Why I bought Six Flags stock?

Thursday, February 2, 2006 6:28 PM
For more information on the "dark side" of capitalism see "The Corporation." Cool doc with an entertaining look at how unethical our most successful businesses are. Good stuff.
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Thursday, February 2, 2006 11:26 PM
I'm not sure if America is doing it better than other countries. I sometimes think I'd rather be going nowhere than going really fast in the wrong direction (i.e. the one that costs people their wellbeing).

IMHO, the problem with the above analysis is that it still does not teach people responsibility. We maintain good health care, good education, etc. etc. *as long as it is in my best interest.* The second that it isn't true, we dump the noble and socially beneficial attitudes for profitable ones (take inner city public schooling, for instance). We may be doing the right things, but as long as we're doing them for the wrong reasons it's meaningless (because it teaches our citizens the wrong things). *** Edited 2/3/2006 4:31:31 AM UTC by ApolloAndy***

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Friday, February 3, 2006 12:31 AM
Christine Todd Whitman was just on "The Colbert Report".

If this sounded more like the Republican party, I think our country would be MUCH less divided...
http://www.mypartytoo.com/

I don't know which party I'd feel more comfortable with if THAT were the Republican party....I'm basically liberal socially, and certainly agree with the Dems on education and health care, but fiscally, I think THOSE Republicans represent my views more than anyone...

2008 *will* be interesting regardless...;)

*** Edited 2/3/2006 5:34:00 AM UTC by rollergator***

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Friday, February 3, 2006 8:13 AM
I, quite frankly, find it disturbing that some people feel, that just because one notes what they percieve as problems with the country another person jumps off the deep end and assumes that they hate America. What the hell has happened to the concept of "DISSENT" in this country. I've always believed that the *vast* majority of people who are interested and engaged enough to *express* a political/socio-economic opinion do so with the underlying desire to *IMPROVE* the country, not to simply lambast it. But maybe this is another one of those situations where I am again exceptional (damn I need a rollseyes thingy =])

Anyway, a "Bush hating European" (Jeffery's term) holds no more weight for me than anyone else. For all I know, thie writter could be someone who comes from a "un checked free market" perspective in the first place. After all, there are plenty of reasons for even a free market person to "hate Bush": 1) He has alienated and attempted to maginalize the International community, 2) He has preached fiscal restraint and demonstrated none, 3) He flat out lied about conducting warrant-less wire taps. (and on and on). I know several gun toting, ACLU bashing, card carrying Republicans who cant stand this adminstration based on the fiscal irresponsibility alone. And these are Reagan Republicans: disciples of the free market.

All that being said, even the author makes illustrates the point I made earlier:


"The American system recognises that a capitalist economy has areas of market failure where incentives alone will not produce socially desirable results."

We can argue all day about how *much* "governmental interference" is needed (the devil *is* in the details). But I think that it is apparent and indeed accepted that a true "free" market alone just cannot serve the people governed. Similarly, an entirely socialist society (IMO) would fail to meet the needs of the people. Therefore, we need to cherry pick the best parts and cob together something that meets most of our goals. I personally think that the American system has been close, but the goals are ever shifting. We must be vigilant and nimble enough to realize that we have to adapt to meet our current challenges.

Okay, I'm putting the soapbox away (at least til after the Super Bowl :)) *** Edited 2/3/2006 3:38:46 PM UTC by 2Hostyl***

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Friday, February 3, 2006 11:00 AM
2Hostyl:

You bring up great points. I don’t know if you are talking about me specifically (as I seem to be the only guy espousing the view that we (the USA) are doing a pretty good job), or just generalities when you say…

I, quite frankly, find it disturbing that some people feel, that just because one notes what they percieve as problems with the country another person jumps off the deep end and assumes that they hate America.

I do note that, in terms of me personally as it pertains to the individuals on this board I’ve stated


When explained deeper I see you just want to improve on the system and make it better. I applaud that goal. With so much polarization in political thought these days, it is hard to tell sincerity from kook.

…which is pretty much what you’ve indicated.

The reason certain individuals can easily be pegged in the “Hate America” camp is that they spend all their time and effort explaining what is wrong with the USA without acknowledging the good. When you constantly harp on the negatives without providing fair acknowledgment of the positives, your motives certainly come into question as you pass into demagogue territory.

The mere fact that nobody on this thread, or anywhere can suggest a BETTER system, serves as indication of how serious the complaints about our system really are “in relative terms.” I’ve certainly no intention to minimize that which is important to some of you, but only desire that we keep the argument in perspective that we are talking about improving a system that is already the envy of the rest of the world in terms of results. There are not too many emerging economies out there modeling their practices off of the old USSR (or even France for that matter). They instead trend our direction.

I realize that there are many good Americans that want to see changes. However, there are a lot of people who are consumed with hate right now on both sides of the isle. Objectivity, perspective, and reasoning are thrown out in attempts to cast ill light on those we disagree with politically. For some of you, it appears that your beef is not so much with the system (as you cannot provide a better alternative), but instead it is with the man/party you think is running the system…no? Could this possibly explain the reluctance to acknowledge the good in the system and provide perspective? These are just soul-searching questions to ponder.

For example…under whose leadership did Enron start their deception? I’ve no interest in getting into this now…except to say that capitalism is bigger than the man in charge and we the people will prevail despite individual leaders as they really have minimal power to affect the American Sprit.

Your thread brings up interesting points I agree with about how true economic conservatives should hate Bush (I’m in this camp). The flip side to that is that Big Government liberals should find many reason to like him (huge education spending, prescription drug benefit, bloated highway bills, etc)… as he has indeed put money into many programs they have espoused for years. I’m sure they may not agree with exactly how he has done it…but he has done it none-the-less when they themselves did not when they were in power.

We’re really digressing…but this shows how many on the right and the left are not really beholden to their ideals. Instead they are driven by their commitment to team (Team R and Team L). It is a silly game…I’ve got sneaking suspicions that a lot of this present debate is about commitment to team.

Again I applaud the motives that the people “in this thread” have shown. While I may not agree with all of your opinions, there is certainly nothing wrong with wanting to better the system.

*** Edited 2/3/2006 4:04:11 PM UTC by Jeffrey R Smith***

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Friday, February 3, 2006 11:23 AM
The two-party system basically just ensures corruption in both camps, while stifling creative thinking that might actually IMPROVE this country...the one that even *dissenters* love...the "America, love it or leave it" camp, while decrying their PATRIOTISM at every turn, suggests that we have maxed out our capability to improve things. To me, that's the antithesis of patriotism, to think that we *cannot* get any better, do any better...

Jefferson suggested that "a little revolution now and then is a good thing". That's probably taking things a bit far (although there's militia members that might disagree, LOL). But nonetheless, to lay claim to the flag and state, "this is MY country, those who disagree with me should leave", that's the opposite of DEMOCRACY...

One last point: The majority should never get to decide what *civil rights* are acceptable for the rest of society to possess or even embrace...

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Friday, February 3, 2006 12:12 PM
"as you cannot provide a better alternative"

I'm kind of partial to Parecon ;-)

The problem is there are way too many powerful people who want to make sure they get to control the game. Honestly, our system is set up to keep the lower and middle class as consumers, and we're not just consumers of products. We're "sold" a dream that we too can be rich. We can be rich by buying stock and working for the same companies that could care less about their consumers (as long as they're buying.) We make the richest even richer and we're happy that we can afford a 3 bedroom, 2 bath house and a Honda.

"One last point: The majority should never get to decide what *civil rights* are acceptable for the rest of society to possess or even embrace..."

Exactly! I brought this up before in another thread, but some of our country's greatest accomplishments were based on protecting the rights of the minority. *** Edited 2/3/2006 5:15:00 PM UTC by The Lorax***

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Friday, February 3, 2006 12:24 PM
Gator, You got that totally right. And other than the radicals on both sides. The two sides are basically the same corrupted by lobbiest party.

You don't have a chance in hell of gaining office unless some billion dollar lobbiest is behind you. They go so far as to deny others a spot on a debate, keep them off the ballots and create enough conspiracy around someone that they don't have a chance in hell. They even buy off the networks as to what stories to run. Dan Rather CBS.

Your Dem and Im conservative but we are not far apart on whats right for the country.

IMHO your not free until you get rid of a few lobbiest making decisions for the people, Your just somebodys BI*&^ and puppet.

We got a congressman here that like most when they went in was a pay down the deficit, eliminate pork and who would tell you exactly why he voted which way. Steve Chabot. As of late, He's been making votes that make no sensce whatsoever.

It's time for US to demand term limits and tougher lobbying rules.

I honestly feel that just about everyone who enters fresh into govt. is seeking to do the right thing, but after a few years becomes corrupted and out of touch, LIKE SIX FLAGS (To keep it on topic).

The hypocracy of some of these house and senate members is almost unbelievable. Such as saying, "Every American should pay thier fair share of taxes", Kennedy. While having the majority of it's family holdings off shore and untouchable.

Revolution and anarchy are the same thing. You have the right to question your govt. The founding fathers insisted on it. But now every outcry somehow made to go away and coverage is either limited or exploited based on the medias views. Cindy Sheehan?????? There's million people with views but senators invite her to the state of the union to do exactly what she did. MAKE A STORY!

Now is the time for all good men, and women to take back their govt. I still think it can be done the way it should be, By your vote but if you limit yourself to two parties you being controlled and not the other way around.

It' be funny and a true statement of the American People if someone was voted into the presidency, by write in ballot. Someone who was either exc not on the ballot or overspent by billions that both sides could live with and trust.

Chuck, who considers this his last political post, but also sees where complacency and corruption will just ruin about anything. Even six flags.

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Friday, February 3, 2006 12:28 PM

Jeffrey R Smith said:


However, there are a lot of people who are consumed with hate right now on both sides of the isle.


Are we talking about Survivor or politics? ;)

I actually think that would be a great way of making policy - a reality TV show. "President Bush, the party has spoken. You're off the island."

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Friday, February 3, 2006 1:35 PM
(me in bold)


Jeffrey R Smith said:
2Hostyl:

You bring up great points. I don’t know if you are talking about me specifically (as I seem to be the only guy espousing the view that we (the USA) are doing a pretty good job), or just generalities when you say…

I, quite frankly, find it disturbing that some people feel, that just because one notes what they percieve as problems with the country another person jumps off the deep end and assumes that they hate America.

I do note that, in terms of me personally as it pertains to the individuals on this board I’ve stated


When explained deeper I see you just want to improve on the system and make it better. I applaud that goal. With so much polarization in political thought these days, it is hard to tell sincerity from kook.

…which is pretty much what you’ve indicated.

I used your words as a jumping off point but it not just you who has thought or even espoused that dissenters "hate America". It's been used as a political tool and, quite frankly, I this cheapens the real nature of a patriot and is about the most un-American thing that can be done. Like for example, there are those who are uncomfortable with the Patriot Act for various reasons, mostly because they want to ensure that the Act is in accord with constitutional protections. But these people are painted as "giving aid and comfort" to the enemy. That upsets me to no end. It's as if any dissent at all is "anti-American". It's a tool of political *hacks* and is IMO despicable!

I do acknowledge that you *personally* are able to "get it".

The reason certain individuals can easily be pegged in the “Hate America” camp is that they spend all their time and effort explaining what is wrong with the USA without acknowledging the good. When you constantly harp on the negatives without providing fair acknowledgment of the positives, your motives certainly come into question as you pass into demagogue territory.

I get what you are saying, but I disagree. If someone is addressing a problem with the country, I dont see a need for them to first say that other parts are 'doing well'. If I'm talking about a restaurant with horrible food and service, I'm not going to spend a lot of time noting that they have a great china pattern. Again, I think the "anti-American" label is something that should not be tossed around likely. Simple dissent IMO is not "anit-American".

The mere fact that nobody on this thread, or anywhere can suggest a BETTER system, serves as indication of how serious the complaints about our system really are “in relative terms.” I’ve certainly no intention to minimize that which is important to some of you, but only desire that we keep the argument in perspective that we are talking about improving a system that is already the envy of the rest of the world in terms of results. There are not too many emerging economies out there modeling their practices off of the old USSR (or even France for that matter). They instead trend our direction.

But that, to me, is shifting the debate. The question isnt if America can be "relatively" beter, but whether America can be *absolutely* better. There are things that other countries do better than Americans. There is *no* reason that Americans cannot benefit from those things. *At the very least* is deserves some serious consideration.

I realize that there are many good Americans that want to see changes. However, there are a lot of people who are consumed with hate right now on both sides of the isle. Objectivity, perspective, and reasoning are thrown out in attempts to cast ill light on those we disagree with politically. For some of you, it appears that your beef is not so much with the system (as you cannot provide a better alternative), but instead it is with the man/party you think is running the system…no? Could this possibly explain the reluctance to acknowledge the good in the system and provide perspective? These are just soul-searching questions to ponder.

(begin personal rant) There are important parts of the system that I believe *are* broken. And yes, I hold the current administration and the Republican leadership responsible. I am particularly upset because I dont think that the Republican party has lived up to what it has traditionally stood for. The link RGW put up is what the party was supposed to be. I feel I've been lied to and cheated.

It is extraordinarily aggrivating to watch insitituions I feel are vital to the success of America being desicrated and decimated by the choices they are making. The Medicare D program is a mess, Pell grants are being slashed and (most importantly) this President seems to want to obviate Congress itself. None of these things, IMO, present even a prima facia case that they are in the best interests of America. At least you can make an argument that tax cuts help, but this idea of a "Unitary President", which is basically a king by another name, is simply anathema to the government our Founding Fathers intended.

For example…under whose leadership did Enron start their deception? I’ve no interest in getting into this now…except to say that capitalism is bigger than the man in charge and we the people will prevail despite individual leaders as they really have minimal power to affect the American Sprit.

Your thread brings up interesting points I agree with about how true economic conservatives should hate Bush (I’m in this camp). The flip side to that is that Big Government liberals should find many reason to like him (huge education spending, prescription drug benefit, bloated highway bills, etc)… as he has indeed put money into many programs they have espoused for years. I’m sure they may not agree with exactly how he has done it…but he has done it none-the-less when they themselves did not when they were in power.

And some of his inititaves *were* praised by "Big Government liberals". I recall vividly the photo-op of Pres. Bush and Ted Kennedy revelling in the glory of the "No Child Left Behind" act. Where liberals backed out, however, was that the power of the message of the act was not backed by equally powerful funding. There are serious questions as to whether the bill is actually doing anything to improve education.

And as I said before, Medicare D is a joke. Yes, a lot of money was spent. Even more money than was told to Congress at the time the bill was pending. But there is again, serious questions as to whether the money was properly targeted to help seniors, or is it just being funneled to drug companies. It is especially dubious when one of the bills major sponsors (Tauzin) leaves office and becomes a lobbyist for the drug industry.

I've give the President this credit, he is attempting to "take back" issues from the Democrats, like health care and SS.; much like President Clinton with the crime bills and welfare to work.

We’re really digressing…but this shows how many on the right and the left are not really beholden to their ideals. Instead they are driven by their commitment to team (Team R and Team L). It is a silly game…I’ve got sneaking suspicions that a lot of this present debate is about commitment to team.

Quote I heard from apparent presidential hopeful and my Senator George Allen on taking control of the house/senate/whitehouse "Now let's ram it down their throats" (referring to the Dems). This really honked me off. In this candid moment, he expressed a feeling of wanting to 'stick it to them' above governing and strengthening America. I could let it pass, but the actions of the party have shown this ham-handed, my-way-or-the-highway mentality. That sickens me.

Again I applaud the motives that the people “in this thread” have shown. While I may not agree with all of your opinions, there is certainly nothing wrong with wanting to better the system.

And there is nothing wrong with having different ideas. If someone has an idea, use persuasion to try and bring others around. But like you said there is way too much of this "red/blue" nonsense that puts party affiliation over the good of the country. For me, Republicans garner most of my current wrath simply because they have all the power (executive, legislative, judical) and are IMO not governing responsibly.

*** Edited 2/3/2006 4:04:11 PM UTC by Jeffrey R Smith***


lata, jeremy (independant)

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Friday, February 3, 2006 2:27 PM
I hope we haven't turned off too many people, this is some of the most insightful and interesting political DISCUSSION I've seen in years...

Not that the shouting matches of current political discourse don't make for good TV....but they make for LOUSY policy-making...;)

Honestly, how many of you would object to having, say, 5-6 political parties and forming temporary alliances form a power base for 2-4 years at a time, with more room for *picking and choosing* political policies, kinda like ordering from a Chinese restaurant menu? (2 from A and 3 from B, please)... :)

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Friday, February 3, 2006 2:44 PM
I think you're on to something, Gator. I know many people have negative feelings towards other Democracies, (European especially) but they always have many more parties to choose from which seems to have a direct correlation to a much higher voter turnout percentage.

Like it says in one of my favorite songs:

"Republicrat, Democran, One party system"

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Friday, February 3, 2006 3:44 PM
Bill, I've been dying to tell anybody willing to listen several of my points of view. It just gets so boring when all that is said back to me are the standard talking points:

"Culture of Corruption"
"Democrats have no ideas"
"No blood for oil"
"Bill Clinton did it too"
"Clarence Thomas got his job because of Affimative Action"
"Cindy Sheehan's a left-wing nutbag"
"Pat Robertson"
"Michael Moore"

blah blah blah... :)
Maybe instead of elections, we should just make them marathon on spin and spews to decide the winners: First one to barf loses! :)

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Friday, February 3, 2006 3:57 PM
Yeah but that just shows that more people are figuring the reality for themselves.

In WV a person can't run for office if they haven't accepted a duel. Real law!

Chuck

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Friday, February 3, 2006 4:15 PM
How about just having to *listen* to some of these windbags and the first one to yawn loses? :)

P.S. "Talking points" definitely make for better sound-bytes when the 6 O'clock news only gives you 15-30 seconds to *tell the whole story*....Democrats really STINK at getting to the point...

Which might explain why I have to post so OFTEN? ;)

P.S. I'm really just affiliated VERY loosely with the party...we HAVE to sign up with one of those *two weevils* in FL or we don't get to vote in primaries... :(

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Friday, February 3, 2006 4:30 PM
I think we should vote Mitch Hawker style!

Or some other system that doesn't penalize a party for running more than one candidate. Then independants might actually have a chance of garnering some votes rather than the current state of "I actually like <independant candidate> but she's/he's clearly not going to win, so I'm going to vote for <party candidate>" which is absurd.

If:

30% of people prefer A then B then C.

30 % of people prefer B then A then C.

40% prefer C over A or B

There's no sane reason C should win...but it does.

I've voted in different organizations using preferential ballot which eliminates this loophole. You rank all the candidates you care about. If your first choice isn't going to win, your vote instead goes to your second choice, etc. etc. until there're only two candidates. It's a lot harder to administrate, but it's a lot fairer and allows for a more diverse ballot.

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Friday, February 3, 2006 6:20 PM
Great stuff guys... We've managed to keep it going without personal insult which is rare these days. :-) I really liked your take Hostyl...

..I'm all for multiple parties. I'm a libertarian (sort of at heart) but I almost always vote R these days as economic conservatism is my love. Of course a lot of R's espouse economic conservatism to get into office and then spend...spend...spend!

Tell me where a guy like me can go to get some satisfaction! :-)

...besides Disney!

...Jeff who disagreed with Clinton on almost everything (sans welfare reform) but recently has wondered if split government is the best a guy like me can hope for. When a D is in office the R's actually seem to push economic conservatism. Not a lot gets done...but nothing certainly seems better than what we get now. I can't wait for the next government shut-down. They can take a year next time so we can assess if we really missed them or not! :-)

*** Edited 2/3/2006 11:21:20 PM UTC by Jeffrey R Smith***

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Friday, February 3, 2006 7:51 PM
The funny thing is Jeff, I too lean towards libertarian (what was it I once heard them say "Libertarians are Republicans who want to smoke pot"). I also tend to vote R as well for the fiscal policy. However, I feel that currently they have been too far hijacked and no longer pay attention to "deficit hawks" like me. But I'm wondering if we are not going through one of those cycles where the identies of the parties flip-flop. It seems that there has been much more fiscal restraint shown by democrats, most notably Pres. Clinton (apres Hillary-care) and local here in VA Gov. Warner (IMO a "common-sense" Democrat).

Right now though, I am committed to voting Democrat at least in 2006 for no other reason than "Checks and Balance" (well "Supoena Power" has a nice ring to it too). It's kinda sad, because I generally like our House rep Tom Davis (aside from his venture into baseball and steroids...just pissed that the Nationals went to DC instead of Loudon County), but he has marched in lock-step with his party's leadership as the expense of our country. Therefore, for the sake of the Union, I'll actively campaign agaisnt him.

I'd encourage everyone else to do the same in their districts.

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Saturday, February 4, 2006 12:47 AM
Is it time to thank the mods for letting this continue? Thought so... ;)

Thanks guys! :)

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Monday, February 6, 2006 10:57 AM
We are the Mods the Mods the Mods!

So how's your stock doing Jeffrey? ;)

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