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Thread: Politics 101- cont'd...

  1. #1
    sub specie aeternitatis Pete Hanlin's Avatar
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    I know we can continue the last string, but I chose to start afresh (see, I AM pro-choice ;) )... This has been a very refreshing and pleasant detente between folks of differing political persuasions (I wish the professions of the 3 O's could have such a civilized conversation).

    Anyway, to quote Steve:
    <FONT COLOR=#FF0000>"Pete, Pete, Pete - you poor misguided tool of the Oligarchy. You believe there is a major difference between the parties because that's what they want you to believe!</FONT>
    Steve, Steve (see, I only used your name twice... I'm now the moderate triangulating myself to the political center :) ), can you seriously posit that there is nary a difference in the paradigms of the Democratic and Republican parties??? True enough, over the years they have transformed themselves- even to the extent that they stand for ideals that were originally identified with their opposition. However, at any given point in time there are real and honest differences between the platforms of the two party system.

    The historical examples you present are somewhat disappointing (meaning there are better ones out there...). The increase of the national debt during Reagan's term paid for something substantive- the collapse of the U.S.S.R. (that and the fact that a corrupted form of communism doesn't work). What have we to show for 30 years of social spending? In the latter example given, former President Bush could not dictate how his nominees to the highest court in the nation would vote on any particular issue (I don't think it would be in the interest of seperation of the Executive and Judicial branches of government if he could). I think the very fact that Bush's appointments have voted pro-choice is an excellent argument AGAINST the fear-mongerers in the Dem party that argue that George W. will "stack the court." Conversely, I sincerely doubt Ginsberg- or any other Democrat appointed justice- will ever render a pro-life opinion!

    A better example of the "two-facedness" and/or cynicism that you allude to in national politics is the "Read my lips" debaucle of President Bush. He promised his party there would be no increase in taxes during his term. There was, and subsequently his base did not support him for re-election. Even here, however, there is a glaring difference between the parties (to my view, anyway). Namely, the Democrats seem willing to tolerate a lot more from their candidate than the Republicans.

    When the current Chief Executive (there, I avoided the name ;) ), said "I want you to listen to me, I'll say this again... I did not have --- relations with that woman, Miss Lewinsky" he openly lied to his party and America. In the seven month course of proving that he lied, he managed to *******ize the very system of justice that our country is founded upon. AND YET... polls among Democrats continue to show that Clinton would be easily re-elected today. I dare say that a Republican who had committed the same errors would have been sent packing by the press, the public, and the party (look at the Republicans who resigned in the past few years for similar indescretions).

    So, your cries of "the parties are all the same" are really complaints against the character and/or effectiveness of individuals elected by the parties. A third party will not solve the problems which concern you (to which I have no doubt you agree). This is illustrated by the current spectacle of the Reform Party's national convention.

    The real answer lies in <FONT COLOR=#0000FF>character</FONT> and <FONT COLOR=#FFFF00>leadership</FONT>- from whatever party in which it is found. It is Harry Truman saying "the buck stops here," It is FDR railing against a "day that will live in imfamy," it is Lincoln promoting "government of...for...and by the people," it is JFK admonishing us to go to "ask what we can do for our country," and it is a Reagan saying, "Mr. Gorbachav, tear down this wall!" These are the moments of American political greatness, NOT "that depends what the definition of 'is' is," and NOT "there wasn't any controlling legal authority."

    For all it's weaknesses (e.g., our current President), America's two-party Representative Republic system of government has seen us through 211 years of political transition without hostility (including 4 years of civil war, which was related to other causes political and apolitical). If the system has failed, it has failed because of the <FONT COLOR=#FF00FF>people</FONT>... People who do not hold officials accountable, people who vote for legislators who will "bring home the bacon," people who agree to be spoon-fed political information by whatever source (be it the mainstream media or the EIB Network). To close, the difference between the parties is best evident in the LEGISLATIVE branch of government, not the Executive.

    I'm so sorry for the length of this particular political panache... however, I firmly believe that the answer to our country's crises must necessarily and practically be found in a two party system- and I am convicted that the party with the best answers at this time is the GOP. However, I also enjoy the discussion and exchange of views that we have had here- like a stone to the blade, it keeps one sharp.

    Pete "BTW, I like polycarbonate, too..." Hanlin

  2. #2
    That Boy Ain't Right Blake's Avatar
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    Whenever someone is in a leadership position, be they a store manager or POTUS, they are normally allowed to take credit for the successes of their organization, and assume responsibility for its failures, even when they had little or nothing to do with them. Presidents are not immuned to this. In the case of former President Bush, he was blamed for the recession and raising taxes, although he only signed bills passed by a Democrat-controlled Congress. Our current president is seeking credit for the prosperous economy, when the real source of growth is in private industry (I guess we should be glad the gov't didn't tax them into bankruptcy). People seem to forget that our government is set up to prevent exactly what they assume - that one man (or woman) can have enough power to singlehandedly run this country.
    A two-party system is the American way, Let's face it, we like the "Us versus Them" scenario. No matter how many political parties we have, you'll still have a hard time finding a candidate you agree with completely, and who agrees totally with the party platform. The parties are just a way for people with views that are more similar than not to group together. The result of that, coupled with the quest for the "mainstream" vote, is that the two parties look very similar on the surface.
    If we're lucky, they'll figure out how to clone George Washington before November...

    Blake

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    Master OptiBoarder
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    I am sorry Pete that you don't understand the need for the Patient Bill of Rights. Unfortuneately I am locked into an HMO that we pay a wonderful percentage to and I can not go to the practioner's who know my detailed medical history without paying the entire amount out of pocket. To put off a medical procedure because you cannot pay the out of pocket expense or are forced to go to some one who doesn't know your history is like playing Russian Roulette. You are pro-choice and so am I. It is time government gets out of alot of decisions that should be personal choices.

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    Forever Liz's Dad Steve Machol's Avatar
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    Pete,

    I didn't want to have to do this, but I'm afraid you leave me no choice. Your latest message got the interest of my wife, and now she wants to have a word with you! I'm just going to stand back and watch the words fly. :D

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    Forever Liz's Dad Steve Machol's Avatar
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    Pete,

    Actually my wife won't be able to answer right away so I'll take this opportunity to get in a few comments first.

    You're absolutely right that I could've come up with much better examples of politicians saying one thing and doing another. In fact I thought of the George "Read My Lips" Bush example shortly after posting my message. Another example was President Kennedy and the Bay of Pigs fiasco.

    As for Reagan's increase in the national debt leading to the 'collapse of the U.S.S.R.", this is certainly one plausible theory. However it suffers from what my wife refers to as a "fallacy of suppressed evidence." In other words, there are very likely other more compelling reasons for this collapse. For instance,

    [list=1][*]Paper Tiger Syndrome. Most post-Soviet accounts point to the fact that the USSR was collapsing even before Reagan's election. The system, as you noted, was inherently corrupt, and it is now apparent that it couldn't sustain itself. It was bound to fail sooner or later. The only question was when.
    [*]Glastnost. Gorbachev's policy of Glasnost arguably had as much, if not more, to do with the fall of the Soviet Union than any other single factor. Once the Soviet people were exposed to alternate views and opinions, they quickly saw the weaknesses of their own system. Coupled with the growing impotence of the state, the Soviet government was hard pressed to retain control.
    [*]Leadership and Resolve. And lastly, President Reagan provided clear and consistent leadership when it came to resisting Communism. I submit that his leadership was more instrumental in the fail of the USSR than the actual dollars spent on defense. He installed the nation, an in particular the limitary, with a sense of pride and purpose that had been missing ever since the Viet Nam years. It is entirely likely that the Soviet Union would have collapsed even without the huge debt run-up during the Reagan years.[/list=a]

    Your comments on Clinton, while accurate, are really not germane to my main contention that there is no meaningful differnce between the two major parties. Sure - Clinton was a slimeball and a Democrat. But then again Gingrich was also a slimeball, and he was a Republican. The truth is neither party holds a monopoly on people who have disgraced their office and this country.

    As for your comment that a third party "will not solve the problems" which concern me in probably your weakest argument. The fact is that the America was built on competition - both economically and intellectually. In order to remain strong and vibrant, the major parties must constantly be challenged and pushed by new ideas and viewpoints. American histroy is full of examples of strong third party movements which resulted in major changes to the political and social fabric of this nation. I certainly hope there will always be an open competition of ideas so we can continue to grow as a nation and people. Without a competiton of ideas, we will stagnate and eventually wither away.

    However the sad fact is that the Republicrats do not want this kind of competition. They were scared to death by Ross Perot in 1992, and ever since then they've colluded to ensure that no other third party has the same opportunity to complete on a level playing field. This is why this year's Presidential debates are being limited to candidates that have at least 15% support in the polls. They know full well that no third party is likely to get this kind of support without: (a) the big corporate dollars (which they've locked up), and (b) exposure in popular media, i.e., television.

    In my view, the two parties are acting in their own self interest and to the detriment of the people and the democratic process. Their conduct <FONT COLOR=#FF0000>outrages</FONT> me, and I hope it does you as well.

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    [This message has been edited by Steve Machol (edited 08-09-2000).]

  6. #6
    sub specie aeternitatis Pete Hanlin's Avatar
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    Since I made the assertion that the "Patient's Bill of Rights" is bad legislation, I suppose I should present a reason... As with nearly every other issue, the present administration talks out of both sides of their mouth when it comes to health care. When they were promoting their plan for socialized medicine early in their first term, HMOs were touted as the "savior" of health care in America. After all, who can't afford to pay a $5 co-pay to see their doc!?!
    Now we are told that HMO's are greedy because they turn profits and limit access to care... surprize! You cannot maintain unlimited access, low cost, and quality care at the same time (like the mechanic says, "you can have it done fast, well, or cheap- pick any two"). Almost every item of the "Bill of Rights" would necessarily drive insurance costs higher. You cannot ask an insurer to maintain costs without the ability to limit the company's risk and liabilities.

    Legislation of business (and health care is a business) rarely works in the ways originally intended. I suspect the administration figured a "Bill of Rights" would escalate insurance costs and leave Americans ready to feed at the trough of socialized medicine after all...

    Do insurance companies make a profit? Sure, that's why they are in business. Do some of them do so at the expense of their members' health? Sure, that's why we have competition between types and providers of insurance. Do some people have a difficult time obtaining health insurance under our current system? Necessarily yes, because insurers will naturally try to avoid the assumption of liability for at risk patients. Is this fair? Sure, but that doesn't make it pleasant, nice or even moral (but business often isn't any of the above).

    As for choosing a provider, I am always amazed when patients say, "my insurer says I can't come to you anymore." I comment "sure you can, they just won't pay for the visit anymore- but that's your CHOICE."

    At our office, we have a choice between an HMO and a major medical (BCBS) plan. I choose the latter. If there was no choice, I'd find employment somewhere where there was...

    Pete



    [This message has been edited by Pete Hanlin (edited 08-10-2000).]

  7. #7
    sub specie aeternitatis Pete Hanlin's Avatar
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    Steve has observed:
    <FONT COLOR=#FF0000>"As for your comment that a third party 'will not solve the problems which concern me' this is probably your weakest argument..." "...However the sad fact is that the Republicrats do not want this kind of competition. They were scared to death by Ross Perot in 1992, and ever since then they've colluded to ensure that no other third party has the same opportunity to complete on a level playing field."</FONT>
    Ross Perot?!?!? I certainly hope you have a better example of a third party product to hold up for scrutiny (didn't Theo. Roosevelt run under a third party banner in his unsuccessful re-election campaign?)! I'm one of many who believe the presence of Ross Perot in the 1992 campaign contributed greatly to the election of William Clinton. Let's see, maybe we can find more promising candidates in the third party camps of 2000... hmm, Buchanan and Nader. Now THERE's some quality candidates/platforms!

    Steve also noted:
    <FONT COLOR=#FF0000>"But then again Gingrich was also a slimeball, and he was a Republican.</FONT>
    I believe you detest that which you desire! Slimeball that he was, Gingrich attempted to do <FONT COLOR=#0000FF>exactly</FONT> what he said he would in the "Contract with America." However, between the absolutely masterful spin of the administration and the creepiness of Gingrich's character, it became impossible to implement all of the items of the contract. However, the "revolution of 1994" in the House was one of the most politically purposeful movements in recent history. Had we a President of the same party, who knows what might have been accomplished. As it stands, do you really suppose that welfare reform and a balanced budget would have been goals of a Democratic-majority House? For that matter, would the Democrats (beholden as they are to unions) have helped Clinton pass NAFTA???

    On nearly every piece of legislation considered before the House and Senate, the differences between the parties is evident to anyone observing C-SPAN. Watch the tallys... notice how the parties tend to vote in blocs (and how they tend to vote differently on most issues)?

    Finally, let's cast our gaze on some countries who HAVE more than two parties- like Isreal. What a convoluted political system... not one I want to emulate. I think there are parties aplenty in America: Conservative Republicans, Moderate Republicans, Liberal Democrats (never called that by the press, however), and Moderate Dems... heck even conservative Dems. It is interesting that the parties accomplish the most when they can rally all their factions behind a cause (like the GOP has done with George W.). I'm sorry, I can be convinced to change my mind on most things... but you're going to have to do better than "there's no difference between the two parties anyway" to make me believe that a third, fourth, etc. party will make our political system more productive.

    Pete "I'm enjoying the banter, however... Bring it on Mrs. Steve! God, I wonder if I know what I'm asking for..." Hanlin

    PS- I concede, and have mentioned, that there were plenty of factors behind the demise of the U.S.S.R. However, the SALT treaties of Carter were not doing anything to expidite things. It could also be argued that Reagan's associations with Gorbachev gave him the courage to offer Glasnost to the Soviet people. As to the future... China is going to be our next world power- and we should all realize that this administration has caused our country great damage with its China dealings...

  8. #8
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    Briefly:

    Perot scares me!

    The Republicans had their first convention in 1856 - as a third party!. In 1860 their candidate was elected President - Abraham Lincoln. I love it when historically unaware persons discover that a Republican freed the slaves :)

    Teddy Rossevelt ran on the Bullmoose Party ticket. The had their convention in Chicago as did the Dems and Reps that same year. It was that unholy three event occurence that led Horace Greely, the New York newspaperman, to call Chicago "The Windy City." He was refering to the "wind" from all the political speechs - not the gentle breezes off Lake Michigan.

    Perhaps one of our British Boarders could explain how the "campaign" process works over there. They don't have any problems with one party being able to outspend the other. I believe they only have a few short period of time in which to campaign. Anyone care to tell us?

  9. #9
    Forever Liz's Dad Steve Machol's Avatar
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    Hi Pete!

    First off, I never claimed that Ross Perot's was the best example of a third party candidacy. I only used the Perot example because it is the most recent instance of a strong third party effort and it also happens to be one of the most successful in history - gaining over 19% of the vote in 1992. And as you yourself admit, Perot's candidacy may have swung the election to Bill Clinton. In fact, if your assertion is correct, this is de facto proof that third parties can have significant influence on the political process.

    In my view, third parties serve a very useful purpose in that they generally raise questions and issues that the major parties would prefer to ignore. When given enough exposure, third parties often focus attention on some very important areas being overlooked by the Republicrats. I can't believe that your answer to this 'problem' would to ban all third parties and leave all decision making to the Republicrats!

    [By the way, this country didn't settle into the current two party system until after the Civil War. Prior to this time, there was true competition among political parties. Arguably, this competition resulted in some of the finest political thinking and leadership this country has ever seen. It's much more difficult to argue that the level quality has been greater since after the Civil War. And yeah, I know there are some examples of great thinkers and leaders over the last century. However in balance they don't match the combined brilliance of Washington, Hamilton, Jefferson, Madison, and Lincoln.]

    Also you seemed to have missed the point I was making about Newt Gingrich. I mentioned him to point out that at the very time he was lambasting Clinton for his immoral behavior, he was in fact cheating on his wife. This type of hypocrisy and immorality makes him a slimeball in my book.

    I believe the problem is that you're overlooking the basic thrust of my arguments. I'm not trying to argue the relative merits of the philosophies of the Republicratic parties. They are, rhetorically at least, very dissimilar is some key areas. Nonetheless I maintain that there are no significant fundamental differences between the two parties. This should not be surprising when you consider that in order for a party to remain ppolitically viable, it needs to rest somewhere near the center of the political spectrum. If a party strays too far from the center, they have no hope of being elected.

    In addition my other point is that since both parties are almost completely funded by corporate interests, their allegiance is primarily to their fiscal masters - and not the people who they supposedly serve. Consequently corporate interests often take precedence over the interests and welfare of the people. Nothing you've argued refutes this basic truth.

    Here's just one example (knowing full well that you'll chide me for not coming up with a better one.) :)

    Let's look at what's happened with the H1-B visas. High tech companies have heavily lobbied Congress to approve increases to the amount of foreign workers allowed to work in this country. Their reasoning is that the U.S. has a severe shortage of such workers. However there is absolutely no evidence to back this up. In fact, the available evidence supports that there are many qualified workers available for these jobs. The problem is that these workers tend to be older and more experienced, and would command higher salaries than the imports. This, of course, does not meet the financial objectives of the corporations - hence the invention of this 'worker shortage.'

    Want further examples? How about the government allowing loggers, ranchers and miners the use of public lands for miniscule or non-existent fees that are far below the market value for these resources. Or the giveaway of public airways worth approximately $70 billion to broadcast companies in exchange for vague and non-binding promises that they'll use these frequencies to provide HDTV broadcasts? [Note: Once they had the rights to these frequencies in their hands, the companies <FONT COLOR=#FF0000>immediately</FONT> began to publicly retreat from these 'promises.']

    This is not to say that all politicians work against the public good all the time. They are actually quite capable of oing the right thing on occasion. (Darn, but I can't think of any specific examples right now. :D) However in total, politicians will go out of their way to repay their corporate benefactors every chance they get. And as long as citizens remain ignorant or uninformed about these issues, they'll continue get away with it.

    As a slightly off-topic side note, I encourage you to check out the Project Censored web site. This is a journalism project of Sonoma State University that highlights some of the major stories that go under-reported by the major news media each year. While the chosen stories tend to take a liberal bent, there's no doubt that important issues are not being reported by the major news outlets.

    Project Censored

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    Forever Liz's Dad Steve Machol's Avatar
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    Arrow

    Pete,

    By the way my wife is a tutor and reader for a "Logic and Critical Thinking" class at our local college. I saw her print-out your previous message, and I gotta tell you I haven't seen this many red marks in a long time!

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  11. #11

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    Hi Pete- Steve’s wife, Marlena, here. This is my first time on this board. Steve asked me to read your message on the differences between the political parties and asked if I saw any fallacies in it. I’m the Reader and Tutor for a Philosophy 3 (Critical Thinking) class at the Junior College I attend. Most of the papers I read are analyses of brief arguments. I rarely get the chance to pull apart longer arguments, so this was challenging and fun for me. It took me 3 hours last night (till 1:30 a.m.) to separate each of your premises and your conclusion, and find the fallacies in them. This is the formal way we analyze an
    argument. Thanks for the brain work. Marlena

    1. premise: Can you seriously posit that there is nary a difference in the paradigms of the Democratic and Republican parties?

    2. implied premise: There is a difference.

    3. premise: True enough, over the years they have transformed themselves.

    4. premise: They have transformed themselves even to the extent that they stand for ideals
    that were originally identified with their opposition.

    5. premise: However, at any given time there are real and honest differences between the
    platforms of the two-party system.
    fallacy (2): Suppressed Evidence: The fact that they are “different” doesn’t mean that either one is good.
    fallacy (2): False Dilemma: It is not true that we must choose only the lesser of two evils; there is a third alternative.

    6. premise: The increase in the national debt during Reagan’s term paid for something
    substantive.

    7. premise: The increase in the debt paid for the collapse of the USSR.

    8. premise: The other thing that caused the collapse of the USSR is the fact that a
    corrupted form of communism doesn’t work.
    fallacy (6-8): Inconsistency. If a corrupted form of communism doesn’t work,
    then why did Reagan need to spend us into debt to “cause” the collapse of the USSR?
    Why not just let it collapse of its own impossibility? It is inconsistent to claim we needed to spend to cause the collapse and then claim it wouldn’t have worked anyway.

    9. implied premise: The collapse of the USSR was a good thing.
    fallacy (9): Questionable Premise: The USSR may not have adhered to our
    political theory but it was in a heck of a lot better shape under communism (even corrupt communism) than it is now, and that relative stability offered the rest of the world more security. At least we knew who had their nuclear weapons and their country was being run by "official thugs".

    10. premise: What have we to show for 30 years of social spending?
    fallacy (10): Suppressed Evidence: What do we have to show for the collapse of
    the USSR?

    11. implied premise: We have little (or nothing) to show for 30 years of social spending.
    fallacy (11): Questionable Premise: We have programs like Head Start, WIC, we
    immunize most of our children against many diseases, we provide Medicare to our elderly,
    we support art and music... Do we always do it right? No. But I’d rather spend on those
    things than on paranoid bombs.

    12. implied premise: We must choose to spend either on a strong military or on social
    programs; we can’t have both.

    13. premise: (In the latter example given) President Bush could not dictate how his
    nominees to the highest court in the nation would vote on any particular issue.
    fallacy (13) Evading the Issue: Of course no president can dictate how his
    nominees vote, but he can appoint people whom he thinks will vote his way on those
    things he most cares about.

    14. premise: I don’t think it would be in the interest of separation of the Executive and Judicial branches of government if he could dictate how his nominees voted.

    15. premise: I think the very fact that Bush’s appointees have voted pro-choice is an
    excellent argument AGAINST the fear mongers in the Democratic party that argue that
    George W. will “stack the court”.
    fallacy (15): Suppressed Evidence: There are such “fear mongers” on both sides
    of the debate, each claiming that the opposition would unfairly give (or deny) women the right to choose.
    fallacy (15 & 16): Suppressed Evidence: George W.’s father was not under as
    intense pressure or control of the religious right as is he.

    16. implied premise: Those who worry that George W’s appointments would vote pro
    life/anti choice do not have a legitimate concern.
    fallacy (15 &16): Suppressed Evidence: If Bush sets a priority on taking away women’s right to choose, then he may appoint judges who might vote against him on
    other issues, but be more likely to vote with him on this issue. And the religious right has demanded the GOP make overturning Roe v. Wade a priority this year. The Republican Party official platform, therefore, is to deny women the right to choose. The religious right anointed their candidate based on his willingness to cave to this issue. They will expect him to repay their “loyalty”.

    17. premise: Conversely, I sincerely doubt that Ginsberg - or any other democrat-
    appointed justice - will ever render a pro-life opinion.
    fallacy (17): Inconsistency: If George Bush had no control over how his
    appointees voted, then why would a Democratic president have such control? Either Bush DID have control, which would mean that W. would, too, or he DID NOT have control and neither did Clinton.

    18. premise: A better example of “two-facedness” and/or cynicism that you allude to in national politics is the “Read my lips” debacle of President Bush.

    19. premise: Bush promised his party there would be no increase in taxes during his term.

    20. premise: There was an increase in taxes during Bush’s term.
    fallacy (19 &20): (see # 27)

    21. premise: Subsequently (implying, because of this?) his base did not support him for
    reelection.

    22. implied premise: The increase in taxes was the only reason Bush was not reelected.
    fallacy (21 & 22): Lack of Perspective: This could also be seen as too much intolerance on the part of Republicans. Their candidate was overly optimistic prior to being elected (most presidential candidates are). Once in office, he found that he could not run the country without increased revenue, so he had to go back on his word or let things shut down. He may have made an honest miscalculation. If he’d been a good president in every other way, it seems intolerant to throw him out of office. Perhaps this was not the only reason he was not reelected?

    23. premise: Even here, however, there is a glaring difference between the parties.

    24. premise: Democrats seem willing to tolerate a lot more from their candidate than
    Republicans.
    fallacy (24): Lack of Perspective: Republicans “tolerated” our invasion of Panama, the Gulf War, the decimation of our environment at the altar of big business, and the takeover of their party by the religious right wing. I’d say THAT is a bit too tolerant on things that really matter to the country.

    25. premise: When (Clinton) said, “I did not have relations with that woman, Miss
    Lewinsky”, he openly lied to his party and America.
    fallacy (25): Suppressed Evidence: A politician lying?!! Imagine!

    26. premise: In the seven month course of proving that he lied, he managed to *******ize the very system of justice that our country is founded upon.
    fallacy (26): Lack of Perspective: You seem to have a lot more faith than most
    people in the “system of justice” in our country. You must have experiences outside the norm of most of us. Lucky man.

    27. implied premise: He had an obligation to reveal the truth about his affair to his party and to America.
    fallacy (27): Questionable Premise: Not everyone thinks asking anyone about their
    sex life is in the legitimate scope of information to which the citizenry is entitled.
    fallacy (27): Suppressed Evidence: It is likely that a good number of
    congresspersons are engaged in affairs at this very moment. Some of Clinton’s most rabid pursuers in the Lewinsky scandal turned out to have been. Is every member of Congress obliged to hold forth to the national audience on his/her infidelities? Or only when they get caught?

    28. premise: And yet...polls among Democrats continue to show that Clinton would be
    easily reelected today.
    fallacy (19, 20, 25-27): Questionable Analogy: In any case, comparing an issue of vital importance to the American people (the condition of our economy and the cost of our government) to an issue which properly belonged between Clinton, his wife, and a rolling pin (what he was doing with his own private “tobacco products”) is not a
    reasonable comparison; one is the business of the people, the other clearly is not. We
    simply saw the difference.

    29. premise: I dare say that a Republican who had committed the same errors would have
    been sent packing by the press, the public and the party.

    30. premise: Look at the Republicans who resigned in the past few years for similar
    indiscretions.
    fallacy (29 & 30): Suppressed Evidence: The only ones who resigned are the ones who got caught. Do you really think those are the only ones who were, or are, doing a little extra “committee work” on the side?
    fallacy (30): Questionable Premise: It is more likely that those Republicans who
    resigned did so not because they’d had affairs, not because they’d lied about them, but because they had affairs and lied about them (and got caught) at the same time their party was adamantly condemning Clinton and calling for his impeachment. It was their own
    hypocrisy that got them. Their party couldn’t explain or excuse that.

    31. premise: Your cries of “the parties are all the same” are really complaints against the character and/or effectiveness of individuals elected by the parties.
    Straw Man: You can’t change someone’s argument and then address the one you made up. He did say he thinks the parties are the same.

    32. premise: A third party will not solve the problems which concern you.

    33. premise: I have no doubt you agree.
    fallacy (31-33): Questionable Premise: Why would you assume he’d agree that a third-party would not solve the problems which concern him? You changed what he said concerned him, and he said he did think it would help to solve problems, including a lack of diversity within the parties.

    34. premise: This is illustrated by the current spectacle of the Reform Party’s national convention.
    fallacy (34): Guilt by Association: Yes, the Reform Party seems to be overly
    represented by egomaniacal eccentrics. However, that does not mean that every third
    party would draw its base from the same gene pool. There are sane and rational people
    out there who are not Republicans or Democrats.

    35. premise: The real answer lies in character and leadership - from whatever party in which it is found.
    fallacy (35): Inconsistency: Yet you refuse to accept the possibility that it may be found beyond the narrow confines of the Republicans and Democrats. Are we not allowed
    to look for character and leadership elsewhere?

    36. premise: (Character and leadership) is Harry Truman saying, “the buck stops here”, it is FDR railing against “a day that will live in infamy”, it is Lincoln promoting “government of...for...and by the people”, it is JFK admonishing us to “ask what we can do for our country”, and it is Reagan saying, “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall”.
    fallacy (36): Questionable Premise: If all that character and leadership are made of is pretty speeches and TV-friendly sound bytes, then Clinton should go down as one of the greats. He’s an accomplished speaker, he has a way of capturing an audience, he has good speech writers... but so what? Does that make him great?
    fallacy (36): Suppressed Evidence: While they were making their pretty speeches,
    Reagan was relying on an economic system that never quite “trickled down” to those most in need, Kennedy was finding out first hand what a number of women were willing to “do” for their “country”... Great speeches do not great leaders make.

    37. premise: These (above) are the moments of greatness, not “that depends on what the
    definition of ‘is’ is”, and not “there wasn’t any controlling legal authority”.

    38. implied premise: A great president does not lie or obfuscate.
    fallacy (37 & 38): Suppressed Evidence: Reagan claimed not to know about the whole Iran-Contra affair. So was he lying or just incompetent? Either way, hardly
    conforms to your criteria for greatness. Bush claimed we were sending our soldiers to
    Kuwait to fight for “Democracy”. Kuwait has never been a democracy; the Al-Sabbah
    family has ruled it with an iron fist for generations. So was Bush lying or was he just
    ignorant?
    fallacy (36-38): Straw Man: You can’t pick all the good stuff the presidents you liked did and ignore the bad, then pick all the bad stuff the ones you don’t like did and ignore the good. You have to compare them fairly, all their faults, all their good points - on both sides.

    39. premise: America’s two-party system has seen us through 211 years of political
    transition without hostility.
    fallacy (39): Lack of Perspective: Could it be that they are not hostile because they know they are not so different as to be a threat to each other and the overall status quo? They keep passing power back and forth, but only between themselves, don’t they? They just agree to split the power, but they’ll be damned if they’ll give anyone else a cut. It lulls us into complacency in thinking we actually are being given a choice. Why did they refuse
    to let Ralph Nader join their political debate? What do they not want us to hear? The
    whole debate is being funded by Anheuser-Busch (gee, a big corporation, surprised?)

    40. premise: Political transition is a good thing.
    fallacy (40): Tokenism: “Transition” implies a change. We have not changed
    perceptively; nor will we as long as the shuttle bus only runs back and forth between two stops.

    41. premise: If the system has failed, it has failed because of the people who do not hold officials accountable.

    42. premise: If the system has failed, it has failed because of the people who vote for
    legislators who will “bring home the bacon”.
    fallacy (42): Suppressed Evidence: Both parties are populated by candidates who
    promise to “bring home the bacon”. Each just has a different brand of bacon. That’s why
    we need to look elsewhere for alternatives.

    43. premise: If the system has failed, it has failed because of the people who agree to be spoon fed political information by whatever source (be it the mainstream media or EIB network).
    fallacy (41-43): Inconsistency: The way we “hold officials accountable” is by
    voting those who fail us out of office. If it is right that we do this, why is it wrong to find that neither party had done right and vote them both out of office in favor of a third alternative? Why must we keep ourselves stuck between bad and worse? People who vote for third-party candidates are TRYING to hold officials accountable. Problem is they’re the only ones.

    44. premise: The answer to our country’s crises must necessarily and practically be found in a two-party system.
    fallacy (44): Questionable Premise: Why?
    fallacy (43 & 44): Inconsistency: If people who “agree to be spoon-fed political
    information” make poor choices of candidates, then those who rely exclusively on the mainstream media are clearly the most likely to make poor choices because they get a very narrow view of the available candidates. And look at which candidates the mainstream media chooses to showcase. Little, if any, press is given to anyone not a Republican or Democrat, as if those are the only two alternatives. People are, for the most part, ignorant of the benefits returned to the media conglomerates in exchange for such loyalty (such as the giveaway of airspace and bandwidth which are rightly a public domain and for which we should have been reimbursed). Look at which media is doing the spoonfeeding (censoring). If being spoon-fed information leads us to poor choices then should we not at least follow the lead of the media which has the honesty to put ALL the available candidates on our plate? The ones which do not restrict us to only their two parties.
    fallacy (43 & 44): Inconsistency: You imply you don’t trust the mainstream media, and yet you are willing to go right along with them and restrict yourself to only those candidates which they tell you are acceptable or possible? Show some courage. Rebel.

    45. premise: The party with the best answers at this time is the GOP.
    fallacy (45): Suppressed Evidence: You do not say what their answers ARE.
    Actually, you don’t say what the QUESTIONS are. What exactly are the “crises” which
    they will solve? And how?

    Conclusion: You should vote for George W. Bush.
    fallacy (conclusion): Invalid Inference: No good evidence is given for why George W. Bush would make a good president.

    Whew! That was fun! Thanks. By the way, my favorite bumper sticker reads:

    Subvert the Dominant Paradigm

  12. #12
    Optical Educator
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    Redhot Jumper

    Hi Everyone,

    I haven't been jumping in too much lately, but can't resist a discussion about politics. At one time I actually believed that people CHOSE poverty. At the time, I was surrounded by very wealthy people (Lugene Opticians-Boston), and I was dating a staunch republican at the time. My surroundings definitely influenced me, as they do now. Over the years, I have worked with people from varied socio-economic classes, including students who had a weekly grocery budget of $15.00! (They ate alot of Mac and Cheese @33cents a box!)

    To make a long story short, I KNOW that people don't choose poverty. I have had too many people in my office actually crying...they couldn't afford to finish school, etc. No one would make a choice like that.

    I believe that God (or higher power of your choice) has given us gifts, and it is our moral obligation to share those gifts. Every year I send a bunch of people "working poor" to my husband for free eye exams, and we do eyeglasses for homeless clinics at our college every year. I'm not loaded, but have been graced with a good life, and I honestly believe that paying back society is my obligation! BTW, the loaded republicans I used to hang with did more complaining about life (they bi.....about everything!), and the stuggling democrats I've met have been grateful and humbled by the little they have. These people are not lazy! They simply didn't get the same opportunities we did, and need the opportunites now. We (our society)have the means to provide those opportunities without causing great hardship on ourselves.

    One last thought: I hear alot about democrats cheating the system (welfare mothers, etc.), how about all the big corporate cats finding loopholes cheating the US out of millions of tax dollars! Food stamp fraud doesn't come close to some of the tax loops I've seen. One guy I knew even bragged about not paying taxes, and actually got $$ for "losses" in his low income housing properties!

    OK, thanks for letting me come out of the closet as a dye-hard liberal!

    Laurie "democrat all the way, and proud of it" Pierce : )

  13. #13
    Bad address email on file Darris Chambless's Avatar
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    Redhot Jumper

    Um...Steve,

    I am going to make a request as a Demonic Minion. In order to keep Me from jumping in and responding to your wife's posting, which was well thought out there's no doubt, I ask that we stop this string here or it could get unpleasant and I see it going way past the cordial state.

    Speaking for myself only, I can see where I'd have a hay day with your wife's information and I don't think that would be appropriate nor can I think of a better way to strain our friendship. If you do wish to continue with this string it is your peragotive and your world, but I will jump in on this one with more tenacity than I have been.

    I have no problem with differing views, but I sense that your wife will. I could be wrong but I doubt it.

    Formally I ask that we discontinue this chain before my alter ego emerges.

    Respectfully,

    Darris Chambless

    PS. To Mrs. Steve, I have nothing against you speaking your mind and having your perception of the way things are and have been, but I know Me and I would just as soon not test a good friendship with your husband or end one that never got started with you.

    Thank you for your consideration.

    Darris Chambless

  14. #14
    Master OptiBoarder Jeff Trail's Avatar
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    Darris,

    I think I maybe leaning towards your choice.. after the little "problem" some fanatical republican did with my posting :)
    I for one usually tend to have the policy of never mixing friendships, work place, politics and religion .. seen many a time where things got ugly pretty quick :)

    Jeff " will stick just to "optics" here from now on" Trail

  15. #15
    sub specie aeternitatis Pete Hanlin's Avatar
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    Marlena,
    First, let me say it is an honor to have been the first to inspire you to post on that "other world" created by your hubby (even if it is in response to a perceived ineptness in my own postings :) ). Second, its great to see someone of mental substance talk about politics and/or reasoning (there's two subjects that don't get connected often enough). Finally, let me profess that the extent of my formal education in methods of logical reasoning were limited to a few philosophy classes in college. My training fell more along the lines of persuasive speaking and the construction of premises (i.e., preaching & religious instruction). Obviously, for those out there with a jaded view of religion, it will be tempting to say "ha, ha... I always knew religion wasn't based in logic." However, it must be remembered that, in most religions, the subject matter is usually assumed to be derived from a priori agreed upon truths (within the group, anyway). In politics (as with most other topics of discussion), this is definitely not the case!

    All this to say that, while I will attempt a logical defense of some of my statements (I say "some," because I think you may have caught me with my logical pants down on some points), I understand that the attempt may appear comical at best (and deranged at worst) to someone better versed in the skills of debate than I... That said:

    <FONT COLOR=#0000FF>5. premise: However, at any given time there are real and honest differences between the platforms of the two-party system.</FONT> <FONT COLOR=#FF0000>fallacy (2): Suppressed Evidence: The fact that they are “different” doesn’t mean that either one is good. fallacy (2): False Dilemma: It is not true that we must choose only the lesser of two evils; there is a third alternative.</FONT>
    Defense: scope: the statement was asserting that there is a difference between the two parties (it didn't make/imply a difference in quality) You later point out that Steve had never said there was "no difference between the parties." However, by his use of the term "Republicrats" he implies the assertion that they are...

    <FONT COLOR=#0000FF>8. premise: The other thing that caused the collapse of the USSR is the fact that a corrupted form of communism doesn’t work.</FONT> <FONT COLOR=#FF0000> fallacy (6-8): Inconsistency. If a corrupted form of communism doesn’t work, then why did Reagan need to spend us into debt to “cause” the collapse of the USSR? Why not just let it collapse of its own impossibility? It is inconsistent to claim we needed to spend to cause the collapse and then claim it wouldn’t have worked anyway.</FONT>
    defense: The term was faulty, but not necessarily the idea. Given that 'cause' may overstate the point. Defeating the U.S.S.R. in the arms race "contributed to" and "accelerated" its demise. It is not inconsistent to desire the expediting of a process that will eventually occur due other existing conditions (otherwise, why expend the energy of a wrecking ball on a condemned building that will eventually crumble anyway).

    <FONT COLOR=#0000FF>11. implied premise: We have little (or nothing) to show for 30 years of social spending.</FONT> <FONT COLOR=#FF0000>fallacy (11): Questionable Premise: We have programs like Head Start, WIC, we immunize most of our children against many diseases, we provide Medicare to our elderly, we support art and music... Do we always do it right? No. But I’d rather spend on those things than on paranoid bombs.</FONT>
    defense: Philosophically speaking, this was the most illuminating point in your post. The last sentence was a great example of emotivist speech. Emotivism isn't a bad thing- but it makes no attempt to make a statement based on logic. Indeed, some philosophers assert that ALL speech is emotivist in nature. Beyond the obvious point that bombs, as inatimate objects, cannot be "paranoid" (I'll allow that you were referring to the assumed paranoia behind their creation), spending money on social issues or self-defense (or even agression) is a matter of perceived value. You made it clear that you see no perceived value in the military expenditures of the 80's (by arguing that they were unneccessary). I'm just pointing out that I made an emotivist statement in saying that I perceive little value from the social spending we've engaged in the last 30 years (I happen to think we have actually damaged our society through some entitlement programs... through a diminished sense of self-reliance and responsibility). We obviously disagree on our perception of the value of spending money on different programs... that's okay. <FONT COLOR=#FF00FF>Side Note (to Laurie's post): Coincidentally, I am not a "rich" Republican- nor do I suppose I will ever realize any great material fortune. I do have compassion for the needy and unfortunate- I just think assistance of the needy is not a government function. I find it curious that Republican's are cast by the Democrats (and usually by the press, but I suppose those two terms are interchangeable) as the "party of the rich." I would argue that both parties have rich people aplenty in them. Trying to prejudice people against a party by using sterotypes instead of ideas cuts both ways I suppose... </FONT>

    <FONT COLOR=#0000FF>15. premise: I think the very fact that Bush’s appointees have voted pro-choice is an excellent argument AGAINST the fear mongers in the Democratic party that argue that George W. will “stack the court”.</FONT> <FONT COLOR=#FF0000>fallacy (15 & 16): Suppressed Evidence: George W.’s father was not under as intense pressure or control of the religious right as is he.</FONT>
    defense: This seems to me to be a matter of opinion. If so, then I am guily of suppressing an opinion, not a fact. The "Religious Right" (an interesting term, BTW) were visibly kept at bay during the recent GNC. I believe there are those living under the assumption that their silence was purchased by the promise that they would be "repaid" later in some way. Evidence to the contrary, Bush has said he would apply no "litmus test" regarding abortion. The only anti-choice (there's a bone I'll throw to you liberals, I'll use your negative form of the word to describe the pro-life viewpoint) stance that Bush has made is that he would sign a law that would outlaw partial-birth abortion. <FONT COLOR=#FF00FF>Side note: Here again, you can choose to view this as his concession to the dreaded anti-choicers in the GOP instead of a courageous statement of a personal conviction (go ahead and laugh, all). One thought, however... Bush probably isn't beholden to the pro-life crowd because 1.) he already has their vote- if Bush may be a weak on pro-life issues, Gore is just plain old pro-death (wonder if the press would ever use that term to describe that side of the issue... see- using emotivist terms does not really help in the discussion of ideas... that's my point here). Coincidentally, Gore used to run as a pro-lifer... wonder if that bothers anyone in the Democratic Party (probably not, they've come to accept that Gore will reinvent himself anytime they ask him to... but I'm becoming increasingly emotivist myself here).</FONT>

    <FONT COLOR=#0000FF> 24. premise: Democrats seem willing to tolerate a lot more from their candidate than Republicans. </FONT> <FONT COLOR=#FF0000>fallacy (24): Lack of Perspective: Republicans “tolerated” our invasion of Panama, the Gulf War, the decimation of our environment at the altar of big business, and the takeover of their party by the religious right wing. I’d say THAT is a bit too tolerant on things that really matter to the country. </FONT>
    defense: What is the logical argument term for "comparing apples to oranges?" If you had compared the lies of this administration used to cover thier illegal activities to the misleading of the American public by Reagan regarding the Iran-Contra affair, I'd have acquiesced. However, you have compared personal shortcomings with policies that you do not agree with. My point was that the Democrats seem to tolerate personal shortcomings in the character of their candidates than Republicans (the presence of the word "seems" in my original statement allows that it is only my opinion). We can argue the merits of the invasion of Panama- but I hope we don't have to argue about whether the "tobacco habits" of Mr. Clinton were appropriate. Now, you will no doubt argue (as you have) that these were personal matters... I agree that they were until, that is, Mr. Clinton decided to lie to the American public. When Clinton uttered the words which I quoted him as saying about his relationship with Ms. Lewinsky, he had the opportunity to simply say "it is none of your business, America." Instead, he chose to state that he had not involved himself with her. This action then needs to be considered against the fact that Mr. Clinton was being investigated for harassment for an incident in which he requested that a state employee perform the very "favor" that had been performed by his White House aide. The relevence of the two was a matter of legal argument...

    <FONT COLOR=#0000FF>34. premise: This is illustrated by the current spectacle of the Reform Party’s national convention. </FONT> <FONT COLOR=#FF0000> fallacy (34): Guilt by Association: Yes, the Reform Party seems to be overly represented by egomaniacal eccentrics. However, that does not mean that every third party would draw its base from the same gene pool. There are sane and rational people out there who are not Republicans or Democrats.</FONT>
    defense: I would call it guilt by inductive reasoning... (yeah, I know that would be calling it something its not, but I'm going for humor here to lighten the mood :) ). I was merely pointing out that recent examples of third party candidates/platforms bear little resemblence to solutions for our system. I'm open to better examples of third party movements (that's how I learn). I believe I have even asked for better examples (because I have faith they do exist... ah, faith...). <FONT COLOR=#FF00FF> Side note: I'm sure there are sane and rational folks who aren't associated with one of the major parties, and I'm sure there are plenty of kooks within the Dem and Rep folds... </FONT>
    <FONT COLOR=#FF0000>Why must we keep ourselves stuck between bad and worse? People who vote for
    third-party candidates are TRYING to hold officials accountable. Problem is they’re the only ones.</FONT>
    I'm starting to selectively choose statements in the interest of space (everyone is probably wishing I had gotten to this point earlier in my lengthy post :) ). Whoa! That last statement has to contradict logic somewhere, because it is demonstrably false (e.g., John McCain as an example of a politician within a major party making efforts towards more accountability, and daresay, myself as a voter- just because I'm a Republican doesn't mean I will vote for a candidate whom I believed unworthy).
    <FONT COLOR=#FF00FF> I will plead guilty to setting up a "straw man," however. Got me... I should not have taken it upon myself to define the opinon of another. </FONT>

    <FONT COLOR=#FF0000> You imply you don’t trust the mainstream media, and yet you are willing to go right along with them and restrict yourself to only those candidates which they tell you are acceptable or possible? Show some courage. Rebel.</FONT>
    defense: You commented earlier in the post that the mainstream media doesn't cover the third party candidates. However, I have watched several interviews with many of them on mainstream TV. In fact, I would suggest that they give third parties a greater proportion of time than the statistical following of their party would merit. Hold on now, I'm not asking that we determine the coverage by the support- I'm asking how much coverage someone who draws a maximum of 3% of the vote should get (my example is Buchanon). I believe the debates are being limited to individuals with 15% or more in the polls... I believe Mr. Perot would have qualified (and yet, it has been asserted that the media "runs away in fear" from 3rd party candidates). I do not trust the media to give unbiased reporting- regardless of who they are covering. The examples of media bias towards liberal ideology are so numerous and obvious I'll refrain from presenting them unless so requested. Even so, the bias would be somewhat acceptable if they would admit to it... however, they proffer themselves as "objective" and "factual" reporters of the news. As to my courage, I think engaging in this conversation with someone obviously better at the debating skills than I shows courage enough! :)

    Well, I'm about to press "submit reply" to this very long post... This HAS been fun, however. The rest of your points I will have to concede (some because I think you are correct, and some because of a lack of time... poor excuse, I know). In a final note (hallelujah ), I'll admit that I'm going to suppress a lot of evidence when I talk or write (guess I do have something in common with Bill after all). Not because I seek to deliberately mislead (which I don't think you've suggested), but because I'm not going to make the other side's point for them. Thanks for the discussion, though, Marlena. I hope to see you on the board again... and perhaps we can even continue this discussion (although I think our fellow OptiBoarders will pray we do so more succinctly in the future).

    Pete "gained a lot of respect for Steve (I alread had plenty)- he who isn't afraid to choose an intellectually adept wife must be pretty sharp himself" Hanlin

  16. #16
    Forever Liz's Dad Steve Machol's Avatar
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    Darris and Jeff,

    I have to admit I'm a little disappointed that you guys think that continuing this discussion will cause problems. I've enjoyed the sparring, and through these discussions I've a new found appreciation and respect for the quality of people that OptiBoard has brought together. Pete may be a <FONT COLOR=#FF0000>tool of the Oligarchy</FONT> - but at least he's an eloquent and intelligent one!

    I really only have one regret, and that is that someone reading these messages felt compelled to attack and harrass Jeff for having the audacity to admit he's a Democrat. (You know they have 12 Step programs for that Jeff! :) ) I'm really very disappointed that someone would do such a thing and hope that the offender was not one of our regular members.

    And if it's any consolation Darris, I often disagree with Marlena's positions on issues as well. And yet she somehow still seems to like me! :D

    ------------------
    Steve
    OptiBoard Administrator

  17. #17
    Bad address email on file Darris Chambless's Avatar
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    Hello Steve,

    "Pete may be a tool of the Oligarchy - but at least he's an eloquent and intelligent one!" I hope that you're not saying that we aren't @;-`

    I believe in intelligent exchange of opinions and idea and was certainly not trying to issue an attack order on your wife's ideology. I could offer up a lot of fact to support the majority of what Pete said. I am however, much less tactful about it (as you know) in that I don't try to find nice or politically correct ways of getting my point across. I can appear downright tacky (but truthful) sometimes ;-)

    What I see that could pose a bit of a problem on this one if it were to continue is two fold. First, since your wife took a lot of time dissecting Pete's posting it is obviously something that she feels very strongly about with regard to her views (the first step in most wars) Secondly, there is no such thing as a retained friendship amongst men if one should offend the others wife intentionally or not. Perspectives change toward the offending male not the spouse. It is a lose-lose situation. I don't believe in no win situations so I felt compelled to say this might be a subject more appropriately left to private conversations and not public forum (unless of course you are running for office at which point you are open to public scrutiny anyway).

    I'm sorry that you are disappointed in Jeff and I, Dad but we can't all grow up to be like Pete :-) I have to be my own person. For now I must go find myself which could take awhile.

    Your beloved but disappointing son ;-)

    Darris C.

  18. #18
    Forever Liz's Dad Steve Machol's Avatar
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    Hey Darris!

    Don't get me wrong. I'm not disappointed in you and Jeff, just in the fact that you believe we can't discuss politics without it turning into something 'unpleasant'. Nonetheless I certainly understand and appreciate the points you've made. There's always the danger that some people will take these debates much more seriously than is warranted. That certainly happened with the person that harrassed Jeff.

    You're right that my wife holds very strong opinions on a number of issues. Believe me when I say this leads to some lively debates between us from time to time! I tend to be a more open minded than she is, and will often adjust my views based on new facts and evidence. Marlena, like most people, starts out with a belief system then finds the relevant facts and arguments to support it. She just happens to be exceedingly good at doing this sort of thing! I love her with all my heart - but objectivity is certainly not one of her charms. :)

    Take care, and say hi to 'Shrub' for me! :D

    ------------------
    Steve
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    [This message has been edited by Steve Machol (edited 08-12-2000).]

  19. #19
    Master OptiBoarder Jeff Trail's Avatar
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    Steve,

    It wouldn't be bad if people would treat it as they should.. Just a debate of differing opinions on certain platforms.. the ones that want to turn a political party into a "religion" are the ones that scare me.
    Be it from any party all you are doing, or should be doing, is aligning yourself with the platform the best represents what you expect from your government policies.. no more no less..of course when you have a wide sweeping platform you'll not agree with every talking point, or I would hope not. You just lean towards the party that represents the most things you agree with. Anymore though, I see the parties starting to move towards the same central points you have to really start searching for the differences :) .. this is not really such a bad thing if it is based on "common sense" if you ask me. No matter the party affiliation we are all generally the same.. The ones that are zealots are the ones that scare me, where they have moved it to the level of "if you do NOT agree with me then you must not be "American"" .. or the ones that are worse are the ones that want to mix, someway, political posture and religious posture and think they should be the same thing..With the cauldron we have of mixed beliefs, cultures and race.. who has the right to think "my "way" is the only way"?
    People tend to narrow their field of vision in my opinion instead of looking at the "big" picture when dealing with party lines.. I would hope they are smart enough to use common sense and remember it's those freedom of choices that make us what we are.. I am only expecting from my government a few things, freedom of choice (physical& mental) and peace and protection (civil & militarily) the general infrastructure (transportation, commerce) the rest are just politicians acting like "school kids" pointing fingers, throwing stones and a power trip.
    I think this will probably be my last posting in this thread ..BTW that little problem ?.. My friend got back to me, she would not give me the person's name BUT lets just say they got added to the list of the "unemployed" :) .. what a dumb trick to lose your job for..

    Jeff" I guess that's what I get for being the ONLY Dem. to post an "opinion" Trail

  20. #20
    sub specie aeternitatis Pete Hanlin's Avatar
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    Hey!

    You guys (Darris) are making me out to be a real goodie two-shoes! You make me look any "kinder and gentler" and people will start comparing me to Al Gore or something (not that there's usually anything remotely kind and/or gentle in the type of campaign he- or most any other politician- conducts)!

    Anyway, for my part I have taken it upon myself to investigate each and every significant 3rd party movement out there to discover if any of them advocate issues I'm in favor of which are not currently being addressed by the GOP (I know, cue the Boy Scout music, I guess I AM doomed to be the non-prodigal son). So far I have visited the Green Party's website <A HREF="http://www.greenparty.org" TARGET=_blank><FONT COLOR=#00FF00>Green</FONT> Party</A>, and have even "signed" the petition to have 3rd parties included in the major debates.

    I must admit that, in this case anyway, having Ralph Nader included in the debates would probably benefit the GOP (which makes me self-serving... see, I AM a low down mongrel!). After all, I would bet Nader will draw more votes from the Democrat base than from the GOP.

    Gotta go... I'm off to visit the Reform Party (never fear, I've packed my riot gear) and then on to the Libertarians...

    For now, still <FONT COLOR=#0000FF>G</FONT><FONT COLOR=#FF0000>O</FONT><FONT COLOR=#0000FF>P</FONT>~<FONT COLOR=#FF0000>e</FONT><FONT COLOR=#0000FF>t</FONT><FONT COLOR=#FF0000>e</FONT>

    PS- Hey, how about a few predictions on how the race will turn out?!?! That's one of the fun things about election year! I want percentages folks... maybe I can even think of a prize or two (like, maybe Bush/Cheney bumper stickers... ).

  21. #21
    OptiBoard Professional
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    I just had an interesting discussion with my sister-in-law. She sent my a joke about Republicans and I noticed that the e-mail was addressed only to me instead of the usual "jokes list" she uses of a dozen or so names. When I asked why, she said that I'm the only Republican she knows. Talk about cut me to the quick! I consider myself to be a moderate middle-of-the-roader without party affiliation. When I asked friends who are declared Republicans, they described me as a Democrat. There seems to be an awful of lot of "with us or agin us" feelings around.

    Personally, I'm suspicous of them all. To wit:

    Can you imagine working at the following Company? It has a little over
    500 employees with the following statistics:


    29 have been accused of spousal abuse
    7 have been arrested for fraud
    19 have been accused of writing bad checks
    117 have bankrupted at least two businesses
    3 have been arrested for assault
    71 cannot get a credit card due to bad credit
    14 have been arrested on drug-related charges
    8 have been arrested for shoplifting
    21 are current defendants in lawsuits
    In 1998 alone, 84 were stopped for drunk driving


    Can you guess which organization this is? Give up?


    .

    .

    .

    .

    .

    .
    It's the 535 members of your United States Congress. The same group that
    perpetually cranks out hundreds upon hundreds of new laws designed to
    keep the rest of us in line.

  22. #22
    Forever Liz's Dad Steve Machol's Avatar
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    Mike,

    This is great! :D

    Did you also know that Congress exempts itself from the same laws that other employers have to face, such as labor laws, occupational health and safety, taxes, etc?

    I often have a hard time understanding why we, as citizens, don't demand honesty and integrity fropm our elected representatives. Is it that people don't know these things go on - or just that they don't care?

    ------------------
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  23. #23
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    Post

    Pork is the answer! Polls consistently show that voters feel that Congress is full of crooks.....except for my guy! He's a good old boy who gets us things.

    Remember Mendel Rivers? Before he took to swimming in the fountains with a stripper, he was the powerful chairman of the Armed Services Committee. His state had so many many military facilities that it was difficult to find a civilian anywhere.

    Take a look at the Federal programs and facilities in West Virginia. The eloquent Senator Byrd succeeded his father and the pork has been flowing to a few families in that state for decades. Talk about fuedalism!

    During the recent flap about gasoline prices everyone conveniently forgot that the special ethanol mixtures required by the EPA was the result of a big-time congressional concession to the farm states when Bob Dole was the big man. The scientific studies showed no appreciable difference with the addition of the corn-based ethanol, but ADM and Cargill and a lot of the other farm powers had already made their future plans based upon selling a lot of corn for ethanol.

    So Newt and the boys spoke to the EPA, who chamged it's finding (the government does a lot of that - it's called the "science of convenience)and the government not only required that a certain percentage of gasoline production be unnecessarily replaced by ethanol, but they subsidized it!

    The Northeasterners got their Lake declared a "Great Lake" so they could qualify for government money even though the definition defies all reason.

    The list goes on, but as long as everybody gets something - no change!

    Meanwhile, the top 5% of wage earners pays 52% of the taxes, including cash gifts to people who don't make enough. In the euphimism of government and schmooz, we call it the "earned" Income Tax Credit. What a joke.

    The 70% of the population who don't vote, watch their evening network news; get indignant about some bs "local yokel" issues and sail along in blissful ignorance.

    We should be glad that so few people vote. Otherwise we'd have Jerry Springer as our President!

    Reality is what it is and we all learn to live within the system as it exists. But the sanctimonious bs about "the American dream" would make me sick were it not for the fact that it's still much better than other countries and systems.

  24. #24
    Forever Liz's Dad Steve Machol's Avatar
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    Mike,

    Sadly I have to agree with what you've posted. The problem is an uninformed/selfish electorate. Many of the people who do vote do so according to what is good for them personally - and not for the overall public good.

    This is one reason why I'm ambivalent about 'voter registration' drives. If someone is not already sufficiently interested in current events to participate in the political process, why do we then assume that the mere act of registering them is going to turn them into informed voters? Our problems are much more complex than that.


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    OptiBoard Administrator

  25. #25
    opti-tipster harry a saake's Avatar
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    Thumbs down

    Steve ,great bunch of posts, but i have to agree with Darris on this one. Something i learned years ago when i was in the USN and we were overseas in Italy. The old time fishermen have a saying which i always found to be true. "WHEN THE FISH STINK, IT ALWAYS START FROM THE HEAD"

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