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2000 tanks.

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  • William
    General dynamics has some used equiptment in California. Two thousand Abrams tanks are parked waiting for refurbishment. The Army does not want them, they
    Message 1 of 3 , Oct 10, 2012
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      General dynamics has some used equiptment in California. Two thousand Abrams tanks are parked waiting for refurbishment. The Army does not want them, they have plenty of tanks but congress says refurbish them. General Dynamics gave money to most of these congressmen. Again it is K street balooning defense costs and we pay the bill. These tanks are old and tank divisions are part of a military of the past. They were designed to fight for europe against Warsaw Pact. This waste is akin to refurbishing battle ships for the modern navy.
      The congressmen site jobs at the place in Ohio where the plant for refurbishment as reason for doing this work even the genreals don`t want. This is a government out of control ,unresponsive to the needs of the people and unfit to lead. As the majority of these people will be reelected the tanks will be rebuilt and the congressmen will get their bribes and we will get the shaft.
      So, Mary, would Camus see this as absurd. Are we just to suffer through or should we start burning ourselves in the streets? I doubt we could burn these heavy battle tanks so it seems we have few philosophical choices. Both choices for congress that I have will take the money and run. Bill
    • Mary
      Bill, A philosophy of the absurd is not against acting on our desires. The absurd is living with what you aren t able to change. If Dems win it all and do
      Message 2 of 3 , Oct 10, 2012
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        Bill,

        A philosophy of the absurd is not against acting on our desires. The absurd is living with what you aren't able to change. If Dems win it all and do nothing to acquiesce to our wishes for less military spending in the next term, we'll need a different party. I think the younger generation would agree. Camus was politically active and favored bloodless rebellion, a factor which makes him less appealing to hardliners. Artistic expression trumped violent acts in his book. I have a hard time walking let alone marching.

        Mary

        --- In existlist@yahoogroups.com, "William" <vize9938@...> wrote:
        >
        > General dynamics has some used equiptment in California. Two thousand Abrams tanks are parked waiting for refurbishment. The Army does not want them, they have plenty of tanks but congress says refurbish them. General Dynamics gave money to most of these congressmen. Again it is K street balooning defense costs and we pay the bill. These tanks are old and tank divisions are part of a military of the past. They were designed to fight for europe against Warsaw Pact. This waste is akin to refurbishing battle ships for the modern navy.
        > The congressmen site jobs at the place in Ohio where the plant for refurbishment as reason for doing this work even the genreals don`t want. This is a government out of control ,unresponsive to the needs of the people and unfit to lead. As the majority of these people will be reelected the tanks will be rebuilt and the congressmen will get their bribes and we will get the shaft.
        > So, Mary, would Camus see this as absurd. Are we just to suffer through or should we start burning ourselves in the streets? I doubt we could burn these heavy battle tanks so it seems we have few philosophical choices. Both choices for congress that I have will take the money and run. Bill
        >
      • Bryan Junius
        Bill/Mary, The elections are right around the corner - and I can only assume, one way or another with our 2 party dogfight going on whose bloody corpse will be
        Message 3 of 3 , Oct 11, 2012
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          Bill/Mary,

          The elections are right around the corner - and I can only assume, one way or another with our 2 party dogfight going on whose bloody corpse will be first to hit the dirt. I'm hoping Romney :)

          I was talking to a German friend of mine. Wanted to share the comparisons of their democracy vs ours. Very enlightening stuff.

          *(***


          Democracy
          There are many differences between the two countries in their approach to democracy. Most importantly, the US uses the majority system throughout, meaning that voters get to decide between several candidates, and a candidate needs more than 50% of the votes in order to win. Germany uses a mixture of proportional and majority systems in order to ensure that the proportion of parliamentary seats a party receives is exactly the same as the proportion of voters favoring that party (if that proportion is bigger than 5%) while also allowing for local representation.
          The German system gives more power to the parties, since they decide which candidates to place on the list from which the parliamentarians will later be drawn. Parties finance the election campaigns; the candidates themselves do not need to raise substantial amounts of money. In return, there is a very high party loyalty in the German parliament. Parliamentarians vote their conscience only on rare, very important questions; most of the time, they vote the party line. Parties are financed by the taxpayers according to the proportion of votes they received, by donations from big business, and by membership dues.

          By contrast, Congress persons in the US are much more independent: they raise campaign money on their own (or use their own money) and the party cannot even decide who will be their candidate in a particular race: this is decided in so-called primaries, races between the various candidates in which every voter who declares themselves a supporter of the party gets to vote. Once in Congress, the legislators can vote their conscience on virtually every question.

          American politicians are almost constantly raising money for their next campaign. Since they are free to change their voting pattern on almost any topic, moneyed interests have much more political influence than in Germany.

          The majority system in the U.S. basically ensures a two-party system; it is exceedingly rare that a third-party candidate manages to win a seat, and it never takes long before the seat goes back to the two parties. By contrast, in Germany there are usually about five viable parties that send delegates to the parliaments (and many more smaller ones that can't beat the 5-percent hurdle and are therefore not represented in parliament).

          A little-known and blatantly unjust feature of the US system is "redistricting", also called "gerrymandering". The country is divided into congressional districts, one for each member of the House of Representatives. The person who wins the most votes in a district gets the corresponding seat in the House. Every 10 years a census is carried out, and then the state governments go to work and redraw the congressional districts, purportedly to make them all the same size. The real reason is of course to keep the other party out of Congress: the census provides enough information to know where supporters of the other party live, and the new district boundaries are drawn so as to segregate all of them in as few districts as possible. This same game takes place every ten years, and it seems to outrage no one but me.

          It is often believed that the position of President in the US is an veryy powerful one; this is wrong. Essentially all he can do is govern by changing administrative rules and veto or sign laws written by Congress, where the majority is often hostile to the president. Presidential vetoes can even be overridden by a 2/3-supermajority in both houses. By contrast, the Chancellor in Germany is elected by the parliament, the Bundestag, which means that a majority is behind him and most every law he wants to enact will pass, because of the above mentioned party discipline. Most laws, the ones not affecting the German states, do not have to be approved by the second chamber, the Bundesrat. (The precise rules about which laws have to be approved by the Bundesrat are quite obscure, and nobody seems to know them.)

          The American parties are located to the right of their German counterparts. Former President Clinton for instance, a Democrat, would have to be placed at the right wing of the German conservative party CDU. Some people at the right end of the American Republican party are so extreme that they would probably be under surveillance in Germany. There is no social democratic party to speak of in the US; it is the biggest and oldest party in Germany, and indeed all parties in Germany are social democratic to some extent.

          Even though US politics are located to the right of German politics, there is a very real sense in which Germany is more conservative. New technologies and new ways of doing things are embraced much more enthusiastically in the US. Even conservatives will often propose quite radical policy changes, such as throwing out the whole income tax system and replacing it with a national sales tax. On a whim, some states will introduce gay marriage and others will put a prohibition against it into the state constitution. Things appear to move much slower in Germany.

          It is not very well known in Germany that most US states have systems of direct democracy, where citizens can bring up ballot measures if they raise enough signatures. There are no restrictions on the contents of these measures: tax reductions, criminal laws, recalls of unpopular politicians and changes of (state) constitutions are all fair game. Local prosecutors, sheriffs, and judges are also often directly elected by the citizenry. In Germany, these are all appointed, not elected.

          Despite all of this, large segments of American society ignore the political process altogether. Even the big presidential elections see only about 55% of the eligible voters participating; other elections have much smaller participation. In Germany, the numbers for federal elections are around 80%.

          I can see three possible reasons for the low voter participation in the US: votes always take place on regular working days making it difficult to participate (many businesses grant time off for voting, but they are not required to), the majority system locks out supporters of smaller parties, and the system of voter registration (which requires every voter who moved since the last election to fill out a form several weeks before the vote) makes it unnecessarily difficult to vote.




          --- In existlist@yahoogroups.com, "Mary" <josephson45r@...> wrote:
          >
          > Bill,
          >
          > A philosophy of the absurd is not against acting on our desires. The absurd is living with what you aren't able to change. If Dems win it all and do nothing to acquiesce to our wishes for less military spending in the next term, we'll need a different party. I think the younger generation would agree. Camus was politically active and favored bloodless rebellion, a factor which makes him less appealing to hardliners. Artistic expression trumped violent acts in his book. I have a hard time walking let alone marching.
          >
          > Mary
          >
          > --- In existlist@yahoogroups.com, "William" <vize9938@> wrote:
          > >
          > > General dynamics has some used equiptment in California. Two thousand Abrams tanks are parked waiting for refurbishment. The Army does not want them, they have plenty of tanks but congress says refurbish them. General Dynamics gave money to most of these congressmen. Again it is K street balooning defense costs and we pay the bill. These tanks are old and tank divisions are part of a military of the past. They were designed to fight for europe against Warsaw Pact. This waste is akin to refurbishing battle ships for the modern navy.
          > > The congressmen site jobs at the place in Ohio where the plant for refurbishment as reason for doing this work even the genreals don`t want. This is a government out of control ,unresponsive to the needs of the people and unfit to lead. As the majority of these people will be reelected the tanks will be rebuilt and the congressmen will get their bribes and we will get the shaft.
          > > So, Mary, would Camus see this as absurd. Are we just to suffer through or should we start burning ourselves in the streets? I doubt we could burn these heavy battle tanks so it seems we have few philosophical choices. Both choices for congress that I have will take the money and run. Bill
          > >
          >
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