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junkyardjake
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Re: G.T.K.Y.G. - Topic: Politics
« Reply #25 on: Aug 5th, 2004, 11:09pm »
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Quote:
But what you will find if you want to argue politics is that it works just like groups of animals.  Competition, cooperation, deception, education, hierarchy, sacrifice, domination, submission, success, failure.

 
Amen to that Callie, that's why I mentioned to Steg that I thought this board was a bad idea.  Nobody wins a political debate  (especially against a philosophy major).
 
JYJ :^)
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Re: G.T.K.Y.G. - Topic: Politics
« Reply #26 on: Aug 6th, 2004, 2:59am »
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on Aug 5th, 2004, 10:30pm, junkyardjake wrote:
Steg, Good grief, I love you man, but your dissection of Madison's statement sounds like Anna Nicole Smith after a six day Jack Daniel's binge.

 
Funny! I think this thread is a great idea as long as people can keep it aboveboard. I take exception to what I quote above, though. I take the time to validly, thoroughly and thoughtfully, though perhaps/evidently not in a way that you are accustomed to (arguing), address your QUESTION and in turn you very directly make fun of me. I think it's a low blow. You know what people usually make fun of, right? Anyway, I could DEFINITELY find significant "jocularity" in your presentations/arguments and poke fun, but I restrain myself.
 
Again, the point is that you don't "speak with" me about what I took my good time to write. You speak "at me", just dismissing what I wrote with a quick "Naaaaa, you're wrong," with ONE sentence and a personal jibe and then providing yet another link. Did you for just a moment think, "Wow, I've never thought through/about that quote that way before"? It is at least another interesting and valid take on something, which I for granted took to mean such and such, to take into consideration. Or, did you just think, "No! I'm right! He's wrong! And, that's that"? Of course, right now, you might knee-jerk be thinking the same thing about me, BUT it's not me whose arguing from the quote, i.e. using the quote in support of my argument. You are, so the burden (of proof, so to speak) is on you, not me. I don't accept your usage of that quote by James Madison as a premise for your argument and I have acceptably laid out why. So, with me at least, you've either got to abandon that premise or "really" refute me. Comparing directly, albeit jokingly, my lesson in logic, so to speak, with the dribblings of Anna Nicole Smith is absolutely insulting!
 
Quote:
As far as the interpretation of the Constitution, I take it from your views on Church and state that you view the constitution as an evolving document subject to change with shifts in culture and society.

 
Whatever applies! Nothing is fixed, including religious dogma. Change is the only constant!
 
Quote:
That's why I gave you the whole background of Bush's quote and the entire Israel example to show you an example of how 'irrational authority' may create foreign policy decisions inconsistent with our national interest.

 
That was 8 words of what I wrote that fit your point and you decided to expound on with hundreds of words.
 
Quote:
It's a relatively simple scenario

 
I mean believe what you want, but that's just so incorrect. I've learned to ALWAYS be cautious when I find myself easily throwing out words such as "simple" when it comes to political relations. Accordingly, I always look with a wary eye (at the premises and logic of an argument) when a political argument (at least one with as wide of a scope as yours here) seems too convincing too quickly and too easy to accept.
 
Quote:
1) Israel is an entity based on a religious faith, the entire reason for their existence is that they believe they are ordained to reside in that particular area. (This view is also shared by fundamentalist Christians, BTW. Except the Christians want them there because they all perish in the next apocalypse...hmmm, seems reasonable) Because of the intent of the separation of church and state doctrine, I argue that direct support of specific religious belief is unconstitutional.

 
Sidebar... So, how do we deal with Muslim theorcracies? Of course, mind you, the American brand of separation of church and state is supposed to be an internal doctrine, not one that dictates our international policy because that's their business. According to your reasoning here, because we can't really "support" anybody over there because religion is so tied into all that they do, all we can do is just basically "completely" isolate ourselves from that whole part of the world and let the chips fall where they may. Mind you, Israel is not the theocracy many of the Muslim coutries are.
 
Quote:
2) Israel has a sovereign right to exist and to practice what they believe (I'm adding this now, I agree I sounded biased), however our impartial support of them is a great source of friction with members of the Islamic faith and has helped create new enemies.

 
So, now 1 is essentially out the window (with respect to the development of your argument). Really, your argument just boils down to 2 -> then -> 3. That's not really an "argument", no less a logically valid one. A "real" sound argument (and what you actually mean) would be, MUCH MORE simply stated actually:
 
1a) We support Israel.
1b) The Arab-Muslim world hates Israel.
2a) We use oil from the Arab-Muslim world.
2b) The Arab-Muslim world thinks our use of oil creates problems for them that they hate.
3) So, the Arab-Muslim world hates us and our use of their oil.
 
What was all that writing for? Anybody with a half a brain knows that old, over-simplified, over-generalized, hackneyed argument. Oh, and by the way, I am included, believe it or not, in the group of people with a half a brain.
 
...
 
We're tying such knots here. The middle-eastern Muslim world represents the HUGEST block of THEOCRACIES and autocracies in the world. It's presented here as a one-way street as if Jews and Christians are the only zealously religiously-driven people in the world. Maybe if we were talking about Buddhist-oriented countries, this line of reasoning would be more palatable. But, we are talking about Islam here. Need I say more?
 
Quote:
3) This fact, in conjunction with our oil-lust and constant meddling in the Middle East has helped create our current terrorist problem, and Washington is largely to blame.
 
So if you reject this argument, what in your opinion is the reason that the terrorists don't like us ?

 
Short answer,... ENVY!!! PERIOD!!! We're the jocks of the high school. 9-11 is like the macrocosm of Columbine. I discuss this in slightly more detail in my sixth post on this page: http://www.fantasyfootballer.com/cgi-bin/theGridiron/YaBB.cgi?board=58;a ction=display;num=1068119752;start=265.
 
Longer, but still not really adequately detailed answer,...
 
Just roughin' it, I would say about 30% of their hatred of us is rational and 70% is irrational (largely, ironically, religiously-grounded when it comes to the middle east). Even if we kowtow to them totally and, hypothetically, do exactly what is necessary to "take care" of that 30%, which is probably not even possible, there is absolutely nothing we can do about that 70%, especially, ironically, in middle-eastern Muslim theocracies. I mean you are not suggesting that the Muslim Arab street is getting even an approximation of what the rest of the world is like, are you? Do you think they have TV like we do? That is if they have a TV, period. Do you know what a (not all too unfriendly to us... yet) country like Uzbekistan is like? Your position regarding their hatred of us is inherently predicated on our being lied A LOT to by our powers-that-be and their being generally told the truth by their powers-that-be. I mean, ironically given the rest of your stance on church and state relations, Muslim theocracies are ALL about "sheltering" their citizens from influence from the outside non-Muslim world. That's the problem with religion and government, right?
 
Oh, I'm confused... I'm getting sucked in... I'm starting to go all over the place with this because of all the fronts (premises) we are dealing with here and all the knots (in logic) being tied because of all the over-generalizations and over-simplifications we're dealing with here.
 
Do you know how much people in countries form their opinion about America by way of American entertainment: movies and TV shows (not news shows)? I could tell you stories that would make your head spin about what many young Koreans believe about Americans based on "Hollywood" (another irony).
 
I will now bite my tongue because I don't want to ask my next question, which can so easily be taken the wrong way and is ultimately useless if you are permanently set in your ways (not that I am saying you necessarily are) because you would just find what you want to find to prove your point/justify your belief. Again, in our "debate" here, I have not like a parrot spewed out ANY party "lines" (in both senses of the word). Have you???
 
on Aug 5th, 2004, 11:09pm, junkyardjake wrote:
Nobody wins a political debate(especially against a philosophy major).

 
I'll take that as a (back-handed) compliment.
 


Why do I feel like I just wasted three hours of my life here tonight?
 
Next...
 
Kerry's put himself in a real bind with his claim back when he came back from and spoke about Vietnam. He said he committed atrocities similar to his fellow soldiers there. So, either he was telling the truth then and did, which he wants to kind of back out of or at least put a bit of a hush on, OR if he didn't, it once again illustrates that he is willing to tendentiously skew the facts for the purposes of what he happens to be arguing (for or against) at any given moment.
 
And, what do these people mean when they say things like "Ashcroft is scary"? Give me a break. This is such a fruity thing to say. I didn't like Clinton, but I would NEVER term him as "scary". That's such a loaded word. I mean Usama bin Laden is "scary" although I wouldn't use the word "scary", I would just say he's a moronic asshole. Planes going into buildings killing 1,000's of people in one fell swoop is "scary". Get a grip, folks!
« Last Edit: Aug 12th, 2004, 7:33pm by Stegfucius » Logged
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Re: G.T.K.Y.G. - Topic: Politics
« Reply #27 on: Aug 6th, 2004, 10:21am »
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NOW, I REALLY DISAGREE with you, JYJ ... this thread is GREAT!!!
 
I am TOTALLY cool with your last post!  Now, we're talking ("to" each other).  Now, I feel like we have something we can "agree to disagree about" (which is something I see people to often use as a cop-out to "real understanding" (of one another)). Progress hath been made... and we got to know one another better in the process!  EXCELLENT!
 
...
 
Okay, I GOT to go... and get to the Hall! We're getting a bit of a late start!
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Re: G.T.K.Y.G. - Topic: Politics
« Reply #28 on: Aug 12th, 2004, 8:03pm »
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on Aug 6th, 2004, 8:49am, junkyardjake wrote:
our foreign policy in the Middle East is more about economic exploitation and the creation of tensions between various ethnic factions (i.e. Palestinians v Israel, Iraq v Iran etc...)

 
Semantics here... We don't "create" any tensions over there. They've existed since time immemorial. I think the word "exploitation" there, instead of "creation", would make your argument more cogent (though not to me ).
 
...
 
JYJ, you "indicate" "issues" with our bipartisan system; I even somewhat concur with you and suggest that a pluralist system intrigues me. I, though, don't take a "strict" approach to interpreting our Founding Fathers and their writings and recommendations. However, you found much of your "beliefs"/"arguments" on the words of our Founding Fathers and a "strict" interpretation and implementation of their writings, namely our Constitution. So, question... Do you think we need to abandon the bipartisan system for a pluralist one (or at least move in that direction)?
 
...
 
Finally, a general observation... In the modern era, we have increasingly had this tendency to want to say that our politicians "personal" lives (oxymoron) should not be fodder for public scrutiny. Many believe that it doesn't matter what a politician does in his/her personal life. But, (based on the very nature of the "game") it does! My eyes were (once again) VERY poignantly opened to this reality today with the "situation" with our (now lame-duck) New Jersey governor McGreevey. In very short (as I, of course, don't know how ALL or should I say ANY of the specifics are going to shake out), "personal" indiscretions by "public" officials easily lead to bribery, extortion, kickbacks, special favors, special appointments, etc., etc. The idea that the personal lives and, I would like to add, integrity and consistency of our politicians doesn't matter is VERY wrong.
« Last Edit: Aug 12th, 2004, 8:08pm by Stegfucius » Logged
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Re: G.T.K.Y.G. - Topic:  Politics
« Reply #29 on: Aug 13th, 2004, 1:40am »
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Just a quick question since I don't have time or energy to fully express myself on this topic now.
 
How in the world can a fellow Libertarian consider voting for Ralph Nader?  All of my (grantedly limited) exposure to him shows that he desires to limit our freedoms.  Were you being sarcastic?  If you are serious, could you point me in the direction of anything that shows he would reverse the trend in BIG government?  I really am curious in this regard, although I have to admit I reread that statement several times with an emotion approaching dread.  I spent the time to go to his site and listen to at least one of his short speeches, "Americans deserve affordable housing, solar energy, affordable health care..."  Can you say socialism?  Or at the least an expansion of the current welfare state?  Also taken from a written statement on his site, "we definitely need affirmative action for people of color and women to offset enduring historic wrongs as well as present-day inequalities."  We do?  What is wrong with freedom?  The ones who lose when the best individual is not hired are the employers - yet we are going to demand that hiring practices are based on something other than qualifications?  That is legalized, government enforced, racism (sexism) in a nutshell.  Please tell or show me what would encourage you to vote for this guy other than a backlash against the two-party system.
 
One other thing: I shuddered when I saw Steggie accuse Jake of spouting party lines.  Yes, it has been about 3 years since I frequented the Libertarian forums.  But then, and I would be surprised if it has changed much since then, one amazing aspect of the individuals active in those forums was the divergence of opinions that could be found there.  "Party lines" is almost a joke when it comes to Libertarians (which is great in one sense and terrible in another).  A lot of the rhetoric Jake is using is standard fare, but I can definitely verify that when taken as a whole he is not just following the crowd and spouting the lines.  It just happens that this one issue of nonintervention or isolationism is the one being disected herein and on this issue he is regurgitating what he has heard.
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Re: G.T.K.Y.G. - Topic: Politics
« Reply #30 on: Aug 16th, 2004, 10:01pm »
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So, how about that Iranian Judo Olympian, who, by the way, couldn't make weight, but, anyway, refused to go up against his Israeli opponent???  The guy's now being heralded as a national hero in Iran!!!  Gee, that's the kind of cancer on the world we want to kowtow to, leave alone and let fester... and grow!!!
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Re: G.T.K.Y.G. - Topic: Politics
« Reply #31 on: Aug 17th, 2004, 4:13pm »
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This is where (intimate) knowledge is power...
 
Regarding all the hubbub about our pulling (some) troops out of South Korea (which is (erroneously) consistent with what JYJ presents in one breath (pull out abroad and stop being the international police), (erroneously) inconsistent in another (work with and don't turn our back our historical allies)), all of their protesting up until now has been (based on some legitimate premises) about getting America('s troops) OUT!  Now,... we're pulling some troops out, and... They get us comin' and goin' and people on this end with their "opinions" who really have no clue as to what is really up just set a "damned if we do, damned if we don't" stage. If only there were more of these "gadflies" in the Arab-Muslim world... and abroad, period! (Well, exclamation point! )
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Re: G.T.K.Y.G. - Topic: Politics
« Reply #32 on: Aug 17th, 2004, 9:12pm »
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FINALLY a POINT! You guys are so busy with your rooster fight that you keep falling off any good points you make! (Especially Steg.) And both of you have made some good ones.
 
And, Jake, you never responded to bgsgfan.
 
As for North Korea, they're just China extended. China needs the US for most of their exports, and North Korea has China breathing down their necks and saving them from progress. The international business community can take better care of that than they can take care of the Middle East. Products vs Oil. We have more consumers, and we have some oil around that we're saving up. Plus we have some oil-free technologies in the wings, probably already developed, happy days. We need to address terrorist supporters.
 
The real problem is that we have 21st Century thinking beating up against 5th Century thinking, which I think has been mentioned here before.
 
That is not the point.
 
How do we handle it.
 
Stay on point!
 
If you want to add Socialism vs Multinational Business, here's a plum...I heard that in France workers tend to get 6 weeks vacation per year, and it's almost impossible to fire them. How do you build an economy on that?
 
Speak up. On point.
« Last Edit: Aug 17th, 2004, 9:14pm by Callie » Logged

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Re: G.T.K.Y.G. - Topic: Politics
« Reply #33 on: Aug 17th, 2004, 9:42pm »
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Sorry, guys (and sorry I'm not around much now, business) -  
I said to stay on point, but I didn't say why I said it.
 
Jake is unhappy about a politics thread that feels like a philosophy thread.  Steg wants to explore in the way he is trained.
 
Philosophy looks at A, explores A, and tries to understand everything about A that there could possibly be.  That is how a philosopher finds the truth about A.  He plays with every A he can think of.
 
A politician says I have A, I want B, what is the best A I can get to get to B.  That is how a politician (well, maybe a Statesman) gets to A.  He looks for processes and compares them.
 
We need both.  But in a discussion, we need direction or we just have platitudes and a contest.  No learning or growth.
 
In a political thread, we need to compare processes.
 
 
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Re: G.T.K.Y.G. - Topic: Politics
« Reply #34 on: Aug 17th, 2004, 11:30pm »
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Hey Callie,
 
I don't think our posts constitute a 'rooster fight' do they ?  Well I didn't intend that, and I'm sure Steg didn't intend that, sorry if it sounds that way.
 
Politics by it's very nature is a contentious topic, the best you can do is throw out facts and let them fall where they may.   What I have found, especially most recently is an amazing polarization that separates diehard Bush-backers and probably a group that might be best described as bitter Democratic party apologists.  (Bitter because they feel they were robbed in 2000 and are tired of defending the Clinton 'presidency').
 
I really just hope to convey an independent viewpoint as a disgruntled ex-republican whose tired of all the corruption, propaganda and abuse of the country by the privledged few.
 
Here are some of the books that have shaped my recent political inclination if you are interested:
 
'The Best Democracy Money Can Buy'  - Greg Palast
 
'Power and Terror' - Noam Chomsky
 
'Dreaming War' - Gore Vidal
 
Thanks for reminding me about bgsgfan's post, I will reply to that.
 
JYJ :^)
 
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Re: G.T.K.Y.G. - Topic: Politics
« Reply #35 on: Aug 18th, 2004, 12:10am »
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Hey bgsgfan,
 
Quote:
Please tell or show me what would encourage you to vote for this guy other than a backlash against the two-party system.

 
In a nutshell, that's really the reason I intend to vote for Nader.   I truly, in my relatively short voting history, cannot remember a principled politician since Ronald Reagan.  Maybe this was because it was the first time I was allowed to vote and I was intoxicated with youthful enthusiasm, but at least he seemed to say what he meant, and did what he said he was going to do.
 
In fact, I have abstained from voting ever since, with the exception of 1992, when I voted for Ross Perot.  (Before I realized he was insane, but I'd probably vote for him again anyway).
 
While the Libertarian Party is the closest venue consistent with my beliefs, I really don't think they produce viable candidates, and Nader is the only guy who makes sense to me in the present environment.
 
For example, I think you are correct about his somewhat paternalistic government tendencies, however he is also the only notable public figure that has the guts to point out the reprehensible level of corporate influence on the political process.   This problem is endemic to both parties, it's almost like the entire congress (as well as the current executive branch, with perhaps some notable exceptions like Colin Powell) is a brothel selling their wares to the highest bidder.
 
Do I support principles like less government and less restrictive taxes ?  Of course I do, but the more you observe the current system it's almost like we need to bulldoze Washington into the Potomac and start over.  Just look at the current tax system, first of all, income taxes were prohibited by the Constitution, then when they were introduced in 1913, they were levied on only the top 1% of wealthiest Americans in the amount of 1% of income.   How has that evolved ?  Now the richest Americans have the resources to exploit the system and avoid taxes (this is most egregious when you look at some corporate loopholes, like setting up shop in Bermuda and paying 0%), while the middle class ends up getting screwed and having to work 2 jobs to survive.
 
So in short, yes you are correct, voting for Nader is my insignificant way to revolt against the current system, a system with increasingly foreboding similiarities to the Roman Empire.
 
JYJ :^)
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Re: G.T.K.Y.G. - Topic: Politics
« Reply #36 on: Aug 18th, 2004, 3:32am »
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Jake, you missed my question from way above...
 
Regarding North Korea and/versus Iraq, Jake, you once again didn't "meet" me.  You took the issue out to "left field", so to speak, without "addressing" (and undressing ... ) what I had written.  You just go ahead and give the "Politics 101" of the issue, mind you, not even with complete accuracy (you leave out a multitude of supporting and mitigating factors), which, in any event, anybody half-informed knows like the back of their hand and represents the mere "tip of the iceberg" of these complex issues.  Moreover (and this is a bit insulting although I know (you have a good heart) and like you so whatever), you present it as a revelation of sorts or at least as if those basics have not already been considered and processed by me (and whomever else).  Given this lack of "responding", it is impossible to make that progress to which Callie alludes and I get this feeling of being "talked at" again.
 
So, Callie, with regards to your "rooster fight" allusion,... I, ultimately (and I know you know this... quite obviously from your post), am backing off because... , well, I don't want to get into a full-blown and tarnish any friendships.  There's just very little "meeting of the minds" going on here, and, mind you, "meeting of the minds" does NOT mean agreement (as, again, I know you know).  Anyway,...
 
NORTH Korea and the politics that go with it and the historically (relatively speaking) SINGLE nations of Iraq and Iran and the politics that go with them are TOTALLY different despite President Bush's ill-advised inclusion of North Korea in his "axis of evil" (if I were one of his advisors or speech writers, I would have STRONGLY advised him against such an inclusion).  That was a HUGE mistake!  But, anyway, with KOREA, man, you literally have a dividing line that divides REAL-LIVE FRIENDS and, moreover, FAMILIES!  You're talking about the South Koreans' "fending for themselves".  While there surely remains some (waning) truth to that, the OVERWHELMINGLY pervasive mindset there is one of reunification of this divided people and their country, and they, North and South Koreans alike (but I am mainly referring to South Koreans as I have very intimate knowledge of that side of the border), very much so see the presence of the American military in South Korea as at least somewhat of a, if not the whole of the stumbling block to their reunification (something that was ABSOLUTELY INHERENT in my initial post to which you "reacted").  Bottom line, dealings with North Korea are VERY, VERY sticky because of this reality and military action almost impossible, especially with Kim Jung Il aging and the country's literally on the brink of imploding, and SO INCREASINGLY out-of-step with the rest of the world, including the third-world for that matter.  Iran and Iraq, frankly speaking, do not need to be dealt with as delicately (or at least with delicacy regarding these very "personal"/"human"/"national" matters), with the exception of the "delicate issue" of oil, which, IRONICALLY, is the PRECISE reason we haven't gone into the middle east with absolute full force and kicked the shit out of these medieval-minded, green-with-envy, whining cry-babies years ago.  The politics of oil is the reason we have a "presence" there, but, as genocide is not an option (for any evolved human), it is ALSO the reason we haven't totally put these assholes in their place.  This is the "revelation" that you come to when you really (mentally) "wrestle" with it and not just let yourself get sucked into the "(anti-)reality" of sound bites and one-liners.  ...
 
... But, now I am leap-frogging so far ahead in a way that now I feel like I am "talking at", which I do NOT want to do.  I would rather have had the discussion evolve more naturally (and less acrimoniously) to "this point" (in both senses of the term), by way of more of a dialogue (than a lecture).
 
ANYTHING can be spun and "half-truthed" to find fault and conspiracy if that is what you are seeking.
 
bg, I don't know what you exactly meant by "I shuddered when I saw Steggie accuse Jake of spouting party lines."  Instead of taking it personally and defensively, I just took it objectively as an observation of both what I stated and what made me state it and an even distribution of whatever (mild) blame you were issuing and decided not to respond.  Bottom line, the terms "Libertarian" and "Libertarian Party" have been mentioned (moreover, as a platform) on this thread WAY more times than the other two (parties) and the "feel" of this thread has only taken on a VERY partisan and politicized feel since the infusion of this element.
 
Callie, I think you know that your description of the philosopher is just a bit too rudimentary.  I think it would be more accurate to say that the philosopher, as it relates to all this, tries to encourage you to think through and even question the tightness and ultimate cogency of your position (doggie is always nice)/argument so as to help you make sure that what you think you believe/are arguing (for or against) is really what you believe/are arguing (for or against).  Key to that goal is as you suggest, Callie, staying "on point" (in a strict Socratic dialectical fashion if need be) and not just incessantly presenting or even parroting a deluge of actually disparate statistics, quotes and facts (with some half-truths, misconceptions and debatable points mixed in), which no one can really "keep up with" (in all senses of the phrase), to assert or confirm this or that query or ("conspiracy") theory, made even more difficult if it is "negativist" (in the strict sense) and not a "positivist" (in the strict sense) as it is MUCH easier to claim "what is NOT" than "what is", or "deconstructionist" as it is MUCH easier to (pessimistically, cynically and iconoclastically) tear down things than to (optimistically and proactively) build things up.
 
Ultimately, both sides are right!!!  Like Jake, I can EASILY make an objective, logically-valid and quite thorough argument for why we shouldn't have gone into Iraq.  I can also just as readily, objectively, validly and thoroughly make an argument for why we should have.  It's just that the latter is the one that "I" find more cogent and compelling.  Is that how you are coming to your conclusion(s), Jake?  Or, for you, is there only one (ultimately correct) argument that can be made?  (As you probably know all too well, Jake, arguing both sides of an issue is a basic law-school exercise and fundamental legal skill.)  Discussing politics (or religion) is only difficult when someone in the discussion is.
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Re: G.T.K.Y.G. - Topic:  Politics
« Reply #37 on: Aug 18th, 2004, 6:57pm »
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Jake - I believe Nader is a solution that is worse than the disease.  Not that it really matters, because he will not get elected.  Perhaps votes for Nader from outside his political base will tend to emphasize the points you want to make.  
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Re: G.T.K.Y.G. - Topic: Politics
« Reply #38 on: Aug 18th, 2004, 7:09pm »
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Here we go with more ABC World News tendentious oversimplifications.  Regarding Kerry's (knee-jerk, political) opposition to Bush's (reasonable and generally historically appropriate) plan to reorganize and reduce our forces overseas from their current "cold war" deployment configuration, they (arbitrarily) add this ONE (very small) factor:  that these countries don't like our pulling out because of the economic infusion our soldiers bring to their economies.  BS!  That is really such an insignificant factor.  These guys do most of their day-to-day shopping right on base, countries like South Korea, Germany, Japan, Italy, etc., hardly need any small boost the presence of our soldiers gives their economies, and the land on which our bases exist, which we occupy in a sovereign way, is probably WAY more valuable to the respective countries (than anything our military presence brings them economically).  A more "sweeping factor" that is more justifiably presented as a "one-liner":  NO sovereign nation likes having an autonomous foreign military presence in their country, bottom line, no less one that numbers in the 10's of thousands!!!
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Re: G.T.K.Y.G. - Topic:  Politics
« Reply #39 on: Aug 18th, 2004, 7:36pm »
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on Aug 18th, 2004, 3:32am, StegRock wrote:

bg, I don't know what you exactly meant by "I shuddered when I saw Steggie accuse Jake of spouting party lines."

 
I meant it literally.  I was sitting in my chair and I shudderred.  Why?  I am not sure what the bottom line reason was.  Probably because I was focused on the "voting for Nader" aspect and I didn't want people to see Nader as representative of my ideals (which is most closely represented by the Libertarian party).
 
But, perhaps it was also because you seemed to be trying to dismiss all of Jake's arguments by simply saying "he is spouting rhetoric".  Somehow that is supposed to negate everything.  What does it matter where the arguments came from?  They should be examined on their own merits (or lack thereof).
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Re: G.T.K.Y.G. - Topic: Politics
« Reply #40 on: Aug 18th, 2004, 8:02pm »
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Oh, brother!  Here we go again taking one 6-to-10 word or whatever portion (upon your moment of shuddering) of ALL that I wrote (somewhat out of context, mind you) and blowing it out of proportion and making it the emphasis.  It was ultimately a question, perhaps a bit of a rhetorical one, but one meant to make you think... or "respond" to.  In any event, there is A LOT more MEAT in my posts and everything on this thread than that teeny, tiny little "point"/"query". Please, let's not let that take us away from focusing on the bigger themes and picture here,... as Callie suggests.
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Re: G.T.K.Y.G. - Topic: Politics
« Reply #41 on: Aug 18th, 2004, 8:31pm »
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Steg,  
I agree with bgsgfan on his point, I am beginning to understand your writing style (and you communicate quite well), but you sometimes tend to dismiss themes and factual points by dissecting language and scrutinizing the point of view.
 
I can't say that I am innocent of such deflection (albeit in a different way), for example, I don't even want to know why you espouse 'communism' as a viable system, and therefore I never brought it up.  (I understand it from an idealist point of view, but it has proven to be a disaster from a practical application vantage point, why deny the evidence ?).
 
One thing I would like to hear about if you have time, what positive benefits do you feel we gained by eliminating Saddam Hussein, and was it worth the cost ?
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Re: G.T.K.Y.G. - Topic: Politics
« Reply #42 on: Aug 18th, 2004, 8:38pm »
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Quote:
Jake - I believe Nader is a solution that is worse than the disease.  Not that it really matters, because he will not get elected.  Perhaps votes for Nader from outside his political base will tend to emphasize the points you want to make.

 
You may be right, maybe we can coax Ross Perot out of retirement ?  (If he's not too busy chasing purple unicorns).
 
JYJ :^)
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Re: G.T.K.Y.G. - Topic: Politics
« Reply #43 on: Aug 18th, 2004, 9:43pm »
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on Aug 18th, 2004, 8:31pm, junkyardjake wrote:
I agree with bgsgfan on his point, I am beginning to understand your writing style (and you communicate quite well), but you sometimes tend to dismiss themes and factual points by dissecting language and scrutinizing the point of view.

 
I don't dismiss anything, brother.  I'm just trying to encourage you to make your arguments (logically) tighter and more cogent, i.e., I am egging you on to convince me, so to speak, rather than just jumping around and covering more ground than any one person who is not contemplating the same "reality" can keep up with (as I stated before) and bombarding me with fact after one-liner after detail after quote after statistic after link after generality after platform after fact after one-liner... and so on.  After reading some of your stuff, I don't know where to start, no less end.  It just covers so much ground in such a general way.  So, I do what is only reasonable:  I pick out the few things I can and do have the time to digest and focus on them.  To say that I am dismissing your writing is unfair.  I have spent probably over 12 hours now all in all "responding" to your words, perhaps not all of them, though, because, as I stated, it's just not possible to do so with the amount of specificity and thoroughness that I firmly believe is required and that I in fact do, i.e., when I respond to your posts, the points to which I respond, I respond thoroughly, though I can't respond to them all, both practically and epistomologically.
 
Quote:
One thing I would like to hear about if you have time, what positive benefits do you feel we gained by eliminating Saddam Hussein, and was it worth the cost ?

 
Well, Jake, it's really for the most part just a lot of "the usual".  What I would say is really just what anybody who supports our efforts in Iraq would say, which I am not going to insult your and anybody else's intelligence and waste our time by reiterating herein.
 
However, for me the contemporaneous issues are not necessarily the ultimately important ones.  My focus is more on the "long-term, bigger picture" and I think I concisely and soundly presented that "long-term, bigger picture" (the one that is important for me) in the following quote from "the Bleachers"...
 
on Nov 18th, 2003, 1:26pm, StegRock wrote:
Along the lines of what Philly says, the REAL goal with and the ULTIMATE determinations of the success of all our efforts these days are long-term and won't even be realized/known for at least 10 to 15 years and probably not REALLY for 25 to 50 years.  History will be the judge... as it always is (as most of this kind of stuff is done by looking far down the road, lifetimes down the road, which your average people just looking around themselves can't comprehend).
 
If in 20 to 50 years we have succeeded with building a "South Korea" out of the rubble that is Iraq and Afganistan, we will have succeeded BIG-TIME.  Two muslim nations basically on either side of the middle east joining modernity and becoming part of the rest of the modern world.  HUGE SUCCESS!  If it can be done in South Korea, it can be done in those places.

 
It's an optimistic position, granted...
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Re: G.T.K.Y.G. - Topic: Politics
« Reply #44 on: Aug 18th, 2004, 10:26pm »
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Sorry to be out of the loop again, guys. I had major computer problems today, and I just got back on. Sounds like the discussion is getting interesting.
 
First, Jake, I would like to read your book list and discuss the concepts in terms of current politics. I'll only be able to do them one at a time, but that's where it starts.
 
Steg, two questions. One is about what the hell Jake was talking about when he said you agree in any way with communism. Is this a Utopian theory thing? With the human race at the mental and evolutionary place it is in today, there is no chance it could ever work. The wolves will eat the sheep. (Where is Philly's "Animal Farm" Smiley Theater when you need it?) Good intentions are often felt by honorable people, but this is a political, tribal, tooth-and-claw world. Trust me, I work for lawyers. They are not Socrates or Plato or Aristotle. They are the poster children for the most primal and unfortunate human potential for misery to Utopians as mammals. They spawn today's politicians. The second question is, do you have a three book list of the major influences of your political thinking? A third question (THREE - THREE QUESTIONS! My favorite Montey Python episode is the Spanish Inquisition.) I was under the impression that the North Koreans and the South Koreans hated each other's guts. I know families were separated, but I thought as groups they want to kill each other whenever possible. I don't think we need as many troups in there now. We have enough weaponry and economics to keep China in tow. (Turkey, Israel, South Korea - oh, the Phillipines - just geographic footholds). The Chinese want to sell us things so that they can use our money against us. The old communists will die off, and the young turks will be the next let's-make-a-deal guys. And the wheel turns round and round.
 
bgsgfan - I'd like your top three book list, too.  I think that Nader is a balancer, but he's like a lot of guys like Al Sharpton and many other 3rd party candidates, or their ilk in the same process. They put forth the ideas of a segment of the population, garner some voting blocks to trade to the 2 major parties for the power to do it again, and at least get their ideas some amount of attention and clout. But the people at the top of those groups tend to do personal power ploys instead of actually making promised change. More wolves eating sheep. Although, Nader is no Sharpton. Nader seems to be a relatively decent human - power hungry like the others, but not so much of a snake. He'll be used, though, if he let's them use him. I wish him well. He would succeed as a Utopian.
 
And as for Iraq, we have already heard that documents are finally showing up that indicate that yes, in fact, just before the Iraqi War the WMDs were shipped off to Syria. As people are less afraid of getting put feet-first through the chipper, they will come out and tell more. Of COURSE it's a grand pre-election finale to reveal a few things. The guys at the top, all political parties, know it all already. It gets used. But some of it is kept quiet and the heroes work hard to let us go on with our happy, oblivious lives. (We have machines orbiting the earth that can spot radiation in a container ship anywhere in any ocean. They recently accidentallly pulled over a ship with radium for watch dials. During the 9/11 situation, we heard about New Jersey State Troopers stopping around 20 EMS vehicles on the turnpike that were loaded with explosives. They were headed for the bridges and tunnels around Manhattan. It gets hushed up to avoid panic and economic standstills. But they are on the job.) This is politics. But it is also true that the terrorists are trying as hard as possible to disrupt our elections this year. It's all human tribal mammal nature. We can either protect ourselves from a new, fatal "virus" of terrorism, barbarians riding over the next hill, or learn Arabic languages (like the fear of having to learn German a few decades or so ago - coulda happened) if we live through it. The radical terrorist leaders do not want to let us survive. However, the rank and file over there just want air conditioners, refrigerators, cars, and jobs. And no chippers.
 
 
 
 
« Last Edit: Aug 18th, 2004, 10:36pm by Callie » Logged

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Re: G.T.K.Y.G. - Topic: Politics
« Reply #45 on: Aug 19th, 2004, 12:12am »
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on Aug 18th, 2004, 11:49pm, junkyardjake wrote:
I think you stated your position this way to avoid seeing more quotes, statistics, historical analogies and bar charts.

 
And, mind you, both sides or should I say all sides have their own set of statistics, bar charts, etc., etc.
 
...
 
Callie, I'll get around to responding to your questions at a later time. In short, I will quickly address the "Korea" issue now, though.  The domestic American impression that the North and the South hate each other's guts and want to "end" one another is a TOTAL misconception.  For the South, they are "their brothers and sisters to the North" and vice-versa for the North.  A big South Korean movie this year, "As The Flag Waves", which I saw with Gino while in Korea in February, is VERY illustrative of this "reality".
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Re: G.T.K.Y.G. - Topic: Politics
« Reply #46 on: Aug 19th, 2004, 7:01pm »
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Junk Yard Jake, your rant against Israel is fine.  It's fine in the sense that you're entitled to whatever opinion you'd like.  But it also happens to be factually incorrect.
 
1) We all know about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and we should know that our foreign-policy inclination is an almost completely one-sided support of Israel.   Unfortunately, this policy is followed despite the fact that Israel is in violation of over 40 UN resolutions, is purported to have illegal nuclear weapons and insists on creating settlements on real estate that does not belong to them. (i.e. see Hebron)  
 
ANSWER: Only a half truth.  The palestinians and arab world are also violating dozens of resolutions.  The difference is that Israel does not control the General Assembly and has a tougher time passing nonsense resolutions.  The Arabs, on the other hand, have undue control over the GA.  How much control?  Enough to make Sudan (the country perpetrating the current genocide) the head of the Civil Rights section of the UN!!!  Israel is therefore in violation of one-sided resolutons only.
 
2) Israel is essentially an exclusionary society, in order to obtain the full rights of citizenry in Israel it is necessary to belong to the Jewish faith.   In essence, Israel is a faith- based nation and has deemed itself 'ordained by G*d' to remove Palestinians from their homes and launch rockets into crowds whenever they protest too loud about it.   (The term usually applied to this school of thought is 'Zionism')  
 
ANSWER: False.  Part of the Israeli parliament is Arab.  That is, there are arab representatives in parliament.  Who do you think elected them?  I'll tell you.  It was Israeli-Arabs that have full voting/citizenship rights.  Likewise, Bedouins have full voting/citizenship rights.
 
Also, Zionism is as much, if not more, a secular institution, not a religious one.  The founders of the modern israel were not religious jews, but secular/persecuted jews from around the world, mostly Europe.  There are certainly many people that consider Israel the place for jews b/c it was so ordained.  But upwards of 80% of the country is wholly secular and has no such belief.
 
3) So, here we have a nation in violation of numerous UN resolutions that acutely discriminates on the basis of religious beliefs and despite this, they are a permanent fixture on the US federal payroll.   How does the support of a foreign entity based exclusively on a specific religion belief not represent a violation of the Constitution?  
 
ANSWER: The constitution does not bar aid to a country that has one or the other religous belief.  It bars establishing a religion (in the U.S.) and it bars preventing freedom of religion (in the U.S.).  Plus, as discussed above, your initial assumptions in this point are false.  And, the U.S. also supports arab/muslim countries (Egypt, for example, is among the top 5 recipients of foreign aid by our government).
 
4) To put it another way, suppose that Utah decided to discriminate against residents if they did not comply with the practice of Buddhism.   Not only would that disqualify them from federal funding, but I think it is safe to say that federal troops would storm in and shut down the state.  When Israel engages in religious persecution, we send them more tanks, F-16's and large sums of money.  
 
ANSWER: the treatment of U.S. states and foreign countries is wholly different.  Besides, israel does not engage in religious persecution.  Indeed, Israel itself is the homeland of three of the world's major religiouns and nobody stops anyone from practicing Islam, Christianity, or any other religioun in the country.
 
5)  And what do we get in return?  Well for one thing, a lot of pissed off Islamic crazy people who are willing to compromise their lives in destructive ways in the name of religion.
 
ANSWER: If you believe this is because of Israel than you're revealing your ignorance.  This is a religous war against western civilization based purely on crazy radical thought.  Israel is used as a scapegoat.  Was there no terrorism in the world before Israel?  Were there no wars in the world before the 1940s?  And what do you blame those on?  I presume that Japan bombed Pearl Harbor because the U.S. supported jews?
 
6)  Ignoring the constitutional implications, wouldn't it be more prudent to remove ourselves from this ancient conflict and maintain a more impartial stance, if nothing else for the sake of national security?  
 
ANSWER:  Without Israel in that region, there would already be Nukes in the hands of extermists.  In addition, there is no reason to believe that there would be an improvement in national security.  The real reason the arab world hates the U.S. is because of perceived intervention in arab affairs.  This intervention occurs in the interest of oil, not jews.
 
I fear that your willingness to accept false facts shows more than just your thoughts on foreign policy.
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Re: G.T.K.Y.G. - Topic: Politics
« Reply #47 on: Aug 19th, 2004, 8:21pm »
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Great points, Klockner, and welcome to the thread!
 
I agree with you on many issues.  I especially agree that Israel is playing point for the Western world in that region.  Israelis are the guys the Arab world hates most, even more than they hate the US.  The history of that region is even worse for that sort of thing than the Serbs and Bosnians.  They really hate each other and have felt that way for over 1,000 years.  In that region, it does not have to make our kind of sense.  The Arab media is controlled, leaders use theocracy to get to dictatorship, the people are trained from the cradle to think that the only good government is anyone who puts the word "Allah" in front of everything they want.  Mammal-pack-tribal.  Kill the tribe over the hill that wants what you want.  But in all fairness, that's been going on for a long time in the Christian and Jewish worlds, too. I also see hope for younger generations in the Arab world to understand what other nations, moving from despotism to democracy by generations, are trying to learn.  We had it easy.  We had the Revolutionary War at a time when world events between two oceans were much easier.
 
If you read this thread, you will see that I prefer to put things in nutshells.  That's my bad here, not enough reference.  I'll work on it, since work issues are going to give me more time soon.  
 
Meanwhile, keep it coming.
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Re: G.T.K.Y.G. - Topic: Politics
« Reply #48 on: Aug 19th, 2004, 8:25pm »
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I DIGRESS...
    Klockner, to... "the Gridiron".  Very well-informed post! Look forward to more...
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Re: G.T.K.Y.G. - Topic:  Politics
« Reply #49 on: Aug 19th, 2004, 8:42pm »
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Welcome aboard Klockner!
 
I liked your post in that it was fact-based.  Links, sources, etc. would be appreciated; especially since we now have a difference regarding facts.
 
In any case, I hope you continue to contribute and look forward to it.
 
Steve, JYJ, Callie - I need to concentrate on some other things the next few days so I will be avoiding this thread... but I will return.
 
I started to put together my political position when this thread first started and decided to shelve it.  Maybe I will dig it up so that we can get this going in a different direction (or back to where it started).  In some ways I am not satisfied with what I wrote (which is why I shelved it), but oh well.
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