George W. Bush/Talk

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I suggest moving this to Death Penalty/Talk.


Recently elected president of the United States who broke records for the number of prisoners legally executed during his tenure as Govenor of Texas.


Of note, every one of the executed felons was executed for murder. Also of note, studies guess that ~20% of executed people are actually innocent.


Why the emphasis? Do you claim to have a better figure?


Including the mentally retarded Oliver Cruz; Jesse DeWayne Jacobs, whom the state called to testify against the man who actually committed the murder for which Jacobs was nevertheless executed; several prisoners whose defense attorneys were later disbarred or suspended, or who called no defense witnesses...




And we must not forget Carla Faye Tucker executed in 1998 while Bush held the gubernatorial office in the Lone Star State.


She brutally commited murder. Feminists everywhere should be proud that she was treated equally with murderers that are men.

"Equal Protection Under The Law" - The Constitution -- read it -- understand it


I'm the one who added the note about about Cruz, Jacobs, et al. I agree--I din't find anything out of place or unusual about Tucker's execution. If one believes in the penalty at all, she was an exemplary case.


Don't get me wrong. I got no bones about what happened to her, either. It just happened on his watch.


A good question: Why did she receive so much more publicity from news organizations than the person legally executed just before or after? Was it because she was female? Was it biased to report that case much more than the execution before or after it?



And we must not forget Bill Clinton who presided over executions whilst govenor of Arkansas.



More controversial things: plans announced to drill for oil in an Alaskan national park. Renewed bombings against Iraq. A general chill in relations with Russia - pulling of diplomats, SDI. Giving copious amounts of money to churches as instruments of morality. Refusal to participate in a campaign against global warming. Cutting government funding to feminist organizations and some kind of general move against workers unions. I have a friend whose keeping a more thorough list of minuses and pluses (the latter being the tax cut, which Americans tend to like).


Drilling for oil in Alaska on a limited scale: A good idea - either we drill here or inefficiently buy oil from OPEC. Environmentalists have an unfounded fear that a few wells in Alaska will spoil the entire state.

No, definitely a bad idea. Undisturbed arctic nature is vulnerable. Very much so, even. Read http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2001-07/sfcb-aeb072201.php. Once the Arctic nature is destroyed it takes a long time to recover.
What you don't seem to realize is that there is a third, better option. It is possible to decrease the amount of oil consumed. The US consumes vast amounts of oil by driving absolutely everywhere. The bicycle has been discovered for about 150 years in the rest of the world, but hasn't yet made it in the US. For things like just going to the mall, taking a car (or worse, a SUV) is ludicrous. Going by bike will reduce oil consumption (thus improving the international trade balance), decrease pollution (making the air fresher), and improving your personal condition (Americans are notoriously fat; this is a health problem for the individual, a source of cost and also a reduction of life quality).
The US has had and still has extremely low gas prices, making the "American way" synonymous with "drive everywhere, and fuck the pollution". According to http://www.gaspricewatch.com/USGas_index.asp, you can buy gas for less than $1/gallon (average $1.4). This is less than a quarter of the price in Sweden. This is not the way to handle the world. Much of the rest of the world has already realized this. The US will probably also do this, the question is if it will do so fast enough.
Bush junior has made it increasingly clear that he is not interested in preserving the environment so long as it will cost one iota of his precious "American lifestyle". I am curious to see what will happen in the next election (not only to see if the vote-counting farce will continue); the appearance of Ralph Nader in the last election is intriguing.
The rest of the world is watching. As of this writing (July 2001), the US is failing in environmental care, failing in human rights, and going for magna cum laude in arrogance. Exams are held regularly. Prepare thyself. --Pinkunicorn

A chill in relations with Russia: A good thing because the prior administration freely let money flow from American taxpayers to corrupt burecrats in Russia. In effect, the prior administration lett Russians steal from American citizens. All forms of 'aid' money should be cut off until Russia cleans itself up. If they don't like it, they should refuse the money. American taxpayers should not give money to countries that don't do what we want. Tough luck. I don't recall any other countries sending us aid packages when a hurricane strikes, Dakota floods, etc. If, as most liberals want, the US should get out of telling other countries what to do, the US should get out of sending the money also.


Refusing to participate in a campaign against global warming: A good thing. The US government should not intentionally lower our standard of living by reducing the amount of energy we use in producing product. Conservatives actually want a cleaner environment...but not one mandated by government. Do you think conservatives want to buy oil from another country? A bad move for our economy. Why do you think Bush supports the $5000 tax credit for buying a gas/electric hybrid vehicle (supported by ford and environmentalists)?


Cutting government funding to femminist organizations: Bush recently closed the OWI office at the white house. The OWI was created by the prior administration to cordinate activities of other parts of the executive branch that involve women. In short, they were a redundant part of the executive branch and had no actual power to implement/enforce regulations. Liberals do not understand that conservatives want people to be treated equally by not awarding special rights to one group of people or another. Liberals also don't understand that conservatives do not split people into demographic groups like liberals do. Splitting people into demographic groups only serves to divide and cause conflict amongst groups. An example of this is where we celebrate a whole month to one group's history yet do not celebrate any others history for a whole month. Where is 'equal protection under the law'?


General move against workers unions: Bush has done two things: 1. When a government contract passes from one company to another, the new company is not forced to hire all of the union workers from the company that lost the contract. This is a good thing as it allows more competition and lower cost for the service. It also forces the union workers to do better jobs and improve productivity so that the company can continue to keep the government contract. In short, government is not telling people how to run their lives as much as before. I thought that liberals whanted government to not tell people how to run their lives. Larger government == lower personal freedome.


2. Allow union members to withold their dues that go towards political operations that the union member does not want to support. How can letting workers have more flexibility and freedom be bad?


The tax cut: It reduces the taxes paid by lower income workers and causes much more of the income taxes paid to be paid by higher income workers. In effect, the wealthy, which by government standards is any household with income above $60,000 (i.e., two union schoolteachers), pay much more of the income taxes. The fact that a worker earning $30,000 will get less of a reduction in dollars and a much larger reduction in percentage is completely lost on liberals. You cannot give someone that pays $1000 in income taxes a reduction more than $1000, but you can give someone that pays $100,000 in taxes a $20,000 reduction.


Why do liberals equate more government as better...more government results in less personal freedom...?


These are all very partisan responses. There are partisan responses to them, and partisan responses to those, and so on endlessly. I'd like to avoid the whole thing and point out I merely stated they were all controversial, and I think there can be no dispute on that. Your claim that more government is an intrinsically bad thing is far from a univeral sentiment - nor are the claims that feminism is unequal, relations with other countries don't matter, that environmentalism is paranoia, or even that tax reductions are good (though I had listed that under plus). Give me a break!


Reread carefully without generalization and you will see that it was not stated that feminism was 'unequal'. What was stated is that conservatives do not want special rights granted to any group of people. In other words, conservatives want everyone treated equally. If special rights are granted to left handed people for example, all right handed people are discriminated against because they do not have the special rights.


Feminism is supposed to be a movement about ensuring equality between the two genders. Admittedly it sometimes deviates from that a little, but as such, it is not granting anyone any special status. So I stick by that comment. The others are overgeneralizing a bit, for which I am sorry - rhetoric is hard to stop in mid-sentence - though the points in question do remain very controversial.


reply: Question: Is a special government office for a particular demographic group considered unequal protection under the law because the group gets speciall attention from the government and citizens not in the group do not get such special attention?


Citizens not in the group get attention from other departments. This particular one is dedicated to helping no given individuals but to ironing out a strong demographic inequity. Treating unequals as equals leaves them so, this is a balancing force. Hypothetically should the inequity go the other way, there should be an organization to fix that to. I can see how this could easily become problematic, and it frequently does, but I don't consider the principle unequal.


(reply) Citizens in the group get special attention from the agency/department that everyone uses as well as the department specifically setup for their demographic group. This extra government service is denied to people outside of the demographic group. Thus, giving a lower level of government service to people outside of the demographic group. Is giving lower level of service to people outside of the demographic group discriminating against them?


Two of the main sticking points:

  • defining strong demographic inequity and measuring it. Consider an industry that has 5% of the employees are of a certain demographic group and that demographic group makes up 20% of the population. Does that in itself make a case for systematic inequity? Is the industry responsible to make sure that the number of qualified entry level candidates (consider a specialized field such as neurology) matches the same demographics as the general population?
  • addressing strong demographic inequity without discriminating against other demographic groups
  • determining when to end the regulations/laws specifically made to address strong demographic inequity.


 Here are a couple of questions to ponder:
 1. If affirmative action is meant to repay people for past
    discrimination during the civil war era and before, does
    Alaska and Hawaii have to be subject to this also?
    Remember that Alaska and Hawaii became part of the United
    States in the 1950s and therefore could not be somehow
    responsible/participate in the discrimination that
    affirmative action was created for.
 2. Should differencs in percentage amongst demographic
    groups in the general population always have to be
    reflected in university faculty, corporations, and
    government agencies?
 3. Should geographic discrimination be something that
    needs to be corrected?  Consider how many government
    employees live in and around Washington DC and the
    economic impact of their actions versus areas such as
    New Mexico which have almost no government employees?
 4. Same basic question for government ownership of land.
    2/3rds of some western states are owned by the federal
    government.  Does that mean that 2/3rds of each of
    the eastern states should be owned by the federal 
    government?  More basically, does government ownership
    of large amounts of land in a given state discriminate
    against the residents of that state? (very important
    in rural argicultural/ranching states on such things
    as water rights).



Relations with other countries do matter. The US should be diplomatically difficult with countries that abuse their relationship with us (e.g., how Russia's burecrats have stolen millions of us taxpayers dollars for their own personal purposes).


It was not stated that envrionmentalism is not paranoia. That was incorrectly generalized in your reply. We can drill in Alaska and not spoil the environment. Most of the environmental horror stories related to oil production are from perfectly legal practices the oil companies did in the 1920s and 1930s (e.g., open storage of oil in pits, etc.). Those practices are not legal anymore.


And actually, I forgot to mention this before, but spoiling the state is not the issue. The problem is that particular national park was set up to protect a particularly important area, one that the caribou habitually migrate to and from. Disrupting it will hurt the caribou even if it does not spread oil across the whole area.

Are the caribou endangered? How many will be killed directly from oil production? How does this compare with whatever animal habitats are affected by drilling wells in the Middle East? How much pollution is released when transporting oil from Saudi Arabia to the United States versus transporting oil from a new Alaska well to the Alaska pipeline?


What's the question here is if it's reasonable to start drilling for oil in a national park. To my mind this is ludicrous. A national park is set off as a piece of nature that should be preserved, not exploited as soon as someone sees the possibility of making a profit. I am very well aware that there are oil spills from tankers transporting oil. I think there are laws that govern this, but many states seem to have trouble enforcing them. This is a problem, but to me it's a problem that can be solved. If it makes the transported oil a bit more expensive, well... tough! Deal with it. Either you pay up or you walk to work. The costlier it is to use petrol indiscriminately, the less people will do so, of course. This is a desirable effect. Perhaps this discussion should be held somewhere else? Bush may be lax about environmental protection, but this is not really about him. He's just a symptom of the problem. --Pinkunicorn


Almost makes you think we are witnessing the "Malcolm effect" as it relates to the forthcoming extinction of civilization and, possibly, humanity (it's gotta happen sometime,


Its interesting that "Barbara and Jenna Bush have been arrested for attempting to purchase alcohol with forged photo identification" has actually resulted in some serious politicial discussions (at least in the media) about the stupidity of American drinking laws. -- Simon J Kissane


Though I agree with limited drilling, the reason it has such an effect on wildlife is that above-ground pipelining (that they would use) disrupts natural migratory patterns of creatures like Elk. That is why comparatively little drilling can have a large effect on local wildlife.

On another note, for whatever the american public says, they obviously agree by not actively stopping the president, and by taking no voluntary action to reduce consumption. This includes people who vocally disagree with the drilling. they might have protested a nuke plant next to their house, but they only benignly oppose environmental disruption in faraway places.