Presidential election 2008: candidates, campaigns, issues


  1. What if it was Obama Palin vs McCain Biden?

    September 14, 2008
  2. Anne Bretts said:

    The immediate answer is that if those were the tickets, pigs (with lipstick) would be flying overhead.
    Bright, again, I’m not getting your point. How would you envision this even happening? Wouldn’t it be better to discuss the real issues instead of starting the thread with a detour?
    But just to show I’m a good sport, I’ll give an answer.
    Obama and Palin would never be on the same ticket because they are completely opposite on issues and their supporters don’t agree on the issues. They also would not be on the same ticket because Palin doesn’t have the experience, the underlying knowledge or the ethics to be on a national ticket. She maybe a quick study, but you can’t learn foreign policy in two months. She didn’t study foreign policy in college, she has had no interest in it until know. That’s exactly how we got into trouble with Bush; everyone thought if he had good advisers they could make up for his lack of knowledge. Not true.
    News stories today outline her history of giving important jobs to old school friends, of using power for power’s sake. And she’s still lying about the bridge to nowhere, despite mountains of proof that she supported it.
    And while I don’t support getting into family business, she has made being a mother a major part of her resume, so is it true that the daughter wasn’t engaged until the boy was ordered to show up at the RNC? Is it true the daughter was living with an aunt because Sarah Palin was angry at her for being pregnant?
    I’m sorry, but a young boy shouldn’t be forced into marriage to fulfill a politician’s ambitions. And a mother doesn’t banish a child who fails to live up to her expectations.
    The idea of her being a heartbeat away from the presidency is just too scary to consider.

    September 14, 2008
  3. kiffi summa said:

    Impossible to even consider…

    September 14, 2008
  4. john george said:

    Bright- Now that is a radical proposal! In this particular case, I think it would be like putting two cats into a bag and closing the end. The result would probably be two dead cats. Besides, what would we call such a ticket, since we Americans are so into labels. Republicat? Democan? The possibilities on this are almost endless, but I’m assuming Griff was looking for more serious debate here.

    September 14, 2008
  5. Hi, JG! Nope, I don’t think it’s radical. What I am looking for is to see people think outsideatha cube. It’s offensive to me that Americans, the oh so free and well educated people of the world, would only be able to lay down party lines and then go party. What about thinking what we want for ourselves, as any one of us might represent thousands of others with the same needs and dilemnas, and not let the party leaders do all the thinking for us.

    Then, we use this fabulous tool called the Internet and disperse these ideas that are more likely to be more to the point of how we can all grow this young country of ours into a better place for everyone without the GOVT. standing in the way, and maybe even pave the way for greater innovation and surpassing the long lag times we now endure.

    Ideas on how we can live with or without all those issues which are plaguing our good country, and how we can see eye to eye on solid solutions. They don’t always cost money. They need creative ideas that we know could work while still paying out less than we have had to in the past. I don’t know, this is just me tossing out some framework and to others who think
    there is a bean to plant and grow here.

    Ideas like flex time and job sharing and natural gas for vehicles and smothies.

    September 14, 2008
  6. john george said:

    Bright- Basically, what you are proposing is the original Greek democratic process. The internet does open up all kinds of possibilities for quick communication, but seeing how discussions amongst just a few people on this blog can get bogged down (perhaps that is why it is called a blog?), I don’t have much hope for any simplification or efficiency being attained through this type of method. Just because of the sheer size of the country, it would seem that our representative form of government is still the best.

    As far as the two parties go, at least there can be some sense of majority rule. When Ross Perot tried to affect the process with a strong third party, it essentially split the conservative vote to the point that Bill Clinton was elected by only 43% of the voting public. This is still a simple majority by percentages, but I could see the country being polarized more and more by single issue oriented parties breaking off on their own. What with the Green, Independent, Democratic, and Republican parties right now, add into the mix a Latino Party, an Islamic Party and the Evangelicals rise up again with some kind of God Party, I could see chaos begin to ensue. Our process is certainly not ideal, but it does work.

    As far as the two tickets before us, there is certainly not much in similarities, aside from the status quo of a burgeoning federal beuracracy. This election, IMHO, is going to be a good indication of where the voters have any trust in and put any hope in either ideology to provide a secure future. It will be interesting to see how it comes out. I don’t have any real sense of where the chips are going to fall.

    September 14, 2008
  7. Come on, ladies! Stretch the imagination for a moment. I wasn’t hoping for more candidate bashing. I am still hoping for some really take a minute to consider the possibility, what if Sarah was willing to comprimise like she said, and Obama was willing to reach hands across the aisle like he said, and McCain you know would listen to Biden on all sorts of things. This is totally possible. Biden admits what friends he is with McCain, except for a couple of issues, which he voted FOR anyway. This is possible. They are politicians, after all.

    September 15, 2008
  8. Arlen_Malecha said:

    Anne, why did you feel it was necessary to come down on Bright for asking a question? Just because you don’t get her point is no reason to come down on her. Last time I checked free speech was still alloowed in America.

    Perhaps you should look at your own postings before coming down on someone else for theirs. You seem to want to spread rumor rather that looking at the real issues. You are the one who posted “so is it true that the daughter wasn’t engaged until the boy was ordered to show up at the RNC? Is it true the daughter was living with an aunt because Sarah Palin was angry at her for being pregnant?”

    This is gossip, not fact. These are family matters not anyone elses business. I would be willing to bet that most all Presidents and Vice Presidents have skeletons in their closets that they would rather not have come out.

    It amazes me how we as citizens want to look at the negative in politics rather than the positive. Maybe is is because that is all we see in the tv ads from the candidates themselves.

    I don’t classify myself as a democrat or republican and therefore do not vote along party lines. I tend to cast my vote based the positives I know about a candidate and the job I feel they can do for me and all of America.

    So in closing, I do think that Bright’s question is a good one. Afterall, McCain (Republican) was considering Joe Lieberman (Democrat turned Independant) as his running mate.

    September 15, 2008
  9. Anne,
    Thank you for your comments (#2). I couldn’t agree more.

    There are MAJOR differences on major issues between Obama/Biden and McCain/Palin. Leadership ability, judgment, personality and experience are also valid in discussing who should be elected president and vp. If there is to be discussion here, it would seem to be fruitful to focus on that.

    For me, it boils down to who will serve this country and the world best as the single most influential individual in the single most powerful nation in the world over what are sure to be four (or eight) tumultuous, challenging years in which radical change of course is desperately needed in the US and the world. On issues and personal qualities, for me, Obama wins hands down over McCain as the possible change agent we so badly need. I know others will differ with me.

    On the heartbeat away from the presidency issue, I feel comfortable with the possibility of Joe Biden as president, but Sarah Palin scares the bejeezus out of me. I can understand why the right wing is fired up by her addition to the Republican ticket, but enthusiasm from anyone else over her selection frankly baffles me.

    September 15, 2008
  10. Paul Zorn said:

    Not much action here for the moment, for some reason, so let me try (not or the first time) something contrarian, vaguely related to Bright’s idea of the VP candidates trading places and to the many postings in that diss the R and D parties and congratulate the posters for their independent minds.

    I like the two-party system. (I’m not crazy about the two parties we actually have right now, but that’s a different question.)

    And I’d prefer more, not less, party discipline and party identification among candidates and elected officials. Independent-mindedness has its place, but in our political system, and in most others, parties are the means by which people actually get together to propose programs, enact legislation, etc. In a system with two reasonably viable parties, each party has an incentive to propose moderate rather than extreme policies, to which a majority of voters can reasonably be expected to be attracted.

    The system works poorly when, as here and now, party discipline is weak and candidates tend to run (however dishonestly) as outsiders and mavericks rather than as experienced actors who might accomplish something. In such an environment parties compete less on serious programs and policies than on hot-button cultural issues, which don’t really belong in the political arena, and on cheap slogans and implausible promises. And parties feel free—and are free—to put forth ludicrously underqualified candidates for high office.

    Viva partisan politics!

    Paul Zorn

    September 15, 2008
  11. Paul Fried said:

    Paul Z: You offer an interesting position, to say you’re not particularly fond of the parties as they are, but to believe in partisan politics.

    There have been times when many Democrats/liberals were in favor of exporting democracy and capitalism, and where, on the other had, Republicans (like Ron Paul and to some extent John J. Duncan, Jr., of TN) have advocated small government, avoiding foreign entanglements like nation-building, and a small military that is used more for national defense than for expanding US corporate-military empire.

    Now we have a Republican party that wants it both ways: To claim they’re conservative about taxes and spending, but to support a global military (and increasingly expensive, privatized military) project that we can’t long afford. They’re pro-business and pro-free market, which means deregulation, like having a western town without a sheriff so the liars, outlaws and general thieves can have free run of the place. The party is fracturing especially in light of Bush-Cheney, but was also fracturing during the Bush I years. They say they’re in favor of traditional family values, but these conflict with the free market stuff listed above. Does this party have a future unless it undergoes some radical change in focus — or unless it keeps getting a lot of big money from the richest of the liars and thieves?

    We have a Democratic party that is increasingly perceived as aligned with unions (decreasing in influence and popularity), with the poor, with minorities, feminists, gays, and elitist atheists. Who but those groups (and maybe some Christians dedicated to solidarity with “the least of these” as the Gospels say) especially wants to think of themselves as associated with that party? Does this party have a long-term future unless it changes its focus?

    During the depression, many of the richest corporate CEO’s hated the New Deal, and some conspired to have FDR’s government changed to a Fascist government that favored corporate interests. But it was only the small help from the New Deal, and the large infusion of public (federal) funds for the war effort, that lifted the nation out of the depression. There was a disconnect: The rich didn’t see that it was in their best interests to have a thriving, productive middle class of active consumers.

    It seems we’re heading slowly (or today, more quickly) toward a new era of crippling economic challenge for the majority, with real inflation-adjusted wages falling over decades, with taxes cut for the rich, with social security withholding rising for the lower and middle class (still a slush fund), and with the national credit-card being used too often.

    There seems to be little awareness that, when more people thrive, even the richest profit nicely — and when many suffer, then the rich, of course, suffer too. Short-sightedness.

    September 16, 2008
  12. Jerold Friedman said:

    Back in government class, high school days, I recall that the vice president was the principal representative of the U.S. to other nations. The idea being that the president was too valuable to send to potentially hostile nations, but the v.p. was in the place of the president and, unfortunately for the v.p., expendable.

    While the role of vice president has changed drastically over the last 232 years, even today with the secretary of state assuming this vice presidential duty, I admit that the idea of Gov. Palin becoming the principal representative of the U.S. to other nations is not comforting.

    The most important aspect of the next administration is who will be nominated to replace at least two retiring Supreme Court justices. For me, this is the most important issue. The next president has 4 or 8 years in office. The justices’ job is a lifetime appointment.

    September 16, 2008
  13. Don’t DFLers have any thing better to offer than bash, bash, bash Sarah?

    September 16, 2008
  14. Paul Fried said:

    Bright: I don’t think it’s bashing. If you interview various people for a job and note some of the facts on their resume and gathered from references, observing that one candidate is more experienced, etc., than another is not bashing.

    This is like the response of some to observations like these:
    – Bush brought us into a preemptive war (and certain Dems went along) against the Geneva conventions.
    – Bush and his administration authorized “enhanced interrogation techniques” (another name for torture).
    – Bush and Cheney authorized illegal wiretapping (and certain Dems went along).
    – Bush, like Clinton before him, has practiced “Extraordinary rendition,” the practice where some assume that, while it’s illegal to torture people in the US, it’s OK to take them to another country where others will torture them to obtain information.
    – The Constitution says that if congress passes a law (especially by a veto-over-riding majority) it becomes law, and the president must comply; but Bush has issued “signing statements” that take exception to, and ignored or failed to enforce other, laws passed by congress, in apparent violation of the basics of the constitution.

    Note that this list is not simply a “liberal” list – it’s pretty similar to the list created by the likes of conservative/libertarian Bob Barr and constitutional conservative Bruce Fein, at the American Freedom Agenda /

    Note also that I’ve included Clinton and Dems in some of the above criticism.

    Now some respond to such criticism routinely by saying Bush’s critics are just Bush “bashers,” or “haters.” They change the topic of the conversation from Bush’s crimes to this: Why do people hate so much — like those Bush-haters? This is like a rhetorical shell-game. Keep your eye on the topic at hand, or suddenly evil is the new good (as a recent article I read was titled), and evil’s critics are suddenly the evil ones because they hate.

    Like listening to overwhelming evidence given against a suspect in a rape case, a suspect named John Smith, say, and saying the lawyers for the prosecution were John Smith “haters” and “bashers.”

    This is not to say that everything we hear about Palin and other candidates will be true. But discussions of the basic facts of her experience and her past actions as an elected official is not automatically “bashing.”

    September 16, 2008
  15. David Henson said:

    Who’s to blame for 9/11 ? “Mr. Clinton’s responsibility in Somalia doesn’t stop there. Despite the mistakes that October day, Aidid had been struck a blow. The U.S. military, with 18 dead, wanted nothing more than to finish what it had started. Mr. Clinton instead aborted the mission. The U.S. released the criminals it had captured that same day at such great cost, and the U.N., lacking U.S. support, was powerless to keep order. Somalia remains a lawless, impoverished nation. Worse, the terrorists of al Qaeda interpreted the U.S. retreat from Somalia as a sign of American weakness that may have convinced them we could be induced to retreat from the Middle East if they took their attacks to the U.S. homeland. ”

    September 16, 2008
  16. Paul Frieid, You needn’t accuse me of “automatically” saying that people around here are bashing when it’s the same phrases that the same people keep saying over and over again, without giving any credence to a woman who has made significant accomplishments in her life, against the grain of the old boy network and other similar anti women in office types…it is bashing and it is direct orders party line trash talk, imho.

    And furthermore, I challenge you to prove any of the accusations you have made in the furtherance of the old tactic of not sticking to the question at hand, ie, Sarah bashing, and bringing up a whole bunch of other unfounded, unsourced, unproven statements, most of which I believe are only partly, if at all true.

    September 16, 2008
  17. Barry Cipra said:

    Bright writes:

    “You needn’t accuse me of “automatically” saying that people around here are bashing…”

    Bright, Paul did not accuse you of automatically saying anything, he wrote instead that people who discuss Palin’s experience, or lack thereof, are not automatically bashing her. By misplacing his adverb, you are distorting his words and making them appear like a personal attack on your style of presentation instead of the substance of what you have to say.

    September 16, 2008
  18. Jane Moline said:

    David Henson: The president at the time of 9/11 was George Bush. He received a security briefing memo well before September 11 stating that terrorist were planning on using hijacked planes to crash into buildings. He and his administration did nothing.

    To continue this repeated claim that Clinton should have put policies in place to guard the airlines before he left office is only correct when you find out how incompetent the Bush adminstration has been. Yes, Clinton should have forseen that his successor was an idiot and he should have convened all kinds of committees before he left office–his briefings of the Bush administration was obviously inaffective.

    Too bad Clinton thought that the next guy was actually going to act like a president, instead of working on putting all his buddies into appointed offices and making false claims that all the “W’s were missing from the computer key boards.

    The information was there and Bush did nothing.

    For 8 years McCain has rubberstamped Bush, and now has adopted the same nasty campaign techniques he once was on the other end of. All McCain can do is try to distract us from the failures of the Republicans, and he is doing so by claiming that being liberal is a bad thing and that we are all sexist to point out that Sarah Palin is an incompetent candidate.

    The next presidency will be about cleaning up the mess made by Bush and his Republican friends, including John McCain–how can anyone really expect McCain to repair what he was a party to in breaking.

    September 16, 2008
  19. Gee, Barry, I don’t remember asking you to interpret my meaning and once again accusing me of doing something that was not in my intention to do.
    Furthermore, a poorly constructed sentence must know that it might be misinterpreted sometime. I never used the word “automatically” in bringing up the subject this time in post no. 13, and made the interpretation they way I did because that is the only way it made sense to me. If I had said that people were automatically bashing Sarah, then it would have made sense to me as you interpreted it.

    I don’t know what Paul Freid thinks of his words, but I think that you, Barry, might have given me the benefit of a doubt if you weren’t an anti woman thinking sort of dude. Please forgive me if I err yet again.

    September 16, 2008
  20. Paul Fried said:

    Thanks, Barry.
    Bright, here are some examples:

    – If it’s true (if that Palin lowered income taxes and placed a (regressive, harmful to the poor) sales tax on food, then we can disagree over analysis of what this means, but facts are facts, and it’s not bashing to ponder.

    – If it’s true that Palin is against sex education in the schools, for traditional Christian family values, but has somehow failed to pass on these values to her daughter who became pregnant outside of marriage, we can disagree in our analysis of the meaning of these facts, but it’s not bashing to ponder the stuff.

    – If it’s true that Obama was the first black editor of the Harvard Law Review (have I got that right?), and that Palin moved around from school to school before getting a degree, and has not been to foreign countries other than Canada, Mexico and Iraq (as governor to visit troops) outside of a fuel-landing in Europe on the way, then these are facts. We can disagree on what they mean, how we interpret them (does Palin’s school record reflect a lack of direction? Her lack of first-hand knowledge of foreign countries reflect a lack of experience?) — but the facts behind our questions are not bashing, and I’d claim the questions are not bashing.

    – If it’s a fact that Palin was in favor of banning books, or teaching both evolution and creationism in schools, then citing this is not bashing, nor is healthy questioning and debate about what it may portend for a future in which she might be elected.

    – If it’s a fact that Palin’s husband was a member of a secessionist party (The Independence party of Alaska) and that Palin herself addressed the party convention twice, then it’s not bashing to mention these things, or to question and debate what they may mean. There are 27 active secessionist movements in the US, and what with pork spending, the regular deficit, the national debt, a criminal but unimpeached president and vice president, and health care and education in this country that is often second-rate or worse compared to other first-world nations, perhaps there is a need for a new constitutional convention to fix some of the problems, and perhaps Palin is visionary for her secessionist sympathies — or perhaps she is unpatriotic. Talking about, and striving to analyze the possible meaning of, such facts is not bashing.

    – If Palin was interviewed and hesitated, and asked questions, hemmed and hawed, when asked about the Bush Doctrine (preemptive war, the US claim that it can invade any country that it thinks is harboring terrorists), then it’s OK to wonder and ponder about her hesitation, and to strive to interpret what seemed to be her lack of understanding of the idea. This is not bashing, but paying attention and asking hard questions.

    September 16, 2008
  21. Arlen Malecha said:

    A questions for Paul or anyone else who can answer …

    In post # 14, Paul states – “The Constitution says that if congress passes a law (especially by a veto-over-riding majority) it becomes law, and the president must comply; but Bush has issued “signing statements” that take exception to, and ignored or failed to enforce other, laws passed by congress, in apparent violation of the basics of the constitution.”

    Who is responsible for keeping tabs on the President to ensure he is following the law? Is it Congress? The Attorney General? Who should have their feet held to the fire when the President, or others in Congress, do not follow the law? Why would the person responsible not do their job? Is it due to party affiliation?

    September 16, 2008
  22. Okay, Paul, I really need to get going but I’ll play this game with you for a few more minutes. First of all, if O’bama wasn’t Daley’s man then you might have something there. IF Obama wasn’t still smoking cigarettes, and if that isn’t a stroke maker in black men who die much younger than white men, and if
    torture was unconstitutional, which it is not, only cruel and unusual punishment according to Justice A. Scalia on 60 Minutes last Sunday evening.
    And if every personal and private belief was to keep anyone from running for office, we’d have a bunch of robots running the country, and if I had more time and the inclination, I’d go on, but it still remains, Obama has nothing.
    He has never run any financial operation, he still smokes, he is turning old already, and McCain takes care of himself and is strong and has proved through this campaign that he can do the job and do it strong and well, and not appear as weak and fragile as Obama. NO one is even talking about Biden, cuz he would work with McCain no matter what if asked.

    September 16, 2008
  23. Paul Fried said:

    This is from TruthDig (link at bottom) and Eugene Robinson, some clips from an article about what Robinson claims is lying by Palin.

    (I’m noticing today that I’m on the time-delay plan: I made an earlier post that hasn’t shown up. Pardon if it seems I’m stacking my comments; they’re not appearing for now).

    Here are some clips:

    What kind of person tells a self-aggrandizing lie, gets called on it, admits publicly that the truth is not at all what she originally claimed-and then goes out and starts telling the original lie again without changing a word?
    I’m sorry, but to explain my point I have to make another visit-my last, I hope-to the never-built, $398-million “Bridge to Nowhere” that was to join the town of Ketchikan, Alaska, with its airport on the other side of the Tongass Narrows.

    You’ll recall that in her Republican convention speech, Palin burnished her budget-hawk credentials by claiming she had said “thanks but no thanks” to a congressional earmark that would have paid most of the cost. A quick check of the public record showed that Palin supported the bridge when she was running for governor, continued to support it once she took office and dropped her backing only after the project — by then widely ridiculed as an example of pork-barrel spending — was effectively dead on Capitol Hill.

    In her interview with ABC’s Charles Gibson, Palin ‘fessed up. It was “not inappropriate” for a mayor or a governor to work with members of Congress to obtain federal money for infrastructure projects, she argued. “What I supported,” she said, “was a link between a community and its airport.”

    Case closed. Except that on Saturday, days after the interview, Palin said this to a crowd in Nevada: “I told Congress thanks but no thanks to that Bridge to Nowhere-that if our state wanted to build that bridge, we would build it ourselves.”

    That’s not just a lie, but an acknowledged lie. What she actually told Congress was more like, “Gimme the money for the bridge” — and then later, after the whole thing had become an embarrassment, she didn’t object to using the money for other projects.

    …it’s weird for a politician — or anyone else, really — to maintain that an assertion is true after admitting that it isn’t true.

    Maybe Palin cynically believes she can keep using the “no thanks” line and manage to stay one step ahead of the truth police. Maybe she calculates that audiences would rather believe her than their lying eyes. Or maybe she really believes her own fantasy-based version of events. Maybe the Legend of Sarah Palin has become, on some level, more real to her than actual history.

    And quite a legend it’s turning out to be. The Washington Post reported Sunday that as mayor of tiny Wasilla, Palin pressured the town librarian to remove controversial books from the shelves, cut funds for the town museum but somehow found the money for a new deputy administrator slot, and told city employees not to talk to reporters.

    And The New York Times reported Sunday that as governor, Palin appointed a high-school classmate, Franci Havemeister, to a $95,000-a-year job as head of the state Division of Agriculture. Havemeister “cited her childhood love of cows as a qualification for running the roughly $2 million agency,” the Times reported, noting her as one of at least five schoolmates Palin has given high-paying state government jobs.
    Here’s the URL, busted up a bit:

    September 16, 2008
  24. Paul Fried said:

    Arlen (#21): It’s the responsibility of the congress, technically (starting with the House), to impeach if there are impeachable offenses… which they should do, unless it seemed that impeachment might make things worse.

    Congress has decided for now that impeachment is off the table. Why? Some of the stated reasons, plus a few speculations either of my own or which I’ve read:

    – Impeachment would be too time-consuming, while there are many other important things to do, and historically, no president impeached by the house has been tried and convicted by the senate to be removed from office.

    – There are some Democrats who knew about various illegal acts by the president, such as torture, and they don’t want to have those Democrats implicated during an impeachment proceeding.

    – Given the historical unliklihood of a successful impeachment and removal, consider that, given the current administration, it would be even harder to impeach and remove both Bush and Cheney, and have any strong hope of success.

    – What if you impeach both, and remove Bush, and then you’re left with Cheney as president, the same Dick Cheney who was considering a run in ’08 with either Voldemort or Satan as a running mate?

    – What if you start impeachment proceedings, and then Bush and Cheney arrange for Israel to start bombing Iran, and all hell starts to break loose in the world — and we need a commander in chief, but even our own military is split on whether to follow the orders of what might be an illegitimate president in the long-delayed process of being removed? Sort of a cornered animal lashing out phenomenon?

    – What if you impeach one at a time, and the remaining one (either Cheney or Bush) pardoned the other?

    It’s a messy situation, and it reveals some of the flaws in our constitution (which was made by a bunch of humans, after all).

    So in an ideal world — and perhaps if congress could stop time and complete the impeachment proceedings? — impeachment is overdue. In the real world, it’s messy.

    September 16, 2008
  25. David Henson said:

    Paul – a real problem for Dems is all the complaints you make just make people like Palin all the more , do you think we would rather she did not appoint her friend that “loves cows” and instead brought in the Ivy League educated head of Lehman Bros ? I mean “you just don’t get it :)”


    September 16, 2008
  26. Anne Bretts said:

    David, there’s a great columnist who said last week that it’s not sexism to want the person flying the plane to be a licensed pilot instead of the really nice person sitting next to you on the flight.
    I believe the friend who loves cows was chosen instead of a professional in the field of agriculture, which one would think would be a reasonable background for the head of the top Agriculture position.
    Following your reasoning, I’d love to watch when you ask your old high school buddy who wore braces to do that root canal you need.

    September 16, 2008
  27. Peter Millin said:

    I didn’t realize that Palin is running for POTUS?

    Very early in Obamas campaign (and to some degree today) you were considered a racist if you questioned his past.

    I am still waiting for the same level of research in to his affairs i.e. Rezko and Wright that is being exhausted on Palin.

    Part of the election game is scrutiny and false rumors that is what you have to expect when you run. However the lopsidedness of the current witch hunt is pretty sad and very UN American.

    September 16, 2008
  28. Anthony Pierre said:

    Why don’t the just tap the phones of the candidates. Thats real American.

    September 16, 2008
  29. One more thing referring to my post no. 22, which relates to PF’s post no 20, Paul said,

    If it’s true that Obama was the first black editor of the Harvard Law Review (have I got that right?), and that Palin moved around from school to school before getting a degree,


    And if it is true that Obama said that he thought his Harvard education was a waste, as was his prepatory high school education, and that is why he decided to give back, by going into Chicago neighborhoods to organize the community. I have a video showing people claiming that Obama didn’t do anything to change that community whatsoever. It’s on youtube, if you are interested. You get what you put into school, not what school puts into you, cuz this world changes way too fast, and by the time you get your degree, all the knowledge is outdated. It’s just a matter of attending class and learning about the form of the subject at hand.

    I attended three colleges and found it most useful. Many schools simply don’t teach anything useful in the real world. Taking courses and finding out what you need and want is often more useful than taking what is given to you. Bush went to Yale, so what? It’s not the degree, it’s the person, esp. when it comes to non science courses, imho.

    September 16, 2008
  30. Anthony Pierre said:

    bright, are you one of those people who switched over to mccain after palin was named vp?

    September 16, 2008
  31. Hello, Anthony.

    Truth is that I did say I was on the McCain side, but had been leaning that way earlier on, because between Obama, who I sincerely believe is just a front man for the Kennedy’s and Richard M. Daley of Chicago, which means he says hes for one thing or other, but nothing gets done for the people, and although I think it would be good to have a minority president, I don’t think he is the man for the job.

    I have seen him falter in his normal conversation, I have seen him drift off into his own head, and to me, the best sign of a great leader is his or her ability to communicate effectively, leaving no person behind. If Obama cannot do this, how can he talk to Congress or world leaders? It is not a good sign. That is the main reason, something I saw with my own eyes.

    McCain is the lesser of two evils. I have said this from the very first word, that none of the candidates were presidential enough for me, and that some combination of the several runners might work. Anyway, my answer to your question is no.

    I do like Palin though because she engenders a lot of good vibrations and she will help heal this country wherever she lands, that’s her gift and that is what is driving some DFLers crazy cuz they are so full of stress and hatred because they don’t have it all. Dems, some of you need to learn how to share with others.

    September 16, 2008
  32. Anthony Pierre said:

    did you know she is campaigning as a special needs kids advocate, and as governor of alaska she cut the special olympics budget in half. cut 250k from teh budget. doesnt sound like she is building bridges to me.

    sounds liek a lot of lies.

    September 16, 2008
  33. Anthony Pierre said:

    I think I am going to donate some money to the alaska special olympics right now.

    September 16, 2008
  34. Anne Bretts said:

    Bright, it’s not very civil to say that people who disagree with you are full of hate and stress. In fact, Obama has made me more hopeful that I have been in 20 years.
    I’m not going to go through the points again, because we’ve covered ground over and over.
    We disagree. That’s all. And it’s a disagreement that works out pretty well for me. You will have to vote for the lesser of two evils. I get to vote for the person I feel is the best candidate on the ballot.

    September 16, 2008
  35. Good for you, Anthony. But as for believing the assertion that Palin did what you say she did, I would have to see the copy of the whole bill that she rejected, to know why she rejected it, to know if there was a more dire need somewhere, or a better bill for the special kids. I am so over this sort of attempted diminishing of a woman, and especially of one who decided to keep a special needs kid rather than abort, rather than kill the baby, even when she knew ahead of time that this baby might have special needs.

    September 16, 2008
  36. Paul Zorn said:

    Another poster wrote, somewhere above:

    … I think that you, Barry, might have given me the benefit of a doubt if you weren’t an anti woman thinking sort of dude. …

    What might this accusation mean? Here are some possibilities that occurred to me:

    1. Barry is a “thinking sort of dude” who is anti-woman.

    2. Barry is a “sort of dude” who is opposed to “woman-thinking”, whatever that might be.

    3. Barry is anti-woman but thoughtful, and not a real “dude” but only “sort of” a dude.

    I know Barry, and so can attest that none of these charges seem well-founded (except perhaps that he’s a “thinking sort of dude”). In any event, the one thing these puzzling possibilities have in common is that they’re all textbook cases of the ad hominem fallacy. Surely we can do better.

    September 16, 2008
  37. Anthony Pierre said:

    oops my bad, I should check stuff better

    September 16, 2008
  38. Mike Zenner said:

    I feel the excitement over Palin and Obama are rooted in the same desire to throw out the old within the beltway “corruption as usual crowd” and get on a new track. However, these two are tied to McCain and Biden, two business as usual guys and that’s where the focus should be. After Nov 3 it will still be the Imperial party of power whether they have an (R) or (D) after their name.

    They will both:
    1. expand the GWOT (cover story for perpetual Imperial wars)
    2. expand the power and size of the federal gov
    3. continue handing out favors to their campaign contributors and lobbyists
    4. continued support of AIPAC and Israel

    They should have a box at the bottom ” NONE OF THE ABOVE”

    We need to be careful about what kind of “CHANGE” we are voting for, and “THE LESSOR OF TWO EVILS” we are expecting. I think Hitler was for CHANGE and a LESSOR EVIL also. We should not have to settle for what is spoon fed to us! I feel Americans should send a message by not checking off anyone that has an (R) or (D) after their name this Nov.

    September 16, 2008
  39. Paul Fried said:

    DavidH and AnneB: Thanks. You’d think she could look far and wide in the college/university system in Alaska, or even out of state, to find some Republican-leaning woman or man who knew some good stuff about AG.

    But I know what you mean about how some people just like her all the more because of the attacks. Especially with cheerleaders like Billy O’Reilly and Rush Limburgler.

    Many of us have read or heard what they say about how the massacre started in Rwanda: Talk radio hosts. And those studies about how people would rather follow authority, and conform, than resist authority and/or be a nonconformist.

    Those folks are not ALL, spontaneously “liking Palin all the more” on their own. We are not only an oil-addicted nation, but a media-addicted nation. We should pick our media talking heads carefully, or like Jesus says (John G, you out there) (did Jesus say that? Oops), “The blind leading the blind”….

    September 16, 2008
  40. David Henson said:

    Paul & Anne – you can feel good that the media and the Republican party will ruin Palin soon enough. I felt she was holding back on her answers too much – clearly accepted guidance from all those high qualified *@$#.

    The best answer was when Charles Gibson said “call me a cynic but ….” and Palin’s reply was “I do think you’re a cynic ….. ” Which is true since he sold out to get the interview and could probably care less about the topic. Gibson actually seemed a little hurt.

    But the Dems corrupted Obama right from the get go and at least there is hope for Palin. My fav was when Obama said “I love this country too much to let them” and he could barely choke out the “love this country” part – clearly told to say this and unnatural for him.

    I never listen to Billy O’Reilly and Rush Limburgler. I wouldn’t be against someone just because they are for them.

    September 16, 2008
  41. Paul Fried said:

    And the one about Palin, arranging for the ex-husband of a relative to lose his job….

    Now some folks are thinking: If I had the power, I’d’a done it too, if he was a jerk. Who wouldn’t? What’s a little power for if you can’t use it to help your friends and family, and grind your enemies into the dust?

    Look at David Wilson and the Yellow Cake story. The ungrateful, unfaithful jerk!

    Whistleblower? Fighting for truth and justice? How old fashioned is that in the Bush-Cheney world of raw power and, usually, no apologies unless they’re absolutely necessary for PR?

    Who cares if it looks suspicious that Cheney and Bush want a war with Iraq, and a forgery conveniently turns up to help make a case for nukes in Iraq? Who cares if the people who arranged for the forgery are probably Cheney & Rove, with the usual considerations for plausible deniability and all that.

    Some people are out there thinking: Gee, what kind of forgery should be arranged for next, and how easy will it be to pull the wool over the eyes of the American public again?

    There is a kind of pleasure that comes from appointing your friend who likes cows, and outing Valarie Plame, and arranging for wiretapping, and the smearing of your enemies. Or planning to bomb Iran. All the secrets, all the expensive secrets.

    If someone in your administration gets an ethical wake-up call, leaves and writes a tell-all whistle-blower book, then smear ’em. Information war time. That guy was probably just trying to sell his book.

    He’s being greedy —
    NOT like W-Dick-n-“Turd Blossom” Karl.

    And the public BUYS it, to a large extent. Of course, some don’t, but ENOUGH DO, and that’s what counts. Not ethics, but winning. Raw power. Tell the big lie, and people often believe it. It’s like a dare: How big a lie can we get away with today? What a rush. Who could resist? The lure of power. Use it or lose it.

    If I were president, I’d put my daughter in charge of the National Program for the Advancement of Ice Skating, and my son in charge of an international musical exchange program for drummers. Let him travel around the globe and drum, with the taxpayers picking up the bill for his airfare. And I’d send my dad on a speaking tour for OSHA, lecturing about the importance of safty with the use of table-saws, and the struggle after thumb-reattachment. He and mom could go anywhere in the US — heck, I’d send ’em overseas too. You can’t be too safe with table saws, and my dad has valuable first-hand experience he could share.

    But like Palin with her daughter, my dad is one of us. Not some elite. So I’d make sure he had a good job, lots of salary, and free air fare with mom.

    Then I’d start thinking about how I could arrange for some forgery hinting that certain oil-rich nations (and China and Japan, which own most of our debt) were about to attack us, so we had to attach them first.

    It would be cool: Could I out-Cheney Cheney? A kind of contest. Could I convince enough people in the US? I’d figure out which church to go to that would make me popular with the most Christians, and I’d hunt and fish a lot, and drive a bullet-proof pickup truck. Maybe wear a dew-rag, like Jesse Ventura. Maybe a Fu Manchu moustache, also like Jesse. And I’d shave my head, like Jesse. Maybe a nose-ring.

    Or not. You stop and think about it and realize your kids and wife wouldn’t let you get away with that many lies ‘n’stuff, so never mind.

    All that power. Slipping through my fingers.

    But I can dream, can’t I?

    September 16, 2008
  42. Christine Stanton said:

    In #31 Bright wrote, “I have seen him falter in his normal conversation, I have seen him drift off into his own head…”

    Frankly, that is one of the major reasons that I support Obama. To me that means that he is a listener and a thinker–qualities I feel our current President seems to lack.

    September 16, 2008
  43. Mike Zenner said:


    Your starting to sound like an angry Dem. Must be that Sara Palin irritant taking hold. Which is exactly what the Republican propaganda machine is hoping for. They are appealing to the base instincts of the ignorant American Idol crowd! As Joseph Goebbels Nazi propaganda minister once said, ” If you repeat a lie enough times it will become the truth” . Its all about sound bites and sex appeal.

    A link below to sink your teeth into about the McCain/Palin deception. Sounds like another angry Dem , but very insightful on the Republican propaganda machine.

    September 16, 2008
  44. Barry Cipra said:

    Anthony (posting #39) writes:

    “oops my bad, I should check stuff better”

    Anthony, indeed you should. Peter Millin’s link debunks a charge you didn’t make. lays to rest a claim that Palin cut funding for special needs education by 62%. But your assertion in posting #32 was that she cut $250k, roughly half the budget, from special olympics, and that does not seem to be in dispute (except you seem to have gotten the number slightly wrong). Here’s a snippet from an Associated Press article (found by googling “palin special olympics veto”):

    “During her few years as governor, she vetoed $275,000 for Alaska’s Special Olympics — half the amount being sought. Money for a program that helps rural school districts provide special education has remained flat. But she supported another legislative proposal to boost spending for students with special needs by some 175 percent in 2011.”

    Your mistake, if you made one, was citing a partisan website on a factual matter. However, that site at least links to an official document, the budget bill showing vetos (your other link in posting #37). As Peter, I hope, will agree, if you’re going to make statements of fact, it’s a good idea to have reliable documentation to back them up.

    September 16, 2008
  45. Peter Millin said:


    I suggest you read factcheck thoroughly……

    September 17, 2008
  46. Looks like the silly season is fully upon us.

    Anne, I never said I would vote for McCain, and in past posts I said I might be changing sides again. I only said for now I am for McCain over Obama, but not exactly in those words. SO, let me clarify, if it’s any of your business, and it’s not…I will vote for whomever I feel is the best candidate on Nov. 4th and it’s my business and mine alone.

    Also, I did not say that people who disagree with me are full of hate and stress. Those are your words. See post No. 34

    What has gone on here in this topic and the previous political topics is exactly why I have not gotten into politics previously to this year. It has been a very interesting year for me, and I have learned a lot. But mostly I am very deeply disappointed.

    This is my last post on the topic. Have a good election and keep it real and honest.

    September 17, 2008
  47. Anne Bretts said:

    Bright, I do feel pretty silly right now.
    In #31 you said:
    “…although I think it would be good to have a minority president, I don’t think he (Obama) is the man for the job.”
    “McCain is the lesser of two evils.”
    “I do like Palin though because she engenders a lot of good vibrations and she will help heal this country wherever she lands, that’s her gift and that is what is driving some DFLers crazy cuz they are so full of stress and hatred….”

    We are barely a month away from the end of an election season that has lasted two years. You have not had a single kind word for Obama. The two candidates couldn’t be more opposite in their views, plans, styles and supporters. To contend now that you aren’t sure or haven’t made up your mind or you are waiting for the candidates to switch parties and form a job-sharing team and sing Kumbaya at their joint inauguration just boggles the mind.

    I am sorry for misunderstanding you. I realize your vote is your business, but there are only two choices, so I made what I thought was a reasonable interpretation of your comments. Yes, I feel pretty silly right now.

    September 17, 2008
  48. Barry Cipra said:

    Peter writes:

    “I suggest you read factcheck thoroughly……”

    Peter, I read the webpage you linked to very carefully. There is no mention of special olympics there. Your posting #38 “caught” Anthony in an error he did not commit — or at least it failed to provide any evidence of an error. That you might originally conflate a cuts for special ed myth with a cut in special olympics report is understandable; that you would persist in your claim (which is the obvious implication of your “suggestion”) is beyond the pale.

    September 17, 2008
  49. Peter Millin said:

    Barry you are right and I am wrong on this. I did get the two mixed up.


    So she did cut funds to special olympics but increased spending for special ed quiet dramatically.
    Seems like a good move to me. In a budget crunch you got to make tough choices.
    Since Republican presidential nominee John McCain tapped Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin to be his running mate, information about Palin’s past has been zipping around the Internet. Several claims are not true, and other rumors are misleading.

    No Cut for “Special Needs” Kids

    It’s not true, as widely reported in mass e-mails, Web postings and at least one mainstream news source, that Palin slashed the special education budget in Alaska by 62 percent. CNN’s Soledad O’Brien made the claim on Sept. 4 in an interview with Nicolle Wallace, a senior adviser to the McCain campaign:

    O’Brien, Sept. 4: One are that has gotten certainly people sending to me a lot of e-mails is the question about as governor what she did with the special needs budget, which I’m sure you’re aware, she cut significantly, 62 percent I think is the number from when she came into office. As a woman who is now a mother to a special needs child, and I think she actually has a nephew which is autistic as well. How much of a problem is this going to be as she tries to navigate both sides of that issue?

    Such a move might have made Palin look heartless or hypocritical in view of her convention-speech pledge to be an advocate for special needs children and their families. But in fact, she increased special needs funding so dramatically that a representative of local school boards described the jump as “historic.”

    According to an April 2008 article in Education Week, Palin signed legislation in March 2008 that would increase public school funding considerably, including special needs funding. In particular, it would increase spending for certain special needs students that Alaska calls “intensive needs” (students with high-cost special requirements) from $26,900 per student in 2008 to $73,840 per student in 2011. That almost triples the per-student spending in three fiscal years. Palin’s original proposal, according to the Anchorage Daily News, would have increased funds slightly more, giving intensive needs students a $77,740 allotment by 2011.

    Education Week: A second part of the measure raises spending for students with special needs [the intensive needs group] to $73,840 in fiscal 2011, from the current $26,900 per student in fiscal 2008, according to the Alaska Department of Education and Early Development.

    Unlike many other states, Alaska has relatively flush budget coffers, thanks to a rise in oil and gas revenues. Funding for schools will remain fairly level next year, however. Overall per-pupil funding across the state will rise by $100, to $5,480, in fiscal 2009. …

    Carl Rose, the executive director of the Association of Alaska School Boards, praised the changes in funding for rural schools and students with special needs as a “historic event,” and said the finance overhaul would bring more stability to district budgets.

    According to Eddy Jeans at the Alaska Department of Education and Early Development, funding for special needs and intensive needs students has increased every year since Palin entered office, from a total of $203 million in 2006 to a projected $276 million in 2009.

    Those who claim that Palin cut special needs funding by 62 percent are looking in the wrong place and misinterpreting what they find there. They point to an apparent drop in the Department of Education and Early Development budget for special schools. But the special schools budget, despite the similar name, isn’t the special needs budget. “I don’t even consider the special schools component [part of] our special needs funding,” Jeans told “The special needs funding is provided through our public school funding formula. The special schools is simply a budget component where we have funding set aside for special projects,” such as the Alaska School for the Deaf and the Alaska Military Youth Academy. A different budget component, the Foundation Program, governs special needs programs in the public school system.

    And in any case, the decrease in funding for special schools is illusory. Palin moved the Alaska Military Youth Academy’s ChalleNGe program, a residential military school program that teaches job and life skills to students under 20, out of the budget line for “special schools” and into its own line. This resulted in an apparent drop of more than $5 million in the special schools budget with no actual decrease in funding for the programs.

    September 17, 2008
  50. Barry Cipra said:

    Peter, thanks. Your previous post gave me quite a start, as in What did I miss? and other organizations that do the legwork to evaluate various claims and counterclaims are a real godsend. They facilitate an informed discussion of what’s really important: the difference (if any) between what politicians promise on various issues and what they actually do about them.

    It would be wonderful if we could get beyond the Palin bashing and Obama bashing and all the other political posturing and horserace analysis and talk instead about the candidates’ policy positions and what agendas they’re likely to pursue (and with what prospects of success). There are rumored to be stark differences between Obama and McCain on the economy, for example, but it’s hard to find them reported on. Today’s St. Paul Pioneer Press has a frontpage article ostensibly on the subject, with a column devoted to each candidate, but you have to read deep into the Obama story to find any mention of specific Obama proposals, and I didn’t find anything specific in the McCain story beyond a “meta-proposal” to form a commission to study what’s recently gone wrong. (I don’t count rhetoric like “We will clean up Wall Street. We will reform government.”) The bulk of the article was devoted to political sound bites and analyses of campaign strategy — all fun and fascinating, but ultimately not what affects people’s lives.

    Ah, how wonderful it would be. And someday soon, pigs will fly. With lipstick, or without….

    September 17, 2008
  51. Paul Fried said:

    Barry: I agree in general that more substantial coverage is needed, but if candidates are lying, and then there’s denial or misdirection to cover it, I don’t see anything wrong with noting that.

    On MPR yesterday AM, I heard a snip of a Republican commercial talking about how Palin had been accused of lying, and the commercial said the accusation of lying was “just disrespectful.” I wondered: If she lied, how is it disrespectful? Because one should not accuse a lying governor of lying because of her office? Or because you should not treat a lady that way — the Republicans, who have finally discovered sexism, perhaps advocating a sexist, hands-off bias to benefit Palin?

    Discussions of policy focus on what candidates say they’ll do: Bush said he was in favor of carbon limits (later changed when elected), that he was against nation building (changed on that), etc. He has been accused perhaps of more documented lies than any other president — there are web sites and a certain California congressman who have made documenting the lies a kind of hobby. Are some candidates actually pro-life, and others liars who simply taking the position to harvest pro-life votes? Voters should care about discerning candidates’ honesty.

    Discussions of lies and integrity matter as much as those of policy.

    September 18, 2008
  52. Barry Cipra said:

    David Henson quotes P.J. Gladnick as saying:

    “A transcript of the unedited interview of Sarah Palin by Charles Gibson clearly shows that ABC News edited out crucial portions of the interview that showed Palin as knowledgeable or presented her answers out of context.”

    “Clearly” is clearly in the mind of the blogger, in this case a rightwing ideologue (I’m referring to Gladnick, not Henson). I read over the transcript at the link provided (as well as tracing it to its original source), and I, leftwing ideologue that I no doubt will be deduced to be, do not see anything in the edited-out portions that demonstrates Palin’s knowledgeability or shows her words being taken out of context. What I do see are edits that tighten the interview and keep it on topic.

    September 18, 2008
  53. Peter Millin said:

    Paul? Politicians lie?..Oh really?

    If I wouldn’t be too lazy i could give you a laundry list of Obama and Clinton lies that would pretty much rival McCains.

    I would also say that pandering would be a better word then lying. Most politicians just tell you what you want to hear and change their message to fit their audience.

    Most Americans don’t have the time or the patience to understand the issues . So elections are won or lost by sound bites..and Obama is a master at it.

    Just look at the current bank meltdown. each of the poltiticians are falling all over themselves and wanting to be first in being “tough on regulations”..and the masses go “Rah..RAH…RAH kill wall street.

    Never mind that politicians are responsible for this mess in the first place. Unfortunately most people don’t know…don’t care or don’t have the brains to understand it.
    If they did we would vote out 90% of the bums that are in office today.

    Jefferson had it right

    Sometimes it is said that man cannot be trusted with the government of himself. Can he, then be trusted with the government of others? Or have we found angels in the form of kings to govern him? Let history answer this question.

    September 18, 2008
  54. Peter Millin said:


    Here is a quick one. How about Obamas last ad in spanish?

    September 18, 2008
  55. Britt Ackerman said:


    What about McCain’s last ad in Spanish? (Of course, it’s only being broadcast in Florida so as not to upset Midwest conservatives who are strongly against the trend towards bilingualism.)

    September 18, 2008
  56. Patrick Enders said:

    Yes, do tell me about Obama’s latest ad in Spanish. I don’t understand Spanish, but I do understand that an Obama ad in Spanish has Rush Limbaugh all in a tizzy.

    September 18, 2008
  57. Patrick Enders said:

    A quick bit of googling on “obama limbaugh spanish ad” got me this:

    I don’t know which part of that is supposed to be equivalent to John McCain’s Spanish language ad asserting that Obama and Democrats were responsible for the failure of immigration reform:

    Here is an English translation:
    Announcer: Obama and his Congressional allies say they are on the side of immigrants. But are they?
    The press reports that their efforts were “poison pills” that made immigration reform fail.
    The result:
    No guest worker program.
    No path to citizenship.
    No secure borders.
    No reform.
    Is that being on our side?
    Obama and his Congressional allies ready to block immigration reform, but not ready to lead.
    John McCain: I’m John McCain and I approve this message.

    Block immigration reform? The Democrats?
    Mr. Obama opposing a path to citizenship?
    Welcome to the night-is-day, down-is-up, world of the McCain campaign.

    September 18, 2008
  58. Peter Millin said:

    He used unrelated quotes out of some Limbaugh skids in regards to immigration and tried to link McCain to the anti illegal immigration crowd.

    Which is a lie. It was McCain , Kennedy, Bush and others who wanted to “legalize” illegal immigration.

    Conservatives (and immigrant) like me didn’t appreciate McCains stand on immigration at all, including Rush Limbaugh.

    I was able to come in to this country legally, why can’t others do the same?

    September 18, 2008
  59. Paul Fried said:

    Peter: One route to smaller government (and fewer lies, because there would be fewer people you’d have to pander to?) would be sesession. Less bureacracy, we’d be forced to think hard about spending more than half of what the rest of the world spends on military.

    Are there any secessionist candidates for president we could write in, besides Palin, who, it seems is a SINO (Secessionist In Name Only)?

    September 18, 2008
  60. Patrick Enders said:

    Peter wrote,

    Which is a lie. It was McCain , Kennedy, Bush and others who wanted to “legalize” illegal immigration.

    Yes, but in selling his soul to the radical right, McCain came out against his own immigration reform proposal in January 2008:

    In short, McCain was for immigration before he was against it. He can’t have it both ways, not even if he tries to speak out of one side of his mouth in English, and out the other side in Spanish.

    September 18, 2008
  61. Peter Millin said:


    The ad did run in NM, CO and NV as well.

    I am all for helping people initially as long as the goal is to integrate them in to our lives., but not to support the separation of them via a language barrier.

    I am all for immigrants, especially since I am one myself. But this is America and we speak English here, get used to it.

    September 18, 2008
  62. Peter Millin said:


    McCain(and others) had no choice, because a lot of people don’t want uncontrolled immigration.
    One of the reasons I am leery about McCain is that he might bring this “reform” back.

    September 18, 2008
  63. Patrick Enders said:

    Peter wrote,

    McCain(and others) had no choice, because a lot of people don’t want uncontrolled immigration.

    I thought McCain was supposed to be a leader who’d give us nothing but ‘Straight Talk'(TM). Sounds like pandering to me. Like I said, he’s sold his soul to the radical right.

    September 18, 2008
  64. Peter Millin said:


    Does that mean that I am the “radical right”?
    For believing that a sovereign nation has the right and obligation to protect it’s own borders?
    For demanding that people who want to live here should learn English and assimilate to our customs?

    OK…call me a radical right then……

    September 18, 2008
  65. Anthony Pierre said:

    ya, peter, a sovereign nation does have those rights. and that country is Iraq.

    September 18, 2008
  66. Peter Millin said:


    You are right, but you are barking up the wrong tree.

    While I initially supported the war I know realize it was a mistake, and the price we paid doesn’t justify the gains we made.

    September 18, 2008
  67. Anthony Pierre said:

    Peter, it really depends who you are when you say ‘we’

    haliburton + all of the no bid contracts + oil companies made an ASSLOAD. you and me and everyone on this comment thread made jack shit.

    are you SURE you want to support the same party that pretty much bent the whole country over for the last 8 years?

    September 18, 2008
  68. Peter Millin said:


    I won’t support McCain or Obama on the national ticket, but locally I will support the Republicans.
    Especially since the alternative will cost me even more money. A vote for democrats means more taxes, more regulations and more government involvement in my life.

    I left Europe because I am tired of social experiments and tired of working 60 hours a week and see half of my money being taken by the government.

    If we in this country don’t wake up, we’ll end up like Europe, and that’s no place I want to be.

    That fear makes it impossible for me to vote for Obama and to a degree for McCain.

    September 18, 2008
  69. Anthony Pierre said:

    Peter, the last 8 years have been an exercise in fear and pushing the limits of honesty.

    4.00 gas
    bailing out BANKS
    a huge ass war thats draining the country emotionally and monetarily.

    I am sure that hurt your pocketbook.

    And if honesty has less value than the dollar to you, then I guess I can’t say much to change your mind.

    Before this election, I thought the Republican party hated everyone different than them. During this election I have seen they don’t hate. They just want a bigger piece of the pie regardless of the consequences.

    September 18, 2008
  70. Peter Millin said:

    $ 4 gas is hardly the Republicans fault. It is a combination of more demand, stagnant supply and a weak dollar policy ever since Bush the first.

    (Following your logic btw would make it the democrats fault, since they rule congress for the pas two years.)

    Couple this with our inability to manage and explore our own natural resources and a complete absence of a national energy policy, makes this a perfect storm.
    I think Carter was the last POTUS that had any opinion of this, since then we went through how many presidents, congress and senates?

    We chose to neglect this issue because it was deemed unimportant. The fact that it blew up on Bush’s watch doesn’t make it his fault.

    On bailing out banks…see my other posts on that. Again we are left holding the bag and clean up what was started a couple of decades ago. Do a search on CRA and connect the dots.

    ..and the democrats want a smaller slice of the pie? hardly.

    It doesn’t matter who you vote for, you still be paying the price.

    September 18, 2008
  71. Anthony Pierre said:

    in 2000, gas was 1.50.

    in 2008 it is damn close to 4.00

    you think it isn’t the war that raised prices?

    can you imagine what kind of alternative fuels we would have if all of the money going to the worthless war went to research?

    and the banks:

    The general co-chairman of John McCain’s presidential campaign, former Sen. Phil Gramm (R-Texas), led the charge in 1999 to repeal a Depression-era banking regulation law that Democrat Barack Obama claimed on Thursday contributed significantly to today’s economic turmoil.

    don’t tell me it started a couple of decades ago, it started in 1999 when mccains buddy phil gramm deregulated.

    September 18, 2008
  72. Peter Millin said:

    Yeah and it went from $2.50 to $4.00 in the last two years…..

    Only, the risk-taking was her idea — and the idea of all the other Democrats, along with a handful of Republicans, who over the past 30 years have demonized lenders as racist and passed regulation after regulation pressuring them to make more loans to unqualified borrowers in the name of diversity.

    They were the ones who screamed — “REDLINING!” — and sent banks scurrying for cover in low-income neighborhoods, where they have been forced to lower long-held industry standards for judging creditworthiness to make the subprime loans.

    If they don’t comply, they are threatened with stiff penalties under the Community Reinvestment Act, or CRA, a law that forces banks to make home loans to people with poor credit risks.

    No fewer than four federal banking regulatory agencies are responsible for enforcing the law. They subject lenders to racial litmus tests and issue regular report cards, the industry’s dreaded “CRA rating.”

    The more branches that lenders put in poor neighborhoods, and the more loans they make there, the better their rating. Those lenders with low ratings can not only be fined, but also blocked from mergers and other business transactions needed to expand.

    The regulation grew to monstrous proportions during the Clinton administration, obsessed as it was with multiculturalism. Amendments to the CRA in the mid-1990s dramatically raised the amount of home loans to otherwise unqualified low-income borrowers.

    September 18, 2008
  73. Anthony Pierre said:

    what does that even mean

    September 18, 2008
  74. Barry Cipra said:

    In posting #55, Paul Fried writes:

    “Discussions of lies and integrity matter as much as those of policy.”

    Paul, I couldn’t disagree more. The crambe repetita of Palin’s misrepresentations of her support for the Bridge to Nowhere matters less than a compelling argument, if one can be made, that a McCain-Palin administration will do no more to end Congressional earmarks than would Obama-Biden.

    Discussions of policy should not “focus on what candidates say they’ll do” (quoting your posting again). They should be assessments of what candidates actually *will* do and analyses of their actions’ impacts. For anyone who paid attention in 2000 to commentators who knew Bush from his time in Texas (I’m thinking in particular of Molly Ivins, one of the great wits of modern journalism), or early on to economists on his tax plans (vide Paul Krugman’s prescient “Fuzzy Math), the disaster of the Bush presidency comes as no surprise.

    At the same time, a bright light on lies and the lying liars who tell them is an awfully good idea. To quote the concluding paragraph of “Fuzzy Math”:

    “I can’t think of any previous administration that has tried to sell its economic plans on such false pretenses. It would be a shame, and a dangerous precedent, if they get away with it.”

    Perhaps we’re seeing the progeny of that precedent.

    September 18, 2008
  75. Patrick Enders said:

    Here’s a Time magazine piece on how McCain’s untruths have moved well beyond the political tradition of distorting one’s opponent’s position, and firmly into the realm of plain old lies:

    John McCain and the Lying Game,8599,1842030,00.html

    And you’ve really gotta love the irony in Karl Rove’s declaration that “McCain has gone in his ads one step too far, and sort of attributing to Obama things that are, you know, beyond the 100-percent-truth test,”

    September 18, 2008
  76. Peter Millin said:


    It means that congress has created this mess in the first place, by forcing banks to make bad loans all in the name “political correctness”.
    The banks made the bad loans with the knowledge that they would sell them off as soon after the closing.

    These “bad loans” were packaged in to derivatives and sold off to Fannie May and Freddie Mac.
    Since both of those weren’t really a private entity, it was always understood that if something would go wrong the government would bail them out. So less care was taken.

    Does that let those who made the bad loans of the hook? Hell no. They are guilty of fraud in some cases.

    What makes me made is that those who planted the seed for this mess, are now pretending that it was somebody else s fault.

    Barney Frank as late as 2005 said “Fannie May and Freddie Mac are sound companies there is nothing to worry about” ( I paraphrase).

    In the meantime those two donated millions of dollars to various lobbies and politicians.

    September 18, 2008
  77. Barry Cipra said:

    Embellishment alert. Peter Millin writes:

    “Barney Frank as late as 2005 said “Fannie May and Freddie Mac are sound companies there is nothing to worry about” ( I paraphrase). In the meantime those two donated millions of dollars to various lobbies and politicians.”

    It’s not clear what it means to donate to lobbies, but the data at, which I assume is Peter’s source, shows $4.8 million to members of Congress over the last 20 years, not the last three. That’s a quarter million dollars per year spread over a few hundred politicians. (Obama, who of course is a relative newcomer, comes in second to Chris Dodd at $120k; McCain, who has been around the whole time, well down the list at $21k.)

    Also, as near as I can tell, Barney Frank’s comments was made in 2003, not 2005. Interestingly, here’s (part of) what he said:

    “The more people, in my judgment, exaggerate a threat of safety and soundness, the more people conjure up the possibility of serious financial losses to the Treasury, which I do not see. I think we see entities that are fundamentally sound financially and withstand some of the disastrous scenarios. And even if there were a problem, the Federal Government doesn’t bail them out.”

    September 18, 2008
  78. Barry Cipra said:

    Oops, I meant either “comments were” or “comment was” — this is what comes of heavy night of drinking….

    September 18, 2008
  79. Peter Millin said:

    Attached is the exact list as to contributions of those we know off.

    Barry I don’t understand people like you. Here we are being put on the line with $ 1 Trillion of tax dollars of bad loans and another security for $ 4.5 Trillion…and you get hung up over minute details.

    This kind of partisan behavior allows politicians to get away with murder, why we are fighting over numbers behind the comma.

    Unless you believe that paying off politicians is only serious when it includes large amounts or Republicans???

    Geez Barry this is not a Republican or Democrat issue, this is about our kids future being gambled on.

    Fannie, Freddie And Friends
    Top recipients of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac campaign
    contributions, 1989-2008
    1. Dodd, Christopher (Sen.) D-Conn. $133,900
    2. Kerry, John (Sen.) D-Mass. 111,000
    3. Obama, Barack (Sen.) D-Ill. 105,849
    4. Clinton, Hillary (Sen.) D-N.Y. 75,550
    5. Kanjorski, Paul (Rep.) D-Pa. 65,500
    6. Bennett, Robert (Sen.) R-Utah 61,499
    7. Johnson, Tim (Sen.) D-S.D. 61,000
    8. Conrad, Kent (Sen.) D-N.D. 58,991
    9. Davis, Tom (Rep.) R-Va. 55,499
    10. Bond, Kit (Sen.) R-Mo. 55,400
    11. Bachus, Spencer (Rep.) R-Ala. 55,300
    12. Shelby, Richard (Sen.) R-Ala. 55,000
    13. Emanuel, Rahm (Rep.) D-Ill. 51,750
    14. Reed, Jack (Sen.) D-R.I. 50,750
    15. Carper, Tom (Sen.) D-Del. 44,389
    16. Frank, Barney (Rep.) D-Mass. 40,100
    17. Maloney, Carolyn (Rep.) D-N.Y. 38,750
    18. Bean, Melissa (Rep.) D-Ill. 37,249
    19. Blunt, Roy (Rep.) R-Mo. 36,500
    20. Pryce, Deborah (Rep.) R-Ohio 34,750
    21. Miller, Gary (Rep.) R-Calif. 33,000
    22. Pelosi, Nancy (Rep.) D-Calif. 32,750
    23. Reynolds, Tom (Rep.) R-N.Y. 32,700
    24. Hoyer, Steny (Rep.) D-Md. 30,500
    25. Hooley, Darlene (Rep.) D-Ore. 2

    September 19, 2008
  80. Anthony Pierre said:

    come on.

    if the republicans had their way they would have stuck all of the social security money in the stock market. That’s not real smart is it?

    partisan politics and dividing the country on wedge issues is a trademark of turd blossom ™. He’s an evil genius and probably one of the main reasons we have had another 4 years of W.

    September 19, 2008
  81. Peter Millin said:

    Nice for you to bring up the social security money. You and I are young enough to see it collapse.
    This is the next completely ignored ticking time bomb. Anyone can provide an inside how we are going to fix this?

    September 19, 2008
  82. Anthony, Your idea is good, but not realistic because as long as anyone can use money to grow more money, all money will be used for that, risk or not.

    On soc sec…over 50 million people receive soc sec right now. That’s about 1/6 of the American pop…that is about 17%.

    Housing should be a right, not a priviledge. We are born to this earth and have a right to a place to live, away from the elements, no matter what our status in life may be. Most Americans spend most of their wages and other income on a home or apartment. Much of that money is never seen again after the mortgage or rent is paid. A lot of apts in New York and Chicago are owned by single foreign families who have raised the rates on apts. every time the wages go up for decades. You can never get ahead unless you are very successful and very well paid.

    I think if rents were reduced, and mortgage payments as housing prices lowered, and the saved money would be put into a housing fund for retirement years, and houses would be constantly under construction, waiting for the new retirees to come and take their rightful place. People would care for each other and medical services would be available. on a basic scale. Food would be cheap and grown and raised locally.

    September 19, 2008
  83. Peter Millin said:

    Here is a dirty little secret. There is no real money in the “lock box”. It was always a pay as you go fund. Which is exactly the problem, because we are facing an imbalance between those that pay in versus those that take out.

    So we either pay more in or stop taking more out or find another way to increase the pot.

    September 19, 2008
  84. Barry Cipra said:

    Periodically the presidential campaigns take a break from partisan bickering to engage in a semi-serious discussion of issues. Such an event came to a head today with the posting of a science “debate” between the two candidates, at

    Setting aside the usual platitudinous boilerplate from both sides, there is a fair amount of information about the candidates’ plans. Overall, I would say that Obama has better — and more specific — ideas for moving forward in the so-called STEM areas of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, which are key drivers for a strong economy.

    September 19, 2008
  85. Peter Millin said:

    They both make good points and in broad terms go in to the same direction. I don’t think anybody can deny that these are serious issues that need to be addressed.

    Again most of us agree on most of the issues were we differ is how we are going to get there.
    Herein lies the real choice.
    Do we believe as a nation that a big powerful centralized government can efficiently address the issues or do we believe that the “we the people” are better suited to solve the problems of the future?

    Given our federal governments track record my faith is with “we the people”.

    September 19, 2008
  86. Paul Fried said:

    McCain & RNC accused today of mail fraud in highly offensive and unethical mailings — story on NPR. It seems registered Dems were getting letters claiming they were registered Republicans and telling them how to update their status.

    This is straight out of the Karl Rove playbook:

    Republican Mailing Leaves Florida Voters Confused
    by Pam Fessler

    I wonder: Perhaps some would think anyone who participated in the creation and distribution of the mailing should be taken to Guantanamo and have enhanced interrogation techniques used on them for, oh, about 3-7 years on a daily basis (what some of the innocents there had to endure).

    But liberals will be nicer than that. They’ll be willing to grant the RNC and McCain folks who put this together their human and legal rights.

    It’s just not fair.

    September 19, 2008
  87. Paul Zorn said:

    In #93 (last of a litany of mailings about Obama’s supposed un-truthiness) Peter recommends the following website

    It is indeed worth a look. Assuming that the website itself if truthful (I have no reason to doubt this, and Peter has recommended the site) here are some conclusions I’d draw:

    1. If the only live issue is the *qualitative* assertion that both sides sometimes, or even often, stretch the truth or ignore it entirely, these data will support that conclusion. QED. Done. Read no further.

    2. A *quantitative* question, more interesting to me, concerns the frequency or egregiousness of truth-stretching that each side indulges in. can help here; obviously, some interpretation is required.

    Here, first, is my conclusion from the Politifact data: The McCain team plays significantly faster and looser with the truth than does the Obama team. In a sense I’ll describe below, the McCain team’s “median assertion” is Barely True on Politifact’s scale, while the “median” Obama team claim is Mostly True. (There’s a Half True level in between … ).

    Here’s what I did with Politifact’s data. I looked at the first 6 or so pages of Politifact’s listings, considering only claims attributed to the “principals”: the POTUS and VPOTUS candidates themselves. (What others, especially Web chatter, has to say seems beside the point here. And I say this as a Web chatterer.)

    Politifact rates claims as True, Mostly True, Half True, Barely True, False, and (the worst!) Pants on Fire. Here are the data I found:

    Pants on Fire: 4 McCain, 1 Obama

    False: 7 McCain, 1 Obama

    Barely True: 10 McCain, 8 Obama

    Half True: 8 McCain, 7 Obama

    Mostly True: 5 McCain, 6 Obama

    True: 6 McCain, 15 Obama

    Whether these are acceptable records for either candidate is certainly debatable, but the difference seems clear. One possible measure is the “median” — the middle claim if one line up the claims from least to most truthful. By this measure McCain’s median claim is Barely True, while Obama’s is Mostly True.

    Other measures are possible. Any suggestions?

    September 20, 2008
  88. Barry Cipra said:

    Paul Zorn writes:

    “A *quantitative* question, more interesting to me, concerns the frequency or egregiousness of truth-stretching that each side indulges in.”

    Wonderfully well analyzed!

    September 20, 2008
  89. Patrick Enders said:

    The truth is not treating McCain very well at all. Still, it’s good to know that McCain has decided to talk about issues for a bit, and that he wrote an article for the October 2008 issue of “Contingencies” (published by the American Academy of Actuaries – who knew?) titled “Better Health Care at Lower Cost for Every American.”

    So what is his insightful solution to health care problems?

    “Opening up the health insurance market to more vigorous nationwide competition, as we have done over the last decade in banking, would provide more choices of innovative products less burdened by the worst excesses of state-based regulation.”

    That’s right, deregulation will work the same great wonders for health care that it has done for the banking industry.

    And do you think he was misquoted or misrepresented? That’d be a hard case to make, because he is credited with writing the article himself.

    Perhaps the only good thing about the apparent impending financial meltdown is that it’s nice to be talking about real policies again – instead of lipstick.

    September 20, 2008
  90. Paul Fried said:

    Your data shows McCain as having more lies or falsehoods, but is the difference between “(liar, liar) pants on fire” and “false” the sense that a the teller of the lie or falsehood seems clearly to be lying (pants on fire) and intentionally distorting facts — as compared to merely “false” as those cases where it’s unclear that the falsehood was intentional? Or – ?

    September 20, 2008
  91. Paul Zorn said:

    Paul F:

    Concerning your question in #102 …

    I don’t know how Politifact define its categories, or how much “worse” a Pants on Fire rating is than a False rating. Doubtless these things are subjective, as they would have to be.

    In my book it’s worse to tell a lie, knowing it’s a lie, than to make a false assertion in genuine ignorance. I’ve done quite a lot of one of these things, and somewhat less of the other, I’d like to think.

    But the cynic in me says that false assertions in political campaigns seldom proceed from sincere ignorance. More often, methinks, such assertions nicely illustrate the concept of BS, as defined by Walter Uhler, Professor Emeritus of Philosophy at Princeton, in a useful little monograph on the subject. (Look for it on Amazon if you need more BS in your life.) BS, writes Professor Uhler, is usually false by any standard, but BS’s hallmark is not garden variety falsity but rather the speaker’s (or writer’s …) indifference to normal standards of truth and falsity.

    September 20, 2008
  92. Barry Cipra said:


    The book you refer to is by Harry Frankfurt, not Walter Uhler. The title is “On Bullshit.” A great read.

    September 20, 2008
  93. I think, but I am not stating I know any better than anyone else around, but
    there are other reasons to lie besides the assertions that have been made here. I’ll let you have some time to think about that if you want to and if you are really interested in the truth about why we are lied to by politicians, and then when you are ready, willing and ready to hear my version, just ask me.
    Most of you I know can figure it out or have heard it before. I think it’s valid.

    But first, can someone explain to me who else does the jobs that Haliburton does, and does it as well? Honestly, now, she said with all sincerity.

    September 20, 2008
  94. Paul Fried said:

    On BS: Twice here I’ve created what I hope were seen, at some point, as humorous URL’s to nowhere, both in response to what seemed to be efforts to cherry-pick data and offer it out of context in mountain-out-of-molehill fashion.

    Sometimes it seems that hard research and strong, direct argumentation are appropriate in countering such stuff, but as Jon Stewart’s Daily Show often shows, humor is sometimes better, in part because it’s more fun.

    September 21, 2008
  95. Paul Zorn said:

    Barry (#104) is quite right that On [BS] was written by Professor Frankfurt. It hurts to do so, but I must plead guilty to propagation of BS in Prof F’s sense — while I did not try explicitly to lie I was so careless of the actual truth of my attribution that I Google’d in haste.

    If there’s any consolation, it may be that, although my attribution could rate no better than False on Politifact’s scale, I don’t think it would earn the Pants on Fire designation.

    I feel better now.

    September 21, 2008
  96. Barry Cipra said:

    Paul Zorn writes:

    “I must plead guilty to propagation of BS in Prof F’s sense”

    Not at all, Paul. As you said, you were careless. That’s different from being indifferent.

    BTW, the Frankfurter book is available at the Northfield Public Library. Out of idle curiosity, I checked the online catalog for the Wasilla Public Library. It’s not listed there, though they do have a copy of Stanley Bing’s “100 Bullshit Jobs — and How to Get Them.”

    September 21, 2008
  97. Barry Cipra said:

    Oops, I meant Frankfurt, not Frankfurter. Careless me!

    September 21, 2008
  98. Last night I watched a CSpan book talk show and Kaylene Johnson wrote a book called, “Sarah” that was published in April of 2008, before any VP place was ever thought of, and Kaylene says that Sarah is just who she says she is and did the right stuff all along s far as reform, fighting corruption, and using the bridge money for other necessary infrastructure work. I congratulate myself, and anyone who agreed with me on my earlier posts for coming tot he the very same conclusion, based on intuition and a little faith on my part.

    I do this mostly cuz I know that’s prolly the only time I am gonna hear that around this thread.

    September 21, 2008
  99. Peter Millin said:

    Am I too conclude from your responses that lying is now a quantitative measure?
    Have we lowered our standards that much, that we don’t care who is lying to us?
    Like I said earlier
    I am not a Republican and I am not a Democrat I am American first.

    Sad to see that most of you rather give in to partisan bickering and turn your head the other way just to support your candidate.

    The $ 1 Trillion we just printed should serve as a warning, that Washington does not have our best interest in mind.
    Rather then stand up and admit a mistake both parties now blame Wallstreet. This is laughable at best.

    Let’s just ignore this and continue our partisan squabble while our elected officials are laughing all the way to the bank.

    September 21, 2008
  100. Patrick Enders said:

    Peter wrote,

    Am I too conclude from your responses that lying is now a quantitative measure?

    It is at least something which can be ranked according to degrees, as others here have done.

    Let’s just ignore this and continue our partisan squabble while our elected officials are laughing all the way to the bank.

    Yes, let’s.

    I would argue that the majority of your posts on this thread and its relatives – like mine – have been either in defense of one candidate, or in criticism of another.

    People have made (in my opinion) a pretty good case that there are degrees of lying, and that McCain and his campaign have lied to a significantly greater degree than has Obama.

    Please do continue the debate.

    September 21, 2008
  101. Peter Millin wrote:

    Am I too conclude from your responses that lying is now a quantitative measure?
    Have we lowered our standards that much, that we don’t care who is lying to us?
    Like I said earlier
    I am not a Republican and I am not a Democrat I am American first.

    These lines would have some impact, Peter, if you hadn’t been the one who clipped a whole string of posts about Obama’s “deceptions” (your word) in comments #92, 93, 94, and 95, and then topped it off with comment #96 where you directed everyone’s attention to the politifact website.

    Paul Zorn then quantified politifact’s findings for everyone; causing you to back out when the numbers don’t work in your favor. Perhaps you think you’re taking the higher ground with the tone of comment #111, but it sounds to me like you just want to pretend you weren’t down there in the mud, slinging away.

    Please, if you want to preach that “most of you would rather give in to partisan bickering” (comment #111), then don’t bicker in such an overtly partisan manner and then claim to care only for America (cue patriotic music) and not your candidate of choice.

    Peter, the irony of my comment here is that I actually agree with what you wrote, it just rings hollow after many of your earlier dirt-digging, mud-flinging comments to take that high-minded, moralistic (“Have we lowered our standards that much…”), more-patriotic-than-thou-petty-squabblers tone.

    We should be concerned about all lies told, by anyone in this and all campaigns. We should be very worried about financial sector mismanagement by lawmakers and by corporations. But, please don’t fling mud and chastise those who fling it back.

    September 21, 2008
  102. Brendon, as Americans we reserve the right to both sling and chastise.
    After all, both sides have some grasp and hold of the truth. As I know you know, there are truths on many levels, even though they may seem to be at odds. Let’s use my girl, Sarah, as an example. She was tough on corruption, but only after she quit a job where it was her job to be tough on corruption, cuz she didn’t like having to make statements that went against her grain every month on the mandatory form. If we add up the bits and other bits, we finally can create a whole truth. It’s kinda hard sometimes, but it can be done over time. So chastise and sling, it’s an American thing!

    September 21, 2008
  103. Paul Fried said:

    As presidential candidates make visits to states, it’s going to be interesting to watch how the police work to protect the candidates and their supporters:

    Do they wear riot gear and gas masks that hide the identity of a given police officer (as was the case at the RNC in St. Paul, making many of them anonymous and perhaps more prone to use force?

    Do they use pepper spray and tear gas? (…as at the RNC.)

    Do they surround protesters, leave them no escape route, roughly knock them to the ground and arrest them with plastic strips around their wrists, behind their backs? (…as at the RNC.)

    A few (including Coleen Rowley at Huffington Post) have already noted that, with the recent McCain-Palin rally at the Blaine airport, the anti-McCain protesters were very peaceful, the McCain supporters got in to the airport and hanger without being obstructed, some the McCain supporters had signs of their own, but the police wore their normal uniforms, didn’t make arrests or excessive force, didn’t use pepper spray or tear gas, etc.

    What made the difference? Did the police at the RNC already arrest all troublemakers, so there were none left to go to Blaine?

    Was Homeland Security less involved in the Blaine visit, and was the Blaine event therefore lacking in overkill?

    Did they forget to hire agents provocateurs for the Blaine event? Or was it recognized as being less the center of media attention as the RNC in St. Paul?

    Did the troublemakers change or retreat? Did the police learn from their mistakes and change their approach?

    Or both? Neither? Or was it more than that?

    What a difference a few weeks and a change in venue make!

    September 21, 2008
  104. Paul f. I don’t think the provocatuers target the stops and rallies of the candidates. They want national attention and big crowds make that happen.
    Also, we didn’t have the surrounding area police who view things differently in the mix. We also didn’t have a lot of hysterical people demanding complete safety.

    This is just off the top of my head, which is filled with stuff that people put into it over the years.

    Gotta go.

    September 21, 2008
  105. After hundreds of posts on this thread, I still have not seen one person come out and talk about why Obama would make a good President without evoking the names of the opposing side.

    September 22, 2008
  106. Anne Bretts said:

    Bright, happy to oblige…
    Obama connects with a generation of young people looking for a reason to get involved. I haven’t seen anyone since JFK have such an impact for good on young people, heck, on all people. He is leading one of the largest voter registration movements in this nation’s history, which will have an impact for decades in the future, as these voters turn into candidates and volunteers and community organizers themselves.
    Obama has sparked a new attitude among countries around the world, an attitude that says they believe this country may be focused at last on respect and cooperation and not domination, arrogance and force.
    Obama is both black and white, a symbol of the post-racial country that we could be and that many people already see.
    Obama respects life, but also understands that laws and jails are not effective forms of contraception.
    Obama is a living example that poor kids can value education, can use good grammar, can tie a tie and wear a belt and still be cool, can be good parents and strong world leaders without using four-letter words or becoming athletes or movie stars or musicians. Kids need to see politics and civil service as something honorable and valuable.
    Oh, and his policies on health care and Iraq and the economy totally beat the other team’s. Just read the financial analyses coming out in the last couple of weeks. Obama’s health plan is cheaper and covers more people. McCain’s deregulation plan would work as well for health care as it did for Wall Street. Republicans are fine with bailing out the bankers but not the people who lost their homes.
    OK, Bright, that’s a start. Anyone else, jump in.

    September 22, 2008
  107. Peter Millin said:

    When i first came to this site 99% of the posts were ripping the Republican party and praising the Democrats and Obama.

    My attempt was and is to show some of you and there is two sides to this. This has nothing to do with me being on the high horse.

    Brendon I posted those threads in respond to Patrick, since he asked me to point out some of Obamas short comings.

    September 22, 2008
  108. Peter Millin said:


    Diplomacy first? Yes, but you have to have the means to back up your words.

    Healthcare plan? Yes, but not one run by the government.

    Tax the rich? How about tax everybody fair?

    Alternative energy plan? Yes, but we can’t abandon oil at this time. Why does this have to be an either or decision?

    As you can see we agree on the issues of the day, we just disagree on how we should get there.

    September 22, 2008
  109. Barry Cipra said:

    Peter writes:

    I posted those threads in respond to Patrick

    Peter, your purpose would have been clearer if you had referenced Patrick’s posting (#58) in the first of your Obama postings. Some 30 postings (and about the same number of hours) had elapsed, and I, for one, had quite forgotten Patrick’s challenge.

    September 22, 2008
  110. Peter Millin said:

    Sorry Barry.

    Here is a technical question for the moderator. Have you ever considered changing the format of this to v.Bulletin?
    It’s much more conducive for this type of forum.

    September 22, 2008
  111. Anthony Pierre said:


    Diplomacy first? Yes, but you have to have the means to back up your words.
    (how are the current policies working for you)

    Healthcare plan? Yes, but not one run by the government.
    (free healthcare is provided by every single country except this one, insurance companies run the health care industry right now. and again, how is the current system working for you)

    Tax the rich? How about tax everybody fair?
    (how about close loopholes, how is the current system working for you? I bet you dont get the huge tax breaks the rich get)

    Alternative energy plan? Yes, but we can’t abandon oil at this time. Why does this have to be an either or decision?
    (we can abandon oil, and we should. clean renewable energy should be the goal. and o ya how is the current climate policy working for you?)

    As you can see we agree on the issues of the day, we just disagree on how we should get there.
    (we agree on the issues but republicans want a bigger piece of the pie regardless of the consequences)

    September 22, 2008
  112. Barry Cipra said:

    Peter, can you provide a link to a site that uses v.bulletin? I’m unfamiliar with the format.

    In general, I think the format here works extremely well. The layout is attractive and easy to navigate. I don’t care much for sites that nest replies to replies to replies; I find them hard to follow. It’s nice to have the entire “discussion” reviewable on a single page, without having to click around from posting to posting. However, I would encourage people to make an explicit reference back whenever responding to something that appeared some time ago. (I can only hope here that there haven’t been two dozen other postings between Peter’s and this one. Oh, I guess I could do more than hope….)

    September 22, 2008
  113. Peter Millin said:


    There is no such thing as free health care, that’s the whole fallacy of this argument.
    Health care is paid for through your taxes. I have lived in three countries that had “free health care” current tax rate in Germany is close to 50%, current tax rate in Canada is 42% . 20 years ago the tax rate in Holland was 35%, which is probably higher now.
    I wish people in the USA would look outside of their country to understand what national health care will mean to them. Is the US system perfect? NO, but neither are the current alternatives.
    Even Europeans have now realized that an all out national health care system doesn’t work. That’s why most of them are now moving to a private secondary supply of health care, because the national system is too slow and too expensive.

    Did you know that 25% of the wage earners pay 86% of the taxes already?

    None of the current alternative fuels can replace oil today. Will we get there? Yup, but until then we are not even close.
    Let’s don’t forget that oil delivers more then just fuel for your car aspirin, cosmetics, plastics are just a few.
    That even addresses the issues around using food to power our cars. How can we justify burning corn while people are starving?

    September 22, 2008
  114. Paul Zorn said:


    Some thoughts on your posting #126, which I think contains some good points and some I find less convincing.

    You say, for instance:

    There is no such thing as free health care, that’s the whole fallacy of this argument.

    Indeed, no health care is free, and kudos to you for reminding us of this. Somebody — whether individuals or groups — always pays. So much said, I’d add two caveats. First, I think you overstate the matter when you describe this as the “whole fallacy” of this argument — I doubt that any of us really believes that health care is totally free. Second, as I’m sure you’d agree, there are also costs (to individuals and to society) of underinvesting in health care. Finding the “right” level for a given society is not an easy matter.

    Then you wrote:

    I have lived in three countries that had “free health care” current tax rate in Germany is close to 50%, current tax rate in Canada is 42% . 20 years ago the tax rate in Holland was 35%, which is probably higher now.

    Again you make good points, and I’m a great fan of number-related arguments … well done! But to compare these numbers in an apples-to-apples sense one would need to control somewhere for the fact that the US health care system consumes something like 16% of GDP, last time I checked. So if indeed the Canadians pay 42% of GDP for a package that includes health care, and we pay N% of GDP for a package that does not include health care, then the N-vs-42 comparison is less meaningful than the (N+16)- vs-42 comparison. On that scale, we may differ less than we think from the Great White North.

    Then you wrote:

    I wish people in the USA would look outside of their country to understand what national health care will mean to them.

    Another good point. But some of what we’d see outside the US could help us improve, not just serve as an object lesson in what can go wrong. As you suggest, there’s a whole range of possibilities, from government-provided healthcare at one extreme to government-supported at the other. There’s a lot of room for improvement.

    September 22, 2008
  115. Barry Cipra said:

    Peter, thanks for the example. I’ll point out a few things I don’t like about its layout compared to LGN. I hope you’ll point to what you do like in it.

    Griff and others, I apologize for going completely off topic here.

    First, it took me a couple of false starts to figure out how to use the politicalforum site, whereas LGN seemed intuitive from the get-go. I like the way the LGN homepage stacks current topics initiated by Griff et al. and makes it easy to see which topics have active discussion going on, with a glimpse of who’s saying what.

    Once you get to a thread at politicalforum, you only get to see 10 postings at a time. As I said above, I like having the entire discussion on a single page. It’s much easier to scroll around than it is to have to click back and forth and wait for the pages to load and reload. (Of course when there are thousands of postings even scrolling is problematic. But I haven’t seen any such problem at LGN.)

    I also like the discreet, neighborly “fences” LGN puts between consecutive postings in the discussions. Putting the posters’ identifying information off to the side facilitates the conversational feel of the site. The politicalforum site, by contrast, interposes a big block of identifying information between the postings, creating a visual sense of people saying OK, you’re in my house now and here’s what I have to say. It compounds this by allowing posters to create tag lines that appear each and every time they have something to say. Tag lines are about as endearing as the habit of a coworker who reminds you at the end of the day, week in and week out, not to take any plugged nickels.

    One thing I would like to see at LGN is a more easily navigable archive. Right now, if I want to take a look at something from, say early July, I have to click through multiple pages to get to it — and if I’m not sure exactly when it was posted, I have to glance at all the posting as I scroll down to click on “Older Entries.” I’m tempted to say a better presentation would be to reduce the entry page for each month’s archive to a chronological list of titles for the entire month. The same applies to the “categories” archive. (Something else I just noticed there: Entries are dated by month and day, but the year is left unspecified. This is unproblematic for the archive by date, but is potentially confusing for categories.)

    OK, sorry for the off-topic meander. But I do hope Peter’ll follow up.

    September 22, 2008
  116. Jane Moline said:

    Peter M and Anthony both spoke about taxing everyone fair–and I want to comment on Peter’s “revelation” that 25% are paying the bulk of the taxes.

    The transfer of money to the rich that has taken place in the last 7 years is astonishing and daunting–why shouldn’t they pay ALL of the taxes–they are taking all of the wealth–. We have seen the biggest transfer of wealth out of the middle class and to the wealthy in the history of the United States.

    (So–who really benefits from the bailout? All of those wealthy that took their cut out of the taxpayers’ backsides.)

    There is nothing wrong with taxing the rich. Taxation can work to redistribute wealth–it is the rich, their mouth pieces (the conservative-owned press, including the Wall Street Journal, et al.), their lobbyists, and their Republican Senators and Congressmen who continually claim that the “liberals” are dangerous while it is the Republicans that led us into a costly and illegal war that enriched their already rich friends, increases our dependence on oil, and destroys the earth as well as our economy.

    Tell me–are you better off today than you were 8 years ago? If you are, you are a rich Republican that owns Haliburton, so vote for McCain. If, however, you are struggling to put something away in savings while still paying to fill your tank so you can get to work, and your health insurance, college tuition, and grocery bills are all going sky high–vote for a change.

    Frankly, it amazes me that anyone can be FOR the Republicans. The Republicans distract from their Repbulican-made disasters wtih hate ads, hate radio, and lies that spew from McCain and Palin, and their “truth” squad.

    I would rather take an inexperienced but hard-working intellectual over a the class idiot who’s claim to fame is he crashed ANOTHER plane so he became a POW and he picked a VP candidate with a nice rack.

    September 22, 2008
  117. Barry Cipra said:

    Jane writes of McCain:

    “he picked a VP candidate with a nice rack.”

    Jane, thanks for observation, I’ll have to take a closer look at Palin. But I hope you understand that leftwing venom only invigorates the right. It leaves cold those of us whose passions run to dispassionate discourse and reason.

    September 22, 2008
  118. Peter Millin said:

    Nice job Jane I am sure your extremist left views will attract a lot of followers.

    If a white male would have commented on Palin’s rack he would be decried as sexist…but if the extreme left does’s ok I guess

    September 22, 2008
  119. Peter Millin said:


    I am better of than eight years ago and it didn’t happen because of government and I do probably own some Haliburton in my 401K. Which I have to have, especially since social security will be a bust soon.

    Yet I am not rich. I have a house , a mortgage and three kids. I still work about 10 to 12 hours everyday and think about twice what I spent my money on. But yet some would say I am rich.

    What is fair about the fact that I work everyday to make ends meet, but have to pay for those that rather sit at home and live on the governments dime?

    Should we help people in need? Of course it’s a human responsibility, but the question is at what point do we stop?

    September 22, 2008
  120. Peter Millin said:

    Paul here are the numbers on health care cost from the NPR website.

    Most people in Canada still say “We have free health care” so I am not sure if people are just saying that or really mean it?

    The cost argument is very valid and it’s hard for me to argue those numbers, unless of course you put them in relation to quality and availabilty.

    Quiet a few Canadians chose to visit the US for certain treatment, because of extended waiting periods. The irony is that if you are politician or rich, you skip the line or go straight to the US.

    In the matter of taxation don’t forget the taxes and fees you pay “after the state and the feds” have taken their cut…i.e. property taxes, sales taxes, license fees….etc.etc…

    September 22, 2008
  121. I don’t understand why people want inexperience youth to be the deciding votes in this election. Yep, Barack’s team knows how to use the Internet, I guess, but so does Miley Cyrus aka Hannah Montana.

    Barack is not black or white. He’s like me a mixed breed. He knows nothing about being a black man in America, or a white one either. Not saying that is a bad thing. I think there are more people like me and him, mixed and unique than anyone really knows.

    And Jane, while I see several points of agreement with your last post, I cannot imagine why anyone would be so jealous of a woman as to refer to her ‘rack’, especially when Mrs. Palin is such a modest dresser.

    Peter is exactly right about taxes and health care in other countries, and not just lately, but for decades, Europeans and Japanese have paid so much for health care and food and gasoline, much more than we have paid, much more…staggering amounts, in fact. That’s why all they do is sit around and drink wine and whine about the USA.

    I’ll leave it at that for now.

    September 22, 2008
  122. Anne Bretts said:

    Bright, ‘mixed breed’ is a very offensive term. Breeds are for animals, not people. And the idea that Barack doesn’t understand what it means to be black or white is just as offensive. You don’t really mean that, do you? He has understands only too well, I’m sure. Polls just this week show a third of Americans have misgivings about a black president —and consider Obama black, even though he’s as Midwestern as I am.
    And Jane, the ‘rack’ comment is just as offensive, whether it comes from a man or a woman. I dislike Palin for a hundred reasons, but making fun of her figure is just as bad as making fun of Hillary’s cankles or her pantsuits.
    We need to take a deep breath here and move back to issues.
    One of them is getting young people involved in the election process. I’d rather have a 20-year-old voting about our future than an 80-year-old voting based on fond memories of segregation. What is the alternative, Bright? Why wouldn’t you want young people voting or being involved in the process and in volunteering and government service? If they care enough to vote, why wouldn’t you want them to do so?

    September 22, 2008
  123. Paul Zorn said:


    As regards taxes … you mentioned in #126 (along with a reference to ):

    Did you know that 25% of the wage earners pay 86% of the taxes already?

    A couple of comments:

    1. The (interesting!) website you quote also mentions that the top 25% of wage earners earn about 65% of all income. The fact that those of us in that group pay more than 65% of all income taxes reflects the fact that the federal income tax structure is to some degree “progressive” — higher income-earners pay a higher tax percentage. Reasonable people can and do differ on *how* progressive a tax system should be, but virtually all rich countries have some degree of progressivity for income taxes. Perhaps there’s a principled argument against any progressivity, and I’d be interested to hear it. But it would certainly be swimming upstream.

    My own opinion is that the 65% income/86% tax statistic is by no means shocking, let alone prima facie evidence of “unfairness”. (I use the scare quotes not to diss a crucial principle, but to acknowledge that fairness is not just a simple mathematical computation; it also depends on important but debatable and ultimately non-economic principles.) On the contrary, the 65/86 disparity seems quite reasonable to me, given the fact that the rich are not just richer (duh) but may also benefit more than the poor from public goods, such as freeways and education.

    2. The 86% figure cited above refers only to Federal income tax. As you pointed out in #134, there are many other taxes, fees, etc. kicking around. And (my point, not necessarily yours) most of these other taxes and tax-like things are much *less* progressive, if indeed progressive at all, than the Federal income tax. I’ve seen data (sorry, can’t cite anything here and now) that suggest, for example, that in most states the total burden from state and local taxes and fees is actually slightly *regressive*, with middle income folks paying *higher* percentages than top earners. (As I recall Minnesota was among the least regressive states in this respect, or perhaps even very slightly progressive. We should be proud of this.)

    September 22, 2008
  124. Mike Zenner said:

    Bright , nice move playing the arrogant ugly American!

    Most of the rest of the world lives what’s called a sustainable lifestyle, living within their means.

    Due to cheap energy and cheap money most Americans have no idea what this is. However, now that the cheap oil era is over, and now with the current financial Armageddon on Wall Street(mostly caused by greed and living beyond our means for the past 30yrs), America will be able to experience and extreme version of sustainable living starting 2009!

    Next year while we are swirling down the financial toilet, the “Wine Drinking Whiners” will be standing on the rim smiling, waving , yelling “Au revoir”.

    Jane, perhaps “Rack” is a little to quick to the point! you could have said that Palin is an empty headed Barbie Doll that was brought in for sex appeal for the empty headed American Idol crowd!

    September 22, 2008
  125. Paul Fried said:

    Paul Z and Peter: It’s also a fact that, while since Reagan, many income tax reductions have been enacted, social security withholding has continued to increase, and as others have noted here on LoGroNo, social security still has no special bank, so it’s still used as a “slush fund”: There are limits on how much income is calculated for SSWithholding, and while this has increased in recent years, the ultra-rich have still enjoyed tax cuts since Reagan, without suffering from most of the increased withholding.

    Many of the figures thrown around by some conseratives about who pays the most taxes are not on the mark….

    September 22, 2008
  126. Felicity Enders said:

    Bright, in #135 you say:

    Barack is not black or white. He’s like me a mixed breed. He knows nothing about being a black man in America, or a white one either. Not saying that is a bad thing. I think there are more people like me and him, mixed and unique than anyone really knows.

    I happen to be mixed in nearly the same way as Senator Obama, and I suspect it’s very different from the way in which you are “mixed”. We live in a nation in which a single drop of African-American blood qualifies one as black. Furthermore, we also live in a nation in which many people who are seen as “black” (though most are varying shades of brown) have many fewer options in life; fewer options for school, healthcare, jobs, and housing.

    I can tell you from personal experience that everyone who looks “black” faces challenges, even those who grew up as privileged as I. Do people think I got my job because I’m black, rather than because I’m qualified? Do people trust me when I talk only because I sound reassuringly non-black? Before I met my husband’s family, I wondered whether they would mistrust me because of my color, as my father’s white family had mistrusted my mother and her black family?

    Do those questions even enter into play for a white woman, or a white man? I’m sorry, I don’t believe you have any experience to help you understand what it’s like to grow up as a truly mixed breed in America.

    September 22, 2008
  127. john george said:

    I keep reading the terms “liberal” and “conservative” projected at different opinions, but I think there is an underlying difference in economic policies that the terms socialist and capitalist would better describe. Some of the comments posted here remind me of the poltitcal discussions out of the’60s and ’70s. There seems to be an underlying disgust in socialist thinking toward the idea of economically richer and poorer levels of society. What I hear behind the rhetoric is the hope that a stong central government will be the great equalizer in our society. This will be accomplished through taxes, especially greater taxes on the “rich”. It reminds me of an attitude of mistrust and contempt toward anyone in a higher income bracket than yourself that is prevalent in the part of the country in which I grew up. It isn’t fair that another person has more money than you, and he must have done something illegal to obtain it. It does a lot to discourage individual entrepineurship, like a person should be ashamed if they do well economically in life.

    The capitalist thinking, on the other hand, seems to convey the idea that if a person was able to get ahead economically, then everyone should be able to. They don’t seem to disturbed by an economically stratified society. They view taxes as a necessary evil to facilitate the building, maintainence, and defense of infrastructure, not as a means of equalizing economic disparencies, and therefore want to keep them at a minimum. I believe it too often ignores the people who, because of mental or physical challenges, cannot work. This leaves those economically challenged in a place of discouragement, especially if they believe they have the “right” to the same economic level of those that are “rich”. This is an unrealistic expectation in the first place, in my opinion. Not everyone can be a millionaire, but it is this belief that drives the lottery and gambling industry. The Amercan dream has become getting rich without working.

    My personal opinion is that neither philosophy is ideal, because both rely on the idea that men are not driven by greed. This idea is untrue and creates a false hope. As we have seen in the recent demise of Wall Street financial giants, men are motivated by greed. Over 30 years ago, Dr. Francis Schaefer stated the problem the best. He said that the biggest problem facing mankind is the compassionate distribution of accumulated wealth. I believe it is important for a person to work and be paid for it, but I try to live by a different philosophy called giving and receiving. I don’t think this can be done politically. It must be a change in the basic motivations of each person, and the next election will not accomplish that.

    September 22, 2008
  128. Anne Bretts said:

    Felicity, what great comments. My husband has five adult children who were adopted when they were small: two Korean sisters, two mixed race boys and a blond Caucasian girl. They grew up in the same family in the same house on Lake Minnetonka and went to the same Methodist church and the same private schools. Yet I can assure you the boys knew exactly what it was like to be considered black and all four dark-haired children knew what it was like to be treated very differently from their blond sister.
    It was and is not fair, but I am happy to see that attitudes among many are changing, just as attitudes about so many other issues are changing. I was in grade school in a Klan town in Indiana many, many years ago and there were kids that couldn’t play with me because I was Catholic. I remember how proud my grandparents were because Kennedy proved a Catholic could be elected president. That seems ridiculous now, yet the questions about Romney’s religion this year show we still have a long way to go.
    The latest polls this week show there are still many people who would be reluctant to vote for a Harvard-educated U.S. Senator whose roots are in Kansas, Hawaii and Illinois and who is as much white as he is black because they see him as different from them.
    In another 30 years whites will be in the minority in this country — what an interesting time that will be.

    September 23, 2008
  129. Peter Millin said:

    I can’t believe I let myself get trapped in the issue of who is paying what taxes and how much.
    This issue makes for good partisan conversation and fill up threads but it diverts from the bigger more important picture.

    How much do we want our government to do for us? Do we believe that a centralized government in Washington can do more for us that we can do ourselves?
    Once we decide on what that is, we then can decide on how much our government should use to accomplish this.

    Here is a reality check, especially for those that like numbers. WARNING this is from the Heritage Foundation ( a mean conservative think tank). Never mind that they are using congressional budget numbers.

    Their are some points that stick out, and they should worry every American.

    1) Despite and increase in dollar tax revenues, nearly every President has added to the national debt.

    2) Entitlement spending will be the biggest burden on our budget. Make s me wonder why McBama want to spend more?

    3) Please take a look at the pie chart on spending. A large % is called “discretionary spending”, which is another word for “funny money”

    Happy reading.

    September 23, 2008
  130. William Siemers said:

    Mike Z…
    Good comments…’ Au Revoir’ indeed.


    Regarding your references to tax burdened, regulation fettered Germany, and by extension Europe…and maybe even Canada. From your posts, you strike me as an entrepeneurial, ambitious type of person…I may be wrong but that is my impression. That’s great, but as you know, many people are not like that. They may not have the talent or inclination to be ‘moving on up’ in society. Or they may be at a stage of life where they have reached an accommodation with their position. The pleasures they take from life are the pleasures of family and friends, along with a little self indulgence. Even in our consumer society, I still think most people fit this description.

    So I ask…where are people like this better off…in Europe or the US? Where do they work less and have time to enjoy life more? Where do they have greater access to affordable health care? Where do they retire earlier and have larger government guaranteed pensions? Where are vacations longer? Where are cultural and recreational activities more available and affordable? Where do they travel more? Where is higher education for their children more affordable?

    I think that European society better balances the life goals of the ambitous and entrepeneureal with the life goals of the average person.

    September 23, 2008
  131. Mike Zenner said:

    Jane, perhaps “Rack” is a little to quick to the point! you could have said that Palin is an empty headed Barbie Doll that was brought in for sex appeal for the empty headed American Idol crowd!

    My answer to that is at least she didn’t have to come in on the tails of her deregulating the banks in the early 90s husband! Hillary could never have made it to the presidential candicacy ring without BIll…who btw could not bring himself to say anything bad about McCain who Bill admitted gave him a great deal of help during his years in the Oval office. When asked about Obama, all he could say is that Obama is smart and will learn.

    September 23, 2008
  132. Felicity, the problems you discuss are problems every unknown man and woman face when they enter the work place, a new town, or neighborhood,
    to some degree. And to be clear, I do not associate any of them with my understanding of what black men go through in this country. Your complaints would be the least of it, maybe not for you, but for them. I have friends, artists, police men, people I know very well from my days living in very close knit neighborhoods where people talked to each other heart to heart every day.

    Obama was brought up in Hawaii where everyone is his color approximately. and then in Indonesia. He has no experience growing up as a black man in this country, no matter how you try to portray it.
    He went to college prep high school, he has no military experience, he has no economics in his background, he has cut and run from every thing he has started and he just isn’t ready yet. Maybe in four or eight years, but not now.

    Felicity, also, when I walk into a room, I have drawn scorn cuz I speak my mind, I am thin, I have weird eyes, my veins show through my skin, I don’t allow people to push me around, I wear short skirts when it’s hot outside, etc, etc. I do not know which of those things to ascribe to racism, sexism, ageism, jealousy, pettiness, fear, or what, but don’t tell me I have not had to bring down or go around or over a few dozen walls to get where I needed to get, cuz I have. Don’t forget I am prolly twice your age and things haven’t always been like they are now, which is to say they are easier, but still not fair to anyone who has to work for a living.

    My mother told me early on not to tell people I am partly Native American. Imagine my shame about having to hide who I was, and I didn’t even know why I had to hide it. Well, I never did. Sorry, mom. The Spanish heritage was completely hidden from us til we researched it in our twenties, people used the Irish to make every drunk joke there ever could be, and I don’t drink. People used to tell Canadian jokes, about how backward and dull they supposedly were. One of my grandmothers was half German, imagine being associated with that group, even today, there is a subtle racism going on right here in Minnesota against Germans. Oh, and I am part English, well that does it. I am in the wrong state. Fortunately I don’t choose to run for office, but if I did, I wouldn’t have a snowball’s chance in hell in this state.

    Back to the topic;
    I still don’t think McCain is all that either, but it’s like I said early on, none of these guys are presidential material alone. Put them all together. Have a eight person sharing type of deal. And put Sarah in charge of them. hahaha.

    September 23, 2008
  133. John, I agree that government cannot and should not be asked to fix it all.
    We must and some of us surely do work for moral standards, but it seems like a big chunk of people got into power, the kind of power where they not only rule their own roosts, but a lot of other people’s roost, too.

    And then, for the other side of it;
    When we moved to Minnesota, I noticed just from the highways so many big homes being built and I asked my dh what, where, who are these people who can afford these mansions? He told me then, they are getting loans for houses more than they can afford, and thru creative financing. I told him, we are buying one that is less than we can afford and so we have money for other things. I am so happy we did that now. Seems like a good education and the ability to research things on the Internet is such a gift, but greed can wipe all that aside.

    Well, my self imposed half hour on this site is up, so I am gonna say a rosary for the best outcome we can have so everyone is safe, healthy, happy, loving, free, moral, kind, well fed, and for clean air, water and soil, and for
    wind turbine and greenhouse businesses to develop and flourish in Northfield and other areas of the country. God be willing.

    September 23, 2008
  134. Peter Millin said:


    I don’t disagree with any of your assumptions about life in Europe, and it sounds very attractive on the surface.
    However if you never lived there you don’t know the implications of it.

    1) The majority of Germans don’t own a house and live in apartments, because most of them can’t afford a house.

    2) Most families only can afford one child, because of the cost of it. Families with three or more end up on state sponsored well fare.

    3) Disposable income is much lower then here.

    4) Yes, they do retire earlier, but live on the edge of poverty in doing so. My mom ended up moving to Hungary, because she couldn’t afford to live in Germany anymore.

    5) Don’t forget that the 50% in taxes is only part of the picture, you are still dealing with a 20% VAT, automobile taxes, gas taxes etc…etc.. needless to say most people don’t have much money left to enjoy life.

    6) Most Americans would not accept government run health care. You are not a human being you are a number.

    7) higher education is marginally more affordable,because society is paying for it with tax $$$

    What looks like balance form the outside is really born out of necessity. Government regulations in all areas of your life are just overwhelming. Personally I never want to live there again and even contemplating to bring my mom over here. So she can enjoy her retirement with a bit more dignity.

    Yes call me ambitious if you want. I came here twenty years ago with nothing but two suitcases and worked hard to get to where I am at today. I played by the rules and managed to support my family and raise three great kids.
    Is it time to slow down? Yes, but that doesn’t make me less ambitious, because I want to give my children the same opportunities that I had here. Where if you work hard and play by the rules you can make a great living for yourself free from government interference. Where you get to keep most of what you earned so you can enjoy live.
    It is much easier to have somebody else take care of you, but it is a whole lot less full filling.

    September 23, 2008
  135. Jane Moline said:

    Everybody get your conversation out of the gutter–haven’t you seen Ms. Palin with her elk trophy? (What is another name for the the elkhorns–rack?) And I never said she is an empty-headed Barbie Doll–although it always good to get confirmation of the prejudices against women who have a nice figure. Sarah Palin is much more dangerous because of her strange approach to governing and her proactive application of her power as mayor/governor–to ban books, eliminate employees and appoint her friends to government jobs, all the while lying about her record.

    Peter: glad you could make it in America and live the American dream. Unfortunately, too many Americans do not have the same access to that dream, due to poverty and family circumstances. Today, if you are not born into a family with college educated parents, your chances of financial success are nearly nil.

    For all you conservative voters who thought voting for the Republicans meant less government regulations–you got your wish and now we can nationalize banks–and regulate them even more since we are bailing them out.

    Unfortunately the Republicans in power and the platform of the Republican party are at odds. They continually affirm their message of smaller government and lower taxes while giving away money to their friends and using patronage to rob the US blind–as evidenced by the current financial crisis and the war in Iraq. Give me a real Barry Goldwater Republican anyday. The Real Republicans have to see the light–throw the pretenders out and take back their party.

    Republicans continually blame Democrats for their administrative woes, and claim THIS TIME they will be disciplined.

    McCain’s advisors are predominately government lobbyists. Do you really think that he is going to fight for the middle-class American–or is he going to be a front for big business like the Shrubmeister?

    McCain dumped his dumpy, handicapped wife for the millionaire glamour girl Cindi (now, unfortunately, there is an empty-headed Barbie doll). He claims to be for campaign finance reform–even authored an bill (that essentially does nothing) yet he is involved in the worst practices.

    The Republicans run ads to warn us of the threat that Obama is FOR big government and higher taxes, while Obama’s plans and policies support the opposite–a tax cut for most Americans –oh, but he would roll back the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy–but that is not most voters (Obama’s plan would increase taxes on households making over $250,000 while giving all other taxpayers (more than 75% of taxpayers) a tax cut.)

    Republicans are using the Rove tactics to convince people to be afraid of Obama and Democrats and Liberals. They have been effective—and that is what is frightening to me. This election will be decided by voters who are not educated on the real issues or the candidates, and use the lies in the campaigns to decide their votes.

    I think the Democrats should jump in with the same propaganda tactics that the Republicans are using to make it a fair fight.

    September 23, 2008
  136. Peter Millin said:


    How does poverty and family circumstances prevent you living the American dream?
    Isn’t Obama a prime example that you can do it if you put your mind to it?

    September 23, 2008
  137. Patrick Enders said:

    Please get a clue.

    Bright wrote,

    Felicity, the problems you discuss are problems every unknown man and woman face when they enter the work place, a new town, or neighborhood,
    to some degree

    No. When people in a predominantly white community see Felicity, they notice her immediately, and they remember her. In Northfield, this comes in the positive sense that almost everyone she has met even in passing remembers her distinctly, and probably by name. In many other communities, this sense is not necessarily such a positive one.

    One measure of this is in the much talked-about (if somewhat flawed) AP survey and article which shows that many white people, even white Democrats, hold negative opinions of African Americans – and those who hold such general negative opinions are less likely to vote for Obama in particular.

    From the AP:

    Obama faces this: 40 percent of all white Americans hold at least a partly negative view toward blacks, and that includes many Democrats and independents.
    More than a third of all white Democrats and independents — voters Obama can’t win the White House without — agreed with at least one negative adjective about blacks, according to the survey, AND THEY ARE SIGNIFICANTLY LESS LIKELY TO VOTE FOR OBAMA THAN THOSE WHO DON’T HAVE SUCH VIEWS.

    “There are a lot fewer bigots than there were 50 years ago, but that doesn’t mean there’s only a few bigots,” said Stanford political scientist Paul Sniderman who helped analyze the exhaustive survey.

    Statistical models derived from the poll suggest that Obama’s support would be as much as 6 percentage points higher if there were no white racial prejudice.
    “We still don’t like black people,” said John Clouse, 57, reflecting the sentiments of his pals gathered at a coffee shop in Somerset, Ohio.
    Given a choice of several positive and negative adjectives that might describe blacks, 20 percent of all whites said the word “violent” strongly applied. Among other words, 22 percent agreed with “boastful,” 29 percent “complaining,” 13 percent “lazy” and 11 percent “irresponsible.” When asked about positive adjectives, whites were more likely to stay on the fence than give a strongly positive assessment.

    The poll sought to measure latent prejudices among whites by asking about factors contributing to the state of black America. One finding: More than a quarter of white Democrats agree that “if blacks would only try harder, they could be just as well off as whites.”


    Among white independents, racial stereotyping is not uncommon. For example, while about 20 percent of independent voters called blacks “intelligent” or “smart,” more than one third latched on the adjective “complaining” and 24 percent said blacks were “violent.”

    Nearly four in 10 white independents agreed that blacks would be better off if they “try harder.”

    But, if words aren’t enough evidence for you, how about videos?

    Here’s a racist Hillary Clinton supporter going on about Barack Obama outside the Democratic Rules and Bylaws Committee meeting:

    And here’s the Jon Stewart’s segment on the West Virginia primary:—West-Virginia

    Yet you offer this:

    Felicity, also, when I walk into a room, I have drawn scorn cuz I speak my mind, I am thin, I have weird eyes, my veins show through my skin, I don’t allow people to push me around, I wear short skirts when it’s hot outside, etc, etc.

    Where can you show any evidence that the prejudice against white people who have veins that show through their skin can in any way compare with this:

    Given a choice of several positive and negative adjectives that might describe blacks, 20 percent of all whites said the word “violent” STRONGLY applied. Among other words, 22 percent agreed with “boastful,” 29 percent “complaining,” 13 percent “lazy” and 11 percent “irresponsible.” When asked about positive adjectives, whites were more likely to stay on the fence than give a strongly positive assessment.

    (from above)

    Bright, even if you did suffer some kind of discrimination because of your veins and short skirts – well guess what: you can put on a pair of pants, and ‘pass’ as a normal white person like everyone else around here.

    Of course, that’s not the end of your cluelessness:

    Obama was brought up in Hawaii where everyone is his color approximately. and then in Indonesia

    Bright: Hawaiian Americans are not black. Indonesians are not black. Apart from being Not White, Hawaiians, Indonesians, and African Americans have ABSOLUTELY NO COMMON KINSHIP WHATSOEVER. He was just as much of a racial outsider there as he is elsewhere.

    And then you offer this:

    He has no experience growing up as a black man in this country, no matter how you try to portray it.

    Bright, here’s a bit of logic for you – the kind Barack Obama would’ve learned in that preparatory school you deride:

    1) Barack Obama is black.
    2) Barack Obama is a man.
    3) Barack Obama is therefore a black man.

    4) Barack Obama grew up in Hawaii.
    5) Hawaii is in America.
    6) Barack Obama grew up in America.

    Barack Obama is a black man who grew up in America.

    But, Bright, let’s get back to your own experience:
    You wrote,

    My mother told me early on not to tell people I am partly Native American. Imagine my shame about having to hide who I was, and I didn’t even know why I had to hide it. Well, I never did. Sorry, mom. The Spanish heritage was completely hidden from us til we researched it in our twenties, people used the Irish to make every drunk joke there ever could be, and I don’t drink. People used to tell Canadian jokes, about how backward and dull they supposedly were. One of my grandmothers was half German, imagine being associated with that group, even today, there is a subtle racism going on right here in Minnesota against Germans. Oh, and I am part English, well that does it. I am in the wrong state. Fortunately I don’t choose to run for office, but if I did, I wouldn’t have a snowball’s chance in hell in this state.

    Bright, I’ve met you, and you can pass just fine as ‘white.’

    The only thing that would keep you from having “a snowball’s chance in hell in this state” would be your own words.

    September 23, 2008
  138. Patrick, you just proved what I am talking about. In no way am I even given credence to what my own experience is around here.

    September 23, 2008
  139. Jane , don’t look now but you are spinning your own spins.

    September 23, 2008
  140. Anne, please stop putting your words into my meanings. I never said I don’t want youth to vote. I want anyone within legal age to vote, no matter what their affiliation.

    September 23, 2008
  141. Patrick Enders said:

    Bright wrote,

    Patrick, you just proved what I am talking about. In no way am I even given credence to what my own experience is around here.

    I have no idea what you mean, or what point you think I’ve proven for you. My point is this: your opinions on Barack Obama’s race, and his personal experience, are entirely uniformed by reality.

    September 23, 2008
  142. Anne Bretts said:

    Bright, these are your words, in response to my comment about getting young people to vote…”I don’t understand why people want inexperience youth to be the deciding votes in this election.” How else did you mean them?

    September 23, 2008
  143. Anne Bretts said:

    Bright, Patrick wasn’t discounting your comments because you are thin or native American or wear short skirts. He (and others of us) are just disagreeing with you because we think you are plain wrong.

    September 23, 2008
  144. Patrick, okay, skip that point you don’t understand. I am going to now delineate for you all what I refer to when I say Obama doesn’t have the growing up as a black man experience that I have been referrring to. Warning, It’s sad and it’s long. this is what I saw, and things may have changed somewhat in the last ten years since I left my home town of Chicago, but not that much.

    Young men who have never been out of their squalid neighborhood. Where only five miles away, downtown Chicago, people thriving, art, culture, food, lakefront, city parades. The only way out; join the military, be smart enough for scholarship, play sports really well, sing really, really well, or join the police force or postal service.

    A policeman, retired, an accomplished pianist commits suicide because he has no one to confide in after a long hard life of service. He had to be strong his whole life for others. To keep the city from exploding into violent chaos through the seventies, eighties and nineties. Murders at 1000 per year, and more bodies unseen, unheard of, found in garbage cans every day. This is what he saw every day. Being shot at, wives picking up knives so you won’t take their abusive husbands away. Missing kids, lost grandmas, junkies and crack heads freaking out, ex cons trying to muscle you. Every day, every single day for forty years. Every day. Some white people, too, but it’s the only choice for many black men and women.

    A black man in Chicago crosses the street just as you are pulling up in your car. He sees you and still he crosses in front of you, on a very busy street.
    He does that because that is the only recognition he is going to get all day.
    A beep, a finger, respectful waiting, a holler. He doesn’t care what kind of recognition, because people have forgotten him and looked past him for years.

    A black teacher and artist, with eight kids, wife leaves him cuz he doesn’t make much money. He loves his kids so much. He cries for them everyday.
    So much pressure to make it big time. Can’t get a good position in a good school. Has to deal with kids with all sorts of problems in the projects all day long. Has no choice. Can’t go get an easy office job, his skin is so dark. And yet, he ‘s the nicest, smartest man. He’s stuck. No woman will marry him, with eight kids visiting all the time and a controlling ex wife. He can’t go to many parts of the country. He visits only in areas where he has family.

    Is this the same type of experience Obama has had? I don’t think so. He grew up surfing on a beautiful island where lots of other people who are not white grow up. It’s completely different. Completely. Hey, there is no harm in admitting that Obama is unique. I wouldn’t hold that against him.

    And as for black features, oh please. What are those features? Any feature can be found in any other race.My grandfather, the blue eyed wavy haired Iroquois doesn’t “look like an Indian” either, but he was one.

    So, I have to put on long pants in the sweltering heat to be accepted around here, where most place in this country it’s perfectly acceptable to dress according to the temperature? And I cannot cover my all of my veins unless i walk around with burka. Not gonna happen.

    Oh, and as far as passing for white, I wouldn’t want to and never have tried to, I tell everyone where I came from and I am proud to have the heritage that gives me a great love of the earth and sky and water and life…not saying Native Americans are the only ones who care about those things… I don’t want anything from anyone who cannot like me because of my heritage or my way of dressing. They can keep their friendship and their lip service to Christianity.

    I don’t get this stuff at all. I guess I need more clues.

    September 23, 2008
  145. Patrick Enders said:

    The sad litany of anecdotes you rattle off in no way validates your assertion that

    Barack is not black or white. He’s like me a mixed breed. He knows nothing about being a black man in America, or a white one either.

    And then you’ve got your assertion that:

    He has no experience growing up as a black man in this country, no matter how you try to portray it.

    What give you the right to decide what is a ‘legitimate’ black experience, and what is not? According to you, a person can apparently only be ‘black’ if they grew up in urban slums of Chicago.

    Again, I offer the simple logical sequence:

    1) Barack Obama is black.
    2) Barack Obama is a man.
    3) Barack Obama is therefore a black man.

    4) Barack Obama grew up in Hawaii.
    5) Hawaii is in America.
    6) Barack Obama grew up in America.

    Therefore, Barack Obama has experience growing up as a black man in America.

    It’s not rocket science.

    You wrote,

    So, I have to put on long pants in the sweltering heat to be accepted around here, where most place in this country it’s perfectly acceptable to dress according to the temperature? And I cannot cover my all of my veins unless i walk around with burka. Not gonna happen.

    I didn’t say you would. Just said you can. Barack Obama can’t hide the thing that makes him different, and can’t escape the prejudices (described above in Post #151) that go with his skin color. Big difference.

    I don’t get this stuff at all. I guess I need more clues

    I agree wholeheartedly.

    September 23, 2008
  146. Scott Oney said:

    Bright (#152): I can see what you mean, even if Patrick (#155) can’t. I assume you’re referring to his lengthy post #151. I’m sorry to see that he’s about to go medieval on you. Don’t feel bad. He probably can’t help it. It’s hard to have a real conversation with a totalitarian. He seems more interested in “correcting” you than in finding out what you’re talking about.

    Patrick (#151): I spend too much time on the Internet, too, so I’m familiar with most of the stuff you mentioned, but I’m not sure why you were throwing it all at Bright. Are you just hoping that some of it will stick? Bright seemed to be using her personal experiences to explain some of her opinions, and subjective personal experience, at least in my book, doesn’t ever call for rebuttal. But if your experiences are different, of course, feel free to share them.

    Oh, and Patrick, thanks for posting the link to the Hillary supporter on youtube. I had watched it a few times last spring, when it first went up, but I had forgotten about it. It’s pretty funny. I realize that most New Yorkers are considered too feisty by midwestern standards, but the woman in the video may be a bit above average.

    September 23, 2008
  147. William Siemers said:

    Peter: You said…

    “1) The majority of Germans don’t own a house and live in apartments, because most of them can’t afford a house.”

    I say…The majority of New Yorkers don’t own a house and live in apartments…so what? Do you suggest that the quality of life in New York is somehow not up to par because most people rent? Some people rent in Northfield and have been renting their entire life. Are you suggesting that their quality of life (or even the value of their investments) is not as good as people who own homes?

    Then you said…

    “2) Most families only can afford one child, because of the cost of it. Families with three or more end up on state sponsored well fare.”

    Whether they can afford one child or chose to have one child is a matter of debate. In any case the birthrate in the eurozone is about 1.7 versus 2.1 in the US. That is per woman of child bearing age. Not a big difference. Your statement that families with 3 or more children end up on state sponsered welfare is meaningless and an afront to those with large families. Of course if you are saying that many european governments support women who have children better than the US govt., I would have to agree.

    Then you said…

    “3) Disposable income is much lower than here.”

    For who? In what circumstances? I don’t believe you can prove that point. In any case… Do you really think that the average American has alot of disposable income?

    Then you said…

    “4) Yes, they do retire earlier, but live on the edge of poverty in doing so. My mom ended up moving to Hungary, because she couldn’t afford to live in Germany anymore.”

    This is what is called anecdotal evidence.

    Then you said…

    “6) Most Americans would not accept government run health care. You are not a human being you are a number.”

    Aside from the fact that Germany does not have government run health care (it has mandatory insurance), you make a statement that is at odds with citizen satisfaction levels with health care in the US as opposed to satisfaction levels in countries with universal health care.

    Finally you said…

    “7) higher education is marginally more affordable,because society is paying for it with tax $$$”

    Exactly my point.

    September 23, 2008
  148. Patrick Enders said:

    Scott Oney wrote,

    Don’t feel bad. He probably can’t help it. It’s hard to have a real conversation with a totalitarian. He seems more interested in “correcting” you than in finding out what you’re talking about.

    Please clarify what you mean by this. Medieval? And who is the totalitarian are you talking about? Mussolini?

    I have criticized and addressed Bright’s statements specifically. I ask that you do the same in disagreeing with me – and please address me personally when doing so.

    September 23, 2008
  149. William, I have to side with Peter,as far as creature comforts go, we are far and away more comfortable and human with our heat and air conditioning.
    Heat is shut off for seven hours each night. A/C is almost non existent. Ice isn’t served very often with drinks.

    About five or ten years ago, tens of thousands of elderly people died in the European heat wave, while the French went on holiday to the islands.
    When I was in London, a woman told me that goods were hard to come by, such as twine, simple things like that which make life a little more easy.
    Many people with allergies and asthma would not live well as they do here as compared to Europe.

    Apartment living is difficult when you can hear other people shaving in the middle of the night, lifting and dropping weights above you, neighbors talking in the hallways on cell phones to Saudi Arabia at the height of their voices, druggies calling out to drug dealers in the middle of the night, every night for three months and no cops will come, the elderly woman who sets her frying pan on fire once a month and fills the halls with smoke, sets off the fire alarm and firemen evacuate the building, a
    garbage room where you have to drop your trash that smells like the worst thing you can imagine. The man who has been storing all his personal garbage in his apartment for three years.

    And that was in a ‘good’ neighborhood.

    Yeah, living in a home is OFTEN much better.

    September 23, 2008
  150. Scott, thanks! The real story is that most of the people on this thread are trying to squelch every single solitary idea that leads to truth, they are so afraid Obama will loose the election, that they are willing to do or say anything to distract from the fact that they do not have a viable candidate.

    Even Bill Clinton, a staunch and loyal Democrat cannot endorse Obama with a full heart.

    The fact is that the Democrats are not helping Americans lighten their loads. They are only using them to gain power and position for themselves.
    The latest jobs created by Dems in Chicago are people standing in the middle of intersections directing heavy traffic, in the heat, in the cold.

    September 23, 2008
  151. Patrick Enders said:

    Bright wrote,

    The real story is that most of the people on this thread… are so afraid Obama will loose the election, that they are willing to do or say anything to distract from the fact that they do not have a viable candidate.

    Actually, no. Regardless of what is said here on LGN, Barack Obama will carry both Northfield and Minnesota in November.

    The real race lies elsewhere.

    September 23, 2008
  152. Anne Bretts said:

    Bright we disagree, but we are not stopping you from making your case or trying to distract people from it. We are just offering a response and an alternative position, and letting readers decide for themselves which is true for them. You are the one who seems afraid of those who decline to support your arguments and ideas.
    You’ve said a lot of things about why you don’t like Obama, and you neatly avoid taking any stand for McCain, so you can’t be held accountable for anything. Saying nobody is good enough feels like a cop-out.

    September 23, 2008
  153. Peter Millin said:

    Personally I don’t like living in an apartment so for me it is much more desirable to live in a house.
    Most of the people I had contact with in Germany were dreaming about owning a house. Yeah, I know it’s anecdotal but so are a lot of your assumptions.

    Of course Germany is not “government run”, but making it mandatory amounts to the same. inefficient bureaucracy without having any other choice.
    There is no better hospitals, doctors and care then in the USA, why else do people come to the US from all over the world to be taken care off?

    Most people can’t afford three children in Germany unless they have government subsidies (state well fare).

    I was trying to find some data on discretionary income, but to no avail. Common sense however will tell you, that if you compare your after tax money to the cost of everyday goods their can’t be that much left for other things.
    Americans whine about $4 gas, while Europe is paying $8 per gallon. ..but that’s all anecdotal.

    September 23, 2008
  154. Scott Oney said:

    Patrick (#160): When I start out a post with your name and a post number in parens, I am addressing you directly. Nobody ever said to do it that way, but I thought it was obvious enough. I guess not. So I was addressing you directly in my #158. I had a question in that one for you, too. Perhaps you missed it.

    I thought everybody knew what “go medieval” meant; it’s common argot in some circles, but apparently not in others. (You can find many examples by googling the partial phrase “go medieval on your.”) I checked on, and they have it as coming from the movie Pulp Fiction. I don’t remember hearing it before about that time; it may be one of those expressions that was concocted by scriptwriters and then made it into common English.

    Mussolini was a Fascist. That system relies on autocratic control, too, but, at least as I use the term, it has a nationalist or ethnic component that totalitarianism doesn’t. When I used the term in my #158, I was referring to what I assume to be your political leanings. I wasn’t addressing you directly because I wasn’t criticizing you; it was just an observation. I think we have a better system here, but I don’t really feel like getting into an argument about it.

    September 23, 2008
  155. Jane Moline said:

    Peter: Barack Obama is an example of the American dream, just like you are. However, todays young people face education costs that exceed their ability to pay, unemployment, and economic disaster. The circumstances brought about by Republican policies are destroying this country.

    Unfortunately, those that are implementing the Republican policies are doing so without regard to what REAL Republicans want and support–the Republican party was hijacked by cynical, manipulative people like Karl Rove–and cater to big oil and big pharmaceuticals and other big businesses that buy themselves the legislation they want.

    Yes, Democrats are sometimes to blame and sometimes complicit, but the majority of the problems have been caused by Republican controlled congress’ and Republican presidential administrations, especially George W’s.

    The Iraq war is now up to 380 million a day (from 330 million a day.) This war of choice, this illegal war, is bankrupting our country.

    We must throw the bums out, and hope and pray and plead with new leaders that they bring some discipline to Washington and to rein in the Federal government’s disastorous policies.

    Bush has shown us what DOES NOT work. McCain wants to “stay the course” in Iraq. It isn’t working now and it won’t work in a few months. Vote Obama. Dump the war-mongers.

    September 23, 2008
  156. Scott Oney said:

    Bright (#162): Yeah, I thought the 2004 election season was bad, but this one may get a lot worse. I’m tempted to tune out until November 5.

    As for whether or not Obama is a viable candidate, he was able to get about half of the Democrats who vote in primaries or attend caucuses to vote for him, not counting the voters in Florida and Michigan.

    September 23, 2008
  157. Hi, Scott. Okay, Obama can get votes, he’s a nice looking guy with a good rap and plenty of support and he’s smart too. Biden takes the train home every night. Gee. My idea of viable goes a bit further than that, especially when it come to being the leader of this country in a dangerous and complex world. I may be too picky. Not sorry. I just want something better and I will ask for it.

    Say, Jane, or anybody, who do we pay this $380 million per day to? The Iraqis get it all? or don’t our soldiers get a bunch of it, and civilian workers, and generals and advisors? How much goes to whom?

    September 23, 2008
  158. Anthony Pierre said:

    There are a bunch of people in this country who have rationalized a vote against Obama in various ways. Non Viable Candidate = I am not voting for a black dude.

    Thats why I think Obama will lose.

    It is sad, to think that they are willing to suffer through 4 more years of the last 8 years just because they don’t want a black president.

    September 23, 2008
  159. Scott Oney said:

    Bright (#168): I was actually being sarcastic. What I was really trying to point out was that Obama isn’t even doing that well among Democrats. Some people still think he’s a Great Orator, but to many others, he’s starting to sound sort of annoying.

    September 23, 2008
  160. Jane Moline said:

    Unfortunately, Scott and Bright, Obama is doing well because he is such a good candidate. There is a little problem with the bigots. However, people who make their decisions based on something other than the color of his skin are decidedly supporting him. He has a higher national approval rating than George W. (yes, I know that isn’t saying much.)

    I really wish someone could tell me why anyone would be FOR McCain. All I hear is how you want to convince everyone to be against Obama. And how, even though the Republicans have been in charge and run the country into the ground, it is preferable to–Obama?

    Bright: you can find out information on the cost of the war through the Congressional Research Service or just about any economist. Some of the newest estimates are at 400 million a day, so I was being conservative at 380. These estimates use actual costs of, yes, US soldier pay, plus war suppliers and contractors, plus independent contractors, plus payments to the Iraqi government, plus payments to local Iraqi terrorists groups to not fight, plus payments for health care for blown-up vets, etc. etc. Isn’t it great that mercenaries can go to Iraq and make 4 times what we are paying a soldier? The waste and fraud are costing us plenty, and included in the 400 million a day.

    This war is a source of our economic crisis–and McCain wants us to keep going. Vote for peace, vote Obama.

    September 23, 2008
  161. Patrick Enders said:

    Scott Oney,
    You wrote in #158:

    Bright (#152): I can see what you mean, even if Patrick (#155) can’t. I assume you’re referring to his lengthy post #151. I’m sorry to see that he’s about to go medieval on you. Don’t feel bad. He probably can’t help it. It’s hard to have a real conversation with a totalitarian. He seems more interested in “correcting” you than in finding out what you’re talking about.

    In #165, you wrote:

    When I used the term in my #158, I was referring to what I assume to be your political leanings. I wasn’t addressing you directly because I wasn’t criticizing you; it was just an observation.

    That’s quite an assumption you’re making there, and a very mistaken one.

    Where do you get the idea that calling someone “a totalitatian” isn’t a criticism? In my world, “totalitarian” is an insult, and not one to be bandied about lightly.

    But getting back to your previous question,

    Patrick (#151): I spend too much time on the Internet, too, so I’m familiar with most of the stuff you mentioned, but I’m not sure why you were throwing it all at Bright. Are you just hoping that some of it will stick?

    Your statement here is quite vague, and without you clarifying what “stuff” I was throwing at Bright, or what I might be hoping would stick, I have no answer for you.

    If you go back to look at my post #151 and the ones that preceded it, you will see that the conversation started in the following manner:

    1) In post #135, Bright offers up a post dismissing Barack Obama with “Barack’s team knows how to use the Internet, I guess, but so does Miley Cyrus aka Hannah Montana.” Pretty much standard fare here, and nothing worth bothering with.

    However, in the next paragraph, Bright wrote,

    Barack is not black or white. He’s like me a mixed breed. He knows nothing about being a black man in America, or a white one either. Not saying that is a bad thing. I think there are more people like me and him, mixed and unique than anyone really knows.

    2) In post #140, Felicity – the only ‘black’ or mixed-race African American person I’m aware of who posts on this board – attempted to explain why being mixed race did not exclude one from also being black, and suffering negative connotations from such. Given that it was polite company, she kept it brief and innocuous.

    3) In post #147, Bright responded with the post that was the subject of my post #151.

    4) My post #151 was organized as follows:
    a) I offered a concrete, personal example of how being mixed-race black is fundamentally different than Bright’s representation.
    b) I generalized that example by citing survey data that firmly shows the negative connotations associated with being black, and how those negative stereotypes are associated with an increased likelihood of not supporting for Obama.
    c) I provided a couple examples to show that racists really are out there (the videos).
    d) I again discussed Bright’s assertions, and showed why I believe they are wrong.

    I admit, my recent tone with Bright has been somewhat harsh. (Now, switching gears here, due to LGN’s very sensible but awkward civility rules…)

    September 23, 2008
  162. Patrick Enders said:

    Scott Oney,
    You wrote in #158:

    Bright (#152): I can see what you mean, even if Patrick (#155) can’t. I assume you’re referring to his lengthy post #151. I’m sorry to see that he’s about to go medieval on you. Don’t feel bad. He probably can’t help it. It’s hard to have a real conversation with a totalitarian. He seems more interested in “correcting” you than in finding out what you’re talking about.

    In #165, you wrote:

    When I used the term in my #158, I was referring to what I assume to be your political leanings. I wasn’t addressing you directly because I wasn’t criticizing you; it was just an observation.

    That’s quite an assumption you’re making there, and a very mistaken one.

    Where do you get the idea that calling someone “a totalitatian” isn’t a criticism? In my world, “totalitarian” is an insult, and not one to be bandied about lightly.

    But getting back to your previous question,

    Patrick (#151): I spend too much time on the Internet, too, so I’m familiar with most of the stuff you mentioned, but I’m not sure why you were throwing it all at Bright. Are you just hoping that some of it will stick?

    Your statement here is quite vague, and without you clarifying what “stuff” I was throwing at Bright, or what I might be hoping would stick, I have no answer for you.

    If you go back to look at my post #151 and the ones that preceded it, you will see that the conversation started in the following manner:

    1) In post #135, Bright offers up a post dismissing Barack Obama with “Barack’s team knows how to use the Internet, I guess, but so does Miley Cyrus aka Hannah Montana.” Pretty much standard fare here, and nothing worth bothering with.

    However, in the next paragraph, Bright wrote,

    Barack is not black or white. He’s like me a mixed breed. He knows nothing about being a black man in America, or a white one either. Not saying that is a bad thing. I think there are more people like me and him, mixed and unique than anyone really knows.

    2) In post #140, Felicity – the only ‘black’ or mixed-race African American person I’m aware of who posts on this board – attempted to explain why being mixed race did not exclude one from also being black, and suffering negative connotations from such. Given that it was polite company, she kept it brief and innocuous.

    3) In post #147, Bright responded with the post that was the subject of my post #151.

    4) My post #151 was organized as follows:
    a) I offered a concrete, personal example of how being mixed-race black is fundamentally different than Bright’s representation.
    b) I generalized that example by citing survey data that firmly shows the negative connotations associated with being black, and how those negative stereotypes are associated with an increased likelihood of not supporting for Obama.
    c) I provided a couple examples to show that racists really are out there (the videos).
    d) I again discussed Bright’s assertions, and showed why I believe they are wrong.

    I admit, my recent tone with Bright has been somewhat harsh. (Now, switching gears here, due to LGN’s very sensible but awkward civility rules…)

    That is to say…

    Bright: My tone towards you in recent posts has been somewhat harsh, but that is because I believe that your posts here have been consistently, harshly anti-Obama – but not for reasons of what he has said or what he has done, but for who he is, and where he comes from. Worse still, your statements tend not to be based upon independently observable facts, but rather on rumor and innuendo. This, I believe, is not conducive to a civil dialogue.

    Bright, the most concerning examples I’ve seen you write are the following:

    Bright wrote,

    So who would Obama bring into his cabinet? The reason I wonder so,
    is because he is from my old part of town, and I never heard of him
    ten years ago…nothing on the street, nothing amongst my neighbors
    who may be black and very political. Not a word.

    Bright wrote,

    I just hung up from a telephone conversation (yes, they do still happen) with my friend who is 60ish, English and lived in WW2 and now lives in Tulsa, OK
    where it snows but it doesn’t stick.
    Last week, I asked her if she knew where BO came from. She didn’t know,
    but she has had some time to ruminate and now today she has suggests that BO is part of the Daley Machine. I say, very possible because it is so quiet. That’s how Richard . ran it and that’s how Little Richie runs it now. I ain’t saying it’s so, I’m just sayin.

    Bright wrote,

    When Louis Farrakhan (sp)
    tries to foster hatred of the white man by blacks, it is for the sole purpose,
    or soul purpose of getting the black man to stand up for himself and have
    him looking better, more tailored and together than any white man alive,
    for the purpose of giving them confidence to build a strong community or black nation. Jeremiah Wright and Farrakhan are buddies.
    The other thing I know is that If Barack ever intended from the outset to become President of the USA, then he would not have associated with Wright. He would know what sort of effect that has on his constituents.
    And, if anyone was looking out for him, they would have told him about
    Wright’s act being too extreme for prime time.
    I am still trying to find out who plucked Barack out and into the run for the oval office.

    Bright wrote,

    Truth is that I did say I was on the McCain side, but had been leaning that way earlier on, because between Obama, who I sincerely believe is just a front man for the Kennedy’s and Richard M. Daley of Chicago, which means he says hes for one thing or other, but nothing gets done for the people, and although I think it would be good to have a minority president, I don’t think he is the man for the job.

    And after all the time you’ve spent trying to imply that Barack Obama is just a front man for a grand Chicago political machine conspiracy, and tied to Farrakhan even, now you want to talk about how he’s not black enough, and not white enough as well?

    Yes, given your previous writings, it is hard for me to consider your present comments on Barack Obama, and what it means for him to be black or mixed race, in the best possible light.

    (Reference links deleted due to problems getting this post to appear with them included.)

    September 23, 2008
  163. Patrick Enders said:

    Oops. The contents of my first preceding post (currently #172) are entirely repeated at the start of my second post (currently #173).

    The LGN bug that prevents posting some html addresses struck again.

    September 23, 2008
  164. I am only going to answer a few items and make one more assertion.

    Jane, when you referred to Sarah’s rack, I assumed that you were referring to her physique. Slang for ‘frame’. My mind was never in the gutter and because you set that up and then accuse me, like Anne does, of saying or inferring things I never meant to say or infer, I will never take anything you say or post with any seriousness again.

    Don’t ever pull the race card and say people won’t vote for Obama just because he is black. He is not black, he is not white, he is mixed. And some people, like me, may not vote for him cuz he hasn’t the background to prove he can handle the pressure.

    I never said Barack was tied to Farrakhan. Never said that.

    And when I say ‘mixed breed’, I think of humans as animals, two legged, and I don’t mean to insult the animals.

    And, I’m with Scott, you guys are just bullying me and will pick apart my every word. Well, good luck to you, and try not to cheat at the polls like has been done around here for years. I have the confession clearly in my head about that voting fraud from one of your own townspeople, and it ain’t me.

    September 23, 2008
  165. Peter Millin said:

    # 169

    Your post plays the guilt card.

    Could it just be that most people don’t like his policies? I don’t think that America is not ready for a black or a female president…I think America is not ready for a socialist president with a questionable past.

    Having said that..Obama will be our next POTUS because McCain hasn’t convinced enough conservatives to vote for him. By regurgitating the populist theme on the financial bailout, he again has shown that he is just another version of a populist. True leadership means you tell the truth and make the tough choices. Throwing away tax money does neither.

    September 23, 2008
  166. Patrick Enders said:

    I appreciate your several just-now-cleared posts above. It’s a shame they might get lost in the shuffle of a busy thread.

    Any chance you can earn back the right to post in real time?

    September 23, 2008
  167. A vote for Obama is not a vote for peace. He won’t fight in Iraq supposedly, but he is going to Afghan, so he says, cuz that’s a much better war, yet no one tells me how so.

    I have stated why I was leaning towards McCain at least once in the past, and I’ll say it again. He is a good man with a proven record of honor and steadfast love of his country, and people on both sides of the political fence love him and are supportive of him. His wife is not a barbie, but a complete angel of mercy and love. She walks her talk and no one can say anything bad about her without lying, imho.

    No, McCain is not perfect, and wouldn’t be my first choice, and I may not vote for him, but I don’t trust the Dems anymore. I will not state my choice here or anywhere. But, my vote better count.

    I’d love to see a black man or a Mexican man or a Native American man, whose time is waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay overdue become a US President. I’d go with Colin Powell, or possibly Bill Richardson, or my grandpa if he was still alive. I’d love to see a woman president. Idon’t really care about the gender or the age or the religion…only the ability to lead and protect this nation. The rest is fluff. We have a congress and senate and executive branch that ought to be tough and smart enough to handle the rest of it, if we hold them accountable.

    September 23, 2008
  168. Barry Cipra said:

    In posting #181, Patrick writes:

    “Anne, I appreciate your several just-now-cleared posts above.”

    One problem, Griff, when delayed postings are inserted: It makes a hash out of some of the references. E.g., in posting #180, Peter Millin now seems to be addressing Scott Oney rather than, if I remember correctly, Anthony Pierre. This makes it tricky for readers who come late and want to catch up. Would it be possible to set up the format so that delayed postings are put at the bottom but with an editorial note at the beginning of the message giving their time of submission?

    September 23, 2008
  169. Anne Bretts said:

    Bright, I have been very careful to quote you precisely when I ask what you mean or respond to your points.
    I am terribly confused by your thinking and sincerely want to be clear, yet you refuse to explain. None of us are trying to put words in your mouth, we’re just trying to understand the words that have already spilled out of it.

    September 23, 2008
  170. Anne Bretts said:

    Yeah, Patrick, today was an interesting discussion. But you handled everything brilliantly. You didn’t need my help at all.

    September 23, 2008
  171. Jane Moline said:


    The war in Afghanistan is in Afghanistan, and is against the Taliban–who helped fund and train the hijackers of 9/11, and sheltered Osama bin Laden and his group. The war in Iraq, which distracted from the war in Afghanistan and is causing us the current problems there, is an illegal war against a sovereign nation that did not attack us and was complying with all UN decrees.

    There are about 30,00 troops in Afghanistan and about 160,000 in Iraq.

    We are unable to effectively help the people of Afghanistan because our resources are tied up in Iraq. If not for Iraq, we would most likely have captured Bin Laden and destroyed the Taliban. Bush ordered the troops to Iraq, and said we could always catch Bin Laden later.

    A vote for McCain is a vote for war. Please don’t vote for war. Vote for peace. Vote for Obama.

    September 23, 2008
  172. john george said:

    Barry- Regarding your (at this point in time) post 183, that is a good idea. I understand Griff’s delima, and your solution certainly sounds reasonable. Wish I had thought of it, but you get all the plaudits.

    September 23, 2008
  173. Mike Zenner said:

    Bright, you are quite correct when you said that “Obama is not a vote for peace”.

    I can’t understand how Obama supporters like Jane, who appear to be antiwar supporters, do not actually hear or see what Obama and Biden have been saying about their continued support for the so called “Global War On Terror”. It is quite clear that Establishment Party (entrenched and connected R’s and D’s) have no intention of ending America’s war’s ever!

    If ending Americas wars are your goal then you should be supporting and voting Ron Paul or Dennis Kucinich!

    I fear Obama, the man of peace, will be elected and he will also be the man who will start WWIII!

    Not that McCain wouldn’t do the same.

    September 23, 2008
  174. Anne Bretts said:

    Patrick, the problem with posting all the comments at the end is that they still don’t make any sense, all bunched together out of sequence. For people to go back and match up the times to the sequence is too much work. We don’t have to worry for a while.
    I’m heading out to California for 10 days of rehab with my grandsons, who think computers should be used only for Sesame Street games and video chats with far-off relatives. Perhaps I’ll be ‘clean and sober’ and off discussion boards when I return, or at least switched over to unmonitored sites — or maybe I’ll be polite enough to get back in the game. And maybe I’m so hooked I’ll be sneaking comments in after bedtime. We’ll see.
    Have fun.

    September 23, 2008
  175. William Siemers said:


    You mention that you could back Colin Powell as a “black” candidate. But Powell was born in Jamaica and has African, Scottish, Jewish and many other ancestries…Why is Powell black and Obama a ‘mixed breed’?

    September 23, 2008
  176. Paul Fried said:

    William: Colin Powell is not a Democrat, but a kind of moderate Republican. If you tend to vote Republican, and if you’d ever vote for a black candidate at all, you look for reasons to like black Republicans, and reasons not to like black Democrats.

    That is how partisan bias works.

    September 24, 2008
  177. Jane Moline said:

    Mike–I guarantee that either Obama or McCain will be president–not Ron Paul or Dennis Kucinich.

    McCain has publicly committed to not withdrawing troops from Iraq and for “staying the course” (which includes bankrupting the USA.)

    Obama is consistently for withdrawing the troops and letting the Iraqis deal with their own civil war.

    Obama is consistently against preemptive war–an illegal war, while McCain has supported it.

    War does not make us safer–this “proving a negative” that we have not been attacked since the Iraq war started–is kindergarten-level politics–it makes the uninformed feel good, but it has no basis in reality. The federal government’s own agencies have concluded that the Iraq war has made the USA less safe, with fewer friendly countries throughout the world and has attracted once-moderate Islamists to al Queda. In addition, it has bankrupted our economy, making us less able to respond to new threats.

    Obama will bring our troops home from Iraq. Don’t waste your vote-refute the war mongers and vote for peace–vote for Obama.

    September 24, 2008
  178. William Siemers said:


    You also mention you could back a ‘Mexican Man’ like Bill Richardson. Since he was born in California and is of course an American citizen, I’m not sure he would appreciate being categorized as Mexican. ‘Hispanic’ or ‘Latino’, no problem, but ‘Mexican’, as you surely know, is a nationality, not an ethic group. I bring this up only to emphasize what others have said in this thread..In the discussion of race, ethnicity and national origin, words matter. You may think that calling Americans who consider their ethnicity to be Hispanic, ‘Mexicans’, is fine, or that calling Americans who consider their race to be African-American, ‘Mixed Breeds’ is a compliment, but I can assure you others do not. In fact they might see vestiges of prejudice and racism in your terminology.

    As the grandfather of a multi racial child, I would take offense at her being called a “Mixed Breed”. I hear echoes of the derogatory ‘Half-Breed’ in such a term. There are, of course, proud Americans who really are of Mexican heritage who would not take offense, at being called ‘Mexican’. Just as there are proud Norwegian-Americans who would not take offense at being called ‘Norwegian’. But there are many others who would. And if you don’t know, it is best to be sensitive and use generally acceptable terminology. I don’t believe that you categorize any Latino/a or Hispanic person you see as a ‘Mexican’. But seeing you describe Bill Richardson, who was born in the US and whose father was born in Nicaragua, as a ‘Mexican Man’ does make me pause.

    You have, on several occasions, preemptively warned people to ‘not play the race card’, in reponding to your posts. You have admonished people to ‘not even go there’ in regard to your remarks referencing race, when people haven’t in fact ‘gone there’ at all. I might say that you, ‘protest too much’, but instead I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt, and just ask that you consider the words you use when discussing race and ethnicity a little more carefully.

    September 24, 2008
  179. William, obviously through extreme nitpicking, there is not one word I say that people around here will allow. Too bad. I mean no offense to anyone at any time although I may heartily disagree with their opinions or their trying to discredit me.

    Bill Richardson’s camp has played up his image as one who has a strong Mexican background, hence where I am getting it from, and Mexico is in North America, hence Mexicans are Americans, though not citizens of the United States. See, I can spin, too.

    We had a saying where I come from, “consider the source” meaning if the source has known to be kind and considerate most often, then give them the benefit of the doubt. If the source has been lying, cheating and hateful all along, why then they are probably still doing that sort of thing. I have tried to be as civil as possible at all times.

    I may not know all the rules of political correctness, but I know it’s making it so people are afraid to say “hello” anymore. Bah!

    September 24, 2008
  180. Barack Obama will go to war, make no doubt about that. You want peace,
    go find a quiet corner somewhere and enjoy it.

    September 24, 2008
  181. Anthony Pierre said:

    John McCain suspends campaigning to work on economy, requests postponing Friday debate; asks Obama do the same.


    September 24, 2008
  182. Patrick Enders said:

    I guess he figures it worked well for him when he canceled the first night of his convention in order to monitor the hurricane – why not go back to that well again?

    Maybe, given a few more days, McCain will be able to decide whether or not he supports Paulson’s bailout proposal.

    September 24, 2008
  183. Patrick Enders said:

    Politico’s Ben Smith sums this up nicely:

    Obama’s choice

    This isn’t an obvious one. Does he go along with McCain, for fear of being trapped inside McCain’s argument that the Republican puts country first while the Democrat puts himself first?

    Or does he denounce this as a political stunt, and ignore it?

    Either way, the ball’s in his court, and it’s a not an easy or obvious choice.

    September 24, 2008
  184. Patrick Enders said:

    And on McCain’s stunt itself:

    McCain’s gambit

    McCain suspends his campaign, and asks to postpone Friday’s debate, to address the financial crisis.

    Both candidates have been marginal players; McCain, though, seems to have the potential to make himself a major one, and his move is a mark, most of all, that he doesn’t like the way this campaign is going.

    But in terms of the timing of this move: The only thing that’s changed in the last 48 hours is the public polling.
    (same address)

    September 24, 2008
  185. Patrick Enders said:

    (that was supposed to be in blockquotes)

    September 24, 2008
  186. Peter Millin said:

    I would hope our elected officials take a bit more time to decide on the bailout.
    I don’t think most people realize the implication of this bailout.

    Are we seriously considering to let our government influence market forces? Is it capitalism when we make money but socialism if we lose money?

    Do we want government to bail out entities or individuals because of bad choices?

    The debates are useless anyway, they are artificially staged with questions given days in advance….that doesn’t qualify as debate.

    September 24, 2008
  187. Patrick Enders said:

    Peter wrote,

    Are we seriously considering to let our government influence market forces? Is it capitalism when we make money but socialism if we lose money?

    Yep: I think that’s the modern Republican version of economics: capitalism for private profit during good times, and the government to bail out capitalists when they lose money.

    Gotta love the no-lose economics for the wealthy.

    September 24, 2008
  188. Patrick Enders said:

    Back to McCain’s stunt…

    Obama responds: ‘Exactly the time’ for a debate

    Obama, speaking to the cameras in Florida, rebuffs McCain’s proposal:

    “It’s my belief that this is exactly the time the American people need to hear from the person who in approximately 40 days will be responsible with dealing with this mess,” he says.

    “What I think is important is that we don’t suddenly infuse Capitol Hill with presidential politics,” he said.

    There’s also a real shot at McCain:

    “Presidents are going to have to deal with more than one thing at a time,” he says. “It’s not necessary for us to think that we can do only one thing, and suspend everything else.”

    September 24, 2008
  189. Peter Millin said:


    You of all people should know that Washington shares at least fifty % of the blame…are we going to take away their pensions too?

    Debates are as exciting as watching grass grow…IMHO

    September 24, 2008
  190. Peter Millin said:

    BTW Obama has it wrapped up already.

    The current financial crisis plays right in to his playbook……nevermind that the media is not telling the real story here.

    I actually feel bad for Obama because with or without bailout he will have to deal with some serious money issue.

    Although the bailout might actually delay that pain.

    Time to buy gold, because our greenback will turn in to the ” American Lira”

    September 24, 2008
  191. Patrick Enders said:

    Peter wrote,

    You of all people should know that Washington shares at least fifty % of the blame…are we going to take away their pensions too?

    No arguments there – although I’d hazard a guess that you and I have different ideas on which part(s) Washington messed up, and which Washingtonians are most to blame. (And yes, I believe there’s more than enough blame to spread some of it around).

    Unfortunately, Washington (and by extension, you and me) will end up bearing far more than 50% of the costs of this fiasco.

    We’re currently in a bind where we get to choose between 1) doing nothing, and letting the economy grind to a halt – with all the real-life misery that would entail, or 2) bailing out Wall Street, thereby eliminating the one supposed ‘check’ in pure capitalism’s system: the principle that those who act unwisely will lose their shirt.

    It’s a no-win situation.

    September 24, 2008
  192. Peter Millin said:

    She was bobbing and weaving just like Obama, McCain or Biden…what’s new?

    September 24, 2008
  193. Peter Millin said:

    This is a brilliant opinion piece..turns out Gramm was right after all..LOL

    There is a H.L. Mencken quotation that captures the essence of this year’s politics: “The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed, and hence clamorous to be led to safety, by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.” The media, economic “experts” and both presidential candidates are making bad-talking our economy key features of their campaign messages. For politicians and their hangers-on, keeping the populace alarmed is a strategy to seize more control over our lives. It’s so important that Senator John McCain took his economic adviser, former Senator Phil Gramm, to the woodshed for saying that America had “become a nation of whiners” and described the current slowdown as a “mental recession.” Had Senator Gramm added that economically today’s Americans are better off than at any time in our history, he might have lost his job altogether. Let’s look at it.

    Dr. W. Michael Cox and Richard Alm, of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, in the July/August 2008 edition of The American, have an article titled “How Are We Doing?”. Wages and income are frequently used to measure progress but Cox and Alm say that a better measure is consumption. For example, while gasoline prices have skyrocketed, the average worker has to work about two hours to earn enough to purchase 10 gallons. In 1935, it was six hours and in 1950, over two hours. A basket of groceries that took four hours of work in 1950 to purchase now takes 1.7 hours. Annual hours of work have fallen from 1,903 in 1950 to 1,531 today. Real total compensation — wages plus fringe benefits, both adjusted for inflation — have been rising steadily for several generations. Fringe benefits have become a greater share of our earnings, thus dampening statistics on wage increases.

    Today’s Americans are healthier than ever. In 1950, life expectancy was 67 compared with today’s 78. Death rates from diseases, once considered a death sentence, are in steep decline. With advances in medicine and medical technology we’re receiving much better health care. The increase in quality explains part of the higher health care costs. But health care costs would be dramatically reduced if there were more competition and less government intervention and third-party payers. Cox and Alm say that competition works but because of third-party payers, consumers have little incentive to shop around. They point out that prices for Lasik eye surgery, a procedure rarely covered by insurance programs, have fallen in the past decade because consumers shop around and take their business to surgeons who offer the highest quality service at the cheapest price.

    Recall that during President Carter’s last year in office in 1980 what was called the “misery index”, which was defined as the sum of the inflation and unemployment rates, was about 22 percent: inflation averaged 14 percent; unemployment was 7.5 percent. Today’s inflation just became 5 percent, having been between 1 and 3 percent for a decade, and unemployment is 6.1. Cox and Alm say that today’s problems “will turn out to be mere footnotes in a longer-term march of progress.” They add that, “Since 1982, the United States has been in recession for a mere 16 months, the present slowdown notwithstanding. Over that period, the country more than doubled its inflation-adjusted output of goods and services and created jobs for an additional 50 million workers.”

    Things are not nearly as gloomy as the pundits say. Most of today’s economic problems, whether it’s energy, health care costs, financial problems, budget deficits or national debt, are caused by policies pursued by the White House and Congress. As my colleague Dr. Thomas Sowell suggested in a recent column, we don’t look to arsonists to put out fires that they’ve created; neither should we look to Congress to solve the problems they’ve created.

    September 24, 2008
  194. Paul Fried said:

    “The Biggest Story of the Campaign”
    by Michael Tomasky

    (a sampling:)

    Mark this day down. Today – last night, actually – the New York Times and Roll Call reported (it’s hard to see who was first) what may be the biggest political story of the campaign. How big? John McCain might have to fire his campaign manager. Big enough?

    The story is this. The lobbying firm of Rick Davis, the manager, was being paid $15,000 a month by Freddie Mac until last month. That fact is a direct contradiction of words McCain had spoken Sunday night. At that time, responding to a Times story being prepared for Monday’s paper revealing that Davis had been the head of a lobbying consortium led by Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae until 2005, McCain said Davis had done no further work for either mortgage giant.

    Someone’s lying – either Davis to McCain, or McCain to the public. I trust you see the problem here.

    (Those are the first few paragraphs from a much longer piece in a blog attached to the online version of the Guardian/UK, but the NYTimes ran a story today with many of the same facts.)

    September 24, 2008
  195. Paul Fried said:

    Jane (#184): I thought we went to war in Afghanistan because the Taliban (“blowback” from our proxy war with the USSR, fought in Afghanistan, funded through Pakistan) would not let UNOCAL build an oil pipeline there.

    Peter (#203) You say Obama has it wrapped up because the economic woes play right into his hand–
    But Bush-Cheney could still stage an “incident” (remember the Gulf on Tonkin, and more recently, the forged yellow-cake papers?) and have Israel start bombing Iranian nuclear sites. Then some Americans (my cousin, for one) may really want a war hero and an Alaskan Governor more than they now realize….

    Yogi Bera: “The game’s not over till it’s over.”

    September 24, 2008
  196. Mike Zenner said:

    Jane to #189,

    Must I remind you of the elections of 2006. It basically was a referendum on ending the Iraq war.

    The Dems won the majority, and they were going to end it right?

    Two years later, how they doing on that war thing? What’s that you say, they happily continue to fund the imperial war project!

    In answer to the other blog ” McCain, Surge a success” , it was wildly successful but not in the way of a military success. Its main goal was to stifle the antiwar movement of the 2006 election and change the question from stop war funding altogether, to we need 80 billion instead of 50 billion more. “Don’t cut off the troops” oh no we can’t have that! No one mentioned cutting off funding for the F22 fighter project, to see the troops through their exit!

    “Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on ME!”

    There’s no way in hell the empire is going to leave it’s permanent multi-billion dollar bases they built in Iraq , only to see the Iranians come in and take them over to help establish the new Shia backed Iraq central government. The most that will happen is draw down the surge troops, send them to Afghanistan, and park the rest inside the base walls.

    By the way, how does expanding the war into Afghanistan and Pakistan to ” take out Osama bin Laden” ,Obama’s words, make him the man of peace?

    September 24, 2008
  197. Peter Millin said:


    Where is your post on Frank Raines and Jim Johnson? HMMMM??

    If you sit in a glass house don’t throw any rocks.

    Bush’s speech last night was a joke. Between him an Paulson trying to scare us it makes me wonder if we ever going to discuss how we got to this point in the first place. It’s sickening.

    1) Why should we bail out those that just want to walk away from their bad mortgages? So they can walk out again down the line?
    This whole notion of protecting “home owners” with bad mortgages doesn’t make any financial sense at all. It is designed to buy votes in an election year and more so to cover up failed policies.

    2) Most executive compensations are protected by contracts, are we oing to challenege them in court?

    3) when are we going to have an investigation on which politicians are responsible for this, showed bad judgment and have been collecting fat checks from Fannie Mae and Freddy Mac?
    My guess is never. The current “show hearings” and pretend outrages are nothing more then a smoke screen to blind us tax payers.

    4) Where is the $ 1 Trillion going to come from? Print more money? Doing this will not only hit our pocket books but will devalue your savings even more. Inflation is nothing more then a hidden tax, that is slowly killing the middle class.

    That’s my rant for today.

    September 25, 2008
  198. Anne, or should I say editor Anne?

    Focus on what the candidates are doing. I have said what I said and you are free to interpret it as you wish. If someone feels I have offended them personally, please contact me at Northfield Speaks Up section at, and we will take it up and make it right there. I have nothing to hide from anyone.

    And, editor Anne, for the permanent record,
    I am happy for the youth vote as they bring fresh perspectives, and it is their future. I only wish that they vote, like any one of any age, with a good solid comprehension of the issues which will be affecting them and their future families, if they intend to have families of their own…explain explain explain til everyone’s so bored they forget why I am posting…and I would be happy if any man or any woman or any combination thereof if there is such a being, be they any one of the great human races, I think it’s five, but I could count six or more if you include people who are not bred, but are somehow born into the world from parents of different races or mixed races. I swear on a whatever book or stone you have for me to swear on, that this is my whole truth and nothing but the truth, uninterpretted, so Anne, you don’t have to be confused or in some shocked and bereaved state of mind based on my previous or future posts. This is it. Is that good enough for you, or are you going to try to put me through the wall, and not just backed up into a corner defending myself for ever and ever and continuing to ignore some of the flaws of the candidates for President of the United States Of America?

    Good luck on the rehab!

    September 25, 2008
  199. One more time, I am going to try and see what makes Obama so much different from all the other junior senators who have voted just like him,
    or very close to it, what makes him so much different and so much deserving to be President of the United States Of America.

    If you cannot answer that one little old question without reverting to
    avoidance or abusive tactics or trying to make me or anyone feel like
    they are something they are not in order to get us to do something we
    do not want to do, then we will all know you have nothing good to say
    about your candidate. Lies and exaggeration don’t count.

    September 25, 2008
  200. David Henson said:

    I noted a CNS News tactical smear in Katie Couric’s interview with Sarah Palin. Couric asked Palin about Obama saying he would meet with Iran’s Ahmadinejad without preconditions. Palin said that the idea was absurd. Then Couric pushed that Kissinger has agreed to this idea. Palin replied that she had never heard Kissinger state that he would meet with Ahmadinejad without preconditions.

    The interview ended on this note and Couric shows up on screen saying CBS contacted Kissinger and he would recommend if not meeting with Ahmadinejad then at least with ‘senior’ staff without precondition.

    Couric’s editorializing when Palin was ‘off-screen’ and could not retort was absurd. Even more absurd is she tried to spin Kissinger’s remarks which supported Palin’s position in a way that appeared they did not support Palin. I’m certain Kissinger is not recommended the next president of the United States sit down with Iranian senior staff with out preconditions. Add if US staff is sitting down with Iranian staff ahead of a presidential meeting then what purpose could there be other than “Preconditions.”

    Palin has the street smarts our current leadership lacks.

    September 26, 2008
  201. Patrick Enders said:

    David H,

    Both you and Ms. Palin are wrong.

    Back on Sept. 15 2008:

    ABC News’ Rachel Martin Reports: Former U.S.Secretary of State Henry Kissinger today told an audience in Washington, DC that the U.S. should negotiate with Iran “without conditions” and that the next President should begin such negotiations at a high level.

    September 26, 2008
  202. Peter Millin said:

    Howard Deans brother stoops to a new low and with him the DNC. This is an ad by a 527 supporting Obama?

    One word despicable …

    September 26, 2008
  203. Anthony Pierre said:

    what part of that ad is untrue peter?

    September 26, 2008
  204. Kissinger is just one of many quoted the main stream media who seek out sound bites from those who will promote their own leanings. He hasn’t been Secretary of State for 35 years…just putting it in perspective.

    September 26, 2008
  205. Peter Millin said:


    This is not about truth or lie, this is about class and dignity. Do you see the GOP running ads about Bidens two brain Aneurysms.

    There used to be certain lines that we would never cross. As long as the guy can do his job, what does it matter?


    September 26, 2008
  206. Anthony Pierre said:

    swift boat


    It matters cause McCain is 72 and, according to the actuary tables, may not live 4 more years.

    Doesn’t Palin scare the crap out of you too?

    September 26, 2008
  207. Peter Millin said:

    There is something called age discrimination and you are taking part in it. for Swiftboat……..I am still waiting for Kerry’s rebuttal.

    September 26, 2008
  208. Anthony Pierre said:

    You are grasping at straws now peter.

    McCain’s age wouldn’t be an issue if he would have picked a VP that didn’t scare the crapola out of people. Romney, Giuliani T-Paw would have been better VP candidates.

    September 26, 2008
  209. Patrick Enders said:

    Well, McCain’s ‘Campaign Suspension’ was a big success. He never stopped running his advertisements, never closed any campaign offices, and he never stopped giving speeches or meeting with big campaign donors or reporters. He never even got around to stopping his campaign spokespeople from going on Fox News to attack Obama over the bailout negotiations.

    Instead, he arrived in Washington just in time to scuttle an already-announced ‘agreement in principle’ worked out by Congressional leaders.

    Buoyed by that success, he’s decided that he can, in fact, make time in his busy schedule for the debate tonight – even though he’d previously declared that he would attend the debate ONLY if a bailout plan was already passed.

    After all that success in the last 24 hours, I’m sure that everyone will be glad to know that he’s already won tonight’s debate:

    Yes, time travel is amazing, but what’s next for our superhero President-to-be? Slate has some predictions:

    First Palin, Then Campaign Suspension. What Now? Slate predicts McCain’s next 10 Hail Mary stunts.

    1. Returns to Vietnam and jails himself.
    2. Offers the post of “vice vice president” to Warren Buffett.
    3. Challenges Obama to suspend campaign so they both can go and personally drill for oil offshore….

    September 26, 2008
  210. David Henson said:

    Patrick – it semantics because what Obama suggests is that he would personally sit down with Ahmadinejad and other leaders without preconditions. Nobody backs this position. I think Palin’s good guy / bad guy analogy was straight forward and acurate –

    “In April 2006, Ahmadinejad described Israel as a “rotten and dried-up tree that will be destroyed by one storm”. When Israel celebrated its 60th birthday in May, he called it a “stinking” corpse and a “dead rat”: a regime that was on “its way to annihilation”. ”

    To sit down with a leader that took that position without preconditions would be a fool’s errand.

    Palin’s positions are not esoteric and elaborate like those whom built the exotic mortgage securities system now endangering our economy – that’s why people like them because they are refreshingly frank and could actually work.

    September 26, 2008
  211. Patrick Enders said:

    David H,

    People can reasonably disagree over whether or not Obama’s foreign relations vision is a good one. (I happen to like his view on this.)

    It’s much harder for you to make a convincing case that Henry Kissinger disagrees with Obama’s stated principles – as such an assertion is contradicted by the known facts.

    If Sarah Palin had made good use of her hour long sit down with Mr. Kissinger this week – or if she had been even passingly familiar with the foreign policy guru’s philosophy – she would’ve known Mr. Kissinger’s position, as well.

    September 26, 2008
  212. Patrick Enders said:

    Sarah Palin’s interview with CBS was truly remarkable. I think it is essential viewing for every American voter.

    Part 1:

    Part 2:
    The Palin interview begins at 10:00 in this video.
    David H, the part you take offense at is split between Palin’s discussion about Kissinger beginning at 15:15, and Katie Couric’s postscript at 17:58.

    September 26, 2008
  213. Peter Millin said:


    Glad to see that you finally got your talking points from the DNC.

    Fact is that Obama was put up in the meeting to look presidential. He failled miserable.

    Fact is that there never was an agreement in principal with the rank and file. The GOP leaders got their hands slapped, because most common sense people have sniffed out the current con game called “bailout”.


    Ask your friends at the DNC that if they are so serious about the bailout, why not just pass it????
    Pelosi has more then enough votes to do so. BUT as always the Democrats are looking for McCain’s cover on this, since they are cowards to take some real leadership.
    That way once this bailout blows up (which it will) they can use the cover of “bipartisan ship” to hide from responsibility.

    This is not leadership this is gambling with our future. This will buy everybody enough time to get passed the election.
    In about six month from now we will have another bailout discussion. Mark my words.
    Like another poster so truly stated. This will effectively double our debt…and even worse it will cover up responsibility of those that created this mess.

    September 26, 2008
  214. Peter Millin said:


    I agree with Kissinger and Obama that now is the time to talk…but you forget it was Bush and McCain who got us to this point.

    If we would have listened to Obama and his following there would be no serious possibility of negotiations today. Because nobody would take us serious.
    Negotiation 101.. if you can’t back up your demands with resolve..stay away from negotiations.

    September 26, 2008
  215. Anthony Pierre said:

    peter said in #233

    but you forget it was Bush and McCain who got us to this point.


    Are you serious? Do you think that Iran is afraid of what we did to Iraq? I bet they are thinking HOLY CRAP WE DONT WANT THEM INVADING US AND THEN BRIBING EVERYONE NOT TO SHOOT AT THEM.

    September 26, 2008
  216. Peter Millin said:


    Of course they are afraid, why else do they cozy up to Russia??? Certainly not because of shared ideology….

    September 26, 2008
  217. Anthony Pierre said:

    the enemy of my enemy is my friend

    September 26, 2008
  218. Patrick Enders said:

    Iran and Russia are both non-Arab states sitting on top of very large supplies of oil, who both exert significant state control over (and and take significant profit from) that oil. So they’ve got that in common.

    Also, McCain has threatened to go to war with each of them.

    September 26, 2008
  219. Peter Millin said:

    Most people underestimate Russian imperialism.

    We spent hours discussing our own shortcomings but never look at the reat of the world.
    Russia is making a play for Europe and we better watch out. That after years of negotiations I might add.

    September 26, 2008
  220. Patrick Enders said:


    This bailout was proposed by Bush, who is a Republican. It’s an ugly solution (we hope) to a very ugly problem.

    One could also make a pretty good case that the party that has controlled the Presidency for the last 8 years, and the Congress for 12 of the last 14 years, is most responsible for getting us into this mess – and for failing to prevent it – in the first place.

    There is no reason why the Democrats should carry the bag containing George Bush’s stinking mess, while the House Republicans would be allowed to wash their hands of it.

    The Democrats are right: it’s time for bipartisanship. Everyone in, or everyone out. It’s up to the House Republicans to decide which.

    September 26, 2008
  221. We don’t need any foreign oil. We have natural gas, and vehicles can be converted to run on it. We have all sorts of ingenuity, and oil coming down our pipes. We have new technology that makes the old oil wells new again. We have ride share!

    We have all the food sources we need right here, we have cotton and wool for clothes and leather for shoes and I am sure we can get us a few silk worms going for fancy suits and dresses. We have enough clothes just laying around for ten years prolly.

    We can grow bamboo for housing and fabric right here. What do we need those foreign headaches for anyway?

    September 26, 2008
  222. Anthony Pierre said:


    I guess Godwin’s Law applies to this thread now.

    September 26, 2008
  223. Patrick Enders said:

    Peter wrote,

    Russia is making a play for Europe and we better watch out. That after years of negotiations I might add.

    It’s also after years of George Bush squandering most of our power, goodwill, and influence in the world for the sake of his debacle in Iraq. Oh, and driving up the price of oil, and thereby funding Russia’s newly rediscovered power.

    September 26, 2008
  224. Patrick Enders said:

    And Iran’s.

    September 26, 2008
  225. Peter, I guess you haven’t been alive long enough to know that politicians have been saying that they will be “reaching across the aisle”, meaning calling for bipartisanship, since time began. I exaggerate, yes, but not by much. It’s just a ploy or a stance or posturing so that they look good for the moment that you hear them say that. It’s never gonna be bipartisan for more than a flash.

    They all say that whenever it’s convenient, and it doesn’t fly any more.

    September 26, 2008
  226. In answer to post 244, hatred is easy for people. A lot easier than love.
    For thousands of years, each nation or religious group has found reason to disavow other nations and religions. This is from Ed Koch’s newsletter, a democrat, btw, who has given me permission to post it:

    The Pew Research Center Global Attitudes Project released a
    survey of European and U.S. attitudes on anti-Semitism and other
    bigotry. The statistics relating to Great Britain and the U.S. were
    especially surprising.

    The report states, “Great Britain stands out as the only
    European country included in the survey where there has not been a
    substantial increase in anti-Semitic attitudes. Just 9% of the British
    rate Jews unfavorably, which is largely unchanged from recent years.
    And relatively small percentages in both Australia (11%) and the Unites
    States (7%) continue to view Jews unfavorably.”

    An earlier report in 2006 during the Tony Blair
    administration conveyed a different atmosphere in Britain. The author
    of the report was Denis MacShane who wrote, “Hatred of Jews has reached
    new heights in Europe and many points south and east of the old
    continent. Last year I chaired a blue-ribbon committee of British
    parliamentarians, including former ministers and a party leader, that
    examined the problem of anti-Semitism in Britain. None of us are Jewish
    or active in the unending debates on the Israeli-Palestinian question.
    Our report showed a pattern of fear among a small number of British
    citizens — there are around 300,000 Jews in Britain, of whom about a
    third are observant — that is not acceptable in a modern democracy.
    Synagogues attacked. Jewish schoolboys jostled on public transportation.
    Rabbis punched and knifed. British Jews feeling compelled to raise
    millions to provide private security for their weddings and community
    events. On campuses, militant anti-Jewish students fueled by Islamist or
    far-left hate seeking to prevent Jewish students from expressing their
    opinions. More worrisome was what we described as anti-Jewish
    discourse, a mood and tone whenever Jews are discussed, whether in the
    media, at universities, among the liberal media elite or at dinner
    parties of modish London. To express any support for Israel or any
    feeling for the right of a Jewish state to exist produces denunciation,
    even contempt.”

    While negative attitudes towards Jews have apparently not
    increased in Britain, according to the Pew report, attitudes in Germany
    and France have worsened: “German and French attitudes have also grown somewhat more negative. Currently 25% of Germans have an unfavorable opinion of Jews up from 20% in 2004. Over the same period unfavorable views in France have increased form 11% to 20%. French president Nicolas Sarkozy has made a point of stating his support for the State of Israel and protecting Jews in France from assault. His predecessor
    Jacques Chirac was not seen by the Jewish community as friendly to them
    or to the State of Israel.

    In Russia, with respect to Jews, “(34%) voice an unfavorable
    view, up from 25% in 2004.”

    Muslims are viewed more unfavorably by non-Muslims . “Fully
    half of Spanish (52%) and German respondents (50%) rat[ing] Muslims
    unfavorably.” In Poland it is 46% negative and in France 38% negative.
    Undoubtedly, the Muslim terrorist acts by British Muslims is responsible
    for the negative feelings. “Just 14% of the British public expressed a
    negative view of Muslims in 2005 compared with 23% today.”

    The shocking statistics relate to unfavorable attitudes
    toward Christians, “about one in four Spanish (24%) now rate Christians
    negatively, up from 10% in 2005. Similarly, in France 17% now hold an
    unfavorable view of Christians, compared with 9% in 2004.”

    The negative attitudes cited towards Christians in the poll
    – Spain 24%, France 17%, Germany 12% (a decline from 16% since 2004) are surprising. In the U.S. the negative view of Christians is 3%.

    September 26, 2008
  227. Patrick Enders said:

    Well, if you’ve got a ten minute You Tube video that pins this entire economic mess on the Democrats, then I guess you must be right.

    September 26, 2008
  228. Peter Millin said:

    You have to explain to me how Bush drove up the price of oil. I thought the war in Iraq was about oil. Shouldn’t we now reap the benefits of that conquest?

    In case you forgot 95% of the worlds oil reserve are in the hands of government.

    Here are the real reasons:

    1) A decline of the dollar value, which btw has started way before Bush got in to office

    2) China and India coming online as a developed country.

    3) Our own inability to come up with a comprehensive energy strategy. I think Carter was the last POTUS to even attempt one.

    4) While we are worrying about some caribou in Alaska the rest of the world is halfway ahead of us exploring resources.
    Russia will drill in the arctic for oil like it or not.

    5) Plus our own increased consumption.

    In short focusing on Bush is wrong and won’t do anything to solve problem.

    September 26, 2008
  229. Anthony Pierre said:

    focusing on bush isn’t going to solve the problem. Bush is the problem.

    Do you think if Gore was elected in 2000 9/11 would have happened? How about Iraq? How about inaction with Katrina? How about the Bank Crisis.

    I am about 95% sure none of those would have happened.

    September 26, 2008
  230. Peter Millin said:

    Maybe I am not 100 right…but neither are you blaming this on the last 12 years.
    Especially since Bush and McCain have tried to stop this since 2003 and the democrats have shut him down.

    You need to get away from just following party line, despite of clear facts to the contrary you still maintain it. I am trying to convince you that this is not a democrats versus GOP issue..this is about government covering their tracks and being irresponsible with our money.

    I though only Germans were stubborn….LOL

    September 26, 2008
  231. Peter Millin said:

    # 251

    Oh so 95% of the senate and 85% of the house supporting Iraq is Bushs fault to??

    Well if it makes you feel better I go along…..perception is reality.

    September 26, 2008
  232. Anthony Pierre said:


    uhh ya, are you forgetting they cooked the report (NIE) on that too? let me find a link.

    those people voted because they were scared shitless from 9/11 and also outright lied to.

    You cannot deny that Bush is the worst President in the last 100 years and maybe ever.

    September 26, 2008
  233. nick waterman said:

    Certainly Bush got a free ride on those Iraq votes — I always wondered why Hillary Clinton didn’t stress, when she was questioned about her “pro-war” stance, that it was *impossible* to vote no on any of that stuff without being branded a hate-America-liberal. We forget that the post-911 atmosphere fostered a situation in which it was literally unpatriotic to question Bush. That was tragic. He literally spent the credibility of the presidency to get what he wanted —notice now when he talks about the economic crisis, no one has any idea what to believe.

    As for the benefits of the Iraq war, guess what: Exxon, Shell, Mobil, etc have all been invited back in. This spilled blood was about oil, oil, oil.

    September 26, 2008
  234. Peter Millin said:

    I know that I can be a stuborn German that tends to be a bit dense sometimes as well……but until now nobody can explain to me “WHY WAS THIS WAR ABOUT OIL???
    Given the current cost of gasoline it surely didn’t do anything for our supply.

    My personal theory on the war is That little Bush wanted to show his dad that he could finish what he couldn’t.

    As for oil??? ..there is no logic to this argument, unless we believe that we will occupy the fields forever. Which doesn’t make much sense either because so far all contracts have been awarded to China and India???

    September 26, 2008
  235. Patrick Enders said:

    None of us has suggested that Bush is logical.

    September 26, 2008
  236. john george said:

    Anthony- In your post 251, are you suggesting that if Gore were elected, the Islamic extremists would not have attacked? Are you serious? The hatred of America that was acted out that day had been festering for years. When then president Clinton failed to act of the offer of Ben Laden’s head, they were embolden to attack at any cost, thinking that the US was as impotent as their extremist mulahs had been teaching them for years. 9/11 was not a failure of any one administration, but a naivety across the whole of US security agencies to believe that these extremists had no real desire or backing to carry out such a plan. It just proved that men are not naturally good.

    As for Iraq, I think Peter’s observation, “…My personal theory on the war is That little Bush wanted to show his dad that he could finish what he couldn’t…” is as credible as any. As far as Katrina, who knows. The thing that seems to be emerging in this election is the difference between Republicans and conservatives and between Bush haters and Democrats. At least Democrats have a plan, flawed as it might be, IMNSHO. The Bush haters have only one solution for every problem known to mankind- just get rid of Bush. What an election we have coming up!

    September 26, 2008
  237. Jane Moline said:

    Peter and John–yes, Bush wanted to show his Daddy that he could finish off Sadam, but this war was about oil–Cheney’s meeting with oil execs to set economic policy for energy included a map of Iraq which they divided up amongst themselves–but their plan did not work out–between Americans screaming foul and Iraqis “forgetting” to welcome them with open arms as we trashed their country–but they still got the contracts with the army and they made deals with the “new” Iraqi government–it is just that we have called them on it so many times Cheney-Bush could not have unfettered access to plunder Iraq.

    But that brings us back to this election. ALL of the Bush policies have failed, and we are in a severe economic crisis–who do you trust to help us out–the party that put us smack dab in it–or the Democrats?

    September 26, 2008
  238. john george said:

    Jane- Fortunately, my hope is in neither.

    September 26, 2008
  239. Anthony Pierre said:

    2 months before 9/11 the administration was warned

    the president was in crawford and condi ignored the warning.

    so I can say in all seriousness, 9/11 would never have happened if all of the votes were counted in Florida. Al Gore would have read My Pet Goat in peace on 9/11/01.

    why not place blame where it belongs with all of these crises? The Bush administration. It happened on their watch.

    September 26, 2008
  240. Peter Millin said:


    Good answer. #260

    I find it amazing that despite evidence to the contrary many here still worship the altar of Washington politics.

    As long we let party affiliation blind us from the truth Washington remains dysfunctional.

    BTW……..(this is not towards you John) I am still waiting for an answer on what oil benefits we are getting from Iraq…now that we “occupy it”.


    September 26, 2008
  241. Anthony Pierre said:

    Does he have some unqualified VP behind him? Its not McCain I am worried about, its the VP. That is the issue

    September 26, 2008
  242. john george said:

    Peter- Don’t hold your breath waiting for an answer about Iraqi oil profits. i think they are only a smoke screen. According to the last figures I read a few weeks ago, less that 20% of our oil comes from the whole Middle Eastern region. The greatest majority of it comes from Canada, with (if I remember correctly) Mexico as second.

    Anthony- My opinion of the Democratic ticket is not magnanamous. I don’t believe the Dems have had a viable candidate since Jimmy Carter. In fact, if Ross Perot had not split the conservative vote in the ’90’s, we would not have had Clinton. He was elected on 43% of the popular vote. That, in my opinion, is the bone in the craw of most liberals I have talked to. Your assertion that the Islamic extremists attacked the US because Gore was not elected is unfounded at best, possibly preposterous. And, if there was that type of connection between Gore and the extremists, thanks be to God that he was not elected.

    September 26, 2008
  243. Patrick Enders said:

    I believe that the attack of Sept. 11 would’ve probably happened even if Al Gore had been President.

    The difference is that he would’ve done better with everything that followed. No Iraq war. No secret prisons, and no torture. No alienation of the rest of the world.

    And no incompetent response to Katrina. The post-Katrina disaster was due to Bush gutting FEMA and putting his political cronies in charge of what had been a non-politicized agency.

    September 26, 2008
  244. Anthony Pierre said:

    john, I did not say the extremists wouldn’t have tried to attack teh US. I said that we were warned and it was ignored.

    September 26, 2008
  245. nick waterman said:

    to be clear, I didn’t say we *were* getting any oil benefits from iraq; that’s not because they weren’t sought. Peter, don’t you remember Dick Cheney’s promise of cheap oil? Or how about the assertions of Alan Greenspan: “I am saddened that it is politically inconvenient to acknowledge what everyone knows: the Iraq war is largely about oil.”
    (, and
    Sarah Palin “We are a nation at war and in many [ways] the reasons for war are fights over energy sources, which is nonsensical when you consider that domestically we have the supplies ready to go.”
    The worry that Hussein would cut off oil supplies and reduce US dominance of oil fields was a far more compelling reason for this war (again, i’m not saying it worked!) than the bs “liberation” “wmd” , etc. Just ask yourself this simple question: is there more evidence that Bush et al care about access to oil and sustaining US dominance, or is there more evidence that they concern themselves with human rights, liberation, and “democracy.? Good God, I can barely write it, so patently obvious is the answer.

    September 26, 2008
  246. nick waterman said:

    John, I think the assertion that only 21%, or whatever, of current US oil comes from the middle east is quite misleading. It is the cheapest and most abundant source, and looking towards the future, the most likely from several standpoints (that is, if we have access…). The top three in the middle east are Iraq, Iran, and Kuwait. Geez, those countries ring a bell for some reason!

    Here, from Bill Moyers:

    Let’s go back a few years to the 1990’s, when private citizen Dick Cheney was running Halliburton, the big energy supplier. That’s when he told the oil industry that, “By 2010 we will need on the order of an additional fifty million barrels a day. So where is the oil going to come from? While many regions of the world offer great oil opportunities, the Middle East, with two-thirds of the world’s oil and the lowest cost, is still where the prize ultimately lies.”

    September 26, 2008
  247. john george said:

    Here’s the html, if I can get it to copy, on crude oil imports so far this year:

    As for cost/bbl, it appears that Equador is the cheapest, according to this table:

    Nick- If it is the cheapest and most abundant source (which it appears to not be), why are we buying so much elsewhere?

    Anthony- This is your quote from post #261;
    “so I can say in all seriousness, 9/11 would never have happened if all of the votes were counted in Florida. Al Gore would have read My Pet Goat in peace on 9/11/01.”
    This sounds like you are saying the extremist would not have attacked. As far as the warning being ignored, this threat was discovered during the Clinton administration, and I remember this being discussed on another thread as to how this was communicated to the Bush administration. I had said this in my post #258:
    “…9/11 was not a failure of any one administration, but a naivety across the whole of US security agencies to believe that these extremists had no real desire or backing to carry out such a plan…”
    I will still stand by that opinion. Bush’s, and perhaps Clinton’s, mistake was 1) believing the intelligence community actually knew what was going on and 2) trusting an Iraqi expatriot’s claims that he was really credible in his claims about Sadam. Just my opinion, again, but if this information had been run past Israel’s intelligence community, I think there would have been a much different response to 9/11. I think they are the only ones in the Middle East that have reliable intelligence about what is actually going on there. This country’s pride in our own ways got us into this fix, and I don’t believe Al Gore is any more humble than George Bush.

    Patrick- You said,”…The difference is that he would’ve done better with everything that followed. No Iraq war. No secret prisons, and no torture. No alienation of the rest of the world…”. The way you state this. it comes across as a verifiable fact. I don’t think it is. You evidently hold this opinion, and that is fine, you have a right to do so. I do not for these reason. What with the attitude toward Israel I hear coming from many in the the Democratic Party, I question whether this would have happened. I think Gore would have been just as asleep at the switch as Bush, for this reason: I think, from the events of 9/11, that it is clear that these extremists cannot be negotiated with. This, and the disdain I hear coming from the Democrats toward Israel. The foundation of all the Democratic Party’s approach to foreign policy for the last thirty years is the idea that all international conflicts can be settled through negotiation. I hear this idea being repeated in the current platform. IMHO, this is an underlying flaw, and just one more issue that keeps me from having hope in the Democratic Party. Without Israel in the region, we would really be up the creek. And, unfortunately, I hear many verbal attacks against Israel coming from the Democrats, and they sound just like the attacks coming from the Arab world.

    September 27, 2008
  248. Mike Zenner said:

    While you all are sitting in your partisan glass houses throwing rocks at each other about Iraq and oil, the real OIL issue is flowing right out of your wallet and US national wealth!

    At the current price of $107/bbl and US current consumption of 22 million bbl/day 70% of which is imported simply translates to a:


    $107*22000000bbl/day*0.70%*365days/yr = $601 Billion/yr!!

    This is the price we are now paying to motor to the mall in our SUV’s and drink our Cokes in throw away plastic bottles!

    THE WALL STREET BAILOUT at a $700 Billion one time shot is looking pretty inexpensive!!

    This is where the drill!, baby drill! Repub’s jump up and say “Yeah right on” this is why we need to drill!

    Well, yes and no. first of all it is estimated there is about 1 Trillion barrels of oil left within the earth. this sounds like a a lot of oil until you estimate how long this will last at the global consumption rate of about 85 Million bbl/day:

    1e+12bbl/(85e+6bbl/day*365days/yr) = 32years!!!!

    Of this 85% of this remaining oil is nationalized by foreign governments mostly in the Middle east and Central Asia.(this is where the Iraq war comes in to change this % lowwer!)

    So yes we are going to be needing that offshore and Alaskan oil very soon. however, this oil will take 5-8 years and at great expense and by that time the price of oil will most likely be higher because oil exporters will have economically grown exponentially due to our wealth transfer to them about 4.8 Trillion dollars they will be consuming much more of their own oil and will have much less to export. so even if best estimates on offshore and Alaska come in at 1.5milbbl/day we will very well have lost 1-2milbbl/day in imports. offshore oil wells tend to play out very quickly so within less then 10 years from the time they come on line their output will be reduced to about 30% of peak flow rate! So much for the grad kids oil!!

    Sorry kids Grandma and I decided to spend your oil wealth on ourselves!

    It is estimated that Mexico our 3rd largest exporter will be a net importer by 2014!

    Lastly, there is the EROEI(Energy Return On Energy Invested) issue. currently we expend about 1 gal of oil energy equivalent to produce 8 gal. this ratio has been going down steadily. In the early 1900’s this ratio was 1gal energy equivalent to 100 gal produced. The point will come, well before 32 years that we reach the less than 1 gal energy equivalent to 1 gal produced. At this point it is pointless to continue. This is the major argument against corn Ethanol, it has a ratio of 1 to 0.9. They throw in the residual corn meal to make it 1to 1.25! Barely above break even.

    September 27, 2008
  249. john george said:

    Glass houses, Mike? They are such a pane, and everyone can see right through them!

    September 27, 2008
  250. john george said:

    Another comment about the North Slope. It was known as the National Oil Reserve until Bill Clinton changed it to the Alaskan National Wildlife refuge.

    September 27, 2008
  251. Paul Fried said:

    Mike: The thinking you describe is not the exlusive thought of non-partisan elites, while all the Dems and Repugs are off in another world. There are glimmers of recognition sometimes in the most unlikely of places. Newt Gingrich has been quoted (in a Georgia newspaper, I believe) as saying that the war on terror is a hoax, and that if we really wanted to fight terrorism, we’d work for energy independence. Google this: Newt Gingrich war terror phony energy independence

    Now of course, many Repugs are still using the Wallstreet meltdown as shock doctrine, and trying to push more free market reforms and more tax cuts for corporations and the wealthy. This is like the definition of insanity as doing the same thing but expecting new results.

    Many people are aware that there isn’t much future in oil. That’s why the progressives want renewable energy, and why Bush-Cheney want world empire (regime change in Iraq, Iran, Venezuela…). Some say that with cheap oil and industrial farming, food processing, shipping and plastic packaging, we’ve gotten to a point where we use, on average, 10 calories of carbon-fuel to produce one calorie of food (this seems high, and I’m sure it’s debatable). But as oil prices go up, everything else does, especially food.

    There will be huge changes needed in the next decades, and it will cost much more than the bailout.

    (Also, Mike, the dollars per barrel times the price per barrel is not what the consumers pay for gas; we pay more for gas than is paid for crude oil….)

    September 27, 2008
  252. John George said:

    Here’s a little tongue in cheek economic trivia to help you in your voting decision. After our presidents serve their terms, they are paid $191,300 per year until they are 80 yrs. old. If Mc Cain is elected, and would per chance serve 2 terms, he would be 80 yrs. old at the end of his terms and would be paid nothing. If Obama is elected, and served the same two terms, he would be paid a total of $4,973,800 until he turns 80. Just from an economic standpoint, it would seem more fiscally responsible to elect Mc Cain.

    September 27, 2008
  253. Patrick Enders said:

    John G,
    I don’t follow the connection between your opinion about Democrats’ relations with Israel and Bush’s invasion of Iraq.

    Bush invaded Iraq for any/many of a variety of reasons: oil, neoconservative global strategy, the remote threat of wmd’s, or just to get revenge for the attack on his father’s life – take your pick. And if you believe protecting Israel was also one of those goals – and that Democrats don’t care about protecting Israel – isn’t that just one more reason to believe that Al Gore would not have led us into a fiasco in Iraq?

    September 27, 2008
  254. Don’t look now, Patrick, but there’s a little thing called democracy that we are trying to allow or spread throughout the world.

    Comment about the debate; Yes, I would love to. I thought Obama didn’t do as well as I expected him to do. One sort of side point to that is how he called Senator John McCain, Jim, Tom, John. McCain always referred to Obama as Senator Obama, showing the proper respect and honor you give to your opponent, and shows why McCain is so honored amongst both Ds and Rs.

    Obama does look good on tv, but let’s not keep making the mistake of voting for looks over substance. McCain appears energetic, whereas Obama appears somewhat tired. I am sure he was wearing his nicotine patch last night.

    Honestly, I am with everyone here who is tired of war and wish to heck and back that it was over in Iraq and everywhere in the world. Pray for peace.
    Maybe we won’t be able to afford war now with the financial situation as it is.

    Would it be a good thing provided that people don’t get hurt physically from it all?

    September 27, 2008
  255. Patrick Enders said:

    Bright, you wrote:

    Comment about the debate; Yes, I would love to. I thought Obama didn’t do as well as I expected him to do.

    You’ve got to be kidding. Barack Obama failed to meet your expectations? I’m shocked. And your expectations were set so very low to begin with.

    September 27, 2008
  256. Barry Cipra said:

    In posting #275, John George relays “a little tongue in cheek economic trivia to help you in your voting decision.” FYI, there is no age cutoff, 80 years or otherwise, for presidential pensions. See

    In general, is one of the best websites around for debunking — or in some cases confirming — urban legends, including some of the current campaign nonsense. Adding “snopes” to a Google search will often produce the best information.

    September 27, 2008
  257. john george said:

    Patrick- Remember, I hold a Biblical world view. From my perspective, world events revolve around God’s plan, and His plan is focused on Israel. The God of scripture is refered to as the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, not Muhammed, Budda or Pantheism. There are numerous admonitions in scripture about various country’s dealings with Israel and the ensuing blessing/judgement associated with them. So, from my perspective, it is very important how we align ourselves with the various countries in the Middle East. I know you come from an entirely different perspective, and that is fine. I only hope to help you understand where I am coming from, not try to convert you to my beliefs.

    As far as our attack on Iraq from a Biblical standpoint, God, in the past, has brought judgement against ungodly nations through other nations. There is an interesting read on this in Isa. 10, if you would like to read it. Just because a nation is used for judgement does not exempt it from judgement itself. I think there is evidence of ungodly actions in recent Iraqi dealings with their own people and others. When God says it is time to stop, He will find a way to accomplish it. If the US was used for an instrument of judgement, we need to be mindful of judgement coming against us, also, for we certainly have our own sin. The interesting thing about Sadam is that we helped set him up in power in the first place. Talk about the dog biting the hand that feeds it.

    September 27, 2008
  258. john george said:

    Barry- Sorry about the misinformation in my post about presidential retirement pay. Either way, though, we are still out the additional $4+ million we will have to pay to Obama if he is elected. Now, if Mc Cain dies before the end of his term, then we have Palin to pay the retirement to. If Obama would, for some reason, be eliminated during his term, then we have Biden to pay. Perhaps it is a wash all the way around, then. I suspect that the “change” being called for will move VERY slowly no matter who is elected. WIth the number of people on the public dole right now, we won’t see any drastic changes in government expense, anyway.

    September 27, 2008
  259. William Siemers said:

    Bright…McCain also goofed up by (repeatedly) talking about dividends when he meant dependents…

    I am amazed that McCain had the nerve to question Obama’s judgment. This coming from a guy who judged that Sarah Palin was the best person to be one heart beat away from the presidency. Forget Lieberman, Forget any number of republicans with the experience to carry on the fight aginst his number one, (and defining) issue…The Fight Against Islamic Extremism. “Give Me Sarah Palin” “She is the best person (except for me) to carry on the fight against this gravest of threats.”
    ‘America First’ my ass.

    September 27, 2008
  260. Holly Cairns said:

    oh, I commented in the wrong spot. Yikes! Sorry

    September 27, 2008
  261. David Henson said:

    Patrick #266 – History will show that Clinton failed America in Somalia and in al-Qaida’s own words this lead to 9/11. And in the embassy bombings Clinton’s response of firing missles into Afganistan was ultra weak. Al Qaida kicked the US in shins and Clinton ran away. Then Al Qaida came back and smacked us full on in the mouth 9/11 – Bush’s response maybe questioned but anyone believing Clinton handled this right is lying to themselves.

    September 27, 2008
  262. Patrick Enders said:

    David H,
    Whatever his shortcomings may have been, at least Clinton showed no inclination to start an unnecessary war in Iraq.

    September 27, 2008
  263. Paul Fried said:

    John G (#270) and David H (#284):
    Unless we move more toward a totalitarian dictatorship in which history books are fabrications that air-brush out the truth, history will show (and documented evidence has already shown) that Cheney and Bush had multiple warnings from many nations (Anthony in 261 pointed toward a Washington Post piece that touches on warning).

    Cheney, Rumsfeld, & Wolfowitz were members of the Project for a New American Century (PNAC). Their stated goal was for regime change in Iraq, US dominance in the middle east, and no peacetime dividend, but instead, pressing our advantage as the primary superpower in a unipolar world. They knew that the public might not support the military projects involved, unless there were some kind of new “Pearl Harbor” event to solidify US citizens in supporting war. This was all very clearly and explicitly laid out in documents on the PNAC web site.

    In other words, given their clearly stated interests and goals, The Cheney-Bush administration had strong motovation, when warnings came in, to make sure that the US military, airport security, customs, the FBI, etc., were ignoring warnings, were not informed, or were otherwise occupied.

    If you were president and had the warnings that the president received, the wise thing to do would have been to beef up airport security, to check back through records of visas issued and find suspicious people, and to put the military on high alert, scheduling complicated and resource-intensive drill exercises in such a way that it would not over-tax jet fighters or take them away from where they might be needed.

    What did the Cheney-Bush administration do? They did the opposite: Airport security was not beefed up. Higher-ups in the FBI told underlings not to investigate suspicious persons and events that might have led to knowledge of the plans. People on fast-track visas from the middle east who should have been investigated or rounded up were not. And importantly, there were multiple military exercises going on in early September which not only drew down necessary resources, but also became potential sources of confusion: Were the hijackings real, or part of a drill?

    Dissatisfaction with and suspicion regarding the Bush-Cheney handling of all this, of course, became the reason for the color-coded warning system, and extra airport security.

    DavidH, all this stated above regarding the malign Cheney-Bush purposes and methods is not to say Clinton may or may not have been seriously flawed in many of his choices, or that such flaws didn’t contribute. But investigating terrorism was a priority to his administration, even if some of his methods in stopping it were seriously lacking. This was not the case for the Bush administration. Bush insiders have confirmed this.

    There are many smaller and more complicated shreds of evidence that we ignore in order to reinforce our friendly assumptions that Cheney-Bush would never do such a thing.
    – Popular magazines have documented what seem to have been intentional efforts on the part of some leadership in the US to thwart efforts to capture Osama bin Laden: A senior CIA agent in Afghanistan quit his job in frutration when things were planned, and unfolded, in a way that intentionally let their targets get away. This was in Time or Newsweek, but we’d like to dismiss it as typical but relatively benign military bureacracy or bungling, unfortunate but harmless. Hard to register on the radar.
    – On 9-11, visiting Washington was General Mahmud Ahmad, the head of Pakistan’s intelligence agency, the ISI. Unknown at the time General Mahmud Ahmad had approved the wire-tranfer of $100,000 to Mohamed Atta, alleged leader of the hijackers.
    – The Bush administration said over and over that no one could have imagined that planes would be used as missiles, but in fact this is a lie. Many people in the Bush adminsitration had, in fact, anticipated it, planned for the possibility, etc. There were anti-aircraft guns on the roof of Bush’s hotel when he stayed overnight in Florida before 9-11. There were special plans when Bush went to Europe for Bush to stay on a boat rather than be a target in a building that could be struck by a plane.
    – If you visit Paul Thompson’s, you find many articles and information collected from TV and radio news sources, and the web of facts paints a very different picture from the Bush administration’s official story.

    History will tend to trust the many facts, like those collected by Thompson, instead of the prevailing assumptions and spin.

    Why do many people assume Bush and Cheney didn’t know? First, consider that half of all New Yorkers believe they knew and let it happen on purpose. These are people who had the attack occur, in part, in their own state, and many of whom were related to victims. They had a vested interest in following the stories.

    What of all those who don’t believe they knew and let it happen, which includes many Republicans, but also some Democrats and independents? It is easier to believe the safe assumption that the Bush-Cheney team some voted for, and others did not, would never be involved in such a machiavellian plan. This is true especially of many liberals, who tend to look at the world as if Republicans are actually liberals who have not yet found their compassion, but it’s in there somewhere just from the fact that we’re all human.

    It’s far easier to believe Bush and Cheney were incompetent, or caught by a sucker punch, than to consider that they’re machiavellian. Consider that conservatives like you, David H., tend to blame Clinton for 9-11 more due to incompetence than to evil, empire-building motives. The idea that someone might allow thousands of their own fellow citizens to die in order to launch a plan for — world domination? spreading democracy in the middle east? — is so reprehensible that even many so-called 9-11 conspiracy theoriests express their resistence and shock as they studied the evidence that pointed, at the very least, toward what half of New Yorkers already believe: That the attacks were allowed to happen so that we could get going with the PNAC plan, and other related agendas.

    September 27, 2008
  264. Paul Fried said:

    In my previous post, I gave the wrong URL for Paul Thompson’s timeline, which is at HistoryCommons:

    David H: Another problem with #284 is that it views terrorism with tunnel vision, as if history began in 1992. This neglects what the CIA (since the coup we and the British orchestrated in Iran during Ike’s presidency) have called “blowback.”

    Eisenhower, JFK, Carter and Reagan, through coups and covert proxy wars/surrogate wars (arming the mujahadeen to fight the USSR in Afghanistan, and lying to the US about it) all bear some responsibility.

    September 27, 2008
  265. Peter Millin said:

    History is always easy in hindsight. There is no doubt there was a warnings as to a planned attack. It is also a fact that these warnings pop up all the time. Are we supposed to go in to panic mode every time we have warnings like this? This seems far fetched.

    Especially since prior to 9-11 most Americans thought of themselves as being untouchable and loved worldwide. The specter of a terrorist attack of any sort on American soil was a foreign to us as Muslim religion.

    Did we have warnings? Of course we did WTC 1, USS Cole and Kenya come to mind. How did we react to it?
    We send a couple of cruise missile in to a chemical plant killing some poor night janitor.
    We call got caught of guard and we all got carried away in the emotions of revenge, fear and flat out hatred.
    I am honest enough to admit to myself that I shared much of the same emotions. It was a shock not only in the shear magnitude and brutality of 9-11, but it also destroyed the notion that the whole world loves us. We are not an island and we are not a fortress and there is forces in the world who envy us and want to destroy our way of live.

    Have we made mistakes responding to it, of course we have. Is it somehow connected to some backroom conspiracy? I don’t think so. I would challenge anybody that was put in to the presidents position to make no mistakes in this. But this is merely an academic discussion since history in hindsight is always easy.

    Most of the conspiracy theories surrounding 9-11 are just that, and belong in to the same archive as “Elvis is still alive”..”Sasquatch” and the aliens of area 51.
    It makes for good blogs and delivers fodder for a bunch of potheads.

    September 27, 2008
  266. Paul Fried said:

    JohnG: Corrections to your claim about “biblical viewpoint” of God using nations to correct other nations:

    In 280 you write,
    “As far as our attack on Iraq from a Biblical standpoint, God, in the past, has brought judgement against ungodly nations through other nations.”

    Here are my concerns:
    1. You speak as if the Bible is one book, with one viewpoint. This is very misleading. It is in fact a collection of many books, written over centuries, with many human authors and editors, and you cannot take one passage from one book in the bible and impose it on the whole, claiming this is the biblical standpoint. For example, you can’t take the verse, “An eye for an eye” and impose it on the whole, claiming this is the biblical view. It’s not.
    – It’s more accurate to observe with Isaiah (“My ways are as far above yours as the heavens are above the earth”) that if we are to discern a single voice of a monotheistic God prevailing in the whole Bible, it is never so simple as the method you imply above, but much more a mystery to ponder and seek. Those who think they’ve achieved certitude about the mystery are mislead, and often dangerous in the political sphere (consider Bush’s certitude about God working His will through Bush).

    2. It’s true that, at times in the Bible, Israel looked at their misfortunes (such as snakebites, or when they were victims at the hands of other nations), and through their prophets and religions leaders, sometimes came to believe that God was judging and punishing them for their sins. This may have helped them keep faith in a loving God rather than assume God didn’t love them, or there was no covenant. But this is not the last word in the bible:

    3. In the New Testament, some assume this kind of worldview –that misfortune or being the victims of war is a sign of the judgment of God for sin. They approach Jesus and ask him if people were victims of a building collapse, or of disabilities like blindness, because of their sin, or their parents’ sin. Is God judging and punishing these folks for sin? Jesus says no. This is a radical departure from previous biblical assumptions by various characters in various books.

    4. This leads many to conclude that understanding clearly the voice of God in the bible is much more complex and mysterious a process.
    – If misfortune makes one look inside and perceive faults and sins in need of reform, then this may be a great twist of grace, but that does not mean God was judging and punishing one country because of the fact they were attacked by another, or this blind man or woman because they happened to be born that way, or lost their sight in an accident. (A great example in literature of a character who takes his misfortune, in part, as reason to reflect on his failures and limitations is “The Fixer” by Bernard Malamud, about a Jewish handiman falsely accused of murdering a Christian boy.)

    5. It may therefore be more helpful and accurate to view the books of the Bible as the chronicle of many writers regarding the story of their faith. This story, in ways both intended by the authors and also unintended, tracks the development or evolution, including correction and clarification, of their understandings of their faith.
    – Early on, stories of God’s dealings with people seem sometimes to omit discussion of angels as mediators, and God deals sometimes more directly. Later on, angels are more consistently seen as messengers.
    – Early on, in the Jacob story, angels in Jacob’s dream use a ladder as their means of transportation from heaven to earth and back. Later, in other books, this cluncky metaphor is replaced with wings.
    – Early on, God is seen as blessing the righteous with riches, health and children, even though Abraham and Sarah have some initial trouble conceiving. Later on, the book of Ecclesiastes meditates on how the wicked get rich and the righteous suffer misfortune and poverty, and the book of Job reflects on the suffering of a good man over a gambling bet between God and the devil; also, as said above, Jesus also challenges the conventional wisdom of the day regarding suffering as punishment for sin.

    So I think it’s wrong in a biblical sense, and dangerous in a political sense, to claim the “biblical view” as you do regarding Iraq and the US.

    Later you write in 280:
    “If the US was used for an instrument of judgement, we need to be mindful of judgement coming against us, also, for we certainly have our own sin.”

    It’s usually far better (in the Christian sense, I think) to use circumstance as inspiration to repent (“our own sin”), than to rationalize circumstance as justification for harsh actions and wars against others: “Take the plank out of your own eye first,” etc. We can’t be sure about when our success or failure is used to God’s good ends (and should not assume!), but realistic admission of mistakes and efforts to grow and make amends is always helpful.

    This is why the US needs to apologise someday soon for all the coups and proxy wars we orchestrated, etc.

    September 27, 2008
  267. john george said:

    Paul F.- Corrections? I think you and I have discussed this on another thread. You perfectly present the historical critical interpretation of the scriptures. That is not the only “correct” interpretation out there. If you want to follow that, that is between you and God. I don’t follow that interpretation. Why are you trying to impose your perspective onto me? In presenting my position to Patrick, I stated this, “…I only hope to help you understand where I am coming from, not try to convert you to my beliefs…” Is this not sufficient for you or something? Paul (the Apostle) writes in Romans that every man should be convinced in his own mind. I will get the reference when I get home tonight. I have a personal walk with God that is my own. I am in relationship with a group of people in authority over me whom I can test these things on. You are not one of those people. For you to take the position of “correcting”me in my viewpoint is a little presumptious on your part.

    You also stated this, “…So I think it’s wrong in a biblical sense, and dangerous in a political sense, to claim the “biblical view” as you do regarding Iraq and the US…” If you look at my comment to Patrick, I said I hold “a” Biblical viewpoint. There are quite a few Biblical viewpoints out there, yours being one of them. Mine is different. We will each give account on that day for what we have said and done. I don’t think my perspective is wrong, and, as Paul wrote to one of the churches, I also have the Holy Spirit.

    You also wrote this, “…It’s usually far better (in the Christian sense, I think) to use circumstance as inspiration to repent (”our own sin”), than to rationalize circumstance as justification for harsh actions and wars against others: “Take the plank out of your own eye first,” etc. We can’t be sure about when our success or failure is used to God’s good ends (and should not assume!), but realistic admission of mistakes and efforts to grow and make amends is always helpful…” I agree with you here, but that does not negate the possibility of a judgement being imposed, also. Eccl. 9:11 addresses this subject from one direction. You might also remember Jesus discription of the last days that there will be wars and rumors of wars. We don’t always know, aside from direct revelation, what every event implies. I do know that God wins in the end, and, by His grace, I am on His side.

    September 27, 2008
  268. Paul Fried said:

    Peter: You might find it interesting to read what former CIA director George Tenet (director at the time of the attacks) said about how the warnings at that time differed radically from the other occasional warnings the US receives. Intelligence officials have said that there was no other previous time when there were so many warning. Tenet said the system was “blinking red” and described passing on the warnings to others in the administration. It is nothing like you describe:

    “There is no doubt there was a warnings as to a planned attack. It is also a fact that these warnings pop up all the time. Are we supposed to go in to panic mode every time we have warnings like this? This seems far fetched.”

    The facts and testimony prove otherwise.

    September 27, 2008
  269. Paul Fried said:

    (Beware: Thread drift ahead….)
    JohnG: Your line was not, “from the standpoint of my own opinion” in the start of the paragraph where you spoke of God’s judgment. You said this:

    “As far as our attack on Iraq from a Biblical standpoint, God, in the past, has brought judgement against ungodly nations through other nations.”

    I’m sorry if you took offense at my use of the word “corrections.” Perhaps that was as uncareful as your use of the phrase, “Biblical standpoint.”

    Your opinions and religious beliefs are of course your business. But if you have years of experience changing your own oil, and I do too, and if you say something that doesn’t square with what seem to be the facts of my experience and observation, opinion doesn’t matter in some questions: If one of us advises that it’s OK to put the fresh oil in the engine without screwing in the plug at the bottom of the pan, opinion or no, we’ll either agree to disagree and have our own “opinions”, or there’s a chance that, through dialog, maybe one of us will say to the other, “Oh, sure, you do put the plug in first. Don’t forget that.”

    Granted, the Bible is a realm of belief and opinion more than oil changes. Fewer people have had visions while changing oil, or disagreements about whether the angels on Jacob’s ladder didn’t have wings because they had the ladder.

    But in this example regarding what you call the “Biblical viewpoint,” you are treating the Bible as an object more of your personal faith and opinion, while a number of my comments treated it more as a collection of texts, with human authors, with distinct differences and evolution of themes. I was dealing more with the facts, the evidence of the text, and bracketting the question of certitude and the mystery of exactly how a divine voice might be present.

    You can believe anything you want. I’ll never dispute that. But when you claim to speak for the “Biblical viewpoint,” then you’re assuming to speak for the biblical texts, and not merely opinion. Yes, your earlier paragraph mentioned your “worldview,” but in the paragraph I quoted (each paragraph can have it’s own idea), your terms were not of opinion or view but “Biblical viewpoint.” This implies not the JohnGviewpoint, but the Biblical view.

    In the end, it’s probably best if I don’t say “correction” and you don’t say “Biblical viewpoint.”

    September 27, 2008
  270. A couple of things seem to elude many people, many American people, including those in charge and including enforcers.

    1. Osama bin Laden is part of a tribe. His tribe reaches into many corners of the earth, as his father was a multi millionaire, building skyscrapers around the globe. Many, many people are beholding to the bin Laden tribe. As a result, if you mess with one of them, you mess with a whole network of people who, over many decades have made their living from bin Laden monies. If you want to see a real uprise unlike no other, than kill Osama and watch what happens…he becomes a martyr, and the people have a rallying point like no other. I have posted this before, a while back.

    2. Very few people in this country, or in any English speaking country neither knew or understood the Middle Eastern culture, which is diametrically opposed to our culture here. The languages they speak are
    virtually unknown to but a handful of scholars. and a shake of a few others until only a few years ago.

    Now, I am not saying our leaders on either side have been innocent. They should have been more aware and knowledgeable about world cultures.
    So many strike me as self aggrandizing and not willing to do the real grunt work of researching nations beyond understanding their economic base.
    This lack makes a dangerous world even more dangerous for us.

    Obama has not even travelled to any area of concern. And everyone is aware of the Chinese potential, nothing new. Didn’t have to read a book or
    consult anyone myself to figure that one out. Hopefully, they remain peaceful and progressive. I for one would love that.

    I feel that McCain makes an important point to leave Iraq with our heads held high in the sense that kings of the mountain have because that is what is held in high esteem amongst warrior like humans.

    September 27, 2008
  271. William, I would love to see a transcript that shows your assertion about the mispoken words of McCain. I did miss about 15 minutes of the debate, so I never noticed any such thing. McCain did almost mispronounce ‘O My Dinner Jacket’ for the Iranian dude’s name, (my words, not his, cuz it helps me to remember Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad), but he corrected himself right away. At least McCain didn’t call him ‘Hey, Joe’, or Mahmoud.

    September 27, 2008
  272. nick waterman said:

    Bright, w/r/t your “couple of things seem to elude many people, many American people, including those in charge and including enforcers.”

    1. “Osama bin Laden is part of a tribe.” (disclaimer: i think bin Laden one of the most evil persons on earth, and I am not defending him). “Tribe” or “tribal” are routinely used by westerners in describing other cultures and promote a view of others which is “primitive” demeaning, etc. Not only that, if you don’t think George Bush belongs to a tribe, and one which would protect its own interests at all costs, you have never been to Greenwich, Connecticut.

    2.” Very few people in this country, or in any English speaking country neither knew or understood the Middle Eastern culture, which is diametrically opposed to our culture here. The languages they speak are
    virtually unknown to but a handful of scholars. and a shake of a few others until only a few years ago.”
    a) there is no “middle eastern culture;” but there are many middle eastern cultures; b) not so sure there is an “our” culture and what “diametrically opposed” would constitute — once you start getting specific instead of speaking in these general, and again, stereotyped terms, the arguments tend to fall apart. c) the languages they speak are virtually unknown, etc???? yes, there are far fewer Arabic, Farsi, Urdu speakers than one might expect or hope for, but you write as if they were speaking some kind of secret code! Some of these are languages taught in our own town!

    3) Sure, maybe Obama hasn’t been to “those” places — is that really the appropriate criterion here?

    4) “I feel that McCain makes an important point to leave Iraq with our heads held high in the sense that kings of the mountain have because that is what is held in high esteem amongst warrior like humans.”

    Someone has to say it: this language is racist. Ridiculous, and racist.

    September 27, 2008
  273. Peter Millin said:


    Maybe the lights were blinking red, but seriously who would have ever thought that terrorist hijack an airliner and run them in to the WTC?

    It seems plausible to us today, but before 9-11 hardly.

    September 27, 2008
  274. john george said:

    Paul F.-While the thread is adrift, we may as well cover the waters. You said, in your post #292, “…In the end, it’s probably best if I don’t say ‘correction’ and you don’t say ‘Biblical viewpoint.’…” Lo and behold, in my search of the scriptures, I found these references:
    {28:49} “The LORD will bring a nation against you from afar, from the end of the earth, as the eagle swoops down, a nation whose language you shall not understand,
    2002 (C) Bible
    {5:15} “Behold, I am bringing a nation against you from afar, O house of Israel,” declares the LORD.
    “It is an enduring nation,
    It is an ancient nation,
    A nation whose language you do not know,
    Nor can you understand what they say.
    2002 (C) Bible
    {18:7} “At one moment I might speak concerning a nation or concerning a kingdom to uproot, to pull down, or to destroy it;
    {18:8} if that nation against which I have spoken turns from its evil, I will relent concerning the calamity I planned to bring on it.
    {18:9} “Or at another moment I might speak concerning a nation or concerning a kingdom to build up or to plant it;
    {18:10} if it does evil in My sight by not obeying My voice, then I will think better of the good with which I had promised to bless it.
    2002 (C) Bible
    {6:14} “For behold, I am going to raise up a nation against you,
    O house of Israel,” declares the LORD God of hosts,
    “And they will afflict you from the entrance of Hamath
    To the brook of the Arabah.”
    2002 (C) Bible
    Hmmmm. These are in the Bible, not some other writing. Is this a method of judgement God used in history? It appears so. Could He use it at another time and situation? I think that is possible. Is this sufficient to say that it is a Biblical viewpoint? I think so. And it is for just the conditions I laid out. Sorry, Paul. I am not going to back down from my statement.

    You also said, in that same post, “…JohnG: Your line was not, ‘from the standpoint of my own opinion’ in the start of the paragraph where you spoke of God’s judgment…”. You are correct in that exact verbage. Actually, what I said in preferencing my comments was, “…From my perspective, world events revolve around God’s plan…” I think I qualified my comments perfectly well, and, knowing Patrick as I do, I think he understood what I was saying. We have talked face to face, and I enjoy discussing things with him. Perhaps, if you and I had a chance to talk face to face, some of the animosities I have perceived in your comments about my opinions might be asuaged. Perhaps not, but I would really like to meet you sometime. You are very well researched and articulate in your communications.

    September 27, 2008
  275. john george said:

    Paul- In my second paragraph above, I meant to say “prefacing”, not “preferencing”. Good grief! It has been a longer week with later nights than I had thought.

    September 27, 2008
  276. Nick, people can speak in generalities here. I am not required to write a book or college thesis. I am not going to defend my every word here like I have done in the past. You are not going to accuse me of being a racist for not
    wanting to vote for Obama, if in fact that is what I choose come election day.
    And if Obama continues to look at the world through books and the eyes of others who wrote those books, and not even make an attempt to check out the scene for himself, that tells me a lot. He should stay home with his family.

    That racist accusation is an abhorrent tactic on your part and needs to stop.

    September 27, 2008
  277. nick waterman said:

    Bright, I never accused you of being a racist, and I doubt that you are one. Your language, though, is racist. It may be unintentionally racist, but it’s racist just the same. Labeling some people “tribal” and their languages “unknown” and their “culture” “diametrically opposed to ours” is racist. What does “tribal” mean? It gains what little meaning it has from opposition to our culture, right —i.e. we’re “civilized” and “they” are tribal. So, we can’t trust “them,” “they” act emotionally and unpredictably, etc.

    I don’t care who you vote for. And you’re 100% entitled to make judgments about the relevance to presidential fitness of where mccain or obama have traveled. Just as I’m 100% entitled to have a different opinion. There, we are dealing in fact and opinion.

    But with stuff like “tribal,” “diametrically opposed cultures” and “unknown languages,” we are dealing in, and I genuinely mean no unkindness here, ignorance.

    September 27, 2008
  278. Nick, I don’t know where you get your definitions, but they are not in the dictionary as such and they are certainly not mine. If you continue to say that your interpretations are the same as my intent, then I will have to say you are projecting your thoughts on to my words, and as such, you are trying to make me do something I don’t want to do, like vote your way.

    It’s point blank intimidation, and it’s the third time today I have heard someone trying to say that if you don’t vote for Obama you are a racist,
    when in all honesty, people just want a good leader to help this country stay safe and financially afloat.

    Americans should not be treating each other like enemies.

    September 27, 2008
  279. Mike Zenner said:

    Peter to #288,

    I noticed you side stepped the PNAC statements that Paul referenced in #286, and instead brushed it all off as all Tin Foil Hat conspiracy. Was it getting too close to a truth you would rather ignore?

    John G. , I was having a difficult time following what point you are trying to make from the Biblical quotes you referenced#297. I get a sense that you hold a Dispensationalist Theology? I’ve had this idea for a while that if I became President the first thing I would do is move 60yr old Israel to a new Israel in Zion national park in Utah. We would build a complete new city/state for them (I believe that many nations of the world would gladly help fund this) and the old Israel would return to Palestine, except for the Holy sites would be turned into an international Religious park that all can visit 8am to 8pm every day of the year. Do you see any flaws with this idea?

    September 27, 2008
  280. Patrick Enders said:

    Bright, you wrote,

    It’s point blank intimidation, and it’s the third time today I have heard someone trying to say that if you don’t vote for Obama you are a racist,

    If you look at Nick’s words again, you’ll see that he said no such thing.

    September 28, 2008
  281. Felicity Enders said:

    Bright, the term “tribal” has negative connotations exactly as Nick described. NPR did a piece on this in February:

    That being said, I wouldn’t limit the list of the racist-sounding language you have used as Nick has. The term “mixed breed” (#135) is also quite offensive, as Anne stated before. You also suggest (#146) that people of approximately the same color as senator Obama must also have roughly the same experience. In #158 you imply that black people who have an experience different from the one you observed in Chicago must not have experienced life as a black American. In #182 you seem to refer to Bill Richardson as a “Mexican man.”

    That being said, Nick specifically said: “I never accused you of being a racist, and I doubt that you are one. Your language, though, is racist. It may be unintentionally racist, but it’s racist just the same.”

    Please stop trying to play the “race card.” Nick has simply asked you to be more careful in your language; I ask the same.

    September 28, 2008
  282. I disagree and I think you all are playing party line rules which include taking language away from people just like the European’s did when they disallowed Native Americans to speak their own language.
    NPR is certainly DFL all the way, you listen to them all you want.

    No one has simply asked me to do anything…to use your words, Felicity.
    If anyone had merely asked me what I intended or meant by my use of the term instead of trying to force their pick and choose definitions on my words, I would have gladly explained what I meant.

    But because several of you here are trying to eliminate all other views, trying to take over this discussion entirely, there is no chance for good back and forth conversational exchanges where people can actually bring each other up. Have fun talking to yourselves.

    Don’t worry, I am sure Obama will win hands down with the kind of treachery that is being practiced ! Good luck with that.

    September 28, 2008
  283. For all People reading this post; One usually takes an entire body of work, be it posting, books, essays, what have you, and takes the meaning from that. I cannot be saying on one hand that Bill Richardson might make a good President and on the other that he’s not good enough.

    Saying a man is a Mexican man has no negative connotation to me. It is just like saying a man is an American man, or a woman is an American woman, or a Canadian and on and on and on. Bill Richardson was born in California, and his parents are from Mexico and Nicaragua. Good, fine, I don’t care, as long as he shows ability to be President, if he runs again.
    That’s it. He grew up with his Mexican mother in Mexico. He says he is Mexican. That’s fine, it’s good, it’s right. No negtaive connotations coming from me. He’s an American cuz he was born here. That’s fine, too.

    I cannot and do not say things like Middle Eastern tribe and at the same time when I am talking about a Middle Eastern man and his family who have amassed a great fortune and many followers by building skyscrapers around the world and not think that they are smart and industrious people. Even if they don’t build skyscrapers, they have a good and wonderful culture that is to be honored. For anyone who has reading skills and comprehension, the facts speak for themselves.

    I honor all people and all cultures at all times, even when they are trying to blow me out of the water. My life, my house and my art are testimonies to that fact.

    September 28, 2008
  284. Felicity Enders said:

    Bright, this isn’t about Senator Obama at all. It’s about your choice of words.

    To be clear, I’m not sure this would be a problem in a face to face discussion. If you made comments such as these face to face, they might be mediated by your body language and not seem the way they do when they are just words on a page. Furthermore, as you suggest, I could either challenge them at the time they are said, or let them slip into memory.

    However, we are writing a medium in which body language cannot change the tone of a comment, in which immediate back and forth discussions are not always possible, and in which your comments remain for anyone to return to rather than slipping into the ether.

    Therefore I ask that you choose your words with more care.

    September 28, 2008
  285. john george said:

    Mike- Sorry to confuse you with the Biblical quotes. This was in answer to Paul.F.’s comment that my opinion in post #280 on God using a nation to judge another nation was not a “biblical viewpoint” in his post #289. I am using the quotes to refute his claim. Paul and I have different aproaches to the interpretation of the Bible, and unless you had been following all our discourses, it would be hard to jump into the middle and make any sense out of what we are talking about. Candidly, perhaps there is no sense to be made out of it, anyway. There are a lot of conversations going on here, and I haven’t followed all of them in real time. I have to go back and read most of them again to follow the idea being discussed.

    I don’t think my approach to the Bible fits into dispensationalism, either. It is close, perhaps, but I believe that if there is a dispensation, it began at creation and will continue until the end of the millenium. But, my opinions don’t really have any effect upon what is going to happen over the next period of time, anyway. It is just the way I interpret what I see happening. I am part of a group praying for this time period, though, and, according to James 5, “…the effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man acomplishes much.” That is why I don’t place any hope in the political process before us. I will definitely participate in it, but my hope does not rely on the outcome.

    September 28, 2008
  286. nick waterman said:

    Bright, I just want to say that I’m not taking any language away from you; I’m merely asking you to be more conscious of the meanings associated with the language you use. If the meanings are those you intend, fine. But I didn’t think that they were, and that’s why i drew your attention to them.

    I think that if you would respond to my points with a spirit of learning and openness, instead of paranoia (“treachery,” “taking my words from me” “trying to eliminate other views,’ etc) and defensiveness, there’s perhaps something to be learned here. I think Patrick and Felicity and I have all shown a willingness to take other points into consideration, and it’s offensive to suggest that any of us are on here to eliminate other people’s viewpoints.

    In an earlier post, you said “Americans should not be treating each other like enemies.” I agree, and I’m not treating you that way. I would further broaden that statement to say that we shouldn’t treat *anyone* like an enemy (at least until s/he proves they are one). Words like “tribal” “mixed breed,” etc are hardly aimed at making friends.

    September 28, 2008
  287. john george said:

    Bright & Nick- In reference to Bright’s use of the word “tribal” in her posts. I’m not sure I understand the basis for the way you are defining this term. I didn’t read the url, so perhaps it is clear there. In pretty much all the reporting about people involved in the confflicts going on in Iraq right now, there is reference to the “tribe” this person belongs to. In fact, I think I have read the term “tribal conflict” in some articles. I was not aware there was a negative connotation to this term. To me, “tribal” simply defines an orientation, as opposed to “national” or “regional”. I think I may have even used it in some of my posts. If this was offensive, please forgive me. I have lived long enough to see many new connotations put on words that were used a certain way in my youth. Many times, I found out about this new connotation in a particularly embarrasing social situation. In this, I just ask you to please be considerate of Bright in her comments. Like Nick said, I don’t think she is a racist. And, Bright, since we now know this term is offensive to some, we can use a different term, perhaps “people group?”

    September 28, 2008
  288. Patrick Enders said:

    …and in that, I’m looking at post #293. I’m not sure what your intent was elsewhere.

    September 28, 2008
  289. john george said:

    Patrick- Family is a great term. When we visited someone, I oftened refered to us and all the kids as the tribe that showed up.

    September 28, 2008
  290. Patrick Enders said:

    Perhaps you’ll agree that it’s different when one uses a term to informally refer to one’s own family?

    I’ve never heard anyone say, for example, “We’re off to visit the Johnson tribe!”

    September 28, 2008
  291. Martha Cashman said:


    You must be a well-educated individual, which is why Anne, Nick, Patrick, Felicity and others find the carelessness of your words offensive. I think they come across as flippant and insensitive, which I am pretty certain you are not and did not intend. I concur with Felicity and Nick’s request to consider the medium and your choice of words.

    I have spent almost all of my professional life working in the Middle East, North Africa and the Subcontinent (Pakistan and Afghanistan). All of these regions have long, rich histories and languages. I make the following statement based on my extensive, first-hand experience in the Middle East. It may surprise you that the average Arab, Persian, African etc., who you claim are diametrically opposite to our (?) culture, have many of the same fears, needs and wants as the average American. They suffer from terrible leadership, a general lack of education and a definite absence of opportunity.

    Are there extremists in each of these cultures — you bet there are — however, to paint each culture with the same brush demonstrates ignorance and is dangerous. Should every white American have been categorized as a dangerous terrorist post-Timothy McVeigh (the bombing of the Federal Building In Oklahoma City) and his gang of kooks?

    Crazy and dangerous people are crazy and dangerous people — no matter which culture produces them.

    You are correct, Bright, Americans should not be treating other Americans like enemies — that includes ALL Americans of ALL races. If you object to OBAMA then object to him on the issues, not because he is from Chicago or because of his race.

    Nick, Felicity and Patrick,

    Regarding the use of the word “tribal”, it is not a negative or denigrating term from my global experience. In many post-colonial countries they use tribal identity before they refer to their ‘colonial’ identity. Again, in many cases tribal identities span centuries not decades. Tribes are ancient cultural identities not a country that was drawn with an arbitrary boundary and bears a colonially assigned name.

    Regarding how we as a culture use words (just to note a few):

    Black hat — bad guy — negative
    Yellow bellied — WWII foes — negative
    Gypped me — Gypsy stealing — negative
    White hat — good guy — positive

    Thought and care should be exercised at all times when using speaking or writing. One can inadvertently use a word or phrase that is offensive to another

    September 28, 2008
  292. nick waterman said:

    I do still think that “tribe” and “tribal” are issues, but , Bright, and others, perhaps my objections are best addressed in respect to your phrase “warrior-like humans” at the end of post 293 — clearly what’s being supposed here is that some humans are more “warrior-like” (and thus your warnings about how we’d better behave towards them) than others. This is a slippery slope towards concluding that some humans are less human (or less “civilized” ) than others. This is a decidedly 19th-century idea, and one of its effects is to promote all sorts of interventions, from missionizing to political meddling to war.
    If we are not out to make enemies, steering clear of calling other people warrior-like might be a good start.

    September 28, 2008
  293. I would rather be warrior like, killing only when defending the innocent in all wars since 1870, than be a Pro Choice Democrat who advocates killing the innocent since 1970. Let’s see the score would be

    Warriors: 10, 000,000 vs Pro Choice: Abortionists 40,000,000

    September 28, 2008
  294. Anthony Pierre said:

    christans 3 billion

    September 28, 2008
  295. Anthony Pierre said:

    I guess I should say religion: 3 billion (I don’t want to single out christans, cause its all the same)

    that abortion number would be lower if the pro life crowd wanted to prevent abortions (abstinance doesn’t work so that doesnt count)

    September 28, 2008
  296. nick waterman said:

    well, gosh, perhaps it’s time to end this — we’re officially at the lowest point of human conversation.

    Bright, when challenged –not attacked — you attacked, rather than challenge.

    This response was not a response to anything actually going on in the thread, just a desperate attack. It demonstrably lowered the level of discourse. And just for the record, not all Democrats are pro-choice, just as all Republicans are not “pro-life.”

    And by the way, who’s “killing only when defending the innocent in all wars since 1870”?

    September 28, 2008
  297. Peter Millin said:


    I have discussed the 9-11 conspiracy ad nauseum on other threads and I don’t want to do it again.

    They are just that…theories.

    September 28, 2008
  298. john george said:

    When Griff started this thread, he had this comment at the bottom: “…Discussion the presidential election race with your Northfield area fellow citizens here. (Previous blog post: DNC and the RNC: the good, the bad, the ugly has 365 comments.)…” Well, after another 321 comments, we still have the good, the bad and the ugly. I’m not sure what all this indicates- maybe, some things never change? I think I can make one observation about it, though. I don’t think anyone has changed anyone else’s mind. My hope would be that we could at least come to understand where different people come from and allow them that perspective. Another prediction I think I can confidently make is that no matter who is the president-elect on Nov. 5, this country will continue on. Now, depending on what we do with the debacle on Wall Street…. I guess that is another thread.

    September 28, 2008
  299. Martha Cashman said:

    Right you are, John. I made the same observation to Sam Donaldson when ABC flocked to Pakistan to cover the change of government from Zia al Hauq to Benazir Bhutto. The real story of any country is how its people choose to treat each other and live. We all adapt to the politics at the national level. The citizens and the private sector adjust.

    I think the Jamaicans have it right when the refer to ‘politics’ as “POLYTRICKS”!

    September 28, 2008
  300. Anthony Pierre said:

    good post john

    September 28, 2008
  301. Paul Fried said:

    JohnG: Thanks for your list in #297. And I’d like the F2F. But notice that your list is all Old Testament. Christians have built into their New Testament scripture and understanding of Jesus the idea that earlier ages were not ready for the truths in the form in which they were incarnate in Jesus and his teachings. But I’m sure we’d keep going ’round and ’round on this (which is thread drift, after all).

    September 29, 2008
  302. Paul Fried said:

    Peter: In 296, you say that it’s only now that we imagine planes being used as missiles, but that pre-9-11, they didn’t imagine it. This is simply false and has been well-documented. A few highlights:

    WWII – Kamakazie suicide pilots

    Same era: Plane crashed (accidentally, it seems) into Empire State Bldng.

    Nixon administration: A soldier steals a helicopter and, after various tricks near the White House, lands by the White House.

    Clinton Administration: Small private plane is crashed on White House property.

    Same era: Plane is landed near Kremlin

    In France, there was an effort to crash a plane into the Eifel tower.

    The military was (before 9-11) running tests involving crashes of airplanes into buildings so that they could be prepared for that kind of scenario. In fact, one was scheduled for 9-11-01:

    This means they imagined it. That’s why they had anti-aircraft guns on top of some government buildings in Washington, and sometimes, other places where the president stayed.

    But this is wonkish kind of knowledge that insiders and avid readers are aware of, but that the average person in the public doesn’t know, so the claim that it wasn’t imagined was far more a PR-spin choice than a statement of fact.

    I’m sorry, Peter, but your assumption is simply wrong. You’re entitled to opinion, but facts are facts.

    September 29, 2008
  303. Martha, I know that the Middle Eastern countries have had tribes for more than decades, but I cannot readily prove that so I cut it back to something I can prove, but is still true. There have been tribes for decades AND centuries…look up the Silk Road.

    Look, uh uh uh, Obama is not from Chicago. He worked there and is a junior senator from Illinois. He now lives in a million dollar mansion paid for by his book or books. ( I wish I could get 4.2 million dollar book deal, too. ) But I am from Chicago, and I know people who know him from his community organizing days. SO what?

    And Martha, seeing as how you have, like some of the others, have many, many preconceived notions on how to tell me what I meant, I won’t bother to explain what I meant by diametrically opposed, but I assure you it had nothing to do with your own explanation.

    Again I am not against Obama for his genetic inheritance. I am against him because of how the Democrats have been acting since he started running, more than anything.

    I have been practicing what the guidelines of this community newsletter say, we are not writing books here, we are supposed to be who we are and as such, I don’t feel it’s appropriate to dissect every word, or to assume that the person who doesn’t believe as you do is making outrageous statements.

    And because of the real lack of congeniality and good humor around here, I’m gone. You all can rejoice and revel in it. I have never gotten involved in politics in a social way before and I feel it has been mostly but not completely a waste of my good time.

    I still have never heard any of your recommendations, was told to google Obama, or go to his site, cuz you are all afraid that by the time I read something about him that you said, he’ll change his stance again. Well, you HOPED for CHANGE and you might get it.

    September 29, 2008
  304. john george said:

    Paul F. Your post #325, you are welcome. As far as Old and New Testaments, this is a format relative to the birth of Jesus. I embrace the scriptures as contiguous. That is another difference in our approaches.Lets try for coffee some time. I am around Mondays & Tuesdays. I’m in the phone book, too, if you want to give me a call.

    September 29, 2008
  305. nick waterman said:

    martha, my point was not that there are not “tribes” but rather that people employing the word “tribe” or “tribal” are often trying to say something quite apart from a use of the word to denote particular cultural units.

    Bright, I give up. Several people have written thoughtful responses to you, disagreeing with you but treating you with respect and dignity. In response you have leveled accusations at us. Words matter. “Dissecting” them is only necessary when their meaning is ambiguous, which it often is if the post is stream-of-consciousness and meanders from topic to topic. It doesn’t seem possible to have a principled disagreement with you without being attacked, mostly in a kitchen-sink manner with abortion, chicago etc in the mix.

    For the zillionth time I DO NOT care who you vote for!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I am not reacting to your words on the basis of a supposed political difference, I am reacting to your words as a human being sharing your earth.

    September 29, 2008
  306. Felicity Enders said:

    John G (#322) that’s an excellent point. We’ve gotten far off topic. While the discussion in many ways reflects some pretty entrenched differences (at the national level as well as the individual level), perhaps we can still find some common ground.

    What if we go back to saying things like “I’m voting for _________ because….” This would be particularly helpful if links to supporting materials are included.

    September 29, 2008
  307. Peter Millin said:


    From your own source…??
    However, CIA Director George Tenet claims that none of the warnings specifically indicates terrorists plan to fly hijacked commercial aircraft into buildings in the US. [New York Times, 4/4/2004]
    Your source also indicated that Bill Clinton was warned as early as 1998. Which just proofs my point.

    It wasn’t the mistake of a single person or agency. It was our own arrogance and the denial that an act like this could happen on our own soil.

    To squarely blaming on Bush is nothing more then partisan hackery….IMHO.

    September 29, 2008
  308. john george said:

    Felicity- That is a great idea, and I think there are many that have done that in this stream. But, I doubt that would necessarily ward off some of the attacks and stream drifts. When we are able to attach a url, it at least gives others a chance to see on what we base an opinion without each of us having to write a book. That doesn’t mean that everyone will agree with the validity of a source or the particular interpretation of a source. Many of the links I have read are not just inert observations. Rather, they are already someone else’s interpretation of the observations. Facts in themselves are not necessarily action points. We all must interpret what we observe in our environment, and then we act out of that interpretation. I just assume that not everyone will agree with me or my opinions. My hope, through these types of discussions, is to come to some understanding of how and why we interpret the same observations differently. Understanding does not necessarily imply agreement, but I believe it does build relationship. That is a priority for me, but that’s just me.

    September 29, 2008
  309. Felicity Enders said:

    I agree, John. But to clarify, I meant to specify why one would vote FOR a particular candidate rather than against the other. Bright has asked for that a couple of times now. A few people have already done this, but I think it might behoove us to try again. In that spirit…

    September 29, 2008
  310. Felicity Enders said:

    I’m voting for Senator Obama because…

    He listens to people
    Not only does he espouse a bottom-up campaign, he used that idea to develop the Democratic party platform. The federal government hasn’t listened to the people in a long time – at least during a non-election year.

    I want things to be done in a new way
    I see this as critical, since many things at the federal level can’t be changed without bottom-up reconstruction. For me, this makes it an advantage that Obama hasn’t been in Washington long. For example, I’m betting that his record on improving transparency in government (link) with the goal of reforming lobbyist influence will continue into the Obama administration. Even greater changes will be needed to accomplish the following:

    Energy reform
    I think this is the greatest task ahead, and we have only about 25 years to completely change energy consumption in the world. Obama’s plan is at link. This includes a variety of industries as well as updating our infrastructure to handle the changes. There’s also a nice touch about offering returning veterans the new energy jobs – that could forestall a problem for returning vets. Fuel efficiency standards (for new buildings as well as cars) and plug-in electric vehicles are also included. I am particularly pleased that corn ethanol is NOT listed in the biofuels section – I’m hoping that means the Obama team has read the reports of the fuel-to-develop vs fuel-produced ratio for corn ethanol. Some things I’m not so excited about are the inclusion of “clean coal” and nuclear energy.

    Health care reform
    We need a fundamental shift in the way we offer healthcare. Obama’s plan is at link. It doesn’t go as far as I want (ie single-payer universal healthcare) but it’s certainly better than what we have now.

    War in Iraq
    I see the need to end the war not only for ethical reasons, but also financial. We can’t possibly achieve the goals I want without plugging the flow of money to outside our borders. We need to focus on domestic concerns. I am concerned about a potential increase in spending in Afghanistan, but I see that as old business that President Bush should have taken care of but didn’t.

    Progressive Taxes
    Last but certainly not least, I’m a strong believer in a progressive tax code. I think people who make more money should pay taxes at a higher rate. Everyone benefits from strong government (ie, good schools, good transportation, energy infrastructure, healthcare (in an ideal world), etc. Not only does this mean ending the Bush tax cuts, but also closing the loopholes that have let corporations and extremely wealthy individuals get away without paying the stipulated amount (link). To be clear, for most Americans (95% of working families) the federal tax burden would be lower under the Obama plan than it is now. I expect that percentage would be somewhat lower in Northfield, though.

    September 29, 2008
  311. Mike Zenner said:


    I would have to say that Obama’s energy plan is woefully lacking! 150 billion over 10 years is next to nothing.

    That’s how much the empire spends on Iraq every year, which of coarse Obama and Biden have no intention of giving up on.

    If they were serious about energy reform the would be shooting for 15 Trillion which is what it is going to take!

    September 29, 2008
  312. Peter Millin said:

    McBama are just more of the same.


    I have bad news for you and Obama (or McCain). We are 5 trillion dollars in debt.. We finally have reached the breaking point where the sins of th past will come to haunt us.
    We haven’t had a sound fiscal policy since Carter. EVERY president has increased the national debt since.

    Obama wants 800 Billion in new spending and McCain wants 600 Billion. Despite some of the accounting gimmicks proposed by both there is simply not enough money to pay for it.

    We also better start to create a serious energy policy. Both candidates propose policies that will end up costing us more. Money that most people don’t have.

    Healthcare if not managed right will end up being another large entitlement program just like social security will be in another 10 years.

    We are being told to live within our means, are we going to demand the same from our government?
    Neither Obama or McCain have addressed this issues. All they do is just tell us what we want to hear not what we need to hear.

    September 29, 2008
  313. Felicity Enders said:

    Mike, I agree I’d like to see more. However, I consider this far better than the alternative.

    September 29, 2008
  314. Peter, according to a story on NPR this morning, the (D) party in Ohio is doing everything it can to bring new voters to the polls. Unfortunately for your call for fiscal conservativism, they appear to be focusing on people who have absolutely no incentive to want to keep taxes and spending low, as they are rounding up voters at bars and homeless shelters. I believe we have reached a tipping point and that future elections are going to continue to be about spending more and balancing less. The people have found the keys to the treasury in the ballot box, and out republic is probably going to fail due to monetary policies that reflect that fact. We might have had a chance had we passed some sort of balanced budget amendment back when we had the chance.

    October 1, 2008
  315. Anthony Pierre said:

    I hope you aren’t blaming homeless people and people at bars for the financial crisis. The homeless ones in particular were let out of mental institutions by your buddy Ronald Reagan under the guise of small govt.

    Small govt, to me, means squish the small guy and make the big guy as rich as we can. In the last 8 years we have seen how that works.

    October 1, 2008
  316. john george said:

    Anthony- I can’t speak for Bruce, but my take on this is that the Dems can only win by turning out people who do not have any skin in the game. Jerold Friedman has a good quote from Baron Mccauley in the “Financial Crisis” thread.

    October 1, 2008
  317. Felicity, seeinga s how everyone is playing nice again, I’ll comment on your input, and please note, it is not argument in opposition at all to the idea.

    Felciity said:

    There’s also a nice touch about offering returning veterans the new energy jobs – that could forestall a problem for returning vets.

    This is a good idea, but since I can remember, we have held jobs for the returning military. There are many sectors of the job market that are ideally suited for men who have trained in computers, and many other jobs.
    And we have always given first consideration to returning military. See

    October 1, 2008
  318. Anthony Pierre said:

    john: if you are american you have a stake in the game. and you have a right to vote.

    October 1, 2008
  319. Jane Moline said:

    Bruce: The alternative to the Democrates is the Republicans–who have given deficit spending a new meaning.

    Constantly bashing Democrats by claiming they will raise taxes and spend like crazy is a ploy by Republicans to distract from what they have been doing–cutting taxes for their rich friends and spending money like crazy by giving it to their corrupt war contractor friends or their currupt oil company friends or their polluting industry friends.

    The Democrat’s platform is not raise taxes and spend like crazy–Obama has a specific plan to give tax breaks to most Americans–those that make less than $250,000–while taking away the tax breaks for wealthy taxpayers who make more than $250,000–so they can start kicking in their fair share.

    It is really not constructive to continue claiming what the other guy is going to do–how about telling me what Republicans are for? Because we have had 8 years of Repbulican rule–that has included fiscal irresponsibility which is costing us trillions of dollars, an illegal war that is costing us trillions of dollars–and tax benefits for big oil and big pharmacuetical companies and tax breaks for the hedge fund managers that have cost us a fortune.

    So, if the Repulicans are going to change–I want some proof that they know what they have been doing wrong for 8 years. No fair telling me how it is really Bill Clinton’s or Nancy Pelosi’s fault. My question is, do the Republicans recognizes their folly –can they admit their mistakes? If not, how can they possibly change? If they can’t change, throw the bums out–we need good, serious people in Washington who want to help this country–not a bunch of politicians who’s claim to election success is how much mud they sling.

    October 1, 2008
  320. Patrick Enders said:

    Bruce wrote,

    the (D) party in Ohio is doing everything it can to bring new voters to the polls. Unfortunately for your call for fiscal conservativism, they appear to be focusing on people who have absolutely no incentive to want to keep taxes and spending low, as they are rounding up voters at bars and homeless shelters.

    Bruce, would you prefer that people who frequent bars and homeless shelters did not vote?

    I’m glad to see that someone is encouraging every citizen to exercise his or her constitutional right (duty, even) to vote.

    October 1, 2008
  321. john george said:

    Jane- Just for clarification, it is the Congress that sets regulatory standards, not the president. Seems to me that the Congress has been under Democratic control for quite a few years, now. I know you and I will never see eye to eye on how things should be run, but I’m not sure that blaming all the failures of the last eight years onto the Republicans is necessarily accurate. That is just my opinion. I also think that the sooner we approach these problems as a whole nation, not partisan, the sooner we will be able to get some things resolved. The idea that all the rich cats vote Republican and all the poor common people vote Democratic is not an accurate assessment, either, in my opinion.

    October 1, 2008
  322. Paul Zorn said:


    In #346 you wrote:

    Seems to me that the Congress has been under Democratic control for quite a few years, now. … I’m not sure that blaming all the failures of the last eight years onto the Republicans is necessarily accurate.

    Blaming *everything* on Republicans may be overdoing it, but your premise is a bit skewed: In fact, the Republicans controlled the House for 12 of the last 14 years (as far back as I checked), and they controlled the Senate for 11 of those years.

    October 1, 2008
  323. Paul Zorn said:

    Bruce M.,

    In 339, you wrote:

    … according to a story on NPR this morning, the (D) party in Ohio is doing everything it can to bring new voters to the polls. … they appear to be focusing on people who have absolutely no incentive to want to keep taxes and spending low, as they are rounding up voters at bars and homeless shelters.

    Just to be clear, Bruce, what are you suggesting about the luckless inmates of homeless shelters and bars? Should they *not* be encouraged to vote? (I’m a bit sensitive on the subject as I’ve been seen, more than once, at the Cow.)

    Then you wrote:

    I believe we have reached a tipping point and that future elections are going to continue to be about spending more and balancing less. The people have found the keys to the treasury in the ballot box, and our republic is probably going to fail due to monetary policies that reflect that fact. We might have had a chance had we passed some sort of balanced budget amendment back when we had the chance.

    Yes, of course we should account honestly for what we want, and pay for it. But which “people” do you see as having found the keys to the vault in the ballot box? Are we still talking about the homeless and the barflies? Seems to me it was mainly much fatter cats who — all that talk about rugged individualism and free markets notwithstanding — mainly socialized risk and privatized profits in the current economic meltdown.

    October 1, 2008
  324. Bruce: This might be a stretch, or it might not be. If the Dems are seeking to register voters at the homeless shelters and bars, has anyone paused to think about how the homeless and bar flies arrived at their predicament? The Dems might be focused on the disenfranchised, which would be very savvy of them to find people who lost their house or livelihood due to prevailing U.S. economics.

    October 2, 2008
  325. john george said:

    Paul Z. & Jerold- Yep to both your comments. My point is that the sentiment expressed in Jane’s post and others on this thread seems to suggest that if the Dems could just get into power, all these problems would be eliminated. I don’t agree with that sentiment. I think it was Lyndon Johnson that began the war on poverty. Talk about a long war, we are still fighting this, and it has been through both party’s tenure. The other thing I might point out is that the Democratic or Republican majorities in Congress over the last few decades has only been by 1 or 2 percent. This may be a simple majority, but in practical terms of actually getting legislation past a veto, it is not possible without cooperation between the parties. I am more inclined to lean Republican for many reasons, but I don’t hate all the Democratic party’s planks. The hatred and bitternes that comes through both sides is, in my opinion, detrimental to the health of the nation.

    October 2, 2008
  326. Felicity Enders said:

    Bright, I agree that people have been putting vets to the front of the line (properly) for some time. However, I’m concerned that with the economy tanking, that may (MAY) not help. I don’t want any sort of repeat of Vietnam. I see our future growth in alternative energy as the best set of new jobs because they’re in a new sector (at least for the scale we need).

    October 2, 2008
  327. Barry Cipra said:

    John George writes:

    “the Democratic or Republican majorities in Congress over the last few decades has only been by 1 or 2 percent.”

    That implies the Senate has always (meaning over the last few decades) been split 51-49 and the House by at most 222-213. Without even checking, I’m going to guess that that has rarely been the case. John’s point may be perfectly valid, but there’s no need to bolster it with made-up numbers.

    October 2, 2008
  328. Jane Moline said:

    John George–Ok, you lean Republican–WHY? I never said that the Dems were going to fix everything–just that they will be better at fixing what is a Republican mess–I sincerely cannot understand how anyone can be for John McCain–one of the Keating Five, with the failure of Republican economic policies, foreign relations policies, energy policies, tax policies–need I go on?

    The partisanship of the Republicans–starting with Newt Gingrich’s plan to cut Democrats out of the process and the Karl Rovian/George Bush to refuse cooperation–has led to an ineffective congress and a rogue, unprincipaled president who believes he is above the law. I don’t want to argue about Bush’s incompetence –I want to talk about how anyone thinks McCain, with his pin-head VP choice–could possibly make any kind of a good leader.

    The McCain ads continually bash Obama and make general claims that we should be very afraid of “tax and spend” Democrats with no discussion of if the Republicans know what they have done wrong and understand what they would have to do to be better leaders than Bush.

    October 2, 2008
  329. Anthony Pierre said:

    jane, I can probably tell you why john leans republican. Social issues. A lot of the time social issues trump every other issue. whether it is right or wrong, it is where a lot of people make their vote.

    October 2, 2008
  330. Jane Moline said:

    Anthony: Republicans get a D- in social issues-causing this economic crisis increases proverty level, failure to rein in pharmaceuticals and health insurance–failure to recognize the problems caused by global warming-rabidly supporting a war that is destroying one country and bankrupting us, while killing people, and failing to provide assistance where genocide is occuring, while tacitly giving Russia the nod to imperialistic practices in Georgia–actually, the Republicans get an F.

    What that really says is the Republican voter is voting for the LIES of their leaders even though the actions of their leaders are another story.

    Republicans pander to the social issues of “Joe six-pack” while lining their own pockets and pockets of their big-oil, big pharmaceutical friends.

    Where would we be today if the Republicans had successfully privatized Social Security? Their policies make good sound bytes but bad bad bad disastorous policy. Tell me something good about Republcans–not what you think they should be for–what they have actually done!

    October 2, 2008
  331. Anthony Pierre said:

    jane, I agree with you, but thats not what the religious right sees.

    Well they get an A+ for the christian right who loves to prevent gays from marrying and also love to ban abortions and also love to lock down the boarders to mexicans. Germans like peter are alright.

    October 2, 2008
  332. Anthony Pierre said:

    BTW, I know john is a good dude. The above statement is not meant to be associated with john in any way.

    October 2, 2008
  333. Holly Cairns said:

    Why doesn’t the religious right feel weird about the name “McCain?” That means “son of Cain.” If I were a Bible literalist, I’d be worried about that.

    Seriously, I think Anthony has the right idea about the social issues being a leading factor in voting trends. Democrats need to be better at describing what they want/ want to do.

    October 2, 2008
  334. Jane Moline said:

    Holly: I still think what Anthony is saying is that the religious right will vote Republican even if it is against their religious beliefs because they THINK that the Repulicans are really going to outlaw abortion and get the end of days going in Israel–I don’t think this is a matter of convincing them of what the Democrats stand for–they have a religious belief–that in spite of Republican actions to the contrary–they will get their religion legislated through the Republicans.

    I don’t think that is how the Democrats are articulating that they are for FAIRER treatment of all citizens, fair application of tax laws, safe work and fair wages, do our best to educate our children and keep our neighborhoods safe, good and safe public infrastructure, energy policies that work and a dedication to a greener environment. Republicans still claim that we are “Tax and spend” Democrats–

    So what are the Republicans standing for? Tax breaks for the rich, expensive, unsustainable spending to shift wealth to the wealthy? Because that is what they have given us. Spend and spend and spend until we are broke Republicans. Republicans have made us unsafer economically, unsafe internationally, and unsafe in our environment.

    October 2, 2008
  335. Peter Millin said:

    In about twenty years from today the US will be more like Europe.

    1) 50% tax rate fro everybody
    2) Limited access to health care
    3) Gasoline at $ 10 per gallon
    4) reduced disposable income
    5) Higher unemployment rate
    6) GDP increase of less then 1% per quarter
    7) Government involvement in almost all aspects of our lives
    8) The rich will still be rich
    9) And the poor still be poor
    10) No free choice in pursuit of college degrees.
    11) Most retirees at the edge of poverty

    Sounds good to me.or?

    October 2, 2008
  336. Patrick Enders said:

    Peter wrote,

    In about twenty years from today the US will be more like Europe.

    1) 50% tax rate fro everybody
    2) Limited access to health care
    3) Gasoline at $ 10 per gallon
    4) reduced disposable income
    5) Higher unemployment rate
    6) GDP increase of less then 1% per quarter
    7) Government involvement in almost all aspects of our lives…

    Peter, people have been ringing that same alarm bell for over 30 years. It’s didn’t come true then, and there’s no reason to think it’ll be any more true now.

    Heck, just a couple years ago, there was all that talk about a ‘permanent Republican majority’ and all that would’ve come with it.

    Relax and enjoy life a little. In a few years, things’ll swing back your way. As long as we all pay attention and stay involved, the future will work out just fine.

    October 2, 2008
  337. Patrick Enders said:

    Aother encouraging sign that the Democrats are leaving no stone unturned in its effort to reach all eligible voters:

    Obama campaign reaches out to deaf community

    Dialing number after number, Martha Eisenhour sat at a single table working her way through a phone list of unreachable people that most campaigns might have abandoned.

    But Eisenhour understands what most people don’t – that sometimes there are people on the other end of that line….

    October 2, 2008
  338. Barry Cipra said:

    Peter Milin predicts in 20 years the US will be like Europe, with a 50% tax rate, $10/gal gas, and GDP growth less than 1% per quarter.

    Once again (cf my posting #352) we have an argument bolstered with made-up numbers. As crystal-ball predictions, that’s OK, but to the extent Peter is implying this is the way Europe already is, it’s just bugbear misdirection.

    The Wikipedia entry for Tax Rates of Europe does indeed show some 50% entries for personal income tax (whatever 50% means — i.e., top marginal rate, or total tax burden?), but it’s boldly headlined with a warning that “the factual accuracy of this article is disputed.”

    In 20 years we’ll probably be looking back fondly to the days of $10 per gallon gasoline. At the moment, the price in Europe seems to be around $8/gal, with the Netherlands at $9 — see the fascinating chart at

    As for the GDP growth rate, one should keep in mind that even when rates are reported as “growth in such-and-so a quarter,” the number given is usually an *annual* rate, so I’ll assume that’s what Peter means when he writes “1% per quarter” — if not, he’s arguing that anything less than 4% annual growth is poor performance, which I believe most economists would dispute. Here are a couple of nice sites that a fairly nice picture of real (i.e., inflation-adjusted) GDP growth:

    According to the latter of these, the growth rate for the EU over the last decade has ranged from 2 to 4%, while that of the US has ranged from 2.5 to 5%, with the exception of 2004 for the EU and 2002 for the US. That’s actually a significant difference, but one can hardly point to the EU’s numbers as indicators of a struggling economy.

    October 2, 2008
  339. john george said:

    Anthony- Thanks for the vote of confidence. I know you and I come from different perspectives, but I think you are a person I could agree to live in the same town with. Same with Patrick, Jerold, et., al.

    Jane & others- There are a number of reasons I don’t support the Democratic ticket. Basically, philosophically, I do not believe in a large central government. Unfortunately, that is what we have, and it seems to be growing. I think Baron Mccauley’s perspective is applicable here. I am more inclined toward a stronger state and local level government since we would be dealing with people we actually know and who are more familiar with our specific predicament. I don’t mind paying taxes to keep up the infrastructure, but I object to my taxes being used to perpetuate a dependence upon government programs forever.

    There are social aspects to my position, also. I feel the DFL has moved a long way away from its farmer/labor roots. In fact, there are many issues the DFL supports anymore that have nothing to do with farmers or laborers that, according to some I have talked to, they feel disenfranchised. In my opinion, much of this has come from the dominance of intellectuals in the higher education field. So many of the programs proposed by the DFL are idealistic and, IMHO, unrealistically applicable to the day to day life of many people. I have a real problem with Al Gore, who seems to be the hero of the Dems. He is supposed to be all about “living green”, but he does this in a 10,000 sq. ft. house that uses the same amount of energy as some small towns. He supposedly has no “carbon footprint” because he uses his wealth to buy energy credits. What hypocritical hogwash! This man no more saves energy than the man on the moon. He just uses his wealth to buy and justify his lifestyle. How is he any different than any of the corporate CEOs that have extracted obscene personal wealth from the economy? This is just one example of, what I feel, is a two-faced energy program. If this is the man who is supposed to be the example of the anti-global warming, energy consumption liberal ideals that I am supposed to follow, then I say no-way.

    I think it is interesting who Al Gore edged out of the 2007 Nobel Peace prize. It was a lady, Irene Sendler, who rescued over 2500 Jews from the Nazi regime in WWII. This book and movie supposedly “prove” that man has brought on his own demise by his own lifestyle, which, by the way, Mr. Gore continues to live. I remember when Carl Sagan accused everyone of bringing on the next ice age because we were adding so much unburned hydrocarbon polutants to the atmosphere that it would soon block out the sun. Well, we cleaned up the auto engines and smoke stacks, and now, instead of becoming colder, the earth is warming up. I just don’t believe the conclusions arrived at from the science. Man’s total contribution of CO2 is approx. 3.7%. This is supposed to cause all this? Rotting plant matter alone contributes over 20% of the CO2 in the atmosphere, and water vapor absorbs just as much heat as CO2. The science is there, but the interpretation of it is incorrect, IMHO. I think this is the inconvenient truth the liberal science elite is overlooking.

    Another problem I have is with the sanitation of baby killing by calling it “choice”. I have stated before how the decision of Roe vs. Wade was promised to not be used as a means of convenient birth control. It has been twisted around to be just that. This is all justified by the opinions, again, of higher educated “experts” whose only purpose is to refute what was believed to be wrong for the history of this nation up until 1970. I have heard no justification of this other than it is the woman’s “right” to kill her baby if she thinks it will be inconvenient to her. Again, these are my opinions.

    As far as Gay rights, I have no problem with them living in this country/state/city. They are no threat to me or my family or my marriage. The issue I have is that I feel I am being threatened in my right to believe what I read in God’s word about the lifestyle. My Lutheran pastor brother-in-law summed it up very well. He said that he has no problem saying this is part of the fallen man, or allowing people to minister with the acknowlegement that this is part of the fallen nature. What he, and I, have a problem with, Biblically, is saying this is part of the redeemed new nature. Chuck Colson described it this way. He said that the Gay community does not want his permission to live that way. They want his praise. That will just never happen. The redefinition of “tolerance” has gone to far, IMHO.

    I know I may have alienated many of you here, and I do not wish to do that. I am confident in my convictions, and I reserve the right to hold them and discuss them. I do not do this to try to convert or convince anyone to be just like I am. I don’t have that type of power. If someone wants to discuss them with me, I am more than willing to open up to them, but, just as I try not to condemn anyone who believes differently than I, I would appreciate being afforded the same consideration.

    October 2, 2008
  340. Anthony Pierre said:

    the baron Mccauley quote already rings true. What did Bush and is cronies do since 2000? Pretty voted to make themselves richer. Oil companies/Banks etc.


    “dominance of intellectuals in the higher education field”

    who do you want dominating higher education?

    October 2, 2008
  341. John G.: I like that you reveal your soul among like thinkers and among critics. It’s refreshing to see that candor.

    While looking through your list, I see that we have substantial differences, I agree that I welcome calling you my neighbor. I don’t desire a community of like minds, but a community where we can have different opinions without fear.

    I have found brilliant ideas in many texts including the Bible. I do what I can to incorporate brilliant ideas from whatever source with somewhat of a smorgasbord approach, since sometimes one has to sort through a great deal of nonsense to find brilliance. Thoreau, Gandhi, Kant, Rand, Nietzsche, there are so many who have contributed great ideas that I have wandered far from referencing only one source.

    This quote from Robert Ingersoll is a gem of constant inspiration. (Ingersoll was an officer in the U.S. Civil War.) “My creed is that; Happiness is the only good. The place to be happy is here. The time to be happy is now. The way to be happy is to make others so.”

    October 2, 2008
  342. john george said:

    Jerold- Thanks for the encouragement. I think it is always easier to point out how we each differ from one another rather than to look for ways we could live together in harmony. I love your comment, “…a community where we can have different opinions without fear…” My sentiments, also. I can only be what I believe, as can you only be what you believe. I like that quote you had from Ingersol, “…The way to be happy is to make others so.” Sounds a lot like , “You will reap what you sow,”, doesn’t it? There are, I believe, many more things we as humans have in common if we are just willing to open up to both share and listen. Thanks for the oportunity.

    Oh, there are other things I believe that lean me toward the Republican side, but I think I’ve started enough here.

    October 2, 2008
  343. Peter Millin said:

    Barry and Patrick with all due respect both of you are wrong. Before my mom retired about 12 years ago, over half of her paycheck was taken by the government. At the time this included a 7% “solidaritaets zuschlag” which was a tax raised to support the former east Germany. This tax might be gone by now, but I really don’t know. Even if it is gone that still leaves a whopping 44% of paycheck deduction.
    Part of it is for healthcare, which is your largest deduction. Although this particular doesn’t go direct to government, it is still mandatory.
    BTW my mom was a waitress, certainly not white collar.

    These taxes and deductions do not include a 20% VAT or gasoline tax, car tax, transportation tax etc..etc.

    How come if Europe is buying the same crude that we do, but their gasoline is two or three times as much as ours..anyone..anyone? Right it is taxes what makes gasoline that high.

    There is nothing we should imitate from Europe, there is nothing they do I like..that’s why I moved and stayed here.

    Kind of ironic that we fought against English tyranny but now are striving to copy them.

    About twenty five years ago the SPD (German socialist party) came in to power by merging with the Green Party. The result was decline in German work ethics, a total conversion to socialism and a deteriorating society and a steady increase in crime.

    A lot of people prefer to stay on unemployment benefits or other government benefits and moonlight. That way they avoid paying taxes and still maintain their benefits.
    Government sponsored retirement plans have been in trouble almost from the get go and are continuing to drain tax coffers.

    Nirvana? I don’t think so.

    October 2, 2008
  344. john george said:

    Anthony- This is what Mccauley said that I was refering to, “…A democracy cannot survive as a permanent form of government. It can last only until its citizens discover that they can vote themselves largesse from the public treasury…” The way I interpret his comment is that the citizenry is voting to pocket for themselves part of the public treasury that is collected through taxes. I may be wrong on that, but it seems there are many, especially in the Democratic party, who have pushed for entitlements out of the treasury without actually working to earn them. The oil companies and bankers have figured out how to get money out of everyone’s pockets without having to go through the government, through windfall profits on the oil futures market and voodoo financing with the bankers. I see a differnce, here, but I think both motivations are based in greed and trying to get something for nothing.

    October 2, 2008
  345. Anthony Pierre said:

    john, I read the quote before I responded last time, this is what I interpret.

    correct me if I am wrong, but didn’t the last 8 years increase tax cuts on oil companies that legislature in the pocket of big oil passed?

    also, deregulation of the banking system in 1999 was also legislated. Ya, I almost forgot about the 700billion that went into the pockets of the banks.

    and dude, welfare and public help are small potatoes compared to the 2 things I just cited.

    October 2, 2008
  346. Paul Zorn said:

    John G,

    Thanks for your posting #364. It helps me understand your perspective on the election, and a lot else. I don’t expect to convince you of anything, as you haven’t convinced me. But since you’ve offered a lot of thoughts, perhaps it’s fair to offer some reactions to them.

    About Al Gore you suggested, for example, that in some way he “edged out” another deserving candidate for the Nobel, and that you found this “interesting”. What are you suggesting? That Gore somehow cooked the Nobel books? To my knowledge candidates are not involved in the prize selection.

    You seem to feel, too, that Gore’s credibility on environmental issues is compromised by his personal lifestyle. Fair enough, but does it follow, to you, that Gore is wrong on the scientific substance of global warming? Isn’t it possible that he’s a both a fat cat and right on the science?

    You mentioned, too, some supposedly science-based reservations about global-warming. Again, fair enough, but do you take seriously the fact that the overwhelming consensus among serious scientists is that global warming is real, problematic, and materially affected by human activity? (Jeez, even Sarah Palin believes this, or says she does!) I don’t think either of us is an expert in climatology; given that situation, it seems sensible to take the preponderance of scientific opinion into account.

    And then you wrote:

    As far as Gay rights, I have no problem with them living in this country/state/city. They are no threat to me or my family or my marriage. The issue I have is that I feel I am being threatened in my right to believe what I read in God’s word about the lifestyle. … [stuff snipped] …

    Here I’m baffled: What threat do you see to your right to *believe* anything? Do you see others’ disagreement with your views as a threat? What exactly do you fear?

    And then you wrote:

    Chuck Colson described it this way. He said that the Gay community does not want his permission to live that way. They want his praise. …

    Chuck Colson is probably right that gays don’t look for his permission — on any subject. But the idea that gays, as a group, want Colson’s praise seems absurd. Is there evidence for this view?

    October 2, 2008
  347. Patrick Enders said:

    Peter wrote,

    Barry and Patrick with all due respect both of you are wrong….

    Peter, I took no stand on what Europe is like – I haven’t been there yet. I question the likelihood of the future you fear ever coming to pass.

    October 2, 2008
  348. Peter Millin said:

    Anthony check your numbers.

    Entitlements are the second biggest budget item, soon to be first.

    October 3, 2008
  349. john george said:

    Paul Z. Thanks for your response. I have to get serious at work, today, but I will get back to you tonight.

    October 3, 2008
  350. nick waterman said:

    Peter, isn’t part of the reason for those terribly high gas taxes in Europe that they are used to subsidize the remarkably cheap and remarkably efficient and remarkably omnipresent mass transportation? Every time I’ve been in Europe it’s been a breeze catching a train to connect to a tram or bus to land a block or two from where i want to be. Contrast that here, with our trains to nowhere, available once a day at top cost, connecting to bus systems that don’t exist. In Minneapolis, for example, the bus route covers about half what it used to 20 years ago.

    It’s a bit apples and oranges doing these comparisons. Here’s what would make it more meaningful, I think. Let’s take a waitress, a factory worker, and a busness owner and compare across countries: housing, health care, access to education, security of retirement, and whatever else people think is meaningful. I think the difference has much more to do with being nickled and dimed as opposed to dollared or euroed; in the end I am not so sure we pay that much less than Europeans for how much less we get.

    October 3, 2008
  351. Peter Millin said:

    You are right about the public transportation system it is very efficient, but also very expensive.
    German trains have been running deficits for a long time. Finally government has relinquished control and made them semi private. While they are not running in the red anymore, the fares have gone up dramatically.

    So not only do you pay high gas taxes to support the system, now you have to pay a hefty fare as well.

    My disposable income in the US is much higher, plus I own a home and have two cars. Better health care and a much higher standard of living.

    That’s about the only comparison I can offer. It might be anecdotal but it’s the truth.

    October 3, 2008
  352. Anthony Pierre said:


    were you doing the same job in Germany as you are now?

    October 3, 2008
  353. nick waterman said:

    Peter, thanks for that specific information, I think it’s helpful. At the risk of being branded a socialist, this is the point that comes to mind after reading it:

    are we better off with a system where everyone has at least adequate health care and adequate transportation, etc., and where presumably those with more money can buy extras, or better off with one where those with money get good or very good health care, and those without money get none, and pretty much the same deal for transportation, etc. Here your disposable income is higher; mine is too. Until it gets spent for college educations, health crises, and so on.

    I agree this stuff is not black and white, but I would just submit that our system simply hides many costs which are not hidden in others, thereby making it easy to make a false comparison. So for me (maybe there’s a book that does this, who knows?) I would love to see a sort of cradle to grave accounting about where you really make out better, once you factor in the true aspects of living.

    October 3, 2008
  354. Peter Millin said:

    I am not proclaiming that the US health care system is not in need of improvement, but to go from here to national health care is extreme.

    England has already learned the hard way that a national healthcare system is not sustainable on its own. A few years back they have opened the door to let some parts be taken over by the private sector in order to cut cost. France and Germany are now taking a closer look at the English model.
    We should be smart enough to learn from other countries mistakes. For some of them we only have to look as far as Canada.

    There has to be a monetary buy in from people so they realize that health care is expensive and not free. I can’t tell you how many people in Europe and Canada think that they have “free” health care.
    I think we all know what happens when we perceive things to be free. They tend to be abused or neglected. But if you have ownership in it people tend to be more careful.

    A transportation system that models Europe would not work in the US, because we are a much bigger country. American cities are much more spread out then European cities. Pus the European lifestyle is vastly different then ours. In Europe most people actually live in downtown!!!

    Can we take some lessons and implement some of the ideas in dense population areas i.e. the northeast corridor? Probably, but what makes sense their makes no sense in Wyoming or Montana.


    Yes, I am still in the same profession.

    October 3, 2008
  355. john george said:

    Paul Z.- Now I have some time to answer your great questions. As far as Gore “cooking the books”, no, that is not possible. I feel there is an almost worldwide hysterical reaction to the whole idea of global warming. This thing with the Nobel Peace prize is just an example. Here is a person who risked her life to save many people in WWII who is edged out by a person I call a pseudo-scientist. I will get into that moreso in the next paragraph.

    Not only do I believe that Gore’s lifestyle compromises his credibility, I believe he has fanned the flames of hysteria rather than contributed to the cause of peace. Much of what Gore bases his conclusions on are questionable interpretations of the scientific data. I remember during the Kuwaiti war, when all the oil wells were set on fire, there were dire predictions that the Persian Gulf would become a marine wastelend. It would supposedly take decades for the sea to recover from the effects of the polution. Within two years, there was not a trace of the effects of the polution. I already mentioned Carl Sagan and his “science”. If Gore’s assertions are based on the same environmental “science”, then I just don’t believe these conclusions are credible. As far as the “preponderance of scientific opinion” you refer to, if they couldn’t get something right in a much more observable microcosm like the Persian Gulf, why would I ever believe their predictions about a macrocosm like the whole earth’s atmosphere? This is especially doubtful, given the observable evidence that the middle ages were quite a bit warmer than what we have now. There is evidently climate change going on, but I just don’t believe the environmentalist interpretation of the evidence. It would seem from the observable evidence that man’s contribution is insignificant in comparison to the natural processes. And, for any of these scientists to question it would be professional suicide. It has already happened to some that have. In my opinion, there doesn’t seem to be any place in the scientific community in this discussion for critical thought. I just don’t think it is sensible to follow them.

    On the gay rights issue, what is happeneing, especially on some campuses of higher education, is not even allowing critical thought about the subject. What I have experienced in responses to my questions has been the opinion that I must be a homo-phobe and steeped in hatred of the lifestyle. What I hear in the unspoken inferences is that if I were not this, then I would have no reason to question homosexuality. In Canada, right now, it is against the law for a pastor to preach a message against homosexuality because it is considered hate speach. This is where I and men like Colson feel stifled to question the movement. When we do, we are accused of homophobia and intolerance. It is the new definition of tolerance that is the key. It is now defined that to be tolerant, one has to embrace every idea out there as having equal validity. There is getting to be less and less room for the expression of opposing opinions. The term “praise” of the gay lifestyle is Colson’s term, not mine. But, do you see what he is talking about when he uses that term?

    Hopefully, this helps a little bit. All I am looking for is some understanding. Your questions were quite good, and, I feel, helped me to better articulate why I believe what I do. If it is still not clear, please let me know. In long discourses like this, I can sometimes get on autopilot and not finish my thoughts clearly.

    October 3, 2008
  356. kiffi summa said:

    John : it is abundantly clear what you believe … and it is abundantly clear that it is your right to do so.

    What is NOT abundantly clear is that you will allow others to have their beliefs without you saying that their beliefs “threaten” your lifestyle.

    Your beliefs cannot be threatened by others, unless you are prevented, actually PREVENTED, from holding the beliefs you do.

    I believe your real fear is that laws will be made which you INTERPRET as personally threatening your belief system, and will not allow you to hold your beliefs, and therefor you feel your entire worldview is threatened.

    How can a law change your belief? It can only direct your action, should you choose to abide by it.

    With respect to abortion, and gay rights, there are already laws which you find threaten your belief system … but what you don’t seem to tolerate , is that those laws SUPPORT other peoples belief systems. and because of the preponderance of support, laws have been created to support what that preponderance believes is the common good.

    The same holds for “science” … you don’t believe in evolution; others don’t believe in creationism. No one is FORCING you to believe either. If the preponderance of scientific evidence guides what is taught in our schools, then parents who do not belief in that science should instruct their children to believe otherwise.

    If your belief system is strong and is what guides your life, then only YOU can allow it to be “threatened”. No law says the women in YOUR family MUST have the right to choose abortion, it only says others MAY make that choice.
    No law says you MUST believe in evolution, or global warming or any other science that you personally feel in conflict with; equal rights only give the freedom of personal belief to others who believe differently.

    I can’t understand how differing beliefs “threaten” your world, unless laws were made that didn’t allow you to THINK or BELIEVE your preference.

    October 4, 2008
  357. Peter Millin said:

    Is there global warming? Yes. Is it man made? We don’t know and I highly doubt it.
    It is pretty arrogant for humans to predict the climate in 20 years from now, when we can’t even predict the weather tomorrow.

    We have an obligation to take care of our planet and environment. We should use common sense and reduce our damage as much as possible.

    This is a noble cause and worth working for. What get’s me worried is when there is another attempt to get in to my pocket book and a mandate from DC on how to live my life.
    It get’s even more ridiculous when those, who want to make me feel guilty about my lifestyle, are leaving a much larger carbon foot print then I ever will.

    I am with Ferraro on this, if Obama wouldn’t be black he wouldn’t be where he is today. His election is more about electing a person of color, so we can soothe our racial prejudice, then it is about electing somebody with experience and good ideas. Any mention of this will get you marked as a racist.

    October 4, 2008
  358. John and Peter:

    As was discussed previously on the ‘evolution’ subject, one strength of science is putting out ideas (hypotheses) and then trying to prove them wrong. As with gravity, evolution, bacteria, nothing has yet proven wrong that humans are causing adverse climate change and if we do not stop, it will be to our peril. Scientists must admit that any time there can be new evidence that proves them wrong. However, the responsible thing to do is accept the conclusions of the vast majority of scientists until they are proven wrong. It is essential that we do not abandon our own critical thinking — it’s good to question the prevailing opinions, but while employing our critical thinking we should behave as though the scientists are right. Otherwise you’ll be acting like the passengers on the Titanic who doubted the iceberg.

    From my understanding, the great danger of global warming is that at a certain temperature, carbon compounds in the ground will be baked out of the ground, thus releasing more carbon into the air and causing more heat to be retained by our atmosphere. The concern isn’t so much an increase in temperature of 1-2 degrees annually, but at a certain temperature, being unable to stop the release of carbon. If we reach that tipping point, humans will cause our own extinction.

    It’s true that the rest of nature produces greenhouse gasses. It’s also true that the rest of nature neutralizes greenhouse gasses. The issue here is capacity. If the Earth produces 1 billion tons of greenhouse gasses every year, and it has the capacity to neutralize 1.1 billion tons, then if humans produce more than 0.1 billion tons, we will cause the Earth to heat up. Humans have a small range to work within. If we are generating 0.2 billion tons annually, eventually we will overwhelm Earth’s ability to neutralize it.

    From my point of view, we are on a giant ship. I don’t assume that the ship is named Titanic, but I don’t assume that the great majority of scientists are out of their minds when they tell us that the ship is sinking. Now is the time to act. Now.

    October 4, 2008
  359. Peter: Obama is an accomplished statesman. To assert that his claim to the White House is because of his color is ignorance at best. It would be an equally ignorant assertion for you to say that his claim to the White House is only because of his traditionally Muslim middle name, in order to soothe our religious prejudice. You’re judging the book by its cover, and overlooking his content.

    Incidentally, his first name, Barrack, is the *last* name of three well known Christian families in Lebanon. Barrack is an Arabic word for sort of a mill owner, which is also somewhat of a famous Christian profession. His middle name, Hussein, means “beautiful” in a small way, like a kitten is a small cat. I haven’t found the etymology of Obama; I assume it’s a Kenyan family name.

    October 4, 2008
  360. Holly Cairns said:

    Peter said:

    I am with Ferraro on this, if Obama wouldn’t be black he wouldn’t be where he is today. His election is more about electing a person of color, so we can soothe our racial prejudice, then it is about electing somebody with experience and good ideas. Any mention of this will get you marked as a racist.

    Hmm. That is outrageous on so many levels.

    October 4, 2008
  361. Patrick Enders said:

    Peter wrote,

    I am with Ferraro on this, if Obama wouldn’t be black he wouldn’t be where he is today. His election is more about electing a person of color, so we can soothe our racial prejudice, then it is about electing somebody with experience and good ideas. Any mention of this will get you marked as a racist.

    Barack Obama’s race is a part of who he is, and inseparable from the rest of his identity – just as who I am is informed by my experience as a white midwesterner. However, Barack Obama’s race is not the reason we chose him. Barack Obama was chosen as our candidate for the Presidency because of his cool head, his skilled oratory, his knowledge, and his judgment. Also, he has thus far played the game of politics more effectively than any other Democratic presidential candidate in my lifetime. In short, we chose him because we believe he is the Democrat most likely to be elected President, and most likely to excel in the Presidency.

    Clearly your opposition to him stems primarily from your beliefs about what a government can and should do. Accordingly, you have previously criticized primarily what Obama has done, what he has said, and what he might do. That was well and good, but dismissing Mr. Obama as being chosen just “so we can soothe our racial prejudice” is, well, wrong. And yes, to an observer who doesn’t know your overall political philosophy, it could unintentionally suggest baser motives for your opposition to Mr. Obama.

    October 4, 2008
  362. Peter Millin said:


    You just proofed my point, thanks.

    Obama has been treated by the press with kids gloves. Not one news outlet has ever questioned Obama on his questionable past.
    While the press gets of on meaningless details on Palin.
    We debate hours if Palin can handle her family commitments despite her large family or why she went on an airplane after her water broke???

    But I have yet to see an op ed piece or any kind of reporting on Obamas connections to Ayers or Reverend Wright. Oh I forgot there was one in the NYT today, trying to explain away his connections to Ayers.
    Reverend Wrights church is the equivalent of the KKK and Obama was a member of this church for twenty years, had his kids baptized there and donated lots of money.

    If McCain would have just driven by a KKK meeting we would ask for his head.
    How about Obamas dealings with Rezko? and his sweetheart deal he got on his property?

    Truth is that Obama gets a pass on everything that would be uncomfortable to his aura.
    He is a great orator with a socialist agenda with no original though of his own. He is just regurgitating 60 years of failed liberal policies and just packages it nicely put a pinch of Hollywood in it and the masses are eating it up.
    And yes Patrick a lot of people are quiet, because if they do question his motives, they are being accused of racism.

    For you Patrick to accuse me of hidden racism is exactly the reaction I expected, when I was questioning your leader. I expect an apology from you.

    You know nothing about me and to call me racist is as far from the truth as you can get.

    The same goes for you Holly.

    October 4, 2008
  363. Patrick Enders said:

    Glad to help out; it did sound like you were asking for affirmation there.

    However, if you read my post again, you will see that I did not accuse you of racism.

    I said:

    Clearly your opposition to him stems primarily from your beliefs about what a government can and should do.

    …to an observer who doesn’t know your overall political philosophy, it could unintentionally suggest baser motives for your opposition to Mr. Obama.

    I know your political philosophy, and I understand your principled opposition to Barack Obama’s candidacy. But your (intentionally inflammatory?) words in post 381 do not do justice to your otherwise principled position.

    October 4, 2008
  364. Peter Millin said:


    Here is a Times article from 1974 on the issue of global warming. Back then all the scientist were sure it would happen.,9171,944914,00.html

    I don’t care if Obama is black or he is a muslim or if his name is Hussein or Ahmed. I have quiet a few mid eastern friends and have visited their countries quiet a few times.
    My point is that we are not putting him under the same scrutiny then we do everybody else…some here didn’t think about it twice to question McCains age or his cancer….why is Obamas past off limits??

    October 4, 2008
  365. Patrick Enders said:

    Which purportedly shady part of Barack Obama’s past has not been discussed?

    Rezko? – covered.
    Ayers? – covered.
    The Muslim heritage of his father? – covered.
    Wright? – definitely covered.

    If you have some new evidence on these issues, go right ahead and present it.

    However, this statement of yours is preposterous:

    Reverend Wrights church is the equivalent of the KKK

    I realize you are new-ish to our country, but the KKK has a long history of terrorist acts and murder of African Americans, other non-whites, and their supporters. Per Wikipedia:

    Klan groups lynched and murdered Black soldiers returning from World War I while they were still in military uniforms. The Klan warned Blacks that they must respect the rights of the white race “in whose country they are permitted to reside”.[64] The number of lynchings escalated, and from 1918 to 1927, 416 African Americans were killed, mostly in the South.[65]

    If you have any evidence that Rev. Wright’s church has ever instituted a similar campaign of systematic murder against white people, I strongly suggest that you stop blogging, and immediately contact the appropriate authorities.

    October 4, 2008
  366. David Henson said:

    In addition to Henny-Penny : “flaws in the theory of global warming:

    most of the warming in the past century occurred before 1940, before CO2 emissions could have been a major factor (p. 84);

    temperatures fell between 1940 and 1970 even as CO2 levels increased (p. 86);

    temperature readings from reporting stations outside the U.S. are poorly maintained and staffed and probably inaccurate; those in the U.S., which are probably more accurate, show little or no warming trend (pp. 88-89);

    “full professors from MIT, Harvard, Columbia, Duke, Virginia, Colorado, UC Berkeley, and other prestigious schools … the former president of the National Academy of Sciences … will argue that global warming is at best unproven, and at worst pure fantasy” (p. 90);

    temperature sensors on satellites report much less warming in the upper atmosphere (which the theory of global warming predicts should warm first) than is reported by temperature sensors on the ground (p. 99);

    data from weather balloons agree with the satellites (p. 100);

    “No one can say for sure if global warming will result in more clouds, or fewer clouds,” yet cloud cover plays a major role in global temperatures (p. 187);

    Antarctica “as a whole is getting colder, and the ice is getting thicker” (p. 193, sources listed on p. 194);

    The Ross Ice Shelf in Antarctica has been melting for the past 6,000 years (p. 195, p. 200-201); “Greenland might lose its ice pack in the next thousand years” (p. 363);

    The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is “a huge group of bureaucrats and scientists under the thumb of bureaucrats,” and its 1995 report was revised “after the scientists themselves had gone home” (p. 245-246);

    James Hansen’s predictions of global warming during a Congressional committee hearing in 1988, which launched the global warming scare, were wrong by 200 percent (.35 degrees Celsius over the next 10 years versus the actual increase of .11 degrees); in 1998, Hansen said long-term predictions of climate are impossible (pp. 246-247);

    there has been no increase in extreme weather events (.e.g., floods, tornadoes, drought) over the past century or in the past 15 years; computer models used to forecast climate change do not predict more extreme weather (p. 362, 425-426);

    temperature readings taken by terrestrial reporting stations are rising because they are increasingly surrounded by roads and buildings which hold heat, the “urban heat island” effect (p. 368-369); methods used to control for this effect fail to reduce temperatures enough to offset it (p. 369-376);

    changes in land use and urbanization may contribute more to changes in the average ground temperature than “global warming” caused by human emissions (p. 383, 388);

    temperature data are suspect because they have been adjusted and manipulated by scientists who expect to find a warming trend (p. 385-386);

    carbon dioxide has increased a mere 60 parts per million since 1957, a tiny change in the composition of the atmosphere (p. 387);

    increased levels of CO2 act a fertilizer, promoting plant growth and contributing to the shrinking of the Sahara desert (p. 421);

    the spread of malaria is unaffected by global warming (pp. 421-422, footnotes on 422);

    sufficient data exist to measure changes in mass for only 79 of the 160,000 glaciers in the world (p. 423);

    the icecap on Kilimanjaro has been melting since the 1800s, long before human emissions could have influenced the global climate, and satellites do not detect a warming trend in the region (p. 423); deforestation at the foot of the mountain is the likely explanation for the melting trend (p. 424);

    sea levels have been rising at the rate of 10 to 20 centimeters (four to eight inches) per hundred years for the past 6,000 years (p. 424);

    El Niños are global weather patterns unrelated to global warming and on balance tend to be beneficial by extending growing seasons and reducing the use of heating fuels (p. 426);

    the Kyoto Protocol would reduce temperatures by only 0.04 degrees Celsius in the year 2100 (p. 478);

    a report by scientists published in Science concludes “there is no known technology capable of reducing [global] carbon emissions … totally new and undiscovered technology is required” (p. 479);

    change, not stability, is the defining characteristic of the global climate, with naturally occurring events (e.g., volcanic eruptions, earthquakes, tsunamis) much more likely to affect climate than anything humans do (p. 563); and

    computer simulations are not real-world data and cannot be relied on to produce reliable forecasts (p. 566).”

    October 4, 2008
  367. Patrick Enders said:

    If it says “(p. 479),” it must be true?

    What is it about global warming that you find so unbelievable?

    October 4, 2008
  368. Peter Millin said:

    Covered? And you still think he is electable? Have we lowered our standards this much? Hmm…..
    Would you elect a white Republican with the same background? Probably not.

    My comparison to the KKK was a bit of a reach, but the black liberation theology spews the same kind of hatred..and Ayers got off on a technicality.

    March 19, 2008
    The Real Agenda of Black Liberation Theology
    By Jeffrey Schmidt
    Now, suddenly, the Reverend Jeremiah Wright is misunderstood. Suddenly, so-called black liberation theology is misunderstood.

    Wright’s successor at Trinity United Church of Christ, the Reverend Otis Moss III, won’t bow to the wishes of “they” to shut up. It begs the question: “Who are they?” The larger white cultural? Or liberals and Democrats who see all this unfavorable publicity hurting the election chances of Barack Obama?

    The sad truth is that neither the Reverend Wright nor black liberation theology is being misunderstood. Both, thanks to the candidacy of Barack Obama, are being exposed. God, in fact, works in mysterious ways. And unless it’s the aforementioned liberals and Democrats who are trying to hush up Wright, Moss and others of their ilk, sensible Americans want to hear more, for knowledge is power, the power to combat hate.

    And make no mistake, what Americans are hearing, they don’t like. In the Rasmussen poll, 73% of voters find Wright’s comments to be racially divisive. That’s a broad cross section of voters, including 58% of black voters.

    In an article in the Washington Post, unnamed ministers commented that black liberation theology “encourages a preacher to speak forcefully against the institutions of oppression…”

    And what might these institutions be? They are not specified. But it is safe to say that they are not the welfare state or the Democratic Party. Given that black liberation theology is a product of the dreary leftist politics of the twentieth century, the very vehicles employed by the left to advance statism certainly can’t be the culprits.

    For the left, black liberation theology makes for close to a perfect faith. It is a political creed larded with religion. It serves not to reconcile and unite blacks with the larger cultural, but to keep them separate. Here, again, The Washington Post reports that “He [Wright] translated the Bible into lessons about…the misguided pursuit of ‘middle-classness.'”

    Not very Martin Luther King-ish. Further, all the kooky talk about the government infecting blacks with HIV is a fine example of how the left will promote a lie to nurture alienation and grievance. To listen to Wright — more an apostle of the left than the Christian church — the model for blacks is alienation, deep resentment, separation and grievance. All of which leads to militancy. Militancy is important. It’s the sword dangled over the head of society. Either fork over more tax dollars, government services and patronage or else. And unlike the Reverend Moss and his kindred, I’ll specify the “else.” Civil unrest. Disruptions in cities. Riot in the streets.

    Keeping blacks who fall into the orbit of a Reverend Wright at a near-boil is a card used by leftist agitators to serve their ends: they want bigger and more pervasive government — and they want badly to run it.

    If any further proof is needed that black liberation theology has nothing to do with the vision of Martin Luther King — with reconciliation, brotherhood and universality — the words of James H. Cone, on faculty at New York’s Union Theological Seminary, may persuade. Cone, not incidentally, originated the movement known as black liberation theology. He said to The Washington Post:

    “The Christian faith has been interpreted largely by those who enslaved black people, and by the people who segregated them.”

    No mention of the Civil War involving the sacrifices of tens of thousands of lives; no abolition or civil rights movements. No Abraham Lincoln. No Harriet Beecher Stowe. No white civil rights workers who risked and, in some instances, lost their lives crusading in the south to end segregation. And since the civil rights movement, society hasn’t opened up; blacks have no better access to jobs and housing; no greater opportunities. The federal government, led by a white liberal, Lyndon Johnson, did not pour billions of dollars into welfare programs and education targeted at inner cities in an attempt to right old wrongs. And still does so. A black man, Barak Obama, on the threshold of winning his party’s nomination for president, has in no way done so with the help of white voters in communities across the land.

    In the closed world of Cone, Wright and Moss, Jefferson Davis and Bull Connor are alive and well. Black victimhood is the doing of white society, not the doing of angry black leaders and leftists, who see advantage and profit in keeping too many people in black communities captive.

    Barack Obama knows all this, as a seventeen year congregant at Wright’s church, and as a liberal community activist prior to his election to the Illinois Senate. That he feigns innocence, or that he professes forbearance for some of Wright’s words because of the goodness of others, is not the line one expects from a post-racial politician. It is what is expected from a man whose career is steeped in racial politics, a politics that does great harm to the very people it purports to serve.

    Page Printed from: at October 04, 2008 – 11:01:14 PM EDT

    October 4, 2008
  369. Peter Millin said:


    It gets worse for the global warming worshipers. Recent slowdown and complete disappearance in sunspot activity actually points to a cool down.

    The last time the sun had this type of phenomena it was the start of the “little ice age”.

    Priceless……wonder what the excuse is now.

    Did you ever wonder why the term global warming has now been changed to global climate change?
    Oh really? The global climate changes…who knew?

    October 4, 2008
  370. Patrick Enders said:

    Who is Jeffrey Schmidt, and why should I trust him?

    October 4, 2008
  371. David Henson said:

    Patrick – I just present a ream of facts that are contrary evidence to global warming* and you ask “what I find so objectionable ?” Nothing accept one cannot just ignore all the facts that do not fit.

    I have seen the Mississippi dry down and the ‘environmental science’ crowd claim it had never happened before (although Currier & Ives prints showed the exact same dry down 100 years before) and that it would take decades to recover – within 2 years the river was spilling it’s banks.

    I have lived In Santa Barbara during a drought where the same ’10 years to recover’ claim was made about their reservoir. Almost to the day the city completed a desalination plant the rains started and the reservoir literally refilled almost overnight. I asked two PhD environmentalists how they could be so wrong … their model did not accurately reflect runoff.

    * These are footnotes from State of Fear

    October 4, 2008
  372. Peter: From the 1974 Times article you cited, “Some scientists like Donald Oilman, chief of the National Weather Service’s long-range-prediction group, think that the cooling trend may be only temporary. But all agree that vastly more information is needed about the major influences on the earth’s climate.”

    It seems to me that your objection to global warming is that the scientists are crying wolf. If there is a cooling trend, the scientists say “ice age” and if there is a heating trend, they say “global warming”, and because of their flip-flopping, we should be unduly skeptical about them even when they admit that the trend might be temporary. As I said previously, we must not abandon our critical thinking, but while we may criticize the now widely accepted point-of-view, the danger of ignoring this particular point-of-view is great. Nonetheless, there are vast reasons other than global warming to stop consuming so much oil, so the scientists’ opinions are moot regarding oil consumption.

    At least, in the excerpt of the article you provided, it’s mentioned that in 1974 the scientists knew that they needed more information. I’m sure that’s still the case today — more data always reinforces or changes analyses. Today they have 34 more years of data than in 1974. I am not surprised that their conclusions have changed. The key here is that their conclusions changed not from guesses, but from evidence. As the film “An Inconvenient Truth” highlighted, polar ice cores reveal that for the last 600,000 years the CO2 content in the air has been 180-280 ppm, but today it’s closer to 400 ppm and rising. It’s harsh to criticize scientists for good faith opinions. The story of science is that conclusions change, and in this case, they have.

    I agree that Al Gore is hypocritical, for him to use so much energy while preaching that we should be conservative in our energy use. However, this does seem to me to be a “shoot the messenger” complaint. Regardless of what Gore does, we should evaluate the message rather than the messenger. Imagine one drunk telling another that alcoholism is bad, and the other dismissing the message because the messenger is a drunkard.

    Finally, as Patrick Enders wrote, Obama’s past has been the subject of news stories. I don’t know what stories you know about that the media is not reporting, which begs me to ask how you would know about them. Even if you are right and the media is being unfairly gentle with Obama, I don’t know why you conclude that it’s because he’s black. It could be because he’s a Democrat or any number of other reasons, yet you conclude that there are unreported stories, and they’re unreported because the media wants to soothe race relations.

    Sincerely, I am not complaining that you tell us about your controversial opinions. Understand that I don’t adopt controversial opinions unless they’re supported by a great deal more than guesses or speculation. It’s my policy not to take guesses as facts whether we’re talking personally, or whether I’m elected as a City Councilor. If you have facts to support your conclusions, about global warming or the media’s ‘reverse’ racism, I look forward to your next post.

    October 5, 2008
  373. Peter: You might take interest in this analysis of your Times article from a scientist friend of mine.

    “I have just read the Times article from 1972, and find it discreditable. Local climates are known to fluctuate on the order of several years and decades, so all the examples given, such as Baffin Island ice thickness and the Midwest’s migration of armadillos don’t mean much. The only global measurement of temperature mentioned in the article states that, ‘Since the 1940s the mean global temperature has dropped about 2.7° F. Although that figure is at best an estimate …’ Any figure that is ‘at best an estimate’ is not data, and is certainly wrong according to modern knowledge.”

    His response reinforces the relevance of 600,000 years of CO2 data gleaned from “An Inconvenient Truth”.

    October 5, 2008
  374. So, who can list a few MAJOR things that OBAMA Or MCCAIN have done for this country over the last FIVE YEARS?

    October 5, 2008
  375. Anthony Pierre said:

    I don’t understand why you ask these questions, bright. A simple google search will find you the answers.

    I suggest you read these 2 sites

    its the best way to be informed. Read both sites, then read ( I am pretty sure it has a search feature there too). then read the fox news site.

    nothing to do with issues in this next site, but I think everyone here should read it. peggy noonan is saying stuff right now that we should be listening to.

    October 5, 2008
  376. I do thank you, Anthony, for the Peggy Noonan link. I used to admire her quite a bit but she vanished from my awareness a few years ago. I have to say that I have not been in a commercial flight since the tragic and outrageously terrible events of Septemer 11, 2001, for all the reasons and more that Noonan relates.

    Anthony, May I ask why you deflect and divert attention from my simple questions? I know where the Internet is, do you know what your candidates have done for this country in the past five years?

    October 5, 2008
  377. Anthony Pierre said:

    I think you missed the analogy noonan was trying to peg.

    hes not my candidate, yet. would you rather get it from the raw source or from someone else’s filtered view?

    October 5, 2008
  378. AP,
    Funny, hahaha. I don’t have time to comment on Peg’s article. Or to make pirate jokes right now. Blueberry pancakes are coming up right away.

    btw, who is not your candidate yet?

    October 5, 2008
  379. Ralph Nader is a great man, (which is why you allow him to keep his name’s capital letters ?). He has run for US President numerous times. He often gets a few votes. A lot of people like him and think he is right in his assertions, however, he never pulls it off. Either the media won’t cover him, or he just doesn’t understand grass roots movements, or he asks too much of the American people. I am not sure why. He doesn’t appear healthy, and his suits seem crumpled and don’t quite fit right, even though they really are good suits, I believe from the way the fabric moves and catches the lights.

    He has been called a spoiler, and he does serve a great purpose of speaking truth to the issues, but comes off as an eccentric, and that combination doesn’t work across the board.

    that’ all for today, gotta go

    October 5, 2008
  380. Curt Benson said:

    Nader’s greatness is revealed here, where Nader comes up short against a dog puppet:

    October 5, 2008
  381. Anthony Pierre said:

    robert smiegol (the guy who does the voice of triumph) is a comic genius.

    October 5, 2008
  382. nick waterman said:

    Peter, I usually respect your comments but Obama stuff is ridiculous — for WEEKS Fox was playing nothing but Ayers and Wright, over and over and over.
    Let’s face it, the usual thing is to throw this garbage up and see what sticks: some of it stuck with Obama, some of it didn’t. Some of it sticks with Palin, some doesn’t. Ultimately, NONE of it is why we vote, or don’t, for them.

    And the global warming, Good God. It is getting harder and harder to find a scientist employed by anything resembling an accredited university who thinks this is a true controversy. But I suppose that’s because professors are liberal, right?

    October 5, 2008
  383. Peter Millin said:

    So I am guessing Obamas radical links don’t matter to most of you. Ok I can live with that, to me they do matter.
    It reveals the real Obama. He might be seeking the middle ground now, but he is a leftist radical who wants to put America on the path of socialism.
    A system that I was trying to get away from when I came to the US.

    On ward and upward then.

    Global warming? Yes. Man made. Nope.

    Until the hypothesis has been proven I don’t believe it, especially when the very groups proclaiming this are profiting from this.
    Jerold I do accept your analysis, but I disagree wiuth your conclusion. Let’s just leave it at that.


    October 5, 2008
  384. Patrick Enders said:

    Peter, I offer you this:

    The guilt-by-association attacks on Obama are as much about tapping into a range of hazier doubts as they are about the details of any given charge, so I’m not sure they’d work on the better-known McCain. There is no shortage of mud like this on both sides, though, from Ayers and Rezko to Gordon Liddy and the Alaska Independence Party.

    No, the fact that Obama was on a board with Ayers doesn’t much interest me. The fact that Ayers held an event for Obama in 1995 doesn’t much interest me. People in politics on both sides always find themselves interacting tangentially with some extremists.

    I have friends who question evolution and global warming, I’ve had many close friends who regularly used illegal drugs, and I know at least one person who holds a Biblical world view. I’ve exchanged pleasantries with Bob Dole, and Jeffrey Dahmer was my neighbor.

    None of those relationships is an accurate reflection of who I am. As noted above, “there is no shortage of mud like this on both sides.”

    October 5, 2008
  385. Peter Millin said:

    Obama Nation

    October 5, 2008
  386. nick waterman said:

    Peter, I would also add that the actual, real, already been done radical (in the TRUE sense of the word as a —-a marked change from the usual —not the hackneyed radical = left) changes brought about by George Bush and pals are WAY more concerning to me. Even if Obama were some kind of crazy left-winger (and not only do I not believe he is, but I am acquainted with more than a few people who will not vote for him because they find him a sell-out to true left causes), how do you imagine he could push forward his radical agenda?

    October 5, 2008
  387. nick waterman said:

    I’m disappointed that the youtube link was to Corsi’s widely discredited (by Republicans, not just terrorists) swiftboating book. This guy is widely known as a racist hack. Peter, I think you have to assume not that Obama’s supposed left-wing agenda and terrorist links are unknown to Americans, but that they have heard the case. Some, like you, apparently believe the case. Others, like me, think it’s a load. I think that you are simply missing some information. You think that I am simply missing some information. Neither of us is right: we have each paid attention to the information and make different sense of it. If the best that can be offered here is “dr” Jerome Corsi, I rest easy.

    October 5, 2008
  388. Patrick Enders said:

    Here’s the conservative The Next Right blog on Corsi and his Obama Nation smear:

    The continued tolerance and prominence of Jerome Corsi – his books, columns and appearances – is just embarrassing. It is embarrassing for the Right, embarrassing for Republicans, embarrassing for conservatives and libertarians, embarrassing for all of us.

    It’s not just that he’s frequently, remarkably wrong – something pretty well documented and acknowledged by both the Left and (while less enthusiastically) the Right. (and the Obama campaign (PDF), of course) Both the Obama campaign and Hugh Hewitt acknowledge that Jerome Corsi is “fringe”.

    Bad as his gross errors are, though, it’s not just that. It’s also about who Jerome Corsi is.

    * Jerome Corsi is a smear artist (e.g., he has claimed that “Hillary Rodham Clinton is a lesbian and Muslims worship Satan”).
    * Jerome Corsi has advocated the hysterical, deceptive North American Union conspiracy theory.
    * Jerome Corsi associates with white supremacists.
    * Jerome Corsi is guilty of plagiarism.
    * Jerome Corsi is a 9/11 Truther.

    I mean, c’mon. Have some standards. This guy does not deserve the platform, he does not deserve the publicity, and he does not deserve to be treated as member-in-good-standing on the Right.

    The Right seems to engage today in social promotion of hatchet men, bullies and political hit men. Those people poison the Right, and – whatever their temporary electoral effects – they serve to discredit us all.

    If you go to the original blog, and you’ll find links to various supporting materials.

    October 5, 2008
  389. john george said:

    Kiffi- You said, “…I can’t understand how differing beliefs “threaten” your world, unless laws were made that didn’t allow you to THINK or BELIEVE your preference.” I’m sorry my comments gave you the impression that other peoples’ “beliefs” threatened my “beliefs. I don’t think I said that. My concern is about my freedom to express my beliefs. When Biblical passages about the homosexual lifestyle are included in the definition of hate speach, which they are in Canada,
    then I think I have a case to say the free expression of my beliefs is being threatened. There is pressure on our government to pass similar legislation.

    Jerold- I still have a hard time trusting the preponderance of scientific studies you refer to. I may be proven wrong in my mistrust, or I may be proven right. I remember what we as a family went through 9 years ago preparing for Y2K. I did end up with a nice wood stove in my other house, but nothing happened. I have no problem cutting down fuel consumption or finding energy sources that are not carbon based. What I do not believe is that these steps will have any consequence in affecting the climate changes going on, and I do not like long range decisions being made out of fear. I suppose you could use the argument that a mistake is evidence that someone tried to do something. I just wish it was a little more clear what specific measures we should be taking. I am open to consider the argument that we may not have time to do so, though, but I think the media has done more to stir up an emotional reaction in people rather than a reasoned response to whatever is going on.

    Anthony- I’m sorry I did not respond to your post #370 sooner. I must have just missed it, or there was some chronological thing with the posting time and when I looked at the stream. I think the “public largesse” Mccauley is refering to is the public treasury, the collected taxes. I don’t believe the deregulation of businesses you refer to is tapping into the largesse (perhaps smallgesse would be a better term, now). Now, the $700+ billion bailout is definitely dipping into this. I suppose it could be argued that the former led to the latter, but I’m not sure this was the intent of the original quote. I don’t have the original context from which the quote was drawn.

    October 6, 2008
  390. John G.: As a computer professional, I knew that Y2K was not a serious threat. I’m sorry that you were duped. As a mindful citizen, I know that the media tends to make stories that draw in advertising dollars. For every story they tell about a plane that crashes, I wish that they’d tell the thousands of stories of planes arriving safely. The media has a profit motive.

    However, there isn’t a crack team of scientists telling us that planes will be falling out of the sky even if that’s what the media wants us to think. The scientists by and large agree that temperatures are rising, which will cause increasing problems. Whatever the source, humans, cows, the sun, humans should drastically reduce all the greenhouse gasses that they can.

    How can we do that? The easy thing is to consume less oil. We can do that by buying local. I remember once buying frozen veggies from Denmark. I have nothing against the Danes, but when I considered the fuel costs to send their veggies here, I never bought from them again. Drive less. That means take a bike, bus, or walk whenever feasible. Consider a moped. When you’re ready to buy a new car, consider a hybrid or something that uses vegetable oil. I have a hybrid that averages 54 MPG. It’s imperfect, still using gasoline, but it’s hard to complain about that mileage. Some people complain about this, but consider eating fewer cows (assuming that you eat any). Not only do cows produce plenty of greenhouse gasses, but the supporting industry behind them makes plenty too. A vast number of combustion engine tractors are used to grow a vast amount of cattle feed. There was a report from Australia discussing a switch to eating kangaroos, as being preferable to cattle (probably written by vested interests). These are things that individuals can do without much trouble, and I’m sure I’m missing several more. Contacting your state and federal representatives to demand alternative fuels is the next step. Whomever assumes the White House should hear from all Americans demanding that we finally give up our oil addiction.

    My fear is that people will think that they can do nothing, so they will do nothing. Preferring to buy from local farms and manufacturers is one good step. The more you can do, the more you can encourage your friends to do, will have an effect.

    October 6, 2008
  391. kiffi summa said:

    John : I would ask you to consider this… what if in some future time, the mainstream lifestyle was homosexual, and you were not allowed, either by social custom or law, to follow your preferred heterosexual lifestyle? Can you imagine all that is valuable to you about your committed relationship not being supported by social practice or law?

    Your wife could not visit you in the hospital when you were seriously ill in intensive care…
    Your wife could not make medical decisions relating to you, although you had had long discussions about your preferences…
    You could not legally designate your wife as the closest person to you for the sake of insurance benefits…

    And then imagine a society where your heterosexual son is taken from a bar in Laramie , Wyoming … tied to a fence, tortured, and left for days to slowly die…

    How would you feel about that? Might you think it was a “hate crime”?

    October 6, 2008
  392. Peter Millin said:

    Obama nation wasn’t a reference to whatever book you are referring to, it was my spin on the linked youtube video.

    Despite what some of you may think I am not a mindless “Ditto head”. Obama’s connection to radical terrorists are important to me. He is a product of the left wing think tanks in this country. His whole live is that of agitation and leftist radical dogma, that has it’s roots in some of the universities in this country.

    You can chose not to believe it, but I have seen this before. Once Obama is POTUS and has the support of the congress and senate he has pretty much a free hand in what he can do.
    His platform (and McCain) is nothing more then a compilation of pandering, which we know they can’t pay for.

    So what’s left? A radical shift to the left where government will become the nanny state that takes care of everything and in the process will tell what you can or can not do. VERY UN AMERICAN IMHO.

    October 6, 2008
  393. Peter Millin said:


    Aren’t the laws that punish “normal” people not sufficient enough to deal with “hate crime”?
    Seems to me that “hate crime” gives preferential” treatment to those that kill homosexuals…in a twisted way.

    Murder is murder regardless of the sexual preference of a person and they should be equally punished. The double whammy of hate crime seems a strange concept.

    October 6, 2008
  394. Paul Zorn said:

    John G.,

    Thanks for your good posting #380, responding to some of my questions in #371. What you wrote helps me better understand your perspective. Kiffi and others have offered some reactions, so let me add just two.

    In reference to global warming, aka climate change: I don’t claim any personal expertise on the subject, as I believe you don’t. And as a convinced skeptic (by vocation and by avocation) myself I’m always in favor of questioning dogmas. And I’m well aware that some legitimate experts question basic tenets of global warming theory — as you doubtless know that the preponderance of expert opinion goes the other way. That’s fair enough: science is not a majority-rules enterprise but a search, often through errors, for better and better approximations to the truth.

    So much said, I’ll confess that, rightly or wrongly, my skepticism meter rises around scientific opinions from people who appear to deny fundamental scientific principles, like basic evolutionary theory, for which the concrete evidence is abundant and overwhelming. It’s possible, of course, to be right about one thing and wrong about another, and I’d like to think I’ve been in that position myself.

    In reference to gay rights and associated issues: I respect your desire not to be demonized for sincerely held views, even if others find them mistaken. But I think that the most important question for many gays and their friends has less to do with attitudes and opinions like yours (or mine, for that matter) than it does with practical, concrete, on-the-ground laws and policies on such things as adoption, marriage or civil unions, etc. So it seems fair to me that those who disapprove of gay rights and lifestyles should also be aware that their views—and concrete laws and policies driven by those views—can be genuinely hurtful, sometimes in practical ways, to the human objects of their disapprobation.

    October 6, 2008
  395. Paul: It’s OK for ministers to endorse candidates so long as it’s not part of an IRS Code 501(c)(3) organization. If the minister is speaking for his church, and if the church is 501(c)(3) tax exempt, the IRS should investigate.

    501(c)(3) organizations are prohibited from making endorsements on elections (for or against). They may, however, endorse someone who seeks an appointment (i.e., no vote). Along with federal tax violations, the church may have violated Minnesota tax laws.

    Which begs me to ask, shouldn’t a law abiding church find legal ways to express their opinions? The church could inform its members of the abortion voting records of all the candidates, without saying which candidate they endorse. So long as the information is objective and presented in a neutral way, the church is not violating tax law.

    October 6, 2008
  396. Paul, it’s a great question. One of the ten commandments states, “Thou Shalt Not Kill”. I come from a Catholic background, but have closely associated myself and learned from various other denominations, none Christian. Although there was this one tv preacher I used to see in Tulsa, who spent a lot of time talking about the meaning of biblical terms. Like he would explain that the “eye of the needle” is not about a sewing needle, but about a entryway into a town that any man on any camel could ride through. It was a reference to how easy it was to get to heaven.

    However, the rest of the Christians I have seen on tv all holler. I won’t be hollered at. I didn’t grow up that way. So I never spent any time with them. I don’t even know if that’s what the evangelists do in church, minus the tv.

    That all being said, it’s wrong to kill. Yes, it is wrong to kill a life within a womb, and it is wrong to kill a woman who is trying to have an illegal abortion. Killing is wrong unless you are defending life without setting up the situation to make the killing look like defense.

    But, also to the point, is that we must not muzzle our religious leaders, con men, or con women, unless they are breaking the existing laws. We must preserve our freedom of speech laws. And I hope that people come to know that if they really want change, they must look into their own hearts and souls. We can no longer rely on authority figures in any field. We have made it too easy for them to lead us around by our fears and dependencies.
    We are turning on each other, and that is how they get us, a house divided will fall every time.

    Stand up, America. Stand up and be responsible for your own lives, give up things that make for a dysfunctional life, and give freely to those who have less than you do, through no fault of their own. That is where real blessings and the truly fulfilled life comes from. Thou Shalt Not Kill also refers to you killing yourselves with too much of this and too much of that.

    If you don’t want to support a churches with your taxes, I think that is fine, too. Charity will happen one way or the other, as it has done in the past without taxes. We have so little say over what happens to our money, that this would be the least of my concerns right now.

    Please don’t bombard me with how I don’t care and I am all this other stuff I didn’t say or mean. Filter your projections a little…I am not the bad guy or gal here.

    October 6, 2008
  397. Patrick Enders said:

    As Jerold said, it is absolutely fine for churches to take a partisan political stand. However, they can’t remain tax-exempt organizations under IRS Code 501(c)(3) if they do so.

    Of course – given the current plurality of conservative activist judges on the Supreme Court – that law may be changed. Which is the whole point of this exercise.

    October 6, 2008
  398. Patrick Enders said:

    Revising my previous post in order to not misrepresent Jerold’s statement…

    It is absolutely fine for churches to take a partisan political stand. However, as Jerold said, they can’t remain tax-exempt organizations under IRS Code 501(c)(3) if they do so.

    Of course – given the current plurality of conservative activist judges on the Supreme Court – that law may be changed. Which is the whole point of this exercise.

    October 6, 2008
  399. Patrick Enders said:

    You’ll be glad to know that the media is covering McCain’s concerns about Barack Obama. Anyway, here’s one of Time’s bloggers (i.e., from the opinion section of the magazine, not the news section) on the new McCain speech:

    McCain’s “Manchurian Candidate” Attack

    At around 3:30 p.m. Monday, CNN provided a perfect illustration for the current moment in this presidential race. When John McCain took the stage in Albuquerque, N.M., about two thirds of the screen was consumed by a tight zoom of the big board above the trading floor on Wall Street–giant numbers showing a dramatic collapse in stock values and retirement funds across the country.

    On the other side of the screen, there was John McCain, his head dwarfed in size by the big green numbers. The image was so alarming–the financial collapse now overshadows the presidential campaign–that one could easily overlook the importance of the words McCain spoke. The Albuquerque speech represented a dramatic pivot in the McCain campaign’s strategy, to what Republican strategists have called the “Manchurian Candidate” attack.

    The Manchurian Candidate is an well-trod technique in political warfare: You claim that you are the candidate people know, while your opponent is not who he seems to be. In fact, you argue, he has secret ulterior motives that he is trying to hide. You say he is a danger to all that the country holds dear.

    Okay, so he’s not buying the line of attack. Still, he did post some of McCain’s speech (the rest was posted elsewhere) – and it looks like McCain’s taking your advice on how to attack Obama:

    “I didn’t just show up out of nowhere, after all — America knows me. You know my strengths and my faults. You know my story and my convictions.. . . And the same standards of clarity and candor must now be applied to my opponent. Even at this late hour in the campaign, there are essential things we don’t know about Senator Obama or the record that he brings to this campaign. We have all heard what he has said, but it is less clear what he has done or what he will do. What Senator Obama says today and what he has done in the past are often two different things. He has often changed his positions in this campaign, and the best way to determine where he would really take this country is to examine where he has tried to take it in the past. . . . For a guy who’s already authored two memoirs, he’s not exactly an open book. . . . Whatever the question, whatever the issue, there’s always a back story with Senator Obama.”

    Do you think this new line of attack will work?

    October 6, 2008
  400. Patrick: Subtle correction. 501(c)(3) organizations can remain tax exempt and be “partisan” if the matter is not related to voting. If a Democrat or Republican is being considered for a governmental appointment, it does not violate tax law for a 501(c)(3) to try to support or foul the appointment.

    Agreeing with you, if there is going to be a vote, a 501(c)(3) can be involved in a non-partisan way. I gave an example of this by a church providing its members with the abortion voting records of candidates, presented in an objective and neutral way. This form of tacit partisanship is OK — but it must be exceedingly tacit.

    Of course you revealed the most important aspect, whether the IRS will investigate based on their workload and the political climate.

    October 6, 2008
  401. Patrick Enders said:

    Ugh. Tax law. I’ll be glad to let you read it and summarize it for me.

    Still, you give me too much credit:

    Of course you revealed the most important aspect, whether the IRS will investigate based on their workload and the political climate.

    Actually, I didn’t bring that up, but it is important. In this case, though – if I understand the point of this exercise correctly – the churches in question actually want to be investigated/charged (or whatever the term would be for an IRS action against them), with the hope that the law will ultimately be struck down by the Supreme Court.

    As for selective prosecution/investigation, I really hope that’s something we will see less of (preferably none of) in the future. The systematic politicization of the Justice Dept over the last several years (I know little about the IRS however) will complicate that. Barack Obama has a strong background in the law, so I hope he will work hard to restore the independence of the Justice Dept., and not use it as a tool for his own political ends.

    October 6, 2008
  402. Patrick Enders said:

    Sorry Jerold (and Peter),
    Obviously, that last post should’ve been addressed to Jerold.

    October 6, 2008
  403. Patrick: I paid special attention to nonprofit tax law in my law school days. The rule I remember is that tax-exempt organizations should stay away from elections unless they know the nuances. Land mines in tax-exempt tax law are the rule, not the exception.

    It’s a hard road to take, violating the law and then hoping for a favorable decision in the courts. A church risks a great deal to take that route. It’s much safer for members of tax-exempt organizations to petition the government for that change. I would be surprised if even a right-wing court or IRS (which I am not alleging is the case) would want that, because it would flood the election process with very influential dollars at a time when everyone seems to want dollars to have less influence in elections. The church’s tact from the article might be ignorance of the law, or indifference, thinking that the IRS is too busy to investigate them or there are so many violators that they have good chances not to be the martyr.

    As far as I know, the IRS has been more critical of 501(c)(3) organizations only as it relates to sending money to “terrorist” organizations. I haven’t heard of any other policy change in the IRS, though I admit that I might be the last to know about a policy change anyway.

    October 6, 2008
  404. Patrick: No worries. So long as on election day, if you intend to vote for me, don’t write in “Peter”.

    October 6, 2008
  405. Patrick Enders said:

    McCain is now asking the question, “Who is the real Barack Obama?”

    At least one of his followers has a simple answer: “Terrorist!”

    The crowd laughs. McCain does not dispute it.


    October 6, 2008
  406. Patrick Enders said:

    I won’t be writing anyone in for Council. That decision is easy. (At least I don’t think I will – we’re not using Diebold, are we?)

    As for the second half of that difficult voting decision: I look forward to the candidates’ forum.

    October 6, 2008
  407. Peter Millin said:

    Obama is no terrorist and McCain is obviously getting desperate.
    It shouldn’t be him asking the question anyway.
    Why hasn’t the press done it’s job on this? We know just about every little detail on Palins life, we should have the same level of investigation on Obama.
    Especially since his finger will be on the trigger soon.

    Wouldn’t you want to know?

    I don’t understand why politicians have such a hard time with the truth. If Obama would have come out and said, yeah I know the guy I used to believe in his nonsense, but then I grew up……this discussion would be over.

    Instead he get caught up in double talk and half truths. remember when Clinton was asked about smoking pot?
    All he had to say…yes I tried it and I didn;t like it. Instead he thought we were stupid and said ” I didn’t inhale”???? Oh Please.

    October 6, 2008
  408. Peter Millin said:

    I wonder when Obama wins Ohio (or any other state) in a tight vote, if the Diebold issue still will be alive or just fade away….LOL

    October 6, 2008
  409. Patrick Enders said:

    Peter, you wrote:

    Why hasn’t the press done it’s job on this? We know just about every little detail on Palins life, we should have the same level of investigation on Obama.
    Especially since his finger will be on the trigger soon.

    We do. Thanks to the due diligence of the media, I know more about Obama’s neighbors, church, schooling, and tangential social contacts than I know about most people.

    I don’t understand why politicians have such a hard time with the truth. If Obama would have come out and said, yeah I know the guy I used to believe in his nonsense, but then I grew up……this discussion would be over.

    Because there is no evidence to suggest that Barack Obama has ever believed such things. And given a lack of contradictory evidence, I give people the benefit of the doubt by judging them by what they say, and what they do. Not by who they’ve been peripherally associated with.

    If there’s one thing that’s pretty clear about Barack Obama, it is that he is actually pretty conventional in his perspective. (Conventional Democrat, of course.) I hope – and expect – that what we’ll get with Barack Obama as President is steady, competent, moderate-to-liberal government, with an ongoing effort to play to the center throughout his Presidency.

    I couldn’t hope for anything better – except perhaps a Socialist revolution. 😉

    (FYI Peter: that’s a joke.)

    October 6, 2008
  410. Peter Millin said:

    This is from the GOP website, but it provides enough sources for you to cross check.

    I have done sometimes questionable things in my past,…..why just not admit to it?
    The Obama Ayers Relationship

    The Relationship Between Barack Obama And Bill Ayers Is Much More Extensive Than Obama’s Campaign Is Willing To Admit

    Obama’s Top Campaign Staff Have Attempted To Downplay The Relationship Between Obama And Bill Ayers:

    Obama Spokesman Robert Gibbs Said That Obama And Ayers Weren’t Close And That Obama Was Only 8 Years Old When Ayers Was Bombing Buildings. Robert Gibbs: “If you read the article … it says these two men weren’t close, this man isn’t involved in our campaign. Bill Ayers is somebody that Barack Obama said his actions were despicable and these happened when Barack Obama was 8 years old.” (FOX News’ “FOX & Friends,” 10/6/08)

    Gibbs Has Also Limited The Relationship Between Obama And Ayers To Serving On Two Boards Together. John Roberts: “Barack Obama knew Bill Ayers and had contact with him between 1995 and 2005. Exactly what was the nature of the relationship?” Robert Gibbs: “Well, John, as The New York Times reported this weekend, they served on two boards together during that time period.” (CNN’s “American Morning,” 10/6/08)

    Even Obama Has Previously Referred To Ayers As “A Guy Who Lives In My Neighborhood” And Not Someone He Exchanges Ideas With “On A Regular Basis.” Obama: “George, but this is an example of what I’m talking about. This is a guy who lives in my neighborhood, who’s a professor of English in Chicago who I know and who I have not received some official endorsement from. He’s not somebody who I exchange ideas from on a regular basis. And the notion that somehow as a consequence of me knowing somebody who engaged in detestable acts 40 years ago, when I was 8 years old, somehow reflects on me and my values doesn’t make much sense, George.” (Sen. Barack Obama, ABC Democrat Candidates Presidential Debate, Philadelphia, PA, 4/16/08)

    But Obama’s Connections With Bill Ayers Are Much More Extensive Than He Or His Campaign Staff Is Willing To Admit:

    In 1995, During Obama’s First State Senate Campaign, William Ayers And Wife Bernadine Dohrn Hosted A Meeting Of Chicago Liberals At Their Home For Obama, Which One Attendee Said Was Aimed At “Launching Him.” “In 1995, State Senator Alice Palmer introduced her chosen successor, Barack Obama, to a few of the district’s influential liberals at the home of two well known figures on the local left: William Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn. While Ayers and Dohrn may be thought of in Hyde Park as local activists, they’re better known nationally as two of the most notorious — and unrepentant — figures from the violent fringe of the 1960s anti-war movement. … ‘I can remember being one of a small group of people who came to Bill Ayers’ house to learn that Alice Palmer was stepping down from the senate and running for Congress,’ said Dr. Quentin Young, a prominent Chicago physician and advocate for single-payer health care, of the info rmal gathering at the home of Ayers and his wife, Dohrn. ‘[Palmer] identified [Obama] as her successor.’ … Dr. Young and another guest, Maria Warren, described it similarly: as an introduction to Hyde Park liberals of the handpicked successor to Palmer, a well-regarded figure on the left. ‘When I first met Barack Obama, he was giving a standard, innocuous little talk in the living room of those two legends-in-their-own-minds, Bill Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn,’ Warren wrote on her blog in 2005. ‘They were launching him — introducing him to the Hyde Park community as the best thing since sliced bread.'” (Ben Smith, “Obama Once Visited ’60s Radicals,” The Politico, 1/22/08)

    From March Of 1995 Until September Of 1997, Obama And Ayers Attended At Least Seven Meetings Together Relating To The Chicago Annenberg Challenge. (Chicago Annenberg Challenge, Board Of Directors Meeting, Minutes Of The Board, 3/15/95, 3/31/95, 4/13/95, 6/5/95, 9/30/97; National Annenberg Challenge Evaluation Meeting, List Of Participants, 5/24/95; Chicago Annenberg Challenge, Chicago School Reform Collaborative Meeting, Minutes, 10/23/96)

    NOTE: Bill Ayers Was Asked To Help Obama Formulate The Chicago Annenberg Challenge By-Laws. (Chicago Annenberg Challenge Board Of Directors Minutes, 3/15/95)
    In 1997, Obama Praised Ayers’ Book On The Juvenile Justice System. “The two men were involved in efforts to reform the city’s education system. They appeared together on academic panels, including one organized by Michelle Obama to discuss the juvenile justice system, an area of mutual concern. Mr. Ayers’s book on the subject won a rave review in The Chicago Tribune by Mr. Obama, who called it ‘a searing and timely account.'” (Jo Becker and Christopher Drew, “Pragmatic Politics, Forged On The South Side,” The New York Times, 5/11/08)

    Obama On William Ayers’ “A Kind And Just Parent: The Children Of Juvenile Court”: “A searing and timely account of the juvenile court system, and the courageous individuals who rescue hope from despair.” (Chicago Tribune, 12/21/97)
    “[Obama And Ayers] Have Also Appeared Jointly On Two Academic Panels, One In 1997 And Another In 2001.” (Russell Berman, “Obama’s Ties To Left Come Under Scrutiny,” The New York Sun, 2/19/08)

    From 1999 To 2002, Obama Served With Ayers On The Board Of Directors For Woods Fund Of Chicago. “[Ayers] served with [Obama] from 1999 to 2002 on the board of the Woods Fund, an anti-poverty group.” (Timothy J. Burger, “Obama’s Chicago Ties Might Fuel ‘Republican Attack Machine’,” Bloomberg, 2/15/08)

    During The Time Obama And Ayers Served Together On The Woods Fund, Ayers Was Quoted Saying “I Don’t Regret Setting Bombs … I Feel We Didn’t Do Enough.” “‘I don’t regret setting bombs,’ Bill Ayers said. ‘I feel we didn’t do enough.’ Mr. Ayers, who spent the 1970’s as a fugitive in the Weather Underground, was sitting in the kitchen of his big turn-of-the-19th-century stone house in the Hyde Park district of Chicago.” (Dinitia Smith, “No Regrets For A Love Of Explosives,” The New York Times, 9/11/01)
    NOTE: Obama, Born August 14th, 1961, Was 40 Years Old When Ayers Was Quoted. (Obama For America Website,, Accessed 10/6/08; Dinitia Smith, “No Regrets For A Love Of Explosives,” The New York Times, 9/11/01)
    While Obama And Ayers Were Serving On The Woods Fund Together, Ayers Posed Standing On An American Flag For An Article In Chicago Magazine Entitled “No Regrets.” (Marcia Froelke Coburn, “No Regrets,” Chicago Magazine, 8/01)
    Obama And Ayers Are Neighbors In Chicago’s Hyde Park Neighborhood. “Twenty-six years later, at a lunchtime meeting about school reform in a Chicago skyscraper, Barack Obama met Mr. Ayers, by then an education professor. Their paths have crossed sporadically since then, at a coffee Mr. Ayers hosted for Mr. Obama’s first run for office, on the schools project and a charitable board, and in casual encounters as Hyde Park neighbors.” (Scott Shane, “Obama And ’60s Bomber: A Look Into Crossed Paths,” The New York Times, 10/4/08)

    Obama Spokesman Ben LaBolt Told The New York Times That Last Year Obama And Ayers “Bumped Into Each Other On The Street In Hyde Park.” “[Obama spokesman Ben LaBolt] said they have not spoken by phone or exchanged e-mail messages since Mr. Obama began serving in the United States Senate in January 2005 and last met more than a year ago when they bumped into each other on the street in Hyde Park.” (Scott Shane, “Obama And ’60s Bomber: A Look Into Crossed Paths,” The New York Times, 10/4/08)
    Neighbors Have Said “It’s Only Natural” That Obama Would Know Ayers, Who Often Opens His Home For Gatherings, As Obama And His Wife “Are A Part Of Our Neighborhood And Part Of Our Social Circle.” “Since coming out of hiding in 1980, the couple have raised three boys in Chicago and become part of the fabric of their liberal South Side neighborhood. Neighbors said it’s only natural that Obama would know Ayers and Dohrn, who often open their homes for gatherings filled with lively discussions about politics, arts and social issues. Obama and his wife ‘are part of our neighborhood and part of our social circle,’ said Elizabeth Chandler, a neighbor of Ayers’.” (Trevor Jensen, Robert Mitchum and Mary Owen, “Bill Ayers’ Turbulent Past Contrasts With Quiet Academ ic Life,” Chicago Tribune, 4/17/08)
    Ayers’ Organization, The Weather Underground, Was A “Violent Left-Wing Activist Group”:

    “William Ayers … [Was] A Founding Member Of The Group That Bombed The U.S. Capitol And The Pentagon During The 1970s.” (Russell Berman, “Obama’s Ties To Left Come Under Scrutiny,” The New York Sun, 2/19/08)

    Ayers’ Group, The Weather Underground, Is A “Violent Left-Wing Activist Group.” “Senator Obama’s ties to a former leader of the violent left-wing activist group the Weather Underground are drawing new scrutiny as he battles Senator Clinton for the Democratic presidential nomination.” (Russell Berman, “Obama’s Ties To Left Come Under Scrutiny,” The New York Sun, 2/19/08)
    The Weather Underground Produced A Manual Which Begins, “We Are A Guerrilla Organization. We Are Communist Women And Men, Underground In The United States For More Than Four Years.” “The coalition was said to be a violence-prone faction inspired by the Weather Underground’s ”Prairie Fire,” a guerrilla warfare manual published in 1974. The manual begins, ‘We are a guerrilla organization. We are Communist women and men, underground in the United States for more than four years.'” (Paul L. Montgomery, “2 Women In Brink’s Case Identified With Weathermen From Start In ’69,” The New York Times, 10/ 22/81)

    October 6, 2008
  411. Patrick Enders said:

    All of that has been covered in the news already. All it shows is that Obama and Ayers moved in the same political community. That is: guilt by association.

    Which part of that demonstrates that Obama has bad ideas or secret plans?

    October 6, 2008
  412. Patrick Enders said:

    Peter wrote,

    Who btw just won a federal court ruling allowing same day voter registrations in early voting…..must be Diebold.

    Good for Acorn. We have similar sensible policies here in Minnesota.

    In 2004, I walked into the Rochester City Hall, registered to vote, and filled out an absentee ballot.

    October 6, 2008
  413. john george said:

    Jerold- I made this comment above, “…I have no problem cutting down fuel consumption or finding energy sources that are not carbon based. What I do not believe is that these steps will have any consequence in affecting the climate changes going on…”, and I believe that good stewardship is appropose. In that we are carbon based beings, it seems our dependence upon carbon based food and fuel just follows. In my opinion, one of the results of the industrial revolution is our drift toward consumerism rather than self sufficency. I remember growing up on a small farm that was yet large enough to produce enough food for us to eat and still have some to sell allowing us to buy those products we could not produce ourselves. We did not use manmade fertilizers, but through what the cattle produced and good crop rotation, we had good yields. It would be great to be able to return to that simplicity of life, and, perhaps with the events in out economy right now, we may be forced to return to that level. Time will tell, I suppose. In the mean time, any way one could choose to reverse this pattern in their own lives will certainly not be detrimental. My question is whether it is possible to reverse the climactic changes just by all of us adjusting our lifestyle? I haven’t seen any good observable data to support this theory of reversing climate change. I may have missed it, but I haven’t seen it.

    Kiffi- I think you missed my comment above, “…What I have experienced in responses to my questions has been the opinion that I must be a homo-phobe and steeped in hatred of the lifestyle. What I hear in the unspoken inferences is that if I were not this, then I would have no reason to question homosexuality…” Do you believe me when I say my opposition to homosexuality is not based in hatred? Are you suggesting that Christianity is somehow responsible for all the hate crimes commited against gays? Do you consider the scriptural admonitions about homosexuality hate speech?Just wondering.

    As far as the hatred you talk about being acted out in your post, this type of treatment is common today in about every Islamic country. If you do a little investigation, I think you will find that homosexuals and Christians are treated with equal contempt. It is only in America that I could ever have the freedom to speak openly like this without fear of retribution. I would hope that my grandchildren would have the same freedoms extended to their generation. If I don’t take action in my time, they will not have them.

    October 6, 2008
  414. John G.: My observations based on the order of your post (#446)…

    1. We’re about 18% carbon, so carbon-based food is important, but I don’t know how that relates to our reliance on carbon-based fuel.

    2. It will take a large number of people to reverse the effect of the last several generations, but we can do it. Last I checked, the top two sources of greenhouse gas are combustion engines and cows. The cumulative effect of a large number of Americans switching to non-combustion (or extremely high efficiency) cars and eating fewer cows would predictably reduce America’s greenhouse gas production. It is very hard to make these changes on a large scale, which makes it all the more important for people who believe the data to take these steps. As more people make these changes, the more “normal” these changes are to society, and the more accepted they become. I have an all-electric scooter (“Skeuter” brand) at my old home. As soon as I can get it shipped to Northfield, I’ll be buzzing around the city using 20 cents of electricity every 40 miles. Every bit helps.

    October 6, 2008
  415. Peter Millin said:

    Patrick…..Acorn has several court rulings against them for voter fraud…just google it I am too lazy.
    Further Acorn is on the receiving end of some of the bailout money…..


    I will look for you on a scooter in January 🙂

    October 7, 2008
  416. Patrick Enders said:

    Peter wrote,

    just google it I am too lazy.

    Me too.

    October 7, 2008
  417. Peter: I read your post #442, regarding Obama and Ayers, with considerable alarm. Articles like the one you posted have no evidence of Obama’s intentions being anything kin to the Weather Underground’s, and articles like these are the favored material for character assassinations because of the vast free speech protections of journalism.

    I have crossed paths with women’s activist Tammy Bruce, but that does not make me a lesbian. I have crossed paths with illusionist James Randi, but that does not make me a magician. I have crossed paths with you, and I’m unchanged. Your analysis suggests that all of Northfield’s city council has some culpability of Mayor Lansing’s ethical violations, because they served together for nearly 2 or 4 years.

    I have no doubt that Ayers has political interests on the left side of the spectrum, and I have no doubt the same for Obama. They are both politically active in the same region. Of course, they would run in the same circles, but to infer that Obama has a criminal or terrorist agenda because of Ayers being politically active in the same neighborhood is a terrorizing verdict of guilt by association.

    If you have a grudge against Obama, that’s your prerogative. Insinuating that he has past or present criminal or terrorist motives is not consistent with the evidence, and it saddens me that you perpetuate these insinuations.

    October 7, 2008
  418. Paul Fried said:

    Warning: Thread drift comment (in response to earlier thread drift):

    JohnG (446): You write, “this type of treatment is common today in about every Islamic country. If you do a little investigation, I think you will find that homosexuals and Christians are treated with equal contempt.”

    I don’t know where you get this information. I have known people (Christians) who have traveled in the Palestinian areas of the Holy Land, and others who have traveled in Turkey, Pakistan and Indonesia (majority Muslim), and their experience has been very different. In some countries, there are internal struggles, granted. In some, homosexuals are certainly persecuted.

    But since when should the most extreme actions of certain Mulsim nations become the moral yardstick by which Christians measure their own actions? Just because Muslims do it, does that help make it OK? JohnG, I don’t get your point. So some Muslims and Muslim nations do it, and in the US we have freedom of speech — I don’t follow.

    October 7, 2008
  419. Paul Fried said:

    PaulZ, JeroldF & Patrick: Regarding preachers, endorsements and the IRS, we should realize that the IRS claims they don’t even have enough staff to go after much of the tax fraud that they claim would bring in extra millions. Realistically, churches and ministers will not be investigated anytime soon, not before the election.

    I think it was Napoleon who once said something to the effect that you don’t have to lie forever, or have your lies believed forever; just until it doesn’t matter anymore.

    October 7, 2008
  420. Scott Oney said:

    Patrick (re: your post of October 6 at 7:36 p.m.):

    Same-day registration, at least the way it works in Minnesota, opens the door to vote fraud in several ways. Here are a few of them:

    1. A voter can vote in his or her home state by absentee ballot and vote again in Minnesota on election day. There’s no system in place for cross-checking between states, so detection is unlikely. This one works especially well for college students, who meet the criteria for voting in their home state as well as in the state in which they attend school. (They’re free to choose to vote in either state, but not both.)

    2. A voter could vote in a nearby state in the morning, and come to Minnesota and vote again in the afternoon. Again, detection would be unlikely.

    3. A voter could vote in more than one precinct in Minnesota. The rolls are eventually checked, and when duplicate entries are found, such voters could be charged, but I’m not aware that the state bothers with this. They usually just note problems on the rolls for next time. And anyway, there’s no way to “unvote” such a voter in the excess precincts.

    4. Foreign nationals can vote and have their votes counted. They have to lie by checking the box at the top of the form to indicate that they’re U.S. citizens, and they have to fill in four digits and claim them as the last four digits of their social security numbers, but if they’re willing to do that, they can vote, and can’t be “unvoted” even if they’re eventually found out, which again is unlikely.

    These are just some of the better known ways to beat the system. Anybody so inclined already knows about them, so I don’t think I’m giving anything away by mentioning them here. As long as a multi-voter says the right things (and refrains from saying the wrong things) when registering, there’s no way to stop them on the spot from breaking the law. It’s basically an honor system.

    October 7, 2008
  421. Peter Millin said:


    I don’t know where I ever insinuated that Obama was a terrorist. I was merely examining his personal connections.
    I think it speaks to a mans character as to what people he surrounds himself with. I am pretty certain that you didn’t have the same type of relationship, that Obama has/had with Ayers or Wright, in your dealings with whomever you cited.

    Obama is as far left in the spectrum as one can get without being a communist. This in combination with his personal relationships are enough for me to get my attention. From there to call him a terrorist is a bit of stretch even for me.
    If Mccain would have similar ties to any right wing groups i would be as vigilant.
    My core belief is that I know better then anybody in government what’s best for me and my family. I don’t need a bureaucrat to tell me what to do with my life, thank you.
    Obama stands for what I was trying to escape its called government involvement and socialism and McCain only differs in shades. Neither one of them has my best interest in mind…and if you think about they neither have yours, unless of course you work for the government.

    October 7, 2008
  422. Peter Millin said:


    Foolishly enough I thought that your post was common knowledge.

    Thanks for the enlightenment.

    October 7, 2008
  423. Paul Fried said:

    Chalmers Johnson reflects at about how there have been only two major elections of realignment since Lincoln: FDR (which ended what had been a period of mostly Republican government in the US since Lincoln) and Nixon (which ended the period of mostly Democratic government since FDR).

    Voting the Fate of the Nation
    Will Economic Meltdown, Race, or Regional Loyalty Be the Trump Card in Election 2008?
    By Chalmers Johnson
    (published 10-7)

    Some clips:
    Such a development, however, is extremely rare and surrounded by contingencies normally beyond the control of the advocates of reform. So let me speculate about whether the 2008 election might set in motion a political reconfiguration — and even a political renaissance — in the United States, restoring a modicum of democracy to the country’s political system, while ending our march toward imperialism, perpetual warfare, and bankruptcy that began with the Cold War.

    The political blunders, serious mistakes, and governmental failures of the last eight years so discredited the administration of George W. Bush — his average approval rating has fallen to 27% and some polls now show him dipping into the low twenties — that his name was barely mentioned in the major speeches at the Republican convention. Even John McCain has chosen to run under the banner of “maverick” as a candidate of “change,” despite the fact that his own party’s misgoverning has elicited those demands for change.

    Bringing the opposition party to power, however, is not in itself likely to restore the American republic to good working order. It is almost inconceivable that any president could stand up to the overwhelming pressures of the military-industrial complex, as well as the extra-constitutional powers of the 16 intelligence agencies that make up the U.S. Intelligence Community, and the entrenched interests they represent. The subversive influence of the imperial presidency (and vice presidency), the vast expansion of official secrecy and of the police and spying powers of the state, the institution of a second Defense Department in the form of the Department of Homeland Security, and the irrational commitments of American imperialism (761 active military bases in 151 foreign countries as of 2008) will not easily be rolled back by the normal workings of the political system.

    For even a possibility of that occurring, the vote in November would have to result in a “realigning election,” of which there have been only two during the past century — the election of Franklin Roosevelt in 1932 and of Richard Nixon in 1968. Until 1932, the Republicans had controlled the presidency for 56 of the previous 72 years, beginning with Abraham Lincoln’s election in 1860. After 1932, the Democrats occupied the White House for 28 of the next 36 years.
    Of these two realigning elections, the Roosevelt election is certainly the more important for our moment, ushering in as it did one of the few truly democratic periods in American political history. In his new book, Democracy Incorporated, Princeton political theorist Sheldon Wolin suggests the following: “Democracy is about the conditions that make it possible for ordinary people to better their lives by becoming political beings and by making power responsive to their hopes and needs.”

    However, the founders of this country and virtually all subsequent political leaders have been hostile to democracy in this sense. They favored checks and balances, republicanism, and rule by elites rather than rule by the common man or woman. Wolin writes, “The American political system was not born a democracy, but born with a bias against democracy. It was constructed by those who were either skeptical about democracy or hostile to it. Democratic advance proved to be slow, uphill, forever incomplete.
    Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal introduced a brief period of approximate democracy. This ended with the U.S. entry into World War II, when the New Deal was replaced by a wartime economy based on munitions manufacture and the support of weapons producers. This development had a powerful effect on the American political psyche, since only war production ultimately overcame the conditions of the Great Depression and restored full employment. Ever since that time, the United States has experimented with maintaining a military economy and a civilian economy simultaneously. Over time, this has had the effect of misallocating vital resources away from investment and consumption, while sapping the country’s international competitiveness.

    Socioeconomic conditions in 2008 bear a certain resemblance to those of 1932, making a realigning election conceivable. Unemployment in 1932 was a record 33%. In the fall of 2008, the rate is a much lower 6.1%, but other severe economic pressures abound. These include massive mortgage foreclosures, bank and investment house failures, rapid inflation in the prices of food and fuel, the failure of the health care system to deliver service to all citizens, a growing global-warming environmental catastrophe due to the over-consumption of fossil fuels, continuing costly military interventions in Iraq and Afghanistan, with more on the horizon due to foreign policy failures (in Georgia, Ukraine, Palestine, Lebanon, Iran, Pakistan, and elsewhere), and record-setting budgetary and trade deficits.

    The question is: Can the electorate be mobilized, as in 1932, and will this indeed lead to a realigning election? The answer to neither question is an unambiguous yes.
    Johnson goes on to consider “The Race Factor” and “The Regional Factor,” and then “Why This Might Still Be a Turning-Point Election.” The whole article is worth a look.

    October 7, 2008
  424. Patrick Enders said:

    Scott and Peter,
    The problem with your criticism of Minnesota’s voting system is that you haven’t shown that same-day voting is leading to abuse.

    A quick google of “Minnesota voter fraud” only came up with lots of right-wing (and HRC) concern about the potential for fraud, and one actual instance of fraud in 2002, which was being prosecuted:

    Prosecutors charged 95 people with forgery Wednesday for an alleged scheme in which they all registered to vote using the same address: a strip club recently shut down by city officials.

    Most of the alleged forgers lived outside the town. The scheme, in which the club’s owner also was charged, could have given club supporters a political majority in the town of 163 people. The mayor and two council members are in contested races next month in Coates, where 79 voted in the 2000 general election.

    October 7, 2008
  425. john george said:

    Jerold F.- Your scooter sounds like a good deal, but not for my trip to Lakeville in January. I would add that until you can get your battery charged with all the electricity coming from a renewable energy source, such as solar or wind, most of it still comes from some carbon based fuel. Just a question, I know that photo-voltaic panels convert sunlight directly into electrical energy. What is the base for these chemicals? If they are carbon based, then I question how much edvantage it actually provides. I won’t touch on nuclear as a source. Although it is not carbon based, it is not renewable and definitely not waste free.

    Paul F.- Thanks for pointing out an error in my editing when I said, “…about every Islamic country…” That is not an accurate statement, and I thought I had corrected it to read, “many Islamic countries.” My point here is that hatred and extremism relative to homosexuality is not a Christian phenominon. In fact, it is not Christian at all. Hatred and violence are a characteristic of the old nature. The hope that my walk with God has given me is the victory over this old nature. My freedom to live this faith is important to me, and I want to see that passed on to my children and grandchildren. I will expose and oppose anything that I percieve as a threat to this freedom.

    October 7, 2008
  426. Scott Oney said:

    Patrick (re: your post of October 7 at 11:59 a.m.): You’ve essentially restated my point, but I don’t think you’re drawing the same conclusions as I do. You say that you’ve only found one case being prosecuted (although it actually involves 95 people, so you could call it 95 instances in one precinct alone). My point was that there’s no system in place for uncovering and prosecuting vote fraud of the types I listed, and that the state is reluctant to prosecute anyway. I’m guessing that you see the lack of prosecutions as evidence that the fraud isn’t happening. I’m not sure how you arrive at that conclusion. Just hypothetically, what sort of evidence would you need to be convinced that fraud is a real problem?

    If fraud is taking place on a large scale in individual precincts, it would be possible to uncover some evidence of it using publicly available information. It would involve a “fishing expedition,” so to speak, but if you know the weaknesses of the system, and the community in question, it shouldn’t be too hard; you’d have a head start on where to look. If anyone’s interested in looking at the 2004 and 2006 elections, and can volunteer a few hours a week, let me know.

    October 7, 2008
  427. John G.: Battery power can come from fossil (carbon-based) fuel, solar (including wind and hydro-), or nuclear. Assuming it comes from fossil fuels, it is tremendously more efficient to control one power station than to control millions of small combustion engines in private cars. Even in this imperfect instance, it will reduce carbon emissions. If Northfield and our neighbors invest in solar-related power, it would be that much better.

    I understand that a 40-mile charge won’t suffice for your distant trips. If, however, you add up all of your local trips and use electricity instead, I predict that you’ll find a great savings in fuel costs and you’ll cause much less pollution. And as I stated earlier, when your friends and neighbors see you jetting around on an all-electric scooter, they might be inspired to do the same.

    The best fuel, of course, would be muscle power. Don’t let my suggestion of electrical power trump your bicycle and pedestrian fancies.

    October 7, 2008
  428. Patrick Enders said:

    Scott wrote,

    I’m guessing that you see the lack of prosecutions as evidence that the fraud isn’t happening. I’m not sure how you arrive at that conclusion.

    I see the lack of prosecutions as a lack of evidence that fraud is happening.

    Let me know if you find evidence that fraudulent ballots are being cast in Minnesota.

    October 7, 2008
  429. Scott Oney said:

    Patrick (re: your post of October 7 at 2:33 p.m.): You wrote,

    Let me know if you find evidence that fraudulent ballots are being cast in Minnesota.

    Again, I’m not sure exactly what sort of evidence you want. There are some well-known examples. Kathleen Soliah, when she was a fugitive, voted a few times using the alias “Sarah Jane Olson,” but she was never prosecuted for it as far as I know. And that was the least of her worries, so who really cares. I’m assuming you’re looking for more dramatic evidence than that.

    If you’re only willing to accept prosecutions, I’m afraid you’re out of luck. I could come up with a few examples in this state, but not so many that would account for enough votes to throw an election. But I still don’t see how you jump from “not many prosecutions” to “not happening.” Would you be willing to take a couple of minutes to explain it? Or are you not saying that? I still don’t get it, really.

    October 7, 2008
  430. Scott Oney said:

    Here’s an example of a girl who got caught voting twice:

    WINONA, Minn., Oct. 25, 2006 –A 19-year-old Winona State University student charged with vote fraud faces possibly five years in year prison and a $10,000 fine if convicted. Abigail Anne-Mariee Kremer is charged with voting twice. According to court documents, this is what happened: On Oct. 13, 2005, Kremer applied for an absentee ballet with Nobles County listing her legal residence in Wilmont, Minn. The next week, on Oct. 22 Kremer filled out the absentee ballet and returned it to Nobles County. Then on Nov. 8, Kremer voted again in Winona, registering in person and listed her Winona State dorm address. In registering in Winona, Kremer was asked if she had previously voted and she responded “yes” that she was previously registered in Wilmont.

    Here’s a link to the source:

    Her problem was that she voted twice in the same state, and also that the people in Winona were up in arms that year about a property tax increase that narrowly passed.

    Here’s an article about people whose immigration status is such that they’re not eligible to vote but who nevertheless vote anyway in U.S. elections and the difficulties in preventing it:

    Illegal Immigrants Are Voting in American Elections

    This article also mentions a few individual cases of people who did get caught.

    October 7, 2008
  431. Patrick Enders said:

    Scott, you wrote,

    Again, I’m not sure exactly what sort of evidence you want. There are some well-known examples. Kathleen Soliah, when she was a fugitive, voted a few times using the alias “Sarah Jane Olson,” but she was never prosecuted for it as far as I know. And that was the least of her worries, so who really cares. I’m assuming you’re looking for more dramatic evidence than that.

    If you’re only willing to accept prosecutions, I’m afraid you’re out of luck. I could come up with a few examples in this state, but not so many that would account for enough votes to throw an election.

    I’m just saying that I don’t see any evidence that voter fraud is happening in Minnesota. I understand the theoretical risk that someone could vote fraudulently. However, the punishment for fraudulent voting by an individual is great, while the potential benefit to that individual is small. Therefore, I believe there are already significant disincentives to prevent it from happening.

    Your mentioning of the ex-fugitive is one piece of evidence that at least one person has voted fraudulently. Of course, she is now being punished for her crimes in general, if not this one in particular. If there are many other such examples – especially ones of fraudulent voting without consequence – that would constitute evidence that our current system needs revision.

    October 7, 2008
  432. Patrick Enders said:

    This just in from Bizarro World:

    Cindy McCain said today that she expects her husband to clear the record at tonight’s debate and let America know where he truly stands.

    McCain, who stopped to visit a half-dozen children at the Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt today, said the presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama has “waged the dirtiest campaign in American history,” and her husband Sen. John McCain will use tonight’s debate to correct the distortions.

    October 7, 2008
  433. Anthony Pierre said:


    republicans are really good at taking their weaknesses and projecting them on their opponents. I heard a surrogate today call obama a liar….

    October 7, 2008
  434. Scott and Patrick: Voter fraud should be resisted. It exploits the democratic principle of one vote per person. I assume that voter fraud occurs in Minnesota, and in all states, even without prosecutions.

    However, voter fraud pales in comparison to the danger of election fraud. I imagine there is a rare instance when voter fraud will change the outcome of an election, like the story where 90 people were registered in a town of 133 population. I’m glad that was caught. Nonetheless, I’d rather the focus of the government, and the citizens, be on election fraud.

    In so many words, I’d rather have a relatively few voters exploit democracy than have special interests thwart it.

    October 7, 2008
  435. Barry Cipra said:

    There is an interesting assessment of voter fraud allegations at

    It includes an update on the Jake’s Gentlemen’s Club Coates case, from March 14, 2007:

    “Dakota County Attorney James C. Backstrom announced today that a Dakota County jury has found Richard Jacobson, age 36, formerly of Prescott, Wisconsin, not guilty of Conspiracy to Procure Unlawful Voting and Conspiracy to Commit Forgery, both felonies, in connection with a scheme to have 93 patrons, employees and other persons solicited elsewhere register to vote falsely in a 2002 election in the city of Coates, listing the strip club as their residence.” appears to be a combination think tank and advocacy group. My guess is it leans slightly to the left of the American Enterprise Institute….

    October 7, 2008
  436. Scott Oney said:

    Jerold (re: your post of October 7 at 6:42 p.m.): What do you mean by election fraud? Do you mean like a rigged election or something (e.g., where a candidate has all of his opponents kicked off the ballot)? If you’re talking about Illinois, there were lawyers involved, so it was probably actually legal, even though some people didn’t like it. Or do you mean something else?

    October 7, 2008
  437. Scott: For simplicity, you may choose to reference posts by the gray number at its lower right.

    Voter fraud is when the voter fouls the system, such as by voting twice. Election fraud is when any one else fouls the system, such as the allegations of disenfranchising predominately Democratic voters in Florida in 2000, and the allegations of inaccurate electronic election machines in Ohio in 2004. The list of alleged election fraud from the past two presidential elections is rather long.

    That’s why election fraud should be scrutinized much more than voter fraud. If Abigail Anne-Mariee Kremer votes twice in the same election, chances are slim that she will have an effect. Chances are not as slim, but still rather small, if hundreds of aliens vote who are spread across a state. If hundreds of voters are unlawfully turned away from a single poll, or if electronic voting machines are defective (perhaps intentionally so), then the chances of a fouled election are much greater.

    There are many credible election fraud articles on the internet. This article states that the Republicans prevented 350,000 Ohio residents from voting in the 2004 election:

    Consider this excerpt from the article: “A consulting firm called Sproul & Associates, which was hired by the Republican National Committee to register voters in six battleground states, was discovered shredding Democratic registrations.”

    So I think it’s fine and good to complain about voter fraud unless election fraud is overlooked in the process.

    October 7, 2008
  438. Scott Oney said:

    Patrick (re: your post of October 7 at 5:19 p.m.): I can offer one piece of indirect evidence of a pattern of vote fraud in Minnesota related to same-day registration; at least I think it points to some kind of a problem with the system as it is now.

    When you register to vote on election day, you fill out a form and then vote; your vote counts, no matter what happens later. Shortly after election day, postcards are mailed to everyone who registered at the polls. When you receive one, you don’t have to do anything with it; it just means you’re registered, and that you’ll be on the rolls for the next election. But if the letter carrier can’t deliver the card–if the address is for a vacant lot or an abandoned building, for example–the post office returns the card to the county. Then, when the list is printed out for the next election, the voter’s name and problem address appear, but with a notation of the postal return. If the voter shows up again and tries to vote giving the same (presumably) bogus address, it’s up to the election judge to straighten things out before allowing the person to vote. I’ve worked as an election judge a few times, and I’ve seen many notations of postal returns on the rolls, but I don’t recall anyone showing up and trying to vote again; it seems like they just vote once and then they’re gone.

    October 7, 2008
  439. Scott Oney said:

    Jerold (10/7 at 8:58 p.m.): I used to use those comment numbers to refer to posts on Locally Grown, but then someone pointed out that they change when comments are added or deleted by the moderators. If Griff has found a way around that, I’ll go back to using them. Except for the confusion caused by the renumbering, they worked out pretty well.

    Thanks for clarifying your distinction between voter fraud and election fraud. I think it’s a good one, and both problems deserve attention. I had been using the term “vote fraud” to cover both individual voters who come up with a plan to cheat and also organized efforts to disenfranchise large numbers of voters, whether by preventing them from voting or through over-voting. Here are a couple of articles that refer to “voter fraud,” but I think what they’re describing would be “election fraud” under your definition:

    Ellison Endorsed by Group Implicated in Several Voter Fraud Cases

    Rep. Keith Ellison, ACORN and Voter Fraud!

    The second one may actually be an example of election fraud perpetrated to enable voter fraud, if I understand the distinction correctly.

    I don’t trust electronic voting machines either. In Minnesota, though, we have paper ballots to fall back on if there’s a problem, whether at an individual polling place or statewide. When you put your ballot into the machine, it counts your votes, but the ballot itself is saved inside a locked compartment. After polls close, the ballots are removed under the observation of judges from more than one party, sealed up, and saved. If there’s a problem (say, if 90% of the voters are baffled by the outcome), the ballots are available for recount, by hand if necessary.

    October 8, 2008
  440. Scott: I’m not used to moderated fora so thanks for the tip. I’ll start using date and time.

    I’ve heard of the voter fraud/election fraud distinction used a lot as a dichotomy, but now it sounds more definitive to say that election fraud is general, and voter fraud is a type of election fraud, so it should be used as the more precise term when addressing voters defrauding the election.

    Thanks for the links!

    October 8, 2008
  441. Patrick Enders said:

    Here’s an important issue that the candidates need to take a bold stand on, right now:

    The Israeli-Palestinian Hummus dispute.

    And the scary thing is, the legal battle may hinge on arguments over “the Feta Precedent.”

    October 8, 2008
  442. Barry Cipra said:

    As a partial reality check on the vote-fraud allegations, here’s a snippet from a NY Times article, available at

    In 5-Year Effort, Scant Evidence of Voter Fraud
    Published: April 12, 2007
    Correction Appended

    WASHINGTON, April 11 — Five years after the Bush administration began a crackdown on voter fraud, the Justice Department has turned up virtually no evidence of any organized effort to skew federal elections, according to court records and interviews.

    Although Republican activists have repeatedly said fraud is so widespread that it has corrupted the political process and, possibly, cost the party election victories, about 120 people have been charged and 86 convicted as of last year.

    Most of those charged have been Democrats, voting records show. Many of those charged by the Justice Department appear to have mistakenly filled out registration forms or misunderstood eligibility rules, a review of court records and interviews with prosecutors and defense lawyers show.

    October 8, 2008
  443. Paul Fried said:

    Re: Acorn & voter fraud, fired US attorney David Iglesias was interviewed by Teri Gross of Fresh Air at NPR (broadcast tonight), and he talked about voter fraud and touched on Acorn. The picture from him was very different from the one suggested on this thread (Peter, and Scott’s link?):

    Click the red speaker icon to listen to the 19 min 50 second program.

    Iglesias wasn’t Republican enough, it seems, and was being asked to go after small voter fraud cases of questionable merit. He set up a commission to look into it to avoid making it become partisan, but they found no merit, and lots of partisan pressure from local Republicans to get him to go partisan. He would not, so he lost his job.

    He mentions an Acorn case in which a woman was working for Acorn and being paid for how many voters she registered, but her motive was not to sway elections, just to get a paycheck. He says a judge would have thrown it out, but the Republicans would have loved a lot of negative press in such cases right around election time.

    So Republican US attorneys lost their jobs because they were not willing to use their office to play partisan politics. From the stats Barry supplies (October 8, 2008 7:24 pm, currently #479), it seems some of them may have been willing to play that game.

    October 8, 2008
  444. Paul Zorn said:

    Now for something completely different.

    What if the election were held worldwide? Try to guess before clicking below what fraction of “world electoral votes” Obama and McCain would receive.

    Any comments?

    October 8, 2008
  445. Barry Cipra said:

    Just following up on Paul’s posting (#480), here’s a snippet from an article published in 2007 by the (presumably left-leaning) National Housing Institute, available at

    “Voter-fraud accusations against ACORN surfaced in 2004 in Florida, Ohio, Minnesota, Pennsylvania, Colorado, and Wisconsin. None of these allegations panned out; most involved incomplete or duplicate applications, and even bad handwriting. Yet most journalists covered the fights over voter registration and participation as a kind of he-said, she-said story, suspending judgment on the relative accuracy of Democrats accusing Republicans of voter repression and Republicans accusing Democrats of voter fraud. Perhaps striving for evenhandedness, mainstream media, including public radio, treated the subject as if voter access by minorities and voter fraud were like siblings who complain that the other gets too much attention: The Democrats yell and scream about access; Republicans about fraud.”

    October 8, 2008
  446. Barry Cipra said:

    To be crystal clear, I meant Paul F. in my previous post, not that Paul Z. guy….

    October 8, 2008
  447. Barry Cipra said:

    Paul (Z. this time), in regard to your worldwide Electoral College, I say we tax the bastards before we let ’em vote! No Representation Without Taxation!

    October 8, 2008
  448. Barry Cipra said:

    And now this, indicative more of bureaucratic incompetence than of fraud, from the first couple of paragraphs of an article in the NY Times, available at

    States’ Actions to Block Voters Appear Illegal
    Published: October 8, 2008

    Tens of thousands of eligible voters in at least six swing states have been removed from the rolls or have been blocked from registering in ways that appear to violate federal law, according to a review of state records and Social Security data by The New York Times.

    The actions do not seem to be coordinated by one party or the other, nor do they appear to be the result of election officials intentionally breaking rules, but are apparently the result of mistakes in the handling of the registrations and voter files as the states tried to comply with a 2002 federal law, intended to overhaul the way elections are run.

    October 9, 2008
  449. Patrick Enders said:

    There’s been a lot of coverage on implementing the 2002 election law in Wisconsin, where the Republican Attorney General wants to hastily implement that law between now and November. (Why the databases weren’t reviewed sooner is of course a more complicated problem, including the fact that until now a lot of these voter registrations were kept locally, and on paper. Beyond that, I’ve actually worked with some WI state databases, and let me just say that even those are not much better than working with pen on paper anyway.)

    Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen, a Republican, filed the lawsuit Monday in Dane County Circuit Court to get ineligible voters off the rolls. It calls for a court order mandating the Government Accountability Board to cross-check voters who have registered since Jan. 1, 2006, when federal Help America Vote Act legislation required that states implement a voter database to cross-check voter registrations with Department of Transportation, criminal and death records.

    The [Accountability] board last month found that information contained on more than 20 percent of recent voter registrations failed to match information maintained on state Department of Transportation records such as names and addresses, mostly because of variations in how a name was used, typographical errors or incompatibilities in the two agencies’ databases. Even information from four of six Accountability Board members in the voter database failed to match DOT records.

    October 9, 2008
  450. Barry Cipra said:

    Peter, you already posted the LVJ article once. What’s your point?

    Let me quote a selective excerpt from the article:

    “[Clark County Registrar of Voters Larry] Lomax said he did not think there was a systematic attempt to submit phony forms.”

    In other words, when you look closely at these voter fraud allegations, you find scant evidence of some vast left-wing conspiracy to steal the election. I’m by no means defending ACORN — offhand, it seems they have some serious quality-control problems — but these efforts to discredit them are really pretty flimsy. If you can find an example where the authorities suspect (not even know, just suspect) there is an actual effort to fraudulently register people who are actually going to vote when they’re actually not eligible, rather than these cases where some lazy or overworked slob fills out forms to meet a quota, please post it!

    October 9, 2008
  451. Patrick Enders said:

    From Ben Smith of Politico:

    Two kinds of fraud

    Acorn may not exactly be a household word, but it was on the cover of one of the newspapers I read in hard copy today, so it seemed worth getting into a marginal story that the GOP is trying to make central.

    The key distinction here is between voter fraud and voter registration fraud, one of which is truly dangerous, the other a petty crime.

    The former would be, say, voting the cemeteries or stuffing the ballot boxes. This has happened occasionally in American history, though I can think of recent instances only in rare local races. Practically speaking, this can most easily be done by whoever is actually administering the election, which is why partisan observers carefully oversee the vote-counting process.

    The latter is putting the names of fake voters on the rolls, something that happens primarily when organizations, like Acorn, pay contractors for new voter registrations. That can be a crime, and it messes up the voter files, but there’s virtually no evidence these imaginary people then vote in November. The current stories about Acorn don’t even allege a plan to affect the November vote.

    So the New York Post’s story leads:

    Two Ohio voters, including Domino’s pizza worker Christopher Barkley , claimed yesterday that they were hounded by the community-activist group ACORN to register to vote several times, even though they made it clear they’d already signed up.

    There’s not even an allegation that the guy was being pressed to vote twice.

    Acorn, meanwhile, is denouncing the raid on its Nevada office as a political stunt, and says it had tried to alert authorities to its own bad registrations.

    And Acorn is taking credit for registering 1.3 million new voters, which is a lot, though the fake ones, of course, along with being against the law, are worthless.

    October 9, 2008
  452. So glad am I that this vote and election fraud is being discussed, and I have not had time to read all the input, so please forgive me if I cover that which has already been covered. Several months ago, I wrote in LOGRONO, about the insidious habit of getting older folks in nursing homes and such, who have voted one way or the other for a lifetime to now be persuaded or intimidated to change their votes, when they no longer can remember from one hour to the next who they spoke to or what was said, yet they signed or pledged to vote another way.

    This is stuff you can’t really catch unless you look at voting records and have a conversation with the person who got their preference changed. It may be the most damaging of all voter fraud. I am sure there are all kinds of other ways, but I was told that this is going on right here in Northfield a few years ago.

    I have no proof, so I can’t do anything but ask people again to refrain, to watch out for and to at least let us have the integrity of our voting process.
    No candidate is worth loosing that for, are they?

    October 9, 2008
  453. HI, Patrick. Interesting video, which I am very sad to see. From the beginning of our campaign discussions, I said there was no proper candidate for president, and I have been swinging back and forth, there is so much material to cover.

    In the past, I never paid much attention to the media’s coverage of the “silly season” (the last stretch of the campaigns, where everyone says and does some wild and intractible things) and I never knew just how crazy it gets.

    I am also sad to say that I think we are still choosing candidates by their TV images, because that is what we are used to seeing and comparing people to. If Obama puts on any more make up, I won’t vote at all, and McCain just looks weak, but right now I think I am going to go with my imaginery Ralph Nader and Mitt Romney team. But I will recommend a stylist for Nader.

    We really need someone who can do finances better. “Its the economy, stupid!” is a very old saying and it’s a good one to remember. We won’t have any successful aid programs without money flowing around like manure in the spring and autumn.

    Neither candidate has the ability to make themselves heard on Capitol Hill when they do have a good idea, and no one at all seems to know how to handle this global market. Oh, sure Friday, G7 will meet, but it’s like an afterthought. “Hey, guys, want to get together for lunch and a beer and chat for awhile, make it look like we are trying to do something?”

    And the head of the world finance international fellow, he doesn’t know what to do either. Damn. Set up World Trade and then let experiment. What the heck!

    Oh, and what about those Nobel Prize winning physicists who wrote up these formulas for the subprime mortgage security documents…things that no one could possibly decipher. Where are those guys hiding?

    Sorry, for the rant, but I think I may be talking for more people than just me.

    October 9, 2008
  454. Barry Cipra said:

    In posting #492, Patrick links to a video presenting “[m]ore scariness from McCain/Paling supporters.”

    Sites and videos like this one are a wonderful litmus test in partisan politics. What one side sees as scariness the other views as the persistent pestering and selective editing of an opposition hack. I suspect someone could elicit similar stupidity from ignorant enthusiasts at an O-B rally.

    Of greater concern to me is this, from an AP report on a Palin rally last week in Clearwater, FL.

    “Reporters weren’t permitted to wander around inside Coachman Park in Clearwater to talk to Palin’s audience, the St. Petersburg Times reported.

    “When reporters tried to leave the designated press area and head to where the crowd was seated, an escort would dart out, confront him or her and say, “Can I help you?” and turn the person around, Times staff writer Eileen Schulte wrote on the paper’s Web site. When one reporter asked an escort, who would not give her name, why the press wasn’t allowed to mingle, she said that in the past, negative things had been written, Schulte reported.”

    October 9, 2008
  455. Peter Millin said:

    Given the partisan nature of our press I am not surprised that candidates don’t treat each outlet equally.
    It is no fun and not in their interest having your words turned and your interview edited to present a certain personality.

    This btw goes both ways.

    October 9, 2008
  456. Scott Oney said:

    Here’s a video of Obama campaigning for Bernie Sanders, the democratic socialist (his self-description) senator from Vermont:

    Has Obama disavowed Sanders yet? Sanders only ran for the Senate in 2006, so it might be difficult. Obama can’t claim that he was only eight years old at the time.

    Here’s something that might help to put some people’s concerns with Obama into context:

    October 9, 2008
  457. Paul Fried said:

    Robert Koehler – a Chicago-based writer and editor for (Chicago?) tribune, lists some ways Republicans work to use the voter fraud angle and disenfranchise voters:
    1. Use the bureaucracy of the state to kill, or at least maim, the democratic process. In Florida and other states, as the Ledger reported, something known as the “no match, no vote” law is being used to strike as many voters as possible from the rolls. Where voters’ registration information doesn’t precisely match driver’s license and other information in state data bases to a T, sorry, you aren’t eligible to vote. Think of it as disenfranchisement by typo. And certain ethnic groups, such as Hispanics and Asians, would likely be disproportionately affected (which is the point), because their surnames are more likely to be transposed or bungled at least once.

    2. Send out bad information to target groups, such as out-of-state students. For instance, the Republican clerk of El Paso County, Colo., informed local students: “. . . if your parents still claim you on their income tax returns, and they file that return in a state other than Colorado, you are not eligible to register to vote or vote in Colorado.” Not only is this an outright falsehood, it’s virtually the same falsehood that Republican bureaucrats tried to fob off on students in Virginia and South Carolina as well, belying their protests that this was somehow an honest mistake.

    3. Spread creepy misinformation anonymously. According to the Philadelphia Daily News, fliers in black neighborhoods of Philadelphia recently showed up warning residents that undercover cops would be prowling the polling places, arresting would-be voters with so much as an unpaid traffic ticket on his or her record.

    4. Balance every accusation of vote suppression with the charge that Democrats are perpetrating voter fraud with their hugely successful registration drives. Throw as many obstacles as possible into the voting process, especially in low-income, ethnic and student neighborhoods. Find as many legalistic excuses as possible to challenge voters and, win or lose the challenge, you slow the lines and cause people to leave without voting.

    And of course, supplementing these and many other dirty tricks will be the X-factor, the hackability of touchscreen and other forms of electronic voting. When – or, let us pray, if – the vote confounds polls and expectations, shrug and call it closet racism.

    October 9, 2008
  458. Wow, Scott. Regarding the first youtube link you provide (in comment 496, 6:04 p.m., October 9 2008): 68% of Vermont’s voters voted for Bernie Sanders in 2006 after he had served for 18 years in the US House. Were 68% of the good citizens of Vermont duped into voting for a (shudder) democratic socialist (read pinko leftist), or were they voting for a man who they felt would serve their interests well in Washington?

    As for the second youtube link titled “CAPITALISM has Failed ‘Obama’s SOCIALIST TIRADE RANT’, IMHO, what a piece of nasty, propagandistic crap. I agree with you that it “might help to put some people’s concerns with Obama into context.” However, I certainly don’t agree with what the video says directly, and you seem to be implying: that we should be afraid, indeed very afraid, about Obama’s intentions (i.e. that he wants to DESTROY CAPITALISM–EVERY MARXIST’S WORST ENEMY as the video proclaims in bold capitol letters, to a totalitarian soundtrack). If that was a socialist rant, I say bring on the socialists. The fairy tale that all would be well in the world if we just let an unregulated capitalist free market run has been so thoroughly disproved so many times in so many places that I reel in amazement to hear the argument advanced here and now.

    I am sick to death of the politics of fear. I hate seeing it injected into this campaign. We’ve been whacked with the politics of fear since 9/11 (and since well before in various forms, as readers old enough to remember the infamous Willie Horton campaign ads of the 1988 presidential campaign can attest). Every time I drive by the airport and see the “Threat Level Orange” sign I wish I had a sledge hammer in my trunk so I could slam on my brakes and beat it to pieces. However, if you want something to be afraid of, I just last night finished reading the incredibly sobering book The Dark Side: The Inside Story of How The War on Terror Turned into a War on American Ideals by highly regarded investigative journalist Jane Mayer, detailing the Bush Administration’s decision to “take the gloves off” after 9/11, and its systematic disregard for the Geneva Conventions and the Constitution and betrayal of American ideals regarding treatment of terrorism suspects (many of whom were, of course, innocent to begin with). And how about a 39% drop in the Dow Jones Industrial average over the past 12 months? Now there’s something to be afraid of, especially if you’re nearing retirement age or put kids through college.

    October 9, 2008
  459. Isn’t anyone concerned, besides Peter, I would imagine, that the govt is looking or planning to buy and own part of the National banking system?

    October 9, 2008
  460. Peter Millin said:

    It is amusing when a leftist accuses the right of fear mongering. Especially since the left has literally invented class warfare.

    The left playbook is full of “Throwing old people out of their houses”…”Starving children”…”taking social security away from old people” etc..etc…

    …and the right is fear mongering?? Nice try.


    Let’s don’t forget where the financial crisis started. It started with Fannie Mae and Freddy Mac. Who created those entities? Who super charged them in 1999?
    The answer to this question might surprise you. To pin this on Bush alone is unfair and just plain wrong. Check your facts.

    October 9, 2008
  461. nick waterman said:

    Yes, the right is fear-mongering and has been doing so for quite some time. The entire Bush administration has been built on it:

    As to “The left playbook is full of “Throwing old people out of their houses”…”Starving children”…”taking social security away from old people” etc..etc…” do you dispute that children are starving, that (some) old people are being tossed out of their houses ? (I have no idea about social security. Notice this “fear-mongering” on the left requires taxes to “fix” whereas the fear-mongering on the right: “non-descript terrorists vaguely somehow related to the middle east want to kill us” requires homicide. And suspending civil rights. And the constitution. (and yet, conveniently, actual emergencies, e.g. Katrina, are not worthy of their attention….until they can figure out a way to help their friends profit from them….see The Shock Doctrine)

    Give me taxes any day. They may hurt, but they so rarely kill.

    October 9, 2008
  462. Patrick Enders said:

    Noted liberal(?) columnist George Will has the following to say about McCain’s campaign:

    In the closing days of his 10-year quest for the presidency, McCain finds it galling that Barack Obama is winning the first serious campaign he has ever run against a Republican. Before Tuesday night’s uneventful event, gall was fueling what might be the McCain-Palin campaign’s closing argument. It is less that Obama has bad ideas than that Obama is a bad person.

    This, McCain and his female Sancho Panza say, is demonstrated by bad associations Obama had in Chicago, such as with William Ayers, the unrepentant terrorist. But the McCain-Palin charges have come just as the Obama campaign is benefiting from a mass mailing it is not paying for. Many millions of American households are gingerly opening envelopes containing reports of the third-quarter losses in their 401(k) and other retirement accounts — telling each household its portion of the nearly $2 trillion that Americans’ accounts have recently shed. In this context, the McCain-Palin campaign’s attempt to get Americans to focus on Obama’s Chicago associations seem surreal — or, as a British politician once said about criticism he was receiving, “like being savaged by a dead sheep.”

    (link won’t post)

    October 9, 2008
  463. Patrick Enders said:


    (all one address)

    October 9, 2008
  464. Patrick Enders said:


    October 9, 2008
  465. Patrick Enders said:

    “It’s really important for Americans to start knowing who the real Barack Obama is.”
    “That one”
    “a guy of the street”
    “is not a man who sees America as you and I see America”
    “palling around with terrorists”

    And so, their followers shout,
    “Kill him!”
    You do the math.

    October 9, 2008
  466. Obama is the one who is not qualified to comment on where life begins, by his own words. When I do the math I come up with 50 million dead infants and the right to kill them is in direct agreement with the democratic party line.

    Nothing is worse than that to me. Nothing says this country cannot take care of it’s own more than that. And nothing adds up to a greater loss to our culture. You teach them it’s alright to kill their own offspring and what do you think they will have respect for after that?

    October 9, 2008
  467. Martha Cashman said:


    Please stop. What about all of the women, pregnant women (i.e. mothers and the unborn), children, young men, innocent humanity killed, slaughtered by bombs and unjust wars?
    Is “ABORTION” the sole issue that dictates your vote? IF that is your sole issue, please be consistent. LIFE IS LIFE. Hunt, punish the terrorist — leave the innocent unharmed — be consistent.

    October 9, 2008
  468. Martha Cashman said:

    And, oh by the way, I do cherish life. Without it I would not have my two wonderful children (parents chose to bear their child and gave other parents the opportunity to be parents) — I would not have lost my husband — I would not have lost my sister-in-law and brother-in-law. So, please do not lecture me on “cherishing life”. I do — I get it better than most people I know — it is not a rhetorical or religious issue — it is my humanity. However, there are many facets to my life and the lives of all whom I love.

    If you are going to take shots at any candidate, consider all of their platform issues.

    October 9, 2008
  469. Peter Millin said:

    The last poll I paid attention to was the exit poll that had Kerry up by 5%…

    October 10, 2008
  470. Martha, I guess you missed an earlier post where we discussed the fact that not all the wars and injustices and genocides put together since the 19th century at least, equal the amount of murdering the American man and woman have done of their own unborn infants.

    I am no war monger, and you have no right to tell me when to stop or if I can be allowed to change my mind. This is just the kind of controlling mandates freedom loving Americans try to avoid.

    Good day to you.

    October 10, 2008
  471. Peter Millin said:


    George Will is is time to name those who are responsible for the crisis and those that are in the pockets of those that benefited from the bailout.

    The Ayers/Wright connection is important because it speaks to the character of Obama just like McCains association with Bush speaks to his. BUT this is small potatoes in comparison to those who are responsible for the devaluation of our 401K.
    Dodd, Frank, Clinton, Gramm and others come to mind.
    The media is flat out lying blaming this on Wall Street alone.

    October 10, 2008
  472. Peter Millin said:

    October 10, 2008
  473. Scott Oney said:

    Bruce (10/9 at 7:37 p.m.): When you ask,

    Were 68% of the good citizens of Vermont duped into voting for a (shudder) democratic socialist (read pinko leftist),

    that’s quite a leap. I spent a lot of time in Vermont when I was young, and the state was full of old Yankee farmers. But that was forty years ago, and I think by now the state is pretty far to the left. The Republican challenger did manage to get 32% of the vote, though, so there must be some old-timers there.

    As for your comment on the second YouTube link in my post,

    I agree with you that it “might help to put some people’s concerns with Obama into context,”

    thanks. I think it’s a well-done video and does the job, and that’s why I posted it.

    Regarding your comment,

    Every time I drive by the airport and see the “Threat Level Orange” sign I wish I had a sledge hammer in my trunk so I could slam on my brakes and beat it to pieces,

    that’s really too bad. You used to seem like such a pleasant, mild-mannered guy when you worked at the library. I’ve already been thinking that this campaign season is making everybody crazy. I’ve wondered myself from time to time if I would survive it.

    In the interest of being fair and balanced, here are some kids from YouTube who more unabashedly support Obama:

    From this and many other links I would be happy to supply, feel free to conclude that I spend way too much time on YouTube when I’m at work.

    October 10, 2008
  474. Barry Cipra said:

    Scott says, “here are some kids from YouTube who more unabashedly support Obama”

    Scott, that’s a cute little video, but is there any indication that it’s anything more than somebody’s made-up subtitles superimposed on a video clip? Patrick’s clip in posting #492 was at least a real video showing real McCain/Palin supporters speaking their own narrow little minds.

    October 10, 2008
  475. Scott (10/19 10:46 a.m.): Thanks for your concern about my mental health! I DID always try to maintain a calm and mild-mannered demeanor while humbly serving the public at the library back in the day, so I’m glad I was perceived in such a manner by at least one faithful patron. I still try to do so as a general practice, but there are times when the raging inner beast rears its head (it seems to have happened more frequently than usual in the past eight years for some reason). Happily, I general keep the raging beast in the cage, letting it roar only occasionally, and generally through my fingertips at the keyboard. Even though I own a sledge hammer, which I use in splitting fire wood with wedge(s) on particularly knotty and/or large bits of hardwood, and could easily toss it in my trunk any time I know I’ll be driving by MSP airport with the opportunity to obliterate the Orange Alert sign, I haven’t actually DONE so (yet), so I think I’m maintaining reasonably well.

    If you really want fair and balanced youtubage on the madness of this election season, you can’t do better than the take-no-prisoners, equal opportunity satire of Red State Update. A few of my personal favorites:

    Red State Update: Obama Internet Rumors

     Red State Update: Sarah Palin Picked As McCain’s VP and 

    Red State Update: Neil Young The Liberal Dummy/Greendale (in which Jackie and Dunlap rip on my favorite musician).

    Warning: RSU can be addictive. Gotta go.

    October 10, 2008
  476. Peter Millin said:

    To conclude…there is the radical right and there is the fringe left., which in my estimate make up about 20%.
    Most of us are somewhere in between.

    October 10, 2008
  477. Barry Cipra said:

    Peter, I concur with your conclusion (though, as usual, I’m uncertain of your numbers…), but let’s also not forget the wise words of another Barry, Goldwater in this case: Extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice.

    October 10, 2008
  478. Scott Oney said:

    Paul (10/9 at 7:00 p.m.): You listed the following as one of the ways that “Republicans work to use the voter fraud angle and disenfranchise voters”:

    Throw as many obstacles as possible into the voting process, especially in low-income, ethnic and student neighborhoods. Find as many legalistic excuses as possible to challenge voters and, win or lose the challenge, you slow the lines and cause people to leave without voting.

    Have you ever seen any evidence of these tactics being used in Northfield? I never have, but if you’ve seen large numbers of people being turned away for bogus reasons, I wish you would share your experience. From what I’ve seen, if someone shows up at a busy time and hasn’t bothered to register yet, it might take them a half hour, but the wait isn’t any worse than you’d encounter at the Post Office near Christmas.

    October 10, 2008
  479. Peter: You conclude (#516) that “there is the radical right and there is the fringe left, which in my estimate make up about 20%.
    Most of us are somewhere in between.” Would you place yourself in the 10% (?) radical right, or pigeonhole me in the 10% (?) fringe left on the basis of the minimal amount you know about me? Just curious as to where and how you draw your lines. I (and others) have been dismissed as “bobos” and “NIMPUs” (Not In My Private Utopia) by another LoGroNo commenter, and now I’m called a leftist (#500), both times by people who know me solely, as far as I know, on the basis of a few exchanges on this website. Innaresting.

    By the way, I agree with the statement at the end of your comment #500 that “to pin this (the financial crisis) on Bush alone is unfair and just plain wrong.” I agree completely–there’s blame aplenty to spread around, across the political spectrum and in the private sector. I never said that I blamed Bush alone.

    October 10, 2008
  480. Peter Millin said:

    The 10% rule on the left and right fringe is based only on my personal experience. It is by no means scientific.

    October 10, 2008
  481. Patrick Enders said:

    Okay, it’s not the presidential election, but the MN Senate election is getting very interesting.

    Today, Sen. Coleman announced that he would not attend the McCain rally in Lakeville, and that he was suspending all of his negative ads.

    And there was this very strange press briefing by a Sen. Coleman lackey, regarding the Senator’s suits (and electric bills):

    I have to admit, I didn’t think Al Franken had a prayer in this election, but recent polls – and events – have suggested he may have a chance.

    October 10, 2008
  482. Barry Cipra said:

    Patrick notes that “the MN Senate election is getting very interesting.”

    The Iowa Electronic Markets website — I’d put the link here, but the LGN spam censor doesn’t seem to allow it! — is a fun place to go for a glimpse of how the “smart money” thinks various elections are heading. Interestingly (as Patrick notes), the winner-take-all price daily price graph had Coleman leading Franken roughly 60:40 up till a couple of days ago, when the odds suddenly reversed. What’s really odd is that their vote-share market still thinks Coleman is going to get slightly more votes! Wise crowds indeed!

    The IEM presidential market is somewhat more consistent. It shows Obama over McCain at 85:15 in the winner-take-all market, and leading in the vote-share market. They currently put those results at 55% for Obama and 45% for McCain.

    One hastens to add, of course, that past performance is no guarantee of future results. As if anyone watching the stock market these days needs to be reminded of that!

    October 10, 2008
  483. Paul Fried said:

    Scott (10-10 3:16 p.m.):
    As I said at the start of my post you refer to (10/9 at 7:00 p.m.) , those were from a Chicago writer and editor: “Robert Koehler – a Chicago-based writer and editor” for the Trubune(?) – writing perhaps from experience, or from journalistic research. He wrote it in an editorial. You’d have to ask him. I think things are generally better in Northfield, but I can’t speak for Chicago, or his research.

    But there were similar observations by one of the fired US attornies who wasn’t a “Bushy” enough Republican, and would not pursue, at election time, charges against ACORN that his office believed had no merit.

    I don’t know, though: If he was just Republican, but not Bushy enough, can we trust him, or shall we discredit him, and add to the general blue-red rift, by calling him a RINO? Or perhaps a terrorist sympathizer, as the Republicans said of Sen. Max Cleland when they beat him for his seat?

    Here’s the link to the interview again:
    Fired US attorney David Iglesias interviewed by Teri Gross of Fresh Air at NPR

    Click the red speaker icon to listen to the 19 min 50 second program.

    October 10, 2008
  484. Paul Fried said:

    I’m thinking back to Bright’s hypothetical, and wondering….

    What about this:

    Obama & Harry Potter vs. Cheney & Voldemort?

    Or this:
    Palin & Ann Coulter vs. Obama & Desmond Tutu?

    I’m worried Palin & Coulter might be too much like Bush (the front man) and Cheney (the manipulater behind the scenes).

    What about this:
    Donnie & Marie vs. Romney & Arnold Schwarzenegger?
    (Yikes, I think Arnold would terminate the other three!)

    October 10, 2008
  485. David Henson said:

    Do both McCain and Obama support nuclear power? This would seem to call out for a strong third party (or better yet party-free candidate)

    October 11, 2008
  486. David Henson, sort of…

    While I am here, I just want to say, McCain is looking weak to his constituency
    for not putting Obama down even more and Obama is looking rather sad as well. I just heard Obama say that he is planning to create jobs for out of work Philedelphians of making houses energy efficient. Good luck with that as far as it goes. The crowd was understandably let down after the big top circus introduction used to pump them up. Oh, well.
    I was also disappointed to hear that Obama broke his promise not to use non public funding, and was heartened to hear that McCain who made the same promise has so far kept it. I really don’t need to see and hear one more campaign ad on any media. I really don’t. I guess the big ad companies are delighted however. Maybe that $$$ will trickle down to the lowly masses.

    October 11, 2008
  487. Paul Fried said:

    When I talk to Republicans, I get the sense that they believe ACORN is the antichrist. Here are two pieces on the desperate attempts by the GOP to discredit ACORN and disenfranchise voters:

    GOP Attacks on American Voters Turn Desperate, Ugly and Dangerous
    by Bob Fitrakis/Harvey Wasserman

    And from ACORN:
    The Truth About ACORN’s Voter Registration Drive
    by Bertha Lewis and Steve Kest

    October 11, 2008
  488. Paul: Excellent article by ACORN. It reminds me of the ardent efforts only a few decades ago to register southern black voters and the repressive reaction that followed.

    October 11, 2008
  489. That’s a good, objective NY Times link, Bright (comment #527). As the Times points out,

    “Both men endorse nuclear energy, although to differing degrees, as part of their strategy to wean the United States from its dependence on foreign oil.

    While Mr. McCain includes the building of nuclear reactors among his preferred options to obtain more energy, Mr. Obama assigns a higher priority to developing renewable sources like solar, wind and bio-fuels and increasing efficiency in the consumption of existing sources.”

     Obama’s specific stance on nuclear energy (which I don’t agree with in its entirety by any means–I am more negative about the role nuclear energy should play in our future energy mix, for reasons I don’t have time and the inclination to go into here), from the energy and environmental policy area of Obama’s website:

    Safe and Secure Nuclear Energy. Nuclear power represents more than 70 percent of our noncarbon generated electricity. It is unlikely that we can meet our aggressive climate goals if we eliminate nuclear power as an option. However, before an expansion of nuclear power isconsidered, key issues must be addressed including: security of nuclear fuel and waste, waste storage, and proliferation. Barack Obama introduced legislation in the U.S. Senate to establish guidelines for tracking, controlling and accounting for spent fuel at nuclear power plants. To prevent international nuclear material from falling into terrorist hands abroad, Obama worked closely with Sen. Dick Lugar (R?IN) to strengthen international efforts to identify and stop the smuggling of weapons of mass destruction. As president, Obama will make safeguarding nuclear material both abroad and in the U.S. a top anti?terrorism priority. In terms of waste storage, Barack Obama and Joe Biden do not believe that Yucca Mountain is a suitable site. They will lead federal efforts to look for safe, long?term disposal solutions based on objective, scientific analysis. In the meantime, they will develop requirements to ensure that the waste stored at current reactor sites is contained using the most advanced dry?cask storage technology available.”

    I disagree strongly, however, with your perspective in your comment on Obama’s discussion of weatherizing low-income houses (I apologize for the length of the following; this is a subject near and dear to my heart):

    “Obama is looking rather sad as well. I just heard Obama say that he is planning to create jobs for out of work Philedelphians of making houses energy efficient. Good luck with that as far as it goes. The crowd was understandably let down after the big top circus introduction used to pump them up. Oh, well.”

    Obama’s plan to weatherize one million homes per year over the next decade is just one element of a fairly impressive commitment to energy efficiency, which should be the cornerstone of any rational energy policy. McCain’s energy policy, while actually looking quite good compared to his Republican predecessor’s abysmal energy policy, makes no mention whatsoever of energy efficiency (apart from indirectly in a couple of auto-related points). Overall, I feel Obama’s energy policy is much more aggressive, and much more likely to move our nation away from dangerous dependence on imported oil, much more likely to help us weather the coming dual storm of Peak Oil and global climate change without catastrophic economic and social consequences, than McCain’s with its heavy emphasis on energy production (especially domestic oil and natural gas). Drill baby, drill ain’t gonna get us where we need to go.

    Obama would expand the low-income Weatherization Assistance Program, which has been in existence since the Ford administration (1976), and has cost-effectively weatherized 5.6 million low-income houses in that time. I actually did energy audits, spec’ed and inspected work for this program in the east Metro area from 1985 through 1991. I can personally attest: it works. I sat down at over a thousand kitchen tables with fixed-income widowers, disabled vets, hard-working recent immigrants, etc. and I KNOW this is an important issue for low-income households, especially in cold-weather states such as Minnesota..

    Obama’s complete energy efficiency policy, again from his website:

    Commitment to Efficiency to Reduce Energy Use and Lower Costs
    According to the United Nations, America is only the 22nd most energy efficient country among the major
    economies in the world, which means we spend more on energy than we need to because our lifestyle
    and our built environment are wasting too much excess energy. Since 1973, the average amount of
    electricity each of us uses has tripled. We can do better. An Obama administration will strive to make
    America the most energy efficient country in the world.
    • Deploy the Cheapest, Cleanest, Fastest Energy Source: Energy
    Efficiency. The Department of
    Energy (DOE) projects that demand for electricity will increase by 1.1 percent per year over the
    next few decades. Cutting this demand growth through efficiency is both possible and
    economically sound. Barack Obama will set an aggressive energy efficiency goal—to reduce
    electricity demand 15 percent from DOE’s projected levels by 2020. Implementing this program
    will save consumers a total of $130 billion, reduce carbon dioxide emissions by more than 5 billion
    tons through 2030, and create jobs. A portion of this goal would be met by setting annual demand
    reduction targets that utilities would need to meet. The rest would come from more stringent
    building and appliance standards.
    • Set National Building Efficiency Goals. Barack Obama and Joe Biden will establish a goal of
    making all new buildings carbon neutral, or produce zero emissions, by 2030. They will also
    establish a national goal of improving new building efficiency by 50 percent and existing building
    efficiency by 25 percent over the next decade to help us meet the 2030 goal.
    • Overhaul Federal Efficiency Standards. The current Department of Energy has missed 34
    deadlines for setting updated appliance efficiency standards, which has cost American consumers
    millions of dollars in unrealized energy savings. Barack Obama and Joe Biden will overhaul this
    process for appliances and provide more resources to his Department of Energy so it implements
    regular updates for efficiency standards. They will also work with Congress to ensure that it
    continues to play a key role in improving our national efficiency codes.
    • Reduce Federal Energy Consumption. Currently, the federal government is the world’s largest
    single consumer of energy in the world, spending approximately $14.5 billion on energy
    consumption in FY 2008. Barack Obama and Joe Biden believe in the importance of leading by
    example. They will make the federal government a leader in the green building market, achieving
    a 40 percent increase in efficiency in all new federal buildings within five years and ensuring that
    all new federal buildings are zero?emissions by 2025. They will invest in cost?effective retrofits to
    achieve a 25 percent increase in efficiency of existing federal buildings within 5 years. The Obama?
    Biden plan will put forward the resources necessary to achieve a 15 percent reduction in federal
    energy consumption by 2015.
    • Flip Incentives to Energy Utilities. An Obama administration will “flip” incentives to utility
    companies by: requiring states to conduct proceedings to implement incentive changes; and
    offering them targeted technical assistance. These measures will benefit utilities for improving
    energy efficiency, rather than just from supporting higher energy consumption. This “regulatory
    equity” starts with the decoupling of profits from increased energy usage, which will incentivize
    utilities to partner with consumers and the federal and state governments to reduce monthly
    energy bills for families and businesses. The federal government under an Obama administration
    will play an important and positive role in flipping the profit model for the utility sector so that
    shareholder profit is based on reliability and performance as opposed to total production.
    • Invest in a Smart Grid. Achieving these aggressive energy efficiency goals will require significant
    innovation in the way we transmit electricity and monitor its use. Barack Obama and Joe Biden
    will pursue a major investment in our national utility grid using smart metering, distributed
    storage and other advanced technologies to accommodate 21st century energy requirements:
    greatly improved electric grid reliability and security, a tremendous increase in renewable
    generation and greater customer choice and energy affordability. They will establish a Grid
    Modernization Commission to facilitate adoption of Smart Grid practices across the nation’s
    electricity grid to the point of general adoption and ongoing market support in the U.S. electric
    sector. They will instruct the Secretary of Energy to: (1) establish a Smart Grid Investment
    Matching Grant Program to provide reimbursement of one?fourth of qualifying Smart Grid
    investments; (2) conduct programs to deploy advanced techniques for managing peak load
    reductions and energy efficiency savings on customer premises from smart metering, demand
    response, distributed generation and electricity storage systems; and (3) establish demonstration
    projects specifically focused on advanced technologies for power grid sensing, communications,
    analysis, and power flow control, including the integration of demand?side resources into grid
    • Weatherize One Million Homes Annually. In the struggle with higher energy prices low income
    families are suffering the most and receiving the least attention. Across the nation, poor families
    this winter will increasingly face the choice between heating and eating as prices for natural gas,
    heating oil, propane and electricity skyrocket. To address the immediate challenge this winter, we
    must fully fund LIHEAP and ensure that everyone who needs it has access to heating assistance.
    Over the longer?term, a significant part of the answer for low income families is home
    weatherization. By upgrading a home’s furnace, sealing leaky ducts, fixing windows, and adding
    insulation we can cut energy bills by 20 ? 40 percent and the substantial savings accrue with
    summer air conditioning as well as winter heating. And by adding energy efficient appliances and
    lighting the savings are even greater. While the nation has weatherized about 5.5 million lowincome
    homes since 1976, more than 28 million remain eligible. Barack Obama and Joe Biden will
    make a national commitment to weatherize at least one million low?income homes each year for
    the next decade, which can reduce energy usage across the economy and help moderate energy
    prices for all.
    • Build More Livable and Sustainable Communities. Over the long term, we know that the
    amount of fuel we will use is directly related to our land use decisions and development patterns.
    For the last 100 years, our communities have been organized around the principle of cheap
    gasoline. Barack Obama and Joe Biden believe that we must devote substantial resources to
    repairing our roads and bridges. They also believe that we must devote significantly more
    attention to investments that will make it easier for us to walk, bicycle and access other
    transportation alternatives. They are committed to reforming the federal transportation funding
    and leveling employer incentives for driving and public transit.”

    October 11, 2008
  490. Thanks for adding the details, Paul F. I was really referring to the crowd’s disappointment, audible sighs of despair was my interpretation after hearing them respond on a much higher note to his talking points. I think they thought they were going to get some higher paying jobs. Those weatherization jobs are most likely minimum wage, at least that’s what me and the audience thought. Whereas the building and running of nuclear plants jobs are much higher paying.

    I have heard that France does reuse it’s nuclear waste. If they can, we can. They are 80% nuclear, and sell their energy all over Europe, but we won’t because that’s too socialistic, not my opinion, I don’t have one yet, but it’s what I have heard on the street.

    Anyway, both candidates have said over and over it will have to be some combination. But, I have seen this before, everytime gas goes down the pressure to change and update energy sources also subsides and we are foreign oil addicts again. But the difference now is that we know when we reduce use, they reduce price. It’s supply and demand, just like always.

    For people who don’t know how to reduce use, make every trip out count for more than one or two errands. Plan your day accordingly.

    October 11, 2008
  491. Actually, Bright, weatherization jobs would not be minimum wage. They certainly could and should be living wage jobs. And there would be a LOT of them. The crews doing weatherization work in the east Metro area back in the day were exclusively union carpenters (journeyman and apprentice); mechanical work on heating and cooling systems (both cleaning and tuning, and major repairs and installation of new high-efficiency furnaces with supplemental funding when required) were done by licensed HVAC contractors.

    Again, this is only one of MANY Obama’s proposed efficiency and other renewable/clean energy initiatives, all of which would put people to work.

    If you’re interested in a more sane energy policy, with greater emphasis on energy efficiency, smart growth, more transit options, more efficient vehicles, aggressive development of renewables, hard targets for greenhouse gas emissions reductions (80% by 2050, the level called for by the scientific community and codified by overwhelming bipartisan votes in the MN Legislature in 2007 with the Pawlenty Administration’s strong leadership and support), Obama is your man, hands down.

    October 11, 2008
  492. Martha Cashman said:

    I feel very sad that there are posts in this thread that appear to perpetuate vitriolic hate and harm for a person (presidential candidate) they really do not know. Disagree with the candidate and their platform — do not speak or write hateful posts — contest with facts — not hurtful hate. At the end of the day we are all Americans. Vote for the candidate of your choice but do not wish ill will or hateful actions to the victor because you do not agree with them. Suck it in and live with it for four years. Life in the neighborhood is what matters. No matter which way the election goes, someone will live with it for four years.

    October 11, 2008
  493. Hello, Bruce Anderson. Umm,let’s see, three points, one is the ability of politicans and con men to word their ideas so loosely as to be widely interpreted.

    The second is my experience of having my home weatherized by the govt in the late 70s and that included popping holes in the side of the cedar side panels and blowing in shredded newspaper til the air gaps were closed, and caulking the windows. The house became air tight and the heating bills were cut in half, but the jobs were minimum wage.

    The third point is that perhaps, if the audience thought as you do, Bruce, maybe they were sighing because they are not skilled laborers. Obama’s speech included words about getting the fellows off the street on the west side of Philly, and to me that meant unskilled workers, but it also could mean skilled workers who have not worked for a long time. Maybe they were not skilled and thought Obama was pandering to, ooops, I mean appealing to your “union carpenters (journeyman and apprentice); mechanical work on heating and cooling systems (both cleaning and tuning, and major repairs and installation of new high-efficiency furnaces with supplemental funding when required) were done by licensed HVAC contractors.” and that they weren’t being considered at all.

    Oh, four, I’ll throw in one more for good measure…Obama may intend to cover more areas for jobs, but in this speech at least, he mentioned them not. Which brings me to believe that he would most likely be speaking to his audience du jur and relating directly to them so’s he could attract a little thing called their V O T E S ! Or maybe not.

    October 11, 2008
  494. Bright,
    A politician seeking VOTES?!? I’m shocked–schocked!!!

    October 11, 2008
  495. Bruce, lol! Was is what I said, or did that lightning that I saw outside my window strike your computer? 🙂

    October 11, 2008
  496. I have just spent an hour listening to’s guy on CSpan and the conclusion is both Obama and McCain have stretched the truth, bent the truth, skirted the truth and ignored the truth throughout the campaign.

    They BOTH have voted with their own parties over 90% of the time.

    I still say;
    Neither one are ready to be president of the usa.
    Both VP candy dates are kinda wacky, too.
    Obama is still a Daley and Kennedy’s man.
    McCain is not able to get his message out properly, which is a big weakness.
    The Clintons are like circling turkey vultures at this point.
    I hope the American people can show they can run their own economy, help the needful, progress and keep up with the rest of the world or learn quick how to isolate and prosper without strong government intervention.

    October 12, 2008
  497. john george said:

    For those of you who might be interested, here is a link to an article about freedom to tell the truth in an organization. This is specifically geared toward church structure, so all of you with no predilictions that way, please don’t be offended by that. The reason I even share it here is that I think it very accurately demonstrates human nature, and, as you can see from the examples, it is applicable in any organization with an authority structure. I also think it underscores the importance in this pre-election time that we find out who the advisers may be that will surround the next president.

    Good reading! I’m interested in anyone’s feedback on it.

    October 12, 2008
  498. Peter Millin said:

    Judge people by their results not by their intentions. The last time our government got involved with alternative fuels we end up costing us dearly.

    Anyone remember Ethanol? Besides it being subsidized to the tune of 51 cents per gallon(with our tax money), it is directly responsible for skyrocketing food prices. So punishing those who are scrimping already.
    Besides doesn’t anyone else think that burning food for energy, while others starve, is immoral?

    Point is, why does anyone believe that government should be in charge of alternative fuels?
    Given their track record it will be another bottom less entitlement program.

    October 13, 2008
  499. Peter, I advised thru logrono against ethanol. My argument; food into fuel?
    It seemed very simple to me. When you start with a twisted premise, you’re gonna wind up…with a twisted result…kinda like dna but different.

    Sorry, but not much,I am all about word associations this morning.

    October 13, 2008
  500. Peter: One role of government is to stimulate progress through public benefits. This is the case of giving ethanol subsidies and student loans. If some programs fail, it’s no reason to condemn all programs.

    I don’t think that gov’t has tried to be “in charge of” alternative fuels, but it has tried to stimulate progress in that industry.

    October 13, 2008
  501. Peter Millin said:

    How can you call this progress and public benefit, when most people suffer from the consequences?

    The only way government should be involved is getting out of the way, and providing a climate where ideas can flourish…ALL IDEAS.

    By artificially subsidizing ethanol from corn government has effectively shutdown all incentives to look for something different.

    Never mind that the production of ethanol from corn uses more natural resources(like water) and the effective return on energy is very low.

    Also if we would plant all available land in the US with corn to make ethanol, it would only cover 20% of our energy needs.

    If we think that Ethanol is the future why don’t we allow cheap ethanol from Brazil?

    Let’s face it ethanol from corn is nothing more then a pander to the corn belt, initiated by a very strong farm lobby.

    October 13, 2008
  502. john george said:

    Jerold- Your comment, “…One role of government is to stimulate progress through public benefits…” reminds me of the WPA programs. This was a very successful program, and we still have evidence of much of this work in many state and national parks. It not only produced a benefit for society in general, it gave many men a great sense of accomplishment and self worth. I’ve often felt it unfortunate that this system was set aside in favor of some of the welfare programs that are around now. In my opinion, too many of these programs, by simply pouring money into the system, do not give either of these benefits and produce dependence on the system rather than independence. Where are the FDR and Kennedy (“It is not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country.”) Democrats today? Sorry, I have just not heard this level of reasoning coming from either side. The only thing close is that sherrif down in Arizona. Perhaps it is too pragmatic to be a good political platform.

    October 13, 2008
  503. Patrick Enders said:

    Some evidence that ACORN has not always been quite the radical specter that McCain now considers it:

    WHO: Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), Rep. Kendrick Meek (D-FL)…
    WHAT: Comprehensive Immigration Reform Rally
    WHEN: Thursday, February 23, at 6:00 p.m. [2006]
    WHERE: Miami Dade College – Wolfson Campus
    …..The rally in Miami is being sponsored by the New American Opportunity campaign (NAOC) in partnership with ACORN, Catholic Legal Services – Archdiocese of Miami, Florida Immigrant Advocacy Center, Florida Immigrant Coalition, Miami Dade College, People for the American Way/Mi Familia Vota en Acción, Service Employees International Union, and UNITE HERE.

    October 13, 2008
  504. Paul Fried said:

    More on ACORN from Madison (Wisconsin) Capital Times:

    Makes you wonder why some Republicans are so against the reform of convicted felons.

    What should these ex-cons do? Manage mortgage-based securities?

    October 14, 2008
  505. Paul Fried said:

    Tom Matzzie has an article about ACORN that deals with the Kennedy-Chicago myth:
    “How McCain Will Steal the Election from Obama (Sort Of)”
    Here’s a clip:
    The facts about ACORN are worth getting out. ACORN is an organization that, among other things, registers low-income people to vote. One of the ways they do this is to hire door-to-door canvassers from the neighborhoods they are working in. This sort of work is tightly regulated. So, when one of the thousands of people they give jobs to doesn’t do their work right and brings back bogus or phony voter registration cards, the law REQUIRES that ACORN turn the forms in to the voter registration office. The law, rightly, doesn’t want anybody throwing out voter registration forms for any reason.

    But ACORN goes a step farther. They have people assigned to do quality control on all the cards–calling people on the forms after they fill them out. When they find bad information on the cards they attach a cover sheet to the card but, as mentioned above, they turn in the cards as required by law. The effect is that a few bad canvassers or a poorly run office will mean that bad cards are submitted as part of the normal process. But ACORN has done everything possible to make sure voting officials know to check the forms.

    The sad fact is that in at least one state–Nevada–the voting officials disregarded ACORN’s cover sheets flagging the voter registration forms. That should have never happened. The resulting blowup was a scandal in search of a scandal.

    The stunning con of this whole thing is the assumption that bad voter registration cards being submitted will lead to vote fraud. If somebody submits a card for Mickey Mouse it isn’t like Mr. Mouse is going to show up to vote. There is no voter fraud if nobody votes.

    But the big story here is what the Right is doing. Their attacks on ACORN open up the door for two things.

    First, the ACORN myth allows the Republicans to do more purging of the voter rolls–the process of removing people from the voter rolls because of arbitrary anomalies in the voter registration databases. Richard L Hasen, author of the Election Law Blog and a distinguished law professor at Loyola Law School in Los Angeles recently wrote, “Careless purging–driven by unsubstantiated fears about voter fraud–can lead to many eligible voters being incorrectly removed from the polls.” Already in Ohio the Republican Party is pushing for more purging and they found a federal judge who agreed citing ACORN’s activities.

    Second, in the event that campaigning, purging and intimidating voters doesn’t work, the Right is creating a myth like they did in 1960. They are creating the myth of a stolen election. Conservatives plan to claim that ACORN and Barack Obama stole the election. Their hope is to steal the legitimacy of what is looking like a massive repudiation of Bush, conservatives and the Republican Party. The Right plans to steal the election by trying to steal the legitimate defeat of them by progressive forces.

    And why wouldn’t they? The entire Republican coalition could be shattered with this election. White suburban voters who once voted Republican on tax issues are running away from Republicans on a host of issues–including taxes. Independent are looking more and more like Democratic voters. Barack Obama may even win a majority of male voters. All of them are joining with urban votes, voters of color, young people, working class union members and others to form a long-term governing majority for progressives–a progressive majority.

    Conservatives are scared of a progressive majority. And they’re going to lie, cheat and steal to prevent it from happening. But they can only be successful if we let them.
    …………………………………..(End clip)……………..
    (Well, as far as lies go, they’re doing a good job about ACORN so far. I never knew the law required that even the “Micky Mouse” forms be turned in. And just how would Micky vote anyway? He doesn’t have a current ID, so the voting judges would think he was wearing some kid’s Haloween costume, for crying out loud. And he’d probably have to stand up on Pluto’s back to reach the desk-thingie where you fill out the ballot, and that would draw too much attention.

    Why are the Republicans spreading all those lies about ACORN? Have they always been fascist-terrorist sympathizers, or is it just lately?

    October 14, 2008
  506. Anthony Pierre said:

    peter I don’t know where you get 2 wrongs.

    And I think the ACORN issue is really a non issue.

    Do you know the difference between voter registration fraud and voter fraud?

    if acorn does anything it gives the republicans an excuse to disenfranchise voters (again)

    October 15, 2008
  507. This Acorn issue and so many others is the reason I have distanced myself from politics in years past. I have to say right now that the way the media is treating McCain, (whom I cannot say is the man for the job at this point and from the beginning) but whom deserves a fair shake at any rate.
    FIrst of all the ageism is rampant against him.
    The next thing is the media’s trampelling all over his debate performance for not facing his opponent…NEWS FLASH… in the rules of debate set forth by both the RNC and DNC who run the commission on presidential debates, a non governmental organization,
    call for the candidates not to speak to each other. Is this media so uninformed about the debates that they are commenting on as to now know of this rule? Or are they just going to gloss over the fact that Obama is not following the rules and making his opponent look bad because he did? This is just one of many one sided examples I have seen from very, very biased tv reporting.

    October 15, 2008
  508. Peter Millin said:


    Do you have any legit proof that Republicans are “disenfranchise voters (again)”?

    Last time I checked not a single Republican was ever convicted of this….this is just more myths…nice try.

    October 15, 2008
  509. Peter Millin said:

    Question to ACORN are low income voters incapable of getting out to vote for themselves?
    Seems like this implies that low income voters are somehow stupid?

    October 15, 2008
  510. Peter, I hear that loud and clear. Many of the poor work very hard, harder physically than many others do. They might have to work hard just to get to their jobs and back. Maybe they made a decision early in life not to join the main stream of society. Maybe it meant too many trade offs idealistically, Maybe they spend more time with their families or hobbies, or maybe they are a little anti social. None of that is something they need to be rescued from or out of. Some people actually don’t want to live to be 100. That is an idea put upon all of us to make the system move more. You can say it’s compassion, but some people see it as imposition of an ideal onto the masses.
    Whenever I say that to a mainstreamer, I get the eyebrows and no response, but it’s true.
    Maybe people don’t want to vote, even if it’s their right and even it people died for that right and even if they like a candidate. Maybe they have made their own decisions about what they want and need to do intheir own lives, and that is what makes America what it is, too…the right to live your life like you want to do.
    We don’t all have to be rich millionaire voters, no matter how difficult that may be for some to understand, I find it true in many of my interactions with people.

    October 15, 2008
  511. Anthony: Not only is it scary, how the Florida Republican leadership and party were able to ignore or perpetuate the disenfranchisement of any voters, but that Republicans today don’t seem to care about it.

    I don’t affiliate myself with any political party, but pretending to be a Republican, to see any Americans denied the vote would have me up in arms. Worse, if my own party was responsible, I’d be looking for coup within my own tribe, or another political tribe to join.

    Thanks for posting the article. It seems 8 years too late to fix Florida’s problems in 2000, but at least it serves as a warning for future elections.

    October 15, 2008
  512. I don’t believe that much in plans, or things the candidates worry about. I have to see
    things they have done in the past, where have
    they been effective. Anybody can say what they would like to see if they could have it all their way. We can call dream, can’t we?

    I dream of a new and fresh candidate. I have seen enough of these DNC and RNC offerings for a lifetime.

    October 15, 2008
  513. Peter Millin said:

    Fraud does not appear to be a major factor in the Florida election. Instead, overzealous efforts conducted under the guise of an anti-fraud campaign

    Anthony…from your own link

    October 15, 2008
  514. Peter Millin said:


    Please be honest about your political affiliation. Your whole plattform is in line with Mr. Bly and the Democratic Party.

    Why don’t you want to admit that you are a Democrat? It’s ok this is a safe county for you..LOL

    October 15, 2008
  515. Peter Millin said:


    I freely admit that I am a conservative….

    October 15, 2008
  516. Patrick Enders said:

    …but are you a Republican?

    I’ve been a liberal for far longer than I’ve been a Democrat.

    October 15, 2008
  517. Peter: Your inability to deduce my political party (especially after I told you that I have none), reinforced by your selective quoting of Anthony’s article (you cited that there was no evidence of fraud, but you conveniently overlooked the systemic if not tacit disenfranchisement of black voters by Republican authorities), has me deduce that you don’t care about what left-of-center people say. Why do you participate in a forum if you don’t care?

    October 15, 2008
  518. Peter Millin said:

    What was done in Florida did clearly not rise to the level of fraud. There is enough lawyers in this country that would have taken up this cause if there was any meat to it. As it stands it’s just another attempt by some to defend the actions of ACORN., by rehashing Florida.

    You are the one that sees problems only from one point of view, which is left in your case.
    I have consistently trying to point out, that our current crop of politicians is corrupt, pandering and has no other interest in mind but their own.

    Sorry, that you feel offended by this, but Obama claims change…. but he is no better or worse than McCain.
    They are both part of the problem not the solution. Neither of them tells the truth.

    October 15, 2008
  519. Peter Millin said:

    Patrick…I am not Republican or Democrat I am an American, who believes that we should preserve what has made this country great in the first place.

    There is those who think, that America is the root of all evil in this world and that are those that think that America has always been a force for good. I believe the latter.

    Do you consider yourself a “Classic liberal”? Or are you a social liberal?
    Social liberalism is nothing more then socialism in disguise….

    Here are the two definitions.

    October 15, 2008
  520. Peter Millin said:

    Under Obama’s plan (if he follows through with it) I saved $150 per month.
    Which I already have lost due to an increase in property taxes, gasoline taxes and increased food prices (due to Ethanol)
    Plus what do you think happens when Obama raises taxes for businesses? Who will pay for those tax increases?
    You and me.

    October 15, 2008
  521. William Siemers said:


    You have stated that you do not think America is ready for a black president. Why do you think that?

    And…regarding the Ayer’s speech you link to in post #551…I read a fairly straight forward speech by an educator with a radical political perspective. What does that have to do with Obama?

    Also…both parties work to register voters and then turn out ‘their’ vote on election day, it is an activity that is as American as apple pie. Some acorn field workers got carried away…regretable…but really is that a huge deal? There has been no voter fraud.

    Ayers is a diversion from the issue. Acorn is a diversion from the issue. The economy is in the tank after 8 years of a republican president. Voters rightly have their mind on that issue. 10 trillion dollars of wealth has disappeared. Almost everyone has been effected by this melt down. The incumbent president and his party get blamed…no amount of diversion can change that. Best get ready for that black president.

    The market was down another 700 points today…a perfect background for tonight’s debate.

    October 15, 2008
  522. Don’t know what to think about where to place the exact blame, but the stock market is a place of inherent risk. It’s not guaranteed money.

    “There is no such thing as a free lunch.” as my
    father and many others used to say.

    On the other hand, what if this was all set up by the DNC to frame the RNC ,or vice versa?

    October 15, 2008
  523. Peter Millin said:

    I don’t care if our next POTUS is black, yellow or red. I hope I didn’t create the impression that I think we are not ready for a black POTUS.

    My concern is that we are not being critical enough of Obama because he is black.

    Your conclusions of the economy are very shortsighted. We had a great economy for the past eight years. Compare the GDP of the Clinton years against the GDP of the Bush years. Further I suggest you compare the debt as a % of GDP against those same periods. You will be surprised.

    To blame the current financial meltdown on Bush alone is bias and partisan, because the facts conclude something else.
    There is a few things I blame Bush for. 1) His expansion of medicare which has accelerated the debt on entitlements. 2) His war in Iraq. Although I supported it first i come to the conclusion that it is futile to force western style democracy on to anME country.
    3) His out of control spending, with the help of congress, both Republican and Democrats.

    October 15, 2008
  524. Barry Cipra said:

    Peter, you are shameless! I pointed you once before to a graph of the national history at which clearly shows that debt as a % of GDP steadily grew during the Reagan/Bush pere years 1981-1993, turned around to a promising decrease during the Clinton years, and has reverted to its increasing ways under Bush fils.

    As for GDP itself, you are correct insofar as GDP has continued to grow the last 8 years, both in nominal and constant dollars, as can be seen in the table at But let’s compare the constant-dollar growth for the 7-year periods January 2001 to January 2008 and January 1993 to January 2000. Under Clinton, GDP (in constant 2000 dollars) went from $7.5 trillion to $9.7 trillion — growth of about 29%. Under Bush, it’s gone from $9.9 to $11.6 — growth of about 17%.

    October 15, 2008
  525. Barry Cipra said:

    Oops, I meant graph of the national *debt* history.

    October 15, 2008
  526. Barry Cipra said:

    Peter, you are really amazing. Even your own graph (Chart I in the link you gave) puts the lie to what you say. Both your graph and the one at the link I gave show the same behavior: a more or less steady increase through the 1980s, followed by a decrease during the Clinton years, followed by an increase since 2001. The only difference is that the graph I pointed to tracks gross federal debt, while yours tracks the portion held by the public. (Each graph is traceable to reliable public information.)

    Do you really not care what the numbers say? That I could accept. But to claim these numbers support your argument is absurd.

    October 15, 2008
  527. Holly Cairns said:

    omg, the direction this discussion has taken makes me sick. Maybe some should take a step back and look at important things on the table. Better to let Peter talk into the wind.

    October 15, 2008
  528. Holly Cairns said:

    goodbye LoGroNo! 🙂

    October 15, 2008
  529. Holly: You and I have drawn the same conclusion.

    October 15, 2008
  530. Mike Zenner said:

    Peter, Barry,

    Below is a fun web site that takes you all the way back to 1902 for both federal and state and local spending. change the view from default to people to radical (my personal favorite) ect. change by $ or percent of GDP. At the end of the day entitlements , education at local level and welfare and defense are the biggest percentages of GDP, especially when compared to early years 100yrs ago like 1908.

    All, Government is closing in on 40% of GDP. this is NOT sustainable! 1 in 2.7 working for or taking handouts from the Government!

    October 15, 2008
  531. kiffi summa said:

    Congratulations to Holly and Jerold….

    October 15, 2008
  532. Peter Millin said:

    Thanks Holly, Jerold and others. I really appreciate your tolerance and openness.

    Good luck.

    Could you please remove me from the this blog and archive or delete my connections to this?



    October 16, 2008
  533. Griff Wigley said:

    Peter, your email address appears to no longer be subscribed to notifications for this discussion thread. Let me know if that’s not the case.

    October 16, 2008
  534. Peter Millin said:

    Much appreciated.


    October 16, 2008