In the American Conservative! - Page 3 - Mercedes-Benz Forum

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
post #21 of 23 (permalink) Old 07-22-2006, 09:16 AM
Surely A Large Human
 
Qubes's Avatar
 
Date registered: Jun 2006
Vehicle: '08 C219
Location: Between Earth and Mars
Posts: 34,252
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Quoted: 493 Post(s)
Lifetime Premium Member
Jim - the volume has remained pretty comfortable here, thanks for that. I'm trying to respond in kind, as this is pretty enjoyable.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JimSmith
...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 don't think anyone is saying that the NYT was provided bad information - I think that they abused their rights by acting irresponsibly. The NYT is acting irresponsibly unless they were privy to "the whole story", had checked their facts carefully, and were backed by more than one credible source. If all of these conditions were met, they're certainly within the bounds of 'journalistic integrity' by going to press. Doesn't make it any less dispicable. I will concede that if the allegations are well founded, it's the administration's own fault for not covering their bases.


Quote:
Originally Posted by JimSmith
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.
This is a mischaracterization of my comments. I was speaking for my own thoughts on the matter, not what I think to be constitutional or proper for all citizens. I have nothing to hide, so I have issues relating to those who would impede the government's efforts to protect us by fretting about an invasion of privacy. It's not as if our country is presently absent of threats from foes who fly no flag and wear no uniforms - where was this precedent in the 1700's? Are you really willing to say that the constitution would look no different had this eventuality been considered 230 years ago?


Quote:
Originally Posted by JimSmith
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.....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.
Agreed, our history is rich with having the right man in office for the times. My sentiments would be the same for whomever occupied the office post-9/11, no matter what their track record. Flawless performance in these circumstances would be even more remarkable. What I've consistently heard regarding Bush's performance (in the press, etc) is high on criticism and low on constructiveness. Most pepole agree that things could be better, but few people have been able to identify exactly WHAT or HOW they could have ensured a better track record.


Quote:
Originally Posted by JimSmith
...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.
This sounds downright Republican!


Quote:
Originally Posted by JimSmith
...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?
There it is - the enchanted curse of the liberal. This statement resembles the "bigotry of low expectations" - the issue that is at the heart of Bush's "Compassionate Conservative" platform. I'm certain like most liberals who take this position, that it's not your intention to be a racist/supremacist, but this is what the ideal you've quoted boils down to - "some people just can't cut it".

I find it unthinkable to assume that ANYONE in this country (not suffering from a debilitating illness, mental disability, or physical condition) can accomplish ANYTHING to which they set their minds. It's simply a matter of choice. I'm not saying it's EASY - I've never made that claim - I'm just saying it's really quite simple.

If some people aren't up to the challenge, they can resign themselves to the best life they can afford with the level of effort they wish to put forth - if that's below the poverty line, for example, so be it - raising the minimum wage is typically the liberal answer for people like this...I say hogwash...minimum wage jobs should inspire people to achieve more, not stick around on the promise that they'll get a 50% or more raise for doing the same job because Congress says so.

Our social programs shouldn't reward people of sound mind and body for basically being lazy or irresponsible. If you think that there are people who exhibit those attributes because of their nature - that they are helpless against the forces of their upbringing or culture - then you've condemned them to a life of empoverishment and government dependency, by way of insulating them from the very forces of nature that motivate man. Being poor is usually uncomfortable - discomfort is an effective motivator, but is too often used as an excuse - self-victimization - for refusing to meet the challenge. Anyone who seeks gainful employment should (and suprisingly often, can) be able to find it in America. Three words - mexican day workers.

You don't have to be like me, or be a Christian, or abstain from sex, to be successful in America. You just have to want it enough to refuse to let anything stop you. You have to decide between short-term pleasure and long-term well-being. These are everyone's decisions to make for themselves - the government should only incent behaviors that aren't self-destructive.

[QUOTE=JimSmith]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.[QUOTE]

I agree that a vaccine would get rid of the disease altogether - private industry can work on this, as I'm sure there's a market (isn't there?). I'm not in it, so all I know is that I shouldn't be paying for it.

I was actually referring to the amount of money the US spends abroad to combat AIDS as a humanitarian effort - I don't think it's our place to educate other government's citizens. The UN, international Red Cross, etc. are probably much more well equipped for this. And, they're NEUTRAL. Again, it's a fine concept, just don't spend my money doing it unless I contribute it of my own accord.

(As an aside, most of what I first learned about AIDS was from an episode of "21 Jump Street" of all things....that information has stood the test of time, and has been augmented over the years since. In short, information on AIDS should be ubiquitous - if it's not, then someone in government has some answering to do.

[QUOTE=JimSmith]...useful in finding a cure for one of those other horrible diseases good, Christian, smart and obedient kids might get one day...[QUOTE]

I also take issue with the continual association of Christianity to AIDS prevention. AIDS is a very difficult disease to contract. If anything, Catholics would be most prone to catching it were it not for the strict teachings of chastity. Just use a freaking condom and this is a done deal for everyone but the intravenous drug-addicted. I wish I could find the stats, but in the U.S., there are more people afflicted by run-ins with lawn equipment each year than there are those who acquire AIDS without engaging in unprotected sex or sharing an infected needle. Christianity doesn't come into play here. I'm not making it a moral argument. People are going to do whatever they want to do, which is fine and dandy. The laws of nature basically state that there are consequences for every action - some seen, some unseen. The argument that pepole are "entitled" to unprotected sexual relations with anonymous partners is lost on me as soon as you throw in the "consequence-free" caveat.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JimSmith
I find the Cabinet's pedigree pretty meaningless....So what good is a good pedigree if they can't perform?

Jim
My only observation here is that as a leader, you typically try to surround yourself with the best people you can find, set a direction, and help them to operate unfettered. People who get on the bus based on where they think it's going won't last long - people who get on the bus based on the other passengers will.

It's true that qualifications don't equal performance - past history is typically the best indicator of future performance, and I've not yet seen where his cabinet selections could have been faulted based on past history OR qualifications...how else do you select people? Where were the flaws visible before it was too late? (I'm not trying to be argumentative, I just can't remember seeing this type of thing).

You'd almost have to assemble an entire cabinet purposefully designed to deal with a post-9/11 America, as the objectives are much different than an America where no such threat is on the horizon. Bush had a history in Texas of being able to get lots of things done in a bi-partisan fashion - I really wanted to see this play out on a national scale. Certainly, he's not the ultimate president ever, but neither Gore or Kerry struck me as being better qualified to make hard decisions in times of crisis...given the choices, I think we have the best person for the job.
Qubes is online now  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #22 of 23 (permalink) Old 07-22-2006, 01:11 PM
BenzWorld Elite
 
Date registered: Sep 2004
Vehicle: 2014 E250 Bluetec 4-Matic, 1983 240D 4-Speed
Location: USA
Posts: 9,257
Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Quoted: 256 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by QBNCGAR
I will concede that if the allegations are well founded, it's the administration's own fault for not covering their bases.
I find this particular perspective of yours confounding. Or confusing, so correct me if I am getting it wrong.

The way I see it the President swears an oath of office that makes it clear every Presidential act he takes is to be bound to be in compliance with the provisions in the Constitution and to uphold that document. Some time ago the legislative branch, also bound by that document, was confronted with a need to allow certain activities that were clearly prohibited by the Constitution without certain legal procedings, but could not effectively be carried out in a public forum such as is typically the case for most legal activities. So they set up a "secret court" with special duties, namely to review the government's need to conduct activities the Constitution required a legal authorization for, but with specific provisions to keep the request and the decision secret. There were timing exceptions and numerous other provisions to ensure the "secret court" would not hinder the need to take action quickly and decisively to protect the nation. Bush elected not to use this court and go it alone, against the provisions of the document he swore, in his oath of office, to comply with and uphold. The way I see it, Bush authorized anti-American activities, and I fail to see what bases he should have covered. I don't really see this as a "covering the bases" issue and would like to understand what bases you think he can show he covered to make this whole issue comply with the Constitution.

Quote:
Originally Posted by QBNCGAR
This is a mischaracterization of my comments. ..
Yes, but your reiteration of your position is a mischaracterization of the role your "private and for yourself only" perspective plays in your argument. The point of the Bill of Rights is not to coddle criminals. If that is your perspective on these rights you have been granted, I think you missed some of the history that led up to the Bill of Rights being written and included in the Constitution.

And, if the Constitution had been written by the American public's elected representatives of today, it would be a meaningless and oppressive document. The perspective and vision of the authors of our Constitution is so idealistic and free of today's major influences (big business, money, power) it is hard to believe there was a moment in time when it could have been crafted.

To answer your question, yes, I think the intent of the authors of the Constitution with regard to the "inalienable rights" they granted, and the separation of church and state, as well as the balanc of powers, was not to be influenced or diluted by current events in the unwritten history of the nation they founded. To allow these rights to be abridged by current events is to lower the standards for being American. We can protect this country from any threat and maintain our unique protection of our inalienable rights, and so on, if that is what we set our minds to do. If we are lazy and let the tactics of that led to the fall of the Weimarer Republik, namely using fear to erode our will to defend our rights, we will descend into the mass of failed nations that populate the history of the world. Just my perspective.

Quote:
Originally Posted by QBNCGAR
Agreed, our history is rich with having the right man in office for the times. ..Most pepole agree that things could be better, but few people have been able to identify exactly WHAT or HOW they could have ensured a better track record.
This is typically a sore subject, because Bush supporters cry foul when it is suggested we turn the clock back to before we invaded Iraq, but you asked so, what if we had just focussed on Osamma and got him? What if we had just left freaking Saddam alone? You asked how things for America could be better, and you set a standard of things being better in your perspective if America doesn't pay to educate the people around the world on the perils of AIDS. So not spending money for the betterment of other nations' populations anymore is a step in the right direction by your standards. Not to argue your criteria, but if that is the case, why is it ok with you that we are in a pointless confilct we cannot win or extricate ourselves from that costs hundreds of billions of dollars of taxpayers money every year (dwarfing the AIDS expenses and likely to be paid by taxpayers not born yet given this Administration's fiscal policy) that we now say is intended to benefit the Iraqis by bringing them freedom.

What if we didn't spend time and effort trying to spit the naton over gay marriage? Who really cares about this, unless you are gay and want to be married? Why is the relationship between humans the business of the Government?

Why do we need to spend taxes on flag burning Ammendments? Actually, why do we need to spend taxpayers' money on PR for the President's initiatives? I could go on and on. I think this Administration is mired in political manipulation while they fail to acknowledge errors and therefore are unable to try to correct them. Then they initiate subversive, anti-American activities, which, when discovered are billed as necessary to protect us from terror. All hallmarks of incompetence or just plain lack of ability. Short cuts are taken by desperate people, not by people trying to do the right thing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by QBNCGAR
This sounds downright Republican!
? Not sure I get that, but I have never been one to bash "Republican ideals" because they are Republican. I get riled up when I see religious leaders trying to gain political power by manipulating the political system. At the moment that effort to manipulate seems directed more at the Republican party. I am also not in tune with those aspects of the Republican Party of today's outlook that set the interests of big business over the interests of the common people. Things like trickle down economics and tax cuts for the wealthy while deficits reach unheard of values. But investing in America's future? If that is somehow viewed by you to be a Republican characteristic, that is ok with me.



Quote:
Originally Posted by QBNCGAR
There it is - the enchanted curse of the liberal. This statement resembles the "bigotry of low expectations" - the issue that is at the heart of Bush's "Compassionate Conservative" platform. ....These are everyone's decisions to make for themselves - the government should only incent behaviors that aren't self-destructive.
Ah, I think we loosened a log jam there. You must feel better. I will send a bill later.

I don't happen to think AIDS research and sex education, as well as various other programs to address the aspects of human nature that lead to disease and misery are founded in what you call the "bigotry of low expectations." I do think welfare falls in that category, and have written a number of times that today welfare is no more than bribing undesireables to stay in their "reservations" and limit their excursions into "our" territory. Not what was envisioned by the authors of the policy, but essentially, what has been the result. Another of my "theories" is that we do not conduct social experimentation, like the welfare program, scientifically and therefore fail to learn from them. All government programs, and laws passed by any of the federal or state legislatures should be required to state what the behavior the law is intended to modify, how it is intended to do that, and a means to measure progress, along with funds to conduct a periodic assessment using the methods prescribed in the law so that should the law fail to achieve the intended behavior modification, it self extinguishes after a given time period. Nothing is renewed without passing the minimum mark on the yardstick used to measure progress and only those things with some measured progress can be considered for modification and re-upping.

My point to you was not that welfare is good. It was that preaching from the mount is not effective. And that the basic work of finding cures to immune system failures will benefit all Americans. Like those with allergies and possibly many cancers. Just because the rallying cry is AIDS and AIDS is something that afflicts queers and dope addicts more than other segments of the populations (which I possibly unfairly attributed to you as being Christians with your values) doesn't mean it is an unworthy cause.
Jim

To be continued....
JimSmith is offline  
post #23 of 23 (permalink) Old 07-22-2006, 01:11 PM
BenzWorld Elite
 
Date registered: Sep 2004
Vehicle: 2014 E250 Bluetec 4-Matic, 1983 240D 4-Speed
Location: USA
Posts: 9,257
Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Quoted: 256 Post(s)
The rest....

Quote:
Originally Posted by QBNCGAR
Quote:
Originally Posted by JimSmith
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.
I agree that a vaccine would get rid of the disease altogether - private industry can work on this, as I'm sure there's a market (isn't there?). I'm not in it, so all I know is that I shouldn't be paying for it.

I was actually referring to the amount of money the US spends abroad to combat AIDS as a humanitarian effort - I don't think it's our place to educate other government's citizens. The UN, international Red Cross, etc. are probably much more well equipped for this. And, they're NEUTRAL. Again, it's a fine concept, just don't spend my money doing it unless I contribute it of my own accord.

(As an aside, most of what I first learned about AIDS was from an episode of "21 Jump Street" of all things....that information has stood the test of time, and has been augmented over the years since. In short, information on AIDS should be ubiquitous - if it's not, then someone in government has some answering to do.
I don't know about you, but when I grew up things were different. No AIDS, and nearly every sexually transmitted disease was curable with a single visit to the doctor. You wore condoms to prevent getting the sweetie you were with from getting pregnant if she wasn't on the pill.

I am sure, as time goes on and the environmental friendliness of the world you have to introduce your gonads to in order to engage in sexual activity for any reason (procreation for some, pleasure and possibly procreation for others, and just for fun for some) is better known to be aggressively disease ridden, the use of condoms will increase. Somehow, even then, if someone gets a social disease I will find it inhuman to just suggest he/she should have known better and write him/her off.

[QUOTE=QBNCGAR]
[QUOTE=JimSmith]...useful in finding a cure for one of those other horrible diseases good, Christian, smart and obedient kids might get one day...
Quote:

I also take issue with the continual association of Christianity to AIDS prevention. AIDS is a very difficult disease to contract. If anything, Catholics would be most prone to catching it were it not for the strict teachings of chastity. Just use a freaking condom and this is a done deal for everyone but the intravenous drug-addicted. I wish I could find the stats, but in the U.S., there are more people afflicted by run-ins with lawn equipment each year than there are those who acquire AIDS without engaging in unprotected sex or sharing an infected needle. Christianity doesn't come into play here. I'm not making it a moral argument. People are going to do whatever they want to do, which is fine and dandy. The laws of nature basically state that there are consequences for every action - some seen, some unseen. The argument that pepole are "entitled" to unprotected sexual relations with anonymous partners is lost on me as soon as you throw in the "consequence-free" caveat.
Somehow I think you tend to miss the point because the way the injury happens is during activity that is initiated on purpose, and it involves gonads. Sexually transmitted diseases are only unique from other diseases because they are transmitted whle engaging in sexual relations. No one contracts sexually transmitted diseases on purpose. Just like no one gets TB or polio or leprosy on purpose.

The Christian Right's disdain for gays and perpetual preaching of values which seem strangely absent from their most visible mouthpieces is how they become associated with being against AIDS research. I think it is pretty well known that one of their theories, that AIDS is god's way of curing homosexuality, is not sympathetic to spending money researching cures for AIDS.


Quote:
Originally Posted by QBNCGAR
My only observation here is that as a leader, you typically try to surround yourself with the best people you can find, set a direction, and help them to operate unfettered. People who get on the bus based on where they think it's going won't last long - people who get on the bus based on the other passengers will.

It's true that qualifications don't equal performance - past history is typically the best indicator of future performance, and I've not yet seen where his cabinet selections could have been faulted based on past history OR qualifications...how else do you select people? Where were the flaws visible before it was too late? (I'm not trying to be argumentative, I just can't remember seeing this type of thing).

You'd almost have to assemble an entire cabinet purposefully designed to deal with a post-9/11 America, as the objectives are much different than an America where no such threat is on the horizon. Bush had a history in Texas of being able to get lots of things done in a bi-partisan fashion - I really wanted to see this play out on a national scale. Certainly, he's not the ultimate president ever, but neither Gore or Kerry struck me as being better qualified to make hard decisions in times of crisis...given the choices, I think we have the best person for the job.
I agree that assembling a cabinet is likely the most important organizational leadership step a new President has to take. And the task of assessing which people are best suited for your "agenda" or the platform you ran and were elected based on, and what the country needs in each of those posts is also challenging. There are three issues I think Bush actually failed on here.

First, a good leader as you noted recognizes he needs good people. Therefore, a good leader does not need to stock his staff with only those steeped in the philosophy of his particular party politics. A good leader will seek broad and differing opinions to check and balance his own outlook and tendencies and rely on his leadership to keep the group moving in the direction he wants to lead them.

Second, a good leader should really be involved in the selection of his advisors and know their outlooks, strengths and weaknesses. Know if they have an Agenda that may compete with his. A good leader should know the responsibilities he is asking the selected individuals to assume, and whether or not they can realistically be expected to perform. This is a typically very difficult task in business as well. For example, a good technical resource is not necessarily going to be a good technical manager and inserting a good technical resource into a management position he or she is unqualified for will result in a loss of the technical resource and a poorly managed group.

Third, when someone is not performing, you the leader have to recognize it and take action. Not the chief of staff who is intimidated by the cabinet members, or some other person the cabinet members to not report to.

In all cases I think Bush didn't do his homework and picked names from the party approved list and not what he or the country needed. In fact is seems feasible that Bush himself didn't really do much of anything but go along with choices made by his Party.

I have no idea how Bush got the reputation for being able to unite different factions as Governor of Texas, but he is without a clue of how to address the other side of any argument his staff gets him into with the Democrats.

On the whole issue of post 9-11 he is run by Rummy and Condi. The DoD is in the middle of its worst outing since Vietnam, in a post Vietnam era that is not that far removed from the actual Vietnam quagmire. What were the lessons learned? Rummy was in his prime back then and should have been able to glean a few good lessons.

Condi is similarly inept. She invented the Administration's response to all fuck-ups, known as Condi's Lament, which is nothing more than a variation of "No one could have guessed.....(insert what did happen and went bad)" intended to appeal to the average Joe, suggesting he should identify with her on how hard her job is and how he likely couldn't have done better. That, Cuban, does not make me feel better.

And then Bush gives out medals to those who really screw up. He has yet to fire anyone on his staff for screwing something up. Surely Rummy screwed up the Iraq thing, along with Condi and the CIA medal wearer Tenet? Where is the responsibility?

So, while some see an average guy struggling to work things out in the White House, I see an average guy, completely unqualified, determined to continue masquerading as President, mucking things up and then lying about it solely to remain undiscovered as a charlatan.

So, I do attribute the failings of the Administraton to Bush because he is the head of the group. He has a Legislative branch of the Government that lives to obey his every wish. So when Congress goes along with him and the idea fails, it is still, as I see it, Bush's fault. And with all that power he has managed to do next to nothing of value to the nation as a whole, while burying us in follies like Iraq.

Speculating on how Gore or Kerry might have done better or worse at this point is wasted energy. They didn't get the chance and we will never know. Bush, however, has the job and I believe he could be replaced relatively easily by any other average Joe you might meet at a bar, have a drink with but conclude is not really qualified to be President. Jim
JimSmith is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Reply

  Mercedes-Benz Forum > General Mercedes-Benz Forums > Off-Topic

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the Mercedes-Benz Forum forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in











  • Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
     
    Thread Tools
    Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
    Email this Page Email this Page
    Display Modes
    Linear Mode Linear Mode



    Similar Threads
    Topic Author Forum Replies Last Post
    California is becoming Conservative! MercedezGolf Off-Topic 56 06-03-2006 01:33 PM
    Is Dubyuh a Conservative? Consider this: WSJ Op/Ed Botnst Off-Topic 10 01-02-2006 10:16 AM
    Whats a neo-conservative? ilikemercedes Off-Topic 8 11-09-2004 08:23 AM
    Take this quiz to see if you're a liberal or a conservative lietuviai Off-Topic 16 09-20-2004 01:01 PM
    North American International Auto Show: Touareg North American Debut Bora20 W163 M-Class 9 01-09-2003 08:30 AM

    Posting Rules  
    You may post new threads
    You may post replies
    You may not post attachments
    You may not edit your posts

    BB code is On
    Smilies are On
    [IMG] code is On
    HTML code is Off
    Trackbacks are On
    Pingbacks are On
    Refbacks are On

     

    Title goes here

    close
    video goes here
    description goes here. Read Full Story
    For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome