• comment on a post Regulating Academia over 9 years ago
    Don't professors have a legitimate collective interest in maintaining uncensored freedom of thought?

    Many of them spend much of their time wishing students were less apathetic. How bout some of them get off their butts and do a little organizing?

  • on a comment on Democratic Agenda over 9 years ago
    They are trying to find ideas that appeal to everyone. No one is going to stop railing against changes to social security or stop criticizing the war in Iraq. A platform of "status quo, stop making mistakes you dumb republicans" isn't going to win anymore elections.

    Do you really think most of America will get pumped up for voting rights? I think the inclusion of voting rights was a concession to the internet community and activists. By and large the only people pissed about voting rights are already voting democratic before they even know the candidates. Do we really want to dedicate all of our public policy push towards winning the already won? We need a policy that will appeal to everyone. I think this adgenda is an awesome idea that may actually win in 2006. It doesn't have everything the activist community wants, and no one expected it would. Did the Republican Contract with America include every conservative dream? of course not. We need to win a mojority before we can do anything. To win a majority, we must present an alternative to go along with our criticism.....on the deficit, I think it addresses fiscal responsibility.

  • comment on a post Jon Stewart and CBS over 9 years ago
    but i think most politically active conservatives (people that watch news still) will not be watching CBS news for a generation or so. CBS may be already looking at a big decline in viewership and be looking to take a risk. What if they want a new product that gives them the young demographic? I think Stewart is thought of as someone who tells it like it is among people my age, and only lacks credibility among the old folks.
  • comment on a post Hugo Chavez? over 9 years ago
    People need to remember that the U.S. style for capitalist econmic development isn't the only successful one in the world. Japan's economy is very state-centric economy. South Korea's economy is pushed into new industries by state subsidized loans. China's economy has been going gangbusters for the last decade, and it is fundamentally capitalist, nominally communist, with heavy state-ownership. Taiwan has a distinct model, that somewhat mimics the Koreans. Even Europe and the United States have radically different systems.

    Chavez is creating a system that is unqiuely Venezuelan. The upheaval inherently creates big winners and big losers. The big losers control the private media. They won't stop bashing Chavez, no matter what happens. Chavez has in turn used the powers of state to create his own media apparatus. As bad as our papers are, I'm pretty sure news coming out of Venezuela is even worse.

    We studied him a bit in some polisci classes, and here's my take:

    1. He's democratically elected. He won a referendum to by a big chunk. No one can argue he isn't legitimate.

    2. He's done alot of redistribution of wealth. He is a politician that actually does stuff for the poor, and the poor worship him for that. You either love it or you hate it. I love it, even though it may not be a panacea, his aid is something. The folks over at the Economist frown on these policies.

    3. He's "publicatizing" oil. Biggest source of disagreement. He hasn't exactly been honoring contracts. Is this justified? I don't know. I have some "Robin Hood" leanings, so I think taking from rich can be justified. Many don't, so they hate him.

    4. He's a fan of Castro. What good can you say about a Castro ally? Nothing if you're gunning for the Cuban vote in Florida. I see this as a non-factor, but many people don't.

    5. Pissing on the constitution - Constitutions aren't such a "big thing" in Latin America. In a nascent government, the constitution is still in a formative stage, IMO, and his rules should be judged by his result.

    My conclusion,

    Chavez has awakened the class consciousness in Venezuela. Venezuela is embroiled in class war right now, and the stakes couldn't be higher. When the stakes get so high, an objective, even-handed opinion it impossible. You either like it, or you don't. Only time will tell whether it will collapse into a socialist version of Pinochet's rule in Chile, or whether democratic socialism becomes a reality. For leftists, it is understandably an exciting time. Unlike the dawn of democratic socialist Chile before it collapsed, Chavez enjoys a nice majority. He seems stable and is consolidating power. Will the experiment fail or flourish? Beats the hell out of me, but I have my fingers crossed that Venezuela will not fall into a civil war/military coup in the next ten years.

  • comment on a post Black Thursday Thread over 9 years ago
    "The telephone poll was conducted Friday through Sunday. It has a 95 percent confidence rate, and the margin of error is plus or minus 3 percentage points."

    What the heck? Do these people lack a basic understanding of statistics.. The 95% confidence interval is 6% or +/- 3%.... Believe it not this poll actually has a 90% confidence "rate"(interval), a 95%, 99%, and a 15% confidence interval all at the same time. Oh the humanity.

  • If my memory of history class serves me well, we had a civil war once in this country. I seem to recall one general even burning down an entire city, maybe atlanta. Did our civil war prove to the rest of the world that we were unworthy culturally respect?

    What will eliminating all power structures in a society and creating a power vaccuum prove? That Arabs are uniquely incapable of living peacefully in anarchy? That somehow arab people are particularly unsuited for a stable government?

    I feel the racist undertones in your argument, and they make me sick.

    Hindsight aside, the Iraq war was a mistake because Bush's preemption doctrine is fundamentally flawed, and democracy promotion by force never goes smoothly (or successfully?). But I agree, most americans are ignorant about foreign policy. But isn't the public's job merely to appraise results? The public can never be swayed against war beforehand. It's nice to see that people are starting to realize the debacle going on over there.

  • that last question really primes the respondent to say yes. I wonder what the answer would be if you merely asked...should we continue the war in Iraq or should we withdraw...

    What  if they asked a biased the other way question, like... Should we continue taking casualties as we fight a foreign guerilla war in Iraq or should we let the soon to be democratic leaders of Iraq handle the situation as soon as possible?

    lol, fox news cracks me up. The fact that most casual watchers don't see a bias is somewhat scary.

  • comment on a post NGOs - The Self-Appointed Altruists over 9 years ago
    What is the problem with altruism?

    By "chase disasters with a relish", do you mean helping people who need it most? Of course they chase disasters. That is akin to criticizing the ACLU for chasing civil rights abuses "with a relish." Give us all a break.

    Objectivism is pathetic and is an antithesis to the democratic party. The Rand-cult was actively opposed to tsunami aid, and openly preferred letting the survivors die of malaria. Otherwise, we would be dirty "altruists", i.e. we would catch ourselves caring about others and trying to make the world a better place. Oh the horror!

    This diary is filled with emotional appeals and conspiratorial blurring of the topic. Particularly ironic is when you proclaim that NGO's hurt UN efforts to fix problems. Are we to assume you are a fan of the UN now? I'm sure your next diary will be "The truth about the do-gooders at the UN"

    You are a troll with anti-liberal opinions.


  • comment on a post Hillary's 3x5 over 9 years ago
    I think the "ruthless" line of attack may have resonance with alot of Americans. I remember how much "ruthless" charecterizations were reported on in the Martha Stewart trial. For instance, a man is charecterized on TV as a "ruthless" poker player, it is a complement. Women poker pros are never described in the same light. Announcers seem to complement them for being smart and disarming. Ruthless for a woman is disparaging.

    Is Hillary, "ruthless"? I have no idea, but I bet alot of heavyweights in her league are.

    Can the American public accept a "ruthless" woman? Most definitely not. If Hillary is the nominee, we need to pump anecdotal stories of personal compassion 'til we are blue in the face. They are obviously two paths to take with a Hillary candidacy. 1) Try to change society, and let everyone know that ruthless and women aren't opposites. 2) Beat them at their game and try to elect a president. My heart would prefer 1), but we can only win with 2). You're right Garemko, we need to think like Republicans, and just say the opposite, and keep saying it.

  • chill out......

    you're just agreeing with me that there needs to be more drug coverage than present. the hypothetical world you construct seems silly when you use it to "prove" things. I'm not old, and I don't know precisely how much drug coverage is needed...from your tone, it doesn't seem like you know either.

    why don't you find someone who actually disagrees with you, and then flame that person? no need to start a circular firing squad... especially since you are just forcefully agreeing with me.

    get it?

  • n/t
  • comment on a post A Problem With Opposing Destruction over 9 years ago
    I like the way you analyze their arguments and pick out the ones we really need to worry about.

    I think we need to look at what we want in social security, if we were philosopher kings.

    Two reforms I would do, both would be progressive:

    1. remove the 85,000 cap. This is regressive, and would help meet some of the evental shortfall.

    2. Scale back benefits the more money you at retirement. If you have $1,000,000 to live off of at age 65 and a pension on top of that, you should be ineligble for social security. The more pension you have coming, the less SS you need.

    3. Government coverage for prescription drugs, not exactly SS, but this is a major toll on many people's SS checks. We could argue for 10% co-pay, instead of Bush's 10% discount.

    I think we can do 1 & 3 for sure. Some republicans are supporting eliminating the cap. #3 relaly makes republicans seem like the heartless bastards they are. #2 would help make SS good for longer.
  • comment on a post Winning The Peace In The Middle East over 9 years ago
    I don't think we'll ever be seen as a "plain-dealer" as long as we back Israel unconditional, and have zero-tolerance for Palastinian injustices.

    We either have to condemn Israeli state-run terrorism right along with Palenstinian terror. No one is defending Palenstinian tactics at all, but we have turned a blind eye to Israeli tactics forever.

    If we can't stop backing one party and publicly decrying the other, how can we broker peace? I say we should either become a fair appraiser of both sides, or stay out. The U.S. isn't the only nation on earth fit to be an arbiter. We may be one of the worst. What if Iran was brokering the peace? That is how we look to the Arab community.

    Note: I know this is a sensitive topic, so again I restate that I don't apologize for Palenstinian policy. Everyone has the blood of the innocent on their hands.

  • I've nominated this before, but I'll try it again...

    John Rawls, Theory of Justice.

    This work has made huge waves in political science over the last 20 years. It's single-handedly reinvigorated the study of political thought in political science departments.

    The book is a stunning defense of wealth redistribution, equality before the law, and political mobility. It's also very persuasive setup for why everyone should support progressive economic government. It isn't just another argument from another academic hack. It is a complete justification and prescription for just and legitimate government. Rawls may become our era's Kant or J.S. Mill.

    I think progressives/liberals should hasten its trip down from the ivory tower of academia by reading and understanding it.

    It is thick. You can't just skim through it or plow through it like a "best-seller-esque" non-fiction book. It takes work to "get it".

  • So the best way in your opinion to build a winning coalition is to insult every stereotype of a liberal you can think of?

    maybe you should stop listening to Rush Limbaugh, wake up, and join the rest of us in reality.

    So do you want people to leave or not? You say both at different times in your diary. You say its not the military, but then you demand uniformity of opinion. This rant is on the very fringes of cogent thought. btw, who annointed you Senator McCarthy of the Democratic Party? I must have been using the restroom when you were sworn in.

    Again, I know every conservative hack of Fox News loves to tell the Democrats how they can win, but apparently you are the only one buying their BS. Sean Hannity and Bill O'Reilly dont actually want democrats to win; they just want Democrats to be Republicans. Stop parroting the right and act like a democrat.


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