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Deep Pencil - The blog of Morgan Bell (author of Sniggerless Boundulations)

 

You have entered the random thinking space of Morgan Bell. These are my musings, things about my life written either off the top of my head or in a completely calculated fashion. This is where i flesh out writing ideas and discuss my life and my opinions.

Author bio: Bell’s short story "It Had To Be Done" was first published in the Newcastle Writers Group Anthology 2012, and her short story "Midnight Daisy" was published by YWCA Newcastle in 2013 as part of the She: True Stories project, with live readings on ABC 1233 in February 2014 and Newcastle Writers Festival in April 2014. Bell contributed a short story to the 2014 Hunter Speculative Fiction Anthology called “The Switch” which is based on Germanic folklore. It is due to be published in May 2014 alongside award-winning authors such as Margo Lanagan and Kirstyn McDermott. In March 2014 Bell's short story "Don't Pay The Ferryman", an anti-travel piece, was shortlisted for the Hunter Writer's Centre Travel Writing Prize 2014. Sniggerless Boundulations is Bell's debut collection of fifteen stories, touching on themes fear, time, aging, anxiety, and jealousy. The work is experimental in form and length, including flash fiction and vignettes, and is an examination of the horrors of life.

should politicians have skills and experience?

September 7th 2008 09:54
ive been thinking about politics and our politicians . . .

whenever i think about our democratic system (or our cousins in the USA) the idealist in me immediately comes out and all thoughts become prefaced with "if i ruled the world . . ."

of course i dont rule the world, which is a good thing, because i dont really know enough about the complexity of the world to do a good job . . . but then again, do our politicians?

theoretically anybody from any background or skill set (apart from maybe criminals - no white collar criminals dont count, corruption and laundering is encouraged haha) could run for office in their local area, you could be a stay-at-home-mum, and garbage collector, a fish and chip shop owner, or beauty queen . . . but by disproportionate majority most of our politicians tend to be lawyers and/or career politicians (clerks, advisors, aides etc within their political party)

so rather than getting, say, a senior accountant or and economics expert as the Treasurer of the state or the country, we seem to get people who are great public speakers who have studied mostly law, communications, and politics itself . . . but theyre not so great at balancing the books or sticking to the budget

its a shame we dont tend to get engineers or town-planners or environmental scientists in charge of Transport, Roads, Energy, Water, Resources, Infrastructure etc

wouldnt it be great to have a teacher in charge of Education, a farmer in charge of Agriculture, a nurse in charge of Health, a social worker in charge of Welfare, and a person with a military background in charge of Defence . . . sure it may happen time to time, but on the whole the elected official generally has no background in their portfolio

sure they have whole teams of public servants working under then providing them with advice and reports and statistics . . . and we hope they listen to them . . . but do they have the capacity to understand?

if you are going to be Prime Minister or President (or Deputy or Vice) and working on foreign policy and international trade agreements should you not have to prove your worldliness? should you have travelled and learnt other languages and studied other cultures and protocols and basic geography and political history of all the nations of the world?

perhaps this is a tall order?

i just think these people have alot of responsibility and if it was a job interview many of them would not meet the minimum requirements or essential criteria of the role description . . .











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Comments
76 Comments. [ Add A Comment ]

Comment by alt_ed

September 7th 2008 10:08
Why Morgan if I ruled the world, what a fabulous place one would make...

I wonder if we should run in the next election? We could be the Demon-crats lol

Comment by Cheryl J

September 7th 2008 10:26
Hear hear Morgan. What an interesting idea having people with knowledge of their own portfolios.

I always found it amusing that Brendan Nelson had the Defence portfolio when he was a medical doctor. I can sort of see how he may have had some background in the Science area of the Education, Science and Training portfolio but wouldn't it have made sense back in the day to have him, oh I don't know...let's say Minister for Health?

Comment by S.L.

September 7th 2008 10:35
Running a country is a really big job, Morgan, you're right. It seems to me that anyone running for national leadership should at least be qualified to run a business and have some experience in the "real world". Too often we get people who know too little. Sort of like hiring someone to fly your airplane and then discovering he doesn't have a pilot's license! In mid-air! Or those who "know too much." That's like finding out your "pilot" has been flying for so many years he sleeps at the controls. When you're landing! It often comes down to who makes the best speech, regardless of who actually wrote the speech...

Comment by Two Guys Sports

September 7th 2008 10:47
Hi Morgan,

Some very excellent points.

Being in the U.S. I feel the need to point out that our current President (The W. Bush), is the exact opposite of all the points you made. It is truly amazing how the whole political system works, or should I say fails to work. While speaking of him I also need to point out he didn't / doesn't even have the whole "great speech giver" thing going for him. The more he opens his mouth in public the worse it gets. My opinion is, if not for his father being who he was he probably would have been a statistic in the high school dropout category. Yet here we sit with a Yale grad, former Governor, and holding a position called, "The Leader of the Free World" for eight years.

If the system worked the way you described the world would be a much, much better place. Sadly, it never will though.

Well, not on every level, but here in Oklahoma we have a slight advantage. For the longest time the state was ranked in the bottom five of the 50 states in many education categories. Our current Governor of five years now is married to a former teacher. You wouldn't believe the stride forward the state has taken in education. Especially teacher salaries, and testing scores. the salary portion is important to us since my wife is a 4th grade teacher. A small first step toward your system, but still a start. lol

Gene

Comment by S.L.

September 7th 2008 10:54
Sorry, Morgan, I just can't help myself. I have to ask Gene a question.

So, Gene, who would you have rather had as president for the last eight years? Gore the "environmentalist" wacko? Or Kerry the traitor? And who are you voting for in the coming election?

Comment by Morgan Bell

September 7th 2008 10:57
hi alt_ed,
BAHAHAhaha DEMONcrats!
id love to do a bit of fine tuning about who gets elected (and how) but i dont think i would really want to run myself!


hi Cheryl,
the guy that has the defence portfolio now is an auto-electrician from Cessnock who has a certificate in small business . . . like seriously!
when i think of all the job interviews ive ever been to . . .


hi S.L,
i think you could be right about business skills - perhaps some project management, book-keeping, and budgetting qualifications?
It often comes down to who makes the best speech, regardless of who actually wrote the speech...
i totally agree!
we vote for a person as our representative but we never really see all the "behind the scenes" people who actually influence policy and orchastrate things . . . sometimes it seems like the person who sits behind the desk is incidental, they are just a randomly chosen face of the party machine

Comment by Cheryl J

September 7th 2008 10:58
It never seems to be the better qualified. It's who had the most financial backing, who has the best speech writers and possibly who uses the BEST SONGS even if they didn't have permission...

Comment by Morgan Bell

September 7th 2008 11:14
hi Gene,
that is a really interesting example about your Oklahoma Governor . . . maybe my system WOULD work in real life?
(dont ask me the details of how it would be executed! haha)
also in my ideal world you wouldnt have to be rich or well-connected to run for a seat, advertising etc should be limited, im appalled that US candidates spend millions on getting elected . . . and essentially it means you will never have the lower income section of your community represented by someone who has first-hand knowledge of the real problems


hi Cheryl,
oooo thankyou for the link!
(its a cross promotion! haha)
i think requiring financial backing creates so many conflicts of interest, i wonder what class of contender you would attract if the position was voluntary or minimum wage and the politician (and there whole family) were not allowed to own property, assets or business interests?
political seats could just be "work for the dole"! haha
only a welfare payment and some public housing as reward and you have to submit a resume to qualify?

Comment by Two Guys Sports

September 7th 2008 11:20
S.L.

I would have chosen (and did) Gore. Which by the way leads us to another glaring problem with U.S. Politics...
The majority of the voters also chose Gore, but the system of electoral votes (and the fact that W. had a brother as a Governor in the state that had the final say.) gave the election to W.

As for this election, my perfect scenario would have been an Obama - Hillary ticket. Which name gets to go on top was open for discussion or Rock, Paper, Scissors game. the goal was for the two of them to rule the world for 8 years a piece, and undo the last eight years.

These are of course just my opinions, and you are entitled to yours also, which I suspect yours is a bit different. Luckily that is one of the freedoms neither the Dems or Republicans are planning to take away from us.

Gene

Comment by S.L.

September 7th 2008 11:32
Unless the Dems get their way and re-institute the Fairness Doctrine, Gene. Then my side will be effectively silenced and only the liberals will be able to have their say.

Something for you to think about, too, Gene. If Gore had won and 9/11 had happened while he was in office, he'd still be wringing his hands and wondering what we did to piss off the terrorists. The Towers would still be a pile of rubble as he continued forming a commission to decide what the "environmental impact" of cleaning up the mess might be. And instead of fighting terrorists, we'd be "saving the world" with things like the Kyoto Accords. Boy, I'm glad he lost!

And in case you don't remember, Gene, Gore demanded how many recounts of the vote? He lost on every single one of them. It made no difference who the governor was (except that Jebs popularity might have brought new voters for his brother.)

Comment by alt_ed

September 7th 2008 11:35
Well Morgan, I'll run and you can be my campaign manager... sound good? I'll even propose that Endone be made available FREE under the PBS!!!

Comment by Cheryl J

September 7th 2008 11:52
OK Alt_Ed you've won me! Stupid freaking Endone costs me a fortune...something Morgan and I definitely have in common. And how about putting all contraceptive pills on the PBS because at present the one that helps the most women and is the best for 'female health issues' is the only one not on the PBS. And how about taking the GST off tampons as they are classed as non-essentials! Every woman in the country would stampede to vote!

And as Morgan said, every person who runs a portfolio should have worked in that industry at least for a while.

Morgan, the financial backing thing bothers me a great deal. I know of an enormous fortune 500 company in the US who is financially backing BOTH sides. Talk about evening out your odds!

An auto-electrician from Cessnock bahahaha, I did not know that. Holy crap batman.

Comment by RubySoho

September 7th 2008 12:57
'What does a Vice President do?"

-Sarah Palin.


Hahahahahahaha!





Comment by alt_ed

September 7th 2008 13:07
Ok, Got-it Cheryl! Tax free tampons, and free painkillers = my way into office right?

Hmm, wonder what else I can use to leverage some lady votes? Perhaps I should frock up, and hit the campaign trail in drag hehe (that'd definitely secure Morgan's vote hahaha)

Comment by S.L.

September 7th 2008 13:16
Most Vice Presidents attend conferences that the President can't attend (for whatever reason), they make appearances and support the President's policies. They attend state funerals and weddings internationally. And sometimes, they become president, like Andrew Johnson, Harry Truman and Lyndon Johnson did. Often, after a successful president has finished his term(s) in office, the Vice President runs and is elected. Sometimes, not (like Al Gore).

I'm quite sure Sarah Palin knew the answer and was asking the question as a joke.

Comment by Morgan Bell

September 7th 2008 13:59
hi S.L.
im curious about the Fairness Doctrine . . . did you find it a bad thing in the USA when it was used to regulate content?
i found this description on wiki which makes it sound reasonable, but im interested in your personal experience

The Fairness Doctrine was a policy of the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) that required the holders of broadcast licenses both to present controversial issues of public importance and to do so in a manner that was honest, equitable, and balanced. It did not require equal time for opposing views, but required that contrasting viewpoints be presented. Stations were given wide latitude as to how to provide contrasting views: It could be done through news segments, public affairs shows or editorials.
Really Long Link

in Australia we have the Broadcasting Services Act (1992) Really Long Link

and the Australian Communications & Media Authority (ACMA) Really Long Link to regulate the fairness of our broadcasting

Comment by Morgan Bell

September 7th 2008 14:02
hi Ruby,
did Sarah Palin really say that as a serious question? haha
if so i would love to know where and when!
sounds like something that may haunt her now!
i dont know if im scared or amused . . .

Comment by Morgan Bell

September 7th 2008 14:10
hi alt_ed and Cheryl,

ok our political plans are really starting to take shape!
we've got endone, tampons, and dragqueens . . . those are the three items i would take to a desert island with me! haha

heres a LINK to Australias current parliamentary cabinet ministers and their portfolios - click on a name for their profile and then click on their "bio" for a list of qualifications (if any)

Comment by S.L.

September 7th 2008 14:22
Well, Morgan, the Fairness Doctrine served it's limited purpose long ago. When it was started, talk radio was almost unheard-of. The idea that both sides of the issue should be presented was a good one, back then. Nowadays, we have lots of talk radio where opinions rule and both sides are heard from. Except for NPR (National Public Radio), all the talk radio shows are commercial in nature. Conservative talk radio has huge audiences and plenty of sponsors, and it is a very profitable business.

Liberal talk radio has only NPR and Air America and a few local talk shows that spew liberalism on their tiny audiences. They don't have sponsors and are very unprofitable, so they manage to find government grants and subsidies to keep them going. Still, they aren't doing very well. This isn't sour grapes, Morgan, I have been a guest speaker on NPR and they were very nice to me (but I didn't discuss politics, just the murder mysteries that I wriite) although I did get in one comment (or maybe two) about The Political Journey.

The Fairness Doctrine was dropped when it was no longer useful and both sides were equally represented on the airwaves. Things have changed since then.

The New Fairness Doctrine would force conservative stations to produce liberal programs, free. They would have to give up time to present opposing views to everything that was said and the FCC would be monitoring to make sure they did. It creates a state ordered and sponsored media and severely limits our freedom of speech.

Radio stations are in business to make money and they get none from liberal programs. Conservative shows are very profitable. So many of the stations that now make money by having conservative talk shows would switch to sports, music or go off the air, rather than go broke.

Consider that the liberal media has many newspapers, NBC, ABC, CBS, PBS, CNN, NPR and all of their various affiliates while conservatives have only Fox and talk radio. The new Fairness Doctrine won't force liberals to add conservative speakers or programs, they'll just force the few conservative news outlets to give liberals half their air time.

If Obama wins, he'll bring the Fairness Doctrine back to suit his liberal agenda, Morgan. There's nothing "fair" about that.

Comment by RubySoho

September 7th 2008 14:30
Actually yes, she did say that as a serious question. About 6 weeks ago when she was asked in an interview what she thought about the possibility that McCain was considering her as his running mate.

Not only didn't she know what the VP does, she appeared to think it was a bit of a bludge.

This is exactly what she said:

As for that VP talk all the time, I'll tell you, I still can't answer that question until somebody answers for me what is it exactly that the VP does every day? I'm used to being very productive and working real hard in an administration. We want to make sure that that VP slot would be a fruitful type of position, especially for Alaskans and for the things that we're trying to accomplish up here for the rest of the U.S., before I can even start addressing that question."



Really Long Link


Wow. Let's repeat that shall we?

"I still can't answer that question until somebody answers for me what is it exactly that the VP does every day?...We want to make sure that that VP slot would be a fruitful type of position".


Yes, Sarah, because up until you decided to run for VP, it was just a position held by lazy lay-abouts.

And America's descent into irrelevancy continues.

Comment by Morgan Bell

September 7th 2008 14:31
hi S.L,
thanks for explaining your position
its a shame people would rather switch off the radio than hear another viewpoint - personally i prefer programming that attempts to get opinions from a broad cross-section of the community, with many opposing ideas presented - but i guess alot of folk get set in their ways
have you done any posts on the details of Obamas proposal to bring back the doctrine?
if so post me the link so i can have a gander

Comment by Morgan Bell

September 7th 2008 14:40
hi Ruby,
thanks for the link, i see it was a quote from an interview with Larry Kudlow of CNBC’s “Kudlow & Co.” . . . looks pretty genuine!
she must have had absolutely no idea she was going to be offered VP!
do you think she was picked because she is a woman? perhaps to appeal to the disgruntled Hillary followers?
seems like a spur of the moment decision . . .
"lazy lay-abouts" HAHA you crack me up

Comment by S.L.

September 7th 2008 14:41
You obviously know little of American politics, Ruby. But that's not a surprise, considering your expertise on so many other things. The Vice President doesn't have a scheduled set of duties like a governor has. A VP is basically on call for emergencies and necessary functions. The VP is also President of the Senate, but it's a mostly ceremonial position. The VP can be the tie breaking vote although it doesn't happen very often, partisanship being a factor.

Sarah Palin went to school, graduated from college and has been a mayor and governor. She knows what a Vice President does and was only joking when she asked the question. She probably didn't think there was a chance of her being chosen when she said it. Perhaps it was her way of humorously dismissing the notion?

Comment by RubySoho

September 7th 2008 14:48
Hi Morgan. I think Palin was picked for two reasons. 1). She is insanely appealing to the social conservatives who were hitherto unenthusiastic about McCain and 2). Having a woman on the ticket is the GOP's way of undermining Obama's "change" message and the Democrat's historic campaign which featured a black man and a woman.

I don't think the Republican Party seriously think that women who voted for Hillary will vote for Palin. Sure, they both have vaginas, but unlike Sarah Palin, Hillary doesn't go around telling other women what they can and can't do with theirs. This is a huge issue and whilst the PUMA'S are still fuming about Hillary, most likely they will just stay home in November.

Comment by S.L.

September 7th 2008 14:51
Really Long Link
Really Long Link

Here are two links. If you Google Fairness Doctrine, you can find lots more on the subject.

Comment by Jeff Musall

September 7th 2008 14:55
I think business experience should have little or no consideration....remember, Bush claimed to be the "CEO pres" and look at Mitt Romney...A government is not a business anyway. I would posit that it is much more a "community organization." Palin isn't qualified, in my book, not just because of her lack of knowledge, but for what she holds to be true. It's very obvious when you hear her speak she grew is steeped in evangelical thought. From creationism to her saying Iraq is god's plan, it is infused in everything she says and does. That's why she says things like the Pledge of Allegiance and it's in god we trust, that if "it was good enough for the founding fathers, it's good enough for me." And the crowd goes wild. She's a jingoist, a cheerleader for Jesus and the base.

Comment by RubySoho

September 7th 2008 15:00

Haha. A cheerleader for Jesus.

I'm guessing Jesus is the quarterback. Who else is on the team?

Comment by S.L.

September 7th 2008 15:00
Wrong again, Ruby. Big Surprise. There really are people who consider themselves who are not solely devoted to the killing of children. Sarah Palin is a highly accomplished woman, far more than Hillary! There are some women who just wanted to see a woman elected to the highest office (the 2nd highest will do for now) in their lifetimes. Hillary was a terrible disappointment to many of them and Sarah Palin isn't. She didn't have to marry importance or be put into important positions. She did it on her own. That appeals to real feminists. To many others (male and female both) her anatomical features are not as important as her politics. Obama and Obiden are ultra liberals which some of us find disturbing (and disgusting). McCain is very much the weasel at times and doesn't know which side of the fence he belongs on. Sarah Palin has brains, courage and conservative beliefs which will be incredibly appealing to a huge number of voters. She also has an impressive track record of standing up for what she believes. Hillary can't say that. Neither can Obama, Obiden or McCain.

Comment by Jeff Musall

September 7th 2008 15:01
SL...your talk about the Fairness Doctrine is right out of the mouth of Rush. First, the revamped doctrine would be substantially different from the original. As for liberal vs. conservative talk, the most listened to talk radio in Portland is KPOJ, the liberal station that mostly runs Air America programming. Sure, you don't get it in Redneckistan, but everywhere it plays for long it eventually works. Corporate money drives conservatve radio, as it is their propaganda department. Only a right wing zealot would claim that America media is liberal. It's corporate owned too, class. The right lkes to claim anything that isn't right wing propaganda as being "liberal." The reason something like the fairness doctrine is important is that without it what you get is what corporations are willing to pay for. And you get people like SL who think Hannity or O'Rielly are reporters of news.

Comment by S.L.

September 7th 2008 15:06
Maybe Jeff, she's something you obviously are not. She is an American patriot who believes in the Constitution, the Founding Fathers wisdom, and in God.

If being a patriot is such a bad thing, why do Hillary, Obama and Obiden try so hard to pretend that they are? After all don't Obama and Hillary pretend to be Christians? Doesn't Obiden pretend to be a Catholic? Don't you pretend to be capable of rational thought?

Comment by RubySoho

September 7th 2008 15:26
Yep. Like I said, Palin is insanely appealing to the social conservatives.

The GOP knows how to play their base like a fiddle...

Comment by alt_ed

September 7th 2008 15:32
Doesn't Obiden pretend to be a Catholic?
hahaha well, no more so than YOU pretend that his name is O-Biden!

Comment by S.L.

September 7th 2008 15:34
Like the liberals do, Ruby. The only difference is that we don't base everything on how much we love abortion and infanticide.

Actually if the conservatives play their base like a fiddle, don't the liberals play their base like a broken record?

Comment by S.L.

September 7th 2008 15:37
So Sorry, alt_ed. I thought that since Obama and his running mate wanted to be twins, the name Obiden fit pretty well.

Comment by alt_ed

September 7th 2008 15:40
Oh, ok so i guess you have the authority to change peoples names? Who are you Jesus??

Comment by S.L.

September 7th 2008 15:57
Didn't you say you didn't believe in Him, alt_ed? Or was that Jeff, Ruby and the others...? Hard to keep track of which of you is which...

Is your given name "alt_ed"? Is Rubys name really Ruby? Is anyone born with the name "General" or "Governor" or "President"? I don't recall Jesus coming down and changing names lately. He has much more important things to worry about.

My use of the term Obiden is no different from you calling someone an A&*(hole. But I'm sure you wouldn't ever stoop to changing names on anyone... someone might mistake you for Jesus, right?

Have a nice Sunday, alt_ed. I'm off to church.

Comment by Jeff Musall

September 7th 2008 15:59
SL....a Patriot is exactly what closet fascists that run the Republican Party are not- the patriots who founded America despised corporate power. They railed against a big military and using it as a tool for empire. They understood that while people had a strong desire to be religious, government should not be. They understood that individual rights trump dogma. And no, they weren't perfect, America was meant to be a work in progress. But they most definitely were not Sarah Palin.True Patriots recognize when their country is failing them and take steps to correct it's course. The R's try to change the values to match their course.

Comment by RubySoho

September 7th 2008 16:03
"Is Rubys name really Ruby?"

Yes.


"I don't recall Jesus coming down and changing names lately. He has much more important things to worry about."

Totally! Like ending child poverty and war and famine and....oh never mind...

Comment by alt_ed

September 7th 2008 16:03
Urh-- No my name isn't alt_ed Stephanie... it's Ophelia Shaft!

And the last time Jesus came down, he came a LOT! And he LIKED IT!! (What can I say, I've never had a member of the clergy turn down my full-service)

Comment by S.L.

September 7th 2008 16:09
The three stooges speak! Wow! I'll be back in a few hours and have more to say. Are you guys triplets or something? Or was there a substance in the water that warped your minds?

I'm outa here for now.....

Comment by jimstillman

September 7th 2008 16:24
Am I the only one disturbed about calling John Kerry "a traitor"? Am I the only one offended by the suggestion that a liberfal isn't and cannor be a "patriot"?

I swer I try and avoid arguing with SL because all it does is result in her calling me names, but, honestly, is there anyone else who wouild assert that Senator Biden is a supporter of Osama?, that Senator Obama is somehow lke Saddam?

The sophistry that "after all his middle name is "Hussein" isn't it?" is too cute by far.

I do not chalenge SL's right to her opinions but, please, throwing around terms like "traitor" goes too far. The term is the only crime defined in the Constitution an political discussions are too important to be sullied by silliness.

Comment by Jeff Musall

September 7th 2008 16:40
Well said, Jim...
On the stooges....Can I be Curly???? Please??? "Oh, a wise guy! Why I oughtta....NYUK NYUK NYUK!!!

Comment by Two Guys Sports

September 7th 2008 18:12
Morgan,

I recently posted a clip of Palin saying it. You can click her to see it
When I get home later I will add a longer clip from the interview.

.....
Jim,
I was somewhat, but was trying to avoid a big discussion here. I mean I never really liked John Kerry, but he was far from a traitor.

.....
SL,

Al Gore would have handled 9/11 fine. Reason being, all of his advisors would have been the ones with the ideas. Similar to George W. Bush. You don't think they let him make those decisions on his own do you? Dozens of people just like him made those decisions. Granted (again.....) in MY Opinion... they all made many wrong decisions when they told him to do some of the stuff. Keep n mind these were the same advisors that helped him and the government respond so quickly in New Orleans after Katrina hit.

(Sorry Morgan, had to respond in some way.)

Gene

Comment by S.L.

September 7th 2008 22:51
So, Kerry wasn't a traitor? That's really odd... Falsifying records during wartime isn't illegal? Lying to Congress while wearing the uniform isn't a problem? Giving aid and comfort to the enemy in time of war is acceptable? If Kerry had done the same things during World War Two or at any time previously, he would have been executed for treason. But since you brilliant Constitutional scholars say he isn't a traitor... I'm not supposed to say so? Sorry. John Kerry and Jane Fonda would both have been nailed for treason in any previous war. All the lies and bull dookey you can invent won't change the fact that they ARE BOTH TRAITORS.

And as for Gore if he had been in charge on 9/11, don't make me laugh. "His advisors" would have told him what to do? He's such a total loss that he wouldn't have understood that we'd been attacked? Of course, you're right. Gore only cares about his precious "carbon credits" and how much money he's making off of morons who buy into his garbage. The people in the Bush administration all agree that they put in their .02 cents worth, but he made the decisions. Gore isn't capable of making any decisions on his own. Except where it will financially benefit him. Then his decision is to continue lying and scoop up the cash.

You guys are kidding, right? Nobody can really be that blind, ignorant and flat out stupid, can they? Present company excepted, Jim and Jeff.

Comment by Two Guys Sports

September 7th 2008 23:12
Again, Morgan... I really am sorry. lol

I am however, not going to respond this time.

Gene

Comment by Jeff Musall

September 7th 2008 23:49
I would dare say it's easier to get reason from a turnip than from right wing zealots. But that's just me.

Comment by Norm

September 8th 2008 00:34

Comment by RubySoho

September 8th 2008 00:46
As a non-American I can only say how bemusing I find it that John McCain has his war record paraded in front of our eyes at every available opportunity whilst John Kerry, who by all records is a bona fide 'war hero', gets shat on from a great height.

I guess even serving your country and winning numerous bravery medals just isn't enough for some unless you are also a Republican.

Serving in the army doesn't carry the same weight in Australia as it does in the USA but even I can see how Kerry was so wronged.

Really, really sad.

Comment by S.L.

September 8th 2008 01:00
John McCain was a hero. He was a prisoner of war. It is a well known and well documented fact. John Kerry had a few medals that were highly questionable. The real Swift Boat Vets who served with him all said his medals were fake and he was a slacker who earned nothing but their contempt. He bragged about throwing his medals away after lying to Congress. The medals are on his office wall and he changed his story when he was caught in the lie. He claimed it was someone else's medals he threw away.

Kerry's sterling "war reord" consisted of a very few months during which he was endlessly photographed by a special team of photographers that went with him. It was strictly a stunt (going to war) to pave the way for his political ambitions. Just like Al Gore.

Comment by RubySoho

September 8th 2008 01:53
That's not true SL. It is simply not true.

Kerry was awarded three Purple Hearts, a silver Star and a Bronze Star. The authenticity of these medals has been verified by snopes.

snopes- Kerry service record

It is really sad the way you are continuing to smear this man. Imagine you are a young man, experiencing the horrors of war, putting your life at risk every day, only to have your own countrymen demonise you 40 years later. It's the same old thing. Smear, smear, smear. But this one really is the lowest of the low.

Regardless of what I or any other person thinks about war in general and Vietnam in particular, there is no denying that Kerry was dedicated to serving his country as a young man. And 40 years later, whilst trying to serve his country again he gets his war record dragged through the mud.

I don't know how the people who started that smear campaign can live with themselves. I really don't.

Comment by S.L.

September 8th 2008 02:02
Wrong again, as usual, Ruby. Snopes wasn't in Viet Nam with him. He openly lied to Congress and then tried to weasel out of it, finally having to admit that everything he said was "heasrsay" rather than be honest and admit that he was lying. The Swift Boat Vets who knew him and served with him came forward and told the true stories about his vaunted "war record." They were telling the truth, but to this day, dishonest charges and smear campaigns are called "swift boating." Those vets were the real heroes, he wasn't. They sleep just fine at night and can live with themselves better that Kerry the traitor ever will.

Comment by RubySoho

September 8th 2008 02:47
Snopes wasn't in Viet Nam with him.

Neither were the men who accused him of falsifying his records.


To read the truth about John Kerry's war record:

CLICKHERE


ANDHERE


ANDHERE

Once again SL, you have shown your complete disregard for facts and truth.

Comment by S.L.

September 8th 2008 02:51
Ruby, when it all happened with him lying to Congress and trying to weasel out of it, I was watching it on TV. I lived here then and was paying attention. There's nothing in the rewritten history that you can provide to change what really happened.

Comment by Jeff Musall

September 8th 2008 03:58
Ruby, you will find that those who attacked Kerry, and those who still cling to their twisted realities live with themselves quite well. A complete lack of conscience and sense of decency allows that luxury.

Comment by Morgan Bell

September 8th 2008 04:05
hi S.L.

Falsifying records during wartime isn't illegal? Lying to Congress while wearing the uniform isn't a problem? Giving aid and comfort to the enemy in time of war is acceptable?

i take it when you say "giving aid and comfort" you are referring John Kerry protesting the Vietnam war (1970-71) and suggesting to politicians in the USA that they should surrender when the VC offered a peace propsal (1971)?

could you elaborate on what you mean by "falsifying records" and "lying"?

with regards to the swiftboat smear campaign, John McCain has said this:

I think the ad is dishonest and dishonorable. As it is none of these individuals served on the boat (Kerry) commanded. Many of his crewmates have testified to his courage under fire. I think John Kerry served honorably in Vietnam.




Comment by S.L.

September 8th 2008 04:06
Jeff knows what he's talking about, being one of those who lives in the fantasy world of Kerry not being a traitor. It's sad that someone can betray his comrades in arms and his country and then manage to get elected to anything but a firing squad. Kerry wound up in the Senate, a place he had no business even visiting. It's a good thing there are still some of us who remember the lies he told and then denied. Anyone who believes him is no better than he is.

Jeff will probably also tell you that when Kerry went to Viet Nam, in violation of the Logan Act (treason) that it was O.K. Jane Fonda got away with it, too. Neither of them should have ever been freed!

Comment by Morgan Bell

September 8th 2008 04:10
hi Jim,
i think calling John Kerry a "traitor" is a bit over the top, from everything i have read he has been quite transparent about his military records and tried his best to be open when recollecting the events
so Jim, what is your opinion about politicians needing qualifications and/or experience?
do you think military servive and general worldliness or specific education should be pre-requisites?

Comment by S.L.

September 8th 2008 04:17
One of the reasons I'm not too crazy about McCain, Morgan, is that he lets things slide so he can pander to liberals. His taking Kerry's side was disgusting to many of us who were around at the time.

Kerry testified before Congress that he had personally witnessed and participated in war crimes and atrocities against innocent civilians. He said this under oath, Morgan! Then, when he realized that admitting to criminal activities might adversely effect his political ambitions, he recanted and weasled and said everyone else was doing it but him. Then later, when asked for specifics, he admitted that he didn't actually knkow of anything of the kind happening, but he had "heard" about it. He couldn't come up with one person from whom he had "heard" it. He was lying, plain and simple. He lied when he said he threw his medals away, because they were seen on his office wall while he was still pushing the lie. Then he suddenly "remembered" that it wasn't actually his own medals he tossed but those of another soldier whose name he couldn't recall.

He went to Viet Nam for the photo ops and so it would further his political career. Then he turned traitor and lied to Congress so he could get his name and face in the public eye. Then he turned protestor because the war got unpopular. Then he went to Viet Nam to "talk peace" with the enemy (which is expressly forbidden by the Logan Act and is considered treason according to the law). Why he wasn't prosecuted is a mystery, unless it was because people like Jeff were in charge at the time. They celebrate traitors.

Comment by Jeff Musall

September 8th 2008 04:23
Funny you should trot out the Logan act, ..hoping to throw words at those who don't know what you're talking about and get away with it, heh? So you like the Logan Act...the one Karl Rove has violated three times just over Georgia, just this summer? The one John McCain's chief international advisor violated not just at the basic level but also by taking money from a foriegn agent? Is that the Logan Act you are talking about? You should also note that neither Jane Fonda nor John Kerry violated the Logan Act, as they were not negotiating on behalf of the US, which is what the Logan Act defines as illegal.

Comment by Morgan Bell

September 8th 2008 04:24
hi Norm,
haha yes "loco" members really are the best, i wish Belinda Neal was in my electorate!


hi Gene,
thanks for the link!
no need to apologise


hi Ruby,
thanks for all the links on John Kerry, i find Snopes and Fact Check to be really well researched sites.
with regards to Palins selection, why do you think social conservatives are underenthusiastic about McCain? (i guess one conservative looks much like another to me )


hi Jeff,
BAHAHA turnip! i wasnt expecting you to say that!


hi alt_ed and anonymous,
thanks for your puzzling contributions!

Comment by S.L.

September 8th 2008 05:23
The Logan Act, Jeff, defines as illegal ANY PRIVATE CITIZEN attempting to negotiate with a foreign country during time of war. Like Nasty Pelosi going to her little meetings a few months ago after she was expressly told not to. Kerry and Jane Fonda went to North Viet Nam while we were at war with it supposedly to "bring about peace" and that's not negotiating? Pelosi was told not to go during the War on Terror. Karl Rove didn't go to a country with whom we were at war, unless you think we're fighting with Georgia (in which case you might want to notify the President so he can make the declaration). As for John McCain getting money from anywhere... would that be like all the Communist Chinese money that Clinton and Gore got? I doubt it. Or maybe you mean the money that Hillary and Obama got from, shall we say, highly questionable sources and had to give back?

Comment by Morgan Bell

September 8th 2008 06:26
hi S.L,

Kerry testified before Congress that he had personally witnessed and participated in war crimes and atrocities against innocent civilians.

are you talking about the "Winter Soldier Investigation" in 1971?
i cant find anything on Kerry recanting his testimony, do you know where or when he did that?
considering Kerry was someone who experienced the Vietnam War first hand, im not surprised he wanted the government to put it to an end

Comment by S.L.

September 8th 2008 06:35
He only wanted to make himself famous, Morgan. He didn't give a damn about anything else. I don't have a link to his recanting, sorry. But I know he did it. I've heard tapes of his weaseling statements more than once. First he saw and did it, then he saw others do it, then he heard about someone doing it. Sort of like the times he "voted for it before voting against it," if you know what I mean. The story changed until he was asked, point blank where he got his information and he had no answer. He should have been prosecuted for lying to Congress then and there.

Comment by RubySoho

September 8th 2008 07:02
I don't have a link to his recanting, sorry. But I know he did it.

How many times have I heard this?

Stop it SL. Please just stop it. You are not going to convince us of anything when the real truth is available with just the click of a mouse. Honestly, I'm no fan of the US military but what you are saying about Kerry turns my stomach. The man was just a kid when he was in Vietnam. You think he would volunteer for that mission because he thought that maybe, just maybe he might be running for President almost four decades later? And you accuse others of not being capable of reason or rational thought?



Hi Morgan,

With regards to Palins selection, why do you think social conservatives are underenthusiastic about McCain? (i guess one conservative looks much like another to me )

I guess it's because McCain isn't such a religious conservative himself. He is in favour of gay rights (at least he has been) and wasn't adverse to embryonic stem cell research (I'm not sure if he still holds these points of view). That made him a liberal in the eyes of the Religious Right who see the support of embryonic stem cell research as a validation of abortion. . And whilst we may look at him as quite conservative, statements such as the one you quoted above where he defends John Kerry, get ultra conservatives in a lather as they seem to think it somehow makes him a closet liberal. I guess hating liberals is some sort of badge of honour that some people like to wear.


It's all about the smears for some people I guess. Jim has a good post up about all the smears Palin fired at Obama during her speech at the RNC. Here is the link and please keep in mind, this was shortly after Obama himself stated that personal attacks against Palin were striclty off limits. That's integrity for you huh?
political certainty- lie smear and insult

Comment by Cheryl J

September 8th 2008 07:26
I am bringing the comments back to Aussie politics. We had a major reshuffle in NSW this week when our NSW premier and one of his most controversial cabinet members resigned and was sacked respectively.

They announced the new lineup today and I will be looking into the experience they have regarding their new portfolios, it should be interesting.

I will be so glad when the bloody US elections are over although I think some of the bleating from particular people will continue on regardless. *sigh*

Oh by the way Morgan, Snopes is an incredibly well researched site. They have a great reputation for accuracy in their fact checking and I use them frequently. It's especially good from a writer's point of view plus I love debunking those atrocious chain letter emails that go around like this HERE. Sorry, I know this is a serious subject but it seems to be getting very narky and ugly so I thought I'd inject a bit of humour.


Comment by Morgan Bell

September 8th 2008 07:42
hi Cheryl,
haha yes the comments are kind of going off on a tangent arent they!
thanks for the link, i love the attitude of that chain email
Snopes is a fab debunking site, for some reason (intentionally or not?) forwarded emails always get altered and all the facts distorted . . . a bit like chinese whispers . . . i always find it interesting to read what the real truth is!


hi Ruby,
gays, stem cells, and defending fellow vietnam vets . . . what a monster! haha
something about his demeanor has always made him seem moderate to me, although when i say that i mean moderate compared to Bill O'Reilly when he is the interviewer!
on the surface hes got a bit of a grandpa/John Howard, reliable, harmless vibe going on - the policies may be a different story!
thanks for all the info and the link!

Comment by Two Guys Sports

September 8th 2008 08:25
Hi Morgan,

I have something you and a few others here might be interested in reading.

John Kerry, You Might Not Like Him, but he is Far from a Traitor

Gene

Comment by The wonderful Peter Yang

September 8th 2008 08:52

Comment by Cheryl J

September 8th 2008 09:17
There is definitely something in the title President Wonderful Peter Yang!

Comment by Morgan Bell

September 8th 2008 09:38
hi Gene,
thanks for the link, theres some interesting reading about Kerry there


hi Peter Yang,
good and smart . . . it sounds so simple but happens so rarely!
if you ever run for office all of Orble will surely vote for you!


hi Cheryl,
or we could have a lady leader President Miniature Cheryl J haha (i want you IN my handbag!)

Comment by RubySoho

September 8th 2008 10:11
hey Cheryl on the subject on the NSW government I think it's quite remarkable that the new premier and his deputy are both from the Labor Left faction. Finally. The people of NSW get choose between something other than a conservative and a conservative. I think our country really is heading in a new direction.

Comment by Morgan Bell

September 8th 2008 10:21
hey Ruby and Cheryl
i dont like how the party can just replace the Premier of the state without an election when someone resigns or retires - they did it recently in Tazzy too - replaced one corrupt hack with a younger model from within the party
when its a Federal seat dont they usually have a by-election?
(yes i come to Orble to get my commerce, civics and politics lessons lol)

Comment by Cheryl J

September 8th 2008 10:35
If I'm going to be that close to your wallet I want to be Treasurer!

Comment by Cheryl J

September 8th 2008 10:48
Yes Ruby it should make for interesting times.

Morgan I'm not sure. I think they can replace the premier etc by caucus and a by-election has to be held if someone resigns from their electorate. Same as if a Prime Minister were to resign it wouldn't force an election, they just replace the leader. If the leader is sacked it forces an election. Iemma resigned.

Comment by jones

February 11th 2009 18:46
i think i love you haha

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