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A Taxing Situation...

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Balladeer
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25 posted 02-07-2009 12:37 AM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

If Obama didn't think that nominating a man under investigation by the ethics committee or three others with income tax problems was a big deal, then he's a fool and the following days bore that out, with three of the four resigning and the fourth squeaking in after days of debate.

My guess is that he didn't think at all...or, if he did, he simply expected them to be accepted because HE wanted them to. Welcome to the real world, sir.

Not sure I understand how three cabinet appointees resigning in light of personal investigations would not be considered at least a "little" big deal by those of you claiming no big deal. I would think that's a first.....
Bob K
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26 posted 02-07-2009 02:53 AM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K



Dear Mike,

          Your issue is the question you believe the issue casts over the President's character, if I understand you correctly, and to have any sort of a grip on that, it's probably a good idea to note your reservations, and see how later events confirm or disconfirm them.  My guess is that evidence will pile up in both directions, at least for a while, and it will take some time for a clear judgement to emerge.

     I suspect that the standing down of nominees from posts to which they have been nominated may be important, but when you suggest that it's a first, you open up your perfectly reasonable objections to comparison with similar situations in previous administrations.  I think the issue is why nominees are standing down at this particular time, when Obama's popularity is reasonably high.  That indeed is a matter that seems fairly interesting, since it really doesn't seem necessary for the President to have his nominees do so.  

     There may be something funny about the vetting process that is worth exploring.  I'm curious why things have been going this way; it seems a bit unpracticed, though of course, of necessity, it is.  It's one of the things that happens when you bring in newcomers with a mandate for change:  Things will look ham-handed for a while.  

     That supporters of an administration would claim that it's "no big deal," is not the "first" that you suggest in your posting.   And I think that you detract from your valid point by suggesting that it is.  The last administration is not so long out of office for us to forget some of the suggestions they made and backed off on for important posts.  And some of the appointments that they made and actually got confirmed proved to have been uncomfortable as well.

     This doesn't mean that what happens when the Democrats do the same isn't of considerable interest, only that the notion that the Democrats are the first here only takes away from the valid point you were making, and opens up an unnecessary point of contention.  You also may lose the question of priority.  

My opinion, anyway.  Sincerely, Bob Kaven
moonbeam
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27 posted 02-07-2009 06:22 AM       View Profile for moonbeam   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for moonbeam


quote:
If I had the time or desire, moonbeam, I would list all of the non-issues you have been very vocal about over the past couple of years.....

You mean like:

Bombing Iraq
Abortion and the value of life
Killing Palestinians
The character of God
The character of the prospective VP
Quantum mechanics
The morality of the media

While I completely accept that different people attach different significance to different topics of discussion, I'd still like to know which non-issues you were going to list?

I have to admit though I've never understood this fascination with dissecting the minutiae of second hand data and political gossip.   Apart from the fact that, by it's very nature, it is likely to be inaccurate, flawed or even completely false, it can invariably be countered by other equally suspect data, leading to an endless and pointless tit for tat.
Ron
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28 posted 02-07-2009 10:05 AM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

quote:
If Obama didn't think that nominating a man under investigation by the ethics committee or three others with income tax problems was a big deal, then he's a fool ...

Mike, if a fool is someone who presumes innocence until guilt is actually proven, I think we're fortunate to have a lot of them in Washington. Including Senator McCain? Or did you forget that Palin was also under investigation by an ethics committee at the time of her VP nomination?
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29 posted 02-07-2009 04:36 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

Hello, Bob. Yes, the character issues will bear out over time. I believe Obama had character issues before being elected, with his associations with Rezko and Acorn, and it seems to me they have carried over but, as you say, time will tell. As far as the vetting process is concerned, I believe the CIA and FBI could learn from them! They certainly uncovered the facts in question and presented them to Obama so they must be pretty darn thorough.

When I spoke of a first, I was referring to a new president taking office and have four of his cabinet appointees come under suspicion of wrongdoing, with three of them resigning and one squeaking by (that one being another first - a man overseeing the IRS who failed to pay appripriate taxes and was caught and fined). If you can show me any other president who managed to equal this feat immediately after taking office, I would be very interested in seeing it.

Ron, the IRS doesn't presume innocence. When they uncover taxpayer wrongdoing, it is an accusation backed by fact and figures. Since it caused three people to resign says something for the validity of the charges, which Obama must have known were valid at the time he selected them.  I find the scenario hard to believe that he would choose them, have the facts come out, watch them resign, causing him to apologize to the country....doing all of this on purpose.  In his words, he screwed up. Funny thing is he never really mention what his screw up was. If it w s selecting these people then it validates the fact that he just didn't think.

As far as Palin is concerned, I could make a case that there is a diference selecting a nominee for the country to vote on and a cabinet post assigned by the president, needing only congressional approval, but why go into that? I'll just say that, if my memory serves me correctly - and sometimes it doesn't - the investigation was on her husband, not her.

p.s.  I will say, however, in hindsight he was indeed a fool for selecting her
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30 posted 02-07-2009 09:18 PM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K



Dear Mike,

          I'm sure that the president has character issues, and I'm certain that they will show up over time.  I hadn't known about the Rezko reference you made in your post above, so I checked it out in factcheckers on the web.  Factcheckers checked out campaign claims from both sides, and found two Democratic claims and two Republican claims that didn't stand up well to factual examination.  This was one of the Republican claims that didn't stand up.

     The link is:
http://www.factcheck.org/elections-2008/rezko_reality.html

     One of the Democratic claims that didn't stand up was that McCain didn't understand the economy.  I confess that I don't understand how the Fact check folks could say that myself, but I haven't read their article yet.  I look forward to being informed.

Sincerely, Bob Kaven
Balladeer
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31 posted 02-07-2009 10:07 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer


I have to admit though I've never understood this fascination with dissecting the minutiae of second hand data and political gossip. I don't disagree with that statement, moonbeam. concerning this topic there is no second-hand data or gossip. It's all documented so you shouldn't have any problem in that regard.

As I said, i don't really have the time or desire to go digging to prove my point but, since you asked so nicely, I took five minutes to go back and grab a couple of examples of what my statement was referring to.

And yes Alison for me, (based upon person experience time end time again) the fact that someone is prepared to put a gun to their shoulder and fire a piece of hot metal into the warm living flesh of another defenceless being to kill or maim it in order to derive pleasure from the act, is a very material consideration in determining whether they are fit to lead a nation.

I'm assuming this is what you mean by second-hand data and gossip. There was no data that Palin hunted for the fun of it. Actually, she said just the opposite was very specific concerning her reasons for hunting, which were never refuted and yet you used gossip and second-hand datat to toss this slur at her. This is one of your "big deals"?  

Finally, this whole thing of "using" family and children for political ends unsettles me.  I am not saying that Palin is going to do this, but the signs don't look too good

Perhaps THIS is one of your big deals, using children for political ends (even with the disclaimer that Palin might or might not do this. Would THIS be one of the "big deal" things you refer to, much bigger than nominating a man under investigation for bribery and misappropriation of funds to the cabinet?

I agree Alison, and if it was me I'd move heaven and earth to help achieve that goal of the press (and public) leaving the kids alone, by NOT having them able to take a shot of my daughter holding my baby son during the campaign rally where I was introduced as the vice presidential running mate!!

Perhaps HERE we have found one of the BIG deals! Allowing photos of the daughter holding her baby to be taken at a campaign rally! Is THAT what relegates Daschel cheating on his taxes and being nominated to the cabinet anyway as a minor nothing, not even worthy of mentioning?

The discussion should be about whether Palin can be an effective mother to such a child while being VP.
The family thing isn't so much a worry for me as I am pretty sure she'll "neglect" her kids in favour of doing a good job for America (or a disasterous job!


THIS must be the big deal!!! Whether or not she could effectively raise a child while being VP, certainly much more important that a man failing to pay his share of taxes for 5 years and now overseeing the IRS. I could almost buy that one except for the fact you never mentioned her counterpart, Biden, who is ALSO raising his child every day while serving as VP. Perhaps you overlooked that?

It is laughable but also worrying that Governor Sarah Palin and her like-minded Americans adhere to this failed hypothesis still. Can they not read? Can they not think? Can they not learn?  (concerning the date Christ was born)

Perhaps NOW we have come to the big deal! THIS must be it. Idiotic Americans!!!

These I noticed in five minutes. There are many more "big deals" you found it appropriate to comment on regarding Palin and republicans. I didn't even attempt to go into your Bush "big deals". I only have ten, maybe fifteen years of life remaining and I'm not sure I could finish in time!


C,mon, moonbeam. There are a predicatble few who will manage to get into every thread detrimental to the right or it's members that magically have nothing to say when there is a problem on the other side of the fence. After all, who wants to be in a position to defend the indefensible? When basically coerced into appearing the only thing they have to say, if they appear at all, is, "Well, I didn't respond because I don't see any big deal here". The 'no big deal" theory doesn't seem stop them from bringing up things like the trivialities listed here.(Ron, you are not included here because you don't jump on trivialities on either side). Is it so hard to just say, Ok, the fellow goofed up? Even Obama said he made a mistake but some of our illustrious members who show up like clockwork when the show is on the other foot can't even bring themselves to say that. Nit-picking you call it? So be it. The nit-picking will continue for as long as we see things that we consider important that you find to be no big deal and we will have our threads that you all won't contribute to and you can have your threads that we will disregard also and the Alley will cease to be a place to exchange thoughts, if it ever was.
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32 posted 02-08-2009 08:45 AM       View Profile for Grinch   Email Grinch   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Grinch


I agree Mike, not paying your taxes isn’t acceptable, anyone who’s found to have underpaid - whether intentionally or unintentionally - should, in my opinion, be forced to immediately forfeit their job. I also believe that evidence of their tax evasion should be used to stop them ever getting another one.

If they aren’t willing to contribute to the wellbeing of society through paying taxes why the heck should society contribute to their wellbeing.

rwood
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33 posted 02-08-2009 09:10 AM       View Profile for rwood   Email rwood   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for rwood

But, Mike?

look on the bright side.

Someone said something to me the other day, a bright young person (barely 20.)

"It seems to me that the Dems HATE the Reps, and they are so vocal and mean about it. But the Reps are more reserved or conservative about their distaste for Dem politics and leaders."

maybe everyone is practicing Rep politics here without knowing it, upon this topic??

because I'm certainly not a hater. I still like Obama as a person and hope he does something right. Who could be in his seat and fix everything before the end of 2011?

and yes, we've already had several discussions about Rush and Coulter, (if someone wants to peg them as haters) but they are not the voice for all conservatives. I don't hate them either. Rush has a job to do and Ann's got to sell her book.
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34 posted 02-08-2009 10:00 AM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

Regina, that actually IS a bright side, when people, especially young people, can begin to see difference between the two, based on their actions and attitudes.
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35 posted 02-08-2009 11:16 AM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

Thank you, Bob. actually I had never really studied the property deal that Obama and Rezko jointly conducted. My views were more along these lines..

An ABC News review of campaign records shows Rezko, and people connected to him, contributed more than $120,000 to Obama's 2004 campaign for the U.S. Senate, much of it at a time when Rezko was the target of an FBI investigation.
"It surprised me that late in the game he [Obama] continued to take contributions from somebody who was under a rather dark cloud in the state," said Cynthia Canary of the Illinois Campaign for Political Reform, a group that has worked closely with Obama and supported his legislative efforts.
In the wake of the Rezko indictment, Obama says he has given $44,000 of the Rezko-connected money to charity.

Obama later told the Chicago Sun-Times, "It was a mistake to have been engaged with him at all in this or any other personal business dealing that would allow him, or anyone else, to believe he had done me a favor."
http://abcnews.go.com/blotter/Story?id=4111483&page=2

Your link was very informative. It caused me to not only read the lines, but read between the lines as well. It seems that Obama sought Rezko's help in acquiring property. Obama had received thousands of dollars from Rezko in his senate run for a district that had 11 of 30 projects owned by Rezko. Rezko and friends donated 120,000 to Obama's 2004 senate run. Obama had sent a letter to the housing authority urging them to  support a housing project which would ultimately go to Rezko. Obama claimed there was no connection. Rezko claimed there was no connection. Rezko's lawyer claimed there was no connection. If there WERE a connection, I would not expect any of them to say any different.  As the article so expertly states..Can support for a low-income housing project be a "favor" to the developer if the developer didn't ask for it? You decide. Did McCain's people beef it all up for maximum derragatory value? Of course. That's what campaigning politicians do and, no, that doesn't make it right.  Here is a link you may find interesting...http://ginacobb.typepad.com/gina_cobb/2008/12/obamas-house-is-owned-by-rezkos-lawyer.html

What bothers me is the recurring scenario we are seeing...
Obama with regards to his pastor,  "I didn't know"
Obama acknowledges the action of dealing with Rezko was "boneheaded".
Obama said he made a "mistake" with regards to Rezko.
Obama goes on television to say "I screwed up"  with regards to recent events.

Either Obama makes a lot of mistakes to apologize for or else he tries things and, if they get called on or discovered as being wrong, he simply says "Sorry about that" and, if they don't, then all is well. I'd like to think that's not his true nature.
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36 posted 02-09-2009 03:26 AM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K



Dear Mike,

           The link you supplied led to a blurb attributed to someone named "Merrie."  They had apparently declined to give an actual name,  because the the space next to listing "Real Name" was left blank.  Since we know that the Obamas paid market price for the lot their home was built upon, and that that transaction was separate from any that came afterward, the notion that the fraud you accuse the President of perpetrating seems unlikely at least for that piece, doesn't it?

     The piece of the property next door was owned by Mrs. Rezko.  The Obamas bought one sixth of that property for about $40,000 from Mrs. Rezko — again, at market price — and Mrs. Rezko went ahead and sold the rest of that property for a substantial profit on top of what the Obamas paid.  The Obamas paid Market value for everything they bought.  The Rezko family — who only later had been tried or found guilty of anything — received fair value.  There is no evidence of favors sought given or received.

     In this, the Rezkos then, by the way, are no different than the rest of us now:  We have not been tried or found guilty of any wrongdoing, and to attempt to smear President Obama for dealings with them then is as logical as attempting to smear some random bystander for having financial dealings with one of us now.  There will be plenty of time to say things about the President that will have plenty of validity to them.  This is not one of them.  There are still questions in my mind, for example, about Bill Richardson, whom I like and whom I believe is an effective politician, but whom I believe is not as clean as I would like him to be.  See Greg Palance in the regard, who's got some eye-opening comments on The Governor;
also, since you've still got upset to burn about Bill Clinton, he has some interesting things to say about Bill Clinton, too.  Possibly about different issues than may bother you, but issues nevertheless.

     Keep on trucking, guy.  All my best, Bob Kaven
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37 posted 02-09-2009 04:06 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

Bob, I'm unaware of the "fraud" you feel I am accusing the president of. If you can show me that somewhere, I'll appreciate it. I also stated that i really didn't know much about the specifics of the real estate deal and only checked into it after you introduced it. I DID speak in a derrogatory manner about Obama's association with Rezko, a convicted felon. After all, if Obama himself referred to his association with Rezko as being "boneheaded" and wrong, why should I (or you) disagree? The actual facts?

Rezko and friends donated many thousands of dollars to Obama's campaigns. Obama pushed for, and got, legislation for building properties in which Rezko netted close to a million dollars. Obama went to Rezko for help in buying this house. Does this mean there was any collusion between the two. As your article staaed, "you decide".

It's too bad that all you got out of that article was not getting the name. There is actually quite a bit of info there and links that provide much more..

They had apparently declined to give an actual name,  because the the space next to listing "Real Name" was left blank.  Since we know that the Obamas paid market price for the lot their home was built upon, and that that transaction was separate from any that came afterward, the notion that the fraud you accuse the President of perpetrating seems unlikely at least for that piece, doesn't it?

Actually, that’s not quite accurate, Bob.

The deal concluded with the Obamas buying the house for $1.65 million, at a discount of $300,000 from the initial asking price, while Rezko's wife closed on the vacant lot on the same day for the full asking price of $625,000, of which she borrowed $500,000, the a maximum allowable 80 percent from Mutual Bank.

You may want to look up some background on Kenneth Conner, the appraiser who was fired over the mortgage. He has an interesting story…

Conner previously confirmed to WND that he told the FBI, months ago, when he initially was fired, that the bank and the Rezkos were engaged in "fraud, bribes or kickbacks, use whatever term you want," to benefit  the Obamas.http://www.worldnetdaily.com/index.php?fa=PAGE.view&pageId=83760

There is much information on this that I won’t put here since it’s quite a way from the original topic but, if you really want to search for the facts, they are there. Another interesting link is here…http://deathby1000papercuts.com/2008/12/obama-fannie-maefreddie-mac-chicago-home-mortgage-903000-over-legal-limit/


Have a great day, sir….
moonbeam
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38 posted 02-09-2009 06:16 PM       View Profile for moonbeam   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for moonbeam


quote:
since you asked so nicely, I took five minutes to go back and grab a couple of examples of what my statement was referring to.

That was kind of you I do appreciate it Mike   , as I was genuinely confused.

I think the misunderstanding is cleared up now.  All the comments (except one) you cite from me were from the "Palin thread" started by me.  This was a genuine attempt to discuss the wisdom of McCain's decision to nominate her by trying to establish the type of woman he had nominated.  From my own perspective this meant trying to look at some of her recorded actions to see how they married up to my idea of a suitable character.  

As for whether trying to reach an understanding of Palin's character was a big deal, I can only say that at a human level imo the deals don't get much bigger.  This woman might well have ended up as the President (un-elect) of the worlds biggest super-power.

You pick on some of my attempts to understand what she is/was.  And if one thing annoys me Mike, it's people quoting out of context to "support" their own distorted views.  My feelings on killing animals are pretty well known here now, as are my feelings about those who kill for sport.  At the time I wrote the quote you cite:
quote:
And yes Alison for me, (based upon person experience time end time again) the fact that someone is prepared to put a gun to their shoulder and fire a piece of hot metal into the warm living flesh of another defenceless being to kill or maim it in order to derive pleasure from the act, is a very material consideration in determining whether they are fit to lead a nation.

I admit that I wasn't completely clear on Palin's position.  (Incidentally I'm since convinced that her stance on killing animals is little short of barbarous).  All I was doing in the reply you quote was responding to Alison who herself had suggested that Palin hunting for sport was "fact".  

You tell me I was using "gossip and second hand data to toss this slur" at Palin.  

Just so that other readers of this can see the way I was arguing (and hopefully see that I wasn't being gratuitously inflammatory) I'll quote the whole reply:

quote:
    

Alison said:

quote:I am not overly concerned - but is the fact that she hunts for sport an issue?

Moonbeam said:

Yes Alison for me it is.  

As an "outsider" (if there is in fact such a position in this world today) I've tried to divine the qualities of the people involved in these nominations.  There's been a lot of chatter here about the "qualifications" for president and VP.  Posters have listed past achievements and even the various committees the prospective candidates have had the misfortune to serve on!  In my view all this is a waste of time.  The guy or gal who is appointed President or VP will have more admin, professional and advisory backup than most of the leaders of the rest of world put together, he or she needs one central quality; that of "leadership".  

The incumbent does not have it.  He's about as inspirational as a cross-eyed ferret.  I think America is therefore really very ready for a President who will have that combination of oratorical skills and the ability to inspire, encourage, enthuse and perhaps most important of all the quality desired by Solomon "a understanding heart"; the wisdom to judge men fairly and truly.

Good leaders are fast learners.  All the so called experience in the world, all the qualifications in the world won't entirely make up for a mentality that isn't able to grasp, sort, analyse and act at high speed.  In fact there is an argument to say that too much experience in a particular area might actually hamper a would be successful leader of a whole nation.

There's a saying over here in the UK:  "He's a good committee man" - it's an example of damning with faint praise, and really means: "He's a plodder, a stooge" - great at implementing others' plans, good at consulting, discussing - not an innovator.  The next President should not be this.  In contrast, he should be able to "grasp the moment", turn disadvantage to advantage, have the moral character to do what is "right" and the persuasive force to take people along with him down that path.

Given the above, anyone who has watched Obama over the last months and still thinks he is not leadership material is sadly deluded.  His achievements to date, and the manner in which he conducts himself in public are more than enough proof that the material is there.

I've heard it said that leadership is more than just fancy speeches.  Sure it is, but oratory style and delivery is more important than some realize.  One poster here ignorantly made a comparison between Obama and Hitler, I think intending to be insulting to Obama.  The irony is that Hitler was one of the most successful leaders of the 20thC, and the basis of his early success was an ability to carry large numbers of people with his powers of rhetoric.  

Such power, and indeed the other powers of a born leader, can obviously be used for good or ill.  At this very early stage in the careers of both Obama and Palin all we can do is attempt to look at any moral indicators the might be emerging.  What one of us feels is important morally others may feel is less so - so all that follows is my own personal view based upon my own personal moral outlook.

Returning, Alison, to the question you mooted that I pasted at the top, the point is that Obama clearly is a leader and Palin admittedly looks to me very much as though she may have leadership qualities too (despite the fact that so far its only been Alaska ).  So assuming that to be the case we must move on and try to look as deeply as possible into the person, to try and determine the morals that might guide them.  

And yes Alison for me, (based upon person experience time end time again) the fact that someone is prepared to put a gun to their shoulder and fire a piece of hot metal into the warm living flesh of another defenceless being to kill or maim it in order to derive pleasure from the act, is a very material consideration in determining whether they are fit to lead a nation.

I have similar concerns about people who place the "rights" of a newly fertilized human embryo in advance of the possible lifelong agony that might be suffered by a young girl raped and then forced to carry something hateful to her to term.  There's a deal of laughable religious mumbo jumbo mixed up in this extreme "pro-life" stance which gives me even greater concern about people who subscribe to it.

The freedom of anyone to commit to anyone else in a form of "marriage" ceremony is another issue I look at when assessing character.  God knows there are few enough people wanting to express their love in a lifelong commitment these days, so it seems to me both cruel and shortsighted not to allow people to do so.  Yet another area though where mainstream religion tends to stick its dark oar in.

Finally, this whole thing of "using" family and children for political ends unsettles me.  I am not saying that Palin is going to do this, but the signs don't look too good.

These are for me some of the moral indicators to deep character, and right now Palin doesn't do well in any area.  I hear what you say Alison about Palin not forcing her views on the populace of Alaska (stunningly beautiful country btw ), but the problem is that she is what she is, and the higher people rise in power the more the focus will shift from what they DO to what they ARE.  (I could go on about our own experience recently with Gordon Brown, but I don't have time).  

You are right though, the jury's out on both Obama and Palin (where's McCain in all this!  His "gimmick" sure worked!), and I'm willing if my facts are wrong to change my mind, but right now I know who I'd rather have in charge, and it's not the lady from Alaska with the shotgun to her shoulder!


Next Mike you pick out the passage above where I refer to Palin's family:
quote:
Finally, this whole thing of "using" family and children for political ends unsettles me.  I am not saying that Palin is going to do this, but the signs don't look too good


You tell me:
quote:
Perhaps THIS is one of your big deals, using children for political ends (even with the disclaimer that Palin might or might not do this. Would THIS be one of the "big deal" things you refer to, much bigger than nominating a man under investigation for bribery and misappropriation of funds to the cabinet?


Actually in the context of a woman possibly becoming President I think it's potentially a far bigger deal yes, betraying a cynicism and dishonesty capable of acts at least as serious as those you suspect this gentleman of.  However seeing as I didn't actually accuse Palin of anything, but merely reserved judgement, I think this is another attempt by you Mike to paint my words in a light to suit your imaginings.

And so on and so forth, regarding Ms Palin's family arrangements about which I expressed some concern, but reached no conclusion.

Unfortunately Mike at this point you went way off the rails so intent were you to apparently label me as some kind of xenophobic Republican hating Brit.

I actually take even greater exception to you making out that I think Americans are idiots or that I particularly favour one or other of your political parties.  All the times I have expressed my admiration (even love) for the US and its people seem to have slipped by you.  All the times I have said what I like about Bush and how much I disliked Clinton and very much respected Reagan seem to have passed you by too.  Meanwhile to dig up a quote from a thread I started and cite it as a quote from me:  
quote:
It is laughable but also worrying that Governor Sarah Palin and her like-minded Americans adhere to this failed hypothesis still. Can they not read? Can they not think? Can they not learn?  (concerning the date Christ was born)


Quite what makes you think I'd write something as banal as that I have no idea.  

I didn't write it, and I don't subscribe to the insulting tone in which it was written.  

If you look again the quote is from a piece written by a journalist in the UK, and my subsequent comment about it was as follows:
quote:
I wasn't really fired up so much by what he thought, as by the manner he said it which I thought was a bit patronizingly smug with a kind of English public school attempt to be witty.

You tell me that you can cite lots of times when I've gratuitously insulted Republicans and Bush.  Apart from the joke above about Bush's endearingly cross-eyed look when he delivers his fluffy speeches I can't find any.  I guess I'm going to have to wait those 15 years Mike for you to find any too.

Finally I might say that you've leapt on my original comments in quite a vigorous  manner, and blown them up to imo to a rather exaggerated extent.  I made two distinct points:

1 That the thread starter imo was a non-issue.  

Ron has already said all I want to say about this, and I am with him 100% (including about the speeding v.  tax issue).  

I will say thought that I'm encouraged by Obama's readiness to admit to, and apologise for, mistakes.  Believe me Mike, most senior politicians and executives make just as many and as serious errors, and spend their lives trying to contain the fall out and basically save their credibility and skins.  These are the people you admire for their professionalism and ability.  Obama is a refreshing change already, and the fact that we are hearing about his errors gives me even greater encouragement for a future of honesty and morality.

2 That some threads imo dwell too much on second hand trivial data, in a purposeless and circular fashion.

That's simply my opinion.  I'm sorry it caused you to riposte with a fairly misguided and inaccurate thrust at my efforts in the Alley.  Just to be clear, it's simply my view and obviously if people are happy to debate such data then of course that's absolutely fine.  

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39 posted 02-09-2009 07:42 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

Thank you for the clarifications, moonbeam. I’m getting a better understanding of how you choose to communicate. It appears you prefer to make statements to get your points across and always leave an out in case your comments are not accurate. We call that covering one’s bases. For example, you will speak of how a person who would hunt for sport not being fit to lead a nation (Palin) but then give yourself the out by saying you don’t really know if she does that or not. In that case, why even offer it until you DO know? You speak of how unsettling it is for you to see someone use family for political ends  and then claim the out by saying you don’t really know if she is going to do that and then almost lose your out by saying the signs don’t look too good. In that case I’ll repeat, why not wait until you see if she DOES do it? Instead, you follow it with I agree Alison, and if it was me I'd move heaven and earth to help achieve that goal of the press (and public) leaving the kids alone, by NOT having them able to take a shot of my daughter holding my baby son during the campaign rally where I was introduced as the vice presidential running mate!! You lose your out there by describing Palin’s actions as the exact actions the you find unsettling. Perhaps that is why this example was not in your last reply.

The discussion should be about whether Palin can be an effective mother to such a child while being VP.
The family thing isn't so much a worry for me as I am pretty sure she'll "neglect" her kids in favour of doing a good job for America (or a disasterous job!
Threw away your out here, too, by your “pretty sureness” comment and your forgetting that Biden was in the same boat. Perhaps that is why this comment was also absent in your last reply. The tactic is not new, I assure you. It has been used by religious leaders, salesmen, and politicians of all kinds so you are in good company.

I apologize for attributing the God comment to you. I did indeed overlook that you were reproducing another’s comment. I would wonder, though, why you would choose to quote it? Just to say you didn’t agree with it? Nobody here would even know about it if you hadn’t brought it up. If I go into a bar frequented by Brits and proclaim “Englanders are among the dumbest people on earth, with no manner, no class and not even an iota of intelligence”, and then tell them Ididn’t say that…some reported did, do you think that would matter to them…or you? So what would your point be?

As I say, our understanding of communications is getting clearer and I’ll try to remember yours when I read future comments of yours to avoid misunderstandings.
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40 posted 02-09-2009 08:45 PM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K



Dear Mike,

          When I lived in Virginia, I knew I was in trouble when somebody called me, "Sir."  It was usually pronounced, "Suh!" and it had that Old Dominion invitation to a duel just below the surface like a Bouncing Betty.

quote:
  Mike:

The deal concluded with the Obamas buying the house for $1.65 million, at a discount of $300,000 from the initial asking price, while Rezko's wife closed on the vacant lot on the same day for the full asking price of $625,000, of which she borrowed $500,000, the a maximum allowable 80 percent from Mutual Bank.




     What's wrong with any of this Mike?  I don't think I'd care to pay full asking price for a property.  My impression is that the full asking price is where the negotiations begin.  I think that if Obama got $300,000 off the full asking price, he did okay but not spectacularly well in the negotiations, and that he may have been too attached to that particular property myself.  It's possible he overpaid.

     As for the price of the lot next door, $625,000, assuming your figures are correct, she sold one sixth of that to the Obamas at market rate, and made a profit on the sale of the rest.  Twenty percent down may have been the maximum allowable percent allowable by that particular bank, but it was hardly anything but a standard mortgage percentage for most of us home-buyers.  Including myself.

quote:
Mike:

Bob, I'm unaware of the "fraud" you feel I am accusing the president of. If you can show me that somewhere, I'll appreciate it.




     Let's try it this way, Mike.  From your earlier post:

"It seems that Obama sought Rezko's help in acquiring property."

and,

"Obama claimed there was no connection. Rezko claimed there was no connection. Rezko's lawyer claimed there was no connection. If there WERE a connection, I would not expect any of them to say any different. "

     The first statement certainly hints heavily;  the second statement is nonsense in terms of logical discussion because, as it happens, if there WEREN'T a connection, the statement would be identical.  The statement is useful only insomuch as it suggests a smear, and not at all in terms of speeding forward a point of discussion.

     Beyond that, the notion of discussing the Rezko material is useful for you only from the point of view of showing wrongdoing or fraud of some type.  It is pointless in terms of demonstrating something that is favorable to Obama.  You haven't done so.  It is pointless in doing something that is clearly Obama-neutral, since the most Obama neutral you have gotten was at the end of your discussion.

quote:
  Mike:

Either Obama makes a lot of mistakes to apologize for or else he tries things and, if they get called on or discovered as being wrong, he simply says "Sorry about that" and, if they don't, then all is well. I'd like to think that's not his true nature.




     My gratitude is authentic for your willingness to consider that his true nature is not as bad as it may appear to you.  I do know that this takes real effort, and it takes a sort of leap of faith at the beginning of this new administration.

[/quote]

     For that reason, I don't hold it against you that you find yourself quoting somebody else using the term "fraud" toward the end of the posting I'm responding to here.  It's simply really tough to try to bridge the tradition of Democratic/Republican difficulty in listening to each other.  I do like the effort that we've been making lately though, and I'm even sort of pleased with it.  By which I mean your efforts as well as my own.

     Let's keep going as best we can.  All my best, Mike.

Sincerely, Bob Kaven
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41 posted 02-09-2009 10:19 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

As the articles stated, there were many things favorable to Obama...the fact that he got it as a reduced price, that he got an amazing interest rate, which he claimed he got because there was another bank bidding for the loan (but he refused to divulge the name of the bank), the fact that the same bank set itself up as both the borrower and the lender, the fact that the appraiser was fired from the bank for questioning the irregularities of the deal.... there's plenty that doesn't pass the smell test.

Be that as it may, Obama himself said it was boneheaded for him to be dealing with Rezko at that time so why you would question him is beyond me.

No, my point of bringing up Rezko is that Obama was a friend to and had business dealings with a man under federal indictment (and later convicted). Obama was a friend to a man who bombed federal buildings. Obama selected to the cabinet three people who were, to be kind, delinquent for years in their taxes and one who was under federal investigation. Obama didn't claim to be "boneheaded" until after Rezko was convicted.  Obama didn't say he "screwed up" until after the aforementioned turned in their resignations, with the exception of one. If you don't see any kind of pattern there, then so be it. Yes, it is good to have a president big enough to stand in front of the cameras and say "I'm sorry". I just wish he didn't have so many opportunities to do so.
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42 posted 02-10-2009 04:43 AM       View Profile for moonbeam   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for moonbeam

Mike, most of your post I've already answered.  As to this:
quote:
I would wonder, though, why you would choose to quote it? Just to say you didn't agree with it?

In a nutshell "yes" and "no".  

To elaborate a little: for much the same reason anyone posts anything in the Alley i.e.  to debate a topic that exercises ones mind - to see what others think.  Yes, to say that I didn't agree with the patronising manner in which it was said (common to many people these days it seems), but also to explore some of the issues surrounding what was really being said.

You go on to say:
quote:
Nobody here would even know about it if you hadn't brought it up.

Er, somewhat self evident Mike isn't it?  Or maybe in future you don't want me to post anything that you don't already know about?

For instance I perhaps would have preferred not to know that Tom Daschle was in your opinion a "piece of garbage", but hey, this is the Alley and people can post what they want about politicians, political parties and nations can they not?  

I'm still waiting for you to reproduce all the hate quotes against the Republican party and Bush that you say I made.  Or, if you can't even find one, maybe you could consider retracting that accusation as well.
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43 posted 02-10-2009 09:44 AM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

I've already gone over the 5 minutes I was going to allow myself on this and I think I proved my point well enough with the examples I gave, at least to me and a few others. If you disagree, that's your right.

For instance I perhaps would have preferred not to know that Tom Daschle was in your opinion a "piece of garbage", but hey, this is the Alley and people can post what they want about politicians, political parties and nations can they not?

That's extremely weak. If I say Daschle is garbage, it is me saying it. According to you, from what I gather, we should be able to list derrogatory things even against a race or country or nationality as long as we are quoting someone else and follow it by saying we don't agree. One would have to assume then that I could reproduce a KKK document calling blacks every blasphemous name in the book as long as I said I didn't agree with it afterward. Do you think that would fly? Or I could find a hateful commentary about England, post it and then say I find it condescending and inaccurate, would that be ok? Somehow I don't feel it is anyone's best interest, or PIP's, to use quotes that denigrate countries, races, or nationalities, just to be able to say you don't agree with them as a way to get them in print. If I'm wrong then Ron can correct me on that one.
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44 posted 02-10-2009 01:09 PM       View Profile for moonbeam   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for moonbeam

quote:
According to you, from what I gather, we should be able to list derrogatory things even against a race or country or nationality as long as we are quoting someone else and follow it by saying we don't agree.

Yes certainly that is fine.  And I'm sure, based upon what he's said already, that Ron would have no problem with that especially if it was in the spirit of debate (as my thread
http://piptalk.com/pip/Forum6/HTML/001745.html

was) rather than simply gratuitous rudeness.

In point of fact I think Ron might allow derogatory things about race, country and nationality even if wasn't quoting someone else, or even if it was, but the poster said he agreed, in certain circumstances.  At least I too would be interested to hear from him on that point, as there seems to me to be a fine line between calling a black person rude borderline racist names, and calling the whole race rude names.  In fact, personalising it seems to be rather worse.


quote:
One would have to assume then that I could reproduce a KKK document calling blacks every blasphemous name in the book as long as I said I didn't agree with it afterward. Do you think that would fly?

I think we've seen worse things in the Alley.  I also think Ron might allow it if it was part of a sensible debate.
quote:
Or I could find a hateful commentary about England, post it and then say I find it condescending and inaccurate, would that be ok?

Of course it would be absolutely ok, I really can't understand why you should think I would think it wouldn't.  Furthermore as far as I'm concerned it would be also ok for you to make hateful comments about England and the English if you gave lucid reasons as to why you were doing so.  I think you and I must think rather differently on these matters because I found your personal comment about Daschle, and Jaime's comments about Obama well over the top simply because they WERE directed at a person as opposed to a faceless collective.  

A person who states that another person is a piece of garbage or a Nazi without any real evidential back-up looks nevertheless quite vindictive and capable of causing harm to another person.  A person who states that a whole nationality is garbage frankly, to me, looks just silly.
quote:
Somehow I don't feel it is anyone's best interest, or PIP's, to use quotes that denigrate countries, races, or nationalities, just to be able to say you don't agree with them as a way to get them in print.

You think that I did that, or that I would do that?  You're accusing me of doing that, when I've already stated quite clearly what I did and why - not to mention the evidence of the thread itself?  I don't understand why you're doing this Mike ~shrugs~.

And while we're dealing with your accusations against me you still haven't come up with the "many more" anti-Bush and anti-Republican comments I've made.  Maybe it's a case of making sure you have more than 5 minutes to check unfounded personal accusations before you make them Mike.  
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45 posted 02-10-2009 01:53 PM       View Profile for Grinch   Email Grinch   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Grinch


quote:
“Englanders are among the dumbest people on earth, with no manner, no class and not even an iota of intelligence”,


For what it’s worth Mike I think you’ve got the essence of Brits just about spot on, though you did miss the bit about them being inveterate liars.

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46 posted 02-10-2009 01:57 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

A person who states that another person is a piece of garbage or a Nazi without any real evidential back-up looks nevertheless quite vindictive and capable of causing harm to another person.

You pegged me, moonbeam. Archie Bunker and I are actually killers in disguise. My cover is blown
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47 posted 02-10-2009 02:04 PM       View Profile for moonbeam   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for moonbeam

Yes, Mike but you HAD evidential back up so you're in the clear. (And I meant "harm" as in mental not physical - lest you trivialise it any further)

Now maybe you could address the important issues like what you want to say about Brits, and why I hate Republicans.
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48 posted 02-10-2009 07:15 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

What I want to say about the Brits? I've no idea where that came from. Anything I would say about the Brits would be positive. I admire the country and the people and they have my total respect. Nor would I pass judgement on them as a nation or on their government, regardless of who was in charge. Besides, how could I slander a place that gave the world the Beatles?

Why you hate Republicans? I'm thinking maybe a genetic disorder, perhaps??
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49 posted 02-10-2009 10:53 PM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K



Dear Mike,

          Nah, thinking torture doesn't hurt and giving money to the rich and refusing money to the poor to survive the recession that the policy pitched us into isn't genetic, though I imagine "serene inattention" would be a nice way to put it.  I wouldn't be so critical of Republicans, Mike.  Most of them actually do mean well; really, they do.

     Genetic is so harsh.  Shame on you.

Best wishes, Bob Kaven
 
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