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Old 2008-02-20, 12:03   Link #221
Quzor
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Loniat View Post
Care to elaborate on how pre nazi Germany is comparable to today's USA?

Elections and politics will always have charismatic and well spoken politicians. Don't take the overused nazi card to set up arguments like this. It is amazing that people still use this kind of argumentation just to try to make their point seem more credible.
It's not necessarily a direct correlation between the economy of Germany then, and the economy of America now. However, in a vain attempt to satisfy your need for explanation, let me see if I can recall some information from 6 semesters ago...

Following WWI, the German economy had become severely destabilized. In an attempt to pay back their debts, Germany had devalued their currency to the point of near non-existance. Literally, people where carrying around bundles of money in wheel-barrows just to purchase groceries.

Concurrently, the government was doing nothing to reestablish commerce with outside nations, instead voting to use an introverted economical scheme to try and repair the current state of affairs. Incidentally, this proposition caused a bout with severe unemployment, and instilled a general distrust, by the German people, in their government.

Along comes a man, petitioning for change. What kind of change; well, a national health care system! Proper schooling for children! A stabilized economy, via international commerce! Increased job opportunities via the same method! ...and a slew of other promises, which he actually fulfilled.

The problem was, he didn't tell anybody that these programs would only be available to German nationals, or that anyone who wasn't of direct German descendancy would be forcibly removed from the country, or removed from the earth entirely. He went from a 1% political favorite in 1928, to a political front-runner in 1932, because he knew how to properly convey his message to rally support, while keep out all the information he didn't want people to hear.

The last sentence was the bulk of Vexx's argument: People chant "Change, change!" without realizing that the change they select could cause more problems than it cures.

Edit: I wrote a paper on this quite a while ago...I wish I still had it, but I deleted it so as to make room for new documents...bummer
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Last edited by Quzor; 2008-02-20 at 12:06. Reason: damn...
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Old 2008-02-20, 13:43   Link #222
Vexx
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Loniat View Post
Care to elaborate on how pre nazi Germany is comparable to today's USA?

Elections and politics will always have charismatic and well spoken politicians. Don't take the overused nazi card to set up arguments like this. It is amazing that people still use this kind of argumentation just to try to make their point seem more credible.
edit: I had a long post but... frankly, Quzor explained it and I'm not interested in wasting more energy. Discussion shut down because comparisons and historical analysis are not allowed (especially since using German history can only having one cartoon-thin meaning rather than the much more complex situation that actually existed) .... makes it kind of hard to put anything in context, doesn't it? Oh the horror of putting things in historical context. 0.o

Last edited by Vexx; 2008-02-20 at 14:53.
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Old 2008-02-20, 16:05   Link #223
Ryougi Shiki
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Hawaii caucus (where i live) is now done. Obama got an overwhelming majority, we're all rooting for our local boy
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Old 2008-02-20, 16:15   Link #224
Quzor
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Originally Posted by Vexx View Post
edit: I had a long post but... frankly, Quzor explained it and I'm not interested in wasting more energy. Discussion shut down because comparisons and historical analysis are not allowed (especially since using German history can only having one cartoon-thin meaning rather than the much more complex situation that actually existed) .... makes it kind of hard to put anything in context, doesn't it? Oh the horror of putting things in historical context. 0.o
Indeed...god forbid we use history to learn something...oh wait....nevermind.

Michigan primary (which ended a while ago) was a damn joke. Clinton won because she was the only freaking one on the ballot (she almost got beat by an "undecided" vote), and McCain won because...well, no...actually McCain did a good job of winning Michigan.
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Old 2008-02-20, 16:30   Link #225
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Originally Posted by Quzor View Post
Michigan primary (which ended a while ago) was a damn joke. Clinton won because she was the only freaking one on the ballot (she almost got beat by an "undecided" vote).
1. Clinton won because she was more popular in Michigan with its higher unemployment rate and other problems. She was leading in Michigan for the entire time in the polls. In both the polls with Obama/Edwards and without, she was leading by 20 points.
2. Context of "uncomitted" is very important in this case. There was a loophole that allowed the delegates to be seated if over 30% of the people voted uncommitted despite the delegates being stripped. Both Obama and Edwards told people to vote for uncommitted since they had removed themselves from the ballot.
3. She won by 15 points which I don't know how you can call "almost beaten".
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Old 2008-02-20, 16:41   Link #226
Quzor
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Originally Posted by bayoab View Post
1. Clinton won because she was more popular in Michigan with its higher unemployment rate and other problems. She was leading in Michigan for the entire time in the polls. In both the polls with Obama/Edwards and without, she was leading by 20 points.
2. Context of "uncomitted" is very important in this case. There was a loophole that allowed the delegates to be seated if over 30% of the people voted uncommitted despite the delegates being stripped. Both Obama and Edwards told people to vote for uncommitted since they had removed themselves from the ballot.
3. She won by 15 points which I don't know how you can call "almost beaten".
My apologies. My response may have been a bit emotional, due to my severe state of anger at Michigan for cheating the state out of a fair primary. Admittedly, I'm not a big Clinton supporter, but I should not have let that get in the way of stating the facts, and I apologize for that.

However, it cannot be denied that the Michigan legislature sincerely f***ed this up, by trying to increase the state's importance in the national election, rather than just letting their place be. I agree that state legislature should fight to win national attention, specifically when the state is in as poor a shape as Michigan. However, that fight should not result in a detriment to the people's cause. Because the state government tried so desperately to move the primary forward, candidates became unwilling to spend money in and on our state, effectively doing more damage than the good they were attempting to do.

Had Clinton won in a fair primary, I would have no qualms with that (insofar as her winning; I'd be upset that she won, but only because I wouldn't have voted for her). Instead, she was the only Democratic candidate on the ballot with any serious support (Kucinich, as much as I like him, stands no chance), while the other just said "vote uncommitted," a statement which inspires very little emotional response from the voting public.
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Old 2008-02-20, 17:03   Link #227
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Quzor covered the points so there's not much need to explain further, imo. Thanks.
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Old 2008-02-20, 17:10   Link #228
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Originally Posted by Vexx View Post
The thing that concerns me when people chant "Change!" is that "Change!" also got Germany into a bit of a pickle when they were having many of the same problems in the 1930s.
Germany's example is actually relatively favorable. If we ignore the dispicable aspects of what Hitler put Germany into doing, Germany's revival is quite admirable. The country pulled itself out of a slump and became a world super-power. Perhaps the notion of change led to the people pulling together and caring about what happened to their country? Of course, that led to extreme nationalism, which is often dangerous.

As it is, a lot of Americans (or at least, those who seek knowledge and aren't content to get information from one news channel or a politician's speech) seem a bit disillusioned about the state of the country. We're not in Iraq because of a war, we're there because the government lied about it and made it seem like it was in our best interests (I didn't buy it back then, and I was still in high school). The government is pissing away money and giving kickbacks to large corporations. Prices are rising (they always do, but this weighs on people more heavily now) and people don't seem to care about their community. Who enjoys paying taxes? Taxes are what go into making our society better, but people just want to keep the money for themselves. I can't blame them - having just recently entered one of the higher tax brackets myself, I'm not happy to think that instead of going to schools and public works, that money is going into some corporation or the "war on terror" (give me a break).

So here we have someone promising change, and it's getting people excited. In a government system like ours, drastic changes are very unlikely to occur easily - and that's a good thing. I'm happier that people are taking an interest in it and feel a renewed optimism toward the government. Perhaps with the increased activity and scrutiny, the government will make some positive adjustments to itself. And perhaps if people come to care more about the society that they're living in, it'll become a better place for all of us.
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Old 2008-02-20, 17:17   Link #229
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Quote:
Germany's example is actually relatively favorable. If we ignore the dispicable aspects of what Hitler put Germany into doing, Germany's revival is quite admirable. The country pulled itself out of a slump and became a world super-power.
Well, it's important to understand the consequences of such quick recovery... especially on the fact that the recovery itself was based on (as far as I recall from my history classes) pushing the arms industry.

Sooner or later, they had to put the weapons into use, or the production would have been wasted.
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Old 2008-02-20, 17:30   Link #230
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Originally Posted by WanderingKnight View Post
Well, it's important to understand the consequences of such quick recovery... especially on the fact that the recovery itself was based on (as far as I recall from my history classes) pushing the arms industry.

Sooner or later, they had to put the weapons into use, or the production would have been wasted.
This is a good point, but Germany had previously been disarmed and humiliated on the international stage. The United States is currently engaged militarily in Afghanistan and Iraq. I don't want to say that it couldn't get worse and that the US couldn't go crazy (most of us who don't favor Iraq are terrified that Iran or North Korea would do something to provoke Bush into going over there; China and now Russia also seem keen on getting into that game) but I think that the situation is quite different. Notably, I think that a good majority (I believe it's reached into the 70%'s) no longer support military actions in Iraq, so it's unlikely that the US would be up for doing something similar to what Nazi Germany did.
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Old 2008-02-20, 18:03   Link #231
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This is a good point, but Germany had previously been disarmed and humiliated on the international stage. The United States is currently engaged militarily in Afghanistan and Iraq. I don't want to say that it couldn't get worse and that the US couldn't go crazy (most of us who don't favor Iraq are terrified that Iran or North Korea would do something to provoke Bush into going over there; China and now Russia also seem keen on getting into that game) but I think that the situation is quite different. Notably, I think that a good majority (I believe it's reached into the 70%'s) no longer support military actions in Iraq, so it's unlikely that the US would be up for doing something similar to what Nazi Germany did.
Yes, but my point wasn't to look at the particular outcome of that situation, but to extract a general insight from it. Merely, that spectacular growths aren't always as good as you might expect, especially in a capitalist society.

Oh, and personally, I'm very afraid of the US going crazy someday. Especially considering their iron grip on the world is starting to tremble a bit.
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Old 2008-02-20, 18:06   Link #232
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One big difference is that we've leeched our military capability to the bone at the same time we've managed to give the most money in history out to a few corporations in unbid military contracts and gotten very little in return. The shutdown for seven years of oversight management aggravated the levels it reached.

In the meantime, none of that money reached any of our failing infrastructure (roads, healthcare, first-responders (the real security), education) which is all critical for the *majority* of businesses to thrive here. See, it wasn't about business in general --- just a certain group of "friends".

It will be the task of whomever wins the Dem nomination to *keep* the spotlight on that. And it will be the Repub nomination's task to divert attention from that.
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Old 2008-02-20, 19:17   Link #233
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bayoab View Post
1. Clinton won because she was more popular in Michigan with its higher unemployment rate and other problems. She was leading in Michigan for the entire time in the polls. In both the polls with Obama/Edwards and without, she was leading by 20 points.
2. Context of "uncomitted" is very important in this case. There was a loophole that allowed the delegates to be seated if over 30% of the people voted uncommitted despite the delegates being stripped. Both Obama and Edwards told people to vote for uncommitted since they had removed themselves from the ballot.
3. She won by 15 points which I don't know how you can call "almost beaten".
But you have to remember that Michigan and Florida broke the rules about that from DNC, and they have to pay the price for it even know that Clinton is now trying to get those votes, and In my opinion, it would be probably too late for that, if Texas or Ohio votes for Obama, her run for the president will be over, even Big Daddy Bill say that today in Texas.
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Old 2008-02-20, 22:01   Link #234
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I've already argued against the whole notion of change because I want to know what he is going to change. But has anyone ever thought how politically effective Obama really is? How is he going to get things passed if people in congress won't agree with him? I think Hilary has better connections to get things passed and she has many similar views to Obama, so at least to me, this already makes her a better candidate.
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Old 2008-02-20, 23:28   Link #235
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Originally Posted by Reckoner View Post
I've already argued against the whole notion of change because I want to know what he is going to change. But has anyone ever thought how politically effective Obama really is? How is he going to get things passed if people in congress won't agree with him? I think Hilary has better connections to get things passed and she has many similar views to Obama, so at least to me, this already makes her a better candidate.
He built a campaign that managed to not only challenge, but pretty much topple, Hillary Clinton's "inevitable" domination of the Democratic primaries within a matter of months. Before his rise, she was the Democratic candidate, and nobody else have much of a chance, to the chagrin of a large part of the country and the secret ecstasies of Mr. Limbaugh and his ilk.

And he did it while having to either wrestle control of the Dems' party machine from her or build up his own. It's a feat in organization + highly successful (and naturally opportunistic) PR campaign if you ask me. He opportunistically took to the disaffected wings of the Democratic party that did not accept Hillary Clinton and convinced a sizable portion of the independents -- regardless of actual voting records, of course -- that he is a moderate worthy of support. During primary season no less, when partisans almost by default have a bigger say than they deserve. Better still, he successfully achieved what was deemed essentially impossible in modern American politics: he convinced the youth to vote.

Smooth.

The question is: is this Obama showing his administrative and diplomatic skills or is it primarily the work of others?
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Old 2008-02-21, 00:00   Link #236
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Originally Posted by Reckoner View Post
But has anyone ever thought how politically effective Obama really is? How is he going to get things passed if people in congress won't agree with him? I think Hilary has better connections to get things passed and she has many similar views to Obama, so at least to me, this already makes her a better candidate.
I mentioned this a few pages back, but it's important enough to be repeated: the president's power/job is not to get things passed. On a regular day to day basis, the president's job is to keep Congress in check. I don't care whether they're buddies or not so long as the president isn't afraid to say "this law stinks/is not necessary" and uses his power to veto. George Bush has barely exercised his veto powers and as a result Congress has run wild. It could just be due to my age, but I'd say that the nation has changed a fair bit during these past eight years compared with how things used to be, partly as a result of that.

In times of war or national disaster, the president gets the reigns handed to him by Congress. That's when the president is really supposed to provide the nation with direction. Otherwise, the people provide the direction by electing officials to Congress. In addition to keeping Congress in check, the president is supposed to keep America in good standing with international countries by representing the average American.

I'll repeat my complaint: George Bush really screwed over people's perception of what the president is supposed to be doing.
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Old 2008-02-21, 00:16   Link #237
Quzor
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Originally Posted by Ledgem View Post
I mentioned this a few pages back, but it's important enough to be repeated: the president's power/job is not to get things passed. On a regular day to day basis, the president's job is to keep Congress in check. I don't care whether they're buddies or not so long as the president isn't afraid to say "this law stinks/is not necessary" and uses his power to veto. George Bush has barely exercised his veto powers and as a result Congress has run wild. It could just be due to my age, but I'd say that the nation has changed a fair bit during these past eight years compared with how things used to be, partly as a result of that.

In times of war or national disaster, the president gets the reigns handed to him by Congress. That's when the president is really supposed to provide the nation with direction. Otherwise, the people provide the direction by electing officials to Congress. In addition to keeping Congress in check, the president is supposed to keep America in good standing with international countries by representing the average American.

I'll repeat my complaint: George Bush really screwed over people's perception of what the president is supposed to be doing.
I have to agree here. The system of checks and balances between the President and Congress has, over the past eight years, seemed to diminish into something like a lookout at a burglary; let them snatch and grab for a while and then, when the deed is done, select what small bits you want to make up your percentage.

Bush has not only not used his powers of veto when necessary, he's forced bills through that were turned down by Congress (such as the most recent military spending proposal). And lets not forget the most infamous ear-marked bill in the history of this presidency: "Should the United States come under times of duress before or during the interchange of occupiers of the Presidential Office, the current President and his cabinet shall retain power until such time as stability can be restored." What a load of garbage...
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Old 2008-02-21, 12:45   Link #238
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It looks like a NY Times article about McCain having relations with a female lobbyist for the telecommunications industry has come out to CNN. If you read the statements of the executive editor, the NY Times seems pretty adamant about the article and states that the facts hold true.

I know this doesn't really signify that the media is acting on its own and is free to expose government (an essential duty it began lacking with Bush) but it's nice to see them do it and then stand by their reporting. I'd imagine that this'll hurt McCain somewhat. Most of his core followers will probably take McCain's side and ignore the media, but I'm sure that having a strong media assertion is something that people aren't used to. Given the conservative Republican power base, that'd hurt McCain quite a bit.

While reading the article over I couldn't help but think about the Republicans jumping on Bill Clinton back in the 90's
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Old 2008-02-21, 17:03   Link #239
Quzor
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Originally Posted by Ledgem View Post
It looks like a NY Times article about McCain having relations with a female lobbyist for the telecommunications industry has come out to CNN. If you read the statements of the executive editor, the NY Times seems pretty adamant about the article and states that the facts hold true.

I know this doesn't really signify that the media is acting on its own and is free to expose government (an essential duty it began lacking with Bush) but it's nice to see them do it and then stand by their reporting. I'd imagine that this'll hurt McCain somewhat. Most of his core followers will probably take McCain's side and ignore the media, but I'm sure that having a strong media assertion is something that people aren't used to. Given the conservative Republican power base, that'd hurt McCain quite a bit.

While reading the article over I couldn't help but think about the Republicans jumping on Bill Clinton back in the 90's
I wish stuff like this would be addressed by the candidates directly, before it's leaked out from some source to a bunch of news media. If Clinton had just admitted he was a pothead in college, if Bush had copped to his cocaine/alcohol abuse, and if McCain had made this knowledge available, lots of people might have more faith in our politicians and their ability to tell the truth. I think situations of this nature are large parts of the reasons why people don't trust the government.

Lots of people do things they are ashamed of or embarrassed about, all the time. Most of our politicians do stuff like that in college, which is the time to do it. No one should be held accountable for stuff they did so long ago, especially if it has no bearing on their abilities at this point. However, Clinton denying and then admitting to his pot smoking/adultery, Bush vehemently denying his cocaine/alcohol abuse, despite pictures and video to prove otherwise; all of that leads to a state of distrust of our government...something that is hurting us more than we realize, I think.
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Old 2008-02-21, 17:34   Link #240
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Lots of people do things they are ashamed of or embarrassed about, all the time. Most of our politicians do stuff like that in college, which is the time to do it. No one should be held accountable for stuff they did so long ago, especially if it has no bearing on their abilities at this point.
I agree that the fact that they react to such allegations the way that they do and are always denying does further the notion of distrust. But any candidate who does something that some group of people dislikes becomes vulnerable. Perhaps if a mainstream candidate marketed himself on honesty and being open, admitting things like that could work - everyone could agree that this guy was open, we could admit that everyone does shameful things, and they'd figure that the guys who weren't saying anything were hiding skeletons in the closet. Currently, anything like this is seized upon by the competition in order to make themselves look more perfect while bringing their competitors down.

I don't think that they need to come out and say every shameful thing they've ever done, but it wouldn't hurt if they could just be up front. I'd certainly judge them for some of their actions, and I'd imagine that a handful of others would, too. If they did drugs, I'd judge them as either being weak of character or not having the same morals that I do. It doesn't make or break a candidate, but it'd be something I'd consider.
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