Democrats & Liberals Archives

Is It Time for Election Reform?

Or should we allow the Republicans to continue to steal elections, and all elected officials; Democrat, Third Party, Independent, and Republican, to have to sell their souls in order to raise money?

It is obvious that it is time for election reform. It is also obvious that it is not going to happen. There are a number of different elections reforms to consider, including; instant run off voting, preventing election fraud by making sure that elections have paper trails and are verifiable, indexing the numbers of Senators per state to the U.S. population, public financing of elections, and others. I will focus on public financing of elections in this article. Clearly forcing our elected officials to go hat in hand to big money special interest groups creates a system that is ripe for corruption. But we are in a double bind situation... or maybe triple bind... perhaps even an Orwellian double plus double bind...

The first bind is: Money has been declared to be "free speech." Much as I hate to admit it, there is some logic to that. People should be free to spend their money to promote and advertise their opinion. Republicans like to argue that campaign finance reform can abridge free speech and they are correct. The problem is that as long as money equals free speech, the rich and privileged elites will have more free speech than the rest of us. They can use their big money mass media megaphone to shout the rest of us down, there by effectively abridging our right to free speech. Giving one group of people more of a basic right, in effect violates at least the intent of equal protection under the law. The Internet provides a buffer against that - a level playing field - for the time being - but the moneyed elites are trying to get control over that as well. If they succeed, they will be able to Fox Newsify the Internet and spoon feed our opinions to us. Diversity of competing media used to protect us but they have consolidated that. To see the consolidation of mass media see: Tara's Rants and Raves. Now the Internet protects us, but they are trying to consolidate that. So, how do we allow people the freedom to spend their money in order to spread their ideas and protect ordinary Americans from having their free speech abridged by a mass media megaphone?

The second bind is: Big money special interest do not want campaign finance reform. The current system works for them. See: "A time for Heresy" By Bill Moyers. They like having public officials grovel before them. Congressmen are good. Everybody should own one - well not everybody - not the disenfranchised - that would ruin the whole neighborhood if those types of low class people owned a Congressman - we don't want that kind around here. Only the fully franchised - only the rich and powerful elites - should own a Congressman - and - everybody who is anybody does own one - maybe two. The only kind of campaign finance reform that the big money special interest is going to allow is the kind that disenfranchises everyone else. They are not stupid. The same applies to big money liberal special interest. Do you think that the Labor Movement wants to give up its biggest, sharpest, most powerful sword? Not on your life - we are fighting for our lives now - we can't give up any power. Money is going to care of money. Big money special interest are going to take care of a system that enfranchises them above everyone else. In the immortal words of my buddy Bob: "This is reality Greg."

Republicans have to sell their souls to big business. Big business is out for big business. Liberal special interest money, like for example, my own UAW, is better than conservative special interest because liberal groups like the UAW have a proud tradition of fighting for the common man. The UAW has its own sacred cows of course, but if our liberal politicians only had to sell out to liberal groups we would be in pretty good shape. The problem is that there is not enough liberal money, so our liberal politicians also have to sell out to big business. They don't have to sell out quite as completely as the Republicans because of groups like the UAW, but unfortunately, the difference is only quantitative - not qualitative.

The third bind: The American people. Three hundred million - mostly preoccupied with putting food on the table... some have been preoccupied with lying us into a war... we know a few are preoccupied with seducing interns - which is a lot sexier than election and campaign finance reform. Most of em aren't paying any attention... about half of the ones that are paying attention are stupid. They all have different ideas. They are all going in different directions. The ones that are paying attention would want to use election reform to partisan advantage instead of fighting for the best interest of the American people. How do you get any significant number of them moving in any direction at the same time, to say nothing of the correct direction? How do you build a consensus for the kind of change that our country needs? I suppose you could grovel to big money.

Many Americans do not want public financing of elections because they resent politicians. They think that they are over paid and that the politicians should finance their own elections and they don't want to spend the money on financing elections. First, politicians are not over paid. Only the occasional rich politician finances their own elections. In Bill Moyers article mentioned above he says that less than one person out of every 200 people gave more than $200 to a political campaign in 2004. So, politicians are not getting their campaign finance from us. Where are they getting their campaign money from? They are getting it from moneyed elites. Moneyed elites are giving money for their own reasons - for their own purposes - not for our purposes. We save a little money on campaign finance, but we wind up spending ten times as much money on pork barrel bridges to nowhere.

Posted by Ray Guest at June 17, 2006 12:50 AM
Comments
Comment #158590

America is tired of Democrat whining about “stolen” elections. RFK Jr. is making a (bigger) fool of himself with his much publicized rantings.

When Dems win, its evidence of a public mandate. When the GOP wins, its the result of theft.

The only people convicted of voter fraud for actions in the 2004 election were DEMOCRAT operatives. And they were convicted in urban areas of BLUE STATES!

Your whining would be funny, were it not so utterly pathetic.

Take off the tinfoil hats, you look ridiculous.

Posted by: Right-of-Way at June 17, 2006 1:31 AM
Comment #158591

Quick question for the Republican bloggers:

Why are you against paper receipts for electonic voting machines?

Posted by: bushflipflops at June 17, 2006 1:34 AM
Comment #158597

This suburban Chicago Republican is for paper receipts.

It’s the only way to ensure the city Dem machine isn’t stuffing the ballot box.

Sorry to cheat you out of your tinfoil hat buzz dude.

Posted by: Right-of-Way at June 17, 2006 1:54 AM
Comment #158598

“Is it time for election reform?”

What a silly question—of course not! Let’s keep things exactly the way they are.

After all, you can’t get people who have a vested interest in the status quo considering serious reform.

“It’s very difficult to get a man whose salary is dependent on not seeing something, to see.”

Posted by: Tim Crow at June 17, 2006 1:56 AM
Comment #158606

I never supported Tim Crow laws and I’m not about to start now!

Posted by: Right-of-Way at June 17, 2006 2:08 AM
Comment #158609

Right-of-Way,

I am glad that you are for paper receipts of electronic voting machines, now maybe you could convince the Republicans in congress to require them for all elections starting with the one coming up.

Posted by: bushflipflops at June 17, 2006 2:17 AM
Comment #158616

And you have the right-of-way to drive of a cliff, along with your backward, juvenile thinking.

Posted by: Tim Crow at June 17, 2006 2:32 AM
Comment #158622

Hang on one sec while I fold my tin foil hat into a diebold admin key for ‘proper’ adjustments…

Back in the day, in the former Soviet Union, if in fact they decided to vote via electronic devices, all in our land of freedom would shout foul play.
Why? Because it’s just too easy to manipulate and we know how corrupt things are there.

Right-of-way posted


When Dems win, its evidence of a public mandate.

This is what needs to happen (most likely several times) for the public to gain trust in electronic voting. Sorry, but common public trust is not in the egg basket of Republicans.

Voting has never needed to be electronic. That is for impatient individuals.

Posted by: europheus at June 17, 2006 2:40 AM
Comment #158626

You speak of people being able to spend their money to promote their views as free speech. There is merit to that. However corporations are not people even though they have been granted the same rights by the courts. That is a travesty that can be corrected legislatively.
There is a fact that has held for all of human history. The wealthy must control the government. It is a class imperitiv like dogs have to run and fish swim. They will do it by any means necessary,contributions,bribery,coersion. It is just a fact.That is the reason groups like the UAW,AFL-CIO are reticent to give up that power. By combining small contributions from many people they can have their voices heard and that is why they are under attack by the wealthy. How dare they speak like us!

Posted by: BillS at June 17, 2006 2:48 AM
Comment #158629

“Quick question for the Republican bloggers:

Why are you against paper receipts for electonic voting machines?”


Because they can be bought for money after the voter leaves the polling place opening up room for real corruption on both sides. There is a reason why “receipts have never been used in any elections. Now come up with a paper trail that doesnt walk out the door in the hand of the voter and you might have something.


and it is well worth repeating:

“The only people convicted of voter fraud for actions in the 2004 election were DEMOCRAT operatives. And they were convicted in urban areas of BLUE STATES!”


and I lived in Florida in 2000. 7 seperate media organizations, (on both sides) found no matter how long you kept counting, Gore did not have enough votes.


Dont take my word for it. Research it yourselves.


Posted by: scott at June 17, 2006 2:55 AM
Comment #158630

What is meant by “indexing the numbers of Senators per state to the U.S. population”? I am certain the author meant Representatives, right?

Posted by: Gundark at June 17, 2006 2:57 AM
Comment #158632

Scott:

7 seperate media organizations, (on both sides) found no matter how long you kept counting, Gore did not have enough votes.

That’s a lie. The consortium of newpapers that looked into the 2000 fiasco (including the NYT and the St Pete Times) found that if there had been a state-wide recount that the Florida state supreme court had demanded, there would have been more than enough votes for Gore to have won. The results were published in October of ‘01

Posted by: Tim Crow at June 17, 2006 3:00 AM
Comment #158634

scott,

I am talking about the type of paper receipt that can be verified by the voter before leaving the booth, but stays in the booth so it can be hand counted later if necessary.

Posted by: bushflipflops at June 17, 2006 3:03 AM
Comment #158635

Oh and I just cannot help my self. Which stolen election do we find in our history books? HMMM

If I remember right it was Joseph Kenedy buying Enough votes in Chicago to get JFK elected. Yes that one was proven wasn’t it!

Posted by: scott at June 17, 2006 3:04 AM
Comment #158637

Tim Crow is correct, a statewide recount would have gone to Gore. It’s just a shame that Gore listened to his advisors and only asked for recounts of the three counties at first. But it was an even bigger shame that the Supreme Court prevented a statewide recount.

Posted by: bushflipflops at June 17, 2006 3:06 AM
Comment #158638

And the Kennedy theft of the 60 election by Chicago’s Daley is equally egregious—and you won’t get me to defend it.

Posted by: Tim Crow at June 17, 2006 3:08 AM
Comment #158640

bushflipflops

That may be what you may be talking about. That’s not what your Democratic leadership wants. And no Republican that I know of has a problem with that kind of paper trail.

Posted by: scott at June 17, 2006 3:09 AM
Comment #158643

Tim

“That’s a lie. The consortium of newpapers that looked into the 2000 fiasco (including the NYT and the St Pete Times) found that if there had been a state-wide recount that the Florida state supreme court had demanded, there would have been more than enough votes for Gore to have won. The results werepublished in October of ‘01”

So you say one thing and I say another. That leaves the others to look it up themselves.

and try to stay away from far right ot far left sites. You may not find the facts.

Posted by: scott at June 17, 2006 3:12 AM
Comment #158649

Ahhh What The… Ill Help:

WASHINGTON (CNN) — A comprehensive study of the 2000 presidential election in Florida suggests that if the U.S. Supreme Court had allowed a statewide vote recount to proceed, Republican candidate George W. Bush would still have been elected president.

http://www.cnn.com/SPECIALS/2001/florida.ballots/stories/main.html

Posted by: scott at June 17, 2006 3:23 AM
Comment #158655

Scott:

I’ll look for the article I saw. But the end of yours has an interesting disclaimer:

“Most importantly, there is no guarantee that the judgments of the NORC investigators would have matched those of local election boards had the recount been permitted to proceed under any scenario”

That is the syndicate of papers I read about—the conclusion was different. And buried in the 9th or 10th paragraph as I remember.

Posted by: Tim Crow at June 17, 2006 3:33 AM
Comment #158657

Of course if you want to go to the world socialist website they say that:

“Media review of Florida ballots whitewashes theft of 2000 election”

HEHEHE now thats funny. But at least they back up my position.

Posted by: scott at June 17, 2006 3:35 AM
Comment #158661

“Most importantly, there is no guarantee that the judgments of the NORC investigators would have matched those of local election boards had the recount been permitted to proceed under any scenario”

All that is saying is that each person counting may differ in deciding on each ballot. But they all came to the same conclusion. Most likely the election board would have also.


If the results had been different I think we all would have to agree it would have made national news fo many weeks on end, Time magazine cover, etc

Posted by: scott at June 17, 2006 3:40 AM
Comment #158664

BTW Tim,

“That’s a lie!”

No hard feelings, but do you take that back?

Posted by: scott at June 17, 2006 3:42 AM
Comment #158667

That was rather harsh, wasn’t it? I’ve had a long day. Okay, I take it back—but let me assure you, I did see an article that contradicts your assertion. Now, whether I can find it…my research skills aren’t what they used to be.

In any event, Scott, I apologize.

Posted by: Tim Crow at June 17, 2006 3:52 AM
Comment #158669

Tim,

All forgiven!

“I did see an article that contradicts your assertion.”

Ive been looking and the only things I find that even look close are on the far left sites.

I would encourage all to stay away from those extremist sites on both sides. Very rarely will you find the facts

Posted by: scott at June 17, 2006 4:04 AM
Comment #158672

Scott,

|If the results had been different I think we all would have to agree it would have made national news fo many weeks on end, Time magazine cover, etc|

That is so true, If all the accusations that were made about people being kept from voting because of race (and all the other examples that I am sure some who follow the extremist logs will blog into this discussion later on down)had been actually proven, they would have made the front cover of all the major news magazines. I dont necessarily like everything that Bush has done but the endless “Bush stole the election” that has gone on really does us true Democrats an injustice.

What else has been proven is that Al Gore’s father who was a Tenessee Senator was one of the most currupt in our history. That’s why I didnt vote for Gore.

Posted by: Talondegato at June 17, 2006 4:17 AM
Comment #158674

Talondegato

I appreciate your honesty.

“What else has been proven is that Al Gore’s father who was a Tenessee Senator was one of the most currupt in our history. That’s why I didnt vote for Gore.”

I dont hold that against Gore. However he aughtn’t be ranting about any coruption issues. Especially after he lied on Larry King the other night and stated that virtually all scientist anymore agree with him on global warming. That kind of rhetoric doesnt help any environmental movement.

Posted by: scott at June 17, 2006 4:38 AM
Comment #158675

http://www.canadafreepress.com/2006/harris061206.htm

Here is more about Gore’s big lie

Posted by: scott at June 17, 2006 4:46 AM
Comment #158676

ROW:

“America is tired of Democrat whining about “stolen” elections. RFK Jr. is making a (bigger) fool of himself with his much publicized rantings.

There have been plenty of reports (the Conyers report, the GAO, and others) that have carefully documented in detail the overwhelming evidence of voter fraud in 2000 & 2004, not to mention the very public unethical behavior of partisan political operatives in key electoral positions.
I’m not going to list them for you because it is a waste of time.

But this issue isn’t going to go away. Because it hasn’t been fairly addressed. If one third of this fraud had been perpetrated on the GOP, the Right-wing echo chamber would be having a field day.

So, no we’re not going to shut up—no matter how much you whine, and bloviate and bellow, and ridicule and snipe and generally being as disagreeable as your poor upbringing allows you to be.

The 2000 presidential election was stolen and illegitimate, there is strong evidence from exit polls that the Senate race and gubenatorial race in Georgia and elsewhere were suspect. The presidential 2004 race had serious problems, and 95% of those problems favored Bush. Exit polls were running strongly for Kerry across the board, and suddenly, inexplicably changed. And that doesn’t even take into account the illegal dumping of legal minority registered voters months before the elections.

What this stonewalling and denial by the Right is doing is assuring that deceit and nefarious underhanded corruption pays. This steadfast refusal to even have a bi-partisan investigation of legitimate greivances assures that someday, in the not-to-distant future, the voting procedures in this country will be thoroughly and completely corrupted. And there could well come a time when you people will be on the receiving end of an outrageous lie. And you know what? It will still be wrong—but your opponents may just blow you off too, telling you to straighten your tinfoil hats.

There are consequences to deceit, there are penalties for denying the truth, and there are people in this country that won’t forget.

Bellow all you want—those elections were probably stolen, and there will be consequences.

Posted by: Tim Crow at June 17, 2006 5:29 AM
Comment #158685

right of way, you have provided our WB community with many valuable comments and arguments from your perspective while observing our Critique the Message, Not the Messenger. However, the following two comments are crossing the line:

“Sorry to cheat you out of your tinfoil hat buzz dude.”

“I never supported Tim Crow laws and I’m not about to start now!”

These comments take the discussion to the personal level and into the area of flame-baiting. Please insure your comment privileges remain intact by critiquing the message, not the messengers.

Thanks.

Posted by: WatchBlog Managing Editor at June 17, 2006 8:12 AM
Comment #158686

After the 2000 election I was curious about the truth, so I looked it up.
Article II, Section 1 of the U.S. constitution states the manner of electing the president. There is no mention of a popular vote.
The pertinent federal law is U.S. Code, Title 3, Chapter 1.
Since the election was disputed in Florida, Florida election law applies. It is Title IX, Florida statutes. The sections relevant to the dispute are Sections 101, 102 and 104.

jurist.law.pitt.edu/election2000.htm

George W. Bush was legitimately elected President of the United States. The U.S. Supreme Court upheld the law as written and in force at the time of the election.

The only people who attempted to steal the election were the Democrats. Their shameful actions were a coup d’etat. Fortunately, it was foiled by the rule of law.
A fitting end to the Clinton administration.

Posted by: traveller at June 17, 2006 8:18 AM
Comment #158689

The only way to acheive election reform is to elect a DEM Congress that is veto-proof.
But voters must demand that the very first acts by such a Congress be the elimination of lobby influence.
I suggest that any lobby be limited to 20 hours of contact with any elected official during a session. This would allow more time for smaller lobbies to adress their issues. It would also reduce the money from large corporations, as they would know regardless of money, they would have limited time.
Violations of the time rule by any Congressmen should be punished with immediate removal from all committees, and a suspension from voting, until proven innocent.
I would also suggest they eliminate any and all 527’s; and prevent any non-profit religious organizations from any public discourse of political issues.
But it is up to the voters to make these demands and follow through with them, including recall elections.

Posted by: Joe at June 17, 2006 8:54 AM
Comment #158691

No presidential election has been “stolen” since Hayes v Tilden, and maybe not that one.

When Kennedy won in 1960, there was a lot of fraud in Texas and Chicago, but probably not enough to sway the election.

A paper receipt is okay, but it won’t solve any problem. What do you plan to do with those receipts if there is a dispute? Not everyone, or even most people will keep theirs and it will be possible to print new ones.

The bottom line is that any system can be defeated. That is why we have poll watchers from both parties and armies of lawyers hanging around. And that is why no presidential election has been stolen since Tilen v Hayes, maybe.

This stolen election crap is getting old. If ytou really believe it, you are stupid, at least in the political sense. Most of the people who say it in the media don’t believe it. They use it to rile up the cognitively challenged.

Posted by: Jack at June 17, 2006 9:19 AM
Comment #158692

“Violations of the time rule by any Congressmen should be punished with immediate removal from all committees, and a suspension from voting, until proven innocent.”

Guilty until proven innocent.

“I would also suggest they eliminate any and all 527’s; and prevent any non-profit religious organizations from any public discourse of political issues.”

Free speech only for the select few.

Continuing the left’s tradition of authoritarianism.

Posted by: traveller at June 17, 2006 9:24 AM
Comment #158698

If Dems can’t win, it can’t be because of anything they are doing wrong (moving to the far left fringe, or lack of any direction at all). The Republicans must be causing this. wah wah

Posted by: Brian B at June 17, 2006 10:06 AM
Comment #158701

In order to reform campaigns, we must all move on from debating “stolen elections” and use our energy in preventing this big-business/government merger. Why not have a limit that each person can donate? Maybe a $100. If a corporation is a “person”, then they, too, cannot donate more than the person making mimimum wage. That seems reasonable for a democracy. Also, if it is one-person-one-vote, do corporations get to vote? If not, should they get to donate any money? I think that whatever side of the political spectrum you are on, you would still want to be heard and your opinion not lost in the special interest and lobby buy-out. If government decisions were not influenced by “who do I owe a favor too?”, then wouldn’t decisions and legislation be more sound? I’m sure even republican legislatures wouldn’t loosen environmental standards if they had no connection to the offending industry.

Posted by: Dr Darren at June 17, 2006 10:26 AM
Comment #158714

When you don’t like what is on TV or radio you simply use the button (most likely located on your remote) marked OFF.

When you are disgusted with main party/individual politicians serving special interests, financing campaigns with “questionable” money, irresponsible government, etc. you vote for a challenger, a non-incumbent.

The folks at voidnow.org are working very hard and are making excellent progress in this regard.

Posted by: steve smith at June 17, 2006 11:43 AM
Comment #158716

Ya, void. Anyway, what do you do if the DNC plans UN take over of the electoral college as the UN monitors the elections for changes which will include them?

Void the ones who asked for the monitoring. They are all foreign anyway………….

Posted by: Dr. Regard at June 17, 2006 11:49 AM
Comment #158717

I think it is the Republican’s interest to clean up their act. The more doubt that can be legitimately cast on their election results, the less an election of a Republican in disputed territory will carry substance among voters.

This is part of the trouble Bush borrowed for himself by acting the way he did to win. By making it look like he and his folks were grabbing power rather than letting the results speak for themselves, he created a situation which made him look more the partisan, and less the legitimate successor to the Oval Office. It is more important in the long run to win elections with respect than to win them by tough tactics. Respect is the foundation of long-term power.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at June 17, 2006 11:50 AM
Comment #158720

There is not and can never be any REAL campaign finance reform as long as the politicians themselves are writing the rules.

The last attempt was a joke of the lowest caliber. And George Bush provided the puch line by signing it into law.

Even before the ink was dry, both parties were scouting ways to get around the law. And the bill was so generic, getting around it was not diffict.

Anybody who honestly believes that you can get the money out of politics is living in fantasy land.

As I’ve said before, a poor, self-educated rail splitter from Illinois could not even be elected dog catcher today.

And as long as we endure the current system, only the wealthiest and most elite among us will ever sit in the halls of Congress or the Oval Office.

Posted by: ulysses at June 17, 2006 12:01 PM
Comment #158722

While we are discussing things unlikely to happen I would like to add some thoughts. Most of us are concerned that so many citizens choose not to vote. I would propose we do something about that. Lets say we raise everyones taxes 100-200 dollars or so and then give a tax credit of the same amount for voting.The additional money raised , less the additional cost to states and counties for providing proof,goes into real public financing of campaigns.
Voters could not complain that their money is going to help politicians and non-voters could complain all they want,who cares.
This could be done on a state wide basis,probably an easier sell than federally.Of course it would never happen in Florida.

Posted by: BillS at June 17, 2006 12:09 PM
Comment #158729

Ray, terrific article!!! Wish I had more time to reply, but this will be a busy day for me, so I’ll have to keep this short.
Is it time for election reform? Hell, yes. It’s long PAST time.

Tim Crow, here is an article that explains the many ways the 2000 election was stolen from Gore:
CNN: Florida Ballots Project
The Republicans always try to point to the 2001 recount as though it meant something, but there was so wide a margin of error that it was totally inconclusive.
Bush won by 537 votes in that state, but when you add up all the screwy things that happened, it becomes crystal clear that Democrats were cheated, and Gore was robbed. This is just the plain and simple fact that emerges when one looks at everything. But of course, the Republicans here will refuse to do that. See no Evil, Hear no Evil, Speak no Evil.
What the Supreme Court did was a travesty in that election. Furthermore, they knew it was as unconstitutional as could be, which is why they told us that no precedent should be established regarding that particular decision.
Ohio in 2004 saw the exact same kinds of GOP dirty tricks. Anyone who looks at all the evidence will come away saying that there was too much wrong, and too much questionable. In each and every instance where questions are raised, it benefitted Bush, which makes it stupid for people to deny that it wasn’t somehow orchestrated. Republicans won’t look at that evidence or discuss it with Democrats respectfully. They just cover by heaping those of us who force the subject with the “tin foil hat” insults.

Posted by: Adrienne at June 17, 2006 12:40 PM
Comment #158732

Watchblog Manager:

The fifth message in this thread I take exception to. I just got dressed down in the red column for answering some flame-baiting and mendacious distortions by Right-Of-Way, yet nothing is said about this insulting distortion of my name.

I’m constantly hearing warnings about critiquing the messenger— and the Right at this blog have gotten very adept at sliming, and walking a fine line between sliming an entire political movement (liberalism) and thinly veiled insults.

I am beginning to detect a double-standard here.
Do your job!

Posted by: Tim Crow at June 17, 2006 12:47 PM
Comment #158733

Watchblog manager:

Just saw your warning to ROW—sorry I missed it. I apologize for my post to you.

Posted by: Tim Crow at June 17, 2006 12:50 PM
Comment #158735

Gundark,

No I don’t mean Representatives, I mean Senators. Given the growth of U.S. population, there should be at least 4 Senators per state. That way they would be closer to their smaller constituency and less easily controlled by money. In Michigan we have two Dem Senators but plenty of unrepresented Republicans for example.

Posted by: Ray Guest at June 17, 2006 12:59 PM
Comment #158736

IMO when we criticize the business of the government which of course is the finished product in the business of politicians we either choose not to mention or, lose sight of the fact that being a politician is a salaried profession. Save blatent nepotism most U.S.Senators work through less visible political jobs before the final test. They train by taking a message around the country, shaking hands and holding babies, they test the waters in a primary and, they interview at the party’s convention. The passing grade comes at election.

Like any other profession/job that people have, they would like to keep it unless something better comes along. In the case of the Senator, the pay is good, the perks are great, you are guaranteed 6 years at a clip, retirement benefits are close to second to none, etc.These guys will do almost anything to hang on to those jobs yet, we seem surprised at some of the “irresponsible” things that they do.

I would be very surprised if more than a miniscule % of politicians currently holding office are doing so at their own sacrifice for the good of their constituants and the country they love.

Vote Out Incumbents for Democracy. Doing so could be in itself a roadmap for those advocating term limits.

Posted by: steve smith at June 17, 2006 1:02 PM
Comment #158737

Jack:

“This stolen election crap is getting old. If ytou really believe it, you are stupid, at least in the political sense.”

Your estimation of who is stupid wouldn’t be a bit biased would it?

Frankly, I don’t give a hoot in hell you think I’m stupid. If HALF of the crap pulled against the Dems in 2000, 2002, and 2004 had happened to the Neocons, you’re hot air would supply the country with energy for the next 100 years. Your nonchalant dismissal of the 1960 election is only provided to dismiss far more egregious mendacities by the GOP this decade.

This is not going away, and until there is a legitmate, bi-partisan Congressional investigation into the last three Federal elections, I’m not shutting up—live with it.

Posted by: Tim Crow at June 17, 2006 1:04 PM
Comment #158738

Adrienne:

Thank you for the post on the elections.

Scott, did you see this?

Posted by: Tim Crow at June 17, 2006 1:07 PM
Comment #158740

What do you guys think about a 1 term presidency with term lengthened to 6 years?

Posted by: Stopculture at June 17, 2006 1:24 PM
Comment #158742

The Florida vote was a loss. The democrats sued because they lost-did’nt like Americans’ answer. The US Supreme Court decided it was fair. Democrats did not like the Supreme Court’s answer, so it deferred to the UN to run our elections. This is treason. So, the UN agreed to monitor.

Posted by: Underdomain at June 17, 2006 1:29 PM
Comment #158743

Adrienne,
What the Supreme Court did in the 2000 election was to uphold the law. In an earlier post I included a URL to a site that has the election laws and the Supreme Court’s decision. You can read the laws yourself.

As for allegations of voter fraud, there is plenty of that to go around on both sides. When you add up all the screwy things that happened you have… nothing unusual. I have no doubt that some of it is true and that most of it is made up.

Posted by: traveller at June 17, 2006 1:39 PM
Comment #158745

Why do the bushes of Idaho have more senatorial representation than the city of Los Angelus or Buffalo,NY?

Posted by: BillS at June 17, 2006 1:46 PM
Comment #158746

Ray Guest,
The House of Representatives represents the people. That’s why the number is indexed to population.
The Senate represents the states. Originally Senators were chosen by their repective legislatures. (Article I, Section 3) The seventeenth amendment changed it to a popular election. The amendment plainly states, in the section dealing with vacancies,”When vacancies happen in the representation of any state in the Senate…”
We are not a democracy. We are a federal republic.
Federalism is dying, helped by the seventeenth amendment. We are witnessing the descent of our great nation into the hellhole of democracy. Indexing the Senate to the census would hasten its demise.

Posted by: traveller at June 17, 2006 1:59 PM
Comment #158747

The single biggest flaw in our election system is that candidates need to go crawling to the rich and beg for money. Those who give money, gain “access,” another way of saying “influence.”

No money, no “access,” and no “influence.” This is the reason that there is plenty of legislation about what rich people want and extremely little about what the non-rich want.

How can anyone call this “free speech”?

We must have public financing of campaigns. And there is nothing liberal about wanting political campaigns to be honest and fair. Don’t conservatives want honesty and fairness too?

Posted by: Paul Siegel at June 17, 2006 2:13 PM
Comment #158751


traveler:
“The hellhole of democracy.”..please
So we are trying to bring a hellhole to Iraq?

Posted by: BillS at June 17, 2006 2:55 PM
Comment #158756

BillS,
You should read what the founders had to say about democracy.

I’m adamantly opposed to nation building and our continued presence in Iraq.

Posted by: traveller at June 17, 2006 3:47 PM
Comment #158763

All,

It is nice to have people fired up.

Jack,

The purpose of hard copy paper receipts are twofold. One: People can verify that the paper receipt matches their intended vote before leaving the booth. If it does not their vote could be electronically reversed / canceled and recast. Two: The receipts would then be placed in a locked ballot box and saved for recounts if necessary. Of course everybody knows that any recipes that leaves the polling place is worthless and nobody is suggesting that. That kind of hard copy paper trial would not be verifiable. We are talking about a verifiable paper trail, so please don’t cloud the issue with irrelevant issues. The paper receipts could then be used to routinely do random statistical samples comparing the electronic count to the actual hard copy vote, and there by prove that the electronic count is accurate, increasing the public’s confidence in the electoral process. In close elections, the entire vote could be recounted if necessary.

Jack,

Forget about hanging chads. There is good evidence that Gore won. But forget that. There were bigger fish to fry then a few hundred hanging chads. What about the 90,000 predominately black, predominately Democratic voters who were accidentally illegally improperly purged from the voter rolls in Brother / Cousin Jeb’s state in the 2000 election. You don’t think that that would have put Gore over the top? What about Florida State Police surrounding polling places only in black neighborhoods in their cruisers with lights flashing there by making black people with unpaid tickets paranoid and afraid of being arrested and there by intimidated from casting their votes. The list is endless.

There is evidence that Kennedy stole votes - maybe the election. Do two wrongs make a right, or are too righties just wrong?

Finally, the intended focus of this article is about limiting the influence of big money in our elections and on politicians of all stripes.

Posted by: Ray Guest at June 17, 2006 4:47 PM
Comment #158771

traveler:
By “founders” do you mean the all white,all male, slave owning,landowners that framed the constitution?They were indeed men of great courage and vision. Just comming to the conclusion that we did not need a king to govern was a radical idea at the time but they were who they were and the thought of the “rabble” governing was more than they could accept. However they did have the foresight to build into the constitution the ability to change,hence the amendments regarding civil and voting rights.

Posted by: BillS at June 17, 2006 5:48 PM
Comment #158774

BillS,
By founders I mean the brilliant men who created the freest, richest and most powerful nation in history.
Even during the slavery era America was the freest country in the world.
Some of them owned slaves, some did not. Some were landowners, some were not.
Creating the United States cost them all dearly.

“the thought of the “rabble” governing was more than they could accept.”

Have you ever read the Declaration of Independence and the Preamble to the Constitution? Or the Constitution itself? If you did, are you capable of comprehending not only the words on the page but the ideals behind them? From your show of contempt for America I would say not.
For all their brilliance the founders were fallible and they knew it. What they did was a radical step for liberty but not the last step and they knew it.

Posted by: traveller at June 17, 2006 6:17 PM
Comment #158777

traveler
I evidenced no contempt. Most were land and slave owners,all were white men. “Not the last step and they knew it” was my point if you choose to read more closely.

Posted by: BillS at June 17, 2006 6:33 PM
Comment #158778

Ray

The verifiable paper trail would give you exactly that, a paper trial. So what? When we had all paper ballots we still had fraud. If the paper record diverged from the electronic record, how would you know which was right? Why would the paper be any better? I do may taxes with a computer program. The computer is more accurate than my paperwork.

All human systems can be cracked by humans. That is why we have poll watchers etc. I don’t have a problem with a paper record as a check, but I do not think that will help get rid of the conspiracy theorists.

There is no good evidence that Gore won. That is the whole dispute. None of those stories you heard about the cops etc have panned out. They are urban legends, lies and deceit. They are ghost stories. We all heard about them, but nobody found real particular provable cases.

The Civil Right commission, run at that time by a woman who really wanted to find racism, looked far and wide and found nothing she could get past the equivalent of peer review.

It is a bit of a compliment to Republicans. Dems evidently believe that all the people who are too stupid to vote properly are Democrats. They further believe that Republicans even in counties controlled by Democrats can so effectively manipulate things to keep timid Dems from coming to the polls. And after all that, the few Republicans in majority Dem districts can trick everybody at the polling station to manipulate the numbers. You have a very low opinion of Democrats.

Elections cannot be made foolproof because we expect fools to vote. We encourage people to vote who we would not trust with any other important life decision, so voting has to be EASIER than using an ATM machine. I will not argue whether this is good or bad, but it is the reality and it has ramifications for voting.

Elections are a statistical process. In most cases, the result is fairly well known and we have few troubles. In the case of a very close election, we really do not and cannot know the “real” winner. What we can do is make sure we follow the procedures in place before the election and confer legitimacy on the person who wins according to those rules.

I understand why Dems are upset about 2000. That election was essentially a tie. We used the tie breaking mechanisms available in our Constitution and our laws, but clearly it could have gone the other way. That is not the same as saying the election was stolen. 2004 was not even close. Unfortunately, some Dems just used the same script they wrote for 2000. And they still are using it.

My point with Kennedy was only historical. That was the last important case of fraud that may have changed an election. I don’t believe it did and neither do most historians. This seems to be the same way reasonable people are looking at 2000.

Posted by: Jack at June 17, 2006 6:37 PM
Comment #158785

Jack,

“I understand why Dems are upset about 2000. That election was essentially a tie.”

Gore won Florida by approx 175,000 votes. With all the lying, cheating and stealing the republicans did… beside the fact that they disinfranchised thousands of voters and paid operatives to steal Al Gore lawn signs. And lets not forget Katherine Harris and that wonderful butterfly ballot. I’m sure 8,000 jews voted for Pat Bucanan. According to an article published in the New York Times buried in the 17th paragraph on the 54th page somewhere.

The 2004 election WAS also stolen… you can hear it for yourself at ClintCurtis.com Thanks to the paperless voting machines in Florida and Ohio. Also, the fact that thousands of voters were not given access to voting machines and were forced to stand in line for hours and hours.

Posted by: Pat at June 17, 2006 7:03 PM
Comment #158786

Pat

I put Bush lawn signs up during the last election and every morning half of them were stolen. I don’t know if they were paid operatives who did it, but they did it - every night.

I am sorry if many Dems could not figure out how to use a ballot designed by other Dems to be simple. Katherine Harris did not design the ballots. It was the local Dem officials. They ran the election in those Dem counties. So maybe we have stupid voters and maybe we have stupid officials but they are all your guys.

We can talk about other ghost stories if you want, but it seems you have two alternatives. Either you can understand that elections are complex and this one was not stolen or you can believe that Republicans managed to steal 175,000 votes out from under watchful Dems. If that is possible, maybe they are too dumb to win anyway.

Posted by: Jack at June 17, 2006 7:08 PM
Comment #158791

BillS,

“Most were land and slave owners,all were white men.”

Of the 112 men considered founders, 12 were land owners, another 6 were land speculators and 15 owned slaves. 12 0f the 15 were the land owners. (Franklin later freed his slaves and became an abolitionist)

Your contempt was quite evident.

Posted by: traveller at June 17, 2006 7:50 PM
Comment #158793

Pat,

“Gore won Florida by approx 175,000 votes.”

No, he didn’t. The president isn’t elected by popular vote.
Article II, Section 1, U.S.Constitution

Katherine Harris did exactly what the law said she was required to do.
Title IX, Florida statutes

Posted by: traveller at June 17, 2006 7:59 PM
Comment #158794

Traveller

Actually, I just take it that BillS was showing pride in the extraordinary accomplishments of these dead white males who did something nobody else had ever done. Of course, his implication that others did not do as well until that time is unfortunate. It is probably bad manners to point out race and social class in such situations.

Posted by: Jack at June 17, 2006 8:16 PM
Comment #158809

Ray,

Great article. Clearly it’s time for a change. Anyone that doesn’t think so should just google The Harri Hursti Hack and read away.

Your article made me wonder if there were any knew developments and I found the following:
http://www.bbvforums.org/cgi-bin/forums/board-auth.cgi?file=/1954/32762.html

I hope you’ll take the time to read it. I’m certainly not tech savvy enough to understand it all, but it’s one possible part of the solution. I especially like the idea of lending more transparency and citizen oversight to the election process, while still maintaining voter privacy.

KansasDem

Posted by: KansasDem at June 17, 2006 10:13 PM
Comment #158814

You left out drunkards.

It is a known fact that copious amounts of beer and spirits were consumed by the delegates at the 1st and 2nd Continental Congress and the Constitutional Convention.

Of course, the fact that the water was often contaminated and killed people by the thousands is conveniently left out by the revisionists.

You can call the Founders by whatever names that please you. The fact is they were human beings, subject to all the failings and shortcomings that brings.

But they overcame all that, forging a nation and producing the greatest single document the world has ever known.

And for their efforts, the revisionists seek to eradicate their names and deeds from the historical record of the nation they founded because they were “all white, all male, slave owning,landowners.”

Oh yes. And drunkards.

Posted by: ulysses at June 17, 2006 10:48 PM
Comment #158817

Paul,

You stated:
there is plenty of legislation about what rich people want and extremely little about what the non-rich want.

This is the real problem…everyone wants something and its up to the government to supply it…just how stupid is that!!!

The government should get out of the “give people what they want” syndrome and make sure we only supply needy people.

Posted by: Cliff at June 17, 2006 10:56 PM
Comment #158818

I have to just sit here and laugh as I read the posts here. If read through there seems to be a singular theme by those advocating for reform. That theme of being on the losing side of elections and the use of excuses to account for those losses. Almost every post cites the arguement that with reform their candidate would be the winner. When was the last time a candidate advocated for reform because he was the winner instead of being the loser of his election?

Politics, by its very nature, is the art of manipulation. Each and every politician or political party attempts to manipulate the decisions of the voter in their favor in order to be elected. And every call for reform can be traced back to the idea that one side manipulated the election in their favor at some expense of the other side.

Another theme I saw was the lack of comments in regards to the type of reform that the author of the article was speaking of, the influence of money on poltics. I did not see a single comment that showed that money was the cause of the accusations of corruption in past elections.

So, based upon the comments posted, my only conclusion can be is that reform is called for to manipulate elections in the favor of the losing candidate rather than a fair election.

Posted by: The Griper at June 17, 2006 11:18 PM
Comment #158830

Griper

I must be misunderstanding what it is you’re trying to say.

Many posts, including my own earlier comments, spoke directly to the issue of money and the corrupting influence it has on politicians and elections.

Posted by: ulysses at June 18, 2006 12:04 AM
Comment #158838

The Griper,

Good point. I stirred up a hornets nest with my “hook” remarks about stolen elections. For the most part, people really don’t seem interested in the real theme of my article - public financing of elections. But election fraud is sexier and more interesting and also important. We do need transparency in our elections and better ways to test the accuracy of our elections. My nemesis - Jack - makes an accurate point when he says that all systems designed by humans can be defeated by humans. This is true - BUT - what Jack fails to acknowledge is that electronic voting machines - manufactured and designed by a partisan company - whithout any verifiable paper trail - are like taking candy from a baby. They are black boxes that tell you who the winner is. Without paper trails there is no independent way to check their accuracy. Sure, you can have some programmer go through the code line by line - tens of thousands of lines - tens of thousands of lines of cryptic code - and when he is done - you have his word that, that one particular machine is not fraudulent - no chance that he could be a partisan hack, that was bribed or blackmailed to lie to you - and then you have to repeat the same process with thousands of machine for even a random sample - tens of thousands of machines for a complete verification - and then when your “one” “honest” pencil neck geek has peered into all of those black boxes - then have your “one” “honest” electronics technician come and verify that the machines have not been electrically modified - and then when you are done with that - then - then - account for the possibility that fraudulent software was uploaded into those machines - conducted its fraud - and then self destructed and self removed itself leaving only non-fraudulent software behind - then - then - then - assume that it removed itself using a Department of Defense hard disk wipe - so - then scan the hard disk - tens of thousands of hard disks with a very, very, very, slow speed microscopic bit by bit nano-level scan - and then - and then - you can say that you have verified the accuracy of the magical black box voting machine - but Jack - Jack would not want a paper hard copy of what the machine did - not Jack - not as long as Republicans are winning anyhow.

Posted by: Ray Guest at June 18, 2006 12:24 AM
Comment #158839

I guess we better reform something,

Read this about election fraud

Some interesting points:

Based on the review of several different very specific state and federal requirements, laws and provisions, the unsecured overnight storage of Diebold voting machines and their memory cards in poll workers houses, cars and garages in the days and weeks prior to the closely watched election between Republican Brian Bilbray and Democrat Francine Busby violated several federal and state provisions which, if not followed, would revoke the certification of use for the voting systems in any California election.
just last week, two different elections in an Iowa Republican primary revealed that the popular incumbents — who had both apparently “lost” their races after paper ballots were optically-scanned — had in fact won their races after a subsequent manual hand-count revealed the scanners were programmed incorrectly.

Interesting stuff. I’m going to see if I can find out more about it. Wish I could post, I hate to put this at the end of a long blog, it needs it’s own.

Posted by: womanmarine at June 18, 2006 12:25 AM
Comment #158844

Now bear in mind, when talk about a very, very, very slow microscopic bit by bit hard drive scan… A one hundred Gigabyte hard drive contains 100 trillion bytes - each byte is 8 bits - so you are talking about 800 trillion bits - slowly - one by one…

Posted by: Ray Guest at June 18, 2006 12:35 AM
Comment #158845

Ray:

What are you talking about?

Posted by: womanmarine at June 18, 2006 12:36 AM
Comment #158846

womenmarine,

Just keep applying to become a WatchBlog writer. I am sure that they will let you on as soon as space becomes available.

Posted by: Ray Guest at June 18, 2006 12:39 AM
Comment #158847

womenmarine,

I am not sure which part of my comments that you are asking about?

Posted by: Ray Guest at June 18, 2006 12:41 AM
Comment #158848

This one:

Now bear in mind, when talk about a very, very, very slow microscopic bit by bit hard drive scan… A one hundred Gigabyte hard drive contains 100 trillion bytes - each byte is 8 bits - so you are talking about 800 trillion bits - slowly - one by one…

Posted by: Ray Guest at June 18, 2006 12:35 AM

Posted by: womanmarine at June 18, 2006 12:44 AM
Comment #158849

This one is an easier read:

just the tip of the iceberg I think

Posted by: womanmarine at June 18, 2006 12:46 AM
Comment #158850

That comment was an emphasis and continuation of a “rant” at Jack comment I posted above it - but comments got posted in between. The non-ranting point that I am emphasizing is that it is very difficult to verify the technical accuracy of electronic voting machines without paper trials. A “black box” as commonly applied to electronics refers to a box with some wires hanging out of it - typically, you only know what the inputs and outputs of it are - you can hook it up - but you don’t know how it works - I am an electronics technician - I have studied digital electronics - but my laptop is a black box to me - I turn it on - it connects to the WiFi - I have a vague understanding of what is happening inside of it - but I have no electrical schematics and could not read them all even if I did - so I don’t really know how it does what it does - it does it magically - electronic voting machines are the same way - that is why we need another way to check them.

Posted by: Ray Guest at June 18, 2006 1:01 AM
Comment #158851

Jack:thanks

traveler: I am humbled by your historical prowess.I will still submit that the founders class,gender , race and culture shaped their thinking and actions. If you find that as holding contempt for them you are in error. I find that just a recognition of their humanity. The dichotomy of Jefferson(my hero) I find particularly striking. The hand that penned the Declaration of Independance was also the hand of a slave owner as you know. I am quite grateful they had the wisdom to build in the ability to change the Constitution and I regard misuses of that ability as near sacreligious. For example the Volstead act and the current flag burning and anti-gay marriage proposals.Disgraceful. Theres your real contempt for the founders.
At any rate I responded to your post refering to democracy as a hellhole mostly out of curiosity. Did I miss a satirical point ?
. Would you care to elaborate?

Posted by: BillS at June 18, 2006 1:02 AM
Comment #158853

Interesting to be a nemesis.


You have to be careful with elections. They are just not that precise. People make mistakes. Not everyone can figure out the system. There is a simple statistical variation. An election is not a metaphysical event where we divine the true intention of “the people.” It is a practical exercise where we come to a reasonable approximation of the consent of the governed.

Of course we should work to make them as accurate and honest as possible and eliminate any systemic bias, but demanding perfection will destroy democracy, which is not a perfect organizing principle.

Consider the very real constraints.

You are working with a diverse group of people. Many of the voters will be confused. People who could not properly use an ATM machine are encouraged to vote. Illiteracy is no barrier. We don’t want to intimate people, so we require less from them than we would for a person to borrow a book at the library. It is also true that people are conflicted when they vote and may well lie about their true intentions that is why we have a SECRET ballot. That is the biggest challenge of all. We can NEVER match a particular vote with a particular person, so there is a limit to the effectiveness of any audit.

I have been an election observer. It is a very serious business. Both parties are represented (and other can also watch). The polls are usually run by old people who don’t seem to have any particular bias. Lawyers are all over the place. News cameras are filming. It would be hard to pull anything.

There is no doubt that in every election mistakes and fraud happens, but there is a lot more smoke than fire. When you compare all the tall tales with actual indictments, you see that. This is the kind of thing we are talking about.

You can make a conspiracy theory about that if you want, but you have to recall that this particular county is run by Dems.

Posted by: Jack at June 18, 2006 1:34 AM
Comment #158856

So, Jack, you think that just because folks get upset at obvious discrepancies that they shouldn’t? We do understand that perfection probably cannot be achieved, the point is that we should assure that we are as close as possible.

You can keep you’re “we can’t get it right so why worry” attitude. It’s that kind of thing that allows for fraud and makes people more concerned. It is not conspiracy theory to wonder about obvious discrepancies. Plus, there really are conspiracies sometimes :)

Posted by: womanmarine at June 18, 2006 1:42 AM
Comment #158862

Amazing! It just goes on and on. Democrats lost in Florida because they did not get the electoral college vote…PERIOD! Elections are not won by popular vote. When they don’t win, Democrats just demand recount after recount UNTIL they do “win”…just look at all the recounts done in the state of Washington during their last election for Governor. Gregoire demanded recount after recount until they finally came out in her favor, and then declared herself the winner…never mind the fact that there were accusations made that she “won” throught the use of votes cast by dead people and repeat voters. All that matters is that ONE of the many recounts gave her the victory. She stole the election, but I don’t hear any Dems complaining about voter fraud in Washington.

Ray—

In your opening article, you say that liberal groups such as UAW are better than “big business” b/c they have a history of representing the common man, and politics would be better if politicians ONLY had to sell out to liberal groups. WHAT COMPLETE ARROGANCE!!!!! But that should come as no surprise, because arrogance and disdain for the common man you supposedly represent is a hallmark of the liberal mentality!! (Oh and by the way, the UAW IS big business).

Want to have campaign finance reform? Lets talk about some of the Dems’ favorite “big money” spokesgroups. AFL-CIO and UAW, two of the biggest and most powerful and clearly left wing groups in the United States, even though they constantly go against the wishes and beliefs of their members, most of whom are conservative. Or how about groups like PETA and Greenpeace and the Brady Campaign, and the other wacko environmentalist and anti-gun groups whose anti-gun agendas are constantly touted as the majority opinion in a country where gun ownership is guranteed by the Constitution? They don’t give “big money” to their favorite liberal politicians in an attempt to sway their vote on gun legislation? BULL!!!

What about the power of the liberal Hollywood elites?! How many of you regular people out there have ever been allowed to testify before Congress about YOUR pet issues? I know I haven’t. So how is it OK for them to have more representation and sway, just because of their celebrity status, than I have? I think that qualifies as having more free speech than the rest of us (re: your opening comments Ray). But of course it must be because they know so much more than the rest of us about any issue…just ask them, they’ll tell you!

I have read hundreds of articles, blogs, books, newspaper stories and various other writings by liberals and Democrats, and one theme comes through loud and clear. Liberals have a total disregard for the opinions of others, especially those who dare to disagree with them; and a terrifying excess of contempt for those who don’t think like they do and vote like they do.

I have seen, without any provocation from other writers, liberals in blogs and chat forums resort to name calling against conservative writers for no other reason than that the conservative dared to voice an opinion contrary to that liberal’s dearly held beliefs. I have seen conservatives referred to, in blatant personal attacks, as being ignorant, rednecks, hicks, morons, stupid, dumb (that one right here in an earlier liberal post…one, I might add, that the blog moderator didn’t chastise the writer for as he did to my conservative brother) and numerous other vile and derogatory names, for no other reason than that the liberal author/s had decided that the conservative authors, because they dare to voice an opinion contrary to the liberals point of view, was not worthy of being heard. ARROGANCE!!

You liberals think that you are right on every issue, and anyone who dares to disagree with you is ignorant, uneducated, or has been manipulated (indicating that until such time as they agree with you they obviously can’t think for themselves, because if they could, they would agree with YOU)!! Again…arrogance.

You are hung up on “education”, using this as a means of attacking someone when they voice a contrary opinion. It wasn’t the conservatives or the Republicans who brought up education and IQ in the last Presidential race, it was liberal Democrats, attacking George Buch because he didn’t have better grades, and because he supposedly had a lower IQ than Kerry and Gore and the rest, as if this somehow makes him less of a man. Liberals routinely launch personal attacks against their “adversaries” when all else has failed, attempting to denigrate their opponents and thereby downplay their views, ideas and beliefs as unimportant, bigoted, mean-spirited, hateful and unworthy of consideration.

I could go on, but I see I have filled too many paragraphs as it is. Last thought…for the author who earlier said that Republicans need to clean house…look in the mirror brother. You guys aren’t squeeky clean either (Thomas Jefferson, Democrat, Louisiana comes to mind).

DaveR

Posted by: David Riley at June 18, 2006 2:16 AM
Comment #158863

traveller,
It is a long thread and I missed your earlier comment about the number of Senators being indexed to population. I don’t think that you understood what I was saying. I am not suggesting having 2 Senators in one state and 5 Senators. The Senate would be just like the House and that would undermine our system. What I am saying is that population density has increased dramatically in the last two hundred years, so each Senator now represents a much larger number of people. If you increased the number of Senators to 3 Senators per state, or 4 Senators per state. This would still retain the Federalist states rights nature of the Senate which is important. But it would do is reduce the size of each Senators district. This would have several important effects. One: Smaller district = less expensive campaign = less dependence on money = less dependence on big money special interest. Two: Smaller district means each Senator has a smaller number of constituents, which means the Senator can make the time to meet more of the small business owners, more of the preachers, community leaders, and local activist, so common people will have more influence on their Senator which could counter-balance the influence of big money special interest. Three: Michigan for example, is a blue state with two great Democratic Senators - this is good - for me - I am a Democrat - but there are plenty of Republicans around here - if we had 3 Senators - there would be no way to gerrymander the state that did not involve allowing one Repub bum in - so this would result in more bipartisanship as mixed state delegations agreed on initiatives in the best interest of their respective states - and Republican Michiganders would have a Senator to rally round - and of course those red state Dems would wind up with a Democrat Senator to rally to. Finally, smaller districts might give independents a chance. But, for emphasis, understand, I am not talking about having different numbers of Senators in different states - each state would continue to have equal representation as every other state.

Posted by: Ray Guest at June 18, 2006 2:21 AM
Comment #158864

David Riley,

Welcome. I think this is your first comment in one of my threads - keep coming back - my nemesis Jack needs help. Now… …about your comment… gosh… I agreed with a lot of it… if you apply it to both Republicans and Democrats - that is. Hadn’t thought about the liberal Hollywood elites… of course the conservative Hollywood elites get more play as well… of course these are real people - not synthetic corporate people - real people who have risen to the forefront as leaders through their own initiative - people who become public figures are natural leaders and will have a louder voice - politicians are also in the forefront as public figures and leaders and they have a louder voice as well. Corporation are synthetic people using synthetic free speech (money) to control the mass media and shout the rest of us down. That is different from natural real people leaders - leading.

The UAW is a large institution - a synthetic person - but it has proud tradition of fighting for the poor and disenfranchised and of course it has its own sacred cows - and I pointed out the corrupting influence of that - but there is no comparison between that and Merck Medco A.K.A. Satan Incarnate.

Finally, It is true. We Dems are a little hung up on education and science. True. All true.

Posted by: Ray Guest at June 18, 2006 2:52 AM
Comment #158865

Tim and Adrianne,
The headline on your link is still:

Florida recount study: Bush still wins

The only reason stated for a possible Gore victory (and notice it is slightly possible) lies in voter errors. So we are going to go ahead and blame that on Bush. I think it would be the Democratic voters then who made the errors.

Tim as far as voter fraud in both elections, In lots of research I only find individual voters commiting some kind of fraud and that on both sides. I dont know where you get your 95% benefit to Republicans figure but I sure cant find it.

Posted by: scott at June 18, 2006 2:54 AM
Comment #158866

Ray Guest.

“There is good evidence that Gore won. But forget that.”

Where? Show me! we already dicounted that

WASHINGTON (CNN) — A comprehensive study of the 2000 presidential election in Florida suggests that if the U.S. Supreme Court had allowed a statewide vote recount to proceed, Republican candidate George W. Bush would still have been elected president.

http://www.cnn.com/SPECIALS/2001/florida.ballots/stories/main.html

Posted by: scott at June 18, 2006 2:57 AM
Comment #158867

And let’s throw this in for good measure:

Question: Which national party had it in their handbook to yell election stealing whether or not it really happened?

ANSWER: OK look it up!

Posted by: scott at June 18, 2006 3:10 AM
Comment #158869

Adrianne’

One more thing. (sorry)

I love your link:CNN: Florida Ballots Project
http://www.cnn.com/SPECIALS/2001/florida.ballots/stories/main.html
But you say:
here is an article that explains the many ways the 2000 election was stolen from Gore:

It Includes:
Gore’s four-county strategy

Suppose that Gore got what he originally wanted — a hand recount in heavily Democratic Broward, Palm Beach, Miami-Dade and Volusia counties. The study indicates that Gore would have picked up some additional support but still would have lost the election — by a 225-vote margin statewide.


But nowhere does it say anything about any election stealing. If anyone can find it in there let me know!

Posted by: scott at June 18, 2006 3:19 AM
Comment #158870

Ok I thought I would let you guys run in circles for a while but I changed my mind.

TIM ADDRIANNE

The article Adrianne refers to is the exact SAME article I refered Tim to in the first place!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

http://www.cnn.com/SPECIALS/2001/florida.ballots/stories/main.html

Posted by: scott at June 18, 2006 3:24 AM
Comment #158873

Ray

Thanks for the welcome, although you may regret it later…LOL.

First: I don’t think Jack “needs help”. He does a find job all by himself. Your liberal arrogance is what leads you to believe that you are somehow “beating” him and thus he needs my assistance.

Second: The elitist Holloywood lefties are not leaders because they have “…risen to the forefront…through their own initiative…”. I would argue that they are not leaders at all, because no one with any common sense would follow them. They are activists, with specific agendas, which they espouse at every opportunity. The reason they are able to do this is not because they are leaders and therefore people want to hear what they have to say. They are able to get their word our because they are celebrities, and thus have almost unlimited access to forums and venues which the rest of us do not have. Try calling up “People” magazine or “Us” or “Access Hollywood” and offering to give an interview on the subject of your choice…see what they say. Try offering to testify before Congress about some fake scare like Alar on apples or global warming, and see how many major media outlets would give a damn what you have to say. Get real Ray…liberal Hollywood elites are able to ram their agendas down our throats purely because they have access to the media and we don’t…it is that simple. And by the way, name me one conservative Hollywood elite who pushes their agenda publicly in the media. I bet you can’t do it.

Third: Regardless of whether you are willing to admit it or not, there are no better “big business” influence peddlers. Having a tradition of fighting for the common man doesn’t make up for the crap UAW and many of the other major unions have been guilty of. My sister worked in a grocery store when she was a teenager. She worked part time and was forced to pay union dues (in the same amount as the full time workers), but was not allowed to participate in the union activites, collect union benefits or have any say in the running of the union. Basically she was robbed of her money and got nothing for it…all under the guise of “fighting for the poor and disenfranchised” members of the union. So don’t try and sell me on the good intentions and actions of the UAW or any other union…they are as corrupt and arrogant and totally unresponsive to the needs and wants of their members as any other organization YOU can name. Don’t get me wrong…unions have been very beneficial in the past for a great many people in situations where they would otherwise have been unable to make needed changes. But they have all, almost without exception, become bloated and corrupt, representing not the members, but the deep pockets and lying, cheating activites of the elected leadership. They have allowed the worker to become SO POWERFUL that now the employer has virtually NO say in how their companies are run. My father worked in a union shop where many of the workers routinely stood around doing nothing, or stopped production whenever thay felt like it, or asked for tools or services they didn’t need just because they were allowed to have them by union regs; and the company execs were paralyzed from doing or saying anything for fear the employees would cry foul and run to their union reps in tears over some perceived violation of their “rights”. Unfortunately unions, particularly the big powerful ones like UAW and AFL-CIO and others, have outlived their usefulness and have become parodies of themselves. You want to talk about greed and theft and bribery and the rich haves against the have-nots…look no further than your local union leadership cadre.

Fourth: Please don’t try to convince me that the mass media is being “controlled” by anyone. The “mass media” as you liberals like to refer to it, is almost 100% liberal. It is rather funny that you rail against the control of the mass media by big business but you also made the comment about the moneyed elites trying to “…Fox newsify the Internet and spoon feed our opinions to us”. The mainstream liberal media in this country do that on a daily basis. They dictate what stories are run, how they are reported, how they are slanted (usually against the military, against gun ownership, pro-abortion, pro-big government, pro new taxes and new social programs, anti-business, anti-religious) and in affect force feed us their version of events. Along comes Fox news, with their more conservative bent and letting people decide for themselves what is true and what is not, and you liberal hate them.

You liberals can’t stand anyone or anything which allows people to think for themselves and possibly leads to them disagreeing with YOU!! Hence your (liberals) intense dislike (I would say outright hatred) for people like Rush Limbaugh and Ann Coulter and the like. They tell the stories that that the liberal mainstreamn media won’t, and they advocate positions which are contrary to the liberal party line, leading to more name calling and outright slander, often aimed at the messenger and not the message!!

Admit it Ray…until we all think like you and follow you lockstep down the liberal path to enlightenment, in your eyes we are all just dumb, uneducated redneck backcountry hicks whose opinions aren’t worth the keyborad I typed this on. You won’t be happy until everyone thinks like you and is willing to give up all their rights and let the government (ie: you liberal elites…a chosen few I am sure) control every aspect of our lives from cradle to grave…all for our benefit of course, because we are ignorant and don’t know what is good for us…which you do I am sure.

Posted by: DaveR at June 18, 2006 4:22 AM
Comment #158874

Jack,

I am deeply sorry. I have not provided your comments in this thread with level of attention that the comments of a Nemesis deserve. I have been busy putting out Bush fires. Your arguments in this thread seem very reasonable and persuasive. Indeed, I agree with much of what you say. If you keep this up, I shall promote you to ARCH NEMISIS with the full Honorary Suffix of Mighty Little Sicillian Eagle Poop.

It is late so just a short response for now…

Much is made of the fact that many of Bush’s Republican followers tend to be fundamentalist Christians. This may explain why we talk past each other on this issue of electronic voting machines and paper trails.

We have a lot of fun pointing out the logical inconsistencies, contradictions, and paradoxes of fundamentalist Christian dogma. But, fundamentalist Christians accept Jesus as their Lord and Saviour on blind faith… Soren Kierkegaard basically said that one should make an empty handed leap of faith into the void against all reasonable probability that God exists. In other words, you should not try to prove Gods existence through reason - because to do so is to place your faith in reason and not in God - rather you should “know” God through a leap of blind faith - knowledge of God lies in that existential / experiential relationship with God that results from blind trust. That is what the best of the fundamentalist do. God is real for them because of their personal experiential relationship with God. I am not so different. Part of the time, I am a meditative tin hat atheist. Part of the time, I am a new age tin hat mystical Christian (A Course In Miracles) that interprets Christ message from an eastern or Buddhist perspective. But all of the time, I believe that spirituality is experiential.

God works in Mysterious ways his wonders to perform… Electronic voting machines also work in mysterious ways. Many of you folks accept God on blind faith and you want the rest of us to accept the results of electronic voting machines on blind faith. Experiential blind faith relationships with God work great. Have you ever had an experiential relationship with an electronic voting machine? You could unplug it from the wall and stick the cord in your annal orifice… That would be experiential… Cogito ergo cord up the duppa… Translated as: I think I have a cord up my… experience that. So, experiential relationships with electronic voting machines are kinky at best… but you will know that your duppa exists.

God works in mysterious ways… experiential relationships with God are better than experiential relationships with electronic voting machines… It would in point of actual fact, be more reasonable to simply ask Jerry Falwell who God wants the next President to be. After all Jerry has an experiential relationship with magical mystical black box that has told him why America was struck on 911. He is a Republican. Diebold Voting machines work in mysterious ways. The head of Diebold is Republican. Whats the difference? Blind faith - mysterious ways - Republicans. I see no difference.

Posted by: Ray Guest at June 18, 2006 4:30 AM
Comment #158876

DaveR,
Wow, Nice rant. Unfortunately you lost me when you said most UAW members are consertive. That sir is a complete and outright lie. You see I work in an auto factory and i am in the UAW, I am also a 3rd generation union man. Who happens to live in Michigan , so i have known quite a few auto workers in my 36 yrs and i would say 90% are not conservative at all. At least the few thousand ive met. Try know what youre talking about before you explode into a diatribe of neocon talking points.

Posted by: invictusmanen at June 18, 2006 5:19 AM
Comment #158882

Invictus

First of all, what the hell is a “neocon”? You guys throw this term around constantly whenever you want to make us look bad, so I assume it has some deep meaning. Talk about a talking point…this term comes from the liberal 101 vocabulary list.

Second, I don’t quote “talking points”. That’s another accusation you libs like to use whenever a conservative disagrees with you, as a way to say that we can’t think for ourselves and we are being led around like sheep. Not so Invictus. I don’t need someone else to do my thinking for me. It is the libs, not the conservatives, who are constantly quoting this and that author, or telling everyone that they should go read this book or that book and we would become so enlightened and come over to the side of the liberal elites.

Third…I believe that MOST blue collar workers, and hence most people in unions, are conservative, or at the very least they are middle of the road. Maybe the people you spend the most time with are more liberal, because most people spend their leisure time with people like themselves. And maybe the UAW is more liberal, but blue collar people and the average Joes in general tend to be conservative and want many of the same things socially, politically and economically as their conservative brethren. That is my opinion based on the hundreds of people I have worked with and known in my career, in many years of attending college in Ohio and Idaho, and in my daily life and travels. Most people in this country are disgusted by and fed up with things such as the idea of abortion on demand; “art” that consists of a jar of piss with a crucifix in it; rich white Democrats who get away with murder (Teddy Kennedy comes to mind) while rich white Republicans are the bad guys; failed social programs rampant with fraud (food stamps and welfare come to mind)…created by liberals to “help” the poor while stealing from the rich; anti war zealots who undermine our goals and would see us dismantle our military or turn control of it over to the United Nations; higher taxes and more socialized programs; attempts to create yet more programs for “rights” we don’t have and for services that the individual should be responsible for themselves (health care comes to mind). So if you or your buddies agree with 2 or more of these ideas, then you might be a closet conservative.

Posted by: DaveR at June 18, 2006 9:46 AM
Comment #158884

DaveR,

I am a UAW member as well, my father joined the union at Chrysler Corp back when the company goons were throwing people off from overpasses…
Me and my buddies; closet conservatives… you take that back… call us commie pinko fags if you want… but not closet conservatives… The UAW is democratic, if so many of its people are conservative, how come they keep electing liberal leaders. It is true that some of us are conservative. It is true that many of us are conservative on a few hot button issues. But just because we have a few latent conservative tendencies, (we do like the NRA and guns) - it doesn’t mean that we are closet conservatives…

From your vehemence, I am sure that your talking points are sincerely held personal beliefs… but they do kind of line up with conservative talking points… maybe… you hears some conservative talking points somewhere… Faux News comes to mind… and maybe you agreed with them… that is why THEY create them… that is why we liberals wear our tin foil hats - they protect us from the red rays. My wife explained that to me last night. Before that I didn’t even know why I wore that thing. I thought that it was a fashion statement.

Posted by: Ray Guest at June 18, 2006 10:13 AM
Comment #158890

DaveR,

To continue my last comment: Closet conservatives… of all the gall… We in the UAW like our guns… half of our guys are armed and dangerous… those postal guys are just men in short pants… we got Uzzies - we got Glocks… don’t make us go postal… closet conservatives… we get free lawyers… we can shoot you in the face - wait 24 hours to sober up - then call a free lawyer… the Dick Cheney has nothin on us… of course even as we speak, the NSA is probably assigning a crack team of men in blue to infiltrate and subvert the UAW… I am a true blue liberal though. I don’t own a gun. You can call me anything. Now as far as urine and crucifixes… well if the artist or observer happened to be an alter boy in the wrong church… it does kind of make a bold unequivocal cathartic statement - doesn’t it.

Posted by: Ray Guest at June 18, 2006 11:13 AM
Comment #158909

No kidding, but here is a way to help at least ONE candidate with funds:

This is it! Nancy is one of only five candidates in the country that has made it to the Democracy for America runoff! Today, Monday June 19, is the only day you can vote for Nancy to become the next candidate to be endorsed by Democracy for America. The polls are open from 9am to 5pm Eastern. Follow this link to the DFA website and vote for Nancy right away: http://tools.democracyforamerica.com/housevote/. Just 30 seconds of your time can help raise us tens of thousands of dollars and get the netroots excited about the campaign!

Nancy is running in Michigan’s Ninth district. MI-09 is a 50/50 district and has a history of voting for Democrats. Governor Jennifer Granholm and Senator Debbie Stabenow both won the district in 2002 and John Kerry got 49% of the vote in 2004. It took Republican incumbent Joe Knollenberg outspending his last opponent by at 10-1 margin to win in ’04. Since then, he’s gotten himself into some hot water. He’s been forced to defend his $8.3 million earmark in the latest AMTRAK budget bill intended for his second largest donor in the international news.

It turns out Knollenberg’s pork is really starting to get under the skin of people who want the government to start spending their money responsibly. Largely because he toes the Republican Party line with Tom DeLay 96% of the time and turns a blind eye to wasteful spending, only 43% of respondents a recent poll registered to vote say that they plan on voting for Knollenberg against an unnamed Democrat. The time to take back our country is now! Vote for Nancy in the DFA Grassroots All-Star Contest and help make a change for 2006!

Posted by: Andrea at June 18, 2006 3:03 PM
Comment #158915

Andrea,

I did not see the link to the voting on that site… please post better instructions… I am in Michigan and might be able to give Nancy some support.

Posted by: Ray Guest at June 18, 2006 3:49 PM
Comment #158916

Andrea,

Sorry, voting is closed.

Posted by: Ray Guest at June 18, 2006 3:52 PM
Comment #158924

Dave R,

Guess who said this:

“People talk about the middle of the road as though it were unacceptable. Actually, all human problems, excepting morals, come into the gray areas. Things are not all black and white. There have to be compromises. The middle of the road is all of the usable surface. The extremes, right and left, are in the gutters.”

KansasDem

Posted by: KansasDem at June 18, 2006 4:21 PM
Comment #158925

Dave R.: Neo-con meams literally new conservative. A tradional conservative’s primary political objective is preservation of the status quo along with a respect for individual rights,states rights etc. A go slow approach is their hallmark. This just does not apply to neo-cons. Somewhat apt would be “radical conservative”. Problem with that is the two words constitute a contradiction in terms.Some on the left might refer to them as reactionaries,also not quite accurate. The term neo-con in itself is not negative any more than the term liberal although both sometimes get spit out with venom.
I am a union member(Carpenters local 751). My union has a big PAC and for the most part they use it to our benefit. Members that object to its use can opt out anytime they want to. By pooling many small contributions into large ones we are able to get into the room with the wealthy doners. They resent the hell out of working people speaking the same language and launch periodic campaigns to shut us up. Look around. There are no other institutions in America that speak up for working people.Under this administration,even the Dept. of Labor is a corporate schill.
Generally our members are pretty conservative on many issues. We do not spend our money on gay rights or womens choice issues etc. But if you look at classic left- right issues most members are far left. By that I mean we believe working people are not getting their fair share of the wealth they create. We support candidates that help to that end, supporting things like minimum wage increases,work place safety,lobor law enforcement. Currently most of these candidates are Democratic but we do support the very rare pro-labor Republican.

Posted by: BillS at June 18, 2006 4:22 PM
Comment #158929

Andrea: Read that Huffington artical closely and pay close attention to how the vote is actually taken. Meet the county registrar, ask questions and let them know we are watching closely.

Posted by: BillS at June 18, 2006 4:34 PM
Comment #158939

OK Kansas:
My guess is GWB, He says a lot of things. I like this one better,to paraphrase” The only thing to be found in the middle of the road are white lines and dead armidillos.”

Posted by: BillS at June 18, 2006 6:04 PM
Comment #158941

To expand on BillS’s definition of neo-conservatism-
It came into the fore when a group of socialists began began supporting Nixon and the Vietnam war.
Nixon being deemed a conservative for no other reason than his membership in the Republican party, as is the case with Bush, they called themselves new conservatives, thus, neo-conservative.
One of their early guiding lights was Irving Kristol, publisher of “The Weekly Standard ” magazine. A prominent leader of the current infection is Paul Wolfowitz who has been known to openly praise Trotsky and debate the best way to incorporate his ideology into American policy.
The foundational ideology of neo-conservatism is Trotskyism with its call for welfare statism, internationalism, perpetual war and the destruction of the middle class.

Posted by: traveller at June 18, 2006 6:26 PM
Comment #158962

Jack,

In another post I asked if you would stand in line ten hours to vote. This is what people in Ohio had to do, but only in precincts that were expected to vote heavily democratic. Exit polls showed Ohio going to Kerry beyond the margin of error. I don’t know nor can I claim that 2000 or 2004 were stolen but there is certainly enough evidence in my mind to suggest that it was possible. It has to be in the best interest of this country to have an election that all but eliminates these things from happening. One reform that could be made is a automatic audit or “recount” of the paper ballot that is filled out and fed into some of the electronic voting machines. A scientific sampling should be taken and compared to the actual results. Not the entire vote but a random sample of a small percentage of that vote. Do you think this is possible, or would it be to great a threat to the status quo?

Posted by: mark at June 18, 2006 9:13 PM
Comment #158963

Bill S,

That was actually Dwight Eisenhower. My follow up was going to be an explanation of what the Republican Party used to be and what the Neo (or new) conservatives are, but you already nailed that to the barn door. I would add that there has not been a true “old-school” conservative in the white house since Eisenhower.

Eisenhower actually “grew” social programs considerably because he recognized the need. He’d seen first hand what the results could be of failed social policy. He knew that the success of a community could only be measured by including every member of the community in the equation.

Not so with the “Neo-Cons” who actually prefer to turn things back to what they were 80 to 100 years ago. I honestly do think a very few Republicans still “get it”. Maybe Chuck Hagel, maybe Arlen Specter, maybe John McCain, I’m certainly not sure by any means.

I can say with certainty of opinion that the majority of the current “ruling class” have things totally wrong and they are driven by misinformation, greed, and fanatical religious belief. The worst mistake is assuming such an arrogant stance.

The pendulum will swing back to the left. How long and how far are yet to be seen. Then it will swing back to the right. Only change is certain. As pawns in this game we can only hope that we survive to see the next changing of the guard.

KansasDem

Posted by: KansasDem at June 18, 2006 9:15 PM
Comment #158964

Kansas Dem,
That’s a good quote. I haven’t a clue as to who said it but you’ve sure got me curious.

Posted by: mark at June 18, 2006 9:17 PM
Comment #158967

Kansas Dem,
I’m not surprised the Ike said such a great line(s). I refer to him as the last good Republican(which makes some of my Dem friends shudder, they prefer to go back to Abe). My biggest regret about Eisenhower is we ignored his warning about the military-industrial complex. Now, today, we have Chaney and Haliburton running the country.

Posted by: mark at June 18, 2006 9:43 PM
Comment #158980

Mark,

I catch hell for favoring the opinions of Joe Biden. He’s too “Conservative-Lite”. I certainly don’t have the answers to all of our problems, but I’m smart enough to know that extremism on either the right or the left is bound to fail over time.

Knowledge is the single most important quality of a leader. So, what can a human being “know”? Only what has transpired in the past. Everything else is speculation. Knowledge of history is therefore the most important quality in a leader.

Knowledge of history prevents foolish mistakes and allows for wise decisions. It’s been quite a while since I’ve seen knowledgable leadership of my beloved USA.

KansasDem

Posted by: KansasDem at June 18, 2006 11:07 PM
Comment #158993

Ray/BiilS/Traveller

SO given your explanation of what neo-conservative means, how do you all figure that I fit into that category? How do you figure that ANYONE fits into that category if they haven’t specifically come out and said that is what and who they are?

When have I EVER said anything that could be remotely construed to mean that I am against individual rights and states rights, or that I support the creation of a welfare state, perpetual war, the destruction of the middle class and all the other crap you have erroneously attributed to me? How do you get that from what I have written?

You are all so clueless about what it truly means to be “conservative” in middle class America. The values my conservative peers and I believe in and espouse have nothing to do with any of the accusations you have made against me.

I am all for fair treatment of the “working class”, but some of the laws you and your unions have been instrumental in creating go way overboard. Take workplace safety for instance. In my workplace, we recently had an OSHA inspection. We had to do some ridiculous things in our facility, because OSHA, and those who supported its creation, think that people are idiots who can’t and shouldn’t be held responsible for at least SOME of their own safety!! We had to paint certain areas of our walkway RED, just in case after having worked here for months or years, we somehow “forgot” that this area was a tripping hazard. We had to put little caps on the ends of some of the threaded valve wheel bars b/c someone might fall and impale themselves. But if I fall hard enough to impale myself on these bars, the cute little “protective” caps aren’t going to do a damn thing except get lodged in my corpse!! This kind of regulation is ridiculous.

I do believe that people should be paid well for what they do. But when you take a job, you know what you are going to be paid for that job. If it isn’t enough, don’t work there!! If you take the job you can’t go back and whine later about how underpaid you are!!

And none of you ever addressed the abuse by union members of their “rights”, abuse that you KNOW exists. Don’t even deny it. People abuse the system and get away with it because the unions have harassed and bullied the emloyers, who are afraid to say anything about it for fear of crybabies going to their union reps and whining about how the big mean boss got on their shit for standing around and not doing their job and still expecting to get paid for it!!! Well imagine that…a supervisor or company owner actually expecting you to do what you are getting paid for! What a concept!

I am not now, nor have I ever been in support of screwing the little guy. But I also believe in personal resposibility. I believe that you and I and all of us have to take SOME measure of responsibility for our own safety at work and in everyday life. You can’t and should not expect the governemnt to protect you and your family from all the possible bad things that can happen to you. It is unrealistic, and reeks of socialism and big brother.

If you care to have me enlighten you on what I and my fellow conservatives REALLY hold dear in our hearts, I would be happy to do so.

Don’t compare me to the politicians. Those guys abd gals (on both sides of the aisle) do whatever they have to in order to get votes. Being conservative is NOT necesarrily the same as being Republican, but their party best represents what we believe.

Posted by: DaveR at June 19, 2006 12:40 AM
Comment #159000

Great posts, Ray.
You too, womanmarine.
DavidR, I’ll be the forth person replying to you who has direct connection with Unions and who is liberal. I was a former member of Union, and I’m liberal. My husband is a Union man and a liberal also. Most of us brothers and sisters in unions are Liberals not “conservative”. We’re just not that stupid. The idea of “conserving the status quo” and giving the wealthy all the power over us would be utterly and completely illogical.

Re: Screwed up elections:
I’m tired of debating this issue with the Republicans, and I’m not going to bother to do so any longer. I honestly don’t give a rats tuchus what they “think” about this issue. Their complete denials all across the board over the many many problems, the obvious and blatant disenfranchisement, the too suspicious occurances — not to mention their refusal to discuss what we now know beyond a shadow of doubt (due to many court cases) — that electronic voting machines are basically a wide open door for anyone wanting to hack in and steal an election — well their attitudes are totally Ridiculous and Idiotic. Therefore, I’m no longer interested in giving an ear to their pesimisstic opinions. I’m tired of hearing them bleat on and on that our elections can’t really be improved, or made as fair and accountable as possible. It’s Bullsh*t. We all know this. And their opinions aren’t what matter here at all — OURS DO. We pay just as many taxdollars as they pay for our elections, and if half the voters or even one quarter of the voters want hand recounts as verification that our elections haven’t been stolen by electronic voting machines or scanners, then damn it we should get them. If voters in a state want their elections redone because for some mysterious reason not enough machines made it into Democratic districts, we should get that too. Or if certain voters were kept from getting near the voting booths because someone decided to disenfranchise them, then they should be able to vote the following day in those precincts. And if voters are illegally purged from the voter rolls for ANY reason whatsoever, then their votes should be added to the official count later, as well. This is our country and our elections too, it’s just that simple.

Now, if a large percentage of the Democrats would just stop denying reality here (you know who you are), and quit acting like total wimps regarding this issue, we might have a chance to win the next presidential election. (I’m already losing hope for this November since nothing has been done — look at how we’ve already got another questionable situation with Bilbray and Busby.)
Here’s a letter written by Mark Crispin Miller addressing this very problem:
Some Might Call It Treason

Posted by: Adrienne at June 19, 2006 1:44 AM
Comment #159001

DaveR
Sir,I never called you a neo-con or anything else. You asked what neo-con meant and I attempted to tell you.

I am a journeyman union carpenter working heavy construction,bridges,skyscrapers etc. We bust ass. I doubt if 10% of the population could last until lunchtime doing what I do every day.I have been at it for awhile and will be retireing soon with a decent pension I would not have if I had not worked union. My family and I have health care benefits because of the union,not the government.
Admitedly OSHA gets silly sometimes. In my industry they also save lives. When I first started there pretty much was no fall protection. Now we get the time to place handrails etc and have fall protection gear and instruction to use it. Falls kill more of us than anything else. Jobs are safer now.

What unions do is put some power in the hands of workers. When you establish your wages it is always a negotiation,even if its “take it or leave it”,it is still a negotiation. An indivual doesn’t have much power dealing with a company but a group of workers does. Otherwise it is like being in a poker game and you do not get any cards. Companies that pay fair wages do not need unions but they are few and far between.
Ever wonder why you get overtime pay for over 40 hours a week? Why do we generally get saturdays off in this country. It is not by accident or because companies thought it would be nice. It was because unions fought for it and fought for years. People died in the struggle. You might be thinking that that was a long time ago and we do not need unions anymore. Wrong. Every year there are proposals to eliminate overtime put forth by Republican politians in businesses pocket and every year unions fight them back. The struggle goes on. A little gratitude is in order. As far as I know gratitude is a conservative principle also,is it not?
I would like to take you up on your offer. What do you REALLY hold dear in your hearts. You may find we are not so different.

Posted by: BillS at June 19, 2006 1:58 AM
Comment #159002

Dave R,

I’m not one whose feelings are easily hurt, but I directed the Eisenhower quote directly at you and while you took time to rip “Ray/BiilS/Traveller” you totally left me out.

Ike was IMO the last true “Conservative” to hold the office of the Presidency. All since then have been “new” or Neo-Conservatives that put the well being of their “base” ahead of the interests of America as a whole.

Your facts and logic are both flawed.

KansasDem

Posted by: KansasDem at June 19, 2006 1:58 AM
Comment #159003

Adrienne,

I keep looking for my worst fear to come true: some stupid crap allowing Bush 43 to stay in power for another 4+ years in ‘08! Of course maintaining a Republican majority in ‘06 wouldn’t hurt towards that end.

Of course it couldn’t happen. Just like no American President would ever openly violate the Geneva Conventions or violate the rights of American’s thru total disregard of the Constitution. It could never happen.

Jack and Dave R. would never stand for out & out violations of American’s rights.

KansasDem

Posted by: KansasDem at June 19, 2006 2:10 AM
Comment #159007

Kansas:
I doubt they will try to keep GWB in. Too much trouble. Lets face it. He is just a stooge anyway. They will do their utmost to keep power though.My guess is they will nominate a “mavarick.”Other than that your fears are well founded. There is nothing they will not do to maintain power. No line they will not cross.No moral minimum. That is scary.

Posted by: BillS at June 19, 2006 2:57 AM
Comment #159008

Adrienne:
Thanks so much (in your cowardly roundabout way) for calling me stupid for being conservative! You have proven one of my earlier points, which is that when liberals get frustrated or threatened in a discussion or argument, they automatically resort to personal attacks and name calling…kinda like little children on a playground when they don’t get their way. Interesting analogy.

KansasDem:
1) Do you honestly expect me to believe that liberal Democrats don’t put the well being of their “base” ahead of the well being of America? How stupid do you (and apparently Adrienne) think I am? Your liberal buddies around the country advocate for special “rights” for every group and minority they can find, and then create them when they run out. Everyone’s a victim in your world.

And how is promoting the acceptance of sexual deviancy, the killing of unborn children in the womb, the display of sacred religious symbols in degrading ways, the burning of the flag and so many other liberal backed actions good for the country? How is the elimination of personal reponsibility (the victim mentality) good for the country? How is taking away my right to defend myself and my family (through things such as attempting to create gun control programs/bans, and allowing criminals to sue their victims when they get injured by the victim defending themselves) from criminals good for the country?
How is taxing me on every damn thing I buy, every dollar I spend, and then giving that to lazy, non-working welfare bums and cheaters good for the country? (And don’t tell me it doesn’t happen). Creating more taxes to spend on more failed, bottomless pit social programs and a collapsing public education system…how is that good for the country?

3) What Constitutional rights of your have been violated? How has the government totally disregarded the Constitution in your life? Are you in jail on trumped up charges? Has your home been raided without a search warrant? Have you been arrested because you look like a terrorist? Do you know anyone personally who has had any of these things happen to them (I am sure you have…people like you ALWAYS do). I know I haven’t had any of these problems. And don’t throw out thet blather about wiretaps. President Bush, and the Justice Department, and several federal judges, have already addressed these and proven they are not illegal. Oh and by the way, the Constitution applies to citizens…not terrorists plotting the bombing of our country and the death of our people.

To everyone:
I don’t know where you get this idea that regular conservatives like me are for “preserving the status quo” as you continually put it. Again I say, don’t compare me to the crooked politicians (Republican AND DEMOCRAT as well…they all do it) lining their own greedy pockets. Regular conservative Americans like myself are no more in support of screwing the middle class than any of you are. I am middle class, why would I want to screw myself? I am for preserving the moral, ethical and religious values that made this country and our people great.
I am NOT in support of being so open and accepting of rude, offensive, deviant, dangerous and generally considered socially unacceptable behavior that I will stand idly by and allow you or anyone else to push me and mine to the side while you stampede MY rights in support of the sickos and criminals who prey on our society. If that is “preserving the status quo”, then so be it. I quess I am in.

Posted by: DaveR at June 19, 2006 3:06 AM
Comment #159010

DaveR;
Sorry I do not have time to respond to all your points. As to conservatives “preserving the status quo” look in the dictionary under conservative.
Please check back later or tommorrow for more response. Dispite your antagonism you can put a sentence together and that is appreciated.
Goodnight

Posted by: BillS at June 19, 2006 3:21 AM
Comment #159011

DaveR,

You may not believe you are screwing the middle class, but your party is. You see David the wealthy Republicans are getting you all in a tizzy about gays, guns, and abortions all while they are turning back the clock on labor laws and government regulations. Their goal is to get America back to where it was a hundred years ago, a small ruling class that owns most of the wealth, a small middle class comprised of doctors, lawyers and other professionals that the wealthiest people need from time to time, and the rest of us rabble who do all the work for little pay. So while you may think you have the noblest of intentions, in my eyes you are no better than the people you keep voting into power.

Posted by: bushflipflops at June 19, 2006 3:24 AM
Comment #159016

BillS:

Remember, you asked for it. It is long and heartfelt…I hope you have the time and the desire to read it all.

(From here on, when I say “you” in this posting I do not mean you personally but people in general).

For most of us, everything pretty much comes down to personal responsibility. The government is not your babysitter, and does not exist to “give” you stuff. You have the right to “…life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness…”, not the guarantee of happiness. Whatever you give to one person, you have to take from someone else.
You can do whatever you want within the constraints of the law, but you are responsible for the consequences of your actions. It is not someone else’s fault you screwed up, got hurt, are an alcoholic or a druggie, murdered someone, raped someone, mugged someone. There are laws and rules to living in society…if you break them you pay for it…pure and simple. No one forces you to do anything. You have free will and freedom to act, so accept the responsibility that goes with that.

The Constitution is pretty straightforward and does not need to be “interpreted” by experts for it to be understood. It is the supreme law of the land and should be adhered to first and foremost before all other laws, and should be followed 100% (this has not been happening for quite some time). Taking into consideration the historical context under which the people came to this country and under which it was written, it is clear and concise and unquestionable as to what was meant. It is also not the law that protects individuals from other individuals. The Constitution protects citizens from excesses of the government. You have no Constitutional rights against or from me, just as I don’t from you. As a private citizen, it is impossible for me to infringe on your Constitutional rights.

Freedom of speech applies to everyone… including Christians and anti-abortionists, bigots and racists. If I want to spew hate speech, that’s my right. It’s your right not to listen. If I want to hate someone b/c of the color of their skin or their nationality or their religion, that’s my right. ACTING on that is NOT my right, and is covered by various state and local laws. Hence, political correctness, and any law which comes from it, DOES violate my rights and is bullshit. (I myself couldn’t care less what color your skin is, who your god is or where you are from. I have friends and acquintances of all colors and nationalities, and I have never been accused of being racist or a bigot by any of them. My philosophy is, you leave me alone and I will do the same).
Freedom of speech is NOT burning the flag. This is more like a display of childish temper and does nothing but provoke anger and hatred. Besides, it should be remembered that one’s freedom to BURN the flag in the first place is because of the country which that flag represents. Seems kinds hypocritical to burn it as a way to exercise that same freedom.
Freedom of the press doesn’t mean you can say whatever you want and get away with it. Slander is still slander…trials are held in court rooms, not newspaper offices. Lying about someone in print, especially if said lie/s are proven to be unfounded and leads to damaging their reputation or business, should be grounds for monetary reimbursement and removal of the offending journalist. With great freedom comes even greater responsibility.
Freedom of religion doesn’t mean only for a select few “politically correct” ones. There is no Constitutional “seperation of church and state”, and if I want to pray in school or city council or on the steps of the courthouse, as long as I don’t force you to pray as well, you have no right to stop me. If you are offended that is your problem, not mine.

Leave my guns alone. I am a hunter and a sportsman and a law abiding citizen, and I have never used a gun in the commission of a crime. Criminals don’t get their guns in a gun store, and they still won’t if we ban guns either.

You don’t have a “right” not to be offended. You don’t have a “right” to special treatment or reparations because of something that was done to your “people” in the past. What’s done is done…get over it. All white men are not the enemy. I was NOT born 200 years ago, I didn’t own slaves or slaughter Indians or intern the Japanese. I have not done anything to anyone and I don’t owe them an apology or money.

You don’t have a “right” to get the job because there aren’t enough blacks or women (or whatever minority group you belong to) doing that job. The best person for the job should get it. That is reverse discrimination pure and simple…there is no other name for it. By the same token, you shouldn’t be discriminated AGAINST because you’re black or a woman etc.

Art should be uplifting to the human spirit. Putting a crucifix in a jar and pissing in it, or displaying photographs of gay men jamming bullwhips up each other’s asses…this is not art. Displays like these are done with one purpose in mind…to shock the viewer. I don’t have to support this crap with MY tax dollars. It is my money and that gives me the right to be “judgmental”.
For that matter, it should be remembered that ALL government money is my money (and yours and everyone who pays taxes) and as such I have a say in how it is spent, who it is given to and what they do with it. Social programs such as unemployment, welfare and food stamps are TEMPORARY solutions and are meant to assist you in getting back on your feet (I have used them and I got off as quickly as possible). They are not a free ride on the taxpayers back. I don’t have to support bums. Get a job. Get an education. Get training. I don’t mind helping. I do mind being taken for a ride.
I should also have the right to spend my tax dollars (throught the issuance of vouchers) on private school if I want, especially considering that the public school system is failing horribly at their job. This INCLUDES religious schools…because it is my money in the first place, it does not represent government sponsored religion. That is a ridiculous accusation, and is nothing more than a thinly veiled attempt to prevent people from exercising their freedom of religion, and to prevent them from taking money away from the public schools and using it where they see fit to provide the best education for their children.

Marriage is a human societal construct, and was instituted as a way to promote family and provide structure. As such, it logically follows that marriage is between a man and a woman. Any other arrangement negates the purpose of marriage. Since homosexuals and lesbians cannot “naturally” have children, for them marriage is not necesarry. (I personally do support allowing them to declare their partner the recipient of their insurance, properety etc without constraint. You should be able to declare whomever you want to get your insurance…you paid for it).

The free market is the best control over supply and demand. It is not, nor should it be, the governments right or responsibility to control costs, set prices, or institute artificial ceilings (re: the oil/gas price issue). When consumers get fed up with something costing too much, they buy less of it. The supplier responds by lowering prices. It is not good economics nor good policy for the government to stick their noses into private business…not to mention which it is none of their concern. Their role is clearly spelled out in the Constitution and nowhere in there does it say that government has the right to tell a business how to run their business. The federal government’s role, via the Constitution, is to regulate interstate trade and set tariffs, not to tell anyone how much to charge for their product or penalize them for “gouging”. The market will handle that just fine. If I own my own business, I have a right to deny service to anyone I choose, for whatever reason I choose. You can shop somewhere else if you don’t like it. I have the right to control my business environment (I am specifically referring to the smoking bans in effect in many states…again instances of governments overstepoping their authority by making laws telling people how they must run their business). No one is forced to go into a smoking restaurant or bar, and they are not guranteed the right to do so either.

Well, I have offered up quite a lot. Maybe too much. But I hope you read it all and now understand that when I say I am conservative, that does not imply that I am racist, bigoted, pro big-business, anti-individual rights. I just want to be left alone, with a minimum of government interference, to live my life the best I can and provide for the needs of me and my family.

Oh and one other thing. I am a firm believer in the right of a person to defend themselves and their family from harm. I own guns, I know how to use them, and anyone who f—ks with my family can count on one thing…I will kill you and I won’t lose a moments sleep over it!!

DaveR

Posted by: DaveR at June 19, 2006 5:34 AM
Comment #159022

bushflipflops:

I know…it is all just one big conspiracy isn’t it. THEY (the mysterious they) are all trying to make slaves of us working slobs…as if the majority of working class Americans would allow that to happen ro continue if it did happen. So how exactly are “they” doing this? What changes have they made that threaten your very existence? You made the claims…now provide the evidence.

Again, you like so many others of your political persuasion, have implied that because I am conservative I cannot think for myself and that only liberals can funtion without coercion…that the Republicans, through their patented mind control techniques (which they probably got from the UFO’s we all know they have in AREA 51 and they have lied about for 50 years), have gotten me and mine “…all in a tizzy…”!!
Did you ever once…EVEN ONCE…stop to consider that we are in a tizzy about things which we BELIEVE…which we happen to agree with!!! I might disagree with them on issues such as the environment and labor laws, but I don’t need the Republicans to get me worked up…I happen to agree with them on these particular issues (gays, guns and abortion…the three you mentioned).
But I know you find that impossible to believe, because it doesn’t fit with your view of how I should think. You won’t give me credit for being capable of free thought until and unless I start to agree with you, and then you can claim some kind of philosophical victory over the evil conservatives of middle America.
Well it ain’t gonna happen. I own guns and will defend my right to do so with force if necesarry. I believe abortion is morally repulsive and is nothing more than the killing of a human being not yet born…legalized murder. And as for gays…it is not an “alternative lifestyle”. I would be willing to go so far as to agree that it is probably genetic, as long as you and yours are willing to agree that it is a genetic mistake and not “normal”…just like Down’s syndrome and hemophilia (which have been scientifically proven to be genetic mistakes). It cannot possibly be what God or nature (or whatever force you recognize) intended b/c homosexuality does not contribute to the perpetuation of the species and hence has no purpose.

DaveR

Posted by: DaveR at June 19, 2006 5:58 AM
Comment #159027

I’m progressive in the literal sense, so that makes me a conservative in these blogs. Being a thinking, rational person; one who thinks through to the natural consequence, I cannot be other than progressive. Abortion is always the ultimate bad answer to a string of irresponsible blunders for which the little persob takes the rap. Capital punishment is always the natural consequence of a series of irresponsible blunders for which the perpertartor takes the rap.

Gayness is. It does contribute to the world aesthetics. I just cannot abuse these people. That said, every year I want to see a hetero pride parade. Lots of big booby girls marching nekked. But I diverge.

We, the old conservatives, are the new progressives. Most new ideas in political thought are from the right, the right short of far right, the point at which the left and right converge in total chaos and perversion.

Right: Individual rights, individual rewards, big incentive for living well.
Left: Collective rights, collective rewards, no incentive for self improvement.

John

Posted by: john at June 19, 2006 6:29 AM
Comment #159036

John

Well said!

Posted by: DaveR at June 19, 2006 7:31 AM
Comment #159037

DaveR,
I didn’t call you a neo con. I, too, am conservative. The neo-cons aren’t.

Posted by: traveller at June 19, 2006 7:34 AM
Comment #159042

How about this for a radical solution? Ban all political commercials from television. If it were not for the astronomically high cost of TV ads, politicians would not need the outrageously large amounts of money on which to campaign, so they would not need the fat cats.
By doing this, we would ensure that politicians get their message on the television only when they have something substantive to say, on the regularly scheduled news programs.
The neocons, of course, would scream that this would let the “liberal media” executives decide whether something a politician said is newsworthy. Well, the neocons already have Faux News Channel; the big money talking heads can rant on it every night if they want.

Posted by: dragon at June 19, 2006 8:18 AM
Comment #159047

Left: Hopefully our descendants will have a decent world to live in.

Right: Nothing matters except my desires (or) nothing matters cause Jesus is coming.

Posted by: Schwamp at June 19, 2006 8:31 AM
Comment #159050

dragon:

While well intentioned, the net impact of your proposal would only be to increase the number of incumbents getting re-elected. And since it currently stands at 94%, there’s not much further to go.

As far as “newsworthy” events, incumbents can generate far more of these than any challenger could ever hope to. Some of the so called “newsworthy events” would simply be made up so that a news conference could be called. Happens all the time.

The first and most important change that needs to happen is the problem of gerrymandering the districts. This leads to incumbency, at least in the House.

I’m in favor of term limits as well. While some question whether its constitutional or not, I’d suggest that we already have term limits on the Presidency, so there is precedent to establish constitutional term limits on the House and Senate.

DaveS:

I perused your diatribe, and on first glance, found nothing that I disagreed with. Good job.

Posted by: joebagodonuts at June 19, 2006 9:02 AM
Comment #159051

The repubs will never allow or want a paper trail from electronic voting machines as long as Bush family can steal elections in Florida, or the U.S. elections. The dem will never want this to happen in chicago because they have run the elections theire for years. You can not have paper trails when the voters live in cemitary plots.

Posted by: Roger at June 19, 2006 9:03 AM
Comment #159061

QUESTION: Is it time for election reform ?
ANSWER: Yes! It’s very simple.

  • Stop Repeat Offenders.
  • Don’t Re-Elect Them !

Corrupt government never reforms itself.
Only the voters can change it now, but will they?
Or, are the voters just as fiscally and morally bankrupt as the government they keep re-electing?

Some countries have an approval voting system, that offers many more choices.
Unfortunately, what we have now is a very limited choice between tweedle-dee and tweedle-dumb. It is by design. Politicians want to limit the voters choices.
But, no reform is likely until voters learn to stop re-electing the very same corrupt, irresponsible incumbent politicians that use and abuse them.

Posted by: d.a.n at June 19, 2006 10:08 AM
Comment #159062

jbod,
I agree that one of the biggest problems is gerrymandering. It needs to be stopped.
I disagree about term limits, though. What I would like to see is the abolition of pensions for all federal elected offices. Without that gravy train there won’t be many who will make a career of politics.

Posted by: traveller at June 19, 2006 10:08 AM
Comment #159065

No reform is possible without first getting control of the corrupt, irresponsible incumbent politicians first. But, once that is accomplished (if ever), there are a number of no-brainer, common-sense things that need to be done to increase transparency.

Posted by: d.a.n at June 19, 2006 10:12 AM
Comment #159066

Also, it’s possible too many people that used to take action, now only talk about it on blogs, and seldom take action anymore.

Posted by: d.a.n at June 19, 2006 10:13 AM
Comment #159069

Gerrymandering is a serious issue, among many.

Election fraud is equally as serious.

Our limited choices is a serious problem.

Our FOR-SALE, bought-and-paid-for, corrupt, puppet incumbent politicians, influenced by big money puppeteers is a serious problem.

The voters have the power to change it, but not the will and education to understand the importance of education about the entire process, the human factor, the importance of transparency.

Unfortunately, it is human nature to seek security and prosperity with the least effort and pain. Work is effort. Hard work can be painful (in a sense). Most people neglect or put off the hard things as long as they can.
And, sometimes, unethical (even illegal) methods are preferred by some. Especially where there is power and increased opportunity (i.e. lack of transparency). That is why any government is always trying to grow more and more corrupt. It is as certain as any law of phyisics.

Responsibility = Power + Education + Transparency + Accountability

Corruption = Power - Education - Transparency - Accountability

Therefore, the situation in this nation will not change until the pain level is sufficient to create an incentive for voters to protest and vote out irresponsible incumbents, instead of empowering them every election to continue to use and abuse the voters.

So, the cycle continues …
__________________________________
,-(1) Corruption, oppression,
| (2) courage, Responsibility, rebellion,
| (3) liberty, growth, abundance,
| (4) selfishness, complacency, fiscal irresponsibility
| (5) apathy, dependency, fiscal & moral bankruptcy,
` - - return to step (1)
__________________________________
… until we, someday, understand what we are doing that perpetuates it, and learn to stop doing it.

Posted by: d.a.n at June 19, 2006 10:19 AM
Comment #159073

traveller:

If we can solve the gerrymandering problem, I’d willingly give up my support of term limits. Problem is that gerrymandering subverts the will of the people.

Your pension idea is interesting. We certainly should get rid of the pensions for those convicted of crimes while in office. Not sure I’d agree with the rest—I’d prefer term limits, which would essentially reduce a pension amount anyway.

Posted by: joebagodonuts at June 19, 2006 10:32 AM
Comment #159075

DaveR,

Thanks for your substantive contribution to the debate. I have to go put some food on the table - forget Jack - I may have to make you my ARCH NEMESIS.

You wrote:

First: Your liberal arrogance is what leads you to believe that you are somehow “beating” him and thus he needs my assistance.

Second: The elitist Hollywood lefties are not leaders because they have “…risen to the forefront…through their own initiative…”. I would argue that they are not leaders at all, because no one with any common sense would follow them. They are activists, with specific agendas,

Just for fun, I could point out that it might be your conservative arrogance that blinds you to the leadership of people who disagree with you. Or I could ask if conservative Hollywood elites like Heston, or Gibbs are leaders? You conservatives think that Bush is a great leader but we think that no one with any common sense would follow him. Plenty of us follow liberal Hollywood elites - like Bill Maher - but a leader does not necessarily need followers - he certainly does need arrogant conservatives like you to think that he make any common sense. Was Jesus any less of a leader - when he was alone in the wilderness for forty days? Sometimes a real leader is the lone voice in the wilderness that no one listens to, but that everyone should follow - and sometimes - eventually will follow. One thing is sure - leader is apart from the pack.

I will try to give your comments more attention later - thanks.

Posted by: Ray Guest at June 19, 2006 10:47 AM
Comment #159076

Sorry typo, above should read: does not need arrogant conservatives like you

Posted by: Ray Guest at June 19, 2006 10:50 AM
Comment #159079

DavidR
“Adrienne:
Thanks so much (in your cowardly roundabout way) for calling me stupid for being conservative! You have proven one of my earlier points, which is that when liberals get frustrated or threatened in a discussion or argument, they automatically resort to personal attacks and name calling…kinda like little children on a playground when they don’t get their way. Interesting analogy.”

Oh my, aren’t we overly sensitive! But how nice for you to find your own analogies interesting — even when they’re wrong. Maybe you should go back and read what I wrote again. I didn’t call YOU stupid. I called people who are in unions who would vote for Republicans stupid. And they are — jaw-droppingly so. Because Republicans absolutely HATE unions and have been attacking them, and trying to turn the clock back on union achievements for a long, long time. Why would anyone who is in a union vote against their own best interests? Only two choices there: either stupidity, or ignorance.

Posted by: Adrienne at June 19, 2006 10:56 AM
Comment #159086

“Why would anyone who is in a union vote against their own best interests?”

Adrienne, “their own best interests,” is debatable.
Union members who ALWAYS vote liberal, do so because of their wallets.
It is NOT out of “stupidity” or “ignorance” that some union people vote FOR their beliefs.
Not everybody believes in sacrificing their beliefs for the almighty dollar.

Posted by: kctim at June 19, 2006 11:21 AM
Comment #159094

kctim:
“Adrienne, “their own best interests,” is debatable.”

No sir, it isn’t.

“Union members who ALWAYS vote liberal, do so because of their wallets.
It is NOT out of “stupidity” or “ignorance” that some union people vote FOR their beliefs.
Not everybody believes in sacrificing their beliefs for the almighty dollar.”

Yeah, well they should try having their beliefs put food on the table and pay their mortgages and then see how far that will get them. But of course, this isn’t just about the “almighty dollar”, it’s also about actually being able to provide health care for ourselves and our families, also. Voting in our best interests is all about quality of life.

Posted by: Adrienne at June 19, 2006 11:47 AM
Comment #159098

Woman

I think we should always do our best to get things right, but demanding perfection in an imperfect system is worse than useless. To the extent that it erodes confidence it is pernicious.

I used to be a Star Trek fan and Spock was my favorite character. But even as a boy, I got annoyed when he would say something like “impact in 5.3 seconds”. What a stupid comment. It is wrong by the time it is uttered and irrelevant all the time. In statistics we learn about false precision. No need to report to the third decimal if your whole study could be off by 5%.

What Dems are doing is the same as asking Spock to estimate impact in the fraction of a second and then “catching him in the lie” when he is wrong. It is a dumb question and we are dumb to try to answer it.

Ray

The machines CAN be defeated. We have no reason to believe they were or by whom. Diebold owns the company. I don’t think everyone who works there or everyone who knows anything about computers is Republican.

Mark

Checking statistically after the election sound like a good idea and it would be if we did not live in a political system. I would use a simple criterion that if the results of the election fell into the margin or error, we would accept the results. But what would be the margin of error? AND if the winning candidate lost in the statistical survey, but still was within the margin or error, do you think the loser would accept? The statistical sample could prove nothing, but would stir up a hornets nest in any close election.

Posted by: Jack at June 19, 2006 11:54 AM
Comment #159110

Adrienne
It IS debatable though.
Would you be willing to compromise your beliefs in order to get a few extra bucks? I know I would never be able to and from our time on here together, I would never guess you would either.

I have turned down numerous job ops at the KC Ford plant simply because they are union and I know many employees there who are Republicans. Some vote with their wallets, but some are not willing to compromise what they believe is right.

Quality of life differs from person to person and it is in everyones best interest to stand up for what they believe in.

Posted by: kctim at June 19, 2006 12:31 PM
Comment #159120

“Quality of life differs from person to person”

No, not really. Quality of life is being able to pay your bills, feed you family and get health care when you or your loved ones are ill.

“and it is in everyones best interest to stand up for what they believe in.”

People can always stand up for what they believe in. One can be a union member and vote for Liberals and still be religious. One can be a union member and vote for Liberals and not choose abortion for themselves, or for their pregnant teenage daughters. But if one is a union member and decides to put fanatical religious beliefs and the banning of abortion for everyone in the country above the best interests of their own union job and benefits, which the Republicans only attack at every oportunity, that person is either extremely stupid, or they are too ignorant to get the facts on what the Republicans have been doing to unions and how they feel about unions. Period.

Posted by: Adrienne at June 19, 2006 1:04 PM
Comment #159127

Ah, I get it now.
Going against ones beliefs and doing what you think is right, is only appropriate if it falls towards the left side of the political spectrum.
Religious union members who don’t vote liberal are “fanatics.”
Union members who appreciate life are “stupid.”
Union members who think for themselves are “ignorant.”

Double standards and more liberalism hypocrisy.
Period!

Posted by: kctim at June 19, 2006 1:23 PM
Comment #159134

kctim:
“Religious union members who don’t vote liberal are “fanatics.””

If they’re willing to put their own job and benefits on the line in order for America to become a religious theocracy? Yeah, one would have to be fanatical for that.

“Union members who appreciate life are “stupid.””

Appreciate life? Without a job or health benefits? Without food for all those potential little mouths? Yeah, pretty damn stupid.

“Union members who think for themselves are “ignorant.””

If union members have looked at the Republicans policies regarding unions, and have then come to the conclusion that Republicans are pro-union, again that would be stupidity. If they haven’t looked into their policies but just think they’re pro-union simply because they want them to be, that would be appalling ignorance.

Posted by: Adrienne at June 19, 2006 1:43 PM
Comment #159141

Well, I’m sure calling them stupid and ignorant for not thinking like you, will convince them into voting for the left.
Afterall, its not the lefts agenda that is the problem, its that the people are too stupid to know whats best for them.
How dare anybody think for themselves.

Election reform is about one thing, getting more votes.

Posted by: kctim at June 19, 2006 2:00 PM
Comment #159155

kctim, when you say people “who think for themselves” what you’re actually saying is that people should just disregard or totally ignore the FACTS about the Republicans long-held stance and policies against unions. I am dealing in facts here, not mere opinions. The simple truth is, when people who belong to unions actually look at the facts, they’re much more likely to vote for Democrats.

Posted by: Adrienne at June 19, 2006 2:32 PM
Comment #159170

I’m in a union, a local officer in fact, and I detest the Democrats. I don’t like the Republicans any better. Neither party gives a damn about working people. They both care only about power. They each have their own base of suckers they can fool all of the time and fight over the ones they can fool some of the time.
When I vote I look at the candidate, not the party. I vote third party whenever possible. (never Greenie weenies)

Posted by: traveller at June 19, 2006 3:15 PM
Comment #159171

I’m waiting for a Democrat for win the White House in a close election and see how y’all react when the Republicans start with the same crap y’all have been putting out over the last 6 years.
I’m willing to bet that y’all will call them all liars or worse. And cry about how the Republicans are being unfair.

Posted by: Ron Brown at June 19, 2006 3:17 PM
Comment #159172

BTW, I’m for election reform. I’m tired of the two main parties blocking other candidates from the ballots.
I’m also tired of special interest buying the candidates with large contributions. Then owning them when they take office.

Posted by: Ron Brown at June 19, 2006 3:20 PM
Comment #159174

BillS:

Actually, the lines in the middle of the road are yellow — not white. The ones on the edge of the road are white.

Lib confusion on this issue may explain why Sen. Teddy “Hiccup” Kennedy drove off that bridge. :-)

And, I know liberal psycho-savant Jim Hightower (an alleged native Texan) popularized the quote you referenced… but, he had it wrong too…

As every real Texan knows, the dead armadillos are on the side of the road — hanging from the speed limit sign.

Posted by: Right-of-Way at June 19, 2006 3:20 PM
Comment #159175

Ron Brown:

History lesson for ya…

Dems did win close elections… in 1960 and in 1976…

And, neither GOP candidate (Nixon or Ford) filed lawsuits to overturn them.

:-P

Posted by: Right-of-Way at June 19, 2006 3:24 PM
Comment #159176

Adrienne
If any voter, union or nonunion, dug for the facts they’d throw BOTH main parties out of office.
I’m with d.a.n, name me 10 of our current crop of politicians up in DC that deserve to keep their jobs. How about 5?,4?,3?,2?,1?

Posted by: Ron Brown at June 19, 2006 3:27 PM
Comment #159177

Right-of-Way
I know that.

Posted by: Ron Brown at June 19, 2006 3:29 PM
Comment #159178

DaveR et al:
You did not say much that myself or many Democrats have substantial disagreement with.
Just to stay remotly related to the thread,do you have any objection to a requirment that all voting machines print out a verifiable,archivable paper trail? Seems important to me that people have faith in the electoral system. Rightly or wrongly many people do not. That in itself is a problem that should be solved.
Paragraph one.
“…the government does not exist to give you stuff.”
No arguement there. We pay for government services through taxes. Sometimes we get a good deal,sometimes we do not.
Why does government exist?To provide services that are neccessary to insure the common good that the individual cannot provide for themselves. For example: Fire departments. Chances are you will never need their services but you might and your nieghbor might. Does it make sense for you to hire,train and equip your own fire department.Of course not. But it does make sense for you and your nieghbors to get together and create a fire department. Furthur,you also have a vested interest protecting your nieghbors house. His fire could become yours. If he gets burned out he won’t be around to shop at your store etc.
There are some basics we should expect from government.
To provide for the common defense
To enforce laws and protect the rights of the individual
To regulate commerce
To “provide for the common good”
With me so far?These are broad statements and there is certainly room to argue details. Got to go for now. I will get back to you more.


Posted by: BillS at June 19, 2006 3:35 PM
Comment #159181

“And how is promoting the acceptance of sexual deviancy, the killing of unborn children in the womb, the display of sacred religious symbols in degrading ways, the burning of the flag and so many other liberal backed actions good for the country? How is the elimination of personal reponsibility (the victim mentality) good for the country? How is taking away my right to defend myself and my family (through things such as attempting to create gun control programs/bans, and allowing criminals to sue their victims when they get injured by the victim defending themselves) from criminals good for the country?
How is taxing me on every damn thing I buy, every dollar I spend, and then giving that to lazy, non-working welfare bums and cheaters good for the country? (And don’t tell me it doesn’t happen). Creating more taxes to spend on more failed, bottomless pit social programs and a collapsing public education system…how is that good for the country?”

This is the guy that just got done telling us he doesn’t regurgitate right wing talking points.
Yeah, he just thought all that up on his own.

Posted by: Observer at June 19, 2006 3:39 PM
Comment #159184

“Well, I’m sure calling them stupid and ignorant for not thinking like you, will convince them into voting for the left.”

Self preservation should convince them to vote for the left. And yes, voting for the party that has the goal of destroying your orginization WOULD be stupid and ignorant. How is it not?

Posted by: Observer at June 19, 2006 3:44 PM
Comment #159185

Adrienne
“The simple truth is, when people who belong to unions actually look at the facts, they’re much more likely to vote for Democrats”

That is not what we were talking about. You and I were talking about people voting according to their beliefs and having the guts to vote against the union if they believe in standing up for their beliefs.
I say no amount of money could make me vote FOR a party if it stood against what I believed in.
I am not stupid nor am I ignorant.

Besides, everybody knows the Dems pander for the union vote and the Reps go for the military vote. Which is why union members primarily vote Dem and soldiers primarily vote Rep.
Military jobs aren’t being shipped overseas, yet:(
What about union jobs?
Hmmmm.

Posted by: kctim at June 19, 2006 3:44 PM
Comment #159188

“I’m waiting for a Democrat for win the White House in a close election and see how y’all react when the Republicans start with the same crap y’all have been putting out over the last 6 years.”

A fair trade. And in return, we’ll ignore, belittle and obfuscate. I’ll even mail you my “tin foil hat”.
Fair is fair.

Posted by: Observer at June 19, 2006 3:46 PM
Comment #159191

“Military jobs aren’t being shipped overseas, yet:(“

That’s coming. Read about the fall of the Roman Empire. Outsourcing was a cause.

“Besides, everybody knows the Dems pander for the union vote and the Reps go for the military vote.”

A little Fruedian observation here.
Dems “pander”. Reps “go for” votes?
I’m sure it wasn’t an intentional shot.
So, I guess from your observations, we have a choice. Vote dem and support the working american. Or vote con and vote for a military state? Just projecting from YOUR stereotypes.

Posted by: observer at June 19, 2006 3:54 PM
Comment #159192

Observer
Sometimes, ones beliefs trump money. Calling union members who don’t vote Dem, think for themselves and vote according to their beliefs, stupid and ignorant, is no different than calling soldiers stupid and ignorant for voting Dem.

“A fair trade. And in return, we’ll ignore, belittle and obfuscate. I’ll even mail you my “tin foil hat”.”

We know you will.
The left proved they were more than willing to do that throughout the 90’s.

Posted by: kctim at June 19, 2006 3:59 PM
Comment #159193

The rules allowing the Republicrats to exclude third parties from the ballot needs to change, but with the Demoplicans making the rules I’m not holding my breath.

Electronic voting machines are a bad idea whether a paper receipt is provided or not.
Where I vote we have been using a paper ballot that’s very simple. You fill in a circle next to the candidate’s name with a special pencil the poll worker gives you, and which you return when you finish. You then slip your ballot into a box through a narrow slot. As the ballot enters the box it tabulates the ballot. If more than one circle per office is marked the ballot is rejected. If there is a challenge the ballots are hand counted. Simple and nearly foolproof.

Posted by: traveller at June 19, 2006 4:00 PM
Comment #159195

“Dems “pander”. Reps “go for” votes?
I’m sure it wasn’t an intentional shot.”

Very intentional.

“So, I guess from your observations, we have a choice. Vote dem and support the working american. Or vote con and vote for a military state?”

Any wonder why the military doesn’t view the left as supportive? Military support now equates to a military state. Lovely.

“Just projecting from YOUR stereotypes”

MY stereotypes?
Interesting. Do you disagree that union members favor the Dems more and that our military favors Reps more?

Posted by: kctim at June 19, 2006 4:05 PM
Comment #159197

“is no different than calling soldiers stupid and ignorant for voting Dem.”

It is NOT one of the stated goals of the democratic party to destroy the military. (no matter what lies rove spreads)
It IS one of the goals of the republican party to destroy unions. Not an equal comparison.

“We know you will. The left proved they were more than willing to do that throughout the 90’s.”

Which election in the 90’s was contested? Try and stay on subject.
And all the 90’s proved was that our government works best when power is shared. Thanks.

Posted by: Observer at June 19, 2006 4:07 PM
Comment #159202

“Very intentional.”

So, I guess we’ve established your bias.

” Military support now equates to a military state. Lovely.”

Were sending troops to the border. Were arresting american citizens and sending them to military detention camps. Were appointing military men to head civilian agencies. The defense budget is expanding exponentially. We’ve abandoned treaties for miltary solutions.
You tell me what it means.

Posted by: Observer at June 19, 2006 4:14 PM
Comment #159217

“And in return, we’ll ignore, belittle and obfuscate. I’ll even mail you my “tin foil hat”.”

It was on the topic of YOUR post. Ron said it will be the lefts turn to hear all the crap. You fair trade and then listed what you want to do in return for being ignored, belittled and obfuscated. Tit for tat, right?
I merely stated that the left did all of that in the 90’s and they are now acting like its something new that Rove, Bush or whichever Rep is your whipping boy today.

I never realized the Rep platform was to “destroy” unions. I always thought they were for taming their stanglehold, but not destroying them.
But, I’m not a Rep, so I may not have heard that.

“So, I guess we’ve established your bias”

Uh, no. Its been no secret that I believe liberals do not believe in the Constitution. But labeling me as a Rep will only confuse you in future debates:)

Supporting the troops does not mean one supports a police state.
And, btw, I believe in your police state quotes, to an extent, but know that it is not something that has just popped up.


Posted by: kctim at June 19, 2006 4:46 PM
Comment #159227

“I merely stated that the left did all of that in the 90’s and they are now acting like its something new that Rove, Bush or whichever Rep is your whipping boy today.”

The comments were concerning election fairness, not governing. I don’t remember any big election controversies in the 90s, nor do I remember one party having utter dominance.

“I never realized the Rep platform was to “destroy” unions.”

They have stated this many times. Reagan started the ball rolling when he fired the air traffic controllers when they went on strike.

“I always thought they were for taming their stanglehold,”

“taming their stranglehold”? You mean weakening them to the point of irrelevancy.
I never understood working class republicans and their attitudes towards unions. Unions built america. Period. They are why we have 40 hr work weeks, workplace safety, decent wages, benefits, etc.

“Its been no secret that I believe liberals do not believe in the Constitution.”

Care to support this statement? (besides the tired NRA nonsense. The last president to support ANY kind of gun restrictions was bush sr.)

“Supporting the troops does not mean one supports a police state.”

Ah, but using the phrase “support the troops” as a blanket excuse for ANY adminstration activity is basically the same thing. My biggest objection to this adminstration is their misuse of patriotism and support of our ground troops to pass legislation and policies with no real relation to either.
If you oppose pork, your “against the troops”.
If you oppose wiretapping, your “against the troops”.
If you don’t like Gitmo, your “against the troops”.
If you think Iraq is a monumental blunder, your “against the troops”.

Please, support your supposition that the Military is more republican than democrat by explaining “why”. What ACTUAL democrat policy is “anti-military”.

Posted by: Observer at June 19, 2006 5:21 PM
Comment #159231

Observer:

How about “voting for the (military appropriation) bill before voting against it?

Posted by: Right-of-Way at June 19, 2006 5:41 PM
Comment #159232

kctim:
“I never realized the Rep platform was to “destroy” unions. I always thought they were for taming their stanglehold, but not destroying them.”

Nope, they’re defintely going for total destruction. Which is why I said that if someone actually LOOKS at their policies for the past thirty years or so, one who is a union member or one who supports the idea of unions will automatically vote with the Liberals. That is, unless as you said, they consider it more important to impose their moral beliefs on others than in taking care of their families and themselves.

“Do you disagree that union members favor the Dems more”

I don’t disagree. In fact as I said, they’d have to be either stupid or ignorant to vote for the party who has been working for the elimination of unions in America for a very long time.

“and that our military favors Reps more?”

It’s true that they have for many years now — but what if people in the military actually began noticing how the GOP’s rhetoric always claims to “support the troops”, while in reality, all of their policies and actions lie in direct opposition to that claim? If they did, we might one day see a change in which party they favor with their votes — and hey, maybe even in the very near future!

Posted by: Adrienne at June 19, 2006 5:41 PM
Comment #159233

“They have stated this many times. Reagan started the ball rolling when he fired the air traffic controllers when they went on strike”

I really had no idea that the “destruction” of unions was part of the Rep platform.

““taming their stranglehold”? You mean weakening them to the point of irrelevancy.”

No, I mean keeping them from having so much control that they can shut down the country if they tried.

“I never understood working class republicans and their attitudes towards unions. Unions built america. Period. They are why we have 40 hr work weeks, workplace safety, decent wages, benefits, etc.”

The unions of today are NOT the unions of yesteryear.

“Care to support this statement? (besides the tired NRA nonsense. The last president to support ANY kind of gun restrictions was bush sr.)”

National healthcare, SS, welfare etc…
The NRA is to the 2nd Amendment as liberals are to US politics, useless.
I do like how you consider the 2nd Amendment as “nonsense” though. Very telling on what you think of ALL of your rights.

“Ah, but using the phrase “support the troops” as a blanket excuse for ANY adminstration activity is basically the same thing. My biggest objection to this adminstration is their misuse of patriotism and support of our ground troops to pass legislation and policies with no real relation to either.
If you oppose pork, your “against the troops”.
If you oppose wiretapping, your “against the troops”.
If you don’t like Gitmo, your “against the troops”.
If you think Iraq is a monumental blunder, your “against the troops”.”

All the left has to do is re-evaluate HOW they oppose the things you mentioned.

“Please, support your supposition that the Military is more republican than democrat by explaining “why”. What ACTUAL democrat policy is “anti-military”.”

As with the union members here who say they speak from experience that unions support Dems more, I speak from experience in saying the military soldiers support Reps more.
Just as you “believe” Reps want to “destroy” unions, soldiers believe Dems do not support them as much as Reps.
Might have more to do with totally ignoring anything and everything good they do and concentrating on only the bad, than it does with any policy.

Posted by: kctim at June 19, 2006 5:42 PM
Comment #159234

“It’s true that they have for many years now — but what if people in the military actually began noticing how the GOP’s rhetoric always claims to “support the troops””

WEll, as the Dems have proven in they don’t care either, they will have no other choice than to vote THIRD party.
As you said, why support someone who does not support what you do.
But I would never call them stupid or ignorant for doing so.

Posted by: kctim at June 19, 2006 5:46 PM
Comment #159235

Observer said:

The last president to support ANY kind of gun restrictions was bush sr. (original emphasis)

Right-of-Way responds:

Did you forget Clinton’s move to ban assault weapons?

If my public school-educated brain is correct, Slick Willie was prez after Bush 41.

Posted by: Right-of-Way at June 19, 2006 5:46 PM
Comment #159252

Adrienne and BillS,

Thanks for your comments, as usual, I totally agree. I guess I started the union argument by saying that unions are not perfect, but better. I don’t get how people in this country don’t get that. People like DaveR want a free market - they say - they say - that is what they say - but that is not what they mean - what they mean is that they want a free market for business - That is what they mean - but not for a working person - let a working person try to participate in that market by joining a union and they are all against that. It is just free enterprise when a company patents a product and corners the market so that they can negotiate / set a higher price for their good or service. Republicans love that. It is just the free market at work. It is just the magical mystical wonderful free market at work when a pharmaceutical company creates just the very slightest modification to an existing drug which is about to become generic so that they can renew the patent and continue to squeeze poor little old ladies for their Social Security check (a slight change which does not even improve the drugs function). Nexium and Prilosec are good examples of this. Pharmasutical companies do that all of the time. Most of their reserch budgets are spent finding replacements for blockbuster drugs that work fine but are about to become generic. That is just the free market at work. Republicans love that. It is just the magical mystical wonderful free market at work when a company buys up all of its competition so that it can corner the market and negotiate / set higher prices / profits. An example of that is the mass media - follow the link to Tara’s Rants and Raves in my original article. There are millions of examples of that. That is just good business - free enterprise - the free market at work - Americanism. Republicans love that. It is almost incestuous the way they love it. It is just the free market at work when companies force employees to sign non-compete agreements. That is just the free market at work. But let a working person try to take a competitive position for negotiations - that is bad. Let working people band together and corner the market on labor - that is bad. The employer can control the job market - that is good. They can ship, or threaten to ship, the jobs out - that is good - just good business - just free market economics. But let the worker try to practice some good business - let him or her try look out for his or her best interest - OH NO - we are not having that - that is bad. Workers put their lives on the line everyday in this country, but they should not have the right to collectively negotiate in their own best interest - no - not that. Oh, that is right, I know, the righties want the individual workers to individually negotiate individual contracts with individual provisions for pay, benefits, over time rules, holidays, protocols for safe exposure to deadly chemicals, health and safety protocols, and job responsibilities, and enforcement mechanisms for all of the foregoing - a typical contract is hundreds of pages. They want workers to negotiate individually. I don’t swear very often here, but you got to cut me some slac on this one. That is BULLSHIT. They don’t want the individual worker to negotiate individually. If any company actually tried to negotiate these things in good faith separately with each individual worker, it would bankrupt the company. They don’t want the workers to negotiate individually. They don’t want the workers to negotiate. They want the workers to shutup and take what they give them. That is what they want. Everything, absolutely everything else, that they say on this subject is a lie - a pure bald faced lie.

BillS mentioned that non-union companies that are fair with their workers are few and far between. Costco, Home Depot, and Lowes come to mind. I don’t think that they have unions. They are the best of the best. I think that the CEO of Costco really does care about his people. The Japanese, Korean and soon Chinese non-union transplant auto companies also pay well. They are not the best of the best. But it is the unions that set the standard for even good companies like Costco. The SCAB transplant auto companies pay well in direct response to the UAW. But they are still cheating their workers. Their workers are foolish enough to think that they don’t need the UAW. But they are actually being compensated much less than the UAW members because of health care and pensions and they only get what they get because of the courage and sacrifice of the UAW. Once the UAW is crushed they will be crushed. They must stop taking a cowardly free ride on the courage of the UAW now, and join us now, or deserve the label of cowardly SCAB and deserve to be crushed when their turn comes to be crushed - and it will come. We will stand together or we will fall separately.


Forget Jack. He is going to have to try harder. I am definitely temporarily promoting DaveR to the title of ARCH NEMESIS with the honorary suffix of Mighty Little Sicilian Eagle Poop. It doesn’t get any better than that DaveR.

Posted by: Ray Guest at June 19, 2006 6:40 PM
Comment #159270

scott

CNN got it wrong. They didn’t read the report carefully. Bush only won if only undervotes were recounted. If all votes were recounted as required by Florida election law at the time, Gore won in any scenario:

Candidate Outcomes Based on Potential Recounts in Florida Presidential Election 2000
(outcome of one particular study; not representative of all studies)
Review Method Winner
Review of All Ballots Statewide (never undertaken)
• Standard as set by each county Canvassing Board during their survey Gore by 171
• Fully punched chads and limited marks on optical ballots Gore by 115
• Any dimples or optical mark Gore by 107
• One corner of chad detached or optical mark Gore by 60

So apologize to Tim Crow. He was right. Go look it up yourself and stop relying on the media to get it right for you.

Posted by: mental wimp at June 19, 2006 7:15 PM
Comment #159283

Jack,

Sorry Jack, DaveR outranks you now - but keep trying - I think you can beat him.

You wrote:

but demanding perfection in an imperfect system is worse than useless

Nobody is demanding perfection. Are you serious about this, or is clouding the issue with non-issues just a tactic? Improvement - continuous improvement - we do want that - blind faith voting machines that work in mysterious ways with no system for verification are a step backwards. Jerry Falwell would be just as trust worthy.

d.a.n,

Good equasion. I agree.

DaveR,

I agree in this comment but you wrote:

And as for gays…it is not an “alternative lifestyle”. I would be willing to go so far as to agree that it is probably genetic, as long as you and yours are willing to agree that it is a genetic mistake and not “normal”…just like Down’s syndrome and hemophilia (which have been scientifically proven to be genetic mistakes). It cannot possibly be what God or nature (or whatever force you recognize) intended b/c homosexuality does not contribute to the perpetuation of the species and hence has no purpose.

The cause of homosexuality is difficult to determine. I personally doubt that it is all genetic. Based on memory from my Intro to Anthropology class: There is a tribe in South America that is predominately homosexual. Their religion forbids heterosexual sex for more than 200 days out of the year. They are unable to produce enough babies to sexually reproduce the tribe. They are a tribe of warriors. They maintain the tribe by raiding surrounding heterosexual tribes and stealing babies. In their religion they believe that you receive your entire lifetime supply of sperm through injections from older males. So young males are encouraged to get injected as often as possible so that they will have plenty of sperm. There are associated religious rituals. The boys grow up to be homosexual. They are genetically descended from heterosexuals. This tribe is adaptive in that; their area of the rain forest would become over-populated and everyone would starve if it wasn’t them limiting reproduction. This makes me think that there is probably a learned component to homosexuality with perhaps a genetic predisposition. But, first, so what, what difference does it make how someone becomes homosexual - if you are gay, you are gay - if you are Rove, you are gay - so what… But DaveR, you said I was arrogant - and - you were correct, I am arrogant - I am also extremely humble - what can I say - I am a complicated millenium man - Republicans on the other hand are so… …so… …last millenium, they need to “party like its 1999” because that where there head is stuck - but I digress… But you said I was arrogant… DaveR… …the mind of the creature is always subsumed by the creator… …you can’t know the mind of God… …and you do not fully understand nature… How arrogant are you? You are going to tell us that God has no use for homosexuals - that they are literally “more useless than tits on a bore pig” to quote my father - he often said that is what I was… Now you want to say that to the homosexuals. Here is one possibility: God may created homosexuals in order to give you an opportunity to love people unconditionally.

Posted by: Ray Guest at June 19, 2006 7:44 PM
Comment #159285

“How about “voting for the (military appropriation) bill before voting against it?”

If I vote against a bill because it’s been inundated with pork unrelated to defense, your now going to accuse me of being against defense in general? Anti military?
Typical republican tactic.

Posted by: observer at June 19, 2006 7:58 PM
Comment #159288

“Did you forget Clinton’s move to ban assault weapons?

If my public school-educated brain is correct, Slick Willie was prez after Bush 41”

Your right, I forgot about that one. Wasn’t that the one that was supported by EVERY police dept. in the country,that bush jr. PROMISED to sign an extension on when campaigning, then “flip flopped”? All he needs to be Kerry is to take up windsurfing.

Posted by: observer at June 19, 2006 8:05 PM
Comment #159289


I do like how you consider the 2nd Amendment as “nonsense” though. Very telling on what you think of ALL of your rights.”

I wasn’t reffering to the 2nd ammendment as ‘nonsense’, I was reffering to the rights overuse of the gun control issue as a campaign issue when very little democrat energy is expended on that subject. Get it?

“National healthcare, SS, welfare etc…
The NRA is to the 2nd Amendment as liberals are to US politics, useless.”


Now I’m just confused. So, supporting issues like Social Security means you don’t believe in the constitution?? Why?
As for being useless, hardly. Without the democrats to demonize, republicans might actually have to start producing results in order to placate voters. Last thing they want to do is actually please the voters with their actions instead of their negative attacks.

Posted by: Observer at June 19, 2006 8:09 PM
Comment #159290

DaveR
furthur:The Constitution is certainly subject to interpretation. That is what the judicial branch of the federal government does all the time. That is a large part of their function.That is also what makes the Constitution a living document.
You stated that an individual cannot infringe on another persons rights. How you arrived at that conclusion is beyond me. An example: Say you have a protest sign and I go over to you and forcibly take it. I as an individual have violated your first amendment rights.
I definately agree with you that the rights granted in the Constitution have been under attack for some time. I can give you a local example. There is an anual local parade in a city near where I live. The parade directors decided there was to be no politicians allowed to distribute literature or campaign. This on a public street. One candidate for county registrar decided to give out baloons and phamphlets anyway. The fair directors made a big stink about it. Voter education is a protected activity. The candidate prevailed and by the way kicked butt in the election. What struck was just how causually the fair directors would try to infringe on civil rights.
You mentioned “polital correctness.” One certainly has the right to be a bigot. One can even call black school children niggers if they want too. But one should not be surprised people do not like them much.Same goes for flag burning.Its a stupid act. The constitution also protects stupid people.
I find this proposal to ban flag burning nearly as repugnant as the act. It is pure political grandstanding. Of the many great challenges facing us flag burning ranks about four millioneth. It is a misuse of the carefully crafted ability to change the constitution for political gain.
I will have to disagree with you. I believe there is a separation between church and state in the constitution and it is very important. For the most part,our country has been spared the religious wars that raged in Europe for centuries. Look around the modern world and you will find conflict after conflict being fanned by religious difference. Sure,most wars are economic at their base but the flames are fanned by religion. Examples: Northern Ireland,Israel-Palastine. Serbia-Bosnia,The Sudan.
I never heard of anyone saying you cannot as an indivual pray all you want too in a public building. If you try to force me to pray with you you are out of bounds.

I am with you about guns. You may be surprised to find there are a lot of Democrats and even liberals that think the 2nd amendment means what it says. That does not mean I object to laws that prevent 12 year olds from buying uzzis or that I think large military ordinance should be available to the public. The Constitution is not a suicide pact.
to be continued

Posted by: BillS at June 19, 2006 8:09 PM
Comment #159292

“Here is one possibility: God may created homosexuals in order to give you an opportunity to love people unconditionally.”

I like that.
I try not to be petty, but I can’t imagine bush/cheney/rove, etal, going anywhere but straight to hell.

“It cannot possibly be what God or nature (or whatever force you recognize) intended b/c homosexuality does not contribute to the perpetuation of the species and hence has no purpose.”

Wow. Can I point out here that questioning, or second guessing the will of God is a mortal sin.
And if it served no purpose, the trait would never be passed on, and all of human history talks of homosexuals.
What cracks me up is the amount of energy haters expend on an issue that supposedly has nothing to do with them and in no way effects them.
My party is concerned with illegal wars, eroding civil rights, poverty, healthcare, justice.
Their party is concerned with gay sex, flag burning, preserving and expanding corporate rights, enriching the rich.
Once again, I’m more sure than ever I’m on the right side.

Posted by: Observer at June 19, 2006 8:19 PM
Comment #159293

“America is tired of Democrat whining about “stolen” elections.”

You don’t speak for America.

Posted by: Observer at June 19, 2006 8:20 PM
Comment #159308

You want election reform, Ok here is the law that make the most sense.

You may only give money to a campain if you can vote in it.

What does that do. Well NO BUSSINESSES, NO UNIONS, and NO PAC’s. If we are going to do it MUST be right.

Posted by: David at June 19, 2006 9:21 PM
Comment #159309

BillS and Observer,

Thanks for helping me out here. My nemesis and ARCH NEMESIS might have out winded me and taken me down otherwise…

Posted by: Ray Guest at June 19, 2006 9:24 PM
Comment #159313

Dr. Darren,

I like your idea. Give synthetic people (corporations) one vote, then let them contribute to politicians the same amount as one real person. That is not going to fly of course. The corporations don’t want that. Profit making corporations want to be able to give money away to politicians - because it is profitable to give money to politicians. Republicans don’t want that because they are hooked on the money and completely sold out to big money. Democrats don’t even want that because they are hooked and sold out too. They just have a little decency and dignity about it - but they are sold out. That is the problem, the system corrupts. It is not the people in the system - we probably do need to get rid of them - we definitely need to shed ourselves of Republicans - but that will not fix the problem. New people will just be new souls for the corrupt system to buy. We need to change the system. But the system works for the system. The system does not want change.

Posted by: Ray Guest at June 19, 2006 9:42 PM
Comment #159316

Stolen elections! Great. When will dems stop the whining. For the most part I agree with the need for reform but not due to republican abuse. Soros and Moore are great examples of democrats having more “free speech” than the rest of us. Has a republicans produced any movies to support their party? How about Moveon.org? Hmmm, I’ve reconsidered. Maybe the playing field is more level than we realize. As long as people run government, money will speak loudly. What we really need is a third party.

Posted by: curmudgeon-at-large at June 19, 2006 9:46 PM
Comment #159318

David,

Great Idea!!
Now for the bad news…
The ones entrusted to reform the system are the ones that most benefit from its continued corrupt manipulations.
Neither party is innocent of abuse. It falls to us to re-educate the elected as to whom they are responsible.
How many districts is the primary (if even challenged) the defacto election?
How much is spent creating fear of the opposition?
How often do our legislators actually respond to the voters as opposed to the lobbies etc. that fund reelections?

We can start by voting against them until we find one worth voting for.

Posted by: Ted at June 19, 2006 9:57 PM
Comment #159319

Observer, glad I’m with your party. I read through all DaveR’s talking points, and by the way, wasn’t that plagerizing? I agree with a lot of what he said, however. I don’t want my money going to help someone who will just not work, but could. I just get confused with all the labeling that most people have to do all the time. And you can’t tell me that people that use the term liberal derisively don’t just hang on to the old pill popper’s every word and just live for his radio show every afternoon. Adrienne, good points as always. You do have a way with words. Just like Observer said above though, more than ever I’m sure I’m on the correct side. ( See, I couldn’t even use the word “right” there, damn that old pillhead anyway.)

Posted by: ray at June 19, 2006 9:58 PM
Comment #159322

DaveR,

You are prolific. Don’t worry about Jack breathing down your neck. He does not hold a candle to you. You are going to be ARCH NEMESIS forever.

You wrote:

Get real Ray… liberal Hollywood elites are able to ram their agendas down our throats purely because they have access to the media and we don’t… it is that simple. And by the way, name me one conservative Hollywood elite who pushes their agenda publicly in the media. I bet you can’t do it.

Mel Gibbs, Heston.

George Bush with a rubber stamp Republican Congress, with packed Supreme Court… Now that is about somebody ramming their agenda down somebodies throat. George Bush’s agenda is hung like horse. Some say George Bush is bi-sexual, but I am not and I don’t like it. “It is the tyranny of the many over the few.” Or, since, Republicans are a minority it is actually just the good old fashioned “tyranny of the few over the many.” Hollywood elites talking on a talk show aren’t ramming anything anywhere… If you don’t like what they are saying, just change the channel to Faux News.

DaveR,

You wrote:

Please don’t try to convince me that the mass media is being “controlled” by anyone. The “mass media” as you liberals like to refer to it, is almost 100% liberal.

Listen, you don’t like people saying that you spout talking points and I have already said that I am willing to accept that you actually believe this stuff… but give me a break… that one is 20 years old… I got illegimate kids younger than that - I wish - it is a nice fantasy anyhow… Conservatives have been spouting that talking point for twenty years and it never was true. Now is true that the media used to be much more liberal than it is now. Now we have Faux News. Now we have conservative talk radio that dominates the air waves. Even the liberal New York Times has fallen… Now they have or rather had a partisan hack like Judith Miller sucking and printing cherry picked lies in the run up to the Iraq war. They beat the drums for war just as loud as anyone else. They were a propaganda outlet for the Bush Regime just as much as anyone else. Liberal media. That does it. You made me mad. You are demoted to nemesis. Jack is now ARCH NEMESIS with the honorary suffix of Mighty Little Sicilian Eagle Poop. I always knew he could beat you.

Posted by: Ray Guest at June 19, 2006 10:17 PM
Comment #159327

Thanks ray! I appreciate that very much. Btw, you are also “Ray Guest” am I right? Sorry if I’m getting that wrong — any way Ray Guest, terrific posts! And you too Observer, with the perfect logic and many good points.
Btw, I certainly agree, we on the Left are on the Best side. :^)

Thought some of you here might be interested in reading this interview with Robert F. Kennedy Jr. Seems like he’s going to start filing some law suits against the individuals and companies who he believes were instrumental in stealing the Ohio 2004 election for Bush! I think that is a truly great idea.

Also, just in case anyone missed it, here once again is the link to Kennedy’s well written Rolling Stone article where he succinctly lays out the case regarding all the many problems that occurred there.

Posted by: Adrienne at June 19, 2006 10:37 PM
Comment #159329

Adienne,

Thanks and thanks for the help from all of the liberal and independent and moderate posters here.

ray is someone different from me. When I first started posting on WatchBlog I posted as Ray, then saw someone else posting as Ray and changed to Ray G. and now just Ray Guest. The NSA knows who I am anyhow. They know who you are too.

Posted by: Ray Guest at June 19, 2006 10:44 PM
Comment #159336

Mental Wimp

“CNN got it wrong.”
Denial, Denial. What you said was so false. Even each individual agency that did the counting all came out and said the same thing that following week. I lived in Tampa at the time. And again I say, If they had come up with a different outcome than they had it would have made the cover of every news magazine in the country.

The bloggers are free to look it up and see for themselves

http://www.cnn.com/SPECIALS/2001/florida.ballots/stories/main.html

Posted by: scott at June 19, 2006 11:37 PM
Comment #159343

Dave R

On affirmative action: It stinks and should never be more than temporary.I have trouble supporting anything that would help propel a Clarence Thomas to the bench. oops, sorry that is partisan talk.
I cannot understand your objections to an apoligy to the Japanese internees. You may have not done it personally but your nation did. What is important about doing things like that is that they carry an implicit promise not to do it again. This is important in the current struggle.
Seriously on affirmative action: The percentage of Black Americans living in poverty is dramatically higher than any other group. There is a tremendous cost to society as a whole. Welfare cost,prison cost,lost productivity,spirtual cost etc. Why is that? The racist would say simply that blacks are inferior,prone to violence,lazy,stupid etc. Thinking people like us know that is not true and we have plenty of evidence. Then why? One of the main reasons for this seemingly itractable poverty must be a systematic denial of economic opportunity.
A look at history confirms this. After WW2 thet GI bill made it possible for returning veterans to buy homes. This helped lead to a dramatic economic boom. Most likely your parents or grandparents bought their first home with help from the GI bill. The wealth and stability from that program sent countless kids to colleges,started countless small businesses and had a profound effect on who we are as a nation. Guess what. The federal government officially “redlined.” They would not lend money in Black nieghborhoods. What that meant was that a returning Black veteran could not get a house loan. There were no fair housing laws. Blacks were barred from moving to White nieghborhoods. Blacks as a race ,because of race, lost out on a major economic opportunity. This is not liberal sympathy.This is history. +As a nation we did wrong and we are paying for it now. The problem of Black poverty remains.For the well being of our country it should be addressed. I agree affirmative action stinks,I agree plus it has little effect. OK,you got any better ideas?

Posted by: BillS at June 19, 2006 11:53 PM
Comment #159345

BTW Mental Wimp:

WASHINGTON (CNN) — A comprehensive study of the 2000 presidential election in Florida suggests that if the U.S. Supreme Court had allowed a statewide vote recount to proceed, Republican candidate George W. Bush would still have been elected president.

The National Opinion Research Center (NORC) at the University of Chicago conducted the six-month study for a consortium of eight news media companies, including CNN.


including CNN. including CNN. including CNN.

So what you are saying is CNN Misunderstood CNN.

CNN must have not paid very close attention to CNN.

CNN must not have comunicated clearly enough with CNN.

I would encourage everyone to do their own research.

Posted by: scott at June 19, 2006 11:54 PM
Comment #159362

Oh scott,
Since you can’t seem to get past the first line of that article, allow me to be of some assistance:

The NORC team of coders were able to examine about 99 percent of them, but county officials were unable to deliver as many as 2,200 problem ballots to NORC investigators.

Bush “won” by 537 votes. You know that right?

In addition, the uncertainties of human judgment, combined with some counties’ inability to produce the same undervotes and overvotes that they saw last year, create a margin of error that makes the study instructive but not definitive in its findings.
As well as attempting to discern voter intent in ballots that might have been re-examined had the recount gone forward, the study also looked at the possible effect of poor ballot design, voter error and malfunctioning machines. That secondary analysis suggests that more Florida voters may have gone to the polls intending to vote for Democrat Al Gore but failed to cast a valid vote.

Just so you know, this study completely left out the thousands of people who were wrongly and illegally taken off the voter rolls by Katherine Harris. Thousands of voters. And Bush “won” by 537 votes.

Posted by: Adrienne at June 20, 2006 12:52 AM
Comment #159365

2,200 problem ballots to NORC investigators.

Again, voter mistakes that (no matter how many recounts done) would not have changed. Oh I forgot that it was Bushs fault that they could not vote correctly.

The point is that you always claim that if the Bush owned supreme court had not interviened then Al baby would have won. This is just not true. There have been flaws in every election that have gone both ways. That doesn’t mean anyone ‘stole” an election.

And that still does not defend the hilarious statement that CNN misunderstood!

Posted by: scott at June 20, 2006 1:04 AM
Comment #159372

And if the Democrats would stop trying to sneak in convict and dead voters, the Republicans wouldnt have to try to get rid of them.

Again y’all. Do some independent research on that one. You will be very surprised at what the truth is!

Posted by: scott at June 20, 2006 1:26 AM
Comment #159376

The problem of poverty in this country, black poverty in particular, is intractable. I did not know about government redlining in black neighborhoods - thanks. Also when a group of people lives in poverty for generations, it is reasonable to expect that they may have some issues. When people with issues raise children, it is reasonable to expect that their children will have issues. When free Americans, who fought and died for this country are told to get their ass to the back of the bus for generation after generation, it is reasonable to expect that they will have some issues. Republicans are all about personal responsibility and the blacks do need to take responsibility for uplifting themselves. But they need to be given a chance to do that. I live in a sub suburban lake front home, but within 15 miles of my home there is a black baby eating lead based paint chips. He is going to grow up to be stupid. In 20 years he is going to do something stupid - maybe to your wife - and we are going to hold him personally accountable. We created this problem. We are still perpetuating this problem, but we are going to hold him personally accountable. We have to help solve this problem.

Posted by: Ray Guest at June 20, 2006 1:44 AM
Comment #159377

Your argument against is pretty weak. If the reason we have civil marriage is to have children and gays cannot have children you conclude they should not be allowed civil marriage does that also mean that couples that do not plan to have children not be allowed to marry. Frankly that argument, from you anyway,seems rather half hearted.
The reason gay marriage has come up in the last few years is that the Supreme Court finally ruled that the government had no business regulating the private sexual relations between consenting adults. In other words homosexuals are no longer criminals because of who they are. About time. That should make sense to any real conservative. Its just not the governments damn business,now is it?
The issue is not about wether or not you approve of their behavior or wether or not being gay is genetic or wether it is a sin or any thing other than equal protection under the law. If your allowed to get a drivers license so should they be allowed. Exactly the same for a marriage license. Equal protection under the law. What part of that do you not understand?
As to the “sanctity” of marriage the government is not in the business of sanctifying anything. That is the provence of God.

Posted by: BillS at June 20, 2006 1:45 AM
Comment #159378

apoligies to all for taking so much space and roaming so far from the thread. DaveR is interesting to respond to and might even be de-programable. I second the motion to make him the new arch-nemesis.
BillS

Posted by: BillS at June 20, 2006 1:49 AM
Comment #159379

I see that everyone here is still rehashing the last two elections. Apparently most here consider the article subject of campaign finance reform too trivial of a subject matter to discuss and debate.

Now you can understand why this is The Griper.

Posted by: The Griper at June 20, 2006 2:05 AM
Comment #159380

Ray,

What you say is 100% true and exact. However it is the tiny percentage of the pie.

I am half-Black and half Arab. I teach in a school that is over half black and mostly minority. I have been teaching here for 39 years now.

I have watched many students come and go, succeed and fail. The students (irregardless of income and background) who have parents who are consistant in discipline, are interested in their schooling, and
give unconditional love, succeed. The ones with parents who are un-involved, make excuses, and blame the system, don’t succeed.

There are a few on both sides,(very few) that don’t fit this pattern. Most do.

Want to change the world Ray? Preach this to all.
Fix this and all the problems you stated have no affect. How do I know this?

Because my students (irregardless of income and background) who have parents who are consistant in discipline, are interested in their schooling, and
give unconditional love, are not affected by the problems you state.

Posted by: Grenada at June 20, 2006 2:11 AM
Comment #159406

It is a real shame that you poor, supposedly open minded liberal, the people who (you claim) are supposed to support freedom of expression and free thought and free will, can’t get past the idea that an average guy, a regular American conservative like me could actually think the same way about the same issues as other conservatives without necesarrily spouting Republican “talking points”. I got news for you guys and gals…I don’t get daily faxes from the RNC!!!

Why can’t you all just accept the radical concept that I happen to believe the same way as other conservatives and so yes we probably express our ideas in much the same way and with the same words? Oddly enough, so do you guys. Look at your own posts!! They read almost identical. The repeated use of the term “talking points” in a vain attempt to derail and downplay our conservative message is a liberal phenomenon…I see it everywhere in the blogs, chats, newstories and such. You are like a broken record (or for those of you youngsters too young to remember what record is…a scratched CD). The same accusations…the same implications, that anyone who doesn’t think like you do and accept your “truths” and “facts” must be an idiot who is being led by the nose. You will never believe that I, or any conservative, could possibly be able to think for ourselves about any issue, unless and until we come in line with you, and then praise the Lord, they have seen the light and now can think for themselves.

I don’t know why I even bother to try and call your attention to this. You are all so damn arrogant and so sure that we are just a bunch of dumb, uneducated, redneck hicks beyond saving that nothing I can ever say will make you admit that I can be a free thinking individual and still NOT AGREE WITH YOU!!

However, because I am a free thinking individual I will address a few things that were said in posts since yesterday.

Dragon:
Why is it always the liberal answer to ban something they don’t like (TV ads yadayada)?

Scwamp:
“Nothing matters except my desires…” How do you figure that is the Right? It is not the conservatives in this country who want to allow abortions for the sake of the mother’s convenience, or who overtly or covertly support the “rights” of groups like NAMBLA. It isn’t a conservative judge who allowed a child molesting teacher to marry her pre-adult lover.

Adrienne:
How is being against abortion going to make America into a religious theocracy (re; your pro-union comments from earlier)? That is one hell of a leap there.
I happen to believe abortion is the legalized murder of an unborn human being on scientific grounds (I am not religious and haven’t set foot in a church in over 10 years). So how does my being AGAINST abortion automatically make me FOR religious fanatacism? You are making a mountain out of a molehill. I mean, how can you be pro-abortion and anti-death penalty, as so many liberals are? How can you allow the wanton slaughter of the unborn, but then freak out when a born child is abused or neglected? How can you support the death of hundreds or thousands of babies in the womb (purely as a matter of convenience, because the mother and father were too damn lazy or irresponsible to take precautions), and then decry the deaths of soldiers and civilians in Iraq, who through their efforts, whether for the right reasons or not, STOPPED the death and torture of HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS of innocent people at the hands of Saddam and his sadistic offspring?? This is the very definition of hypocrisy!!

Posted by: DaveR at June 20, 2006 4:26 AM
Comment #159410

Ray Guest/BillS

I was in the process of writing some more, but through my own error “lost” several (many) paragraphs. As I am only a semi-functional, hunt and peck kind of typist, that for me equates to several hours of work putting my thoughts down in binary (can’t really call it paper, right?)

Because of that, and also because I agree that we have strayed quite far from the original thread, I would be happy to continue any further discussion later, or in another blog or format. As for tonight, my frustration at losing so much of my earlier work has lead me to decide to call it a night. But never fear!! I will be available for further “discussion” tomorrow evening.

DaveR

Posted by: DaveR at June 20, 2006 4:39 AM
Comment #159423

Observer:
No, I didn’t think it all up on my own. The ideas are universally conservative, the words are mine, and I happen to agree with all of it. As you may have read in my posts earlier, I happen to be against abortion on scientific grounds, not religious ones. I support my right to “…keep and bear arms…” as the Constitution allows me to, and would defend it with force if it came to that (which, ironically, is the whole point of the Second Amendment to begin with).

“It is NOT one of the stated goals of the democratic party to destroy the military. (no matter what lies rove spreads)
It IS one of the goals of the republican party to destroy unions. Not an equal comparison.”

Interesting that you say “…stated goals…” when referencing the democratic party, but not when referencing the republican party (indicating that while they have not “stated” that this is their goal, somehow you know this to be true).


As for your rebuttal to my comments about homosexuality: You took only PART of my comments, set them totally out of context, and then attacked me for it. Here it is again in its entirety.

“I would be willing to go so far as to agree that it is probably genetic, as long as you and yours are willing to agree that it is a genetic mistake and not “normal”…just like Down’s syndrome and hemophilia (which have been scientifically proven to be genetic mistakes). It cannot possibly be what God or nature (or whatever force you recognize) intended b/c homosexuality does not contribute to the perpetuation of the species and hence has no purpose”. DaveR

From another post of mine regarding this issue:
“Marriage is a human societal construct, and was instituted as a way to promote family and provide structure. As such, it logically follows that marriage is between a man and a woman. Any other arrangement negates the purpose of marriage. Since homosexuals and lesbians cannot “naturally” have children, for them marriage is not necesarry. (I personally do support allowing them to declare their partner the recipient of their insurance, properety etc without constraint. You should be able to declare whomever you want to get your insurance…you paid for it)”. DaveR

OK…addressing these two previous comments and your rebuttals:

I would agree that for me or anyone to imply that we know what God intends is not only impossible, but probably arrogant. However, I was simply making the blanket statement (an attempt to cover all the bases) that regardless of your belief system (Supreme Being, atheist, whatever), the “condition” of homosexuality does nothing to promote the perpetutaion of the species…that is what I meant by homosexuality having no purpose.

Admittedly marriage was also a religious construct as well. However, that aspect of the marriage equation is no longer of importance because one can now be married in a secular setting with no religious trappings at all (Justice of the Peace). If I did say that they should not be allowed to marry…perhaps I should have said there is no need for them to marry.

Further, in a later posting I elaborated that MY position against gay marriage is not one against gays, but against the need for them to marry… marriage being a social construct whose purpose is to promote the traditional monogamous heterosexual relationship, thus leading to reproduction, the stability of the monogamous relationship, and a traditional family social structure. So what reason is there for gays to marry? They can have the relationship, and a family if they so desire (through any number of methods such as adoption, artificial insemination, surrogate parents etc). The only thing lacking is the recognition of the gay “partner”, and allowing that partner the same rights to property, insurance, decision making etcetc as a marital spouse would have. I am all for that. Marriage is not needed to achieve that end.

Finally, you previously made the comment about how “we” spend so much time on an issue that doesn’t affect us directly. But one could argue that unless someone murders me or rapes my wife, than any law making murder or rape crime isn’t necesarry because those acts don’t directly affect me or my wife. So then should we just say that murder or rape are not against the law?

In our system of government, whether a particular act or behavior DIRECTLY affects us isn’t the point. If we the people want to make laws which regulate moral or ethical behavior in society, and if the majority of the people support the creation of such laws, then that is how it is. If I don’t have children, can I not still support, on moral and ethical grounds, the creation of a law that makes it a crime to molest a child? It is the same difference. Whether you like it or not, the majority of Americans support making gay marriage against the law. You can see that from the various voter initiatives which have passed all across the United States. Sorry about your luck.

Posted by: DaveR at June 20, 2006 5:29 AM
Comment #159432

BillS:

I might have gotten my second wind so I am gonna’ give it a go.

You said: “Your argument against is pretty weak. If the reason we have civil marriage is to have children and gays cannot have children you conclude they should not be allowed civil marriage does that also mean that couples that do not plan to have children not be allowed to marry.”

I am not sure I ever said they should not be ALLOWED to marry. If I did (which I don’t think I did) perhaps what I should have said was they have no NEED to marry. This goes back to what I said in previous posts about marriage being a construct whose purpose is to promote a monogamous relationship leading to reproduction and traditional family stability. Since gays in gays relationships cannot “naturally” have children (without resorting to outside means) they have no need to be married. They can have families without the institution of marriage. If they want to have laws allowing their partners to have the same rights usually reserved for spouses, I personally have no problem with that.

But regardless, our system of government is set up so that the majority of the people can make laws that allow or don’t allow certain behaviors on moral grounds (laws against murder and rape are examples) and if the majority don’t want to allow gay marriage, so be it. That is how it works. It is not up to the Supreme Court to override the decision of the voters, as they have done in many places. That is supposed to be beyond their power.

You said: “The Constitution is certainly subject to interpretation. That is what the judicial branch of the federal government does all the time. That is a large part of their function. That is also what makes the Constitution a living document.”

I agree that this is exactly what the Judicial Branch does, and they have far overstepped the boundaries of their Constitutionial powers, helped along by you liberals who support this process when it suits your needs. You use the judicial process to circumvent the will of the electorate whenever you don’t get your way. Show me where in the Constitution it says that it is within the power of the Judicial Branch to “interpret” the Constitution. I have a copy in front of me right now, and I don’t see that anywhere.
Show me where in the Constitution it actually says that it is intended to be a “living document”. The Constitution is the supreme law of the land, and as such is absolute in its current form. It can only be changed through the amendment process. “Interpreting” it is nothing more than changing it to fit someone’s agenda by altering the original intent without going through that “bothersome” process of getting it amended.

You Said: “You stated that an individual cannot infringe on another persons rights. How you arrived at that conclusion is beyond me. An example: Say you have a protest sign and I go over to you and forcibly take it. I as an individual have violated your first amendment rights.”

While I am sure you have probably read the Constitution for yourself (I am assuming you have…if you haven’t, you have no business discussing it with me or anyone until you have) I feel the need to quote directly from the First Amendment before answering this comment as well as the next.

Amendments to the Constitution: Article [I.]

Congress shall make no law respecting an
establishment of religion, or prohibiting the
free exercise thereof; or abridging the
freedom of speech, or of the press; or the
right of the people peacably to assemble, and
to petition the Government for a redress of
grieveances.

http://www.house.gov/Constitution/Amend.html

It does not say “BillS shall make no law abridging DaveR’s freedom of speech”. It doesn’t say Congress shall protect DaveR’s freedom of speech from being abridged by BillS. I mean how clear can it possibly be? Given the historical context (re-read the Declaration of Independence if you have forgotten the reason this all came about in the first place), it can only be concluded that this Amendment is to protect YOU and ME and EVERYONE else from the government, not to protect you from me and me from you (unless one of us is operating as an agent, representative or employee of the government). MY free speech is not protected from YOU by Constitutional law. Maybe by state law, but not through the Constitution.

You said: “I will have to disagree with you. I believe there is a separation between church and state in the constitution and it is very important.”

Where? Show me this phrase in the Constitution. It doesn’t exist. I already said that in my earlier post. Again, this is an example of liberals and activists judges taking something out of context, and in this case from a persoanl letter and not even from an “offical” document, and trying to use judicial manuevering and force of will to make it law. You guys have been quoting this “seperation of church and state” line for so long you actually believe it, and you expect that if you keep it up long enough everyone else will too.

You said: “I never heard of anyone saying you cannot as an indivual pray all you want too in a public building. If you try to force me to pray with you you are out of bounds.”

Happens all the time. Kids trying to say prayer at a high school graduation or football game. City Council starting out their meetings with a prayer and the ACLU butts in from out of nowhere and files a lawsuit. In neither of these cases, nor in any other similar ones throughout the last many years, has anyone been forced to pray. No one has been forced to accept Chritianity before they could speak or participate. No one has been censored because they didn’t want to pray. But still the ACLU and you guys have rallied the battle cry…”seperation of church and state”. It is all a smoke screen and don’t think that conservatives don’t know it. It is nothing more than a not so subtle attack on Christianity…if I tried to say a Muslim prayer you guys wouldn’t have a problem with that.


Finally, you said: “DaveR is interesting to respond to and might even be de-programable.”

Thank you; and I am not “de-programmable” because I am not programmed in the first place. But of course this just goes back to what I have said I don’t know how many times in here already. Your elitist, arrogant, conservatives-are-ignorant-unless-they-accept-our-“facts”-and-“truths” attitude will not allow you to accept that I might actually disagree with you…I must be just following blindly and spouting those good ole’ Republican “talking points”.

Whatever
DaveR

Posted by: DaveR at June 20, 2006 6:40 AM
Comment #159449

“Do you honestly expect me to believe that liberal Democrats don’t put the well being of their “base” ahead of the well being of America?”

Dave R.

I “can’t” expect that of you or anyone else, but I’m a Liberal Democrat and I believe we do put the good of America first.

KansasDem

Posted by: KansasDem at June 20, 2006 8:26 AM
Comment #159457

“How is taxing me on every damn thing I buy, every dollar I spend, and then giving that to lazy, non-working welfare bums and cheaters good for the country? (And don’t tell me it doesn’t happen).”

Dave R,

Of course it happens. There is abuse of every system ever created by man. This was well evidenced by the aftermath of Katrina. There was abuse of Red Cross charitable funds and FEMA programs and not only by the poor. Those who commit fraud should be punished to the full extent of the law.

It sounds like you prefer throwing out all social programs and yet you state: “unemployment, welfare and food stamps are TEMPORARY solutions and are meant to assist you in getting back on your feet (I have used them and I got off as quickly as possible)”. Such programs are a “safety net”.

I have a disabling neurological illness that’s prevented my working for over 4 years, but I’m only 54 years old, so maybe I’m one of the “lazy bums” you refer to. Certain social programs (such as Social Security Disability) are put in place because only the most affluent are able provide for themselves when struck with devastating long term illness.

I once worked with a large number of developmentally disabled teens and young adults. Nearly all were receiving aid through the SSI program which truly is a “welfare” program. Most working class families are simply not financially capable of providing a lifetime of support for those who can’t care for themselves.

Sure there are abuses, but to imagine throwing out the “safety net” altogether, well it would be disastrous. Also I believe if you do a little research there is now a 60 month lifetime cap on actual cash welfare benifits.

How many elderly and poor retirees rely on food stamps? For that matter I’ve known several of the “working poor” who’ve depended on food stamps to provide sustinance for their children.

Republican’s just love to poke holes in the safety net.

KansasDem

Posted by: KansasDem at June 20, 2006 8:59 AM
Comment #159461

Dave R. you said, “as for gays…it is not an “alternative lifestyle”. I would be willing to go so far as to agree that it is probably genetic, as long as you and yours are willing to agree that it is a genetic mistake and not “normal”…just like Down’s syndrome and hemophilia (which have been scientifically proven to be genetic mistakes).”

Genetic mistake? Oh, like, uh…….no offense, but I think that’s basically how the Nazi’s viewed the homosexuals, and the developmentally disabled, and, oh yeah, the Jews.

KansasDem

Posted by: KansasDem at June 20, 2006 9:14 AM
Comment #159468

“They beat the drums for war just as loud as anyone else. They were a propaganda outlet for the Bush Regime just as much as anyone else. Liberal media.”

Uhh, so did all the Liberals in congress. Sooo, how does that change the point that a majority of the (I will narrow the scope) “print” media is liberal? I am aghast that that point could be argued without tremedous laughter.

Posted by: curmudgeon-at-large at June 20, 2006 9:51 AM
Comment #159471

Kansas:

I am always amazed at you libs ability to create words and concepts out of thin air…or more appropriately, put words and concepts into the mouths of conservatives where they didn’t exist. Where, in any of my posts, did I EVER say that I was for getting rid of ALL social safety nets?? Where did you see me say that? ANSWER: NOWHERE! Because I didn’t say it. You guys have this unique ability to take a simple comment and stretch it out into something totally different from what it was originally meant to mean.

While I did not SPECIFICALLY address cases such as yours (my mistake…if we conservatives don’t specifically address each and every possible scenario you libs seem to be able to find and focus on that every time), I am not nor have I ever indicated thtat I was in support of cutting aid to you or the elderly. I understand that there are people who legitimately depend on these programs for long term survival. But there are literally thousands upon thousands of DOCUMENTED cases of abuse where the perpetrator scammed the syetem for years, often under the knowing eyes of employees of the government!! I was a Big Brother for many years and saw this first hand, so don’t preach to me!

DaveR

Posted by: DaveR at June 20, 2006 10:08 AM
Comment #159495

Dave R.

First of all, I’m not preaching, I’m expressing an opinion.

As to “put(ting) words and concepts into the mouths of conservatives where they didn’t exist.” I drew a conclusion based on your own words and the fact that you describe yourself as conservative. It’s my personal belief that the “new” conservatives do want to do away with all forms of government assistance thru “Faith Based” charitable contributions and “privatization”.

I assume you were also drawing a conclusion when you said: “You are all so damn arrogant and so sure that we are just a bunch of dumb, uneducated, redneck hicks beyond saving that nothing I can ever say will make you admit that I can be a free thinking individual and still NOT AGREE WITH YOU!!”

I don’t see myself as arrogant in the least and I don’t think I’ve ever referred to anyone posting here as “dumb, uneducated, redneck hicks”. Given the new “Rules For Participation” it would certainly no longer be wise to do so.

KansasDem

Posted by: KansasDem at June 20, 2006 11:21 AM
Comment #159499
The only way to acheive election reform is to elect a DEM Congress that is veto-proof.

Not likely.
The only way is debatable.
The most likely way will be after much pain.
Only then will voters (maybe) start voting out the corrupt incumbents.
But, that is even questionable, since voters keep re-electing them now.
The problem is not just government.
It is also voters that pick that government.
The problem is people through and through.
This, and numerous other sites endlessly debate all sorts of reforms, but none are possible without first addressing the core problem.
We can chip away at the fringes of election reform, campaign finance reform, reforms to stop gerrymandering, FOR SALE government, corruption, pandering, graft, bribery, etc., etc., etc., but none of it will ever help without first addressing the root of the problem, which is us.
And, that is not likely to happen without much pain and misery to motivate change.
Hence, if you think things are not good now, you will sadly have to wait a while longer for them to get better, since things usually can’t get better until they get much worse.
That may sound pessimistic, but history shows us that about human nature. Many governments, kingdoms, monarchies, and civilizations have come and gone over thousands of years.

What is the reason for that?
Especially when it is not always a matter of being conquered? It is a form of self destruction.

Pain is what motivates people to take action for change. Like water flows downhill, governments are always trying to grow more corrupt because of power without sufficient education and transparency.

Unfortunately, change is not always for the better.

But, the fact is, the people have the power (their vote) to reform government (by merely not re-electing the irresponsible incumbents … which would be most of them), but not the will or motivation. They will, some day. The longer it takes, the more difficult and painful it will be. The longer any government is allowed to grow corrupt, the longer and more difficult it will be to reform it (if at all).

Posted by: d.a.n at June 20, 2006 11:43 AM
Comment #159503

“In other words homosexuals are no longer criminals because of who they are. About time. That should make sense to any real conservative. Its just not the governments damn business, now is it?”

So, the govt should not tell me who to care for and marry, but the govt should tell me who to care for and financially support?

As long as people believe in different rules for different issues, election reform is a waste of time.

Posted by: kctim at June 20, 2006 11:56 AM
Comment #159514

kctim

Well said. A double standard exists.

Posted by: DaveR at June 20, 2006 12:26 PM
Comment #159524

kansasdem:

“Genetic mistake? Oh, like, uh…….no offense, but I think that’s basically how the Nazi’s viewed the homosexuals, and the developmentally disabled, and, oh yeah, the Jews.”

SO now I am being compared to the Nazis? Does that mean that all biologists and geneticists are also Nazis?

Because if you take any entry level college biology or genetics class (or for that matter most good High Schools teach this as well), you will learn about DNA and chromosomes and that there certain diseases/conditions which are caused by improper coding/matching up of the DNA strands, or the presence of extra strands, or the deletion of a strand (ie: “mistakes”) and thus are considered ABNORMAL CONDITIONS!!! Hemophilia and Down’s Syndrome are just 2 of MANY that fall into this category. They are genetic mistakes. It is not a Nazi concept, but proven scientific FACT (something which you libs claim to deal in exclusively).

Posted by: DaveR at June 20, 2006 12:41 PM
Comment #159525

Grenada,

I agree with you say. But how do you get parents involved? That is why this so intractable. Parents need to take personal responsability for parenting their children. The Repulican “frame” of personal responsability is true but it frames out the whole big picture truth. When you enslave a polulation for generations, then leave them to stew in poverty and discrimination… even if you assume that we have successfully stopped doing all of that… it is resonable to expect that they are going to have some personal problems and those problems are going to affect their parenting skills. Republicans often want to blame the schools. The schools are under funded and under staffed, but are actually doing a fantastic job, given what they are facing. As you point out, many students do succeed. I am not opposed to personal responsability. Quite the contrary. I want to extend it individually and collectively to the rest of us for our part in creating and perpetuateing this problem.

Posted by: Ray Guest at June 20, 2006 12:47 PM
Comment #159536

BillS,

I don’t like it when people try to deflect an argument that they are losing by raising tangential points. But we have a lot of real issues to fight in good faith about. Your post are always well written and well considered. I don’t care how far the argument strays from the original theme, as long as it is real. Feel free to spend as much electronic ink here as you want. I appreciate the support in raising the quality of national discourse. Unfortunately, I unilaterally demoted DaveR to nemesis for his “liberal media” comment, but he still has a chance to unseat Jack.

Posted by: Ray Guest at June 20, 2006 1:07 PM
Comment #159537

Dave R,

Referring to homosexuality as a genetic mistake, or more appropriately as a genetic disorder, IMO tends to indicate that homosexuality is a disease or illness. It’s not.

I prefer to think that gays and lesbians are, well, just different but certainly equal to me in every respect. To treat them differently under the law is IMO just out and out discrimination.

kctim,

There is no fair comparison between what truly is discrimination and social responsibility.

KansasDem

Posted by: KansasDem at June 20, 2006 1:11 PM
Comment #159544

KansasDem
Well neighbor, why is your belief of what social responsibilty is, more valid than what mine is?
Our govt was not intended to force the “values” of one person onto another.
No matter what issue.

Posted by: kctim at June 20, 2006 1:32 PM
Comment #159551

Scott

I repeat: CNN got it wrong in their article. There were seven “news agencies”, as you call them, that funded the National Opinion Research Center (NORC) at the University of Chicago to review the ballots, but there was only one analysis by NORC. If you actually read anything besides the news media, you’d understand better. CNN erroneously focused on NORC findings based on a compromise solution that the Florida Supreme Court authorized, but was overtuned by the US Supreme court. This is from a table in their analysis of a total recount (from this link, about 3/4 of the way down):

Candidate Outcomes Based on Potential Recounts in Florida Presidential Election 2000
(outcome of one particular study; not representative of all studies)
Review Method Winner
Review of All Ballots Statewide (never undertaken)
�€� Standard as set by each county Canvassing Board during their survey Gore by 171
�€� Fully punched chads and limited marks on optical ballots Gore by 115
�€� Any dimples or optical mark Gore by 107
�€� One corner of chad detached or optical mark Gore by 60

Ill-informed blaring about something you barely understand doesn’t help the discussion. Please retract your partisan pumping of a misleading CNN article.

Posted by: mental wimp at June 20, 2006 1:50 PM
Comment #159562

DaveR,

You wrote:

I don’t get daily faxes from the RNC!!!

Well Dave, that is a major oversight which we should correct immediately… You are such an excellent spokesman for them.

DaveR,

You wrote:

I mean, how can you be pro-abortion and anti-death penalty, as so many liberals are. How can you allow the wanton slaughter of the unborn, but then freak out when a born child is abused or neglected?

Good point Dave, so good of course, that it applies equally well in reverse. How can conservatives be pro-life and pro-death penalty. Innocent wrongly convicted people are executed all of the time. I have mixed feelings about abortion. Reasonable people can disagree about when an organism becomes fully human… There conflicting rights in the Constitution. The certainly protects the “right to life”. The Constitution certainly protects a women’s “private” right of “choice” to control her own body. Both are important rights. The “right to life” is most important. But there is a reasonable scientific and moral judgement call about when an organism becomes human, and that causes me to side with a women’s right to choose. You say that you are against abortion for scientific reasons. I am a science buff. I have not read that scientific study, the one that scientifically determines that an early term fetus is human - perhaps it was lost among those scientific “intelligent design” studies and I missed it.

DaveR,

You wrote:

In our system of government, whether a particular act or behavior DIRECTLY affects us isn’t the point. If we the people want to make laws which regulate moral or ethical behavior in society, and if the majority of the people support the creation of such laws, then that is how it is.

Gay marriage is a winner for the Repubs for the time being. Racism was a winner for them too. Are you admitting here that your real objection to gay marriage is on moral grounds? You can put as much window dressing as you want on your earlier and more recent comments about homosexuality being useless. It is not going to change the fact that it is hateful, hurtful, and emotionally abusive.

DaveR,

You wrote:

It is not up to the Supreme Court to override the decision of the voters, as they have done in many places. That is supposed to be beyond their power.

That inane ridiculous comment is exactly why our Constitutional democracy is in such perilous danger. It is exactly and precisely up to the Supreme Court to “override the decision of the voters” if the voters have voted for something that is unconstitutional!!!

DaveR,

You want to give the gays “separate but equal” status… SO-racist-S - different day…

You wrote:

I am not sure I ever said they should not be ALLOWED to marry. If I did (which I don’t think I did) perhaps what I should have said was they have no NEED to marry.

Heteor-sexual couples have no need to marry either.

You wrote:

I agree that this is exactly what the Judicial Branch does, and they have far overstepped the boundaries of their Constitutionial powers, helped along by you liberals who support this process when it suits your needs. You use the judicial process to circumvent the will of the electorate whenever you don’t get your way.

Actually what is happening is that you conservatives complain about so called “activist judges” whenever the courts hold your feet to the Constitutional fire. Clearly conservatives do not like being bound by the Constitution. The Constitution is only good when it serves your conservative needs. That is why the Bush Regime is shredding it.

You wrote:

if I tried to say a Muslim prayer you guys wouldn’t have a problem with that.

Comment worthy of a troll. Not worthy of you.

You wrote:

Your elitist, arrogant,

Mr. POT.

Posted by: Ray Guest at June 20, 2006 2:12 PM
Comment #159589

“Well neighbor, why is your belief of what social responsibilty is, more valid than what mine is?
Our govt was not intended to force the “values” of one person onto another.
No matter what issue.”

kctim,

What “values” are being forced on you?

Equality under the law is a “value” that’s been addressed many times throughout America’s history. Beyond what our founding fathers planned it was addressed very prominately with the end of slavery. At one point women were recognized as our equals (although the progression has been slow and is still not complete). The civil rights movement “forced” all Americans to begin to accept blacks without prejudice (another area where we still have a long way to go). Gay & lesbian rights will come to pass someday.

OTOH if you’re speaking of social responsibility the need is also the reason. It’s a simple matter of civilization. American civilization was facing collapse when FDR took office and he began painstakingly creating what the conservatives now love to call the “welfare state”. After WWII Eisenhower continued to “grow” the welfare state because he’d seen first hand what the results were of a failed civilization. Ever since Johnson’s “war on poverty” the conservatives have been trying to bring the whole safety net down.

I wish I had the resources to perform an accurate “poll” of how many American’s are financially capable of providing support for themselves and all their family members no matter what fate might befall them. I’d bet it’s a darn small percentage.

While I hate to “personalize” the issue I can only use my own experience as actual fact. I began to fall ill in the fall of 2001, by December 2001 I could no longer work. I was 50 years old, married for the 3rd time, 2 of 3 children had completed college (the 3rd is severely disabled), but my net worth was about $180,000.00.

Well, the first drawback was my last employer selling the company and filing bankruptcy. The next was divorce (and I was married to a “woman”). Although I’d been told to do so much sooner I waited until mid 2002 to file for Social Security Disability so by the time I began recieving SSDI and Medicare I was nearly broke.

The point of this is not to throw a pity party for me, but I’ll guarantee you that a good many American’s are even less prepared than I was for such a calamity. If preparation for the same were left up to individual discretion this country would be in chaos.

But, I guess if you can get your entire family (parents, grandparents, wife, children, grandchildren) to forgo all rights to any future benifit then we should allow you to “opt-out” of that obligation.

OTOH if you choose to “opt-out” of that obligation I know a few people that would like to “opt-out” of paying for the war in Iraq, and the tax cuts for the oil companies, etc.

KansasDem

Posted by: KansasDem at June 20, 2006 2:46 PM
Comment #159607

Ray Guest,

ie: Your comments on abortion:

Have you ever noticed how both sides love to “label” the other. I’m Pro-Choice but the Republicans love to call me Pro-Abortion. OTOH most Republicans are Pro-Life and “we” love to call them Anti-Choice. Hardly fair play on either side.

Beyond that it’s important to consider both ends of the argument. On the far right even all forms of contraception are considered abortion (there has been a blitz of ads in our area newspapers to that effect). On the far left abortion should be allowed right up until the infant draws it’s first breath.

IMO it’s obvious both extremes are flawed, but we are all entitled to our own individual beliefs. I just want to say that I’m pro-choice because:

No woman should be required by law to continue a pregnancy that resulted from rape or incest.

No woman should be required by law to continue a pregnancy that threatens her health (whether or not it’s life threatening).

No woman should be subjected to the whims of a court of law to make one of the most difficult decisions she may ever face.

Men (including myself) need to shut up and stay the hell out of it. There are enough women involved in the medical profession now that women can solve this issue without us. (it sure is interesting to look at the makeup of the SCOTUS though) No man has ever died in child birth!

KansasDem

Posted by: KansasDem at June 20, 2006 3:25 PM
Comment #159611

KansasDem
Way off track on the gay marriage issue concerning me. I am for total marriage rights being given to all, even the polyg’s.
But it IS a very fair comparison. The govt telling people how they should feel or care for is wrong.

“If preparation for the same were left up to individual discretion this country would be in chaos”

Whose fault would it be?
Your “safety net” has created a country of people who are dependent on its govt to survive.
Why work? The govt will give me free money and food.
Why save for retirement? The govt will pay me to retire.
Why save for health emergencies? I’d rather by this CD, DVD, cigs, beer or eat out all the time. Besides, the govt forces others to pay for my doctor visits.

If I care enough and wish to help someone out, it is not up to you or the govt to decide who or how I do so.

Lowering my quality of life, that I work for, in order to enhance somebody elses, is a personal choice and not one that I need the govt to do for me.

Social programs are nothing but feel-good programs whose supporters “say” they care about them but dont want to actually have to support them themselves.
I just love how these “caring” people will eat a $20 dinner, sit back, smoke a cig and drink their booze while they talk about how the govt needs to do something about the poor people who don’t eat.
Rather than live a modest life and actually support what they “say” is the right thing to do, they expect the govt and everybody else to do it for them.

“we should allow you to “opt-out” of that obligation”

Ah, freedom of choice. Nice to hear a Dem mention that.

“I know a few people that would like to “opt-out” of paying for the war in Iraq, and the tax cuts for the oil companies, etc.”

Hey, I would be all for abiding by the Constitution on those matters.

Posted by: kctim at June 20, 2006 3:36 PM
Comment #159626

mental wimp

|Ill-informed blaring about something you barely understand doesn’t help the discussion.|

http://www.watchblog.com/democrats/rules.html


I’m not going to convince you.

Your facts are wrong. Your reference is from Wikipedia?

I leave it to everyone to investigate themselves.

Adrienne.


Award winning or not if the taxi part of the story truely had basis it would be bigger than Abu Ghraib. It a small independant far left leaning news organization. Much like our own “free speach tv”

Posted by: scott at June 20, 2006 4:13 PM
Comment #159644

Would this election reform also require that only citizens can vote? Maybe it’s time to look at a national ID. It seems kind of pointless if we don’t address voter fraud from non-citizens and the myriad of political leaders that encourage illegal immigrants to vote.

Also, the Constitution states that each state legislature chooses how its electoral college will vote. It is a shame that the Supreme Court got involved in the ‘00 election, but if the Florida Supreme Court didn’t usurp power that it did not have and circumvent Florida law by demanding a state-wide recount, it would not have been required.

Posted by: Publius at June 20, 2006 4:56 PM
Comment #159653

kc tim,

“Whose fault would it be?”
Many times there is no fault to be placed on anyone. In my case the majority of the doctors now think I contracted West Nile Virus and the effects were amplified due to exposure to overheated teflon for a long period of time. Officially it’s called “unknown etiology”.

“Why work? The govt will give me free money and food.”
That’s a bunch of bologna (or baloney), it’s a “safety net” not a safety hammock. I started working when I was 14, should I now just be fed to the dogs?

“Why save for retirement? The govt will pay me to retire.”
The working poor barely survive. If not for payroll deductions they would literally retire with nothing. History bears this out.

“Why save for health emergencies? I’d rather by this CD, DVD, cigs, beer or eat out all the time.”
My medical bills are horrendous. An average weeks medical bills are about $4,000.00. How many Americans could afford that for four or more years?

Contrary to what you think I always lived a frugal and responsible lifestyle. Also I’ve been a lifelong Democrat and I believe I’ve always fulfilled my responsibilities to my community.

I guess some of us simply find the idea of letting people starve to death or die of exposure more distasteful than others. Although I’m sure we could scrape up the remains for “Soylent Green”.

KansasDem

Posted by: KansasDem at June 20, 2006 5:27 PM
Comment #159661

“Maybe it’s time to look at a national ID.”

Publius,

We already have one. It’s called a Social Security number. Why we’re so far behind the curve at providing a SS# photo ID is beyond me.

I would add that falsification of such ID should result in harsh penalties. Something like 20 years minimum prison term for each offense.

KansasDem

Posted by: KansasDem at June 20, 2006 5:44 PM
Comment #159805

Just look at how many comments (over 217 now) this topic generated.

At the very least, people are starting to see the importance of election reform and the other many no-brainer reforms needed.
Unfortunately, we are not there yet, because voters continue to re-elect the same irresponsible incumbents because:
(1) Democrats don’t want to let any Republicans to win,
(2) and Republicans don’t want to let any Democrats to win,
(3) and Democrat and Republican politicians keep getting re-elected,
(4) and both parties keep takin’ turns at using and abusing the voters that keep re-electing them,
(5) and voters haven’t yet experienced enough pain and misery to take action; probably only something as severe as the Great Depression or the Civil War can do that, which may not be far away if we continue on the path we are now on.

Since voters don’t currently have enough pain and misery, they choose to waste their time and energy with flag burning, constitutional amendments against gay marraige, and rampant pork-barrel (all while our troops risk life and limb).

Unfortunately, the U.S. is in an era of selfishness, dependence on an increasingly corrupt government, and near total fiscal and moral bankruptcy. It’s just a matter of time before the consequences of so much irresponsibility catches up with us.

But, it may take several more years, because if you peruse these columns, you will see how deeply entrenched (even fond of it) the voters are in the partisan warfare, and you will see issues used by incumbent politicians to cleverly divide and distract voters from more substantive issues.

You’d think voters would figure it out eventually, since it doesn’t seem to matter which party is currently the “In-Party”. But, the seduction into the partisan warfare is extrement powerful. No wonder incumbnet politicians fuel it. It is their favorite detractor.

It seems inescapable that some people rule, and others are ruled. Those that rule are always growing corrupt. As history shows us, when the corruption and abuse becomes unbearable, the ruled finally rise up and revolt. Or, the government is irresponsible and allows or hastens their own demise or being conquered. Some things still have not changed for thousands of years.

Unfortunately for us, we are living in one of the parts of the cycle (i.e. Step (4) and (5)), and it may be a long time before we can return to freedom and abundance …

Posted by: d.a.n at June 20, 2006 8:47 PM
Comment #159812

ID Cards are next to useless.
Illegal aliens buy them before crossing the borders.
Biometrics is the logical solution.

However, before implementing any biometrics system, the people must have a government that is trust worthy. Currently, we don’t have that and the government would abuse the informnation.

But, some day (if ever), when government can be sufficiently trusted, biometrics would make ID cards obsolete … ID cards would be unnecessary since people, themselves, are their own ID card.

Posted by: d.a.n at June 20, 2006 8:53 PM
Comment #159842

KansasDem,

I appreciate your excellent contributions here as always but, you wrote:

No man has ever died in child birth!

Not sure about that, if one or two of my wives could a got a good holt on my cahonies, I might a died in childbirth… I agree both sides frame the issue in a way that benefits their political agenda. The “frames” are true but they “frame out” the whole big picture truth. The Repubs are brilliant at framing issues, like for example the “Death Tax” - I don’t want to have to pay one of those - do you - we should frame it as the Paris Hilton government handout entitlement tax - because that is what it is.

Posted by: Ray Guest at June 20, 2006 10:51 PM
Comment #159847

d.a.n,

Interesting chart - sadly seems we are due - optimistically - we have come through bad times and bounced back before - maybe we will again. Over all, your historical perspective, cheered me up and gave me hope. As I look at the disturbing trends, and directions that our country is going, the situation looks very desparate to me. It looks like we are going down the tubes. It looks like a run away frieght train that will never stop. It looks hopeless. It looks as if there is so much irreversable damage being done to our Constitutional democracy, our economy, our international relationships, our shared world view, and our culture, that we will never rise again. But we have been down for the count more than once, and we have shook it off, got back to our feet, and got back in the fight. Maybe we will again.

Posted by: Ray Guest at June 20, 2006 11:11 PM
Comment #159849

d.a.n,

You wrote:

However, before implementing any biometrics system, the people must have a government that is trust worthy. Currently, we don’t have that and the government would abuse the information.

I agree, but we are moving in that direction without a government that we can trust. That is one of the hopeless depressing trends I was talking about.

There is a legitimate public need to be able to accurately identify people - but in this corrupt, intrusive, big brother government - give them even more power…

Posted by: Ray Guest at June 20, 2006 11:20 PM
Comment #159851

KansasDem,

You wrote:

“Why work? The govt will give me free money and food.”
That’s a bunch of bologna (or baloney), it’s a “safety net” not a safety hammock. I started working when I was 14, should I now just be fed to the dogs?

No… No… No… These are compasionate conservative… they are not going to feed you to the dogs… now the pigs… then sell the pigs to the poor… now… that business model could work… the miricle of free enterprise…

Posted by: Ray Guest at June 20, 2006 11:28 PM
Comment #159856

Ray Guest,

I’m not very optimistic about the next 20 to 30 years, because of a number of factors that fall on deaf ears daily.
But, there may be hope after that, if the nation survives it.
While I don’t see much hope for the U.S. in the next 20 to 30 years, it’s only logical to try to maintain some hope that we won’t repeat history; that we won’t have to learn the hard way again.
But that small hope is only because having no hope will accomplish nothing. So, what can a person do but hope, and strive to understand the root problem , and the potential strategies to bring about reforms sooner than later. The longer things decay, the more miserable and painful it will be to reform (if ever).

But it’s a chicken-and-egg thing, because we need people to be educated to understand the importance of education itself, which will lead to transparency, which will lead to accountability, which will lead to responsibility. But we only have power with insufficient education, transparency, accountability, and responsibility. So we have corruption instead. While I try to maintain some hope, it does not look like we will learn from our mistakes anytime soon. My guess is the next election will only unseat a few Republicans, gain a few Democrats, and voters will re-elect the majority of very irresponsible incubment politicians that are running the nation into the ground, and voters are empowering them to do so, by re-electing them over and over.

Posted by: d.a.n at June 20, 2006 11:50 PM
Comment #159899

KansasDem:

Well, for the second or third day in a row you have either ignored or just plain refused to answer the questions I posed in earlier posts. I will ask them again, along with some others, but I suspect you will again conveniently ignore or refuse to answer, as there is no real good answer.

Previously you mentioned the way (you claim) that Bush has gutted the Constitution and trampled on the rights of American citizens, and I asked you to prove it…provide examples of how you or anyone you know has been personally singled out for illegal treatment, prosecution, imprisonment etc. So…?


kctim’s comment and your answer: “Why work? The govt will give me free money and food.”
That’s a bunch of bologna (or baloney), it’s a “safety net” not a safety hammock. I started working when I was 14, should I now just be fed to the dogs?

While your case and the cases of many other severly disabled people are certainly different and worthy of seperate consideration, as I have said the vast majority of Americans receiving aid of this type (such as I was at the time I got aid) are perfectly healthy, physically able-bodied individuals capable of providing for their own well being, and thus should do so. My Little Brother’s mom, when I was in the program, was living with her mom, unemployed, was a smoker and had cable and a bigscreen TV, living on welfare and food stamps and the generosity of charitable programs such as Big Brothers/Big Sisters. She had 5 kids by three different daddies (none of whom she was married to), and actually said to me one day that she was considering having another!! She is NOT deserving of my help or my sympathy. It’s not a safety net, it’s a helping hand, and when someone abuses the helping hand it should be withdrawn, or they should be forced to stand up, take responsibility for their life, and make something of themselves, since they obviously refuse to do so otherwise.

I have plenty of compassion…I am more than willing to help those who are trying to help themselves. I am not willing to support lazy, incompetent freeloaders who could at least partially support themselve if they chose to do so.


kctim’s comment and your answer: “Why save for retirement? The govt will pay me to retire.”
The working poor barely survive. If not for payroll deductions they would literally retire with nothing. History bears this out.

And if you would stop taking payroll deductions from my paycheck, does it not logically follow that I would possess more of MY OWN money and would then be able to invest that money in stocks, bonds, IRA’s, 401k’s or even something as simple as a bank account? And does it not also logically follow that I might, if I am responsible and smart about it, become so knowledgable and invest so wisely that I might actually have more money than if I let you dole it out to me through SS?

And please don’t drag out that tired old argument which I have heard before about how some (most) people won’t be responsible and will spend the money and have nothing left. My answer is thus: Lets just say for a moment that instead of taking MY MONEY from me and putting it into SS or a pension funds, you let me have it to do with as I please. And lets just say that we are human beings with free will and the ability to make decisions for ourselves which affect our own lives (a concept which is unfortunately foreign and even a little scary to most liberals…free will…a shudder runs through libs when they hear that). But anyway…lets also say that I live in the Unites States where we have a Constitution which guarantees me “…life, liberty and the PURSUIT of happiness…”, with the understanding of course that I am a free thinking human being who takes responsibility for my actions and the consequences, good or bad, of those actions. Given all that…if I freely choose to spend MY MONEY and not save or invest any of it for my future, that is my choice, and as such I am putting myself in the position of having to work after my peers have loing since moved to Miami, or eating dog food and living in a cardboard box in the alley. But in any case, THAT IS MY CHOICE!!!!!!!! You see how this whole PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY thing works? Neat huh.


You said:

“I assume you were also drawing a conclusion when you said: You are all so damn arrogant and so sure that we are just a bunch of dumb, uneducated, redneck hicks beyond saving that nothing I can ever say will make you admit that I can be a free thinking individual and still NOT AGREE WITH YOU!!”

No I was not drawing a conclusion…”dumb”,
“uneducated”, “redneck” and “hick” are all actual words that have been used by your so-called caring, open minded, tolerant fellow liberals to describe conservatives who they disagree with. While you personally have not used these actual words, the attitude comes across in many of your posts…the way you talk to ma and other conservatives, like you are trying so desperately to “enlighten” us. (That of course is my personal observation and in no way reflects the reality of your universe).

DaveR

Posted by: DaveR at June 21, 2006 2:22 AM
Comment #159910

Ray Guest:

As much as I enjoy our jousts and the fact that it makes my somewhat boring job go by more quickly, I suspect others have grown weary of our lengthy diatribes. Perhaps (I am sure) we will do battle again under another topic (and maybe even stay on track next time LOL). Hence, I suspect this will be MY last post under this heading. As much I will want to, I will try to refrain from answering anything you may post after this. Do not take this as a sign I have given up, rather I am just taking a brief respite and gathering my forces.


You said: “Well Dave, that is a major oversight which we should correct immediately… You are such an excellent spokesman for them.”

1) I am not a spokesman for them…I am a spokesman for me…when will you get that through your head?
2) Tit for Tat…As you are a spokesman for the Dumbacrats (ooops sorry I meant Democrats).


You said: “How can conservatives be pro-life and pro-death penalty. Innocent wrongly convicted people are executed all of the time…”

I realize that and that is something that needs to be addressed not only for the sake of the death penalty but for the sake of wrongful imprisonment.. HOWEVER, EVERY baby that is aborted is innocent…no comparison to the small number of innocent people wrongly sentenced to death.


You said: “Reasonable people can disagree about when an organism becomes fully human.”

Why does it have to be “fully human” to be considered alive? How is that a factor? What is the definition of “fully human”? So the mother gets to decide when her baby is “fully human”? You guys tax people for SS and won’t let people invest their own money for retirement b/c (you think) they can’t handle it…you want to take our guns b/c we might kill someone in a fit of uncontrolled rage…but somehow this emotionally distraught woman, making as you say the most important decision of her life, can be allowed to decide for herself personally when her baby is “fully human”? And this doesn’t seem a little hypocritical and a whole lot LUDICROUS to you?


You said: “The Constitution certainly protects a women’s “private” right of “choice” to control her own body.”

Where? I must have missed that amendment. I didn’t realize there was Constitutional “right” to commit murder. I know what you are probably thinking…Article IV of the Bill of Rights. But it says “…secure in their persons, houses, papers and effects, against unreasonable SEARCHES and SEIZURES…” (emphasis obviously mine). Again, as I have previously, I will say that given the HISTORICAL CONTEXT of the document and the actions of the monarchy that led to its creation, this IS NOT a right to “privacy” of your body to do with it and your unborn child as you please. I mean come on, are you trying to convince me that the founders had abortion in mind when they wrote this? Get real.


You said: “You say that you are against abortion for scientific reasons. I am a science buff. I have not read that scientific study, the one that scientifically determines that an early term fetus is human - perhaps it was lost among those scientific “intelligent design” studies and I missed it.”

So once again we have the incessant liberal need to have someone VALIDATE for them in writing what they are supposed to believe, rather than EVALUATING the evidence for themselves, exercising their free will and common sense, and making an informed decision on their own. You guys are so fond of using the “read this book, quote this author, I didn’t see that study approach to everything”…you are so hung up on having everything in print before you can make a commitment to believe in it. Let me lay this out for you (being a science “buff” and all, unlike myself who is actually a Natural Resources student who has taken multiple biology and genetics classes, maybe you aren’t quite up on the latest in biology and genetics). I’ll go slow so you can follow along.

1) Scientists have determined that something as small as an amoeba, a paramecium, or a bacterium conducts enough of the various funtions of “life”, as it is typically defined and universally accepted at this time, to be considerd alive.

2) These are single celled organisms, capable of, among other functions of life, reproducing and passing on their genetic code to their “offspring” thus producing replicas of themselves.

3) Sperm cells and egg cells are single celled organisms.

4) The sperm cell contains 1/2 of the genetic code (21 chromosomes). The egg cell contains 1/2 of the genetic code (the OTHER 21 chromosomes).

5) When the sperm cell and the egg cell unite, they produce ANOTHER single cell, possessing ALL of the 42 chromosomes necesarry to produce a living, breathing, eating, defecating, pissing, crying organism which will eventually grow and develop to become a physically similar replica of it’s parents (human beings).
(All of the above material IS in print by the way…open any high school biology book if you need “proof”, b/c I know you wouldn’t want to take the word of a uneducated conservative about something this important.)

Conclusion: Through an understanding of science, and exercising my free will, common sense, and powers of observation, I have concluded, on no religious grounds whatsoever, that the product of the union of the sperm and egg is a single celled LIVING organism which will eventually, after roughly nine months of in-vitro development, become an almost identical replica of the two human beings who made it.

Thus, life starts at conception. Abortion is the destruction of a life form in a stage of partial development which will when complete be a “human being” (for lack of a better word), hence abortion is murder.

This is also why most average conservatives (not your arch rivals the “neocons”) think that abortion is a far more important, relevant and far reaching issue than just a mother’s “right to choose”. All that plus that pesky personal responsibility thing again…if you’re gonna f—k like animals, take precautions!! It isn’t like there aren’t options. Simple huh?

Finally, as with most issues there is that gray area…in cases of possible danger to the mother’s health I am sure most sensible people would be fully OK with making exceptions. Rape victims could give the baby up for adoption…
there are plenty of people who would happily them in.

(hhhmmm…maybe Angelina Jolie might even adopt it…nah!! she only wants to adopt from overseas so she can show how much she “cares”. Scratch that).

DaveR

Posted by: DaveR at June 21, 2006 3:34 AM
Comment #159925

Obviously I made an error…sperm and egg contain 1/2 of a set…23 chromosomes, not 21, for a total of 46 (23 sets). Oooops. (I am sure someone in here will latch on to this as a way to ridicule me for a while).

Posted by: DaveR at June 21, 2006 4:24 AM
Comment #159940

DaveR,

Enjoyed your post here. I like arrogant people who think that they have it figured out. See you soon.

I thought I remembered 46 chromosomes - but I figured you were just talking about Republicans… Clearly, they are a couple of bricks short of a full load.

“…secure in their persons…” The founders did not think that a woman should have control over her own body. That is not an “inalienable human right”… Well… OK… you win… I agree… The founders did not think “women” had any rights. They thought that they were chattel. I like it. I am a white male. Your reading of the Constitution works for me. I am going to go tell “MY” women to shut up, lay down, and… …I am back, that only took a second… …we had “hallway sex”… … she told me to go copulate myself…

You wrote:

Thus, life starts at conception. Abortion is the destruction of a life form in a stage of partial development which will when complete be a “human being” (for lack of a better word), hence abortion is murder.

This is also why most average conservatives (not your arch rivals the “neocons”) think that abortion is a far more important, relevant and far reaching issue than just a mother’s “right to choose”. All that plus that pesky personal responsibility thing again…if you’re gonna f-k like animals, take precautions!! It isn’t like there aren’t options. Simple huh?

It is a moral judgement. It is an arrogant moral judgement. It is your arrogant moral judgement and you want to make it for someone else. At least we agree that there is a grey area. Yours is pretty dark. Angelina has enough kids. Every arrogant person who wants to impose their arrogant personal moral judgements on everyone else should have an application in to adopt because adoption is better and true conservatives are good parents - all that personal responsibility stuff - liberals are good parents too - all that love and acceptance stuff. Very few conservatives have applied. So many children living in situations that will lead to so much pain for themselves and others - many of whom could have been adopted into better circumstances and need to be… but conservatives are not compassionate enough to do it. So, if I were a conservative, I would not be to quick to arrogantly assume that I was morally superior to Angelina - but then I probably would not be a conservative would I?

Posted by: Ray Guest at June 21, 2006 6:11 AM
Comment #160224

Okay, scott, here’s the original report from the Journal of the American Statistical Association, whence wikipedia got the tabled numbers. I didn’t want to burden you with it, because it’s kinda heavy going, and written for professional statisticians. If you can read it, please do. You’ll see that you are wrong, that CNN’s spin is wrong, and that you’ve been pumping an erroneous story for several days.

Not that I expect you to admit it or to even acknowledge the veracity of the document. You could, if you cared, go to the library and look up the reference, but like all victims of the Right Wing Echo Chamber (tm) you are not interested in facts, just what they tell you to say.

Posted by: Mental Wimp at June 21, 2006 9:44 PM
Comment #160265

Ray Guest

As usual, twisting my words to suit your preconceived views. Nuff said.

Posted by: DaveR at June 21, 2006 11:07 PM
Comment #160340

mental wimp

First of all, When one starts alluding that the other is not bright, it is a sign of losing a debate.

Second, It amazes me that an organization working so closely with 8 media organizations didn’t cry foul when all 8 media organizations reported the first organizations findings wrong.

It amazes me that none of those organizations did any retracting of such wrong reporting.

Maybe you should call CNN! (and the NYT and LATimes) Tell them that all those people that were involved in this got it all wrong.

Now the facts:

The PDF file I you sent me from the American Statistics organization you sent me to says the exact same thing I have been telling you. (and yes I could read it. I done graduated clean out of college, I even done graduated that there High School in the middle of my Senior year after only 3.5 years.):

The only ballots up for the debate are the ones nobody could read. NOBODY! Thos ballots have never been counted in any election in the history of our country. Why, you may ask. Well, simply because no-one can read them.

If the Supreme Court had let the recount go on and on and on. Then GW Bush would still be the president of the United States.


Again I would encourage all doubters to research for themselves.

The CNN atricle:
http://www.cnn.com/SPECIALS/2001/florida.ballots/stories/main.html

WASHINGTON (CNN) — A comprehensive study of the 2000 presidential election in Florida suggests that if the U.S. Supreme Court had allowed a statewide vote recount to proceed, Republican candidate George W. Bush would still have been elected president.

Mental Wimps PDF File from AMSTAT.ORG:
http://www.amstat.org/misc/PresidentialElectionBallots.pdf

Mental wimp…just cry uncle! You are wrong and I along with seperate mediea organizations who have not made any retractions.

Posted by: scott at June 22, 2006 2:15 AM
Comment #160342

Sorry,

Last post to conclude with:

are right!

Posted by: scott at June 22, 2006 2:17 AM
Comment #160356

Ray Guest:

I just couldn’t let your self-righteous garbage go unchallenged.

I provided you with an absolutely unquestionable scientific justification for why abortion is the killing of an innocent unborn life, and you managed to completely ignore it in favor of calling me names again and twisting my words around to portray me in the way you want to see me. At no point in my explanation could a rational person conclude that my stand on abortion was made on moral grounds. It was a perfectly reasonable scientific explanation, which you choose to ignore. I even stated in case you were too dense to notice it (apparently I was right, you were too dense to notice…or too preoccupide with showing off your own “superiority”) that I never, at any time, mentioned religion anywhere in the whole thing.

Add that to that the fact that you FAILED to answer me as to where in the Constitution you find this supposed right to kill, but instead chose to focus your efforts on trying to make me look like I said women were second class citizens…which I never said nor did I say anything that could be remotely construed to mean that! For that matter you FAILED to answer NAY of my questions, you were so busy being offended and looking for ways to tear me down in front of your liberal fan club, you couldn’t come up with a definitive, mature, reasonable, logically derived answer for any of the questions I asked you.

Further, how do you figure that my beliefs about abortion are (so YOU claim) morally based (and as such I have no right to force them on anyone)…BUT somehow YOUR beliefs about the war and about the death penalty ARE NOT morally based and therefore YOU DO HAVE THE RIGHT TO IMPOSE THEM ON EVERYONE!!! Talk about arrogance!!

And how do you know that “very few conservatives have applied” for adoption. I would bet there are just as many conservatives who adopt kids as there are liberals. It isn’t a strictly
“liberal” thing to adopt children. Of course, it IS a liberal thing to adopt children from outside the United States, when there are hundreds of needy kids in our own country, because liberals such as Angeline J. and others in Hollywwod have found that they can milk the whole “I care more than you” thing better if they adopt an African or Oriental child…makes better headlines when you adopt a child of another race too!!! “I care AND I’m color blind…aren’t I wonderful…don’t you wish you were me? Don’t forget to go see my next movie!!”

I love my kids, and how dare you insinuate that as conservatives we don’t love our children every bit as much as you “morally superior” liberals do. The difference is, not only do I love my kids, but I do that while STILL managing to teach them to take responsibility for their actions instead of always looking for someone else to blame when they screw up!!! My kids aren’t victims…they have been taught better, and they have no one else to blame but themselves if they make bad decisions, and they pay the price for their bad choices. That is how you take irresponsible, immature children and make mature, responsible adults out of them…by holding them accountable for BOTH their successes AND their failures.

But you wouldn’t understand that, because to you liberals everyone is a victim of something.

You have proven what I should have already known. You liberals cannot have a mature, sensible discussion with a conservative because you don’t THINK with your heads but with your hearts. You think that I should accept everything you say about yourself and your beliefs as the gospel truth, and that everything you believe is absolutely and without question the right thing. But anything I say about me or my beliefs must be becuase I am “programmed”, or am spouting “talking points”, or whatever
“excuse” you can find for why I don’t agree with you (you guys are so used to making excuses for everything anyway). You claim to be the people of compassion and acceptance and diversity…
except when it comes to diversity of opinions and beliefs. Then you are as close minded as the “flat earth” people of long ago, refusing to allow for the possibility that anyone could, independently and without outside coercion, possess an opinion different from your own. And you call me arrogant.

Posted by: DaveR at June 22, 2006 3:23 AM
Comment #160384

DaveR,

No time here to even read your entire response but in the first paragraph, you wrote:

I provided you with an absolutely unquestionable scientific justification for why abortion is the killing of an innocent unborn life, and you managed to completely ignore it in favor of calling me names again and twisting my words around to portray me in the way you want to see me.

“Absolutely unquestionable” - sounds a little arrogant and self-righteous to me. “Twisting your words” I will read your whole post and see if I can figure out what you are talking about. As I am arguing with somebody I never knowingly try to distort what they say. I make jokes about it, in order to expose a deeper truth and to try to clarify its real meaning or effect. I want to clarify your real meaning, so that I can either agree with it, or ram your meaning right back down your throat. But I may have misunderstood or maybe you do not like being confronted with the truth. I look forward to working with you and trying to figure that out. I did call you ARCH NEMESIS with full honorary suffix - I will have to re-read my posts in order to see what else - and then I am going to demote you and promote Jack.

Posted by: Ray Guest at June 22, 2006 7:56 AM
Comment #160395

Ray

Maybe you should have read the whole thing in the first place, instead of getting your ire up and then going off on an overly emotional rampage when you clearly didn’t possess all of the “information” (ie what I had said).

I, at least, do you the courtesy of reading your ENTIRE post, regardless of its length or content, before I respond to any part of it…I guess that is too much to ask of someone (yeah, you) who obviously answers based on how he “feels” about an issue and not how he thinks, which would require actually thinking first.

But you know, like my bumper sticker says…the definition of a liberal is “…someone who is so open minded their brains have fallen out”, so I forgive you for not being able to think. Pick your brains up, wash them off, put them back in, and then let me know when you are ready to have a discussion based on rational thought and careful, calculated consideration of the issues.

Oh and Ray…I don’t really care whether you promote me, demote me, or don’t give me a title at all. My level of self esteem and self worth isn’t dependent on any recognition from you. I don’t need someone else to validate my intellect for me…I already know how good it is.

Posted by: DaveR at June 22, 2006 8:36 AM
Comment #160398

Ray

Let me save you some time and some effort, because I wouldn’t want you to stress your already overworked brain too much.

I said: “I will say that given the HISTORICAL CONTEXT of the document and the actions of the monarchy that led to its creation, this IS NOT a right to “privacy” of your body to do with it and your unborn child as you please.”

Somehow you got that I said this:
“…secure in their persons…The founders did not think that a woman should have control over her own body. That is not an “inalienable human right”…They thought that they were chattel.”

If that isn’t twisting my words, what would you call it? It sure isn’t what I said.

“…secure in their persons…” again taken in the context of the times and the circumstances they had to live with from under the English monarchy would obviously mean that the government can’t send agents/soldiers/police whatever to just grab you up off the street, rifle through your pockets and possessions, hassle you, torture you, imprison you for no reason…you know, all the things that the King did routinely to people who dared to disagree with him, simply because he was the king. Again, real simple when you stop trying to read into it and just take it at face value. There are no hidden meanings…it is plain English and really not all that difficult to understand when you just read what’s there and don’t try to add in anything of your own.

Oh, and one other thing…isn’t it you liberals who have often (quite often) argued that the whole issue of abortion isn’t one the federal government should be involved in, but should instead be a state by state issue? Can’t have it both ways champ!

Posted by: DaveR at June 22, 2006 8:51 AM
Comment #160408

KansasDem

“I guess some of us simply find the idea of letting people starve to death or die of exposure more distasteful than others.

Thats the whole point KD.
SOME of us find that idea distasteful, SOME don’t. Each individual is entitled to have their own opinions and feelings about each issue and should have the freedom to support or not support in their own way.
This is why govt should not be legislating emotions.
I don’t want govt to force you to accept and support my beliefs, why do you want govt to force me to accept and support your beliefs?

Posted by: kctim at June 22, 2006 9:47 AM
Comment #160750

DaveR,

In the first place, I posted a response only to your first paragraph only as a courtesy to let you know I had seen your post and would respond more fully later. Although, there probably is not a lot of point in either one us working to hard on the debate at this point because this thread is just about dead and we may as well discuss these issues in a more active thread in the future. So, a “short response for now: I thought that your point about us liberals imposing our moral judgments about the war being comparable to conservatives imposing their moral judgements about abortion was interesting - perhaps even valid. I shall ruminate on it.

DaveR, please shift comfortably into the full lotus position and take a few deep relaxing breaths… AH!… now that your BP is down… The founding fathers did think women were chattel and intend full human rights to them. So, if you are going to read the document literally based on their intent, then one has to come to the conclusion that women have no rights. That was the point that I was trying to make with my rhetoric about hallway sex with my wife. If as you say, that you do indeed think that women deserve equal rights, and I certainly believe that you do believe that, then in order to do that you are certainly taking a more liberal, non-literal view, because our founders did not think that women deserve equal rights. So, for your touchy defensive information, I was not twisting your words, I was agreeing with you, there is no “right in the Constitution” for women to have choice or anything else based on the simple English intent of the founders. Now: If, as you obviously agree, women do indeed have an “inalienable human right” to control their own body then in a liberal reading of the Constitution, I was implying that being “secure” in ones “person” would in my mind at least clearly imply the “right” to be in control of ones own body. But that would only be in a liberal reading, one that is not limited to the founders literal intent, but attempts to extend the implications of their intentions to include the obvious “inalienable rights” of all human beings. So, if one reads in that liberal way, then one comes to the point that a women does indeed have a Constitutional right to “choice” over what happens to her body. That of course, only applies if one reads liberally and follows the implications. If one reads conservative / literally / based on founders intent, then one can indeed tell his wife to shutup and lay down and… just a minute, let me go try that again… nope… it still did not work. I never meant to twist your words Dave, to seriously imply that you did not believe that women had equal rights - rather, through my “poetic” rhetoric, I was juxtaposing the ridiculous to make a point and call forth the moderate conservative that I thought you were and as it turns, that you apparently are. So, if we agree, that women do indeed have a “right” of “choice” over their own body, then the only thing remaining to fight about is whether and at what point the fetus is a human being with human rights, and that is simply to juicy of a fight to waste electronic ink on here. We live to fight another day, oh mighty nemesis.

Posted by: Ray Guest at June 22, 2006 10:03 PM
Comment #160751

typo 2cd line 2cd paragraph read: and did not intend

Posted by: Ray Guest at June 22, 2006 10:05 PM
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