Problem with Bush

Discussion in 'Political Discussions' started by Laser100, Aug 29, 2004.

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  1. Bruce

    Bruce Moderator Staff Member

    In other words, weak-minded.

    If they want to retain a shred of credibility, the Dems probably shouldn't vote for a bill, then criticize it a bit later.
     
  2. flipkid

    flipkid New Member

    Nahhh! That way they can say they were for it (when it is convenient for them to be so) but now they are against it (once again when it is convenient for them to be so)

    Credibility? Any of that left in Washington? I thought it was required to check that at the door else they would not let you in.
     
  3. BLD

    BLD New Member

    Well they're certainly not trying to repeal it! To hear most Democrats talking, you'd think that all of them were against the Patriot Act, but that is hardly the case. Not only did many of them vote for it, including Kerry and Edwards, but the party platform definitely includes support for the act. Any statement about reforming it to the contrary, they still are supporting the Patriot Act.

    BLD
     
  4. Mr. Engineer

    Mr. Engineer member

    Thanks for the link Tom
     
  5. nosborne48

    nosborne48 Well-Known Member

    My problem with the President

    What freedom have I lost?

    That really isn't the right question to my mind. "What power over me does the President claim?" is a better question, first because it has a meaningful answer and second because it strikes to the heart of this election, IMHO.

    As part of the War on Terror, which the President just admitted can't be won, BTW, the administration claimed that it could arrest and detain any person, U.S. citizen or not, inside or outside the U.S., indefinately, in secret, incommunicado, without process of any sort, solely because the President decides that this person is a terrorist or assisting terrorism. Now we learn that some in the administration also believe that no statute, constitutional provision, or treaty can act to restrict the power of the President to order a terrorist tortured, even killed.

    In short, the President claims the personal power of life and death over any human being.

    This is obscene. It causes me horror to contemplate. It is immoral and damned un American. It is profoundly dangerous. And it affects EVERY American.

    This country was attacked on 9/11 in a way that no one will ever forget. I cannot see, though, that the actions of this administration have done much to fight terrorism; rather, our unilateral actions in Iraq appear to have been unnecessary and to have diverted resources from the War on Terror to the War for Oil, a war intended and planned long before 9/11.

    This is just my opinion. I will vote (sigh) for Kerry, though Kerry makes no promise to do anything different. In my case, my vote is intended to hold the President accountable for his failures in office. In short, I want to fire him for incompetence. And because he scares me.
     
  6. BillDayson

    BillDayson New Member

    Five links have been posted to this thread.

    I posted two of them.

    The first was the actual text of the Patriot Act, from the Library of Congress' website:

    http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/z?c107:H.R.3162.ENR:

    Posts to this thread have screamed that the Patriot Act is analogous to to acts passed by Adolph Hitler and that it threatens fundamental American liberties. But (with one exception) nobody has seen fit to cite a specific section of the act in the course of their rants. There has been no intelligent discussion of what's wrong with any of the provisions.

    My second link was to the results of the Senate roll-call vote that passed the Patriot Act, taken from the US Senate's own website:

    http://www.senate.gov/legislative/LIS/roll_call_lists/roll_call_vote_cfm.cfm?congress=107&session=1&vote=00313

    Much of the overheated rhetoric on this thread has implied that the Patriot Act is an example of totalitarian Republican policies, steadfastly opposed by the freedom-loving Democrats. In reality the Act was a bipartisan measure, passed almost unanimously by the legislators of both parties. John Kerry voted for it.

    I think that both the Democrats and Republicans can agree that these provisions need close oversight and may require periodic revision. Some sections of the act may prove ineffective. Other sections may be subject to abuse.

    But that rather common-sensical observation is a lot less entertaining than heated political rhetoric.
     
  7. adireynolds

    adireynolds New Member

    Re: Re: Problem with Bush

    I'm going to have to agree wholeheartedly with this. I see poverty every day. For example:

    Our cleaning guy moonlights on the side for us, and cleans our villa every week. It takes him about 5 hours to do so. We pay him the equivalent of ~$22.00 for this work . . . which is about 70% more than the going rate, I might add. So, from us, he makes about $90-100/month. He does this willingly. Why? Because it nicely supplements his income from his real job, which is about the same amount. He also gets free housing (i.e., 5-10 guys in a small one-bedroom apt.), free meals, and a plane ticket + 30 days vacation home every two years (to India).

    Do you know why he does this . . . working a 6.5 day week, then an extra 5 hours for us, for $200 a month? Because it's much better than he can earn at home. At home, there's a good chance of being unemployed, and being unemployed in India brings the meaning of poverty into a totally different realm than it does in the U.S.

    Aladin (his name) is certainly not unique. There are thousands of workers here in the Middle East in the same situation, that count themselves forunate to have a chance to work and send money home to their families. The workers on the farm next to my villa are all from Pakistan, and haven't been home for a couple of years. The guy that works at the roastery counter at my supermarket is from Nepal, and works there, only going home every two years, so he can put his son through a good primary school in Nepal, where apparently they are too expensive for him to afford if he were working back in his home.

    What Americans call poverty, or as claimed to be found in America, is, most often, not. Does that mean that poverty doesn't exist in America? No, of course not. BUT, what is considered "the poverty line" in America is more often thought of as being quite well off in many other parts of the world.
     
  8. nosborne48

    nosborne48 Well-Known Member

    poverty

    Actually, in my work with abused and neglected children and indigent criminal defense, I have also seen a good deal of what passes for poverty.

    If you define "poverty" in terms of the objective NATIONAL standard, that is, an income below a certain amount for a certain family size, there IS a lot of it out there. But I promise you that an adequate income here in New Mexico would be less than subsistance in San Francisco. The national standard is misleading.

    However, if you define "poverty" as "destitution", there really ISN'T much of it around here, though my county is consistantly ranked as one of the half dozen poorest in the country and my state is ususally one of the two or three poorest in terms of per capita income and percentage of children living in poverty. My personal impression is that there's more poverty than there USED to be, but in general, I agree. No one need starve. This isn't the 1930's.

    Now, I do think that you will find genuine destitution on some of the poorer and more remote Indian reservations. Indian gaming has helped a good deal with that situation but not all tribes are able or willing to go into that business.
     
  9. Tom Head

    Tom Head New Member

    In other words, facing a threat nobody was 100% sure how to deal with in the short term--and erring on the side of caution by going with the more restrictive option, and setting a time limit on it.

    You're right that it looks a little strange for somebody who voted for the Patriot Act to say that it's a piece of totalitarian legislation that the president was wrong to sign, but it doesn't look at all strange for anyone to suggest that the bill be revised before it's renewed; that's exactly why it was set to expire in the first place.

    There's also a trust issue here, just as there was with the Iraq War authorization. The implication was that the Patriot Act was supposed to be used to fight terrorism, to prevent another 9/11; Ashcroft has been using it to fight white collar crime. I'm not saying this is a bad use of the new law enforcement powers, but it isn't why Congress approved them.


    Cheers,
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 30, 2004
  10. Tom Head

    Tom Head New Member

    That's a Clintonian half-truth; they support a Patriot Act, but not the one that is currently in effect.


    Cheers,
     
  11. Tom Head

    Tom Head New Member

    Re: My problem with the President

    I agree here, and I'm wondering why no Republicans posting to this thread have said whether or not they agree with Bush's earlier decisions (thankfully hamstrung by the Supreme Court) to freely classify U.S. citizens as "enemy combatants" who have no constitutional rights, or even any status under the Geneva Conventions. I would never want to see a president--even a Democratic president--with so much power, and I think it's frightening that the Bush personality cult has become so dominant among right-wingers that most are completely comfortable with this idea. Are there any powers you folks wouldn't grant President Bush?


    Cheers,
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 30, 2004
  12. Tom57

    Tom57 Member

    Re: Re: Problem with Bush

    This is nonsense. While you are technically correct, it is totally misleading. This is the common right-wing tactic of using extreme examples to draw blanket conclusions.

    Yes, the government measures poverty levels by looking at current income. Yes, there are some people who have little income, but who have lots of assets, and thus they are not truly poor.

    This is the minority, folks. How many people do you know with a few million in the bank, and very little income? Maybe call it a red herring while we're at it.

    This is just like right-wingers who cite the welfare mom who rips off the system, and so everyone on welfare is a crook. Don't forget the mother who had 6 abortions, so everyone who has an abortion is using it as birth control. Let's also remember the "natural" fertilizer that actually has dangerous chemicals in it that pollute groundwater, so every attempt at environmental safety is just a rip-off. The list goes on and on.

    Sorry you'll have to come up with a better argument to assuage your guilt. That one doesn't work.

    And on to a different subject... YOUR man George Bush finally admitted on national TV that John Kerry served honorably in Viet Nam. He also admitted that Kerry served more bravely than he did, since Kerry "was in harm's way," and of course Bush was not.

    Isn't it a little hard to keep up the Swift Boat Veterans for blah blah... argument now that your leader has finally admitted what those with brains have been claiming all along?

    The sad part is that Bush still does nothing to stop the ads, because he likes the effect on the polls. How pathetic! So it came down to the fact that, when put on the spot, he had to say what he did, because he realized he HAD to tell the truth or else look like a pathetic liar, yet he won't actually do the honorable thing and call of his henchmen, because he secretly hopes that it will put him over the top in the election.

    Don't forget to vote!!!
     
  13. Tom Head

    Tom Head New Member

    Re: Re: Re: Problem with Bush

    I saw this interview; it was too late, but not exactly too little, and I'm not sure I'd put it in the "finally admitted" category. Kerry never took a particularly fierce stand when Michael Moore accused Bush of going AWOL, either. Politics is dirty, and Kerry should know that.

    What I don't understand, though, is why folks actually believe these Swift Boat mudslingers. Yes, the Cambodia story is probably either a fabrication or an example of really good spin, but there was hostile fire during the rescue incident (as every report given at the time indicates--including those made by current critics), Kerry demonstratably did bleed (unless you can get shrapnel permanently embedded in your leg without bleeding), and none of the Swift Boat activists worked closely enough with Kerry to make the claims they're making. Also dismissed (by the so-called liberal media) is the background of grand inquisitor John O'Neill, who was Richard Nixon's choice to criticize Kerry as early as 1971, in a televised debate they had over the legitimacy of the war (O'Neill thought it was a just, winnable war and wanted to see it continue indefinitely; Kerry, of course, wanted to see it end). A few old video clips would demonstrate that O'Neill is a shrewd Republican activist who has been gunning for Kerry for decades, and not an outraged vet who has suddenly discovered that he disagrees with what Kerry claims to have done during the war.


    Cheers,
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 30, 2004
  14. adireynolds

    adireynolds New Member

    Re: poverty

    Nosborne,

    I find nothing to disagree with you about in your posting -- certainly the definition of poverty is relative, based on observations and perceptions. I guess my main gripe (and it's not only about this topic) is the myopia of so many Americans (and this is not directed at any specific person on this board). It is my understanding that the majority of Americans never go abroad (no, I don't have data on hand to back this up, but intuitively it seems right), and so really have no clue as to what life is like outside of the U.S. I just want to shake some people, and say, "If you really knew what (insert topic here) was like, you would be on bended knee thanking whatever higher power that you are an American!"

    Perhaps I've become the stereotypical jaded expat, but, IMHO, Americans, in many ways, are spoiled and truly ignorant (as in don't know) about the rest of the world and the people that live in it.

    Note: Despite these feelings, I still love my country, deeply, and will return to live there one day. I just get enormously frustrated sometimes at my fellow countrymen and women.
     
  15. BillDayson

    BillDayson New Member

    Re: Re: My problem with the President

    I'm a political independent, but I'll respond to your challenge.

    I don't know the exact details of how "enemy combatants" are defined. I do have considerable misgivings about the idea.

    But in wartime, in combat, enemy fighters aren't given jury trials, they are just shot. When the US had the AC-130 blasting the Mahdi Army out of buildings in Najaf recently, they weren't read Miranda rights or allowed to consult with an attorney.

    The problem is that when war is fought clandestinely, through sabotage and mass killings of civilians, by secret agents hiding among the civilian population, the principles of warfare and the principles of criminal procedure are confused.

    I imagine that there are lots of legal precedents here, ranging from the rights of the accused in criminal trials to treatment of enemy agents in wartime.

    Perhaps the biggest difference between the Democrats and the Republicans derives from how the post 9-11 situation is defined. Is this wartime? Or is it peacetime? Are terrorist suspects criminal defendents or captured enemy sabotours?

    Let me back up for a moment and look at the events of 9-11.

    Several thousand Americans died that day, more than were killed at Pearl Harbor. And that despite the attack being something of a failure.

    I think that the intention was for the lateral force of the aircraft striking the towers to topple them sideways immediately, before anyone could evacuate. The towers would have been laid out on Lower Manhattan, toppling additional towers full of office workers as they fell in a domino effect. I've seen estimates that would have caused upwards of 50,000 dead, to say nothing of destroying the New York Stock Exchange and Wall Street.

    In other words, this was intended to be an attack on a nuclear scale, causing casulties similar to those at Nagasaki. This isn't a game here. America is not the same place it was on 9-10.

    So... do we interpret this as war, or to we treat it as a law enforcement problem on steroids?

    It's a tough question, and Bush could (and given the realities of party politics inevitably would) be pilloried no matter what he did.

    He could read al Quaida and their friends their rights and appoint them lawyers, and the Democrats would denounce him as weak and ineffective for not treating the first foreign attack on US soil since 1812 as an act of war. Or he could act as countries do act in wartime, and be ripped to shreds for not honoring all the nicieties of peacetime.

    I'm not comfortable with it either. Not by a long shot.

    But I should point out that the legal precedents that Bush used were largely created by Franklin D. Roosevelt during World War II. That's when the Supreme Court upheld Roosevelt's application of the "enemy combatant" category to German agents captured in the United States.

    These are powers that every President has possessed since that time, in case the situation demanded them. Well, one can certainly argue that 9-11 exceeded that threshold.

    These are serious issues, not just occasions to vent political frustration.

    I can see criticizing and second guessing this or that detail of what Bush has done. I would welcome constructive suggestions and would consider voting for the Democrats if they can provide some clearly better alternatives.

    But I object to attempts to vilify President Bush or to insult Republicans in general, for doing things that Democrats would have done, in fact already have done, in similar circumstances.
     
  16. Khan

    Khan New Member

    Re: Re: Re: My problem with the President

    I don't think attacking Iraq was on any Democrats radar screen. Afganistan, yes....but Bush isn't being criticized for that. We get it..they were harboring the guy that planned it.

    But Iraq? How many Iraqi's were on those jets? Zip. What was Iraq's part in 9-11. Zip. WMD. Zip.

    The victors are rewriting the history as fast as they can, but the joke remains the same;
    "Oh my God they have bombed Pearl Harbor....quick ...attack Mexico."
     
  17. Laser100

    Laser100 New Member

    Patriot Act

    The Democratic party and Kerry voted for the Patriot Act to be use as a temporary basis.

    This is far different from making it permanent, which is what Bush wants to do.
     
  18. AV8R

    AV8R Active Member

    Re: Re: Re: Problem with Bush

    Plenty...they're called retirees. These are often people who have worked hard all of their lives to carefully save and invest and live a modest life so that they can enjoy a life of leisure and relaxation later. Most of these people were small business owners.
     
  19. AV8R

    AV8R Active Member

    Re: Re: Re: Problem with Bush

    You're joking, right? Bush has said that Kerry has served honorably all along. This doesn't exactly qualify as a great revelation.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 30, 2004
  20. Myoptimism

    Myoptimism New Member

    Re: Re: poverty

    Uh huh, sure it isn't. :mad:

    Tony
    J/K :D
     

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