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March 03, 2006 09:00 AM UTC

Friday Open Thread

  • by: Colorado Pols

Get along little doggies.


40 thoughts on “Friday Open Thread

  1. In my opinion, since the New Deal, the leadership and those in control of the Republican party, have been on the wrong side of every issue of concern to the vast majority of ordinary Americans and their families; Social Security, the war in Vietnam, equal rights, civil liberties, church- state separation, consumer issues, public education, reproductive freedom, national health care, labor issues, gun policy, campaign-finance reform, the environment
    and tax fairness. No political party could remain so consistently wrong by accident.
    The only rational conclusion is that, despite their cynical “family values” propaganda, the Republican Party is a criminal conspiracy to betray the interests of the American people
    in favor of plutocratic and corporate interests, and absolutist religious groups.

  2. Oh come on Phoenix, don’t tell me that you don’t secretly laugh at Robin’s rants yourself.

    According to Robin, the source of all that is bad in this world is the fault of the Republican Party.

    Hey Robin, if we are so terrible, we do we continue to win elections?

    Could the great Madam Robin be wrong?

  3. Sir Robin,
    Sounds as if you just came from a Jay Bennish Geography class.  I applaud you for taking good notes.  I’m just wondering where you were when the Dems had there ‘huge’ unity rally with less than 20 lawmakers in attendance.  They need all the help they can buy from their plutocrats (Gill, Polis, Stryker and Bridges)!

  4. Oh come on Phoenix, don’t tell me that you don’t secretly laugh at Robin’s rants yourself.

    According to Robin, the source of all that is bad in this world is the fault of the Republican Party.

    Hey Robin, if we are so terrible, we do we continue to win elections?

    Could the great Madam Robin be wrong?

  5. Okay, I’m going to be a bit controversial here, and I’ll take a point from the Bennish lecture to do it.  What exactly is incorrect about this statement:

    Capitalism is at odds with social responsibility.

    Answer: not much, except that it’s an absolute statement about absolutist conditions.  We aren’t strictly a capitalist country; we integrate socialist mechanisms like regulation and progressive taxes into our otherwise capitalist economy, and our predecessors did so to counter the incredible lack of morality that was evident with the rise of industry.

    The Republican belief in laissez-faire capitalism conflicts with the Democratic belief that regulations have a positive impact – that has been one of the major divides between parties since the dawn of the Industrial Age.  (And contrary to an apparently popular opinion at COPols, the US doesn’t have a party that supports pure socialism, nevermind communism.)  But aside from a few “wayward” industrialists like Milton Hershey, I cannot think of many examples to contradict the basic premise of Bennish’s simple statement.  I can come up with a lot of historical examples to support it.

    I reject and rebuke any attempt to label Democrats as “anti-American” or “blame-America-first”.  How is it anti-American to mention the simple fact that the U.S. is the most aggressive country in the world (without passing moral judgement on whether its interventions are for the good or not…)?  Look around and try to dispute that fact; name for me another country since the fall of the CCCP that takes such an active interest in the affairs of other nations; again, this isn’t surprising nor necessarily bad – we’re the lone remaining superpower, and the only country with any ability to dispatch our troops with any frequency in any numbers.  But y’all act like this fact is radioactive…

  6. I wasn’t talking to you Phoenix so if you don’t like it, tough shit.
    I am still argueing with Robin from last night, when I asked him to provide a reason why anyone would argue that Bennish is justified to spout his hate, in a classroom full of 10th graders.
    Each time he avoided the subject. And yes, in my opinion he and Bennish are America haters.
    Name one good thing that loud mouth has EVER said about America!

  7. The pendulum swings Go Raiders. I truly believe the only reasonsthe Republicans gained their impressive victories are because:

    1. They’ve mastered the wedge issues, which appeal to the emotions of religion and fear. A great political strategy, but not what is in the best interests of this country.
    2. In the case of GWB, as a country, we weren’t willing to change out the Commander-In-Chief during a “war”.

    Then there’s this:

    A new George Washington University Battleground poll — a bipartisan survey conducted jointly by Dem pollster Celinda Lake and GOP pollster Ed Goeas — showed Democrats leading Republicans in a generic Congressional ballot by a 46% to 41% margin among likely voters. The Democratic advantage increased to 9-points when respondents were asked which party “would do a better job solving the nation’s problems.” Explained Lake: “Voters are poised to affect sweeping change … Independent and undecided voters are noticeably negative in their assessments of Bush and the direction of the country.” Said Goeas: “The bottom line is that the mood of the electorate is not an anti-incumbent mood, an anti-Democratic or anti-Republican mood, but an anti-Washington mood.”

    The Republicans are in complete control. That’s why I rail against them primarily. You’ll find me an equal opportunity dissenter whether Republican or Democrat when they go against the values I believe make America a great country.

    I’m always happy to discuss specifics.

    As to “rant”- Here’s the definition.

    n 1: a loud bombastic declamation expressed with strong emotion [syn: harangue, ranting]

    I introduced the above as an opinion, which, to my way of thinking, certainly tones down a statement, making it non-bombastic or declamatory. I don’t agree it is a rant, by definition.

    I’ll continue to repeat that my expressed opinions are seldom met with specific rebuttal, but with rant, invective (Def.-Of, relating to, or characterized by denunciatory or abusive language.), name calling and the like. The challenge stands, rebut me on the specifics, or go and do the research. Don’t take ignorant (not meant personally) positions and offer nothing in rebuttal.

  8. Hey Gecko,

    Stop fighting with the Robin guy/gal for a second and zip over to the Mike May thread, will you? I don’t know much about him  and would like somebody to weigh in that does. I mean, if you do know his background or views a bit, would you mind filling in some blanks? If you don’t, no worries. (If anybody on this thread does, background on May would be helpful.)


  9. You may be arguing with Robin and by proxy with Bennish, but having just repeated and expounded upon some of Bennish’s points, you think I’m somehow different?  Amusing.  While I find Robin to be a bit over-the-top, I don’t see him as anti-American.  Tell me, were you “anti-American” when Clinton was in office?

  10. I voted for Clinton.
    You are sidestepping my point too.
    A 10th grade geography classroom is NO place to spew hatred, political likes and dislikes, gay issues, etc. It has nothing to do with what they are there to learn about. Save your bullshit for political rallies.
    That is my point. None of you will address it.

  11. A 10th grade geography class is a place to tell the truth, offer dffering sides of the political spectrum, debate, even incite passionate debate. Teachers can and do offer their political takes on issues of the day, and good teachers offer all sides in ways that illuminate, not hide the world from their kids. There are gays in the world. There is hate in the world. There are weapons of mass idstruction in this country. Schools, even 10th graders, can and do take part in poilitcal rallies. They discuss marijuanna, sex, etc. Dare to say no to drugs was in my daughters elementary school when she was in 3rd grade!


  12. I find this whole complaining about this high school teacher to be absurd.

    One of my best teachers in High School (Geometry) occasionally took time of class to discuss things like the death penalty, Tienamen square, racism, etc.  He would give us his perspective and we would give him ours.  It was a civil discussion with strong viewpoints expressed all around.

    What I find pathetic is that people are *threatened* by this.  So your teacher or your classmate happens to think Bush is a Nazi?


    Why is it that my teacher in the 90’s had more freedom to express his opinion then than someone now? 

    The answer:  A wholescale attack on academia, teachers unions, and anyone and everyone who does not “tow the party line”.  And when people have nothing more to say they fall back on the totally lame,

    “Well you just HATE America.”

    Bullshit.  And anyone with half a brain recognizes it for what it is.

  13. Can you say with a straight face that Robin doesn’t hate America? He has never said one good thing about her. Everything in his hour long drolls is anti everything but liberals. Screw him.

    I graduated in 74 and none of the teachers back then taught anything but what the class was designed for. If todays teachers are there to spread their political views to naive little kids that have no choice but to listen, we are in serious trouble. These wackos have an influence on their young minds. You might find it ok but what if the teacher was spewing pro Nazi garbage? Would that be ok?

  14. “Can you say with a straight face that Robin doesn’t hate America?”


    Regarding the teacher: Lets remember the facts of this thing:

    1.  This teacher made ONE off handed comment.
    2.  He is not preaching to his students and not doing his job.  He is teaching Geography, and is NOT on leave for deciding that he would rather teach that Bush is a Nazi and ignoring his job.

    Why is it that no one seems to care about the First Amendment when it protects someone they DO NOT agree with? 

    I think that the cartoonist in Denmark has a right to draw Muhummed with a bomb in his turbin, and I think that investigating a teacher for his personal political beleifs smacks of MacCarthyism.  I learned a *tremendous* amount about my own beliefs and others in that Geometry class.  I know many high school aged kids today.  They are sharp, getting more politically motivated, and are capable of deep introspection.

    When somone points out a problem with their country that they would like changed . . . isn’t that a *good* thing?

  15. I didn’t hear just one comment, I heard a 20 minute Sir Robin style rant. That would have been longer if he taped more of it.
    You are taking this differently than me and many others mainly, I assume, because you agree with the teachers rant. I don’t but more importantly I firmly believe that Geography should be taught in Geography class in the 10th grade. Not a teachers political opinions.
    And according to the student (Sean I think his name is) this teacher has done this one sided preaching multiple times. That is why he said enough is enough and brought it to the Schools attention. It is flat wrong. Save it for what they used to call in my days, “Civics Class”.

  16. I guess I’ll do the same Druid…..We all must live in a parallel universe. I just don’t get it. Maybe I’m just too old and out of touch…….

  17. Again Voyageur being mean, abusive, and totally rude………not to mention off the wall. Give me one quote of mine, where I express anything but a wish for a better America. Just one! I’m waiting.

  18. When elected by the people, typically for making the right statements, the right promises, and a vision for a better America in the runup to an election, a congressman, senator, judge must hold themselves to a higher standard. To my way of thinking, the standards have sunk awfully low, and we as a people have let it happen. Although I don’t feel any satisfaction that “Duke Cunningham” finds himself in this situation, the punishment does fit the crime. I’d said the same when Traficante, te Democrat from Ohio, received a slightly lesser sentence in 2002.

    Former Republican and U.S. Congressman Randy ”Duke” Cunningham, who pleaded guilty last year to taking $2.4 million in bribes, was sentenced by a federal judge Friday to eight years and four months in prison today.

  19. Does anyone know if there was any real discourse between this teacher and his students? A good teacher who wants to teach kids critical thinking skills encourages this.  Maybe he did and we’re just getting selective sound bites, but a one sided class rant would promote a biased agenda, not critical thinking.

  20. Does anyone know if there was any real discourse between this teacher and his students? A good teacher who wants to teach kids critical thinking skills encourages this.  Maybe he did and we’re just getting selective sound bites, but a one sided class rant would promote a biased agenda, not critical thinking.

  21. Becky, I have listened to this brave kid on several radio shows. He says the teacher in question has lectured this garbage many many times. All one sided anti government speeches. That is why he brought it to the schools attention.

  22. Sirhan Robin, you’re one contribution to the American political dialogue was making even Michael Moore look like a patriot.  I’m afraid your vision of a “better America” looks a lot like the Vorkuta slave labor camp in the Gulag to real Americans. Sorry if you don’t like hearing the truth, but I believe in speaking truth to whack jobs as well as speaking truth to power.

  23. I’ve seen the kid too Gecko and from the clips I’ve heard, it sounds more like a nonstop rant, but sound bites don’t always tell the whole story.  I’ve had many liberal teachers in high school and college.  The ones that allowed discourse, a free exchange of ideas, and respect for divergent opinions were fine with me.  The few that ranted and cut students off or put them down because they didn’t agree need to quit teaching and become professional bloggers.

  24. Gecko, I think you are a bit out of touch when it comes to teaching kids.  In 10th grade, kids are supposed to be able to evaluate viewpoints and perform critical thinking skills.  In my 11th grade AP American History class we were often asked to resolve a set of facts from a series of biased sources; we had to decide which sources had credibility on which facts and to piece together a more complete picture of the event in question.  That was 20 years ago now.  I’m currently involved with school accountability, and similar standards apply here and now in Colorado.  A 10th grade Geography class is really more about world history and geopolitics than about maps and “facts”.

    From the bits of transcript I’ve seen, the student gets in a good deal of Q&A at one point during the class – around 5 questions and valid responses, so it isn’t strictly one-sided ranting.

    We’ve discussed POV many times here, and I guess some people still don’t get it: the world doesn’t all operate on the same “facts” we do.  In order to understand our neighbors, friends, and enemies, we must understand their history and their biases.  The courses where these skills are taught are high school and college history and geography.

  25. Flip Flopping by Republican Leadership weakens our Privacy Rights.

    Bill Frist on November 7, 2003, on the floor of the Senate:
    The [Intelligence] Committee?s nonpartisan tradition has been carefully cultivated over the years by its members. The tradition is part and parcel of the Committee?s rules, which extend prerogatives to the Minority that are not found in other committee rule books.

    For a quarter century, there has been a consensus in the Senate that the Committee?s nonpartisan tradition must be carefully safeguarded. Nothing less is acceptable, given the dangerous and sensitive nature of the subject matter for which it has oversight responsibility.

    Bill Frist on March 3, 2006, in a letter to Sen. Harry Reid:
    The Committee was established and structured to reflect the Senate?s desire for bipartisanship, and to the maximum extent possible, nonpartisan oversight of our nation?s intelligence activities. If attempts to use the committee?s charter for political purposes exist, we may have to simply acknowledge that nonpartisan oversight, while a worthy aspiration, is simply not possible. If we are unable to reach agreement, I believe we must consider other options to improve the Committee?s oversight capabilities, to include restructuring the Committee so that it is organized and operated like most Senate Committees. (emphasis mine)
    So, when it suits Bill Frist’s purpose politically to pretend to be a bi-partisan, non-political committee supporter to score points on the floor of the Senate, that’s hunkydory.

    But when you get down to a question of the majority of the Intelligence Committee members wanting to do their jobs and investigate what is an illegal use of the NSA for domestic surveillance by the Bush Administration…well, that just can’t be allowed, and Frist’s previous assertion “that the Committee?s nonpartisan tradition must be carefully safeguarded” be damned.

    This craven attempt to manipulate the rules of the Senate because George Bush is too cowardly to face up to the consequences of his decisions cannot be allowed to stand. Bill Frist does not get to cheat without a light being shone on his hypocrisy.

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