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Old 03-22-2005, 05:20 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Are the Highest Response "Politics" Thread Subjects Least Likely to Impact Any of Us?

I see this as a trend here and I am very disturbed by it, because there are plenty of other places at TFP to discuss less relevant and pressing issues than the politics of governance, war, and international relations.

I increasingly find myself reacting to thread subjects that I view as least likely to affect me or this country in a serious way, by not posting to them, so as
not to add to their prominence in any way. If even the members wiho are interested enough in politics get distracted by the current "top ten" thread list,
then I don't hold out much hope for the future direction of TFP Politics:
Here are the "top ten" current thread titles, highest number of views, first:

------------------------------------------------------ # of Views Posts
1.)Comatose Woman's Parents Hope for Legal Help ----- 2352 ---- 269
2.)We're number 37!! We're number 37!! -------------- 1425 ----- 131
3.)Does anyone think this is a good thing? ------------- 800 ------- 115
4.)ANWR: To drill or not to drill? ----------------- 689 ------ 87
5.)An enlightening interview with Noam Chomsky 389 31
6.)Men are better than women at being cops 547 60
7.)Poll: What is your political affiliation (or do you 353 32
8.)Is there some sort of daily Right Wing Memo? 230 27
9.)Playgirl editor fired after admitting being Republican 222 18
10.)Common Ground Exp.1: Universal Healthcare 188 21

This is just a snapshot in time, but the issue as I see it is do you want this
TFP Politics Forum thread list to bear a stronger resemblance to the NY Times
or the NY Post, to C-Span or to the "E" Channel ?

A year from now, what do you think will matter more to you and your family,
whether Ms. Schiavo gets her feeding tube reinserted, or whether the falling
value of the dollar and the increasing scarcity of oil cause gasoline prices to
approach $3.00 per gallon ? How about whether a former Playgirl editor sues
her last employer, or whether Bush attempts to spend his "political capital" in
ways that you agree or disagree with ?

Do you agree that you shape the direction of this forum by the thread subjects that you choose to start, view, and post on? Do you agree that the
trend is towards an avoidance of threads with contentious but highly relevant and potentially personally important issues ? Bush admin. policies that could increase the likelihood of a military draft, comes to mind as an
issue that receives far too little attention and discussion here, for example.

Do you think that this is a timely thread and an important observation?
Have we become just a mirror here of a larger, distracted populace and it's
legislature, or am I over reacting ?

Last edited by host; 03-22-2005 at 05:27 AM..
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Old 03-22-2005, 05:44 AM   #2 (permalink)
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I think that if we only discussed war and international relations, the forum will soon slow down and eventually "wither on the vine" (like that one ). I think the variety here keeps it intresting and gets more people involved in the political forum who otherwise might not be intrested in it.
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Old 03-22-2005, 05:50 AM   #3 (permalink)
 
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To some extent, I think we are lazy. Not everyone aspires to be an investigative journalist. Discussing the political topic du jour is relatively easy since someone else has already done the research.
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Old 03-22-2005, 06:06 AM   #4 (permalink)
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The posts which recieve the most amount of replies are the ones people feel most strongly about, and hence are the least likely to change their minds on. However, it does feel good to express ones opinion on a topic that an entire nation is buzzing about at the moment.

I think I disagree with you on the importance of the Schiavo case. Right to die advocacy has been quietly simmering around the world for some time now. When mass media begins to pick up on it, (Million Dollar Baby, The Sea Inside), it's usually an indicator that it's of more importance than we may attach to it at first. I really think the outcome of the Schiavo case will affect all right to die scenarios in the US for a long time to come.

To another degree I think it's somewhat natural for the political forum to regress for a while. Politics has been such a heated and violent issue that some people may be taking a break from partisan bitchery. I know if I have to ever again argue about the legitimacy of war in Iraq or the anti-merits of Bush and Kerry, I'll go mad. Politics has quit being fun in this country and turned into a really hateful game. Consequently I think a lot of people have turned away from them for the time being. I may be entirely off base here, but perhaps TFP is reflecting this fact.
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Old 03-22-2005, 06:11 AM   #5 (permalink)
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The bonus to those topics, is that it introduces new voices into the Political forum. Doesn't it get kinda old, making the same argument time after time, and knowing full well how 90 percent of the people are going to react to a topic when it's started? You've got people talking in politics that normally wouldn't be in this forum, but they still have opinions and their opinions are still valid.
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Old 03-22-2005, 07:43 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Host -

I would have to agree about the "trend" here. Sometimes it is very disturbing. I too wonder if they are more pertinent things to talk about regarding American and World politics than the common themes we see.

Let's look at a snapshot of threads started by a particular person:

Quote:
It Appears that Bush & Cheney Are Wrong on Oil Policy, When Are These Guys Right?

Bankruptcy Reform: Are Bush & Republican Legislators "Betraying" Their Constituents ?
Is Founder and Publisher of Captol Hill Blue, Doug Thompson, Criticism Premature?

Was it More Balls or Hypocrisy to Publicly Lecture Putin About Democracy?

Has The White House and Texas Republican Party Lied About Ties To Jeff Gannon And Why

Are the Feb. 18 Harris Iraq Poll Results "The triumph of Opinion Over News"?

Has Bush Become Too Isolated and Controversial To Even Be A Benefit To His Supporters

Do Religious Right's Beliefs Pose Threat to U.S.?

Michael Moore Exposed Truth about our Leaders' Wartime Commitment

Mental health of the president and electorate

Make it Stop....I Can't Take Anymore, Can You?

Achtung ! It is verboten to look directly at Bush

"the administration had violated a law against unauthorized federal propaganda"

Is Homeland Security Dept. Appointee Chertoff a Defender of Freedom?

Ohio Ballot Recount Will Happen....What Will it Reveal?

Presidential Greatness - Who Has It ?

Judiciary Committee Democrats hear testimony on Tom Feeney (R) FL Vote Fraud Software

"No Child Left Unmedicated" Legitimate Governance or Bush's Payback to Drug Companies

Is Bev Harris This Country's Only Hope For Election Oversight?

Fallujah Casualites: Michael Moore asked Bill O'Reilly

I Detest the Hypocrisy of the Bush Administration

The Winners Circle

Mr. Bush harnesses ''facts,'' both true and false

Did Bush evade $2.4 million income tax on his 1998 filing?

Is Bush ill? He looks like he's sufferred a stroke.

Will the "Seperation of Church and State" premise, survive if Bush is elected?

Is Bush Endangering Our Troops To Improve His Election Chances?

Where Will Bush Get More Votes than he did in 2000?

Media 'hid" news that Cal. Rep. David Dreier (R) is gay.

In Hindsight: Was Bush's May 1, 2003 "Mission Accomplished" Speech Appropriate?

Can Anyone Make a Convincing Case for Bush?
What can we tell about this person?

I would say that a specific theme emerges if we look at these threads; all started by the same person.

It seems that this person cannot get past any discussion that isn't about the evils of Republicans, conservatives or the Bush admin. It is almost as if these are the only political issues we face today.



Like I said Host, I agree with you.

I would think that there are a great many topics that can be discussed, that are equally important, that don't revolve the evils of all things conservative.
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Old 03-22-2005, 09:01 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StanT
To some extent, I think we are lazy. Not everyone aspires to be an investigative journalist. Discussing the political topic du jour is relatively easy since someone else has already done the research.
How do we investigate when we don't know the truth behind the Bush agenda?
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Old 03-22-2005, 11:55 AM   #8 (permalink)
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I completely reject the premise of this post. The relevancy of the number of responses and views of each thread are self-defining, and although the subject here seems to be relevance of the topics that host laments, it's hard to argue against the numbers, which don't lie.

This is an online froum, a place for discussion of any topic that attracts us. I trust that my participation here is valid and worthwhile. I wouldn't be here otherwise. I think the premise of this particular thread is more about navel-gazing, and is therefore useless to me -- and yet I post! Isn't this freedom of expression marvelous?

I think that the Scaivo case (#1 on the list) is an excellent thread of Politics. Everyone I've spoken to in the last two days has been nudged into discourse about the ethics of what's being decided, and that's great! It won't win anyone a Nobel Peace Prize or a Pulitzer, but the topic stirs a great deal of discussion about ethics and morality and legislative action. Host asks how it affects us seriously -- my attorney drafted a living will for me today, and tomorrow I sign it, notarize it, etc. My life was changed, and potentially I spared my family the grueling decision of what to do with what's left of my body someday.

Relevancy is a difficult thing for one person to suppose for another person. It's condescending to complain that these threads are more or less valid to others. If host had an objective agrument to change the direction of the discussion, I'd like to hear it. All I see is a lament that the discussion isn't what s/he wants to talk about. Don't like it? Don't post.
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Last edited by meembo; 03-22-2005 at 11:58 AM..
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Old 03-22-2005, 12:23 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KMA-628
Host -

I would have to agree about the "trend" here. Sometimes it is very disturbing. I too wonder if they are more pertinent things to talk about regarding American and World politics than the common themes we see.

Let's look at a snapshot of threads started by a particular person:



What can we tell about this person?

I would say that a specific theme emerges if we look at these threads; all started by the same person.

It seems that this person cannot get past any discussion that isn't about the evils of Republicans, conservatives or the Bush admin. It is almost as if these are the only political issues we face today.



Like I said Host, I agree with you.

I would think that there are a great many topics that can be discussed, that are equally important, that don't revolve the evils of all things conservative.
If you believed, as I do, that the political climate in Washington, reinforced by
the behavior of an increasingly imperialistic, increasingly secretive and unaccountable, regime that communicates it's message by means of openly propagandized rehearsed and staged "events" disseminated by politically sympathetic former news "bureaus", to an extent that is more reminiscent of
Hitler's reich than of the Nixon White House, how differently would you particiapte on this political forum, than I am?

You have chosen sarcasm to post your theme of objection to a list of thread
titles to threads that I have started on this forum? Is that the method that
you suggest that I use to communicate my concerns and to register my protest about what I see coming from Bush's government and it's supporters?

I endeavor to back the premises of the threads that I start with news reporting from sources broadly recognized by what remains of the journalistic communtiy as "sources of record". I do not easily accept my own suspicions
about the "Hitleresque" similarity I see in our present national government.
When I attempt to second guess myself, I end up confirming my worst fears.
I post what I have come to believe. Were I to use sarcasm or bitterness, or an advocacy for violent revolution be more palatable to you, KMA?

I started a thread to discuss the direction that TFP Politics is headed toward.
You started a thread recently themed with similar points. How did you react to those who responded by "shooting the messenger" ? Can you post your
thoughts with less sarcasm and vitriol toward me? I posted about an observation that seems to have some merit, other posters have confirmed this. I welcome your "take" if you can stop being distracted by my authoring the thread.
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Old 03-22-2005, 12:51 PM   #10 (permalink)
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meembo- if you want to reject the premice of a post, hit the back button. While you are saying this post isn't relevent, you are also saying condescending to complain that these threads are more or less valid to others is wrong of host. Let me simplifiy that. You are rejecting host's thread and questioning his post, and for what? Beacuse host is rejecting other psots and questioning their relevancy. Mayeb you should consider the fact that you may have more in common with his beliefs that you think.

KMA, you know what host's beliefs are. Anyone who frequents Politics is aware. His beliefs bear no weight in the issue brought fourth in this thread. He is pointing out that peoples interests tend to shift towards the entertaining more than the persoanlly relevant. It's a valid suggestion that deserves honest responses. Just fyi, host is a lot like me. The main differences I can see are 1. he is much better at finding sources, 2. he has been into politics longer, and therefore is more likely to see the 'big pictures' of politics, and 3. he is a little angrier (is that a word?). Aside from that almost all of our beliefs coincide. We both recognise very disturbing trends in politics and the midns of those effected by politics. We both recognise that certian finalities are upon us, but no one is willing to admit the elephant in the room. That is what this post is about. Host is trying desperatly to help people to figure this out for themselves. Don't condem him for that. You can disagree with him, of course. Let's show him the respect he deserves.

That being said... YES! There is a trend in people not only of America but in many places around the world to tend to avoid the most rpessing realities, because they are unplesant, and pay attention to the entertaining; that which cannot effect us personally. This trend was brought on by mediasim (*coined term), or the movement towards being drones that are influenced, if not controled, by the various forms of media. What does this mean? You watch CNN's report on the Michael Jackson trial religiously, but you don't know abut the Bush administration blacking out almost all the information in hundreds of documents before releasing them to a conservative organization looking into President Clinton's controversial pardons four years ago on his last day in office. The scarey part: the news report I just read about this came from FOX NEWS. It's not the media is trying to control us by not showing us what's really going on. The truth finds it's way to all he media outlets. What's bad is that people are more likely to want to know what the little boy said about molestation from someone who was famous 20 years ago, as opposed to something RELEVANT. I'll just post that article about the cover up below in case anyone wants to read it.

Quote:
Bush Administration Blacks Out Clinton Docs
Foxnews.com
Saturday, March 19, 2005
WASHINGTON The Bush administration blacked out almost all the information in hundreds of documents before releasing them to a conservative organization looking into President Clinton's (search)controversial pardons four years ago on his last day in office.

The only items not deleted from the material are the names of the person who wrote the document and the person it was sent to.

The government accountability group Judicial Watch (search) said Friday that it received the Justice Department documents following a court battle that featured a Republican administration fighting to keep secret documents generated by its Democratic predecessor.

The Bush White House (search) has argued that releasing pardon-related documents would have a chilling effect on internal discussions leading up to presidential action on such requests.

Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton (search) called it an instance of the Bush administration covering up a Clinton administration scandal.

The group plans to return to court to challenge the deletions, which cover nearly everything that is written on a total of 915 pages...

A federal appeals court ruled a year ago in the case that the White House can't claim Justice Department records are covered by a special exemption from the law reserved for presidential communications.

Among the 140 people Clinton pardoned on Jan. 20, 2001 was fugitive financier Marc Rich. Rich's wife, a Democratic fund-raiser, contributed $450,000 to Clinton's presidential library foundation and more than $100,000 to Hillary Rodham Clinton's U.S. Senate campaign.

Rich's name does not appear on any of the 915 pages.

The department invoked exemptions under the Freedom of Information Act (search) that allow deletions for reasons such as documents being part of internal deliberations or containing personal information.
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Old 03-22-2005, 04:43 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by willravel
meembo- if you want to reject the premice of a post, hit the back button. While you are saying this post isn't relevent, you are also saying condescending to complain that these threads are more or less valid to others is wrong of host. Let me simplifiy that. You are rejecting host's thread and questioning his post, and for what? Beacuse host is rejecting other psots and questioning their relevancy. Mayeb you should consider the fact that you may have more in common with his beliefs that you think.
Yo, willravel -- You are completely ignoring the fact that host defined the threads and topics he complains about as the ones that most people read and respond to here in this forum. That's going pretty far out on the branch. What are all the rest of us who read and post supposed to think -- are you and host suggesting you are more enlightened politically? Are the topics you consider to be more relevant being banned from this forum? I take the populist view, that the numbers speak for themselves. The numbers of views and responses represent the voice of the people -- they think this way, they vote this way, and they debate these topics, like it or not. There are certainly heavyweight and lightweight topics in that top ten list, but to belittle the topics and the contributors as irrelevant is to belittle the judgement of every single person who contributed to the statistics of that top ten list.

The premise of the post seems to be that most of the participation here (again, defined by host as the number of views and posts) is somehow not relevant enough to another person's liking, and that's what I reject. His opinion is directly contadicted by the evidence he provided in his own post. My reaction is that every thread in the top ten list that host posted in genuinely political, and condemning the posts as irrevelant is silly and illogical. For the crowd that gathers here in this forum, the threads are apparently very relevant, and the numbers bear that out.

KMA pointed out clearly that host provides a great deal of other information and opinion to chew on, and I applaud that. Host points out host's relevant topics, and others do the same.

Finally, hosts asked at the end of his post whether or not we agree with what s/he proposed. I answered his question, that I think the question itself is flawed.
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Old 03-22-2005, 05:22 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by meembo
KMA pointed out clearly that host provides a great deal of other information and opinion to chew on, and I applaud that. Host points out host's relevant topics, and others do the same.
Thanks for trying to make me look good, but that wasn't what I was trying to do.

I was pointing out that, while criticizing other's choices for thread topics, he has one clear agenda that he is trying to push--Bush/conservative bashing (which he has every right to do).

And now that Bush/conservative bashing is decreasing and people are moving onto other topics, he seems upset about it, as if the other things we choose to discuss are irrelevant.

There are multitudes of topics we can discuss, all are relevant to some degree, and they represent what individuals here want to discuss. If nobody wants to discuss the topic, then it goes away. If people want to discuss it, it stays current.

I felt that his post was arrogant, judgmental and self-righteous and I was trying to point that out. He asked for our opinions at the end of his post and I was giving him mine, in my own way.


BTW, Will -

I heard the Clinton document thing a few days ago and was fairly impressed by it. This is not the first time that Bush has gone out of his way to protect Clinton and I admire him for that. I would guess that it is one of the reasons why Clinton isn't overly critical of Bush....I think Clinton feels like he owes him a bit.

Plus, it shows that Bush can, at times, put himself above the political games often played. He could've handed over a lot of info that would've made Clinton look bad--but he didn't--and nobody would've criticized Bush if he had. You'll notice that Bush often publically speaks very highly of Clinton and has always treated him with more respect than most conservatives would be willing to give Clinton.

I think a lot of good things about Bush are often overlooked, just as many of the good things about Clinton were/are overlooked by Republicans.
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Old 03-22-2005, 07:05 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by meembo
Yo, willravel -- You are completely ignoring the fact that host defined the threads and topics he complains about as the ones that most people read and respond to here in this forum. That's going pretty far out on the branch. What are all the rest of us who read and post supposed to think -- are you and host suggesting you are more enlightened politically? Are the topics you consider to be more relevant being banned from this forum? I take the populist view, that the numbers speak for themselves. The numbers of views and responses represent the voice of the people -- they think this way, they vote this way, and they debate these topics, like it or not. There are certainly heavyweight and lightweight topics in that top ten list, but to belittle the topics and the contributors as irrelevant is to belittle the judgement of every single person who contributed to the statistics of that top ten list.
I'm no smarter than anyone else....actually that's wrong. I'm smarter than some people, and some other people are smarter than I am. Just as that's true, some people are more informed in some political ways, and not as informed in others. Just by reading posts, you can usually get an impression of how informed people are, as well as their political loyalties. To say we're all on the same footing in politics would be lying to ourselves. I'm not saying I'm better or worse than anyone, but I'd like to poitn out that there are people who are better, and there are people who are worse. As for relavancy, how many of us will have a heart attack from stress (and possibly diet), and be brain dead resulting in brain damage that allows spinal fluid to rush into our brains, and then have our SO and parents fight over whether we should die or not? Not too many of us. How many of us are effected by major governmental decisions like President Bush cutting domestic spending in a bid to lower our record deficit. The cut proposes reductions in budgets at 12 out of 23 government agencies including cuts of 9.6% at Agriculture and 5.6% at the Environmental Protection Agency. That effects the food we eat, and the air we breath and the water we drink. Relevancy is relative only to a point. I haven't really heard anything in Politics about the cuts that are going to try desperatly to make up for the military spending on what is considered by a large amount of the world to be a failed war.

Quote:
Originally Posted by meembo
The premise of the post seems to be that most of the participation here (again, defined by host as the number of views and posts) is somehow not relevant enough to another person's liking, and that's what I reject. His opinion is directly contadicted by the evidence he provided in his own post. My reaction is that every thread in the top ten list that host posted in genuinely political, and condemning the posts as irrevelant is silly and illogical. For the crowd that gathers here in this forum, the threads are apparently very relevant, and the numbers bear that out.
How would you measure participation? It seems logical that it would be reflected both by how may people clicked on the page beacuse they were interested by the title, and also those who read the post andf were interested enough to add theri two cents. They participate in these that are not even relativly relevant in comparison to other political actions in the world. The condemnation is relative as well. On their own, those top 10 threads are really interesting political discussions. Compared to what is going on in the entire political arena, they are basically fluff. No one would know about a woman who might or might not be starved to death because she is comotose had it not been such an important political point (on which elections will no doubt be fought).

Quote:
Originally Posted by meembo
KMA pointed out clearly that host provides a great deal of other information and opinion to chew on, and I applaud that. Host points out host's relevant topics, and others do the same.
You can talk to KMA about his sense of humor. His whit is quite sharp. He's good people. Just like host.

Quote:
Originally Posted by meembo
Finally, hosts asked at the end of his post whether or not we agree with what s/he proposed. I answered his question, that I think the question itself is flawed.
Of course. You're welcome to your opinion in every way. I respect your opinion, and I know that it is informed. I am also entitled to my opinion, and my opinion of your opinion. Most of Poltics is peoples opinions on other peoples opinions. I was pointing out that this post wes relevant enough for you to post on.

Quote:
Originally Posted by KMA-628
BTW, Will -

I heard the Clinton document thing a few days ago and was fairly impressed by it. This is not the first time that Bush has gone out of his way to protect Clinton and I admire him for that. I would guess that it is one of the reasons why Clinton isn't overly critical of Bush....I think Clinton feels like he owes him a bit.

Plus, it shows that Bush can, at times, put himself above the political games often played. He could've handed over a lot of info that would've made Clinton look bad--but he didn't--and nobody would've criticized Bush if he had. You'll notice that Bush often publically speaks very highly of Clinton and has always treated him with more respect than most conservatives would be willing to give Clinton.

I think a lot of good things about Bush are often overlooked, just as many of the good things about Clinton were/are overlooked by Republicans.
That's part of the reason I brought it up. Not only does it have political relevancy because the information is being removed about an important political decision, but we saw some really interesting right-left cooperation. It was interesting to see that.
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Old 03-22-2005, 07:30 PM   #14 (permalink)
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I Think its kinda weird that the three of you (KMA-628, meembo, and will) all are trying to accomplish the same goal (I Take to be, Some more relevant threads) and are creating your own political debate over...it seems nothing...
kind of ironic?
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Old 03-22-2005, 07:42 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Seanland
I Think its kinda weird that the three of you (KMA-628, meembo, and will) all are trying to accomplish the same goal (I Take to be, Some more relevant threads) and are creating your own political debate over...it seems nothing...
kind of ironic?
Hahahahah..

That's the joy of politics. I consider KMA, Meembo, Host as friends of mine on this board. I regularly agree and argue with them over all sorts of crap. I'm not turning on KMA or Meembo or anything, I'm just disagreeing. After this post is gone, I'll still respect them, and I suspect they'll still respect me (at elast as much as they did beforehand). The irony is arguing over nothing in an argument about why people keep arguing and conversing over nothing.
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Old 03-22-2005, 07:49 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Yea, i thought it was kind of funny, I read the first post, so I'm like ok, then I kept reading, and.. yea.. ended up there.... but the real funny part, is how in depth you guys went into eachother on NOTHING.. sorry still chuckling here
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Old 03-23-2005, 05:07 AM   #17 (permalink)
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The debate is the fun part, isn't it?
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Old 03-23-2005, 07:59 AM   #18 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by meembo
The debate is the fun part, isn't it?
o, I'm not complaining it's just ironic
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