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Everything posted by Countrydave55

  1. "this whole war is scheduled to suit a campaign manager... " I guess that would be expected in a war that was started for political reasons.
  2. All but one person agrees that the capture of Bin Laden just before the election would help Bush. OK One2 gamble I give up. How would Bin Ladens capture not help Bush?
  3. People in dark rooms can analyze his words as much as they like to figure out where he will strike and when he will strike etc. I will not cede my vote to some analyst in a dark room and I hope my fellow citizens won't either. We are a representative democracy not a theocracy or a kingdom where we defer judgment to the purported wisdom of our leader. We vote to persuade our leader to change course or if necessary to find someone that is on a course more consistent with the will of the electorate. As for who taught him to be a terrorist and the relevance. The relevance, I thought I made clear. It is hypocritical to disdainfully call Osama a terrorist when he is no longer doing our bidding but to ignore that he was a terrorist when he was helping the US and our interests. I don't dispute that he is a terrorist but terrorism that we fostered and encouraged when it suited our purpose. We do further his goals by not recognizing that he is trying to influence the election by encouraging people to vote for Bush. While I don't think that is reason to vote against Bush it is certainly something that should be weighed in making this decision.
  4. If his complaints are not investigated, if his words are not evaluated, the people too lazy or too ignorant will persist in accepting Osama at his word. That results in people defending/reinforcing the incumbent's incompetence. That serves Osama's goals. Why would we one want to further his goals by ignoring him? As for Osama's terrorism. Lets remember it was learned under the tutelage of experts. The US taught hem everything he knows when he was fighting against the USSR. I have no problem with that but lets not act as though Osama appeared out of nowhere. This is a US trained person. We used him when it met our needs. We fostered terorism when it met our needs.
  5. "I believe the fact is that reading so much into the intent of Osama lends him more credibility than he deserves and is in fact a sign of a victory for terrorism." To ignore him does not make him less credible. This is not a simple verbal reinforcement paradigm where mentioning his name emboldens him. He is already credible. This is someone that killed more American's on 1 day than anyone since WW2. This is someone that the Republican apologists credit with having almost single handedly destroying the robust American economy. An economy that has not recovered (by any measure) to pre-attack levels. This is somebody that has evaded the America armies for 3 years and evaded American attacks for several years before that. This is somebody that is thought of as a hero by large segments of the world's Muslim population. This is somebody that is daily recruiting people to his cause. This is somebody who threatens the US and other western democracies everyday he is alive. How can his words not have meaning? What is the alternative? To ignore his statements? To pretend we are unaffected by his acts? To say that he does not influence our security acts? To say that we take off our shoes to board planes because the airport security really want to see what kind of socks we wear? I recognize that this is the strategy for the economy, for stem cell research, for Iraq, for nuclear proliferation but surely we cannot continue that pretense with Osam as well?
  6. "If I were Bin, and I wanted Bush elected, I'd make a video stating what a silly muslim I'd been and how I wanted to be a Bushist christian instead. " Well I am not sure that would be particularly effective. First I think the only stronger pro-Bush statement he could make would be to surrender to Bush. Failing that he could provide (probably false) intelligence of his whereabouts so Bush could deploy special forces to some area that is hard to access and slow to get him out of. This would allow Bush to appear to be on the verge of capturing or killing Bin Laden. Watch the news for the next 80 hours. Second Bush's Christian principles are finite. When a female murderer in Texas converted to Christianity and and worked (within the prison) a Christian mission, when many Christian Church's requested that her sentence be commuted to life he declined to commute her sentence. Many of Bush's followers are similarly finite. They would want and and many less zealous Christians would want Bin Laden dead (ideally by slow torture). I am not sure Bin would want to make that sacrifice. Also Bin's main goal remains to harm the American interest and strengthen his movement. A conversion to Christianity would not help his ultimate goal. It would be counter productive. I think that in general people rally for their government or their leader when others pick on the government or leadership. People will readily say "It is one thing for me say bad stuff about that idiot, he is my idiot, but they (foreigners) have no right to bad mouth him.
  7. Moon I think Iain beat me to the response I would have made. GWB is a polarizing figure domestically and internationally. There are people (domestic supporters) that take pride in his polarizing endeavors. They like a black and white world. They want to believe that consistency is more important than correct. I suspect that it is laziness and fatigue. To take a position on an issue you need to understand the issue and what options exist. This requires energy and time. Most people in the US are working much more than 40 hours a week because of financial problems and family demands. They simply don't have time and don't want to put forth the effort to think about, research, and understand the issues. There is the risk that with changing information the positions need to change. This is an even greater burden for the average American because they need to review their position. It is much easier to take a position and stick to it. This is the Bush approach. It does not matter what changes or what information there is. He takes a position and sticks to it. Because Bush is polarizing and inflexible he makes a perfect recruiting tool for Osama. Osama must maintain his power base and recruitment efforts. To do this he needs an enemy. George Bush more than America represents that enemy. If Osama was trying to be neutral in this election why did he choose the week before the election to make himself public again? This was well timed. Reappear close enough to the election to stir emotion but not close enough to allow people to get beyond the emotion and to logically address the concern. If Osama's position is neutral as he claims and as Bush's people claim, why did he devote time to a specific charge that 'Bush kept reading a book to kids instead of fighting back immediately.' He did not attack Kerry! The message was subtle as it must be to effect people. This was an attack on our leadership with a goal of rallying people to Bush's defense. What ever may be said of Osama we know he is very clever, very dangerous, and very devious.
  8. On the first page of this thread I posted that Osama's announcement was meant to secure Bush's re-election. Those results aren't in but the polls show that since the Osama tape the trend toward Bush has increased and the narrowing margin reversed. Osama continues to play us like a fiddle. I do not see how any country can be made safe from terrorism or external threat when the government destroys the economy. How long can you pay for safety with loans against future receipts that you are actively trying to reduce. I cannot believe this is a complicated relationship to understand.
  9. How odd. The "Official Ballot" which of course is defined by state and ranges from 2 to over 12 it seems. Not 7. 2004 Presidential Candidates
  10. "And 50% aren't voting for Kerry, only 25% are voting for Kerry, the other25% is just blindly voting against Bush, I don't think these people realize that there are 7 canidates on the ballot. " First there aren't 7 candidates on the ballot. Many candidates did not qualify on every states ballot. Second the 25% "just blindly voting against Bush" virtually by definition are not blindly voting against Bush. They must have reason to be voting against him or they wouldn't be voting against him. Hence it is not blind. I agree that better education would help but then there are those that education doesn't help. Education cannot produce clear logical thinking. There are many examples readily available that demonstrate this point.
  11. It was said and I said repeatedly that Bin Laden wants another Bush presidency. It is essential for maintaining solidarity in his ranks. I think that his announcement will serve the purpose of re-electing Bush. People are already claiming that this is a Kerry endorsement. This will surely drive people to vote for Bush.
  12. As I understand it it is the Republicans that are saying the troops failed to secure the explosives.
  13. Yes it is hard to miss on the news. At least this should quell the conspiracy buffs that think that Bush killed Osama and kept it quiet or has him hidden away somewhere waiting for election eve. Not been a good news day for Bush. The videotapes from the Iraq invasion seem to demonstrate that the Al Cacaa munitions site was secure and in tact until the US broke the seal. So much for secret Russian troops retrieving the explosives. Even worse the UN apparently warned the administration that the munitions should be secured.
  14. A model cannot prove anything it can only predict. Thus far increases in minimum wage have not empirically demonstrated loss in job creation.
  15. Here is what Soc Sec pays in 2005 Estimated Average Monthly Social Security Benefits Payable in January 2005: Before 2.7% COLA After 2.7% COLA All Retired Workers $ 930 $ 955 Aged Couple, Both Receiving Benefits $1,532 $1,574 Widowed Mother and Two Children $1,927 $1,979 Aged Widow(er) Alone $ 896 $ 920 Disabled Worker, Spouse and One or More Children $1,458 $1,497 All Disabled Workers $ 871 $ 895 Disabled income is based upon your how long you worked and how much you contributed. A person with no work history has not contributed and therefore receives a minimum level of benefit. I think it is $595 a month. I think we can assume it is less than the $871 above. That would be $10,500 a year I agree that is a lot more than $0 but I wouldn't think you could buy cable, housing and food for that. SSI After 2 years of qualifying disability you become eligible for Part A Medicare and can Purchase Part B (just like someone over 65). Depending upon state regulations you may be immediately eligible for Medicaid. Medicare does not cover pharmaceuticals but Medicaid does. I agree that that the medical benefits are worth any price because private insurance can cost $1000 a month.
  16. "I think Afghanistan emboldened the Bush administration, making them think that it would be just as easy in Iraq. It hasn't turned out that way. In a few more years we'll be able to get enough of the story in the rear view mirror and figure out why." I agree. Personally I think that this is incredibly poor judgment and I don't mean in retrospect. To compare Afghanistan which is sparsely populated, mostly agrarian, historically ruled by warlords, worn down by years of fighting with the USSR, with some favorable thoughts/feelings toward the US because we helped the insurgents in the fight for liberation from the USSR, working against a very recently imposed, very unpopular, brutally oppressive regime and that is politically isolated. In contrast Iraq has large cities that are densely packed, the population aggregates into a few very large population segments, the population has not had a favorable relationship with the US for almost 1 generation, the population was harmed by the the US for over 10 years with war, then sanctions. The population has a had the same government for 20 years, the government was stable and relied upon an extensive network of spies and murders to exist. I just don't see why one would think that these are similar situations.
  17. I would feel safer with Osama caught or killed. He is a near mythic symbol of resistance against western values. Killing or capturing any hero diminishes the stature of that hero. Killing or capturing him will not end terrorism and it will not end his many cells of terror that have grown up to follow in his foot steps but it will create a temporary power vacuum. It will demonstrate that you can run but not hide. It may provide valuable intelligence. It will reduce his cult like status. It may provide a symbolic victory against terrorism. It will reinforce the belief that the US can achieve its mission. How can Osama not be our highest priority?
  18. I am really glad that we have captured or killed 75% of Al Quieda (according to George Bush) but why does the pentagon but what about the ever growing number of insurgents and terrorists that are being generated in Iraq? Terrorists Increase
  19. While there are people that are not trying to raise a family on minimum wage there are those that are. What jobs are minimum wage? Most of the non-managerial fast food jobs. Cashiers at grocery stores, baggers at grocery stores, floor help in retail stores. Yes these jobs are often filled by school kids but do the math, there are way more of those jobs than there are school kids. Those jobs are held by people that can't find other work, aren't smart enough to get other work, or have had a change in their fortunes (homemakers that are divorced, people that rose above their education in their job but whose bosses died, or the company closed) These are people who didn't choose to raise a family on minimum wage but may have no choice. Granted some did choose to have a family and only have skills for minimum wage jobs. Are people proposing that their families be removed from them? Is it your suggestion that only middle class people that will never fall into the lower class from bad investments or illness can have families? I have no problem with this but I am not sure that most of the population would accept that.
  20. "Money given to the poor and middle classes is quickly spent (in general), that money eventually finds it's way into the pockets of the rich, this is one reason why the rich get richer and the poor get poorer." The money is earned and not given. Money will always find its way to the rich. They invest and the investment is returned (hopefully). Unless you are advocating for the abolition of wealth and a socialist state your response makes no sense. Your statement would seem to suggest that the middle class and the poor should not be paid at all because the money eventually finds its way to th wealthy. Even if you left only the wealthy class they would increase their wealth based upon their ownership. As far as I know the goal is not to deprive the wealthy of money it is to increase the wealth and comfort of the middle and lower classes. Your argument that the money is quickly spent is the argument for increasing the minimum wage. Money spent improves the economy. "Raising the minimum wage IS essentially giving money away because you are increasing the value of an hour's work without any substantial merit for this raise. Thus you increase spending while productivity remains constant, they get something for nothing. " The "merit" is in the increased productivity which has been increasing steadily without increase in income (except to the profit margins of the companies).
  21. Pardon me moon but I think this issue is resolved. If you are running SETI and find the extraterrestrials they will be able to provide global air conditioning and new power sources so this is an investment.
  22. Education is only helpful to the extent that there is capacity. If you take a glass full of water you cannot put more water in it no matter how long you pour. I am not advocating decreasing educational opportunity but to suggest that education which one lacks the capacity for will be useful or helpful is not even logical. "giving monty to the poor does nothing to decrease poverty, in many cases it increases the gap between the classes" First no one here has advocated giving money to anyone. Increasing the minimum wage means that people earning money earn enough money to pay for food and shelter instead of seeking handouts and subsidies. Second please cite an example of where giving money to the poor has increased the gap between the classes?
  23. It seems there is a consensus reached. Intelligence is needed to benefit from education. Education is helpful in advancing financial gain. So increasing education to those who lack intelligence (relative intelligence) is not effective at raising the income level of many functioning at a low level. These are the same people who benefit from raising the minimum wage. So to improve quality of life, to decrease poverty, to improve the economy it is more effective to increase the minimum wage than to throw education at those who cannot benefit.
  24. But if education produces wealth or reduces poverty it should be effective in any system. In fact the increased education should result the society rising from poverty rather than the individual. This would suggest that education may be necessary but is not sufficient wealth production.
  25. As far as I understand it the question is about the Bush approach and the Kerry approach as applied to the US economy. Citing UK statistics and Canadian statistics are irrelevant. The statement was that 1 in 4 people could not write that is illiteracy. Functional illiteracy is an inability to perform academically at a level that allows them to compete in the workforce. One could have an advanced degree and not be competitive in the workforce hence functionally illiterate for that work force. That does not mean that they are illiterate. The question was about education not forms of government. You cannot exclude a country (Cuba) because you don't like their form of government, The argument was education produces wealth.
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