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BS: Understanding 'Conservatives'

Jack the Sailor 22 Sep 12 - 05:22 PM
GUEST,Lighter 22 Sep 12 - 06:27 PM
Don(Wyziwyg)T 22 Sep 12 - 06:39 PM
Bill D 22 Sep 12 - 08:18 PM
Bobert 22 Sep 12 - 08:27 PM
gnu 22 Sep 12 - 08:31 PM
Bill D 22 Sep 12 - 08:32 PM
Bobert 22 Sep 12 - 08:47 PM
Little Hawk 22 Sep 12 - 08:49 PM
GUEST,Lighter 22 Sep 12 - 08:50 PM
Little Hawk 22 Sep 12 - 09:41 PM
Jack the Sailor 22 Sep 12 - 10:36 PM
Bobert 22 Sep 12 - 10:53 PM
akenaton 23 Sep 12 - 03:50 AM
GUEST,CS 23 Sep 12 - 04:11 AM
GUEST,CS 23 Sep 12 - 04:19 AM
michaelr 23 Sep 12 - 01:54 PM
McGrath of Harlow 23 Sep 12 - 02:07 PM
akenaton 23 Sep 12 - 03:08 PM
GUEST,Lighter 23 Sep 12 - 03:38 PM
Bill D 23 Sep 12 - 05:32 PM
Don(Wyziwyg)T 23 Sep 12 - 07:02 PM
Little Hawk 23 Sep 12 - 07:09 PM
GUEST,Lighter 23 Sep 12 - 07:45 PM
Bill D 23 Sep 12 - 09:40 PM
Bobert 23 Sep 12 - 10:19 PM
Jack the Sailor 24 Sep 12 - 12:49 AM
Don(Wyziwyg)T 24 Sep 12 - 11:39 AM
Acorn4 24 Sep 12 - 11:50 AM
Little Hawk 24 Sep 12 - 12:09 PM
Bill D 24 Sep 12 - 12:11 PM
Little Hawk 24 Sep 12 - 12:20 PM
GUEST,Lighter 24 Sep 12 - 01:16 PM
Bill D 24 Sep 12 - 02:03 PM
Little Hawk 24 Sep 12 - 02:08 PM
Little Hawk 24 Sep 12 - 02:31 PM
McGrath of Harlow 24 Sep 12 - 02:32 PM
Little Hawk 24 Sep 12 - 02:38 PM
GUEST,Lighter 24 Sep 12 - 03:00 PM
Stringsinger 24 Sep 12 - 03:38 PM
Bill D 24 Sep 12 - 04:29 PM
Jack the Sailor 24 Sep 12 - 04:39 PM
GUEST 24 Sep 12 - 04:43 PM
Raedwulf 24 Sep 12 - 04:52 PM
GUEST,Lighter 24 Sep 12 - 05:01 PM
McGrath of Harlow 24 Sep 12 - 05:20 PM
Little Hawk 24 Sep 12 - 05:40 PM
GUEST, Lighter 24 Sep 12 - 06:09 PM
catspaw49 24 Sep 12 - 06:24 PM
GUEST,Lighter 24 Sep 12 - 06:46 PM
Little Hawk 24 Sep 12 - 07:49 PM
michaelr 24 Sep 12 - 08:10 PM
GUEST,Guest from Sanity 24 Sep 12 - 11:37 PM
Don(Wyziwyg)T 25 Sep 12 - 06:17 AM
GUEST,Guest from Sanity 26 Sep 12 - 01:05 AM
GUEST,999 26 Sep 12 - 09:30 PM
Bill D 27 Sep 12 - 09:45 AM
GUEST 27 Sep 12 - 12:21 PM
Stringsinger 27 Sep 12 - 01:44 PM
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Bill D 27 Sep 12 - 08:01 PM
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Subject: BS: Understanding 'Conservatives'
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 22 Sep 12 - 05:22 PM

A place to post queries about certain aspects of "conservatism" that puzzle us. The goal hash them out and understand them, hopefully with input of "conservatives."

Question one: How is trashing the United Nations considered "conservative?"


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Subject: RE: BS: Understanding 'Conservatives'
From: GUEST,Lighter
Date: 22 Sep 12 - 06:27 PM

THE FOLLOWING CONTAINS IRONY. NOT SUITABLE FOR ALL READERS!

There was no UN in 1789. Case closed.

Oh, you want more. Well, the U.S. pays dues and lets the UN building squat on prime real estate on the island of Manhattan. In spite of that, we can't make its member nations do whatever we want whenever we want it. So what's the point? What are we paying for anyway?

Many, maybe most, of those nations are repressive dictatorships. It sullies the purity of America to mingle with their smarmy, hypocritical representatives.

The UN allows dangerous bad guys to address the General Assembly each year. Their pals in the audience applaud. Why should we give them that forum on our shores?

The Russians and the Chinese on the Security Council can veto anything   they like, thwarting things that *we* like. Why put up with that?

The UN is a theoretical step toward World Government. So it's a threat to our liberty.

A lot of UN ambassadors are crooks with diplomatic immunity. We don't want them here. Immunity means they can commit any crime they want and we can't punish them.

The UN also spends zillions around the world on educational programs that favor liberal and progressive positions. Why support that?

Everybody has one vote, so the few good nations are usually outvoted by the bad ones. Teeny-weeny Fiji has as many votes as we do.

The UN accomplishes nothing. Blah blah blah blah blah blah, most of which is equivocation and lies. Their peacekeeping force is a joke. When something big hits the fan, the U.S. has to take charge anyway while the UN blathers on. Buncha wusses. And bastards too, when you get down to it.

Real nations don't need the UN. We can talk anywhere, if we want to, and we settle things our own way.

(Maybe I've left something out, but that's the gist of it.)


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Subject: RE: BS: Understanding 'Conservatives'
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T
Date: 22 Sep 12 - 06:39 PM

Continuing the IRONY:-


""The UN allows dangerous bad guys to address the General Assembly each year. Their pals in the audience applaud. Why should we give them that forum on our shores?""

Are you saying that freedom of speech in the US of A is a myth?

Please don't tell us that the Constitution is just a load of crap.

Well dang it all!.....So that's why Merkins run around bossing the world and his wife about and throwing hissy fits if challenged on it.

Don T.


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Subject: RE: BS: Understanding 'Conservatives'
From: Bill D
Date: 22 Sep 12 - 08:18 PM

IRONY part 3:

The US of A had a LOT of settlers from Merrie Olde England come to our shores, so we had several hundred years of History to draw on as how that "... bossing the world and his wife about and throwing hissy fits if challenged on it." is done and justified.

We are sure that, in several hundred years, we colonies will have 'adjusted' our attitudes properly to be semi-sane and decent folk...that is, if the 'Conservatives' haven't attained permanent control.
"Conservative" seems to be a slippery concept these days, having become nearly a sneaky euphemism for 'reactionary'.


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Subject: RE: BS: Understanding 'Conservatives'
From: Bobert
Date: 22 Sep 12 - 08:27 PM

There is ****no**** understanding conservative because in terms of policy they are all over the place... There is no consistency in their philosophy... None...

B~


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Subject: RE: BS: Understanding 'Conservatives'
From: gnu
Date: 22 Sep 12 - 08:31 PM

"Well, the U.S. pays dues and lets the UN building squat on prime real estate on the island of Manhattan."

Hahahahahahaaaa!!!! Excellent!!!!


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Subject: RE: BS: Understanding 'Conservatives'
From: Bill D
Date: 22 Sep 12 - 08:32 PM

Sure there is consistency... they want to WIN and get and keep power.


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Subject: RE: BS: Understanding 'Conservatives'
From: Bobert
Date: 22 Sep 12 - 08:47 PM

That's about it, Bill... Power... Nothing else...

B~


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Subject: RE: BS: Understanding 'Conservatives'
From: Little Hawk
Date: 22 Sep 12 - 08:49 PM

I've always been in favor of moving the U.N. out of the USA and into some relatively neutral country who is not a major player in world affairs, such as: Sweden, Belgium, Denmark, Norway, Switzerland, Singapore?

Any of those would be fine. If the U.N. were not located in the USA it would be far more free to act in an unprejudiced manner. As it is now, it has served primarily as an instrument of USA and Nato policy, except when blocked by a Russian or Chinese veto.

The Security Council enables the few major powers in the world to control the U.N. and renders the opinion of the rest of the world's nations null and void. Sure, they can talk in the General Assembly, they can pass a resolution condemning Israel, for example, but they can't actually DO anything about it.

Only the Security Council can do something about it. The U.N. was set up that way after WWII so that the victors of WWII (USA, UK, France, Russia, and China) could control it through their veto power.

It works as a dictatorship over the smaller nations when the Big Five can manage to agree with one another. It doesn't work at all the rest of the time.

There are 15 members of the Security Council, consisting of five veto-wielding permanent membersóChina, France, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United Statesóbased on the great powers that were the victors of World War II,[1] and 10 elected non-permanent members with two-year terms. This basic structure is set out in Chapter V of the UN Charter. Security Council members must always be present at UN headquarters in New York so that the Security Council can meet at any time. This requirement of the United Nations Charter was adopted to address a weakness of the League of Nations since that organization was often unable to respond quickly to a crisis.

For the U.N. to work in a just and equitable manner, it must not be controlled by the world's major powers. It must be a genuine democracy of equal partners.

Therefore, I suggest that it be relocated to a non-aligned country.

Of course, if it wasn't in the USA, Americans would probably ignore it entirely, and the USA would probably drop its membership, because it wouldn't be able to exercise control any longer.


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Subject: RE: BS: Understanding 'Conservatives'
From: GUEST,Lighter
Date: 22 Sep 12 - 08:50 PM

Real conservatives learned to live with the UN long ago - except in the hinterlands at election time. The views I paraphrased are more common to the know-nothing wing of the GOP than to anybody else.


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Subject: RE: BS: Understanding 'Conservatives'
From: Little Hawk
Date: 22 Sep 12 - 09:41 PM

Uh-huh. You pretty well summed it up, allright. ;-)


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Subject: RE: BS: Understanding 'Conservatives'
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 22 Sep 12 - 10:36 PM

How is any of that conservative?

Is sitting on our hands waiting for WWIII conservative?


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Subject: RE: BS: Understanding 'Conservatives'
From: Bobert
Date: 22 Sep 12 - 10:53 PM

Yeah, other than gaining power so they can rip us off, there is nothing conservative about conservatives... Nothin'... They are radical wackos...

B~


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Subject: RE: BS: Understanding 'Conservatives'
From: akenaton
Date: 23 Sep 12 - 03:50 AM

Political Conservatives and Social conservatives are two distinct species.....the problem is simply that the media controlled centre has been programmed not to recognise the difference.

Of course the Political conservatives paint all who dont agree with their views as "socialist/communist".....if only!!
In reality they are usually ineffective "liberals", or have become so, through media manipulation.

People need to stop defining themselves by the labels stuck on them by the political class......we should all learn to think for ourselves.


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Subject: RE: BS: Understanding 'Conservatives'
From: GUEST,CS
Date: 23 Sep 12 - 04:11 AM

QUOTE:
Subject: RE: BS: Understanding 'Conservatives'
From: Bill D
Date: 22 Sep 12 - 08:18 PM
IRONY part 3:
The US of A had a LOT of settlers from Merrie Olde England come to our shores, so we had several hundred years of History to draw on as how that "... bossing the world and his wife about and throwing hissy fits if challenged on it." is done and justified.
We are sure that, in several hundred years, we colonies will have 'adjusted' our attitudes properly to be semi-sane and decent folk...that is, if the 'Conservatives' haven't attained permanent control.
"Conservative" seems to be a slippery concept these days, having become nearly a sneaky euphemism for 'reactionary'."


On one hand, I think it is entirely fair nd right to call out Europeans on their 'old empire' days, when the now 'new world' and other vast regions of the earth lived under the thrall of Imperial control and of course exploitation.

And yet on the other hand, no old European empire did as much potential harm to the entire world as the current American empire is currently engaged in doing. While the USA and it's imperial ambitions may be young on an historical world scale, destructive technologies are not - particularly nuclear weapons which the USA possess in spades. The sheer power of weaponry today, combined with the USA's aggressive imperial foreign policies, is why the USA is THE most dangerous threat to international peace and stability in the world today, and the future - if we have one.


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Subject: RE: BS: Understanding 'Conservatives'
From: GUEST,CS
Date: 23 Sep 12 - 04:19 AM

Clumsily expressed post, but I think the meaning is opaque enough.


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Subject: RE: BS: Understanding 'Conservatives'
From: michaelr
Date: 23 Sep 12 - 01:54 PM

Clumsily expressed post, but I think the meaning is opaque enough.

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!


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Subject: RE: BS: Understanding 'Conservatives'
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 23 Sep 12 - 02:07 PM

Do you have real Conservatives in the States?


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Subject: RE: BS: Understanding 'Conservatives'
From: akenaton
Date: 23 Sep 12 - 03:08 PM

Crass post michael.....we all knew well what Guest meant.
We all make mistakes in our posts...I more often than any.

Sneering is a least as bad as bigotry.


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Subject: RE: BS: Understanding 'Conservatives'
From: GUEST,Lighter
Date: 23 Sep 12 - 03:38 PM

> Sneering is a least as bad as bigotry.

Hardly.

McGrath, there still are American conservatives, but they're mostly keeping their heads down these days.

John McCain has been reviled since 2008 for not being far enough to the right.

John Huntsman polled at a steady 2% in the Republican primaries because he'd been Obama's Ambassador to China, which evidently canceled out his earlier term as a conservative governor of the very conservative state of Utah.

Another problem was that when asked if he "believed in" evolution, Huntsman was the only GOP primary candidate to hint publicly that he did.

He said, "The Republican Party cannot run away from science."

There are others (not all of them in office), but they're gritting their teeth, hoping the Tea Party doesn't notice they're still around.


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Subject: RE: BS: Understanding 'Conservatives'
From: Bill D
Date: 23 Sep 12 - 05:32 PM

"...the USA and it's imperial ambitions ..."

??That is pure personal conjecture! It is hardly worthy of comment, since anyone who truly believes it can't easily be commented TO. It is far too easy to mistake exercising 'power' in attempts to 'make the world better' for a desire to RUN the world.
The USA doesn't always make the best choice, but when the choices are as complex and far-reaching as they are in this modern age, how could ANY government... not matter how altrustic... guess right or please everyone?

"...as much potential harm to the entire world as the current American empire is currently engaged in doing."

As in what... specifically? And what do you think we are claiming we are trying to do as we do all this harm?

Do you think we should return to isolationism and ignore everyone else? (It's kinda hard when so many want to come here.. either to 'live their dream' or to kill a bunch of us!)


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Subject: RE: BS: Understanding 'Conservatives'
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T
Date: 23 Sep 12 - 07:02 PM

""The US of A had a LOT of settlers from Merrie Olde England come to our shores, so we had several hundred years of History to draw on as how that "... bossing the world and his wife about and throwing hissy fits if challenged on it."""

No you didn't. Most of those settlers came to your shores long before Britain had an empire, most of which came after you had severed the connection with the British Crown.

The early beginnings of an empire were actually struggling colonys of explorers, some of which simply died out.

1620 The Pilgrim Fathers to Massachusetts

1624 First settlement in India.

And in 1627 the British Empire officially came into existence.

It wasn't much of an empire and was almost exclusively in the Americas.

The main expansion took place after the American War of Independence and right through the Victorian era.

So you see, you had about one hundred and fifty years of Britain establishing a small and rather struggling empire at most.

Still, if it makes you feel righteous we don't really mind if you forget that we weren't bossing about anything like the number of people affected by current US foreign policy until the late 19th century.

Don T.


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Subject: RE: BS: Understanding 'Conservatives'
From: Little Hawk
Date: 23 Sep 12 - 07:09 PM

"attempts to make the world 'better'", Bill?

LOL!!!!!!!!!!!! Funniest thing I've heard in some time. You're quite a wit.


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Subject: RE: BS: Understanding 'Conservatives'
From: GUEST,Lighter
Date: 23 Sep 12 - 07:45 PM

One shouldn't argue with people who think they've discovered the few, easily memorized principles of existence.

In the ironic, immortal words of the French film, Z (1969): "Always blame the USA! Even if you're wrong!"


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Subject: RE: BS: Understanding 'Conservatives'
From: Bill D
Date: 23 Sep 12 - 09:40 PM

Yep, Lighter... any country with the size & complexity of the USA has many facets to blame and complain about. Why, we do it ourselves everyday! We do get suggestions from all over, however. ;>)

Don T---laying out a timeline hardly affects the point I was making. We DID have many immigrants from the UK for our first couple of hundred years.

"... if it makes you feel righteous we don't really mind if you forget that we weren't bossing about anything like the number of people affected by current US foreign policy until the late 19th century."

Righteous? *I* don't feel righteous! I merely note that being influential, establishing an empire, and/or collecting colonies was hardly restricted to the USA, and we had to argue at length WITH the UK to have the privilege of doing anything at all without permission of the Crown! We came VERY close to being just another Canada or India in the 1790s...and up to 1812!

And what in heaven's name has "the number of people affected" got to do with the morality or lack thereof when evaluating world policy?
We 'affect' many people in many ways.... but seldom by 'bossing' them..(unless you equate affecting directly with bossing) (oh, and we 'affected' the UK and much of Europe a couple times last century. They said at the time they appreciated it.)


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Subject: RE: BS: Understanding 'Conservatives'
From: Bobert
Date: 23 Sep 12 - 10:19 PM

I don't recall "conservatives" of 30 or 40 years ago being so gung-ho for more wars???

B~


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Subject: RE: BS: Understanding 'Conservatives'
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 24 Sep 12 - 12:49 AM

GHW Bush was about the last "conservative" that made sense to me. Fight a war if you have to. Get others to pay for it if you can.


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Subject: RE: BS: Understanding 'Conservatives'
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T
Date: 24 Sep 12 - 11:39 AM

"" (oh, and we 'affected' the UK and much of Europe a couple times last century. They said at the time they appreciated it.)""

Made a lot of capital out of it too (all those "How we won the war" movies), after arriving quite late at the party.

Took us till 2004 to pay the bar bill.

Don T. (with tongue firmly in cheek)


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Subject: RE: BS: Understanding 'Conservatives'
From: Acorn4
Date: 24 Sep 12 - 11:50 AM

Perhaps we need someone to write "Being a Tory for Dummies".


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Subject: RE: BS: Understanding 'Conservatives'
From: Little Hawk
Date: 24 Sep 12 - 12:09 PM

What are the few easily recognized principles of existence, Lighter? ;-)

****

Bobert - "We came VERY close to being just another Canada.....in the 1790s..." Yikes, Bobert!!! What a narrow escape you had! ;-D

****

Old style conservatives were a reasonable bunch, I think. Eric Margolis, for example, says he's an old-style conservative, what could be called an "Eisenhower Republican". He disagrees almost totally with the radical conservatism that has taken over the Republican Party since the Reagan era.

Eisenhower himself warned against the rise of the USA military-industrial complex and its growing control over the national agenda.

*****

The 2 great wars...

It was indeed the entry of the USA into both WWI and WW2 that decided the outcome of those wars, though the USA arrived "late" in both cases. The enormous GNP of the USA and the fact that mainland America was effectively out of range of significant attacks by the Axis made the defeat of the Axis powers inevitable. (Canada was also a huge asset to the Allies for similar reasons, providing resources, manpower, training areas for pilots, and very signifant naval forces in the Battle of the Atlantic...but was still a relatively small player compared to the USA.)

To me, one interesting angle on this role the USA played in the world wars is that they might just as well have stayed out of the first one. There was no particularly pressing reason, either moral or strategic, why America had to join the French and English in defeating Germany and Austria-Hungary. All the participants in WWI were equally guilty of stumbling into that war through their entangling alliances and their mutual optimism about a quick and relatively easy victory. They all expected it to be over by Christmas 1914! They could't have been more wrong. It became the first modern technological war...total war fought to the point of utter exhaustion through attrition. In such a war, the side with fewer men and resources eventually loses.

If the USA had not entered WWI, the Germans would probably have won it. If so, things wouldn't have changed a whole lot. The French would have undoubtedly lost a bit of land around Alsace-Lorraine. The English would have remained in command of the sea, and would have been little affected by the result. The Germans would have notched up another victory, as they did in 1870, and they would have retained many of their overseas colonies. The Austro-Hungarians would have staggered on for awhile longer, despite their Balkan problems. Russia would have gone ahead with its Communist Revolutionary phase in much the same way. The USA would have been unaffected. France would have been humiliated by the loss of the war, as they were back in 1870, but "La Belle France" would have soon bounced back and continued on as it ever had.

Hitler and the Nazis would never have risen to power!!!!!!!

So, I think that it would have in fact turned out way better for just about everyone in the long run if the USA had never entered WWI.


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Subject: RE: BS: Understanding 'Conservatives'
From: Bill D
Date: 24 Sep 12 - 12:11 PM

"...arriving quite late at the party.

In 1914, we weren't exactly ready for ANY war... and we still had many thousands of veterans of our Civil War to remind us of what getting involved would mean..... but.. we got there.

In 1941, we were 'invited' to the party.

Those war movies are still going on- but I find most of them too hard to watch anymore.

.........I wonder if movies are being planned about all the new fun & games. It's a funny feeling (to me, at least) to feel like we are somehow obligated to run about the world 'helping' other countries ...or parts of countries..when they are in chaos, yet never quite sure if we are guessing right or if we'll be heroes or demons.


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Subject: RE: BS: Understanding 'Conservatives'
From: Little Hawk
Date: 24 Sep 12 - 12:20 PM

It isn't "help", Bill. It's intervention for various pragmatic objectives. It is represented as "help" to the general public in order to get them onside.

All imperial nations do this sort of thing to get their public onside for a war. Hitler had Germans imagining that he was helping a persecuted German ethnic minority, for example, when he invaded Poland. He used the same excuse when occupying Czechoslovakia. It's the oldest game in the world.


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Subject: RE: BS: Understanding 'Conservatives'
From: GUEST,Lighter
Date: 24 Sep 12 - 01:16 PM

We were more or less "invited" in 1917 too - by the German declaration of unrestricted submarine warfare on merchant shipping apparently headed for Britain - notably ours. There was also that matter of the Zimmermann telegram to Mexico, suggesting that an invasion of the Southwest with German assistance would mean a bonanza for Mexico at the peace settlement.


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Subject: RE: BS: Understanding 'Conservatives'
From: Bill D
Date: 24 Sep 12 - 02:03 PM

"It is represented as "help" to the general public in order to get them onside." C'mon, LH! That is an opinion, not a universal fact!
Of course 'some' nations or political interests spin the situation to justify (especially to themselves) what they are advocating, but you simply cannot extract motives from a complex situation and label them EITHER 'self-serving' OR 'altrustic'. Why not a complex combination or both... and more?


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Subject: RE: BS: Understanding 'Conservatives'
From: Little Hawk
Date: 24 Sep 12 - 02:08 PM

Uh-huh. Those could certainly serve as some viable reasons to take issue with the Germans provided that one already had decided one wanted to go to war with them anyway. If one had not, however, those matters could have been swallowed with relatively little concern, and the public would probably have heard little about them.

(The Germans had little choice but to engage in unrestricted submarine warfare if they intended to win the conflict...and any other great nation in their position would have done the same. The Zimmerman telegram to Mexico, on the other hand, was stupid in the extreme!)

In any case, I'm not saying the USA had no reasons whatsoever to go to war with Germany in 1917. What I am saying is that Europe would probably have been far better off in the long run if they had not done so and if the Germans had won that war on the continent, because the aftereffects of WWI led inevitably to the rise of the Nazis and to the next great war.

One conflict that could very well have arisen in the 1920s was a naval war between the British and the USA over control of the Atlantic. The British had long had a policy of maintaining the largest navy in the world (it had to be bigger than any other 2 navies put together), and the USA was threatening that position...just as Germany had begun to threaten it in the years leading up to WWI.

That potential conflict was avoided when the Washington Naval Treaty was signed, limiting new naval construction, and establishing equal fleet size limits on British and American naval power, smaller fleet size limits on other powers. The UK had come to the conclusion it simply could not afford a naval race with the USA.

Another potential conflict in the 1920s was a naval war between Japan and the USA for control of the Pacific. That one would have mostly involved battleships duking it out, but early aircraft carriers would have played a significant role. Both nations engaged in contingency plans for such a war...termed "Plan Orange". In any event, they managed to avoid getting into it until December 1941...but they were expecting it for at least 20 years.

The only REAL surprise about Pearl Harbour was that the Japanese proved to be far more capable...and possessed of a far longer reach and harder punch...than most American planners had counted on. That an attack was coming by late 1941 was virtually certain. That it would reach all the way to Pearl Harbour and be led by the best trained and equipped naval-air attack forces in the world at the time was in no way expected.


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Subject: RE: BS: Understanding 'Conservatives'
From: Little Hawk
Date: 24 Sep 12 - 02:31 PM

Yeah, sure it's an opinion, Bill. What else would it be? We are all expressing our opinions when we post here. Do you find it shocking that mine don't always dovetail with your own?

I agree that situations are complex and that there can be multiple reasons (both pragmatic and altruistic) for an intervention, but I think USA policy is driven almost entirely by very pragmatic concerns about resources and political-financial power in the world...not by a concern for helping people in foreign countries. It may also be driven by popular mythology that is believed by the people spouting it. That's a definite possibility. People like Karl Rove probably DO think their philosophy leads to a better world. ;-D Hitler certainly thought so, and so did Stalin, Robespierre, Caesar, and any number of others in their class.

In that respect, the USA is little different from other major powers throughout history. On the one hand, it acts pragmatically and out of self-interest. On the other hand, it believes its own popular mythology and thinks it is on the side of truth, justice, and a better future for humanity.

Who among the great powers of history did not believe such things?


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Subject: RE: BS: Understanding 'Conservatives'
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 24 Sep 12 - 02:32 PM

Actually I think in most other countries someone with the politics of Barack Obama would be likely to be a natural member of a Conservative party. Centre right.


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Subject: RE: BS: Understanding 'Conservatives'
From: Little Hawk
Date: 24 Sep 12 - 02:38 PM

Exactly.


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Subject: RE: BS: Understanding 'Conservatives'
From: GUEST,Lighter
Date: 24 Sep 12 - 03:00 PM

Exactly, Bill

The American involvement in Vietnam was a perfect example of throughly mixed motives.

Nations do next to nothing from altruism. Aid to victims of natural disasters comes close, but it is generally a token amount.

But acting from perceived self-interest doesn't preclude acting at the same time for the right cause or (usually the case) the lesser evil.

Since events don't end neatly like movies do, it's easy to argue from results backwards and fallaciously to the original motivations, or to claim that the results show the motivations were ethically or politically insupportable from the start.

Here are three easy-to-remember principles that *I've* discovered. You can get them on bumper stickers. Don't argue with me.

Life's a bitch.

Shit happens.

Don't believe everything you think.


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Subject: RE: BS: Understanding 'Conservatives'
From: Stringsinger
Date: 24 Sep 12 - 03:38 PM

The GOPers and the Tea Party have hollow definitions of "freedom" and "liberty".
One definition is that they want the freedom to exploit others and want their liberty to do this. The gun is a symbol of coercion and this doesn't promote liberty or freedom but condign force in such illegitimate canards such as "Stand Your Ground" permitting self-appointed vigilantes to monitor others and kill them if they see fit.

"Conservatives" is a misnomer, today. The GOP agenda is radical, not conservative.
The misuse of this term probably stemmed from Barry Goldwater and notably from Reagan who was anything but truly conservative in his presidential dealings.

Actually, Bill Clinton was "conservative" because he saved the country lots of money, a surplus, which Bush spent like a drunken sailor.


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Subject: RE: BS: Understanding 'Conservatives'
From: Bill D
Date: 24 Sep 12 - 04:29 PM

"Don't believe everything you think."

*grin*...It took me years to extract that concept from the far easier one.. "Don't believe everything everyone else thinks."

When I was studying Phenomenology in college, Professor Alphonse Verdu explained about the need for humans to 'run around behind themselves' and examine objectively their own thoughts. Prof. Verdu's body language was worth the price of admission! He allowed that even the attempt was worth trying.


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Subject: RE: BS: Understanding 'Conservatives'
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 24 Sep 12 - 04:39 PM

"Bush spent like a drunken sailor."

Shouldn't that be updated to "spent like a Wall St. banker."


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Subject: RE: BS: Understanding 'Conservatives'
From: GUEST
Date: 24 Sep 12 - 04:43 PM

> The GOP agenda is radical, not conservative.

True. Remember Mitch McConnell's pledge that their top priority must be to unseat Obama.

That's "top priority." Republican actions since then mostly bear out McConnell's plan. So it wasn't just hot air.

Working mainly to unseat the President, and obstructing his every move, while the country drifts, sounds pretty radical to me.

Really, I can't imagine *either* Bush, or Reagan, or Ford, or even Richard Nixon coming out with a statement like that. (Well, Nixon maybe. But only maybe.)

For all his serious faults and limitations, I think G. W. Bush took the job of *governing* more seriously than most of the guys they have now. Because he supported the Medicare expansion Bush, like McCain, is now considered by the TP crowd as a secret "liberal."   Notice how the most recent GOP Prez wasn't even at the convention?


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Subject: RE: BS: Understanding 'Conservatives'
From: Raedwulf
Date: 24 Sep 12 - 04:52 PM

Sorry for arriving late to the party ;-), but...

If the USA had not entered WWI, the Germans would probably have won it.

Nonsense, Hawk. The Germans would still have lost, albeit it would have taken longer. You were selling us war material, because it was good business, long before you actually joined because of unrestricted submarine warfare (yes, there was a reason - they kept sinking your business). A very crude summary, I'll grant you, but a bit more accurate than your's, I think! ;-)


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Subject: RE: BS: Understanding 'Conservatives'
From: GUEST,Lighter
Date: 24 Sep 12 - 05:01 PM

Previous GUEST was me.

Except for the British blockade, we'd have sold the Germans war material too. But it was impossible.

The fact is that most Americans wanted to stay out of the war, period. Wilson won re-election in 1916 partly on the slogan that he'd kept us out of it.

Despite the sinking of American ships, the Congressional vote for war was divided, 455-56.


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Subject: RE: BS: Understanding 'Conservatives'
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 24 Sep 12 - 05:20 PM

The Great War without America? I suspect Germany would have won, or that there might have been a stalemate peace after the stalemate war, with Germany undefeated.

But in the Second World War if the Americans hadn't been forced in, I think it's likely that the Russians would still have beaten Germany. It would have taken longer. The American contribution to the Russian war effort was pretty small.


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Subject: RE: BS: Understanding 'Conservatives'
From: Little Hawk
Date: 24 Sep 12 - 05:40 PM

Yes, it's possible the Russians would have beaten Germany, McGrath. They definitely had a good chance of doing so, with or without the USA in the war, and it was they who bled the German Army white...but it was the western Allies who bled the Luftwaffe white. It's also possible that the Russians and Germans would have fought to an eventual stalemate, and the British and Germans likewise, in which case Germany would have remained the dominant power in continental western Europe for some time after, with a likelihood of further wars following.

****

Regarding those easy-to-remember principles about life that we've all discovered, Lighter...

I think we'd probably agree on a number of them. You mentioned:

"Life's a bitch."

Yeah...you can look at it that way if you want to, and everyone sometimes does. You can equally well look at it this way: Life is beautiful.

Both statements are true, given a certain emotional predisposition. That is, you can look on the dark side...or you can look on the bright side...and that's entirely up to you. Eeyore would agree that life is a bitch. It's his basic credo. Tigger would say that "life is great!" Either viewpoint seems valid from its own angle...but which one is more enjoyable?

"Shit happens."

If you want to see it that way, that's fine. It's just another way of saying, "We don't know for sure what will happen next", and almost everyone will agree with that.

"Don't believe everything you think."

Good one. ;-D I don't! A lot of my thinking is hypothetical, meaning I already know that I don't know...and may never know, but I still give it some thought from a hypothetical point of view. I don't necessarily believe what anyone else thinks either, including the usual authority figures such as the president, the Pope, the authors of the Bible, my elders, etc, but I'm usually willing to give what they think some consideration...generally speaking.

Let's see if we can come up with some more easy-to-remember principles.

How about..."if you treat other people in a shitty way, they will probably respond in kind."

And..."if you go looking for enemies, you will definitely find them."

And..."if you think like a hammer, everything looks like a nail."

And..."if you tell one lie, you'll soon have to tell a whole bunch more to cover it."


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Subject: RE: BS: Understanding 'Conservatives'
From: GUEST, Lighter
Date: 24 Sep 12 - 06:09 PM

Except for the Holocaust, a German victory against Britain and France in 1918, with the U.S. still neutral, might not have been much better than a Nazi victory in 1941.

The Prussian militarist interpretation of Darwin would have been vindicated and rewarded, with many more tempting colonies to strive for. (That interpretation plus Central European antisemitism would have made a Holocaust with or without Hitler at least conceivable.)Control of European Russia would have given the hypothetical Reich a nearly inexhaustible store of resources. And even in WW1 the German army was not noted for its gentle treatment of occupied countries.

The upshot might have been a Second War anyway, primarily between Germany and the U.S., with the USSR possibly trying to reclaim the vast territory it lost to the Germans in 1917.


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Subject: RE: BS: Understanding 'Conservatives'
From: catspaw49
Date: 24 Sep 12 - 06:24 PM

Let's talk about Ann Coulter. The skinny ultra conservative waste of feminine flesh or any other kind. Did you see on the ABC program with George Stephanopoulos where she claimed civil right was for blacks because we owed them. Latinos, gays, women, etc. have all been taken over by the Liberals and the Liberals have skipped away from the blacks? She then stated that Civil Rights was for blacks. The look on George's face was priceless.....look it up on Google. Worth the watch.


Spaw


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Subject: RE: BS: Understanding 'Conservatives'
From: GUEST,Lighter
Date: 24 Sep 12 - 06:46 PM

Years ago she squared off in discussion with Phil Donahue.

And lost. Big-time. He made her look like a shallow, defensive egotist with a poor grasp of almost everything except the ability to name "conservative [sic] values." The difference between Coulter and Sarah Palin is that Palin is more entertaining and has a quicker sense of humor.

Coulter's reputation comes mainly from her appearance, her sarcasm, and her intentionally "outrageous" pronouncements about liberals.

That's all it takes for some people.


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Subject: RE: BS: Understanding 'Conservatives'
From: Little Hawk
Date: 24 Sep 12 - 07:49 PM

Anne Coulter is horrifying in almost every way possible. Sarah Palin, on the other hand, has some likeable qualities, even if she tends to be a loose cannon.

****

Lighter - I don't really think the Germans were notably less "civilized" than other western European nations. The world didn't end when they beat France in 1870. It would not have ended if they beat France in 1917 either. You're right about the aggressive Prussian military philosophy...it was very good for winning wars...but it did not turn the Kaiser's Germany into a monstrous regime like the Nazis who came later. Would there have been further wars in Europe anyway? Most certainly. There always are. You just have to wait awhile. The UK and Germany would probably have had another go at some point because of their naval and colonial rivalries, and the French and Russian would probably have siezed the moment to join the fight against Germany and regain some of their losses, as you say. The main advantage I see to Germany winning WWI is that it would have removed the possibility of the later Nazi Party movement from arising. The Nazis were a reaction to catastrophic defeat, national humiliation, and financial disaster.


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Subject: RE: BS: Understanding 'Conservatives'
From: michaelr
Date: 24 Sep 12 - 08:10 PM

Bullshit, ake. I wasn't sneering; that post really cracked me up.


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Subject: RE: BS: Understanding 'Conservatives'
From: GUEST,Guest from Sanity
Date: 24 Sep 12 - 11:37 PM

It has been said, that liberals cannot understand conservatives, and there is even a book out on the subject, because they are too self absorbed, small minded, and are not open to fuller ideas and concepts.

Hey, I didn't write the book....I just thought I'd throw that in, so maybe someone out there could just consider the 'possibility'
Here...besides Ann Coulter's book...

I didn't make it up!

GfS


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Subject: RE: BS: Understanding 'Conservatives'
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T
Date: 25 Sep 12 - 06:17 AM

""We DID have many immigrants from the UK for our first couple of hundred years.""

Most of you WERE those immigrants in that period.

Don T.


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Subject: RE: BS: Understanding 'Conservatives'
From: GUEST,Guest from Sanity
Date: 26 Sep 12 - 01:05 AM

"Understanding 'Conservatives'"

Duh ..what's that??..I did too many hits of acid in my youth...but the flying saucer people told me they were from the 'Venus Police', and I was under arrest.............That was THEN, but now, I'm just a regular liberal!

GfS


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Subject: RE: BS: Understanding 'Conservatives'
From: GUEST,999
Date: 26 Sep 12 - 09:30 PM

"Nonsense, Hawk. The Germans would still have lost, albeit it would have taken longer. You were selling us war material, because it was good business, long before you actually joined because of unrestricted submarine warfare (yes, there was a reason - they kept sinking your business)."

If that post was addressed to Little Hawk, it's incorrect. England and France declared war on Germany on September 3, 1939. Canada declared war on Germany exactly one week later. Little Hawk is a Canadian.


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Subject: RE: BS: Understanding 'Conservatives'
From: Bill D
Date: 27 Sep 12 - 09:45 AM

Did anyone actually read that article about Jonathan Haidt's book that GfS posted on the 24th? It is very interesting and IF there was a way to get a reasonable proportion of both liberals & conservatives to read & contemplate it, it could be important.
I have not read the book itself, but as far as the article goes, I think he misses one point: i.e., A large proportion of conservatives have built into their viewpoint the idea that they should NOT...and/or do not NEED to read such things. Haidt seems to be aware of that problem, as he points out (or claims) that BOTH sides 'tend' to adopt attitudes based on something other than reason, science and altruism.... he just doesn't emphasize enough the fundamental difference between just 'not trying' to understand the other side, and 'trying not' to understand the other side.

There's a lot to be considered on the whole subject.... one could design an entire university course around it, but I'm not sure who might enroll.....


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Subject: RE: BS: Understanding 'Conservatives'
From: GUEST
Date: 27 Sep 12 - 12:21 PM

The Conservative

As I was sitting in a chair
I saw the bottom wasn't there
Nor back nor legs, but there I sat
Ignoring little things like that.


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Subject: RE: BS: Understanding 'Conservatives'
From: Stringsinger
Date: 27 Sep 12 - 01:44 PM

There seems to have been some thread drift. Coulter is not a conservative in the conventional meaning of the term. Conservatives have offered some useful advice before they were obliterated by the GOP.


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Subject: RE: BS: Understanding 'Conservatives'
From: GUEST,Lighter
Date: 27 Sep 12 - 01:47 PM

I read this informative interview with Haidt. (Probably it's no substitute for his book, however):

http://www.christianpost.com/news/interview-jonathan-haidt-on-social-conservatives-new-atheists-and-civility-in-politics-74984/

Haidt advises us to respect opposing viewpoints and to just get along. Good advice. He's careful to distinguish conservatives (and libertarians) from Republicans. He seems less careful, though, to separate liberal Democrats from "New Age Democrats," the kind who think all political dilemmas are solvable by just being nice to the downtrodden. (Haidt also seems to suggest that Dems in general are stuck in a New Left groove from the '60s. I doubt it.)

Beyond that, his belief that conservatives "understand" liberals better than the other way around seems silly. What does he mean by "understand"? Follow their cogent or foolish arguments? Make allowances for their childlike or perceptive psychology? And which conservatives and liberals does he mean? Do those closer to the center have the same problems of "understanding" as those farther to the right or left? Are liberals really unimpressed by the virtues of loyalty, sanctity, and authority? Or are they just more wary of their abuse? I don't know, and I'm not sure that Haidt can either.

More importantly, in this interview Haidt doesn't address the extremely divisive influence of ceaseless demagogic voices on the populist reactionary side. They disguise themselves as "conservatives" and are eagerly accepted as such by much of the GOP.

Is there any equally strident populist left-winger as widely syndicated Rush Limbaugh et al? Do airwave demagogues have no significant influence on the the national lack of political civility and the tendency to "demonize" the opposition?

Though he may deserve it for other reasons, I suspect that Haidt is getting attention mainly because some of is statements can be reduced to the following simplistic slogans:

Prof Admits Conservatives Have More Understanding!

Atheist Prof Admits Religion is Good!

Ex-Liberal Says Liberals Don't Get It!

Ex-Liberal Says Conservatives Recognize More Virtues!

"Christians Are Happier!": Atheist

All of the headlines (which I've taken the trouble to make up myself) are more or less exaggerations or distortions of what Haidt says.

The fanning of the flames of "demonization," not by rank-and-file "conservatives" or "liberals" but by professionals, seems to me to be the biggest part of today's political divide. And it's been going on for nearly thirty years.


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Subject: RE: BS: Understanding 'Conservatives'
From: GUEST,Lighter
Date: 27 Sep 12 - 06:00 PM

OK, I've read the article linked by GfS.

Surely Haidt's book isn't as glib as the review, but maybe that's neither here nor there.

Anybody who's taught college freshmen knows Haidt is right when he says that reasoning in the methodical, critical style laid out by the Greeks is an artificially developed skill. You're not likely to pick it up adequately just by interacting with other people. Learning to recognize a valid argument, and even to expect a sound argument, doesn't come naturally.

But aren't feelings and emotions intertwined with reasons (reasons, not reasoning) rather than being as separate as the article makes them appear to be?

And if it only takes about two minutes for a sound argument to change your mind, shouldn't that work equally on both liberals and conservatives?


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Subject: RE: BS: Understanding 'Conservatives'
From: Bill D
Date: 27 Sep 12 - 08:01 PM

"shouldn't that work equally on both liberals and conservatives? "

Not necessarily,,, because humans have the 'gift' of being able to look a 'sound' argument right in the eye and refuse to accept it. Rationality is often used in the sense of 'rationalizing'.... turning a series of points in ways to suit pre-digested conclusions.

Now, *IF* one has a position based on false premises, then it is easy to arrive at a conclusion that follows 'logically' from them. (A basic idea of philosophic logic... "From false premises, anything follows")

One of the things about many conservative principles is that they have the answers they want, and just need the proper questions...and rhetorical devices.

Liberals are not totally immune to this malady, but they 'tend' to be more willing to seek 'truth', no matter where it leads.

If I had 2 hours and were not leaving town in the morning, I'd go on at interminable length about how the two thought processes have some very different components. (hint- much religious thought MUST not stray TOO far from various positions-- think Galileo)


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Subject: RE: BS: Understanding 'Conservatives'
From: John P
Date: 27 Sep 12 - 09:10 PM

Learning to recognize a valid argument, and even to expect a sound argument, doesn't come naturally.

It did for me. I can't remember when my sense of rightness wasn't offended by illogic. Sunday School was a real trial for little six-year-old me. That was when I figured out that most adults were idiots who believed impossible things that had no evidentiary or logical basis. Maybe it's tied in with me being sort of a math whiz. My high school math teachers were all aghast that I wasn't going to become a mathematician, but it never really interested me. It did make complete and immediate sense, however.


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Subject: RE: BS: Understanding 'Conservatives'
From: GUEST,Lighter
Date: 27 Sep 12 - 09:54 PM

John, you mean you were never fooled by things like these?:

http://www.fallacyfiles.org/examples.html

I sure used to be. Still am, according to many people.


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Subject: RE: BS: Understanding 'Conservatives'
From: John P
Date: 28 Sep 12 - 12:59 AM

Thanks, Lighter, those were fun. I got a good chuckle out of several of them. I wasn't fooled, though. The illogic blared forth from all of them. The hardest one for me was the Spurious Accuracy example. I hadn't thought of it as an actual fallacy; I just thought it was kind of dumb to get that exact with what were educated guesses at best. On reflection I can see where Spurious Accuracy can be used in a "logical" argument to create an unwarranted assumption of expertise, as well as being silly.


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Subject: RE: BS: Understanding 'Conservatives'
From: John P
Date: 28 Sep 12 - 09:28 AM

To understand conservatives all you have to do is be able to believe both sides of these pairs:

Government should stay out of our personal lives. Gay people should be discriminated against and women can't have abortions.

This is the Land of the Free. Burning the US flag should be illegal.

We must live according to what it actually says in the Constitution. The United States is a Christian country.

We must revere the Constitution. The ACLU is bad.

We are a democracy where everything should get decided by the will of the people. Unlimited corporate spending on elections is good.

Don't take away my American rights. It is my right to live in a society where I don't have to put up with gay people and non-Christians.

We have freedom of religion! Muslims should be singled out for extra scrutiny.

My family came to America 200 years ago. I'm an American. People who came to this country three years ago should go home or go to prison.

Sending jobs overseas is good for business and therefore for America. People who don't have jobs are lazy freeloaders.

The government should get their regulations out of the way of corporations and big banks, since the marketplace will regulate them just fine. Barack Obama caused the recession.


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Subject: RE: BS: Understanding 'Conservatives'
From: GUEST,Lighter
Date: 28 Sep 12 - 10:18 AM

Highly paid professionals work day and night to come up with more examples to screw us with.

Back to Haidt for a minute. He seems to be saying that conservatives and liberals tend to focus on different virtues, though he never says that either side dismisses the rest. Conservatives also supposedly attend to more of the enumerated virtues than liberals do.

Somehow the Slate reviewer concludes that "conservatives are more broad-minded." But that's absurd by definition, since "broad-minded" means "open to new ideas; tolerant; liberal," almost the exact opposite of conservatism. He must think "broad-minded" means "having many interests" or something.

The fallacy of not knowing what your own words mean.


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Subject: RE: BS: Understanding 'Conservatives'
From: GUEST,Lighter
Date: 28 Sep 12 - 12:19 PM

Not bad, John. But I think you're talking more about the GOP and the populist reactionaries of the Tea Party than about actual conservatives (Though there are some overlaps.)

The two most subtle fallacies of all:

Assuming that whomever you're trying to persuade can be persuaded by reason.

Assuming that your own logic is flawless.


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Subject: RE: BS: Understanding 'Conservatives'
From: GUEST,CS
Date: 28 Sep 12 - 12:25 PM

Subject: RE: BS: Understanding 'Conservatives'
From: michaelr
Date: 24 Sep 12 - 08:10 PM
Bullshit, ake. I wasn't sneering; that post really cracked me up.

It was a funny error. I realised after posting that I'd posted something really dumb, but couldn't be bothered to post - yet again - to correct it!


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Subject: RE: BS: Understanding 'Conservatives'
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T
Date: 28 Sep 12 - 07:55 PM

""He must think "broad-minded" means "having many interests" or something.""

More like "Fat Headed"!

Don T.


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Subject: RE: BS: Understanding 'Conservatives'
From: GUEST,999
Date: 29 Sep 12 - 08:22 AM

Do any of you remember when Conservatives didn't seem to be mentally unbalanced? I do.


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Subject: RE: BS: Understanding 'Conservatives'
From: John P
Date: 30 Sep 12 - 11:58 AM

Do any of you remember when Conservatives didn't seem to be mentally unbalanced? I do.

Like when Barry Goldwater got in a lot of trouble with next-generation "conservatives" for saying that being a conservative (as in getting government out of our private lives) means that you should support gay marriage? Goldwater was frighteningly far right, but at least he was internally consistent.

As soon as "social conservatives" became a vote-getting ploy by the Republican party, they lost the ability to present a coherent message. Contradictions abound. The scary part is that it doesn't seem to make any difference to any of them. All they had to do was make "critical thinking" one of the bad liberal ideas. As soon as you get rid of logic, everything fits just fine.


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Subject: RE: BS: Understanding 'Conservatives'
From: musicmick
Date: 01 Oct 12 - 08:51 AM

The problem with posting this thread, in this venue,is that it gleans a zillion responses from folks who dislike Conservatives, and few, if any, from Conservatives, themselves. I consider myself a moderate Liberal and I know that I wouldn't want to be defined by people who hate me. (If you want to know how the other side defines "Liberals", I would refer you to Romney's "47%" speech.)
I have known too many caring and charitable Republicans to lump them into some comic book Evil cabal. That doesn't mean I am going to vote for Romney but it does mean that I can disagree with someone without dehumanizing him.
What a dilemma. The Right think I'm a dupe and the Left think I'm a wimp. I answer them in the words of Mehitabel, the cat.


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Subject: RE: BS: Understanding 'Conservatives'
From: GUEST
Date: 01 Oct 12 - 03:36 PM

"The Right think I'm a dupe and the Left think I'm a wimp."

Ditto for this ol' boy, too, musicmick. They think that of me, too.


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Subject: RE: BS: Understanding 'Conservatives'
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 02 Oct 12 - 02:07 PM

"dupe" and "wimp" are terms which are not mutually exclusive. They may both be correct.


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Subject: RE: BS: Understanding 'Conservatives'
From: GUEST,Chris B (Born Again Scouser)
Date: 03 Oct 12 - 03:57 AM

'For the U.N. to work in a just and equitable manner, it must not be controlled by the world's major powers. It must be a genuine democracy of equal partners'.

Like the Commonwealth, you mean?


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Subject: RE: BS: Understanding 'Conservatives'
From: saulgoldie
Date: 03 Oct 12 - 12:47 PM

Case in point:
Talking with a coworker. She says something about "media bias." I ask for an example. She says, in effect, "all of them." I ask for an example. She clarifies: ABC, NBC, CBS. (Curiously does not mention NPR, MSNBC, or Mother Jones.) I ask for an example of a biased story. She can't answer.

She starts asserting that "they" are giving out polling data that is false. Please cite an example, and how do you know? Well, they said on Fox. OK, then, do you consider Fox to be unbiased? Yes, they have Liberals on. Please cite an example. Duh...And so on. Oh, and finally, she saw my coffee mug that reads "Made in America" with a pic of youknowwho. And on the other side is a birth certificate. She starts in with "you know, many people don't think he was born in the US!" SheeIT! How can I talk to that? I mean, in a fact-based reality? Maybe in a MXYZPTLK world...

I also asserted that people and life itself is for the most part not black or white, but many (50? ;-) ) shades of gray. She sat looking puzzled as I suggested a few real life examples.

So here we have someone who "believes" what she thinks are "facts" and "believes" that all of our experience and decisions are black or white. How on earth do I discourse with her and work towards a higher understanding?

Saul


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Subject: RE: BS: Understanding 'Conservatives'
From: kendall
Date: 03 Oct 12 - 03:55 PM

McGrath, you should read up on The Mermansk Run. It was vital to Russia.


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Subject: RE: BS: Understanding 'Conservatives'
From: GUEST,Lighter
Date: 03 Oct 12 - 04:44 PM

Saulgoldie, you have my sympathy.

I live in exactly the same world you describe.

Always have - at least since I moved to a Red State.

Thanks to the preferred usage on Fox News, all non-Fox News outlets (except the unabashedly "conservative" ones) are "the mainstream (liberal) media."

Fox, of course, with its own zillion-dollar budget, tens of millions of viewers, and outlets everywhere, is somehow not "mainstream." What's more it describes itself as "fair and balanced."

Actually, I used to watch it all the time - until 2008 when I couldn't stand the constant, gratuitous anti-liberal, anti-Obama slams.

The actual news that Fox reports is as accurate as anybody's. But with occasional exceptions, the editorial content, often in the subtle form of throwaway jokes, intonation, arched eyebrows, basic assumptions, etc., is overwhelmingly anti-liberal and very often pro-Tea Party. Regardless of the story's real significance, they also like to harp on items that could make liberals look bad. The whole ACORN business and "voter fraud" comes to mind. Hosts like O'Reilly and Hannity are only part of the issue. (At least the finally pulled the plug on Glen Beck, "America's History Teacher.")

And no, I can't give multiple examples off the top of my head, but watch Fox & Friends for a week or so, then switch to CNN, and I guar-on-tee you'll see what I mean. (And I see some, but comparatively little, "liberal bias" on the other networks.)


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Subject: RE: BS: Understanding 'Conservatives'
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 03 Oct 12 - 05:40 PM

"The actual news that Fox reports is as accurate as anybody's."

I'm not so sure about that, unless you can tell me how it is possible to accurately cover politics while slanting all the coverage to one side.


You also forgot the little text screens that scroll "headlines" that tend to reinforce GOP arguments while demeaning "liberal" ones. They were doing that throughout the W presidency. Jan 2001 - Jan 2009.


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Subject: RE: BS: Understanding 'Conservatives'
From: kendall
Date: 03 Oct 12 - 07:26 PM

I've tried several time to watch Fox noise, but I just can't stand Bill and Sean. What they do is Opinion journalism, not news, and Bill admitted it.He also admitted that Fox leans to the right.

Several times they have broadcast jokes and lies as news. No thanks.


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Subject: RE: BS: Understanding 'Conservatives'
From: GUEST,Lighter
Date: 03 Oct 12 - 08:13 PM

By "news" I mean, of course, factual reports, such as "So-and-so did or said such-and-such."

Hannity and O'Reilly don't come on till the evening. They're opinion shows and are presented a such.

In my experience, Fox's *reporters* report objective facts no less accurately than other news organizations. The actual *news* on Fox is true(except very rarely and inadvertently, and if they make a mistake they apologize on the air as professional journalists are ethically required to do. Fox News does not invent "facts" or knowingly lie about what exactly happened.

What I'm talking about is much more subtle. Part of it comes from their choices about what's "newsworthy," and part comes from the frequently biased attitude of the anchors. Fox anchors often react to the factual news with winks and nods and prejudicial digs, always aimed at liberals, and especially at the Obama administration.

They also like to ask guests leading questions based on the assumption that liberals are dangerous, semi-criminal, America-hating idiots while "conservatives" (often meaning reactionary populists) are benevolent, patriotic, no-nonsense problem-solvers. If a story makes a liberal look bad, they will often run it into the ground. If it makes a "conservative" look bad, they may not mention it at all. They also seem to cover partisan attacks on the administration rather frequently, but liberal attacks on "conservatives" notably less often - unless the attack can be made to look foolish or hypocritical.

As I say, I was amused by Fox News (just the news) for years. But by the fall of 2008 I couldn't stand any more. Now I can only watch a few minutes at a time.


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Subject: RE: BS: Understanding 'Conservatives'
From: GUEST,999
Date: 04 Oct 12 - 06:05 PM

One thing I will posit: Republicans are not Conservatives and Democrats are not Liberals. Talking about R/Cs or D/Ls as though they are interchangeable terms is a mistake that leads to more than enough arguments which will never be resolved because people choose not to select their terms wisely and aptly. IMO.


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Subject: RE: BS: Understanding 'Conservatives'
From: GUEST,Lighter
Date: 04 Oct 12 - 07:59 PM

Long, long ago there were truly conservative (and reactionary) Democrats just as there were liberal Republicans, with lots of moderates in both parties.


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Subject: RE: BS: Understanding 'Conservatives'
From: Bobert
Date: 04 Oct 12 - 08:07 PM

Brucie is 100% correct...

So-called conservatives ain't at all conservative unless you think that wanting to turn the clock back over 100 years means conservative...

No, these people are government haters... Let's just call it like it is...

B~


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