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Guest SermonOfMockery

FUCKING USA

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Guest igorschmigor

A liberal without humor? That's rare. I thought liberals had invented humor.

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Guest bubba

Coming up:

As part of the minimum wage bill, republicans are trying to eliminate overtime protections for people that work more than 40 hours a week - instead they want to make overtime kick in only when hourlies work more than 80 hours in a two week period.

 

As part of the bankruptcy bill, they defeated an amendment protecting soldiers.  So if you make 50K a year in your civilian job, get called up for a year for a Nat. Guard commitment - a year in which you are paid 24K - and it causes a bankruptcy...  well, tough shit.

 

And they are cutting veterans benefits and health care.  And they proposed cutting combat zone hazard pay. And our troops STILL aren't properly armed.

 

Now they are going to make an endrun in order to open up the wildlife refuge (IF YOU CARE ABOUT IT, STOP CALLING IN 'AANWAR' - it sounds like an industrial development zone when pronounced that way - call it the "wildlife refuge").  

 

They wanna gut social security.  And eliminate access to courts.  And cut yet more taxes for the smallest group of people - a group that doesn't spend the money and can best afford a TAX HIKE in order to bring some semblence of budgetary sanity to Washington.

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Guest govinda

I didn't want to bump this thread because I thought it was just Sermon thinking things were getting too boring, but Bubba just did it anyway. So I wanted to say, wow, I looked back at that old "Knife Party" thread and realized that this forum passed the point of innocence a few months ago. Back then, it was possible for liberals to say they disliked Michael Moore, for liberals to say they thought the use of national socialist imagery was off-base, for Sermon to weigh in on War Powers, for Fred not to eye-roll, for people with shades of difference in belief to work those shades--without the overhanging thought that some clumsy person with a massively different hue altogether, little honesty and a hammer-and-tongs manner of throwing in his firestarters, might chime in. That thread was bizarre, civil, informative (even to me, the guy who posted the thing about all the First Barbary War of 1801-1805). Hard to imagine ever getting back to that point, because to be honest, no forum ever does. Kinda made me all...misty...

 

PS: To reply to Bubba, we lost, and these are the spoils we live with. The Alaska refuge is going to get thrashed. That was my second thought as I watched the returns. On the positive side, the plundering of Social Security is a total loss. For 35 years, conservatives have hated that program, and now with both branches of congress, the executive office and the Supreme Court, they still can't kill it.* You can read all kinds of messages into it, but the upshot is that this makes Bush a lame duck only three months into his term. Oh, that gets me back to my first thought, it's sadly fitting that Bush has to be the one to fix his own messes, just as long as he can't make too many more. Well, a lame duck can only make so many messes, because Iran is certainly off the plate, and medicare is a nonstarter based on the response to the social security debacle. The messes he can make, like Alaska, administrative law regarding the environment, public health, consumer protection, tort reform, reproductive rights--all those are things that we, as the people who couldn't convince America, have to look through the window and watch get ransacked. Like I've said many times, we're out in the snow, watching with our noses pressed to the glass, as the monster that the rest of the country allowed in throws around the dishware, upends the furniture and eyes the stairway to where our children are sleeping.

 

*For the record, I think private retirement accounts are fine in theory, but I'm a pragmatist, and you can't trust these people to do anything capably or honestly. Every session of congress would add new giveaways to the financial industry. Legislated admin costs (read: giveaways to cronies) could strip away capital gains, as they do for many investors now. This is coming from a reasonably experienced investor.

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Guest igorschmigor

But liberals can still say that they dislike Michael Moore. Have things really changed that much?

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Guest govinda

Oops, big edit to that post. I just woke up and posted without editing first. Check it out, everything after 'PS' in that post above is new.

 

True dat. The point is that exploring fine shades of difference were more possible, like the fine shade of liberal who doesn't think much of Michael Moore (like me).

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Guest igorschmigor
Like I've said many times, we're out in the snow, watching with our noses pressed to the glass, as the monster that the rest of the country allowed in throws around the dishware, upends the furniture and eyes the stairway to where our children are sleeping.

23328[/snapback]

 

I love your style of writing.

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Guest bubba
private retirement accounts are fine in theory

23328[/snapback]

 

A math whiz friend did calculations and said that even though it sounds good, there is no way a personal retirement account could pay back the amount that we presently receive in ss benefits.

 

Don't even have to mention the drawback of private accounts: fewer people putting into ss, there will be even less to draw from.

 

SS would then become hugely subsidized by the government - who would then polish it off, saying they don't want to have to raise taxes.

 

The whole privatization idea is more sneaky, tricky crap to cater to Bush cronies.

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Guest paccollective

bubba, here's to all the rhetoric you've ever posted on this forum.

 

let_one.jpg

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Guest govinda

I don't go in for DU/Kos-style conspiracy theories, but that one is true true true. Dead on, Bubba. I wouldn't trust dems to significantly alter SS either because I was watching in 1992-1993 when dems had all parts of gov't and the pork was flowing. Not like it flows today, this last budget is historic for its pork, but flowing nonetheless.

 

The main point is that the SS system works. There's never been a more successful social program, period. It's not in major trouble. In 1996, it was fine tuned, it needs fine tuning now.

 

It's a gas to go back to 1936 and read what republicans said then. In a nutshell, it was, we can't support the creation of social security because some future congress is just going to loot it. Set out a bag of cash, and it'll attract the looters. What they meant was, essentially, WE'LL loot it. Through 40 years of nonstop dem congressional control, nobody looted it, and in fact it got strengthened several times.

 

Goldwater in 1964: "It promises more benefits to more people than the incomes collected will provide."

 

GWB in 1978: "[sS] will be bust in 10 years unless there are some changes ... The ideal solution would be for Social Security to be made sound and people given the chance to invest the money the way they feel."

 

Wrong, and wrong. So now they're finally in power, and bam! Sixty nine years later, and guess what, same EXACT urge, bigger bag of cash. It's lootin' time.

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Guest headbox

Even a lot of Republicans are saying there's no problem with SS, but things are a little different compared to previous decades- the population over 65 is growing rapidly. So I don't think past history can accurately depict present day problems.

 

Imagine for a second that Bush actually cares about the future of Americans and knows one day his young daughters will retire and need benefits. He's also a second term President that doesn't really need to sensationalize something to get re-elected. He's also a Republican that (in theory) wants to scale back government involvement. When you add this up, it looks like the guy might have an insight to the situation and is doing something about it before it gets out of hand.

 

And anytime someone posts "out troops don't have enough..." or "they want to cut back troop benefits because..." Just remember that the USA spends more on its military than the next 25 nations combined, and SHOULD be looking for ways to scale things back. For the first time ever, soldiers have gone to war with body army that stops bullets (not just flak jackets) and the Army is about a month away from introducing the new M-8 rifle to replace the m-16. A Private enlisting today makes about 60% more than what they made 10 years ago- well above inflation. The hummer replaced the jeep and was never meant to be armored, and the news media fails to mention that the complaining soldiers are reserves that never wanted to go to war anyways, and are looking for ways out. The Army has made the new Striker vehicle wich is fully armored transport for all infantry units, including units that previously never had armored vehicles at all. So really, the media perspective on the state of the military is VERY skewed. Good news doesn't make money, so they want to tell you bad news and sell you shit during commercials.

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Guest pixelthief
Imagine for a second that Bush actually cares about the future of Americans and knows one day his young daughters will retire and need benefits.

 

I have a vivid imagination but even I cannot picture this. The bush twins? You telling me they're going to be living off SS?

 

He's also a Republican that (in theory) wants to scale back government involvement.  When you add this up, it looks like the guy might have an insight to the situation and is doing something about it before it gets out of hand.

 

Because he's done so well at scaling back big government thus far... He's a neoconservative first and a republican second. They apparently care nothing for scaling back government involvement.

 

And anytime someone posts "out troops don't have enough..." or "they want to cut back troop benefits because..."  Just remember that the USA spends more on its military than the next 25 nations combined, and SHOULD be looking for ways to scale things back. 

 

Perhaps, but they shouldn't be fucking with the income of those they so callously send off to die. There are plenty of other places to tighten the military budget. The wastefulness of the pentagon is the stuff of legends. Why don't they look there first?

 

Good news doesn't make money, so they want to tell you bad news and sell you shit during commercials.

23345[/snapback]

 

Good news? Perhaps then you'd like to share a few examples of headline-worthy positive war stories the corporate media has ignored.

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Guest headbox

Well yeah, the Bush twins don't need SS but even the most liberal person must admit a republican president CAN do good deeds.

 

As for media not covering the good in Iraq- daily news is nothing but a body count. 4 died here and 7 died there, etc. Meanwhile even more were murdered in the same day in the USA, and even more died from heart disease or cancer. But that's a boring way to die so it doesn't make the news. If people exploded when they died from being overweight, it would suddenly become the top news story. And then after the body count we see LA homes sliding down hills, and then Charlie Sheen getting dumped by his pregnant wife. Why the hell should a divorce make headlines?!

 

Everyone knows bad news sells, and good news doesn't. Otherwise Peace Corps volunteers would be interviewed, recycling facilities would be spotlighted, teachers commended, you know... boring stuff. As much as I'd like to slap Michael Moore for marketing f-9/11 on Al-jazeera, he made an excellent point in his film Bowling for Columbine about how we are a society saturated with fear. Our media sells us fear and anger. Other nations with similar gun laws have nowhere near the murder rates we do... ok I'm going off on a tangent here but you get the point.

 

I think if everyday we had a half-hour of good news, then an hour of in-depth good news coverage, it would do the world a lot of good. It would be nice to have the media inspire us instead of make us worry about everything.

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Guest igorschmigor

Not only the media is to blame. The US government has sent a lot of military to NY shortly before the iraq war to give the impression of being threatened. They didn't really have anything to do, just walked around in heavy gear with jeeps and stuff like the end of the world was coming.

In England the Government kept talking about massive terrorist threats such as possible biological and chemical attacks, while at the same time reducing the funds for disaster aid that would have been needed in such a case.

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Guest govinda

The media does what it does. In the runup to a war, it'll fan the flames. During the war, it'll look for chinks in the armor. This is to be expected. It'll happen every time. It'll happen no matter who's president. It may--may--happen less if there's a general impression that the war is legit. On that case, this war is going to suffer because, well, not to belabor it, but no wmd, no terrorist connections. Sure Saddam real bad guy, realbad!, but that's not how it was sold. Old dispute, don't want to rehash it.

 

The Italian journalist Giuliana Sgrena is a good case in point. Accidents that happen during wartime may be committed by people of perfectly good motives--assuming Sgrena's case is an accident. But a lot of young people standing around with guns means that there'll be a LOT of accidents. To give soldiers who cause accidents the benefit of the doubt for their good intent is far too generous seeing as the results are dead people, families blown apart, lives uprooted. Expect the media not to give these things a positive spin, to report that 'otherwise good guys shot up released prisoner giuliana Sgrena's convoy today...' Nope, not gonna happen.

 

It's a good idea to remember that the late 90's, time of plenty and contentment, were riven by media-created, overhyped scandals left and right. I would hope the outrage at the 'media' is general, regardless of whom the media is hurting, because during those years it was unbelievable. Chris Vlasto, a bigwig producer at ABC News, doctored a Hillary Clinton quote that appeared on the air and wrote an op-ed in right-wing central, The WSJ Opinion Page. The former is inexcusable, the latter remarkable. On the whole, Vlasto's actions make whatever Dan Rather did microscopic in comparison. But Vlasto still has his job. More recently, we have Britt Hume doctoring FDR's quotes last month. Outrageous, five times worse than whatever Rather did. But Hume still has his job.

 

That last paragraph, and about fifty other documented cases, is why I dismiss all claims by either side re the media. It is what it is. To complain is childish.

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Guest headbox
To complain is childish.

23393[/snapback]

 

wait a minute... since when does a liberal say THAT?! To complain holds people accountable!

 

You're right on about thousands of young guys standing around with guns causing accidents. According to the US, the Italian reporter was riding in a car that was speeding towards the checkpoint and ignored warning shots. To the Italians, they probably thought the first shots were aimed at them and said "holy crap! step on it and let's get out of here!" and the rest is tragic news.

 

Well in regards to Brit Hume, Dan Rather, and Chris Vlasto, if people boycott their programs then the TV stations see their rating fall, and then they get fired. Perhaps the FCC should even fine News programs if they intentionally air bullshit? If it costs millions to explose your booby, then it should cost even more to fabricate politically motivated news.

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