Impossible!

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Re: Impossible!

Postby Marye » Fri Feb 20, 2004 9:56 am

Oh dear :eek: .... this thread could turn ugly. I deeply apologise for starting a discussion on the Democratic Primaries...

Still, if I may steer it back on course ..Could anyone tell me what the difference is between a primary and caucus?
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Re: Impossible!

Postby Shapley » Fri Feb 20, 2004 10:10 am

Marye,

At least an ugly thread is better than a dead one. There's so little life on the board right now.
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Re: Impossible!

Postby Shapley » Fri Feb 20, 2004 10:17 am

Primary Election - The election of delegates to choose candidates: an election to choose delegates who will choose the party’s candidates at a political convention.

Political Caucus - a closed meeting of people from one political party, especially a local meeting to select delegates or candidates


Basically, a caucus requires registration within to party to vote, a primary is open to all voters, who have to designate which parties primary they will vote in.
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Re: Impossible!

Postby Nicole Marie » Fri Feb 20, 2004 12:13 pm

Shapely- The UN looks at the needs of a country and works with that country to fund programs that will help. The UN has rules as to what programs it will fund and how. Countries sitting on various committees within the UN develop these rules.

You missed the point that one person (Bush) can not decided what is right and wrong for a country. That has already been decided by the UN and that individual country/culture. You think that Bush is correct by holding back money but we live in a democracy and I would love to see my tax dollars go towards certain programs the UN runs (mainly their environmental programs). Bush cannot make that lone choice; his agenda is not everyone’s.

A bank does not tell you how to use your loan so why should we tell another country how to use money when the UN has already laid the groundwork?

Speaking of money... did anyone catch the PBS special last night called "Tax Me if You Can"? Great special. It showed how US companies are developing tax shelters and are not paying taxes. The IRS estimates that these companies are not paying between 250 to 300 billion in taxes. The US needs to make up that difference so that average person (middle class) pays 15% more in taxes to make up the difference. They also showed one company that made billions in profit and got a tax return of 160 million from the IRS (First Union). Got me pretty ticked off! I'd love not to pay 15% more in taxes just so some rich ass can have a fatter bank account. If you missed it go to PBS.org. You can also watch it online at their web site.
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Re: Impossible!

Postby Marye » Fri Feb 20, 2004 12:13 pm

Thank you Shapley,

If I may ask this then... why are there only a few Caucuses (Iowa and D.C. I can think of)with more Primaries. Is there an advantage? Is it more historical?
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Re: Impossible!

Postby Shapley » Fri Feb 20, 2004 1:08 pm

Nicole,

One man (Pres. Bush) is not withholding the money. Congress is responsible for the payment or non-payment of the monies. Bush can veto the appropriation bill, but he can be overridden.

Our U.N. dues have been withheld for over a decade, which puts the blame well beyond the reach of President Bush.

Marye,

The issue is left up to the states as to whether they wish to have a primary or a caucus. A caucus (which brings to mind the "Smoke-filled room") is less likely to bring great surprises in the outcome, and generally ensures that the winner is a party loyalist.

Since primaries are generally open to the citizens at large, it is possible for members of the opposition party, or independent voters, to upset the party's choice and sway the election. This is, in fact, common practice in some areas, particularly when there is no primary challenge on one party's ballot. Democrats will vote in the Republican primary, or vice versa, in an effort to elect the weaker of the primary candidates to challenge their own. Much was made of this four years ago when McCain supporters were urging Democrats to vote in the Republican primary in a northern state (Michingan, I believe), to help him defeat George W. Bush.

In the county I grew up in, there was no Republican Party. Thus, all of our county elections were decided in the primary elections. Therefore, even though I have been a Republican since high school, I voted in the Democratic Primary for the first five years I was able to vote. To do otherwise was to have no say in local government.

V/R
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<small>[ 02-20-2004, 01:09 PM: Message edited by: Shapley ]</small>
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Re: Impossible!

Postby Selma in Sandy Eggo » Fri Feb 20, 2004 1:37 pm

Is First Union a publicly traded corporation? If so, perhaps we should buy stock.

I've always rather liked the flat-tax idea. I think that, say, a flat 10% on personal income and a flat 7% on corporate income would be a nice start. No exemptions, no deductions, just add up your income and apply the percentage and send a check.

Tax lawyers generally oppose this approach.

It is true that only congress can levy federal taxes and approve expenditures. The executive branch requests this-and-that, but it's the HofR that authorizes and the Senate approves suchlike things. Part of that constitutional checks-and-balances thing.

Caucuses and primary elections run on a state-by-state basis. Each state can make its own rules and no two states are exactly alike.

For instance, in California you get to vote in whatever political party you registered as a member of; however, several of the smaller parties allow party-switching at the primary. Everyone votes for the non-partisan offices (school board, judges, water district, etc.) but for members of the major parties, only the candidates for your party of registration and the "OK to switch" parties will be shown on your ballot.

If a person registers as a Independent, or Green, or Socialist, Flat-Earther, or some other minority party, neither of the major parties appear on their ballot. All the non-partisan issues still appear.

There are variations on all the rules for each state. Territories have different rules (Puerto Rico and I think Guam and some others) and DC is yet another color of fish.

Politics is fun! Organized anarchy! Last Man To Laugh Wins!

At this point, I think I'll probably rubber-stamp the Governator's propositions and deny all the others. I prefer moderate judges, amateurs on the school board, and I usually think twice about the law-enforcement and environmentalist candidates.
>^..^<
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Re: Impossible!

Postby Nicole Marie » Fri Feb 20, 2004 1:51 pm

I am using Bush as an example. Read and learn Shapley yes one man (Clinton, Bush etc it's not a party issue. Bush just makes an easy target) can stop funding to the UN. My point is, it is up to the UN to decide how to use the money. The US is not the UN. And for the US to pick and choose for the UN is wrong. It undermines the point of the UN. The UN has clearly defined terms for the use of these funds and if you read them, the money is not being abused, misdirected etc. It's being put to good use.

Oh and Clinton worked out a deal where we did pay a part of our back dues. We are almost up to date on that.

China issue:
http://69.36.163.100/documents/news/ap091203.htm

This site polls American opinion on international issues. A great site and a great way to see the misconceptions of the US public. Oh and it also address your concern about the UN taking over the US.
http://www.americans-world.org

Oh and here's how one man's (Bush cuz he's easy) agenda does effect UN funding:

http://www.guttmacher.org/pubs/journals/gr060103.html
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Re: Impossible!

Postby Shapley » Fri Feb 20, 2004 4:37 pm

Nicole:

A number of years back, the National Rifle Association was making some decisions that a number of members in my area, and apparently across the nation, found not to our liking. Several of the members I know approached me and asked if I would join them in a mass resignation from the organization.

After some discussion, we decided that resigning would be a bad decision, in that it would remove from us the ability to vote for the board, and thus to help restore the NRA to the direction we wanted it to move in. We decided instead to remain members, but rather than send money to fund their campaign and legislative funds, we would respond to their financial requests with a fervent "no", and a letter explaining why not.

Since it was our desire to see our monies continue to support second amendment issues, we simply sent the donations we would have sent to the NRA to such groups as the GOA and the JFPO. Thus, our issues continued to be supported, but a strong message was sent to the NRA that we were dissatisfied with the direction they were moving.

It would appear that the Bush administration, as did administrations before it, are taking the same approach. President Bush, with the support of the Congress, wants to continue using the appropriated funding for its original intention, but feels that the United Nations is not the organization to use to achieve those goals. This seems a fair and balanced way of achieving that.

You are correct that the United Nations has the right to use its monies in the manner the United Nations feels is correct, but this is not the United Nations monies. We did not go and take money from the organization, we merely refused to give them our money in the first place. I hope you can see that there is a very big difference between the two. The United Nations is not entitled to our money, to be used as they please. We have an obligation to ensure that the monies we contribute are used for the purposes we support, and there is no way that can be done once the monies are turned over to them.

For an alternative look at the issue, read and learn:

http://www.lifenews.com/intl21.html

V/R
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Re: Impossible!

Postby Nicole Marie » Fri Feb 20, 2004 4:52 pm

Yet once again your argument does not work. We have not paid dues to the UN since Clinton. So your argument about staying in the group to make a change does not float.

Next, when you give money to the UN it's just that, a gift. It's not a loan, down payment etc. it's a gift. The UN develops a plan, action and goal. They then collect money to achieve that goal. When they asked for X amount of dollars to help with the AIDS crisis in Africa, they asked for money to fund their outlined plan. The US did not like the plan so we said sorry we are only giving Y amount and here are the strings attached to Y amount.

Doing that underminds the whole process. So what's the point of the UN then? What's the answer? Let the US do all the work and fund only programs the administration in office at the time sees fit? That will heavily ignore groups, cultures and countries that would need assistance. plus tax the US. You must either give money with no strings attached or none at all and the majority of people in this country (visit above links) are not for a complete seperation from the UN.
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Re: Impossible!

Postby Shapley » Fri Feb 20, 2004 5:16 pm

You said yourself, the U.N. develops a plan and then asks for funds to support it. If they don't get the funds they have to develop a new plan. We don't owe them the money. It is a gift (again, you said so yourself). Let them develop a plan we support and they'll get the money. In the meantime, the money gets sent to groups that use in a manner consistent with our policies.

If the other members of the U.N. feel so strongly that the plan is the correct one, they are free to fund it to their hearts content. If they want U.S. dollars, they have to deal with us to get them.

It's not their money, we did not give them the gift yet. As I said, we took no money from them. We decided not to give them the gift. Just because I send someone a Fruitcake every Christmas doesn't mean they're entitled to a fruitcake everytime they ask for one.
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Re: Impossible!

Postby Nicole Marie » Fri Feb 20, 2004 5:24 pm

One day you will think outside the box. Who says the US plan is the best? Our money is helpful but when we give with strings attached we cut off major groups of people. UN palns are developed with as much of the population in mind. Our way is not always the best for a country with differnt cultures and ideas.
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Re: Impossible!

Postby Shapley » Fri Feb 20, 2004 5:36 pm

Outside what box? I don't see any box. :confused:

It's entirely possible that our plan isn't the best, but our money should be spent on plans we support.

When one group or another comes to me and requests a donation, I look at what they do with the money before deciding whether or not to donate. Once I've donated, I have no control over the use of the money other than to not donate the next time. I expect my government to exercise no less scrutiny of the organizations it funds.

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Re: Impossible!

Postby Nicole Marie » Fri Feb 20, 2004 5:51 pm

I think we are starting to agree... almost. Yes it's EXTREMELY possible our plans are not the best. The UN pays much more attention to individual country needs then we do. I feel they have a much better grasp at how money should be used then we do. We just do what we want to serve our needs at the moment.

Of course individuals give money to groups that they support. But I feel the US has some (notice the word some) obligation (we are one of the wealthiest and most powerful countries) to help others in need. And I feel the best way to help is through an organization that has a better grasp on the situation then we do... the UN.
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Re: Impossible!

Postby Shapley » Fri Feb 20, 2004 5:58 pm

Nicole,

At least we're starting to agree. However, I don't agree that the U.N. has a better grip.

But at least we started to agree. That's something!

Have a great weekend! I'll find something to disagree about next week. :D

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Re: Impossible!

Postby Nicole Marie » Fri Feb 20, 2004 6:01 pm

I look forward. ;)
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Re: Impossible!

Postby piqaboo » Fri Feb 20, 2004 9:50 pm

by EJA
People are not encouraged to build wealth if they are increasingly penalized for doing so.
Uhmmm..... There is no penalty that takes away ALL the increased wealth. Every person I know is smart enough to figure that tho their tax % increases, so does their take-home net. And the vast majority of folks I know are willing to work harder to get that increase in net.

Re the analogy of sharing the GPA - not quite a valid analogy. GPA's dont compound daily whilst one rests on a sunny beach or collects stipends for serving on the boards of other organizations.

Re spending - whether we be poor or rich, we all have to buy food. While the strawman with $100 is looking around for a post-prandial cigar to buy, the 99 folks who didnt sell him his dinner are starving to death. (Well, some of em are. The clever ones set up a barter system, by which they eat, if never get rich).

A UN with its own military is a thing of nightmare. So many of the member states have 'interesting' internal political practices, that might be brought to bear on the UN - military coups to determine the next head etc. Ay yi yi!
Never-the-less, I think the US should pay its dues. Work from within, using the system is OUR 'interesting' internal political model, but apparently it doesnt fit well when we can get away with bullying instead. How sad.
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Re: Impossible!

Postby dai bread » Sat Feb 21, 2004 6:28 am

I have a certain sympathy for the proposition that the U.S. should withhold funding the U.N. without consideration of the uses to which the money is put.

In the early days of the U.N., pretty well all of Africa and a large chunk of Asia were anti-American on principle. There was the Soviet Union as well. THe U.S. took hammering after hammering in the forums of the U.N.

That has changed as the newly-independent countries found their feet, but as we all know, anti-Americanism for its own sake is by no means dead.

Nevertheless, the U.N. or some similarly inclusive organisation is essential for the well-being of the world, unless we are to go back to having Europe as a cockpit. The Balkan affair was bad enough, and Europe is by no means the only place where the embers of hate burn.

I think the U.S. should smile as best it can and pay up. Instead of withholding money, the U.S. would do better to use its considerable muscle to reform the U.N. I believe it's a bureaucrat's paradise.

The U.N. does need its own military (see the Balkan affair mentioned above; also Rwanda). However, as others have pointed out, providing it is full of traps, and therefore has to be left for another day. For the present, it's simply too hard.

Occasionally we have a problem with U.N. resolutions & reports; usually involving the "rights of the child". We think we do a pretty good job of child-rearing here, and resent it when people who practice infibulation etc., and train children to kill, tell us how to bring up our children. The shots directed at the U.S. must be many times worse.
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