Advice

Come December 1, I’ll have lots to say and you know I’ll say it. In the meantime:

1. If you’re depressed about the election, well, you have cause. Take the rest of the week to be depressed. Heck, take the weekend.

2. Anyone still paralyzed by liberal depression at midnight, Monday November 8 will be summarily brained with a plank. There’s too much to do to tolerate your whiny, ineffectual ass after that point.

You either lie down or you stand up.

See you in December.

107 thoughts on “Advice

  1. I’m thinking by the time December rolls about, there’ll be no more time for shoe-beating (as enjoyable as that might be in the short term, making the shoe-beatee a scapegoat). Better to think ahead to 2006 and (eventually) 2008.

    By the by, I would just like to take this moment to thank our (now newly re-elected) beloved president for my renewed, rejuvenated, and now strengthened interest in politics.

  2. on the bright side, I’ve finally found conclusive evidence that the majority of Americans are in fact out of their goddamn minds. Time to start writing that thesis…

  3. I’m allowing myself one day to be depressed. Today. But I’m actually too furious to be depressed, so maybe by the weekend I’ll have expended too much energy via my rage. Time to use my rage wisely.

    And John, if you don’t administer the shoe beating, then I don’t want one. So there.

  4. I think the far bigger issue is why the Democratic Party can’t come up with a Presidential candidate (in two elections) that appeals to a broader section of the population. That, and losing 8 Congressional seats in 2 years, should force the Democratic leadership into taking a good, hard look at where the party is and where it should be going.

    I say this as a Republican who voted for Kerry, by the way.

    (And, honestly, why are people angry? Disappointed, sure, even frustrated, but angry? I don’t get it.)

  5. Steve says:
    “I think the far bigger issue is why the Democratic Party can’t come up with a Presidential candidate (in two elections) that appeals to a broader section of the population. ”

    TWO elections? Other than Clinton, you’re going back to Kennedy and/or LBJ to REALLY get to an appealing democrat. Carter was the Anti-Ford. Mondale, Dukakis, Gore, and Kerry. That’s not saying much.

  6. I’d like to take this opportunity to announce that the shooting portion of next war will begin in February, 2007. Evil enemy to be determined.

  7. I love the your premise, Mr. What: If anyone disagrees with you and your viewpoint they are, as you so poetically stated, “out of their goddamn minds”.

    We Americans can either find common ground or we can continue in our divisiveness and watch our nation crumble.

    Yes, I voted for Bush. I do not agree with all of his policies and he is flawed, but then again so are we all.

    Do you care to know why I voted for Bush?
    Just ask.

    thane

  8. Thane, we are all flawed. But you had to be out of your goddamned mind to vote for Bush, when Kerry is so much smarter, tougher, and decent, it isn’t funny.

    I also agree that we need to find common ground, but it needs to be in reality. It’s easy to verify that most of what Bush and his campaign was telling us is untrue. Bush was asleep at the wheel before 9/11 and could have done more to prevent it. Saddam was not associated with Al Qaeda. Saddam did not have WMD. Invading Iraq did not help the war on terror. The tax cuts didn’t create jobs, they destroyed them. The list goes on. I suppose we could all be happier if we joined Bush in his deluded folly, at least for a moment before the consequences caught up with us, but I think not. If we are to bring this country together, it needs to be on the basis of solving the real problems we face, not on the basis of the big-lie propaganda and divisive wedge issues we have been getting.

    It would be nice if Bush were to turn over a new leaf and bring us together. Unfortunately, I can’t expect it. I am willing to be pleasantly surprised, but he has proven, over and over, that he is a divider, not a uniter. Realistically, the right-wing politicians aren’t going to change their stripes, especially now when they are making out like bandits. But the American people could decide to not drink the kool-aid at any time, and their leaders inevitably will have to follow. So why not have it start with you? You’re going to have to come over to the reality-based community eventually. The sooner you can, the less damage we’ll all have to clean up. Think it over.

  9. For what it’s worth, I think that when one takes to calling 60 million people “out of their goddamned minds,” it says more about the speaker than it does about the 60 million people…

  10. “Do you care to know why I voted for Bush?”

    Do you care if I favor my own hypothesis on the matter?

  11. Whoops, that was me, up there. I’m no Anonymous.

    Anyway:
    “For what it’s worth, I think that when one takes to calling 60 million people “out of their goddamned minds,” it says more about the speaker than it does about the 60 million people…”

    Yet Anatole France still observed that if 60 million people do a stupid thing, it is still a stupid thing.

    Okay, that was a paraphrase. But apt enough.

  12. Anonymous writes:

    “Do you care if I favor my own hypothesis on the matter?”

    That’s about the limit of incivility for today, folks. Try not to get any nastier than that.

  13. TomB wrote:

    It would be nice if Bush were to turn over a new leaf and bring us together. Unfortunately, I can’t expect it. I am willing to be pleasantly surprised, but he has proven, over and over, that he is a divider, not a uniter. Realistically, the right-wing politicians aren’t going to change their stripes,

    Tom, you are sadly proving my point for me. As Brian so plainly stated, 60 million people voted for Bush. You can seem to accept the fact that “most” people don’t see things the way you do. You want the Republicans to “change their stripes”. You are merely “willing to be surprised” by 60 million people changing their POV so that it matches up with yours.

    You, like phh, care more about your own POV than you do our country as a whole. I can give some ground for the betterment of the country. Can’t you?

    thane

  14. We’ve got problems. The Dems threw record amounts of cash, energy and activism at a mediocre and not very popular incumbent, and _still_ lost. I think the cracks about Americans being stupid are just a way of not dealing with the real issues.

  15. Actually, Scott, I do care because the lack of civil discourse in this country about things that matter is a serious problem.

    Several weeks before the election I spent over an hour discussing political issues with an acqaintance who worked tirelessly for the Kerry campaign. He went door to door for his candidate, made phone calls and who knows whatever else. He and I are on opposite sides of the political spectrum but we talked about the issues that concerned us both with civility and respect for one another.

    I could agree with many of his points and he could mine and I suspect that if we all sat down there are many things that we could agree on as well as many that we don’t. The problem is that people are not willing to even find out what they agree on because there are many things with which they do not.

    What do you want to do? Do you want more partisan bickering or do you want to find out were we agree and start fixing things from there? You decide.

    thane

  16. “That’s about the limit of incivility for today, folks. Try not to get any nastier than that.”

    I didn’t regard the comment as particularly nasty per se, but I see your point. Mea culpa.

    “I think the cracks about Americans being stupid are just a way of not dealing with the real issues.”

    I disagree. I’ve criticized both sides; but you didn’t see both just now.

  17. Steve wrote: “I think the far bigger issue is why the Democratic Party can’t come up with a Presidential candidate (in two elections) that appeals to a broader section of the population. That, and losing 8 Congressional seats in 2 years, should force the Democratic leadership into taking a good, hard look at where the party is and where it should be going.”

    Speaking as a dyed-in-the-wool ultrapartisan Democrat, we could start by not patronizing, slandering, and condescending to people who disagree with us.

    We start our arguments, most often, with ‘Why are you so stupid?’ I leave the result as an exercise for the reader.

  18. And what we’ve just seen here is an example of something I’ve noticed a lot of Democrats (including some non-Democrats who voted for Kerry, such as John himself) doing: They take the stance that, if you voted for Bush (or even, sometimes, if you vote Republican), not only have you missed the great things about their candidate/party, but you’re clearly too stupid, deluded, insane, pick-your-adjective to possibly understand why you’re wrong.

    Aside from it being condescending and generally insulting, it tends to turn off the moderates you might otherwise bring to your view.

    (And, please, let’s not make John Kerry out to being some sort of political messiah. As a moderate Republican, I voted for Kerry because I feel the Bush administration let me down in a variety of ways, but John Kerry’s political record is nothing to get excited about. Frankly, I’m more than a little disappointed that Kerry’s the best the Democratic party could do, some of the folks he ran against in the primaries.)

  19. “Actually, Scott, I do care because the lack of civil discourse in this country about things that matter is a serious problem.”

    Your call, of course. But, as I mentioned, I wouldn’t have characterized my comment as being uncivil at all.

    “What do you want to do? Do you want more partisan bickering or do you want to find out were we agree and start fixing things from there? You decide.”

    My course will probably defined at least in some part by those who remain in power. Right now it’s wait and see.

  20. And before I can post, epistole makes my point for me. :)

    See? Even “dyed-in-the-wool ultrapartisan Democrats” think this might be a problem.

  21. Okay, everyone time for the post election pledge. Repeat after me:

    I promise to… Support the President, even if I didn’t vote for him….. Criticize the President, even if I did vote for him….. Uphold standards of civilized discourse in blogs and in media while pushing both to be better…. Unite as a nation, putting country over party, even as we work together to make America better.

    snarfed from buzzmachine.com

  22. Brained with a plank

    Scalzi says: “Anyone still paralyzed by liberal depression at midnight, Monday November 8 will be summarily brained with a plank. There’s too much to do to tolerate your whiny, ineffectual ass after that point.”…

  23. thane, I’m all about civil discourse. That doesn’t mean I have to like people or pretend that they’re my friends when they hold views that, in essence, say “You’re the enemy and anything bad we can do to you and yours, we will.”

    However, I do favor Miss Manners *civil* behavior, such as snubs, frigidly correct and minimal conversation when not avoidable, and shunning.

  24. Thane wrote: You, like phh, care more about your own POV than you do our country as a whole.

    Actually, no. This is not about my point of view. It is about the facts. If we are to find common ground, it must be in reality, not in delusion. Bush and the Republican leadership ran a dirty, divisive, and nasty campaign that was intended to confuse the public and get people to believe things that just aren’t true.

    Please excuse me if I feel that I don’t have to join the people who were fooled, or the people who signed on even if they did not agree with all of his policies. And please excuse my arrogance for expecting people to check the facts instead of arguing with me over statements taken out of context.

  25. TomB –

    Do you really believe that it was only the Republicans that ran a campaign of misinformation? Both sides are guilty of it. It has been this way since God was a child.

    We don’t need to argue about my “facts” and your “facts”. I could share a list of the things I consider “facts” and I doubt you’d see it my way as I am also sure that many of your “facts” would appear in many people’s eyes as opinion.

    I am sure there are things that both you and I agree on. Are you willing to expend the time to find out what they may possibly be? The best course would be to take the time to do this with those around you rather than with me though.

    thane

  26. I should add that I don’t mean any disrespect to the people who voted for Bush. As Americans, we have gone through a lot: major changes in how we live and how we bring up our children, all sorts of cultural changes, economic dislocation and uncertainty, and a terrible attack. It is natural in this kind of situation to reach out for strong leadership. The tragedy is that Bush is not that strong leader: he is weak and brittle, confused, incompetent, and dishonest, a mis-leader if there ever was one. But many had already placed their trust in Bush, not in who he really is, but in who they hoped he would be, or need him to be. This kind of trust is not easy to withdraw. I can admire them for their loyalty, even though it is misplaced, and I can wince in sympathy for how poorly they have been served. But I can’t save them, not that they would listen to me, and they may listen to Bush, but Bush isn’t likely to stop mis-leading them. So there just isn’t any way out of this mess other than for all Americans, from all walks of life, to start figuring it out themselves.

  27. “Do you really believe that it was only the Republicans that ran a campaign of misinformation? Both sides are guilty of it. It has been this way since God was a child.”

    The difference between the Republican and Democratic campaigns was like that between night and day. The Republican campaign was fundamentally based on lies and smears, outrageous statements easily proved to be false. The Democratic campaign was fundamentally honest, although occasionally Kerry would make a point that could be nit-picked or where experts honestly could disagree on whether his was the best of all possible plans. The idea that both campaigns were guilty of it was part of the misinformation. Think about it this way. If you have two politicians, one honest, and the other one a liar, which one do you think is going to tell you that all politicians are liars? Besides, don’t just believe me. Check the facts.

  28. You know what really stops me from wanting to find common ground from the other side? The 11 anti-marriage equality amendments passed, forgetting about the number of them already in place. The fact that a majority of Bush voters voted for him based on “moral values,” which is code for homophobia for most of them. Your party is doing its best to make sure my gay friends are second class citizens, and by voting for Bush, you give them your endorsement on this, whether you want to or not. I know it’s petty of me, but it makes me really not care about “uniting America” or “bridging the partisan divide” or “understanding each other”. I really have no desire to understand the homophobes that make up most of your party, and I certainly do not want to be united with them. (I’m not accusing you of being a homophobe personally, but Bush certainly is one, and your party’s platform is actively homophobic, so watch the company you keep.)

    By the way, if we have so much in common, why have I disagreed with practically everything Bush has done since taking office?

    And I really could care less what 60 million people think. Once, most people thought the world was flat, thought the sun revolved around the earth, thought slavery was just fine.

    And I’m really responding to more of your points then I should in one comment if I want it to be coherent, but facts are facts. Are there grey areas, where you are inclined to believe one side and I the other? Sure. But there are still plenty of solid facts out there.

  29. Ted -

    Sure, there are plenty of things that divide us and I will opening admit that I am in favor of civil unions for homosexuals – unions that bestow the same legal status of those that are married. I don’t think, however that the definition of marriage should be changed to include same-sex unions. Perhaps I am merely splitting semantic hairs here but I feel it is important.

    I am not homophobic but I do have a differing opinion about how this injustice ought to be handled. Yes, it is an injustice that same-sex unions are not granted the same legal status of opposite-sex unions.

    Is there nothing in the Democratic platform that you disagree with, Ted? I’m sure there is something, yet you have not distanced yourself from the Democratic party. Neither party is perfect. Somewhere in the middle is where we should be. We need to work together so that the best parts of each party get implemented.

    Well, that’s my peace.

    thane

  30. I don’t think it’s about stupidity or insanity. I sort of wish it was. I think that 60 million people voted for W because they’re scared, and they really, truly believe that W will protect them. People do weird things when they’re scared. Like voting for someone who is trying to dismantle their rights while funneling as much money to his friends as possible under the guise of protecting “the people” from terrorism.

    Iran or Bust! That draft is gonna be fun for y’all under the age of 25. And for their parents and loved ones.

  31. There are many good reasons why democrats ‘condescend”. If your core value system is to reduce human misery, of course you’re not going to understand republican values, which seem to be focused on everyone having simply the worst life possible. (we have to FORCE women to give birth, because she had SEX, OMG!!!, and then complaining when they have to pay taxes to feed kids, and then wondering why the kids are so dumb when they don’t even get proper nutrition) Because the core values are so different, it’s really hard to understand. I simply don’t get what the point of ruining people’s lives is. Maybe they think it’ll be better in heaven, but for us, stuck here on earth, we need to have a decent country.

    That’s why many of us are so angry. I want this country to be a good country, not just a cesspool of crap. I am from TN. Our state is for crap because people only vote based on the stupidest issues possible, not those that actually affect their lives. We are angry because we actually love our country. We want it to be the best in the world. We actually care about things that affect our lives, not what bob and steve do. I don’t care if gay people all got married twenty times over, it wouldn’t affect the people who are up in arms about it.

    If women got abortions, well, their lives would actually improve, as women can use their energy to make everyone’s lives better, not just be miserable and sick and abuse the kid. But noooo, they don’t care about what happens on earth. If someone wants to ruin your life based on nothing more than misinfomation and lies, I hope you’d be mad at them.

    I am the one who has to pay for their bad decisions. I don’t get a choice. If they make birth control really hard to get, I suffer. If they make gay people’s lives miserable, I suffer too. If they are against black people, I suffer. If our economy keeps on being crappy, I suffer. We care because we suffer from their stupidity.

  32. Thane –

    That’s grand sentiment, and with a different Republican leader running things, I’d buy it.

    But the evidence of the past four years doesn’t support your faith in the GOP. It has chosen to win elections through the overtly political tactic of dividing the electorate along a few wedge issues. Please don’t use some tired “well, so do the Democrats” arguments, because (a) yes, they have, and (b) no matter which political party does it, it’s still bad for voters.

    I look at the narrow mandate that the GOP currently has, and particularly at the leadership currently in place, and reflect on its record of the past decade, and I do not see any particular interest or desire on their part to achieve “unity” and work towards “bipartisanship”. From a realpolitik perspective, with their clear majorities there’s no real need to, of course.

    But from the perspective of an American who has to LIVE IN THIS COUNTRY, I’m faced with the prospect of having a radical agenda force-fed to me over the next two (or possibly four or more) years by a party that has intentionally written off nearly half the population of this country.

    In other words, the GOP has successfully replaced the ‘liberal monster government’ it demonizes. And what’s more, I don’t see any moderate, centrist, or main-stream GOP in charge. I see a GOP that has skewed ever more radically to the right over the past several elections.

    I doubt I’m alone in seeing that.

    This leads me to sympathizing with some of the comments posted here: amazement and disbelief. The radical right-wing of the GOP has ridden to power on the backs of people who are not measurably benefited by their being in office — and in many cases are *adversely* affected materially, legally, and socially by GOP policies — because the GOP has been able to realize a winning political tactic: riding ‘wedge issues’ (this “moral value” bidniz we’ll be hearing of for months now).

    Were the wingers of the GOP not so obviously in control of the party, I doubt there would be such strong feeling. A centrist (or tradionally conservative) GOP that found a winning political tactic would be perfectly fine (at least for a crazed moderate like myself — and, I suspect, for large chunks of the country).

    I can understand why intelligent, articulate, and self-reflective moderates would vote Republican. I can understand why moderate politicians remain with the Republican party. There’s advantages to trying to retake the party, reshape it toward centrism and the like, and being among those few “decisive” politicians in what is still a relatively even congress — for crucial party-line votes — gives a moderate Republican a lot of clout for his/her agenda, and that of the constituency.

    But I ask if that’s sufficient benefit for the costs being incurred.

    Thane, if I’ve understood you correctly, and correctly inferred your political positions on the matter, then this is clearly a point of departure for the two of us. I see the vibrant passion of the Republican center and find it appealing, but I’ve also seen that center repeatedly bite its lip and let the wingnuts to the right — and extreme right — freely have their say, and continually (and progressively) hijack the message and direction of the GOP. It was painful to me to see this with Republicans I’ve particularly admired, respected, and supported — John McCain, for example.

    I further wince when I see how these Republican moderates appear to become more and more marginalized in their own party, to the point that the national GOP aggressively supports wingers against some of their most successful and popular moderates (reference Arlan Spector). That suggests to me that any benefits to be had from continuing association with the GOP (assuming you haven’t bought wholesale into their radicalism) will not only be limited, but potentially short-lived. To wit: the party is _purging_ itself in a deliberate effort to radicalize.

    THAT worries me tremendously. I would be just as vociferously against a powerful Democratic party purging its centrists to move radically to the left. Radicalism in politics = tremendously bad idea.

    But please don’t misunderstand. I would welcome being wrong on this. I not only would welcome it, I pray that I am. There’s certainly precedent: Reagan (term 2) swung center, and in doing so cemented his legacy. But given the rather bleak historical precedent of the GOP under Bush II (term 1), I’m sadly quite certain that such a thing is terribly unlikely.

    As a result, I’ve become a powerful supporter of the opposition. And again, this is realpolitik. Given how the US system works, the only meaningful opposition party is the Democratic party — yes, even with all its warts and flaws.

    And honestly, I have a REAL opportunity to affect the direction and message of a revitalized and rebuilt Democratic party. As opposed to an increasingly radical (and progressively entrenched) GOP.

    Sorry this has gotten so long, I promise to keep my next few posts quite short ;)

  33. Yeah, I’m with Shannon here–sometimes I get mad at how “stupid” people on the right are because I care about them and everyone else in this country, and it’s hard for me to think of anyone as actively evil.

    It seems to me like they don’t give a damn about the other people they share the country with–they want to take away my rights and everyone else’s to basic things, like freedom to not be shoehorned into a life I don’t want (as, say, an evangelical housewife). They do nothing to help alleviate poverty, injustice, and misery, and usually seem to be trying to worsen those conditions. I see my world and all the amazing, hurting, beautiful people in it, and I fight back tears–even when things are getting better, it can’t happen fast enough.

    So no, I can’t understand why anyone would actively seek to make things worse for more people. It comes across as an attitude of “I’ve got mine, so f*** you all.” So to me, the thought that such people are stupid is a charity and a comfort. I don’t want to believe that they are simply evil.

  34. Thane wrote: “What do you want to do? Do you want more partisan bickering or do you want to find out were we agree and start fixing things from there? You decide.”

    I want the erosion of civil liberties to stop (such as people being raided by the FBI based on the books they buy and internet searches they run; or the federal government having unfettered discretion to name anyone they want as an “enemy combatant” ineligible for trial or legal counsel, or people being prevented from travelling because they have a name on the “No-Fly” list and there is no mechanism to correct the “No-Fly” list.)

    If you don’t agree with me that these are bad things, then we can’t work together.

    If you do agree with me that these are bad things, please explain to me how you expect they will be stopped, now that Bush has a majority in both houses, and will be able to appoint whichever judges he thinks will support his policies to the Supreme Court?

    I really am trying to find common ground, here, but I am very, very frustrated, since I don’t see any indication that Bush and Co. cares about average citizens who disagree with him. The only things that seem to make a difference are the checks and balances of the system, and those are in danger right now.

  35. “(we have to FORCE women to give birth, because she had SEX, OMG!!!, and then complaining when they have to pay taxes to feed kids, and then wondering why the kids are so dumb when they don’t even get proper nutrition)”

    Quite possible the worst argument I’ve ever heard. If you can’t do the time, don’t do the crime. Not saying having sex is a crime, but the fact that one life is expendable at the cost of someone having “made a mistake” is insane. What ever happened to the concept of personal accountability and taking responsibility for your actions?

  36. The truth is, thane, that I could not care less about why, you, personally voted for Bush. It’s not really that important. What matters is the fact that Bush won the election because a large number of religious fundamentalists turned out to vote against gay marriage, putting Bush, who has been elevated to cult-leader status, over the top.

    Your personal reasons are hardly relevant from my point of view, only because unless you belong to that wave of fundamentalist protestant voters, you’re really not responsible for putting Bush in the White House. So, no, I really don’t want to know your reasons, because they were probably based on false premises or unrelated to issues that concern Bush’s base. But now that you know what this election was all about, the question is how to get you to vote for Democrats in the next election. I figure that should be pretty easy, unless your a fundamentalist protestant or a fundamentalist libertarian.

  37. I’ll bite… I really would like to know why you voted for Bush. I try to fight against making comments about how stupid Bush supporters must be… I constantly try to understand those that support this man who I feel is the worst President of my lifetime by a fair margin… I ask and I ask. Why do you support Bush? The answers I get are invariably: A) Religious based, which should have little to no bearing in American politics B) Purely Partisan C) Feeling “safer” despite no proof that we are any safer than we once were, or D) Based on Republican disinformation that can be disproved as simply as clicking on factcheck.org

    So truly. Why?

  38. Because personal accountibilty only seems to apply to certain people. Bush lied to us, deliberately, over and over, and people died, adults, with functioning brains and he is not accountable for that. But someone’s condom breaks, and they have to suffer for thier entire life so you can get your jollies? It’s not like you even care about the fetus because when it’s born it can die of poor medical care, it can go hungry and become retarded, but you don’t care. If you don’t care about a grown human being, a blob of flesh can’t be that important.

    I don’t believe in personal responsibilty because I do not get off on suffering. I don’t see why you have to try to ruin people’s lives, just because you hate women and children. Don’t lie and say you give a fuck about them- if you did, you’d try to make their lives better.

  39. Shannon says:

    “I don’t believe in personal responsibilty because I do not get off on suffering. I don’t see why you have to try to ruin people’s lives, just because you hate women and children. Don’t lie and say you give a fuck about them- if you did, you’d try to make their lives better.”

    That’s just sad. People make choices every minute of every day of their lives. Sometimes those choices end up being wrong and their life takes a dive for a while. The only way that I know of to make it better is to take personal responsibility for the actions that lead to the bad choice, learn from the mistake and move on.

    Expecting other people to do it for you only leads to dependence and a prolonging of the situation.

  40. Yeah, I hate women and children. I bet my wife, kids, nieces, nephews, children of all my friends, and the children that I’ve watched over and cared for and their mothers would love to know that.

    As for the rest of your rant, what if the unborn child is perfectly healthy? Is it ok just to kill it on the CHANCE that something might go wrong? That’s sad.

    Why is the ability to maintain a personal lifestyle of one person more important than the actual LIFE of another?

    “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

  41. “Why is the ability to maintain a personal lifestyle of one person more important than the actual LIFE of another?”

    I would imagine someone on death row would ask that very same question.

    As a strictly legal matter, the Declaration of Independence is not actual law here in the US, so using it in a quasi-legalistic sense is not very useful.

    Also, unless we are going to bring something new to the abortion debate (which my the rhetoric here I see we are not) let’s table that particular discussion and move on.

  42. Thank you, Shannon, for expressing one of the most selfish and generally short-sighted arguments I’ve ever heard.

    “I don’t believe in personal responsibilty because I do not get off on suffering.”

    I’m sorry, what? If you cause a car accident where someone dies, you won’t feel bad about it? If an act of negigence on your part causes someone else to get hurt, you won’t take responsibility because you don’t “get off” on suffering? What kind of self-centered worldview do YOU have?

    I’m a moderate Republican whose views on various issues (social, economic, diplomatic, etc) haven’t changed in many years, but I find my party turning my into a Centrist as it moves farther to the right.

    Do I like this? Hell no. Do I find myself voting more and more for Democrats? Yup. But do I still consider myself a Republican, even if it means I’m in the same camp as religious fundamentalists and others I have nothing in common with?

    Yes, because I agree with more things than I don’t. Not only economically and politically, but with a lot of the basic societal views they hold. No, not the ones that say homosexuals should be locked away. Not the ones that say women are best kept at home, raisin’ the young ‘uns. But things like the importance of personal responsibility. Loving your country, even if you hate who’s in charge. Working at the problem from within, rather than without.

    “If your core value system is to reduce human misery, of course you’re not going to understand republican values, which seem to be focused on everyone having simply the worst life possible.”

    My, what narrowly focused blanket statements we’re prone to make, Shannon. You ever met a Republican? Are we all baby-killing, environment-destroying, freedom-robbing fascists?

    Gee, I never knew I was such a bad person.

  43. John Scalzi:

    “As a strictly legal matter, the Declaration of Independence is not actual law here in the US, so using it in a quasi-legalistic sense is not very useful. ”

    It may not be a law, but it’s an expression of the ideal our country was founded on that I believe too many people have forgotten. I realize that the world has changed since 1776, but I don’t believe that the original ideology and beliefs of the United States of America have changed. The basics are still the basics.

  44. Randy writes:

    “I don’t believe that the original ideology and beliefs of the United States of America have changed.”

    Nor do I. I do allow that other people’s specific interpretations of those beliefs may differ from my own.

  45. RvB- People make choices to eat hamburgers all the time- yet no one ever argues that we should refuse people care for heart disease. Only when women are involved is proper medical care withheld,just to punish. If you walked out in the middle of the street, should we just let you die?Just think for ten seconds,ok?

    Q- Because woman have rights, and if you want to deny women their right to control their own bodies, and lives, that is hate. If I was about to die, and I forced you to hook your blood stream up to mine for 9 months, and then forced you to take care of me for 18 years, what would you think? (Yea, you had a choice to be punished for- you walked by) If I took away your freedom, you would be mad. But somehow it’s ok to do this to women. At least your health wouldn’t be in danger like the women whose lives you want to ruin.
    Randy- You have misinterpreted me. Personal responsibilty is a piece of rhetoric that is used as an excuse to cause suffering. Want to take away a woman’s freedom,life and health? Personal responsibilty- that whore shouldn’t have had sex. Want parents forced into low paying jobs, and then yell at them when they don’t have good child care? Personal responsibilty- they shouldn’t have been poor. Want to bar a man from visiting his life partner in the hosptial? Personal responsibilty, he shouldn’t have been gay.

    The thing to understand is yes, the rhetoric sounds good. But what they use the rhetoric to sell you is the important thing, and the outcome of that. I don’t care if they invoke the flag and apple pie when saying that we shouldn’t have a country where people can all live a decent life, not just people who are rich. I don’t care. What I do care about is the results of their policies- and their polcies have been selfish and brutal.

    Then again, I come from TN, where they could let a thousand babies starve to death if there was a 1 cent decrease in taxes.

  46. Shannon – That’s an extremely narrowly-focused interpretation of “personal responsibility.” That aside, let’s take a quick look at your free-for-all mentality about abortion:

    You clearly support the woman’s right to choose, all the time, no matter what. I assume by “woman” you mean any female old enough to become pregnant. Anything that impinges on that right promotes personal suffering.

    So, in your world, there’s nothing wrong with a pregnant 13 year-old aborting an 8-month fetus because it’s inconvenient to have a baby? Or am I mischaracterizing your view?

    (Disclosure: I believe in the right of a woman over the age of 18 to get an abortion in a broad but not unlimited range of scenarios. I also support fetal stem-cell research. Yes, I really am a Republican.)

    Unrestricted access to abortion to minors is, in my view, a bad idea for all the reasons we restrict rights to minors. Furthermore, and perhaps more importantly, I am totally opposed to abortion as a form of birth control, as is practiced in many other countries.

    I don’t understand your view that this should be a completely unrestricted right. We’re not _just_ talking about a woman’s body, here, are we? Hell, we don’t even (consistently) allow adults to choose how & when they die, so what makes you think that any one person (woman, obviously) should have the right to determine that over an embryo/fetus/child anytime, anywhere, and for any reason?

  47. Shannon — in Japan until very recently, the only real form of birth-control available was abortion, and for the most basic of reasons: a deep-rooted social sexism meant that men disdained the use of condoms, and even until recently to stem spread of STDs. Women were not legally allowed to use the pill (although there was definitely a grey/black market for them) and the unique social mores of the country meant that sex ed in school was (to put it mildly) pathetic, even by comparison to the United States.

    The government finally got a clue and approved the pill, as well as sex ed in classrooms, and the promotion of condoms to fight STDs has had a ripple effect generally.

    Now that there are other options, people are thrilled to have them, and abortion rates have plummeted.

    I agree that abortion should be an option. But I also think there’s plenty of evidence that the best way to cut down on abortions is to provide support and alternatives. Promote contraception, birth control, strengthen the economy, etc. Don’t just ban abortions entirely.

    In that respect, I think you (especially with your asides about TN) and Steve have a lot of common ground.

  48. Before I answer I would like to ask you all some questions.

    What exactly is a “fundamentalist” by your definition? This term gets thrown about constantly and I think there are as many interpretations about what it means as there are people who use it.

    Is a person who is a Christian automatically and fundamentalist? What about Catholics? Mainline protestants?

    I am a Christian and if you immediately paint me as a “fundamentalist” without having the slighted clue about what my beliefs are you have written me off and, dare I use the term, disenfranchised me from society.

    thane

  49. Shannon, I’m sorry that you feel that way. I would never refer to a woman as a “whore” for having sex. Many people have sex, you could look it up. Heck, I’VE even had sex. What I’m saying is, that when a person has sex, they are assuming ALL risks associated – pregnancy, condoms breaking, STD, whatever. This responsibility is NOT solely placed the woman. It’s for the man as well. If people are NOT ready for the associated consequences, they should not put themselves in the situation. And that goes for things in life outside of sex and pregnancy. I’m not a saint, I’ve done MORE than my share of taking risks that I wasn’t ready to accept the consequences, trust me. It’s taken me a LONG time to realize that the best way to be responsible to myself is to be responsible to others first.

    I’m trying to put this in as reasonable terms as I can. I know however that there are strongly differing opinions, and that’s what makes America great. That so many have voices and can use them.

    John, I’m sorry I opened this can of worms in your comment thread. I know this isn’t the forum for these ideas, and I know they’ve been thrown around before, I guess something just triggered a hot button on this today.

  50. Thane – Heh. Good point. Speaking for myself, a “religious fundamentalist” (which I think is the phrase I used) is someone of any faith who takes that faith’s ancient writings in a literal sense. Typically, I would use that to describe Christians who (IMO) take an extremely strict literal view of everything in the Bible.

    I have lots of friends and co-workers of various faiths and, to my view, none of them are what I would call fundamentalists. Not even the hard-core Republican friend/co-worker who readily admits his strong Christian faith heavily influences his political outlook.

  51. Shannon –

    I don’t know what to say. Your view of personal responsibility is — interesting. You expect me to listen to your arguments and then proceed to throw out red herrings and staw men.

    You seem to have a chip on your shoulder about women’s issues and abortion. You also seem to think that if abortion was outlawed that somehow you would be forced to raise the child to majority. There is a thing called adoption. Further, if you want anyone to take you seriously and have a rational discussion on this issue, you should try to understand why someone would consider abortion bad, tantamount to murder and thus, not want it to occur.

    Shannon, you seem to think that because I have a differing opinion, that I ‘hate’ you, Nothing could be further from the truth. Setting aside the fact that I don’t personally know you, hating someone with a differing opinion is a useless excercise if you have any level of maturity and intelligence.

    For the record, I personally don’t condone abortion, but it’s not my place to tell a women to not get one if she feels the need to. The woman getting an abortion will need to live with the consequences of her actions and itwill be up to her to decide if the decision to do so was the right thing to do for her. There’s that pesty personal responsibility thing again. Unless I happen to be the father of the child/fetus/group of cells in question, it’s not my place to say what she can do or not do. Furthermore, I believe strongly that it’s not the government’s place to tell the women she can or can’t get an abortion. I say that as a libertarian registered as a Republican.

  52. “Is a person who is a Christian automatically and fundamentalist?”

    No.

    “What about Catholics?”

    No.

    “Mainline protestants?”

    No.

    “I am a Christian and if you immediately paint me as a “fundamentalist””

    I did not. In fact, I pretty much assumed that you weren’t. My point was that unless you are, your reasons for voting for Bush will not be very enlightening. At worst, the reasons are based on false premises.

    Why did Bush win? Huge turnout against gay marriage and by many in support of a man who many regard as God’s instrument opposed to a quiet Catholic married to a woman with a foreign accent. Those voters will all get exactly what they wanted. The others were just taken along for the ride.

  53. Interesting.

    Shannon, in your own blog, dated March 27, 2004, you stated that:
    “I was reading this, and this guy is right- blame and responsibility are often confused. People say ‘responsibility’ when they mean blame. Blame is a very negative thing- it’s pretty much a punishment and a way to justify selfish behavior. If it’s all your fault, well, I don’t have any responsibility to help you. If it’s all your fault, well, you simply deserve to be belittled. But responsibility is something different- it’s not just “well, I felt like saying you were bad so I didn’t have to help anyone”, it’s like how the mom has a responsibility to take care of the baby. It’s not a big stamp that others put on her, it comes from her, organically. ”

    And in reading the article you linked, http://www.nononsenseselfdefense.com/blame_responsibility.html , it says:

    “Blame does not require you to meet any consistent standards of behavior other than what YOU feel is appropriate for the situation. Whereas, responsibility does. And it requires you to consistently meet these established standards of behavior. Responsibility isn’t about other people, it is about you.

    However, what many people miss is the fact that responsibility is not only about self, but about empowerment. Because with responsibility comes power”

    And by your OWN statements, you said you agreed with the author. What has changed your mind?

  54. Ok, one person actually asked why I voted for Bush.

    Many of you feel that Bush lied to you re: the war. I do not feel this way due to the fact that George Bush had the same intelligence information that the houses of congress had. Even foreign entities had the came to the same conclusion that Saddam had weapons of mass destruction. They, however, had financial interests bound to Saddam’s regime and as a result they opposed the war. I supported the war based on what I thought were the facts just as many have. Now that the information was shown to be flat out wrong I blame the source of the information. Right decision but based on wrong information and therefore the result was faulty.

    This is all to say that I do not feel lied to like so many of you. I feel that with Bush in office we are safer. Many of you do not feel safer. I do and now you know why I feel this way.

    You can argue my point all you want but based on the facts as I understand them this is the conclusion I came to.

    thane

  55. You feel safer because Bush was just as fooled by the information as you were?

    I think one of the reasons many of us have so many problems with Bush’s conduct vis a vis Iraq is because we don’t think he was fooled, though. We think he knew perfectly well there weren’t weapons of mass destruction or Al-Qaeda links, or at least he should have (plenty of media sources, foreign entities and even Americans came to the same conclusions before the war) and that Bush cynically exploited the credulity of, well, people like thane.

  56. As I already said, Ian, both houses of congress were “fooled” as were several other countries.

    Man, if only you were in power at that time we could have saved the gov’t billions of dollars by disbanding the FBI and CIA and been fine knowing in your infinite wisdom, the real deal all along!

    It sure is easy to claim superior knowledge after the fact now isn’t it.

    thane

  57. I would like to take this moment to publicly applaud Thane for striving so hard for civility in light of fierce and emotional opposition. Thank you, Thane, for reminding us that Republicans aren’t the slavering cartoon boogeymen that many on our side of the political spectrum seem to portray you as.

    However, I would like to offer a respectful counterpoint to the idea of “feeling safer.” Never in my life have I felt as unsafe as I have since Bush has been in office. I realize this is post-hoc-ergo-propter-hoc, but 9/11 did occur while he was in office. Could it have been prevented? Possibly…my uneducated guess would be 50/50 either way. But the fact of the matter is that it happened under his watch.

    This is what confuses me; I don’t understand why anyone can feel that the president that failed to stop the worst Amercan tragedy since Pearl Harbor (or am I missing something?), and has subsequently done little but stir up the hornets’ nest and crusade against straw men, can actually exert a positive influence on the safety of this country. When the results came in on Tuesday, my first thought was “Great, another four years of living in fear.”

    I am not a Republican. I feel a very personal, very visceral negative reaction when I even see a picture of George Bush, much less hear him speak or see that–ugh!–that unbearably smug grin. My stomach turns when I think about him on 9/12 talking about his love of Jesus in the same breath as revenge against the attacker. And yesterday felt like I was being punched in the sternum, over and over, all day long.

    But it looks like we’re stuck with him (barring an Ohio miracle–John, would you look into that?), so I want to understand the rationale that caused half this country to vote for him. And I WANT to find a reason to respect him, I really do.

    -j.

  58. Joe -

    Thanks, for the encouraging words.

    As far as respect for the president goes I can see that it will be difficult to respect a person you disagree with on many, many issues.

    I also disagree with one of the senators from my state on many, many issues — Russ Feingold and yet I cannot help but to respect him because he is a man who remains true to his principles. I, however, disagree with his principles. I find that many politicians hold true to whatever will keep them in power the longest.

    In the same vein, I believe President Bush to be a man of principle even though I do not agree with all of his principles either.

    Lastly, I urge you to respect others, even those you vehemently disagree with because it will more likely be returned that way.

    thane

  59. Randy said:

    “If people are NOT ready for the associated consequences, they should not put themselves in the situation.”

    I think a big part of the frustration/problem on this issue is that because of:

    1. Crappy jobs that you can’t even make a living on, let alone set aside for savings, buy a house, pay off debt, etc. This requires that even in a stable relationship, both parties work, and remain working at all times, just to make ends meet without kids.

    2. Heavy debt spirals induced by (1) that just get deeper and deeper with every emergency and shortfall – which are inevitably much more frequent in a life in which only the cheapest, shoddiest and most easily available food, equipment, medical care, housing and transportation are realistically an option.

    3. Economic instability that leads to severe stress from putting up with unconscionable treatment (benefits loopholes, off-the-clock required work, harassment, unsafe conditions, etc) to cling to the crappy job you have because losing it is so much of a non-option that you can’t even go there mentally without ending up on the floor in cold sweats.

    …and so on. And yes, it is that bad. I’ve been there and almost everyone I know is still there. And most of America is only one bad accident or natural disaster away from there, as well.

    Very few people in this situation are capable of being emotionally and financially “ready to deal with all the consequences of sex” at any time in their life. And I’m sorry, but to expect life-long celibacy from people living in grinding poverty and relentless stress so that they aren’t put in a position to need an abortion is simply insanity.

    Sex (whether purely mindless escapism or the result of loving huddle-together-against-the-world-ism) is often the only legal relief from all of that these people (“these people” being a huge chunk of our country’s population, by the way) have. You can’t expect people not to fall in love and marry until they are financially stable enough to adequately care for children on their own (for one thing, that happy state of affairs will simply never happen for a great majority of lower to middle class America) and you can’t expect married people not to have sex. In fact, in some of those “right wing” religions, it’s a requirement. Birth control fails (or is religiously forbidden). People mis-time things. Accidents happen and so do mistakes. And, whether you want it to be that way or not, for a lot of people in that situation, no matter what their feelings about kids, a baby is a life-threatening negative situation on many levels.

    When the rent is 2 months late, the electricity is the next on the chopping block, the boss is wavering between firing you or asking for lunch hour “specials” and the car just quit running and won’t start, the little blue cross on the pee-stick is the equivilent of throwing gas on a fire. No way are even mature and reasonable adults capable of “dealing” with that as a requirement for partaking in the only happy/pleasurable act that happens to most of them in entire their lives.

    To expect a 19 year old high school graduate with no degree and no money to get one, who responded as expected to the first person in her life who ever made her feel beautiful and wanted (and who meant it at the time) to be able to “face up to the consequences” of that mistake with the prospects that she has is sheer inanity of the worst kind. Especially when Romeo decides that hey, it was great and all, but…whoa. Kids…uh, not my style. Bye. And you can just forget about being able to squeeze child support out of his lifestyle either.

    (And knock if off already with the “she was old enough to have sex” bit. You all know when you started having sex – most of you did it far younger than your kids are ever going to hear about – and I’d be willing to bet cold hard cash that most of you know for a fact that you got lucky dodging the baby bullet. Really lucky. Pure luck, in fact. Decision-making had nothing to do with it for you, so why should you impose that requirement on anyone else simply because you know better now? You obviously didn’t listen to anyone your current age, why should they?)

    And even to expect the same “deal with it” ability from a two-income husband and wife who both absolutely must keep both of their 8-to-late jobs just to keep a roof over their heads and food on the table of the 3 kids they already can’t feed and pay for childcare they’re already a month late on, just because they turned to each other once a week to escape from their ankle-biting-Chihuahua hell of a life they’re trapped, is just as wrong and just as unrealistic.

    This is reality for a larger portion of America than most people want to believe. And it will be for a very long time at the rate we’re going.

    For most, though, drugs and alcohol add to the pregnancy issue, true. But I bet you that not one of the “fat cat” Repubs on the hill could live a reality show season in the life of the average single or married poor family – and make it work as well as they manage to – without turning to a nip or a snort by the end of the series. Throw in the news of an incipient baby, with all the emotional, physical and financial strain that entails, and I guarantee that 90% would be seen backpedaling on the issue of abortion like a pork-barrel fighter jet on full throttle.

    It’s not about choices. That sounds good on the face of things, but in reality most people don’t have the choices everyone seems to expect them to have. It’s the “born on third and thinks he hit a triple” mindset. Those who have had options and choices to steer them away from these realities somehow think that everyone else got the same choices presented to them and just somehow stupidly decided to turn them down.

    But it ain’t so. Yes, this is America. But if even if your thinking and behavior isn’t dulled by bad nutrition as a kid, dented and warped by violence around you or aimed at you, misdirected and stagnated by the inferior and mind-scrapingly tedium of a second or third rate education, or simply ignored by those who don’t want someone of “your people” getting ahead of their precious gene line, you’re still behaviorally, intellectually and emotionally bound by the negative self-images, self-talk and labels you’ve been saddled with from infancy up (and no one is capable of seeing all or even many of these that affect them, no matter how enlightened or introspective). You’re still the race you were born into, no matter how much that shouldn’t matter but does, to you and everyone around you – if you don’t believe me, as anyone who’s not a minority (or heck, anyone who is) to imagine a doctor, a lawyer, a stock-broker, a government leader or even a writer, and then describe the person they see. I’ll bet you that minority coloring or ethnicity doesn’t make the first draft. And that means that these “choices” were not ones that really existed for them. I mean, being a bikini model in the Carribean really happens. Just not to you, right? It’s an “other people” job – real, but not part of your reality. And a choice not believed in is a choice not available, no matter how unfounded the disbelief.

    Reality is this -

    Almost no one in America is in an economic position to turn away from sex until the thought of having kids is no longer gut-wrenchingly sickening.

    Not everyone got the same choices you did, no matter what the posters tell you. And if you grew up into financial stability and a loving family, most people got none of the choices you did.

    Not everyone is allowed to bat, let alone get past first base without being tagged out early in the game.

    Not everyone can make a happy choice between giving birth and eating/staying employed/living off the streets.

    And don’t even get me started on adoption. Anyone seen the mounting and apparently more common than previously thought horror-stories of foster care lately? Even if they are the minority of outcomes, there’s no way you can convince me that passing off a helpless infant into the hands of those odds is moral, justifiable or better than a quick and essentially painless death before consciousness. No way in hell.

    Okay. Folding up the soapbox. Going home. Show’s over.

  60. I know this is the wrong place for this? But does anyone have the slightest idea where I can find that classic John Scalzi opus “Southern Heritage is a Crock.”? I have searched the archives twice to no avail. Please email me @ kylaria77@yahoo.com with the URL.

  61. This thread’s getting kinda unfocussssed. We need to be more focuseder!

    Hey Ghlaghghee, get off your b**t ( :-O ) and let your magic paws dance across John’s keyboard – we know you can do it. John’s no help today, he’s off having his “hiatus”.

  62. Soni has said what I meant more eloquently than I could say it. Folks try to talk about what should have been done, but they are never there to help. For example, a person talked about birth control and sex ed. I’m all for it, but the same people who are for outlawing abortion also are for abstience only education and ‘conscience clauses’ that allow pharmacists to refuse medical care to women on random whims. They want to cause this problem, and not let us have any solutions to it. Giving birth is dangerous- and why women should have to risk their health just because some people are judgemental, I don’t know

    Randy, you fail to understand that people use the same words, but they don’t mean the same. Responsibilty is for yourself, not a means to turn your back on others. They use the word in their rhetoric to mean *not* being responsible. They ignore the responsibilties we have to others and society. Their responsibilty is closer to what I call blame. It’s just an excuse to say they don’t care about you. They just use the word responsibilty because it sounds good, gets the saps in.

    For example, a 13 year old gets knocked up. When I mean responsibilty, the girl would try to get support from family and friends, and perhaps the gov’t. Maybe she’d get an abortion, that would be taking responsibilty, maybe an adoption, although letting your kid languish in the system for years may not be the best thing, and maybe she could have it, but get support from her community, such as schools with daycare that social conservatives decry. Even if she made the wrong choice, like run away, we’d still try to help. We’d take responsibilty for the health of our communities, instead of abandoning people. That’s responsibilty there. We don’t throw people in the trash just because they have actually been born.

    However, when many republicans talk about personal responsibilty, they mean it’s not THIER responsibilty. They don’t want her to be able to fix her life- if they did, they’d let her get an abortion, or at least be able to rebuild her life. If they actually cared about born babies, they’d make it easier to have a child and give mothers their support. Instead they have decided to merely call the girl a welfare queen if she tries to get help, shame her if she doesn’t have good child care, shame her kid if she/he is hungry and can’t learn. Basically, they say “you’re on your own” and then blame the person for the situation they helped create, and abandon responsibilty for themselves.

    Also, I seem to have a ‘chip on my shoulder’ because women simply aren’t valued. There is all this worry about the fetus, but when the baby gets born, they just shrug their shoulders and say “personal responsibilty”. They don’t worry about my health, or the health of the baby when it is born. All they care about is a blob of flesh that ants are more sentinent than. Women have lives and rights and brains but apparently that just isn’t as important.

    Another thing that bothers me is that all these ‘pro lifers’ get mad if someone is pro life in practice. If a woman has a baby out of wedlock, it’s the end of the world. God forbid a black girl do it. So you can’t win. If you have an abortion, you’re a baby killer, if you leave your kid to languish, well, you’re just a bad mother, if you keep the kid, you’re a welfare queen or something.

    I think Soni is right- we’re lucky. I do not have any kids. If I did, I would be called every name in the book- I’m black and 20 years old. But I am able to not have any kids because my dad had a good job, meaning that my mom had a flexible job so she could tell me the real stuff on sex ed, not just the junk you got in school “pet your dog, not your date”, and she can afford to send me birth control every month. Also, she was able to instill in me self esteem, because she was able to be there.

    Lots of moms would love to be able to be there, but they can’t, they have to feed their kids. No amount of “you shouldn’t have had kids” will fix their situations. It’s fun to wag a finger- the mistake of building your policy on that.

  63. I’m sorry that we disagree so completely. I can’t see abortion as anything other than murder. If someone regards a fetus as “a blob of flesh” and not a life that has been created, and has begun growing and changing, thinking and feeling, then you’ll never agree that it’s murder.

    Most likely, I’ll not be able to change your mind, and you won’t be able to change mine. I guess we’ll agree to disagree and at this point, I’ll let John have his site back.

  64. “You know what really stops me from wanting to find common ground from the other side? The 11 anti-marriage equality amendments passed, forgetting about the number of them already in place. The fact that a majority of Bush voters voted for him based on “moral values,” which is code for homophobia for most of them.”

    And more than half of those amendments prohibit any for of civil union as well.

    I used to be pretty confident that within my lifetime I would be able to sponsor my partner for a green card; that even if legal marriage wasn’t available, at least some rights and privileges would be granted at the Federal level. After Tuesday, I’m no longer so sure. I feel that the American people (and the Republican party in particular) have told me that I must make a choice between my country and the most important personal relationship in my life. Why is it just that this choice has been forced upon me?

    Whatever the whys and wherefores, the choice is there and must be made. In less than a year, I will have lived in Canada long enough to apply for citizenship. Before Tuesday, hadn’t planned on doing so – I’m proud of being American – but now I’ve changed my mind. It seems to be a necessary step.

  65. Joe said,

    “This is what confuses me; I don’t understand why anyone can feel that the president that failed to stop the worst Amercan tragedy since Pearl Harbor (or am I missing something?)…”

    Pearl Harbor happened under FDR’s watch, a democrat. Anyone out there with a knowledge of history think he could have stopped that attack. Did people then blame him for not stopping it?

    9/11 was a surprise attack, Pearl Harbor was a surprise attack. What would you have Bush do on that day, shut down every airport in in the country and ground all civilian aircraft?

    In my opinion it’s stupid to blame Bush for not stopping the attacks. And just to throw out the hypothetical, if Gore had been president, I wouldn’t have blamed him either, even though I get a visceral, gut reaction thinking of him.

    And, yes, I get the same reaction when I see Kerry. All I can think of when I see the guy is Lurch from the Addams Family.

  66. That’s true. I am a meat eater, so it’d be totally illogical for me to be up in arms about a creature without a developed brain when I eat a lot more advanced creatures every single day. Much less be bothered about a fertalized egg not implanting… I also consider women sentinent life after they are born, and I tend to favor sentinent beings over non sentient. I guess we will agree to disagree.

  67. Post by TomB: “The Republican campaign was fundamentally based on lies and smears, outrageous statements easily proved to be false. The Democratic campaign was fundamentally honest, although occasionally Kerry would make a point that could be nit-picked or where experts honestly could disagree on whether his was the best of all possible plans.”

    Oh, please, Tom. I cannot take any Moore. Moveon. (Ahem).

  68. I know that truly understanding policy is not easy to do. We all have jobs and families and limited time, so researching is not a top priority for most of us. That’s why BOTH parties run negative ads. They’re counting on you not knowing the facts.

    A Kerry ad told me that Bush was against small business and that the president actually had tried to eliminate loans to small businesses. Thankfully, John Kerry saved the day.

    Now, as someone who’s about to start a new business, this surprised me. I thought Bush was the pro-business candidate. So, I did the research on this single line from a 30-second Kerry ad.

    True. Bush tried to eliminate a $79 million subsidy to the Small Business Administration. Kerry (with a vote of the Congress) saved the subsidy.

    Will Bush’s evil ways ever cease?

    Ah, but as Paul Harvey says, “Now, the rest of the story.”

    Bush was working with Hector V. Barreto (hmmm, a Latino? I thought Bush was racist), who is the administrator of the SBA.

    Relying on Barreto’s expert opinion, Bush attempted to eliminate this subsidy because (according to Barreto) it actually LIMITED the number of loans the SBA could offer to small businessmen and businesswomen.

    The fund is used to pay for fees related to 7(a) loans. The SBA (under the Bush administration), offered a record amount of 7(a) loans in fiscal year 2003, and Barreto believed the amount would only increase in 2004, because with low interest rates and Bush’s favorable tax policies to business owners, this is a good time for entrepreneurs to launch their businesses.

    The problem is, once this subsidy dries up, the loan program shuts down. As the Loan Nazi might say, “NO LOAN FOR YOU!”

    By the way, this did happen. The loans at the tail end of FY03 were halted because the fund was empty.

    Bush’s policy was to eliminate this fund and instead roll the fees into the loans themselves. After all, the business owners are benefitting from the SBA program, so it’s not out of the question to have the business owners cover some of the fees.

    The thinking is, this would lift the limits to these loans, meaning more loans out (encouraging business ownership, creating more jobs, etc.) while saving to government about $80 million. A drop in the bucket, I know, but still.

    As for Kerry’s stance, I can understand why politically AND philosophically he’d want to save this fund. I disagree with his thinking, but I can understand it. Funny, I agree with Bush and not with Kerry on this issue, yet crazy as it seems, I think both want to encourage small business ownership. Not for a second did I believe Kerry was evil. Crazy, huh?

    Anyway, if you’ve made it this far, you understand that it was easy for Kerry to say what he did in his commercial. Because it was true. So, what’s Bush to do? Buy a 5-minute commercial to explain his stance on this single, minute issue? Or, attack back with something negative?

    Shitty system we’ve built. Evidence, I think lies in the hundred or so posts above this one. I see nothing but generalized talking points from each side.

    Dems: you want to believe the BusHitler crap, go ahead. GOPs, you want to believe Kerry’s a noodle, a gold-digger or a traitor, be my guest.

    I’m keeping it real, yo.

  69. A public service announcement:

    The items on the following list are NOT facts. I know this because reasonable people can argue for and against them. That makes them OPINIONS, not FACTS.

    If you agree with one of the statements below, that makes it YOUR OPINION, not a FACT. If you strongly agree with one, then it’s your STRONGLY HELD OPINION. If you think that anyone who disagrees with the statement is either stupid, ignorant, or hypocritical (sorry John – couldn’t resist), that still doesn’t make it a fact – it just means you are so convinced of your opinion that you’ve closed your mind to other possibilities.

    Let’s all keep this in mind before we declare each other liars or ignorant fools that have been misled by others’ lies. ‘kay? Thanks.

    A list of non-facts (i.e., opinions):
    – A woman has a right to an abortion
    – A woman does not have a right to an abortion
    – Abortion is murder
    – Abortion is not murder
    – Gay people should be allowed to marry
    – Marriage should only be between a man and a woman
    – The world is a safer place without Saddam Hussein in power
    – The world is a more dangerous place now that Saddam Hussein is out of power
    – The President lied to the American people about WMD’s
    – The President told the truth about WMD’s, but based it on faulty information
    – The war in Iraq was justified
    – The war in Iraq was not justified
    – President Bush is incompetent
    – President Bush is not incompetent
    – Faith is a good and useful way to make decisions
    – Faith should never trump logic and reason when making decisions
    – President Bush deserved to be re-elected
    – John Kerry should have won the election

  70. RwB said: “Pearl Harbor happened under FDR’s watch, a democrat.”

    Which succesfully counters my argument that all Democrats are infallible. Wait, why would I say that? I’m not a Democrat. Oh, that’s right. I didn’t.

    “In my opinion it’s stupid to blame Bush for not stopping the attacks.”

    I wholeheartedly agree, which is why I didn’t blame him for not stopping the attacks. In fact, I believe I specifically said that I recognize my negative feelings toward Bush about the matter were “post-hoc-ergo-propter-hoc,” i.e., not rational. What I DID was ask a question: Why does this man make you feel safe? What has he done to make this country and its citizens safer?

    I feel that’s a fairly straightforward question.

    -j.

  71. Joe –

    Nothing the government has done post 9/11 makes me feel any safer. A determined group of terrorists will always be able to get around whatever security measures the government can think up.

  72. Joe Rybicki posted: “Why does this man make you feel safe? What has he done to make this country and its citizens safer?”

    Many reasons, but I speak only for me.

    The fact that on Sept. 12, 2001, Afghanistan was not under several mushroom clouds when, at the time, the world might have forgiven the aggression. To me, that says that the Commander in Chief is measured and resolute and trusts his military advisors.

    That in addition to military targets, Bush went after the money supply of terrorist organizations. To me, it says he’s a big stick guy, but also smart enough to attack at the heart as well as the head.

    That despite the fact that his father was the target of assassination, W. Bush didn’t level Sadaam’s castles on day one. (Hell, I think I might have soley because of that reason. Probably why I’d be a terrible politician). Instead, he brought together a coalition willing to take action against a regime that was openly defying UN resolutions – including cease-fire agreements – on a DAILY basis.

    That we captured Husein alive, when plugging him between the eyes would have been simple, as would have creating a convincing reason why we had to pull the trigger. Now, a man known to have used WMDs on a neighbor country and who created buildings specifically for torturing and killing his own country men and women, is standing trial for his crimes.

    That we have not had another plane fly into another building since 9-11-01. Sorry, but I don’t think it’s a coincidence.

    That Bush has approved funding to increase homeland disaster response teams four-fold since he took office. (You might not be aware of this, but if the bomb drops on your town or city, teams of workers have already been assembled and trained to deal with the bedlam. How do I know? I was asked to volunteer for our region and found out all about it.)

    That Bush believes bringing democracy to Iraq is a step toward a more peaceful Middle East, and his resolve to ensure elections take place in January makes me immensely proud of our fighting men and women and our president (who our troops overwhelmingly support, by the way). Agree or not, this is changing the world for the good.

    I’ll stop there, proud of myself for not insulting the French anywhere in this post, but knowing my list goes on.

  73. “Oh, please, Tom. I cannot take any Moore. Moveon. (Ahem).”

    We were discussing the Republican and Democratic campaigns, specifically the Bush and Kerry campaigns. If you want to bring up Moore and moveon.org, fine. The Right has many counterparts, from Fox News to the so-called “Swift Boat Vets for Truth”. It’s true that the polemics from Moore and others are emotional, and sometimes over the top, but what they have been doing is responsible, legitimate debate. They have been presenting one side of the truth, but it actually is the truth that they are presenting, and their facts are pretty solid. The equivalent polemics on the Right aren’t even close to the truth. They’re solid lies, easily proven false. And that’s nothing compared to the lies being told by people who are supposed to be responsible. If you compare the statements made by Bush and Cheney, not their campaigns but the candidates themselves, their exaggerations, distortions, and outright lies are so blatant and so extensive they make Michael Moore look like a saint. Sorry, but that’s the way it is.

    Our country is divided into two camps. The group that is in power calls the other group the “reality-based community”. I think that says a lot about their different attitudes towards the truth. If you want to believe that truth is relative, or that power creates truth, go ahead. But if you also believe in a vengeful God, you might want to consider that he might hate spreaders of untruth even more than He hates queers, wimpy do-good liberals, and eaters of shrimp. And if that is so, you should tell your friends to have a dust pan handy for when that lightning bolt comes down and burns you into a little pile of ashes.

  74. TomB posted: “If you want to believe that truth is relative, or that power creates truth, go ahead. But if you also believe in a vengeful God, you might want to consider that he might hate spreaders of untruth even more than He hates queers, wimpy do-good liberals, and eaters of shrimp. And if that is so, you should tell your friends to have a dust pan handy for when that lightning bolt comes down and burns you into a little pile of ashes.”

    Whoa big fella. That’s a lot to chew on.

    I’ll start with Moore vs. the Swift Boat Vets.

    Was Moore chided by the Democrats after his film hit the theaters? Nope. Keep in mind that pundits on both sides poked plenty of holes through the movie for its astounding assumptions and inaccuracies. In fact, wasn’t that Moore at DNC in a seat of honor sitting next to a former president? Not an official endorsement of his film, but at that point, it’s only a matter of semantics.

    Conversely, I saw not one Bush TV spot that questioned Kerry’s military career (despite that, in my opinion, it was pretty low-hanging fruit, what with his inclusion in the Vietnamese Communist War Remnants Museum and 3 purple hearts in 3 months). In fact, I heard the president more than once say he salutes Kerry’s service to the country.

    To my knowledge, Bush didn’t endorse the Swift Boat Vets, didn’t invite them to the RNC and never gave them the time of day.

    You want to compare to Dems’ official reaction to Moore to the GOP’s official reaction to the SBVs?

    You’re telling me I think the truth is relative?

    Speaking of truths, please read my previous post about Kerry’s ad that says Bush tried to eliminate financial support for the Small Business Administration.

    Factual? Yep.

    Truthful? Hmmm. Not by a mile.

    I guess the truth for the Dems is all relative, right? Oh, wait, only GOPs have the corner on that market.

    As for God zapping me…I guess that’s His call. But if you have the inside track to what God “hates” more, I’m impressed.

    Personally, I’m hoping for the New Testament version of the Big Guy. Because in those scriptures, hate never enters the dialogue.

  75. Todd: excellent reasons, all. I agree in substance with all of them.

    Are they sufficient returns for the continued radicalization of the (now even more) entrenched ruling party?

    I suspect that *any* President would have accomplished all the things you state, simply because they were necessary. I do not suspect that any President would have aggressively pushed through all the other (domestic and foreign) policies that promise to be so costly to this country financially, diplomatically, politically, and economically for years to come.

  76. OK, I did a bit of digging on the Kerry picture hanging in the Vietnamese Communist War Remnants Museum. The photo in question is from 1993, when Kerry was part of a delegation sent to Vietnam (in regards to MIAs and POWs) and has nothing to do with his anti-war sentiments.

    Sorry for inferring otherwise.

    Yet illustrating my point:

    Fact: Kerry’s picture hangs in that museum.

    Truth: Kerry’s picture hangs in that museum, but it has nothing to do with his politics.

    Spare me, God. Spare me.

  77. KenL posted: “…excellent reasons, all. I agree in substance with all of them.

    Are they sufficient returns for the continued radicalization of the (now even more) entrenched ruling party?

    I suspect that *any* President would have accomplished all the things you state, simply because they were necessary.”

    Hi Ken: I’ll respond graf by graf.

    Graf 1: Thanks. See everyone, common ground found by two people who (I assume) sit on opposite sides of the political spectrum.

    Graf 2: I gotta have some specifics here. Radical, how? Specifically. And keep in mind when you mention specifics; were any of the policies a surprise to the voters who put them in office? If not, the moves are not radical by definition.

    Graf 3: I disagree with this, which is why I couldn’t vote for Kerry despite being disappointed with many of Bush’s actions. I don’t think any president would have acted identically to Bush. Kerry’s voting record, to me, tells me he would have acted very differently. (Do you know how he voted when Gulf War I came up? Despite the fact that we had nearly worldwide coalition AND UN approval?)

  78. I’ll save you the legwork, if you didn’t already know Kerry’s stance:

    As a member of the 102 Congress (1991-92)

    Gulf War
    Permit the use of US forces — Passed 52-47.
    Kerry vote: No

  79. To touch on a point from further up the thread:

    Why are so many angry?
    Because we don’t think Bush legitimately won.
    We feel mugged. Blackbox.org might be a little
    shrill but but there are a lot of comfirmed cases
    of (one sided) election fraud. Note: Cheney
    stated an election percentage break 5 days before
    the election. In defiance of the polling and the
    diraction public opinion was moving this number
    was several points above same. Strangely enough,
    multiple states ended up at exactly those
    numbers. Nostradamos? I don’t think so.

    Point 2. Iraq.
    It is public record in many locations that George
    Bush as well as highly placed members of his
    staff (Wolfowitz, Rumsfeld…) advocated a war
    with Iraq before 2000. So we go to war on flimsy
    grounds, after the inspectors to verify same have
    been granted entry, because “I am a war
    President” and war Presidents get reelected.

  80. Hi Pat:

    I won’t touch your first point. Frankly, I don’t buy the black helicopter stuff.

    As to your second point:

    Here’s what then-President Bill Clinton said in Feb., 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.”

    Former Secretary of State Madeline Albright (Feb. 98): “Iraq is a long way from [the USA], 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.”

    Al Gore, Sept. 2002: “We know that he (Hussein) has stored secret supplies of biological and chemical weapons throughout his country.”

    Senator John Edwards, Oct. 2002: “Saddam Hussein’s regime represents a grave threat to America and our allies, including our vital ally, Israel. For more than two decades, Saddam Hussein has sought weapons of mass destruction through every available means. We know that he has chemical and biological weapons. He has already used them against his neighbors and his own people, and is trying to build more. We know that he is doing everything he can to build nuclear weapons, and we know that each day he gets closer to achieving that goal.”

    John Kerry, Jan. 2003: “Without question, we need to disarm Saddam Hussein. He is a brutal, murderous dictator, leading an oppressive regime. …So the threat of Saddam Hussein with weapons of mass destruction is real.”

    Not flimsy grounds. Not wag the dog.

    And even if your theory were true and W went to war to secure re-election (wait, wasn’t it all about oil? No, wasn’t it to avenge the attempt on his dad’s life?), I don’t particularly care.

    The reason I don’t care is that the actions of our skilled and brave young men and women toppled true evil.

    Hussein used WMDs in the past. He encouraged young suicide bombers by paying their families. He maimed, tortured and killed his supposed enemies. He broke the ankles of young men who didn’t play soccer to his standards. He ordered people to be thrown into industrial shredders — feet first.

    Do a search on mass graves in Iraq.

    Of course, I’m from a red state, so I’m one of thsoe bumpkins who values reality above ideals. Ideally, sanctions are the way to deal with madmen. Realistically, digging him out of a dank spider hole made my year.

  81. Todd:

    (3) After your diatribe about the devil being in the details? Here’s the excerpt from the Boston Globe biography of Kerry: “In contrast to Kerry’s detailed condemnation of Bush, his references to the dangers posed by Hussein were brief and dismissive. Kerry acceded he was “well aware of the long-term danger of his arsenal – of nuclear, chemical, biological weapons.” But, he said, if the United States killed Hussein, another despot would take his place – unless the United States were to pursue ‘real peacemaking in the region.’”

    Sounds more like a vote against getting into a potentially messy, long-term war in Iraq (and particularly, about toppling Saddam) without any clear end planned or in sight. Bush Sr agreed in principle on that one, so Gulf I didn’t involve an invasion of Iraq.

    Bush II invaded anyway. In case I didn’t make this clear in the first place, I’m with you and John on this one: invasion good, removal of Saddam good, pulling him out of rat-hole made my day, too. I thought Bush Sr should have done so back in 1991, and always was disappointed (to put it mildly) that he reneged on his promise to the nascent Iraqi rebellion — which was subsequently crushed by Saddam when they acted as a ‘distraction’ — back then.

    But I’m still with Kerry: war with no plan for the clean-up of the aftermath is BAD. Germany/Japan get touted as examples frequently. Sure — but if those are the comparisons, Iraq compares dismally, precisely for lack of a coherent, multi-faceted, open-ended and detailed post-war plan.

    Had Bush II and his team had a real plan, and Iraq was humming along nicely (with bumps here and there, sure, that’s to be expected), I’d grudgingly be more supportive of him (I suspect I still would have disfavored him for his domestic policies, but I would not have had a real problem with his being re-elected). But all evidence indicates otherwise, and as a result, we’re in EXACTLY the godawful mess that Kerry ’91 was thinking of.

    (2) I see a GOP that embraces its wingers, rather than reins them in. This is a GOP that has ruthlessly exploited and divided the country along bipartisan lines, demonized its opposition. And that’s just the political strategery aspect.

    Then there’s the attempts to diminish the power of the states through the increase of federal powers, the labeling of dissent as sedition, the appalling combination of increased government oversight and expenditure combined with reduced taxation (the argument about the inequity of that reduction across classes is yet another debate).

    The election of officials violently opposed to enshrined minority rights (expressed through the more kosher opposition to live-wire, and re-appropriated and re-interpreted issue, of gay **marriage**), who gerrymander state districts simply because they have the power to get away with it, who are now speaking about abolishing years of congressional precedent in the Senate (talking now about the 60-vote filibuster bit). And then there’s the whole Supreme/Federal court appointments-bit, which is related directly to the potential (and likely) abolition of the Senate-60.

    You might agree with some of the *policy* issues, but most of these concerns have nothing to do with policy, and everything to do with the raw pursuit of (and ruthless acquisition of) political power. Given that the US system is designed expressly to have multiple counter-weight and balancing powers, that’s fundamentally a Bad Thing vis-a-vis the entire US democratic system.

    I’d say that regardless of which party was in power. And historical precedent suggests that the party IN power is unlikely to rein itself in once it starts making such grabs. Thus — viva the loyal opposition.

    (1) I suspect that, in terms of policy, we actually have very little difference of opinion. Rather, I think the differences are largely centered on our analyses of how Bush II is doing to promote those various policies.

    Me, I think he’s doing an amazingly poor job, and that folks who are hopeful that he’ll do better in term 2 voted not for Bush, but rather for some ideal that they hoped Bush would or could be. I don’t know whether or not this is true in your case, but if it is, I’m thinking you’ll be in for a world of disappointment.

  82. Black helecopters? Nah, glaring red white and blue. The easy way to avoid the problem would
    be transparent, paper trailed, accounting w/ a truely impartial counting staff. See Carter’s
    take on why he can’t oversee the Fla. elections for example. Hamilton county’s 4,700 votes w/
    700 voters come to mind. There are a multitude of other pointers to wonder wtf is going on.
    And it is rather nonrandom that allmost all of
    these odd things benefit the Repubs. I want
    clear and verifiable and trackable elections.
    That is, you know, supposedly the point.

    Point 2:
    You don’t go to war just because the thug doing these things all along got on your bad side.
    You go to war based on a clear and immenent danger to the country. And if you do go to war
    listen to the pro’s and do it right. I truely
    see any good we may have done as incidental.

    Yes, I don’t think we should have done it. I think we have done a terrible job at it. And
    I don’t see it getting any better with somebody who sees the smallest % of victory in any 2nd
    term election as a broad mandate.

    And Todd? Arizona ain’t a blue state.

  83. A Few More Thoughts on Election 2004 (Part IV)

    John Scalzi of Whatever (among many other things) put it succinctly in a post on Wednesday:

    Anyone still paralyzed by liberal depression at midnight, Monday November 8 will be summarily brained with a plank….

  84. One: Not sure why any of Shannons comments were directed at me… I was asking the Bush supporter to explain why he voted for Bush…

    Two: regarding said supporter whose only reason stated was that he feels “safer” under Bush… that worries the hell out of me… you can really look at everything that has gone on in the last 4 years? the economy in the tank, the deficit growing by leaps and bounds, the erosion of cicil rights due to ham fisted application of the Patriot Act, the regression in diversity… you can look at all that and still vote for him becuase he makes you feel “safer”? I can’t believe you would be that narrow minded… no elected president would shirk their duty to protect this country… what you see in Kerry that made you think otherwose boggles me.

    Also, as to whther Bush could have stopped 9/11 or should be “blamed” for it… No… but by the same token, giving him full credit for the fact we’ve not suffered another domestic attack in the past 3 years is equally unfair. Most of the securuty enhancements put in place would be there regardless of who the sitting president was… its those few difference, broad application of the Patriot Act and pre-emptive war with Iraq for example that define the difference… if these things really make you feel safer, I don’t know wht to say… but using the absence of an attack as proof that Bush is good for our safety is bad logic. You can’t use absence of action as your proof when way too many other factors could be involved…

  85. Posted by Q: “…the economy in the tank, the deficit growing by leaps and bounds, the erosion of cicil rights due to ham fisted application of the Patriot Act, the regression in diversity…”

    Hi Q:

    I respect your right to believe we’re all being fitted for hand-baskets right now, but this is what I keep harping on. Give me specifics and then we have something to jaw about. I can’t argue with “the erosion of civil rights” or the “regression in diversity” because that seems to be an emotional reaction. Is the KKK running Halliburton and spying on blacks while denying jobs to Mexicans? I mean, wha?

    As for your assertion that the economy is in the tanks, I cannot agree.

    Frankly I’m amazed that the U.S. didn’t plunge into Great Depression Part II. Think about it. The high-tech sector rides an imaginary bubble throughout the 90s. It finally bursts and takes the entire market south. Only months later, the financial center of the world is blown up by a couple planes. These are ingredients for long, long economic bleakness.

    We can disagree until we’re blue in the face about Bush’s tax cuts and their role in this. But I can tell you that I don’t make a ton of scratch. But my wife and I received a check, and we then took the refund and invested it in our house (a new patio and some fake grass — the real stuff doesn’t grow here in Arizona.) A crew of 12 installed the turf. I did most of the patio work, but I bought $350 worth of flagstone. Every cent, and then some, of the refund was returned into the economy.

    Did it help the country stay out of a depression? Impossible to say. That’s what we did with our loot, and I’m guessing we weren’t alone.

    So, although this will undoubtedly further twist the panties of the left, I don’t think Bush gets enough credit for his economic policies. (I do agree with you about his deficit spending, though. Bush made too many deals — especially after claiming he’s not a DC insider and wouldn’t do that.)

    By the way, here’s an article from last Thursday.

    Bloomberg News
    Nov. 6, 2004 12:00 AM

    U.S. stocks rose as a government report showed employers added almost twice the number of workers forecast in October.

    “The report was a reconfirmation of the solid economic growth that we’ve been experiencing,” said Stuart Wester, who helps manage $29 billion as vice president of equities at USAA Investment Management Co. in San Antonio. “We’re still in the bull-market cycle that began in October 2002.”

    Shares of Sears, Roebuck and Co. surged 25 percent, after an investment by Vornado Realty Trust highlighted the value of the retailer’s real estate. Chipmakers gained as Nvidia Corp. reported higher-than-expected earnings.

    About three stocks rose for every two that fell on the New York Stock Exchange.
    -30-

  86. Posted by Todd: “Of course, I’m from a red state…”

    Posted by Pat: “And Todd? Arizona ain’t a blue state.”

    And Pat? Whachu talkinbout?

  87. Crap. That response to Q was mine. (Though I suspect this thread is too long in the tooth to survive much more.)

  88. Todd,

    Your automatic assumtion of my attitude towards red staters is a little off. Seeing as I live in
    Az. (red state) there are all sorts of reasons for me not to have that knee-jerk reaction.
    I am also perfectly aware that most “red” states voted in large degree “blue” and vice versa.
    In retrospect, that statement you wondered about does seem a bit opaque. :)

  89. Just noticed you were from Az. Todd.
    Now that’s just funny.
    And what is even worse – I know a few Todds.
    I wonder . . . .

  90. Hi Pat:

    If we aren’t friends already, my gut tells me we’d make fine drinkin’ buddies. Unless you don’t drink. And in that case, I’m always up for a strong cup of joe.

    Todd

    (I just e-mailed you my true identity. Be good.)

  91. Aaack!

    Sorry Todd,

    That must have been the one with no subj. line.
    It got auto-killed. Please re-send.

    Thanks,
    Pat

  92. When the new voting resumes in 06, there will be also a wave of naysayers in the way that the election runs and how well. It is never gonna be perfect *fla*, but we have to take the advice and help that is good when we can get it to improve the standards with which our vote is casted.

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