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Question of the Week: 113

Pagan Problem Children: What Can We Do About Them?

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112. Elders: Who Are They and Do We Really Need Them? - [74]

111. So, You’re Dead. Now What? - [59]

110. What’s Your Favorite Element? - [119]

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108. Do You Speak Pagan Geek? - [38]

107. Would You Be A Good ‘Reality Show’ Contestant? - [49]

106. What Is Your Inner Animal? - [127]

105. Are Pagans TOO Individualistic? - [56]

104. Have You Changed Your Mind About the War in Iraq? - [258]

103. What Are You Reading? - [95]

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101. Have You Made Any Extra Security Preparations? - [85]

100. Why Are You A Pagan or Heathen? - [142]

99. What Moon Phase Are You In? - [70]

98. Would You Live In A Haunted House? - [166]

97. What Natural Objects Are On Your Altar? - [103]

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92. What Do You See in 2003? - [47]

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89. Bah-Humbug! Are You Offended by Christmas? - [173]

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70. What's News? - [22]

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53. What is 'Will' or 'Willpower'? - [19]

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44. Do You Spend Money with Pagan Merchants? - [24]

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36. Should the United States Apologize to China - [32]

35. Pagan Web Surfing Likes/Dislike - [60]

34. What Are Your Views on Abortion, Euthanasia and Suicide? - [95]

33. What Is The Appropriate Response to Bigotry and Religious Hatred? - [108]

32. Why Are Kids Killing Kids? - [60]

31. Whassa Matter With Kids Today? - [71]

30. What Do You Support and Why Do You Support It? - [21]

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21. What is/was your New Year's resolution? - [19]

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7. The Ethics of Magick and Spellwork - [43]

6. What are YOU planning for Mabon-Autumn Equinox? - [14]

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3. Church and State, Religion in School... What is YOUR View? - [122]

2. How Do You Define Witch/WitchCraft? - [42]

1. Who are you going to vote for and why? - [233]

 Author:    Posted: Sep. 8, 2002   This Page Viewed: 19,975,374  

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Question of the Week: 83 - 10/27/2002

Time to Talk Politics and Elections…

Eek! It’s the silly season again.

For U.S. Pagans/Heathens: The U.S. is holding mid-term elections Nov. 5th. Will you be voting? What are the issues that are most important to you? Do you vote by issue or by party? Do you have any thoughts on how it will turn out?

Non-U.S. Pagans/Heathens: The U.S. is woefully ignorant about your political processes. Please enlighten us. How many parties do you have? What are the names of the parties and what platforms do they represent? Do you have 'liberals' and 'conservatives'? How often do you vote? Do you elect representatives? How do you contact these representatives about your issues?

As always while talking politics, discussions can become heated. Please stay on the issues and do not resort to personal attacks. Further discussions should be taken to e-mail.

 Reponses:   There are 109 responses posted to this question. Reverse Sort 

Earth Based Religions/voting To Protect Our Mother Oct 30th. at 3:40:31 pm EST

Dorian Eldritch (St. Petersburg Florida) Age: 33 - Email

I have always felt that religion and politics are intimately entwined. Of course a person's fundamental beliefs about the world will affect how he/she acts and wishes to influence the society at large. MOst of the posts I have read here have mentioned the obvious self interest of keeping civil rights extant in America because Pagas will be one of the first groups persecuted when the full effects of the Patriot Act are allowed to play out. As members of (predominantly) Earth based religions, it would seem obvious to me for Pagans to be heavily concerned with environmental
issues and protecting the Earth. I am continually confused by the Republican party calling itself "conservative" and then being the ones to steal our National Natural Resources and give them away below cost to huge multinational corporations. I am conservative-I want to conserve our natural resources, leave a country and a world in as good or better shape than I found it. I want our leaders to pursue sustainability rather than short term huge profit margins that benefit only a few already overly rich individuals. Forests are integrally important to the water systems of teh entire planet. They are necessary not only to protect watersheds, prevent horrific floods, and regulate the rain cycle but also to produce air and soil. It is unbelievable that we have been so shortsighted as to destroy most of the world's forests in the last 100 years. We have a responsibility to our children and as people who worship the Earth, to Earth herself, to protect what remains. The current administration has the worst environmental record in recent memory, if not in American history. (Not surprising since most of them are former energy corporation executives!) I try to be as active as possible in these(and in civil rights issues) as well as opposing Mass Murder for Oil, and it is my deepest hope that there are many pagans who will go to the polls this year with these things in mind and vote in people who will work to protect the Earth-bbecause, the simple truth is, pagan or not-we've only got this one and once the natural resoures have been destroyed for fast profit-NONE of the other issues we discuss will matter. You can't argue over prayer in schools if the children can't go to school because they can't breathe(as is already the case in Mexico City.
Blessed Bees & Trees!

(tree hugging dirt worshiper:-) Link to More info related to this post -- HERE

Bush Knew And Is A Traitor Oct 30th. at 8:02:05 pm EST

Irusan (Bastrop,TX) Age: 52 - Email

I am convinced in my heart - it was my first thought upon seeing the Trade Center Towers fall - that the Bush administration allowed it to happen to boost their political power and help their imperialistic ambitions. I am 52 years old and have never seen this country closer to totalitarianism. I would not have believed it some years ago, but I am continually amazed at the
gullibility of the American TV-teat-fed public. "Against Ignorance, even the angels contend in vain." The more I read and hear, the stronger my conviction becomes that our unelected leader and his handlers in the Shadow Government are traitors, who used the deaths of innocents and true heroes to achieve power otherwise unavailable to them.

I have voted for the Green Party in several elections, including voting for Nader in the last
two presidential elections. I am currently trying to decide whether to vote for the Green candidate for governor, or to vote for the Democrat, which might hurt the Bush regime more...or
would it? I really don't want Perry to be elected. He is totally odious. But some say that Sanchez is just as beholden to the Bushes. Voting Green would at least help to add support to that worthy party, but might give Perry the victory. Not an easy decision for me. I am definitely voting Democratic in the U.S. Senate race, & definitely voting Green in some local races - our ancient Lost Pines are threatened by an unleashed Alcoa, slavering to strip-mine what forest remains. I do know that this is one of the most important elections in memory - of mythic proportions, as they say.

Not Quite Answering The Question, But Highly Political Oct 30th. at 11:06:32 pm EST

Magenta (Minneapolis, MN) Age: 52 - Email

"We must all hang together or assuredly we will all hang separately." Ben Franklin said that over two hundred years ago, and it just as true today as when he said it. I wrote this the day after Paul Wellstone died in a plane crash, and my first thought when I heard the news was, "The Republicans managed to kill him, and we will never prove it." As I found out more about the crash, I realized that it would be impossible to ever know, one way or the other. At the time, I was packing to go to a local science fiction convention, a small relaxacon, meant for people to gather and hang out, watch videos, play games, and eat. I hesitated about going, but my partner pointed out I would feel bad, no matter where I was, and we had planned this as a getaway weekend we both needed, so we went. I ran into friends there, and as we consoled each other, and hugged each other, we talked. Many people had had the same reaction, "The Republicans got him." As we talked we realized we did not mean that a whole party, a large segment of the American people, really would assassinate a prominent Senator. What we really felt was that control of the United States has passed from the hands of its people to a tiny cabal of powerful men, most of whom were never duly elected, and who would stop at nothing to keep their power.

"We must all hang together or assuredly we will all hang separately." What does this mean for us, today? Perhaps we need to consider under what circumstances this was originally said. The American Revolution was not a 'popular movement' as some might think. It was organized by an elite group of well educated free-thinking men. Free-thinker meant, in those days, that they questioned everything, including religion. Many of them were Freemasons; in fact, Masonic meetings were used as cover in planning such events as the Boston Tea Party. Going against the British meant going against the King. Many considered it blasphemy, rebelling against 'the King that God had placed over them to rule'. The Revolution represented perhaps a third of the population; another third opposed it and were loyal to Britain. Still another third were indifferent, or so isolated by distanced as to make their opinions irrelevant. But that handful of men changed the course of history.

"We must all hang together or assuredly we will all hang separately." Who are 'we' today? Pagans, Witches, Quakers, Science Fiction fans, Pacifists, Gays, Lesbians, Bi-sexuals, Fairies, Transgender and Queer peoples, Blacks, Native Peoples, Artists, Musicians, Writers and many many more. All of us who are outsiders, who are in grave danger, whether we know it or not. The problem is that history does not repeat itself. That would make the danger signs too easy. Was September 11, 2001, Pearl Harbor or the Beer Hall Putsch? We may know in a hundred years, but it will be too late then. My instincts are the latter, or closer to it than the former. We could be on the verge of the end of democracy as we have known it. In theory, our rights have expanded over 200 years, from white male adult landowners to women as well as men, people of color as well as WASPs, the poor as well as the rich. But the trend seems to be going the other way. Black votes get lost. The rich can flout laws. (My partner Martin's solution to Enron and the like: apply zero tolerance like they have to big drug dealers, seize all their property, even before a conviction and distribute it to those who lost money in the crash. Then make the CEOs work at MacDonald's or Wal-Mart as community service, and live on minimum wage income for the rest of their lives.)

"We must all hang together or assuredly we will all hang separately." How do we 'hang together'. That's easier. Literally, hang out with lots of different people. How many of us hang out only with people just like us? Reach out. Go outside your community, whatever it is. Connect with people who are weird in different ways than you are weird. We need to accept differences. There are so many of us, and none of us are the same in all ways. That is what makes each of us unique. But we need to reject those who say they have the One True Right And Only Way. They don't. The fanatics and fundamentalists of all religions are the enemy. Anyone who wants total control over another person's life shouldn't have that control (other than the parents of young children). My body is my own, my thoughts and beliefs are my own - and YOURS BELONG TO YOU. We each have to decide how to live our lives, what choices to make. No one should take than responsibility away from us. When someone tries to tell us that they know, for certain, what is right and wrong, it doesn't matter what symbol is on the front of the building, the cross, the crescent or the American Flag. No one person or group has that right. Some of the fundamentalists we hear may not be hypocrites, but I wonder about those at the top. It seems the leaders won't take the risks, they leave it to sincere underlings to be the cannon fodder. Power is the most dangerous drug of all. Too many of our leaders have a power addiction that is destroying our country and the world.

"We must all hang together or assuredly we will all hang separately." They won?t literally hang us. But they will kill us, one airplane at a time, if necessary. (Does it matter who takes over the plane if you are dead?) They will bust us, for medical marijuana or DWB (driving while Black). They will grind us down with rules and regulations, curfews and restrictions, until Stalinist Russia looks like a summer camp. Remember when informing against your parents was something the Godless Communists tricked children into doing? Know about the D.A.R.E program? It does the same thing. They will help us build prisons in our own minds -Starhawk talks about this in Truth or Dare - until we become afraid to speak out or act because 'the man comes and takes you away' in the words of the Buffalo Springfield song. Start by thinking, talking, sharing. Get together with new people and discuss the issues. Find out whatever you can. Boycott. Write letters. Speak out in public. VOTE

Preposterous Oct 31st. at 12:54:06 pm EST

The Sweeper (OK) Age: 48 - Email

When I come to this web site I expect some nonsense; however, I rarely see the level of preposterousness that I see today. What an incredibly paranoid imagination, “The Republicans did it”?

I understand that there is a considerable feeling of loss and I understand that death is never easy to understand. However, lashing out in this way only widens the gap between two deeply divided philosophical viewpoints. Yes, philosophical viewpoints, neither the independent, the democrats, nor the republicans are evil. They’re just people with different ideas.

Beating each other up can not solve the real issues of this world. Because we do not agree on issues does not make one of us evil, wrong perhaps, but, not evil. Fighting the good fight does not mean, when debate fail, try character assignation, if debate fails try again with a better argument, but don’t forget to listen to there views as well.

Do we not have enough on our plates, with out inventing such nonsense.

The Sweeper

Preposerous!!-? Oct 31st. at 4:36:59 pm EST

Irusan (Bastrop, TX) Age: 52 - Email

Sweeper - there is evil in the world. Hitler and Stalin were evil.
Osama and Saddam are evil. And Bush and those behind him are evil.
It is not a matter of old-time bipartisan disagreement anymore.
It is not a matter of reasonable debate. American, once She emerged as
the only Superpower in the world, faced a crossroad. Bush and the
multinational corporations he represents have chosen a path of
worldwide imperial domination. They are out to control worldwide
oil. They want a pipeline through Central Asia. They want to silence
dissent and manipulate consumers, to crush those who would oppose
them while maintaining an appearance of democracy, until the time
comes when it is no longer necessary. Some of them are motivated by
fundamentalist Biblical zeal, some of them are cynically using
religion to achieve their materialist ends. It is a rougher game now,
much rougher than even Nixon, Reagan, or Bush Sr. hoped to play.
Don't assume "it can't happen here." But it is still not too late.
Some dissent is getting through. For example, see Gore Vidal's
recent articles on how Bush allowed 9-11-01 to happen. Some
protests are beginning. Watch carefully how they are handled!
Don't buy into the media distractions. Goddess help us.

Yes - I Will Be Voting! Oct 31st. at 6:01:55 pm EST

Vocalize (New Jersey, USA) Age: 42 - Email

I usually don't tell the people I know but I didn't vote for many years. I never trusted the government or saw any value in voting for one of two people I don't believe in or agree with. But as I got older, I realized that the majority of Americans I spoke with didn't agree with most of the government's policies either. I'm sure many of the people who don't vote are just as fed-up with the system as I am. I will no longer let the mass media tell me that we have a two party system and that I have to choose from one or the other or my vote is wasted.

Now I look at the issues. Almost every candidate has a website. It's easy to see their position on the issues. I find myself almost always voting for 3rd party candidates. They are the only ones speaking out on the issues that matter like universal healthcare, stopping the war on drugs, protecting the environment, and holding on to our civil rights.

I'm sure that voting here in the U.S.A. is fixed to some degree. The polls are controlled by the two parties so 3rd party votes can be lost. But given this, just the idea of alternative candidates getting a significant number of votes can help to make their voices heard on some of the issues. It's not hard to vote - at least I'm doing something to change the system.

As many on this site have said, I believe that George W. Bush is a Hitler for the 21st century. He is a dangerous man, but even a little over a year after September 11, 2001 most Americans no longer believe in him - despite the media's efforts to convince us otherwise. I believe he, and is minions, will stop at nothing to gain control over the world. But, understand that these people are not a majority and the only power they have is that which we allow them to steal from us.

On the lighter side, I'll leave you with a funny sig. file I saw on someone's email during the 2000 elections:

I'M VOTING FOR SATAN! Why should I settle for the lesser of two evils? Link to More info related to this post -- HERE

“The Conspiracy Games”. Nov 1st. at 12:04:31 pm EST

The Sweeper (OK) Age: 48 - Email

And now we introduce for your edification one of America most popular participation sports “The Conspiracy Games”. On stage tonight we have George W Bush and his all Powerful Cabal, an organization so secret that only a few people are aware of there evil present; other, of course, then every cheap rag printed, a few dozen novelists and every comedian in the country. George W is supported by everything evil and of course the new media. By the way; the same news media that called the 2000 election (accidentally of course) in favor of Al Gore just in time to disenfranchise Florida’s republican Panhandle and to dampen the Republican vote all across the county west of the eastern time zone. I suspect the news media would be a bit surprised to find that it is a Bush supporter.

Irusan, the game has always been tough, we are just now more aware of it because we are privy to more information then ever before. This same information brought down Richard Nixon and The Soviet Union, cast President Clinton in a bad light, and created havoc with President Reagan’s two terms. Now with the Internet we have available to us, even more information, however, like all sources of information, some of it is suspect.

Have we so soon forgotten the Cold War, The Cuban Missile Crisis, the Japanese Empire, Hitler, Mussolini, Stalin? For heaven sake, don’t you remember what it was like living with the threat of all out nuclear war? Sure it’s tough but it has always been tough, we live in a world filled with greed and averse, hate and violence, starvation and need.

This country has, for the most part, sat snuggly in it’s safe continent and only helped when it had to, that has changed, we are no longer invulnerable. We must do what we must to protect ourselves and protect others that are being brutalized. We can not sit and watch as; women are raped, battered, and bartered. We can no longer watch at the sideline ringing our hand as mass murder is being committed, and we can no longer wait for an ineffectual and flawed UN to do its job. I no longer care what the world thinks. There are people out there in despair for help, we have sat on our hand for to long making excuses we must and are doing something.

As an individual if my children are threatened I do what has to be done to protect them, even if it mean taking a broom to someone. As a member of this country I want my President doing what ever it takes to protect my children and myself and protect innocent women and children around the world.

If that, Irusan, is part of a conspiracy, then so be it.

The Sweeper

Don't Feed Into The Myths That Have Gotten Us To This Point. Nov 1st. at 1:27:20 pm EST

Myrddin (Wisconsin) Age: 55 - Email

I would like to point out some examples from history firstly:

Re: The "Bush did it myth". Ask yourself where that allegation comes from. Compare it to Hitler's and the Nazi Party's allegation that the Reichstag fire was set by jews and communists.
That incident gave him all the power he needed to subjugate a nation with new laws and police powers. But who actually did it? A single dis-affected man with communist ties. The incident was used by Hitler to launch his subjugation in a cynical way. By the way , folks, his political organization was called The National SOCIALIST DEMOCRATIC WORKERS Party, in case you have not forgotten. It was not called the Republican Party. The name was chose to appeal to the most voters, however the party cared not one whit about Democracy, Socialist ideals, or the Workers.
What it cared about was POWER.

Who did the Trade Towers? Bush? He allowed it to happen? Nope. One dis-affected man named Osama Bin Laden who gathered to his side other dis-affected extremists and trained them for the task. But he was the guiding light. One dis-affected extremist. Who alleges otherwise? Well........since the Republicans or Bush are likely to make such allegations about themselves we have to look elsewhere, don't we? You don't have to look far. It is the extremist segment of the Democratic Party, and their willing minions the news media. But why would the make such allegations if not true? They care about us, the average American, right? Don't they? No, fraid not. They care about gaining AND KEEPING power so they can dictate how we live. Just as much as the extremists in the Republican Party would like to dictate how we live. It is an ugly, ugly and FALSE allegation especially made in the aftermath of one of the most terrible tragedies to happen to this country. It is cynically made. Just as Hitler made HIS cynical allegation about the Reichstag fire in order to whip up emotions and sentiment and enslave a nation.

What was the outgrowth of Hitler's allegation? New police powers and new laws which removed the right to privacy, removed the right to trial, removed the right to counsel, removed the right to due process in the form of obtaining warrants and probable cause, and the disarming of the country so that only the political party and the military had firearms, the establishment of "re-education camps" and "containment facilities" for suspected enemies of the nation (which turned out to be political dissenters, jews, gypsies, communists and socialists, homosexuals and others hated by the reigning political powers). But folks, remember one thing. These acts were VOTED into being by the Reichstag. And the Nazis only carried roughly 1/3 of the seats in Reichstag. Once they HAD been voted into being, Hitler ensured that the Reichstag had no further powers to change it back again. Essentially, the people and the "congress" had given the Nazi Party and Hitler the power to disenfranchise the "congress" and the people, and hence enslave them to their will.

The thing not often mentioned is that the people of that nation SUPPORTED the new laws. The MAJORITY of the people thought them logical, temporary, and necessary.

Now draw that into our context. The Republicans could NOT get the Patriot Act, the 1st Ammendment gag order called the Campaign Finance Reform Act, Homeland Security (aka American Gestapo), TIPS, warrantless email and other searches, vast roundups of "suspects" etc into law WITHOUT THE COOPERATION OF THE DEMOCRATS. They don't have enough votes. It takes Democratic cooperation and collusion to sell this country into a total abrogation of the Bill of Rights. And, frankly, they have that cooperation. Those folks in earlier posts who see a cabal and a conspiracy are correct.
They are deluding themselves, and BUYING THE DEMOCRATIC MYTHS that it is the Republicans who are behind it all.

Who pushes consistently for the disarming of America. The Democrats. Who pushed the 1st Ammendment Gag Order (Campaign Finance Reform)? A leading democrat and a democrat masquerading as a republican. Whose votes were needed to set up the Patriot Act, the most offensive oppressive law since the Sedition Act? The Democrats. What objection do the democrats raise about the new American Gestapo called the Homeland Security Department and it's new frightening powers? Their ONLY objection is that Bush does not want it to be unionized. If Bush were to drop that reuirement, they would vote it into being in a heartbeat.

For those of you who think the Republicans are evil, or the Democrats are have bought the MYTHS of the smoke and mirrors that extremists in BOTH parties use to fog over the underlying establish Government over the people and make them subject to the GOVERNMENT in all things.

What is the solution? Voting for some Green candidate or some Libertarian candidate who has absolutely NO chance of winning? Sure........go ahead. The Dems and The Repubs want you to do that. Voting for the lesser of two evils? Sure......go ahead. The Dems and the Republicans want you to do that. Both options perpetuate the power of those bent on gradually oppressing us.

THE SOLUTION, FOLKS, IN CASE YOU HAVE NOT FIGURED IT to vote the individual candidate FOR EACH ELECTIVE OFFICE FROM STATE TO FEDERAL LEVEL who supports the ENTIRE Bill of Rights. The solution, folks, is to hold ALL CANDIDATES to the fire when they even imply that part of the protections in that important document are dated, outmoded, no longer apply, weren't meant to protect INDIVIDUAL rights, must be modified to "keep up with the times", or must be overlooks due to exingencies and emergencies etc. THAT language gives the candidate away as one who would oppress you.

TO DO ANYTHING ELSE IS TO PLAY THEIR GAME. The powerful want to subjugate us. Clinton was in thrall to them. All elected officials are in one way or another. When we establish a system that allows politicians to become career politicians we have established a system which becomes self perpetuating, singly concerned with remaining in power, and once it has obtain power........wants to expand it.

Key words. Bill of Rights. Term Limits. Balanced Budget.

However.........we are at a very scary point here.........we are offered only those who are endorsed by their PARTIES. That in effect means we are only offered candidates who are part of the agenda.......the gradual and grand agenda of obtaining enough power that we have NO say in much of anything anymore. The agenda wherein the people no longer feel there is any point in voting anymore.........because nothing will change, things will only ever get worse, or because
it makes no difference.

Who do I see as the most threatening political party? The Democrats, currently. The Republicans will never overtun Roe vs. Wade, nor will they ever be able to institute laws against religion, or granting any one religion domination over others. The democrats recently, however, HAVE come out consistently with laws which in one way or the other subvert the intent and the letter of the Bill of Rights. Take their guns away. Take away a dissenter's voice during an election. Grant sweeping powers to Government which tread on 4th and 5th Ammendment rights in return for "security". Buy, extort, fraudulently obtain, or lie to get votes any way you can to get in power and stay in power. It isn't very often you hear about Republicans having dead folks vote, about bribing the mental defectives, the homeless, the vagrants etc to vote in return for wine, cigarrettes, a meal. It isn't often you hear about Republicans threatening to hold up needed legislation if a PAC or segment of the community doesnt vote their way. And the Democrats have NOTHING to do with "democracy" other than the literal interpretation of the RULE OF THE MAJORITY OVER EVERYBODY ELSE on all issues whether or not that issue violates the rights of an individual.

They both have the same agenda. But currently, the democrats are the scariest.

Demand candidates who support ALL the Bill of Rights, who favor term limits, and who get their funding from their consituents and ONLY their constituents during campaigns.....regardless of parties. As long as we let the PARTIES dictate the candidates we will go down the slope we have been going down...........gradual loss of any impact or voice in what happens to us.

My opinion........for what it is worth.

Bravo Nov 1st. at 2:33:58 pm EST

The Sweeper (OK) Age: 48 - Email

Bravo, Myrddin, although I do hope you did not mistake my sarcasm.

The Sweeper

My Thoughts Nov 1st. at 5:08:11 pm EST

Matt (Detroit) Age: 25 - Email

Personaly I don't think Bush is smart enough to pull that kind of thing off. No offence to anyone here, but I just can't see him masterminding a plot to take over the world. I mean really, he almost choked to death eating a pretzel! True, he is a puppet for other people (700 club, etc.) but I think he is smart enough to smell trouble.

My beef with the US at the moment is simply that we have turned from a nation of leaders to a nation of followers: *begin sarcasm* whatever the TV/radio/music/art/religion says is true, must be since I am so small in this big world *end sarcasm* The world really isn't as bad as people make it out to be.

Anyway, that's all from me.


Largely Agree... Nov 1st. at 7:10:54 pm EST

Peragana (Northern VA) Age: 32 - Email

"Demand candidates who support ALL the Bill of Rights, who favor term limits, and who get their funding from their consituents and ONLY their constituents during campaigns.....regardless of parties. As long as we let the PARTIES dictate the candidates we will go down the slope we have been going down...........gradual loss of any impact or voice in what happens to us."

I agreed up until I got to that paragraph. First, funding only from constituents-- lovely if everyone agrees, but they won't-- and the guy without the big bucks (unless s/he's got the name recognition of say, Jesse Ventura) is going to lose because he can't afford to get his message out. Everyone wants to blame the parties and the candidates for the big-money-in-politics problem, but the fact is, the average person isn't home when phone bankers call or when precinct leaders and candidates go door-to-door (two pretty cheap grassroots politicking methods), and they don't go to the county fairs, local parades, etc. where the candidates always turn out. They DO turn on their TV sets, and that costs money. I don't like it, but that's reality.

Second, regarding parties. "As long as we let the PARTIES dictate the candidates..." Who exactly do you think the "parties" are, if not groups of INDIVIDUAL VOTERS? You want a voice in which candidates are chosen? Vote in a primary. It's the old story, if you don't vote, you can't kvetch.

And In Reply............... Nov 1st. at 7:34:35 pm EST

Myrddin (Wisconsin) Age: 55 - Email

Peragana (hope I got that right) says:

"I agreed up until I got to that paragraph. First, funding only from constituents-- lovely if everyone agrees, but they won't-- and the guy without the big bucks (unless s/he's got the name recognition of say, Jesse Ventura) is going to lose because he can't afford to get his message out. Everyone wants to blame the parties and the candidates for the big-money-in-politics problem, but the fact is, the average person isn't home when phone bankers call or when precinct leaders and candidates go door-to-door (two pretty cheap grassroots politicking methods), and they don't go to the county fairs, local parades, etc. where the candidates always turn out. They DO turn on their TV sets, and that costs money. I don't like it, but that's reality."

Well then we CHANGE the reality. They (congress) don't mind enacting campaign finance laws that gag particular interested organizations which are likely to vote against them. They don't mind limiting funding FROM individuals while allowing corps, pacs and obscenely rich donators unlimited about we get them - no DEMAND - that they enact a REAL campaign finance reform act which limits donations ONLY to donations from a candidate's constituency? How about we demand they be responsible ONLY to their constituents and NOT to PACS, orgs, businesses, special interests, single issues etc? And we do that by making it against the law to fill their coffers from those sources?

Peragana further says: "Second, regarding parties. "As long as we let the PARTIES dictate the candidates..." Who exactly do you think the "parties" are, if not groups of INDIVIDUAL VOTERS? You want a voice in which candidates are chosen? Vote in a primary. It's the old story, if you don't vote, you can't kvetch."

And I say, OH REALLY? And just WHO do you think chooses, endorses and promotes the Primary candidates if NOT the Repubs and Dems......those who actually WIN the primaries that is? How often do you see write in candidates, or dark horse candidates actually WIN a primary if NOT endorsed by one of the two parties? I do, in fact, vote in primaries. Primaries are, in my experience, just uglier and more viscious versions of the nationals. When was the last time you saw a Green or a Libertarian WIN a primary? When was the last time you saw a dark horse non-sponsored party candidate running against a party sponsored candidate actually WIN the primary?
Not very has come to be that the guy with the biggest bucks in his campaign coffer is the guy who and large. And why is that? Because the two parties get the donations from the big bucks sources......unions, PACS, businesses, etc directly INTO THE PARTY coffers. No limit on donating to the Party. Limits on donating to an individual. Hmmm. So.......what does that mean? That the Party picks who you get to pick from. The rest of the candidates get the smelly end of the stick. And when, may I ask, was the last time YOUR party ASKED YOU who should be selected as the candidate they put up in the Primary? NEVER, I would imagine. They call you up and TELL you who to vote for. They make sure they tell you WHO they endorse. And THEIR candidate can afford to spend on all the air time, all the phone calls, and all the flyers it takes to beat the other guy.....whether he be dark horse primary same-party candidate or independent.

I am glad we agree on most of what I said. You are almost just reconsider your objections in THAT light. :-)

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