Thoughts on the State of the Union Speech

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shinsengumi

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shinsengumi

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Just minutes ago, President Bush finished delivering the annual State of the Union address to Congress, a speech required by the Constitution in Article II Section 3. Historically, the State of the Union address has been used by Presidents for summarizing the achievements of the past year and outlining the agenda and goals of the administration for the coming year. For those of you who watched the speech, what thoughts or comments did you have on his speech, the reactions of the audience, the composition of the audience, or any other aspect of the address you thought were noteworthy?

As always, please try to keep your comments germane and civil!

s h i n s e n g u m i
Minitokyo Policy, Forum, Review, and Category Maintenance Moderator Emeritus

Do not expect to be applauded when you do the right thing, and do not expect to be forgiven when you err, but even your enemies will respect commitment, and a conscience at peace is worth a thousand tainted victories.

EternalParadox

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I agree with you that the speech did not make any earthshaking proposals and much of the speech was expected. His defense of his foreign policy again plays his trump card of "I am protecting this nation. We must not sit back to be hit again." His defense of the wiretapping by the NSA is a particular strong section of his speech, and the protection of America from the next possible attack is a central theme to his arguments.

In terms of his domestic policy, President Bush made very modest proposals. There is nothing this year like the Social Security Reform push in 2005, which was replaced by a proposal for a bipartisan commission to look into entitlements. "Commission" really is a very benign term in Washington language. As for the other proposals, there mostly center around increasing funding for existing programs of research in technology and education, which I definitely expected. Oh, I liked the term "addicted to oil."

It was very interesting to see that of the 4 Supreme Court Justices present, two are President Bush's recent nomineeds, Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Samuel Alito, who was confirmed this afternoon hours before the State of the Union. The confirmation is definitely a major victory for President Bush and appeals strongly to the conservative base, reparing some of the political damage with the Harriet Miers nomination.

It is also interesting to judge how likely the President's proposals will pass Congress by the applause. One will notice that on many issues on the Republican side of the aisle stood for an ovation; other times both sides of the aisle applauded.

Shifting gears, I also watched Governor Time Kaine of Virginia's Democratic Response. The Democrats seem to be aiming for a more down-to-earth feel, with a newly elected governor who spoke in a very conversational tone. Governor Kaine repeatedly said that "there is a better way" to a wide variety of issues. However, my biggest concern with the Democratic Response is the same I have with many other Democratic leader's speeches. The criticism and the assertion that there is a better way does not provide a clear outline of what that better way is. Governor Kaine provided some vague outlines of what his predecessor Governor Warner did, but none of these are specific enough to provide a truly viable alternative. I think this is a central problem facing the Democrats, as recent polls continue to show that while the President's approval rating is low, most Americans do not feel that the Democrats have convinced them that they can do better.

These are my initial reactions. I will come back as I gather my thoughts and formulate more well-reasoned responses to different specific areas of the President's speech and the Democratic Response.

EternalParadox
Previously the Forum, Vector Art, and Policy Moderator

  • Feb 01, 2006

SilentMasamune

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It seems that the president targeted both the economy and the war on terror the most as well as the freedoms and democracies of the world. Though the president thinks in his frame of mind that the economy is strong, some say that the economy isn't strengthening but worsening. The economy is always changing, so there is no guarantee that we will have a planned economy in the future. Moreover, the statement, "America is addicted to oil", is a fairly strong and precedented statement by many people because more and more people are using oil for cars and heating. What I'd like to find out is if the US could actually ally with Iraq as the president says and try to establish freedom, peace, and liberty to Iraq and Iran.

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  • Feb 01, 2006

Vinitachi

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Well, I didn't really pay attention to the parts on Iraq and such but more on the domestic issues like social sercurity, health care, jobs, energy and education.

If Bush, his staff and Congress don't address those issues more and get them fixed. It'll be quite bad in the years to come. On some of those issues I agreed with and was pretty happy that both Rep. and Demo. can agree on something. Not just all out bashing each other guts out.

I didn't saw the Democratic Response but I agree with EternalParadox said.

Well, those was my thoughs even if I'm not too well knowing on the politics.

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I would have loved to watch, but I was at work, and they wouldn't let me put it on the radio. My co-workers aren't very politically active. Half of them didn't even vote in the last election.

My Dad taped it for me, but I won't have a chance to see it 'til tomorrow.

  • Feb 01, 2006

shoujoboy

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I would have loved to watch it, but I'm stationed overseas so by the time it came on it was Wednesday morning. Anyone happen to know where I can find a transcript?

Under construction. Who doesn't like plain text anyway?

  • Feb 01, 2006

SilentMasamune

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The president stated that with his enactments, he may be able to get the technology we use today revolutionized within 20 years, but that will require lots and lots of research for developments for electric and hybrid cars, national electric heating, and less imports on oil. He even stated that by the year 2025, the US will have cut back 75% of foreign oil imports. First off, if our economy is always changing and that the funding becomes cut in certain aspects of our society, would it even be possible for these developments to unfold by 2025 and simultaneously prevent further serious inflation like we have experienced over the last 5 years?

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  • Feb 01, 2006
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Quote by SilentMasamune would it even be possible for these developments to unfold by 2025 and simultaneously prevent further serious inflation like we have experienced over the last 5 years?

In fact, it would, provided that research into alternative energy is serious. We still have plenty of oil here in the U.S., which means that if we actually get cracking on new energy resources, we can use the oil we have here, both still in the ground and in the Strategic Oil Reserve, and rely on that until such time as we have hybrids or electric cars available. Liquid Hydrogen is a potenially beneficial resource. It has the added benefit of being a cheap, non-polluting fuel...provided we can make it work.

The Left will decry this as being economically unsound, but they can't have it both ways. They can't say that we're in a war for oil and that we're not ecologically conscious and then say that we can't research alternative fuels.

  • Feb 01, 2006

shinsengumi

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For bweb and others who missed the speech, the transcript is now available on the White House website: link.

s h i n s e n g u m i
Minitokyo Policy, Forum, Review, and Category Maintenance Moderator Emeritus

Do not expect to be applauded when you do the right thing, and do not expect to be forgiven when you err, but even your enemies will respect commitment, and a conscience at peace is worth a thousand tainted victories.

Acyx

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Quote by bweb

Quote by SilentMasamune would it even be possible for these developments to unfold by 2025 and simultaneously prevent further serious inflation like we have experienced over the last 5 years?

In fact, it would, provided that research into alternative energy is serious. We still have plenty of oil here in the U.S., which means that if we actually get cracking on new energy resources, we can use the oil we have here, both still in the ground and in the Strategic Oil Reserve, and rely on that until such time as we have hybrids or electric cars available. Liquid Hydrogen is a potenially beneficial resource. It has the added benefit of being a cheap, non-polluting fuel...provided we can make it work.

The Left will decry this as being economically unsound, but they can't have it both ways. They can't say that we're in a war for oil and that we're not ecologically conscious and then say that we can't research alternative fuels.

I thought it would be wise to comment upon the fact that it was the Neocon wing who single handedly destroyed thirty five years of environmental legislature, and refused to embrace the Kyoto protocol which has reduced Japan and other nation's emissions of greenhouse gases and sulfur dioxide (a chief component in acid rain) to near nil. Blame the leftists for not wanting to research these things, right.. Hydrogen is scientifically the most abundant element in the universe, yes, although it is hard to refine and synthesize in substantial quantities with our current technology. The reluctance to develop the technology further stems from the fact that it IS the most abundant element in the known universe outside of darkmatter, and that once the technology reaches a certain point, there would be no way to profit off of it to any substantial degree. Hydrogen does not require vast refineries (unless you'd count possible hydrogen derricks in orbit around planets such as Jupiter in this category) and cracking towers like it's more primitive hydrocarbon predecessors, hell, it may even come down to the point where hydrogen could be easily synthesized and used to power per se a car by any boob with a substantial chemistry set via the electrolysis of water.

Hence, the ones who whine loudest in the end are the big oil lobbyists and energy companies who realize that the new technology and the harnessing of Hydrogen as an energy source will in the end slit their throats. I found it particularly hypocritical also that an oilman such as Bush would actually speak of such a thing when he wishes to divvy up the middle east's own supply of oil, and wreck the untouched wilds of Alaska for the same purpose. As stated much, much earlier by the Cree Indians, at the rate that we're going we'll simply bleed this entire planet dry of everything it has to offer.

Other than that, I saw the same dangerous belligerence and heard the same vile rhetoric I've come to expect from any of the "compassionate conservatives", and the endless procession of stooges that follow behind them in rank and file.

-Acyx

"Only when the last tree has died, only when the last river has been poisoned, only when the last fish has been caught, only then will we realize we cannot eat money." -Cree Indian Prophecy

"And Saint Attila raised the hand grenade up on high, saying, "O Lord, bless this thy hand grenade, that with it thou mayst blow thine enemies to tiny bits, in thy mercy." And the Lord did grin. And the people did feast upon the lambs and sloths, and carp and anchovies, and orangutans and breakfast cereals, and fruit-bats and large chu..."

  • Feb 06, 2006
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That's another thing you can always count on the liberals to do. Bring Kyoto out of their ass.

Fact. Kyoto would bankrupt any nation that agreed to meet its standards.

Fact. Developing nations are exempt from Kyoto, which defeats the damn purpose.

Kyoto was bad policy, unrealistic, and only supported by idiotic idealists who know nothing of the real world.

But thanks for playing.

  • Feb 06, 2006

Acyx

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Quote by bwebThat's another thing you can always count on the liberals to do. Bring Kyoto out of their ass.

Fact. Kyoto would bankrupt any nation that agreed to meet its standards.

Fact. Developing nations are exempt from Kyoto, which defeats the damn purpose.

Kyoto was bad policy, unrealistic, and only supported by idiotic idealists who know nothing of the real world.

But thanks for playing.

You know Bweb, I'm going to laugh my "liberal environmentalist" ass off when the polar ice caps finally do melt, and Texas becomes a new addition to the continental shelf residing under three hundred plus feet of water. All because you thought it would be "bad policy" to enact a few pro-environmental regulations on emissions of carbon dioxide and other chemical which you seem more than happy with belching into the atmosphere.

Tell you what, when all this finally does come to fruition, and your home and subsequent ranch becomes an artificial reef that supports dozens of fish and invertebrate species, I want you to come find me, and when you do, I want you to look me in the eye, and tell me in these words verbatim: "We fucked up."

As far as being supported only by "idiotic idealists" goes, over 158 countries as of September of last year have ratified the Kyoto protocol, (of these are nearly the entirety of Europe, Asia, Russia, South America, Indonesia, etc.) of which the U.S. and Australia are the noteworthy exceptions within the developed world. Roughly 61% of the planet emissions are contained in that sum that have already ratified the protocol, and none of them have yet gone bankrupt as a result. Seems that we're almost all alone (With exception to Australia), why not hop on a bandwagon that supports a worthy cause instead of obeying your pundits as if their words were of God himself, hmm? Or would that be too much to ask?

It's either that, or take up extreme distance swimming as a hobby. Enjoy.

-Acyx

"And Saint Attila raised the hand grenade up on high, saying, "O Lord, bless this thy hand grenade, that with it thou mayst blow thine enemies to tiny bits, in thy mercy." And the Lord did grin. And the people did feast upon the lambs and sloths, and carp and anchovies, and orangutans and breakfast cereals, and fruit-bats and large chu..."

  • Feb 07, 2006

shinsengumi

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shinsengumi

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Quote by AcyxI'm going to laugh my "liberal environmentalist" ass off when the polar ice caps finally do melt, and Texas becomes a new addition to the continental shelf residing under three hundred plus feet of water. All because you thought it would be "bad policy" to enact a few pro-environmental regulations on emissions of carbon dioxide and other chemical which you seem more than happy with belching into the atmosphere.

Tell you what, when all this finally does come to fruition, and your home and subsequent ranch becomes an artificial reef that supports dozens of fish and invertebrate species, I want you to come find me, and when you do, I want you to look me in the eye, and tell me in these words verbatim: "We fucked up."

Ah, Acyx. You are indeed fond of your sensationalist distopian scenarios, aren't you?

Sure, humans certainly contribute to the amount of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, but you forget that nature itself has a significant part to play when it comes to global warming. Water vapor, for example, is by far the most abundant greenhouse gas, and humans have no direct effect on nor control over levels of water vapor in the atmosphere. Climate change is a natural process of our world, and there is substantial evidence that the current upward trend in average temperatures may be due primarily from natural processes. I do not deny that anthropogenic greenhouse gases have an added effect, but I do want to point out that even if all anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions were to end today, global warming would still continue.


Quote by AcyxAs far as being supported only by "idiotic idealists" goes, over 158 countries as of September of last year have ratified the Kyoto protocol, (of these are nearly the entirety of Europe, Asia, Russia, South America, Indonesia, etc.) of which the U.S. and Australia are the noteworthy exceptions within the developed world. Roughly 61% of the planet emissions are contained in that sum that have already ratified the protocol, and none of them have yet gone bankrupt as a result. Seems that we're almost all alone (With exception to Australia), why not hop on a bandwagon that supports a worthy cause instead of obeying your pundits as if their words were of God himself, hmm? Or would that be too much to ask?

Hmm, I wonder why that could possibly be. It couldn't be because most of the countries who have signed the Kyoto protocol haven't really done anything about their emissions and only signed it for political reasons, could it? A worthy cause is one thing, but a misguided strategy towards a worthy cause is something else entirely.

Furthermore, the Kyoto Protocol is anything but the end-all-be-all of emissions control. You have conveniently ignored all of the existing programs in the United States, many of which are managed by the EPA, which have proven very effective. These voluntary and often incentive-based programs (things ranging from Energy Star on down to Methane to Markets) have actually done more to reduce emissions of greenhouse gasses than the efforts of most signatories to the Kyoto Protocol.


This thread, however, is not about global warming. It is instead about the substance of the President's State of the Union address, so if you would like to discuss global warming and climate change, there are perhaps better venues for such a debate.

s h i n s e n g u m i
Minitokyo Policy, Forum, Review, and Category Maintenance Moderator Emeritus

Do not expect to be applauded when you do the right thing, and do not expect to be forgiven when you err, but even your enemies will respect commitment, and a conscience at peace is worth a thousand tainted victories.

Acyx

Ork Warlord

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Quote by shinsengumi

Quote by AcyxI'm going to laugh my "liberal environmentalist" ass off when the polar ice caps finally do melt, and Texas becomes a new addition to the continental shelf residing under three hundred plus feet of water. All because you thought it would be "bad policy" to enact a few pro-environmental regulations on emissions of carbon dioxide and other chemical which you seem more than happy with belching into the atmosphere.

Tell you what, when all this finally does come to fruition, and your home and subsequent ranch becomes an artificial reef that supports dozens of fish and invertebrate species, I want you to come find me, and when you do, I want you to look me in the eye, and tell me in these words verbatim: "We fucked up."

Ah, Acyx. You are indeed fond of your sensationalist distopian scenarios, aren't you?

Sure, humans certainly contribute to the amount of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, but you forget that nature itself has a significant part to play when it comes to global warming. Water vapor, for example, is by far the most abundant greenhouse gas, and humans have no direct effect on nor control over levels of water vapor in the atmosphere. Climate change is a natural process of our world, and there is substantial evidence that the current upward trend in average temperatures may be due primarily from natural processes. I do not deny that anthropogenic greenhouse gases have an added effect, but I do want to point out that even if all anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions were to end today, global warming would still continue.


Quote by AcyxAs far as being supported only by "idiotic idealists" goes, over 158 countries as of September of last year have ratified the Kyoto protocol, (of these are nearly the entirety of Europe, Asia, Russia, South America, Indonesia, etc.) of which the U.S. and Australia are the noteworthy exceptions within the developed world. Roughly 61% of the planet emissions are contained in that sum that have already ratified the protocol, and none of them have yet gone bankrupt as a result. Seems that we're almost all alone (With exception to Australia), why not hop on a bandwagon that supports a worthy cause instead of obeying your pundits as if their words were of God himself, hmm? Or would that be too much to ask?

Hmm, I wonder why that could possibly be. It couldn't be because most of the countries who have signed the Kyoto protocol haven't really done anything about their emissions and only signed it for political reasons, could it? A worthy cause is one thing, but a misguided strategy towards a worthy cause is something else entirely.

Furthermore, the Kyoto Protocol is anything but the end-all-be-all of emissions control. You have conveniently ignored all of the existing programs in the United States, many of which are managed by the EPA, which have proven very effective. These voluntary and often incentive-based programs (things ranging from Energy Star on down to Methane to Markets) have actually done more to reduce emissions of greenhouse gasses than the efforts of most signatories to the Kyoto Protocol.


This thread, however, is not about global warming. It is instead about the substance of the President's State of the Union address, so if you would like to discuss global warming and climate change, there are perhaps better venues for such a debate.

For the sake of continuity of the argument, I'm placing this here for the moment being, if I follow it up, it will be in an alternate thread.

Come to think of it, I do have a favorite dystopia. I'm sure you've heard of Warhammer 40,000 and the description given for Terra (Earth) in the 41st millennium? A brown-stained, foul orb so polluted that the indigenous lifeforms have either substantially mutated to avoid extinction or have all but died out, as does it also leave a cohesive trail of smog behind itself in orbit. Sounds like where we're heading alright..

If I remember my environmental chemistry correctly, water vapor is indeed the primary greenhouse gas comprising some seventy percentile of the overall gaseous makeup, it is however not directly influenced by human activity. Carbon Dioxide, being the primary gas involved in trapping and radiating heat from waves of Infared light unlike water vapor is influenced by human activity, and when given a substantial amount more reactants, the effect is amplified. For example, volcanic activity alone releases some 130-230 teragrams of Carbon Dioxide into the atmosphere yearly, this is however equivalent to roughly one percent of the amount released by human activities within the same span of time.

What I mentioned about the polar ice caps melting is not sensationalist at all, scientists have known of there being large ozone holes at the polar regions for years now, and have documented recession of ice shelves in Antarctica as well as large holes in what would normally be solid ice in the north. According to calculation, if the poles were to melt, there would actually be around three hundred extra feet worth of water on top of the oceans that are already present, which are for now stored as ice in the polar regions themselves. So far, water levels worldwide have risen from 9 to 88 cm, and of course as time drags on, the effect will become more pronounced.

Now, I admit that I should have taken more time with the prior post, It was rushed. It is however partly natural process, and also due to human intervention in the form of artificially generated greenhouse gases that we are seeing, and that are responsible for the problem of global warming. Yes, the global warming trend would continue even if all the emissions were stopped due to the average lifespan of a carbon dioxide molecule in an atmosphere, which is I believe fifteen years or more
(-Couldn't find an exact figure.-). Although as the levels of anthropogenically generated gases decreased in the long run, so too would several of the negative effects of global warming decrease in overall severity.

Kyoto is not a fix-all, agreed, although it is obviously a step in the right direction for at least a partial repair to the problem with our reliance on fossil fuels for power and transportation emissions. The Energy star and EPA regulations also do little to change the fact that as a country, the U.S. is the number one emitter of Carbon Dioxide and other greenhouse gases with a near twenty three percent (~ 5,844,042 thousand mts yearly) of the worldwide total. For a completely natural climate change to have come now, after we as a species have dumped countless (figuratively) teragrams upon teragrams of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere over the last half-century seems awfully convenient, if not downright preposterous. Perhaps I need to start checking my scientists for that extra wad of cash from the energy, coal mining, and oil companies?

The theory that this is natural climate change alone is a hoax, a vicious and fabricated hoax seeded by the few who'd rather asphyxiate this planet to death than take a loss in profits from having to resort to cleaner air standards, and the bribed scientists who reached similar conclusions in lieu of little more than personal monetary gain.

-Acyx

"And Saint Attila raised the hand grenade up on high, saying, "O Lord, bless this thy hand grenade, that with it thou mayst blow thine enemies to tiny bits, in thy mercy." And the Lord did grin. And the people did feast upon the lambs and sloths, and carp and anchovies, and orangutans and breakfast cereals, and fruit-bats and large chu..."

  • Feb 07, 2006

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