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Discussion of the week (1/9/2006) - President Bush
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Glistam
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 10, 2006 5:51 am    Post subject: Discussion of the week (1/9/2006) - President Bush Reply with quote



Discuss.
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Madhatte
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 10, 2006 5:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I love Tom Tomorrow. I've been reading that strip for over a decade now.

Subject at hand: what if W really isn't an idiot? That scares me almost more than the Patriot Act. I don't mind being dumbed down. I do mind being manipulated.

FREEEEEEEKY
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Immyls
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 10, 2006 6:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

i have to agree with hatte here.

i'm not too happy to have a dumb pres, but it would be way worse if he was really smart and acting dumb on purpose.

of course, there is the third option... that he is smart, but has no social skills, and so he does know what he's talking about, but just can't articulate it well. hell, i know a kid who failed prototype after getting a 3.9 in a and power school, because he was so shy he couldn't get a checkout. just some food for thought.
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Mishlai
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 10, 2006 9:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

People who are close to the President tend to say that he's no dummy.

I frequently describe the President as being impossibly stupid but my true beliefs are this:

The President is extremely crafty, and a smart manager of people. On the other hand, he is uneducated (despite attending Yale and receiving presidential briefings daily) in many things, and does not have the attention span to look deeply into the details. I believe that Mr. Bush offsets this disadvantage by knowing what he doesn't know, and by hiring the appropriate talent to work out the details.

These assumptions are supported by the contrast between his policy decisions (which are brilliantly crafted to achieve an end while simultaneously stiffling opposition), and his inability to speak for himself in an unscripted environment.

In short - not smart exactly, but crafty, capable, and well supported.
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Immyls
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 10, 2006 1:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

the question at hand, though, isn't is he crafty or not. its is he driving, or is he being driven?
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 10, 2006 2:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oh, he drives. It's reckless and under the influence, but he's definitely behind the wheel.
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 10, 2006 7:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Glistam wrote:


Discuss.


Okay boss. The red 'x' centered over a small sea of white symbolizes both our internal conflict with our "bad" inner child and our blindness to the moral void of our own society.
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Immyls
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 10, 2006 7:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

the irony here is that when you quoted him, you got the pic, so we all see the comic, twice now, whereas you still just see some red 'x's. it amuses me.

suffice it to say that the important part of the comic is that it alludes to the frightening possibility that GW might know what's going on, and that we are all more disturbed by that thought than the thought that he is just incompetent.
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 10, 2006 8:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
it amuses me


That was entirely for your exclusive amusement, Immyls.

I've always thought W. knew what was going on. Considering the family he's from, I don't even think he's as much of a puppet as he is a puppeteer. I also think the hoky, good-natured, dumb, God-abiding fellah that speaks to the lowest element routine is the hokiest, easiest, and most effective routine for a politician.

I've been very afraid of W. ever since I found out that he used computerized vote counting by a Republican backed firm to steal victory in the fourteen out of fourteen states that used it, almost all of which had favored Gore before the "votes" were counted. Hell, I had been a W. over Gore guy before that. The balance of my opinion was definitely Tippered against Gore. Still is.

When it came to W. vs. Kerry I didn't bother with an opinion, since W. had already put an end to American democracy.

I'm no heavy-duty conspiracy theorist, but there's no way anyone's vote matters anymore.

I've always supported W.'s unapologetic foreign policy. Fuck Saddam. I don't care what W.'s real motives were. Point is we did a good thing. But the Patriot Act is pure concentrated evil. It's more UnAmerican than the commie witch hunts of the fifties.
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Mishlai
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 11, 2006 3:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Interestingly, someone recently proved that they could hack the diebold machines so that they would report incorrect results. When I say proved, I mean they hacked one.

http://www.bbvforums.org/forums/messages/1954/15595.html?1135923151

supporters of machine based voting dismissed the demonstration as being "unscientific"

We're off topic now, but I thought I'd throw that out there since it was mentioned.

Anyone with a lick of computer knowledge realizes that you can't trust that an electronic voting machine has not been compromised.

Quote:
In Fairfax County, Virginia in 2003, a programming error in the electronic-voting machines caused them to mysteriously subtract 100 votes from one candidate's totals.

In a 2003 election in Boone County, Iowa the electronic vote-counting equipment showed that more than 140,000 votes had been cast in the municipal elections, even though only half of the county's 50,000 residents were eligible to vote.

In San Bernardino County, California in 2001, a programming error caused the computer to look for votes in the wrong portion of the ballot in 33 local elections, which meant that no votes registered on those ballots for that election. A recount was done by hand.

In Volusia County, Florida in 2000, an electronic voting machine gave Al Gore a final vote count of negative 16,022 votes.

There are literally hundreds of similar stories.

that's from http://www.schneier.com/essay-068.html and those are just the mistakes that were so obvious that they could not be believed.

Hell, my laptop could be running a rootkit or an unknown virus right now. I just don't know. And the most powerful man in the world doesn't have anything to gain from compromising my laptop... imagine the infections that could take place if someone were really motivated.

A paper trail is the only reliable mechanism for proof that we have.
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Izane Bricks
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 11, 2006 3:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Tippered against Gore


That was terrible



I have to follow Mishlai on this one though. I know for a fact* that his "Texas" accent is fake.


*Note: directly from the internet
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Mishlai
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 11, 2006 5:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
I know for a fact* that his "Texas" accent is fake.


Links please?
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 11, 2006 6:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I could believe that his accent is fake. Nothing would surprise me. I just don't think it matters who's in office...they only have one interest: themselves and maybe a lucky few around them. I honestly do believe (and I know khimaira would agree) that its about time for another revolution.

<ducks for cover because Big Brother is listening>
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 11, 2006 6:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Quote:

Tippered against Gore



That was terrible


I second that motion.

Quote:
Quote:

I know for a fact* that his "Texas" accent is fake.



Links please?


WORD

Quote:
I honestly do believe (and I know khimaira would agree) that its about time for another revolution.


Dangerous words, my friend. 'Course, you know I got your back.
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We are going to have to stick a pin in a map, set fire to something and carry on until the earth looks flat! -- RandyMac

I could teach you to how file a washer to make it worth a nickel but if you really want to make big bucks just take a penny and drill a hole in it and it becomes a washer and is worth a dime. -- Art Martin, Old-Time Logger
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ashlad
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 11, 2006 8:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Quote:
I honestly do believe (and I know khimaira would agree) that its about time for another revolution.


Dangerous words, my friend. 'Course, you know I got your back.


Any one of about a dozen Robert A. Heinlein quotes would be appropriate, here.

Only question:

What kind of government would rear its head from the ashes of said revolution?

Some Woody Allen Movie--Bananas? wrote:
Now that we are finally in charge, all children under the age of sixteen will now be sixteen. Underwear will be changed once every half hour; underwear will be worn on the outside so we can check.


Oh, yeah, and I liked my Tipper dis. Y'all can kiss ma Texan ass.
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Izane Bricks
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 11, 2006 8:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

My source was the internet. Look as you might, everyone accuses the President of having a fake accent, but I have yet to see someone back the statement up properly.

The man is more Connecticutian than Texan. I do think he might have some kind of Texas accent; however, he certainly plays it up a lot.
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 11, 2006 9:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

George Bush's family moved to Texas when he was only 2 years old, and he stayed there until he left for Phillips Andover, probably when he was 15. So his accent is probably very influenced by Texas, though his parents are definitely New England Yankees. As much as I don't really like the man, I don't think his accent is fake. Linguists say that people's palates are formed by the time they're 12, so accents tend to be kept from those years.

I also am of the opinion he's not as dumb as people like to think he is, but his handlers want to avoid the sort of trouble Nixon had, who was very smart, and a bit arrogant about it.

source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_W._Bush

(edit - left an l out of Phillips)
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Mishlai
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 11, 2006 10:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
What kind of government would rear its head from the ashes of said revolution?


That's what I'm screaming.

We're not really that far from the mark right now. We need to fix campaigns as a whole, from the money to the honesty. We need to fix elections (or not fix them, depending on how you want to view that pun) The two party system is fucked. Ditto for Gerrymandering. These problems prevent moderates like McCain and Lieberman from ever being selected to run, even though most people would consider them both to be reasonable selections.

There are some other teaks to be made, but I have difficulty imagining a system of government that would be fundamentally different and substantially better than what we have.

Currently we have an Evil Fucker (EF) that people were duped into voting for. He has made a significant power grab, but is very far from having a true authoritarian grip.

Other options are:

An EF that is King. This system results in the occasional decent ruler.
An EF that is King with a parliament. Also known as "King EF light"
An EF that leads the revolution and then establishes a "temporary" military dictatorship. See Cuba, Pakistan, and countless others.
An EF running an authoritarian, sectarian government that is severe but largely functional. China, USSR, Iraq under Saddam, etc.
An EF running a totally dysfunctional sectarian government. N. Korea, various countries in Africa.
An EF running a puppet democracy, where elections are held but the results are not newsworthy. See Russia and others.
An EF running a patriarchal, woman hating theocracy. See some of the ME as well as the Vatican to a lesser degree.
Musical EF's - A system where the EFOD is selected to be in charge. Usually by showing up with guns and killing the supporters of yesterday's EFOD.


There are some variations and permutations, but that's more or less the list, with the exception of systems similar to ours (including the UK - technically a Monarchy but much more democratic in practice.)

The real problem, if you ask me, is that people don't give a shit. There will always be crooked, power hungry politicians. As long as there are people willing to vote them in, there will always be crooked, power hungry politicians in office.

We've taken for granted that America is a country of freedoms, liberty, and justice. That it will just always be that way without any kitchen table stewardship.

I'll stop now before I launch into a full-on Off Topic Rant
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 11, 2006 11:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
I have difficulty imagining a system of government that would be fundamentally different and substantially better than what we have.


I agree with the body of your post, Mishlai. However, I think you're giving in to conventional thought a little too quickly and willingly, here. This is an area I was trying to approach in my as yet unfinished rant on the Legalize Pot Discussion "of the Week" thread ages ago--the one I said I'd get back to when I'm back on dry land.

I think our system could be improved upon drastically. For example:

We could have a separation of church and state.

I really like the idea of trying to formulate an effective system of government on paper at a time when the need is not imminent. I also really like Heinlein's idea (Yes, I know that this is my second Heinlein reference on this thread, but this really is the man's area of expertise.) for a small (relatively speaking, of course), but revolutionary change to the structure of the two houses of congress. I won't go into detail here, as I believe I already have done so on the afore-mentioned thread. Look at it if you like. I don't want to beat my little drum with Ayn Rand like repetetiveness. Or shriek like a German midget Freak Boy.
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 11, 2006 11:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'd actually be fascinated to continue this discussion, and I'm going to start a new thread for it.
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