Ron Pollard: Socialism coming

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— As the tide of this election moves forward, it appears that the first-term Sen. Barack Obama will become our president, and significant change will follow throughout the next four years. The ultimate change will be what is now considered capitalism tinged with socialism, to a socialistic country tinged with capitalism. With a "filibuster proof" Democratic congress led by President Obama's stated economic plans, I believe we will have the biggest economic and socialistic change in this country's history.

To Obama's credit, he has told us his exact plans for America, and we cannot be surprised. To America's discredit, more than half of America has not thought this through. What really scares me is his unbelievable eloquence in the spoken word and charisma coupled with his outspoken and unrepentant America-hating friends and mentors who cannot help but to shape his innermost character.

What has made this country the greatest, most powerful, most generous in the history of the world has been the individual's work ethic striving to better himself, his family and his country. Obama's stated plan of taking from those whose hard work and strivings throughout the years resulted in some degree of wealth will now have a considerable portion taken from them and given to those who, for whatever reasons only they truly know, have not had the same result.

Where will the incentive be for all to strive for the American dream when your government says, 'Don't worry, we will see that you will be taken care of from other peoples' efforts.' Look at France - at one time in history a great and powerful country - and where decades of a socialistic economy has left them. And they are not the only ones in their area of the world.

In my early years, which were quite long ago, it was a different era in our country. My mother was widowed when I was 3, and as a single mom, working full time in a shoe store, she raised me with a lot of love and little more. Today we would be considered very underprivileged. But, I loved every minute of it because, at that time, America was beautiful and strong and life was clean, bright and fun. The virtue at that time for happiness was to be hardworking, honest and all things were possible because this was America, the home of the free and the brave. I started working at a number of part-time jobs when I was about 11 and continued to do so until it neared time to start college, not because I had to, but because I wanted to. That was the American way then for all ages, and it was rewarding in many, many ways.

My heart breaks for what our young people today have to go through relative to drugs, alcohol and the media's emphasis on "filth" and "self" culture.

It is my belief that this upcoming election is a pivotal point in our history. The creator God berthed this nation as a Christian nation, but with freedom of religion for all. That same God who loves us and has blessed us so much can turn His face away from us as we turn our faces away from Him.

The choices we make will determine not only the quality of the fiber or backbone of our country, but also its future security in an ever-growing dangerous world.

Ron Pollard

Comments

Kristopher Hammond 5 years, 5 months ago

Thanks for clearing this up, Ron: God is an American capitalist and Satan is a Socialist. The best measure of our nation's "godliness" is our income tax rate. At what tax rate will God condemn His Nation torturing non-Christians at Guantanamo? Will "renderings" become bad at 39%? The death penalty? Polluting His creation the earth? At what tax rate have we "turned our faces away from him"? And I am so naive I thought American hard work under the New Deal pulled us out of the Depression. Was that really Satan's work?

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Kristopher Hammond 5 years, 5 months ago

Ron, your comments have really got me thinking...I'm confused now. Is God against (socialist) universal health care? Why would God be opposed to healing the sick even if they're poor? I'm sure there is a bible verse which implies that the sick should die if they can't afford health insurance but I've never read it. Here's another problem which your military background may help answer: How are we going to pay for God's wars without taxes? If the wealthy got that way by working harder and climbing closer to God, shouldn't the wealthy pay more for God's wars? The poor pay with their sons and daughters.

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JLM 5 years, 5 months ago

Wow, left wing crazies, lay off the caffeine. You are going to scare the children -- or maybe you are the children? LOL

I could not agree more with the author. It is a fair and reasonable reading of the implications of this election; and, the truth of this view may soon be well known.

I think his turn of a phrase --- "capitalism tinged with socialism, to a socialistic country tinged with capitalism" --- is a fair and astute observation as it relates to this election. It is both reasonable and plausible.

It is disturbing to me that folks who support Obama feel the necessity to disparage the messenger and engage in character assassination rather than debate the ideas presented.

This is exactly what happened with Joe the Plumber. Obama's answer was an idea freely expressed, it was Obama in Obama's own words and suddenly Joe the Plumber's license, marital status, taxes and driving record was attacked.

Lighten up, angry left, it's gonna be OK even if not everybody agrees with you. Stop demonizing other folks who simply express an idea which is contrary to the kool aid.

In this instance, you might also give some reflection that guys like this are the folks who have been the stewards of this country and have presented the springboard for a guy like Obama to get his start. A bit of gratitude might be in order, crazy people.

And, hey, have a nice damn day!

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Duke_bets 5 years, 5 months ago

JLM - "Crazy People" and "Angry Left" came from your keyboard. You're so wrapped in that Republican flag that you contradict your own statements.

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Steve Lewis 5 years, 5 months ago

Ron, You write a very disturbing letter.

Thanks though for weaving McCain's ads into this overall message of amped paranoia. You make it easier for independents to see how narrow and negative the Republican message has become.

And by inserting God into your side of partisan politics, you offer Steamboat a clear view of Ron Pollard.

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Kristopher Hammond 5 years, 5 months ago

JLM:"It is disturbing to me that folks who support Obama feel the necessity to disparage the messenger and engage in character assassination rather than debate the ideas presented." Take a page from your own book, rise above the name-calling ("left-wing crazies", "children", "angry left", "crazy people") and debate the ideas.

My comments were not name-calling or character assassinations, but rather an effort to debate the ideas Ron presented. When you wrote "I could not agree more with the author", does that mean YOU agree with the idea Ron presented that "The creator God berthed [sic] this nation as a Christian nation, but with freedom of religion for all. That same God who loves us and has blessed us so much can turn His face away from us as we turn our faces away from Him"?

If so, will voting for Obama amount to "turning our faces away from Him"? Do you believe, like Ron implies, that this election is a referendum on God?

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Fred Duckels 5 years, 5 months ago

Matt: Lets take god out of the equation, try again and please read carefully next time.

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JLM 5 years, 5 months ago

I think the issue of religion in the US and in American politics is a very complex issue.

I can tell you a couple of interesting anecdotes --- in combat there are no atheists and before going out on a combat patrol almost every soldier will accept a blessing from a chaplain. One night, I was blessed by a RC priest, a rabbi and an imam. I was covering all bets that night. It turned out I needed those blessings but I was never able to discern whose blessing really protected me.

I personally am very uncomfortable talking about a particular religion and would subscribe to the notion that any religion is better than no religion. I think one of the funniest phrases is "organized religion" which always gets me thinking about the alternative --- "disorganized" religion.

There is no question that the Founding Fathers attempted to create a Nation which had religion at its core --- hell, they put it on the damn money! LOL

I think we simultaneousy give too much note of God and too little note. I am against the death penalty and abortion for the same fundamental reason but I am also a careful man and would not want to quibble about what God means --- "Thou shall not kill." I cover my bets --- kinda like getting the most blessing possible before a combat patrol --- by not tempting fate.

I think that religion "informs" us in much the same way that poetry provides both a lyrical pleasure and a message. One can learn a lot about war and soldiering by reading Kipling while enjoying both the cleverness of the verse and the inherent message. "IF" and "Tommy Atkins" are my favorites as well as the entire Barrack Room Ballads.

Much of religious thought provides guidance for how politics can service its constitutents. It is important to take the transcendental with the tough love aspects.

Religion can also perpetuate some very bad ideas. Regardless of which candidate one favors, this Rev Wright is a bad actor. And, Obama strains credulity when he says he went to that church for 20 years --- twice per month --- and never heard any of Wright's goofy sermons. That is not statistically possible. Interstingly enough, it was all on the church's website until they dumped it.

I think this "African American liberation theology" is a bunch of nonsense but I could also understand how that view would inform folks to harness that anger into accomplishment. I remember with great clarity when I first realized my family was poor and how it motivated me to work hard. I could not imagine we were poor because we were so damn happy. I am not as poor today but I am no happier --- though I am pretty damn happy as a natural condition. I may not be smart enough to be unhappy.

I don't agree with every sermon I hear but I do listen carefully.

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Robert Huron 5 years, 5 months ago

Mr. Pollard must have been living in a foreign land the last 8 years. We have witnessed the biggest expansion of government while under the control of Pres. Bush and the Republican Congress. They rubber stamped every spending bill for 6 years that has increased the federal budget from 1.8 trillion a year in 2000 to 3.2 trillion a year in 2008. The federal deficit has increased by over 100% all under Republican control. Where did that money go to? The CEO's on Wall Street, Halliburton, KBR, foreign countries like Iraq. Israel and the richest 1% of our country. Borrow and spend just does not work. And Mr. Pollard wants 4 more years of these idiots. It is time to give the other guys a chance and if they screw up like Bush/McCain then we will throw them out of office in 4 years.

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Steve Lewis 5 years, 5 months ago

JLM, Anyone who claims or implies a Christian God is on his side of partisan politics, or on his side of a war, should have a sitdown with his pastor to revisit his church's principles.

Your comments understand this. Pollard does not.

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Murray Tucker 5 years, 5 months ago

Except for Ron Pollard and Steve Lewis, none of the above are credible-they hide behind anonymity. Ron Pollard grew up during the time when my father was paying a 50% tax. It did not hurt his incentive, and he never thought of the country as "Socialist." As the nephew of two flaming communists, he was more concerned with guilt by association, otherwise known as McCarthyism. Incidentally Ron, did your mother draw Social Security widow benefits? Were you the beneficiary of social Security until you were 18? Do you or will you accept Medicare? And don't tell me you paid for these benefits, because that is only half true.

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MrTaiChi 5 years, 5 months ago

The intensity of some of the postings is close to hate. It would be better for the discourse to continue to be civil rather than ad hominem. Where is the tolerance for the divesity of Mr. Pollard's ideas?

The earmark of Socialism is a belief that man can be made perfect with just a few more controls and regulations. The track record of Socialist politics is that those who disagree with the orthodoxy of belief are shouted down and ridiculed, and if needs be, controled. The National Socialists burned books before they started burning people. Socialism breeds two bastard childern, Communism and Fascism.

The founding fathers were deists, most not believing in the traditional Christian trinity. We had better have some faith though, as human capacity for rationalization and self justification is bottomless. For a stable society, better to have objective standards, whatever religion. For Mr. Pollard it is his faith which he views as a historical stabilizing force in America. Shame on the rest of you for making his comments more than that.

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aichempty 5 years, 5 months ago

trumpster,

When I began my career as a Navy Ensign, I presided over monthly income of $530 per month. My debt was less than $200 per month.

Currently, I pay more in Social Security withholding every month than I made back then.

The size of the deficit is keyed to the size of the economy, just like car payments and house payments are keyed to the price paid for them. Making a blanket statement about the absolute size of the debt and the deficit without also comparing it to the size of the GDP is a faulty comparison.

Assuming that things like ignoring foreign aggression, reducing the size of the military and redistributing income are a good idea, here's a true analogy. It's like deciding not to see a doctor about the persistent cough that's been bothering you, and instead, dropping your medical insurance so you can pay your next door neighbor's electric bill. While denial works great against cancer until it starts to hurt, the same tactic generally leads to genocide when dealing with foreign aggression.

Voting for the candidate who has basically pledged to ignore reality and hope for the best is a lot like clapping your hands to make Tinker Bell get well while watching Peter Pan. In the real world, leaders can make up the first part of how to get well, make things better, make people feel better and all that, but it's the actions of our enemies and the criminals in our midst (including in our government) that will determine the outcome.

A good example is the Brady gun control bill enacted during the Clinton administration. Background checks for hand gun buyers prevented a few convicted felons from purchasing guns from licensed dealers, but no ineligible person was ever arrested for attempting to purchase a gun. So, instead of purchasing from a licensed dealer, the convicted felons just bought their guns from private parties, or stole them, or purchased "hot" weapons from other criminals instead of going to jail where they couldn't hurt anybody.

I'm afraid we're going to end up like a woman I know who allowed her boyfriend to spend $7000 on a ski boat and accessories on her credit cards last Spring. By Fall, the boyfriend had a new girlfriend, his income had dropped due to the gas price spike (he sells used BMWs), and he couldn't sell the boat for half of what he paid for it. Guess who's attempting to help the old boyfriend pay back the money? His new girlfriend, of course.

We'd all better hope that the new President can make the payments on the boat out of what he takes in new taxes from the top 5%. In reality, those new taxes will result in a much larger loss in tax revenues, and the new girlfriend (the middle class) will end up paying for it.

Income taxes in western european socialist countries start around 30% for a family of 4 with one wage earner, and go up, plus VAT of almost 20% on most purchases (5% food, 2% medicine). This is your future.

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knee_dropper 5 years, 5 months ago

Some one who makes this comment: "It is my belief that this upcoming election is a pivotal point in our history. The creator God berthed this nation as a Christian nation, but with freedom of religion for all. That same God who loves us and has blessed us so much can turn His face away from us as we turn our faces away from Him." - is pretty much claiming that his choice of candidate has God's blessing and the other inherently does not. Since when did McCain get God's direct blessing and become the One? LOL Mr. Pollard's beliefs sound like some of the same twisted logic that led Jerry Falwell to blame the 9/11 attacks on Americas morals.

"And I agree totally with you that the Lord has protected us so wonderfully these 225 years. And since 1812, this is the first time that we've been attacked on our soil and by far the worst results. And I fear, as Donald Rumsfeld, the Secretary of Defense, said yesterday, that this is only the beginning. And with biological warfare available to these monsters -- the Husseins, the Bin Ladens, the Arafats -- what we saw on Tuesday, as terrible as it is, could be miniscule if, in fact -- if, in fact -- God continues to lift the curtain and allow the enemies of America to give us probably what we deserve."

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Fred Duckels 5 years, 5 months ago

Ron: Lets take God out or the equation, the message is the same. We have the freeloaders dividing up the productive segments harvest so that they will be happy and secure. Your detractors are not risk takers and the euphoria that you feel from pulling your own weight is totally foreign to them. Religion is often ridiculed by pseudo intellectuals telling how foolish it is. They have totally missed the point.

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Matthew Stoddard 5 years, 5 months ago

"Your detractors are not risk takers and the euphoria that you feel from pulling your own weight is totally foreign to them."

Doesn't pulling your own weight mean that God didn't really have anything to do with it? Relying on God's grace to make it through...whatever...sounds like not taking a risk. If it goes wrong, you say, "Well, I guess it was God's will." If it goes right, you say, "Well, I did it with the help of God." Sounds like no risk- you can praise or blame God for what you did.

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knee_dropper 5 years, 5 months ago

Your pretty presumptuous Fred. FYI, I've never claimed unemployment, have paid my own way and my taxes. I mock people who have the presumption that God is on their side and tries to demonize the opposition.

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trump_suit 5 years, 5 months ago

I am a registered Democrat that has voted for a Republican President more often than the Democratic candidate during my life. What concerns me about the Republican platform is this:

The conservative agenda has always been about small Gov't, lower taxes, fiscal conservation, moral and family values. What I would like to know is when did they drop the ideas of small government and fiscal responsibility??????

The last several Republican administrations have presided over the biggest deficits, and the largest Government in history all while embracing the religious right wing of their party to the exclusion of all else.

An attitude of you are either with us or against us prevails. In my opinion social issues like abortion, gay marriage, gun rights, healthcare and the death penalty deserve more than a black and white answer, and I truly hope that we see some progress by working together as Americans instead of fighting each other as Republicans or Democrats.

I will be voting for Obama in hopes that he will give us a new era of cooperation and achievement in Washington.

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Duke_bets 5 years, 5 months ago

Fred - Your statement on pseudo intellectuals is quite ironic.

You have 5-10 English and grammitacal errors in the post. Did you receive that stellar education from the Christian Heritage School?

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aichempty 5 years, 5 months ago

In all honesty, I don't want to live next door to anybody who is going to challenge or question my spiritual beliefs. I am of the opinion that men have so corrupted the whole process that it's unreliable.

Those who have the deepest faith will often tell you that they do what they are led to do by their feelings, trusting in a higher power to lead them. The trick is to know when you're being led and when you're making $#!+ up.

I think everybody knows what love feels like. If reliance on your spiritual beliefs is not accompanied by the same rush of love you feel when you meet the person who infatuates you romantically, you're just making it up.

The Jewish dogma is based on 603 rules, right? Follow them all and you're good to go.

Christian dogma is based on two basic rules, as laid out in John 3:16 and The Golden Rule, with subtle variations in the Beatitudes, the Sermon on the Mount, etc. The various denominations have added their own (Southern Baptists say Jesus never drank wine with alcohol in it, because they are against alcohol consumption). The Apostle Paul said that it's not what you do, but what's in your heart when you do it that makes it right or wrong. If you have to stop and ask, "What would Jesus do?" then you're not in touch with Him, because you'd know what to do without having to debate it.

Romans 13:10 says "Love does not harm." There are lots of variations on it, but they all come down to Love being the fulfillment of the law, and anything you do that harms another person is a violation of the law. I would say, in general, blowing people up and beheading them is a no-no. Various commentaries say that borrowing money you cannot repay is also a violation, as would be cheating someone that you sell to.

It has come to the point that, if a stranger asks me, "Are you saved?" I reply with, "I'll tell you for twenty dollars." Oh, it's the same response for, "Who are you going to vote for."

There are two nations coexisting here among us. A Godly one, and a secular one. No matter what the secular nation does, the Godly nation will persevere. Christianity survived Roman persecution where they killed people who stuck to their faith. I frankly believe that a lot of people who claim to be Christians would cave like a house of cards under persecution. I also believe that those who are true believers and place themselves under the protection of Christ won't be faced with it.

There are levels of spiritual belief and faith that go far beyond anything written on paper. You don't learn them; you discover them. Politics don't make a difference when you are operating on that level. We don't need people telling us how God wants us to vote, because if we're right with God, we already know. A person who thinks we need convincing is probably in need of convincing himself, and that means he's not someone we should follow.

"Let go, and let God." In that moment at the voting booth, you'll know what to do.

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Matthew Stoddard 5 years, 5 months ago

Fred- I did read the statement. You tell Ron to leave God out of the equation, but that's part of who Ron is and what I said is what a good many people with strong religious ties think and feel. (Remember- I was born into Catholicism; I've seen it.) They utterly rely on the point that God is controlling everything around them, forgetting that God gave them free will so as to guide themselves.

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MrTaiChi 5 years, 5 months ago

Knee_dropper- Which is greater, your hatred of organized religion or America? How about credit to organized religion for the philosophical basis it provided to John Stewart Mill and the precepts that underlie the Declaratioin of Independence and our Constitution. America has engaged in wars of aggression, the Mexican War comes particularly to mind, and yes Iraq, whether history will deem that necessory or not, but much of what is right in the world is because of our foreign policy: the spread of democracy, the fall of Leninist communism, defeat of fascism, the United Nations, the concept of intellectual freedom. If you restrict your analysis to our failures and mistakes, how about a more proximate example, the absolute failure of the Johnson administration Great Society or the weepy eyed, rabbit fending off presidency of Jimmy Carter, because that's what we're going to get with Barack to the Future.

And would you rather live next door to a Jerry Falwell clone or a mullah who follows the literal tenets of Islam that you have to convert or pay a tax for the priviledge of living under Sharia law or die. No Islamic country has signed the United Nations Declaration of Universal Human Rights because that requires religious tolerance. You're lucky to live in this country whose laws are generally shaped by Judeo-Christian concepts. Here no Christian sect or Jewish branch compels you to join that faith. Even Falwell respected your right to have no faith as a matter to be resolved between you and God, later.

As a fellow telemark skier I offer you this advice: concentrate on upper body counter-rotation, big toe- little toe, pole plant, ski the holes betweend the trees, keep those headlights pointed into the fall line, and breathe deeply. Especially focus on the last point because you are killing yourself with pent up anger.

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knee_dropper 5 years, 5 months ago

MrTai, organized religion has it's place in society and the principles of organized religions are not what I have a problem with. I realize that this country and most countries, have their laws based on their dominant religious precepts. It's religious zealots that believe that God is on their side, thereby placing people that don't see eye to eye with them on the other side of God's good will. This country was founded on the principles of separation of church and state, freeing us from having religious beliefs of another group rammed down our throats. However, the religious right does not seem be complacent living their lives as they believe they should, they think that the whole country needs to abide by those rules. All three of the monotheistic religions are all branches on the same tree; and all of them have the same capacity for greatness or for evil in the name of self-preservation. A religious zealot of the Christian persuasion is dangerous, as is a Muslim zealot, just as an aethist communist zealot is dangerous. MrTai, get your eyes off of your tips, look for the light; and don't worry so much about Obama, it'll be alright.

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Matthew Stoddard 5 years, 5 months ago

Emery- Where does McCain stand against Bush on Taxes?

Where does McCain stand against Bush on Iraq?

Those are the forefront of 2 current major issues- Foreign Policy and Economy. Name what separates McCain from Bush on those points so we can understand why it isn't more of the same.

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MrTaiChi 5 years, 5 months ago

Knee_dropper- Nice polemical flourish! I disagree with you on several levels obviously, but the primary one is that because they are branches of the same tree there is equivalency between Judism, Christainity and Islam. If a Christian zealot seeks to prohibit abortion or stem cell reaesrch based on his concept of his duty to God, it may offend you, but is it different from a zealous atheist or secularist emotionally advancing the opposite position with his government? The point is that no Christians in the world are cutting off people's heads for converting to Islam. The opposite can't be said. No Christians in America are forcing any adult to attend their church. If you take offence at their finding you out of grace, quote Matthew 7 verse 7 to them, but aren't you guilty of the same wrong, trying to utilize radical secularism to stifle their exercise of their faith based beliefs?

Islam is a successionist religion, not conceding that everone has a right to find his own path to enlightenment or salvation. Nothing in the Christian Bible condones murder. While the Quoran and Hadith condemn the taking of innocent life, the fine print defines innocents very narrowly. You wouldn't be in that protected class. "By the sword you shall convert them!"

I support abortion on demand and stem cell research, but I count my lucky stars that I live in a predominantly Christian country and that Jews have enriched our culture with their concepts of liberty and personal freedom. Perhaps Muslims will contribute to, protect and expand our personal freedoms, but that hasn't happended anywhere in the world yet. My fear is that Obama indicates that he believes as you do that there are moderate Muslims out there to talk to. He'll probalby find moderate, (non-literal) Muslims to talk to in Dearborne, MI, but where else in the world has an Islamic government expressly rejected the Quoran and Hadith injunctions against other faiths or non-belief and to spread and protect the faith through violence and intimidation?

In summary, Christian literal theology 2008: no heads cut off; Jewish literal theology 2008: no heads cut off; Muslim literal theology 2008: let the good times roll.

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Duke_bets 5 years, 5 months ago

Taichi - What exactly is the Quoran? Did you mean Koran?

All of the braintrusts (Fred and Tai specifically) should have a person with a better understanding of the English language write their posts.

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MrTaiChi 5 years, 5 months ago

Dear Duke,

There are at least three accepted spellings for the Muslim holy book. I think that I used one of them, the more modern usage. I guess that most readers would understand even if my Arabic/English translation was flawed.

Thanks for the bile. It supports my underlying belief that those in the marketplace of ideas with nothing to trade first resort to name calling.

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Duke_bets 5 years, 5 months ago

Tai - Are there 3 different accepted spellings for research? How about the word probably? How many spellings for that one?

In other words, my reposone is BS! Show me where the Koran is spelled Quoran....................

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Duke_bets 5 years, 5 months ago

Tai - One more reposone without name calling. What is the corekt seplling of everyone? Is ti everone or everyone?

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MrTaiChi 5 years, 5 months ago

Duke- Are you asking for an apology for typos?

I didn't know that you high altitude Democarats were so harsh with spelling and typographic errors. Children in your high school, (and don't you have a community college there in Yampaland?), must live in terror of the editor of Oz.

Here's a catchy quote you might find occasion to ponder some time when you're not engaged proofreading text to intuit the writer's IQ:

President Eisenhower said of Joe McCarthy, "He keeps forever unanswered the question, 'How stupid can one man get."

Oh now I get it! This is a Halloween gag. You sure got me that time!

I'll have to bid you farewell and miss your witty responses, because I'm two time zones ahead of you, and although I've enjoyed this sparring these past two days, it appears as though the paper drops the article on the third day with the comments.

Good luck to you, my fellow countrymen. I think Jefferson said that the people deserve the government they choose. Don't forget to vote, our precious right.

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emery bear 5 years, 5 months ago

oh yea one more thing no more two year presidential elections...

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freerider 5 years, 5 months ago

Hey Ron I'll take socialism anytime over the Bush/ MCCAIN fascist program that's been running this country.or I should say ruining this country for the last eight years...George w. has the lowest ratings since Nixon and the watergate mess...MC Cain the sidekick...OR I SHOULD SAY MCPAIN ...the liar and fascist

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Steve Lewis 5 years, 5 months ago

Slow down with the taunts, please. Rational ideas make this a good thread.

Spelling is irrelevant when the words present a sincere position.

Dodging a tough question to pose only your own ideas is a cop out.

Keep it real.

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Steve Lewis 5 years, 5 months ago

Tai, Are you saying we cannot expect benefits from talking to leaderships of Muslim countries? If so what is the alternative?

In claiming higher morals stemming from our religions here, you point to barberism of other religions/countries. Beheading is very graphic, yes. Its even staged for impact and export in the media, I suppose to transmit the lesson?

What is not staged for impact and similar export to your TV set is the reality of a cluster bomb tearing off arms and limbs. We routinely have casualty counts of civilians from our bombs. Have you sterilized them to be less horrific somehow?

Of these two extremes, which has mobilzed more people to violent action?

American Christians would never point to bombing as their agenda, but its been amazing to watch our religious right support and re-elect the neocons, and thus support their agenda of war.

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knee_dropper 5 years, 5 months ago

Mr. Tai, I realize that most countries under Islamic law do not allow proselytizing, and the interpretation of the Koran can be literal to varying degrees. However, not all governments in the middle East were not created equally. Ataturk founded the modern Turkish government using Western democracies as his model. The Turkish government isn't perfect, but it's a couple centuries ahead of most of the middle East. The difference between how Turkey and Saudi Arabia are governed are ideologically worlds apart. Christians of 2008 aren't cutting peoples heads off, but they were burning dissidents and "witches" at the stake. Does a few generations of separation from all that bloodshed exonerate Christianity? Do Christian extremists that bomb and shoot up abortion clinics scare you? The potential for extremism from any religion is always there and must be watched with vigilance. The country was founded on the principles of separation of church and state. The religious right's constant attempts at injecting God into government and schools and attempts to impose their belief system on the entire country is what I find to be disturbing.

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aichempty 5 years, 5 months ago

Eight years of Clinton administration avoidance of violence against furreners led directly to the USS Cole attack, which killed American sailors, the Somalia debacle, which killed American soldiers, and the 9/11 attacks which killed thousands of Americans in the twin towers, the Pentagon, and the other aircraft that crashed in Pennsylvania on its way to Washington. Clinton could have nailed Osama Bin Laden, but let him go to avoid an "incident." Oops.

When the Middle East harbors people and attitudes that lead to the death of Americans, they should expect to recieve a return visit in force, with violence.

Attempting to undermine the American spirit by calling the government that was forced to defend us for the past eight years fascists is demonstrative of someone with their head in the clouds, or somewhat lower, possibly in contact with a set of fish-belly white thighs framing a chicken neck, so to speak.

American forces in the Middle East employ weapons that have great precision, operated by skilled warriors. Anyone in the civilian sector who is injured has placed themself in close proximity to someone who was in the act of trying to do harm to an American, or in a place from which an attack was planned, executed, or celebrated.

There were several cases in Iraq where Marines were accused of executing prisoners because of fatal wounds to their heads. After investigation, it turned out that the Marines were simply excellent rifle shots, using accurate weapons, and the bullets struck the only exposed portion of the enemies.

The thermobaric Hellfire missile is a precison weapon which can take out everyone inside a single floor of a stone-walled house, harming no one else nearby, without damaging the floor above.

The .50 cal sniper rifle can take out an engine block or a single combatant from a mile away.

GPS and laser-guided aerial weapons, particularly those used on unmanned drones, are highly surgical in their performance.

So, we're not carpet bombing civilians to get the bad guys. Any "innocents" near the bad guys should not be surprised to get caught in the action.

We are undoubtedly killing civilians, but innocents? Blame the people using violence against us if they bring harm down on those around them.

The lesson from the past eight years is that avoiding violence as a national policy only puts it off to the next guy's watch. And, it's always worse the longer you wait. If Clinton had taken out Bin Laden when he had the chance, 9/11 might never have happened, and the war in Iraq could not have been justified. Of course, not going to war in Iraq would have put it off for the next President. Can't you see President Obama negotiating with Saddam Hussein over the threat of a-bombs against Israel? I'm sure Obama would have wanted that job, aren't you?

The only thing we'll get with Obama in charge is someone who won't know what to do in the face of violence against Americans when he takes office.

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Steve Lewis 5 years, 5 months ago

aich, Geez and I just advocated being nice to posters. So I'm biting my tongue.

Fairly put, you haven't much empathy for the difficulties of other humans.

You write: Civilian casualties - they simply got what they deserved because they allowed a stranger to come to close to them or their children. They did not evacuate their home every time a U.S. target, a stranger to them, happened by their neighborhood or drove by in a car. Impossible.

Sadly, with the history of civilian "collateral damage" they probably strive to do just that but such vigilence for your family isn't humanly possible if you are at work or you sleep at night.

Think about your expectations Aich, civilians are supposed to know what insurgent has walked into a nearby meeting at any hour day or night, and presto, get their family out of blast range of every insurgent. Failure to do so amounts to forfeiting innocence and joining the insurgents. But, Aich you couldn't manage that yourself.

You list what I suppose is excellent weaponry. The Patriot missles were famously innacurate. Got a school or two in 1991 as I recall.

It will come as a surprise to you that our military has acknowledged they cannot bomb and kill their way to winning. It takes building schools and providing other aspects of civilization we take completely for granted here. In other words, treat civilians like humans.

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Jack McEncroe 5 years, 5 months ago

Senator Obama suggests we choose "hope over fear and unity over division" as he promises an "economy that rewards work and creates jobs and fuels prosperity starting with the middle class".

HOPE over FEAR: Obama is an avowed socialist, harbors disdain for our military, has never had a job, and has never accomplished anything but run for office and win a few elections. We know very little about him, where he really came from, who has donated over 700 million dollars to his campaign, or who is really behind him. His past associations give us no semblance of hope. He will appoint as few as 2 and as many as 4 Supreme Court Justices. He will take our military back to the Carter levels. In conjunction with Pelosi and Reid, he will destroy our economy and our capitalist society. He will take away incentive to excel by taxing the haves and building his socialist vision with our money. He will bow at the altar of the United Nations and our treasury will be looted by its leaders. This is the most dangerous candidate we have ever seen. Damn right I fear what he will do to our country.

UNITY over DIVISION: Ninety- six percent of his votes have been along strict party lines. He has missed 46% of the votes since he has been in the Senate.

ECONOMY that REWARDS WORK and CREATES JOBS: Barack Obama has promised to raise the taxes of the top five percent as much as an extra ten percent. Furthermore, he will raise the capital gains taxes on these same folks, reinstate the inheritance tax, and raise the corporate tax. What will he do with this money? He will give tax breaks and welfare to everyone below them. He will, in his words "redistribute the wealth." "FROM EACH ACCORDING TO THEIR MEANS TO EACH ACCORDING TO THEIR NEEDS" Karl Marx This punishes the successful rather than rewarding work, and it guarantees a reduction of jobs.

FUELS PROSPERITY STARTING with THE MIDDLE CLASS: His tax policies will punish and shackle the middle class. Yes, he claims he will go after the rich and the corporations after he eliminates the Bush Tax Cuts. The Bush Tax Cuts gave the middle class a tax reduction that he will take away, thereby increasing the tax on the middle class. Punitive taxation of successful people discourages further investment in America which eliminates jobs for the middle class. Increasing taxes on Corporations will encourage them to outsource jobs, costing the middle class jobs. Any increased taxation of Corporations will be passed down to consumers which will increase taxes on the middle class.

Conversely, John McCain has served our country for the past 52 years. John McCain stresses the importance of tax cuts increasing incentive, creating opportunity, and bringing jobs back to America. John McCain offers opportunity while Barack Obama choreographs dependency and pushes us closer to a welfare state.

Jack McEncroe Steamboat Springs, Colorado

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aichempty 5 years, 5 months ago

Steve,

Uh huh. "Fascist." That's someone who won't allow us to smoke dope in public, isn't it?

Do "nice" posters really label the men and women protecting us from our enemies as fascists? I don't think so.

The civilians in Iraq bear the same responsibility for the consequences they've suffered that the Good Germans did for allowing Hitler to rule them. A lot of people died in the ghetto in Warsaw fighting the Nazis, but nowhere close to the 6,000,000 who died while the Good Germans claimed "I know nothing . . . "

The Patriots intercepted SCUDS which then fell on civilian targets. Why ain'choo blaming the fellas who fired the SCUDs?

Simple, because any prObama spin you can put on any issue is fair game.

I have a log book full of Search and Rescue missions as a result of volunteering to fly helicopters, and asking for assignment to a SAR squadron so I could be in a place to save lives instead of take them, when I could have trained to fly fighters instead. I almost died on one of those missions, and two other people in the helicopter did die -- lost at sea -- while on a SAR mission. So, money, mouth, etc. I can demonstrate that I care enough about other human beings to risk my life to save them. And you?

People in our own country allow criminals to exist in their communities. They don't fight back or cooperate with the cops, and the result is drive-by shootings which take innocent victims in the crossfire. It's the same in Iraq with the insurgents. Either stand up against evil, help the liberators, or pay the consequences. Being brave can get you killed. Being a coward can also get you killed, and can get your kids, wife, grandkids, etc., killed too.

Pull out and leave 'em alone? Great. Then the Taliban can execute women for showing their face, or an ankle, in public.

I don't know; maybe you're right. Maybe it is better to sit here safe and secure, 10,000 miles from danger, and use words to change the world. If only it was that easy . . .

Let's hear the prObama response. I can't wait.

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flotilla 5 years, 5 months ago

I would just like to put in 2 cents about the ignorance of Tai Chi's outlook on the Muslim religion and how he attempts to exonerate it from the aforementioned "non-violent" Christian religion. Just because Christians aren't currently running around "beheading" people, doesn't mean they didn't do it for centuries. Remember the Crusades? Countries grow at their own pace, and it takes an intelligent look at the history of the world to see that. China was much more advanced than the European countries in the 1400's, with their expertise in nautical exploration, invention of black powder, extensive libraries.... Now look at them restrict their constituents. If you believe that Muslims exist now because they were converted by the sword, and now wish for all to be muslims, you are showing your infinite ignorance. The people you are referring to are extremists, and EVERY religion has them. How many murders and other sins have been "in the name of God"? And from your 2 time zones away, how dare you call people voting for Obama stupid? How does that make you intelligent whatsoever?

Also, Mr. Pollard, I find it interesting that as a realtor, I find your profession to be nothing but a redistribution of wealth. "Hardworking, honest"... Guess what, back when the folks were living CLEAN lives, there were no real estate agents, in facts, there was no inflation of prices of homes, greedy agents behind those prices taking their piece of the pie and assisting people in finding their American Dream. I know, this seems like a lash out, but since the professional real estate agent can't, legally, advise people as to what they can afford, or get involved in their loans, or really take any responsibility at all, it leaves one to wonder how you didn't have a part in the current economic crisis, insider trading homes like stocks in the stock market, driving up the prices and flipping them while you take your deserved 5 or 6%... no wonder you are so scared of having taxes taken from your "hard earned money" GIVE ME A BREAK.
Maybe you, sir have some repenting to do for the part YOU played in the current state of affairs.

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emery bear 5 years, 5 months ago

knee-droper...you said "The only thing we'll get with Obama in charge is someone who won't know what to do in the face of violence against Americans when he takes office." Here I must disagree with you, we will also get: someone who carefully chose his marxist college professors as his firends (stated in his memoirs), lied about campaing financing and taking public money, lied about his assoication with a husband and wife who belive that Robert Kennedy's killer is a political prisoner, won't talk about his assoication with a PLO spokesman, lied about who he will tax (now down to 150k), voted so liberal he makes Hillary look conservative, just booted off his plane reporters who work for papers that support McCain, ridicules anyone who disagrees with him, will not give a news conference, has said he will redistribute the wealth and belives the constitution of the United States of America is flawed. Oh I forgot he does know how to deal with violence against Americans, he will make it safer to be in a war zone than here at home...look at Chicago...

I must add if you don't belive in christianity then don't be one. If you don't believe in abortion, then don't have one. If you want to give a good old American try to a beyond belief failed system vote Obama and lets try marxism...

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knee_dropper 5 years, 5 months ago

Emery, I don't know which post you pulled that quote from, but I sure as hell didn't write it. Nice job on rattling off the RNC's list of attacks, what have you got that shows we should vote for McCain? Have you forgotten who's been in charge for the most part in the past eight years, or have you been brainwashed that the GOP is now the party of change. If McCain is elected the rich will continue to get richer at the expense of every other class in American society; if Obama is then the tax structure goes back to what Clinton had under his presidency, millionaires didn't go extinct then did they? All these attacks and accusations by the right-wing of socialism, calling Obama a terrorist, questioning his citizenship, etc., etc., are desperate and pathetic. What exactly is it that McCain is offering as an alternative to Obama's socio-economic plans? Four more years of a continued Bush economic policy? The one thing I have to agree with you on Emery are your views on christianity/abortion. If it doesn't affect you then keep your nose out of it! Peace you all, enjoy the weather and have a good weekend!

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emery bear 5 years, 5 months ago

knee-dropper my applogies it wasn't from you it was from aichempty...all this calling McCain Bush is crap...McCain has gone against his party...the dems are so deep in this financial mess no one is clean....how is it an attack on obama when he said share the wealth..he said he chose his marxist professors carefully to be his firends...if the Obama wanted to run against Bush he is to late...and to be sure i am not a bush Fan. What is deperate and pathetic is Obama will not answer the accusations unless he just redicules them...and that is not an answer. Obama is not Bill Clinton, wish he was more like him, What i like about McCain is his willingness to go against his party...I like that he has chosen others wellfare over his won and put his country first...I like thatt McCain did sponser a bill that would have regulated freddie and fannie...I don't think any bailout or tax plan will keep us out of a bad economy for while.

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emery bear 5 years, 5 months ago

Matthew...I don't have a problem with Bush's tax policies. I have huge problems with Obama's socialist marxist tax policies...the war is winding down and is looking successful...although i do not agree with having gone in there in the first place...victory is coming as the Iragis take back security...McCain will get us out without letting our troops take a hit like Johnson did in nam...and McCain did attempt to reign in fannie and freddie, stopped by the dems. Obama took alot of money from freddie and fannie and they are at the core of the economic melt down.

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flotilla 5 years, 5 months ago

The New York Times has published a separate list looking at contributions from "directors, officers, and lobbyists for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac" for the 2008 campaign cycle. That list - using figures from the Federal Election Commission - shows McCain receiving $169,000, while Obama received only $16,000.

Emery Bear, you should read up before you spew up.

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emery bear 5 years, 5 months ago

Obama took more than any one with exception of Dod...matter of record...like the NY times has any crediblity...Even Obama now says, and does his senior advisors, that he cannot deliever on his promises and is attempting to lower "euphoric expectations" (london times aritcle by tim reid)...he continues to make the promises...the lies continue.

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emery bear 5 years, 5 months ago

flotilla...you are the one who needs to check out your facts...i just printed out the list of all recipients of freddie and fannie contributions, 1989-2008 here is the top three Dodd.....$165,400.00 Obama...$126,349.00 Kerry.......$111,000.00

and John mcCain...$21500.00

but then maybe you still want to believe a fading inacurate bias rag....

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flotilla 5 years, 5 months ago

Matter of which record? It really is pointless to discuss. you think obama is a liar and everyone that supports him is too. I think McCain is a washed out, lying, cheating, gambling, unintelligent senator who makes terrible choices (Palin), is outwardly rude and impolite and frequently goes against his word and has no new ideas for anything. Every respectable politician has endorsed him while the rest of the republicans slander and cry.
he republicans did all this to themselves... and the only thing they have to say for it is "socialism"! I think we'll be better off after Obama... but if I am wrong, I am wrong. It's a choice I have already made.

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Matthew Stoddard 5 years, 5 months ago

Emery- Well, you still didn't make any differentiation between McCain and Bush on those points. That's what I pulled from your other post about it being "crap" that they are alike.

As for Freddie and Fannie, check the Politico article. Politico has been very fair in it's coverage, and just short of being lauded for it's coverage by a few at FoxNews.

http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0708/11781.html

Maybe McCain didn't receive direct contributions, but they did the same thing for him as Ayers did by "launching Obama's career in his living room." Both McCain & Obama have their hands in the FM/FM cookie jar.

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flotilla 5 years, 5 months ago

And your sources don't include the money John McCain received from those working for Freddie and Fannie... so we can disagree all day long. There isn't anything they can set in stone because recieving $ from companies isn't how the money is coming in... it is individuals. I am pretty sure McCain is still receiving $ from lobbyists...

"And other current McCain campaign staffers were the lobbyists receiving shares of that money. According to the Senate Lobbying Database, the lobbying firm of Charlie Black, one of McCain's top aides, made at least $820,000 working for Freddie Mac from 1999 to 2004. The McCain campaign's vice-chair Wayne Berman and its congressional liaison John Green made $1.14 million working on behalf of Fannie Mae for lobbying firm Ogilvy Government Relations. Green made an additional $180,000 from Freddie Mac. Arther B. Culvahouse Jr., the VP vetter who helped John McCain select Sarah Palin, earned $80,000 from Fannie Mae in 2003 and 2004, while working for lobbying and law firm O'Melveny & Myers LLP. In addition, Politico reports that at least 20 McCain fundraisers have lobbied for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, pocketing at least $12.3 million over the last nine years."

Whats the point, really. We all hear what we want.

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emery bear 5 years, 5 months ago

flotilla you brought up the numbers...sorry that they don't support your guy...if he gets in and we don't move to far left and life improves i will be the first to say i was wrong...i hope i am wrong...if it goes as i think it might, i will be the first to say i told you so...and dems are in the finacial mess up to thier eyebrows...Palin I support even more...

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flotilla 5 years, 5 months ago

agreed Matthew. they both have their hands in the money. but that is how the game is played these days. I'd still rather see jobs coming back to the US and Sarah Palin just ruined McCain's chances... even the die hard republicans secretly (and not so much so) wonder what the hell he was thinking with that choice. The choice of no choice. I've voted republican before but hell no would I EVER put a pentecostal in the White House. Seals the deal. Lesser of 2 evils

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flotilla 5 years, 5 months ago

well then emery bear, we have nothing else to talk about. Palin is where I stop. She's a freaking nut case, in my opinion. Have a good day.

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emery bear 5 years, 5 months ago

how ever this election turns out my desire is that good paying jobs abound through out our country...all our troops come home...energy prices come down...health care improves...and our freedoms as Americans expand...Emery Bear

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Matthew Stoddard 5 years, 5 months ago

On Palin, Republicans are 1/2 and 1/2, though. She's the perfect Republican...except for not having enough experience. He picked her in order to shore up the party base, without having to pull in a VP that he went against for the nomination. She's just as far right as those such as Huckabee or Romney, but inexperienced enough to not rock his boat on certain issues. She came out gangbusters, but after that, she was just another candidate.

Obama did the opposite, in a way: he picked someone with the Foreign Policy experience he doesn't have, and was knocked out of the nomination early. Had he picked Hillary, I have no doubt that polls would be in his favor by more than a 60/40 split over McCain. That would have pleased his base more, but since their fight was pretty strong, I never saw it happening. I'm no fan of Biden since the only balance to Obama is in the foreign policy portion and not much else. Both are pretty far left on the spectrum.

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Steve Lewis 5 years, 5 months ago

Phew! In some ways I'm now glad i was in an organizational retreat all day. What a thread.

Aich, Above, I found it hard to follow how your SAR experience means you have any empathy for Iraqi civilian innocents, which you believe "earned" their collateral damages in this war. Also don't get that my beef with that position, your position, has anything to do with Mccain or Obama. I simply think YOU are wrong.

Interesting twist though, your comparing Germany's WWII civiliian casualties to Iraq's. You say they are all guilty and culpable by virtue of not actively supporting the Allies, or us. I'm with you, in that I won't defend civilians of an invadng country, such as Germany in WWII. They deserve the consequences of their leader's path of aggression.

The inconvenient twist you ignore is that while Germany was the aggressive invader of that war, Iraq was INVADED in this war. Sadly, Iraqi civilians are complete innocents. They have in no way earned the shrapnel flying though their homes.

Also sad, we are the invaders this time.

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aichempty 5 years, 5 months ago

Steve,

This whole shootin' match started when Iraq invaded Kuwait, and Iran, under Saddam Hussein. The Bath Party is the analog of the Nazi Party in this case.

The situation is much more as if the Nazis had pulled back behind German borders and declared peace after Normandy was invaded. Given the German plans for super weapons, their disregard for international law, their genocide against Jews, the disabled, Slavs, etc., would you have simply allowed them to continue to exist as a threat to the rest of the world so they could come back and rise up again at a later time? That's what Saddam was doing. He was a viable threat against our allies in the region, and against our economic interests. He had already proved that he would use force against other nations, given the chance. Sure, we had to finally go to Baghdad to get him when his own citizens failed to oust him, but it was his own conduct against Kuwait and the threat to Saudi Arabia (and probably Israel, as well) that raised the necessity of of the invasion.

The people who allow violent criminals to exist in their neighborhoods in urban ghettoes in this country are also getting what they deserve as a result; they are being killed and maimed by those criminals.

My real argument against Obama is that he is a Harvard attorney. So what? What did a Harvard attorney ever invent to make life better for others? They mostly hang around waiting to sue the inventors, innovators and risk-takers when something doesn't go perfectly. I'd have the same complaint against Kerry, any of the Kennedy's, Edwards, Biden, etc.

There has to be a sense of what it takes to solve a problem, and it's got to be more than a desire to solve the problem. It has to include a reasonable, practical and pragmatic method to go about solving the problem. None of Obama's proposals for energy, health care, or any of the rest are based in proven, executable concepts. They're just ideas.

If Obama's proposals were feasible, Nancy Pelosi could have already implemented them over the past two years. I don't think Obama's party has the will to change things.

I think McCain and Palin will put a lot more law-maker-breakers in jail given the chance. They have viable plans to address solvable problems, not just lawyer-land wishes. All the rest of this rhetoric is just stuff to dilute the real issues.

I believe both McCain and Obama are good men, and we'll be okay either way, but McCain will kill people if necessary, where Obama is more likely to get people killed. I guess we'll see what happens.

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aichempty 5 years, 5 months ago

JLM,

Without picking everything you wrote apart, U S involvement in the Middle East is responsible for a lot of what we're enduring today. We helped make a mess, but we're over there cleaning it up. Look at the African nations which were former colonies (like, all of them?), and the poverty, disease and squalor they endure today because the former rulers pulled out, granted them freedom, and allowed them to fall back to the stone age.

Soviet security policy had a goal of placing a client state between the Soviet provinces and the west. Go get a map from the FSU (former Soviet Union) days and you can easily see that there is a country like East Germany, Poland, and so on, all around the borders of old Russia everywhere there's a land border EXCEPT at Iraq and Iran. That's why they invaded Afghanistan. The FSU wanted Iran too, to be a buffer state. The FSU security goal was to cause any invading enemy to have to cross a kill zone in a client state before reaching Mother Russia. So, the U S interest in Iran and Iraq was to deter FSU aggression into the oil-rich countries of the Middle East.

When the FSU fell apart, Germany reunited, and countries like Poland, the Balkan states, etc., sought new freedoms in Western style governments. It also turns out that the ethnic violence in Bosnia-Herzawhatever broke out with no FSU troops to suppress civil rebellion.

The world is full of places where blood feud grudges will be played out if peace is not enforced, and Iraq was one of them, and still could be if we leave too soon.

The world would be a great place if everybody would just be caring, honest and forgiving. That's not the world we live in. Human nature won't let it happen. Give everyone complete freedom of self-determination, and a lot of people will choose to be evil and abusive. We can see that in our own community.

Anybody who's been in a street fight knows that you don't turn your back and walk away after you knock the other guy down. You back away, keeping your eyes on him, and you wait for him to retaliate some other way. I can't tell you how many times I found coke bottles stuck under my car tires after I beat up a bully in high school. That's how life is. To this day, I always check before driving away.

The pacifists who restrained U S action in the past in the vain hope that human nature was good are responsible for most of the threats we face. As a result, we, their successors, are stuck with the jobs they didn't finish. Japan is our only true success outside our own borders, and that's a function of Japanese character. Their obedience of Emperor Hirohito post-war is the reason we didn't have to kill the whole population in order to occupy the place.

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JLM 5 years, 5 months ago

In many ways the US is responsible for creating Saddam Hussein in all of his evil glory. So, in some ways we're just cleaning up the problem we had created.

During the Carter administration we withdrew our support for the Shah of Iran. A bad guy but a guy who maintained his loyalty to the US after having been bought off in the Cold War. He was a bulwark against spreading Russian influence in this part of the world. He also promised to stay out of any controversy with Israel.

Carter was another naive but very intelligent guy who was a truly terrible President. Packaged by the three stooges Hamilton Jordon, Jody Powell and Jack Watson. On a small Georgia scale they were the Lee Atwater, Karl Rove and David Axelrod of their times.

Once the Shah disappeared the new leaders of Iran were understandably opposed to us. In response, the US put Saddam Hussein up to a war against the Iranians. In many ways they were historic enemies but certainly were vying to be "the" strongman of the region.

Interestingly enough, even the use of chemical weapons was of great interest to the US as we did not really know how they were going to work in combat. At that time, the US had similar chemical weapons in our arsenal. It was just a notch removed from a lab experiment.

Bottom line --- the US supported Saddam Hussein and Iraq v Iran in the war. They bled each other weak and poor.

When Saddam inquired as to how the US might view a skirmish between Iraq and Kuwait in regard to disputed border oil deposits, the US Ambassador answered inartfully and then Saddam invaded Kuwait.

The rest, as they say, is history.

This is not unlike the American support of Osama Bin Laden against the Russians in Afghanistan. He was also our boy when it was useful.

In the Middle East we have no real allies with only Israel coming close. The Arabs in general and Saudi Arabia in particular are not even our friends. In another time the efforts of the OPEC cartel would be considered an act of war. We are engaged in economic warfare between the producers of oil and the folks who use internal combustion engines to drive their economies.

In many ways the war against Islamofascist terrorism is simply a proxy shooting war (or vice versa) for this economic war.

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JLM 5 years, 5 months ago

Perhaps you miss my point as I agree with almost everything which you write. My point was that inexperienced and naive Presidents are often the source of long term problems internationally as they proscribe democratic American thinking to modestly complex, undemocratic situations. It has taken us a long time to get to our current theory of democracy. Other nations are not quite ready to drink from the same fire hose.

President Carter, like Obama, was a naive chap with perhaps good motives. Carter was an Annapolis grad and a member of Rickover's nuclear navy. The road to hell is often paved with good intentions. In the case of Obama, he is certainly a naif, but I am not sure he even has good intentions.

I am a firm believer in a nuanced, cynical and flexible foreign policy. The Shah of Iran was a dope but he was OUR dope.

I am in favor of the selective use of American military might to destroy forces which oppose us. I would use it in a focused and daring manner. I would immediately turn the pacification over to the UN as quickly as possible. LOL

I would disarm but not disband conquered armies and therby not allow those men to drift back into the society as we did in Iraq. I would also destroy all weapons wholesale.

MacArthur's decision not to execute the Emperor was a brilliant read of the national culture. By sparing Hirohito, MacArthus set himself up as the power behind the throne. In many ways Petraeus's read of Iraqi culture was the reason the surge worked.

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seeuski 5 years, 5 months ago

Hidden Audio: Obama Tells SF Chronicle He Will Bankrupt Coal Industry

Obama in his own words as emphasized by Biden. No clean coal here in the US, build em over there. The SF Chronicle, home to the Obama freedom of personal thoughts when no one else is listening, as in "they angrily cling to their guns and religion".

http://media.newsbusters.org/stories/hidden-audio-obama-tells-sf-chronicle-he-will-bankrupt-coal-industry.html?q=blogs/p-j-gladnick/2008/11/02/hidden-audio-obama-tells-sf-chronicle-he-will-bankrupt-coal-industry

But of course the Chronicle cleaned up the written article so as not to inform the rest of us of his true intentions. If Obama is elected we will languish forever in energy dependence at the hands of our enemies. You have to wonder what is motivating the Dems to crush our ability to use our own energy sources but indicate a willingness to continue to use energy supplied by foreign suppliers who have lax EPA regulations and prehistoric technology that is Echo unfriendly. We are losing middle class jobs due to this backward stubbornness and harming our economy far into the future.

Vote smart on Tuesday. Vote for made in the USA. Vote McCain/Palin

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stillinsteamboat 5 years, 5 months ago

I think the fraud being perpetrated by the Republicans against naive voters who don't know the law and their rights is shameful. http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/dirty_tricks

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stillinsteamboat 5 years, 5 months ago

never said Dems are innocent. I just see that Obama's message is Hope while McCain's is Fear. I used to have a great deal of respect for John McCain,however I feel he has allowed his campaign to be hijacked by the Christian Right.

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MrTaiChi 5 years, 5 months ago

The original subject of this column was Socialism. That discussion wandered into wider comments about the greater risks, wrongs and threats to our country. Among these are comments that Christian fundamentalists are a great threat to our society because they attempt to impose their views on even the unwilling. That's how, I think, I got off on the subject of Islam as not equivalent to Christianity. I think that abortion clinic bombers and Dr. Slepian's murderer should be hanged. The difference here is that the murderer in such instances finds no justification for his act in the Christian Bible. The Koran justifies killing as a duty to be performed by a Muslim in many instances, including punishing converts. It is not a persuasive argument that at one time Christians in their ignorance killed Muslims and accused witches, nor that apostates were burned or tortured to recant. Those barbaric acts were consistent with other barbaric acts of those ages done across the world. We should recoil in horror at what was done, but the difference with Islam is that its adherents 1n 2008 continue to practice barbaritry. The left, in an effort not cause offence, or maybe to avoid looking into the abyss, says that these things are being done by extremists. No moderate Muslim mullahs or councils, or leaders, for that matter, have risen up to point out how the "extremists" have misinterpreted the Koran, because they can't. Somehow all of the acts of Muslim violence occurring around the world are committed by people who never got the memo that Islam is a religion of peace. How many incidents of Christian based violence against Muslims have we seen in Europe, Indonesia, India these last twenty, hundred years? The left projects good will and liberality and reciprocal benevolence in the face of all evidence to the contrary. One writer asks what are we to do, shun all Muslim cultures? That is the hardest comment to answer. I don't know. We have faced implacable foes before and outlasted them. Let's at least start with a hard nosed assessment rather than wishing and hoping. Hope is not a satisfactory foreign policy nor national security strategy. Dropper- except for the lack of skiing, you could probably live happily in America's Bible belt. Yeah, I oppose school prayer and other insults to the power of God to be in school when he wants and the separation of church and state. Be honest. Aren't you living with less fear and freer here than you would be in Turkey, your best case argument? There you still go to jail for criticising Islam or suggesting that the Armenians didn't get what was coming to them.

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Steve Lewis 5 years, 5 months ago

JLM, Aich, The western sky is telling me to bust a move outside. Back tomorrow. Where is your yard? WZ?

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aichempty 5 years, 5 months ago

JLM,

Carter is a smart guy. I have discovered the hard way that intelligent people generally assume that everyone else is just as smart, and that's the problem. It's the same with G W.

If we were under the control of a sadistic dictator, and a benevolent liberator came in and freed us, we would immediately go about setting up a representative democracy to govern us. That's what any reasonable group of people would do. The fact that the same thing didn't happen in Iraq is an Iraqi problem that any President would have had to face eventually. The fact that the Democrats have used every bump in the road as a campaign issue against Republicans is just a dirty lawyer trick that they all learn in law school. If you repeat a lie long enough and often enough, people who want to agree with you will do so. That's how jury trials are won by the guilty party. Look at the O J trial, and tell me how it's any different than the Obama election campaign. In both cases, the lawyers have repeated what the supporters want to hear, and that's all it takes.

McCain and G W did not learn how to tell the truth as convincingly as all the lawyers are taught to lie. Eloquence is why people get gypped by con men all the time.

If G W had contained Saddam all these eight years, and Saddam used a nuke on somebody, it would be blamed on G W for failing to know about it and take action. It's all politics, and always will be.

The criminals on both sides of the aisle need to be locked up, and responsible, caring people need to take over. McCain or Obama would appear to fit the bill as far as personal traits go, but McCain knows more about solving real problems and getting things done as a result of his Navy service. Obama only knows how to sue the responsible party when the problem harms someone. You don't solve our nation's problems by suing the people who cause them.

Hey, isn't it funny how Global Warming is not such a "hot" topic anymore when the economic downturn is putting so many Americans out of work, and out of their homes. Hmmmm . . . carbon footprint or jobs . . . . hmmmm . . . which do the voters care more about?

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seeuski 5 years, 5 months ago

stillin, Wonder why this report fails to add ACORN and other similar groups to the fray?

Well here is a report by an Independent group from both sides of the equation into actual voter fraud during the last 2 elections which gives insight for tomorrows big day.

http://www.sodahead.com/blog/15853/report-documents-massive-democratic-voter-fraud/

Claiming that the Republicans are dirty but the Dems are innocent is quite hypocritical.

BTW, I did a mail in to keep my tires safe from the Dem slashers.

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JLM 5 years, 5 months ago

Why does everyone think that ACORN's criminal conduct and alleged Republican voter suppression are morally equivalent? Why do they think these views are espoused by one party or another as core values?

I say lock up all the liars, cheaters and voter frauds of any style, type and allegiance. I say make the Secretaries of State of each state a three person office and let the chips fall where they may.

I like a fair fight.

I would just as soon prosecute a member of any party if the law has been broken. Blind justice for me.

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JLM 5 years, 5 months ago

There are 65 individual measures of intelligence of which IQ is one. But it is not determinant of leadership style or success. Carter was a guy who could not effectively lead. Leaders take followers to places they could never get by themselves.

The destination has to be worthy of the entire group or, in this case, the electorate, the country.

Being smart is good. Being a smart leader is better. Having a set of principles which is good for the country and leading the country in that direction is better still, the BEST.

It is on this measure --- the principles --- that BO fails. He leads toward socialism and that is not a good destination. It is not the American dream.

Nobody in America has gone to bed and hoped to wake up to a handout and to be beholden to others. Dreams are not colored with "subservient", "mediocre", "loser" but those are the adjectives of socialism and socialism is what BO preaches.

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stillinsteamboat 5 years, 5 months ago

Colin Powell and Warren Buffet must be real idiots in your eyes. If you want to talk about low IQ's, let's take a look at GWB. High functioning moron.

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JLM 5 years, 5 months ago

I think very highly of both Colin Powell and Warren Buffett. I know both of them. I also think highly of President Bush. He has kept the country safe --- which is the primary duty of the President --- for over 7 years. I only hope that the next President does as well.

Perhaps in your neanderthal name calling you miss my point --- intelligence is not enough for our times. We also require leadership skills and most importantly a destination which is worthy of our Nation and a leader who can actually shepherd us along to that destination.

I don't think socialism is that destination.

BTW, W has done pretty well given your description, no? Twice elected Governor of Texas and twice elected President of the United States. If winning elections is the criterium, then the guy is Einstein, don't you agree? LOL

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seeuski 5 years, 5 months ago

I see these stories from time to time but we don't even get the tip of the iceberg.

Anyone that compares the other two Abrahamic faiths to current Islam is sleep walking.

"Girl Is Stoned to Death in Somalia After Reporting Rape:"

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/11/01/AR2008110102052.html

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Duke_bets 5 years, 5 months ago

seeuski - Your football picks are as bad as your political picks. But, I'm glad that you are wrong on both.

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stillinsteamboat 5 years, 5 months ago

Seeuski, JLM- Barock Obama IS THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.

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Matthew Stoddard 5 years, 5 months ago

You evidently haven't been following the market this last month. The Dow just went up over 300 yesterday so it's fairly expected for it to drop today. It's been swinging the pendulum for a few weeks now. Plus, if they were selling off in "anticipation" of an Obama win, that would have happened yesterday.

As for a lost paycheck...did you have no job when Clinton, a Democrat, was in office for 8yrs? How did you do on your investments in the 90's?

Somebody poured the wrong liquid into either their Wheaties or coffee this morning, from the sound.

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Steve Lewis 5 years, 5 months ago

Aich, I hope your coffee was good this morning. Did your wife give you a nice long hug? Hope your kids enjoy a nutritious lunch at school today.

The DOW is a pretty narrow window isn't it? The real world has a triple bottom line: people, planet, profit. That bottom line is looking quite bullish today.

Your choice.

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Matthew Stoddard 5 years, 5 months ago

Looks like JLM got his landslide, at least in Electoral Votes.

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aichempty 5 years, 5 months ago

So far this morning, here's how the stock markets are reacting.

Name Price Change %CHG YTD

DJIA 9502.62 -122.66 -1.27% -29.2

Nasdaq 1756.05 -24.07 -1.35% -33.38

S&P 500 994.56 -11.19 - .11% -36.66

FOX 50 757.30 -9.54 -1.24% -

People have been selling off their stocks in anticipation of an Obama win. Looks like the win has added to the overall trend.

The good news? Maybe shorter waits at the lift lines. The bad news? Maybe fewer lifts open.

I hope that $1000 tax credit will be enough to replace the lost paycheck.

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oldskoolstmbt 5 years, 5 months ago

it's been awhile ....good job STILLIN'!!! EMPTY..is just...empty..great eye for the obvious, Huh? and should we change the subject again...??? THE METALLICA concert was insane this week...unbelievable night and then finding out who was our president...wow!!! PEACE...matt and steve i know you have found it (PEACE)...

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