"We've come to take our government back" Rand Paul

Discussion in 'Politics' started by madanthonywayne, May 19, 2010.

  1. Omega133 Aus der Dunkelheit Valued Senior Member

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    I see your point but I must add that they can (and often do) go hand in hand.

    Yes, while it is true that Bush spent quite a lot, the same could be said with all these stimulus packages being handed out.

    Ok, well that statment was dumb. I'll give you that one.

    Interesting. Heres something to consider: Was Chenney pulling the strings?

    Sorry, typo. I meant to say Afghanistan. I don't think we should be in Iraq either. I'll edit it.

    Interesting assessment. But it puzzles me slightly.

    That question depends on a few different factors. If somebody messes something minor up you can say "nobodys perfect". However if someone messes something major up it's a different story. And if the person does it intentionally then there is no way you can claim this.

    So you're are saying that maybe sometimes we the voters are responsible for electing people knowing full well that they won't do anything?
     
    Last edited: May 23, 2010
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  3. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Valued Senior Member

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    (Insert Title Here)

    The intent and effect are different, though. One of the problems with trickle-down, the Reaganomic scheme that Bush followed, is that the wealth doesn't actually trickle down. Some might point out that the raw number of millionaires is up, or something, but that in itself doesn't change the gulf between the richest and poorest; American wealth, after a quarter-century of Reaganomics, has consolidated some, and is doing so again in the present economic crisis. Without the bailouts, that consolidation would be more dramatic. As I said of the auto industry bailout, if the industry went tits up, sure the CEO might lose a house. One of several, perhaps. Or maybe just one he planned to buy in the near future. Point being, he'll still be pretty damn rich. The worker who loses his job in that collapse, upon losing a house, will be on the street.

    Speaking of rumors, that one is pretty widespread.

    Well enough. However, of Afghanistan, I still think the troop numbers under Bush are significant in considering the mess we've managed to make there.

    We often project ourselves into other people's heads. This is inevitable, and by itself not something to criticize. However, if, for instance, since you don't think that way, you don't see that others might or do, that projection can become problematic. Part of what Joe is referring to has to do with the politicians, media, and public at large. To use a dramatic juxtaposition, just because neither you nor I committed a violent crime last year doesn't mean there weren't over a million violent crimes committed in the country. Likewise, that you and I might seek to transcend the petty and dysfunctional rhetoric of American politics doesn't mean other people aren't fully engaged in that kind of mudslinging.

    You need not explicitly declare all lies, political spins, or other problems equal in order for an argument to tread into that realm. Part of your point-counterpoint with Joe has ... um ... a whiff of a suggestion about it.

    A functional example from Sciforums: One of our neighbors and I occasionally trade shots over right wing sex scandals. Why am I not so hard on Bill Clinton? Why am I not so hard on John Edwards? Well, to take Mark Sanford as an example, even without the scandal of public money financing parts of his affair, he was among those who helped haul Clinton in for impeachment. He was part of the "family values" moral push in the Republican Party. He was part of the machinery that fights against equal rights for homosexuals. And all of this in the name of "family values" that, apparently, don't mean a whit to him.

    From Mark Foley and Ted Haggard on up through Sen. John Ensign, or Governor Sanford, or the lately-exposed Dr. George Rekers, what matters to me isn't so much their sex life, but the blatant hypocrisy. Yes, it's true, nobody's perfect, but my Republican-faithful neighbor doesn't seem to get the point: It's not that he's not perfect, but that he's a professional moralist who doesn't actually believe what he's selling. Same thing with former Governor Spitzer. I might be able to care less that he hired hookers, but he was a prosecutor who put people in jail for doing what he did. That sort of inconsistency makes all the difference in the world.

    Reality is what it is, but politics, which have a tremendous effect on the daily realities of people across the country, are a different thing entirely. Being old enough to remember the Cold War, I can say for certain that if my fellow leftists were to speak openly the way Sarah Palin and the Tea Party have, they would have been excoriated. When it's a leftist, there is nothing honorable in the public mind about carrying a gun to a presidential event and advocating open, armed revolution. Why should it be any different now that it's the right wing?

    Whether or not one is worse is, as I noted, a different matter that matters greatly. Right now, for instance, the Tea Party is upset at the "socialism" of a health reform plan that pours money into large corporations. They're also upset at the prospect of the "socialism" in financial services reform that means large corporations will have a harder time stealing from people. Quite clearly, it's not about socialism or anything else except for greed.

    Everything in its context: Portrait of an Artist as a Young Man, or Catcher in the Rye are oft-criticized by younger readers in the new century. Yet in 1914-15 (Joyce) or 1951 (Salinger), these books were tremendously challenging in both their literary and sociopolitical contexts. Yes, Holden Caulfield reads like a spoiled brat of some odd fantasy world to our twenty-first century sensibilities, but in 1951 it was a fairly visceral indictment of a cultural subsection. A younger generation might push Catcher away because it seems so fantastic; an older generation might embrace it as an indictment of ideas humanity is struggling to transcend. Context, as such, is everything.

    And likewise with the political back and forth. Examined in a vacuum, all claims can be said to have equal value. However, viewed as factors in their respective formulae, that equality falls away, and we find not only differing implications as far as fact is concerned, but also as far as integrity, ethics, and morality count for anything.

    Take the general labels of the parties for instance. They're both hopelessly corrupt. But underlying each are allegedly (especially in the case of Democrats, the so-called "liberal" party) contrasting ideas. And what are the values of those sets? The outcomes of liberalism and conservatism are, theoretically, exceptionally different. Yet as people whine and complain about the liberal Democrats, well, where the hell are those politicians? Contemporary Democrats fall to the right of 1970s conservatives on national security and civil liberties issues. Justice Stevens, the retiring lynchpin of the Supreme Court's liberal faction, considers himself a conservative, and points out that, with the exception of Justice Ginsburg, every justice appointed since about 1971 or so has been more conservative than his or her predecessor. Justice Sotomayor is still up in the air (and was also appointed after Stevens made the remark), and the trend appears to continue with the nomination of Solicitor General Kagan, who is a defender of institutional power, and has argued dubiously before the Supreme Court.

    And with Kagan, the right wing said, "She's a lesbian!" The White House shot back: "How dare you! She's heterosexual!" And the liberals said, "Um ... who cares if she's gay? What's the probem with that?"

    In all of this, what is the ideology that we're giving over to? These are the reasons why the answer matters.

    Nobody's perfect, sure. But there is a difference between acknowledging a shortcoming and relying on it. When you cut through the superficial manifestations, one of the contrasting ideologies acknowledges human imperfection, and the other relies on it.

    Between 1988-90, there was a distinctive anti-incumbent mood, known as "Throw the Bums Out". It came to a head, actually, four years later with the Republican Revolution of '94. The problem with that movement was that the people threw out some incumbents, and even changed the balance of power as various seats lost seniority, party balances shifted, and so on, but they pretty much elected clones of the people they threw out.

    In 2008, we saw this again. People grew sick of Washington politics, but whenever a newcomer is on the ticket, the first criticism is that he or she hasn't been a politician long enough. Obama, for instance, was criticized for his lack of experience as an office holder. George Bush was criticized in 2000 for not having enough foreign policy experience. Sarah Palin is another issue altogether; nobody knows what McCain was thinking on that one.

    Voters do what feels good. As long as think they have an opportunity, they choose a very superficial gratification. Take 2004 for example: Sen. John Kerry was the best the Democrats could come up with? Or 2000: Bush vs. Gore? What kind of choice was that? Hell, it could have been worse: Bush vs. Bradley. I voted third-party, preferring a nuclear physicist who believes in Vedic mysticism over Al Gore.

    Right now, it's not sometimes. Right now, it's pretty much all the time. Rand Paul isn't actually that much of a surprise when you stop and think about it. He wants to take the GOP, and the nation, back to the 1980s. The "grassroots" candidate wants to reintroduce the institutions of three decades ago.

    Put simply: As long as the voters keep buying the clones, the marketplace will continue selling them.

    For all the hope and change, and all the bogey-man talk of radicalism, what has Obama done that is truly radical? Fought for a law that requires all Americans to pay over to private health insurance companies? No, really, that's about it. That's as radical as he seems to get.

    Repeal DADT? Oh, come on. That's not radical. That's called finding a way to keep talent in the armed services during wartime.

    Obama is a constitutional scholar who won't make a stand for the Constitution. If he did, the criticism would be, "How radical is it to actually do his job?" He has a little over two and a half years left, sure, but so far everyone's wondering where the hope and change are.

    Or Scott Brown, the Tea Party darling in Massachusetts. How far outside the Beltway does he operate? Hard to tell. He just backed off a filibuster of the financial services bill after receiving political assurances for his state through the processes of Beltway politics. He's only been there how long, and he's already dancing the Potomac Two-Step?

    This is still a government of the people, by the people, and for the people. Except the people don't really seem to want it, except as something to complain about. We haven't lost control of things yet, but we are shirking our duties at least as much as the people we send to Washington, D.C., or the state houses, or even our freaking city halls. I mean, up here, it still crushes me to think that former Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels was a Democrat. You would never have known from watching the guy in office.

    Personally, I blame capitalism, but that's another subject entirely, and I've ranted far too long.
     
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  5. iceaura Valued Senior Member

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    To my family, friends, and community. The country itself they have trashed already.
    The Republican Party has been lying more, and more seriously, and to greater ill effect, than the Democratic Party, since 1980.

    That is because it has been taken over by a minority faction of Americans who have deliberately adopted the technique of the "big lie", which matches perfectly their ideology of government as a winner take all enterprise.

    btw: If you doubt that, compare any recent political campaigns in their falsehoods - their reliance on factually false claims, and their repetition of assertions that are contradicted by simple physical events and verifiable physical facts. Compare the assertions made about Obama with those made about McCain, for example.

    Or look at the polls of people's beliefs. A fairly high percentage of Republicans believe that W found nuclear and biological weapons in Iraq - where did they get that idea? A fairly high percentage of Republicans believe that there were no terrorist attacks, no Islamic terrorist attacks, or no terrorist attacks by foreigners, in the US, during W's terms after 9/11. Why do they believe that? Did they all think up the same falsehoods on their own?

    Because the primary goal of the Republican Party, in its post=Reagan identity, is to destroy its political opposition and take power for the enrichment of its corporate support.

    As the lead Republican strategists explicitly said, the health care bill was taken by the Republican leadership as an opportunity to destroy Obama's effectiveness as a President. The content of the bill was irrelevant.

    The governance of the country was irrelevant, as well.
    He was the chief executive officer of the country from 2000 until 2008 - those are the years, especially 2000 - 2005, when the disaster could have been prevented instead of being amplified beyond all former experience.

    He was directly in charge of banking regulation and enforcement, currency regulation, national financial regulation and enforcement, national energy policy and commercial regulation of interstate energy markets.

    His chief campaign financial supporter and major corporate backer was Kenneth Lay, CEO of Enron. His other major supporters included the executive heads of Goldman Sachs.
     
    Last edited: May 23, 2010
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  7. Omega133 Aus der Dunkelheit Valued Senior Member

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    Strange you would say this since th Tea Party hasn't been in power.

    That is because it has been taken over by a minority faction of Americans who have deliberately adopted the technique of the "big lie", which matches perfectly their ideology of government as a winner take all enterprise.

    btw: If you doubt that, compare any recent political campaigns in their falsehoods - their reliance on factually false claims, and their repetition of assertions that are contradicted by simple physical events and verifiable physical facts. Compare the assertions made about Obama with those made about McCain, for example.

    Or look at the polls of people's beliefs. A fairly high percentage of Republicans believe that W found nuclear and biological weapons in Iraq - where did they get that idea? A fairly high percentage of Republicans believe that there were no terrorist attacks, no Islamic terrorist attacks, or no terrorist attacks by foreigners, in the US, during W's terms after 9/11. Why do they believe that? Did they all think up the same falsehoods on their own?[/QUOTE]

    It's this kind of blame game that got this country the way it is.

    And like the Democrats haven't been trying to defeat the Republicans?

    Proof?
     
  8. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    30,994
    The people who are currently running away from accountability for what they did in the Republican (mostly) or Democratic (some, especially in Confederate states) Parties, were the power base of the Reagan Revolution. Nixon charmed them over from the Wallace Dems and other Dixiecrat groups. Now they have renamed themselves for the third or fourth time.

    They changed the name on the Exxon Valdez for a reason - but it's the same boat.

    Bullshit. It's been a long, long time since these people had to face the music for what they've been doing, and a little blame - not to mention investigation and prosecution - is long over due. Accountability.
    Proof of what? That including all those Republican ideas gained no votes? That the Republican leadership publicly stated that this was an opportunity to ruin Obama's Presidency? What don't you credit?
     
  9. Omega133 Aus der Dunkelheit Valued Senior Member

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    6,281
    Ah, ok. The analogys really helped.

    I'll admit I have been unintentionlly implying it.

    Now see, we don't need politicians like those in office. Regardless of the party or affiliation.

    The only answer I can come up with is that Right wingers are pro guns.

    Well, what party hasn't been affected by greed every now and then?

    Interpretation and the understanding are also matters to consider. Although I believe you covered that with your post.

    Interesting indeed.

    That is a definate problem. But, only the voters are to blame in cases such as that.

    Similiar to what you thought about then, this past election I really didn't like either candidate.

    Well this comes from the amount of people who don't look into the issues. Or even look into the candidate him/herself.

    Exactly. If the people want it to stop being bad, stop electing the wrong politicians.
     
    Last edited: May 23, 2010
  10. Jack_ Banned Banned

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    1,383
    This is Obama's hidden Gitmo
    March 16, 2009
    Samp pointed to the Obama administration’s effort to dismiss a suit by five detainees who say they were tortured by arguing that the case would reveal state secrets.Obama’s lawyers similarly adopted the Bush administration’s position on prisoners at the U.S. Air Force base in Bagram, Afghanistan, arguing that those captives shouldn’t have access to U.S. courts.Then last week, the administration told a judge that the president can detain people who “substantially supported” al- Qaeda or the Taliban in Afghanistan.
    www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601103&sid=aW8wx6SxzpfI&refer=us


    Bagram Detainees in Afghanistan Cannot Ask U.S. Courts for Help, Judges Rule
    Unanimous Appeals Court Ruling is Victory for Obama Administration

    By ARIANE de VOGUE

    WASHINGTON, May 21, 2010

    http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/Supr...d-challenge-detention-court/story?id=10710491
    A federal appeals court has found that detainees being held at the U.S. military's Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan do not have the right to challenge their detention in federal court. The ruling, a victory for the Obama administration, reverses a lower court decision.

    Obama uses his power and skin color to deny the civil rights of folks of a different race. Whereas Bush was open about Gitmo, Obama chooses to hide his denial of human/civil rights. This is consistent with his mission of assassinating folks from space without a trial. Obama is a brutal murderous dictator.

    WASHINGTON — The Obama administration’s decision to authorize the killing by the Central Intelligence Agency of a terrorism suspect who is an American citizen has set off a debate over the legal and political limits of drone missile strikes, a mainstay of the campaign against terrorism.
    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/05/14/world/14awlaki.html?hp
     
  11. Omega133 Aus der Dunkelheit Valued Senior Member

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    6,281
    Running away? If anyting the Tea Party is trying to make the country much lik it was when our Founding Fathers established it.

    Little blame? Do you not here people always talking about how the economy is Bush's fault? And my statement was supposed to mean BOTH parties need to stop blaming the other for everything. The sooner they do that, the sooner they can start fixing the country.

    And we can do without the cursing. This is a debate after all.

    What Republican ideas were put into the bill? Why do you think that not a single Republican Senator voted yes; and even a few Democrats? It's because the bill was not in the best interest of the country.

    And by theway, the bill passed, so what are you complaining about?
     
  12. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Valued Senior Member

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    37,888
    The promise of the conservative route

    The Tea Party is pretty much an offshoot of the GOP, and as Rand Paul demonstrates, what they really want is a return to Reagan.

    But, moving back to our conversation specifically:

    Greed is part of human nature. So is communal socialization. Both have evolutionary reasons for their continued influence. However, I believe the conservative view is based in greed, and a very proximal greed at that.

    The problem with this is that everything about society becomes subordinate to the self. To the one, sure, maybe we should make things like public schools, public roads, and public health completely optional. But, to the one, that means children will suffer for their parents' political outlooks and, to the other, after a generation, society will still have to pay blood, tears, and money in order to account for the "libertarian" faction that doesn't pay for roads, schools, and health, and thus become the outcast element in society that is viewed as causing trouble. A bunch of heavily armed, uneducated thugs thinking they're striking a blow for freedom by speeding down the "socialist" roads? And given what I've heard some "responsible gun owners" say they'd shoot someone over? Sounds like a prescription for some bad times.

    Thus, as I often say to libertarians, "Welcome to society." Or, as Mad cartoonist Monte Wolverton wonders:

    What — are we living in the wild west? Are we mountain men, living off the land, occasionally visiting Fort Vancouver to trade our beaver pelts for hard tack and black powder? Are we Vikings, making our living by plundering settlements on the East Anglia coast? Are we ice-age hunter-gatherers, living in caves in Europe and competing with Neanderthals for food?

    Or are we living in the 21st century, in a complex world where, in civilized countries, citizens cooperate through government to provide necessary, efficient services?

    I mean, we're to a point that a Republican frontrunner in Nevada, aiming to challenge Sen. Harry Reid, has offered bartering as a solution to the health care crisis. At first, people wondered if she meant, "haggling" instead of "bartering", but Sue Lowden really is pushing barter:

    "Let's change the system and talk about what the possibilities are. I'm telling you that this works. You know, before we all started having health care, in the olden days, our grandparents, they would bring a chicken to the doctor. They would say I'll paint your house," she said. "[That's] what people would do to get health care with their doctors. Doctors are very sympathetic people."

    (Slajda)

    Her poll numbers, of course, have dropped twenty points in a month.

    The problem is when greed becomes the justification, motivation, and general reason for existence.

    Indeed, but what part of that apathy is the result of a news media that hypes controversy over substance, and politicians who are all too willing to play along—you know, since the people aren't really paying attention anyway? Or, at least, something like that.

    Indeed. Or, we could just go the conservative route, such as Newsmax, which last year called for an armed coup against President Obama, resulting in a military dictatorship to "restore and defend the Constitution":

    Imagine a bloodless coup to restore and defend the Constitution through an interim administration that would do the serious business of governing and defending the nation. Skilled, military-trained, nation-builders would replace accountability-challenged, radical-left commissars. Having bonded with his twin teleprompters, the president would be detailed for ceremonial speech-making.

    Military intervention is what Obama's exponentially accelerating agenda for "fundamental change" toward a Marxist state is inviting upon America. A coup is not an ideal option, but Obama's radical ideal is not acceptable or reversible.

    Unthinkable? Then think up an alternative, non-violent solution to the Obama problem. Just don't shrug and say, "We can always worry about that later."


    (Perry)
    ____________________

    Notes:

    Wolverton, Monte. "Tea Party: Yearning for Yesteryear". The Word From Wolverton. April 26, 2010. Blog.Cagle.com. May 22, 2010. http://blog.cagle.com/wolverton/2010/04/26/tea-party-yearning-for-yesteryear/

    Slajda, Rachel. "Lowden Doubles Down On Health-Care-By-Barter: 'Bring A Chicken To The Doctor'". Talking Points Memo. April 20, 2010. TPMDC.TalkingPointsMemo.com. May 22, 2010. http://tpmdc.talkingpointsmemo.com/2010/04/lowden-doubles-down-on-health-care-by-barter.php

    Perry, John L. "Full Text Of Newsmax Column Suggesting Military Coup Against Obama". September, 2009. TalkingPointsMemo.com. May 22, 2010. http://www.talkingpointsmemo.com/news/2009/09/full_text_of_newsmax_column_suggesting_military_co.php
     
  13. Omega133 Aus der Dunkelheit Valued Senior Member

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    6,281
    I guess I am an exception? You see I am a Libertarian. But i'm not as radical as anything you have mentioned. What you seem to be talking about is radical Right wingers, rather than Libertarians. In fact a Libertarian can lean either way in the spectrum. Although most do tend to lean right.

    Well, I can see the want for money. Money doesn't by happiness, but it does by practically everything else: medical treatment, food, water, shelter, entertainment, and any other neccesities.

    However when it gets to the point of greed, that's when it gets wrong.

    I'd say that these media sources play a big role in elections. FOX attacks the left, CNN attacks the right. They sling mud all the time. News media sources play a big of role in the slow down of our system. Just a bit more than the voters, and just less than the government.



    While I do believe a radical like this shouldn't be in office, I also can't help but think you are stereotyping. It's unlikely that all Conservatives believe this way. A majority might, but surely not the whole. It's similiar to calling all Democrats Socialist. Sure, some might have Socialist views, but is that a reason to hate the entire party?​
     
  14. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Valued Senior Member

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    37,888
    I'm sure I could think of a title if I really, really tried

    Not so much; "libertarian" is like any other label. There are millions of atheists in the world, many of whom would rather never think about the fact that they are atheists. But, of course, this results in the vocal crowd of atheists claiming the spotlight, so that religious folk tend to think of atheists as a godless pitchfork-and-torch mob looking to drive the gods from Earth. Likewise, one might think, attending the news and political discourse, that Christians are all homophobic, tyrannical, psychotic prudes who don't have a clue what their own holy book says, but there are hundreds of millions, even billions of Christians across the country and around the world who just aren't down with that freak brigade. Even more than the atheists, though, these seem to stay silent. True, you can find evidence of their work in soup kitchens, homeless camps, and other compassionate endeavors all over. And, for the most part, you can work side by side with these people and religion never gets in the way. But when it comes to politics and public interest, the discussion is framed in a way that favors the loud and belligerent. I have family and friends that I don't discuss those issues with because they just don't get it. Like an aunt. We can certainly agree that children need boundaries, but she's of the Dobson era, and seems to think if you're not spanking a kid, you're letting them run rampant all over the world. Still, though, she's not a Rekers, or Owens, or Phelps.

    Everybody has a libertarian streak in them. Thus, Christian ministers like Phelps and Owens might show their "compassion" by encouraging murder or terrorism; or Rekers might go and rent himself a gay prostitute.

    But, like many atheists and Christians, the label itself can become a cause for libertarians. Perhaps in an election, you might encourage me to vote for a libertarian candidate whose platform contains several planks I appreciate, but I must also weigh that against empowering those of your fellows who disdain public roads, schools, and health care, safety regulations, clean and useful natural resources, and seem to want a return to feudalism.

    Statistically, you're probably not an exception. In the public discourse, however, you might not be libertarian enough for the loudest of your fellow libertarians.

    CNN, and most of the mainstream media, does not so much attack the right as they do seize on opportunities for sensationalism. If the right wing happens to provide those, of course we can expect some to complain that CNN is picking on the right. But we just emerged from eight years of Bush during which the alleged "liberal media conspiracy" played up and abetted the Bush administration. Why? Because a war is good for headlines and ratings. Civil liberties scandals are good for headlines and ratings. If you ever do time as a cable-news junkie, one of the things you'll notice is that the networks will send reporters out after the headline of the day, and keep checking in with them despite the fact that there is nothing new to the news. I remember watching MSNBC when the DC snipers were captured, and every few minutes, they would hop back and forth to reporters in the field who delivered absolutely no new information. The whole point was to keep the "Breaking News" chyron and attempt to captivate the viewer by telling them something important was happening. I know professional sports doesn't make for a straight analogy, but there are times when I recall a football game in which an announcer was considering a player injury. "I don't want to speculate," he said, "but I'm going to guess it's an ACL." And that's kind of what the news does: We don't want to speculate, but, hey, now we're going to speculate.

    FOX News is a different beast altogether. Certainly, they share the same "media money bias" that the others suffer, but FOX is deliberately right-wing. Indeed, they capitalized on the media money bias by pretending it was a liberal bias in order to justify their deliberate rightward slant. As it is, they now have Bill O'Reilly, Sarah Palin, and Glenn Beck on staff. O'Reilly and Beck are genuine headliners, driving FOX's fame. I don't know about O'Reilly, but Beck, who calls himself an entertainer and admits he doesn't check facts, made $32 million last year; Palin pulled in $12 million. And while they both write books and work for a major news outlet, they excoriate the mainstream media and intellectual elite while pretending to be among the common folk.

    In the last fifteen years—approximately since the Netscape phenomenon that marked the coming out of the internet—Americans seem to have become less informed. How can this happen? Well, for starters, anyone with an internet connection can rant and rave like a prophet of old, and there is always someone to take them as a purveyor of gospel. Additionally, increased market competition has compelled news agencies to fulfill a Marxist prediction about cutting corners. Information quality has declined. To me it seems as if Americans suffer a certain amount of information overload. Things are slowly getting better insofar as people are learning to tread water and keep their heads up amid the deluge, but they're also getting worse as standards decline.

    In recent years, the role of journalism seems to have changed. Once known as the "fourth estate" for its power to affect civil society, journalists have become meek middlemen on a flow chart. In 2004, Rob Corddry joked, "Listen buddy: not my job to stand between the people talking to me and the people listening to me." Unfortunately, it's not a joke. In 2006, Jim Lehrer, a titan of television journalism, explained—

    My part of journalism is to present what various people say about it the best we can find out [by] reporting and let others — meaning commentators, readers, viewers, bloggers or whatever ... I'm not in the judgment part of journalism. I'm in the reporting part of journalism.

    —and that it's not his function as a reporter to challenge obviously spurious assertions.

    People are getting more, but also shoddier, information. Kind of like cheap junk food. And they start to feel bloated and sick.

    And, yet, just as they do with their votes, people still tune in. They still give custom to the advertisers.

    A couple of similar arguments I've used in the past. Americans work really hard. Indeed, much of their waking world is spent focused on work and finance. Add in kids, a hobby, and baseball season, and suddenly one wonders where they find time for information. This might explain why, as the Christian right wing asserts itself so loudly, that so few Christians who nod and follow along while praising Jesus to the moon and back stop to think how the political voice contradicts the Bible. Likewise, it is why so few voters can be bothered to read even the paltry Voter's Guide that comes around before any given election.

    In the end, it seems people are, more and more, simply settling with what's comfortable, regardless of the truth. Or, as Leonard Pitts, Jr. put it, "facts no longer mean what they once did".

    To the one, it's nobody's fault. To the other, it's everybody's fault.

    No, not all conservatives think this way, else there would already be blood in the streets; the revolution would already be underway. But, fundamentally, conservatives want a return to the very conditions that got us into the mess the United States now finds us in. And they've been muttering their way toward violence. Think of it this way: Many of the same people who complained twenty-five years ago that children weren't smart enough to listen to rock music because the lyrics might make them rape and kill now resent the implication that Sarah Palin's "reload" rhetoric, or the crosshairs on the map, might encourage violence among adults. Indeed, Republicans and their Tea Party poodles were outraged when the DHS Secretary Napolitano, an Obama appointee, released a report that began under the Bush administration; it suggested that domestic terrorism concerns included disgruntled service members, discharged veterans, and washouts. And, most recently, members of the Hutaree Militia included a former Marine rifleman and an Army washout.

    It's an ugly mood, and it never would have been accepted out of the left with such a pretense of legitimacy. Which is fine. I've learned in my time that violent revolution doesn't really work in the modern world. If you look around this site, even, you'll find people extolling right-wing encouragement of revolt as patriotic and noble and the like. There are plenty of conservatives who aren't frothing for revolution, but among them are plenty who will make excuses for those who are. Quite clearly, the ballot box means nothing to them. Bush won a "mandate" in 2004 with 52% of the vote. The right wing demanded it. In 2008, Obama won obstruction with 53%. He is a lyin' African, a secret Muslim, a communist, a traitor, a threat to America ... anything but a legitimate president to the right wing. They forsake American democracy for pride. Wherever all those respectable conservatives are, they seem happy enough to harvest the bitter fruit of the Tea Party and the hardline right.
    ____________________

    Notes:

    Wikipedia. "George Alan Rekers". May 22, 2010. Wikipedia.org. May 23, 2010. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_Alan_Rekers

    —————. "Fred Phelps". May 20, 2010. Wikipedia.org. May 23, 2010. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fred_Phelps

    Savage, Dan. "Who Is Pastor Jeff Owens?" Slog. May 22, 2010. Slog.TheStranger.com. May 23, 2010. http://slog.thestranger.com/slog/archives/2010/05/22/who-is-pastor-jeff-owens

    Corddry, Rob and Jon Stewart. "Kerry Controversy". The Daily Show. Comedy Central, New York. August 23, 2004. TheDailyShow.com. May 23, 2010. http://www.thedailyshow.com/watch/mon-august-23-2004/kerry-controversy

    Barrett, Liz Cox. "Jim Lehrer on Billy Bob, Reports of Rain and Stenography As Journalism". Columbia Journalism Review. June 2, 2006. CJR.org. May 23, 2010. http://www.cjr.org/behind_the_news/jim_lehrer_on_billy_bob_report.php

    Pitts, Leonard. "Facts no longer mean what they once did". The Miami Herald. February 21, 2010. MiamiHerald.com. May 23, 2010. http://www.miamiherald.com/2010/02/21/1492484/facts-no-longer-mean-what-they.html

    Isikoff, Michael. "Ex-Members of U.S. Military Were Members of Hutaree Militia Extremist Group". Declassified. April 9, 2010. Blog.Newsweek.com. May 23, 2010. http://blog.newsweek.com/blogs/decl...mbers-of-hutaree-militia-extremist-group.aspx
     
  15. joepistole Deacon Blues Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    22,910
    I was once a Libertarian, and on some level I think most of us are Libertarians as most of us do love freedom. But living in a society and reaping the benefits of society does require some limitations on individual freedom. Some of those limitations have long standing roots in our religion and culture. And others are newly created, resulting from our advancements in technology. And as a matter of principal it is always good to continually question the restrictions we place on our liberties. But these reviews must not be done with through lenses that distort our vision. This is too important a task to leave to mobs or to use imprecise tool.

    I disagree with you on this point. Fox not only attacks, it is an active advocacy for the right wing political spectum in the United States. It ignores facts it finds inconvient, it makes up facts and manipulates the news to get the results it wants (e.g. video clips of Crowds).

    CNN used to be a good unbiased news organization, before george II came to office. Now they are really a bunch of yellow journalist as evidenced by their coverage of the "Swift Boating Affair". CNN spent 99.5 percent of its coverage presenting the Swift Boat allegations and a fraction of a percent reporting the actual evidence which did not support the allegations.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Swift_Vets_and_POWs_for_Truth#Truth_of_allegations

    "Truth of allegations
    A major part of the SBVT controversy centered on the group's testimony. The SBVT statements were accompanied by sworn affidavits, although one affiant, Al French, later admitted he had no firsthand knowledge of what he had sworn to.[55]

    The first SBVT ad was contradicted by the statements of several other veterans who observed the incidents, by the Navy's official records, and, in some instances, by the contemporaneous statements of SBVT members themselves.

    Several major newspapers were also skeptical of the SBVT allegations. For example, a New York Times news article stated, "on close examination, the accounts of Swift Boat Veterans for Truth prove to be riddled with inconsistencies."[56] Regarding the medal dispute, a Los Angeles Times editorial[57] stated, "Not limited by the conventions of our colleagues in the newsroom, we can say it outright: These charges against John Kerry are false." The editorial argued this position on the basis that "Kerry is backed by almost all those who witnessed the events in question, as well as by documentation." On August 22, 2004 The Washington Post reported: "An investigation by The Washington Post into what happened that day suggests that both sides have withheld information from the public record and provided an incomplete, and sometimes inaccurate, picture of what took place. But although Kerry's accusers have succeeded in raising doubts about his war record, they have failed to come up with sufficient evidence to prove him a liar."[58]"

    CNN is journalistic whore. They will do and say anything that gets them a rating. While they have more journalistic integrity than Fox....that ain't say much.
     
  16. Buffalo Roam Registered Senior Member

    Messages:
    16,931
    Now joe, I was born in the dark but it wasn't last night, you were once a Libertarian, yes tell us another one.

    Sorry joe, John Kerry (who served in Vietnam) didn't spend Christmas eve sitting in Cambodia on the Mekong River in 1968.....there was no way to get His boat from the lower Mekong to the point five miles into Cambodia, as He launched that mission form the Ha Tien and was on the Giang Thanh River which at no point crosses into Cambodia.

    Now remember, the Swiftys who call Kerry on His record are all veterans who served with Kerry, all decorated multiple time, and all served full tours, and didn't wimp out by manipulating the regulations to go home after 3 self written citations for Purple Hearts.

    So speaks the great joepistole from the seat of Democrat neutral observation.

    Now joe, I was born in the dark but it wasn't last night, you were once a Libertarian, yes tell us another one.

    joe every Libertarian, I know rip the Republicans as well as the Democrats, you have never ripped a Democrat, you have never even questioned any thing the Democrats have tried to shove down the throats of the American People, so as to your claim of once being a Liberal;

    Now joe, I was born in the dark but it wasn't last night, you were once a Libertarian, yes tell us another one, you are what was at one time was called a "Yellow Dog Democrat",

    You would vote for a "Yellow Dog on as long as He was on the Democratic Ticket" before you would every vote Vote for a Republican.
     
  17. Omega133 Aus der Dunkelheit Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    6,281
    I read a book not too long ago called: 100 People Who Are Screwing Up America. It had alot of interesting ideas and reasons as to why we became so screwed up. The media was one of those things. He said it all started during Vietnam. A news channel sent a reporter over to the peace talks and was going to have them report said talks. However someone had a bright idea to put re-runs of I Love Lucy on instead. His reason? It will bring ratings.

    Indeed they don't.
     
  18. Omega133 Aus der Dunkelheit Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    6,281
    But the problem is: People don't always see these limitations. And in some cases they do, but they don't care. And that is a definate problem.

    I really don't prefer either. And if you look at all the media sources, they all seem kind of bias in opinion. I mean, the local news station isn't going to sling mud, but certainly a nation known one will.
     
  19. joepistole Deacon Blues Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    22,910
    Yes is is evident that you were born in the dark and remain in the dark. Because, all you have ever offered to support your position is ad hominem and lies...not good ground to stand on.

    Sorry joe, John Kerry (who served in Vietnam) didn't spend Christmas eve sitting in Cambodia on the Mekong River in 1968.....there was no way to get His boat from the lower Mekong to the point five miles into Cambodia, as He launched that mission form the Ha Tien and was on the Giang Thanh River which at no point crosses into Cambodia.[/QUOTE]

    Are you able to read Mr. Buffalo Roam? Perhaps a better question would be, do you ever read anything that does not support your preconceived notion of the world?

    I am going to issue you another challenge. Prove the truthfullness of just one of the many Swift Boat allegations...just one. The Secretary of the Navy, a Republican, has backed Kerry's military record as Kerry represented it.
    Two, ALL OF the men who served WITH Kerry (on Kerry's boat) are on Kerry's side. The Swift Boat Veterans for Truth include Airforce officers and last I checked, Airforce officers were not flying swift boat...maybe that is because as fast as swift boats were, they did not fly.

    So I am going to issue you another challenge, show me one Swift Boat Boat Veteran For Truth who actually served on Kerry's boat...just one. And the answer is you cannot. Because none exist. But that doesn't stop you and others like you from perpetuating the lies and personal smears.

    http://www.factcheck.org/article231.html

    Yes you do like the dark I will grant you that. And when all you have to offer is personal attacks, I do feel sorry for you, you have my pitty.
    If you miss the big things, is it any wonder that you miss the little things. Show me when Democrats have messed up and I will be there to be critical. But here is the key, they really have to have messed up.

    And to date, the Obama administration has not messed up in any signficant way. The Obama administration has been busy cleaning up the huge monumental messes left by the previous Republican administration. The nation has been in a state of crisis...in case you have not noticed. And in a time of crisis we all need to work together to solve common problems...something Republicans have thus far failed to do. And in my book it is inexcusable.

     
    Last edited: May 23, 2010
  20. Buffalo Roam Registered Senior Member

    Messages:
    16,931
    joe, swift boats don't operate alone, there were always other boats involved in the actions, crewed by other observers to those actions, and by the judgement of those veterans Kerry was sucking hind tit, a grandstander with future political ambitions, wanting to make a reputation for Himself at the expense of others to further His political ambitions.

    My vets group has one of the men who served with Kerry for His whirl wind 90 day tour in Vietnam, and He isn't very impressed by Kerry or very complimentary about Kerrys supposed heroism.

    In his words;

    A Boat Commander doesn't ground His Boat, leave His post in Command of His Boat, to charge ashore, to chase down a wounded enemy combatant, and then write up His own citation for a Silver Star, Kerry was the Commander, He abandoned His command and His post, to be a glory hound, because He was more interested in making a name for Himself for a later political career, which He boasted about to His fellow Swifties, and to be used as political capital to enhance His Political Standing.

    What would have happened to you? if you had abandoned your post as a Medic to run down a wounded enemy combatant, leaving the men who you are suppose to take care of to get a medal?

    That is exactly what Keery did, He abandoned His post for a Medal.

    You would never have made it to a court marshal.
     
  21. Buffalo Roam Registered Senior Member

    Messages:
    16,931
    Yes, from John Kerry's own words;

    The clandestine Communist Party of Kampuchea itself constituted the secret leadership of the Khmer Rouge, as its official name was known only to a few insiders: it called itself the Angkar (the organization) and only announced officially its existence in 1977.

    So Kerry could not have even known of the of the Khmer Rouge, unless he was a party member in 1968, they didn't acknowledge that name till 11 years after Kerry left country.

    ps:

    there were no Vietnamese forces inside of Cambodia in 1968 either, a few, LRRP's, and Beannies, but now fire bases or troop concentrations of any size, and just what kind of hell do you think would have come down on a Vietnamese Unit operating in Cambodia, firing up the countryside on Christmas in 1968, when the Viet Cong and NVA were in total control of that area?

    A very good way to commit suicide, it would be like jumping into a fire ant hill naked balls first, they would be up your ass so fast you wouldn't know wether to shit of go blind.
     
  22. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    37,888
    Oh, poor, disgraceful you

    Oh, lighten up, Mr. Roam. Remember, your lying faction won. Sure, Larry Thurlow, who led the charge, was shown to be a liar. Sure, Paul Galanti asserted that truth is un-American. But that didn't matter to the electorate, did it? Frankly, I find your brand of dishonest fanatacism a greater disgrace to the nation and its armed services than anything asserted of Sen. Kerry.
     
  23. joepistole Deacon Blues Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    22,910
    Kerry did not abandon his post. In fact he was received the Silver Star for that action. Where is the proof that Kerry wrote up his own citation?

    In the Navy we don't write up our own citations. Our superiors review our conduct and write up a citation if they feel it appropriate. Kerry's Silver Star was signed off on by the Secretary of the Navy...a Republican by the way.
     

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