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Author Topic: As the pendulum swings ...
Colonel Panic
BlabberMouth, the Next Generation
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Icon 1 posted July 17, 2007 20:19      Profile for Colonel Panic         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Looking back at 100 years of politics in the USA, we see that total righty rule has occured quite infrequently.

It occured in the 1920s, and in the 1950s. Of course it also happened as a result of the 2000 elections. A quick survey of those election results shows that righy rule brought us Prohibition, Teapot Dome, The Great Depression, McCarthyism, 9-11, and "Mission Accomplished."

What righty rule did not bring us -- and never does -- is the great utopian life of no government, few taxes and lack of governmet interference in our lives. The promise of conservatisim is equivalent to the promise of Santa Claus, The Easter Bunny, and the Tooth Fairy -- the promise sounds great but nobody has ever seen it.

The one thing that righty rule brings us in the USA -- as surely as night brings dawn -- is the swing to liberalism and the promise of the greatness of mankind. Only after the corruption and darkness of conservatism, has the Untied States seen it's greatest accomplishments and wielding of its greatest powers: The New Deal, Social Security, Defeating Hitler, Mussolini, and Tojo, the mighty power of atomic energy, the promise of a man on the moon, the great society, the elimination of poverty for our elderly, civil rights.

History does repeat.

Every failure of the Bush Administration that I predicted seven years ago has happened -- not because I am any sort of genius, but because the failures of conservatism are so predictable.

The pendulum is now set to swing back in the other direction. History teaches us that it will swing back -- AND HARD.

Recent polls suggest the #1 Republican candidate for President of the United States is "Nobody"; that is in spite of the fact the greatest fears of conservatives are leading candidates for the opposing party: a white woman or a black man.

Let us not overlook that both of those candidates have raised more funds for their campaigns than all Republicans combined.

I'm going to ask what policy changes an all-liberal administration will bring to the USA -- Universal Health Care is obvious. But what else?

Before the righties mouth off with their Fox News homilies, let me reverse a popular righty question about 9/11. Let's not ask in self-smug tones about what Al Gore would have done on 9/11-- after all there is no record -- let us take GWB's record after 9/11 and ask what he would have done after December 7. 1941. Or what kind of troop strength he would have applied on June 6th 1944, I dare say tax cuts, a couple of units of Army Reserves without body armor and a Fox News speech blaming Democrats would have cut the mustard. Had GWB run D-Day, we'd all be speaking German right now.

Let's use this forum to imagine what mankind could accomplish without the hatred and self-serving homilies of the right.

How would you make the world a better place without righties?

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Free! Free at last!

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supaboy
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Icon 1 posted July 18, 2007 05:36      Profile for supaboy     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Colonel Panic:
Let's use this forum to imagine what mankind could accomplish without the hatred and self-serving homilies of the right.

Well, first off, there'd probably be fewer films by Michael Moore.
[Big Grin]

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Xanthine

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Icon 1 posted July 18, 2007 08:02      Profile for Xanthine     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Is it worth the price, though?

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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

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nerdwithnofriends
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Icon 1 posted July 18, 2007 10:45      Profile for nerdwithnofriends     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
It certainly would be nice to have a government that doesn't focus on banning trivial things like gay marriage and destroying women's rights- and I'm all for that.

However, what I am worried about, are nanny governments. Do you know what we have here, that just drives me nuts?

Seatbelt laws. You can get pulled over for not wearing a seatbelt. Now, call me paranoid, but doesn't that seem a little... odd? I mean, what damage can you be doing to someone else if you get in a crash and you don't have your seatbelt on? I mean, there's the odd chance that you'll get thrown out the window and land on top of somebody, but I think the likelihood of that would be very low. It's the same thing with riding in the back of a pickup- you die, it's your fault.

Same thing with smoking, or drinking: we'll tell you what's good for you. That worries me. Obviously, the need for laws to protect people from other people is understandable- and effective.

What worries me about universal healthcare is that people will use it as an argument for these things: if you don't wear a seatbelt, then the taxpayers are paying for your stupidity. And I hate it when people can hold something that I don't support over my head as incentive to (not) do something.

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"The Buddha, the Godhead, resides quite as comfortably in the circuits of a digital computer or the gears of a cycle transmission as he does at the top of a mountain or in the petals of a flower." - Robert M. Pirsig

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TMBWITW,PB

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Icon 1 posted July 18, 2007 10:56      Profile for TMBWITW,PB     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by nerdwithnofriends:

Seatbelt laws. You can get pulled over for not wearing a seatbelt. Now, call me paranoid, but doesn't that seem a little... odd? I mean, what damage can you be doing to someone else if you get in a crash and you don't have your seatbelt on?

The other people in the car. If you don't wear a seatbelt you become a projectile and the other people in your car have a 20% greater chance of dying in the crash even if they are wearing their seatbelts.

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"Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and it may be necessary from time to time to give a stupid or misinformed beholder a black eye."
óMiss Piggy

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CommanderShroom
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Icon 1 posted July 18, 2007 11:20      Profile for CommanderShroom     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by TMBWITW,PB:
The other people in the car. If you don't wear a seatbelt you become a projectile and the other people in your car have a 20% greater chance of dying in the crash even if they are wearing their seatbelts.

Hey peebs. This is the first time I have heard that particular argument for seat belt laws. I figure you know where I stand on things such as rules of any sort, but do you have a study somewhere to back the claim up?

Not saying you're wrong or trying to disagree with you, but I have never heard that line of reasoning ever used and also have never seen such a statistic.

--------------------
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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nerdwithnofriends
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Icon 1 posted July 18, 2007 11:22      Profile for nerdwithnofriends     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Their choice. They chose to get in the car- the driver always has the right to enforce his personal rules (don't touch the radio, don't breathe on the windows, buckle up, etc). The laws shouldn't govern what you can do inside your own vehicle. People can always choose not to ride with you.

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"The Buddha, the Godhead, resides quite as comfortably in the circuits of a digital computer or the gears of a cycle transmission as he does at the top of a mountain or in the petals of a flower." - Robert M. Pirsig

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Xanthine

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Icon 1 posted July 18, 2007 11:37      Profile for Xanthine     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Your choice as well - you're going to put the people with you at risk like that?

This is one of those situations where your personal freedoms start to impact other people's personal freedoms. Hard to draw lines in these cases.

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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

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CommanderShroom
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Icon 1 posted July 18, 2007 12:04      Profile for CommanderShroom     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Sorry, but I I have to say that I stand on nwnf side on this one.

Unless there is some kind of hard data on this, which I have not seen yet. And actually even if I do see some, I still believe that legislation of stupidity is a waste of time.

Because that is all it really is. People are unable to take care of themselves, so we (the Govt) must do it for you.

We know the right thing to do. And the safe things to do. It is up to the person to make a decision for themselves on whether or not they will do it.

Ill for other? Possibly, but should everything be legislated? No, in my personal opinion.

--------------------
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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nerdwithnofriends
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Icon 1 posted July 18, 2007 12:36      Profile for nerdwithnofriends     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Xanthine:
Your choice as well - you're going to put the people with you at risk like that?

This is one of those situations where your personal freedoms start to impact other people's personal freedoms. Hard to draw lines in these cases.

Not really. If your passengers feel uncomfortable with you not requiring them to belt up, they can just not ride with you. It would be easier for you to just say "alright guys, put on your seatbelts." But ultimately, it's the driver's choice: he can expel those who don't buckle up, if he so chooses.

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"The Buddha, the Godhead, resides quite as comfortably in the circuits of a digital computer or the gears of a cycle transmission as he does at the top of a mountain or in the petals of a flower." - Robert M. Pirsig

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The Famous Druid

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Icon 1 posted July 18, 2007 12:57      Profile for The Famous Druid     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Philosophically, I'm with shroom and nwnf on this one, people have the right to be stupid, and it's not the role of the state to protect them from themselves. If it was, Xanthine would probably be committing a crime every time she went mountain climbing, and half of my favourite foods would be banned.

On the subject of seat-belts though...

In 1970, over 1,000 people were killed on the roads in this state in a year. The government got serious on road safety, and introduced the worlds first compulsory seat belt laws. Other laws followed that also annoyed civil libertarians, random alcohol breath-tests, widespread use of automatic speed cameras, etc.

Since then, the population of the state has nearly doubled, and the number of cars on the road has tripled, yet last year there were 'only' 335 deaths on the road. Even ignoring the increase in population, that's over 700 lives a year saved.

I'll save my righteous indignation about the excesses of the nanny state for more deserving causes.

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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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CommanderShroom
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Icon 1 posted July 18, 2007 13:08      Profile for CommanderShroom     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
You have a point TFD. I guess I get a bit irritated that they are more than willing to add a new law "for our own good" than perhaps mandating something like better education and training.

I am all for a stricter testing process to allow people to do certain things. Much more so than figuring out ways to save people from themselves.

I can't say I veer into righteous indignation on this. Just irritation.

--------------------
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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TMBWITW,PB

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Icon 1 posted July 18, 2007 13:09      Profile for TMBWITW,PB     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by CommanderShroom:
quote:
Originally posted by TMBWITW,PB:
The other people in the car. If you don't wear a seatbelt you become a projectile and the other people in your car have a 20% greater chance of dying in the crash even if they are wearing their seatbelts.

Hey peebs. This is the first time I have heard that particular argument for seat belt laws. I figure you know where I stand on things such as rules of any sort, but do you have a study somewhere to back the claim up?

Not saying you're wrong or trying to disagree with you, but I have never heard that line of reasoning ever used and also have never seen such a statistic.

I know I read an article with that recently. Give me a few minutes to do some googling.

Edit:
This isn't the original article I read; I'm having trouble finding that, but it is from a Canadian medical journal

http://www.cmaj.ca/cgi/content/full/170/12/1793

--------------------
"Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and it may be necessary from time to time to give a stupid or misinformed beholder a black eye."
óMiss Piggy

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fs

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Icon 1 posted July 18, 2007 14:22      Profile for fs   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Obviously the solution is not to mandate that people wear seatbelts.

It's to mandate that car manufacturers include a seatbelt safety jingle to the tune of the Macarena that cycles every couple minutes at high volume when seatbelts aren't buckled and kills power to the car stereo while it's playing. Then enclose the fuses and wiring in a special sealed box, warranty void if tampered with, no user serviceable parts. And make verifying the correct operatioin of the unit part of the inspection vehicles must pass.

I call it my "safety through massive irritation" plan. But, no one will give you a ticket if you don't buckle up. Only if you tamper with the annoyance device. Just like if your headlight is out.

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I'm in ur database, makin' moar recordz.

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Serenak

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Icon 1 posted July 18, 2007 16:12      Profile for Serenak     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
To be honest we've had compulsory seatbelts here in the UK for a long time now - and really no one notices... and lots of pointless deaths are avoided and a lot of taxpayers money is saved from not patching up monkeys who drive without one and get in a prang...

Same goes for Helmets and motorcycles..

If your passengers in the back don't have a seatbelt on and you do and you hit something at any pace... guess what happens? They fly forward and impact the back of your head at force and you get a broken neck or back... I don't have the evidence to hand but that was why the fitting of rear seatbelts was introduced here pretty soon after manadtory wearing of front belts... and their use made mandatory pretty soon after that.

To be honest I kind of wish they weren't mandatory but people are lazy (and sometimes careless or stupid) and if that is what it takes...

BTW using your mobile/cell phone without a hands free installation is illegal here too - I guess it shouldn't have to be but...

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"So if you want my address - it's No. 1 at the end of the bar, where I sit with the broken angels, clutching at straws and nursing my scars..."

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nerdwithnofriends
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Icon 1 posted July 18, 2007 16:19      Profile for nerdwithnofriends     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Okay, I'm not trying to argue for or against seatbelt wearing. I personally do it anyways, but whatever. I was going for an example.

Now, see, the hands-free-phone thing does make sense- It can impede your ability to operate a vehicle (just like driving under the influence can), in which case you (or your party) can cause harm to someone else (or their party).

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"The Buddha, the Godhead, resides quite as comfortably in the circuits of a digital computer or the gears of a cycle transmission as he does at the top of a mountain or in the petals of a flower." - Robert M. Pirsig

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Xanthine

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Icon 1 posted July 18, 2007 16:56      Profile for Xanthine     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I have seen what happens when someone is trying to drive and use a cell phone, and I'm amazed the guy survived (maybe because he was wearing a seatbelt). Cars should just come equipped with hands-free rigs. Seriously. Not only does handling a phone occupy one of your hands, but fscking around with said phone distracts drivers from reacting to the bonehead maneuvers other drivers are making and cell phones also seem to have a negative effect on that nuisancy bit about staying on the road and in your lane.

--------------------
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

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Rhonwyyn

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Icon 1 posted July 18, 2007 17:11      Profile for Rhonwyyn   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Seatbelt laws vary by state. In PA, neglecting to wear a seatbelt is a secondary law. That is, if you're pulled over for something like speeding, you can get ticketed for not wearing a seatbelt in the front seat, but you can't get pulled over for not wearing a seatbelt.

And as far as getting beat up when not wearing a seatbelt in a crash being a personal choice and not affecting anyone else? Bullsh*t. Someone has to clean up that mess on the road (right, Xanthine?) and grieve your death and include you in the death statistics and close out all your accounts and file for death certificates and pay all your outstanding debts. I could go on, but I think you get the picture. "No man is an island," and you would do well to remember that.

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Change the way you SEE, not the way you LOOK!

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The Explainer
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.
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nerdwithnofriends
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Icon 1 posted July 19, 2007 08:48      Profile for nerdwithnofriends     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Rhonwyyn:
And as far as getting beat up when not wearing a seatbelt in a crash being a personal choice and not affecting anyone else? Bullsh*t. Someone has to clean up that mess on the road (right, Xanthine?)

And they get payed for it. It's not like they're forced to do it.

quote:

...and grieve your death

That's what happens when you become attached to people and they die. Everyone goes through it; it's not the governments job to try and alleviate that.

quote:

...and include you in the death statistics

See the argument about getting payed.

quote:

and close out all your accounts and file for death certificates and pay all your outstanding debts.

I do believe most financial contracts include provisions for the unexpected shuffling-off of the signee.

quote:
I could go on, but I think you get the picture.

No, your arguments fail. Try again.

quote:
"No man is an island,"
No, but he should damn sure try to be, instead of this ridiculous nannying that restricts my freedom and yours. Not that you care, because you know better than I about how to live my life, right?

quote:
..and you would do well to remember that.
Do I detect the smelly smell of a high horse?

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"The Buddha, the Godhead, resides quite as comfortably in the circuits of a digital computer or the gears of a cycle transmission as he does at the top of a mountain or in the petals of a flower." - Robert M. Pirsig

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Xanthine

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Icon 1 posted July 19, 2007 09:19      Profile for Xanthine     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by nerdwithnofriends:
quote:
Originally posted by Rhonwyyn:
And as far as getting beat up when not wearing a seatbelt in a crash being a personal choice and not affecting anyone else? Bullsh*t. Someone has to clean up that mess on the road (right, Xanthine?)

And they get payed for it. It's not like they're forced to do it.

I didn't get paid a fscking dime. That said, I knew what I was getting into. But what I never understood was how people can be so irresponsible with their lives and with other people's lives - the sheer stupidity out there is kind of frustrating, as are the half-baked justifications and elaborate excuses for that stupidity.

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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

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CommanderShroom
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Icon 1 posted July 19, 2007 09:30      Profile for CommanderShroom     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Hey peebs,

Interesting reading. You know when I first saw the initial response I missed the bit about "in the car" and for some reason was struck with the image of me coming through my windshield like a missile and firing headlong into the minivan the hits me...

That said, when my kids are with me, I take every precaution I can within reason. My ass isn't worth much, but I tend to think a bit higher of them.

But as it goes, when I am out on my own, it is my decision to be whatever class of moron I want to be. My right and my demise. Though I never understood those that are more than willing to risk others with their own stupid decisions.

--------------------
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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GrumpySteen

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Icon 1 posted July 19, 2007 10:21      Profile for GrumpySteen     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
CommanderShroom wrote:
But as it goes, when I am out on my own, it is my decision to be whatever class of moron I want to be. My right and my demise.

So, the effect that your death would have on your kids is negligible?

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CommanderShroom
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Icon 1 posted July 19, 2007 10:32      Profile for CommanderShroom     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Steen:
CommanderShroom wrote:
But as it goes, when I am out on my own, it is my decision to be whatever class of moron I want to be. My right and my demise.

So, the effect that your death would have on your kids is negligible?

Never said that. I said it is my right and my demise. But remember that there was also more that followed. About risking others in those decisions. People should take risks fully aware and prepared for what the consequences may be. And that also means those that may not even be next to you while you make a stupid choice.

For me, the kids do come into play. Because the alternatives are much worse for them without my sorry ass than with it still around.

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

Posts: 2463 | From: Utarrrrggggghhh!!!!!!!! | Registered: Mar 2003  |  IP: Logged


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