America is the only Democracy where minority rules

Discussion in 'Archive: The Senate Floor' started by farraday, Aug 9, 2002.

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  1. Coolguy4522 Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Dec 21, 2000
    star 4
    I hope you don't mean that the reason why they haven't been led off to jail is because of some vast right wing conspiracy.

    I don't understand why only the Republicans are tied to big buisness in the publics mind. The Democrates are tied to the scandals just as much as the Republicans are. Just look at the party affilations of the people you want in jain.
  2. TreeCave Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 28, 2001
    star 4
    If people would write/email/call their congressmen and take a more active role in the direction of the government, special interest groups would lose their power.

    A noble suggestion. However....

    I've been "writing my congressperson" for years, and it's changed recently. Anymore, all you get is a standard form letter - usually off-topic and totally irrelevant to what you sent - that does nothing to suggest your congressperson read it or is even aware of your view. My aunt in WV wrote Robert Byrd a few months ago, and received a letter back saying her letter was never opened by their office/ It didn't even make sense, but it for dang sure proved he's not representing my aunt.

    So the old "write your congressman" maxim has become a faded ideal, not a practical solution.

    but have Lay or anyone else from Enron been indicted on anything?

    No, and there's a lot more evidence of wrong doing on Enron's part than on some of the other CEO's who have been indicted. But Enron has friends in the right places. Come on, people, John Ashcroft has recused himself from the Enron scandal. Let's not be naive.
  3. Herman Snerd Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 31, 1999
    star 6
    Me? Naive? Hardly.

    Don't be so quick to cry "cover up" just because there haven't yet been any indictments. If it's announced that the investigation has ended without any indictments, then I'll join you in shaking my fist at Washington D.C. and grumbling about what a bunch of crooks they all are.

    And what does John Ashcroft have to do with anything? As I remember, he recused himself because he had before accepted campaign contributions from Enron. Doesn't the fact that he's stepped aside show that some of those in the government, in particular the Justice Department, want this examined without even a whiff of impropriety?
  4. Maveric Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 17, 1999
    star 4
    No, because recusing yourself from something automatically means your guilty. Remember when Jeb Bush recused himself from the Florida 2000 fiasco so as not to appear to have an undue influence in the election?

    He was guilty of tampering with the ballots.


    And the old "write your congressman" story is not out of date, just that no one does it. It has gotten to the point where people would rather pay someone to talk to their congressperson for them. Hence the lobbyiests.
  5. Coolguy4522 Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Dec 21, 2000
    star 4
    Does anybody actually think that your letter will be read by the congressman himself? What do you think he has a staff for?
    I would say money is more powerfull than writing, but I say do what you can.

    Edit: KW, I think he was being sarcasic. That or he ain't no Texan. ;) :p
  6. KnightWriter Administrator Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Nov 6, 2001
    star 8
  7. TreeCave Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 28, 2001
    star 4
    Seems to be a bit of reactionary posting going on here. Herman and Maveric, I was not going in the direction either of you assumed. Let's begin again, and this time don't put words in my mouth.

    I never cried "cover up" and I never said Republicans=big business suckups.

    What I was attempting to point out is that everyone involved in prosecuting these guys - from Ashcroft to the Congressional investigators - have accepted at least a little money from Enron. Even Diane Feinstein, and I can't imagine why Enron paid her anything. Because of the money changing hands, it's a bit of a catch-22 - if they throw Enron execs to the wolves, people will say they only did it to protect themselves from accusations of being bought off. If they don't, they will be accused of being bought off. Either way, money damages credibility, and no action will be taken until they're quite finished consulting the polls and their PR corps.

    As for accusing me of bashing Republicans, here's a less recent example: remember when Clinton pardoned everyone shy of baby-eaters on his last day in office? That was just a joke, except that it wasn't funny. Why do you think he pardoned those people? "$$$" comes to mind as a likely reason. Call me cynical if you will, but a lot of those pardoned were rich enough to act as one-man special interest "groups". Ok, all the dead grammar teachers just turned over in their graves, but you know what I mean. ;)

    the old "write your congressman" story is not out of date, just that no one does it.

    [sigh[ Maveric, did you even read my post? I related a specific incident in which my aunt most certainly DID write her congressperson, Robert Byrd, and his office wrote her telling her they refused to open her letter. How can you defend that? How can you blame voting citizens for that sort of insanity?
  8. KansasNavy Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 10, 2001
    star 4
    I think I'm going to volunteer some time for one of the candidates for US Rep in my area. I myself have a special interest, and if I help one it could really help me if he wins. If the other guys wins, well, I hope he doesn't find out because I'm going to be needing his help.
  9. DARTHPIGFEET Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 24, 2001
    star 4
    "No, because recusing yourself from something automatically means your guilty. Remember when Jeb Bush recused himself from the Florida 2000 fiasco so as not to appear to have an undue influence in the election?

    He was guilty of tampering with the ballots."

    I would really love to see any proof you might have, because things were hectic around here in Florida as everyone knows.

    I would like to add that the whole Florida thing could have simply been avoided if Mr. Gore had carried his home State. It's pretty sad if someone running for president of the United States doesn't even have support of his home State. Think about that.

    Next time people better learn how to punch the right hole for the person they wanted to vote for. I can't tell you how many re-counts they did and every single time in those disputed counties Bush had the most votes. Plus a lot of people overlook all of the U.S. serviceman and women who voted over seas, and those came back in support of Bush. Add it all up and Bush won.

    I would still like to see your proof.


    Now on to lobbyist. I don't like lobbyist and they are what is keeping this country down and is what keeps your representatives from representing you. There should be no special interest groups allowed near the capital. Any representative caught taking large sums of money from anyone should be expelled from their job. They are into public service, not making millions of dollars. This is the exact reason why I wanted John McCain to be the Republican nominee, but instead it was Bush. Hense I wasted my vote sort of by voting for Nader, but in doing so I helped create the problems we had in Florida. It would be a cold day in hell before I ever voted for a Democrat, so I had to go with the next best choice to throw my vote away with and Nader did it for me.


  10. TreeCave Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 28, 2001
    star 4
    Pig, I'm pretty sure he was being sarcastic. :)
  11. Tash-Lamour Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Aug 4, 2002
    Yes, but what kind of minorities are they?

    SIG's aren't necasarily bad in concept, but they do constitute problems. For starters, they can be.. shall we say.. fanatical, at times? Only their agenda matters; they aren't generally interested in compromise.

    Politics, let's face it, is prostitution in itself. SIG's aren't concerened about the majority - and sometimes, if the majority wants something, then it's best to let them have it. They help finance the campaigns, and then the politicans are bound to them. The politicians soften the SIG's ideals, but the end result can still be the same. Saving a river is a good thing, but what if it displaces an entire town?

    As for writing your congressman - the only way you're going to be heard is if you're someone. My grand-mama used to be one of those someone's. If my letter were to reach my congressman, unless he knew who my dad or grandmother was, would probably be thrown to hell. They're too busy trying to get re-elected. Even if a Congressman goes in with the best of intentions - any politican, for that matter, eventually there is going to be some corruption. That's what happens when things don't change and new blood is not pumped into the political arena.
  12. Maveric Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 17, 1999
    star 4
    [sigh[ Maveric, did you even read my post? I related a specific incident in which my aunt most certainly DID write her congressperson, Robert Byrd, and his office wrote her telling her they refused to open her letter. How can you defend that? How can you blame voting citizens for that sort of insanity?

    I can blame it on Byrd being too far gone to be in office. I think Alzheimer's has set in on him. If you have seen any of his debates on the Senate floor in the last 3 years, you would see that his sanity is quickly vacating its establishment.

    As for not opening the letter, you should take the letter his office sent your aunt and give it to the media. They would have a field day with that one and Byrd would be sent home after the next election.



    And Coolguy thanks for the support while I was gone.
  13. gwaernardel Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 5, 2001
    star 4
    It is true, though, that when you write a Congressman you get a pretty half-assed response if you get one at all. I've written before and not gotten a response back for 2 months. It would be one thing if it was an actual, real, letter. But it wasn't. It was a form letter that was only marginally relevant to what I had written.

    I don't think the problem is necessarily that enough people don't write letters. If this were the case, why don't we get actual thought-out responses to our concerns? You'd think if they hardly got any letters they would have the time to give you a decent response.
  14. Genghis12 Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Nov 18, 1999
    star 6
    Treecave...
    "Come on, people, John Ashcroft has recused himself from the Enron scandal. Let's not be naive."

    Gee, more of the same wild accusations. Excuse me while I " [face_plain] " over this comment.

    The only thing that Ashcroft's recusal shows is the HIGH LEVEL OF ETHICAL CONDUCT John Ashcroft holds himself to. The fact that John Ashcroft recused himself because of actually rather small donations from Enron can only be used to show he doesn't want any "conflict of interest" charges attached to any investigation.

    When John Ashcroft stepped aside, Enron lost any high level tie it had.

    Unless you have any other proof to back up what amounts to nothing more than wild, erroneous accuation thrown at the Enron investigation.
  15. Mr44 VIP

    Member Since:
    May 21, 2002
    star 6
    This might be kind of late, but I would like to add to the "write to your Congressman" arguement.

    Recently, I have written twice to my reperesntitive, who is one of IL's members of the US House, and both times I have recieved handwritten replies, as well as information packets.

    So I don't think it is fair to claim that all Congressmen have lost touch with the people. Sure, after the Anthrax scare, some elected officals will be more security orientated, but this is an individual choice, rather than a system that limits citizen's influence within government.
  16. TreeCave Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 28, 2001
    star 4
    Ghengis, read the post I wrote after that. You, like the others, have been watching too much Geraldo and assumed you knew what I was saying.

    Mr. 44, that's great. I'm sure some politicians are actually conscientious. But for those of us not represented by any of them, it leaves you feeling like, "Okay, should I streak naked by the guy's house? How do I get his attention?"
  17. Genghis12 Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Nov 18, 1999
    star 6
    Treecave...
    Geraldo. Please. You already asked us not to be naive.

    The use of Ashcroft's recusal, with the veiled advice of "Let's not be naive," does not support the point which you asserted in your latter post. That point being, "money damages credibility."

    Either you have no idea what you wanted to talk about, or you carefully planned your anti-Ashcroft/Bush attacks.

    Ashcroft's recusal can only strengthen credibility of the process, which was the complete opposite point than what you wanted to assert in your later clarification.

    We're not naive. :)
  18. farraday Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 27, 2000
    star 7
    I would like take a moment to instigate more discussion.

    Some one brought up the point that most Special intrest groups have an opposing special intrest group. However, it seems to me that the special intrest almost always represents the extremist end of the argument. either for no laws restricing gun ownership or banning it completely. Abortions at any time at the womans discression of the complete banning of all abortions.

    Since the vast majority of Americans fall between the two extreme ends niether powerufl group represents their opinions on the matter.
  19. Genghis12 Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Nov 18, 1999
    star 6
    farraday,
    I think that's pretty obvious. After all, if they were merely general interest groups, they wouldn't be very special. :)

    For example, what's the point of the "National Association for the Advancement of People." The only ones opposed to the aims of such a group would be nihilistic psychopaths - a rather small minority. I suppose maybe other life-forms like cats and dogs would organize such groups, but I doubt they'll be very sucessful.

    National Association for the Right to Life and Abortion...

    The National Firearm and Lack of Firearm Association...

    Scientists for the Defense of Stem-Cell Research and Banning of Such Research...

    The Foundation to Promote a North American Trade (Free or Otherwise) Agreement or Lack Thereof...

    What would be the point of such general-interest groups?
  20. farraday Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 27, 2000
    star 7
    The point is ghengis that special intrest groups represent an extremist answer to a question. Listening to them ignores the majority of Americans who fall between the two extremes.

    Shouldn't politicians be representing their constituents not trying to find a way to offend as few of the money generating extremist positions as possible.
  21. tenorjedi Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 17, 2000
    star 5
    It's not always about the money. More oftent than not in gov't, the squeaky wheel gets the grease. Who makes the most noise? Extremists. If moderates would actually make some noise about issues they would be recognized. They're not mind readers and polls only tell so much.
    Silence is compliance. If your opinion on gun control is not being heard, you're in the wrong place to make a difference my friend. Make some noise or pipe down. Don't complain unless you're willing to do something about it.
  22. Genghis12 Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Nov 18, 1999
    star 6
    Listening to them insures at least that part of the issue is heard.

    One shouldn't be that afraid of too much information.

    The problem is too little information - that other sides aren't being heard. But, that's not a concern of the interest group that's trying to be heard.

    That's the concern of the politician in making sure he's making an informed decision.

    I don't buy the "constituent" argument - that the politician should look out for his constituency above anything else. That's politicking by polling. I can take a poll for each and every decision I have to make, and then take the course which got the most votes.

    That's just as bad a corruption of the process, IMO.

    Ideally, politicians should make the most informed decisions based on what's the best course of action available, not necessarily what's best for his constituents. You can elect a monkey if you just want to pick whatever the majority votes on every occasion. A politician presumably brings ethics, education and experience to the table. That's why there's usually standards for them to meet and ways to remove them.

    Special-interest groups are part of the process of informing the politician.

    As educated as politicians may be, it is not reasonable for every politician to know every minute detail of every issue. Groups interested in their detail are an important part of the decision-making process as they ensure those details are heard in the "great debate" on whatever issue it is.
  23. TreeCave Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 28, 2001
    star 4
    Ghengis, no one in the current "administration" has anymore integrity than Clinton or Reagan. You are naive - you're blinded by your adoration of a party.

    But that's off-topic.

    More on topic.... how are moderate special interest groups supposed to make a noise the media will pick up on? "National Association for Mostly Legal Abortion but with Definite Restrictions" is not a ratings grabber.
  24. Genghis12 Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Nov 18, 1999
    star 6
    Treecave...
    "Ghengis, no one in the current "administration" has anymore integrity than Clinton or Reagan. You are naive - you're blinded by your adoration of a party."

    ?[face_plain] I never said anything like that. What I said was that Ashcroft's recusion shows he's being ethical in his Department's investigation, contrary to what your "Let's not be naive" attack on him and his actions was pointing to.

    Hopefully, you agree that Ashcroft stepping down because of a presumed conflict of interest is a good thing!?!
  25. farraday Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 27, 2000
    star 7
    Ghengis,
    I dare say any information which comes from a special intrest group about the cause near and dear to it's members is suspect.

    You can listen to extremist from both side, and what they say may be true, but it wont be the whole truth.

    Special interests mussy the waters of informed debate by telling only the facts which support their cause while conviently overlooking or minimizing anything which might tend to disagree with their position.
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