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While a little late in the discovery, this expresses my

by Ziks511 / February 23, 2005 4:43 AM PST

feelings exactly about what currently is identified (especially here)as the "liberal media", and "liberal" pundits.

"There's a phantom limb attached to the body politic, where ordinarily a left wing would be found. It manifests itself with the occasional twitch: CEOs earning over 200 times as much as their subalterns? Sinking incomes for the working poor, topped off by drastic welfare and Food Stamps cuts? Something's very wrong here, the more liberal pundits mutter to themselves. Too bad there isn't a left any more --if only to remind us of what.

"Ordinarily, when media outlets like the New York Times report the absence of an American left, the correct response is: We only look dead because you buried us. Last spring, for example, that august newspaper reported a near-total lack of protest over the looming horror of welfare "reform," but it was a lack that had been greatly magnified by the Times' own failure to report on any of the protests that did occur. FAIR (Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting) has doggedly documented the media's suppression and exclusion of the American left. In a political culture where a Michael Kinsley or a Bill Press can play a leftist on TV, where labor reporting is relegated to the business section of the news, where Hillary Clinton can be mistaken for a liberal -- it's easy enough to argue that the disappearance of the left is another of those clever special effects."
and this was written in the middle of the Clinton presidency.

The trouble is that liberalism has somehow ended up being identified by the American right, and is assessed as being anything slightly to the left of Attila the Hun.

http://www.zmag.org/zmag/articles/nov96ehren.htm

Rob Boyter

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As your own quoted words show...
by Edward ODaniel / February 23, 2005 6:35 AM PST

liberalism is to be equated with socialism and anti-capitalist and it is not the right that has so defined them but the left themselves.

That socialistic bias and bent, as well as the pro depravity and anti Americanisms (blame America first) is very observable in the media as well as within academia.

When the major liberal media such as the New York Times reports an absence of such liberal bias it is not an absence being reported but their pollyanna inability of honest introspection (coupled I would suppose with a sense of shame for what they know they are).

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1. Liberalism is not socialism, though socialism does not
by Ziks511 / February 24, 2005 3:16 AM PST

frighten or disgust me the way it does most Americans because I have seen it first hand and it looks just like America but with the government protecting people from corporate interests, either in terms of health or arbitrary downsizing and moving the jobs off shore.

2. Canada, Britain, France Italy Spain and Germany are not now socialist countries. Neither are Denmark or Norway. The only truly socialist country I have visited has been Sweden and my limited experience there was very pleasant. Britain in the eras of Harold Wilson and Clement Atlee were well on their way to socialism. All that ended about 1970-72.

3. Socialism is NOT properly anti-capitalist, though many anti capitalists don't seem to understand that, but having read some of what they write I don't think they're socialists either. More like anarchists.

4. I am not a socialist, I am a liberal mixed economy capitalist.

5. Pro Depravity whatever that means is neither a socialist nor liberal ideal. Pornography is not produced by socialists or liberals, it is produced by people who will do ANYTHING for money, which in my book makes them Capitalists with the biggest C possible. Capitalists are dedicated not to principles but to profit. That doesn't mean that for expample there can't be Christian capitalists for whom many activities are not acceptable, but it does mean that people who pursue profit regardless of what it costs their workforce (John-Mansville, Kerr-Mcgee, the meat packing industry) or society (J-M, and K-M above plus those who bilk the public purse, or defraud the public Enron, the savings and loan types)

Note Here
One of the big crusading anti-porn, anti-NEA people was Charles Keating who looted Lincoln Savings and Loan and was a prominent Republican contributor, and is now a convicted felon. Between him and Larry Flynt its hard to know who is the more destructive.

6. I repeat, the liberal media in the United States consists of a few small circulation magazines, plus Harpers Magazine, and maybe the Atlantic, though I find the Atlantic pretty even handed. I know of NO Liberal Newspapers or TV Stations. Big Media is a Big Business, there is no room there, except for the occasional columnist, for liberal opinion in Big Media. Mike Kinsley isn't a much of a liberal, he's mostly just a Democrat. James Carville isn't a liberal hes a Democrat. Barney Frank isn't a liberal he's a Democrat.

And I've never met a liberal ashamed of being a liberal, though I have met some who feel pretty battered by the right's lies about what it is to be liberal. If the Left as you say, dominated publishing and Media generally why have the Republicans been in power since 1968 with a couple of minor interruptions. And don't wave Clinton at me as a liberal, he was a pragmatic rightwing Democrat who gutted the Welfare system. No liberal would ever do that.

Corporations and the wealthy have excessive political power in the United States, their needs almost by definition are not the needs of the vast majority of Americans (a compliant low-paid work force, no regulation for occupational or public health, unlimited toxic dumping because its cheaper, etc). The point of liberalism is to counter balance that power in society and to ensure that all members of society have a chance at a good life without the dangers of dog eat dog capitalism as expressed in the 19th Century and the first 30 years of last century. General health and welfare are the goals of liberalism, not the weakest go to the wall, which seems to be the preferred expression of Untrammelled Conservatism. The principle is that when the neediest are taken care of the society as a whole benefits. It would be nice if that meant that all petty crime and drug use would stop but it doesn't. It does mean that the benefits for society in a healthy educated flexible and motivated work-force outweigh the criminal activities of the few.

And to castigate the liberal media for lack of introspection when we have Fox News and the Washington Times and the National Review to hand, is utterly laughable. Conservatism finds its highest expression in self-righteousness, the utter certainty that you and all who hold your opinions are right and therefore everybody, even the majority if there is one who contradict you are wrong. It is so often linked to a simplistic fundamentalism in religion in the United States and in the Middle East, and no where else. Indeed in both areas the feeling that they are a persecuted minority strengthens the resolve, or fanatacism.

How the Right in America became the ones to define the political spectrum I have no idea, but only in America can Conservatives consider themselves Middle of the Road with a straight face.

Rob Boyter

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(NT) (NT) You didn't even convince yourself with that.
by Edward ODaniel / February 24, 2005 5:02 AM PST
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Trying to undercut me with a palpable untruth like this wont
by Ziks511 / February 24, 2005 2:56 PM PST

work. I was stating what I believe and what I have observed first hand. Neither was I trying to convince anybody else. I was just stating for the record that what passes for accepted truth here is just the blind prejudice of the uninformed and I suspect the inexperienced. How many of the rightwing forum members have lived in a democratic country outside the US? How many have visited a number of other countries long enough to get a sense of what their political system does for the general populace? Not many I suspect.

Rob Boyter

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(NT) (NT) You 'undercut' yourself. Those were your ravings.
by Edward ODaniel / February 25, 2005 3:04 AM PST
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(NT) (NT) I defer to your first person expertise on "raving'.
by Ziks511 / February 27, 2005 9:18 AM PST
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Is this possibly using world wide left to judge America
by Roger NC / February 23, 2005 10:05 AM PST

rather than left/right in the USA? Not sure but think you were here and participating when someone called the Democratic party right wing, then justified it by comparing to some of the most socialistic, or further, governments overseas.

So you agree the USA has moved so far right that it's in the position of Attila the Hun? afterall, if anything slightly left of Attila is labelled as liberism, then those differing from those so labelled must be as "rightwinged" or further than Attila the Hun. First Bush administration is Nazi's, now conservatives in the USA are considered Huns. Nice.

Basically then you agree there are no liberals or "left" in America? Please define either in context of the link you provided.

Are we going to insist that everyone in the world be compared to the range in the world? So do you think the rightwing conservative movement in America compares to the Mullahs governing by Shaira Law? Or to even more extreme groups? Islamic or otherwise splinter radicals?

Is the liberals/leftwinged of USA to be judged in comparison to pure Communism (not the parody that was produced by Lenin, Stalin, and the rest)? Is anything less than desiring governmental oversight and care from cradle to grave not liberal enough? is anything less than everyone do what you feel like not liberal enough?

Define liberal and conservative as you see them please.

I've already been told before that because conservative means fighting change all conservatives are against progress. It's been said here that the good conservatives are (politically that is) is to occasionally to brake some extremist liberal move.

My stance has been one of balence between the forces on both sides, ranging on both sides from extreme and proud of it to some range where a lot of people overlap in their views, being more liberal on some issues and more conservative on others.

Define the terms as related to this link? Seems to me from this link that anything less than 3/4 socialism will be defined as ultra right from the author's view.

Do you concur?

Pendulums swing. The Roman Empire became the largest social unit in the world. Was it conservative or liberal? by it's days standards? by todays?

We went through the hippy flower children decade of the 60's. Should we all be still sitting at a rock concert smoking grass and dropping acid? that was the extreme of USA 'liberism' then wasn't it?

The pendulum swings. So far, in terms of right and left in the USA, it's averaged movement would have to be called to the left I think. And overall, our society has benefitted so far from the movement. But it's becoming un-PC to voice doubt about any new fangled social experiment in the name of progress.

As far as it goes, I see little difference between the comparisons of Nazi and accusations of un-American every time someone voices doubt. Not that some of the criticism isn't disheartening and seems to do nothing but disparage everything current in USA.


JMO

Roger

click here to email semods4@yahoo.com

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Thanks Rog. This will be an incomplete response, but
by Ziks511 / February 24, 2005 3:36 PM PST

I will attempt to follow up in stages because you have asked so many questions.

1. I have tried to use examples here and elsewhere that are mainstream examples, Canada England France Germany and Scandinavia not forgetting Holland and Belgium. I don't use the old Soviet Union or Commo China. More often I try to use what is most familiar to me. The United States of the 50's 60's 70's and 80's, so I am not trying to offer impossible leaps.

2. I never called Bush Term one a Nazi administration although I may have felt it occasionally in my hyperbolic soul. I may however have likened some of their behavior to Nazi behavior, you'll have to provide me with a link.

3. A liberal is someone who believes and acts on the belief that all men are created equal, that peace is better than war, that one of the jobs of government is the protection of the weak and the curbing of corporate actions where they conflict with the general welfare of American Society. Shipping jobs off shore is an example of the latter, aid to single parent families is an example of the former (i.e. protecting the weak).

4. No comparisons should be to developed democracies like those in the G8 less Russia. Russia is not yet a democracy, though its trying.

5. Pure Communism is nice in theory, but I can't see a non totalitarian way of introducing it so No.

6. Conservatives believe that government has no business in the boardrooms of the nation, that the needs of business are paramount, that small government and a large military are good, that taxation is evil and that criminals should be punished even if they're innocent, and that morality should be legislated and enforced, by extension conservatives must believe in larger jails and much larger and more intrusive police forces.

Liberals believe that corporations and wealthy individuals have inordinate power in society and that government must act in a way to balance that power and protect the bottom half or so of society from corporate power. Liberal government should protect workers' health and the peoples' general welfare, punish polluters, regulate and prevent corporate dumping of toxins and pollutants force their clean up at corporate expense and work with corporations to plan the disposal of hazardous by-products. Liberals believe that government should have the right to ensure that jobs are not exported to the lowest paying country in the world by American companies who then pay minimal taxes to offset the damage they have done to the American economy. (If it costs $6.00 to make Nike Air shoes in El Salvador which sell for $2-300, why not insist they be made here and sold for $225-350 so Americans can have the jobs and some impact on their own economy.) Liberals believe that the state has no place in the bedrooms of the nation. Liberals believe that the government should use its power where possible to encourage democracy in other countries, by boycotting products if necessary. It worked in South Africa.

More to come.

Rob

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An attempt at a reply
by Roger NC / February 26, 2005 5:15 AM PST
I never called Bush Term one a Nazi administration?

I may have implied you, but was referring to posters in general. We have one or two that regularly compare the Bush administration to the Hitler rise in power.

A liberal is someone who believes and acts on the belief that all men are created equal,?

I don?t believe that is necessarily limited to just those most call liberal.

?that peace is better than war?

In spite of some (not all) liberals claims, not all who are labeled conservative are warmongers. There may be a difference in how much you endure before you fight, but I suspect that is individual, with total indifference to what political persuasion an individual is perceived to be, by himself or others.

?that one of the jobs of government is the protection of the weak and the curbing of corporate actions where they conflict with the general welfare of American Society.

Again, while many don?t believe it, not everyone labeled as conservative rather than liberal wants to run the country by a strict survival of the fittest. Another debate is about what conflicts with general welfare of the society verses individuals.

Shipping jobs off shore is an example of the latter,?

That?s not limited to any group politically, or ever directly attributable to any group. That?s a combination of greed and need. The greed is for the most profit and the need is for cheap merchandise for the less fortunate. And the development of a world economy demands the weakening of the strongest positions as the weaker positions are bettered. Or do you favor strong tariffs to force imports to be higher priced than domestically produced ones? Sometimes I almost feel that way, but the results in the recent past of such have been countering tariffs that hurt another segment of the USA worker by denying overseas markets to us. So that just shifts the burden, not solves it.

?aid to single parent families is an example of the former (i.e. protecting the weak).

Single parent families, while likely to be at a disadvantage, are not all necessarily poorer. And if a two parent family and a single parent family have the same income, is there any difference in the need for aid? At least in terms of financial aid by the government. You can argue for the need for more child care availability for working parents in general. And that need may be greater for single parent families. Or would you prefer that in single parent families that parent not work to be home for the children and supported by the government? Aid is needed, but has been mismanaged often also.

Pure Communism is nice in theory, but I can't see a non totalitarian way of introducing it so No.


Agreed. Pure communism is nice sounding ideal, but I don?t think humans will ever be that altruistic.


Conservatives believe that government has no business in the boardrooms of the nation, that the needs of business are paramount,?

Liberals believe that corporations and wealthy individuals have inordinate power in society and that government must act in a way to balance that power and protect the bottom half or so of society from corporate power


Money has always meant power since man invented it. Government must exercise some constraint and guidience, but the continual debate is always where the line is. Too much constraint can damage or kill business. Too little can allow too much of cost cutting solely at the expense of the blue collar worker. One current trend that I think is growing too much is the use of mulitple part time workers to do a full time job so that none of them get the company benefits. It?s a way of cutting benefit cost without cutting benefits to older existing workers. Temporary help for a rapidly changing need is one thing. Deliberately hiring three people part time to do the work of two full time workers is deception, even fraud. But then you have some workers that need part time jobs, but can?t devote full time to the job, for different reasons.


(Conservative)?that small government and a large military are good,?

Not sure there if you?re arguing that a large government is good or not. Military is always a balancing act. We cut the USA military after the ?cold war? ended, not realizing that when we had overdone it, IMO. While the Iraq war is in debate as far as it?s necessity or timing, it has demonstrated perhaps that we cut too far. Reserves should be maybe once in a lifetime call out for full battle duty. Our standing military is not large enough for two conflict arenas at one time has been demonstrated.

?that taxation is evil

It is. A necessary evil, but still there is no way you can make taxation a great thing to happen to you. Again, too many labeled as conservative are painted as wanting to do away with all government social spending etc, when many of us just want it an attempt to be sensible and restrain from just throwing money at a problem even after money doesn?t solve it.

?that criminals should be punished even if they're innocent,?

I?m not sure exactly what you?re expressing here. Obviously, if their criminals, they?re not innocent. I assume you?re referring to a belief that conservatives rather punish the innocent rather than chance letting the guilty go free. Not true, at least not all, not even most, IMO. Or did you mean something else?

? morality should be legislated and enforced,?

But everyone believes some morality should be legislated and enforced don?t they? I?m guessing you?re referring to sexual morality and drug users here? After all, stealing is an immoral act in a sense of the word immoral isn?t it?

?by extension conservatives must believe in larger jails and much larger and more intrusive police forces.

By extension of an assumption that conservatives want to enforce their views on morality with imprisonment is what I?m guessing you mean. However, based on current society, perhaps we do need more police and jails, even just regarding the violent criminal.


Liberal government should protect workers' health and the peoples' general welfare, punish polluters, regulate and prevent corporate dumping of toxins and pollutants force their clean up at corporate expense and work with corporations to plan the disposal of hazardous by-products.

Do you really think everyone registered Republican or labeled as a conservative disapproves of such? Greed again drives most of it. The line should be between greed and reasonable, even good, profit. Often it seems some liberal stances are based on the most extreme version of environmental protection, even to the point of hurting society. The standards advocated by many public liberals or environmentalists are extreme in the time table if not in absolute goals. I will concede we probably should have started long time ago to limit such. However, if the public majority doesn?t? recognize the need, or accept it after it?s presented and argued, should a liberal government force such on it?s citizens in opposition to their beliefs and desires? That would be a dictatorial government wouldn?t it, even if a benevolent dictatorship. Then we go back to who will govern the governors.

Liberals believe that government should have the right to ensure that jobs are not exported to the lowest paying country in the world by American companies who then pay minimal taxes to offset the damage they have done to the American economy. (If it costs $6.00 to make Nike Air shoes in El Salvador which sell for $2-300, why not insist they be made here and sold for $225-350 so Americans can have the jobs and some impact on their own economy.)

So you do favor government dictating manufacturing sites and wages? I?ll agree in wishing more jobs were not leaving the country. But obviously if you tax companies for having overseas manufacturing, the most likely outcome is the entire company ends up out of country. After all, if the managers are as corrupt as public liberal stances often portray them, it's even easier and cheaper to buy government protection in third world nations. The best way to keep jobs in the USA obviously is for those that can afford it to demand and pay for USA produced products. However, it we don?t export, or if other countries place tariffs that hurt our exports, how much can our economy grow.

It?s cynical, and I hope that I?m wrong, but it almost seems to me that for one group to improve, it has to be at the expense of another, at least to some degree. The question may be come how can we do the least damage to others without hurt ourselves.

Liberals believe that the state has no place in the bedrooms of the nation.

Nothing to dispute there. IMO though it?s not so much in the bedroom the conservative want to regulate, or some of the more ?right? groups, it?s the public aspect of that behavior. I really see little use in laws regulating behavior of mutual consenting adults in private that doesn?t involve damaging others. So individuals who aren?t married, particularly unmarrieds without children, I don?t particularly care what they do. I probably at some moment of time have gossipped, who hasn?t? but I never tried to have them locked up. But bedroom behavior privacy isn?t the same as the public aspects of behavior. And one point that will be non politically correct is that those that spread disease are wrong. Maybe they?re not doing anything illegal, but it?s certainly immoral to expose someone to disease without warning them at least. And that goes for any communicable disease you know you have and likely to be spread, not just AIDS. Now I realize that some are possible to spread by more casual contact, and I don?t expect individuals to wear a brand in their forehead to warn others. But contact that is likely to spread disease, such as sex, should be consider immoral to engage in without the others knowledge.

Liberals believe that the government should use its power where possible to encourage democracy in other countries, by boycotting products if necessary. It worked in South Africa.


Do you believe that this is a particularly liberal view? I don?t think that spreading democracy is anathema to conservatives. It?s changing their own democracy to fit newer standards of liberalism that many object to doing.

An interesting discussion, though time demands lately are making the contemplation necessary for something like this a bit difficult to manage. But my request for defining liberal and conservative was because I believe too many are crying about the dying of liberalism (and I disagree that it is) in USA and then comparing us to the world stage, not without our society. While not looking and learning from other cultures could and probably would lead to stagnation, our culture?s evolution has to be in terms of itself, not defined by comparison to what others have done.

And I think liberals, espcially self proclaiming ones, often paint all who agree as anti-progress and reactionary while they complain that the conservatives paint all liberals as socialists. In fact, it?s the unwillingness of both groups to realize that many people disagree with much of both that causes the problems, IMO.


JMO

Roger

click here to email semods4@yahoo.com
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Continuing on from where I left off.
by Ziks511 / February 25, 2005 4:53 AM PST

7. I don't agree with the "He's conservative he's opposed to all change" perception. Conservatives have an ideology of small government and of slower change and more individual freedom. I agree with this ideology insofar as it is able to address the needs of the large mass of society. Unfortunately the individual freedom part tends to be best for the wealthy and powerful including corporations because they can impose their values on the more numerous but less wealthy and powerful. So, for example occupational health is viewed as an intrusion into individual freedom to regulate the workplace. In this case I tend to be an early 19th Century Utilitarian (not a socialist) and follower of John Stewart Mill (and reputedly one of the smartest men ever to have lived with an IQ in excess of 200) whose principle was "the greatest good for the greatest number". People count, rather than solely wealth and power. The trouble with the statement that Conservatives exist to brake some of the extremist liberal moves is that it leaves extremism in the eye and mind of the beholder. I view 6 month maternity leave, preserving the mother's job for her to come back to, Unemployment Insurance support, Welfare for Mothers with dependent children, universally accessible Health Care, Support for the disabled and Social Security for the aged as minimum humane requirements, which probably makes me a screaming socialist by most standards here at SE or even in the US but makes me a Conservative in Britain and an extremist Conservative in Germany or Sweden.

I agree with your idea of balance but I would be happier if the balance was achieved with J.S.Mill's maxim "the greatest good for the greatest number" was the guiding principle.

From my archaeological studies, incidentally, care for the aged is not a new principle. At Shanidar cave in northern Iraq a Neandethal burial was found with a severely crippled elderly individual interred, who would clearly have been unable to take care of himself or survive years before his interrment. For some reason his tribe carried him with them, cared for him and when he died buried him with honor and a decoration of flowers. It wasn't his wealth that dictated this though it may have been his valued position as a shaman or as a wise counsellor.

8. In terms of the countries involved in the OECD or the G8 I would suggest 1/4 or less socialism would be a more than generous assessment, so regrettably I can't concur. The United States is very restrictive in terms of the social benefits which most developed countries consider minimal. Universal government funded Health Care is an example, all the G8 and most of the countries in the OECD have universal health care. Maternity leave in Europe is mostly 12 months with your job guaranteed, Paternity leave of 2 months is becoming the rule and if the mother chooses to return to work after 2 months as my wife did then the remaining 10 months is givben to the father.

Vacation time is another situation. In Britain where I worked you start with 3 weeks a year and get 4 weeks at the end of 3 years. My wife, higher up the food chain started with 4 weeks and went to 5 almost immediately. It continues to climb fairly rapidly, people with 20 years have 8 weeks a year and may get more the longer they work.

You're right that from the US perception the most active portion of the electorate believes that the 40's 50's and 60's were left of center. But may I remind you that the pendulum has been swinging back since Nixon and passed center with Reagan and that the leftward swing was only 30 years long while the rightward swing has been going on for 35 years and shows no signs of slackening.

I don't think its un-PC to criticize the old mildly socialist experiment, I think that criticism has been bread and butter to the Republican party since Barry Goldwater. In fact I think it is un-PC to advocate social benefits and government responsibility. The right has successfully if wrongly painted the government as the bureaucracy that can't do anything right. I think they did very well with an error rate probably less than 1% (a figure for which I have NO support whatsoever) but when you're providing services for 285 million people even 1% can look bad.

In many respects I think the difference between the Thatcher revolution in Britain and the Reagan/Bush/Bush revolution in the United States is one of care and intelligence. Thatcher targetted a few areas of the social system for revision and then stopped. Reaganist revision has been going on for 25 years and is speeding up not slowing down. Thatcher would never have touched Social Security, not least because all that money is spent within the country and generates business within the country. And the Thatcher revolution ended and rebuilding began within 10 years. In the US the ripping at the social fabric appears endless.

Why doesn't the US use currency regulation to prevent the outflow of money from the US economy. I don't mean that you can't take $10G or $20G or $50 grand on holiday with you, I mean you can't lodge your company's profits in the Caymans or your personal retirement account in Switzerland, it's like carrying the country's supply of grain in a sack with a hole in it. Valuable stuff is always leaking out and being lost. And it's not like there's a lot of people doing this, but it is a shitload of money they're squirrelling away.

And speaking of the allegations of being UnAmerican, how do you feel about the Bush campaign's comments about John McCain? That's when I lost all respect and went right over the top about him. I wrote McCain a letter when I thought he was wrong in his characterization of the Canadian Health Care system, but I still respect his service both military and in the Senate. I thought Bush lost all respectability and all credibility at that point.

Rob Boyter

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No sure how useful this is but
by Roger NC / February 26, 2005 6:44 AM PST
Unfortunately the individual freedom part tends to be best for the wealthy and powerful including corporations because they can impose their values on the more numerous but less wealthy and powerful.

Nothing new there, but it is not desirable in the best hopes for society. And the government is suppose to provide some protection for individual freedoms. But then with today?s system, the elective officials depend on the wealthy to get elected. And are therefore inherently compromised before they even get in office.

?"the greatest good for the greatest number".

A great ideal, but is probably about as practical as pure communism, for the same reason, the very nature of being human.

The trouble with the statement that Conservatives exist to brake some of the extremist liberal moves is that it leaves extremism in the eye and mind of the beholder.

And what is different there? There is always difference of opinions. There is no possible objective measure of what is extreme, only at best comparison to perhaps an average of disparage views.

I view 6 month maternity leave, preserving the mother's job for her to come back to, Unemployment Insurance support, Welfare for Mothers with dependent children, universally accessible Health Care, Support for the disabled and Social Security for the aged as minimum humane requirements,

Preserving the mother?s job, for how long? Just the six month maternity leave you mentioned or after the kids go off to school? Is that normal outside the US in democracies? I confess to not being up on it. It sounds great, but to do that, you realize that means you have to allow the company to hire somone as a temp for that time, with no job after the parent comes back.

And welfare for mothers with dependant children could be construed as an opinion that women with children should stay home. I?m guessing you meant single parents. I shouldn?t have to point out it isn?t always the mother that is raising a child alone, even if that is a large majority of the cases. Are we talking total support until the child goes to work and has his/her own home?

Universally accessible health care means (I assume) either government paid insurance or government paid directly. Do you advocate moving all health care insurance to government from job benefits? I predict that the more government provides health insurance in the USA, the less jobs do.

Support of the disabled and social security for the aged is a great sounding phrase, but how do we define it? Does the government have to provide individual homes for each retiree? Would we decide to run government supplied retirement villages and/or assisted living apartment complexes as well as nursing homes? And at what standard of living?

?makes me a Conservative in Britain and an extremist Conservative in Germany or Sweden.

I can?t dispute or affirm that myself, and wouldn?t attempt to do so. Should we convert the USA to the same sturcture as those countries? And to be ?typically conservative?, I?ll refer to another point I?ve made in another discussion. It would be much easier to afford such by now for the USA if we hadn?t spent all the monies and energies we committed to the cold war and defense in the past. That is assuming of course that there would still exist in a reasonable similar state the USA. That doesn?t excuse us from facing responsibilities at home. But it can make it hard to take such criticism from countries that have benefited by our expenditure saying look at how we do it. We didn?t do it all in any sense, but we contributed greatly. Look at what the USA spent other nations after the Second World War. So I prefer to discuss what we as individuals think we should do and how we can, not how other nations do it. With less help after the war, what shape do you think Germany would be in even today?

From my archaeological studies, incidentally, care for the aged is not a new principle.

Probably so, but it?s not universal, even predominate I don?t think in primitive society. Care for the aged here was a family and communal responsibility. For some reason we?ve shifted it to the federal government. And that contributes to the attitude that it?s not an individual responsibility. And corresponds with the decline in standard family structures too.


It wasn't his wealth that dictated this though it may have been his valued position as a shaman or as a wise counsellor.


While not particularly a scholar, heck not at all, of ancient cultures, I wonder if they did all their aged that way? You mention the possibility he may have been regarded as a shaman or wise counselor. If something like a shaman or chief or tribal council, etc, was his treatment typical? Of course we have no way of knowing. And it shouldn?t matter. But my cynicism observes that even in primitive cultures, the chiefs, kings, shaman, wizards, etc were treated very differently from the common laborer. Maybe he had a very large family that cared for him? blood relationships carry a huge responsibility in some cultures, primitive and even today. BTW, how do we know it wasn?t his wealth? As they reckoned wealth anyway.

Maternity leave in Europe is mostly 12 months with your job guaranteed, Paternity leave of 2 months is becoming the rule and if the mother chooses to return to work after 2 months as my wife did then the remaining 10 months is givben to the father.


I wonder if you have the numbers on something I don?t. How many families in Europe depend on both parents working? I honestly have no idea.

Vacation time is another situation. In Britain where I worked you start with 3 weeks a year and get 4 weeks at the end of 3 years. My wife, higher up the food chain started with 4 weeks and went to 5 almost immediately. It continues to climb fairly rapidly, people with 20 years have 8 weeks a year and may get more the longer they work.

Eight weeks a year, a week every other month, that?s nice I guess. Seems a huge burden on a company that employees for long periods of time. How much time off should a worker have? My last job was a max of four weeks. Here it?s a maximum of 6, and that takes 25 years (I think).

Let?s see. A company has 200 positions to fill 24/7. That takes 4 employees for each for a total of 800 employees. Now if they all stay with the company until they get 8 weeks vacation, that means 6400 weeks of vacation a year the company has to fill positions. Or another way, with 800 employees with 8 weeks vacation, that means an average of is off every week.

That assumes of course that the company can at least limit how many are off at once so the vacation time ends up spread fairly evenly across the year at least. (If half take off at once, an industry would have to just close for that week, since the training for that many jobs would be overwhelming.)

So, let?s take a rough example. Let?s just say 1/8 of the employees off every week. That would be a week off every 8 weeks. That?s only 6 ? weeks each, but lets go with it. So we have 100 positions that have to be filled every week. And that?s spread across dozens of different jobs with different skills and training needed. So the work force now needs another 100 people. People with more skills than the current employees, since they will have to work various positions. Of course, if their permanent employees, after a while they all have a week off ever 8 weeks, so that?s another 11 or 12 to hire, etc. If they?re all temp can you train them to safely do the work? Seems a lot of expense to compete world wide, I?m not sure how they do. Or is that how up until now, the USA and then other rising industrial cultures expanded their economic and manufacturing base so widely?

BTW, Europe under discussion, how much of their national income is based on tourists from other countries visiting and spending?

. But may I remind you that the pendulum has been swinging back since Nixon and passed center with Reagan and that the leftward swing was only 30 years long while the rightward swing has been going on for 35 years and shows no signs of slackening.


But how has it averaged over the 228 years of American history? Do you really think we?re anywhere near back to a 60?s, much less a 40?s or 50?s, viewpoint? And you include all the years since Nixon as moving right? No static years or moving left years during any of the different administrations? You really believe we have gone back further than we?ve moved in terms of political left and right?

In many respects I think the difference between the Thatcher revolution in Britain and the Reagan/Bush/Bush revolution in the United States is one of care and intelligence. Thatcher targetted a few areas of the social system for revision and then stopped. Reaganist revision has been going on for 25 years and is speeding up not slowing down.

I don?t even know how to address the paragraph about Thatcher/Reagan/Bush/Bush. BTW, why no acknowledgement anywhere of Carter and Clinton? Basically you appear to believe the US (government, society, or both) is totally indifferent and either dumb or ignorant.

Thatcher would never have touched Social Security, not least because all that money is spent within the country and generates business within the country. And the Thatcher revolution ended and rebuilding began within 10 years. In the US the ripping at the social fabric appears endless.


It is an experiment now regarded as a dismal failure.



The individual accounts are not well funded and carry significant risk. The disincentive to work or save created by the expanded means-tested program across a broad range of households further clouds the system's prospects. As a result, observers generally expect an increase in public expenditures on the elderly and further reforms to the system.


Another disastrous early privatization example?the United Kingdom under Margaret Thatcher?broke into the U.S. debate in mid-January. Many media reported a scathing account of the British privatization scheme by a London Financial Times senior reporter, which is appearing in American Prospect magazine in February. This history of the switch to private accounts almost 20 years ago under Thatcher, is titled, "A Bloody Mess," and reports, "It was the biggest financial scandal in the United Kingdom to date." The only privatization with a longer and more conclusive history, is that of fascist Chile itself.


Of course the results of these commentaries on British privatization of retirement benefits will be use to argue against doing the same in the USA. While labeled conservative, I have doubts of their working myself because I?m too cynical to believe a 20 something year old will save like they should. On the other hand, the advocates of opening to all the choices some federal employees have with their pension investment is more interesting to me

The TSP is a retirement savings plan for civilians who are employed by the United States Government and members of the uniformed services.



Why doesn't the US use currency regulation to prevent the outflow of money from the US economy. I don't mean that you can't take $10G or $20G or $50 grand on holiday with you, I mean you can't lodge your company's profits in the Caymans or your personal retirement account in Switzerland, it's like carrying the country's supply of grain in a sack with a hole in it. Valuable stuff is always leaking out and being lost. And it's not like there's a lot of people doing this, but it is a shitload of money they're squirrelling away.


I?d agree there?s problems with such hidden profits. I?ll confess to knowing too little about the legal aspects to even attempt to judge the best way to discourage it. I don?t know if currency regulation would be the correct legal venue or not. Any idea how other countries deal with the same problem?

And speaking of the allegations of being UnAmerican,?.

I?m tired of them myself and have disagreed with many of them. I do have problems with US citizens, celebrities or otherwise, who go to foreign nations and stand on their platforms to make speeches against the US government and/or policies. They can protest all the want at home, even when I think they?re out of line, they?re exercising rights. To go and express solidarity with a principality we?re currently opposing is wrong, IMO.


?how do you feel about the Bush campaign's comments about John McCain?

Specifics on what bothers you most would be nice. But anyway, I?ve never claimed Bush or his administration was perfect. Campaigns often get out of hand. And even individuals make mistakes. Doesn?t make it right, doesn?t excuse it. It?s something to keep in mind, but weighed against the total from all sides when making a choice.

I have entertained a ?what if? scenario a few times. Remember the nonsense (campaign posturing was all it was IMO) of McCain running as Kerry?s vice-presidential candidate? I?ve wonder what would have happened if McCain and Liberman had gone out together as a third pair of candidates. Flip a coin from who would be President and VP. It may have meant a real interesting 3 way race. It might have even ended up with the House of Representatives electing the president with no candidate getting the necessary electoral college votes. I wonder if that had happened if it would have woke up both parties to how tired some of us are of the rhetoric and extremism of both.


JMO

Roger

click here to email semods4@yahoo.com
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Oops looks like I was dead wrong about the pension thing.
by Ziks511 / February 26, 2005 2:57 PM PST

We need to go on vacation together and talk all this out. You really mess up a guys head when he's expecting straight ahead unreasonable conservative shibboleths and you turn out to be a normal human being. Not that I was expecting fangs or anything, just a little more intransigeance and doctrinaire posturing. Thank you for renewing my faith in my former abode.

The greatest good for the greatest number is a crude but, I think, achievable ideal. I recognize that most if not all questions are not susceptible to either A or B dichotomies but, again in the case of shipping jobs off shore, I think we can agree that it is better to have people earning a decent manufacturing wage than earning WalMart retail sector minimum.

Sadly my only experience with currency regulation was my Mother's situation after WW2 when she couldn't get her life savings out of Britain until about 1954. Britain was so broke after WW2 that they didn't allow any currency out unless it was payment for goods like all the lend lease stuff they still had to pay for after the war. It worked rather well i some ways because it forced us to visit more often than we might have and so I got lots of neat trips to England in propeller planes like the Super Constellation twice, DC6 and 7, Vickers Vanguard, and something else I don't remember. All this meant I saw lots of the grandparents on the Kent Sussex border while we used up Mum's money and bought things we could bring back with us. I had a train set to die for (which would probably be worth something on the Antiques Roadshow if I still had it).

Didn't the Bushies call McCain's patriotism into question during the primaries in 2000 as well as Max Cleland in 2004? That's how I understood the situation. This isn't much of a response and I hope you'll be patient while I attempt to pull something a little more orderly and coherent together.

Thanks v. much Rog.

Rob Boyter

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Yeah, there was something in the primaries
by Roger NC / February 26, 2005 3:12 PM PST
Didn't the Bushies call McCain's patriotism into question during the primaries in 2000 as well as Max Cleland in 2004?

I must confess that while I did hear of it, I don't really remember it very well. And then as now, though perhaps shameful of me, I didn't follow the primaries as closely as I should. Like many, unless there is something that really impassions me for or against someone, I not very good at studing for the primaries. Indeed, my knowledge of the local candidates for office is often terrible remiss.

I probably get as much (or even more?) exposure to differing views from the debate (and links) here as I do anywhere else. Although sometimes at work some will get into rather heated discussions. But at work in an production environment, you don't have much immediate access to news services or internet to back feelings and beliefs up.

As far as more response, as you feel like and have time. As I noted, time demands are picking up right now, and will for a while, so such discussions and research may be difficult.

And I'm not a great thinker by any means. Nor a great researcher or writer. I just have occasional hiccups when something throws me in a bulldog mode and won't let go for a bit.

What set me off this time was the impression that USA politics as far as left/liberalism was being judge against a world standard, as has been done by others before this instance. And it ticked me off, because we were discussing American politics and if they wanted to say nothing in American was "left" by comparing it to say Sweden or Denmark, I felt it was extremely ridiculous without considering also how much more 'right' some societies are too.

I'll probably be in a much less serious discussion mode shortly. In other words, as flippant and frivolous as ever.

JMO

Roger

click here to email semods4@yahoo.com
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Do you spend all your time
by EdH / February 23, 2005 8:19 PM PST

looking for silly stuff like this? It certainly seems that way. Don't you have some kind of job? What a waste the Progressive is. Jeeeeez!

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EdH........
by Glenda / February 24, 2005 2:11 AM PST

Rob has to keep looking, because you keep shooting him down! LOL
Glenda

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Far less time apparently than Mark spends finding his
by Ziks511 / February 24, 2005 3:01 PM PST

Right wing Rants. I write more about what I think and post less.

Rob Boyter

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(NT) (NT) A curious dodge
by EdH / February 24, 2005 8:09 PM PST
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I spend NO time looking on the internet for things to post
by Ziks511 / February 25, 2005 2:27 AM PST
In reply to: (NT) A curious dodge

here but I do spend time reading material by people I like or who have interested me in the past or researching their articles to see if they hold water.

Is that sufficiently explicit?

Rob Boyter

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(NT) (NT) Yeah, sure. Whatever you say.
by EdH / February 25, 2005 2:54 AM PST
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