Moving on with life: the Bush saga continues

Discussion in 'Fly Fishing Forum' started by TomB, Nov 3, 2004.

  1. Steve Buckner

    Steve Buckner Mother Nature's Son

    I've said it before but I find the definitions of Conservative and Liberal very interesting. Here is the Merriam Webster definition of both:

    Conservative
    Etymology: from the word Conserve
    1 : to keep in a safe or sound state <he conserved his inheritance>; especially : to avoid wasteful or destructive use of <conserve natural resources>
    2 : to preserve with sugar
    3 : to maintain (a quantity) constant during a process of chemical, physical, or evolutionary change

    Liberal:
    Function: adjective
    Etymology: Middle English, from Middle French, from Latin liberalis suitable for a freeman, generous, from liber free; perhaps akin to Old English lEodan to grow, Greek eleutheros free
    1 a : of, relating to, or based on the liberal arts <liberal education> b archaic : of or befitting a man of free birth
    2 a : marked by generosity : OPENHANDED <a liberal giver> b : given or provided in a generous and openhanded way <a liberal meal> c : AMPLE, FULL
    3 obsolete : lacking moral restraint : LICENTIOUS
    4 : not literal or strict : LOOSE <a liberal translation>
    5 : BROAD-MINDED; especially : not bound by authoritarianism, orthodoxy, or traditional forms
    6 a : of, favoring, or based upon the principles of liberalism b capitalized : of or constituting a political party advocating or associated with the principles of political liberalism; especially : of or constituting a political party in the United Kingdom associated with ideals of individual especially economic freedom, greater individual participation in government, and constitutional, political, and administrative reforms designed to secure these objectives

    What is ultimately so fascinating is that based upon the definitions, one would think that liberals would want to exploit and conservatives would want to protect. Ironically, the exact opposite is the case.

    Conservatives aren't really interested in conserving anything from what I can tell. Big business is completely congruent with Conservatives. Give the the average household a $400.00 a year tax break at the expense of Medicare, the Federal deficit etc.. Those who have made the most money will benefit the most. If there is a buck to be made at the expense of another country, of the environment, or from another person, all is fair game. While they claim to have the bible as their moral justification, their actions are completely opposite. As long as they have their right to bear arms, they're happy. They oppose gay marriage, are opposed to abortion, but are pro war and the death penalty. They want to opportunity to take those poor individuals that have sinned and send them back to heaven. They see religion and politics as one in the same. They don't mind if people are of different religions, as long as they're all Christian. Ironic.

    Liberals on the other hand, are interested in conserving. Those who have made the most money should pay the most, they have the most to give. The average american pays more taxes and loses more benefits each and every year, and the liberals can see the toll that it has taken. Liberals are afraid of what greed has done to the country and to it's leaders. Liberals tend to have a "live and let live" attitude. If you want to believe in God, great. If you don't, that's fine too. Are you some religious zealot? That's ok, jsut keep it to yourself. Liberals would rather have someone base their actions upon solid moral values, not necessarily what they prayed about last night. Liberals want a solid line between church and state because they can see self rightoues attitudes displayed in politics and believe they have no business there. Liberals are extremely concerned with the environment and the damage that big business has done to it. They like there open spaces, wild fish, etc..

    I have yet to hear a sound argument about how the Republicans have protected or conserved anything that is wild. If somebody has information, solid sources, I'd love to see it. When was there a republican president in office who set acreage aside for National Park Development, tightened EPA standards, fined big business for their destruction and not rewarded it, protected valuable forests and ecosystems, and sided with the Endangered Species act? And don't think for a minute that the "Healthy Forest" initiative is about creating healthy forests...

    Help us poor liberals understand how you're fearless leader is going to save wild steelhead and salmon runs. Help us understand how our environment, the water we drink and the air we breath will be better. Help us understand how benevolent the Republican party is. Help us understand how we're better off invading Iraq. Help us understand how the war in Iraq has reduced the terror threat, that there is no connection between Cheney and Haliburton, that the folks at Enron were not out to take away pensions and 401K's.
     
  2. Cactus

    Cactus Dana Miller

    You paint with a mighty wide brush, my friend! To know what I think without ever meeting me is quite the skill. How do you do it?

    Since you know me so well, please inform everyone of my specific religious beliefs and my sexual preference. How often do I attend church? Please, fill everyone in!

    The only insults I have seen in this thread have been aimed at conservatives. We've been called fascists, ignorant, crooks, greedy, zealots, intollerant, homophobes, etc. Ken made a good point about sitting down and talking. But why should conservatives want to sit down with liberals that show the attitudes shown here? Reach out our hands only to have it spit upon? To be insulted? No thanks! We don't need to.

    Maybe instead of insulting us and considering us your "enemy", you should try getting to know us. But apparently, you think you already do!

    If you actually were to have a conversation with us, instead of insulting us; show some of the tollerance that liberals claim to have, you would find out that we come by our beliefs in a sincere way just as do you. You would find that we only want the best for this country as do you. I don't consider your beliefs evil just because I disagree with them, I just feel that they are wrong or ineffective.

    It's your choice. You can either try to understand and live with the majority in this country. Or you can continue to hurl invectives and isolate yourselfs more and more into ever shrinking "blue" areas.
     
  3. Cactus

    Cactus Dana Miller

    Yellowstone National Park, 1872, the first National Park, was established by President US Grant, Republican.

    Office of Science and Technology Policy, 1976, President Gerald Ford, Republican.

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, 1970, President Richard Nixon, Republican.

    African Development Agency, 1984, President Ronald Reagan, Republican.

    Consumer Product Safety Commission, 1973, Richard Nixon, Republican.

    Environmental Protection Agency, 1970, Richard Nixon, Republican.

    Teddy Roosevelt, Republican, created over 150,000,000 acres of National Parks and Forests.

    Steve, you really are too smart to be believing this garbage of Democrat, good; Republican, bad!
     
  4. Steve Buckner

    Steve Buckner Mother Nature's Son

    Cactus,
    The shrinking Blue is 49% of the popular majority. If the voting results were correct, the Republicans won by 2%. It stands to reason that the results could be within a margin of error. Nonetheless, it is not an overwhelming majority as you imply.

    For some reason, I thought Teddy Roosevelt was a democrat...thanks for the correction! So 100 years ago there was a republican president who was interested in saving the forests!!!

    The picture that I paint of the republican party, is in large part accurate. It is mostly made up of neo-conservative, religiously oriented (I should further clarify this to be christian) people. The nature of the republican party is for big business. They are anti-abortion, pro-war, pro death penalty. It was this same agenda that the Bush administration sold to the american public. It has been stated that the number one reason that more people (remember, it was only 2% more) voted republican in this election was because of their aversion to gay marriage. Dispute any of this.

    But the challenge still exists, how will the republican agenda save our wild forests, the water that we drink, the air we breath, and the fish that we all claim to love? GWB has rolled back so many of the EPA restrictions. At this point, he doesn't even recognize global warming. What's up with that?

    Remember how proposed changes are for Wild fish to be counted the same as hatchery fish? Much of the forests have now been designated as areas to be harvested, and he's paving the way to drill for oil in the Alaskan wilderness. He stated on his last visit to Washington that there would be no dam removal on the Columbia. I cannot see how his agenda and the party that he has been elected from, are going to be good for those things that I've listed.

    At this point, there's no turning back. It's pointless to debate the outcome of the election, GWB is president. In 4 years, I hope that the planet is in better shape, that the fish have been given more opportunities to succeed, not less. I hope that the I'll have to eat my words and realize that GWB was the best thing that ever happened, but if the past 4 years are any indication, I'm skeptical at best.

    Cactus, although I disagree with the republican position, thank you for your input and in your ability to debate the issues intelligently.
     
  5. Cactus

    Cactus Dana Miller

    And your picture is based on what? What you see on CBS? What you read in The New York Times? A personal aquaintance with many conservatives? I could just as easily make the observation that the Democrat Party nature is pacifist, pro-abortion, anti-death penalty, anti-business and for income redistribution. However, I'm aware that, while in large part accurate, it does not represent every Democrat just as your description does not represent every Republican.

    And to be accurate, President Bush had a 3-1/2% lead over Sen. Kerry as the minor parties received a total of 1-1/2% of the vote. No Democrat has received this large of a total vote percentage since LBJ in 1964. Additionally, the Republicans picked up 4 Senate seats and added to their majority in the House. President Bush is the first President to win increases in both chambers while winning re-election since FDR in 1936.

    So those trying to dismiss this as a particularily close election, it is mostly wishful thinking.

    I hear all of this talk about EPA rollbacks yet I have yet to see any signifigant evidence of it. Are you saying that all past EPA regulations were perfect as written and need no modifications to fit current situations? The conservative position is that it is more productive to offer incentives than simply punishment for industry.

    A perfect example is the old coal fired power plants in the north-east. Many of them are old, obsolete and very dirty. Current laws require that no improvements can be done to them without bringing them up to current emission standards. This is economically unviable. Power costs are regulated and the costs to basically rebuild them could never be recovered. There are affordable improvements that could be made to these plants that would not only allow more power to be produced, but would result in a signifigant reduction (but not within current standards) in emissions from these plants. So, while the intent of the law is admirable, the actual result of it is that these dirty power plants stay on line and a reduction in emissions is not happening.

    Just locking up the forests will not save them. Haven't we learned anything from the disasterous fires over the last ten years? President Bush has basically proposed enforcing the Clinton negotiated forest agreement and to allow thinning of the forests. It was just announced this week, that LA had the lowest air pollution levels of the last 20 plus years.

    To be fair, President Bush does "recognize" global warming. What he differs with is the cause. There is evidence to indicate it is a natural cycle as well as evidence to indicate it as man made. Now to be perfectly honest, I do feel that the environment is one of his weakest points, but he is hardly as disasterous as many would have us believe.

    I agree with the need to drill in ANWAR, as do the Eskimos living there! To drill in 4% of the reserve, as proposed will do little damage. And one thing people need to understand is that ANWAR is not a designated wilderness area.

    People keep talking about the need to reduce our need for foreign oil, but until other tecnologies become common place and economically viable, we will still need to drill for oil. As a matter of fact, President Bush is the only president to propose government funding for hydrogen technology.

    As far as the dams go, I think Seattle should lead by example and remove the Ballard Locks and the Montlake Cut to restore the fish runs in the Cedar River and the habitat lost when Lake Washington was lowered. :cool:
     
  6. Bright Rivers

    Bright Rivers Member

    Cactus for President?

    I've been so busy at work lately, I haven't had an extra moment to fish, much less spend time reading the political banter on this, my favorite site. Ordinarily, I would be worried that my absence might cause such a complete lack of conservative perspective that it would create a vacuum in the cultural enviro-political continuum (just made that up) and the result would be a giant sucking sound, followed by a cataclysmic implosion of wff.com. Then where would we be?

    But never fear . . . Cactus is here! And I must say, Cactus, your recent political prose has been inspired and inspiring. Don't let it bother you that in all likelihood, I am your only fan. Just keep on doing your thing. In addition to writing some great conservative apologetics, you are also providing a terrific punching bag for these Dems. Without you to scream at this week, I would be concerned for the wives and children of these frothing libs. ;)

    In the past, some Dems on this site have rewarded their favorite political writers by nominating them for President. First, it was Fortuna. Then Kalm. They're probably leaning toward Skinny these days. But the Grand Old Party has no nominee yet. Cactus, I would nominate you, if it weren't for the fact that I am so pleased with President we already have!

    :cool:
     
  7. Cactus

    Cactus Dana Miller

    Cactus for President?

    Thanks for the support, BR. However, if nominated, I will not accept; if elected, I will not serve!
     
  8. Dan Page

    Dan Page Active Member

    After working through this thread I feel inclined to put in my $.02.
    I usually vote Libertarian as a matter of principle, but this year felt obligated to vote for the lesser of 2 evils. If Michael Moore's stuff didn't affect me, Robert Kennedy Jr's book "Crimes Against Nature" did. I had to vote against George. No matter your political persuasion you should read this book and fit that information into your decision making process. I would love to hear a response from anyone out there who has also read the book.

    My name is Daniel and I approve this message!!
     
  9. Bright Rivers

    Bright Rivers Member

    daniel -- I am glad that you took the time to "read up" on the issues before choosing your candidate. But you should be aware that a liberal citing Michael Moore and Robert Kennedy Jr. as his key influencers will garner about as much credibility as a conservative touting Jerry Falwell and Alan Keyes.

    One good thing about being a Bush hater -- there is no shortage of good reading. Here are some other excellent titles for your enjoyment:

    Worse than Watergate: The Secret Presidency of George Bush, by John Dean
    Big Lies, by Joe Conason
    The Lies of George W. Bush: Mastering the Politics of Deception, by David Corn
    Big Bush Lies: The 20 Most Telling Lies of George W. Bush, by Jerry Barrett
    Warrior King: The Case for Impeaching George Bush, by John Bonifaz
    The I Hate George Bush Reader: Why Dubya is Wrong About Absolutely Everything, by Clint Willis
    American Dynasty: Aristocracy, Fortune and the Politics of Deceit in the House of Bush, by Kevin Phillips
    Bushwhacked: Life in George Bush’s America, by Molly Ivins
    Cruel and Unusual: Bush and Cheney’s New World Order, by Mark Crispin Miller
     
  10. bugnuts

    bugnuts Member

    BR...I was beginning to think we'd lost you...either to the dark side (no chance) or to the demands of life as a barrister (more likely). Prior to the election, I thought our posts were tantimount to "pissing in the wind", but now the conservative view of things suddenly seems more in vogue (at least in the real world ;) ).

    Cactus...I commend you on your tenacity, and I don't blame you at all for declining BR's nomination. A fair reading of the liberal arguments above, as well as those made leading up to the election, would have it that we support killing off the remaining fish runs, support global warming, support overharvesting our forests, support polluting the oceans, and favor corporate profits above all else. Geez...I didn't know that those were my beliefs...we really are bastards. :D
     
  11. Dan Page

    Dan Page Active Member

    I'm certainly glad we have some practical minded conservative input here to remind me that it's economically unviable to clean things up around here. How many billions have we spent in Iraq?
    Maybe you should take some time to actually read some of the books on the list!
     
  12. bugnuts

    bugnuts Member

    I think you missed his point, sir.
     
  13. Steve Buckner

    Steve Buckner Mother Nature's Son

    A friend sent me this...

    Politics and “Moral Values”

    > The election is over, my man didn’t win. I liked John Kerry and I was ready to give him a shot for four years to see what he’d offer us. But, unlike some liberals, I’m not announcing my plans to move to Canada or predicting the end of the universe as we know it. George Bush strikes me as a likeable, nice fellow, even if I strenuously disagree with many of his policies.
    >
    > But I am depressed after the election. It’s not over the leader we chose, but over why, apparently, he was chosen. In exit polls, more people said they were concerned about “moral values” than were concerned about the economy or terrorism. Lest anyone think I am opposed to moral values, let me reassure you. I like values just fine and I think they compose the backbone of a strong society.
    >
    > What I despair over is conservative control over what is defined as values. One of the big surprises of the election was the Republican ability to match the Democrats in new registered voters. People were anxious to support George W. Bush for the first time. The question is, why? I’m sure there are a lot of reasons, but if the exit polls are right, moral values is a big one. I doubt people who voted for Bush were thinking, “I’m thrilled with how Iraq is going, or I love where unemployment is at.” They connected with him on the “value” issue.
    >
    > So what does that mean? It means stem cell research, abortion, same sex marriage, and of course, religion. Perhaps this is why so many self proclaimed Christians overwhelmingly supported Bush again this year. What doesn’t it mean? Apparently morality has little to do with tens of thousands of dead Iraqi civilians, 2,200 dead American soldiers, and tax cuts for the wealthy. (Within a few months, the number of dead soldiers will exceed the number of people killed on 9/11.) I’m not sure how or when it happened (and I don’t really care, frankly) but I’m utterly at a loss as to why conservatives get to decide what values are in America . Values don’t encompass helping the poor among conservatives, or fighting AIDS in Africa in a meaningful way. Yes, I know we gave some money, but to steal Bill Maher’s analogy, we’re like the millionaire who flips a quarter, or when we’re feeling really generous, a dollar, to the homeless guy and then thinks we made a real difference. We have the ability in this country to alleviate much of the suffering around the world, but we don’t. We’d rather drive tanks to work, shop with forklifts at Costco, watch TV on screens the size of movie theatres, and do whatever we want, whenever we want, the cost be damned. Apparently that’s what freedom means these days. We bitch and moan at paying $2 a gallon in gas to drive to the restaurant, but $5 for the valet is ok, and hey, who doesn’t pay $13 for a pear and gorgonzola salad?
    >
    > What I’m suggesting is that our values are seriously screwed up in this country. Our outrage is reserved for Janet Jackson’s boob during the Super Bowl (where innocent children could’ve been watching!!!), for Bill Clinton’s marital infidelity, and for John Kerry’s “questionable” war record. We care about things that don’t matter and ignore the things that do. I hope we can stand up and let people know that we’re moral people, and that we stand for values, but that those values count. Sure, abortion’s an important moral issue, but if you’ve got such a myopic view that it’s what determines your vote, you’ve got no business calling yourself a person with values. What would Jesus do has to mean more than walking out of a movie where someone has the nerve to take their clothes off. We’ve got to stop letting conservatives control the discourse and tell us what counts and what doesn’t on the value-o-meter. Dying children in Africa matters. Genocide in Sudan matters. Iraqi civilians aren’t just collateral damage. What can we do to let our fellow Christians know how we feel? What can we do to help combat this conservative control?
     
  14. o mykiss

    o mykiss Active Member

    Did I insult you, Cactus? I went back and looked at my posts on this thread and the closest thing to an insult was referring to the people who worked with Richard Mellon Scaife to try to bring down Clinton as "his dopey Republican minions." Actually, that was more than close; I agree it qualifies as an insult. If you or any of your friends or family were one of them, I apologize. It really was an unfair characterization. I'm sure they came by their beliefs that Clinton had killed a few dozen people over the last couple decades in a sincere way. If you were offended by my (obviously intended to be) hyperbolic remarks that stood for the proposition that conservative Republicans have been incredibly effective at painting Democrats as far left wing nuts by hammering on a couple of divisive wedge issues, I apologize for the offense caused there too. I know that the Republicans' strategy for consolidating power is far more nuanced than that, and it was totally unfair for me to focus exclusively on one aspect of their strategy.

    I work for and with a lot of Republicans, am related to a few, and think I understand them pretty well at this point. I actually am capable of being quite graceful to the Republicans I know, even my colleague who last year told me that he thinks we ought to just write off salmon in the lower 48 or the fellow who, as we discussed the merits of breaching dams on the lower Snake, brought me up short when I suggested that fish had "evolved" to thrive in a particular type of habitat (cool, free flowing streams). I will try to be more graceful to you and the other conservative luminaries on this site. I will start by thanking you for the "choice" you've so gracefully extended to me. I am deeply indebted. From now on, when tempted to respond to conservatives or the effects of their policies on the things I hold near and dear, I will try to bite my tongue or write more dispassionately. And I really mean that. God willing, this will be my last sarcastic post.
     
  15. Bright Rivers

    Bright Rivers Member

    That blog piece is thoughtful and well written. It gives valuable insight into the mind of a person who considers himself to be a “moral liberal” (is that possible?) ;)

    It is based on an assumption, however, that is simply incorrect: that the definition of “moral values” has been defined by the conservative right. I’ve heard this charge many times, and I don’t buy it. The fact is that “American moral values” have been defined by hundreds of years of history – a cultural foundation constructed by generations of social mores and cultural norms. Today’s conservatives haven’t defined anything. We are simply trying to hold onto the values of our heritage that have been forged through the generations. Liberals emphatically reject these well established traditional values, and are seeking to replace them with a modernized version, a version they see as more consistent with our 21st century world. That’s fine. But let’s not kid ourselves about who is attempting to “define” moral values.

    The author makes a valid point that policies resulting in dead Iraqi civilians, dead American soldiers, and tax cuts, present real moral issues too. But those moral issues aren’t new. The question of whether to make war will never be divorced from questions of morality, and reasonable men have through the centuries come down on both sides of that issue. The same goes for setting tax policy and determining whether, and to what extent, the U.S. should give foreign aid to oppressed and struggling nations. Those “morality” debates go back as far (and farther) than the founding of our nation.

    But the moral issues that divide us today are brand new. Conservatives did not define marriage as a union between a man and a woman. That definition has been in place for thousands of years and liberals are now trying to redefine it. The question whether a woman has a fundamental right to intentionally squash the skull of her newborn baby is a new moral question. That “right” was literally invented out of thin air in my lifetime.

    Christians are often accused of “forcing their values on us.” I think it is more accurate to observe that liberals are trying to “force values out.” Whether traditional values should or should not be forced out is a debate worth having, but let's be clear about which side is trying to write (or re-write) the rule book. If Americans want to adopt new values, fine. But the burden of proof should be on the liberals to prove why we should change, not on the conservatives to prove why we shouldn’t.
     
  16. Cactus

    Cactus Dana Miller

    Thank you for making my point.

    Now, please excuse me while I wipe the spittle from my hand! :beathead:
     
  17. o mykiss

    o mykiss Active Member

    What, have you been drooling on yourself again, Cactus? ;)

    (Oh, there I go again. Bad, bad, bad. I promise I'm trying to reform.)
     
  18. bugnuts

    bugnuts Member

    That didn't take long. :p
     
  19. Kalm

    Kalm Member

    The

    Very well put Bright Rivers.

    But there is that always awkward transitional period when traditional values have been proven wrong and yet certain traditionalists just can't seem to let go. For example, racial inequality still exists despite civil rights being codified.

    What's more, your point neglects to recognize regression back to outdated values, which might be the case with gay marriage - depending on your point of view of course. There are other examples.


    If Americans want to adopt new values, fine. But the burden of proof should be on the liberals to prove why we should change, not on the conservatives to prove why we shouldn’t.[/QUOTE]

    But in general, I agree with your synopsis. After all it defines the very nature of the liberal-conservative struggle. Things are changing, it's simply a matter of how long one wishes to be on the wrong side of history.

    BTW, if elected president I would certainly nominate you as co-chair of any neccessary bi-partisan commisions. Good to hear from you.
     
  20. Don Johnson

    Don Johnson Duke of Furl

    I was going to chime in about the Robert F. Kennedy book but Daniel beat me to it. Here's a link to an RFK Jr. article of the same name which may be excerpts from the book or just a summation:

    http://www.commondreams.org/views03/1120-01.htm

    Other good titles are "Crude Politics" by Paul Sperry and "It's Still the Economy, Stupid" but I don't have the author of the latter in front of me at the moment.

    Anyone who thinks Bush has a fair and balanced view of the environment is kidding themselves and the "clear skies, healthy forests" movement is a joke that's going to do nothing but line some pockets. As for the environment, I feel the next four years are going to be similar to watching looters in the height of a riot grabbing as much as they can and running like hell. I sincerely hope I am wrong but common sense and knowledge of EPA programs (RCRA, the Clean Water Act, the Clean Air Act and the Superfund Program) and their budget indicate otherwise.

    Don Johnson