Thanks for getting back to me so promptly and for being willing to continue the discussion. I really do think thereís more to this than spin. I do try to acknowledge when I think the Democrats are wrong and what I think they are wrong about, and I notice too that you do your best to convey puzzlement about Republican actions that actually do confuse you. I donít believe we have to be puzzled about what we expect the other person to be puzzled about in order to have a useful political conversation. And yes, I do believe the facts are important. And I think you do as well.
Iím not aware of the U.N. being any more corrupt than any other large political organization I know about.
Is that the litmus test, Bob? Not being more corrupt?
Back at you, Mike. Yes. You are willing to punish the U.N. for its corruption which is not essentially different than that of the U.S. Government, The Democratic Party or even your own much beloved Republican party. Possibly less. Possibly a bit more. In return for a lessened chance for war and other major world upheaval, or for a measure of control on the severity they inflict on humanity as a whole, I think yes. Certainly less corrupt would be better; I think so.
I donít think they were as nasty as the Republicans were and are willing to be.††
Bob, no matter how many years I read posts in the Alley, I will guarantee you that I will NEVER see a statement as incredible as that one.
I can see we are both offering opinions here. When I offer an opinion, I should expect to get an opinion back. Should you care to offer specifics about any of those situations, it would be an interesting discussion, but of course since youíve made yourself the judge, all hint of impartiality is out the window. Is there somebody youíd like to consider as judge who knows the Alley and whoís familiar with the postings and who is neutral who might be willing to render an impartial opinion on the matter?
That would be somebody we both thought to be impartial.
Iíd suspect that, at the minimum, theyíd back off making a call at all. And if they did any fact checking rather than simply accepting raw news feeds, theyíd probably agree with me, though there are some pretty stupid talk show hosts out there on either side.
If thereís money to be made drilling, then there are a lot of oil leases that the oil companies already own that are unused inside the United States, and they should start drilling there, instead of pretending that their only hope is in acquiring land they donít own.††
Bob, owning the land and the leases are not enough. They also have to have the permissions that the government doles out, when ever they are in the mood, which has been very, very infrequently. Your argument that they would not sell the oil to American companies is simply the latest scare tactic used by the Democrats. First it was the environment going to hell and, now that they can't get any mileage out of that, they come up with this ridiculous argument. I can understand them coming up with it. I can't understand intelligent people like you buying and preaching it.
First, Iíd like some references about the permissions the Government doles out. The off-shore drilling is already specifically set aside, as I understand it, by a combination of state and Federal laws, as protected land. If the oil companies find that process too difficult to deal with that process, they might as well stop now. The reasons for the lack of flow from most of these domestic wells so far, as I understand it, is that the cost of extraction has been too high to make it worth the while of the companies to exploit the leases and the oil companies havenít thought it worth their while to push to open the areas up.
Certainly theyíll sell oil to American companies. But American companies will be competing against companies who are more willing to pay higher prices and where the profit margins of the companies are to some extent subsidized by the government. For example in Japan or in England or in France with National health care, companies donít have to add that cost to their operating expenses. In effect, itís cheaper for these foreign companies to buy the same oil. It does nothing to help expenses at our pumps, it merely makes things work better in India and Japan. We cut our own throats, while the multinational oil companies rake in the cash.
You are living in an era, Mike, where reality has be redefined as another scare tactic. Reality may be scary, but ignoring it is scarier. And if you think that the environment is another scare tactic, you werenít paying attention to that article that Huan Yi was posting about the north polar ice cap. The only reason you feel they arenít getting any milage about that is that you are pretending that it isnít real either.
Near as I remember, this is a point I came up with on my own. If anyone else thought of it as well, Iím thrilled. Maybe Iím onto something worth thinking about. Calling a discussion point ridiculous without offering anything to back up your claim but the ridicule itself is puffery. If you have actual factual rebuttal, show it; that will enable the world to take the measure of your thinking and to respond to it. Scorn by itself accrues points for style but not substance, and sometimes not for style, either.
I have to say, Mike, that I really donít know when itís actually scheduled most years.
Bob, playing Hayseed Harry doesn't suit you. You are an intelligent man and everyone who reads your posts knows this. Please don't be insulting by trying to pretend you are not. The point is not when their vacation is scheduled. The point is that there was an important piece of legislation waiting to be voted on involving our energy situation. These facts are clear - polls indicated the public wanted it passed. There were enough votes for it to pass, thanks to Democrats crossing the line to vote for it - and Nancy Pelosi did NOT want that to happen, so much so that she had the press physically removed from the Senate and beat the hastiest retreat since Custer at the Little Big Horn. Is††there some kind of directive written somewhere that Congress cannot begin their vacation one day later than planned, when something serious needs to be dealth with? I stand by my strong belief that, if the parties were reverse, the Democrats would go berzerk at Republicans walking out. They would be pointing their fingers and telling every citizen that would listen that this was proof the Republicans did not care about the American people or what they wanted. Instead, I see someone saying something like, "Well, it was their vacation time." There is little wonder that this Democrat congress will go down††as the worst in US history and well-deserving of their record low popularity percentage.
Mike, the word remains ďDemocratic.Ē I see that occasional reminders remain essential.
One of the problems with being the suave, sophisticated, urbane monster about town that I am is that people simply cannot believe that there are things I should know that I donít know. In this case I suspected that a vacation date was probably due simply by the way you began to sputter and growl and bluster. You knew you were making a mountain out of a molehill as both parties do when this sort of this can be used to political advantage. Democrats and Republicans have done it for years, and I wouldnít be terribly surprised to see it happen in the Roman Senate over 2000 years ago.
Itís the privilege of the party in power to fix the agenda and the place of hearings and whether on not bills will actually appear at all.
When the Democrats first wanted to investigate some of the events around 9/11 and Abu Grahib (however you spell it) the Republican leadership fixed the hearings in a basement room that hadnít been cleared of itís prior furniture, hadnít been properly set and, and didnít have a sound system. Woops. Tell me where and which surveys said that the Amnerican people overwhelmingly wanted that bill to pass. You may be right, Mike, itís simply I havenít seen that data.
As a point of history, the thing that got Custer in trouble at the Little Bighorn was his inept advance, and possibly his splitting of forces. He didn't even beat a hasty retreat because he had no actual place to retreat to. He was massively disrespectful of the capacities of his opponents. He was in such a hurry to inflict hurt that he paid no attention to the safety of his troops, put them into unneeded danger, and got the portion of his command that was with him at the time destroyed. A planned withdrawal might have worked better. Paying attention to the reports from his indian scouts would have helped as well. A hundred and thirty years later and look how far we've come.
the oil companies are basically holding us all hostage
At least not until they can extort larger amounts of money from us
Theyíll just hint that itís for us until they get us to sign on the dotted line.
If you would have found some way to stick Wal-Mart, Haliburton and Bill Gates in there, you would receive a Democrat Silver Star! So we can do it your way. We will not allow the oil companies to drill for oil so that they won't tell us to get lost while they ship it over to Japan or India.That'll teach them...
ďDemocratic,Ē Mike. It would be like me going out of my way to say RepublicRat to you if I knew it got under your skin, or to use other language that I knew you felt upset by simply to get your goat. Please donít do that Mike. It should be enough for you to know that other folks find it offensive.
Now, if I had been talking about any of those other people or institutions, it would have been in a different context. We have spoken about Haliburton in several contexts, and should you wish to broaden the discussion into a discussion about abuse of cost-plus contracts, and shifting of corporate status so that a major U.S, defense contractor has found a way to avoid paying withholding and various other taxes required of American companies doing business with the U.S. government, I would be happy to do so. It doesnít make Haliburton look good and it doesnít make Dick Cheney look good and it doesnít make the Republican Party look good. If you could learn to spell Democratic, I might even try it, but I suspect youíre simply trying to change the subject and not talk about what the oil companies are doing in cooperation with the current administration. Iím basically unhappy about what the oil companies have done with any administration in the history of the country, mind you, with the possible exception of Teddy Roosevelt, but I speak with some general ignorance of a lot of the historical development of the oil companies over much of the past hundred years, only some idea of what theyíve been doing over the last sixty or so.
Bill Gates has put a lot of time and energy into some remarkable charitable projects for quite a while now. He and his wife are fine with me. I donít know much about Microsoft, being a MAC user by preference. I donít know how happy the founder of Wal-Mart would be with the company these days. He made his money on running an All-American Company, if you remember, and right proud of it. Sam might think the kids were sharp as tacks or that theyíd sold the company and the country down the river. Youíre going to say you know more about that than I do, I say you may, but Iím waiting to hear you stick your neck out and say how.
I think Sam might have had his doubts about having so many of his workers pull down food stamps and health benefits from the state and county governments. I recall he was against that sort of thing, though he was surely against unions too, and would have done anything he could have to hound any of them out of town. You know I disagreed with him about that.
Thereís no substitute for actually doing the reading and listening to what the folks on the ground have to say, and reading as many books from as many different points of view as you can. I agree. Why don't you tell that to the Democrats, Bob? They have tried to second-guess everything the military commanders have told them that didn't connect what they want to hear. While you're at it, tell Obama who, after speaking with General Petraus, said something like, "Well, he's a good fella but we have disagreements." Obama having disagreements with our best general.....that should be enough to scare anyone.
Stuff and nonsense, Mike. The military is littered with the bodies of high ranking flag officers who disagreed with the President and the administration. You seem to be having some memory problems. People told him from the beginning of the waróprofessional generals, Mikeóthat he was going about things wrong. If he had listened to them, we would be in a somewhat better situation now. There would have been enough troops for the job, to begin with.
My personal opinion is that the job was unnecessary in the first place. Iím simply taking about his rejected competent military advice.
The post invasion upheaval would have been handled differently. No torture would have been permitted. Counterinsurgency policy would have been started right off the bat. The list goes on. And youíre upset because Obama says they donít see entirely eye to eye. Wow.
Mike, itís very late, and this cowpoke has got to punch some beeves in the morning. Or something of that sort.
Best to you and everybody there. BobK.
Democratic. . .