Democrats & Liberals Archives

Satisfaction

Some people can’t get none. Some people demand it, with pistols at dawn. Right now, the question is, what satisfies your notion of good government? I think the problem with todays notion of government is that we expect not to be satisfied, not to have it work. We don’t summon outrage at abuses of power, instances of corruption, or demonstrations of incompetence.

Or at least we weren’t. Something’s happening, that I think will work against the Republican Majority: People are starting to demand more of their government than absence from their lives.

The alternative we have been experiencing is paralysis, even in the face of the most obvious, and sometimes embarrassing motivations to take action. Months after Katrina, FEMA is still dragging its feet. Years after we first invaded, we're stuck in a war most Americans think is being fought wrongly, and the Bush administration, seems unwilling or unable to think of another approach worth trying. More than a year after the 9/11 Commission made its recommendation, homeland security is still a red-headed stepchild amidst all of Bush's efforts. In terms of the Deficit, Bush is unwilling to sacrifice his belief in tax cuts, nor stand in the way of a congress that votes them even as they spend more. In terms of jobs going overseas, energy companies gouging Americans, and the scandals dealing with corporate finance and accounting (come on, you don't need me to spell it out), Bush's reaction time and time again has not only to do nothing, but keep others from doing anything themselves.

Despite popular approval and desire for cleaning up business, reconstructing the devastation of Katrina, protecting the homeland with defenses here, improving intelligence, balancing the budget, and a million other things, the Bush administration has managed to do remarkably little in any direction, unless it involved taxcuts, beneficial action to America's corporations, fundraising, or interminably making stump speeches at every opportunity that sound the same. Because many conservatives have agreed with the notion of government staying out of things, they've raised few alarms until recently. But even they have their limits as to how much inaction they can take.

The Republican party has become like teenagers, vege-ing during the summer. They keep on inventing reasons why they can't do the chores that the American people would want them to do. They figure that if they can stall long enough, that people will stop asking. Sometimes, they do. As things remain in shit-shape, though, the dissatisfaction builds. At some point, it breaks. We are seeing the beginnings of a break. If the GOP is smart, they'll start actually getting things under control and start doing what the American people have been asking them to do. If not, they'll keep on stalling, making excuses, and making promises. This is not the strategy that those on the red column should encourage. Down that road lies a dissatisfied America that sees little other choice but to vote these people out of office.

The Republican party, if it is to come out from under this shadow, must demonstrate that though they prefer small government, they want what all Americans want: a government that works and does the will of the people.

Posted by Stephen Daugherty at December 13, 2005 6:21 PM
Comments
Comment #102171

Stephen:

Nice article. The only think I would “tweak” you on so far is that you are looking at the country as a whole.

I think there is a big divide in culture that shows itself in expectations of government. We live in different worlds. I believe you are correct in looking at urban America. However, in the country, or in suberban areas, I am not as convinced of your premise.

When the people were gathered at the convention center in New Orleans, here in my neck of the woods, many of us reacted by thinking how bad it was that people were so helpless and could not help themselves. People were wondering why these people were standing their in bad water, not helping themselves to get out to the flood. We just don’t have that expectation that someone will come and get us.

I don’t really want to redebate Katrina as much as to say that I agree with you in part, but also believe there is a huge cultural divide that expresses itself in expectations on the federal government that roughly divides itself by population density.

Craig

Posted by: Craig Holmes at December 13, 2005 7:43 PM
Comment #102184

“dissatisfied America that sees little other choice but to vote these people out of office.”

First things first. We must satisfy ourselves that we CAN STILL actually vote people who are doing a shitty job out of office.
EXCLUSIVE: SECURITIES FRAUD LITIGATION FILED AGAINST DIEBOLD, INC
Eight Current and Former Executives Named as Co-Defendants, Including former CEO O’Dell and New CEO Swidarski
Class Action Suit Alleges Fraud, Insider Trading, Manipulation of Stock Prices, Concealment of Known Flaws in Voting Machines and Company Structural Problems

If you hadn’t already heard, yesterday:
Diebold CEO resigned after reports of fraud litigation, internal woes

Also, California has decided to
Slam Diebold With a Suit

Sorry folks, no doubt you’re heartily sick of hearing this from me, but I think this topic is THE most important thing to discuss if we ever wish to make anything change.

PS to Stephen, I don’t wish to derail your thread, just wanted to share this news.

Posted by: Adrienne at December 13, 2005 8:31 PM
Comment #102185

Craig,

That’s because you are a dimwitted rascist. Let me ask you something, did you ask the same question when it happened to southerners with Hurricane Andrew? You remember hurricane Andrew right?

“The slow response of federal aid to storm victims in southern Florida led Dade County emergency management director Kate Hale to famously exclaim at a nationally televised news conference, “Where in the hell is the cavalry on this one?”

Now see up here in the North, we’re scratching our heads wondering why in the world Bush couldn’t have learned to avoid something that threw his Daddy’s presidency in the trash.

Of course we are also a little tired of bailing you rednecks out for your mistakes. See we here in the north have to pay for that. In fact, we pay taxes through the nose to you southern hicks who are so dumb you’d starve without our constant support. Why aren’t you country folk thinking about that?

Posted by: Max at December 13, 2005 8:32 PM
Comment #102190

Wow - I apologize I said that. The “we in the country just thought why don’t the Katrina people help themselves” thing floored me. I am taking a break from this site.

Posted by: Max at December 13, 2005 8:50 PM
Comment #102191

Max,

What is the credo of this board? Critique the message…not the messenger.

This board, in my opinion, should be free of bigotry. Be it racial or regional or whatever.

IMHO…those that call others bigots or racists should pull out a mirror and stare hard before submitting it here.

Now, as to the main topic here, perhaps there are too many people demanding too diverse satisfaction for government to function properly.

For instance, one group demands (demands) one thing…and another group demands (demands) something that is polar opposite…while yet another group demands (demands) something totally different. To please one group is to ignore the other two. You’re in a lose-lose-lose situation. Too many special intrests demanding (demanding) too many diverse things.

So who ends up getting satisfaction?

No one.

Posted by: Jim T at December 13, 2005 8:56 PM
Comment #102196

Craig -
Since I live in SE Louisiana, and was affected by Katrina (but more so by Rita), I think I can respond, at least partially, to what you are saying.
The news media feels that there is no story unless it’s about suffering, loss, or disaster. The hundreds of thousands in New Orleans and the surrounding areas who DID do something for themselves were not in the media. Those who have been rebuilding their homes and lives since the twin disasters are not in the news.
My business suffered to the point that it can no longer support me, and I am now looking for full-time work. Of course, that is easier said than done in this area, now. I have not received aid from any agency.
After the storms, we helped each other quite a bit, and many of us received meager aid and food (although very appreciated) from the Red Cross. Others received money from FEMA. But there are many thousands who received nothing, and have been rebuilding on their own.
The news media concentrated on those in the city who had no place to go, even if they could swim or walk through that fetid soup, to help themselves. That was the small percentage of the whole who, for one reason or another, were at the end of their resources and were overwhelmed.
Sure, you can say that many of them decided to stay in town, against the orders from the civil authorities to evacuate, and that their problem is theirs to bear. But what are you going to do? Let them create a homeless population with absolutely no chance for a job or sustinance that causes more problems? These people had homes a day or so before. So for this fraction of the whole that needs the help in evacuation and the resources to start over, the govt(s) do what they can.
The rest do for themselves.

Posted by: Cole at December 13, 2005 9:03 PM
Comment #102197

some consider me to be a liberal extremist but i need to ask my party one question.
Why have we suddenly stopped careing about Katrina?
I have always considered my liberal democrats to be careing people yet suddenly there is never any mention on the state of the Katrina disaster. We replaced the FEMA director with the duct tape guy and nobody is outraged. Americans died because we were to proud to accept help from other countries yet there is no outcry in the party that cares for the people. Nothing has changed in the months since the disaster.
i know this is not in the spirit of this article but i just wanted to ask a question.

Posted by: confused at December 13, 2005 9:12 PM
Comment #102199

Stephen,

You know this as well as I do Bush doesn’t know how to do any of that stuff. All his appointments look like amateur hour at the improv. His solutions are rudementary at best. He’s such a dink as to NOT know that people already can pull their money out of Social Security for investment purposes now. This man Bush, a plain speaker he may be but he is also a dolt.

What we are asking of Bush is tantamount to asking a slug to knit a sweater. He can get us into wars that’s for sure, he knows how to do that. Republicans all sem to think that will put them in the history books well Bush Junior will be a hard to understand chapter. The lies will all be first and foremost and after that the corruption and no-bid contracts. His legacy has already been written—A disaster.

Ofcourse Ann Coulter will come out with her version and the whole right wing will give the heave ho on providing him a new image. So his legacy will be propaganda versus rote documentation of the atmosphere and facts. But undoubtedly he will screw up again and again so the righties will have to work overtime manufacturing him a new image to seal the republican fate.

AS for the left I should hope they get their act together soon and let’s get Joe Biden in there in 2008! Hopefully we should have back one of the houses by then.

Posted by: Novenge at December 13, 2005 9:26 PM
Comment #102203

Stephen -

I previously responded to Craig in my post, but neglected to respond to yours.
I agree with what you are saying. The talk is big, but there is no follow through to speak of. It all seems to get mired in the muck of politics and beauracracy. In the end, little gets done. At that point, the admin should be pushing to get things accomplished instead of just letting things languish until they die.
You put it into words better than I could have. Thanks.

Posted by: Cole at December 13, 2005 9:36 PM
Comment #102205
Some people can’t get none. Some people demand it, with pistols at dawn. Right now, the question is, what satisfies your notion of good government?
Relative to other governments, ours is not the worst. But, it’s not the best. I can be much better. Good government is one that is hardly noticed. Unfortunately, that’s not what we have. Our federal government wants to meddle in everything, control everything, but be responsible and unaccountable for anything. Our government takes much from some and gives it to others. With the looming debt in mismanaged entitlements, GPBGC and pensions, and the National debt, that sort of abuse will continue. The government is very irresponsibly heaping huge debt on to future generations for the next 127 years.
I think the problem with todays notion of government is that we expect not to be satisfied, not to have it work. We don’t summon outrage at abuses of power, instances of corruption, or demonstrations of incompetence.
We don’t? I don’t know about that? The people are outraged. The People just haven’t yet realized that the simple solution is the one thing they should have been doing all along to keep government from growing so corrupt and irresponsible. The People must learn to use their votes more wisely. They must oust irresponsible government. That can happen by continually voting for incumbents can it?
Or at least we weren’t. Something’s happening, that I think will work against the Republican Majority: People are starting to demand more of their government than absence from their lives.
They are? I sure as hell hope so. The longer the people sit on their butts and ignore government as it does what all governments do without sufficient transparency (i.e. grow increasingly corrupt with time), the longer, harder, and more painful it will be to remedy it. As it is now, incumbents enjoy a 95% re-election rate, have successfully blocked access for 3rd parties to get on ballots, participate in debates, and the democratic process. That is, the incumbents have eliminated all the other choices, and limited voters choices to only tweedle-dee and tweedle-dum. So, the two-main bought-and-paid-for parties simply take turns using and abusing The People. And, The People don’t yet realize how they are being cleverly seduced into a circular pattern of thought and behavior, that distracts the people from the serious problems facing the nation, and dupes the people into re-electing those incumbents.
The alternative we have been experiencing is paralysis, even in the face of the most obvious, and sometimes embarrassing motivations to take action. Months after Katrina, FEMA is still dragging its feet. Years after we first invaded, we’re stuck in a war most Americans think is being fought wrongly, and the Bush administration, seems unwilling or unable to think of another approach worth trying. More than a year after the 9/11 Commission made its recommendation, homeland security is still a red-headed stepchild amidst all of Bush’s efforts.
Really? If you go over to the red column, everything is rosy as can be. That doesn’t make them any worse then their opposing party. It’s merely timing. Give it time, and the other party will have its turn to be irresponsible and unaccountable. It’s not really paralysis. That’s much too benign. It’s lazy, corrupt, irresponsible, do-nothing, bought-and-paid-for politicians that are busy with other things, such as raking in million$ for their campaign war chests, fueling the petty partisan warfare to keep the people frantically busy with that circular activity, keeping a majority from ever existing to oppose the incumbents, systematically making their incumbency more secure, peddling influence, and becoming very wealthy in the process.
In terms of the Deficit, Bush is unwilling to sacrifice his belief in tax cuts, nor stand in the way of a congress that votes them even as they spend more.
We don’t need tax increases. We need tax reform. The problem is that many tax revenues are being lost to the countless tax loop holes, deductions, and wasted money and time to calculate all of it.
In terms of jobs going overseas, energy companies gouging Americans, and the scandals dealing with corporate finance and accounting (come on, you don’t need me to spell it out), Bush’s reaction time and time again has not only to do nothing, but keep others from doing anything themselves.
No doubt about it. It isn’t a global village. It’s global pillage. It’s corporacrisy and governments controlled by multi-national corporations, reaping the huge benefits of corporate welfare.
Despite popular approval and desire for cleaning up business, reconstructing the devastation of Katrina, protecting the homeland with defenses here, improving intelligence, balancing the budget, and a million other things, the Bush administration has managed to do remarkably little in any direction, unless it involved taxcuts, beneficial action to America’s corporations, fundraising, or interminably making stump speeches at every opportunity that sound the same.
I agree, but do you think the other party can do better? That’s where you’re wrong. The Democrats will most likely regain the majority in both houses and the executive branch, but mark my words….there will be no substantial improvement, or reduction in corruption, and government will grow increasingly FOR SALE and corrupt.
Because many conservatives have agreed with the notion of government staying out of things, they’ve raised few alarms until recently. But even they have their limits as to how much inaction they can take.
I don’t know if I agree with that very much. I think they already know they’ve screwd the pooch. They know they’ll get their turn again after the Democrats also fail to do any hard work to accomplish anything. They just take turns gettin’ theirs, and distracting the people from what they’re really doing, which is being extremely irresponsible.
The Republican party has become like teenagers, vege-ing during the summer.
No, both the Republicans and Democrats are irresponsible. Don’t forget that the Democrats are busy trying to sabotage everything the Republicans try to do. Not that the Republicans are truly dedicated to reform or fixing anything, but the Democrats are no better. You’re realize that if you too remove your partisan blinders.
They keep on inventing reasons why they can’t do the chores that the American people would want them to do.
Well, haven’t you heard? It’s hard work.
They figure that if they can stall long enough, that people will stop asking. Sometimes, they do. As things remain in s#!+-shape, though, the dissatisfaction builds.
I hope so. But, I hope people wise up and oust all incumbents, because that’s the real problem. You in the green column want to blame Republicans, and those in the Red column want to blame Democrats, and only those in the 3rd party (for the most part) correctly blame both. In a few years, the majority/minority will switch for the two parties, but you won’t see any real change. You will see government grow more corrupt. That’s a given. Without sufficient transparency, that’s simply what they do.
At some point, it breaks.
It’s already broken, and the degree of dysfunction will grow until. Only the people can change it. While the people have the right to vote, they theoretically have the power to peacefully force reform. But, the incumbents in government have the advantage, because it is difficult for the People to organize to create a majority to vote out incumbents, and the incumbents have been very successful in seducing the people so that a majority can never exist to vote out the irresponsible, bought-and-paid-for incumbents.
We are seeing the beginnings of a break. If the GOP is smart, they’ll start actually getting things under control and start doing what the American people have been asking them to do.
I doubt it. There’s no historical precedent for that. Government always grows more corrupt until a major event peacefully forces government to be responsible. But it never lasts, because voters fail to maintain simplicity and fail to create long lasting transparency. Thuse, government begins to grow more corrupt again, as always. That’s just the way it is. The only thing that can ever reduce it and discourage it is simple, common sense simplifications of the many things that have been over-complicated over much time for the purpose of abuse them.
If not, they’ll keep on stalling, making excuses, and making promises. This is not the strategy that those on the red column should encourage. Down that road lies a dissatisfied America that sees little other choice but to vote these people out of office.
I hope so. But, it should be non-partisan. Vote them all out, because 99% are irresponsible, vote on pork-barrel, graft, peddle influence, and look the other way.
The Republican party, if it is to come out from under this shadow, must demonstrate that though they prefer small government, they want what all Americans want: a government that works and does the will of the people.
Smaller government? Since when did government stop growing to nightmare proportions? That’s also something government does, like it grows increasingly corrupt.

You make some really good points. Too bad it’s partisan and blames the Republicans. The fact is, both parties are truly to blame. But, partisan blinders are half the problem in this country. Too many are too fond of wallowing in the circular, distracting, petty partisan warfare. And politicians are all too happy to fuel it.
But, don’t feel bad. I used to be partisan too. I took a long time to really see what was going on. Just think about it. Why do things keep getting worse regardless of what party has the majority?

Posted by: d.a.n at December 13, 2005 9:49 PM
Comment #102209

Another thought,

Before 2008 or by mid 2007 how do we hide Dean, Pelosi, Kerry, Kennedy, Hillary, Reid and the ‘wind-suckers’ (My new coined phrase)? We need a new vision for the Democratic Party and I should hope Mr. Biden leads the pact hopefully with a military commander as his veeper (Not goofball from 2004, what’s his name?).

Our economic vision is right on mark as it was under Clinton for the most part and we need to be stronger on defense and illegal immigration (Which we are actually quite good on—this is a strong suit for us). The military that went into Afghanistan and then Iraq was Clinton’s military for the most part, so it wasn’t that bad really.

Another thing the advising of closing bases was actually the Pentagon, they don’t need them. I may have despised Clinton in alot of ways as I am harder on Dems than republicans, but we had it pretty good really. Am I missing the good old days before the republicans screwed up our country and raised the costs on everything? What the republicans have done is created such a hateful atmosphere with reports of torture or just mere French hating. It’s just an ugly time in our country guided by political lusts. Tom Delay is a warrior hero while Scott Ritter (UNSCOM) was declared a phony by the right only to be vindicated later.

These are ugly days in the press-wars and America is getting weary of the republicans ugliness towards everything. We are told to be silent in our own country our leaders are way off mark (DEM & REPUB) and ‘conventional wisdom’ of the right as it’s coined, rules everywhere. We work to destabilize every nation under the Republicans.

Just recently as it’s claimed Bush supposedly was overheard in conference candidly calling The US Constitution “just a god-damned piece of paper”. This is a rumor I’m trying to backtrack but then again why bother. Whether true or not it’s still just more in a heap of things that this man as done and can only serve to thicken the pile.

Do you remember when he came in and James Bakker asked us all to “Stand behind our leader”? That was the genesis to the ugly grey place we are in now as we are in the republican hands and we are still to blame for everything they have done wrong thus far. Must be nice to have a convenient scapegoat for all your foibles on which to chuck your slings and arrows like little children who cannot take responsibility for themselves.

We need a better day for all of us and the republicans cannot provide it because they simply don’t know how. Like the scorpion on the frogs back, it’s just in their nature.

Posted by: Novenge at December 13, 2005 10:02 PM
Comment #102212

As our societies become more complex, and more dependent on an artificial infrastructure, it is inevitable that government will become more involved as people demand more consistency in the systems they now need to run their daily lives.

What many miss in the mix here is what is required for a civilization to healthily maintain a high population density. This question becomes increasingly important as the gulf coast faces the possibility of a catastrophic next few decades at the hands of all the storms.

We need a government that doesn’t twiddle it’s thumbs when people truly need it.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at December 13, 2005 10:29 PM
Comment #102213
Adrienne wrote: Sorry folks, no doubt you’re heartily sick of hearing this from me, but I think this topic is THE most important thing to discuss if we ever wish to make anything change.

No apology required. Adrienne, of course election fraud is very important. If we can not enforce the law to make elections honest, then we have decended too far into tyranny and oppression.

But, I don’t think we’ve decended that far yet. But we’re getting closer all the time. Most votes are still counting as they should, even though many thousands of voters are being defrauded. There is a justified urgency though. You are justified to be concerned. However, I think we have got to get the attention of those running things first, and force them to remedy this problem. Force is required. We (the voters) still have some leverage at the moment, but may not have it for long if the election fraud continues to grow out of control. It will grow worse too, just as governments are always growing more corrupt. Election reform and law enforcment, and a handful of other things should be on the top of the To-Do-List for Congress, immediately following the ousting of incumbents, but simply voting the bought-and-paid-for incumbents out of their cu$hy, coveted seats of power. But, it may take several elections to get the point across, because, not all of Congress are up for election. They have 6 year terms and elections are staggered two years apart. Thus, there’s always the danger that the incumbents will seduce the newcomers into the corruption, graft, and looking the other way too. So, the voters must continue to vote out incumbents, and it may be necessary to also start recalls to replace corrupt politicians before their term ends.

The problem now is that no one in Congress is serious about reducing election fraud. We (the voters) still have a chance to eliminate election fraud, because those breaking the law can not yet fix all of the votes. But, votes had better start doing something soon, or voting, as you fear, won’t work any longer. Voting could become pointless.

It’s really not a Catch-22:
(1) We need to reduce election fraud.
(2) We need to reduce corruption in government.

Which do we (the voters) have the most likelihood of accomplishing first?
Which one, once accomplished, yields the better chance of the other being resolved?
Which one can be accomplished?
Which one do voters have the leverage to change?

See? The voters can not simply ask for a reduction in election fraud, or corruption first. It hasn’t worked, and it won’t ever work. Not even if we say please. That is why incumbents consistently always refuse campaign finance reform, election reform, tax reform, one-purpose-per-bill amendment, balanced-budget-amendment, stop plundering Social Security, refuse to secure borders, refuse to address pork-barrel, graft, abused presidential pardons, corruption, etc.

But, the voters can hopefully still vote out incumbents, and peacefully force politicians to address election fraud (and other serious issues facing the nation). And voters can continue to vote out incumbents until they agree. They have to pass the test. Do what’s on the To-Do-List.

So, which would you suggest first? Do you want election fraud eliminated? If so, you’ll first have to reduce corruption in government. One has to come before the other. However, I will grant you that if government is so corrupt that elections are pointless, then you are correct that the election fraud is the main problem, and our problems as a whole are a whole lot worse than we thought. If we were at that point, the only solution will be revolution. Because that is the only leverage the voters will have left at that point (i.e. at the point where voting is pointless).

Posted by: d.a.n at December 13, 2005 10:32 PM
Comment #102216

I think the Special Interest group notion needs looking at. I think we can’t eliminate it entirely, not as long as we are a society of free speech, and free assembly. Included among the rights to free speech is the right to advocate for one’s narrow interest, and gather the people to do it.

All in all, I think the way we prevent endless fracturing of the political peace here, is through the process of negotiation. It is by discussion and bargaining that people can get past personal differences and work together for the greater good.

Unfortunately, the system is under the control of a party that has done much to devalue compromise and discussion. That’s what we must rebuild.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at December 13, 2005 10:41 PM
Comment #102219

inside info from a friend who works at los alamos :
14 MK54sadm s are missing from our inventory ,which has not been reported to any of the news agencys ,what pray tell you ask is a MK54sadm?…..its a 51 lb 1 kilaton nuclear weapon designed to fit in a small back pack and is deployed by engineers left behind to slow a much larger force by making them go around area of detonation because of high radion doses ….to give you an example of its blast power ,explosion in oaklahoma city in 1995 was equal to .oo2 kilatons ,,seems mighty strange to me that friends i have who work there and see the investigation occuring first hand yet nothing has currently leaked to the press ….strange eh…

Posted by: rylee at December 13, 2005 10:52 PM
Comment #102220

The general premise of the article is that, somehow, big government is going to improve my quality of life. The writer of the article, Stephen Daugherty, draws this conclusion from events that do not support his claim. There are several points that cannot be dismissed and this article has overlooked them.

Firstly, Florida has had a LOT of hurricanes, even some that were worse than Katrina. They have a built-in infastructure in their government to provide aid and PRELIMINARY responses, even. Louisianna did not order evacuations, manditory or otherwise, until it was too late. Yes, there were quite a few impoverished people in New Orleans that did not have the ability to leave on their own, but those people should have been moved out before the storm hit via local government action, such as procuring school buses and renting large passenger vehicles such as 15 passenger vans. In Florida, the vast majority of residents would have been evacuated long before the Hurricane hit and without the Federal Government stepping in to hold their hand. The local government acted slowly and irresponsibly. The Local government did not ask for help BEFORE the storm hit and did not listen to the national weather service warnings about the probable area of the coast that would be hit by Katrina. Instead, after being warned saturday night about the impending doom their city and state faced, the local and state governments did NOTHING until the storm was upon them early monday morning. Pure negligence, not of the federal government, but of the local and state governments. Florida would not have been so ill-prepared and would not have needed, or waited on, Federal intervention to be spurred into action.

This is all a mute point, secondly, because the US Army Corp of Engineers has known and said that New Orleans would be flooded, regardless of anything they could do, in that situation. Due to its location, ie. being ON the water table, the fact that it is below sea-level, and the size of the rivers flowing through it, there is nothing humanly possible that would prevent New Orleans from being flooded when hit by a Cat 5 or even a Cat 4 Hurricane. Complete destruction was predicted and occured almost EXACTLY as predicted. Living in New Orleans has been a HUGE mistake for anyone who values their life. The city was living on borrowed time. The people there have known of their situation for MANY generations, as evidenced by the Maussoliems and the very nature of how the area was claimed; as a result of a claim on the Mississippi River and all its tributaries, which just to HAPPEN to run through New Olreans, at the mouth of the mighty Mississippi. It is foolish to build a city there, in between those 2 rivers and that close to the coast, because the damage by ANY large storm is going to be serious, let alone a Hurricane’s damage. If the area is that poorly suited to withstanding a Hurricane, what can the US Government do, aside from move people out of there, by force, before the storms hits? Why didn’t the local government do that to begin with? It is their responsibility in the first place. Why didn’t their ELECTED leaders do whatever it takes to save their lives, instead of sitting on their thumbs waiting for the Government to tell them how to take care of themselves? It’s not like ANY politian would DARE refuse a check to hlp citizens effected by a natural dissaster! And, for the record, Bush has given more money to Louisianna to rebuild and deployed more troops, in the first week mind you, than he did for Florida all of this year! (Florida has had its own major hurricane, for those that think the only big ones to make landfall were on the Louisianna coastline.) There is no excuse for the lack of local planning that the Federal Government is not supposed to do because it is delegated to the states!

John Maynard Keynes. That should explain the tax cuts right there. If you have ever taken college economics, you should know who he is. What should the government do in recessions or depressions to help the country? Spend and cut taxes because that provides extra money to circulate in the economy. You could do that, or continue to balance the budget as we did up to 1933 under Hoover, who was SOOO popular when he left office. That’s why wars bring contries out of recessions; the governments spend money in their own industrial sectors for war products and that, in turn, creates job growth.

Conservatives are not raising alarms. Who are conservatives? Red-staters, right? Are the people in Texas really against Bush? If he ran for a 3rd term do think he would have more or less support in Texas? Let me answer that for you; we love having him as our President. (With our liberal MINORITY excluded from that comment.) Look at states such as Montana and Wyoming. Would those states disapprove of what Bush has done? No. Do conservatives disapprove of the war? NO! We see the 2,100 casualties and think, “That’s unbelievable success!” To take and hold a country for going on 3 years and lose 2,100 soldiers is better than our WWII veterans could EVER have hoped for! Landing on Normandy Beach cost approximately 10,300 lives on D-day alone! (Which, by the way, was remembered for the 60th year in 2004.) Keep the numbers in perspective! We are not dissatisfied with the choice to invade Iraq. Saddam did evil things to his own people, on a scale remincient of Hitler to the Jews of Nazi Germany. Removing that man from power is unbelievably good for that country. Bush Sr. should have removed Saddam in the first place and has stated in his biography that he wishes now that he had removed Saddam when he was President. Fixing his father’s mistake is a bonus and a good thing for him to do, for our country’s record and the people of Iraq. Iraq was a perfect target to send a message to the surrounding countries. “We can and WILL come after you if you are harboring terrorists!” We already had intelligence on it, knew the land, and had the ability to plan an attack easily. It was the perfect target to send a message and it was a good thing to do! The only thing working against Bush in that end, aside from the terrorists themselves who are now fighting our highly armed and skilled troops instead of us, is liberal criticism of Bush, which looks like weakness in our country. Not to say that all criticism is wrong, but when it makes our country sound like we want to tuck-tail and run, it’s detrimental to our national image, and, thus, our security and the security of the Iraqi people. We’re behind him and we’re staying there! See my previous comments about Katrina to ascertain if conservatives are concerned about how Bush handled Katrina. The whole premise of the article is flawed and, by all means, Democrats can go right on believing in flawed ideas and we’ll laugh all the way to ballot box!

Posted by: Daniel Wayne Peer at December 13, 2005 10:56 PM
Comment #102221

I don’t know exactly if they want more “consistancy in the systems” as it were but a lack of amateur hour when it comes to be applied.

See I think bureaucracy or over bureaucracy really turns people off even when Bush himself created an abundance of bureaucratic spending and federal spending that most republicans don’t want—that I heard loud and clear on republican posts after Katrina.

We need less socialistic answers and to be more capitalist than we are atleast in image anyway and ofcourse promote fiscal responsibility.

See this querry about “Satisfaction”, I’m sorry is really about elections and the dems getting back control. If it sounds like I’m off topic I’m not people are in a want of something more than incompetence. Bush leads the field in this from his Goss-right powered CIA to his use of FEMA—these are the result of crony amateur hour appointments. So 2008 is on the plate and the incompetence of the opponent—meat.

Posted by: Novenge at December 13, 2005 10:59 PM
Comment #102234
Unfortunately, the system is under the control of a party that has done much to devalue compromise and discussion. That’s what we must rebuild.
Been there. Done that. It doesn’t work. You’re conclusion is partisan motivated. Both parties devalue compromise and discussion. Both parties are corrupt, bought-and-paid-for, and look the other way.

That’s why incumbents shouldn’t be allowed to stay, and that’s the unfortunate price incumbents should pay, for looking the other way.

Posted by: d.a.n at December 13, 2005 11:53 PM
Comment #102235

The right is even gettin fed up with George W. I listen to conservative talk radio every morning, and it’s amazing to me how many repubs are getting pissed at W. The perscription drug giveaway, non-negotiated contracts, immigration issues, are starting to get his party mad. So what does he do? Cut some medicaid and welfare to show that he wants to appear to control the federal spending. The problem with George W. is that the middle class is getting jacked. If the Dem’s could offer a decent choice (I think their only decent nominees would be Harry Reid, Joe Lieberman, and Obama)we could have a good shift in the country. If one of those three are not nominated, the country will stay with a republican president, let’s just hope that it is Mccain.

Posted by: Ivan Mitchell at December 13, 2005 11:55 PM
Comment #102240

Max:

Wow - I apologize I said that. The “we in the country just thought why don’t the Katrina people help themselves” thing floored me. I am taking a break from this site.

Apology accepted. I live in a small city in the Northwest. But I can tell you that we would not have an expectation that the Federal Government would help us at an early stage. The quote you proved was for aid long after Andrew.

My point is not to reargue katrina. My point is to point out that there is a large cultural divide in our country over expectations of our federal government. Urban types have much higher expectations of what the federal government will and wont do than the rest of the country.

Craig

Posted by: Craig Holmes at December 14, 2005 12:25 AM
Comment #102243

daniel wayne?

please. i do not argue the fact that the state and local governments of louisiana were grossly incompetent, but don’t try to excuse the current federal administration by hiding behind federalism. federalism is most assuredly the system which america is *supposed* to operate under; but bush has shot that one all to hell.

you can’t bully states around when it comes to issues you deem immoral (gay marriage, medical marijuana) and then claim they are solely responsible for themselves when they are most in need.

louisiana f’d up, for sure; but bush f’d up far worse, and then blamed it on the director of FEMA - now i ask you, if the director of FEMA was incompetent, then who was the moronic incompetent ass who appointed him? oh wait, that would be bush.

btw, try to keep your posts a bit shorter. we’re writing blogs, not books.

Posted by: Diogenes at December 14, 2005 12:36 AM
Comment #102244

The middle class is getting jacked by Bush? How? By lowering my taxes? Staying commited to a war that was largely supported by the middle class, as it was never supported my Hollywood, Liberal politicians, or the poor, yet had support from somewhere, is somehow “jacking” me? What specifically are you talking about when you say the middle class is getting jacked? And, why is McCain a good presidential Nominee?

Posted by: Daniel W. Peer at December 14, 2005 12:43 AM
Comment #102249

WEll Craig I think that also exists on a different level in terms of a state’s right to rebuild and rebuild efficiently too without federal intervention.

I have to say I was moved by the statements of Cole (top of thread) and yes help was thwarted just as much by the republican governor of Louisiana (can’t remember her name) as well as FEMA, Homeland security and the belated arrival of The National Guard. It was wholly a republican cluster f*ck. Also help from out of state was turned back for some unknown reason and people’s lives were wrecked. This was a republican mess that the response was so screwed up from the governor to Homeland security the POTUS and his crony appointments.

The assumption of people not helping themselves sounds like a form or ruralized jealousy or some other stance. What are they supposed to do in an urban environment??? In a small town which CRAIG is talking about he knows everyone if isn’t somehow related to everyone. In an urban landscape it’s different, quite different as it’s bound to be in some ways more individualistic.

Posted by: Novenge at December 14, 2005 12:57 AM
Comment #102253

My apologies for the length. Most assuredly, Bush has not blamed Mike Brown for anything. He hasn’t laid blame on anyone, except to say that he never heard from the governor of Louisianna or the mayor of New Orleans until after the fact. And, that, the lack of finger pointing, is intentinal on his part. It is important to determine who is saying what in our politcal arena, that has been lowered to a mud-slinging contest. For certain, network media outlets have said everything that is to be said about Mike Brown and then crossed the line on top of it.

If you would, please explain where Bush messed up so I can carry on the conversation with you. Hiring Mike Brown, by the way, is one mistake that you might point out, but then, by the same arguement, aren’t the Senate and House Democrats just as liable for their votes in favor of the war as Bush is for hiring Brown? I’d like you to answer this question first: do you think the Democrats can reason that Bush tricked them into voting for the Irag war?

By the way, I gave my full legal name, Daniel Wayne Peer (Yes, that is my last name, Peer)

Posted by: Daniel Wayne Peer at December 14, 2005 1:14 AM
Comment #102254

Noveng,

For the record, the governor of Louisiana is Democrat. Kathleen Babineaux Blanco.

See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kathleen_Blanco

Posted by: Daniel Wayne Peer at December 14, 2005 1:22 AM
Comment #102257

Diogenes,

I don’t hide behind anything, by the way. It’s not federalism I was agruing for, but small government, when you think about it. My point was that the local and then state governments should have reacted before the federal government because that is the way of things. The Federal government should NOT intervene when it is not the government’s responsibility to do so. If The federal government did that to Florida, it would simply complicate the process that Floridians have seemed to master after years of dealing with hurricanes. By the same token, when dealing with civil rights, the federal government was established to protect them and is fulfilling its constitutional role when interveining through the appropriate channels. That is the way of things. A beauracracy, sure enough, but that is the Fed by nature. That’s why the local governments are designated the first reactors: less beauracracy.

Posted by: Daniel Wayne Peer at December 14, 2005 1:37 AM
Comment #102279

I’ve spent the last 25 years in the government and I’ve come to a conclusion: The best government is self government. However, since there are some among us who cannot govern themselves, then we, as a people, need some form of government.

Americans put too much emphasis on the Federal governement. The real power should lie in the Local government, then the state. The Feds should only exist for a few reasons: international treaties, national defense and nation-wide disater relief.

We should not depend on the Feds to solve local problems - they’re not organized to do so. Problems with Katrina relief started at the local level, followed by the state.

If every problem is the Fed’s to solve, then why to we bother with a local (and state) government?

Posted by: mac6115cd at December 14, 2005 7:42 AM
Comment #102280

Your premise is fine: people expect their government to not be corrupt, and to do their bidding. As to point one, I think everyone is in agreement. As to point two, well, that’s why we have political debate, right?

The problem with supposing that either Republicans or Democrats are more corrupt than the other is that it is patently false. Both parties are equally corrupt. I live in NJ, a state where (finally) the electorate said “Enough” to pay-to-play politics. The federal prosecuter, Christopher Christie, is in the news weekly with yet another indictment against a politician; he has indicted members of both parties equally, and gone to all levels of our government. He was largely responsible for Gov. McGreevey resigning; not because he was gay, but because his administration was so corrupt McGreevey was close to being impeached (and may still be indicted!) Guess what? McGreevey is a Democrat.

My point is this: anybody can be corrupt, regardless of party affiliation. Career politicians tend to look at their offices as a means towards wealth and power. The longer they hold those offices, the more corrupt they become. How many politicians promise to serve a fixed number of years? How many actually hold true to that promise? So, why not bring back the idea of term-limits, and as equally important, office limits? Someone who spends 30 or 40 years as a politician will lose touch with their constituents.

Which brings us to point #2. Who decides just what the country wants from their government? You seem to be in favor of a government that provides for all, taking control over all. Yet I certainly don’t share that vision, and neither do many others. I would prefer that the federal government do what it was originally chartered to do: provide for national defense, settle disputes between states, and ensure that all Americans receive their rights under a system of law. There is nothing in the Constitution regarding entitlement programs OR corporate welfare, social issues, or the way we live our lives. Consider some of these interesting tidbits:

* Under US v. Black, the Supreme Court ruled that the government cannot set aside taxes for particular programs. Were this standard to be applied properly, Social Security would be bankrupt today-not in 2042, or 2053, or any other arbitrary date. The case has never been overturned, btw, and is firmly grounded in Article 1, section 2 (clause 3), section 8 (clause 1), and Section 9 (clause 4).

* Article 1, section 8 of the Constitution enumerates the powers of the Congress. Congress can create roads, raise an Army, Navy, and Militia and deploy them), establish a Post Office, establish courts, promote science and the arts, coin money, raise taxes, and sets spending. That’s it. No entitlements mentioned, or authorization granted.

So, you see, to say that all Americans expect or want the Federal government to run to our aid is fallacious. There are quite a few of us who simply want the government to get out of the way, and let us live. We live by the mantra of personal responsibility; oddly, the same mantra on which our nation was founded.

Posted by: Ray at December 14, 2005 7:45 AM
Comment #102288

Maybe I’m all alone here, but why do we measure a war’s success by how or not 50%+ of poll respondants answer a certain question? Not to demean polling, but sometimes there are more meaningful ways to measure support. My employer has a volleyball league? Did they do a poll to see whether or not 50% of the people are in favor, or did we have to get a petition to see if we could get enough names to do it?

We currently do not have enough troops to complete the mission in Iraq. Is there some way to get the needed number of troops? If there wasn’t enough interest, we couldn’t have started our volleyball league. Too many Americans have opposed the war all along in the only poll that matters, Military recruitment. The saddest part is that people will probably respond to this post by saying that they support the war, but then make excuses for not giving them the actual support that they need.

Posted by: Mike at December 14, 2005 8:45 AM
Comment #102301

Daniel W. Peer-
I believe strongly in the need for the Federal government to regulate certain industries in certain ways, and to keep certain standards of transparency, good governance, and good judgment.

That does not translate, though, to an altogether radical applications of such. I also believe, with equal conviction, that in many cases the market can do better than the government in developing the economy, that people can typically decide things for themselves pretty well, and that we do not need to be overly socialistic in order to promote justice and prosperity in society. I both believe that State and Church should be separate in the power they wield, and that our religious principles and morals should find expression in the way we do government business.

In the case of Katrina, what I’m arguing is not the expectation that the states and localities should be able to get the Feds to do everythign for them, but that the Federal government should be better prepared for dealing with the collapse of that infrastructure as might happen in the wake of a natural disaster or terrorist attack. Moreover, if you’ve watched the news lately, FEMA is still screwing up and dragging its feet, and we no longer have the immediate crisis of the hurricane to explain their slow response.

I doubt the Corp of Engineers really said that a flood was inevitable. To my knowledge they only said that if everything remained the same, a strike by an intense hurricane would inundate the city. It was possible to upgrade the levees, it simply wasn’t being done, for reasons that strike at all levels of government.

This notion of New Orleans being foolishly built where it was smacks of both 20/20 hindsight and presumptive ignorance of the basic problems that effect all cities. Some cities get hit regularly by storms, some get hit by snow storms. Some struggle to get water, others struggle to get rid of it. Some are built over fault zones, some are built near volcanoes. Often the very things that make these cities desirable and economically strong, also put them in harms way. Nearly every city has made itself vulnerable to some kind of natural threat. In an ideal world, we would choose to build our cities in places where nature could not deliver punishing blows, but this is the real world, and that means geology, climate, and other forces conspire to make each choice for a city we make a potentially catastrophic one.

As for tax cuts: get real. There is little history of tax cuts providing much more than a slight improvement. There is, however, much history of runaway deficits causing recessions, inflation, and rises in interest rates.

I see the 2100 casualties as the unnecessary casualties of war that should have been essentially over two years ago. This is not like soldiers dying on Normandy Beach, this is like Germany remaining a guerilla war-zone into the fifties. I see this as a failure of follow through of epic proportions, not a bold stroke of military genius. These deaths were never necessary to winning the war. The WMD issue only adds a layer of absurdity to it, that the war that got us into this mess wasn’t even necessary in terms of the kind of threat we Americans were trying to head off.

Tuck tail and run. Shit. There’s other kinds of cowardice. There’s being afraid to admit mistakes when other people are dying and suffering for your incompetence. There’s not being straight with the people you’re asking to sacrifice on your behalf. There’s not paying for all the wonderful government you’ve managed to run up a bill for.

You think we liberals are making the country look weak. Fact is, though, Bush is making us weak in both fact and appearance, breaking our army’s effective power, founding our economy on an evergrowing mountain of debt, snarling up our international relations, and allowing one natural disaster after another destroy our cities with impunity.

As for the economy, ask yourself this: is the rising tide of economic growth matching growth in middle class wages and salaries?

As for bureacracy, I think you’re dead wrong about that. Any community of appreciable size requires one for governance, at least if you want any business done. State and Locals are designated as first responders not for a lack of bureaucracy, but because a)They’re already there, b)They are in possession of most of the information needed to deal with a situation (utility lines and other info)

That said, they are vulnerable to events in a natural disaster that destroy their command structure and communications. What good is having the state and local folks in place, if they can’t talk to each other?

I think many modern conservatives have lost a sense of how the real world operates. They are so deeply invested in certain preconcieved notions, that they don’t stick their heads up and observe how things really unfold.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at December 14, 2005 9:51 AM
Comment #102302

D.A.N.
No, we haven’t been there, and we haven’t don that. As for my motivations, I can speak to them just fine: I want things to work. I’m funny about such things. When the system breaks down, I get frustrated.

I would not mind if some of my own party’s leaders experienced the consequences of the frustration with government right now. I would tell my leaders flat out, that the time to play it safe, trying to emulate the Republicans is over. It was over long ago. Now’s the time to live dangerously, and start saying dangerous things. Nows the time to shake things up, and those who manage to do it sucessfully will reap the political rewards.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at December 14, 2005 9:57 AM
Comment #102308

I grew up in south Louisiana, and moved to Mississippi last year from Texas. Blanco, like Landrieu, the senator from La., is first and foremost a Southern Democrat. On social issues, southern dems are about as progresive as Alan Keyes. There is a BIG difference between democrats of this stripe and folk’s view of the party entire.

Having lived the last six years in Texas, and being married to a man born and raised in Amarillo, I beg to differ on the whole “Texans heart Bush” meme. The values meme only goes so far, and people really don’t like Delay. This is getting extended to republicans in general as people begin to pay attention. Jean Schmidt, Abramoff, Cunningham, &c. don’t help. Even in by-god Mississippi people are starting to question - you think they aren’t in Texas, just ‘cause Shrub is “from” there? Gimme a break.

Louisiana’s, and especially New Orleans’, hurricane response cannot be compared to Florida’s for a number of reasons. First, Louisiana gets considerably less funding from the federal government, esp. infrastructure funding. Second, the poverty level is much, much higher. Many of those stranded were elderly, many had young children. The levees had been underfunded for years (and that, friends, is the province of the fed) and the C of E hadn’t done the job right in the first place. Not to mention that Katrina was FAST! She swept down on NOLA like the wrath of god. There’s only a couple of roads out of the city, and all of them were packed for days before she hit. Many who tried to split at the last minute were washed off the causeways into the lake or the bay.

I was smack in the eye of Andrew, lost power for two weeks, had to use the bateau to get to the store for ice, and have never talked to anyone who saw federal assisstance. Likewise, we were smack in the eye of Katrina. We were actually called back from Dallas for my husband to return to his post as inspector at a nuclear plant, something which is not supposed to happen. That is how much disarray all branches of the government were in. We were the only fools driving into the gale. We had no power, no water, no service, no gas. We did not apply for assistance, despite the great damned tree through the bedroom. We still had a house, a car, a job. Others needed it more.

To blame the disaster on the state or local government is untrue and diversionary. Entire countries aren’t expected to deal with tragedies of this magnitude on their own. We can help tsunami victims half a world a way, but not our own. Besides levees are the bailiwick of neither mayor nor governor - responsibility for that belongs solely to the federal government, as does accountability for the majority of the deaths, which resulted from the flooding.

The real culprit was cronyism. Cronyism as in putting your buddy’s old college roommate in charge, then telling him he’s doing a “heckuva job” for eating steak while thousands suffer. Then, when pressure forces you do get rid of him, giving him a cushy desk job at his regular pay rate until he resigns.

Anybody else think this issue needs to be addressed? That is what I’d most like to see happen - less political appointees in important positions. Even ignoring the FEMA fracas, look at the FDA, the CIA, our Diplomats (Bolton’s a prize, huh, and let’s not discuss Vershbow, our “ambassador” to North Korea), even the cabinet. Cronyism leads to Corruption, Corruption leads to Decay, Decay progresses ever forward, and the end result is Revolt or Downfall.

Your Choice.

Posted by: Ava at December 14, 2005 10:04 AM
Comment #102328

Stephen:

In the case of Katrina, what I’m arguing is not the expectation that the states and localities should be able to get the Feds to do everythign for them, but that the Federal government should be better prepared for dealing with the collapse of that infrastructure as might happen in the wake of a natural disaster or terrorist attack. Moreover, if you’ve watched the news lately, FEMA is still screwing up and dragging its feet, and we no longer have the immediate crisis of the hurricane to explain their slow response.

I think Bush set himself up for this one in raising expectations that were not there. He has done it again by saying those words,”We will help you whatever the cost”.

Craig


Posted by: Craig Holmes at December 14, 2005 10:59 AM
Comment #102332

Novenge

The assumption of people not helping themselves sounds like a form or ruralized jealousy or some other stance. What are they supposed to do in an urban environment??? In a small town which CRAIG is talking about he knows everyone if isn’t somehow related to everyone. In an urban landscape it’s different, quite different as it’s bound to be in some ways more individualistic.

My point isn’t judging anyone. My point is that there is a difference of expectation across the country of the Federal Governments role. My expectation would be that the local’s would handle it, and the feds would come in later to support. It would seem odd to have people here that didn’t know anything about our area working initially in the first week. When Mt. Saint Helens erupted, in 1980 there wasn’t very much federal assistance initially.

Also when you grow up in a culture, your expectations are formed. It is actually shocking to see helpless people in large numbers. Many of us didn’t know in America we had that many large numbers of people who were that helpless in one place. Of course we hear of them through the media, but to see them up close in a group through the media is an eye opener.

It does have a change in our expectations for them. It seems like if you place the poor in a neighborhood, knowing they are helpless, you have obligated yourself to “come and get them” when an emergency arises. I still am not sure that is the Fed’s role.

Craig

Posted by: Craig Holmes at December 14, 2005 11:11 AM
Comment #102340

Cole:

Thank you for your comments. You are in a great position to comment because you have lived it.

What do you expect from the FEDERAL government. How have your expectations changed because of what you have experienced? What do you think should be our expectations?

Craig

Posted by: Craig Holmes at December 14, 2005 11:42 AM
Comment #102347

d.a.n.:
“If we can not enforce the law to make elections honest, then we have decended too far into tyranny and oppression.

But, I don’t think we’ve decended that far yet.”

I couldn’t disagree more. I think we have fully decended into tyranny and oppression with throughly rigged, completely dishonest elections in America — directly in the hands of Diebold, ES&S (whose owner is the brother of Diebold’s owner), Triad, and Sequoia companies — all controlled by partisan conservatives, who set out to control the outcomes of our elections.
And these company’s own not only electronic voting machines, but the scanners that count our paper ballots, as well.

Look at what happened this past November in Ohio. An IMPOSSIBLE outcome after the solidly reliable poll that was taken before election day.
With the new legislation the Republican’s will be passing soon in Ohio, everyone who is not a Republian can permanently kiss that state goodbye. It’s going to be gone, and will never to be any other color but red in the forseeable future.

“The problem now is that no one in Congress is serious about reducing election fraud.”

John Conyer’s and a handful of other Congresspeople seem serious, but there are not enough other Democrats rallying to this cause. This is inexplicable to me — and I can think of only two reasons they wouldn’t be as gravely concerned as I am: either they are too stupid to connect all the dots, or they’ve been bought off by the Republican’s to keep their mouths shut?
Other people have different ideas about why the Dem’s won’t act, for instance Mark Crispin Miller thinks they simply don’t want to think about it because they can’t bear to face a reality where the Republican’s could actually be that corrupt. (By the way, if you read none of my other links, read that Huffpo interview with him. It’s excellent and covers a lot of territory.)

“We (the voters) still have a chance to eliminate election fraud, because those breaking the law can not yet fix all of the votes.”

Well, according to someone who works for Diebold it really only takes one person acting alone to modify votes on their electronic, paperless voting machines.

“Voting could become pointless.”

Indeed, if it isn’t already.

“Which do we (the voters) have the most likelihood of accomplishing first?
Which one, once accomplished, yields the better chance of the other being resolved?
Which one can be accomplished?
Which one do voters have the leverage to change?”

I don’t think we have any choice at this point. These company’s must not be allowed to be in charge of our elections because they have proven beyond a shadow of a doubt that they cannot be trusted. The class action lawsuit that I put up earlier in this thread I feel is the first step in the right direction, as is the suit that California is going to bring to the company. I’m hoping many other states who have been dealing with these companies will follow up with similar suits of their own.
Maybe if that number reaches critical mass the mainstream media and press will actually give the situation a bit of notice — then everyone will finally hear about this and start demanding change.
Yet, seeing as how the MSM is also owned and controlled by conservatives, perhaps I shouldn’t be holding my breath waiting for that to happen, eh? :^/

Posted by: Adrienne at December 14, 2005 11:58 AM
Comment #102362

Craig-
I think the expectations in a disaster are already there. Bush’s speech was meant to satisfy that desire among people, but unfortunately, he didn’t bring that promise to fruition.

The biggest problem with this administration is it’s lack of foresight and contigency planning. They make the mistake of expecting their plans to work, while not working out options in advance for when things don’t turn out that way.

You should ask yourself what compelled Bush to promise what he did. You should also ask yourself this questions: if the American people are asking the things they are asking of their leaders, Democrat or Republican, who are they to do nothing, merely to satisfy some abstract political philosophy? If that’s their attitude, then they are no better than any other government that follows an ideology instead of taking care of the needs of the people.

All this political discussion we have, all this ideological competition, is not supposed to serve only its own ends. It’s supposed to serve our needs as a country. It’s not always a simple decision, but we need to be able to sacrifice what are essentially our nice ideas when we’re seeking after the good of the country. Otherwise, all this stuff we’re doing is simply a rat race, with the biggest, meanest rats winning.

As a student of thought, communication, and information, I have long been aware of the power of systems of thought and feeling to take on a life of their own. Different forces allow this. On one hand, the human mind itself seeks out patterns, constructs them and uses those patterns to influence its perception of the world.

A carpenter’s mind contains memories of different tools and techniques, different types of woods, adhesives and fasteners, as well as the consequences of different combinations of thses. Politicians have their own set of mental tools, as do we all, varying according to experience, education, and profession.

The danger comes when the patterns we use to both explain and manipulate things in the world turn around and manipulate us in turn. To some degree, it’s unavoidable, as what we see in the world changes us.

The problem comes when our thoughts and beliefs dislodge from the moderating influence of reality.

Science, minus the disciplines that tie it to natural and experimental observations and discernments, can spin out into a stratosphere of unfounded speculations.

Religion, stripped of the moderating influence of real world practice of principles, and attention to the fallibilities of one’s self, can mutate into an engine of self-righteous atrocity and hatred.

Politics, stripped of the moderating purpose of helping the community and serving the greater good in fact and not merely propaganda, can devolve into a monstrous confluence of power and self-aggrandizement.

Liberal and Conservative thought are not immune to this.

They can fall victim, too. We must learn as people not just to think for ourselves, but more importantly, from ourselves, taking the opportunity when we can to shift our perspectiver and reassess what’s right and wrong.

At the same time, we need to acknowledge the figments of reality, as Jack Cohen and Ian Stewart called them in The Collapse of Chaos, the needs and truths that remain true regardless of the times.

In both of these needs, we find the real hearts of liberalism and conservativism- not the dry, self perpetuating collections of agenda platforms that our parties sometimes become, but the central intellecual heart of these forces in our lives.

This is what I would have us get back to: approaches to the world that seek to satisfy our needs as a people, rather than the collections of vain schemes and concepts that become parasitic riders on the minds of people in our society.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at December 14, 2005 12:40 PM
Comment #102367

d.a.n.,
I’ve written a reply to your post to me, but since it had some links within it, it hasn’t appeared yet. I’ve written to David to see if he can get it to go through. Until it does appear, I just wanted you to know that I’m not ignoring you! :^)

Posted by: Adrienne at December 14, 2005 12:43 PM
Comment #102390

Robert Reich made an observation about this. When Bush fails, it reinforces his message that the government is not the answer. Now, granted Bush has yet to succeed at anything, but once he attempts something, the media acts as though he has succeeded, and then he’s labeled the greatest President of all time. It’s kind of a win-win for Bush.

Posted by: Mike at December 14, 2005 1:38 PM
Comment #102393

I think we must resign ourselves to the fact that with a nation of this size and complexity, bureaucracy comes with the territory, and that the real question is not more or less, but how and why it is put to work. We need to revive the sensibility in our country that there are things more important than resume and paycheck, especially in the civil service.

The pessimistic talk of the Republicans, and their tendency towards cronyism and corporate favoritism encourages corruption, sloth, and careerism. People enter the employ of our government only as a means to their own ends, their own enrichment and career advancement.

What we need is not the reverse of this, where the bureaucracy becomes all important, but a re-orienting of our sense of government away from preference and towards purpose. Whether we want government big or small, we want it to work, and we should do what it takes to make that happen.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at December 14, 2005 1:50 PM
Comment #102395

Although I comprehend, I am not capable of bringing all the details into an argument, as Greg and Steve as done so I will answer the first question very simply.

One of the things I want from a president is the knowledge that he objectively governs all of America, not parts of it, or that parts of it govern him. The same for the Supreme Court. I’ve lived through several presidents and at no time until now, Democratic or Republican president and Supreme Court, that half of the country would be dismissed or ignored by the leading party. I know Republicans hated Clinton, but did they believe the policies of the country left them out? Did they still believe they were a consideration in the decisions of the government? As an anology, the feeling of partisonship and favoritism and cronyism in this country now for an ordinary citizen is like this: What if only those young people who are Democrats were sent to Iraq to fight and die in the war? Or vice versa, what if only young Republicans got to stay at home. There is nothing to do but wait it out and have hope for the next president of either party or a third party who will govern and care about all Americans.

I also would like a president who arises early in the morning and stays up late at night because he needs to know firsthand what is going on in the county and does not get all his/her information from others with God knows what personal agenda except that it is not the welfare of the American people. America has become a deep pocket that has become lined and turned slimey from the deaths in Iraq, from not dealing with illegal immigration, the environment and chemicals, not encouraging medical research into alternatives to abortion, the financial corruption of our leaders, allowing church and state to co-mingle in unhealthy sanitation in one part of the constituency. Keep on going.

Sometimes it seems nobody in the federal government truly cares about the people on this land. Maybe I’m just lonesome for a Washington or Jefferson, Lincoln or a Roosevelt.


Posted by: Kathleen at December 14, 2005 1:58 PM
Comment #102407

NOTHING will ever get corrected until every “lefty” realizes that everything you say about Republicans also applies to the Democrats.
Believing your party is or would be any better, does nothing but prolong the mess our country has been in for the past 15 years, maybe longer.

Posted by: kctim at December 14, 2005 2:11 PM
Comment #102414

One last comment before I go. Years ago I read that every project has three parts. The beginning, the middle and the end. Some people are good at beginnings and either the middle or the end, or they are good at the middle parts and the end, or the end and the beginning, but that no one is capable of all three because the requirements needed for all three are not to be found in any one person.

How does this last race fit into that supposition—Democrats could not get past the first part,Bush can do the first part by getting elected, the middle a failure, the last part still to come, all based on a maybe dishonest first part.

People complain about Democrats not having the answers. It is such a mess that maybe there aren’t any if you do not have the authority to push an agenda or policy through. Democrats clearly need to figure out the middle and the end and maybe the first will follow through, but they need to leave off trying to make sense of the present and take off in another direction altogether.

Posted by: Kathleen at December 14, 2005 2:29 PM
Comment #102444

Stephen:

Your comment “It is time to do dangerous things, and to say dangerous things” struck me to the core. And, I think it ties in to Adrienne’s concerns about the descent of legitimate voting in this country.

When an obviously bogus election for president happened in the Ukraine (the bogus part made plain by the accuracy of exit polls), the people were in the streets, demanding a real government. When something like that happens in Ohio, where polls and exit polls make clear that something stinks in the state of Cincinnati, Americans go back to sleep. That we have the hubris and termerity to lecture the world on democratic principles is nauseating. We can argue about voting reform, voting the bums out, cleaning up the corruption, and making sure noone burns Old Glory, but frankly, I’m losing my sense of humor.

May I say something dangerous? If the Republicans make any kind of gain in Congress in next years’ elections, I think its time for blood in the streets. I am not adverse to the overthrow of this corrupt, conniving, rotten, scurrilous government. Oh, and let’s burn some flags while we’re at it.

Posted by: Tim Crow at December 14, 2005 4:36 PM
Comment #102462

Stephen:

Craig- I think the expectations in a disaster are already there. Bush’s speech was meant to satisfy that desire among people, but unfortunately, he didn’t bring that promise to fruition.

I would probably disagree with you here. There was a great deal of hype concerning Homeland Security and the 9/11 Commission, blah blah. Then the first time out of the shoot after the problems were “fixed” it was less than hoped for.

Craig


Posted by: Craig Holmes at December 14, 2005 5:17 PM
Comment #102464

Novenge

I have to say I was moved by the statements of Cole (top of thread) and yes help was thwarted just as much by the republican governor of Louisiana (can’t remember her name) as well as FEMA, Homeland security and the belated arrival of The National Guard. It was wholly a republican cluster f*ck. Also help from out of state was turned back for some unknown reason and people’s lives were wrecked. This was a republican mess that the response was so screwed up from the governor to Homeland security the POTUS and his crony appointments.

I think you should recheck your research here.

Craig


Posted by: Craig Holmes at December 14, 2005 5:21 PM
Comment #102466

Tim Crow,
Well said — and I’ll gladly join you in the streets to save American democracy. Actually, since I’ve already spent a lot of time in them protesting Bush’s unnecessary war, that’ll be no great stretch for me… ;^)

Posted by: Adrienne at December 14, 2005 5:27 PM
Comment #102467

“May I say something dangerous? If the Republicans make any kind of gain in Congress in next years’ elections, I think its time for blood in the streets. I am not adverse to the overthrow of this corrupt, conniving, rotten, scurrilous government. Oh, and let’s burn some flags while we’re at it”

I’ll second that!

Posted by: kctim at December 14, 2005 5:29 PM
Comment #102476

Max, why would you say something like this?

Of course we are also a little tired of bailing you rednecks out for your mistakes. See we here in the north have to pay for that. In fact, we pay taxes through the nose to you southern hicks who are so dumb you’d starve without our constant support. Why aren’t you country folk thinking about that?

I am from MS and we here in the south find this very offensive. I work 50 hours a week at a commission job and get taxed 40% on my earnings. I haven’t seen any support from you or anyone from the north, and i’m not starving. I eat on a regular basis. I bet that none of your tax dollars make it to us “southern hicks”. I also bet that you could take all the money spent on gov programs in the south and it would be less than all the gov programs than one major city in the north. I also wonder if you know that MS is #1 on the list for giving out donations. We don’t need your help. We can, and we do help ourselves. People like you are whats wrong with this country. You sir, are the racist.

Posted by: southern hick at December 14, 2005 5:52 PM
Comment #102477

Well said Southern!

Posted by: kctim at December 14, 2005 5:58 PM
Comment #102481

Southern Hick,

Trust me, there are as many bigots in the “enlighgtened” cities of the formerly industrial North as there have ever been in the formerly agricultural South. they hide behind their books and moral superiority, but they live in a world that I can’t fathom. They rewrite history to suit their needs. Did you know that one of the most profitable plantations ever was owned by founded by Col. John Kearny, in 1754, in New Jersey? Or that it didn’t cease operations until 1873? Or that the last slave freed by the Kearny family was in 1864?

These people are close-minded as any I have ever met. All you need to do is read some of the conspiracy theories-totally baseless-floating around on this board to see the hysteria that having their narrow views challenged by the rest of the country creates.

Posted by: Ray at December 14, 2005 6:25 PM
Comment #102500

Tim:

May I say something dangerous? If the Republicans make any kind of gain in Congress in next years’ elections, I think its time for blood in the streets. I am not adverse to the overthrow of this corrupt, conniving, rotten, scurrilous government. Oh, and let’s burn some flags while we’re at it.

Real real bright. Lets get the currupt people by commiting murder.

Craig

Posted by: Craig Holmes at December 14, 2005 7:27 PM
Comment #102521

Craig:

My point is, the only thing that makes our “leaders and representatives” worry is lack of money in their re-election coffers.

Now, if we could only have them looking over their collective shoulders in another way, namely, “If you don’t think it important enough to defend the constitution, if you don’t believe that this country should help all it’s people, not just the white, rich, fat-ass plutocrats, if you don’t want to support kids trying to get a college education, and you don’t mind leaving America metaphorically stranded on the roofs of economic destitution in a floodtide of irresponsible red ink, if you think it’s American to kill tens of thousands of people in the name of pre-emptive war based on lies”, then it’s time to watch your back, folks. There might be some immature, fanatical, left-wing crazies who think the best way to focus the minds of our Congresspeople on the business at hand is to shoot some of them.

The way we’re heading, trust me, Craig, we’ll just be beating the rush.

Now, I hope you know, Craig, that I’m just josh’n.
I think.

Please, don’t thank me for my post—I find as I get older that God has told me to inculcate in the Americans whose lives I touch just a little less trust in this great government of ours.
Don’t thank me—I want to do it.

Posted by: Tim Crow at December 14, 2005 8:25 PM
Comment #102526

Mr. Peer, I stand corrected, that crazy b*tch is one of ours. Thank you for bringing up Keynesian Economic theory in previous post. Your post are not excedingly wordy. Good points from a conservative perspective, better than the usual vitriolic fare.

Southern Hick, Max is by no means a racist—a biggot,Southern Hick, an elitist northern biggot.

Kctim, I’m with ya’ where do we start? As far as the flag burning I can’t go that far. I say Sandanista styled kidnappings and then a tar and feathering on the Mexican border of all those who got GW’s illustrious tax-cuts. Not just republicans. I think we should include some dems too, the unproductive public persons who make our causes inane and bring us more grief in dealing with the right wing. I’d name them but Patriot Act sssh. like “Schumer & Reid!” cough cough sputter.

Craig, Yes I see you do have a point. I can recall during the hurricanes of 2004 I was in Florida and there was actually alot of human services as put into place by Jeb Bush. It was actually a large help with senior citizens in the effected areas. who’s homes need I say it were made out of the cheapest materials available.

Posted by: Novenge at December 14, 2005 8:37 PM
Comment #102530
Adrienne wrote: I couldn’t disagree more. I think we have fully decended into tyranny and oppression with throughly rigged, completely dishonest elections in America — directly in the hands of Diebold, ES&S (whose owner is the brother of Diebold’s owner), Triad, and Sequoia companies — all controlled by partisan conservatives, who set out to control the outcomes of our elections. And these company’s own not only electronic voting machines, but the scanners that count our paper ballots, as well.

Adrienne, first of all, I’m on your side. I want election fraud eliminated. We just differ slightly on the way to end it and the nation-wide magnitude of the problem. If the problem is wide-spread, we are in big trouble, as you say. I’m still hoping ousting the incumbents will resolve the voting fraud problem (and several other problems). I may be wrong, but I think the majority of votes counted (on the average, nation-wide) are still not fraudulent. If they are, then we may have lost the last peaceful approach to reform, in which case I recommend we (the voters) all march on D.C. and state governments, drag the incumbents out into the streets, and beat the crap out of all of them. The government makes the laws and enforces the laws. If they can’t be trusted, then they are not only worthless, but worse than nothing since bought-and-paid-for incumbents are in-league with corrupt corporations too.
Seriously though, if over 3% or 4% of our voters are being defrauded, then we have a serious problem. Some states have bigger problems than others. Those states that allow election fraud need to get on the ball and put and end to it.


Stephen Daugherty wrote:
D.A.N.
No, we haven’t been there, and we haven’t don that. As for my motivations, I can speak to them just fine: I want things to work. I’m funny about such things. When the system breaks down, I get frustrated.

Stephen, I’m not sure what your strategy is. Every thing you suggest sounds like more thumb twiddling to me. You say you want reforms, but how? If it’s more talk and more of the status quo, that’s fine. You do that. But, for me, and others, it’s time for action. Not more talk and discussion. The talk and discussion you recommend, and reforms, and resolution to our growing problems is hopeless without first getting the attention of the arrogant, corrupt, bought-and-paid-for incumbents. People are catching onto the distracting partisan bickering. Voters need to oust incumbents to get their attention. And, voters might just do that, since it is the easiest thing to do. What you and others suggest, research and study politicians is a waste of time. Believe me, I’ve studied a lot of Congress persons records, history, and headlines. There are very few that are responsible and don’t look the other way, and turn away big-money-donors. That is, they’re all FOR SALE. That’s how they ensure their incumbency. That’s why none of the deserve to stay in their cu$hy, coveted seats, and being ousted is the price they should pay for looking the other way. It’s the only peaceful thing that will work. Thus, I have to hope that the people will do again what they did in 1952-1958, 1976-1980, and 1992-1994 (to vote out incumbents). Voters simply get fed up, and don’t have any choice but to vote anti-incumbent. As far as the people can tell (and rightfully so), they don’t believe any of them are above the corruption. Who can blame them? However, this time, hopefully, voters will also follow through with a To-Do-List too to keep government from growing corrupt again so quickly (again).

Anyway, see what kctim wrote (see below). kctim realizes that both sides are at fault, and are simply prolonging the mess our country has been in for decades, and kctim is not the only one who realizes this.

kctim wrote: NOTHING will ever get corrected until every “lefty” realizes that everything you say about Republicans also applies to the Democrats. Believing your party is or would be any better, does nothing but prolong the mess our country has been in for the past 15 years, maybe longer.
kctim, it’s people like you that give me hope. Good for you.


Adrienne, You too are very interested in election reform and elimination of election fraud. You are very up on that, and understand the problem well. There are others that understand other areas too equally as well. Such as the National Debt, Social Security & Medicare, Tax Reform, Campaign Finance Reform, Pork-Barrel & Graft, government FOR SALE, etc.

I’m not insensitive to the election fraud problem. Not at all. At the moment though, it seems that it is futile to address any of those problems until we first peacefully force government to look at our To-Do-List of common-sense, no-brainer, un-contentious, much needed, tasks to increase transparency and accountability, and address some of the nation’s most serious issues. They will simply continue to ignore us if we don’t peacefully force them to pay attention. Force is leverage. It is required.

Any hope for any solution to the problem requires the following prerequisites:
[A] the problem is real (actually getting worse too, as government continues to
grow increasingly corrupt, irresponsible, and unaccountable),
[B] a theoretical possibility of a solution must exist (e.g. mathematical possibility),
[C] a simple statement, verification, and reason(s) causing the problem,
[D] a simple statement of the solution, and its benefits,
[E] a worthy defense (for the objections and naysayers) to prevent the goal
from being ineptly defended,
[F] and a message that packages the above, that:
____(01) is simple, concise, common sense,
____(02) is safe, peaceful, responsible,
____(03) is honest, has no conflicts of interest, and promotes
the simple goal of more responsible and accountable government,
____(04) has the leverage required for voters to peacefully force
government to pay attention to the voters,
____(05) balances power between government and the people
without merely shifting power or stripping all power from
government to accomplish anything,
____(06) is easy to understand and communicate to others,
____(07) is non-partisan,
____(08) is inexpensive,
____(09) wisely takes human nature into account, and stresses transparency
(i.e. visibility and common sense simplification of overly complicated
processes, etc.), which leads to accountability (consequences,
punishment, peer-pressure to police their own ranks), which leads
to responsibility.
____(10) encourages transparency
____(11) is what we should have been doing all along,
____(12) is honest and sells itself and can spread by virtue
of all of the above.

Posted by: d.a.n at December 14, 2005 9:00 PM
Comment #102531

As far as Repubs wanting smaller government, I read 2 years ago that the fed government employs 1 million more people than it did under Clinton.

Posted by: dn4v at December 14, 2005 9:02 PM
Comment #102546

dn4v, yes, the federal government continues to perpetually grow ever larger to nightmare proportions:

(1) Irresponsible and unaccountable government:
____(1.a) A vast structure of the Executive Branch:
a gang of over two million unaccountable persons that are neither seen nor heard as they irresponsibly throttle our freedoms and prosperity; subtly growing and securing more and more power; one of the first steps toward totalitarianism, is the destruction of the parliamentary/legislative branches of government;

____(1.b) a relatively smaller 535 in Congress:
and their hundreds of thousands employees, mostly a fumbling and stumbling group that is too busy gettin’ theirs, votin’ for pork-barrel and graft, attending to special interests, building up their campaign war chest$, voting themselves raises and cu$hy perks & retirement plans, and seducing voters into the circular and perpetual petty partisan bickering.

Do we really need all of this.

Posted by: d.a.n at December 14, 2005 9:59 PM
Comment #102578
Thus, I have to hope that the people will do again what they did in 1952-1958, 1976-1980, and 1992-1994 (to vote out incumbents). Voters simply get fed up; and don’t have any choice but to vote anti-incumbent. As far as the people can tell (and rightfully so), they don’t believe any of them are above the corruption. Who can blame them? However, this time, hopefully, voters will also follow through with a To-Do-List too to keep government from growing corrupt again so quickly (again).

D.A.N.,

A follow up to-do list won’t help anything. Voting out incumbents has been done. Remember the contract with America? Voting out incumbents is the same old story. They are expecting it and prepared for it. The two parties just take turns. The only way out is to vote out BOTH main parties. Unfortunately, the lefties cannot see past their noses so shout only for voting out the incumbents which simply keeps the corrupt pendulum swinging full tilt maintaining status quo.

While i can understanding the outrage of Texans like David Remer who have seen way more than their share of GOP insanity, Texas is NOT the United States and the GOP not the only party holding states for ransom. Anti-partisanship veiled under independant guise is still partisanship. To not just kick out, but beat down the current politicians walking all over us may (definitely would, imo) sate us with satisfaction, but only temporarily… leaving our children and grandchildren the real work of actually progressing PAST this onerous bipolary dictatorship. Both main parties are as patriotic and loyal to American society as multinational corporations. It is one party, disguised as two serving itself: multinational corps.

Until both liberals and conservatives grow up enough to work together and boycott BOTH main parties, the fat cats of the world will continue to own and increasingly, enslave us all.

Posted by: jo at December 15, 2005 2:16 AM
Comment #102585

Craig -
In answer to your question about what I expect the Fed to do:

I had a very long, detailed description of what I thought they should do, and I realized it was too long to put here. So I’ll just put it in a few words.

There should be a Federal Disaster Manager (with a small staff) made available for every disaster, who will come in and coordinate all of the efforts right before and long after a disaster. This person would be responsible for budgeting the recover and reconstruction, and congress would follow their advice as to how much money to allocate.
The objective of this manager would be to provide a clear plan as to how to proceed and show the state and local gov’s how to use their own resources to best advantage, thereby reducing the funds needed from the fed.
The fed has a responsibility to taxpayers, so a certain amount of financial assistance would be needed, but this should be replaced as much as possible with “work-fare”, by employment in the recovery and reconstruction process. It would allow people to earn their assistance and get businesses up and running much faster.

Mainly, what these disaster ravaged areas need is someone who is a real expert in what to do after the fact, and how to get everyone working efficiently, using resources properly.

What we don’t need is a bunch of “Heckuva job Brownies” running around.

Posted by: Cole at December 15, 2005 2:29 AM
Comment #102793

Dan-
You assume people’s responses will line up simply. They won’t. Even if you become part of a broader movement, attempting to oust all the incumbents will not send the same message to everybody. In fact, some fairly corrupt people might see a glorious opportunity to unseat the local incumbent. They might expect, perhaps rightly, that once voters vent, they might become less inclined to push out whoevers there or still there after the shift.

What I’m looking for in my strategy is not some broad, instant result, but a far more subtle, far more grassroots, and far more persistent solution that doesn’t depend on a mood of continuing outrage.

I really don’t see people memorizing checklists to combat corruption. I don’t see that being the most efficient, or necessarily effective means of shifting the situation. After all, we don’t tend to maintain our selves in such a hyperrational state on a regular basis. The change we got to get here is one of feel, instinct, and attitude, because those are typically what motivates people to feel like something has to be done. I take a much more case by case focus because I believe that we do ourselves little good by trying to overcome what is essentially a huge, persistent condition of human nature, and counting on a historically particular period of dissatisfaction.

There are no simple solutions to this. There are no perfectly generalizable approaches. There is only vigilance. We won’t be vigilant if we somehow think we can do it with one fell swoop. We need something more than a special occasion to fight corruption. We need a cultural shift towards fighting this constant scourge of human government.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at December 15, 2005 12:45 PM
Comment #102819

Cole:

Having watched so many hurricanes from a safe distance, I have a different idea.

I looked on NOAA’s website. They have every hurricane listed for well over a hundred years categorized by intensity etc. My idea is over simplified, but if you look at the basic of the idea, I think it makes some sense.

As you know Hurricane’s are categorized 1 through 5. Population density could be charactorized the same way with Miami being a 5 and low density populated areas being a 1. Multiplying those two figures together, you could get a new rating with 25 being the highest. This would be a category 5 hitting a major city.

Based on that rating actuaries can determine in advance what the property damage would be. Given the right tools this number can be calculated for the future the same way insurance premiums are calculated. This number can be worked out to an annual “premium” to be paid into a “regional” fund for hurricane relief by the state governments.

Materials can be prepostioned at a location roughly equidistant from the atlantic and gulf.

The Federal Goverments ONLY role would be to underwrite the fund. (There is no way to predict which year a major hurricane is going to hit a major metropolitan area). Over a large number of years the southeast should be able to self insure.

The biggest argument I would offer in favor of this idea, is that it is proactive instead of reactive. Since we know there will be future hurricanes, and we can predict on a long term basis the property damage, why not put the funds away now to take care of the damage?

Craig

Posted by: Craig Holmes at December 15, 2005 1:37 PM
Comment #102839

Its all a right wing conspiracy. The Republicans want to rule the world, they want to kill the spotted salamander, they want to torture trees, they plan to enslave the animal and plant world for human benefit - they want to mine the earth instead of leaving the dirt where it is - all along lying to us saying it is for the good of humans!

Posted by: Mike at December 15, 2005 2:35 PM
Comment #102840

SD
“We need a cultural shift towards fighting this constant scourge of human government”

You wont ever get that kind of shift.
That will require BOTH sides to understand and accept the other.
Instead of whining and griping about some make believe right wing nonsense all the time, the left should try to understand the way of life.
What applies to the city people does not work out here. We dont need or want a govt control of our lives. We can take care of ourselves.

Two different worlds Stephen and until understanding and respect become part of the equation, your “satisfaction” will remain a dream.

Posted by: kctim at December 15, 2005 2:38 PM
Comment #102854

Mike,

I read your posting on military recruitment in which you tried to make the point that we should only get involved with wars because we have the troop numbers to complete our mission. Without debating the merrit of you idea, There is SERIOUS flaw in your thinking: we have TONS of people trying to sign up for the military. The Air Forrce, specifically, has been turning people away recently because they have too many personel already and cannot take on any more. The Navy may have recruitment problems, but the Air Force certainly does not. The Army has ample recruits and personnel, as do the Marines. Though I can’t provide a link to a handy site to show this, several of my friends were denied a position in the Air Force for that reason and it has been mentioned in articles in Wingspread. Does that change your opinion of the war? (I’m not a liar, but if you do not believe me, then asnwer that question under the assumption that I’m stating a fact. And, research for yourself to find out if I AM telling the truth.)

Posted by: Daniel Wayne Peer at December 15, 2005 3:27 PM
Comment #102865

Mr. Daugherty,

You are directly laying to eneptitudeMr. Daugherty,

You are directly laying the ineptitude of the federal Government at the feet of George Bush and the Republican Party. When you say something like, “The Republican party has become like teenagers, vege-ing during the summer. They keep on inventing reasons why they can’t do the chores that the American people would want them to do. They figure that if they can stall long enough, that people will stop asking.” you are directly accusing the GOP of those problems, as if the GOP was the only party that has ever had control of the US government. The fact is, with brief exceptions, the Democratic Party has had control of our government since FDR took office. The infrastructure is built and designed by the Democratic Party and should not be laid at the feet of the current GOP. To expect the Republicans to fix all the problems in government in 5 years with some members of the Democratic Party INTENTIONALLY obstructing them, pointlessly in many cases, is unreasonable and unrealistic.
There are ALWAYS things that can be improved, but the Democratic Party has had their chance to fix the country’s problems over the last half-century. If they knew what to do, why is it that the government doesn’t do what “the American people have been asking them to do”? Saying that the current GOP is way out of line for not satisfying the people’s requests smacks of hypocrisy! Saying the GOP is not doing what “the American people want” is a criticism and that’s fine, but let’s hear more than criticism and hear some REAL solutions to getting those chores done. Say SOMETHING besides “Bush is Evil” or “The GOP is corrupt” or “The Republican Party is wrong about (Fill in the blank)” and start making statements about what CAN be done to help our nation! Stop preaching about the evil republicans and actually say what CAN be done. Stop focusing on hypocritical criticism and TELL US WHAT YOU THINK CAN BE DONE so we can discuss your ideas and determine if they are good based on their own merits! That goes for you and any other Liberal in this country!
As far as Keynes goes, if you want to argue that Keynes is wrong, I’ll let you fight the intellectual giants on your own. If you want to dispute what the best course of action is in an economic downturn with the father of modern economic thought, BE MY GUEST! You need to get real. And, fast.

Posted by: Daniel W. Peer at December 15, 2005 4:05 PM
Comment #102872

Mr. Daughtery,
I choose to brake-up my response to keep our dialogue a little more focused. You wrote to me saying this: “I see the 2100 casualties as the unnecessary casualties of war that should have been essentially over two years ago. This is not like soldiers dying on Normandy Beach, this is like Germany remaining a guerilla war-zone into the fifties. I see this as a failure of follow through of epic proportions, not a bold stroke of military genius. These deaths were never necessary to winning the war. The WMD issue only adds a layer of absurdity to it, that the war that got us into this mess wasn’t even necessary in terms of the kind of threat we Americans were trying to head off.
Tuck tail and run. Shit. There’s other kinds of cowardice. There’s being afraid to admit mistakes when other people are dying and suffering for your incompetence. There’s not being straight with the people you’re asking to sacrifice on your behalf. There’s not paying for all the wonderful government you’ve managed to run up a bill for.”
You dodged the whole problem with tucking-tail and running. The point is that I made is that it makes us look weak and we cannot afford to let there be ANY chinks in our armor! Do NOT dismiss that problem because our security depends on it! Shifting the point over to a discussion of cowardice, instead of dealing with the issue being raised, is cowardly in and of itself. Guess what, I agree, it is NOTHING like Normandy Beach; only 2,100 have died and that after holding the country for going on 3 years! Not just one horrific battle! The WHOLE point of that comparison is that we have not seen hardship! This is NOT even close to being as terrible as what those men endured. If the WWII generation had as little resolve as the Democratic Party and its supporters have today, we would ALL BE SPEAKING GERMAN or not exist at all!
To call Bush a coward for not admitting his “mistake” gives MORE credence to NOT electing a Democrat, because, after all, they took part in the vote and many of them voted to go to war. They share the responsibility with him, but they just try to shun that responsibility, unlike the President, who is staying the course, not pointing fingers, not laying blame, and not putting the repercussions of his decisions at the feet of other people! You’re calling the wrong man a coward.

Posted by: Daniel W. Peer at December 15, 2005 4:32 PM
Comment #102875

Mike,
SHHHH!!! Be quiet! You’re going to let out our secret! Don’t go around telling these Dems that we are trying to take over the world!!!!

Posted by: Daniel W. Peer at December 15, 2005 4:39 PM
Comment #102877

d.a.n said,

“It’s really not a Catch-22:
(1) We need to reduce election fraud.
(2) We need to reduce corruption in government”

I could not agree more. I would add a third and fourth point which would be :

Educate the 50% (60% in some age groups) age eligible voters who do not vote, to do so and,

Create a situation where we are always pointing the finger of blame on one party or the other.
In this thread alone, the Republicans have been chastised for virtually everything that is wrong with government today and there are references to the Democrats would have or will do it better.

There is no way to validate statements such as that. We need to start focusing on getting people irrespective of party affiliation who can tackle these political positions with enthusiasm and concern for the needs and wants of constituants.

With the proper structure in place GOOD people will do a GOOD job regardless of how you wish to label them. When these people dont do a GOOD job you get rid of them for it.

To win, you have to risk losing.

Posted by: steve smith at December 15, 2005 4:40 PM
Comment #102879

Daniel Peer is quite correct. The road that led to politicians attending the agenda and issues of wealthy campaign donors, lobbyists, and special interests over the agenda and issues of the American people was paved by the Democratic Party over decades of corruption of power in Government. That corruption leads at least as far back as the Mafia’s connections to the JFK Whitehouse and JFK’s father’s ties to it, which Robert Kennedy decided to eradicate believing enough was enough.

The political system is corrupted and therefore, the government is also corrupt. If Democrats were serious about cleaning up corruption in the political and government system, they would open the system to third parties lowering the hurdles for third parties. That one step alone would go a long way to exposing and eradicating the corruption of the two party system as third party candidates would make corruption of the political process one of their primary agendas in campaigns and legislation. Also, Democrats would seek to pass REAL campaign and lobbyist reform, not token reforms, in which even the hint of quid pro quo of legislative votes for political contributions would meet with serious prison time.

But, the Democrats are as corrupted by the money system as Republicans exemplify today. Therefore, unless there is a growing and significant anti-incumbent voting movement over multiple election cycles, Democrats as majority party will be little better if at all than the Republican majority now serving. If he Democrats become the majority in Congress again, the same wealthy campaign donors, lobbyists, and special interests will simply offer more of their money to Democrats instead of Republicans with the same veiled threat now given to Republicans, ‘vote our way or our money will go to your opponents and you will lose majority status yet again’.

Posted by: David R. Remer at December 15, 2005 4:43 PM
Comment #102886

dn4v,

The government employing more or less people is not the point of “small” government. The point is that we do not want our lives to be regulated down to the most minute detail. There are numerous topics that illustrate this; school uniforms, wearing seatbelts, smoking, etc. I personally do not smoke, never have or will, and I buckle up before I drive anywhere, but some question whether or not the government should be allowed to regulate those things. It pertains to freedom; with the question being do I get to do with my body or life as I wish? If I want to die from lung cancer, that is really my perogotive. The ONLY time the government should step in and prevent me from doing something is if prevents others from from acting within their rights. I am glad, for instance, that I do not go to grade school anymore because I dressed BETTER than the school uniform. I wore slacks and polos to class in high school, sometimes even dress shirts. I would have been forced to dress a certain way, even though there was nothing wrong with what I wore. I don’t think the government should be regulating what I can or can’t wear. I was dressed well and I would have been negatively effected by a uniform. Why not just raise the standards, not make everyone dress alike? That is the heart of “small” government. Over-regulation.
As small government pertains to abortion, which I know some will question, it is not a question of whether or not a woman can do with her body as she wishes, but a question of whether or not the body she is acting on is her’s. Is that baby inside her a human being or not? If it is a human, she doesn’t have a “right” to abort it because it’s not HER body. That is the key component to that arguement. Those favoring small government don’t want that baby’s rights stripped of it because we see it as a human being and therefore entitled to rights, insomuch as it is able to partake in them.

Posted by: Daniel W. Peer at December 15, 2005 5:02 PM
Comment #102895

Mr. Daugherty,

The problem with New Orleans’ location is compound. Firstly, EVERY RIVER around and north of it, more or less, flows into the Mississippi. That being said, as a hurricane goes inland, where does the water run off to? It gets funneled back into New Orleans via the Mississippi river. As a Hurricane goes inland, the water will continue to build up. Secondly, New Orleans is below sea level. What does that mean in terms of flooding? The water is likely to STAY in New Orleans and build up there until the water level reaches sea level or it evaporates. Thirdly, New Orleans is on the water table. This means, simply, that the ground is not going to absorb much water because it is saturated already.

Those 3 problems present an impossible scenario for ANYONE who hopes to prevent flooding. Using damns and levies to control the flow of water from the north is helpful, but it cannot prevent the city from being flooded, no matter how good the dams are, because the water from the Hurricane is such a massive amount. That is not to say that they MUST fail under those circumstances but that the water would still overflow and could break even a NEW or, especially, a recently repaired levy. The pressure is going to push hardest on the weakest point, simply meaning that the levy may have still broken but at a different point than what was repaired.

Laying this at Bush’s feet is ridiculous to say the least. Those levies did not JUST become old or faulty. They have been throughout the Clinton years and before that even. And, it was known back then that those levies needed repair or replacement. Trying to point fingers at Bush NOW won’t make those levies NOT have failed during the Hurricane. If you’re gonna blame Bush, don’t forget to chastize Willy while you’re at it.

Posted by: Daniel W. Peer at December 15, 2005 5:26 PM
Comment #102906

Ava,

I hear you loud and clear. I believe you’re not lying about your testimony of witnessing Andrew and living in Louisiana, Texas, and Mississippi. Let me tell you some things about myself. I live in Texas, right now. I’m engaged to Texan. Since I LIVE in Texas, I speak to Texans EVERY DAY. I travel, between Dallas, Fort Worth, Houston, Austin, and San Antonio regularly.

The topic I hear most about, in terms of criticizing Bush, is the need for preventing illegals from crossing our borders. I believe it is a security risk myself. I hear more ignornant members of my state complain that the illegals are taking their jobs. It is illegal to employ illegal immigrants. If these people are taking a job that another Texan could get, REPORT THEM! It is other texans that hire illegals that are causing the problem. Turn them in and we fix our own problem, so far as losing jobs to illegals goes. I make it a point to ask any person making such a comment, “Have you EVER seen one?” The answer is always one of 2: “No.” or “Yes, but I don’t remember where and didn’t report it.” At that point, I can rest my case. As for the security breach that an unguarded border presents, I haven’t seen anything that Clinton, or any other president has done since the Mexican-American War, to fix the problem of illegals coming over. Bush wants Identification on them. Not to prevent them from coming over, but to identify them. That would actually go a LONG way toward preventing, say, losing jobs and tax money to illegal immigrants, because we could identify who is being hired and tax them accordingly. However, his plan is sorely lacking in protecting us from terrorist infiltration. It’s more than I’ve ever heard from a Democrat, though. I’ve never heard of any solution from a Democrat, just the promise to fix the problem or making me abundantly aware that Bush hasn’t. Before we decide we hate Bush enough to elect a democrat because we don’t like his plan, we should think about what policies the democrat will institute. And, if the Democrat doesn’t ever state for the record what he or she plans on doing, how will we ever be able to judge what they will do?

Other topics of interest or veiws expressed include; media bais, Christian values, not caring about politics, wanting more jobs or better jobs across the state, and dislike of political correctness. I do not pretend to know every conversation that goes on in Texas, but we don’t dislike Bush, as a whole. There ARE people here who dislike him; we call them democrats. Disagrements about specific policies will happen with EVERYONE who takes that Oval Office. For the most part, we LOVE having him as President. Don’t look to Texas for electoral college support in 2008 if you’re a liberal.

Posted by: Daniel W. Peer at December 15, 2005 6:07 PM
Comment #102908

My apologies. I wanted to clear up this post. I can’t edit it, so I am reposting a edited version that should make it easier to read.

Mr. Daugherty,

You are directly laying the ineptitude of the federal Government at the feet of George Bush and the Republican Party. When you say something like, “The Republican party has become like teenagers, vege-ing during the summer. They keep on inventing reasons why they can’t do the chores that the American people would want them to do. They figure that if they can stall long enough, that people will stop asking.” you are directly accusing the GOP of those problems, as if the GOP was the only party that has ever had control of the US government. The fact is, with brief exceptions, the Democratic Party has had control of our government since FDR took office. The infrastructure is built and designed by the Democratic Party and should not be laid at the feet of the current GOP. To expect the Republicans to fix all the problems in government in 5 years with some members of the Democratic Party INTENTIONALLY obstructing them, pointlessly in many cases, is unreasonable and unrealistic.
There are ALWAYS things that can be improved, but the Democratic Party has had their chance to fix the country’s problems over the last half-century. If they knew what to do, why is it that the government doesn’t do what “the American people have been asking them to do”? Saying that the current GOP is way out of line for not satisfying the people’s requests smacks of hypocrisy! Saying the GOP is not doing what “the American people want” is a criticism and that’s fine, but let’s hear more than criticism and hear some REAL solutions to getting those chores done. Say SOMETHING besides “Bush is Evil” or “The GOP is corrupt” or “The Republican Party is wrong about (Fill in the blank)” and start making statements about what CAN be done to help our nation! Stop preaching about the evil republicans and actually say what CAN be done. Stop focusing on hypocritical criticism and TELL US WHAT YOU THINK CAN BE DONE so we can discuss your ideas and determine if they are good based on their own merits! That goes for you and any other Liberal in this country!

As far as Keynes goes, if you want to argue that Keynes is wrong, I’ll let you fight the intellectual giants on your own. If you want to dispute what the best course of action is in an economic downturn with the father of modern economic thought, BE MY GUEST! You need to get real. And, fast.

Posted by: Daniel W. Peer at December 15, 2005 6:21 PM
Comment #102920

Mr. Daugherty,

Finally, I would like to speak about these ideas that local governments cannot communicate when their means of communication are down and that local governement has bureacracy of its own. Those are both obviously true, but it doesn’t relate directly to what I said. I said that local governments have LESS bureacracy, not NO bureacracy and that they should have been proactive instead of delaying reaction. There is nothing that Bush could have done, save forcing the people out of New Orleans himself, beforehand. After the fact, the bureacracy of government takes over. It becomes one person or another’s responsibility, and instructions from higher-ups have to be filtered down through the ranks. Once Bush gives executive orders, recommends that the people be manditorily evacuated, and starts writing checks to grease the wheels, its out of his hands. He can try to push people to get things done faster or better, but he can’t tell a general what he needs to do to get his troops into Louisiana faster and he would be arrogant to assume he could. Not only that, the state and local governemnts did not respond quickly enough to prepare their cities. They KNOW what they have and should have known to ask for help before the storm hit. Bush doesn’t know what they need because he’s not monitoring the finaces or infastructure or New Orleans or Louisiana as a State. There is a procedure, as with ALL bureacracies, and the “leaders” of Louisiana didn’t use it to get what they needed from the federal government. Delays in asking for troops, support, and the manditory evacuation caused deaths, not Bush’s response or Mike Brown’s supposed “incompetence.” Just to note; Bush didn’t point blame at anyone. He simply did his duty as president and gave louisiana what they asked for as they asked. Having a timeline might be helpful in understanding the situation for those that aren’t clear on when things happened.

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

Posted by: Daniel W. Peer at December 15, 2005 7:19 PM
Comment #102939

For those who don’t believe that we KNEW before Katrina hit New Orleans that the city would be totally flooded, I’ve gathered a few links. Some are REALLY important to read. Some detail how environementalists kept the New Orleans offices of the US Army Corps of Engineers from being able to fix levees and damns around New Orleans. Some of these show the projected effects of an simulated Hurricane “Pam” which was supposed to show the effeccts of a slow-moving cat 3 Hurricane.

http://www.nd.edu/%7Eadcirc/pam.htm

http://hurricane.lsu.edu/floodprediction/isidore/

http://www.publichealth.hurricane.lsu.edu/convert%20to%20tables/Would%20New%20Orleans%20Really%20Floodtf.htm

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1476590/posts

http://www.findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_qn4200/is_20050606/ai_n14657367

http://www.findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_qa3827/is_200509/ai_n15638019

Posted by: Daniel W. Peer at December 15, 2005 9:08 PM
Comment #102942

kctim-
It requires both sides to recognize that the it is in our collective interest to hold our politicians accountable, and to decide their re-election in terms of their deeds as well as their opinions. That’s not too much to ask or do. We just got to stop thinking there’s nothing we can do, because that craven attitude is what lets these people do what they please.

We should demand satisfaction, if we want to have it. If we never make it clear that there are lines that these politicians should fear to cross if they want to remain elected, they will take that as license to betray our interests and their office.

What I advocates is simple: grow some standards, and apply them. Does that sound impossible? When we start raising standards, we start putting in place the selective pressures that cause better governments to evolve.

Daniel W. Peer-
The GOP is a) in power, and b)the ones whose policies and attitudes our Democratic leaders have unfortunately tried to emulate. I’m not blaming them for all the evil there. I think I’ve been clear that this is a human problem. I just think the Republicans have developed a shamefully permissive environment for corruption, cronyism, and government wast.

No party’s going to fix all the problems, but I think my party, properly guided can cause less of them and maybe fix a few. That’s my hope. If they fail that, though, they will find that people like me don’t much like being made to look like fools.

As far as Keynes goes, Keynes’ view is not so much wrong as limited. Take into account what happened in the seventies after the deficit spending of the Great Society and Vietnam compounded each other. Limited deficit spending can help things get straight again, but it creates deadweight in the form of future growth and gains that get swallowed or deferred because of debtload, inflation, or interest rates. Fact is, there’s no such thing as a free lunch.

As for Iraq, I would tell you there’s no such thing as invulnerability on that front. You want the impossible. You want unconditional approval of the war. There will always be critics and naysayers. If you can’t stand that heat, you shouldn’t be in Democracy’s kitchen.

A Democratically elected government must be willing and able to defend its policies before the people it represents. This is no light matter, this is the heart of what Democracy represents: the people’s ability to govern themselves, rather than be at the mercy of some small elite. Knowledge is power, and the administration that won’t be straight with us about what it’s doing and why is stealing power from the people to whom it belongs.

It may make us look weak to disagree, but we gain strength from the resolve that comes of a nation that acts, when it does, with a unified purpose willingly taken on, rather than forced on dissenters from above. Bush’s problem, and yours to a certain extent, is you won’t make the compromises and respectful gestures necessary to get us to a point where we can meet halfway. Y’all are so radical, and so convinced of your righteousness that you have become elitists about the whole issue, convinced that to allow us moderates to have some role in shaping policy is tantamount to a betrayal of our interests as a nation.

This is and always has been a nation built on intellectual and cultural freedom, and the courage of convictions that comes with it. If you believe I take this position out of some craven impulse, then you consequently understand nothing about me. If you believe that most Democrats are itching to see this country lose, itching to see it attacked again, itching to have us tuck tail and run, then you believe wrongly there as well.

You don’t get my point on Normandy. If all these 2100 deaths had occurred in some chemical attack during the invasion, then it would be like Normandy. But during this period in the history of the European Occupation, I can’t recall a single combat death there. The occupations of those countries, thoroughly conquered and surrendered, were bloodless in comparison to ours. We didn’t get the job all the way done in Iraq, and we’ve suffering for it since. You can make all the cracks about how our attitude would have lost the last good war, but the fact was, everybody was clear on why we were fighting, who we fighting, and what we had to do to win. We could take a lesson from that, instead of declaring in our usual modern arrogance that this all a new kind of war. Well, some things change, but what what essentially wins war and territory has not.

As far as New Orleans go, things were different when the city was originally founded. The coast had not been sucked down by the removal of ground water and needed silts and alluvials, the original city was built on higher ground, and the risks of building on a coast were par for the course.

As time went on, hurricane events were rare, and New Orleans served a function, and served it well right were it was. Cities don’t develop by plan and intent alone, and neither do people settle there for that reason either, so criticizing people for that is a bit presumptive. I can comment on this being a resident of another city that suffered inundation: Houston. These things happen. People are only human, and no location comes without its hazards.

What’s ridiculous is the extent to which Bush fails to do anything in accordance with the Magnintude of the event. A Cat 5 hurricane strikes the coast and essentially destroys two or three cities, one of which is a crown jewel of our nations’s metropolises, and his response is to continue fundraising?

Additionally, how he responded to this disaster indicates how prepared we were to face catastrophic damage to one of our cities. The answer is, not very. The bureaucracy did more to get in the way, and since it was in charge even before the storm hit, it was their deal to get done. Maybe you’re satisfied that nothing more could be done, but I’m not. I’m sick of one bad thing happening to this country after another, and this president saying that it’s par for the course nearly every time. These guys are our employees for heaven’s sake. They should do their jobs.

We should not be cheerleaders, vainly supporting our leaders out of a fear of what their absence would result in. We should be our own party’s most stringent critics, willing to cut them down to size when they don’t measure up to our standards. Perhaps my title is misleading. Perhaps what we need to relearn in this country is how to be dissatisfied, how not to let these things slide.

Your people are the ones in charge. It’s time you stop trying to blame the nature of the world for their mistakes. It’s time you start holding them accountable for what they do and do not do.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at December 15, 2005 9:20 PM
Comment #102952

To Stephen Daugherty;

YES!!!

Posted by: kathleen at December 15, 2005 10:05 PM
Comment #102971

Stephen:

I came across this article about our country’s glorious past during the occupation of Germany. I think it goes to show you that we all have a great ability to forget what we want to. We all rewrite history. As for your post on expectations of governance, I truely wonder how this day an age will be remembered 60 years from now. Read what we have forgotten:


The Army in Disarray

Three days before he departed to assume his appointment as Army Chief of Staff, Eisenhower had to tell the troops that the conduct of a “relatively small minority” among them could give the US forces “a lead reputation that will take our country a long time to overcome.” He cited reckless driving, poor uniform discipline, and low standards of military and civilian courtesy as the chief shortcomings.62 Two weeks later, Seventh Army’s CIC reported, “The general, opinion of the Germans is that ..American soldiers are men who drink to excess; have no respect for the uniform they wear; are prone to rowdyism and to heat civilians with no regard for human rights; and benefit themselves through the black market.” 63 While Eisenhower was no doubt right that the troops involved were a minority, reports from Seventh Army CIC and other investigations showed the nature of the misconduct to be more serious than he implied. After V-J Day, what appeared to be almost an epidemic of unprovoked attacks on German civilians and robberies by US soldiers had spread across the zone. The Stuttgart police recorded fourteen acts of unprovoked violence against civilians in the last week of October. During one night in Landkreis Eschwege in the Western Military District, five drunken soldiers heat a local German official, and another civilian had his jaw broken when lie tried to reason with a soldier molesting a woman. In one small town, Boblingen, within five days in November soldiers beat up two civilians, tried to stab another, broke windows, tried to steal dogs, and robbed four civilians of watches and money.64 The Office of Military Government for Bavaria described the death of a German boy in a hunting accident involving soldiers as “a result of such carelessness as to be almost criminal. In Landkreis Burgen, also in Bavaria, three soldiers hunting illegally shot and killed an 18 year-old girl, and in the same Kreis the chief of police told investigators that soldiers had emptied several clips of ammunition at him at various times.65 Nearly all incidents involved liquor or women, often both. The population of vagrant women -which the Army inadvertently increased after November when it released penicillin for treating venereal diseases in German women, thereby shortening for some the “turn around time” from jail or hospital and attracting others who had been deterred by the fear of infection- was often

[421]

at the root of soldier attacks on German officials and police. By December, these attacks had grown so alarmingly frequent that Truscott had to issue what the Office of Military Government for Bavaria called “a public plea” for troop cooperation with the U.S.-appointed German officials.66 Misbehavior was not confined exclusively to the enlisted ranks. In one instance an American officer took an Austrian girl from Linz to Stuttgart, raped her three times, and then transported her to Ulm, where he turned her over to the military police on a charge of having improper papers.67

http://www.army.mil/cmh-pg/books/wwii/Occ-GY/ch23.htm#b3

Posted by: Craig Holmes at December 15, 2005 11:27 PM
Comment #102978

I appreciate your post and engaging in debate/conversation about the topics.

I would like to state, for the record, that we REALLY know how to be dissatissfied here in this country. We can be dissatified about things that are so trivial. Our parents got us a green car instead of a blue one, my wife isn’t a 36DD, my house is only 2,000 sq ft instead of 4,000 sq ft, and so on. This society is bogged down with dissatisfaction, because nothing is ever enough in this instant gratification, I want, throw-away society we live in. We need to learn to be satified.

I also would like to point out that when taking Normandy, France and other Nazi-occupied areas, we were freeing people from an occupation that was oppressing them. They weren’t fighting us because they were uniformally happy to see us there, in France. My, how times change… As far as the guerilla warfare, which you seem to have the biggest problem with, the Germans wouldn’t have used it anyway because they were a standard military force, not guerillas. Guerilla warfare wise not used widely anywhere in the world at that time, let alone in Europe, which only 200 years prior was martching around in Red coats, blue coats, and grey coats, in LINES no less! I’m trying to bring perspective to what you’ve said because you are basing your beliefs on things without actually putting them in proper perspective. Shouldn’t your current beliefs be congruent with past experience? With WWII, there are different situations, settings, times, and plots. I don’t think anyone can say that WWII is LIKE Iraq, but there are two similarities: people died and people were hurt. Comparing that in both wars is really all you can logically draw conclusions from in that comparison. Not the manner of our adversaries or the tactics they use. That is not to say that you shouldn’t be able to debate whether or not we were right to go in, but to say that my point is the only one that stands and it is a dead-end for any other points. We don’t know hardship in this generation. We need to start being satified with what we have and start protecting it.

Questioning whether or not Iraq is going to be able to support itself or if it will fail itself, and we fail it, is a logical question. You may not want to tuck-tail and run, but others in your party do. Even SOUNDING like you want to run makes you sound weak and that is COMPLETELY contradictory to what the President has been trying to accomplish. Instead of calling for a “new management” because we’re having a “hard time”, try doing what you can to make it work. Say things this way: “Bush got us into a war that we really shouldn’t be in because it’s not our fight and shoudn;t be part of the country’s goals, but we’ll take care of our new responsibilties and see this thing through!” That sounds like, we wish he hadn’t, but he did and we’ve got to back our decisions up and take responsibility. It doesn’t matter if a republican or a Democrat pulls out early, leaving the Iraqi people to hold the bag is the last thing we should do. Putting up a united front is importnat. And, while you may not think that Democrats are putting up a divided image of our country, saying things like “this is a divided country”, “the election was stolen”, “Bush is evil”, and so on, don’t project the image of a united front. Yes, if EVERYONE believed we should go to war, it would be better. But, some people have veiws of reality that are warped and have no sense of perspective on the issues they are talking about. Voices like that are being encouraged by someone and it appears to be the Democrats leading the way, getting anyone they can to call Bush a madman or evil.

Which brings me to another point: the left seems to, from a conservative’s perspective, be churning out brain-washed followers. Moderates are one thing, but we as conservatives are dealing with more than just slight differences of opinion and, generally, these people we deal with are lunatics! They affiliate themselves with the Democratic party. So many people from Hollywood/Music Industry/Televsion that say things that have no basis in fact and are so arrogant. Yet, they claim to be “progressive” and Democrat. How are we as conservative to know the difference? Once we talk to you, the only real difference is that some Liberals are more informed and have much better communication skills, but your positions are identical to the wacko groups in your party. Take all the major political points of our day; abortion, same sex marriage, The 10 Commandments being displayed in a courthouse, the war in Iraq, etc. Conservatives tend to fall in line with eachother on those issues and we agree on the course of action because of our belief systems. Democrats, generally, fall in line with eachother, even the far-left and the moderates. It seems there is no real distinction, just some that aren’t as rude.

So many issues cannot be comprimised. 2,100 dead in Iraq is peanuts compared to the number of abortions in our country during a year. Think about the conservative position; we can’t comprimise on that issue. It’s wrong to do it because you’re taking an innocent human’s life and snuffing it out. That is not right. It’s not even ok. I would say that apalling isn’t strong enough a word to describe it. We can’t comprimise. Before we went into Iraq, we could possibly have comprimised, but not now. We have to stand strong and back up what we say. I heard an audio soundbite last week in which Conservatives were accused of trying to “Christianize America.” Again, this person associates himself with the Democratic party. So, when dealing with people like that, what can we say? America was FOUNDED by Christians with the intent to be free of the oppression of their home country of England and the Church thereof. Does anyone think the pilgrims were agnostic? Or the Puritans, for that matter? We cannot comprise on this issue because our entire value system is being challenged. Our judicial system was partially based on those 10 commandments. We have a vested interest in those christian beliefs just as an atheist has a vested interest in proving there is no God.

My only problem with you saying that we should hold people accountable is that it is one-sided. Are we going to hold Clinton accoutnable for giving N. Korea its nuclear materials? What about hurting relations with China when we “smart” bombed a Chinese Embassy while trying to remove Slobodan Milosevic from power? How about holding him accoutnable for lying under oath or starting his bombing campaign the DAY BEFORE his impeachment vote in the Senate? Accountability must be equally expected on both sides of the asile, or it is merely a tool being used to get over on the other side of the debate.

Posted by: Daniel W. Peer at December 16, 2005 12:17 AM
Comment #102981

Here are some links that show we DID know about the possible aftermath of a major huricane hitting New Orleans. I tried postig it much earlier, but it didn’t post.

http://www.nd.edu/%7Eadcirc/pam.htm

http://www.publichealth.hurricane.lsu.edu/convert%20to%20tables/Would%20New%20Orleans%20Really%20Floodtf.htm

It’s not hard to find more. ASCE, USACE, and many other organizations knew of the problems and could not fix them. There are even cases of obstruction.

http://www.findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_qa3827/is_200509/ai_n15638019

Posted by: Daniel W. Peer at December 16, 2005 12:34 AM
Comment #102988

Good post, Daniel.

I suspect that the worst thing that could happen to the American left in the current political environment is for them to actually assume the reigns of power and be RESPONSBILE for something in this country apart from constant carping. When you’re not responsible for anything, it’s very easy to find and exaggerate faults of those who are, which relates to your observations about how easy it is to be constantly dissatisfied with everything.

The economy is basically good now; democracy is on the march in the middle east, but listening to liberals you’d think that the world has totally gone to hell and it would be paradise on earth if only they were in charge.

Just peek into your local sports bar on a Sunday afternoon. You’ll see plenty of flabby middle-aged men in front of the tv who are sure that they’d be better be coaches and quarterbacks but whose only real ability is running their mouths. The left is currently in this position. They attack tax cuts they voted for. They attack a war they voted for. Constinency doesn’t matter. Sound and workable policy proposals are nonexistent and unnecessary.

Being out of power has caused the left to develop habits of mind which border on the hysterical—everything from terrorist attacks like 9-11 to Katrina could be better handled by them, in their opinion. If they ever get the chance to run things again, the Howard Deanism that’s infected their minds will likely cause them to tear each other part like wolves. It would be a satisfying sight, on one hand, but not something the country can afford.

Posted by: sanger at December 16, 2005 12:52 AM
Comment #103105

Craig-
I think everybody should read what you linked to. I would say though, that I don’t believe this really contradicts what I’ve been saying. I think it illustrates that the problems we have in Iraq were neither unheard of, nor unprecedented. That means, though, they should not have been unplanned for. They didn’t B.S. around after World War II. They took control of those places.

The Bush administration tried to do things in a laissez faire fashion, believe that things would get themselves in order spontaneously. As a result the problems which we could have been taken care of persisted instead, and have bedeviled our efforts ever since.

Daniel W. Peer-
Oh we know how to be dissatistfied like that, but you and I both know what kind of dissatisfaction I was speaking of. I think we’re good at being dissatisfied about trivial things, but terrible at standing up for ourselves on larger issues.

As for Guerilla warfare in Europe? There were plenty of folks doing that fighting. Most were fighting the occupiers. The notion that Europeans weren’t big in the invention of that style of warfare is just plain wrong. T.E. Lawrence, of Arabia, was running such a campaign in the Middle East long ago, as was Michael Collins, in his efforts to get the British out of Ireland.

As for lining up in order to fire our muskets, we were doing that, too. We were not ahead of them in that respect. That’s how you had to fight to fully engage an enemy. By WWII, that was no more the situation with them than it was with us. In fact, as of the beginning of the War, it was we who were behind the times, fighting with weapons and vessels that were of WWI vintage. Many of their Vehicles and weapons were of superior quality to ours. Their tanks were much better, for example. We weren’t complete idiots, though, and we made many improvements and often compensated for our problems. The German Panzers could decimate our Shermans, blowing the gasoline powered vehicles up with ease, while their superior armor deflected our smaller guns. That said, our tanks were far easier to repair and could be built in numbers that overwhelmed the german advantage.

The commonalities I point to are not literal, but rather ones of thinking and strategy, operating under the surface. Arrogance and shortsightedness have effects that pretty much look the same from one time to another. So do competence and ingenuity.

You don’t see how a person’s own actions can shape how others see them. You don’t see how other people can take a less than charitable view of Bush and still be rational. It can be done.

This is not just your country. It wasn’t merely founded by conservatives, wasn’t merely founded by believers in God, much less just Christians. This was a country founded by people who ultimately came to believe that Government should have a role in religion, and religion should not play a role in government. The only time the Constitution proper mentions religion is to bar religious tests for office. In other words, a person didn’t have to confess a certain faith to be a member of the government.

You want this country to reflect your own beliefs. Fair enough. But you must realize that this can only be a wish, never a reality.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at December 16, 2005 10:14 AM
Comment #103115

This was a country founded by people who ultimately came to believe that Government should have a role in religion, …

Stephen,

Please tell me this was a typo?

Posted by: jo at December 16, 2005 10:35 AM
Comment #103143

jo-
Indeed it was.

Sanger-
I do think Democrats will need to keep their eye (and their performance) on the ball if and when we take over as the majority somewhere. As it should be. You are right: it is easier to criticize than to act. Hopefully we will demonstrate greater humility and pragmatism in our actions, should that come to pass.

Democracy is not yet on the march, and it doesn’t do us well to get all swelled up about it yet. Craig’s latest comment linked to excerpts from a book that detailed some of the headaches of this process of Democratization. I do not talk about this difficulty to discourage efforts, but to encourage more diligence and action regarding these situations. If we get swelled heads about this now, we might relax and fail to do what it is we got to do to succeed.

The world hasn’t gone to hell, but things have gotten shakier, and it will do us well to watch what we do, if only to avoid giving the advantage to the real enemy out there.

Whether or not its the consistent thing to do, it is the right thing to take another look at our policies. We are running high deficits. Obviously, the tax cuts have not been revenue neutral, as predicted by the supporters before hand. Personally, I can claim consistency, since I opposed those tax cuts when they were first passed. I thought that a time of economic decline was hardly the time to pass revenue reducing measures. Bush’s own Secretary of the Treasury, Paul O’Neill, argued for there to be triggers in place, retracting the tax cuts if we dropped into deficit. Unfortunately, Bush overruled him.

Additionally, this war we voted for wasn’t voted for with full knowledge of the evidence. We were misled. You might scoff at that, but it’s got us pretty pissed, since it all spoke to what we believed justified the war at the time. Without that faulty evidence, we would have opposed the war then. Our inconsistency there is a product of Bush’s inconsistencies in his case for war. As for sound and workable policies, this is hardly the administration or congress to praise for that, and we’ve offered plenty of plans. You just don’t see them if they’re not like yours.

You allow yourself to be satisfied with so little. You buy the illusion without a second thought, and when all these things go awry, who do you blame, the people in power? No, you blame the media reporting on the screw-ups, and the Party out of power criticizing them. Exactly the people you made sure couldn’t do a damn thing to stop your plans and policies.

If this were the Revolutionary wartime, you’d be praising the British Monarch and complaining about how unfair the press and the Patriots were to the king, and how that’s creating all the difficulties. You’re an apologist to power, a person perpetually talking about how the great man’s opponents are cutting him off at the knees and stabbing him in the back.

We’re simply saying that you and him are the ones inflicting the harm on yourselves- by shooting yourselves in the foot with your policies.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at December 16, 2005 11:33 AM
Comment #103174

It is finally out in the larger press that the Bush administration is spying on Americans . Of course many of have known this for a long time but now the cat is out of the bag. It is frankly evidence that the neo-con putsch has no commitment to democracy here or anywhere else in the world. Stolen elections ,domestic intimidation,attacks on the press, secret arrest and imprisonments. How much more evidence do you need.
Bush is a figurehead. The bunch that has siezed power will not go quietly away just because they lose an election. They are no more a legitamate government than Franco’s. The question now is weather America’s real patriots have enough courage for the comming storm.
This is not a left-right conflict,rather it is a measure of commitment to the principles our nation was built on. Is democracy over in the United States?

Posted by: Bill at December 16, 2005 12:28 PM
Comment #103191

You wannabe revolutionaries might want to keep your blood in your veins a little while longer. Congress has already voted against parts of the PA.

Posted by: jo at December 16, 2005 1:06 PM
Comment #103211

Do you think they wouln’t dare burn the Riechstag?

Posted by: Bill at December 16, 2005 1:52 PM
Comment #103224

“As small government pertains to abortion, which I know some will question, it is not a question of whether or not a woman can do with her body as she wishes, but a question of whether or not the body she is acting on is her’s. Is that baby inside her a human being or not? If it is a human, she doesn’t have a “right” to abort it because it’s not HER body.”

Mr. Peer,

To use this frame of logic brings me to some other questions. As we all know, pregnancy begins as a cell continuously divides into what we know of as a baby after 9 months. There are other conditions that occur in the body besides pregnancy that cause cell growth at an abnormally fast rate. Cancer is one, a cyst is another. By your logic, because a group of cells will in time become a human being, a woman cannot rid herself of it because it doesn’t belong to her? Cancer doesn’t automatically go away, most times has to be surgically removed and doesn’t belong to the woman either, but I hear no argument about this.

Please refrain from trying to use logical arguments about this topic because there are none. There’s only one question here: when does life begin? At conception or birth? Whether or not we like to admit it, our religion and morals, along with the type of society we grew up in dictates how we feel about this subject. I stress “how we feel”. This is not an argument that can be won. This is an emotional argument, not one based on facts. Whether you like it or not, there are those who believe that it WILL be a human SOMEDAY, but not yet. Which is why this MEDICAL PROCEDURE, not capital murder, cannot and should not be outlawed. Because to outlaw this is to take away one’s belief in some cases. The Jewish people, for example, believe that the soul doesn’t enter the body for 20 weeks after conception. To take away this right discriminates against the Jewish religion for the first 5 months of the pregnancy.

If the American people would stop using emotional arguments like the one posted above as a litmus test for who gets into office and who doesn’t and use the election process for what it actually should be, a huge job interview, we might get some qualified people who care about our complaints. Right now, our goverment officials focus on emotional arguments to win elections so they don’t have to focus on real issues they have no solution for.

Posted by: Lisa at December 16, 2005 2:19 PM
Comment #103254

On the question of abortion, I find it interesting that the Christian fundamentalists (note that it’s the men who are yelling the loudest about what a woman does with her body and her life) don’t know their Bible very well. In Exodus 21:22, it says if a man hurts a woman so that she loses her unborn child—that her fruit depart from her—he will be punished as the husband demands, and pay as the judges determine. ONLY IF SHE HERSELF DIES WILL THE ONE THAT HARMED HER GIVE “LIFE FOR LIFE”!

So even in Moses’ time, the loss of an unborn child was not considered the same as murder! This is just further evidence that fundamentalist Christians are most concerned with demanding that the rest of humanity adhere to THEIR dogma and sense of “right” and “wrong” because they fear becoming outnumbered and being denied their standing as “Followers of Jesus” as more people become enlightened and realize their version of Christianity is a manmade religion and has little if anything to do with the teachings of Christ.

Posted by: Carri at December 16, 2005 3:18 PM
Comment #103259

Stephen: Are you sure you posted on the correct blog? Sounds like you are hoping the GOP finds a conscience and actually start working as the public servants they are! When hell freezes over!

Read the following as an alternative to your disingenuous post. With a president who believes the Constitution is “just a goddamned piece of paper!”, you will better understand why the GOP will NEVER give up their quest for power and control ala Stalin: http://infowars.net/articles/december2005/121205neocons.htm

Posted by: Carri at December 16, 2005 3:30 PM
Comment #103283

Lisa,

A baby is not just a cell that divides over and over again, as you claim we “all know.” A lot of cells do that, as you said. So, why is one called a pregnancy and the other a cancer, to use one example you noted? Are you equating babies with cancer? I would hope not. Babies are not cancers and should not be treated in the same way. You’re telling the wrong person to not be emmotional, because I’m dealing in cold, hard facts. You’ve got the emotion in you. You need to understand what you are saying. That comes from defining what things mean. How about Pregnancy?

As we all know, it means “the physical condition of a woman or female animal carrying unborn offspring inside her body, from fertilization to birth.”

So, what would a human, unborn offspring be definded as?

“em·bry·o (plural em·bry·os)


noun
Definitions:

Human offspring in initial developmental stage: a human offspring in the early stages following conception up to the end of the eighth week, after which it is classified as a fetus.”

I didn’t see cancer mentioned anywhere. Did I miss it? An embryo is not a cancer. You get cancer against your will or without your knowledge. There is only one way to get an embryo against your will or without your knowledge. (Though, not being aware of it would be hard.) That way is rape. In all other instances, it was the product of a choice a woman made. An embryo’s manner of being acquired is different from cancer’s and the purpose is different. Does anyone really think the human race can continue if we destroy all embryos in the world? Obviously not. In fact, creating them is paramount to our survival as a species. Cancer has to be removed or it will KILL YOU. Finding ways to detroy cancer is paramount to our survival as a species. Women have died in childbirth, and it’s been tragic every time. But that’s not typically what a baby does. Killing the person who has it IS typically what cancer does. Your logic is flawed. Please, think things through a little farther.

Posted by: Daniel W. Peer at December 16, 2005 5:11 PM
Comment #103287

Carri-
I write with the aim that a reasonable argument might sway some Republicans to my side. If we don’t believe persuasion is possible, then Democracy is a joke and we should just degenerate into some dark, hopeless form of government. I believe that parties (and more importantly, their members) can change. Am I wrong to think that they could change in my direction? Is it wrong to hope for more than just a selfish tug-of-war between the different sides of America?

Daniel W. Peer-
Don’t jump to a conclusion about her point of view. Babies and Cancers are both fast growing bunches of cells that feed on the body of the mother. The difference is what kind of fast growing cellular bundle you’ve got there

Also, as long as you’re dealing with Cold Hard facts, acknowledge this: There is no demonstrable proof that a baby is any more than a fertilized egg that’s divided over and over again. As a Catholic who opposes abortion, I think it’s necessary to advise you that challenging medical privacy as part of the law is not the best route.

It opens things up for the government to come back in, if the politics shifts radically enough, and sanctioned abortion, sterilization, and other abuses of people’s bodies and reproductive systems.

We need a better way to deal with this than that.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at December 16, 2005 5:34 PM
Comment #103290

“Also, as long as you’re dealing with Cold Hard facts, acknowledge this: There is no demonstrable proof that a baby is any more than a fertilized egg that’s divided over and over again. As a Catholic who opposes abortion, I think it’s necessary to advise you that challenging medical privacy as part of the law is not the best route.”

Why does there need to be evidence that a baby is someting other than a fertilized egg of a human being? I agree with that. I understand what that means. It’s a developing human the MOMENT that egg is fertilized, not one second afterward.

Please, understand, when I made my comments, and there is no need to advise me on them, I was speaking of why christians, primarily, who favor small government think that abortion is not something the government should be able to write laws protecting its practice. Challenging medical privacy is a non-issue. If no doctors are allowed to do it, there is no need to invade someone’s privacy, any more than invading a criminal’s privacy during a murder investigation.

Posted by: Daniel W. Peer at December 16, 2005 6:05 PM
Comment #103291

This is a perfect opportunity to show something to anyone who is reading this. Mr. Daugherty has just said that he thinks it is preferable to legislate the deaths of countless human beings instead of take a chance on invading someone’s privacy. If we created a law, or amendment if needed, that said the practice was illegal in the US, our doctors wouldn’t be doing the operation and we wouldn’t need to check someone’s medical records, unless those records came from the place where she - this hypothetical, law-breaking woman - had the abortion done. By all means, let people get away with it instead of wrongfully searching through their medical records, but don’t condone or promote it. Why is that line of thinking wrong?

Also, Mr. Daugherty did not give a solution, he just said we need “a better way to deal with this.” Please, tell what your solution is if you want to criticize mine. This is a typical response from a left-winger, as I have previously mentioned. Liberal politicians should create an agenda with methods and reasons explained. That would, at least, give people who have no answers, and Mr. Daugherty may well have one that he didn’t mention, some idea to throw around.

Posted by: Daniel W. Peer at December 16, 2005 6:27 PM
Comment #103292

Before it creates and issue, when I said; “any more than invading a criminal’s privacy during a murder investigation.” I meant alleged criminal. Just left out the word. Big thing to leave out, that’s why I’m correcting it.

Posted by: Daniel W. Peer at December 16, 2005 6:35 PM
Comment #103370

Daniel,

“The Federal government should NOT intervene when it is not the government’s responsibility to do so.”

I agree with you completely; this is definitely how it *should* be, as detailed in the constitution. However, unfortunately, this is not the way things have been for a long time. I’m all for reverting the current trend, however,

“By the same token, when dealing with civil rights, the federal government was established to protect them and is fulfilling its constitutional role when interveining through the appropriate channels.”

The issues which I mentioned *are* civil rights, but not in the way which you seem to think. If a state legalizes medical marijuana, or recreational *crack* for that matter, it has absolutely *nothing* to do with the federal government.

Nowhere in the constitution does it guarantee a protection of the ‘sanctity of marriage.’ If a state decides to recognize and provide tax breaks for gay marriages, this is their *constitutional* right -Regardless of however people in other states may feel about it. I’m personally not a fan, but this hasn’t happened in my state. When it does, it will be *my* concern. The Feds can butt the f*** out.

The only power the federal government has to regulate state affairs (other than to uphold *actual* constitutional rights) is to regulate interstate commerce. The way they get around this minor inconvenience is to claim that *everything* has to do with interstate commerce. This is straight up BS. When a state decides to start selling prostitutes to other states, then the Feds have a case. It’s the 10th amendment. Republicans need to re-read it (it used to be a Republican ideal), democrats just need to read it (for the first time).

Posted by: Diogenes at December 17, 2005 12:35 AM
Comment #103576
To not just kick out, but beat down the current politicians walking all over us may (definitely would, imo) sate us with satisfaction, but only temporarily… leaving our children and grandchildren the real work of actually progressing PAST this onerous bipolary dictatorship. Both main parties are as patriotic and loyal to American society as multinational corporations. It is one party, disguised as two serving itself: multinational corps.

jo,
A To-Do-List would work if the voters followed through with it. I don’t know if the voters will ever do it, but no one else is suggesting a better way. There is a historical precedent for anti-incumbent voting. But there is usually insufficient follow through by the voters to finish the job they started. Voters must learn that it’s not a one time thing. Voters will have to continue to vote out irresponsible politicians, until their is sufficient transparency to discourage corruption, and to see who is responsible and who is irresponsible (such as ONE PURPOSE PER BILL). Then, voters must always keep a close eye on government, because it is always trying to grow corrupt again, by virtue of the power they have. Power corrupts.

The fact is, the reason I believe strongly in voting out incumbents is because it is the fair, just, and responsible thing to do. Those incumbents do not deserve their cu$hy, coveted seats of power. They are all FOR SALE, all beholding to their big-money-donor-puppeteers, and they all look the other way.

None of the incumbents deserve to stay, and being ousted is the price they should pay, for looking the other way.

Once the voters have the transparency (simple, no-brainer, common sense changes which many naysayers have not researched at all), the voters will then have the tools needed to know who to vote for or against.

But, for all the naysayers, I challenge all of you to come up with a better approach. All I ever hear from the natsayers is “that won’t work”, but never a better way.

Stephen Daugherty has stated what he thinks is a better way. It’s discussion, talk, and comprimise. In my opinion, that won’t work at this point, and I have consistently not only said why, but I provided a better way too, unlike many other naysayers. Before naysayers discard it, please read it , carefully, because it does take into account human nature, history, and our current situation. It is a peaceful approach. If the peaceful approach never works, where do you think we’ll be in 10, 20, 50 years? Better? I doubt it. Remember, government is always trying to grow more corrupt. History proves it. Government reforms are not always peaceful. But, almost all reforms are a result of something very significant in history. Usually something bad, such as the Civil War, The American Revolution, The Great Depression, etc. Then, consider the French Revolution. These government reforms resulted in a better government, but must it so often be violent? Some smaller reforms are possible, but usually only after some drastic anti-incumbent voting, such as in 1976-1980. Voting out irresponsible incumbents is the last peaceful method to oust irresponsible government. Asking “pretty please” won’t work. Think about it, and before trashing solutions, consider providing a better way. Otherwise, it’s just naysaying, and not to be taken too seriously. Especially, when none of us know whether it’s possible or not. None of us know that for certain.

Posted by: d.a.n at December 17, 2005 6:40 PM
Comment #103730

D.A.N.

My thought might be likened to a cross between yours, Stepehn Daugherty’s and David Remer’s. We all agree the government is corrupt and individually the entire system to varying degrees. YOu and David aim at individual politicians regardless of party (other than your preferred party would just happen to initially benefit by the VOID idea, which as you note has the (dis?)advantage of the electorate’s acknowledged lack of follow-through. Stephen aims at working within the main parties to effect change despite historical precedent of this methods impotency. i aim at/against the two main parties… fully acknowledging the lack of follow-through and that they will recover from the initial shock.

It is not so much individual politicians who hold power, but only such that the bipolar parties give them. Therefore the root of the corrption is not with the individual politicians, but the parties which dispense the power through corruption. Ergo, voting out the bipolar main parties will substantially increase the power of both third parties AND individual politician’s power to effect change and reform within what will remain of those two main parties. The power is balanced. Like starting from a clean slate. And such a drastic measure should surely give both politicians and parties pause before again selling their integrity.

Posted by: jo at December 18, 2005 5:52 AM
Comment #103792

jo,
Like you, I initially thought no candidates (neither incumbents or non-incumbents) of the two main parties should be considered for election. However, no new-comers should be exluded because:
(1) getting non-incumbent new-comers is the goal, regardless of party, because they haven’t been corrupted yet by the pressures and temptations of the system they work within;
(2) excluding any party is partisan, and unnecessaribly excludes a huge number of non-incumbent candidates; thus, excluding any party unfairly and unnecessaritly excludes a huge number of candidates; however, I personally will be giving preference to non-main party candidates if any are available, because I believe any new-comer can do better than an incumbent, because incumbents are already corrupted;
(3) the new-comers, regardless of party, would also be subject to increasing scrutiny by voters, and voters should vote them out the new incumbents too (or even start a recall) if necessary, if they also prove to be irresponsible;
(4) as you said, it’s not so much individual politicians; it is the dysfunctional system that twists them; thus, incumbents are spoiled goods in a sense; the way things are now, new-comers soon discover that pre-existing incumbents will shun and alienate the new-comers if they don’t play the game, and succumb to the corruption, graft, peddling influence, and rai$ing big money (essentially being FOR SALE); so the problem is really the incumbents, and not the party of new-comers; also, the two parties are more alike than dissimilar;
(5)
_______________________
Yes, as you said, Stephen Daugherty’s proposed method isn’t working, and never has. Perpetuating the status quo only leads to more corrupt government. Nothing he promotes has any element of leverage or peaceful force; just more talk, discussion, and inaction. Reforms, historically, have never come about without some galvanizing event, pain, and/or disruption (such as civil war, depression, oppression, revolution, civil unrest, or anti-incumbent voting). Since there is a historical precedent for anti-incumbent voting (usually ousting the current majority for the ohter main party), which is a peaceful disruptive action, it seems the most simple (not necessarily easy) subsequent step to capitalize on the clean-sweep to remove irresponsible incumbents, would be to give them all a test (i.e. a short To-Do-List of no-brainer, common sense, un-contentious things to increase transparency which will discourage corruption; such as One-Purpose-Per-Bill, Campaign-Finaance-Reform, etc.). The “Contract With America” was not a real To-Do-List of no-brainer, common-sense items to increase transparency and reduce corruption. In fact, it led to more corruption, and it back-fired on Newt Gingrich. It was lame, and it failed because he abused power. The list I speak of is much more simple, and only need a handful of items targeted at increasing transparency, so that voters can see who is corrupt, and who to vote-out or recall. This list would be a test for Congress. The voters should then visit any voting-record web-site to see who voted for or against that item. How like is it that the majority of Americans would want anyone in Congress to vote NO for the following:
[01] ONE PURPOSE PER BILL: Start simplifying government by allowing ONLY ONE purpose per bill (i.e. only one or more items that are necessary for the one purpose of the one bill). This will cut out the pork-barrel and graft that sneak into huge bills, in which pork-barrel consisting of numerous unrelated items is hidden within thousands of pages that few (if anyone, much less voters) reads or scrutinizes. This will allow voters to easily see how politicians voted. This will increase transparency, which will lead to more accountability, and responsibility. Currently, it’s nearly impossible to know why a politician voted for or against a bill. Perhaps, this lack-of-transparency is by design? It’s certainly become a popular vehicle for hiding excessive pork-barrel, graft, bribes, and waste.
[02] CAMPAIGN FINANCE REFORM; government should not be FOR SALE; when 5% of the popluation has 60% of all wealth, and 60% of the population has only 5% of all weatlh, what chance does that 60% of the population have to influence government, when a very few with vast wealth have an obviously much louder voice?
[03] ELECTION REFORM to eliminate election fraud and remove the barriers that are preventing and making it very difficult for other candidates (e.g. independent or 3rd party candidates) to get names onto voting ballots. Our current 2 party system (i.e. Democrats and Republicans) is failing us with its extremely lengthy, shallow campaigns which require an ever-escalating amount of money to win public office. And, often at best, the votes of only 25% of the eligible voters is required to win (i.e. since there is usually less than 50% voter participation). This is a serious problem, and such barriers are a violation of the constitution, and it is severely limiting our choices of candidates by only a few with access to wealth and power. NOTE: About 122 million people (of the 200 million eligible voters) voted in the 2004 presidential election. 78 million eligible voters didn’t vote.
[04] TAX SYSTEM REFORM; simplify the tax system; who do you think benefits most now from our ridiculously perverted tax system? Who gets to take advantage of the tax loop-holes? How much is wasted annually just trying to calculate taxes?
[05] REDUCE BLOATED GOVERNMENT: Reduce the vast structure of the severely bloated, irresponsible, and unaccountable Executive Branch, which has over 2 million employees that are neither seen nor heard as they throttle our freedoms and prosperity. The Executive Branch has grown drastically in the last 100 years. Also reduce the relatively smaller Congress by eliminating many of their hundreds of thousands of employees. Congress can not compare to the Executive Branch in number of employees, budget, and power. Despite all the fumbling and stumbling of the Congress, the Executive Branch has far more influence (i.e. with the Media, special-interest groups, etc.) and poses a far greater danger to freedom. One of the first steps toward totalitarianism, is the destruction of the parliamentary or legislative branches of government. We must send a clear message to government (all branches), vote them all out, and elect people who will take their oath of office to protect and enforce Constitution seriously, restore the balance of power, and immediately reduce the bloated Executive Branch and Congress. Do we need all of this.

So, please play along for a moment.
If you could put 10 items on a list of things for Congress to do first, what would they be?

Here’s is an example of a To-Do-List. It first seeks to make government transparent, to make it accountable, to make it responsible, with the hope that the other many pressing problems facing the nation will be addressed after government is reformed to the extent that it will have an incentive to resolve problems, rather than an incentive to ignore them (as it now is in our bass-ackwards system, as politicians refuse to tackle tough issues for fear of making their big-money-donors angry, and risking losing their big-money-donations, and risking re-election).

Posted by: d.a.n at December 18, 2005 11:49 AM
Comment #103837

Daniel W. Peer-
The privacy involved is yours or mine. I’m fine with outlawing abortion, but only on constitutional grounds that don’t end up giving our government the right to inflict other kinds of harm on us. Would you want to trade a government that can tolerate abortion for one that can inflict it, require it, like China does with its people?

As for that fertilized egg, the argument can be made that what we see there is not necessarily a human being yet, or a being separate from its mother. I’ve been reading a book on complexity in biological systems.

As it turns out, at least a third of our genome demonstrates differences some where in the total human populate. Each individual sees at least ten percent of their genes as different from the standard prototypical human’s. What prevents this difference from creating proportionate differences in appearance and bodily development is this one fact: Mammalian embryos do not operate under their own DNA for most of their development. Their mother’s messenger RNA, packaged in the egg with the individual’s DNA, dictates most of development, and kicks off the process. Only later does our individual’s DNA start guiding the process.

For the first parts of development, the child is developing from the mother’s genes rather than its own, consequently. The child is developing, in some sense, as part of the mother.

Of course, it isn’t necessarily as simple as that. There could be different triggers, different issues at play. But that should indicate to you that the popular image of the mother’s womb as some passive receptacle of an independent human being is somewhat misleading.

I agree that the capability to become human is more important than the present state of the unborn child. But I can tell you that we will likely not settle this question in the realm of science, because the facts of nature are often more ambiguous than the ideas of nature which we have.

Now, in your subsequent comment, you accuse me of being willing to legislate the deaths of countless human beings instead of violate privacy. If you took my view, though, of the importance of medical privacy, then you would understand that from my point of view, the greater hazard than the abortions performed willingly without government interference, would be the ones the government could force were the wall separating the government from control of our bodies breached. When I speak of privacy, I speak of the sort of control we implicitly have over our private selves because of our constitutional freedoms. That privacy gives us the space to do bad things, abortion unfortunately one of them, but also to do necessary, personal, or risky things that we’d rather not have others knowing about, or using to their advantage.

My solution? Well, I don’t know any perfect means of working this out. I’m not a lawyer. But as far as communication goes, the best idea is to make abortion less desirable, to essentially market life, and its preservation, to market the notion of more conscientiously led sex lives. We should also provide more facilities and families to deal with adoption. You might criticize me for arguing against a position without providing the alternative, but pro-lifers have been making that mistake for years now.

D.A.N.-
Do you think that after thousands of years of recorded history, you will be the one to save humanity from its flaws?

I pick not merely discussion, talk, and compromise, but moreover, the willingness and humility to do so. In your fervor to save America from itself, you suggest this catastrophic shift of things, not thinking of what happens afterwards. You assume that the politicians will get the message, and our system will be redeemed by that.

I assume that after the initial shock of any such turnover, after the voters have vented the mood of anger and helplessness on their leaders, they will then return gradually to complacency, and the leaders will gradually trend towards the atmosphere of corruption and the abuse of power that was assaulted by the sudden, sharp, shock. This may happen sooner or later, depending on the way things go, but it will happen.

There’s this great book by Mark Buchanan called Ubiquity, and it’s basically about the widespread presence of systems of critical change in nature and human affairs. What he says is that not only are such changes natural, they are inevitable in any complex system.

I think our political system is approach a critical tipping point, past which there will be some kind of change spreading with great momentum. Depending on who gets their act together, it could be a shift in the way the Republican party operates, presumably towards the center; a shift back towards some kind of power for the Democrats; or, it could spell the rise of a third party.

Or, it could be any combination of the three. That’s the extent to which I will exercise my predictive powers. With that in mind, we have to figure on something else, though.

In that book, Buchanan writes about how forest management practices that prevented forest fires built up the system’s store of flammable fuel so much, that it put things into a supercritical state, one whose result would be more catastrophic, unstoppable forest fires.

I believe the same is happening with politics here, and that is why I’m calling for moderation, because I believe that whatever political shift occurs, it’s distance from the center will trigger a backlash that might very well cancel out the… Well… educational value of the event. In short we’d be welcoming the new boss, same as the old boss.

What I’m proposing is what you might call controlled burns, as opposed to some movement that might inspire backlashes to-and-fro. What I’m talking about is a change in the atmosphere of all this calculated to stabilize the system. What this needs, though, is a movement towards moderation, because everybody else’s moves ultimately will be towards the extremes at somebody else’s expense.

We’ve been playing the political game for the last century in more and more of a zero-sum way. That guarantees instability in the system as people pursue their interests at the expense of others, who do the same in return.

What we need is a less ego-driven political system. What we need is a sense of public service, whatever one’s party, that transcends political differences. Party agendas remain not so much goals to be executed, but tendencies to be given their due.

Results need to matter more, and not just because that is a desirable ideal, but because that provides thresholds for voters to consider voting incumbents out by.

And this cannot be just some one time big event, because that means we degenerate everytime, and we’re forced into alternating supercritical states. That’s why my strategy is to keep this going on a grassroots level, and why it’s generalized- the application will be specific to events no one hear has the power to predict. It’s also why I don’t advocate that my party simply attain a majority like the Republicans have now. I’d much prefer that we not take things so far that the resentment of the other side builds up, I do not want the blinding concerns of political revival to be there in the place of practical concerns of good government.

But there’s another aspect to this, which reflects the reason why I trust grassroots independence over party politics: nothing’s perfect here. we will not see either party-any party-succeed in redeeming the political process in America of all its flaws. If we want to deal with the problems in our country, plans, agendas, and ideologies must be the tools, and not the crutches of our judgment.

What I advocate is not wishy-washy, or idealistic. What I advocate is government with our eyes, our minds, and our options more open. Your plan claims to do all that, but no evidence exists that guarantees that it will work even one time, and the weight of evidence throughout history is that it’s effects will only endure so long. My approach is not to engineer one moment in American political history, but to instead pay attention to the long line of them, and start making the most of the system we’ve got, regardless of what political parties we give our loyalty to.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at December 18, 2005 1:29 PM
Comment #103838

d.a.n.,

i do not excempt newcomers of the main parties because they have already been bought by the corrupt party in accepting their finance/support to campaign for office. Furthermore, by voting out the main parties across the board, all agreements, favors etc of corps, pacs et al are nullified, strengthening the positions of those main party politicians which remain in office (not up for re-election this time). So those remaining will have the wherewithal to throw off unwelcome and burdensome ‘expectations’ and strengthen those which truly speak for and represent the interests of their constituents.

Yes, some innocents will necessarily be caught in the fray (unless word gets out prior to elections and they wisely choose an alternative source of campign support). Still, those who choose the main parties AFTER the boycott will find a leaner, stronger more agile party in which they will actually be able to be heard and to have some influence even as junior members.

As for your “To Do” list.. i will reluctantly play THIS time, but…
First, i normally avoid your links because of the flashy and sometimes garish presentation. Perhaps you can duplicate your content for those like myself preferring content without all the window dressing, then let people choose which they want to read.

On to my list:


  • #1 cut the pork (modified one purpose bill may help)

  • #2 protect states’ rights (help toward reducing federal bloat)

  • #3 election reform

  • #4 campaign finance reform

  • #5 balanced budget amendment

  • #6 societal protections on run-away capitalism (govt for the people, not the dollar, legislate away ability of govt to take way personal property for merely econimic reasons)

  • #7 increase national independance and self-suffieciency in both energy and produce (alternative fuels incentives, illegal immigration controls.. it makes us vulnerable to be dependant on outside sources of energy AND workforces.)

  • #8 environmental protections on run-away capitalism (public parks for the people, not the dollar— or mansion suburbs or for wealthy kids to tear up with ATV’s etc)

  • #9 stop the gerrymandering! grrrr

  • #10 tighten specified timing of redistricting sessions

    Posted by: jo at December 18, 2005 1:32 PM
  • Comment #103972

    jo,
    That is an excellent list. The energy vulnerability is an important one. Also, corpocrisy and corporatism is a serious issue too. Personally, I too would prefer voters choose someone besides main-party candidates. However, that is partisan, and many may still consider either a Republican or Democrat non-incumbent. So, non-incumbent alone may be sufficient. If voters keep voting them all out (or recalling them), and incumbents still refuse to reform, then perhaps it won’t matter what party they belong to, since their stay in office will be short.

    Stephen wrote:, I pick not merely discussion, talk, and compromise, but moreover, the willingness and humility to do so.
    Sounds like more talk to me. That won’t accomplish anything. Not even if you ask politely.
    In your fervor to save America from itself, you suggest this catastrophic shift of things,…
    There you go again, mischaracterizing everything. If people feel like voting anti-incumbent, that’s their right. It has happened before several times, and it wasn’t a catastrohphic shift as you portray it.
    … not thinking of what happens afterwards.
    Not true. The entire process has historical precedent. The only thing I’d like to add to the clean sweep is a list of common sense items ( a To-Do-List ) to create more transparency. What’s wrong with that? What could possibly be the harm? Voters do this because that’s the only way they know of to get the politicians attention (as in 1952-1958, 1976-1980, and 1992-1994). What’s wrong with voting for responsible and accountablAre government? Are you afraid that people will vote anti-incumbent, and your Democratic party won’t get its turn at being irresponsible and unaccountable?
    You assume that the politicians will get the message, and our system will be redeemed by that.
    If voters keep it up and follow-through, they will have no choice. Posted by: d.a.n at December 18, 2005 8:58 PM
    Comment #104198

    d.a.n.-
    What do you think what you do constitutes until it actually occurs? What do you think you’re doing right now?

    The basic nature of this enterprise, regardless of what you think, is communication and persuasion. In the end, that’s all you can do to get them to act. Everything else, the organizations, the parties, even your website, are merely scaffolding on which that talk is pulled up. Or at least that’s how we would be best advised to do things.

    The natural tendency is for the organization and parties to take over, for the living philsophy to become fossilized, and what supports it to become the main concern.

    I see in your movement the potential for such calcification. You set such importance on your rules and your suggestions, and show so little regard for deviation from it. I don’t want to get hung up on such things. The whole point is to take the leap away from such things, which only function as support, and should be modified as needed, rather than clung to. The reality is, our world, hell, ourselves, cannot be captured so easily in such words and logics. We need to be able to adjust for our inevitable misestimation of the real situation. I don’t see that room in your theories, and therefore I instinctively distrust them.

    As for catastrophic shift, I think it qualifies. It’s not forty days of darkness, cats and dogs living together, all the paint peeled off your house and your family given permanent orange afros, but it is a historic shift in the alignment of the American people towards their governnment, not unlike 1994’s shift. Calling this catastrophic is perhaps more metaphorical than literal. The image is the change washing over the system in a runaway, difficult to stop manner, after the tipping point has been reached.

    You assume the politicians can’t adapt to a movement like yours, that they can’t go in and persuade people that they deserve continued tenure. You assume that people cannot turn against you, cannot turn against your idea. You assume things will be just so because you believe it cannot be any other way.

    The real world is not so determinable. Everybody’s got a mind of their own, and damn it if they don’t use it. Your idea could be the best one in the world, but if people don’t agree to it, if they balk like I do, like others do, it’s only an idea. It’s only talk.

    What I seek to do is not just exploit (I use that word in its least perjorative sense) the current disatisfaction of the system, but use that dissatisfaction to change the way people motivate themselves in regards to politics.

    People are reading these columns, looking for the next viral idea, the next meme, the next neat phrase and talking point. My aim is to put out an idea that grabs people, an idea that will lead them to motivate themselves to change things. I can’t force them to do anything. But I can invite people in to listen to my thoughts, and send them out with perhaps a few new perspectives, if I’ve done my work right.

    I don’t count on these people just agreeing because my idea is so good. I gamble on that, take a risk. I never forget that my acceptance in their minds is at their sufferance.

    That’s not a bad thing for any writer to remember. Nobody has to believe or trust us. Nobody has to listen to us, give us their time. We have to prove ourselves interesting and rational enough to warrant their attention.

    Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at December 19, 2005 11:26 AM
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