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WERA49
06-22-2005, 06:08
I just received this. So far, it's great! I learned of Ann Coulter about a month ago. BTW, the name of the book is "How to talk to liberals, if you must". :)


Have any of you read it?

prairieviper
06-23-2005, 10:03
Ann Coulter is too extreme for me. Bill O'Reilly is about right.

Spyder Teeth
06-26-2005, 08:42
I have the audiobook. It is a little tedious to listen to because the book itself is mostly made up of old opinion columns Coulter had laying around. It was a fantastic idea to put them all together in a book but doesn't lend itself very well to the audio format.

NRA_guy
06-26-2005, 20:14
Yep. I am wading through Coulter's "How to Talk to Liberals if you Must" book. I love her philosophy, but so far, I find the book annoying---mostly because I find the title misleading.

So far I find nothing in it about how to talk to liberals.

All it does is publish all of her old syndicated newspaper columns about GW Bush vs Kerry, liberal Democrats (a redundant term), 9/11 Arab terrorists, and the Iraq war. Many of her columns have been overcome by events.

I did enjoy the part about airline baggage handlers and so-called antiterrorism initiatives taken after 9/11. It's timeless.

She pokes her finger in the eye of liberals, and has no qualms about calling pseudo-conservatives like Bill O'Reilly on the carpet.

Of course, she pays the price for being honest; she has found greater difficulty getting on TV.

I want her to run for president, but she's too conservative for either party or the typical voter feeding at the Federal trough,

prairieviper
06-28-2005, 07:28
;Q

Sunwolf Enemy
07-14-2005, 21:25
I dislike and distrust rabids on either side of the spectrum. Coulter is certainly one.

This country (USA) ostensibly protects the rights of the few from the whims of the many, true. Yet it also protects the many from the conceits of the few.

NRA_guy
07-16-2005, 06:36
Originally posted by Sunwolf Enemy
I dislike and distrust rabids on either side of the spectrum. Coulter is certainly one.

Interesting. So, you must be a moderate?

I tend to see everything in black and white; good and bad.

You like a little gun control, but not too much?

You think criminals should be punished, but not too severily?

You think there is a government solution to most, but not all, problems?

You think some illegal immigration is OK, but not too much?

You think most power should be vested in the Fed, but not all?

You are for big government, but not too big?

You see good and bad in the ACLU?

I just don't see much gray in such issues.

Originally posted by Sunwolf Enemy
This country (USA) ostensibly protects the rights of the few from the whims of the many, true. Yet it also protects the many from the conceits of the few.

Hmmm. When one person can take a case to the Supreme Court and 5 judges can create law that binds everybody---despite the fact that a vast majority is opposed to the ruling---I think we are not protecting the many from the conceits of the few.

Sunwolf Enemy
07-16-2005, 16:43
Interesting. So, you must be a moderate?

No. I'm me. Just because many (most?) people in this country are too self conscious to judge individual issues based on their beliefs without having to try to fit themselves into some ridiculous media-created label doesn't mean I am.

I tend to see everything in black and white; good and bad.

Though I do have stong opinions and beliefs, I'm always willing to change my mind about an issue if new information presents itself. There's always more than one side to an issue, and everyone is usually convinced they're right. I'm not so arrogant as to assume I'm 100% right 100% of the time. Michael Moore is certainly not right 100% of the time. Neither is Ann Coulter.

You like a little gun control, but not too much?

Actually, no. I don't like any gun control. I believe in three things as far as this issue goes--innocent until proven guilty, parental responsibility, and everyone has the right to self defense, not only from criminals but from abusive, overbearing governments. I believe the second ammendment does not refer solely to such mundane activities as hunting, but to more serious issues like protecting individual and group freedoms from anyone, foreign or domesic, who tries to remove those freedoms. On this issue I'm more conservative that many self-proclaimed conservatives in this country.

You think criminals should be punished, but not too severily?

I think criminals should be punished just enough to convince them to not commit crimes. For some people, this'll take about 2 days in jail, regardless of the crime. For others, toss 'em and pitch the key. Unfortunately, this approach isn't practical.

What is practical is to make sure the laws on the books make sense. When conservatives spout off about how they want smaller government and less governmental intrusion into private lives, yet are the first to praise the jailing of doctors and patients who responsibly use medical marijuana to alleviate pain, that doesn't make any sense. When liberals spout off about how they want a safer society, yet are the first to pass laws coddling violent criminals and protecting criminal's rights at the expense of victim's rights, that doesn't make any sense.

You think there is a government solution to most, but not all, problems?

No, but I think there is a government solution to some problems, particularly those that don't present an immediate cultural solution. When multibillion dollar multinational corporations ravage the earth, wantonly poluting public lands in the name of simple greed, this is not a problem that presents an immediate cultural solution. Governmental regulations and enforcement work well here.

But passing laws that try to force people to protect themselves by wearing helmets or seatbelts is ridiculous and an utter waste of time. Just two examples out of many on both sides.

You think some illegal immigration is OK, but not too much?

Not at all. This is a no-brainer. All illegal immigration is not ok. Protect the damned borders or lose the country. Illegal immigration is just that--illegal. See the above point about liberals coddling criminals.

You think most power should be vested in the Fed, but not all?

I'm going to assume you're talking about the state's rights issue and not the Federal Reserve. Correct me if I'm wrong. ;Q

I think a good rule of thumb here is that whatever is impractical for each state to have a separate rule on should be controlled by the federal government. Err in favor of states rights until proven impractical in any given issue.

You are for big government, but not too big?

I'm for honest government. I'm for responsible government. I think "big government" is a catch-phrase that's thrown about too freely. What is "big government" exactly? For most people, it's government that intrudes on issues that they personally don't want to see intrusion. For the lawyers, it's tort reform. For the isolationist, it's heavy -handed foreign policy. For the politically active evangelical, it's separation of church and state. For the 12 year old kid, it's rating labels on video games.

As I hope you can see, I'm very much opposed to some aspects of both major political parties in this country. On thing I am for, wholeheartedly, is the elimination of the stranglehold the Democrats and Republicans have set up for themselves over the political process in this country. The lack of real competition breeds corruption, and this is a far more serious problem today than the size of the government.

You see good and bad in the ACLU?

You've been watching too much O'Reilly. I see good in the foundations of the ACLU. I see bad in the hypocrisy shown when the ACLU hand picks the cases it'll take on based on political ideology.

I just don't see much gray in such issues.

Neither do I. But I like to think I'm smart enough to know that complex issues like these can't be boiled down to a one sentence sound bite. ;L

Sunwolf Enemy
07-16-2005, 16:47
Almost forgot this one.

Hmmm. When one person can take a case to the Supreme Court and 5 judges can create law that binds everybody---despite the fact that a vast majority is opposed to the ruling---I think we are not protecting the many from the conceits of the few.

That's why we have the ammendment process. If so many people are so in favor of something, despite the Supreme Court ruling against its consitutionality, they should pressure their elected representatives to ammend the Constitution. I know it's a pain, but it's what we have.

Unless you're willing to scrap the Consitution...?

NRA_guy
07-17-2005, 06:14
Thanks for the reply. I can see that you are an intelligent person and that your heart is in the right place. Didn't intend to offend you.

Americans are raised to believe (and it's probably true) that intelligent folks can see advantages and disadvantages to almost every situation.

I understand where you are coming from. I can see both sides, too. In my youth, I spent much time figuring out how I felt on various subjects.

It's just that I have witnessed the evolution of moral equivocation as a national policy, and (in my opinion) that has contributed to the downfall of this nation.

As you get older, I predict that you will be accused of "becoming more conservative". In reality, you will simply realize that some things are absolute. From experience, you will know the bottom line without having to analyze the issues.

We need to draw more lines in the sand. Seeing both sides of every issue may show intelligence and compassion and understanding, but it is an inefficient process and it invites creeping degradation of our social and moral standards. Liberals are happy to eat the elephant one bite at the time.

We are rapidly approaching the situation where every decision must be held up to the scrutiny of the US Supreme Court. I think that's where liberals want things. That way, 5 old folks can overturn the will of 80% of the voters.

We don't need to analyze why a guy rapes a little 6-year old girl and kills her little brother. And we don't need to try to rehabilitate him. We just need to punish him expeditiously.

No, I don't think constitutional amendments are practical or possible nowdays. There are just too many obstacles. Nor would they be necessary if the 10th Amendment had not been eliminated. I place my trust more in local governments and the people than I do the Federal governmnet.

Can you think of any single thing (other than the demise of the Soviet Union and our space program) that the US government has done a good job on since World War II? None come to my mind.

PS: No, I don't listen to Bill O'Reilly. He's much too liberal for me. And Limbaugh and Savage are way too stupid for me to tolerate. And I don't see much of Ann Coulter. But I love the fact that they poke their fingers in the liberals' eyes. "Any enemy of my enemy is a friend of mine."

Take care.

Sunwolf Enemy
07-17-2005, 12:41
Good post.

While I disagree with you on some things, I admire your obvious passion for our country and its continued success. I've always been baffled at those who decry America. Yes, we have room for improvement, and yes, we should continue to try to improve in all areas. But we're still the best this world has to offer, and I think many of us take that for granted.

I do disagree with your last paragraph. Coulter poking her fingers in the eyes of those she disagrees with, while satisfying I'm sure, will not accomplish anything. It will never win them over to her way of thinking. It will never move us forward as a society. The only thing it will accomplish is anger and hatred and strife. Call me naive but I'm convinced we Americans can still solve our problems without fighting eachother, physically or otherwise.

I also disagree about the ammendment process. I think it can work, but only if we do a thorough housecleaning in Washington D.C. and make some real changes in the way our government runs. Let's face it--the level of corruption is so prevalent in our federal government that real progress is virtually impossible. Hell, corruption has become the standard order of business in Washington. It's become accepted by not only the corrupt politicians, but by the citizens as well. And I'm not only talking about liberals and their pork projects and their obstructionism. I'm also talking about conservatives and their recent allowing of the religious right to take over their party and the Bush Administration's unprecedented secrecy from the people it's supposed to represent.

Both sides have good intentions and good ideas. But as a country we'll never be able to make any significant cultural progress if we don't acknowledge the value of the ideas of the other side.

You're right, as I've aged I've become more conservative. But I very much hope I'll never become so conservative that I lose my perspective on what liberals are trying to do--make this country a better place. Coulter and Moore have both completely lost all perspective. They see eachother as demons with no redeeming qualities whatsoever, and when our opinions degenerate that far we can't work with those who disagree with us. At that point, all we can do is bicker and fight. And unless we're willing to subjugate those who disagree with us through force of arms (and then where the hell is our freedom and democracy?), there's really no point in bickering and fighting.

Can you think of any single thing (other than the demise of the Soviet Union and our space program) that the US government has done a good job on since World War II? None come to my mind.

They've done a hell of a job corrupting themselves and putting private interests over public good. A+ there. And I wouldn't be so quick to applaud the government's handling of the space program. They've done a great job of repeating the mistakes of the past. I guess you can add that to the list. :P

NRA_guy
07-17-2005, 20:09
Thanks for the feedback. It's extremely rare that I find anyone who can discuss differences in opinion without attacking the person. I consider that a mark of true intelligence. Kudos!

Re:
Originally posted by Sunwolf Enemy
Coulter poking her fingers in the eyes of those she disagrees with, while satisfying I'm sure, will not accomplish anything. It will never win them over to her way of thinking. It will never move us forward as a society. The only thing it will accomplish is anger and hatred and strife.

You may be right. But I see public opinion somewhat like a balance: if conservatives only field moderates, the balance point slides to the left. Liberals see moderates and right-leaning intellectuals as easy targets---opponents who can simply be ignored. Like terrorists and jackals, they feel empowered to go for the jugular and press for more radical agendas. (Like Hillary's "all the guns" speech.) Vocal, in-your-face conservatives at least let them know there is opposition, and it helps conservatives unite. I believe that helps pull the balance point toward the right.

Winning over liberals is an admirable, but I fear futile, goal. I have never seen anyone change their political thinking as a result of hearing the other side's logic. I've stopped trying to change anybody's mind on anything.

People change their mind based upon personal experience---if they change at all. Most never do.

Re:
Originally posted by Sunwolf Enemy
I also disagree about the amendment process. I think it can work, but only if we do a thorough housecleaning in Washington D.C. and make some real changes in the way our government runs.

We can't clean house. Remember: the purpose of Finance Reform was to ensure the re-election of incumbents. And (surprise, surprise) both sides supported it. Even politicians who manage to get elected based upon promises of reform soon succumb to the desire for re-election. And too many voters prostitute themselves and sell their vote for government subsidies. The politicians who promise the most pork are the ones who get elected.

I see only three possible futures for the US:

1. Politicians and a majority of voters will have an epiphany and suddenly be willing to forego personal gain for the greater good of the country, or

2. Politicians and a majority of voters will continue to do what is in their personal best interests and the country be damned, or

3. A leader with great charisma may rise up and promise to "straighten out the country" if the people will just accept temporary suspension of the Constitution and the legal processes. (Much like Germany welcomed Hitler and Italy welcomed Mussolini in the 1930s to solve their national problems.)

Number 1 is a non-starter. Those who put us here are not likely to save us. Those few who might campaign on a platform to fix the system cannot possibly get nominated or elected. And if they did, we would still have all the fat cats in Congress standing in the way and dividing up the pork for their home districts.

Number 2 is the most likely. We may just ooze along our downward spiral for the next 50 years, seeing our nation lose it's place as a world leader like Italy, Greece, England, etc.

I fear number 3 if our economy goes really bad, the dollar's value goes to near zero on the world market, and people's standard of living plummets, we are close to being receptive to a Cesar kind of person.

I think most people would hardly notice as long as their drug supply was not interrupted, their reality TV shows were not stopped, and they were not inconvenienced unduly.

Of course, there may be no solution of any kind.

Heck, there may be no problem to solve. Maybe the problems exist only in my mind. Maybe the US is really on top of the world and doing great and rising higher and higher every year.

Sunwolf Enemy
07-17-2005, 23:30
Thanks for the feedback. It's extremely rare that I find anyone who can discuss differences in opinion without attacking the person. I consider that a mark of true intelligence. Kudos!

Thanks, and ditto. :)

You may be right. But I see public opinion somewhat like a balance: if conservatives only field moderates, the balance point slides to the left. Liberals see moderates and right-leaning intellectuals as easy targets---opponents who can simply be ignored. Like terrorists and jackals, they feel empowered to go for the jugular and press for more radical agendas. (Like Hillary's "all the guns" speech.)

I agree, but I think this can change. The end of the Cold War was truly a shock to the political climate in this country. Both sides tried to claim credit, and continue to do so to this day. I think both sides played their part in the downfall of the Soviet Union. But I digress. With the end of the Cold War, both parties were pretty confused over how to address each-other. The Cold War had dominated our national political psyche for so long, both sides needed time to figure out what their enduring, post-Soviet platforms would be.

In this, they've both failed. The Republicans have abandoned their long-standing messages of fiscal responsibility and patriotism for the sake of America. They've sold their party to the religious right, utterly forsaken fiscal responsibility in favor of blatant tax breaks for big money contributors (if that's not corruption, I don't know what is), and replaced patriotism because it's the right thing to do with secrecy and a demand for compliance.

The Democrats still haven't figured out what to do. All they know is, what's happening in the Republican Party scares the hell out of them, and all they can do, until they find their own message, is fight. In this, I agree wholeheartedly with the Democrats.

However, to be able to compete with the Republicans, the Democrats have also compromised many of their beliefs. Because the Republicans have such a strong message, baffling though it may be, traditional Democratic messages like environmentalism and social justice have been weakened to avoid appearing overly obstructionist. While this has met with varying degrees of success, it hasn't helped the Democrats to appear as the strong, united, focused party they were throughout the last century. The first thing the Democrats need to do to be able to make up ground lost to the Republicans is find a solid platform, both domestic and foreign, and stick to it, even if they appear obstructionist. I think they've started to realize this as evidenced by their willingness to stand up to the Bush administration on the subject of judicial nominees.

If the Democrats can continue to do this, I think you'll see more of what happened with the "Gang of 14". Level heads on both sides will realize that, without working together, nothing will ever be accomplished. Immediate ompromises will be made, and both sides will begin to see the value of nominating and running slightly more moderate candidates for various offices (look for Bush to nominate a relative moderate to replace Sandra Day O'Connor).

Even politicians who manage to get elected based upon promises of reform soon succumb to the desire for re-election. And too many voters prostitute themselves and sell their vote for government subsidies. The politicians who promise the most pork are the ones who get elected.

Agreed, and the congressional culture of seniority equating to power coupled with lack of term limits just makes things that much worse.

I see only three possible futures for the US

I think there's a fourth possibility--national crisis.

I believe a national crisis that requires our congress to move expeditiously would expose certain weaknesses that would be difficult to overlook. At that point I think public outcry might be enough to at least overhaul some of the procedures involved. Whether I'm right or wrong about this, I very much hope we never find out.

Of course, there may be no solution of any kind.

I fear this, and I also fear it may be inevitable. Countries fall because their leaders and governments do stupid things. Ours certainly are. One example is our dealings with China. I think China is a far greater threat than any of our politicians realize, and unless we're looking for Cold War II, I think we'd all better wake up and realize what's going on.

Heck, there may be no problem to solve. Maybe the problems exist only in my mind. Maybe the US is really on top of the world and doing great and rising higher and higher every year.

You don't believe that, and neither do I.

NRA_guy
07-18-2005, 06:40
Well, you finally left me with nothing to take issue with. I totally agree with your comments.

You are dead on with the comment about the religious right hijacking the conservative movement. Actually, it was a marriage of convenience: the religious right and Catholics (that's two different groups) hooked their wagon to the conservative movement because it was their only option. Mostly their agenda is Roe v Wade, but with some moral concerns, too. The liberals had turned their back on anything religious (except possibly the Muslim religion.)

And the conservatives welcomed the religious right into their fold because it gave them a quick infusion of voting strength.

I tend to disagree a bit about the Democrats over the past few decades. I have watched it evolve. Their strength came from Federal give-away programs (Great Society, union support, farm subsidies, perceived civil rights support, etc.) and I think they just finally raised taxes to the point where the silent majority of Americans woke up and started voting.

Also, raising minimum wages, negotiated benefits, the cost of environmental compliance, and NAFTA sent all of our manufacturing jobs went overseas. These were all union jobs; so it the seriously crippled the Democratic voter base. The only big blocks of union jobs left are in trucking and education because they can't be shipped overseas, and that's just not enought to have much impact.

Soon, immigration and the high birth rate of Democratic voters will likely restore the Democrats to full power. Good or bad, the current situation (Republicans in control) is only a blip on the radar screen.

I think GW Bush has accomplished one thing: We can now stop equating Republican with conservative. Just like the Democrats had done in years past, the Republicans have now turned their back on the conservatives.

Enjoyed the thread. Take care. I'm out of here.

Sunwolf Enemy
07-18-2005, 20:46
My impersonation of your last post:

"I totally agree with everything you just said. But you're completely wrong about X, Y, and Z."

Haha! :)

The liberals had turned their back on anything religious (except possibly the Muslim religion.)

I think that's a little unfair. I don't think liberals "turned their back" so much as fought to keep religious influences out of all areas of government. I agree with this. I've never heard of liberals attacking anyone for practicing any kind of religion outside of the governmental sphere. If you remember back in the seventies and eighties, the prayer-in-school debate was going on just as fiercely as it is now, but it wasn't, for the most part, between liberals and conservatives or Democrats and Republicans as the case may be. It was between Democrats and ultra-right Evangelicals. The only difference is, now there's not much of a line at all between Republicans and Evangelicals. I'll be the first to admit that liberals have their problems, but I don't think this is one of them.

I tend to disagree a bit about the Democrats over the past few decades. I have watched it evolve. Their strength came from Federal give-away programs (Great Society, union support, farm subsidies, perceived civil rights support, etc.) and I think they just finally raised taxes to the point where the silent majority of Americans woke up and started voting.

I agree with this, but I don't necessarily think the ultimate fault is with the Democrats. I think many of their goals, and many of the laws that were passed to achieve those goals, were admirable (some more than others). The problem is, the laws weren't written specifically enough to prevent unscrupulous third parties from using and abusing the laws to further their own ends. As with most well-intentioned laws, the laws were fine. The loopholes and the lack of corrections to the flaws in the laws were not.

Also, raising minimum wages, negotiated benefits, the cost of environmental compliance, and NAFTA sent all of our manufacturing jobs went overseas.

I agree with NAFTA and, to a certain extent, negotiated benefits and minimum wages. But I honestly think environmental compliance is completely necessary. At the risk of sounding like an unwashed hippie, we only have one planet, and if we screw it up, then what? The problem is, we haven't expected foreign manufacturers to show the slightest regard for the environment, while demanding it of our own manufacturers. That creates a lopsided playing field and that's one big reason we no longer make anything in this country.

Is the solution to just stop demanding environmental responsibility from our own manufacturers? Absolutely not. America is one of the largest markets in the world. Do you really think foreign manufacturers would utterly abandon us as a marketplace if we implemented some simple environmental requirements in place as prerequisites for access to our markets? I certainly don't, and our requirements would be that much more powerful if we could collaborate with the Europeans on this issue (yeah, I know...good luck there :P).

Soon, immigration and the high birth rate of Democratic voters will likely restore the Democrats to full power. Good or bad, the current situation (Republicans in control) is only a blip on the radar screen.

I don't necessarily agree with this. For the most part, and especially these days, people believe what they're told to believe. And the Republican's are currently doing a far better job of telling people what to believe. A good friend of mine, who I consider fairly intelligent and as close to an apolitical moderate as I've ever seen, voted for Bush this past election. when I pressed him as to why, he answered, "I can't stand that Kerry guy." When I pressed him as to why he simply repeated one-line catch phrases with which the Republicans flooded the airwaves and ultimately defined Kerry as a candidate. He really didn't know much at all about Kerry, but it turned out he voted not so much for Bush, but against Kerry. Until the Democrats can find something that resonates, I don't think we'll see as drastic a turn around in political power as you might think.