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Not to be antagonistic or anything, but did you ever wonder. . . ?

Discussion in 'U.S. Politics' started by Jeffrey Neuzil, Dec 2, 2007.

  1. Jeffrey Neuzil

    Jeffrey Neuzil New Member

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    I kind of an old fashioned patriotic type, mostly because I used to believe that America was flawed and corrupt—but trying to overcome this, and create a better society;but then one day, after spending many years studying the political philosophy and science that emanates from the University of Chicago as well as reflecting on the economics spawned (in addition to much else: I am adopted!) by the school, I came to the conclusion that the school's apparently liberal economic policies, while sucessful and beneficial in the short run to nations, are really propelling those nations, as they have indeed our own, toward a situation that has stripped our country—and others—of its traditions of civic virtue: All in the hopes of creating the kind of atomized (see Lucretius, Leucipius, and Democritus in Leo Strauss' "Liberalism Ancient and Modern") anomic liberalism that may cause our regime to face a crisis like that faced in Weimer Germany (for my extensive analysis of this problem see my linked works, but also note my reservations about my conclusions expressed in my other blogs: It is a hypothesis, not fact or well established social science:—http://blog.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=blog&friendID=287982265
     
  2. Mr. Shaman

    Mr. Shaman New Member

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    You're blaming Liberalism for our present-situation???? :confused:

    I'd say BUSHCO's Corporate-Cabinet has a little-more to do with stripping our country of its traditions of civic virtue. :rolleyes:
     
  3. palerider

    palerider Well-Known Member

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    Shallow thinking. Of course liberalism is to blame for our current situation. Liberalism is inherently authoritarian and if bush is pushing legislation that you consider authoritarian, then it is only possible because of the liberal lean of our government.

    The fascists that you apparently hate were as liberal as you and your idiot list, by the way, has been thoroughly debunked and shreded on another thread. It bears no relation to the US unless you are willing to unilataraly redefine political concepts wholeseale. The only people who take tripe like that seriously are people who don't know the first thing about fascism, what it was, and why it went in the direction it did.



    Bush has been here for less than 8 years. The stripping of tradition and civic virtue has been a steady occupation of the left since the early 1950's. Earlier than that if you want to get technical. Perhaps you didn't realize that the previous presidient was found not guilty of perjury by the senate when the evidence that he did perjure himself was overwhelming. How much more stripped could "civic virtue" be?
     
  4. Coyote

    Coyote Active Member

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    It's always easy to blame all our problems on one ideology or another but that in itself represents shallow thinking and an inability to comprehend the complex interplay of politics, culture, history and human nature. Problems arise with extremism on one side or another. Bush is no more liberal then Reagan - big spending is not the only definer of liberalism and small government is not the only definer of conservatism and authoritarianism is firmly entrenched in both extremes. The conservative ideal of a "unitary executive" has taken a definate authoritarian bent under the Bush administration which is in the end - conservative on everything but fiscal responsibility.

    Remember - "conservatism" likes the status quo. At one time the status quo was no franchise for women, no property for women and slavery.
     
  5. 9sublime

    9sublime Active Member

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    Conservatism critises the problems of potential change, rather than looking at the current problems of the status quo, and when challenged about the current problems, blames them on the previous changes that have occured in the past.
     
  6. palerider

    palerider Well-Known Member

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    OK. Tell me which societal problems you can lay at the feet of conservativism. Just curious.

    Also, you like to suggest that problems arise with extremism on either side, but you neglect to mention that there are a host of problems that may be presently be laid at the feet of simple liberalism in this country, not extremism.

    And if you believe bush is no more liberal than Reagan, some historical research is in order for you. Consider the massive entitlements and wasteful educational spending that bush is responsible for before you suggest that Reagan is as liberal.

    And we have already been over the "unitary executive" business and have learned (or should have learned) that the unitary executive always arises out of modern liberal philosophy, not conservativism. Look at your commie buddy down in venesuela, taking the inevetable unitary executive route of all liberal governments. So any authoritarianism you see in bush is due to his liberal bent, not strict constitutional conservativism.

    Myth. Conservativism is for sensible, well thought out change, not simply change for change's sake. Conservatives know that all too often, the torch of progress turns out to be a devouring conflagration. If they were thinking people, liberals should have learned the lesson by now as much scorched earth as they have left behind.
     
  7. palerider

    palerider Well-Known Member

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    Name some current problems that aren't the result of liberals making un thought out changes in the past. Change is fine if the ramifications and potential problems are very well thought out but, alas, such is rarely the case when liberals are in a position to bring change about. They act upon feelings rather than intellect.

    And if a proposed change has forseeable and predictable problems built in, someone should complain. If you want change, then come up with a good plan in the first place rather than change for change's sake that all to often creates a whole new set of problems to go along with the old ones that didn't get solved with the change.
     
  8. Coyote

    Coyote Active Member

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    Covering a range of time...


    Massive pollution - mercury poisoning, lead, Love Canal...

    Increase in homelessness of non-mentally ill people

    Lack of affordable health care for working poor

    Creationism taught as science in public schools

    Jail time rather than treatment for the mentally ill

    3 strikes you are out and overcrowded jails and a country with one of the highest proportion of it's citizens in jail

    A senseless war in Iraq and an irrationally aggressive foreign policy

    A ballooning deficit (highest rates occurred under Reagan and Bush)

    Criminalizing homosexuality

    Women not being allowed to work in many jobs

    Capital punishment

    No public safety net for the disabled, mentally ill, or poor.

    Little regulation of workplace safety, no protection for whistle-blowers...
     
  9. Coyote

    Coyote Active Member

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    Every action has unintended consequences - it's when they become too extreme or change is to rapid or poorly thought out that there is a problem. Liberals are not alone in the realm of "unintended consequences" (Iraq being one good example).

    Massive (and wasteful) military spending and corporate subsidies are very much conservative.

    You have a uni-dimensional view of liberalism and conservatism. Spending and the size of government alone aren't the only benchmarks of "conservative" and "liberal". Bush is most definately not a liberal.

    We have been over this - but you never convinced me that Liberalism alone can be authoratarian and that is primarily becuase you have a very limited definition of conservative that doesn't apply in practice. I gave plenty of examples of authoritarian right-wing regimes. Authoritarianism is the extreme of both ideologies - in practice. I still stand by that argument. And I still don't see how your definition of conservative differs from libertarian.

    Truth:

    Conservatism is about caution - conserving the status quo and a people's culture and tradition.

    Liberalism is about expanding the status quo through change.

    There is good and bad to both: Liberalism provides the push for necessary changes - not necessarily change for changes sake; Conservatism puts on the breaks - for precisely the reason's you have given. However - without the liberal push to become more inclusive through change - we would indeed be stuck forever in a status quo of such things as slavery, sweatshops and no right to vote for women. Without the conservative tendancy to put on the breaks we could lose our culture, values and history in a society of "anything goes" hedonism and ever changing rules.

    Eventually - what was liberal becomes the new status quo.

    Liberalism and Conservatism is relational. Take one away and you have stagnation, take the other away and you have anarchy.
     
  10. Coyote

    Coyote Active Member

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    It is rare that all the ramifications can be forseen.

    For example:

    DNA, the thinning of eggshells in certain species of birds (raptors) and decline in populations leading to possible extinction, banning DDT and subsequently over time an increase in malaria.

    Welfare - we instituted welfare and for the first time erradicated serious poverty and starvation in the US particularly for children and elderly, unintended consequences - multigenerational welfare depended families.

    Invasive species - introduction of species in habitats that have no natural controls and they take over (kudzu, snakehead fish).

    Iraq - the idea that simply toppling Saddam would lead to victory but instead a host of unintended consequences resulted.

    There's more, where a solution was sought for a very real problem in some cases, and the solution brought on new problems or maybe there wasn't a problem to solve but an objective with no long term thought to what might result.
     
  11. palerider

    palerider Well-Known Member

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    For the record, the love canal is, and always has been controlled by democrats. In fact, if you care to look, you will find that some of the most polluted places on earth are in socialist countries.

    Would that be due to the fact that they were dependent upon government for their daily bread in the first place?

    That is a product of the slow socialization of the country. When I was a child, and my father was a child, and his father was a child, medical care was affordable. The rise of socialistic type medicine where an entity takes care of all your needs is the responsibility of liberals, not conservatives. Any conservative could tell you that if you place the burden of paying all medical expenses on an entity, and the responsibility off of the individual, prices will go up.

    Just for giggles, why don't you consider the ramifications, and answer this question? What do you think your auto insurance would cost if it had to pay for oil changes, and tune ups, and tire rotations, and car washes, and any and all maintenance? Just take a guess as to what would happen to the cost. Now apply the same logic to present medical costs. Liberalism Coyote, not conservativism.

    Exactly what sort of social ill did that cause? If there is a social ill to be found in that suggestion, it would be the shutting down of the conversation entirely. What good comes from shutting down a conversation?

    The mentally ill can be treated in jail. Criminals are criminals. Treatment in lieu of punishment doesn't work. Refer to recidivism rates when and where it has been tried.

    You prefer to let career criminals continue to terrorize the citizenry?

    You prefer to leave madmen in charge terrorizing not only their own citizens but their neighbors as well?

    Deficit spending is a democrat (liberal) invention. The fact that it has gotten out of hand is nothing more than the predictions coming true of conservatives who objected to the practice when it was introduced.

    The laws that criminalized homosexuality were written, largely, during times of democrat control.

    Again, largely a product of democrat control.

    A social ill how? I just heard on the news about a man here in NC who killed another man about 20 years ago. Shot him in the back at an ATM machine without a word for the $10 the man had just withdrawn. Was found guilty, and the jury recommended death. A judge said that death was too severe for the crime. He will be walking soon because of a series of liberal loopholes and grandfather clauses in the law. How do you explain that to the family of his next victim?

    We don't have a safety net?

    Over regulation costs jobs Coyote, and you know it. You have been really reaching for the duration of this little exercise and it comes as no surprise that the worst of the social ills are the result of liberal democrat policy, not conservativism.
     
  12. palerider

    palerider Well-Known Member

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    Iraq is improving. 98% of the violence there happens within a 50 mile radius of baghdad and that circle is steadily shrinking. You may have been satisfied to leave saddam in charge doing illegal business under the table with a few notable members of the security council, being tipped off to the schedule of inspectors, etc., but the fact is, it is getting to be a far better place than it was. Just ask any little girl who gets to learn to read.

    And please, if you will, name for me some actual or proposed changes by liberals that are being well thought out and perhaps slowed down by liberals because of the potential problems that will be caused.

    Hell, coyote, look at the liberal solution to healthcare. It is a blind rush to socialized medicine and damn the easily predicitable consequences.

    Military spending is necessary. You may be able to ignore the dangers in the world, and that is certainly your right. But you should be glad that conservatives maintain your right to do it.

    Corporate subsidies? You mean tax breaks to corporations? That is a liberal invention Coyote. Good old governor weasley uses it heavily here to entice business into NC. Recently he brought in a computer manufacturer and when all the subsides and goodies were totaled up, the citizens of NC are going to be paying $145,000 a year (each) for 200 jobs that are going to pay about $65,000 a year.

    Corporations should not be taxed at all. When you levy a tax on a corporation, they don't pay it, they simply pass the expense on to the consumer who pays the corporate tax, and the sales tax as well. As with all liberal plans, it is those who can least afford to get hurt that bear the brunt.

    Liberalism requires large, intrusive government. And bush is a liberal. His spending on entitlements and poorly thought out educational plans identifies him as such.

    Because you wouldn't be convinced, even by overwhelming evidence. And the definition of conservative (classical liberal) and the political goals of conservativism may be found in the constitution and it did very well in practice for quite a long time. The further we get from those principles, towards modern liberalism, the worse off we will become.

    That turned out to be leftist after all.

    Two words Coyote. Thought police. The concept is being put in practice right here in the US, right now and it was not put in practice by extremists. It was implemented and is being enforced by mainstream modern liberals.

    I won't argue very vigorously against that.

    By destroyong people's cultures and traditions and demanding that they live a certain way as defined by government. AUTHORATARIANISM!!

    The list of ills that came as a result of poorly thought out change is large and growing larger and more severe all the time.

    Emotional hand wringing and nothing more coyote. Women got the right to vote long before modern liberalism ever raised its ugly head. Ditto for the end of slavery. Those changes happened under classical liberalism and the ability to send children to school as opposed to work was the result of capitalism creating an economy in which it was no longer necessary, not any idea or policy put in place by modern liberalism.

    Exactly what has been happening for the past 3/4 of a century and just look around you at the social ills that are a result.

    And you are that much more removed from anything that resembles community and that much closer to the individual looking to government for everything and not realizing that the government simply can't provide for his needs.
     
  13. palerider

    palerider Well-Known Member

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    Except that DDT didn't thin eggs. Rachel Carson's book (silent spring) which kicked off the whole DDT debacle was flawed. She left out qualitative and quantative science that proved here premise wrong.

    Carson wrote "Dr. DeWitt's now classic experiments [on quail and pheasants] have now established the fact that exposure to DDT, even when doing no observable harm to the birds, may seriously affect reproduction. Quail into whose diet DDT was introduced throughout the breeding season survived and even produced normal numbers of fertile eggs. But few of the eggs hatched." DeWitt's 1956 article (in Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry) actually yielded a very different conclusion. Quail were fed 200 parts per million of DDT in all of their food throughout the breeding season. DeWitt reports that 80% of their eggs hatched, compared with the "control"" birds which hatched 83.9% of their eggs. Carson also omitted mention of DeWitt's report that "control" pheasants hatched only 57 percent of their eggs, while those that were fed high levels of DDT in all of their food for an entire year hatched more than 80% of their eggs.

    There was then, and is now a virtual mountain of credible scientific evidence that proves that the premise upon which DDT was banned was flawed. And during the hearings in which DDT was banned, the consequences for the third world were accurately predicted.


    Did we? We have spent trillions and yet, the rate of poverty remains virtually unchanged. And was there starvation? I can find no evidence of it if it existed. The welfare system has not improved things, only created generational dependence and an angry sub class that believes it is owed something.

    Also, a very well know, and respected liberal democrat wrote a book at the time that the welfare state was being debated in the senate outlining and describing precicely what we have seen happen. His book was the result of his being ignored by his peers who were anxious to implement the programs anyway.

    Which conservative is responsible for either?

    You keep going back there. As wars go, iraq has gone splendidly. Was taking saddam out an instant fix? Of course not. Will the people be better off governing themselves in the long run? Without a doubt.


    Modern liberalism in the past half century or so has invented and funded literally thousands of programs. How about you name 10 for me that have worked as advertised and actually improved people's lives in the long run. That is, lifted them up out of poverty and placed them squarely in the mainstream so that they need never look back. And don't try to pass off some anecdotal evidence of individual success that don't represent the norm for any given program.

    The point, Coyote, is that the ramifications and consequences can, and are, very often seen and accurately predicted but are ignored by modern liberalism in its headlong rush to change.
     
  14. Coyote

    Coyote Active Member

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    DDT DID thin eggshells. The problem was species used. It affected the eggs of raptors. The studies you cite showed that DDT did not cause eggshell thinning in chickens and Japanese quail and while the study was accurate, some of the conclusions drawn by the general public are not: first it was conducted on gallinaceous birds and second, DDT rather than DDE, a metabolite of DDT which has has been identified as the cause of egg-shell thinning was used.

    Daniel W. Anderson (currently at Department of Wildlife, Fish, and Conservation Biology at the University of California-Davis), was one of the original researchers on eggshell thinning. He also agrees that the evidence shows that gallinaceous birds (poultry and fowls), herring gulls, and most passerine (perching) birds aren't as sensitive to DDE as raptors. But even though chickens and quail fed very high concentrations of DDE and an adequate amount of food experienced essentially no eggshell thinning or other reproductive problems, science shows pretty conclusively that it's another story for raptors.

    The most persuasive study on this is: "DDE-induced Eggshell Thinning in the American kestrel: A Comparison of the Field Situation and Laboratory Results." published in the Journal of Applied Ecology by Jeffrey Lincer in 1975.

    Here is an excerpt from that study:

    Lincer noted that the "inverse correlation between DDE in North American raptor eggs and eggshell thickness is clear but does not prove a causal relationship since other chemicals or factors could be involved." So to find out what effect DDE might have, Lincer fed captive kestrels a DDE-laced diet and then compared their eggs with those taken from the nests of wild kestrels. Lincer found that dietary levels of three, six, and 10 parts per million (ppm) of DDE resulted in eggshells that were 14 percent, 17.4 percent, and 21.7 percent thinner respectively. "Despite the recent controversy, there can be little doubt now as to the causal relationship between the global contaminant DDE and the observed eggshell thinning and the consequent population declines in several birds of prey," concluded Lincer.


    So, Rachel Carson was wrong in that it assumed all birds at risk but she was right to point out that so many of these pesticides that we took for granted - so much so we practically bathed in it and used it indiscrimminantly -have serious repercussions attached to them. No one thought about that before.

    However, it is correct in that it put raptors at risk.

    Now, I'll bring up something which you brought up in another debate when we discussed the birth control pill as an abortificant. You mentioned that is should be banned despite the fact it is one of the best and safest contraceptives for a woman to use. One of the reasons was if it were banned it would spur science to do research to find equally effective alternative methods. Now my question to you is - why not apply this same practicality to DDT? Shouldn't banning it have produced a flurry of science to create a better and safer pesticide?

    The other hidden part of this problem - another unintended consequence to heavy pesticide use is resistance in insect populations. Would not DDT face that with continued heavy use rather than judicial use?

    Unintended consequences are frequently an inability to see the whole picture - how so many things are really interconnected. In that - it has little to do with conservative or liberal except for one thing: Conservatives would rather wait and not induce change for fear of consequences and liberals would rather jump in and induce change in hopes of improving a problem.
     
  15. Coyote

    Coyote Active Member

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    Actually it didn't remain unchanged. We see little abject poverty in this country - not like African nations, Bangladesh, India etc. Read accounts and diaries of the country during the Dustbowl, the immigrant populations in the late 19th century, life in the tenaments, Appalachia prior to many of the great public works projects designed to help rural America, Appalachia prior to the Blue Ridge Parkway, the Indian reservations and more. There are many first hand accounts, accounts of historians, secular and religious relief organizations and charities etc. available.

    When it comes to "entitled" I actualy agree with you. No one is "entitled" to anything beyond what they produce themselves and the basic rights enumerated in our constitution and the basic rights of humane treatment every living thing deserves. However - we, who are better off have an ethical obligation to help those who are not because "there for the grace of God go I" - and this I firmly believe. It's an obligation to help - but that doesn't necessarily mean a free-ride to those being helped and it doesn't mean they are "entitled" to it. Any country that call's itself civilized and champions human rights has an obligation to it's most vulnerable citizens. That's just my personal opinion.

    I think a welfare "system" is not the same as a welfare "state". It's indisputable that were serious problems before welfare - ignoring that is just as disengenius as denying that there are problems with the system as it now stands. Who was the author by the way and what was the book? I would be curious to read it someday.
     
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