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Author Topic: Fed up with politics!!!
gladiator
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Icon 8 posted October 08, 2005 17:45      Profile for gladiator     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I need some input.Lately, I've come to the realization that for the first time in my life I don't really care about politics. I used to watch all the political shows on cable and wanted to know the latest stances of both parties on major issues.Among my friends, I was always the one who could discuss political issues with some degree of intelligence(or so I thought). But lately, this whole Supreme Court nominee process just shows how divided this country really is. You know the whole red/blue state thing. I mean the appointees for the Court are raked over the coals by both parties, whenever one has to be appointed,(this year or previous years) and leaves me with a sense that politics is just "dirty business and that's how it's done". I'm not going to turn this discussion of my feelings into a soapbox for Republican versus Democrat, but really the political rancor and bloodthirstyness of Capitol Hill is getting out of hand. I've always felt that the men and women of this country have died to give us the freedoms we have today, such as voting. As such, I felt it was my privilege and duty to vote in every presidential election since I turned 18, which was 21 years ago and 6 presidential elections ago.I don't know if I will vote in 2008 however. Anybody else struggling with or have struggled with this issue of getting completely turned off by politics to the point of not voting. I would like to hear what other geeks from other countries think of the U.S. and it's split with red/blue states and whether there was something in their lives that turned them away from politics or told them never to get involved when they could.

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Gladiator:(noun)Celebrity and entertainer for the Roman masses.... without the paparazzi

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The Famous Druid

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Icon 1 posted October 08, 2005 19:28      Profile for The Famous Druid     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I've got to admit, the idea of appointing a someone who's never even been a small-town judge to the Supreme Court is pretty funny. Especially after the flack GWB got for appointing an unqualified crony to head FEMA.

Say what you like about the pack of [email protected]@rds who are running Australia, you'd never get that happening here.

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If you watch 'The History Of NASA' backwards, it's about a space agency that has no manned spaceflight capability, then does low-orbit flights, then lands on the Moon.

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The White Tree
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Icon 1 posted October 08, 2005 20:16      Profile for The White Tree     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I don't like how America is so bipartisan. "Well, if you aren't a Republican, then you must be a damn liberal." I get that all the time. I am no communist (just kidding about the communism). People always think they have to believe one thing or another or belong to one group or another. That is what is tearing America apart, not to mention that either side will not budge when it comes to compromise. Personally, I am fed up with most politics. I haven't voted yet because I just turned 18 a couple months ago, but I will never vote for a main party cantidate unless they are a moderate. Vote Libretarian. www.lp.org
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CommanderShroom
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Icon 1 posted October 08, 2005 21:13      Profile for CommanderShroom     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
The fact of the matter is, until people start speaking louder at all the elections and every chance they can get. We will be ignored. If you stop voting your voice is lost. There is no fight. And there will absolutely be no change. And the business as usual politics will continue to be business as usual.

I am a Libertarian, and for the way I look at the world it is right for me. There is not just two parties. There are two major parties. But if the people that have given up on the Democrats and Republicans began to throw their weight behind third parties. I am pretty sure they would begin to listen.

And if you don't like the Democrat and Republican parties. Find one you do.

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Does he know our big secret?
Has one of us confessed?
'Bout the wires circuits and motors
Buried in our chest

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Matias
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Icon 2 posted October 08, 2005 21:26      Profile for Matias   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
We all know how voting in Florida is done.

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A positive attitude may not solve all your problems, but it will annoy enough people to make it worth the effort.

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garlicguy

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Icon 1 posted October 09, 2005 07:23      Profile for garlicguy   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
pol•i•tics \ 'päl-ə-,tiks - from the Latin "poli" meaning many and "tics" meaning blood suckers.

That having been said...

gladiator, you asked for others' feelings, these are a few of mine.

First off, let me agree with your disgust and cynicism toward the distasteful political processes that bring our elected officials to Capitol Hill by dividing and splintering the country.

Then, I have to admit that I've disdained the "two-party" system for several decades. Add to that the fact that something above 90% of elected officials at the federal level are lawyers and my contempt for and distrust in the system accelerates exponentially. Yuk, does not begin to describe the feelings.

I first voted Libertarian in the early '80's, before the really wierd affiliates of that group arose. I watched Ross Perot and his party gain a huge following only to flake-out and melt down. I sidelined myself from the electoral process in '96 with the thought that I would have no more part in this "king-making" process since none of them were fit to serve.

Since that time I always go to the polling place and always cast a vote for the candidate whom seems to be the best person, regardless of their party affiliation, race, gender, etc. When the best person is a rat, I vote for None of the Above (NOTA) as a write in.
In this way, I let my disapproval be known. And make no mistake, the politicos are very aware of the growing number of such ballots being cast each election, and it is starting to make them a 'little' nervous.

Druid, I'm unaware of how such things are done in Oz, but in the US of A, most judges are elected by popular vote, from ballots cast by an uninformed electorate. Not that this would have to be bad. Considering the beginnings of our form of government and the judicial abuses preceding it, perhaps it is easier to understand that our Constitution contains not one word of qualification when it comes to Supreme Court Justices, merely implies that they serve for life so long as they "behave well" and they are appointed by the President and confirmed by Congress. In those days, the most important qualification for any public office was integrity, and it seems our founding fathers assumed it would always be so. Sad that that word, and its meaning and underlying values of truth and honesty are but a distant memory in our government today. So the the fact that a person had not been a judge prior to appointment to the Supreme Court would not be a disqualifier in my view. It may even be more likely that such a candidate could possess some degree of integrity, not having already sold out to the electoral process. Who knows?

IMO

gg

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I don't know what I was thinking... it seemed like a good idea at the time.

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ChildeRoland
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Icon 1 posted October 09, 2005 09:14      Profile for ChildeRoland     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
FYI, it's not like it will be unique if Miers joins the court. Of the 109 people who have been on the Supreme Court, 41 had no previous judicial experience. Like gg said it is more about intelligence and morality than judicial experience. In fact, I'd rather have somebody that hasn't been tainted by already having been a judge.


Link

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Childe Roland

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ASM65816
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Icon 1 posted October 09, 2005 12:07      Profile for ASM65816   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
The 10 scariest words in the English language: "I'm from the government and I'm here to help you."
Why is it that politicians have people conduct polls for them? Wouldn't a wise leader already know what people want and take action?

What are politicians skilled at, and what is their primary field of study? Politics? Does the ability to make promises and get elected equate to the ability to solve problems?
quote:
"Everybody wants to save the earth - nobody wants to help Mom do the dishes."
  -- P.J. O'Rourke

People want something for nothing, so politicians promise something for nothing to get elected.
quote:
Ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country.
  -- John F. Kennedy

I can't imagine anyone getting elected with that kind of talk today.

Just imagine: "Vote for me, and I will tell you don't litter, recycle aluminum, and use public transportation"
quote:
... elected by popular vote, from ballots cast by an uninformed electorate.
Change uninformed to "spoon-fed poll-generated media by publicists" (which is probably worse) and you get another piece of the problem.

Best solution: Solve problems without asking for government intervention because you can find much more qualified help elsewhere. Besides, government help isn't free, that's what taxes are about.

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Once a proud programmer of Apple II's, he now spends his days and nights in cheap dives fraternizing with exotic dancers....

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The Famous Druid

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Icon 1 posted October 09, 2005 14:02      Profile for The Famous Druid     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by garlicguy:
Druid, I'm unaware of how such things are done in Oz, but in the US of A, most judges are elected by popular vote, from ballots cast by an uninformed electorate.

One of the scarier aspects of the US system. In oz, judges are career professionals, in the US, they're politicians.

A little story...

Some years ago, a black Australian who'd been adopted out at an early age and raised in the USA was convicted of murder. I disremember the circumstances, but they were sufficiently 'special' for the jury to recommend leniency.


The judge, who was coming up for re-election, sentenced him to death.

Not surprisingly, this made the news here in oz. The aussie media made a particular point of re-playing the judges election ads, in which he boasted of handing out more death sentences than any other judge in the state.

Call me old fashioned, but if my life is ever on the line, I don't want the decisions to be made by a politician who's up for re-election on a 'hanging judge' platform.


So the the fact that a person had not been a judge prior to appointment to the Supreme Court would not be a disqualifier in my view. It may even be more likely that such a candidate could possess some degree of integrity, not having already sold out to the electoral process.

Sadly, that's not the way it works in practice.

As the current case makes clear, they're party-political appointments, with party loyalty far more important than legal qualifications, and on key 'political' issues they tend to vote strictly on party lines.

The 2000 election case is a particularly good example: One would expect that in a democracy, the assumption would be that all votes be counted. On strictly party lines the Supreme Court voted to stop the count while they decided, took their own good time deciding, and then decided that yes, the votes should have been counted, but it's too late now. Absolutely disgraceful.

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If you watch 'The History Of NASA' backwards, it's about a space agency that has no manned spaceflight capability, then does low-orbit flights, then lands on the Moon.

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Callipygous
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Icon 1 posted October 09, 2005 15:06      Profile for Callipygous     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Gladiator, you may feel disillusioned by politics or politicians, but here are a few of the reasons to not turn off completely.
  • 1 You become part of the problem, not part of the solution.
  • 2 You have no right to complain if your government behaves badly.
  • 3 The price of liberty is eternal vigilance or to put it another way..
  • 4 All that is needed for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing
  • 5 Under a democracy, you get the government you deserve
  • 6 etc. etc. etc.

I suspect you have heard all these clichés before, but that does not mean they are not true. So always vote, even if it is only like GarlicGuy to express your distaste for all the candidates.

Why has US Politics become so polarised? I think it is because religion has become so tangled up in your politics. The principal embodied in your constitution of the separation of church and state is an excellent one, because once things become a matter of faith there is little room for argument and less for compromise. Those on the other side of your political divide appear to think that it is because there is a liberal media conspiracy which stifles and distorts political debate. You will have to make up your own mind on that.

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"Knowledge is Power. France is Bacon" - Milton

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ChildeRoland
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Icon 1 posted October 09, 2005 15:38      Profile for ChildeRoland     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
As the current case makes clear, they're party-political appointments, with party loyalty far more important than legal qualifications, and on key 'political' issues they tend to vote strictly on party lines.

On strictly party lines the Supreme Court voted to stop the count while they decided

Here are the Justices at the time and the presidents that appointed them:

Ginsberg - Clinton (D)
Breyer - Clinton (D)
Thomas - Bush (R)
Souter - Bush (R)
Scalia - Reagon (R)
O'Conner - Reagon (R)
Stevens - Ford (R)
Rehnquist - Nixon (R)
Kennedy - Reagon (R)


From a Wikipedia article on the subject:
quote:
The court had to resolve two different questions to fully resolve the case.

* Who wins on the merits of the case? Bush or Gore? In other words, are the recounts as they are currently being conducted, constitutional?
* If the recounts are unconstitutional, what is the remedy?
...
Seven justices [Ginsburg and Stevens opposed, which means Breyer was for] agreed that Bush won on this claim [unequal protection]
...
Only three justices accepted Bush's argument on this issue [article II of the US Constitution]
...
Five justices [Kennedy, O'Connor, Rehnquist, Scalia and Thomas] decided to stop all recounts.
...

If they had voted "On strictly party lines" like you said, why were there not 7 votes for Bush's Article 2 argument, or for that matter the vote to stop the recount.

Your argument has no basis in fact. They voted based on how they interpreted the law. They saw that recounts in counties across the state were using varying standards to conduct the recounts. They also realized that they had 1 day to stop the recount and accept the previous certified results or else the results would not be ready for when the Electoral College meets.

If your going to say they vote "strictly on party lines" please at least provide us with an example that proves it.

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Childe Roland

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The White Tree
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Icon 1 posted October 09, 2005 17:49      Profile for The White Tree     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Well, Rhenquist WAS on the Supreme Court. I haven't paid attention much lately so I really don't know what's going on.
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The Famous Druid

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Icon 1 posted October 09, 2005 17:59      Profile for The Famous Druid     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Ok, I'll re-word my statement a little more carefully...

1. All of the judges who voted to overrule the Florida court, and stop the state-wide recount while they considered their verdict were Republican appointees.

2. having decided that the state-wide uniform recount would have been legal, all of the judges who voted that it was 'too late now' were Republican appointees.

End result: even though a couple of Republicans thought counting the votes in an election was a good idea, the majority of Republican appointees to the Supreme Court effectively prevented a perfectly legal recount.

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If you watch 'The History Of NASA' backwards, it's about a space agency that has no manned spaceflight capability, then does low-orbit flights, then lands on the Moon.

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Erbo
Discontinued


Icon 1 posted October 09, 2005 18:04            Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Callipygous:
So always vote, even if it is only like GarlicGuy to express your distaste for all the candidates.

I offer a piece of wisdom from the longest-lived human in the known universe, Woodrow Wilson Smith (aka Lazarus Long et al.):
quote:
If you are part of a society that votes, then do so. There may be no candidates and no measures you want to vote for ... but there are certain to be ones you want to vote against. In case of doubt, vote against. By this rule you will rarely go wrong.

If this is too blind for your taste, consult some well-meaning fool (there is always one around) and ask his advice. Then vote the other way. This enables you to be a good citizen (if such is your wish) without spending the enormous amount of time on it that a truly intelligent exercise of franchise requires.

(R.A. Heinlein, Time Enough For Love, reprinted in The Notebooks of Lazarus Long)
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angryjungman

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Icon 1 posted October 10, 2005 05:15      Profile for angryjungman   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
WRT Supreme Court justices with no previous bench experience: I was talking to Steph's mom on Saturday [she's a lawyer] and she said that Rhenquist's early decisions were some of the worst she had ever read. Rhenquist had no prior bench experience before his appointment. Take that as you will.

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Meh.

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Erbo
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Icon 1 posted October 10, 2005 09:49            Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by angryjungman:
WRT Supreme Court justices with no previous bench experience: I was talking to Steph's mom on Saturday [she's a lawyer] and she said that Rhenquist's early decisions were some of the worst she had ever read. Rhenquist had no prior bench experience before his appointment. Take that as you will.

There's a list of Supreme Court Justices that had no prior judicial experience before their appointment to the Court. There are a number of well-known names on there, including John Marshall, Salmon P. Chase, Louis Brandeis, Felix Frankfurter, William O. Douglas, Earl Warren, Byron White, and, yes, William Rehnquist.

So, that, in itself, is not necessarily a reason to oppose Miers' nomination; in fact, a few people can make a case for that as a point in her favor. However, there are other reasons her nomination stinks, and I myself am not certain that this is the nomination we really want. A nomination like Janice Rogers Brown, for instance, would have not only been one with a proven track record, it would have forced the Senate Democrats to show their "true colors." In that light, Miers' nomination seems like a cop-out.

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ASM65816
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Icon 4 posted October 10, 2005 10:46      Profile for ASM65816   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Callipygous:
I think it is because the religion has become so tangled up in your politics.

What about political funding by oil companies, trial lawyers, labor unions, the music industry (RIAA), billionaires with axes to grind, and so on?

They're not religious groups, and they're part of the problem of having government serve special interests instead of the people. Don't assume it's a simple problem with a simple solution. (Hypocrisy: then again, I've said that "getting rid" of the lawyers would fix a lot of problems. [Wink] )

PS: Vote. The Lazarus Long quote is some of the best advice I've heard in ages.

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Once a proud programmer of Apple II's, he now spends his days and nights in cheap dives fraternizing with exotic dancers....

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ewomack
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Icon 1 posted October 10, 2005 18:16      Profile for ewomack   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I agree that money probably causes more problems in US politics than religion. But the Christian fundamentalists continue to gain ground.

Then there's the limited access most people have to politics. Even voting seems three steps removed. Jimmy Carter heads an organization that monitors elections throughout the world. In a radio interview he said that he wouldn't even bother with monitoring the United States because the polling practices are so unfair. Coming from a former president, this blew me away. Woosh!

Alternatives? Third parties haven't accomplished too much (yet). Libertarianism has good elements, but some equally disturbing ones too. The Green Party is too extreme for its own good. The Independence Party doesn't have a solid platform. The Nutrition Party... well... umm.. uh...

Actually, I'm just procrastinating my nightly studying. Will I ever be out of school?

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Ed Womack
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Colonel Panic
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Icon 1 posted October 10, 2005 21:13      Profile for Colonel Panic         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Gladiator,

Karl Rove is a master of "Hate Politics." He knows if he can disgust you enough with his vile spin, you'll stay away from voting. Then he can mobilize his base with his hate issues.

Cali, this nation has been polarized for a very long time, (See Confederate War of Aggression against the United States of America). While this conflagration has been typified as a religious war, (And in many cases rightly so, as United States forces fought against traitor forces, singing about the vengeance of "God's terrible swift sword." As the world knows, God's terrible sword walked the earth in the form of General Sherman.) it was in reality a war of superior intelligence and productivity against inferior minds and laziness. Today the American "Red States" remain about 1/5th as productive as American "Blue States," and northern "uppity-ness." and "up and gittin' edgycated," have become mainstream tools of "Red State" politics.

The generation of the word "liberal" as a political epithet in this nation has an interesting history. For years it was synonymous with enlightened progress; however after LBJ (a civil rights leader with a Texan's penchant for lying to get into dumb wars) signed the civil rights act and rebel flags had sprouted over southern state capitols like mushrooms after a spring rain, Richard Nixon developed the "Southern Strategy," and courted southern hatreds into voting for moneyed interests.

One element of the "Southern Strategy" was to convince southern feudal-style religions (owned by plantation interests, and entertaining its faithful, with human sacrifices known as "lynchings") into changing their hate-based rhetoric into a more "politically correct" language, where the phrase "N-word-lover" (see "To Kill a Mockingbird") was replaced by the word "Liberal." Today people who once were known by the ignorant and hateful as "N-word-lovers" are now known as "liberals."

Sadly, these hateful "Red Staters" are still fighting the war that Lincoln and Grant and Sherman won. Lincoln forgave them for their transgressions, and they murdered him for it, the ungrateful snots.

Cali, as for religious differences, I’m baffled why religious forces lead by men preaching assassination and hate, and wearing $500 Italian loafers at their 50,000-watt TV stations and satellite "Christian" networks and funded by half-billion dollar annual budgets are superior to my religion led by a man who preached love, walked into Jerusalem in dirty feet and sandals with 12 apostles and a budget of only a few fishes and loaves of bread -- but that's "Red Staters" for you.

Woe be to those of us who love Jesus, served our nation in combat, spilled blood for its freedoms, watched our friends die -- praying for forgiveness and crying for their mothers, wives and girlfriends, then came home, got a college education and now work hard for a living. Today we are "liberal traitors." To "Red Staters" we are now reviled -- reviled by those willing to sacrifice neither their lives for our freedoms nor their tax dollars to pay for their dirty little wars.

We have invaded a nation because they were supposed to be terrorists with weapons of mass destruction, and we now know this to be a lie. At the same time, we have allowed a renegade communist nation to develop these kinds of weapons, and are allowing a terrorist state to develop them as well. The debt we are running up because we can’t finance these fantasies is owned by Communist China (they are the number two holders of US Treasury Debt).

Gladiator, go ahead and don't vote. What I fought for is silly to you, isn't it?

CP

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Free! Free at last!

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ASM65816
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Icon 4 posted October 11, 2005 09:31      Profile for ASM65816   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Colonel Panic:
... <Iraq war comments> ...

Was Saddam Hussein a genuinely good person?

Or was he more like a rabid dog on a chain that had to be watched every second of the day?

Did he comply with UN resolutions?

Or did he subvert UN programs for personal gain while forcing particular Iraqi ethnic groups to suffer?

Can the UN claim to be a better organization for having "trusted" Saddam in the Oil for Food program?

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Once a proud programmer of Apple II's, he now spends his days and nights in cheap dives fraternizing with exotic dancers....

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GMx

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Icon 1 posted October 11, 2005 09:43      Profile for GMx     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I'm sick and tied of being fed up with being told I'm fed up with being sick and tied. And I'm sick and tired of being told that I am.

BTW- Excellent post Colonel (as usual). You are always insightful and have a lot of wisdom to pass along to us.

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The White Tree
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Icon 1 posted October 11, 2005 17:19      Profile for The White Tree     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
You must admit, there are good reasons for invading Iraq. They may not have WMDs, but they did have a dictator who really didn't treat them too well. Yes, it will cost us and yes Bush is probably in it for the oil, but if good comes out of it, then it served its purpose. The only thing I don't agree with is the timing. We should have finished with Afghanistan first. Spreading the troops thin will bite us in the butt if we actually have to invade North Korea for legitimate reasons.
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The Famous Druid

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Icon 1 posted October 11, 2005 17:32      Profile for The Famous Druid     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by The White Tree:
...if we actually have to invade North Korea...

No chance of that.
North Korea actually has WMDs.

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magefile
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Icon 1 posted October 11, 2005 18:03      Profile for magefile     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Can I point out that Roberts is a known ADA-hater? I mean, the man got confirmed without this issue ever reaching the public eye. Now we've got Miers being nominated with even less solid data on her past behavior.

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Let them be stupid - the market will sort it out.

Posts: 743 | From: Massachusetts | Registered: Aug 2004  |  IP: Logged
Xanthine

Solid Nitrozanium SuperFan!
Member # 736

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Icon 1 posted October 11, 2005 21:52      Profile for Xanthine     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Once upon a time, and this is because I was too young to really pay attention the last time a justice was nominated to the Supreme Court, I thought that judicial nominees had to be people with a lot of judicial experience under their belts. Now I am beginning to realize that all you need to be on the Supreme Court is the right sort of friends. [ohwell]

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And it's one, two, three / On the wrong side of the lee / What were you meant for? / What were you meant for?
- The Decemberists

Posts: 7670 | From: the lab | Registered: Mar 2001  |  IP: Logged


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