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#52799 - 07/28/04 01:04 PM Re: OT: politics
spiffnme Offline

Registered: 04/01/03
Posts: 5233
Loc: Los Angeles
It's interesting to hear that two people and watch and listen to the same thing and come away with completely different views on it. Ain't politics great!

Let me give a quick run down of my thoughts...

1) Michael Moore - Over the top? Of course. Does he go too far sometimes? Yep. But much like G. Dubya himself, he's got a point of view, and whether you love it or hate it he's sticking to it.

2) Barak Obama - Can you say "First black President"?

3) Hillary Clinton - To say that she hopes Kerry loses is obsurd. Of course she wants to run. But her time will come. 2008 isn't it.

4) Bill Clinton - Hot damn that boy can speak. Republicans and Dems alike agree his speach was amazing. It's got to kill him to know that if he could run again he's win in a landslide.

5) "I'm a uniter not a divider"...those words are clearly going to be G. Dubya's "Read my lips..." I think the Dems are on the right track to talk of uniting the nation again. The country is so split right now it makes both sides feel uneasy. I truly believe we're a stronger nation when we're united as one. I'll go a step further and say we're a stronger nation when we're united with the world. I think the current administrations policy of "it's our way or the highway" is terribly dangerous. Just because we can bully the world doesn't mean we should.

6) Howard Dean - Howard's scream heard around the world was so completely blown out of proportion. I'm so sick of hearing about it. He had just finished third in a primary that going into he was considered an easy winner. His supporters needed their spirits lifted. He was simply trying to rally his troups.

7)WMD - I hate stating the obvious, but clearly no WMD have been found in Iraq. But that's not really the issue that bothers me the most. The fact that we're agressively, VERY agressively, trying to stop all nations of the world from developing their own WMD, while at the same time developing NEW nuclear weapons ourselves is EXTEMELY disturbing. What happened to the axiom "lead by example?" Our country likely has more WMD then the rest of the world combined. Can you blame the world for calling us hypocrites?

8) Dick Cheney - If dumping him as VP wouldn't look like a complete act of desperation, it would be the right thing to do. He's about as popular in as Jesse Jackson at a KKK rally. From his oil men deciding the future of our country's energy policy, to his ties with the incredibly immoral Haliburton, to dropping the F bomb on the Senate floor...what else could he do to help sink G. Dubya's ship?

9)Smaller Government? - I thought Republicans wanted smaller government? I thought they were the "hands off" party? Since George took office the federal government has been sticking it's nose into our personal lives more than ever before. Checking library records? Withholding money from medical clinics if they offer obortions? (Regardless of all the other medical assistance they also offer?) Rounding up people, holding them without legal representation - and with no charges against them? He's even gone so far as to try and write descrimination into our Constitution! (Bravo to the six republicans who dared cross the party line and vote against the ammendment.) This is smaller government? This is compassionate conservatism? Give me a break. It boils down to George's simplistic view of the world again. He believes he is right, and if he's right, and you disagree with him, that must mean you're wrong. If you're wrong, then what does it matter what you think? He loves to force his view of the world on others. He's pro-life, so if you're not, you get no funds. He believes homosexuality is a sin, so let's write that into the constitution. You disagree with the war in Iraq? Well you must simply be un-American.

10) John Kerry - John Kerry and G. Dubya look at the world very, very differently. From what I've witnessed in the past four years, and from what I've seen/heard/read about Kerry, it boils down to a fundamental difference in how they think. To George, the world is very simple. It's black or it's white. It's right or wrong, good or evil. He looks at an issue, decides what his stance is, and then digs in his heels, and won't budge. Why should he? His view is clearly the only one that is right. That's the beauty of seeing the world in black and white. There's no room for discussion. That's both George's greatest strength but I believe also his biggest weakness. He takes a stand and "leads", but at the same time his blind faith in what he believes leaves him a very stubborn man going through the world with blinders on. John Kerry on the other hand sees very little black and white. He sees shades of gray. He sees issues from every angle. This gives him a much better understanding of the issues at hand, but also gives him the appearance of never taking a firm stand on things. Again this "seeing gray" is both Kerry's strength and also his weakness.

The bottom line is which view of the world do you feel more comfortable voting for? I personally see the world in shades of gray myself. While I may have a personal opinion on an issue, I understand it's my opinion, and that there are other ways of seeing things. I too will very often give indirect answers. Things are simply too complicated for yes or no, right and wrong, good and evil. But does that mean I cannot make a stand? Does that mean I cannot make important decisions. No of course not. It simply means when I do make a decision, it's one that has been pondered, picked apart, looked at inside and out, and understood. I rarely make a decision without serious thought and understanding. I don't want my President doing it either.

FYI...I'm NOT a registered Democrat. I'm an independent, because I don't blindly subscribe to any one party. I voted for Reagan, I voted for Perot, I voted for Clinton, I voted for Gore, and this year I'll vote for Kerry. Nothing drives me more crazy than people who vote strictly by party. Many people don't even look into the candidates or the issues. They simply vote straight down the line one party of the other. Grrrrrr...makes my blood boil. Get off your lazy asses and educate yourselves on the issues and the candidates and make your own decision. If you're a Dem and REALLY don't like Kerry, look at the other candidates. If you're a Republican and really dislike Bush...take a look at Nader or Michael Badnarik. It's not throwing away your vote. The only wasted vote is one that's cast for someone you don't agree with.

"A nation cannot prosper long, when it favors only the prosperous." -President Barack Obama

#52800 - 07/28/04 01:49 PM Re: OT: politics
bigjohn Offline

Registered: 01/21/04
Posts: 3016
Loc: San Angelo, TX
all right craig..


good post. covering many angles. i like it!


#52801 - 07/28/04 01:59 PM Re: OT: politics
Ajax Offline

Registered: 12/30/03
Posts: 6331
Loc: Cleveland, Ohio
Nice to have you back, Craig. Great post! Really enjoyed it.

"People generally quarrel because they cannot argue." - G. K. Chesterton

#52802 - 07/28/04 04:56 PM Re: OT: politics
mhorgel Offline

Registered: 10/02/03
Posts: 438
Loc: Louisville, KY
In reply to:

Putting aside her you think the country is ready for a female president by 2008?

Sure...As long as it's NOT Hillary Clinton

"Shoot, a fella could have a pretty good weekend in Vegas with all that stuff"

#52803 - 07/28/04 05:30 PM Re: OT: politics
TurboDog1 Offline

Registered: 02/29/04
Posts: 342
First of all, welcome back Spiff. Now, what's up with trying to outdo me in post length? That's crap.

Here we go:

Michael Moore - I still have to disagree w/ you BigJohn on that dialog. Moore was completely sidestepping O'Reily's question about what makes something a lie versus a misinformed decision. Yes, O'Reily wouldn't get sucked into Moore's question about letting his kid die for Fallujah because it's a bogus question. The question should have been "If your kid decided to join the armed forced and pledged his willingness to die, if need be, to implement the orders of our Commander and Chief, would you let your child die for Fallujah?". Moore was trying to trap O'Reily into saying he'd sacrifice his kid for Iraq and it's a loaded question, which is why he would only answer for himself. If you haven't figured it out, Moore excels in manipulating situations, context, and the simplicity of his viewers to make his point. Don't get me wrong, I applaud anyone willing to take a stand for what he or she believes. The problem with Moore is the base fact that he distorts events and deceives his viewers by painting pictures that are not supported by reality. I don't doubt his sincerity...I doubt his ethics. A man beating someone up on the street isn't always what it appears to be.....what Moore purposely does is, in order to paint the man as a bully, omits the fact that the man just caught the man fondling his child (yes, hypothetical). The man may have been beating up the other man (FACT), but the implication that he is a bully is not supported by reality....the net effect of the omission of context.

Hillary - You give her too much credit. I don't know all the details, but this internal battle in the Democratic party, Kerry camp and Clinton camp, over control of funds is evidence enough for me of the Clinton power aspirations. If Kerry wins, she's on the sideline for at least 8 years. If he loses, then the door is open for her to be the savior in 4 years....that was before Obama.

Howard Dean - Yep, he took a beating over that. He was doomed from the start....not enough of a politician to satisfy the pallet of the party.

Haliburton - Talk about a nasty word in today's climate. I don't know enough about what they did or did not do that was so bad, but it amazes me how pissed people get about them. My understanding is that they have been contracting to do nation rebuilding since back in the World Wars. I guess it must be similar to the sentiment out there that we went to war solely to make all the cronies rich, which I think is bunk. Because Cheney was associated w/ them, this whole thing must have been to make Cheney rich....a little too much conspiracy theory to me. Regardless, I would love for someone to educate me on what Haliburton did that made them this devil in the eyes of the Democrats.....Caveat: Please provide valid facts that can be confirmed. My Dad hit me recently with the passionate plea of wrongdoing w/out actually providing me with any more substance than "it had to be ....". I am very interested in the reality here and not speculation.

Smaller Government - Yes, Bush has definitely missed the boat on the idea of small government. Because he is so entrenched in the Republican Party structure and all of the outside influences, I don't expect to see any changes in this realm. As I've said before, the benefit to Bush on this front is the mere fact that he's going to spend us into oblivion at a much slower rate that Kerry. If we're lucky, someone will come along in 4 years that has enough idealism to avoid becoming a hoar to the special interests (both sides).

Bush vs Kerry - I will agree with your statements concerning Bush's Black/White approach. There are times when that is good and there are times where that is bad. The way we went into war was one of the latter. If he was intent on doing so, there was arguably better ways to go about it while still achieving the same ends. As far as Kerry goes, I agree somewhat on his seeing gray. My issue is intent. You ascribe this trait to his seeing all sides of an issue. This may be true to some degree...only those close to him know for sure. I, on the other hand, see his approach to be more self-serving. I don't see him analyzing things from all sides for the sake of understanding. I see a man that analyses things from both sides in order to understand only how each position serves his purpose and political aspirations. He is the quintessential politician, which is not a good thing.

The Vietnam movie camera - This story is just coming out, but it appears that Kerry had a camera in Vietnam that he used to record himself reenacting battle scenes and making commentary. Obviously, there will be more details to follow, but this just truly confirms what I said above. kerry has been shaping his life from the start to get to this point. Some may not have a problem with doing that, but it gives me the damn creeps. It just makes me wonder "What kind of person....".

Spiff - I agree fully with your statement about our voting public. This is going to sound very jaded, but I truly believe that we have a large portion of the voting body that are a bunch of sheep voting purely on party lines....based solely upon the sound-bites that they pick up from the commercials between reality programs. When I really start thinking about it, I actually fear for the nation. Our sense of civic understanding and responsibility is going by the wayside...replaced by a self-fulfilling, self-imposed state of ignorance and self-centeredness. Can we blame our politicians for speaking in generalities and focusing on hot-button issues that generally don't affect our day to day lives? Given their audience's unwillingness to educate itself, they have no reason to actually establish a thorough and concise policy platform.

OK...I'm outta here. Again, I love this dialog!!!...just proves that we have a great group of people gathered here….even the Liberals

#52804 - 07/28/04 09:49 PM Re: OT: politics
Zarak Offline

Registered: 03/09/03
Posts: 1852
Loc: PA
"I actually fear for the nation. Our sense of civic understanding and responsibility is going by the wayside...replaced by a self-fulfilling, self-imposed state of ignorance and self-centeredness. Can we blame our politicians for speaking in generalities and focusing on hot-button issues that generally don't affect our day to day lives? Given their audience's unwillingness to educate itself, they have no reason to actually establish a thorough and concise policy platform."

I found this part very interesting. It's the first time I've seen it from the other angle that the public's ignorance make the politicians the way they are. Kind of a chicken and egg scenario. I think most of us take for granted the freedoms that we have, and don't take the time to get educated on the issues and what is really going on. I'll admit, I am sometimes guilty of this myself. For example, I don't even know what Haliburton is, or who this Barak(sp) guy is that has been mentioned a few times, other then that I have determined from the thread that he is African American and a dem. So, yes, I'm a bit behind with some of this stuff, but I do find this thread very interesting and am using it to make an attempt to start helping to educate myself.

#52805 - 07/28/04 09:54 PM Re: OT: politics
mwc Offline

Registered: 07/21/02
Posts: 958
Loc: Texas(DFW)..that country to th...
Great post Craig! I love your refreshing and THOUGHTFULL and civil take on the current political climate. It's as though you took the words right out of my mouth. I'd vote for you if you ran for office.
*Does your train of thought have a caboose?*

#52806 - 07/28/04 11:31 PM Re: OT: politics
TurboDog1 Offline

Registered: 02/29/04
Posts: 342
"I'll admit, I am sometimes guilty of this myself."

I think that we all are to some degree. I have only recently begun to become aware of these issues. The topic is so complex and/or convoluted that's it's a lot easier to just accept that everything is truly f...ed up and focus on our own lives. It's truly an effort to peel back the which many are unwilling to commit to. Hell, I sometimes wish that I hadn't made the leap, mostly because I now painfully understand how screwed up the system is and how little we can do to fix it.

#52807 - 07/29/04 12:49 PM Re: OT: politics
spiffnme Offline

Registered: 04/01/03
Posts: 5233
Loc: Los Angeles
mwc - thanks.

The internet is finally making a huge impact on politics. It's making it easier for lots of little guys to speak with one loud voice. Whether or not you agree with their world view, you've got to be impressed with what has been able to accomplish in the past few years. I just hope that when/if Kerry takes office they don't slack off. Kerry may lean more towards members views, but that doesn't mean he should get a free ride. Every president...heck every politician needs a watchdog, whether their Rep, Dem or something else.

That's one thing I like about Michael Moore. He may hate G. Dubya with a passion, but he understands that ALL politicians are corrupt. If you read his book "Stupid White Men", you'll note that he ripped Clinton quite a bit as well. He may be doing everything in his power to unseat Bush, but I guarantee he won't give Kerry a free ride.

"A nation cannot prosper long, when it favors only the prosperous." -President Barack Obama

#52808 - 07/29/04 05:02 PM Re: OT: politics
les9596 Offline

Registered: 05/17/04
Posts: 38
Loc: The beautiful Puget Sound WA U...
I'd like to make a comment about Michael Moore, since he is so much in the news these days and seemingly close to the heart of so many people. I don't know whether he's right or wrong, but I do think he's not much of a man.

I used to like MM. I thought his first movie, Roger and Me, was a clever and mostly gentle movie about the GM plant closing in Flint, Michigan. It's point was to illustrate the tragedy of what happened, and not just to slow-roast GM execs. Mostly, he let the people he interviewed and the scenes he filmed speak for themselves. The drama came from the natural conflict between the goals of the executives and the values of the workers. It was a documentary, and it was art. At least, I thought so then.

But by the time he made Bowling for Columbine, MM had become one very angry young man (even though he's not so young and should know better by now) who was so sure of himself and his cause that he felt justified in humiliating an Alzheimer's patient (a certain actor named Charlton Heston) simply because he's the titular head of the NRA. Let me say that again because it's so important. He humiliated Chuck Heston not because of anything he did, but because of what he was.

What made that episode particularly ugly to me is that I later saw an interview where he said that, after they had filmed the Heston interview, he and his crew talked about how using the footage would appear vindictive and cruel, but decided to use it anyway because; "the point we were trying to make was too important." (a paraphrase, not his exact words)

What hubris! What childish disrespect for others! If only, instead of thinking of Charlton Heston's dignity, he had considered his own!

But I suspect he only considered his own rising star. Each of his subsiquent works have become more strident, more uncompromising, more righteous. There's always been a strong streak of puritan, holier-than-thou righteousness in Americans, and populist demagogues like MM have always been willing to play on it. Traditionally, demagogues prey on conservative fears, and MM is no different. What is different this time is that MM reflects the conservative fears of the political perspective usually called liberal. But of course being "liberal" doesn't make us any more resistant to populism. Only our life experience and a strong sense of personal identity can do that. It really is all about character.

So here's my warning to MM and everyone else carried into dark territory by the righteousness of their cause:

Righteous anger only exists in the movies. Real anger is never, ever righteous. Anger can give you short-term strength, but in the long run is always exhausting, debilitating, and corrupting. Anger blinds you to the good in others and to your own errors. Anger is poison, self-administered. We all get angry, but most of us see it as a character flaw. Only a few of us are foolish and destructive enough to strive for it and make it our signature.

So I totally reject all of MM's anger. To me Fahrenheit 9/11 is a documentary the same way Reefer Madness is a documentary. Most of us will live long enough to see it discredited. Some of us will live long enough to see it become self-parody. And MM himself no doubt will serve as another reminder to us of that old Hollywood maxim:

Be nice to the people you meet on your way up. You'll meet them again on your way down.
Larry 5.1 M22/VP100/QS8/PB1-ISD

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