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tyler-durden On November - 4 - 2009


hi all!

I need to check in, to see if I’m alone, or if i’m in a huge crowd – of invisible people.

Here’s a little quiz. Simple Yes/No’s. Have fun.

1. In the 21st century, America should be able to provide its citizens an efficient, non-profit, universal health care system. Medical professions would be educated, staffed, and paid appropriately; administration should be simplified with a single payer system, and no US citizen would be denied care for any reason. Y or N

2. American politicians in office should not receive ANY contributions from external sources. No money, no gifts, no trips. Y or N

3. Campaigns should be financed by citizen contributions only. No govt. money, no corporate money. Individual campaign contributions should have a cap. Y or N

4. Corporations will not have rights equal to US citizens (in the most general sense). Y or N

5. Public education should be equally and appropriately staffed, financed, and supplied on a national level. Y or N

6. The FED should be abolished. Y or N

7. Iraq War crimes should be prosecuted, including anyone who knowingly authorized torture. Y or N

8. Guantanamo and other secret prisons should be closed. Y or N

9. The CIA should be abolished. Y or N

10. All TARP money should be recalled with interest due Y or N

11. All political offices should have term limits unless a significant majority of the constituents vote to override. Y or N

12. Industries which generate toxic pollutants should be shut down. Y or N

13. The federal govt should implement programs to produce solar power plants in every viable location; produce consumer grade wind and solar energy products, and conversion of all lighting to LED technology. Y or N

14. The federal govt. should implement a program to produce desalination plants in all viable locations. Y or N

This is all I can think of right now. Stay tuned for a 2nd quiz soon.

Hopefully you all answered Y to every question. If you said no, think about why you said no. If it is for a specific detail, as in “yes, if…” then consider that a Y, as these are obviously generalized. But if you are completely opposed to the point, please explain why. I’d like to know what you think. I’d like to know if your dissenting opinion is based in some personal belief, other than what is best for our nation as a who

The USA is not a frontier. It is a community. As such, certain basic systems are most efficient when dealt with on a national level. We have a national defense system that is of the best in the world specifically because of this.

The federal govt. should offer protections and benefits that we deserve equally as US citizens. No more, no less.

Categories: News & Politics

Written by tyler-durden

born to a blue collar family, the only one to put himself through college in an attempt to elevate from his family's caste. (i made it one level up and i'm still in debt for it) i despise elitists, zealots, hypocrites, and liars. i have experienced that people like to make things grey, distorted. but the truth is, 90% of things are black and white, right or wrong. we know it, we just don't want to admit it, because most of the time, wrong is fun. but when your fun comes at the expense of the rights of others, it is too far. ask me and i will tell you straight every time.

21 Responses so far.

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  1. escribacat says:

    1. Y
    2. Y
    3. N — only rich people with rich friends will become candidates
    4. Y
    5. Y
    6. N — I don’t buy into any of the evil fed conspiracy theories. We need a mechanism to control the supply of money and credit available and stabilize the swings in the market.
    7. Y
    8. Y
    9. N — Very naive suggestion. We’d be the only nation in the world that wasn’t spying on everybody else.
    10. N-- TARP was a necessary evil. In future, these institutions should be made to donate to their own bailout fund. Taxpayer money should not be used again.
    11. Y
    12. N (should be regulated--too many industries)
    13. Y (don’t know enough about LED)
    14. ? (too ignorant on the subject to respond)

    • Grabamop/Obama20082012 says:

      Gee E ‘great’ minds must thing a like we got the same answers!

      • tyler-durden says:

        thanx for chiming in, G and E!

        let’s discuss some of the N’s.
        3. what i was proposing in the question, though i may not have been clear enough, is that the way campaign finance could work to be most fair for all, is that only individuals may contribute, and they may only contribute a reasonable amount, like $1000 (for example’s sake). To get more money, a candidate must get more individuals to support them. This should empower candidates without rich friends, but that represent a larger chunk of the public.

        So, a candidate with 10 rich supporters donating the max gets $10k. A candidate with 100 supporters donating ~$100 each also gets $10k. (example only)

        6. the FED does not do what it was created to do. instead it empowers the banks to manipulate the world economy. the FED should never have been created. it is unconstitutional. for more info on this, i’d think a good resource would be Ron Paul’s site. I suggest him only because he’s one of the more well known critics of the FED.

        9. E! calling me naive? for shame. the question did not say stop spying. it said eliminate an agency. a corrupt agency which causes more trouble than good. they do not represent america, they represent the elite’s secret agenda. the productive function of the CIA should be moved to the FBI and the NSA. the unproductive stuff should CEASE. no more covert wars. no more secret assassination attempts that cost us more later.

        12. if anyone believes in supply and demand, they should endorse this suggestion. a company that is killing our planet is killing US. it should simply stop. killing us slowly doesn’t make it ok because it’s slow. as these companies are shut down, competition that does not pollute will flourish. WE MUST STOP PANDERING TO THE IDEA THAT SOME THINGS ARE TOO BIG TO FIX.

        Our problems are man-made, therefore they may be solved by man. -- JFK.

  2. tyler-durden says:


    First, thank you all for the replies of participation. I appreciate your taking the time to discuss the issues I presented.

    Secondly, I sense some frustration in the quiz. I did not intend this. When I wrote the article, my intent was just to toss a couple topics in a quick-fire type format, just to get a temperature check so to speak. I wanted us to view the questions as generalized.

    It’s clear not everyone is on board with what I proposed by making all the questions appear to be a Y = right, N = wrong. The structure was only to make it easier for me to see the contrast in opinion.

    Everyone has different opinions on every subject I touched on. OF COURSE. But, there are some things that a majority CAN agree on. And sometimes just a minor tweaking of the question can add to the majority agreement.

    The purpose of this approach is to get the basic things that we all agree on done and out of the way; then we can fight over the stuff where there is no consensus.

    A lot of people have the opinion right now that healthcare should not have been Obama’s first big battle. He instead should have tackled something that was equally important, but had much more support from a majority. This is kind of what I was searching for with this quiz. What are the things we are in majority agreement on.

    I don’t like quizzes like these either. What I’d have preferred to do, and what I hope to include in my future website, is an interactive quiz. The questions will start out similarly, with two choices, but your answer will lead to a different question which eventually focuses on your more specific opinion about the topic. Sort of like those old “Choose your Adventure” books we read in grade school.

    I have recently found a site called ning.com, which is a social network platform. It may allow me to build the site I want much faster. I am investigating this now.

    To affect any change, we must work as a majority. The public’s strength is in its mass. So, to aggregate a majority, we must identify our commonalities. WHAT DO WE ALL AGREE ON. The more things we can identify which we all agree on, the tighter our bond as a group. So if I can find X amount of things that 75% of the population agrees on, then I have the basis for a very cohesive group. This group can then act together to effect REAL change. Not just campaign promise change.

    So, when I asked my Y/N questions, with only two choices, I was hoping to solicit the most generalized answer.
    example: I am against war. Y or N
    Answer that without any other information. No if’s or but’s. Just, are you more or less in favor of the general concept of war?
    I would hope the majority chooses Y, they are against war. If not, then I really am in the wrong country. THIS QUESTION DOES NOT ASK is war sometimes necessary, justified, etc. That’s a more specific question. To identify a majority group, which is the purpose, the questions must be general.

    I hope this makes sense. I was not trying to pigeon hole anyone, just trying to see if just on planetpov, if there was a majority consensus on the dozen+ questions I asked above. If we at POV aren’t all in the same boat, then can we ever get into one boat as a nation?

    • AdLib says:

      Hey TD!

      I don’t get from the responses what you did. Looks to me that everyone (including me) respected you and the quiz and answered openly and honestly.

      There was a suggestion from KQ about considering posing questions in polls so that there is not necessarily a right answer in each case (you do mention in your post, “Hopefully you all answered Y to every question.”).

      We’ve had a few polls on this site and my minimal experience so far is that the best way to get the most honest and open response is to pose questions impartially, so that they don’t infer that there is a right answer. People can be swayed against answering openly if they feel it might create an unnecessary conflict.

      I actually see a lot of support here for your making this post and the majority of your positions on the issues.

      As for all of us being in the same boat here at POV, I think we pretty much are but what makes us as Progressives quite different from Republicans is that we think for ourselves and come to our own conclusions. We may disagree on issues here and there but for the most part, I think we’re united behind the same core beliefs and principles.

      • tyler-durden says:

        hey AD,

        thanx for AD-ing this. (heh)

        my statement of “hopefully you all answered Y…” meant that then you would be in agreement with me on these generalized questions. NOT THAT THEY ARE RIGHT, OR THAT I AM RIGHT. no, no. i never claim to be right, but only to have an opinion. so, for ease of reviewing the responses that came in, the more ‘Y’s I saw would mean the more people were in agreement with my views on those topics.

        a review of the results in this thread are as such:
        1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1 2 3 4
        y y n y y n y y n n y n y x
        y y n y y n y y n n y n y x
        y y y y y n y y n y y y y y
        y y y y y x y y n n n n y x
        y y y y y y y y n y n y y y
        y y y y n n y y n n y y y y
        so, 9, 6, 11, 12, and 3 (in that order)received significant opposition to my view.

        THAT MEANS TO ME, THAT TOPICS 1, 2, 4, 5, 7, 8, and 13 ARE SLAM DUNKS. so those things would be what I’d tackle first in trying to make change. get the ball rolling with the stuff everyone agrees on. when the change provides results, it increases group cohesion, and then increases open-mindedness for discussing the remaining topics. right?

        9. so, the primary N from everyone was on Q9.
        EVERYONE HERE LOVES THE CIA? that blows my mind. i think the CIA is evil and should be torn down to the foundation. they DO NOT work for us. they work for the people who are HAPPY with the state of our economy. those who profit from our desperation and misery. the REAL controlling forces of america. i don’t like those people, and i don’t like their militia which is the CIA. covert investigation and intelligence is critical in 21st c. but the CIA has NEVER helped us in this. THEY COULDN’T STOP A PRESIDENTIAL ASSASSINATION IN BROAD DAYLIGHT, OR THE FOLLOWING ASSASSINATION OF HIS KILLER, THEY COULDN’T STOP THE 9-11 ATTACKS, and almost everything else they have their hands in is ILLEGAL and costing taxpayers billions. the SS of the US should be eradicated. that’s my opinion,based on their performance record. it’s not a right or wrong answer.

        6. the next major discrepancy was Q6. this also boggles my mind. i thought we’re all in agreement in the “progressive mindset” (ha, i mock us) that Bernanke, Geithner, Paulson, Greenspan, and the rest of their ilk were the devil! The cabal of banks is tied through the FED. This agency charges us to print our own money! Half of our deficit, which people are so upset about, is interest “owed” to the FED. why should we be paying interest on printing our own money? this is a total scam. JFK knew it, and when he tried to stop it by issuing silver certs, suddenly he died and the certs were immediately recalled by LBJ (who authorized the assassination…but that’s another story).

        the FED is the primary problem with our economy. they do not regulate jack. they do what is in their own best interest. and we can see that G-S, Citi, etc. have interests which are NOT IN ALIGN with ours.

        THIS IS FUN, FOLKS. thank you VERY MUCH for participating in my thread. i do not get to discuss this stuff conversationally much at all. i really appreciate your replies, and your contributions on POV.


  3. nicole473 says:

    1. Y
    2. y
    3. Y
    4. Y
    5. y
    6. N -- Any modern industrialized country requires a publicly held central bank for a variety of excellent reasons, chief among them being the lack of a centrally controlled national monetary policy. And although they have been pitifully bad at this, that doesn’t mean that we should not have a publicly held central bank; it means it must be reformed so that it meets our needs.
    7. Y with a caveat. Only those responsible for formulating and issuing illegal orders.
    8. Y
    9. No. We have a need for a CIA-like organization. They should be far more strictly accountable, however.
    10. Yes, if those who received it have recovered from the crisis as indicated by their ability to function, and will be able to return it at this point without melting down.
    11. Y-no overrides.
    12. Y-but first allowed to make corrections/go green over a period of 10 years.
    13. Y
    14. Y

    EDIT- I waited to read everyone’s responses until after I posted mine. But, after reading them, I am on the fence about term limits. There are certainly pros and cons on both sides, but the system as we know it now does seem to allow for crooks to dig in and reap the benefits. There has to be a better way.

  4. tyler-durden says:

    #5 there has to be a way to give all kids the opportunity of a equally reasonable education regardless of what state they live in. it’s not a kid’s fault they were born in S. Carolina or Louisiana. the success of our nation is very heavily dependent on the education of our children, and we clearly cannot rely on states to do what is right…since they don’t now. it must be addressed on a nationwide level, just like federal income tax and SSI.

    #6 most of our problems are a result of unchecked capitalism. capitalism is a self destructive system by nature, like a snake eating it’s own tail. for it to maintain, it must be set in a yin-yang balance using the appropriate regulations.

    however, the FED has been manipulating our economic policy without success for far too long. they create inflation, they manipulate rates, and they print money to excess as a means to shirk responsibility. they have proven themselves ineffective at providing relief to anyone but the highest elite.

    reforming the CIA is akin to letting the banks restore the economy. they’re all corrupt. the FBI and NSA can do what we need in covert intelligence, with more transparency to the President and Congress.

    the industries polluting at the highest levels can be replaced. there is a more ecologically friendly alternative to most everything. there is not enough incentive to change. pull the plug on what we don’t need, and the alternatives will start popping up like dandelions. what incentive does industry have to clean up if they’re allowed to pay to pollute? we have to draw a line in the sand. the longer we wait, the more there is to clean up.

    the technologies exist. they just aren’t being mainstreamed, because there is no incentive. it must be forced. i don’t think govt. should heavily subsidize new solutions, but i do think they should place restrictions where curtailing is necessary.

    i don’t know what a “progressive” is. definitions change with every user in any context.

    what i DO know is that right is right. the things that are right, fair, and reasonable, as specified by our Constitution, or as inherently known as human rights, must be preserved and developed. practicality is relative. if it is a necessity, even if unpractical, it must occur. you just have to find the way to do it.

  5. nellie says:

    What an interesting idea for a post. Here are my answers:

    1. Y
    2. Y w a caveat — they should be paid more. Congress members are woefully underpaid, salary wise.
    3. Y, as part of the commons, financed by taxes
    4. Y
    5. Y w private schools still available. It’s good competition.
    6. I don’t know about this one. I have a very intelligent friend who makes arguments for the Fed. My gut reaction is Y, but I need to think about it more
    7. Y
    8. Y
    9. N Intelligence work is really valuable. We just need citizen oversight to be more effective.
    10. N. It’s being repaid now. And apparently doing some good in the industry.
    11. N I’m a strong opponent of term limits. Campaign finance reform is a better solution. I like career politicians who know their business, know the issues, and have experience writing legislation and pushing bills through committee. BUT I think we should have a mandatory retirement age of 65.
    12. N Too much of an impact on the economy. Green technology and fines would be my preference.
    13. Y Although I think there’s probably a better alternative to LED out there
    14. I don’t know about this, either, how it would affect the ecosystem, so I have to think about it. We need to clean the water that already comes to land, and conserve.

    • tyler-durden says:

      8 of 15? that scores you a 53. let’s see if we can improve your score.

      #2. Y w/ conditions. ok, we pay them a more appropriate salary if that’s their full time job. sounds reasonable.

      #3 taxes pay for campaigns? why? why should public money be given to people you don’t endorse? if a candidate is worthy, they should raise their own funds, just like obama did. but the difference is, no one citizen should have a “louder” voice than another. you and i have the same max contribution. if a candidate needs more money, then they need to get more supporters.

      #5 the problem with private schools is people with the resources to pay for private schools, also feel they should be exempt from paying public school taxes. this is wrong. you live in a community, you are required to support your community’s school system. that said, i am ok with private schools.

      #6 the FED has too much power. they charge us to print our own money. they have no accountability. the people who run it are able to manipulate policy which directly fattens their wallets. it is a hotbed of corruption and fraud.

      #9. the CIA is a secret organization with an agenda that is not in the best interest of the US. the NSA and FBI can do intelligence. we don’t need private wars waged for big industries that pay off politicians.

      #10 i do not see any money from the tarp doing any good. a record number of banks have failed, the banks that crashed us with derivatives and hedges are still business as usual, and the damned troubled assets, which is what the program is named for, is still on the books of the banks! they didn’t use the money as it was intended. they used it as a lifeline to pull themselves out from drowning, while they left everyone else in the water. take it all back now.

      #11. if a politician is that good, the majority can vote to keep them. but it has to be a more significant majority, not just half. politicians need to be rotated out to avoid complacency and corruption.

      #12 impact on the economy? the rate at which we are poisoning ourselves with toxic pollutants is costing us more than what we gain by keeping toxic industries going. EVERYTHING has a green friendly alternative. currently there is not enough incentive to switch. the fastest way is to pull the plug. why do we have to wait until they’re selling us “bottled air” like they sell us bottled water?

      #13 my point with LED is that consumer grade fluorescents are only just now hitting mainstream, and they are already obsolete technology. LED is much more efficient. all lights need to be swapped immediately. it would cut our power demand significantly.

      #14. we are running out of water. most corps are ok with this, because they’ll just charge more. restricted supply = profit. but it also = screwing the public. desalination plants create drinking water from the ocean, and the salts can be used for storing solar energy. these programs will create zillions of jobs.

      we can’t just decrease demand. we must also increase supply. as we do each of these, we must also improve efficiency. this is the only way to survive with a reasonable standard of living for the majority, not just the elite.

      • nellie says:

        “Improved” is only relative — if I agree with you!

        I have honest disagreement with a lot of this list, which I annotated. Let me expound futher.

        (3) I definitely think taxes should go into campaign finances — just as they do now as an option on our tax forms and in public funding — that is tax money. I don’t think of it as supporting a particular candidate over another. I think of it as supporting the system. We can’t be sure what Mr. Obama would have done if McCain had played by the rules of public financing. He ended up making more through individual donations, but I really think this is a matter of the commons. I think tv ads should be available, maybe print ads. Paying for attention is the problem with our system. Those with more money get more attention — whether worthy of it or not. I’m not saying private donations should be disaallowed (although I’d consider that if it were up to me). But I think the electoral system should be supported by the government.

        (5) I’m not suggesting anyone be exempt from contributing to public school funding because they send their kids to private schools. Just as the private systems needs competition from public schools to control prices, the public system needs private schools as competition to be responsive to parents. We need both.

        (6) I’m not persuaded that we need to abolish the Fed. I need to look at it more carefully before I have any opinion one way or the other.

        (7) The way to discontinue private wars is with oversight. The NSA and CIA don’t do the same kind of work. Both are important. What Valerie Plame was doing was important.

        (10) We just disagree on TARP. I didn’t like the idea, and I wouldn’t support it if it were proposed again, but it isn’t the disaster I expected.

        (11) I’ll never be in favor of term limits. Mandatory retirement age, yes. Term limits, no.

        (12) It’s impractical to simply shut things down. We need to grandfather in new technologies.

        (13) Not arguing w you about the lights. LED technology is not where we’ll be in 10 years. That’s all I meant.

        (14) I’d like to see us improve water treatment of water that’s on land now. I’d like to see our overall population go down so we don’t use as much water. This is a complex issue. People tend to expand their use of natural resources without giving thought to the fact that limitless expansion is impossible. We need to start thinking about reducing our impact on this planet. I’m not anti desalination. I just wish we’d start thinking about our relationship with the planet differently.

        • KQuark says:

          I hate these types of tests. The promote orthodoxy of thought rather than independence of thought. I don’t think there is a “bad score”. I’m also on the fence about term limits because we would not have Senator Ted Kennedy type superior lawmakers with term limits.

          • nellie says:

            It’s an interesting exercise though, to hear the various thoughts on these particular issues.

            Kennedy is exactly who I was thinking of re term limits.

            • KQuark says:

              I agree but it should be asking what people think about these issues rather than setting it up like some kind of test that implies there are absolute right and wrong answers.

            • tyler-durden says:

              please read my “addendum”. i’d like to hear your (and everyone’s) response to my clarification/follow up.

              thanx K!

  6. kesmarn says:

    I’m pretty much completely in line with KQuark’s and AdLib’s take on the quiz, except I’m not really a believer in term limits in Congress. There is something to be said for decades of experience in Washington and becoming wise to the ways thing work there. Our Rep is one of the most conscientious people I know and I would hate to see her hard-earned ethics and expertise tossed out in favor of ‘new blood’ every few years. I think that a Congress that perpetually had a good share of newbies in it would be more at the mercy of experienced lobbyists than the (highly imperfect) one we have now.

  7. AdLib says:

    The way you know if you’re in a huge crowd of invisible people is by dropping a dollar on the ground and seeing if it disappears.

    As to your quiz,

    Yes up to 8.

    As for 9, I don’t think the CIA should be abolished but it should be put under much more intrusive oversight and control and be forbidden to ever behave in certain ways.

    10. I think all TARP money should be returned with itnerest but tied into declaration of quarterly profits. They are addicted to that, tie our returns to their necessities. As KQ said, pulling it all back now would be a shock that plunges us backwards economically.

    11. I don’t think you can have a loophole on this and not see it abused at some point. Term limits that aren’t too brief but solid.

    12. Basically I agree but I think all polluters should first be given ultimatums then if they keep polluting, shut them down.

    13 & 14 -- Yes.

    • tyler-durden says:

      the CIA is corrupt beyond repair in its current state. combined with the lack of interdept. cooperation, it is a weak link in our govt, to susceptible to corruption. too many secrets. the FBI and NSA can do what we need the CIA to do. and what we don’t need the CIA to do anymore, should be stopped.

      term limits with a…let’s say 3/4 majority to extend, are what will keep a politician working for the people that vote. i’d say, give them all 5 yr terms, with an option to referendum a recall every year.

      the purpose being “you get five years, unless you screw up so bad we have to pull you out. after 5 yrs, if 75% of your constituents like you, you stay another 5 yrs.”

      what is unfair about that?

      pollution needs to be cut way back. we must stop sh!tting in our own beds. businesses must no longer be allowed to buy the right to pollute.

      • AdLib says:

        I’m with you on the CIA being corrupt and I’ll go along with dissolving it as long as we can create a new intelligence agency or expand NSA.

        NSA is not structured nor has the resources currently to just take over everything from the CIA. I don’t think it’s a good idea to have one agency like the FBI in charge of everything, international and national together, it would be far too powerful and lead to the kind of violation of rights and oppression that the CIA’s domestic adventures under Bush led to.

        What’s unfair about the 75% is that it could be bought or attained purely by false character assassination by a candidate. I would prefer a three term senatorial term limit, so a politician has a healthy career and doesn’t just have re-election to a final term as his only focus after being elected. 18 years is plenty of time to do some good.

        Agreed, pollution is causing the epidemic of cancer that’s ongoing in this nation and damaging the future of our society. There is no justification for poisoning tomorrow because it means better quarterly returns today.

  8. KQuark says:

    1. Y
    2. Y
    3. Y
    4. Y
    5. N because it would be too difficult to administer a nation wide property tax that provide most of the school funding and more importantly when Republicans do take control of government again I don’t want them pushing bullshit like (non)Intelligent Design in public schools in blue state schools.
    6. N the Fed should be transparent and audited but the root of our problems are not the Fed it’s capitalism and any monetary system will have the same problems. Going back to an asset backed system model is just not practical.
    7. Y
    8. Y
    9. N but their charter should be redone and it should be fully reformed.
    10. N not all of it now because all it will do is halt any recovery but as much money as possible should be recouped.
    11. Y
    12. Y but not until we replace industry with sustainable technologies otherwise we will go back to the stone age and millions will die.
    13. Y
    14. Y

    Frankly you know I don’t like binary logic or political litmus tests. You can ask Too many of the changes required to realize all the “Y” answers are just not practical in the real world. Do I fail the test of being a progressive now?

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