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Super Slime
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 PostThu Jan 31, 2008 8:46 pm
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What James said, basically. You haven't died of a terrorist attack -- the government's anti-terrorism initiatives must be working.

This is tongue-in-cheek when I say it, of course. I have no doubt that all of the government's anti-terrorism efforts have prevented some incompetent would-be terrorists, but I don't believe the handful of lives saved justifies the rights we've lost.

For some really good reading on the state of terrorism in the USA today, read Bruce Schneier's blogs or newsletter.
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Red Slime
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 PostThu Jan 31, 2008 8:48 pm
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Quote:
This magic stone keeps away tigers. Prove that it works? Sure! you don't see any tigers around, do you? ;)


James, I'd like to buy your rock. ("Your parents are Herb and Judy Nahasapeemapetilon." Great episode.)
 
 PostThu Jan 31, 2008 9:41 pm
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I'm not well read on politics and most of the current issues that I don't see directly affecting me, but from what I understand, there was an issue with letting a whole bunch of illegal immigrants become citizens? There were all those marches with all those Mexicans and what not over it.

From what I understand, they wanted to make illegal immigrants, legal immigrants.

I personally think if they're being productive and contributing to society, by all means do so, although the bigger problem is that if we're allowing what the law says is illegal to become legal because a bunch of people are bitching about it, then are we saying that all it takes is a bunch of people to complain to make illegal things legal?

I know the logic is flawed there, it just seems to me that these people have been ignoring those that actually go through the process required to gain legal citizenship and want to jump ahead of the line and be allowed to do so because of their numbers.

Ideally, we would let the people who want to work and do something good for the country come in, while we deport the ones who just take up precious space and resources, like Britney Spears or Paris Hilton.

So I guess the question is, will we ever get a president elected that can actually deal with the issues for what they are, rather than mucking things up?
Liquid Metal King Slime
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 PostThu Jan 31, 2008 9:58 pm
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Lonely Rolling Star wrote:
I'm not well read on politics and most of the current issues that I don't see directly affecting me, but from what I understand, there was an issue with letting a whole bunch of illegal immigrants become citizens? There were all those marches with all those Mexicans and what not over it.


You mean the May 1st march in Los Angeles last year and the year before?
That was awesome

But I was there in 2006, not at the 2007 one where the police started bashing people at the end of the day :(
Red Slime
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 PostThu Jan 31, 2008 10:24 pm
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I don't think that people's terrorism concerns have to do with fears for their own safety, especially considering how much people care about it who live in areas that have NO chance of being hit by a terrorist attack. Some people are just appalled at the idea of being attacked on our own soil.

I don't think comparing it to getting killed by lightning is a fair comparison. Significantly less people loss their lives as a result of Hurricane Katrina but that doesn't mean that I don't think we should do anything to increase our natural disaster preparedness. The hurricane also cost the U.S. $82 billion compared to the $1.2 trillion lost from 9/11. So there is an economic impact there too. Not that I think that is the thrust of the argument against terrorism, but I'm just pointing that out.

I recall several instances of actual potential terrorist attacks being stopped, including one right around the corner from where I was living at the time (I lived in downtown New York for 4 years, post 9/11). A plot was foiled to attempt to bomb a PATH tunnel (the train between NY and NJ). I mean, potentially, people I know could've died in that kind of attack. And though I don't feel like I had much of a chance of getting killed, I don't want anyone to die.
Metal Slime
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 PostFri Feb 01, 2008 6:03 am
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I was not aware of the magnitude of difference between the 9/11 economic losses and those Katrina. Still, I can't help but feel that our natural disaster response could easily be made much better (from what I've heard it was already preparing pretty well under Clinton, but I have no evidence to back that up), and without costing a great deal more. I'm not sure what can be done to predict and/or prevent terrorist attacks.

Of course, no one wants anyone to die. I'm just saying that I don't see anything to indicate that heavier border patrol will greatly decrease the risk of terrorist attacks here, because we as the public cannot know the details of how these things are handled. Some people might think (and some politicians might say) that it is actually quite simple - stricter immigration measures and border patrol means less illegal immigrants, which means less enemies within the country. I am not so certain that this is so simple. Whose to say that terrorists won't come in as citizens? Or that current citizens converting over won't be the main cause of the next attack?

In short, natural disasters adhere to science, with at least some measure of straightforward pattern and predictability. Terrorists do not, and most likely nothing anyone says will convince me otherwise. I trust people in the FBI and CIA to work at preventing further attacks, but not enough to grant them or the president the power to introduce large-scale changes in how we do things, whether 'things' means immigration, or civil rights, or anything else. Unless a good argument is put forth as to why the change is worth the change and the cost.
I am Srime
Red Slime
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 PostFri Feb 01, 2008 6:21 am
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Quote:
In short, natural disasters adhere to science, with at least some measure of straightforward pattern and predictability. Terrorists do not, and most likely nothing anyone says will convince me otherwise. I trust people in the FBI and CIA to work at preventing further attacks, but not enough to grant them or the president the power to introduce large-scale changes in how we do things, whether 'things' means immigration, or civil rights, or anything else. Unless a good argument is put forth as to why the change is worth the change and the cost.


I agree. But there has to be some degree of change since (at least I think) our intelligence agencies all seem to think that our borders are vulnerable. The question is to what extent do we change it.
Metal Slime
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 PostFri Feb 01, 2008 6:48 am
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Well, I really can't argue much further because I don't know any details about who has said and/or suggested what about it.

We've gone on about immigration for a while, and slipped into terrorism a bit with it too. I mentioned some feelings on our Iraqi presence, but I couldn't tell if most of us agreed that we couldn't pull out quickly, or the conversation just turned too quickly.

I also put together a really long bit about the nightmare that is healthcare. What are some more thoughts on the issue and the candidates' takes on the issue? And I'd still like to talk about what is meant by decreasing the bureaucracy of the government.

Some people brought up Social Security, another nightmare. I'm not sure about the details on this, but one thing is certain - once you spend money, it's gone. And you can't sue a person for funds promised, if he couldn't afford said funds in the first place.

[anti-Bush sentiment]
Now if we could get GW to give some of that money he's making from oil profits carefully inflated from the war that he chose to use money to fund, maybe we'd help balance out some of his spending. Oh wait, is it legal for the government to receive 'donations' from potential interest groups?
[/anti-Bush sentiment]
I am Srime
Red Slime
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 PostFri Feb 01, 2008 7:21 pm
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Admittedly, I too have only scratched the surface when it comes to researching candidates. From what I have seen from Obama though, he's always making very broad statements about change, and always specifically makes change synonymous with himself. Besides this feeling like deliberate trickery to me, I never seem to hear WHY he represents change beyond the obvious race issue, which shouldn't even be given attention. I also heard an Obama radio ad recently, attacking Hillary... for making attack ads. And then of course they went on about what was wrong with her ideas, and never said what Obama's ideas were.

In general I distrust every single candidate. They are all doing what is necessary to win, plain and simple. At least that's the way I see politics. It's to a point where I feel like I can trust the people who quit the race more than the 'frontrunners'. And just like everyone I know, I distrust the media as well. Every kind of internet ad, television ad, and radio ad I've heard/seen, has, in my lifetime, always picked the "most likely to win" candidates and shoved them down your throat until you never even consider the others. What disgusts me is that this shit WORKS.

Immigration, illegal immigration, I don't care. They're moving across an invisible line called a "border". Call me an idealist, but in a better world it wouldn't matter. I know the fact is that countries 'exist', and we have to deal with things accordingly, but a true revolutionary would be thinking about how we can start abolishing these black and white ideas about Us and Them. However, I do have issues when people move here, live here for a long time, and refuse to learn the language. Again, in a better world there would be a universal language to fall back on (besides music and mathematics), but again the fact remains that we speak different languages. I do not like being advertised to on wal*mart TVs in spanish, in my country. (and by the way, I know enough spanish to know that the information in such ads usually would benefit me too)

But all this takes a backseat to the real issue, as far as I see it. If as a species we are still having other people run our lives and make the hard decisions, we have not evolved. Maybe what we should be focusing on is changing our mode of thinking. It might take a while, sure, but if we don't start now, when will we? Perhaps the ideals of democracy eventually lead to anarchy (not the chaotic kind, the self-government kind). But of course, people would most likely consider America dead if we minimalized government.


By the way, if I had to pick, I'd have probably gone with Kucinich. In the research I did do (I actually went to ALL candidate's sites and watched them give speeches and whatnot), I found him the most enlightened and friendly. Concerned with the big picture, all human beings equal. No Us and Them. Reminded me of someone who might have been a forerunner in a place like New Zealand or the Netherlands.

Anyway, these are my opinions.
-John Hancock
Slime Knight
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 PostFri Feb 01, 2008 7:29 pm
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My candidates are as follows:

Ron Paul
(If he doesn't make it then...)
Mitt Romney
(If he doesn't make it then...)
Obama.
(If none of these people make it, like Hilary vs Huckabee, I'm moving to canada).
Luigi is almost as sexy as me!
Red Slime
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 PostFri Feb 01, 2008 7:33 pm
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I've always played with the idea that Bush might find some way to stay in office. I mean, he's twisted the system so far out of whack already, (like phone taps and such that he always gets away with), it's not hard for me to imagine it likely he could do such a thing. I could be absolutely wrong, but isn't there an extension on a president's term allowable while there is a "crisis"?
-John Hancock
Super Slime
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 PostFri Feb 01, 2008 8:13 pm
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Come on, Bush isn't staying in office. I don't think he even wants to at this point.
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Liquid Metal King Slime
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 PostFri Feb 01, 2008 10:10 pm
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Artimus Bena wrote:
In general I distrust every single candidate. They are all doing what is necessary to win, plain and simple. At least that's the way I see politics. It's to a point where I feel like I can trust the people who quit the race more than the 'frontrunners'. And just like everyone I know, I distrust the media as well. Every kind of internet ad, television ad, and radio ad I've heard/seen, has, in my lifetime, always picked the "most likely to win" candidates and shoved them down your throat until you never even consider the others. What disgusts me is that this slime WORKS.


True. Wanting the job makes one less deserving of it.

Douglas Adams wrote:

FORD PREFECT: Er, excuse me, do you rule the Universe?

MAN: I try not to. Are you wet?


Artimus Bena wrote:
I've always played with the idea that Bush might find some way to stay in office. I mean, he's twisted the system so far out of whack already, (like phone taps and such that he always gets away with), it's not hard for me to imagine it likely he could do such a thing. I could be absolutely wrong, but isn't there an extension on a president's term allowable while there is a "crisis"?


I have never heard of any such rule in this country, although quite a lot of dictators got their power that way in other countries. You-know-who in particular.

EDIT: actually there are a few emergency powers available to the US government, but none that would postpone elections.
Red Slime
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 PostFri Feb 01, 2008 10:51 pm
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Well we did let FDR slide, but who was really going to try to go up against the guy who ended the Great Depression anyway? It's kind of that "I'd hate to follow that guy" type of thing you seen in show business.

And like Bush or not, I think everyone in the country would be really surprised if he tried to stay in office. That would take a lot of balls (especially considering his approval rating). I also don't feel like he wants the job just to have the power. I think he strongly believes that the decisions he makes help the country.

EDIT: Can I just mention that I'm pleased and impressed that this conversation hasn't devolved into a flame war yet? I could just see that happening so easily on CP (nothing against CP but that place is on fire pretty often).
Liquid Metal King Slime
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 PostSat Feb 02, 2008 12:32 am
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the drizzle wrote:
Well we did let FDR slide, but who was really going to try to go up against the guy who ended the Great Depression anyway? It's kind of that "I'd hate to follow that guy" type of thing you seen in show business.


Before FDR, the 2-term limit was tradition, set by George Washington. The 22nd amendment requiring the 2-term limit was not ratified until 1947, two years after FDR's death.

the drizzle wrote:
EDIT: Can I just mention that I'm pleased and impressed that this conversation hasn't devolved into a flame war yet? I could just see that happening so easily on CP (nothing against CP but that place is on fire pretty often).


Yay for calm and friendly flame-free debate! ... or was that an Anti-CP flame there ;)
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