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Passions in Poetry

What"s This Problem The Right WingWith Unions?

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Bob K
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75 posted 03-12-2011 03:26 AM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K



     The business about Obamacare seems a touch off subject.  I did mention in my last post that there were legitimate arguments to be made on the other side about the will of the voters.  I have commented on governance by popularity contest before, and my opinion about that hasn't changed.  I did point out, however, that this was emphatically not what the Republicans ran on, and that is still the case.

     If I go very much into the new health care legislation in response to the comments made above, I fear that I will be drifting substantially off the topic.  I will indulge myself to this extent.  I will say that Both cap-and-trade and the new health care legislation are based on Republican models, one being a free-market solution suggested by the Republicans to deal with polution standards, and the other being a plan set forward by the Republican Congress following the Clinton Health Care fiasco.  As I have said before, my suspicion has been with President Obama that he has been a closet Republican for a while, and that the Objections our current crop of Republicans have raised about those plans is to my mind more clearly an attack at President Obama than an objection to these particular Republican-originated plans.

     Of course, the Republicans have moved a lot further to the right since the times when they made these proposals originally, as, I must confess, the Democrats seem to have done as well.  What were once free-market friendly sets of proposals must now seem to Republicans like the depths of depravity.  At least their current reactions to their past proposals makes it seem that way.

     At any rate, in order to get the Wisconsin anti-collective bargaining proposals passed, the Republicans were forced to be honest about the nature of the proposals themselves.  This legislation makes no pretense of having anything to do with the budget.  It is a straightforward attack on collective bargaining and on the attempts that workers have made to even the playing field somewhat between labor and management.  

     Once again it raises the question, What is this problem that the Right Wing has with Unions?  What is wrong with regular people who work for a living making a middle class wage?  
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76 posted 03-12-2011 07:17 AM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

Is it your claim they are not,  Bob?
Ron
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77 posted 03-12-2011 09:06 AM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

quote:
I did point out, however, that this was emphatically not what the Republicans ran on, and that is still the case.

And yet it seems to be your contention, Bob, and indeed the basis for this entire thread, that the Republican party has historically been opposed to unions? Assuming you're right, it seems anyone who voted Republican in Wisconsin got exactly what they should have expected. The only other alternative makes you a genius and them all idiots.
Uncas
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78 posted 03-12-2011 09:10 AM       View Profile for Uncas   Email Uncas   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Uncas

I don't have an issue with Walker's attempts to dismantle the Unions. I think that to a large degree the function of unions - to protect the rights of workers - although necessary in the face of historic employer abuse is now largely redundant. The Unions were only necessary because government regulation wasn't available to protect the rights of workers - minimum wage limits and national safety standards, which were lacking in the past, are now firmly entrenched.

I do however have an issue regarding how Walker went about his attempt to de-claw the Unions. He's created national opposition against a societal move away from Unions, which is a sensible argument that most reasonable people would be willing to listen to, by manufacturing an adversarial circus that was totally avoidable.

The consequences are that the unions and the normally apathetic moderate electorate will be invigorated, he'll get kicked out of office at the earliest opportunity and any legislation he puts in place will be reversed in the process.

He's basically an idiot around which the left will build a persuasive case to demonstrate why voting for a conservative is a bad idea - he gives honest conservatives like me a bad name.

.

[This message has been edited by Uncas (03-12-2011 11:54 AM).]

Bob K
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79 posted 03-12-2011 09:25 AM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K



     I am certainly not the genius among fools.

     I certainly am somebody who'se much more widely read than most people I know.  My knowledge and skepticism are a result of obsessive fascination with history and a very fortunate Liberal Education.

     As for my past statements, many of the people here are at least somewhat familiar with them.  Nobody here seemed to think they were comments of genius at the time and there seems a paucity of fools here.

    
Bob K
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80 posted 03-12-2011 11:16 AM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K



     The possibility that you leave out, Ron, is the possibility that the Republicans have been somewhat misleading in what they're saying to the public, and that the public is disposed to listen to people who say what the public wants to hear.  When somebody offers you a bianary choice, it is not a bad idea, as you have demonstrated from time to time, to examine whether there may be a broader spectrum of choices available.  In the case of the choices you offered me for self definition, there was.  And in the case of how the Republican party operates, there is as well.

     I understand that you may not agree with the assertion that the Republicans historically have been pretty much an anti-Union and anti-labor party, though you may be willing to grant the possibility for the sake of the discussion.  You may not wish to take an actual position on the matter; I don't know.  But I believe that the Republicans are anti-union in principle, and I believe that this is contrary to their position on the free market.  Labor is part of the market, and by attacking labor, the Republicans in the long term are harming themselves as well.  If they are successful in their attacks on labor, there is less money to be spent on products and less profit to be made by fewer and fewer people, who will get wealthier and wealthier but also more and more alienated from everybody else.

     So the question I asked at the beginning of the thread still remains, and largely unaddressed.
Bob K
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81 posted 03-12-2011 11:19 AM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K



     Mike, it is my claim that fewer and fewer people have been earning middle class wages over the past fifty years or so, that it now takes the income of two people to do what it once took the income of one person to do in this country, and that the middle class is shrinking, yes.

     Is it your claim that the middle class is growing in this country?
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82 posted 03-12-2011 04:10 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

Biob, I made no claim at all. I simply asked you to define yours.

"What is this problem that the Right Wing has with Unions?  What is wrong with regular people who work for a living making a middle class wage?

Those are the questions you asked, back to back in a thread about the right wing and unions. One can easily assume that you are implying that the right wing attitudes towards unions is connected to regular people who work for a living not making a middle class wage.

If that is not what you are implying, then I don't understand the reason for the comment. If it is what you are implying, then I ask you to validate that accusation with facts.
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83 posted 03-12-2011 04:19 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

Uncas, interestingly enough, NPR did a segment two days ago, going back and comparing politicians in history who went against the unions. You may be surprised to know that the majority of them received no ill effects for their stance and did well in future elections.

I think, if anyone needs to be concerned, it should be the democrats. They are going to have to convince voters to support them, all the while not being able to hide the fact that they cut and ran instead of staying and fighting. If it had worked, it could be different and they could claim victory for their rope-a-dope strategy....but it didn't, which means they did it all for nothing. I doubt they feel that comfortable right now.

Time will tell....
Bob K
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84 posted 03-12-2011 06:54 PM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K


quote:

Biob, I made no claim at all. I simply asked you to define yours.

"What is this problem that the Right Wing has with Unions?  What is wrong with regular people who work for a living making a middle class wage?

Those are the questions you asked, back to back in a thread about the right wing and unions. One can easily assume that you are implying that the right wing attitudes towards unions is connected to regular people who work for a living not making a middle class wage.



If that is not what you are implying, then I don't understand the reason for the comment. If it is what you are implying, then I ask you to validate that accusation with facts.


     My implications are open to argument.  I was very clear about what I thought the right wing did.  They support legislation to undermine and eliminate unions, as is the case in Wisconsin, even when there is no economic gain to be made for the state from doing so.  The right wing is trying to destroy labor as part of the free market equation by taking away their power to bargain for decent wages and benefits.  The right wing has tended to support the folks in the top 1% of the economy by passing laws that benefit them, such as laws deregulating environmental protections.  They have tended to support creditors at the expense of debtors, for example, and have tried to make government — when they are in power — a place where corporations have their interests protected, as was the case with deregulation of power utilities that led to the Enron Scandal and to the beginnings of California's massive debit.

     Here are some of the references you asked for:


http://www.commondreams.org/views06/0902-20.htm

http://books.google.com/books?id=PBJldZyAyvIC&pg=PA202&lpg=PA202&dq=Loss+of+real+wages+by+middle+class&source=bl&ots=R_O0oAK_p9&sig=Twqjmvm9LgIOff_OJtDAs3LTiEc&hl=en&ei=kPt7Tce0GMX YrAGLlujuBQ&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=8&ved=0CEQQ6AEwBzgK#v=onepage&q=Loss%20of%20real%20wages%20by%20middle%20class&f=false

see, especially A Declining Middle Class on page 202

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/04/12/business/12scene.html

http://www.digitalemunction.com/2010/07/14/the-slow-death-of-the-american-middle-class/

http://www.sustainablemiddleclass.com/prices-wages.html

see especially below:

quote:
Prices are More Volatile Than Wages
One thing obvious thing the graph shows us is the contrast between the low variability in wages (blue line) compared the much more volatile changes in prices (red line). Employers exercise their option to raise and lower prices but try to limit changes in wages to what is allowed for under their business plan. Changes in costs of key "commodities", such as energy, food, and financing, and taxes are often followed by similar hikes in the prices for company goods and services.
The pay that employees receive does not closely track changes in prices, hence the lower volatility of earnings compared to prices. In this situation, workers are shouldering the burden of price hikes, which are not matched by increases in wages. In order to carry themselves and their families through periods of higher inflation, the worker can do one of three things:
1. Buy less goods and services, that is, belt tightening;
2. Dip into savings to cover higher costs due to inflation and hope to make up the savings when wages increase later on;
3. Use credit cards to make up the shortfall between earnings and price hikes.
Clearly, as Americans carry about $800 billion in credit card debt, option 3 is popular. What this means is that inflation not matched by the same increase in wages hits the worker's wallet twice: once at the time of purchase, and again later when credit card interest is applied. The worker is purchasing two items now, instead of one: the item, plus the cost of borrowing with a credit card. Nationwide, this kind of unhealthy economic practices is measured as an increase in GDP - generally thought to be a good thing..
Employers can manage the cost of labor through simply not offering higher wages, or, through contracts, where workers organized into unions agree to work a certain period of time for an agreed upon package of wages and benefits. What if there were such a thing as "consumer contracts?" The idea would be for consumers to band together and negotiate with food producers, grocery stores, gas stations, and even medical providers to iron out contracts whereby the consumer would get goods and services at a specified cost over a specified period of time. This would eliminate the price shocks that contribute to rising credit card debt and make businesses share the burden of sharp changes in costs of commodities.


http://www.mybudget360.com/financial-elite-dismantled-american-middle-class-average-banking-bonus-goldman-sachs-record-homeless/
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85 posted 03-12-2011 07:07 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

Understood. With your implications open to argument, describing what you "think", that means you are offering a personal opinion. That's fine.

The links deal with the middle class but I found nothing in an accusatory way toward the right wing and their dealings with the unions.

As long as "in my opinion" is implied at the beginning of your posts, they become clearer. Thanks for clearing that up.
Bob K
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86 posted 03-13-2011 12:35 AM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K



     Certainly, in my opinion, as in all of my posts.  But there are also facts involved.  Some of these are mentioned with a scattering of opinions as well in the citations below:


http://www.dailykos.com/story/2011/02/24/949338/-Right-Wing-Attack:-Union-Edition

http://neatoday.org/2011/03/04/whats-behind-right-wing-attacks-on-collective-bargaining/

The above article addresses some interesting material on state budget deficits and pension plan shortfalls.

http://pslweb.org/liberationnews/news/who-is-behind-anti-union-bills.html

http://littlegreenfootballs.com/article/38128_Rachel_Maddow_on_the_GOPs_Attack_on_Unions
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87 posted 03-13-2011 04:35 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

http://newsbusters.org/blogs/noel-sheppard/2011/03/13/abc-cbs-msnbc-nbc-and-npr-ignore-death-threats-wisconsin-republicans#ixzz1GVtPQd46

So what's new? Any of the left wing supporters who claim that the network news media is not biased or always reports both sides have a comment?
Ron
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So you're still convinced that a whole lot of (would it be an exaggeration to say most?) moderately intelligent and well educated people don't like the Republican party?

I don't have a lot of time to follow partisan links, Mike; perhaps you could just tell us who made the threats and when their trials are scheduled to start?


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89 posted 03-13-2011 05:58 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

Anything to oblige, Ron

The attorney general's office in that state investigating a number of death threats against some Republicans who voted to diminish union power.

A radio station obtained this email, quote: "Please put your things in order because you will be killed and your families will be killed due to your actions I the last 8 weeks. Please explain to them that this is because if we get rid of you and your families then it will save the rights of 300,000 people and also be able to close the deficit that you have created. I hope you have a good time in hell," unquote. Wisconsin authorities are taking this stuff seriously. They have a suspect, has not been charged as far as we know.

Not taking this seriously were ABC, CBS, MSNBC, NBC, and NPR. LexisNexis and closed-caption dump searches of "Wisconsin and 'death threat'" produced zero results for these so-called news outlets throughout the month of March.

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90 posted 03-13-2011 06:01 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

When you compare this to the hysterical coverage of last year's Tea Party rallies and town hall protests, where conservatives were regularly depicted as either hostile or fomenting violence, one has to wonder how actual death threats against sitting politicians would not be considered newsworthy.

This seems particularly curious after all the talk about hostile rhetoric immediately following the shooting of Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.) in January.

Now, less than two months later, actual death threats against politicians are being investigated in Wisconsin, and five major news outlets are boycotting the story.


Am I still convinced, Ron? Need you ask??
Uncas
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91 posted 03-13-2011 07:18 PM       View Profile for Uncas   Email Uncas   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Uncas

quote:
LexisNexis and closed-caption dump searches of "Wisconsin and 'death threat'" produced zero results


Zero results? That sort of suggests that the right wing media didn't cover the story either, or perhaps the LexisNexis database is simply a waste of space.



BTW - For anyone interested the full death threat was published by WEAU news - it's available here:
http://www.weau.com/home/headlines/BREAKING_NEWS_Wis_GOP_senators_receive_death_threat_e-mails_117741333.html

.
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92 posted 03-13-2011 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

For the record, according to LexisNexis, leading the way on this coverage was Fox News which has done seven reports on this issue. CNN has done four.

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93 posted 03-13-2011 07:29 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

As far as print is concerned, this matter hasn't received a lot of attention there either.

The New York Times has published one story this month referring to death threats in Wisconsin, but it was quite non-specific and didn't mention which Party received the threats:

"A number of legislators told law enforcement authorities that they had received death threats, an Assembly spokesman said. And Democrats in the Assembly tried, briefly, to have Mr. Fitzgerald removed as speaker for what they said was his “incredibly impaired” judgment."

That's it. Nothing more about this from the Gray Lady.

But that's more than the Washington Post, USA Today, and the Los Angeles Times who have all completely ignored this story.



Ron
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Ah. More of the same we had last time, Mike? As I recall, that was one local guy threatening another local guy, right? And you thought it should have been a national story?

Part of any such story, I would suspect, would have to be an exploration of just how many threatening emails go out to elected officals every month. I've got to think it might be more than two or three? I'm glad to hear the AG is taking all those threats seriously. But I'm certainly not surprised to hear such threats aren't bumping Japan, Libyia, or the stalled U.S. budget off the front page.  

quote:
... or perhaps the LexisNexis database is simply a waste of space.

Or someone just doesn't know how to do a simple Google search? LOL. As expected, most (but not all) of the results are from local media.
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95 posted 03-13-2011 07:40 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

We have all planned to assult you by arriving at your house and putting a nice little bullet in your head. However, we decided that we wouldn't leave it there. We also have decided that this may not be enough to send the message to you since you are so "high" on Koch and have decided that you are now going to single handedly make this a dictatorship instead of a demorcratic process. So we have also built several bombs that we have placed in various locations around the areas in which we know that you frequent. This includes, your house, your car, the state capitol, and well I won't tell you all of them because that's just no fun. Since we know that you are not smart enough to figure out why this is happening to you we have decided
to make it perfectly clear to you. If you and your goonies feel that it's
necessary to strip the rights of 300,000 people and ruin their lives, making them unable to feed, clothe, and provide the necessities to their families and themselves then We Will "get rid of" (in which I mean kill) you. Please understand that this does not include the heroic Rep. Senator that risked everything to go aganist what you and your goonies wanted him to do. We feel that it's worth our lives to do this, because we would be saving the lives of 300,000 people. Please make your peace with God as soon as possible and say goodbye to your loved ones we will not wait any longer. YOU WILL DIE!!!!


Quite a not-ready-for-prime-time story, isn't it? Not as hard-hitting as Palin "targeting" democrats, one must assume.
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96 posted 03-13-2011 07:49 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

would have to be an exploration of just how many threatening emails go out to elected officials every month.

Not even a good try, Ron. The Wisconsin situation, the strikers, the running Democrats and everything associated with it have been lead stories ever since it began. To lump this in as "one of those e-mails elected officials always get" and ignore it is pretty invalid.

You know, as well as I, with the shoe one the other foot, a letter like that to democrats would be lead-in news. If you want to claim that it's downplay is just business as usual, go ahead. You know better..
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97 posted 03-13-2011 08:12 PM       View Profile for Uncas   Email Uncas   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Uncas

I actually think you have a point Mike.

Media catering for left leaning customers tend to have a left leaning bias and media catering for the right wing tend to be biased towards the right but is that any surprise? Being in tune with your customer base is just good business practice, isn't it?

I think Ron made that point too, the last time you raised the issue.

Everyone has a bias one way or the other, especially if it pays.

.

[This message has been edited by Uncas (03-14-2011 03:06 PM).]

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quote:
You know, as well as I, with the shoe one the other foot, a letter like that to democrats would be lead-in news.

I don't know any such thing, Mike. Indeed, your statement suggests you believe no Democrats at all have recently received any email threats -- else it would have been lead-in news? While I suppose that's possible, I honestly don't think it's likely. In fact, I wouldn't be surprised to hear those Wisconsin Democrats that left the state got a few nasty letters, too. It's part of the job description.

quote:
Media catering for left leaning customers tend to have a left leaning bias and media catering for the right wing tend to be biased towards the right but is that any surprise?

Yea, Uncas, but Mike apparently doesn't think it's just part of the media. It's everyone in the media, or at least everyone that counts. They're all out to get the Republicans. According to Mike.

The irony is that Mike doesn't appear to see the implications of his theory. I mean, we're not talking about a bunch of crackpots here. For the most part, these are intelligent and very well educated individuals. They're also arguably the best informed people in the world. Why would they  be out to get the Republicans? Personal gain? Where's the payoff?

I'm probably about as independent as anyone (I dislike both parties with equal fervor, albeit for very different reasons), but frankly Mike's theory makes me wonder. Does The Media know something I don't? Something, perhaps, that we should all know? Maybe the Republican party really IS evil?

LOL.


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99 posted 03-13-2011 09:17 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

For the most part, these are intelligent and very well educated individuals. They're also arguably the best informed people in the world.

No doubt, Ron, but the educated people behind the microphones report what they are told to report...period. The reporters are simply intelligent talking heads.

Why do whatever powers that be behind the scenes have against the republican party? Good question. I think Uncas gave a good clue to that....

Everyone has a bias one way or the other, especially if pays.

Obviously they feel it pays for them.
 
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