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» Hatrack River Forum » Active Forums » Books, Films, Food and Culture » Is anyone here still a Republican? (Page 2)

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Author Topic: Is anyone here still a Republican?
Kwea
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quote:
Originally posted by Rakeesh:
Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa.

Whoa.

Let's not let perfectly reasonable speculation like that get in the way of insinuating Republicans protect gang rape if it helps defense contractors.

[ROFL]
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AvidReader
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quote:
Originally posted by The Rabbit:
The issue at hand is whether or not she can sue Halliburton/KBR and its managers for creating and maintaining the unsafe working/living conditions in which this rape occurred, for failing to respond to repeated complaints about the unsafe conditions and for mishandling the the case after the rape occurred (including loosing evidence, failing to provide adequate medical and psychological help, locking up the victim in a container and so on).

Of course she should. If that's what Congress wants to address, that's what they should address. Claiming they won't pay the contractors unless they deal with it is a bluff - one I firmly believe Halliburton/KBR would call. Congress should try doing its own job for a change instead of trying to make everyone else do it for them.

People shouldn't be able to sign away their right to safe working conditions. Period.

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scholarette
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FlyingCow- I know someone who donates a huge amount of time and money to the poor and is a strong libertarian. I have always assumed that is why she assumes it would work- because if people were like her, it would. However, one major issue is she helps people she knows in need who she believes are deserving. The problem is, what about those people who she decides are not worthy of her help. If someone is not "worthy" they are just screwed. Since kids are often the most likely to be hurt when parent's worthiness are judged, I am not a big fan of that (for example, many people believe if a parent buys alcohol and so they don't deserve WIC or food stamps).
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steven
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"...or example, many people believe if a parent buys alcohol and so they don't deserve WIC or food stamps)..."

Or if a parent belongs to a different church, or watches porn, or has a nose ring, or wears a low-cut shirt, etc., etc., etc.

This is my argument against religious charities. In theory, it's a great idea. In practice, no religion would ever give money to certain people.

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Traceria
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quote:
Originally posted by FlyingCow:
quote:
An example: I'd rather see normal citizens going about helping those less fortunate than letting the government handle organizing it, etc.
This is actually very interesting to me, as I have heard relatives of mine say very similar: they would willingly give money to people who need healthcare, but would never give money to the government to help people who need healthcare.

It's a strange sentiment, at least in my eyes.

My first question is always... "okay, how much do you give right now?" - because very often the sentiment to give is there, but the actual act of giving is not.

How many "normal citizens" do you think it will take to truly go around and help everyone who needs it? And, do you think "normal" citizens would actually go around and give this help? What if American Idol is on at the time?

It's a great concept to trust to human kindness. It's also more pie-in-the-sky than even the most audaciously liberal social program to believe that charitable giving is the solution.

I'll try to explain some of my thinking on this, and a great deal of it is opinion, so know that going in.

First, there appears to be this gradual process that's going on in my view that goes something like this: people allow gov't to organize aid because they genuinely want less fortunate helped -> people give over responsibility that they used to take up themselves -> people take for granted that gov't should handle this stuff -> people get lazy and choose to watch American Idol instead of chipping in as they were want to do in the (distant?) past

In a sense, I think we're losing our sense of social responsibility, and it is due in part to the mentality that this responsibility has been passed off so we no longer have it or at least have less of it ourselves.

I grew up with a family, parents and a church that tried to remain active in helping those in need. When they told us in middle and high school (in Maryland) that we needed 70 service hours to graduate, I'd technically gotten all mine in before I even got to 9th grade. We'd go into downtown Baltimore about twice a month, for example, and help prepare food and serve it to homeless in the Fells Point area. We'd help put up teenagers coming into the area to do Habitat for Humanity type work and would chip in the summers. We'd go off on our own service projects, like volunteering to do odd jobs at a place that helped homeless men with addictions get their lives back on track. Did I, a young female at the time, necessarily work one-on-one with them? No, but if they needed beds made, I made them. If they needed stuff sorted at their thrift shop which helped raise funds, I sorted. I remember giving away my cassette walkman and a bunch of cassettes to a guy I met at that particular place at the age of sixteen. Likewise, I used to walk by this same homeless man on my way from the parking garage to our office building (we've since moved offices), and would now and then give him a bag full of various packaged food stuffs. My parents have now taken under their wing a second family (a mother and son) that were homeless and not only assist them by having them over to let the mom do their laundry, but have helped them meet with people sort out money owed to a hospital, with rent money, with medical issues, etc. They have had them over for many holidays and provided all the fixings for a Thanksgiving meal, give them rides when they can, etc. The first family (a now husband and wife) they aided used to live in the woods around the corner from our church, and they and others at our church helped them meet whatever needs they had as they came, but also helped them to eventually get into the position of meeting their own. Instead of living in the woods or a storage facility, they now have an apartment of their own, a car, and both have solid jobs. The man goes back to the tent community to take food and clothing on a regular basis, and the rest of us provide back-up, so to speak.

It's not the only reason, but I believe it is a contributing factor to laziness to think that because these things are in another's hands, you don't need to worry about chipping in yourself. And though it is a legitimate concern that if you leave such aid in "normal" citizens' hands that they will decide who is and isn't worthy, I also think that helping people as they come into your life has a greater impact on a more personal level than potentially sitting back doing little while allowing a greater body to organize such aid.

I realize that you can't change others' attitudes, but that doesn't change the fact that usually, the more you give your time and efforts to others, the less focused on self you become. Sure, maybe you wanted to catch that TV program, but what is more fulfilling and satisfies longer? Watching the latest episode of Heroes or watching someone's needs being met?

My aunt volunteers twice a week at a soup kitchen type place, and I love her philosophy (she is, by the way, a staunch Democrat) that however ungrateful or just the opposite someone might be that walks in there, it's about giving of herself to others and not expecting to get back.

So I say, stop being a spectator and start being a participant, and I believe...it is my opinion that if the responsibility was considered less the government's and more ours as individuals, we would be more likely to rise to the occasion. That is my opinion.

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ElJay
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I admire your and your family's efforts. I also think your experience is very unusual, and probably too strongly influences your opinion that people would rise to the occasion. I'm just not that optimistic -- probably strongly influenced by my own experience, which did not include regular volunteering growing up. I've taken part in sporadic service projects since then, but never volunteered regularly, and frankly don't see myself starting any time soon. I donate to charity, but that's about it. And honestly, I think my experience is a lot more common than yours. I don't believe that most people who did not grow up volunteering regularly would start doing so if government programs to help people in need started going away.
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Lalo
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Traceria, I do a great deal of volunteer work myself -- and I don't understand your assertion that "if the responsibility was considered less the government's and more ours as individuals, we would be more likely to rise to the occasion."

When's the last time we volunteered to build a road or issue passports? Would you want a self-selected individual declaring that he's volunteering as a policeman? Would you prefer that your water be cleaned by a volunteer team, or your food inspected by a volunteer agency?

It's great that we volunteer at soup kitchens, but arguing against government projects seems sketch.

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Lalo
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quote:
Originally posted by AvidReader:
I see the proposed bill as doing nothing to address the stated concerns and doing odd things with money I can't quite follow. I'm always suspect of a bill until I can follow the money.

As for the Republican thing, I think I'm most in line with near-extinct New England moderate subspecies. I considered switching to the Blue Dogs because they seemed so reasonable on health care. Until I looked them up and saw that their biggest campaign contributors were the health care industry. So are they really reasonable or just deep in the pocket?

If the Reps get a little sense, I'd be happy to stay. I love the idea of providing opportunities for people to make good decisions and then mostly leaving them alone. I just want enough government to make things safe-ish and fair-ish. If the Blue Dogs can show me they have other ideas not funded by a special interest and can be at least semi-effective getting their message out, I'd be happy to switch.

I just need someone to step up.

The dissonance between what you believe and what Republicans do honestly confuses me. I understand and respect your beliefs, but what on earth has ever convinced you that Republicans provide "opportunities for people to make good decisions and then mostly leaving them alone"?

Name a couple issues in which you're in agreement with the Republican party. Torture? Wiretapping? Increased military? Pre-emptive wars? Deregulation of financial markets? Dismantling of environmental protections?

Anything?

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King of Men
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It seems to me that you are taking a rather extreme version of Traceria's position to argue against, to the point of making a straw man. I do not see where she said that volunteers ought to replace police forces; as far as I can see, she is referring only to the task of welfare or charity for the poor.

That said, it's worth pointing out that modern police forces did grow out of volunteer organisations; hence such expressions as "raise the hue and cry", "gather a posse", and "night-watchman state". These organisations did not scale to the size of a modern city, but they worked to maintain public order - sometimes up to actual defense functions, especially in Europe - for hundreds of years.

In Norway, local roads were often built "on dugnad", that is, the whole community would come together and work on them. I grant you that Norway's road system was notoriously dreadful until the 1970s, but not for lack of effort; it's just that you can do only so much with pick and shovel against mountains.

Food inspections: There could certainly be commercial companies to do this, as in rating agencies. Yes, I know, they have a bad reputation, but the idea is a good one. It's just that when you insist on giving an effective monopoly to four agencies, you're going to get seriously bad incentives. Why not allow for-profit companies to inspect food and give it their stamp of approval, for a fee? If they give it a good rating and it goes bad, nobody will buy food with that stamp again. The fact that we need inspections of food does not, of itself, imply that the government is the only possible solution. It's possible that the FDA is a better solution than free-market rating agencies; we can have that discussion; but your blanket dismissal of any non-government options, apparently on grounds of sheer incredulousness, does not speak well for how thoroughly you've thought about the issue. The argument from personal incredulity does not get any better outside the context of creationism.

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King of Men
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quote:
Name a couple issues in which you're in agreement with the Republican party. Torture? Wiretapping? Increased military? Pre-emptive wars? Deregulation of financial markets? Dismantling of environmental protections?
Lower taxes, stop subsidising corn ethanol, stop subsiding art, in fact stop subsidies generally, build some dang nuclear power plants already, sheesh; dismantle "environmental protections" that don't actually do anything of the sort. Have you actually, honestly tried to look at what a real, live Republican voter might genuinely be in favour of? It doesn't look like it to me.
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AvidReader
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quote:
Originally posted by Lalo:
The dissonance between what you believe and what Republicans do honestly confuses me. I understand and respect your beliefs, but what on earth has ever convinced you that Republicans provide "opportunities for people to make good decisions and then mostly leaving them alone"?

Name a couple issues in which you're in agreement with the Republican party. Torture? Wiretapping? Increased military? Pre-emptive wars? Deregulation of financial markets? Dismantling of environmental protections?

Anything?

What have the Dems done that you think I'd be in better agreement with?

I think some Republicans decades ago used to have some good ideas. I think there aren't many of those around these days. I don't think the Democrats have done anything to convince me that they're the better option.

As for the issues you brought up, maybe. I do think our military needs to be refurbished. It might be time to reorganized based on how we actually use our forces. The war in Iraq I agreed with. Leaving the country a mess with a no hope for a better future and a charasmatic leader was asking for another blitzkreig. We've seen that scenerio before and it don't end well.

Environmental protections need balance. We've only got one planet so we ought to be really good to it. (And as a Christian, I feel like that was the only job God gave Adam - we ought to get that one right.) But we live here, too. We need to find a way to keep a strong economy while protecting nature so we have somewhere worth living with all our stuff. Both sides go overboard at times, W was just the most recent.

Wiretapping and torture may be necessary in some cases. Personally, I'm not prepared to argue the morality of such things until I get some numbers on how effective they are. While it's wrong either way, how much wrong I'm willing to overlook depends entirely on how much good can come from it.

The financial markets was a honking mess, in my opinion, brought about by unequal regualtion. And we never fixed it. The same problems have started up again already, and we've done nothing to stop it. In my opinion, every Congress since the 90s has been responsible for this mess. We've known our biggest corporations were pilaging themselves and screwing the common worker, but we haven't done anything about it in two decades. Neither party can walk away from that one with a clear conscience.

I don't like either party now. I'm still a Republican because maybe I'll get lucky and someone will step up who's come to their senses and gone back to some ideas that made sense. In the meantime, the Democrats are welcome to prove to me that they've got more on the ball. I'm waiting.

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Magson
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In reading the specific party platforms/mission statements of the various parties, I find myself most in agreement with the "theoretical" Constitution Party. Too bad that "in practice" they seem to be a party of raving lunatics.

I call myself a small-l libertarian. And yes, the big-L Libertarian Party represents my views more closely than the Republicans too. But, overall the Repubs are "closer than farther" and they're actually large enough to be able to accomplish things from time to time, so I'm still technically a Repub.

Add in that my state has closed primaries and if I want to have any chance of selecting a decent representative in the 1st place I've gotta be registered R anyway... that has something to do with it too. If/when I move elsewhere, I will probably declare independent, but until that time I'm working within the system that exists.

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Lyrhawn
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quote:
Originally posted by King of Men:
quote:
Name a couple issues in which you're in agreement with the Republican party. Torture? Wiretapping? Increased military? Pre-emptive wars? Deregulation of financial markets? Dismantling of environmental protections?
Lower taxes, stop subsidising corn ethanol, stop subsiding art, in fact stop subsidies generally, build some dang nuclear power plants already, sheesh; dismantle "environmental protections" that don't actually do anything of the sort. Have you actually, honestly tried to look at what a real, live Republican voter might genuinely be in favour of? It doesn't look like it to me.
Pleaes, for the love of God, I wish we could end subsidies for corn ethanol. The day the Iowa caucuses are pushed to March is the day we finally make it happen, but no one in Congress will vote for it because everyone in Congress dreams of being president, and no one who dreams of being president will dare speak out against subsidies for corn in Iowa. That includes Republicans, or at least, their leaders, not so much the rank and file.

I'd be okay with lowering taxes if it meant a massive reduction in military spending, but there's the rub. Most conservatives want to increase military spending and cut taxes by eliminating non-military spending at precisely the wrong time. Infrastructure is falling apart in America, and it needs more, not less money, but I hate to see the national debt go up any more, and in fact, would love to see it paid down a good bit. I think having a strong military is necessary, I don't think that means we need a military powerful enough to take on the world's militaries combined though.

I'd be okay with more nuclear power, but it depends on where it's going to go. Nuclear power in the west and south, which is where most people think we need it the most, is a potential long term disaster. Drought is going to become a huge problem out west and down south (well, it already IS a huge problem, so I should say it's going to become a much bigger problem), to the point where those regions are going to have to start deciding between turning off the power plants or letting farms die, or cutting off water to homes. Water resource management has to be addressed in every region you want to put a power plant, as they take a lot of water to run, and much, if not all of it ends up leaving the watershed area in its gaseous form. Robbing already parched watersheds of native water will only make the problem worse. But I have no natural aversion to nuclear power. I'm all for building more of them, so long as it is done responsibly.

The budget for the NEA is so small that I'm not really worried about it. I'd have to check and see what sorts of things the NEA is actually funding to see if I'd like it or not, but I don't have an objection to federal funding for the arts automatically.

What sorts of environmental protections are you against? I don't like burdensome regulation, but seeing the history of deregulation in America, and the history of how corporations acted before the initial regulations were enacted, I have pretty much zero faith in corporations to police themselves when it comes to society's greater interests.

I wish someone would create a party I could actually fully support. I'm a hybrid Democrat/Republican philosophically, which leaves me less than satisfied during any given election.

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AvidReader
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quote:
Water resource management has to be addressed in every region you want to put a power plant, as they take a lot of water to run, and much, if not all of it ends up leaving the watershed area in its gaseous form.
The three we've got here in Florida get their water from the Gulf or the Atlantic. That water evaporating and falling over land is great for all involved, so I guess I'd vote for putting them along coastlines. We've got two great big ones, it should work.
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Traceria
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quote:
Originally posted by King of Men:
It seems to me that you are taking a rather extreme version of Traceria's position to argue against, to the point of making a straw man. I do not see where she said that volunteers ought to replace police forces; as far as I can see, she is referring only to the task of welfare or charity for the poor.

That is correct, KoM. Thanks. [Smile]
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The Rabbit
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quote:
Originally posted by AvidReader:
quote:
Originally posted by The Rabbit:
The issue at hand is whether or not she can sue Halliburton/KBR and its managers for creating and maintaining the unsafe working/living conditions in which this rape occurred, for failing to respond to repeated complaints about the unsafe conditions and for mishandling the the case after the rape occurred (including loosing evidence, failing to provide adequate medical and psychological help, locking up the victim in a container and so on).

Of course she should. If that's what Congress wants to address, that's what they should address. Claiming they won't pay the contractors unless they deal with it is a bluff - one I firmly believe Halliburton/KBR would call. Congress should try doing its own job for a change instead of trying to make everyone else do it for them.

People shouldn't be able to sign away their right to safe working conditions. Period.

I agree, but that workers aren't signing away the right to safe working conditions, they are signing away their right to sue if the employer fails to provide safe working conditions. You may find that an irrelevant distinction, but it isn't irrelevant under the law.

I don't think this is the best way to address the issue, but it maybe the only realistic way to address the issue in a timely fashion. The power of the purse is one of the few powers the federal government can legitimately exercise here and there is no reason to think its a bluff. This isn't the first time the government has put restrictions on eligibility for federal funding and it has in the past been an effective.

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AvidReader
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I can't imagine we'd be able to carry out that threat. Where would it leave us if Haliburton just stopped working? What would that even do to Iraq and Afghanistan?

I think they've got us on this one. And I can't blame them for not wanting to completely rework every employee contract they've got for an issue we've been aware of since we hired them and suddenly decided we have a problem with. It is a bit convenient on Congress's part.

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malanthrop
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I was, but now I'm a Libertarian. 2009 Republicans are 1960 Democrats. 2009 Democrats are 1960 Socialists and 2009 Libertarians most resemble 1960 Republicans. Hooray for the two party system.
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steven
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"...2009 Democrats are 1960 Socialists..."

RonLambertitis claims another victim.

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Rakeesh
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quote:
Have you actually, honestly tried to look at what a real, live Republican voter might genuinely be in favour of? It doesn't look like it to me.
Here's the question of the day and, really, the question of the past near ten years now.
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The Rabbit
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quote:
Originally posted by AvidReader:
I can't imagine we'd be able to carry out that threat. Where would it leave us if Haliburton just stopped working? What would that even do to Iraq and Afghanistan?

I think they've got us on this one. And I can't blame them for not wanting to completely rework every employee contract they've got for an issue we've been aware of since we hired them and suddenly decided we have a problem with. It is a bit convenient on Congress's part.

Nonsense, Halliburton doesn't have a monopoly on defense contracting. They aren't the only game in town. Government contracting is a pretty competitive business.
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