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post #11 of 23 (permalink) Old 07-20-2006, 09:59 PM
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Originally Posted by QBNCGAR
It's just an opinion, but I honestly do not believe that the government is engaging on wholesale operations to spy on everyone as a way to identify and suppress those with alternative points of view
really? so why whitewash the presidential speach attendees?

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I think these expectations can be considered fair and equitable, and aren't mutually exclusive. So for what it's worth, it's that last sentence that explains why so many conservatives take issue with the irresponsible conduct of the New York Times.
the last sentese talks about right wing talking heads which NYT is not.. they refer to rush, coulter and the like, mr.



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post #12 of 23 (permalink) Old 07-20-2006, 10:17 PM
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While we're remaining tame, you and I...

1) ...
2. in a way 9-11 saved us from this ____. you can insert any number of approp derigatory terms here as most apply... if not for this side track we'd probably be either way worse off or nothing would have happened besides more gridlock. 9-11 also got him the second term.. shame, shame..

3. education is the cure for aids? wow.. look at the state of education in this country sometime.. not that i am against educating folks about it but we need a vaccine.. plain and simple.



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post #13 of 23 (permalink) Old 07-21-2006, 06:14 AM
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The problem with conservatism is that it does not have a positive philosophy. True conservatism is all about what folks should not do, whether it is individuals or the state.

"Neo-Conservatism" is an attempt to move conservatism to something pro-active. Unfortunately, neo-conservatism fails to understand that exercise of power generates opposing forces even when those oppositional forces may benefit from the power. Neo-conservatism is a peculiar combination of naivete and idealism.

And next time class, we'll talk about American-style liberalism.
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post #14 of 23 (permalink) Old 07-21-2006, 08:06 AM
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Originally Posted by Botnst
The problem with conservatism is that it does not have a positive philosophy. True conservatism is all about what folks should not do, whether it is individuals or the state.

"Neo-Conservatism" is an attempt to move conservatism to something pro-active. Unfortunately, neo-conservatism fails to understand that exercise of power generates opposing forces even when those oppositional forces may benefit from the power. Neo-conservatism is a peculiar combination of naivete and idealism.
yup. neo conservatism is about expansionism.. maybe proactive but not really what anybody wants to see. the nazi term is actually very approp as that's what neocon resembles.



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post #15 of 23 (permalink) Old 07-21-2006, 08:15 AM
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post #16 of 23 (permalink) Old 07-21-2006, 08:57 AM Thread Starter
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Follow up:

Conservatives believe that the federal government is a poor tool for accomplishing most anything, correct? Government is not the answer and all...
Its bureaucratic, wasteful, imcompetent, and potentially abusive.

Why then, are conservatives clamoring for more government action/power to take care of domestic security? I personally am in line with this opinion of government and have been watching it prove out since 9-11. Our efforts at securing the "homeland" (stupid term) have proven to be extremely invasive, expensive and there's arguably no proof that they've been effective.

The I have nothing to hide argument so I'm okay with government intrusion and giving up my civil liberties is NOT a conservative viewpoint and the number of people in our country that subscribe to it scares the hell out of me.

Terrorism is extremely limited in its ability to really do any harm to our country. No country has ever been taken over by terrorists. All in all the 9-11 attacks took a number of our countrymen and were terrible, but I feel that some perspective has been lost. More people are murdered, die in car accidents, die from smoking or OD on heroin in a year than terrorist attacks have ever taken from us. We are a strong nation that can rebound from most anything these pissant terrorists could do. We could not however recover from an abandonment of the constitution and our civil liberties. I think we may be cutting our nose off to spite our face in this case.
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post #17 of 23 (permalink) Old 07-21-2006, 09:40 AM
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Originally Posted by Botnst
The problem with conservatism is that it does not have a positive philosophy. True conservatism is all about what folks should not do, whether it is individuals or the state.
This may be an oversimplifcation...for example, the assertion made by Magnet that holding low expectations of an entire race of people is tantamount to brutal racism resonated deeply with me. Many of our nation's social programs are based on a single fundamental principle - that the people they will help are in need, and are otherwise incapable of helping themselves.

As the new, non-racist NAACP President has been mentioning lately (along with African-American intellectuals such as Dr. Bill Cosby, etc), is that no government program will ever help anyone who is not ready or willing to help themselves.

I believe that "the good life" is available to anyone who wants it, and is willing to work hard to get it. We cannot disavow the presence of racism, but I think we are largely past the time in this country when people of color were purposely held back despite their talents, aptitude, and experience.

If you remember back to being a kid, you may recall the difference you felt between gifts you were given, and the first object you bought with your own money, from your own hard work, and how much more you appreciated the latter. I don't think we should abolish social programs - I think we should be carefully selective in the types of behaviors those programs encourage, facilitate, and reward. Ultimately, people will do what they are incented to do - government must be careful in creating these incentives, paying mind to the law of unintended consequences.

There are examples all around of people who aren't especially gifted, who grew up in poor communities, and who simply decided that they wouldn't let themselves be defeated or provided for by someone else. They are some of the most successful people around, by many measures. They're also some of the happiest, and their examples are far more influential to the minority youth in this country than are politicians who promise to essentially keep paying them to do nothing.

I got interrupted mid-composition, but the point is this - I don't think programs designed to incent the less fortunate to take charge of their lives (I'm not talking about those who are genuinely incapable of doing so by way of physical or mental ailment) are "negative". Quite the contrary, I think the great tragedy of liberalism is that it seems ignorant to the law of unintended consequences. I'll never fault a true liberal for being callous or insensitive toward the plight of the poor or underprivileged, but I will always challenge their plans if they end up incenting/rewarding self-destructive behavior.

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post #18 of 23 (permalink) Old 07-21-2006, 10:16 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by QBNCGAR
This may be an oversimplifcation...for example, the assertion made by Magnet that holding low expectations of an entire race of people is tantamount to brutal racism resonated deeply with me. Many of our nation's social programs are based on a single fundamental principle - that the people they will help are in need, and are otherwise incapable of helping themselves.

As the new, non-racist NAACP President has been mentioning lately (along with African-American intellectuals such as Dr. Bill Cosby, etc), is that no government program will ever help anyone who is not ready or willing to help themselves.

I believe that "the good life" is available to anyone who wants it, and is willing to work hard to get it. We cannot disavow the presence of racism, but I think we are largely past the time in this country when people of color were purposely held back despite their talents, aptitude, and experience.

If you remember back to being a kid, you may recall the difference you felt between gifts you were given, and the first object you bought with your own money, from your own hard work, and how much more you appreciated the latter. I don't think we should abolish social programs - I think we should be carefully selective in the types of behaviors those programs encourage, facilitate, and reward. Ultimately, people will do what they are incented to do - government must be careful in creating these incentives, paying mind to the law of unintended consequences.

There are examples all around of people who aren't especially gifted, who grew up in poor communities, and who simply decided that they wouldn't let themselves be defeated or provided for by someone else. They are some of the most successful people around, by many measures. They're also some of the happiest, and their examples are far more influential to the minority youth in this country than are politicians who promise to essentially keep paying them to do nothing.

I got interrupted mid-composition, but the point is this - I don't think programs designed to incent the less fortunate to take charge of their lives (I'm not talking about those who are genuinely incapable of doing so by way of physical or mental ailment) are "negative". Quite the contrary, I think the great tragedy of liberalism is that it seems ignorant to the law of unintended consequences. I'll never fault a true liberal for being callous or insensitive toward the plight of the poor or underprivileged, but I will always challenge their plans if they end up incenting/rewarding self-destructive behavior.

Definitely an intentional over-simplification. It was meant to be provocative.

There are some aspects of (theoretical) conservatism with which I agree: frugality in gov and personal life, moderation, etc. When these more-or-less theoretical underpinnings meet the topsy-turvy world of politics then usually very strange things happen. Like Repos claiming to be conservatives and spending on pork like Reagan's "Drunken Sailors." Report on NPR this morning (or yesterday evening? I forget which) mentioned that pork snuck in for local projects has grown exponentially in quantity of projects and dollars spent. That oughtta convince Republicans to commit hari-kari. But it doesn't, they just line-up for another plate of pulled pork BBQ.

After I finish savaging conservatism I'm going after liberals. But right now conservatives are my play-thing.

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post #19 of 23 (permalink) Old 07-21-2006, 04:03 PM
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Originally Posted by QBNCGAR
1) I don't give it much thought. Every administration operates secretly. If in fact we knew all the reasons why, we may find that we agreed that it was for the best. We as a people can trust that our elected officials aren't acting with malice toward their constituency - it doesn't mean we can't keep tabs on them (to be sure), but the people keeping the "checks and balances" need to be at least as informed and as smart as the people they're checking and balancing. This is to say, most of us aren't nearly apt enough or privy enough to form opinions based on all the facts, or offer suggestions that take into account all the factors. I don't see that an even insignificant fraction of the populace is being targeted for oppression by the government - I continue to operate under the assumption that this is because there is no such plot to oppress us all.
Not to intentionally just break up this happy family, I take exception to much of what you just said. First, I am confused by your defending of the unusual measures of secrecy and circumvention of the laws pertaining to obtaining warrants from a secret bench set up to address these conditions you so graciously portray as being beyond what anyone could have predicted. A process and means were established to specifically address this isssue, in the interest of ensuring there is always a means to oversee with checks and balances, that the Constitutional rights granted to each and every American is maintained while the President goes about honoring his oath of office while protecting the nation from danger. This process was unilaterally deemed void. Part of the checks and balances is the free press and a free press is only free when it can report to the public when it finds the Governement implementing a process that is outside the law, without reprisals. I am also amazed at how slickly you set a standard that says abridging the rights granted by the Constitution for these unusual and unpredicatable circumstances post 9-11 we find ourselves in is ok because you think not more than even an insignificant fraction of American citizens are being adversely affected by it. The standard here must be that the President follows the laws of the land, upholds his oath, and is not given a get out of jail free chit when he fails to do so. The situation was very manageable. Bush's team just elected to act outside the law because it was easier. The Bill of Rights has no words suggesting some insiginficant number of Americans might not have all their rights under circumstances to be decided by the then President of the United States. It, quite to the contrary, is very explicit in the concept that all Americans are granted these inalienable rights. I really don't care if you think it is ok to have government bureacrats snooping around your business without your knowledge and agreement. That is not the criteria in the Constitution, and nowhere in that document are any of your proclamations about innocent people should have not thing to hide and the like. The Constitution says essentially the opposite. The burden is on the Government.
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2) I'm honestly not sure I can define neo-conservative. I didn't learn until much later that Bush's "Compassionate Conservative" platform was formed in no small part by the book "The Dream and the Nightmare" by Myron Magnet. He makes some very interesting points that I find valid, and others toward which I'm lukewarm. If I could make a wish, it would be that we could see what Bush would have accomplished/failed to accomplish without the events of 9/11 to change the course of history. I don't think we've seen the real GWB - I think we've seen GWB attempting to deal with a political and military theater of operations for which neither he nor anyone else in history could have been prepared. I may come off as a Bush apologist; I'm not an apologist for anyone - I just bristle at how often he's blamed for things outside his control, and how infrequently he's credited for the positive things that are within his control.
I agree no one could have been prepared for 9-11 without being complicent. I don't subscribe to those theories about Bush, but the same could have been said about Pearl Harbor, or the stock market crash and depression. Those in charge rose to the occasion. To excuse Bush's response by suggesting no could have known or no one could have predicted, just sounds like you are reciting a chorus from Condi's Lament. I do not recall ever hearing past Presidents or cabinet members invoke the "no one could have known" line for a reason why they responded incompetently. To then suggest if the circumstances had been easier Bush might have done better is like saying if a frog had wings he wouldn't bump his ass. I believe you believe you are not a Bush appoligist, but that, Cuban , is about the most overwhelmingly thorough example of being a Bush appologist I have ever read.
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3) I think it's silly to be spending as much as we are for NASA to play around on Mars - he's increased it's funding. I think it's pointless to fund AIDS research (as I've mentioned earlier) when the real vaccine is education. I think he's not too different from leaders of industry in that he allows people on his roster too many chances to fail before taking action that would humiliate them - I disagree with it in business, and I disagree with it in government. I consider the government a vast parking lot for mediocrity, and I fault anyone who sees that and does nothing to correct it. (Although to his credit, you won't find a much better pedigree in a presidential cabinet than that which he has kept since his first election).
Maybe Mars is not the right venue. Maybe a real energy policy other than big oil would be the more appropriate venue. But the technical innovation driven by the original space program initiated by Kennedy and funded entirely by the government, has propelled America's dominance in the economy, military and standard of living in the world for half a century as no other government or privately funded program has ever done. I think Bush, actually rightly, is looking for something similar to capture our national interest and pride again. Unfortunately, like many sequels from Holywood, or remakes of old classics, the rerun is not capable of doing the same thing. But the idea, to regain our preeminence in a very visible national challenge, is not all wrong, Bush just doesn't seem to be able to, well, lead in this regard. It is apparently too hard and falling back on a Holywood script seemed good enough, but wasn't and isn't. We just need to find one that is more appropriate to our time. Did anyone suggest an energy policy that would free us from sending money to the ME so they can fund terrorists to attack us and our way of life for millenia to come? Or possibly curing all kinds of ills with embrionic stem cell research?

As for the AIDS cure, well, you seem to be able to understand human nature when it comes to doling out freebees and how that is really counter to the human spirit. We need to be challenged and stimulated to struggle to survive - without that fundamental drive we become susceptible to low self esteem, drug addiction, alcohol abuse, and other similar self destructive behavior. Therefore you should be able to understand that a significant number of people are likely to be unable to exercise the same self control you seem to have mastered and assume everyone else can muster if they just, what, be more like you? Are better Christians? Abstain from sex?

I look at this as there is ample evidence that your pretty cavalier conclusion that "education" is the vaccine is not working. And not likely to work, while a true medical vaccine would get rid of the disease altogether. So I cannot agree we should be turning our AIDS research efforts off. Besides, there is something about accepting the challenge to cure horrible diseases that, when successful, seem to provide us insight into the molecular biology rules that run our bodies that might prove useful in finding a cure for one of those other horrible diseases good, Christian, smart and obedient kids might get one day. If that was one of my kids I would be of the opinion that the AIDS vaccine investment was very good even if it saved queers boning each other in the bung.

I find the Cabinet's pedigree pretty meaningless. I am not into breeding any of them and so far, their performances, regardless of pedigree, has been dismal to just barely "good." Rummy is a dismal failure, but he is pretty smart. Just not in the way he needs to be to run the government's defense department in a time when the defense department is playing the most significant role of all the cabinet member's departments. Same with nearly every one in a role that is really being pressed into service. So what good is a good pedigree if they can't perform?

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post #20 of 23 (permalink) Old 07-22-2006, 08:14 AM
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Follow up:

Conservatives believe that the federal government is a poor tool for accomplishing most anything, correct? Government is not the answer and all...
Its bureaucratic, wasteful, imcompetent, and potentially abusive.

Why then, are conservatives clamoring for more government action/power to take care of domestic security?
Conservatives are typically against "big government", which is to say that they are against "tax and spend" liberalism. When the federal government institutes a social policy, it does so at the expense of the states. Conservatives would rather the state governments implement social policies that are in line with the wishes of their residents - this also ensures that the residents of the state are the only ones paying for such programs by way of taxes. If people don't agree, they're welcome to move to another state (which happens a lot in this part of the USA - huge differences between Oklahoma and Texas by way of taxation and social programs).

I'm not sure where it puts me, but I am of the belief that you cannot legislate "common sense" into law. I'd actually liked to be challenged on this, because it's more of a theory - usually that phrase comes up when I hear about someone wanting to pass a law to prevent people from doing something that should never happen to begin with....I consider this a big waste time. We already have plenty of laws that aren't being adequately enforced - passing more laws that don't get enforced simply bolsters the belief of criminals that you have to do something really egregious to be arrested. For example, bank robberies here in Tulsa are somewhat commonplace - you never hear of these guys getting caught, so the robberies keep happening. Are the criminals paying for that, or am I?

Conservatives are generally anti-tax, because it's believed lower taxes provide incentive for the economy to grow. As you may be aware, companies don't pay taxes - they simply collect them. The money they have to pay in taxes is covered by the prices they charge customers for their products & services - the "sales tax" is what you pay...the businesses taxes are paid by the business, but are added to the sales price pre-tax (e.g. paid by you also). In short, the less taxes there are, the further your money goes. Consumers who feel like their dollar goes a long way will probably spend more of them overall than they would ordinarily.

Our system of taxation sucks. Money belongs to the person who earned it, not the government. The bigger an entity is, the less efficient it operates. Government should be incented or otherwise forced to operate as efficiently as a small business. It's OUR money, not theirs. Again, term limits (or spines) for congressmen seem to be in order. Worse yet, the more complicated the tax system, the more people are required to ensure it's being followed properly. The old term in racing is "if you spec it, you have to tech it". The fewer the rules, the easier it is to provide oversight. I have no idea why the flat tax movement failed, because I think it's brilliant if executed properly (even though the taxes I would pay would likely increase by about 100% based on the most prominent proposal at the time). The savings in efficiency at the IRS alone would be astronomical.

As far as the question regarding domestic security is concerned, I'm increasingly of the mind that we're tackling the wrong question. In consulting or as a service provider, you often have to ask "the question behind the question". It seems like the question our government is asking would be "How do we protect America from terrorist attacks on our soil?" It's fair to try to find out what led to the situation behind that question - "Why do we need to protect America from terrorist attacks on our soil?" It's probably a tougher question to answer, but once solved, the solution will probably be much simpler (albeit not any easier.
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