Our Glorious Leader

According to the White House:

List of Things Terrrorism Makes Necessary:

  1. Running a deficit.

  2. Increasing military spending more than Reagan.

  3. Buying 2 new forms of advanced fighters designed to be used against MiGs that were never built.

  4. Making a bloated tax cut (that was responsible for the
    disappearance of 40% of the surplus) permanent.

  5. A Missle Defense Shield.

  6. Confirming Federalist Society judges.

  7. Privatizing Social Security.

  8. Relaxing enviromental rules.

  9. Drilling in ANWR.
    List of Things Terrorism Makes Unnecessary:

  10. 93% of the budget for securing United States nuclear materials. (Yep, you heard me. The Bush budget slashes 93% of the money allocated to securing, tracking, and basically keeping away from people, nuclear waste and nuclear materials.

  11. Energy independence.

  12. Energy conservation.

  13. Alternative fuels research. (380,000 dollars of Solar Energy research budget went to printing that nice, glossy energy plan).

  14. Paying the national debt.

  15. Fixing Social Security.

  16. Placing airport security under federal control.

  17. The Constitution.

  18. Having a reason to invade countries you don’t like. (We’re talking about invading Cuba now! Apparantly, those known beard-wearing communists have been developing bioweapons. And we thought it was just from drinking the water…)

  19. Honoring international commitments, including treaties.

  20. Obeying the Geneva Convention.
    Damn Bush and all his little Conservitivelings.

Happy trolling!

Moderator’s Note: Criticizing this or that policy of the U.S. government, or expressing political views other posters disagree with, is not “trolling”. If you think someone is trolling, it should be reported to a Moderator, not said in the middle of the thread.

Looking at the OP, it may be more of a “rant” about U.S. policies in the war on terrorism, in which case it would go in the Pit, but we could certainly have a debate on U.S. policies in the war on terrorism (and in fact, we’ve had already had a number of such debates), so I’ll leave it here for now.

I’m also going to modify the thread title to something a little more descriptive.

On second thought, I think I will go ahead and move it to the Pit, if only based on the last line of the OP.

But Bush-bashing (or Clinton-bashing or Nader-bashing) is still not “trolling”.

Fox, can you provide any evidence that the White House is using terrorism as justification for the the things on your list?

I mean, you do realize that most of those were goals of the administration well before last September, right?

Hooray, it’s time for Spot the Fallacy.

The United States has supported a deficit spending economy for nearly a century. Having a war doesn’t change this (though it does necessitate increased military spending.)

Luckily, we’re doing it while we’re fighting an actual war, instead of a cold one.

Whether or not said MiGs were build has no bearing on whether or not the US military needs new fighters. I don’t know much about military hardware, but that much is plainly obvious.

The tax cuts in question had absolutely nothing to do with eliminating the budget surplus. A moderate recession and an act of war did.

We agree that the MDS is a pretty stupid idea.

Judges are confirmed by Senate (or the legislatures of the states in the case of state judges) not the White House.

The war has nothing to do with the need to privatize social security. That need has to do with the fact that if any private corporation attempted to run an insurance program with the incalculable ineptitude of the Social Security Administration its officers would have been thrown in jail decades ago. That, and some people think it is immoral to take money from the people so others who fail to plan for their own future can be freeloaders.

Many environmental rules are unnecessary and too restrictives. Many are necessary. It is impossible to have an intelligent discussion about “environmental rules” unless you understand the science involved in specific situations and the regulations of same. If you want to discuss a particular environmental rule that the White House intends to relax, I would be glad to do so.

The hostilaty towards the US of mid-east oil rich nations, including those who are our reluctant allies, necessitates reducing the US’s dependence on foreign oil. Drilling in ANWR and the people’s support of alternative fuel sources (like nuclear energy) are both solutions to this problem and both need to be done.

That’s pretty stupid, if it’s true. Do you have a (non-biassed) cite for that? I’m too lazy to look up the budget right now.

What the hell is “energy independence?” If it means reducing dependence on foreign resources, see above.

Energy conservation is the responsible of the people, not the government.

Alternative fuel research is the responsibility of the people, and their corporations, not the government.

Ask an economics professor how deficit spending actually works before talking about “paying the national debt.”

Encouraging proper competition in retirement planning is the answer to “fixing” social security.

A thoroughly stupid idea. Point for you.

The executive does not have the power to amend, or eliminate, the Constitution. That power is reserves solely for Congress with the consent of the states.

So the US should not eliminate threats to its national security?

Again, this means nothing unless you’re talking about a specific treaty which has been ratified by Congress and is not being honored by the US.

Under the US is obeying the Geneva Convention based on its interpretation of the document. Much of it is ambiguous, and since the US does not (that I know of) recognize any kind of extra-national judicial review, its interpretation is sufficient justification.

[QUOTE]
*Originally posted by friedo *
Hooray, it’s time for Spot the Fallacy.

See Infrastructure, below. Additionally - can you tell me how migs and missle defenses would have stopped the events of 911? Smart spending, not spending billions on every cool weapon that comes our way.

Maybe even spending as much money on… gasp… foreign policy as we do on the military.

[QUOTE]
The tax cuts in question had absolutely nothing to do with eliminating the budget surplus. A moderate recession and an act of war did.

[QUOTE]

I make $20K a year as a grad student, and even so I could live without the $300 refund. I’d rather have my tax dollars go towards making someone who is waffling between being a teacher and making not-enough-to-retire-on and being a cutthroat businessman choose the former, knowing that retirement will be there, rather than having it go ‘back to the people.’

Cite me an environmental rule that is unnecessary and too restrictives (sic).

Woohoo! Destory a refuge for about 3 months of oil! We’d do far more to decrease reliance on foreign oil by making SUVs live up to car standards. Fuck, Canada just did it.

I don’t have a cite right now, but programs to secure nuclear waste in the former Soviet Union were slashed pre-911. Stupid, but he didn’t wait for a ‘war on terrorism’ to do it.

In a democracy, the people are the government. If it weren’t for government regulation, we’d have cars with no seatbelts, 2mpg, and kids working 20hr days with heavy machinery. All of these were changed by government regulation.
Sure, government, make these brainless twits who put their energy bills on their credit cards do a little conserving. I do my part - if they won’t do theirs, fucking make 'em.

See above. Also, the government has money alloted to research. The way it distributes that money shows its focuses to the private sector.

Oh, god, I’ve done that and had a whopping headache afterwards. We did come out on the same side, though - deficit spending is useful if it BUILDS INFRASTRUCTURE. Military speding is NOT building infrastructure.

Nice catchphrase. When was the last time Cuba invaded us?

The ABM.

Nope, it doesn’t. How conveeenient! It’s all good because we say it is.

Not eveyone in the world agrees with us, though. The EU seems to have some issues, for one.

I’m not really sure what you’re saying here. I never claimed that anything could have stopped or prevented the terrorist attacks, all I was saying that Fox_Moxin had not supplied sufficient evidence to say that the military projects in question were unnecessary.

A perfectly valid opinion, but it does not address the morality of taking people’s money for the purpose of helping people who have committed their own acts of stupidity. Instead of paying my social security payments, I could put that money into investments that I want to make, or I could go blow it in Vegas. My point is I believe that should be every person’s choice, and that it is not the responsibility (or the right) of the government to babysit their citizens.

Sure. How about the plethora of communities who have refused to let people build nuclear power plants in their cities, thereby increasing America’s use of fossil fuels?

There is no proof that ANWR has “three months of oil” in it. The only way to find out is to go look. Further, it would be ridiculously unprofitable for oil companies to drill that oil if they knew that only three months worth was there. So why would they be lobbying for it? The reason is because there is good reason to believe that there is a lot of oil there. Further, your assertion that such drilling would “destroy” the preserve is beyond absurd. We’re talking about an area of land that’s 19 million acres. By my back-of-the-envelope calculations, that’s more than a third of the size of The United Kingdom. No drilling proposal that I have seen takes up more than 10,000 acres of ANWR land. A properly regulated drilling program would cause negligable damage to the environment of Alaska.

You are correct that the government is there to act on the will of the people. That does not mean that you, or anyone else, or the government, has the right to force people to spend their money in a certain way. This is why we call it a “Free” country. Because we have Freedom. Instead of just “doing your part,” how about working towards convincing people that it is to their economic advantage to conserve voluntarily?

Of course they have money alloted to research. Billions of dollars worth. Why?
Why should government bearocrats have the power to wield economic power in order to coerce the private sector? Is that what a free society does? I don’t think so.

You seem to be conflating two issues. Building infrastructure is good, and so is defending the security of the country. My opinion is that we could probably do the latter adaquetly with less money than we’re currently spending.

There are other types of threats to national security besides an invasion. Go read a book or two about what happened in Cuba in October of 1962. Luckily that crisis did not require waging a shooting war. If it’s true that Cuba is developing bioweapons (and I have no idea that it is) then military action may be justified to eliminate that threat. Cuba does not like the US, after all.

I don’t know much about that treaty so I’m not prepared to comment on it. I’ll attempt to read up on it a bit at work tomorrow if I have time.

They certainly do have some issues. But so what? Just saying that they have issues with the US’s decisions does not make it true that they are correct, nor does it compel the US military to act in a certain way. FWIW, I think the captured Taliban people should be recognized as proper prisoners of war. Regardless, it seems they are being treated fairly reasonably.

For some reason, when I saw the title, I thought someone was flaming Cecil…

It’s an honest mistake. Not to many people confuse Bush II
with a leader…

at least he has the right initials:

Great White Brain

Dal Timgar

Shouldn’t that be “Gore Won, But…”?

Or maybe “God, What’s ‘Brain’?”

Normally I give these pit threads a pass, but I couldn’t resist. Did you have to undergo training to achieve such non-Euclidean leaps of logic? Of course, consumers could NEVER make a conscience assumption on their own that better safety and gas mileage is a good thing. It HAS to be government regulation. If you’re looking for a better example, try the FDA instead (and even the institution of the FDA was driven largely by consumer outcries, and not in the bass-ackwards way you’ve suggested, IIRC).

Actually, with respect to gas mileage, and environmental regulation, I do think this has to be governmental regulation- tragedy of the common, and all. The impact at the pump is a little too remote to affect those who choose the gas-guzzling vehicles.

slortar: Of course, consumers could NEVER make a conscience [? conscientious?] assumption on their own that better safety and gas mileage is a good thing.

Of course, consumers could. But, as we’ve discussed in many previous threads (though this type of topic tends to get more airtime in GD than the Pit), consumers’ preferences are constrained by the amount and type of information they have access to, and can be expressed only through individual choices that have little net effect on the market—unless they are willing to devote lots of their own time and money to organizing boycotts or consumer protection campaigns. Manufacturers and employers, on the other hand, are much better organized and have a much bigger budget for PR to present their point of view. And because they’re in business to make a profit, they don’t like taking short-term financial losses, even if the results will make more people happier in the long run. This is why, in fact, employers and manufacturers did fiercely resist child-labor laws and other labor-rights legislation, seat-belt and other auto safety mandates, and fuel-efficiency standards. “Never take a loss unless you have to” is a cardinal rule of smart business. That’s the way it ought to be, but that’s also why we need legal regulation.

It HAS to be government regulation.

See above. Yes, when you’re trying to get businesses to take a financial hit in the near term for the sake of benefits to workers or consumers that may be good for business in the long term, the long arm of the law is the only thing that works. Why would a company voluntarily lose money if it doesn’t have to?

If you’re looking for a better example, try the FDA instead (and even the institution of the FDA was driven largely by consumer outcries, and not in the bass-ackwards way you’ve suggested, IIRC).

? Why is the FDA a “better” example of government regulation than the NHTSA or the FLRB or the EPA? All regulatory agencies have advantages and shortcomings of various sorts. Also, I don’t see how it makes the FDA in any way “ungovernmental” to note that it was instituted in response to popular pressure. That’s the way government regulation is supposed to work: the citizens get upset about being taken advantage of and so the government muscles in to stop it.

friedo: A perfectly valid opinion, but it does not address the morality of taking people’s money for the purpose of helping people who have committed their own acts of stupidity. Instead of paying my social security payments, I could put that money into investments that I want to make, or I could go blow it in Vegas.

The same could be said about your health insurance payments, or life insurance payments. Why should your insurance company take your money and give it to, say, people who destroy their own health or endanger their own lives by their stupid choices? All insurance schemes frequently take from the prudent to give to the stupid; if you think that’s intrinsically “immoral”, then your beef is properly with the whole concept of insurance, not just the particular social insurance scheme that is Social Security.

*How about the plethora of communities who have refused to let people build nuclear power plants in their cities, thereby increasing America’s use of fossil fuels? *

You personally may think that such prohibitions are “unnecessary and too restrictive”, but it’s hardly a settled question. Also, the dichotomy “we must either build nuclear plants or increase our fossil fuel use” is not entirely accurate.

  • There is no proof that ANWR has “three months of oil” in it. The only way to find out is to go look.*

That’s not the way oil geologists operate: they don’t say, “Well, there might be much more oil in such and such a place than we currently think, so let’s go look.” They do geological studies to get a good idea of how much is really there before drilling. That is exactly what the US Geological Survey has done with the ANWR, and their estimate is that there are about 7.7 billion barrels of technically recoverable oil in the proposed coastal plain region—that means all the oil that it’s possible to get out of the ground there, irrespective of whether oil prices make it commercially viable. The amount of commercially recoverable oil—that is, oil that’s worth drilling for—is bound to be much less, and may indeed be as low as 3 billion barrels. That’s less than six months US transportation-related oil use, and between three and four months total US oil use.

*Further, it would be ridiculously unprofitable for oil companies to drill that oil if they knew that only three months worth was there. So why would they be lobbying for it? *

Actually, they’re not lobbying all that hard, partly because (as oil company execs have told the New York Times) they’re not convinced it’s such a good deal. The major lobbying group for ANWR drilling, Arctic Power, gets only 5% of its funding from the oil companies and the rest from the state of Alaska — whose motive for supporting any kind of Alaskan drilling project is obvious. In fact, Arctic Power has even complained that the oil industry has been lukewarm on the issue and hasn’t backed up their lobbying efforts as aggressively as they would like. (Remember too that drilling projects are sometimes profitable for oil firms even if they never extract a drop of the stuff, due to the possibilities for tax writeoffs.)

Further, your assertion that such drilling would “destroy” the preserve is beyond absurd. We’re talking about an area of land that’s 19 million acres. By my back-of-the-envelope calculations, that’s more than a third of the size of The United Kingdom. No drilling proposal that I have seen takes up more than 10,000 acres of ANWR land.

But remember that those acres would not be just a single tiny clump (and 10,000 acres is not all that tiny, especially considering that much of it’s right in the middle of prime caribou calving territory, which is much smaller than the ANWR as a whole); it’s long skinny stretches throughout large parts of the whole Refuge, which would definitely have a much larger environmental impact.

*A properly regulated drilling program would cause negligable damage to the environment of Alaska. *

Wishful thinking. You may be right, but it’s very far from certain; and, as many environmentalists point out, if we can save equal or greater amounts of oil by implementing very minor conservation measures, why bother with the drilling? If it’s a Welfare for Alaska project we want, why not just give Alaska the money?

*Instead of just “doing your part,” how about working towards convincing people that it is to their economic advantage to conserve voluntarily? *

See above, in my response to slortar. If it’s not to the short-term economic advantage of any of the crucial players—in this case, say, the car companies that would have to absorb the costs (though small) of meeting increased CAFE standards for SUVs and light trucks—then how are you going to convince them? They’re just going to look at the projected quarterly balance sheet and blow you a big wet raspberry. “Never take a loss unless you have to.”

*Of course they have money alloted to research. Billions of dollars worth. Why? Why should government bearocrats [:)] have the power to wield economic power in order to coerce the private sector? Is that what a free society does? I don’t think so. *

? What’s unfree about it? We pool our tax money and give it as incentives and grants to industries that are pursuing projects that we think will be advantageous to us down the road. If some company wants to work on different projects, then fine, let them use their own money.