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  1. #1
    Registered User Rocks 'n Roots's Avatar
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    Truly, Minnesota, your comments would not be worth commenting on were it not for the many otherwise rational people who are swayed by such crap. I'm sorry I made the crack about the "cult" Christians, not because it's wrong, but because it's sure to be misunderstood.
    I really think Bush won because he was successful at smearing Kerry enough that voters joined a wartime Nuremberg movement that ignored all of Bush's glaring failures. I see the present day as a huge reversal of previous American understanding in order to install the new Bush Company, or the new American Tea Company...

    Bin Laden is great for military industrial complex business. I had a long conversation with a relative who voted for Bush and told me the reason why was because "they really believed the WMD's were there, and besides Saddam had his opportunity to come clean and didn't"...


    Ralph Nader commented that Bush's greatest success was persuading a segment of American voters who stood to benefit the least from his policies to vote for him enthusiastically...

  2. #2
    Section Hiker 500 miles smokymtnsteve's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Skeemer
    (SMS...I rememer when people would sign their cards, "Merry Xmas"...drove my mother crazy)

    no offense meant, though I find the basic xian message offensive personally,

    but xians who find xmas and xian/xtian offensive are ignorant of thier own religious history.
    "I'd rather kill a man than a snake. Not because I love snakes or hate men. It is a question, rather, of proportion." Edward Abbey

  3. #3
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    Thumbs down Yikes, people!

    I dare say we will never agree on George Bush, or Bill Clinton, or Ronald Reagan, or Jimmy Carter or ... or ... you get my drift, I bet.

    So we probably won't agree on specific people.

    But perhaps we agree on the tenets of the documents that are at the foundation of our nation: things like the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, all like that. I'm pretty sure those documents discourage things like Congress endorsing any particular religion (I paraphrase, so don't be tempted to get into a pi**ing match; that's not the point here, which you will already understand if you are open-minded). That would also probably discourage us from evicting people according to their religion. Now think this through before you get cranky: That would not discourage us from evicting people based on their BEHAVIOR, just not according to the color of their skin, the god they worship, the land where they were born. The idea that "the only good Muslim is a dead Muslim" harks back to the misguided, illegal slaughter of Vietnam. Anyone here other than me old enough to remember those lovely days?

    By the way, if you want to "remove" all the pesky Muslims, you could do do under the misnamed Patriot Act. Just make an accusation and some Joe McCarthy clone will whisk them away. Poof!

    Oh, do I miss THOSE days, when there was a whole Congressional committee on Un-American Activities! Boy, did they have things straight back then.

  4. #4

    Default No problem, Needles...

    "can you even define the word "socialist"?"

    Sure thing. It's a person who believes that one individual can legitimately be forced to give money, goods, or labor to another individual (or company or unit of government) when that individual has not agreed to any contract with that other person, nor has committed fraud or force against that other person. Having more money or greater talents/virtue than another person is NOT having wronged them; neither is refusing to help them or deal with them in any way, no matter their nature or situation. Need does not constitute a valid claim, after all. Glad I could clear that up for you. You are a socialist, correct?

    A point of clarification I believe I should make here in reference to private companies providing virtually all services except courts, police, and national defense: I believe that people should be free to reject accepting (and thus paying anything for) those services. People should be as free to reject using and paying for snow or garbage removal, fire extinguishing services, etc., as they are free now to refuse to use Ford, Xerox, or General Mills products.

  5. #5
    Section Hiker 500 miles smokymtnsteve's Avatar
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    U need to study up a little bit more there MS.
    "I'd rather kill a man than a snake. Not because I love snakes or hate men. It is a question, rather, of proportion." Edward Abbey

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    Default Karl Marx

    Needles-"can you even define the word "socialist"?
    Although MS has answered the question, I think the best definition is from the father of socialism-"From each according to their ability: to each according to their need."

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    Section Hiker 500 miles smokymtnsteve's Avatar
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    actually I has more to do with how society controls the means of production,
    "I'd rather kill a man than a snake. Not because I love snakes or hate men. It is a question, rather, of proportion." Edward Abbey

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    Default Uh oh ...

    [QUOTE=minnesotasmith]If those Muslims were atypical in their attitudes, they would be routinely turned in by fellow Muslims, excommunicated by virtually all Muslim clerics, etc. As that is not happening, the other Muslims are complicit in 9/11-type terrorism IMO. [/b]

    THIS is alarming. THIS is exactly the thinking that had terrified Germans and Poles and French and Belgians and Dutch turning in their neighbors when they suspected they were Jews, or perhaps they were just acting funny.

    It's one thing to toss around labels like socialist, traitor, liar and the like. It's entirely another to actually QUALIFY for a label ... such as fascist. (Fascism: a system of government characterized by rigid one-party dictatorship (W's My-Way-Or-The-Highway approach), forcible suppression of opposition (Patriot Act), private economic enterprise under centralized governmental control (Halliburton), belligerent nationalism (dissent="socialism" or "communism" or whatever label is handy at the time), racism (keeping African Americans from voting in large numbers), and militarism (hauling us into a war on a hunch, and perhaps just to punish Saddam for taking a pot shot at Bush Sr.). See also Nazi.)

    Now, don't get me started ...

  9. #9
    Registered User weary's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Old Fhart
    Although MS has answered the question, I think the best definition is from the father of socialism-"From each according to their ability: to each according to their need."
    Which except, perhaps, for a short time in the lives of a few 60's communes and an equally short experiment at Brooks Farm in the mid 1800s, has yet to be seriously tried.

    Unfortunately "socialism" as a scare label has been used over the decades by the powerful and their gullible know nothing allies to protect their power.

    The irony is that both the powerful and the gullible lose as a result. As we have heard again and again over the past few months, consumers are the engine that drives our economy. I'm fascinated as I see the powerful chuckling over their ability to eliminate jobs and cut payrolls, thus increasing their profits, while decreasing the wages and thus the ability of consumers to drive the economy.

    Though I'm sure Minnesotasmith thinks otherwise the miracle that drove the American economy in the first years after war ended the big depression was the rise of unions that fought for a living wage for workers.

    As unions lose power we are in trouble. Without unions or some other mechanism for keeping consumers prosperous our economy can do nothing except stagnate.

    Weary

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    Smile And you thought shelter mice were a problem!

    Wow!

    Do you realize this is all on the AT Shelters and Lean-Tos forum???

    Imagine what a hornets' nest we could stir up on the GEAR forum!!!

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by minnesotasmith
    "can you even define the word "socialist"?"

    Sure thing. It's a person who believes that one individual can legitimately be forced to give money, goods, or labor to another individual (or company or unit of government) when that individual has not agreed to any contract with that other person, nor has committed fraud or force against that other person. Having more money or greater talents/virtue than another person is NOT having wronged them; neither is refusing to help them or deal with them in any way, no matter their nature or situation. Need does not constitute a valid claim, after all. Glad I could clear that up for you. You are a socialist, correct?

    A point of clarification I believe I should make here in reference to private companies providing virtually all services except courts, police, and national defense: I believe that people should be free to reject accepting (and thus paying anything for) those services. People should be as free to reject using and paying for snow or garbage removal, fire extinguishing services, etc., as they are free now to refuse to use Ford, Xerox, or General Mills products.
    Hmm... by your definition George W Bush is a socialist as he failed to repeal every form of taxation in this country, is a proponent of welfare, but only for corporations and farmers and is forcing people into labor in the US military after their contract with the military has expired. Imagine that W the socialist, makes you wonder why he can't get along with the people in France.

    As far as your second point goes, you obviously have no understanding of macroeconomics. With your system there would be no police, courts, or national defense as everyone would opt out of it with the exception of a select few and their contributions would be to small to cover the cost of these services. Of course we might get private police forces, courts, and military forces, but if that doesn't scare you, and if you can't see how strongly that goes against the very principles this country was founded on, then I don't know if there is any hope for you. I used to work for a company that wanted to be a private version of the KGB here in the US and they are doing a pretty good job of it with W's help right now, the private sector is no less nor any more corrupt than the government, but at least we have some say in who runs the government.

    And to answer your question about me, I believe that the concept of the "state" is archaic and flawed, I believe that a centralized government will always serve its own purposes first and the people's when it has a spare minute or two. I believe that society is capable of policing itself and providing for the needs of its members. So am I a socialist? No, I am a Marxist, because I also believe the concept of private property is flawed and that any organization that exists only because of greed is doomed to failure because its endless quest for more, money, power, what ever, will always wind up being self destructive. I also believe in God, consider myself a Christian, find no incompatiblity between my political and religious beliefes, and I am also a very proud and patriotic American. I just wonder how much longer my pride will stay intact as everything this country was founded on is being washed away by the corrupt, immoral, and un-American individuals currently in power.

  12. #12

    Default Actually, weary...

    The post-WWII economic boom in America had multiple causes. Several of them are:

    1) The destruction of the industrial capacity of most of our competitors in the war and before.

    2) The still fairly high (though sadly fading rapidly) level of economic (e.g., nonsocialism) freedom in America.

    3) The U.S. having had low immigration for a number of years, & nearly all of that European.

    4) The U.S. having a decent domestic natural resource supply (e.g., oil).

    5) The U.S. having built up its industry during the war.

    6) The U.S. entering a national mood called a "First Turning" (also called a "High"), a period of optimism. See www.fourthturning for more details.

    That is a good start IMO. Actually, unions did nothing permanent and good for workers that wouldn't have been done for them by market forces in any event.

  13. #13
    Registered User weary's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by minnesotasmith
    The post-WWII economic boom in America had multiple causes. Several of them are:....
    Yes. Minnesota. We all know what you believe. Merely telling us again and again tends to be boring. The puzzling thing is why you believe.

    I don't pretend to be an economic expert, but I do read several newspapers and several news magazines and quite a few books dealing with such matters. Most seem to think the American economy is driven by the willingness -- and I assume the ability -- of consumers to buy things. If you have evidence to the contrary, please let us know.

    Having worked over the years for union companies and union newspapers, as well as non union companies and non union newspapers, I always earned more money -- and thus consumed more -- when I was a union member.

    Once 50+ years ago I remember working as an electrician in a factory that made skins for skinless hotdogs and being a member of the first union to ever successfully oust the Teamsters, who we all thought was crooked and was being bought off by our employer. I was pleased to discover that our wages went up as a result of the change in unions.

    I got so prosperous that I drifted into college and newspapering. As I returned to the working world, I found the same thing. No newspapers paid much money, certainly not as much as electricians in factories that made skins for skinless hotdogs were paid. But newspapers with unions paid more money than newspapers without unions. I took that as at least anecdotal evidence that unions help people earn the incomes needed for a lively and vibrant economy. I noticed also that union newspapers also tended to be the most profitable newspapers. I always took that to mean that higher wages enabled them to attract more competent employees. What do you think Minnesota?

    I notice also that as real wages of working Americans decrease, the economy also has slumped, which is certainly consistent with my theory that well paid consumers do more for the economy than wealthy stockholders and company managers who seem mostly to just buy and sell companies and then issue conflicting press releases, first announcing the savings made possible by diversifying, and then announcing the savings made possible by reverting to having their companies return to their cores and doing "what we know how to do best."

    This certainly keeps money in circulation and some of it spins off into the private accounts of those doing the buying and selling, but seems to do very little to help either production, or the purchase of that production.

    Weary

  14. #14

    Default I see it the other way...

    With apologies for being so far off topic...but I couldn't ignore this one.

    Weary wrote:
    As unions lose power we are in trouble. Without unions or some other mechanism for keeping consumers prosperous our economy can do nothing except stagnate.
    I live in Ohio where Kerry attempted and failed to make the loss of jobs an election issue.

    I also live in Lorain County where Ford is closing its Lorain Assembly Plant. It sat down with the UAW years ago asking for work rule changes to increase productivity, thus giving them a chance to save the plant. The UAW said "go to hell." Rumors have it the Avon Lake assembly plant will be next.

    Honda Motor Co is celebrating its 25th anniversary in Marysville where it has created over 16,000 good paying jobs while successfully thwarting organization efforts by the UAW.

    I retired from a UAW Delphi parts plant in Sandusky OH. After being profitable for years it is now losing money and its days are numbered.

    During my carrer, I spent years in labor relations across the table from the UAW. They defend tardiness, absenteeism, theft, sabotage and featherbedding and even assault. They know that management cannot sustain a work stoppage and thus "blackmail" the company with unfounded grievances and threats of a strike to get what they want. Its just a matter of time before these jobs too will go elsewhere...their days are numbered.

    GM now pays more per vehicle for health care than it does steel while the UAW refuses to help control cost with co-pays and deductibles.

    Teachers unions are destoying our education system by demanding more and more for doing less and less. Teachers here are underworked and over paid.

    What unions refuse to accept is that the stockholders are the owners of their jobs and deserve a return on their investment before the worker gets a nickle one. The "fair days work for a fair days pay" has long been forgotten. No one ever wanted to deny the worker a fair wage. They just asked them to earn it.

    Yes, unions are losing power, but it may be too late.

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    Smile Labor/Management

    Skeemer: Your observations are interesting and obviously based on plenty of experience. I, too, have decades of union experience, but as an activist, not as a table-top negotiator. (I've done my talking on the picket line.)

    The only thing I'd like to add to your observations is something I learned from my ex-father-in-law, who has been a negotiator for a Fortune 200 for the past 35 years. He said anyone -- either side -- who wanted to get a jump on the other side would simply create a conflict. An artificial one. Ford wants to shut down Lorain Assembly and they push for work rule changes. The union knows it's a bluff and they dump a folder of grievances on the table. Neither one really cares about what they just did. They're posturing. Ford already knows it's shuttering the plant. And so does the union. And then six months ahead of schedule, Ford closes Lorain and moves a few of the people into a streamline, retooled Kansas City. It's cheaper for them to do that than upgrade Lorain. And everyone knows ahead of time how it's going to go.

    Thanks for listening.

  16. #16
    Registered User Patco's Avatar
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    Default my trail name

    PATCO = Professional Air Traffic Controlers Organization, the one and only union I ever belonged to, led me to give up my job with the FAA by going on strike in 1981. No hard feelings from me but I've not joined any other labor forces since then.

    Now we can probably close this forum since it has gotten off topic, and since the original topic is about exhausted.
    There are 3 kinds of poeple in this world; those who can count and those who can't. :datz

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    Quote Originally Posted by Skeemer
    What unions refuse to accept is that the stockholders are the owners of their jobs and deserve a return on their investment before the worker gets a nickle one. The "fair days work for a fair days pay" has long been forgotten. No one ever wanted to deny the worker a fair wage. They just asked them to earn it.
    Yes, unions are losing power, but it may be too late.
    Stockholders are the owners of the companies union members work for, but being a stock holder means you are not only a business owner but a risk taker, just as when an individual starts a company he doesn't get paid until his bills are paid and he finds a bit left over, stockholders are also the last who should be paid, not the first. Shareholders own the company, but they contribute so little to the company's success or failure as to not be part of the equation, it is the company's employees who are responsible for the profits rolling in... or not. If a company is a sucess then it is the workers who should be paid first and the most as they are what made the company propser. If things worked the way they should the return on investment in the stock market would be considerably lower than it is now. Sadly we seem to want to do most everything backwards in the US.

  18. #18

    Default You have a point...

    Needles wrote in part:
    ...but being a stock holder means you are not only a business owner but a risk taker...stockholders are also the last who should be paid, not the first
    You're right and I retract my statement about stockholders being paid first. I guess what I was trying to point out is that unions continue to demand more and more while members are contributing less and less. They get $30+ an hour, fully paid health care, cost of living increases, time and a half and double time for overtime, etc...it goes on and on. It's gotten to the point they don't know what to demand...things like covered parking lots, walkways and air conditioned plants...no joke. It's still the stockholders' investment that is at risk and they should be rewarded with as much return as possible AFTER employees and management are rewarded for their contributions. The company does NOT belong to the employees. I do stand by the rest of the post. I still believe unions have done more to chase jobs out of Ohio than any President, past or present.

    colt4x5...there are many examples of companies getting concessions from their unions to "save plants." At Sandusky, they negotiated a $16 million investment (I believe) to modernize the plant in order to obtain new business. The union never fullfilled their part, balking on instituting the productivity improvements. I know..."shame on management" for trusting that they would live up to their part of the bargain.

    PATCO and others...I will do my best to get back to talking AT and hiking...but I can't promise anything.

  19. #19

    Default

    Unions are for people who can't amke it on their own.

  20. #20

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by ripple
    Unions are for people who can't amke it on their own.
    Ripple, how do you amke your living?
    'All my lies are always wishes" ~Jeff Tweedy~

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