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Old 06-16-2004, 06:32 PM   #46
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Really? I wasn't aware that MoveOn actually aired that ad that everyone found so offensive.
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Old 06-16-2004, 07:30 PM   #47
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I personally never saw that offensive MoveOn ad on TV. That one pissed me off too.
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Old 06-16-2004, 09:24 PM   #48
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This is for Congress as well as Dubyah
When Ignorance Isn't Bliss

By David J. Sirota, In These Times. Posted June 15, 2004.

1. Pro-Defense: Facing increasing violence in Iraq, military commanders in Iraq asked Congress and the president to immediately fill shortages in protective body armor. Just four months after the president signed another massive tax cut for the wealthy, up to 51,000 troops were still not properly equipped for combat, with many begging friends and family at home to buy them makeshift armor. Responding to the crisis, Senator Chris Dodd (D-Conn.) sponsored a bill to immediately plug the shortage. He was voted down (Senate vote #376, October 2, 2003), and the results have been catastrophic. As a recent study circulating in the Army notes, up to one in four casualties in Iraq was due to poor protective gear.

2. Compassionate: With U.S. troops struggling to secure Iraq last summer, Congress and the president repeatedly praised soldiers' efforts and promised to provide them the best facilities possible. Yet, the White House budget that year proposed to cut $1.5 billion out of military housing. Representative David Obey (D-Wisc.) came up with a simple solution: Slightly reduce the proposed tax cuts on the 200,000 Americans making $1 million a year to fill the budget gap for the troops and their families. Instead of getting an $88,000 tax cut, millionaires would receive an ample $83,000 tax cut, and the troops' housing would be maintained. Obey's bill was voted down (House vote #324, June 26, 2003).

3. Tax Fairness: In 2002, the Bush administration terminated the tax on oil and chemical industry polluters that finances Superfund toxic cleanups. As the New York Times reported, the move effectively "shifted the bulk of [cleanup] costs from industry to taxpayers," allowing the president's corporate campaign donors to pollute without having to pay for it. Just two years later, the loss of tax revenues bankrupted Superfund, leaving it unable to maintain an adequate cleanup pace. In response, Senator Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.) offered an amendment to reinstate the Superfund tax. He was voted down. (Senate vote #45, March 11, 2004), and now more and more communities are forced to wait as toxic sites fester in their midst.

4. Patrotism: As the recession reached new lows in December 2002, the U.S. House of Representatives considered whether to continue rewarding companies with taxpayer subsidies, even if those same companies use those subsidies to send U.S. jobs overseas. The question was simple: During a jobs and deficit crisis, should the U.S. government's Export-Import Bank continue giving most of its $15 billion a year to subsidize a slew of Fortune 500 companies that are reducing their U.S. workforce? But when Representative Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) offered a measure to curb the government handouts to corporate job exporters, he was voted down (House vote #120, May 1, 2002).

5. Clean Government: Halliburton, the oil company Vice President Dick Cheney ran, continues to receive billions in no-bid government contracts for work in Iraq, even after it was cited for overcharging taxpayers and providing unsanitary facilities to U.S. troops. At the same time, Cheney is receiving hundreds of thousands of dollars in deferred compensation from the company and holds roughly 400,000 Halliburton stock options. More troubling, internal memos now show that Cheney's office was directly coordinating Halliburton contracts. When the Congressional Research Service ruled the situation represented a "potential conflict of interest," the Senate considered legislation that would have forced the termination of the Cheney-Halliburton relationship. It was voted down (Senate vote #386, October 16, 2003).

No doubt, most Americans have heard more about the president's dog and jogging schedule than where their elected representatives came down on these votes. But that merely reflects the pathetic state of American journalism, not the gravity or consequences of the decisions. No matter how much we tell ourselves these votes and decisions don't matter, they do. No matter how many times reporters tell us semen-stained blue dresses and gossip are more important than lies about war, peace, poverty and corruption, they're not.

The sooner we wake up and demand accountability at the polls, the better.
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Old 06-17-2004, 08:08 AM   #49
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Quote:
Originally posted by melon
I believe that the ultimate goals of free trade are honorable, but that, with the way the playing field is currently, can only hurt Americans.We must ultimately be prepared for a lower quality of life, and, to a degree, we would already have experienced that, had it not been for banks making up for our loss of income through expanded credit.
I am strongly opposed to free trade because I have seen how it has hurt people I know personally. It has given American society as a whole a lower quality of life, lower salaries in many jobs (especially factories) and turned a lifestyle that used to be easily affordable on one income now hard to attain on 2!

The extra credit extended by the banks may be a temporary fix but in the long run it hurts us more by getting into more debt, which only leads down a bottomless pit of debt (I've been there) I know a lot of people who subsidize their inability to afford things by charging them on credit cards. It works the first few years, but when you owe on all those cards and you're maxed out and can't charge anything else, all your money goes to pay them and you are much worse off. Oh yeah, I know, 'you're supposed to pay the balance off at the end of the month' and if we had the money to do that we wouldn't have had to charge in the first place!

I don't think it's right to punish a country for being successful by taking away what we've earned to 'spread the wealth' because someone else didn't do quite as well. If that's the game, take away my brother's big house and 2 new SUVs and give something to me in my shack! I don't agree with that philosophy. Lowering someone's quality of life, something they earned and worked hard for, to give to somebody else, I don't see the justice in that.

Yes I feel sorry for poor people in other countries, but it's not our fault if they were not as successful in some ways and the working people of this country should not have to pay for that. Because, ultimately, that's who loses, that's who suffers, not the government!
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Old 06-18-2004, 03:00 PM   #50
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Quote:
Reagan's Son Chides Administration For Invoking Reagan On Iraq
Fri Jun 18 2004 10:23:25 ET

Ronald Prescott Reagan has choice words for President Bush -- not words of approval.

He told Chris Matthews that administration officials have no business invoking the Reagan name to justify war in Iraq."

Reagan: "My father never felt the need to wrap himself in anybody else's mantle or pretend to be anybody else. I don't know what's wrong with these people -- they have to keep invoking him. It is their administration, their war. If they can't stand on their own two feet, they're no Ronald Reagans, for sure."


good point


If W can run on his own record he should quit like Johnson did.
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Old 06-18-2004, 03:30 PM   #51
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Originally posted by U2Kitten
Yes I feel sorry for poor people in other countries, but it's not our fault if they were not as successful in some ways and the working people of this country should not have to pay for that. Because, ultimately, that's who loses, that's who suffers, not the government!
But you have to understand that the West also got rich on the backs of these very countries.

Colonialism is possibly the greatest evil.

Africa was pillaged. The people and the land were devastated as the colonial powers got rich. Americans got rich on the backs of slaves. Is that fair? Who worked hard on the plantations and what reparations were ever made to the countries who lost millions of people in the name of Western industry?

India, South America, Latin America, the Caribbean - appalling things were done so that we got rich while they stayed poor. It is not that we are hardworking and have better luck. We took luck and opportunity away from them, for hundreds of years.

Success is not by chance - the west designed it and reaped the rewards from it. Where would we have been without the nearly free production of cotton, sugar, cocoa, rubber, diamonds, silver and gold?

I understand the common person in America not wanting their lifestyle to take a major hit, but ask yourself historically why you are living that lifestyle and you will see a great injustice here. In many ways, I think the West needs to get on their knees and beg for forgiveness and instead they're suppressing the 3rd world even more. That's unforgivable, IMO.
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Old 06-18-2004, 09:18 PM   #52
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As always, everywhere, all through time and all over the world, the rich get and stay that way on the backs of the poor.
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Old 06-19-2004, 08:04 AM   #53
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Very good post, anitram.

U2Kitten - "As always, everywhere, all through time and all over the world, the rich get and stay that way on the backs of the poor." Maybe true, but that´s no justification and no argument. Want an actual detailed example?

In Nigeria, the army came to power after civilian politicians had failed to unite the different tribes; the separate I(g)bo state of Biafra was destroyed after a war prolonged by European "help" to both parties. Allegedly, the French and the Americans wanted to get at the oil found near the I(g)bo country, and encouraged the Ibos - Southern, formerly pagan, largely christianized, enterprising, opposed to Northerners’ (Hausa, Muslims) political predominance - to revolt against the Nigerian federal government, which had promised Britain, its former master, the rights of exploitation. Consequently, Britain and the USSR helped Nigeria.

Nigeria’s oil boom caused the unequal distribution of (more) wealth to become more evident. In 1995, the devastation of tribal lands caused by the Shell Co.’s oil-drilling led to agitation suppressed by the government. Executions followed, Nigeria’s membership in the Commonwealth was suspended for three years.

Meanwhile, Liberia’s resources are exploited chiefly by Firestone, which pays the 1% "elite" of the country.
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Old 06-19-2004, 09:23 AM   #54
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You cannot go back in history and change the way things happened. Nor can you hold the present generation accountable for the actions of prior generations.
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Old 06-19-2004, 09:46 AM   #55
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The "common" person in America is not out of control "wealthy". I come in here and people want better health care, better teacher pay, and the redistribution of the "common persons" money.

Unfortunatley the common person here in America is just making ends meet. The common person in America gives to charity and does donate their money to organizations to help one cause or another, even though they are barely making ends meet.

I do not view it my governements responsiblitily to take more money from the common man and give it to another, when the common man is not doing so well.
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Old 06-19-2004, 01:10 PM   #56
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The facts alone tell all.

Kyoto, International court for crimes, the Iraq and Afghanistan adventures gone bad to say the least, the record deficit (and unemployment went up AFAIK) he managed to get compared to Clinton's record achievements, the fake arguments he used for Iraq (no sign of supposably "imminent" threat of WMD's - and it makes SO much sense for a harsh ruler like Hussein to hide his most powerful weapons in light of being attacked and it's pretty much official the fairy tale of Iraq and 9/11 link was and remains untrue), the incredibly bad US relations with other countries and "irrelevant" UN, the decline of human rights in America and the way he fights this war (Guantanamo)...interesting how conservatives were all over Clinton for years yet they get upset at the slighest criticism of Bush. *ahem* closed session hearings for the 9/11 commitee - if the chief advisor for terrorism and CIA boss could testify in public, why not him?

The last straw for me was using 9/11 in his re-election campaign, Tasteless and pretty bold, considering (like Clark said so well) he/adminstration FAILED on that day, along with Iraqui scandal and the administration - Rumsfeld, and I think Bush too - comparing D day to the war on terror.

You want proof Bush is doing things the wrong way - Tenet and Sanchez - need I say more? And did you notice how his talk of irrelevance of UN changed and how he wants to include UN now?

I really fear nothing good can come out of another 4 years with Bush in charge.
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Old 06-19-2004, 01:39 PM   #57
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Quote:
Originally posted by Dreadsox
The "common" person in America is not out of control "wealthy". I come in here and people want better health care, better teacher pay, and the redistribution of the "common persons" money.

Unfortunatley the common person here in America is just making ends meet. The common person in America gives to charity and does donate their money to organizations to help one cause or another, even though they are barely making ends meet.

I do not view it my governements responsiblitily to take more money from the common man and give it to another, when the common man is not doing so well.
That's where you tax those who have money, rather than give them rampantly irresponsible tax cuts. Novel concept, eh?

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Old 06-19-2004, 02:07 PM   #58
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Unfortunately, raising taxes seem to be a mortal sin in (American) politics, no matter how many lives are saved with the money. But as long as you don't raise taxes, don't have sex and believe in God, you can pretty much do what you want and still get elected.
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Old 06-19-2004, 02:34 PM   #59
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Quote:
Originally posted by Dreadsox
You cannot go back in history and change the way things happened. Nor can you hold the present generation accountable for the actions of prior generations.
But you're foolish if you think that our standard of living can be consistently increased without substantial changes. The U.S. already consumes over 3/4 of the world's resources; if the end result of free trade is the increase of third-world nations' standards of living, then we are going to have to cede some of the resources we hog. The rest of the world cannot ever reach the standard of present American living, because there just are not enough resources on Earth to remotely make that possible.

This is where massive changes in the way America operates is necessary, if we expect to ever maintain our standard of living in the future.

1) We will have to switch to a non-fossil fuel for the future; no question about it. If hydrogen fuel is the answer, then we must ensure that we can produce it. If that means building nuclear power plants, then so be it--but then we would have to figure out what to do with the spent nuclear fission rods. A promising laser technology, however, has been shown in laboratories to dramatically speed up elemental half-lives; an isotope that would normally have taken thousands of years to reach its half life had reached it in a matter of hours in the experiment. However, with hydrogen fuel, we shouldn't merely replace our tendency to put profit over efficiency, as we have done with current gasoline vehicles; these vehicles should be hybrid fuel cell-battery vehicles, as the technology is certainly there.

2) Reasonable conservation. The first thing I can think of is our lumber consumption and wasteful commercial packaging. Go to a store and buy something--and then look at how much packaging ends up in the trash? It's utterly pointless; you don't see remotely the same amount of packaging waste in Europe, and that's because their laws are better than ours in this respect. I'm unsure as to how much lumber goes to paper these days, considering the success of recycling techniques, but there's a good alternative: industrial hemp. Makes paper very easily. Of course, the fact that it looks identical to its THC-infused cousin makes it a political punching bag. It's too bad too; you can't get high off of industrial hemp, and if you strictly controlled its growth in the same way that tobacco is grown in this nation, you could stop any ill-founded fear of abuse.

These two really scratch the surface, and it is unfortunate the Bush views any legislation with the idea of whether it hurts corporate profits or not. Well, Dubya, if you go by the standard that they put themselves at--which is reckless profits to placate their greedy stockholders--then you'll never have any legislation. But I guess that was your point, yes? And you didn't have to lie, because, technically, its true, right?

Oh Dubya...you play this country for a bunch of morons, and you're probably right. That doesn't mean that deceiving the morons is the morally correct thing to do, now is it? What would Jesus do, Dubya? But nevermind answering that question; I've already heard all the incorrect fundamentalist logic on this issue.

Melon
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Old 06-20-2004, 09:22 AM   #60
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Quote:
Originally posted by Dreadsox
The "common" person in America is not out of control "wealthy". I come in here and people want better health care, better teacher pay, and the redistribution of the "common persons" money.

Unfortunatley the common person here in America is just making ends meet. The common person in America gives to charity and does donate their money to organizations to help one cause or another, even though they are barely making ends meet.

I do not view it my governements responsiblitily to take more money from the common man and give it to another, when the common man is not doing so well.
It seems to me that when the tax cuts are given on the federal and state level, the local towns raise their taxes to make ends meet. Then the people who live in the rich towns override local tax freezes and their children go to great school systems and the people who live in middle class towns or poorer towns don't override the local tax freezes and their children lose things in their education process. So while you say that it isn't the government's responsiblity to take from the common man and give to another, my view is that cutting taxes for the common man to have it easier puts a bigger division in the classes and ends up making it harder for the common man. Somehow, the rich are the ones that are greatly affected by increases and cuts, not middle class and poor.
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