Debate and Discussion

the end of democracy in america
bobhhh at 9:04PM, Dec. 24, 2007
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Kilre
Of course saying “it's been done before” doesn't make the problems go away. But the fact that we've been there, done that, and still come out only slightly worse for wear …

Actually many lives and careers were ruined during the last redscare. Neighbors were turning each other in to the authorities, there was no end in sight.

Had it not been for brave souls like Murrow, McCarthy and his crew might have succeeded in chloroforming Democracy for good in this country. So it's not so far fetched. It's not a great leap from turning in your neighbors to secret police, or from interment camps to concentration camps.
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imshard at 9:31PM, Dec. 24, 2007
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bobhhh
imshard
Point is people hold double standards for their “party” and excuse the self-same types of behavior they decry their rivals for. Whine, deny, and argue all you want it won't change how all sides still flip-flop and say whatever they can to get more votes and cash for themselves.Glad to see you aren't a blind Clintonite at least its a nice change of pace.

I don't have double standards, if Clinton had done half of the things that Bush has done, I would have voted against his second term and criticized him every day. I give you that Clinton made mistakes, but not the outright subversion that Bush engages in.

Its not being fair and balaced to claim all politicians are the same when some are far worse than others.

And I invite you to not characterize my opinion as whining. I have a very well reasoned, if not passionate opinion. Just because you disagree is no cause for either of us to denigrate the validity each others position with a personal insult.

Here we are in a debate forum and you proclaim you won't take on my position point by point. Well then of what use is you're blanket condemnation of it? To make me look bad for having an opinion? We already know you think I'm wrong, why not engage in debate and poke holes in my logic?

It's so much easier to be vaguely critical than it is to discuss things in depth.

Its not just you, its other like you who will not acknowledge the opposition as anything but evil. I agree that some are worse than others, and blanketing them all was probably a mistake. Thing is everybody wants to say its their candidate who is the holy and pure one, for no other reason than they share a viewpoint. So kindly point out some politician who is “OK” for me. To say some are better posits an agreement that they are all rotten to some degree.

Your word choice and plain abhorrence for the president disturb me. When you make a reasoned statement instead wildly one-sided value comments, then I'll poke holes in your logic if I disagree with them. Until then what debate can I have with a sentence like “outright subversion that Bush engages in”. Make some point that can be debated, instead of hiding behind reactionary rhetoric and sniping that others are being evasive.

Nice on the “takeback”, we won't forget that you hold hatred though. Draw a logical conclusion from the evidence, instead of relying on your emotions and preconceptions to guide your thoughts.

As for Conspiracy:
when it comes to destroying America more of the Communist goals for destroying and subverting the US have come indisputably true than the items listed at the start of this thread.

Someone
CURRENT COMMUNIST GOALS:
1. U.S. acceptance of coexistence as the only alternative to atomic war.
2. U.S. willingness to capitulate in preference to engaging in atomic war.
3. Develop the illusion that total disarmament the United States would be a demonstration of moral strength.
4. Permit free trade between all nations regardless of Communist affiliation and regardless of whether or not items could be used for war.
5. Extension of long-term loans to Russia and Soviet satellites.
6. Provide American aid to all nations regardless of Communist domination.
7. Grant recognition of Red China. Admission of Red China to the U.N.
8. Set up East and West Germany as separate states in spite of Khrushchev's promise in 1955 to settle the German question by free elections under supervision of the U.N.
9. Prolong the conferences to ban atomic tests because the United States has agreed to suspend tests as long as negotiations are in progress.
10. Allow all Soviet satellites individual representation in the U.N.
11. Promote the U.N. as the only hope for mankind. If its charter is rewritten, demand that it be set up as a one-world government with its own independent armed forces. (Some Communist leaders believe the world can be taken over as easily by the U.N. as by Moscow. Sometimes these two centers compete with each other as they are now doing in the Congo.)
12. Resist any attempt to outlaw the Communist Party.
13. Do away with all loyalty oaths.
14. Continue giving Russia access to the U.S. Patent Office.
15. Capture one or both of the political parties in the United States.
16. Use technical decisions of the courts to weaken basic American institutions by claiming their activities violate civil rights.
17. Get control of the schools. Use them as transmission belts for socialism and current Communist propaganda. Soften the curriculum. Get control of teachers' associations. Put the party line in textbooks.
18. Gain control of all student newspapers.
19. Use student riots to foment public protests against programs or organizations which are under Communist attack.
20. Infiltrate the press. Get control of book-review assignments, editorial writing, policymaking positions.
21. Gain control of key positions in radio, TV, and motion pictures.
22. Continue discrediting American culture by degrading all forms of artistic expression. An American Communist cell was told to “eliminate all good sculpture from parks and buildings, substitute shapeless, awkward and meaningless forms.”
23. Control art critics and directors of art museums. “Our plan is to promote ugliness, repulsive, meaningless art.”
24. Eliminate all laws governing obscenity by calling them “censorship” and a violation of free speech and free press.
25. Break down cultural standards of morality by promoting pornography and obscenity in books, magazines, motion pictures, radio, and TV.
26. Present homosexuality, degeneracy and promiscuity as “normal, natural, healthy.”
27. Infiltrate the churches and replace revealed religion with “social” religion. Discredit the Bible and emphasize the need for intellectual maturity which does not need a “religious crutch.”
28. Eliminate prayer or any phase of religious expression in the schools on the ground that it violates the principle of “separation of church and state.”
29. Discredit the American Constitution by calling it inadequate, old-fashioned, out of step with modern needs, a hindrance to cooperation between nations on a worldwide basis.
30. Discredit the American Founding Fathers. Present them as selfish aristocrats who had no concern for the “common man.”
31. Belittle all forms of American culture and discourage the teaching of American history on the ground that it was only a minor part of the "big picture.& Give more emphasis to Russian history since the Communists took over.
32. Support any socialist movement to give centralized control over any part of the culture–education, social agencies, welfare programs, mental health clinics, etc.
33. Eliminate all laws or procedures which interfere with the operation of the Communist apparatus.
34. Eliminate the House Committee on Un-American Activities.
35. Discredit and eventually dismantle the FBI.
36. Infiltrate and gain control of more unions.
37. Infiltrate and gain control of big business.
38. Transfer some of the powers of arrest from the police to social agencies. Treat all behavioral problems as psychiatric disorders which no one but psychiatrists can understand .
39. Dominate the psychiatric profession and use mental health laws as a means of gaining coercive control over those who oppose Communist goals.
40. Discredit the family as an institution. Encourage promiscuity and easy divorce.
41. Emphasize the need to raise children away from the negative influence of parents. Attribute prejudices, mental blocks and retarding of children to suppressive influence of parents.
42. Create the impression that violence and insurrection are legitimate aspects of the American tradition; that students and special-interest groups should rise up and use united force to solve economic, political or social problems.
43. Overthrow all colonial governments before native populations are ready for self-government.
44. Internationalize the Panama Canal.
45. Repeal the Connally reservation so the United States cannot prevent the World Court from seizing jurisdiction over nations and individuals alike.
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last edited on July 14, 2011 12:58PM
ozoneocean at 9:41PM, Dec. 24, 2007
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You're right Bob. I read about the documents recently declassified that concerned J Edgar Hoover's proposal to arrest several thousand people simply on suspicion of “Un-American” activities and deny them a right to Habeas Corpus. Eisenhower never followed up with those recommendations, but the presidency of Bush Jnr seems to be following them in spirit. I don't know for sure but I think it's the first time in modern times that America has suspended Habeas Corpus for prisoners…

Whatever your political persuasion, I'd laugh at you and doubt your comprehension of reality if you didn't think the action of the last two invasions were somehow business as usual, the endorsement of torture, locking up political prisoners, POWs, and foreign civilians and calling hem “Unlawful enemy combatants” (WTF???????), kidnapping civilians off of the streets in other countries, flying them to secret prisons in Eastern Europe and the Middle East (Making them “disappear” ) and subjecting them to torture. Man, if you think that's normal for the US, perhaps you're in the wrong country?
 
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:29PM
bobhhh at 1:15AM, Dec. 25, 2007
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imshard
Its not just you, its other like you who will not acknowledge the opposition as anything but evil. I agree that some are worse than others, and blanketing them all was probably a mistake. Thing is everybody wants to say its their candidate who is the holy and pure one, for no other reason than they share a viewpoint.

Ok I never said this. I only pointed out things I felt were heinous acts on Bush's part. I further compared transgressions between Clinton and Bush because the general thrust was they are both as bad, or at least have both committed equally heinous acts.

I disagree and gave examples, so don't pretend I didn't, my earlier posts are there for all to read.

imshard
So kindly point out some politician who is “OK” for me. To say some are better posits an agreement that they are all rotten to some degree.

Take your pick, while i disagree with some more than others, no one running for president now is as dangerous to our contry and the world as GWB.

Almost all Democrats agree we should get out of Iraq, there's a good start. Ron Paul agrees.

McCain feels we should immediately declare all torture and gulags morally reprehensible and not the business of the United States.

The fact is this question is a tangent. I began this thread to discuss whether or not we have trod down the road Naomi Wolf has laid out. The sense I get from you is that Bush is just business as usual, as in Clinton was no better.

I have to take issue with that. Clinton would never have proposed something as vile and against the intent of the framers as the Patriot Act. He never tried to do an end run around FISA, or lure the telcom companies into collusion with bribes of deregulation. He never sanctioned torture even after terrorist acts against our military, hell even Reagan wouldn't think of that, because he respected the constitution and didn't want to take a nation of liberty down such an evil path. Clinton had many faults, but blithely stripping a person of his rights and dignity was not one of them.

imshard
Your word choice and plain abhorrence for the president disturb me. When you make a reasoned statement instead wildly one-sided value comments, then I'll poke holes in your logic if I disagree with them. Until then what debate can I have with a sentence like “outright subversion that Bush engages in”. Make some point that can be debated, instead of hiding behind reactionary rhetoric and sniping that others are being evasive.

Well I find Bush's abuses of his presidency abhorrent and inexcusable especially since he and his henchmen insist on wrapping themselves in the flag, that doesn't mean I haven't reasoned out my arguments. I challenge anyone to show where I am in error because I would rather know if I am wrong, all I have gotten from you is criticism of my methods and insults, not refutation of my statements.

imshard
Nice on the “takeback”, we won't forget that you hold hatred though. Draw a logical conclusion from the evidence, instead of relying on your emotions and preconceptions to guide your thoughts.

I don't rely on emotions, but I sometimes have trouble hiding them. Look, if someone I loved had been raped, you might not blame me for hating the rapist.

Well I feel lady liberty has been raped by the neocons, and Bush in particular, so my feeling about him are very strong.

I still don't know if I totally buy Wolf's methodology, but I do wish we weren't so high on the list of democracy killing actions taken by the governmet, and you can't deny that they have all happened on Bush's watch.
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last edited on July 14, 2011 11:29AM
bobhhh at 1:46AM, Dec. 25, 2007
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imshard
As for Conspiracy:
when it comes to destroying America more of the Communist goals for destroying and subverting the US have come indisputably true than the items listed at the start of this thread.

Someone
CURRENT COMMUNIST GOALS:
1. U.S. acceptance of coexistence as the only alternative to atomic war.
2. U.S. willingness to capitulate in preference to engaging in atomic war.
3. Develop the illusion that total disarmament the United States would be a demonstration of moral strength.
4. Permit free trade between all nations regardless of Communist affiliation and regardless of whether or not items could be used for war.
5. Extension of long-term loans to Russia and Soviet satellites.
6. Provide American aid to all nations regardless of Communist domination.
7. Grant recognition of Red China. Admission of Red China to the U.N.
8. Set up East and West Germany as separate states in spite of Khrushchev's promise in 1955 to settle the German question by free elections under supervision of the U.N.
9. Prolong the conferences to ban atomic tests because the United States has agreed to suspend tests as long as negotiations are in progress.
10. Allow all Soviet satellites individual representation in the U.N.
11. Promote the U.N. as the only hope for mankind. If its charter is rewritten, demand that it be set up as a one-world government with its own independent armed forces. (Some Communist leaders believe the world can be taken over as easily by the U.N. as by Moscow. Sometimes these two centers compete with each other as they are now doing in the Congo.)
12. Resist any attempt to outlaw the Communist Party.
13. Do away with all loyalty oaths.
14. Continue giving Russia access to the U.S. Patent Office.
15. Capture one or both of the political parties in the United States.
16. Use technical decisions of the courts to weaken basic American institutions by claiming their activities violate civil rights.
17. Get control of the schools. Use them as transmission belts for socialism and current Communist propaganda. Soften the curriculum. Get control of teachers' associations. Put the party line in textbooks.
18. Gain control of all student newspapers.
19. Use student riots to foment public protests against programs or organizations which are under Communist attack.
20. Infiltrate the press. Get control of book-review assignments, editorial writing, policymaking positions.
21. Gain control of key positions in radio, TV, and motion pictures.
22. Continue discrediting American culture by degrading all forms of artistic expression. An American Communist cell was told to “eliminate all good sculpture from parks and buildings, substitute shapeless, awkward and meaningless forms.”
23. Control art critics and directors of art museums. “Our plan is to promote ugliness, repulsive, meaningless art.”
24. Eliminate all laws governing obscenity by calling them “censorship” and a violation of free speech and free press.
25. Break down cultural standards of morality by promoting pornography and obscenity in books, magazines, motion pictures, radio, and TV.
26. Present homosexuality, degeneracy and promiscuity as “normal, natural, healthy.”
27. Infiltrate the churches and replace revealed religion with “social” religion. Discredit the Bible and emphasize the need for intellectual maturity which does not need a “religious crutch.”
28. Eliminate prayer or any phase of religious expression in the schools on the ground that it violates the principle of “separation of church and state.”
29. Discredit the American Constitution by calling it inadequate, old-fashioned, out of step with modern needs, a hindrance to cooperation between nations on a worldwide basis.
30. Discredit the American Founding Fathers. Present them as selfish aristocrats who had no concern for the “common man.”
31. Belittle all forms of American culture and discourage the teaching of American history on the ground that it was only a minor part of the "big picture.& Give more emphasis to Russian history since the Communists took over.
32. Support any socialist movement to give centralized control over any part of the culture–education, social agencies, welfare programs, mental health clinics, etc.
33. Eliminate all laws or procedures which interfere with the operation of the Communist apparatus.
34. Eliminate the House Committee on Un-American Activities.
35. Discredit and eventually dismantle the FBI.
36. Infiltrate and gain control of more unions.
37. Infiltrate and gain control of big business.
38. Transfer some of the powers of arrest from the police to social agencies. Treat all behavioral problems as psychiatric disorders which no one but psychiatrists can understand .
39. Dominate the psychiatric profession and use mental health laws as a means of gaining coercive control over those who oppose Communist goals.
40. Discredit the family as an institution. Encourage promiscuity and easy divorce.
41. Emphasize the need to raise children away from the negative influence of parents. Attribute prejudices, mental blocks and retarding of children to suppressive influence of parents.
42. Create the impression that violence and insurrection are legitimate aspects of the American tradition; that students and special-interest groups should rise up and use united force to solve economic, political or social problems.
43. Overthrow all colonial governments before native populations are ready for self-government.
44. Internationalize the Panama Canal.
45. Repeal the Connally reservation so the United States cannot prevent the World Court from seizing jurisdiction over nations and individuals alike.

Well its rare that I am speechless. I am truly confused by this, perhaps you could elucidate it's relevance to this debate.
My name is Bob and I approved this signature.
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:29AM
ozoneocean at 3:38AM, Dec. 25, 2007
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That list is more funny than anything else. It's as if J Edgar Hoover had put on an evening gown as was here presenting it himself, foaming at the mouth lol!

Ah, there's random silly conceptions of ideologies that anyone can come up with, but then there's also reality. At the moment se see the reality of the Bush presidency Number 2, and it's quite similar to a South American 1970's administration or Yugoslavia in the 50's.
 
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:29PM
mapaghimagsik at 1:12PM, Dec. 25, 2007
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Hoover was a scary old queen. A role model for many, I'm afraid.
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:51PM
Kilre at 5:51PM, Dec. 25, 2007
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bobhhh
Kilre
Of course saying “it's been done before” doesn't make the problems go away. But the fact that we've been there, done that, and still come out only slightly worse for wear …

Actually many lives and careers were ruined during the last redscare. Neighbors were turning each other in to the authorities, there was no end in sight.

Had it not been for brave souls like Murrow, McCarthy and his crew might have succeeded in chloroforming Democracy for good in this country. So it's not so far fetched. It's not a great leap from turning in your neighbors to secret police, or from interment camps to concentration camps.

I can't help but feel you misunderstood me. I know we came out of the Scares with scars.

The reason we are not going to go into some fascist regime is because the people won't stand for it. I won't. It happened before, hence my mentioning of the Red Scares–which, indeed, mirror our own situation–and like that period I have full confidence in the ability of the apathetic masses to get off their asses if the going ever got rough, and to change things. We did it then, we can change things now. Thing is, it's S.E.P. (someone else's problem) right now, so there's no real drive to change things.

Approaching the problem like most conspiracy nuts do, however, is not how the problem should be solved, though I concede that it would take an almost Hollywood-esque, sensationalized approach that only conspiracy theories can bring to get the idiot masses into motion.
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:15PM
imshard at 6:33PM, Dec. 25, 2007
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bobhhh
Well its rare that I am speechless. I am truly confused by this, perhaps you could elucidate it's relevance to this debate.

A. its a conspiracy theory
B. it ties into the mention of communism
C. It was a desperate attempt to take the obsessed focus off of partisan politics and put it back on conspiracy theories aimed at destroying the country
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bobhhh at 1:09AM, Dec. 26, 2007
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imshard
bobhhh
Well its rare that I am speechless. I am truly confused by this, perhaps you could elucidate it's relevance to this debate.

A. its a conspiracy theory
B. it ties into the mention of communism
C. It was a desperate attempt to take the obsessed focus off of partisan politics and put it back on conspiracy theories aimed at destroying the country

I see what you mean now, I guess I was having trouble believing you were actually comparing these two lists.

The commie thing was filled with things that only a frightened reactionary would be afraid of. Scan that list and you find things that aren't that bad at all like granting China admission to the UN and tolerance of homosexuals. Other things on the list never happened and even more would never happen.

Whereas Naomi Wolfe's 10 points are serious infractions on freedoms guaranteed by the constitution, and many have happened and they are all bad!!!

How you can compare with a straight face things like internationalizing the Panama canal and Eliminating the House Unamerican activities commision with creating a secret prison system that exacts torture outside the rule of law is beyond me.

You like to accuse me of being blindly partizan, but I only want to discuss the validity of Wolfe's assumptions and the possible consequences. You seem hell bent on discrediting my opinion and casting her assertions as beneath discussion.

What gives?
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last edited on July 14, 2011 11:29AM
bobhhh at 1:29AM, Dec. 26, 2007
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Kilre
bobhhh
Kilre
Of course saying “it's been done before” doesn't make the problems go away. But the fact that we've been there, done that, and still come out only slightly worse for wear …

Actually many lives and careers were ruined during the last redscare. Neighbors were turning each other in to the authorities, there was no end in sight.

Had it not been for brave souls like Murrow, McCarthy and his crew might have succeeded in chloroforming Democracy for good in this country. So it's not so far fetched. It's not a great leap from turning in your neighbors to secret police, or from interment camps to concentration camps.

I can't help but feel you misunderstood me. I know we came out of the Scares with scars.

The reason we are not going to go into some fascist regime is because the people won't stand for it. I won't. It happened before, hence my mentioning of the Red Scares–which, indeed, mirror our own situation–and like that period I have full confidence in the ability of the apathetic masses to get off their asses if the going ever got rough, and to change things. We did it then, we can change things now. Thing is, it's S.E.P. (someone else's problem) right now, so there's no real drive to change things.

Approaching the problem like most conspiracy nuts do, however, is not how the problem should be solved, though I concede that it would take an almost Hollywood-esque, sensationalized approach that only conspiracy theories can bring to get the idiot masses into motion.

Ok, I see what you are saying and you have a valid point, if I understand it correctly, we didn't stand for it in the 50's and we won't stand for it now. Deep down this makes sense to me. We are complacent as Americans, but if stirred we are capable of great things.

I guess my response is that we came awful damn close during McCarthy, too close for my liking. Maybe if we had Wolfe's 10 points as part of the collective unconscious, it may have blocked McCarthy from gaining as much power as he did. Perhaps considering her thesis is exactly the stirring we need now?

Is it posssible to consider the validity of her argument without tying it to a yes or no prediction on whether deomcracy will die for certain in the near future? I feel we are a bit worse off as a nation and as individuals because of some of things on that list. And I can't as easily dissmiss the possibility, however remote, that it may yet happen.

After all had you asked me I wouldn't have thought Justice Clarenece Thomas would have been accused during his confirmation of placing a pubic hair on a Coke can in congress, Clinton would have been impeached for lying about a blow job, The Bush/Gore election would have gone to the Supreme Court, or a black man and a woman would be front runners for their party's presidential campaign.

What is it confuscious said? May you live in interesting times?
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last edited on July 14, 2011 11:29AM
imshard at 10:38AM, Dec. 26, 2007
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Point by point breakdown.

1. Invoke an internal and external threat and hype it. <- commonly used political device used by every presidency since Garfield
2. Create a secret prison system that exact torture outside the rule of law.<- in use since the before the cold war, yet hasn't been used against US citizens
3. Create a paramilitary force that can intimidate citizens. <- No evidence of such a force exists. Historical example being Hitler's Sturmtruppe (stormtroopers)
4. Create a surveillance apparatus. <- all efforts in this area are almost always shot down by privacy advocates as soon as they are proposed/discovered
5. Arbitrarily detain and release citizens. <- no citizens have been detained without due course that I've heard of
6. Infiltrate citizens groups with police and federal agents. <- you'd have to be crazy if you count terrorists, mafia, and drug dealers as citizen groups
7. Target key individuals with intimidation. <- This thread wouldn't exist if folks were afraid of the government
8. Restrict and intimidate the press. <- The sheer amount of public discourse over politics and freely available info on how poorly the wars are going discounts this one
9. Recast criticism as espionage and dissent as treason. <- Name an official who wouldn't and then name a single person who fell for it.
10. Subvert the rule of law, or simply declare martial law. <- attempts have been made and failed. Martial Law has not been used in a long time.

Sorry if I ever offended you Bobhhh it really wasn't what I intended.
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last edited on July 14, 2011 12:58PM
bobhhh at 4:21PM, Dec. 26, 2007
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imshard
Point by point breakdown.

1. Invoke an internal and external threat and hype it. <- commonly used political device used by every presidency since Garfield
2. Create a secret prison system that exact torture outside the rule of law.<- in use since the before the cold war, yet hasn't been used against US citizens
3. Create a paramilitary force that can intimidate citizens. <- No evidence of such a force exists. Historical example being Hitler's Sturmtruppe (stormtroopers)
4. Create a surveillance apparatus. <- all efforts in this area are almost always shot down by privacy advocates as soon as they are proposed/discovered
5. Arbitrarily detain and release citizens. <- no citizens have been detained without due course that I've heard of
6. Infiltrate citizens groups with police and federal agents. <- you'd have to be crazy if you count terrorists, mafia, and drug dealers as citizen groups
7. Target key individuals with intimidation. <- This thread wouldn't exist if folks were afraid of the government
8. Restrict and intimidate the press. <- The sheer amount of public discourse over politics and freely available info on how poorly the wars are going discounts this one
9. Recast criticism as espionage and dissent as treason. <- Name an official who wouldn't and then name a single person who fell for it.
10. Subvert the rule of law, or simply declare martial law. <- attempts have been made and failed. Martial Law has not been used in a long time.

Sorry if I ever offended you Bobhhh it really wasn't what I intended.

Apology accepted.
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last edited on July 14, 2011 11:29AM
arteestx at 7:50AM, Dec. 28, 2007
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First of all, I agree that the likelihood of America slipping into some sort of fascist govt is pretty remote. The beauty of the American system is that it tends to be self-correcting over time and it is designed to be extremely difficult to do anything so no one individual or party can completely take over. Given that, however, I do think there are disturbing trends in what GWBush has been doing over the past seven years….

imshard
2. Create a secret prison system that exact torture outside the rule of law.<- in use since the before the cold war, yet hasn't been used against US citizens
5. Arbitrarily detain and release citizens. <- no citizens have been detained without due course that I've heard of
Untrue. Jose Padilla was an American citizen, arrested in Chicago in 2002, declared an “enemy combatant” by the govt and was sent to a brig in South Carolina with no notice given to any attorney or family member and without any criminal charges made against him. He also claims he was subjected to torture during this incarceration. After much legal wrangling, he was transferred to a civilian court, and in 2007 was charged and found guilty. But for 5 years, this American citizen was secretly detained with no formal charges and perhaps tortured. Five years without due process.

In addition, I think the case of Yaser Hamdi is alarming in so many ways, and points to potential abuses by our govt. Here's a former American citizen who is now a citizen of Saudia Arabia, captured in Afghanistan fighting for the Taliban. Clearly a possible terrorist that we needed to detain, absolutely. So what does our govt do? First, they won't tell anyone (not Congress, not the courts, NO one) who they have captured. No names, no charges, no nothing, and the courts eventually overturned that. Hamdi was given access to a lawyer (over 2 years after he was first captured) and defended the right for Hamdi to know what charges he's being detained under. In 2004, the Supreme Court ruled that the govt must give Hamdi this right to know the charges (habeus corpus). When the govt lost that case, they released him in Saudia Arabia. So here's this terrible terrorist, secretly detained with no charges, and once the govt is forced to say why they're holding this person, they let him go. Say what?

These two folks are not buddies and chums and we do need to arrest and detain dangerous terrorists. But I do find it disturbing that our govt has continually fought for the right to detain citizens secretly, to detain citizens without charges, and to define torture in a way so that anything short of death isn't considered torture.

And whether or not someone is a legal citizen or not is irrelevant to me. If China detained an American citizen without charges for years, in a secret prison where no one knew where he was, and tortured this person, we in this country would be outraged. To do all these things to non-citizens in our own country is no less outrageous.


imshard
4. Create a surveillance apparatus. <- all efforts in this area are almost always shot down by privacy advocates as soon as they are proposed/discovered.
And the fact that our govt hid this for years and years doesn't bother anyone? And that they are continuing to fight for this ability?


imshard
10. Subvert the rule of law, or simply declare martial law. <- attempts have been made and failed. Martial Law has not been used in a long time.
I'm not worried about marial law, but I do think GWBush is subverting the rule of law through his signing statements. For those who don't know, Bush often signs laws with signing statements that allow him to go outside the confines of the law and undermine Congressional intent. So far he's done this over 750 times.

Again, I think in the long run Bush will go down in history as a president who tried to go outside the Constitution and subvert the law whenever he saw fit. And I hope that his abuses will be brought to light and ultimately limited. That's the self-correction of our system that I do love. But the fact that this could be done at all, and that most people either don't know or aren't bothered by these abuses worries me. No, we won't be a fascist society, but we may become a country that allows for detaining people without charges, torturing people as we see fit, and that's ok with most folks as long as it's against non-citizens or extremists.

Xolta is not intended for anyone under 18 years old.
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:02AM
bobhhh at 8:19AM, Dec. 28, 2007
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thanks Arty, I was going to post something similar, but I didn't want this to become a dialog between me and Shard.

It's nice to know someone else is paying attention. Personally I still can't get past Gitmo.

Doesn't anyone else find it ironic that Bush hates Castro so much he won't even entertain the notion of lifting sanctions on Cuba even though we now have full diplomatic and economic relationships with Russia, and yet he finds it oh so expedient to send Fidel buttloads of cash so that we can run a chamber of horrors outside the rule of law.

Christ, even Nixon and Reagan didn't have that level of nefarious disrespect for the constitution.
My name is Bob and I approved this signature.
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:29AM
TitanOne at 5:40PM, Dec. 29, 2007
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TH89
Kilre
Anyone who thinks we're the “best country evar” is delusional.

Pish posh!

Which one is the best evar, in your opinion?



The America of our Founders in the early Nineteenth Century was the best country ever. No resemblance to the modern-day nation that is the United States at all.
last edited on July 14, 2011 4:30PM
imshard at 6:49PM, Dec. 29, 2007
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“When running from bear, you don't have to be fastest, just faster than the other guy”
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last edited on July 14, 2011 12:58PM
TitanOne at 5:08PM, Jan. 1, 2008
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bobhhh
TitanOne
Sort of like the rationalizations of Democrats over perjury, sexual harrassment, bombing Serbia, burning women and children to death at Mount Carmel, sanctions starving thousands of Iraqi citizens to death, and the seizure at gunpoint of Elian Gonzales? They rationalized away or ignored every single one of the Clinton Administration's abuses.

You can't be serious? The Branch Davidians were the ones who loaded their homes with ammunition, fuel cannisters and explosives, they were heavily armed and opened fire on the federal agents, where exactly did the government go wrong? You know, if my home was a powder keg, I would make it my business not to open fire on a swat team. That place was like a trap just waiting to be sprung.

And please don't tell me that stoping genocide in the balkans was a mistake. Milosovich needed to be stopped, even our allies thought so. No one at the UN complained about Bosnia, you think they would support a war just so Clinton could get away with cheating on his wife?? I only wish Bush had the guts to do the same in Burma and Darfur instead of trying to steal oil from the Iraquis.

And please, sanctions??? At least Clinton didn't go marching into Bagdad, guns blazing and level the infrastructure, disband the military and police, and destabilize the government. At least they had electricity during sanctions. At least whole families weren't being bombed into oblivion. You need to recheck your facts.

And please spare me the retread of the Clinton impeachment/screw job. That international embarrassment of the Right's botched vendetta on Clinton's presidency never turned up a single prosecution. It was all a fucking smear job. They started investigating one thing and then just kept throwing shit on the wall to see what could stick, until they found some semen. It was a disgusting perversion of our constitution to claim that a duely elected president should be impeached because he lied about a blowjob.

The only thing on your list I can concede is the Elian Gonzales story. But if that's the worst Clinton did compared to George W. Douche, then I'd say he's OK in my book.

Abuses? You wanna talk abuses? How about suspending habeas corpus and due process? How about subverting FISA? How about operating gulags like Gitmo? How about torturing prisoners? How about allowing people to drown in New Orleans(gee, wouldn't it have been nice if their National Guard units weren't all off in Iraq?)? You know the National guard isn't supposed to be called up to fight outside our borders unless its armageddon!! They are supposed to protect us here at home. Let's not forget the veterans who can't get decent health care or even the soldiers who's wives end up on welfare or the parents have to buy their kids kevlar to wear into battle.

And the worst, most heinous travesty of all: the profane use of the 911 tragedy to cynically and conveniently sell their long term desire to invade Iraq, even though Hussein was well known in the intelligence community to never be even possibly allied with Bin Laden. They even dropped their search for Bin Laden and wasted their time hunting Hussein. Wouldn't it have been nice for them to concentrate on actually catching the guy who razed the WTC? If Bin Laden perptrates another major attack on US Soil it will be on Bush's head for wasting manpower in Iraq that could have captured Osama and brought him to justice.

People who compare Bush's easily visible crimes and blunders to Clinton's supposed trangressions never manage to prove anything except their irrational hatred of Clinton.

Bob, you misunderstood me. I wasn't really comparing Bush to Clinton. I was pointing out double standards with party partisans..loyalists. I don't like either party. I also don't hate Clinton.

I think Clinton was a lousy president. I think George W. Bush is a horrible president. Eminently impeachable, which is where I usually run afoul with liberal Democrats…Bush, by this writing, should have either resigned in disgrace, like Nixon, under threat of Impeachment, or he should be right in the middle of his House Impeachment hearings as we speak, under the magnifying glass.

Pelosi and Conyers gave him a pass…I don't know why. I can speculate on the reasons. There aren't any logical, ethical ones.
last edited on July 14, 2011 4:30PM
imshard at 5:45PM, Jan. 1, 2008
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Clearly there are reasons that we the public are not privy to.
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last edited on July 14, 2011 12:58PM
bobhhh at 6:55PM, Jan. 1, 2008
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TitanOne
Bob, you misunderstood me…

OK, I hope you could see why I was mistaken. As I have said on another thread. I mostly agree with you.
My name is Bob and I approved this signature.
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:29AM
arteestx at 11:10AM, Jan. 2, 2008
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TitanOne
I think Clinton was a lousy president. I think George W. Bush is a horrible president. Eminently impeachable, which is where I usually run afoul with liberal Democrats…Bush, by this writing, should have either resigned in disgrace, like Nixon, under threat of Impeachment, or he should be right in the middle of his House Impeachment hearings as we speak, under the magnifying glass.

Pelosi and Conyers gave him a pass…I don't know why. I can speculate on the reasons. There aren't any logical, ethical ones.
I think Bush is a disgrace to this country, and that when the founding fathers put in place an impeachment process to protect us from abuses of the Executive branch, I think the GWBush administration is the exact kind of thing they were afraid of and would be repulsed by.

Having said that, I think Democrats were wise not to go through with impeachment.

First reason, legal. What exactly would one prosecute Bush for? Lying to the American public about the reasons for the Iraq war would be extremely difficult to prove. At most, the NSA and other agencies were saying “we know Hussein wants nuclear weapons, but we have no evidence about how far he may have gotten.” And that's a far cry from “no way does he have them” and then Bush invading anyway. If you consider what Colin Powell, Condoleeza Rice, Donald Rumsfeld, etc. were saying about Saddam and the likely possibility of him having nuclear weapons (which turned out to be untrue), then you'd have a hard time proving that Bush lied. If you look at Bush's speeches, he often used Saddam and 9-11 in the same sentence, but he never actually said Saddam had anything to do with 9-11. Misleading? Absolutely. But impeachable? Questionable.

Prosecute Bush for abuses of Gitmo, FISA, etc.? Riiight, prosecute Bush for being TOO tough on terrorists. He would *love* that and Dems would further be cast as anti-military and/or not taking terrorism seriously. Even though I absolutely agree that Bush did violate the law and abuse power, no party wants to be the one that is known for protecting the rights of terrorists. And Bush's approval ratings would soar back up to over 50% within a week.

Plus, you have to remember that Republicans took power in 1994 and it took 4 years to find enough evidence to make an impeachment that failed, even though we all know that Clinton did actually do something with Monica and didn't want to tell the truth about it. But it took 4 years to get something. Democrats had no opportunity to ask for any documents or evidence about Bush (or impeach) until they took power in Jan 2007. They were not going to be able to step up and immediately have enough evidence to impeach Bush, and it would come across as blatantly partisan to impeach the opposing party's president within months of gaining power without conclusive evidence. Plus, the Congressional Republicans are continuing to protect Bush's abuses, which further complicates Dem's ability to find evidence, let alone actually impeach.

I wish there were some smoking gun out there that shows Bush's abuses. I wish there were some agent that would stand up and say “the Administration told me to change the data about Iraq so they could invade.” I wish there were some concrete evidence that shows how Bush has betrayed the Constitution. But so far there isn't. I have my own opinions that Bush has in fact betrayed the separation of powers and Constitution this country was founded on, and I think Bush will be mercilessly judged by history as incompetent and an abuser of power. But I think that will come with the clarity of time and when records are found and/or released. For now, Dems should continue holding hearings, continue fighting to get access to records and documents (continually stonewalled by the Administration now), and not seriously consider impeachment at all for now.

Xolta is not intended for anyone under 18 years old.
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:02AM
bobhhh at 5:25PM, Jan. 4, 2008
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arteestx
I wish there were some smoking gun out there that shows Bush's abuses.

How about a smouldering ember? It's been six years since 911 and between Karsai, Musharraaf and Bush, they haven't turned up Bin Laden yet.

Considering all the money and lives spent I consider it to be a gross miscarriage of duty. Of course they might have concentrated their efforts in Afghanistan and Pakistan, but just like the old joke they were looking for him in Iraq because the light(oil) was better over there.
My name is Bob and I approved this signature.
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:29AM
arteestx at 5:43PM, Jan. 4, 2008
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bobhhh
How about a smouldering ember? It's been six years since 911 and between Karsai, Musharraaf and Bush, they haven't turned up Bin Laden yet…. Considering all the money and lives spent I consider it to be a gross miscarriage of duty.
If the Constitution said we could impeach a president for being incompetent, I think Bush would be out of a job in no time. If being wrong were impeachable, proving that Bush was completely and utterly wrong about Iraq having WMDs would be ridiculously easy. No doubt. But that's not what the Constitution says is impeachable.

Xolta is not intended for anyone under 18 years old.
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:02AM
bobhhh at 5:59PM, Jan. 4, 2008
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arteestx
bobhhh
How about a smouldering ember? It's been six years since 911 and between Karsai, Musharraaf and Bush, they haven't turned up Bin Laden yet…. Considering all the money and lives spent I consider it to be a gross miscarriage of duty.
If the Constitution said we could impeach a president for being incompetent, I think Bush would be out of a job in no time. If being wrong were impeachable, proving that Bush was completely and utterly wrong about Iraq having WMDs would be ridiculously easy. No doubt. But that's not what the Constitution says is impeachable.

And yet they tried to oust clinton for lying about a blow job. I mean really, if you were married to Hillary wouldn't you lie out of sheer terror? lol!

Seriously, the first promise a president makes, under oath, is to obey and protect the constitution, I think his disrespect for that promise alone makes him impeachable.
My name is Bob and I approved this signature.
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:29AM
StaceyMontgomery at 4:58AM, Jan. 5, 2008
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It's important to note that the US Constitution is carefully vague about the “High crimes and misdemeanors” that would justify impeachment. The impeachment process is a political one, not really a legal one. “High crimes and misdemeanors” means whatever the Congress wants it to mean.

That's why it was possible to impeach Clinton, and that's why it is possible to impeach Bush. In fact, the Congress *can* impeach someone for being incompetent. Or just for pissing people off.

As it happens, impeachment is a poor and clumsy tool, and I dont think it's a good idea to encourage Congress to use it more. The Clinton impeachment was just silly, and we do not need to have that repeated. It does not seem like a good idea to encourage Congress to think “impeachment” whenever they are unhappy. It would just happen more and more often, with each party “getting back” at the other endlessly whenever they have the majority.

The correct way to repair the damage to the Constitution is vote for Presidents, Senators, and Congressmen who understand the Constitution and believe in the the basic principles of the Rule of law - that is, if you can find any.
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:55PM
mishi_hime at 7:19AM, Jan. 5, 2008
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StaceyMontgomery
The impeachment process is a political one, not really a legal one. “High crimes and misdemeanors” means whatever the Congress wants it to mean.

As it happens, impeachment is a poor and clumsy tool, and I dont think it's a good idea to encourage Congress to use it more.

The government can make anything mean whatever they want it to mean, so can the press.
and even if you did impeach someone it's really not going to achieve anything you really wanted.I agree its a clumsy tool at best.

last edited on July 14, 2011 2:03PM
bobhhh at 7:51AM, Jan. 5, 2008
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Perhaps you are right, but i would like to point out that many people here like to imagine there are no differences between Republicans and Democrats.

I would enter as exhibit A that National Party Republicans are more corrosively partisan than their Democratic counterparts: the Clinton Impeachment, which Gingrich, Lott and Delay insisted on prosecuting for the flimsiest of reasons, even though they definitely knew in advance that they didn't have the votes in the senate to get a conviction. It was a waste of time, money and international exposure.

Why?? Because they could. They abused the constitution to embarrass a popular president to gain some advantage in the following election cycle. It was a screw job on Clinton and the constitution.

My name is Bob and I approved this signature.
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:29AM
CharleyHorse at 3:32PM, Jan. 5, 2008
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Don't bother Bob. Some people are simply incapable of understanding that just because you take the high road in a noble manner - as they insist democrats do - the other group of partisans are not necessarily going to also take the high road - the republican leadership and blind partisans.

There are vast numbers of people who really, honestly believe that Bush has nothing to answer for for the Iraq Venture lies and resulting accidental or deliberate mismanagement and that Clinton was far, far more evil and harmful to this nation for having consenting sex with an intern of legal age and they lying about the same.

At this point one must understand that people who can hold dear either paragraph block one or paragraph block two to their hearts despite all the evidence to the contrary are never going to listen to reason.
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TnTComic at 3:35PM, Jan. 5, 2008
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mishi_hime
The government can make anything mean whatever they want it to mean, so can the press.
and even if you did impeach someone it's really not going to achieve anything you really wanted.I agree its a clumsy tool at best.

Tell that to Nixon.


CharleyHorse
There are vast numbers of people who really, honestly believe that Bush has nothing to answer for for the Iraq Venture lies and resulting accidental or deliberate mismanagement

If you ask me, the dude should be faced with AT LEAST an impeachment for the Valerie Plame incident. I'm pretty sure its treason when you expose a spy's identity.
last edited on July 14, 2011 4:31PM
Hawk at 9:52PM, Jan. 5, 2008
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Can somebody clarify something for me? Does the president necessarily have to commit treason or break the law to be impeached? They can't be taken out of office for not meeting the approval of U.S. citizens?
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:46PM

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