Up until now I supported her. But this is really bad news, slippery slope and all that. Its simply not necessary to ban flag burning. You cannot legislate respect. Attempting to actually does the opposite. What an idiot.
Apparently two such incidents, which is why Al Jazeera is so wide eyed right now. An incident in Iraq and one in Afghanistan. This attack, if it were to happen, would have taken place in a friendly nation not currently in conflict. Actually I think we have a base there, Qatar I believe.
Our adminsitration claims its ridiculous, the Brits likely do as well but I havent seen that, and yet here they are trying to use laws to prevent revealing national secrets to shut them up. If there is nothing to it then why protest so much? It sounds crazy but I am no longer surpirsed by the actions of this administration. The crazy shit they have actually done makes me wonder about all the crazy shit they just thought about doing.
The same is true of the double supoer secret CIA prison system. We have Frist coming out not against the prison system but against the leak of it. They also seem to claim that this is all bunk but why protest so much?
Leaks like this protect our country by getting nasty secrets out in the open. Whistleblowers should be protected instead of hunted down. This is why you can't go through the proper chain of command to get things taken care of, the chain is corrupt. This is why you need a free press with balls enough to report such things and stand by them.
This is why you need an opposition party capable of fighting back against an administration that would quiet the press through fear. Its like its all connected...this whole freedom thing is complicated and yet so simple. Stand up and call it like it is.
Oh I agree that its still important to understand how people at all levels tick. Better to know and use the information to your advantage. In this particular case we have a president that refuses to take advantage of certain medical advances, or to make those advances. While the poor may be able to benefit from things such as stem cell research, its certainly the rich that would see the results sooner. And so health care for the rich is still something to watch. They are the ones with the power to make or break an administration. It shouldnt be that way but it is. This administration would certainly listen to its rich friends well before it listened to the masses. So if we want to see the benefits of stem cell research, the day after pill, etc. Playing to the needs of the rich is certainly something to consider. Its about the only time the trickle down theory might actually work.
I like your Hell No stance. Its time for a little preemptive warfare on the right. Don't wait for them to get rid of the filibuster. Start now by using every measure possible to slow or stop their progress. Its time for the centrists to realize they have sat in the same position so long they are now too far right. It must be difficult to play on a field that moves. The Republican notion that Dems don't have a plan so we should follow them is crap. If you are trapped in a hole and all you have is a shovel the no plan idea is a hell of a lot better than the dig. Of course Dems do have ideas they just haven't been willing enough to come out with them. Which is why I like the idea of a 2006 convention. It still seems necessary to get these guys together and get them to throw it all out there. Maybe some of it wont stick but having Republicans bring out empty poster boards and point to them as the Democratic plan is not a good thing. Its also time for Dems to latch on to the get out of Iraq bandwagon. Getting out now may very well have downsides, everything does. But that war is lost. You don't give people liberty by taking their lives, their wealth, and their pride. You don't give people liberty, they have to take it. Getting out now is going to be bloody. But it will be bloody one way or the other. Let them battle it out between each other until they realize peace for themselves. I don't wish civil war on them but if thats where reality takes them then so be it.
The rich do have more buffers. However, I suspect the rich would rather the shit not hit the fan. If things go really bad all the money in the world won't help them. I don't think the rich care if when the shit hits the fan there wealth will allow them to live like the middle class of today and still have some degree of superiority to those around them. They don't want to lose what they have any more than the next person. I also think you are taking things too literally. The things mentioned are natural and real but they may not be the whole story. Not being the whole story doesn't mean they aren't a real part of the story. Everyone compares themselves to their neighbors. I have friends at work that buy houses and cars based on status. Of course I don't because I'm a decent person that is above all of that [bullshit BTW] It doesn't matter that they can barely afford them. They do it to feel better about themselves. They also judge others on what they have and don't have. And Im not talking about rich people here. Im talking about my peers. Are these ideas the only thing that influence them, that may influence them to make the right decision and pay a little more in taxes to get more in security as a whole? No, but they go a long way to explaining how people think and what drives them. Understanding that may help find a way to reach them. You can't talk pshychology to people but you can use it against them or for them.
The tax cuts have clearly caused local governments to look to raising property taxes. I hear people talking about it at work. The whole notion that more people own their own homes may very well be short term if they get stuck with higher taxes AND realize that their interest only mortgage was a bad deal. And since the rich own more real estate, especially superfluous real estate, they get hit with those taxes. That isnt to say it hurts them more but it could reduce their benefits of the income tax cut. A dollar to them isnt worth as much as a dollar is, in real terms, to someone that is just barely making it. My brother owns apartments and the county wanted to do a $100 per dwelling assessment for fire and ambulance. It was beaten back primarily by landlords. When he told me that meant his 60 unit apartment complex would be $6000 and he would have to pass that along in rent I saw how big a deal that was. $100 in rent raises and none of it profit to him. He isn't rich. He's working on it. But thats a squeeze in his wiggle room and would only end up causing him added headaches in lost renters (or worse, delinquent).
Those government dollars that aren't getting to FEMA, that aren't being wisely spent, are impacting the rich along our coastline. They will survive of course, but whole communities are wiped out. There isn't much point to being rich if you can't enjoy it in a peaceful quaint location like some of the coastal communities. They keep getting hit and the government seems less and less capable as years go by in helping them recover. Why do people still live there? Because bad things happen everywhere...so may as well live near the beach while you wait. And by that I don't mean helping the rich rebuild. I mean by helping all of the others around them that serve the community.
The more the gap grows between rich and poor, the more likely it is that there will be resentment of the rich. Your diary mentions this in the form of civil unrest. Many revolutions of the past occurred by the masses of poor rising up against the rich seeking some equality of living. I don't have a problem with people getting rich. I have a problem with gluttony and a rich class that doesnt have to work to keep its wealth. A rich business class that doesn't care about its workers or really even the people it serves. It isn't healthy. The rich should spend a little of their money in the form of taxes as an insurance policy against revolution. I'm not suggesting extortion, just reality.
I don't particulary care about the high blood pressure of the rich because, whoa is me, they feel they aren't as superior to everyone else anymore. Don't quite see that as a problem since the gap is growing. It may be that the poor are living better than the poor of our past or the poor of the world. An XBox in every living room scenario and in that respect they don't feel they have MORE anymore. Can't poor people just act classically poor again? [sarcasm]
Make it a requirement that all incoming congressman spend anywhere from 3 days to a week (unknown factor) homeless and without. Just to know what its like. Secretly rig it so Republicans always stay the full week.
These days we need people to speak plainly. And by that I mean call it like it is. Bush lied, whether they were lies of ommission cleverly packaged so as to be denied later on makes it even worse in my opinion. He has taken the fatih of those that believe in him most and squandered it. He didn't fool me and in that regard he didn't do anything. Its those that he did fool, his close supporters on the right that honestly believe what he says. They should be the most offended but its funny that they may never see him for what he is. I wonder sometimes how many of them are truly blind to it all or are able to see and just don't care. The people I know that have that twisted far right world view seem to think of it all like a game of football. If you don't get caught breaking the rules then go for it and if you do be ready to fight for every inch. Bully the other side into accepting your tricks. When that fails, scream bloody murder. Politics has tactics and rules much like a game, but the purpose of it all is to govern, to lead this nation or parts of it to a better future. I don't see any room for cheating, lieing, stealing, killing. I don't know how to change them. I want to make them suffer but I know it will just come full circle again. So I hope we get straight talkers in Congress to fix this BS and get on with business.
He isn't going to be able to accurately recreate homelessness. He has a way out, he has 100 hours of this to endure and he knows it. That alone will be a big psychological difference between what he experiences and the experiences of the really down and out. Their way out is very much dependent on the acceptance of others. But I'm certain he understood this going in. I suspect he also doesn't look homeless right now. Maybe his hair is a bit out of place, but do the people he walks by look at him funny? I'm not putting down his little experiment. I have no doubt it has value. But it isn't the real thing and it would be difficult do anything about it artificially. So I suspect its best to take from it what he/we can and not worry about the discrepencies .
I should be able to hop on a train and commute to work or the various major cities. I shouldn't need a car at all to get where I need to go. I mgiht want one for the freedom but I shouldn't need one. We need better bus systems in our cities, better short and long haul rail systems so we don't have to fly. Europe of course has rthe advantage of being small but thats no excuse for most areas inside the US to become better connected. The added advantage of a better system will be to allow the poor to live and travel more freely.
They dont have a transit system like ours. As for crowded skies just do some research and you'll find out...compares to the limits of where a plane can be in space and still have some degree of safety..etc. Direct flights will help, but there are limits. And lets face it, the over the top concern for security since 9/11 has made the whole priocess inefficient. I would rather drive 4 hours to Atlanta than wait in line at the airport. Save the judgement because its not your place or the place of the many to judge. People clearly enjoy our current entertainment since its reaping profits. I dont want some prude censoring entertainment to his/her standards (usually religious) when they could just as easily turn the channel and watch something else.