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Joined: 7/4/2005
Msg: 1
Things I Find OddPage 1 of 1    
Reading these political threads is sometimes a headache inducing experience. I think we're pretty evenly divided, those who lean left and those who lean right. It's no secret which way I personally lean. But there are things I cannot reconcile. I'm hoping to get some clarification on some of these questions, and please feel free to ask me how I reconcile my own conflicting ideas. I hope this will be a genuine mature discussion.......

I don't understand how people that lean right can say they don't want government in their lives--yet are allowing the current president and his cronies invade our privacy and abuse our rights like has never happened before.

I've seen it said that you want a hands off government, yet some think it's perfectly o.k. to tell a woman what she can and cannot do with her own body in regards to abortion. You say "stay away from my guns" yet the government shouldn't stay away from our own bodies?

Some people think that it's perfectly fine for our schools to teach creationism, yet when a teenager gets pregnant or gets an STD because of lack of knowledge, the same people say it's solely the parents' job to teach religion and morality.

I'm sure I'll think of more, but these are ones that are on my mind lately.
Joined: 11/3/2005
Msg: 2
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Things I Find Odd
Posted: 9/14/2008 4:28:58 PM
I find it odd people the right wing votes for, think welfare for the working poor and middle class is evil but, corporate welfare is ok.

I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous
to our liberties than standing armies. Already they
have raised up a moneyed aristocracy that has set
the Government at defiance. The issuing power should
be taken from the banks and restored to the people to
whom it properly belongs.
Thomas Jefferson

"I hope we shall crush in its birth the aristocracy of our moneyed
corporations, which dare already to challenge our government to a
trial of strength and bid
defiance to the laws of our country."
Thomas Jefferson, 1812
Source:Liberty Quotes

There is a lot I do not like on both left and right but, the errors on the right are quite a bit more dangerous than those on that side whom claim to champion liberty can even imagine.

The left also has it's issues that threaten freedom and this nation. Neither is innocent especially these days when the two parties have the thinnest line between them, sometimes I find it impossible to tell the difference. They have both sold out to corporate interests and IF one goes far enough west one ends up going east.

Joined: 7/4/2005
Msg: 3
Things I Find Odd
Posted: 9/14/2008 5:02:02 PM

I find it odd people the right wing votes for, think welfare for the working poor and middle class is evil but, corporate welfare is ok.

Good point.

I had another one come to mind. When Brittany Spears' little sister, who was 17, became an unmarried, pregnant girl in the limelight, Rush Limbaugh spouted and sputtered that clearly the parents are to blame here....yet when Bristol Palin becomes a 17 yr old unmarried, pregnant girl in the limelight, it's a blessing.

Sigh.....I wonder why no one has really responded to this.
Joined: 3/8/2004
Msg: 4
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Things I Find Odd
Posted: 9/14/2008 5:55:32 PM
It all goes back to that neo con Straussian philosophy of the "Noble Lie" , and how one can and should to anything to both get power and keep power.

It doesn't matter what the moral relevancy is to the issue, it's how the voter gets mislead into backing your party.

Strauss was pretty clear about doing that, because he thought that the "dull normals" in society had to be lead by the elite.

So if the "dull normals" want a puppet show, and you can make those puppets dance in a way that they all smile and cheer......that's exactly what you do.

Leo Strauss repeatedly defends the political realism of Thrasymachus and Machiavelli (see, for example, his Natural Right and History, p. 106). This view of the world is clearly manifest in the foreign policy of the current administration in the United States.

A second fundamental belief of Strauss’s ancients has to do with their insistence on the need for secrecy and the necessity of lies. In his book Persecution and the Art of Writing, Strauss outlines why secrecy is necessary. He argues that the wise must conceal their views for two reasons – to spare the people’s feelings and to protect the elite from possible reprisals.

The people will not be happy to learn that there is only one natural right – the right of the superior to rule over the inferior, the master over the slave, the husband over the wife, and the wise few over the vulgar many. In On Tyranny, Strauss refers to this natural right as the “tyrannical teaching” of his beloved ancients. It is tyrannical in the classic sense of rule above rule or in the absence of law (p. 70).

Now, the ancients were determined to keep this tyrannical teaching secret because the people are not likely to tolerate the fact that they are intended for subordination; indeed, they may very well turn their resentment against the superior few. Lies are thus necessary to protect the superior few from the persecution of the vulgar many.

The effect of Strauss’s teaching is to convince his acolytes that they are the natural ruling elite and the persecuted few. And it does not take much intelligence for them to surmise that they are in a situation of great danger, especially in a world devoted to the modern ideas of equal rights and freedoms. Now more than ever, the wise few must proceed cautiously and with circumspection. So, they come to the conclusion that they have a moral justification to lie in order to avoid persecution. Strauss goes so far as to say that dissembling and deception – in effect, a culture of lies – is the peculiar justice of the wise.

Strauss justifies his position by an appeal to Plato’s concept of the noble lie. But in truth, Strauss has a very impoverished conception of Plato’s noble lie. Plato thought that the noble lie is a story whose details are fictitious; but at the heart of it is a profound truth.

In the myth of metals, for example, some people have golden souls – meaning that they are more capable of resisting the temptations of power. And these morally trustworthy types are the ones who are most fit to rule. The details are fictitious, but the moral of the story is that not all human beings are morally equal.

In contrast to this reading of Plato, Strauss thinks that the superiority of the ruling philosophers is an intellectual superiority and not a moral one (Natural Right and History, p. 151). For many commentators who (like Karl Popper) have read Plato as a totalitarian, the logical consequence is to doubt that philosophers can be trusted with political power. Those who read him this way invariably reject him. Strauss is the only interpreter who gives a sinister reading to Plato, and then celebrates him.

The dialectic of fear and tyranny

Danny Postel: In the Straussian scheme of things, there are the wise few and the vulgar many. But there is also a third group – the gentlemen. Would you explain how they figure?

Shadia Drury: There are indeed three types of men: the wise, the gentlemen, and the vulgar. The wise are the lovers of the harsh, unadulterated truth. They are capable of looking into the abyss without fear and trembling. They recognise neither God nor moral imperatives. They are devoted above all else to their own pursuit of the “higher” pleasures, which amount to consorting with their “puppies” or young initiates.

The second type, the gentlemen, are lovers of honour and glory. They are the most ingratiating towards the conventions of their society – that is, the illusions of the cave. They are true believers in God, honour, and moral imperatives. They are ready and willing to embark on acts of great courage and self-sacrifice at a moment’s notice.

The third type, the vulgar many, are lovers of wealth and pleasure. They are selfish, slothful, and indolent. They can be inspired to rise above their brutish existence only by fear of impending death or catastrophe.

Like Plato, Strauss believed that the supreme political ideal is the rule of the wise. But the rule of the wise is unattainable in the real world. Now, according to the conventional wisdom, Plato realised this, and settled for the rule of law. But Strauss did not endorse this solution entirely. Nor did he think that it was Plato’s real solution – Strauss pointed to the “nocturnal council” in Plato’s Laws to illustrate his point.

The real Platonic solution as understood by Strauss is the covert rule of the wise (see Strauss’s – The Argument and the Action of Plato’s Laws). This covert rule is facilitated by the overwhelming stupidity of the gentlemen. The more gullible and unperceptive they are, the easier it is for the wise to control and manipulate them. Supposedly, Xenophon makes that clear to us.

For Strauss, the rule of the wise is not about classic conservative values like order, stability, justice, or respect for authority. The rule of the wise is intended as an antidote to modernity. Modernity is the age in which the vulgar many have triumphed. It is the age in which they have come closest to having exactly what their hearts desire – wealth, pleasure, and endless entertainment. But in getting just what they desire, they have unwittingly been reduced to beasts.

Nowhere is this state of affairs more advanced than in America. And the global reach of American culture threatens to trivialise life and turn it into entertainment. This was as terrifying a spectre for Strauss as it was for Alexandre Kojève and Carl Schmitt.

This is made clear in Strauss’s exchange with Kojève (reprinted in Strauss’s On Tyranny), and in his commentary on Schmitt’s The Concept of the Political (reprinted in Heinrich Meier, Carl Schmitt and Leo Strauss: The Hidden Dialogue). Kojève lamented the animalisation of man and Schmitt worried about the trivialisation of life. All three of them were convinced that liberal economics would turn life into entertainment and destroy politics; all three understood politics as a conflict between mutually hostile groups willing to fight each other to the death. In short, they all thought that man’s humanity depended on his willingness to rush naked into battle and headlong to his death. Only perpetual war can overturn the modern project, with its emphasis on self-preservation and “creature comforts.” Life can be politicised once more, and man’s humanity can be restored.

This terrifying vision fits perfectly well with the desire for honour and glory that the neo-conservative gentlemen covet. It also fits very well with the religious sensibilities of gentlemen. The combination of religion and nationalism is the elixir that Strauss advocates as the way to turn natural, relaxed, hedonistic men into devout nationalists willing to fight and die for their God and country.

I never imagined when I wrote my first book on Strauss that the unscrupulous elite that he elevates would ever come so close to political power, nor that the ominous tyranny of the wise would ever come so close to being realised in the political life of a great nation like the United States. But fear is the greatest ally of tyranny.

Danny Postel: You’ve described Strauss as a nihilist.

Shadia Drury: Strauss is a nihilist in the sense that he believes that there is no rational foundation for morality. He is an atheist, and he believes that in the absence of God, morality has no grounding. It’s all about benefiting others and oneself; there is no objective reason for doing so, only rewards and punishments in this life.

But Strauss is not a nihilist if we mean by the term a denial that there is any truth, a belief that everything is interpretation. He does not deny that there is an independent reality. On the contrary, he thinks that independent reality consists in nature and its “order of rank” – the high and the low, the superior and the inferior. Like Nietzsche, he believes that the history of western civilisation has led to the triumph of the inferior, the rabble – something they both lamented profoundly.

Danny Postel: This connection is curious, since Strauss is bedevilled by Nietzsche; and one of Strauss’s most famous students, Allan Bloom, fulminates profusely in his book The Closing of the American Mind against the influence of Nietzsche and Martin Heidegger.

Shadia Drury: Strauss’s criticism of the existentialists, especially Heidegger, is that they tried to elicit an ethic out of the abyss. This was the ethic of resoluteness – choose whatever you like and be loyal to it to the death; its content does not matter. But Strauss’s reaction to moral nihilism was different. Nihilistic philosophers, he believes, should reinvent the Judæo-Christian God, but live like pagan gods themselves – taking pleasure in the games they play with each other as well as the games they play on ordinary mortals.

The question of nihilism is complicated, but there is no doubt that Strauss’s reading of Plato entails that the philosophers should return to the cave and manipulate the images (in the form of media, magazines, newspapers). They know full well that the line they espouse is mendacious, but they are convinced that theirs are noble lies.

- Shadia Drury,
professor of political theory at the University of Regina in Saskatchewan

That's why people like Rove come along, and McCain's Steve Schmidt ( a Rove graduate), come along.

Look at how the campaign's being run, and the amount of lies that are being put out. There's your proof of what I'm saying, right there.

The elite don't have to believe in God, or anything else they use as a tool. They are above that.

Straussianism is very hostile to the notion that we can radically change the world for the better.

- Bill Kristol;col1

Passage of the Clinton health care plan in any form would be disastrous.... There is no health care crisis.

- Bill Kristol
(During the Bill Clinton proposal period, Wall Street Journal article);col1

In our day and age, government has become such a problem and is so much too big and so bad for our character that simply cutting government is a pretty good practical program for a while.

- Bill Kristol

I managed to have my children go through the Fairfax, Virginia schools without ever looking at one of their science textbooks.

I don’t discuss personal opinions. ( speaking about his view of evolution)

- Bill Kristol

I don’t believe that anything that offends nine-tenths of the American public should be taught in public schools. … I don’t believe that public schools should embark on teaching anything that offends Christian principle.

- David Frum

If you outlaw abortion and birth control, then women return to their traditional role.

If you start to make people doubt science, you don't have to worry about things like global warming. It's God's plan, we have nothing to worry about, so forget about's just some godless liberal garbage to confuse your mind.

Once you've got them hooked on religion, deeply hooked, and you can convince them that God's on YOUR've got the best running mate in town.

What's fascinating is that Kristol is Jewish ( and a student of Strauss, an atheist) , and yet takes offense to any hint of "anti-Christian" sentiment, which by definition (by his religion) he doesn't even agree with in the first place.

That's how deceptive this man is, and the neocons are.

"The wackos get their information through the Christian right, Christian radio, mail, the internet and telephone trees," Scanlon wrote in the memo, which was read into the public record at a hearing of the Senate Indian Affairs Committee. "Simply put, we want to bring out the wackos to vote against something and make sure the rest of the public lets the whole thing slip past them." The brilliance of this strategy was twofold: Not only would most voters not know about an initiative to protect Coushatta gambling revenues, but religious "wackos" could be tricked into supporting gambling at the Coushatta casino even as they thought they were opposing it.

Michael Scanlon ( not a neocon , btw)
former communications director for Rep. Tom DeLay

Kristol helped write Bush's second inaugural speech, then praised the speech in his magazine and on TV. No bias there, at all.

That's why it's so odd.....
Joined: 3/8/2004
Msg: 5
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Things I Find Odd
Posted: 9/14/2008 6:10:19 PM

“Tempting Faith’s” author is David Kuo, who served as special assistant to the president from 2001 to 2003. A self-described conservative Christian, Kuo’s previous experience includes work for prominent conservatives including former Education Secretary and federal drug czar Bill Bennett and former Attorney General John Ashcroft.

Kuo, who has complained publicly in the past about the funding shortfalls, goes several steps further in his new book.

He says some of the nation’s most prominent evangelical leaders were known in the office of presidential political strategist Karl Rove as “the nuts.”

“National Christian leaders received hugs and smiles in person and then were dismissed behind their backs and described as ‘ridiculous,’ ‘out of control,’ and just plain ‘goofy,’” Kuo writes.

More seriously, Kuo alleges that then-White House political affairs director Ken Mehlman knowingly participated in a scheme to use the office, and taxpayer funds, to mount ostensibly “nonpartisan” events that were, in reality, designed with the intent of mobilizing religious voters in 20 targeted races.

Nineteen out of the 20 targeted races were won by Republicans, Kuo reports. The outreach was so extensive and so powerful in motivating not just conservative evangelicals, but also traditionally Democratic minorities, that Kuo attributes Bush’s 2004 Ohio victory “at least partially … to the conferences we had launched two years before.”

With the exception of one reporter from the Washington Post, Kuo says the media were oblivious to the political nature and impact of his office’s events, in part because so much of the debate centered on issues of separation of church and state.

In fact, the Bush administration often promoted the faith-based agenda by claiming that existing government regulations were too restrictive on religious organizations seeking to serve the public.

Substantiating that claim proved difficult, Kuo says. “Finding these examples became a huge priority.… If President Bush was making the world a better place for faith-based groups, we had to show it was really a bad place to begin with. But, in fact, it wasn’t that bad at all.”

In fact, when Bush asks Kuo how much money was being spent on “compassion” social programs, Kuo claims he discovered the amount was $20 million a year less than during the Clinton Administration.

In the book, Kuo, who quit the White House in 2003, accuses Karl Rove's political staff of cynically hijacking the faith-based initiatives idea for electoral gain.

Every other White House office was up and running. The faith-based initiative still operated out of the nearly vacant transition offices.

Three days later, a Tuesday, Karl Rove summoned [Don] Willett [a former Bush aide from Texas who initially shepharded the program] to his office to announce that the entire faith-based initiative would be rolled out the following Monday. Willett asked just how — without a director, staff, office, or plan — the president could do that. Rove looked at him, took a deep breath, and said, “I don’t know. Just get me a f—ing faith-based thing. Got it?” Willett was shown the door.

- Tempting Faith
David Kuo

Has anyone in the Bush administration confided in you about being an atheist?
Well, I don’t talk that much to them—maybe people think I do. I know something which is known to few but is not a secret. Karl Rove is not a believer, and he doesn’t shout it from the rooftops, but when asked, he answers quite honestly. I think the way he puts it is, “I’m not fortunate enough to be a person of faith.”

SLATER: You know, I remember seeing Ralph Reed in Texas when Rove tried to bring him on board back in about 1998. Ralph Reed is an Evangelical Christian who was successful in bringing Evangelical Christians around for political ends. Karl Rove is just the opposite. He is, in fact, an agnostic. He has told a friend in high school that he grew up in a largely a-religious household. He told a friend at the University of Texas, where some years ago he was teaching, that he would like to be a believer but he’s an agnostic and he couldn’t be otherwise. So Rove’s approach has always been not that religion and the values of religion ought to have a place in our public policy, which is the message that he sent. Rove’s approach is that Christians are a marvelously effective voter delivery system that can be rallied, motivated, energized, and delivered for the political candidate of your choice.

GROSS: Are you confident that Karl Rove would still consider himself an agnostic?

SLATER: I know that he felt that way two years ago. I don’t know of any reason to think that he has changed that view. He certainly hasn’t told me that he has. It’s certainly possible. I think the evidence and the history is that he remains something of an agnostic, though he sees the Christians, and not just Christians but also orthodox Jews, to some extent, as a valuable voter source. With Rove, it’s about winning. With Karl Rove, it’s how can you put together a team and a constituency or a cluster of constituencies that delivers you 50 percent plus one of the vote? And that’s what it’s all about.

Mat 7:15 Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.

Noble lies, and perpetual war.....
Joined: 3/2/2008
Msg: 6
Things I Find Odd
Posted: 9/14/2008 6:41:01 PM
1. What evidence or sources do you have that shows that the average citizens privacy or rights are being abused on a daily basis?

2. So, you think it's ok for a woman to go out and get pregnant, then have the child murdered?

3. How many schools actually teach CREATIONISM?, what does creationism have to do with Teen pregnancy and STD's?

Just a few questions that have been on my mind lately.
Joined: 7/4/2005
Msg: 7
Things I Find Odd
Posted: 9/14/2008 6:41:16 PM

As for the parent's job - it's a liberal theory that the more you can make people dependent on the government, the easier they are to rule - as in they won't bite the hand that feeds them.

I don't really see it that way, I see it as bettering the few as a means to better the whole. But thank you for wording it in a way that is not calling anyone a godless liberal leech. It is posts like that, that make it easier to see the other side.

But to return to the parent's issue - you might note that in years past, when parents took on more responsibility for teaching morals and sex to their kids - we had kids that were more moral and fewer teen pregnancies. Maybe a correllation there?

I guess we can probably argue that back 'then', there were a lot of teen pregnancies, but most of them went away to have their baby and gave it up for adoption, or got married. People are getting married much older now, and a baby is not always the deciding factor in whether a couple gets married or not like it was then. I am all for teaching our kids morals, and don't think the schools should teach them their morals, because I am the one raising these boys and they will go into adulthood with what I taught them or failed to teach them. I do agree that there are many lazy parents in the country these days, but I would prefer my boys look to me for direction rather than to rely on their teachers......because if they do that, then one day the teachers will usurp my own teachings. lol I hope this is making sense....more later. So far I like this thread :)
Joined: 3/8/2004
Msg: 8
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Things I Find Odd
Posted: 9/14/2008 7:03:36 PM

MG - I cannot believe, from all I've read from you, that you could make the statements I've just read. For you to make a statement such as
Once you've got them hooked on religion, deeply hooked, and you can convince them that God's on YOUR side.
makes me wonder who has kidnapped MG and just who you are.
In Canada, as you well know, our 'natural' governing party most certainly subscribes to the statement you made regarding the right:
and how one can and should to anything to both get power and keep power.
and I would venture to say that you agree with this.

Read my post again, this isn't a "right wing"'s a Straussian neocon view.

This is what has contaminated the Republican party, and that's no exaggeration,

That's a critical difference to point out, and I've given enough citations to back it up. Go and read Strauss, and come back here and explain just why I'm wrong.

And no, I don't agree with this mentality at all. In fact it's the exact opposite of what I believe, spiritually and politically. That's what angers me about it.

It's a deeply cynical view of humanity, where religion is used by people to manipulate others. Again, look at someone like Karl Rove, and the citations (from a Christian evangelist , no less) that back it up.

There's only value in using it for political gain, and a guy like Rove has zero interest in it after the election's over.

That's a verifiable fact, from the citation I provided.
Joined: 9/17/2005
Msg: 9
Things I Find Odd
Posted: 9/14/2008 7:22:21 PM
I find it REALLY odd that people like us would discuss something as stupid as this and WASTE our time in trivial things, meanwhile WE got real EMERGENY SITUATIONS..!! ( YEAPH, I am included, that is why I am here.) Instead, WE SHOULD BE DEMANDING OUR REPRESENTATIVES, FROM THE PRESIDENT AND BELOW, to FIXXXX... THOSE PROBLEMS.!!!
Joined: 3/2/2008
Msg: 10
Things I Find Odd
Posted: 9/14/2008 7:29:57 PM

I find it REALLY odd that people like us would discuss something as stupid as this and WASTE our time in trivial things, meanwhile WE got real EMERGENY SITUATIONS..!! ( YEAPH, I am included, that is why I am here.) Instead, WE SHOULD BE DEMANDING OUR REPRESENTATIVES, FROM THE PRESIDENT AND BELOW, to FIXXXX... THOSE PROBLEMS.!!!


The American people have problems agreeing on anything, look at these threads for a little taste. We disagree on what is the real problems, and how to fix them? Our leaders are in a heck of a position. They see things we don't see and have good reasons why things are not getting fixed. We like to sit in our easy chairs and cast stones. But, the truth is that most of the problems can only be fixed by major overhauls that would cause alot of difficulty in the process. It's not as easy as people think, or would be willing to accept.
Joined: 9/17/2005
Msg: 12
Things I Find Odd
Posted: 9/14/2008 8:57:45 PM
Thank You Mr silver.. .. Mr evilside, I will ask You a simple question. Have you volunteered already to help the victims of the last hurricane..?? What about the previous one.?? A homeless shelter or a hospital..?? Do You coach a handful of rascals at the school..?? ... We all want something for nothing.. Because WE Supposedly HAVE SOMEONE ELSE THAT IS GOING TO FIX THE PROBLEMS,, or so we think.!! And out of convenience we rely on that instead of put hands on....But see, the difference is that if WE always wait for OUR problems to get fixed, WE WILL ALWAYS BE WAITING.... Difficult... ? NAAAAHHHH!!! Not at all, if we start somewhere. Maybe with the little problems that are the cause for the BIG PROBLEMS..? And yes, is HARD to please EVERYONE, nearly IMPOSSIBLE... But then again, the politicians has the EASIEST JOB OF THEM ALL...because damned if they do and damned if they don't. SO THEY OPT TO DO NOTHING AT ALL!! Except, of course work for the big corporations and their money.. AND THAT..... IS NOT ODD AT ALL.....!! wouldn't You think..?
Joined: 7/4/2005
Msg: 13
Things I Find Odd
Posted: 9/15/2008 2:38:10 PM
slysterling, just because I haven't mentioned my children and future grandchildren doesn't mean they are not on my mind when I consider a candidate.

It's simple for me:

Democrat=party of Bill Clinton=budget surplus
Repub=party of Reagan and Bush=economic demise.

Democrat=greener thinkers
Repub=not too environmentally conscious.

Democrat=better programs and plans for education
Repub=school of choice, which failed, and the threat of turning education on its' ear with creationism and little sex education. (This one may or may not happen, but it's a buzzword, we all know it).

Those are the HUMONGOUS moose on the table in this election. If we do not address the economy and the environment, there will be nothing left and no one to enjoy it. We need education picked back up off the floor, because our schools are passing people through just to pass them through, and China/Japan have sailed well past us years ago. Obama's got the best economic plan, the best plan for the environment, and the best ideas for education.. McCain is eh--ok on the environment, but with his ties to all the lobbyists who knows if that will change once he's elected. His economic I.Q. is bottom of the class. And as far as schools, I did not like what he had to say at all at the Saddleback forum.
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