republican. The notion that Canadians who wish to turn their ostensible “patriotism” into cultural capital should claim an affinity with rabid American Canada-haters presents one with a veritable Eiffel Tower of absurdity

  21. Craig Chamberlain

    Fred from BC, thanks for your honesty. I think more CPC members deserve to know what you think of red tories. Time to finish what’s left in giving them the boot out of the party, right? Go for it!

    (Why DO red tories remain members of the CPC anyhow?)

  22. Peter

    Why DO red tories remain members of the CPC anyhow?

    Good question. A lot of them seem to be Ancient Mariner types, travelling from land to land and interrupting festivities by fixing their beady eyes on ordinary Canadians and recounting chilling tales of HarperCon horrors, both past and future, leaving them no wiser perhaps, but much sadder.

  23. Peter

    State has the right to mandate such personally intrusive things as the insertion of transvaginal scopes into any woman…

    Eww. Without a warrant? Red, I know you are on a mission to uncover GOP porn, but could I beg you to keep quiet about such stuff until we get rid of Toews. You don’t want to give the old lecher any new ideas.

  24. Peter, Peter. Why continue to waste wit on this entirely pointless Toryphobic, anti-Confederation campaign? Can’t you take “yes” for an answer? You guys won, dear boy. You seem nostalgic for the anti-nationalist Kristallnacht of the Clark/Mulroney eras. You’ll notice that the Bundeswehr general staff retired the Von Schlieffen Plan ages ago: there is such a thing as winning a war–though, as you’ve discovered, the dividends of peace aren’t always dreadfully fun, edifying, or dignified.

    No, you really should put your gifts to the task of rhetorically odour-eating yet another bit of putrescent “Conservative” Party corruption–perhaps by noting that a little dash of robo-call voter suppression is really just all in good fun, that those who find it repugnant are just strident neo-Victorian prigs who need to get over themselves, that “democracy” (whatever that is) is being taken far too seriously by the usual over-earnest suspects (the kind of tedious Maude Barlowish drabs who expect their politics to be “real”, no doubt), and that, no matter how squalid the drainage ditch the Harperoids choose to dive into, it’ll be not nearly as bad as Adscam, and the divers will be “Conservatives” and will thus always have the best interests of the country at heart.

  25. jkg

    A Tory is not a populist neo-liberal corporatist, which is what the CPC is all about.

    After painstakingly pointing out the sheer idiocy and unseriousness of Harper’s Ministry by allowing Larry Miller’s reductio ad hitlerum reference (this was, of course, long after Tom “gays spread diseases and gay marriage will result in social anarchy” Lukiwiski who was also the secretary to the Government House Leader declared that fascist references were out of order), I was treated to one neo-liberal who couldn’t understand that Hitler’s questionable fondness of gun control has no bearing on the merits of gun control legislation within Western governments much less the validity of asserting that because Hitler had a questionable fondness for a gun control, that automatically designated anyone who supported it to be analogous to Hitler. I was privy to a response that it was absolutely true by basically reiterating that association fallacy. My asking that Harper’s Ministry rise above the most overused and unoriginal populist nonsense found in the darker regions of the internet automatically meant that I was a far “leftist” who blindly followed “Trudeau.” I didn’t realize that asking for a little bit more substance in the LGR debate meant that I had blinders on.

    I am not surprised. As Dan Gardner noted, these types of debate are culturally filtered and catalyzed by emotion.

    In the most ironic fate, I was accused of being unoriginal after being treated to “they did it too!” and a regurgitation of the HItler Card. I was assured however that despite the fact that the “lawful access” legislation that was introduced in 2009 that Vic Toews was going to be punished because of this legislation despite the fact that the original basis for this legislation was drafted by CPC policy wonks and other members and not by him. Is anyone really believing that firing Vic Toews and withholding their money now is going to prevent the passage of the core stipulations of this legislation? The vague mention of “changes” by our Prime Minister is simply a delaying tactic until this blows over. I am surprised that the base who supplied donations after donations with that carrot of abolishing the LGR did not clue in that the main political goal of timing its aboliition right before the “lawful access” legislation was a naked and pathetic attempt at using the remnant euphoria to quickly push through that legislation.

    There is simply no denying it. The neo-populists who borrow their neo-liberal rhetoric about “governments being fascistic” at the point of being reflexive have no sense of history and under their feigned appeal of “principled consistency” will pretend they are holding all governments to account when in actuality they are no more self-serving than the supposed nihilistic governments they begrudgingly elect.

    One of the most surprising statistics I found was that if you plot the number of militia and “patriotic” groups in the U.S. The highest number was around 1992 and 1993 when Clinton was in office. I should note that this was during the time of Waco and Ruby Ridge. Nonetheless, During the entirety of the Bush years, that number cratered and remained in low numbers, despite The Patriotic Act and continual encroachment of civil liberties. The number of militia or patriotic groups shot up close to 1992 and 1993 levels in 2009, when Obama took office.

    The disconnect is too stark to not consider that these so called “principled minarchists” in particular trade in nothing more than shibboleths.

  26. The neo-populists who borrow their neo-liberal rhetoric about “governments being fascistic” at the point of being reflexive have no sense of history…

    With respect, jkg, I’m not sure you really get it yet. The people you describe have no sense of reality, son; they appear to have been born with a glandular abnormality that produces some kind of powerful adrenal hallucinogenic. We’re talking about people who, during the prorogation crisis, denounced democracy as undemocratic. They are not apolitical. They’re far worse; they are anti-political.

    Wilfrid Laurier once said “Les Québécois n’ont pas d’opinions, ils n’ont que des sentiments”. I think it’s safe to say that, today, we are all Québécois. In a tragic irony, the hegemony of Prairie populism is turning the whole country into what it always claimed to loathe–providing further proof that, if you hate long and deep enough, you become what you hate.

  27. Fred from BC

    The fact you support those things without question doesn’t make you a conservative, Fred… it makes you a complete fucking idiot.

    Coming from you, that’s pretty funny. :)

    You mention one blog by name, and rightly so…SDA does post a lot on American issues (not nearly as much as you, however; care to do a count?).

    No. Why don’t YOU do it, seeing as it’s an “issue” for you? And go check out “Celestial Junk” while you’re at it and see how intensely focused Herr Junkster is on Canadian politics. Then go interrogate him about the matter…

    I did actually do the count, just for fun. I counted the number of posts about American politics at Halls of Macadamia, it was 1 out of 10. At SDA, 1 or possibly 2 (depending on your criteria), and Celestial Junk it was the highest at 4. Yours, though, was 7/10. Small sample size, sure…but still…

    So… let me turn the question back on YOU, Mr. Fred from B.C. – what is it that you find so irksome about a supposedly “liberal” blog that pokes fun at Republicans?

    Irksome? What makes you think I find it irksome? (juvenile, perhaps) Why on earth should that bother me, when I’m not American?

    I WAS CURIOUS, genius. That’s all. I wasn’t actually looking for insults and obscenities to be hurled at me in response, but find it quite amusing nonetheless.

    p.s. By the way, where were YOU commenting when I posted about the B.C. elections, the STV referendum, the HST v. PST debate, the call for infrastructure upgrades in the GVA, etc. Oh right… NOWHERE!

    Since you asked, I tend to avoid your blog because I find you to be one of the more immature posters (abusive, abrasive, foul-mouthed) out there.

    (even this second reply you made to me reveals much about your character, frankly. Couldn’t get all that venom out in just the one post, eh? …;)

  28. Fred from BC

    Oh dear. Fred’s a mite confused. First, he scolds you for not being the conservative that someone called “Red Tory” should be shortly before denouncing Red Toryism as faux- [i.e. insufficiently Reform-like] conservatism.

    Not the least bit confused (well, except about why this fine-looking blog wouldn’t have a preview or delete function; must have missed a delimiter or something…). Just find the whole “Red Tory” thing to be ridiculous. That’s my opinion. Don’t like it? Cry me a river.

    He seems unaware that you are precisely what he expects you to be.

    It may seem that way to you, being a typically arrogant Liberal. Enjoy the political wilderness, and thanks for handing us our first majority! :)

  29. Enjoy the political wilderness, and thanks for handing us our first majority!

    Love the smug, lunk-headed insolence immediately after the whine about Liberal “arrogance”. That’s why so many Canadians puke at the very thought of your kind, Fred. And I’m not a Liberal, you canting imbecile.

    Enjoy your precious “first majority”, mate. Come back to this thread when Harper joins Mulroney and Chretien on the scrap-heap of majorities past.

  30. Did you see Mitt’s comment today?

    “This feels good being back in Michigan. You know, the trees are the right height, the streets are just right. I like the fact that most of the cars I see are Detroit-made automobiles. I drive a Mustang and a Chevy pickup truck. Ann drives a couple of Cadillacs.”

    He really is an every-man

  31. jkg

    We’re talking about people who, during the prorogation crisis, denounced democracy as undemocratic. They are not apolitical. They’re far worse; they are anti-political.

    I am afraid that is precisely the case. This phenomenon is actually a continentalist manifestation. Our cousins down South have already been witness to it. That is, there is a growing movement of people who consider themselves principled outsiders and tasked with the duty to “reign in government.” As a result, they are above the “political fray” and feel as if though they are truly the only ones with clarity to effect policy against the unknowing hordes who victimize them. Thus, the fascist comparisons are fairly comfortable to them as they seem to find it everywhere. One would think that this type of thinking, which was indicative of the emotional adolescent teen years, would have waned once one has graduated high school or university for that matter.

    It is rather paradoxical in a way: To create a space in which they can participate politically is to be decidedly anti-political.

  32. Parklife: Yeah, hard to believe that Mitt actually doubled-down on the “[insert object here] is just right” meme…. It’s quite mystifying.

  33. Fred: I WAS CURIOUS, genius. That’s all. I wasn’t actually looking for insults and obscenities to be hurled at me in response, but find it quite amusing nonetheless.

    Oh, boo-fucking-hoo. Typical response from a right-wing maroon that immediately shifts into “indignantly offended victim” mode when his pathetic line of attack is confronted with opposition.

    Regardless, I’m glad you find it “amusing”… as that’s largely the point of this blog. (And too, one presumes… your utterly pointless trolling.)

    By the way, have you asked any of your Bloggin’ Tory friends why THEY spend so much of their time (to varying degrees) discussing American politics? Come on… MAN UP and ask them — I dare you.

    .

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