More On the Pea-brain from Georgia

keaggy220
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Post by keaggy220 » Sun Jan 28, 2007 5:33 pm

pizza wrote:
Donald Isler wrote:Before the Voting Rights Act was passed a huge number of American citizens were disenfranchised. They gained these rights, which they should have had all along, because of this legislation, which LBJ emphatically supported.
And the renewal of which George W. Bush signed into law last summer.
Like I said it's a sacred cow, no President - especially a Republican, could change this Act even if it were a positive change to benefit everyone.

piston
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Post by piston » Sun Jan 28, 2007 5:46 pm

I do not believe that adequate education, however this notion is defined, is a sine qua non guarantee of judicious electoral decisions. Is it necessary to elaborate on this point when individuals still advocate nuclear destruction in 2007? That some people with degrees in higher education advocate such an irresponsible option clearly illustrates that the most dangerous voters are not necessarily the least educated.
In the eyes of those lovers of perfection, a work is never finished—a word that for them has no sense—but abandoned....(Paul Valéry)

Brendan

Post by Brendan » Sun Jan 28, 2007 6:21 pm

piston wrote:I do not believe that adequate education, however this notion is defined, is a sine qua non guarantee of judicious electoral decisions. Is it necessary to elaborate on this point when individuals still advocate nuclear destruction in 2007? That some people with degrees in higher education advocate such an irresponsible option clearly illustrates that the most dangerous voters are not necessarily the least educated.
Just curious as to who is advocating nuclear destruction? Rather a different notion to advocating a nuclear capability, IMHO.

keaggy220
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Post by keaggy220 » Sun Jan 28, 2007 6:28 pm

piston wrote:I do not believe that adequate education, however this notion is defined, is a sine qua non guarantee of judicious electoral decisions. Is it necessary to elaborate on this point when individuals still advocate nuclear destruction in 2007? That some people with degrees in higher education advocate such an irresponsible option clearly illustrates that the most dangerous voters are not necessarily the least educated.
Yes, adequate education is difficult to define... I in no way mean academic education though - as you point out, there are a lot of idiots out there with multiple degrees and on the other side there are poor vagrants who are genius'. I simply mean that voters should be required to know the basics - who are the candidates, what are their positions and be informed about the referendums. Many voters, both republican and democrat, go to the ballot box with only the knowledge they've gained from advertisements they've seen on TV.

The government requires one to take a driver test (as it should), but it doesn't require one to take a basic test before voting on the future of the country.

piston
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Post by piston » Sun Jan 28, 2007 6:32 pm

The discussion, above, pertains to universal voting rights vs. educationally informed voting rights. It's actually a very old debate in the USA which became particularly divisive in the last three or four decades of the 19th century (immigrants, Black Americans, women suffrage, urban "bossism", and so forth). My comment about "nuking" Iraq or the Middle East is based on countless comments to that effect, almost since the beginning of the war. These comments, serious or simply dismissive of all Muslims, are not the expression of the least educated segment of the population; they are voiced by the educated as well as the less educated. :roll:
In the eyes of those lovers of perfection, a work is never finished—a word that for them has no sense—but abandoned....(Paul Valéry)

Brendan

Post by Brendan » Sun Jan 28, 2007 6:36 pm

OK, so who are these advocates of nukes? Have you some source material from academic publications or something? Or is this just bar-talk/blowing off steam not meant to be taken seriously as public policy?

I just haven't seen too many reputable strategists and the like advocating nuclear destruction.

piston
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Post by piston » Sun Jan 28, 2007 6:38 pm

Brendan wrote:OK, so who are these advocates of nukes? Have you some source material from academic publications or something? Or is this just bar-talk/blowing off steam not meant to be taken seriously as public policy?

I just haven't seen too many reputable strategists and the like advocating nuclear destruction.
As I said, Brendan, the discussion on this thread -- a few messages above, i.e., the Voting Act -- was not about elected officials or their advisors; it was about voters.
In the eyes of those lovers of perfection, a work is never finished—a word that for them has no sense—but abandoned....(Paul Valéry)

Brendan

Post by Brendan » Sun Jan 28, 2007 6:49 pm

And in a representative democracy we vote for candidates to hold office. As voters we can blow off steam, but the candidates we vote for usually have to have a more balanced approach. In any given electorate, all sorts of weird views will be held by individuals, and sometimes vocalized. Which candidates for office can the voters elect that advocate nuclear destruction?

If none, then it's just blowing off steam and won't be policy in the foreseeable future.

Donald Isler
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Post by Donald Isler » Sun Jan 28, 2007 7:08 pm

Keaggy 220 wrote:
"Yes, adequate education is difficult to define..."

I agree. Maybe you don't think much of my education, or the opinions I come to as a result of it. Or perhaps I might think the same of your education and opinions, whatever they are. That's why, in a democracy, EVERYONE has a say, ie. a vote. Even the people you don't like.

One more point I would make about Lyndon Johnson:

Incompetence is the LAST word I'd use to describe him. Stubborn, wily, wrong-headed, and just plain wrong sometimes? Yes, to all of the above!

But incompetent? Never! He was a masterful politician, and that was understood by his supporters and his enemies. His terrific competence in arm-twisting, vote-counting and politicking was why his admirers loved him, and his enemies feared him.
Donald Isler

keaggy220
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Post by keaggy220 » Sun Jan 28, 2007 7:26 pm

Donald Isler wrote:Keaggy 220 wrote:
"Yes, adequate education is difficult to define..."

I agree. Maybe you don't think much of my education, or the opinions I come to as a result of it. Or perhaps I might think the same of your education and opinions, whatever they are. That's why, in a democracy, EVERYONE has a say, ie. a vote. Even the people you don't like.

One more point I would make about Lyndon Johnson:

Incompetence is the LAST word I'd use to describe him. Stubborn, wily, wrong-headed, and just plain wrong sometimes? Yes, to all of the above!

But incompetent? Never! He was a masterful politician, and that was understood by his supporters and his enemies. His terrific competence in arm-twisting, vote-counting and politicking was why his admirers loved him, and his enemies feared him.
I'll have to give you this point on Johnson, anyone that gets that much bad legislation through is anything but incompetent! :) I can't think of any President in history to get so much historic legislation through during prosperous times - really amazing...

Barry
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Post by Barry » Sun Jan 28, 2007 9:36 pm

piston wrote:My comment about "nuking" Iraq or the Middle East is based on countless comments to that effect, almost since the beginning of the war. These comments, serious or simply dismissive of all Muslims, are not the expression of the least educated segment of the population; they are voiced by the educated as well as the less educated. :roll:
I can only recall one poster calling for a general nuking of the Middle East, and he's not even one of our most frequent posters. Some have called for the use of tactical nukes against Iran's nuclear sites. But as we've discussed on here before, tactical nukes are not the kind of weapons that take out huge areas like the bombs that were used on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. They are smaller and would likely only kill the people in and near the site being hit.
"If this is coffee, please bring me some tea; but if this is tea, please bring me some coffee." - Abraham Lincoln

"Although prepared for martyrdom, I preferred that it be postponed." - Winston Churchill

"Before I refuse to take your questions, I have an opening statement." - Ronald Reagan

http://www.davidstuff.com/political/wmdquotes.htm
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2pbp0hur ... re=related

Barry
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Post by Barry » Sun Jan 28, 2007 9:40 pm

Okay, two. I just saw another :oops: .
"If this is coffee, please bring me some tea; but if this is tea, please bring me some coffee." - Abraham Lincoln

"Although prepared for martyrdom, I preferred that it be postponed." - Winston Churchill

"Before I refuse to take your questions, I have an opening statement." - Ronald Reagan

http://www.davidstuff.com/political/wmdquotes.htm
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2pbp0hur ... re=related

piston
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Post by piston » Sun Jan 28, 2007 10:01 pm

It's completely unrelated to this thread but I don't want to create yet another new thread on war-related matters so I'll just slip this one in here. I am not ideologically opposed to conventional warfare in the Middle East. The situation is utterly chaotic, there's no equilibrium whatsoever, and I don't wish to start a "whose fault is it?" debate. I am proud of Canadian forces in Afghanistan. They have taken a lot of heat, in the southern part of that country, and they have performed as they were expected to do as NATO forces. With regard to American forces in the Middle East, my perspective is not political, it's very personal. A student in one of my classes who responded to the call of duty was shot and killed by a sniper, in the back of the neck. I wish to pay him tribute here. He was a Franco-American boy from Maine, very quiet in class, very respectable and an excellent history student: great essays! To you, young man, I give my utmost respect for giving your life, so committed to serving your country without question, without ever doubting your nation's leadership. No American president could ever ask for more, whatever one's qualities and weaknesses. Matthew Paul Coutu, let your name be recorded here.
Last edited by piston on Mon Jan 29, 2007 8:02 am, edited 1 time in total.
In the eyes of those lovers of perfection, a work is never finished—a word that for them has no sense—but abandoned....(Paul Valéry)

Corlyss_D
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Post by Corlyss_D » Mon Jan 29, 2007 5:14 am

piston wrote:A student in one of my classes who responded to the call of duty was shot and killed by a sniper, in the back of the neck. I wish to pay him tribute here. He was a Franco-American boy from Maine, very quiet in class, very respectable and an excellent history student: great essays! To you, young man, I give my utmost respect for giving your life, so committed to serving your country without question, without ever doubting your nation's leadership. No American president could ever ask for more, whatever one's qualities and weaknesses. Paul Couture, let your name be recorded here.
Very moving, Piston.
Corlyss
Contessa d'EM, a carbon-based life form

pizza
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Post by pizza » Sun Feb 11, 2007 10:36 am

Ex-President For Sale
by Alan M. Dershowitz
Carter is making more money selling integrity than peanuts.


I have known Jimmy Carter for more than 30 years. I first met him in the spring of 1976 when, as a relatively unknown candidate for president, he sent me a handwritten letter asking for my help in his campaign on issues of crime and justice. I had just published an article in The New York Times Magazine on sentencing reform, and he expressed interest in my ideas and asked me to come up with additional ones for his campaign. Shortly thereafter, my former student Stuart Eisenstadt, brought Carter to Harvard to meet with some faculty members, me among them. I immediately liked Jimmy Carter and saw him as a man of integrity and principle. I signed on to his campaign and worked very hard for his election. When Newsweek magazine asked his campaign for the names of people on whom Carter relied for advice, my name was among those given out. I continued to work for Carter over the years, most recently I met him in Jerusalem a year ago, and we briefly discussed the Mid-East. Though I disagreed with some of his points, I continued to believe that he was making them out of a deep commitment to principle and to human rights.

Recent disclosures of Carter's extensive financial connections to Arab oil money, particularly from Saudi Arabia, had deeply shaken my belief in his integrity. When I was first told that he received a monetary reward in the name of Shiekh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahayan, and kept the money, even after Harvard returned money from the same source because of its anti-Semitic history, I simply did not believe it. How could a man of such apparent integrity enrich himself with dirty money from so dirty a source?

And let there be no mistake about how dirty the Zayed Foundation is. I know because I was involved, in a small way, in helping to persuade Harvard University to return more than $2 million that the financially strapped Divinity School received from this source. Initially I was reluctant to put pressure on Harvard to turn back money for the Divinity School, but then a student at the Divinity School -- Rachael Lea Fish -- showed me the facts They were staggering. I was amazed that in the 21st century there were still foundations that espoused these views. The Zayed Centre for Coordination and Follow-up - a think-tank funded by the Shiekh and run by his son - hosted speakers who called Jews "the enemies of all nations," attributed the assassination of John Kennedy to Israel and the Mossad and the 9/11 attacks to the United States' own military, and stated that the Holocaust was a "fable." (They also hosted a speech by Jimmy Carter.) To its credit, Harvard turned the money back. To his discredit, Carter did not.

Jimmy Carter was, of course, aware of Harvard's decision, since it was highly publicized. Yet he kept the money. Indeed, this is what he said in accepting the funds: "This award has special significance for me because it is named for my personal friend, Sheik Zayed bin Sultan al-Nahyan." Carter's personal friend, it turns out, was an unredeemable anti-Semite and all-around bigot.

In reading Carter's statements, I was reminded of the bad old Harvard of the 1930s, which continued to honor Nazi academics after the anti-Semitic policies of Hitler's government became clear. Harvard of the 1930s was complicit in evil. I sadly concluded that Jimmy Carter of the 21st century has become complicit in evil.

The extent of Carter's financial support from, and even dependence on, dirty money is still not fully known. What we do know is deeply troubling. Carter and his Center have accepted millions of dollars from suspect sources, beginning with the bail-out of the Carter family peanut business in the late 1970s by BCCI, a now-defunct and virulently anti-Israeli bank indirectly controlled by the Saudi Royal family, and among whose principal investors is Carter's friend, Sheikh Zayed. Agha Hasan Abedi, the founder of the bank, gave Carter "$500,000 to help the former presidentestablish his center...[and] more than $10 million to Mr. Carter's different projects." Carter gladly accepted themoney, though Abedi had called his bank-ostensibly the source of his funding-"the best way to fight the evil influence of the Zionists." BCCI isn't the only source: Saudi King Fahd contributed millions to the Carter Center- "in 1993 alone...$7.6 million" as have other members of the Saudi Royal Family. Carter also received a million dollar pledge from the Saudi-based bin Laden family, as well as a personal $500,000 environmental award named for Sheikh Zayed, and paid for by the Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates.

It's worth noting that, despite the influx of Saudi money funding the Carter Center, and despite the Saudi Arabian government's myriad human rights abuses, the Carter Center's Human Rights program has no activity whatever in Saudi Arabia. The Saudis have apparently bought his silence for a steep price. The bought quality of the Center's activities becomes even more clear, however, when reviewing the Center's human rights activities in other countries: essentially no human rights activities in China or in North Korea, or in Iran, Iraq, the Sudan, or Syria, but activity regarding Israel and its alleged abuses, according to the Center's website

The Carter Center's mission statement claims that "The Center is nonpartisan and acts as a neutral party in dispute resolution activities." How can that be, given that its coffers are full of Arab money, and that its focus is away from significant Arab abuses and on Israel's far lessserious ones?

No reasonable person can dispute therefore that Jimmy Carter has been and remains dependent on Arab oil money, particularly from Saudi Arabia. Does this mean that Carter has necessarily been influenced in his thinking about the Middle East by receipt of such enormous amounts of money? Ask Carter. The entire premise of his criticism of Jewish influence on American foreign policy is that money talks. It is Carter-not me-who has made the point that if politicians receive money from Jewish sources, then they are not free to decide issues regarding the Middle East for themselves. It is Carter, not me, who has argued that distinguished reporters cannot honestly report on the Middle East because they are being paid by Jewish money. So, by Carter's own standards, it would be almost economically "suicidal" for Carter "to espouse a balanced position between Israel and Palestine."

By Carter's own standards, therefore, his views on the Middle East must be discounted. It is certainly possible that he now believes them. Money, particularly large amounts of money, has a way of persuading people to a particular position. It would not surprise me if Carter, having received so much Arab money, is now honestly committed to their cause. But his failure to disclose the extent of his financial dependence on Arab money, and the absence of any self reflection on whether the receipt of this money has unduly influenced his views, is a form of deception bordering on corruption.

I have met cigarette lobbyists, who are supported by the cigarette industry, and who have come to believe honestly that cigarettes are merely a safe form of adult recreation, that cigarettes are not addicting and that the cigarette industry is really trying to persuade children not to smoke. These people are fooling themselves (or fooling us into believing that they are fooling themselves) just as Jimmy Carter is fooling himself (or persuading us to believe that he is fooling himself).

If money determines political and public views-as Carter insists "Jewish money" does-then Carter's views on the Middle East must be deemed to have been influenced by the vast sums of Arab money he has received. If he who pays the piper calls the tune, then Carter's off-key tunes have been called by his Saudi Arabian paymasters. It pains me to say this, but I now believe that there is no person in American public life today who has a lower ratio of real to apparent integrity than Jimmy Carter. The public perception of his integrity is extraordinarily high. His real integrity, it now turns out, is extraordinarily low. He is no better than so many former American politicians who, after leaving public life, sell themselves to the highest bidder and become lobbyists for despicable causes. That is now Jimmy Carter's sad legacy.


Author Biography:
Alan M. Dershowitz is the Felix Frankfurter professor of law at Harvard Law School and author of The Case for Israel.


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This article can also be read at: http://www.aish.com/societyWork/society ... r_Sale.asp

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