The next big war will be, and has already started really, the war for the border. I hate to say this but I don't like what I see either. My town in the middle of Florida is growing in Mexican immigrants. Whenever I go out it would be unusual not to see a crowd of them shopping together, barreling out of some big truck or van. Not just one group but go to Walmart and the place is filled with them. I went to another town nearby and it was clear they now may very well be a majority. I don't know how much farming is really done in my area anymore and this is all year long. So I'm not sure these are transient people. Its much more rampant than ten years ago. What does it matter? Well it matters in the sense that I don't want to see my culture churn too deep in the melting pot quite so quickly. When people get into a fight I want to know its because a black man looked at a white girl or a white guy was too slow to put on or take off his hood. (Im kidding) Its the rapidity of change thats my issue. My grandmother lives in North Alabama. Ten years ago a Mexican in her hometown would have been a rarity. Now they have literally taken over her old nieghborhood. Fences 6 feet tall go out to the street, beer cans litter the driveways. The older people of her neighborhood are dieing off and the people buying the homes are Mexican. For an old lady that kind of change is a bit shocking. Now they are decent enough people from what I can tell. It would be nice if they took down their fences as they are an eyesore but the cans did get cleaned up as the day went on. From what I understand there is a concerted effort by business to attract them (yes "them"). I have no problem with a good mix of people, I have a problem with a complete shift in culture. I have a problem with New Orleans going from cajun culture to latino culture overnight because it appears they are being attracted up by business to do cheap labor. That was on NPR the other day, maybe part of a propoganda campaign, I dont know. I think the true fix is to help Mexico have real economic growth, to have good wages for Mexicans working in American factories there. Give a reason for people to not cross the border. I think closing the border is a good thing as well. Not because I am particularly concerned about terrorists using it but because I want a little more control over how our country grows, how my area grows and changes. I see it in my little Florida town and as far West, personally, as North Alabama. I think a very real way of alleviating this problem is to fine businesses for hiring illegal workers. to fine them out of existence if necessary. It wont take long until they figure out there is no profit in seeking low wage workers in an attempt to make profit. If they can't make a profit without them then they shouldn't be in business at all.
Now I'm a southerner and I was raised in a home that at least has the memory of racism. I am certainly conscious of that as I write this. But I have no real problem with any particular race. I do have a problem with seeing my culture change so drastically. If I wanted to live in Mexico I would live in Mexico.
I'll vote Democrat right down the line regardless of the issue. At least until such time as the fascists have been rooted out. But this is an issue that will get traction with a wide range of people and for various reasons (not simply the shadow of racism).
If there are people here that haven't watched Keith Olbermann you should take the recommendation and check him out. He's the anti-O'Reilly. He's both entertaining and a good journalist. View him and hopefully you'll become a fan to the point that the network realizes there is profit in it. Don't whine about M$M if you aren't prepared to help it change by supporting the people and programs that define what you want. I prefer when he talks politics and real world news but he does go back to his sports days. I fear that he had a dressing down at some point, or threats of some sort, because he was very strong during the last election and it appeared he changed his blogging style. Actually I know he said the network complained his guests were too liberal. Two nights in a row he had liberal guests on. Unless you either focus on conservative guests or you do the alternating night scheduling its kind of hard not to at some point in time have two liberals on back to back. Kind of stupid. I like how he feels free to disc MSNBC. I can't tell if his show has changed. I don't think so. Never the less, he's a good watch. Try him out tonight 8EST on MSNBC. Its easy just turn to CNN at 8 and get a glimpse of Nancy Grace and hear her chatter for like 2 seconds. Then get disgusted, throw up, and turn to MSNBC as quick as you can. Simple.
He hosted Inside Edition. He was on John Stewart not too long ago and seemed real and pleasant...not the total prick he plays on TV. Then again he may have known that to attempt to take on Stewart on his own show would be his downfall. I don't know of him having been a big activist before he went to FOX. He was just host of a nightly magazine show. So you might be right, then again he may have taken the role he was given and allowed it to eat him alive. They showed clips on Stewart last night of him selling shirts on his show. I think his next big move is going over to QVC.
On a local Jacksonville FOX news outlet last night they had a big deal about a guy that put a nativity scene around a Christmas tree out near one of the beaches. It was in the center of some small circle drive. Apparently he was told he couldn't but he got a lawyer and put it there anyway. That doesnt mean it wont get taken down by a cleanup crew, though I doubt that will happen. And the news was pointing to it like it was some great courageous act. Here it is, see this nativity scene, see it, cant you just see it? Cameraman did you get a good shot of the nativity scene? It was a few pieces of painted wood and the field reporter was going on and on. I'm sure his god will be proud of him. I don't agree that it should be on public property anymore than any other collection of trash but I also didn't see any great protest over it either. Pretty soon they'll have those giant blow up nativity scenes on the courthouse steps. No war on Christmas here. Not sure where the frontlines are except in the imagination of spin doctors. This is just to keep the base churned up and ready to engage next year. I'm Agnostic and I generally say Merry Christmas. Its the name of the holiday I affiliate to this time of year. The secular part of it of course. Santa, reindeer, elves, presents and all that. Not sure what else there is about Christmas to celebrate ..oh yeah...food and tight sweaters. At least until after the 25th when I start saying Happy New Year. But I'll change my course and go Happy Holidays from now on if only to see how many of my Christian friends are in on the war. I don't think this war is for smart Christians. I have to think they can see through it. Maybe all of this will allow more people to see how "the machine" operates. But then they couldn't see through Bush for five years.
I never once said anything was proof of specific facts. Not once. I dont think sustaining a war in Iraq for the purposes of keeping defense industries coffers filled as being legal. I suspect murder comes into the picture at some point, certainly fraud. I asked a series of questions. Pretty sure they are still there. I said this I believe based on a series of truths of economics and how people work, human nature. What I said makes sense but may in fact not be true. However not once did I say anything was proof. This isn't a court of law. I will say that you seeking to quiet people of discussing something because there may not be hard facts is ridiculous. Its from discussion that facts come to light, people have their memories tweaked, or people decide to come forward, legilators and the press are inspired. There are no hard facts that Bush manipulated intelligence in the run up to the war. If there were he would not sit in office right now. But thats what he did. Snippets here and there of conversations, some basic understanding of his nature, and the course of events we all remember. Now take it to court and prove it with what is readily available? No. But that doesnt make it untrue (doesnt make it true either). Is it worth pursuing? Yes. You are welcome to your opinion but I suspect your goal will also remain unachieved.
Its not disjointed. It may be a theory of a conspiracy but that doesnt make it untrue. Neither does the lack of evidence. Can you honeslty say that military contractors are not doing something to get what they are getting from this government? Reality isn't about having hard evidence. The Abromoff thing may be a big deal, but small sums of money doesn't make a crime small. I don't sit in a position to have evidence outside of years of observation. I do sit in a position to call attention to something that should be looked into. To get the facts you first have to see the possibilities. You don't investigate when the person makes some terrible error that makes them lose their cover and show the evidence. You look at where the smoke is and you go from there. You see who is burning the fire and why. It might be legal, it might not, it might be hogwash, it might not. But it doesn't hurt to look. I suspect your desire to quash it will only spread it wider. If so, quash away.
So your complaint is the freakshow headline? Is it the sums of money involved? You get enough small sums of money together and you have a big sum.
You know how you stop a conspriacy theory from taking hold? Well I suspect linking to it and continuing to discuss it when clearly a lot of people are intrigued by it is not the best start. Just consider how many defense companies have sprung up in the past few years. Not building weapons but the ones that provide security forces. The ones taking the talented members of our armed forces and paying them big bucks, well bigger than they would get as soldiers. The ones that have immunity in Iraq. Can you imagine the influence required to get your private security forces immunity in a foreign country during a war? I suspect we're talking Cheney level influence. The ones that walk around like they own the place. The ones that would be stuck dangling in the wind if American troops were to leave the country. These businesses have expectations, shareholders that need to make profits. To do so requires turmoil and American presence in the region. Without a war they serve no purpose and would have to shut down or scale back. Well maybe if the president got the right to operate forces inside the US during a disaster with immunity, maybe then they could be of use. Hmmm, I wonder. You don't make money scaling back.
What do they need to keep making money? They need a complicit government willing to allow them to operate, willing to arrange legal immunity for them, and willing to keep the ball rolling so they have expectation of growth. What would they do to keep this growth? Are people in this government in a position to do them favors and have they ever been in bed with the defense industry? Hmm, duh. Would they funnel money back into the hands of those that gave them their power? Nah, they're sweet fellas above all that. Does it take more than one congressman to get a bill passed? Yes.
What is a conspiracy theory? Does it being called a conspiracy theory make it false? If not false does it deserve light to be shed on it? Can it ever elevate to outright fact? Only if people talk about it and only if the right people are put in place to investigate it. If calling it the biggest scandal ever (not the original punctuation) gets the right people to take notice and if some people skoff at it as showmanship..so be it.
Maybe add Katrina in there. That bitch had spunk and took a healthy bite out of the Republican ego. I know, lots of death, destruction, and heartache. It might seem wrong, but then Bush Jr is on the list so what the hell. It doesn't hurt that she got the press' attention. She grabbed 'em by the balls and shook them to their senses, maybe some of it took, maybe some of it didn't but it was still a good thing. The M$M may have found that profit can be made by standing up.
Mother Nature? That just suggests whats been happening to the environment is all natural. As if giving her person of the year will satisfy her and soften he a bit.
The Google guys? If it were PC magazine maybe.
Clinton and papa Bush? Why, because baby Bush picked them?
Maybe Clinton all by himself for going to that conference the other day and thumbing his nose to Bush Jr. But thats just a starting point, he would have to expand on it. He has a little bit of makeup to do after being Bush Jrs pawn. For a good cause sure but pawn none the less.
Bloggers? A bit general and doesn't really say much about this last year for real people to sink their teeth into.
Fitz? if he were to indict Rove as a baby Jesus day present.
Murtha? He had one outburst of truth but isn't responsible for much of the problem Bush is having right now. Lets face it, the biggest news for us is Bush's fall. A fall we all hope will stick. By the time Murthas voice was heard Bush was already in trouble.
Cindy? Yeah, see she might be appropriate. Of all the people listed which one would be the biggest slap to the face of this administration? No, not this administration, Bush! To them Bush and no other should person of the year, every yeat, but throw her out there and it would hurt like hell. Bush created her by being stubborn enough to ignore her? He could have met her once in private, in passing, and not only been done with her but if he did it right he would have gained points with a lot of people for display of humility. He didn't give her a voice but he gave her the megaphone. She dared to face up to him and calls it like she sees it, right or wrong. She may not be what brings down this government but she may very well be what helped give certain people balls enough to stand up. And thats the key, thats the only thing thats been missing for five years now, thats exactly what we need to encourage.
There may be others and I'm not much into following the whole Camp Casey thing but I think shes the best choice up to now.
And by the same logic if you don't care about your ratings and are willing to take your 1's so you can still give him as many 1's as you want in some sort of targetted attack, reducing his status, well then he has identified trolls. Trolls being people sent to disrupt through lies and other nefarious means. It may seem trivial, silly, but these people do exist and they do target specific people. I suspect not all of these people really are, maybe some are just being ornery, given the liberal slant of some of their comments (trolls I doubt have such overt liberal slants and GB did say he was gonna go after a few innocent bystanders). But the point is still there, if you care then take the deal and in about ten minutes (given the quantities) it will all be over. If you don't then his point is proven. Its kind of the perfect way to pull a troll out of the woodwork.
Someone saying someone else is a better candidate, even if a Republican candidate, or Republican-like doesn't make it a lame comment. If that were all they said ina diary that might be lame. People with different opinions that express those opinions aren't to be labeled lame willy nilly. The ratings are not intended for use in that way, as I understand them. You disagreed with the opinion and you rated it lame, at least based on your comment (I haven't gone in to investigate your method, just commenting on this specific thread). That would not be a good use of the system. But of course you can do as you like, you just end up in situations where others will rate you in a similar fashion. It may be that you don't care about your rating here, thats possible too. But then you are in a thread specifically dealing with the issue of ratings and apparently some do care, including those getting 1's. The ratings are not your opinion of the comment specifically, more of the appropriateness of its placement. Is the person putting out information that is of real importance, they have done some research and are a good resource or have they put something out which is clearly spin or participating in spin. Its a judgment call. Ratings at all, even 3s should not be given willynilly.
The original diary points out a particular series of ratings. It would be one thing if GB had been given 1's by someone that comments a lot or writes a lot of diaries. Its something else when someone is going around putting 1's on people to knock them down in what appears to be an attempt to inflict damage on someone that is a good commenter here (GB). As Neuvowhatever (sorry not gonna backtrack to get it right) has found out by losing trusted user status...whatever that is. Its fairly clear Jay2 is a troll. No one comes here and rates without also participating in some clear manner. Its sometimes glaringly easy to spot a troll. Either they come in and give some off the wall diary without having even one comment out there or they troll rate someone and start a targetted thread of spin and lies. I've seen that myself two or three times recently. They swoop in and out. Create new accounts and do it again. Its not that they offer a counter opinion, its that they have an agenda. Understand that I believe part of this thread is not to be taken quite so seriously. I mean if you get a bunch of 1's and GB says give him some threes and he'll turn his 1's on you into 3's, if you care about ratings, thats actually a plus for you. You probably weren't going to get those 3's from him to begin with. Take the deal. But its important to understand what the rating system is about. It would be nice if there were another rating system that lets you chime in and say yay or nay on a particular topic or thread and be done with it and that rating didn't really mean anything as far as status. But to my knowledge (and I could be wrong) that is not the intent of this rating system. Its specifically intended to say 1) this person is bad news and doesn't belong here troll that he is or 3) This person is a good commentor and should be listened to whether you agree or disagree is not relavent. Im not sure how 2's figure in, but I dont think they are worth giving out.
I don't think you rate something lame just because you disagree with what is said. The comment or article should be poorly constructed, ill-timed, inappropriate for the site or discussion, filled with lies or spin (like some trolls that come on here with an agenda). Something being lame in your book, as in your example, isn't necessarily lame with respect to whether a person should have commentws on it. Diversity of opinion is, I believe, something to be proud of on a site like this. Rating something lame, which has a consequence associated with it, should be thought through carefully. I don't believe this thread is particularly intended to be taken too seriously. Its not a voting system to say you agree or disagree with the post. Thats what the Reply link is for, give your counter opinion or correction.