Today on Blogcritics
Home » President Bush’s Passing Grade

President Bush’s Passing Grade

Please Share...Print this pageTweet about this on Twitter0Share on Facebook0Share on Google+0Pin on Pinterest0Share on TumblrShare on StumbleUpon0Share on Reddit0Email this to someone

In the last six or so months, I have mostly chosen to absorb the political atmosphere from a very casual stance; letting it wash over me like an acid rain.

What I have observed has titillated my senses, provoked my preconceived notions, and made me question my personal and social objectives.

As an American, I have only a handful of wishes.

Safety for me, my family and assets.

This encompasses a variety of issues. Obviously, national security is first and foremost. I do not wish to go back to the 80’s hyper-paranoia of nuclear nightmares. The optimism I felt when Communism collapsed that we were somehow safe from annihilation, has diminished with the passing years since September 11. It is clear that we live in a world that is built on a false-sense of security. The fragility of the very fabric that holds our social structure together has been exposed. I do not worry so much about the Kim Jong Il’s of the world, but rather the dark specters of chaos who have nothing to lose and nothing to gain but a desire for destruction, fueled by ignorance, brain-washed of compassion and committed whole-heartedly to a violent culture of death.

We can NOT defend ourselves with conventional strategies against today’s terrorism. The only agenda of these individuals, is the complete and utter destruction of our existence. There is nothing we can give them to sate their need for our death. This is a reality. President Bush and his administration receive an A+ in this area. Bush and Co. seem to grasp the notion that the only thing the terrorists respect is violence and death, therefore the cliché of not backing down, not showing weakness, being resolute is our ONLY defense. I applaud them and wish that they carry on with fervor and diligence until anyone who even entertains the notion that using terrorist techniques is eliminated.

We must be feared and respected – not loved and accepted. That will come when all nations have the gift of democracy.

Financial solvency.

Ten years ago I couldn’t have cared less about the deficit, social security, recession and energy policies. I was as carefree as a kitten with a ball of string. I see that same vacancy in my step-kids eyes. It’s called, immaturity and a complete and total lack of understanding of the complexities and nuances of economics. As long as everything is kosher in their little worlds and they have some spending money to suck up their consumables, what happens to their overworked parents is a non-issue.

Even now, as I slowly am awakened to these tedious details, I find my mind seize up on me as I attempt to grasp and understand our capitalistic/socialistic society. We need to protect the masses from their own stupidity with money. Our country is filled with more people who spend their paycheck on crap like the lottery, than those who sock away whatever they can in a savings account, saving for the long-run. It is Middle America, coasting on credit to keep up with the Jones, only to find themselves in a fiscal hole when their salary dwindles in comparison to their finance charges.

What this country REALLY needs is credit card reform, not social security reform. I am not opposed to personal accounts in theory. Hey, why not give people more control over their money and allow them to invest it? Except most people aren’t fiscally responsible and can’t be trusted to save their own money, plus we have a spookish stock market that can’t be counted on over a 50 year period. Personal accounts won’t fix the problem, when the problem is how the money is tended to.

Fiscal responsibility is what needs to be taught and rewarded. If you give people the tools to take care of themselves, and thusly the breaks and benefits of doing so either in tax credits, high-yield savings accounts/govt. bonds – I think then Middle America can create its own social security solvency. But giving extended tax breaks for the exorbitantly wealthy is only going to make the exorbitantly wealthy, ostentatiously wealthy. Focusing on middle class America is what is truly needed and is sorely being overlooked, because we in fact are the backbone of this country. Bush and Co. get a C- for their economic agenda.

Religious Conservatism vs. Liberal Socialism

Here is where things get ugly and otherwise reasonable people become unhinged. Equating gay marriage to a decline in moral values is an oxymoron. Confusing the “religious sanctity” of marriage to civil unions between loving couples is an intentional effort to obstruct positive social agendas with bigoted, puritanical perversions. There is absolutely no good reason that two individuals who are upstanding, contributing, law-abiding, tax-paying members of society can not enter in a legal-binding contract that states they are allowed to make decisions together and on behalf of one another in matters of familial, financial or health-related issues.

It is fiscally sound; it encourages cohesion, harmony and monogamy and creates a network of support for the individuals contracted to one another. All of this makes for a better nation, a stronger nation.

There is no such thing as a “pro-life” movement. There are people who oppose abortion and people who support the right to reproductive decisions. Any normal human being is pro-life. Only murderers are pro-death and the issue of abortion is a moral one between the person requesting an abortion and the person administering an abortion. When a human being is able to support its own functions without the assistance of the life functions of another, only then should that life be allowed to have rights afforded each us under the Constitution. What needs to be determined in this issue, is when is does that function occur. Is it twenty weeks, twenty days or twenty hours? This is an ever-evolving target number as science progresses. I am opposed to aborting a human life that can be sustained on its own without the life-giving functions of another – abortion beyond that point is a matter of life-weighing measures and should err on the side of the one giving the life to the other and not be administered without some extreme extenuating circumstances, such as a fetal death or abnormality in the womb. That is my stance; it is a moderate to conservative one, both fair and judicious.

Bush and Co. get an F from me on these issues. When I vote for a President I am voting for a commander-in-chief to run the country based on legislative rules as they apply to domestic and international issues. Our country is filled with both secular and non-secular individuals, it is unconstitutional for our president, senators, judiciary members, representatives both federal and local, to make arbitrary decisions based on their personal religious beliefs. These decisions disenfranchise millions of voters and it is unethical. We have a constitutional right to separation of church and state, and as a tax-paying, law-abiding, contributing member of this country, I expect to be afforded the same constitutional rights as anyone.

We vote for a President, not a Minister.

According to my calculations President Bush’s current GPA is a 2.0 – which makes him a C student, just average. This brings me to my final point. Being average is exactly what makes Bush an appropriate leader for this country. We have become a “just average” kind of place. From a global perspective, the United States has fallen dramatically in the ranks of great nations. We aren’t the Golden Jocks and Cheerleaders of the world, we aren’t the brainiac Chess Club of the world, what we are is the Cool Stoner Crowd. We still get passing grades and make it to most of the cool parties, but no one looks to us to lead the school to a rallying victory against our rivals. We’re just hanging back, coasting by.

Hey, maybe that’s okay. That’s what I did in high school – just hung out, coasted by and had a good time.

Whoa, look at me now – am I the pinnacle of success or what?

Powered by

About Dawn Olsen

  • Bennett Dawson

    Nice piece Dawn, Enjoyable, an accurate snapshot of many of us, and did I mention scary? :-]

  • Eric Olsen

    very nice Dawn, thanks, I agree with much of it

  • Dawn

    Thanks Bennett and Eric – I think most Americans can find something to agree with in my assertions – which is really where we need to head towards. All this partisan-ship and bickering is boring and non-productive.

    It will cause people to tune out of politics when we are in the greatest need of tuning in.

  • http://leoniceno.journalspace.com Leoniceno

    Nice article, quite enjoyable. And representative of the way that many feel. By the way, are you related to Eric? 😛

  • JR

    So Bush refuses three offers to take out Zarqawi before the invasion of Iraq, fails to catch him for two years after the invasion, and still hasn’t caught the guy actually behind the 11-Sep attacks, and you give him an A+?

    Talk about grade inflation.

  • Eric Olsen

    frankly, politics is boring as hell right now. There just isn’t anything going on I can ge too worked up about either way.

  • Dawn

    JR

    Grades are based on peer comparison, I don’t think I can imagine anyone taking the task as seriously as he and his group do. They aren’t God with omnipotent powers to see all and be everywhere – I gave credit where credit was due.

  • JR

    I don’t think I can imagine anyone taking the task as seriously as he and his group do.

    Seems to me the Pentagon was taking the task more seriously when they went to Bush asking for his approval to take out Zarqawi.

    The Clinton administration clearly took bin Laden more seriously than Bush did before the attacks; that’s well documented. Why assume they wouldn’t have taken terrorism more seriously after the attacks too?

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    Perhaps because they were offered Bin Laden on a silver platter and declined to take him at that time?

    Dave

  • Eric Olsen

    Dawn is my sister (slap) daughter (slap) sister (slap) daughter. Wife, actually

  • JR

    Perhaps because they were offered Bin Laden on a silver platter and declined to take him at that time?

    Seems quite reasonable to assume that Bush would have done the same. Particularly in light of his turning down the Zarqawi strike after 9/11 and after declaring his so-called policy of pre-emption against terrorists (Zarqawi) and WMD’s (which Zarqawi was suspected of having).

  • http://dumpsterbust.blogspot.com Eric Berlin

    I liked this piece very much, Dawn. I disagree on the foreign policy angle, which might not be a surprise to anyone. I’m all for being feared by terrorists and rogue states, but we also need friends wherever we can find them, which this administration seems to actively avoid. The most recent example, of course, is the Bolton nomination.

    Your comparison of social security and credit card reform is nothing short of fantastic! I just finished a piece on bankruptcy reform (I’ll be posting it to BC as soon as it publishes in print) in which I grew more angry and enraged as I went. Why don’t credit card companies self-regulate better, or why doesn’t the government force them to?

    Credit cards enter the wallets of the carefree youngsters you mention, Dawn. And before they know it, it’s a lifetime of circulating debt.

  • Dawn

    Credit card companies like fiscal irresponsibility, it is the fuel to their voracious appetite.

    I firmly believe they are as wreckless and dangerous as the tobacco companies of the fifties, sixties and seventies. They know the devastating effects of their product, but market freely to those most vunerable.

    And like all big business, they can hide behind the government’s protection because those who make the legislative decisions regulating credit cards aren’t at the greatest risk of being manipulated.

  • http://www.elitistpig.com Dave Nalle

    True enough, JR. But don’t go trying to make Clinton out as the great anti-terrorist warrior, because the issue was barely even on his agenda or anyone else’s before 9/11.

    Dave

  • Nancy

    Or because those who make the legislative decisions regulating credit cards are also in ‘debt’ to the credit card companies for election contributions.

    I was pretty ticked by the recent bankruptcy “reform” myself, because it apportioned no blame whatsoever to the card companies’ reckless and irresponsible behavior, only the consumers’. This kind of one-sided legislation is so patently the result of influence peddling by big-bucks lobbies and political corruption it makes my blood boil. Would that it did same to the politicians.

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    That’s a philosophical issue, Nancy. The philosophy which Bush and Co. subscribe to, and it’s not entirely unreasonable, is that businesses are like forces of nature. They do what they can to make money, and it’s up to those of us who are conscious entities partaking of their services to figure out what’s a good deal and what isn’t. It’s all about our free will.

    Dave

  • NC

    I firmly believe they are as wreckless and dangerous as the tobacco companies of the fifties, sixties and seventies. They know the devastating effects of their product, but market freely to those most vunerable.

    That’s a very good analogy. I quite agree.

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    Ah yes, please Mr. Big Government Man, protect us from our own gullibility, greed and irresponsibility. Here, why don’t you take some of my civil rights as payment for the warm and cuddly sense of security you give me.

    Dave

  • http://dumpsterbust.blogspot.com Eric Berlin

    Yes Dave, Big Businesses are Forces of Nature… that will knock and are knocking the hell out of regular folk (some bright, some not so much).

    If government does nothing… or not much, as is now the case, say bye bye to the environment and watch as the Little Guy is prayed upon mercilessly as we consolidate and descend into a one company oligarchic corporate state. It’s all market forces, right?

  • http://dumpsterbust.blogspot.com Eric Berlin

    Dawn — you make an excellent point regarding tobacco and credit card companies.

    It’s one thing to lay off the Big Macs and the fast food every once in a while… but once you’re hooked on cigs or a cycle of debt, some can quit, and many never, ever can… ’till death do you part.

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    I’ve got no problem with government environmental regulation, Eric. But the issue here was regulating the credit card companies – at least in the recent comments. That’s a whole different deal. Beyond requiring them to disclose their terms and not actively deceive people, how much farther should government go to hold our hands in making simple financial decsions?

    Dave

  • Nancy

    Well, I have to agree with Dave: we are responsible for our own actions. But it still makes me want to tar & feather everyone in Congress. Actually, I want to do that anyway on general principle; I don’t need a reason…. 😉

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    If you bring the tar (it’s messy), I’ve got plenty of feathers.

    Dave

  • NC

    More on credit-card companies here from the decidedly libertarian Glenn Reynolds.

  • http://dumpsterbust.blogspot.com Eric Berlin

    Credit card companies should either self-regulate better than they are now — such as getting out of the business of hooking broke college / high school students on credit — or be forced to.

    The recent bankruptcy legislation was passed, in part, due to people that are unable to pay their credit card bills. There’s a problem here, and the solution under the Bush Administration (as always) is to screw the little guy and favor Big Business.

  • Dawn

    The problem with credit cards is that you can be an extremely responsible person fiscally and quickly lose ground in the war of credit.

    All it takes is a relatively brief loss of income (six months laid off maybe) and suddenly you go from a credit score of 700 to 500 and you are getting slammed with finance charges and interest rates that are criminal.

    To me 24.99% is a criminal interest rate to charge someone who is already have a problem paying their credit card.

  • Marty Thau

    Good article Dawn. I definitely agree with most of it. There’s just too much mediocrity in the air right now – thanks to our “leader.” You know what they say — the fish rots at the head.

  • http://dumpsterbust.blogspot.com Eric Berlin

    Tell me about it, Dawn. Try two years of on-and-off layoffs followed by two years of full-time grad school. Yep, I’ve got some experience with those credit cards.

    That’s not even to mention the proliferating business of paycheck loans, which have exorbitant interest rates… anyone out there have a read on what they are? I just recall that they’re astronomical. Legalized loan sharking, really.

  • NC

    There’s a problem here, and the solution under the Bush Administration (as always) is to screw the little guy and favor Big Business.

    I hate to break it to you, Eric, but that bankruptcy bill was bipartisan all the way.

  • http://dumpsterbust.blogspot.com Eric Berlin

    Some Dems voted for it, not all, and I’m pissed at the ones who did, NC.

    Too many politicians are deep into the pockets of Big Business.

    I applaud the hell out of Feingold and McCain for trying to clean up the mess with campaign finance reform. Too bad it didn’t work.

  • Dawn

    The bankruptcy bill is just another example of how our federal government is getting bigger and more intrusive.

    Rather than looking out for the interest of the individuals (individuals who as a collective make up the United States) they have taken a single escape net for those in the most direst of needs and made it harder to start fresh.

    No one advocates fiscal irresponsibility. No one wants to short-change a company who has lent credit to a person on good faith, that’s not my beef. What I oppose is the unfairness of the credit rating usage and the business practices of the collective credit card companies. They are squeezing those who can least afford to be squeezed.

    Between this and September 11, our economy has taken a turn for the worse – and I fear the divide between middle-class America and the poverty line is starting to erode.

  • http://www.elitistpig.com Dave Nalle

    Dawn: “To me 24.99% is a criminal interest rate to charge someone who is already have a problem paying their credit card.”

    Many states do have laws against usurious interest rates, but those mostly target loan sharking and the ‘paycheck’ loans someone mentioned, which have interest rates as high as 60%. A few states set the limit lower, but because it takes longer to change the law than it does for interest rates to change, it’s hard to set a statutory limit that’s relatively low when there’s a risk that the prime rate might rise to the point that it would be impossible for the credit card companies to make any profit.

    Eric B:”The recent bankruptcy legislation was passed, in part, due to people that are unable to pay their credit card bills. There’s a problem here, and the solution under the Bush Administration (as always) is to screw the little guy and favor Big Business.”

    The way you’re looking at this isn’t really an accurate representation of the Bush administration attitude. There’s no intention to screw the little guy or favor big business, there’s just abstract policy which doesn’t factor the little guy in at all. It’s all based on the principle that what’s good for business is good for everyone. If businesses are allowed to profit, they hire more people, pay better wages, make more deals with other companies and generally grow the economy and this benefits everyone down to the lowest level worker. In abstract it’s a very attractive philosophy, it just doesn’t necessarily work out smoothely in the short run in the real world. But don’t make the mistake of thinking that Bush and Co. don’t give a damn about the little guy – they do, but they are convinced the best way to help him is to encourage growth in the business sector.

    Dave

  • Dawn

    As an independent contractor I am all for the growth of the business sector but conversely, I need the government’s assistance in covering my expenses. I am forced to use credit in a variety of forms and I find that the interest rates for the larger credit card companies border on terrorism to small business owner.

  • http://www.roblogpolitics.blogspot.com RJ

    “we have a spookish stock market that can’t be counted on over a 50 year period.”

    Please name a single 50-ytear period in our nation’s history where the stock market did not beat the returns of the present SS system…

  • http://www.roblogpolitics.blogspot.com RJ

    “The Clinton administration clearly took bin Laden more seriously than Bush did before the attacks”

    Uh, then why did BJ refuse an offer from Sudan to take OBL into custody?

  • http://www.roblogpolitics.blogspot.com RJ

    “To me 24.99% is a criminal interest rate to charge someone who is already have a problem paying their credit card.”

    Ah, but South Dakota has very lax usury laws. Therefore, lots of CC companies have set up shop there…

  • http://www.roblogpolitics.blogspot.com RJ

    “I applaud the hell out of Feingold and McCain for trying to clean up the mess with campaign finance reform. Too bad it didn’t work.”

    Yeah, they just infringed on the First Amendment in the process…

    The road to Hell is paved with…what?

  • http://www.bhwblog.com bhw

    A few states set the limit lower, but because it takes longer to change the law than it does for interest rates to change, it’s hard to set a statutory limit that’s relatively low when there’s a risk that the prime rate might rise to the point that it would be impossible for the credit card companies to make any profit.

    Why can’t the states or the feds just set the maximum rate at a certain number of percentage points above the prime rate? Then the specific prime rate at any given time doesn’t matter.

    My main beef with credit card companies is that they’re sneaky and are always trying to trick their own customers into paying extra for something, such as by offering you a special increase in your credit limit, only to raise your interest rates after you borrow against that limit. Their business is a business of misleading people into signing something they’ll regret later.

    And I think that it should be illegal for CC companies to mail me pre-approved account applications with my name, address, and other information already printed on them — I have to deal with shredding all that crap that I didn’t ask for. The same goes for those CC checks included in my monthly bill. I don’t want them and I resent that I have to spend the time shredding them every month. In today’s climate of identity theft and fraud, it should be illegal to send that stuff printed with personal info on it already, especially when it’s unsolicited.

  • http://www.roblogpolitics.blogspot.com RJ

    Just about every day of my life, I have to tear and throw away already-printed CC “checks” from one of the seven companies I have a card with.

    It’s a waste of paper, if nothing else…

  • http://www.elitistpig.com Dave Nalle

    >>Why can’t the states or the feds just set the maximum rate at a certain number of percentage points above the prime rate? Then the specific prime rate at any given time doesn’t matter. < < Um, because that's unfair restraint of trade? >>My main beef with credit card companies is that they’re sneaky and are always trying to trick their own customers into paying extra for something, such as by offering you a special increase in your credit limit, only to raise your interest rates after you borrow against that limit. Their business is a business of misleading people into signing something they’ll regret later.< < You just need to find one of the good companies. Try going to clarkhoward.com and applying with one of the ones he recommends. >>And I think that it should be illegal for CC companies to mail me pre-approved account applications with my name, address, and other information already printed on them — I have to deal with shredding all that crap that I didn’t ask for<< I believe legislation making that illegal passed last year. Not sure what the timescale for implementing it was though. Dave

  • http://www.bhwblog.com bhw

    >>Why can’t the states or the feds just set the maximum rate at a certain number of percentage points above the prime rate? Then the specific prime rate at any given time doesn’t matter. < < Um, because that's unfair restraint of trade?

    Why is it any more unfair than the limits that states already set?

    I haven’t fallen prey to CC company tactics. My husband and I are lucky enough to be able to pay our bill off monthly. We never carry a balance, so that helps insulate us from those crazy offers to borrow more or move money from one card to another.

    We have a good card now with Amazon.com. For every 2500 points we earn, we get a $25 gift certificate to Amazon. We haven’t paid for an item on Amazon in over a year. I’m thinking of switching to one that puts $$ in an educational 529 plan or a 401K plan instead, though. I’ve kind of had enough of the Amazon benefit.

    And I hope the pre-approved account applications stop tomorrow!

  • http://www.roblogpolitics.blogspot.com RJ

    Look, if you use your credit cards wisely, you end up essentially getting FREE LOANS.

    And despite this, the CC companies will continue to make money because of those who are inept at managing their own personal finances.

    I have no beef with those who offer “credit” and explain, in mind-numbing detail, the terms of all this.

  • http://www.bhwblog.com bhw

    If you use them most wisely, you pay them off every month. But many people can’t do that for good reasons, as others have stated earlier on the thread.

    But my sister-in-law is constantly shoveling money from one card to another trying to get the lowest interest rate or zero % interest for some specific term. Then she doesn’t use that card for new purchases because inevitably the interest rate on purchases is higher than rate on balance transfers. So she has to keep track of which cards are just carrying debt and which ones she’s using to make purchases. If she spent half as much time working to actually pay down the balance, she’d be in much better shape. She’s 30 and she’s still paying for stuff she bought when she was in college — and it wasn’t stuff she really needed [not like she had a family to feed and clothe], but mostly stuff she just wanted. That’s crazy.

  • http://www.roblogpolitics.blogspot.com RJ

    Look, I can empathize. I’ve been in deep CC debt before. It waws foolish to live above my means, and I relaize this now. Thankfully, I’ve been able to pay the vast majority of it off.

    But to blame the CC companies for the moronic behavior of some individuals seems to be barking up the wrong tree. These corporations extend a line of credit to people, with certain caveats and restrictions. This is a legal agreement that they enter into, recognized in all states.

    You shouldn’t blame your poor sister’s bad judgement on the companies who offered her credit. You should blame your sister. She knew the rules; now she must tighten up her fiscal belt, and undo the damage she herself caused.

    That’s what I did. It took a long time, and a lot of work. But I did it, without being a wuss and declaring bankruptcy. If I can do it, so can your sis!

  • http://dumpsterbust.blogspot.com Eric Berlin

    I’m 31 and can tell you that my generation is carrying a hell of a lot of debt: cost of living, cost of education, cost of transportation… everything’s rather expensive, especially if you live in the Northeast or West (places I’ve lived).

    It’s possible to live debt free, yes. But easy? Hell no.

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    I buy everything with my Amex card and pay it off every month. It’s awfully convenient and doesn’t cost me anything.

    Dave

  • http://dumpsterbust.blogspot.com Eric Berlin

    That’s nice for you.

  • Shark

    Nice article.

    Mediocre leader for mediocre nation.
    C student leads a C country.
    Stoner watches world go by; looking cool is better than being cool.

    Yep. That’s us.

    — A Proud American

  • Shark

    And dare I add:

    I’m with JR, et al. on the astonishingly inappropriate A grade for Bush & Co. “protecting” us from terrorism.

    Seems they just bilked taxpayers and redistributed the money to friends and family under the guise of “Homeland Security” — and invaded some dumb-ass Iraqi oil patch and turned that country into a terrorist Petri Dish.

    Let’s talk about that “grade” after the next big terrorist attack, yes?

  • Shark

    DaveNalle: “…Beyond requiring them to disclose their terms and not actively deceive people, how much farther should government go to hold our hands in making simple financial decsions?”

    Answer: Being good Christians, and seeing as how Bush’s favorite philosopher was Jesus, it would be nice if these hypocrites would encourage the practice of the BIBLICAL BAN AGAINST USURY.

    Y’know, really conservative, Christian stuff like:

    “If you lend money to any of My people who are poor among you, you shall not be like a moneylender to him; you shall not charge him interest.”

    …and about 15,000 other similar verses in their Holy Book of Truth.

  • http://jonsobel.com Jon Sobel

    “Being average is exactly what makes Bush an appropriate leader for this country”

    Don’t you think that’s rather pessimistic? Isn’t leadership about trying to lift us up, lead us towards being better than we are? Or is that just mushy 1960s liberalism? Today we’re in the age of the President as CEO, I guess. In which case, we want a President who makes sound business decisions. Given Bush’s C- grade (as per Dawn – I’d make it a D), shouldn’t the nation have given him a nice golden parachute in the last election?

  • Dawn

    Shark I agree with you about the usury charge and the hypocrisy of being bible reading folks and then being excessively judgmental – a very big no-no in the eyes of Jesus.

    But I stand by my A grade for the war on terrorism – I really genuinely feel that Bush has taken it extremely seriously and has done what ever he thought was appropriate on behalf of the people in this country.

    He isn’t flawless, posessing super-human powers, but I feel he is doing all he should.

  • http://dumpsterbust.blogspot.com Eric Berlin

    Dawn – I agree with you that Bush has taken terrorism “extremely seriously and has done what ever he thought was appropriate on behalf of the people in this country.”

    That’s what I’d expect of an F-Plus President, though. I hate the decisions he has made, almost up and down the line: the continuing shift on justifications leading up to and post-war with Iraq, lack of coalition means body/money drain while our ports/infrastructure get lightly defended, brazenly pushing away allies, and on and on.

    Meanwhile, our current policies and environment are beginning to push our best and brightest overseas while keeping foreign talent off our shores.

  • Dawn

    I didn’t vote for Bush, I was adamantly opposed to Bush and still have a certain level of uneasiness about him and more importantly, those he surrounds himself with.

    BUT and this is a big but here (hehe)I have thought long and hard about Bush as a President and a person and there is an element to him that I can personally connect with.

    He is plain spoken, puts on zero pretenses, he’s charismatic to anyone who has ever had to deal with him one on one (an excellent quality in a president), he appears to be guided by his own interal principles, he’s a family man AND he has overcome his own personal demons.

    These aren’t qualities that one might look for in a senior statesmen, but they are qualities I would look for in a manager, or a CEO.

    And really, what is the president if not a CEO of a major corporation?

    I don’t agree with his ideology, philosophy or economic policies in about 90% of all cases, but I am not the only human in this country.

    As long as he is fullfilling his duties as President to the best of his abilities (which I believe he is) then I will force myself to find the positives over the negatives – because honestly, what else is there to do?

    He can’t run again and I am above all else an American and I feel it’s my duty to at least go along with the program until the time comes to step up and have my say and make the changes that I feel are necessary – AND hope that more Americans than not feel the way I do.

    I do encourage intelligent and reasonable discourse on the subject, though, because how else can we come to a thoughtful decision in the next election.

  • http://dumpsterbust.blogspot.com Eric Berlin

    Dawn – I dig where you’re coming from on Bush as Decent Human Being. And I get the connection that others feel. I’ve just never felt it. Maybe it’s a red/blue thing, who knows?

    As an American, I support the President as far as acknowledging that he’s our leader and not advocating revolution or such. But in a democracy, I feel it’s my duty to voice my opinion and opposition to policies I see as harmful to America’s interests and people.

    I’m not trying to refute anything you’ve stated, Dawn. But I’ve never been a happy camper under House of W, and have been literally counting down days and months since his re-election.

    (I might be slightly autistic on that score, but that’s an entirely different topic).

  • http://dumpsterbust.blogspot.com Eric Berlin

    By the way: “intelligent and reasonable discourse” is wonderfully refreshing.

  • Dawn

    Well you have certainly grasped my sentiments – yes, I feel he is a decent guy, and in a world full of not-so-decent guys that gets a thumbs up.

    Not exactly a ringing endorsement, but not enough for me to drown myself in the nearest body of water.

    I am resigned to going with the program. I just wish that the Dems would find someone more viable than Hillary for the next election – while I dig her as senator and all, I just can’t see throwing away my vote on a person that is reviled by so many.

  • http://dumpsterbust.blogspot.com Eric Berlin

    So I take it you think that Hillary Clinton can’t win, Dawn? Don’t count her out — she’s already been pushing to the middle and has a few more years to become an even more formidable candidate than she already is. She has Bill in her corner, and if she can close off strong opposition from the left early, she’ll be in a very good position… especially if the Republicans cater to their base and nominate a right or far-right candidate.

    Remember that many people hated and hate Clinton, and that the truth is that there will be many up in arms about any Democratic candidate (and Republican, to be fair).

    She’s done a great job as Senator thus far, something many said she would be unable to do. She’s won over red New York — which is not easy. I’ve lived in places like Binghamton, which are much more like Ohio than the Lower East Side.

    I really think that most Republican strategists would much rather see someone like Edwards in ’08.

  • Dawn

    I like Edwards, but I don’t think I would vote for him.

    Look if Hillary can garner anything close to a 50% margin by then, I am all for it.

    But I remain skeptical.

  • Nancy

    Inasmuch as I despise all politicians of any stripe, I always despised Hillary a little less than most myself, and still do: she’s a sharp cookie, a strong, independent person on her own, and I like that. From questioning those around me who hate her, I get the impression they don’t think it’s appropriate for a mere woman to be that strong, intelligent, and well-educated; it threatens them and their biblical sense of women being fit only to be subservient breeding stock. Others dislike her because she’s “sneaky & two-faced” – as if male politicians weren’t!? BUT – I don’t think she’s viable as a candidate, simply because, when trumping up the religious reich POV it will be too easy to demonize her further AS a woman and a non-subservient, “Christian” woman at that, even tho she has never been charged or convicted of wrongdoing, unlike Bill, despite the best efforts of the unlamented Ken Starr & GOP. After all, it was awfully easy to win the past election by painting Kerry and everyone not a hyper-religious ultraconservative as being virtual satanists; how much easier to damn an uppity woman like Clinton, who is further hindered by her close association with the equally virulently hated Bill, who has already been proven to be a sinner (as if none of them weren’t)? I do hope I’m wrong in a huge way, but I really don’t think she can overcome those kinds of hurdles, and the Dems have too much at stake. I still think they should all be tarred and feathered, D’s & R’s alike, together with their amoral skank associates like Rove and that grease spot that was stealing documents from the Natl Archives….

  • Dawn

    Those are excellent insights Nancy and I am sure you are spot on. I just don’t think America is open-minded enough to have a female president. I am sure we will see a non-white male before we will see a female as president. As a society, we are much more gender bigoted – than color biased.

    And both are a sad state to be in.

  • Nancy

    Yeah, kinda like the Catholic Church (most religions, actually?) where a retarded, insane, or criminally-convicted male has standing to serve, while the purest, most intelligent woman does and can not. Most ironic in view of Marian ideology.

  • Nancy

    But I digress, and that was only a semi-applicable example. I have to agree with another contributor (at this point I’ve lost track of who, in what thread), that decent tho GWB may be thought to be (and I don’t necessarily agree w/that, since I hold all politicians and their courts to be tainted), in the long run it doesn’t matter, since the road to Hell is still very much paved with good intentions.

  • http://www.elitistpig.com Dave Nalle

    I find it interesting to see such support for Hillary. One of the earlier posts acknowledged that she had been ‘moving towards the center’ which implies that the poster is aware that it is a cynical move purely designed to make her more acceptable to the public. But somehow that’s still attractive?

    I had few problems with Bill Clinton. A do-nothing president is usually a good thing and aside from some foreign policy ineptness he did very little harm. Hillary seems to be very different in her goals and motivations and despite her ‘move to the middle’ – which is pure smoke and mirrors – she remains an ardent leftist with ideas so dangerous and unacceptable to the American people that short though their memory is I doubt she’s going to fool enough of them to get elected.

    As far as electability, her main problem is her aura of arrogant cynicism. She doesn’t seem to be able to shed it. When she speaks she comes off as lecturing and pandering to the audience, and you can sense how hollow and insincere her facade of being a moderate really is. What’s more, if she has to make deals with the moveon.org faction of her party that will move many of her positions too far left for most of the voters to stomache.

    The key thing to remember about 2008 is that the majority in the country are moderate independents who traditionally have tended to agree with the Republicans on a few key issues. These folks share the Republican distrust of Hillary and she’s not goint to win a majority of their votes. That means that she cannot win. To get those votes the Democrats need to come up with a candidate who has unique ideas or a special appeal to moderate independents. With moveon.org owning the party that will absolutely never happen.

    If you don’t want to see an ultra-conservative in the White House based on moderates biting the bullet and picking the lesser of two evils, your best hope is that the Republicans manage to rein in the Neocons and pick a Republican moderate like McCain or Giuliani. It’s not clear to me that this is even possible, of course. McCain is getting too old and Giuliani has a walk in closet to store his skeletons in. That means the Republicans have to find someone similar but younger. Our best hopes there might be Tom Tancredo (in our dreams anyway) or (shudder) Jeb Bush. I know the latter horrifies everyone, but the Bush family seems to have patented the ability to be moderate while still placating the ultra-right, and Jeb’s like George but with the ability to actually speak complete sentences and even more smarmy charm. And most importantly with the current polarization he might be the best we can actually get elected.

    Then consider this scenario. The Democrats couldn’t beat George W with all his faults. Who do they run against someone very much like him, but better spoken, better looking, and with more political experience? The only thing Jeb has against him is the appearance of the creation of a Bush dynasty.

    Dave

  • Dawn

    Jeb is in no way better looking than George, and he has a particularly lame first name.

    I mean come on Barbara and George, what the heck were you thinking?

  • http://www.dumpsterbust.com/ Eric Berlin

    A number of thoughts:

    – All politicians “move” and re-position themselves all the time. Bill Clinton did it, W. did it, everyoone does it. To think otherwise is to not understand modern American politics

    – About Hillary: understand that the right, particularly the Christian Right, would never vote for any Democratic candidate. Rove drove the vote to get the religious right out against Kerry, so we have to assume that will be the playing field from now on. Kerry didn’t do enough to convince the middle — I don’t see any reason why Hillary can’t do better with women, soccer moms, minorities (who love the hell out of her husband), and so on. Bill and Hill on the road will be Big Time fun, and short of McCain, the Republican candidate will have a hard time matching that pure spectral firepower.

    – The idea that Hillary Clinton holds opinions and policy proposals that are “dangerous” for America is just silly. Let’s not begin a new McCarthyism to root out the “leftists,” okay?

  • http://www.bhwblog.com bhw

    You shouldn’t blame your poor sister’s bad judgement on the companies who offered her credit. You should blame your sister.

    I do hold her accountable [sister-in-law, btw, not sister]. She didn’t fall into debt from a bad set of circumstances; she used her credit card to live above her means, buying a new PC when she didn’t need one, charging clothes that she didn’t need [she had 30 pairs of jeans], etc. She was a student and she lived like she was earning a full-time salary.

    My problem with CC companies is their business practices and the way that they take advantage of people who are in dire circumstances or who have racked up debt. They DO use misleading advertising — they should be forced to print all the negative stuff that will happen as big as they print the “zero percent interest for 2 years” stuff. Consumers shouldn’t have to be searching for “the catch” with a magnifying glass. Their promotions are designed to mislead. That’s not a reputable business practice, it’s treating the customer base with contempt. And the entire industry does it — it’s their business model.

  • sydney

    Firstly I liked your Article Dawn.

    Secondly, I have a question with regards to Dave Nalles discussion about where to place liability; In the hands of a corporation or the consumer.

    1) Most American capitalists seem to always suggest that the consumer/citizen is responsible for his or her actions.

    That is to say, they believe….If a person smokes, eats fat foods, plays too many video games, buys sweatshop clothes, drives an SUV, fails to recycle, doesn’t vote, watches tv shows with destructive influence…. than he/she is responsible for the consequences. Tough luck, you die.

    2) On the other side of the debate is the socialist who says, humans are prone to err and often don’t do what’s best for themselves. They believe, then, that it is partly necessary to have governmental controls which limit opportunities for self-destruction. They, also, believe that certain members of a society shouldn’t profit from the poor choices of other members of that society.

    These two perspectives are partly what distinguish liberals from conservatives, I believe. Am I correct?

    In any case I belong to the latter group and am often in favour of using governmental control to limit the ability of one faction of society to profit on the poor choices of another faction.

    My question is this; Why is it that so many Americans are so petrified of using governmental control to guide/shape capitalist processes?

    Other countries do it and it works fine? I’ve always thought that Americans always refuse this because they buy the rhetoric that big business/Government’s sell them; that is that Capitalism is their baby and it is responsible for all their success… it shouldn’t be messed with — ‘we’ll all turn into infants if we let the government make our decisions for us‘.

    Does any of this make sense ? Let me know what you think..

  • sydney

    Just let me add one more note with regards to my beliefs.

    As far as governmental controls of capitalism go, I believe that there is such thing as goind TOO FAR. However, I believe thats a line we’ll know when we cross it and the political process is there to help us debate that line.

    As it is now though, it’s completely taboo to mention any governmental interference with corporations. The average american doesnt seem to realize the damge they’re doing.. and how preventable it all is.

  • http://dumpsterbust.blogspot.com Eric Berlin

    That’s a complicated but good set of questions you present Sydney. I think you’re partially right in your assertions, but in this kind of area I think it’s quite easy to get into over-simplification.

    I think “rugged individualism” and a stark of fear of both fascism and communism play in, along with a general bedrock belief that government should interfere in people’s lives as little as possible. Of course, that statement is wrong in a hundred days in the modern environment, but I think that leads to a sort of historical framework of sorts.

    To me, there’s certainly a happy medium that should be worked toward — a government safety net and basic regulations that ensure everyone has a fair playing field and to protect people from abuses and some of the harshest natural gales of capitalism.

    We’ve seen a steady march away from that happy medium on some of these issues dating back to the Reagan years, stalled by the Boom 90s and the Clinton Administration, and accelerated under the House of W.

  • Dawn

    In the words of Ben Franklin (I believe) “All things in moderation”.

    Being moderate is the key and may answer some of assertions to what Sydney asks (and thanks for the kudos).

    We are leaning farther to the right at this time, but I am relatively confident that it will sway back to center over the next few years.

    Center is a place I want to be – appealing to the most number of people is what a democracy is supposed to strive for.

  • http://www.elitistpig.com Dave Nalle

    Sydney: “My question is this; Why is it that so many Americans are so petrified of using governmental control to guide/shape capitalist processes? ”

    There are so many reasons, both old and new that it’s hard to know where to even start answering that one.

    First there’s the fundamental principle of free trade. Just as we favor freedom for the individual we favor freedom for businesses to do business the way that they see fit and that best benefits their shareholders and management and employees. In a free market businesses should serve the public and be responsive to the public because if they are not then negative public reaction will harm their profitability. One of the reasons to keep government out of the free market is that government has the power to interfere in this process and isolate businesses from their responsibility to the public.

    On a purely practical level, there is the issue of businesses being granted preferential status by government, where certain businesses are granted monopolies or government contracts which give them an advantage over their competitors. This concern dates back to the very beginnings of our country. It’s what the Boston Tea Party was about. We saw how this type of relationship was abused in England and didn’t want that to happen here. This continues to be an issue today. Look at what’s happened in eastern Europe where limited capitalism has been introduced to formerly totalitarian systems and the governments have worked with selected capitalists to create priveleged situations for them and received huge graft in return. We don’t want things to work that way here.

    Then there’s the fact that it’s pretty clear that the things which businesses do well are usually not done as well when they are done by government, and as much as possible those things should be kept out of the hands of government. There are a few things which government does very well, but normally those are functions in which they are not in competition with businesses. One thing you really don’t want in a capitalist system is government set up in competition with business, because the result is damage to trade and lower quality of service.

    We’ve got negative examples from our own history and from the rest of the world to look at, and that helps keep us on a path away frok government control.

    >>Other countries do it and it works fine? << It does? You think eastern European governments selling off their infrastructures to capitalists like George Soros who then close the factories and sell of the assets is a good idea? You think countries like France which totally control working conditions, profit margins and even the ability to be allowed to start a business are going to be able to compete economically in the long term? What you get in a command and control economy is inferior service to the citizenry, higher overall cost because of lack of competition and massive corruption and abuse because of the close relationship between government and business. We already have a good bit of that in our current system here in America and that’s why we’re fighting so hard to see it goes no further. Dave

  • http://www.elitistpig.com Dave Nalle

    >>We’ve seen a steady march away from that happy medium on some of these issues dating back to the Reagan years, stalled by the Boom 90s and the Clinton Administration, and accelerated under the House of W.<< Sounds like ‘good old days’ syndrome to me. Or else you just don’t remember the nightmare days of the 60s and 70s very well. Economically the 70s were a disaster, which Reagan brought us out of, laying the groudwork for the growth of the 90s, which was then stalled and reversed by Clinton’s repressive taxes, from which we’re just starting to recover now. Dave

  • http://www.roblogpolitics.blogspot.com RJ

    “Jeb is in no way better looking than George, and he has a particularly lame first name.”

    His real first name is John. JEB is simply his initials, John Ellis Bush…

  • http://dumpsterbust.blogspot.com Eric Berlin

    That’s interesting, I didn’t know that. I figured it was short for Jebidiah or something.

  • http://www.elitistpig.com Dave Nalle

    Same as Jeb Stuart. It’s a southern thing I think.

    Dave

  • Dawn

    You mean he chooses to call himself Jeb? Well that confirms that.

    George is still WAY better looking.

  • sydney

    Thanks for the post Dave. Sorry my reply is a little long. I am not surprised by your opinions, though I still disagree with them. Sorry my reply is a little long.

    You sort of lay down a blanket set of assumptions about how Capitalism works best. However, you ignore the fact that it isn’t working very well. Far too many people are being run down by this unregulated form of Capitalism. Far too many people are denied the basic needs and opportunities that American’s claim people should have; education, health care, etc.

    I suppose conservatives can say that anyone born into disadvantage is simply lazy and brought misfortune upon themselves etc… Well this isn’t true, but assuming it is, this doesn’t change the fact that these people will in all likelihood continue have children who inherent this misfortune etc…

    Now, do we create systems that help to bring them from this state of lowliness, to give them the financial and social security they need to rise above their position? Do we spend a disproportionate amount of tax money on them despite their perceived laziness and ignorance? I think so… because it works (As is evidenced by all sorts of research, other countries who do this, and by common sense) Or do we continue to set them up for slaughter?

    Why is America’s standard of living so low given its relative economic power?

    The answer lies in the fact that Capitalism is not a JUST system. It might be a good organizational structure but it does not lend itself well to the principles of democracy and justice. Or at least it leaves room for much improvement.

    To me this is why we need some government regulation. I realize you believe that Govt’s always just fuck it up, but I don’t think this is necessarily the case. Why shouldn’t a government, in principle, control certain, small aspects of an economy/social system in an effective way? We just have to make it work. You can’t just say it doesn’t, because we need to assess each scenario individually and weigh the options.

    “Other countries do it and it works fine?”

    I was talking about the Scandinavian countries, Australia (to an extent), Canada etc. These are countries with more government regulation and higher standards of living because of it. More over, these countries are more democratic.

    Now, Americans like to consider democracy their baby, and indeed in many ways it was. However, it is also true that other countries have since developed more democratic societies.

    Speaking as a former outsider to the US, I can see the absolute grotesqueness of supposed democracy in America. This country is far from being democratic. Of course there are plenty of countries that are worse, but as compared to Canada and Australia (where I lived for two years), America seems an enormous disappointment in that department. It really is disgusting what Americans will tolerate.

    I attribute these undemocratic developments in America to Big business, Big media, poor education system, poor social securities and, generally speaking, to Capitalism run wild.

    If America could regulate this system, spread it’s wealth, and set up better social systems, it could have the greatest standard of living in the world. I hope for a move in this direction so that I could feel more comfortable raising my children here.

  • http://www.elitistpig.com Dave Nalle

    >>I suppose conservatives can say that anyone born into disadvantage is simply lazy and brought misfortune upon themselves etc… Well this isn’t true, but assuming it is, this doesn’t change the fact that these people will in all likelihood continue have children who inherent this misfortune etc… < < I don't think any conservative would say that. Your personal laziness or lack thereof has no effect on how wealthy you are at birth. That makes no sense. I think even the most conservative agree that opportunity ought to be available to all, and that society should do what it can to help those who start out disadvantaged. The argument is mainly over how to give them access to opportunity. >>Now, do we create systems that help to bring them from this state of lowliness, to give them the financial and social security they need to rise above their position? Do we spend a disproportionate amount of tax money on them despite their perceived laziness and ignorance? I think so… because it works (As is evidenced by all sorts of research, other countries who do this, and by common sense) Or do we continue to set them up for slaughter? < < But the issue is how do we spend the money? Conservatives would spend it on education, improving infrastructure, employment and technical training programs, and other mechanisms which help people help themselves. This is much more effective than just giving the poor a handout and training them to expect more handouts in the future. A handout doesn't teach someone the values and skills they need to live a more productive life. >>Why is America’s standard of living so low given its relative economic power?< < Our standard of living was still #3 last I checked, and it's within a few hundred dollars of #1. In addition, our base level of poverty is the highest in the world - meaning our poor are richer than anyone else's poor. And we still have room within the economy for the acquisition of substantial wealth. Those countries which are smaller but have comparable standards of living achieve that comparable status by making their class of marginal poor people larger and their class of wealthy people much smaller. The great thing about our enormous wealth is that we can afford to have fewer poor people and more wealthy people and still have a good overall standard of living. >>The answer lies in the fact that Capitalism is not a JUST system.< < Justice and economics are inherently alien to each other. Justice is for social issues. Fairness is for economic issues. And whatever quibbles you have with it, capitalism is fair. >>It might be a good organizational structure but it does not lend itself well to the principles of democracy and justice. Or at least it leaves room for much improvement.< < Again, democracy is also not an economic system. There's really no connection to be made between capitalism and political or social systems. >>To me this is why we need some government regulation. I realize you believe that Govt’s always just fuck it up, but I don’t think this is necessarily the case. Why shouldn’t a government, in principle, control certain, small aspects of an economy/social system in an effective way? < < Because historically when government gets involved in social issues and economic issues it just makes a hideous mess. You're essentially advocating government telling us how to live and how to spend our money. Those are the two specific things it should not be doing. >>I was talking about the Scandinavian countries, Australia (to an extent), Canada etc. These are countries with more government regulation and higher standards of living because of it. More over, these countries are more democratic. < < More democracy is not a good thing, btw. Democracy is essentially mob rule. Have you seen some of the stuff our general public believes in? Let true democracy rule in America and gays will be in prison camps, we'll be praying in school and Michael Jackson will be president. >>Now, Americans like to consider democracy their baby, and indeed in many ways it was. However, it is also true that other countries have since developed more democratic societies.< < And have suffered for it. Our government was specifically designed to limit democracy because democracy unchecked becomes a tool for demagogues and the mob mentality. >>If America could regulate this system, spread it’s wealth, and set up better social systems, it could have the greatest standard of living in the world.<< I’m afraid you’re wrong on this one. More regulation would not raise the standard of living. All it would do is make the rich poorer and likely expand the ranks of the working poor. Standard of living isn’t raised by redistributing wealth, it’s raised by expanding opportunity. Dave

  • sydney

    >> Conservatives would spend it on education, improving infrastructure, employment and technical training programs, and other mechanisms which help people help themselves. This is much more effective than just giving the poor a handout and training them to expect more handouts in the future.< < This is a gross over simplification and is simply wrong. In my opinion, Conservative social programs aim to keep the poorer classes happy by giving them jobs, that no one else wants. Liberal programs on the other hand aim to raise the 'cultural capital' of poorer individuals. >> There’s really no connection to be made between capitalism and political or social systems.< < This is so clearly not the case. These two systems are inextricably linked and certainly one can not be considered outside the context of the other. Private health care vs. public health care is just one miniscule example of how the two are linked. >> You’re essentially advocating government telling us how to live and how to spend our money. Those are the two specific things it should not be doing.< < I say the government should be, sometimes, interfering with capitalism , you say it shouldn't. Who says your right and I'm wrong? I think that using other Countries as a model, we can safely say that America stands to make some improvements by allowing gov't regulation. >>Democracy is essentially mob rule. Have you seen some of the stuff our general public believes in? Let true democracy rule in America and gays will be in prison camps, we’ll be praying in school and Michael Jackson will be president.< < Yes I have seen what American public believes in and it is scary! It believes that Arnold Swartzneger should be running California, and the elected him too. Ronald Reagan, GWB. HaHAH.. your own scary prophecies are coming true, and only in AMERICA where the media rules, and where it is so undemocratic, do we end of with shit like this--- with fools like these—with morons in public office because Americans like their famous people, their rich people, their celebrities.. In any case, as for Gays in prison camps, Canada has a charter of rights that protects Gays etc, and if you have a good education system (public education) and good social programs (higher taxes) you tend to have less discrimination and less ignorance anyway. That’s what the Canadian model teaches America. Not saying Canada doesn’t have any problems but certainly it has America beat on the social front. >>Our standard of living was still #3 last I checked, and it’s within a few hundred dollars of #1. In addition, our base level of poverty is the highest in the world – meaning our poor are richer than anyone else’s poor. And we still have room within the economy for the acquisition of substantial wealth. Those countries which are smaller but have comparable standards of living achieve that comparable status by making their class of marginal poor people larger and their class of wealthy people much smaller. The great thing about our enormous wealth is that we can afford to have fewer poor people and more wealthy people and still have a good overall standard of living<< America is not number 3, I don’t believe.. I think we are number 5 or something. Canada has been number one for 5 of the past 7 years. Norway is currently number 1, then Australia, than Canada. In any case, having lived in Australia and Canada, and America, I am convinced Canada is far and away number 1. In America the social problems are so systemic and the there is almost no social mobility. This whole crap about anyone being able to become president in America always makes me chuckle. Its such a sick joke. In any case, you say that in America the poor are still richer than the poor in most countries. Well this is true, but this is hardly anything to brag about. The poor in most countries haven’t even got clean water or half the essential nourishment they need. Forget the fact that the poor in those other countries are often so bloody poor because of capitalism and globalism anyway… The poor in America are in a bad, bad spot. I’ve lived here for some years now and it appears as though everyone is either poor or very rich, and the amount of down and out poor in this country is phenomenal. It horrible. Than we have these crazy rich people that have so much money its retarded and everyone worships them as if they worked so hard to get it or that they somehow are so talented that they deserve their success. Haha.. Its hilarious. Donald trump, to Paris Hilton, to the guy in the gated community down the road who has 14 cars and 3 boats… Americans worship them and they despise the poor. Lets reform, lets find a middle ground, lets control capitalism, lets tax the rich and have them pay for social programs – yes even give handouts. Because a person with handouts at least has the option of living month-to-month, rather than day-to-day. And when you afford someone that sort of foresight and comfort, they tend to make better decisions and they tend to aspire to a better life.

  • http://www.roblogpolitics.blogspot.com RJ

    “In any case, having lived in Australia and Canada, and America, I am convinced Canada is far and away number 1.”

    Have you considered emigrating?