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-   -   New U.S. President (https://www.mersenneforum.org/showthread.php?t=9456)

tha 2008-01-04 12:47

[QUOTE=jinydu;122134]The way I learned it, atheism is believing there are no gods and agnosticism is being unsure about that question.[/QUOTE]

Pretty good, although atheists do not [U]believe[/U], even not in the nonexistence of a god. Atheist simply see no reason to consider a believe in one or more gods, elves, witches or unicorns IRL. Not believing in a god is already considered tilting the playing field towards the believers (in a god).

Atheism is a pre-WWII era term. Atheism came into existence as a protest movement against the (abuse of) power of the (state)church(es) over people in all kinds of civil affairs. In the post WWII era they renamed to humanists, making more clear that if god is not responsible for us, we are ourselves.

Agnostic people indeed are unsure or they don't care.

As a side note: in this forum we all share a believe in mathematical axiomas, right?

[QUOTE=jinydu;122134]I'm still perplexed with the results from that link I gave. Could it be that less than 3000 Democrats and more than 100,000 Republicans voted?[/QUOTE]

Different metrics, for Democrats it is delegates elected, for Republicans it is votes casted.

R.D. Silverman 2008-01-04 13:05

[QUOTE=Spherical Cow;122108]I guess I'm the other one that voted for McGovern. And some years later, undeterred, voted for John Anderson.

This year, though, looks to be particularly confusing...

Norm[/QUOTE]

I still have the "Don't Blame Me, I'm from Massachusetts" bumper sticker!

jasong 2008-01-05 07:34

Why do you guys hate Huckabee so much?

rogue 2008-01-05 13:45

[QUOTE=jasong;122209]Why do you guys hate Huckabee so much?[/QUOTE]

A few conservative pundits I know compare him to a Republican Michael Dukakis (re. Willie Horton) or a Republican Bill Clinton (from Arkansas), both of whom conservatives hate, but then again, are there any Democrats that conservatives don't hate? I think that the specific thing they don't like is that there is no substance in his speeches. Nobody knows what he really stands for, i.e. a lot of polish (also like BC), little substance.

M29 2008-01-05 14:51

[QUOTE=ewmayer;122118]She may be well-qualified, but if she weren't married to Bill no one would have ever heard of her.[/QUOTE]She's ambitious.

Maybe if she wasn't married to Bill no one would have ever heard of him?

Zeta-Flux 2008-01-05 18:00

[QUOTE=jasong;122209]Why do you guys hate Huckabee so much?[/QUOTE]

I don't hate Huckabee. I just won't vote for him.

If you meant to ask why I won't vote for him, here are a few reasons:

1. He raised taxes significantly more than lowering them.
2. He was cited for multiple infractions for taking gifts, was fined for such, and has been accused of using his political power inappropriately (by *multiple* individuals who have stepped forward).
3. He granted over 1000 pardons in his 10 years as governor.
4. He is for the fair tax.
5. When I went to listen to him in person:
5a. He ran from a populist ideology.
5b. He used the name of Jesus Christ to try and garner political votes and power. [I'm not opposed to people expressing their belief or non-belief. I am opposed to someone using said belief or non-belief to try and gather votes.]
5c. He attacked other candidates characters and twisted the truth on their positions.
5d. The few political positions he did bring up were all things he didn't expect to do anything about. (e.g. He said that congress wouldn't go anywhere with the fair tax. He said that we probably wouldn't get anywhere with a constitutional amendment to ban all abortions. [Besides, most people don't want to ban ALL of them. Most people, including me, think there are some circumstances where it is justified.] etc...) So, to me it was a lot of empty rhetoric.
5e. When people signed in, they could sign in as "pastors for Huckabee." That, to me, IS a breach of separation of church and state (especially given the tax-free status of the churches).
6. He habitually says things that are untrue and/or twists. I understand that politicians talk all day, and make mistakes. I understand that sometimes they simply are wrong. But Huckabee does so repeatedly, and in all sorts of areas. Case in point: His negative attack ad [which he *didn't air* and yet did air] claims Romney oversaw no executions as governor (and by implication is soft on such issues). He fails to tell listeners that Mass. has no death penalty and Romney fought for one. Another case in point: His claim that the courts forced him to raise taxes was simply false.

I hope that answered your question.

S485122 2008-01-05 18:41

[QUOTE=jasong;122209]Why do you guys hate Huckabee so much?[/QUOTE]I could add to the reasons Zeta-Flux gave, that his positions on healthcare are going to be detrimental to handicaped people, he totally disagrees with any control on mortgage lenders, he sees any "illegal" immigrant as a threat to national security, he sees not much of a threat to civil liberties in the Patriot act...

We will see how the opinion of the Republican candidates will evolve as the sub-prime crisis rolls on.

Jacob

jinydu 2008-01-05 19:46

[QUOTE=jasong;122209]Why do you guys hate Huckabee so much?[/QUOTE]

... and don't forget his rejection of evolution.

Prime95 2008-01-05 22:16

[QUOTE=Zeta-Flux;122252]4. He is for the fair tax.[/QUOTE]

And what's wrong with the fair tax?

Zeta-Flux 2008-01-05 22:58

I'm a free market sort of person. Taxes are government's way of making money to pay for things politicians think we need. I'm in favor of lowering taxes, and instead having fees associated to programs.

For example, I think we all agree that we don't want to go to the store to buy a ready-to-cook pizza and have a high (or even low!) probability that there is rat feces in it. But we know that producers often cut corners. To prevent this, government has set up all sorts of programs to be watch-dogs over producers of food, and monetarily penalize them if they don't comply. The funding for the watch-dog organizations come from taxes. I would prefer that these costs be embedded in the products themselves.

So far, it might sound like I'm for the fair tax. But one has to keep in mind that there are all sorts of government funded programs, not at all related to food products. There is toy safety. There is road upkeep. There is the small matter of paying our politicians' wages. etc... With the fair tax, all of the goods we buy carry the burden of all sorts of fees that we may or may not support/endorse. The current system is broken on this front, but in my opinion the fair tax would make it worse.

But besides my personal feelings on the matter of taxes vs. fees, I think the fair tax is too large of a step. Instituting it in gradual increments rather than one large demolition of the IRS would be better (in my opinion).

tha 2008-01-06 16:11

Will you Americans please stop wining about paying taxes. In Europe we pay a lot, a lot more taxes, like 50% income tax etc. Gas at the fuel station costs $8 per gallon over here, all because of higher taxes. (Actually it is euro 1,50 per liter) Do you here us complaining? No! If the government (the guys YOU elected) spend the money wisely, for causes the people endorse, what does it matter how much taxes you have to pay? Else you would have to pay for it yourself anyway.

If you look at the total amount of taxes levied upon the people in the US as a percentage of the national income over the long term you will see that it is already pretty stable. If you correct it for increasing and decreasing national debt, that percentage becomes even more constant. Make a last correction for war expenses which heavily depend on events outside the control of the nation and you have a graph that looks like a flat horizon.

Any politician who is campaigning on lowering taxes is catering to the uneducated. The only thing that matters is how efficient that tax money is spend. And of course, how the taxes are levied on the different groups in the society. If the US would lower the income taxes and shift to higher taxes on gas on par with Europe the US economy could have the same output reducing the energy consumption (foreign oil imports) by 30%. I would vote for a candidate daring to bring that forward.


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