Ridge Quitting, part 2

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Discus: College Confidential Café: 2004 Archive: Ridge Quitting, part 2
By Dmd77 (Dmd77) on Wednesday, August 04, 2004 - 11:23 am: Edit

It appears we've hit the limit on Ridge Quitting--at 200 messages I wasn't allowed to add a response.

ValPal--I am currently about 1/2way throught the 9/11 Commission report. While it's compelling reading, I don't have the time to move faster through it. Perhaps you've finished it already, and thus feel competent to assess blame.

I don't feel ready to assign blame. It appears to me that terrorist incidents in general, and our counter-terrorism response in specific, has floundered for MANY years. A senate that denies funding requests (esp. the adversarial Republican senate of the Clinton years), two presidents with partisan politics on their minds instead of leading and uniting... an FBI that seems to be more interested in prosecuting petty drug users than terrorists (I think it's easier, and thus makes their numbers look good). And a CIA that doesn't seem to know how to use a computer.

And of course, one of the best things about the US turns out to be a problem when fighting terrorism: we insist on open trials, not on making people simply disappear. So we couldn't just make bin Ladin disappear if we caught him; we had to try him, and for that, we had to have better evidence than we did (as I read the 9/11 report).

By Achat (Achat) on Wednesday, August 04, 2004 - 11:57 am: Edit

I read part of the report (pdf) the day it came out. I've ordered the book. Thanks for the reminder. It is very compelling reading.

By Chinaman (Chinaman) on Wednesday, August 04, 2004 - 01:15 pm: Edit

As part of the US goverment study for young exceptional kids, my son who got selected to represent one of the North East State for a paid trip, my son participated in a meeting with FBI deputy director. Yesterday the group asked a lot of questions. accroding to him leaving politics aside he told them why FBI against merging all the department under one head. The FBI deputy director did answer a lot of question.

By Emptynester (Emptynester) on Wednesday, August 04, 2004 - 01:18 pm: Edit

"Being against "gay marriage" shouldn't automatically mean that you're a homophobe"

respectfully but strongly disagree

By Valpal (Valpal) on Wednesday, August 04, 2004 - 02:19 pm: Edit

Yeah, I guess that's why virtually every civilization known to mankind since the beginning of time has defined marriage as a union between a man and a woman---the wholesale collective affliction of that most dreaded (not to mention, politically incorrect) disease, "homophobia".

By Emeraldkity4 (Emeraldkity4) on Wednesday, August 04, 2004 - 02:23 pm: Edit

Practically every civilization known to mankind has also used war ( or had it forced upon them) as a way to establish "might = right" as well, does this mean that we stop trying to establish peace?

By Thedad (Thedad) on Wednesday, August 04, 2004 - 02:29 pm: Edit

ValPal, there are right ways and wrong ways to do everything and Bush has mostly screwed the pooch on the war on terror: by conflating an attack on Iraq with the war on terror, by seeing a war on terror in narrowly military terms only, and by actions and rhetoric that *exactly* play into Osama bin Laden's hands in portraying the conflict as West vs. Islam, not the West vs. Terror.

You are right in saying that there are plenty who needed no excuse to hate us. Of course, we do *nothing* meaningful about the conditions which pump out new classes of terrorists, from the madrassas of Pakistan and Afghanistan to the social/religious conditions in Saudi Arabia.

Underlying everything is the false assumption that the road to Jerusalem runs through Baghdad. It's the other way around, there will never be peace in the Middle East until there's at least a mutually grudging-but-acceptable-to-all settlement of the Israeli/Palestinian conflict.

Bush, fed by Ahmed Chalabi, expected us to be greeted with flowers as liberators. Instead, we're largely viewed as occupiers, even among Iraqis who hated Saddam. When we say "we're here to bring you freedom," this doesn't overcome the imams telling them "these are the Americans who support Israel oppressing the Palestians." We divorce the two conflicts, they don't...and it's to our eternal disadvantage.

The photos of Abu Gharib and all the "friendly fire" casualties--jittery young Americans opening fire at checkpoints, etc.--will constitute one giant Islamist recruiting poster for a generation.

And I damn Bush for that, making the world more dangerous, not safer, all because he's a macho posturing smirking arrogant cowboy who can't be troubled to understand anything more complex than "My Pet Goat," who confuses "strength" with "rigidity" and is resolute only because he regards policy examinations as a waste of time.

Fortunately, the Dems nominated one of the 2-3 most reasonable of the candidates and I don't have to have any qualms in voting against Bush, though in truth if his opponent were a three-headed mongoose, I'd have to think about it.

By Browninfall (Browninfall) on Wednesday, August 04, 2004 - 02:33 pm: Edit

Emptynester: So John Kerry is a homophobe because of his opposition to gay marriage, or does your rule not apply to him?

By Marite (Marite) on Wednesday, August 04, 2004 - 02:36 pm: Edit


A lot of civilizations since the beginning of time have defined marriage as one man and many women

I don't think that all who oppose gay marriage are homophobes, but I actually prefer gay marriage to gay promiscuity and sexually risky behavior. We had a couple of gay neighbors (who have since moved away) who have been together for over 20 years. I hope they enjoy the same rights that we do.

By Emeraldkity4 (Emeraldkity4) on Wednesday, August 04, 2004 - 02:46 pm: Edit

I know people who would not have an abortion but would not vote to take that choice away from someone else.
I think gay marriage should be legalized, I feel that its time has come as it has in other countries and that to include GLBT in one of the common categories that we have in this society can only strengthen it.
I accept however that there are those who still have difficulty with reconciling their religions stance on gay marriage with their feelings that they do not want to require others in society to have the same belief system.
I am a "secular Humanist" what ever that is, but d I think that , that is the right path for others?
No I don't, I only ask that others don't take my rights away from me, and I will vote for those who feel the same way.

By Emptynester (Emptynester) on Wednesday, August 04, 2004 - 02:57 pm: Edit

Browninfall: You are making a leap if you suppose I support Kerry.

By Fundingfather (Fundingfather) on Wednesday, August 04, 2004 - 03:04 pm: Edit

Thedad, You imply that Kerry would not have gotten us involved with Iraq. This is not at all true. If you look at his Senate speech before his vote to authorize the war you will see how hawkish he really was:

"But the administration missed an opportunity 2 years ago and particularly a year ago after September 11. They regrettably, and even clumsily, complicated their own case. The events of September 11 created new understanding of the terrorist threat and the degree to which every nation is vulnerable. That understanding enabled the administration to form a broad and impressive coalition against terrorism. Had the administration tried then to capitalize on this unity of spirit to build a coalition to disarm Iraq, we would not be here in the pressing days before an election, late in this year, debating this now. The administration's decision to engage on this issue now, rather than a year ago or earlier, and the manner in which it has engaged, has politicized and complicated the national debate and raised questions about the credibility of their case."

In other words, he said that the Clinton administration should have taken action 2 years earlier and that Bush should have used 9/11 as a pretext to get support from the world to disarm Saddam. The irony is that this is EXACTLY what he and the Dems are now accusing Bush of - of using 9/11 as a pretext for war.

So, explain to me again why you have no qualms about voting for Kerry?

I have similar quotes from Edwards who DID say that Saddam was an "imminent threat" (Bush never did) and also said that we should attack Iraq even if we do not get any support from the rest of the world.

The fact that these two are allowed by the press to get away with such flip-flops and actually accuse Bush of doing exactly what they advocated is mind boggling. The fact that the American public buys it is very worrisome.

By Browninfall (Browninfall) on Wednesday, August 04, 2004 - 03:09 pm: Edit

Emptynester: Sorry about the leap, but does your rule apply to him or not?

By Valpal (Valpal) on Wednesday, August 04, 2004 - 03:09 pm: Edit

Questions to consider: Should a person be able to legally marry his sister, or mother, or brother? His dog? I know you think I'm being obtuse or ridiculous (or both---LOL!), but humor me. How are the limits of the term, marriage defined? Should there be any limits?

By Marite (Marite) on Wednesday, August 04, 2004 - 03:40 pm: Edit


I'll bite: I don't really know. There are a couple of issues in your questions: what is the nature of marriage, and who is or should be legally eligible to enter into a marriage (I'll leave aside the question of inter-species union). As well there is the question, are we talking purely about the US or more generally?

Let us remember that, until recently, it was illegal in parts of the US for people of different races to marry:
LOVING v. VIRGINIA, 388 U.S. 1 (1967)
388 U.S. 1
Argued April 10, 1967. Decided June 12, 1967.

From the text of Chief Justice Earl Warren's majority opinion:

In June 1958, two residents of Virginia, Mildred Jeter, a Negro woman, and Richard Loving, a white man, were married in the District of Columbia pursuant to its laws. Shortly after their marriage, the Lovings returned to Virginia and established their marital abode in Caroline County. At the October Term, 1958, of the Circuit Court [388 U.S. 1, 3] of Caroline County, a grand jury issued an indictment charging the Lovings with violating Virginia's ban on interracial marriages. On January 6, 1959, the Lovings pleaded guilty to the charge and were sentenced to one year in jail; however, the trial judge suspended the sentence for a period of 25 years on the condition that the Lovings leave the State and not return to Virginia together for 25 years. He stated in an opinion that:

"Almighty God created the races white, black, yellow, malay and red, and he placed them on separate continents. And but for the interference with his arrangement there would be no cause for such marriages. The fact that he separated the races shows that he did not intend for the races to mix."

The complete text of Chief Justice Earl Warren's opinion can be found at:


In Britain, it was illegal for centuries for a widower to marry his late wife's sister. First cousins were allowed to marry (and in some circles, urge to marry in order to preserve the family fortunes within a close circle). In some societies, levirate was practiced. When a ruler came to power, he inherited the harem of his predecessor, be he his father or brother. In some East Asian societies, those who are related to each other unto the fifth generation (i.e. have a common great great grandfather) may not marry. I believe that ancient Egyptian rulers did marry their siblings. So notions of incest vary greatly.

Polygamy is on the wane, though serial monogamy seems to be increasing; first cousins are less likely to marry than they used to in Britain, while in East Asia, strictures agains marrying relatives to the fifth generation are supposedly losing strength.

All this to say that notions of what marriage is and who may marry whom vary from country to country and over time as well. They are not fixed in perpetuity.

I'll still leave the dog out the picture, though

By Mini (Mini) on Wednesday, August 04, 2004 - 03:48 pm: Edit

For what it's worth, Jesus is quite clear that the remarriage of divorced people constitutes adultery (and wouldn't have any part of it.) Didn't have much to say about gay marriage, though. Now bankers, that's another story.

My own opinion is that the state should stay out of the marriage business, period, or, at most, offer marriage licenses only after children are born.

By Mom101 (Mom101) on Wednesday, August 04, 2004 - 03:50 pm: Edit

The gay marriage issue is really about this for me (of course I live in a SF suburb): Is it fair that gay partners are going without health benefits, SS benefits, death benefits, etc. of their life partners?

By Alwaysamom (Alwaysamom) on Wednesday, August 04, 2004 - 03:50 pm: Edit

Valpal, I'll jump in here because I hear that particular obtuse and ridiculous argument postulated often. I have known gay individuals since I was 12 years old. One of my best friends was a boy I met in seventh grade who was gay. None of us, including him, knew it then but over the following few years, we all knew. Since then, I've had many other gay friends and a few family members who have come out. All of my children have gay friends. My husband has gay colleagues and individuals who work for him. Most of my straight friends have members of their families who are gay or lesbian. My mother who is in her seventies has more gay friends than I do, two of whom have been together for 49 years. My point is that in my 50+ years on this earth, I've met many gay individuals but have never met someone who was interested in marrying his sister, mother, brother, or dog. That's what makes your argument ridiculous. I don't begrudge anyone their religious views on this issue but no one is forcing them to change those views. Their views, however, are infringing on the rights of gay individuals, rights which you and I take for granted. When you have to sit with a friend whose partner of 20 years is dying, and try to comfort him because homophobic hospital administrators will not allow him to be in the hospital room, then perhaps you'll understand the issue as many see it. I still, for the life of me, can't fathom why two people who love each other and want to commit to each other is seen as such a threat to so many people.

By Thedad (Thedad) on Wednesday, August 04, 2004 - 04:10 pm: Edit

Fundingfather, I have no qualms about voting for Kerry because he wouldn't be an Islamist recruiting poster. The GOP likes to jump up and down saying that "he voted for it, Hillary voted for it, etc."

First, his statements were based on the same jiggered intelligence that the administration twisted and relied on. Note that the Senate Intelligence committee deferred any examination of
*how* the administration *used* the intelligence...too much bad news for the administration.

Secondly, neither Kerry's rhetoric nor his decision-making points to the inflammatory nature of George Bush. Moreover, over the past year, Bush has backpedaled from his unilateral approach to Iraq to now pleading with both the UN and NATO for support. If I were in either organization I'd tell him to pound sand: you messed it up, you fix it.

It's not a "flip-flop" when you recognize the information you were given was wrong. I'm still waiting for Bush to realize that Chalabi sold him a bill of goods that our country is now paying for.

By Fundingfather (Fundingfather) on Wednesday, August 04, 2004 - 04:11 pm: Edit

mom101: I don't take a strong stance on the gay marriage issue one way or the other, but your post reminds me of a potentially ironic twist should gay marriage be allowed. My company and many others already provide health benefits to domestic partners - IF THEY ARE GAY (presumaby because straight people have the option for marriage while gays do not.) But, if marriage is allowed for gays, I presume that unless they actually do get married that they will lose their health benefits just as co-habitating straight couples do not qualify for health benefits. I wonder how many gay couples are aware of this twist?

By Valpal (Valpal) on Wednesday, August 04, 2004 - 04:26 pm: Edit

I guess was I was asking what should be the definition of marriage? Or if indeed, there should be any defining boundaries at all? I'm very familiar with the LOVING VS. THE STATE OF VIRGINA Supreme Court ruling (which came down during the year I was born (in Virginia). Strangely enough, Virginia is now one of states most heavily populated with mixed-race couples, my husband and I being one of them, as I'm sure you've already noted. So I do see your point about how accepted social mores change over time. But it does not follow that a person is automatically "phobic" if he/she has concerns about changing something as fundamental to human societies as the nature of marriage.

By Xiggi (Xiggi) on Wednesday, August 04, 2004 - 04:29 pm: Edit


It will take years to measure the repercussions of the invasion of Iraq and Afghanistan. You may be correct in your belief that the world is less safe than it was in the past. On the other hand, the direct deadly attacks against the United States have diminished.

While the United States has not been viewed as liberators by all parties involved, they may start earning more support in a not too distant future. You are correct that our actions might be suspect, but wouldn't you agree that the memories of Iraqi might still be clouded by the positions taken by the US after the first Gulf War. Our expected allies might still wonder how the US allowed the genocide of the tribes that supported our side. Don't you think they also remember that our past administration considered that the death by starvation of 1,000,000 Iraqi children was an ACCEPTABLE price to pay! Mrs. Albright statement on national TV could be heard by the entire world!

By Fundingfather (Fundingfather) on Wednesday, August 04, 2004 - 04:30 pm: Edit


The "jiggered intelligence" dog won't hunt.

First there have been multiple studies (9/11, Senate Intelligence Committee, the Kay Report) that have concluded that there was no effort made by the administration to "sex up" the intelligence studies. In fact, the one allegation that the spawned all of this "Bush lied" stuff (the Wilson report) has been itself proven to be a lie. The Senate report and the Butler report have both shown Wilson to have lied about his claims. (Yet, Kerry is comfortable having a known lier on his staff.)

Second, the Bush administration was not the sole source for intelligence hence it would be impossible for the whole world to be part of the conspiracy. The British came up with the same conclusion, as did the French and the Russians. Putin even warned Bush that Saddam was planning to use terrorism as a weapon against the US.

Finally, Kerry was saying exactly the same type of "Saddam is a threat" stuff long before Bush took office, and it has always been just as inflammatory if not more so than anything Bush has said. Was Bush somehow influencing the intelligence back then?

You can close your eyes to the facts if you want, but they do keep coming back to bite you.

By Kissy (Kissy) on Wednesday, August 04, 2004 - 04:31 pm: Edit

"My view: Clinton earned way too much credit for job gains, and Bush receives too much criticisms about job losses. Bush got handed a patient that had just been moved from the ER into intensive care. Yet we try to blame him for for the persistent symptoms that elude modern medicine"

Good analogy, Xiggi.

Patient- I truly apologize if you were personally offended by my remarks. That was not my intention and I didn't single any individual poster out, but nonetheless, you took it personally so I'm sorry. Political ideologies aside, I look up to you as a poster who is fair minded, intelligent,articulate and swift to prod the discourteous posters to shame. My remarks were were spurred by my amazement at the politicizing of the subject and bashing of Ridge in some of the posts. Fortunately, there are only a couple of left-leaning pit bulls on this board who jump at any opportunity to bash anything right of a hard left at all costs. You are not one of those.

Alwaysamom- believe it or not, I did hear a national news radio report sometime this past year about a woman who had filed for a marriage license to marry her dog. Don't remember the specifics, so I'll have to google it when I get a chance. It's hard to imagine, but then again, it's a fact that some eccentrics have left vast fortunes to their pets. Also, look at the number of beastiality related websites on the internet. As ridiculous to us as it may seem, is a desire to marry an animal totally out of the realm of possibility?

By Dmd77 (Dmd77) on Wednesday, August 04, 2004 - 04:31 pm: Edit

Frankly, I don't understand why the Republicans oppose gay marriage. Many pollsters have pointed out that married people are more likely to vote Republican.

By Xiggi (Xiggi) on Wednesday, August 04, 2004 - 04:32 pm: Edit

FWIW, here are a few tidbits of past positions by the same individuals who will NEVER lead us in the wrong direction. Is it a coincidence that the positions expressed herein would follow the -then current- national polls on the same issues? On top of our house, we have a device that does its job without failure and fanfare. However, despite all its successes and historical accuracy, our weathervane has never been able to predict tomorrow's wind patterns. Still, it is a great crowd pleaser.

"One way or the other, we are determined to deny Iraq the capacity to develop weapons of mass destruction and the missiles to deliver them. That is our bottom line."
President Clinton, Feb. 4, 1998

"If Saddam rejects peace and we have to use force, our purpose is clear. We want to seriously diminish the threat posed by Iraq's weapons of mass destruction program."
President Clinton, Feb. 17, 1998.

"Iraq is a long way from [here], but what happens there matters a great deal here. For the risks that the leaders of a rogue state will use nuclear, chemical or biological weapons against us or our allies is the greatest security threat we face."
Madeline Albright, Feb 18, 1998.

"He will use those weapons of mass destruction again, as he has ten times since 1983."
Sandy Berger, Clinton National Security Adviser, Feb, 18,1998.

"[W]e urge you, after consulting with Congress, and consistent with the U.S. Constitution and laws, to take necessary actions (including, if appropriate, air and missile strikes on suspect Iraqi sites) to respond effectively to the threat posed by Iraq's refusal to end its weapons of mass destruction programs."
Letter to President Clinton, signed by Sens. Carl Levin, Tom Daschle, John Kerry, and others Oct. 9, 1998

"Saddam Hussein has been engaged in the development of weapons of mass destruction technology which is a threat to countries in the region and he has made a mockery of the weapons inspection process."
Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D, CA), Dec. 16, 1998.

"Hussein has ... chosen to spend his money on building weapons of mass destruction and palaces for his cronies."
Madeline Albright, Clinton Secretary of State, Nov. 10, 1999.

"There is no doubt that ... Saddam Hussein has reinvigorated his weapons programs. Reports indicate that biological, chemical and nuclear programs continue apace and may be back to pre-Gulf War status. In addition, Saddam continues to redefine delivery systems and is doubtless using the cover of a licit missile program to develop longer-range missiles that will threaten the United States and our allies."
Letter to President Bush, Signed by Joe Lieberman (D-CT), John McCain (Rino-AZ) and others, Dec. 5, 2001

"We begin with the common belief that Saddam Hussein is a tyrant and a threat to the peace and stability of the region. He has ignored the mandated of the United Nations and is building weapons of mass destruction and the means of delivering them."
Sen. Carl Levin (D, MI), Sept. 19, 2002.

"We know that he has stored secret supplies of biological and chemical weapons throughout his country."
Al Gore, Sept. 23, 2002.

"Iraq's search for weapons of mass destruction has proven impossible to deter and we should assume that it will continue for as long as Saddam is in power."
Al Gore, Sept. 23, 2002.

"We have known for many years that Saddam Hussein is seeking and developing weapons of mass destruction."
Sen. Ted Kennedy (D, MA), Sept. 27, 2002.

"The last UN weapons inspectors left Iraq in October of 1998. We are confident that Saddam Hussein retains some stockpiles of chemical and biological weapons, and that he has since embarked on a crash course to build up his chemical and biological warfare capabilities. Intelligence reports indicate that he is seeking nuclear weapons..."
Sen. Robert Byrd (D, WV), Oct. 3, 2002.

"I will be voting to give the President of the United States the authority to use force-- if necessary-- to disarm Saddam Hussein because I b elieve that a deadly arsenal of weapons of mass destruction in his hands is a real and grave threat to our security."
Sen. John F. Kerry (D, MA), Oct. 9, 2002.

"There is unmistakable evidence that Saddam Hussein is working aggressively to develop nuclear weapons and will likely have nuclear weapons within the next five years ... We also should remember we have always underestimated the progress Saddam has made in development of weapons of mass destruction."
Sen. Jay Rockerfeller (D, WV), Oct 10, 2002.

"He has systematically violated, over the course of the past 11 years, every significant UN resolution that has demanded that he disarm and destroy his chemical and biological weapons, and any nuclear capacity. This he has refused to do"
Rep. Henry Waxman (D, CA), Oct. 10, 2002.

"In the four years since the inspectors left, intelligence reports show that Saddam Hussein has worked to rebuild his chemical and biological weap ons stock, his missile delivery capability, and his nuclear program. He has also given aid, comfort, and sanctuary to terrorists, including al Qaeda members ... It is clear, however, that if left unchecked, Saddam Hussein will continue to increase his capacity to wage biological and chemical warfare, and will keep trying to develop nuclear weapons."
Sen. Hillary Clinton (D, NY), Oct 10, 2002.

"We are in possession of what I think to be compelling evidence that Saddam Hussein has, and has had for a number of years, a developing capacity for the production and storage of weapons of mass destruction."
Sen. Bob Graham (D, FL), Dec. 8, 2002.

"[W]ithout question, we need to disarm Saddam Hussein. He is a brutal, murderous dictator, leading an oppressive regime ... He presents a particularly grievous threat because he is so consistently prone to miscalculation ... And now he is miscalculating America's response to his contin ued deceit and his consistent grasp for weapons of mass destruction ... So the threat of Saddam Hussein with weapons of mass destruction is real ..."
Sen. John F. Kerry (D, MA), Jan. 23. 2003.

By Fundingfather (Fundingfather) on Wednesday, August 04, 2004 - 04:46 pm: Edit

Xiggi: nice compilation of quotes. Here's another:

You know, I have repeatedly defended President Bush against the left on Iraq, even though I think he should have waited until the UN inspections were over. I don't believe he went in there for oil. We didn't go in there for imperialist or financial resasons. We went in there because he bought the Wolfowitz-Cheney analysis that Iraqis would be better off, we could shake up authoritarian regimes in the Middle East and our leverage to make peace between the Palestinians and Israelis would be increased....But you also have to say Well, my first responsibility is to try everything possible to make sure that this terrorist network and other terrorist networks cannot reach chemical and biological weapons or small amounts of fissile material I've got to do that....So that's why I thought Bush did the right thing to go back. When you're the President and your country has just been through what we had, you want everything to be accounted for."
Former President Clinton,
Time Magazine interview. 6/28/2004

Note that this was AFTER all of the reports came up with no WMDs, yet Clinton who, having been president, knows the true nature of the responsibility of being president.

By Kissy (Kissy) on Wednesday, August 04, 2004 - 04:48 pm: Edit

"Thank you for contacting me to express your opposition ... to the early use of military force by the US against Iraq. I share your concerns. On January 11, I voted in favor of a resolution that would have insisted that economic sanctions be given more time to work and against a resolution giving the president the immediate authority to go to war."

--letter from Senator John Kerry to Wallace Carter of Newton Centre, Massachusetts, dated January 22 [1991]

"Thank you very much for contacting me to express your support for the actions of President Bush in response to the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait. From the outset of the invasion, I have strongly and unequivocally supported President Bush's response to the crisis and the policy goals he has established with our military deployment in the Persian Gulf."

--Senator Kerry to Wallace Carter, January 31 [1991]

By Valpal (Valpal) on Wednesday, August 04, 2004 - 04:52 pm: Edit

"I've met many gay individuals but have never met someone who was interested in marrying his sister, mother, brother, or dog."

From the sublime to the ridiculous, I suppose.
It wasn't to long ago when the concept of marrying someone of the same sex was equally repugnant. If and when incest becomes a socially acceptable sexual relationship, some siblings may feel that it's reasonable to expect to be married also. Of course, most everyone today is totally aghast at the idea, but only because those parameters of socialsexual acceptability have yet to shift. And I'm sure NAMBLA is still waiting it's turn, and may yet convince larger society that small boys are just as entitled to sexual gratification with a caring, experienced adult male, as anyone else. Where's the line..? Should there be a line? Who decides?

By Alwaysamom (Alwaysamom) on Wednesday, August 04, 2004 - 05:02 pm: Edit

Valpal, the concept of same sex marriage may have been repugnant to some (it obviously still is) but your intimation that it was repugnant to all, isn't the case. I read an article recently suggesting that perhaps we should abolish marriage altogether, given that it fails almost half the time anyway. I found this, also, to be a somewhat ridiculous conclusion. However, it pales in comparison to the statements you've made here. I don't know you well enough to know if you're just fanning the flames here in an attempt to be provocative or if you truly believe those nonsensical things. It might be more worthwhile to perhaps enlighten us as to the reasons for your obvious fear of homosexuals, rather than continuing to spout the inanities of equating gay marriage and pedophilia.

By Marite (Marite) on Wednesday, August 04, 2004 - 05:02 pm: Edit

>>But it does not follow that a person is automatically "phobic" if he/she has concerns about changing something as fundamental to human societies as the nature of marriage.>>

Valpal, I agree with you completely. This is in part what I wrote in my first post:

>I don't think that all who oppose gay marriage are homophobes>.

In many countries, though, marriage has changed. Divorce is now common where it used to be stigmatized. Before Reagan, it would have debarred a candidate from seeking higher office. Reagan was helped in part by the fact that his divorce had taken place so long ago. In other societies, polygamy, that was an accepted practice, has been banned. And all during my lifetime! So I see the possibilities for change.

By Valpal (Valpal) on Wednesday, August 04, 2004 - 05:08 pm: Edit

Man speaks with forked tongue, Kimosabe.

By Fundingfather (Fundingfather) on Wednesday, August 04, 2004 - 05:09 pm: Edit

DMD77: I assume that you were attempting to be somewhat humorous, but your assertion that it is the "Republicans" who are against gay marriage is not correct. All you have to do is look at the results of the vote in Missouri to see that a sizeable number of democrats also are against it. Remember - this is a state that has a democratic governor and at least one democratic senator, so I wouldn't call it a republican bastion.

By Valpal (Valpal) on Wednesday, August 04, 2004 - 05:19 pm: Edit

That last post was concerning Kerry's apparent flip-flopping on the issue of the Iraq invasion, Marite. NOT directed at anyone here, or about anyone's stance on gay marriage---LOL! I've got to go to the grocery store and buy supper, procrastinator that I am. So I have to sign off for now, but I'll be sure to get back to this most stimulating and lively thread.

By Marite (Marite) on Wednesday, August 04, 2004 - 05:21 pm: Edit

Actually, I do not think that this is a Republican vs. Democratic issue. Bill Weld, MA's Republican former governor, supports gay marriage; John Kerry supports civil unions but not gay marriages as does Boston's Democratic mayor, Tom Menino (the last two are both Catholics). The overwhelmingly Democratic MA House tried to find ways to pass an amendment to nullify the State Supreme Court's decision. So no, I do not think that this is a Republican vs. Democratic issue.

By Marite (Marite) on Wednesday, August 04, 2004 - 05:24 pm: Edit


Thanks for clarifying. I'd already decided that it was not directed at me.

By Perry (Perry) on Wednesday, August 04, 2004 - 05:28 pm: Edit

On gay marriage, Kerry says that his position is the "same as Dick Cheney's." Given Kerry's stance, there is no choice in the 2004 election on the gay marriage issue. Both parties support the same position. Kerry is smart to play centrist politics and not cede the social and cultural issues to the Republicans. If the Democrats can begin coming in from the cold, they will win more elections, perhaps even the House or Senate. Let's hope so.

By Dmd77 (Dmd77) on Wednesday, August 04, 2004 - 05:37 pm: Edit

Fundingfather: I did notice that, quite recently, it was 48 Republicans and only 3 Democrats who wanted to change our Constitution to add discriminatory language.

I understand that there are Democrats who, for whatever lame reason, consider that other people's behavior somehow devalues their own behavior. (I.e., there are Democrats who say that allowing gays to marry violates the "sanctity of marriage.")

Personally, I think the Republicans object to gay marriage because they don't want to add all those people to the social security and health insurance rolls as spouses.

By Perry (Perry) on Wednesday, August 04, 2004 - 05:40 pm: Edit

Many Republicans object to gay marriage because it plays well with the electorate, which overwhelmingly oppose it. It's simple politics.

By Fundingfather (Fundingfather) on Wednesday, August 04, 2004 - 05:52 pm: Edit

DMD77: yes, but the Missouri vote was 2-to-1 in favor of the amendment. That means a lot of Democrats are against gay marriage - even if you assume that 100% of the Republicans are as well. I wouldn't doubt that a significant number of Republicans voted against the amendment. To me, it's a non-issue.

By Emeraldkity4 (Emeraldkity4) on Wednesday, August 04, 2004 - 06:19 pm: Edit

Dmd did you see this?
Gay couples can be married under Washington state law, because denying their right to do so is a violation of their constitutional rights, a judge ruled Wednesday.

"The denial to the plaintiffs of the right to marry constitutes a denial of substantive due process," King County Superior Court Judge William L. Downing said in his ruling.

His decision is stayed until the state Supreme Court reviews the case, meaning no marriage licenses can be issued until then, said Jennifer Pizer, lead counsel in the case for Lambda Legal Defense.

"Judge Downing saw the couples in the courtroom and he's recognized that they are full and equal citizens of Washington. No more and no less," Pizer said.

By Dennis (Dennis) on Wednesday, August 04, 2004 - 06:32 pm: Edit

Yes, Xiggi, before the war many people thought that Saddam was a very bad man and that he had WMD. The question was always - what was the best way to keep him and check and eventually disarm him? Many who thought that Saddam had WMD did NOT support Bush's strategy of a basically unilateral invasion into Iraq. Many, including me, thought that the threat from Saddam was manageable through the existing structure of embargos and inspections. What worried many was that a hasty, unilateral, and ill-thought out invasion and occupation in Iraq would actually increase anti-American sentiment throughout the world (especially the Arab world) and thereby breed more terrorism. Not only that, many thought that a unilateral invasion would leave us in a weakened position diplomatically which would hamper our ability to garner international support for actions in the future. And, of course, many recognized that Bin Laden and al Queda were not hiding out in Iraq but continuing to hide out in Afghanistan and Pakistan and thought they should be the priority in the war on terror, not Saddam. Thus, for all these reasons, many could and did think Saddam may have had WMD but still think Bush was dead wrong to invade Iraq, especially the way he did.

Fundingfather, if you check Clinton's statements elsewhere you'll see that he heavily criticizes the timing of Bush's invasion. He said to Dan Rather on 60 Minutes, "In terms of the launching of the war, I believe we made an error in not allowing the United Nations to complete the inspections process." Clinton also said that he believed we went to war because of the half-baked Wolfowitz-Cheney idea that "bringing democracy" to Iraq would have a domino effect in the Middle East.

By Xiggi (Xiggi) on Wednesday, August 04, 2004 - 07:04 pm: Edit


Did you really consider the past anti-Saddam measures to be effective?

Please see my prior comments on the "collateral costs" in lost lives of the embargo that was supported by the Clinton/Albright duo. As far as anti-amercan sentiment in the Arab world, you ought to consider how quickly the small amount of positive sentiment that was built during the first Golf War vanished under Bill Clinton.

Aren't you forgetting the embarassment of the performance by Albright at the UN and her shenanigans in opposition of Boutros Boutros Galli. If that was not enough to upset the Arab World, her subsequent appointment as Secretary of State (and potential role in the Palestinian/Israeli peace process) did secure the nail in the coffin.

The invasion of Iraq might turn out to be an error of epic proportions, but George Bush did not embark in his foray without the support of the American citizens and political leadership. It is obvious that most everybody in Washington supported it because it was so darn popular. The problem is that most people changed their mind after the CNN glorious reports of military supremacy started including casualties in post victory. Most of our citizens would remain supportive, if we were still bombing Baghdad in oblivion, but from a safe distance.

The deads of Iraqis -by bombing, starvation, or passivity- do not seem to matter as much as ours.

By Perry (Perry) on Wednesday, August 04, 2004 - 07:32 pm: Edit


Clinton did much to strengthen alliances overseas as opposed to the Bush administration which has done much to isolate the United States in the world. Arab sentiment toward the U.S. is now at an all time low, if one wants to put any stock in this. The invasion of Iraq was not as "darn popular" as you might think, but occurred primarily because of political circumstances surrounding 9/11 and exaggerations of intelligence made by the Bush administration. We count on our government to tell us the truth, not to stretch or manipulate it to fit a neo-cons ideological ambitions. Further, most of the "collateral costs" from the Iraqi economic embargo (which by the way was supported by a good part of the world) stemmed from Saddam's own graft concerning the oil for food money. In short, he stole it to build more palaces honoring himself at the expense of his own people and Iraq's crumbling infrastructure. What a man!

Under Clinton, we had relative peace, not war; a booming economy (albeit speculative), not the worst recession since the Great Depression; a growing surplus, not record deficits; and alliances in the world, not isolation.

By Xiggi (Xiggi) on Wednesday, August 04, 2004 - 07:56 pm: Edit


I disagree on several counts, but it is not worth repeating my views on the international policies of the past administration. We may not have been in wartime but we were under siege during Clinton reign, which did not end until January 2001; the economy tanked in 2000 and we are no longer into a recession.

However, I will gladly agree that Clinton will always be remembered for his talent for dalliances. :)

By Perry (Perry) on Wednesday, August 04, 2004 - 08:05 pm: Edit

Well Xiggi --

I agree. Clinton certainly had a talent for dalliances in the White House (and beyond), but thankfully not with Cheney!

By Patient (Patient) on Wednesday, August 04, 2004 - 08:28 pm: Edit

Kissy, just checking in at the end of a longer-than-usual working day. My short term memory is so short these days that I had to go back to the original thread and find out what it was I said that prompted such a nice message from you! Having thus refreshed my memory: No worries, I was just puzzled at the time, not in the slightest upset, or anything else. I always like your posts too. Isn't it good that people of different political stripes can still enjoy each other's company. Good thing, too, because Husband is a (choking on word) Republican.

This whole debate has been extremely enlightening, thank you all, even you right-winged extremists . The main thing I have learned is that this whole topic is far, far more complex than I originally thought and I am going to be doing far more reading and listening in the coming months so that my vote can be properly informed.

The question is: son will be able to vote in November. Whose vote is he likely to cancel, mine or my husband's? Or will we all be voting the same way?

P.S. on the gay marriage debate. But as to the lady who wanted to marry her dog: probably just to get the poor animal covered under her insurance because of ungodly vet bills, a subject with which I am unfortunately familiar. Not that I have anything against vets, even Republican ones.

By Dmd77 (Dmd77) on Wednesday, August 04, 2004 - 11:18 pm: Edit

Emeraldkity: Yes, I heard your news on the radio about 10 min before I read your post. Isn't it nice to know that we live in a state that treats us all as humans that might love another human?

By Patient (Patient) on Wednesday, August 04, 2004 - 11:30 pm: Edit

This makes me think, perhaps on a smaller scale, of the gradual shift in the nation's consciousness from Plessy v. Ferguson through Brown v. Board of Education...

sometimes the law must become the instrument of social change.

I think that someday we will speak of this smaller social revolution in the same way. I think that eventual acceptance of gay marriage is inevitable and that a century into the future, people will look on the opposition to it as quite hard to understand, much as we now look at the attitudes contained in Plessy v. Ferguson.

By Browninfall (Browninfall) on Thursday, August 05, 2004 - 12:26 am: Edit

Emptynester: So what do you think of Mr. Kerry and his opposition to gay marriage?

By Patient (Patient) on Thursday, August 05, 2004 - 12:38 am: Edit

Browninfall: okay, got to admit, good point. But I am not a rabid Kerry fan, I just think he's better than the alternative. (don't bother, I know your position )

By Valpal (Valpal) on Thursday, August 05, 2004 - 02:24 am: Edit

Don't worry Patient. Kerry will keep testing the winds with a wet finger, and sooner or later, announce that he's changed his mind on the issue.

By Patient (Patient) on Thursday, August 05, 2004 - 03:06 am: Edit

Valpal...LOL...better late than never, as long as he finds the right answer eventually!

By Achat (Achat) on Thursday, August 05, 2004 - 08:08 am: Edit

Patient, I am with you in that this debate has been very enlightening. I haven't participated because I really don't have time for well-thought out (or even not well-thought out) rebuttals. But watched other people's including yours and Marite's during my water-cooler breaks.

I agree about not liking Kerry's stand on gay marriage and testing the winds but I'm still going to vote for him. My husband is an independent. Voted for George H W Bush and (probably) Reagan but not for George Bush Jr.

Although I wish politicians could be courageous on the gay marriage issue like the SFO mayor.

By Dennis (Dennis) on Thursday, August 05, 2004 - 09:23 am: Edit

Xiggy, the systems of arms inspections did work astonishingly well as many experts believed. I agree that the total embargo of Iraq was immoral and a humanitarian disaster. The US should have taken steps to alleviate hunger and disease in Iraq while continuing embargos on material that could have been used for the making of WMD. I blame the Clinton administration for this.

You say Bush had popular support for the war in Iraq. Well, of course he did. He and his administration set out on a systematic effort to exaggerate the threat posed by Saddam and to make the false claim that Saddam was somehow tied to 9/11. They succeeded in pulling the wool over the eyes of many.

Finally, whenever answering a critique of Bush, you resort to bashing the Clinton administration. Well, we are not debating the relative merits of these two administrations. We are debating whether Bush deserves to be re-elected and/or whether Kerry has better ideas and would make a better leader than Bush.

By Marite (Marite) on Thursday, August 05, 2004 - 09:25 am: Edit


OT: I thought about your children and Barack Obama and countless other children of mixed ancestry as I read this piece:

Ukraine star seeks African roots:

>Our stay in Nigeria was coming to an end, and I asked him whether he felt at home in Africa.

"People see me as a foreigner here as well... And, like in Ukraine, I have two choices here: on one hand, I can feel 'Everywhere a stranger', but on the other hand I can feel 'Everywhere at home' - a citizen of the world.

"I belong to neither the world of the whites, nor the blacks, but I can understand both of these worlds... I think I am privileged in this respect because this duality brings me more choice in life.">


By Dmd77 (Dmd77) on Thursday, August 05, 2004 - 09:33 am: Edit

I am amused that, like Bush, the conservatives in this char are trying to move the discussion from the serious, world-shaking issues of Iraq and foreign policy to the relatively trivial issue of gay marriage.

Frankly, Kerry could come out in favor of chimp/man marriage and it wouldn't change how I voted in this election. Bush's policy of religious intervention in the middle east--trying to bring Christianity to the Muslims--scares the daylights out of me.

And to set us up, as he has, for more terrorist attacks, and then deny local authorities the funding they need to deal with those terrorist attacks, is reprehensible.

Not to mention turning a projected surplus of $500 Billion into an actual deficit of $500 Billion, just so he could give a huge tax cut to his wealthy donors, the ones who really need a few extra bucks.

By Patient (Patient) on Thursday, August 05, 2004 - 10:33 am: Edit

Not to mention sending our sons and daughters into war and having them killed, for no good or even real reason.

By Emeraldkity4 (Emeraldkity4) on Thursday, August 05, 2004 - 10:45 am: Edit

when we still have high schools with seperate black and white proms, I guess it is easy to see that some people are not ready to give rights to gays, they aren't ready to give racial minorities equal rights either!


( I did a search, it is not just this one southern school)

By Fundingfather (Fundingfather) on Thursday, August 05, 2004 - 10:47 am: Edit


I agree that the gay marriage issue is not worth discussing in light of what is happening with respect to terrorism/Iraq. You make a claim that Bush started the war because he wants to bring Christianity to the Muslims. Do you have ANY evidence of that? When I see claims like yours I just shake my head with disbelief that the electorate of this country can be so ill-informed or so blindly partisan. Yes, we do have serious issues regarding national security that need to be addressed, but they need to be addressed in a serious manner and outside the framework of silly notions such as this. The fact that otherwise intelligent people hold ridiculous notions such as this is what scares the daylights out of me.

By Quink (Quink) on Thursday, August 05, 2004 - 10:47 am: Edit

Cheers to the Democratic Patriots!

Boos to the evil Republicans!

Kisses and hugs to the beloved "undecideds" courted assiduously by both sides!

And BTW, everyone be sure to see 9/11, Outfoxed, and Bush's Brain - lots of tasty exposes, it's almost as good as Woodstock.

(Just thought I'd cut to the chase on this post with its often thinly-veiled sharpshooting on issues - please please please flame me, I'd like to have some fun today).

Buy a flame-retardant suit, if you wish. However, you wiill no longer need it on CC. Goodbye!
Moderator Trinity

By Fundingfather (Fundingfather) on Thursday, August 05, 2004 - 11:01 am: Edit

The difference between f-9/11 and Woodstock is that Woodstock was a documentary.

By Browninfall (Browninfall) on Thursday, August 05, 2004 - 11:19 am: Edit

Dmd77: Actually the issue of gay marriage was initially brought up on this thread two nights ago by someone who I'm quite sure would not refer to herself as a conservative (nor would others). As for your other comments, you left out that Bush is a moron. Onward Christian soldiers!

By Dmd77 (Dmd77) on Thursday, August 05, 2004 - 11:41 am: Edit

Fundingfather: my evidence is cumulative. One, Bush referred originally to what he was doing in Iraq as a "crusade." Second, he has made remarks (multiple) about how he feels he has a mandate from God, based on his born-again Christianity.

Frankly, Browninfall, I'm not convinced that Bush is a moron. It's not that easy to pass courses at Harvard B School. I think Bush has fallen for the anti-intellectual attitude that pervades our country, and likes to pretend he's dumber than he is.

By Emeraldkity4 (Emeraldkity4) on Thursday, August 05, 2004 - 12:03 pm: Edit

Sound familiar?
Why, of course, the people don't want war. Why would some poor slob on a farm want to risk his life in a war when the best that he can get out of it is to come back to his farm in one piece. Naturally, the common people don't want war; neither in Russia nor in England nor in America, nor for that matter in Germany. That is understood. But, after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy or a fascist dictatorship or a Parliament or a Communist dictatorship... voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country.
Hermann Goering, Nazi leader, at the Nuremberg Trials after World War II

By Sfe (Sfe) on Thursday, August 05, 2004 - 12:06 pm: Edit

Valpal (and others who are concerned about Kerry's flip flops) -

I wonder how concerned you are about Bush's flip flops? I'm really serious. I personally don't think changing your mind is always a bad thing (think how dusty it might get if you never change it) so I don't think I'd make a big issue of it for either Kerry or Bush, but I'm really mystified that the people who ARE apparently bothered by this issue seem to give Bush a free pass on HIS many flip flops. Why?

Here are just a few examples of Bush's flip flops (some of these were posted on another thread a while ago):

BUSH SAYS GAY MARRIAGE IS A STATE ISSUE... "The state can do what they want to do. Don't try to trap me in this state's issue like you're trying to get me into." [Gov. George W. Bush on Gay Marriage, Larry King Live, 2/15/00]

...BUSH SUPPORTS CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT BANNING GAY MARRIAGE "Today I call upon the Congress to promptly pass, and to send to the states for ratification, an amendment to our Constitution defining and protecting marriage as a union of man and woman as husband and wife." [President Bush, 2/24/04]

BUSH PLEDGES NOT TO TOUCH SOCIAL SECURITY SURPLUS... "We're going to … keep the government from raiding the Social Security surplus." [President Bush, 3/3/01]

...BUSH SPENDS SOCIAL SECURITY SURPLUS “The president's new budget uses Social Security surpluses to pay for other programs every year through 2013, ultimately diverting more than $1.4 trillion in Social Security funds to other purposes." [The New York Times, 2/6/02]

GOVERNOR BUSH VETOES PATIENTS' RIGHT TO SUE... "… as Texas governor, vetoing a [ patients’ bill of rights] bill coauthored by Republican state Rep. He...opposed a patient's right to sue an HMO over coverage denied that resulted in adverse health effects." [Salon, 2/7/01]

...CANDIDATE BUSH PRAISES TEXAS PATIENTS' RIGHT TO SUE... "We're one of the first states that said you can sue an HMO for denying you proper coverage... You know, I support a national patients' bill of rights, Mr. Vice President. “[Governor Bush, 10/17/00]

BUSH OPPOSES THE DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY..."So, creating a Cabinet office doesn't solve the problem. You still will have agencies within the federal government that have to be coordinated." [White House spokesman Ari Fleischer, 3/19/02]

...BUSH SUPPORTS THE DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY "So tonight, I ask the Congress to join me in creating a single, permanent department with an overriding and urgent mission: securing the homeland of America and protecting the American people." [President Bush, Address to the Nation, 6/6/02]

BUSH WANTS OSAMA DEAD OR ALIVE... "I want justice. And there's an old poster out West, I recall, that says, 'Wanted: Dead or Alive.'" [President Bush, on Osama Bin Laden, 09/17/01]

...BUSH DOESN'T CARE ABOUT OSAMA "I don't know where he is. You know, I just don't spend that much time on him... I truly am not that concerned about him."[President Bush, Press Conference, 3/13/02]

BUSH SUPPORTS MANDATORY CAPS ON CARBON DIOXIDE... "[If elected], Governor Bush will work to...establish mandatory reduction targets for emissions of ... carbon dioxide." [Bush Environmental Plan, 9/29/00]

...BUSH OPPOSES MANDATORY CAPS ON CARBON DIOXIDE "I do not believe, however, that the government should impose on power plants mandatory emissions reductions for carbon dioxide …" [President Bush, Letter to Sen. Chuck Hagel (R-NE), 3/13/03]

BUSH OPPOSES CREATION OF INDEPENDENT 9/11 COMMISSION... "President Bush took a few minutes during his trip to Europe Thursday to voice his opposition to establishing a special commission to probe how the government dealt with terror warnings before Sept. 11." [CBS News, 5/23/02]

...BUSH SUPPORTS CREATION OF INDEPENDENT 9/11 COMMISSION "President Bush said today he now supports establishing an independent commission to investigate the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks." [ABC News, 09/20/02]

- there are PLENTY more where these came from.

By Fundingfather (Fundingfather) on Thursday, August 05, 2004 - 12:16 pm: Edit


My my, a Christian who uses the term "crusade" in its vernacular form is now guilty of starting a war to convert Muslims to Christianity!! How could I have missed such an obvious conclusion? Obviously his post-9/11 talk about the virtues of Islam and his visits to the mosques to show solidarity with the Muslim community was all a sham. Now, if you can only get Kerry to buy into this notion, it will sew up the election for Bush.

By Fundingfather (Fundingfather) on Thursday, August 05, 2004 - 12:33 pm: Edit


as long as you are dredging up WW II quotes to try to tar Bush as a Nazi, let's look at another quote from that era:

"The real triumph is that it has shown that representatives of four great Powers can find it possible to agree on a way of carrying out a difficult and delicate operation by discussion instead of by force of arms, and thereby they have averted a catastrophe which would have ended civilisation as we have known it."

Neville Chamberlain in his "Peace in our Time" speech, October 1938 - just before the world was drawn into a war that cost tens of MILLIONS of lives.

Sometimes it is too easy to assume that bloodshed can be avoided, but unfortunately, we have learned (or at least some of us have learned) that the price of not stopping a ruthless dictator when he is containable can be much more costly than eliminating the threat when it is in the growth stage.

By Emeraldkity4 (Emeraldkity4) on Thursday, August 05, 2004 - 12:48 pm: Edit

I am not tarring anyone, I think their words and actions speak for themselves.

What the Free Market undermines is not national sovereignty, but democracy. As the disparity between the rich and poor grows, the hidden fist has its work cut out for it. Multinational corporations on the prowl for "sweetheart deals" that yield enormous profits annot push through those deals and administer those projects in developing countries without the active connivance of State machinery - the police, the courts, sometimes even the army. Today Corporate Globalization needs an international confederation of loyal, corrupt, preferably authoritarian governments in poorer countries to push through unpopular reforms and quell the mutinies. It needs a press that pretends to be free. It needs courts that pretend to dispense justice. It needs nuclear bombs, standing armies, sterner immigration laws, and watchful coastal patrols to make sure that it's only money, goods, patents, and services that are being
globalized - not the free movement of people, not a respect for human rights, not international treaties on racial discrimination or chemical and nuclear weapons, or greenhouse gas emissions, climate change, or god forbid, justice. It's as though even a gesture towards international accountability would wreck the whole enterprise.
Arundhati Roy, Come September, 2002

Shall a few designing men, for their own aggrandizement, and to gratify their own avarice, overset the goodly fabric that we have been rearing at the expense of so much time, blood, and treasure? And shall we at last become the victims of our own lust of gain?
George Washington

If the freedom of speech is taken away then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter.
George Washington

The government of the United States is in no sense founded on the Christian Religion.
George Washington

The United States of America should have a foundation free from the influence of clergy.
George Washington

I'm the commander -- see, I don't need to explain -- I do not need to explain why I say things. That's the interesting thing about being the president. Maybe somebody needs to explain to me why they say something, but I don't feel like I owe anybody an explanation.
George W. Bush, as quoted in "Bush at War" (Bob Woodward), Washington, D.C., Sep. 2001

No President has ever done more for human rights than I have.
George W. Bush, to author Ken Auletta

Unique among the nations, America recognized the source of our character as being godly and eternal, not being civic and temporal. And because we have understood that our source is eternal, America has been different. We have no king but Jesus.
John Ashcroft, Commencement address given on May 8, 1999, upon receiving an honorary degree at Bob Jones University


By Patient (Patient) on Thursday, August 05, 2004 - 01:10 pm: Edit

Fundingfather, do you really believe that it is our job to police the world against ruthless dictators? And look how many of them we have actually installed in countries, when it suited our own interests!

There is no analogy between World War II, and the need to fight against Hitler, Nazism, Mussolini, and the other dictators of the time, and Saddam Hussein, a petty dictator who, we now know, posed no threat except to his own people. And they don't even want us to be there.

By Fundingfather (Fundingfather) on Thursday, August 05, 2004 - 01:41 pm: Edit


You greatly underestimate Saddam's threat. The Saddam of 2002 was still conspiring to defeat us in some way. You probably buy into the notion that he had no relationship with al Qaeda - despite the statements to the contrary from multiple reports (9/11, Kay, Senate Intelligence). You can parse words about "operational relationship" all you want, but the fact is that there was a generally acknowledged relationship between Iraq and al Qaeda. Do you suppose that this relationship was to discuss tourism? I suggest you read the book "The Connection" to see all of the "dots" that paint a very threatening picture of the relationship between Iraq and terrorism.

The real threat to the world was the Saddam of the not too distant future. The sanctions were drastically falling apart with many countries flouting them. Had Blix been allowed to "finish" his inspections, there would be no more rationale for keeping any sanctions or, for that matter, the no-fly zones. Hence, Saddam would be allowed to go back to his old pre-1991 self to pursue WMDs, including nuclear. Do you honestly think that he wouldn't? If so, based on what evidence? Why was he still pursuing uranium (which we now know that he actually was)? I think it may have actually been Al Gore who said that the only way to assure that Iraq remains compliant with a ban on WMDs is to have regime change. (It's interesting to see how his views change with the political winds, isn't it?)

Put the two together: an unfettered Saddam and his recognition of the potential for use of terrorists as a delivery mechanism and it spelled major threat. A threat which would likely come with no warning. (Hence the Kerry doctrine of waiting until a threat is "imminent" is very dangerous - we won't know it is imminent until it is too late. With all of the flaws in our intelligence recently and over our history, can we really count on it telling us when a threat is "imminent?)

You say the Iraqis "don't want us there" but that is not entirely true. According to a poll, the vast majority say they are better off than they were before the war (despite the security concerns). They also have strong support for their new leaders, who in turn want us to stay until things are more stable.

By Kissy (Kissy) on Thursday, August 05, 2004 - 01:53 pm: Edit

Cheers, kisses, and hugs to Moderator Trinity!!

By Dmd77 (Dmd77) on Thursday, August 05, 2004 - 02:54 pm: Edit

From the Stae of the Union address 2004:

"The momentum of freedom in our world is unmistakable -- and it is not carried forward by our power alone. We can trust in that greater power who guides the unfolding of the years. And in all that is to come, we can know that His purposes are just and true. "

Now, I understand that some people don't mind that Bush thinks God is on our side. I object to Bush invoking God in the first place--which God? the one of his faith? the one of my neighbors? we are a secular country with no state religion--but I especially dislike that he thinks God takes sides. To me, it sounds a lot like the Taliban saying that their God has certain beliefs.

You can certainly argue that Bush's God is on the side of freedom and the Taliban's God is on the side of repression...

Oh, and FundingFather--your son may not have studied enough history to know that "crusade" is a loaded word to anyone in the middle east, but Bush's policymakers should have, even if Bush doesn't read history.

By Dstark (Dstark) on Thursday, August 05, 2004 - 02:57 pm: Edit

Bush was a history major.

By Dennis (Dennis) on Thursday, August 05, 2004 - 03:41 pm: Edit

Well,Fundingfather, other recent polls of Iraqis paint a different picture of iraqi sentiment. Here's a report on a poll taken recently by the Coalition Provisional Authority itself:

'The US-led Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA) conducted but did not release a public opinion poll that found more than half of Iraqis believe they would be safer if US forces left the country. The poll, results of which were obtained by the Associated Press, also indicates that 92% of Iraqis consider the US to be an occupying force, and most believe that all Americans behave like the guards and interrogators at Abu Ghraib who tortured Iraqi prisoners. Results also suggest that rebel Shi’ite cleric Muqtada Al-Sadr, whom the US in April vowed to "kill or capture," is becoming increasingly popular. The Coalition’s confidence rating in May stood at 11 percent, down from 47 percent last November, while Coalition forces had just 10 percent support. Nearly half of Iraqis said they felt unsafe in their own neighborhoods. And 55 percent of Iraqis reported to the pollsters they would feel safer if US troops immediately left, nearly double the 28 percent who said they felt that way in January. The poll results stand in stark contrast to the upbeat assessments the Bush administration continues to present to Americans. Donald Hamilton, a CPA official who was involved with the poll, admitted the results are "pretty grim," but said most Iraqis have "misunderstood" US intentions in Iraq.'

By Patient (Patient) on Thursday, August 05, 2004 - 03:41 pm: Edit

Okay, tying into the dumb blonde theme on another thread, can someone explain why the moderator banned that poster? Kissy? You can email me if you prefer....

Patient, Kissy is not in a position to explain moderation issues. See complete reply below.
Moderator Trinity

By Fundingfather (Fundingfather) on Thursday, August 05, 2004 - 03:50 pm: Edit


I can see how you may be uncomfortable with Bush's religious views and I can even see a complaint of insensitivity for using the word "crusade". However, to use these to make the leap that Bush started a war for the purpose of converting Muslims to Christianity is patently absurd. To lower the debate of such a significant topic to such absurdities cheapens the whole topic.

By Fundingfather (Fundingfather) on Thursday, August 05, 2004 - 04:08 pm: Edit


I am aware of that poll as well. It is understandable that the people think that we have overstayed our welcome and they want us to leave, which is essentially what that poll says. However, for how they actually view there lives and there prospects, see this poll (taken July 1): http://www.cpod.ubc.ca/polls/index.cfm?fuseaction=viewItem&itemID=3246

Key points:

Compared to a year ago, I mean before the war in Spring 2003, are things overall in your life much better now, somewhat better, about the same, somewhat worse or much worse?

Much better now

Somewhat better

About the same

Somewhat worse

Much worse

What is your expectation for how things overall in your life will be in a year from now? Will they be much better, somewhat better, about the same, somewhat worse or much worse?

Much better

Somewhat better

About the same

Somewhat worse

Much worse

This paints an entirely different and more optimistic view of what is going on over there than we hear in the media.

By Dmd77 (Dmd77) on Thursday, August 05, 2004 - 04:19 pm: Edit

FF: I don't intend for this to degenerate into a flame war, but I would like to clarify that I did not say that Bush started the Iraq war to bring Christianity to Iraq; I intended to say that he has an on-going foreign policy of religious intervention in the Middle East (as illustrated by his statements in the State of the Union address).

There are many historians and foreign policy specialists who agree with me that Bush's interventionist Middle East policy is a massive and dangerous shift for the US. Check out, for example, this web site: http://www.diplomatsforchange.com/press/7-28-04.shtml

I repeat: this is the issue that makes me a "single-issue voter," because I think foreign policy is what can ensure world war or halt it. And I don't wish my children to spend their lives dealing with a Middle East/US war--that ultimately involves the whole world in terrorism.

By Emeraldkity4 (Emeraldkity4) on Thursday, August 05, 2004 - 04:29 pm: Edit

Thanks for posting the link it helps to know who is doing the poll and how they ask the q's

I don't pay attention to them generally though it really depends on who you ask and what the question is
For example when asked ( US voters)if they would vote for gay marriage about half the voters said no, but when asked if they thought that gays should have equal rights more than half said yes.

Another local poll when the education director of our school district supposedly asked all principals and teachers if they wanted to do away with a GPA requirement for graduation they all said yes. But when I asked the principals and teachers of at least three different schools where I am familar they all said that they had never been asked to respond at all!

By Trinity (Trinity) on Thursday, August 05, 2004 - 04:49 pm: Edit

Patient, Kissy is not in a position to explain moderation issues.

Please take a look at the TOS: "Out of respect for both moderators and policies, discussion of moderator actions and forum policies is welcomed via e-mail; these issues are off-topic for the forums." If you have any questions, do not hesitate to contact me.

In this case, I will tell you that the poster was banned for his open invitation to be flamed and "having fun": "(Just thought I'd cut to the chase on this post with its often thinly-veiled sharpshooting on issues - please please please flame me, I'd like to have some fun today)."

Keeping our forums free of flames and uncivility is of paramount importance to the moderators.

Moderator Trinity

By Perry (Perry) on Thursday, August 05, 2004 - 04:51 pm: Edit

I could not disagree more with the argument that Bush has a foreign policy of religious intervention in the middle east. These are not the days of the Crusades. Bush's intervention has been based more on the neo-con belief that the U.S. could remake the middle east along more democratic lines partly through action in Iraq. As always, reality is far more complicated than theoreticians would have us believe.

By Fundingfather (Fundingfather) on Thursday, August 05, 2004 - 05:40 pm: Edit


I, like Perry, see absolutely no evidence of a religious motivation for war or for our foreign policy. I do deviate from his view as to the true essence of the war, however. Although there may be some of that view being exercised - this is the view espoused by Thomas Friedman (not exactly a knee-jerk neo-con) for his support of the war.

I think the real reason is the one I outlined above to Patience. Saddam was a significant threat who had WMD know-how and who was known to cavort with terrorists. He was in willfull violation of the UN resolutions and therefore had to be assumed to be a threat. He was only destined to become more of a threat once the sanctions either eroded or were removed.

I understand the views espoused by the link that you provided. These are sensible views to take and represent legitimate oppositional thinking. However, when I see people make absurd claims about Bush doing it for "daddy" or for Haliburton or for political or religious reasons (that was a new one on me) I go a bit nuts, since it takes the serious views of those who support the war and makes them into a mockery.

I too do not want our children to face an ongoing threat of terrorism. That is precisely why I support Bush and the war. As I stated, I believe that the threat of an unfettered Saddam along with the proven links to terrorism are too great to let stand in a post 9/11 world. We can't assume that if we had not gone into Iraq that al Qaeda would just leave us alone. We can't go back to a 9/10 world. War has been declared upon us, we can fight back or we can wait for the next attack which could be with far more potent weapons than airplanes.

By Thedad (Thedad) on Thursday, August 05, 2004 - 06:31 pm: Edit

Actually, FD, I need some time to compose a L-O-N-G rebuttal to you regarding Iraq but haven't had the time, what free time I've had in the past day being spent on composing a post on another forum about Bush's ethics, Harken Energy, et alia.

However, when you write: ..."when I see people make absurd claims about Bush doing it for "daddy" or for Haliburton or for political or religious reasons (that was a new one on me) I go a bit nuts, since it takes the serious views of those who support the war and makes them into a mockery" you're palming a card.

The fact that people support the war for reason X has absolutely no connection with *why* Bush was fixated on war with Iraq. I can understand why you might go nuts, however, because if you vehemently support the war for reason X and the reason Bush launched it was for reason Y or Z, then you are what the ancient Greek philosophers called "looking stupid," so I would understand why you would furiously fight any suggestions to the contrary of X.

I pretty much don't believe in conspiracy theories, regardless of direction of orgination, source, ideology, etc. Sure, a blind pig finds a truffle now and then but it's not the way to bet. Anent Halliburton, I've been extremely skeptical of the claims about Halliburton being a reason for invading Iraq. However, the more I read, the more I get the disturbing conclusion that helping Halliburton was a happy side effect for the administration.

Regarding WMD, chemical WMD are simple enough that at least 100 countries are capable of making them. Bio WMD at least 50, probably more. Pointing to Saddam as some magical source of WMD for terrorists--even overlooking the complete lack of cooperation with terrorists--is disingenuous.

Saddam and nuclear WMD are a bad joke. It requires an extensive fixed infrastructure and hundreds if not thousands of people to produce something like this. Iraq had the hell inspected out of it and if nuclear programs were in existence, they would have been found. An interesting telltale that the Bush/Cheney administration knew there were no nuclear WMD: during the drive to Baghdad, the Iraqi nuclear research facility at Tuwalitha was by-passed and not even guarded. Someone *knew* there was nothing of value there. Instead, locals looted the unguarded facility for scrap, emptying 55-gal. drums filled with waste to use for cooking, storage, etc., and got sick into the process. Tuwalitha was not secured until several days after Baghdad fell. QED.

By Mini (Mini) on Thursday, August 05, 2004 - 06:47 pm: Edit

You forget - Rumsfeld told us where the WMD are: "North, South, East, and West," he said, moving his arm across the horizon.

By Xiggi (Xiggi) on Thursday, August 05, 2004 - 06:50 pm: Edit


As usual, I am humbled by your eloquence and simplicity -used as a compliment- of your argument. Since I have been accused to move back the clock before, allow me to do it again, and ignore the frowns it will cause.

Can't we safely assume that Bush/Cheney had access to the same information as their predecessors? If THEY were able to determine that the WMD were not much else than a hoax, why did people with the highest security levels not raise their voice. I am not trying to discredit the Clintons/Gore but, when they spoke, they DID express the same belief that the WMD existed.

If a private citizen like yourself can point the finger at sufficient evidence to claim foul play, why did the people who SHOULD or DID know not jump up and down to correct the blatant lies?

Could you help me understand this?

PS Have fun with Arbusto.

By Dennis (Dennis) on Thursday, August 05, 2004 - 06:55 pm: Edit

Fundingfather, the bulk of evidence that we have now have indicates that Saddam was NOT a significant threat at the time of the war. I simply don't accept your premise that Saddam would have become a significant threat in the near future. The inspections and sanctions against Iraq did work as we now can see clearly. If Saddam had presented a threat in the near future, there were many options short of all-out war and occupation that could have kept him in check.

As to the supposed connection between Saddam and 9/11, even Hayes (the author of The Connection) states in his book that "there is no proof that the Iraqi regime had any operational involvement in the September 11 attacks." While Hayes tries to amass other connections between al Qaeda and Saddam, many experts have found his efforts to be largely unconvincing. Now it turns out that there were more connections between Iran and 9/11 than ever existed between Iraq and 9/11. This is not to mention troublesome links between the Saudis and al Qaeda. Are these grounds for war? What about Iran and WMD? This is not even to mention North Korea.

I too do not want my children to face the ongoing threat of terrorism. I believe, like many other Americans, that Bush and his administration have made us less safe against the threat of terrorism by engaging in an ill-thought out preemptive war and occupation of Iraq. He failed to plan for the occupation and has left Iraq in a dangerous mess. Abu Ghraib will be the rallying cry for anti-American Islamic terrorists for years to come. By going into Iraq hastily and on shaky evidence, Bush will have endangered our ability to meet real threats when they appear down the road. As well, Bush has failed to take adequate measures here at home to ensure the safety of our own shores. In short, Bush has botched the anti-terrorism effort. We desperately need a President who will exercise wisdom and good judgment rather than a reckless cowboy.

By Fundingfather (Fundingfather) on Thursday, August 05, 2004 - 07:16 pm: Edit


a quick reply to you and DMD77:

Your implication was that Kerry would not have gotten us into Iraq. Nowhere in any of his positions has he taken that view. His actual senate speech indicated that we should have gone in MUCH EARLIER - during the Clinton administration or certainly right after 9/11. So if your thesis is (as the link offered by DMD77 certainly is) that by virtue of going into Iraq we have stirred up a hornets nest of terrorists, then both candidates would stir up the same hornets nest. You can't argue for Kerry based on the premise that he would not have taken us to war.

You really need to read the Hayes book. There are so many dots pointed at saddam/terrorist linkages that to ignore them would have put the country in peril. Since it was written, there have been even more documents found in iraq that support linkages. Also since the book was written Putin has gone public with the fact that he too warned Bush before the war that Iraq was planning terrorist attacks against the US. Don't get fooled by the unproven "operational" relationship - You wouldn't expect them to announce a joint partnership would you? What would they be talking about if not potential terrorist ventures? That's al Qaeda's only mission in life.

edit: I just re-read your post about Hayes. There is a huge difference between having an operational link with 9/11 and having a generic link to terrorists. We are not after Saddam as a means to punish him for 9/11 - we are after him to prevent a future 9/11.

By Fundingfather (Fundingfather) on Thursday, August 05, 2004 - 07:20 pm: Edit


What measure would be available to us if we had let Saddam off the hook? He maintained a secret society. Once sanctions were removed he could go back to the way things were in 1991 when we had absolutely no clue that he even had a nuclear program much less one that was only months away from having a bomb.

By Fundingfather (Fundingfather) on Thursday, August 05, 2004 - 07:49 pm: Edit


I also don't have time for as full rebuttal, but as to your assertion that Bush may indeed have gone to war for one of the "silly" reasons rather than the "non-silly" reasons, there should be some proof should there not? All I have seen are allegations. Why is it not enough to assume that the rationale was exactly as he and others in his administration stated it? It was based on sound logic (even Clinton buys into the logic). Those who espouse the "silly" views to me are just waving a big banner that says, "I'm a blind partisan who hates Bush but can't make a cogent argument concerning the war".

By Dennis (Dennis) on Thursday, August 05, 2004 - 08:03 pm: Edit

Fundingfather, I don't think many (at least here in the US) would have been in favor of letting Saddam return to the pre-1991 status quo. There is no reason to think, especially now, that a system of verification and inspection couldn't have kept Saddam in check.

However, this is all a red herring. If the issue is the capacity and willingness to produce WMD, then there are many, many countries who fit the bill. Many of them, like Iran and North Korea, are already much further along in their WMD capabilities than Saddam was. They too have connections to terrorists (Iran) or could potentially have connections to terrorists (North Korea). They don't much like the US either. So when do we go to war against them? How many of our resources (money, armed forces, international good will, etc.) have squandered by embarking on a hasty war against Iraq? We are streched thin now. What happens if a real, large threat comes down the pike and we are unable to meet it? This is not even to mention Pakistan, which is just a coup away from an Islamist regime in power, and already possesses nuclear weapons and other WMD.

The fact is, it was al Qaeda who attacked us on 9/11. 11 of 13 hijackers were Saudi. We have no evidence that Iraq had ANY involvement with 9/11. Bin Laden is still out there and terrorism can be planned and launched from countless countries around the globe. We can't invade them all. Bush has let this country down.

By Patient (Patient) on Thursday, August 05, 2004 - 08:09 pm: Edit

A question: if one assumes that we are going to depart from the current policy, once our troops come home from Iraq, how should the United States attempt to deal with the threat of terrorism in the world?

It seems to me that attempting to deal with it by force is a lost cause. Diplomacy, building relationships with countries such that all are joined in the detection of terrorist organizations? Just looking for people's ideas.

By Fundingfather (Fundingfather) on Friday, August 06, 2004 - 11:06 am: Edit


How would you propose enforcing the series of inspections that you propose? Do you not remember that it took 150,000 US troops camped on the Iraqi border to get him to let inspectors back in? Are you suggesting that we keep a permanent force of that size there to get inspectors into Iraq? How soon we forget the nature of the situation.

Even if we did that, how would we get the UN to go along with that? If Blix had completed his inspections (which even he admitted wouldn't guaranty no WMDs), there would have been no more justification from the UN to maintain inspections, sanctions or no-fly-zones. In other words - back to 1991. You say that not many in the US would want to or allow that to happen, but how could we do that without being accused of being a unilateralist which Kerry says we never will be?

Just some simple down to earth questions that you need to answer before your plan becomes remotely viable for long term security in the US.

You cite Iran and North Korea. Granted they are a problem, but note that the Clinton administration and something like 99 out of 100 senators seemed to think that Iraq was the number one problem since Iraq was the only country for which a Senate measure calling for regime change was enacted. Do you ever wonder why that was the case?

You say that Bush has let this country down, yet the past president (Clinton), the current president (Bush) and the next president (Bush or Kerry) all agree that Iraq needed to be attacked. (Note that Kerry's only assertion when he voted to OK the war was not whether to disarm Saddam but that we do it with UN support). Do you ever wonder why Bush should be so culpable when 3 presidents/potential presidents all agree on the essence of war with Iraq?

Just another question that needs to be asked to determine the basis for the claim that "Bush let us down". Is it political or is it rational?

By Fundingfather (Fundingfather) on Friday, August 06, 2004 - 11:17 am: Edit


Force and diplomacy are not mutually exclusive. Even as we are using force to the consternation of countries like France and Germany, it has not stopped their willingness to work with us to us to defeat terrorism. As always, use of force is the last option.

By Fundingfather (Fundingfather) on Friday, August 06, 2004 - 11:45 am: Edit


By Kissy (Kissy) on Friday, August 06, 2004 - 03:52 pm: Edit

Patient- lack of civility

By Thedad (Thedad) on Saturday, August 07, 2004 - 05:01 pm: Edit

I'm still swamped with an unexpected tidal wave of work and won't be on much except for a post here and there, possibly for about 10 days or so, but I was struck by something on the way home from a play last night and did a few searches here on CC.

Here's something interesting: I recognize virtually every poster in the Parents Forum, regardless of their politics. Some, like Xiggi I consider to be friends. Some, like ValPal, I have a long history of cordial exchanges on numerous subjects. There are others with whom I haven't formed any particular relationship, like Kissy, whose contributions I've seen in numerous threads around the board.

And I thought, where in the blazes did Fundingfather come from? I hadn't seen him anywhere talking about college-related stuff. You know what a Search reveals? All of his posts are either in the Parents Forum or the Cafe. And except for a single post on a report about a Cornell report about the success of Greeks in public life, every single one of his posts is on a political topic.

It appears that this isn't someone who came to CC with an interest in college stuff and started posting politics on the side. My guess is that he Googled some political topic, found some CC thread, and jumped in here.

Now, what I want to know is he a freelance troll for the Bush campaign or is there an organized effort by the Bush/Cheney campaign to monitor websites and drop-in rabid response teams. If the latter, my goodness, CC could be a battleground website!

Btw, FF, your use of the word "allegation" is very similar to the way fundamentalists use "theory" of evolution. An allegation is still an allegation if it's consistent with known observations but can't be proved. His infantile remarks like "He [Saddam] tried to kill my Daddy" and his division of the world into "good men" and "evil doers" based on their theology or how Bush felt when he looked into their eyes (Vladmir Putin...can you imagine Clinton getting away with saying something like that? He would have been crucified) attests to a narrow, personal, subjective world view...and is the tip of the iceberg in that regard. "Look,I know what I believe and what I believe is right." to G8 leaders in Genoa.

"Bush let us down" is certainly a rational conclusion based on the fact that there was no plan grounded in reality for a post-conflict Iraq (see also, "Mission Accomplished"), his theolgically based (if doctrinally mushy) rhetoric playing into the hands of Osama bin Laden's framing of the conflict not as terrorism but of the West vs. Islam. In both Afghanistan (necessary) and Iraq (unnecessary) Bush has focused narrowly on purely military accomplishments with addressing, or seeming to have the faintest idea about, the cultural, religious, ethnic, and economic aspects of the problems, which constitute a real Rubik's cube, leaving the overall situation to deteriorate after the military goals have been accomplished. (We can see on TV what's happening in Iraq...the government's control is tenuous outside of Baghdad but at least it's there. In Afghanistan, Karzai has enough power to sneeze and, if the US countesigns, blow his own nose. The IMF finds the prospects for development to be appalling, Doctors with Borders have withdrawn their personnel...one of the few places they've ever done this, support for the Taliban is strong in many provinces, the power of the warlords is gaining in the others, and--with the economy a shambles--opium growing is skyrocketing again. Yet all that's conveyed by implication from the administration is that things are going well. (Prediction: the scheduled October parliamentary elections will either be postponed or will be a disaster; if the latter, it'll play about as well as yesterday's job numbers.) Conflating the war on terror with the war on Iraq has been a counterfeit coin the Bush administration has passed. Fortunately, except for those who rely upon Faux News, the country is mostly beginning to figure that out. So, yeah, Bush has let us down. Bigtime. And it's a letdown that's going to haunt us for a generation.

By Fundingfather (Fundingfather) on Saturday, August 07, 2004 - 05:46 pm: Edit

Wow, a Bush operative! (Should I be flattered or offended?) Hmmm.. maybe in my next life. No, I assure you that I am a parent of a college student. If you cast your search net a little wider, you will find other posts on college related things.

As to my politics, I'm really more of a McCain Republican. But right now I consider myself to be apolitical (hard to believe, I know). Actually, maybe DMD77 stated it best about him/herself - I am a single issue voter. I have a strongly held belief that John Kerry's positions on national security could be devasting for this country. I don't see any resolve. When he showed any resolve, perhaps in the first Gulf War, (but I think even that was politically motivated) he was on the wrong side of history.

The statements that he made at the Democratic Convention may have been well founded 30 years ago when warfare was conventional in nature, but times have changed. I agree with one of the fundamental findings of the 9/11 commision - the biggest failure was that of imagination. I think Bush and his team have learned from that, Kerry, based on his acceptance speech still thinks that we should wait to be attacked before we respond (or wait until our intelligence says that an attack is imminent.) In a post-9/11 world this view can be deadly.

I'm sorry for perhaps not properly introducing myself when I jumped into the debate. But, I'm going to take your suspicions of being a Bush operative as a complement and with that, go out and prune my bushes (sorry for the pun).

BTW: were you really thinking about me on the way home from the play? You really take this stuff seriously don't you?

By Thedad (Thedad) on Saturday, August 07, 2004 - 06:30 pm: Edit

We were talking about the defenses that Bush apologists use, the attempts to re-frame issues, and the muddying of the waters...naturally you came to mind...among others. Then I realized that I had never seen you post anything beyond politics here and my curiosity was raised.

As for college-related posts, besides the Greek life one, there was only one on Cornell/Michigan in one category that I must have overlooked that was found by the Search feature under your screen name on this website. And that post was made after dozens of political posts.

As for "this stuff," I take it no less seriously than you do.

Pruning bushes is good; ridding the country of Bushes will be better.

By Mom101 (Mom101) on Saturday, August 07, 2004 - 07:07 pm: Edit

Funny how any true conservative stands out enough on these boards as to raise paranoia! I've often wondered why this is. Are the vast majority of caring parents who are seriously interested in their children's educations flaming liberals? If so, why? Do people who have a conservative bent (the wealthy according to most posters) simply not have time to be on such boards? I certainly didn't before I hung up my corporate hat and became a student again. Opinions?

By Dstark (Dstark) on Saturday, August 07, 2004 - 07:14 pm: Edit

Mom101, go see "The Control Room", "The Corporation", and "The Hunting of the President".

By Mom101 (Mom101) on Saturday, August 07, 2004 - 07:21 pm: Edit

What will I learn? If I can get off boards like this, movies are the next thing on my list of what I have ignored in favor of the kids and corporate life!

By Fundingfather (Fundingfather) on Saturday, August 07, 2004 - 07:25 pm: Edit

Muddying the waters, huh. Well then I guess I shouldn't take your comments about my posts as a compliment. Can I ask how I muddied the water in your view?

In my mind, I have put forward many thoughts and questions that have never been seriously refuted or answered. What I do see is a lot of Bush bashing with very little substance behind it. I do give you credit for having thought things through a bit more than the typical Bush basher, but I must admit I still haven't seen you come out with your own view on what should have been done regarding Iraq. Perhaps you have mentioned it in a post before I arrived.

As to your assertion about the state of things in Afghanistan (which you admit was a "good" war): isn't Afghanistan where we HAD the proper support from our allies? Why is it that the situation there is exclusively the fault of the US? If a war fought with a legitimate coalition (versus the illegitimate one that Kerry claims that we have in Iraq) turns out to be a failure, then what does that say about our allies? What about the great French who wouldn't even agree to send the new NATO force to secure things in Afghanistan for the election? I think Afghanistan is a perfect example of how little we can depend upon the support of our allies. It points to the failure of the Kerry principle of global involvement.

By Dstark (Dstark) on Saturday, August 07, 2004 - 07:42 pm: Edit

Mom101, I would get off the boards and see "The Control Room" today. It is playing in SF at the Landmark's Opera Plaza located at Van Ness and Golden Gate. "The Corporation" is also playing there.
"The Hunting of The President" is playing at the Roxie, 16th at Valencia in the city. You can get a view of some Conservatives from that movie.
You can read reviews about these movies at www.movies.com.

By Mom101 (Mom101) on Saturday, August 07, 2004 - 08:30 pm: Edit

I will make a point to see one or more this week. Is this going to be F 911 revisited?

By Dstark (Dstark) on Saturday, August 07, 2004 - 09:45 pm: Edit

There are no Michael Moore type characters.
The Control Room shows the Iraq War through Arab eyes. There are things in that movie we see that aren't shown in America that should be shown in America.
The Corporation shows problems with corporations having so much power. It is one-sided.
We know that Clinton lied about his affair with Monica Lewinsky. The Hunting of the President shows that some people had no problem lying about Clinton to take him down or make some money. What they did to Susan McDougal is criminal. It is scary to see what goes on in this country.
The Control Room is done the best.
The others are a little long, but very educational.

By Thedad (Thedad) on Sunday, August 08, 2004 - 01:50 am: Edit

Mom101, I a moderately successful independent businessman--enough so that I've seen both sides of Two Americas--and I have time for these boards...at least sometimes. True, I wouldn't be here if pursuit of wealth were the primary goal in my life.

Conservatives do not induce paranoia in me. The Bush administration, the Bush campaign, and Republicans do...not *quite* the same thing:

-- the systematic disqualification of minority voters in Florida and a similar attempt this year, now withdrawn, based on superficial name-matching without any confirmation that the person being struck from the voting rolls is indeed a convicted felon *whose rights have not been restored* and is not someone else who has the misfortune to share the same name.

-- intimidating notices and signs in the proximity of heavily minority polling stations, asserting spurious requirements for identification, such as a utility bill, or saying that all tickets and warrants must be paid, as requirements for voting...to supppress largely Democratic votes.

-- the Tom Delay-inspired and unprecedented mid-term redistricting of Congressional districts in Texas (as well as a similar but failed attempt in Colorado) to use the GOP's newly acquired status of controlling both houses of the Texas legislature and statehouse to atrociously gerrymander Democrats out of six House seats in an attempt to bolster the Reps chances of holding on to the House in Congressional elections for the rest of the decade.

-- the unprecedented extensions of the 15-minute House votes by as much as half an hour to arm twist reluctant Republican Congressmen to prevent embarrassing defeats.

--the pattern of response to the 9/11 commission: against the formation of the commission, then approving it but wanting its report to only come out after the election, then only agreeing to speak (not testify) before it with your handler, then deciding to let the report be published before the election, then decide to slow-play the commission's recommendations, then decide to hurriedly implement the commission's recommendations, but decide to not give any budget power to the new National Intelligence Director position, then decide that maybe the new National Intelligence Director position should have some budgetary discretion after all. (Cf., the footdragging about forming a Homeland Security department and having an about face to get out in front only when the political pressure became too great.)

-- the complete stonewalling about the matter of Bush and Harken Energy, for which smoking gun documents already exist, in contrast to the $70 million witchhunt on the Clintons regarding Whitewater

-- the obsession with secrecy, beginning with the Cheney task force...it's a list too long to catalog but includes several of the most repugnant aspects of the Patriot Act and continues to last weeks move by the DOJ to try to remove some of its publications from public libraries...a move beaten back.

-- loyalty oaths being required to attend Bush/Cheney campaign events and requiring signed agreements that your name can be used by the campaign for advertising.

-- a pattern of equating criticism with treason

-- a pattern of terror alerts coming quickly on the heels of bad news for the president...I don't like cut-and-paste artists--it's too uncreative--but I read an article with the correlations today and it's not only infuriating but leaving us vulnerable to "alert fatigue" so that when the sh!t is about to hit the fan, many people will blow it off.

-- calling criticism of policy "playing politics with terror," which is laughable when that's what they're doing in the first place; cf., calling criticism of Bush's tax policy examples of "class warfare"...and see Warren Buffet's comments on same.

-- As terrorism is about the only issue where Bush has a lead over Kerry in the polls, taking an attitude of, in the words of E.J. Dionne, "The only thing we have to fear is the loss of fear itself."

-- the countenance of the most disgusting ads in the Georgia U.S. Senate campaign, morphing triple-amputee and Vietnam war hero Max Cleland into Osama bin Laden and accusing Cleland of a lack of patriotism for his opposition to Bush.

-- Bush's cynical use of linking the war on terror to *everything*, including expansion of trade authority, drilling for oil in Alaska, agricultural subsidies, taxes and spending, and his need for $170 million as a campaign warchest when he was running unopposed for the nomination.
At least he got bit in the butt on the last...first, Howard Dean wasn't the nominee and second the intensity of anger at Bush is such that the Dems are virtually matching and may exceed the Reps on fundraising.

That's from the top of my head, jotted on a notepad over dinner. If you *really* want me to put some thought into it, I'm sure I could come up with a more extensive list.

So it's not paranoia, it's knowing what those sob's can do, will do, and wondering where it will come from next. BOHICA.

By Dstark (Dstark) on Sunday, August 08, 2004 - 01:59 am: Edit

Thedad, have you see any of the movies I mentioned? Did you see the show on Frontline about Bush and religion?

By Mom101 (Mom101) on Sunday, August 08, 2004 - 02:15 am: Edit

Thedad, what can I say? Your beliefs are passionate, I certainly don't have the knowledge (or desire) to refute them, but do you really think it's all Republicans?

By Pistolpete (Pistolpete) on Sunday, August 08, 2004 - 02:45 am: Edit

Note to GWB: Read "The Boy who Cried Wolf"

TheDad, great post, and way to go out with a bang. So to speak.

By Thedad (Thedad) on Sunday, August 08, 2004 - 03:33 am: Edit

Dstark, no I haven't. I saw F/911 and "Outfoxed." F/911 is good two-hour campaign commercial but it mixes true with true-but-irrelevant with true-with-over-the-top insinuations. It's great for getting the blood boiling but it's a lousy base of argumentation, imo. Moore swings too wildly and is a left wing loon, imnsvho. "Outfoxed" is much more disciplined and therefore more effective and more damning, even if it's about Faux News and not Bush.

My D has seen "Iraq Uncovered" in her Gov class and says that it's quite good. I'd like to see it, suppose I will when it comes out.

The others I haven't seen...time is partly the enemy. If opportunity arises, I'll try.

I have enough on Bush and religion in my own mind, not enough that I'm confident to make a case in public. Certainly, his division of the world into "good men" and "evildoers" and inflammatory and misplaced Biblical language is indefensible. His conflation of himself, America, and God ("Look, I know what I believe and what I believe is right") is very scary but it's hard argument to make to a skeptical audience. [When I go after Bush in public, I color well within the lines: of that which is asserted as fact, it's easy to check and it's easily supported...and the facts substantiate the attached opinion.]


Mom101...is all *what* just the Republicans?
The Dems aren't in the administration. The Dems aren't engaged in dirty tricks to keep people from voting. The Dems aren't using terrorism as a political tool and then accuse those of calling them on it as "playing politics."

The Bush administration is outdoing the Nixon for being obsessive and "anything goes."

Few campaigns are completely clean. But the current crop of Republicans are pretty damned dirty. The worst you could accuse the Dems of for a couple of years was being dispirited and disorganized. Personally, Howard Dean is anathema to me on the grounds of being a twit but he did the Dems two big favors, showing that one could criticize Bush in public without being struck down by lightning and that the Dems could use Internet-based fundraising effectively to counter the Rep high-rollers.

The passion of my beliefs--have nothing to do with anything. The facts behind them are everything.

I have voted for a non-Dem presidential candidate twice (1972, 1980). I have voted for Dem candidates without enthusiasm twice (1984, 1988).
In this, I'm a good litmus test: if the Dem canddiate doesn't have my enthusiasm, they aren't going to win nationally. This year isn't politics as usual; this year is a Republican president taking the ship of state and steering it hard for the rocks. Bush has managed to do the damn near impossible: he's united the Democrats. Ordinarily at this point in the campaign, I'm squabbling with my liberal/progressive friends in the Democratic party. This year, everyone has buried the hatchet...they may have wanted Dean, they may have wanted Clark (I was an early contributor), they may have wanted Gephardt...but it doesn't matter now. I have friends who are gone this weekend, part of caravans to Arizona and Nevada to register Democratic voters...ain't nothing like this ever happened in my memory.

86 more days to go.


Pete, thanks. Lux ex tenebris.

By Mom101 (Mom101) on Sunday, August 08, 2004 - 08:55 am: Edit

Well Thedad, you've certainly convinced me of one thing: It's time to make plans for dealing with Kerry actually winning. My husband has been trying to convince me of this for a couple of months now. He wants to sell real estate and stocks. I'm starting to believe!!!

By Simba (Simba) on Sunday, August 08, 2004 - 10:21 am: Edit

Mom101: Historical Stock market performances

Best: Dem President + Republican Congress
next: Dem President + Dem Congress
next: Repub President + Dem Congress
WORST: Repub President + Repub Congress

By Marite (Marite) on Sunday, August 08, 2004 - 10:38 am: Edit

A Marine faces fallout from Arab film
Candor draws superiors' ire; he may leave
By Mark Mazzetti, Los Angeles Times | August 8, 2004

WASHINGTON -- For most of the central figures in the Arab-produced documentary film "Control Room," the grisly images that emerged from the US invasion of Iraq last year were no cause for a change of opinion.

The exception is a Marine lieutenant named Josh Rushing.

Rushing, who was a Central Command spokesman assigned to escort the documentary makers during their time in Qatar, is among the film's most sympathetic characters. He is portrayed as a thoughtful young man moved over time by the grim reality of war.

At no point is he shown doubting the justness of the US effort in Iraq, yet the film documents a friendship between Rushing and an Al Jazeera reporter, Hassan Ibrahim. There are also moments on camera when Rushing is wrestling with the film's central themes: war, bias and the Arab world's strongest media outlet.



CNN: Iraq shuts Al-Jazeera's Baghdad office
Qatar-based TV network to close in capital for one month
Sunday, August 8, 2004 Posted: 6:10 AM EDT (1010 GMT)

Iraq police enter Al-Jazeera's Baghdad bureau Saturday.

BAGHDAD, Iraq (CNN) -- Iraq's interim government has closed the Baghdad office of the Qatar-based Al-Jazeera television network for one month, citing national security concerns.


By Sfe (Sfe) on Sunday, August 08, 2004 - 12:38 pm: Edit

Mom101: Don't sell everything yet -

Results from the study below were presented by the program Wall Street Week with Fortune (on PBS) in January 2004.


"...A close examination by the two researchers of the stock market's average performance during Republican and Democratic presidencies reveals that returns are much higher when a Democrat is in office..."

"...Under Democratic presidents, the average excess return of investments in the stock market over the three-month Treasury bill is about 11 percent. Under Republicans, it is less than two percent..."


re: your question about not many conservatives on the board.

I don't really know the answer either, but I believe "liberal" views now correlate highly with education in this country (hence all the stereotypes of "liberal" universities and professors).

A generation or two ago that was not the case - in my parents' generation (they are now in their 80's/90's), being an upper-middle-class professional usually meant being a Republican. The demographic statistics I have seen say that Republicans are now groups like middle-class small-town businessmen, wealthy people without advanced education, etc., while being an upper-middle-class professional - especially on the two coasts - now correlates with being Democratic. Anecdotally, in my own family this has certainly played out - my father is a retired Air Force pilot/ surgeon who is a lifelong Republican (although I have to say that even he, at the age of 92, who voted for Bush in 2000, is violently opposed to Bush's reelection!! Who says you can't teach an old dog ...). On the other hand, all six of my siblings, in their 40's and 50's, are upper-middle-class or above doctors, engineers, physicists, university professors, and are all Democrats.

These are all just demographic generalities of course, but the research I've read sure correlates with my observations living in various parts of the country. I suspect that on a board dealing with obtaining higher education, there is a preponderance people who are reasonably well-educated and a lot who are upper-middle-class (since the "get into the right school" obsession is largely not an obsession of the inherited-wealth class or the extremely poor). So voila: a lot of upper-middle-class professionals = a lot of liberals.

By Simba (Simba) on Sunday, August 08, 2004 - 12:44 pm: Edit

My liberal brainwashing master David Brokowitz(?) of NOW interview the writer director of Control Room. She is a facinating young woman. Half Egyptian, half American.

By Mom101 (Mom101) on Sunday, August 08, 2004 - 01:41 pm: Edit

Thanks guys for the info re what happens in the markets with a Dem pres. Very, very interesting. Sfe, my 14 year old commented the other day that it was interesting to her how different the 2 coasts are politically. We live in the E during the last election and the W for this one. Upper middle class demographics of the towns almost identical. She noted that in CA there were 2 kids who vopted Rep in their mock election and in CT 2 Dems!

By Patient (Patient) on Sunday, August 08, 2004 - 02:06 pm: Edit

Sfe...I loved your post. My 86 year old dad reports via email that he just went down to Democratic headquarters the other day to register and volunteer to help during the campaign. He lives in a swing state so I imagine they welcome all volunteers. My family has also evolved over the years from staunch Republicans.

By Simba (Simba) on Sunday, August 08, 2004 - 02:16 pm: Edit

Could it be that the present day republican party has swung to extreme right due to the infusion of Cal Thomases or Ralph Reeds?

By Dstark (Dstark) on Sunday, August 08, 2004 - 02:21 pm: Edit

Marite, thanks for the links.

By Perry (Perry) on Sunday, August 08, 2004 - 02:45 pm: Edit

>Could it be that the present day republican party has swung to extreme right due to the infusion of Cal Thomases or Ralph Reeds?>

No, the republican party has swung off the planet because of Vice President Cheney, who is the architect behind much of Bush's policies and who has orchestrated the most secretive government since the Nixon administration.

By Marite (Marite) on Sunday, August 08, 2004 - 02:58 pm: Edit


I watched The Control Room in the wake of the Abu Ghraib scandal and was so proud to count Josh Rushing as part of the US military in Iraq. He came across as articulate, thoughtful, humane as well as deeply patriotic. If anyone could win over skeptical Iraqi civilians over to the American side, it was he. It saddens me that he has apparently been silenced.
I did not, incidentally, get the impression from watching the film that Al Jazeera was unbiased, always reliable source of information. The film clearly showed the sympathies of the journalists involved, and the fact that some of them really needed some training in journalistisc ethics. But it also showed where they are coming from and what their audiences expect of them. Not very different from Fox news, after all.

By Sfe (Sfe) on Sunday, August 08, 2004 - 04:54 pm: Edit

Mom101 - Interesting about CT vs. CA. I haven't lived in the Northeast since I was a child so have no recent direct experience there. But my sibs in several places on the East Coast, from DC and further south, report communities very similar to mine here in the extended SF Bay Area in terms of demographics and political viewpoints.

Patient - Sounds like we should get our dads together!

Simba and Perry - Actually I think the changing demographics of the Republican party antedates either of your contentions re: who's responsible. I think it began in the famous Republican "Southern strategy" that really gathered steam under Nixon in 1968. Before that time, the Democrats were a coaliton of more progressive Northern voters and a conservative Southern bloc. The Republicans also contained a more liberal Northern wing ("Rockefeller Republicans") and a conservative base. Then in the 1960's, the Republicans made a conscious and very successful effort to take away the conservative (and often racist at the time) Southern bloc from the Democrats (I personally say "good riddance - the Republicans are welcome to them) but it has had profound effects on the demographics of the two parties.

The ironic thing, from my point of view, is that it seems to have taken many traditional Republicans a long time to recognize that while they haven't left the party, the party has left them! The Republican party's ideology today bears very little resemblance to the Republican party of my father's generation (which he has finally realized). And it says something about the persistence of people's party identification that so many progressive Republicans have remained in the party while it has veered more and more to the extreme right with deliberate appeals to fundamentalist religions, states' rights, and even some sub rosa racist elements (and please, I'm not saying all Republicans are closet racists - all those people used to be Democrats anyway, so both parties have plenty to be ashamed of in that regard historically).

I sometimes hope that Bush et al have carried things far enough to the right that the less extreme Republicans (like my dad and Patient's) are finally jumping ship!

By Simba (Simba) on Sunday, August 08, 2004 - 05:15 pm: Edit

Goodchocolate - a 17 yr old kid had an observation. "Not all Republicans are racists, but most racists are Republicans".

By Xiggi (Xiggi) on Sunday, August 08, 2004 - 05:32 pm: Edit

Simba, the 17 yr kid might have excuses to post such a ignorant and offensive "observation".

What are yours?

By Mom101 (Mom101) on Sunday, August 08, 2004 - 05:51 pm: Edit

You make very good points Sfe. The interesting thing would be to see how many people today religiously vote with their party. Anyone know?

By Perry (Perry) on Sunday, August 08, 2004 - 07:33 pm: Edit

Sfe --

I would differ about party realingment only in that the Democrats played a critical role in their own demise starting with the McGovern campaign's reforms of the party. Whatever you may say, party leaders selecting presidential candidates in smoke filled rooms worked. With greater reliance on choosing presidential candidates via primaries, the party became the captive of leftist activists, who never got the point that they were out of the mainstream and were responsible for the Democrats being out in the cold. Clinton had it right in trying to move the party back to the center, and Kerry appears to be trying to follow the same formula.

By Dstark (Dstark) on Sunday, August 08, 2004 - 07:38 pm: Edit

Marite, I thought Josh Rushing was great.
I don't think Al Jazeera is unbiased, but I do like seeing a different viewpoint from what we are spoonfed. The reporter who said he would leave Al Jazeera for Fox in a minute because of money was great as was the young boy who was so angry at the Americans.
Sfe, you are right about the Republican party.
What happened to the Democratic party? That party just rolled over and died. Where is the fight for the common man that the Democratic Party used to be engaged in? Now we have Kerry...the richest candidate ever. Having said that, Bush has to go.

By Perry (Perry) on Sunday, August 08, 2004 - 07:46 pm: Edit

FDR also had sizeable wealth, fought for the common man, and was denounced by corporate fat cats and arch conservatives of the time for being a socialist. FDR was anything but a socialist; he was, in fact, a fiscal conservative. In brief, Kerry's wealth has nothing to do with how he would implement his policies if elected.

By Thedad (Thedad) on Sunday, August 08, 2004 - 10:24 pm: Edit

Just a couple of quick notes...I'm on a tight schedule...please, nobody take offense if I don't respond to something you said.

Party evolutions: the Democratic Party spent much of its time in the wilderness due to a reflexive anti-military...as opposed to anti-Vietnam War...stance that flooded the party with George McGovern in 1972. (I wrote in Scoop Jackson.)

Jimmy Carter is a great human being but his ineffectual response to the Iran hostage crisis only deepened the view that the Dems could not be trusted on defense matters and then in 1988 we had the stupid image of Michael Dukakis looking like Rocky-the-Squirrel while riding a tank.

Clinton won despite being a draft dodger of the legal variety and, anent Bosnia, Kosovo, et al actually showed some gumption about using American military power despite hypocritical naysaying from the Congressional GOP (anything Clinton proposed was bad). I do wish he had overridden the GOP's objections and gone into Bosnia sooner: the siege of Sarajevo and the massacre of Srebenica are two moral black marks for which we bear partial responsibility by failing to act.

So this is one track of party re-alignment.

The other is the Southern gambit started by Richard Nixon with intellectual underpinnings from Kevin Phillips (THE EMERGING REPUBLICAN MAJORITY) that had the GOP welcome culturally conservative white Southerners who didn't feel at home in the Democratic party as a result of the civil rights movement and legislation...they defected to the GOP in droves.

Okay, the time scale of this stuff is not quite glacial but needs to play out over a number of election cycles. Except for the narrow GOP loss in the Watergate-tinged year of 1976, these trends contributed to a strong Republican position for the years 1972-1992.

But something funny has happened on the way to the permanent Republican majority. On a time delay basis, the center of gravity in the GOP has swung to the Southern states so that now the tail has become the dog. Once solid Republican states in the northeast and midwest have--on a time delay--trended Democratic. New England, once solidly Republican, is now a Democratic bastion. New Hampshire is a swing state and I bet five bucks right now that it goes for Kerry in this election. Illinois used to be a bellwether state...it's now safely Democratic. Ohio used to be staunchly Republican...Gore bailed out too early last time and it's a battleground state this time. The GOP influx in the House has bought them a good 10-year run but, with the same time-delay, while the South is increasingly GOP, Republican seats in the northeast and midwest are now often flipping to Democratic once the Republican incumbent retires. Similar trends in the Senate. In fact...and you heard it here first...*if* Kerry wins and *if* control of the Senate is close, watch three Republican senators: Lincoln Chafee of Rhode Island and both Susan Collins and Olympia Snow of Maine. All three have been increasingly marginalized within the GOP, often referred to as RINO's (Republicans In Name Only) and it wouldn't surprise me if they followed Jim Jeffords out of the Republican party.

Mom101, should the blessed event of the Kerry revolution seem imminent, let's talk. I'm on the real estate side of things and have a not bad track record of figuring out how things are going to slide. I called each year in the 1990's fairly well, including the turnaround at the end of 1995.
Oh..another datum: the last time as many agents in my office were talking Democratic, it was 1992.

By Mom101 (Mom101) on Sunday, August 08, 2004 - 11:25 pm: Edit

Would love to talk real estate when you have time, thedad.

By Brzrk (Brzrk) on Tuesday, August 10, 2004 - 07:52 pm: Edit

Thedad, that was the most well-written post I have ever read in any thread regarding politics.

By Riflesforwatie (Riflesforwatie) on Tuesday, August 10, 2004 - 10:57 pm: Edit

Excellent post, thedad! I am disturbed, however, by the increasing divide between the South and the Northeast. Shades of 1856, anyone? I don't honestly believe another civil war could occur, but it is disturbing to me that the two major parties have become more and more sectional over the last 10 or 15 years. Except for the "left coast", Kerry has basically NO chance to win any states in the mountain West or in the Great Plains, or even in most of the South. These worsening differences could be a major roadblock to progress in anything.

As for those Senators, I'd watch Arlen Specter of PA, too (assuming he wins reelection). He's well into his 70s, I believe, so this will likely be his last term. He is the quintessential "RINO", and many GOP members are scared stiff of Arlen winning this race (he'll control the Judiciary Committee if he does). When he's not in an election year, Arlen goes left-of-center. Many conservatives in PA would rather lose Specter's seat to the Democrats but win seats in the South.

In essence, they want Specter out but they want to keep the Senate in their control. The second-in-command Republican on that committee (John Kyl of Arizona, very much a conservative), in their opinions, would be more effective at helping push Bush's expected second term judicial nominees through the Senate than Specter would be.

This is assuming Bush will win a second term (I'd put his chances at around 47-48 percent at this point), and that the GOP will keep the Senate, which is not a given. Dems are defending more seats than the Republicans, but GOP challenges to Byron Dorgan of North Dakota and Blanche Lincoln of Arkansas fell through. Right now the Democrats have to win all but two of these seats to take control:

R Campbell CO - the primary is tonight, Coors the beer magnate is leading for the GOP, but he alienates the Religious Right. Advantage Dem takeover.
R Nickles OK - Coburn the R vs Carson the D, both represented the Democratic 2CD in OK, Advantage GOP retention.
R Fitzgerald IL - Obama has this one all but wrapped up, advantage Dem takeover.
R Murkowski AK - She's still falling behind in the polls to popular Dem Knowles, advantage Dem takeover.
D Graham FL - we won't know until the primary. If Mel Martinez the R wins the primary, I'd give it to the GOP. Otherwise Democratic retention
D Edwards NC - Dem Bowles is leading heavily, possibly only on name recognition. Advantage right now Dems.
D Hollings SC - Dem Tenenbaum is mounting a heavy challenge GOPer DeMint. Advantage GOP
D Miller GA - Zig Zag Zell was practically a Republican anyway. Advantage GOP
D Breaux LA - If this goes to a runoff in December the Dems will win it. It's looking that way since the highest candidate in the field is polling only around 35 percent, and he needs 51 to win the election in November. Advantage Dems.

If I had to guess, I'd say Martinez loses the primary in Florida. So that leaves the Dems winning everything but Oklahoma, South Carolina, and Georgia. Georgia will not elect the Democratic candidate.

It all comes down to Oklahoma and South Carolina, and if the extreme conservatives in Pennsylvania vote against Specter.

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