Author Topic: Political Discussion  (Read 11461 times)


  • Guest
« Reply #30 on: August 22, 2005, 03:15:39 AM »
I got to say that even though this small discussion group hasn't got much in the way of response, I am overjoyed at the number of views it has received; 420 + and counting. :-) And all in the space of a few weeks, so now I Know I'm not speaking into the wind. :-)
Sometimes with the lack of observable evidence my imagination gets away with me...  and for that, I apologize. :-i

Maybe the subject matter was too broad, rather than focussing on specifics.
In my overzealousness I had imagined a forum within a forum, neglecting the fact that there were already many posts besides (until I had actually read them through).

When Americans get together we can really accomplish wonders.  It's just too bad that our duly elected officials sometimes think otherwise.  Folly is easy to forgive in a child.

It's reflections such as these that keep me personally optimistic,
So good night and sweet dreams my gentle Astorians,
May we all wake tomorrow, into a better day, ;-)
The future is ours.



  • Guest
Political Discussion
« Reply #31 on: August 22, 2005, 04:39:33 PM »

I think what you are trying to do is a good thing, and it should be continued.  As far as the amount of responses goes, I would attribute that to the huge scope of the thread, as well as a small bit of 'preaching to the choir' syndrome.  Most of the people on this list seem bent pretty heavily to the left ... or at least, most of us here agree that the war is bad, Bush is a puppet, Bush's cronies and Lockheed Martin are running the country, etc, etc.

Yet there are so many things to discuss in the realm of world and local affairs, that it would be wrong to say "Well, we're all on the same side, so there's no need to discuss it anymore".  

I would suggest a new top level category for the board, "Local and World Affairs".

This would give us a place to, for example, rant about a particular article in the times, converse with council member Vallone, or have an in depth discussion on the ethics of cloning your pet.  Most of these posts end up in the "General Astoria Discussion" category, and that category is simply too broad.

My two cents.


Offline enigmacat

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Political Discussion
« Reply #32 on: August 22, 2005, 05:25:14 PM »
you know, zeno (and other interested parties), it might be nice to have a weekly discussion - focus on something very specific, perhaps even an essay or article to read beforehand (not more than a couple, then you lose people who don't have a lot of time to commit).  

The specific is always more interesting than the general.  

i'd be up for hanging out with a cup of tea and discussing essays by betrand russell, nicholas kristoff, molly ivins, maureen dowd or wendy kaminer.  one at a time, though.


  • Guest
Dropping the names like bombs! :)
« Reply #33 on: August 22, 2005, 08:50:23 PM »
i'd be up for hanging out with a cup of tea and discussing essays by betrand russell, nicholas kristoff, molly ivins, maureen dowd or wendy kaminer. one at a time, though.


-m  :D

Offline enigmacat

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Political Discussion
« Reply #34 on: August 22, 2005, 09:14:18 PM »
do you really want to know?  i'm finding it difficult to sense your tone ... :-)

bertrand russell is my top pic from the list, of course.  the others i will trade off on.


  • Guest
« Reply #35 on: August 23, 2005, 01:01:01 AM »
Thank you guys and gals for the contructive input. I think I'm going to start a topic strictly devoted to the PATRIOT Act and it's related abuses, this for me (at the moment) has become quite obsessive and like any other obsessions has been given priority over other aspects of my life in a rather unhealthy manner.

It wasn't until hindsight that I saw that the scope of this topic was too large for people to digest, lacking focus and diffuse. Unfortunately I'm about to make the same mistake again for another general type of topic, this one having to do with tech.

Cloudnine and Merm started a topic that made me jump with joyful enthusiasm, but the topic was also kind of specific, which is kind of different from my free-association scatterbrain type mentality. ;-)

I also tend to compartmentalize things into rather large categories to avoid getting confused. Something about specialization fills me with dread, I don't know why. It probably has to do with that old Rip Van Winkle folktale I heard as a child. Also something in me sincerely desires to drop the whole political category altogether once all of the problems have been solved, but I guess this is pretty unrealistic not mention naive):-/ .

Anyway cloudnine, I understand the "preaching to the choir syndrome" that you speak of, but my original intention wasn't to convince but to Organize. I was well aware that the majority of New Yorkers agree with me on this particular topic, but I found the lack of protest, demonstrations, communication and solidarity quite frightening. This to me was either due to apathy or fear. Apathy, I can deal with, but the fear component is what really bothers me. If people are afraid to speak and demonstrate publicly their outrage over real or percieved injustices then we might as well live under a dictatorial regime. Trust me, right now I'm quite cynical on that score, but I have found that cynicism doesn't conduce itself well toward contructive change, which is really what we need right now.
Some previous posts of mine were quite negative and preachy, and for that I apologize. It wasn't my intention to try and make people feel bad... in fact that sort of system (of exploitation and shame) is exactly what I'm/We're against.

If the future can only be imagined in bleak terms then why bother at all.
I refuse to believe in a future that is set in stone or that a television series depicting a possible future can decide that future, and when I look around at the present I see alot of good in people,  much more in fact than I was originally lead to believe.
I guess it comes to what we choose to focus on. [Statement coming...]
And there is Choice.

And as far as enigmacat's idea of forming a discussion group, I am all for it. I must confess that alot of the authors she mentions are not known by me, and this is probably what cloudnine was getting at. But, hey, all the more reason for me to get involved and actually try to learn something new.

Again, unfortunately, the specific topic of the PATRIOT Act is taking precedence in my list of priorities, only because of the time factor involved. The window of opportunity to protest it is now rapidly closing, so if the readers of this board feel the same way, I would like to get together
to meet and discuss this issue in person with the proprieter's of Freeze Peache's permission of course.

And to all of you out there who are puzzled by the law (130+ pages) or who know nothing about it's history, don't feel intimidated; I'm no lawyer and I'm in the same boat as far as bewilderment is concerned.

Again, I thank all of you again.
You have shown me that I'm not alone in this and that there is hope.

Peace be with all of you,



  • Guest
All those names I don't know
« Reply #36 on: August 23, 2005, 11:18:00 AM »

sorry for the confusion ... I was feeling particularly jovial at that point. My tone was completely good-natured.  I know none of the names you mentioned.  Of course, that would make sense, since my favorite book is the Perl Language "Camel" Book ...

do you really want to know?

Yes! I really want to know, and I'd be very interested to discuss. :) Actually, I'll be at FreezePeach today, to attend the ASS at about 1:30.  I have some work to do, but I could certainly burn a few hours talking about whatever.  So if anyone wants to show up to hang out, that would be cool.

Last time I was there, we had 4 or 5 folks in a conspiricy theory discussion, which was great fun.


Offline enigmacat

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Political Discussion
« Reply #37 on: August 23, 2005, 11:47:47 AM »
darn it, i have this problem.  kinda embarrassing.  see, uh, i work in midtown.  but i might swing by the peach tonight, i have to drop off a cord.

i'll give you a brief rundown of the names i mentioned and if you check any of them out let me know what you think.

betrand russell was a british mathematician and philosopher.  some of his important works include "why i am not a christian" and "ideas that have harmed mankind" - incredibly witty and eloquent.  check him out here

nicholas kristoff and maureen dowd are columnist for the new york times.  you can check out their archives here at (you have to register, but it's free)  she is more funny and sarcastic, he is a bit more serious and substantial.  kristoff has done a lot to raise awareness for the situation in the sudan.  

 molly ivins - a columnist from texas who has published some books about bush, including, i believe, "bushwacked".  check out her columns here

wendy kaminer is a social critic and feminist.

my top pics for a discussion, in this order, are russell, kaminer and kristoff


  • Guest
Political Discussion
« Reply #38 on: August 23, 2005, 12:00:59 PM »
Thank Enigmacat,

I'll check them out.   Yeah, I understand that problem with working in midtown.  I was forcibly cured of that problem a week ago - of course, i now have a chronic case of "nopaycheckitis".  :(


Offline enigmacat

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Political Discussion
« Reply #39 on: August 23, 2005, 01:00:56 PM »
yeah, i have a feeling that's headed my way.

i'd just like to mention another writer who would be interesting for discussion, although more religious than political - john shelby spong.  although i am an atheist and he is a christian, i respect his attempts to drag christianity kicking and screaming into the 21st century.

in fact i'm way more interested in religion than politics.  here are several of his essays:

Offline enigmacat

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Ideas that have harmed/helped mankind - B. Russell
« Reply #40 on: August 24, 2005, 12:42:14 PM »
at the very kind invitation of zeno, i suggest the following essays by the most admirable Bertrand Russell for discussion:

Ideas that have harmed mankind
Ideas that have helped mankind

ladies and gentlemen, start your engines, read and post!  if you would like to meet up in person for a discussion, please make the suggestion.

both essays are available here:


  • Guest
March on Washington Discussion continued here...
« Reply #41 on: September 14, 2005, 11:11:09 PM »
This is a continuation of the discussion started under the Events (Community Calendar) which can be found here:


  • Guest
We've been betrayed by our government.
« Reply #42 on: September 25, 2005, 03:59:36 PM »
I still don't believe that violent resistance/revolution is a solution.
When we stoop down to their level then what does it really matter who's in power? and how are we different from them? When victim becomes perpetrator is perpetrator still victim? I emphatically believe Yes, but where does this cycle end? and who will have the courage to end it? To strike back is the easy solution, to turn the other cheek, that requires great strength.

"Where did the Left loose it's fangs?"-Bill Maher

"We won't be fooled again!"-The Who

"When did the thief stop thinking and resorted to becoming a common thug?"-A prominent Gamer

"He will come as a thief in the night."-I Thessalonians 5:4,9-10

Artist: Meiko Kaji Lyrics
Song: The Flower of Carnage Lyrics
Asa ni
Tomorai no
Yuki ga furu

Hagure inu no
Geta no

Iin na naomosa
Mitsumete aruku
Yami wo dakishimeru
Janomeno kasa hitotsu

Inochi no michi wo
Yuku onna
Namida wa tooni

Kawa ni

Itteta tsuru wa
Ame to kaze

Kieta mizu mo ni
Hotsure ga miutsushi
Namida sae misenai
Janomeno kasa hitotsu

Urami no michi wo
Yuku onna
Kokoro wa tooni

Giri mo nasake mo
Namida mo yume no
Kinou mo ashita mo
Henno nai kotoba

Urami no kawa ni
Mi wo yudanete
Honma wa tooni



  • Guest
Federations and Republics
« Reply #43 on: September 27, 2005, 04:08:24 PM »
I got this  definition from [italics and bold mine]

Federal republic
[Categories: Republicanism, Federalism]

A federal republic is, as the term suggests, a  state which is both a  federation and a republic. A federation is a state composed of a number of self-governing regions (often themselves referred to as 'states') united by a central, federal government. In a federation, unlike in a  unitary state, the self-governing status of autonomous regions is constitutionally entrenched and cannot be revoked by a unilateral decision of the central government. Usage of the term republic is inconsistent but, as a minimum, it means a state that does not have a monarch as [a] head of state.

Hmmm... what was that?


Neocons get your dictionary editors and eradicators mobilized!


  • Guest
Something to Ponder
« Reply #44 on: October 10, 2005, 12:40:32 PM »
I thought this was kind of interesting. Does anyone have something to add? Maybe a list of their own?

Subject: Something to Ponder
Military History of Washington, DC VIPs

* Richard Gephardt: Air National Guard, 1965-71.
* David Bonior: Staff Sgt., Air Force 1968-72.
* Tom Daschle: 1st Lt., Air Force SAC 1969-72.
* Al Gore: enlisted Aug. 1969; sent to Vietnam Jan. 1971 as an army journalist in 20th Engineer Brigade.
* Bob Kerrey: Lt. j.g. Navy 1966-69; Medal of Honor, Vietnam.
* Daniel Inouye: Army 1943-47; Medal of Honor, WWII.
* John Kerry: Lt., Navy 1966-70; Silver Star, Bronze Star with Combat V,
Purple Hearts.
* Charles Rangel: Staff Sgt., Army 1948-52; Bronze Star, Korea.
* Max Cleland: Captain, Army 1965-68; Silver Star & Bronze Star, Vietnam.
* Ted Kennedy: Army, 1951-53.
* Tom Harkin: Lt., Navy, 1962-67; Naval Reserve, 1968-74.
* Jack Reed: Army Ranger, 1971-1979; Captain, Army Reserve 1979-91.
* Fritz Hollings: Army officer in WWII; Bronze Star and seven campaign
* Leonard Boswell: Lt. Col., Army 1956-76; Vietnam, DFCs, Bronze Stars, and
Soldier's Medal.
* Pete Peterson: Air Force Captain, POW. Purple Heart, Silver Star and
Legion of Merit.
* Mike Thompson: Staff sergeant, 173rd Airborne, Purple Heart.
* Bill McBride: Candidate for Fla. Governor. Marine in Vietnam; Bronze Star
with Combat V.
* Gray Davis: Army Captain in Vietnam, Bronze Star.
* Pete Stark: Air Force 1955-57
* Chuck Robb: Vietnam
* Howell Heflin: Silver Star
* George McGovern: Silver Star & DFC during WWII.
* Bill Clinton: Did not serve. Student deferments. Entered draft but
received #311.
* Jimmy Carter: Seven years in the Navy.
* Walter Mondale: Army 1951-1953
* John Glenn: WWII and Korea; six DFCs and Air Medal with 18 Clusters.
* Tom Lantos: Served in Hungarian underground in WWII. Saved by Raoul Wallenberg.

Republicans --  These are the guys sending people to war:

* Dick Cheney: did not serve. Several deferments, the last by marriage.
* Dennis Hastert: did not serve.
* Tom Delay: did not serve.
* Roy Blunt: did not serve.
* Bill Frist: did not serve.
* Mitch McConnell: did not serve.
* Rick Santorum: did not serve.
* Trent Lott: did not serve.
* John Ashcroft: did not serve. Seven deferments to teach business.
* Jeb Bush: did not serve.
* Karl Rove: did not serve.
* Saxby Chambliss: did not serve. "Bad knee." The man who attacked Max Cleland's patriotism.
* Paul Wolfowitz: did not serve.
* Vin Weber: did not serve.
* Richard Perle: did not serve.
* Douglas Feith: did not serve.
* Eliot Abrams: did not serve.
* Richard Shelby: did not serve.
* Jon Kyl: did not serve.
* Tim Hutchison: did not serve.
* Christopher Cox: did not serve.
* Newt Gingrich: did not serve.
* Don Rumsfeld: served in Navy (1954-57) as flight instructor.
* George W. Bush: failed to complete his six-year National Guard; got
assigned to Alabama so he could campaign for family friend running for U.S. Senate; failed to show up for required medical exam, disappeared from duty.
* B-1 Bob Dornan: Consciously enlisted after fighting was over in Korea.
* Phil Gramm: did not serve.
* John McCain: Silver Star, Bronze Star, Legion of Merit, Purple Heart and
Distinguished Flying Cross.
* Dana Rohrabacher: did not serve.
* John M. McHugh: did not serve.
* JC Watts: did not serve.
* Jack Kemp: did not serve. "Knee problem," although continued in NFL for 8 years.
* Dan Quayle: Journalism unit of the Indiana National Guard.
* Rudy Giuliani: did not serve.
* George Pataki: did not serve.
* Spencer Abraham: did not serve.
* John Engler: did not serve.
* Lindsey Graham: National Guard lawyer.
* Arnold Schwarzenegger: AWOL from Austrian army base.
* Ronald Reagan: due to poor eyesight, served in a non-combat role making movies.

Pundits & Preachers

* Sean Hannity: did not serve.
* Rush Limbaugh: did not serve (4-F with a 'pilonidal cyst.')
* Bill O'Reilly: did not serve.
* Michael Savage: did not serve.
* George Will: did not serve.
* Chris Matthews: did not serve.
* Paul Gigot: did not serve.
* Bill Bennett: did not serve.
* Pat Buchanan: did not serve.
* Bill Kristol: did not serve.
* Kenneth Starr: did not serve.
* Antonin Scalia: did not serve.
* Clarence Thomas: did not serve.
* Ralph Reed: did not serve.
* Michael Medved: did not serve.
* Charlie Daniels: did not serve.
* Ted Nugent: did not serve. (He only shoots at things that don't shoot
* John Wayne: did not serve.

Please keep this information circulating      Sen. Howard W. Carroll

"In this country it is found requisite, now and then, to put an admiral to
death, in order to encourage the others to fight."

--Voltaire   Following the pointless execution of an admiral in 18th
century France.


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