2004 Elections

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CaryP

Senior Member
Messages
1,438
2004 Elections

I've copied a piece I read today by Bill Bonner. Mr. Bonner is the founder of The Daily Reckoning, a daily free email about the economy and finance. Mr. Bonner's comments today pretty much summarize my opinion of this year's elections and the general social mood of the American public. The social mood is shifting back to negative, part and parcel of the mega bear market that is beginning to reappear. Thought some of you might find Mr. Bonner's missives interesting.

ARMAGEDDON IN MANHATTAN
by Bill Bonner

The national conventions have lost their sweaty charm. Air conditioning is partly to blame. And television.

Like mobsters on winter holiday in Mexico, celebrating delegates used to meet in hot rooms - some public, many private - to work out how they would divvy up the stolen loot. A senator from Iowa might get the post of secretary of Defense...where he would be able to rout a few dollars back to the folks in Des Moines - if he could deliver votes to the Chicago machine. The mayor of New Orleans might be promised a bridge, a base or a place on the ticket - if he could bring along the rubes from Dixie. And so the deals were made, and the republic bumbled along.

But now, the national conventions are a disappointment even to insomniacs. The main TV channels have given up on them. Only the cable shows bother to carry convention highlights.

Everyone is cool now. The delegates - mostly schoolteachers, parole officers and postmasters - are almost all already on the government payroll. All pretend to be heirs to revolutionaries such as Jefferson and Hancock, but none has any intention of upsetting things. Every event is carefully staged. And every speech is run through an editing process designed to remove any spark of genuine thought, originality or honesty. Speakers are trained to stay \"on message\" the way pack animals are kept plodding forward - that is to say, stupidly...without really understanding where they are going or why. They move forward with no visible or audible effort of thought; premises are never considered, alternatives are never discussed. Instead, the whole thing marches ahead dumbly - towards whatever humbug the managers are trying to sell.

The only interesting speech coming out of the Republican's get-together so far was the one by Georgia Sen. Zell Miller, a turncoat Democrat, whose discourse included such extravagant flights of fancy he almost crashed into the rafters.

Three years ago, Miller looked up at the Democratic candidate and saw nothing not to like. Kerry was announced as \"one of the nation's authentic war heroes.\" But Kerry's stock seems to have fallen - at least in the cracker senator's eyes. For this week, Miller saw nothing to like about Kerry. The Democrats' man \"would let Paris decide when American needs defending. I want Bush to decide.\"

Sen. Miller seemed unaware or unconcerned that the U.S. Constitution puts the burden on Congress to decide when America needs defending. It alone has power to declare war...and to pay for it. But no one in the convention hall noticed or cared. The Grand Ol' Party that at least used to mention the Constitution a few times has forgotten about it. Forgotten, too, is all concern about a balanced budget, which used to come up from time to time at Republican conventions. And balanced trade. And a man's right to do as he pleased without what Ronald Reagan called \"big guvmint\" getting in his way.

What was also missing was any mention of \"peace.\" Typically, a political convention is an opportunity to promise \"peace and prosperity.\" Both parties promised prosperity, but forgot peace. But neither judged the wedge of \"peace\" voters big enough to try for a slice of it. Besides, the conventions are now designed - like TV itself - to avoid anything that might light up a brain scan. Mentioning peace could upset the voters, or the delegates, or the candidates themselves. America's \"War on Terror\" may be a challenge for intellectuals - but it has been a big hit with the voters.

Terror is not, strictly speaking, something you can make war against. You need an enemy, not a method.

House-fraus in Germany, a country with tough gun-control laws, found that the best way to bump off their husbands was to hit them in the head with a heavy frying pan. Germany might have declared war on frying pans; it would have made as much sense.

Enemies who use terrorist tactics - the Chechens in the former Soviet Union, the Basques in Spain and France, the IRA in the UK, as well as assorted crackpots and future national leaders - are a dangerous nuisance. But they are hardly worthy of a real war. They use terror because they are not capable of a real war...they may threaten republicans, in other words, but not the republic itself.
Still, Americans act as though they were on the verge of such Armageddon-like showdown. With whom? Why? They can't be bothered to wonder.

Nothing is quite so thrilling as being at war...especially with an enemy who can't do you much harm. For every terrorist capable of striking a blow at the United States, there must be at least 10 bodyguards around the convention in New York. Terrorists were rumored to be planning an attack. None appeared. Why they would want to disrupt such a pointless and lifeless event was never explained.

Yet Americans like to imagine themselves as if they were engaged in some heroic struggle; they long to bring the enemy to battle and annihilate him on primetime TV. Terrorists were so few and far between that the war party had to make do with Third World nations - Afghanistan and Iraq - as proxies for the wispy terrorists.

Mr. Kerry judged the public's mood correctly. The voters were practically foaming at the mouth for war. So he showed them pictures of himself as a young warrior - he is the only presidential candidate...and perhaps the only Homo sapiens below the rank of general...to ever re-enact battle scenes of himself while the war was still going on around him. Which just goes to show how farsighted the Democratic candidate is: He couldn't use the phony newsreel footage for another 35 years...until \"peace\" disappeared finally from the convention promises.

But then came the Swiftees, and all of a sudden the campaign seemed to turn on how big a liar John Kerry is; Bush's whoppers were forgotten.

And now, the fever mounts. Americans appear to have decided to give war a chance. The election of 2004 seems little more than a contest of who can promise to make it most fun.

Regards,


Bill Bonner
The Daily Reckoning

Cary
 

Judge Bean

Senior Member
Messages
1,257
2004 Elections

Also, the conventions now are beside the point, because there is no such thing left as American politics. There is only p.r., hype, ads, soundbites, photo ops, spin, buzz, lowered expectations and foregone conclusions.

In the 1960s, they apparently decided that it was too risky to leave the conventions "open" in the sense of leaving the nominations contested right up to rollcall voting on the third night. No one was able to pick the VP candidate ahead of time, because no one knew for sure who was going to lose the nomination. You had to put a ticket together on the floor. This made things exciting and edgy... and open to political processes.

Now its Oscar night, air kisses and high fashion.

This is not just symptomatic of this day and age; it plainly shows that politics is now anecdotal. We are history. They'll never again risk the chance that crowds in the street and the unruly public voice will have anything at all to do with the choice for president.

Nurse, hand me my food tube.
 

Unintentional

Active Member
Messages
577
2004 Elections

I am/was leaning Libertarian, but I am not sure where their anti-war stance is coming from. I thought libertarians were send nukes, not troops people, but they are not coming out and saying that. Also, they are saying that Republicans WILL institute the draft if Bush wins. Again I don't know where they got that from.

There is an open debate with the libertarians, greens, Nader, and serveral others being broadcast 9-6-2004 at 1:00pm on C-span. It should be lively. The questions are unknown and not scripted.

C-Span will broadcast the event, tentatively scheduled to air on Monday, September 6 @ 1:00pm [ET]. This is an OPEN debate.

Unlike the Presidential Debates run by the Democrats-Republicans, no legitimate candidate is excluded. The questions are NOT agreed upon by the candidates or otherwise scripted; this promises to be a lively debate: which means you're likely to get real answers to the questions. There will be no 'Applause' sign over the stage.

Starting at 7:00 PM each presidential candidate will be allowed a five minute opening statement. The moderators will then pose questions to the candidates for 45 minutes. This will be followed by a 30 minute period featuring questions posed by the audience. Candidates will be allowed two minutes for answers and 30 seconds for rebuttals (unless the question is addressed to all candidates in which case there are no rebuttals.) The debate will end with 3 minute closing statements from each candidate.
 

HDRKID

Senior Member
Messages
2,546
2004 Elections

John Titor talked about a civil war in 2004, but did not give specifics. He said that things would get hot around election time.

The mood of the country is turning ugly and people are divided about half and half -: Half for Bush and half for Kerry. Still, nobody is talking about Iran and when Bush plans to invade Iran.

I predict that the Republicans will have no choice but to start drafting people if we attack Iran. That is why nobody is talking about Iran.

Another problem is North Korea, they might try to start selling their "toys" to the highest bidder. This would create problems for Bush.

Kerry would try to go back to the Clinton years of less military spending and more social programs.

Funny how nobody talks about balancing the budget anymore. ;)
 

Anoah

Member
Messages
201
2004 Elections

I am/was leaning Libertarian, but I am not sure where their anti-war stance is coming from. I thought libertarians were send nukes, not troops people, but they are not coming out and saying that. Also, they are saying that Republicans WILL institute the draft if Bush wins. Again I don't know where they got that from
.

I have always understood staunch libertarians as having a "hands off" type of policy. US troops on US soil to defend the good ole USA. I once saw a libertarian slogan that says "why doesnt Switzerland ever get attacked by terrorists? Because they dont abuse people and create problems, they stay the hell out of it." I see this attitude leading a lot of libertarians to have an anti-war stance. Their intense distrust and dislike of government probably also leads them to believe that this war must be "unjustified" because all government does is lie and mislead. I have met libertarians who are pro-war and ones who are very opposed to it. I think its the neo-cons who would love to send nukes flying everywhere.

As far as the draft goes: Bush doesnt have a choice. The war will expand big time, the casualties mount, there will be a shortage of troops and they will be spread to thin. This will cause us to have a draft whether we have Bush or Kerry in office probably. I understand all the reasons that a draft would be a horrendous move for Bush or Kerry to make, and all of the problems it will create (many more than it will solve) but they have absolutely no choice if they want to pursue this war.
 

CaryP

Senior Member
Messages
1,438
2004 Elections

I have always understood staunch libertarians as having a \"hands off\" type of policy. US troops on US soil to defend the good ole USA. I once saw a libertarian slogan that says \"why doesnt Switzerland ever get attacked by terrorists? Because they dont abuse people and create problems, they stay the hell out of it.\" I see this attitude leading a lot of libertarians to have an anti-war stance. Their intense distrust and dislike of government probably also leads them to believe that this war must be \"unjustified\" because all government does is lie and mislead. I have met libertarians who are pro-war and ones who are very opposed to it. I think its the neo-cons who would love to send nukes flying everywhere.

As far as the draft goes: Bush doesnt have a choice. The war will expand big time, the casualties mount, there will be a shortage of troops and they will be spread to thin. This will cause us to have a draft whether we have Bush or Kerry in office probably. I understand all the reasons that a draft would be a horrendous move for Bush or Kerry to make, and all of the problems it will create (many more than it will solve) but they have absolutely no choice if they want to pursue this war.

Spoken like a true sage. You have an excellent grasp of our current FUBAR situation Anoah. Libertarians as a party want nothing to do with foreign war. It's basically the government's job to defend our shores and the stay the hell out of citizens' business. Defending the country's shores does not include the global imperialism practiced by the U.S. govt. over the last 40 or 50 years. As for the draft, there are already bills in Congress that, if passed, would reinstitute the draft by next spring, with draftees being called up by summer. You're right Anoah, it's coming no matter who gets elected. The proposed draft legislation also includes the drafting of women. As proposed, it also allows for the drafting of people up to the age of 40, I believe, who have "special skills" required by the government. "Special skills" could be anything - from some specialized scientific background to the different positions in the health care industry. Doctors, nurses, therapists, etc. are needed by a military in pursuit of a global war.

Keep on rockin' wit yo bad self girl.

Cary
 

Unintentional

Active Member
Messages
577
2004 Elections

http://www.theunionleader.com/articles_sho...l?article=43489

Reinstating the military draft ? an idea scorned by President Bush and his rival, Sen. John Kerry, and with little support in Congress ? is emerging as an issue in the fall election campaign, mainly because lots of young people believe conscription is in their future.

But in October Kerry said:

http://www.rnc.org/News/Read.aspx?ID=3338

Asked Monday at a New Hampshire gathering about the possible reinstatement of the draft, for example, Kerry told the audience it should be administered \"without politics and favoritism.\"

But then, again, it was Kerry who said that. He could have changed his mind a dozen time since then.

To get slightly off topic in the same post, in the same story he says the draft should be reinstated, he said:

Kerry hit back at his Senate colleague, saying: \"I am saddened by the fact that Vietnam has yet again been inserted into the campaign, and that it has been inserted in what I feel to be the worst possible way... What saddens me most is that Democrats, above all those who shared the agonies of that generation, should now be re-fighting the many conflicts of Vietnam in order to win the current political conflict of a presidential primary.\"

I still have yet to see anything from Bush calling for the reinstatement of the draft. Of corse to Bush's critics, it wouldn't matter one way or the other, because they think he lies.
 

Unintentional

Active Member
Messages
577
2004 Elections

Originally posted by CaryP@Sep 6 2004, 07:12 AM
As proposed, it also allows for the drafting of people up to the age of 40, I believe, who have \"special skills\" required by the government. \"Special skills\" could be anything - from some specialized scientific background to the different positions in the health care industry. Doctors, nurses, therapists, etc. are needed by a military in pursuit of a global war.

If we only drafted people over 30 I think our military would be 1000 times more deadly. It seems lately wars have been teenagers vs teenages, but a more mature military would have an incalculable advantage.
 

Anoah

Member
Messages
201
2004 Elections

I still have yet to see anything from Bush calling for the reinstatement of the draft. Of corse to Bush's critics, it wouldn't matter one way or the other, because they think he lies.

He isn't necessarily lying...but it would be foolish for him to say anything at all prior to the election.
 

pauli

Junior Member
Messages
141
2004 Elections

(tangent comment)

I have always understood staunch libertarians as having a \"hands off\" type of policy. US troops on US soil to defend the good ole USA. I once saw a libertarian slogan that says \"why doesnt Switzerland ever get attacked by terrorists? Because they dont abuse people and create problems, they stay the hell out of it.\"

I dunno... perhaps they don't attack Switzerland for now because the Swiss hold their money. They aren't about to bite the hand that feeds them... at least, not yet. The time of the Swiss will come, just not until there isn't anyone to stand up and assist them. Then they will be swallowed whole.

As you see I am unconvinced by this particular Libertarian comment. (/tangent comment)

k, go ahead and carry on now... :D
 

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