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bin Laden tape

Jason Menard
Sheriff

Joined: Nov 09, 2000
Posts: 6450
Does anybody actually seriously believe that tape is doctored? According to the media, that's the general opinion of the "man on the street" in places such as Egypt and Indonesia for example. First they whine about us not showing them any proof of his guilt, now we show them proof, and despite it apparently looking near impossible to doctor, the silly little ignorant bastages say we made the whole thing up.
Ya know, after seeing things like the Egyptian and Palestineans cheering when ~4000 people were murdered, and now they refuse to admit the truth when it smacks them in the head. Try as I might to be open minded and have some empathy, it's hard not to harbor a secret desire in the darkest recesses of the mind for a few multiple warhead twenty-megaton enemas be sent over to that part of the world. Sigh. 'Tis the season I guess.
sonny kher
Ranch Hand

Joined: Nov 06, 2001
Posts: 83
I thought that the general opinion on the street in the places you mentioned was of confusion . These ppl were a little reluctant to beleive that a country that could bring a ship thats been lying on the ocean floor for 50 years, to life cannot play a little with a home video. But i thought some of em were more convinced than before.
Either way, the fact remains that the tape did not change a whole lot in the amount of guilt that either the americans or the ppl in the middle east, associate with bin laden and his involvement in the attacks. ppl will beleive what they want to beleive.

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Cindy Glass
"The Hood"
Sheriff

Joined: Sep 29, 2000
Posts: 8521
Originally posted by sonny kher:
ppl will believe what they want to believe.

Ain't that the truth.

"JavaRanch, where the deer and the Certified play" - David O'Meara
Valentin Crettaz
Gold Digger
Sheriff

Joined: Aug 26, 2001
Posts: 7610
All I can say is that that tape is really "weird"... you even have got the translation of inaudible parts. That gets one thinking. There are a lot of unsolved questions around this tape. How did "they" get it? Why did "they" wait 21 days before telling W about it, he is the Commander in Chief after all. With the technology we have these days it's more than easy to doctor such proof. I don't say that it is the case, but until I find the answer to my questions I'll be very skeptical about it. Sorry I can't help but think that a bunch of geeks on sublevel 15 of the Pentagon may be behind that. I hope not though. It also could have been doctored by our "friends" of the Northern Alliance who have everything to gain in that process... The question stays open.
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Valentin Crettaz
Sun Certified Programmer for Java 2 Platform


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David Weitzman
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jul 27, 2001
Posts: 1365
I think the tape has too many details to be doctored. There are mentions of various sermons and what happened when, where people had been, quotes from the Koran, etc. I suppose it could have been possible for spies to know that much, but it doesn't seem likely. It would be too risky for a fake tape to have some statements that could be proved false.
Michael Ernest
High Plains Drifter
Sheriff

Joined: Oct 25, 2000
Posts: 7292

Why is it so hard to believe some people will reject the validity of whatever unpleasant evidence is put in front of them? It's a war, for Pete's sake. There are only so many objective minds in the world right now. Our own President has said, in his own way, that there are only sides to this thing, and their names are Good and Evil. Once people start buying into that, "evidence" hardly matters when impartial observation is made impossible.


Make visible what, without you, might perhaps never have been seen.
- Robert Bresson
Jason Menard
Sheriff

Joined: Nov 09, 2000
Posts: 6450
Originally posted by Valentin Crettaz:
you even have got the translation of inaudible parts.

Every replay of the tape I have seen has said something like "...[Inaubible]..." for the parts of the tape that were inaudible. They have said that they had to process the sound a little bit in order to improve the clarity of it, much like you would do with a graphic equalizer on your own homemade tapes.
How did "they" get it?

It was supposedly found in a search of al Queda residences in Jalalabad that was performed by US personnel. This makes total sense to me that they are going to search likey areas in order to find anything that might be of intelligence value. According to one news report this is also how they uncovered that two Pakistani nuclear scientists had held discussions with bin Laden. Former al Queda residences were no doubt well known by the locals so it would be easy enough for the US to figure out where to look.
Why did "they" wait 21 days before telling W about it, he is the Commander in Chief after all.

I haven't heard anything about this. Are you sure you don't mean 21 days from discovery in Jalalabad until it was released to the press? Regardless, military types have to follow a chain-of-command, and there isn't a direct link between the guys in the field in Afghanistan who find these things and the President. So some spooks in Afghanistan find this tape, by the time they get around to watching it and realize they have something, then get a rough translation of it, then send it up the chain-of-command, where it still has to get out of Afghanistan and then probably goes to some intelligence agency. The analysts at the CIA or wherever then analyse the tape to see what they can make out of it. By the time they are done looking at it, realize that yes they do indeed have something significant, and then get it to the Director of Central Intelligence or whoever, who is then probably able to speak with the President and arrange to show it to him, you can see these things probably take some time. Not to mention the fact that I understand there was some debate on the part of the President on whether or not to even release the tape to the public. I'm naturally not saying that's exactly how things went down, but it sounds plausible.

With the technology we have these days it's more than easy to doctor such proof.

I don't think so in this case. Besides the fact that bin Laden and al-Zwaharei were on the tape, there was also a Saudi cleric who was recognized. So at the very least it seems certain that this was a genuine videotape of a meeting that these three had. So given that the video at the very least is certainly genuine, that leads us to question whether or not the sound was doctored. I think that particularly because it was such a poor quality tape that the sound would be even more difficult to doctor. The microphone used was from the camera, so particularly with the apparent distance from camera to bin Laden, a tremendous amount of ambient noise was picked up. You can also clearly see and hear ambient noises generated from the people on the video interacting with their environment. And remember that since no one is personally miced, the echoes and sound properties would be very difficult to duplicate. On top of that, one quote from some appologist in that part of the world incredulously said "Look, they even duplicated his laugh." What that tells me is that he had a distinctive laugh that was known and recognizeable, and even this person who didn't want to admit it recognized the individual on the video as bin Laden.
Sorry I can't help but think that a bunch of geeks on sublevel 15 of the Pentagon may be behind that.

Fox Mulder would be proud of you. For us to pull this off, you would not only have to perform what is probably almost technically impossible, but you would also have to find very technically skilled people to do it who would never speak of these actions. Doctoring evidence that is presented to a US court, as this tape will surely be, is illegal. These people aren't going to go to prison in order to help frame bin Laden, and any order they would get to doctor this tape would be an unlawful order that they would not be obliged to follow. Knowing that the blame for any action that goes awry always gets put down on the lowest level, there is nobody in their right mind who would put themselves on the line like that.
It also could have been doctored by our "friends" of the Northern Alliance who have everything to gain in that process

I don't think that people who ride horseback into battle have either the equipment or the skill to pull off something like that.

[This message has been edited by Jason Menard (edited December 16, 2001).]
Valentin Crettaz
Gold Digger
Sheriff

Joined: Aug 26, 2001
Posts: 7610
Well Jason,
the way you presented the stuff and turned down each and every of my sentences makes sense. You know I am very skeptical by nature and I know that the US government is way to big to be functionning well and you know that. There are lots of things that those guys don't tell us for the sake of National Security. Come on! People in the US live in a country where information is hidden from them. The government is so powerful that they are even able to make people believe things that are not even true. They do what they want and that's a fact. Those who don't believe in that are simply the guys who don't want to believe that because they think US is a paradise, and believe me US is way far from being a paradise. The government laways has the last word, they can say whatever they wanna say, or better, whatever they want people to believe. Otherwise we would know, for instance, who killed Kennedy.
Come on don't tell you trust the US government because you are a liar. Even the most important process went wrong last year, they are not even capable to get their voting system to work properly, they made fool of themselves a year ago and the results were (and are) not even clear today...
Well, I don't wanna fight over this, I just wanted to give my opinion.
You and me not agreeing on the tape issue is called a divergence of opinion and that's the reason why democracy exist and that's goooood !

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Valentin Crettaz
Sun Certified Programmer for Java 2 Platform
[This message has been edited by Valentin Crettaz (edited December 16, 2001).]
sonny kher
Ranch Hand

Joined: Nov 06, 2001
Posts: 83
how does it really matter how authentic the tape really is?
Personally, I cannot despise that man any more than i already do, and no tape is going to change that.
And I am sure the US govt knew they weren't going to convince a lot of people with this peice of evidence, anyway.
Gregg Bolinger
GenRocket Founder
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jul 11, 2001
Posts: 15300
    
    6

Why show the tape in the first place is what I say. Does America care whether or not other countries believe he is guilty or not? Does Pres. Bush care if the American people believe he is guilty or not? If he does, he shouldn't. We are not the jury. We are not the judge. Do we see confession tapes of other criminals from around the world? 40 years ago America bit into the biggest lie of all. Who shot JFK? This is the same thing here. We are being fed what we are suposed to believe. We are not being allowed to make our own decisions based on intellegent study of all the evidence. Since we were allowed to see this tape, then we should see every other piece of documentation, inquires, tapes, recordings, etc and then maybe we can put together the facts. Until then, don't show me anything. Except Ben Ladin hanging from a pole, stripped of his skin, set of fire, and kept alive for a few years.
The tape is pointless. Plus, if it ever gets into any kind of American court system, it will be ruled inabmissible, because EVERYONE in the world saw it, and there could never be a partial or unbiased jury. Although I realize that Ben Ladin will probably never be in that kind of judicial system once this is over.

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Jason Menard
Sheriff

Joined: Nov 09, 2000
Posts: 6450
Originally posted by Valentin Crettaz:
People in the US live in a country where information is hidden from them.

Naturally. Some information wasn't meant for general consumption.
The government is so powerful that they are even able to make people believe things that are not even true.

And many people refuse to believe things that are true regardless of the amount of proof given. This can be due to irrational biases or conflicts between the truth and their own personal belief system (that is, the way they view the universe).

They do what they want and that's a fact. Those who don't believe in that are simply the guys who don't want to believe that because they think US is a paradise, and believe me US is way far from being a paradise.

They do? Who is "they"? Now ambitious people will often try to pull stuff over on people, but believe it or not, the government is set up in such a way to discourage that as well as punish people who break the rules. Clinton and Whitewater is a good example. And while the US is not a paradise, neither is anywhere else. I have yet to see a system that offers the individual more power over his destiny than the US.

The government laways has the last word, they can say whatever they wanna say, or better, whatever they want people to believe. Otherwise we would know, for instance, who killed Kennedy.

Ummm... Lee Harvey Oswald killed JFK. Robert Kennedy was killed by Sirhan Sirhan. Ted Kennedy's liver was killed by whiskey.

Come on don't tell you trust the US government because you are a liar.

I like to think I have enough objectivity to know when to trust and when to be skeptical. I have worked with government types before, so maybe things just don't seem as mysterious to me. Everything is not a conspiracy. "They" are often people just like you and me. "They" are just normal people doing their 9-5 job to bring home some money to support their familiy. "They" don't all come equipped with some kind of hidden agenda.

Even the most important process went wrong last year, they are not even capable to get their voting system to work properly, they made fool of themselves a year ago and the results were (and are) not even clear today...

Ahh ok this explains a bit. "Denial" isn't a river in Egypt. Get over it man, ol'wooden boy lost, that's just the way it is. This is an old subject so no need to rehash it, but after the elections, various media types and independant experts were allowed access to the disputed Florida ballots. They performed a recount and determined that GW would have won anyway. On top of that, you cannot blame the federal government for the incompetence of the Florida voters, nor for the way the Florida government handled things. If you really want to talk about the election, should we discuss how the liberal media tainted the elections on election day in favor of the democrats? Should we talk about the fact that the citizens of Tennessee, those who know Gore best, rejected him at the ballot box? If he had won Tennessee he would have won the election, particularly since he had benefitted from the media tampering.

Well, I don't wanna fight over this, I just wanted to give my opinion.
You and me not agreeing on the tape issue is called a divergence of opinion and that's the reason why democracy exist and that's goooood !


Sounds good to me.
Michael Ernest
High Plains Drifter
Sheriff

Joined: Oct 25, 2000
Posts: 7292

VC: Even the most important process went wrong last year, they are not even capable to get their voting system to work properly, they made fool of themselves a year ago and the results were (and are) not even clear today...
JM: Ahh ok this explains a bit. "Denial" isn't a river in Egypt. Get over it man, ol'wooden boy lost, that's just the way it is. This is an old subject so no need to rehash it, but after the elections, various media types and independant experts were allowed access to the disputed Florida ballots. They performed a recount and determined that GW would have won anyway...
I don't hear Valentin saying Gore should have won. I hear him saying the process was broken. Jason, if you don't find what went down in Florida a national embarrassment, I sure do. Forget who won. Who won? It was and is a f***king mess. I can and do blame the Federal goverment for not watching over a backwater state, if for no other reason that the brother of one of the candidates runs the place. If for no other reason than to deal with the appearance of impropriety, we should have looked at Florida more closely from the outset.
Don't mistake me for someone who thinks Gore was cheated out of the White House. That decision has been made. I'm saying the way we had to make it stinks. Counting chads in some oceanside resort to determine a winner? If you gave me that setting, I'd be imagining Chile, not here.
Jason Menard
Sheriff

Joined: Nov 09, 2000
Posts: 6450
While you may hold US government responsible for not presiding over the election process in Florida, this is one of those places where there is a very clear deliniation of power between State governments and the Federal government. There are very good reasons for which the federal government was not meant to act outside its prescribed scope in these matters.
Personally I viewed the entire thing with disgust. I go on record again as saying I am neither a democrat nor a republican, but the acts of many, particularly many of the Democrats (Jesse Jackson, Gore and his camp, the party officials, the people who insisted they would never view the elected President as their President, etc...), absolutley turned my stomach. When the Gore camp wanted to not count military absentee ballots, most likely because military voters often tend to vote Republican, that pretty did it for any effectiveness he would have had as Commander-in-Chief (much like Clinton before him pissed on the military).
Now if the media hadn't purposely returned results (which were blantly wrong in most cases) of Gore victories in several states while polls were still open in some states, we would not have had this problem either. It should have never come down to Florida, or any other one state, to begin with. Media doesn't discourage Republican voters from coming out to the polls, Bush wins. The voters of Gore's home state don't think he is an idiot, maybe he wins. The point is there are a million variables that can affect an election, and the system is designed to handle them. But when you have the loser crying and dragging out the process again and again in an attempt to steal the election from the American people, you cannot point the finger at the federal government, particularly since the Democrats were in office, and Gore was the VP.
Michael Ernest
High Plains Drifter
Sheriff

Joined: Oct 25, 2000
Posts: 7292

JM:While you may hold US government responsible for not presiding over the election process in Florida, this is one of those places where there is a very clear deliniation of power between State governments and the Federal government. There are very good reasons for which the federal government was not meant to act outside its prescribed scope in these matters.
ME: Grin, well morally accountable, then, if not legally.
JM: Personally I viewed the entire thing with disgust. I go on record again as saying I am neither a democrat nor a republican, but the acts of many, particularly many of the Democrats (Jesse Jackson, Gore and his camp, the party officials, the people who insisted they would never view the elected President as their President, etc...), absolutley turned my stomach. When the Gore camp wanted to not count military absentee ballots, most likely because military voters often tend to vote Republican, that pretty did it for any effectiveness he would have had as Commander-in-Chief (much like Clinton before him pissed on the military).
ME: I don't declare a party either, nor do I vote consistently, at least in retrospect. I'm for things like money to build schools and libraries and, by extension, the leaders most likely to have used them before (I'll dig on Dubya since you got the Gore side). But you know, it's an adversarial process any way you slice it, and in such a process people try to discount the factors not in their favor. Fairness is sometimes the alleged product of all this, but we know it's compromise, and there are casualties to compromise including the appearance of fairness. Neither side ever said "let's just count all the votes" so enough will the one-sided electioneering claims. There's too much at stake here; people want it going their way. That's the nature of power, not Democrat tactics.
JM: Now if the media hadn't purposely returned results (which were blantly wrong in most cases) of Gore victories in several states while polls were still open in some states, we would not have had this problem either. It should have never come down to Florida, or any other one state, to begin with. Media doesn't discourage Republican voters from coming out to the polls, Bush wins. The voters of Gore's home state don't think he is an idiot, maybe he wins. The point is there are a million variables that can affect an election, and the system is designed to handle them. But when you have the loser crying and dragging out the process again and again in an attempt to steal the election from the American people, you cannot point the finger at the federal government, particularly since the Democrats were in office, and Gore was the VP.
ME: I didn't buy this argument then, and I don't buy it now. You're having it both ways, you harping on the liberal media and then deriding Gore for harping on Republican politics in Florida. Gore won the popular vote; he won the right to bitch when it came down to a hand count in a state your opponent's brother watches over. The way he exploited that opportunity, mind you, wasn't admirable, but that's after the fact.
Now Jason: to hell with this lame, tired media-bias argument; if you're right, it still did not "work." Now can you at least acknowledge the appearance of overwhelming advantage having a Jeb in your corner amounts to? There's no paper or tv station in the country that swings that kind of influence. Do it for yourself, man: show me some of that vaunted objectivity, and acknowledge the obvious.
[This message has been edited by Michael Ernest (edited December 18, 2001).]
Jason Menard
Sheriff

Joined: Nov 09, 2000
Posts: 6450
Originally posted by Michael Ernest:
Now Jason: to hell with this lame, tired media-bias argument; if you're right, it still did not "work." Now can you at least acknowledge the appearance of overwhelming advantage having a Jeb in your corner amounts to?

I didn't see it that way, but I suppose some may have. Jeb was absolutely silent during the elections. What you are implying is that he was performing some behind the scenes manipulation. I don't by it. If he was trying to manipulate the Florida election process in GW's favor, he would have had to get other people to do it for him. Other people always talk. Americans cannot remain silent. Again, I don't see conspiracies behind every government action, they usually have too much to lose if they are busted, and there are usually too many people involved to remain silent. Am I saying Jeb didn't exert any pressure? Nope, just saying I don't think he did.

There's no paper or tv station in the country that swings that kind of influence.

Oh really? The media prides itself on making the news and manipulating public opinion. There are probably no more powerful people in this country than the media outlets. The American media sent us to Somalia as one example. Night after night of images of starving children tends to influence the viewers just a bit doesn't it? The bastards were even waiting on the beaches when the Marines landed. Would we have bothered putting troops in there if it wasn't for those constant broadcasts? And then we take a few casualties and get night after night of images of American bodies being dragged through the streets and searing commentary. Then the troops get pulled out. The American media rules the minds of most Americans. All they need to do is look to the networks to have them determine what the lastest cause of the day is.
Do it for yourself, man: show me some of that vaunted objectivity, and acknowledge the obvious.

Disagreeing with you has nothing to do with objectivity. I can see how the fact that Jeb Bush was the govenor of the state the dems contested the results of might have made the dems suspicious. I can also see how things looked after Gore said he would abide by the results of a recount, and then re-negged when the recount went against him and demanded another recount, and then tried to bar the counting of military absentee ballots. Saying that's just how people in power behave is a cop out to justify reprehensible behavior.
You say you don't buy the fact that the early reporting of results, erroneous reports at that, affected voting and voter turnout, particularly in the western states. Would you agree that most Americans like to back a winner? This point was driven home a few years ago when I was watching the news ask people who they wanted to win the World Series, the Yankees or whoever they were playing (can't remember, not important). These were people not from the New York area. The overwhelming majority of them said the Yankees and the thing that was echoed by many of these people was that they were backing the Yankees because they knew they were going to win. By extension of backing the winning team, they themselves would feel like winners in a sense. It's really so common in sports that it almost goes unnoticed. I don't think that most voters are overly principled about their voting and don't take it as the civic responsibility that it is, as evidenced by the Floridians inability to cast a proper vote, despite having samples of the ballots in advance, despite having used that ballot in previous elections, despite there being clear instructions, and despite their being people at the polls to assist people having trouble.
Ok so the media comes on and reports that Gore has won certain states, and therefore has won the election. Meanwhile polls are still open in many states and the media was supposedly basing their comments on their own surveys and early returns. So what do you think the average Republican out west who hears this is going to do? Many of them are not going to bother voting. What about the people straddling the fence posts who could swing either way? They are going to vote for Gore. What about those voters who really don't care when it comes down to it? They are going to vote for Gore because after all, he is going to win, and people like backing the winner.
Now if the media had simply kept their yaps shut, this would never have been an issue. Clinton/Gore was a big friend of the media, the Democrats historically have been very accomodating to the media. Most journalists lean to the left. So now you tell me about the appearance of impropriety. I can't say that they conspired to do it on purpose, or that the networks just took it upon themselves to help out the cause, but you can't deny that there likely was a fallout from their erroneous reporting.
Really I've been hoping for some viable independant candidates to come on the scene, but that hasn't happened. I strongly lean towards the left when it comes to personal liberties, where the Dems clearly do better than the Republicans, but the Republicans have ususally got a much better handle on foreign policy and more importantly national defense. On top of all that, I would like to keep some of the money I earn. If the Dems had their way we would all be paying 60% income tax to support a welfare state. I've seen socialism in action and have come to realize that it isn't for me.
Michael Ernest
High Plains Drifter
Sheriff

Joined: Oct 25, 2000
Posts: 7292

JM: Saying that's just how people in power behave is a cop out to justify reprehensible behavior.
ME: Government agencies grind to a halt over partisan squabbles all the time; this was just a horrid, extreme example. I don't see any cop out in what I describe. Politicians do behave in reprehensible ways where power is concerned. They just do. The examples are plain enough.
JM: You say you don't buy the fact that the early reporting of results, erroneous reports at that, affected voting and voter turnout, particularly in the western states. Would you agree that most Americans like to back a winner?...I don't think that most voters are overly principled about their voting and don't take it as the civic responsibility that it is, as evidenced by the Floridians inability to cast a proper vote...so the media comes on and reports that Gore has won certain states, and therefore has won the election. So what do you think the average Republican out west who hears this is going to do? Many of them are not going to bother voting. What about the people straddling the fence posts who could swing either way? They are going to vote for Gore. What about those voters who really don't care when it comes down to it? They are going to vote for Gore because after all, he is going to win, and people like backing the winner.
ME: I don't think people show up to the polls at all if they feel the candidates and issues they care about won't win. They sure don't go vote for someone they can't stand; that's just absurd. The only statement that ever matters is an election is a concession speech, and enough people know that to get a proper outcome most of the time. Concession speeches have impact. Ask any Democrat about the year Reagan ran against Carter. That one hurt a lot of local politics out here in the west. Lots.
JM: Now if the media had simply kept their yaps shut, this would never have been an issue.
ME: Oh please, Jason, that's Rush Limbaugh talking, not you.
JM: Clinton/Gore was a big friend of the media, the Democrats historically have been very accomodating to the media. Most journalists lean to the left. So now you tell me about the appearance of impropriety. I can't say that they conspired to do it on purpose, or that the networks just took it upon themselves to help out the cause, but you can't deny that there likely was a fallout from their erroneous reporting.
ME: If the best the media can do is make it close but still lose, they're really not the threat you make them out to be. You wanna talk about powerful friends, let's talk oil and the religious right. You think just because they don't own network television that their lobbying isn't more effective?
JMOn top of all that, I would like to keep some of the money I earn. If the Dems had their way we would all be paying 60% income tax to support a welfare state. I've seen socialism in action and have come to realize that it isn't for me.
ME: I reissue my challenge to show me the objectiveness in that statement. I dunno about you, but when I've been shopping for health care packages for a family of four, I've been seeing prices around $11k a year, plus copayments, and referrals to specialists only on approval and all that other bureaucratic crap. It's actually far cheaper to buy catastrophic insurance and pay for our visits out of pocket. Frankly, socialized health has sounded better and better each year.
It's cheaper for government to run health care that private organizations; about 3 cents overhead on the dollar to 24 cents on the dollar like it is right now. You can't beat the buying power of the Federal government, and they do use it, quite effectively.
We got us a high-concentration of old fart ex-military where I live. We can legalize "riverboat" gambling here, but can't pass a school bond measure after four years of trying. They can piss away as much money as they'd like playing local blackjack and slots, but the two high schools built around here in the 60's, don't need stall doors, and the triple growth in population since that time, well, make the desks smaller I guess.
Y'know, I'd like to be proud of our men and women who serve, but they can grow up into some pretty selfish pricks. Guess I'll have to do what I can to screw yet more VA benefits next chance I get.
If privatizing and de-regulating industries is such a good idea, how is it we pay more each year for less health coverage? Explain to me again government waste when gas costs $2.19 a gallon and solar power starts looking cheaper than natural gas. Why is it outrageous to spend on drug awareness programs but acceptable to drive our budget into the ground in what amounts to a search for one man in Afghanistan? You want to talk about unchecked government spending, Jason, let's take a hard look not where you fear it, but where it's happening.
[This message has been edited by Michael Ernest (edited December 19, 2001).]
Jason Menard
Sheriff

Joined: Nov 09, 2000
Posts: 6450
M: They sure don't go vote for someone they can't stand; that's just absurd.
I never said or implied that they did.
M:Oh please, Jason, that's Rush Limbaugh talking, not you.
I don't listen to Rush and the like. Don't particularly care for them all that much.
M: If the best the media can do is make it close but still lose, they're really not the threat you make them out to be. You wanna talk about powerful friends, let's talk oil and the religious right. You think just because they don't own network television that their lobbying isn't more effective?
So you are admitting the media's actions very likely had an impact on the election? As for powerful lobbying groups, I'm sure we can list them from both sides all day. NOW, NAACP, and AARP come to mind. But what I was talking about was direct influence over the American public, not influence over politicians. There's no shortage of entities that influence politicians.
M: I reissue my challenge to show me the objectiveness in that statement. I dunno about you, but when I've been shopping for health care packages for a family of four, I've been seeing prices around $11k a year, plus copayments, and referrals to specialists only on approval and all that other bureaucratic crap. It's actually far cheaper to buy catastrophic insurance and pay for our visits out of pocket. Frankly, socialized health has sounded better and better each year.
I don't know where objectivity is an issue in my statement, but anyway... Ask many of the British around here what they think of socialized medicine. From my experience they don't have too much nice to say about it. We already have at least two institutions in this country which provide subsidized government healthcare: the VA, and the military. Both, particularly the VA, provide substandard healthcare. And you want to talk about a beurocratic nightmare to actually make use of this healthcare. On top of that, if you get healthcare not approved by them, even in what you think is an emergency, you could end up footing the entire bill. There is no reason to think that any other form of government run medicine would be handled any better. Since I have gotten private insurance through my employer (CIGNA PPO), my health care benefits are tremendously better than the government healthcare plan (TRI-CARE) that I used to be under.
M: We got us a high-concentration of old fart ex-military where I live. We can legalize "riverboat" gambling here, but can't pass a school bond measure after four years of trying. They can piss away as much money as they'd like playing local blackjack and slots, but the two high schools built around here in the 60's, don't need stall doors, and the triple growth in population since that time, well, make the desks smaller I guess.
So then are you saying that in general you have a high-concentration of elderly people where you live? I think your bias shows through by blaming every perceived local political failure on retired military personnel. Odd as it may seem, the elderly do not have a record of voting positively for things like school spending bills.
M: Y'know, I'd like to be proud of our men and women who serve, but they can grow up into some pretty selfish pricks. Guess I'll have to do what I can to screw yet more VA benefits next chance I get.
It's nice to be able to enjoy freedoms that other people have fought for, died for, and continue to maintain for you, isn't it? Instead of insulting and attacking those who were/are willing to put their lives on the line or even die to protect something you are not willing to fight for yourself, maybe you should reflect on how without these people, those that came before them, and those that will come after them, your lifestyle might be quite a bit worse off. Many Americans take for granted how well they have things, and fail to realize the continuing price there is to be paid. So next time you go to vote to "screw yet more VA benefits" (Clinton already did a number on them), you instead need to vote to support them, because you really do owe it to them. Without these people willing to serve in the military for you, you or your children might actually have to do it, and I'm sure you don't want that.
M: If privatizing and de-regulating industries is such a good idea, how is it we pay more each year for less health coverage?
There is a large difference between regulating an industry and social medicine. I don't disagree that medical costs are skyrocketing. There are many factors for this. One of the big reason is the litigious nature of our culture.
Paul Stevens
Ranch Hand

Joined: May 17, 2001
Posts: 2823
M: Y'know, I'd like to be proud of our men and women who serve, but they can grow up into some pretty selfish pricks. Guess I'll have to do what I can to screw yet more VA benefits next chance I get.

And many who never served in the military end up the same way.
 
Don't get me started about those stupid light bulbs.
 
subject: bin Laden tape