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      Civil Discourse is Back!

      Civil Discourse, established in 2000, is up and running again after a hiatus. Ours is a boutique web site with a tight group of enthusiasts dedicated to substantive, amicable discussion. We are always happy to welcome like-minded contributors to the forum, regardless of their political, religious or philosophical leanings. Please join our effort to bring civility to online conversation. Click here to learn what CD is all about, here to see our master forum page and here for tips on starting or joining discussions. Register as yourself or under a pseudonym, and you'll soon be eligible to start new conversations, plunge into current debates, and jump-start dormant topics on which you have fresh ideas. If you're not receiving our weekly updates, click your name at the top of any page and be sure you've entered your e-mail address correctly. Send questions and suggestions to EditorCivilDiscourse@yahoo.com. Tell your friends about us, and let's all get Civilized.

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  1. Rules Of Civil Discourse

    An impressive feature of our new software is the Report link at the bottom of each post. It lets members adjudicate perceived violations of CD's rules in a sidebar discussion. -- without interrupting the flow of the topic at hand. Each contested post has a red exclamation point next to the Report link, so others can weigh in and the original poster can respond. To review all active contested posts, click the Active Reports link atop any page on CD.
  2. Daily Groaners

    12/7 Elin Nordegren’s Prayer Dear Lord, I pray for wisdom to understand my man, Love to forgive him, And patience with his failings, Because if I pray for strength, I'll beat him to death. Amen 12/9 A recent study found out which days men prefer to have sex. Surprisingly, It was found they prefer days beginning with the letter "T." Examples: Tuesday Thursday Today Tomorrow The Day After That Thanksgiving Thaturday Thunday 12/11 If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough. -- Albert Einstein 12/14 Whaddaya mean, “last call?” I just got here! 12/18 Liberals are constantly accusing Christians of being intolerant and self-righteous, but the most earnest Christian has never approached the preachy intolerance of a liberal who has just discovered a lit cigarette in a nonsmoking section. -- Ann Coulter 12/21 Anyone who believes that men are the equal of women has never seen a man try to wrap a Christmas present. -- Christina Dodd 12/22 The more a person talks about what he is going to do, the less he talks about what he has done. 12/23 If you have talent and work long and hard, anything in the world can be yours if you have enough money.
  3. Daily Groaners

    11/2 The accent is on youth today, but the stress is on parents. 11/3 Cogito, Ergo… Problem: Most accidents occur at home and in traffic. Solution: Sell your house and your car. 11/4 The iBoob Apple announced today it has developed a breast implant that can store and play music. The iBoob will cost $499 to $699, depending on cup and speaker size. Apple touts the product as a major social breakthrough, because women are always complaining about men staring at their breasts and not listening to them. 11/5 Accuracy is to a newspaper what virtue is to a lady, but a newspaper can always print a retraction. -- Adlai Stevenson 11/6 It's better to be a nobody who accomplishes something than a somebody who accomplishes nothing. 11/9 Two things are required to accomplish something: a definite idea, and not quite enough time. 11/12 In filling out a tax return, let an accountant, instead of your conscience, be your guide. -- Will Rogers 11/16 A man can do more than he thinks he can, but he usually does less than he thinks he does. 11/17 The more accomplishments you have, the less you are apt to accomplish. 11/18 A recent survey discovered the three reasons men get out of bed in the middle of the night: 83 % -- To use the bathroom 5 % -- To get a drink of water 12 % -- To go home 11/19 The Perfect Breakfast, As a Man Sees It You’re sitting at the kitchen table, and your son is on the box of Wheaties, your mistress is on the cover of Playboy, and your wife is on the back of the milk carton. 11/20 The fastest way to a man’s heart is through his chest with a very sharp knife. 11/23 How I Learned to Mind My Own Business I was walking past the mental hospital the other day, and all the patients were shouting, “13...13...13.” The fence was too high to see over, but I saw a little gap in the planks, so I looked through to see what was going on. Someone poked me in the eye with a stick. Then they all started shouting, “14....14....14.”
  4. Daily Groaners

    10/1 Texas-English Dictionary ORT: Paintings, sculptures and such. BARE: Alcoholic beverage made from barley and hops. MUNTS: A calendar division of approximately 30 days. ALL: Petroleum-based lubricant. HALF DRUNK: Blood alcohol level four or more times higher than the legal limit. 10/2 Children seldom misquote you. Instead, they repeat word for word what you shouldn't have said. 10/5 Cleaning your house while your children are growing Is like shoveling the sidewalk before it stops snowing 10/6 Church is the only place I know where I can arrive late and still get the best seats in the house. 10/7 Deja Moo: The feeling that you've heard this bulls--- before. 10/8 Despite the high cost of living, it remains very popular. 10/9 That guy who lost his entire left side in a saw mill accident? He's all right now. 10/12 Jellyfish gas: What happens when they eat too many jellybeans. 10/13 The capacity for getting into trouble and the ability to get out of it are seldom combined in the same person. 10/14 The ability to speak several languages is valuable, but sometimes the ability to keep your mouth shut in one of them is priceless. 10/15 Never judge the ability of a doctor by the amount of praise the undertakers give him. 10/16 The chief ability of a chief executive should be the ability to recognize ability. 10/19 The Corleone Doctrine There is a vast difference between a brother who is notable and the brother who is not able. 10/20 I am my parents' child. I inherited my mother's ability to spend money and my father's inability to make it. 10/21 Ability is a good thing. Stability is better. 10/22 Failing to be there when her man wants her is a woman's greatest sin, except to be there when he doesn't. -- Helen Rowland 10/23 A day away from some people is like a month in the country. -- Howard Dietz 10/26 You appreciate some people most when they deprive you of their company. 10/27 Absence makes the heart grow fonder, but presents bring better results. 10/28 Once during Prohibition, I was forced to live forced to live for days on nothing but food and water. -- W.C. Fields 10/29 Teetotalers are always conspicuous by their abstinence. 10/30 Man is the only animal that speaks, except when he talks like an ass.
  5. All Things In Moderation

    (The following was written by site administrator and frequent CD contributor Joe McQuade.) When Civil Discourse was born on May 8, 2000, I had two ambitions: Provide a web platform for high-minded debate, and get in on the action myself. More than nine years in, I like to think I've met both goals, although the second has come more easily than the first. Actually, keeping CD civil has been much easier than I expected. The vast majority of our members understand what we're trying to do. Our mission statement, our rules and – most importantly – our contributors have set a clear standard through the years that is rarely disrespected. In almost a decade, I've had to expel only a half-dozen or so flamers. I delete on average about one inappropriate post per month. That's a bounce rate of less than half of one percent, and almost all of those were generated by that handful of posters who are no longer with us. Sometimes entire seasons pass without a single rules infraction. These are remarkable statistics of which the entire CD community can be proud. Our site has had two brief lapses into unpleasantness, however. The first, almost two years ago, involved leftist flamers driven mad by Hillary Clinton's campaign problems. The second, recently concluded, involved a small pocket of passionate conservatives. In both cases the rules violators charged me with using my moderator powers to persecute them for ideological reasons. While it is true my politics are centrist, I think that charge is unsustainable for two reasons. First, my dispassionate application of the rules (See Rules of CD below) has affected liberals, moderates and conservatives. I have deleted inappropriate posts that defended positions with which I agree. And yes, sometimes I even delete my own posts. Second, my moderator powers are invoked so infrequently that the charge of biased oppression is absurd on its face. Yet there is no denying that as both participant and referee, I have a conflict of interest. This conflict occasionally leads passionate debate adversaries of mine to conclude they're not getting a fair shake on the site. Although I can – and just did – demonstrate this is not true, the sentiment is understandable, particularly given my sometimes pointed debating style. Anytime anyone is zinged in debate, his first reaction is, "Hey, that answer's not fair!" Whether that's accurate or not, it just happens. But when the debate adversary is also the rules enforcer, it is a short – if unwarranted – leap to "This moderator's unfair," or "This site is unfair." I am aware of this dynamic, and it can cause a more significant problem. My awkward position has at times induced me to err on the side of leniency when a debate opponent violated site guidelines. (Rules 1, 4 and 5 below are where most of the action is.) I learned in the most recent controversy that such permissiveness only makes matters worse. That is a mistake I intend never to repeat. Meanwhile, I'll strive to minimize my own tart prose, because it leads some people to mistaken conclusions about the site's management. In return, I'll ask anyone who sees me falling short in either effort to lodge objections via the Report button, not in subsequent posts. In a boutique forum such as ours, this is the only way to deal with what is, in the end, a relatively minor issue. As Bill Buckley used to say when his sailboat systems failed in mid-ocean, "Where there is no solution, there is no problem." Here's hoping this message clears up any confusion about my dual roles – and helps ensure that our two brief flare-ups will be our last. =================================================================================== Rules of Civil Discourse Welcome to Civil Discourse, a respite from the silliness, noise and fury that typify so much modern debate - especially on the Internet. Our goal is to attract thoughtful people who will exercise their ideas and learn from others in stimulating, courteous, well written colloquies. This forum endorses no ideology or bias, save a love of civil and intelligent conversation. Here are some guidelines for those who would like to contribute. 1. We are looking for substantive entries instead of wisecracks, crafted arguments in place of breezy chatter. This is a meeting place of ideas, not personalities. Our editors delete inane and inappropriate postings, ensuring that readers won't have to wade through reams of filler in search of an interesting point. Posts may be deleted if they contain insults, attacks on a contributor instead of his ideas, obscenity, sloppy composition, or non-substantive prose. 2. Postings may be of any length, although most range from that of a typical letter to the editor to an op-ed newspaper piece. If your submission is 1,500 words and you are still composing, you might be squeezing multiple postings into one. 3. If your entry will be longer than a few paragraphs, you and your readers might be better served if you compose and edit offline on Word or a similar program, then cut-and-paste onto a new-conversation or reply template. This is a suggestion, not a requirement. 4. Readers who object to a post because of vocabulary or tone are not permitted to lodge their complaints in a subsequent post. Even if the offending post violates the rules of Civil Discourse, such responses are digressions from the topic, and they lead to the squabbling that CD tries scupulously to avoid. Instead, readers with such complaints should click the Report button that appears at the bottom of each post and inform the site adminstrator of his concerns. Complainants who wish to receive a personal reply about how the matter was addressed should include their names in the report. If the reader is not satisfied with the resolution, he can activate the Ignore User tool found under the My Controls link atop every CD page. 5. The rules of Civil Discourse are loose and lenient by design. On rare occasions this leaves the site vulnerable to obnoxious posters who stop just short of insulting fellow contributors personally. Posts that bitterly attack the intelligence, integrity or patriotism of those who espouse different views violate the spirit of the site. Civil Discourse's purpose is as simple as its name. This is a safe harbor for thoughtful people who are tired of the barking that so often passes for debate in the media. We will not allow hostile contributors to subvert that aim and chase conscientious members away. 6. Please don't take from these guidelines the idea that Civil Discourse is staid or humorless. You will find plenty of irreverent, even wicked, wit in these pages - and lots of lively prose. What you will not find is the rushed, interruptive belligerence that now dominates the media. We like to think of this as an oasis from the clamor of modern life. There is plenty of room here for like-minded people. So invite your friends, and let's all get Civilized.
  6. Daily Groaners

    9/1 The problem with the gene pool is that there is no life guard. 9/2 A married couple was in a terrible car accident, and the woman's face was burned severely. The doctor told the husband they couldn't graft any skin from her body because she was so thin. The husband then donated some of his own skin, but the only place suitable was from his buttocks. After the surgery, everyone was astounded by the woman's new beauty. She said, "Dear, I just want to thank you for everything you did for me. There is no way I could ever repay you." "Oh don't worry," he replied. "I get repaid every time your mother comes over and kisses you on the cheek." 9/3 When I was a kid I used to pray every night for a new bike. Then I realized that the Lord doesn't work that way, so I stole a bike and asked him to forgive me. 9/4 I went to an extremely attractive female doctor for my annual checkup. She told me I should quit masturbating. I asked why. "Because," she said, "I am trying to examine you." 9/8 You Know It's Summer in Texas When… -- Birds have to use potholders to pull worms out of the ground. -- Trees are whistling for the dogs. -- Farmers feed their chickens crushed ice to keep them from laying boiled eggs. -- Your biggest bicycle wreck fear is, "What if I get knocked out and end up lying on the pavement and cook to death?" 9/9 Blessed is he who, having nothing to say, refrains from giving wordy evidence of that fact. 9/10 Men marry women hoping they won't change. Women marry men hoping they will change. Both are usually disappointed. 9/11 Proof That Men Have Better Friends... Friendship among Women: A woman doesn't come home one night. The next morning she tells her husband she slept over at a friend's house. The man calls his wife's 10 best friends. None of them know anything about it. Friendship among Men: A man doesn't come home one night. The next morning he tells his wife he slept over at a friend's house. The woman calls her husband's 10 best friends. Eight confirm he had slept at his place, and two say he is still there. 9/14 When I was younger I hated going to weddings. It seemed that all of the aunts would come up to me, poke me in the ribs and cackle, "You're next!" They stopped that after I started doing the same thing to them at funerals. 9/15 Why Men Should Write Advice Columns… Dear John: I hope you can help me. The other day, I set off for work, leaving my husband in the house watching TV. My car started stalling and then broke down about a mile down the road and I had to walk back to get my husband's help. When I got home, I couldn't believe my eyes. He was in our bedroom with the neighbors's daughter. I am 32, my husband is 34, and the neighbor's daughter is 19. We have been married for ten years. When I confronted him, he broke down and admitted they had been having an affair for the past six months. He won't go to counseling and I'm a mess and need advice urgently. Can you please help? Sincerely, Sheila Dear Sheila: A car stalling after being driven a short distance can be caused by a variety of faults with the engine. Start by checking that there is no debris in the fuel line. If it is clear, check the vacuum pipes and hoses on the intake manifold, then check all grounding wires. If none of these approaches solves the problem, it could be that the fuel pump itself is faulty, causing low delivery pressure to the injectors. I hope this helps... John 9/16 Life ashore isn't distasteful to me. But life at sea is better. -- Sir Francis Drake 9/17 Take my wives, please. -- Henny the Eighth 9/18 Death is life's way of telling you you're fired. 9/21 An elderly lady answered a knock on the door one morning and found a well dressed young man carrying a vacuum cleaner. "Go away!" she said. "I'm broke and I don't need a vacuum cleaner. haven't got any money!" In a flash, the young man wedged his foot in the door and pushed it open. "Don't be too hasty!" he said. "Not until you have at least seen my demonstration." With that, he emptied a bucket of horse manure onto her hallway carpet. "If this vacuum cleaner does not remove all traces of this from your carpet, Madam, I will personally eat the remainder." The lady turned for the kitchen. "Well, let me get you a fork, because they cut off my electricity this morning." 9/22 A Higher Power A Sunday school teacher addressed her class. ""We have been learning how powerful kings and queens were in biblical times. But there is a higher power. Can anyone tell me what it is? One child blurted, "Aces!" 9/23 Deciding not to choose is making a choice. 9/24 Drugs might lead to nowhere, but at least they take the scenic route. -- Steven Wright 9/25 After having dug to a depth of 10 feet, New York scientists found traces of copper wire dating back 100 years. They concluded their ancestors had a telephone network more than a centuy ago. In the weeks that followed a California archaeologist dug to a depth of 20 feet and made a similar finding. His conclusion: California had an advanced communications network 100 years before New York. One week later Bubba Rathbone, a self-taught Texas archaeologist, excavated to a depth of 30 feet in his pasture near Cut-n-Shoot, finding nothing. His conclusion: 300 years ago, Texas had already gone wireless. 9/28 New Jersey State Slogan Hey, we hate you, too! 9/29 I’d kill for a Nobel Peace Prize. -- Stephen Wright 9/30 If cats and dogs didn’t have fur, would we still pet them? -- George Carlin
  7. Racism and the Parties

    Editor's note: The following post by Michael Major appeared in slightly different form in "Maintaining Civil Discourse" (Forum on Forums): I think a huge percentage of the problem here may be more in the somewhat sweeping language that Sharky used rather than in the underlying point that he was making. If I may recast it, it would go something like this: Five decades ago, a majority of Americans, driven by compassion, enacted a variety of social programs which were intended to alleviate the poverty and suffering of the impoverished among us, particularly that of African Americans. In spite of our good intentions, a substantial percentage of the black population responded rationally to the incentives that were put in place through those programs, modifying their behavior in ways that would maximize their entitlements. Those were rational though unanticipated responses which resulted in further disruption in urban blacks' nuclear family structure. Over the years, it became clear to some that the cost to those families was greater than any good they reaped from the intervention. In reaction to that, they called for an end to those programs. The Democratic Party fought against those calls and the reduction of those programs, and as a result, African Americans became convinced that the Democratic Party represented their interests. In return, the Democratic Party dug in even further in the strategy of defending entitlements to the impoverished. That is the basic point that Sharky was trying to make, IMO. I think that narrative is largely true. I understand that there are many who believe the cost/benefit analysis leans the other way and that entitlements should be continued or expanded, and believe that sincerely, not as a craven political strategy. And I also understand that there are those on the other side who want to curtail entitlements because of racial animosity, not because they want to get rid of perverse incentives. But that doesn't condemn the argument itself. One more item: I think it's waaay too easy to label people as lazy who don't hold regular jobs. I've seen studies that show the amount of time and effort that welfare recipients spend doing lots of other things to harvest all sorts of other income, from babysitting the neighborhood, to building support networks of neighbors and family, to learning all the ins and outs of other support groups and agencies, to under-the-radar entrepreneurial enterprises, all of which involves getting out and rustling for themselves. It's not the sort of traditional employment that would defend against the perception of laziness so it's often overlooked.
  8. Daily Groaners

    8/3 A clear conscience is usually a sign of bad memory. -- Steven Wright 8/4 Blessed are the young, for they shall inherit the national debt. -- Herbert Hoover 8/5 Brain cells come, and brain cells go. But fat cells live forever. 8/6 Contentment is found not in having what you want, but in wanting what you have. 8/7 Copying from one is plagiarism. Copying from two is research. 8/10 Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak. Courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen. -- Winston Churchill 8/11 Children need love, especially when they do not deserve it. -- Harold S. Hulbert 8/12 Clothes do make the man. Naked people have little or no influence on society. -- Mark Twain 8/13 Blessed are those who can laugh at themselves. They will never cease to be amused. 8/14 Borrow money from pessimists. They don't expect it back. 8/17 Monday is an awful way to spend one seventh of your life. -- Stephen Wright 8/18 I like long walks, especially when they are taken by people who annoy me. 8/19 I joined a health club last year, spent about 400 bucks. Haven't lost a pound. Apparently you have to go there. 8/20 Every time I start thinking too much about how I look, I just find a Happy Hour. By the time I leave, I look just fine. 8/21 You know you're getting old when you tell a cashier, "Wait, I might have exact change." 8/24 LIfe might not be the party we hope for, but while we're here we should dance. 8/25 Birthday Reminder... This week we celebrate a special birthday: Monica Lewinsky turns 44. Can you believe it? It seems like only yesterday she was crawling around the White House on her hands and knees and putting everything in her mouth. They grow up so fast. 8/26 Maxine Says... Do you know what happened 159 years ago this fall...back in 1850? California became a state. The people had no electricity. The state had no money. Almost everyone spoke Spanish. There were gunfights in the streets. So basically nothing has changed except the women had real boobs and the men didn't hold hands. 8/27 Blowing out another's candle will not make your shine brighter. 8/28 Criticism should always leave people with the feeling they have been helped. 8/31 Be positive isn't my blood type, but it's in my blood.
  9. Jihad--the War Against The West

    Dear Civil Discourse members, There is good news for those who are disheartened by the recent ugly turn this web site has taken: The disturbance ends now. Below you will see the new paragraph just added to the rules of Civil Discourse. The rules are available in their entirety in "Rules of Civil Discourse" in Forum on Forums. "5. The rules of Civil Discourse are loose and lenient by design. On rare occasions this leaves the site vulnerable to obnoxious posters who stop just short of insulting fellow contributors personally. Posts that bitterly attack the intelligence, integrity or patriotism of those who espouse different views violate the spirit of the site. Civil Discourse’s purpose is as simple as its name. This is a safe harbor for thoughtful people who are tired of the barking that so often passes for debate in the media. We will not allow hostile contributors to subvert that aim and chase conscientious members away." Three related announcements: 1. Enforcement of the new rule will be swift and certain. Offending posts will be deleted and returned to their originators, with explanation attached. Failure to conform to the new rule can entail short, medium or permanent suspensions from CD, as the facts dictate. 2. Most and perhaps all posts in this thread concerning the recent troubles will be deleted beginning at 7 p.m. eastern tonight. 3. Previous posts that violate the new rule will remain, though they might be deleted if their originators earn suspensions in the future. Thank you in advance for your cooperation in this matter.
  10. Was McCarthy Right?

    Dear Civil Discourse members, There is good news for those who are disheartened by the recent ugly turn this web site has taken: The disturbance ends now. Below you will see the new paragraph just added to the rules of Civil Discourse. The rules are available in their entirety in "Rules of Civil Discourse" in Forum on Forums. "5. The rules of Civil Discourse are loose and lenient by design. On rare occasions this leaves the site vulnerable to obnoxious posters who stop just short of insulting fellow contributors personally. Posts that bitterly attack the intelligence, integrity or patriotism of those who espouse different views violate the spirit of the site. Civil Discourse’s purpose is as simple as its name. This is a safe harbor for thoughtful people who are tired of the barking that so often passes for debate in the media. We will not allow hostile contributors to subvert that aim and chase conscientious members away." Three related announcements: 1. Enforcement of the new rule will be swift and certain. Offending posts will be deleted and returned to their originators, with explanation attached. Failure to conform to the new rule can entail short, medium or permanent suspensions from CD, as the facts dictate. 2. Most and perhaps all posts in this thread concerning the recent troubles will be deleted beginning at 7 p.m. eastern tonight. 3. Previous posts that violate the new rule will remain, though they might be deleted if their originators earn suspensions in the future. Thank you in advance for your cooperation in this matter.
  11. Income Taxation--what's Fair, What Isn't, And How To "fix" It

    Dear Civil Discourse members, There is good news for those who are disheartened by the recent ugly turn this web site has taken: The disturbance ends now. Below you will see the new paragraph just added to the rules of Civil Discourse. The rules are available in their entirety in "Rules of Civil Discourse" in Forum on Forums. "5. The rules of Civil Discourse are loose and lenient by design. On rare occasions this leaves the site vulnerable to obnoxious posters who stop just short of insulting fellow contributors personally. Posts that bitterly attack the intelligence, integrity or patriotism of those who espouse different views violate the spirit of the site. Civil Discourse’s purpose is as simple as its name. This is a safe harbor for thoughtful people who are tired of the barking that so often passes for debate in the media. We will not allow hostile contributors to subvert that aim and chase conscientious members away." Three related announcements: 1. Enforcement of the new rule will be swift and certain. Offending posts will be deleted and returned to their originators, with explanation attached. Failure to conform to the new rule can entail short, medium or permanent suspensions from CD, as the facts dictate. 2. Most and perhaps all posts in this thread concerning the recent troubles will be deleted beginning at 7 p.m. eastern tonight. 3. Previous posts that violate the new rule will remain, though they might be deleted if their originators earn suspensions in the future. Thank you in advance for your cooperation in this matter.
  12. Universal Health Care

    Dear Civil Discourse members, There is good news for those who are disheartened by the recent ugly turn this web site has taken: The disturbance ends now. Below you will see the new paragraph just added to the rules of Civil Discourse. The rules are available in their entirety in "Rules of Civil Discourse" in Forum on Forums. "5. The rules of Civil Discourse are loose and lenient by design. On rare occasions this leaves the site vulnerable to obnoxious posters who stop just short of insulting fellow contributors personally. Posts that bitterly attack the intelligence, integrity or patriotism of those who espouse different views violate the spirit of the site. Civil Discourse’s purpose is as simple as its name. This is a safe harbor for thoughtful people who are tired of the barking that so often passes for debate in the media. We will not allow hostile contributors to subvert that aim and chase conscientious members away." Three related announcements: 1. Enforcement of the new rule will be swift and certain. Offending posts will be deleted and returned to their originators, with explanation attached. Failure to conform to the new rule can entail short, medium or permanent suspensions from CD, as the facts dictate. 2. Most and perhaps all posts in this thread concerning the recent troubles will be deleted beginning at 7 p.m. eastern tonight. 3. Previous posts that violate the new rule will remain, though they might be deleted if their originators earn suspensions in the future. Thank you in advance for your cooperation in this matter.
  13. Israel--Should We Support It?

    Dear Civil Discourse members, There is good news for those who are disheartened by the recent ugly turn this web site has taken: The disturbance ends now. Below you will see the new paragraph just added to the rules of Civil Discourse. The rules are available in their entirety in "Rules of Civil Discourse" in Forum on Forums. "5. The rules of Civil Discourse are loose and lenient by design. On rare occasions this leaves the site vulnerable to obnoxious posters who stop just short of insulting fellow contributors personally. Posts that bitterly attack the intelligence, integrity or patriotism of those who espouse different views violate the spirit of the site. Civil Discourse’s purpose is as simple as its name. This is a safe harbor for thoughtful people who are tired of the barking that so often passes for debate in the media. We will not allow hostile contributors to subvert that aim and chase conscientious members away." Three related announcements: 1. Enforcement of the new rule will be swift and certain. Offending posts will be deleted and returned to their originators, with explanation attached. Failure to conform to the new rule can entail short, medium or permanent suspensions from CD, as the facts dictate. 2. Most and perhaps all posts in this thread concerning the recent troubles will be deleted beginning at 7 p.m. eastern tonight. 3. Previous posts that violate the new rule will remain, though they might be deleted if their originators earn suspensions in the future. Thank you in advance for your cooperation in this matter.
  14. Unintended Consequences

    Dear Civil Discourse members, There is good news for those who are disheartened by the recent ugly turn this web site has taken: The disturbance ends now. Below you will see the new paragraph just added to the rules of Civil Discourse. The rules are available in their entirety in "Rules of Civil Discourse" in Forum on Forums. "5. The rules of Civil Discourse are loose and lenient by design. On rare occasions this leaves the site vulnerable to obnoxious posters who stop just short of insulting fellow contributors personally. Posts that bitterly attack the intelligence, integrity or patriotism of those who espouse different views violate the spirit of the site. Civil Discourse’s purpose is as simple as its name. This is a safe harbor for thoughtful people who are tired of the barking that so often passes for debate in the media. We will not allow hostile contributors to subvert that aim and chase conscientious members away." Three related announcements: 1. Enforcement of the new rule will be swift and certain. Offending posts will be deleted and returned to their originators, with explanation attached. Failure to conform to the new rule can entail short, medium or permanent suspensions from CD, as the facts dictate. 2. Most and perhaps all posts in this thread concerning the recent troubles will be deleted beginning at 7 p.m. eastern tonight. 3. Previous posts that violate the new rule will remain, though they might be deleted if their originators earn suspensions in the future. Thank you in advance for your cooperation in this matter.
  15. Universal Health Care

    Joe McQuade here. Forgive the byline. I didn't realized when I posted I was still signed in as my alter ego... tbrmskss, I don't know your gender, but you appear to be Da Man on this issue: knowledgeable, rational, intellectually honest, non-ideological, courteous, able to express complex concepts simply and clearly. If it's not too much to ask, could you give those of us who are at sea on this issue but really wish to understand it a brief primer on the subject? You might draft it as you wish, or just answer the following questions. 1. What is good and bad about the present system? 2. What are the competing alternative models, and what are their pros and cons? 3. To what extent is it desireable to introduce market forces into the mix, such as giving the patient a stake in costs? 4. What is your idea of a perfect solution? 5. If your perfect solution is unattainable, what is the minimum we should be willing to settle for? I like to think I'm a bright guy, but I was flummoxed by these issues during Hillarycare, and I'm flummoxed by them now. Here's hoping this thread will become a true public policy learning tool instead of a forum for familiar political rat-a-tat. Thanks.