View Poll Results: who gets your vote in nov.?

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  • Bush

    23 21.50%
  • Kerry

    77 71.96%
  • Nader

    2 1.87%
  • other

    5 4.67%
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Thread: who will u vote for in Nov.?

  1. #91
    Forum translator Ptichka's Avatar
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    You are absolutely correct that social programs are not part of the Constitution. However, let's not forget that the original constitution allowed for such things as slavery -- so let's not put too much stock in it. Societies evolve, and so do their needs; we live in a drastically different world today than did the founding fathers. Good schools, universal healthcare, help for the poor -- all of those are social programs that are not mentioned in the Constitution. To me, though, the question is "What do I think would make a better society".

    BTW, I would disagree with you that Bush is "status quo". He is anything but. Step by step, especially in foreign policy, he has dismantled the status quo that has been carefully created by politicians for decades. His moves in social policies and security vs. personal freedom arrangements have also been anything but status quo. Not that I think it is a good thing...

  2. #92
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    Again, I'm not talking particulars, I'm talking about the role of government -- especially the federal government. Like schools, any government "social programs" should be state issues. It's not the government's job to be in the health care or insurance business. Individual states mandate educational requirements, so it's up to individual states to either provide "good schools," or set minimum requirements for private schools. And do you really think that the federal government is the best instrument to handle your health care? It is up to US to "make a better society," and it's the government's job to stay out of our way.

    As for putting "stock" in our Constitution, I'd say that I certainly do! You must ask yourself what it is about America that makes us different than any other country. Pick almost any talking point and there's another country that can best us. Natural resources, land area, crop production, population, education....you name it. The one thing that makes our republic different is our Constitution, with it's unique Bill of Rights. To hold public office, one must take an oath to "defend, protect and uphold the Constitution of the United States."

    Since it was created by imperfect human beings, it has required some tweaks over the two centuries and change it had been in effect. What is totally amazing about it isn't the few things initially wrong with it, but what they initially got right! Certainly there will be additions and adjustments to our Constitution to adapt to a changing world, but that doesn't render the entire document plastic. You don't dismantle the foundation to your home when adding a dormer or sun room! The divisions of government, the vested, inalienable rights of The People and the limitations of the powers of government need to remain firmly intact or America will no longer be America. And you're correct in one sense; Bush hasn't been a good custodian of our Constitution.

    But he and his Republicans are indeed status quo. He made campaign promises and later sold-out those depending on him to carry them out. He cherry picks those part of the Constitution he supports and shreds those parts he finds inconvenient. We saw all this under the Clinton administration and will surely see it under Kerry. Kerry is a long-time Senator, and is therefore responsible, in part, for the current state of affairs. Jr. George is simply carrying on what his father started, and the neo-cons are, and have been, behind them. Status quo, status quo, status quo -- with only slight differences. Do I think one is worse? I sure do! But I don't see Kerry as the savior of the country. I see Badnarik as being much closer to the American ideal than either of the two main candidates. Take the time to read the platform statement of all three parties. Heck, toss-in the Greens and the American Communist Party (who recently endorsed John Kerry) to boot! Which statements sound more like our Constitution?

  3. #93
    Forum translator Ptichka's Avatar
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    Sorry, but I disagree on the Constitution making America unique. Read through the French Constitution. Here is the first sentence of its definition of President: "The President of the Republic shall see that the Constitution is observed." So we're not unique there either.

  4. #94
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    Did YOU happen to read the French Constitution???

    Reading through it will leave you with little doubt that ours is unique. Many countries have such a document, but there are fundamental differences. The first one I see is this:

    "The Government shall determine and conduct the policy of the nation."

    No such thing as "government by the people, for the people" there. "Y'all shut up -- WE will decide what's best for you."

    I also saw nothing equivalent to our Bill of Rights, the first ten amendments to our Constitution. In France, as in many countries, your rights may be defended or denied at the whim of government. Personally, France is one of the few other countries I'd ever consider living in, but as long as there's a constitutional republic such as ours, it will always be a second best IMO. All that aside, I think we've gone way off-topic!

  5. #95
    Forum translator Ptichka's Avatar
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    Disclaimer: I am in no way saying that French system is somehow perfect; the reasons I sited its constitution as opposed to many others was because it's relatively plain-spoken
    Some exerpts fromt it:
    • France is an indivisible, secular, democratic, and social Republic. It ensures the equality of all citizens before the law, without distinction as to origin, race, or religion. It respects all beliefs.
    • Its principle is government of the people, by the people, and for the people.
    • Article 3 [Electoral Rights]
      (1) National sovereignty belongs to the people, who exercise it through their representatives and by means of referendums.
      (2) No section of the people, nor any individual, may abrogate to themselves or to him or herself the exercise thereof.
      (3) Suffrage may be direct or indirect under the terms stipulated by the Constitution. It shall always be universal, equal, and secret.
      (4) All French citizens of both sexes who have attained their majority and enjoy civil and political rights may vote under the conditions determined by law.

  6. #96
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    I do wish we'd used the word "secular" in our First Amendment. Less ambiguous. I also like the "both sexes" wording. Lastly, there is also wording that declares French to be the official language. (Do we ever need something like THAT here!!!) Yea, some good stuff. Now all they need are the equivalents of our 2nd through 10th amendments and it would be perfect!

  7. #97
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    I have to say that I approached this thread with trepidation. I can only stand so much of right-wing politics before my head starts threatening to explode. That being said, I think this is one of the most thoughtful discussions of politics I've ever encountered on the internet. Kudos to all of the participants for maintaining some level of decorum even when things get heated.

    Mostly, I would just say, Amen Dorispulaski!! Another BIG reason for me to vote for John Kerry (and therefore oust George Bush) is here: http://www.house.gov/reform/min/poli...cience_rep.pdf

    It is the house committee on government reform minority report on politics and science in the Bush administration. As someone working in HIV/AIDS prevention, and a behavioral scientist, I find it extremely distressing.

    A few other points:

    I can't understand RealtorGal and her stance on Iraq- to me the evidence just doesn't add up. It was incredibly irresponsible for Bush-Cheney-Rummy-Wolfowitz to be gunning for Iraq on Sept 12. In the process we have alienated our allies and lost the upper hand in the war on terror.

    Tonichelle, you sound to me like an intelligent and very precocious young woman who is also quite sheltered. I hope that you will continue to engage in debate and also learn to listen to people who have different experiences than you. While I disagree with you at almost every turn, I have to smile as you describe standardized tests- as an exceptionally smart (i.e., good test taker- if only all success in life were based on bubble tests!) teenager, I always found it difficult to understand how people could score so low. But people have very different experiences and backgrounds. I was fortunate to have a mother who read to me often; I also lucked into being placed in accelerated learning classes in 3rd grade. Those opportunities, and many others, are simply not universally available.

    I'll sign off with a little personal story: as I'm writing to you, my 'husband' of 11 years is in bed recuperating from surgery. We spend thousands more every year to insure him, as he is not eligible to be on my insurance, and I cannot use my sick leave to care for him, based solely on his gender. Extending those benefits to me and mine does not harm anyone else's relationship in the least, except in the small minds that perceive a slight.

  8. #98
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    Bush's hamfisted foreign policy and his cluelessness as to how the minorities and other powerless people feel compel me toward Kerry. Nader is a gadfly who has no business in politics. Bush is a racist and a loser who has never been sucessful unless his father has helped him. Get him OUT of the White House. I am a veteran myself, and I support the troops, but Bush is just sending them over for no reason at all other than to protect the interests of his toadies and old-boy connections. He doesn't care about anyone who isn't a straight white conservative Christian Male with money. And he never really won the first election anyway. Get him out of there, somebody, someone, anywhere.

  9. #99
    Custom Title Mathman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DJStuCrew
    I do wish we'd used the word "secular" in our First Amendment. Less ambiguous. I also like the "both sexes" wording. Lastly, there is also wording that declares French to be the official language. (Do we ever need something like THAT here!!!) Yea, some good stuff. Now all they need are the equivalents of our 2nd through 10th amendments and it would be perfect!
    About "secular," I think the wording of the first amendment -- "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion" -- is pretty explicit in its statement that the government is secular. While the next part -- "or prohibiting the free exercise thereof" -- makes it equally clear that the people can be religious or not as they choose.

    I do not, however, think that we need a constitutional amendment to tell us what language we have to speak. Speak what you want. Say what you want. This is America!

    Similarly, I am always puzzled by arguments in favor of "states' rights." States don't have rights. People have rights. Governments, at whatever level, exist to prortect those rights.

    If I were running John Kerry's campaign, what I would be hitting on is: Talk's cheap. It's easy to [i]talk[i] about the importance of national security. It is even easier to send other people to protect it. But when Uncle Sam called, George Bush stayed home. Dick Chaney stayed home. John Kerry served.

    JMO.

    Mathman
    Last edited by Mathman; 07-28-2004 at 09:26 PM.

  10. #100
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    When I write to my pen-pals in France and Russia, I'm often astounded at their fluency in English. I'm also embarassed by the fact that, in many other countries, an English speaker can "get by" because enough people have learned English, yet here in America, no such importance is placed on communicating with others.

    While I don't support a suppression of other language here in America -- in fact, I'd like to see more foreign language classes in K-12 and beyond -- I think a declaration of a "national language" is in order. It would put potential immigrants on notice that English is what they need to know, and would clear some pretty murky legal waters right now in some states.

    As for "state's rights," I believe that they surpass those of the federal government. The state is the local unit of government under which you live, and it's state law that most effects you personally. Various states have different issues. For instance, only states like Michigan, Ohio and Illinois have anything to say about the Great Lakes. What do the feds know that we don't on this subject? Similarly, Michigan might have little to say about the management of land in the deserts of Nevada, since Michigan HAS no deserts. There's a million little issues like this from state to state. Also, if you read the Constitution and Federalist Papers, you'll see why the state is actually supposed to be the primary unit of government, with the Federal government subservient to them. That's why states have representatives in Washington, but Washington has no representatives in the states.

    And you're right about one thing; it's the PEOPLE who are supposed to have the power. Our representatives are NOT our leaders, nor is the President. They are PUBLIC SERVANTS, and should be reminded of this every once in a while. I tend to send a BIG reminder in November! :D

  11. #101
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    You go Girl!

    go on with your bad self DorisP. I agree.

    I've tried and tried to figure out the difference betw Democrats and Republicans, esp in those years where people say that there's "no difference" betw them and it makes it hard to vote. I've finally figured it out by what's happened to me in my adult working life, and by looking back through history in the 1900's:

    Republicans think that if you take care of big business, it will take care of the people.

    Democrats think that if you take care of people, they will take care of business.

    Which do you think serves this country best? Which do you think is REALLY working according to "plan". I live in California: big business electric co.screwed my bulb into the ground last year and then went off to their own private island into new bazillion dollar houses for the CEO's, leaving employees behind jobless, pensionless, broken. How come Halburton, Cheney's business interest, got an uncontested government contract to send MRE's to our troops in Iraq for 29.95 EACH ? I say we stop all that hogwash immediately and let local elected governments "consult" with the Feds before contracts are awarded. I bet the city council of, say, Garden City Kansas would send back notes saying that they would arrange for the downtown Army/Navy shop to send THREE meals/ day, postage and all, to each soldier for less than 30 bucks a day. Don't EVEN get me started on how the Republicans changed the way we elect presidents in this country. I will never forgive them for NOT allowing the election to proceed according to the balance of powers in the Constitution. It SHOULD have gone to the the House of Representatives. Bush would probably have been "appointed" anyway. But, he and his team have now set a prescident for the Supreme Court---a politically appointed board---to fiddle with elections infinitely. I will never forget even to my dying day that Chief Justice Scalia--a Republican appointee--said in defense of the court's decision that "the Constitution does NOT guarantee suffrage" meaning that, he believes that Constitutionally, your vote NEVER needs to be counted. It is the "luxury" of the court that ANY vote is counted. How's THAT for checks and balances?

  12. #102
    Forum translator Ptichka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mathman
    About "secular," I think the wording of the first amendment -- "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion" -- is pretty explicit in its statement that the government is secular. While the next part -- "or prohibiting the free exercise thereof" -- makes it equally clear that the people can be religious or not as they choose.
    Mathman, what about Bush's faith-based initiative? While I believe it violates the spirit of the constitution, technically there is nothing in the plan to contradict the 1st ammendment. As Joe Liberman said 4 years ago (prompting me to start yelling at my car radio) "Constitution guarantees freedom of religion, not freedom from religion.

    I do not, however, think that we need a constitutional amendment to tell us what language we have to speak. Speak what you want. Say what you want. This is America!
    ITA. Though I have to say on a very personal note that I was extremely proud of my whole family -- when we came to this country, even my 70+ year old grandfather spent a lot of time trying to learn English. He was unfortunately too old to really learn it, but it sure wasn't for the lack of trying -- he'd spend days with his textbooks.

    Similarly, I am always puzzled by arguments in favor of "states' rights." States don't have rights. People have rights. Governments, at whatever level, exist to prortect those rights.
    All depends on how you look at it. Take Meagan Law for example. According to the Federal Governement, all states need to implement it because it protects potential victims' rights. However, the Massachusetts Supreme Court says that Meagan Law violates the state constitution as it doesn't respect the right of those who are done paying their debt to society.

    But when Uncle Sam called, George Bush stayed home. Dick Chaney stayed home. John Kerry served.
    Mathman, how did you feel when Bush Sr. (who has an excellent service record) was running against Clinton (a draft dodger, no less)? While I agree that Kerry's service record speaks highly of him, I wouldn't hold not serving against either Bush or Cheaney.

    Quote Originally Posted by sk8fanconvert
    I'll sign off with a little personal story: as I'm writing to you, my 'husband' of 11 years is in bed recuperating from surgery.
    Only 1 thing for you to do for you -- move to the best state in the nation, MASSACHUSETTS! On the serious note, though, I wish your husband all the best and a speedy recovery.
    Last edited by Ptichka; 07-30-2004 at 03:25 PM.

  13. #103
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ptichka
    Mathman, what about Bush's faith-based initiative? While I believe it violates the spirit of the constitution, technically there is nothing in the plan to contradict the 1st ammendment. As Joe Liberman said 4 years ago (prompting me to start yelling at my car radio) "Constitution guarantees freedom of religion, not freedom from religion.
    The First Amendment is an admonishment of government to remain neutral on all matters of religion. That means FROM as well as OF.

    “Believing that religion is a matter which lies solely between man and his God, that he owes account to none other for his faith or his worship, that the legitimate powers of government reach actions only, not opinions, I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole of the American people which declared that their Legislature should ‘make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,’ thus building a wall of separation between church and state” - Thomas Jefferson in a letter to the Danbury Baptists, 1802.

    From the author of the First Amendment:

    "The purpose of separation of church and state is to keep forever from these shores the endless strife that has soaked the soil of Europe in blood for centuries." - President James Madison

    Funneling OUR tax dollars to any CHURCH is precisely a clear violation of church / state separation!

  14. #104
    Custom Title Mathman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ptichka
    Mathman, what about Bush's faith-based initiative? While I believe it violates the spirit of the constitution, technically there is nothing in the plan to contradict the 1st ammendment. As Joe Liberman said 4 years ago (prompting me to start yelling at my car radio) "Constitution guarantees freedom of religion, not freedom from religion.
    I agree with the quotes from Jefferson and Madison that DJStuCrew posted just above.

    Take the issue of prayer in public schools (and for that matter, at the openings of sessions of Congress and the Supreme Court). Jesus spoke on this matter, saying (Matthew 6:5-6),

    "And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they be seen of men."

    "But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray unto the Father which is in secret."

    Though I have to say on a very personal note that I was extremely proud of my whole family -- when we came to this country, even my 70+ year old grandfather spent a lot of time trying to learn English. He was unfortunately too old to really learn it, but it sure wasn't for the lack of trying -- he'd spend days with his textbooks.
    This is exactly why I think we do not need a law establishing an official national language. I think that immigrants will see, as they always have, the advantage of learning the language spoken in their new country, without having it forced down their throats by government edict.

    In fact, the only group of immigrants to North America who did not eventually learn the native languages of the people to whose country they came, were the English-speakers and the Quebecois.

    All depends on how you look at it. Take Meagan Law for example. According to the Federal Governement, all states need to implement it because it protects potential victims' rights. However, the Massachusetts Supreme Court says that Meagan Law violates the state constitution as it doesn't respect the right of those who are done paying their debt to society.
    I think this is exactly what the debate should focus on: In each instance, what level of government can best protect the rights of the people. Again, the term "states' rights" is one I don't like because to me it seems like it is saying that state governments have rights. Governments, in my opinion, do not have rights. They have duties. "Deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed," and all that.

    The last time states rights was a big issue in U.S. politics was during the civil rights movement in the 1960s. Southern politicians touted "states rights" as justification for Jim Crow laws that denied black citizens the right to vote, to receive public services, etc. In this instance, I heartily approved of federal legislation such as the voting rights act of 1964 that addressed this issue nationwide.

    But on some other issues, like education, I think the states can do a better job. I am not an ideologue on this subject.

    Mathman, how did you feel when Bush Sr. (who has an excellent service record) was running against Clinton (a draft dodger, no less)? While I agree that Kerry's service record speaks highly of him, I wouldn't hold not serving against either Bush or Cheaney.
    What I don't like is the hypocrisy. President Bush is basing his legacy on being a war-time president, like Washington, Lincoln and Roosevelt. If there is no war handy to make him look big, he'll start one (in Iraq). Cheny is even worse. He portrays himself as a mighty warrior, but it is other people who pay the price for his delusions of grandeur.

    JMO.
    Last edited by Mathman; 07-31-2004 at 10:00 AM.

  15. #105
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    IMO, The only reason people are going to vote for Kerry is because they don`t want Bush

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