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medea
Feb 27, 2003, 05:30 PM
George Bush's strategy on global warming suffered a setback yesterday when a panel of scientists convened at the request of the White House condemned it as lacking vision, and wasting time and money on research questions that were resolved years ago.

Mr Bush's plan, introduced after the US backed out of the Kyoto protocol, replaces that treaty's call for mandatory limits on greenhouse gas emissions with a decade-long programme of research to determine the scale of the problem.

But the 17 environmental experts, assembled by the National Academy of Sciences at the president's request, said in their report that the president's strategy "lacks most of the basic elements of a strategic plan: a guiding vision, executable goals, clear timetables and criteria for measuring progress", and misses the opportunity to cooperate more with other countries on research.

"I've been doing ecosystems science for 30 years, and we know what we know and what we don't know," William Schlesinger, a panel member, told the Guardian. "Rather than focusing on the things we don't know, it's almost as if parts of the plan were written by people who are totally unfamiliar with where ecosystems science is coming from.

"They say we ought to be monitoring methane in remote regions," said Dr Schlesinger, the dean of Duke University's Nicholas School of the Environment and Earth Sciences in Durham, North Carolina. "Well, we've been monitoring some of these things for 30 years, and there's no question that the levels are rising."

The Bush plan also urges, for example, more research on how carbon emissions are affected by forest fires, a question largely seen as resolved within the academy.

"They didn't set the hard priorities," said Michael Prather, an earth scientist from the University of California at Irvine and a panel member. "From the scientists' point of view, we have a pretty good idea of what is happening."

The experts also call for "greatly increased" spending on addressing climate change, far above the $1.7bn per year earmarked. They concede that the plan is "a solid foundation", going further towards formulating a strategy on global warming research - as required by a 1990 act of Congress - than either the first President Bush or Bill Clinton.

James Mahoney, director of the government's climate change science programme, which is charged with executing the plan, said he welcomed the panel's criticisms. "Nobody ever undertook to do something like this before. There are certainly areas where we need to improve," he said. "But we're in a process where we pushed to very quickly turn around a battleship, and we've never had a plan before."

But the scientists' findings may cause concern in the administration in the few weeks of the consultation period that remain, not least because the panel included experts from corporations including BP and Honeywell.

Mr Bush has been accused of claiming that more research is needed in order to stall moves towards limiting US greenhouse gas emissions. Environmental groups accuse the oil company Exxon Mobil of leading a campaign in the US to discredit scientific findings suggesting that the dangers of global warming are grave.

"There's no question that if you claim that not much is known, even if it is, then you delay the time at which you can say, OK, the research is unequivocal and we need to do something about the problem," Dr Schlesinger said. "It's not very far beneath the surface that there's an element of not taking any action here."
http://www.buzzle.com/editorials/2-26-2003-36333.asp

Les Kern
Feb 27, 2003, 10:45 PM
You know, one might wonnder exactly what's going on here. Mr. Bush has admitted that he goes "by a gut feeling", but there has to be SOMETHING driving the "strategies" coming out of the White House. Got any ideas? I do, it's a complicated jumble of seemingly unrelated items, and here's a hint:
http://www.workingforchange.com/article.cfm?itemid=14551

3rdpath
Feb 27, 2003, 11:23 PM
Originally posted by medea

....said in their report that the president's strategy "lacks most of the basic elements of a strategic plan: a guiding vision, executable goals, clear timetables and criteria for measuring progress", and misses the opportunity to cooperate more with other countries on research.

wow, sounds like his war plan.

at least he's consistently stupid.

Kethoticus
Feb 28, 2003, 01:19 AM
I find Bush to be a capable wartime president. Unlike many members of MacRumors I, for the most part, back invading Iraq (or at least taking Saddam out in hit-man style). But his capability in other areas does seem to be lacking.

I don't consider him stupid, but I do consider him too tied to business interests. This is either due to campaign deals and/or his own belief in the need for greater freedom for American corporations, especially in the current economic climate. But whatever it is, he's amazingly short-sighted when it comes to our stewardship of the earth. Rather disappointing for man who claims to be a Christian.

If he was more environmentally-sensitive, I'd find him to be the best president we've had in years. But as is typical, politicians rarely combine the best of all qualities for each of us. Clinton had no moral character and presented to America an atrocious role model. But he made some great environmental moves and took out a Hitler-like Slav in central Europe.

Bush is well-matched to the current military climate. But if there were no foreign policy conflicts during his administration, I believe that his ratings would be through the floor.

Backtothemac
Feb 28, 2003, 10:23 AM
Well, I think that the issue does deserve more research, I will agree with Bush on that. What is really causing the greenhouse effect. Is it real? Does it natuerally occur? Hell, we still don't know why magnetic north flips poles, but it does. There is a lot about this planet that we don't understand yet.

Now, that being said, why not do something now while those studies take place. I dont' agree with the Kyoto treaty because it imposes its will on us, and doesn't do anything to the largest polutors on the planet. So, that being said, why not an improvement on gas mileage out of detroit? Why not make factories reduce emmissions by just 2%. That would make a huge difference.

See, a logical republican :p

dabirdwell
Feb 28, 2003, 11:23 AM
B2TM, you are really going to have to be careful with these argument structures.
You say that you agree with Bush, but then you don't say on what grounds; and then you mention something unrelated (magnetic pole-shift) and state that there's a lot we don't understand about the planet.

These are irrelevancies to the point at hand. The scientists have spoken, on what grounds do you choose Bush's opinion over that of the environmental scientists?

Backtothemac
Feb 28, 2003, 11:29 AM
Originally posted by dabirdwell
B2TM, you are really going to have to be careful with these argument structures.
You say that you agree with Bush, but then you don't say on what grounds; and then you mention something unrelated (magnetic pole-shift) and state that there's a lot we don't understand about the planet.

These are irrelevancies to the point at hand. The scientists have spoken, on what grounds do you choose Bush's opinion over that of the environmental scientists?

OK, I will try to make this a little easier for you.

1) I agree that we should study the issue more because we still don't know a lot about the planet. IE Polar shifts.

2) We should do something now though in case the scientists are right. Remember there is not 100% agreement in the science community about global warming.

3) By doing something now, we are in CYA mode, while the the research continues

Does that make it more clear. I am not taking Bush's nor the scientists stand, but a more logical approach to the problem

Les Kern
Feb 28, 2003, 11:32 AM
Originally posted by Kethoticus
If he was more environmentally-sensitive, I'd find him to be the best president we've had in years.
Bush is well-matched to the current military climate. But if there were no foreign policy conflicts during his administration, I believe that his ratings would be through the floor.

But analysis after analysis of ALL of his actions since taking office say tha he's not sensitive on anything. Sure, anyone can be a warrior with the backing of a obviously superior army. And that's actually TWO things you mentioned that say he is not the best president in years if you add the fact that there are ALWAYS foreign issues to deal with. I recently saw a re-cap of his first two years. Read it, and tell us that you still think he's doing right by the American public. Here is the "short" version:

Rhetoric vs. Reality: Bush's Record Belies State of the Union Promises

Broken promises and failed opportunities have marked the first two years of President Bush's term, and his State of the Union address gave little hope for a change in the next two years. On issues ranging from the economy to health care, from education to environmental protection, Bush made modest proposals and extravagant rhetoric to describe what his proposals would accomplish -- promises he can't keep.

Economy

President Bush's strategy to help our struggling economy has been nothing but a failure. His term has been marked by the return of mist-down economics and staggering federal deficits. Americans have lost more than two million jobs since Bush took office, and household incomes have dropped. Economic growth has been staggeringly slow during his term.

Bush doesn't have a plan to help our economy. Instead, he and the Republicans are taking advantage of America's economic woes, using it to justify tax giveaways to the super wealthy and special interests -- tax breaks that will do nothing to stimulate our economy. Bush used the State of the Union to push for billions more in tax breaks to the very rich, with false assurances that these would help the economy.

Democrats have a plan to stimulate the economy now, with a real tax cut for all working families and a plan to help cash-strapped states that desperately trying to avoid further cuts to vital services.

Homeland Security

Although Bush took credit for creating the new Department of Homeland Security, he vigorously opposed the idea when Democrats first proposed it. He insisted that a presidential adviser with no accountability to the American people would be more effective than a new Cabinet member. White House Press Secretary Ari Fleischer said President Bush thought that a Department of Homeland Security was "just not necessary." Tom Ridge -- then homeland security adviser -- said that he would recommend that Bush veto legislation to create a Cabinet-level Department of Homeland Security.

Education

Bush has failed the promise of the education reforms he passed with Democrats. Although he claimed in his State of the Union address that "we achieved historic education reform," Bush's budget for 2003 cut funding to vital education programs and didn't provide the money needed to implement his own reforms.

Although states are facing massive budget crises, Bush has refused to give them the help they need to meet the goals in the education reform bill. These unfunded mandates are a broken promise to America's schools, making his reforms meaningless.

Health Care

Bush's health care agenda is written entirely by the big special interests: drug companies, insurance companies, and HMOs.

* While Democrats have spent years trying to pass a real patients' bill of rights, Bush and the Republicans obstructed real reform by pushing a fake version written by the insurance industry.
* While Democrats fight for a real prescription drug benefit for Medicare, Bush has proposed privatizing Medicare, forcing seniors into HMOs in order to get a drug benefit.
* Bush's call for "malpractice reform" is nothing more than a gift to the insurance companies. It would rob those hurt by genuine medical mistakes of fair compensation, while benefiting insurance companies with bottomless pockets and armies of lawyers.


Environmental Protection

Bush's presidency has been a disaster for the environment. He has rolled back protections everywhere possible, endangering our clean air, our clean water, and our precious national monuments and parks.

Every "accomplishment" he touted in his State of the Union address was a step backward. His "Clear Skies" initiative makes it easier for industries to pollute the air. His proposal to prevent forest fires allows the timber industry to plunder national forests. He has proposed giving oil companies, mining companies, and other polluting industries unfettered access to our most precious natural lands.

His State of the Union proposal to support hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles represents a reversal of his earlier position. As a candidate for president, Bush mocked the idea of alternative fuel cars, but now he's making a promise to support them -- one more example of Democrats taking the lead and one more promise for Bush to break.

Les Kern
Feb 28, 2003, 11:36 AM
And this site is interesting:
http://www.wage-slave.org/scorecard.html

macfan
Feb 28, 2003, 12:20 PM
But analysis after analysis of ALL of his actions since taking office say tha he's not sensitive on anything.

It isn't a question of being "sensitive." It's a question of whether the administration's positions happen to agree with those of the writer of the analysis. If Democrats aren't happy with Bush's policies, that shouldn't come as a surprise: they didn't vote for those policies.

In evaluating the effectiveness of an administration, I think its a better measure to ask whether or not an administration is able to get its policies adopted, not whether you happen to like those policies. So far, Bush has done that to a large degree in froeign policy, and he has managed to get some central elements of his campaign--tax cut package and so-called education reform--adopted. It is still an open question as to whether he will get some other elements passed. (Social Security reform, etc.)


President Bush's strategy to help our struggling economy has been nothing but a failure.

That's a rather broad statement. Not knowing what the economy would be doing with other economic policies, it is rather presumptious to call the strategy a "failure."

On Homeland Security, did we really need a new cabinet department? Probably not, but politically it was the right thing to do.

On education, the Federal government really should be focused more on its Constitutional responsibilities than on setting up some kind of national education standards.

Instead, he and the Republicans are taking advantage of America's economic woes, using it to justify tax giveaways to the super wealthy and special interests

I am not super wealthy, I do not consider myself to be a "special interest." I got a tax cut. How is that possible is we are dealing with just tax giveaways to the super wealthy? On another note, how much is enough? What should the tax rate be, and why?

It would rob those hurt by genuine medical mistakes of fair compensation, while benefiting insurance companies with bottomless pockets and armies of lawyers.


I am not aware of any legislation that will limit actual damages. Actual damages are, by definition, "fair" compensation. Punitive damages, on the other hand, are designed to punish the wrongdoer, not fairly compensate the victim of malpractice.

Les Kern
Feb 28, 2003, 03:38 PM
That's a rather broad statement. Not knowing what the economy would be doing with other economic policies, it is rather presumptious to call the strategy a "failure."

I would be glad to compare the last two years to the previous, say, eight.

On Homeland Security, did we really need a new cabinet department? Probably not, but politically it was the right thing to do.

Agreed, but not for political reasons.

On education, the Federal government really should be focused more on its Constitutional responsibilities than on setting up some kind of national education standards.

I disagree completely. I work in a school and have seen the inadequacies of funding on a local and state level, and have seen the erosion of funds from the fed. WHY can't we set up a national initiative to give EQUAL education to all. Isn't this in the BEST interest of our future?

I am not super wealthy, I do not consider myself to be a "special interest." I got a tax cut. How is that possible is we are dealing with just tax giveaways to the super wealthy? On another note, how much is enough? What should the tax rate be, and why?

Because if you look at WHAT the cuts are, you'll see that Bush forgets equality and targets corporations and the rich. Why did they dimiss payroll taxes that would have completely leveled the tax break? You only have to ask to see. I have told this before, but a dear friend of mine makes 200k a year. Know how much he paid in taxes? Zero. AND he GOT back money last year becasue of the tax cut. He's a liberal (unlike me) and he's sad and happy at the same time. So what did he do? Gave 20,000 bucks to the DEM party.

But we're WAY off topic, so just let me add that (cough) I want to let (hackHACK!) pause.... Sorry, I live near (gag! HACK!) a factory that Bush says can (COUGH!!!) spit out pollution as long as they promise to (WHHEEEEEZZEE!) look into fixing it.

macfan
Feb 28, 2003, 04:09 PM
Les,

I disagree completely. I work in a school and have seen the inadequacies of funding on a local and state level, and have seen the erosion of funds from the fed. WHY can't we set up a national initiative to give EQUAL education to all. Isn't this in the BEST interest of our future?

No, it is not in our best interests. Spending more money on a broken system is not in our best interests. Giving EQUAL education to all is merely a means of spreading mediocrity everywhere. If you look at schools in America, it is the leadership rather than the funding that makes a school great. Some of the worst school disticts have some of the highest funding levels. So, no, it's not in our best interests to increase federal funding and control over education as this administration proposes to do. It is in our interest to make school compete for students and to end the foolishness that says every child must go to school. If your kid is disruptive and refuses to learn he or she should be removed from the public school system, not left there to drag down those kids who do want to have a future.

With regard to the taxes, I would propose eliminating the entire social security program, and with it the payroll taxes that fund it. However, in the current environment, that is not possible. For someone to argue, as Democrats seem to be, that we should cut social security funding through the payroll taxes and also call for "saving social security" is more than a little ridiculous. These things should be handled in concert. The Social Security tax shouldn't be considered just another income tax.

On the factories, the question isn't really whether a factory can continue to run, but whether it will be allowed to make some improvements without making all imporvements possible. Waivers would allow these plants to modernize and imporve themselves, without meeting all the standards. It would actually result in cleaner air, not dirtier. (cough, hack) It is a convenient political attack to ignore this.

On the economy, can you point to specific changes in the economy that are attributable to the Bush economic plan? Keep in mind that there was a recession starting up when Bush was elected, and the stock market was running on what's been called "irratoinal exuberance." Also recall that 9/11 wasn't exactly an element of the Bush economic plan, and it did have an effect, if only a transient one.

Les Kern
Feb 28, 2003, 04:46 PM
Originally posted by macfan
No, it is not in our best interests. Spending more money on a broken system is not in our best interests. Giving EQUAL education to all is merely a means of spreading mediocrity everywhere.

I didn't say we should spread mediocrity, and we wouldn't if it were done right. I'm willing, as a parent and a taxpayer, to advance such a plan. Though there will certainly be pains associated with this on a national level, remember that the teaching is still done locally, and it has been my long experience that there are considerably more good teachers than bad. You're too negative! Kennedy said we should go to the moon and we did. Surely we can fix and expand our educational system... and that's WAY more important. Oh, gotta go. That factory (COUGH!) just dumped an inch of soot on my new car. (Back on topic)

macfan
Feb 28, 2003, 05:19 PM
I didn't say we should spread mediocrity, and we wouldn't if it were done right.

I know you didn't say that we would be spreading mediocrity, I did.

What would you specifically propose to do about education? I want to know real, specific plans, not some kind of pie in the sky testing program and throwing money around that we're getting from the Bush administration.

Les Kern
Feb 28, 2003, 09:12 PM
Originally posted by macfan
What would you specifically propose to do about education? I want to know real, specific plans, not some kind of pie in the sky testing program and throwing money around that we're getting from the Bush administration.

That's a huge question, and this thread is about the environment, but I will mention a few things.
I'm not for trying to fix everything by designing tests. I have seen and spoken to teachers, administrators, parents and students and all are about of the same mind: teaching to test is not the best way to go. That being said, how will we determine if any teaching method "works", or what can we use to determine progress? Further, for Washington to tell our state schools, via the "No Child Left Behind Act" is encouraging kids to focus on a score more than the real purpose of being in school. As I said, teaching is done on a local level, and I am not for DC to dictate what constitutes a good teacher, or even what constitutes a good student. Our school board and the community members and other stakeholders decide that, and I say it works. I live it daily, and have seen the repercussions of a teacher who isn't up to par, tenure or not.
What I'm more interested in is the tax dollars that are collected be distributed evenly and fairly to the states, or eliminate them entirely by lowering fed taxes and raising state taxes by a like amount. Though a staunch DEM, this view on the "republic" theory is how I lean at the moment.
Should teachers be tested? I think so, but the old feelings bubble up in regards to the phrase "Who designs the tests?" I guess the same goes for student tests, but I ALWAYS was a big believer in core, and damnit that doesn't change and can't be interpreted in any other way but the correct way. So testing in core is the way to go. (Oh, and I think high school sports should be financed outside the school. I'd hate to tell you the amount of money spent on that)
I don't like to see anyone "throw money around", and I can assure you I am beyong stingy with our taxpayers money. I am in charge of a multi-million dollar budget, and am judged on results, and I believe I get them... or I wouldn't be there very long. Again, my bosses are the parents... and board members.
Are you in education? If not, take a day and go to your local school and speak to the superintendent, board members and teacher. (They work for you, remember!) Try to get an idea of how your school works right now, and try to see if YOU have a better plan. I'm not the smartest person in the universe and I don't pretend to have any great solutions. But I am smart enough to know it's broken and we need to fix it.
Right now 72% of the school districts in Illinois are working at a deficit. By next year it will be over 80. Now someone not intimate with education would say "Well, they waste too much money". That could be true in some cases, but it isn't true in my neck of the woods, and in fact I'm quite up to date on just about every district within a hundred miles. My district is healthy, but, alas, bonded. Just north of me one district (one of my feeder schools) has a fraction of the ed fund we do. North of them is an INCREDIBLY rich district. So going from me the per student dollar amount is $8,500, $3,400 and $12,000. Certainly not fair, and certainly not all the feds fault. We get 10% of out fund from Uncle Sam, then it's 6%, then 16%. The numbers don't jibe. A lot of this is because how the local tax structure is set up. I have a few large corporations, north of me does not. Income from the feds is skewed and I don't know why. How come my feeder school is grateful for a few PPC 6100's I was going to toss, and I get flat-panels? Makes no sense. To make a long story short (And I KNOW I'm wandering a bit because this is a HUGE question!), DC might dispurse tax money in a way to standardize the ed funds, trying to earmark a set amount per student nationally and try to make up diparity in local revenue streams. Some might say they want to move to "wherever" because the schools are good. I say it's our responsibility as a COUNTRY to educate our kids wherever they live. Does money fix every problem? Of course not, I would never say it is the end-all. We can start there though.
In case you haven't heard, Bush is actually CUTTING the ed budget to help pay for the tax cuts. How damned fair is that? Maybe my rich buddy will get a hundred or so more back, while the tech director north of me won't be able to afford to up the ram in his computer.
Sorry I rambled on in stream of conciousness..I'm truly not a lunatic, and I'm actually afraid to re-rtead this. but so it goes.
..I'm watching a pretty cool movie. (COUGH!)

macfan
Feb 28, 2003, 10:08 PM
Les,
Some good ideas in there, especially about teaching and testing on core classes. Also, what you point out about the differences in different districts is an important point, not because every school district in America should have the same dollar per student funding level, but because it does, along with other issues, indicate that we don't have a one-size-fits-all solution to the issues in education.

I would rather see in depth testing done on a randomized basis of a few selected students from a school to test that school. That testing would be beyond that ability of any teacher or school to teach to the test. Instead, they would have to teach the content. Many of our puclic schools are doing very well, but others are in a horrible state. In Los Angeles, we have a former gov. of Colorado in charge of the school system. It is virtually impossible for him to get anything done because of the culture and entrenched interests. In the meantime, we are losing more generations of students. They can't read, write, or compute at grade level. That is simply not acceptable. For $3,400 a student, they may not have a flat panel imac, but it doesn't take that to learn to read, write, and compute.

My direct experisence in the school system is limited to a very little bit of subbing in a kind of inner city type school when I was in college. I saw teaching to the test, as you might guess. I saw teachers who were told against their better judgment to use "wholistic" ? grading. I saw seventh and ninth graders who didn't know the difference between a noun and a verb. This is something that was taught in the 4th grade when I was in school. I saw police in the halls and I went home every day exhausted. I have also read a good bit of research and talked to experts about a lot of the issues in education.

Back on the topic, I seriously doubt if any climate plan will make a difference in the climate. The world warmed and cooled long before we were around to have any influence on it.

Les Kern
Feb 28, 2003, 10:28 PM
s

Les Kern
Feb 28, 2003, 10:29 PM
I hear you there. I'm the tech guy. You might think I am 100% convinced it's one of the most important things we can do. I don't and it's not! There's even a part of me, since I'm a "core" guy, that technology, if not integrated into the curriculum in a coherent way, actually takes away from education. Hence my snippet on sports. I'm a lucky guy. I have lots of stuff, our integration is in the top 5% in the nation, and, well, our test score are way above the state average. My point? If we can do it, anyone can. Standardization is key, I think. We have the data to prove technology helps raise scores. If you want to look, go to www.mchs.net. Subbing in an inner city school would be a shocker to me, I think. The teachers are underpaid, the facilities are crumbling. But you brought up a great point concerning the flat panel/6100 issue: It shouldn't make a damn bit of difference, should it? In Japan and Germany computers aren't used in school at all, and they turn out some incredible citizens.... Man, where am I going with this? Is it our culture? Is it "US", man?
Back on topic: The dinosaurs didn't pump millions of tons of pollution into the atmosphere every day. We do, and we have to control it. Bush's plans are not even plans. Here's a cool link:
http://www.nytimes.com/2002/11/23/politics/23POLL.html

macfan
Feb 28, 2003, 11:06 PM
I agree that we should cut pollution, but not because of climate change. Rather, I think we should cut pollution just because it isn't healthy.

It seems counter intuitive, but one of the best ways to cut pollution is to make other parts of the world more like the United States.

You are right about technology. Computers and techonogy are like icing on the cake. They can give a boost to an already successful program, but that can't fix problems by themselves. The key to education is psychological, not technological. I don't know how to best apply it, but high expectations are the central element to success in education. Students generally perform at the level expected of them.

IJ Reilly
Mar 1, 2003, 12:44 AM
Originally posted by macfan
It isn't a question of being "sensitive." It's a question of whether the administration's positions happen to agree with those of the writer of the analysis. If Democrats aren't happy with Bush's policies, that shouldn't come as a surprise: they didn't vote for those policies.

I wonder, who voted for high unemployment, a plummeting stock market, recession and war? When we find that person, I think they need a little talking to.

And FWIW, I'm not a Democrat and I'm not happy with these policies.

macfan
Mar 1, 2003, 10:56 AM
IJReilly,

The people who voted for a plumenting stock market are the ones who paid hundreds of dollars a share for companies that gave away their product and didn't have any hope of ever making a profit. I think Mr. Greenspan called it "irrational exuberane." It isn't the first time there has been a bubble in the stock market, and it won't be the last.

In case you haven't notices, the business cycle has not been repealed. Our current unemployment levels are not high compared to those during other periods of economic stagnation. Also, we are not currently in a recession. Growth was tabbed at 1.4 percent for Q4 2002. Not great, but not a recession either.

As to war, no one voted for 9/11 except bin Laden.

Les Kern
Mar 1, 2003, 11:09 AM
Originally posted by macfan
IAs to war, no one voted for 9/11 except bin Laden.

Yeah, Bin Laden. Whatever happened to him? Oh yeah, he's called "Iraq" now!

--
"Of course the people don't want war. But after all, it's the leaders of the country who determine the policy, and it's always a simple matter to drag the people along whether it's a democracy, a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism, and exposing the country to greater danger." -- Herman Goering at the Nuremberg trials

macfan
Mar 1, 2003, 11:13 AM
Yeah, Bin Laden. Whatever happened to him?

Don't know. He could be dead, or he could be kicking around in some cave waiting to die.

IJ Reilly
Mar 1, 2003, 11:44 AM
Originally posted by macfan
IJReilly,

The people who voted for a plumenting stock market are the ones who paid hundreds of dollars a share for companies that gave away their product and didn't have any hope of ever making a profit. I think Mr. Greenspan called it "irrational exuberane." It isn't the first time there has been a bubble in the stock market, and it won't be the last.

In case you haven't notices, the business cycle has not been repealed. Our current unemployment levels are not high compared to those during other periods of economic stagnation. Also, we are not currently in a recession. Growth was tabbed at 1.4 percent for Q4 2002. Not great, but not a recession either.

As to war, no one voted for 9/11 except bin Laden.

Another elliptical response. At some point you're going to have to come to grips with the fact that Republicans can be held just as responsible for their actions and inactions as anyone else.

macfan
Mar 1, 2003, 11:54 AM
IJReilly,
Why don't you explain, in detail, the Bush policies that led to the decline in the stock market? Was it somehow his policies as governor of Texas that made the stock market over valued? You should undertand the difference between political "responsibility" and real causation. Politically, politicians are held to account at election time on whatever has happened while they have been in office. Practically, they don't have much to do with the rise and fall of the Dow. The link between Bush's economic policies to a fall in the Dow is a link of correlation in time, not causation.

Rower_CPU
Mar 1, 2003, 12:42 PM
Regarding the earlier policy discussion, I found this article from last week's Time magazine very interesting.

http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1101030224-423537,00.html

The American tradition of wartime leadership seems more subdued. The most memorable images are gaunt and painful: the haunted Lincoln; the dark circles under Franklin Roosevelt's eyes; Kennedy standing alone, in shadows, during the Cuban missile crisis. This is a moment far more ambiguous than any of those; intellectual anguish is permissible. War may be the correct choice, but it can't be an easy one. The world might have more confidence in the judgment of this President if he weren't always bathed in the blinding glare of his own certainty.

macfan
Mar 1, 2003, 12:54 PM
The world might have more confidence in the judgment of this President if he weren't always bathed in the blinding glare of his own certainty.

For sure, if he walked around projecting an aura of uncertainty and timidness, people would have a lot more confidence in him. Can't see why that wouldn't be the case!

World opinion is never going to be on his side. Even in 1990, world opinion wasn't on the side of a massive war against Iraq. There were many calls for "letting the sanctions work." It's just that people have forgotten them over the years.

Rower_CPU
Mar 1, 2003, 01:05 PM
Originally posted by macfan
For sure, if he walked around projecting an aura of uncertainty and timidness, people would have a lot more confidence in him. Can't see why that wouldn't be the case!

World opinion is never going to be on his side. Even in 1990, world opinion wasn't on the side of a massive war against Iraq. There were many calls for "letting the sanctions work." It's just that people have forgotten them over the years.

It's not about confidence, it's about the impression he gives off that the decision is easy for him. No angst or mental turmoil as indicated in the examples of the other Presidents.

macfan
Mar 1, 2003, 01:15 PM
Did FDR display a lot of angst when he asked Congress to declare war on Japan? Did Truman waffle like a Belgian (props to Dennis Miller) when he ordered troops to protect South Korea, saving millions of Koreans and their children and grandchildren form a brutal tyrant? Did Linclon ever give the impression that defending the Union was a toss up for him? No, they did not.

It is about confidence. The quote specifically says that the world would have more confidence in Bush's decision if he had less confidence in it himself. Given the numbers of countries looking for a way to avoid facing up to their responsibilities, I seriously doubt that would be the case at all.

Rower_CPU
Mar 1, 2003, 01:30 PM
Originally posted by macfan
Did FDR display a lot of angst when he asked Congress to declare war on Japan? Did Truman waffle like a Belgian (props to Dennis Miller) when he ordered troops to protect South Korea, saving millions of Koreans and their children and grandchildren form a brutal tyrant? Did Linclon ever give the impression that defending the Union was a toss up for him? No, they did not.

It is about confidence. The quote specifically says that the world would have more confidence in Bush's decision if he had less confidence in it himself. Given the numbers of countries looking for a way to avoid facing up to their responsibilities, I seriously doubt that would be the case at all.

The quote says certainty, not confidence. They are not synonyms. There is a subtle difference there. The difference between self-assurance and the belief that the situation cannot be any other way.

To lump Bush in with FDR after Pearl Harbor is foolish, as the situations are nowhere near comparable. Where is the nation responsible for 9/11?

Lincoln's duty during the Civil War was straightforwad: preserve the Union. How can you compare an internal matter like the Civil War to a proactive attack on a foreign country?

macfan
Mar 1, 2003, 01:41 PM
To lump Bush in with FDR after Pearl Harbor is foolish

Which is basically what the quote from Time did.


Lincoln's duty during the Civil War was straightforwad: preserve the Union. How can you compare an internal matter like the Civil War to a proactive attack on a foreign country?

Which is also what the quote from Time did.

The quote says certainty, not confidence. They are not synonyms.

First, the quote also said confidence. Second, yes, they are synonyms. Just check out the thesarus on your shelf or the one so generously provided by Mr. Gates in his fine word processor for Max OS X.

The difference between self-assurance and the belief that the situation cannot be any other way.

The only hope of it being any other way is for the world community to believe and act as though it cannot be any other way (other than removing Saddam by force). In other words, Saddam must see that his time is up, and he may yet be persuaded to leave and/or disarm without an invasion of his country. Short of that, he will not comply any other way.

Rower_CPU
Mar 1, 2003, 02:06 PM
No, the quote never said confidence.
The world might have more confidence in the judgment of this President if he weren't always bathed in the blinding glare of his own certainty.
The only time the word "confidence" is used is in relation to the world, not to Bush.

FDR had troubles long before Pearl Harbor, and the US had to debate long and hard its position in WWII, especially the European theater. Pearl Harbor made the course of action clear in the Pacific Theater.

Lincoln had to deal with a great deal of debate and threats of secession before the Civil War ever began. Slavery was an issue when he got elected and the dissolution of the Union was looming long before the war broke out.

Funny you that you neglected Kennedy, who is also mentioned in the article. The Cuban missile crisis is the most applicable comparison of them all.

What's the common thread here? These leaders were uncertain, but gained confidence as the situations developed. Bush is putting the cart before the horse.

IJ Reilly
Mar 1, 2003, 03:48 PM
Originally posted by macfan
Why don't you explain, in detail, the Bush policies that led to the decline in the stock market?
I'll be happy to respond to this challenge (I don't duck them as is your habit).
[list=1]
Failure to respond quickly and decisively to the investment crisis created by the corporate fiscal fraud disclosures.
Appointment of Harvey Pitt, an industry toady, to oversee the SEC, who was effective mainly at thwarting the reforms to corporate accounting practices mandated by Congress.
A failure to articulate a clear economic policy, beyond cutting taxes for the wealthiest Americans.
Investment uncertainly created by pursuit of a war in Iraq.
Record high energy prices caused at least in part by pursuit of war in Iraq (and also by mishandling the political situation in Venezuela).
[/list=1]
I could go on, but the general thrust is that Mr. Bush hasn't done anything to restore confidence in the markets; therefore, they continue to drift lower. In fact in several distinct instances last year, the president made remarks directed at calming the markets, which only fell even further even as he spoke. The lack of confidence is palpable.

I was talking with a stock broker friend of mine just last week and he said he's telling his clients that the best thing for the markets right now would be duct tape over the president's mouth.

IJ Reilly
Mar 1, 2003, 03:57 PM
Originally posted by macfan
Did FDR display a lot of angst when he asked Congress to declare war on Japan? Did Truman waffle like a Belgian (props to Dennis Miller) when he ordered troops to protect South Korea, saving millions of Koreans and their children and grandchildren form a brutal tyrant? Did Linclon ever give the impression that defending the Union was a toss up for him? No, they did not.

These are three remarkably inapt comparisons. In the first two either we or our allies or both were under attack. The last is so ludicrous as to be undeserving of even a perfunctory a response.

macfan
Mar 1, 2003, 04:47 PM
IJReilly,
On the stock market, it will come back up when companies start to show profits. It was vastly overvalued in the late 1990s, with the tech bubble, and with plenty of accounting hanky panky going on. There are those who say it still is overvalued. The market decline is a result of it being overvalued, not a result of Harvey Pitt or the tax cuts (again, I'm not wealthy and I got one). It doesn't matter much what the president says or doesn't say. If it did, presidents would simply talk up the stock market all the time and we would all be in the money. You are right that the Iraq situation has led to uncertainty, which isn't good for the stock market, and the political problems in Venezuela have raised oil prices as well.

On the issue of comparisons, I was not the one who started comparing Bush to FDR. That was the Time writer. I was just pointing out that the comparison was not well thought out because the evaluation of FDR and the others as being less than certain and less than confident wasn't particularly accurate.