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Fewlesh

The greatest star trek like invention we take for granted:

Cell phones.

Instantanious communication to anyone anywhere in the world.

If you look at the adoption rate of the cellphone it was incredible. I think there are more cell phones than any other consumer electronic device, except maybe for TV, but I think it past TV this last year.

My parents just don't grok cellphones though. They never keep them charged, they never bring it with them anywhere. It is almost a waste that they even have it. But they are also pretty backward when it comes to the internet. They come from a book generation. Both of them read a +500 page book a week. If it's not in books, it doesn't really happen for them.

I there are going to be the usual critisms of cellphones, but on the whole, a technology that went from nothing to everywhere before your eyes.

GK

Yes. And the best is yet to come. The Impact of Computing ensures it. Think about the 'rice on a chessboard' concept.

There will be more and more things that appear to go from zero to everywhere in very little time. Robots, wearable computers, HD displays, RFID tags, Smart dust, etc.......

Enigma

I think the historical comparison is very fascinting. Today's poor live much better than ancient kings.

Whenever I hear stories in the media about poverty or health care issues, I can't help but to think that all of Solomon's wealth could not buy for him the most basic items we take for granted today. Not that we shouldn't address such problems today (we should), but I think the historical perspective is something important to always keep in mind.

Kosha

I think the notion of "ignorance is bliss" is very applicable here. Sitting in 2006, it is quite presumable that most of us (though not all) would rather be an average citizen in today's times than a wealthy one in 1920.

Forget all the material conveniences you talk about in this article, but even things like human rights and gender equality (i.e. even as a wealthy woman in 1920 I wouldn't have had the right to vote, which I interpret as a right to have an opinion - a birthright, imo).

Addition this dimension to the question doesn't change my answer, but only makes it clearer. Of course I would rather be an average citizen in 2006 than a wealthy but inconsequential one in 1920.

However, if I had lived in those times, would non-elastic underwear have even occurred to be an inconvenience to me? Would my tastebuds have even craved a chilled coke, when they had never tasted anything like it before?

Likely not. Which is why I think this question, being inherently intertwined with hindsight, isn't an apples to apples comparison.

GK

Kosha,

This is true. Even today, there are countries where women have no rights, and slavery still exists. The comparison here is from citizens at the very top of privilege vs. average people today. Sure, things like elastic and Coca-Cola were not imagined, but demand for these conveniences still existed in terms of 'need', just not in enough detail to envision the product itself.

Leonardo da Vinci envisioned cars and airplanes even back in the 15th century. Of course, the details were off, but the basic principles, and the vision for what these could be used for, were already imagined by him.

That is why the context of the article, and the projection into the future, are important. Consider that by 2030, there will be things that will make the world of 2006 look boring and tedious.

Always note the accelerating nature of progress as well. The changes over the next 25 years will be more than over the last 100 years, which itself were more than the preceding 5000 years.

Kosha

This is true. In other words, I perceive "needs" today that are still ways off - like how to preserve the way I look and feel now (i.e. young) forever.

Or, wishing there could be a way to travel around the world in 10 minutes - as I love to travel but the time expenditure of it makes it hard to realize with working life.

So once again - it confirms that I would rather be an average citizen in an advanced society than a top citizen in a relatively unadvanced society, any day.

Its kind of like the classic "big fish in small pond (limitations) vs. small fish in big pond (opportunity)" debate.

GeneThug

GK - Thanks for the link (I got here from WoC.). In this vein, you may find the Cato report, "25 miraculous trends from the past 100 years" useful. http://www.cato.org/pubs/pas/pa364.pdf

Often, people who would like to attack western society, do so on the basis of the idea that "everything is getting worse here" - a very ahistorical view, IMO.

GK

GeneThug,

Thanks for the link. There is plenty to be optimistic about (a notion that leftists are becoming increasingly averse to), as many new innovations to make life more fun, convenient, and productive will soon emerge.

GeneThug

GK,

> a notion that leftists are becoming increasingly averse to

That's certainly been true in my experience. For many Leftist positions to have relevance, things must be getting worse over time (more pollution related illness, a poorer, increasingly exploited population, etc.). If in fact the opposite is true (the Cato report shows a linear decrease in race/gender wage disparity over time, increased purchasing power/longevity, etc.), Leftists do not want to hear about it.

GK

Genethug,

I have an article about how the economy is strong, and the average unemployment rate of Bush's 5 years has been just about the same as it was for Clinton's 8 years. Leftists who insist the economy is bad are inhibiting their own success in this economy, through risk aversion, discouraging themselves from pursuing better jobs, etc.

http://futurist.typepad.com/my_weblog/2006/02/the_us_job_mark.html

seguin

Nice points. Another reason why people shouldn't measure their wealth by what they don't have, but by what they DO have. Count your blessings.

Anthony

Antibiotics.

Calvin Coolidge, not a poor man by any measure, lost a 16-year-old son to an infected blister from playing tennis. A poor person today would have to be quite negligent to suffer the same tragedy.

Linh_My

I think that you miss a point. Having spent a fair amount of time in a more or less 12th century environment during a war, Viet Nam as an American military advisor, I can see that the 12th century has its advantages, especially for the rich and powerful.

Power over people is one of them. Of course it can be almost as destructive to the powerful as to the oppressed.

Society's telling one who they are is also very comforting to many people. Look at the typical American teenager struggling to find identity.

To answer the obvious question, do I want to live in the 12th century? NO! Do I think that it is important to understand that some things about the 12th century can be attractive? Yes, otherwise how can we understand how to fight and defeat those who want to force all of us into that lifestyle.

GK

Linh My,

Well, life expectancy alone is a huge datapoint in favor of modern times vs. the 12th century even for monarchs).

A few top monarchs or warlords in the 12th century had many things that most cannot dream of today, but we are talking about the average people of both eras. The average people today had things that even Genghis Khan, Edward I, or Saladin did not have.

mrsizer

I enjoy laughing at the "simpler times" people. They've obviously never farmed. Subsistence farming is grueling work - I like my fresh fruit in the middle of winter at the local supermarket.

When talking about this sort of thing I tend to use order-of-magnitude by 5s: 5 years ago there was no Internet (as we know it - it existed). 50 years ago there were no Interstates. 500 years ago there was only animal power. 5000 years ago writing was being invented. 50,000 years ago agriculture started.

It's pretty amazing. More people should think about it.

mrsizer

Interesting related post over at the Chicago Boyz.

K T Cat

Terrific post. Allow me to suggest a one word proof that things are better. "Advantage." It's a liquid that when applied to the back of a cat's neck once a month ELIMINATES ALL FLEAS. Glorious! What a wonderful time to be alive!

TP

I happen to be a "leftie" and I find the comments by GK a little counter-intuitive. It is the "righties" who must convince us that the past was soooo much better than now. I mean, gays are "everywhere" and liberals are pushing the Bible out of the school and "forcing" Evolution on our unsuspecting youth. Conservatives are forever crying how things used to be in the "good-old days" before rock and roll and sex and violence on TV.
Yeah, we in this country live better than anyone in the history of the earth, as far as we know, and yet we still find it difficult to provide health care to our neediest children and find a way to stop war. Me, I'll take an end to war over a cell phone any day!

GK

TP,

First off, you assume that just because someone favors low taxes, capitalism, and believes in American exceptionalism, that they must be a White Christian.

It appears you think Bush supporters are 'dumb' and 'rednecks'. Then why are they the majority of all middle-class and high-income people?

This is the typical ignorance of uninformed leftists, who seek to caricature and stereotype those who don't subscribe to their illogical and unpopular ideology.

I'm actually not white, you know. So why is it that my views are not like yours?

As far as 'stopping war', note that war is provoked by AL-Qaeda and their ilk, who are the ones who reject modernity. America, the country that has saved hundreds of millions of lives the world over, is also the country that produces the most new technology.

TP

GK,

I said nothing in my post about whether anyone was "White Christian" or Bush supporters or dumb. It shows where your true feelings come from though. They are based on your own ideas on what other people think and then you project that on everyone. You obviously have some chip on your shoulder because I never said anything about race in my post!
The only thing I spoke about was the conservative tendency to make a caricature out of the recent past and claiming that it was so much better than today based on their false memory. It is this nostalgia that is then used to whip up support for hate. Hatred of the poor, minorities, and those that are different.
You said "For many Leftist positions to have relevance, things must be getting worse over time (more pollution related illness, a poorer, increasingly exploited population, etc.). If in fact the opposite is true (the Cato report shows a linear decrease in race/gender wage disparity over time, increased purchasing power/longevity, etc.), Leftists do not want to hear about it."
First off, the Cato Report is a self-serving think tank funded by like minded conservatives bent on proving whatever point they want to make. Just the thing you accuse "lefties" of. This is common knowledge.
Second, here is a link to the Census bureau's numbers from income disparity. It shows that the lowest 4/5ths of the population saw their income decline over the last five years while income for the top fifth went up around 20%. That's a widening income disparity!
Third, the AVERAGE unemployment was the same between Clinton and Bush only because Clinton inhereted Bush I's high unemployment and drove it lower, hence the average was high. Bush II on the other hand took Clinton's low unemployment and drove it higher every year in office. Not trying to say you are dumb, but... well, statistics can be hard for someone to comprehend.
Fourth, my ideology is hardly unpopular. It calls for an end to the war, which right now makes me in the majority by about, ohh 60% against the war to 40% for it.(http://www.pollingreport.com/iraq.htm) Hmmmm...
I also believe in low taxes (we already have some of the lowest tax rates on income in the developed world), capatalism (as long as it is regulated) and American exceptionalism (this is a new term I assume means American greatness). I think Bush supporters are mostly intelligent people who have been misled by their leader. He is not fiscally conservative (he has never vetoed a spending bill and has presided over non-military spending increases that would have made President "Great Society" Johnson blush). If you are so much in favor of this war in Iraq, why don't you give all your money to it and then go sign up and deploy. Put your words into action, tough-guy.
Finally, America has done great things in the past. No doubt we are a great country that I love and want to see become even better, but minimizing my views because they are "uninformed" does nothing to support your ideas, it only makes you seem smaller.

GK

TP,

You spend 20 days preparing your reply and this is the best you could do? No wonder you lose elections so often.

You parroted a spoonfed opinion that conservatives 'don't want sex on TV' and 'don't believe evolution'. A mere look through this blog will show you that this is not what I think. Then again, the logic displayed within would be painful to you.

"Third, the AVERAGE unemployment was the same between Clinton and Bush only because Clinton inhereted Bush I's high unemployment and drove it lower, hence the average was high. Bush II on the other hand took Clinton's low unemployment and drove it higher every year in office. Not trying to say you are dumb, but... well, statistics can be hard for someone to comprehend."

You are the statistically challenged one here (then again, if leftists understood math, they would not be leftists). Bush II inherited a recession from Clinton, as proven by the stock market already having crashed before Clinton leaving office. Plus, Bush has LOWERED unemployment rate in the last several years, to the point that it is jsut 4.6% today, the lowest it has been for 35 of the last 38 years.

This is easily verifiable from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

"Fourth, my ideology is hardly unpopular. It calls for an end to the war, which right now makes me in the majority by about, ohh 60% against the war to 40% for it"

Then why did the Senate vote 93-6 to keep troops in Iraq? This includes 37 out of 44 Democrats, including Clinton, Schumer, Obama, etc. voting in favor.

It appears you have been fooled by the Democrats. They know that people like you form opinions based on watching 10 minutes of CNN a day, and they can get your votes by telling you something simple enough for even you to memorize, while voting the opposite way. Sucker!

You may be interested to know that almost all Democrats voted for the Patriot Act too. Well, anyone who is not on Al-Qaeda's side would.

"He is not fiscally conservative (he has never vetoed a spending bill and has presided over non-military spending increases that would have made President "Great Society" Johnson blush)."

So you are criticizing him for not being conservative enough? So who are we to vote for, John Kerry? Or are you just a sufferer of Bush Derangement Syndrome, obsessed with criticizing him, even if it means saying he is not far enough to the right?

"If you are so much in favor of this war in Iraq, why don't you give all your money to it and then go sign up and deploy. Put your words into action, tough-guy."
Apparently you don't know that in the US the military is voluntary (which also explains why leftists hate the military. The military reminds you of everything you are not - strong, honorable, determined, hard-working, and heterosexual). Plus, the military voted 70% for Bush in 2004, precisely because of people like you.

Plus, by your argument, you oppose the War in Afghanistan too. Do you oppose the War in Afghanistan? Is anyone who supports the War in Afghanistan a hypocrite for not signing up for the military.

TP

GK


What are you talking about??!!

I didn't say anything about sex on tv or evolution? Do I need to write using smaller words so as not to confuse you? I will also not resort to personal attacks like you have in both of your responses. I work for the military and do not need to justify my willingness to serve or my strength, resolve, toughness (how bout you, tough guy?) As for the heterosexual thing... Come on, are you really going to stoop to an eight year olds level by calling me gay because I am not a hate spewing Conservative? I am starting to believe you are really just a computer program spewing Republican talking points.

The chart you linked to shows exactly what I stated in my post,so I don't need to address that.

Second, the stock market has little to do with the overall economy. Our economy's strength is based mainly on Consumer spending, not stock market prices. And neither of those things has anything to do with unemployment which was the original point you swiftly moved away from (because you lose there!)
Next, what does the voting on that pathetic partisan political ploy by Senate Republicans have to do with the majority of Americans wanting us out of Iraq (nothing, but it is another shift in the focus - this is a popular shell game by Bush lovers "Don't look at facts...he's a terrorist lover!")
Those who voted for the Patriot Act did so based on lies spouted by Bush and Co. and would no doubt have been different had the truth been told!
Everyone supports the effort in Afghanistan because it went after the people responsible for 9/11!
Look, GK, my only point when I wrote this was to say that YES, THINGS ARE BETTER!! In fact, I think the quality of life in this country is better than any people have enjoyed in the history of the world!! Just like the article states.
I want it to continue to get better. It can get better. It will get better when Republicans are forced out and sensible, strong Democrats are given the chance to straighten this mess out.

GK

TP,

Oh, this is just too easy..

You clearly said on June 16 (just look at your own post) :

" It is the "righties" who must convince us that the past was soooo much better than now. I mean, gays are "everywhere" and liberals are pushing the Bible out of the school and "forcing" Evolution on our unsuspecting youth. "

This shows that you think the 51% of voters who voted for Bush are as you describe above. This makes you an ignorant bigot.

If you knew that I was actually not white, but a person of color, you, as a leftist, might hate me even more....

"The chart you linked to shows exactly what I stated in my post,so I don't need to address that."
So you admit to losing? The chart shows that the average unemployment rate under GWB is the same as under Clinton. You cannot blame Clinton's precessor for leaving him a poor economy, if you will not say the same about GWB's predecessor, Clinton. Try to be intelligent, and not a blind fanatic.

"Second, the stock market has little to do with the overall economy. "
Shows how much you know about economics. Don't Clinton fans like to say how the stock market rose during his time?

Economics 101 : A rising stock market indicates a strong economy, and a drop precedes a recession.

"Next, what does the voting on that pathetic partisan political ploy by Senate Republicans have to do with the majority of Americans wanting us out of Iraq (nothing, but it is another shift in the focus - this is a popular shell game by Bush lovers "Don't look at facts...he's a terrorist lover!")
Those who voted for the Patriot Act did so based on lies spouted by Bush and Co. and would no doubt have been different had the truth been told!"

So almost all Democrats voting to keep troops in Iraq and for the Patriot Act involves Bush tricking them by 'lying' to them? Are they really fooled so easily? Or is it more likely that they know how to get the votes of people like you who learn about politics from the Dixie Chicks and Whoopi Goldberg, while voting in a pro-America manner (after actually reading intelligence reports, unlike you).
Looks like the Democrats have fooled you. Sucker!!

"Everyone supports the effort in Afghanistan because it went after the people responsible for 9/11! "
So why do you say that only people who enlist in the military have the right to support wars? YOU said that, now explain the contradiction.

" It will get better when Republicans are forced out and sensible, strong Democrats are given the chance to straighten this mess out."
But you said they are so easily fooled every time Bush 'lies' to them, again and again. How can they be sensible and strong at the same time?

And you never served in the military. You hate them, not only because the military voted 70% for Bush, but for the other reasons I stated above.

Admit it, you lost, just like in 2000 and 2004. In fact, Democrats have not got 50% of the popular vote since 1964...


GK,

So, now I am an "ignorant bigot"? It is enlightening that you continue to name call in our discussion, but I will again refrain from responding to it. I will simply point out that you have made an issue of being a "person of color" twice now, but you do not know my race or skin color and have made assumptions that make you appear exactly as you accuse me of (that's the projection thing I spoke about before). I think it is wonderful that you were born exactly as you are and are blessed by God! It is also not clear to me how this relates to the quote you posted from me. I said nothing in there about race?

Now, to address your post. I do not "admit to losing", I said you proved my point with the chart you linked to. It shows exactly what I said. During Clinton's time in office the unemployment rate went down continuously. During Bush II's it went up until recently. That's all. If you look at AVERAGES you hide this fact. It makes them look equal when the reality is different. What part of that is not clear?

With a BA in Economics and an MBA, I am not a stranger to Economics. If you read my post, I did not say that the stcok market doesn't indicate a strong market. In fact, the stock market is a great indicator of how the economy is doing. What I said is that it doesn't not DETERMINE the economy. There is a big difference here GK, that I thought was clear. Yes, the stock market soared during Clinton's presidency because he lead the economy so competently. The struggles that we see today in the stock market are a sign of poor leadership. I mean, companies are recording record profits, yet the stock market has just regained the beating it has taken over the last six years. Still, it doesn't explain why, even with continued productivity increases, the average real wage for workers continues to drop? This should worry all of us in the lower 4/5ths of the income range.

"So almost all Democrats voting to keep troops in Iraq and for the Patriot Act involves Bush tricking them by 'lying' to them?" Yes, that's exactly what I am saying.

"Are they really fooled so easily?" Who said it was easy? Bush and Co. worked very hard to manufacture intelligence and twist it to meet Cheney's needs. However, we are starting to see the wheels come off the train now. The truth will come out about everything that was said and done to get us into this mess.

"Or is it more likely that they know how to get the votes of people like you who learn about politics from the Dixie Chicks and Whoopi Goldberg, while voting in a pro-America manner (after actually reading intelligence reports, unlike you).
Looks like the Democrats have fooled you. Sucker!!" This whole section here makes NO sense whatsoever. Maybe what you are trying to say is that the Democrats read these so-called intelligence reports and voted for the war based on these truth and then lied to us later to get our anti-war votes? Okay, well, that would make sense if the intelligence reports had been THE TRUTH, but we know now that they were filled with lies. What part of that do you not understand? No WMD's! No link to Al-Qaeda! If they weren't lies then their stupidity and wrongness were criminal negligence that has costs us over 2,500 American soldiers and untold numbers of deaths of innocent Iraqi's!!

Next, where did I say that only people who enlist in the military have the right to support wars? Is there someone on another board using the initials TP because I said no such thing?

Finally, I serve the military every day. I work for the Army and proudly do so. I stand by our men and women in theater and work hard to support them in every way I can each and every day. I do not "hate the military" as much as your ideology must believe I do and I find it insulting that a person cannot disagree with you here and not be accuse of this. It shows that you suffer from Liberal Derangment Syndrome. I will also point out that of the 38 veterans running for public office this fall, 36 of them are Democrats. How does this fit into your worldview?

Liten, GK, I know that you will come back with another lengthy post and try to refute everything I said here. I expect it. Can we agree on a couple of things? One, we both support our men and women in uniform and want the best for them. Let's not degrade their service for your political smears.

And, finally, on what I originally stated, "we in this country live better than anyone in the history of the earth, as far as we know, and yet we still find it difficult to provide health care to our neediest children and find a way to stop war." This is all I was trying to say when you ripped into me. Peace.

GK

TP,

You did say "I mean, gays are "everywhere" and liberals are pushing the Bible out of the school and "forcing" Evolution on our unsuspecting youth. Conservatives are forever crying how things used to be in the "good-old days" before rock and roll and sex and violence on TV. "

This is bigoted, and you said it.

Average unemployment rate does matter. Under Bush II, it has gone down since 2003, when tax cuts were implemented. It went down continuously during Reagan's years too. This certainly destroys your point that only Clinton had a steady decline.

Again, the average DOES matter.

You did admit that Bush is able to fool Democrats again and again. How does this make them fit to govern at all? If anything, it proves them unsuitable.

Plus, you said "Okay, well, that would make sense if the intelligence reports had been THE TRUTH, but we know now that they were filled with lies. "

So both Bush and the CIA lied? Everybody who disagrees with the memorized points of yours 'lied'? I get it, everybody except that noble, trustworthy saint, Saddam Hussein, lied, in your world.

Apparently you don't know that your hero, Bill Clinton, also thought Saddam had WMDs, hence Operation Desert Fox in 1998. Tony Blair and Vladimir Putin did too. So all of them lied.

Thus, by your own logic, Bill Clinton LIED about WMDs!

Iraq had no links to Al-Qaeda? Then how do you account for Zarqawi? Salman Pak? Osama bin Laden's offering of a truce if America withdraws from Iraq?

Even better, WMDs were actually found.

Getting your political opinions from the Dixie Chicks and Whoopi Goldberg is not going to make you credible to adults.
_______________________________________

Democrats voted overwhelmingly to renew the Patriot Act 89-11 and to keep troops in Iraq 93-6. They have fooled you into thinking they agree with you, while voting in a pro-America manner. You have been fooled, (again) SUCKER!!!!

It is untrue that most Veterans running are Democrats, as you have no link from a credible source. But 70% of active and retired military voted for Bush. It is very painful for you to admit this.

Then again, Democrats support the Patriot Act, voted 2 weeks ago to keep troops in Iraq indefinitely, and voted to go to war in the first place. So why would you support Democrats if they do the opposite of what you want (while fooling you into voting for them anyway). I am tempted to say 'Sucker!!' again.

Plus you DID say 'If you are so much in favor of this war in Iraq, why don't you give all your money to it and then go sign up and deploy. Put your words into action, tough-guy.'.

That means you feel the same way about the Afghanistan War too, that only people who sign up have the right to support it. Why else would you set that stipulation, if it does not apply to ALL wars? Or does partisanship matter more to you than supporting the troops (even if you claim to work with them)?


TP

Obviously, sarcasm, when it is not coming from yourself, is hard for you to spot so I will point out that my stating that gays are everywhere, etc was sarcasm. I do not believe these things, I was pointing out how conservatives spout this crap in order to rile up their base and get votes! Man, I didn't think I had to come out and say it?!?

I am not as gifted with posting links in my posts, so I have not done so this thus far and truly, I don't think using facts with you would make much of a difference. You know as well as I do (I hope) that statistics can be manipulated to say just about anything a person wants them to. Everyone with half a brain knows that during the Clinton years the economy soared and during Bush it has stunk (unless you have stock and the stock is in an energy company that Cheney and friends rewrote all the regulations on). Real wages have sunk (http://www.commondreams.org/headlines05/0511-08.htm) and this is the most meaningful indicator of how the average person is doing in this economy. Especially when one considers that productivity (which has been rising) is usually followed by rising REAL wages. Not under Bush though. In fact, unless we get Democrats in office soon, he may be responsible for creating the first generation who do worse than their parents in terms of living conditions in this country!

Thank you for pointing out this WMD were found story because it shows how far into right-wing world you are. That story has already been thoroughly discredited here (http://mediamatters.org/items/200606230008)and here ( http://mediamatters.org/items/200606230005).

By the way, what is it with the Dixie Chick and Whoopie Goldberg? Is that supposed to be funny? I get my information through reading news from here in the US and worldwide and in books. Do you get your information from entertainers and musicians or something?

Thaks for pointing out Operation Desert Fox too. That shows exactly how the pathetic, meglo-maniacal Saddam should have been dealt with. Tactical airstrikes, not sacrificng our men and women to occupy a foreign country. This is where I have a real problem with conservatives who back this war. You have no idea how costly this conflict is and no idea how little it is benefitting this country. There were so many better ways to deal with terrorism than invading a tinpot dictator's country and occupying it indefinitely. Terrorism does not come from a single country! It is an ideology that spans many countries, including our own and needs to be dealt with, but is being ignored right now because our whole focus is in Iraq! I show my support for our troops by working for their removal from a horrible situation, not continuing to cheerlead an awful policy from a president that worked the facts to suit his desire to invade a sovereign nation. I have no problem with removing Saddam from power, but their were other ways to get that job done without sacrificng our soldiers to become policemen for a country now in civil war!! You, sir, are the sucker here. You have been sold a bill of goods called the war on terror and call anyone who doesn't buy into the same delusion as traitors.

The votes on the Patriot Act and the vote to keep the troops in Iraq in no way have any bearing on this discussion. I have already stated my opinion on the Patriot Act as being one that was based on information that has since been shown to be false or of questionable veracity. I really don't feel it necessary to provide links on this because this is now considered common knowledge (at least in the real world of fact and reality, maybe not in right-wing nut o'sphere that you seem to live in). The vote two weeks ago was a partisan political ploy that you seem to hate so much when done by Democrats, but have no problem with when Republicans do it. It was a meaningless statement that was brought up simply to provide Republicans (like yourself) with a talking point, exactly like you are doing now. Democrats did not fall for the attempt to be painted as terrorist lovers (which you so wish they would have) so you've resorted to plan B which is to say "hey, they voted for it too!" This is a tactic that is common on the playground at my child's school. But that is par for the course with Republicans!

Fianlly, I must address your logical fault in this argument about "only people who sign up have the right to support it" remarks. I am saying that, if you believe so heartily in this "war" then perhaps you should do something more about it than sit at your computer and post error-filled rants.

GK, we both obviously feel strongly about this and have different ideas on how the problem should be solved. Instead of trying to find everything wrong with Democrats, how do you see us making Iraq peaceful and getting our troops home? Do you have anything meaningful to add to the debate or are you only interested in scoring political points of the blood of our troops?

TP

GK,

I also forgot to tear down one other argument you made. You said "You did admit that Bush is able to fool Democrats again and again. How does this make them fit to govern at all? If anything, it proves them unsuitable." So you are admitting that he lied? One or the other needs to be right here. Either he lied and we were ALL fooled (Democrats and Republicans and YOU! Doesn't that bother you?) or he didn't lie and Democrats were not fooled and are in fact very smart? Which is it? I'll be happy to admit that I might be a fool if you can admit that Democrats were right all along then! Ha ha, how does it feel to be painted into a corner with your own logic!!

Republicans have an amazing ability to take any of their screw-ups and sell it as "part of the plan all along."

I think "Catastrophic Success" in Iraq was the best example.

They are truly masters of the heads-we-win-tails-you-lose framing.

Economy on a roll? Well that proves the tax cuts are working! Economy not on a roll? Well that proves we need more tax cuts to stimulate it!

Low insurgent activity in Iraq? Well that proves we're winning because there aren't many attacks. High insurgent activity in Iraq? Well that proves we're winning, because the high activity is a sign that the insurgents are "getting desperate."

Democrats want out of Iraq? Winning strategy for Republicans, because we can portray the Democrats as weak! Democrats want to stay in Iraq? Winning strategy for Republicans, because it shows that the Democrats are backing the President's plan!

Bush could bite the head off a baby kitten during the State of the Union, and Republicans could somehow sell it as "defending America."

Amazing. Ignorant.

ATS

TP,

You say that Bush lied about WMDs in Iraq.

Then tell us, did Clinton, Blair, Aznar, Putin, the UN, and other world governments also lie when they said the same thing -- even during the 90's when Bush was the governer of Texas and not the President? Did they all lie? Yes or no?

GK

TP,

You are unable to answer simple questions posed directly to you. Yet you are somehow surprised that your side loses elections in such a humilating manner.

Answer these simple questions, asked yet again.

1) You believe Bush 'lied' about WMDs, because that is what your religion requires you to believe. So explain why Bill Clinton, Tony Blair, and Vladimir Putin also thought Saddam had WMDs.

Plus, he did have WMDs, as proved earlier.

2) Explain why Clinton started Operation Desert Fox, with the stated goal of removing Saddam's WMD capability. You approve of that, yet claim that Iraq was no threat and had no ties to terror.

3) You said "Tactical airstrikes, not sacrificng our men and women to occupy a foreign country."
So how is this compatible with the Afghanistan War, which you claim to support?

4) You yourself admitted that if Bush lied (which he did not), that proves that Democrats are fooled easily. So why are they suitable for power if they always go along with Bush? You seem to be contradicting yourself yet again.

5) It appears that Democrats voted to keep the troops in Iraq, AND voted for the Patriot Act in overwhelming majorities. The Patriot Act 89-11 renewal vote was in 2005, so this debunks your other lie about it. They had 4 years to think about it, and wisely chose to ignore the anti-US moonbats who oppose the Patriot Act. You dodge the fact that Democrats vote for things you continue to oppose, yet tricking you into voting for them (probably because you base your opinions on what the Dixie Chicks and Whoopi Goldberg tell you to think). Again, SUCKER!!! Why do Democrats CONTINUE TO vote this wasy if these things are so wrong, and they are so smart?

6) You said "Terrorism does not come from a single country! It is an ideology that spans many countries, including our own and needs to be dealt with, but is being ignored right now because our whole focus is in Iraq! "
So terrorism spans many countries, but Iraq is not one of them?!! Even though you said airstrikes against Saddam are justifiable. Explain the contradiction (I know, you can't).

7) If Saddam used WMDs on the Kurds, the Marsh Arabs, and against Iran, where did those WMDs go? Or do you claim he dismantled them like a good boy, since Saddam would NEVER lie the way evil Bush (and Clinton, Blair, and Putin) did?

8) You said "awful policy from a president that worked the facts to suit his desire to invade a sovereign nation".
North Korea has no ties to Al-Qaeda, was not responsible for 9/11, and is not even Islamic. So what is your solution to dealing with them?
And Afghanistan was also a sovereign nation. This is the third time your statement indicates an opposition to the War in Afghanistan. It is becoming harder for you to hide your anti-Americanism.

9) Bill Clinton cut taxes in 1997. He cut the capital gains tax, which is heavily skewed to the very rich. This caused an economic boom, and I approve his tax cuts. So why do you think Clinton's tax cut was good and Bush's is bad?

Answer these simple questions. I doubt you can, because your fanatical religion of leftism (you know, the one that ensures humiliating losses on election day) has not equipped you with answers.

TP

OK, even though I can see that my arguments fall on deaf ears, I will answer your questions one by one.

1)You said that he had WMD's as pointed out earlier and I posted the link that shows that this story was discredited. Maybe you didn't read it? Anyone not living in right wing nut o'sphere knows that the "WMD"s found were useless pieces of junk that had been lying dormant and unusable for a decade. Putin, Clinton, and etc knew that Saddam was a bad guy, no one is arguing that point! He may have been trying to develop WMDs but the inspectors found no evidence of anything even remotely threatening to the US. Saddam was and is insane, no doubt, but he was a minimal threat and dealing with him with international pressure and special forces and tactical airstrikes was completely acceptable. I have never stated that Saddam should have been left unwatched!

Also, a little lesson in diplomacy and world politics. Putin and Blair had political reasons to follow Bush's lead and Blair is now facing the same music in his own country for his blind faith in Bush's War.

2) This is the same question as above but specifically Operation Desert Fox. This is the way to deal with any potential WMD's he may have had. Why is it a problem for Clinton to have done something you agree with? I again will state that I do not disagree with dealing with Saddam, I simply believe that invading and occupying Iraq was not the solution! Can you understand the difference?!?

3) The difference with Afghanistan was that we went in with special forces to track down the man behind 9/11, bin Laden. What more do I need to say here? We went after the guy who attacked us! Saddam did not attack us! See the difference here? bin Laden attacks us, we go after him (and fail, by the way. Way to go Bush!). Saddam doesn't attack us, we continue to marginalize him and monitor him, not invade and occupy the country. Also, although I know this doesn't mean in thing in your narrow world-view, the rest of the world was behind us because we were doing the right thing. Going after the bad guy (remember, bin Laden).

4) This one is too easy. If Bush lied (which he did) how were Republicans fooled? I will simply cut and paste my answer from my last post because I answered this idiocy already.

"Either he lied and we were ALL fooled (Democrats and Republicans and YOU! Doesn't that bother you?) or he didn't lie and Democrats were not fooled and are in fact very smart? Which is it? I'll be happy to admit that I might be wrong if you can admit that Democrats were right all along then! Ha ha, how does it feel to be painted into a corner with your own logic!!"

5)Man, I answered this already!! Do you even read my posts? Democrats voted for the Patriot Act renewal and the meaningless, made for TV vote to keep the troops in Iraq to provide Republicans (like yourself) with a talking point, exactly like you are doing now. And then I'll cut and paste some of my answer again, "Democrats did not fall for the attempt to be painted as terrorist lovers (which you so wish they would have) so you've resorted to plan B which is to say "hey, they voted for it too!" This is a tactic that is common on the playground at my child's school. But that is par for the course with Republicans!"

6) I most certainly can justify this statement. Iraq was one of many countries that posed potential dangers to US interests and her people. Iraq was being dealt with which is why Saddam has not attacked us since the first Gulf War. He was being dealt with. It is now becaoming painfully obvious that we have actually done more to create terrorism in that country than ever existed there before our invasion. The war in Iraq has seriously undermined our ability to deal with terrorism worldwide because it has sucked up all of our resources for one country that posed almost no DIRECT threat to the US. Now we are unable to adequately deal with the more dire threat posed by North Korea as you pointed out. What do we do about that now?

Airstrikes against Saddam were justifiable to take out any WMD potentialities so we didn't have to invade. Iraq was one of the threats but it was completely exaggerated to justify Bush's war! What part of this do you not understand! There is no contradiction.

7) The incidents you point out were pre Gulf War I events. The vast majority of his WMD capability was destroyed during that conflict and succeeding inspections, etc. Saddam would indeed lie, which is why we went in there to see for ourselves. If oyu remember, we had inspectors all over the country and the fact that they found nothing of significance has been shown repeatedly (or do you links for that too?)

8) It is impossible for me to say what can be done about N Korea. What I can say is that Bush's war in Iraq has left us with far fewer options and little international backing. If you knew much about the geopolitical situation in that area of Asia, you would know that the Kim Jong Il is not real concerned about the US right now. Thanks to Bush and Co. he knows we can't invade his country too, so he thumbs his nose at us. Hence the missle firings. John Bolton dared him to fire them, so he did. Way to go!

How my statement indicates an opposition to the hunt for bin Laden, I don't know. Since I have stated several times that going after the mastermind of 9/11 was a good idea.

I believe that the US has every right and reason to go after people and governemtns that are a threat to our people and our country with any means necessary, including militarily. This is why we have a military. When it is used judiciously and for good reason. Sacrificing our young men and women for occupation of a country that posed little to no threat to us is wrong.

As far as the anti-Americanism line. Please. I believe that your brand of patriotism is extremely anti-American. If you believe that un-justified wars, the death of over 2,500 of our soldiers, unstoppable deficit spending that is selling out our children and their children, rampant Republican corruption, and tax cuts for the rich are patriotic then you are the anti-American!

9) Are seriously saying that the capital gains tax cut forced down Clinton's throat by a Republican Congress led to an econommic boom? Didn't the country start heading into that recession that you blame Clinton for?

Clinton's tax cuts were also paid for. There was budget surpluses on the horizon and stimulating business investment by a slight cut in the capital gains tax made sense. Bush tax cuts were made in the face of a war and rising deficts. How can you claim to be conservative and not understand these things? It's because of your blind fanaticism for Bush! How can you sleep at night knowing that you support a president who does exactly the opposite of what a good fiscal conservative believes in.

Now, I want you to answer some questions:

1) 9/11 happened on Bush's watch. If everything a president does while in office is their fault (see your complaints about(and praise for) Clinton) how can you solve this contradiction.

2) Since a president is responsible for everything that happens while they are in office, how do explain the balooning deficit and out of control spending of this tax cut and spend president of yours.

3) How do you square your beliefs about smaller government in the face of all your great leader has done? He signed into law the largest increase in the Department of Educations history (No Child Left Behind). I thought conservatives wanted the DoE elilminated?

4) He signed into law the largest increase in welfare spending in history with Medicare D. If this had been Hillary's idea you would have screamed your head off!!

5) He has been invading personal rights by secretly spying on Americans. How a good libertarian can stand it is beyond me?

Answer these simple questions. I doubt you can, because your fanatical religion of rightism (you know, the one that is going to lead to huge losses this November) has not equipped you to think. Period. You will simply cut and paste from Sean Hannity and Ann Coulter's websites!

GK

TP,

You still cannot answer simple questions about contradictions in your views. No wonder you can't win elections.

1) You are DODGING, in a cowardly manner, the fact that Clinton also said Saddam had WMDs , both in 1998 during Operation Desert Fox, and after he left office and Bush became President.
Don't dodge just by saying 'they knew Saddam is a bad guy'. They SAID he had WMDs.

Don't just say 'Blair followed Bush's lead'. If Blair, Putin, & Clinton all think the same thing Bush did, yet Bush 'lied' in the view of your religion, therefore, Blair, Putin, and Clinton also LIED, according to you.

Admit it.

2) How is limited airstrikes the way to deal with Saddam who had WMDs (as Clinton correctly believed), particularly when that did NOT finish the job? Plus, why do you condone the 1200 Iraqis who died from Clinton's airstrikes.

3) That is an incredibly ignorant (i.e. left-wing) worldview. Do you really think all Islamic terror just stops if we get bin Laden? Yes or no?

4) This is where your weak logical skills embarass you.

Fact : Democrats like Kerry, Edwards, Clinton, etc. voted for War with Iraq by a 77-23 Senate vote.

You claim Bush lied to them, and fooled all of the above Democrats.

Thus, by your logic, either :

Democrats are fooled easily by Bush. or
Democrats believed in Bush's reasoning for war, because Blair, Bill Clinton, and Putin believed the same thing.

So which is it? Extremely simple question, even for someone with left-wing IQ levels.

5) Your answer is a dodge. Why would Democrats VOTE for something if they don't support it?

If they voted for the Patriot Act 89-11 in 2005, that means Democrats support it, after having 4 years to think about it.

Same goes for keeping troops in Iraq, which they voted for 93-6.

Votes matter a lot more than rhetoric, except for those who form opinions by copying what the Dixie Chicks and Cindy Sheehan say.

They sure know how to trick you into voting for them, while themselves voting for things you hate.

Again, SUCKER!!!

6) You said ""Terrorism does not come from a single country! It is an ideology that spans many countries, including our own and needs to be dealt with, but is being ignored right now because our whole focus is in Iraq! "

you also admitted

" Iraq was one of many countries that posed potential dangers to US interests and her people."

yet somehow you think the opinion of Bush, Blair, and Bill Clinton is wrong. Again, logic is absent from leftism.

Plus, so you approve the conditions of the Oil for Food scandal, where France and Saddam were skimming money, while 500,000 Iraqis died?

7) er.. he kicked inspectors out. Plus he was threatening to use his chemical weapons all the way up to 2003.

So is Iran also lying about its nuclear weapons programs now? Or are they really not pursuing a bomb?

8) You said "You said "awful policy from a president that worked the facts to suit his desire to invade a sovereign nation".

So you claim to be opposed to invasions of ALL sovereign nations.

Yet, you said : "Thanks to Bush and Co. he knows we can't invade his country too, so he thumbs his nose at us. "

So now it is Bush's fault that we can't invade a sovereign nation like North Korea, even though you say Bush is wrong to invade a Sovereign nation?

Explain the contradiction.

Wasn't Clinton's attack on Bosnia also on a sovereign nation, without UN approval? More hypocrisy/ignorance from the left.

Plus, you didn't answer about what we should do about North Korea or Iran. THis is because the left never has ideas. The only thing you can do is say 'We can't do anything now because of Bush'.

They mystery of your continued thrashings at the ballot box deepens.

9) A tax cut in 1997 caused a recession in 2001?

Plus, doesn't your religion say that the 2001 recession was Bush's fault? So why do you now say that the recession of 2001 was caused by Clinton's 1997 tax cut?

10) And why do you think the strong economy in the late 1990s was due to Clinton, if not for the tax cut (which you think was forced on him by a GOP congress)?

11) And if Democrats are so stong and smart, how did PRESIDENT Clinton get the tax cut 'forced onto him'? Maybe because he supported it too? Clinton supported tax cuts for the rich!!!! Ha ha.

John F. Kennedy also cut taxes in 1961, by the way. This also caused an economic boom. Do you oppose Kennedy as well? This sounds like more of Democrats tricking you into voting for them, while doing the opposite of what you want. For the 8th time, SUCKER!!!!
________________________

To answer your Bush Derangement Syndrome questions.

1) Maybe he should have spied on suspected terrorists and profiled Muslim Men. But you oppose that as per your question 5)

2) The deficit, as a percentage of GDP, is along historical levels. This is just a talking point - you have no real knowledge of the subject.

3 and 4) Wait, you hate the 'Right wing nutosphere', yet criticize Bush for not being right-wing enough? Do you want him to be further to the right? Shows once again that your only 'political opinion' is Bush-hate. When you can't hate him for not being a leftist, you hate him for not being far enough to the right. Insane.

I can ask you why you like Clinton, who :

a) Attacked a sovereign nation without UN approval, that was no threat to us (Bosnia, Kosovo).
b) Cut taxes for the rich in 1997 and caused the economy to boom.
c) Attacked Saddam in 1998 to remove his WMDs.
d) Did nothing to stop terror after the 1993 WTC attacks, Kenya/Tanzania attacks, or USS Cole attacks.

5) This is in direct contradiction to question 1), which proves your lack of logical thinking skills. When he does something, you complain, yet say he didn't do enough.

Bush's good work has ensured that we have not had another attack on US soil, even while London, Delhi, Madrid, Bombay, Beslan, Bali, Amman, Egypt, Turkey, etc. have all had attacks. That is why Bush humiliated you in the election.

You have utterly lost this debate. You are in denial (just like you are about the 2000 and 2004 elections), but you have lost.

Why not just admit that your only political opinion is Bush-hate, nothing else. If you follow a religion so deeply, why not be honest about it?

ATS

TP,

I'm not the same person as GK.

You still haven't answered my question. DID CLINTON, BLAIR, PUTIN, AZNAR, GERMAN INTELLIGENCE, AND THE UN ALSO LIE WHEN THEY SAID SADDAM HAD WMDs? YES OR NO? You're only evading the question with your silly "I already answered that, read above" responses.

Just answer simply, are Clinton, Albright, Cohen others form the Clinton administration also liars for saying that Iraq had WMDs and that Saddam needed to be removed from office -- precisely as Bush has been saying?

Are John Kerry, John Edwards, Hillary Clinton, Chuck Schumer, Jay Rockefeller, and most of the other Senate Democrats all liars for saying Saddam needed to be taken out because of his WMD programs?

Not only did Clinton say that Saddam had WMDs, he even signed the 1998 Iraq Liberation Act which made the official policy of the United States toward Iraq that of regime change.

Clinton said all of the same things that Bush has been saying about Iraq. You can read the FULL text of the Iraq Liberation Act below for yourself.

So, if Bush lied about Iraq, did Clinton ALSO lie about Iraq? Did Clinton lie his way into enacting the Iraq Liberation Act?

Or, are you Homocrats again demonstrating that hating Bush and spreading lies about him is your only agenda?

____________________________

http://www.library.cornell.edu/colldev/mideast/libera.htm

The Iraq Liberation Act
October 31, 1998

STATEMENT BY THE PRESIDENT

THE WHITE HOUSE

Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release

October 31, 1998

STATEMENT BY THE PRESIDENT

Today I am signing into law H.R. 4655, the "Iraq Liberation Act of 1998." This Act makes clear that it is the sense of the Congress that the United States should support those elements of the Iraqi opposition that advocate a very different future for Iraq than the bitter reality of internal repression and external aggression that the current regime in Baghdad now offers.

Let me be clear on what the U.S. objectives are: The United States wants Iraq to rejoin the family of nations as a freedom-loving and law-abiding member. This is in our interest and that of our allies within the region.

The United States favors an Iraq that offers its people freedom at home. I categorically reject arguments that this is unattainable due to Iraq's history or its ethnic or sectarian make-up. Iraqis deserve and desire freedom like everyone else. The United States looks forward to a democratically supported regime that would permit us to enter into a dialogue leading to the reintegration of Iraq into normal international life.

My Administration has pursued, and will continue to pursue, these objectives through active application of all relevant United Nations Security Council resolutions. The evidence is overwhelming that such changes will not happen under the current Iraq leadership.

In the meantime, while the United States continues to look to the Security Council's efforts to keep the current regime's behavior in check, we look forward to new leadership in Iraq that has the support of the Iraqi people. The United States is providing support to opposition groups from all sectors of the Iraqi community that could lead to a popularly supported government.

On October 21, 1998, I signed into law the Omnibus Consolidated and Emergency Supplemental Appropriations Act, 1999, which made $8 million available for assistance to the Iraqi democratic opposition. This assistance is intended to help the democratic opposition unify, work together more effectively, and articulate the aspirations of the Iraqi people for a pluralistic, participa--tory political system that will include all of Iraq's diverse ethnic and religious groups. As required by the Emergency Supplemental Appropriations Act for FY 1998 (Public Law 105-174), the Department of State submitted a report to the Congress on plans to establish a program to support the democratic opposition. My Administration, as required by that statute, has also begun to implement a program to compile information regarding allegations of genocide, crimes against humanity, and war crimes by Iraq's current leaders as a step towards bringing to justice those directly responsible for such acts.

The Iraq Liberation Act of 1998 provides additional, discretionary authorities under which my Administration can act to further the objectives I outlined above. There are, of course, other important elements of U.S. policy. These include the maintenance of U.N. Security Council support efforts to eliminate Iraq's weapons and missile programs and economic sanctions that continue to deny the regime the means to reconstitute those threats to international peace and security. United States support for the Iraqi opposition will be carried out consistent with those policy objectives as well. Similarly, U.S. support must be attuned to what the opposition can effectively make use of as it develops over time. With those observations, I sign H.R. 4655 into law.

WILLIAM J. CLINTON

THE WHITE HOUSE,

October 31, 1998.
________________________

ATS

Read the text of Bill Clinton's Iraq Liberation Act here:

http://www.iraqwatch.org/government/US/Legislation/ILA.htm

Tell us TP, when this act was ratified in 1998, who lied first -- President Clinton or Texas Governor George W. Bush?

As someone who calls others idiots when you yourself can't answer simple questions about your claims, this should be easy for you to answer. So why can't you?

TP

GK and friends,

Look, I am quickly getting tired of this conversation because you continue to only read in my posts what you want to read. But, I will try one more time to address eacj one of your issues because I want to help you.

1) Yes, Clinton said that he believed Saddam had WMDs. I have never tried to dispute that claim. If you remember your recent history (and I think you do because you mentioned the pull out of inspectors) those same inspectors were invited back right before the invasion, but Bush refused to allow it. He had a chance right then to avoid this costly war, but chose to ignore it. Clinton did not have the benefit of inspectors all over the country like Bush did. But, this isn't about whether Clinton believed he had weapons. This is about Bush being the president at the time of the invasion. This is about the FACT that inspectors found nothing and that post-invasion searches have yielded nothing remotely dangerous to US interests. It does not matter what Clinton thought and whether he lied or not. It is a non-issue. Bush was responsible for the decisions he made and we know that the information he was being fed TOLD HIM there were no significant stockpiles of WMD's! But he lied about THAT information to push for war.

2) No one condones the death of civilians. At least, I don't (which is part of the reason I have a problem with this war) If you read the post above that shows the Iraq Liberation Act, it spells out how to deal with Saddam. With international cooperation and support for opposition groups who fought for change in their own country. Not total invasion!

3) This is incredibly ignorant right-wing world-view that invading Iraq would rid the world of terrorism. In fact, it is easily argues that terrorism because of this act has INCREASED! No, terrorism doesn't end if we get bin Laden, but he was the mastermind of 9/11, why do have a problem bringing him to justice? Islamic terrorism has roots that go deeper than we can imagine here. There is no reference for us to base a comparison on in this country. Given that, there are ways to combat terrorism that do not involve every country that has findamentalist Islamic ties. Why is getting bin Laden not important to you? Do the victims of 9/11 mean so little to you??

4) We are arguing the same point here. You are saying that Demorats were fooled to which I say yes, they were fooled by information that has since been proven to be either highly exaggerated or flat out wrong. You then go on to say that because of this Democrats are incapable of governing, to which I reply that following that logic, Republicans suffer the same judgment. Okay, that's that point.

You then try to make a different point by saying that the reasons for war were valid and therefore the rush to war was the correct move to which I reply that, IF THAT'S TRUE then Democrats are as smart as Republicans! I don't follow how this goes to your point about me being lied to now though. Democrats are saying that they were fooled. Not only into voting for the authorization to use military force, but for how that authorization has been abused. Remember, Congress did not declare War.

Both questions revolve around whether Bush lied or not. Not whether Clinton or Putin lied, they are not President of the US right now.

5) Politics is apparently a hard topic for you to understand, so I'll try to make it simple: Democrats voted against the troop withdrawl so Republicans could not paint them as "Cut-and-Run". Because everyone with any brains know that this was the only reason the Republicans brought the issue up for a vote. The resolution was non-binding, meaning it was meaningless and meant to score a political point. You a apparently unable to see this subtle point.

As far as the Patriot Act, this is directly related to the war in Iraq so I don't know why you lump them together. But, regardless, it was passed for much the same reason as stated above. To do otherwise would have allowed Republicans to run ads 24/7 about Cut-and-Run Democrats. Of course, most Americans want us to "Cut-and Run as it is, but that's another issue altogether.

What is your obsession with the Dixie Chicks? I still don't understand this statement. Is it your idea of intelligent debate? If so, I find it rather juvenile.

6) No you don't. You are trying to change the subject here completely. Your original point 6 was about what you believed was a contradiction in my argument. I responded by saying that yes, Iraq was a POTENTIAL threat but that things were being done to address the problem. What most people like you seem to ignore to this day is that Saddam never attacked the US. Period.

Again, what Clinton, Putin and Blair think are irrelevant here. And the Oil for Food Program?? What the hell does this have to do with anything? Of course, I don't support the actions of these criminals?

7)er...Saddam said the inspectors were welcome back before the invasion and was ignored. There are 2,500+ families of soldiers out there that probably wish Bush would have taken him up on this offer.

Iran is probably developing nuclear capabilities, of that I have little doubt. What is your point there? Should we invade them now?

8) You are accusing me of doing the very thing you do here. A common tactic you have been using here is taking something I say and then blowing up to extreme proportions in order to easily knock it down. This is called a strawman argument and you apply it here pretty obviously.

I did not say I am opposed to ALL invasions of sovereign nations. I am against the invasion of Iraq. The fact that they were sovereign is simply an additional fact to be considered when deciding to act militarily. How can you condemn Clinton for Bosnia and not condemn Bush for Iraq? It is you that are displaying the contradiction, not me.

We should continue to deal with North Korea and Iran diplomatically. Bush himself is now saying this is how he sees the Korea issue right now. I agree with him! Why isn't that an idea about how to deal with them?

9) Here again you put words in my mouth. I did not say the capital gains tax cut CAUSED a recession. I will point out that a recession occured a few years after the "wonderful" supply side tax cut was pushed through by Republicans, even though this tax cut was made. Why didn't that solve all our problems as Republicans like to claim ALL tax cuts do.

10) I am not saying the cut wasn't a good thing. It may have been, but there were far more important things going on in the economy that account for the expansion. I mean Bush I and Clinton raised income taxes and the economy boomed! How do you explain that?

11) Again you show some difficulty with politics and economics. Politically, republicans had a majority in Congress and vetoing it may have been a waste of time. But, more importantly, the Economy was showing sign of underlying weakening, despite all the positive news and it was widely agreed that stimulating investment to drive up productivity was important.

Does that clear everything up for you. Right, I'm sure.


Bush Derangement Syndrome answers:

1) This is your answer? He had been spying on suspected terrorists. Why do think he had on his desk earlier that summer of '01 a briefing that said "bin Laden determined to attack US"?

2) This statement CLEARLY shows YOUR ignorance of the subject.The deficit is only along some kind of "histoic levels" if you take the last 30 years. This country had miniscule deficits until 1980's except in times of war. It is most certaintly your largest showing of ignorance yet! In fact, I simply point to the Contract with America that Gingrich and co wrote up in 1994. Republicans main talking point was elimination of the deficit. I fully supported the Republicans on this point and was glad to see then President Clinton take the lead (as President's do, right?) and make it happen. What a crowing acheivement to both Republicans and Democrats that we were able to accomplish something so difficult by working together. Of course, since Bush came into office the freakin' wheels have come off the train!! And it's not due to the war, it's not Clinton's fault and now you can't even blame the recession, the deficit is out of control. Even with Receipts rising due to a tax loophole closing soon that has forced some corporations to repatriate money from abroad, there is little hope that what they accomplished in the 90's now means nothing to these very same Republicans. I don't get it? Or have they lied to you and made you look like a...like a... sucker?!?

3&4) I simply wanted to know how YOU felt about these Bush led decisions? I wasn't claiming to like them? But, you didn't really want to answer these questions anyway, so why not just throw out meaningless statements about my feelings and ignore the question altogether. Or is this another area where your great Republican leaders uh... lied to YOU (not me, cause I didn't vote for this mess). Kinda makes you look like a...wait for it...wait for it....SUCKER!!

I see now why you like doing that. It feels good!

I like Clinton because:

1) He kept this country safe and out of major wars for no reason (Are you old enough to remember what was going on in Bosnia at that time?)
2) He presided over the largest economic expansion in US history.
3) His lies did not cost American soldiers lives.
4) Attacked Saddam in 1998 to destroy potential WMD production facilites.
5) Cut Capital Gains taxes for the rich wich stimulated investment.
See, unlike you, I can think outside the ideologial box you've been locked in by O'Reilly, Rush and Hannity. I've got no problem with FISCALLY RESPONSIBLE (i.e not deficit causing during war time) tax cuts for targeted, rational purposes. Tough to stereotype everyone who disagrees with you and dislikes Bush and Co.
5)You are truly a mental marvel, GK, you are barely able to think outside of your talking points. I asked you to square these points with YOUR own beliefs. I do not think he did enough to stop 9/11, but I would have thought the same thing if this had happened on the watch of (the real winner of the 2000 election) Gore, had he been president. Had the same thing happened (ie. memo on his desk says "bin Laden determined to attack" and then not doing anything about it) I would have been angry (as you would have been too! Admit that!) If it had been Gore at the helm on 9/11, you have wanted his head regardless of how he dealt with it!

I am also asking you to explain how the party of individual rights continue to support a President who has done everything in his power to destroy those very rights. These are the rights that make this country different from Saddam's Iraq and Kim's North Korea. How can you support him on these issues?

Bush has done nothing to lessen the chance that we will be attacked in this country. There are several people, including those in his party, who believe that we are LESS safe now than we were before 9/11. We have simply gotten lucky so far. What will your argument be, if, God forbid, another attack is successful in this country? Will you blame that on Bill Clinton too?!?

Throughout this entire debate you have avoided answering any questions directly that I have posed to you and consistently thrown up strawmen attacks and repeated almost verbatim the gospel of Rush that I expect you are incapable of admitting that you can't think objectively anymore. I feel sorry for you. Not because you are Republican because I believe that Grand Old Party will outlive Bush loving zealots like yourself, but because you refuse to allow even a smidgen of truth and logic to penetrate your incomprehensible hatred of anything or anyone who doesn't blindly support this administration.

I mean, you are aware that Republicans are increasingly dissatisfied with Bush's performance. That most American citizens (NOT CONGRESSMEN/WOMEN) think the war in Iraq was a mistake and that troops should come home now. You do know that our own Generals are saying how Bush and Rumsfield pushed this war in the face of mountains of evidence that it was not going to work You are aware that exactly the mess we were in is exactly what they predicted would happen? Bush was wrong on Iraq! This is a fact that almost everyone outside of fanatics like yourself accept. Why can't you?

Finally, I don't hate Bush. I think that Bush personally is a good man. I like his desire to do the right thing. I simply disagree with how he has chosen to go about it. Why is that not acceptable in our country anymore? Why do I have to blindly agree with you and Bush in order to have a valid point? Why can't you step outside your hate and see reality? I didn't like EVERYTHING Clinton did. Monica, welfare, dropping the health care issue. The fact I can say that makes me more honest than you. I am not a Bush-hater. I just think he has made some BIG mistakes. We'll see how the elections this fall affect your swagger.

Thanks for the debate! I will let you have the last word and I will, of course, read it, but I need to move on.

TP

ATS,

Sorry, I did not respond to your question before. It kinda got lost in the length of GK's post. I will answer your question here, although I think I sort of answered above. No, I do not believe that Clinton, Blair, Putin, Aznar, German Intelligence, the UN and BUSH lied when they said Saddam had WMD AMBITIONS. Of these people, only Bush, stated he believed Saddam currently possessed fully functioning WMD capable of delivering a terrorost strike on US soil. No one else has ever said that particular thing because it is demonstratably, unquestionably, factually correct!

They all said (Bush included), and I agreed with, removing Saddam from power was a worthy goal. I AGREE THAT SADDAM WAS A BAD GUY! They weren't lying about that. All I have said, over and over again is that a) Bush cherry-picked intelligence to exaggerate the threat, b) he ignored data that went against his war plans (even from his own military people), and c) There were several other options for acheiving the worthy goal of removing Saddam rather than the poorly planned and executed actions of this administration. In other words, I think removing Saddam was good because he was an evil person who did horrible things to his own people to control them. HOWEVER, I believe that the way Bush did it was completely wrong and he needs to do be a man and take responsibility for his mistakes and correct them immediately.

Thanks for the posting of the Iraq Liberation Act. It shows how to respond to Saddam without invading his country and costing lives and billions of (borrowed) dollars. And it was working because SADDAM NEVER ATTACKED US!! IRAQ (as was obvious during and after the invasion) was militarily impotent and had no WMD's!!

And homocrats? Wow, don't let that homophobia show too brightly! Someone might think you are a ignorant, redneck moron or something. Not that I do, of course!

ATS

TP,

You said:

"a) Bush cherry-picked intelligence to exaggerate the threat, b) he ignored data that went against his war plans (even from his own military people),"


Typical liberal, all emotion and no ability to defend your own claims. Of course, now that you're forced to back up your ridiculous charge that "Bush lied" and can't do it, you change it to something else entirely.

Various investigations including the 9/11 Commission have proven that your claim of "Bush cherrypicking intelligence" has no basis whatsoever. The Democrats reviewed the exact same intelligence that the President did, and no Democrat or other membber of Congress has been able to name ONE piece of information that was suppressed. Can you?

Congress has intelligence committees whose job is to oversee and question intelligence reporting, which they did. You're again trying to make your unsupportable claim that "Bush lied" without using those those words. You're fooling no one.

Give us a few examples of "Bush cherry picking intelligence". EXACTLY WHAT DID BUSH HIDE FROM CONGRESS OR THE DEMOCRATS?

Even Howard Dean and John Kerry backed off this bogus claim once questioned about it by the press, yet the Bush-haters they pander to like you continue to believe it. So give us a few examples, including your "warplan data" that was ignored. Or are you going to change the subject to something else?


"c) There were several other options for acheiving the worthy goal of removing Saddam rather than the poorly planned and executed actions of this administration."


Like what? Another 17 UN resolutions for Saddam to violate? More corrupt UN Oil for Food programs? More secret oil deals between Saddam and France, Germany, Russia and China -- the chief opponents of the war to remove their favorite Arab dictator? More of Saddam's violations of the no-fly zones? More punishing sanctions of the innocent people of Iraq?

Do you support this war to liberate Iraq from Saddam and his terrorists or not? Yes or no?

Your claim that Saddam had no WMDs is already proven false and no sane American is drinking your 3 year old kool-aid any more. Over 500 banned chemical weapons are known to have been found and, as proven by the Duelfer Report, Saddam had every intention and means of restrarting WMD production once the UN sanctions were lifted. Is the Duelfer Report also a big lie, since it doesn't help you nurture your Bush-hatred?

Explain to us how this was NOT a danger to the world and DID NOT pose a ongoing threat to Israel and the region.

Saddam was directly funding international Islamic terrorism (including harboring the chief terrorist in Iraq Zarqawi who was in Iraq at least since 2002), had proven OPERATIONAL ties to Al-Qaeda and the Taliban as revealed on tapes and documents made public by ABC News, was planning to attack American cities including New York and Washington, DC through third party terrorists (again as revealed through the ABC News tapes and documents), paid the families of Palestinian murderers of Jews $25,000 each, tried to assasinate a former US president, used WMDs against Iran and his own people to conduct genocide, and attacked Israel and Kuwait murdering hundreds of innocent Jews and Arabs.

The operational connections between Saddam, Al-Qaeda and the Taliban are summarized here as well:

http://www.foxnews.com/column_archive/0,2976,146,00.html

The fact that you'd rather appease the Saddams and Kim Jong Ils of the world rather than stop these despotic killers is why the Homocrat party keeps losing elections.

But take heart, you'll always be able to hate Bush.

ATS

More TP nonsense:

"I am also asking you to explain how the party of individual rights continue to support a President who has done everything in his power to destroy those very rights."


Which rights or civil liberties has Bush taken away from you? Your right to lie about him on the Internet? Your right to make phone calls to Islamic terrorists in foreign countries? Your right to transfer money to Osama bin Laden?

You're right on one point. Bush is indeed complicating your 'right' to 'marry' someone of the same sex. Obviously this angers you, but you'll always be free to blame Bush for it.

GK

TP,

You are tired because you are losing, as your side always does to my side.

Let's summarize your self contradictions, shall we?

1) You admit that "Yes, Clinton said that he believed Saddam had WMDs. ", you admit that Blair and Putin also believed the same thing. You admit that bombing Saddam from the air is OK when Clinton did it. You even say that "removing Saddam was a worthy goal."

Yet, you think Bush's invasion is one of the worst atrocities ever committed against humanity. You also said that those who don't sign up for the war are wrong to support it from the safety of their homes.

It shows that you have merely memorized one-liners and cannot see the illogic of your statements.

2) You say the way to deal with Saddam's WMDs was to bomb him from the air. How? That didn't even get rid of Saddam?

3) How has the Iraq War increased the threat of terrorism to the US if the US has not had an attack in 5 years? Plus, we got Zarqawi by being in Iraq. Otherwise, he would still be alive. Also, didn't you say removing Saddam was a worthy goal?

4) The point is, on the Patriot Act, in 2005 (after they had 4 years to think about it), 89 Senators voted the way I wanted, and only 11 voted the way you wanted.

On keeping troops in Iraq, 93 voted the way I wanted, and just 6 voted the way you wanted.

That shows how far from the mainstream your fringe minority is. It must be a miserable life to be such a misfit in American society..

But you still vote for Democrats who consistently vote against what you want, again and again.

They have tricked you, SUCKER!!!!

5) You said ""Terrorism does not come from a single country! It is an ideology that spans many countries, including our own and needs to be dealt with, but is being ignored right now because our whole focus is in Iraq! "

but you also admitted

" Iraq was one of many countries that posed potential dangers to US interests and her people."

Your own words contradict your memorized dogma, again and again.

6) You also said "I believe that the US has every right and reason to go after people and governemtns that are a threat to our people and our country with any means necessary, including militarily. "

What is YOUR plan to deal with Iran, which openly says they are building nuclear weapons? By your logic, we should attack them, no?

7) You said "I did not say I am opposed to ALL invasions of sovereign nations. I am against the invasion of Iraq."

So sovereign doesn't mean much anymore, eh? Anyway, from point 1) it shows that you are not actually opposed to invading Iraq, you are just opposed to anything Bush does.

If Bush did not invade Iraq, you would slam him for not addressing the problem of Saddam and his WMDs (just like you are saying with North Korea right now).

8) You said "Are seriously saying that the capital gains tax cut forced down Clinton's throat by a Republican Congress led to an econommic boom? Didn't the country start heading into that recession that you blame Clinton for?"

You still have not explained how :
a) A congress can force something onto a President. Isn't it more likely that Clinton supported the tax cuts too?
b) How did tax cuts in 1997 cause a recession in 2001 (as you claim above)?

What do you say about John F. Kennedy's 1961 tax cuts, BTW?

TP's Bush Derangement Syndrome.

1) You say Bush did not do enough to stop 9/11. At the same time, you don't want him wiretapping terrorists as it takes away their 'civil liberties' to kill innocents. No sane person could not notice the contradictions in your two memorized points from the Dixie Chicks.

2) er..the deficit, as a percentage of GDP, is only 2.25%. Why don't you tell me what the historical percentage of GDP the budget deficit has been? I realize numbers are something liberals can't grasp, but do try.

3) Sane, mature people realize that no politician will be 100% what we want, or 100% what we hate. I like Clinton's tax cuts and his realization that Saddam's WMDs were a threat. Bush doesn't satisfy me 100%.

But a nut like you hates Bush 100%. The mere sight of him serving food to troops on Thanksgiving is enough to put you into an apoplectic seizure. This shows that you are extreme.

Then again, a position on the Patriot Act that only 11 Senators supported and 89 opposed, and a position on the Iraq War that only 6 supported and 93 oppose prove your extremism already.

And what 'rights' have you lost? Quit just repeating what the ACLU and NAMBLA tell you to say. The only rights lost under Bush are the terrorists rights to operate freely.

If you think the 2000 election was 'stolen', why didn't you write to your congressmen about it so that they could impeafch Bush? That is what they are for, you know. Or is it because Democrats don't believe your extreme views on this issue either?

You clearly have no answer to how your own sentences are so contradictory. At this point, I can continue to pound you.

This will become instructional material for my readers, on how to demolish a non-thinker by pointing out the massive contradictions in your own sentences.

The Summarizer

Okay - I came here because GK directs us here from the current top article.

I think the crux of the debate - on BOTH sides - got lost in between too much verbosity. Too much text loses your readers.

Anyway - so I thought I'd summarize how this debate reads to a 3rd person.
__________________________

Salient points from TP's position:

1) Sadaam is bad and should have been dealt with

2) Strategic airstrikes is the way to deal with such a case, NOT a full-blown war. In other words, doing more of what Clinton did (strategic airstrikes) would have accomplished this.

3) Being stuck in a full-blown war now limits our options wrt dealing with other rogue nations, including Iran and N. Korea

4) While TP hasn't specifically responded to the Iran or N. Korea issues, from his logic it would appear that he would support removal of current leadership in both countries if they are a serious threat to the US, but again NOT via full-blown war. Only via strategic missile strikes, diplomatic pressure, and other operational/financial means.

5) Full-blown war is only meant for people who directly attack us first, not otherwise.

6) Yet Democrats voted for this war, only because they had fabricated evidence.

7) Even Putin, Blair, etc. had the same fabricated evidence that Bush & Co. spent hours and lots of hard work manufacturing

8) Clinton was good for the economy and Bush was bad. Clinton was a responsible spender, balanced his budget, and brought unemployment down in his time.

Bush is bad for the economy, spends uncontrollably, has a ballooning budget, and the result is a decline in real wages and unemployment rates when NOT looking at the average, which hides this.

________________________

GK and ATS's rebuttals:

1) Agreed. Sadaam is bad and should have been dealt with.

2) Strategic airstrikes is NOT the way to deal with him, as it didn't work when Clinton tried, why would it work now? Nor would UN Sanctions (which already failed), or diplomatic pressures (I mean, these same nations were involved in scandal (oil for food, etc)).

3) You haven't addressed this. Do you think being in Iraq limits our options, militarily speaking, now? Or is the US military capable of waging more than 1 wars, simultaneously?

4) What is your solution for dealing with Iran and N.Korea? This topic hasn't been hashed out in your guys' debate, but has only been slung around as a side note on both sides (or at least that's how it reads to a 3rd person).

5) This is untrue in a modern world with modern problems, facing a modern enemy which is the Terrorist, who is somebody that operates covertly, doesn't wear uniform, attacks us unprovoked, and is motivated by a dangerous ideology.

6) No, the Democrats had access to the same intelligence that Bush did. How dare people make such accusatory claims without any evidence of specific pieces of intelligence that Bush fabricated and/or had exclusive access to?

7) Bush, Putin, etc are foriegn leaders with their OWN intelligence agencies that they received information from, in addition to ours. Therefore suggesting they too were "tricked" implies that all intelligence agencies in the world (Russian, British, etc) were in collaboration with lying Bush. Wow, he must be a (evil) GENIUS to be capable of manipulating intelligence from around the globe and tricking foriegn leaders and US congressmen alike.

8) Bush is good for the economy, as AVERAGE unemployment is as low today as it was during Clinton. The deficit as a % of the GDP is in fact NOT "ballooned out of proportion." You did not address the Real Wage issue, I don't think.

The economy did well under Clinton, mainly because he inherited a strong economy from his predecessors, did one big Cap Gains tax cut (which was good), and was lucky enough that no big catastrophe happened in his time, allowing him to ride this positive wave out.

However, even the momentum he inherited from his predecessors wasn't strong enough to let him ride out for 8 yrs, as was evidenced by the end of his term (the stock market crash of March 2001).

____________________

This pretty much sums up how it reads from my lens. Does it sum it up from your guys'?

GK

The Summarizer,

That is a good summary. My main problem with TP is that despite admitting that Saddam was bad and should have been dealt with, AND Clinton also thought he had WMDs, AND Clinton was already bombing Saddam (which TP approves of), AND Blair, Putin, etc. believed the same things as Bush and Clinton, TP still thinks the Iraq War was hugely, horribly unjustifiable.

Another point I press TP on is how he insists that Democrats are strong, smart, and better than the GOP, while he simultaneously claims that they are fooled easily by Bush again and again, whether on Iraq or the Patriot Act. I press him on why almost all Democrats voted in favor or the Patriot Act in 2005 (89-11) and keeping troops in Iraq in 2006 (93-6), which means that most Democrats have the opposite view that he does, and his views are a very small minority in the Senate, even among Democrats.

The real wage issue is addressed in another debate here.

Lastly, he says Clinton was so great, yet a tax cut was 'forced onto him by a Republican congress' in 1997, which caused the recession in 2001. I dispute that a President can have a tax cut forced onto him and think it is far more likely that he too was in support of them. Senate Democrats supported in too in a 92-8 Senate Vote. Plus, how can a tax cut cause a recession 4 years later?

The massive contradictions in his own statements are what prove that he is a collection of isolated one-liner talking points, not a thinker.

The Summarizer

Yes, because he thinks war is a waste of huge resources and lives, when the same result of getting Sadaam could have been achieved with inspectors and strategic airstrikes, a la Clinton.

I think a discussion on what impacts Clinton's missile had, specifically, on Iraq and Sadaam would be beneficial to highlight to him and others why, militarily speaking, strategic airstrikes are not an effective strategy.

As for the whole Democrat voting majority thing - he continues to insist that Democrats (and Blair, Putin, etc) were tricked by Bush - but not easily (because that would imply Democrats are gullible fools), but rather, after much hardwork and massive fabrication of intelligence evidence on Bush's part.

So the way I read it, TP is not of the camp that "Bush is dumb", but rather that he is a hardworking mastermind of intelligence fabrication, which would make him both a genius and very evil.

To me, that's where TP lost it - claiming the democratically elected president of a secular nation is an evil mastermind of conspiracy and evidence fabrication is blasphemous.

If he hadn't gone down that road, he actually wouldn't have come out looking as bad, in my book at least.

GK

Summarizer,

I agree.

Even if Bush is the hardworking mastermind TP describes, he still can't explain why the Patriot Act was renewed in 2005 with an 89-11 Senate Vote. This is after Democrats had 4 years to think about it. This could not possibly be the product of Bush fabricating what the Patriot Act actually is.

He cannot explain why Democrats consistently vote the opposite way that he wants, even if their media posturing is designed to appease their voters (like TP).

I guarantee if the US drafts a resolution to invade and topple Iran's regime, it will get 70+ votes in the Senate, including Hillary Clinton's.

He also said that "if you support the war, why don't you go fight it, tough guy?". This position is flawed, because if that criterion for support applies to the Iraq War, then why not the Afghanistan War? Why not for Bosnia in Clinton's time? He is being very selective (and revealing anti-Bush double standards) by doing this.

The Summarizer

Yeah, the "why not enlist in the army yourself" argument is silly.

And while TP wasn't able to be concise and consistent, I do think there is a sizable contingency of people who support the Patriot Act and even the Afghanistan war, but not the Iraq war.

Iraq war is where a lot of partisanship seems to arise, part because of the media, part because the Bush Administration's PR isn't as smooth as say, Reagan's might have been, and part because all the drama leading up to it vis a vis the UN and all that.

GK

Summarizer,

I agree, but those who support the Afghanistan War and not the Iraq War, while entitled to that position, just don't think about how much Clinton's own opinion of Iraq/Saddam was similar to Bush's. Clinton (and Bush I) didn't want the political burdens of invading Iraq, so just continued air strikes. But Clinton's opinion on the extent of the threat Saddam posed was (and still is) identical to Bush's.

Plus, those who oppose the Iraq War for reasons like no UN approval/no threat/no WMDs/no ties to terror still, even today, have no objections to Bosnia, in which all of the above disqualifiers are much more true.

This shows one-line talking point "fashion" psychology rather than an intelligent position that assesses each war within a continuum of justifiability against consistent criteria.

I fully agree that smooth Reagan/Clinton caliber PR is the entire reason Bush's approval is 40% and not 60%. This in itself is undermining his success relative to what it could have been.

ez ezz

I dug your blog despite it being typical toting of the futurist party line. I was happily flipping through old postings until I stumbled upon this diddy of an altercation. I think I'll stick to the tech news from now on.

playertwo

i just spent a week on tour with a rock band from detroit that went from nyc to bos. the entire trip spent listening to obamania, leftist ludditism and the kicker: they spent the whole week getting directions from magellan, stayed in constant contact with each other by text or cell, prepped every show over the internet with restaurant suggestions and hotel room locating etc..

when I got back and took a long long shower to get the travel off it me it struck me just how "aswim" their minds are, how completely prideful and unrealistically ungrateful they are and last but not least just how simply dicked we all have it these days.
herotodus comes to mind (wealth/pride/ruin) and sometimes I feel like we're in the Weimar heading for lampshadeland, but these people (us) are so absolutely RICH and agile these days that I almost think all bets are off and WHO KNOWS!!
The rise of the "middle" in everything is what cracks me up. The only word I could use to describe the current zeitgheist was.. 'mush'.

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