Keeping the blogosphere posted on the goings on of the world of submarines since late 2004... and mocking and belittling general foolishness wherever it may be found. Idaho's first and foremost submarine blog. (If you don't like something on this blog, please E-mail me; don't call me at home.)

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

An Idealistic Realist's Lament

My whole life, I've been a fairly moderate Republican, and I've always voted for the Republican for President. (The one time I didn't was in 1992, when I was at sea and didn't get my absentee ballot until 2 days after the election; I would have voted Republican had we gotten the mail in time.) I was never a doctrinaire Republican, though; I've always considered myself a realist with a Machiavellian perspective. I'm actually fairly idealistic about my realism.

Due mostly to good staffers who understood how the world really works, Republicans always seemed to be much better at getting elected and governing. (While many don't like our current electoral system, I actually think that the skills needed to win an election translate fairly well into what's required to run a government.) That theory worked fine until the mid-90s; since then, the Republican Party has been taken over by Evangelicals whose idea of good staff work seems to have been "pray harder". President Clinton had generally competent staff, but then the Gore and Kerry campaigns were so badly run that I started to despair that realists had been forced out of government service into the private sector for the foreseeable future. I hoped that the nominations of the best two candidates from both parties this year would show me things have changed. So far, I haven't been too impressed.

Up until the conventions, I noted that Sen. Obama's campaign was much better run than the McCain effort; Sen. McCain would repeat gaffes from one speech to another, and his responses to attacks by Sen. Obama seemed pretty lame. I was at the point where I was about to move from the "leaning McCain" category to "Undecided" or even "leaning Obama". During the last three weeks, however, things seemed to have changed -- and not for the better. While Sen. McCain made an inspired choice for Vice President (really, the only one that would give him a chance to win), the reactions of the Obama campaign show that they're going downhill rapidly, and the staff work for the McCain camp hasn't really gotten any better. (Examples: Sen. Obama comparing apples to dump trucks when talking about his "executive experience", and Sen. McCain turning Gov. Palin's E-Bay comment from something that was "technically true" to an outright falsehood.)

Sen. Obama's loudest supporters, on the other hand, have gone from bad to really bad since the Palin nomination. While modern "hatred" of politicians seems to have really taken off with the hatred of many conservatives for the Clintons, I believe the Left has surpassed that with their barely restrained, yet unacknowledged, hatred of many Republican politicians. (The haters on the right seem to be willing to freely admit their hatred for Sen. Obama.) It came to a head with many normally reasonable progressives showing themselves ready to believe even the most fantastic rumors about a woman they'd never spent a minute thinking about up to a few days before; that, I believe, it the epitome of hatred. Why is this important? Because these people are going to have a voice that will be heard by a future Obama Administration, and I've become much less likely to support Sen. Obama knowing that his most unrestrained supporters are so full of hate. Sen. McCain, as a moderate through most of his career, seems to attract more realistic and reasonable supporters (as evidenced by so many Evangelicals threatening to sit the election out if he was nominated). While I think Sen. Obama himself has remained admirably above the fray (notwithstanding his peevish "outrage" at Mitt Romney saying "...there has never been a day when I was not proud to be an American" while refusing to admit that the McCain attack on him for his "lipstick on a pig" comment had just as much viability), his supporters have sunk to a new low, and I think it'll be hard for him to get the debate back on track.

That being said, I think the election is still Sen. Obama's to lose. I think that Gov. Palin will exceed the very diminished expectations of her in the debate and set-piece interviews, but that Sen. McCain's age will show in the Presidental debates, and Sen. Obama will be a clear winner in those. That, plus all the new voters being registered by Democrats, will tip the scale in Sen. Obama's favor. I actually wouldn't mind that outcome too much, as long as the Republicans can keep at least 41 Senate seats. I think a McCain Presidency with a Democratic-controlled Congress would be the best outcome, but any outcome that doesn't hand complete control of the agenda to one party (and includes Walt Minnick beating my Congressman, Bill Sali) is OK with me -- the country is strong enough to survive 4 years of an Obama Presidency. His hate-filled supporters will unintentionally help make sure that he's not re-elected unless they quickly learn that such hatred doesn't play outside of their own echo chambers.

73 Comments:

Blogger Jay said...

Joel,

I'll take you to task on your debate thoughts. As Saddleback showed, McCain can answer questions off the cuff, as I am confident Palin is going to be able to also, and that's largely due, IMO, because they speak from a core of convictions, so they don't have to make it up as they go along. I am planning to be pleasantly surprised by McCain, and I am also planning on seeing Biden's hairplugs handed to him.

As for the McCain campaign, I think it has run much better post-Palin. The campaign is energized and it's on offense. Politics is a contact sport, and if Obama didn't realize that, then he's a bigger neophyte than even most thought. Maybe the fact that he's never been in a contested campaign until this year (and, really lost the primary vote contest) is a shock for him. I am sure he thought once he dispatched Hillary, it was all downhill, but he didn't count on the GOP putting up a fight.

Anyway, as long as McCain stays on offense, they are controlling the battle, and Obama is wasting too much time on Palin attacks. Does he not realize his team's insistence on this tactic diminishes him? Has he forgotten who the R nominee is?

I do agree that if this is the way an Obama White House will be run, it will not be pretty.

9/10/2008 10:22 PM

 
Blogger Mark said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

9/11/2008 2:41 AM

 
Blogger Mark said...

How do Palin's creationist-teaching, book-banning, abstinence-only tendencies resonate with your idealistic realism, Joel? Surely your lament about Evangelical Republicans should blunt your inspiration at Senator McCain's choice?

9/11/2008 2:46 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Both candidates are sub-standard at best. If Bob Barr wasn't such a non-player in all of this, he'd probably merit some serious consideration. This election is just plain depressing. Now if we could just tape 'em all to the shaft & ring up a flank bell for about 5 mins..... :)

9/11/2008 2:49 AM

 
Anonymous Draamal said...

Mark, check your facts, only the last one is half true. Okay, maybe the first one is half true if you consider creationism the same as intelligent design, but then she only wanted to allow teachers to answer questions about it, not teach it exclusively.

9/11/2008 5:15 AM

 
Blogger a_former_elt_2jv said...

Joel,

I think it's time we submitted TSSBP for linking on the Drudge Report. You essay was well thought out, concise, and with the exception of your overuse of the parentheses, a pretty good dialogue.

That, and I totally agree. Well, except for the whole Bill Sali thing, but since he doesn't represent the Nevada 2nd, it's pretty hard for me to care.

Thanks again~

Me.

9/11/2008 8:03 AM

 
Blogger Bubblehead said...

Thanks for all the great comments so far! Mark, as far as the Palin nomination goes, I look at it this way: McCain needed a pick to get the Evangelical base to jump on board, and maybe even STFU; he seems to have succeeded in at least the former. I think he's signalling a return to the era of the "do-nothing" Vice Presidency, and I'm OK with that. Besides, a VP has much less chance of being able to "ban books" than a Mayor does (not that she ever did ban books, and besides there are progressives out there trying to ban books as well). A Vice President also doesn't set education standards, but personally I wouldn't mind teachers being able to answer questions about Intelligent Design (I'm kind of an Intelligent Designer myself, believing that our Heavenly Father created the universe 13.7 billion years ago and set it on it's path that led to us); and wouldn't mind it being introduced in Social Studies-type classes where they talk about various philosphies.

Also, Mark, I added your blog to my blogroll; I assumed you're going into submarines when you finish the Nuke pipeline. Is this true?

9/11/2008 8:27 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I would have to agree with your thoughts on the way the campaigns are being run. I am pretty firmly in the Obama camp, but I am somewhat concerned with the directions both campaigns have taken in the last few weeks.

Getting involved with mudslinging and attacks is a big mistake for the democrats, in my opinion. They just aren't as good at this sort of politics as the GOP. In negative politics, the Democrats have always been bringing knives to gunfights.

I sincerely hope that the Obama campaign starts hammering away at the things that they feel they are better equipped to deal with than the GOP.

The first area that I feel the GOP has dropped the ball are the economy (energy prices, bull stearns, freddie mac and fannie mae, and now possibly Lehman brothers). Most Americans feel that their personal economics are worse than they were 8 years ago and Obama should be reminding them of that fact now.

The other area, and one that is still very important to me, is Osama Bin Laden remaining on the run. It has been 7 years today since 9/11, and we appear to be no closer to capturing him then we were at the beginning. I am terribly disappointed at the lack of concern by the Bush Administration for his capture. Of course, a last minute capture of Osama Bin Laden may be an October surprise waiting in the wings to boost the GOP anti-terrorism credentials (and I don't mean that we are waiting to capture him to affect politics, I am not that cynical).

Other issues like health care and energy policy are things I want to hear about: not lipstick, not moose hunting, not pregnant 17 year old girls.

The Obama campaign, and especially the Obama supporters, need to remember that Palin is not at the top of the GOP ticket and needs to return to telling America why McCain is not the better choice and stop being distracted by non-issues.

Steve

9/11/2008 9:15 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Joel,

((Personally) I don't think you are overusing parentheses [in your commentary](and I don't think parentheses can be overused)))).

Birdie

9/11/2008 11:09 AM

 
Blogger Bubblehead said...

I also... like to use ellipses. (They're fun to type...)

9/11/2008 11:22 AM

 
Blogger Rocky said...

"I'm actually fairly idealistic about my realism."

You and Skippy-san should get together and go bowling.

9/11/2008 12:28 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

While both candidates are now proclaiming "change" as their mantra, the real issue boils down to whats on their "change agenda".

The McCain's are pushing end of business as usual for the pols and special interests in Washington D. C. as their change focus. I've not heard or read that their is any change planned for the Bush economic, taxation, health care, energy policy, or Iraq-Afganistan wars from the McCain camp.

Obama on the other hand has put forward a change vision that attempts to address those issues.

The Obama campaign needs to get refocused and keep the focus on his change vision and details to pull this off in November.

It really boils down to what resonates with the voters. With over 50 days to go till election day, the investment banking and housing finance mess getting worse by the day with no end in sight, SecDef and Adm Mullin publicly saying the war Afganistan is in extremis, and unemployment continuing to grow, doesn't look to me like there is any good news on the horizon for the Republican Party or McCain.

My two cents,

Keep a zero bubble.......

DBFTMC(SS)USNRET

9/11/2008 1:12 PM

 
Blogger Submaster said...

"The first area that I feel the GOP has dropped the ball are the economy (energy prices, bull stearns, freddie mac and fannie mae, and now possibly Lehman brothers). Most Americans feel that their personal economics are worse than they were 8 years ago and Obama should be reminding them of that fact now."

First of all, Jay I agree with your assessment, you're right on.

Second, ANON, check your facts. The Fannies are not a sub-branch of the Executive Branch, they are manned and run my ex-Clinton cronies. Bush had no more to do with their failure than the man on the moon. As far as energy prices go, go look at when the upward trend started...let me help, when the Dem Congress got elected. It's the Dems who recessed Congress without a vote on drilling.

The Fed has the power to drive the economy. Government jacks it all up when they think and when they start with over regulation, bail outs, etc... In a free market economy, the more the government gets their skinners in the pie, the worse things will get. Let market forces be the driver, not Nancy Polossi.

9/11/2008 1:13 PM

 
Blogger Submaster said...

DBFTMC(SS)USNRET,
I know you must be somewhat educated. This economy is still the strongest in the world. Last quarters GDP was up, and while unemployment is still high (6%), that can be attributed to high fuel costs which has a LARGE trickle effect downward on EVERYTHING. If and when prices come back down OR when prices stabilize and businesses and individuals are able to compensate, you will see the unemployment rate drop. This economy is not doom and gloom.

The problem is government. Need less not more.

9/11/2008 1:22 PM

 
Blogger wtfdnucsailor said...

Joel- Thaks for the post. Both sides have extremists that make outlandish claims. During the primary season, I really thought that this year's campaign would be different from the past two. Both candidates are intelligent and able to express their philosophies of government that are very different. Unfortunately, since the convention, the Republicans have emphasized personalities and 'gut feelings' rather than the issues. The current 'faux flap' over Obama's "lipstick on a pig" comment is a perfect example. Anyone who hears the sound bite knows he was talking about the McCain policies and plans, not the VP nominee. However, the ploy means we are spending three days talking about 'lipstick' rather than the failed Bush policies that McCain plans to continue. Ms. Palin may be fantastic person and I was impressed with her speech delivery at the R convention. However, that does not make her VP of US material. From what I have read in TIME and NEWSWEEK in the past week, I find I do not agree with her conservative ideas of life and government. It is time for a change, and that change is Obama, not McCain.

9/11/2008 1:51 PM

 
Anonymous Punkindrublic said...

I am amazed and disappointed that some of the posters here (in particular) have completely failed to research some of the loopy and completely innaccurate (if not down right lies) "charges" concerning Governor Palin.

Go do your homework, then see if your charges stand up to any REAL scrutiny. Umm, nope.

You know who you are; DISMISSED!

9/11/2008 1:56 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Submaster,

I don't dispute your facts about the national economy.

My point is that for the average American citizen the facts you recite don't mean much when they're struggling to get by month to month.

In my small rural community business is struggling with a loss of much tourist revenue due to forest fires this summer coupled with the high cost of gas. Many members of the community are struggling to get by. They're not interested in a recitation of facts about how solvent the national economy is. They see McCain as simply out of touch with the needs of working individuals and families. They will vote accordingly.

DBFTMC(SS)USNRET

9/11/2008 2:20 PM

 
Blogger Mark said...

Hahaha friends I am glad to see we all noticed "tendencies" and read it as "successful policy implementation". My point is that whether she did or not, I do not trust some of these instincts. (For those who challenge my claims, I am happy to use The Economist among other sources and am not admitting error, only poor communication of my point.) This is also not to say that I do not respect her achievement at any level of government, and I do not hate her as my sharp comments of before-the-HTFF 3-exam-this morning might have implied.

Joel, yes, just finishing Week 11 at power school. Subs... west coast, I hope. I guess now that you've got me linked I'll have to update with something interesting someday. Also I appreciate your point of view regarding Senator McCain's attitude toward the evangelical base; thanks for the direct reply. As for intelligent design, I agree that it is important for scientists to admit to the failings of capital-S "Science." I was well exposed to a good deal of philosophy in my high school humanities curriculum, but the science department was as hard-nosed as any you will find.

9/11/2008 2:23 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Submaster, this is from the second Anon (Steve).

I do indeed know that these companies are not run by the government. These companies have had a serious adverse impact on the economy and the taxpayers are on the hook to provide whatever funds are necessary to keep them afloat. I think that the executive branch has a responsibility to protect the health of the economy. The reason I blame Bush is because he appears to have been asleep at the wheel while our economy is sputtering, due in large part to energy prices.

As to your comment that Bush had nothing to do with the man on the moon: I think your right...that was JFK.

As far as energy prices go, I think that additional drilling in the United States will have a minimal impact on oil. We produce about 7,600,000 barrels a day in the United States. Worldwide oil production is about 80,000,000 barrels a day. Even if we were to crank up our production by 4,000,000 barrels a day (which I think is pretty optimistic), I can't see any huge impact on oil prices in the world market. OPEC produces over 30,000,000 barrels a day. If we ramp up our production, they can throttle back on theirs, and maintain a high price on oil. They have shown a willingness to alter the supply side of the equation in the past and I think they would be perfectly willing to do it again. We have our hands on a small valve, but OPEC controls the big valve.

Let's remember that supply and demand is a two part equation. Until we have more alternative energy supplies (nuclear, natural gas, wind, tidal generators, whatever), we will not be able to have a significant impact on the supply side. However, we can control the demand side through some conservation. McCain's stance on conservation was to mock Obama's simple suggestion of keeping proper air pressure in your tires. While everyone understands that this alone will not make a big difference in our demand, small steps add up. Even if it doesn't solve the problem all by itself, it certainly should not have been mocked.

-Steve

9/11/2008 2:40 PM

 
Blogger a_former_elt_2jv said...

Joel,

Maybe you start using the ampersand in places where "et" is used.

Examples:
&c. = etc.
&al. = et al.

Any perhaps instead of so many parentheses, maybe a few double hyphens and semi-colons would be in order-- they make sentences flow much more smoothly.

Thanks again~

Me.

9/11/2008 2:42 PM

 
Blogger Mark said...

I am a big fan of the ampersand. Yes please.

9/11/2008 2:47 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Submaster,

Some thoughts on your comments on who is to blame for higher oil/fuel prices.

It's complex. Worldwide demand for more petroleum. Until the last couple of weeks a continuing decline in the value of the dollar vs other currencies so our purchases cost more. Deregulation of the commodities futures market a number of years ago which made it attractive for a variety of financial institutions, retirement funds, etc. to buy oil futures as a hedge against the falling dollar. While both parties voted for deregulation about eight years ago, the real pusher of that legislation was former Senator Phil Grahm R-Texas. I have read/seen testimony before congress that about a third of the run up in price of oil was due to speculation in the futures market.

There seems to be general agreement among both parties in congress as well as major business users of petroleum products and academics that re-regulation of the commodities futures market needs to occur. When investment banks and retirement funds hold over 70% of the heating oil futures for New England as a hedge against the decline of the dollar, with no intent to release for use, there is something basically wrong.

My two cents.

Keep a zero bubble......

DBFTMC(SS)USNRET

9/11/2008 3:09 PM

 
Blogger Rubber Ducky said...

McCain is running a scurrilous campaign. His VP choice is cynical politics of the worst kind. He intends positing the voters' choice on personality, not issues.

Is this is true character?

Is this how he would govern?

Should we vote on hope, the hope that all we see and all he does ... doesn't matter?

9/12/2008 8:17 AM

 
Blogger Cameron said...

"He intends positing the voters' choice on personality, not issues."

Uh...

9/12/2008 10:38 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Joel, I almost agree with your assessment that it is Obama's campaign to lose. It was 6 months ago, but somehow he has not figured out that everytime he talks without a teleprompter he loses votes. If he would've been quiet for the past 6 months the polls would be 65% Obama/ 35% McCain. I predict he will keep talking until he loses the election to McCain.

I'm leaning toward a 3rd party candidate as these two jokers are both bad news in my opinion.

9/12/2008 2:03 PM

 
Blogger Rubber Ducky said...

"He intends positing the voters' choice on personality, not issues."

Uh..."

...and he seems to be a jerk...

...and an airedale...

...but I repeat myself...

9/12/2008 2:33 PM

 
Blogger David said...

will Palin be the first tube girl to also be the Vice President?

9/12/2008 3:20 PM

 
Anonymous Sean said...

McCain unleashed a monster having Palin as his VP. As far as the media is concerned she might as well be the main candidate. And if behavior in the primary is any indication of behavior in the presidency, We'd be seeing an extremely active VP. At least publicly anyway.
I can't find many interviews with McCain anymore but I've seen a lot with Palin. Apparently she doesn't personally believe global warming is caused by man's activities and thinks that war with Russia is very plausible.
Considering her history and what I've heard about her, I'm absolutely terrified of her being one step below an aged, but well-to-do, McCain if he won the presidency.
I'm agnostic and indifferent about religion, so the only thing flaunting religious based morals can do is make me a little nervous

Mark, what section are you in?
I'm in 0804-5. Sub-vol of course.

Looks like this blog is getting invaded by kids.

9/12/2008 4:18 PM

 
Anonymous Dave said...

"Apparently she doesn't personally believe global warming is caused by man's activities and thinks that war with Russia is very plausible."

Those are your two complaints against her? Global warming is a myth. Along the lines of Xenon, ESD, and VARs. It's what we use alternatively as an excuse or justification, because in our ignorance we can't defend our positions with anything credible.

As far as Georgia... Why wouldn't anyone support membership in NATO for fledgling democracies? Oh, conviction. That's why. We are fair-weather treaty members. God forbid that we'd be obligated to follow through on our word and kick Russian ass.

The election is Obamas to lose. Every time that new ad of his runs, criticizing McCain's age and computer savvy, he'll alienate the senior citizens. Everytime he belittles Palin's elected office or life experiences, he'll alienate another group of women. Everytime one of his minions questions McCain's honor, middle America becomes more uncomfortable.

It's like watching a sinking ship. Slow, but inevitable.

9/12/2008 5:20 PM

 
Blogger Mark said...

Sean -- 0805-1. I'll be there tomorrow and Sunday afternoons studying for RD2.

Dave, I think your reply misunderstands NATO the same way that Palin does. The point of any collective security organization is to increase the risk of going to war for a third party. The benefit from admitting Georgia and Ukraine would come not from us thumping Russia (as much as I want to see it) but from constraining Russia's options. But then, is it wise to insert ourselves into a situation that we know will result in conflict? Russia, for example, has promised to retake Crimea if Ukraine joins NATO. Do you have the resources to retake the peninsula and secure Sevastopol? Incidentally, do Georgia and Ukraine even fulfill the criteria for entry to NATO? For example, recognized borders?

9/12/2008 7:28 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dave,

As a senior citizen (67 in a month) I have stated in a separate thread on this blog that one of a number of reasons I do not support a McCain presidency is because he he has stated he does not use computers and e-mail. He is too old for the presidency. somebody else commented on the actuarial tables regarding McCain making it through his term. I know, I know, it's that statistical stuff again..

after watching the Palin interviews on ABC with the interviewer coaching her through her comments, I have grave concerns about her abilities. However, just to be fair about it, I did conduct an after Palin interview survey. My survey subject (spouse) said, and I quote, "She is inarticulate, does not answer the questions, and she's ignorant on the basics of whats going on in the country and in the world."

I think more Palin interviews are in order to show just how shallow and what a poor choice she is for the McCain campaign.

In regard to kicking Russia's ass, who we gonna get to do it? Not gonna be us with most of the military tied up in Iraq. You guys (and Palin) better start reading your history about the last guys that took that on as a military campaign; and I ain't talking about the cold war which I had a part in for over twenty years.

My two cents......

DBFTMC(SS)USNRET

9/12/2008 9:54 PM

 
Anonymous dave said...

"McCain gets emotional at the mention of military families needing food stamps or veterans lacking health care. The outrage comes from inside: McCain's severe war injuries prevent him from combing his hair, typing on a keyboard, or tying his shoes."

Boston Globe, 2000.

Everyone is entitled to vote for who they think is best. I'm amused though, at the notion Obama is more fit for the presidency because of his email skills.

As far as Palin is concerned, the ABC interview was a set up. Show me what executive order codifies the Bush Doctrine. It's a made up media bucket to throw everything they hate about the Bush administration into. Preemptive attacks, detention of combatants, global warming, clubbing baby seals, etc... Charlie Gibson couldn't even define it right. Palin was right in asking him to be more specific because it was a bad question. You and I agree on something, yet I think it may be for different reasons. More interviews with Palin are in order.

I am amazed at the people who are quick to dismiss Palins public service yet so willingly accept Obamas. Their length of service and experience are roughly on par with each other. Pros and Cons to each.

The problem I have with Russia right now, isn't Russia. It's bigger than that. I don't like hearing the defeatists who say that our military is stretched too thin. That's a leadership problem. And, I'll preemptively suggest that anyone who wants to comment on who's to blame for the readiness of our military first go back and read the constitution. It appears that we'd rather rationalize excuses as to why we can't instead of how we can. I wouldn't accept that crap from a JO (no offense, BH) nor from a SN, so why should I from you or from my elected officials. I stand by my fair-weather comment above. We are all for promoting Democracy around the world, that is until it comes time to defend it.

9/12/2008 10:53 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dave,

Just a couple of thoughts on your comment regarding McCain's honor.

If you are referring to his service in the Navy, Viet Nam conflict, and trials as a POW, thats over 35 years ago. while I "honor" that service, as far as I'm concerned it has very little bearing on his knowledge and experience to be President of the United States. His only real organizational leadership experience was a two year tour as a RAG CO and that was over thirty years ago. As a Senator he has a track record of getting in serious trouble for attempting to influence federal government activities on behalf of Keating and the spin off of the S & L fiasco of twenty years ago. While he describes himself as a maverick, he doesn't seem to follow through on a number of those maverick issues such as the prohibition of torture. I believe in his heart he is against many of those things, however, his follow through is lacking and it seems to me to end up as political posturing. I see him as just another Pol who unfortunatly has sacrificed his "straight talk" image of 2000 (that I greatly admired and respected) for a do anything, say anything, flip-flop shot in 2008.

My two cents.....

Keep a zero bubble......

DBFTMC(SS)USNRET

9/12/2008 10:55 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jeeze Dave,

Take it easy, I was just providing you with some feedback from a senior citizen that doesn't agree with your idea that seniors will get upset with comments about McCains lack of computer skills or desire to use e-mail.

what I don't understand though, if he cares so much about taking care of the military, why did he vote against the last veterens benefits bill?? Oh almost forgot.. Food stamps, and WIC for military families is old news. It was going on when I was a COB on a smoke boat in the 70's. Where the hell were the pols including McCain years ago when the MCPO of the Navy was raising the issue before congress year after year? Well, we didn't have a long hot war going on with an all volunteer military and the pols were not running for president.

Regarding your questioning my judgement about going to war with Russia over Georgia, Your comments sound to me like a lot of Cheney-Rumsfeld unpatriotic blaming BS to suggest a reality check on who's gonna do it? I would also add, those that don't learn from history are doomed to repeat it.

I don't know why the hell we should care about Georgia and Russia It's in Europes back yard, let them deal with it. OOPPPS.. I forgot, it's that damn oil and gas again.

My two cents....

Keep a zero bubble......

DBFTMC(SS)USNRET

9/12/2008 11:36 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Shockproof? If you say Yes, then Google "Obama Supports Public Depravity." You won't believe your eyes! Jay

9/13/2008 12:58 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

To DBFTMC(SS)USNRET:
Tubes, I don't necessarily agree with everything you post, but I sure do enjoy reading them. Keep on posting!

About McCains’ not using computers? So what? He has staffers to do that for him. There are many ways to make it easier to use computers for people with physical limitations. Speech recognition programs, touch screens, etc. Getting the best of these to help a President would be money well spent. Would we be saying this about a candidate who didn’t drive his own car as well?

As far as the “lipstick on a pig” issue, I think both McCain and Palin would be better off the publicly come out and just say it doesn’t bother them. Obama was smart to do this when Hillary made the gaff about RFK being assonated in the primaries. He said words to the effect that "Sen. Clinton says that she did not intend any offense by it," he added, "and I would take her at her word on that."

I personally don’t believe that any President has near as much control over our economy as the public seems to believe, especially in just one term, and many of the effects of the President’s policies are not fully felt until after they leave office. Darn, should I have put a parenthesis somewhere in that last sentence? 

I also would like to point out that we don’t always end up with the best person as President, but the most “electable” one.

I too, am concerned about McCain’s age. I would have like to see him as President for the last eight years instead of Bush. If McCain had taken us into a war with Iraq, I believe it would have been handled a whole lot different and we would be out by now. I am a big fan of the “go big or stay home” plan.

One last unrelated note: Does anyone know more about the EM Log and if it is coming back? If big navy has their heavy hand on his laptop, I would love to see him simply get out and then continue blogging.

Chief-Torpedoman

9/13/2008 8:28 AM

 
Blogger Mark said...

Dave, you are confusing leadership problems with resource problems. Where is the money for more troops and more ships and more missiles? What is the cost of the disruption to trade caused by war? What if Russia starts using its dominance over Europe's energy as a weapon? You can't just lead your way to solutions for these problems. A Chief or JO can't just lead his way to more torpedoes or Tomahawks or food capacity. A reactor can't be influenced by leadership at all.

The CBO just estimated a $7 trillion deficit over the next 10 years if the Bush tax cuts are extended and the AMT continues to be patched ad-hoc as it has been. What price, exactly, are you willing to pay? It's nice to say that we will pay any price for freedom, but how high are you going to raise taxes, and how long are you going to put off infrastructure maintenance to keep our bridges from falling down?

9/13/2008 9:23 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thats my point Mark. Although I do think leadership has a part in it. A presidential decision to roll back taxes for the top end coupled with starting a war in Iraq without funding to pay for it is just poor leadership. Ooops, little slip-up there, the current administration did get the Chinese to pay for a lot of it. So when they (the Chinese) call in those notes, not only will we have to find the principal, we'll get to pay them interest on it as well.

I tend to think of the "Economy" being connected to government and Presidential leadership as a kind of spiderweb. There are many connections. A Presidential decision, (or indecision for that matter) Treasury Action, or congressional Vote can have an effect although it may be hard to ferret-out.

My two cents......

Going to Redding CA for a SubVets get together this morning so, you'all keep a zero bubble......

DBFTMC(SS)USNRET

9/13/2008 9:53 AM

 
Anonymous TheWatchtower said...

I think that the campaigns, and the candidates are what they are.

What I would hope for, rather than some unfounded wish that politicians would stop being politicians, is that people would better educate themselves about these candidates.

How many of you, honestly, for instance, know the following...?

Obama ranks third in Congress for donations from lobbyists tied to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in a recent report from the Center for Responsive Politics. Mr. McCain didn't make the top 25.

Top 5 recipients of monies from these Fannie & Freddie lobbyists:
1. Dodd, Christopher J Senate Democrat -CT $133,900
2. Kerry, John Senate Democrat-MA $111,000
3. Obama, Barack Senate Democrat-IL $105,849
4. Clinton, Hillary Senate Democrat-NY $75,550
5. Kanjorski, Paul E House of Rep Democrat-PA $65,500

Source: Dallas Morning News



And you guys consider yourselves informed? That's a little disconcerting.

9/13/2008 12:12 PM

 
Blogger King said...

Dave, I really resent that you, on behalf of McCain, have brought up his status as a POW. He's the only POW I know of that's trying to cash in on his POW status to gain the Presidency. Quite frankly it's a bit sickening, and incredibly ignorant for you to say that he supports the troops.

He might sit and give speeches about how great our troops are, but how can you say he supports the troops when on one hand he voted against the Veteran's Benefits bill that included the new GI bill, and then claims that he helped pass it on his web site! I suppose if just being a member of the Senate means he contributed...

As for Palin, I have a real difficulty trusting anybody that uses religion to justify their politics. I respect people's right to practice whatever religion they want, but don't want to be beholden to live under somebody else's religious rules.

It's interesting that modern politics has really turned into a war between the "small-town yokels" and "urban elitists" (I say both tongue in cheek).

9/13/2008 2:36 PM

 
Blogger jq5 said...

King,

Like it or not, all politicians, whether they are Christian, Muslim, Humanist, or Atheist, use these religious beliefs to formulate their systems of morals and political platforms. In your words, "to justify their politics". The sword cuts both ways. Do atheists get a free ride in establishing a state-sponsored religion?

Why is there such a great fear of Christian leaders? Do you seriously think it's a Christian value to use politics to form a theocracy here on earth?

Historically, the worst possible government to live under is one run with an atheist belief system. How many millions of people were exterminated in the last century by governments whose state sponsored ideology was "there is no God"?

In your mind, how does Obama get off the hook here? He uses his view of the teachings of Jesus to justify using government to care for the poor: "I think America's greatest moral failure in my lifetime has been that we still don't abide by that basic precept in Matthew that whatever you do for the least of my brothers, you do for me."

Talk about using religion to justify politics!! Obama is using Jesus' teaching to individuals and applying it to justify establishing government programs and using tax money to care for the poor (and others). So it would follow that when we pay our taxes we have fulfilled our biblical obligation to give. Doesn't that make the government our "church"? If that isn't scary, I don't know what is.

Shouldn't individuals have the right to give as their conscience dictates and not be coerced? I'm not talking about taxes spent to promote the general welfare and to secure the blessings of liberty, but "social programs".

Simply put, if you feel compelled to help someone, open your wallet and help, don't enact laws to open other people's wallets. Those people may have different convictions or may feel compelled to help in different areas.

I don't think that either candidate is ideal, but I think McCain poses less of a threat to individual liberty, so he is my choice. I would much rather have to deal with an occasional criminal individual or corporation than have to live under an oppressive criminal government. Individual liberty has to come first.

9/14/2008 7:55 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

jq5,

I believe there is a strong arguement to be made, and plenty of evidence to show that the Bush administration has committed "high crimes and misdemeanors" in regards to authorizing torture, and lying about the rational for the start of the war in Iraq. This is much more serious than the impeachment of Bill Clinton for lying about a blow job. Bill Clintons lies didn't lead to the death of over 4000 members of the military and the squandering of billions of dollars to persue a neocon fantasy. There is ample evidence that federal intelligence gathering activites authorized strictly for use in the GWOT by Bush's politicised Justice Department has been and is probably continuing to be abused. Why can't they obey the law?? As the old saying goes, give'em an inch and they'll take a mile. The Bush administration also started the transfer of tax monies to religous organizations to start "social service" programs. Come-on!! We all know where this is leading!!! Now heres whats important about the Bush legacy, McCain/Palin promise us more of the same. a quote from Palin, "The war in Iraq is a holy war." Broadcast last week on CBS with her speaking in church. Now it's no longer a neocon fantasy, it's becoming a holy war. a quote from McCain, "We'll stay in Iraq for a hundred years if thats what it takes to win." Win what?? Ooops, just having a senior moment, It's that damn oil again.... anyone interested in T. Boone Pickins for President?? He seems to be the only one with a plan for energy independence.

My two cents.....

Keep a zero bubble.....

DBFTMC(SS)USNRET

9/14/2008 11:25 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

DBF,

Check your own bubble. Let's see your citation on Palin's "Holy War" quote. A word-for word quotation in context would be appreciated.

Also, what is a "neocon"? My understanding of the phrase is that it dates back to the early 70's and was used to malign liberals who no longer believed in the socialist cause.

Obama also said that he would keep a security force in Iraq indefinitely (Obama's speech given in DC 15-July, 2008, look it up and read it).

Just because these items originate from a liberal source does not make them true. I am sure that you get all full of righteous indignation when someone maligns Obama in the same vein.

I'm sure that I will be accused of "hateful" speech and "racism" just because I won't drink the Obama Kool-Aid.

Oh yeah... one more thing...
With respect to your desire for a purely secular nation, does the standard vessel christening blessing offend you?

In closing,
"In God we trust".

9/14/2008 2:58 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anon,

Ouch! You got me! The quote was taken from Palin's address to Ministry students at her church. in that address she states that the Iraq war "is a task from God."

source AP Gene Johnson Sep.3, 2008.

I did happen to see her make that statement on the tube last week in a video clip during a news broadcast. I confess, I interpreted he statement to mean the Iraq war is a holy war. Lets see--Iraq war--Task from God--Holy War, seems pretty close to me.

Regarding Neo Cons, your correct about the left wing origins of Neo conservative philosophy. today however it is commonly understood by many, myself included, to describe the Bush Administration approach to Foreign Policy. NeoCon Idealism and theory won out over the reality and complexity of the Middle East and the overiding importance of Islam. The Bushite fantasy was thinking that just plunking in American Troops and throwing $$$$$ at them, the Iraqi's would all line up to become Republicans and Democrats and create a secular democracy overnight. And, in the bargain, be very grateful to us and give us all the cheap oil we wanted.

In any case, I think a lot of the Neo Con Philosophy is nothing more than smoke and mirrors cover for ensuring we have continued access to and control of middle east oil.

Don't see anything wrong with our Naval traditions of Christening vessels, Chaplains, or religous services aboard ships or stations. If you want and need to pray by all means do so. And, God Bless America!

I do have major problems when our current president described the Nations GWOT as a "Crusade" (which he quickly retracted--what was he thinking???) and the Republican Vice Presidential nominee describes our war in Iraq as a task from God.

Personally, I like T. Boone Pickins for President. He seems to be the only one thats got an energy plan. Think I'll write him in on my ballot.

My two cents....

Keep a zero bubble.......

DBFTMC(SS)USNRET

9/14/2008 4:24 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

DBF,
I noticed that you ignored the Obama/Iraq issue. If McCain had phrased it the same way, as opposed to the 100 years comment, is that acceptable?

As far as Palin's comments go, I hear similar comments every day from my friends who believe in God.

I too view every day, and challenges posed to us in our every day lives, as part of God's plan. We are placed in situations and have the free will to choose between what is right and wrong.

I did not interpret it the same way that you did, that Palin is the equivalent of a Crusader.

So.....
If Obama uses religion, it's ok. If Obama says it's ok to stay in Iraq, its ok.

Hmmm.... sounds like a little liberal hypocrisy to me

9/14/2008 5:31 PM

 
Blogger King said...

jq5:

Your example for Obama using the bible to justify caring for those who are less fortunate is a straw man. Certainly, the New Testament argues that we should care for the poor, but I'd argue that nihilists, agnostics, and atheists would have some consensus that basic human compassion provides enough reason to do the same.

This argument cannot be made at all for promoting the teaching of faith based pseudo-science such as Creationism or Intelligent Design to impressionable children irregardless of whatever religion they are raised.

To a certain extent, the same argument can be made for anti abortion laws (though, it's somewhat morally stickier).

I agree that a person's beliefs will in some ways influence how they govern, and my personal belief is that Palin/McCain's beliefs are backwards, old-fashioned, and counter productive to engage in productive relationships with other nation's of the world.

Interestingly, I never used to think that about McCain until this election.

9/14/2008 5:53 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anon,

My read on Obama-McCain differences over Iraq have to do with their origional and continuing positions. I can only hunch on McCains position Re: staying 100 years if necessary to win. I get back to the question in my last post. Win what?? a clear military victory? We get the Iraqi's to convert to a secular (read non-Islamic) government? We get them to bend to our will and give us oil at cheap prices? They wil let us keep bases in their desert for years? It's clear I'm not a believer in the NeoCon fantasy I outlined in a previous post. Re: Obama's position on Iraq--I believe he has been a realist in regard to the facts of the mideast and our ability to impose our will (read Neocon fantasy) on that area of the world. I'm not a spokesperson for him and his position, however his statements make sense to me where the Bushites and the McCainites who desire the same policies going forward do not. My belief is when it is all said and done in Iraq whenever that is, we will have squandered thousands of lives and billions of taxpayers dollars and reaped nothing. We have nothing to loose getting out of there. the Saudis, and Iranians are the real loosers when we pull out which is a good thing. (Oh Damn--there's that oil thing again!!) If you think the Iraqi majority Islamic government (yes I said Islamic government) will be beholden to us you are sadly mistaken. My projection is they will be in bed with their Iranian partners within 3 years. Has Obama modified his position Re: Iraq? yes. Has he said he will stay 100 years in order to win? No. My belief is he will be out of there before the McCainites which is the right thing to do. Obama has been saying for a long time the fight with Al Quada is in Afganistan. He is right. the SecDef and CJCOS Adm. Mullin have said Afganistan is in extremis. Where is McCain? He's AWOL on that issue and Palin ignores Afganistan altogether. Iraq is a side show. The real GWOT is in Afganistan and Pakistan. The only candidate addressing that issue in detail is Obama.
You misquote me, I do not believe Gov. Palin is a crusader. That was a Bush statement. I believe she does not the have the knowledge, experience, or critical judgement to be president. Yes I know, She's the VP Candidate. Check McCains age and the actuarial tables. If elected she wil be a heartbeat away from the Presidency.

MMMMM.....Gods Plan VS free will, interesting concept to inject into this discussion. I for one do not believe that the invasion of Iraq was Gods plan. I believe it was a Bushite-Neocon plan and there is ample evidence to support my belief. I certainly don't believe that God (as I understand him) appointed Bush and his Neocon partners to conduct a war in his name. They must have exercised that free will option you mentioned.

Re: your what if Obama said.... it's a specious argument. He didn't say it, I don't need to comment on it.

I take great issue with pols that invoke Gods will for the war in Iraq when it is clearly based on lies from the Bushites and the NeoCons. I do not believe God would support war, death and distruction based on lies.

It all boils down to the matter of who do I trust to lead the country in the right direction, It ain't McCain and Palin.

My two cents......

DBFTMC(SS)USNRET

9/14/2008 9:31 PM

 
Anonymous Port Tack Start said...

Whenever anyone brings up the start of OIF, I like to point out UN Security Council Resolution 1441. Though the Administration pounded WMDs into Joe Blow Public's head, 1441 lays out the reasons pretty well: Iraq was in material breach of the ceasefire and subsequent resolutions and was given a 30 day ultimatum under threat of "serious consequences". It passed unanimously.

As an agnostic, I agree with King that I do have some moral compass even without a book (Book?) to tell me what to do. However, when any politician (Bush to Obama to Mccain and everyone in between) drops scripture or God or what-have-you I usually take it to be pandering to a group of people. Now, if they start sounding like crazy muslim clerics advocating the murdering of TV Broadcasters, then I would take an issue with that. Palin quoting the Blues Brothers that OIF is a "mission from God" (so pray for the troops) really doesn't seem too bad...she's probably just trying to get more votes. Non issue.

Now the biggest issue I have is this disturbing trend towards socialism and the idea of entitlement that seems to be creeping into society. The federal government should not be in the business of bailing people out of stupid mistakes. Bad policies by the financial industry with these high-risk loans coupled with bad choices by people to take on debt they can't afford sucks for those people, but I don't want my (federal) tax dollars going to help someone keep a $500k house when they only make $30k a year. Or keeping a company afloat because the CEO got greedy. Bailing the airlines out after 9-11, that was a special case so I didn't mind that. But in general, I sure don't feel like I should help pay for someone to live beyond their means. Same for most other social programs. Leave those for the local governments or private institutions. That's my main issue with Obama.

Likewise, abortion should really be an issue resolved at the state level or lower. Because the US is all mixed up in terms of ideologies, why do we even try to figure that out at the federal level? Overturn Roe vs Wade and let each state decide for itself whether it believes abortion is wrong or not.

I also think we should repeal the 16th amendment and implement FairTax, but that won't happen for a good long while.

9/14/2008 9:36 PM

 
Anonymous port tack start said...

DBF said:

I believe she does not the have the knowledge, experience, or critical judgement to be president. Yes I know, She's the VP Candidate. Check McCains age and the actuarial tables. If elected she wil be a heartbeat away from the Presidency.

The funny thing is, both Palin and Obama have roughly equivalent experience in my opinion. But where Palin is being elected to be a heartbeat away for POTUS, Obama is being elected to BE POTUS. I have not heard any good explanation as to why Obama's experience makes him any more ready for the presidency than Palin's. Personally, I'm holding off judgement on Palin until after the VP debates. Based on their respective speeches at their respective conventions, the debates could get pretty fiery and exciting.

As for the outcome of OIF, when the Iraqi government, chosen by the Iraqi people, has fully stood up for its own security, budget, and infrastructure, that is when we have achieved victory. I've always seen that war as the removal of a dictator whom the international community agreed was a threat to peace. In his place: the institution of a government chosen by the people in whatever form they feel is proper. We've spent billions of dollars and thousands of lives to give the Iraqi people a UN sanctioned chance to decide their own fates. It doesn't really make good fiscal sense for the US and the impact on foreign relations didn't turn out too well in the short term. But long term, assuming we succeed, we may find out the cost was worth it.

9/14/2008 9:56 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Port Tack,

Abolishing the 16th amendment won't help. the pres and congress will just get the treasury Department to print more $$$$$ and sell more Federal "paper" to china. doesn't look to me like there is any connection between income taxes and balanced budgets. Great lesson for American families don't you think? I feel sorry for my kids and grandkids.

My two cents....

DBFTMC(SS)USNRET

9/14/2008 9:56 PM

 
Anonymous port tack start said...

DBF,

I completely agree that repealing 16th amendment won't balance the budget, however: the tax code is something like 30,000 pages if I remember right. In keeping with my view of a smaller federal government, I just think that if we use FairTax we would close the loopholes that take so many pages and pages to write in, and thus we could then begin greatly downsizing the IRS. I don't promote it to help balance the budget, just reduce government size. And I hate filing income taxes every year. And the IRS wrote me a nasty letter years and years ago when I didn't know what I was doing.

9/14/2008 10:06 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Port Tack--By gad sir, an optomist about the outcome in Iraq! I salute you and hope your right.

I've said a lot on this thread Re: my support of Obama over McCain and I'll stick by it. I do believe the election is his to loose.

Appreciate you thoughts.....And yours as well Anon. There's nothing gets this old smoke boat sailors juices flowing like a good political debate.. unless its the sound of the those old FM38ND 8 1/8's running in in the AER of the USS Pampanito SS-383, while were standing topside pissing on the tank tops in that good ol'diesel exhaust. gonna be doing that after the SubVets beer bust, dinner and sleep-over on her on October 8th.

Keep a zero bubble.....

DBFTMC(SS)USNRET

DBFTMC(SS)USNRET

9/14/2008 10:16 PM

 
Blogger Submaster said...

Port Tack,
Agree with your comments. My major concern with Obama and the Democrats in general is their tendency to be "socialists". If that is your desire, Europe is waiting.

I believe in a smaller government, while Bush sure has not done a good job here, it's a far cry from what those Dems want to do. Obama during an interview with O'Reilly said that "it was the neighborly thing to do" when referring to taxing "big oil" and giving money away. He thinks he is a modern day Robin Hood.

Subsidizing bad behavior by taxing some to give to others to "make things fair" is unsat. Life is not fair; the Constitution does not guarantee fairness, just opportunity. If you make a mistake, tough. If you make bad decisions, tough. Don't pick my pocket to bail you out.

DBF,
You had my respect until you went into a diatribe about "high crimes and misdemeanors" Bush impeachment...Do you also believe that the twin towers were detonated by high explosives and Bush was behind the attacks...Enough.

9/15/2008 6:30 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I’m just getting back from a week of camping and reading the blog.

DBFTMC(SS)USNRET you said:

“I don't know why the hell we should care about Georgia and Russia It's in Europes back yard, let them deal with it. OOPPPS.. I forgot, it's that damn oil and gas again.”

Sorry but isn’t that what the world said to Hitler as he crossed the Rhine River? How’d that turn out?

For me this election is the lesser of two evils and I haven’t figgured out who the lesser is. I will, however, vote.

Throughout history, we have had great Presidents who have had very little experience and bad Presidents who have had a lot of experience and from all parties.

Conversly, we have had some great Presidents who were Vice Presidents. Some good and some not so good and very few with the past experience to support them being picked for the post.

Assassination:
Andrew Johnson for Abraham Lincoln in 1865
Chester Arthur for James Garfield in 1881
Theodore Roosevelt for William McKinley in 1901
Lyndon Johnson for John Kennedy in 1963.
Natural Death:
Four Vice Presidents inherited the presidency after the natural death of the incumbent:
John Tyler for William Henry Harrison in 1841
Millard Fillmore for Zachary Taylor in 1850
Calvin Coolidge for Warren Harding in 1923
Harry Truman for Franklin Roosevelt in 1945.
http://www.usatrivia.com/Vpstats.html

That Damn Good Looking Aganger From Iowa

9/15/2008 8:31 AM

 
Blogger jq5 said...

King,

You completely missed my point. Yes the New Testament teaches that we should care for the poor, there is no arguing that. My point of contention (not a straw man) is in the defining of "we".

Obama is taking this teaching out of context and applying it to government. The teaching is clearly directed to individuals, or groups of believers.

Stretching the application to include the U.S. government is ludicrous. Should we also use the government to "Go ye therefore" and spread the Gospel? Does the biblical mandate of giving without expectation of repayment apply to government agencies?

I am not saying that the poor should not be helped. We all have the right to life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness. Using the government to take away wealth from one person and give it to another is wrong, whether the recipient is the poor or real estate speculators.

Apparently you don't mind politicians using religion to justify their politics as long as the politics agree with your own.

As far as your view on teaching creationism, either we should teach differing viewpoints, or we shouldn't teach origins at all. Fact is, they all require a level of faith, it's not scientific, none are observable, measurable, or repeatable, and public school teachers shouldn't be teaching matters of faith. Origin isn't critical to any scientific discipline anyway.

DBF, what's with the rant about the current administration? If neo-cons are the sickness, how can socialism be the cure? Let's give even more power to the government, that'll fix it!!

9/15/2008 10:50 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Submaster,

Don't be silly. Every thinking person knows that Al Queda was responsible for the 9/11 attack. I stand by my comments RE: impeachment for Bush. He is responsible for taking the US into an unnecessary war in Iraq, putting Afganistan second where the real war against Al Queda and their Taliban hosts needs to be waged. I say again, SecDef and CJCS have both publicly stated that success in Afganistan is in serious jeopardy. You can lay that right at Bush's feet. The Taliban and Al Queda should have been finished off in Afganistan long ago.

DGL AGanger,

Not sure about your comment about Hitler crossing the Rhine. are you referring to Germany's remilitarization of the Rhineland in 1936? The judgement of history is pretty clear on that issue. If France and England had directly challenged Germany's actions, they would have withdrawn their troops. Those pesky Europeans again! Why can't they take care of their own back yard!!?? Re: lessons from history, if McCain/Palin want to go to war with Russia over the Georgia business, they better brush up on the history of the German attempt to defeat Russia in WWII. I say again, those that don't learn from history are doomed to repeat it.

JQ5, The focus of my "rant" on the NeoCons is about the failed
foreign policy of the Bush Presidency. My point is McCain/Palin plan on following the same failed policies. Don't see your link between foreign policy and domestic social policy. I certainly don't think that "socialism" is the answer for America. Not sure that many businesses that hire illegal aliens would agree though. They love to pay them minimal wages and push them onto public funded programs. As I recall Walmart was doing that with their part time employee's. Yep, social welfare for business. What do you think? I pretty much fall in with a previous poster that on a lot of the social issues, it ought to be left up to the States to decide. An example, in California where I live there is a citizens initative on the ballot Re: same sex marriage. That ought to be the way a lot of this social stuff gets handled.

My two cents.......

Keep a zero bubble.....

DBFTMC(SS)USNRET

9/15/2008 1:19 PM

 
Blogger King said...

jq5:

I see your point, though, I still disagree with it. I did not see the speech, but take it more as an allegory. Granted, I've not seen the speech in question, so it's hard for me to have context.

As far as my approach to politics, I support a completely secular, fact and reason based point of view to include basic human/moral compassion and a sense of fairness to dictate what I support and don't support. In practice, I'm sure I'm not 100% consistent on my views, but few people are.

As for this:

"As far as your view on teaching creationism, either we should teach differing viewpoints, or we shouldn't teach origins at all. Fact is, they all require a level of faith, it's not scientific, none are observable, measurable, or repeatable, and public school teachers shouldn't be teaching matters of faith. Origin isn't critical to any scientific discipline anyway."

I'm actually flabbergasted that anybody can truly say that the Theory of Evolution and Creationism are at all equivalent. One is a theory backed by a preponderance of scientific evidence, the other is based on the facts that 1) we physically exist and 2) it's written in a book that was written thousands of years ago that says it is so. The argument for intelligent design I can accept a little bit, but the underlying principle behind it is that: God made the universe in such a way that the world came to exist via widely accepted scientific principles, such as... evolution. In either case, evolution can be taught while leaving the God part out completely.

Modern biology has a strong foundation in evolution. For you to dismiss it as a merely a "story" is quite honestly digging your head into the sand. That doesn't mean there's not room for theological discussion, but I think it's safe to say that the book of Genesis is, at best, metaphorical.

9/15/2008 5:25 PM

 
Blogger jq5 said...

King,

Obama quote was from the Saddleback forum. Granted, he was pandering to the evangelical vote, but in doing so is either lying or committing a dangerous misapplication of the scripture in question.

"Supported by the preponderance of scientific evidence" is quite a stretch. Evolution and uniformitarian geology are entirely incapable of answering the question of origin, and in explaining how we got from origin to here, there are simply too many holes. Evidence for macroevolution, the "molecules to man" concept, simply does not exist. Yes, microevolution is used in biology, but origin is not critical to the discipline.

There has to be a cause. Even Richard Dawkins understands that, and recently presented the theory life on earth was created by "aliens".

An off-topic question: Are/were you an FT?

DBF: The link between foreign policy and domestic social policy is clear in the context of the presidential election.

You are obviously not a fan of G.W. Bush and you don't trust McCain/Palin to "lead the country in the right direction", the logical inference is Obama will be getting your vote, who is without a doubt more socialist than McCain.

"If I'm sitting pretty and you've got a waitress who is making minimum wage plus tips, and I can afford it and she can't, what's the big deal for me to say I'm going to pay a little more? That's neighborliness." - Barack Obama
What an incredibly misleading statement. He makes it sound like a neighborly choice. But the enforcing agency for this "neighborliness" is the IRS. That's not neighborliness, it's socialism, pure and simple.

9/15/2008 8:54 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just got back from two hours in the "Diggins", a local blue collar watering hole here in Weaverville CA. I'm continuing to survey the American public on the progress of the presidential campaign, so I cnducted a poll of the customers. Consensus is, (I'm being polite here) Republicans are out of touch with every day Americans. I paraphrase here, they (the customers) think Palin's nomination to be Vice Presidential nominee is a "Joke" played on the American people. Diggins customers who have bank accounts are ready to pull them out of those institutions. They don't believe anything the pols and bankers are saying. I believe their analysis is probably better than all the economic/political pundits. What do you think?

I advised my wife who owns several hundred shares of Bank of America stock to contact a stock broker and place a sell order when it reachs a pre-determined low point. Then, reinvest the proceeds in a money market fund trading in euro's. I'm also considering moving my Nav/civ Service retirement direct deposits from Bank ** ******* to Bank of Hawaii. (Check Bank of Hawaii rating)

Just got a letter from Countrywide (B of A) today that explained (and apologized for) an employee that sold my personal information including name, ssn, mortage information, loan number, and other loan application information to a "third party." any of you guys have Countrywide Mortgages??

Can you blame these guys? They're just entrepreneurs (like the pols and K street lobbyists) trying to make a buck in todays free-market capitalism. McCain loves it too!! check his economic plans when he gets in office.

Not a good day for the old smoke boat sailor....

My two cents...

DBFTMC(SS)USNRET

9/15/2008 10:11 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

JQ5,
Gotta disagree. Your link between foreign policy and social policy is not clear to me at all. You better spell it out for me. Bush-McCain foreign Policy is derived from NeoCon Philosophy. Exercise of American power throughout the world in order to achieve NeoCon goals (read cheap oil). How does that drive domestic policy?? Bush-McCain domestic policy is based on straight forward free-market capitalism. To quote Submaster, "Life is not fair, the Constitution does not guarantee fairness". If you think the IRS or an Obama presidency is going to provide fairness, whatever that means, I've got a bridge to nowhere to sell you.

Again, My concern is not so much on domestic social policy, it's on the disasterous foriegn policy of the Bushites that Mccain/Palin are going to follow.

No inference needed here. If you've been reading my posts, i've been clear about my support of Obama over Mccain.

I've also stated pretty clearly that I'm no fan of socialism "however you define it." Just like to point out that Websters defines socialism as "the theory or system of ownership and operation of the means of production and distibution by society or the community rather than the private individuals, with all members of the society or community sharing in the work or the products." I believe your application of the term "socialism" to the Obama campaign policies is a typical conservative misuse of terms in order to paint "progressive" (look it up in Websters) ideas as somehow un-American.

My two cents.....

Keep a zero bubble.............

DBFTMC(SS)USNRET

9/15/2008 11:24 PM

 
Blogger jq5 said...

DBF,

Ok, I'll spell it out for you again, when you pick a candidate, you get the whole package, including domestic and foreign policy.

When you pick Obama for his supposed foreign policy expertise, you also get his economy-wrecking tax increases and social programs.

The Bush/McCain domestic policy is not even close to a "relatively straightforward freemarket capitalism", if it was, we, the taxpayers, wouldn't own Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and be underwriting the liability of the Bear-Stearns takeover. Apparently under the Bush administration, corporations and individuals don't even possess the right to fail.

The problem with the Bush administration is that it was not conservative enough. How else could you get the completely idiotic formula of cutting taxes while increasing budgets all wrapped in public ownership of financial institutions. It's crazy.

My point is the application of left wing ideology in both foreign and domestic policy got us into this mess. What this country needs is a true CONSERVATIVE, not a Neo-Con and certainly not a Liberal. Unfortunately we don't have one of those running, so McCain will have to do.

Fair? Who said anything about fair? The fact is our our country was formed on the INDIVIDUAL right to life, liberty and pursuit of happiness. As Reagan put it "The government beholden to the people, not the people beholden to the government."

Using government agencies to redistribute wealth is socialism, a historically proven bankrupt philosophy. It fails to reward individual accomplishment. Why would we be so stupid as to continue down the path to the left when it's been proven not to work?

9/16/2008 1:31 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

jq5,

agree, you get the whole package when you choose a candidate. I think your a little late to blame Obama for "economy wrecking tax and social programs." Looks to me like the Bush administration has put the economy into the preverbial train wreck as we debate the issues. A major piece of the train wreck from my view point is Bush tax policy of the last 8 years without budget cuts to cover that as well as the Republican and democratic trips to the hog trough every year. It goes without saying that starting a BIG war without being honest with the American people that War ain't free and every one needs to sacrifice so this is what your individual bill for the war is this year, should have happened. Pretty dishonest to say the least. I'd also point out that the Bush tax cuts have a sunset provision so let it happen. That ain't new taxes, thats just a tax break for rich folks for ten years. They've made plenty so Whats the big deal? It doesn't effect me and almost everyone that I know. We just don't make enough money where it has much impact on us.

"Left wing Ideology got us into this Mess" Huh?? Don't see any left-wingers in the Bush Administration or on K street. Not sure what that comments about.

Like to point out again that the Clinton Administration did manage to get rid of the deficit and pay off the national debt we owe to ourselves. Damn those Democrats! Stealing that conservative play book.

Check your previous thread, you opened the door on the fairness issue, I just followed up.

Just a point of reality here, Feds don't own fredfan, and haven't in years. treasury did pick up their marker though and appoint a transition team to get them sorted out.

Not sure I understand your comments about federal agencies redistributing wealth. Sounds like a lot of conservative BS to me. Only ones getting weathly seem to be Short sellers on wall street, fired CEO's that still have golden parachutes, Haliberton and KBR execs.

Guess you and I will just have to agree to disagree about politics.

Still don't see your link between Foreign and domestic policy.

Keep a zero bubble.....

DBFTMC(SS)USNRET

9/16/2008 4:03 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Here's another simple analogy for you. (If only it were really this simple to educate young idealistic, liberal, misguided college students)

This puts the argument of democrat vs. republican in terms most of us can understand.

There was a young teenage girl that was about to finish her first year of college. She considered herself to be a very liberal Democrat and her father was a rather staunch conservative Republican.

One day she was challenging her father on his beliefs and his opposition to programs like welfare, a large benevolent government, and rich-to-poor tax equalization.

He stopped her and asked her how she was doing in school. She answered that she had a 4.0 GPA but it was really tough. She had to study all the time, never had time to go out and party and often went sleepless because all of the studying. She didn't have time for a boyfriend and didn't really have many college friends because of all her studying.

He then asked how her friend Mary, that was attending the same college, was doing. She replied that she was barely getting by. She had a 2.0 GPA, never studied, was very popular on campus and was at parties all the time. She often wouldn't show up for classes because she was hung over.

He then asked his daughter why she didn't go to the Dean's office and ask why she couldn't take 1.0 off her 4.0 and give it to her friend that only had a 2.0. That way they would both have a 3.0 GPA.

She fired back and said "that wouldn't be fair, I worked really hard for mine and my friend has done nothing".

After a moment of silence, she replied, "I guess I will never vote Democrat again".

9/16/2008 4:12 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Gee, what a great analogy. My eyes have been opened.

My brother, who is 38, has the mental function of approximately a 4 year old due to a severe case of autism. The family helps support him to a certain extent, but he relies heavily on money from the government.

[sarcasm ON]
But now that I have read your analogy, I realize that my brother just isn't trying hard enough to take care of himself and perhaps he shouldn't have any support from society.
[sarcasm OFF]

Trust me, not everyone that is relying on the government is just too lazy to work. Do some people take advantage of the system? I am sure that they do. I also think that it is important for society to take care of the people that truly need assistance. If that means some people take advantage of the system, so be it, though we should make efforts to minimize people taking advantage.

As you might suspect, I have some liberal leanings. From your analogy, I guess that you think liberals support taking everyone's money away from them, and then dividing it up evenly among everyone so that nobody gets rewarded for their hard work. That is a pretty extreme viewpoint.

If you think that it is unfair for wealthier Americans to pay a higher tax rate than poorer Americans, I would say that is a fair viewpoint to take. Argue facts as they are, and not as they are in the extreme that nobody is espousing.

9/16/2008 7:27 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anon,
Your anonolgy RE; the college student doesn't make sense for me. Now it would if it was the college administration that was the "decider-in-Chief" taking some GPA from the smart hard working students to give to the less academically inclined students. Now thats a better analogy.

Or, how about this one? The decider-in-chief gives all the financial assistance to the bankrupt financial institutions
and then can't find any spare change for the regular folks who are victims of the financial institutions greed. Here's a thought! Why don't we stop Social Security and let the individual invest their retirement $$$$ in these financial institutions??

Gotta admit, conservative policy as practiced by the Bush administration over the last eight years benefits only the wealthy.

Living in a mountain community we cherish our individual liberties, hunt and fish, grow a lot of our own produce, don't have much need to take handouts from the government and pretty much like to be left alone. looking at conservative policy that has allowed greed to put the economy in a train wreck we feel pretty lucky to be able to take care of ourselves. And Trinity County is one of only two counties in California that does not have a stop light on the roads. Don't think much of technology either!!

My two cents.....

Keep a zero bubble.....

DBFTMC(SS)USNRET

9/17/2008 9:00 AM

 
Blogger Submaster said...

Let's talk facts:

Top 50% of wage earners pay 97% of all taxes

Top 1% of wage earners pay 39% of all taxes; up 2% from when Bush took office.

So the bottom 50% of wage earners pay 3% of the total tax burden.

So when Obama taxes "the rich" who are supposedly NOT paying their fair share - he is playing Robin Hood.

While I believe in a safety net for those less fortunate, I completely disagree with institutionalized welfare and other programs. Generation after generation living off the doles of the government. Enough. Sory about your brother, but it is the families responsibility and obligation to care for their own. This mindset of "fairness" is poison.

9/17/2008 10:53 AM

 
Blogger Cameron said...

I agree with Submaster

9/17/2008 11:15 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What do you think then, that the top 50% of the wage earners should pay 50% of the taxes?

What percentage of the wages do the top 50% of the wage earners earn? I guess it depends how you define "top 50% of the wage earners".

If you have 100 people, and you order them by income, and then take the top 50 people, that is one way to get "the top 50% of wage earners".

They will certainly earn a larger portion of the wages than the bottom 50%, in fact an grossly larger numer, which therefore represents a grossly larger tax burden.

This is another example of useless statistics that provide no information, and don't compare apples to apples. If Bill Gates has income that is 5000 times mine, then he should pay 5000 times the amount of taxes that I do, or more.

9/17/2008 2:21 PM

 
Blogger Rachel Eden said...

As a liberal, I really enjoyed your blog post. I appreciate your objective look and think you make a valid point. Thanks.

9/17/2008 7:59 PM

 
Blogger Submaster said...

ANON,
Not an useless stat. If you make under 50,000 you pay zero taxes. Dems think that anything over 200k a year is rich. Try living on that in New York, San Fran, Chicago, Boston, etc... 200k is not rich. Dems love the "fairness" word, so is it fair that some pay zero taxes. Trying to define rich is realative and is not the business of government to try to define it.

This notion that if you make alot of money means you should foot the bill for all social programs is just plain wrong. Those that are using the benefits pay zilch for those benefits. Go ahead and raise taxes, both capital gains and income tax like Obama wants and we will re-visit what we had under Carter...the misery index will return...

Those that don't learn from history are bound to repeat it.

9/18/2008 6:32 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Read it if you dare. Real truth about subprime loans and who is to blame.

http://ibdeditorial.com/IBDArticles.aspx?id=306370789279709

9/18/2008 11:17 AM

 
Blogger King said...

200K/year is a lot of Money. Yes, even in NYC, Chicago, Boston, Seattle, San Francisco, Miami, Washington DC, and any other expensive US city.

I lived on ~75K/year in Seattle while paying $400/month to commute to Bangor. I wasn't broke, in fact, I actually paid down debt and saved money. Granted, Seattle is a fair bit cheaper than NYC or San Francisco, but *literally* MILLIONS OF PEOPLE live in New York City alone for less than $200K/year. Presumably, not all of them eat at soup kitchens.

If you think anywhere near half of New York City residents makes over 200K/year, you're absurdly misinformed.

9/19/2008 9:08 PM

 
Anonymous el gordo said...

You wrote: "the country is strong enough to survive 4 years of an Obama Presidency"

His judges, a nationalized health care system and the results of his foreign policy will be with you for the rest of your life.

And who says it won´t be 8 years? The media won´t mind and the ground has been prepared for decades now. Once our entire focus has shifted to which rights will the government mercifully grant us and "can we please have another handout, Sir, awfully sorry about our tragic history", America is just an other social-democrat state with slaves for citizens, like Belgium with bad beer. No going back.

9/26/2008 3:04 PM

 

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