Monday, November 06, 2006

Never Discuss Religion or Politics

Or sex, for that matter. So I am doing well on this blog!

And yes, I am going to talk politics. Partly because I feel so strongly about certain issues that I am going to lie awake at night if I don't vent a little here. And partly because I am truly interested in what my commenters think and they are not going to tell me unless they have something to react to. I just hope that anyone who hates political talk or is offended by my opinions will simply tune me out momentarily and come back when I return to my usual programming.

Surely the Bush administration is going to cop a thrashing in these mid-term elections. Surely.

Firstly, and most importantly, for Iraq. Now, I never supported the Iraq war. I even joined the marches against it, despite the fact that as a veteran's "wife", I am not always so keen on anti-war protesters. I hate war. I know that is a stupid thing to say, because being against war is like being for motherhood - everyone feels that way. But I truly do hate war with my whole being. I hate it like a woman comes to hate a bad husband. Not just in principle, but down to every maddeningly annoying detail, so that the way he clears his throat makes her just as furious as the way he never pays the bills on time and fucks everything with a pulse. I know the impact of war intimately. I have been living with it for years now, and it never looks any better.

And yet, I am not necessarily a pacifist, despite my extreme hatred of all things war-like. It is a sad reality that, much as with individuals, a country has to be strong in order to be safe. Occasionally, very occasionally, under certain circumstances, a pre-emptive move may be warranted.

Part of the reason that the Iraq war looks so bad to me is that it has been such a muddle, right from the beginning. Despite my huge personal objection to wars, the historian in me makes me also somewhat pragmatic about them. If you are going to do it, you have to know why you are doing it, have clear objectives and an exit strategy (unless you plan to be there forever). Your own population needs to be behind you and have obvious reasons to stick with you when things get tough. And I have never seen much sign that the Bush administration was entirely clear on why they were going into Iraq, what exactly they planned to do when they got there, and especially how they planned to get out. There has been something about their vagueness on all these issues that has troubled me almost as much as the fact that they were doing it at all and that Australia was joining in.

And predictably, this war is becoming a debacle. A lot of people are dead, and yet so little is being accomplished. The wastefulness, the confusion and the apparent lack of a coherent plan offends me almost as much as the violence itself. War is a very serious thing and these people are just not up to the job.

And secondly, for Katrina. There is something just so horrifying to me about the way the administration just sat on its hands during that crisis. How is it possible that the people of a great city of world importance, in the richest and most powerful nation on earth, could languish for days with so little action from the central government? What were they all doing - fixing their hair?

If I was an American citizen, I would be so horrified about those two things that I just couldn't bring myself to vote Republican. Even if I believed in everything else that adminstration wanted to do, even if I hated the Democrats, Iraq and Katrina would be enough to make me just stay home out of sheer disgust. The fact that a guy like Ted Haggard, who has lectured other people for years on homosexuality while apparently having monthly appointments with a male sex worker, is part of the Bush scene is just an irritant in comparison. Its not like we haven't seen that kind of garden-variety hypocrisy before. I even feel kind of sorry for him.

And you know what? I don't hate George Bush. But I do think that he is dangerous. I think he is dangerous because he is incompetent.

With a career in government, I have learned that the most dangerous type of person is a person who is fundamentally incompetent. I would even rather work with someone whose ideas I hate, but whose competence I have to respect. Much of the time, in my job, I am working with or for people whose ideas I don't much like. But at least they have the capacity to form an intelligent view of events, formulate a plan and make it happen. In my experience, the people who have created the most chaos, unleashed the worst elements, have not been the "bad" people, but the weak and incompetent people.

This is a President who was such a weak candidate that, even in the beginning, he had to have Dick Cheney standing beside him and holding his hand in order to look passable. Even the Republicans seem to have relied on the fact that he would be taking good advice. Otherwise, he was just a former rich playboy and drug addict whose only apparent assets were his powerful family and an apparently genuine religious faith. Probably a nice guy. But, you know, I would have thought a country like America would require a little more from their President than just being a nice guy.

There seems to be some kind of vacuum in that administration where leadership and a coherent plan should be. I am not a conservative, but I have to agree with Kenneth Adelman, when he says that:

They (have) turned out to be among the most incompetent teams in the postwar era. Not only did each of them, individually, have enormous flaws, but together they were deadly, dysfunctional.

I also have to agree with David Frum, the former Bush speechwriter who said that the failure lies at the centre: with the President.

I found this article infuriating reading, and I'm not even an American.

Surely at least some heads are going to roll in this election. Otherwise, how will anything change?


Blogger Lickety Split said...

I can't believe that my fellow Americans fell for this ass twice. The reason he was delayed in acting on Katrina was because he was still trying to finish the childrens' book he was reading on 9/11.

The reason he goes by "W" is that it's easier to spell than George.

It's a travesty and I can't stand it that the ideas of:

-wanting the troops home safely
-being "patriotic"
-having "faith"
-having "family values"

are all things that are "exclusively Republican".

I question the war because our men and women in Iraq cannot. I question it because we still have no reason for it, no victory and no plan. I question the war because if my son were to die there,...I'd like to know why. We destablized a sovereign nation. We went from having the greatest moral authority to having none. We lost any sympathy worldwide and quite honestly we attacked a nation in an unprovoked manner.

4:18 PM  
Blogger LePhare said...

I'm afraid that the American administration seem to have no idea how the Arab mind works. Rather than G.W and the rest of the Coalition stirring up a hornet nest in Iraq, it would have been better for the Middle East if they had put more effort into solving the problem of Palestine. Now it may be too late.

What worries me more than anything is the uselessness of the U.N. A toothless lion. All roar and no bite.

5:19 PM  
Blogger Tajalude said...

I'm sure you & I wouldn't have much in common dicussing politics, but I fully understand and respect your viewpoints on the issues you stated.

It just seems so frustrating that our country seems so divided right now, and I think if you get right down to it, we're not that different from each other. I think by and large we all want the same things, but let the labels of conservative and liberal close our minds and ears to what each other has to say. Just watch any one of the news channels (CNN, FoxNews, etc) and it's like a live version of how we treat each other... talking as loudly and incessently as possible trying to be heard, and not hearing a word anyone else has to say. It seems only the "extremes" get heard, and that doesn't represent the majority of us.
All any of us can do is trust our hearts and our gut instincts and choose those whom we think will lead us well. Sometimes it's the lesser of two evils, sometimes it's someone you can really put your support behind. Regardless, I personally feel fortunate to live in such a wonderful country that allows us the opportunity to debate, discuss, and disagree. I just wish we did a little more listening to each other as well.

5:49 PM  
Blogger Rob said...

"If I was an American citizen, I would be so horrified about those two things that I just couldn't bring myself to vote Republican."

Well Emily, I was affirmatively nodding my head until you wrote those words (quoted above) and I then thought "whoa"! Look, you are Australian and I am Canadian but I disagree on telling others how to vote at the political party level. No matter which country one lives in, every political party has good people in it - as well as some not so good people. But that's how democracy works. To say to not vote one's conscience for a party leaves the vote to a one party rule. Not good! Bush may not be right for the U.S. but his term of office as president is on the way out in 2 years. His successor may be much different. Only time will tell. In the meantime, I think that it is the local issues that should also be considered and how each is going to be dealt with by reps of each of the parties looking for one's vote. So I would suggest that Americans vote for those politicians whom they think deserve their vote - whether they be Democrats OR Republicans. Just my opinion...

7:05 PM  
Blogger oldbear said...

Some salient points, from a lifelong conservative who has been forced by thee neo-cons to work for the Dems in the last two major elections. Emily and Lickety are correct. lephare is correct.

Tajalude, the reason we are so divided is that some of us just wont get off their ass and do the research to find out the truth about whats going on. If they did, they will become what i am, disgusted FORMER Bush supporters.

Personal faulitng other voters does not make for unity, but for God's sake how far down the toilet will our economy have to go for for some people to admit they are wrong and a rising tide does not raise the ships of the middle class whoes bottoms have been ruptured by NAFTA, CAFTA, outsourcing, downsizing, and a big old shift of the cost of running the country from the wealthiest people to the middle class nd the kids of the future.

how effed up does the war have to be before people admit this administration ran it wrong? Refused to listen to people like Shavishliki and pressured C powell to wuss out on his own doctrine.

Sent idealogically approved college kids to run the CPA. Read Fiasco by Tomas e Ricks, a good friend of the corps and the grunts for a blow by blow account of how effed the war has been run.

WE ON THE RIGHT have let our leaders rile us up about things like GAys, Abortion, Liberal Elite, Willie wants your guns, etc, while WE slowly let (OUR?) leaders allow corporations to ruin our jobs, pollute our country, run small businesses out of small towns, and generally ruin middle class life and abrogate our rights.

Repeat the work of media watch groups and see if you get different results. death of the fairness doctrine and elimination of the restriction on media concentration means a person has to work to try to find a good source of info that is not vetted by the administration or funnel through acorporate conglomerate.

How many neo con talkers are there? How many Air American type talkers are there?

You ae totally awesomely right that most of us want about the same thing; BUT the President, his corporate cronies, the gutless neocons who pushed for this thing and are now bailing on the president like rats froma sinking ship, and the corporations that are trying to tke over our political process dont give damn about the middle class. Period. Never have, never will.

And to top it all off a leader who described the constitution as "just a piece of paper". Who must think that the protections in the BOR are not Inalienable nor endowed by the creator since he feels free to exclude them from some people.

So if it seems like I aint listening to the neocons and corporatists and religiuos hypocrites who now are the buylk of conservatives you are correct. i already was that message, hell I lived for it, and I WAS WRONGG!!!! MEA CULPA MAXIMA!!! I alrady know all about it, and its wrong too!

Rob, with all due respect, i think yo are incorrect. sometimes your REAL friends are the only ones who will tell you you are screed up. Think of this as an intervention for an alcoholic.

i admit though, I would brsitle if an American tried to tell Canada what to do, so I can understand your reluctance.

Trust me the folks in power here dont give damm about demo-kratos, or democcracy, or a govenment "by the people, of the people,a nd for th people".

Get some Emily!!!!!!

8:05 PM  
Blogger Emily said...

Rob - I was talking about my own views. I said "If I was an American citizen, I just couldn't vote Republican," I didn't say that anyone who IS an American citizen should feel the same way.

I am genuinely interested in hearing from people who feel differently and why. I am pretty sure at least some of my regular commenters are Republicans, and I am interested in their views.

I respect people with Republican views. In fact, I feel a quite appeal to certain things that Republicans normally stand for - things like lack of faith in government to solve problems. I have a lot less faith in government since I have actually worked in government!

What I was trying to express was actually not Republicans versus Democrats (after all, I'm either), but frustration with incompetence. An awful lot of lives have been lost, both in Iraq and in New Orleans. And its one thing to lose lives in a good cause - its quite another to lose them due to incompetence and lack of planning.

11:33 PM  
Blogger FTN said...

Sadly, people are swayed too much by the media. The media is the gateway of information, and they choose what and how to report it. It's true even if you are getting your news from blogs, or other things that make you think you are more "informed" than others.

And if people in the U.S. think that CNN or Fox News are biased, take a look at what some of the media in other countries are saying. It's all biased, and none of us are completely informed, sadly.

I do enjoy reading how the blame for everything in the world falls on Bush. He causes hurricanes. He made me lose my job. He stole my children and killed my kitten. Even the comment board on my local online newspaper cracks me up with the fighting on both sides. Apparently, EVERYTHING is a political issue that one side could have done perfectly while the other side ruined.

I'll be voting today. For the most part, I pick the lesser of two (or 3 or 4) evils. The best people for political jobs, in my opinion, would never make it in politics. They just wouldn't get elected. And in today's election, other than one or two races, I'm generally voting in local stuff that has very little effect on overall legislation.

I'll vote for individuals, depending on how they reflect what I think. And yes, I assume the majority of those will be Republican. (Now, if I could just make the perfect mix of Republican and Libertarian ideologies, we'd be all set.)

9:14 AM  
Blogger O272 said...

There seems to be a fascination out there with the U.S. government that I don't understand. I could really care less who you voted in that sent Australian soldiers to Iraq. I kind of wonder how many others were unable to sleep - wondering how I'd vote today. Strange.

It reminds me of our fascination with Princess Di..except we liked her. ;)

11:03 AM  
Blogger LBP said...


What should the Federal Gov't have done for hurricane relief that the state and local officials couldn't have done?

11:08 AM  
Blogger Desmond Jones said...

Take this the right way, Emily, but I've come to take a certain wry amusment from the intense feelings that American elections stir overseas. I don't really mean to say "butt out and mind your own damn elections"; I'm just amused, and a little dumbfounded, that Aussies, and Canadians, and Europeans, and whoever else, care so much about elections in our li'l ol' country. Especially in a non-presidential year.

I'd echo FTN to the effect that the international media sure seem to paint a pretty one-sided picture of American politics. But that's their prerogative, I suppose. . .

Mind you, I'm no Republican, nor a particular admirer of Republicans. And I've grown less enchanted with Mr. Bush as things have gone along. But, from where I sit, the Democrats have made it abundantly clear that they hold me and my values/ideas in contempt. So what's a blogger to do? I take my duty as a citizen seriously enough that I can't bring myself to just stay home, but I don't love the choices I'm being given. . .

12:15 PM  
Blogger Finished Last said...


I believe that you have been somewhat duped as a lot of people have been about the situation with Katrina. New Orleans was a disaster waiting to happen because of the serious problems within the local infrastructure. Should and could the federal Government have acted more quickly and efficiently. In hindsight we can always say yes but the lion share of the blame for the problems in the aftermath lies within the state and local governments. I honestly do not think you would have seen a much different response from any administration. Also I think we saw there that we aren't nearly the match for the forces of nature that we would like to think we are.

wehn it comes to the war i believe it is very easy for us view things with 20/20 hindsight vision. I also believe that there are a lot of things that we simply don't know. Again, do I thiink everything has run as it ought to have? No. do I have confidence that kerry or sopme other administration would have done better? No I don't. I believe wew would still be sitting here today only this time it would be the Republicans rolling their eyes and wringing their hands in digust over the inefficiency of how it has been handled.For some reason we have come to expect war to be clean,quick, and easy and it never is. it is always bloody, ugly, and complicated. I echo your sentiments. When Bush declared the war on terror (and I know we could debate whether Iraq fits that description) he didn't promise a fast clean fight. he pledged a victorious fihgt but one which he admited would have to last beyond his years in office. if we want to see the job done then we have accept that there are going to be losses and sacrifices because that us what war always demands.

2:32 PM  
Blogger Emily said...

O272 and Desmond - I can understand how bemused you are by our interest. I think it is partly because a lot that happens in America ultimately affects the rest of the world very directly.

In our case, it is the general wisdom in Australia that most of our social trends are about 10 years behind the US, so when we look at the US, we feel like we are looking at our own future (apart, of course, from the crucial difference that Australia is very much a middle ranking country at best in terms of importance, while the US is a superpower).

Although I think the other reason is that American politics seems so... extreme. There is something amazing to the Australian mind in seeing the frenzied American crowds waving their placards and cheering their candidates. Australian politicians would struggle to fill a room, even if they offered free beer. We can barely stifle our yawns about our own politics - the endless re-election of John Howard, the most boring man on earth.

Australian politics heads relentlessly towards the middle ground on almost all questions. It is pitched almost entirely at the Australian suburbs and the question of who can keep home interest rates lower. It would be hard to slip a piece of paper between the positions of our two major parties on most issues.

Also, Australian society is very secular and most Australians are very irreligious by American standards. Watching American political campaigns damn and blast each other over issues like abortion and gay marriage is just a source of amazement to most of us.

Finished Last - I am quite surprised by your use of the word "duped" about Katrina. After all, I'm not exactly the target market for any conspiracy theories about the fate of American cities.

I understand that the official (Republican dominated) House report on Katrina found that, while the American emergency system mainly relies on state and local governments in the event of most disasters, Katrina was such a catastrophe that it demanded a national response.

I had to smile a little when I saw the line: "Earlier presidential involvement might have resulted in a more effective response."

The reason I feel strongly about this kind of thing is not just my strange addiction to American politics, but because my own home city, Darwin, was completely destroyed by a natural disaster when I was a child - in our case, a cyclone. The Australian government immediately appointed a major-general to oversee evacuation and reconstruction, who arrived in Darwin the same day the cyclone occurred. Darwin was substantially rebuilt and able to host the former population within four years.

With that background, I was just astonished to see how long it took the federal government to get involved in any effective way after Katrina. My thoughts on Katrina are based largely on that experience, and then watching the events after Katrina unfolding on the news, rather than listening to any political commentary.

2:09 AM  
Blogger Finished Last said...

After I posted the comment I thought that "duped" was not the best word to use there and I apologize for that. My point is that much of the coverage and critsism of the Federal Governments handling of the disaster relief implied a basic lack of compassion for the people of New orleans. I believe that is grossly unfair. There were problems which existed before the disaster which made it worse than it needed to be and there were ossues afterward which needed to be addressed differently than they were. I beleive that if the feds had reacted in the way you desribed in your own situatuation it would have come under attack for it's heavy handed tactics it's shoving aside the local efforts.

8:11 AM  
Blogger LBP said...

Good point, Finished last.

Question: how are people saved during floods?

Answer: By getting them to higher ground.

Question: What if there is NO higher ground?

Answer: Then you got a problem.

The idiot Mayor and the idiot Governor are flat responsible. They are responsible for the safety of their citizens. That is our system of government. The police power, the responsibility of public safety, is that of the state and local governments. It was their job to know about the problem and the solutions, their job to have a plan for catastrophe and their job to execute that plan and save peoples lives.

And they flat fucked it up. Nagin and Blanco fucked it up. Period. And what do you do in American politics when you are to blame? You point the finger at someone else. They've been good at that, I'll give them that one.

Emily, you have to understand the federal system in order to understand the differences. Bush knows federalism. I'm no big fan of his but he understands federalism. That is a high quality in a leader, one of his few sad to say.

10:29 AM  
Blogger Cat said...

Emily personally I don't think you were duped at all by Katrinia I think it is middle americans that were. As usual they were able to find easy excuses and logical reasons to hide behind the same old prejudices. Katrina was a natural disaster the non-response of the government was because the people in New Orleans were african american, poor, non republicans and that is the bottom line.

What worries me most about our politics right now is I am not sure where we go from here. I don't think we were justified to go to Iraq and I think being there is wrong but at this point I don't know how we can leave. It is a mess plain and simple a mess that our youth is dying for.

I just watched Bush's speech and as usual watched him stumble and bumble like only he can do. How did this idiot steal the presidency, lord only knows. Oh yeah that's right he said he was a believer, he said he was saved, and he convinced the american public that he was, and they gave him a blank check to do whatever he wanted.

The sad fact is now the true back bone of america will probably stay at home because now they think the satan filled athiests are running things the same way that democrats thought the unintelligent christians were running things before. And they are both wrong. Big business and lobbiest are truly running things and punking the american worker in the process and until we as amercian voters figure that out our government will probably remain a mess.

11:45 AM  
Blogger LBP said...

You are so mistaken. The people in Louisiana were shafted by Nagin and Blanco. Pure and simple. They had no plan for a city below sea level. That's just awful.

As far as Bush goes, like anyone, he's not perfect. He was simply better than the alternatives. Had Gore been president, OBL would be living in this country by now, working his deeds of terror.

12:02 PM  
Blogger oldbear said...

HI Desmond, exactly what values of yours does the Democratic party hold in contempt?

I can see that the unbalanced NeoCon Executive and Legislative branches of the last years holds the values of open, honest, and accontable govenment as not worhthy of pursuing. But what do you think the average Democrat values that is so bad?

I have lived in a state run by liberal Democrats my whole life. They have never tried to confiscate my guns (if I had a sportster I would have given it to my buddy in AZ), or make me marry a queer, or stop me from dippin or swillin beer, or tried to consfiscate my FWD, or tried to assault my family. maybe they want a gummit thats a little too big to suit me, but they never tried to take any of my businesses.

FTN, again you are right, the media is a poorer source of information thanit has ever been. The biggest reason?

Media concentration. To be sure some of th damage came under slick willie, but mostly it has been a corporatist agenda aided and abetted by Republicans that have allowed the elimination of diverse ownership of media outlets.

Alos FTn , I think yo are right that everything is not Bush's fault. Yet he is the symbol of, and was the biggest salesperson for manyof the things tht are messed up in thsi country. To be sure, the Legislators who abrogated their responsibility to check his power are to blame, as are the fool voters who did not exercise their due diligence and reign in their other representatives when then problems became apparent.

FL, we are trying to occupoy and police acountry in Iraq, we finished our war with them in few months. Our occupying and training forces are trying to trin Iraqis to self police faster thatn the forces from each faction who dont want a strong central govenmnet not run by their faction can kill them.

Terrorism is a method of asymetrical warfare. It allows relatively underfunded and underequipped forces to sap the political will of a more powerful occupyer or aggressor. In Iraq the opfor has th advantages of local operations and HUGE amoutn of everything from small arms to rpgs to artillery shgells for IEDs.

Saying we are fighting a war against terror is as silly as saying we are fighting a war agaisnt armor or airborne or Naval.

Fighting terrorists can be done, eg the Brits in Burma, and some of our Chesty Puller era ops in Nicarauga. But if we dont remove the drivingf force behind the unhappy masses we just had to deal with more problems decades down the road.

Fanatical Islamic people will always exist, but without support fromt eh "Arab Street"a nd moneyfrom fols like the UAE and SA they can not do much damge to us.

Getting grunts whacked by various factions of insurgents in Iraq does NOTHING to examine all the cargo coming into our ports, or seal the land borders. It just gets them killed and keeps them from being aailable (the NG and AR) for say flood evac ops.

LBP, the scope of the Natural forces that made this a disaster were such that for the most part the prevention of the catastrophe and its immediate relief were beyond the scope of local government.

Depending on how one chooses to believe, either rainfall flows downstream or stormsurge moving from the gulf in overwhelmed the engineered systems that typically protect and have protected the city.

Of course its dumb to have city in a bowl surrounded by water.

It is also dumb to have cities where it gets tornadoes, or earthquakes, or crazy snowstroms, or wildfires.

We still support and rebuild those places.

COE channelization of the Mississippi and its delta is what has made peak downstream flows so ferocious and fast/high rising.

Increased size and speed of the vessels coming frome the Gulf upriver and vice versa has destryed much of the natural "semi-lands" that provided the protection from surge floodwaters.

Both are Federally controlled actviites.

To be sure ther would have been Lots of death and destruction from K no matter what, but the scope, duration, and mitigation of peoples misery have all been worse due to federal cronyism and imporoper activity.

To some extent this is not he fault of the Bush administration, except the gutting of key FEMA posts for political appointees who were Totally incompetent and who then ALSO removed the key people who could have provided some core of able government leadership.

Regardless of all the haggling over the details by us, her original questions still stand pretty well.

How in the heck can a Country of the greatness of ours F_CK two very important things up so badly?

4:29 PM  
Blogger Cat said...

lbp since you addressed your comment to me I feel honor bound to respond. America sent aid to the victims of the psunami within 2 days. It took them 5 to get water to New Orleans. Our police force stood at the bridge with guns to keep fellow americans from leaving New Orleans and certain death. The army core of engineers built the sorriest excuse for a levy known to man and are beyond prosecution and law suits. If the neatherlands can build a levy please explain why one of the richest countries in the world couldn't manage?

Was the president responsible for a hurricane? Of course not. Did he take his sweet time sending aid and support to tax payers and american citizens? Heck yeah. Why? Well as he told the NAACP and BET several times over the black vote is not one he can win, it is not part of his base, and so it is not a priority. Do I think the same slow response would have happened if the damage had been to Houston? Nope so that by my definition is indeed about race.

Oh and btw Emily I don't find it unusual at all that you are interested in American politics. I have found through my online friends that people outside the US are much more aware of us and other cultures than americans are aware of other countries and other cultures. What I do find interesting is our complete comfort with that notion. The notion that if it is not happening here then it is not worth paying attention to.

And I am really tired of hearing the fight in Iraq being linked to a so called war on terror. The war in Iraq was a mistake. There are several evil dictators on this earth and it is not america's place to remove any of them. Dictators are overthrown by the people when the people get tired of them. Anything else is doomed to failure. Which is why we have become occupiers in the middle of a civil war instead of liberators. Something that other countries already understand and for some reason the youngest country in the bunch can't get through their head. If anyone actually thinks that Iraqis feel liberated by having the infadels force their world view on their country they are living in a dream world.

Ok Emily you got my political voice all out and ranting are you happy now, lol...

6:10 PM  
Blogger Desmond Jones said...

Oldbear, you make me regret having said anything at all. I'll leave it up to your imagination what values/ideas of mine I perceive that the Democrats hold in contempt.

Mainly, while, as I said, I take my duty as a citizen very seriously, I am coming to detest the attitude, ever more prevalent, that politics holds something akin to ultimate significance. In a world properly ordered, politics would have minimal impact on people's day-to-day lives. And honestly, that's how I aspire to live mine.

So, please forgive me if I don't engage you quite as passionately as you'd like me to. . .

6:53 AM  
Blogger oldbear said...

Hi Desmond, thank you for a very classy reply to me. That is very Gentlemanly.

I too WISH we could get back to the point where politics is hobby and not a religion.

When most of what we were fighting for as Republicans were simple things like less government intrusion into our lives, less restraints on an individuals right to try and get rich by making a business, and more local control.

All those things have been abndoned by my party lately, and the only agenda beign pushed seems to be that of Religious zealots who are trying to impose their beliefs on all of us, and corporatists who seek absolute power and the rights of people for corporations even though the corporation bears none of the duties of a citizen.

But make no mistake, this tooth and nail thing going on was foisted on ALL Americans by people like Rove and financed by people like Norquist and Mellonscafe (sic?).

I can imagine which values you think "Democrats" hold in contempt.

What I cant imagine or believe is that any of the values of a person so thoughtful and restrained would be held in contempt by any of the Democrats in my family, Which is mostly D except for Me and Brother and Couple of cousins.

Put differently, my aunt who favors access to abortion has never had one, and none of her girl childrens has so much as gotten preggers out of wedlock.

In the end I think all of this would be pretty much solved if we did a few simple things.

we need to get rid of the legal rights to free speech and donation for Corporations.

make paid petion signers and paid political phone callers and autmatic phone messages for politics illegal.

The right Of the people to petition for redress is a cornerstone of democracy.

Letting money offfset the legitimate volunteer interest of concerned citizens dilutes or erodes the principle of one person/one vote.

Eliminate media concentration and reinstate the fairness doctrine.

An informed citixzenry is the best defnse against all sorts of excess and corruption.

Eliminate the tax exemption for all churches, since they are ALL into politics nowdays anyhow.

Lord knows my denomination alone woudl reallly help cut the deficit if it paid its fair share of taxes!

I am doubtful all that much will change now the Democrats have both houses of congress, toomuch inertia and ignorance in the body politic, but I would gladly settle for a little more openess in Govt and some investigations into some of the corruption and excess that this recent reign of unchecked power seems to have grown.

I totally agree with you that it would be best if politics had little effect onour daily lives, Perhaps the bigger dn more prosperous the middle class is the more such a goal would become reality?

8:03 AM  

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