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Theowyn
Looney

1078 Posts

Posted - 10/30/2008 :  14:58:04  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Yet another reason to develop alternative energy sources! Yes, the West in general has mishandling the Middle East for the better part of a century. Worse, Euro-American high-handedness has provided a convenient enemy for the leaders in the Middle East to demonize and thus distract their people from their own failures. We need to get out of the Middle East so that the people there can take ownership of their own problems and begin to fix them.

Siobhan, I understand what you mean about hypocicy, but I think I'm too cynical to take it seriously.

To begin with, the U.S. has not been on the receiving end of this sort of incursion in modern memory. Terrorists entering a country with the specific intent to kill civilians is vastly different than an army crossing a border in pursuit of a third party and accidentally killing civilians. The first is an act of agression, the second a political blunder and despite the rhetoric, I think governments know the difference.

Publically, of course, there has to be a cry of outrage. Were we in Syria's place, we would be just as indignant. But - and this is the crucial point - if Syria were in our position, they wouldn't hesitate to cross a border in pursuit of an enemy either. Is it still hypocricy when everyone is being equally hypocritical and knows it? This seems to be one of those "wink and nod" situations which is what the article you linked to asserts.

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Eeyore
Barmy

USA
311 Posts

Posted - 11/01/2008 :  14:34:22  Show Profile  Send Eeyore a Yahoo! Message  Reply with Quote
I sometimes think, while watching the news on multiple channels for the last 2 months, that we have really gone off the deep end. All of it, not just the elections. And thankfully, that bit of insanity is almost over. However, as Terry said last night, no matter what happens on November 4, he will listen to two more days of moaning and groaning, and then he's done with it. I'm sure whoever loses (and I certainly hope that result sends SWWNBN (She Who Will Not Be Named) back to face the mess she has created for herself in Alaska) will whine longer than that, but I won't be listening anymore.

It's not only the Syria problems, but Africa is once again in turmoil. I follow a blog for the Virunga National Park where the remaining mountain gorillas live. And it's horrible. This past week, the rebels (the same ones that murdered six of the gorillas in the summer of 2007) took over the ranger station and the rangers and their families have had to flee. The whereabouts of about half of them is still unknown. It doesn't help that the soldiers fled as soon as the rebels started their take-over. Here's a link to the blog if you are interested: http://gorilla.cd/blog/

And what are we all doing here in the US? Listening to McSame and Failin making up more things to divide us as a nation, at a time when we all should be paying more attention to the whole world, not just our little corner of it.

Tuesday can't come fast enough. Just remember, if you haven't already voted, go VOTE!

OK, I'm done ranting for the day. I think I'll go have some tea.

Eeyore

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Theowyn
Looney

1078 Posts

Posted - 11/03/2008 :  13:08:02  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Ranting is good for the soul, Eeyore. It gets the frustration out of your system. Just 20 hours until the polls open here in California. I am soooooo ready for this election to be over.

Presidential elections are a time of intense navel-gazing. That's understandable and certainly the implosion of the financial markets has distracted us from most other issues, but hopefully once the election is over and the markets stablize (as they are showing signs of doing) we will have more attention to give to world issues.

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diricawl
Looney

United Kingdom
1078 Posts

Posted - 11/03/2008 :  13:36:02  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
One of the problems that comes with democracy is that we are directly responsible for who we elect, which makes us directly responsible for how our lives evolve and how we affect others. So navel gazing is a perfectly appropriate reaction to an election. This isn't just about them; it's about us.

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As to the avatar, well, if you girls can all have Alan Rickman...

"They don't want the Easter Bunny's power; The children in our generation want Harry's power, and they're getting it." - Laura Mallory
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Siobhan
Chief Healer

USA
2157 Posts

Posted - 11/03/2008 :  15:45:57  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Unfortnuately, the navel is usually someone else's-- not very productive.

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Siobhan
Chief Healer

USA
2157 Posts

Posted - 11/04/2008 :  10:55:05  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Today is the day! It will be so nice to get this over with. Of course there will be some sort of scandal to argue over for another six weeks or so-- what would a 21st century US election be without seemingly endless bickering over the result?

Went to the polls this afternoon around 2:30pm and was finished in 15 minutes. Apparently we hit it just right. Some people waited hours this morning.

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AMC
Mediwizard

1710 Posts

Posted - 11/05/2008 :  01:17:50  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
YAY!!!!!

This is a great day, a day to remember. I sat with my mom, who is 81 years old and never thought she'd see the day, and watched with joy and awe as America elected our first African-American president. To me, the fact that Obama had a black father is less important than his intelligence and his ability to listen but to her - this is history, history she's waited half a lifetime to see, a goal she'd almost lost faith in. Our history and our future. It's very precious.

But Siobhan - what are you going to talk about over Thanksgiving dinner???


And I love you, I love you, I love you.
Like never before, like never before.


Edited by - AMC on 11/05/2008 01:24:47
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diricawl
Looney

United Kingdom
1078 Posts

Posted - 11/05/2008 :  02:30:12  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Your Mom sounds like a great person. She must have been ahead of her time.

Cheers to everyone who made the right decision. Now it's time to see how he confronts the massive number of issues facing America.

Sorry if I can't summon the same level of enthusiasm, but my brother's gay and he lives in California, so the news is mixed for me.

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As to the avatar, well, if you girls can all have Alan Rickman...

"They don't want the Easter Bunny's power; The children in our generation want Harry's power, and they're getting it." - Laura Mallory

Edited by - diricawl on 11/05/2008 07:27:23
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JKRisSuperior
Mediwizard

USA
694 Posts

Posted - 11/05/2008 :  10:33:38  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
YAY! Your mom does sound like she had been ahead of her time, AMC.

Siobhan, I have some advice on how to handle Thanksgiving. If members of your family start in on Obama's race/religion/how he'll drive the country into a hole, state, "gee, that's an interesting assumption." Then try to change the subject with something like, "Siobunny, why don't you demonstrate what you learned in karate last week," or "Aunt Bea, this casserole is delicious, you must give me the recipe."
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Theowyn
Looney

1078 Posts

Posted - 11/05/2008 :  11:35:42  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
YES!!!
I am so thrilled and relieved that America made the smart choice this time. Our whole family watched the returns yesterday - something we haven't done in years. What a great experience for my kids! My older son called from UC Santa Cruz right after Obama was called as the winner. He and his friends had been watching all afternoon and were all celebrating the win. Finally after weeks of nail-biting, I will be able to sleep peacefully at night.

Diri, I'm very disappointed in the prop 8 results too. The "Yes on 8" campaign spent so much money and misrepresented the issue so badly. It's criminal. My hope is that the US Supreme Court will eventually strike down all such laws discriminating against gays as being unconstitutional.

And Siobhan, if your relatives get snarky at Thanksgiving, just smile. You'll drive them crazy.

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Edited by - Theowyn on 11/05/2008 11:39:30
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Siobhan
Chief Healer

USA
2157 Posts

Posted - 11/05/2008 :  12:07:52  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I feel better this morning than I've felt in years. Actually, I began to feel better yesterday just after voting. I'm not in the least surprised that SC went to McCain, but it makes me feel better to know that more people were responsible for that-- they made their votes count.

I didn't stay up to watch President Elect Obama's speech-- too tired.

Not sure what Thanksgiving will be like. Perhaps I'll be too optimistic to notice? My father-in-law was grinching about Obama over the weekend. I had no idea what he was talking about, so it didn't bother me any. Mad-Eye deftly changed the subject before it went anywhere.

Am sorry to hear Prop 8 results. Why do people insist on worrying about other people's relationships? Why should the government have anything to do with marriage?

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JKRisSuperior
Mediwizard

USA
694 Posts

Posted - 11/05/2008 :  12:31:00  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I'm also sorry to hear about Prop 8. I agree with Theowyn that hopefully someday the Supreme Court will strike down all laws banning gay marriage and other laws discriminating against gay people.
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AMC
Mediwizard

1710 Posts

Posted - 11/05/2008 :  22:32:47  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Maybe you could prepare some carefully crafted distractions like "Did you read how much AIG's board of directors got as bonuses this year?" or "How about those Panthers?" to use when the topic turns to the presidential election. Then you can sit nodding happily about the Obama win while your FIL responds to the red herring.


And I love you, I love you, I love you.
Like never before, like never before.

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Siobhan
Chief Healer

USA
2157 Posts

Posted - 11/06/2008 :  10:52:34  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Something I don't think I'll ever understand is that FIL believes the execs deserve those huge salaries and bonuses. I just don't see it, partly because the amount of monetaray compensation we are talking about is beyond my limited imagination.

I think I'll stick to the tried and true method of complimenting the cook and/or feigning the effects of tryptophan. If I have another cold by then, I can add decongestant issues to the mix-- solid.


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Theowyn
Looney

1078 Posts

Posted - 11/06/2008 :  17:47:23  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Siobhan

Something I don't think I'll ever understand is that FIL believes the execs deserve those huge salaries and bonuses. I just don't see it, partly because the amount of monetaray compensation we are talking about is beyond my limited imagination.
I don't begrudge CEOs their bonuses when their companies are prospering. If you steer your company to great success, go ahead and reap the reward. But like the captain of a ship, if your company is sinking, you don't get to hop in a lifeboat and row away with the contents of the ship's safe. You have to make sure everyone else gets taken care of first. That's the part these CEOs miss. With great reward comes great responsibility. If they are going to earn bonuses beyond imagining when times are good, they need to lose the most when times are bad and typically they don't. That's why they earn so much scorn. They're only out for themselves.

I have to wonder now that the dust is settling from the election what the Republicans are going to do. They desperately need to reinvent themselves if they are going to be a viable national party, but I'm not sure that they even know what they stand for anymore.

The Religious Right are clear enough about their agenda, but they don't appeal to the majority of Americans and never will. Setting these people up as the party base is problematic at best. Unfortunately, there isn't much else that really defines the Republicans just now.

They can talk about fiscal responsibility, but that's a joke. If the Dems are the "tax and spend" party, then the Repubs are surely the "borrow and spend" bunch. We all know that they will never cut government spending, even if they cut taxes. It also cannot escape most people's notice that the last time we had a balanced budget was under a Democratic president and the fact that the country now trusts a Democrat with the economy above a Republican says it all. Favoring the rich and trickle-down economics is no longer a winning idea even in good times. The Republicans have lost all credibility in fiscal matters.

So if they've ceded the economy, what does that leave? They're more trusted at prosecuting wars and keeping the country safe, but if Obama manages to extricate us from Iraq without losing face and can make diplomatic headway around the world without looking weak, that could change.

The Republicans can't rely on war-mongering or scare tactics to reinvigorate their party. They need to step back and figure out what their core principles are and how those apply to the 21st century world we live in. The every-man-for-himself approach to economics, big-brother approch to social issues and isolationist scorn for all things foreign simply don't cut it anymore.

So here's a question. How have conservative parties around the world remained relavent?

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Edited by - Theowyn on 11/06/2008 17:57:37
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AMC
Mediwizard

1710 Posts

Posted - 11/06/2008 :  20:21:42  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Here's my very non-detailed perspective, because I tend to only see the forest and not the trees. I think people and societies do better when there is some give and take between ideologies. I mean, benevolent dictators have had some great success (eh, Singapore?) but it's very static and nature doesn't work well with static - evolution requires variety and having a variety of options in government pretty much implies there will be some discord. I am a pretty fervant liberal but I don't think the world would be a better place if all the conservatives disappeared. I do think the world would be a better place if all the people who justify spreading hatred in Gods name were wiped out, but that's a whole 'nother story. As evidenced by the shocking defection of some of the Right's best "names" in the last days of the election - not all conservatives are mindless panderers to the religious right. But for the last 8 years the Republican party as a whole HAS shamelessly pandered to the religious right and I think they are only now realizing that that "base" is not enough. They need to appeal to the middle. This effort will piss the religious right off enormously and there will be a struggle to redefine the term "conservative". Many long-term conservatives have looked at their party's actions during in this election and been completely revolted, as well they should be. Others have possibly just been disquieted by their substantial losses. Regardless, I don't think the Republicans will rebuild as before. I think there will be a lot of infighting, a lot of introversion and a good deal of re-thinking of what the "base" means to the GOP.

Personally, I am as socially liberal as can be but I cannot support the fiscal irresponsibility of both parties. We cannot keep on imperilling our future because we aren't willing to pay for what we want today. I hope the GOP goes back to its root policies - those of individual responsibility, keeping government out of people's personal lives and living within your means. If so, they will be a healthy balance to liberals, who naturally want to do anything they can to improve people's lives and in doing so, support a larger government role. I think the give-and-take of two (or more) interests can be healthy in government but only when everyone is focussed on the same goal - the good of the country and it's people, NOT the good of the party or its special interest groups.

I know I didn't answer your question about other countries, but I'm a typical American - we are hopelessly ignorant of other counties' political situations so I have to let other people do that!



And I love you, I love you, I love you.
Like never before, like never before.


Edited by - AMC on 11/06/2008 20:24:31
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Theowyn
Looney

1078 Posts

Posted - 11/07/2008 :  12:27:39  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I agree whole-heartedly that we need balance. The more viewpoints we can bring to the discussion - liberal, conservative, libertarian, green, etc, the better off we are. However we no longer have a traditional conservative party in this country - hence the fact that the Republicans are as loose with money as the Democrats. The Republicans today are not the party of Lincoln or even of Nixon. And the single biggest problem is the Religious Right.

I will second the motion to shove all the religious fanatics of the world onto a spaceship and send them off to another planet. The world would be so much better off without them and so would the Republican party. The Reps have to stop pandering to these people and need to give their members a refresher course in the meaning of separation of church and state.

While we're at the civics lesson, we all need to get back to basics and start with a discussion of what exactly a government is supposed to do. There are differing opinions on this and they need to be made clear. Skip the sound-bites, code words and empty slogans. We need a real discussion of ideas by deep thinkers on all sides. The principles upon which our nation was founded need to be reiterated then the various parties need to define how they interpret those principles in the 21st century. This is a debate that is long overdue.

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Edited by - Theowyn on 11/07/2008 12:30:51
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diricawl
Looney

United Kingdom
1078 Posts

Posted - 11/07/2008 :  13:54:09  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
There is, I think, a paradox at the heart of modern American conservativism; on the one hand, you have the fiscal conservatives, who want to reduce government spending and give people more economic control. That's all well and good, though it means people with disabilities or longterm illnesses tend to get a short shrift. It is, essentially, a libertarian position, and if I could sum up the political right in one word, it would be "libertarian." The left, by contrast, is egalitarian; it believes that it is government's role to improve the lives of its citizens and to work for the good of all. However, along with the libertarians, the American right also includes the so-called "social conservatives" (really a code word for religious fundamentalists, which is really just a modern way of saying Puritans) who want government to intervene in personal matters of sex and religion. Stripped of whatever distaste one might have for their aims, what they desire is a fundamentally egalitarian philosophy; government should act for (what they see as) the good of everyone. These two philosophies cannot be reconciled, and it was really only a matter of time before the libertarians and the egalitarians eventually fell out.

Personally, as a European, I tend to favour an egalitarian philosophy. Whatever mistrust I have for egalitarianism (and yes, I fear the kind of "moral egalitarianism" of the religious right) is outweighed by my terror at the nightmare that would result if libertarianism were taken to its logical conclusion. At their most extreme small government proponents claim that government's only job is to protect personal property, a philosophy washed away by Hurricane Katrina, when the government did just that, arresting looters while abandoning law-abiding people to the Superdome. You want to see what libertarianism would be taken to the extreme? Just watch Mad Max. On the other hand, if you want to see how egalitarianism would play out, just read "Brave New World." So a balance has to be struck between personal freedom and collective benefit. There is no simple answer, and most nations just spend history trying to navigate between these two extremes.

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As to the avatar, well, if you girls can all have Alan Rickman...

"They don't want the Easter Bunny's power; The children in our generation want Harry's power, and they're getting it." - Laura Mallory
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Theowyn
Looney

1078 Posts

Posted - 11/11/2008 :  16:49:04  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by diricawl

So a balance has to be struck between personal freedom and collective benefit. There is no simple answer, and most nations just spend history trying to navigate between these two extremes.
Which is all well and good, makes sense and generally produces good results. The problem is the religious aspect. It doesn't belong in either the secular egalitarian or libertarian camps.

For all their differences, egalitarians and libertarians share one important belief in common - the right of the citizen to self-determination. Libertarians believe this right belongs solely to the individual while egalitarians see a strong collective component where the masses - represented by government - decide what is best for all. Nevertheless, this concept of freedom - individual or collective - is central to these secular philosophies.

Not so the philosophy of the Religious Right. In their view, human freedom is subjugated to the will of God. It doesn't matter what individuals want or what our elected government might decide is for the common good. If it doesn't agree with what the Bible says, it should be banned.

This is what places the politics of religion in a completely different realm from traditional conservative and liberal politics and it is what makes the Religious Right supremely dangerous. Their ideas are fundamentally at odds with our constitution and the whole concept of self-determination which we hold most dear.

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diricawl
Looney

United Kingdom
1078 Posts

Posted - 11/12/2008 :  04:14:56  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Can I ask, as a Catholic, do you find it hard to balance your passionate beliefs in freedom and self-determination with your religious faith, particularly the edicts of your church?

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"They don't want the Easter Bunny's power; The children in our generation want Harry's power, and they're getting it." - Laura Mallory
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Theowyn
Looney

1078 Posts

Posted - 11/12/2008 :  12:31:21  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by diricawl

Can I ask, as a Catholic, do you find it hard to balance your passionate beliefs in freedom and self-determination with your religious faith, particularly the edicts of your church?

Not really because I ignore the dogma of the Catholic Church as do many American Catholics. Fifty-four percent of us voted for Obama despite the hand-wringing of the bishops over abortion. Heck, Biden is Catholic, too as are any number of liberal, pro-choice politicians.

The Vatican and the conservative wing of the American Church have long been consternated with this vast bunch of liberal American Catholics. They complain about us and periodically look for ways to get us back on the straight and narrow, but of course itís hopeless because it isn't in our nature to bow unquestioningly to authority. We'll listen to what the Pope and priests have to say, but weíll never defer to them.

Just this morning I heard on the news that the bishop in Scranton is threatening to refuse communion to Biden because of his stance on abortion. This happens every time a pro-choice, Catholic politician is in the spotlight, but nothing ever comes of it because the bishops know darn well that the politicians in question would forego communion before repudiating their position on abortion. We just donít CARE what the Church has to say and certainly wonít be dictated to.

I suppose one could argue that we liberals really ought to find different Churches to attend, maybe even break away and found our own Church of America. But itís easier to just shrug and ignore the Vatican. Nostalgia and laziness keep us going back to our long-time parishes. We're comfortable with the structure of the Mass and we'd miss our friends in the community if we left.

Besides, the Catholic Church isn't all calcified dogma. For every bishop threatening to withhold communion from a liberal politician there is another who vehemently opposes such tactics. We have a strong contingent of liberal religious leaders in the American Church to match our liberal congregations. I have tremendous admiration for the Jesuits and other leaders who see human rights and social justice as the issues we should fight for in the public arena while leaving abortion as a private issue of conscience.

Here in Sacramento the overwhelming majority of services to the homeless are provided by our local Catholic volunteer groups. Nationwide, the Church cares for and supports the rights of the poor and disadvantaged in our communities. These are the works of the Church that I believe in and support.

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diricawl
Looney

United Kingdom
1078 Posts

Posted - 11/13/2008 :  06:50:19  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Sounds like you're basically Episcopalians. :) There was talk of a US schism after the child abuse scandals. Did anything come of that?

It's funny; when Kennedy came to power in 1960, there was serious suspicion that he would place the edicts of Rome ahead of his country's law, and he had to go on national television to explain that his faith was a matter of private conscience and would not interfere with his administration. Mitt Romney, because he's a Mormon, had to do the same. Yet no one asked it of Mike Huckabee.

I had no idea that California, of all places, relied on religious charities to help its homeless. While I admire and respect those who go out of their way to aid those in need, I still feel that it is the responsibility of the government to help those who cannot help themselves.

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As to the avatar, well, if you girls can all have Alan Rickman...

"They don't want the Easter Bunny's power; The children in our generation want Harry's power, and they're getting it." - Laura Mallory

Edited by - diricawl on 11/13/2008 08:33:23
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Theowyn
Looney

1078 Posts

Posted - 11/13/2008 :  13:37:40  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by diricawl

Sounds like you're basically Episcopalians. :)
Lol, yes. In fact before my children were born (almost 20 years ago!) I seriously considered becoming Episcopalian. My husband however is firmly in the "too lazy to change faiths" category and I felt it would be better to raise the kids in one religious tradition. The fact that they attend Catholic schools only reinforced that decision. Once the kids are out of the house however, I probably will switch Churches. I told my husband as much the week before the election when the conference of Episcopalian bishops came out against Prop 8.

quote:
There was talk of a US schism after the child abuse scandals. Did anything come of that?
No. Obviously the Catholic Church doesn't sanction child abuse, so most people saw this as individual crimes compounded by willful blindness/cover-ups by some bishops. Since this has nothing to do with the faith itself, it was treated as just one more quasi-political scandal in a world filled with them and generally ignored.

quote:
It's funny; when Kennedy came to power in 1960, there was serious suspicion that he would place the edicts of Rome ahead of his country's law, and he had to go on national television to explain that his faith was a matter of private conscience and would not interfere with his administration. Mitt Romney, because he's a Mormon, had to do the same. Yet no one asked it of Mike Huckabee.
Right, because a barrier only needs to be smashed once. Baptists are firmly in the WASP camp. Catholics no longer raise eyebrows when they run for office. Eventually we'll have a Mormon president and then that will no longer be an issue either.

quote:
I had no idea that California, of all places, relied on religious charities to help its homeless.
Oh definitely! I don't even want to think about what the lot of the homeless would be if it weren't for these charities. What is amazing though is that this actually works remarkably well.

While I wholeheartedly agree that the government should ensure that people aren't starving in the streets, this doesn't necessarily mean they are best suited to be the first choice to solve every problem.

It is the job of a community to address the needs of the community and this can be done in different ways. Our national community has a collective need for national defense, for instance, which is best handled by our national government. Likewise, maintaining our city streets is best managed by the city governments. But these are very impersonal issues which are most efficiently handled by an impersonal bureaucracy.

Dealing with individuals in great need is different. Government can address some of the issues of poverty: welfare is cut and dry. Fill out a form stating your income and the number of people in your household and a computer will crunch the numbers and spit out a check. But addressing the human aspect of severe poverty is another matter.

This is where the conservatives get it right. A government agency is no substitute for a caring community. When we hand off a task to the government we abdicate personal responsibility for it and it becomes something about which we debate funding cuts or tax increases. It becomes about us and how we manage our government rather than about whatever the original issue was.

Some things, such as national defense, can only be handled by the government. Others, such as potholes, aren't worth our time to worry about. But issues such as homelessness or, indeed, education benefit from an engaged community. We can't delegate our children's futures or the plight of our poorest neighbors to the government and then forget about it except to complain about how much it's costing us or what a poor job the government is doing. We need to take these things personally. We need to feel responsible for our children and our poor.

In the case of the homeless, engaged volunteers on the ground are simply better at dealing with individuals and their individual needs than government employees who are mainly there to collect a paycheck. Grassroots organizations are also far more flexible and far better at stretching a dollar. This is entrepreneurialism at its altruistic best and it benefits not only those in need, but those who serve them as well. People really are happier when they act selflessly to help others.

Compassion is half of what those in need desperately require. They need to feel that someone cares, not that they are simply a burden. Volunteers, funded by donations, provide that just by showing up.

Americans have a reputation for giving to charity, both of our time and money, and we tend to give even more when times are hard. It is without doubt our best national characteristic and it is something we can rely on when budget deficits loom and gridlocked governments can't cope.

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"Always"

Edited by - Theowyn on 11/13/2008 16:30:05
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Siobhan
Chief Healer

USA
2157 Posts

Posted - 01/26/2009 :  11:01:45  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Who all watched the Innauguration last week?

We caught it in bits and pieces from our TV at home, the radio in my car, and then on the TV at the studio. Daughter was quite excited about the whole thing. It makes me happy to see her taking an interest in such things at her age. I hope she can keep the enthusiasm going. It might keep her engaged in politics/government enough to make her voice heard.

Deliberatley causing mayhem in Snape's Potions class.
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s.i.n.e. qua non
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Theowyn
Looney

1078 Posts

Posted - 01/26/2009 :  11:59:13  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I watched the whole thing at work. Our department rescheduled all the standing morning meetings to clear the calendar for this and I'm sure we weren't alone. My daughter's class watched the whole thing, too.

I agree that Obama has really excited young people. My 19 year old is very enthusiastic and I hope his generation will stay engaged.

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s.i.n.e. qua non

"Always"
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diricawl
Looney

United Kingdom
1078 Posts

Posted - 01/26/2009 :  13:57:37  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Problem is there's nowhere to go from here but down. Unless Obama's swallowed some of that formula from Heroes, he can't possibly get America back to the standing and security it had under Clinton. No one could. I'm afraid this rampant deification has been a detriment to Obama's Presidency; he's spent the last few weeks trying to lower everyone's expectations. In the wake of his silence over Gaza, the radical left has completely trashed him. John Pilger called him a "glossy Uncle Tom" and said that his Middle East policy was no different from Bush's.

Order of the Bookmark

As to the avatar, well, if you girls can all have Alan Rickman...

"They don't want the Easter Bunny's power; The children in our generation want Harry's power, and they're getting it." - Laura Mallory
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Siobhan
Chief Healer

USA
2157 Posts

Posted - 01/26/2009 :  15:00:00  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
And then there's the trash rags headlines. I saw one of them at the drugstore today that read "Hands off, HE'S MINE!" says Michelle to Oprah.

I'll be happy if he's able to accomplish anything. At least it would be a start. I also try to keep in mind that there's that role reversal thing going on. My in-laws feel now the way I did 4 and 8 years ago. That keeps me from being too vocal about my guardedly hopefull spirit.

Deliberatley causing mayhem in Snape's Potions class.
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Theowyn
Looney

1078 Posts

Posted - 01/27/2009 :  14:41:41  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by diricawl

Problem is there's nowhere to go from here but down.
Not really. The pie-in-the-sky predictions that have been circulating for months are more an expression of America's pent up frustrations than serious expectations of Obama. That we aren't going to get everything on our wish-list is understood by the vast majority.

Yes, in the weeks ahead Obama's approval rating will fall as fantasy gives way to reality and he starts making tough choices, but this happens to every president to some degree and it will stabilize very quickly. Once it does, Obama has a huge opportunity. Given the state of the economy and America's standing internationally, the country has nowhere to go but up and Obama will get the credit for any improvement.

As for the radical left and right, they trash just about everyone because they have no concept of subtlety or pragmatism and no sense of reality. It amazes me that the left can call Obama a Bush clone while the right calls him a socialist appeaser. These people are nuts!

Can Obama get America back to the standing and security it had under Clinton? When it comes to security, of course not; 9/11 took that away forever. But when it comes to our standing in the international community and the confidence of the American public, don't sell Obama short. Everyone has underestimated this man time and again and he has consistently proven them wrong.

As much as I respected Bill Clinton as president, I think Obama has the potential to be even better. Whether he lives up to that potential remains to be seen, but heís got Clintonís brains plus political street-smarts that Clinton didnít have. Donít get me wrong. Clinton was a born politician; he had a gift for politics. But Arkansas is not Chicago. Obama learned to survive and thrive in the toughest political environment in the country and it will stand him in good stead in Washington.

Where Clinton was a natural at schmoozing Ė turning on the charm to win over congressmen and interns alike Ė Obama seems far more deliberate, like a chess player who has plotted out his next ten moves. He doesnít rely on a smile to persuade people, but on strategy and planning Ė something I find refreshing.

Heís also more pragmatic than Clinton was. Just compare their healthcare proposals. Clinton wanted to completely revamp our healthcare insurance system and institute universal healthcare Ė a laudable idea, but utterly unworkable. Obama, by contrast, wants to achieve universal healthcare by plugging the holes in our current system. Itís not as elegant a plan as Clintonís, but it also doesnít cost nearly as much or disrupt the lives of everyone who already has insurance; and it might actually have a chance of being implemented.

Skip the lofty plans and get the job done; that seems to be Obamaís approach and I canít think of a better one given the state of our nation.

Order of the Bookmark

s.i.n.e. qua non

"Always"

Edited by - Theowyn on 01/27/2009 14:52:32
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