My FAQ / The First Presidential Debate

Well how about that? It seems the fundamentalist middle American churches have heard about me. ;-)

I’m sure that many of you who read my modelling web site‘s FAQ would’ve loved to have posted your comments on it. Well now you can, because I’ve re-posted it here! (You can see the link to it in the navigation bar at the top of every page.) I’ve only re-posted the actual FAQ though—I’ve left out the extensive sociopolitical commentary, because that’s what this blog is for! I will cover everything I discussed in my old FAQ in more detailed articles here—that way everything will be more focused.

Also, what did everyone think of the first Presidential debate? I was very disappointed that McCain accused Obama of being “naive” for wanting to engage in diplomacy wherever possible (including with Iran), and was even more disappointed to learn that the majority of Americans seem to agree with him! Surely if there’s anything we’ve learned from the screw-ups of the Bush administration, it’s that it is very naive not to engage in diplomacy, instead of shooting first and asking questions later?

The Photoshop mock-up is courtesy of OldiesLover. :-)

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Otis R. Needleman

Otis R. Needleman’s avatar

Sachiko, when you become an American citizen and have a vote that counts then your comments about the first Presidential debate, and the election in general will be valid. Since you have only enjoyed freedom in your life and are content to have had others pay for it you can’t fathom where Senator McCain is coming from. See, let me guess. You were born in Japan (now a democratic country thanks to the Allied victory in World War II), met and married an Australian, divorced him, and now you live in Australia (another democratic country whose freedom is preserved by strength and vigilance). And I would say this much about Obongo. He doesn’t like it when anyone questions his background, especially regarding his associations with the Weather Underground terrorist William Ayers. However, Obongo’s background IS highly questionable, and I’d say watch for the traditional “October Surprise”. I know you hate to be brought down about your darling Obongo, but I really don’t see him being elected.

  
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Otis: are you even capable of putting forward any rational arguments to support your case, instead of just constantly trying to suppress my right to express my opinion? It’s a sure sign that you know you have no objective basis for the way you think, as is your insulting characterisation of Obama as “Obongo”. I know very well that the price of democracy is eternal vigilance, which is why I’m keeping a carefull eye on it, instead of just allowing myself to be brainwashed by the neo-cons as you have.

And you know about as much about my personal life as you do about the real meaning of democracy and freedom of speech: pretty much nothing at all.

  
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Sachicko,

I like to hear what people outside of America think about the US and our President even if I disagree with their comments. I suspect that Otis Needleman feels the same way and cares about your opinion. After all if he didn’t, he wouldn’t even be reading your blog.

As far as the Presidential debate, I was disappointed with both McCain and Obama when Jim Leher asked whether the $700 billion Wall Street bailout would affect their future spending plans. Neither candidate gave a straight answer. Most likely because they did not want to tell the American public that they would have to severely cut government spending and raise taxes. I prefer my candidates to be more honest and direct.

I also think it was rather ironic that McCain would accuse Obama of being naive. This is coming from a man who chose Sarah Palin to be his Vice-Presidential candidate? Talk about naive.

  
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Originally Posted By Gotbeer
I suspect that Otis Needleman feels the same way and cares about your opinion. After all if he didn’t, he wouldn’t even be reading your blog.

Absolutely! I pointed this out to him in an earlier post, but he insists on repeating this self-evident rubbish over and over again. I guess that’s what people like Otis try and do to reinforce their “faith”.

As far as the Presidential debate, I was disappointed with both McCain and Obama when Jim Leher asked whether the $700 billion Wall Street bailout would affect their future spending plans. Neither candidate gave a straight answer. Most likely because they did not want to tell the American public that they would have to severely cut government spending and raise taxes. I prefer my candidates to be more honest and direct.

My next post will be about the Wall Street bailout – it’s a complex issue with enormous implications.

I also think it was rather ironic that McCain would accuse Obama of being naive. This is coming from a man who chose Sarah Palin to be his Vice-Presidential candidate? Talk about naive.

I couldn’t agree more!

  
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I actually did not watch the debate, I was eating a late dinner after work.
Have been following the election process from afar, I voted for Hillary in the primary because I really like the job the Clinton team did the first time around and hoped to see them in the white house again.

The reason I have not gotten emotionally involved in this election is because after the last two, I don’t want to feel as bad as I did before, if this election proves to be a repeat of them. Thanks to the vastly higher numbers of certain segments of our population due to their reproductive strategies, the people that I identify with are a shrinking demographic. Getting involved on an emotional level for me could be disastrous because I already am very depressed about the general state of the world and I’m better off not caring too much anymore. Apathy has its benefits…

  
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Hi Derek,

I completely sympathise with why you feel this way. When John Howard won the “Tampa election” in Australia, for the first time I felt ashamed of my adopted homeland – all I could do was try to forget about it. But Howard’s out now, and I think change is in the air in the US too. Let’s hope so anyway!

  
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Otis R. Needleman

Otis R. Needleman’s avatar

Originally Posted By SachikoOtis: are you even capable of putting forward any rational arguments to support your case, instead of just constantly trying to suppress my right to express my opinion? It’s a sure sign that you know you have no objective basis for the way you think, as is your insulting characterisation of Obama as “Obongo”. I know very well that the price of democracy is eternal vigilance, which is why I’m keeping a carefull eye on it, instead of just allowing myself to be brainwashed by the neo-cons as you have.

And you know about as much about my personal life as you do about the real meaning of democracy and freedom of speech: pretty much nothing at all.

Sachiko, hey, express your opinion all you like. Just don’t expect it to change anything. And, as always, if you are THAT concerned about our elections, immigrate here, become a citizen, and make your voice and vote count. Far as Obongo goes, anyone who attends a church for 20 years whose minister curses our country, and who also associates with known terrorists (Google “Weather Underground” – you might learn something) deserves not my vote, just my contempt.

Re your personal life, looks like I must have called it pretty well.

On a totally different subject, I am utterly opposed to the bailout. Don’t know anyone who favors it. Sadly, Washington overall seems totally oblivious to the public anger over the bailout, especially of people and organizations who made billions at every step in the mortgage process, then who turned around and bundled, securitized, and sold the mortgages, making even more money.

As far as what you think I know about democracy and freedom of speech, guess again. You, as well, know of my world only what I choose to tell you.

  
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Originally Posted By Otis R. Needleman
On a totally different subject, I am utterly opposed to the bailout. Don’t know anyone who favors it. Sadly, Washington overall seems totally oblivious to the public anger over the bailout, especially of people and organizations who made billions at every step in the mortgage process, then who turned around and bundled, securitized, and sold the mortgages, making even more money.

Yep – yet you’ll blindly vote for the republicans, even though this mess happened on their watch, and their pro big business policies (including tax breaks and deregulation) allowed it to happen in the first place. You do not hold your government accountable for its mistakes – you just blindly vote for what is perceived to be the “pro conservative Christian” party. How dare you even suggest that you know more about democracy than I do, when your vote is predetermined by your blind faith in God, even though both your God and your party constantly betray you – and the American people as well.

  
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Otis: Please, you are doing your argument more harm than good w/ the ad hominem attacks. Bill Buckley you most certainly are not. Like you, I am against the bailout, but there are many far reaching ramifications that need to be addressed.

Sachiko, I look forward to your next post about the Wall Street crisis, I disagree w/ you that it is solely the republicans that are responsible, & when you make the post I will go into some more detail about the history behind it. As for the debate, I am disappointed in both sides, and I’m really torn on who to vote for between them. I personally was a Romney supporter (in spite of being a deeply religious man, he really was a successful governor of a very liberal state, & the man knows a thing or two about business!)

  
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Actually, I agree that a lot of the deregulation that has now become a problem started before the current administration, but I think they’re the ones who brought it to the point of being a free-for-all. Still, I don’t think I know enough about the long term history of this to write extensively about that side of things in my post; I will be focusing more on what we should do about it (and what we can do).

  
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The deregulation wasn’t the problem. The deregulation that occurred during the Reagan/Thatcher eras in US/UK were largely responsible for getting us out of the economic stagnation that we had been in since the late 60′s due to overtaxation, overspending, & oil price shocks.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Dowtrends19302008.jpg

This chart shows a log plot of the Dow since 1930, & one can see the sluggishness of the market from about 1966 to 1982. There was heavy government regulation then, & there was still an economic slowdown. It’s cyclical. Look up Kondratiev cycles online.

You might also notice that the current flattening of the curve started in 2000, a year before W became president. The reason was because of the tech bubble bursting (No Y2K fears=less money put in software R&D). Most of these get rich quick geeks took their money out of the market & put it in the one area they thought would be safe: real estate. The result, the housing boom. It is the same story as in the recession of the 60′s, the depression of the 30′s, the long depression of the late 1800′s, & the hungry 40′s, there is an economic boom, followed by an overaccumulation of capital, infrastructure, &/or labor, resulting in a market contraction. One good thing I will say about the Fed, is at least they learned not to tighten up money supplies when things got bad, that would’ve sunk us into an immediate depression. Anyways, that’s the shortened version of my take on it.

  
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Thanks for your input Sagredo. I think that when it comes to regulation, like everything it’s a question of balance. You can certainly have too much (as possibly has been the case in the past), but you can also have too little, which I believe is the case now. One thing I will say though – it is very difficult to predict exactly what is the best thing to do with regards to the stock market, as there are just so many variables. I’m still not 100% sure where I stand on the Wall Street bail out even now – I can see both sides of the argument, and it is very difficult to say who is right. The only thing I can say with much certainty is that I agree with the democrats who are pushing for the package to be aimed more at providing mortgage relief, instead of effectively rewarding the banks for their bad loan practices. But I have to admit that a lot of the details make my head spin, as is often the case with economics for me! It’s just such an unpredictable, imprecise “science”, and quite frankly a lot of the ways in which the stock market works just don’t make logical sense to me. My next post will not be focusing on the mind-numbing details; I will instead be taking a step back and looking at the big picture, in the hope that it will give us some clues as to the real way forward.

  
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