PDA

View Full Version : If Geogre W. Bush had....


Yellowbeard
07-14-2009, 02:05 PM
I'm not a big W/Republican guy myself, but at the same time, whoever came up w/ this (brother-in-law sent it to me) kind of has a point.

-----------------------------------------------------

If George W. Bush had made a joke at the expense of the Special Olympics, would you have approved?

If George W. Bush had given Gordon Brown a set of inexpensive and incorrectly formatted DVDs, when Gordon Brown had given him a thoughtful and historically significant gift, would you have approved?

If George W. Bush had given the Queen of England an iPod containing videos of his speeches, would you have thought this embarrassingly narcissistic and tacky?

If George W. Bush had bowed to the King of Saudi Arabia, would you have approved?

If George W. Bush had visited Austria and made reference to the non-existent "Austrian language," would you have brushed it off as a minor slip?

If George W. Bush had filled his cabinet and circle of advisers with people who cannot seem to keep current on their income taxes, would you have approved?

If George W. Bush had been so Spanish illiterate as to refer to “Cinco de Cuatro” in front of the Mexican ambassador when it was the fourth of May (Cuatro de Mayo), and continued to flub it when he tried again, would you have winced in embarrassment?

If George W. Bush had mis-spelled the word advice would you have hammered him for it for years like Dan Quayle and potatoe as “proof” of what a dunce he is?

If George W. Bush had burned 9,000 gallons of jet fuel to go plant a single tree on “Earth Day”, would you have concluded he’s a hypocrite?

If George W. Bush’s administration had okayed Air Force One flying low over millions of people followed by a jet fighter in downtown Manhattan causing widespread panic, would you have wondered whether they actually “get” what happened on 9-11?

If George W. Bush had been the first President to need a teleprompter installed to be able to get through a press conference, would you have laughed and said this is more proof of how he is inept he is on his own and is really controlled by smarter men behind the scenes?

If George W. Bush had failed to send relief aid to flood victims throughout the Midwest with more people killed or made homeless than in New Orleans, would you want it made into a major ongoing political issue with claims of racism and incompetence?

If George W. Bush had ordered the firing of the CEO of a major corporation, even though he had no constitutional authority to do so, would you have approved?

If George W. Bush had proposed to double the national debt, which had taken more than two centuries to accumulate, in one year, would you have approved?

If George W. Bush had then proposed to double the debt again within 10 years, would you have approved?

If George W. Bush had reduced your retirement plan’s holdings of GM stock by 90% and given the unions a majority stake in GM, would you have approved?

If George W. Bush had spent hundreds of thousands of dollars to take Laura Bush to a play in NYC, would you have approved?

So, tell me again, what is it about Obama that makes him so brilliant and impressive? Can't think of anything? Don't worry. He's done all this in 5 months -- so you'll have three years and seven months to come up with an answer.

Terez
07-14-2009, 02:14 PM
Meh, your partisan rants are starting to get a little annoying. Lots of us have partisan leanings, but we don't generally post crap like this. If you want to start a discussion, then start a discussion rather than copy/pasting something you got in an email chain.

Sinistrum
07-14-2009, 02:15 PM
But didn't you know Yellowbeard? The Savior of the Universe is held to a different standard than everyone else.

Terez
07-14-2009, 02:17 PM
He's not a savior. He's a rock star. Big difference. ;)

irerancincpkc
07-14-2009, 03:13 PM
Ha, look, it's first graders playground time!

Yellowbeard
07-14-2009, 03:24 PM
I just think it's fun to point out things that his supporters want to ignore. Denial can be so entertaining to observe in others.

irerancincpkc
07-14-2009, 03:34 PM
I just think it's fun to point out things that his supporters want to ignore. Denial can be so entertaining to observe in others.
Ignore? Honestly, I could care less about all of those things, like I could care less about a lot of the silly things Bush had done. You could list crap like that for every president, and every politican. Talk about the real issues man, we certainly never shyed away from doing that with Bush...

Zanguini
07-14-2009, 03:37 PM
I agree... but flying Air Force One through downtown manhatten... kinda stupid

Yellowbeard
07-14-2009, 03:47 PM
If George W. Bush had proposed to double the national debt, which had taken more than two centuries to accumulate, in one year, would you have approved?

If George W. Bush had then proposed to double the debt again within 10 years, would you have approved?

you honestly think the total lack of fiscal responsibility he's exhibiting is not a real issue?

i don't really care much for him personally as he's exhibiting all sorts of narcisstic traits (seriously - who gives a QUEEN an Ipod full of recordings of their own speeches as a world leader?). i don't really care for him because when you get him "off script", he ALWAYS does something stupid.

but what i can't stand is how he is wrecking the future of the united states (along w/ a very complicite Congress). we're gonna have to sell california to the chinese sometime in the future in order to pay them off!! i have a son that is gonna grow up in this environment he's fostering, and have to try to make a living in it, and i want my son to have a better chance than he's apparently gonna get.

all because people elected this yahoo because they didn't want to do the work themselves to dig out of this recession which is totally self made. there's no sense of personal responsibility anymore...it's no wonder we don't hold anyone else responsible for anything anymore either.

what the president and congress are doing is going to cripple my country. is crippling my country. and i just don't get the attitude of most people that seem content to let it happen.

Sinistrum
07-14-2009, 03:52 PM
Ignore? Honestly, I could care less about all of those things, like I could care less about a lot of the silly things Bush had done. You could list crap like that for every president, and every politican. Talk about the real issues man, we certainly never shyed away from doing that with Bush...

Sure, because you've never made a post about a Republican doing something stupid and tried to use that stupidity to score political points. :rolleyes:

GonzoTheGreat
07-14-2009, 04:00 PM
Talk about the real issues man, we certainly never shyed away from doing that with Bush...I agree.

Why hasn't Obama come clean over the torture programs, yet?
Why hasn't Obama come clean over the Abu Ghraib pictures, yet?
Why hasn't Obama closed the Guantanamo Bay slave camp, yet?

I agree that there is plenty of reason to criticise him on real issues. I am quite sure that Sinistrum can find a few more, and it is even possible (not entirely certain) that I would agree with him that those too are issues that Obama should have tackled much more decisively already (assuming he's done anything about them at all, which is not always a correct assumption).

Yellowbeard
07-14-2009, 04:02 PM
Obama is, first and foremost, interested in generating more publicity about himself. Hence the daily press conferences and speeches. And NYC fly-by in Air Force One. And staged town hall meetings. If a Republican president were to be that blatantly self serving, I'd be just as disgusted. He's as big a media whore as Palin.

Gilshalos Sedai
07-14-2009, 04:08 PM
Then, YB, other than wait till the next election, what do you suggest we all do, then? Obviously, writing our congressperson is a waste of time.

GonzoTheGreat
07-14-2009, 04:10 PM
The NYC idiocy had nothing to do with Obama, apart from using his ride (well, flight). It was pretty stupid, but I don't think Obama has the monopoly on that in his team. If he does, then that would indeed be a very significant improvement over his predecessor.

tworiverswoman
07-14-2009, 04:14 PM
i don't really care much for him personally as he's exhibiting all sorts of narcisstic traits (seriously - who gives a QUEEN an Ipod full of recordings of their own speeches as a world leader?). i don't really care for him because when you get him "off script", he ALWAYS does something stupid.Not sure where you are getting your info, but the iPod in question had show tunes and videos of the Queen's 2007 visit to the US - when BUSH was president. No Obama speeches are listed among the contents.

Don't take this to mean I'm an Obama-ite -- I just dislike made-up crap.



ETA: Her return gift was a silver-framed photo of herself and her husband -- standard gift for "visiting dignitaries." Does this make HER a narcissist?

ETD: an extraneous apostrophe in a plural... sigh

Terez
07-14-2009, 04:22 PM
I agree.

Why hasn't Obama come clean over the torture programs, yet?
Why hasn't Obama come clean over the Abu Ghraib pictures, yet?
Why hasn't Obama closed the Guantanamo Bay slave camp, yet?
Public opinion, on all 3 counts. Obama is trying to go with majority public opinion on the major issues, rather than going with his party line. I'm not sure why he bothers, seeing as how the Repubs are too stupid to appreciate it. Public opinion was with him till Cheney bought cool points by supporting gay marriage, which left him free to work his fear-mongering magic into the hearts of the wavering middle-roaders.

Yellowbeard
07-14-2009, 04:31 PM
The NYC idiocy had nothing to do with Obama, apart from using his ride (well, flight). It was pretty stupid, but I don't think Obama has the monopoly on that in his team. If he does, then that would indeed be a very significant improvement over his predecessor.

Bush couldn't help that some idiotic soldiers did some rather stupid stuff at Abu Ghraib either, but he still got blamed.

You don't think Obama didn't know they were taking AF1 on a photo-op shoot? His personal plane? Come on.

Then, YB, other than wait till the next election, what do you suggest we all do, then? Obviously, writing our congressperson is a waste of time.

A politician's most sensitive spots is approval ratings and perceived chance of re-election. Instead of passively sitting around and waiting the government to tell you to bend over and pretend to enjoy it, and knowing what they react to, don't you think there's something you could figure out to do to get proactive?

Why hasn't Obama come clean over the torture programs, yet?

Last time I checked they admitted to waterboarding prisoners. Not sure what else you could be referring to.

Why hasn't Obama come clean over the Abu Ghraib pictures, yet?

We already know all about that. Old news.

Why hasn't Obama closed the Guantanamo Bay slave camp, yet?

I love your wording. Slave camp. :P

What would you do w/ the prisoners held there?

the silent speaker
07-14-2009, 04:54 PM
What would Gonzo do? Probably send them to kill some Jews.

If George W. Bush had bowed to the King of Saudi Arabia, would you have approved?
Yes. Show respect to your hosts in the local respectful custom. If he started praying to the King of Saudi Arabia, then I'd be a little concerned.
If George W. Bush had filled his cabinet and circle of advisers with people who cannot seem to keep current on their income taxes, would you have approved?
I assume he did?
If George W. Bush had visited Austria and made reference to the non-existent "Austrian language," would you have brushed it off as a minor slip?

If George W. Bush had been so Spanish illiterate as to refer to “Cinco de Cuatro” in front of the Mexican ambassador when it was the fourth of May (Cuatro de Mayo), and continued to flub it when he tried again, would you have winced in embarrassment?

If George W. Bush had mis-spelled the word advice would you have hammered him for it for years like Dan Quayle and potatoe as “proof” of what a dunce he is?
I would have snickered at it, yeah.

If George W. Bush had burned 9,000 gallons of jet fuel to go plant a single tree on “Earth Day”, would you have concluded he’s a hypocrite?
No, I'd've concluded he's a politician. There are subtle differences.
If George W. Bush had failed to send relief aid to flood victims throughout the Midwest with more people killed or made homeless than in New Orleans, would you want it made into a major ongoing political issue with claims of racism and incompetence?
I have not heard of this. If true, Obama has dropped a large ball in a serious way. That said, the racism charge for NO had to do with the fact that the people dispossessed were primarily black, which is unlikely to be the case in the Midwest.
If George W. Bush had ordered the firing of the CEO of a major corporation, even though he had no constitutional authority to do so, would you have approved?
There are a lot of things I would like to have done to those particular CEOs for which Constitutional authority is lacking.
If George W. Bush had proposed to double the national debt, which had taken more than two centuries to accumulate, in one year, would you have approved?

If George W. Bush had then proposed to double the debt again within 10 years, would you have approved?He did do that, didn't he? I recall the debt being titanic before Bush left office, and there was a surplus during the Clinton years. Admittedly some of that could be due to shady bookkeeping, but the Bush economy had more than its share of that, too, which is why we're in the mess we have now. The only way out is through, and that will mean actually paying for the stuff we got on credit. TANSTAAFL will find you and it does not forgive.

GonzoTheGreat
07-14-2009, 05:08 PM
Bush couldn't help that some idiotic soldiers did some rather stupid stuff at Abu Ghraib either, but he still got blamed.The abuse there only really started after someone brought over a list of "to be used operational techniques" from Guantanamo Bay. That makes the involvement of the Bush government a whole lot more direct than it would have been if it had indeed been only a few bad apples acting alone.

You don't think Obama didn't know they were taking AF1 on a photo-op shoot? His personal plane?I'm not sure he considers it his personal plane, yet. I suspect that attitude will come, human nature being what it is, but I am willing to give him the benefit of the doubt on this so early in his presidency. He might still remember that it's officially a government plane, you know.

Last time I checked they admitted to waterboarding prisoners. Not sure what else you could be referring to.They could admit that this was actually torture, that torture is against US law (and has been for decades), and that the ones responsible for it should be prosecuted.
As far as I know no one guilty of waterboarding has been thrown into prison, yet, this time, though in the past the USA has hanged people for doing it.

We already know all about that. Old news.Including the pictures and movies that aren't made public? When did you see those, and how do you think you can convince me that there's nothing more on it, when representatives of the US government have said that publicising them would endanger US lives?
Either identifiable culprits are still running around in Iraq, wearing the US uniform, in which case they should have been indicted years ago.
Or the secret pictures are so much worse than the ones that have been published already, that "old news" is not really the correct term for them.
Or they could be safely published, to show that the USA is really dealing with all of this, and not just with the bits that it couldn't suppress.

I love your wording. Slave camp.People were captured by warlords and such. They were then sold to foreigners. Those foreigners clapped them in chains, and transported them across the Atlantic. When they arrived there, they had no legal means to regain their freedom, and will remain in chains for the rest of their lives.

That description of what happened to slaves is remarkably similar to the situation of those Gitmo inmates, don't you think? If you can find a difference, please point it out.
What would you do w/ the prisoners held there?If they cannot be tried in, say, two weeks*, set them free. And prosecute all those involved in capturing them, bringing them there and keeping them locked up with unlawful imprisonment, and possibly with being party of a slavery ring, torture, murder (probably), and so forth. The precedent that "orders are orders" does not protect underlings from all legal repercussions is old enough to be taken for granted, I would say.

If the USA really did follow its own laws, that would go a long way towards regaining the moral high ground. At the moment, you're still about equivalent to Saddam, and inferior to Ahmadinejad. Which is not a compliment for the latter, I hasten to add.

* A reasonable enough time, I think. Is the average sheriff in the USA allowed to keep prisoners locked up any longer without charging them with a crime?

Gilshalos Sedai
07-14-2009, 05:19 PM
Usually 48 hours. But, you know what, Gonzo.... not going to argue with you on this. Because frankly, it's been done.

GonzoTheGreat
07-14-2009, 05:24 PM
Yep. And done again. And again. And again. And the slaves are still in chains. And we'll probably do it again in 2013, when president Palin doesn't let them go either.

irerancincpkc
07-14-2009, 10:14 PM
There are a lot of things I would like to have done to those particular CEOs for which Constitutional authority is lacking.
Hehe. :D

Marie Curie 7
07-14-2009, 10:21 PM
Bah. Obama showed his true colors tonight. He showed up to throw out the first pitch at the MLB All-Star game in a FREAKING CHICAGO WHITE SOX JACKET! Oh, the horror!

I mean, everybody knew he was a White Sox fan, but it's one thing to wear a Sox cap when you're on vacation in Hawaii, and it's quite another to show up at a big event wearing that awful jacket. Doesn't he realize that there are far more Cubs fans than White Sox fans in Illinois? He just lost his home state in the 2012 election...

Davian93
07-14-2009, 10:24 PM
Bah. Obama showed his true colors tonight. He showed up to throw out the first pitch at the MLB All-Star game in a FREAKING CHICAGO WHITE SOX JACKET! Oh, the horror!

I mean, everybody knew he was a White Sox fan, but it's one thing to wear a Sox cap when you're on vacation in Hawaii, and it's quite another to show up at a big event wearing that awful jacket. Doesn't he realize that there are far more Cubs fans than White Sox fans in Illinois? He just lost his home state in the 2012 election...

I think he'll be okay...all things considered.

hippie-joe
07-14-2009, 11:59 PM
personally i think they have all been puppets to some degree sense the 60's or 70's i couldn't tell you which president started the trend because i don't care enough to do the research, though i wanna say it started after jfk's assasination (however it's spelled)

irerancincpkc
07-15-2009, 12:52 AM
Bah. Obama showed his true colors tonight. He showed up to throw out the first pitch at the MLB All-Star game in a FREAKING CHICAGO WHITE SOX JACKET! Oh, the horror!

I mean, everybody knew he was a White Sox fan, but it's one thing to wear a Sox cap when you're on vacation in Hawaii, and it's quite another to show up at a big event wearing that awful jacket. Doesn't he realize that there are far more Cubs fans than White Sox fans in Illinois? He just lost his home state in the 2012 election...
I believe everyone in Illinois knew before the last election he was a White Sox fan...

Sodas
07-15-2009, 01:56 AM
[QUOTE=Yellowbeard]I'm not a big W/Republican guy myself, but at the same time, whoever came up w/ this (brother-in-law sent it to me) kind of has a point.

-----------------------------------------------------

If George W. Bush had made a joke at the expense of the Special Olympics, would you have approved? Yes, because he is Special. And that qualifies him to make fun of his own people.

If George W. Bush had given Gordon Brown a set of inexpensive and incorrectly formatted DVDs, when Gordon Brown had given him a thoughtful and historically significant gift, would you have approved? I don't think Bush could have even figured out how to burn out a DVD, let alone know that they watch PAL across the pond.

If George W. Bush had given the Queen of England an iPod containing videos of his speeches, would you have thought this embarrassingly narcissistic and tacky? No, because knowing Bush speeches, they could easily replace her daily dose of Monte Python.

If George W. Bush had bowed to the King of Saudi Arabia, would you have approved? Yes, because in all seriousness, that would be better than bending over and getting raped by the Kingdom of Arabia for the last 30 years.

If George W. Bush had visited Austria and made reference to the non-existent "Austrian language," would you have brushed it off as a minor slip? Probably, because everyone lost track.

If George W. Bush had filled his cabinet and circle of advisers with people who cannot seem to keep current on their income taxes, would you have approved? No, because that would probably be another step closer to repealing income taxes, since those cabinet members controlled policy.

If George W. Bush had been so Spanish illiterate as to refer to “Cinco de Cuatro” in front of the Mexican ambassador when it was the fourth of May (Cuatro de Mayo), and continued to flub it when he tried again, would you have winced in embarrassment? Yes, because that is Bush's claimed forte, and he was the Governer of a state bordering Mexico.

If George W. Bush had mis-spelled the word advice would you have hammered him for it for years like Dan Quayle and potatoe as “proof” of what a dunce he is? You got me there. Damn you Dan Quayle.

If George W. Bush had burned 9,000 gallons of jet fuel to go plant a single tree on “Earth Day”, would you have concluded he’s a hypocrite? No, because exposure = awareness = action. I just don't see Bush caring about a single tree though.

If George W. Bush’s administration had okayed Air Force One flying low over millions of people followed by a jet fighter in downtown Manhattan causing widespread panic, would you have wondered whether they actually “get” what happened on 9-11? Now when you make it sound like that, I'm sure Bush would have been all for it with his jazy flight suit.

If George W. Bush had been the first President to need a teleprompter installed to be able to get through a press conference, would you have laughed and said this is more proof of how he is inept he is on his own and is really controlled by smarter men behind the scenes? If Bush had been the first President at anything besides criminalizing internet gambling, maybe we wouldn't still be talking about how inept he was.

If George W. Bush had failed to send relief aid to flood victims throughout the Midwest with more people killed or made homeless than in New Orleans, would you want it made into a major ongoing political issue with claims of racism and incompetence? Of course not, most people in the Midwest are just like Bush. If anything, it would be more like negligence of his political base.

If George W. Bush had ordered the firing of the CEO of a major corporation, even though he had no constitutional authority to do so, would you have approved? I disagree that there is no constitutional power behind his decision, but there is precendent when it comes to monopolies, banking, and other inter-state commerce as it goes with executive power. Either way, Bush isn't ballsy enough to fire his other, more afluent base.

If George W. Bush had proposed to double the national debt, which had taken more than two centuries to accumulate, in one year, would you have approved? He never proposed it, he just did it with his stupid policies. Hence, the real reason people found him inept.

If George W. Bush had then proposed to double the debt again within 10 years, would you have approved? see above.

If George W. Bush had reduced your retirement plan’s holdings of GM stock by 90% and given the unions a majority stake in GM, would you have approved? No, but then again I drive a GM family vehicle, so I like knowing I can continue to buy vehicles, parts, and recieve service on my vehicle. So it would be a trade off I would be willing to make.

If George W. Bush had spent hundreds of thousands of dollars to take Laura Bush to a play in NYC, would you have approved? As long as it's wasn't Jesus Christ Superstar for the 153,123 time

So, tell me again, what is it about Obama that makes him so brilliant and impressive? Can't think of anything? Don't worry. He's done all this in 5 months -- so you'll have three years and seven months to come up with an answer.
How about 5 minutes and an understanding of the world.

Nazbaque
07-15-2009, 02:55 AM
There is a reasonable solution to all political problems: Kill all politicians.

Yellowbeard
07-15-2009, 10:38 AM
If they cannot be tried in, say, two weeks*, set them free.

Sounds good as long as we get to release them in the Netherlands as their countries of origin won't take them back.

John Snow
07-15-2009, 11:10 AM
*yawn* First, YB, check your facts; don't believe everything you get in a chain email.

Second, so you know whom you're dealing with here, I consider Obama a moderate. My politics are radical, from the latin for root, meaning I think it's time and past to replace the system. Including a system that generated asinine propaganda like your post.

Frenzy
07-15-2009, 11:11 AM
because exposure = awareness = action
EVER so minor quibble. If the above were true, the nobody would smoke, nobody would eat to excess, everybody would exercise, everybody would wear their seatbelts and bike helmets, and everyone would be preventing forest fires.

awareness doesn't always beget action. if it did, my professional life would be a HELL of a lot easier.

Ozymandias
07-15-2009, 11:12 AM
But didn't you know Yellowbeard? The Savior of the Universe is held to a different standard than everyone else.

Actually, the difference is Obama is eloquent and educated, even when he's not. By which I mean, he doesn't make a point of acting like some folksy idiot as Bush did.

If George W. Bush had bowed to the King of Saudi Arabia, would you have approved?

Absolutely. I would have no problem with that and didn't when Obama did it. Showing respect for other people is no crime, whatever neocons might have you believe.
If George W. Bush had filled his cabinet and circle of advisers with people who cannot seem to keep current on their income taxes, would you have approved?

If George W. Bush had filled his cabinet and circle of advisers with people who cannot seem to keep current on their income taxes, would you have approved?

Depends. If they were qualified people and not Michael Brown, then sure. Just because someone owes 50 bucks in back taxes doesn't disqualify them as an advisor.

If George W. Bush had burned 9,000 gallons of jet fuel to go plant a single tree on “Earth Day”, would you have concluded he’s a hypocrite?

No. Merely by making that action, Obama raised awareness. I never saw Bush planting any trees, but he certainly burned plenty of jet fuel.

If George W. Bush had proposed to double the national debt, which had taken more than two centuries to accumulate, in one year, would you have approved?

He did, and I didn't. Of course, those dollars are bleeding into the sand 20,000 miles away in some dry, hot desert, or in some arid mountains even further out, while Obama's money is actually going into the American economy, but who's counting or quibbling about it, right?

So, tell me again, what is it about Obama that makes him so brilliant and impressive? Can't think of anything? Don't worry. He's done all this in 5 months -- so you'll have three years and seven months to come up with an answer.

He's eloquent and respectful. He respects civil liberties. He isn't a pawn for big business and he doesn't submit to blatant simony on too large of a scale. He's willing to tackle pressing issues, even at the expense of his political capital and reputation, something Bush (and Clinton) was never willing to do even when he had a Congressional majority.

He's brilliant and impressive because he set himself an ambitious agenda; the most ambitious since the Great Depression, if not earlier, and is actually on his way to achieving it. Healthcare reform, dealing with the second worst economic crisis of the century, repairing relations with a world tired of Reagan's broken foreign (and domestic) policy initiatives.

Unlike former Presidents, Obama is actually trying to get things done. Bush distracted us with wars and tax cuts, and then pleaded lame duck status when we saw through those. Obama is willing to confront important issues, and someone was gonna have to spend to make this all right, and I think Obama deserves a world of credit for doing what Republicans and Democrats alike have been too politically timid to tackle for a decade at least.

Ivhon
07-15-2009, 11:13 AM
EVER so minor quibble. If the above were true, the nobody would smoke, nobody would eat to excess, everybody would exercise, everybody would wear their seatbelts and bike helmets, and everyone would be preventing forest fires.

awareness doesn't always beget action. if it did, my professional life would be a HELL of a lot easier.

On the other hand, a hell of a lot less people smoke nowadays...

Yellowbeard
07-15-2009, 11:51 AM
Second, so you know whom you're dealing with here,

Is that supposed to be intimidating?

irerancincpkc
07-15-2009, 11:55 AM
Is that supposed to be intimidating?
No, it's quite easy to see that he was just telling you his beliefs so you knew where he stood; no intimidation at all. Now, if you could stop pointing out the little things like that to take the attention away from the big issues... ;)

Ishara
07-15-2009, 12:12 PM
Dude, did you just accuse DR. SNOW of trying to be intimidating? REALLY? :rolleyes:

John Snow
07-15-2009, 12:17 PM
heheheh...
ROAR!!!!!
how's that?

Davian93
07-15-2009, 12:22 PM
heheheh...
ROAR!!!!!
how's that?


~ducks~

Run Away...RUN AWAY!!!

Gilshalos Sedai
07-15-2009, 12:24 PM
Hehehehe, y'all forget the massive WOT arguments he used to participate in.


But in that instance, that wasn't supposed to be intimidating. That was for identification purposes. It's called context. Perhaps you've heard of it?

Sinistrum
07-15-2009, 01:01 PM
heheheh...
ROAR!!!!!
how's that?

Terrible. Simply terrible. You're doing it all wrong. It's supposed to go RAAAAAAAWWWWWWWRRRR!!! Now once more, and this time with feeling. :p

Davian93
07-15-2009, 01:02 PM
YAWP!!!

StrangePackage
07-15-2009, 01:11 PM
Hehehehe, y'all forget the massive WOT arguments he used to participate in.


But in that instance, that wasn't supposed to be intimidating. That was for identification purposes. It's called context. Perhaps you've heard of it?

What about the OP's insistence on re-positing chain emails makes you think he knows anything about context?

I like that his knee jerk reaction (for which I will always know him as a knee-jerk reactionary) is to assume that he's being threatened or persecuted for his beliefs.

In cases like this, where the message is so devoid of substance, I feel it's entirely appropriate to execute the messenger.

Marie Curie 7
07-15-2009, 01:17 PM
Bah. Obama showed his true colors tonight. He showed up to throw out the first pitch at the MLB All-Star game in a FREAKING CHICAGO WHITE SOX JACKET! Oh, the horror!

I mean, everybody knew he was a White Sox fan, but it's one thing to wear a Sox cap when you're on vacation in Hawaii, and it's quite another to show up at a big event wearing that awful jacket. Doesn't he realize that there are far more Cubs fans than White Sox fans in Illinois? He just lost his home state in the 2012 election...

I believe everyone in Illinois knew before the last election he was a White Sox fan...

Lol, I said that...in fact, you quoted it above. :p

Yes, everyone in Illinois knows that Obama is a White Sox fan (I live in Illinois). But he's generally been a stealth White Sox fan, not flaunting it nearly as much as he did last night.

And by the way, I was pretty much just joking...I don't normally use the phrase "Oh, the horror!" IRL, lol. Well, except when I have to go to faculty meetings... :)

Yellowbeard
07-15-2009, 01:18 PM
Dude, did you just accuse DR. SNOW of trying to be intimidating?

I didn't accuse. I asked a question.

Accusation would have taken the form of something along the lines of "You're trying to be intimidating".

Based on the way the context of his statement...he definitely has a grandiose opinion of his raaadical political beliefs, but grandiosity is pretty typical of radicals, so is to be expected.

The overall original point I guess is that Obama is just as much a hypocrite and just as bad as W was before him. And anyone can be eloquent when they are delivering prepared statements. Get Obama away from his teleprompter, and put him in an actual setting that isn't staged (like his Town Hall meeting where he had pre-positioned people w/ the task of asking questions he wanted them to ask), and he comes up w/ stuff like his Special Olympics comment.

Let me ask you this, if he is so smart, then why does he have to hold staged progandist events to try to advance his agenda? Why can't he make a genuine effort of persuasion to get buy-off on his agenda by the public? Can't he present his agenda in a way where the merits of his arguments stand on their own and are persuasive w/out need for him to use planted questioners w/ planted questions?

What I don't like is the unmitigated gal and brazeness in which he attempts deception. I don't care what his politics are if he's a deceiver. People that claim he's anything other than just another lying politician (like the last few Presidents we've had) serving his own interests and the interests of his campaign contributors have got their heads hidden in the sand.

irerancincpkc
07-15-2009, 01:25 PM
Lol, I said that...in fact, you quoted it above.
Opps. :o

Davian93
07-15-2009, 01:27 PM
I didn't accuse. I asked a question.

Accusation would have taken the form of something along the lines of "You're trying to be intimidating".

Based on the way the context of his statement...he definitely has a grandiose opinion of his raaadical political beliefs, but grandiosity is pretty typical of radicals, so is to be expected.

The overall original point I guess is that Obama is just as much a hypocrite and just as bad as W was before him. And anyone can be eloquent when they are delivering prepared statements. Get Obama away from his teleprompter, and put him in an actual setting that isn't staged (like his Town Hall meeting where he had pre-positioned people w/ the task of asking questions he wanted them to ask), and he comes up w/ stuff like his Special Olympics comment.

Let me ask you this, if he is so smart, then why does he have to hold staged progandist events to try to advance his agenda? Why can't he make a genuine effort of persuasion to get buy-off on his agenda by the public? Can't he present his agenda in a way where the merits of his arguments stand on their own and are persuasive w/out need for him to use planted questioners w/ planted questions?

What I don't like is the unmitigated gal and brazeness in which he attempts deception. I don't care what his politics are if he's a deceiver. People that claim he's anything other than just another lying politician (like the last few Presidents we've had) serving his own interests and the interests of his campaign contributors have got their heads hidden in the sand.

Its like having our very own Sean Hannity...

StrangePackage
07-15-2009, 01:31 PM
The overall original point I guess is that Obama is just as much a hypocrite and just as bad as W was before him.

Wait until Obama lies his way into a war costing billions and sacrificing thousands of American soldiers and millions of innocent civilians before you paint them both with the same broad brush.

And anyone can be eloquent when they are delivering prepared statements.

I would hope that W put that canard to rest.

Let me ask you this, if he is so smart, then why does he have to hold staged progandist events to try to advance his agenda? Why can't he make a genuine effort of persuasion to get buy-off on his agenda by the public? Can't he present his agenda in a way where the merits of his arguments stand on their own and are persuasive w/out need for him to use planted questioners w/ planted questions?

His willingness to do public appearances and take questions is in stark contrast to the last administration. But more-over, his proposals and their merits do stand on their own. These financial proposals are massive, complex issues which the average citizen is going to lack the economic and political framework to understand. His attempts to package them in a way that most can understand would necessitate a little scripting- otherwise, he's going to be lambasted for being to pedantic and professorial. It's lose-lose, so he goes for the losing way which at least gives the public a minimal understanding of the way in which he's trying to pull their asses from the fire.

What I don't like is the unmitigated gal and brazeness in which he attempts deception. I don't care what his politics are if he's a deceiver. People that claim he's anything other than just another lying politician (like the last few Presidents we've had) serving his own interests and the interests of his campaign contributors have got their heads hidden in the sand.

Then you must have absolutely hated the last administration, who lied their way into a massive war, lied about the economic prognosis of the country, lied about the conditions under which detainees were treated, and lied about massive civil rights violations that they perpetrated without batting an eye.

Gall must be relative- if you think Obama is brazen, you must have thought Cheney started every press conference by teabagging reporters and referring to them as "My bitch from (X) News."

Nazbaque
07-15-2009, 01:34 PM
you know YB the way you use "w/" istead of "with" really makes you look like an idiot.

Sei'taer
07-15-2009, 01:42 PM
Marie,

I kinda figured you'd say some thing the "Cominski Field" comment he made. I'd also like to say the game afterward was as pitiful as the first pitch...I thonk we need to elect a president who can friggin throw, I can't remember a single one in my lifetime...

Ivhon
07-15-2009, 01:45 PM
Hmm...first Ive heard about planted questioners. I don't believe that Obama has ever required attendees of his functions to

1. Demonstrate registration with his political party
2. Make a campaign donation as a condition of entry.
3. Closed the doors to anyone who might not agree with his platform.

or any of those other things W did.

Methinks you spend a bit too much time with the Grudge Report and FOX news. They are not reliable sources of political information.

Yellowbeard
07-15-2009, 02:04 PM
Its like having our very own Sean Hannity...

Note Dav didn't actually try to answer the question - Why can't Obama function w/out carefully scripting everything out?

I would hope that W put that canard to rest.

I said CAN...not does. W could have if he put in the effort to do it. He was just lazy.

Call me when Obama lies his way into a war costing billions and sacrificing thousands of American soldiers and millions of innocent civilians before you paint them both with the same broad brush.

Lies are lies. Either you tolerate them or you don't.

And speaking of facts...

http://www.iraqbodycount.org/

90-100k violence related civilian deaths per this source. Not millions. Other reputable sources (including the Iraqui Ministry of Health) report nothing close to your claim. Your off by a significant order of magnitude. And if you look at the details, they show that the crime and terrorism in Iraq (i.e. not US Military forces) inflict a lot more carnage on the Iraqi populace than US Military forces.

Admittedly, even 100k civilian deaths is a horrible thing. Why nobody in the press will call a spade a spade and tell the truth that the Iraqi factions have been engaging in ethnic cleansing type genocide against each other since the US deposed Saddam is beyond my understanding. Why there is so little focus on the death total to begin with is unfathomablle. But Obama is ignoring it just like everyone else.

His willingness to do public appearances and take questions is in stark contrast to the last administration.

It's worse than the last administration because it's not genuine.

But more-over, his proposals and their merits do stand on their own. These financial proposals are massive, complex issues which the average citizen is going to lack the economic and political framework to understand.

Typical liberal hypocrisy. A feeling of superiority over "average" people.

Then you must have absolutely hated the last administration, who lied their way into a massive war, lied about the economic prognosis of the country, lied about the conditions under which detainees were treated, and lied about massive civil rights violations that they perpetrated without batting an eye.

One - if they were such criminals why aren't they rotting in jail now?

But you are right...I never liked the Bush administration to begin with. He got elected originally by buying votes w/ his $300 per person "tax credit". Those budget surpluses Clinton left us with should have been used to pay down the Federal debt instead of retroactively buy votes. The borrowing from China irked me to no end. The initial response to 9/11 - well, no precedent...but the USA had to go into Afghanistan after that. Iraq - I thought we needed to finish things in Afghanistan before we tried to tackle anything else. And I thought a better way to deal w/ Saddam would have been to pull all our stuff out and end the sanctions when the rest of the International Community refused to deal w/ him and leave it to the rest of world to deal w/ him. Afterall, if they're not going to enforce their word, why bother with any of it at all?

Gall must be relative- if you think Obama is brazen, you must have thought Cheney started every press conference by teabagging reporters and referring to them as "My bitch from (X) News."

Again - refusing to address the questions I've raised (like how the hell are we going to pay for all this Obama is doing?) and instead trying to distract by attacking me. Typical reaction from someone that intends to keep themselves squarely in denial.

Yellowbeard
07-15-2009, 02:09 PM
Hmm...first Ive heard about planted questioners. I don't believe that Obama has ever required attendees of his functions to

1. Demonstrate registration with his political party
2. Make a campaign donation as a condition of entry.
3. Closed the doors to anyone who might not agree with his platform.

or any of those other things W did.

Methinks you spend a bit too much time with the Grudge Report and FOX news. They are not reliable sources of political information.

Another one trying to distract from the issue raised. Typical passive-aggressive liberal response.

Just because W was crooked isn't justification for tolerating it in his successor. It shouldn't have been tolerated in W's case either.

you know YB the way you use "w/" istead of "with" really makes you look like an idiot.

Again - attacking the messenger for any way you can think of instead of answering the question. Also, it's "instead" and not "istead". Hypocrite.

StrangePackage
07-15-2009, 02:23 PM
What is there to respond to other than the petulant mewling of a chain-email?

Come up with something more compelling than the typical conservative memes (OBAMA TELEPROMPTER OMG!!!!!!!) and we might be able to have an actual policy discourse. They've happened before on this board.

Let me prognosticate your response: Typical liberal fact-demanding.

Davian93
07-15-2009, 02:28 PM
Note Dav didn't actually try to answer the question - Why can't Obama function w/out carefully scripting everything out?

Note Dav is not involved in this debate other to make observations about the debators. Considering its like listening to a Foxnews debate I think I'll sit this one out.

~sits on ESC couch~

Yellowbeard
07-15-2009, 02:32 PM
Let me prognosticate your response: Typical liberal fact-demanding.

I notice you are strangely silent on being called out on your numbers regarding civie casualties being wrong while you make this comment.

You're ignoring facts that make you uncomfortable because they challenge your preconceived notions. That's the definition of denial.

People seem to think I'm sticking up for W. i'm not. I just think W and Obama are two sides of the same coin.

Nazbaque
07-15-2009, 02:33 PM
Sorry about the typo, but doesn't really make me hypocrite since it wasn't intentional. Now if all those w/ were not intentional... and in anycase I said they make you look stupid which is pure fact. Not sure yet if you actually are.

But if you take a look you will note that I don't live in the USA, so you should see why I don't really give a fuck about your political problems. I've already presented my solution to all such problems which is more than you have done.

And now that we have cleared that up, what are you so worked up with? You're clearly venting and lashing out at everything. Only politicians get this angry with politics alone. What ails you? Problems at home? At work? You can tell Naz.

StrangePackage
07-15-2009, 02:40 PM
I notice you are strangely silent on being called out on your numbers regarding civie casualties being wrong while you make this comment.

You're ignoring facts that make you uncomfortable because they challenge your preconceived notions. That's the definition of denial.

People seem to think I'm sticking up for W. i'm not. I just think W and Obama are two sides of the same coin.

You're right, only a hundred thousand civilians have died, by those estimates. Then again, the Lancet Survey found approximately 600,000 deaths attributed to the war and accompanying violence, while ORB found the number closer to 1.1 Million. There's no accurate Iraqi death toll, due largely to the fact that it's still an ongoing civil war. Which we helped touch off.

I tend to get lump the wounded, crippled, and/or displaced when discussing civilian casualties, but I promise, in the future, to be much more exact when discussing what the exact human cost of our Iraqi excursion is.

StrangePackage
07-15-2009, 02:46 PM
Typical liberal hypocrisy. A feeling of superiority over "average" people.


And just for clarifiaction- if being an elitist means that I'm not the dumbest motherfucker in the room, then hell yes I am elitist.

Yellowbeard
07-15-2009, 02:53 PM
Note Dav is not involved in this debate other to make observations about the debators.

Not really. You've made a derisive observation about ONE person posting on this thread...and that would be me.

That's okay I'm actually enjoying myself.

Come up with something more compelling than the typical conservative memes (OBAMA TELEPROMPTER OMG!!!!!!!) and we might be able to have an actual policy discourse. They've happened before on this board.

So the numerous times I've asked someone to tell me how we are going to pay for what Obama and Congress are doing doesn't count? Nobody has actually taken a shot at that one yet.

Sorry about the typo, but doesn't really make me hypocrite since it wasn't intentional. Now if all those w/ were not intentional... and in anycase I said they make you look stupid which is pure fact. Not sure yet if you actually are.

I'm not certain what you have against "w/" but it is actually a perfectly acceptable abbreviation in some circumstances. If I'm writing a Preliminary Engineering Report, contract documents and tech. specs, official project correspondence, etc., or other official document, either work or not work related (I'm a professionally licensed design engineer by trade), I don't use it. If I'm writing in a more casual mode, like emails to friends, or posts on an internet message board, I use it.

But if you take a look you will note that I don't live in the USA, so you should see why I don't really give a fuck about your political problems. I've already presented my solution to all such problems which is more than you have done.

I noted a while ago you were from Finland. So I was kind of curious as to why you cared enough to even make disparaging remarks about my intelligence.

As for your solution:

There is a reasonable solution to all political problems: Kill all politicians.

A little revolution never hurt anyone, eh? Honestly, at this point, I wouldn't mind seeing a whole lot of politicians hanging from light poles, traffic signal pole arms, trees, and any other elevated structures in Washington, D.C. that would support their body weights.

However, as that's not considered reasonable by today's societal standards, I ignored it when you posted it.

And now that we have cleared that up, what are you so worked up with? You're clearly venting and lashing out at everything. Only politicians get this angry with politics alone. What ails you? Problems at home? At work? You can tell Naz.

After all the tongue in cheek shots everyone takes at anyone conservative on this board, not to mention all the progandistic shots that get fired at the conservative side as well, I sort of find it quite amusing how many feathers get ruffled when someone does the same towards the liberal side of the aisle.

It's quite clear that if you aren't a liberal, you're not real welcome on this board.

I also think all the personal attacks against me that started instantaneously were an indicatation of extreme lameness on the part of the attackers, and I don't have a problem being directly confrontational over it.

StrangePackage
07-15-2009, 02:58 PM
How will we pay for it?

Taxes.

Now, if you want to have an honest policy discussion about whether or not that's appropriate, at what level taxation should be assessed, the degree to which the taxpayers will shoulder the burden as opposed to the shareholders of the corporations which we're bailing out, etc- that's fine. But don't ask simple questions with obvious answers just so you can get your Tea-Bag-Party hardon or whatever.

If we weren't paying for it in taxes, we'd be paying for it in crippling unemployment and inflation. In fact, we may yet be in that boat. But something had to be done- so something was done. Inshallah, it was the right something.

Orc
07-15-2009, 03:09 PM
Speaking as a person who doesn't live in the States, the differences between George W. Bush and Obama as presidents are monumental.

Bush always came across as being incredibly clueless and/or ignorant (and we couldn't believe it when he got re-elected, although his opposition (Kerry?) also sucked), going from one disaster to another, domestic or foreign.

Obama on the other hand, seems competent. Obviously he's not perfect, and some of the stuff that he's pushing for in relation to Canada (restricting some purchases to American only products for example) piss me off, but it seems quite clear that he's trying to do what he feels is best for his country.

Obama seems to be actually trying to get stuff done, as opposed to Bush, whose every policy seemed to aimed at 1) Lining his and his cronies pockets with money 2) Creating huge problems and/or crises to divert public inquiry away from #1.

Nazbaque
07-15-2009, 03:17 PM
I noted a while ago you were from Finland. So I was kind of curious as to why you cared enough to even make disparaging remarks about my intelligence.
Ah so that is the problem. You are trying to be logical about the things I do. Well there is indeed a logic to the things I do but it is based on a number of factors you don't know about and very likely cannot guess. So far I think Tru is the only one with the info required to see the logic, but I'm not sure she is willing to make the effort.

Crispin's Crispian
07-15-2009, 03:25 PM
It's quite clear that if you aren't a liberal, you're not real welcome on this board.


I...I can't...

WTF are you talking about? Are you even talking about the same board you're posting on? If you are, then you are insulting the intelligence of about 95% of the posters that bother with political issues on this board. I don't do much in Internet forums anymore, but this has to be one of the most politically even-handed and rational forums I've ever been a part of. Even the most staunchly reactionary or socialist members of the board are capable of rationally arguing the issues.

Sure, you get partisan attacks and ad hominem all the time, but it's part and parcel of the Internet. You were doing fine addressing those as they came up, but now you're just speaking out of your ass. Any further down this path, and I'm going to start wondering when Rush is coming back to muffle you.

Yellowbeard
07-15-2009, 03:40 PM
You're right, only a hundred thousand civilians have died, by those estimates. Then again, the Lancet Survey found approximately 600,000 deaths attributed to the war and accompanying violence, while ORB found the number closer to 1.1 Million. There's no accurate Iraqi death toll, due largely to the fact that it's still an ongoing civil war. Which we helped touch off.

You cannot hold US military forces responsible for things they didn't do. It is not our responsibility that they decided to engage in what is basically a civil war after Saddam was ousted. The civilian casualty figures are so high because they decided to butcher each other.

I will say if the US invasion and occupation had been better planned, organized, and led, we perhaps could have taken more assertive control of the country and prevented the situation from occurring. Perhaps.

There's also no ignoring the fact that the Iranians were instigating events to escalate the violence, not mention the foreign fighters that went to Iraq.

To lay the blame for the carnage at the feet of US actions while ignoring the fact that US forces are not the ones that started the actual fighting between the various Iraqi factions is wrong.

How will we pay for it?

Taxes.

Now, if you want to have an honest policy discussion about whether or not that's appropriate, at what level taxation should be assessed, the degree to which the taxpayers will shoulder the burden as opposed to the shareholders of the corporations which we're bailing out, etc- that's fine.

I'm getting you think it appropriate to tax the hell out of us, our kids, our grandkids, etc. as a response to this. I don't.

I think the more responsible action would have been to let GM, AIG, those hordes of banks that got into trouble through their own devices and bad decisions, etc. suffer the consequences of their own greed.

Of course it would have hurt a lot of people, but I tend to think in terms of solving problems instead of putting them off for my successors to solve. I'd rather take responsiblity now. As a nation, our economy would have recovered without the bailouts eventually, and our successive generations wouldn't be saddled with dealing w/ our mistakes. I think we should bite the bullet instead of passing this mess on to our kids.

But don't ask simple questions with obvious answers just so you can get your Tea-Bag-Party hardon or whatever.

Even when finally answering, you couldn't resist another personal attack. Schweet.

If we weren't paying for it in taxes, we'd be paying for it in crippling unemployment and inflation. In fact, we may yet be in that boat.

I think it's only a matter before this happens, and it will be worse than it would have been if we had just things run their natural course.

Of course, where I live, with unemployment around 10%, the crippling unemployment problem is already upon us.

And just for clarifiaction- if being an elitist means that I'm not the dumbest motherfucker in the room, then hell yes I am elitist.

The level of disrespect for ideas other than your own philosophy that you demonstrate is pretty high, but I guess not really surprising now that I think about it.

Davian93
07-15-2009, 03:45 PM
Perhaps we shouldn't deliberately recruit rapists and child murderers into our armed forces and then send them off into the field all liquored up. Damn baby killing "soldiers"!!!

~huff~

Uno
07-15-2009, 04:03 PM
I...I can't...

WTF are you talking about? Are you even talking about the same board you're posting on? If you are, then you are insulting the intelligence of about 95% of the posters that bother with political issues on this board. I don't do much in Internet forums anymore, but this has to be one of the most politically even-handed and rational forums I've ever been a part of. Even the most staunchly reactionary or socialist members of the board are capable of rationally arguing the issues.

If you ask me, majority opinion here is rather heavily tilted toward the right-wing side of the spectrum. Apart from Snow and possibly Gonzo, I don't think we have many posters I could readily identify as radical. Most posters I've heard from generally seem to believe rather strongly (one might even say instinctively) in things like the free market and entrepreneurial capitalism, things I associate with the right (though whether they're actually compatible with genuine conservatism is an entirely different matter).

Sinistrum
07-15-2009, 04:04 PM
It's quite clear that if you aren't a liberal, you're not real welcome on this board.

The only thing I have to say about this is TEEHEE. :p

Yellowbeard
07-15-2009, 04:06 PM
Perhaps we shouldn't deliberately recruit rapists and child murderers into our armed forces and then send them off into the field all liquored up. Damn baby killing "soldiers"!!!

Maybe this is an attempt at humor, but I find this to be extremely offensive. I know a bunch of guys that have been over there, put their asses on the line, and had part of their asses shot off. If you said this in a room full of them, you wouldn't leave with any teeth left in your mouth. That's not intended to be a threat, just a statement of what would happen.

WTF are you talking about? Are you even talking about the same board you're posting on? If you are, then you are insulting the intelligence of about 95% of the posters that bother with political issues on this board.

Things like the above quoted comment are what I'm talking about.

and these:

you know YB the way you use "w/" istead of "with" really makes you look like an idiot.

Its like having our very own Sean Hannity...

In cases like this, where the message is so devoid of substance, I feel it's entirely appropriate to execute the messenger.

Ha, look, it's first graders playground time!

Davian93
07-15-2009, 04:10 PM
Maybe this is an attempt at humor, but I find this to be extremely offensive. I know a bunch of guys that have been over there, put their asses on the line, and had part of their asses shot off. If you said this in a room full of them, you wouldn't leave with any teeth left in your mouth. That's not intended to be a threat, just a statement of what would happen.

ROFL...I think I'd be okay.

~waits for someone to let Yellowbeard in on the joke~

Terez
07-15-2009, 04:13 PM
Things like the above quoted comment are what I'm talking about.

and these: All of those quotes had more to do with your immature approach to this topic rather than your partisan leanings. If you think we're all liberal, then it shows how little you know us.

As for Dav's comment...we have plenty of members with military experience. Some of them are even liberals. ;)

Yellowbeard
07-15-2009, 04:13 PM
ROFL...I think I'd be okay.

~waits for someone to let Yellowbeard in on the joke~

I had been under the impress that you were in the service at some point, but really don't know the details.

Other than that, I can't think what could be humorous about your comment.

Davian93
07-15-2009, 04:15 PM
I had been under the impress that you were in the service at some point, but really don't know the details.

Other than that, I can't think what could be humorous about your comment.

I WAS over there...and I, for one, don't take myself that seriously...like most of my friends that are Vets. You need to relax.

Yellowbeard
07-15-2009, 04:19 PM
All of those quotes had more to do with your immature approach to this topic rather than your partisan leanings.

And yet again more attacks.

My philosphy about how to live life (which tends to mold my "partisan leanings") has turned out to be rather successful so far. And yeah, I don't know you very well. I do know that what I intended to be a rather non-serious poking fun sort of thread got me attacked rather personally and rather strongly, very quickly. By people that don't know the first thing about me.

Zanguini
07-15-2009, 04:20 PM
Im a Vet and I dont take my self seriously... but thats okay no one else does either.






Of course I was a weatherman... and no one takes those seriously

StrangePackage
07-15-2009, 04:20 PM
You cannot hold US military forces responsible for things they didn't do. It is not our responsibility that they decided to engage in what is basically a civil war after Saddam was ousted. The civilian casualty figures are so high because they decided to butcher each other.

I will say if the US invasion and occupation had been better planned, organized, and led, we perhaps could have taken more assertive control of the country and prevented the situation from occurring. Perhaps.

There's also no ignoring the fact that the Iranians were instigating events to escalate the violence, not mention the foreign fighters that went to Iraq.

To lay the blame for the carnage at the feet of US actions while ignoring the fact that US forces are not the ones that started the actual fighting between the various Iraqi factions is wrong.

Pottery barn- you break it, you buy it. We broke it, and we are therefor responsible for all the consequences, foreseeable and unforeseeable, that come after. It was not hard to see there might be sectarian violence in an oil rich, ethnically and religiously diverse country in the middle east. I do not blame the US Armed Services- the men and women who serve. I do blame the US Administration- the men and who "plan." Since the United States is a representative democracy, and not a military dictatorship, it is possible to hold the US Government responsible for their failings without laying blame on the US Armed Services which execute their orders. Sorry, you can't wrap yourself in the flag on this one and hide behind the courage of those who serve. In fact, it is precisely because they are brave and honorable that the actions of the US Administration were so abhorrent- our soldiers deserve better.


I'm getting you think it appropriate to tax the hell out of us, our kids, our grandkids, etc. as a response to this. I don't.

I think the more responsible action would have been to let GM, AIG, those hordes of banks that got into trouble through their own devices and bad decisions, etc. suffer the consequences of their own greed.

Of course it would have hurt a lot of people, but I tend to think in terms of solving problems instead of putting them off for my successors to solve. I'd rather take responsiblity now. As a nation, our economy would have recovered without the bailouts eventually, and our successive generations wouldn't be saddled with dealing w/ our mistakes. I think we should bite the bullet instead of passing this mess on to our kids.

I'm glad you're so conscientous and put forward such a long view of history. However, successive generations are always saddled with dealing with the mistakes of their predecessors- Hence, World War II was fought by the sons of those who made the peace of World War I. As far as taking responsibility now, how would you advocate we do that? How are we supposed to feed, clothe, and house the countless unemployed that would result from a total collapse of the banking industry? Are they just going to be taking one for the team? "Taking responsibility now" and "not passing the mess on to the children" are fantastic bumper stickers, but do nothing to address the very real consequences of those actions. Propose a better, more viable alternative to the bailout- since you argue that the average citizen can understand these issues and all their many ramifications perfectly well, you should have no problem articulating your own solutions.

I think it's only a matter before this happens, and it will be worse than it would have been if we had just things run their natural course.

Of course, where I live, with unemployment around 10%, the crippling unemployment problem is already upon us.


That's your opinion. Do you have anything to back it up? I am not saying it wouldn't happen, but you seem to assume a great many things- that the recession is inevitable, that the recovery is equally inevitable, and that 10% unemployment is as bad as it gets. This leads me to believe you really have no good understanding of just how widespread and threatening this economic situation is.

Even when finally answering, you couldn't resist another personal attack. Schweet.

The level of disrespect for ideas other than your own philosophy that you demonstrate is pretty high, but I guess not really surprising now that I think about it.

I have a great deal of respect for opinions other than my own, and for philosophies which I do not espouse. I respect them when they are presented in a polite, forthright, and reasonable way.

I have endless depths of scorn, contrariwise, for petulant little monkeys who want to reduce every argument to a personal squabble.

Make no mistake- it's not your philosophy I disrespect. It's the way you're presenting them that's earning you your current marks. Tone it down.

Sinistrum
07-15-2009, 04:24 PM
Of course I was a weatherman... and no one takes those seriously

Dude, you're paid to be wrong 50% of the time. How can we take you seriously? :p

Terez
07-15-2009, 04:29 PM
If you ask me, majority opinion here is rather heavily tilted toward the right-wing side of the spectrum. Apart from Snow and possibly Gonzo, I don't think we have many posters I could readily identify as radical. Most posters I've heard from generally seem to believe rather strongly (one might even say instinctively) in things like the free market and entrepreneurial capitalism, things I associate with the right (though whether they're actually compatible with genuine conservatism is an entirely different matter). Aye, it is rather instinctive. See Dav's comment on how he grew up playing war with his little buddies, Good Guys vs. Commies (in Jalyn's history thread, iirc). We're raised to believe that socialism is evil, and as we get older, economic arguments are introduced. I live in a very anti-socialism part of the country, so I hear those arguments a lot (especially on Facebook, where people don't expect their arguments to get torn apart, but I see them all the time even here, and might have even made them myself a few times).

PS - I know the difference between socialism and communism, but most people don't so that's rather irrelevant. Or rather, it's the only relevant thing...not sure which...but this issue is what generally brings the Religious Right and the 'fiscal conservatives' together. I think it has been that way since Reagan? Not sure, but that would make the most sense.

Terez
07-15-2009, 04:39 PM
And yet again more attacks. It's Theoryland, get used to it. It's what we do. :D

My philosophy about how to live life (which tends to mold my "partisan leanings") has turned out to be rather successful so far. And yeah, I don't know you very well. I do know that what I intended to be a rather non-serious poking fun sort of thread got me attacked rather personally and rather strongly, very quickly. By people that don't know the first thing about me. There is a very obvious reason for that. All discussions about politics are serious. That's probably Internet Rule #41 or something (and we can make Internet Rule #42 that all discussions about religion are serious). If you're going to take cheap shots, then you need to be prepared to back them up - no one who disagrees with you will take it lightly.

IRL, you have the rule that you don't discuss religion or politics with friends or family unless you all happen to agree on everything (or you're one of those people that doesn't mind pretending to agree). That's what a lot of us love about message boards - they're places where we can discuss these things.

Internet Rule #whatever is that chain emails are dumb. It's not a very good way to start an argument on a message board (though you can feel free to email them to all of your friends that like that sort of thing). Snopes makes a living off of chain emails.

Zanguini
07-15-2009, 04:41 PM
Dude, you're paid to be wrong 50% of the time. How can we take you seriously? :p

Oh no... I was paid to be wrong 25% of the time ... much better than 50% .... then again ... i knew how to bend the stats...

tanaww
07-15-2009, 04:45 PM
Im a Vet and I dont take my self seriously... but thats okay no one else does either.






Of course I was a weatherman... and no one takes those seriously

It's not the weatherman part. It's the Air Force part. And your unreasonable fondness for Special Ed Conference football.

John Snow
07-15-2009, 04:48 PM
YB said "Based on the way the context of his statement...he definitely has a grandiose opinion of his raaadical political beliefs, but grandiosity is pretty typical of radicals, so is to be expected."

regarding me.....amusing from a couple of angles. He's proved touchy about what he perceives as personal attacks, but it sure sounds like he's doing that to me. There's a sweeping generality in there as well, nearly as bad a fallacy as ad hominem. And I don't recall saying anything whatsoever that gives a basis for the description. The slightly ungrammatical phrase "Based on the way the context of his statement.." doesn't really help me out much. Maybe there's a wikipedia entry on radicals and grandiosity? Anyway, YB, look up radical, explore a bit what I'm talking about. You may be working from some inadequate preconceptions.

Crispin's Crispian
07-15-2009, 04:52 PM
And yet again more attacks.

My philosphy about how to live life (which tends to mold my "partisan leanings") has turned out to be rather successful so far. And yeah, I don't know you very well. I do know that what I intended to be a rather non-serious poking fun sort of thread got me attacked rather personally and rather strongly, very quickly. By people that don't know the first thing about me.

Two things, then. The first is that Terez's comment was hardly a personal attack. Calling your approach immature is a judgement of your post, and probably some of your responses so far.

That plays right in to the second point, which is that the thread you started in such light-hearted fun is really nothing but a big attack on Obama. Make up your mind: are you attacking, or just having a friendly discussion?

I happen to be enjoying this discussion, not because of the vapid one-liners, but watching it evolve. I hope you'll continue to play along. One piece of advice: fire something funny back at them. No one will call you a hypocrite. Well, someone will, but the rest of us won't take it seriously.

Uno
07-15-2009, 05:18 PM
Aye, it is rather instinctive. See Dav's comment on how he grew up playing war with his little buddies, Good Guys vs. Commies (in Jalyn's history thread, iirc). We're raised to believe that socialism is evil, and as we get older, economic arguments are introduced.

My point is simply that while I agree with Yellowbeard that there's not a lot of diversity of ideological opinion here, I disagree with his feeling that the left, rather than the right, tends to predominate.

Americans didn't own the Cold War, though. My country's bordering on Russia, and we knew dashed well that we'd be the front as soon as NATO and the Warsaw Pact clashed. Violations of our airspace and territorial waters were hardly uncommon in the 1980s. Hell, when I entered the army, four years after the dissolution of the Soviet Union, we were still training to fight the Russians.

Terez
07-15-2009, 05:23 PM
Americans didn't own the Cold War, though.
No one said we did, I don't think (I admit to having skimmed this thread), but we are sort of predominant here.

My country's bordering on Russia
And Sarah Palin can see it from her back yard!

Uno
07-15-2009, 05:33 PM
And Sarah Palin can see it from her back yard!

Well, I imagine that's the kind of flippant response Yellowbeard is reacting to. From a strategic point of view, it does matter rather a lot who your neighbors are. During the Cold War, there were massive Soviet troop concentrations and military installations at the Norwegian border. The Soviet North Fleet was stationed at Murmansk, and hunting for Soviet submarines actually became a bit of an annual summer event in the early 80s. During the Prague Spring, mechanized divisions actually rolled up to the very edge of the border and deliberately and conspicuously targeted the Norwegian border guards. That was reality during the Cold War, not a vague Palinesque sense that Russia is out there somewhere, and that's actually a lot closer and more immediate of a threat than most Americans experienced at the time.

Zanguini
07-15-2009, 05:37 PM
And your unreasonable fondness for Special Ed Conference football.

Ahhh your just jealous because the SEC got a TV contract with ESPN/ABC worth 3 Billion (thats Billion with a B) over 15 seasons. Oh and because the SEC has had 5 national champions since the BCS and every other conference has had 6 combined. and that the SEC is undefeated in said championship game.

John Snow
07-15-2009, 05:43 PM
Ok, here's one of my favorite descriptions of radical (thanks, Plaid Adder) (assume she's talking to me, although we're both radicals):

"As you and I understand it, being “liberal” means that you accept the current system of government, but that you would like to see everyone be able to participate in and benefit from that system on an equal basis. In other words, you don’t want to change the game, but you want there to be a level playing field. Being radical means that you find the system itself inherently flawed and you want to tear the whole thing out by the roots and build a new one. If we go by that definition, then I’m liberal, whereas you are radical. You follow me so far?

Now what happened in this country during and after the 1988 election is that the Republican party managed to capture all of these terms and recreate them, so that now “conservative” means “extremist,” “‘moderate” means “conservative,” “liberal” means “radical,” and “radical” means “dangerous lunatic.”
/end description

Uno
07-15-2009, 05:53 PM
Ok, here's one of my favorite descriptions of radical (thanks, Plaid Adder) (assume she's talking to me, although we're both radicals):

"As you and I understand it, being “liberal” means that you accept the current system of government, but that you would like to see everyone be able to participate in and benefit from that system on an equal basis. In other words, you don’t want to change the game, but you want there to be a level playing field. Being radical means that you find the system itself inherently flawed and you want to tear the whole thing out by the roots and build a new one. If we go by that definition, then I’m liberal, whereas you are radical. You follow me so far?

Now what happened in this country during and after the 1988 election is that the Republican party managed to capture all of these terms and recreate them, so that now “conservative” means “extremist,” “‘moderate” means “conservative,” “liberal” means “radical,” and “radical” means “dangerous lunatic.”
/end description


But to complicate things, in the rest of the world (and in the language of political science) "liberal" often means that you're a strong adherent of laissez-faire, that you have an ideological commitment to capitalism, which many conservatives do not, as they perceive capitalism as a threat to tradition and culture. Of course, the US Democratic Party has traditionally been strongly pro-capitalist. Even LBJ, the ultimate liberal, was at heart a firm believer in the basic soundness of the American economic system.

Terez
07-15-2009, 05:55 PM
Well, I imagine that's the kind of flippant response Yellowbeard is reacting to.
He started the thread pretty flippantly, so I'm not so worried about him. You always respond to me with lectures...I'm not sure I've ever had a real discussion with you...so the response seemed appropriate. :)

Uno
07-15-2009, 05:57 PM
He started the thread pretty flippantly, so I'm not so worried about him. You always respond to me with lectures...I'm not sure I've ever had a real discussion with you...so the response seemed appropriate. :)

Yeah, but I'm a professor, so I can't help but respond to everything with lectures. Snow does much the same thing. Like other things previously mentioned, it's instinctual.

Davian93
07-15-2009, 06:00 PM
Ironically, I quite enjoy living in a Socialist state. VT is probably one of the few States that has a legitimate Socialist Party (We call them "Progressives") and our Democratic Party is not far behind them on the Ideology chart. Our "Republican" governor is probably further to the Left than more Dems so we don't particularly have a legit Right wing up here.

We do have minimal industry, massive subsidies, a state wide welfare/healthcare net for the indigent and a very very small middle class. VT has basically squeezed out middle class living due to high housing costs and a lack of middle-rung jobs. We do have a fairly large amount of lower class blue collar jobs but they are still pretty environmentally friendly and a fairly large upper class that gets bent over on taxes (both income and property). And we completely screw all the Leafers that own ski chalets up here as their property taxes are downright vicious compared to primary homes.

But it works and I really think the quality of life is far higher than places like Virginia, Washington or Pennsylvania (other places I've lived). Massachusetts (I lived there too) has a lot of issues but their Socialist leaning model works pretty well when you get down to it (Hopper might disagree). Those obnoxious & costly programs suck when you don't need them but when you do lose your job its damn nice to have a safety net like them to fall back on. All systems get abused, right wing and left wing...its all a matter of who does the abusing (Big companies/millionaires) or the little guy (everyone else).

Thoughts?

And YB, I was just F#*#ing with you. And I'll probably keep doing it if you rise to the bait.

Terez
07-15-2009, 06:04 PM
Yeah, but I'm a professor, so I can't help but respond to everything with lectures. Snow does much the same thing. Like other things previously mentioned, it's instinctual.
Most of my professors encourage the students to participate in the lecture, though. But I understand you don't get to blow off your real students all that often, so you probably yearn for it. I've had some professors get angsty with me because I corrected them on something, though (even though I think I was pretty diplomatic about it).

I'll be a professor one day...if I can make it through 8 more years of school...

Uno
07-15-2009, 06:09 PM
All systems get abused, right wing and left wing...its all a matter of who does the abusing (Big companies/millionaires) or the little guy (everyone else).


That's a damn fine point I've been making for years. Far too often, the opponents of welfare arrangements point to indvidual instances of abuse, as if these somehow invalidate the entire system. As you point out, abuses merely show that the system isn't perfect, much like everything else. The possibility that a small minority may abuse the system is not a good reason to scrap programs that do a lot of good for a far larger (and basically honest) majority. If a system had to be free of abuse to be worthy of life, then you'd have to get rid of such things as the military, the judiciary, and the police, which have often been subject to endemic abuses by dishonest personell.

Uno
07-15-2009, 06:16 PM
Most of my professors encourage the students to participate in the lecture, though. But I understand you don't get to blow off your real students all that often, so you probably yearn for it. I've had some professors get angsty with me because I corrected them on something, though (even though I think I was pretty diplomatic about it).

I'll be a professor one day...if I can make it through 8 more years of school...

Sure, but if you haven't done assigned homework and are just trying to fill my classroom with BS, neither I nor the rest of the class should have to take much heed of your views. Only informed opinions or honest questions really promote learning.

Uno
07-15-2009, 06:54 PM
Two things, then. The first is that Terez's comment was hardly a personal attack. Calling your approach immature is a judgement of your post, and probably some of your responses so far.

To be fair to Yellowbeard, I don't think you can really draw a real distinction between labeling someone's opinions and labeling that person. If I say that your ideas are stupid, I'm basically calling you a bit daft, even though I may deny it. At any rate, just calling something "crap" (which was one of the first comments this thread elicited) is rather meaningless and hollow in itself, and can only be designed to belittle. Instead, you might say why you disagree with this approach, pointing out relevant and concrete shortcomings without resorting to name-calling or profanities. That would be a mature way to handle disagreements, in my view.

Yellowbeard
07-15-2009, 06:54 PM
Just wanted to say this has been a rather entertaining exercise, kept me occupied all day work while I was literally w/out (abbreviation using the foreslash is especially for Naz).

At home now, but going out to catch a show and drink, so unfortunately I won't be able to continue this tonight. As I'm about to switch jobs to a new employer and my work load is very light until my last day w/ current employer, I'll have plenty of time to continue this tomorrow.

Jalyn
07-15-2009, 07:05 PM
I didn't particularly want to post in this thread. Seriously though? The double standard is absolutely amazing. Can you imagine the comedy reels if GWB had:

- tried to walk in to the White House through the window
- hit his head on a helicopter trying to get in
- tripped walking through a doorway
- had numerous teleprompter gaffes
- Thanked himself for inviting him to St Pat's party because he was reading someone else's speech (I've never seen the video for this, as far as I know it's never been released.)
- Introduced people multiple times in one speech
- (I'm not looking up the other ones, these are the things I can pull from the top of my head)
- Insulted the special olympics
- Given the Gordon Brown DVDs that he can't play at home
- This isn't a comprehensive list, these are the things I thought of in the 5 minutes that it took me to write the post.

I'm not even going to the general liberal mindset with this, I'm talking about the media. Every television show would have had a clip, every late night comedian would have used each of those as fodder for jokes for - well, they'd still be using them... Ford tripped once and was a bumbling klutz from that point on. With Obama, he's the epitome of grace and eloquence - even if there are numerous examples of him being anything but - and there's certainly just nothing funny about him.

Crispin's Crispian
07-15-2009, 07:05 PM
To be fair to Yellowbeard, I don't think you can really draw a real distinction between labeling someone's opinions and labeling that person. If I say that your ideas are stupid, I'm basically calling you a bit daft, even though I may deny it.

That's crap, Uno.

Ahem. But really, I disagree with you. I happen to think a lot of people have shitty arguments at Theoryland--hell, it's why I stuck around for the first five years--but that doesn't mean I think the people are shitty or stupid.

My point is simply that while I agree with Yellowbeard that there's not a lot of diversity of ideological opinion here, I disagree with his feeling that the left, rather than the right, tends to predominate.Theoryland is far more diverse than it was many years ago. Sure, there was a time when I was one of the most radical posters on the board, but that would be almost laughable now.* Either the left-leaners have gotten louder, or we just have more of them. Maybe not enough to qualify us for Norway, but still significant.


* My views have been tempered a lot since my first days here, as well Or, rather, I've embraced the dark side a bit more. I've always thought capitalism was a great system, but the degree to which I believe the government should regulate it has decreased.

Crispin's Crispian
07-15-2009, 07:09 PM
I didn't particularly want to post in this thread. Seriously though? The double standard is absolutely amazing. Can you imagine the comedy reels if GWB had:

- tried to walk in to the White House through the window
- hit his head on a helicopter trying to get in
- tripped walking through a doorway
- had numerous teleprompter gaffes
- Thanked himself for inviting him to St Pat's party because he was reading someone else's speech (I've never seen the video for this, as far as I know it's never been released.)
- Introduced people multiple times in one speech
- (I'm not looking up the other ones, these are the things I can pull from the top of my head)
- Insulted the special olympics
- Given the Gordon Brown DVDs that he can't play at home
- This isn't a comprehensive list, these are the things I thought of in the 5 minutes that it took me to write the post.

I'm not even going to the general liberal mindset with this, I'm talking about the media. Every television show would have had a clip, every late night comedian would have used each of those as fodder for jokes for - well, they'd still be using them... Ford tripped once and was a bumbling klutz from that point on. With Obama, he's the epitome of grace and eloquence - even if there are numerous examples of him being anything but - and there's certainly just nothing funny about him.

Conversely, GW screwed up so often that those clips stopped being funny after the first couple years. It's not a liberal media problem. Look at all the coverage of Clinton's irrelevant personal life--and very little of it was supportive.

The argument that, "if X would have said that, there would be an uproar amongst the gay pro-choice environmentalist athiest lobby" is actually pretty weak. You hear it ALL the time, and certainly from both the left and the right. It's annoying in both cases.

Uno
07-15-2009, 07:18 PM
That's crap, Uno.

Ahem. But really, I disagree with you. I happen to think a lot of people have shitty arguments at Theoryland--hell, it's why I stuck around for the first five years--but that doesn't mean I think the people are shitty or stupid.


Just calling someone's argument "crap," "stupid," or similar is rather impolite (and, of course, intended to offend, whether or not you actually admit that it is), and it's also just lazy. You can make your disagreement clear in other ways, by pointing out the flaws in the other person's reasoning or approach. That admittedly takes a bit more effort than just hurling insulting labels, but if you're not willing to put in even a modicum of work, maybe you just shouldn't reply to the post in question.

As to the amount of ideological diversity, I'd still say it's rather tiny. There's a lot of disagreement about specific policies, but the ideological assumptions of Theorylanders seem rather uniform to me. If anything, I'd say they've gotten less diverse.

Terez
07-15-2009, 07:19 PM
Sure, but if you haven't done assigned homework and are just trying to fill my classroom with BS, neither I nor the rest of the class should have to take much heed of your views. Only informed opinions or honest questions really promote learning.
My opinion was honest and informed. Your response to it had nothing to do with showing that it was not - it had to do with rebutting arguments that I didn't make.

Uno
07-15-2009, 07:23 PM
My opinion was honest and informed. Your response to it had nothing to do with showing that it was not - it had to do with rebutting arguments that I didn't make.

Excuse me? Your statement that you and apparently Davian had grown up in an atmosphere coloured by the communist threat could reasonably be interpreted to mean that I didn't know what that was like. That's why I informed you that I did. If you didn't mean to say that, then I can't for the life of me see the purpose of that post.

Ivhon
07-15-2009, 07:23 PM
Some thoughts:

Why are taxes inherently evil and the only thing to be done is cut them? With the conservative/Republicans rushing to outdo each other to be the most anti-tax we would end up in a nation with no revenue. Personally, I think tax code should be fluid. Sometimes (as in right now) you need to raise them to meet short-term necessities. Other times, you need to cut them. One thing I categorically despise is tax-cuts and loopholes for the rich/major corporations that get shunted onto the middle/lower class/small businesses.

Why is aggressive foreign policy the best foreign policy? Again, with McCain and the other hawks rushing to be the biggest chest-thumper, that road would lead to WWIII for insulting any American citizen. I think you threaten and swing your stick as last resorts - nations respond to threats and violence no better than individuals do, and if you threaten or beat me, Im not liable to want to do what you want me to do.

Why is it that American practice is better in all cases than what other nations do? Our Democracy is de-facto better. Our health care is better. Our education is better. We have nothing to learn from other countries. Clearly - especially in the cases of health care and education - we have a lot to learn from *gasp* socialist countries.

And just to bring religion into a politics thread: :p

I wonder what group has the higher incidence of moral failing (child molestation, stealing, embezzlement, cheating on spouses, etc) - Christian clergy or atheists?

irerancincpkc
07-15-2009, 07:55 PM
And yeah, I don't know you very well. I do know that what I intended to be a rather non-serious poking fun sort of thread got me attacked rather personally and rather strongly, very quickly. By people that don't know the first thing about me.
If we don't know the first thing about you, like you state, than all we have to go on is what you post, and what you posted is a generic, Fox News Breaking News style chain-mail. So there you go...

Ozymandias
07-15-2009, 08:00 PM
Why are taxes inherently evil and the only thing to be done is cut them?

because it lessens the amount of money I can make, and the amount of happiness I can buy.

And no, there was no sarcasm there. I think there is a very identifiable link between financial security and quality of life

With the conservative/Republicans rushing to outdo each other to be the most anti-tax we would end up in a nation with no revenue.

And historically, this is a perfectly valid political philosophy. Our national debt is the unfortunate result of conservatives who want to woo voters by providing government services without having any way for paying for them. Clinton was a responsible Prez because he taxed as he spent. Reagan and the Bushes have been horrendous Presidents because they've spent without taxing. Oh, and pandered to a group of hypocritical and generally ignorant white Christians, but thats off topic

Personally, I think tax code should be fluid. Sometimes (as in right now) you need to raise them to meet short-term necessities. Other times, you need to cut them. One thing I categorically despise is tax-cuts and loopholes for the rich/major corporations that get shunted onto the middle/lower class/small businesses.

I wouldn't sweat that, thats a talking point used to demonize rich people, because they're easy targets and tend not to care (because they're rich). The wealthiest 5% of taxpayers pay about two thirds of income taxes, despite making only 20-25% of the national income.

They might even deserve those breaks.

Why is aggressive foreign policy the best foreign policy? Again, with McCain and the other hawks rushing to be the biggest chest-thumper, that road would lead to WWIII for insulting any American citizen.

Because only through trumping up silly foreign "slights" can a neocon distract from a domestic agenda which involves unabashed running up of national debt for no reason (contrast with Obama who has a very clear and lucid explanation for his spending) and a Christian agenda which looks to enforce white, middle-aged Christian values on a population increasingly not white, middle-aged, and Protestant.

Why is it that American practice is better in all cases than what other nations do?

Objectively, I would say because our system has given better results than any other

I wonder what group has the higher incidence of moral failing (child molestation, stealing, embezzlement, cheating on spouses, etc) - Christian clergy or atheists

Probably isn't a huge statistical difference. The problem s that the atheists don't walk around harassing and denouncing the Christians as child molesters and criminals destined for Hell merely because of their belief system (or lack thereof). Blatant hypocrisy multiplies the offensiveness of the crime. Atheists can hike the Appalachian Trail all they want, they're not trying to deny gays and women rights over their own bodies and private lives after coming back from said hike, refreshed and chipper

Jalyn
07-15-2009, 08:10 PM
Some thoughts:

Why are taxes inherently evil and the only thing to be done is cut them? With the conservative/Republicans rushing to outdo each other to be the most anti-tax we would end up in a nation with no revenue.

A) Taxation is theft. No one has a right to take the wages, goods, or leisure that you have earned from you because you earned them, not someone else. There is some slight justification in the theft merely because you are part of a society and benefit from the money being used (well, you know, when they aren't using it to destroy your economy, health care system, etc.) The thing is, it's no longer actually possible to opt out of the system. There is no place that I can go where they aren't going to spend money on things that I don't want or need and steal from me to do it.

B) Taxation takes money out of the private system and puts it in the hands of the government - which is inherently less efficient than a private system for most things. It means that instead of hiring more people to work in their business or investing in upgrades to their machinery, software, training or infrastructure, a company has to give the money to the government. It means that, instead of putting a down payment on a house, buying a new car or investing for retirement portions of a workers wages go to the government.


Personally, I think tax code should be fluid. Sometimes (as in right now) you need to raise them to meet short-term necessities. Other times, you need to cut them. One thing I categorically despise is tax-cuts and loopholes for the rich/major corporations that get shunted onto the middle/lower class/small businesses.

Increasing taxation in the middle of a recession is a disastrous idea. Taking money out of the private sector when businesses are scrabbling to keep people employed and people are desperately trying to hold on to their homes will drive us further down.

As for tax-cuts and loopholes... The very wealthy and the corporations already pay the majority of the taxes in the United States. Cutting their taxes so that they are closer to mine isn't something that bothers me.

Why is aggressive foreign policy the best foreign policy? Again, with McCain and the other hawks rushing to be the biggest chest-thumper, that road would lead to WWIII for insulting any American citizen. I think you threaten and swing your stick as last resorts - nations respond to threats and violence no better than individuals do, and if you threaten or beat me, Im not liable to want to do what you want me to do.

It's not. But the ability to be aggressive if it becomes necessary is a vital part of national security. Actually BEING a paper tiger is not a good idea.

Why is it that American practice is better in all cases than what other nations do? Our Democracy is de-facto better. Our health care is better. Our education is better. We have nothing to learn from other countries. Clearly - especially in the cases of health care and education - we have a lot to learn from *gasp* socialist countries.

Our democracy sucks and I can't figure out how to fix it. I don't know enough about the other systems to know if they suck as bad.

Our health care IS better. Our health care payment system is broken and needs to be fixed, but our health care is just fine, at least unless we let the insurance companies or the government break it.

Who says that our education is better? I don't know that I've ever met someone who thought that. Certainly not any conservatives.

And just to bring religion into a politics thread: :p

I wonder what group has the higher incidence of moral failing (child molestation, stealing, embezzlement, cheating on spouses, etc) - Christian clergy or atheists?
Meh, don't care, but if pressed I would guess that it's about equal. People are people.

Terez
07-15-2009, 08:13 PM
Excuse me? Your statement that you and apparently Davian had grown up in an atmosphere coloured by the communist threat could reasonably be interpreted to mean that I didn't know what that was like.
Reasonably? Not at all, I don't think - especially since I made it pretty clear that I was agreeing with you - agreeing, and elaborating on your points. That was the purpose of the post. ;) I'm at a loss as to why you would jump to the conclusion that I was suggesting that you don't know what it's like.

Davian93
07-15-2009, 08:15 PM
A) Taxation is theft. No one has a right to take the wages, goods, or leisure that you have earned from you because you earned them, not someone else. There is some slight justification in the theft merely because you are part of a society and benefit from the money being used (well, you know, when they aren't using it to destroy your economy, health care system, etc.) The thing is, it's no longer actually possible to opt out of the system. There is no place that I can go where they aren't going to spend money on things that I don't want or need and steal from me to do it.

Then you might want to start building your own bridges, highways, schools, fight your own crime, put out fires, protect against invasion, grow your own crops, not fly (airlines are subsidized), sanitize your water, install your own water mains, dams, water towers, and all the other infrastructure that taxes provide. Its not stealing if you use any of those things...which of course you do since its impossible to live without them.

Jalyn
07-15-2009, 08:23 PM
Then you might want to start building your own bridges, highways, schools, fight your own crime, put out fires, protect against invasion, grow your own crops, not fly (airlines are subsidized), sanitize your water, install your own water mains, dams, water towers, and all the other infrastructure that taxes provide. Its not stealing if you use any of those things...which of course you do since its impossible to live without them.

Of course it is stealing. I don't have a choice on whether they take my money. I can, in some extremely limited ways, influence how much they take and how they spend it, but I can't stop them from taking it. That's why I very specifically mentioned that there is no way to opt out. I also noted that the inability to not use all of those things provided a slight justification for the theft.

If someone goes into my bank account takes out $1000 bucks and then spends $100 to paint my home for me, does the fact that I don't scrape the paint off of the walls mean that he hasn't stolen from me?

Uno
07-15-2009, 08:24 PM
Reasonably? Not at all, I don't think - especially since I made it pretty clear that I was agreeing with you - agreeing, and elaborating on your points. That was the purpose of the post. ;) I'm at a loss as to why you would jump to the conclusion that I was suggesting that you don't know what it's like.

If I was wrong in this case, which I'm not sure I was, then that probably stems from experience with similar attitudes and wrong-headed assumptions in the past.

Uno
07-15-2009, 08:28 PM
Of course it is stealing. I don't have a choice on whether they take my money. I can, in some extremely limited ways, influence how much they take and how they spend it, but I can't stop them from taking it. That's why I very specifically mentioned that there is no way to opt out. I also noted that the inability to not use all of those things provided a slight justification for the theft.

If someone goes into my bank account takes out $1000 bucks and then spends $100 to paint my home for me, does the fact that I don't scrape the paint off of the walls mean that he hasn't stolen from me?

Theft is a crime. A modern government has the power to write laws at will and thus define what is and is not a crime, including theft. So, basically, it's not theft when the government says so. But, then, you could say that property rights as we understand them are also the result of governmental action, so the government giveth and the government taketh.

Jalyn
07-15-2009, 08:32 PM
Theft is a crime. A modern government has the power to write laws at will and thus define what is and is not a crime, including theft. So, basically, it's not theft when the government says so. But, then, you could say that property rights as we understand them are also the result of governmental action, so the government giveth and the government taketh.

I love semantics, but that's pushing it. We certainly have concepts of stealing and theft that are not criminal. How many young girls have "stolen" another girl's boyfriend? How about if I steal your parking spot? Theft/stealing simply refers to someone taking something that is rightfully another person's. The legal bit is a semi-related concept with the same word.

Only if you believe that government gives the right to property rather than merely enforcing it. (When they feel like they want to.)

Davian93
07-15-2009, 08:34 PM
I love semantics, but that's pushing it. We certainly have concepts of stealing and theft that are not criminal. How many young girls have "stolen" another girl's boyfriend? How about if I steal your parking spot? Theft/stealing simply refers to someone taking something that is rightfully another person's. The legal bit is a semi-related concept with the same word.

Only if you believe that government gives the right to property rather than merely enforcing it. (When they feel like they want to.)

All's fair in love and war...and taxes apparently.

Uno
07-15-2009, 08:37 PM
I love semantics, but that's pushing it. We certainly have concepts of stealing and theft that are not criminal. How many young girls have "stolen" another girl's boyfriend? How about if I steal your parking spot? Theft/stealing simply refers to someone taking something that is rightfully another person's. The legal bit is a semi-related concept with the same word.

Only if you believe that government gives the right to property rather than merely enforcing it. (When they feel like they want to.)

But who defines what "rightfully" means, if not the law, which is rather malleable in the hands of a modern state? If "rightful ownership" is not codified, then there's going to be different opinions on what that means, so there's no telling what is or is not theft.

Ivhon
07-15-2009, 08:40 PM
B) Taxation takes money out of the private system and puts it in the hands of the government - which is inherently less efficient than a private system for most things. It means that instead of hiring more people to work in their business or investing in upgrades to their machinery, software, training or infrastructure, a company has to give the money to the government. It means that, instead of putting a down payment on a house, buying a new car or investing for retirement portions of a workers wages go to the government.



I begin to disagree that the private sector is by definition more efficient than the government. Private sector greed and profiteering (and talk about thievery....) can easily match or exceed government waste. I would argue that this very point has led us to where we are vis-a-vis financial markets, health-care (more in a sec) and to lesser extents housing and the auto industry.


[/quote=Jalyn]


Our health care IS better. Our health care payment system is broken and needs to be fixed, but our health care is just fine, at least unless we let the insurance companies or the government break it.
[/QUOTE]

Our health care technology is better. However, the hospital MBA's and the insurance industry have broken it entirely. One small example, I got rejected for a normal checkup by my insurance carrier. Private sector collusion between insurance, pharmaceutical and managed care have left us with the mess that we have. The government could not exhibit enough inefficiency to counter the ripoff we are currently being shafted with. For-profit health-care (more than frivolous lawsuits) is what leaves us with overtesting - hospitals and doctors are paid by the test. They charge a ridiculous amount and justify it by saying "insurance will pick it up." Which of course it doesnt. And never mind the non-stop drug pushing you get on every commercial break on TV. Got the whole cabal making up new problems to sell us a pill for.

So yes. Our healthcare is FAR worse than socialist Europe.

Jalyn
07-15-2009, 08:58 PM
I begin to disagree that the private sector is by definition more efficient than the government. Private sector greed and profiteering can easily match or exceed government waste. I would argue that this very point has led us to where we are vis-a-vis financial markets, health-care (more in a sec) and to lesser extents housing and the auto industry.

Greed is what makes the private sector more efficient. They can only charge what the customer is willing to pay - they can't just take more from the populace at large. Therefore, because they want to make profits, they have to do things efficiently. If they don't they fail. Strike that. They should fail.


Our health care technology is better. However, the hospital MBA's and the insurance industry have broken it entirely. One small example, I got rejected for a normal checkup by my insurance carrier. Private sector collusion between insurance, pharmaceutical and managed care have left us with the mess that we have. The government could not exhibit enough inefficiency to counter the ripoff we are currently being shafted with. For-profit health-care (more than frivolous lawsuits) is what leaves us with overtesting - hospitals and doctors are paid by the test. They charge a ridiculous amount and justify it by saying "insurance will pick it up." Which of course it doesnt. And never mind the non-stop drug pushing you get on every commercial break on TV. Got the whole cabal making up new problems to sell us a pill for.

So yes. Our healthcare is FAR worse than socialist Europe.

Note my very clear statement "Our health care payment system is broken." We agree on the problem, and radically disagree on the solution.

For-profit health care is also what makes our health care technology (and services!) better. People don't invent or maintain equipment or drugs if they aren't going to make a profit from it. The problem isn't that the health care providers make money, it's that the health care payment system doesn't force most people to make choices about their health care that include price. Add to that the horrendous amounts of malpractice insurance that providers have to carry, and it means that actual prices skyrocket.

Jalyn
07-15-2009, 09:20 PM
But who defines what "rightfully" means, if not the law, which is rather malleable in the hands of a modern state? If "rightful ownership" is not codified, then there's going to be different opinions on what that means, so there's no telling what is or is not theft.

(Nice ;) This one's taking a few minutes...)

This still presumes that property rights are a function of the government and not inherent. This would only come up in matters of dispute. Most reasonable people, with or without a law to the codify it, would agree that someone who walked into my home and took my television, that I had paid for with money I earned without infringing anyone else's property rights, had stolen from me. Now, if I had paid the person that took my TV $15 for it and he later found out that it was worth $1500, came into my house, took the tv and left $15, reasonable people might disagree on whether it is theft. The thing is, you only need government to make the clarification in such grey areas, the rest are determinations that we make all the time before the government gets involved.

If I walk into the house and see that my TV is gone, I know that someone has stolen it, I don't need to call the police to have them verify that this is indeed a theft.

Brita
07-15-2009, 09:20 PM
because it lessens the amount of money I can make, and the amount of happiness I can buy.

And no, there was no sarcasm there. I think there is a very identifiable link between financial security and quality of life


Yes, to quality of life, but that doesn't correlate to happiness, the research generally shows. Some studies show an increase in happiness to a certain income level (i.e. enough money to get you out of poverty) but once that line is crossed, money does not seem to make a huge difference in a person's overall feeling of well being. This (http://www.muzi.com/library/ar/english/125830.shtml) is an interesting article on the topic.

Uno
07-15-2009, 09:37 PM
The thing is, you only need government to make the clarification in such grey areas, the rest are determinations that we make all the time before the government gets involved.

It's often reasonably clear when it comes to moveable property, but when it comes to real property, that is, land, modern ideas of absolute property rights are in a very real sense the direct result of governmental action. Historically speaking, the emergence of absolute property rights in land, which is, after all, the most fundamental basis for the economy, is directly related to the growth of the modern state. The state created the idea that you could have absolute property in land to facilitate economic growth, so you could say that the state has a certain right to benefit from any income derived from this newfound property regimen. It is, after all, the state's creation. That's why I suggested that the state giveth and taketh away.

At any rate, the state's right to steal is only one of its extraordinary powers. It can also murder (we call it execution or war), abduct (we call it imprisonment), and generally use various levels of force it denies to anyone else. If it can legitimately murder, why not steal?

StrangePackage
07-15-2009, 09:47 PM
I love semantics, but that's pushing it. We certainly have concepts of stealing and theft that are not criminal. How many young girls have "stolen" another girl's boyfriend? How about if I steal your parking spot? Theft/stealing simply refers to someone taking something that is rightfully another person's. The legal bit is a semi-related concept with the same word.

Only if you believe that government gives the right to property rather than merely enforcing it. (When they feel like they want to.)

US Constitution, Article I, Section 8- "The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States;"

America- Love it or leave it. Do you not love America?

Jalyn
07-15-2009, 09:48 PM
It's often reasonably clear when it comes to moveable property, but when it comes to real property, that is, land, modern ideas of absolute property rights are in a very real sense the direct result of governmental action. Historically speaking, the emergence of absolute property rights in land, which is, after all, the most fundamental basis for the economy, is directly related to the growth of the modern state. The state created the idea that you could have absolute property in land to facilitate economic growth, so you could say that the state has a certain right to benefit from any income derived from this newfound property regimen. It is, after all, the state's creation. That's why I suggested that the state giveth and taketh away.

At any rate, the state's right to steal is only one of its extraordinary powers. It can also murder (we call it execution or war), abduct (we call it imprisonment), and generally use various levels of force it denies to anyone else. If it can legitimately murder, why not steal?

I'll have to take your word for the historical precedent. I'd have guessed that cave men were running people that didn't belong out of their cave and away from their fire. ;)

As for the last bit:

I'll agree that capital punishment is murder and illegitimate. War, unless a just self-defense (though in the case of the state, I will allow reasonable proactive self-defense) is mass murder. Imprisonment's harder. I can't call it illegitimate, but can't figure out how to justify the force. I should put some thought into that at some point.

Jalyn
07-15-2009, 09:53 PM
US Constitution, Article I, Section 8- "The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States;"

America- Love it or leave it. Do you not love America?

Meh. Best of bad options - and getting worse. I will never love any government entity. And, again, there is no way to opt out. It's not that I can't afford to buy a private island and tell all the governments of the world to go to hell - there's no where on this planet where they won't expect me to be subservient to some government or another.

Uno
07-15-2009, 09:55 PM
I'll have to take your word for the historical precedent. I'd have guessed that cave men were running people that didn't belong out of their cave and away from their fire. ;)

Well, the cavemen probably were doing that kind of thing. I'm not at all suggesting that the idea that you can own land is at all new, but absolute property in land is a bit different. That is, this piece of land, with all its resources, is yours. That's a rather new idea, as landownership has traditionally come with all sorts of legal and customary limitations. You may have a deed to that woodland, but you can't deny the neighbors access to firewood, fruits, berries, fishing, and so on. Customarily, many natural resources were held to belong to a community in common, not to any particular person. This older form of limited property right makes capitalist development a lot harder, which is a large part of the reason why it has disappeared or been severely weakened in recent centuries, a process that would not have been possible without the active intervention of the state and its legal apparatus.

Uno
07-15-2009, 10:16 PM
Meh. Best of bad options - and getting worse. I will never love any government entity. And, again, there is no way to opt out. It's not that I can't afford to buy a private island and tell all the governments of the world to go to hell - there's no where on this planet where they won't expect me to be subservient to some government or another.

Ok, I may have to retract what I said about a lack of ideological diversity here, as you seem to be an anarchist, of sorts. That's rather neat, in a way. Otherwise, I rather agree. You can't escape. Some government is going to assume you're subject to its authority wherever you are, at least on this planet. But we all know that notions of voluntary covenants and Lockean original contracts are mere fictions, don't we?

Jalyn
07-15-2009, 10:26 PM
Ok, I may have to retract what I said about a lack of ideological diversity here, as you seem to be an anarchist, of sorts. That's rather neat, in a way. Otherwise, I rather agree. You can't escape. Some government is going to assume you're subject to its authority wherever you are, at least on this planet. But we all know that notions of voluntary covenants and Lockean original contracts are mere fictions, don't we?

Not really, I think it's the ideal state but impractical. I'm probably closest to a hawkish libertarian that generally votes Republican because they'll at least lie to me about wanting limited government and have a chance of getting elected. Though if I ever hear that the free state project has legs, I might head out that way.
The inability to opt out is more a philosophical issue than a practical one, the justification for government control is that you opt in by being part of the society. I'm just countering that.

Uno
07-15-2009, 10:38 PM
Not really, I think it's the ideal state but impractical. I'm probably closest to a hawkish libertarian that generally votes Republican because they'll at least lie to me about wanting limited government and have a chance of getting elected. Though if I ever hear that the free state project has legs, I might head out that way.
The inability to opt out is more a philosophical issue than a practical one, the justification for government control is that you opt in by being part of the society. I'm just countering that.

...since the GOP is all for increasing government spending as long as it's on military, libertarian support for the Republicans has always struck me as dashed odd. If you distrust the government so much, why would you want it to be in control of a massive military apparatus?

At any rate, it is not in the interest of the political class to reduce the reach of government. You may be against it while you're in opposition, but once you're in power, the apparatus of state works for you, and it's just too tempting not to increase its size. No matter the professed philosophy of the party in power, government steadily expands.

Sei'taer
07-15-2009, 11:04 PM
I begin to disagree that the private sector is by definition more efficient than the government. Private sector greed and profiteering (and talk about thievery....) can easily match or exceed government waste. I would argue that this very point has led us to where we are vis-a-vis financial markets, health-care (more in a sec) and to lesser extents housing and the auto industry.



Having worked in both, I have to agree with Jalyn on this. You'd be amazed at the waste in gov't. When I worked for a private company they were very tight with money, all your records had to be precise because they wanted to know where money was being spent and why. After all these years in the public sector, I see tons of waste. And simple wasteful spending.

How about this, Our parks department gets a certain amount of money from the feds to maintain and build parks, they are constantly changing and adding new things because if they get 100 grand, spend 99 grand, then the next year they will only get 90 grand, so they throw it at crap projects like fences for parking lots and exotic grasses, etc. I did a project with them once that was a simple restroom at a park. It was re engineered 9 times (at a huge cost, over 50 grand...and to think they call it value engineering...bastards) to move a hot water heater from one side of the building to the other. After the project was complete, they were sued by the ADA because when they finally agreed on the location of the water heater, they made the handicap stalls too small. So what did they do? They paid off the suit, tore the entire structure down (instead of moving the stall wall) and rebuilt it with the water heater in the original location on the very first set of plans. By that time I told the head of the parks dept she could kiss my ass and let them figure it out on their own.

We also had a project come through that was turned down by our stormwater engineer because they were building a path and an observation area in a wetland. They told the engineer to stick it and built it anyway and have currently spent close to half a million fighting TDEC, the EPA and the Corp of Engineers over the destruction of wetlands, and all that money is from the taxpayers.

I also got left behind on a tour in DC once because the tour guide pointed to the Washington Monument and said "look at that, and it's all yours isn't it beautiful? And to think you own something that beautiful." I said, "I own that?" and he said "part of it, yes. Your taxes paid for it so you own a part of it." I said, "I would like sell my part because it is of no use to me." He said, "sir, you can't sell your part." And I said "then I don't own it, dickhead." (I think I've told this story before, haven't I?)

AS for my thoughts on taxes, I've been reading Devvy Kidd for the past couple of years and she has changed my mind on a lot of things. Here's one of my favs and it deals with taxes: (call me a radical...according to Snows Defintion I guess I am)(I know it's long but it's good.)(Link (http://www.devvy.com/notax.html))(damn, it's too long to post so I'll post part and if you want to keep going you can click the link)



Why an Income Tax is Not Necessary
to Fund the U.S. Government



Can this statement possibly be true? In order to answer this question, Americans must first understand what is the source of the money that funds the government and where it goes. Contrary to the sound bites issued by the two mainstream political parties, the reality of how the system actually works will not only open your eyes, but hopefully stimulate the American people to demand that the thievery underway come to an end.

Where do your "income" tax dollars go?

The best place to look for an answer to this question would be a government report, so let's take just one at random:

President's Private Sector Survey On Cost Control
A Report to The President (Reagan)

January 15, 1984. Available from the Congressional Research Service.
The excerpt below can be found on page 12.

"Importantly, any meaningful increases in taxes from personal income would have to come from lower and middle income families, as 90% of all personal taxable income is generated below the taxable income level of $35,000.

Further, there isn't much more that can be extracted from high income brackets. If the
Government took 100% of all taxable income beyond the $75,000 tax bracket not already taxed, it would get only $17 billion, and this confiscation, which would destroy productive enterprise, would only be sufficient to run the Government for several days.

Resistance to additional income taxes would be even more widespread if people were aware that:

With two-thirds of everyone's personal income taxes wasted or not collected, 100% of what is collected is absorbed solely by interest on the Federal Government contributions to transfer payments.

In other words, all individual income tax revenues are gone before one nickel is spent on the services which taxpayers expect from their government."

So what we have is a central bank issuing worthless paper "money" that controls our economy, our lives and our future. This private banking cartel was unconstitutionally granted this power by a devious, scheming group of senators back in 1913. In essence what they did was place the American people into indentured servitude by forcing The People to pay usury on worthless fiat currency (paper money created out of nothing), not to fund the government, but to enrich the bankers and fund wars in which America should never be involved. This system exists not to fund the government, but to allow the U.S. Congress carte blanche power to continue funding unconstitutional agencies and programs by providing them with a bottomless source of worthless ink.

The National Debt and the Deficit

These two little bookkeeping items are not the same thing. Few Americans actually know the difference, but the difference is quite important. We continually hear members of Congress, president after president, and political pundits call for "reduction in the debt." But what does that really mean? Here's how it works in the most simplified way to fit into this document:

Let's say that for 2002, Congress and the President decide they want $1.7 trillion dollars to fund this bloated pig called our government. We know that 100% of all personal "income" taxes extorted by the IRS goes to the "Federal" Reserve Banking System and does not fund a single function of the government. So, let's take the people's blood and sweat off the table.

What other revenues does the government collect? Corporate taxes, social security taxes, constitutional revenues such as excise taxes on cigarettes, alcohol, tobacco, firearms, tires, etc., tariffs on trade, military hardware sales, and some minor categories. Let's say that those revenues will total $900 billion dollars. The politicians want $1.7 trillion to spend on their favorite welfare programs, wars and foreign welfare, but have a short fall of $800 billion dollars. This is called the deficit and the deficit, created by the spending of Congress, creates the "national debt."

How? Because the politicians are $800 billion dollars short, they simply call up Al Greenspan and borrow your children's and grand babies' futures. The "Federal" Reserve Banks don't loan anything of value to Congress. They aren't banks; they're really an overpaid, powerful, private accounting service. When that $800 billion dollars worth of ink is transferred to the Treasury, it gets piled on top of the existing "national debt."

This is how the magical money machine works. Congress overspends. It borrows from this accounting firm called the "Fed" and then turns around and tells you to pay for these crimes against the people. In other words, Congress basically pays the bills with social security and borrowed ink from the "Fed." Pretty slick scam, wouldn't you say?

The people of America are also responsible to a large degree for this out-of-control spending. Americans have been bred to a welfare dependent mentality. Special interest groups who have no interest in the U.S. Constitution, demand that billions of dollars be spent on their pet interests. Billions upon billions of dollars have been unconstitutionally thrown to foreign governments, some days our friend, a week later our enemies. They are only our friend as long as the U.S. throws money at their corrupt governments.

Billions of dollars have unconstitutionally been spent on grants to colleges and universities, which in turn sell their research to the highest bidder, paid for by the sweat off the back of the little guy out in America. No, they don't return any back to the little guy who funded these studies and research programs.

As long as the American people themselves condone continued unconstitutional spending by Congress, the longer they will violate their oath of office, and continue to fund unconstitutional expenditures, placing your children and grand babies in a state of unpayable, massive debt.

Unless The People demand an end to this insanity, our economy eventually will collapse under the weight of this massive, unpayable debt, no matter how much ink the "Fed" transfers into the coffers of the U.S. Treasury. The pain of withdrawal from unlawful government hand-outs will be far less now than it will be down the road.

America became the greatest, debt free nation on earth by a resourceful, independent, self reliant people. Sadly, today we have a large percentage of our population who can't get through the day without a government memo telling them how, step-by-step, with a redistribution of average, ordinary Americans assets into the hands of the unproductive. A very sad commentary to what made our nation great and prosperous.

But I heard the debt is being paid down?

What you heard and reality are two separate issues altogether. The politicians must continue to fool the American people lest they catch on to this chicanery. Let's have a look at the numbers so you can see that any utterance that the national debt has been paid down X billions of dollars, is nothing more than bombastic gas, passed from one administration to the next and the latest recycled Congress.

In the chart below, an R next to the amount indicates a Republican President; a D is for a Democrat in the Oval Office. The Democrats had control of Congress from 1954, until the illusion billed as the "Republican Revolution" in 1994. Both houses of Congress were Republican controlled until after the 2000 "election", but this ended when in May 2001 James Jeffords 'fessed up to his real political agenda.

Current Congressionally created debt:

11/1/2007 $9,080,228,573,291.65 7% (R)
9/29/2006 $8,506,973,899,215.23 7% (R)
9/30/2005 $7,932,709,661,723.50 8% (R)
9/30/2004 $7,379,052,696,330.32 9% (R)
9/30/2003 $6,783,231,062,743.62 9% (R)
9/30/2002 $6,228,235,965,597.16 7% (R)
9/28/2001 $5,807,463,412,200.06 2% (R)
9/29/2000 $5,674,178,209,886.86 0% (D)
9/30/1999 $5,656,270,901,615.43 2% (D)
9/30/1998 $5,526,193,008,897.62 2% (D)
9/30/1997 $5,413,146,011,397.34 4% (D)
9/30/1996 $5,224,810,939,135.73 5% (D)
9/29/1995 $4,973,982,900,709.39 6% (D)
9/30/1994 $4,692,749,910,013.32 6% (D)
9/30/1993 $4,411,488,883,139.38 9% (D)
9/30/1992 $4,064,620,655,521.66 11% (R)
9/30/1991 $3,665,303,351,697.03 13% (R)
9/28/1990 $3,233,313,451,777.25 13% (R)
9/29/1989 $2,857,430,960,187.32 10% (R)
9/30/1988 $2,602,337,712,041.16 11% (R)
9/30/1987 $2,350,276,890,953.00 (R)
10/30/2008 $10,530,893,033,778.21 (R)
4/16/09 $11,183,899,252,728.00 (D)
Average ('R) 9%
Average ('D) 4%

The statistics above were obtained from the Bureau of The Public Debt's web site:
http://www.treasurydirect.gov/NP/BPDLogin?application=np

You can check the growth of this BORROWED DEBT by party here:
http://www.publicdebt.treas.gov/opd/opdhisto4.htm


As you can see, it doesn't matter which party is in office, there is no surplus and the debt cannot be paid down, it can only grow exponentially as long as Congress and the President have the central bank at their fingertips.

A "balanced budget" is nothing more than good political rhetoric, but in reality, it's a pipe dream strictly for public consumption. How can you balance your budget if you have no money to spend and are trillions of dollars in the hole? You can't. It's just another well crafted illusion to keep the masses pacified.

You can fool some of the people some of the time, but the American people have awakened to this monumental theft and are demanding the only real solution that can be implemented: Abolishing the central bank, and a return to a constitutional monetary system with no income tax.

No "Fed," no need for a direct tax

Without the central bank siphoning off the wealth of our nation, there would be no need for a personal income tax.

President Andrew Jackson booted out the central bank; his speech can be read here:

http://alpha.furman.edu/~benson/docs/ajveto.htm

This battle fought by Jackson was a huge deal back then and he refused to back down. Jackson was the last honest president with the guts to stand up to the international bankers who are literally stealing US blind.

"The greatest party battle of Jackson's presidency centered around the Second Bank of the United States, a private corporation but virtually a Government-sponsored monopoly. When Jackson appeared hostile toward it, the Bank threw its power against him.

"Clay and Webster, who had acted as attorneys for the Bank, led the fight for its recharter in Congress. "The bank," Jackson told Martin Van Buren, "is trying to kill me, but I will kill it!" Jackson, in vetoing the recharter bill, charged the Bank with undue economic privilege.

"His views won approval from the American electorate; in 1832 he polled more than 56 percent of the popular vote and almost five times as many electoral votes as Clay."

Please note that the words "a private corporation but virtually a Government sponsored monoploy" comes directly from the White House's web site. What a huge admission!

On line, you can also read Congressman Louis McFadden's indictment on the Federal Reserve Corporation. It is a very concise explanation of how the international banking cartel has been sacking this country's wealth since 1913.

Don't be fooled by this chant around the country for a flat tax, a consumption tax, sales tax or any other kind of personal income tax. There is absolutely no authority in the U.S. Constitution to implement any of these forms of taxation without apportionment. It is for this reason and this reason alone, that when it became apparent that the 16th Amendment was not going to be ratified by the states, fraud was committed and it was simply "proclaimed" ratified by then Secretary of State Philander Knox.

We don't need any direct taxation and these popular mantras are just new lies to replace old lies. Any one of these forms of taxation will still feed the cancer: the central bank. Any one of these forms of taxation is just another way to fleece the American people to enrich the pockets of the international banking cartel. Please consider the words of Congressman Ron Paul:

"Strictly speaking, it probably is not necessary for the federal government to tax anyone directly; it could simply print the money it needs. However, that would be too bold a stroke, for it would then be obvious to all what kind of counterfeiting operation the government is running. The present system combining taxation and inflation is akin to watering the milk: too much water and the people catch on."

Please don't fall for these alternative taxing SCHEMES. The banking cartel doesn't care what form it is they fleece your hard earned dollars (flat tax, fair tax, sales tax, etc.) - just as long as they continue to steal from us:

Beware alternative taxing schemes
http://www.worldnetdaily.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=43242

Make IRS check payable to stockholders of private Fed
http://www.worldnetdaily.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=43820

Today is April 15 ... again
http://www.worldnetdaily.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=44036

What we need to do is take away the magical money machine called the "Fed," which will force Congress to live within its means and fund only those activities specifically enumerated by the supreme law of the land in Art. 1, § 8 of the U.S. Constitution:


Lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States, but all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States, borrow Money on the credit of the United States, regulate commerce (trade), naturalization, bankruptcy laws, coin money, regulate the value thereof, and of foreign Coin, fix the Standard of Weights and Measures, punishment regarding counterfeiting the Securities and current Coin of the United States, establish Post Offices and post Roads, Promote [Editorial note: "promote" does not mean fund] the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries, constitute Tribunals inferior to the supreme Court, define and punish Piracies and Felonies committed on the high Seas, and Offences against the Law of Nations; declare War, grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal, and make Rules concerning Captures on Land and Water, Raise and support Armies, but no Appropriation of Money to that Use shall be for a longer Term than two Years, provide and maintain a Navy, make Rules for the Government and Regulation of the land and naval Forces; provide for calling forth the Militia to execute the Laws of the Union, suppress Insurrections and repel Invasions, provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining, the Militia, and for governing such Part of them as may be employed in the Service of the United States, reserving to the States respectively, the Appointment of the Officers, and the Authority of training the Militia according to the discipline prescribed by Congress, Exercise exclusive Legislation in all Cases whatsoever, over such District (not exceeding ten miles square) as may, by Cession of particular States, and the Acceptance of Congress, become the Seat of the Government of the United States, and to exercise like Authority over all Places purchased by the Consent of the Legislature of the State in which the Same shall be, for the Erection of Forts, Magazines, Arsenals, dock-Yards, and other needful Buildings, make all Laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into Execution the foregoing Powers, and all other Powers vested by this Constitution in the Government of the United States, or in any Department or Officer thereof. **


There is absolutely no authority for the federal government to legislate in areas of the environment, education, the NEA, the FDA and many others. It may surprise you to find out that agencies such as FDA, DEA and the EPA all derive their jurisdiction from international treaties. When the powers that be wish to circumvent the U.S. Constitution, they do it either through an executive order or international treaties. We strongly encourage you to investigate this issue thoroughly.

Prior to the Federal Department of Education, America had the finest schools in the world. Since this disastrous and unconstitutional grab for power, we can all see that a quadrillion dollars a year will not fix our schools, and they continue to decline faster than the feds or states can shovel money into them. Even if a direct tax were necessary, only by keeping it at its lowest possible percentage would it ever benefit this nation:


"The point now emphasized is that the evil effects of high surtaxes fall not upon the individual whose income is seized and taken, but ultimately almost entirely upon the mass of the people who are thereby deprived of the benefits which would result from the free flow of commercial transactions and the use of the additional capital which would be available for productive enterprise.
"Freedom of business transactions essential.

"The revenues to be obtained by the Government from this class of taxes depends upon transactions in trade and commerce which bring about income available for payment of taxes. It is highly desirable, in the interest of the production of revenue, that the volume of business transactions giving rise to gain shall be as great as possible, and to this end it is essential that the natural laws of trade and commerce and the free flow of business shall not be interfered with or prevented.


The excerpt below is from pgs 19-20, Annual Report of the Secretary of the Treasury on the State of Finances for 1921:


"But the direct effect of these very high taxes is to hinder and prevent business transactions which would otherwise take place. A man may have property which he has held for years and which has greatly increased in value, and he would like to sell it, but if he does a large part of the gain would have to be paid out in taxes. He would rather keep the property than sell it, pay the tax, and invest what is left in something else. At the same time the party desiring to buy this property, if he obtained it, would improve it with buildings.

What is the result? The transaction does not take place, and the community loses the advantage which would come in the stimulation that would arise from the transactions resulting from the buyer's improvement of the property, and it also loses the advantage of the seller's putting his money into some other form of investment, which in turn would give rise to business transactions. The same thing on a much greater scale is true in manufacturing and mercantile lines. Men have built up enterprises to the point where they are highly successful. They would like to take their profit and turn the business over to younger men to carry on.

These transactions are highly desirable not only for the parties but for the community, yet they are absolutely stopped, because if made the seller would have to pay in one year a tax on a gain which has been the result of perhaps the better part of a lifetime of effort. And in all such cases the Government gets no tax, whereas if the rates were reasonable the transactions would take place and the Government's revenues would benefit accordingly.

The free interchange of property in business transactions is essential to the normal prosperity of the country, and each such transaction has a direct tendency to bring about others of like character with the result of increasing the amount of gain or income available for taxation; but when the tax is so high as to act as a deterrent against usual and desirable business transactions, and the volume of such transactions is thereby lessened, the inevitable result is for the tax to become less and less productive.

It is for these reasons that, particularly in the higher brackets, a lower tax rate will produce more revenue in the long run than excessive rates. So long as the high rate stands in the way of accomplishing bargains and sales, the Government receives no tax; but at a lower rate the transactions proceed and the Government shares in the profits." (End of excerpt.)


Today Americans are being fleeced to the tune of approximately 52% of every dollar going for local, state and federal taxes. The day is rapidly approaching when making even $1,000 per hour will not be enough to survive. How much longer are the people of this nation going to put up with this state of affairs? We say enough is enough!

Jalyn
07-15-2009, 11:04 PM
...since the GOP is all for increasing government spending as long as it's on military, libertarian support for the Republicans has always struck me as dashed odd. If you distrust the government so much, why would you want it to be in control of a massive military apparatus?

At any rate, it is not in the interest of the political class to reduce the reach of government. You may be against it while you're in opposition, but once you're in power, the apparatus of state works for you, and it's just too tempting not to increase its size. No matter the professed philosophy of the party in power, government steadily expands.

A) I said "hawkish" and did mean it. National defense is about the only thing I'm absolutely willing to pay taxes for - I can't protect myself or my community from outside nations attacking. It's about the only truly legitimate reason for the state, as far as I'm concerned. At least, at the federal level. Once you get closer to the community, well, I've seen models for free market community protection and court systems, but they are generally uninspiring.

B) Libertarians are a pretty diverse group, there's those that refuse both main parties, those that go republican and, as far as I can tell, a minority group that head liberal because the social con agenda on the right is more of a problem for them than the big government spoken agenda on the left. I'm not about to stop voting as a social protest and, while the social cons drive me nuts, I'm more concerned about the government being involved in all aspects of my life and my economy.

And, yeah, I know, but, to put it a bit vulgarly, if I'm going to be screwed, I'd prefer him to at least tell me I'm pretty.

Uno
07-15-2009, 11:13 PM
A) I said "hawkish" and did mean it. National defense is about the only thing I'm absolutely willing to pay taxes for - I can't protect myself or my community from outside nations attacking. It's about the only truly legitimate reason for the state, as far as I'm concerned. At least, at the federal level. Once you get closer to the community, well, I've seen models for free market community protection and court systems, but they are generally uninspiring.

So you don't think taxation if theft after all? Or do you think some kinds of theft are ok and others not? Seems rather inconsistent to me. One could at any rate question the extent to which having a large military actually protects the country rather than exposes it to danger by drawing it into conflicts abroad. Is your local community likely to be physically attacked, or does the military merely serve to increase the power of the state?

the silent speaker
07-15-2009, 11:22 PM
On the issue of taxation:

You know the old saying, "Better, faster, cheaper, please select any two"? Government-run necessary programs and infrastructure, and money to fund them, and low taxes are all vital things to have, but you can only have two at a time.

We need the government in order to have the programs. Organizing them communally won't work once the commnity exceeds a couple of hundred or so; there's the organizational problem of getting everyone into the place they need to be at the me they need to be there (which increases exponentially with the number of people involved), the free rider problem, and the vote dilution problem. Plus, there are things that are flat-out impossible without using economy of scale, which is why corporations exist (to leverage money to greater effectiveness) and labor unions exist (to leverage the services the money is being exchanged for into an arms-length position rather than a coercive one). There needs to be at least some centralization, and in a community even the size of a small city there needs to be at least some delegation, too. Everybody makes fun of middle management, but there's a good reason why it exists; the mockworthy excesses only come about when it metastasizes out of control. In its place, it greases wheels that would lock in seconds without that lubrication.

So we need to have a government, and in order for it to function it needs to be able to tell us what to do. It is one of the greater paradoxes of governance that the government has authority only by consent of the governed, but that consent fails of its primary ends unless it includes consent for the power granted to exceed what was consented to. A government that can never simply say, "Because we're the government and that means we get to do that," is no government at all. Thus the power to incarcerate suspected criminals, and thus the power to collect taxes.

This is not without limit, of course, and I don't mean to say that it should be. The government owes you your liberty and your property, concurrent with is right to take them away -- that is one of the lesser paradoxes of governance -- and there must be hedges to prevent its abuse of the consent you constructively gave; that's why we have a Constitution and a Bill of Rights. But the point is, it is not bounded to zero, either. Taxation is not theft, because it is only on condition that you be taxed that you consented to be governed to begin with.

On the war in Iraq:
I think there were potentially good reasons to go into Iraq, notwithstanding the foreseeable civilian loss of life (though that still has to be minimized whenever reasonably feasible), and I will not quibble with the fact of our entry there. But in he planning, for both he short and the long terms, the adminsitration would have done well to -- but they did not -- heed the following words of wisdom:

They shall not return to us, the resolute, the young,
The eager and whole-hearted whom we gave:
But the men who left them thriftily to die in their own dung,
Shall they come with years and honour to the grave?

They shall not return to us; the strong men coldly slain
In sight of help denied from day to day:
But the men who edged their agonies and chid them in their pain,
Are they too strong and wise to put away?

Our dead shall not return to us while Day and Night divide--
Never while the bars of sunset hold.
But the idle-minded overlings who quibbled while they died,
Shall they thrust for high employments as of old?

Shall we only threaten and be angry for an hour:
When the storm is ended shall we find
How softly but how swiftly they have sidled back to power
By the favour and contrivance of their kind?

Even while they soothe us, while they promise large amends,
Even while they make a show of fear,
Do they call upon their debtors, and take counsel with their friends,
To conform and re-establish each career?

Their lives cannot repay us--their death could not undo--
The shame that they have laid upon our race.
But the slothfulness that wasted and the arrogance that slew,
Shall we leave it unabated in its place?

Mesopotamia, by Rudyard Kipling.

Jalyn
07-15-2009, 11:24 PM
So you don't think taxation if theft after all? Or do you think some kinds of theft are ok and others not? Seems rather inconsistent to me. One could at any rate question the extent to which having a large military actually protects the country rather than exposes it to danger by drawing it into conflicts abroad. Is your local community likely to be physically attacked, or does the military merely serve to increase the power of the state?

Nope, anytime someone forces me to give them my property whether I choose to do so or not, it is theft. Especially if that force is literal - that is, they will throw me in jail if I choose not to do so. That doesn't mean that I wouldn't willing pay for some fraction of the things that a government does.

Whoops, forgot the second part of the statement. I'd go back to my answer to Ivhon earlier, the diplomacy of aggression is not ideal or the first resort - but it has to be an alternative that is available. The last time we were attacked by a foreign nation, it was partially because they thought that we were weaker than we seemed. The rest of that war was not fought on US shores, but it ended on theirs.

Editing one more time to make clear that that last statement was not meant as nationalistic pride or a feeling of honor, but as a simple fact. We were much stronger than the Japanese believed us to be when they bombed Pearl Harbor.

Uno
07-15-2009, 11:34 PM
Nope, anytime someone forces me to give them my property whether I choose to do so or not, it is theft. Especially if that force is literal - that is, they will throw me in jail if I choose not to do so. That doesn't mean that I wouldn't willing pay for some fraction of the things that a government does.

You could have voluntary contributions, I suppose, but I doubt that you'd be able to sustain the military of the US, or anything at all like it, by that means alone. The military expenditures of the US are so massive that they account for about half of all money spent on military by all governments in the world combined. So I'd still say that you've got to choose between no taxation and having a strong military force. Normally, the growth of taxation and the growth of militaries have been closely related. The early modern state increased its fiscal apparatus primarily to pay for its increasing military demands. Taxation as we know it is at root a creature of war, in other words.

Terez
07-15-2009, 11:48 PM
Having worked in both, I have to agree with Jalyn on this. You'd be amazed at the waste in gov't.
I was, when I worked on a government contract.

Ivhon
07-15-2009, 11:51 PM
Nope, anytime someone forces me to give them my property whether I choose to do so or not, it is theft. Especially if that force is literal - that is, they will throw me in jail if I choose not to do so. That doesn't mean that I wouldn't willing pay for some fraction of the things that a government does.

Whoops, forgot the second part of the statement. I'd go back to my answer to Ivhon earlier, the diplomacy of aggression is not ideal or the first resort - but it has to be an alternative that is available. The last time we were attacked by a foreign nation, it was partially because they thought that we were weaker than we seemed. The rest of that war was not fought on US shores, but it ended on theirs.

Editing one more time to make clear that that last statement was not meant as nationalistic pride or a feeling of honor, but as a simple fact. We were much stronger than the Japanese believed us to be when they bombed Pearl Harbor.

It ended? I didn't see us fighting on Al Quaeda's (landlocked) shores

Jalyn
07-15-2009, 11:55 PM
It ended? I didn't see us fighting on Al Quaeda's (landlocked) shores

I specified foreign nation rather rather than foreign power for a reason.

Uno
07-15-2009, 11:59 PM
I specified foreign nation rather rather than foreign power for a reason.

But if you want to go with the example of Japan, a central reason for the attack on Pearl Harbor was that US imperialism in the Pacific Ocean, against the Philipines and Hawaii, had come to threaten the ambitions of the Japanese Empire. If the US hadn't already become a major Pacific power, there would be no reason for Japan to attack. So that's a pretty good example of how the military can contribute to drawing the country into war.

Jalyn
07-16-2009, 12:10 AM
But if you want to go with the example of Japan, a central reason for the attack on Pearl Harbor was that US imperialism in the Pacific Ocean, against the Philipines and Hawaii, had come to threaten the ambitions of the Japanese Empire. If the US hadn't already become a major Pacific power, there would be no reason for Japan to attack. So that's a pretty good example of how the military can contribute to drawing the country into war.

Military power and imperialistic ambitions are not the same thing and I'm certainly not suggesting the latter.

I will, however, bow to your knowledge on the causes of the war. I could have sworn that there was, along with the "woken a sleeping giant" quote a top level Japanese quote that indicated that they thought the US was weaker than we seemed. My quick search on "paper tiger," however, shows that it's Chinese, not Japanese and I think that is what I was thinking of when I made the comment.

Uno
07-16-2009, 12:18 AM
Military power and imperialistic ambitions are not the same thing and I'm certainly not suggesting the latter.

I will, however, bow to your knowledge on the causes of the war. I could have sworn that there was, along with the "woken a sleeping giant" quote a top level Japanese quote that indicated that they thought the US was weaker than we seemed. My quick search on "paper tiger," however, shows that it's Chinese, not Japanese and I think that is what I was thinking of when I made the comment.

I wouldn't bow to my knowledge on this subject, but I think it's safe to say that if US might hadn't made the country a threat, Japan wouldn't have attacked. Probably a bit too simplistic, but I don't think it's too far wrong. I seem to recall that the Japanese government was rather hesitant to undertake aggression against the US, but in the end decided to gamble. Basically, they hoped that by crippling the American fleet and waging a lightning war in the Pacific they could pressure the US to make peace and allow Japan to fulfill its imperial amibitions in Asia. This, of course, had a lot to do with the ongoing war in Europe. It was perhaps reasonable to think that the US couldn't fight both Germany and Japan. At any rate, I'm relatively sure Japan didn't actually want to wage a drawn-out war against the US, as they knew that American productive capacity would work against Japan in the long run. It was a gamble that didn't pay off that well.

Rather far away from Obama v. Bush at this point, aren't we?

StrangePackage
07-16-2009, 12:31 AM
Rather far away from Obama v. Bush at this point, aren't we?

The point was never Obama vs. Bush. Bush has basically been demonstrated indefensible on any policy he pursued. Obama vs. Bush goes to Obama by default, if for no other reason then there's no way he could, in his first six months, come anywhere near the cataclysmic damage Bush was able to inflict in his 8 years.

The point was... well, let's be honest- there was no point.

Uno
07-16-2009, 12:38 AM
The point was never Obama vs. Bush. Bush has basically been demonstrated indefensible on any policy he pursued. Obama vs. Bush goes to Obama by default, if for no other reason then there's no way he could, in his first six months, come anywhere near the cataclysmic damage Bush was able to inflict in his 8 years.

The point was... well, let's be honest- there was no point.

But if there is no other point, I say it goes to Obama v. Bush by default, as that's the closest to a point I can actually find. I suppose the point could be that Obama's not perfect, but I hope no one goes around thinking that he is. In typical Theoryland fashion, we once again let the original point be damned, I think.

Jalyn
07-16-2009, 12:52 AM
But if there is no other point, I say it goes to Obama v. Bush by default, as that's the closest to a point I can actually find. I suppose the point could be that Obama's not perfect, but I hope no one goes around thinking that he is. In typical Theoryland fashion, we once again let the original point be damned, I think.

I don't think that was the point, actually, which is why I deliberately brought up Ford's tripping as a different counterpoint to Bush. SDog, er CC, er something Crispin?, Crispin's Crispian! (I'll remember your new name at some point, I promise!) actually did it better with the Clinton comparison, without trying to make the point.

Obama is being treated differently by the media than other presidents. If I was a cynic*, I'd say that they created the persona that they wanted on the campaign trail, destroying Clinton, McCain and Palin in the process, and are loath to let that image go.

*Oh, wait...

Uno
07-16-2009, 12:59 AM
Obama is being treated differently by the media than other presidents. If I was a cynic*, I'd say that they created the persona that they wanted on the campaign trail, destroying Clinton, McCain and Palin in the process, and are loath to let that image go.

*Oh, wait...

Is he, though? I seem to recall that the media was being rather submissive to Bush when he was still a popular president. They were very reluctant to criticize the White House and basically toed the patriotic line. At the beginning of his military adventurism, the press was basically regurgitating the administration's press briefs with very little critical commentary. That's how I remember it, anyway. I vividly recall people on the right saying that it was basically sedition to criticize the "commander-in-chief," as they somewhat pompously put it. These same people have no problems attacking that commander when he's a Democrat.

Jalyn
07-16-2009, 01:30 AM
Is he, though? I seem to recall that the media was being rather submissive to Bush when he was still a popular president. They were very reluctant to criticize the White House and basically toed the patriotic line. At the beginning of his military adventurism, the press was basically regurgitating the administration's press briefs with very little critical commentary. That's how I remember it, anyway. I vividly recall people on the right saying that it was basically sedition to criticize the "commander-in-chief," as they somewhat pompously put it. These same people have no problems attacking that commander when he's a Democrat.

There was a bit of that, right after 9/11. Things were... strange at that time. Perhaps it's just that this is the first real "honeymoon" period that I've seen as an adult. I was still a kid in Clinton's first term, and well... Florida was the main talking point for the start of Bush's. It just feels weird.

Neilbert
07-16-2009, 01:52 AM
What else is in your inbox?

Davian93
07-16-2009, 08:00 AM
So what did they do? They paid off the suit, tore the entire structure down (instead of moving the stall wall) and rebuilt it with the water heater in the original location on the very first set of plans. By that time I told the head of the parks dept she could kiss my ass and let them figure it out on their own.

1st basic rule of gov't: Any problem can be fixed/solved if you throw enough money at it.

Ozymandias
07-16-2009, 09:23 AM
A) I said "hawkish" and did mean it. National defense is about the only thing I'm absolutely willing to pay taxes for - I can't protect myself or my community from outside nations attacking. It's about the only truly legitimate reason for the state, as far as I'm concerned. At least, at the federal level. Once you get closer to the community, well, I've seen models for free market community protection and court systems, but they are generally uninspiring.

So pay for nuclear arsenal upkeep and your good. The hundreds of billions seeping into the sand in Iraq have not made you one whit safer. There is probably a good argument to be made that those shenanigans have made you less safe.

And, yeah, I know, but, to put it a bit vulgarly, if I'm going to be screwed, I'd prefer him to at least tell me I'm pretty

Not an apt comparison. More like a guy tells you he loves you and wants to marry you, trips you into bed, and runs off with your savings the next morning as well.

Sei'taer
07-16-2009, 10:06 AM
You have no idea. Wait, you do have an idea...forgot who I was talking to.

We had a consultant come in to tell us how to run the city better, save money, and streamline all tue departments. $500 grand over 3 years. First thin he does is fire the asst. city administrator at a savings of $112 grand a year. Next order? Hire 3 new asst. city administrators at $96 grand a piece...savings so far? Nada, but on the books it shows we are saving $112 grand a year by eliminating the original ACA.

Brita
07-16-2009, 10:20 AM
We had a consultant come in to tell us how to run the city better, save money, and streamline all tue departments. $500 grand over 3 years. First thin he does is fire the asst. city administrator at a savings of $112 grand a year. Next order? Hire 3 new asst. city administrators at $96 grand a piece...savings so far? Nada, but on the books it shows we are saving $112 grand a year by eliminating the original ACA.

~~pukes~~

Davian93
07-16-2009, 10:25 AM
You have no idea. Wait, you do have an idea...forgot who I was talking to.

We had a consultant come in to tell us how to run the city better, save money, and streamline all tue departments. $500 grand over 3 years. First thin he does is fire the asst. city administrator at a savings of $112 grand a year. Next order? Hire 3 new asst. city administrators at $96 grand a piece...savings so far? Nada, but on the books it shows we are saving $112 grand a year by eliminating the original ACA.

We had to come up ways to save the Agency money after the new administration came into office. So we formed a whole bunch of working groups to brainstorm ways to make this happen. In the end, we were able to cut around
$100K from our divisional budget and it only took us maybe 2,000 man-hours (conservative estimate) of thinking to come up with that. Multiply that lost productivity by hourly salary of the individuals involved collectively and you're down to maybe $20-30K in real savings. The downside is that in the course of our investigating ways to save money, we identified a huge compliance issue that is going to cost us around $2.9 million to fix before the end of FY09. So now we're in the hole almost $3 million on our budget and we have to go through our Chain of Command and request emergency funding or we'll be in violation of several Federal regulations. Though our higher up Cabinet level oversight was able to make a great presentation about how the Agency saved a ton of money by being more efficient...and then promptly requested emergency funding that more than ate up the "savings" But hey, those working groups were fun.

Bureaucracy is fun, eh?

John Snow
07-16-2009, 11:04 AM
I'll have to take your word for the historical precedent. I'd have guessed that cave men were running people that didn't belong out of their cave and away from their fire. ;)

You and Uno both are completely ignoring the many productive nomadic societies, some of which are still around (*glances toward northern regions of Scandinavia*)

Crispin's Crispian
07-16-2009, 11:12 AM
Just calling someone's argument "crap," "stupid," or similar is rather impolite (and, of course, intended to offend, whether or not you actually admit that it is), and it's also just lazy. You can make your disagreement clear in other ways, by pointing out the flaws in the other person's reasoning or approach. That admittedly takes a bit more effort than just hurling insulting labels, but if you're not willing to put in even a modicum of work, maybe you just shouldn't reply to the post in question.

I knew you were grumpy, but I didn't know your doctoral program stole your sense of humor.

Crispin's Crispian
07-16-2009, 11:17 AM
The scale isn't quite the same, but for-profit companies can be outrageous money wasters, too. Especially in small businesses with big revenue, where you have a handful of people that basically can do whatever they want with the money the company earns.

And of course much if it is completely irrational...

No, you can't spend more than $27/day on meals unless you're entertaining a client. And yes, we will cut out every penny over that.

Oh, and by the way, that guy over there gets a $5000/month car allowance and that other guy gets to stay in a hotel 4 nights per week because he's a friend of the boss and doesn't want to commute.

These are fictitious examples, of course...in case anyone from my company ever thinks I would speak out against it and happens to find this post. ;)

tanaww
07-16-2009, 11:42 AM
You cannot hold US military forces responsible for things they didn't do. It is not our responsibility that they decided to engage in what is basically a civil war after Saddam was ousted. The civilian casualty figures are so high because they decided to butcher each other.

I will say if the US invasion and occupation had been better planned, organized, and led, we perhaps could have taken more assertive control of the country and prevented the situation from occurring. Perhaps.

We can hold military forces and military leadership accountable for failure to act and excessively political pandering. We can and should hold our legislators accountable for the way they have hamstrung competent and capable leaders through uneducated policy making.

And, as always, I invite anyone who feels they can be a great military leader to go and visit their local recruiter. Seriously. With Congress on the scene we have enough armchair generals. Go be a real one.

Maybe this is an attempt at humor, but I find this to be extremely offensive. I know a bunch of guys that have been over there, put their asses on the line, and had part of their asses shot off. If you said this in a room full of them, you wouldn't leave with any teeth left in your mouth. That's not intended to be a threat, just a statement of what would happen.


I suspect that you know a bunch of junior enlisted (or junior officer) soldiers, then (and probably not as well as you think). The soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines I know come from all ranks and branches and all of them are voluntarily fighting for your right to insult them. Some even volunteer for Southwest Asian "vacations". Even the ones who have had their asses (or legs) shot off have had enough of fighting everywhere they've been asked to. They don't bother with anyone choosing to exercise their first amendment rights even if their opinions are ignorant or offensive.

And I would like to ask a question before I return to the ESC couch (Davian, it is always a pleasure to share the ESC with you). If knowing a "bunch of guys" who have served qualifies one to weigh in on military strategy, my knowing literally hundreds of soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines of all ranks from around the world and screwing a 1SG must make me SECDEF, right? Give me the football bitches!

Yellowbeard
07-16-2009, 11:49 AM
My soon-to-be-ex employer (private company) spent over a million bucks on a new project budget and management system. For some reason, nobody thought to do testing (they say they did). When they rolled it out, it was full of bugs.

They also trashed the old systems. End result, company couldn't send an invoice for six months because the new system's billing databases were all fucked up, AND the invoice functions didn't work. They had to get bank loans to make pay roll during that period.

What amazes me is they'll spend hordes of money on software that doesn't work, and then not be willing to replace the office laptop (that various people use when travelling) when it's 8 years old, running Windows fuckin' 2000, and literally not capable of being upgraded to be compatible w/ the companies latest standard software (MS Office 2007, etc.).

Makes using it on business trips quite entertaining.

In short, I'm sure some private companies are just as wasteful as government agencies. Hence why Enron and WorldCom are gone. Hell, the company I start w/ in a week has a raquetball court in the office. Cool, but I have to think paying the rent for the space for it adds up and provides no return.

tanaww
07-16-2009, 11:55 AM
My soon-to-be-ex employer (private company) spent over a million bucks on a new project budget and management system. For some reason, nobody thought to do testing (they say they did). When they rolled it out, it was full of bugs.

They also trashed the old systems. End result, company couldn't send an invoice for six months because the new system's billing databases were all fucked up, AND the invoice functions didn't work. They had to get bank loans to make pay roll during that period.

What amazes me is they'll spend hordes of money on software that doesn't work, and then not be willing to replace the office laptop (that various people use when travelling) when it's 8 years old, running Windows fuckin' 2000, and literally not capable of being upgraded to be compatible w/ the companies latest standard software (MS Office 2007, etc.).

Makes using it on business trips quite entertaining.

In short, I'm sure some private companies are just as wasteful as government agencies. Hence why Enron and WorldCom are gone. Hell, the company I start w/ in a week has a raquetball court in the office. Cool, but I have to think paying the rent for the space for it adds up and provides no return.

Since Lean and Six Sigma are my thing (as well as ERP including SAP, JDE and Manugistics), this whole thing makes my brain hurt. I'm also at Fort Lewis trying to get me one of them fat government jobs and I can't get rated for anything. What I want to know is this: If I am rated not qualified or not among the best qualified is there a way to find out who was and actually compare qualifications? I personally know GS-11 DA employees with nothing more than a high school diploma despite the fact external candidates need either a Master's or a Doctoral degree. How is this logical?

Gilshalos Sedai
07-16-2009, 11:56 AM
Seniority is God, Tanaww.

Davian93
07-16-2009, 12:00 PM
Since Lean and Six Sigma are my thing (as well as ERP including SAP, JDE and Manugistics), this whole thing makes my brain hurt. I'm also at Fort Lewis trying to get me one of them fat government jobs and I can't get rated for anything. What I want to know is this: If I am rated not qualified or not among the best qualified is there a way to find out who was and actually compare qualifications? I personally know GS-11 DA employees with nothing more than a high school diploma despite the fact external candidates need either a Master's or a Doctoral degree. How is this logical?

Fort Lewis rocks...I loved it there. Does Shayol Ghul (Rainier) still dominate the skyline?

The US Gov't "qualifications" are ludicrous at best. I would have needed a Masters/Doctorate for my position but got it solely on my disabled vet status and previous employment. They didn't even care about my college. My agency starts a lot of people with no real education as GS-9s in FCIP positions to avoid having to hire "outsiders" that are actually qualified. As a 12, it pisses me off to see people's nieces/daughters, friends come in at GS-9 simply because they have a inside connection when I tried for years as an outsider to get these jobs only to be passed over for those idiots. Granted, now I'm inside it but its still annoying.

Sei'taer
07-16-2009, 12:03 PM
screwing a 1SG must make me SECDEF, right? Give me the football bitches!

Damn! Do you kiss your kids with that nasty f'ing mouth? ;)

tanaww
07-16-2009, 12:03 PM
Fort Lewis rocks...I loved it there. Does Shayol Ghul (Rainier) still dominate the skyline?

The US Gov't "qualifications" are ludicrous at best. I would have needed a Masters/Doctorate for my position but got it solely on my disabled vet status and previous employment. They didn't even care about my college. My agency starts a lot of people with no real education as GS-9s in FCIP positions to avoid having to hire "outsiders" that are actually qualified. As a 12, it pisses me off to see people's nieces/daughters, friends come in at GS-9 simply because they have a inside connection when I tried for years as an outsider to get these jobs only to be passed over for those idiots. Granted, now I'm inside it but its still annoying.

Yes, it does and it is spectacular. I have pictures in my blog. I also happen to live about 3/4 of a mile off of Puget Sound. The view starts about a block down from my house.

I supposedly have spouse preference but that is useless.

I wish I didn't hate this domestic engineer shit. I can't resume a PhD program until 1SG becomes SGM and we make our next PCS where we will hopefully be for 3 yrs including a MOB tour to CENTCOM for him. My luck that tour will be someplace without a decent PhD program though. Like an SEC or Big 12 school... ~shudders~

tanaww
07-16-2009, 12:04 PM
Damn! Do you kiss your kids with that nasty f'ing mouth? ;)

Yes, I do and my breath is always minty fresh ;)

Crispin's Crispian
07-16-2009, 12:09 PM
Since Lean and Six Sigma are my thing (as well as ERP including SAP, JDE and Manugistics), this whole thing makes my brain hurt.
Yeah. The first thing we learned about ERP implementation is that only 16% of them are successful the first time. Ouch.

The problem is that all the training in the world won't prepare you for dumbass management who can't see past the end of their noses.

Change management? Why do we need to bother with that? Oh, and our scope changed, by the way, can you work on the BI module instead of billing/orders?

Davian93
07-16-2009, 12:11 PM
Yes, it does and it is spectacular. I have pictures in my blog. I also happen to live about 3/4 of a mile off of Puget Sound. The view starts about a block down from my house.

I supposedly have spouse preference but that is useless.

I wish I didn't hate this domestic engineer shit. I can't resume a PhD program until 1SG becomes SGM and we make our next PCS where we will hopefully be for 3 yrs including a MOB tour to CENTCOM for him. My luck that tour will be someplace without a decent PhD program though. Like an SEC or Big 12 school... ~shudders~

Yeah, spousal preference is about as useful as Veterans preference...they CAN look at it but they aren't required to according to the CFR (as you clearly know). My biggest pet peeve is really with FCIP positions. I can't stand them and they are abused repeatedly by supervisors to get their friends/family jobs in place of qualified people. In my career field, if you get in on an FCIP position at GS-9, you'll go 11,12,13 in the next three years and suddenly you have a completely unqualified GS-13 running around that's never done anything else in their lives and has no real knowledge of the career field other than their own very small niche within the Dept/Agency. They aren't qualifeid to be a Senior Supervisor but hey, they're suddenly pulling down that pay and can transfer out of Agency to a place like DA where they would have their own little kingdom to rule with no idea on how to even run a chicken coop, let alone an office. Its frustrating (very frustrating at times) to deal with some of the idiots running around my office when they have no other experience on which to base it. OTOH, I have 9 years of experience in my career field (mostly with DoD as a military guy and then a contractor). They simply don't have the knowledge base on the littlest things and WHY we actually have to do them. Since they don't know WHY, they don't think its important and thus huge mistakes are made by them out of ignorance.

Okay, rant over.

Have you been to Point Defiance? Also, you NEED to hike Rainier, its a spectacular feeling. I went up to the 10,000 ft level (highest you can go without ice equipment) to the base camp there and the views were spectacular.

I also used to do a ton of kayaking on the Nisqually when I lived there.

Brita
07-16-2009, 12:18 PM
Rainier looks pretty in pictures.

tanaww
07-16-2009, 12:21 PM
We've made one trip to Rainier so far. We will be making more for sure. We are planning to fish like it's our job. Kayaking is also on the agenda. If you live in the PNW and you're bored, it's your own damn fault. Did NWTrek last weekend and will head up to Pt. Defiance soon.

Terez
07-16-2009, 12:21 PM
I'm starting to wonder how so many people end up posting in the wrong thread. Because 1) it seems like it would be a hard mistake to make, and 2) I don't remember it happening so often at ezboard.

*plays TZ music*

tanaww
07-16-2009, 12:24 PM
Yeah. The first thing we learned about ERP implementation is that only 16% of them are successful the first time. Ouch.

The problem is that all the training in the world won't prepare you for dumbass management who can't see past the end of their noses.

Change management? Why do we need to bother with that? Oh, and our scope changed, by the way, can you work on the BI module instead of billing/orders?

That 16% figure seems a little low. I have a model that explains why they fail. Do you need a copy?

My biggest challenges in the implementations I've done has been straight up resistance to change followed by misspecification and non-use. Management doesn't understand and won't come on board so there's no incentive for anyone else to care either. It's a total pain but I haven't had an implementation of the three I consider a failure. I must just be really, really good. Oh and I do BI too. ;)

Davian93
07-16-2009, 12:31 PM
We've made one trip to Rainier so far. We will be making more for sure. We are planning to fish like it's our job. Kayaking is also on the agenda. If you live in the PNW and you're bored, it's your own damn fault. Did NWTrek last weekend and will head up to Pt. Defiance soon.

Also, if you're into long-term treks, try hiking Mt. Saint Helens (assuming the peak is open again). I hiked it back in 03 starting at the observatory on the northern ridgeline (can't recall the name at the moment), hiked down 2-3 K ft to the valley floor (which is surreal), hiked over to Spirit Lake to look around, then back over to the trail and then up and around the crater rim. It took 3 days for all the hiking (it was around 20 miles total with full gear) but it was awesome. Take a TON of water though as even though it was 70-75 at the ridgeline, it was near 90 with no shade once you get down in the valley. And it looks like the face of the moon.

Oh, and Olympic National Park is cool for the temperate rain forest and most the Pacific coast is pretty cool too...though its a bit of a drive from Lewis to go all the way out on the peninsula like that.

There are some great wineries in E. Washington too. (maybe 4 hrs away tops)

Brita
07-16-2009, 12:41 PM
I'm starting to wonder how so many people end up posting in the wrong thread. Because 1) it seems like it would be a hard mistake to make, and 2) I don't remember it happening so often at ezboard.


I have no idea what you are talking about. :p

Yellowbeard
07-16-2009, 01:32 PM
I did a day hike at Mt. St. Helens once. Started at the bivouac camp on the non-erupted side and hiked up to the summit. This was in 1999. It was the highlight of the vacation we took to Seattle for me.

One nice thing about Atlanta that offsets the horrible traffic is just how many good hiking, kayaking, whitewater rafting, caving, etc. type places there are close by. Appalachian Trail is close by too. Tallulah Gorge is incredible. Raven Cliff Falls is pretty fun, especially to climb up the cliff face to the top. Providence Canyon (actually created by erosion from bad farming practices) is pretty cool looking. Cloudland Canyon was cool too.

Yeah. The first thing we learned about ERP implementation is that only 16% of them are successful the first time. Ouch.

Soon to be ex-employer uses ERP system. There are things about it that still don't work right 4 years after the "go-live" date.

We can hold military forces and military leadership accountable for failure to act and excessively political pandering. We can and should hold our legislators accountable for the way they have hamstrung competent and capable leaders through uneducated policy making.

If military leadership are put in a position that they can't act (either thru direct orders or other means) by their civilian chiefs (i.e. the President), are they supposed mutiny? Stage a coup?

If knowing a "bunch of guys" who have served qualifies one to weigh in on military strategy, my knowing literally hundreds of soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines of all ranks from around the world and screwing a 1SG must make me SECDEF, right? Give me the football bitches!

I never made any such claim that I knew squat about tactics and strategy. I objected to a statement that denigrated the character of a particular group of people that I greatly respect and hold in very high esteem.

StrangePackage
07-16-2009, 01:39 PM
I never made any such claim that I knew squat about tactics and strategy. I objected to a statement that denigrated the character of a particular group of people that I greatly respect and hold in very high esteem.

You did no such thing, and I challenge you to show me where, in any post in this entire thread, did anyone deride or demean the serving members of the Armed Services in any way.

You wrapped yourself in the flag, shouting "How dare you question those who serve?!" because you could not, in good conscience, deny that the Bush Administration directly contributed to the deaths of thousands of American soliders and hundreds of thousands of Iraqi civilians through their brazen stupidity.

And you got called on it.

tanaww
07-16-2009, 01:40 PM
Soon to be ex-employer uses ERP system. There are things about it that still don't work right 4 years after the "go-live" date.

Sounds like it was misspecified to me. If you don't know what to ask for when you set it up, you're not going to get it. Going cheap on add-ins doesn't help either. Which system, may I ask?



If military leadership are put in a position that they can't act (either thru direct orders or other means) by their civilian chiefs (i.e. the President), are they supposed mutiny? Stage a coup?

Unfortunately no. But after I am President, Congress will be made to understand that our military does not need to be second-guessed and hamstrung by people who do not know what they are talking about. Watching the epic stupidity we've elected to office on CSpan makes my brain hurt. And every time I read that Congress wants the CIA to tell them more about what they do I say NO NO NO NO NO. These people habitually "leak" information. Leaking what the CIA does costs lives - military and civilian lives. That price is too high. They're just nosy and arrogant. "I have to be smart! I am a CONGRESSMAN!" Ugh. Scrutinize the spending but you really aren't entitled to input on strategy. Thanks.

Tana / Hopper 2012!

We know what "is" is.

Crispin's Crispian
07-16-2009, 01:44 PM
That 16% figure seems a little low. I have a model that explains why they fail. Do you need a copy?

My biggest challenges in the implementations I've done has been straight up resistance to change followed by misspecification and non-use. Management doesn't understand and won't come on board so there's no incentive for anyone else to care either. It's a total pain but I haven't had an implementation of the three I consider a failure. I must just be really, really good. Oh and I do BI too. ;)
It was probably based on one study by D&T or somebody. I don't remember the source, but I can look it up for you.

Non-use is likely a function of misspecification, in a lot of cases. If you don't find out what the users want and how to make it easy for them to transition, they won't use it. We had an implementation where we did not have direct access to the target users. We tried and tried to get the consultants in the field to solicit help from the users, but never really got anywhere with it. As a result, no one uses that part of our system. Fortunately the rest of it works great, mainly because my staff was the target group for that side and I involved them all heavily in the design.

Ivhon
07-16-2009, 01:46 PM
Sounds like it was misspecified to me. If you don't know what to ask for when you set it up, you're not going to get it. Going cheap on add-ins doesn't help either. Which system, may I ask?





Unfortunately no. But after I am President, Congress will be made to understand that our military does not need to be second-guessed and hamstrung by people who do not know what they are talking about. Watching the epic stupidity we've elected to office on CSpan makes my brain hurt. And every time I read that Congress wants the CIA to tell them more about what they do I say NO NO NO NO NO. These people habitually "leak" information. Leaking what the CIA does costs lives - military and civilian lives. That price is too high. They're just nosy and arrogant. "I have to be smart! I am a CONGRESSMAN!" Ugh. Scrutinize the spending but you really aren't entitled to input on strategy. Thanks.

Tana / Hopper 2012!

We know what "is" is.

Who is the CIA accountable to, then? The executive branch only? Dick Cheney? To me, that sounds like too much power for the Executive. It essentially places all intel as well as a lethally trained mini-army at the sole discretion of one or two people in the Executive branch with no oversight. This is how dictatorships are created. This is what scared us about the KGB.

EDIT: While the current case seems to be somewhat overblown based on extant information, the claim that the CIA is a spotless band of heroes is hogwash. And when we hear reports - as we did - that a character such as Dick Cheney instructed the CIA NOT to inform Congress (in a possible violation of the law) about what might have been hit squads at his direct command, we damn well SHOULD look into it. If it turns out to be mountains out of a molehill, as this case happens to seem to be, then great. Ill take that over the alternative any day.

tanaww
07-16-2009, 01:53 PM
because you could not, in good conscience, deny that the Bush Administration directly contributed to the deaths of thousands of American soliders and hundreds of thousands of Iraqi civilians through their brazen stupidity.

From my perspective, GWB did nothing more than royally screw the pooch. Too many military activities have been subcontracted out. The contracts are administered by morons because brilliant, graduate degree elitist bitches like me can't get hired to do it and both the quality and the availability of those services suffers. The military ALWAYS loses when contracting becomes involved. Worst part: the size of your donations to Republican PACs, politicians and political pet causes is directly proportional to the size of the contract you recieve. Case in point: Blackwater (who has since renamed itself). Blackwater was founded by Eric Prince, formerly of West Michigan. Prince's family owns the Windquest Group and Eric Prince's sister is Betsy DeVos, married to the aptly named Dick DeVos, son of Rich DeVos, founder of Amway. All named parties are millionaires many times over and avid supporters of the Grand Old Party. Blackwater hires all the closet PTSD soldiers to go back to Iraq as security guards for two or three (or more) times what the Army pays them. They act like they're still on Active Duty without the accountability factor afforded by Core Army Values and a chain of command. They are douchebags. They make stupid mistakes that cast ALL Americans in a negative light. They take Iraqi lives needlessly and cost American lives in the process. They were awarded the contract because of the millions they give to GOP causes. Dick even tried to be Governor of Michigan. I voted against him. I would do it again.

Don't get me started on Halliburton and KBR but the WSJ has had some great articles on all the contractor's fuck-ups lately.

Also, as an aside, I am currently reading "Idiot America" on my Kindle. Give it a shot.

tanaww
07-16-2009, 01:59 PM
The CIA is and should be accountable to the NSA and the State Department. According to a little document called the Constitution, the system of Checks and Balances is designed to hold the executive branch accountable. Yes, the legislature. But dammit security is security and top secret is top secret. Any information passed to Congress is not going to be top secret. And some things just need to be kept secret.

Dick Cheney is an evil, evil man. Ivhon, you know me better than that. The Bush Administration got very power hungry. I am still appalled that anyone with a PhD in Russian Studies could (and did) orchestrate such an eradication of our relatively stable relationship with Russia. The Bush administration got markedly worse as it went along as anyone who wasn't a POS (Colin Powell being exhibit A), jumped ship after the first term. Our country was run by a bunch of fundie frat boys for 8 years and it's going to take a lot longer than 8 years to fix it.

Ivhon, you want to read "Confessions of an Economic Hit Man". You'll love it.

Yellowbeard
07-16-2009, 02:25 PM
Sounds like it was misspecified to me. If you don't know what to ask for when you set it up, you're not going to get it. Going cheap on add-ins doesn't help either. Which system, may I ask?

I don't know exact specs (I design and build pipelines, water tanks, pump stations, water/wastewater treatment plants, and do assistance for operating water and wastewater systems thru hyrdaulic modeling, ERP systems are way out of my field of expertise), but it's an "Oracle E-business Suite" ERP system. Not sure if that tells you much. It's used to set up tracking for project budgets, direct labor man-hour expenditures, subconsultant contracts and billing, invoicing, and also employee time sheets, vacation time, etc. The corporation is a 5000 person corporation that does enginerding world wide for pretty much ever type of enginerding you can think of, and is subdivided into 7 or 8 separate companies.

It would not surprise me in the least if they had gone "cheap on add-ins" either.

My new company I'm starting w/ soon has 30 people. I'm looking forward to not working for an "Evil Empire" type corporation.

You did no such thing, and I challenge you to show me where, in any post in this entire thread, did anyone deride or demean the serving members of the Armed Services in any way.

From Dav's post yesterday -

Perhaps we shouldn't deliberately recruit rapists and child murderers into our armed forces and then send them off into the field all liquored up. Damn baby killing "soldiers"!!!

Dav has since said it was some sort baited joke, so fine. If he wasn't serious, fine. I reiterate that I found it very poor taste regardless of his background.

You wrapped yourself in the flag, shouting "How dare you question those who serve?!" because you could not, in good conscience, deny that the Bush Administration directly contributed to the deaths of thousands of American soliders and hundreds of thousands of Iraqi civilians through their brazen stupidity.

I quite like the American Flag, actually.

And I believe I've stated over and over again that the Bush Administration definitely botched a lot of things. However, I haven't been focusing on it because Bush is gone. And regardless of the Bush Administration's incompetence (chiefly Rumsfeld's IMHO) that led to the conditions under which a supposedly occupied Iraq could turn into such a shooting gallery, they are still not responsible for the Mahdi Militia and that crazy cleric that led it, they aren't responsible for the Iranians doing what they are still doing, etc.

I'm not saying the Bush Administration didn't play a part. I'm objecting to those that want to place all of the blame on the Bush Administration, and ignore the role that various other sects in Iraq played in what has happened.

When I brought up how Obama and Congress's reckless overspending is going to really cornhole the rest of us and our kids for a long time, the response was that Bush started it because the bailouts started before the election. Well, yeah. Bush and the Republicans in Congress were looking out for the own, and their contemptible for it. The Republicans downed the bailout the first time they voted on it, but passed it the 2nd time because a bunch of pork for their buddies got added to it (the $100 million or so dollars for NASCAR comes to mind immediately).

I didn't support Bush and Republicans recklessly overspending and I don't support Obama and Congress doing it now. Also, just because Bush (and anyone else before him) acted fiscally irresponsibly is not justification for Obama and Congress to continue to do so now.

Ivhon
07-16-2009, 02:54 PM
The CIA is and should be accountable to the NSA and the State Department. According to a little document called the Constitution, the system of Checks and Balances is designed to hold the executive branch accountable. Yes, the legislature. But dammit security is security and top secret is top secret. Any information passed to Congress is not going to be top secret. And some things just need to be kept secret.

Dick Cheney is an evil, evil man. Ivhon, you know me better than that. The Bush Administration got very power hungry. I am still appalled that anyone with a PhD in Russian Studies could (and did) orchestrate such an eradication of our relatively stable relationship with Russia. The Bush administration got markedly worse as it went along as anyone who wasn't a POS (Colin Powell being exhibit A), jumped ship after the first term. Our country was run by a bunch of fundie frat boys for 8 years and it's going to take a lot longer than 8 years to fix it.

Ivhon, you want to read "Confessions of an Economic Hit Man". You'll love it.

I take your point that Congress cannot keep its mouth shut (although it seems to me that the most recent incidents of blown covers have been leaked by the Executive branch). The repercussions for that lip-flappery, if serious enough, should result in censure, failure to get re-elected or criminal charges if they are warranted.

But the CIA being accountable to the NSA and the State Department means that it is solely accountable to the Executive branch without any oversight from Congress. Which again puts my hypothetical in play. When Dick Cheney (or any other unsavory character you want to pick) has a hitsquad answerable only to him (and presumably the President, assuming the President knew) whose job was to eradicate not terrorist leaders, but terrorist sympathizers (I forget what the precise language was, but it left plenty of room under Bush's "not with us, you're against us" speech for conscientious objectors or political enemies to qualify). This is a dangerous dangerous situation.

Yes, yes, I know...tinfoil hat. But slopes are slippery once you start going down them.

Sei'taer
07-16-2009, 02:55 PM
Y'all wanna know something? I've probably inspected some of the shit seines YB designs....among other things he named. I've inspected all of that at one time or another.

YB, when you say pump stations are you talking force main sewer type stations, raw water, or small grinder type single point stations? Some places use pump stations for stormwater but we don't, so I'm not up on how they work but I guess I should include those.

Ozymandias
07-16-2009, 03:17 PM
And I believe I've stated over and over again that the Bush Administration definitely botched a lot of things. However, I haven't been focusing on it because Bush is gone. And regardless of the Bush Administration's incompetence (chiefly Rumsfeld's IMHO) that led to the conditions under which a supposedly occupied Iraq could turn into such a shooting gallery, they are still not responsible for the Mahdi Militia and that crazy cleric that led it, they aren't responsible for the Iranians doing what they are still doing, etc.

I disagree. On one hand you have a stable (if authoritarian) regime with no violent civil discord and no state sponsored international terrorism. On the other you have what is basically the Wild West, except with submachine guns and IEDs. Sure, the militias and sectarian groups are the ones shooting, but its the US that allowed them to. We should have known that had we gone in and created a power vacuum, it would be filled by competing groups who are heavily armed and highly motivated. Thats the failing of the Bush Administration. They signed off on a war they didn't understand and weren't prepared for. Ignore the motives and lies that led to it for a second, because Saddam deserved it anyways; Bush wasn't evil, or manipulative, just stupid. And thats what he'll be remembered for. For undertaking every task, every policy, half-assed and without a good plan.

You absolutely can hold the Bush Administration responsible because they failed to even think about what they were doing. I could have told you that decades of sectarian tension, restrained by Saddam would break loose. Thats half the reason we went in! To free them from ethnic repression, right? I mean, to quote Asimov, such folly smacks of genius! So even if Bush and Cheney and Rumsfeld aren't the ones point the guns, they're the ones who took away the police and security apparatus and allowed those people with the guns to start aiming.

I'm not saying the Bush Administration didn't play a part. I'm objecting to those that want to place all of the blame on the Bush Administration, and ignore the role that various other sects in Iraq played in what has happened.

Of course you can't say Bush is some mastermind pointing every weapon. But every single thing he could have done wrong, he did wrong. That means he deserves... all of the blame! Whats happening now is a highly predictable result. Maybe not likely, but certainly forseeable. And nothing was done to plan for it, and thousands have died because the Bush Administration was too lazy, too stupid, or too incompetent (or all three, most likely) to do anything about.

When I brought up how Obama and Congress's reckless overspending is going to really cornhole the rest of us and our kids for a long time, the response was that Bush started it because the bailouts started before the election.

The thinking behind it is sound, though. Sure, he's spending a gross amount, but his thinking is that this is bouying the American economy, and that the amount of money and hardship it saves pales in comparison to what is being spent. I mean, when you do a whole analysis of it, it probably isn't as much as you think (think of all the people who are employed now who wouldn't be without the stimulus bill... think of the drain they'd be making on the economy). Is it excessive? Maybe, but the point about the war being a bigger drain is that for my money, I think government should alleviate hardship and danger for the American citizen, and not throw soldiers into harms way and burn money for the benefit of a bunch of ingrates living 15,000 miles away. One dollar spent on an American is worth ten spent on an Iraqi (or anyone else) in my opinion.

Well, yeah. Bush and the Republicans in Congress were looking out for the own, and their contemptible for it. The Republicans downed the bailout the first time they voted on it, but passed it the 2nd time because a bunch of pork for their buddies got added to it (the $100 million or so dollars for NASCAR comes to mind immediately).

Which makes it even worse, right? I mean thats just blatant greed, in addition to what you perceive to be (perhaps fairly) reckless spending.

I didn't support Bush and Republicans recklessly overspending and I don't support Obama and Congress doing it now. Also, just because Bush (and anyone else before him) acted fiscally irresponsibly is not justification for Obama and Congress to continue to do so now.

Your right. About the whole "two wrong don't make a right," bit at least. However, I think BOTH Administrations had little choice. And I can tell you right now that in my industry, federal stimulus has been incredibly effective. Can you imagine the hardship without federal bailouts and stimulus? The government decided that its citizens' well being warranted a massive aid package. You may disagree with this. I think there isn't a nobler or better use of government money than helping its citizens stay afloat. I'm not an accountant and don't have the gargantuan amount of time or information necessary to calculate this, but I'd guess that the amount of GDP saved is enormous, and the total tax receipts being preserved actually do quite a bit to mitigate the damage being done to the national debt. Look at what happened to California, if you want an example of inaction

tanaww
07-16-2009, 03:21 PM
I take your point that Congress cannot keep its mouth shut (although it seems to me that the most recent incidents of blown covers have been leaked by the Executive branch). The repercussions for that lip-flappery, if serious enough, should result in censure, failure to get re-elected or criminal charges if they are warranted.

But the CIA being accountable to the NSA and the State Department means that it is solely accountable to the Executive branch without any oversight from Congress. Which again puts my hypothetical in play. When Dick Cheney (or any other unsavory character you want to pick) has a hitsquad answerable only to him (and presumably the President, assuming the President knew) whose job was to eradicate not terrorist leaders, but terrorist sympathizers (I forget what the precise language was, but it left plenty of room under Bush's "not with us, you're against us" speech for conscientious objectors or political enemies to qualify). This is a dangerous dangerous situation.

Yes, yes, I know...tinfoil hat. But slopes are slippery once you start going down them.

I agree. Bush and Cheney got a little ridiculous and for whatever reason the crack-addled Congress allowed it to happen. I wonder why there wasn't more press when the United States removed itself as a signator of the Geneva Conventions because it was deemed "unnecessary" for us by GWB and Dick(less) Cheney? That was an ominous foreshadowing, no?

I can guarantee no monkey-business in the Tana/ Hopper administration that does not involve actual monkeys.

Uno
07-16-2009, 03:28 PM
You and Uno both are completely ignoring the many productive nomadic societies, some of which are still around (*glances toward northern regions of Scandinavia*)

Productivity was not really the topic here, but if you're assuming that nomadic societies necessarily lack a concept of property right in land, I'd say you're dead wrong. Try to encroach on their lands without permission and see what happens.

Yellowbeard
07-16-2009, 03:29 PM
YB, when you say pump stations are you talking force main sewer type stations, raw water, or small grinder type single point stations?

In short...yes to all.

I've done both rehab/upgrade designs and from scratch designs for sewer pump stations, raw water stations, potable water stations, and a bit of work on storm water stations.

I've done small grinders for as little as a few houses, neighborhood sized sewer stations of various pump configurations (single wetwell w/ suction-lift or submersible wetwell pumps, and also separate wetwell/dry well stations). I've done vacuum stations (those are quite cool). Biggest sewer pump station I've done is about 3200 gpm pumping rate, with constant speed drives.

I'm actually finishing up a design for a 650 gpm station w/ VFD drives as well.

I've done raw water concept designs for what was actually a concept for a lagoon ecology restoration project (was never built but would have involved pumping seawater into a polluted inland estuary with the purpose of trying to increase the rate of flushing and decrease turbidity so as to allow sea grasses to grow again and bring back the estuarine marine ecology). I wish they'd managed to get the funding for that one. Would have been cool to see it in operation. 90 MGD.

I've also done well pump stations w/ CL2 feeds for potable water booster stations, and did a 25 MGD finished water pump station as part of a WTP expansion project.

I've done most of the construction engineering for just about everything I've designed. Also the start up testing, etc. Quite satisfying to go out and start pushing buttons and see the thing you've been working on for a year come to life and work exactly as it's supposed to.

I did the design of a few elevated water tanks (A 1.5 MG and a 2.5 MG tank). Did the pile foundation inspection of one of them personally. Sitting out there counting hammer blows and making sure the contractor didn't play games w/ driving force to fudge the blow counts.

Some places use pump stations for stormwater but we don't, so I'm not up on how they work but I guess I should include those.

They work real similar to sewer stations. Need a wet well, with a screened influent line, pumps and mechanical piping and valving, etc. Biggest difference is the flows are generally a lot bigger and the pumping head a lot smaller. Usually end up using the vertical turbine axial flow pumps for the application. The still have all the isolation and check valves, the high/low water alarms, the controls, etc. The discharge, due to the high volume of water is usually a big concrete structure designed to dissipate the water's energy and keep it from acting like a giant pressure washer. Otherwise it would washout the area at the discharge pretty quickly.

Crispin's Crispian
07-16-2009, 03:32 PM
Should we all be frightened that Theoryland attracts so many people involved in cleaning up shit?

I mean, literally?

tanaww
07-16-2009, 03:39 PM
Should we all be frightened that Theoryland attracts so many people involved in cleaning up shit?

I mean, literally?

No. With so many of us being full of shit, it is good to have someone to clean up the mess. And Taer (as the one MOST full of shit) being the one who signs off on the legality and functionality of the disposal systems also seems appropriate.

Yellowbeard
07-16-2009, 03:59 PM
Should we all be frightened that Theoryland attracts so many people involved in cleaning up shit?

I mean, literally?

Well, to be honest, the vast majority of my experience is involved in collection and conveyance. Not so much cleaning. I just move shit from one place to the other and keep it from leaking out in the streets, woods, etc.

On one hand you have a stable (if authoritarian) regime with no violent civil discord and no state sponsored international terrorism.

I disagree w/ the no violent civil discord part. Saddam gassing the Kurds comes to mind, along w/ how the rebellions are the 1st Gulf War were put down.

And it's known that Saddam was actively involved in financing suicide bombers against Israel, and was using Al Queda operatives as well. See links:

http://www.fas.org/irp/eprint/iraqi/index.html

http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m1571/is_41_18/ai_95358025/


They signed off on a war they didn't understand and weren't prepared for. Ignore the motives and lies that led to it for a second, because Saddam deserved it anyways; Bush wasn't evil, or manipulative, just stupid.

Again I don't disagree.

But every single thing he could have done wrong, he did wrong. That means he deserves... all of the blame!

The Bush administration deserves the blame for what they did wrong. However, choice is key. The Iraqi factions always had (and still do) the ability to choose a better way.

The thinking behind it is sound, though.

It might be sound to get through the next election cycle, but I think it's just putting off the inevitable. Someday, someone has to pay the bill for the debt that is being run up, and there is currently no way to do it. I'd rather bit the bullet and have a very rough time now instead of bequeath that onus to my son or any future grand kids I might have. We didn't create the 200+ years of debt that has been accumulated, but SOMEBODY one day is going to have to deal with it.

Maybe, but the point about the war being a bigger drain is that for my money, I think government should alleviate hardship and danger for the American citizen, and not throw soldiers into harms way and burn money for the benefit of a bunch of ingrates living 15,000 miles away. One dollar spent on an American is worth ten spent on an Iraqi (or anyone else) in my opinion.

I don't disagree with this either. If we had invested the money that has been thrown at the war at creating energy independence instead, we'd have been far better off. I'd love it if we could make that change even now.

However, it's not just the Bush Administration that is doing this. The democrats are just as complicite.

Can you imagine the hardship without federal bailouts and stimulus? The government decided that its citizens' well being warranted a massive aid package. You may disagree with this.

It would be awful without the bailouts. The American people would be making huge sacrifices to get through it. At the same time, I think those sacrifices would be worth it so as to not pass this problem on to future generations. One day, somebody has to got stand up and basically take one for the team to deal with it. I'd rather do it personally than have my successors do it.

Sei'taer
07-16-2009, 04:01 PM
yup...you're designing really big stuff though. We couldn't put 25 MGD thru our two water plants in a week.
I know what you mean about building something and seeing it come together and work like it's suppossed. Most of our sewer stations are wet well type stations. We have problems with our water table and infiltration into our sewer systems so we rarely use dry well. I have seen specs and shop drawings on a vacuum well but never seen one in real life.

When I was doing bridge inspection I counted hammer blows for month on end. Coming home and scraping that oily, dieselly, tarry sludge off was almost as bad as counting all day everyday. I miss structural, but I was tired of looking at it and wanted something else to do. Now I do strictly civil. All underground water, sewer and stormwater, grading, clearing, concrete, asphalt alll that good stuff.

Doctor is in so I'll talk more later.

Uno
07-16-2009, 04:05 PM
I knew you were grumpy, but I didn't know your doctoral program stole your sense of humor.

I see nothing funny at all about people's lack of ability to cobble together a post that contains at least a semblance of a point. If you do, then that probably says something about you.

Yellowbeard
07-16-2009, 04:17 PM
yup...you're designing really big stuff though. We couldn't put 25 MGD thru our two water plants in a week.

I caught the tail end of construction of upgrades to a water treatment plant my first year out of college where the plant was rated for an average of 108 MGD per day, and peak of 124. That means an average over any calendar year of 108 MGD, but during peak demands, on any particular day it could put out up to 124 MGD in a 24-hour period.

The pump station for that thing was rather incredible. Here in Atlanta, Gwinnett County has some that are even bigger.

I've also done small stuff too, though.

I know what you mean about building something and seeing it come together and work like it's suppossed.

Especially when your client gives you data for the basis of design that you know is crap, but have no way to get anything better. I've made a lot of assumptions to mitigate bad data and so far haven't been bite in the hindquarters. The 25 MGD station, when we turned it on, there were people that were convinced that the discharge pressure I told 'em to aim for was too low. Turned out to be exactly right. They'd just been running an old pump station at way too high a pressure and didn't know any better.

Funny story though. We used horizontal split case motors for the 25 MGD station. It's standard practice to run the motors uncoupled from the pump impeller shafts at first because it's so easy to switch the conductors and connect them up wrong. Half the motors were spinning backwards when they first bumped 'em. Beforehand we were taking bets on how many would spin correctly.

I still think the coolest thing I've done was a 2000 ft long 30-inch pipeline we horizontal directional drilled under a river, and brought it up between a bridge's support piers. Cool stuff.

Ozymandias
07-16-2009, 04:20 PM
I disagree w/ the no violent civil discord part. Saddam gassing the Kurds comes to mind, along w/ how the rebellions are the 1st Gulf War were put down.

Those were decade(s) in the past. And ironically, those rebellions only happened because Bush Sr. instigated them and promised them support, and then never came through (huge parallel to what senile people like McCain were advocating for Iran, I thought). In the here and now, Saddam had a pretty iron grip on the country. He had an absolute monopoly on violence.

And it's known that Saddam was actively involved in financing suicide bombers against Israel, and was using Al Queda operatives as well. See links:

I'm at work, so I'll take your word for it, because my point was it didn't endanger the US.

The Bush administration deserves the blame for what they did wrong. However, choice is key. The Iraqi factions always had (and still do) the ability to choose a better way.

Of course! I don't think they're cuddly fluffy bunnies being forced to do this by Big Bad Cheneyfeld. They're violent, ignorant, poor, stupid fanatics who are absolutely responsible for their actions. But we knew that before... so claiming this is some unforeseen horrendous circumstance is disingenuous in the extreme. We dug a hole while it was raining and pled ignorance when the hole flooded.

It might be sound to get through the next election cycle, but I think it's just putting off the inevitable. Someday, someone has to pay the bill for the debt that is being run up, and there is currently no way to do it.

See I take the opposite tack. On issues like health care, social security, even education to a smaller degree, Obama is leveraging his enormous political capital to enact changes that the last 4 Administrations (Clinton and Bush) have put off for fear of raising taxes and alienating voters. Health care is extremely expensive, but Obama is facing it head on INSTEAD of putting it off, which is admirable, even if you think his specific policy is garbage.

And the way to pay this off is to raise taxes. And raise them for the poor and middle class. Taxing high net worth individuals is dangerous, both because it reduces innovation, but also because its such an ephemeral source of income. As I said, ask the California legislature where their super-progressive tax code got them. I'm not saying go all the way to a poll tax, but the rest of the financial burden is gonna have to be borne by people who are used to politicians pandering to them and demonizing their bosses. And they need to tighten their belts and accept that their federal income tax may hit 35% for several years. It'll be painful, but quick.

I'd rather bit the bullet and have a very rough time now instead of bequeath that onus to my son or any future grand kids I might have. We didn't create the 200+ years of debt that has been accumulated, but SOMEBODY one day is going to have to deal with it.

Honestly, they were gonna get it anyways. Its just a little worse now, is all. As I said... one year, the feds are gonna have to nail the entire country with like a 10-20% tax hike, knock off a nice chunk of the national debt, and reset things.

However, it's not just the Bush Administration that is doing this. The democrats are just as complicite.

Absolutely. They're all politicians, they just wear different hats. My issue with RRepublican spending is that their entire platform is based off less spending and less taxation. As with the moral scandals and all that Ensign and Sanford have gone through, its much more damning to be caught when your the one criticizing it in everyone else.

It would be awful without the bailouts. The American people would be making huge sacrifices to get through it. At the same time, I think those sacrifices would be worth it so as to not pass this problem on to future generations. One day, somebody has to got stand up and basically take one for the team to deal with it. I'd rather do it personally than have my successors do it.

I agree... I'd rather pay half my earnings like a good Scandanavian would, eat up a nice little chunk of our principal, and be done with it. We don't have to eliminate all of it, but bring it back down to a manageable proportion. However, I disagree that letting banks and automakers and whatever fail is the way to do it. Letting AIG, Citi, and BoA go would have been a disaster. Billions if not more in savings gone. Millions of families left uninsured. That would have been beyond hardship, that would have been crippling for years and years and years, and created deep resentment against the gov't besides. Not dissatisfaction, but resentment.

Plus, on a more specific note, the American government quite literally NEEDS Citibank in particular. They have an international presence that no other bank comes near, so when the US needs to do business abroad, they have to go through Citi usually, in order to access their foreign currency reserves.

Yellowbeard
07-16-2009, 05:01 PM
Regarding Saddam's ties to terrorism - here's another link. Note the sources...CBS, ABC, etc.

http://www.archive-news.net/Articles/SH040923.html

He was by no means a ring leader. Iraqi state forces weren't conducting active operations against anyone in particular, but the Iraqi's under Saddam were definitely in a role supporting active terrorists.

tanaww
07-16-2009, 05:04 PM
Plus, on a more specific note, the American government quite literally NEEDS Citibank in particular. They have an international presence that no other bank comes near, so when the US needs to do business abroad, they have to go through Citi usually, in order to access their foreign currency reserves.

Not to mention CitBank is currently the Government's Travel Credit Card Issuer ;) They switched last year from BofA because all Government Contracts are continually being re-bid and re-issued. It's really stupid.

Yellowbeard
07-16-2009, 05:06 PM
Plus, on a more specific note, the American government quite literally NEEDS Citibank in particular. They have an international presence that no other bank comes near, so when the US needs to do business abroad, they have to go through Citi usually, in order to access their foreign currency reserves.

I have no issues w/ another bank stepping into that role if Citibank went tits up. Vacuums tend to be filled.

GonzoTheGreat
07-16-2009, 05:19 PM
Also note the dates: all from the time that the Bush administration was still peddling the idea that there were links between Al Qaeda and OBL. None of them from afterwards, when even Cheney started denying ever having suggested such a link.

Yes, there was a link: when Saddam invaded Quwait, OBL volunteered to throw him out just as he'd done with the Soviets in Afganistan. The Saudis declined, because they didn't want a bunch of heavily armed fanatics on their own doorstep. Instead they invited the Americans in to do the job. This annoyed OBL so much that he started issuing fatwas against the USA.
But Saddam never forgot that this started with OBL wanting to kill him (which would've left OBL in control of Iraq). And OBL never was stupid enough to think that Saddam had forgotten.

After the invasion of Iraq, OBL issued a statement calling for resisting the infidel invaders, and he made a big deal of how much he supported the Iraqi people in their time of trouble. But he did not mention support for Saddam, and that was not nearly as accidental an oversight as Bush pretended it to be.
The statement was hailed as evidence of a link between Saddam and OBL, when all it was evidence of was that OBL was opposed to US rule of the Middle East.

Yellowbeard
07-16-2009, 05:28 PM
Also note the dates: all from the time that the Bush administration was still peddling the idea that there were links between Al Qaeda and OBL. None of them from afterwards, when even Cheney started denying ever having suggested such a link.

Actually if you look at the very first link I posted, it is a compendium of documents that were captured and published in Nov. 2007. It's a few posts back from the one with the news links.

I don't doubt there was no love loss between OBL and Saddam.

I also think we could have avoided a bunch of problems if we'd only been willing to buy oil from Saddam instead of the Saudi's and Kuwaiti's (i.e. if we let Saddam take over Saudi Arabia as he was massing forces along their border in apparent preparation for just such an operation). If that had been successful, he might have managed to turn around and knock off the Iranians next, and that would have solved a whole bunch of problems for us.

After all, we were willing to collaborate w/ him up until he invaded Kuwait. I know we had treaty's w/ the Saudi's and Kuwaiti's for defense, but I have to think that was only because ties between U.S. politicians and the respective Saudi and Kuwaiti families.

Brita
07-16-2009, 05:44 PM
Should we all be frightened that Theoryland attracts so many people involved in cleaning up shit?

I mean, literally?

I used to literally clean up shit...but fortunately I have moved on from that to an office job.

Ozymandias
07-16-2009, 06:29 PM
I have no issues w/ another bank stepping into that role if Citibank went tits up. Vacuums tend to be filled.

But it takes a while. Citi currently operates in over 140 countries. No one else comes close. And especially in this financial climate, Citi can't fail and then we expect another bank to immediately fill the gap. That'll take years, if not decades. Citi is actually doing pretty well right now. They're well capitalized and have a lot of their risk spread out. Plus, the gov't has committed to keeping them afloat. Stock is up like 20% in the last few days, too.

Davian93
07-16-2009, 09:29 PM
Not to mention CitBank is currently the Government's Travel Credit Card Issuer ;) They switched last year from BofA because all Government Contracts are continually being re-bid and re-issued. It's really stupid.

Yeah, that wasn't annoying or anything...

Sei'taer
07-16-2009, 10:46 PM
I caught the tail end of construction of upgrades to a water treatment plant my first year out of college where the plant was rated for an average of 108 MGD per day, and peak of 124. That means an average over any calendar year of 108 MGD, but during peak demands, on any particular day it could put out up to 124 MGD in a 24-hour period.

The pump station for that thing was rather incredible. Here in Atlanta, Gwinnett County has some that are even bigger.

I've also done small stuff too, though.



Especially when your client gives you data for the basis of design that you know is crap, but have no way to get anything better. I've made a lot of assumptions to mitigate bad data and so far haven't been bite in the hindquarters. The 25 MGD station, when we turned it on, there were people that were convinced that the discharge pressure I told 'em to aim for was too low. Turned out to be exactly right. They'd just been running an old pump station at way too high a pressure and didn't know any better.

Funny story though. We used horizontal split case motors for the 25 MGD station. It's standard practice to run the motors uncoupled from the pump impeller shafts at first because it's so easy to switch the conductors and connect them up wrong. Half the motors were spinning backwards when they first bumped 'em. Beforehand we were taking bets on how many would spin correctly.

I still think the coolest thing I've done was a 2000 ft long 30-inch pipeline we horizontal directional drilled under a river, and brought it up between a bridge's support piers. Cool stuff.

My problem is shitty plans. I think engineers should have to do a year or two of inspection work before they get there stamp. I've actually had an engineer ask me what that orange a black thing laying on the ground over there is...uh, you mean the water valve, Mr. Suitandtie walking around with you hands in your pockets and drawing this shit up for us to friggin BUILD? No, they can't build your superduper outlet structure to the sixteenth of an inch, be happy if they get it to the quarter. I've actually seen designs for structures give details vertical 8' 6 11/16" x 12' 11 13/16". Who in the hell are you going to get to build that? Jose, Manuel, Reggie and Bubba? They can't handle it, my friend, I promise. Their tape measure only goes to an eighth inch.

People don't understand the problems we have here along the Mississippi river, sandy silty clay, very little gravel, and if you do run into a vein of sand, it's what we call sugar sand and it ain't good for anything but sandboxes and pool filters. We built a lake a few years back that served the dual purpose of letting the Wolf River back up into during flooding. 25' deep slurry walls, 2.2 miles of underground detention, 13,000 tons of rip rap, trees, grass, the works. It was beautiful! I was really proud of it. It lasted 2 years and the river eroded into a sand vein and now the 35 acre lake, that would be able to control about 60 acres of floodwater is part of the rerouted Wolf River. It was a disaster of epic proportions. Lots of blame back and forth between the geotech who did the borings and the engineers in the city and the contractor who did the build.

I went to a class a few years ago, and some guys from Bristol, Tn were asking me about our pump stations. One asked how many we had and I said "we have a bunch," "how many?" he says. "Oh," I said, "at least 30." He laughs and says they have about 20,000 grinder systems inside the city limits of Bristol, one for every two or three houses...and in places one per house. I can't imagine the maintenance issues they have. (for those that don't know, imagine a garbage disposal that you share with the neighbors. Thats all a grinder pump is, a big garbage disposal).

Right now it seems like I spend most of my time on EPSC and I DESPISE it. Frenzy seems to love it and if she was here in TN I'd let her have all of it she wanted. We have major problems with turbidity because of the type of soil we have. It's like talcum powder and the only way to get it to settle out is with floculants. TDEC hammers us constantly, knowing damn well there's not a thing we can do about it. Do we kill fish with floculants or kill them with erosion? I'm of the opinion that the Mississippi has been muddy for millions of years (hell, New Orleans got built on the shit thats been eroding away forever from up north), and there's not much we are going to be able to do to stop it. It's a big deal for the moment though, so I do my best to deal with it. We've been trying several different types of control and the one that seems to work the best is a papier mache type stuff that you spray on areas that have erosion problems. It's nasty and hard to get rid of but it works. If someone could come up with a way to make it break down when it wasn't needed anymore we'd be golden. Right now the contractors just process it into the ground and try to get something growing before it erodes away again. Anyway, thats my current bitch subject.

the silent speaker
07-16-2009, 11:45 PM
Do we kill fish with floculants or kill them with erosion?
Kill them with FIRE.

Sei'taer
07-17-2009, 12:02 AM
Kill them with FIRE.

yeah...that'd make the EPA get excited. You wouldn't like it when they get excited.

the silent speaker
07-17-2009, 12:08 AM
Solution: MORE FIRE!

Yellowbeard
07-17-2009, 11:13 AM
My problem is shitty plans. I think engineers should have to do a year or two of inspection work before they get there stamp. I've actually had an engineer ask me what that orange a black thing laying on the ground over there is...uh, you mean the water valve, Mr. Suitandtie walking around with you hands in your pockets and drawing this shit up for us to friggin BUILD? No, they can't build your superduper outlet structure to the sixteenth of an inch, be happy if they get it to the quarter. I've actually seen designs for structures give details vertical 8' 6 11/16" x 12' 11 13/16". Who in the hell are you going to get to build that? Jose, Manuel, Reggie and Bubba? They can't handle it, my friend, I promise. Their tape measure only goes to an eighth inch.

I've seen engineers that don't understand tolerances before (it's quite common), but a guy that didn't know what a valve looked like?? and he was licensed? ***shakes head*** I've known some pretty incompetent engineers, I guess I shouldn't be surprised.

I started off in college as an intern that spent a good amount of time on a City survey crew. Gained a healthy respect for field tolerance that way. In my career, I have not run across another work section as crazy as the City field survey section. It was unreal.

Then right out of college I got to spend lots of time doing shop drawing reviews and answering Contractor RFI's. Sort of simple work, but at the same time, you get the cut sheets on valves, etc., and you get familiarized w/ reading plans, specs, and construction issues.

It wasn't until a year later that I got thrown into design work, and that was on large diameter pipelines at first (24" - 42" water transmission mains).

I think if I were on a job site and an engineer didn't know what a valve was (or if he couldn't tell the difference between a gate, butterfly, etc.), I'd probably throw him off the site. Someone that unfamiliar probably is also unaware job site safety issues and I'd be genuinely worried about him getting hurt on the job site. I wouldn't want to deal w/ the OSHA paperwork later.

People don't understand the problems we have here along the Mississippi river, sandy silty clay, very little gravel, and if you do run into a vein of sand, it's what we call sugar sand and it ain't good for anything but sandboxes and pool filters. We built a lake a few years back that served the dual purpose of letting the Wolf River back up into during flooding. 25' deep slurry walls, 2.2 miles of underground detention, 13,000 tons of rip rap, trees, grass, the works. It was beautiful! I was really proud of it. It lasted 2 years and the river eroded into a sand vein and now the 35 acre lake, that would be able to control about 60 acres of floodwater is part of the rerouted Wolf River. It was a disaster of epic proportions. Lots of blame back and forth between the geotech who did the borings and the engineers in the city and the contractor who did the build.

I imagine that one ended up or will end up in court. Unless the contractor was totally incompetent, I would expect that he won't be ruled liable. Usually, with dam failures, it's a geotechnical design flaw, or a hydrology goof regarding the flows and overflow structure sizing. If a dam gets overtopped, unless it's armored w/ roller compacted concrete or something, it's a gonner.

Do you know if the failure was from overtopping, or was it more along the lines of seepage thru the embankments? If seepage, and as it was something that wasn't an instant catastrophic failure, but gradual over 2 years...I have to think it was bad geotechnical design. Was it a local or out of town geotech guy? Sometimes with big projects, localities think they need to hire someone "more advanced" than the local yokels. Tends to get them into trouble sometimes because out of towners aren't familiar w/ local conditions.

It's standard engineer's practice to blame it all on the contractor when it doesn't work. I have a feeling though from what you said, it was the geotech guy's fault.

They must use different anacroynisms in Tennessee than I'm used to. Does EPSC mean erosion protection and sediment control? I'm used to E&SC if that's the case. And yeah, erosion control projects (and even the design of controls for the various projects I do) can be rather mind numbing. I've seen a few local projects here recently that were actually kind of interesting because the designers were using all natural features to provide erosion and scouring protection. But other than that, my observations are the contractors don't maintain the E&S stuff well enough for it to work real well anyway.

We have major problems with turbidity because of the type of soil we have. It's like talcum powder and the only way to get it to settle out is with floculants. TDEC hammers us constantly, knowing damn well there's not a thing we can do about it.

Ever do background/preconstruction monitoring? Submit it w/ the permit application? I've found if you can prove the water body didn't meet code before you start work, they're much more understanding. I imagine the water isn't too clear before the first shovel goes in the ground w/ the site conditions you describe.

And silent speaker's solution would work for me regarding dealing the state environmental regulators. :D

Frenzy
07-18-2009, 12:52 AM
Should we all be frightened that Theoryland attracts so many people involved in cleaning up shit?

I mean, literally?
as a stormwater inspector and former poop plant turd lab analyst, i'd give you rep for this post if the board would let me. :p

Matoyak
07-18-2009, 01:27 AM
Well waterboarding has been added to the list of things that must be done during boot camp, supposedly (Or at least, a friend who's about to be shipped off to boot camp has been told by his recruiters to prepare for it). This apparently makes it no longer a torture method. According to my friend's recruiters and a sergeant. No idea about the truth of this, however. But it does sound like a sneaky little loophole.

Davian93
07-18-2009, 08:20 AM
Well waterboarding has been added to the list of things that must be done during boot camp, supposedly (Or at least, a friend who's about to be shipped off to boot camp has been told by his recruiters to prepare for it). This apparently makes it no longer a torture method. According to my friend's recruiters and a sergeant. No idea about the truth of this, however. But it does sound like a sneaky little loophole.

Well, its clearly NOT torture...

http://letustalk.files.wordpress.com/2009/04/waterboarding.jpg

Uncle Fisty
07-18-2009, 08:45 AM
A playboy journalist bet he could take 15 seconds of waterboarding by a trained US soldier. Recorded it and everything. See how long he lasted here (http://link.brightcove.com/services/player/bcpid1579920046?bctid=20047560001).

GonzoTheGreat
07-18-2009, 09:26 AM
Well, its clearly NOT torture...

http://letustalk.files.wordpress.com/2009/04/waterboarding.jpgOne might notice that they're quite carefully pouring the water on his forehead, keeping it well away from his mouth and nose.

I am wondering: if a couple of the Americans who were captured by Saddam's forces in the early days of the Iraq War had been waterboarded, how many Americans would then now be arguing that it hadn't been torture?

StrangePackage
07-18-2009, 10:52 AM
I don't get into the tests done by journalists or what have you, in controlled experiments, with safe words.

If we want to find out if it really is torture, why don't we just get someone to agree to do it before hand.

Then, 2 days before their scheduled experiment, we send a group of armed, masked men to kick in their door around 1AM and drag them away from their family while they're a sleep. Hood them, cuff them, and then proceed to waterboard without any pussy safewords.

Just to be sincere.

Uncle Fisty
07-18-2009, 11:05 AM
Granted, that approach would be more true to life. On the other hand, this guy knew what he was getting into. Knew he could get out of it any time he wanted. Knew he wasn't going to get hurt. Knew all of this, but still was only able to take it for five seconds.

Just think, if it was that bad for a dude in a controlled environment, how bad is for the people who are abducted by a group of armed, masked men who kick in their doors around 1AM and drag them away from their family while they're a sleep, hood them, cuff them, and then proceed to water board without any pussy safe words?

Davian93
07-18-2009, 11:33 AM
One might notice that they're quite carefully pouring the water on his forehead, keeping it well away from his mouth and nose.

I am wondering: if a couple of the Americans who were captured by Saddam's forces in the early days of the Iraq War had been waterboarded, how many Americans would then now be arguing that it hadn't been torture?


Well, we sure considered it torture when it was used by US Servicemen in Vietnam...but hey, that's ancient history. As a Vietnam Era "Veteran", Bush clearly knew that...right? Considering they only court-marshalled the troops involved when it was exposed.

GonzoTheGreat
07-18-2009, 11:45 AM
Well, we sure considered it torture when it was used by US Servicemen in Vietnam...but hey, that's ancient history. As a Vietnam Era "Veteran", Bush clearly knew that...right? Considering they only court-marshalled the troops involved when it was exposed.But those court martials were run by bleeding heart liberals. If the real Americans had been left to do their jobs, then the Vietnam war would have been won.
Or at least, it would have been going on in the 1980s, so that the Soviets would have remained focused on that instead of getting adventurous in Afganistan. Then OBL wouldn't have risen to prominence, and this entire flap would not have happened.

Thus, it is all the fault of the bleeding heart liberal generals who ordered those court martials.

Davian93
07-18-2009, 11:47 AM
But those court martials were run by bleeding heart liberals. If the real Americans had been left to do their jobs, then the Vietnam war would have been won.
Or at least, it would have been going on in the 1980s, so that the Soviets would have remained focused on that instead of getting adventurous in Afganistan. Then OBL wouldn't have risen to prominence, and this entire flap would not have happened.

Thus, it is all the fault of the bleeding heart liberal generals who ordered those court martials.

Of course Afghanistan was a huge factor in the toppling of the Soviet Union so it hasn't been all bad I guess.

GonzoTheGreat
07-18-2009, 11:56 AM
I know that OBL brought down one of the two main parties in the Cold War, and he's trying hard to do that to the other one too now.
What I can't figure out is why so many, both in the USA and outside it, are so eager to do as he wants.

Ozymandias
07-19-2009, 01:21 PM
I know that OBL brought down one of the two main parties in the Cold War, and he's trying hard to do that to the other one too now.
What I can't figure out is why so many, both in the USA and outside it, are so eager to do as he wants.

Bullshit. You give the man way too much credit. The Cold War ended because everyone and their freakin uncle realized Soviet communism was not a tenable system over long periods of time. Its initial success for the first fifty or so years was predicated on the two reasons of they had been so poorly off before they had nowhere to go but up, and then they basically stole every piece of industrial capability and technology from Germany and Eastern Europe after WWII.

Osama Bin Laden had next to nothing to do with the Soviet Union collapsing. Afghanistan played a minimal role. Broader economic forces, and the realization of where that broad sweep of history was taking them, made progressive Russian leaders realize the only way to prosper was to open relations with the West and privatize parts of the economy.

Davian93
07-19-2009, 02:28 PM
Well Afghanistan did have some pretty significant effects on Soviet economy and also helped strengthen discontent towards the central gov't. Considering that the billions of rubles they tossed down that blackhole probably could have been much better used in strengthening their economy (sound familiar?), it didn't exact help matters for them in the 1980s.

Though how much of that was actually OBL? Was he at a high level back then or just another foot-soldier. Its kinda like giving Hitler credit for the 1918 Spring Offensive since he was a corporal in the Wehrmacht at the time.

GonzoTheGreat
07-20-2009, 04:53 AM
Possibly even more important than the money and resources wasted, the Afganistan fiasco showed the ordinary people in the Warsaw Pact that the Red Army was not invincible, that opposing it could work. And it showed the Red Army commanders that they might not win if they tried to suppress such freedom movements.

From what I know of it, OBL started out as just a grunt, a volunteer foot soldier with lots of ideals. He then became a commander, though I do not really know how many people he ever commanded. Considering the fact that they were still setting up a guerilla resistance, it probably wasn't all that organised anyway. Then he started using his contacts in Saudi Arabia and elsewhere to gather money and weapons. This made him a lot more valuable to the cause, and because he had also actually fought, he was trusted a lot more than most such middle men, who stayed far away from anything dangerous. He was definitely not the only supplier of money and weapons, but he may have been the foremost of them, precisely because he had shown that he was serious about it, instead of merely using the Mujahedeen as cannon fodder to bother the Soviets (the CIA approach to the situation). I think that he continued participating in attacks now and then, though I am not entirely sure about that.