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OfflineAncalagon
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Registered: 07/30/02
Posts: 1,364
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The Questions That Won?t Be Asked
    #3207842 - 10/02/04 09:27 PM (12 years, 2 months ago)

The Questions That Won?t Be Asked in the Presidential Debates

by Harry Browne

In tonight?s presidential debate between George Bush and John Kerry, not only will we get lame answers to the questions asked, but the questions themselves will be lame.

Thomas Pynchon said, ?If they can get you to ask the wrong questions, they don?t care what the answers are.? And we can expect that the questions tonight will be the same old requests for government solutions to today?s social problems ? problems that, in almost every case, are the result of previous government solutions to social problems. So it doesn't really matter what the answers are.

If only just one of the questioners were free of the media mindset, we might get some truly compelling questions. After all, these candidates have said some of the silliest things imaginable for people who want to be President. They?ve left themselves wide open for pointed questions. Too bad they won?t get any.

The right questions wouldn?t make the candidates any more attractive as presidential possibilities, but at least the questions would require them to think up answers that aren?t already scripted in their playbooks.

Here are a few such questions . . .

Smaller Government
Mr. Bush, you said in 2000, and now you?re repeating it, that the difference between you and your opponent is that you believe in smaller, limited government. But government has grown by nearly one third in just the past four years. You haven?t vetoed a single bill passed by your Republican Congress. Is this what you mean by limited government ? limited to whatever you want?

Mr. Kerry, every one of the proposals you?ve made to fix what you perceive as today?s problems has been in the direction of more government. Are you saying that only government can solve problems ? that government programs always deliver exactly as was promised ? that no government program has made things worse?

Humility
Mr. Bush, you said in 2000 that you wanted a humbler foreign policy than Mr. Clinton had. Then you told the rest of the world ?You?re either for us or against us? ? meaning that any nation that didn?t follow your leadership was to be treated as an enemy. And you also said you didn?t believe in nation-building, but now you?re telling us you?re going to build democracies in the nations of the Middle East. Can you give us an example of your humbler foreign policy ? or explain how your dreams don?t constitute nation-building?

(If, by some miracle, this question is asked, George Bush probably will answer with one of his favorite slogans, ?9/11 changed everything.? If so, the follow-up question should be . . . )

But the World Trade Center had already been bombed in 1993 ? a bombing engineered supposedly by the same people who engineered 9/11. And a couple hundred U.S. Marines were killed in a terror-bombing in Beirut in 1983. Terrorism has been a problem for decades. Don?t you really mean that ?9/11 changed everything? only in the sense that it has given you the excuse to impose foreign and domestic policies that the American people would never have stood for before 9/11?

Mr. Kerry, today federal, state, and local governments spend well over half of all the health-care dollars spent in America. In addition, insurance companies spend another quarter of the health-care dollars only because of income tax policies. And yet only a very small minority of the American people are happy in this government-dominated health-care system. Doesn?t it seem decidedly not humble to suggest that you can make a situation made bad by government intrusion somehow better by expanding government intrusion?

Defying the American People
Mr. Bush and Mr. Kerry, every relevant poll of the past 15 years indicates that the American people overwhelmingly think that government is way too big. And yet neither of you tonight has proposed reducing the size of government in any way. Two presidential candidates who have proposed reducing government dramatically have been shut out of these debates. Do you think that?s fair to the American people?

Iraq
Mr. Bush, you?ve said over and over and over and over again that America and the world are safer without Saddam Hussein. And when the enormous toll of American and Iraqi deaths are pointed out to you, you say the deaths have been worth it in order to get rid of Hussein.

My question is this: how many deaths are worth one Hussein? A million? A hundred thousand? A thousand? One hundred? Suppose only two deaths had been necessary to eliminate Saddam Hussein. Would you have sacrificed those two lives ? if the lives were those of your daughters? Or are your daughters more important than the sons and daughters of the thousand families who have already sacrificed, with more to come?

Mr. Kerry, In 2002 you voted to give the President a blank check on Iraq to do with as he saw fit ? to go to war or not go to war, as he chose ? to believe what he was told about WMDs or demand to see fool-proof evidence first, as he decided ? to sacrifice thousands and thousands of Iraqi and American lives or not sacrifice thousands and thousands of Iraqi lives, as he saw fit.

Now you act as those he betrayed your trust. You?re whining to us that ?it was the wrong war at the wrong time fought in the wrong way.? But you?re the one who enabled him to start that war.

Has this experience taught you anything about the purpose of the Constitution in limiting the power of the President, about Congress taking responsibility for decisions and not washing their hands of them like Pontius Pilate? Or can we assume that as President you will arrogate to yourself all the same unconstitutional powers that George Bush has confiscated for himself?

Mr. Bush and Mr. Kerry, for the past 60 years, our government has invaded and bombed foreign countries, propped up unpopular dictators who claimed to support the U.S., and bribed foreign countries to support a meddling U.S. foreign policy. No terrorists have claimed to hate U.S. democracy, freedom, or prosperity, but they have stated unequivocally their hatred of U.S. foreign policy. My question is this: Do you consider the 3,000 lives lost on 9/11 an acceptable price to pay to continue a meddling U.S. foreign policy?

And Finally . . .
Mr. Bush and Mr. Kerry, has either of you ever read the Bill of Rights? If so, how do you square the Bill of Rights with your health-care and education programs, your support of the Patriot Act, your allowing the government to lock away and forget about people who have never been charged with a crime?


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?When Alexander the Great visted the philosopher Diogenes and asked whether he could do anything for him, Diogenes is said to have replied: 'Yes, stand a little less between me and the sun.' It is what every citizen is entitled to ask of his government.?
-Henry Hazlitt in 'Economics in One Lesson'


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Invisibleafoaf
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Re: The Questions That Won?t Be Asked [Re: Ancalagon]
    #3208128 - 10/02/04 10:23 PM (12 years, 2 months ago)

I really wish they'd open the floors up on these debates...

what kind of democracy is this when the citizens can't directly
question their candidates?


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All I know is The Growery is a place where losers who get banned here go.


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OfflineWorf
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Re: The Questions That Won?t Be Asked [Re: afoaf]
    #3208154 - 10/02/04 10:32 PM (12 years, 2 months ago)

afoaf, the next debate is going to be in a "town hall" style event where people will ask the questions =D


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Invisiblesilversoul7
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Re: The Questions That Won?t Be Asked [Re: Worf]
    #3208163 - 10/02/04 10:36 PM (12 years, 2 months ago)

What's funny is that I was watching CNN today, and the pundits were actually predicting that Bush would excel in the "town hall" format. I guess because they figured he couldn't possibly do worse than at the last debate.


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"It is dangerous to be right when the government is wrong."--Voltaire


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OfflineWorf
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Re: The Questions That Won?t Be Asked [Re: silversoul7]
    #3208215 - 10/02/04 10:49 PM (12 years, 2 months ago)

hahah, just for the fun of it I listened to some Rush Limbaugh the day after the debate. It's funny how some of these dudes can spin anything they want to in any direction they want to.

I just think its funny that bush lost on the one debate that he should have had a clear advantage on. I just wonder how they are going to get people in this town hall thing that aren't puppets.


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OfflineRoseM
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Re: The Questions That Won?t Be Asked [Re: Worf]
    #3208261 - 10/02/04 11:04 PM (12 years, 2 months ago)

The Republicans are praying for Kerry to get a blowjob from an intern.


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Fiddlesticks.



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OfflineAncalagon
AgnosticLibertarian

Registered: 07/30/02
Posts: 1,364
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Re: The Questions That Won?t Be Asked [Re: Worf]
    #3208287 - 10/02/04 11:13 PM (12 years, 2 months ago)

Quote:

outputrotation said:
afoaf, the next debate is going to be in a "town hall" style event where people will ask the questions =D



Right, because the people and the questions will not be carefully selected and monitored. Town Hall indeed.


--------------------
?When Alexander the Great visted the philosopher Diogenes and asked whether he could do anything for him, Diogenes is said to have replied: 'Yes, stand a little less between me and the sun.' It is what every citizen is entitled to ask of his government.?
-Henry Hazlitt in 'Economics in One Lesson'


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OfflineWorf
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Re: The Questions That Won?t Be Asked [Re: Ancalagon]
    #3208496 - 10/03/04 12:15 AM (12 years, 2 months ago)

Ancalagon, i just posted my worry about that in a another post.


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OfflineLearyfan
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Re: The Questions That Won?t Be Asked [Re: Ancalagon]
    #3209304 - 10/03/04 10:19 AM (12 years, 2 months ago)

What happened to the Drug War? Why doesn't Badnarick want to ask Bush and Kerry about that?






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Mp3 of the month: BLC - I Don't Wanna Go



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OfflineAncalagon
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Registered: 07/30/02
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Re: The Questions That Won?t Be Asked [Re: Learyfan]
    #3209315 - 10/03/04 10:26 AM (12 years, 2 months ago)

Quote:

Learyfan said:
What happened to the Drug War? Why doesn't Badnarick want to ask Bush and Kerry about that?








First of all, the article was written by Harry Browne, not Michael Badnarik. Second of all, in the grand scheme of things, the issues raised above happen to be more important than the drug war. If the choice were on the table would you rather the drug war be ended tommorow or the killing in Iraq ended tommorow?


--------------------
?When Alexander the Great visted the philosopher Diogenes and asked whether he could do anything for him, Diogenes is said to have replied: 'Yes, stand a little less between me and the sun.' It is what every citizen is entitled to ask of his government.?
-Henry Hazlitt in 'Economics in One Lesson'


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Offlinezappaisgod
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Re: The Questions That Won?t Be Asked [Re: Ancalagon]
    #3209339 - 10/03/04 10:41 AM (12 years, 2 months ago)

Quote:

Ancalagon said:
If the choice were on the table would you rather the drug war be ended tommorow or the killing in Iraq ended tommorow?




Drug war. The body count is probably similar and the drug war has the added effect of incarcerating millions of otherwise innocent people. Factor in the billions spent there as similar to Iraq war billions and that the police could be freed up to prevent real crimes and I think there would be a greater benefit in stopping the endless drug war as opposed to a temporary incursion into Iraq. The Iraq war will end soon enough. The drug war I fear will not end for decades, at least.


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OfflineLearyfan
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Re: The Questions That Won?t Be Asked [Re: Ancalagon]
    #3209342 - 10/03/04 10:45 AM (12 years, 2 months ago)

My burst. I didn't see that Browne wrote that.

I believe that the Drug War is THE most important issue. Not only because ending it would mean freedom for millions of Americans and citizens of American influenced countries but because I personally believe that making certain drugs more available will cause a global shift in consciousness.

Consciousness is what life is all about. Ending a war on chemicals which alter consciousness is the most important issue in the world hands down IMO.




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Mp3 of the month: BLC - I Don't Wanna Go



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Invisiblelooner2
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Re: The Questions That Won?t Be Asked [Re: Learyfan]
    #3209425 - 10/03/04 11:35 AM (12 years, 2 months ago)

Quote:

Learyfan said:
My burst. I didn't see that Browne wrote that.

I believe that the Drug War is THE most important issue. Not only because ending it would mean freedom for millions of Americans and citizens of American influenced countries but because I personally believe that making certain drugs more available will cause a global shift in consciousness.

Consciousness is what life is all about. Ending a war on chemicals which alter consciousness is the most important issue in the world hands down IMO.




Cool, does this consciousness shift entail everyone high and rooting for insurgents to kill soldiers in iraq? The world would be totally deep and profound, man.


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Invisiblesilversoul7
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Re: The Questions That Won?t Be Asked [Re: Learyfan]
    #3209456 - 10/03/04 11:56 AM (12 years, 2 months ago)

The thing is, we already have a pretty clear idea on where Bush stands on the Drug War. Of course, I would like such a question asked of Kerry so I can find out exactly where he stands. But eliminating the Drug War ties in with the question about smaller government.


--------------------


"It is dangerous to be right when the government is wrong."--Voltaire


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OfflineAncalagon
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Re: The Questions That Won?t Be Asked [Re: zappaisgod]
    #3209462 - 10/03/04 11:59 AM (12 years, 2 months ago)

Quote:

zappaisgod said:
Quote:

Ancalagon said:
If the choice were on the table would you rather the drug war be ended tommorow or the killing in Iraq ended tommorow?




Drug war. The body count is probably similar and the drug war has the added effect of incarcerating millions of otherwise innocent people. Factor in the billions spent there as similar to Iraq war billions and that the police could be freed up to prevent real crimes and I think there would be a greater benefit in stopping the endless drug war as opposed to a temporary incursion into Iraq. The Iraq war will end soon enough. The drug war I fear will not end for decades, at least.



Voting for George Bush in November can only exacerbate the Drug War. I suppose I should have known better than to pose that particular question on this board. Fact of the matter is, the overwhelmingly vast majority of Americans would care FAR more about the War on Liberty and its corrolaries the War on Terror and the War on Capitalism.


--------------------
?When Alexander the Great visted the philosopher Diogenes and asked whether he could do anything for him, Diogenes is said to have replied: 'Yes, stand a little less between me and the sun.' It is what every citizen is entitled to ask of his government.?
-Henry Hazlitt in 'Economics in One Lesson'


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OfflineLearyfan
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Re: The Questions That Won?t Be Asked [Re: looner2]
    #3209465 - 10/03/04 12:02 PM (12 years, 2 months ago)

Your post isn't very clear, but it sounds as if you're judging me for choosing to root for a different side of the war than you are. Understand, I was against this war. I wanted no one to get hurt. Now that the war is on, i'm choosing sides. What's wrong with that? Aren't you doing the same?

Back on topic. Questions that won't be asked during the Bush/Kerry debates.






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Mp3 of the month: BLC - I Don't Wanna Go



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Invisiblequestion_for_joo
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Re: The Questions That Won?t Be Asked [Re: Learyfan]
    #3209543 - 10/03/04 12:46 PM (12 years, 2 months ago)

Are you in favor of legalizing hard drugs such as Cocaine, Heroine and Elmersglue?


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OfflineLearyfan
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Re: The Questions That Won?t Be Asked [Re: question_for_joo]
    #3209552 - 10/03/04 12:49 PM (12 years, 2 months ago)

Yes. Everyone should have freedom of choice. That doesn't mean you should be able to buy it at 7-11, just that everyone should have access to those drugs if they want.




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Mp3 of the month: BLC - I Don't Wanna Go



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OfflineAncalagon
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Re: The Questions That Won?t Be Asked [Re: Learyfan]
    #3209556 - 10/03/04 12:52 PM (12 years, 2 months ago)

Quote:

Learyfan said:
Yes. Everyone should have freedom of choice. That doesn't mean you should be able to buy it at 7-11, just that everyone should have access to those drugs if they want.




Why not? Why would you have the government forcibly prohibit 7-11 from selling what they will? Why is this not also freedom of choice? It would be a ridiculous risk for a chain such as 7-11 to sell such hard drugs, keeping in mind the kind of customers they might attract. If they decide to take such a risk, why would you have them stopped?


--------------------
?When Alexander the Great visted the philosopher Diogenes and asked whether he could do anything for him, Diogenes is said to have replied: 'Yes, stand a little less between me and the sun.' It is what every citizen is entitled to ask of his government.?
-Henry Hazlitt in 'Economics in One Lesson'


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OfflineLearyfan
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Re: The Questions That Won?t Be Asked [Re: Ancalagon]
    #3209624 - 10/03/04 01:23 PM (12 years, 2 months ago)

I don't know. I guess you're right, but people who don't agree with hard drugs being legal definitely don't want to hear that i'm for selling them in 7-11. They want to hear that those drugs won't be as easily accessable.





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Mp3 of the month: BLC - I Don't Wanna Go



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