Off Topic Messages

Fri Feb 03, 2006 6:43 pm

Greg wrote:
Whatever it is that won FDR all those terms and make Dems winners for years, well, we need to get back to that.


Sorry, I just can't condone getting back to a world wide economic crisis and multi-national conflict ala WW2 to help put clueless Dems into office. Just being facetious, Greg. But really, that's what put FDR on top.

What made FDR so successful was that he came along at a time when Americans were in the middle of food riots, bank collapses, and broadspread panic. We desperately needed positive leadership. What we have today is the Dems criticizing the Republican leadership without providing any positive alternative vision that really speaks to and inspires the public.

Fri Feb 03, 2006 6:48 pm

Getting back to the topic of the cartoon...

I wish the Muslims of the world howled in protest at the hijacking of their religion and 4 American commercial airliners on September 11, 2001 the way they are now about some stupid cartoon. It really makes one question where their priorities are at.... Oh wait...sorry...

I think the question has been answered.

Fri Feb 03, 2006 6:51 pm

I do hope you realize, Eagle, that I certainly don't wish for economic collapse but I do think GOP leadership hastens the divide of the rich and the poor that we saw in the Great Depression by giving corporations everything they want in terms of cheap labor, here and in China, etc. The Democrats unfortunately are only nominally better. Our two party system is more limited than we like to admit.

It took FDR's New Deal to reform capitalism and ironically, the second world war was also part of the "jobs" aspect of getting back on our feet. I'd never wish for an encore of either debacle.

Here's more on the Muslim cartoon fury from MSNBC, including a video.
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/11097877/

This story serves to remind people just how wacko that religion is on a mass level.

Fri Feb 03, 2006 7:35 pm

I can no longer buy into the 'Islam is a religion of peace' schpiel. There was not nearly enough condemnation of 911 in the Muslim world as there is of this friggin' cartoon. The recent elections also tell us a great deal. The Muslim people by & large support the radical Islamists/jihadists. My friends, we are headed for another world war. We've been headed there for quite some time, the writing has been on the wall. Many of us simply did not want to see the situation for what it is. I recall telling my buddies in Connecticut back in 79-82 that the next world war would not be against the Soviets, but rather that the enemy we had to be fearful of and guard against was a united Muslim world. And it's happening right before our very eyes! Yes we in the west are technologically superior, but they are motivated - something which we lack! History shows us that whenever a technologically inferior but highly motivated and well organized army goes against the supposed superior army, the motivated army usually wins! Guerilla warfare is something that is extremely difficult to overcome. What's more, these Jihadists are good at what they do - and they're getting better at it.

I hate to be a prophet of doom & gloom but this war is coming. They see this as a modern day crusade against the decadent west and the infidels. We in the west need to recognize this once and for all, put aside our differences, and start fighting this war like it's a crusade. Not a religious crusade, but a crusade where the democratic principles of freedom prevail against the forces of Islamic-fascist tyrrany!

Fri Feb 03, 2006 8:29 pm

Hey, Pete, you're getting me kinda nervous with those statements.

Sad thing is I never heard a muslim raising their guns because Iran-Hezbolla killed 84 people in Argentina in 1994 with a truck-bomb at AMIA (jewish organization to help the poor and unemployed) in Buenos Aires or 9/11 or London and Atocha, Spain.

They have freedom in the european/american countries no other religion can dream of in a muslim country. But hey, let's kidnap all europeans in sight because of that stupid drawing someone published. Good thing the guy kidnaped in Gaza was german, they let him go because of that :oops:

Javier

Fri Feb 03, 2006 8:44 pm

Meanwhile we got Muslims hating France now. :lol: :lol:

Fri Feb 03, 2006 8:53 pm

what we need is europe now to stop hating america and to help us, rather than sitting like ducks until the muslims invade them.

and i guarantee, europe is the first continent that the muslim crusaders are going to try to invade. america is going to be the one that is going to give them the biggest headache.

the muslim community (largely) considers the crusades against the infidels, exactly that. the crusades.

the west has grown up since arthurian times, but this portion of the east is still running in place in they way they think.

i don't think the west can quite wrap their minds around the fact that the crusades haven't ended--1000 years later. the only difference is the west doesn't give a piss what religion people are, whereas the muslims think anybody who isn't them are infidels.

europe! wake-up! nap-time is over. wouldn't it be less embarassing for you guys to defend yourselves rather than have us bail you out?

start seeing radical islam as a big portrait of adolf hitler...now marchez-vous!

Sat Feb 04, 2006 1:14 pm

I see it just the opposite where the current administration is so far to the right you can't even see the middle of anymore. Plus, the Republican spin machine has absolutely bastardized political analysis and debate. You're not against the war, you're against America and the troops. You're not for separation of church and state (commonly known as the backbone of success for any successful government) you're anti-god. You're not pro-choice. You're pro-abortion- a baby killer. Karl Rove and the Republicans marginalize in the public eye anything that they don't agree with rather than addressing the points.

The main objection to Howard Dean is not his viewpoints but that he gives as good as he gets. That's scares them.

Plus, and its does not pain me to say it but Americans have got to grow up regarding some issues like gay marriage. No one has ever argued that these be religiously sanctioned unions. That's their business, separation of church and state. But it's only human decency to allow a committed homosexual couple the same rights as a committed heterosexual couple. This is one issue where the pandering has to stop. I don't care if people stay awake at night worrying what homosexuals do in their bedrooms. Get over it, it's not your business.

The polls show that the Democrats have most of the issues. The minimum wage, healthcare, checks on corporate theft, pro-choice (something like 30 percent of the population is statistically in favor of overturning Roe vs. Wade. That's the middle?) the war.

As for Islam not being a religion of peace, the same arguments can be made about those dutiful Christians who blow up abortion clinics. If you choose an extreme in any religion it makes it look bad.

Sat Feb 04, 2006 4:05 pm

Nice one LTB.

My heartfelt thanks for a reasoned and reasonable response to all the preceding. Kinda restores my faith in this MB.

Geoff

Sat Feb 04, 2006 6:39 pm

Well, I hope my disagreements, TB, don't throw you off it. :roll:

LTB, time is short to respond but I think gay marriage opens up a can of worms and it's not a red herring to say polygamy, etc. is next. In fact, some of it is in the courts, from what I heard somewhere.

Don't discount that possibility. I consider gay marriage to be pure over-reach on the part of the gay rights movement. Such uptopianism ends up hurting the populace as we'll never see eye to eye on it. Marriage is just so traditional an institution. Middle America (or the red states) won't stand for it.

On abortion, there can be a common ground. We can start by not reducing it merely to being a "choice" and acknowledge that we are ending a human life. That's not to say that life has full "person" rights (too involved an argument to get into here)...

The Dems have to start speaking to the center and Dean is not the guy.
Last edited by Gregory Nolan Jr. on Sun Feb 05, 2006 12:23 am, edited 1 time in total.

Sat Feb 04, 2006 7:57 pm

No Greg, my faith in this MB is largely still there. :wink:

Don't quite understand why you seem to think heterosexual values are so fragile that treating other human beings with respect is going to damage them.

I believe that a mark of maturity in any society is how it accomodates difference. I'm slightly dismayed that we have lumped Islam and Gay Civil Partnerships in to one rather nasty little thread.

But then again, I'm not suprised. We've been down this pike before.

Geoff

Sat Feb 04, 2006 8:04 pm

I would like to burn those people, seriously, they´re burning our flags.
A.H. was right! The jig is up, I don´t think this will heal, they´re (muslims) a pain in the world´s butt. Could Mr. Bush be a saviour?

.

Sat Feb 04, 2006 11:24 pm

likethebike wrote:I see it just the opposite where the current administration is so far to the right you can't even see the middle of anymore. Plus, the Republican spin machine has absolutely bastardized political analysis and debate. You're not against the war, you're against America and the troops. You're not for separation of church and state (commonly known as the backbone of success for any successful government) you're anti-god. You're not pro-choice. You're pro-abortion- a baby killer. Karl Rove and the Republicans marginalize in the public eye anything that they don't agree with rather than addressing the points.

The main objection to Howard Dean is not his viewpoints but that he gives as good as he gets. That's scares them.

Plus, and its does not pain me to say it but Americans have got to grow up regarding some issues like gay marriage. No one has ever argued that these be religiously sanctioned unions. That's their business, separation of church and state. But it's only human decency to allow a committed homosexual couple the same rights as a committed heterosexual couple. This is one issue where the pandering has to stop. I don't care if people stay awake at night worrying what homosexuals do in their bedrooms. Get over it, it's not your business.

The polls show that the Democrats have most of the issues. The minimum wage, healthcare, checks on corporate theft, pro-choice (something like 30 percent of the population is statistically in favor of overturning Roe vs. Wade. That's the middle?) the war.

As for Islam not being a religion of peace, the same arguments can be made about those dutiful Christians who blow up abortion clinics. If you choose an extreme in any religion it makes it look bad.


Hello LTB I have a couple of questions and I want you to understand I neither to the right or left but dead in the middle. Some say that is not a good place to be but I find a lot more balance here without having party lines shoved down my throat. Which of course would mean rather than make my own decisions I have to become well schooled in my parties platform and be able to spew and defend it on a moments notice.
So you understand that I am in the middle I will let you know that I aggree 100% in a womans right to choose and all Americans should be allowed to decide whom they would like to have for a life partner and at the same time have all the same rights and liberties granted by the Constitution regardless of the gender of said partner....anyhoo

1)Are you under the impression that if Gore had taken office we would have never had 9/11?

2)If Democrats have all the answers (and believe me brother you speak as if they do...lol) why do we not have a Democrat as President at the moment?

3)How long would a Democratic President allow Iran to amass nuclear weapons before deciding something needed to be done? Lets throw a qualifier out there....lets say the Security Council suddenly starts waffling under pressure from France and Germany and begins to procrastinate. Meanwhile Iran shuts off its boarders and sticks with the line that they will now begin a program to fully enrich Uranium.

This is going to be a tough decision considering what we have going at the moment military wise. We are in Afghanistan, Iraq, do we go even further? Given the worldwide opinion about the campaign in Iraq are we willing to take on another Middle East country? Tough, tough questions...

Sun Feb 05, 2006 12:30 am

tupelo_boy wrote:No Greg, my faith in this MB is largely still there. :wink:

Don't quite understand why you seem to think heterosexual values are so fragile that treating other human beings with respect is going to damage them.

I believe that a mark of maturity in any society is how it accomodates difference. I'm slightly dismayed that we have lumped Islam and Gay Civil Partnerships in to one rather nasty little thread.

But then again, I'm not suprised. We've been down this pike before.

Geoff


Geoff, again, it seems you are resorting to the usual rhetoric employed to make all who question, say, the policy of affirmative action into "racists" or those who oppose "Gay Marriage" as "homophobes" who will break down the doors of gay bars and try to humilate gays, etc.

I've long been a big liberal (or at least influenced by such ideals) but I just don't see how someone saying "enough" to the redefinition of marriage is suddenly anti-gay. Life is about boundaries and we don't get everything we want. Marriage is perhaps one of the stodgiest and most traditional of institutions. It was foolhardy to try to take it down and re-make in the vision of free-thinkers. It can't and won't sell in Peoria. A true minority like gays continue to work for respect and equality but also have a sense of realism of what is obtainable.

And I don't find this thread particularly "nasty" - that is, unless you don't like to be challenged. It started off being about Islam and difference and then expanded to related topics. I realize that we've had our share of ugly threads but those on the left (and by many counts I lean more left than right) should no be so quick to label those who disagree with them.

I won't say I'm in the middle like Blue-Gypsy but I actually try to be. We should all try to listen to both sides and party labels do have a way of making people tune out the message we are hearing.

By most counts, America is profoundly conservative in many ways- to a fault. The Democratic Party has to prioritize. I can't see advancing gay marriage even being in the top five issues, let alone top ten. I can see sticking up for the right to abort a fetus, but to make it all that you about is a poor strategy for building a winning coalition, which is what it's always been about to achieve and win power. And we can be anti-war when its appropriate, without being anti-military or a peace-at-all-costs type. How to do that without alienating either side is a neat trick, I admit.
Last edited by Gregory Nolan Jr. on Mon Feb 06, 2006 7:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Sun Feb 05, 2006 1:17 am

I don't know how the "gay marriage" thing is playing out in the USA but over here in the UK it's not marriage it's civil partnerships. The media have chosen to label it "gay marriage".

It's happening here and society still seems stable enough.

I'm seeking not to resort rhetoric of any description, what I genuinely don't understand is on what basis the opposition is being made, other than personal repugnance.

As to the question of Islam, I think it's dangerous generalise about a large number of people from the actions of the extemists, I also apply that knowledge to Christian fundamentalists, also not a group I'd hold up as living the ideal.

Thank you for your well thought out and polite input, I'm sure we can agree to differ on this.

Best wishes

Geoff

Ps - Thanks for changing the title of the thread :wink:

Sun Feb 05, 2006 2:11 am

likethebike wrote:I see it just the opposite where the current administration is so far to the right you can't even see the middle of anymore. Plus, the Republican spin machine has absolutely bastardized political analysis and debate. You're not against the war, you're against America and the troops. You're not for separation of church and state (commonly known as the backbone of success for any successful government) you're anti-god. You're not pro-choice. You're pro-abortion- a baby killer. Karl Rove and the Republicans marginalize in the public eye anything that they don't agree with rather than addressing the points.


I'm not going to defend the Bush administration, I'll leave that to the folks on the right, but the democrats still have an image problem. Which party does the ACLU, who have been bringing suit on behalf of atheists against the 10 commandments being displayed in courthouses, support? The democrats.
Pro-choice is pro-abortion. And abortion is the killing of an unborn life.
Roe vs. Wade was bad law. Even Ruth Bader Ginsburg, before she was appointed to the court, recognized this and wrote on it.

likethebike wrote:The main objection to Howard Dean is not his viewpoints but that he gives as good as he gets. That's scares them.


Actually Bike Dean hurts the democrats and helps the republicans because he's a loose cannon who puts off middle-of-the-roaders like me.

likethebike wrote:Plus, and its does not pain me to say it but Americans have got to grow up regarding some issues like gay marriage. No one has ever argued that these be religiously sanctioned unions. That's their business, separation of church and state. But it's only human decency to allow a committed homosexual couple the same rights as a committed heterosexual couple. This is one issue where the pandering has to stop. I don't care if people stay awake at night worrying what homosexuals do in their bedrooms. Get over it, it's not your business.


The flaw here is in the assumption that there is a 'right' to marriage. No such right exists in the constitution. Marriage is a traditional institution. For the most part the tradition has been defined as/limited to 1 adult man and 1 adult woman. In a democracy it's the people who get to define what constitutes a marriage. As for civil unions, I believe that should be a states rights issue. If some states are for it then fine. If other states are against it then that's fine too. The bottom line is that there is no reason to re-define the institution of marriage to accomodate sexual orientation.

likethebike wrote:The polls show that the Democrats have most of the issues. The minimum wage, healthcare, checks on corporate theft, pro-choice (something like 30 percent of the population is statistically in favor of overturning Roe vs. Wade. That's the middle?) the war.


What about the statistics in favor of abolishing late term abortion? I doubt the democrats have that issue.

likethebike wrote:As for Islam not being a religion of peace, the same arguments can be made about those dutiful Christians who blow up abortion clinics. If you choose an extreme in any religion it makes it look bad.


But the abortion clinic bombing 'Christian' wack-jobs are an extremely small minority Bike. Their actions are roundly condemned by the vast majority of Christians. The numbers of Jihadists far exceed the Christian fanatics, they are far more dangerous, and the recent elections show that the people are supporting them!

Sun Feb 05, 2006 2:11 am

This is what I'm talking about in bastardizing debate Greg. Because the Democratic Party may support gay marriage it doesn't mean it's in the Top Five priorities.

And about that subject Tupelo Boy defined a very important distinction that was outlined by former president Jimmy Carter who is far from a traditional "Lefty". The ex-president said that while he opposes religiously sanctioned gay marriage, he is in favor of secular civil unions authorized by the state that same sex couples the same legal rights in regard to one another as traditional marriages. Some of this stuff like the power to make life or death decisions for your spouse or to be notified as a next of kin in a tragedy is just basic human decency.

About abortion Greg I don't think it's common consensus that you are ending a human life unless you are in the third tri-mester. I do know that a woman getting butchered in a back alley abortion is ending a human life.

Tony- Question #1. I don't know. Terrorism was more of a priority for the previous administration than it was for the Bush administration early on. As I have said many times though it wasn't enough of a priority even there. And as Richard Clarke pointed out the determination of Al Queda was such that had 9/11 been thwarted another devastating attack was inevitable unless the group was toppled and without the tragedy it was much harder to gather full steam on that end. I don't know if Gore would have taken action that could have prevented the attacks. However, I feel confident based upon the acts of the previous administration. Whether he would have done all that he could, I don't know and in that case he would have had some partial culpability. The problem I had with the Bush administration wasn't so much that they let the attacks occur but that they basically sat on their hands and did nothing in regard to terrorism for those nine months.

Question #2- The big problem with the Democrats is that they haven't presented answers or more accurately alternatives. In 2000, the Democrats did win the popular vote for president however that election was a case in point about Republican lite. It was a common perception in 2000 that both candidates were two sides of the same coin. After Bush was in office that clearly became evident that wasn't the case but it was the perception in 2000. I myself marked down Gore grudgingly. In 2004, Kerry should have presented a legitimate exit strategy for Iraq and clearly denounced the war. Again Republican lite. I recently covered a local election where the challengers lost and the incumbents won. The tone was much friendlier than it was on the national level but the argument went "Council is doing good things and I want to be a part of it. I think I can do better job of that then the current council members." I gave some friendly advice to one of the candidates afterwards that he had to define some differences in himself and the incumbents were he to run again. If you're only giver voters more of the same but from a different source why switch. As I said it's much friendlier than at the national level but if you're giving the same policies as the current administration out sideways there's no incentive to switch.

There have also been arguments made that the hard right of the Republican party decided the 2004 election simply by getting their legions out to vote. The middle of America basically split on the candidates. Let's face it, it seems silly for the 59 million people who voted for Bush to claim that the other party is out of the mainstream when 56 million people voted for that party.

This is not to leave out though the machinations of the Karl Rove spin machine and the distortions it created. Remember the "global test" controversy from the first debate. That phrase was used as a part of a detailed policy statement by Kerry that was only a small subtext of what he was saying. Yet it was distorted by the Rove spin machine

Yet I won't dismiss the fact that vision and identity have been a problem with the party. The Republicans know how to stay on message. The Democrats haven't decided what their message is and that has allowed Rove and co. to affiliate that message with the furthest wings of the party because there's no unified front to counter act it. This has been exacerbated by their fear of the spin machine and the fear of proposing new ideas.

My point though was not that the party had all the answers. My point was that the majority of its ideals represent mainstream thought. The challenge is presenting those ideas in a meaningful way.

Question 3- Again I don't know. Something has to be done with Iran even though we are not an immediate time clock. The colossal mistake of Iraq leaves us with minimal resources to address the problem. Actually if President Bush had invaded Iran instead of Iraq based upon the findings of the 9/11 commission and the fact that they openly have a WMD program the war would be far less controversial and there would be greater support internationally.

Sun Feb 05, 2006 3:04 pm

"RUSH TRANSCRIPT
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AMY GOODMAN: As we continue our discussion of President Bush's inaugural address, let's hear a section of that speech.

PRESIDENT BUSHAmerica will not impose our own style of government on the unwilling. Our goal, instead, is to help others find their own voice, attain their own freedom, and make their own way. The great objective of ending tyranny is the concentrated work of generations. The difficulty of the task is no excuse for avoiding it. America's influence is not unlimited; but fortunately for the oppressed, America's influence is considerable, and we will use it confidently in freedom's cause.

AMY GOODMAN: President Bush, his second inaugural address. Today we're joined by Gore Vidal, one of America's most respected writers and thinkers. Author of more than twenty novels, five plays. Author most recently of, Dreaming War and Perpetual War for Perpetual Peace. His latest book is, Imperial America: Reflections on the United States of Amnesia. Yesterday we caught up with Gore Vidal and I asked him his reaction to the inaugural address.

GORE VIDAL: Well, I hardly know where to end, much less begin. There's not a word of truth in anything that he said. Our founding fathers did not set us on a course to liberate all the world from tyranny. Jefferson just said, “all men are created equal, and should be,” etc, but it was not the task of the United States to “go abroad to slay dragons,” as John Quincy Adams so wisely put it; because if the United States does go abroad to slay dragons in the name of freedom, liberty, and so on, she could become “dictatress of the world,” but in the process “she would lose her soul.” That is what we -- the lesson we should be learning now, instead of this declaration of war against the entire globe. He doesn't define what tyranny is. I’d say what we have now in the United States is working up a nice tyrannical persona for itself and for us. As we lose liberties he’s, I guess, handing them out to other countries which have not asked for them, particularly; and what he says -- The reaction in Europe-–and I know we mustn’t mention them because they're immoral and they have all those different kinds of cheese–but, simultaneously, they're much better educated than we are, and they're richer. Get that out there: The Europeans per capita are richer than the Americans, per capita. And by the time this administration is finished, there won't be any money left of any kind, starting with poor social security, which will be privatized, so that is the last gold rush for (as they say) men with an eye for opportunity.

No, I would have to parse this thing line by line and have it in front of me. It goes in one ear and out the other as lies often do, particularly rhetorical lies that have been thought up by second-rate advertising men, which are the authors of this speech. It is the most un-American speech I’ve ever heard a chief executive give to the United States; and thanks at least to television, we were given every inaugural from Franklin Roosevelt on (and it's quite interesting to see who said what), and only one was as gruesome and as off-key as this, and that guy is Harry S. Truman, who’s being made into a hero because he fits into the imperial mode. He starts out his inaugural -- we're on top of the world we’re the richest country, the most powerful militarily, and what does he do? Within three lines Harry Truman is starting the Cold War, which the Russians were not starting. They thought they could live in peace because of their agreement at Yalta with his predecessor, Franklin Roosevelt, whose unfortunate death gave us Harry Truman and gave us the Cold War, which is now metastasized into a general war against any nation that this president of ours, if he is -- was elected, wants to commit us to, and we -- preemptive wars. That’s just never existed in our history, that a president – “Well, I think I'm going to take on Costa Rica. There may be some terrorists down there one day. Oh, they aren't there yet, but they're planning for it. And they’ve got bicarbonate of soda. Once you have that, you know, you can build all sorts of biochemical weapons.” This is just blather. Blather.

And that an American audience would sit there beside the capitol or reverently in front of their TV screens and watch this and not see the absurdity of what was being said -- absolute proof of a couple of things that I have felt, and most of us who are at all thoughtful feel: We’ve got the worst educational system of any first world country. We are shameful when we go abroad, because we know nothing. Just to watch the destruction of the archaeologists’ work at Babylon. Babylon is a center of our culture. Nobody knows that. Nobody knows what it is, except it's a wicked city that the lord destroyed. Well, it was the center of our civilization, the center of mathematics, of writing, of everything. And apparently our troops were allowed to go in and smash everything to bits. Why did they do it? Was it because they are mean bad boys and girls? No. They're totally uneducated. And their officers are sometimes mean and bad, and allow them to have a romp, as they also had in the prisons, none of which we heard about in the last election. We were too busy with homosexual marriage and abortion, two really riveting subjects. War and peace, of course, are not worth talking about. And civilization, God forbid that we ever commit ourselves to that.

AMY GOODMAN: We're talking to Gore Vidal. He -- President Bush said in his speech: “Across the generations, we’ve proclaimed the imperative of self-government, because no one's fit to be a master, and no one deserves to be a slave. Advancing these ideals is the mission that created our nation. It's the honorable achievement of our fathers. Now it's the urgent requirement of our national security, and the calling of our time.”

GORE VIDAL: Well, proof of his bad education -- he seems not to know that the principle founders of the United States, from George Washington to Thomas Jefferson to Madison, were all slave holders. So, we started a country with half of the country quite prosperous because of black slaves, African slaves, who were not in the least happy about being slaves, but they had been captured, brought over here and sold back and forth around the country. So, I don't see how the founding fathers could have committed us to the principle that ‘no man should be a slave, and every man should be a master,’ or whatever the silly-Billy said. Well, this is a country based on slavery, is also based upon the dispossession of what we miscall the Indians. They were the native Americans, at least before -- long before our arrival. So, we were not dedicated to any of these principles. We were dedicated to making as much money and stealing as much land as we could and building up a republic, not a democracy. The word democracy was hated by the founding fathers. It does not appear at any point in the constitution, nor does it appear in any pleasant sense in the Federalist Papers. So, we are not a democracy, and here we are exporting it as though it were just something -- well, we just happened to make, a lot of democracy, and cotton and tin and stuff like that. So, let’s --let's do some exports of democracy. We don't have it, and most countries don't have it, and not many countries want it. Democracy was tried only once, and that was in the Fifth Century B.C., at Athens, and finally, they were overcome by an oligarchy from Sparta, and nobody ever tried again to establish a democracy in any country on earth. And if any history had been taught to the cheerleader from Andover -- I'm ashamed that I even went to the brother school Exeter nearby, where at least we were taught enough history not to make gaffs like that in public.

AMY GOODMAN: Gore Vidal, President Bush also said, “All who live in tyranny and hopelessness can know the United States will not ignore your oppression or excuse your oppressors when you stand for your liberty, we will stand with you. Democratic reformers facing repression, prison or exile can know America sees you for who you are-- the future leaders of your few [free] country. The rulers of outlaw regimes can know that we still believe, as Abraham Lincoln did, ‘Those who deny freedom to others deserve it not for themselves and under the rule of a just God, cannot long retain it.’”

GORE VIDAL: Oh, what bull. I notice all the help that we gave Mandela before he himself extricated his people from the white rule of the Boers and the English in South Africa. We went to great lengths to see that he was silenced, that he was not helped at any time. And we were -- Is that how we stood up for other countries trying to liberate themselves? We’ve never done that. We went into the first two world wars for self-aggrandizement. We did very well out of it. We’ve gone into Latin America, and every time that there's been a democratically elected government, from Arbenz in Guatemala in 1953 to Allende in Chile, we have played a vicious game. Sometimes we assassinate the president, sometimes we overthrow him. Sometimes -- all the time, eventually, we establish a military dictatorship. We’ve been doing that for 200 years. But, for a people that knows no history, does not want to know history, with a corrupt media that will not tell you the truth about anything going on in the world, what else could we have, but a dumb, cheerleader president?

AMY GOODMAN: But if it was Franklin Delano Roosevelt who said, “democratic reformers facing repression, prison, or exile can know, America sees you for who you are, the future leaders of your free country,” would you object?

FRANKLIN DELANO ROOSEVELT: I can only tell you that I feel your pain, and I know that you will be rulers one day. But meanwhile, I'm staying here in Washington, and you must look to your own future, and your own freedom.

AMY GOODMAN: Yes.

GORE VIDAL: That's Franklin Delano Roosevelt. The fact he said that meant that he was on the side of that; but we never did anything about it. Roosevelt never made a move, even when it came to the time of great tyranny, when his state department–I must say he didn't like it–but his state department turned away the infamous ship in which the Jews trying to escape Europe and Hitler were sent back. That's how we helped out.

AMY GOODMAN: What is your hope for the future, as President Bush inaugurated his second term with this speech?

GORE VIDAL: I don't see much future for the United States, and I put it on economic grounds. Forget moral grounds. We're far beyond any known morality, and we are embarked upon a kind of war against the rest of the world. I think that the thing that will save us, and it will probably come pretty fast, when they start monkeying around with Social Security, that will cause unrest. Meanwhile, the costs of the wars the cost of rebuilding the cities immediately after we knock them down, if we didn't knock them down, we wouldn't have to put them back up again, but that would mean that there was no work for Bechtel and for Halliburton. We are going to go broke. The dollar loses value every day. I live part of the year in Europe, which is always held against me. What a vicious thing to do, to have a house in Italy; but I also have one in Southern California. We are a declining power economically in the world, and the future now clearly belongs to China, Japan, and India. They have the population, they have the educational systems. They have the will. And they will win. And we will -- we only survive now by borrowing money from them in the form of treasury bonds which very soon we won't have enough revenue to redeem, much less service. So, I put it down to economic collapse may save the United States from its rulers.

AMY GOODMAN: President Bush in this inaugural address, and in his second term, can you make comparisons to Richard Nixon, and won by a landslide, much more than Bush, in terms of how he beat his opponent, and yet ultimately is forced to resign?

GORE VIDAL: Well, let us hope history repeats itself, and there's a possibility that the American people will get fed up with endless war, and endless deaths coming out -- American deaths. That's all we care about. We don't care about foreigners dying. But that is getting on people's nerves. I think that he thinks, and many of the American people appear to think, that we're in a movie. Lousy movie, but it's just a movie. And, once the final credits run, all those dead people, who were just extras anyway, will stand up and come home, or go back to the old actors’ home. It isn't a movie we're in. It's real life. And these are real dead people. And there are more and more of them, and the world won't tolerate it. So, he might very well end up like Mr. Nixon. Nixon at least when he ran again, curiously enough, was rated among the most liberal and progressive of our presidents in the 20th century. Not that he really was; it's just that he felt domestic affairs were best left alone. Let labor unions and capital worry about that while the president prosecuted foreign wars. He loved foreign affairs because it was fun. You got to make a lot of trips and see people in fancy uniforms and hear “Hail to the Chief” in various tunes. That was Nixon's take. And then, of course, once he got in -- into war, he couldn't get out. Didn't try very hard to get out. He wanted to be victorious. Well, he wasn't victorious. Then he lied and cheated. This one lies and cheats, too. So far he’s not had his Watergate. Let us hope that there is one looming.

AMY GOODMAN: Do you take heart from the opposition, from the resistance on the ground, from the grassroots protests?

GORE VIDAL: Well, you know, I spent three years in the second world war in the Pacific, and I was born at West Point, and I have some affinity for the army; and what I am hearing, the tom-toms that are coming not only from those who have returned to the United States, particularly reservists, but what I also hear from overseas, is that there’s great distress and dislike of this government, and certainly of this war, which is idly done. And everybody is at risk with insufficient armature -- arms, and no motivation at all except the vanity of a -- of the lowest grade of politicians that we’ve ever had in the White House. They are disturbed, and I can see that there may be suddenly something coming from them once they get back home, if they can get back home. They may turn things around.

AMY GOODMAN: And, in general, young people in this country protesting the inauguration, for example. More than 10,000 people out in the streets, almost -- although there was almost no coverage except for Pacifica and independent media of those voices. People -- hosts on CNN saying they didn't want to ‘over-exaggerate’ the images that would be so easy to go to, so they just didn't.

GORE VIDAL: Or be honest about them. The famous February, a year ago, when everybody demonstrated. I spoke to 100,000 people in Hollywood Boulevard. And the L.A. Times, which is better than most of the establishment papers, said there's just hardly anybody there. However, they were undone by the photograph taken of -- when I was up on the platform at very end of Hollywood Boulevard with La Brea in back of me and way up ahead Vine Street, you saw 100,000 people. You saw what they looked like, unlike New York where they got everybody into side streets so you couldn't see them at all in a photograph, because they just didn't show up. So, out here, a makeup man at the Times helped the cause.

AMY GOODMAN: As the Democratic Party chooses a new leader, do you have words of advice for the direction?

GORE VIDAL: Remember that the United States -- the people of the country have always been isolationists, a word which has been demonized, thrown out, an isolationist is somebody who believes in a flat earth and is racist and so forth and so on. Well, none of that is true. Isolationists -- Most of the left in the second world war, from Norman Thomas on to Burton K. Wheeler, were progressive Americans, the very best liberal Americans were anti-war. We have never been for imperial foreign wars. We have to be dragged screaming into them, as we were after Pearl Harbor and there was a lot of machinations going on to make sure that that happened. And it goes on all the time. Events are made so horrible people like Saddam and so on are demonized, and we all have to immediately begin by saying how awful he is for 25 minutes before we can get down to the fact that he was no threat to the United States, no threat at all. He was not involved with al Qaeda. He was not involved with 9/11. He was not. He was not. You can say it a million times, but there you have a president with the help of the most corrupt media in my lifetime bouying his words across the land and telling lies about the – ‘We're 45 minutes away from being blown up by the weapons of mass destruction that this master of evil has in his hands.’ To which the answer is: Why? Why would he do that? There must be some motivation. You see, they are now beyond motivation, and that is insanity. So, an insane government is not one that you can look to with any confidence.

AMY GOODMAN: Gore Vidal, speaking to us from California. His latest book, Imperial America: Reflections on the United States of Amnesia.

To purchase an audio or video copy of this entire program, click here for our new online ordering or call 1 (888) 999-3877."

I have seen Gore Vidal discussing history and so called American Democracy many times on our TV. A very intelligent guy!

http://www.democracynow.org/article.pl? ... 25/1458238

Sun Feb 05, 2006 6:51 pm

likethebike wrote:This is what I'm talking about in bastardizing debate Greg. Because the Democratic Party may support gay marriage it doesn't mean it's in the Top Five priorities.


Actually LTB I don't think that the majority of the democrats support gay marriage. It's the perception that they do that's the problem they have to overcome.

likethebike wrote:And about that subject Tupelo Boy defined a very important distinction that was outlined by former president Jimmy Carter who is far from a traditional "Lefty". The ex-president said that while he opposes religiously sanctioned gay marriage, he is in favor of secular civil unions authorized by the state that same sex couples the same legal rights in regard to one another as traditional marriages. Some of this stuff like the power to make life or death decisions for your spouse or to be notified as a next of kin in a tragedy is just basic human decency.


Okay, if it's a question of legalities then why not take the sexual component out of the union/partnership issue? That way partnerships such as for example a couple of spinster ladies who have been together their whole life, but who don't have and never had a sexual relationship (in other words they're not lesbians) would also benefit from the proposed partnership laws. By doing this everyone can potentially benefit. Civil unions based upon sexual orientation would exclude these non-sexual partnerships.

likethebike wrote:About abortion Greg I don't think it's common consensus that you are ending a human life unless you are in the third tri-(deleted - see guidelines #9). I do know that a woman getting butchered in a back alley abortion is ending a human life.


Just how was this consensus arrived at? This isn't science, it's philosophy. So the fetus prior to the third trimester isn't a living organism, but merely an amorphous blob of tissue? This is where the pro-choice movement's argument is seriously flawed. By couching the argument in clinical, impersonal scientific jargon such as 'termination of a fetus' they de-humanize the unborn life, reducing it merely to a 'thing.'

As for the back alley butchery, that certainly didn't take place as often as the pro-lifers like to make out, nor was it the only option available.

I find it the height of hypocrisy that the pro-choice feminists refer to abortion as 'reproductive rights.' Their right to reproduce isn't the issue at all. The issue is taking responsibility for the life produced, and not deciding to kill it because of the inconvenience it imposes.

Mon Feb 06, 2006 8:50 am

If it's philosophical, if it's philosophical but if an organism needs artificial stimulation to sustain life outside the womb then that's up for debate to my mind. I don't think it's consenus it's a life. It's consensus that the sky is blue, not on this. There's plenty of ambiguity here.

A woman should have a choice of what to do with her own body. How do you know back alley abortions didn't happen often? When and where were statistics compiled of illegal activities. And if a women desires an abortion so much that she would pursue such an avenue, isn't that an argument in and of itself? What makes a potential baby's life more important than a mother's?

And also let's get straight about inconvenience. Inconvenience means in many cases, the child won't eat properly, inconvenience means often social and familial scorn, inconvenience often means the child won't be loved, inconvenience can mean the mother and potentially father's education will be cut short, inconvenience can mean a peril to the mother's life, inconvenience can mean a baby born with AIDS, inconvenience can mean the baby will never get proper education and on and on. The Pro-life crowd will argue long and hard for that baby to come to term but a few years down the line when the mother needs child or health care, needs food, a proper school, they turn a deaf ear.

Who defines marriage as between one man and one woman? The Mormons didn't. As for the sexual element, I don't know why it has to be there. A deep friendship can mean as much a marriage or more in many occasions. Many people married several times take close friendships to the grave.

Mon Feb 06, 2006 12:11 pm

Muslims who think that way should settle in some eastern country, stick to themselfs and build a wall around their state. As a German they can ask me for advice, we have a lot of experience in building walls around countries. But if they want to share the world and their lifes with other people, they have to accept other peoples opinions and humor. No one has to think those cartoons are funny, but it's stupid to start a riot about something like that. Just draw a cartoon with some Jesus joke and we can go on without sh*t like this.
:idea: :idea: :idea: :idea: :idea: :idea: :idea: :idea: :idea:

Mon Feb 06, 2006 7:17 pm

likethebike wrote:I don't think it's consenus it's a life. It's consensus that the sky is blue, not on this. There's plenty of ambiguity here.


Look, I've known and been friendly many a "pro-choice" activist and even once thought I was "pro-choice." In reality, I now think it's absurd to deny that's there's human life in there. What is that fetus, an 8-track tape or cardboard cut-out of an oppossum or perhaps a balloon or decoder ring?

I agree it's complicated and always will be, but let's be intellectually honest. It's undeniably something or someone that is going to be a human being if cared for.

The philosophical debate is on better and less clear ground over whether we shall concede full rights of personhood on this budding creature over the significant (supreme?) rights of the mother. This line is one we will always wrestle with. A New York Times op-ed piece in the last two weeks made a similar case and called for Democrats to get back to wanting to reduce the number of abortions as President Clinton once called for.


Why is it so hard for the "pro-choice" people (and I see both sides) to admit (at least privately) that there is a reason this is such a tough decision and political issue? I may even be "pro-choice" (meaning we must not ban it) but I'm anti-abortion, too. Not all pro-choice people are actually anti-abortion. In fact, they almost relate it to flossing or something. This is a huge, life-changine (and ending) decision that we would do well to at least acknowledge is radical and profound decision.

I think some pro-choicers have deluded themselves from even thinking about what goes on. We all need to look at the legitimate photos of what happens during an abortion and at least be honest about our decision.

********************
Maurice, I'll have to give Gore Vidal's comments a close read. He's a fascinating fellow, particularly on U.S. foreign policy and corporate America, and thus is one who virturally banned from our mainstream media -unless he's discussing his historical novels. The showdown between him and William F. Buckley on ABC years ago is a classic.

His own scandalous sexual past hasn't helped matters, however.

Mon Feb 06, 2006 8:25 pm

What follows is a link to a photograph of an aborted fetus at 22 weeks - before the third trimester. I will leave it to everyone to decide for themselves whether this is a human being. http://abort73.com/HTML/I-A-4-photos22.html

Mon Feb 06, 2006 8:34 pm

Well, that's no decoder ring, Pete.

"It" (?) may not even have full "person" rights...but it looks an awful lot like a human.

We left-leaning folks can at least care enough about that reality as much as the reflexive invocation of "choice."

Mon Feb 06, 2006 8:43 pm

5 1/2 months is pretty far along... my godson was born at 28 weeks. It's quite disturbing to think of having to end a pregnancy as mature as 22 weeks... or having to end a voluntary pregnancy at all. I would consider myself pro-choice but do not consider myself anti-abortion.