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No. of Recommendations: 36
Racists in 2003 seldom lynch black men for looking at white women.

Racists in 2003 seldom burn crosses on the lawns of black families to let them know that they're unwelcome in the neighborhood, the town or the county -- and that they should leave if they know what's good for them.

Racists in 2003 seldom stand in the doors of public schools and universities to deny access to black students.

Racists in 2003 seldom send black passengers to the back of the bus and call the police if the passengers don't comply.

Racists in 2003 seldom turn black customers away from the lunch counter.

Racists in 2003 seldom unleash police dogs or turn firehoses on peaceful black citizens who have gathered in public places to raise their voices for their rights.

Racists in 2003 seldom look into the face of the black person they meet on the street and say, "Out of my way, n*****." [Deleted to avoid FoolAlert].

All of that is ancient history.

Heck, it was 1865 when black people ceased to be property. That was 138 years ago. Most white folks can say at least one of the following: I wasn't born then. My ancestors didn't own slaves. My family hadn't come to America yet. I started with nothing, and look at me now.

Heck, it was 1954 when the Supreme Court decided in Brown that the earlier court had been wrong when it decided in Plessy that separate accommodations for blacks and whites in public places and institutions could be equal. That was 49 years ago. While there are lots of white folks still alive today who can remember that day, most of them can probably say at least one of the following: I didn't approve of the Jim Crow laws that separated black folks into inferior accommodations. There were a few black kids in my class. There were a couple of black families in my neighborhood. I had a black friend.

Our current President may not actually remember that day, but he was alive then. Our current chief justice remembers that day -- he was a law clerk to one of the justices and wrote a memo for his boss arguing that Plessy had been right. His boss didn't follow his advice. I'll bet he remembers that day very well.

Heck, it was 1964 when the Congress of the United States passed the Civil Rights Act, invoking the supremacy of the federal government to enforce against the states requirements for the elimination of their continuing discriminatory laws and practices that effectively denied black citizens the reality of equal access to education, employment and voting rights -- that put some legislative and executive muscle behind the theory of Brown. That was 39 years ago. Even I'm old enough to remember that day.

I wish I could say that I celebrated that day, but I was only six. Besides, it didn't seem like anything that required celebration to me. I was white. I was middle class. I wasn't deprived of access to education, employment or voting rights because of the color of my skin. None of my family was deprived. I lived in the northeast suburbs of Washington, D.C. where I wasn't aware of any of my black classmates or any of our black neighbors being denied access to any of these things. The Civil Rights Act just seemed like a law that said what already was reality in my world -- it was a statement that seemed obvious and unworthy of much attention. All I knew was that the blue soldiers in the play set were the good guys, and the gray soldiers were the bad guys. The bad guys had lost, and that was ancient history.

Heck, it was 1969 when the Supreme Court in Swann told the white people in Charlotte, North Carolina that they weren't doing what the court had said in 1954 or what the Congress had said in 1964. Sure, the local law no longer said that black children and white children had to be separated into different schools, but they were separated by administrative practice just the same. The court said to those bad guys, "You've proved that you won't treat your children equally as the Constitution and the law require, so we'll make you fix it, we'll make you do what you should have done on your own -- we'll force you to desegregate your schools." That was 34 years ago.

I remember that day, too. I celebrated that day. That Supreme Court was local news for me. Those men were some of my heroes. I knew that day what segregation meant, and what de jure and de facto meant. One of my teachers brought it home and burned it into my memory with a cartoon from the New Yorker that showed two identical school buses, one labeled above the windshield "De Jure" and the other "De Facto." I learned that there were people who would argue that those labels were a distinction that made a difference. I learned that there were people who claimed not to be racist as they made that argument behind facades of "neighborhood schools," "local control," and "states' rights." I learned that there were people who would lie -- to themselves and to others. I learned that people who took action and supported action that had racially discriminatory results, that perpetuated white privilege gained through historical and continuing oppression, still could somehow bring themselves to say that they weren't racists. I understood that some of them actually believed that they were telling the truth.

None of what I learned that year was much of a surprise. By then, I knew that the rest of the country was not like the small world I knew when I was six. I had seen a great black man murdered because he dared to have a dream, and I watched parts of our capital city burn with the anger of those who had been robbed of that dream. I saw the flames. I smelled the smoke. By then I had learned more history, and I read the news. I knew what white people had done to black people in this country, hiding behind religion based on a perversion of Biblical teachings and behind law based on a perversion of constitutional provisions. I knew that people still hated other people because of the color of their skin. I saw film of nicely-dressed white families who shared a pew in church on Sunday and family meals begun with a prayer also sharing an outing shouting foul language from faces contorted with rage at black people who dared to desegregate their schools. I knew that it was not only Charlotte, but that it was also Boston. That it was not only Selma, but that it was also Chicago. I knew that it was not far from my door. I knew that my simple distiction of the blue and the gray was the understanding of a child.

But this is all ancient history. In the meantime, the schools were desegregated. In the meantime, the violence subsided. In the meantime, affirmative action opened employment. In the meantime, voting rights were assured. That's what we say. That's what we believe. That's relatively true -- we have made progress in all of these areas. But relatively true is little different from absolutely false. Like those buses in that cartoon, the differnet labels carry no meaningful distinction. Like those labels, our relative truth is a lie.

Because of the appearance of relative truth, the liars of 1969 and their heirs now enjoy the popular credibility that can empower them to accomplish their goals. Now, they can take action, and now they can support action, that stops progress against racial discrimination by recharacterizing the remedy for the wrongs of ancient history, the remedy for the continuing effect of those wrongs, as merely an inverse manifestation of the same wrong. Now they can protect unearned racial privilege behind the same words of that ancient time of 34 years ago -- "neighborhood schools," "local control" and "states' rights." Now the previously discredited concept of reverse discrimination can be used by our President as the basis for national, federal public policy and heads nod approvingly across the land. Now people can express their racism in public in other words with pride.

Few people in 2003 will deny that inequality in the allocation of human, monetary and physical resources still renders the education of many black children significantly inferior to the education of most white children.

Few people in 2003 will deny that employment and advancement opportunities for black people still lag significantly behind those of white people as a result of many factors: the legacy of historical and continuing relative educational deprivation, the lack of a structure of community support for achievement, and the continuing de facto effects of the inescapable and undeniable reality that many people -- even people who can make a reasonable argument for their own personal lack of racial bias -- will still prefer for employment or advancement a person who looks like them. And the majority of the people making those decisions are still white, and mostly men.

Few people in 2003 will deny that discrepancies in voting procedures which jeopardize the effective exercise of the franchise still disproportionately affect black voters.

Yet many people in 2003 will deny the need for the continuation against these continuing problems of the remedies that have caused the progress over the last 30 years which provides the relative truth upon which they hang their absolutely false claim.

What set me off again? President Bush's dishonest claim yesterday that the University of Michigan admissions procedure which considers race as a factor constitutes an unconstitutional and discriminatory quota. His claim is not just false because he is probably too ignorant to understand it completely, his claim is a lie -- a knowing falshood -- because even an idiot should know that it is false. That knowing falsity from the President and from those who support his position or similar positions is blatantly racist.

The university does award points in its consideration of applicants based on race. The university also awards points in its consideration of applicants based on other criteria such as SAT scores, class rank, demonstrated leadership, community service and geographic origin. The white students who are the plaintiffs in this case were passed over for admission while other applicants were admitted. Some of those other applicants were black, and some of those successful black applicants had lower point scores based on their performance in some of the other criteria, such as the SAT and class rank. Far more of those other applicants were white, and far more of those successful white applicants also had lower point scores based on their performance in some of the other criteria, such as SAT and class rank.

Yet there is no outcry from the President against discrimination in favor of those white students with more community service over these unfortunate students with higher SAT scores. Yet there is no outcry from the President against discrimination in favor of those white students who were president of the French club over these unfortunate white students with higher SAT scores. Yet there is no outcry from the President against discrimination in favor of those white students who were from one state, one county or one town that resulted in garnering points over these unfortunate white students with higher SAT scores.

The SAT. The President is outraged because he understands that race is awarded more points in considering applicants than the SAT. What is the SAT? The SAT is a standardized test used by colleges as an indication of both the potential of students to learn and the learning that students have already achieved. The SAT is administered to and taken by far more white students than black students. One reason for that discrepancy is the tracking of students in many schools systems -- tracking that disproportionately places black students on a track that doesn't lead to college. In many school systems with high SAT score averages, the SAT is administered only, or nearly exclusively, to students on the college track. One effect of this tracking and its racial coincidence is the development of stereotypes that lead to differential treatment of even some black students on the college track -- artificially depressing their grades, their class rank and their involvement in additional instruction and preparation that enhances performance on the SAT. In many instances, the chances of these same black students are further depressed by the reality that they are far more likely than their white peers to live in relatively economically deprived households with relatively less-educated parents and grandparents who experienced first-hand the educational deprivation of those ancient days and who still experience the legacy of that deprivation and of work-place discrimination today.

The SAT. Although the SAT has made some progress toward removing the bias of the original test -- which was formulated by and normed for -- white people, the test itself still includes substantial racial and cultural bias which places most black students at a disadvantage relative to their white peers. In effect, the awarding by the University of Michigan of points in favor of applicants for their scores on the SAT is no less a majority racial membership criterion than is the awarding of points for minority racial membership.

The use of race by the University of Michigan is nothing more than the sensible continuation of the remedy of affirmative action that has proved successful over the last 30 years in diminishing the continuing effects of both historical and current racial discrimination in a society where power and wealth are disproportionately concentrated in the majority as a result of their past and present racism. The use of race as a remedy for this obvious and undeniable racial disadvantage does not discriminate against those who benefit from the unearned privilege of skin color. We cannot speak of inequality in favoring the unfairly disadvantaged to overcome their unfair disadvantage.

At least we cannot speak of that unless we are ignorant of both history and current reality because of some overwhelming personal mental incapacity. At least we cannot speak of that unless we are ignorant of both history and current reality because we choose to ignore the truth. At least we cannot speak of that unless we lie. At least we cannot speak of that unless we are racists in 2003.

If you act to dismantle the remedy of affirmative action after 30 years of incomplete and resisted implementation, or if you support that dismantling, and if you act to dismantle the remedy of school desegregation after 34 years of incomplete and resisted implementation, or if you support that dismantling, and if you argue for "neighborhood schools," "local control," or "states' rights" in support of your position, you are either a racist or the dupe of racists in 2003. I don't care how many black friends you claim to have. I don't care how much time or money you contribute to charities that assist primarily disadvantaged minority populations. I don't care when your ancestors came to these shores or what your ancestors may have thought of slavery. I don't care how many black families live in your neighborhood or how many black children attend school with your children. I don't care if you loathe the racism of the KKK, Trent Lott, Robert Byrd, Strom Thurmond or William Rehnquist. I don't care if your skin is black. The effect of your action or your support is to perpetuate racial discrimination in the public and private institutions of our society. The effect of your action or your support is racist. I don't have to read your mind to know that you are racist. All I have to do is hear your agreement with the President. All I have to do is to know the effects of what you do and the effects of what others do in the implementation of the beliefs that you share.

If the legacy of your actions or of those you support is racial discrimination that perpetuates black disadvantage and the unearned privilege of white skin color, then you are a racist in 2003 -- whether you admit it or not. In 2003, we need to understand very clearly that racists don't have to carry a noose, wear a hood or openly mistreat those born with the minority skin color. In 2003, we need to recognize the new face of racism -- even if it looks out of the mirror in the morning and says, "Not me." In 2003, we need to discredit those faces in order to resume the progress we have made since the ancient history of 30 years ago. In 2003, we need to acknowledge the absolute falsity of the relative truth of that progress. In 2003, we need to speak out against the liars and the racists with the words that boldly speak the truth of their ignominy.

This is not a difference of opinion about policy. Today, when you find a liar, call him a liar, and when you find a racist, call him a racist. Even when you see him in the mirror.

Simbob
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This is not a difference of opinion about policy. Today, when you find a liar, call him a liar, and when you find a racist, call him a racist. Even when you see him in the mirror.

Smbob


You'd be playing right into the hands of those you consider your adversaries. The more shrill and ill-mannered the Left gets, the better Republicans do at the polls.

BK
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In 2003, we need to speak out against the liars and the racists with the words that boldly speak the truth of their ignominy.

This is not a difference of opinion about policy. Today, when you find a liar, call him a liar, and when you find a racist, call him a racist. Even when you see him in the mirror.
______

Then, may I humbly suggest, that you look in the mirror.

wx
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Racists in 2003 seldom lynch black men for looking at white women.

Racists in 2003 seldom burn crosses on the lawns of black families to let them know that they're unwelcome in the neighborhood, the town or the county -- and that they should leave if they know what's good for them.

Racists in 2003 seldom stand in the doors of public schools and universities to deny access to black students.

Racists in 2003 seldom send black passengers to the back of the bus and call the police if the passengers don't comply.

Racists in 2003 seldom turn black customers away from the lunch counter.

Racists in 2003 seldom unleash police dogs or turn firehoses on peaceful black citizens who have gathered in public places to raise their voices for their rights.

Racists in 2003 seldom look into the face of the black person they meet on the street and say, "Out of my way, n*****." [Deleted to avoid FoolAlert].

All of that is ancient history.



I see where you're going with this...
You're about to say that today's racists are black.
Simbob, there are still many white people who are racist.

swimdad
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Bob,
It's a treat to see you post. Unfortunately, NADA is a bit of a wasteland these days, and I am reminded of pearls before swine (you know who you are).
I want you to send your post to the editors of major newspapers. Of course, they may, er, eliminate a word or three, but still...
you should be published.

Jeffie
"Too many notes, my dear Mozart" - Emperor Joseph II
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You'd be playing right into the hands of those you consider your adversaries. The more shrill and ill-mannered the Left gets, the better Republicans do at the polls.
BK


Odd how telling the truth nearly always is thought "shrill and ill-mannered." I found the same words honest, compelling and provocative. So-called politeness and a refusal to confront such realities as Simbob addressed cost the Democrats the election in November.

If more Democrats started telling the truth again, fearlessly and forthrightly, more independents might be tempted to vote with them and defeat the increasingly reactionary right-wing Republicans.

Confront the racism and the rest of this administration's regressive ideology or live with the stench and the shame that you did nothing.

czes

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Odd how telling the truth nearly always is thought "shrill and ill-mannered."


Odd how one opinion among several is often labeled "the truth" by the shrill an ill-mannered.

xo
BK
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Odd how telling the truth nearly always is thought "shrill and ill-mannered."


Odd how one opinion among several is often labeled "the truth" by the shrill an ill-mannered.


Translation:

I'm rubber and you're glue. Anything you say bounces off of me and sticks to you.

- T.
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Tarbaby alert.

m


Clever.
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Tarbaby alert.

Hurray. NADA shows a pulse.

IF
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Translation:

I'm rubber and you're glue. Anything you say bounces off of me and sticks to you.

- T.



That's a non sequitur response to a mere clever turn of phrase among
friends, but of course you already know that. Logic was always your strength.

BK
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Sarcasman would have worked better there.

swimdad, Board Critic
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Sarcasman would have worked better there.

swimdad, Board Critic


I liked my first response better, but it was pulled for "incivility".

No wonder NADA's dead. TMF won't let its spirit live.

BK
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"I liked my first response better, but it was pulled for "incivility"."

Huh. Mine too, though I didn't get a nastygram.

"No wonder NADA's dead. TMF won't let its spirit live."

I concur.

m

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I liked my first response better, but it was pulled for "incivility".

No wonder NADA's dead. TMF won't let its spirit live.


What did I miss in those 6 pulled posts? I did see mglf's tarbaby alert post. If TMF pulled every post on NADA for the word tarbaby, a good portion of the early posts of NADA would disappear. NADA is dead if you can't use that term.

IF
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No. of Recommendations: 24
If you act to dismantle the remedy of affirmative action after 30 years of incomplete and resisted implementation, or if you support that dismantling, and if you act to dismantle the remedy of school desegregation after 34 years of incomplete and resisted implementation, or if you support that dismantling, and if you argue for "neighborhood schools," "local control," or "states' rights" in support of your position, you are either a racist or the dupe of racists in 2003.

Very tidy.

If I disagree with you then I'm a racist. So many people are afraid of being called racist that they won't publicly disagree. Me? I'm not afraid.

I disagree.

Patrick - Non Racist
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What did I miss in those 6 pulled posts? I did see mglf's tarbaby alert post. If TMF pulled every post on NADA for the word tarbaby, a good portion of the early posts of NADA would disappear. NADA is dead if you can't use that term.

IF


The post where Tera suggested that I had an infantile intellect is still there, but the post where I suggested that logic wasn't here strong suit was pulled for incivility. It goes on from there.

TMF wants nothing but sweetness and light and only such taunts as are unworthy of a five year old. Very sad.

BK
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Our current chief justice remembers that day -- he was a law clerk to one of the justices and wrote a memo for his boss arguing that Plessy had been right. His boss didn't follow his advice. I'll bet he remembers that day very well.

Does the Chief Justice address this in his book? I would be interested in his perspective, and if/how it has changed in the last 50 years.
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Simbob says:

Few people in 2003 will deny that inequality in the allocation of human, monetary and physical resources still renders the education of many black children significantly inferior to the education of most white children.

I would add: Few people would deny that the persistent inequality continues at least in part because affirmative action rewards and reinforces the virtues of victimization and punishes the innocent. If we could design a system that rewarded performance improvement as well as say the NBA, then we could solve this problem.

Rob
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I would add: Few people would deny that the persistent inequality continues at least in part because affirmative action rewards and reinforces the virtues of victimization and punishes the innocent.

Liar!

Racist!

BK

PS - Don't mind me. I'm just trying to impress Czes. You know how it is.
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Right. We'll just give 'em all basketballs.

Jimbo
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If we could design a system that rewarded performance improvement as well as say the NBA, then we could solve this problem.


If the NBA really rewarded performance improvement, then Joel Pryzbilla would be paying the Bucks for his roster spot.

--WP
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Bob said:
In effect, the awarding by the University of Michigan of points in favor of applicants for their scores on the SAT is no less a majority racial membership criterion than is the awarding of points for minority racial membership.

I read it all, and I'm sorry, but this statement was pulled directly from thin air.

For better or worse, SAT scores track college grades and achievement. High SAT scores are a reliable predictor of success in university. SAT scores are probably the most reliable predictor of success. The HS student that scores a perfect 1600 on her SATs is extremely likely to succeed at college. That's a fact.

Affirmative action procedures give people a leg up. I am all for that and encourage more of it. There are lots of advantages built into the system for majority groups. A few of them are money, connections, cultural similarities, and on and on. Plenty of white people receive benefits because of these advantages. That is why we should seek improvements to the system that give people from other groups similar advantages. It's really all a crap shoot as to who rises to the top. People are people and when minority groups have equal access to coveted positions they tend to perform on a level equal to any random group of white people. It's an even bet really, whether minority member A or majority member B will succeed. When the bet is even, I am a proponent of spreading the chances around. Random works as well as any other method.

There are exceptions, however, and since the SAT score is the best predictor of college achievement and success, giving more points for race than perfection in the SAT is not selecting a random group. It's choosing to bet *against* a sure thing and that is wrong. If two students are even, the perfect SAT white student gets twelve points and the black student gets twenty points. The black student scores more and gets in, the white student with sure success does not. This is unfair when we know the perfect SAT student has an excellent chance of success in college.

That's the real problem here. The problem is not with affirmative action, the problem is with the awarding of points in a seemingly arbitrary way. The situation *must* be more complex than this, because there is not a university administrator in the world who would not want a student with a perfect SAT score in school. It must be true that those with perfect SAT scores have plenty of other ways to get points so that person will always be able to overcome the eight point deficiency between SAT scores and racial group.

That's where Bush/Ashcroft is being dishonest. Twelve vs twenty points is not the full story. I cannot support the idea that racial group is worth more than academic perfection nor would any other person who had a real interest in academics. There are many categories and the perfect SAT scorer will have a wealth of points. Twelve points won't make the difference here nor will twenty.

Bush/Ashcroft is lying about the issue. It's not about the points.

Rick
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<<For better or worse, SAT scores track college grades and achievement. High SAT scores are a reliable predictor of success in university. SAT scores are probably the most reliable predictor of success.>>


I did my very best to prove that wrong.

-chris
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<<For better or worse, SAT scores track college grades and achievement. High SAT scores are a reliable predictor of success in university. SAT scores are probably the most reliable predictor of success.>>


I did my very best to prove that wrong.

-chris


Me too, chris. My SATs were high percentile. I went to an excellent university. To describe my performance there as mediocre would be generous. Nevertheless, by dint of good performance in a few important (and, to me, interesting) courses and an unusual background I was actually accepted to a very good LAW school. Instead I enlisted in the Navy for two years and ended up spending six. I was a different student when I finally went to Medical school. My grades there reflected that attitude.

It is tremendously satisfying to see some of the Old Guard beginning to correspond here again. In it's heyday I thought this was a tremendously interesting forum. Some of the old players are beginnig to reappear. There are issues of huge import to be discussed, many going wanting in the current passive oppositional political atmosphere.

SATs may be a predictor of academic success in the university setting. The real question relates to the translation of success in the university setting to success in Real Life, no matter how you may chose to define both entities. Affirmative action is certainly contraversial. There is a part of me that says it is unfair to others with better 'qualifications'. I do not know the answer to the 'problem'. What I believe in my heart of hearts is that there is a structural bias in our 'system' against minorities. I would like to see that bias eliminated, but not necessarily at the expense of others who have exceeded equivalent admission criteria.

Out of sheer boredom I spent a few days over at Political Asylum recently. I confess I found it a pretty boring forum. It wasn't very interesting. It certainly wasn't much 'fun'...those folks take themselves very seriously. It were not erudite. It were very predictable and predictably Limbaughesque. I am delighted to find renewed signs of life in this august forum. We have huge and perplexing issues confronting us as a people and a nation. I hope that this board will return to it's former glory as a forum to educate me and to help me sort through the various and complicated issues.

No, Bob. I do not despair. This is but a political bump in the road. The Worm will Turn. Take it to the bank.

FIGHT !

Jimbo
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<<It were not erudite. It were very predictable and predictably Limbaughesque.>>


I agree but one thing to know about such "Limbaughesque" rhetoric is that it is effective in the aggregate. The chief perpetrators of such rhetoric are no dummies - they understand their basic human psychology.

I forget the appropriate terms but there is a commonly known psychological finding regarding recall of events. If you were to ask a subject "Was there a stop sign at the corner where the accident took place?" he might answer no, remembering there wasn't one. If you ask "When the car reached the stop sign, did it come to a complete stop?" the subject is unlikely to challenge the notion that there was a stop sign there.

"Limbaughesque" rhetoric relies on this common flaw in human reasoning. It does not matter if if a person is really a liberal or not. Simply refer to him as "The liberal Mr. Smith" and he has now become a liberal for many listeners. Does Saddam have weapons of mass destruction? He does if you say "Today's topic: Do Saddam's weapons of mass destruction merit military action?" Now he has weapons of mass destruction for most people.

Are admissions policies all about the points assigned based on race? They are if you say it the right way.

-chris
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"Limbaughesque" rhetoric relies on this common flaw in human reasoning. It does not matter if if a person is really a liberal or not. Simply refer to him as "The liberal Mr. Smith" and he has now become a liberal for many listeners. Does Saddam have weapons of mass destruction? He does if you say "Today's topic: Do Saddam's weapons of mass destruction merit military action?" Now he has weapons of mass destruction for most people.

This is precisely my take on what I consider to be the dishonest approach to political issues in the past decade or so. You can find the same tactic used in the right wing's attempts to "get" Clinton -- regardless of the facts. You can see it in the arguments concerning "hanging chads" in the election which brought this president to power. You can see it today in the president's highly-misleading claim that his tax cut will bring the "average" citizen more than $1000.

The Greeks understood rhetoric very well, and the ways in which words can be manipulated to prove a lie. The most basic tools of human understanding and communication -- words -- get re-defined constantly in the political marketplace for the purpose of convincing voters -- not that a given side's ideas are better, or more just, or more workable -- but that their ideas are other than what they really are. If they can re-defined words -- and ideas -- well enough, they can get elected, and if they can get elected, they can use this same strategy to change the world to benefit themselves.

Politics ceased some time ago being about competing ideas. It has become a matter of competing rhetoric -- competing lies, competing methods of shading the truth, of finding ways to deceive the voting public, of not just promising one thing and doing another, but actually concealing the meaning of their "promises" in language which distorts both the ideas of the side doing the talking and the ideas of their opponents.

There has, of course, always been an element of deception in the rhetoric of politics, but I'm finding that the lies have become increasingly more sophisticated. Fifty years ago, a presidential candidate could promise to reduce taxes, and the system was such that most people had a pretty good idea what would meant. Today, the promise to lower taxes can mean so many things that people are eager to make the assumption that the promise is good for them -- and are permitted -- no, encouraged -- to make that assumption by those who know perfectly well that the promise won't be good for those whose votes they nevertheless seek.

A complacent, poorly-educated, intellectually lazy and psychologically harried population helps. So does our well-programmed response to the techniques of marketing. So does a media without any purpose other than the bottom line. So does our "fast food" thirst for exciting entertainment, in which "talking heads" are jettisoned in favor of the car chase with the bloody or explosive conclusion.

We're an obese nation -- not only physically, but intellectually. We feed on low-nutrition thought, rarely exercise our brains, refuse to pay for high-quality education, prefer (perversely) those ideas which go down easy, but do us harm. We glory in our obeisity -- and wish to make the rest of the world obese, too. We're like children. Now is forever. The future is forever.

Just give me my MacDonald's and a hot fudge sundae and don't bother me with all that talk about calories and cancer and death. I'm just not interested.

None of this would matter much, in the overall scheme of things, if the world weren't so newly a dangerous place. During the years since the invention of atomic weaponry, marketers have taught politicians how to sell lies, and have put weapons with the capability of rendering all of this truly moot in the hands of those whose motives for doing anything are shielded from everyone else by the most sophisticated rhetorical tools the world has ever seen. The sophistication of the rhetoric is made possible, not only by the techniques of marketing research, but by the very complexity of the world around us, where it's easier now to conceal meaning behind layer upon layer of interpretation. And populations whose brains consist in intellectual cellulite are simply too lazy and self-absorbed to do anything but eat what they're served.

Frankly, Bob, Jimbo, AC, I'm feeling pretty grim myself about the prospects for the future. I hope Jimbo's right, and that this is little more than part of the "natural" cycle of politics. But I sense something deeper, more sinister, more relentless in the process today. Since man let the atomic cat out of the bag, it has become increasingly important that we understand, respect and trust one anothers. I see, however, precisely the opposite trend in the world at large, and here at home. I can't feel that this is a good sign.

SLL
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sandyleelee, musing about atomic weaponry in a thread about racism concluded with this gloomy paragraph:

"Frankly, Bob, Jimbo, AC, I'm feeling pretty grim myself about the prospects for the future. I hope Jimbo's right, and that this is little more than part of the "natural" cycle of politics. But I sense something deeper, more sinister, more relentless in the process today. Since man let the atomic cat out of the bag, it has become increasingly important that we understand, respect and trust one anothers. I see, however, precisely the opposite trend in the world at large, and here at home. I can't feel that this is a good sign."

The juxtaposition of the two issues, racism and nuclear war reminded me of comedian Redd Foxx, who once said that nuclear war would at least solve our racism problems, because "after a nuclear war we will ALL be black."

skorthos
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Fear.

It all boils down to the political manipulation of fear. Fear of "the other." Fear of the black man, fear of the Muslim. Fear that those who have not might take from those who have. Whether those who have have taken from those who have not is irrelevant.

Fear is perhaps the stongest human emotion and trumps reason nearly every time.

Fear-mongers seduce us with promises that they will protect us from the very fears that they create, exaggerate and exacerbate.

That's not to say that there isn't anything to be fearful of -- the thief, the rapist, the terrorist, the nuclear madman -- but where do these threats come from and why? "Don't ask questions. We'll protect you. Trust us." Those are the words of the very people who feed these threats to feed our fears to feed their greed -- greed for power and the money that comes with it?

Remember the Communist infiltrators in the State Department and the Army? Remember the Vietnamese peasants who threatend the "free world?" Remember the Sandinistas who were poised to invade Texas? Remember Willie Horton?

Don't think. Be afraid. Be very afraid.

Forget bread and circuses, protect us from our fears and we'll do anything you want.
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That's not to say that there isn't anything to be fearful of -- the thief, the rapist, the terrorist, the nuclear madman -- but where do these threats come from and why? "Don't ask questions. We'll protect you. Trust us." Those are the words of the very people who feed these threats to feed our fears to feed their greed -- greed for power and the money that comes with it?

Remember the Communist infiltrators in the State Department and the Army? Remember the Vietnamese peasants who threatend the "free world?" Remember the Sandinistas who were poised to invade Texas? Remember Willie Horton?

Don't think. Be afraid. Be very afraid.

Forget bread and circuses, protect us from our fears and we'll do anything you want.




I'm afraid of GWB, Cheney, Ashcroft, and Rumsfeld. Now what?

AM
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Frankly, Bob, Jimbo, AC, I'm feeling pretty grim myself about the prospects for the future. I hope Jimbo's right, and that this is little more than part of the "natural" cycle of politics. But I sense something deeper, more sinister, more relentless in the process today. Since man let the atomic cat out of the bag, it has become increasingly important that we understand, respect and trust one anothers. I see, however, precisely the opposite trend in the world at large, and here at home. I can't feel that this is a good sign.


"We are in a race between education and anihilation."
-Isaac Asimov?
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There are lots of advantages built into the system for majority groups.

There goes your 1600 on the SAT.

I have yet to see anyone explain why these minority groups: African Americans, Native Americans, and Hispanics deserve special preference over these minority groups: Arab Americans and Asian Americans.
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Frankly, Bob, Jimbo, AC, I'm feeling pretty grim myself about the prospects for the future. I hope Jimbo's right, and that this is little more than part of the "natural" cycle of politics. But I sense something deeper, more sinister, more relentless in the process today. Since man let the atomic cat out of the bag, it has become increasingly important that we understand, respect and trust one anothers. I see, however, precisely the opposite trend in the world at large, and here at home. I can't feel that this is a good sign.

There are cycles and cycles within cycles. I misspoke a little (insidious term, huh, SLL?) with my dismissive 'bump' reference. Our current political upheval is a pretty substantial bump. It is, indeed, a major bump, but a bump nevertheless. We had perhaps four or five of similar magnitude in the past century.....maturation of the industrial age, WWI, the Depression, the New Deal....WWII, the Cold War, the advent of the Information Age and the likes. All have shaped our national psyche.

Post 911 and the reemergence of political conservatism in the Age of the Internet can be seen as an ongoing political event of similar magnitude and import. Within this cycle are cycles that help determine the evolution of the whole.....the explosive reaction to terrorism, our imperialistic behavior, North Korea, Iraq, increasing economic reliance on oil, globalization (perhaps deserving a 'major' categorization of its own), the trashing of civil liberties and so forth. The big picture evolves; and I believe that it evolves in a fairly predictable manner, punctuated by unanticipated chaotic events that lurch us off on a slightly different course. It is very hard to stay in the political middle when events pull us to the extremes. The political pendulum swings back and forth in 20 to 30 year cycles. Right now forces and events have swung us over to the right. We will pause there long enough for enough social damage to be done such that we will inevitably start to swing back in the opposite direction. Cause and effect. Action and reaction. The world is moving a little faster, but it is still the same old place. We will most of us muddle our way through.

I happen to think that we are a very bright and vigorous and resilient people. The current conservative majority has no margin for error. The presidential election was simply stolen, plain and simple. Some would say the same of 1960's. The majorities in Congress are razor thin. Very few votes could have sent political reality careening in exactly the opposite direction. Sh*t happens ....all the time. It is a constant of nature. A leader will emerge on the Left and lead us back to the promised land. Look at 1992. That conservative majority will certainly do some damage, some, regretably, irreversible. The environment is most vulnerable. It is a difficult task to revert a parking lot to wetlands.

I was intrigued by Bob's reference to the Internet as a force to promote ignorance. I had never thought of this potential in such stark terms. There have always been ignorant, self-interested people. There always will be. On the other hand, those who care vote. Those who are injured or slimed somehow vote. Those who are inspired vote. What the Left lacks now is leadership and a plan of action. Nature and politics abhor vacuums. For the time being we fight a rear-guard action. There really aren't winners and losers on the larger sense....There are gains and setbacks.

I have great faith in the American People. I may be forced to bend, but I will not break. I will look for every advantage I can find and I will take it. I may be discouraged but I will not give up. All is not lost. We have disfavored by a combination of bad luck, circumstance and political complacency. It may take a while, but times will change. Always, always we must push the extremes on both sides towards the middle ground. A lot can happen in two years. These are indeed interesting times. We are surrounded and buffeted by momentous events and powerful forces. It is not the end of the world. It is the beginning of a new era. It is up to all of us to help shape it.

Jimbo



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"Limbaughesque" rhetoric relies on this common flaw in human reasoning. It does not matter if if a person is really a liberal or not. Simply refer to him as "The liberal Mr. Smith" and he has now become a liberal for many listeners. Does Saddam have weapons of mass destruction? He does if you say "Today's topic: Do Saddam's weapons of mass destruction merit military action?" Now he has weapons of mass destruction for most people.

Is that where all that "No war for oil" rhetoric comes from? The liberal Mr. Smith, indeed. Sounds a lot like "the warmonger Bush," and various other juxtapositions of words used by the left.

--fleg
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What the Left lacks now is leadership and a plan of action. Nature and politics abhor vacuums. For the time being we fight a rear-guard action. There really aren't winners and losers on the larger sense....There are gains and setbacks.

I nominate Jimbo.

B
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So when are we going to see some affirmative action for short people?

I'm tired of everybody looking down on me.
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You know, all you fans of affirmative action have never, ever, ever answered this question. If affirmative action is supposed to HELP minorities, why does it end up requiring Asians to be better than whites to get into the same schools?

You're right, discrimination against minorities is wrong. But affirmative action results in just that.
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It all boils down to the political manipulation of fear. Fear of "the other." Fear of the black man, fear of the Muslim. Fear that those who have not might take from those who have. Whether those who have have taken from those who have not is irrelevant...Don't think. Be afraid. Be very afraid. Forget bread and circuses, protect us from our fears and we'll do anything you want.

Felix gets the prize for hitting the nail on the head.

Erik (BOOGA BOOGA!!)

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Confront the racism and the rest of this administration's regressive ideology or live with the stench and the shame that you did nothing.

My only issue with all of this is that nagging voice in the back of my head that says we're confusing racism with greed. This administration will do what it takes to keep money and power out of the hands of anyone but themselves. "Racist" policies are, to my mind, only a byproduct of that goal.

6
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Frankly, Bob, Jimbo, AC, I'm feeling pretty grim myself about the prospects for the future. I hope Jimbo's right, and that this is little more than part of the "natural" cycle of politics. But I sense something deeper, more sinister, more relentless in the process today. Since man let the atomic cat out of the bag, it has become increasingly important that we understand, respect and trust one anothers. I see, however, precisely the opposite trend in the world at large, and here at home. I can't feel that this is a good sign.

Orwell was only about 20 years off, eh?

6
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Orwell was only about 20 years off, eh?

Ain't that the friggin' truth?

Spooky, huh?

SLL
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Ain't that the friggin' truth?

Spooky, huh?


Before I quit my job and spent all my money, I was on a big theme-book-buying kick, i.e. I'd go to Amazon and get a bunch of books all on the same theme. In the Dystopia theme collection I got the book that 1984 drew on for inspiration, it's called "We" and was written by a Russian author, Yevgeny Zamyatin. I recommend it highly if you're up for a case of the screaming horrors.

Anyway, yeah, it is spooky. "Doublespeak"? Hah, we left that primitive technique behind in the 80's.

6
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In the Dystopia theme collection I got the book that 1984 drew on for inspiration, it's called "We" and was written by a Russian author, Yevgeny Zamyatin.

Cool...as I've read Brave New World, 1984, and Anthem, this should be the equivalent of Robert Johnson to Clapton, Aerosmith, and Zeppelin.

Mark
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Cool...as I've read Brave New World, 1984, and Anthem, this should be the equivalent of Robert Johnson to Clapton, Aerosmith, and Zeppelin.

When you consider that it was written in the 20's, it is unbelievably creative.

6
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In the Dystopia theme collection I got the book that 1984 drew on for inspiration, it's called "We" and was written by a Russian author, Yevgeny Zamyatin. I recommend it highly if you're up for a case of the screaming horrors.

This is very tempting, 6, and I'll certainly put it on my list.

I'm wondering, however, how much more screaming horror I can actually take, given the state of things in general. When reality is approaching the level of nightmare usually associated with John Carpenter flicks, perhaps a nice reread of P.G Wodehouse would be better advised.

One must, whatever the provocation, maintain one's sanity, ya know.

SLL
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When you consider that it was written in the 20's, it is unbelievably creative.

One does wonder, if Huxley, for example, could see it coming way back then, why so few people recognize it when it's right under their noses?

SLL
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One must, whatever the provocation, maintain one's sanity, ya know.

Times like these, an hour at the shooting range is the only thing that really helps <g>.

6
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One does wonder, if Huxley, for example, could see it coming way back then, why so few people recognize it when it's right under their noses?

That's the whole point of it though, how easily and how thoroughly people can be misled.

Baaaah,
6
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Times like these, an hour at the shooting range is the only thing that really helps <g>.

You would NOT want to see me in possession of a gun, 6. Not even temporarily.

Not these days.

SLL
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That's the whole point of it though, how easily and how thoroughly people can be misled.

Well, yes, of course. But we were WARNED. In Huxley, the people hadn't had Huxley's prior warning to guide them.

I mean, it's not like it SNUCK UP ON US, or something.

One really has to wonder at the species which gave us both the Apollo missions and John Ashcroft, for example. If it were fiction, no one would believe it.

SLL
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That's the whole point of it though, how easily and how thoroughly people can be misled.

Well, yes, of course. But we were WARNED. In Huxley, the people hadn't had Huxley's prior warning to guide them.

I mean, it's not like it SNUCK UP ON US, or something.


were i to try to write "2030"... no one would be misled.
no one fooled.
the folks would know exactly what was going on. And not care.


-x
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Baaaah,
6


OCD: somaking6
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You would NOT want to see me in possession of a gun, 6. Not even temporarily.

The first thing I realized when I bought a gun was that I wasn't really suicidal, not even when I'm sihtfaced and listening to depressing music.

The second thing I realized was that I should not ever take the weapon with me anywhere besides directly to the range and directly home. I went to the Mall of America once after going shooting, and believe you me I almost opened fire in the parking lot.

6
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One really has to wonder at the species which gave us both the Apollo missions and John Ashcroft, for example. If it were fiction, no one would believe it.

That's great.

The Mars lander....and Jerry Falwell. They would seem to be mutually culturally exclusive. Culturally mutually exclusive?

6
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The Mars lander....and Jerry Falwell. They would seem to be mutually culturally exclusive. Culturally mutually exclusive?

You'd think so, wouldn't you? Culturally, at the very least. And perhaps in even deeper ways, as well.

It's such a powerful disconnect -- so jarringly in opposition -- that it truly puzzles me. How can we, as a nation, produce both of these cultural artifacts?

Perhaps America isn't "one nation," after all -- but something far less cozy, far less comforting, and -- perhaps -- far less promising.

SLL
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It's such a powerful disconnect -- so jarringly in opposition -- that it truly puzzles me. How can we, as a nation, produce both of these cultural artifacts?

Because the smart people have money, too.

6
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The Mars lander....and Jerry Falwell. They would seem to be mutually culturally exclusive. Culturally mutually exclusive?

You'd think so, wouldn't you? Culturally, at the very least.


Are you sure they are not culturally exclusive? Know many creative types who are big Falwell boosters? Ashcroft boosters? Remember these are creative independent people, so it's not a matter of sharing opinions.

I think there is a real cultural exclusivity. That's one reason universities can be considered scary, evil places. Hollywood, too. Savannah Georgia, not so much.

Rick
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I went to the Mall of America once after going shooting, and believe you me I almost opened fire in the parking lot.

6


Get cut off by some latte swilling SUV driver, did you?

Wada
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Get cut off by some latte swilling SUV driver, did you?

SUVs don't bother me, fat women with strollers bother me.

Everyone's a snob in their own little way.

6
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Are you sure they are not culturally exclusive? Know many creative types who are big Falwell boosters? Ashcroft boosters? Remember these are creative independent people, so it's not a matter of sharing opinions.

I think there is a real cultural exclusivity. That's one reason universities can be considered scary, evil places. Hollywood, too. Savannah Georgia, not so much.


Actually, Rick, yes -- I do agree that they're culturally mutually-exclusive. And I think that there are many Americas -- some of which are quite literally incomprehensible to others.

Interestingly, while Hollywood and universities scare some folks in Podunk, Alabama, they don't scare me. But Podunk, Alabama does.

We're afraid of each other in this country. That may be worse -- and more dangerous -- than the fear of Al Quaeda or any other external threat.

SLL
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We're afraid of each other in this country. That may be worse -- and more dangerous -- than the fear of Al Quaeda or any other external threat.

Of course, a nice war should help bring us Americans closer together, as we crowd around the TV watching the other side of the planet turn into a smoking pit.

6
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Of course, a nice war should help bring us Americans closer together, as we crowd around the TV watching the other side of the planet turn into a smoking pit.

I certianly hope you don't think that's coincidental. <G>

SLL
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You guys are too pessimistic. There's no hereditary dynasty in power. Fer chrissakes, the Kennedys have been around since the fifties. Teddy would have been pres if he hadn't out-Clintoned Clinton with that swim in the river. If Bush makes just a few missteps and/or the economy doesn't turn around, he and his gang will be gone just as fast as they arrived. Whatever money the Repubs can raise will be matched or close to it by the unions and trial lawyers. Heck, Dems make up six or seven of the richest ten senators, with Kerry able to buy and sell the richest Repub ten times over.

I felt the pervasive kind of gloom expressed here when I first read The Population Bomb in college. It kept me up nights worrying about a future without resources, without prosperity, without hope. Turns out Mr. Ehrlich was wrong in each and every one of his predictions, as sky-is-falling types always are. Worst case scenarios rarely turn out that way.

Relax and enjoy. Nobody is going to take you away in the middle of the night for reading AM's posts. You'll be fine.

--fleg

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Relax and enjoy. Nobody is going to take you away in the middle of the night for reading AM's posts. You'll be fine.

--fleg





Excuse me? How did *I* get into this?

AM
...in Podunk, Alabama
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I felt the pervasive kind of gloom expressed here when I first read The Population Bomb in college. It kept me up nights worrying about a future without resources, without prosperity, without hope. Turns out Mr. Ehrlich was wrong in each and every one of his predictions,...

Not quite correct. He's been wrong so far.
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Of course, a nice war should help bring us Americans closer together, as we crowd around the TV watching the other side of the planet turn into a smoking pit.

Hi 6:

I'm leaning in favor of this war because:

1.Cheap oil for years to come:Iraq, the 51st state.Woohoo. They have 112 B barrels proven, we have only 22 B. The caribou in ANWR thank you.

2.Iraqis will be far better off than under Saddam. Medical care, quality of life, education, in every aspect. Saddam is a mass murderer, ask the Kurds, the Iranians, everyone hates his guts. It will be over quick.

3.Sends a warning shot across the bow of the next a-holes that get brilliant ideas. No more mile-high bombing they can wait out. We're marching down your street!

4.Hey Iran: We're your next door neighbors now. Wanna play?

5.Peter Jennings will burst a blood vessel.


Theo



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I'm leaning in favor of this war because:

1.Cheap oil for years to come:Iraq, the 51st state.Woohoo. They have 112 B barrels proven, we have only 22 B. The caribou in ANWR thank you.


Theo, you're funny. You seem to have a lot of faith that the oil companies will pass along that great savings to you.

Why not use this situation as a good reason to go ahead and make real progress on deployment of alternative energy sources?


2.Iraqis will be far better off than under Saddam.

That's not for you to decide.

Medical care, quality of life, education, in every aspect. Saddam is a mass murderer, ask the Kurds, the Iranians, everyone hates his guts.

Then why isn't 'everyone' on the bandwagon?

Shall I start listing countries led by regimes oppressing their citizens as much as or more than that of Iraq?


3.Sends a warning shot across the bow of the next a-holes that get brilliant ideas. No more mile-high bombing they can wait out. We're marching down your street!

Nonsense. The real enemies - radical religious fundementalists - are not deterred by our military capacity. Al Queda wasn't deterred prior to Sept. '01 and what's left of them now remains undeterred. Don't kid yourself about them simply thinking, prior to Sept. '01, that our resolve to fight was weak because of events in Somalia; rather, those religious fundementalists think any strike against the West at any cost is acceptable.


Nobody denies that Saddam's dictatorship needs to end - but that's a seperate issue from our defense of ourselves from terrorism and it's disengenuous for the US to co-opt its 'war on terror' in its justification for ousting Saddam.

The five points that make you 'in favor of this war' justifies the near certainty, right now, of taking the lives of Iraqi civilians and US military personnel?


Wolsey

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<<The real enemies - radical religious fundementalists - are not deterred by our military capacity.>>


No, I don't imagine Bush, Ashcroft and their ilk are much concerned with being targeted by the U.S. military.

-chris
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No, I don't imagine Bush, Ashcroft and their ilk are much concerned with being targeted by the U.S. military.

You really don't know how often I find myself saying, "Thanks, Chris."

SLL
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I'm leaning in favor of this war because:

1.Cheap oil for years to come:Iraq, the 51st state.Woohoo. They have 112 B barrels proven, we have only 22 B. The
caribou in ANWR thank you.
////////
Theo, you're funny. You seem to have a lot of faith that the oil companies will pass along that great savings to you.

Why not use this situation as a good reason to go ahead and make real progress on deployment of alternative energy
sources?


well, poop. i rec'd it for the sarcasm...


-x
(the caribou ARE toast, regardless)
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No, I don't imagine Bush, Ashcroft and their ilk are much concerned with being targeted by the U.S. military.
......
You really don't know how often I find myself saying, "Thanks, Chris."


yup....

otoh... conventional wisdom has it that much of their political
support is from the military....
i wonder what might happen to that if the little war turns to
puke?

not 'targeted' for sure... but maybe a lot of sitting on their
hands Nov. 04


-x
....optimist of sorts
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The five points that make you 'in favor of this war' justifies the near certainty, right now, of taking the lives of Iraqi civilians and US military personnel?


Wolsey


Why should he care? He won't be carrying a rifle.

Wada
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Why should he care? He won't be carrying a rifle.

I've never understood this kind of response. Any action our military takes is an action that represents our country. No question our military will take the bulk of an response, but we all suffer. In this case, our posture in the world will change as we take (almost) unilateral action that is unquestionably aggressive rather than defensive. There is no concrete connection between the Iraqi leadership and the attacks on us by the specific terrorists we've seen. We are acting to stop a perceived threat, and this is a change in policy for us. Even against Cuba we did not act, we only threatened. If Iraq does not back down, it seems we will be a different country than we were before Bush II. This will affect us all, military and non-military and it probably cannot be undone.

Rick
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<I felt the pervasive kind of gloom expressed here when I first read The Population Bomb in college. It kept me up nights worrying about a future without resources, without prosperity, without hope. Turns out Mr. Ehrlich was wrong in each and every one of his predictions, as sky-is-falling types always are. Worst case scenarios rarely turn out that way.>

Perhaps you're confusing narcissism with concern for the greater good.

For example, in 1980 I was full of dread about the prospect of Reagan being elected President. Ultimately, I survived his eight years intact.

But I wasn't a Marine left unprotected in Beirut, a 7/11 clerk arrested for selling Playboy in North Carolina, or a meat factory worker in Iowa who found his likelihood of being injured on the job multiplied by Reagan's two terms.

The closeness of the sky to the ground often depends on where you stand.

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The closeness of the sky to the ground often depends on where you stand.

I love this image, Carlos -- although it does bring to mind Lucy's line from You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown. Charlie comments on the beauty of a star in the night sky, and Lucy wanders off downstage. Charlie asks,

"Where are you going, Lucy?"

And Lucy responds:

"I'm going over here to get a closer look."

Some things are so far away (at least, relative to our own imaginations) that some people can only relate to them in terms of experiences they're already familiar with.

I think that people who discount the possibility of overpopulation and/or global warming are a bit like that.

SLL

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Why should he care? He won't be carrying a rifle.

I've never understood this kind of response. Any action our military takes is an action that represents our country. No question our military will take the bulk of an response, but we all suffer. In this case, our posture in the world will change as we take (almost) unilateral action that is unquestionably aggressive rather than defensive. There is no concrete connection between the Iraqi leadership and the attacks on us by the specific terrorists we've seen. We are acting to stop a perceived threat, and this is a change in policy for us. Even against Cuba we did not act, we only threatened. If Iraq does not back down, it seems we will be a different country than we were before Bush II. This will affect us all, military and non-military and it probably cannot be undone.

Rick


Rick, I don't know if this will clear things up, but I was referring to Theo, not Wolsey.

You ought to see the cries of outrage on PA when someone suggests that those most loudly calling for war ought to do a hitch in the military if they haven't already. It's almost universally those who have never worn a uniform who scream the the loudest.

Wada

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SLL:
Some things are so far away (at least, relative to our own imaginations) that some people can only relate to them in terms of experiences they're already familiar with.

I think that people who discount the possibility of overpopulation and/or global warming are a bit like that.


Au contraire. Those of us who know some science can take a longer view. For example, it is likely that the global population will level off in the not too distant future, then begin falling. See:

http://www.demographic-research.org/?http://www.demographic-research.org/volumes/vol4/8/

Excerpt from the pdf file:

The global population rate, which peaked in the late 1960s at above 2 percent per year, is expected to fall steadily from its current level of just under 1.5% per year to 0.4% per year by 2050...in all cases the rate of growth is expected to decline and in the low scenario population stops growing altogether and begins to decline shortly after 2030. (From p. 59 of the pdf, referring to a United Nations study on population growth.)

As for global warming, the planet has experienced many, many cyles of warming and cooling going back millions of years. The more recent ones have influenced human populations. Future ones will also do so.

Some folks like to be alarmist and invent things to worry about and blame it on humanity (or, at least, on evil corporations or some such bogeyman). And when nature takes a turn we don't like, blame us for that, too. Like creationists, they ignore or misinterpret science to suit their beliefs.

--fleg
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So, Fleg, when a natural flood occurs, do you go out and water your lawn?

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So, Fleg, when a natural flood occurs, do you go out and water your lawn?

Or mow it?

With an electric lawn mower? Not one of them pantywaist cordless ones either, but one that require a long extension cord

Wada
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[i]I'm leaning in favor of this war because:[/i]

Theo dear - [b]what[/b] are they letting you smoke on those offshore platforms these days ?? I know OSHA can't possibly approve.

[i]1.Cheap oil for years to come:Iraq, the 51st state.Woohoo. They have 112 B barrels proven, we have only 22 B. The caribou in ANWR thank you.[/i]

Why cheap? Assuming we are victorious we don't get to keep the oil. Nary an itty-bitty drop. As a belligerant occupant the U.S. will have the right to produce existing oil wells but we can only use the proceeds to provide food, medical care and education to residents of the occupied territory - to pay for the occupation in other words. The reserves mean nothing as we can not drill or explore for any new wells under international law. International law which by the way the U.S. is responsible for putting in place (dating back to the Lieber Code) and backed up in recent years by our own State Department.

2.Iraqis will be far better off than under Saddam. Medical care, quality of life, education, in every aspect. Saddam is a mass murderer, ask the Kurds, the Iranians, everyone hates his guts. It will be over quick.

Again we get back to our responsibilities as a belligerant occupant. If we fulfill our role as belligerant occupant yes we will be responsible for restoring order and providing medical care, food and education to the Iraqui citizens. Any bets on how quickly we bail out and leave a destabilized country to its own devices and the next tyrant that comes down the pike? The war may well be over quick but the real win or loss will come with the occupation and I am not so sanguine about that. (Actually I'm not sanguine about the war being quick and clean either.)

3.Sends a warning shot across the bow of the next a-holes that get brilliant ideas. No more mile-high bombing they can wait out. We're marching down your street!

Urban warfare will be to the U.S. military in the 21st century what jungle warfare was to the U.S. military in the 20th century. Aside from that I'm not sure what "brilliant" idea you are referring to with respect to Hussein's regime. There is no evidence that Al Q was assisted by Hussein's government. I have no doubt that individuals in Iraq may have assisted but guess what, there were individuals in Richardson, Texas assisting Al Q and I haven't noticed them bombing there. Hussein is a Stalinist tyrant but he is not a player in the wacko-fundamentalist groups that fly planes into office buildings. I would rather see us concentrate our resources, military and intelligence on those problems.

4.Hey Iran: We're your next door neighbors now. Wanna play?

Theo they are not going to ask you to share the sandbox if you don't play nicer than you have so far.

By the way Theo oil is so 20th century; fuel cells powered by natural gas, that's what I'm putting my money on. And the nice thing about natural gas is that you can find lots of it in LOTS of different countries, not like oil concentrated in a few sandy countries that discovered the power of economic blackmail in 1973.
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Don't you just hate it when you screw up your EZBoard tag codes with the Fool's tag codes. What are you doing these days Theo? I mean other than penning inane posts for our enjoyment. And don't think we don't appreciate it.
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"much concerned with being targeted by the U.S. military"
__________________
AngryGenius strikes again.

wx
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Rittenhouse shouldn't have had one either.
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Any opinions on Mr Ashcroft's legacy?

Many of his policies were continued under President Obama, and now President Biden.
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