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The Eagle Nebula from the Copernicus Observatory in SW Utah

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Posts Made By: James Brown

March 4, 2004 05:53 PM Forum: Politics

2000 Florida Election Question

Posted By James Brown

Please help me deal with my mother-in-law (a left winger). I am a moderate right winger (from my perspective of course!) She leads any political discussion with the "incontestable fact" that "Bush stole the 2000 election" or "The Supreme Court appointed Bush as president." I occasionally see the same type of statement on this forum. Here is my question: What were the results of the post Supreme Court unofficial re-counts by major newspapers in Florida? I need hard data, not speculation. Please note that I believe that more Floridian voters intended to vote for Gore than Bush, but failed to legally do so. For example, the strong showing of Buchanan in Palm Beach County is incomprehensible if several thousand people were not confused by the ballot format, and I certainly can see demographic support for the proposition that most of these confused voters were Gore people. My response would be, so what, only legally cast votes count. I also know that Gore won the popular vote, but as a resident of a smaller state, I think the electoral college is a beautiful thing. So if you can direct me to the most comprehensive, "after the dust settled", ballot analysis I would greatly appreciate it. I am not trying to start an argument, I just need the facts.

Thanks, Jim

March 25, 2004 09:01 PM Forum: Politics

Is Glenn H. OK?

Posted By James Brown

I recently returned from a week and a half vacation, (sans internet!) This whole forum seems different. Is Glenn OK ?

April 27, 2004 05:48 PM Forum: Politics


Posted By James Brown

This is sort of a follow up to Darian's "just curious" thread. It looks like Nader is the only anti-war candidate. A lot of forum members are pretty vocally anti-war. Are any of you going to vote for Nader?

(I would not find it inconsistent if thinking anti-war persons said heck no! The practical result of a big Nader turnout is obviously 4 more years of GWB. hardly an anti-war move. This is not news, but this does seem to be Nader's strategy)

I think that historians 50 to 100 years from now will find the effect of third party "spoilers" (Nader in '00, Perot in '92) pretty interesting. The sizable vote for these third party candidates indisputably threw the race to the least desireable candidate, from the perspective of the generic person who voted for the third party.

May 26, 2004 02:40 PM Forum: Politics

Where Have All the Liberals Gone?

Posted By James Brown

Where have all the liberals gone? I hope the Dimitry scandal didn’t run you all off permanently. You know who I’m talking about: Don, Chris, Russ etc. The articulate thoughtful lefties who give this forum balance. Tom and Joe must be feeling like lone prophets in the wilderness.

In my opinion, it has been conclusively proven that the Administrator is even handed in his administration. Perhaps all the regular liberals are on vacation? These discussions will get boring without spirited debate from the entire spectrum of opinion. I look forward to your prompt return. smile Jim

June 10, 2004 04:21 PM Forum: Politics

A personal reflection

Posted By James Brown

I’ve been loosely following the ceremonies in California and Washington, and pleased to see the outpouring of love and respect for Ronald Reagan. Even his ideological opposites have been expressing respect for his character and vision. His passing has given me cause to reflect upon the fortunate times we live in.

I was a high school senior in 1979, and not terribly interested in politics. But I do distinctly remember an assembly speaker who boldly told our comfortable “upper middle class” school that in our futures we would never be able to afford homes as nice as our parent’s homes and that we would never have the disposable income that our families enjoyed. He made other dire economic predictions I don’t recall specifically. The speaker was a futurist of some sort; at the time I just thought he was an idiot and I assumed that he was merely trying to be provocative. Upon reflection though, in 1979 inflation was out of control, home interest rates were 13% or more, and the country was or would soon be suffering from hostage crisis induced collective lack of self-esteem. Thus, I guess the speaker had basis for his truly gloomy forecast.

I was in college and grad school from 1980 to 1986. On campus I naturally heard how “stupid” and “dangerous” Ronald Reagan was. How he was a moronic cowboy pushing the world to war and how Reagonomics would ruin us all. Well, when my wife and I graduated we were blessed with good jobs and bought our first home. We got an 8.5% loan and thought we were doing pretty well. We are closing on a new home later this month, far nicer than any my parents ever owned and the interest rate is below 4%. Inflation is under control. The economy has grown a bunch over these 20 years. The threat of nuclear annihilation is remote. By and large as a country we feel pretty good about ourselves.

I know that Ronald Reagan had some faults and made some mistakes. More importantly, I know that there have been many factors affecting the economic and political course of this country since 1988. For example, the chairmen of the Federal Reserve have done a masterful job. Bush the elder and WJC did not screw things up; whole new fields in technology have caused the economy to bloom etc. Certainly the strength of this country is a reflection of the strength of its people. But I believe now that Ronald Reagan, with his vision, leadership and unending optimism got the whole ball rolling for our times. In 1979 the U.S. could have gone the way of that high school speaker’s prediction and sunk into a 1930’s style economic abyss. We could have lost the cold war. We did not. Thanks Ron.

June 15, 2004 08:47 PM Forum: Religion

Re: Supreme Court Weasels Out On Separation Of Chu

Posted By James Brown

Although I do not want the U.S. government to become a theocracy (nor do I see much risk of that happening), I can't help but wonder if the chaps you refer to: "Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin,{who} well knew the dangers of religion" were the same Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin who authored and pledged their lives to these words:

When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights ...

August 10, 2004 02:57 PM Forum: Politics

Re: Stem cell

Posted By James Brown

I think it is important to recall that the political debate is only about a small segment of the "stem cell research" universe, namely: federal government funded embryonic stem cell research that does not use existing cell lines.

If the technology begins to look promising, I have no doubt that the private sector will pick up the embryonic stem cell ball and run with it. As previously pointed out in this thread, that raises ethical concerns, but by and large, I think private, for profit medical R&D is a good thing.

So far, adult stem cell therapies seem the most promising, hence that is where the most research activity is centered (both private and publicly funded).

My bottom line expectation is that the marketplace will provide the motivation for grand future discoveries whether the government is involved in funding or not. Thus I think that this "highly politicized" issue falls into the category of something hot and juicy to fight about in the political arena which is really a non-issue or a marginal issue.

The embryonic stem cell research issue is perfect for political polarization because it is so ripe for scare tactics. The Democrats can claim that the Republicans are Luddites who don't care if you suffer and die from Alzheimer's Disease. The Republicans can claim that this is another example of callous disregard for unborn humans. Both sides will gleefully ignore any medical science involved.


August 11, 2004 05:38 PM Forum: Politics

Re: Bush Says National Sales Tax Worth Considering

Posted By James Brown

I would be in favor of a national sales tax in lieu of the present system. If basic food items, basic utilities, and basic housing were exempted, the poor would be protected. After that you are on your own. to put it terms we all can understand, if you buy an AP refractor in lieu of a Chinese achromat, you pay more tax!

A tax on consumption strikes me as eminently fair. Of course a whole raft of exemptions, exclusions and provisions could screw up the fairness and skew the sales tax in the favor of this that or the other interest group.

Do I think this type of idea has a chance? No!!

August 25, 2004 02:24 PM Forum: Religion

Re: Third Belief System!

Posted By James Brown

Maybe Herb could set up a new forum for Eric and Jim H. Something like "The Never Ending Debate" or
"Two Ships Passing in the Night"

September 1, 2004 02:01 AM Forum: Politics

Hey Don!

Posted By James Brown

You misanthropic frat boy, you aggressive dork; I see that Canada edged the U.S. 2-1 in something that matters. Since Joe Sakic scored the game winner I'm OK with that. Jim