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Old 08-31-2007, 08:19 PM   #276
David Orange
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Re: A President's Thought

Quote:
Mike Sigman wrote: View Post
As long as you're stereotyping, couldn't you apply the above statement to Hispanics or blacks or whatever?
The statement applies to all humans: "For most people, (power is) a means to get more money, which is usually a means to get more sex." Politicians are "special humans," driven to rise to control over others. And my statement stands that they are basically self-serving and driven by human passions. Surely you're not saying that most of our Presidents have been faithful monogamists? Our congressmen have proven that they are not. Most of our governors prove that. I don't see what your complaint is. I'm just countering your own stereotype that all democrats are "crooks" and the ridiculous claim that the majority of prisoners in America are "Democrats." Since you can't prove either of those goofy claims, you're just attacking my arguments. That's fine. My arguments stand firm.

Quote:
Mike Sigman wrote: View Post
Er.... they don't foam at the mouth so they must not be normal like Alabamans?
Gingrich, Livingstone, Foley and Craig???? That ALL foam at the mouth. What are you talking about?

Quote:
Mike Sigman wrote: View Post
Why do you think Dems are trying to get convicted felons the right to vote? What percentage of convicts are Democrats? Most of them.
Well, that's accuracy in statistics, isn't it? As I said before, most convicts are convicts precisely because they pay no attention to anything beyond what they want to steal. They're neither dems nor Repubes. They will vote for the one who convinces them he will help them. Non-violent offenders tend to be a little smarter and they do lean dem. But the right-wing control-nut gun murderers tend Repug.

David

"That which has no substance can enter where there is no room."
Lao Tzu

"Eternity forever!"

www.esotericorange.com
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Old 08-31-2007, 08:22 PM   #277
David Orange
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Re: A President's Thought

Quote:
Mike Sigman wrote: View Post
The three most corrupt States in the U.S. are Louisiana, New Jersey, and Illinois. All run by Democrats. The metro cities with the highest murder and crime rates are all run by Democrat governments and the majority of voters in those cities are Democrates. I thought you were a "realist"?
But the most corrupt organization works on the national level and sucks the money and life out of all the people--except the wealthy. It's called The Bush Administration and its lapdog, The Republican Party.

http://news.yahoo.com/edcartoons/ben...aqkwEmLUkDwLAF

"That which has no substance can enter where there is no room."
Lao Tzu

"Eternity forever!"

www.esotericorange.com
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Old 09-01-2007, 03:19 PM   #278
Guilty Spark
 
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Re: A President's Thought

I think this thread is a great example of the US presidency, the election campaign and politics surrounding it.

It basically boils down to each side bringing up screw ups on the other side with what appears to be an attempt to discredit them or say hey they are more corrupt than we are.
As if whoever has the least amount of black marks against them wins? Lesser of two evils.

Reading these posts both sides seem equal in terms of mistakes corruption and unethical behavior.

Both sides are so busy watching over their shoulders for a dagger in the back that someone is going to get the country in the chest with a spear.

Here is a challenge, little cliche perhaps but I'm honestly curious.
Can someone on either side (republican or democrat) come up with 3 things that the other side can be applauded for?
Something without even the slightest bit of sarcasm. An honest job well done for something.

If you're hungry, keep moving.
If you're tired, keep moving.
If you value you're life, keep moving.

You don't own what you can't defend
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Old 09-01-2007, 06:49 PM   #279
Ryan Sanford
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Re: A President's Thought

Quote:
Grant Wagar wrote: View Post
Can someone on either side (republican or democrat) come up with 3 things that the other side can be applauded for?
Something without even the slightest bit of sarcasm. An honest job well done for something.
I'm not a part of the argument, but I'm gonna butt in for this one.
I'm very liberal, firstly....
What I like about Republicans is that at one point in time, the Republican party was really wonderful. This t-shirt matches my views closely.
http://www.t-shirts.com/printed/defa...&shirt_id=2008

"There's only one corner of the universe you can be certain of improving, and that's your own self." - Aldous Huxley
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Old 09-01-2007, 07:04 PM   #280
Mike Sigman
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Re: A President's Thought

I disagree with some of the conservative blogs that say that it's not "hypocrisy" for someone like Craig to declaim homosexual tendencies (worthy of its own thread, I think)... the reasoning being that according to the Dem claim of "hypocrisy", a black lawmaker decrying affirmative action would be a hypocrite and that's obviously not so.

I say Craig was a hypocrite and, while I acknowledge that legally he was not actually caught in a solicitation or sexual misconduct act, it still seems fairly clear that something was amiss that completely contradicted his "family values" stance.

However, the puzzling thing to me is that the idea of "family values" is actually the butt of the joke by the Dems. Now remember that Dems have kept Barney Frank in office even after it was clearer that Barney Franks was running a male prostitute service from his house than Craig was guilty of sexual misconduct. The Dems kept Ted Kennedy in office after he negligently killed someone and hid out for 14 hours in order to let the blood alcohol level go down. The Dems kept Clinton in office even after impeachment, his partner in crime refusing to testify in Watergate even though granted immunity, selling the Lincoln Bedroom, certain proof of Red Army campaign contributions, and so on. In other words, the question of "hyprocrisy" is weird, since the complete lack of values while pretending to have some is the hallmark of Democrats.

I asked a newpaper friend of mine why they slant the news in the favor of Democrats.... his answer boiled down to "because it's the right thing to do". In other words, there's a pretend-moralism that justifies doing non-moral things. The same justification for every evil that has ever been seen in the world. Where were these so moral Democrats when Clinton was actually caught perjuring himself, etc.? Calling for it to be ignored. Where were the Dem "anti-war" people when Clinton went to war against Bosnia? Absolutely silent.

Let's don't hear about "hypocrisy" unless we point out all cases of it.

Regards,

Mike Sigman
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Old 09-02-2007, 06:05 PM   #281
Mike Sigman
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Re: A President's Thought

Ah, here's a columnist at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette who says it even clearer:

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/07245/813801-373.stm
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Old 09-03-2007, 02:26 PM   #282
Mark Gibbons
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Re: A President's Thought

Quote:
Mike Sigman wrote: View Post
....

Let's don't hear about "hypocrisy" unless we point out all cases of it.

Regards,

Mike Sigman
I don't think anyone is well enough informed to report all cases of hypocrisy and I don't think I'd have time to read all of them. I am interested in hearing about the more blatant cases and instances involving restriction of civil liberties.

Maybe more on topic. I really don't understand why what we are doing in Iraq is still called a war. I thought we won the war against Iraq, the Iraqi army is gone, Saddam also. The occupation may not be going so well, but the fear of losing a war shouldn't be what keeps us there.

And if we are fighting a War on Terror then we're using the wrong weapons. Tranquilizers and drugs work to eliminate terror. Guns just increase it.

Mark
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Old 09-03-2007, 06:06 PM   #283
Neil Mick
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Back from the Desert

Sorry for the delayed response. I just got back from a week in the desert.

Quote:
Grant Wagar wrote: View Post
I do not.
They are enemies of humanity I would say.
Well, that is your value-judgement. Others could claim that the US foreign policy, with its cavalier disregard for "collateral damage," is a far greater enemy of humanity.

Does that mean that we have to attack ourselves, too?

Quote:
Have you ever seen those little videos of 8 year olds running around dressed like terrorists with AK47s and fake suicide bombs strapped to their chest?
Have you ever seen an illegal invasion pimped as a video game, nonstop on the major TV-waves?

The sum total deaths of ALL suicide bombers cannot even hope to match the "shock and awe" kill-ratio. So, who's the "enemy of humanity" now? IMO, Grant: you are making a value judgement, based upon emotions.

Quote:
Thats not right Neil. That's like teaching (and training!) our kids to hate blacks, muslims, chinese. Training kids to make war. That's against the Geneeva convention you often site the US as breaking from.
You're right: it's so wrong. But, it is not an excuse to bomb, invade, or occupy ANYONE. Certainly, bombing, invading or occupying doesn't exactly stop the abuses, now does it (cf, Iraq)?

The UN Treaty is quite specific about what conditions are acceptable for invading another country. Our wholesale disregard for the UN Treaty and the Geneva Conventions makes US the "enemy of mankind," far worse than Hamas, if you want to get technical about what constitutes "enemies of mankind."

Quote:
It sets them on a course that has a good chance of seeing them detonating themselves in a market. Not on at all. We should train children to live not to die.
Yep, total agreement. No question, that you are right. But, please: let's not pretend that we are "saviors of humanity," in allowing a 35+ year illegal occupation to continue. Certainly, elevating Hamas and Hezbollah to "enemy of mankind" status is exactly how we got into the mess of Iraq, in the first place, with W's constant carping of "Saddam = Hitler," while "W=Churchill."

A really good clue as to whether your country is heading into dangerous, hubristic and mendacious adventuristic foreign policy is to elevate your "enemy" into some terrible menace that must be crushed immediately.

If you want to stop suicide bombings, try eliminating the REASONS for suicide bombings, rather than these uber-violent "targeted killings" that the IDF so love...taking out a whole city-block, to kill one man.

I'm just betting that those innocent survivors of the "targeted op" aren't exactly regarding the US or the IDF as their "saviors..."

Quote:
I'd prefer not to get into a Hamas/US/Israel/Hez argument with you. That's your bread and butter and heading off topic. (I know you didn't bring it up first)
Hamas and Hezbollah are not mu "bread and butter." Frankly, it gets tiring bringing them up all the time: but they seem to take the place of the eevel (fill in the blank here), and they get mentioned a lot. In another era, I'd be talking about Communists, town-drunks, immigrants, or the IRA...take your pick.

The title of "enemy of humanity" gets tossed around, a lot.

Quote:
I'll just say that I think the US and Israel are in bed together, Hamas and Hez Act like terrorists and are willing to use those tactics to achieve their goal and I got a kick out of Hamas getting elected in a democratic like manner. I'd have loved to see the US higher ups with stunned looks on their faces saying 'Didn't see that one comming'.
Oh God, that would have been great. My kingdom to be a fly on THAT wall, with the smallest camera in the world...

Quote:
When you're looking down a scope you have a tendency to get tunnel vision. You're so fixated on what you're looking at that you loose your prehepheral vision. Perhaps tunnel vision would have been a better word to use.
Ah...but you're not looking down a scope NOW, are you?? (unless, Canadians use some REALLY different hardware for their PC's ).

Quote:
Still, some people are just blind. Like a parent who loves their child so much they can see no wrong. Then they turn around get caught up in drugs and the parent gives them money "for school trips" kinda thing.
true.

Quote:
Neil please, internet polls?
I don't tend to quote internet polls. Besides, we're talking about Iraqi's, after 6+ years of a brutal occupation, with no end in sight, and now noticeable improvements (just the opposite, in fact...) So, it's hardly a stretch to consider that most Iraqi's want us to take our weasel-words of "freedom," and "democracy:" pull up our stakes for surveying those nice, permanent military bases; and take our highwayman oil-laws (now rejected by the Iraqi parliament) back to the US...they don't want us there. Would you? Would YOU want another country occupying your land and home, after patently demonstrating how ineffective they really are at keeping the peace?

Quote:
Just above we were talking about how the US ELECTION was rigged, I have a feeling you believe it was too. If you can rig the us election are you really going to trust a pool on the net?
No, Grant: you are misinformed. Read again:

Quote:
USA TODAY Poll Methodology wrote:
The USA TODAY/CNN/Gallup Poll of 3,444 Iraqis, the largest and most comprehensive poll in Iraq since last year's invasion, was administered by the Pan Arab Research Center of Dubai.

Interviews were conducted between March 22 and April 2, with the exception of the governate of Sulaymaniya where interviews ran through April 9. All interviews were conducted in person in the respondent's home, with an average interview length of 70 minutes. The cooperation rate — the percentage of those contacted who agreed to be interviewed — was 98%.
Besides, the US election does not = a poll. Different animal.

Quote:
Right, and the forces there are intercepting a lot of it.
Noo...the forces there are inspiring a lot of it. D'ya think that foreign insurgents are coming to Iraq for the dates?

Quote:
Yes or no answer, do you think if 'we' left Iraq today they would settle down and we would see less fighting and death?
I'll answer your question with a question: if you had an arsonist loose in your house and half the first floor was ablaze, with the guy hellbent on igniting the rest--do you think, if you pulled out that arsonist NOW, that you would see less destruction?

In one word: yes. You would see less fighting and death. But, the damage is already there...the fire is ignited and spreading. But you can at LEAST remove the cause of the fire, before it spreads to the rest of the house (or, outside the metaphor, the Middle East).

This occupation could well destabilize the whole Middle East. Bush Co all but acknowledged that, when they sent all those lovely new violent toys to Iraq's neighbors.

Quote:
Right. And even if you managed to get a great leader the other party would go into overdrive trying to drag them down. If it was because they wanted what's best for the country I could understand it. I don't feel they do. They bring them down because THEY want to be in power. It's greed pure and simple.
Yes, but history has shown that leaders in the Executive and the House CAN sometimes rise above petty politics and do the right thing. It happened during the Nixon scandals and impeachment-process. It will probably happen again.

Quote:
Letting someone else do the driving isn't always a bad thing, if gives you a chance to watch for other threats.
No...so long as they don't drive us all off a cliff, in the process...

Quote:
In Afghanistan and Iraq it's the guys in the back seat's and the guys in the back of the vehicles that pick out the fellows in the crowd with cell phones in their ears counting vehicles on their hand as they pass by. When you're not driving you can get a better picture.
Problem with politics is that EVERYONE wants to be the driver. You're parties should work together and not work at making each other look incapable of doing the job.
Frankly, Grant: I have a much more cynical view, than I suspect you do. I believe that the two parties are simply two hands serving the same master, in sum. One party is hardly better (or more distinguishable) than the other...they both commit crimes, take money from large corporate interests, and faithfully pay back their benefactors by screwing the little guy. It's why our national health system is such a mess, among other things.

Quote:
Yup, liek you said, thats not passing out blank checks and it shouldn't be given to contractors and companies who were friendly to your political party and donated to your campaign. You scratch my back I scratch yours. Another huge problem with US politics.
Yes. I think a REALLy good indicator of the mendacity of the US Occupation is in how little business they give to Iraqi companies. All those no-bid contracts to Halliburton, et al (that in turn, built nothing and pocketed the $$) could have well gone to the Iraqi's, who would have been far less a target for insurgents, than the US Army.

Quote:
taliesin wrote:
Mark and Grant

Thanks for the intervention, but as an ex-rugby player I have to say my remaining teeth are in excellent condition.
Thank god for that!

***************************************

Quote:
Neil Mick wrote: View Post
Cntrl+F is a pretty cool feature, in fora. You can find out how many times certain person(s) repeat a phrase, if you do a word search.

Know how many times I was called a racist, within this thread?

6. By one person. All using the same context.
After one week, this thread is still open. No warnings (I imagine)--nothing. No acknowledgement that someone stepped out of line.

Awhile ago, I had an extended dialogue with Jun about his new rules. I thought he was being too eager to shut ppl down. In protest, I stopped posting here for about 6 months.

But, I never, never said that NO moderation is the way to go!

Now, I suppose, the "new etiquette rules" here call for hashing out epithets as a means to prove that "your view" is "right." It's a real shame.

Last edited by Neil Mick : 09-03-2007 at 06:10 PM.
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Old 09-03-2007, 06:15 PM   #284
Neil Mick
Dojo: Aikido of Santa Cruz
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Thumbs up don' mess with us 'scruz'ians!!!

Quote:
Jennifer Smith wrote: View Post
Actually Santa Cruz is part of a 'country'(California) that has the 7th largest gross national product in the world and the healthiest farmland anywhere in the U.S. as well as a direct, independent relationship with China.

Feel free to call us when your country needs help. Because we are a large radius of generosity surrounded by collapsing 'reality'.
Score ONE for Jen!!!
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Old 09-03-2007, 08:48 PM   #285
Neil Mick
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Ki Symbol the next paradigm shift?

Quote:
Mike Sigman wrote: View Post
Of course.... it's just so obvious! Did you see my famous post on "self-perception disorder" (SPD)? Ta ta, for now.

Mike
My god...Mike and I actually...agree!

(*looks out window*) Ehm,,,no...the sun's still up...altho the lunar eclipse was out last week...perhaps it's the herald of a New Age...

Last edited by Neil Mick : 09-03-2007 at 08:50 PM.
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Old 09-04-2007, 05:06 AM   #286
Michael Varin
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Re: A President's Thought

Quote:
Grant Wagar wrote: View Post
Here is a challenge, little cliche perhaps but I'm honestly curious.
Can someone on either side (republican or democrat) come up with 3 things that the other side can be applauded for?
Something without even the slightest bit of sarcasm. An honest job well done for something.
1. Inflationary monetary policy
2. Redistribution of wealth via taxation
3. Confusing unalienable rights with revocable privileges
4. Using coercion to bring about reform
5. Equating democracy with freedom

There actually isn't any fundamental difference between the two parties, at least not with the major players. Take a look at any of the major candidates. Any two of them could run on the same ticket. They differ in style, but not objectives.

-Michael
"Through aiki we can feel the mind of the enemy who comes to attack and are thus able to respond immediately." - M. Mochizuki
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Old 09-04-2007, 12:12 PM   #287
Mark Freeman
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Re: Back from the Desert

Quote:
Neil Mick wrote: View Post
Sorry for the delayed response. I just got back from a week in the desert.(
An AQ training camp perhaps? It's obvious Neil, you are a true enemy of the free world

regards,

Mark

Success is having what you want. Happiness is wanting what you have.
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Old 09-04-2007, 12:13 PM   #288
Taliesin
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Re: A President's Thought

No 5 should be confusing Capitalism (Plutocracy) with Democracy
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Old 09-04-2007, 12:20 PM   #289
Mark Freeman
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Re: A President's Thought

Quote:
David Chalk wrote: View Post
No 5 should be confusing Capitalism (Plutocracy) with Democracy
Why not just make it No 6. ?

Success is having what you want. Happiness is wanting what you have.
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Old 09-04-2007, 12:24 PM   #290
Taliesin
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Re: A President's Thought

Mark

Are you channelling someone?

If so then channelling the same person, I have to point out

1. That sort of humour 'proves' you are anti-American

and

2. If yhou disagree you must be stupid.

No prizes for guessing who I/We are channelling
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Old 09-04-2007, 12:33 PM   #291
Mark Freeman
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Re: A President's Thought

Quote:
David Chalk wrote: View Post
Mark

Are you channelling someone?

If so then channelling the same person, I have to point out

1. That sort of humour 'proves' you are anti-American

and

2. If yhou disagree you must be stupid.

No prizes for guessing who I/We are channelling
"doo doo doo doo....doo doo doo doo", how weird is that?

Success is having what you want. Happiness is wanting what you have.
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Old 09-04-2007, 02:46 PM   #292
Neil Mick
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Re: Back from the Desert

Quote:
Mark Freeman wrote: View Post
An AQ training camp perhaps? It's obvious Neil, you are a true enemy of the free world

regards,

Mark
More, like, "enemy of 'democracy and freedom.'" Me, and about 48,000 others...



Quote:
Grant Wagar wrote:
I think this thread is a great example of the US presidency, the election campaign and politics surrounding it.

It basically boils down to each side bringing up screw ups on the other side with what appears to be an attempt to discredit them or say hey they are more corrupt than we are.
As if whoever has the least amount of black marks against them wins? Lesser of two evils.
You forget the machinations of both parties to squash debate, or input, from the 3rd parties, or even non-mainstream views from their own party. I would just love to hear one "Presidential "debate that deals SOLELY upon the *#(@&$#-'ed-up electoral and voting process. Or, how about a 60-90 minute debate on election funding, versus public campaign financing? Where are the vows to limit large corporate contributions? Or, how about calls for investigation into hackable electronic voting, or funny-business of using "caging lists" to exclude A-A's in Florida ('00); or the meltdown in Ohio ('04)?

A good chunk of the campaign financing for Bush ('00 and '04) came from real estate. A good chunk of financing for Gore ('00) and Kerry ('04) also came from real estate. Are there differences? Some: but our broken electoral process means that those with money (big corporate) can take the most advantage of elections, and thus gov't.

Quote:
Reading these posts both sides seem equal in terms of mistakes corruption and unethical behavior.

Both sides are so busy watching over their shoulders for a dagger in the back that someone is going to get the country in the chest with a spear.

Here is a challenge, little cliche perhaps but I'm honestly curious.
Can someone on either side (republican or democrat) come up with 3 things that the other side can be applauded for?
Something without even the slightest bit of sarcasm. An honest job well done for something.
Republican

1. John McCain's attempts to introduce laws limiting torture and extroadinary rendition.
2. Richard Nixon established the EPA.
3. Ron Paul.

Democrat

1. Sen. Robert Byrd frequently stood up and protested about the wrong direction that Congress was heading, as early as 2002.
2. FDR: the New Deal (esp the WPA), and Social Security
2. Dennis Kucinich

As individuals, some of the Repub-Dem's have good intentions. As a bi-party system supposedly representing the interests of the American people, they succeed only in presenting sham debates, while protecting the interests of the top of the economical pyramid.
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Old 09-05-2007, 04:09 AM   #293
Michael Varin
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Re: A President's Thought

Quote:
Mark Freeman wrote: View Post
Quote:
David Chalk wrote: View Post
No 5 should be confusing Capitalism (Plutocracy) with Democracy
Why not just make it No 6. ?
How about confusing capitalism (free-market) with "capitalism" (private enterprise - gov't partnership)?

Like it or not, capitalism is the only system that is compatible with a free society, and the only system that leads to continual improvements in living standards of the masses.

And it's probably more "democratic" than the democracy that everyone touts these days.

-Michael
"Through aiki we can feel the mind of the enemy who comes to attack and are thus able to respond immediately." - M. Mochizuki
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Old 09-05-2007, 11:30 AM   #294
Taliesin
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Re: A President's Thought

Michael

I must admit whilst I have heard these argument's for years as I am of a generation that used to be known as 'Thatcher's Children' - a group who would have been far better off as political orphans.

Lets start - there is no county in the world that has or wants a free-market - Any Americans who want to argue will find have to explain their own anti-trust laws.

Capitalism is NOT the only system compatible with a free society. (After all the USSR was the most Capitalist Country in the world) - but then there are different kinds of capitalism - fragmented elite and state. In fact it can only be argued (just) to be compatible when subjected to Democratic limitations. - Freedom is consistent with democracy not capitalism

Nor can it reasonably be said to "continual improvements in living standards of the masses."

After all capitalism is where one small group hold propriety ownership of the mean of production, financial and material and exploit that for their own benefit. - So it is not automatically the same as private business.

Next look and what business is for and what the consequences of that are

1. Businesses are for making MONEY - nothing more nothing less

2. The consequences are that when it comes to luxuries - there will be continual improvement, because nobody really needs their product - after all why buy a new, car, phone, computer, if its no better than the one you have got. - which can and does lead to significant technological developments.

3. When, however it comes to necessities this tend to lead to a 'race to the bottom' - where the goods or service are run on the basis of as cheap and as poor as possible - which is why most Brits suddenly appreciate the NHS when they see the system in the USA, why water companies pay dividends instead of investing in maintenance and repair, etc.

The consequence is usually a county with wonderful toys (TV's X Boxes) but very poor essential services - health care, schools, etc

Does any of this sound familiar.
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Old 09-05-2007, 10:50 PM   #295
David Orange
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Re: A President's Thought

Quote:
Mike Sigman wrote: View Post
However, the puzzling thing to me is that the idea of "family values" is actually the butt of the joke by the Dems.
No, it's not "family values {the values}" that Dems joke about: it's "family values {the false and hollow slogan of Republicans}) that's the butt of the joke. When George the First harped on "family values" but undertook "family destructive" policies, it became clearly just a slogan without real meaning. That's the joke. Most Dems are more loving within their families than are Republicans.

Quote:
Mike Sigman wrote: View Post
The Dems kept Clinton in office even after impeachment, his partner in crime refusing to testify in Watergate even though granted immunity, selling the Lincoln Bedroom, certain proof of Red Army campaign contributions, and so on.
You mean Americans didn't vote Clinton out after he survived the Republican assassination attempt? Maybe it's because people really hated the Republican hypocrites more than they hated Clinton??? They sure didn't give George a majority in the next election. Why, if it hadn't been for his brother, the Governor of Florida.....

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Mike Sigman wrote: View Post
Where were these so moral Democrats when Clinton was actually caught perjuring himself, etc.?
Mike, what you fail to realize is that the majority of Americans understand what happened there. They understand that Clinton was backed into the corner by people like Larry Craig, who were operating purely for their party's gain, and they don't like it and they don't hold it against Clinton. Most Americans feel that what the Repugs like Craig and Gingrich and Livinstone did was far worse than what Clinton did. Most Americans still laugh at the Republican hypocrites over that.

That's what you need to realize.

David

"That which has no substance can enter where there is no room."
Lao Tzu

"Eternity forever!"

www.esotericorange.com
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Old 09-05-2007, 11:44 PM   #296
HL1978
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Re: A President's Thought

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Mike Sigman wrote: View Post
The three most corrupt States in the U.S. are Louisiana, New Jersey, and Illinois. All run by Democrats. The metro cities with the highest murder and crime rates are all run by Democrat governments and the majority of voters in those cities are Democrates. I thought you were a "realist"?

Mike Sigman
Having grown up in New Jersey, I only wish others knew how true this was, they would be shocked at the extent of the corruption, missmanagement, and crime stats. Read the star ledger some time and you will see plenty of stories. Politicians affiliated with the democrats more often than not are involved, though this may have to do with a large democratic base outside the wealthly northwestern counties.

Its also the only state I have ever lived in where the teachers union had billboards all over the state, plus taxes are crazy because the whole state has to subsidize the educational costs for Newark and Camden.
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Old 09-06-2007, 03:27 AM   #297
Michael Varin
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Re: A President's Thought

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David Chalk wrote: View Post
Lets start - there is no county in the world that has or wants a free-market - Any Americans who want to argue will find have to explain their own anti-trust laws.
How can a country want something? Do you mean gov't officials and elitists? I agree, because in a free-market the elites lose all of their control. Any American who claims we are operating in a free-market is delusional. Look at what I said earlier. We don't have a free-market, and that's the problem. We have never had a completely free-market, but it is much less so now.

If you meant people when you said country, why would they not want a free-market? A free-market is simply individuals engaging in peaceful, voluntary exchange. If you respect individual rights, you must support a free-market!

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David Chalk wrote: View Post
Capitalism is NOT the only system compatible with a free society. (After all the USSR was the most Capitalist Country in the world) - but then there are different kinds of capitalism - fragmented elite and state. In fact it can only be argued (just) to be compatible when subjected to Democratic limitations. - Freedom is consistent with democracy not capitalism
You'll have to explain that comment about the USSR.

As far as I know, democracy is not an economic system, so please tell me, which economic systems are compatible with a free society?

Democracy must be limited to be consistent with freedom.

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David Chalk wrote: View Post
Nor can it reasonably be said to "continual improvements in living standards of the masses."
How are the masses living today compared to 400 years ago?

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David Chalk wrote: View Post
After all capitalism is where one small group hold propriety ownership of the mean of production, financial and material and exploit that for their own benefit. - So it is not automatically the same as private business.
That is a terrible definition. Maybe that is the old Soviet "capitalism"?

From The American Heritage Dictionary:
Quote:
An economic system, characterized by open competition in a free market, in which the means of production and distribution are privately or corporately owned and development is proportionate to increasing accumulation and reinvestment of profits.
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David Chalk wrote: View Post
Next look and what business is for and what the consequences of that are

1. Businesses are for making MONEY - nothing more nothing less

2. The consequences are that when it comes to luxuries - there will be continual improvement, because nobody really needs their product - after all why buy a new, car, phone, computer, if its no better than the one you have got. - which can and does lead to significant technological developments.

3. When, however it comes to necessities this tend to lead to a 'race to the bottom' - where the goods or service are run on the basis of as cheap and as poor as possible - which is why most Brits suddenly appreciate the NHS when they see the system in the USA, why water companies pay dividends instead of investing in maintenance and repair, etc.
Actually, central banks are for making money.
Businesses are for making profits. What's wrong with that? Profits (gained in a free-market) mean you are good at delivering a good or service.

If competition is present all goods and services will be delivered better or at a lower price. It doesn't matter if it is a luxury or a necessity.

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David Chalk wrote: View Post
The consequence is usually a county with wonderful toys (TV's X Boxes) but very poor essential services - health care, schools, etc

Does any of this sound familiar.
If there is any truth to your observation, it is that gov't has stayed out of the "luxuries," allowing continual progress, but interfered with the "necessities," stifling progress.

The problems in health care and education in the united states stem from gov't interference.

-Michael
"Through aiki we can feel the mind of the enemy who comes to attack and are thus able to respond immediately." - M. Mochizuki
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Old 09-06-2007, 04:31 AM   #298
Taliesin
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Re: A President's Thought

Michael

Interesting arguments

My view of capitalism - is the Marxist one (He originated and defined the term) - that I included in my thread. In the USSR the means of production were controlled by a small group - the Communist Party (only very few Soviets were actually members of the party). So I stand by that point.

As far as how the masses lives are different from 400 years ago - for far to many - not to different - particulaly those in sweat-shops working to provide ever cheaper goods as part of the virtuous 'free-market'. (Monopsoly explaoitation)

For those of us lucky to live in countries that have investing in things like Education and Health Care pretty good - so my economic model is Kenysianism (pretty much the same as FDR's was)

I do disagree with your definition 'free -market' - is more often one that allows large organizations and powerful elites to maintain control as there is nothing to prevent monopolies and cartels, even Monopsolys and all the attendant exploitation. All things that undermine "individuals engaging in peaceful, voluntary exchange."

It also undermines your belief that a "free-market supports individual rights".

But then in the UK we see a clear difference between a 'free' and a 'fair' market. - Some products are specifically promoted as fair trade - to identify that a fair price is paid to the original producer, rather than exploitation through Monopsoly power.

As far as the difference between luxuries and necessities - for developments need to be made in order to achieve profits in business that provide luxuries (Fair point companies make profits)

However your assertion that "Profits (gained in a free-market) mean you are good at delivering a good or service". - Well I can think of a few Enron customers who may disagree.

And in the British Experience - privatisation of necessities has led to a significant decline in the quality of services - because you can still make a profit with an inferior service when you have a captive market. - Either you simply bump up prices and milk your captive market, or you cut prices and cut operating cost (staff, development, etc even more) - or you do both (which makes provision of necessities very different to provision of luxuries)

Which makes your statement that

"If competition is present all goods and services will be delivered better or at a lower price. It doesn't matter if it is a luxury or a necessity".

A touching statement of belief rather than objective fact.
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Old 09-07-2007, 06:43 AM   #299
Michael Varin
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Re: A President's Thought

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David Chalk wrote: View Post
My view of capitalism - is the Marxist one (He originated and defined the term) - that I included in my thread. In the USSR the means of production were controlled by a small group - the Communist Party (only very few Soviets were actually members of the party). So I stand by that point.
That is what I figured you were getting at, but it has absolutely nothing to do with free-market capitalism. Generally speaking, any systems the USSR used are the worst for mankind and the closer a country approaches them, the more worried its citizens should become.

I'm still curious. Which economic systems are compatible with a free society?

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David Chalk wrote: View Post
As far as how the masses lives are different from 400 years ago - for far to many - not to different - particulaly those in sweat-shops working to provide ever cheaper goods as part of the virtuous 'free-market'. (Monopsoly explaoitation)

For those of us lucky to live in countries that have investing in things like Education and Health Care pretty good - so my economic model is Kenysianism (pretty much the same as FDR's was)
If truly free trade was in effect, developing countries would not be exploited, but that is presently not the case.

Keynesian economics is an abomination. It and its derivative monetarist economics have done much harm. It was only latched onto because it advocates "management" by the gov't.

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David Chalk wrote: View Post
I do disagree with your definition 'free -market' - is more often one that allows large organizations and powerful elites to maintain control as there is nothing to prevent monopolies and cartels, even Monopsolys and all the attendant exploitation. All things that undermine "individuals engaging in peaceful, voluntary exchange."
I so badly wish we could discuss this in person. What you have just stated is a classic misunderstanding, and most certainly not a definition of "free-market." Gov'ts create monopolies, not the free-market. Almost every instance of a monopoly is because it was granted by the gov't. In the rare case a monopoly arises, it only exists because it is serving its customers better than anyone else can. When that condition ceases (and gov't has not intervened), the monopoly will cease. Cartels exist due to licensing and regulation (also because of gov't). Only through gov't can your competition be forcibly eliminated.

I'm not familiar with the term "monopsoly." Did you mean "monopsony" (one buyer)?

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David Chalk wrote: View Post
It also undermines your belief that a "free-market supports individual rights".
Do you have a clear understanding of what rights are, and where they arise from?

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David Chalk wrote: View Post
But then in the UK we see a clear difference between a 'free' and a 'fair' market. - Some products are specifically promoted as fair trade - to identify that a fair price is paid to the original producer, rather than exploitation through Monopsoly power.
Price controls and protectionism hurt the consumer. Monopsony, like monopolies and cartels cannot continue to exist in a free-market.

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David Chalk wrote: View Post
As far as the difference between luxuries and necessities - for developments need to be made in order to achieve profits in business that provide luxuries (Fair point companies make profits)

However your assertion that "Profits (gained in a free-market) mean you are good at delivering a good or service". - Well I can think of a few Enron customers who may disagree.
Again, Enron was NOT operating in a free-market. Private-enterprise does not mean free-enterprise. People have to be clear on these things, or we will continue to be misled.

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David Chalk wrote: View Post
And in the British Experience - privatisation of necessities has led to a significant decline in the quality of services - because you can still make a profit with an inferior service when you have a captive market. - Either you simply bump up prices and milk your captive market, or you cut prices and cut operating cost (staff, development, etc even more) - or you do both (which makes provision of necessities very different to provision of luxuries)
I don't live in your country, but you should look into this "privatisation" and you will most likely see that there was no competition and heavy regulation.

If you adhere to collectivist beliefs, be they socialism or fascism, that's OK (well, not really, since they are cruel and belittle human life), but you must argue your position honestly, and be properly informed. What is the foundation of the belief? Why do you personally advocate that system? Who stands to benefit and at who's expense? These are questions that I feel too few people ask of themselves.

-Michael
"Through aiki we can feel the mind of the enemy who comes to attack and are thus able to respond immediately." - M. Mochizuki
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Old 09-10-2007, 04:32 AM   #300
Taliesin
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Re: A President's Thought

Michael

Interesting opinions

For myself

I'll stick with the definition of Capitalism established by the guy with whom it originated.

I'll also stick to the definition of a 'free-market" being a market without constraints (therefore free). -

monopsony" (one buyer) - is exactly what I meant.

However, you are not going to get anywhere simply stating belief and that 'real' free markets are not free, that it's about individuals - which sounds nice - but unless you establish an 'equality of arms' - amongst all individuals (both providers and purchasers) - then your argument falls flat. (of course establishing equality of arms would require some form of regulation)

As far as privatisation was concerned the point was to introduce competition - which led to 'race to the bottom' competition.

With regard to Keynsianism - How Dare FDR follow a policy which pulled the USA out of depression. Although I have no problem on a social provision based economy rather than a consumer based one.

And for monopolies I'd say Governments prevent monopolies - I'd ask you to look at the 'Anti-Trust Laws of the USA, the Anti-Monopoly legislation in the UK, and the EU - 'abuse of a dominant position' rules.

As far as your question

"Do you have a clear understanding of what rights are, and where they arise from?".

Do you have any idea how complicated a question that is.

The simple answers is - of course not - because nobody does (there is no established consensus and never has been). As far as rights in the legal context.

There are 'contractual rights' - rights you obtain and/or grant upon entering into what you accept is a legally binding agreement

The are what may be described as 'Tort-Based Rights' - This is a bit more tricky - but these are the rights established by the court System (at least the Common Law One) that you should not be unfairly suffer from what may loosely be described as unfair actions on the part of another (ie Negligence, Defamation etc)

There are statutory rights - rights specifically granted by a duly authorized legislature

There are 'Human Rights' - although given these are taken to derive from individual treaties ratified by a body with appropriate authority.

There are rights granted under such treaties that provide 'Humanitarian Protection'.

There are also arguments put forward for what are know as 'Natural rights - rights granted by 'God or Nature' - which supporters say are knowable through a view of the world and deductatble from that knowledge and opponents, and most famously opposed by Jeremy Bentham who famously said "Rights are an absurdity, Natural rights are an absurdity on stilts".

Still if you want to argue for 'free-trade' the way you understand it you need to explain how you believe it is possible to establish it
Although you will have to consider the difference between the world today and the one Adam Smith (who I presume is your hero) lived in.
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