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Nysha's New Creators for November - posted on 1st Dec 2017 at 9:00 AM
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world renowned whogivesafuckologist
staff: retired moderator
Original Poster
#1 Old 18th Feb 2010 at 12:33 PM
Default The US Politics Debate Thread
Whether you're republican, democrat, independent, or a jedi, this is the thread to debate all aspects of US politics.

Remember to be nice and courteous to your fellow debaters, and to post links to evidence that backs up your position whenever possible!
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Forum Resident
#2 Old 19th Feb 2010 at 5:53 AM
Today was the CPAC convention, Conservative Political Action Committee. One of the guest speakers was Dick Cheney and his daughter Liz. Liz made a statement that I've heard her make a lot, recently. "President Obama should stop apologizing for America."

She didn't have to spell it out what she meant. She was talking about the Bush Cheney torture program that didn't just embarrass us in front of the world, but stole something precious from our American identity. Somebody sure as damn hell does owe us an apology. If the Cheneys were smart, they would just shut up and lay low for a while, give us all time to forget what a mess they made of things. There will never come a time in history when torturers will be seen as the brave innovators that the Cheneys want to be recognized as. They took their side along the likes of Hitler and Pol Pot and Torquemada and Vlad the Impaler.

(And a preemptive side comment... I mentioned Hitler. I know... Godwin and all that. Unfortunately, when we compare historic state torturers, we have to refer to some of the great moral failures in history like him. So, in this case, it's not just justified, it's logically unavoidable.)
Theorist
#3 Old 19th Feb 2010 at 1:38 PM
To be fair, it wasn't something about our national identity that we've held closely for very long. We have had a lot of experience with waterboarding, and even concentration camps, in the past before we suddenly decided it was a bad idea during WWII. Our war in the Philippines was atrocity central, following our successful war of genocide against the Native Americans.

The US is a like a lot of things, it's better in the ideal than in fact. I'm not saying that's an excuse, mind you. I just feel compelled to continually point out that our collective past hides a lot of skeletons that we don't discuss in history classes much and we'd often rather ignore. In a way I think Hitler was a good thing for the US, in that it exposed a lot of ugliness that was at the heart of a lot of Americans as much as it was in the Nazis. It forced people to object to things that they might have otherwise agreed with because of bad associations, and led to a sort of renaissance of idealism and progressivism that Conservatives are fighting tooth and nail to this day.

I think Cheney's just trying to fight the prevailing thought while he's still breathing and able. I think he sees the writing on the wall and imagines how history will recognize him as the architect for a lot of bad things, and he's got nothing to lose except to try and deny and re-frame. I don't think he's particularly successful, but as much as he's a recognizable voice in the halls of power he's never been a particularly compelling speaker. And you'd need a hum-dinger of a sweet-talker to tap dance out of the massive wave of dissatisfaction aimed at Cheney, especially since Bush has, as you've said, gone to lie low. That makes Cheney look like they active actor in a lot of things, and Bush the rube that just wanted to sit in the Oval Office.

But I'm sure some idiot will come in immediately to tell me how Bush was THE BEST PRESIDENT EVER soon, so I probably need to make room for the shouting now.

Peace
Forum Resident
#4 Old 19th Feb 2010 at 2:43 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Doc Doofus
She didn't have to spell it out what she meant. She was talking about the Bush Cheney torture program that didn't just embarrass us in front of the world, but stole something precious from our American identity. Somebody sure as damn hell does owe us an apology. If the Cheneys were smart, they would just shut up and lay low for a while, give us all time to forget what a mess they made of things. There will never come a time in history when torturers will be seen as the brave innovators that the Cheneys want to be recognized as. They took their side along the likes of Hitler and Pol Pot and Torquemada and Vlad the Impaler.


I see you are still in arms over what happened over the last eight years, but where is your outrage over it still happening today under Obama?

Yes, he may not be doing it directly, but isn't it still wrong for Obama to be directing our allies like Pakistan or Egypt to torture prisoners for us to get the information we want?
Quote:
FBI officials accused of directing Pakistan 'torture' BBC News 2010-02-10
Five US citizens held in Pakistan on suspicion of plotting attacks have alleged that US officials directed their torture to extract confessions. The US embassy in Islamabad has dismissed the claims as "baseless". The men, who are being held in the city of Sargodha, earlier stated in court...


http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/south_asia/8509027.stm

Quote:
pakistan

19 Feb 2010
Why Did Pakistan Help Capture Baradar?

By Mustafa Qadri

(...)

Baradar is understood to be undergoing "intense interrogation" by Pakistani and American authorities that will almost certainly involve torture. It is certain that they will try to convince him to join their efforts to make the Taliban lay down their arms.


http://rds.yahoo.com/_ylt=A0WTTkuNk...capture-baradar

I find it funny that you hear nothing about our government knowingly allowing our "allies" to torture our prisoners. We have every legal right to prevent it, but we are not. We captured Baradar, we have a right to take his ass back to any one of our prison camps to question him. But we hand him over to the Pakistanis who will torture him worse then we ever did in the last eight years.

Just because the blood isn't directly on our hands, does it make it any more right?

And a little more reading for you Doc.

Handing off to Pakistan

Quote:
Yet in the cases of Taifi and Yemeni — and now Baradar — Obama has allowed Pakistan to interrogate these terrorists in our place. They are not under the control of U.S. officials, or detained within a U.S. government facility. While U.S. officials must do everything they can to ensure their humane treatment, the Pakistanis are not required to follow the Army Field Manual or interrogate these terrorists according to the new standards mandated by the Obama administration. And, as The New York Times put it, "the Pakistanis have long been known to subject prisoners to brutal questioning."

Allowing foreign intelligence services to question terrorists is a loophole in President Obama's new, morally superior interrogation policy — one that allows tough interrogations to proceed without staining Obama's reputation. Such loopholes expose the hypocrisy of Obama's approach to interrogation. He claims the moral high ground, when all he is actually doing is outsourcing the tough cases.


http://rds.yahoo.com/_ylt=A0WTTkgDl..._U.htm%3fcsp=34
Inventor
#5 Old 19th Feb 2010 at 4:05 PM Last edited by urisStar : 19th Feb 2010 at 4:53 PM.
This has been the most confusing year for me but I think it is mostly because I didn’t attend any of the classes on stupidity and sheepish blindness at University of America.

Granted I do understand the double standard because it is a way of life for any American that did not get a degree in privilege and real American-hood status, but and however, my confusion comes into play when angry old Americans that are mostly sporting flesh color of so- called whites, has taken positions that they have for century relegated for those they lovingly related too as them-people.

I now realize that double standard-ism which is better known as hypocrisy/two-facedness, is the moral fiber of “real Americans”, who have claimed that label for themselves. I however, now understand that ugly and nasty is not only a social strong hold, but a political ideology as well. The bonus of it all is that they are so blinded in their ideology that they continue to act out in such unseemly ways, and have proceeded to insult the people’s intelligence by attempting to control the narrative and twist it into a covering that they don’t realize is full of holes.

The more you guys try to flatten Obama, it only serve to make him look so good when held up against Bush and Cheney. Obama not only paid the cost but under the radar has secured his own integrity with other nation that is going to take more than bad mouthing him to turn the tide of public and international opinion. Obama actually have other nations working with him, the ultimate irony is that you guys are still underestimating Obama and has not realized the sucker punch/blows that he has been getting in. Personally I think you guys are out for the count but don’t think no one has been paying attention.

As far as Cheney and his crowd goes, it only shows that we send the wrong people to prison and when that changes, it will be change I can believe in and that, with no confussion!
Forum Resident
#6 Old 19th Feb 2010 at 4:54 PM
Spoken like a true blind sheep follower of Obama. "The more you point out his flaws" the more I'll blindly defend him.

I didn't care much for Bush's handling during his last term, wished he did better his first term too, and wish Cheney would just shut up and go away, but even I saw and will admit to their flaws. To bad no one will say the same about Obama. He's been following Bush's plan almost to the letter. He's still engaging in torture. May not be doing it him self, but he is asking our allies to do it for us. Hes conducting the wars with Bush's strategies. Even going as far as using his same speeches and talking points.

January 20, 2009: Changefest '09 - Obama's Inaugural Speech
http://www.thedailyshow.com/watch/t...naugural-speech
And more recent.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WnYDOAAHfFo
Inventor
#7 Old 19th Feb 2010 at 6:17 PM
Oh, so you finally became un-blinded, good for you. I will be looking forward to the day you become just/fair-minded/reasonable/impartial/evenhanded. Obama has been in office for one year and was handed a plate full of thorn and thistle as a welcome to the Whitehouse; and given a drink to wash it down filled with crush glass on the rocks. He was strip of his American citizenship and labeled a socialist, Hitler and the one who have stolen America from the real Americans, what ever that means. A man that actually studied and taught Constitutional Law is being accused of not following the constitution and all the rest of the crazy allegations being put forth. Maybe if there wasn’t so much craziness blocking my view I could see clearly.

Your accusation of me being a blind sheep for Obama . . . coming from one who wanted him impeach before he even took office . . . well . . . thanks for the compliment, I will wear it proudly with honor and dignity.

Of course he is following policies put in place by Bush and the “dick”, you think he can do miracles? His plate is still full of eight years of feces that thanks to the Republican’s obstruction/hindrance behavior that they actually think is proof of their leadership abilities.

From where I sit, I will drink the Obama Kool-Aid any day than the feces and urine that is being handed out by the republicans, conservatives and tea party crowd, that want me to deceive myself into thinking they are feeding me Steak and Champaign, thanks, but no thanks!
world renowned whogivesafuckologist
staff: retired moderator
Original Poster
#8 Old 19th Feb 2010 at 6:21 PM
urisStar, Amish Nick, if you cannot be courteous and kind to each other without calling names or being insulting, then do not post. The snarking is not cool. Knock it off.

my simblr (sometimes nsfw)

“Dude, suckin’ at something is the first step to being sorta good at something.”
Panquecas, panquecas e mais panquecas.
Forum Resident
#9 Old 20th Feb 2010 at 2:02 AM
First, Nick, thank you for the first link, to the BBC. BBC is a legit news organization, the article is legit, and it sources its claim of torture to the attorney for the suspects in Pakistan, Khalid Kawaja.

Quote:
"The boys told me that Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) agents were present and were directing their interrogations," Khalid Khawaja, a human rights activist handling the case told the BBC.


That's a serious allegation. In response, we only have this so far: 'The US embassy in Islamabad has dismissed the claims as "baseless".' I applaud you for bringing it up. However, I'll dismiss the other two citations. The one to USA Today, for instance, which put me in the position once again of having to google Marc Theissen's name, only to find out that he was George Bush's chief speechwriter, not exactly a journalist reporting fact. It doesn't make him wrong; it just reduces your credibility when you don't give us a heads up to things like that and make us search for it. If I did something like that, I would expect you to call me out on it, as well.

As for the allegation... I've been worried about that since I heard about the capture, and I want to keep an eye on it. I can't draw a firm conclusion yet, but I'm ready to rip Obama a new one if it's true. I've been ripping him a new one on an almost daily basis over on DailyKos, to the point of being accused of being a "disloyal Democrat" by blind Obama followers, who seem to be in the minority in most of the left-blogosphere, which is unlike what happened in the right-blogosphere under Bush's administration. I'd be glad to post a list of links if you think I'm exaggerating about my level of criticism. I think he has been one of the most ineffectual Democratic presidents ever. But that is in reference to his management style and his willingness to compromise on anything rather than confront.

Part of that criticism has been at Obama's failure to allow the Justice Department to fully pursue war crime convictions against former Bush administration personnel (including Bush and Cheney themselves) for what are clear violations of both international law and American law with regard to torture, conspiracy, and obstruction of justice. I've had to reconcile myself to the fact that they won't get their just desserts under this administration. However, history will be far less kind.

As for allowing third party countries to torture... I actually posted on here a long time ago, back in 2005, when I was most exorcised about Abu Ghraib and there were a number of threads about it, that I was less bothered by that than I was by American torture. My position has since changed because I am less accepting, but as I stated it then, if other countries want to tarnish their own reputations and honor by doing such things, fine. Americans directing it, however, is another thing.

What happened differently under Bush and Cheney, though, and let's be clear, is that they made torture THE STANDARD ROUTINE. At first they denied it, like after Abu Ghraib, claiming it was all just a few bad apples, and they prosecuted grunts like that pregnant private, Lynndie England. They demoted officers who tried to tell the truth. Then they took a different tact and tried to justify the things they were doing, inventing colorful new government-jargon phrases like "enhanced interrogation," (an interesting throwback to the Nazi phrase for the same thing, "Verschärfte Vernehmung".) Then they actually took it to the media, trying to justify actions like waterboarding which had already been determined by our own courts, as well as world courts, to be torture, and claim it wasn't, that it was just "a little dunking." They claimed it was only done to three people, and then it turned out that wasn't true, and that it was applied hundreds of times to the same prisoners, that it was applied to people that were innocent, and while wasting our time with these defenses, they NEVER addressed the more egregious allegations of kicking prisoners to death (under orders), staged mock executions, the raping of prisoners' children, and surgical maiming of genitalia.

The result of all this is just shame. That's hard to deny. Our country is shamed. I also commented, back in 2005, that once they determined to head down this path, they could at least have killed their torture victims and buried them in a landfill to minimize the public humiliation brought down on the people of America by this. Even Mafioso know that much. If the actual moral depravity of torture itself isn't enough to stay their hand, a simple forethought about the embarrassment element alone should have made them pause, but it didn't. They shamed our country.

And that goes back to what I said at the top: Somebody does owe us all a big, big apology. It ought to come from Bush and Cheney in a glass booth in the Hague, but failing that, they should at least blush and shut up.
Alchemist
#10 Old 20th Feb 2010 at 1:17 PM
damn, doc.... *has nothing opposing to say.* o_O ( that's a first, for me. )

"The more you know, the sadder you get."~ Stephen Colbert
"Science literacy is a vaccine against the charlatans of the world that would exploit your ignorance."~ Neil DeGrasse Tyson
"I'm not going to censor myself to comfort your ignorance." ~ Jon Stewart
Forum Resident
#11 Old 24th Feb 2010 at 5:54 AM
Inventor
#12 Old 1st Mar 2010 at 4:25 PM Last edited by urisStar : 1st Mar 2010 at 4:49 PM.
Doc, do you know about this site: http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/index.html
I came across it by accident while searching for some of MLK, JR's last year of speeches, which I did fine one here by the way, called "It's A Dark Day In Our Nation".

Won’t make any comments about the topic at hand but to say America has got split personalities and she has been busy for centuries while the people has been lullabied to sleep by lies of freedom, America’s dream, great/best/wealthy country, humans right protectors and the rest her psycho babble/nonsense! With all the information Obama is privileged too as President of this country he may be having nightmares and bouts with insomnia just about every night.

I just completed viewing this one:

http://www.informationclearinghouse...rticle15435.htm
Forum Resident
#13 Old 2nd Mar 2010 at 5:07 AM
Oh boy, what a trip backwards through time. I watched the whole 52 minute film, so I hope you're satisfied, heh.

This was propaganda, not news. It was obviously made back around 1983 or thereabouts, when Nicaragua was a bigger issue, and it was a kind of old-school left wing cause celebre. The movie keeps referring to how Reagan might invade Nicaragua -- which never happened -- and that the Sandinistas weren't Communist -- but Ortega openly embraced Marxism, Soviet aid and military advisors and intelligence officlals, at the height of the Cold War, and made threats of war against the United States, which makes that all seem dated and incorrect.

It was informative in many ways, but it left out other key facts, like the fact that the Ortega government began as a Marxist dictatorship, and that soon after taking power, Ortega provided material aid to other revolutionary groups in neighboring countries, including El Salvador. The US aided Nicaragua for a while after the fall of Somoza, but withdrew and boycotted it after that, which angered many liberals at the time. I was not one of them. I was a conservative/libertarian back in the 80's and was actively supporting the anti-Sandinista insurgents.

Now, I won't argue that the previous president of Nicaragua, Somoza, was a first class rat of a dictator. But that was, unfortunately par for the course for much of Central America and South America at that time. (Still is, in fact, although things are a little better). The documentary went to lengths to demonstrate how awful Somoza was, including that he tortured his enemies, as a way of reinforcing the good-guy image of the Ortegas. But that can only be done by comparing them to a bunch of looting, torturing thugs.

Back around 1985, my boss and I tried to start a 501.c org to raise money for the anti-Sandinista forces, the people that this documentary calls terrorists. So I guess I'm a terrorist. Actually, we never raised a dime, but we were getting our ducks in a row so we could. There were indigenous groups in Nicaragua that were at war with the FSLN. They may have received aid from the CIA, but that doesn't change the fact that the enmity was real. In particular, the Miskito Indians of Nicaragua, who were being massacred. They hooked up with another anti-Sandinista splinter group led by a kook named Captain Zero that Reagan didn't really trust, who was trying to arm the Indians. We were more interested in him than the Reagan administration's favored hero, a guy I can't remember the name of, who was actively trying to raise money in the US through third-party fundraisers. And then the Iran-Contra thing blew up in 1987 and that ruined the party for everybody.

Now, the funny thing is, here I am, Mr. Uber-Left-Winger, telling you how I was trying to help raise money for right-wing "terrorists" running around in the jungle with guns. I should seem like the last guy to turn on somebody like the Bush administration and their vaguely focused War on Terror and Anything Else That Scares Us. But you have to remember, the conservative movement wasn't always as STUPID and DISHONEST as it is now. An intelligent person could be part of it without feeling like they were dumbing themselves down to Sarah Palin's level, or feeling like they had to become Jesus-Worship Robots. Back in the 80's, I was arguing the pros and cons of America's foreign policy in Nicaragua on a daily basis the way I gripe about Bush Cheney Torture today. (Hell, I've been arguing politics on the Internet longer than some of you have been alive.) A lot of my views have changed since then, obviously, but it's worth remembering, that was the Cold War, and the world really was balancing on a knife's edge. Twenty years earlier, the Soviets had talked the Cubans into letting them install nuke missiles in Cuba. In October 1963, it nearly led to a war that could well have been a world extinction event.
Forum Resident
#14 Old 6th Mar 2010 at 5:03 PM
Interesting Doc. Lets play abit more with more recent events thou, not a trip down the "I hate Bush lane" as he's gone now.



Quote:
Dozens of activists grouped under the Campus Islamic Proselytization Institute Coordinating Board rallied outside the Serang regency legislative council building on Friday to oppose Obama's visit (scheduled for March 20-22).

"We reject Obama's planned visit to Indonesia, which will bring no advantages to predominantly Muslim Indonesia," group coordinator Ahmad Kardi said as quoted by Antara.

Ahmad warned the nation against offers of cooperation from Obama, which he said would eventually benefit the US at Indonesia's expense.
http://tinyurl.com/yk6ehfk

What ever happened to the Obama will heal the relations of the US with the world? Can't blame this all on Bush. As these people are pissed at 0.

And this isn't the only localized incident.

Quote:
Falkland Islands: The Special Relationship is now starting to seem very one-sided

Yet after this week's unwelcome, and unnecessary, intervention by Hillary Clinton, the US secretary of state, in the latest spat over the Falkland Islands, one begins to wonder just how committed the Americans would be if Britain were to find itself seriously threatened. Would Washington be prepared to commit its military might to defend our interests, or would it simply confine its response to firing a few barrages of cruise missiles?

(...)

But I believe this explanation is a red herring. A more likely explanation is that President Obama and his advisers find it incomprehensible that, in the 21st century, Britain continues to maintain its sovereignty over a remote group of islands that lie thousands of miles from its shores. And I fear that far from supporting their traditional ally, they will lend their support to any initiative that brings British influence in the South Atlantic to an end.


This is what, the third time since taking office that 0 has pissed the Brits off? Our best and strongest ally.

Oh well

Back onto torture, more recent article I came across.

Since you only believe any thing written by liberals doc, got some for you to believe them.

First NYT.

Quote:
Torture’s Loopholes

If I were to return to one of the war zones today — as an Air Force officer, I was sent to Iraq to head an interrogation team in 2006 — I would still be allowed to abuse prisoners.

(...)

For example, an appendix to the manual allows the military to keep a detainee in “separation” — solitary confinement — indefinitely. It requires only that a general approve any extension after 30 days. Rest assured, there will be numerous waivers to even that minuscule requirement.
(...)
And, in any case, extended solitary confinement is torture, as confirmed by many scientific studies. Even the initial 30 days of isolation could be considered abuse.
(...)

The Army Field Manual also does not explicitly prohibit stress positions, putting detainees into close confinement or environmental manipulation (other than hypothermia and “heat injury”). These omissions open a window of opportunity for abuse.

The manual also allows limiting detainees to just four hours of sleep in 24 hours. Let’s face it: extended captivity with only four hours of sleep a night (consider detainees at Guantánamo Bay who have been held for seven years) does not meet the minimum standard of humane treatment, either in terms of American law or simple human decency.

And if this weren’t enough, some interrogators feel the manual’s language gives them a loophole that allows them to give a detainee four hours of sleep and then conduct a 20-hour interrogation, after which they can “reset” the clock and begin another 20-hour interrogation followed by four hours of sleep.


http://www.nytimes.com/2010/01/21/o...1alexander.html

Now certainly Obama is aghast with this. With Congress last week during the HC debate with GOP members, those left behind in Congress slipped in a little provision into a bill that outlined what could and could not be done to prisoners.
Quote:
Democrats inserted an 11-page addition into the bill late Wednesday night as the House Rules Committee considered the legislation.

The provision, previously not vetted in committee, applied to “any officer or employee of the intelligence community” who during interrogations engages in beatings, infliction of pain or forced sexual acts. The bill said the acts covered by the provision would include inducing hypothermia, conducting mock executions or “depriving the [detainee] of necessary food, water, sleep, or medical care.”


Now Obama should be chearing this right? Wrong, he was pissed and threatend to veto the whole bill because of this inserted language!

Quote:
The White House isn't happy; they've already threatened to veto the bill because it, in their mind, it infringes upon the rights of the executive branch by forcing the administration to disclose more about intelligence operations to more members of Congress -- Section 321. (Obama, like previous presidents, believes that the executive branch possesses the sole authority to decide what national security information is and how to protect it.) The administration also has reservations about the prohibition on giving American authorities overseas the option to read captured terrorists Miranda rights.

An administration official said that the White House "did not coordinate with Congress on the manager's amendment."

Safe to say, the White House does not support the amendment. In effect, the amendment, added by intel committee chair Sylvester Reyes, would codify the illegality of the enhanced interrogation techniques that Justice Department lawyers in the Bush Administration found a legal basis for. (Liz Cheney, in a statement, noted that "[t[hese methods have further been found by the Department of Justice to be both legal and in keeping with our international obligations." Well, that doesn't mean they are legal or do keep faith with out international obligations.


http://politics.theatlantic.com/201...ence_debate.php

Now doc, why would Obama oppose any transparency with congress in how prisoners be treated? Especially when he campaigned on fair treatment of prisoners. Why wouldn’t he want a hard set in stone laws of prohibited interrogation procedures? Is Obama still torturing prisoners when he promised to end it? Sure as hell looks like it.


One other thing to think about. Coming down to the wire on HC reform. Looks like Obama is all for using the nuclear option. Seems he loves the idea and is all for it.

To bad he wasn't for it when he was still a senator.

http://mypetjawa.mu.nu/archives/201329.php
Quote:
"You've got to break out of what I call the -- sort of -- 50-plus-one pattern of presidential politics, which is you have nasty primaries where everybody's disheartened, then you divide the country 45 percent on one side 45 percent on the other and 10 percent in the middle," he began. "Battle it out and then maybe you eke out a victory of 50 plus one, and then you can't govern."

He went on to talk specifically about getting legislation through Congress: "You can't deliver on health care. We're not going to pass universal health care with a 50-plus-one strategy. We're not going to have a serious bold energy policy of the sort that I proposed yesterday unless you build a working majority."
Forum Resident
#15 Old 7th Mar 2010 at 1:54 AM
Nick, do you think I'm a huge Obama supporter? Obama and Bush can both suck badly for the same reason without there being an inconsistency. I don't buy the argument for their both being the same, because there is a difference between Bush gutting American tradition and Obama's obsequious fear of changing things back to the way they were before Bush. I don't say this to excuse him, just to point out the huge difference. And I still can't tell whether you oppose any of the things you mentioned. You just throw them out there without judgment of their rightness or wrongness. It would be easier to take your post seriously if you said, for instance, you condemned Obama's position or approved Bush's position, but saying they are similar doesn't move the ball.

For the record, by the way, this is the diary I posted on DailyKos last night as Dumbo. It's hardly a love letter to Obama.

ACLU: Obama may deal "Death blow to American Values."

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2010/3/5/214856/5332

It's about Obama's impending (I expect it) craven reversal of position on a matter of importance having to do with a past Bush administration position. He said he was going to transfer the trials of terrorists from the secret military tribunal system to the open civilian trial system and put accused terrorists on trial in America so we could all see and hear what happened. But he CAVED IN, as I put it, to criticism from the right, from people like Lynne Cheney, the daughter of an f'ing WAR CRIMINAL fercrissake.

The difference in the problems between the two parties is this: The Republican Party is batshit crazy, extremist, confused between libertarianism and authoritarianism, the two of which can't mix because they are opposites. On the other hand, we have a Democratic Party, the rank and file of which is opposed to the policies of the past Republican administration and voted for change, but with a party leadership in Washington that is unbelievably cowardly and afraid of any criticism from the right, to the point that they appear to have no real principles of their own, when they are pushed, other than the principle of protecting their own privileged positions within the party hierarchy. The country has good reason to ask, what was the point of voting for these clowns if they were too afraid to change anything?

I swear, the only thing that gives the Democratic Party any chance at all in 2012 is that the Republicans are so rife with insensible lunatics that they will scare the crap out of people like me that are mad as hell at Democrats. They could clean up in this cycle and the next if they just showed a trace of sanity. But putting people like Dick and Lynne Cheney on the platform at CPAC to INSIST on more torture is not the way to do it.

You know, I don't think most Republicans with independently thinking minds who say they are for torture really approve of it. It's one of those things where people get cornered into a position of supporting something that they would ordinarily know is crazy, but they have to put up a good front; and then they get so caught up in their role they lose touch. And Bush and Cheney have done this to the Republican Party, pushing them into the position of having to defend their torture, then to approving torture as a policy, then to complaining that not enough people are being tortured. Ten years ago, Republicans would have recoiled from all this. It is an aberration.
Forum Resident
#16 Old 9th Mar 2010 at 4:31 AM
I've never really taken any serious stance on Torture, one way or the other. I'm a history buff, love it, learn it and so forth. And the misguided belief that we didn't engage in torture untill Bush is entertaining to say the least. Now I will say this. On one hand knowing history and such, I can see where it has been beneficial. But in the same respect, miss-used, over-used, and untrustworthy. As such, I will remain on the fence, as only time and facts will show when it was used if its right, wrong or so forth. You may not like that answer, but I really don't care.

Now you call "Republican Party is batshit crazy, extremist, confused between" two factions that don't mix. Care to take a trip over to Democratic Underground and watch the insanity? In the last week there, enjoyed watching as the libs there speculate that the shooter at the Pentagon was some how a tea partier, Obama hater truther. But seen the same with the guy who crashed the plane into the Gov. building a few weeks earlier. Or turn on the news today and listen to Sean Penn wanting any journalist who called Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez a dictator behind bars. Or pop over to Moore's web site and listen to him rip the DNC apart and demand Obama replace Emanuel with himself so he can enforce a totalitarian regime on America. Meh, so much for freedom of speech, freedom of the press, or just plan old sanity. You know... every thing Libs claim to cherish, uphold, defend or love.

Now I do sense a growing level of buyer's remorse with Obama with you. As is growing threw-out America. I wonder if during the election when Obama kept repeating "Hope" & "Change" maybe it would have been better, as I've repeated almost 2 years ago, what does he mean/meant by that? To many voters filled in the blank with what they wanted it to mean, but never bothered to ask that simple question.

On your Obama caving due to "right" pressure. Wrong and the polls say so.

Quote:
64 percent believe Mohammed should be tried in military court, with 34 percent suggesting that he face trial in civilian court.

"The decision to bring Khalid Sheikh Mohammed in front of a civilian court is universally unpopular - even a majority of Democrats and liberals say that he should be tried by military authorities," says CNN Polling

http://rds.yahoo.com/_ylt=A0geusWMv...military-court/



Now onto some thing I touched on earlier. Recent Liberal Progressive poll on US Respect Worldwide.

Quote:
The Democracy Corps-Third Way survey released Monday finds that by a 10-point margin — 51 percent to 41 percent — Americans think the standing of the U.S. dropped during the first 13 months of Mr. Obama’s presidency.


http://washingtontimes.com/news/201...-losing-ground/

What? Its not improving? Obama has made it worse?

All my fun aside, I do have to say I did find Time's recent article interesting.

Quote:
Who would have thought that one of Barack Obama’s biggest missteps as president would be repeating some of the bad habits of George W. Bush? No single factor was more instrumental in Obama’s 2008 victory than his pledge to completely reverse the nation’s course once in the White House. Instead, over the past year, Obama has mimicked some of Bush’s most egregious blunders, leading to much of the political predicament in which the present decider finds himself today.

http://www.time.com/time/politics/a...1970413,00.html

When AP, Time, NYT stop with the fluff peaces, the honey moon is over.
Forum Resident
#17 Old 10th Mar 2010 at 7:10 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick
I've never really taken any serious stance on Torture, one way or the other. I'm a history buff, love it, learn it and so forth. And the misguided belief that we didn't engage in torture untill Bush is entertaining to say the least. Now I will say this. On one hand knowing history and such, I can see where it has been beneficial. But in the same respect, miss-used, over-used, and untrustworthy. As such, I will remain on the fence, as only time and facts will show when it was used if its right, wrong or so forth. You may not like that answer, but I really don't care.


Yes, we have had incidents of torture in our history. And we have had slavery, witch trials, and genocide, as well. But as part of our national identity, we reject such things. In the case of something like slavery, which was the law of the land, we rejected it wholeheartedly and are proud of that and take no small amount of pride in the fact that we are a country that doesn't practice slavery anymore.

There have been covert incidents of torture. I've always assumed that there are more incidents of torture that occurred covertly during the Cold War than we will ever know. It's not just a staple of spy-fiction. It also makes sense knowing the climate of the times and the nature of the proceedings. But let's distinguish that from what happened during the Bush administration, when they codified torture into the law. They invented brand new names for it -- "enhanced interrogiation"; they wrote legal memos authorizing the breaking of existing American law with regards to torture. They offered up possible future defenses for if/when Americans were accused of committing war crimes in violation of the Geneva Conventions and the Reagan-signed UN Convention Against Torture. This wasn't just a few people in the heat of the action at the lowest level doing things in the dark of the night. The action went all the way up the chain of command to the White House. And this is the worst part, the most recent part -- when the truth came out, they said, "So what? America should torture people! In fact, we condemn a president who doesn't torture as many prisoners as possible!" And they say these things publicly, brazenly, with great bravado; it's as if fear or doubts over their past misconduct might lead to them crumbling, so they have to go to the most ludicrous extremes in support of something that none of them would have argued even in private just years earlier.

This is what Ronald Reagan said about it:

http://findarticles.com/p/articles/...v88/ai_6742034/
Quote:
"The United States participated actively and effectively in the negotiation of the Convention . It marks a significant step in the development during this century of international measures against torture and other inhuman treatment or punishment. Ratification of the Convention by the United States will clearly express United States opposition to torture, an abhorrent practice unfortunately still prevalent in the world today.

The core provisions of the Convention establish a regime for international cooperation in the criminal prosecution of torturers relying on so-called 'universal jurisdiction.' Each State Party is required either to prosecute torturers who are found in its territory or to extradite them to other countries for prosecution."


As a history buff, you should know that there was no arm-twisting by the left to get Ronald Reagan to sign it. He was proud of this treaty. That was because, whether you agree or disagree with his other politics, he was in the mainstream of American thinking and values when it came to this. There was no counter-argument presented by ANYBODY on the right to this saying, "Well, maybe we should make an exception for this or that." Nobody did that. That's the America that existed at that time.

Why didn't anybody fight over it? Because torture is nearly impossible to defend, if you haven't already committed it and thus put yourself in the position of having to come up with rationalizations to defend yourself. And through most of my lifetime, when the subject of international torture came up, there was a better than average probability it was going to lead to a discussion of torture OF Americans by foreign dictatorships, like the North Koreans or the North Vietnamese or the Chinese or the Cubans or the Soviets. To defend torture, therefore, was to defend torture of Americans.

Quote:
Now you call "Republican Party is batshit crazy, extremist, confused between" two factions that don't mix. Care to take a trip over to Democratic Underground and watch the insanity?


Yes, I call it that, but I thought, after I wrote that, that I should have been clearer, because I wasn't talking about competing factions, but incongruous ideas being held inside the same minds. Which is crazy. The Republican Party hasn't always been this bad. For instance, during the 90's, whether you agreed with them or thought they were spouting bullshit, or not, people like Newt Gingrich and Grover Norquist and Mitch McConnell and William F. Buckley and Patrick Buchanan could be considered probably sane and with internally consistent views of conservatism, whether or not they all agreed with each other invidually. You didn't suspect them of actually believing both A and NOT A at the same time.

I don't have that confidence anymore. Do you? Torture comes up in this, as well, as we'll see. For instance, polls show that most of the same teabaggers that are scared stiff that Obama is going to be a fascist (and a socialist) and a government takeover of everything are content with the idea of government torture, suspension of habeas corpus and secret military trials and think we need more of it. That's batshit crazy. If you believe that the government should be able to hold people indefinitely without warrants and torture them, then you don't believe in the same historical visions of liberty and freedom common to both the left and the right, and fears of government takeover are silly in such a context.

There are other big incongruities as well, such as the incongruity of wanting military expansion (for instance into Iran) and more tax cuts while at the same time going bananas over increasing the deficit. I'm much less worried about that, though, because the legacy of a huge deficit is easier to erase than the black stain left on our honor by torture.
Scholar
#18 Old 23rd Mar 2010 at 3:22 PM
I've thought about this. People are saying there's a heavy wave of polarization and radicalism going on. And they're right, but I thought about why just recently. I concluded on an idea. *Note: An idea, not fact.

On the left...how do I want to say this...Well the most polarizing on the left would be people like me, the Progressives. Yes, I have admitted bias, but I'll do my best to point it out logically. So let's take a look at that first. In the 19th century, it was things like the right to vote, passed in 1920 in the US. Then it was woman's rights in general, gender equality.

Then it was civil rights in the mid 50s and across 60s.

What comes next? Gay rights, immigration rights, social reform, etc. The reason one could say Progressives are becoming more "radical" is because the bar keeps moving up. It's not necessarily radicalism, as it is keeping up and trying keep doing more. I think some see it as radicalism because they don't like it.

On the other hand, you have Republicans. I point out, I say REPUBLICANS, NOT CONSERVATIVES. While every Republican is conservative (probably), not every conservative is Republican. Although, I will include some people who claim to be Libertarian (to be honest, I have no idea what Libertarianism even is), like Glenn Beck.

The Republicans used to be...well, they used to be the liberals, actually. In this case, however, it really is radicalization. Many claim the beginning of the New Republican Party was with the founding of Moral Majority, Jerry Falwell's organization, in end of the 70s (the organization lasted through the 80s up near the end, but closed up before the 90s came around). People like Falwell and Robertson actively seek to infuse religion and politics. That is partly their goal. And that is the goal of The Third Wave. They are conservative Christian fundamentalist who want America to be a Christian nation. In recent times, they have targeted conservatives to bring them into their fold (in this case, I do mean conservatives), and some other people who they can use, such as Bart Stupak, who lived at C-Street, for example (I do not know, however, what the connections of The Family are in this, however, I meant it as an example only). The Republicans have become radicalized through fundamentalist Christianity, who's overall practices I will not go into here. Furthermore, and this is my personal belief, the Republicans are becoming, if not already, socially fascist.

How? Well, some of the principles of fascism are: strong or radical nationalism, rejection of individualism and adoption of a collective identity, that culture dictates identity, strong leadership, ability and will to wage war or general violence, purity, and that only they know what is best or only they can save the country.

Also, socialism and fascism are actually opposed to each other, like liberal v. conservative. Fascists blame socialism, especially Marxism and Communism, and liberalism, and that there must be aristocracy.

Now, let's face it, let's compare the current Republican party and philosophy. Liberals are destroying America which is the strongest and greatest nation on Earth gifted to us by God himself. Nationalism, check. Blame liberalism, check. They are currently targeting "soft" Republicans and independents in their party, in favor of strong conservatives, and have considered purity tests and the Mt. Vernon Statement for candidates. Collective identity, rejection of others, purity, check x3. Over this health care debate, you've heard that it's socialism (like that's a bad thing), Marxism, Communism, Moaism, Stalinism, fascism, etc. So blaming all that stuff? Big check. You have Teabaggers inciting violence and hate, with Republicans courting the group. Check to violence. You have Bush who went to war under a context that Iraq had WMDs, then it turned out he didn't. While there, Republicans continued to support it and him, and said that criticizing President Bush was unpatriotic and an affront to the nation. Ability to wage war, "strong" leadership (or at least the appearance of it), double check. And lastly, that American is a Christian nation and we must adopt fundamentalist Christian morality, such as anti-gay and anti-abortion. Culture dictates identity, check.

So to sum it up, that's a check for everything I've listed, except for aristocracy. Now, I specifically point out socially fascist, because they are not true fascists in the context of economic philosophy. Economically, I don't know what they are. It's like some bastardization of mercantilism (but without the import regulation) or something. Essentially, they're non-existent. The free market must be void of all government oversight or regulation, left completely to its own devices. Laissez-faire, apparently. But whatever, that is not fascist. Fascism actually opposes it, so that is why I specifically point out "social" or "socially."

So getting all that out of the way comes my last point, the point of polarization. I think the reason why is because, well, first look at the civil rights arguments. You had segregationist Southern Democrats who, after the Civil Rights Act of 1964, turned Republican. Mix that in with the fusing of religion in the 80s, and the Republicans have become more radical, more polarizing. The left, in response, are becoming more polarized as well, because as both sides progress, they hate each other even more, which leads to that polarization. As the right becomes more fundamentalist Christian conservative, the left responds by becoming more liberal to oppose that.

Think of it like this. You have to magnets opposing each other. As you increase the strength of their magnetism, their magnetic fields grow, and they push each other further apart. It's like that, and the magnetism in this case, is political philosophy.

That's all I got. If you take the time to read this, thank you for, well, taking the time.
Scholar
#19 Old 23rd Mar 2010 at 5:50 PM
Nekowolf: First, I'd like to give a definition of Libertarianism. The quick way of saying it is fiscally conservative, socially liberal. That means that they are for smaller government, with less government fiddling with the economy, and freedom of religion, sexuality, etc. Social liberality also often extends to drugs and prostitution, though not for all libertarians. I'd also like to point out that Glenn Beck is probably the worst example of a libertarian to be found. He is not logical, he just spews crazy without any evidence.

I would consider myself more of a libertarian than I would consider myself of any other political party. I don't like either of the two major parties because both are so biased that they can't see past their own agenda. The Republican party is mostly reactionary, looking to reverse any progress that has been made. I can't say this of all Republicans, as there are some who simply want things to remain in their current state, or who want less social programs, etc, but the party figureheads are the extremists. The Democratic party wants "progress", but they put little thought into the long-term consequences of the policies they want to push through. They also want to massively expand the government and make it reach into as many areas of daily life as possible. They think that they are doing good by holding people's hands, but all they are doing is providing a permanent crutch for some, and essentially punishing those who are actually successful. Further, both parties focus on issues that I would consider to be of little meaning. I think that the number one issue should be science and technology because the quality of life up to this point has mostly been improved by increases in science and technology. If we are to have a large government, it should focus on the long-term goals that will improve our society because the short-term "fixes" are meaningless.

Socialism is something that sounds great in theory (maybe), but doesn't work in actuality. The economy is based on goods and services; those who contribute to that can be compensated and it keeps the economy in balance. Those who don't contribute goods or services are a drain on the economy. Just because money is somewhat of an abstract concept, doesn't mean that it isn't partly based in the concrete. We know from history that governments that tried to print money to improve the economy only ended up depreciating the value of their currency. Trying to base income on a standard that doesn't involve goods and services is equally flawed because it, too, works on the flawed assumption that money is a fully abstract concept.

The healthcare bill is flawed because it is short-sighted. Firstly, we already have Medicare and Medicaid which could be improved upon to help out those people that are supposed to be helped by the healthcare bill. The main reason given for the healthcare bill is so that everyone can have healthcare, regardless of income. Medicare is already in place for those who live in poverty. True, it is full of corruption and inefficiency at current times, but if the government actually wanted to fix it, they could. The problem is that our government does not look back and analyze the effects of the laws they pass after they are passed. If something is going glaringly wrong, they will make a new law to shore up some of the holes, and then go on their way as if everything is miraculously perfect now.

Instead, they want to push through a bill that will put us into even more massive debt than we are currently in, and instate a system that has, at best, had lukewarm results in other countries. It sounds nice and touchy-feely that everyone has equal access to healthcare, but it simply doesn't work in practice. You end up with a massively overburdened healthcare system that can't work at the same level of quality as a non-socialized healthcare system. Why do we need the government to provide healthcare to the middle and upper classes, anyway? If they can afford the insurance rates, then the government providing it for them is simply a way to hold everyone's hand and tell them what to do. If the government can't even help itself, with all of it's bureaucracy and corruption, how is it going to take on the problems of every single person in this country?

I think that our government is far too large already, and making it even larger with this bill is a step in the wrong direction. If you give people a little freedom and responsibility for their own actions, they will take it and work with it. Instead, our government assumes that we are all idiots who need a mommy to guide us along.
Alchemist
#20 Old 23rd Mar 2010 at 6:08 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Oaktree
The healthcare bill is flawed because it is short-sighted. Firstly, we already have Medicare and Medicaid which could be improved upon to help out those people that are supposed to be helped by the healthcare bill. The main reason given for the healthcare bill is so that everyone can have healthcare, regardless of income. Medicare is already in place for those who live in poverty. True, it is full of corruption and inefficiency at current times, but if the government actually wanted to fix it, they could.


methinks you should get ahold of a couple of applications for Medicare and Medicaid. not everyone ( like us poor folk at my house... ) can apply.

and if it is indeed full of corruption and inefficiency, what was the point of bringing it up? you seem to have invalidated your own support.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Oaktree
I think that our government is far too large already, and making it even larger with this bill is a step in the wrong direction. If you give people a little freedom and responsibility for their own actions, they will take it and work with it. Instead, our government assumes that we are all idiots who need a mommy to guide us along.


the government hasnt exactly been proven wrong about that. have you seen the crap that people do, when left to their own devices? now im all for the government butting the hell out of my life, but... my neighbors, im pretty sure they need it...

"The more you know, the sadder you get."~ Stephen Colbert
"Science literacy is a vaccine against the charlatans of the world that would exploit your ignorance."~ Neil DeGrasse Tyson
"I'm not going to censor myself to comfort your ignorance." ~ Jon Stewart
Scholar
#21 Old 23rd Mar 2010 at 6:51 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by SuicidiaParasidia
methinks you should get ahold of a couple of applications for Medicare and Medicaid. not everyone ( like us poor folk at my house... ) can apply.

and if it is indeed full of corruption and inefficiency, what was the point of bringing it up? you seem to have invalidated your own support.


I brought it up specifically to say that fixing it would be better than the overhaul they are trying to put in place. It isn't totally useless in it's current state, it simply isn't as efficient as it should be. All I am saying is that it could be made better with more effort and monitoring.

Quote:
the government hasnt exactly been proven wrong about that. have you seen the crap that people do, when left to their own devices? now im all for the government butting the hell out of my life, but... my neighbors, im pretty sure they need it...


The examples that we see are in the midst of a large, overbearing government that holds people's hands, so an example from modern times would not be admissible evidence for a scenario when the government does allow freedom and personal responsibility. It would be better to look at the government and society of 100-200 years ago. Things weren't perfect then, but the government generally worked the way it was intended to work, and people had to take responsibility for themselves because the government certainly wasn't going to support their livelihood. If you make people work for their living, then they have to choose between working and living in poverty. It is "do or die", and most people would choose to do.
Scholar
#22 Old 23rd Mar 2010 at 7:07 PM
@Oaktree

Thanks for the definition, and I totally agree about what you said about Beck.

Now, don't get me wrong. I wasn't necessarily defending the Democrats. Just want to point that out. But, while I have gripes with the party, they're the best representation I have in Congress. And I must take issue, firstly, with: "They also want to massively expand the government and make it reach into as many areas of daily life as possible."

I think that is quite incorrect. Now I hear people say, "oh the want to expand government." But define that? What qualifies as an expansion of government? Because frankly, I could argue the Patriot Act is an expansion of government, that the illegal wiretapping was an expansion of government, the ability to torture. What about No Child Left Behind? "Expansion of government" seems to be more like a red herring than a logical argument.

Now, yes, science and technology is important, but you need a system. You need education to teach it. You need taxation to fund that education (among other things). Without a health care system, what is learned from modern medicine is useless because it doesn't reach the people, or only a certain amount while the rest are unable to get health care. You need financial reform to make sure that that science and technology won't be hindered when something happens like an economic crash. The reason we have short-term fixes is because sometimes, there are situation that need to be fixed as soon as possible, e.g. the last economic collapse, lest you want that situation to get even worse. If you focus entirely on long-term goals, that's great for the future, but bad for the here and now. You must balance both short-term and long-term goals.

Now, as for socialism, I don't understand, because what you are describing, well, you explain how an economy works, but now how socialism fails. Socialism is not "let's save everybody!" nor is it an entirely economic philosophy. From what I can guess, you are basing off one ideology of socialism, which is false because there are many. Socialist governments, however, do work, Europe and Canada are proof of this. Of course, they are not entirely socialist, and neither is America entirely capitalist. To say it doesn't work in actuality is just inaccurate.

Now, for the health care bill. As SuicidiaParasidia has already said, Medicare and Medicaid are not inclusive to everyone. You have to have specific qualifications, and those in the middle are unable to apply. That is why so many people don't have insurance; they don't qualify for either one, and in the middle, there is nothing, no programs or anything.

Now what you say about government not looking back, for that, I expect some level of evidence. Honestly, it seems more like just rhetoric to me.

Continuing on the health care bill, the Congressional Budget Office scored the bill and has said it would help reduce the deficit. If you want to counter that, I would advise you choose your words carefully. As for lukewarm results, if it's so lukewarm, then why are they doing so much better than us? Using the World Health Organization ratings: France, UK, Germany, Sweden, Denmark, Canada, all have higher rankings than the US. France is No. 1, and they have a very socialist health care system. Lukewarm? Hardly! It does work in practice and numerous countries prove that it does; sure, they're not perfect, but they still work.

"Why do we need the government to provide healthcare to the middle and upper classes, anyway?" Sure, the upper classes can afford it, but a lot of people in the middle and lower CANNOT afford it, or are even outright denied coverage because of preexisting conditions, and do not qualify for government assistance.

Government can be too big, but there is such a thing as a government being too small. As for the government assuming we are all idiots, that'd be fine if we were a single-party government, but we're not. Our government changes, and to think all administrations universally thing we're idiots just does not make any sense. Sure, some do, but the entire body? That's just...I don't even have a polite response to that.
Scholar
#23 Old 23rd Mar 2010 at 7:54 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nekowolf
.
Now, don't get me wrong. I wasn't necessarily defending the Democrats. Just want to point that out. But, while I have gripes with the party, they're the best representation I have in Congress. And I must take issue, firstly, with: "They also want to massively expand the government and make it reach into as many areas of daily life as possible."

I think that is quite incorrect. Now I hear people say, "oh the want to expand government." But define that? What qualifies as an expansion of government? Because frankly, I could argue the Patriot Act is an expansion of government, that the illegal wiretapping was an expansion of government, the ability to torture. What about No Child Left Behind? "Expansion of government" seems to be more like a red herring than a logical argument.


Expansion of the government is anything that increases its power. New legislation, higher taxes, etc. While some of it is justifiable, there is a lot of silly and useless legislation being passed through. And I would agree that the Patriot Act, wire taps, allowance of torture, etc. is increasing the government, and not justifiable. The Republican party does its part to expand the government, too, they simply do a little less of it than the Democrats.

Quote:
Now, yes, science and technology is important, but you need a system. You need education to teach it. You need taxation to fund that education (among other things). Without a health care system, what is learned from modern medicine is useless because it doesn't reach the people, or only a certain amount while the rest are unable to get health care. You need financial reform to make sure that that science and technology won't be hindered when something happens like an economic crash. The reason we have short-term fixes is because sometimes, there are situation that need to be fixed as soon as possible, e.g. the last economic collapse, lest you want that situation to get even worse. If you focus entirely on long-term goals, that's great for the future, but bad for the here and now. You must balance both short-term and long-term goals.


Again, I agree that there must be support structures including education and some form of healthcare, but I think that the healthcare being proposed is too big and too inefficient. Education is one of my big crusades as well, as I think that the education system needs a lot of improvement, and possibly more funding.

Quote:
Now, as for socialism, I don't understand, because what you are describing, well, you explain how an economy works, but now how socialism fails. Socialism is not "let's save everybody!" nor is it an entirely economic philosophy. From what I can guess, you are basing off one ideology of socialism, which is false because there are many. Socialist governments, however, do work, Europe and Canada are proof of this. Of course, they are not entirely socialist, and neither is America entirely capitalist. To say it doesn't work in actuality is just inaccurate.


Europe and Canada have a lot of flaws, particularly in their healthcare systems, but also in their general socialist legislation. Look at France. It is nearly impossible to fire people, even for incompetence (something that the unions have brought on for several professions in this country, as well). So they have workers that don't do their job, but still get paid. Where is the sense in that? They are costing their company money, without putting anything back. France also has a very long paid maternity leave (16-26 weeks, from what I have found). Again, this is 1/3 to 1/2 of a year in which a person is getting paid, but not contributing back to the company.

Quote:
Now, for the health care bill. As SuicidiaParasidia has already said, Medicare and Medicaid are not inclusive to everyone. You have to have specific qualifications, and those in the middle are unable to apply. That is why so many people don't have insurance; they don't qualify for either one, and in the middle, there is nothing, no programs or anything.


The main reason for the cost of insurance in the first place is frivolous medical malpractice suits. The frivolous suits increase the cost of medical insurance for doctors, making doctors have to increase the cost of their services, which makes the insurance companies increase the cost for the consumers. The way to fix this for it to work in the long run is to make judges and lawyers more accountable for letting these frivolous lawsuits through the court system.

Quote:
Now what you say about government not looking back, for that, I expect some level of evidence. Honestly, it seems more like just rhetoric to me.


How often do you hear of Congress removing a law from the books? Every law passed isn't perfect, so obviously there have to be some laws that really should be removed. You have probably heard of some of the silly laws that are still on the books simply because Congress does not go back and correct those things. And I would say that Medicare and Medicaid are a good example of a case in which Congress doesn't look to see how something is doing. If they did, they would have tried to fix it before now, without trying the massive overhaul they are pushing through now.

Quote:
Continuing on the health care bill, the Congressional Budget Office scored the bill and has said it would help reduce the deficit. If you want to counter that, I would advise you choose your words carefully. As for lukewarm results, if it's so lukewarm, then why are they doing so much better than us? Using the World Health Organization ratings: France, UK, Germany, Sweden, Denmark, Canada, all have higher rankings than the US. France is No. 1, and they have a very socialist health care system. Lukewarm? Hardly! It does work in practice and numerous countries prove that it does; sure, they're not perfect, but they still work.


From what I can tell, the estimate of the healthcare reform bill reducing costs comes from a comparison to the potential effects of another bill. If instead, Medicare is made more efficient and the court system is held accountable for frivolous lawsuits, I think that it would ultimately cost less than anything they are looking at now.

Countries with socialized healthcare have longer waits to get treatment, it is harder to get organ transplants, and it is more restrictive towards certain vices. It is a lot harder to get treated if you are overweight, a smoker, an alcoholic, etc. because the system doesn't want to take care of those who choose to damage their health. In a non-socialized healthcare system, people pay for their own healthcare, so it is their responsibility if they choose to smoke or drink. I can agree with making it difficult for people who smoke or drink to get organ transplants because the transplants are so scarce, but general medical services should be the responsibility of the person going in for treatment.

Quote:
"Why do we need the government to provide healthcare to the middle and upper classes, anyway?" Sure, the upper classes can afford it, but a lot of people in the middle and lower CANNOT afford it, or are even outright denied coverage because of preexisting conditions, and do not qualify for government assistance.


This is pretty much addressed by what I said above about lawsuits and court accountability.

Quote:
Government can be too big, but there is such a thing as a government being too small. As for the government assuming we are all idiots, that'd be fine if we were a single-party government, but we're not. Our government changes, and to think all administrations universally thing we're idiots just does not make any sense. Sure, some do, but the entire body? That's just...I don't even have a polite response to that.


This first sentence is exactly what I am trying to get across. Our government is too big and it should be smaller. The two parties that we have are not as different as you'd like to think. The only difference between them is that they take certain issues and declare themselves diametrically opposed on them. Both try to increase the power of the government (which is what I was referring to when I said that the government treats us like idiots) and both ignore the long-term consequences of the legislation. There may be individual politicians who are better than this, but the party platforms have taken a turn far away from reality or listening to constituents.
Scholar
#24 Old 23rd Mar 2010 at 8:48 PM
Okay, I'm sorry, they do less than the Democrats? Okay, so basically anything progressive is an expansion of government under that definition. Woman's rights, civil rights, worker's rights, gay rights, economic reform, health care reform, financial reform, I could go on! You're basically saying we can't do anything because anything we do is "an expansion of government." Expansion of government isn't bad! It's when government impedes on rights, it's when government oppresses, it's when government truly does strip you of rights. This idea that any reform of expansion is bad is just nonsensical. If that was the case, we could not progress at all! The Patriot Act is far worse than anything the Democrats have passed recently! I don't see the Democrats trying to stop people being able to have the right of marriage. I don't see the Democrats actively trying to impose a specific religion into our nation, i.e. America is a "Christian nation." I don't see Democrats down in Texas, trying to censor the damn school books.

Alright, prove this. Prove to me that it is nearly impossible to fire people in France. If socialism is so awful, then why did their socialist party WIN against Nicolas Sarkozy just recently with 53~54% of the ballot? Why is Denmark one of the happiest nations in the world, who is also very socialist? Why? Because they LIKE socialism. Sure, they may not have as many freedoms as the US, but they're still a hell lot better than China and Iran.

As for cost of insurance, sure, malpractice is an issue. But how about preexisting conditions? Oh, you're sick! *drops* The insurance is just bullshit. Since there is no form of regulation, they can raise costs for no reason at all. How come people suddenly have to pay an extra 40% on their rates? Why do people have to choose between bankruptcy and health care? Why are they dropping CHILDREN? This is not just for losses, it's corporate greed! It's like the damn credit card companies who jack up fines from everything from being an hour late on your payment, to NOT using your credit card enough! Without reform, without regulation, there is NOTHING to stop insurance companies from jacking rates for no good reason at all as long as profit is continued to be made.

"You have probably heard of some of the silly laws that are still on the books simply because Congress does not go back and correct those things." Sure, I've heard of plenty of silly laws. Laws that are no longer practices, if ever. Most of those stupid laws though? They're STATE laws, Congress is federal. As for trying to fix it, THEY HAVE! I think it was FDR tried doing health care, Clinton tried fixing it! Obama said he's going to try to fix No Child Left Behind, and while I may not agree with his plan to do it, he's still looking back! I really can't say what you are talking about. There's currently debate on repealing Don't Ask, Don't Tell. Obama repealed some of the Bush policies. Just what are you talking about, that they don't look back?

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Countries with socialized healthcare have longer waits to get treatment, it is harder to get organ transplants, and it is more restrictive towards certain vices. It is a lot harder to get treated if you are overweight, a smoker, an alcoholic, etc. because the system doesn't want to take care of those who choose to damage their health. In a non-socialized healthcare system, people pay for their own healthcare, so it is their responsibility if they choose to smoke or drink. I can agree with making it difficult for people who smoke or drink to get organ transplants because the transplants are so scarce, but general medical services should be the responsibility of the person going in for treatment.


No, prove this one, too. There are people who can go to a hospital, and sit for hours waiting for care. HERE IN THE UNITED STATES! I don't see how socialized care can make them wait any longer than they do now. And here, you're paying out the ass for coverage, and you can't smoke, you can't drink, you can't get fat, because guess what? It's a preexisting condition! So you're rates are either jacked up, or you're dropped entirely! But now that you have a preexisting condition on your record, nobody will insure you! And it's not just to choices, people with AIDS, with Parkinson's, with other genetic disorders or diseases, preexisting conditions, all of them. And they can't get any god damn insurance.

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This first sentence is exactly what I am trying to get across. Our government is too big and it should be smaller. The two parties that we have are not as different as you'd like to think. The only difference between them is that they take certain issues and declare themselves diametrically opposed on them. Both try to increase the power of the government (which is what I was referring to when I said that the government treats us like idiots) and both ignore the long-term consequences of the legislation. There may be individual politicians who are better than this, but the party platforms have taken a turn far away from reality or listening to constituents.

If you know they're trying to increase the power of government, then how can people be idiots? That doesn't make any sense. I don't think anyone would argue that political parties don't have some from of self-described agenda. That's what politics is. It's a necessary evil if you want a functioning group of any kind.
Scholar
#25 Old 24th Mar 2010 at 4:31 AM
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Originally Posted by Nekowolf
Okay, I'm sorry, they do less than the Democrats? Okay, so basically anything progressive is an expansion of government under that definition. Woman's rights, civil rights, worker's rights, gay rights, economic reform, health care reform, financial reform, I could go on! You're basically saying we can't do anything because anything we do is "an expansion of government." Expansion of government isn't bad! It's when government impedes on rights, it's when government oppresses, it's when government truly does strip you of rights. This idea that any reform of expansion is bad is just nonsensical. If that was the case, we could not progress at all! The Patriot Act is far worse than anything the Democrats have passed recently! I don't see the Democrats trying to stop people being able to have the right of marriage. I don't see the Democrats actively trying to impose a specific religion into our nation, i.e. America is a "Christian nation." I don't see Democrats down in Texas, trying to censor the damn school books.


I think that women's rights, civil rights, and gay rights all fall under the 9th amendment: "The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people." Basically, these are rights that make them legally equal to other citizens, which is, I think, part of the spirit of the Constitution. Workers' rights, to a certain point, make sense. I think that the labor unions have taken it a little bit too far, but that could end up in a whole other thread of discussion. Economic reform and financial reform are very vague terms and frankly, I don't think the government should have much of a hand in the economy at all. Economies work best when they are left alone to run as the will. Healthcare reform is something that should happen because the healthcare system currently in place does not function right, but I am simply saying that there are better alternatives to the massive overhaul. I haven't been saying that the government shouldn't change at all; you have misconstrued what I have been saying. I have been saying that there are certain areas of government that should be reduced and that the government should not jump into new legislation without thinking about the long-term implications.

As I said before, I do not agree with the Patriot Act. I think that at least certain parts of it are against the Constitution. There's not really much else to be said about it. And, if you want to talk about censorship, I would like to point out that the idea of political correctness is primarily espoused by the Democratic Party. I'm really not trying to strongly put down one party over the other because I'm not a fan of either, but you are being rather one-sided in your arguments. I'm aware that that is what one does when arguing for one's political party, but understand that I don't like the Republican party, either.

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Alright, prove this. Prove to me that it is nearly impossible to fire people in France. If socialism is so awful, then why did their socialist party WIN against Nicolas Sarkozy just recently with 53~54% of the ballot? Why is Denmark one of the happiest nations in the world, who is also very socialist? Why? Because they LIKE socialism. Sure, they may not have as many freedoms as the US, but they're still a hell lot better than China and Iran.


Liking socialism is not a good argument in favor of it. It may be that people like some of the benefits, but socialism stifles social responsibility, which is a big problem in my book. Redistribution of wealth means that people who work hard for the money they earn are maybe slightly better off than those who barely work at all. It also means that people with more in-demand skill sets are only slightly better off than those who do a job a high schooler could do. It doesn't encourage any sort of responsibility, but rather encourages people to be irresponsible. That sort of system just can't last.

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As for cost of insurance, sure, malpractice is an issue. But how about preexisting conditions? Oh, you're sick! *drops* The insurance is just bullshit. Since there is no form of regulation, they can raise costs for no reason at all. How come people suddenly have to pay an extra 40% on their rates? Why do people have to choose between bankruptcy and health care? Why are they dropping CHILDREN? This is not just for losses, it's corporate greed! It's like the damn credit card companies who jack up fines from everything from being an hour late on your payment, to NOT using your credit card enough! Without reform, without regulation, there is NOTHING to stop insurance companies from jacking rates for no good reason at all as long as profit is continued to be made.


If healthcare cost less, insurance would be less necessary. People with pre-existing conditions may be able to afford healthcare without insurance. Further, if the market was left alone, insurance companies would have to compete with each other. If the cost of healthcare goes down, making it easier for people to pay for healthcare, then the cost of insurance would have to go down. Then the prices would be driven down even further by competition. I'm not opposed to anti-price-gouging laws, but there are natural ways for the market to become reasonable. Credit card companies can get away with a lot because people let them get away with it. When people balance their spending and don't live beyond their means, credit cards become unnecessary. The fact that so many people live beyond their means is what keeps credit card companies in business.

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"You have probably heard of some of the silly laws that are still on the books simply because Congress does not go back and correct those things." Sure, I've heard of plenty of silly laws. Laws that are no longer practices, if ever. Most of those stupid laws though? They're STATE laws, Congress is federal. As for trying to fix it, THEY HAVE! I think it was FDR tried doing health care, Clinton tried fixing it! Obama said he's going to try to fix No Child Left Behind, and while I may not agree with his plan to do it, he's still looking back! I really can't say what you are talking about. There's currently debate on repealing Don't Ask, Don't Tell. Obama repealed some of the Bush policies. Just what are you talking about, that they don't look back?


I think that it could have been fixed already if effort and attention was put into Medicare. Politicians will sometimes throw in a quick fix to try to make people happy, but they seldom really look at what results they are getting. If they did, they would follow those studies and tweak things until they worked properly. That doesn't happen too often.

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No, prove this one, too. There are people who can go to a hospital, and sit for hours waiting for care. HERE IN THE UNITED STATES! I don't see how socialized care can make them wait any longer than they do now. And here, you're paying out the ass for coverage, and you can't smoke, you can't drink, you can't get fat, because guess what? It's a preexisting condition! So you're rates are either jacked up, or you're dropped entirely! But now that you have a preexisting condition on your record, nobody will insure you! And it's not just to choices, people with AIDS, with Parkinson's, with other genetic disorders or diseases, preexisting conditions, all of them. And they can't get any god damn insurance.


In other countries, the wait is often days, weeks, or even months. As to pre-existing conditions, the point becomes moot, as I said above, if healthcare costs go down.

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If you know they're trying to increase the power of government, then how can people be idiots? That doesn't make any sense. I don't think anyone would argue that political parties don't have some from of self-described agenda. That's what politics is. It's a necessary evil if you want a functioning group of any kind.


I don't even understand what you are saying here. If it is a point of importance, you'll have to rephrase this in a way that I can decipher.
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