09-06-08 6:45  •  Vote Republican!

Another Big Bailout

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The government is expected to take over Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac as soon as this weekend in a monumental move designed to protect the mortgage market from the failure of the two companies, which together hold or guarantee half of the nation's mortgage debt, a person briefed on the matter said Friday night.

More about it...

So exciting! Another four years of this, and maybe we can consolidate all the businesses in America into one giant corporation, which will cook the books, pay a seventy billion dollar salary to one guy and then fail.

Let's stay the course! We'll just keep telling ourselves that there is no reason to regulate the financial markets. Power consolidation is more "efficient." Taxes are a form of "oppression." The wealthy have worked hard...they have earned the right to crush us!

While we're at it, we'll just keep telling ourselves that keeping gays from marrying is far more important than having an economy that works. Keeping illegals out of this country matters much more than keeping jobs in it. Building schools in Baghdad is a much better use of our money than building them in Baltimore. And killing Iraqis makes terrorism be gone!

Last, but not least, let's not forget all those sweet, precious little fetuses. Making women pay for not keeping their legs closed is so much more important than having an infrastructure! Protecting those innocent proto-human blobby-featured pods who have never had a single thought is so much more important than having jobs, education and health care for the grubby old post-born.

Vote Republican!

Save a fetus - kill a country.

Louise: I'm proud to vote Republican! I do care more for a BABY than a woman that is murdering that baby for selfish reasons.

Louise, you have entirely missed the point. The Republicans are playing you for a fool. They have connned you into thinking that you can save that baby by destroying the government. The Repubs don't care about that baby. They care only about swindling you out of your money, your society and your vote.

I'm not pro-abortion. But I can see that the GOP is exploiting this wedge issue for the purpose of tricking you into supporting their entire greedy, exploitive war-mongering platform.

Try thinking about someone besides the fetus for a minute. There are plenty of post-born babies that are facing a shitty education, a choice between a job at Wal-Mart or killing brown people in pointless wars of aggression, a lifetime of declaring bankruptcy for every serious illness, and having what little has been scrounged for retirement gambled away in the stock market.

I know you don't give a shit about the selfish baby-murdering woman. But I've never had an abortion. Neither have my husband, my daughter or my sons. So, why do you care more about the fetus than us? You and your kids have never had an abortion. Why do you care more about the fetus than yourself and them?

Louise: Well, I'll tell you this much, I don't care about the people that bought beyond their means and now we are having to bail them out.

Don't kid yourself. Bailing out Freddie and Fannie is about a lot more than people who chose stupid mortgages beyond their means. It's about saving half of the mortgages in this country, including, possibly, yours. It's about saving millions of people's retirement and pensions. It's about keeping our entire economy from collapsing.

This crisis was not created by poorly-informed borrowers. It was created by greedy, unscrupulous laissez-faire capitalists in an unregulated winner-take-all marketplace.

You and I have rarely seen eye-to-eye, but I have come to respect your intelligence and your genuine concern for the unborn. I really hate to see your intelligence and concern exploited by selfish, immoral fucks who want to steal you blind and turn your country into a third world nation.

King Barbara: AGREE AGREE AGREE with Louise! Your post is ridiculous.

But not for any reason that you are able to explain...it just is.

Autym: Ditto [sigh] can't think of anything else to say but that I agree too.

I'm glad your position is so well thought-out.

Is there anyone with a brain who is willing to discuss this? Here are some questions:

Unregulated financial markets have lead to the housing bubble, the mortgage crisis and unprecedented personal debt. Republicans support unregulated markets which strongly favor the greedy and unscrupulous. Why do you support the Republicans on this issue?

Tax cuts on the super-wealthy have led to massive national debt and the largest ever chasm between rich and poor. Republicans want to lower taxes on the super-wealthy even more. Why do you support the Republicans on this issue?

Putting health care into the hands of insurance companies has led to insanely complicated coverage with millions of loopholes and exceptions. Companies are posting their highest profits ever while most Americans are one health crisis away from losing everything they have worked their whole lives for. Republicans are fighting against a national health care plan that has been shown to work very well in other countries. Why do you support the Republicans on this issue?

Our occupation of Iraq is costing us billions of dollars a day, has killed thousands of innocent Iraqis and has sacrificed over four thousand of our own bravest citizens. Iraq is not one step closer to political stability than the day we invaded. Furthermore, it is meaningless for preventing terrorism - any "terrorist" who wanted to attack America could simply leave Iraq and safely plan the attack from somewhere else.

We're not even able to steal their oil like we planned. Republicans want to continue to pour American dollars and lives into this bottomless pit in an attempt to "win" the occupation. But an occupation can't be won, it can only be maintained. Why do you support the Republicans on this issue?

Republicans have used American racism, xenophobia and greed to paint illegal aliens as our biggest problem and connive support for attempts to "secure our border." However, even East Germany, which had the most rigidly enforced border in history - where crossers were shot on sight - was not able to prevent traffic from moving through. Yet, Republicans want to spend more money on walls, guards and guns for going after illegals while turning a blind eye to their employers. Why do you support Republicans on this issue?

Much like the church before them, Republicans have attempted to proscribe the natural human sexual urge by allowing only one possible means of expression for it, while painting anyone who strays from the "acceptable" as a fag or a slut or both. They want to control who you have sex with and when and why. Why do you support the Republicans on this issue?

Republicans have exploited the natural human urge to protect babies, in an attempt to force people to vote against their own economic and social best interest. They have painted almost all attempts to control our own reproduction as gleeful, cold-blooded slaughter of cuddly little cutie-pies. They have granted tiny proto-beings which cannot even breathe or think greater citizenship in our country than fully realized adults. They have completely suborned a woman's right to privacy and declared your womb to be the property of the state. Why do you support the Republicans on this issue?

Louise: You don't know anything. Unlike abortion, war is a necessary evil that can't always be avoided.

In what sense could the occupation of Iraq not be avoided?

Louise: I am not war hungry, but the world has lots of evil people in it that won't listen to reason and need a missile shoved up their ass...

How do you kill just the evil people? When that missile up the evil guy's ass explodes, it takes out twenty or thirty non-evils with it. Does that matter?

Should we attempt to kill every evil person? Do you think that once we kill the last evil person then evil will be gone?

09-05-08 1:21  •  Flag Worship

Harvest Moon: When asked what she thought of the "under God" part in our Pledge of Allegiance, Sarah Palin replied with, "well, if it was good enough for my founding fathers, then I guess it's good enough for me."

Yeah, what's wrong with that reply? LMAO.

Nicole:...maybe the fact the times are different from when her founding fathers said it...sheesh...

Autym:[sigh] okay, I'll bite.... I don't see anything wrong with it, so you tell me.

The founding fathers had nothing to do with the Pledge, it was created much later.

The Pledge was written in 1892 by a Baptist minister. "Under God" was not in the Pledge at that time. It was added in 1954, to further contrast the USA from the Godless Commies.

Autym: even if she did know that, she probably just said the first nice thing that popped into her head. giving those sweet, pc answers to the irrelevant questions just keeps the crap at bay as much as possible.

Do you think that it's okay to be completely wrong as long as you are "sweet" and "PC"?

Autym: i think palin being wrong on this particular subject is irrelevant to what she stands for.

Just "standing for" something is not good enough. You also have to know something.

Autym: Have you never been mistaken? Are you perfect?

I don't think anyone is expecting perfect. However, claiming that the Founding Fathers put "Under God" into the Pledge of Allegiance shows a serious lack of understanding of American History.

Autym: she made a simple history glitch. its not that big of a deal.

This is far from a "simple history glitch." It shows that she has no clue what the Founding Fathers actually did.

Autym: the question is irrelevant anyway.

It is relevent to separation of church and state issues.

Autym: we cant base her entire opinion on church and state on this single comment.

I was just explaining why the question was not irrelevent. I don't think anyone is drawing conclusions about her entire stand on separation of church and state from this.

People have simply noted that she was talking about a subject she obviously knows nothing about.

Autym: well, saying it is COMPLETLY irrelevant is false, because it is obviously very relevant to some people so i was wrong on that. i still dont think its a big deal though. simple mistake. people make them.

Again, it's not just a "simple mistake." If she actually understood what the Founding Fathers were trying to do, she would know that they would never require an "allegiance pledge," let alone one with the words "Under God."

Autym: sorry. i dont buy that she didnt know what the founding fathers were trying to accomplish just because of a silly mistake. thats where i stand on the topic.

This reminds me of a quote from "Ma" Ferguson, the first female governor of Texas, when they were debating using Spanish in school:

"If English was good enough for Jesus Christ, it’s good enough for Texas schoolchildren.”


Nicole:Ok, Raver, for ONCE you made me laugh. I have to admit sometimes your insistant answering of questions with more questions sometimes gets a bit annoying though I think you are one of the few who DOES get the nature of a debate.

THAT quote, OMG, thats just......, no words. crazy. lol

Harvest Moon: Here is Palin's response to a candidate questionnaire for the Alaska 2006 gubernatorial race:

11. Are you offended by the phrase “Under God” in the Pledge of Allegiance? Why or why not?

SP: Not on your life. If it was good enough for the founding fathers, its good enough for me and I’ll fight in defense of our Pledge of Allegiance.

It is disturbing that Sarah Palin does not understand what our Founding Fathers actually did. However I am also disturbed that she actually thinks the Pledge of Allegiance is something worth "fighting" for. It's just a silly nationalist chant, nothing more. We are not required by law to chant it, or to chant it any particular way. Why fight about it?

It's like saying you would "fight in defense" of the Happy Birthday song. Why bother? If people don't want to sing it, or want to sing it differently, who gives a shit? It's not like that would somehow cancel your birthday. It doesn't mean anything.

Kelliot: I find absolutely nothing wrong with Palin's quote.

If our Founding Fathers had considered "allegiance" to be important, they would not have broken away from the Crown to begin with. If they had thought that "Under God" was an important factor of governance, they would not have striven to establish the separation of church and state.

09-03-08 1:31  •  Purpose in Life

Andale: What do you think your purpose in life is?

Biologically speaking, my purpose is to propagate my DNA. This is the underlying purpose of every being with DNA.

It's kind of funny. People like to think that WE are the entity, and the DNA is "ours" to build our body with. In actuality, the DNA is the entity, and we are ITS. "We" are just the particular morphology that this particular DNA has figured out to use for propagating itself.

Luckily, I am such a successful tool for my DNA that I have plenty of time left over to seek and find meaning for myself as well. On that level, my "purpose," I feel, is to make the most of everything I have - my talents, my family, my society. And so I do. Which probably serves the purpose of my DNA as well.

09-03-08 10:02  •  Dems vs. Repubs

NettaPooh: I heard someone say, "Democrats want a handout, Republicans are racist!" What's your take on this statement?

It's not wise to generalize. But, I'll do it anyway, just for fun.

I would say that Republicans believe that competition is the key to the success of society and Democrats believe that cooperation is the key. So as Repubs strive to outcompete others, this has sometimes meant consigning others to a lower position by virtue of their race. As Dems strive to enfranchise others, this has sometimes resulted in handouts.

I personally think that a healthy balance of cooperation and competition is the optimal solution, which is good because, for the most part, that is what we have. Granted, a few people have outcompeted everyone else so effectively that they have gained an unfair portion of the power. A few people have used their handout, not to become enfranchised, but just to live until the next handout.

But for the majority of people, that is, ordinary working/middle class people, the combination of competition and cooperation usually results in a fairly happy, healthy existence.

I would further say (generalizing again, here) that Democrats think the real problem is the outcompeters with too much power, and Republicans feel the real problem is the handout crowd. I think it just means we need to fine tune our system a bit to share power downward and encourage cooperation upward. But overall, not too shabby.

NettaPooh: Wow, good one.

09-01-08 10:01  •  Control the World

I had heard about "Zeitgeist, The Movie" before, but last night, prompted by this thread, I actually sat down and watched the whole thing. In addition to the first section about Christianity co-opting previous religious ideas, there was also a section about unanswered 9-11 questions, and one about how moneyed interests are manipulating the economy and the government.

Ultimately it came down to a big conspiracy theory, about how a tiny number of powerholders are using religion, nationalism and money to control the world. It kinda reminded me of my dad ranting against the Trilateral Commission - vaguely paranoid, and ultimately drawing a lot of conclusions from not much evidence.

No doubt, moneyed interests ARE trying to control the world, but I don't think it's a secret, coordinated conspiracy. There are plenty of moneyed interests trying to control the world right out in the open, like Bill Gates trying to control the world's computer infrastructure, or Sam Walton trying to control the supply chain of the world's consumer goods.

So, the film was thought provoking but I'm not sure I buy all the conclusions.

Also, there is a very easy way to slip out of the traps and controls that religion, nationalism and money present. This can be done by practicing non-attachment. Religions can only control your mind if you long for what they are promising and fear what they are threatening. Nationalism can only stir you to war if you cling to the idea that the people of your country are factually superior to, or at least, separate from, the rest of humanity. And the moneyed interests can only manipulate you if you play their game by striving to acquire ever larger quantities of wealth.

In other words, some people may be trying to control the world, but it is easy to slip out of their traps if you are not grasping after the bait.

Neddie: Check out the movie "A Case for Christ" and then talk. There is overwhelming evidence that God does exist.

I don't see why I should be expected to accept "evidence of God" in place of actual God.

Ellie: LOL. That was a good comment.

09-01-08 9:21  •  Our Perceptions

Ellie: Haven't you ever see The Matrix? We dont know for sure what is outside of what we perceive. We have empirical evidence yes, but its all based on our perceptions - which may very well be flawed.

Our perceptions may very well be flawed, but if so, they are sufficiently accurate, or flawed so similarly in everyone, that we are able to agree on them. For example, I seriously doubt that we could, say, run an international airport, with all the traffic coming and going, planes taking off and landing, all the people, all the baggage, etc, if everyone had a completely different or distorted perception of reality. It just takes too much precision and cooperation.

Taken a step further, suppose we really are living in a Matrix-type computer-generated reality? If so, we are still inside a reality that is sufficiently regular and similar for everyone to agree that it has specific rules, ie, the laws of physics. Whatever it is we are really percieving, it still the same to everyone that an object which is dropped will fall at approximately 32'/sec^2 - drag. We can still use the predictive power of that knowlege to make things work.

Taken to the extreme (which people do, often) you might wonder if anything outside yourself really exists at all, and you are alone in the universe just imagining the entire reality. But the ride to solipsism is a boring one. If everything you percieve has NOTHING to do with a reality outside yourself, then there is no point in further speculating about anything. Conversation ends.

I'm a pragmatist. That thing over there looks like a tree to me. If you think that maybe there's not a tree, it's just you percieving a tree, and your perceptions are flawed, you are welcome to run towards it head first and see if you actually hit anything or not. :-)

Physical reality has a way of asserting itself. If your perceptions are sufficiently accurate to keep you from running into trees, they are probably not too far off.

Ellie: Well...there is a certain amount of "faith" in empiracle evidence.

Only if you insist on absolute certainty. If you are willing to live with "seems to be" then apparent empirical evidence is good enough. You can evaluate it and use the results of your evaluations without believing your conclusion is absolutely certainly true.

08-30-08 3:21  •  Right and Wrong

Aurora: I get really nervous when we use words like "morals are relative." Something is either right or wrong.

"Something" just is what it is. "Right" or "wrong" are judgements.

Which is not to suggest that it is arbitrary. Some acts almost everyone would agree should have the judgement "wrong" applied to them. But the "wrongness" is not somehow contained within the act. It is in the human perception of the act and its consequences.

For example - surely, any parent that kills its own offspring is wrong! Well, sometimes a lion will kill its own cubs. Is that "wrong"? Some people might say yes, it is wrong, but the lion doesn't know any better. Some might say it's built into the lion's survival programming, and so no, it is not wrong. Some might suggest that, as a lion, it has no "right" or "wrong" because those apply only to people, not other animals. The point is that the act itself does not contain inherent "rightness" or "wrongness". It's just something that happens. The rightness, wrongness or total lack thereof is a human judgement.

Same with anything. Practially everyone agrees that murder is wrong. It is a violation of the right to life, it causes tremendous pain, and it wreaks social havoc. That doesn't make the wrongness inside the murder. It's a judgement, one that we share.

You might notice the definition of what constitues murder varies from one society and one individual to the next. Is killing an Iraqi murder? Some judge yes, others no.

08-29-08 4:56  •  Believe In

Shawna: Faith is important! I believe we all need something to believe in.

Actually, no. I don't "believe" in anything in particular. I have a life of wonder, beauty and joy, but I am content to simply experience it, without forming "beliefs" about it. I am content to make assessments about what seems to be the case, and change my assessments as new information becomes available. And I am not at all bothered by "I don't know."

Shawna: It doesn't matter what you have faith in...whether you believe in Allah or the trees, you have respect for something that is awe-inspiring and mysterious in the world, I think that is wonderful.

That is the point. It is not necessary to "believe" in trees. They are manifest. It is not necessary to believe in anything to have respect for something awe-inspiring and mysterious. I do it every day. But somehow some people don't seem to find that as wonderful. :-)

Belle: Who is Danie to tell me that I'm raising my kids to think they are bad? I said I pray for forgiveness because I know I have sinned somewhere through out the day. When I say because I have sinned, I mean by flipping off the asshole who cut me off in traffic, losing my patience with a fellow human being over stupid crap, or losing my temper when I read stupid shit like what Danie posted.

Flying off the handle all the time, and then "asking God to forgive you," is a cheap out. If you are really having this kind of problem with your temper, I would say the onus is on you to learn to control yourself better.

Belle: I've noticed you are a pro at twisting ppl's words around until they just about want to choke someone.

You ought to get a handle on that.

Belle: Why does that offend you so much?

What makes you think I'm offended?

Belle: Why is it so wrong for me to have faith?

Where did I say it was wrong?

08-21-08 2:34  •  Boozy

In the midst of the discussion about legalizing marijuana:

Mrs. Wright: I still can't believe how many ppl get killed or kill another person b/c they've been drinking!! And it's STILL legal?! When will they (gov) wake up?!!

Louise: No, No, I need me a drink now and again....they can't make that illegal....


Louise: What is that suppose to mean? I am not allowed to have a drink?

You are allowed to have as many drinks as you want.

Louise: So, why such a comment?

You mean, "Wow"? I was really surprised that you would say you need a drug.

Louise: Well I never knew I needed to be so PC with you...maybe I should have said I would like to have a drink now and again...geesh! I don't NEED anything except my family...or is that wrong too?

Where did I say it was wrong?

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