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Imagine if we hadn't invaded Iraq...

Discussion in 'The OT' started by Lyle_JP, Sep 30, 2005.

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  1. Lyle_JP

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    Apr 22, 2002
    markh,

    True, but saying that the vote count in Florida was fudged by Jeb Bush and Katherine Harris certainly does suggest that the election was stolen. I recall that being the original contents of one of the posts in this thread before it was quickly edited by the poster who had second thoughts.
     
  2. Bogy

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    Mar 23, 2002
    Conservatives whine that it is not fair for judges to protect the rights of the minority at the expense of the majority. This is of course not considered by conservatives to be mob rule. But if the presidential candidate who got the most votes won, instead of the most electoral college votes, that would be mob rule. And conservatives claim that liberals are illogical. :lol:

    The electoral college was designed not so much to equalize the votes of the states, but as a protection from ignorant voters. The assumption of the writers of the constitution was that most people were not informed enough to vote. They had a point. We complain that many voters are not really informed, making their decisions based on misleading TV ads, but in colonial times communications were for the most part nonexistent. Electors were chosen to attend the electoral college and make the decision of a new president. The voters back at home probably had no idea who might even be considered, but chose someone they trusted to vote for them, a proxy.

    Even though many conservatives would agree with this assessment, the truth is that today candidates have many ways to get their message out, and if voters want to be informed they can obtain the information. Its time to trust the voters to make the choice. The real problem for conservatives is that people in cities tend to be more blue, and conservatives are truly afraid of what might happen if the will of the majority of the voters actually was counted.
     
  3. Bogy

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    Mar 23, 2002
    I spent a little time in my local Ford dealership yesterday, chatting with the owners about when they would be getting a Fusion in, and how buying an Escape Hybrid after the first of the year when the federal tax break will be much larger and the state of Iowa is expected to follow Illinois in doing away with the 5% road use tax for Hybrids.

    They are very excited about the new Fusion. They talked about how for several decades Ford focused on trucks and SUVs, with few exciting cars to entice buyers into the showroom. This is an area where lots of people buy pickups, and really need them. Trucks work around here. But, particularly with the price of gas, they are eagerly waiting for the car a lot of Ford's future is riding on. Independent reviewers are stating that this is a car that can take on Honda and Toyota. There's a Ford at the leadership position at Ford for the first time in a long time, and the models showing his direction are just starting to hit the showrooms.

    As I talked both with the dealer in my community, and a salesman in the next town over (I'm really anxious to try out a Fusion), I heard the same feeling expressed. Ford had put all its eggs in the truck/SUV basket, and they are anxiously awaiting a car that will be an import beater. NONE of the Ford (or Chevy) dealers I have talked with in the past few months have complained about benefit costs making them uncompetitive. Their concerns have been that the companies have not provided them with the product to sell.

    If you want to make Ford and GM more competitive with Japanese cars, do for the companies what the Japanese government does for Honda and Toyota. Let the government handle the benefits for all citizens. It isn't that Japanese workers do without benefits, they just get paid differently.
     
  4. AllieVi

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    That's really the basic problem. The companies don't seem to be able to design, engineer and produce cars that compare favorably with the competition. Few of their models fare well when it comes to long-term customer satisfaction. The best measure of how customers perceive the cars is probably resale value - most U.S. cars pale in comparison to Toyota and Honda.

    In the 80's, I thought they had an advantage by building cars in Japan. But the cars they're beating us over the heads with now are made here by Americans. The only real difference is that their companies are managed better. Those better managers also receive much less compensation than ours. Go figure.
     
  5. Richard King

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    Mar 25, 2002
  6. Richard King

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    http://www.dallasnews.com/sharedcontent/dws/dn/latestnews/stories/100205dnbusSUVs.336cf5e.html
     
  7. markh

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    I guess I missed fudged.:) Sorta off topic, but we need to stop officials who are responsible for the vote count from being the head of the campaign in their states. Even if they're Democrats.;) In 2000, Harris was highly involved in the Bush campaign and again in 2004 Ohio's Secretary of State, forget his name, was a top cog in Bush's campaign. Even conservatives have to admit it looks bad, if nothing else.

    Saying SUV sales are up is a little misleading. There are more small SUVs around than there used to be. Richard's Santa Fe is a lot different than an Escalade or Excursion. The article even stated that if you include luxury SUVs, sales overall are up. The way it reads is that they used to be considered a separate category from non-luxury SUVs. If any two categories, sales might be up.
     
  8. Dang The Hung

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    May 8, 2005
    And whats even more lame is that you chose to contrast elected officals who are elected on a local basis to ones on a national basis for your argument. Nice Try though :rolleyes:


    Thanks Bogy for further proving my point for me! As for going off on a Liberal Vs. Conservative diatribe as you did in your post I will say one thing. Clinton lost the popular vote in 1992 and in 1996 and won the electoral vote, but yet we heard no moans or screams about it from Liberals until the 2000 election? Why is that? Could it be that liberals are really poor loosers and akin to a dirty diaper in that they are both full of $hit? :lol:
     
  9. jonstad

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    Jun 27, 2002
    So, "local mobs" are fine, but the "national mob" not so much?:rolleyes:

    But OK, let's contrast the Presidential election with other "ones on a national basis". OOOOPS! There are no other "ONES".:grin:

    Your premise then is that electing local, state, or regional federal officials by popular vote is a perfectly acceptable method. But somehow going by popular vote in a national election is "mob rule".:scratchin

    AFAIK, we are the only nation that selects its supreme leader(or any leader for that matter) by such an archiac, illogical system. And nobody is suggesting we extend the same type of system to electing to local, state or other federal officials. Yet you contend that electing a President based on how many people actually voted for them would lead to "mob rule".:icon_cool

    Or am I hearing you incorrectly?
     
  10. vurbano

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    May 15, 2004
    Absolutely correct.
     
  11. pjmrt

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    Man, take the weekend off - and there's a thread about "what if we hadn't invaded Iraq" talking about SUVs and the electoral college. :grin:

    Its gonna take a bit to digest how this topic got to this point, so hopefully you'll forgive me if I miss the point of some of these later posts. SUVs, I take it was from the hybrid view for fuel economy. Back before the hurricanes, I heard a financial analyst talking about hybrids. His view was, that given the price/cost to manufacture, (in general) gas would have to hit $5/gal to be financially worth the price. As bad as gas prices are, we're not that bad yet. Government tax credits would go a long way in helping make hybrids more attractive. I think there are a number of new models out this year - not all SUVs.

    Elections? Popular vote in the US and popular vote in Iraq are not really comparable. The electoral college, from what I recall, was primarily created to protect against large states dominating an election at the expense of less populated states. There was also a secondary fear of "uninformed electorate". It was however a different time. There were vast areas of very sparsely populated land. Communication, up until a hundred years ago, was slow to very slow. The key to a good election is educated voters, understanding the issues and the candidates, casting there votes. Iraq, area-wise is about the size of some of our states. And communication is much better. So popular vote should not be a concern, and wasn't aware it was a concern. In fact, although the national media doesn't really want it widely known - it might hurt their anti-war rhetoric, the constitutional government has come together quite well, quite quickly, and with popular support. It is why the bombing continue. A democratic Iraq is the biggest threat Iran and Syria have - their people just might demand the same if they see it work in Iraq. The voter participation in the last election should make American voters envious and just a bit ashamed.

    Anyway, the electoral college? It served its purpose, and worked quite well for 200 years. Does it need reform? Maybe. Without the electoral college, we might have not had some of the presidents we had - including Lincoln I suspect (I don't think he won the popular vote - at least he didn't get 50%. I think there was at least one other contender to Douglas and Lincoln in the election and the vote was split.) Of course, without Lincoln, we may have also avoided the very bloody civil war - started by the "Great Emancipator". Anyway, we may be at a point where we can do away with the electoral college and just let the people decide directly. But it should be considered carefully - the electoral college is the only reason some politicians even pay attention to some states. Doing away with the college might create an aristocrasy of states - something that probably would not be good, and would ultimately prove divisive yet again.
     
  12. Richard King

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    By the way, if SUV's are so bad for the car companies' bottom lines, why is it that today, while driving around in my little Hyundai SUV, I saw large SUV's from Honda, Nissan and Toyota? To imply that the car companies are suffering because they make large SUV's is totally wrong. That, along with pickup trucks, is where a very large portion of any profit they do make comes from.
     
  13. SimpleSimon

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    There's another difference. A BIG one. The auto workers are organized differently, if at all.

    THAT'S why the quality is better for less money.
     
  14. Bogy

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    I don't see where I proved anything for you. You have apparently managed to completely miss my point, not uncommon for conservatives when they go off on one of their frequent diatribes which almost always consist of name-calling. (Why can't conservatives simply state they disagree, without making comments like that above? Are conservatives that unable to make a point, that they must always resort to comments which would be more expected on an elementary school playground?)

    The point is that 230 years ago roads were at best dirt, horsepower was literally that, and television, radio, the internet and bus/train/plain campaigns were far in the future. Choosing someone who was trusted to make a representative decision was a realistic decision. Travel and communications have improved beyond the wildest dreams of those who lived just a hundred years ago. The situation is far different. If we can trust Afghanistan and Iraq to have a presidential election decided by the majority of voters, perhaps we can also trust American voters to do the same. If you aren't afraid to let the will of the people decide the election of the president.
     
  15. Bogy

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    Actually, my own analysis of the cost effectiveness of the Escape Hybrid was that the break even point would be after 4 years, with the price of gas at $2 a gallon and considering the amount of driving I do. That was before gas went to considerably more than that. That was also before the energy bill was passed. That legislation will give you a $2,600 tax CREDIT, not a deduction, on a 2wd Escape Hybrid put into service after Jan. 1, 2006. Depending upon where you live, my Iowa Ford dealer says it looks likely that Iowa will follow the Illinois lead in removing the 5% road use tax for Hybrids. That would mean that the Hybrid would actually cost me LESS than the standard Escape. Sounds like a good deal to me.

    Strangely enough pjmrt, to a large extent we largely agree on the issue of the electoral college. The difference is that I don't think we can assume that a presidential candidate can ignore less populated states any more than they already do. NOBODY pays more than minimal attention to states like North and South Dakota and Montana now. That won't change. A state that at most can only offer a portion of five or six hundred thousand votes will get no more attention than a state that can only offer 3 electoral votes. It might mean that candidates will pay more attention to medium sized states that they would not have a chance to win in a winner take all situation, but where they would have a good chance of winning five million votes out of twelve million.
     
  16. AllieVi

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    I don't understand. Please explain what you mean. In what way does a different organization affect quality?

    The problem is more than just a quality difference. The Japanese products are also designed and engineered in ways that consumers seem to prefer. Those are not labor items - they're the result of good management. The most dedicated workers in the world can't make up for an inferior basic design.
     
  17. AllieVi

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    I haven't heard much about the impact of eventually replacing the batteries used in hybrids (how long they last, cost, other considerations). Just curious - what did you learn?
     
  18. Bogy

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    To an extent, only time will tell the answers to these questions. Full hybrids haven't been around long enough to know for sure. The cost of a new battery pack is estimated to run from $1000 to $6000, including the labor for installation. I'm sure there are a lot of variables that go into that range. How long will the batteries last? That is one of the answers we don't really know. The good news however is that the companies are standing behind their warranties, and the warranties are fairly generous. The Ford Escape Hybrid has an 8 year/100,000 warranty on its battery pack. I believe that Toyota has the same warranty, and Honda's is similar, but I don't think as good. Hope that your battery goes dead in year 7, with 98,000 miles on the clock. :) After that point you will have to bear the cost, although the Ford website does say that this is the MINIMUM that the battery pack will be covered. If the tax situation decreases the additional cost of buying a hybrid as much as it seems it will, considering the cost of fuel savings over a period of 8 years of 100,000 miles, the cost of the battery pack is an element of "fuel" to be taken into consideration. You have to decide if you would rather pay at the pump for gas, or buy a battery pack after at least 8 years or 100,000 miles. For myself, being less dependent on foreign oil and creating less pollution also go into the equation. But that is a personal choice.
     
  19. SimpleSimon

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    Union and government workers tend to be complacent - knowing that if they perform to some minimum mediocre level that they won't be fired, and simple time-in-grade gets them a raise.

    NON-union, non-governmental workers actually have to perform.
     
  20. AllieVi

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    Thanks for providing the details.

    It will be interesting to see how the companies deal with battery problems. You didn't mention what type is being used, but most don't perform at full potential and then simply fail at some point. Instead, they eventually lose capacity with each charge/discharge cycle. Some method of determining an acceptable storage capacity cutoff point will have to exist. The companies are certainly going to want to avoid replacing those expensive batteries if at all possible. Maybe prices of replacements will be less by the time it becomes a problem.

    BTW, I read recently that Toyota plans to have a 100% hybrid fleet by 2010.

    I smell an investment opportunity in the ingredients of those batteries...
     
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