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Old 10-24-2013, 09:01 PM   #921
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Let me just requote Indy here so you remember what we're refuting

"I believe our unalienable rights can only come from God, you have to reject that"
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Old 10-24-2013, 10:55 PM   #922
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Old 10-24-2013, 11:08 PM   #923
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Originally Posted by nathan1977 View Post
From those statistics, the government shutdown of 17% of its workforce single-handedly affected the unemployment rate in this country by 0.6 percent. That's kind of staggering.
Yep. Because it's not only the government workers who were affected by the shutdown, but also those in the private sector dependent on the government (or on government workers).

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This is not progress.
That depends on how you look at it. The Republicans should be happy with this fact: Obama is shrinking the government.
Barack Obama, Government Job Slayer | PRAGMATIC CAPITALISM
So the Republicans finally got what they wanted, a smaller government.
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Old 10-25-2013, 09:27 AM   #924
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Old 10-25-2013, 11:15 AM   #925
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Let me just requote Indy here so you remember what we're refuting

"I believe our unalienable rights can only come from God, you have to reject that"
I think the writer(s) of the Declaration chose the word "Creator" very specifically - in order to be generic. Meaning - anyone can fill in the blank. Jefferson was known as a Deist - a believer in the idea of a perfect, transcendent being that may have ultimately "created" the universe and its governing principles - but is not intimately involved in the daily lives of men.

This is very similar to the Stoic idea of Logos - the governing "reason" of the universe. This also has a lot in common with Plato's Theory of Forms. While these men were mostly Christian, they were also heavily influenced by the Enlightenment - where God has a place in our lives, but it is far more distant than before.
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Old 10-25-2013, 11:37 AM   #926
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I never understood the almost creepy adoration some Americans have for the "founding fathers". We are talking about men, many (most?) of whom were slave owners at one time, who represented one specific faction of a nation - old, white, male and wealthy, and now, almost 250 years later, we are supposed to look at documents they penned as perfect and immovable, etc. It's just such a very bizarre attitude towards constitutional documents that frankly isn't seen anywhere else in the free world.
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Old 10-25-2013, 12:10 PM   #927
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I never understood the almost creepy adoration some Americans have for the "founding fathers". We are talking about men, many (most?) of whom were slave owners at one time, who represented one specific faction of a nation - old, white, male and wealthy, and now, almost 250 years later, we are supposed to look at documents they penned as perfect and immovable, etc. It's just such a very bizarre attitude towards constitutional documents that frankly isn't seen anywhere else in the free world.
Agreed. This hyperbolic veneration of the "wisdom of our fathers" appeals to a sort of mythological reading of our history that basically glosses over the complications of, you know, reality in favor of the "it was all so much better back then" nostalgia. Which leads to the constant quoting of past conservative figures (*cough*Reagan*cough*), despite the fact that these conservative heroes they quote would be run out of the Republican party if they ran today because they understood that compromise, rather than being a sign of weakness, was in fact essential to effective governance, and far more important than maintaining ideological purity.
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Old 10-25-2013, 12:10 PM   #928
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I think the writer(s) of the Declaration chose the word "Creator" very specifically - in order to be generic. Meaning - anyone can fill in the blank. Jefferson was known as a Deist - a believer in the idea of a perfect, transcendent being that may have ultimately "created" the universe and its governing principles - but is not intimately involved in the daily lives of men.

This is very similar to the Stoic idea of Logos - the governing "reason" of the universe. This also has a lot in common with Plato's Theory of Forms. While these men were mostly Christian, they were also heavily influenced by the Enlightenment - where God has a place in our lives, but it is far more distant than before.
I echo this belief.
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Old 10-25-2013, 12:11 PM   #929
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I think the writer(s) of the Declaration chose the word "Creator" very specifically - in order to be generic. Meaning - anyone can fill in the blank. Jefferson was known as a Deist - a believer in the idea of a perfect, transcendent being that may have ultimately "created" the universe and its governing principles - but is not intimately involved in the daily lives of men.

This is very similar to the Stoic idea of Logos - the governing "reason" of the universe. This also has a lot in common with Plato's Theory of Forms. While these men were mostly Christian, they were also heavily influenced by the Enlightenment - where God has a place in our lives, but it is far more distant than before.
Well stated.
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Old 10-25-2013, 12:14 PM   #930
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Agreed. This hyperbolic veneration of the "wisdom of our fathers" appeals to a sort of mythological reading of our history that basically glosses over the complications of, you know, reality in favor of the "it was all so much better back then" nostalgia. Which leads to the constant quoting of past conservative figures (*cough*Reagan*cough*), despite the fact that these conservative heroes they quote would be run out of the Republican party if they ran today because they understood that compromise, rather than being a sign of weakness, was in fact essential to effective governance, and far more important than maintaining ideological purity.
I get the impression that anyone who holds the founding fathers on such high pedestals are obsessed with thinking that America is so superior to other nations. Its kind of like they are also saying Jefferson, Washington, Hancock and all the others were like messiahs of some sort. Granted, many people in other countries may be very proud of their founders, or those who built their country up, but our attitude seems more snooty than simple national pride.
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Old 10-25-2013, 12:37 PM   #931
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I get the impression that anyone who holds the founding fathers on such high pedestals are obsessed with thinking that America is so superior to other nations. Its kind of like they are also saying Jefferson, Washington, Hancock and all the others were like messiahs of some sort. Granted, many people in other countries may be very proud of their founders, or those who built their country up, but our attitude seems more snooty than simple national pride.
I really don't have a problem with "myth" - it is has a place in every culture. The important thing about any myth is the "idea" - not the particulars of the life of the mythic figure. We have to agree that "America" has been one heck of an experiment. Despite the human weakness of many of the "Founding Fathers" - their documents have withstood the test of time because they have a firm foundation, but enough flexibility to move along with the forces of social change. Sort of like a modern skyscraper, strong enough at the bottom to be built tall, but flexible enough at the top to withstand high winds and earthquakes.

Unfortunately, many focus on a single aspect of Founding Fathers (the fact they were Christian [even if by culture more than by choice] - or that some had slaves and were hypocrites) - but the most important aspect of these men are the ideas that they conveyed and the documents they produced.

The words of the Declaration of Independence and the Preamble of the Constitution are historic and beautiful - as well as the Gettysburg Address (not technically a "founding" document, but certainly captures the America we are still trying to bring forth). Conservatives can't stake claim to these any more than liberals...they transcend politics.
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Old 10-25-2013, 12:39 PM   #932
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Well stated.
Thank you
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Old 10-25-2013, 12:42 PM   #933
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I really don't have a problem with "myth" - it is has a place in every culture. The important thing about any myth is the "idea" - not the particulars of the life of the mythic figure. We have to agree that "America" has been one heck of an experiment. Despite the human weakness of many of the "Founding Fathers" - their documents have withstood the test of time because they have a firm foundation, but enough flexibility to move along with the forces of social change. Sort of like a modern skyscraper, strong enough at the bottom to be built tall, but flexible enough at the top to withstand high winds and earthquakes.

Unfortunately, many focus on a single aspect of Founding Fathers (the fact they were Christian [even if by culture more than by choice] - or that some had slaves and were hypocrites) - but the most important aspect of these men are the ideas that they conveyed and the documents they produced.

The words of the Declaration of Independence and the Preamble of the Constitution are historic and beautiful - as well as the Gettysburg Address (not technically a "founding" document, but certainly captures the America we are still trying to bring forth). Conservatives can't stake claim to these any more than liberals...they transcend politics.
I agree and I'm proud that the US achieved so much as a result of this experiment. I just don't like the superiority complex some people have in regards to that.
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Old 10-25-2013, 12:51 PM   #934
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I agree and I'm proud that the US achieved so much as a result of this experiment. I just don't like the superiority complex some people have in regards to that.
Yes - the problem is with the current batch of conservatives trying to re-write the myth. If I were a Democratic candidate, I would really focus on the "purpose" of the whole system: Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness. To me, that covers everything from income equality to universal healthcare to the NEA to education to a strong defense. I would be quoting the Founding Fathers and Lincoln all the time.

My opening statement: "The Republican Party stole these myths from our Fourth Grade textbooks, we're stealing them back."
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Old 10-25-2013, 04:42 PM   #935
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For everyone wondering why there's always two political parties here, no matter how often Americans grumble about it, here is why:

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“The desire for a third party is not sufficient to ensure there will be one,” Mr. Jones adds. “Structural factors in the U.S. election system and the parties’ own abilities to adapt to changing public preferences have helped the Republican and Democratic parties to remain the dominant parties in U.S. government for more than 150 years. Third parties that have emerged to challenge their dominance have not been able to sustain any degree of electoral success.”
Read more: Third party fever: record number of Americans want a political alternative - Washington Times
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Old 10-27-2013, 05:56 AM   #936
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NYT: In Fed and Out, Many Now Think Inflation Helps
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Old 10-27-2013, 10:06 AM   #937
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I said it here more than once that inflation is likely our best way out. Maybe the only way at this point.
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Old 10-27-2013, 01:08 PM   #938
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For everyone wondering why there's always two political parties here, no matter how often Americans grumble about it, here is why:
In the Virginia governor's race, it's good to see the 3rd party candidate doing well in the polls (Sarvis at around 10-12%). I may vote for him over the Democrat (McAuliffe). This may be the most popular 3rd party candidate Virginia has had.
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Old 10-27-2013, 02:10 PM   #939
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In the Virginia governor's race, it's good to see the 3rd party candidate doing well in the polls (Sarvis at around 10-12%). I may vote for him over the Democrat (McAuliffe). This may be the most popular 3rd party candidate Virginia has had.
But how far would it go and for how long? Every time we get hope that a third political party would become more mainstream (thanks to the moderate success of Ross Perot, Jesse Ventura, Ralph Nader, etc.) nothing happens and we continue with the same warring Democrats and Republicans. The quote I used from the link I posted perfectly explains why it is almost a fantasy that there will be a major third party in this country.
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Old 10-27-2013, 02:17 PM   #940
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From that same NYT piece on inflation:

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All this talk has prompted dismay among economists who see little benefit in inflation, and who warn that the Fed could lose control of prices as the economy recovers. As inflation accelerates, economists agree that any benefits can be quickly outstripped by the disruptive consequences of people rushing to spend money as soon as possible. Rising inflation also punishes people living on fixed incomes, and it discourages lending and long-term investments, imposing an enduring restraint on economic growth even if the inflation subsides.

“The spectacle of American central bankers trying to press the inflation rate higher in the aftermath of the 2008 crisis is virtually without precedent,” Alan Greenspan, the former Fed chairman, wrote in a new book, “The Map and the Territory.” He said the effort could end in double-digit inflation.

The current generation of policy makers came of age in the 1970s, when a higher tolerance for inflation did not deliver the promised benefits. Instead, Western economies fell into “stagflation” — rising prices, little growth.
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