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12201  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / U.S. Presidential Election Results / Oklahoma on: May 21, 2005, 11:30:01 pm




Why did Republicans make relative gains in southwestern Oklahoma but Democrats made relative gains in northeastern Oklahoma between 1956 and 1996?
12202  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Countries Moving Left or Right? on: May 21, 2005, 11:23:23 pm
Moving Right:
Australia ----> Right
U.S.A ----> Right
Japan ----> Right

Slight Right:
Germany ---> Slight right

Staying Center:
Britain ----> Staying centre
New Zealand -----> Staying same

Slight Left:
Canada ---> Slight left
France ---> Slight left (anti-E.U. vote is supported by the socialists)

Left:
Spain ---> Moving left
12203  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Bush Condemns S. Korea Stem Cell Advances on: May 21, 2005, 11:18:19 pm
Of course if it was October 2004 he would praise the advances. The man would do anything to get re-elected or help himself in politics. Its only now that he doesn't have to worry about it.
12204  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / U.S. Presidential Election Results / Re: 4 best modern loseing presidental candidates. on: May 21, 2005, 11:10:33 pm
Ford
Gore
H.W. Bush (underrated)
Humphrey

NOT Goldwater

12205  General Discussion / History / Re: Presidential Survivor (ROUND 26) on: May 20, 2005, 05:30:35 pm
Reagan
12206  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Does Bush have any goals regarding North Korea policy whatsoever? on: May 20, 2005, 05:14:21 pm
There is no way I can reply to that today in the time left to me. So I'll get back to it. Wink

Sure, no prb Smiley
12207  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: State your economic, social, environmental, and foreign policy here on: May 20, 2005, 05:00:12 pm
Economic Policy:
-- Support partial privatisation of social security
-- Support the idea of school vouchers
-- Supportive of socioeconomic affirmative action
-- Pro-trade
-- Repeal some recent tax cuts, reinstate inheritance tax
-- Support $10,000 child college tax credit
-- Support expansion of Fannie Mae loan programs and continued low interest rate policy
-- Support state-led infrastructure development and suburban smart growth
-- Support achieving affordable housing through market prices

Environmental Policy:
-- Keep ANWR as it is
-- Support tax credits for companies that research and develop commercial hybrids
-- Support raitfying and implementing the Kyoto Accord

Social Policy:
--Pro-Choice during the embryonic stage
--Support 6 week paid family leave funded by payroll tax
--Support McCain/Kennedy immigration reform bill
--Support Civil Unions for homosexual and heterosexual couples
--Marriage as defined by Christianity/Judaism/Islametc
--Support gun background checks, registration, and assault weapons ban
--Support increasing minimum wage by $1 and indexing to cost of living henceforth

Foreign Policy
--Use hard power as a platform to extend America's soft power
--Support a strong, reformed U.N. led by the U.S.
--Support an "international system" led by the United States
--Support peaceful competition between nations
--Mixed on the Iraq War
--End economic assistance to Israel and Egypt
12208  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Air Travel Tax on: May 20, 2005, 04:44:42 pm
Agricultural subsidies lower the prices which many poorer open economies pay for import, and members of European nations' exclusive clubs of their former colonies receive benefits from the CAP as well. I oppose the air travel tax, and only see a tenuous connection between the first and second parts of your complaint.
12209  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Belief in the Bible on: May 20, 2005, 04:35:29 pm
yeoh
12210  General Politics / Political Debate / Re: Abortion and the Death Penalty on: May 20, 2005, 04:33:24 pm
I am mixed on the death penalty. I traditionally support it, but the image of an actual execution is truly disturbing.
12211  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / U.S. Presidential Election Results / Re: Presidential elections with two good major party choices on: May 20, 2005, 04:32:13 pm
The last one was 1924. I can't see how socialism or Catholicism can be a good choice.

You think every Dem candidate to run since 1924 was a socialist?
12212  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Does Bush have any goals regarding North Korea policy whatsoever? on: May 20, 2005, 04:13:22 pm
Ok WMS, I started responding and ended up typing a lot--basically the whole "liberal" approach to foreign policy, as opposed to the neoconservative one. I realize a lot of Americans are frustrated because the left has done little but oppose whatever the U.S. does, seems to side with America's competitors, and has provided no coherent view of what we should do in foreign policy that isn't some watered-down variant of what Bush is already doing. I share this frustration. But let me take a shot at presenting a real alternative view, something which I think Bill Clinton understood to some extent although he couldn't quite pull it off.

Both liberals and neoconservatives recognize that ending one's analysis of IR at Hobbesian geopolitics is far too simplistic and unambitious, and that an ambitious IR policy is sought because being timid is probably actually more dangerous.

Consider-- Currently, we have a stable geopolitical situation. This could be due to one or two things. First, we have had either a bipolar or unipolar global power structure since 1945. Second, we have had nuclear deterrence among major powers.

Both the bipolar and unipolar structures require creativity on the part of the major powers, though in the unipolar case it is less immediately obvious. The bipolar structure required organizations like NATO, CENTO, SEATO, or the Warsaw Pact, to sustain mutual containment and competitiveness. In many ways it was good because it instilled societies with an intangible sense of urgency and competition, along with the technologies coming out of WW2 leading to many great achievements, IMO such as the internet, the Bretton Woods monetary system, and the space program.

The unipolar structure is somewhat less advantageous from this perspective. Perversely, since America has no real competitor on par enough to spur real urgency, a relative lethargy...not so much complacency but more of a lack of acute urgency, sets in, and this slows the pace of progress a great deal. Diamond and other historians have noted the acute competition among coexisting European states as one of the reasons for that continent's mercantile rise beginning in the 15th century; whereas unchallenged China became relatively complacent and stagnant. Is this arrangement really worth it? Perhaps, the postmodern world is very different from the premodern one, and we face some level of competition today from cheap labor, but it is worth considering.

But even disregarding that, the unipolar worldview requires no less of an institutional framework than a bipolar one; and an institutional framework must be supported by certain underlying political assumptions which are accepted by consensus, even while interests and policies of course cannot be. Normally, no assumptions would be accepted in the pure state of power politics, because it doesn't pay to accept them. But in this case, it pays for the United States to have nations accept them, because among any set of political assumptions underlying a political framework of the unipolar world will be acceptance of the basic status quo pushed by the U.S. This is important because, while we perceive no acute competition now, over the long run of a few decades or more, we certainly perceive China as a potential competitor, and over the very long run, other nations will try to challenge the U.S. as well.

Critically, there doesn't seem to be much of a consensus in the U.S. on how to handle such challenges. The balance of the argument now favors containment, but this would only slow, not halt, the relative economic convergence of the U.S. and China, or other emerging competitors, over a long period of time. Besides, the emergence of these new markets presents an opportunity to mutually benefit through trade and economic exchange, as long as these markets remain open within a WTO-type framework. Poor economies tend to export much and consume little, but this tendency reverses itself with wealth accumulation. Further, trying to derail any successes of newcomers which could potentially pose a competitive danger poses its own danger--of inciting other countries against the U.S.

So while the Cold-War style competition was good in one sense, we got very lucky in the Cold War by avoiding a conflict which would have ended the world. The maintenance of competition should be a goal, but subservient to the maintenance of peace. Can a competitive situation be created without the risk of actual hostilities that we endured during the 1950s and 60s?

This is where an institutional and political system overlaying the basic underlying geopolitical realities comes in. Few would dispute, for example, that Japan and Germany, after 1945, represent positive examples of American foreign policy success. Their example is notable not because they did not try to "rise again" but because they happily accepted American domination. Why? In fact, why, throughout history, do principalities and smaller kingdoms happily accept domination by a larger one? This, I think, is a fundamental question for American foreign policy, even more fundamental at this point than the simplistic mechanics of geopolitics or terrorism, which the Bush administration can't seem to see beyond.

The answer, IMO, lies obviously in that the larger power, whether empire or not, established an arrangement to the benefit of all powers; most of all perhaps to itself, but genuinely to the benefit of all. The example that comes to mind, is the Delian League (I've compared the U.S. and Athens before, and still see many similarities). Athens established a trading and mutual protection system that smaller city-states could benefit by joining and by accepting Athenian leadership.

If this system is successful, any rising city-states would have to go through this system and succeed through this system in order to attain power. As in a purely realist situation, there will inevitably be long-term threats to unipolarity (China, Europe, India, etc). The difference is that instead of representing an unmitigated friction and tendency towards conflict, as such as situation normally would entail, and which over the long run is quite dangerous, geopolitical compeitition would take place a limited, managed way--- within the accepted bounds of an institutional and political system accepted by all (accepted by all because it benefits all). While economic and geopolitical compeitition thrust ahead, the risk of conflict is reduced through mutual agreements in a body such as the United Nations and through use of common international rules-- not necessarily very complicated or specific rules, but ones that are adapted to the realities of the diverse political and societal systems which exist.

The power behind enforcing such rules must come from the United States, and this can be done not only through force alone but through America's vast "soft" power. At the same time, the United States must have legitimacy in serious international affairs, including a serious commitment to address global concerns such as arms proliferation and climate change. When challenges such as Islamic civilizationalism arise, the United States must channel these challenges into invisible "institutions" such as global capitalism and hard institutions such as the U.N. charter on human rights. Thus, the only way for other nations to acquire success would be for them to first accept the status quo; and their success would be a measure of which they became members of the status quo. Over the long term, this channels competition away from the risk of a dangerous confrontation, and away from anti-Americanism, nationalism or other destabilizing factors, while at the same time allowing for change that would keep America on its feet.

The other option is to focus on America's hard power, and every time there is a problem in the world try and bluster or invade our way out of the problem like in Iraq. That makes for great CNN ratings but solves very little and does a great deal of damage to efforts to arrive at any agreement among nations to accept institutions and leadership coming out of Washington, D.C. And over the long run, the world that builds is resentful, risky, and lacking in its ability to exploit the gains from cooperation and properly channelled competition within the context of U.S.-created "institutions".
12213  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Voting Booth / Re: OFFICIAL Mideast Voting Booth - May 2005 on: May 20, 2005, 03:06:19 pm
Mideast Governor: abstain

Prop 13: Nay
Prop 14: Aye
Init 05: Aye
Init 06: Aye
Init 07: Nay
12214  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: Have you ever been attacked, cursed at, or harassed while... on: May 20, 2005, 06:24:46 am
I've never volunteered for a campaign, but I expect that comes with the territory.
12215  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Election What-ifs? / Re: What if... Dewey defeats FDR? on: May 20, 2005, 06:21:27 am
Consolation prize for Hitler
12216  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Political Compass Thread on: May 20, 2005, 06:17:29 am
Jeez, man, how many times have u taken that test. You can lay off now. We know ur score.
12217  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Does Bush have any goals regarding North Korea policy whatsoever? on: May 20, 2005, 05:48:31 am
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Very interesting. Wink I was thinking of the back-and-forth fortunes of the pro- and anti- conciliation parties as a good indicator of that. The South Korean student in my East Asia class in 1999, other than saying once that 'we're screwed if NK attacks', said little on it directly and was more interested in needling one of the Japanese students about levels of Korean cultural influence in Japanese history. Smiley

Yes, the GNP is finally coming back... the Japanese Democrats on the other hand... Smiley

Quote
In this case, I'd say the U.S. could probably do it - it's not an invasion or even an intervention in large numbers, and we have troops already there. Wink Although the need for some international institution to handle Darfur-level problems is needed, as it stands now (yes, I read ya below, getting there) the U.N. hasn't been able to do it for the same reason the U.S. couldn't get that second U.N. resolution - geopolitics. With Darfur, Russia and China have no interest in 'violating the internal sovereignty of another country', and with Iraq, you could add France as well - among the Security Council members, of course. India and Brazil have that left-wing 'no outside intervention AT ALL' policy as well.

Ah, good points. The Sudan government has too much oil to sell. But why are all these countries so openly cynical? The left does not and never had a "no outside intervention at all" policy. The whole thing suggests some deeper issues in the international security environment.

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Would you be surprised if I mentioned that Stratfor agrees on the role and utility of the U.N.? They said that in the context of the Bolton appointment, to indicate that the Bush Admin. hasn't given up quite yet on U.N. reform. I posted that somewhere or other. Smiley And no U.N. might well be destabilizing...something the U.S. could weather better than probably everyone else, a point the ardent anti-U.S. countries in the U.N. might want to remember! Wink

Well the U.S. has the most to lose in any sudden or drastic changes in the security environment. If we have defined goals and measure them accordingly, this becomes plain. Despite the recent troubles in the Middle East, and with the few exceptions of nuclear proliferation, which are symptoms of instability rather than stability, the international environment has been extremely favorable since 1991 and if anything is growing increasingly so.
12218  General Discussion / History / Re: List the 5 most radical presidents on: May 20, 2005, 05:39:37 am
Teddy Roosevelt was pretty radical for back in the day. Reagan was pretty radical for the early '80s. W. Bush's foreign policy was pretty radical in 2002-03. Eventually all these were accepted into the establishment.
12219  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: Stronach crosses floor to join Liberals on: May 20, 2005, 05:35:42 am
Kick ass! Too bad the Tory party couldnt' handle this moderate though. I am always in favor of competitive 2-party competition but the Tories are out of Canada's mainstream today pretending to be something they are not. Harper really reminds me of Bush circa 1999.
12220  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Most Idealistic Poster on: May 20, 2005, 05:33:26 am
Definitely not opebo.
12221  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: smartest posters (redux) on: May 20, 2005, 05:32:33 am
Personally, I have had good discussions with dazzleman, Ford, and WMS.
12222  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Does Bush have any goals regarding North Korea policy whatsoever? on: May 19, 2005, 08:48:38 pm
Ford- The Bush administration came in with the idea that China was important because they were the ones with by far the most economic interaction with North Korea. Besides providing them with fuel shipments, most don't realize there is a substantial North Korean underground population living in Manchuria, despite Chinese efforts to deport them. If China opened its borders to North Korea refugees, the regime might well collapse due to population hemorrhaging. Yet recently  China has indicated, according to some reports, that it's not willing to cut off fuel shipments, and it almost certainly isn't willing to open its borders. Along with Japan, Russia, and South Korea, it seems bilateral negotiations are able to achieve much more. Just look at the return of Japanese kidnappees (through bilateral NK-Japan negotiatoins) even in 2003. So I agree that talking with them is a waste of time, but the administration seems to have locked itself rigidly into defending the mulitlateral framework. Bilateral talks would now seem to be a capitulation, even if it's the best option.

Quote
I wonder why that was? Clinton doesn't strike me as the type to do that...maybe Congress wouldn't approve it?

Don't know... I've tried searching for the answers, but haven't been able to find them. Congress did have to approve limited fuel shipments to North Korea every year to keep the framework in place, so there was at least some approval there, although the votes were not always overwhelming. I suppose the answer lies somewhere similiar to what happened to the Oslo agreement. There was not one "moment" when the agreement fell apart, it was more a general loss of momentum and series of disappointments.

Quote
Yep, and I don't see a solution. Mind you, SK opinion isn't unanimous on this either - there's substantial (not majority - I don't think there is a majority SK position) opposition to the 'sunshine policy'.

Yes, I was in a East Asia security course and the professor was claiming that a "consensus" had emerged after Kim Dae Jung's election in 1997 towards a more conciliatory posture and he was fiercely contradicted by a South Korean student. What was surprising to me was that it was a young student and the media paints an image of a clear old vs. young divide.

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Maybe. Both the nuclear inspections and the fuel and food shipments would have to operate under direct U.S. supervision for me to accept it, since NK has lied about the nukes and deliberately diverted international supplies to its military (especially the food). Oddly enough, NK might accept that in return for formal recognition, but NK has its own internal splits on that one (quiet though they keep them).

Here's where I think the U.N. should play a bigger role. The problem with the U.N. is that it really depends on some sort of agreement between powers. Obviously in 2003 that wasn't working. But the U.S. cannot do everything. There will always be crises (such as Darfur 2004) where international intervention is quite justified and necessary, yet either U.S. cannot do it nor can a weak regional body like the "African union". In addition, strongly feel that even those who felt that going to war with Iraq was worth defying the U.N., should agree that it would have been better had we managed to somehow get that second U.N. resolution behind our actions.

So a goal, however difficult, should be to help repair the U.N. as an organization and also work to repair the rifts within it. It is not at all bad that people are seeing the U.N. is in need of reform. But what some tend to forget with recent events is that the U.N. is the main post-1945 establishment organization founded by the U.S. to legitimate the international order of U.S. hegemony. It is a framework within which nations operate, one which defends a status quo inherently favorable to the U.S. A lot of nations agree to operate within it because in the past 60 years it has vastly benefitted the majority of the world by helping to provide political stability (though admittedly nuclear deterrence didn't hurt either). Ripping this framework apart leaves no remaining security framework except the great-power struggles that proved fatal for Europe in the 19th century, and is fundamentally destabilizing from a long-term security standpoint.
12223  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Election What-ifs? / Re: Post random maps here on: May 19, 2005, 02:47:02 am
Mad props to whoever can figure this one out (I didn't make this randomly):



That's almost 1972 with a 10% swing in every state to McGovern... am I close?

Yeah, that's half of it. There's another part to it as well.

Bah, I haven't gotten it yet, but I'll be back. Tongue

Ok, no one has gotten yet, its probably too hard. Its a Goldwater vs. McGovern race drawn from a combination of the 1964 and 1972 maps where I gave each candidate a the fraction of the total Goldwater/McGovern percentage for that state. So if Goldwater got 38% in 1964 and McGovern won 37% in 1972, Goldwater won with 51%. Basically it's a map of which red states were more lopsided for Johnson in '64 than for Nixon '72 and blue states were more lopsided for Nixon in '72 than for Johnson in '64.

The conductor: 10% swings toward McGovern & Carter.
12224  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Does Bush have any goals regarding North Korea policy whatsoever? on: May 19, 2005, 01:53:59 am
Quote
Hey, you got three green avatars. ^_^

As for Stratfor's price: Roll Eyes Very good and very expensive. Wait until you have a full-time job. Wink

1. Really? What did the Clinton Administration do to break the deal, anyway? Huh

Well, it's quite obvious when one looks at what the 1994 Agreed Framework actually was. North Korea agreed to end its nuke program in exchange for two light-water reactors (which can't readily be used to make weapons) for its energy needs. Yet for some reason the Clinton administration kept delaying and never started construction on the reactors. This was even though North Korea had warned as early as 1995 it might restart its nuclear program if the we did not follow through our end.

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3. I remember Japan going nuts in 1999, when NK launched a rocket over them. I happened to be in a class with Japanese exchange students at the time, taught by someone whose specialty was East Asia, and that action upset Japan's apple cart quite a lot. SK is still on good terms with NK, because of the policies followed by the current and prior presidents - basically, give them money and hope they don't implode before they can economically reform, since they do NOT want to deal with a horde of NK refugees. Come to think of it, that's China's policy as well. Grin

US & SK policies have gone in completely opposite directions. That's been one of the problems.

Quote
For your last question: Well, what would you recommend? There are prices too high to pay for empty NK promises of no more nukes, since unless you establish an inspections regime they'll never agree to, the U.S. will never know what the real status of NK's nuclear program is. There's a conundrum working here, and it's not an easy situation to solve...

I think North Korea would agree to an inspections regime, and we really have nothing to lose at this point from that perspective. But, barring regime collapse or unless you're willing to go to war, which most are not, it's important to have a stable North Korea operating within some kind of agreed framework. Their behavior in the 1990s shows them capable of being rational. Nor do I think they will attack South Korea. On the other hand, the collapse of the regime isn't likely anytime soon. Thus, the biggest threat from North Korea is that they become alienated and export weapons to third parties. Also, one must consider that the North Korean people would be better off under a more liberalized economic arrangement. Personally I would agree to provide a guarantee not to attack and economic benefits such as rail links and fuel shipments in exchange for a nuclear inspections regime, with a permanent trigger of sanctions if they are found in violation. China would have to go along with this as well, but I think it would be possible with a will to negotiate.
12225  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Presidential Election Trends / Re: Dems Can't Keep Losing Dixie on: May 18, 2005, 08:13:40 pm
Bear in mind that voter turnout is generally lower in the South. Bush bearly won more than 30% of the electorate in many southern states in 2004, an improvement on 2000. (I can provide a map adjusted for turnout at some point...)

That's not to say that the Republicans would win had every eligable voter in the south voted, but it would be interesting to find out which sorts of people are less likely to vote, and how they could be won over.

Also remember that the "South" will always have lower voter turnout due to the dominance of Texas and Florida within the region and the high number of non-resident citizens present in both of those states. (Arizona always has the same problem).

Keep in mind, I'm not saying that the voter turnout in the "South" as a whole is not lower than certain other areas of the country (upper Midwest, for instance), there are just more ineligible citizens who live in those two big states who overbalance everything else.

Yeah but turnout is low across the board in the south, not just those couple states.
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