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Liberal and Proud of it 2 (or, I'm tired of scrolling)Chumley06-16-05  03:40 pm
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Chumley
Senior Member
Username: Chumley

Post Number: 3124
Registered: 02-2003
Posted on Thursday, April 28, 2005 - 10:16 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I find it annoying all the liberal-bashing going on in the Minnesota beer tax thread. Equating all liberals with Hollywood is as insulting as if I thought all you conservatives are clones of Tom DeLay.

As a liberal, I believe in the rights of individuals, and that you are responsible for your own actions. Quite different from what conservatives on this board think of "liberals". At the same time, I believe that everyone should start with an equal playing field. So, if you are born poor, the government should help you out a bit with education and such until you are able to make it on your own. Likewise, if you are born rich, you should help out the less fortunate through paying more taxes.

I own five rifles and two shotguns, so obviously I am pro-gun. But I believe that the Brady bill should be re-enacted. Contrary to popular "liberal" beliefs, I believe in mining and in oil exploration (I think that Bush's plan to convert old military bases into refineries and build more nuclear power plants are excellent ideas), but I don't think we should screw up the caribou habitat by drilling in ANWR.

So my message to those of you who stereotype liberals just because Rush Limbaugh says we are that way is to BITE ME.

"Angry fat man on the radio
Wants to keep his taxes way down low
Says there ought to be a law
Angriest man we ever saw."

- The Bottle Rockets, Welfare Music.
 

Keith M Williams
Junior Member
Username: Grok

Post Number: 72
Registered: 03-2004
Posted on Thursday, April 28, 2005 - 10:30 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

As a left leaning Libertarian I agree. In my orginal defense of your position, I tried, I think unsuccessfully, to point out that political labels are for the most part, misleading. However, I do think your closer to being a Libertarian then an out right Liberal.

AT

Screaming Ducks
Making the easy Impossible
 

Chumley
Senior Member
Username: Chumley

Post Number: 3126
Registered: 02-2003
Posted on Thursday, April 28, 2005 - 10:41 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Wouldn't a Libertarian who wants to pay higher taxes be considered a Liberal?
 

Mike Huss
Advanced Member
Username: Mikhu

Post Number: 640
Registered: 03-2003
Posted on Thursday, April 28, 2005 - 11:17 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Talk about stereotyping, thinking if you are conservative that you must worship at the altar of Rush?? Personally I'm a Michael Savage and Neal Boortz listener...

Honestly, I don't think true liberals believe in being responsible for your own actions. To me, the definition of a liberal is defined by the PC police in today's society. I.E. if someone is a murderer, his "environment" must have caused him to do it. I don't understand how people can believe that someone is "programmed" to be gay (which, contrary to popular stereotypes about conservatives, I also believe) but they refuse to believe that someone is "programmed" to murder or rape.

As far as I'm concerned if you think people are responsible for their own actions and their choices in their life determine where they end up, then you aren't a liberal. You may not be conservative, but you are a left leaning centrist at the minimum.
 

Bill Rehm
Junior Member
Username: Lwr

Post Number: 79
Registered: 03-2003
Posted on Friday, April 29, 2005 - 01:17 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

As far as the "liberal bashing" that is going on these days, I say great! It is about time we step up, I hope it continues. Living in S.E. Wisconsin I have a front row seat to how much a double standard there is in the "popular" media. Those of us that are conservative are starting to speak up, unlike our partners on the left, we speak up about both sides when we feel something is wrong, the left only speaks up when the other side steps out of line.

I am not against paying taxes, but when it is handled in what I see as an unjust way, I will speak up. In the case of the Minn. liquor tax, I believe that the rate of increase is extreme. Always remember once you create a tax it will never, NEVER go away.

Judge me as you will, but as far as I am concerned Presdident Bush and most of the "talking head" conservatives out there are no way near conservative enough for me when it comes to financial issues. Why do I live in the "liberal" paradise tax hell of Wisconsin? I have no flipping clue, I just can't seem to escape.
 

A. G. Nostic
Unregistered guest
Posted on Friday, April 29, 2005 - 07:43 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

"As far as I'm concerned if you think people are responsible for their own actions and their choices in their life determine where they end up, then you aren't a liberal. You may not be conservative, but you are a left leaning centrist at the minimum."

As far as I'm concerned that means you don't have a clue what being a "liberal" means. Since when did liberal vs. conservative have anything to do with issues of personal responsibility?

Just to shake you up a bit, I consider myself a "liberal" (though not nearly as "liberal" as when I was a younger man). I certainly have my libertarian leanings, but in my heart I am a "liberal". That said, the following might shock you:

I do believe that people are "programmed" to be gay. I also believe that certain people are "programmed" to be rapists, murderers, or just plain old mean miserable cusses who should not be allowed to interact with society as a whole. I believe the former group should be able to live their lives in this country without fear of persecution and ostracization. I believe the latter group, if they follow through on their "programming" and are duly convicted of their crimes should be put away for life.

I do not own a gun. In fact I can count the times I've fired a gun of any type on the fingers of one of my hands. It should be noted, though, that I do have "liberal" friends who own guns and use them in a variety of (legal) ways. I do not believe in "gun control" control per se because I do not see it as a workable policy. I do believe in "gun licensing" and find it hard to believe that other people have a problem with this. Various levels of government require me to license my car, my boat, and my dog; what's the problem with licensing guns? I believe any one who wants to own a gun should be able to do so, within reason. I know "assault rifle" is a loaded term. I also know there are certain weapons that the general public should not be allowed to possess. We should find a line, draw it and adhere to it. I believe if anyone uses a gun in a crime they should be put away for life.

At this point it should be noted that I may be accused of taxing our already overcrowded prison system. I believe that if we release and pardon all those poor souls who are serving ridiculously long sentences for selling a joint to the wrong guy at the wrong time, we could make room for some real criminals in our prisons. I believe that the politcians who decided that marijuana (a non-narcotic) should be viewed as the equivalent of heroin were a criminally stupid lot. Let's face it folks, anyone on this board is obviously guilty of "drug use". Why marijuana has been criminalized as it has been is one of life's great mysteries. In my travels through this world I've met a lot of drunks and a lot of potheads. I've met a lot of mean drunks; don't recall any mean potheads.

I believe that anyone who presided as the executive power over a state that executed more people than the rest of the states combined has no right to lecture me on "a culture of life".

I believe that one of the biggest political problems our country faces is the current trend of trying to pigeon-hole everyone into the slots of "liberal" and "conservative". This is especially disturbing in the current environment where very few people pay any attention to actual historical political definitions of these terms.

The reality in this country is that we do not really have the "red state, blue state" duality that the media wants to foist upon us. What we really have is a continuum of political thought. I think Barack Obama said it best. I'm paraphrasing, since I no longer have the issue on Newsweek in which I saw this, but upon being shown the red/blue map by county in the last presidential election, Barack said something like "I don't see red and blue, I see purple"
 

Bill Pierce
Moderator
Username: Billpierce

Post Number: 2968
Registered: 01-2002
Posted on Friday, April 29, 2005 - 11:37 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I know I'm hijacking the thread here, but does anyone else think Barack Obama could be president someday?
 

Tim Wi
Junior Member
Username: Riverkeeper

Post Number: 34
Registered: 03-2005
Posted on Friday, April 29, 2005 - 12:25 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

ya know, if we left off labels (conservative liberal), and just stated a position on an issue, I'd bet we'd find that most of us get along pretty good.

Who believes in right of self defense?
Who believes in self-determination?
Who believes crime should be punished?
Who believes in free elections?
Who believes in free expression?
Who fears an overly intrusive government?

Nearly all of us are raising our hands, and looking around, I can't tell who among us would call themselves "liberal" or "conservative". bah! We be CITIZENS! Yea! woo-hooo!



I love you guys.

Tim
 

Mike Huss
Advanced Member
Username: Mikhu

Post Number: 641
Registered: 03-2003
Posted on Friday, April 29, 2005 - 01:34 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

As far as I'm concerned that means you don't have a clue what being a "liberal" means. Since when did liberal vs. conservative have anything to do with issues of personal responsibility?

*sarcasm on*
Oh, I'm sorry, I forgot. Liberal just means that you love everyone and if we just gave the world a group hug all the bad people will become good.
*sarcasm off*
 

Joseph Listan
Advanced Member
Username: Poonstab

Post Number: 658
Registered: 03-2003
Posted on Friday, April 29, 2005 - 01:42 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Who believes in right of self defense?
This is much easier with an effective weapon, such as a gun. Make no mistake: there are lots of people who do not want you to have a gun.

Who believes in self-determination?
Libertarians do. The others really don't. Every law that gets passed erodes this right somehow.

Who believes crime should be punished?
The real question is whether some crimes are actually crimes at all. There needs to be a victim for there to be a crime. Smoking a joint in the privacy of your own home creates no victim, nor does the consentual agreement between two adults to exchange money for sex.

Who believes in free elections?
Everyone does, except those currently in power. However, since the system is rigged by the current regime, we don't have free elections in the USA. If you find this hard to believe, just try to create a new political party and you'll quicly discover the 300 foot wall of red tape and prohibition. You can only get money from the government (tax money) if you are a Dem or Rep. Everyone else gets nada.

Who believes in free expression?
Everyone does, except those who want to police your thought. I will refer you to the concept of "hate crime". Racial slurs, sexist slurs, etc. are expression, yet they are controlled. Go out and say something like "America deserved 9/11" and you could very well end up in a back room of an unmarked FBI building, held against your will with no legal counsel or recourse. Completely free expression doesn't exist.

Who fears an overly intrusive government?
Not many do, and in fact most Americans welcome it with open arms. Whenever a new tax is proposed, the pols say the revenue will go to public education or public health or what have you. Idiots will then say "well, if it is for the greater good, then I guess it's OK". Then the gov't is just that much more up your butt, and gets to keep that much more of your paycheck. The money rarely ends up where they promised it will go. People are so dumb that they think these dollars are somehow earmarked to go to certain places. They all go into the general fund first, then they get doled out. Of the 368 billion dollars that the states extorted from Big Tobacco, less than 10% went to public health programs, yet it was promised to go mostly to health and education. They are building roads, sewers, and parks with it, and many pols gave themselves raises. If you're a smoker in Wisconsin, you're paying for drainage canals in Louisiana and desert irrigation in New Mexico, while tobacco farmers in Virginia are going broke seeing their farms turn into suburban sprawl.
 

David C Johnson
Junior Member
Username: Daveofsherwood

Post Number: 37
Registered: 03-2003
Posted on Friday, April 29, 2005 - 02:20 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Libertarian positions are by nature, conservative. Right leaning positions adopted conservatism through a clever campaign of spindoctoring that religious types bought into easily as a reflection of their own views. The two met and agreed that they had the same enemy: a perceived threat to the way they worship god. Throw in a planted gay marriage issue to polarize the voting public and you win on issues that you have created yourself as a first term president. They didn't buy those votes, we as voteres gave them a coupon deal. Congrats, we've been had as partisan voters. I am glad I am a staunch independant voter.

Whew.
 

Mike Huss
Advanced Member
Username: Mikhu

Post Number: 642
Registered: 03-2003
Posted on Friday, April 29, 2005 - 02:24 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Joseph, you hit upon one issue with libertarians that I disagree with. The exchange of money for consensual sex between adults could have a victim. If a man has a fling with a prostitue and catches some kind of diseaase, then comes home and give it his wife, isn't she a victim?

And as far as farmers going broke due to suburban sprawl? Not true. Farmers are going broke due to government involvement in what used to be free trade. Farmers usually lose money every year UNTIL they sell off a chunk of land. All the farmers around here are mostly holding out and just getting by farming their land until some developer offers them enough cash for them to retire comfortably. It's sad really, farmers used to provide a lifeblood service to this country and make an ok living doing it, then the government got involved and it all up as usual.
 

Tim Wi
Junior Member
Username: Riverkeeper

Post Number: 36
Registered: 03-2005
Posted on Friday, April 29, 2005 - 02:42 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

What if a brother gives his sister money in exchange for sex, and they are both consenting adults?
 

Ron Siddall
Member
Username: Listerdister

Post Number: 182
Registered: 10-2004
Posted on Friday, April 29, 2005 - 02:45 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Mike, all the farmers out here in California are doing quite well. They all have very nice homes, lots of new cars. Crops get ruined? The Gov. bails them out. I work in the AG business and it is very, very, very hard to feel sorry for these "poor" farmers out here. They whine at the drop of a hat and have their vains mainlined into the Federal Reserve.

Too many people running too many scams.
 

Mike Huss
Advanced Member
Username: Mikhu

Post Number: 645
Registered: 03-2003
Posted on Friday, April 29, 2005 - 03:10 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

That's significantly different than around here then Ron, most farmers are quite poor here. There are a few factory farms that make money hand over fist, but most of our "regular" farms are family owned and don't have much money.

Then again, I guess I'd rather have the government giving money to people who grow the food for the world than to someone who is just too lazy to work.
 

Joseph Listan
Advanced Member
Username: Poonstab

Post Number: 660
Registered: 03-2003
Posted on Friday, April 29, 2005 - 03:11 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Mike:
The wife is the victim of the husband, NOT a victim of the prostitute. If prostitution were legal, perhaps these women would have fewer STDs, but this is hard to say. We can only look to the Netherlands where it is legal and much safer. However, the actual act doesn't have an immediate victim. Your logic is akin to blaming a gun manufacturer for somebody improperly and irresponsibly using its product, or, say, blaming A-B for a drunken driver killing someone. Shall I ask everyone to start banning 2x4s again? The *potential* for harm is there too.

The suburban sprawl is the result of being put out of business by the tobacco lawsuit, not the other way around.

Tim,
So what if they're siblings? Consent is consent. You are confusing law with morality. Again, where is the victim in your scenario?
 

Chumley
Senior Member
Username: Chumley

Post Number: 3133
Registered: 02-2003
Posted on Friday, April 29, 2005 - 03:16 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Sigh...if only this man could become president...
My Hero
 

Ron Siddall
Member
Username: Listerdister

Post Number: 184
Registered: 10-2004
Posted on Friday, April 29, 2005 - 03:18 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Tim, Florida sugar growers are doing quite nicely with the Gov price supports in place as well as the milk producers. Do you know that you can go to jail for growing and selling peanuts if you do not have a permit? Want a permit? Can't get one.

Just another scam.

The problem with the Govt. is that they play the game with guns.
 

Mike Huss
Advanced Member
Username: Mikhu

Post Number: 646
Registered: 03-2003
Posted on Friday, April 29, 2005 - 03:23 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I agree, the wife is the victim of the husband by something he chose to do. Therefore, she is a victim. However, it is nothing like the other examples. The result of the use of his "weapon" is what makes her a victim, not what the weapon is. It doesn't matter if his weapon is his manhood that gave her an STD, or a gun that he shot her with, or a car that he drove drunk and killed her with. His manhood, the gun, and the car are NOT at fault, she is a victim from stuff he did with each of those. Granted, his manhood is part of him so it's somewhat of a gray area, but you get my point.

(Message edited by mikhu on April 29, 2005)
 

Mike Huss
Advanced Member
Username: Mikhu

Post Number: 647
Registered: 03-2003
Posted on Friday, April 29, 2005 - 03:32 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Nice cast Chumley.....
 

Chumley
Senior Member
Username: Chumley

Post Number: 3134
Registered: 02-2003
Posted on Friday, April 29, 2005 - 03:36 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Okay, so you didn't bite. But admit it...flecks of foam appeared in the corners of your mouth when you saw the image of my man Ted.
 

Chumley
Senior Member
Username: Chumley

Post Number: 3135
Registered: 02-2003
Posted on Friday, April 29, 2005 - 03:40 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Just to confuse you conservatives further, this liberal would also vote for president my other man Ted:

Leader of the Land
 

Tim Wi
Junior Member
Username: Riverkeeper

Post Number: 38
Registered: 03-2005
Posted on Friday, April 29, 2005 - 03:41 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

And WHAT IF the standard for law was the "no victim" and "consenting adults"?

It would therefore not be against the law for...

brother to bugger his sister, (oh what a cunning linguist he is)
grandmother to blow her daughter's son, (the things our elders know)
Grandpa to take one up the keester by his son's wife's strap-on. Oh, what fun!

all while drinking beer.
 

Ron Siddall
Member
Username: Listerdister

Post Number: 185
Registered: 10-2004
Posted on Friday, April 29, 2005 - 03:47 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Chumley, that the Nug? I think the Nug would like to take Teddy bowhuntin'. Of course, he would make Teddy leave behind the 4 cases of Scotch.
 

Mike Huss
Advanced Member
Username: Mikhu

Post Number: 648
Registered: 03-2003
Posted on Friday, April 29, 2005 - 03:48 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

WAAAHOOOO TED!! Ted for Pres!!! Fresh wild game on every table and guns in every home!

No flecks of foam, but very high blood pressure! He's one of the many reasons I voted against Kerry (I don't have enough time to list the rest, I have to brew tomorrow!) because like how everyone jokes that Bush is Cheney's puppet, well what do you think Kerry is to Teddy Chappaquiddick? Kerry hasn't had an original thought in his life, he was just a mouthpiece for that bloated jackass.
 

Hophead
Senior Member
Username: Hophead

Post Number: 1453
Registered: 03-2002
Posted on Friday, April 29, 2005 - 03:53 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Tim, I agree with JL on this one, you are clearly confusing law with morality...

I'd take both Ted's as Pres and VP over Hillary or Jeb.
 

Tim Wi
Junior Member
Username: Riverkeeper

Post Number: 40
Registered: 03-2005
Posted on Friday, April 29, 2005 - 03:55 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

The motor city madman for pres, I'll buy that for a dollar.

T
 

Joseph Listan
Advanced Member
Username: Poonstab

Post Number: 661
Registered: 03-2003
Posted on Friday, April 29, 2005 - 03:58 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Tim,

Dude...

You've got issues, man. I don't even wanna know...
 

Mike Huss
Advanced Member
Username: Mikhu

Post Number: 649
Registered: 03-2003
Posted on Friday, April 29, 2005 - 04:07 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Hophead, I don't know about that. Teddy K = Hildabeast. They're one in the same.

However, Nuge > Jeb, definitely NOT one in the same!

But mostly I just think Tom Delay should run in '08.
 

Tim Wi
Junior Member
Username: Riverkeeper

Post Number: 41
Registered: 03-2005
Posted on Friday, April 29, 2005 - 04:51 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

No confusion, no issues, besides how does Argumentum ad hominen make your point?

moral 1 a: of or relating to principles of right and wrong in behavior : ETHICAL ... d : sanctioned by or operative on one's conscience or ethical judgement ...

Are not most laws a formal listing by society of unacceptable (right or wrong) behavior?

Yes, the images I painted are shocking, vulgar, obscene and offensive.

Why would I do that? Well your reaction shows that even you don't accept ALL manifistations of the policy you advocate "consenting, adult, no victim".

Tim
 

Joseph Listan
Advanced Member
Username: Poonstab

Post Number: 662
Registered: 03-2003
Posted on Friday, April 29, 2005 - 05:18 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

On the contrary, it is none of my damn business what grampa likes in his butt, and it's nobody else's business if I smoke dog poo and stick a bunch of gold studs in various parts of my face to make me even uglier than I already am. I see very little difference, on moral or legal grounds, between smoking an intoxicant (or dog poo) and sticking ugly metal pins in my face. My body, my life, my choice.

I am not the kind of person who doesn't believe his own philosophy, so please don't put words in my mouth.

One of the professed goals of the founding fathers, in general, was to base laws on protecting individual rights, not inflicting any sort of moral code on the whole of society through legislation. This concept was quite radical at the time. Too bad it took less than 100 years for it to all go to and revert back to legislated morality.

And you have my apologies if you were insulted by that last post about your "issues". You are correct in your assesment of my obvious logical fallacy. As a recovering hypocrite, the first step is getting past the denial. Believe me when I say it was intended as a joke, however. I shoulda put a smiley in there to make the sarcasm more easily recognizable.
 

Tim Wi
Junior Member
Username: Riverkeeper

Post Number: 43
Registered: 03-2005
Posted on Friday, April 29, 2005 - 05:53 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I am not the kind of person who doesn't believe his own philosophy, so please don't put words in my mouth.


My mistake.

And you have my apologies ...

None necessary, although your gracious offering of one is appreciated.

Happily, Ammendment IX still exists.

"The enumeration in the Constitution of certain rights shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people."

T
 

Chumley
Senior Member
Username: Chumley

Post Number: 3148
Registered: 02-2003
Posted on Saturday, April 30, 2005 - 03:30 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

>>But mostly I just think Tom Delay should run in '08.

It took my dentist three hours to remove that No. 6 Eagle Claw Baitholder hook from my lower jaw this afternoon. I hope you're happy.
 

Bill Pierce
Moderator
Username: Billpierce

Post Number: 2984
Registered: 01-2002
Posted on Saturday, April 30, 2005 - 04:27 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

We love our labels. Liberal (despite the attempt by some to make the word an obscenity), conservative, socialist, libertarian--I have been, and probably continue to be, all of them at one time or another.

Hey, I have great idea for the '08 presidential election. The Republicans should nominate Tom DeLay, and the Democrats Hillary Clinton.

(Message edited by BillPierce on April 30, 2005)
 

Wykowski
Senior Member
Username: Bigearl

Post Number: 1261
Registered: 12-2002
Posted on Tuesday, May 03, 2005 - 02:58 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I'm just anti-republican and anti-democrat,

right now I hate the republicans worse, but thats just because they are in power, my distain seems to shift as power shifts
You remember that foul evening when you heard the banshees howl
There was lousy drunken bastards singing 'Billy is in the bowl'
They took you up to midnight mass and left you in the lurch
So you dropped a button in the plate and spewed up in the church

 

Wykowski
Senior Member
Username: Bigearl

Post Number: 1263
Registered: 12-2002
Posted on Thursday, May 05, 2005 - 03:28 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

"Angry fat man on the radio
Wants to keep his taxes way down low
Says there ought to be a law
Angriest man we ever saw."

- The Bottle Rockets, Welfare Music.


cool I heard that song on Sirius Sat. Radio's "Outlaw Country" station,,,

I listen all the time, they play Honky Tonk, Alt., and alot of stuff 'left' of mainstream
"he's a drug store truck drivin' man ..."
everybody's got to have somebody to look down on...if you can't find nobody else, then help yourself to me
 

Miker
Member
Username: Miker

Post Number: 173
Registered: 02-2003
Posted on Friday, May 06, 2005 - 02:57 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Why do most conservatives vote against clean air and water? If owning a gun is an inalienable right, how come breathing and drinking water don't make the list?

Is it all about the money?
 

Nathan Eddy
Junior Member
Username: Nathan_eddy

Post Number: 27
Registered: 03-2005
Posted on Monday, May 30, 2005 - 06:59 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

"Since when did liberal vs. conservative have anything to do with issues of personal responsibility?"

As soon as liberals decided that the government must substitute a person's responsibility for their own health care, retirement, etc., with a government program. You are responsible for planning for your retirement, not the collective society. You are responsible for maintaining your own body, not the government.

"The reality in this country is that we do not really have the "red state, blue state" duality that the media wants to foist upon us. What we really have is a continuum of political thought."

The media doesn't force us to vote either Dem or Rep, yet as a country we have continued to make either of those two choices for decades. Every year that I can remember presidential elections (going back to 1980), there has been more than two choices in the voting booth. So where's the evidence of this "continuum?" You may vary a little from issue to issue, but when it comes down to actually putting your views into action, how many of you stray from the two-party duality? You can't blame the media for your voting habits.

And in terms of the Big Picture structure of our society, there really are only two choices: individualism vs collectivism. (This is why the personal responsibility issue is so relevant.) All the particular political issues (abortion, environment, gun rights, health care, etc.) are just real world cases in which these two philosophies can be seen to be duking it out. The kinds of solutions people come up with for these problems are either collective solutions (taxes + enforcement) or indvidual solutions (personal choice and responsibility). Conservatives see abortion in terms of "you made a choice, now face the consequences of your choice), while liberals see abortion as, "society must protect my ability (via a law) to 'erase' the consequences of my sexual choices, so that I do not have to face them." You can break any political/social issue down into these two philosophical ideologies. Try it, it's fun!

And THAT's why we have have red vs blue, con vs lib, rep vs dem. The difference is real, and the future of our country depends not blurring the lines.
 

Nathan Eddy
Junior Member
Username: Nathan_eddy

Post Number: 28
Registered: 03-2005
Posted on Monday, May 30, 2005 - 07:24 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

"Why do most Republicans vote against clean air and clean water?"

Do you have evidence to support the implied claim here? Do you have the voting records of every single Republican to ever hold office, and you've tabulated those votes to get a greater than 50% rate of Reps voting against clean air/water? Didn't think so. You're just parroting what you've heard in liberal media and what your liberal friends have agreed upon.

Things are not always as simple as our unsubstantiated beliefs will make us think. For instance, not every possible environmental law is good for society. There is a point of diminishing returns when it comes to protecting the environment. More people are dying of issues related to poverty than due to dirty air and water. Poor people die from driving old, unsafe cars, from having poor or no health care, by taking unsafe jobs, by being uneducated about health risks, by eating cheap and unhealthy food, etc., etc. Do you see anyone dying from unclean air???

The air is pretty darn clean. How much more are we going to strangle our economy to squeeze a few more tenths of a percentage point out of an emissions measurement? Everytime our economy is hurt, millions of people's lives are negatively impacted in ways that affect them VASTLY more than having ever-so-slightly cleaner air.

"Is it all about money?"

The irony is that the places in the world that have the WORST quality water and air are in the some of the POOREST countries on the planet. Raw sewage and dead bodies in the water? Yep. Cow dung smoke in the air? Yep.

Is it all about money? You betcha.

It sure makes for an evil-sounding caricature to say Republicans are against clean air and water, doesn't it? The scary thing is that some people out there actually populate their world-view with these cartoon-like characterizations of whole segments of our population. Sad.

(Message edited by Nathan Eddy on May 30, 2005)
 

Mike Huss
Advanced Member
Username: Mikhu

Post Number: 679
Registered: 03-2003
Posted on Tuesday, May 31, 2005 - 01:02 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Well put Nathan. When I initially was going to reply to Miker I had some smartass response about drinking the kool-aid, but I decided against even posting it. You described it much more eloquently than I was going to. Thank you.
 

Miker
Member
Username: Miker

Post Number: 195
Registered: 02-2003
Posted on Tuesday, May 31, 2005 - 03:35 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

"You're just parroting what you've heard in liberal media and what your liberal friends have agreed upon."

No, actually I got this opinion mostly from listening to Rush and his buddies. They used to turn up the conservative radio shows full blast out in the warehouse here at work. Sure made my work-day pleasant.
 

Tim Wi
Junior Member
Username: Riverkeeper

Post Number: 89
Registered: 03-2005
Posted on Tuesday, May 31, 2005 - 05:03 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Generalizations based on a specific example are invalid regardless of the source of the example.

otherwise, it would be correct to say...

I saw an orange tree in Florida, therefore all orange trees grow in Florida.

Tim
 

A.G. Nostic
Unregistered guest
Posted on Wednesday, June 01, 2005 - 07:56 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

“And in terms of the Big Picture structure of our society, there really are only two choices: individualism vs collectivism.”

Complete nonsense. To see this let’s not focus on any one issue but say that we must choose one or the other of these philosophies and take it to its logical conclusion. One who buys completely into individualism and puts all decisions and consequences in the hand of the individual must eventually confess that in this system government is not necessary and may as well be abolished. That’s called anarchy. It doesn’t work. One who buys 100% into collectivism is bound to wake up some fine morning and realize the government they prefer is called communism. It doesn’t work. What works? A philosophy lying somewhere in between these two extremist views. There’s your continuum.


However, if you want to focus on individual issues, we can do that too. Abortion for starters, since you mentioned it. I think you completely missed on how “conservatives” and “liberals” see the abortion issue. Since the terms “conservative” and “liberal” are a bit loaded, let’s just talk people who favor legalized abortion and those who oppose it. Someone please correct me if I’m wrong, but I was under the impression that people who oppose abortion do so not because “you made a choice, now face the consequences of your choice”, but because they view abortion as the taking of a human life. Again, I may be wrong, but I thought people who favor legalized abortion tend to do so because they think that the question of whether or not to terminate a pregnancy is one so intensely personal that it should be decided by the individual in consultation with a doctor, not by the government. Ironically, this latter position which argues that government should limit its role in the lives of its citizens is one that is arguably more a conservative, republican mentality than it is a liberal, democratic one. Last I checked, polls tend to show that the majority of Americans do not believe in abortion on demand at all times and in all instances, nor do they believe the procedure should be prohibited at all times and in all instances. Again the answer seems to lie somewhere between two extreme views. There’s that pesky continuum again.

Let’s grab another issue out of the hat. How about unemployment insurance/compensation. I guess the individualist point of view here would be that if you lose your job, it’s your own fault and you shouldn’t expect any “favors” from your government. It’s not the government’s fault you lost your job. The unfortunate reality is that no matter how vibrant your economy is, unemployment is a fact of life. Anyone out there who doesn’t have a competent, hard-working friend or loved one who recently lost their job due to downsizing, outsourcing, or some other corporate buzzword probably doesn’t have a whole lot of friends or loved ones. Should we really let the unemployed twist in the wind with no source of income for themselves and their families, or should we try and keep them afloat until they can locate gainful employment again? By doing so might we be doing good for both the individual and the collective? A completely collective solution to this problem would seem to be a 100% welfare state where everyone receives income regardless of whether they work or not. Obvious problems with this model. Again, I would suggest the most workable solution lies somewhere between two extreme views.

Retirement? I consider myself a “liberal”. I do plan on taking care of my own retirement and in all my retirement calculations I factor in zero contribution from Uncle Sam. But, I would also point out that anyone with the individualistic bent might step back and ask themselves what we as a nation are going to do with all those people who have pegged their retirement plans on a company pension (which used to be the gold standard in this country) only to be screwed over by said company. Do we really want our Enron and United retirees forced to eat pet food to survive?

You can certainly feel free to view everything through the lens of individualism vs. collectivism. I’ll spin this by offering up my own dichotomy. How about heartlessness vs. compassion?

Bottom line is that we live in a nation where the political landscape is somewhat paradoxical. We see things in terms of red vs. blue because in the end the people who win our elections are almost always either “red” or “blue”. But the individuals who elect them aren’t, they tend to be more moderate (purple). The thing that struck me most about the most recent presidential election is that, in my opinion, there were a great number of voters who didn’t seem to be voting strongly for one of the candidates as much as they were voting for the lesser of two evils. Anyone who buys fully into the red/blue mentality should stay tuned and see what happens when W. vetoes a stem cell bill and his approval numbers go into a bigger free fall then they’ve already seen.
 

Ron Siddall
Member
Username: Listerdister

Post Number: 239
Registered: 10-2004
Posted on Wednesday, June 01, 2005 - 02:22 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

"Do we really want our Enron and United retirees forced to eat pet food to survive?"

AG, this is such a great country that you have the complete freedom to take care of as many of these folks as you would like to.

The rub for me is when people like you use the the guns of government to force me to do what you think I should do. I prefer to make my own decisions.

BTW, I find it interesting the way you hide behind this ID of yours. Must be some big reason for doing so, eh?
 

Nathan Eddy
Junior Member
Username: Nathan_eddy

Post Number: 29
Registered: 03-2005
Posted on Wednesday, June 01, 2005 - 06:33 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

A.G.Nostic,

Granted, you can take either side to its "logical conclusion" in a thought experiment, ending with something extreme and ridiculous. However, you seem to be intentionally missing my point with this exaggeration. In practice, the vast majority of people in this country (and in the world, too) align themselves with one side or another. This "continuum" you talk about gets polarized on election day into two specific choices. Inevitably, one of those choices leads to more socialism, and one leads to more personal freedom. In general.

Now lets get specific. Yes, abortion for conservatives IS an issue of individual freedom; you're just looking at the wrong individual: the mother. Conservatives believe that that UNBORN individual has more right to live than the mother has to not be inconvienced. Liberals use the collective weight of government to take away the fetus' individual, absolute right to life. What can be more clear-cut violation of individualism in favor of collectivism? Where is the continuum between dead or alive? Either the fetus has a right to live, or it doesn't.

Unemployment: you've merely created a caricature of this issue. You assume that the only way an individual can have unemployment benefits is if the collective will of society is invoked in the form of government regulation. What about the free market? It is made up of INDIVIDUALS making free choices for their own benefit. The beauty of this system is that all these individual choices tend towards mutual benefit for all--not always, but in general. Health insurance wasn't always offered by companies. They did it as a way to attract employees away from competing businesses. Something similar would work for unemployment benefits. The company with the best unemployment package would attract the best employees. There is absolutely no need for the collective will (i.e. government) to interfere in these kinds of aggreements between individuals--unless an individual's rights are being violated ala Enron.

Retirement: There are alternatives to eating dog food, on the one hand, and having a welfare state for the elderly, on the other. Again, you are suffering from a lack of imagination to assume that the government is the only solution to individuals' problems. Individualism doesn't preclude helping each other (charity, etc.). I'm not advocating every man for himself (no compassion), but rather free choices made by individuals as opposed to the coerced participation in a government program forced upon us by the "collective will." There is nothing more heartless than that.

Your misplaced example about individualism leading to anarchy carries with it the assumption that individuals making free choices can't come to mutually beneficial arrangements. Sure, there will always be some individuals who don't respect others, and that is where government comes in. Yes, I know it sounds paradoxical to advocate both government and individualism; however, a government that exists to protect individual freedoms need not be contradictory. A government that protects "the collective" is really just protecting itself, which is tyranny.

In my opinion, arguing for this "continuum" is merely a disingenuous attempt to ignore the dangers of collectivism, to pretend that there are "safe" levels of collective oppression of the individual, to pretend that it's okay to take very small steps towards tyranny--as long as you don't go all the way. But with incremental loss of freedom, I wonder if anyone would even recognize when we've gone "all the way?"
 

A.G Nostic
Unregistered guest
Posted on Wednesday, June 01, 2005 - 07:07 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

You are exactly right.
 

Tim Wi
Junior Member
Username: Riverkeeper

Post Number: 91
Registered: 03-2005
Posted on Thursday, June 02, 2005 - 02:26 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

First of all, BRAVO A.G., for conceding a point. You have done yourself a great credit in my view.

I am furstrated most of all "when those convinced against their will are of the same opinion still."

Second of all, nice post Nathan.

Tim
 

A.G. Nostic
Unregistered guest
Posted on Thursday, June 02, 2005 - 07:23 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Hate to burst your bubble, Tim, but the most recent A.G. Nostic post was clearly the work of an imposter. The real A.G. Nostic is obviously incapable of posting anything so short and pithy. I’m not sure if your quote meant to imply that I have been convinced of something against my will. If so, on what do you base this assertion?

As with most political discussions, this one will close with the advocates on each side being forced to eventually agree that they simply disagree.

But, what the hell, a few more responses and points.

Ron:

AG, this is such a great country that you have the complete freedom to take care of as many of these folks as you would like to.

Yes, Ron, I realize this and while, as stated, I fully intend to take care of my own retirement, I’m pretty sure I will not be in a financial position to also take care of my neighbor should his corporate pension fail. You may have missed the point here. The “individualism” argument compels me only to take care of myself, not others. In any event it may be thoughtful to put yourself in the position of some employee at Enron who was 65 when the bottom dropped out of his retirement fund. Do you really want to rely on the kindness of strangers (keep in mind even friends and family can get a little strange when large sums of money are involved) or would you prefer to have at least some reasonable subsistence level guaranteed by a government program? By the way it’s a program you’ve paid quite a bit of tax money into so it’s not like you’re on some free ride welfare ticket. Could you have done better if the government agreed to let you keep that tax money and invest it yourself? That’s an arguable point with an answer that will vary greatly from individual to individual.

The rub for me is when people like you use the the guns of government to force me to do what you think I should do. I prefer to make my own decisions.

Hold on there, cowboy. Now I think you’re plain and simply putting words into my mouth. As you may have noticed, I don’t need the help. I’d appreciate it if you can point out exactly what’s led you to believe that “people like me” (by that I’ll assume you’re talking about homebrewers over 6 feet tall) want the government to force you to do what I think you should do. For the record, that statement is pretty close to being 180 degrees off from what I actually think. Like you, I also prefer to make my own decisions. Unfortunately, as soon as government enters the picture none of us is truly free to make all of our own decisions. More on that later.


Nathan:

I will concede that you will resist the “continuum” argument in favor of a more “black and white” approach, but not before noting that history and experience suggests that a “black and white” approach usually doesn’t suffice because there are all too frequently many shades of gray.

On abortion you are quite correct on one point. There is no continuum between alive and dead (or is there?). Would you concede that not everyone in this country views this issue in such black and white terms? That is obviously the case, for if everyone viewed the issue in your specified black and white terms, abortion would not be the contentious issue that it is in this country. There certainly is to me, and many others, a “continuum” argument that one just might need to sort out in the abortion debate. In fact, IMHO, it is this continuum argument that makes the issue so difficult, divisive and contentious. For a homework assignment, I’ll ask you and Ron to try and predict where “someone like me” actually stands on the abortion issue.

I wish I had the same confidence in the free market system that you seem to have. The Econ 101 theories of Adam Smith are something we in this country tend to hold rather dearly. An important thing to remember is that, like all economic thought, Smith’s ideals were theories, not indisputable facts. In my opinion his theories might be a pretty accurate model in a relatively small scale economy where individuals are truly dealing with individuals. Throw a large handful of enormous multi-billion (or trillion) dollar multi-national corporations into the fray and I don’t think we’re dealing with anything that Mr. Smith ever imagined. Don’t get me wrong, I think a “free market” economy is generally a good thing. However, one must also concede that our “free market” economy has given us such things as a medical system that many of our citizens can’t afford to buy into and an incredibly skewed distribution of wealth. When the “free market” presents us with such problems should we not possibly consider some “gasp” government intervention?

Lastly, you said:

Yes, I know it sounds paradoxical to advocate both government and individualism; however, a government that exists to protect individual freedoms need not be contradictory. A government that protects "the collective" is really just protecting itself, which is tyranny.

In my opinion, arguing for this "continuum" is merely a disingenuous attempt to ignore the dangers of collectivism, to pretend that there are "safe" levels of collective oppression of the individual, to pretend that it's okay to take very small steps towards tyranny--as long as you don't go all the way.


It is not at all paradoxical to advocate both government and individualism. Sounds to me like you’re now arguing my point for me (or at least we’ve found something to agree on). It is absolutely necessary to advocate both of these things in proper balance with each other. Government without individualism is communism, theocracy, despotism, dictatorship, or some other unseemly form that I think we both can agree we don’t want. Individualism without government is, by definition, anarchy. I know I don’t want that and suspect you don’t either. I’d argue that the ultimate goal of any successful government is to balance the two oft competing goals of protecting the individual while it also protects the collective. And, quite frankly, if you truly think that there aren’t “safe levels of collective oppression of the individual”, then I think it’s you who’s being disingenuous. Look at it closely and the presence of a successful government virtually guarantees some level of curtailment of individual freedoms. What could be a more fundamental freedom than to enjoy the fruits of your hard labor in any way you see fit? Yet, as far as I know, every modern, industrial, democratic government levies taxes upon its citizens, thus curtailing, at least in part, this particular individual freedom.
 

Tim Wi
Junior Member
Username: Riverkeeper

Post Number: 92
Registered: 03-2005
Posted on Thursday, June 02, 2005 - 12:45 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I’m not sure if your quote meant to imply that I have been convinced of something against my will. If so, on what do you base this assertion?


No, actually I meant that you had done the exact opposite of the quote. I meant that its refreshing to see someone concede a point instead of the usual; I find it frustrating when someone takes a position, then fails to acknowledge the obvious when the logic supporting their position is shown by another to be faulty.

My apologies. Perhaps becoming a registered user will prevent you from gaining unmerited credit.

Will the real A.G. please stand up?
 

Ron Siddall
Member
Username: Listerdister

Post Number: 240
Registered: 10-2004
Posted on Thursday, June 02, 2005 - 02:44 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

AG, I am saving for my own retirement and I have become financially literate to do so, on my own I might add. I do not plan on any SSI that I have paid into for many, many years. Any contribution form that source is gravy.

You quote Government intervention. Well Government intervention works because they play the game with guns. If I don't want to pay "extra" SSI contributions, the folks with guns come and make me play. That was my point.

I find it very hard to feel empathy for the folks at Enron. One of the major tenets of portfolio disversification is that you do not put your retirement savings in your company's stock. These folks did and suffered the consequences for doing so. Bad decisions on their part that came back to bite them. And yes, I can do better investing my money than can the Government and I have the asset growth to prove it.

I don't care where you stand on abortion. That is your personal decision that does not affect what I do in my personal life, but my guess would be that you think it is an individual decision that the govt. needs to make available if someone wants it......it should not be made illegal.

AG, you then say this:

"However, one must also concede that our “free market” economy has given us such things as a medical system that many of our citizens can’t afford to buy into and an incredibly skewed distribution of wealth. When the “free market” presents us with such problems should we not possibly consider some “gasp” government intervention?"

I have three points. 1. People are living longer due to the higher quality treatment people now receive and that raises the costs. I won't go into what the illegal immigration is costing us, especially in AZ. I also will not go into detail that most people think doctors are akin to God and Heaven forbid, if they make a mistake, sue the Hell out of them.

2. Other than the military, I cannot name one Government intervention that actually improved a situation with a positive cost/benefit ratio. I am all eyes if you have any factual examples.

3. As far as the skewed distribution of wealth. Well, that has occured throughout history and will continue due to the vast differing skill levels, intelligence, motivations et al of individuals. Everyone gets a different result. Yet only in America do you have the opportunity to start with nothing and achieve everything. But you have to be willing to work.
 

A.G. Nostic
Unregistered guest
Posted on Thursday, June 02, 2005 - 04:03 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Once again I stand corrected.

I think it would be best if I register for Political Science 101 and take it for the third time, then return for more discussion.
 

A.G. Nostic AD Nauseum
Unregistered guest
Posted on Thursday, June 02, 2005 - 05:44 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Brevity is the soul of wit.
 

A.G. Nostic Argumentum Ad Hominen
Unregistered guest
Posted on Thursday, June 02, 2005 - 05:50 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Oh yeah? YOUR horse ugly!
 

A.G. Nostic
Unregistered guest
Posted on Thursday, June 02, 2005 - 06:24 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I think I ment: "you're horse ugly"
 

A.G. Nostic
Unregistered guest
Posted on Thursday, June 02, 2005 - 06:39 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

There is a continuum of ugly between you and your horse.
 

A.G. Nostic
Unregistered guest
Posted on Thursday, June 02, 2005 - 06:45 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I need to step out for a minute, guys, as I forgot to take my meds for my multiple personality syndrome this morning.
 

A.G. Nostic
Unregistered guest
Posted on Thursday, June 02, 2005 - 06:45 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

"I think I ment: "you're horse ugly""

I think I meant "meant" instead of ment.
 

A.G. Nostic
Unregistered guest
Posted on Thursday, June 02, 2005 - 06:48 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Back again. Damn... Its almost as if I am about 3 or 4 people.
 

A.G. Nostic
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Posted on Thursday, June 02, 2005 - 06:48 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Exactly.
 

A.G. Nostic
Unregistered guest
Posted on Thursday, June 02, 2005 - 06:59 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Boy this is great. A thread all to myself.
 

Extract Nostic
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Posted on Thursday, June 02, 2005 - 07:02 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Not exactly.
 

Okierat
Junior Member
Username: Okierat

Post Number: 64
Registered: 05-2003
Posted on Thursday, June 02, 2005 - 07:41 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Personally I like "You'er ugly and your momma dresses you funny"
 

Okierrat
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Posted on Thursday, June 02, 2005 - 07:44 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

JA JA JA JA JA JA !!!!!
 

A.G. Nostic
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Posted on Friday, June 03, 2005 - 01:00 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

We haven't heard from Mini-Mash Nostic. I wonder where he is tonight?
 

SugarBrau Nostic
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Posted on Friday, June 03, 2005 - 05:43 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

He steeped cara-pils, and ended up with starch in his beer.
 

David Lewinnek
Member
Username: Davelew

Post Number: 129
Registered: 02-2005
Posted on Friday, June 03, 2005 - 06:59 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

> 2. Other than the military, I cannot name one
> Government intervention that actually improved
> a situation with a positive cost/benefit ratio.
> I am all eyes if you have any factual examples.

A) I think you mean a cost/benefit ratio between zero and 1, where the costs are outweighed by the benefits but both are positive.

B) What about public health? 100 years ago we had smallpox, polio, cholera, typhoid fever, and a life expectency several decades shorter than it is today. The improvements in those fields are all directly attributable to governments.

What about education? I could make arguments about how an educated workforce helps businesses or is crucial to a democracy, but how about this one: Assume a high school education is worth an extra $10,000 in before-tax income. That's an extra $3,000 a year or so in taxes (income, property, sales, etc.). Over a 40 year working career (ages 25 to 65), that's an extra $120,000 to the government in taxes. That means that 12 years of school are worth about $10,000 to the government for each year. That's not far from the actual average per-pupil expenditure in most school districts. So, education is cost-neutral to the government on an individual basis, and has clear societal benefits.

I don't believe that government is a great cure-all. There are many places where government involvement is bad, but to say that the government can't do anything but blow stuff up is just plain wrong.
 

A.G. Nostic Too
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Posted on Saturday, June 04, 2005 - 05:09 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

The military has a positive cost/benefit ratio? Wonder if they're still using those $600 hammers. There's as much corruption, waste and inefficiency in the military/industrial complex as in any other government operation. Maybe more.

How many billions have been spent on Iraq? What benefits have we seen? All that money and all those lives and we still haven't gained full control over what used to be a two-bit dictatorship. Let's run a cost/benefit analysis on that.

It's not the soldiers fault, it's the bozos running the show. How many times must a major military power be ground down by a highly motivated insurgency before our leaders realize that occupying and controlling a foreign nation is quite a bit harder than defending your own borders. We did it to the British 200+ years ago. The Viet Cong did it to us in the 60's and 70's. The Afghans did it to the USSR a little later. But this will be different because in the middle of a region filled with religious fanatics who hate our guts the people will throw down their arms and welcome us as liberators. It'll all be over in a couple months, right?

Oh well, at least we got those WMD's.
 

Nathan Eddy
Junior Member
Username: Nathan_eddy

Post Number: 30
Registered: 03-2005
Posted on Saturday, June 04, 2005 - 09:26 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

A.G. Nostic, sure I'll concede that people have various beliefs about when a fetus becomes a person, because, frankly, many people are unsure where to draw the line. But this "continuum of uncertainty" hardly represents a continuum of successive philosohpical positions. There are still only two: whereever you draw the line, a free individual exists on one side, and on the other side exists a lump of matter whose existence can be fully determined by others. Is there a third position? Or a fourth?

However, one must also concede that our “free market” economy has given us such things as a medical system that many of our citizens can’t afford to buy into and an incredibly skewed distribution of wealth.

Actually, Smith's theories predicted a widening gap between the rich and the poor. It's simply a mathematical fact. There is no way for those at the bottom to have an incremental rise in standard of living without those at the top getting a much greater rise. A corporation cannot give each employee a raise without having an increase in its profits. Naturally, that increase in profits will be much greater than the individual raise given to each employee. It's not greed, it's just math.

And yes, health care is expensive. But I can get health insurance for less than a cable bill--and I'm starting near the bottom in a new career. Considering that the health care I receive is better than the richest person on the planet could have received 100 years ago, I'd say that this is a spectacular success of the free market.

That fact that people can find room to complain while living in the richest and healthiest civilization since the world began seems to me a symptom of the collectivist world-view: as long as one's own prosperity and health aren't his/her personal responsibility, there will always be room to complain that the rich aren't paying their "fair share." As long as progress is defined as "no wealth distribution gaps," the collectivist will only see inequity, even in unprecedented rises of wealth, health, freedom, opportunity, access to knowledge, modes of travel, kinds of entertainment, etc.
 

Ron Siddall
Member
Username: Listerdister

Post Number: 243
Registered: 10-2004
Posted on Sunday, June 05, 2005 - 03:57 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

AG, thank you for proving my point about governments. As politicial instruments, they are ineffective most of the time. It was the political part that ran Vietnam, made the WMD claim and got us into Irag, not the military. So please tell me again, why do you want the political part to run more of your life?

I have achieved set, match and point.

Thanks for playing.
 

Bill Pierce
Moderator
Username: Billpierce

Post Number: 3178
Registered: 01-2002
Posted on Sunday, June 05, 2005 - 04:15 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

In today's world it's impossible to separate the military from the political. They are intertwined to the point where blame cannot be assessed on the basis of the one or the other. The White House, the Pentagon and the intelligence establishment share the responsibility for what occurred in both Vietnam and Iraq. Only perhaps the State Department, which has been marginalized in the G.W. Bush administration, can be exempted in the case of Iraq.
 

Nathan Eddy
Junior Member
Username: Nathan_eddy

Post Number: 32
Registered: 03-2005
Posted on Sunday, June 05, 2005 - 06:43 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

And don't forget the members of congress who authorized our attack on Iraq. Including Democrats. Don't they share some of the blame? Funny how they're never mentioned in the blame game.
 

Mike Huss
Advanced Member
Username: Mikhu

Post Number: 690
Registered: 03-2003
Posted on Monday, June 06, 2005 - 12:39 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

No no no Nathan, it's all W's fault. He conned all those Democrats in the years prior to Iraq into accusing Saddam of having WMD's. I know, maybe he used his best ventriloquist voice to make Clinton, Kennedy, Kerry, etc. all say that Saddam had WMD's and needed to be removed from power, because we know THEY didn't actually mean to say it when they did.
 

Bill Pierce
Moderator
Username: Billpierce

Post Number: 3182
Registered: 01-2002
Posted on Monday, June 06, 2005 - 02:15 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Yes, Congress also bears some of the responsibility for consequences of US foreign policy. But it's not about blame so much as acknowledging that what has occurred has not served the US very well, nor has it made the world measurably safer. What the G.W. Bush administration did was to advance a hard-line, unilateralist agenda where the ends justify the means. Those voices who have spoken against this, whether in the State Department, the intelligence community or the Congress, have been branded as nervous, even traitorous ditherers who lack the fortitude to stand up for what must be done. There is a natural tendency to rally round the President in times of crisis. The administration has created a sense of permanent crisis where to be any less than totally supportive is to be seen as disloyal.
 

Nathan Eddy
Junior Member
Username: Nathan_eddy

Post Number: 33
Registered: 03-2005
Posted on Monday, June 06, 2005 - 05:22 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

The administration has created a sense of permanent crisis where to be any less than totally supportive is to be seen as disloyal.

I'm sorry, but this is a pitiful excuse for Congress' actions. Listen to what you're saying: congress members agreed to something that (you claim) advanced a "hard-line, unilateralist agenda" for fear of seeming disloyal and to keep their positions of power via voters' opinions? Shouldn't they all be condemned and voted out of office for this alone? To do something against their conscience, something libs claim has hurt the country, has cost lives, has cost billions $$$, has increased anti-American hatred, and produced MORE terrorists, made the world less safe . . . all to keep their jobs? It seems like this is worse than what G.W. did. At least he believed what he was doing was right for America, not some stunt designed to make him appear patriotic.

BTW, the president didn't create a sense of permanent crisis. 9/11 was sufficient for that. In fact, for any of us to lose our sense of crisis in light of what we've been shown can happen would be extremely foolish and complacent. Are any of you suggesting that we're NOT in a state of crisis? Do you really believe that the terrorists exhausted their hatred of us in that single attack? To suggest that the president is creating this sense of crisis implies just that.
 

D. E. Mocrat
Unregistered guest
Posted on Tuesday, June 07, 2005 - 08:59 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Turn on Ben Stein monotone teacher’s voice:

“Anyone out there care to address the number of votes from Democrats in Congress that our great president George W. Bush actually needed to push a “let’s bomb the s*** out of Iraq” bill through? Anybody?....Anybody?....Bueller?”

Turn off B.S. (my, how appropriate).

Anyone who thinks the Iraq mess is anyone’s doings but W. and his wandering band of neo-con hawks isn’t thinking very hard.

Were the democrats who voted for the authorization even though they really opposed military action spineless, political weasels? Quite possibly. Kerry’s waffling on Iraq and his vote on this issue was the prime reason I felt my vote for him was ultimately less a vote for him than it was a vote against W.

But let us not forget, people, that the Democrats have certainly not cornered the market on spineless, political weaseldom. I’d venture to guess that if we “condemned and voted out of office” each and every member of Congress who at some point in his or her career voted his or her political aspirations as opposed to his or her conscience we would very soon be replacing a whole lot of Congresspeople and Senators (thank god,finally, for an inherently gender neutral language construct). I’ll be the first to admit that this might not necessarily be a bad thing, but would also be remiss if I didn’t point out that there may a debate about what the duties of a member of Congress are. Are they to vote his/her conscience or are they to vote the conscience of the majority of his/her constituents?

For the record, if anyone’s wondering about Republican spineless, political, weasels I give the obvious example by offering you the head of George Voinovitch. My other favorite example is George Nethercutt, more obscure, but also somewhat illuminating.

Funny thing, while watching “Hardball” tonight it was mentioned that a recent poll showed that 4 out of 5 Americans preferred their politicians to be “moderate”.

DISCUSS!
 

Phil Lapp
New Member
Username: Phil_lapp

Post Number: 2
Registered: 06-2005
Posted on Tuesday, June 07, 2005 - 03:37 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I'd rather not discuss political moderation. But, I did want to make the traitorous statement that I don't think we are "at war" with terrorism or terrorists. If we continue to behave like such jackasses in the global arena, we may be able to scare one up, though.

To me, it all sounds like the further rantings of the military industrial complex, also known as the federal government, to try to continue with good reason to waste untold billions of taxpayer money instead of actually investing in the future. 9/11 was tragic, as are all instances when people die, particularly innocent people. But, please, how much more were those lives worth than the iraqis that have died too?

We have taken a tragedy and manipulated it into an excuse to continue business as usual since the cold war ended. I figure once Iraq is bombed into submission, we will find a reason to have a massive weapons build up on the pacific rim because of China. Simply put, we don't know how to function as a modern country without an enemy. It is too entrenched in our economy and our mindset.
 

democrats: changing their tune, again?
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Posted on Tuesday, June 07, 2005 - 03:46 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

"One way or the other, we are determined to deny Iraq the capacity to develop weapons of mass destruction and the missiles to deliver them. That is our bottom line."
- President Clinton, Feb. 4, 1998

"If Saddam rejects peace and we have to use force, our purpose is clear. We want to seriously diminish the threat posed by Iraq's weapons of mass destruction program."
- President Clinton, Feb. 17, 1998

"Iraq is a long way from [here], but what happens there matters a great deal here. For the risks that the leaders of a rogue state will use nuclear, chemical or biological weapons against us or our allies is the greatest security threat we face."
- Madeline Albright, Feb 18, 1998

"He will use those weapons of mass destruction again, as he has ten times since 1983."
- Sandy Berger, Clinton National Security Adviser, Feb, 18, 1998

"We urge you, after consulting with Congress, and consistent with the U.S. Constitution and laws, to take necessary actions (including, if appropriate, air and missile strikes on suspect Iraqi sites) to respond effectively to the threat posed by Iraq's refusal to end its weapons of mass destruction programs."
- Letter to President Clinton, signed by Sens. Carl Levin (D-MI), Tom Daschle (D-SD), John Kerry ( D - MA), and others Oct. 9, 1998

"Saddam Hussein has been engaged in the development of weapons of mass destruction technology which is a threat to countries in the region and he has made a mockery of the weapons inspection process."
- Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D, CA), Dec. 16, 1998 "San Fran Nan"

"Hussein has ... chosen to spend his money on building weapons of mass destruction and palaces for his cronies.."
- Madeline Albright, Clinton Secretary of State, Nov. 10, 1999

"There is no doubt that ... Saddam Hussein has invigorated his weapons programs. Reports indicate that biological, chemical and nuclear programs continue apace and may be back to pre-Gulf War status. In addition, Saddam continues to redefine delivery systems and is doubtless using the cover of a licit missile program to develop longer-range missiles that will threaten the United States and our allies."
- Letter to President Bush, Signed by Sen. Bob Graham (D, FL,) and others, December 5, 2001

"We begin with the common belief that Saddam Hussein is a tyrant and threat to the peace and stability of the region. He has ignored the mandate of the United Nations and is building weapons of mass destruction and the means of delivering them."
- Sen. Carl Levin (D, MI), Sept. 19, 2002

"We know that he has stored secret supplies of biological and chemical weapons throughout his country."
- Al Gore, Sept. 23, 2002

"Iraq's search for weapons of mass destruction has proven impossible to deter and we should assume that it will continue for as long as Saddam is in power."
- Al Gore, Sept. 23, 2002

"We have known for many years that Saddam Hussein is seeking and developing weapons of mass destruction."
- Sen. Ted Kennedy (D, MA), Sept. 27, 2002

"The last UN weapons inspectors left Iraq in October of 1998. We are confident that Saddam Hussein retains some stockpiles of chemical and biological weapons, and that he has since embarked on a crash course to build up his chemical and biological warfare capabilities. Intelligence reports indicate that he is seeking nuclear weapons..."
- Sen. Robert Byrd (D, WV), Oct. 3, 2002

"There is unmistakable evidence that Saddam Hussein is working aggressively to develop nuclear weapons and will likely have nuclear weapons within the next five years .. We also should remember we have always underestimated the progress Saddam has made in development of weapons of mass destruction."
- Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D, WV), Oct 10, 2002

"He has systematically violated, over the course of the past 11 years, every significant UN resolution that has demanded that he disarm and destroy his chemical and biological weapons, and any nuclear capacity. This he has refused to do."
- Rep. Henry Waxman (D, CA), Oct. 10, 2002

"In the four years since the inspectors left, intelligence reports show that Saddam Hussein has worked to rebuild his chemical and biological weapon stock, his missile delivery capability, and his nuclear program. He has also given aid, comfort, and sanctuary to terrorists, including al Qaeda members. It is clear, however, that if left unchecked Saddam Hussein will continue to increase his capacity to wage biological and chemical warfare, and will keep trying to develop nuclear weapons."
- Sen. Hillary Clinton (D, NY), Oct 10, 2002

"We are in possession of what I think to be compelling evidence that Saddam Hussein has, and has had for a number of years, a developing capacity for the production and storage of weapons of mass destruction."
- Sen. Bob Graham (D, FL), Dec. 8, 2002

"Without question, we need to disarm Saddam Hussein. He is a brutal, murderous dictator, leading an oppressive regime ... He presents a particularly grievous threat because he is so consistently prone to miscalculation .. And now he is miscalculating America's response to his continued deceit and his consistent grasp for weapons of mass destruction... So the threat of Saddam Hussein with weapons of mass destruction is real."
- Sen. John F. Kerry (D, MA), Jan. 23. 2003

And my own personal favorite:

"I will be voting to give the President of the United States the authority to use force-- if necessary-- to disarm Saddam Hussein because I believe that a deadly arsenal of weapons of mass destruction in his hands is a real and grave threat to our security."
- Sen. John F.. Kerry (D, MA), Oct. 9, 2002
 

D. E. Mocrat
Unregistered guest
Posted on Tuesday, June 07, 2005 - 04:25 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Man, after reading that I've really got egg on my face.
 

Joseph Listan
Advanced Member
Username: Poonstab

Post Number: 701
Registered: 03-2003
Posted on Tuesday, June 07, 2005 - 04:47 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Only the Sith think in absolutes.
 

U. R. Gay
Unregistered guest
Posted on Tuesday, June 07, 2005 - 04:53 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Gay, I tell you, GAY!
 

D. E. Mocrat
Unregistered guest
Posted on Tuesday, June 07, 2005 - 04:57 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Sure thing, Scott. You would know my buddy!
 

Brandon Dachel
Senior Member
Username: Brandon

Post Number: 1541
Registered: 03-2002
Posted on Thursday, June 09, 2005 - 02:43 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

> The administration has created a sense of
> permanent crisis where to be any less than
> totally supportive is to be seen as disloyal.

Wow. Late to the thread. I'd love to read the entire thread but it will just make me angry with probably most of you.

If you believe there is no crisis I think you are foolish.

There's a whole lot of people in this world that hate us for no other reason than our country is stable and successful.

To be against the war(s) is NOT unpatriotic. This runs counter to even some conservative thought. It's a flawed stance from a logic stance.

To be against the war because of HalliburtonWMDBigOilBecauseTheBandIlikeHatesBushAmericaIsBecomingAFundamentalist ChristianPoliceState is freaking retarded. You sound dumb.
 

NoMoreYears
Unregistered guest
Posted on Thursday, June 09, 2005 - 06:17 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

What if somebody is against the Iraq war because it wasn't justified? That is a perfectly logical argument.

Iraq was not involved in the attacks of 9/11 and didn't have the capability to attack the US, so self defense is out.

As far as a humanitarian intervention goes, most of the atrocities that Saddam committed (and often quoted by the right) were old news. He was an awful guy, but there are an awful lot of awful guys out there; some of them are even sitting on big oil reserves. Still not justified from that standpoint.

The US took a "go it alone, you're with us or you're against us" attitude as far as the UN goes. It was obvious at the time, and more and more evidence is presenting itself that Bush was committed to going to war from the start.

His statements that "war is always the last resort" and that he tried to go with the diplomatic approach are so much worse than Clinton's "I did not have sexual relations with that woman" statement. He is constantly insisting that his back was against the wall and he had no choice but to attack Iraq. This is sounding more ridiculous than it did in March of '03 and keeps getting worse as the casualties (both US and Iraqi) mount. It is a slap in the face to the families who have lost someone because of his horrible leadership.

At this point, Bush/Cheney should take the high road and fire the entire cabinet and then resign in shame.
 

Tim Wi
Junior Member
Username: Riverkeeper

Post Number: 94
Registered: 03-2005
Posted on Thursday, June 09, 2005 - 12:55 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

No More,

Here is some interesting and informative reading:

Charles Duelfer's report on Iraq WMD's (Comprehensive Report of the
Special Advisor to the DCI on Iraq’s WMD, September 2004)

Duelfer can be found at FindLaw:
http://news.findlaw.com/nytimes/docs/iraq/cia93004wmdrpt.html

As for the UN, well, the history of the League of Nations is interesting and relevant. Also, check out the UN web page itself; all the Security Resolutions ever passed can be read there.

Once you have read Duelfer had to say about the state of our knowledge on Iraq before the war (and Lord Hutton on the Brittish side), and once you have read what the world (read UN) had to say about Saddam, a productive debate on foriegn policy might be had.

Maybe Bush was right about taking out Saddam and maybe he wasn't. I don't know if it was the right thing to do or if it will work out. I hope so. But to say he lied, misled etc, etc, presumes that he KNEW ahead of time there were no WMDs and no threat.

Bush made a decision based on facts available to him. Don't forget that the picture we had of Iraq was incomplete for a number of reasons. A primary one is the fact that the majority of our intelligence was dated or was remote; the reasons for lack of HUMINT are a matter of record. The reasons for a lack of hard, current intelligence are also.

If you read the UN record, Duelfer, Hutton and everything you can find on the Oil for Food fiasco, and are still convinced that Bush lied and misled, well... you are welcome to your opinion if it makes you feel warm and fuzzy.

I note also, that you are not proud enough of it to post it as a registered user.

Tim
 

Joseph Listan
Advanced Member
Username: Poonstab

Post Number: 702
Registered: 03-2003
Posted on Thursday, June 09, 2005 - 05:05 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

>>I note also, that you are not proud enough of it to post it as a registered user.

Since when does pride in your argument make the argument more profound? Since when is an anonymous opinion invalid simply because it is anonymous?

I am a registered user, but I don't use my real name for a variety of reasons. But since I am registered, does this mean I am more proud of my postings or that they carry any more weight?
 

Question
Unregistered guest
Posted on Thursday, June 09, 2005 - 05:06 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Bush made a decision based on facts available to him. Don't forget that the picture we had of Iraq was incomplete for a number of reasons. A primary one is the fact that the majority of our intelligence was dated or was remote; the reasons for lack of HUMINT are a matter of record. The reasons for a lack of hard, current intelligence are also.

Agreed.

But I think this statement begs a serious question. If your intelligence picture is incomplete. If your intelligence is remote and/or dated. If you have a lack of HUMINT (for any reason whatsoever). If you have a lack of hard current intelligence. Then, what is a more prudent course of action? Should you firm up your intelligence before deciding upon a course of action? Or should you just jump in and start a war thereby spending billions, killing thousands, and pissing off a good chunk of the rest of the world?

We're not talking about some spending bill here; we're talking about going to war by invading a foreign nation. Personally, I'd like my administration to commit our troops to combat based on something a little better than incomplete intelligence.
 

Denny Conn
Senior Member
Username: Denny

Post Number: 4728
Registered: 01-2001
Posted on Thursday, June 09, 2005 - 06:55 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

"There's a whole lot of people in this world that hate us for no other reason than our country is stable and successful."...you know, I hear this over and over. I cannot, for the life of me, understand it. WHY would they hate us because we're stable and successful? Makes no sense to me...
LIfe begins at 60...1.060, that is.
 

on the fence
Unregistered guest
Posted on Thursday, June 09, 2005 - 07:39 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Easy to blame one man vs. many. IOW the President vs. congress.
 

Joseph Listan
Advanced Member
Username: Poonstab

Post Number: 703
Registered: 03-2003
Posted on Thursday, June 09, 2005 - 08:18 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

No, I think they hate us because we're a rich, well-armed, self-righteous bully.

Yes, I think that's the reason.

This other crap is just fluff to make us feel like "they're just jealous". Kindergarten pshchology that also seems to work on the propaganda level.
 

Tim Wi
Junior Member
Username: Riverkeeper

Post Number: 95
Registered: 03-2005
Posted on Thursday, June 09, 2005 - 08:32 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Personally, I'd like my administration to commit our troops to combat based on something a little better than incomplete intelligence.

Who wouldn't?

So much for semantics.

The point of my post was to ask for a discussion based on the record. "Bush and Cheney should fire their cabinet and resingn in shame" was not supported in the post that contained it.

Now the basis for my thoughts...

Maybe Bush was wrong to send us into Iraq. I have certainly had my doubts. At the present, I am persuaded it was the right thing to do based on my reading of the material I cited above, and the reaction of the Iraqi people themselves on the date of their election. Also, I am persuaded by the experiences of two personal friends of mine who have served there. One in special forces and another, a major, who was in Baghdad for a year in a unit that worked with the Iraqis on civil infrastructure (sewer, water and power).

Tim
 

NoMoreYears
Unregistered guest
Posted on Friday, June 10, 2005 - 06:53 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Tim - I clicked on your link to do my assigned reading and my POS computer froze up. I'm probably the only guy in the world who still has dialup. If I understand your point correctly, you are saying that Bush needed to make a decision based on the information he had at the time. To fault him for that and say that he lied means that he would have had to know that Iraq didn't have WMDs when he said he did.

During the campaign, Bush said that even though we didn't find the WMDs we thought were there, he would have still made the same decision. That says to me that it doesn't matter to him whether the war was justified or not. I take your point that this isn't technically lying, but at best it is very disturbing to have a president who is incapable of admitting that he made a mistake, learning from it and moving on. It truly shows a lack of character and I believe that his resignation would show the world that he is capable of taking some responsibility for his actions.

We should also hold all of the members of congress (of both parties) who authorized this action responsible, but the final decision was in the hands of the president. I do draw a distinction between authorizing the use of force and starting a war.

With over 14,000 American casualties (~1700 killed ~12,500 wounded) and over 100,000 Iraqis killed, I would hope that we could come up with something better than, "but we thought Saddam was a threat".

I don't have any friends or family currently in the military, so I am lacking any first hand information. There was a friend of a friend I could have talked to, but he was killed over there in November of 2003 leaving a wife and two little girls behind. Casualty figures are just cold numbers, but behind each one is incalculable pain.

I think it is a fair question to ask yourself at what point would you say the Iraq invasion was not worth it. 20,000 Americans killed/wounded? 30,000? 100,000? Do Iraqis count at all? What if it is proven that Bush knew that there were no WMDs - would that make him a liar and the war unjustified in your mind?

That said, I've rarely seen a political argument end where somebody changes their mind. It just doesn't happen. I'm mainly a lurker on this board, and I was lured in by a post that made it seem like there is no reason why a rational person would be against this war. Not everyone who opposes the war is a HalliburtonWMDBigOilBecauseTheBandIlikeHatesBushAmericaIsBecomingAFundamentalist ChristianPoliceState whacko.
 

Tim Wi
Junior Member
Username: Riverkeeper

Post Number: 97
Registered: 03-2005
Posted on Friday, June 10, 2005 - 01:54 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Thanks NoMore. Funny, I have dial-up too.

No doubt we could quaff homebrew, discuss and disagree and maybe be friends.

What if it is proven that Bush knew that there were no WMDs - would that make him a liar and the war unjustified in your mind?

Your question has two parts. First, I would say that any president that deliberately and knowingly lies is disqualified as a leader. The damage is too great. Who can trust a liar? A wartime leader must be trusted. The damage to our nation, how we are perceived, how we perceive ourselves... we could go on for hours listing the ramifications. A liar should resign or be impeached. Honor really does have life and death consequesnces. As for the second part, see my previous posts (also addresses the first part).

As for your other question, I think it is a great mistake to measure the worthiness of a mission by the cost of acheiving it.

A thing is either worth doing or it is not.

Despite the cost. If you say, we will quit if it costs this much, then you say to those killing you, keep fighting, you have only this far to go, and you are making progress everytime you kill one of us.

Do you know that the Allies killed over 55,000 French civilians in the 4 months it took to liberate France in 1944 begining with Overlord? This does not count the number killed by the Germans. What if we had said to the French after inadvertantly killing 40,000 of them, "well, we lost 15,000 men killed, we are going to pack it in. Good luck with the Nazi regime."?

We could rhetorical this to death.

Personally, I believe one of the most courageous acts of patriotism is to ask, "do we REALLY need to go to war?" I believe that to debate the issue is good. I also believe that when it comes to debate on the war, we must avoid rhetoric and hyperbole, our troops deserve it. To indulge in it aids nobody but the enemy.

FWIW, my own brother opposed the war, and we have debated on it considerable. He is certainly not stupid, nor is he a bleeding heart. We have simply looked at the same set of facts and have arrived at different conclusions as to what was the best course of action. This is how I think of most of those who see it differently than I. But, I hold a significantly different opinion of those who make unsupported claims, indulge in hyperbole, slogans or other similar B.S., regardless of which side they are on.

cheers!

Tim
 

Vetran of Desert Storm
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Posted on Friday, June 10, 2005 - 04:03 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

If you really believe that Saddam never had WMD you are a fool who has little information or knowledge of this whole situation that started when Kuwait was invaded. Simple as that.
 

Dan Listermann
Senior Member
Username: Listermann

Post Number: 1153
Registered: 03-2004
Posted on Saturday, June 11, 2005 - 03:24 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

There is no question Saddam HAD gas weapons in the past. The question is, did he have them when we invaded. We were told, in no uncertain terms, repeatedly, that he did have them. The inspectors' and our own military's vast searchs support the conclusion that Saddam had used up or destroyed the gas weapons. So far there is zero evidence that anything was moved out of the country. Contending that this is what happened, is am act of faith at this point.But the greatest evidence he did not have them during the lead up to the invasion is the fact that he did not use any to defend himself or his country.
Listermann Mfg.,Co. www.listermann.com

 

Tim Wi
Member
Username: Riverkeeper

Post Number: 101
Registered: 03-2005
Posted on Saturday, June 11, 2005 - 08:17 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

The inspectors' and our own military's vast searchs support the conclusion that Saddam had used up or destroyed the gas weapons. So far there is zero evidence that anything was moved out of the country.

We have never announced the find of quantities of WMDs, true, but I have never heard or read that it was shown that they were not moved. I'll grant you that is a very distinct possibility, but I think you have extended your argument beyond what is conclusively supported.

But the greatest evidence he did not have them during the lead up to the invasion is the fact that he did not use any to defend himself or his country.

Maybe. Following your logic, why didn't he use 'em in 91, because he damn sure had 'em. "Defend his country"? Saddam the noble defender against the evil US aggressor, is that it?

Anyway, if we accept what you say is true, that he no longer had them, did we only find this out after having taken the country? Did we have reason to believe in the fall of '02 that he still had them?

Now, if you don't think it was a good idea to invade Iraq, that the better policy was to try and contain him, well, we can argue that point and I will concede that that may well have been the better course of action.

Tim
 

John Jacox
Member
Username: Johnj

Post Number: 117
Registered: 03-2003
Posted on Saturday, June 11, 2005 - 10:20 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I've always thought that additional factors came into play. At the end of Desert Storm, we created the "no-fly" zones to protect Saddam's enemies. I'm speculating that we expected them to rise up and oust him since his weaponry and Republican Guard were decimated. When that didn't happen, we were left holding the bag with the containment policy. After 12 years of containment, we were using too much of our resources in the region, (due to the "peace dividend" our military is much smaller than it used to be under Ronald Reagan, and we no longer can deploy massive numbers of troops for long periods like we did in Western Europe during the cold war). With his sons, who were if anything worse than him, poised to take over after him, this left us without the assets to be effective in other troubled regions. I'm sure that if we had just packed up our toys and gone home, he would have claimed victory and continued right on with his interrupted plans. I strongly feel that sooner or later, it had to be done.
 

Nathan Eddy
Junior Member
Username: Nathan_eddy

Post Number: 37
Registered: 03-2005
Posted on Sunday, June 12, 2005 - 08:22 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I honestly think that what is going on here is an attempt to transform the Middle East, and in effect, the world. The Mid East is a breeding ground for world terrorism and anti-Western violence. We are truly at war--maybe not with a particular country, but with a particular culture (or a violent faction of that culture). This is a war that has been going on for many years, back to the original World Trade Center bombing, and possibly earlier. They bomb Western countries so often that we are hardly fazed by these headlines. They bomb our embassies, our ships (the Cole), and now our greatest city and our capital!! And still people think that the problem is not that serious. You can try to blame it all on Osama if you want, but he is just one man. There are 10's of 1000's of Muslim extremists who want us dead--and not all of them are members of Al Queda. You cannot beat them through a world-wide military effort, though this will necessarily be one component of it. No, you must transform the culture and regimes which spawn this kind of anti-Western violence. You must stop the threat before it gets too big. WMDs have become somewhat embarrassing to mention these days, but they are a reality, and terrorists are trying to acquire them and unleash them upon us. Maybe they wouldn't have gotten them from Saddam, but it is clear that he had the capacity to produce them and the money (via "Oil for Food") to fuel the global terrorist effort (evidence: his paying suicide bombers in Israel).

Personally, I have no problem with our government trying to forcibly transforming dangerous regimes into democracies, "Westernizing" them. Make them a democracy, make them a trading partner, get them dependent upon the interconnected world market, and they will have less incentive to try to blow up the world. Give them power in our system, and they will no longer view us as a threat. This is, after all, what happened with Japan and Germany. They are now peaceful trading partners, not our enemies. It can be done. We are doing it. The violence will settle down in Iraq once their government takes shape and their police force becomes experienced. Once the insurgency no longer perceives a chance at taking over the country, they will have no incentive to keep dying. Our troops will move out, and they will be reduced to nothing more than Muslims attacking other Muslims. It cannot last.

Can any of you think of a better solution to the deadly anti-Western hatred? How would you handle it?
 

Dan Listermann
Senior Member
Username: Listermann

Post Number: 1154
Registered: 03-2004
Posted on Monday, June 13, 2005 - 04:26 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Nathan, I dearly hope that you are right, but, even more so, deeply fear that you are wrong. So far our military efforts seem to have only produced more and deeper hatred of us by those we are trying to moderate. Abu Grave and Gitmo scream to these people.

I see the era of organized violence as being an effective means of infleuence having come to an end. Col. Colt's "great equalizer" has been taken to the "n"th degree.

As for better solutions, I don't know, but I am deeply dubious about our current "solution."
Listermann Mfg.,Co. www.listermann.com

 

Publius
Unregistered guest
Posted on Tuesday, June 14, 2005 - 06:59 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

""Defend his country"? Saddam the noble defender against the evil US aggressor, is that it? "

Tim, that may just be the most bizarre statement made in this entire thread. I detect much sarcasm in your statement. If that is not the case, my apologies. If sarcasm was intended, I'd ask all readers to remove the emotionally charged words "noble" and "evil" from the statement and ask what there is to be sarcastic about? What are you suggesting, Tim? That the US was not the aggressor in the current war? That a nation attacked by a foreign power is not supposed to defend itself?

"Maybe. Following your logic, why didn't he use 'em in 91, because he damn sure had 'em."

And just how is it that you know this? My understanding of the timeline of Iraq's use of WMD's (which could be wrong, I'm sure someone will point it out if that's the case) goes something like this:

Iran-Iraq war, 1980-1988: Iraq uses nerve gas and mustard gas. To remind people of who supported Iraq in this war and where Saddam might have acquired these WMD's I point you to:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iran-Iraq_War

1990: Iraq kicks off Gulf War I by invading Kuwait. U.S. and other UN member nations later enter the war liberating Kuwait. SCUD missles abound, no WMD's used (or found to the best of my knowledge).

2003: U.S. and British forces begin Gulf War II. No WMD's used or found.

This timeline suggests that it is possible that Saddam was producing his own WMD's in the form of chemical weapons, used them in the 1980's, and had them but for some reason chose not to use them in the 90's and in the present war. To believe this one needs to explain why we never found any WMD's.

This timeline might also suggest that Saddam never produced any chemical arms on his own, but acquired those that he used in the 80's from certain western powers. Perhaps he used all that he acquired in the 80's leaving him nothing to use in the 90's or later. This scenario makes it somewhat easier to explain why we never found any WMD's in the current fracas.


Nathan than says:

"Personally, I have no problem with our government trying to forcibly transforming dangerous regimes into democracies, "Westernizing" them."

That statement gets my vote for the one that best crystalizes the difference in opinions on the current mess in Iraq.

Personally, I have an enormous problem with our government trying to forcibly transform any regime. Since when were we granted the status of the final arbiter of all that is good, moral and just in this world? Sounds a bit too much like the Crusades for my tastes. Since when did it become our imperative to use our military might to overthrow governments that we don't like? Read around this forum and you'll run into some people who seem to think that "Socialism" presents a danger to the "American Way of Life". Does that mean we should invade Sweden? How about Canada?

Earlier in the thread the question of why much of the world hates us was risen. I would contend that attitudes summarized neatly in Nathan's statement just might be near the top of the list.

In closing, two questions:

1. For those who think Iraq is all about WMD's and removing them from the hands of "evil" dictators: when do we invade North Korea?

2. For those who think Iraq is all about "The War on Terror": given the national makeup of the 9/11 "airline crews", why is it that we invaded Iraq and not Saudi Arabia?
 

Veteran of Desert Storm
Unregistered guest
Posted on Tuesday, June 14, 2005 - 01:32 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

" . . . no WMD's used (or found to the best of my knowledge)."

Yeah, right. He didn't use them because he would have gotten his ass pounded harder than he did! I walked through half a dozen or more bunkers that looked like high school chemistry labs complete with gas masks. They weren't making lattes in there. This is also why several of my friends now have headaches and nausea that lasts for several days to a week at a time. Do you have any idea how easy it is to hide a chemical operation in a country the size of California? All it takes is a couple dozen suit cases buried in the sand. Open your eyes, people. You ignore the obvious because you hate a particular administration. How much sense does that make?
 

Tim Wi
Member
Username: Riverkeeper

Post Number: 102
Registered: 03-2005
Posted on Tuesday, June 14, 2005 - 01:34 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

"Publius"? Which are you? Hamilton, Jefferson or Jay?

Perhaps you adopt that identity to indicate that your are well-read. At least read the "Key Findings" of Duelfer's report. http://news.findlaw.com/hdocs/docs/iraq/dciwmd93004kf.pdf

There is ample material summarized within those 19 pages to support either side of the argument. It is not in the least bit flattering to the U.S. or UN. If you read it, you will understand why I have said in previous posts that I don't know which would have been the better policy; going to war or continuing with containment.

But you see, in 2002 we only knew what Saddam had done in the past. It had been four years since the UN inspectors had been booted, and our information from that point on was sketchy. A tyranical regime is a closed and secretive regime. The dillema Bush faced was whether we could afford to gamble that Saddam was not a threat. We have learned since the invasion that the WMD program was not where we feared it was; that the war in '91 and the subsequent UN sanctions had significantly degraded his WMD programs. But the point is, Bush had to make a decision one way or another, and Bush made his decision based on the information available at the time.

Criticizing his decision to go to war based on information we learned after and only because of the war is unjust.

As far as whether the invasion was justified under international law, such as it is, I have no doubt that it was. (read the UN SCRs). What I have had my doubts about, was whether it was a good idea.

Tim
 

David Lewinnek
Member
Username: Davelew

Post Number: 134
Registered: 02-2005
Posted on Tuesday, June 14, 2005 - 04:08 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

"...all it takes is a couple suitcases buried in the sand."

Ok, so you're saying:
1) with the US military in control of the vast majority of Iraq, the US cannot prove that chemical weapons didn't exist because they are so easy to hide and hard to find.

and

2) the US needed to invade Iraq because Saddam hadn't proven that there were no chemical weapons.

So, you believe that the US is justified in invading a country that won't prove it has no WMDs, and no country can prove it has no WMDs. Conclusion: the U.S. must invade every country and take over the world. Either that, or there's a flaw in your logic.
 

Veteran of Desert Storm
Unregistered guest
Posted on Tuesday, June 14, 2005 - 04:15 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Correct.
 

Veteran of Desert Storm
Unregistered guest
Posted on Tuesday, June 14, 2005 - 04:25 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

But to be more specific: after several years of snubbing his nose at the UN, selling oil on the black market and paying off official that were suppose to be watch guarding the oil for food program while people in his country were suffering, and continuing to maintain an aggressive stance by doing stupid things like firing missles at US and British jets that were monitoring the no fly zone as per the UN, he got exactly what he deserved. And after all that has come to light since then: videos of murders, mass graves, etc, nothing made me more happy than seeing his two sons with bullet holes in their heads and the menace himself crawling out of a rat hole.

Meanwhile, my son is now in Bagdad with the 3rd Infantry. Not a day goes by that he isn't told by a local 'thanks' for being here. Yet you never see that on the tv, do ya?
 

David Lewinnek
Member
Username: Davelew

Post Number: 135
Registered: 02-2005
Posted on Tuesday, June 14, 2005 - 05:57 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I have no problem with getting rid of Saddam. My problem is with how it was done. My problem is with the global implications of a country saying "We will punish every country that is guilty of harboring terrorists, peddling WMDs, etc. If we accuse you, you are guilty until proven innocent."

That tactic might work once or twice as a convenient justification in the short term, but the first time the American accusations are judged to have been false, America will lose an incalculable amount of prestige in the world. The word of the American government will no longer be believed, and America will lose its ability to lead the free world.
 

Denny Conn
Senior Member
Username: Denny

Post Number: 4740
Registered: 01-2001
Posted on Tuesday, June 14, 2005 - 09:28 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

David, I agree with you 100%.
LIfe begins at 60...1.060, that is.
 

Publius
Unregistered guest
Posted on Wednesday, June 15, 2005 - 08:59 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

""Publius"? Which are you? Hamilton, Jefferson or Jay?

Perhaps you adopt that identity to indicate that your are well-read. At least read the "Key Findings" of Duelfer's report. http://news.findlaw.com/hdocs/docs/iraq/dciwmd93004kf.pdf"


Good call on the Publius reference, Tim. You are incorrect, tough, on my motivations for posting under this (or any number of other pseudonyms that may or may not be mine). I actually did so for your benefit, since you have previously chastised those who post anonymously on this forum. My intent was to provide you with a clue as to why some might choose this course of action.

I take exception with your insinuation that I haven't read the contents of the website posted. For the record, I read it the first time you posted it. You, yourself, admit that there is ample evidence in this document to support either side of the argument. So, why do you (apparently) believe that someone who takes the opposite side of the argument hasn't read it?

Truth be told, I get the feeling that we probably agree on this issue more than we disagree. I'd say we have a situation where you see the glass half full and I see the glass half empty. You say W. acted on the information he had at the time, so war was justified. I say the information was obviously incomplete and very likely inaccurate at the time so he should have gotten a better picture of reality before making the decision to take us to war.

Hey, I know Kerry was a weasel, too liberal, and might not have made a particularly good president (of course I also think Bush is a weasel, too conservative and isn't a particularly good president), but one thing he said on the campaign trail continues to resonate with me. Just a gentle reminder that for all his faults Kerry did actually go to war, while Bush never did. Anyway, Kerry said words to the effect that a nation should go to war only because it felt it needed to, not because it wanted to.

Ultimately, my opinion on Iraq, is based upon my opinoin, formed for a variety of reasons, that our current administration did not need to go to war with Iraq, but that it wanted to go to war with Iraq.

In closing, just a gentle reminder that my most recent post offered two questions that still remain unaddressed.
 

Nathan Eddy
Junior Member
Username: Nathan_eddy

Post Number: 39
Registered: 03-2005
Posted on Wednesday, June 15, 2005 - 03:52 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

So far our military efforts seem to have only produced more and deeper hatred of us by those we are trying to moderate.

That may or may not be true. I know we hear it in the news. I don't know if CNN is taking world-wide polls ["Do you hate my country, check yes or no."] However, how can the hatred possibly be any greater? We've been attacked! I'm not sure how meaningful it is to worry about hatred being higher: we have crossed the threshhold level of our homeland being attacked. Beyond that, it is too late to worry about making friends with these people--if we even could, or if that would even help. I think at this point they would not stop seeking our destruction even if we withdrew every troop around the globe, dismantled our army, and promised to never attack any one ever again.
 

Nathan Eddy
Junior Member
Username: Nathan_eddy

Post Number: 40
Registered: 03-2005
Posted on Wednesday, June 15, 2005 - 04:03 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Since when were we granted the status of the final arbiter of all that is good, moral and just in this world?

Who says we need the world's permission to protect ourselves and the rest of the planet? This is a pragmatic issue, not a moral one. The "authority" is given because we CAN. Might makes right. That is, after all, how the world works. The planet is ruled by the aggressive use of force. If you think otherwise, you're living in a dream world.

Since when did it become our imperative to use our military might to overthrow governments that we don't like?

I believe the date was 9/11/01.

Does that mean we should invade Sweden? How about Canada?

As soon as they adopt regimes that sponsor terrorism or contribute to the culture that spawns world-wide ant-Western terrorism, yes.
 

Tim Wi
Member
Username: Riverkeeper

Post Number: 105
Registered: 03-2005
Posted on Wednesday, June 15, 2005 - 09:45 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Man this thread is getting kinda tar-baby. Getting sucked into the vortex....

So far our military efforts seem to have only produced more and deeper hatred of us by those we are trying to moderate.

It seems that way, because the media reports it that way. Remember the doom and gloom prognostications of the pundits leading up to the Iraqi election?

This idea that we deserve to be hated is beyond me.

Let's look at facts.

1.) Two absolutely brutal tyranies are no more.
2.) A murderous criminal will face trial.
3.) The people of Iraq and Afghanistan have a CHANCE to be free.
4.) Lybia has moderated and denounced terrorism; the components of their nuclear weapon program are now in Oak Ridge.

All of this AFTER our two wars.

Let us review the 10 years prior to our two wars. We got USS Cole, Mogadishu, World Trade Center bombing in 1993, embassy bombings etc etc AND finally, 9/11.

Bush has got the right idea. Free people are not as angry or potentially violent as oppressed people.

Have you ever been in one of the 'elite' subdivisions or communities of the US, where the wealthy congregate? Have you ever had some dude in a HUM-VEE, or a woman dressed to the nines with a cell phone stuck in her ear and driving a Beemer cut you off in traffic? Its real easy to resent "rich" people, and think of them all as pretentious, arrogant, selfish snobs, even if they have done nothing offensive whatsoever. Its a natural, but unjustified, reaction. Its also completely unavoidable.

Most of the wealthy are really probably nice people, and generous to boot. It certainly is not their fault that somebody else is having a hard time.

Same-same world view of Americans, as I see it. No matter how nice, polite or deferential we are to the world, we will be resented simply because we are successful at living well. I find it ironic that "Publius" brought to the fore the Federalist Papers. One of the themes running through them is the conflict that will naturally arise among states in a Confederation due to differences in prosperity (from natural advantages of geography etc etc); They argued that jealousies would be inevitable in the absence of a Federal Republic. They cite as support the example of the ancient Greek States constantly at war with one another for those very reasons.



Tim

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