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12201  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: German federal election (Fall 2005) on: May 22, 2005, 03:37:03 pm
Constrast Schroeder's behavior with Berlusconi's-- the one voluntarily giving up power a year ahead of time, even deliberately losing a vote of confidence, the other scrambling to hell and back to stay in the PM spot for as long as possible.
12202  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / One way of how to spot media bias on: May 22, 2005, 03:27:23 pm
Fact- many people only read the first few paragraphs of a story, and skip the rest.

So in a news story where there are 2 different sides, if the story begins on paragraph 2 with quotes exclusively from one side, then doesn't begin quoting the other side until the middle of the story, then you can be sure many readers only read the quotes from the side covered first.

A balanced story should have views from both sides fit within the beginning of the story. Just something to notice as you read the news.
12203  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: North Rhine-Westphalia state election (5/22) on: May 22, 2005, 03:21:57 pm
So, Schroeder's finished. It looks as if Bush may gain another ally in Europe. After a painful few months, the left may be able to claim Italy as a consolation prize.
12204  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: The American Empire... on: May 22, 2005, 03:17:27 pm
Anyways, the U.S. currently is an empire, and this should be recognized and confronted. Note that recognizing this fact places no normative value on it, either positive or negative.

Although it certainly does not "control" most of those places on the map, such as Germany, the U.K., etc. The Key listed is what it is. Nor does the red on the British map necessarily indicated British control, as Canada and Australia were quite independent. These should be quite obvious points however.

The troop positionings however are emblematic of a broader "soft" power, which is a major portion of the American unipolar structure.

IMO, unipolarity is an opportunity to forge global institutions that will (1) play the major role in engendering acceptance of unipolarity, (2) provide a framework within which to avoid war and other conflict given inevitable challenges to unipolarity; and inevitable or even desirable compeitition between states, and (3) allow exploitation of cooperative possibilities for much greater prosperity and freedom to all.
12205  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Does Bush have any goals regarding North Korea policy whatsoever? on: May 22, 2005, 03:11:41 pm
What everyone fails to understand is that North Korea is NOT going to make changes in its policy of becoming a nuclear power unless forced to do so!  They cannot be sucessfully bribed to stop (Clinton tried this, and failed).

Short of a preemptive first strike (or an internal revolt), the only viable source of pressure are the front-line states (China, Russia, South Korea and Japan).

None of the front line states have indicated the willingness to act in concert to restrain the North Koreans.

I would have supported a front-line first strike in 1994 and Clinton was very prepared to act, but at this point the limitations on the intelligence we have as to the location of all of North Korea's nuclear materials simply no longer makes such an attack feasible. Not to mention there is a high chance it would be followed up by NK artillery retalitaion on Seoul, nothing something that would be very desirable in any case.

Many states have agreed to give up nuclear weapons programs in the past. There are concrete penalties the NK's have when they test or maintain a nuclear weapon. The problem is, those penalties' effectiveness generally assumes they are not already being imposed.
12206  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: Family and Society on: May 22, 2005, 03:03:16 pm
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My definition of a traditional family is a mother and father, married to each other, raising their children together.

Whether both parents work, or one or the other works, is irrelevant in my opinion.  Therefore, I would include families where both parents work under my definition of traditional families, as long as the family consists of the children's mother and father married to each other.

Non-working mothers are not necessarily traditional, unless you don't go back more than 70 or 80 years.  As far as work is concerned, we have gone through a cycle in which work and home were at first closely connected (during the agricultural era), then became highly separated (during the industrial era), but now are becoming more closely connected again, with better communication and more work-at-home arrangements that make it less necessary to physically be in a certain place to do your job.

What all this means is that during the agricultural era, everybody in the family "worked" in what amounted to the family business.  Back then, before modern conveniences, it took a huge amount of work just to deal with the necessities of keeping clothes clean (without washing machines), food prepared (without refrigeration), etc.  All these things were the mother's job, though she often had help with them, and they kept the family going so that the father could work in the fields, something that the mother sometimes helped with also.  There was little separation between work and family life in these circumstances, and the children were under the supervision of either parent while the parents worked.

As the industrial era dawned, and people left farming in large numbers, work began to require people to leave their homes for many hours a day, and to be away from their children.  There were still many things to be done around the home, so the arrangement of father works/mother stays home was born.  The mother did not stay at home necessarily to take care of the kids, primarily, but to do the heavy work necessary to keep the home functioning, though being home made the mother available to look after the kids.

By the middle of the 20th century, it was becoming easier and easier, with the development of labor saving machines and refrigeration, to do the work necessary to run a home.  This shifted the focus of mothers who stayed at home, from performing the work necessary to run the home to looking after her children.  Children became the focus of the stay-at-home mother for the first time.  While previously, the mother was around the children, and the children when old enough were expected to help the mother with the work around the house, at this point it shifted so that the mother was more working for the children. 
This is how it remains today, incidentally, whether or not the mother works outside the home.  Rather than being an asset to help with the farmwork, as children were during the agricultural era, they became a large burden and expense, both in terms of money and parental attention.

I agree with your analysis up to here. Below this point, you begin to go into normative theorizing and I'm not surprised to disagree with you about the results.

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As women who were staying home acquired more free time, they started to think a lot about their position in society vis-a-vis the men, and found their position wanting.  Not having had the responsibility of going to work every day in a more structured and formally demanding environment, they were unable to reasonably evaluate the disadvantages that came with that role, and overly glamorized the idea of having a "career" as men supposedly have (though not every man has a "career," some only have jobs).

At the same time, feminist women devalued the contributions that women were making at home, and urged women to leave the home without making any real provision for how the work women did in the home would be completed in a mother's absence.  In addition, they encouraged the notion that a woman should be able, at the same time, to work, singlehandedly support her children, and singlehandedly raise her children.

I disagree on a number of counts here, but first of all I separate myself from 'feminists' who encourage the single-parent home. Personally I have never encountered anyone who would encourage such an arrangement, I have only heard from others that there are those who do. So forgive me if I call myself a feminist while supporting the father-and-mother two parent situation.

1. The essence of feminism is equal rights regardless of gender, and everything about feminism can be boiled down to that one basic principle; every question about a feminist position can be explained by going back to that one value.

2. Feminists by no means support the idea that women should be singlehandedly raising their children. In fact, they deplore the unequal expectations placed on women that demand from them all the responsibilities of rearing children while demanding nothing from the father, and blame them whenever a problem with a child comes up while absolving the father. They seek to re-connect the father with the family and even through the notion of the stay-at-home dad being an option.

3. Rather than "glamourizing" the workplace, feminists analyzed the power structure of society and correctly identified, among many, many, other things, the value of financial independence. Without such independence on the part of one partner, the other partner is entirely dominant in the relationship because the woman cannot possibly detach herself without losing financial support. Now, I am no supporter of alimony, but financial self-determination is essential in the modern world for any person to be safe from coercion.

4. As for "making any real provision for how the work women did in the home" would be done, you've already explained this quite well. After the agricultural era but especially during the 1950s, the amount of work demand to women in the home dropped precipitously, to the extent that women were essentially a labor force without a task (Meanwhile, the nature of the work outside the home became much less back-breaking or labor intensive). This was time that needed to be filled, and feminist theory came along at a propitious moment to fill it. Doing so meant no difference in the amount of mother-child contact compared to the original agricultural age.

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Women who followed this feminist advice fully are generally miserable, and the results of it are deadly.  The reality is that one person really can't work and have the whole job for raising kids, and the kids raised in such circumstances are lacking in parental guidance and attention, as well as on the financial side usually.

If you were talking about single-parent homes, I think that applies equally to those headed by men and women and have nothing to do with gender. But as you are talking about gender, the experience of millions would indicate that women are happier having a choice of what to do with their lives without undue burdens or expectations from society, which are unreasonable except perhaps in the very stages of infancy, and that the equal ability of women within a working family to find careers has helped them a great deal. And I think the vast majority of women would agree.

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Predictably, feminists blame men for this situation, and while men play a role in individual situations, it was feminist women who advanced this model of family life on a broad basis.  They effectively want the man's support for a family without him actually being present, something which is not really possible.

More recently, things have started to come full circle, with the growth of less traditional work arrangements.  With better communication and looser organizational structures, it is now less important to physically be present in an office to do a job.  Many people are working from home, at least some of the time, and these people are disproportionately women.  Many women are starting up businesses from the home to allow them to be around their kids more.  The difference from agricultural times is that these arrangements don't allow women to involve their children in their work, but they at least allow the mother to be nearby, and get rid of commuting and things like that that take up additional time.

So I guess this was the long was of saying a family can be a traditional family if both parents work.  It is up to each family to establish a work-family balance, and most two-parent families do, usually but not always opting to have the woman participate to a lesser degree in the labor force than the man.  This explains the wage gap for women; it is largely voluntary and related to choices made in family life. 

With single parent families, all the balances and supports are missing, and it's very hard to do the job right.  Plus, even a single parent who was given an adequate income really couldn't do the job right, because it requires both a male and female perspective.

Overall Dazzleman, these are very insightful comments. We agree on the same basic conclusions, even though we have different normative reactions to feminism. As for the latter, great strides have been made, but these are vulnerable strides, and there is still a societal disadvantage to being a woman in society overall. Given the strides that have been made in the past, it is not impossible that with some period of societal push towards equality, feminism will no longer be needed as substantive equality has been reached. While we are closer to that point, we are not there yet, and progress seems to have stalled of late.
12207  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: The American Empire... on: May 22, 2005, 03:47:09 am
The US controls nearly everything - at least everything they care to bother about - outside of places like North Korea, Iran, China, and Russia.  In any case US control of the world far exceeds that the British exerted in their heyday.

Shhh... The black helicopters are coming!

It is quite blatant, out in the open, and obvious.  Nothing conspiratorial about it.

That is a fine post explaining 9/11, thefactor.  Thanks.

That's a fine sarcastic post there opebo. Thanks for jumping to conclusions!

Al and Bob, opebo is clearly being a troll and does not deserve to be responded to.

Not at all, I genuinely believe your map and graph are good visual aids to understanding 9/11.  Of course I realize you may have had some other reason for posting it.

Well ok but if you truly think what you're insinuating (which I HIGHLY doubt) then you are sick.
12208  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: The American Empire... on: May 22, 2005, 03:36:32 am
That is a fine post explaining 9/11, thefactor.  Thanks.

That's a fine sarcastic post there opebo. Thanks for jumping to conclusions!

Al and Bob, opebo is clearly being a troll and does not deserve to be responded to.
12209  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Bush Condemns S. Korea Stem Cell Advances on: May 22, 2005, 02:48:43 am
And I don't think anyone's denying that.

Well if your complaint is that he gets undue attention I agree and the reason is obvious. It afflicts all those in a similiar situation, not unique to him in any way. I just find the casual hatred to be amusing.
12210  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Bush Condemns S. Korea Stem Cell Advances on: May 22, 2005, 02:28:13 am
Do more or fewer people think of OJ as a hero since 1995?

Look at what OJ was known for. The point is, celebrity + personal drama = potent mix
12211  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Bush Condemns S. Korea Stem Cell Advances on: May 22, 2005, 02:25:13 am
So he was just as famous and beloved before his accident?

...

Also, OK, so we all know everyone's selfish...I'm trying to see what part of Reeves's selfishness deserved worldwide praise.

No, he's a celebrity with a personal drama. Was O.J. just a famous before 1995?
12212  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Bush Condemns S. Korea Stem Cell Advances on: May 22, 2005, 02:21:10 am
tf, no one's saying they hate the guy, its just hard to take his personal motives seriously if he didn't care about the handicapped until he was one.

Sure, it was great of him to pursue reform - much better than just sitting still on the issue (no pun intended); I just don't think he deserved his idolatry status.

Dude, you realize everything he has done comes solely from the fact that he is a celebrity right? All celebrities have idolatry status. But he has idolatry status on that site alright--idolatry of hatred.
12213  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Bush Condemns S. Korea Stem Cell Advances on: May 22, 2005, 02:16:35 am
Ebowed, I had read that before he died, then afterwards I remembered it and went back to check...and sho'nuf!

LOL

The cult of Christopher Reeve hating continues. Let us make a voodoo doll now, please
12214  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Bush Condemns S. Korea Stem Cell Advances on: May 22, 2005, 02:15:22 am
The fact that Christopher Reeves didn't give a flip about the handicapped before he was himself doesn't improve my opinion of him much anyway...
http://www.thebestpageintheuniverse.net/c.cgi?u=creeve
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Amazing point, Ebowed. Christopher Reeve is the devil. Let's all join the "I HATE Christopher Reeve" Club. Thank you Ebowed.
12215  Election Archive / 2008 Elections / Re: Will the 2008 election be close? on: May 22, 2005, 02:03:00 am
'56 was like '52, '84 was like '80, '96 was like '92, and '04 was like '00.
12216  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Atlas Survivor- Round XXIX on: May 22, 2005, 01:22:35 am
When did I get voted off?
I don't remember you being on the list.  I certainly never voted for you.

Ok, just curious.
12217  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Atlas Survivor- Round XXIX on: May 22, 2005, 01:17:29 am
When did I get voted off?
12218  General Discussion / History / Re: Presidential Survivor (ROUND 28) on: May 22, 2005, 01:16:11 am
Herbert Hoover (well you beat FDR by a mile, at least)
12219  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: What would be the Freedom House scores of a country ran by me? on: May 22, 2005, 01:14:13 am
Strip clubs should be banned, just to piss BRTD off Smiley
12220  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: Your Position on Gay Rights on: May 22, 2005, 01:13:12 am
I don't have much of an opinion. I would be a strong supporter of gay marriage except that my religion is against it, so I simply don't feel strongly either way.
12221  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: Family and Society on: May 22, 2005, 01:11:13 am

Would a family where the mother worked and the father stayed home be considered "traditional".

I can understand the advantages of a family where only one parent worked over other less-"traditional" structures, but I don't see why it matters which parent this is.

I'm a BIG supporter of the "traditional" family but I define "traditionally" more broadly than either J.R. or NickG, to include a two-parent family where both parents work. Besides the mere structure of the family, however, it should also be a "functional" family, and let us not confuse functionality with structure when the two are not inherently tied to one another.
12222  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: How long can you stay on this forum before getting bored? on: May 22, 2005, 01:07:45 am
When I get bored, I either start reading old posts or go to a different forum, which will occupy me for a few more hours.

Anyway, depends on the time of day.  If lots of people are posting, I can spend hours on end here; if it gets late and the new posts start decreasing, I'll resort to reading old posts, go to another forum, etc.  I should clarify that when I'm spending hours on end here, I'm usually on AIM, checking my e-mail, sometimes writing stuff, so I'm not fully obsessed as it may seem.  But yeah, I'm a loser if there ever was one.  This forum is terribly addictive.

I feel similarly, there is no similiar place to discuss politics casually. It's quite a thrill when someone replies to one of my posts.
12223  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Congressional Elections / Re: The Senator who got the most votes in Senate History on: May 22, 2005, 12:51:55 am
Clearly the true winner here is the Indian National Congress. They received 103,408,949 votes in 2004 with only 26% of the vote!

Specifically, Sonia Gandhi, a woman[/b] from Italy[/b]! Now isn't that ironic Smiley
12224  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / U.S. Presidential Election Results / Re: Oklahoma on: May 22, 2005, 12:47:39 am
Heh, true, I had to go back and find maps which were pretty even. It's interesting 1956 with a Republican landslide and 1996 was a decisive Democratic win, but you'd never be able to tell from the maps.
12225  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Does Bush have any goals regarding North Korea policy whatsoever? on: May 22, 2005, 12:29:27 am
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That's only the realist explanation for peace, heh.  There's some merit to some of the liberalist explanation as well: economic integration, the spread of democracy, and so on.

I'm a realist, just a comment.

True, thanks for pointing that out. I only mentioned that argument because it seems the most convincing. Democracy was quite limited for much of the postwar era until 1989, and the world was highly economically integrated in 1914. But I do believe somewhat in the democratic peace theory.

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What, exactly, in a bipolar system spurs innovation?  Government spending?  Governments can spend on research now, the bipolar setup just gives an 'enemy' to justify it to the masses.  I don't see why other excuses can't be used to justify spending as well (China, terrorism, Third World labor, etc).

They can, but to a much, much lesser extent. I did mention competition through cheap labor, but that is not real competition per se. It is very, very limited, like a single brush of paint compared to an entire mosaic. What I am talking about is the Soviet Union circa 1957, capable of really spurring America to transform the whole thrust of its education system. Capable of generating the political will to make bold steps, not only through research but in other areas to politics, to make sure America is competitive and gets better and better, and that we are careful in examining ourselves. In a unipolar world, like I said, it is not so much complacency as a lack of urgency.

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Innovation that occurs due to profit will occur just as much in a unipolar system.  Only socialist economies need real threats to keep them away from stagnation. 

Eh, I got tired in the middle of your post.  Going to go read Thomas Friedman's latest some more and then go to sleep.

Why will you read Friedman but not me? Smiley The USSR had big external threats yet clearly stagnated after 1965, so what you said is not true. Also, note that I'm by no means saying having the motivation to succeed through external threats guarantees success, as the Soviet example shows. However, it does generate the motivation and a process by which those who have bad systems fail, ultimately benefitting everyone. Without the U.S. example of how a better system could be, Gorbachev could have thought that economic stagnation was an inevitable result of industrialization and diminishing returns, thus not realizing that a turn to democracy and capitalism might be better. Even in failure, the Cold War competition between the U.S. and the USSR ultimately benefitted the Russians in the long run by proving to them the merits of capitalism.

Secondly, I never said innovation won't occur without such a threat. But government is a big decision maker in the economy, holding up virtually all basic research, generating enough demand to sustain Dow 30 companies, supporting the education system, etc. It is part of the capitalist economy. From the perspective of government as a decision maker, history shows that, as reason would suggest, one is more lax without competition. Exhibit A, as I mentioned, would be China after unification (221 B.C.) until the 20th century. Companies on the other hand face corporate-level competition, which is what keeps them on their toes, but that is totally different. The same thing would happen to them if only 1 corporation was a monopoly.
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