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Passions in Poetry

I wonder?

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Grinch
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50 posted 04-25-2010 07:45 AM       View Profile for Grinch   Email Grinch   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Grinch


quote:
    I'd be interested in knowing what the Observant Mr. Grinch thinks about this, first because he's in a much better position than I am to comment on Great Britain and her politics (not to mention the politics in the various parts of the Common Market), but he has a different take on U.S. politics than I do — much more objective, I think — and I'd simply like to know what his observations are.


Always happy to oblige when it comes to offering an opinion.

Has the British Labour party moved to the right?

Yes they have Bob, but it’s all relative, the political parties in the UK aren’t really comparable with those in the US because the central point from which right or left are measured are different in both systems. An American centralist would be classed as a right winger in the UK and a centralist in the UK would be.. well it’d be someone like you Bob.



Not only are both systems centred in different positions on the political spectrum the distance between mainstream right and mainstream left is much narrower with a very defined gap and distance between the mainstream and the extremes of each side.
To give you some idea of the difference Bob the average Conservative in the UK would have rejected the recent health care bill as being way too right wing and the average right-winger in the US would be a target voter for the British National Party in the UK.

BTW in case you wondered I’m a member of the conservative party in the UK – if I’m right that would make me a centralist in the US, which probably explains why you see my opinions as somewhat objective.

Hope that helps.

quote:
some Britons I've known feel they have more because their constitution and bill of rights is unwritten.  I was surprised to hear that, but it does make sense from their point of view.


Kick off a thread Bob and I’ll be more than happy to compare notes.

.
Denise
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51 posted 04-25-2010 11:10 AM       View Profile for Denise   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Denise

quote:
It didn’t break free from the essential constraints that were placed by the Founding Fathers in the Constitution, at least as its been interpreted and Warren Court interpreted in the same way, that generally the Constitution is a charter of negative liberties. Says what the states can’t do to you. Says what the federal government can’t do to you, but it doesn’t say what the federal government or state government must do on your behalf


This is the section that most bothers me, Bob, where he characterizes the Founder's intent as an interpretation and the Warren Court's agreement with that interpretation that the Constitution is a charter of negative liberties, as if there could possibly be another legitimate interpretation, as if he believes that there should be a way to break free from those interpreted essential constraints.

And of course I disagree with the concept of Redistribution of Wealth and Redistributive Justice in a free society no matter the vehicles chosen to advance them. I believe that the very concept strikes at the very heart and spirit of the Constitution, in that it advocates the taking of one man's property and the giving of it to another.
Denise
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52 posted 04-25-2010 11:18 AM       View Profile for Denise   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Denise

quote:

That’s pretty much the essence of the proposed legislation too Denise, though the idea of ‘rescuing’ is replaced with a controlled break up of any financial entity that fails.

It won’t work though. The proposed legislation doesn’t go anywhere near far enough to regulate the financial industry. They’ve already gone back to doing the kind of things that caused this mess in the first place, only now they’re emboldened because they know that the government will bail them out when it all goes pear shaped. Which is likely to be sooner rather than later.


Now I'm more confused, Grinch. If the proposed legislation replaces rescuing with a controlled breakup, how could they then continue to rely on bailouts?
Grinch
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53 posted 04-25-2010 12:34 PM       View Profile for Grinch   Email Grinch   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Grinch

quote:
Now I'm more confused, Grinch. If the proposed legislation replaces rescuing with a controlled breakup, how could they then continue to rely on bailouts?


Ever heard of a catch 22 Denise?

Well if the financial reform bill passes in it’s current form you’re about to create a real humdinger.

The idea is that a fund is created, paid for by the banks themselves, that is used to break up any bank that defaults. It’s a half decent idea but the size of the fund is critical – originally a figure of 250 billion was suggested, but those banker friendly politicians managed to knock 200 billion off that. That might not have mattered too much if the size of the banks or their risk was reduced but the politicians didn’t like that idea either. So if the bill passes you’ll still have 58% of the financial market held by the 10 biggest banks, and because the restrictions on risky dealings haven’t been curtailed they’re just carrying on like they did before and at some point the whole thing will go bang. At that point 50 billion will be about as useful as a chocolate fire truck, whichever government is in charge will have to bail them out all over again because they really are too big to fail.

.
Denise
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54 posted 04-25-2010 01:53 PM       View Profile for Denise   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Denise

Some concerns about the current legislation:
http://www.bigskybusiness.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=1217:groups-call-financial-regulation-bill-an-attack-on-main-street&catid=20:national&Itemid=120

Bob K
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55 posted 04-25-2010 04:11 PM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K


     Got a link to the speech itself, Denise?  I'm not familiar with it, and I'd do better if I could read the whole thing at once.  For example, it doesn't sound to me like we're reading the portion of text you're presenting in the same way.  I need to look back and see what the referent was to the initial "It."  But it looks to me as though he's saying that we don't know what the framers were saying exactly in the original text, and that even our initial reading of the constitution, given the way the language has changed and the way the structure of the language and thought has changed may not be what the framers thought it would be.

     I wrote a reply to Ron a few postings back where I talk about some issues in the text of the second amendment that should offer an example of what I mean.  I use an 18th century definition of the word "militia" to talk about what the framers may have meant, and talk about how the meaning of that word today is different than it was at that time.

     I don't pretend to be a scholar in the field, I'm simply talking about some of the modern difficulty in reading an 18th century document and assuming we know what it says.  Sometimes we do, sometimes we don't, sometimes it's in the middle.
Grinch
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56 posted 04-25-2010 04:29 PM       View Profile for Grinch   Email Grinch   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Grinch


quote:
Some concerns about the current legislation


Serious concerns?

They aren’t serious concerns Denise, serious concerns would have words like ‘leverage’, ‘naked credit default swap’ and ‘derivatives’ in them.

Your representatives have climbed into bed with the wall street wingnuts that caused the recession, both Republican and Democrat politicians are being bought off to water down legislation that might rein them in and avert a crisis.

With the health care bill a half arsed solution was disappointing but not totally disastrous – you can fix the mistakes later. When it comes to financial reform you don’t have that luxury, if you don’t get it right this time those bozos on wall street will go right on taking big risks for big bucks only the next time they screw up your economy is unlikely to recover.

The most serious concern you should have is that the proposed bill doesn’t go anyway near far enough.

.
Denise
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57 posted 04-25-2010 05:52 PM       View Profile for Denise   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Denise

The referent to the initial "It" was the Warren Court, as can be seen by the immediately preceding sentence in my firt post, Bob. Here is the link that was in the article that I had linked to:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iivL4c_3pck

I think the ocncerns listed are extremely serious, Grinch.
Denise
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58 posted 04-25-2010 06:35 PM       View Profile for Denise   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Denise

Any financial reform is a sham if it doesn't include Fannie and Freddie.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_MGT_cSi7Rs
Grinch
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59 posted 04-25-2010 07:06 PM       View Profile for Grinch   Email Grinch   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Grinch


Any financial reform that included Fannie, Freddie and Ginnie Mae would be incredibly overcomplicated Denise, slowing down legislation that needs to be put into place as soon as possible.

The former GSE’s underwrite around 58% of the American mortgage market but the source of the subprime mortgages were financial institutions, regulate them and you automatically reduce the risk to the GSE’s. That’s not to say that the GSE's don’t need reform, they most certainly do and the current administration has stated its intention to do just that, but in terms of urgency the GSE’s are, quite rightly in my opinion, a secondary priority.

.  
Bob K
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60 posted 04-26-2010 06:34 AM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K



     I see what you mean, Denise.  Sorry I didn't make the connection.  

     But there is more than one interpretation, as I pointed out, and the cases I mentioned come only from differences in textual interpretation, that is what the actual intention was that the Framers had in using the language they used.  It's something like textual criticism in literary criticism in that way and asking what Pope or Prior meant by certain word choices.  It's hard to say from more than 200 years distance.

     And that doesn't include political differences.  The Framers clearly never intended women to have the vote.  I don't know that they felt women were less than men, I think they didn't think about the subject at all; it was outside their purview and outside the purview of all but the most radical of thinkers at the time.  That would be radical left wing thinkers, by the way, just to stake out some territory for my folks.

     The attitudes about slavery at the time were mixed, and you might enjoy researching them yourself.  It's very clear that the intention of the Framers was that slavery continue.  The counting of Blacks as three fifths of a person was a fiction that enabled the less populous southern states to have a greater number of congressmen than they otherwise would have had.  The southern states pretty much refused to sign on to the new Country without that compromise.  It didn't mean that they thought that the slaves would ever become actual  citizens.

     I would hope that these are differences that you would have with the original framers.

     While there is in the constitution enshrined at least the very strong presumption that people can be property, there is nowhere in the constitution the presumption that property can be a person.  That is a legal fiction that allows corporations a sort of legal life with rights of their own.  If you were consistent about you views, and you certainly don't have to be, this would be a place where you might at least consider baulking.  Allowing corporations to make contributions to political parties is an easy way to legalize bribery.

     Got to go to bed now.  My eyelids are so heavy they're snapping the matchsticks I'm using to prop them open.  My best, BK
Denise
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61 posted 04-26-2010 04:12 PM       View Profile for Denise   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Denise

What are other legitimate interpretations, Bob, for the idea that the Constitution is a charter of negative liberties?
Bob K
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62 posted 04-26-2010 11:06 PM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K




quote:
Denise:
     What are other legitimate interpretations, Bob, for the idea that the Constitution is a charter of negative liberties?



     You are asking me to offer a critique of Obama's idea about the Constitution — one I happen to share, by the way — as though the comment was a piece of text from the constitution itself.  You've confused two layers of reality here.  I could comment about Obama's idea, or I could comment about the text, but commenting about the one is not the same as commenting about the other.

     The Map is not the territory, to use a line from General Semantics.

     About the text itself, Obama is explicit:

quote:
  President Obama said that the constitution:

Says what the states can’t do to you. Says what the federal government can’t do to you, but it doesn’t say what the federal government or state government must do on your behalf



     It doesn't say that it has to be nice to you, for example, or say you're a swell person.  It doesn't have to be nice to your spouse or like your in-laws.

     In the meantime, the government has taken on a lot of things.  It's decided to build roads and sewers for you, for example, and to tax you to pay for them, and you've sent people to congress to push for these things.  You've decided that having safe cars and food that doesn't kill you is important, as well as drugs that won't do things to you that they shouldn't do.  So now the government does a lot for you and you expect it to, and get upset when it doesn't do it right.

     If you want an answer to the question of other interpretations, I did address that in relationship to the second amendment.  You can probably do much that same thing with a lot of the areas of text if you have anything like a scholarly understanding of the document, which I do not.  

     Did you not understand something I said about the Second Amendment, though?  I've always thought the text there was fairly slippery.  And as for my points about linguistic drift, I think they're fairly straightforward, though perhaps you'd like to ask something more specific that will seriously confuse me.  It happens very easily.
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63 posted 04-26-2010 11:16 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

"If President Obama's financial regulations are adopted, there will be fewer loans, credit will be more costly, and individuals will face more risk. Obama argues today that his reforms are necessary to prevent 'a second Great Depression' from occurring, but he does nothing to fix what the government did. Nothing is done to reform Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, despite their problems with fraud and costing taxpayers $400 billion in bailouts. Nothing is done to change government regulations that force banks to make risky mortgages. The powers that would be given to the president and the Federal Reserve are unprecedented. The bill gives the government the power to regulate the capital, liquidity and permissible activities for a long list of firms, including securities firms, insurance companies, bank holding companies, hedge funds, finance companies as well as others. The government will be also able to limit the size of these companies. ... In another of his proposals ... Obama says that he wants to stop government bailouts of companies. And that should be the goal. Otherwise, firms have an incentive to take too many risks when they keep their profits but taxpayers pick up their losses. Who wouldn't head straight to Las Vegas if you got to keep your winnings and the taxpayers picked up your losses? But Obama's solution ... is to still allow bailouts, but try to prevent them from becoming necessary by stopping financial institutions from taking what he considers to be risky behavior. ... The government caused the current financial crisis by forcing banks to make bad mortgages. And the solution is less, not more, government control." --economist John R. Lott Jr.
Denise
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64 posted 04-27-2010 08:36 AM       View Profile for Denise   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Denise

It didn’t break free from the essential constraints that were placed by the Founding Fathers in the Constitution, at least as its been interpreted and Warren Court interpreted in the same way, that generally the Constitution is a charter of negative liberties.

He also said this, Bob. That is what I was asking you about. In what other ways, other than a charter of negative liberties, can it be legitimatly be interpreted?
Bob K
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65 posted 04-27-2010 12:24 PM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K



     What was the context of the debate, Denise?  When did it happen?  To whom was he responding?

     If I go back and take postings out of context, they might sound a bit of a puzzle as well.  Given a context, they might seem less so.
Denise
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66 posted 04-27-2010 12:42 PM       View Profile for Denise   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Denise

It wasn't a debate, it was a radio interview.
Bob K
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67 posted 04-27-2010 08:00 PM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K



     But Denise, you said it was a speech!  I really have to look at this text.  Is this one of those right wing edited for media propaganda pieces that get you all hot under the collar, or is this just an interview you ran across?
Denise
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68 posted 04-27-2010 09:22 PM       View Profile for Denise   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Denise

He's such a great orator even his interviews sound like speeches!

The radio program was referenced in the article. Maybe you can check with them to see if they have the entire interview in their archives.
Ron
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69 posted 04-28-2010 09:57 AM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

Google it, Bob. It's pretty much all over the Internet.
Bob K
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70 posted 04-28-2010 02:50 PM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K




     I'll check out the actual full text when I get the time.

     In the meantime, this edited piece of im-proper-gander is worth every electron it's printed on, and no more, near as I can tell.  They play text and tell the listeners what to think while they do it.  

     And what's with the testy comments, Ron?  Do you think I go cruising all over right wing sites in my spare time?  I have difficulty sorting through the few news feeds I sign up for, and doing the reading and writing I need to.
Gee wiz!
Ron
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71 posted 04-28-2010 05:43 PM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

Didn't mean to be "testy," Bob, just in a hurry.

And, uh, it would seem a little difficult to justify calling Google a right wing site?
Bob K
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72 posted 04-28-2010 07:23 PM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K



     Nope, Ron, Not Google.  I was commenting on your "All over the web" remark.  I'm not an all over the web kind of guy unless I'm actively researching something.  I looked at Denise's web reference and was somewhat dismayed, since it was clearly an edited version of an interview, excerpted, with the inflammatory parts highlighted and edited together to produce a piece that was specifically designed to get the Republican Base seriously upset.

     I immediately thought back to the sort of stuff that the Republican Propaganda Machine produced on the ACORN scandal that turned out to be about a hundred eighty degrees from true from misleading edits.  My level of thrill was not high.
 
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