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To: brushwud who wrote (183653)2/25/2012 2:21:05 PM
From: Cogito
of 371941
>>I know that line of Buddhist scripture. Just didn't understand the connection to Bible/Koran burning. Were you saying fundamentalists of any stripe can go awry by taking a scriptural metaphor literally? "If thine eye offend thee, pluck it out." I guess it's fortunate we don't encounter many Buddhas in the road.<<

I'll jump in because I think this is an interesting topic.

In my view, religion is supposed to be about spirituality, which seems like an obvious point. Yet many people attach great spiritual significance to temporal things, including books, images, modes of dress, or individual people. When they do so, I think those people are missing the entire point.

I don't have much of a religious impulse myself, so perhaps it is I who is missing something. But I have a hard time believing that Mohammed would have wanted people to kill people because somebody drew a picture of him, or because they burned a book. Not to pick on Islam. I could come up with examples from other religions, too.

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To: Dale Baker who wrote (183662)2/25/2012 2:30:13 PM
From: T L Comiskey
of 371941

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To: Bread Upon The Water who wrote (183628)2/25/2012 2:55:30 PM
From: JohnM
of 371941
I gather you don't see any problem taking a questionable study of a very small population of Caribbean males and throwing the sucker over the US male population. You have a different economy, a different gender history, a different gender culture, and on and on and on.

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To: JohnM who wrote (183677)2/25/2012 3:37:29 PM
From: Dale Baker
of 371941
Another example of taking a sacred theory and testing it with real-world data - economic theology is such a waste of time:

"Kemp’s supply-side anti-poverty revolution didn’t amount to much, practically or politically, in the 1980s or 1990s, when he was most influential. That’s probably because poor and minority voters don’t view the estate tax or high-ish marginal rates on high earners as the root cause, or even a major contributor, to their condition. Furthermore, Kemp was positively evangelical in his belief of the efficacy of market-based and supply-side social policy, whereas Gingrich and Santorum make it seem like they’re only talking about the poor because liberals are forcing them to. But more importantly, the “lift all boats” approach that Kemp pioneered has some serious empirical problems. It was not widely noticed at the time, but this Financial Times article reporting on new research by University of Arizona inequality scholar Lane Kenworthy raises serious problem for the view that economic growth is all that’s needed to raise the living standards of the poor:

The study looked not just at what happened to post-tax incomes during periods of faster and slower growth but also the effects of the transfer of a variety of benefits of cash or near-cash benefits. All of the countries that saw living standards rise for lower income groups - the UK, Norway, Sweden, Finland and Denmark - had programmes in place when economic activity was strong that benefited low-earning households.

However, in countries that had few or no transfer programmes in place during high-growth periods - the US, Canada and Switzerland -low-earning households saw little benefit. This finding means “that as a general rule, growth has not trickled down to low income households through wages or employment”, the report concludes.
When government transfers haven’t grown, wages and employment haven’t stepped in to take their place. Instead, low income households have had little or no income growth,” it says.

Just something to remember next time Newt Gingrich talks about trampolines.

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To: Wharf Rat who wrote (183667)2/25/2012 3:47:02 PM
From: Cogito
of 371941
>>Pretty much everything has been said about Obama over the last 3.5 years. It never stopped, and it's gotten stale.<<

It may have gotten stale to those of us who disagree with it, but not to conservatives like my sister. I spoke to her last week, and she said she was delighted that Santorum had been rising in the polls, because she thinks he's a really good man.

It's hard to fathom, for me, how she could be so positive about a man who doesn't believe women should have ready access to birth control. I realize he isn't proposing that it be outlawed, but he does see it as a danger to society.

I'm not surprised that Republican women aren't turning against Little Ricky en masse. I'm pretty sure independent women are, however, and without them, he can't win the election.

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To: Cogito who wrote (183669)2/25/2012 3:56:12 PM
From: ChinuSFO
of 371941
Allen, I don't have anything against whites. Many voted for Obama and that shows their enlightenment. I have very good opinion od whites. Very honest people. All our physicians are white by choice. That I actively seek out and freely choose to entrust our family's health to white doctors says it all. And I am not white.

But there always some bad apples. And they are the ones I refer to and I am sure you do too.

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To: Dale Baker who wrote (183673)2/25/2012 3:57:35 PM
From: Cogito
of 371941
>>Men are no longer in the ascendant, boo hoo, grow up and get over it.<<

Exactly. What are these men afraid of, being beaten by a girl?

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To: Cogito who wrote (183681)2/25/2012 4:05:52 PM
From: Dale Baker
of 371941
They are afraid they will have to compete with a "girl" instead of just ordering her around, dismissing her, parking her at home or the secretary's desk where she "belongs" and so on. Mostly, they are afraid that the clique of white male executives who ran things exclusively until the 60's is being steadily pared back to just another group in the workforce that will have to compete with, cooperate with and respect others outside their little clique.

I always loathed petty prejudices like they embrace. Good riddance to people who can't respect others and accept differences.

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From: Dale Baker2/25/2012 4:23:40 PM
of 371941
Compare these to the rallies Obama has done hundreds of times since he first declared for president more than 5 years ago:

Two Michigan rallies reveal Romney, Santorum flaws
By David A. Fahrenthold, Saturday, February 25, 2:35 PM

SHELBY TOWNSHIP, Mich. — When Mitt Romney arrived for a rally in this Detroit suburb, he needed a crew of roadies to unpack him. His campaign brought its own flags and its own chairs and its own stage and its own DJ, using a special “Romney-Michigan” playlist with Kid Rock and Kiss.

The Romney people even brought their own doughnuts: 35 dozen of the Detroit favorite called paczki (“punch-kee”), in flavors including strawberry, rose-hip and prune.

Rick Santorum does not provide doughnuts.

He does not provide music, either. Or flags. Or chairs. At a Santorum rally in Holland, Mich. — a day earlier on the opposite side of this desperately contested state — the candidate brought a sweater vest. Three of his children: “Numbers two, three and four,” he said. And a banner that wouldn’t stay on the wall.

“What’s at stake in this election is the concept of limited government and of a free people building this great and just society,” Santorum said as his supporters stood or sat uncomfortably on the carpet. One woman keeled over after standing too long, prompting organizers and the police to tend to her.

Two men. Two rallies. This week in Michigan, a pair of campaign events revealed the deep — and opposite — flaws that have kept either front-runner from running away with the GOP nomination.

Romney uses a grandiose campaign to deliver relatively modest ideas.

He rolls into town like a state fair. Then he comes out to talk about tax policy and “America the Beautiful.” That has attracted a crowd of people with sensible minivans and serious economic worries. But it doesn’t win over Republicans who want the president to be a moral spokesman instead of just a national CEO.

This instinct toward grand stagecraft backfired on Romney on Friday, when he gave an economic speech at Detroit’s cavernous Ford Field. That venue outstripped even Romney’s impressive campaign machine: It wasn’t enough to camouflage an empty stadium.

Santorum, by contrast, uses a modest campaign to espouse deeply grandiose ideas.

His premise is that only he — a man who lacks the logistical wherewithal to rustle up snacks — can manage to rebuild the nuclear family and save freedom itself. That has made him a surprise front-runner. But it has done little to reassure the practical-minded part of the GOP base.

“Your values — your values — will return to the White House and to our country!” Santorum said when he finished his talk.

“I need your help!” Romney said when he finished his.

Santorum in Holland, Mich.

The date of the Michigan primary — Feb. 28 — had been known for four months. But it wasn’t until last weekend that Santorum’s campaign contacted people at Hope College, a Christian school in Michigan’s conservative west. They needed a room for 200 people. And they needed it Monday.

Santorum’s people were both late and wrong. Their man was surging in Michigan — they needed a room for 400 people.

His supporters filled the college’s auditorium 90 minutes before the rally. Then they filled the overflow room, with a crowd like that on a parents’ weekend: young students and gray-haired couples. The audience watched two organizers try to hang up Santorum’s lone banner, which read “Made in America.”

“Awww!” the crowd said when it fell down again.

“Not all of ’em are Christian,” said Jim Newhouse, talking about the presidential candidates as his wife, Marj, encouraged him to stop. “Romney’s a Mormon. And Newt — I don’t know what Newt is.”

Newt Gingrich, who has played little role in the Michigan race, is Catholic.

The Newhouses said their other favorite politicians included Ronald Reagan and televangelist and 1988 GOP candidate Pat Robertson. Only a strong conservative like Santorum, they said, could beat President Obama this time.

“We took a moderate, McCain, last time. And he didn’t win,” Jim Newhouse said, referring to the 2008 Republican nominee, Sen. John McCain (Ariz.).

Santorum’s warm-up act was a local preacher who said he came from “a Puritan tradition” and then uncorked a prayer in ye olde language. “The world is artful to entrap,” he said. “Let our faith scan every painted trifle and escape every bewitching snare.”

Then Santorum came out in his trademark sweater vest and spoke calmly about frightening things. He compared Obama to Britain’s King George III, the monarch who lost the American Revolution.

“Barack Obama’s view of America is the same view, well, that the sovereigns of old had,” Santorum said, “which is that Americans are better off being ruled by smart people, the elite snobs.” He had examples: Government now had a role in individual health-insurance decisions. It had attempted to limit when churches could fire their own ministers.

“Next, it’s going to go to the grocery store,” Santorum said, “and say how much money that they’ll be able to have to stock their shelves.”

Santorum said his goals were not just to defeat Obama and cut $5 trillion from the federal debt. There was more.

“Children having children. Families not forming,” Santorum said. “America’s a different country. We need solutions, that talk about .?.?. how we’re going to bring fathers back involved in their children’s lives.”

Here, Santorum avoided one of Gingrich’s tendencies. He didn’t propose complicated solutions to these complicated problems. Gingrich’s complex policy ideas on Social Security, immigration and taxes have attracted some voters but turned others off. Santorum stayed simple. The only specific plan he mentioned for rebuilding the country’s family structure was to change parts of the tax code that penalized married couples.

At the end, Santorum shook hands while his theme music — silence — filled the room.

In the crowd, Jim Newhouse was impressed: “I liked everything he was saying.”

Romney in Shelby Township, Mich.

Romney’s event, like many of his rallies, was held in a factory. This one makes “automated robotic fabrication systems.” His crews started setting up at noon the day before.

The big pieces of Romney’s stagecraft are always impressive: the DJ, the American flag as tall as a house. But his campaign also does the little things. The folding chairs are tied together with zip ties, so you couldn’t unstraighten Romney’s rows if you tried. Romney’s message — that he is the only Republican in the race built from presidential timber — is reinforced by the slickness of these events. It looks as if he’s president already.

And yet it somehow wasn’t enough.

“Mitt Romney is fighting like an underdog! But you know what? Michigan loves an underdog!” said the state’s attorney general, former congressman Bill Schuette (R), who introduced the candidate. Romney was running neck-and-neck, in the state of his birth, with an ex-senator that Pennsylvania had kicked out six years ago. “Ladies and gentlemen, let me introduce the Comeback Kid, Mitt Romney, the next president of the United States of America!”

The Comeback Kid walked out smiling, wearing a button-down shirt and jeans.

And immediately messed something up.

“By the way, how was the paczkis this morning? Yeah, yeah! That was very good,” Romney said. His message: We are not so different, you and I. We have both just eaten the same food! But then Romney started talking about the powdered sugar on the paczki.

There was no powdered sugar. The donuts were glazed and bare.

“Reminded me of what’s going on outside,” Romney said, comparing the falling snow to a doughnut that people had not eaten (had he not really eaten one of the paczki, after all? Had Romney’s campaign given the naked doughnuts to the crowd, while Romney himself was eating upgraded sugar-dusted ones backstage?). It was one of several unforced errors. Romney also referred several times to “my state” — and meant Massachusetts, not Michigan.

Once he got going, Romney said that Obama is “taking us on a path to become more like Greece. Or Worse. I will not allow that. I will cut spending. I will cap spending, and I will finally balance our budget.”

Romney’s speeches are sprinkled with “by the way,” as he thinks of a piece of his stump speech, and throws it in as a non sequitur. “I love the hymns of America, by the way,” he said, before starting his usual recital of “America the Beautiful.”

Romney’s best line of the day was unscripted. A stray Canadian had driven down from Ontario to ask Romney a question and in the process joked that Romney could not have his ID card for Canada’s national health-care system.

The ball sat on the tee for a long second before Romney hit it. “I don’t want it!” Romney said. The crowd roared.

Romney’s audience was different from Santorum’s audience. It was a crowd that cared about economics, with no sloganeering bumper stickers on their minivans (Santorum’s was a car-decorating crowd: “Abortion is NOT Healthcare.” “Warning — In Case of Rapture, This Car Will Be Unmanned.” At the Romney rally, the most you got was “My child is an honor student”).

Afterward, many in Romney’s audience said they’d heard what they needed to hear.

“The Canada thing was so great,” said Lori Mayo, 39, from Shelby Township. She’d been laid off from an auto company at the bottom of the recession, but had been hired back on as Detroit’s fortunes started to rebound. She said Romney’s fiscal message still made sense, even if the economy was coming back. “There’s still the debt. We still eventually have to face this debt.”

After Romney had said goodbye, shaken a few hands and departed, his roadies started packing up. When they had removed the chairs, left behind on the factory floor were little zip-ties, “reserved” placards that had held seats for VIPs, fliers that people had taken and discarded (“I’m with Mitt!” they said.) and a grease-stained paczki box.

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To: ChinuSFO who wrote (183680)2/25/2012 6:21:49 PM
From: Cogito
of 371941
>>Allen, I don't have anything against whites. Many voted for Obama and that shows their enlightenment. I have very good opinion od whites. Very honest people. All our physicians are white by choice. That I actively seek out and freely choose to entrust our family's health to white doctors says it all. And I am not white.<<

I'm white myself, and was making a joke. I've discovered that people are people, and while there are unquestionably cultural differences that may lend some truth to generalizations about groups of people, I try to see individuals for who they are. I fail at that, sometimes, of course, but I try.

One of the cool things about communicating in this medium is that one can't tell who's white, brown, or blue, who's gay or straight, or even what sex, sometimes. We know each other only by our words. In a way, that makes it harder to hide our true selves. Even if a person wants to hide his or her true self online, if you communicate with him or her long enough, you're going to know them.

At the same time, the lack of visual cues can lead to misunderstandings, as we all know. But I don't feel that I need to know what race a person is in order to know how to react to what they have to say.

I think I was fortunate to have spent my formative years in a racially integrated environment - Air Force bases all around the country. I was exposed to feminism as a young teenager, too, and was smart enough to understand what it was about, and to see the sexism that pervaded our society at that time. I am also grateful for that.

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