Democrats & Liberals Archives

Selection Bias and the Polarization of America

Jack recently posted an article in the “Republican and Conservatives” column titled: “Democrats Need to Get Right with God.” As usual with Jack’s articles, it has a very reasonable tone, but draws many flawed conclusions.

Inadvertently, Jack did an excellent job of highlighting selection bias and polarization so I found his article thought provoking and decided to fashion an article around it. For a simple definition of Selection Bias see: Wikipedia: Selection bias - or also see: Wikipedia: Texas Sharpshooter Fallacy In his article, Jack out of heart felt compassion for us poor lost Democrats, is advising us that we are out of step with the American people. He cites a number of opinion polls to support his case, and advises us to follow Joe Lieberman. Given the number of elections that we have have allowed to be stolen from us lately, we deeply and humbly appreciate his heart felt assistance. We "FEEL the LOVE" from him, and many of his conservative Christian supporters, who contributed to his commentary thread.

ABC's 20/20 recently aired a show titled: "Divided Media, Divided Country." Part of it is available for Webcast at:ABC News. The point of the show was that Americans are becoming too polarized and that the polarization contributes to selection bias, radicalization, and even more polarization. We watch and listen to our liberal media. We visit our liberal blogs and websites. We watch and listen to our conservative media. We visit our conservative blogs and websites. We go to our liberal union meetings, political rallies, and protests. We go to our conservative churches, political rallies, and protests. We self sort and self select for liberal or conservative states. We even self sort, self select, and move into conservative neighborhoods or liberal neighborhoods - according to 20/20.

So, liberals get their news from liberal sources. Conservatives get their news from Faux News and loud mouth pill poppers (conservative sources). The so called "liberal media" is and always has been a lie, but, the media used to be much more liberal (behind the scenes) than it is now. Now it is conservative. With the exception of the Internet, it is owned and controlled by a hand full of conservatives. However there is still plenty of liberal news out there, and that is part of the problem. There is also plenty of conservative news. News should be news. It should not be liberal or conservative. In fact, there is more liberal news out there now, than there was when the news media was more liberal than it is today. The reason for this is that those rich and powerful Republicans that control the most of the mass media, like to make money. There are liberal consumers, so there is liberal news. There are conservative consumers, so there is conservative news. In the old days, (25 years, or so ago), conservative journalist tried to be objective. In the old days, liberal journalist tried to be objective. So, everybody heard pretty much the same news. It was unifying. Now, the money grubbing, rich and privileged, elite Republicans, that control the mass media tailor the news to the liberal or conservative demographic that they are targeting. We all hear different news and it polarizes us. They pull the strings and we all dance like puppets and buy the crap that they are selling. No doubt someone in the commentary thread will say that we need to exercise ctitical judgement and just turn off and tune out. Some of us might be able to do that. But that is easier said than done. This is pervasive. It is unreasonable and unrealistic to expect the majority of Americans - busy and preoccupied with other life priorities - to maintain independent and critical judgement under those circumstances. You are what you eat and your thoughts are colored by the crap that the mass media feeds to your brain, and you select the junk food crap because of your own preconcieved ideas and beliefs. Pick your own poison as it where.

Then you add selection bias to the mix. If you start out conservative, then self select for: a conservative neighborhood, a conservative church, conservative news sources, and conservative blogs, according to ABC News, scientific studies show that you will become more conservative ultimately tending toward the extreme. The same process happens to liberals and our country becomes more polarized. In his article, Jack wrote:

Democratic leaders, who tend to hang with Hollywood or academic elites or with themselves in autoerotic circles, tend to miss this important point. Everybody THEY know agrees with their view on religion and those benighted folks who still believe in it.
True, at least in principal. This is an example of how selection bias leads to polarization. Jack inadvertently, naively, or cynically fails to mention that the same process effects Republicans.

In the commentary thread of Jack's article, Silima wrote:

Let me make a case against homosexuality.
1-the Bible explicitly says it is wrong.
2-natural selection says that whichever species has the best adaptations will survive. If homosexuality is normal it cannot under any natural circumstances reproduce another organism. Thus it is a bad adaptation that should expunge itself from the natural human condition as heterosexual partners reproduce and homosexual partners do not. Since homosexuality is still around, it is not natural. It is the result of human sinfulness and rebellion against God.
Posted by: Silima at July 8, 2006 05:28 PM
Mark responded to her comment with the following: Silima,


1-the Bible explicitly says it is wrong.


With all due respect, the US government was founded on the principles of the enlightenment and the Constitution, not the bible. There was a good reason the founding fathers wanted a government that made its decisions based on science and reason, not religion.

2--natural selection says that whichever species has the best adaptations will survive. If homosexuality is normal it cannot under any natural circumstances reproduce another organism. Thus it is a bad adaptation that should expunge itself from the natural human condition as heterosexual partners reproduce and homosexual partners do not. Since homosexuality is still around, it is not natural. It is the result of human sinfulness and rebellion against God.

Homosexuality is found in nature, including in wild animals. It probably exists not because it helps a species survive, but because it isn’t lethal, as only a small minority of people are homosexual. Just because something doesn't lead to reproduction, doesn’t mean it's caused by sin. By the same logic, people who because of disease are sterile are also sinful. These people didn’t actually choose to like others of the same sex, they were just born that way.

Also, thousands of years ago it might have been more practical to enforce heterosexuality. A group of people might die out if there weren't lots of babies being born. Now with overpopulation and the fact that dying in childhood is very rare being forced to have lots of children isn't much of a virtue anymore.
Posted by: mark at July 8, 2006 06:28 PM

I responded to her with the following: Silima,

You wrote:


Let me make a case against homosexuality.
1-the Bible explicitly says it is wrong.
2-natural selection says that whichever species has the best adaptations will survive. If homosexuality is normal it cannot under any natural circumstances reproduce another organism. Thus it is a bad adaptation that should expunge itself from the natural human condition as heterosexual partners reproduce and homosexual partners do not. Since homosexuality is still around, it is not natural. It is the result of human sinfulness and rebellion against God.

Pretty scientific , but not good science. You might do better sticking to matters of faith. Your faith tells you homosexuality is a sin and so for you it is a sin - nothing wrong with that. That is your faith, so live it and may your Lord bless you and keep you. But, there are plenty of natural scientific explanations for why homosexuality might evolve in a species. You need look no further than the ground at your feet or the air around your head. Consider the ant - or the bees. They have evolved to have entire colonies of non-breeding workers supporting one breeding relative. A certain percentage of non-breeding men in a closely related tribe provide extra warriors against attack, and extra hunters to kill the wildebeest, but not extra babies to feed during periods of near starvation. Extra non-breeding females provide extra gatherers, weavers, moccasin chewers, and other vital tasks without providing extra babies to feed during periods of near starvation. The closely related tribe survives and everyone's genes are passed on without everyone in the tribe breeding. So homosexuality is an important component of survival of the species - and so - it evolves and is passed on probably through recessive genes. Your so called case - scientific or logical - whatever you want to call it - against homosexuality, is so full of holes that it is a hole without even a container to contain the hole that it is. That said, personally I think that homosexuality has a learned component for reasons that I have articulated elsewhere. But what difference does it make how someone becomes gay? Sexuality is much more deeply ingrained than skin color. Can you stop being heterosexual? If you can I would suggest that you have homosexual tendencies. If you cannot stop being heterosexual, then how do expect a gay person to stop being gay. Sexuality is ingrained either through breeding, and / or early childhood experience. It just happens to people. You can get a skin transplant for being white - but you cannot get a sexual orientation transplant for being gay. Yet you want to discriminate against them for something that they have no choice about. That is bigotry - pure - plain - and simple.
Posted by: Ray Guest at July 8, 2006 10:18 PM

If I were a conservative Christian, and I had a faith based belief that homosexuality is just wrong - that it is a sin against God and nature - and if I attended a conservative Christian church and lived in an insular conservative Christian world; I could see myself accepting her case against homosexuality in an uncritical fashion. Her case sounds air tight. It sounds good until you actually think about it. Either Silima and her fine Christian conservative friends are engaging in "group think" and using selection bias to support their beliefs, or Mark and I are participating in "group think." No doubt conservatives will think that it is Mark and I that are participating in "group think." No doubt liberals will think that it is Silima and her fine conservative Christian friends. And that my friends - is selection bias. You hear what you want to hear - that which supports what you already believe, and you either ignore, deny, or dismiss evidence to the contrary.

For now conservatives have a bigger problem with group think and selection bias. There are still some liberal news sources like the New York Times and PBS that make an effort to be objective. The NYT is still an independent company - they are out to make money too - but they are independent and they try to be objective - objective to the point that they had / have Bush Regime lackeys like Judth Miller and Bob Woodward. PBS is independent and tries to be objective. Liberals are by nature more open minded than conservatives. The NYT and PBS are still going to tailor for their target demographic, but the their target demographic is more open minded and objective. We got plenty of liberal Christians, but liberal Christians believe in quietly living their faith and minding their own business when it come to imposing their values on others. They are passionate about their personal relationship with God, but they are open minded people. Conservatives are by nature prone to see things as settled and immutable, i.e. they are not as open minded.

Group think is no think. According to the Wall Street Journal, General George Patton used to say: "When everybody's thinking alike, somebody's not thinking." We are critical of the Bush Regime for group think, but they are not the only ones with the problem. They do have the problem - in spades. As I wrote elsewhere, the conservatives have gone renegade and have gone off the reservation. That is only because they have taken Faux News and loud mouth pill popping radio to a high art. Unfortunately we liberals have "media envy" for them. Their media is so big, throbbing, and pulsating - Viagra works - ask Rush. We are trying to imitate them. How long before we are as crazy as they are?

So - how does this relate to a Commander and Chief bogging the most powerful army in the world down in Baghdad, provoking Iran and North Korea into seeking WMD, confronting Iran, such that they fuel the civil war in Iraq, and release their attack dogs from hell (Hezbollah) on Israel, to provoke an escalation toward regional war?

How does this relate to the subversion of the Constitution through warrant-less wiretaps of Supreme Court Justices, Congressmen, government officials, journalists, military leaders, and political rivals? Of course I have absolutely no evidence to suggest that any of these categories of people are being spied on! With no checks, no balances, no oversight - do you have any evidence that these categories of people have not, and will not, be spied on by this or some future President?

Posted by Ray Guest at July 13, 2006 12:30 AM
Comments
Comment #166984

Let me be the first. Sleep! Rest until less disturbed!

Posted by: DOC at July 13, 2006 2:05 AM
Comment #166992

Variation is a natural distribution. A bell curve. It isn’t “because” of this or that result. It simply is. The locus of the center of the curve is affected by natural selsection. The variation occurs because of the randomness of genetics.

Posted by: gergle at July 13, 2006 2:59 AM
Comment #166994

Oops, I forgot the main thrust of this post. The problem I see isn’t so much the polarization, but lack of critical thinking.

Polarization has been a truth of American politics as long as it has existed. Politics has never been all that civil.


People often speak from their own experiences. They use issues to orient the world they see to the world events presented to them. White educated people of opportunity see a different world than Black uneducated people of discrimination.

The critical thinker is aware of this and adjusts with varying degrees of success.

Posted by: gergle at July 13, 2006 3:05 AM
Comment #166996

So Gergle - Debate? Or No?

Posted by: DOC at July 13, 2006 3:10 AM
Comment #167002

The best response I have, is to suggest you read Ray Guest’s entire posting word-for-word…

Posted by: Brian at July 13, 2006 4:15 AM
Comment #167005

My suggestion would be that Ray edit his own post and eliminate all the stuff that takes away from a good arguement. As it stands it will convince no one that needs convincing or influence.

the only thing a person would get out of what was written is that it was written by someone whose feelings dominated his thinking. and i know Ray has some good thoughts to convey to others worth reading.

Posted by: The Griper at July 13, 2006 6:17 AM
Comment #167016

What it comes down to, is that be it liberal or conservative, you will go toward what you feel more comfortable with, and most Americans do not want to do critial thinking, they want somebody to think for them. Therefore when National Voice of the Republican Party (FOX) says it’s this way they believe it, or when 20/20 (Liberal) says it is this way they believe it.
Now the problem is how to get ahold of untainted information so that you can make a critial decision. Without being at point a, when X happened who do you believe.

Posted by: KT at July 13, 2006 7:57 AM
Comment #167019

I think we are seeing the results of some very sophisticated market segmentation and consumer analysis (manipulation). We all are suspect of things that go against our personal beliefs and readily seek out things that support our beliefs. What the marketers have done is to foster and design what we beleive to a high enough level that we start defining our entire personality/world around the issues they feel will be most effective in driving us to their products.

How many people here have been personally involved with abortion? How many have truly known a gay person? How many here know an Iraqi citizen? Do you know them enough to die for their freedoms? How many know a Palestinian? Yet, we are still enraged by their torment? We take the information we are given - keep in mind that it is designed and distributed by people with a financial motive - and we expand that into the living world we ourselves can not see or touch. It becomes real, and we are viciously attached to the world we created from someone’s product, and we will fight our own neighbors to prove who is more right.

One issue I get quite worked up about is gay rights. I feel I know these people, I can FEEL their pain and can almost suffer their oppression. If someone asked me what one of my gay “friends” had for breakfast, or what color their house is… or even what their name is… no clue. And, as strong as the world I’ve created in my mind is, these simple concrete facts do not matter. (Actually, I was raised by a homosexual, my roommate in college is gay, I’ve got quite a few gay friends. Yet, these are not the people I envision when I discuss gay rights - none of my gay friends want to get married.)

Now, ask me what my community is going to do in 2 years when our landfill is full. Or, what are we going to do when we have the next drought and the city we buy water from has gotten too big to sell us their extra water. For some reason, I feel much more rational about those items, and I can talk a length with anyone here about those issues… and no one gets offended or hurt regardless of what side each of us are on.

I was discussing the issue of public displays of religion with a conservative vender … and was extremely enraged about the decision not allowing the display of the Ten Commandments at our courthouse. I asked him when the last time he actually was at the courthouse… he had never been to this courthouse, and he moved here 7 years ago. He had never seen this with own eyes… but he was told that the Commandments were not there, and that was enough to push his buttons indefinitely.

Now, the point of all this: Go ask a marketing person why these issues work so well for them. Who cares… kind of like me wondering how my car works. As long as I push the gas and the car goes… it works, that’s enough for me. These marketing friends of mine know how to take something that has a minimal effect, tweak it and select words that help foster exceptionally strong reactions and isolation from those who see things a little differently… then create a campaign. BAM!

If I know you hate abortion, I can guarantee you will buy my dish soap or newspaper… because people inherently trust those who agree with them.

Posted by: tony at July 13, 2006 8:23 AM
Comment #167020

Recipe for “Jumble-aya”

1 pound of aggravation
1/2 cup of “stolen elections”
1 dash of ‘the media is not biased, oh wait, it IS biased but its biased conservatively’
2 diced “money grubbing, rich and privileged, elite Republicans”
1 Teaspoon of “Faux News and loud mouth pill popping radio”, but be sure to not confuse this with ‘Air America and its venomously mean Randi Rhodes’
1 oz of blaming Bush for “provoking Iran and North Korea into seeking WMD” (apparently before he was even in office, amazingly)
1 oz of blaming Bush for any and all of the Middle East tensions (apparently before he was even born)
8 cups of side issue to try to illustrate a single point
And finally…..
1 heaping table spoon of “Of course I have absolutely no evidence….”

The only problem with the recipe is that when you are finished, Jumble-aya tastes like crap.

Posted by: joebagodonuts at July 13, 2006 8:30 AM
Comment #167021

The critical in “critical thinking” means to question. You don’t accept things because that is the way they have always been or because the Bible says so etc. Conservative have an easy out when it come to critical thought. They find people who ask questions bad (the press). And they try to keep people from getting information. In short they don’t want to critical think (can’t question the constitution or the Bible). They don’t want you to do it (based on how secretive this administration is)
Lets show how this works: If homosexuality is bad because the bible says so, is slavery ok because the bible says so?

Our constitution says we can have “arms”. Most conservative say that is so that we can protect ourselves (from the government if need be). Can I have a nuclear bomb? I need one to protect me from the Government (they have them)

Posted by: 037 at July 13, 2006 8:36 AM
Comment #167022

I am glad I do not depend upon the Bible to tell me what is right and wrong. Let’s check some examples: God routinely condemned families and entire generations for the transgressions of one person. One of God’s commandments is against killing, but the vengeful God does an awful lot of killing. It is against God’s laws for a man to lie with another man as with a woman - but no where does the Bible say a woman can’t lie with another woman, and yet the Bible-thumpers don’t mention that. I believe it was Lott (not Trent!) that offered his daughters up to be gang-raped by a crowd. For this Lott was declared an honorable man and spared by God. Lott’s daughter’s later rewarded him by screwing him so that he could have male heirs. This is OK according to the Bible. Of course, torturing your slaves and massive warfare are all OK as well. Leaves me a little wanting for moral guidance, which is why I choose to be a secular humanist.

It is for the above reasons that I am concerned about the polarization in our society - the Christian Right wants to impose it’s version of Taliban totalitarianism on us and thinks we are uninformed or sinful for not going along.

Posted by: sb at July 13, 2006 8:38 AM
Comment #167028

Polarizing??? That comes from the left buddy. Have you claimed Bush was behind 9/11 this week? Made any other groundless accusations towards conservatives based solely on the fact that you are a sore loser? Any insane claims of how the only way liberals lose elections are when someone cheats?

you left wing idiots do nothing but stir up the crap, and then blame someone else for doing it

Posted by: RANDY at July 13, 2006 9:04 AM
Comment #167031

“you left wing idiots do nothing but stir up the crap, and then blame someone else for doing it”

You ever noticed - that when you look in the mirror, it’s very easy to get your right and your left mixed up?

Posted by: tony at July 13, 2006 9:12 AM
Comment #167034

“You ever noticed - that when you look in the mirror, it’s very easy to get your right and your left mixed up?”

lay off the bong for a week, and you won’t have that problem anymore

Posted by: RANDY at July 13, 2006 9:31 AM
Comment #167037

“lay off the bong for a week, and you won’t have that problem anymore”

zzzzzzzzzzz-ING! Wow, I’m am just beside myself with indignation! That really cut me to the quick… sniff sniff sniff.

Wow - you know it’s painful… but I can feel the polarization just slipping away as you talk.

Posted by: tony at July 13, 2006 9:36 AM
Comment #167038

“Wow - you know it’s painful… but I can feel the polarization just slipping away as you talk.”

LOL, keep it up Tony, your snide childishness just proves my point. I don’t suppose you have anything to refute what I originally said, or will you just scream “FASCIST” at the top of your lungs??

Posted by: RANDY at July 13, 2006 9:43 AM
Comment #167040

037
Watch it man, you will get invaded, and another war start because you said you need a WMD, to protect yourself.

Posted by: KT at July 13, 2006 10:04 AM
Comment #167041

Oh… you were serious. OK, let’s go over your post then.

“Polarizing??? That comes from the left buddy.”

You think that the polarization comes from the left. I am assuming you are on the “right” side of things.

“Have you claimed Bush was behind 9/11 this week?”

Never met a single person on the left who thinks Bush was behind 9/11… but that’s more conspiracy theory than polarization.

“Made any other groundless accusations towards conservatives based solely on the fact that you are a sore loser?”

It seems you are making groundless accusations based on your own mislead assumptions. I thought this was a pretty strange tangent… but…

“Any insane claims of how the only way liberals lose elections are when someone cheats?”

mmmm… I think you’re polarizing here… don’t see any relevance to the post at hand.

“you left wing idiots do nothing but stir up the crap, and then blame someone else for doing it”

The only intent I can see with this is to polarize and “stir up crap.” Who should I blame for this?

——-

As far as I can tell from your posts - you are one of the most polarizing and yet you continually call names and point the blame at anyone but yourself. On first pass, your post was almost surreal in it’s hypocrisy - I thought for sure it was a joke… some sort of sarcasm.

Back to my original reaction - before you start spouting off about how polarizing others are - you really need to take a long hard look in a mirror. Whether you take a big toke before or not is totally up to you.

Posted by: tony at July 13, 2006 10:04 AM
Comment #167052

“you are one of the most polarizing and yet you continually call names and point the blame at anyone but yourself”

of course, no one on the left is polarizing, resorts to petty namecalling, it is all the right. The left are the peacefull, enlightened, best that America has to offer, that keep getting cheated out of their rightful place of power by the vast right wing conspiracy


what a f**king joke

Posted by: RANDY at July 13, 2006 10:40 AM
Comment #167055

RANDY -

Wow, one more assumption… and what a doozey! Please tell me where I said no one on the left was polarizing. I wasn’t saying you were the only one here who is polarizing, but I did say you were one of the MOST polarizing. It’s a personal statement to you… and it doesn’t matter what side you or I think you are on.

BTW - that’s for bleeping out your coment above, you never know who might be reading this.

Posted by: tony at July 13, 2006 11:06 AM
Comment #167062

tony:

Look at the title post in this thread, where the idea of stolen elections is discussed. Where the right is characterized as “money grubbing, rich and privileged, elite Republicans”. Where conservatives are described as “by nature prone to see things as settled and immutable, i.e. they are not as open minded.”

Those are examples of polarization just from this thread. Now, to be fair, polarization happens on both sides…that’s sort of a definition of polarization.

One of the ways polarization happens is when one side tblows a position of the other side out of proportion. Two examples: 1) the left says that anyone disagreeing with a John Murtha, Max Cleland John Kerry etc is calling them unpatriotic, and 2) the right says that anyone disagreeing with the war isn’t supporting the troops. Neither statement is true or accurate, but they each have the effect of creating polarity.

The middle ground is the right place to be. Of course its acceptable to disagree with Messrs Murtha, Cleland and Kerry without questioning their patriotism. One can be patriotic and wrong at the same time. Likewise, its acceptable to object to the war or to the manner in which it has been conducted and still support the troops.

Americans have fallen victim to what I call the TV show syndrome. We take complex issues and put them in their most simplistic form and then try to discuss them. Complex issues cannot be dealt with in that manner. Television shows someone dealing with alcoholism, losing the trust of their family, facing their problem and making up with the family….all within a 30-60 minute timeframe. What TV does NOT show is the heartache and the continued effort after the fact—the problem is still there and being dealt with, but the show is already over.

Posted by: joebagodonuts at July 13, 2006 11:46 AM
Comment #167063

Man, I am sorry for veering off track. I have to get better about ignoring the RIGHTs distraction and off-topic flames… stick to what we want to get accomplished.

—- maybe posting this will get things back on track ——

I think we are seeing the results of some very sophisticated market segmentation and consumer analysis (manipulation). We all are suspect of things that go against our personal beliefs and readily seek out things that support our beliefs. What the marketers have done is to foster and design what we beleive to a high enough level that we start defining our entire personality/world around the issues they feel will be most effective in driving us to their products.

How many people here have been personally involved with abortion? How many have truly known a gay person? How many here know an Iraqi citizen? Do you know them enough to die for their freedoms? How many know a Palestinian? Yet, we are still enraged by their torment? We take the information we are given - keep in mind that it is designed and distributed by people with a financial motive - and we expand that into the living world we ourselves can not see or touch. It becomes real, and we are viciously attached to the world we created from someone’s product, and we will fight our own neighbors to prove who is more right.

One issue I get quite worked up about is gay rights. I feel I know these people, I can FEEL their pain and can almost suffer their oppression. If someone asked me what one of my gay “friends” had for breakfast, or what color their house is… or even what their name is… no clue. And, as strong as the world I’ve created in my mind is, these simple concrete facts do not matter. (Actually, I was raised by a homosexual, my roommate in college is gay, I’ve got quite a few gay friends. Yet, these are not the people I envision when I discuss gay rights - none of my gay friends want to get married.)

Now, ask me what my community is going to do in 2 years when our landfill is full. Or, what are we going to do when we have the next drought and the city we buy water from has gotten too big to sell us their extra water. For some reason, I feel much more rational about those items, and I can talk a length with anyone here about those issues… and no one gets offended or hurt regardless of what side each of us are on.

I was discussing the issue of public displays of religion with a conservative vender … and was extremely enraged about the decision not allowing the display of the Ten Commandments at our courthouse. I asked him when the last time he actually was at the courthouse… he had never been to this courthouse, and he moved here 7 years ago. He had never seen this with own eyes… but he was told that the Commandments were not there, and that was enough to push his buttons indefinitely.

Now, the point of all this: Go ask a marketing person why these issues work so well for them. Who cares… kind of like me wondering how my car works. As long as I push the gas and the car goes… it works, that’s enough for me. These marketing friends of mine know how to take something that has a minimal effect, tweak it and select words that help foster exceptionally strong reactions and isolation from those who see things a little differently… then create a campaign. BAM!

If I know you hate abortion, I can guarantee you will buy my dish soap or newspaper… because people inherently trust those who agree with them.

Posted by: tony at July 13, 2006 11:48 AM
Comment #167065

Great posts everybody. I especially enjoyed JBOD’s Jumble-aya, for humor, and tony’s for substance. RANDY is pretty entertaining too.

JBOD,

Lay off Randi Rhodes. She speaks nothing but God’s truth. I do enjoy Air America, but it is a part of our “media envy” of you conservatives.

ALL,

One man’s critical thinking is another man’s selection bias. Critical thinking involves questioning information. 037 wrote:

The critical in “critical thinking” means to question. You don’t accept things because that is the way they have always been or because the Bible says so etc.
This is very true, but what is the basis of the question? The basis of the question can only exist within our mind. It is, and can only be, our settled opinions and beliefs. Our settled opinions and beliefs act like a filter. There is no way around it. We are all subject to it. There are cognitive techniques to combat it. They involve questioning your own settled opinions. Don’t have any settled opinions. Good luck with that. So, the more opinions that we have, the more absolute, rigid, and fervent our opinions and beliefs are - the more fine the mesh of our filter will be. So we question information on the basis of our own opinions and beliefs. Conservatives are more closed minded. Their filters are of a finer mesh than ours. So their filters work better than ours. In many cases, their filters, filter out all of the crap. This is good. Unfortunately, universal spiritual law says: Every strength conveys a weakness. In many cases, their filters are so tight that they also filter out the truth. We have all experienced conservatives - especially faith based conservatives - who are so thick skulled that you can whack em in the forehead with a 2x4 of truth and it does not even faze them. They look at the world through a straw. The Republicans are elephants. They look through their straw - they think they see the elephant’s cute trunk - they run up, and hug and kiss it - the elephant is… …a… …um…. …um… …uh… …a BULL elephant. We open minded liberals can see that they are kissing the wrong part of the elephant - and then they try to stick the elephants trunk up our duppa and we get real indignant. The Republican party is like a rouge elephant in the china shop of the Constitution - and then they tell us to be grateful because China is so cheap. We liberals are much more open minded. So our filters do not filter out the truth. This is good. Unfortunately, our filters may not filter out the crap. This is bad. Extending this metaphor, conservatives could fairly call us poop heads… As written above, I think our filters are better than theirs. The point is that we need to critically examine our critical examining.

Posted by: Ray Guest at July 13, 2006 11:54 AM
Comment #167066

“Those are examples of polarization just from this thread. “

I agree that this post brings up these ideas… but unless I’m am reading it wrong, they were brought up as examples of polarizing messages… right? FOr arguments sake. ROCKY also was a prime example of polarization… but he was sincere in his posts… correct?

Posted by: tony at July 13, 2006 11:56 AM
Comment #167067
So, liberals get their news from liberal sources. Conservatives get their news from Faux News and loud mouth pill poppers (conservative sources).

Ray:

I’m assuming this is a joke b/c if it isn’t it represents your liberal selection and polarization.

Posted by: Alex Fitzsimmons at July 13, 2006 11:57 AM
Comment #167073

—-joebagodnuts— Are you saying that
an once of Democrats are worth more than
a pound of Republicans?

Posted by: DAVID at July 13, 2006 12:12 PM
Comment #167081

“—-joebagodnuts— Are you saying that
an once of Democrats are worth more than
a pound of Republicans?”

of course he isn’t David, but twisting peoples words to a new meaning are about the only way liberal DNC losers can feel good about themselves

Posted by: RANDY at July 13, 2006 12:48 PM
Comment #167090

—Ray Guest— A very tough topic for a great many people, it’s one those beauty is in the eye of the beholder, subjects. I must confess some of your
statements, are better written than some of our clinical journals. Most families have or know about
Gay members around them an try hiding or deny, or refuse to discuss gayness, your article, I believe,
could help open that door of communication for many
people if you made just a few changes”political references” Get it Published!

Posted by: DAVID at July 13, 2006 1:10 PM
Comment #167091

David:

—-joebagodnuts— Are you saying that an once of Democrats are worth more than a pound of Republicans?

Posted by: DAVID at July 13, 2006 12:12 PM

Nope, I’m saying that an ounce of stupidity can flavor the entire dish. In this recipe, the stupidity is Democratic.

Posted by: joebagodonuts at July 13, 2006 1:10 PM
Comment #167094

—Randy—I am quiet sure joebagodnuts has a seance of humor an most likely respond him self, any way thanks for the sour grapes.

Posted by: DAVID at July 13, 2006 1:21 PM
Comment #167097

DAVID -

I think the sour grapes are basically flame baiting & a distraction we can not afford. I’m trying to go with the “DO NOT FEED THE TROLLS” reaction for now.

Posted by: tony at July 13, 2006 1:24 PM
Comment #167098

—joe— I guess that’s still a sour grape, where is you seance of humor today!

Posted by: DAVID at July 13, 2006 1:24 PM
Comment #167100

—tony— You mean the one about Heritage

Posted by: DAVID at July 13, 2006 1:26 PM
Comment #167101

You make some good points but I will take only one where I have an objection

So - how does this relate to a Commander and Chief bogging the most powerful army in the world down in Baghdad, provoking Iran and North Korea into seeking WMD, confronting Iran, such that they fuel the civil war in Iraq, and release their attack dogs from hell (Hezbollah) on Israel, to provoke an escalation toward regional war?

You make an assumption that is not well-founded. Are you assuming that Iran and North Korea would NOT seek WMD if we left them alone and didn’t say anything about what the are doing or intending to do? If this is the case, you ought to rethink that statement.

Are you also assuming that the US forced Hezbollah’s hand in Lebanon? Again I don’t see this as well-founded. The Oslo Peace agreement (if you can call it a “peace” agreement), permits Hezbollah, Fatah, Al-Aqsa and others to regulary harrass the citizenry of Israel w/ rocket attacks and terrorist incursions. Hezbollah and any of the others never needed any help from Washington and never will. Hate for Israel and for Jews and Christians is enough. History backs me here not assumption.

Posted by: ILIndCon at July 13, 2006 1:27 PM
Comment #167103

Ray Guest:

JBOD,

Lay off Randi Rhodes. She speaks nothing but God’s truth. I do enjoy Air America, but it is a part of our “media envy” of you conservatives.

Randi Rhodes is a vile human being. I’m not a fan of what Ken Lay did with Enron, and I’m happy they found him, along with others, guilty of crimes. But Randi Rhodes showed utterly no humanity in her show about Lay. She presented a false advertisement about how Republicans can call a help line regarding embezzlement etc, which ended with a tag line something to the effect of “if you don’t call, you might end up offing yourself like Ken Lay”.

Her show was peppered with references to Ken Lay in hell, to how Ken Lay got away with his crime by dying before jail time etc.

Think what you want about Ken Lay and his thievery. But to deal with someone’s death in such a mean and vile manner shows where her heart is. It was a disgusting display of hatred.

That’s one of the few times I’ve heard Rhodes on the radio. I can assure you it will be the last.

Posted by: joebagodonuts at July 13, 2006 1:30 PM
Comment #167104

————Be Happy, Be nice an have a nice day

Posted by: DAVID at July 13, 2006 1:31 PM
Comment #167105

David:

No sour grapes at all. In order to have sour grapes, one must lose first. The Republican recipe has been a winning one. The grapes are sweet to the taste, they age into fine wine, and I enjoy them. I pluck out the sour ones and toss them away. :)

Posted by: joebagodonuts at July 13, 2006 1:33 PM
Comment #167109

joebagodnuts— If that’s the case I will celebrate
in November with Champagne

Posted by: DAVID at July 13, 2006 1:41 PM
Comment #167117

DAVID -

I was referring to “of course he isn’t David, but twisting peoples words to a new meaning are about the only way liberal DNC losers can feel good about themselves”… those sour grapes.

Posted by: tony at July 13, 2006 1:57 PM
Comment #167118

David:

Why will you be drinking in November?

A) Dems picking up some seats in the House/Senate

B) Dems taking control of the House or Senate

C) Drowning your sorrows because Dems did neither A or B, or an inconsequential amount of A.

D) The ‘beginning’ of the 2008 Presidential Primary, in which you can vote for a retread like Kerry, a warhorse like Hillary, a former VP candidate like Lieberman (whoops, he’ll be independent by then) or a true lefty like Feingold

Posted by: joebagodonuts at July 13, 2006 2:04 PM
Comment #167119

—Tony— All your post are fine piecies of work. .Believe it or not I am just messin with ya:) An besides I don’t want to be troll food today! Go get em girl.

Posted by: DAVID at July 13, 2006 2:08 PM
Comment #167122

girl?

Damn, now I am insulted!

Posted by: tony at July 13, 2006 2:16 PM
Comment #167128

—-Tony— very sorry— I didn’t know! Gadzooks
I guess I need a crystal ball like someone else we know has!

Posted by: DAVID at July 13, 2006 2:23 PM
Comment #167131

I realize that conservatives hate facts. However, the super-duper fallacies offered by the religious right viz-a-viz homosexuality (rehased above) must be addressed. Here are the facts:

(1) homosexuals can and do reproduce with some frequency;

(2) the scientific literature reports homosexuality in the human species has contributed and continutes to contribute mightily to the survival of the species as it does not hinder and, indeed, promotes effective reproduction in the species and is, therefore, not maladaptive.

(3) at best, one can say homosexuality is wrong based on religious belief. However, one cannot argue a rational (i.e., scientific) basis for such a belief.

Posted by: Allen at July 13, 2006 2:30 PM
Comment #167132

—Allen— I never considered asking a Hermaphrodite
which sex they considered themselves to be, have you or would you ask that question! What response
do you think you would receive? Have you ever asked them if they could have children?

Posted by: DAVID at July 13, 2006 2:38 PM
Comment #167133

DAVID -

HA!

If i write like a girl… but I’m a guy… does that mean (uhhh!) I’m gay!?!?!?

Actually, I’ve never had the inclination - but as much as it pisses some people off, I’ve considered it. Just to make waves. :~)

Posted by: tony at July 13, 2006 2:38 PM
Comment #167135

“Sleep! Rest until less disturbed!”

No thanks. Too many Americans have been asleep at the wheel the past several years, and look at the mess we’re in.

KansasDem

Posted by: KansasDem at July 13, 2006 2:42 PM
Comment #167137

Allen:

the scientific literature reports homosexuality in the human species has contributed and continutes to contribute mightily to the survival of the species as it does not hinder and, indeed, promotes effective reproduction in the species and is, therefore, not maladaptive.

this statement doesn’t make much sense. it says, in essence, that homosexuality “contributes mightily” because it does not hinder. Not hindering is hardly a mighty contribution.

The statement then says that homosexuality “promotes effective reproduction”. My question would be: In what way does it do this?

I recognize that a woman can artificially inseminate herself in order to have a child, regardless of whether she is straight or gay. But of course this technology does not really promote reproduction, rather, it allows for it.

I’ll await your explanation of your point….thanks.

Posted by: joebagodonuts at July 13, 2006 2:54 PM
Comment #167138

“The best response I have, is to suggest you read Ray Guest’s entire posting word-for-word…”

Brian,

Oh believe me, I did. What I see is the same flavor of disgust and anger that I showed in my replies at “Do We Need a Chinese Wall?”, “Let China Do It”, etc. in recent days.

I’ve got news for everyone: One hell of a lot of Americans are fed up as hell. Will that be enough to make a difference this fall? I don’t know, I’m not a fortune teller. If I could have one glance into the future, I’d ask if it’s possible for the USA to survive another 2 years of Republican control.

KansasDem

Posted by: KansasDem at July 13, 2006 2:55 PM
Comment #167144

JBD -

I can only add this one example: my dad is gay and I have three other siblings. My mother and father are still married - going on 48 years together.

Go figure. It’s weird as hell, but that doesn’t make it any less real.

Posted by: tony at July 13, 2006 3:04 PM
Comment #167146

tony:

my dad is gay and I have three other siblings. My mother and father are still married - going on 48 years together.

Questions….that brings up so many questions…. :)

Let’s just leave it at: God bless em.

Posted by: joebagodonuts at July 13, 2006 3:13 PM
Comment #167147

—-Allen— There is also a well known fact, that some
of the Worlds most Gifted an Smartest people were
Homosexuals, in any case small minded people think small
and would never except that notion, in the past, or
even in today’s world of wink here an a wink there,
makes this a tough an ignorant world to survive
in for some. This is a major problem for the Dems.
because they are more inclusive of many cultural an
diverse people than Republicans are. That is because more republicans are afraid of what others might think, because some believe they have a higher social standing or status than others!
I believe that the social ladder will never be destroyed, which means each person must put themselves on one of those wrungs of the ladder an keep on truckin, with or without help.

Posted by: DAVID at July 13, 2006 3:15 PM
Comment #167149

JBOD;

“The Republican recipe has been a winning one. The grapes are sweet to the taste, they age into fine wine, and I enjoy them.”

Your victories come at great price. Conservative policies have failed with the Katrina debacle, a lack of universal health care, stagnant wages for the working classes, Byzantine refusel to raise the minimum wage that has fallen in purchasing power to pre-1968 levels, the Iraqi war started on false reasoning and continued on false reasoning (democracy at the end of a gun), the sabotaging of government agencies from FEMA, to the FCC with cronyism and revolving door lobbyists/former government heads causing a brain drain of competent experienced staff that have had enough, created a mishmash of a bankruptcy law that the courts are having a hell of a time enforcing. Conservatism has created one of the most corrupt Congresses in recent memory, created a donut hole of catastrophe with the Medicare subscription plan the helps Big Pharma far more than the average elderly patient trying to get by.

They cultivate an atmosphere of fear, so that NSA unsupervised wire-tapping is the norm; bloated defense budgets full of no-bid contracts to corporate cronies are the norm, lose $9 billion in construction funds in Iraq, are so convinced that Big Daddy President is so above the law that they look the other way when torture, gulags and signing statements shred the Constitution.

They have consistently ignored serious questions about the legitimacy of federal elections, they have obstructed and dilly-dallied on global warming issues, energy independence and price-gouging at the gas pump. They’ve successfully shot themselves in the foot regarding illegal immigration by straddling the fence with their corporate buddies wanting one thing, and their racist, vigilante base wanting another.

Conservatism has enabled a stunning rise in national debt, from 5.6 trillion to over nine trillion in less than six years. They have successfully turned a deep, heartfelt sympathy for the US by most of the world after 9/11 into an antipathy and disgust by even our allies, by formulating a policy of preemptive attacks on any country we deem threatening, and by multiple policies that have run the gamet from attempted overthrows of legitimately elected heads of state (Chavez of Venezuela), to bellicose and unilateral policy in Iraq, South America and elsewhere.

The Conservative failure stems from a very simple and obvious contradiction—how can you possibly expect a party that believes all evil stems from government (excepting national defense and a police force), and can still be able to govern with the best interests of the nation in mind?

Polls have clearly shown that the majority of Americans think the country is heading in the wrong direction, they are worried about the economy and the national debt, they have soured on the Iraqi situation and want out, they are concerned about the divisivness and intolerance on the national political scene. And they yearn. They yearn for leadership, purpose and some simple level-headedness by Washington.

I think it important to note that this failure of governance cannot be laid entirely at the feet of the Bush administration and a Republican-dominated Congress. This is a complete failure of conservatism. The Republicans have ridden a conservative tide that started with the election of Reagan, has continued and accelerated under Gingrich and his Contract with America, and has peaked with Bush, Cheney, and a Republican Party that has dominated all three branches of government. They have had it all their way for most of the last 25 years.

Is it any wonder that everything, EVERYTHING, is wonderful and getting better according to our conservative friends—an economy they extoll as strong is not even in the running of the last six recoveries since WWII. Democracy is afoot in the Middle East, while open civil war in Iraq is obvious to any unbiased observer and our client state, Israel, is running amok. Globalization is a miracle worker and assures the country of vast new riches, meanwhile the manufacturing sector of this country has been hollowed out, jobs are fleeing in the tens of thousands, and the trade deficit soars along with our indebtedness.Because of the crushing costs of healthcare, corporations are reneging on this cornerstone of American life, and the percentage of Americans covered by medical insurance is dropping, fast. This isn’t the failure of a mere incompetent adminitration—this is an indictment of a political movement: conservatism.

In fact, one could argue that, within the conservative political philosophy, this administration has been a stunning success. It has centralized power to the excutive branch to an unprecedented degree, it has cut taxes during warime, a first in the history of the nation. It has passed the controversial Patriot Act, the Bankruptcy bill, the Medicare Drug bill, it has rolled back or refused to enforce basic regulatory protections, appointed industry officials to oversee regulatory agencies, placed two far-right justices on SCOTUS, passed several massive tax cuts, while winning re-election and solidifying the party’s hold on Congress.

I for one don’t think this will necessarily equate into a thundering Democratic sweep in November—the gerrymandering, the suspect electoral process, the dissembling and outright lying will peel off the uninformed as it always does. Besides, there is no coherent leadership coming from the Democrats either, and the Invisible Corporate Hand is already starting to hedge it’s bet, and corporate monies are starting to go to Dems for the first time in six years. This loss of Tom Delay (such a perfect name for unapologetic conservative obstructionist) has it’s price.

So enjoy your aging fine wine. It comes at great price. Partisan victories at the expense of the national good and the Constitution always does. Your conservative wine has turned to vinegar for most thinking people.

Posted by: Tim Crow at July 13, 2006 3:18 PM
Comment #167151

All,

Thanks again for all of your new comments.

A few specifics…

JBOD,

Randi has said some hateful and inflammatory things. She even makes me mad. I like the others there better, but if one feeds their brain too much of any of it, it can I think, lead one toward becoming a self-righteous liberal - and that is probably the worst kind of self righteous to be. But God help you if you feed yourself too much of Rush. Liberals may be strong seasoning, but Rush is poison. As far as liberal media goes, I like “NOW” on PBS the best.

I appreciate DAVID’s comments. I would like to publish some of my writing, but i have not mastered the art yet.

ILIndCon,

We could argue a lot about the history here. I was actually asking about the issue in relation to selection bias and obviously blatantly throwing my own selection bias into the mix.

BUT.

North Korea’s nuclear program was contained prior to Bush. Declaring a policy gun sliggin “Preemption” - then naming the countries you plan to attack - then starting to check them off the list - one by one - then practicing “Diplomacy” with the ones that actually do have WMD - then spreading “Democracy” to an Iranian sympathetic and influenced majority in Iraq - then spreading Democracy to an Iranian sympathetic and influenced terrorist organization (Hezbollah) in Lebanon, then spreading “Democracy” an Iranian influenced terrorist organization in the West Bank and Gaza (HAMAS) - then bogging the most powerful military in the world down in a quagmire and civil war - then threatening preemptive nuclear war against Iran - then confronting Iran from a position of self imposed weakness - might be a lot like putting ourselves in the position of being a hungry cat in a cage with five birds (something my father apparently did when he was a kid) - the cat is not smart enough to kill one and move on to the next - it gets one in its mouth and one under each paw and then constantly lets one go in order to try and catch another. Under the above listed circumstances, are you surprised that Iran is encouraging and supporting civil war in Iraq - encouraging and supporting HAMAS to escalate - encouraging and supporting Hezbollah to attack Israel? That is where this President has led us.

Posted by: Ray Guest at July 13, 2006 3:24 PM
Comment #167153

jbod,

I must admit you got a giggle out of me with your recipe. I have one of my own, it’s called “S**t on a Shingle” and the recipe is very simple:

2# of republican logic
8 tablespoons of republican lies
1 loaf of stale diplomacy

Prepare as follows:

Brown logic in a large skillet and crumble until no reality remains. When all reality is nearly gone drain grease. (Note: save grease, it’ll be needed to facilitate the swallowing of future republican recipes)

Add 6 to 8 cups of clean water. (I know clean water may be hard to find but do the best you can) Place back on burner at high heat. While waiting for pre-cooked logic to boil, place the 8 tablespoons of lies in a medium mixing bowl and add water (clean if possible) while stirring to a medium viscosity.

When pre-cooked logic has reached a slow boil reduce heat and begin to slowly stir in lies. Do so slowly but don’t worry about lumps. (some lies go down easier than others) Once pre-cooked logic and lies have reached the desired consistency remove from heat immediately, but continue to stir for several minutes.

Now you’re ready to toast the stale diplomacy and have a real feast. Poor pre-cooked logic and lies over stale diplomacy. Remember the key to an excellent meal is in the way it’s served so never, ever let the S**t hit the fan.

KansasDem

Posted by: KansasDem at July 13, 2006 3:27 PM
Comment #167154

—Tony— I never even think of a persons gender when typing a post nor do I assume any gender is applied I have no idea why I did with you. It was an innocent mistake. DAVID

Posted by: DAVID at July 13, 2006 3:29 PM
Comment #167159

—KansasDem— Thats a good one! That makes my day.

Posted by: DAVID at July 13, 2006 3:33 PM
Comment #167161

Bush called em out at high noon. He told em to bring it on. Bold words spoken by one who does not have to fight em. Well, now they are bringing it on.

Posted by: Ray Guest at July 13, 2006 3:39 PM
Comment #167163

JBOD,

You gotta love KansasDem’s recipe.

Posted by: Ray Guest at July 13, 2006 3:42 PM
Comment #167166

JBOD,
I need to go and live my life, but I need to amend my earlier statement. Rush is not just poison. He is neurotoxic.

Posted by: Ray Guest at July 13, 2006 3:45 PM
Comment #167167

DAVID -

Don’t worry about it… it was unexpected and I got a good laugh. Thanks for that.

Posted by: tony at July 13, 2006 3:48 PM
Comment #167169

—-
• Israel strikes Beirut airport, hitting fuel tank
• IDF: Rockets hit Haifa; Hezbollah denies attack
• Israeli ambassador: Haifa attack “major escalation”
• Hezbollah launches scores of rockets into Israel
• Israel, Lebanon officials say violence amounts to “acts of war”
• Al-Arabiya: Israeli leaflets warn to stay away from Hezbollah centers
—-

*sigh* Can someone stop the world, I want to get off.

Posted by: tony at July 13, 2006 3:51 PM
Comment #167181

—Tim Crow—Looks like you have covered all the talking points for the Democratic Committee, hopefully
the party will read your post, I like it!

Posted by: DAVID at July 13, 2006 4:13 PM
Comment #167184

Ray:

I don’t listen to Rush much. Only listened to Randi Rhodes cuz I was in the car and searching for stations and found Air America. If you want to castigate Rush, be my guest. Just don’t defend Randi, at least for what I heard of her show.

Kansas:

Love your recipe….very good. Made me laugh. I noticed your recipe included 2 pounds of Republican logic. I’d have included Democratic logic in my Jumble-aya, but its just so darned hard to find any.

Tim:

That was an impressive rant. Where to start?

Lets start with your comment that “They (republicans) have had it all their way for most of the last 25 years.” Well, yes, if you exclude the 8 years of Clinton and the 4 years of Carter that add up to 50% of your 25 years. And lets see, Congress had a Democratic majority until 1992, or 14 years ago—-a little more than half of the 25 years.

You cannot blame a party for the past 25 years by claiming they’ve had unfettered power, when the most obvious of facts show that not to be remotely close to accurate.

Its easy to find the cloud behind any silver lining. You’ve done a good job of that. Some of your complaints are merited though. FEMA did a poor job with Katrina, spending is out of control, and the Medicare bill was a bad one.

But you complain about universal health care, which was the rallying point behind…..Bill Clinton’s presidency. Even with the control of the House and Senate, he did nothing with it in his first two years, and then nothing more for the next 6 after Dems lost control of Congress.

You’ll note that despite your complaints about an atmosphere of fear, there have been no attacks on US soil since 9-11. You’ll note that each of the last two Presidents had bombings at the WTC during their Presidency—-ie, neither man was able to stop it. The only difference was the success of the attack, which of course was planned out before Bush took office. I’m NOT blaming Clinton for 9-11, but neither will I blame Bush. I blame the terrorists who exploited some of the freedoms we have come to cherish.

Bush inherited an economy on the decline. Took him a while, but he righted the ship. You can blame him for taking too long, but you cannot accurately blame him for the declining economy, and only a fool would say that the economy has not improved.

20-50 years from now, historians will look at this tumultuous time in American history. I believe they will recognize it as a time of change—not all good—but a time that had much good about it. People involved in the change often see it harshly, as they did with Abe Lincoln. Many years passed before Lincoln was viewed in the category of greatness—at the time, he was viewed poorly. I believe it will be that way with Bush as well.

I don’t expect you to agree. It matters little to me if you do or don’t. Some of what I particularly like (tax cuts, an effort to alter Social Security, taking out Saddam) you see as bad. We disagree on those issues. We agree on others (Katrina, spending etc).

I will keep the wine in the bottle. Fine wine gets better as it ages. If you drink it too soon, it tastes like vinegar, but when properly fermented, it achieves its greatness.

Posted by: joebagodonuts at July 13, 2006 4:20 PM
Comment #167190

“I can only add this one example: my dad is gay and I have three other siblings. My mother and father are still married - going on 48 years together.”

Tony,

I may never stop laughing. My daughter just stopped by and I think she might be calling the men in the little white coats to come over.

I don’t know whether to curse you or thank you.

KansasDem

Posted by: KansasDem at July 13, 2006 4:28 PM
Comment #167192

—Ray—Don’t mind Joe I think he has been sipping
his Boons Farm before it’s time!

Posted by: DAVID at July 13, 2006 4:34 PM
Comment #167194

KansasDem -

??? Did you have a particularly odd reaction, or find the comment funny? No big deal, either way, I’m used to seeing pretty wild reactions.

You should’ve seen mine.

Posted by: tony at July 13, 2006 4:36 PM
Comment #167197

JBD -

I hope that wine tastes good - it cost $4 trillion. (On credit of course.)

Posted by: tony at July 13, 2006 4:38 PM
Comment #167199

jbod,

Republican logic = 80% lean ground beef w/snouts and hooves added (and most importantly nothing but weiners for the lower classes and future generations)

Democrat logic = closely trimmed, farm fed only, Porter House

Which one is your mouth really watering for?

KansasDem

Posted by: KansasDem at July 13, 2006 4:41 PM
Comment #167204

DAVID:

No Boone’s farm for me, no sir. I’ll quaff a nice glass of Little Penguin Pinot Noir from Southeastern Australia, or perhaps a Columbia Crest Merlot from Washington State, or maybe even a Greg Norman Merlot-Cabernet mix. Norman was a very fine golfer, but an even finer vintner.

I’ll leave the Boone’s Farm for the unsophisticated folks who need to get drunk in order to face an everchanging world, or who need liquid courage to face up to the fact that their goals don’t seem to be the ones that the voters vote for.

As for that, we’ll find out in November, but either way, I’ll be drinking a nice hearty red.

Posted by: joebagodonuts at July 13, 2006 4:48 PM
Comment #167208

I can already hear the champaign corks popping… but it’s coming the Congress and the 98% of the incumbents who will be re-elected. Business as usual.

Posted by: tony at July 13, 2006 4:52 PM
Comment #167209

Joe,

I didn’t major in history so I was wondering if you could answer my question. When in the last 25 years was Jimmy Carter President?

Posted by: bushflipflops at July 13, 2006 4:53 PM
Comment #167211

Tony,

It was purely in the wording.

I’m quite often severely communication challenged due to tremors that sometimes even effect my voice. I frequently use “Dragon Naturally Speaking” for my posts because I have these stupid myoclonic jerks. Along with that my muscle mass has nearly disappeared altogether.

Now, you needed to know that to understand the reactions I get in public, and sometimes even the reactions I get from some really stupid doctors. I guess my mannerisms seem gay, but I’m not. Now, that neither makes be better or worse than someone who is gay. It’s simply a matter of fact and all else is perception I guess.

If you were in fact serious, I guess that does leave a person wondering about things that are no business of anyone other than your Mom & Dad. Your statement simply struck my funny bone. Certainly no offense meant.

KansasDem

Posted by: KansasDem at July 13, 2006 4:58 PM
Comment #167212

JBOD
Liked the reason in your post about a time of change. As you said, we may not all agree on all things, but I think the core of what you are saying is true.
I’m also of the opinion that we are going through some painful changes. I have concerns that they may result in some bad results. That’s just my opinion.
I don’t like the increase in polarization when, as a society, we should evolve into more tolerant beings over time. It’s tough not to see the current changes as being a turn for the worse.

By the way, forgive the digression, but I have to make a comment regarding Clinton’s Universal Health Care ambitions: There were a lot of reasons why that did not get off the ground, and not the least of them was the opposition in congress from Republicans. But I do agree that he gave up on the issue later on. Probably felt it was a lost cause.

Posted by: Cole at July 13, 2006 5:01 PM
Comment #167216

JBOD;

“Well, yes, if you exclude the 8 years of Clinton and the 4 years of Carter that add up to 50% of your 25 years. “

Clinton considered himself to be an Eisenhower Republican, and said so on a number of occasions. His backing of NAFTA, assaults on welfare, and his triangulating for Corporatism puts him squarely in the moderate Republican camp in my book. Hell, even Jack likes him.

Subtract 25 from 2006 and you get 1981—Carter left office in January of 1981.

“Well, yes, if you exclude the 8 years of Clinton and the 4 years of Carter that add up to 50% of your 25 years. “

And the Republicans have ruled for the last twelve years—the ball has been in their court and they’ve dropped it. Repeatedly.

“… FEMA did a poor job with Katrina… “

FEMA was probably the most respected government agency under Clinton. In six years, it has become the laughing stock of the federal government.

“But you complain about universal health care, which was the rallying point behind…..Bill Clinton’s presidency”

Universal health care should be the rallying cry of any administration. Soaring health care costs have not only devastated the working classes, it has caused millions of bankruptcies of individual Americans dealing with catastrophic health issues, to damaging American competitiveness on the world stage by competing with other industrialized countries that provide health care to its workers as a matter of course. Average health care costs in the US are $4700 per year, the highest of any industrialized country. And conservatism steadfastly refuses to deal with the problem.

“Bush inherited an economy on the decline. Took him a while, but he righted the ship.”

Bush job creation stinks and has not even kept up with population growth, the dollar is sinking in value, inflation threatens because of the soaring cost of energy, and the national debt has nearly DOUBLED. Nine Trillion dollars. So much for conservative monetary policy.
This point alone points to a massive failure, by conservatism’s OWN STANDARDS!!

What I find interesting is what you don’t address—the corruption, the Iraq fiasco, the thumbing the nose at the Constitution, the gutting of regulatory agencies that are meant to safeguard everything from environmental law, to anti-trust issues to banking principles.

Conservatism has failed. Catastrophically. It has become a fetid pit of corruption, obstructionism, belligerence, arrogance and massive illegalities.

If that tastes like wine to you, you’re welcome to have some spam and cheez whiz along with it. I’ll pass, thank you.

Posted by: Tim Crow at July 13, 2006 5:03 PM
Comment #167218

KansasDem -

Yea, I was serious - about my mom & dad… and does it ever bring up some questions. HA! It’s a perfect example of what I was trying to point out to JBD… things in life are weirder than you can expect, and rarely does anything fit within the norm.

Because of my “odd” past, I’ve known quite a few gay people - many of whom still have many friends who have not been told yet. I think if the homophobic people actually knew how many gay people were around them, they’d be hiding in the trees.

Gay people (to argue againsty JDBs point) are quite unlike what most people think… they are usually frighteningly normal. I’ve never meet one who I would consider an abomination. Now, if you want to talk about the ministers and preachers I know… “Head for theTREES!”

Posted by: tony at July 13, 2006 5:12 PM
Comment #167227

17/25 years Republican controlled Presidency.
15/25 years Republican controlled Senate.
11/25 years Republican controlled House.

You guys have had the power, so you will have to take the blame when the shit hits the fan.

Posted by: bushflipflops at July 13, 2006 5:36 PM
Comment #167243

Tony,

In that case I suppose I do owe you a bit of an apology. Not much really because I don’t think I portrayed anything malicious, but I do get it now. As far as normality goes I understand completely.

My youngest son’s best friend throughout middle school and high school was raised largely in a lesbian home. He’s now a perfectly normal heterosexual man. His biological mother is a perfectly normal lesbian woman. Her partner is a perfectly normal lesbian woman. They’re just two women that love each other and if they hadn’t found each other I’m sure they would still desire the love of a woman just like I would love to love (and be loved by) a woman at this point in my life.

No one can truly understand the relationship between any two other people regardless of sexual orientation, religion or anything else. We all are just what we are, no more and no less.

KansasDem

Posted by: KansasDem at July 13, 2006 5:57 PM
Comment #167247

David:

“—Tim Crow—Looks like you have covered all the talking points for the Democratic Committee, hopefully the party will read your post, I like it!”

Thanks for the compliment, but my disgust for the Republicans is only exceeded by my absolute distaste for the DNC. The people running the Democratic party are morons, adrift in a haze of impotence and a total lack of principles. They couldn’t fight their way out of a wet paper bag.

Their lack of any real opposition to the illegalities of the Bush administration, their in-the-beltway way of running critical national campaigns border on criminal negligence. Through their incompetence, their poll-driven equivacations and their lack of basic Democratic principles, they have enabled unparalleled damage to be done to Constitutional law, fiscal responsibility, and political ethics (what’s left of it, that is).

So much so, that I left the party. I refuse to let these bastards think they speak for me.

They won’t read my thoughts—they’ve spent 30 years ignoring the Left in the party, believing that they offer enough of a choice from the GOP that we’ll have no where else to go.

Frankly, I kinda hope the Republicans retain their hold on Congress. When the chickens come home to roost financially and militarily, I think they should be made to bail out their own leaky boat.

Posted by: Tim Crow at July 13, 2006 6:05 PM
Comment #167256

“No one can truly understand the relationship between any two other people regardless of sexual orientation, religion or anything else. We all are just what we are, no more and no less.”

BAM! Spot on! Exactly what I’m trying to get at. People want to judge others by what they read in the Bibile - without first knowing who they want to judge.

Posted by: tony at July 13, 2006 6:19 PM
Comment #167257

Bush inherited a economy on the decline? Clinton inherited a deficit from the first Bush, got the economy going and when the second bush took over the budget was in the black. Now it is so far in the red it will take my great great great grandkids to pay it off if ever, with a war that is costing billions a day I don’t think it every will, but hey the government can print more money, but will it be worth anything

Posted by: KT at July 13, 2006 6:19 PM
Comment #167272

Tim
Good post. I to used to be a Dem. Don’t like Rep. either.

Posted by: Kap at July 13, 2006 6:54 PM
Comment #167321
The statement then says that homosexuality “promotes effective reproduction”. My question would be: In what way does it do this?

JBOD,

There is new research that shows a direct correlation between birth order and the chances of having a homosexual son. The first born son is rarely homosexual, but with each subsequent male birth the odds of having a son who has a homosexual orientation increases. Is there a reason for this? Perhaps competition. If several males were in competition for a few female mates, that could create anti-productive and violent competition among the males of equal aggression.

Previous generations did not practice Planned Parenthood and had many more offspring, resulting in increased competition for reproductive mates. The first born male is generally the most masculine (who may actually have trouble attracting females if he is too aggressive) and each subsequent male born would be slightly more feminine and possibly one or more may be homosexual. This would ensure a greater range of personality types and differing interests and result in less competition between male siblings, resulting in the greatest possibility for reproductive survival.

Posted by: JayJay Snow at July 13, 2006 9:05 PM
Comment #167323

“They won’t read my thoughts—they’ve spent 30 years ignoring the Left in the party, believing that they offer enough of a choice from the GOP that we’ll have no where else to go.”

Tim Crow,

I’m just inches away from Green Party myself, and I’d not have said that six months ago. It’s time for Adrienne to check in more. I once disagreed with her about too much of the DNC being “Republican Lite” but she was right, err, ah, I’d better say she was “correct”.

It’s time for a true change.

KansasDem

Posted by: KansasDem at July 13, 2006 9:16 PM
Comment #167338

JayJay,

It’s always good to hear from you.

All scientific studies aside I’ve known several gay men and a few lesbian women and they’ve all told me that these feelings began around the same period of adolescent development that the majority of us begin to have feelings about “the opposite sex”. I’ve also seen at least three people say exactly that about themselves here on Watchblog.

At some point we all must get past defining people based just on what people have between their legs. I’ll admit I had a good laugh over Tony’s earler post, and yet the same post might as well have said, Dad loved another woman for years but I still have 3 siblings.

Consensual sex between two or more adults should be of no concern to those not involved. If two people decide to enter into a marriage contract they should not be required to drop their pants to prove what they have in mind.

How anyone can see gay and lesbian marriage as a threat is just mind boggling.

KansasDem

Posted by: KansasDem at July 13, 2006 9:49 PM
Comment #167340

Great posts all, I have enjoyed all of them.

JBOD,

You have been given numerous examples by myself and others about how homosexuality is, or can be, beneficial.

Posted by: Ray Guest at July 13, 2006 9:51 PM
Comment #167357

KansasDem:

I admire your writings, and always read with great interest what you have to contribute. I don’t particularly advocate bailing on the system. But it has become increasingly clear to me that business as usual, especially with the virulent neo-con agenda that is on display now, is no longer efficatious—in fact, it may be a real part of the problem.

David Remer and d.a.n.’s plan to vote the bums out has a certain appeal—yet, and yet…something is missing with it, and I can’t put my finger on it.

Just a little secret between you and me—I am the crazy far Left that the red column screams about. I think capitalism has failed the country and the working class, I believe our country is gripped by the sirosis of conservatism. Does that make me a socialist, a communist? I don’t think so, but I strongly believe that capitalism and the ‘free’ market have ably demonstrated its contempt for the workers of this country, for economic justice and equal opportunity.

If there is one thing I will not back down on, it’s economic justice and fair play. That covers a lot of political territory. It’s a full-time job trying to catch up with my reading and study.

I don’t know where one goes when one is out of the political mainstream. I realize I offend some people with my ‘rants’. But the stakes are very high, and the neo-cons, Karl Rove, Grover Norquist, Ralph Reed, Dick Cheney, David Addington et.al. have made very clear in the last six-plus years, that the old time bipartisanship has been mothballed for the foreseeable future.(Even Grover Norquist likened bipartisanship to date rape.)

I will not apologize for my outrage and my vehemence for what these people have done to my country—and continue to do. If my conservative friends find me offensive, may I suggest reading Stephen Daugherty. He’s easier on the nerves, evidently.

Posted by: Tim Crow at July 13, 2006 10:20 PM
Comment #167362

Better to be talked about than not talked about.

I try to give you guys some good advice, but I know you won’t take it.

The reason my post sounded reasonable is because it was. I was talking about perceptions drawn from opinion research. Pew is mostly a liberal group, so it is not Fox News.

The religion issue is certainly a problem for Dems. It doesn’t really matter whether you agree as to why or if it is justified.

I write from a point of view. You all know what it is and so do I. But often when I talk to liberals I am speaking in terms analysis and they are talking aspiration. I say liberal have a God problem. I don’t care if it is justified or not. It is just true. It is like saying it is hot outside. Liberals argue why it is not fair or why it is not a valid point of view.

So I say it is hot outside, so you might want to dress accordingly and take some water with you if you hike. Liberals argue it is not fair. It should be cool. In a just world, it would be cool or we should give special cool tickets to the poor. Then they blame Bush. Then they climb the hill wearing their winter gear and without water.

So in theory it might not be hot. Maybe it is Bush’s fault. But you are the guys with heat stroke for not seeing reality.

Posted by: Jack at July 13, 2006 10:31 PM
Comment #167368

Tim Crow,

IMO what we’re missing is “balance”.

Some might call it moderation, for many years I’ve considered myself as a moderate Democrat because I do believe without moderation we’ll fall into the same kind of chaos we’re watching on TV right now.

As I listen to the Republicans now, I’ll have to say moderation won’t work. And, I’m sick of Democrats trying to win over the moderates. I think we’re running out of time. Bill Clinton caused us a lot of harm and he can kiss my a**.

I think Kerry could have done well. Certainly better than Bush. At this point I’d still have to say Biden is my pick for ‘08, but I wish we could get a Governor to jump into the game.

KansasDem

Posted by: KansasDem at July 13, 2006 10:42 PM
Comment #167376

—Jack— What is reality of politics compared
the reality of every day living, or would you consider them the same, or undifferentiated
by different parties ?

Posted by: DAVID at July 13, 2006 10:48 PM
Comment #167378

Hey, Jack, how’ve you been? Speaking of weather, is it hot in ‘ol Virginny now?

Posted by: Tim Crow at July 13, 2006 10:50 PM
Comment #167382

KansasDem:

“I think we’re running out of time.”

Alas, my friend, those are my feelings as well. I hope we are wrong, but….

“And, I’m sick of Democrats trying to win over the moderates.”

For some reason, this comment made me smile.

“Bill Clinton caused us a lot of harm and he can kiss my a**.”

Kansas!! Shame on you!! :-) It’s nice to know that there’s at least one other person out there who is not enthralled with Bill. But, you’ve cast your lot with a far Left-wing radical loudmouth—so tread softly!:-)

Posted by: Tim Crow at July 13, 2006 11:00 PM
Comment #167383

Jack,

Since you mention heat, how many more seniors are roasting in their homes this summer because of the Republicans failures at protecting our most vulnerable citizens? I’ll bet you 10 bananas and a crazy monkey that the numbers ain’t gonna’ look too good later this summer.

Of course we all know that the “compassionate’ ahead of conservative really means compassion for the wealthy because that is the “base”. Well history tells me you better be well settled into your “base” when this all turns around, and it will turn. How soon or how far are still to be seen.

I donated two 5,000 BTU window AC’s to the ministerial association this month. What have you done?

kansasDem

Posted by: KansasDem at July 13, 2006 11:04 PM
Comment #167388

Jack,

Thanks for your comment. I lot of people have been funny here. I think yours might be the funniest of all. You are correct of course, 20 years from, I will blame Bush when it is hot outside.

Posted by: Ray Guest at July 13, 2006 11:19 PM
Comment #167396

KansasDem,

I always appreciate your levelheaded view. I am probably one of the three you are talking about - Watchblog’s resident gay guy! Anyway, I always say that I do not need science to prove that I am gay, that truth is self-evident. If someone else needs to spend millions of dollars to find out what most gays already know, then I say go for it. It is kinda silly that people need science to prove or disprove their own prejudices.

How anyone can see gay and lesbian marriage as a threat is just mind boggling.

I don’t know. It has been over two years since Mass. legalized same-sex marriage. Not only did fire and brimstone not rain down from the sky, but marriage in that state has never been stronger. Massachusetts has the lowest divorce rate in the country. I have never been able to figure out the people who complain about the destructive “gay lifestyle,” (whatever that is) yet are against giving them the very tools to create committed, loving, stable families. I just do not get it.


Posted by: JayJay Snow at July 13, 2006 11:35 PM
Comment #167421

Tim

It is hot and very humid today. I used to not like it, but now I have learned to savor all sorts of weather. I just got back from walking along the river in the humidity. It is kinda nice as long as you don’t need to wear a coat and tie. The humidity holds in the smells of the flowers and plants and blends them into a delicious stew of moisture that you can feel and taste. And the fireflys prefer the humidity. It will change anyway and we will get something else to enjoy.

Movement overcomes cold. Stillness overcomes heat. The serene and calm are guides for all.

Ray

You know that I knew the irony and I know that you know that I knew. But you really cannot blame Bush. Clinton did even less and Gore would have done no more.

Posted by: Jack at July 14, 2006 1:06 AM
Comment #167425

The only problem with the recipe is that when you are finished, Jumble-aya tastes like crap.


Posted by: joebagodonuts at July 13, 2006 08:30 AM

And where would your head have been to know what crap taste like?

Posted by: expatUSA_Indonesia at July 14, 2006 1:43 AM
Comment #167434
and Gore would have done no more.Al Gore might be the best democratic candidate. Unlike most republican politicians, he’s willing to risk his reputation and career for a good cause. He’s one of the few who stand up for their principles instead of trying to become “Republican Lites.”
Posted by: mark at July 14, 2006 2:27 AM
Comment #167435

Sorry there was a problem when I posted.

You know that I knew the irony and I know that you know that I knew. But you really cannot blame Bush. Clinton did even less and Gore would have done no more.

You’ll forgive me if I’m not persuaded, when you say that the man who made “An Inconvenient Truth” would have done nothing on global warming just like Bush.

Al Gore might be the best democratic candidate. Unlike most republican politicians, he’s willing to risk his reputation and career for a good cause. He’s one of the few who stand up for their principles instead of trying to become “Republican Lites.”

Posted by: mark at July 14, 2006 2:28 AM
Comment #167438

Jack:

“Movement overcomes cold. Stillness overcomes heat. The serene and calm are guides for all.”

Ah, so true. We’ve been lucky here so far, in Oregon. Usually, by this time of year, it’s very hot (90-100s) and very dry. But, we’ve actually have gotten some rain over the last week, and it’s been delightful, with highs in the mid-seventies and the lows in the low fifties.

I am very familiar with those nasty dew points in the South. High humidity and heat are not my favorite thing. But, it sounds as though you have made it your friend. Good for you.

Interesting—I walked along the Willamette River today. Beautiful as always.

Posted by: Tim Crow at July 14, 2006 2:58 AM
Comment #167459

Expat:

I’ve listened to ignorant ideas enough to know crap when I see it. That’s where my head has been.

tony:

Gay people (to argue againsty JDBs point) are quite unlike what most people think… they are usually frighteningly normal

I’m not sure what point of mine you are arguing against. I don’t recall saying that gay people are abnormal or abominations. I don’t recall ever having a harsh word for any gay person about their sexual nature, including those like JayJay who post on WB. I’ve disagreed with them, but that is my right, as it is their right to disagree with me.

I do not agree with their sexual actions in the same way that I do not agree with promiscuity or consensual adult incest (all three are “victimless” sexual actions that I disagree with). Perhaps you can help me understand the point that you are arguing against.

Tim:

Your “rant” was anything but offensive. I think you are wrong in a number of areas, but I don’t find your thinking offensive at all. I’d rather have someone who has clear and cogent thoughts, even if I disagree with many of them, than the slackjawed, tiny fisted banalities that often pass for thought.

I don’t see that capitalism has failed, as you do. I do think pure capitalism is only a theoretical concept, as is pure socialism or pure communism. Our society has a lot of social or communal policies (welfare, taxation etc) where society is involved, rather than only individuals.

I disagree that corruption today is any worse than it has been in government. I’ve said before that I’d be okay with throwing ALL the bums out. But the left often wants only the Republican bums tossed out. Smacks of an agenda to me. That’s not condoning the corruption—I’ve been very steadfast in saying that if someone is found guilty, throw the book at them. I’ve said that about Karl Rove, Scooter Libby, Tom DeLay, William Jefferson, John Murtha—-any of them.

As far as universal health care, I’m not against it. What I AM against is a system of government that allows people to get ‘freebies’ without putting anything back in. This means I’m against those who abuse welfare by not really looking for work, against those who sell foodstamps for cash so they can buy drugs, those who overuse the health care system for unnecessary things (example: Type 2 diabetes can often be cured by dieting, as opposed to medication).

The greatest thing about the US is that our country has provided opportunity to those who want it. Its not always equal opportunity and its not always fair. No society has ever had fully equal opportunity nor complete fairness, and no society ever will, so lets not complain about the equity levels.

Competition is a good thing. If you are poor, you can make yourself rich (google Chris Gardner as a prime example). Competition in business leads to innovation, which helps people.

We disagree on a good many things, but I suspect we agree on a number of things as well. The question, I bet, is how we would go about achieving some of the things we want achieved.

Posted by: joebagodonuts at July 14, 2006 8:17 AM
Comment #167549

joebagodonuts:

Thanks for your post. I suspect, too, that there are a number of things we do agree on. I’m sure, as the weeks and months go by, and we continue to contribute and share ideas, we’ll find out what they are.

Nobody knows better than I that this isn’t a get-something-for-nothing world. When conservatives discuss welfare chislers though, their overlooking corporate welfare that dwarfs the other bothers me. It seems to lack proportion and a sense of balance.

I read an article the other day about Bill Gates, and the author stated that noone can ‘earn’ $44 billion legally, no matter how many nights he works late, or weekends he works, or vacations he skips. I’d have to agree.

Conservatives believe that corporate welfare is going to a “good cause”, it creates jobs, builds infrastructure, and besides, these people ‘work hard for their money’. The problem is—it’s not true. Productivity has risen, wages are stagnant. Because of fears of inflation, corporations are not investing in plants and infrastructure: they’re taking a wait-and-see attitude. The ones that are staying here. More and more of them are taking the well-paying jobs and going overseas, leaving jobs at Wal-mart and Albertson’s and Arbys for our children.

I’m not one to harp on the disparity between CEOs and their massive golden parachutes—that the average CEO in this country now makes 431 times what the average worker makes. I figure if the stockholders think they’re worth it, okay. But I’m starting to believe that it’s a symptom, another indication that things are increasingly out of whack.

I believe that if corporations and big business isn’t regulated by government, people, a lot of people, get screwed. We’re seeing evidence of it now, and have been for some time. Corporations should exist at the behest of government and the people that government serves—not the other way around. The cart has been pulling the horse for far too long.

Perhaps you are right, perhaps corruption isn’t any worse than it has been in the past. But what is different is a political agenda that has undermined the foundations of democratic government, has assaulted Constitutional principls that have been honored and recognized by everyone for over two hundred years. I submit that this is different than mere corruption; this is changing the very nature of the rules of the game, most of it in secrecy.

Conservatives speak of the efficacy, the efficiency of free markets, competition. I feel like Mohandas Gandhi when asked about his view of Christianity: “I would probably become a Christian, if I had ever met one.” I would believe in free markets, if I had ever seen one.

Conservatives freak at the thought of an illiterate, illegal Mexican family of five getting free health care, welfare and schooling—it galls the hell out of them. What galls me is a system that gives enormous tax breaks to monopolistic industries, suspends environmental regulations, twists tax laws, bust unions, hides vast wealth overseas to avoid their fair share of taxes, starts wars of choice knowing that they won’t pay the price of their folly.

Really, who is doing the most damage to our country—welfare chislers? Or the people that are so well off that they can’t get enough, then make everybody, and I mean everybody, pay for their greed?Perhaps these are cliches, false fronts that our respective knights must tilt at. I see your cliches perfectly, and you see mine as clearly simplistic and overblown. Perhaps.

Well, you get my drift. I guess there’s a difference in what we focus on, you and I. And I’m willing to concede there are times when my view may be skewed, even down-right distorted. That has never killed anybody, though. Some skewed thinking in high places have much greater consequences, and we as a country are living them, unfortunately.

We, you and I, will continue to discuss and explore. I like the human-ness of that.


Posted by: Tim Crow at July 14, 2006 2:22 PM
Comment #167583

Tim:

Excellent post. Often, comments on Watchblog are so distorted and ignorant that they belong in the Watchblog version of the Island of Misfit Toys. I’m glad we are able to step back from the precipice of ignorance in order to intelligently discuss our differences. I suspect you are rather intelligent (I already know that I am :).

I’m okay with “corporate welfare” IFFFF it creates what it is supposed to create. I’ll give an example where it hasn’t though. A local company moved part of its operation into a tax free “Empire” Zone—the press, local govt and even state govt trumpeted the creation of new jobs within the zone. The reality: 50 jobs were created within the Empire Zone, gaining tax breaks for the company, which cut coincidentally 50 jobs outside the Empire Zone. If the zone actually creates jobs, then I’m all for it. If it only shifts jobs from one locale to another, then I’m against that kind of “welfare”.

I read an article the other day about Bill Gates, and the author stated that noone can ‘earn’ $44 billion legally, no matter how many nights he works late, or weekends he works, or vacations he skips. I’d have to agree.

I have a problem with your logic here. I don’t want to debate Gates and Microsoft—-they are not the issue—so I’ll shift gears to Warren Buffett, who is worth roughly 40 some billion. I’ve never heard even the remotest peep that Buffett has done anything illegal yet he has earned that level of money.

Lets change the level of money. Is anyone worth $30 million a year? Well, Shaquille O’Neal made the Miami Heat more than the $30 mill he cost them, so I’d say he’s worth it. Not only did he put fannies in the seats, but he increased the value of the franchise by helping them win a championship. Is Michael Jackson worth his millions? Tom Cruise? Boy George? William Hung?

People are worth what the market says they are worth, just like houses. I play basketball, but I cannot bring to the table what Shaq does, therefore he is worth more. Nor could I have done for GE what Jack Welch did, ergo he is worth more.

Someone who comes up with an invention should profit from it, if it works. That’s why Sergey Brin of Google is worth so much—he made a better mousetrap.

Thats how the system works, and I agree with that system. On the flip, though, I do think CEO pay is overinflated. There are those, like Welch, who I think have been worth the money, but many more are not. That they are sort of in bed with the Board of Directors who helps determine their pay is a problem. I don’t mind some level of regulation of pay, though of course there are always loopholes to any regulations.

Posted by: joebagodonuts at July 14, 2006 4:36 PM
Comment #167591

Joebagodonuts:

In regards to Bill Gates, let me give you the link to the article I read. My comment was taken out of context. Please take it with a grain of salt—I do. Sometimes I read things just for the entertainment value.

And I can see why a person of your political views would see little entertainment value in it.:-)

http://www.commondreams.org/views06/0712-21.htm

Posted by: Tim Crow at July 14, 2006 5:20 PM
Comment #167592

Rather, Ted Rall’s comment was taken out of context by me, not my comment taken out of context.

(whew!)

Posted by: Tim Crow at July 14, 2006 5:22 PM
Comment #167728

Thanks all for your participation in this thread. I wish I had more time to dispute some of the points that I disagree with - but all in all, I thought that we had a pretty good discussion and a fair amount of fun.

Posted by: Ray Guest at July 15, 2006 12:03 AM
Comment #167752

Ray: I caught Buffet on the Charlie Rose show. Rose asked him what his heirs thought of him giving all that money away. He said”I don’t believe in dynastic wealth.” Ahhh…another supporter of stiff inheritance taxes?

Posted by: BillS at July 15, 2006 3:46 AM
Comment #167800

Warren Buffet is a liberal and seems - from what little I know of him - to be a man of honor. I think Bill Gates is conservative - but is also a man of honor. I would not want to be a business rival of his though.

Posted by: Ray Guest at July 15, 2006 12:31 PM
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