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Passions in Poetry

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Balladeer
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25 posted 05-19-2008 12:28 AM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

Well, I don't know, Serenity gal. refining crude oil costs 24 bucks a barrel and we're paying well over a hundred...I must be missing something.

Is there some evidence that Alaska is sitting on all the oil we'll ever need? Because by your own admission, other oil producers are running out

Yes...and yes to the Dakotas and yes to offshore.
Huan Yi
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26 posted 05-19-2008 04:48 PM       View Profile for Huan Yi   Email Huan Yi   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Huan Yi

.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1973_oil_crisis


.
Bob K
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27 posted 05-19-2008 05:09 PM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K



Dear Folks,

          According to Wikipedia, there is in fact an enormous amount of oil in Alaska.  As much as 16,000,000,000 barrels (or sixteen billion).  Wow!  

     It turns out, though, that most people think that there's only about a 5% chance of it being that high.  At the more likely level of about half that, and if all the oil was reserved for United states use, as certainly it should be,
that means the United states would have enough oil to last us an additional 525 days.  Roughly a year and a half.  Don't believe me, check Wikipedia yourselves.

     Near as I can make out, additionally, and I certainly await the correction of anybody who has better information here, it looks like the drilling rights would go to Shell.  Now Shell may sound and look familiar to all of us as a red, white and blue all-American company, but it started out Dutch and it's a multi-national.  The amount of money that Shell stands to make from this deal is in the many many Trillions of dollars; more than even I could spend on a hot weekend in London, with my wonderful wife, Elaine.  I should be so lucky to get the chance.

     And being a multi-national, it feels no particular loyalty to selling our own oil to us.  It may just as well sell that oil in the fine old Capitalist tradition to Japan or China.  It owes its loyalty to its shareholders.  This has always been one of the problems with the scheme of drilling in the Arctic Wildlife sanctuary; that while we are left with all the damages and have to live with them like the third world country we are rapidly becoming, the benefits all go elsewhere, to multi-national pals of the neo-conservative Republican leadership and to Japan or China or whomever can pony-up the largest and most tasty pile of greenery.

     In return we get sweet and wonderful fantasies like the ones the Republican leadership distributes to those who want to believe that these Republicans are the same ones who stood up to the vested interests and the environmental despoilers under Teddy Roosevelt; or the same ones who were willing to do Dollar-A-Year service for the government during world war II; or who spoke out for fiscal responsibility during the fifties.  These are not the same breed of people, and we are the worse for it.  And this environmental scheme, which they are doing their best to sell to some of the finest patriots this country has ever produced, is absolutely shameful.  And I wish I could say otherwise.

     In reading the comments about raising taxes, I'm sad to say that I think they need to be raised.  The amount of debt we have spent ourselves into over the past eight years through these tax cuts, the war in Iraq and the unfortunate and unnecessary giveaways to the drug companies have written virtually blank checks on the treasury.  The republicans passed these bills eagerly.  The democrats were spineless in failing to stand up to the challenge of facing these bills down by whatever means necessary.  On both sides there were mitigating political factors that should not have kept these bills from being defeated as they were written.

     Having run up the bills, we can scarcely deny the need to pay them.  Nor should we disregard the warnings David Stockman issued during the Reagan administration about using debt as a way of walking away from government responsibilities to the poor and the dispossessed.  In this case, from even the military and the returning troops.  

     It's not going to be easy to recover from a spree like this one, and I can see the blame being apportioned already by the people who ran up the debt in the first place over the personal belt tightening it will take to pay it back.  I really am sorry.  I don't want to shell out extra either; I really don't.  Denise, especially, I'm sorry.
icebox
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28 posted 05-19-2008 05:12 PM       View Profile for icebox   Email icebox   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for icebox

What if we humans all use up all the rest of the world's oil and THEN we drill for our own and process our own oil shale into oil and turn our own coal into gasoline; who sets the world price then...for the next thousand years???



Balladeer
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29 posted 05-19-2008 08:08 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

With all due respect, I don't see where tax-raising has anything to do with this topic at all.
Mistletoe Angel
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30 posted 05-19-2008 10:31 PM       View Profile for Mistletoe Angel   Email Mistletoe Angel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Mistletoe Angel's Home Page   View IP for Mistletoe Angel

Greetings everyone!

This is my first appearance here on Passions In Poetry for about three months now, and I expect to make an official poetic comeback next month!

I want to take the moment, though, to say that, while I agree with Michael that the 110th Congress is one of the most ridiculous and ineffective Congresses in the history of our antion overall, this is one move that I applaud them on, for reasons I've tirelessly stated previous times in previous threads here, but I will reiterate in a summarized form.

We need to move beyond the rhetoric of "This oil will move Maryland for 100 years", etc. and crucially make the leap of faith toward a more sustainable energy economy infrastructure. You talk about the jobs that would be lost by not drilling in pristine wilderness areas like this, yet they would only be temporary jobs and, when you contrast that to the tens of thousands of new jobs that would be created through researching alternative fuels, eco-friendly energy structures, bioswales, etc..........I think we can both see what is the more economically-potent option.

Secondly, none of us know exactly how much oil is there, but by the most accepted estimations, it is such a small amount that it's only approximately more than 2% of our nation's U.S oil supply, and is not even enough to last us any more than 6 to 11 months. And, if that waqsn't enough, would take 10-15 years to put on the market anyway.

Finally, these barons at Exxon-Mobil and elsewhere say that only 2000 acres will be drilled on along the Coastal Plain. Yet, according to the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), oil under the Coastal Plain is spread across the entire 1.5 million acres, where the 2000-acre limitation would not require that the 2000 acres of production and support facilities be in one compact contiguous area. That limitation only addresses "surface acreage covered by production and support facilities." It only includes where oil facilities will actually touch the ground.

The USGS also estimates that the amount of oil likely to be recovered from the Arctic Refuge would be no more than 0.3% of the World's reserves, and would do nothing to help secure the nation's energy independence.

"Energy independent" doesn't just mean ending the reliance of our oil from foreign nations. It also means looking toward renewable sources, NOT expanded oil drilling. And THAT'S precisely why it was a good move for Congress to block this.

Sincerely,
Noah Eaton

"If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other"

Mother Teresa

icebox
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31 posted 05-19-2008 10:36 PM       View Profile for icebox   Email icebox   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for icebox

I guess I missed it; who is talking about taxes here?
Bob K
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32 posted 05-19-2008 11:30 PM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K

Dear Icebox,

          'Twas I, 'Twas I, a' talking about taxes and tax hikes;  I confess it publicly, I do, yes I do!  I was responding to the concerns raised by Denise in response number six in this thread.  They seemed valid to me; I addressed them sympathetically.  I thought they appeared valid, too, to Balladeer, who even joked with Denise in his response number seven about the outcomes the tax increases might have on the poor.  The poor might be forced to eat Vienna sausages, I think he said.  I thought he was pretty clever, actually.

     When I started to take the subject seriously in my response—I thought the exchange I mentioned above indicated it seemed apropos—Balladeer seemed to think the subject out of line.  Sorry Balladeer, I'm not sure I understand how in this case.  Offense was unintended, though the discussion was, I thought, useful.

     And Denise, I wish you wouldn't use "Democrat" to substitute for "Democratic."  It is a partisan usage and it comes across as insulting, in the same way people with an anti-semitic agenda used to use the word Jew as an adjective as well; as in "a Jew lawyer" or "a Jew politician," and thus found a way to turn almost any noun into a slur, even an accurate one.  If you were "Jewish," which is the appropriate adjectival form of that word, and you complained about being demeaned (as in being used meanly, lowly, or in a debased fashion) in this way, it was likely that you would be considered to be at fault simply because you were displaying your characteristic qualities of being, you know, sort of stuck up, and likely to complain over the least little thing.  

     You know those Jews.

     I'm not thrilled about the whole linguistic routine being pulled on democrats now either.  It's pretty much identical to the Jewish material above.  If a Democrat complains it's because Democrats can't take a joke.  Are egg-heads,  Are bleeding hearts.  Whatever the explanation, it's frequently phrased as another slur.  If democrats complain, is it because they're, you know, "Liberal" and "those people" think that disgusting kind of thing; good people don't even want to consider dropping the use of torture of civilians picked up off the streets of Iraq for bounty money and held without proof or trial, on suspicion.  Just because the President does it, doesn't mean it's right, you know.  I mean, just because the President killed a whole bunch of people and called it collateral damage, does that mean you'd do it too?

     Not in your neighborhood at least, I'd bet.

Affectionately, BobK.
Stephanos
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33 posted 05-19-2008 11:52 PM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

Ron:
quote:
Here's the part that continues to both frustrate and confuse me, Mike. How can you simultaneously see this as the greatest country of all history and, it would seem, the stupidest?


Ron, I suspect that Balladeer would remind you of a like phenomenon we all know ... where love and criticism (right or wrong) are often at their peak, in our own immediate families.  A brother might squabble with his sister more than anybody, but would be the first to defend her if it came to it.


Stephen.
Balladeer
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34 posted 05-20-2008 12:28 AM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

Spam and vienna sausages are the traditional staples of the poor - Balladeer

The poor might be forced to eat Vienna sausages, I think he said. - BobK, referring to the above Balladeer statement.


Wow, Bob. You have outdone yourself


Stephanos....right.
serenity blaze
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35 posted 05-20-2008 12:56 AM       View Profile for serenity blaze   Email serenity blaze   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for serenity blaze

Welcome back, Noah.

You've been missed.
Ron
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36 posted 05-20-2008 12:58 AM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

quote:
A brother might squabble with his sister more than anybody, but would be the first to defend her if it came to it.

Okay. But if he calls her stupid, does it mean he really thinks she's stupid?

Either Mike's complaints are valid and we're all being very stupid, or they're not valid and we can go back to being great. I don't see how we can be both (unless perhaps we're being greatly stupid?).

If the brother truly believes his sister is uncommonly stupid, but still comes to her defense when someone else calls her stupid, I certainly have to respect his sense of loyalty. It would really makes me wonder, though, which one of them is the most stupid?

Oh, and Bob? For what it's worth, focus isn't a four-letter word. We can talk about anything you want, but can we try doing just one of them at a time?

Denise
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37 posted 05-20-2008 01:53 PM       View Profile for Denise   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Denise

I'm really at a loss, Bob, as to why you think using "Democrat" to describe members of the Democratic Party, insulting. They refer to themselves as Democrats, for crying out loud. Or are they alone allowed to use the word Democrat, and the rest of us, Independents and Republicans, have to use something else? Should we call them Democratics?  Maybe a list could be created of all the acceptable words that wouldn't offend, since you seem to think "Democrat" is now an insult. Now we have a D (Democrat) word, and an L (Liberal) word and a P (Progressive) word to which you take exception? So please, tell us what we are allowed to call them. Or maybe, we shouldn't be allowed to say anything unless we are members of that political persuasion?

I think it would be far more productive to discuss policy or values, not change the subject, throw up smoke screens, and waste time finding offense where none exists nor was intended.

I think, more to the point, offense is sometimes taken because someone is not being agreed with, that has nothing to do with a particular descriptive phrasing. Not agreeing with someone is not insulting. It is simply not agreeing with them. If the one not agreed with takes offense at that, well, then they have a problem. I just happen to disagree entirely with the Democratic view of the world and their policies. And that's my right. And it's my right (so far) to voice that disagreement.
Bob K
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38 posted 05-20-2008 03:25 PM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K



Dear Denise,

           You are a poet, and know the difference between a noun and an adjective.  I am a Democrat (noun).  I belong to the Democratic Party.  "Democratic" in this case is an adjective.  I do not refer to myself as a "Democratic."  That would be a confusion of the noun and the adjectival forms of the word.  Similarly I do not use the phrase"The Democrat Party" because it, too, is a confusion of the noun and adjectival forms of the word.

     I also notice that the word is a coinage among Republicans.  Independents for the most part and Democrats almost entirely avoid it because it is an ugly formation, and as I said in the post above, it is the same sort of Linguistic attack Republicans have used before, as in the fuss made about the word "Liberal" by those such as Mr. Limbaugh, who have tried to reduce it from its dictionary definition to "The 'L' word."  In both cases it is an attack not only upon the Democratic Party, but also upon the english language.  Nobody but the Republicans is attempting to change the language in either case.  The only ones trying to be insulting here are the Republicans.  You certainly have every right to say what you wish, as long as you attempt to do so within the bounds of agreed upon decorum.  I do not have to grant them to you, though, and I see no reason why you should suggest that I am trying to abridge them.  I function under the same restrictions myself, and I would rather not see myself as a victim of my right of free speech.

     As to my discussion of issues of language rather than grappling with substantial issues of politics, we must disagree on this.  First, I believe that linguistic distortions are political issues and have a profound effect on the framework in which the discussion takes place.  Second, if you'll notice my earlier contribution, you will notice my reference to the Wikipedia article.  Wikipedia is a generally  politically neutral source of data, which is why I chose it.  I wanted to be clear that I wasn't trying to offer straight liberal points of view.  When I discuss issues with people here I generally make it a point to let people know where my information comes from, so they can make up their own minds how to weigh it.  If it is a lefty wing source, I will say so.  If it is right wing, I will say so.  I try to be as objective about this as I can be, even if it works against me.

     The wikipedia article on the alaska wildlife sanctuary oil deposits said that there was most likely only about a year and a half's worth of supply for America there, if that were the sole source.  525 days they said.  This was a far cry from the virtually limitless supplies that other folks were talking so confidently about.  I also pointed out that the people who would be doing the drilling would be selling the oil on the open market, and that there was no guarantee that they would have to sell that oil to us, and that the companies doing the drilling were not likely to be American companies but multinational companies with no loyalties to the U.S. but those they could buy or have bought from them.

     To my mind, Denise, these were fairly telling political points that went unanswered.  To balladeer, I am sorry I didn't get his quote right, but I did, on the other hand, even in the excerpt that he used indicate that the I was offering an approximation rather than a quote, and that I may have it somewhat off.  The spirit of the quote was not to distort what you were saying, and if you felt that it was, I'm even more sorry than getting the approximation wrong, though I thought the approximation was ball-park okay.  

     So, Denise, if there was something political of substance you thought I should have addressed but didn't, please let me know and I'll do my level best.  You should know though that I do not even pretend to be in favor of everything the Democrats do, though I am proud to be one, so you may find that in some instances I agree with you or with the spirit of that about which you're writing.
I think that people who honestly want the best for their country and can talk about it honestly frequently have more in common than what you'd imagine, no matter what their formal political affiliations.  As Harry Stack Sullivan used to say, "We're all much more simply human than anything else."

My best to you, BobK.

          
Not A Poet
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39 posted 05-20-2008 05:14 PM       View Profile for Not A Poet   Email Not A Poet   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Not A Poet's Home Page   View IP for Not A Poet

Though linguistically incorrect, I find it most difficult to view references to "The Democrat Party" as political slander or even disrespectful. As for it being a Republican contrivance, well I think we need some evidence of that. As a Republican, I feel sure one can contrive more colorful and, yes disrespectful, words for Democrats than, well, Democrat.

That said, however, I will do my best to refrain from said practice. Actually, I'm not sure whether I have been guilty of such blasphemy or not. I'm pretty sure I have not do so in writing. Denise, will you please get hold of yourself and stop it too?



Pete

Never express yourself more clearly than you can think - Niels Bohr
Bob K
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40 posted 05-20-2008 06:54 PM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K

Dear Not A Poet,

                     Thank you.  I appreciate your thoughtfulness.  I has assumed that the phrase was a Republican contrivance.  Your question set me back on my heels a bit, and I decided to check.  It was, it was much older than I'd thought, and the back and forth between parties has been more complex than I'd imagined.  I leave this Wikipedia link for you to explore should you wish to check out this interesting little piece of linguistic and political history and to get a more accurate take on it than I was previously able to supply.  Thank you once again.  BobK.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Democrat_Party_(phrase)
Balladeer
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41 posted 05-20-2008 07:28 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

A very interesting link. I guess just maybe it is not a Limbaugh contrivance, after all, since I don't think he was broadcasting in the 40's.

With all due respect, Bob, Democrats are known for coming up with red herrings to complain about, trying to make something out of nothing for headline exposure. That fact that they, including you, would get so incensed and insulted by a phrase used since 1890 seems to bear that out.

If I were to say Liberal party, would it be more appropriate to say Liberalistic party?

We certainly have an overabundance of things to be genuinely upset over more important than people having hurt feelings over the usage of democrat and democratic, wouldn't you say?
Balladeer
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42 posted 05-20-2008 09:08 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

Either Mike's complaints are valid and we're all being very stupid, or they're not valid and we can go back to being great. I don't see how we can be both (unless perhaps we're being greatly stupid?).

I checked my comments and I don't see anywhere where I used to the stupid, relating to the American people. Did I call the Congress pathetic? The press pathetic? Oh, yes, but I don't completely go along with your premise that the fault is ours because we elected them. We are very restricted on who we can elect and, more times than not, it is a choice of the best of the bad.

The American people are some of the kindest, most giving, most sympathetic people on Earth. Whenever there is tragedy anywhere in the world, Americans are there to chip in and do their part for others. I doubt anyone can deny this. Are they stupid? Let me ask you this...is a wife who stays with an abusive spouse stupid? Well, I suppose you can say she is...but is it that simple?

In my opinion, the problem is that the American people have traded in their individuality for complacency. There was a time the government could be held responsible for their actions...no longer. There is no outrage. Thanks to a government that has continued to expand into every area of our lives, it has become impossible to fight them. We sold ourselves for unemployment checks, food stamps, school lunch programs. We allowed ourselves to become completely dependant on govermental control. We see pork passed around like donuts, government waste, criminal activities among congressmen  and there is not even outrage. There is only a throwing up of hands and saying, "Well, that's politics."  We see candidates caught in blatant lies and we smile with a "So what's new? All politicians lie." It doesn't even bother us. The days of a Boston Tea Party have long since passed. Whever tragedy occurs, we immediatley scream, "What is the government going to do for us?" Our schools accept free lunch programs, ignoring the fact that they are  putting themselves in the government's pocket. They don't care...just keep the money coming. The government does whatever it wants and we accept it. Just keep the food stamps coming. There was a time we were responsible for our actions and our lives. We don't want that responsibility anymore. We want to be taken care of, I suppose. Do something, government! That's what we want. I cannot imagine families planting "victory gardens" in this day and age when it is so much easier to just scream, "Government, feed us!" These are not the actions of those who built this country and got through the depression and two world wars. Should congress want to pass a bill that we don't agree with, they simply piggyback it to another to get it through. When we find out, we don't complain. "You can't fight City Hall".  Should a topic comes up that could incite strong feeling, like the one in this thread, they simply make sure it receives as little public exposure as possible and let it slip by.

Is it our fault? Sure...we allowed the government unlimited control over us. We have allowed them to be unaccountable to us. We traded our hands-off's for handouts. Does that make us stupid or an abused spouse? You make the call....
Bob K
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43 posted 05-20-2008 10:17 PM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K

Dear Balladeer,

              No, Balladeer, you're correct here, it was not a Limbaugh contrivance.  I find the man unpleasant while others find him illuminating or entertaining, and I tend to attribute evil to him out of habit.  I even recall writing his name recently in some context, and in an earlier draft of this paragraph included an apology to you for falsely attributing that locution to him.  But in reviewing what I've written thus far on this subject, I cannot find a place where I've actually done so, even though I remember doing it.  I may have deleted it in a fit of temporary good judgement, have written something about the man in another context, or simply not found it in my quick glance over the text.

quote:
With all due respect, Bob, Democrats are known for coming up with red herrings to complain about, trying to make something out of nothing for headline exposure.


     Who knows this about Democrats, Balladeer?  

      Which red herrings would these happen to be? and what are the clear issues that these red herrings serve to distract the public from?  In this case I have interpolated the phrase "the public" myself, because the two of us need to have some sort of agreement about who is being mislead by the operations you describe here.

     Only after the two of us get some sort of clear answer to those questions can we begin to make a rational decision as to whether "something" has in fact been made from "nothing" or whether a valid piece of information has been added to the public discussion around one of those issues you've left unspecified.

     Without the appropriate details, we are both left with our feelings to fall back on.

     Your feelings tell you that what you've just said is True, True, True.  My feelings tell me that your lips say Yes, but your Heart means No.  We both need more than our very real and intense feelings to go on here, and the details need to be concrete.  That way we have a better chance at understanding where our thinking diverges.  Maybe we can also understand where it overlaps as well.  Both are always useful.

quote:
That fact that they, including you, would get so incensed and insulted by a phrase used since 1890 seems to bear that out.


     I suggest that you may have missed the part of the article where the nature of the phrase as a slur was discussed and elaborated.  How the phrase is pretty much used by Republican partisans alone in a derogatory context and how the Democratic party has taken offense at it for more than sixty years.  I had not been aware of the duration of the slur; I had thought it recent, and have found it nasty every time I have heard it used in somewhat the same fashion that people used to alter my last name when I was in grade school and chuck it back at me in a distorted fashion, with a cruel and mocking schoolyard  twist, as bullies have enjoyed doing since language was invented.  Perhaps some of you have had the same experience.  I detect the same snickering undertone here.

     Apparently the Democrats have tried, Heaven help us, to retaliate by finding a similarly irritating twist on "Republican."  Some of the absurd results are also in the article.

quote:
If I were to say Liberal party, would it be more appropriate to say Liberalistic party?


     I don't know.  These are both phrases invented for the occasion.
If you were, however to say "The Jew Lobby," it would indeed be more appropriate to say "The Jewish Lobby," wouldn't you think?  

I do know that the word "Liberal" has been systematically pilloried, and I think that is inappropriate.  I try not to smear the names of others.  Unlike the common Western wisdom, I do believe that words can wound as badly as sticks and stones, and that anybody who doesn't believe them to be at the very least painful at times is either out of touch with their feelings or plain not paying attention.  

quote:
We certainly have an overabundance of things to be genuinely upset over more important than people having hurt feelings over the usage of democrat and democratic, wouldn't you say?


     I would say that one can discuss things in an atmosphere or good will or an atmosphere of rancor and any of the states in between.  Whatever you can do to keep the discussion on a more cooperative and less rancorous basis while keeping your principles intact is to your mutual advantage.

     You have to ask yourself about why somebody would chose an unnecessarily rancorous arena for discussion of that overabundance of things to be genuinely upset over than necessary.  What possible advantage does it convey?
I am honestly confounded.
Balladeer
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44 posted 05-20-2008 10:53 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

Which red herrings would these happen to be? and what are the clear issues that these red herrings serve to distract the public from?  In this case I have interpolated the phrase "the public" myself, because the two of us need to have some sort of agreement about who is being mislead by the operations you describe here.

Fair enough, Bob. One that pops right up off the top of my head was when Bush used JFK quotes to support his position on tax cuts. Democrats hated that. They, along with tv commentators, blasted it. Was it illegal? No. Was it an infringment on copyrights? No. Was there absolutely anything wrong with it at all? No. So what did they do? They attached their own wording to it. They called it "sleazy", "underhanded", "hitting blow the belt". On This Week, George said, "Well, wasn't it a little disrespectful?"  They were so angry about the fact that it was exposed that JFK and Bush had the same thoughts on tax cuts that they went into a complete attack mode to try to discredit it and cause people to forget that JFK had actually said those things....there's a red herring and the reason for it, Bob. There are others.
Bob K
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45 posted 05-21-2008 03:22 AM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K




     Thank you, Mike, that's a bit better.  I'm not exactly clear about the time and details of the situation, so I don't think I can give you as good a response as you deserve, and you should bear in mind that I don't agree with all things Democratic, as we've discussed before.  But I'll try to ball-park it and trust you to supply more information as we go to help us look at the situation in detail.

     The situation when Kennedy came to office in 1960, as I recall it, was that the highest tax brackets paid in the neighborhood of about 90%  tax on income they made over whatever the cut-off point was at the time.  Both of us would have to do further research to tie down exactly what those figures were.  As I recall, the tax for the same bracket in England was the same or even higher.  There were ways around these taxes even then, such as the use of tax exempt municipal or government bonds, which preserved income and even allowed it to grow at a modest rate, safe from taxes, in return for what were thought to be "socially useful" investment strategies.  Kennedy himself, when he entered office had some portion of his money tied up in tax exempt municipal bonds.  He felt that cutting the capital gains tax and income tax rates from the then current extraordinarily steep rates would serve as a stimulus to investment.  Whether that was the case or not is unclear, but it does seem to have worked that way.

     Were the distribution of wealth still the same today as it was 50 years ago, and were the rate of taxation still the same, the effect of tax cuts might also have  remained the same.  If you remember, we went through the outlook for the use of tax cuts a few weeks ago when we were talking about how useful tax cuts might be in the current economy.  I had to do some research to find an article for you in the Conservative anglo/american magazine The Economist that explained why even most conservative economists thought the Laffer curve doesn't predict current economic conditions and why tax-cuts lose money for the governments.  (They only pay for about 70% of the money lost, apparently.)  If you can find that old thread, the list of articles and research is there.

     So if Mr. Bush is using Mr. Kennedy's arguments to support his proposal, I would suspect there may actually be a reason for the cries of outrage.  Without more information, I cannot say for sure.  Did, for example, Mr. Kennedy's tax cuts pay for themselves?  The Economist, suggests that Mr. Bush's are not doing so now and will not in the future.  Did Mr. Kennedy's tax cuts serve to stimulate the economy as a whole?  It's not very clear that Mr. Bush's tax cuts are able to do so.

     I am not suggesting, by the way, that I know the answer about Mr. Kennedy's policies.  I do not know the answers there.  I am able to suggest that those people who are offended may know or think they know those answers.  They may be right or wrong; I haven't researched it yet.  We do not know that Bush and Kennedy have the same thoughts on tax cuts, we only know that one wanted to cut tax rates of 90% and the other wanted to cut tax rates ion the mid-30's.  One tax rate even I find confiscatory.  The other is, by the standards of most industrial nations, extraordinarily reasonable.  Not that I want to pay it, mind you; but it is reasonable.

     I would also venture to say that when you suggest that tv commentators blasted it, you may be stretching things a bit.  I say this without looking at the reports themselves at this point, though I will, if you'd like me to.  I'd be willing to bet that there wasn't much critical said on Fox, for example.  That the rest of the major networks remained reasonably quiet about it, including Tim Russert, and that only a handful of commentators mentioned it at all.  And that the majority of the comment was from Fox news being critical of those who Fox news thought shouldn't have said anything.

     Did you see anything except on Fox news about this, other than packaged reports about these commentators with edited clips being shown on Fox news itself?  You certainly may have.  I'm not much of a TV watcher myself,
but I can't recall any coverage of this at all.  I believe you that it was there, of course, but I'm wondering if the difference in our viewing habits may account for the different emphasis each of us seems to place on the story.

     Now for this actually to qualify as a red herring, it would need to be a distraction from something else of rather larger import that was happening at the same time.
Since I don't know the time line on this, I need your help in locating what that might be.  Your thesis is that the Democrats were using this to draw public attention away from some sort of more important public issue—using it as a red herring—what might that issue have been at that time?  It should have been to the advantage of the Republicans to have discussed this other issue openly and directly and not to have let themselves or the public interest be distracted.

     This has, so far been quite interesting for me, by the way, and I hope for you as well.  I'm as interested in tracking down Democratic fouls as Republican ones.  I know that there as many rascals on either side of the divide.  My interest is in seeing that the decent people of both parties be able to work something out.  Being a Democrat, my hopes are more with the Democrats, but I know there are decent and honorable Republicans around as well.  Best wishes, Mike.  Your, BobK.
    
Balladeer
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46 posted 05-21-2008 06:30 AM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

He felt that cutting the capital gains tax and income tax rates from the then current extraordinarily steep rates would serve as a stimulus to investment.  Whether that was the case or not is unclear, but it does seem to have worked that way.

Bob, if it worked that way then I don't understand why it should be unclear to you. Obviously he was right.

So if Mr. Bush is using Mr. Kennedy's arguments to support his proposal, I would suspect there may actually be a reason for the cries of outrage.

There were no reasons given, Bob. No one that I recall did anything to rationalize it as you are doing, other than to cry foul.

I would also venture to say that when you suggest that tv commentators blasted it, you may be stretching things a bit.  That the rest of the major networks remained reasonably quiet about it, including Tim Russert, and that only a handful of commentators mentioned it at all.

Thank you, Bob. You are forcing me to dig into it further, which I will do. My thank you is genuine. I like to get to the bottom of these things. No, I'm not stretching, according to my recollections. I still remember the Round Table discussions on this topic along with Peter Jennings being VERY outraged over it. This is not new. A topic or a phrase becomes a hot button that the news agencies focus on and saturate the airwaves with. One thing that limbaugh does is focus on these things. Yes, I know that he does not rank high on your Christmas list and he can indeed come out with outrageous things but he collects montages of these "hot buttons" and plays them, which make them not his creation but actual footage of the events. I recall when the word gravitas became the hot button. You would not believe the amount of usage that word got in the space of no time at all. There were at least two dozen soundbytes of all of the news anchors alive working that word into their newscasts over the space of a very few days. A word that I don't think had EVER been used in newscasts before now became the NEVERMORE of the news agencies. It was ver humorous, actually. This topic on using Kennedy's words became another one that was well-exercised.

Now for this actually to qualify as a red herring, it would need to be a distraction from something else of rather larger import that was happening at the same time.

What was happening was Bush making a case for his tax cuts. The Democrats came up with nothing to fault them with and were obviously put on the defensive by their standardbearer's words being used to support them, so they simply came up with the "disrespectful and sleaziness" tactic to lead minds away from the facts and focus on areas that had actually nothing to do with the topic at hand. You may take exception to mu comment that they had nothing to fault them with but they are still proving that statement to be true, as in the currently passed debate when, faced with the figures that capital gains tax cuts had ALWAYS throughout history stimulated spending and growth, Hillary and Obama both said they would STILL raise them and could give no specific reason for doing so.

If someone were to say "That BobK is really a smart fellow" and I respond "Yes, but he wears orange socks", that is to me a red herring, something to detract thinking to another area, which is what they did.

Please reassure me you don't wear orange socks!
Balladeer
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47 posted 05-21-2008 07:26 AM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

The controversy this time stems from John F. Kennedy in advertisements that support President Bush's new tax cut plan. Senator Ted Kennedy is fuming over JFK's name and image being used to support tax cuts, something he vehemently opposes. These ads in question compare the massive tax cuts of JFK to those of Reagan and Bush, and rightfully so. This ordeal is only a small part of the larger problem; that modern day Democrats and socialists have hijacked the good name of John F. Kennedy. One of JFK's key economic plans included massive, across-the-board tax cuts, similar to those of Reagan. Much like the 1920's and 1980's, it was these tax cuts that led to the Golden Kennedy-Johnson years.

JFK quote - "An economy hampered by restrictive tax rates will never produce enough revenues to balance our budget - just as it will never produce enough jobs or profits."


Another reason, Bob, why the Democrats did not get into specifics about the tax cut comparison was that Kennedy's cuts were MUCH more favorable to the rich than Bush's. That is a matter of record easily obtainable. Exposing that, however, would take away their "big stick" about how Bush favors the rich...so they resorted to ambiguities, like sleazy.
icebox
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48 posted 05-21-2008 10:37 AM       View Profile for icebox   Email icebox   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for icebox

I do not recall the Kennedy-Johnson years as being all that "golden."

Maybe it is just me, but if those years were so great for lots of people, why did the country then elect Nixon?

serenity blaze
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49 posted 05-21-2008 12:58 PM       View Profile for serenity blaze   Email serenity blaze   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for serenity blaze

Y'got me.

I was half-blind, covered in a rash, running around nekkid and waiting to be scheduled for surgery.

OH.

The more things change the more they stay the same...? <--can we make that a wagon?
 
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