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#41 Pepperkorn

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Posted 03 February 2012 - 09:53 PM

So when you asked me if I opposed those speeches, you were being facetious? If people are able to grasp the subtlety then why would you suggest I can't?

I can - and I'm fine with the invocation of a high power allegorically. But I guess one would say the likes of advoc8 think it's a slippery slope. and who am I to disagree? I cannot conceptualize extremism it's my fatal flaw in this sort of discussion and why I need to go to the extreme if you lead me there. Where do you draw the line? I understand you are indeed being facetious - but I will take it at face value and ask you to tell me the better way then....

Edited by Pepperkorn, 03 February 2012 - 09:54 PM.

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#42 Daniel

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Posted 03 February 2012 - 10:53 PM

I can - and I'm fine with the invocation of a high power allegorically. But I guess one would say the likes of advoc8 think it's a slippery slope. and who am I to disagree? I cannot conceptualize extremism it's my fatal flaw in this sort of discussion and why I need to go to the extreme if you lead me there. Where do you draw the line? I understand you are indeed being facetious - but I will take it at face value and ask you to tell me the better way then....


There isn't a slope, at least when it comes to religious rhetoric as such. That is, if the message is, God's an ok guy (or gal) and he/she really loves the USA, freedom, and the Rangers finishing last, then it's utterly harmless, and, like Kennedy's or Hand's speech can be phrased in quite eloquent, and moving ways.

Where you might draw the line is when it becomes hateful or divisive (in a real way, not in that phoney-baloney way that atheists get their panties in a bunch about the pledge of allegiance or opening Senate business with a prayer from a chaplain). Something like, God is on our side and he (or she, of course) wants to put you in jail for watching that porno movie on Spanktravision at the Hilton you stayed at on that business trip or gets all tingly when a bomb gets dropped on a Mosque.

Then there's just the plain silliness part of the spectrum (where most of the political religious rhetoric falls), where one says, our all-knowing and infinitely wise creator favors a thirty-five percent marginal tax rate on all Americans that earn more than $250k per year or thinks that the federal assault weapons ban is misguided. It's not divisive for a politician to say stuff like that, it's just very depressing, although not surprising, that complex issues to which there is no right answer (gun control, taxes, spending, whatever) are spoken about in such a simplistic matter. And frankly, it's probably more offensive to the religious person who's on the opposite side of the argument ("you're not sufficiently religious unless you accept my political platform").

Edited by Daniel, 07 February 2012 - 04:12 PM.

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#43 SMantzas

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Posted 04 February 2012 - 12:14 AM

I think you are way to free with assuming how much we agree, PK, other than hatred of Santorum, Rubio, etc.

Religion needs to go bye bye. The fact that moderate believers stand by while the fundamentalists use literal interpretations of made up sh!t to cause bloodshed and promote hatred, makes them just as guilty. Sure there are a few lone moderate voices out there but they can't go too far without invalidating the entire basis for their own belief system. They are trapped. Abolishment is the only answer. I can only hope we find intelligent life elsewhere. That will turn religion on its ass and hopefully leave just the fundies in the margins preaching hate.

Did you see the absolute crap Obama pulled today with his attempt to cater to the theists by saying that Jesus' teachings support tax increases under the guise of fair share? When I actually thought he had a pair when he previously acknowledged non-believers in this country, he then goes and pulls this. Awesome, lets consult the Bible or the Koran to see what tax rate millionaires should pay. Outfvcking-rageous. His corruption is now complete. He is nothing more than a vote whore (just like the rest).

Aren't you just as guilty as these guys by bashing religion and others beliefs? In my opinion, that type of cynicism is dangerous. Like a previous poster said, religion gives him strength and inner peace. I hardly see how that is hurting anyone. But at the same time, I understand where you are coming from because lets face it, organized religion is extremely corrupt. I can admit that as a Greek Orthodox Christian. As long as we as a society dont thrust our beliefs upon others, I see no issue with it. The fact of the matter is, without religion, something else would take its place as a means of hope. Whether it be a leader like in Nazi Germany, North Korea or USSR, someone or something else will take on a "God-like" role.

With that being said, as I've been away from home, I've started to lose my faith. When you go to college and are away from your parents or guardians influence you start to question things. I still believe in God, look to the bible for inspiration and go to church as often as I can, but by no means do I buy into everything that is being taught.
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#44 devilsfan26

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Posted 04 February 2012 - 01:34 AM

The fact of the matter is, without religion, something else would take its place as a means of hope. Whether it be a leader like in Nazi Germany, North Korea or USSR, someone or something else will take on a "God-like" role.

Interesting point but I disagree. If you have a democratic election process and term limits I think it would be difficult for someone to take control like that and have a "God-like" role.

Edited by devilsfan26, 04 February 2012 - 01:35 AM.

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#45 SMantzas

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Posted 04 February 2012 - 11:35 AM

Interesting point but I disagree. If you have a democratic election process and term limits I think it would be difficult for someone to take control like that and have a "God-like" role.

True, but sadly there are many places throughout the world that dont.
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#46 devilsfan26

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Posted 04 February 2012 - 01:08 PM

True, but sadly there are many places throughout the world that dont.

Yea like the US for example.
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#47 Daniel

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Posted 04 February 2012 - 01:58 PM

Yea like the US for example.


Please provide an example, or what on Earth you're talking about.
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#48 mouse

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Posted 04 February 2012 - 05:05 PM

I think most people are able to grasp the subtlety without the need to analyze it so much.


I don't know that that's true. Elections have been decided based on religion. One of the interesting moments of the last election was younger evengelicals voting for Obama because he opposed war, rather than making abortion the big issue of the election. This was able to happen partially because Obama was able to ally himself with Christianity much more smoothly than Kerry did (interesting in and of itself because by all accounts Kerry is the more devout Christian). There are lots of people who don't grasp subtlety with religion. That's part of the reason we have a problem separating church and state in this country. I don't think that abolishing religion is okay at all, but making more of an effort to remove it from political discourse (yes, that does include changing admittedly brilliant speeches, and does include the pledge, especially since under God is a fairly recent addition). If we're going to be mad at Bush for using the Christian right to swing an election (which I am), we have to be just as mad at Obama for using religion to try to appeal to more moderates. Politicians have manipulated people based on religion, and it has had an effect on elections. If we want separation of church and state, we can't play around with the fine line, because for better or worse, there are far too many people who don't see that line.
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#49 Jimmy Leeds

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Posted 04 February 2012 - 05:41 PM

I think title of this thread is obnoxious.
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#50 devilsfan26

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Posted 04 February 2012 - 07:18 PM

Please provide an example, or what on Earth you're talking about.

We are not as democratic of a country as we think. There are nine more months before any votes are cast and already we are down to three bad choices and possibly Ron Paul, and it will soon come down to two bad choices who will inevitably get almost all the votes because of overly restrictive ballot access laws and the impossibility of anyone getting to participate in a televised presidential debate unless they are a Democrat or Republican. Not to mention the fact that your vote doesn't count at all unless you vote for the person who wins your state. Then there's the fact that there are no term limits for Congressmen and many mayors combined with gerrymandering which results in many elections having only one person on the ballot. What kind of democracy gives you only one choice?

"Voting will not alter the corporate systems of power. Voting is an act of political theater. Voting in the United States is as futile and sterile as in the elections I covered as a reporter in dictatorships like Syria, Iran and Iraq. There were always opposition candidates offered up by these dictatorships. Give the people the illusion of choice. Throw up the pretense of debate. Let the power elite hold public celebrations to exalt the triumph of popular will. We can vote for Romney or Obama, but Goldman Sachs and ExxonMobil and Bank of America and the defense contractors always win. There is little difference between our electoral charade and the ones endured by the Syrians and Iranians. Do we really believe that Obama has, or ever had, any intention to change the culture in Washington?"
--Chris Hedges
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#51 Devils731

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Posted 04 February 2012 - 07:41 PM

We are not as democratic of a country as we think.


Well ya...'cause we're a Republic and all. Although we're more along the lines to a Democracy than the country used to be.
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#52 mouse

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Posted 04 February 2012 - 11:07 PM

I think title of this thread is obnoxious.


I agree with you for possibly the first time ever
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#53 Daniel

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Posted 04 February 2012 - 11:50 PM

We are not as democratic of a country as we think. There are nine more months before any votes are cast and already we are down to three bad choices and possibly Ron Paul, and it will soon come down to two bad choices who will inevitably get almost all the votes because of overly restrictive ballot access laws and the impossibility of anyone getting to participate in a televised presidential debate unless they are a Democrat or Republican. Not to mention the fact that your vote doesn't count at all unless you vote for the person who wins your state. Then there's the fact that there are no term limits for Congressmen and many mayors combined with gerrymandering which results in many elections having only one person on the ballot. What kind of democracy gives you only one choice?

"Voting will not alter the corporate systems of power. Voting is an act of political theater. Voting in the United States is as futile and sterile as in the elections I covered as a reporter in dictatorships like Syria, Iran and Iraq. There were always opposition candidates offered up by these dictatorships. Give the people the illusion of choice. Throw up the pretense of debate. Let the power elite hold public celebrations to exalt the triumph of popular will. We can vote for Romney or Obama, but Goldman Sachs and ExxonMobil and Bank of America and the defense contractors always win. There is little difference between our electoral charade and the ones endured by the Syrians and Iranians. Do we really believe that Obama has, or ever had, any intention to change the culture in Washington?"
--Chris Hedges



First with the Chris Hedges quote, I would advise people to put a little thought into what they say, no matter how profound they think they are being. Maybe he should ponder why folks in Iran, Syria and Iraq are clamoring to get out of there if things are just as oppressive in the places they flee to. Or maybe he should ask what would happen to him if he tried to open up an office for his magazine in one of those countries. Basically, morons like Chris Hedges are either liars or cowards. He either doesn't actually believe what he's saying, or he's a giant coward in that he sits idly by in our fascist nation. He should be leading an armed rebellion like the French Resistance if this is the oppressive nation he really thinks it is.

In any event Tim Robbins states what Hedges is actually saying in a much more eloquent way.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U9rCc4SZNSI

Beyond Chris Hedges' ipse dixit, all of the so-called problems you talk about have nothing to do with whether we're really a democracy or not. No term limits for Congressmen or city officials. Well, shouldn't people be allowed to vote for the same person if that's what they want? There are many good reasons for term limits, but they have little to do with popular representation, i.e. what I think you're referring to when you talk about democracy. No one likes gerrymandering, but it's actually a quite natural result of democtratic rule. That is, so long as elected officials draw congressional districts, they're going to try and tilt the playing field in their favor as much as possible. Otherwise, you have to rely on unelected officials to do so. But I'm sure you'll find an all-wise sage who will be able to draw fair electoral districts who's really above politics.

The electoral college, meh. Once a century you get the anomaly where the guy who got the most popular votes (not a majority I'll note, since Gore only had a very small plurality).

And really, the only laws that perpetuate the two party system are campaign finance laws, which restrict political speech and make it very hard for newcomers to unseat incumbents. And no, I don't think that third parties should be publicly financed. I don't want my tax dollars to pay for the Lyndon LaRouche's presidential campaigns just so he can put a few ads on the air that no one is going to watch anyway. I also don't know how you intend to get third-party candidates into debates. Are you proposing a law that forces private institutions to allow people onto a debate based on the opinion of a government bureaucrat? And would it even make a difference? New York allows basically everyone to participate in the gubernatorial debate, but where are all those third party candidates that have actually been elected, or who have actually received anything significant in terms of votes?

Edited by Daniel, 05 February 2012 - 12:11 AM.

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How do you spot risk? How do you avoid risk? And what makes it so risky?

#54 Jerrydevil

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Posted 05 February 2012 - 12:20 AM

The Obama administration's battle with the Catholic Church needs to be a part of this thread. That Obama would require Church-affiliated groups to offer abortion drugs and contraception in their health plans is monstrous. It shows how far the left is willing to go to destroy liberty and religious freedom.

Another despicable recent misdeed by leftists: Planned Parenthood's shakedown of Susan G. Komen. Ugly, ugly.
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#55 Pepperkorn

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Posted 05 February 2012 - 09:09 AM

Susan G Komen Foundation has the right to not support an institution that offers abortion. or any institution under investigation by the federal government.

People have the right to call them out for that. I think it's fair to say "we will not give you any more money if this is how you choose to dole it out"

And it's within Planned Parenthood's rights to say "This charity is no longer supporting us because we offer abortions"

I don't see how that's an illegal shake down. It sounds more to me like you are applying the rights to Susan G Komen only. They have a right to do what they want with their money and the right to keep it as under the table a choice as they can. Planned Parenthood is wrong to call them out though? No --- as you describe that is their RIGHT. Why do you only want to grant that right to a conservative decision? or why is only ONE action being taken there political to you? You are calling out our system working as it should be. Komen foundation does NOT have to change their decision. The people just gave them the incentive. How is that an injustice?

I dont think Komen has said they're giving money to Planned Parenthood yet.... I think they just said they will change the language of their support criteria. This might still rule out Planned Parenthood...

Edited by Pepperkorn, 05 February 2012 - 09:11 AM.

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#56 Pepperkorn

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Posted 05 February 2012 - 09:19 AM

Chris Hedges is an entertainer. I wish people would always keep that in mind Glen Beck Rush Limbaugh... whatsherface Coulter.... they are all entertainers -- that's it.

I think the entertainer needs to keep that in mind as well -- but I think it's titillating for any entertainer to feel like he's wielding some kind of significant power. Don Cherry doesn't make hockey rules. He just :blahblah: It's up to us to keep things in perspective as Daniel is helping in doing above.

ANd this doesn't appear to be a religiously motivated choice (topic of thread). Susan G. Komen foundation was founded by Jews who have no major public battle with Roe v Wade. In my opinion Jews have been highly successful at separating church and state. They have consistently trusted their members to follow religious law above the law of the land. The religious leaders faith gets shaky but it's their business not that of the government to get things back in order....

unless your in Israel - but that's whole other kettle of fish we don't need to deal with

Edited by Pepperkorn, 05 February 2012 - 09:28 AM.

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#57 Jerrydevil

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Posted 05 February 2012 - 10:16 AM

I don't see how that's an illegal shake down.


I don't necessarily think Planned Parenthood's actions against Komen is "illegal," but the demonization of a private charity by a government organization smacks of tyranny. Planned Parenthood SHOULD be a private organization.
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#58 devilsfan26

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Posted 05 February 2012 - 11:27 AM

First with the Chris Hedges quote, I would advise people to put a little thought into what they say, no matter how profound they think they are being. Maybe he should ponder why folks in Iran, Syria and Iraq are clamoring to get out of there if things are just as oppressive in the places they flee to. Or maybe he should ask what would happen to him if he tried to open up an office for his magazine in one of those countries. Basically, morons like Chris Hedges are either liars or cowards. He either doesn't actually believe what he's saying, or he's a giant coward in that he sits idly by in our fascist nation. He should be leading an armed rebellion like the French Resistance if this is the oppressive nation he really thinks it is.

In any event Tim Robbins states what Hedges is actually saying in a much more eloquent way.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U9rCc4SZNSI

Beyond Chris Hedges' ipse dixit, all of the so-called problems you talk about have nothing to do with whether we're really a democracy or not. No term limits for Congressmen or city officials. Well, shouldn't people be allowed to vote for the same person if that's what they want? There are many good reasons for term limits, but they have little to do with popular representation, i.e. what I think you're referring to when you talk about democracy. No one likes gerrymandering, but it's actually a quite natural result of democtratic rule. That is, so long as elected officials draw congressional districts, they're going to try and tilt the playing field in their favor as much as possible. Otherwise, you have to rely on unelected officials to do so. But I'm sure you'll find an all-wise sage who will be able to draw fair electoral districts who's really above politics.

The electoral college, meh. Once a century you get the anomaly where the guy who got the most popular votes (not a majority I'll note, since Gore only had a very small plurality).

And really, the only laws that perpetuate the two party system are campaign finance laws, which restrict political speech and make it very hard for newcomers to unseat incumbents. And no, I don't think that third parties should be publicly financed. I don't want my tax dollars to pay for the Lyndon LaRouche's presidential campaigns just so he can put a few ads on the air that no one is going to watch anyway. I also don't know how you intend to get third-party candidates into debates. Are you proposing a law that forces private institutions to allow people onto a debate based on the opinion of a government bureaucrat? And would it even make a difference? New York allows basically everyone to participate in the gubernatorial debate, but where are all those third party candidates that have actually been elected, or who have actually received anything significant in terms of votes?

Hedges isn't saying our government is as oppressive as theirs, he's talking about the futility of voting. In theory no term limits sounds good, let people keep voting for the person they like the most, but what it comes down to is people end up winning elections by being the only choice on the ballot. As for gerrymandering, of course they're going to tilt the playing field. They would probably also decide major court decisions on their own if that was allowed, but it isn't.

I'm not talking about the possibility of someone getting the most popular votes and losing because of the electoral college, my point is that it is completely illogical that your vote doesn't count at all unless you voted for the person that got the most votes in your state. You are completely okay with the fact that unless you voted for Obama in 2008, your vote was just completely disregarded?

It is incredibly naive to think that campaign finance laws are the only things that keep Democrats and Republicans in power. Do you have any idea how restrictive ballot access laws are? While Democrats and Republicans are automatically on the ballot every single time, third parties and independents have to struggle to just get their names on the ballot while the two major parties are out there campaigning. As for public financing, I don't want my tax dollars to fund the campaigns of Democrats or Republicans, but I have to deal with it anyway. The debates are run jointly by Democrats and Republicans, which is why there is never anybody else in them. It should be a nonpartisan group.
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#59 Pepperkorn

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Posted 05 February 2012 - 11:31 AM

Voting becomes futile when people are manipulated into thinking it is.

If you see a problem with the process, work to change it beyond merely bitching that it's broken.

I think the American people feel that we do not have viable choices and are working to change that. If you truly felt your vote didn't count you wouldn't even discuss this.

Edited by Pepperkorn, 05 February 2012 - 11:33 AM.

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#60 devilsfan26

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Posted 06 February 2012 - 12:30 AM

Voting becomes futile when people are manipulated into thinking it is.

If you see a problem with the process, work to change it beyond merely bitching that it's broken.

I think the American people feel that we do not have viable choices and are working to change that. If you truly felt your vote didn't count you wouldn't even discuss this.

I haven't been just bitching about it. Almost every year I volunteer for a candidate who supports those kinds of reforms.
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