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pudge (1)

pudge
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Journal of pudge (1)

Tuesday January 11, 2005
05:41 PM

Re: Superlatives

[ #22665 ]

TorgoX complains that Bush's tone is "huffy." Look, when you give more than everyone else and people look at you and say you're being cheap, it's going to get you a little miffed. Note also that those stats only include government gifts, not private, and guess what: we lead the world there, too.

Not that we can't give more, but, as aevil is wont to say, no good deed goes unpunished, and that's the point.

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  • I keep hearing about how we rank so low in aid compared to GNP, yet the same people don't say how, in a dollar amount, it's still greater than anyone else. If you give 1% of a 1000 GNP, it's still less than .5 of a 10000 GNP. But, that doesn't seem to matter, since the percentage is what people seem to be talking about. Everyone spins the stats to make them look good, or us look bad.

    Bush has the right to be huffy about this. If people want to complain about how much we give in aid, then the next time you n
    • I don't particularly like the huffiness, but yeah, it's understandable.

      What actually bugged me more was when they first started looking for money, came up with like $35m, said "this is only for starters," and then everyone attacked them for not giving more. When they, a few days later, said they would give $350m (with more to come), people said, "oh, you just did that because we criticized you, and you still had a weak initial offer, so you still suck." Just stfu.
    • The UN figures are here [un.org]

      Its true that in the last 3 years the US has given more in absolute terms to least developed nations (prior to 3 years ago, Japan was the largest donor 7 years running). And I'm not complaining about that. More is better, no argument.

      However, if you're going to make a comparison, using that number is silly: the US is *bigger*, and you need to scale this somehow if you want to compare their contribution. Scaling by GNI seems fair enough as its scaling on the ability to give: Norway

      • Let me be really simplistic about this..

        If people want to gripe about what we do/don't give.. don't ask for help when you need it (and you will ask).

        If you go by population, I'd expect China to be giving leaps and bounds more than anyone else.

        If Gates only gave double to charity each year of what I did, yes.. I would consider him generous. Why? It's CHARITY. It's not an obligation.. and any charity is more generous than none.

        Why can't people just be grateful anymore? Why does charity and aid have to be
      • Scaling by GNI seems fair enough

        I think comparing is stupid. This is my main point, which KM addressed nicely.

        My secondary point is that if you must compare, we still give a hell of a lot, and as per the first point, don't bitch about it.

        My third point is that those comparison numbers do not include an area where the US gives more than most other nations: private donations (over $200m as of Jan 5 [go.com] ... surely a lot more since, at least $280m and counting [the American Red Cross alone has $80m more today
          • In private life this same kind of target is common

            But, to be blunt, who the hell is the UN to tell us how much we should give? It's this sort of thing that turns Americans against the UN.

            the private donations are actually comparable to elsewhere

            I know some other nations give about the same in private donations; if I implied otherwise, it wasn't intentional. Busy day, I don't write as carefully as I should. :-)
  • Maybe others (those "complaining") aren't looking at just the number... but the context of what we do with our money.

    Yeah, it is a big number. (to me and you)

    It is also 42 hours of spending for the Iraq war.

    Of course, in the real world... when you spend money once it is gone. So, realistically, something should be cut if they spend the money for Tsunami relief.

    That's easy.

    Bush proposed spending $270M [washingtonpost.com] on lying to kids about sex next year. (abstinence)

    They want to spend $100M [news-leader.com] lying about Social Security
    • It is also 42 hours of spending for the Iraq war.

      You think that's interesting? It isn't. Comparing apples and oranges never is.

      Bush proposed spending $270M on lying to kids about sex next year.

      False. Even if there is some false information in there that could possibly rise to the level of a lie, most of it is accurate, whether you agree with its aims or not.

      They want to spend $100M lying about Social Security.

      False. Social security is scheduled for failure, and it begins to lose money starting
      • but to call it a lie is ridiculous nonsense.

        Ouch... I think I hit a soft spot.

        ;-)

        That's what I get for trying to stay on topic [google.com]. (Yeah, I was exagerating. I don't think Bush is lieing. That requires he know the statements to be false. I'm not convinced he knows much at all. A lot like Ronnie... He is simply repeating what he is told to say. (Same players even.) OTOH, they say that ignorance is no excuse... and even Bush has tried to kill retards.)

        However.

        I find it hard to care that you think Bush has
        • That you think either Bush is or Reagan was unintelligent just makes you look unintelligent. Read some of Reagan's own writing, and you would be unable to assert that.

          I'm absolutely certain that for every "fact" you can present, I can find one that counters it. And mine will be as credible to me as yours are to you.

          You actually gave what you said was evidence that Bush was lying that turned out not to be that. Maybe you have better facts, but you already lied (or maybe you were just ignorant).

          Compar
          • That you think either Bush is or Reagan was unintelligent just makes you look unintelligent.

            I did not say they were unintelligent. I said he doesn't know much. There is a difference. I believe Bush has a poor command of the facts. I believe that his "belief system" makes him think he doesn't even need facts.

            I think he is smart... in that Ted Bundy kind of way.

            I also didn't say Ronnie was stupid. I said that Bush did like Ronnie. He says what people tell him to say.

            Like a puppet. (or, in Ronnie's case..
            • Ronald Reagan's Presidential papers [utexas.edu]. I am certain you can find plenty in there to make him look intelligent, as well as things that make him look unintelligent (a.k.a., "disagrees with your world view on some or many items")

              --
              J. David works really hard, has a passion for writing good software, and knows many of the world's best Perl programmers
              • Thank you.

                as well as things that make him look unintelligent (a.k.a., "disagrees with your world view on some or many items")


                I don't guage intelligence by opinion. I do guage intelligence by whether opinions are well reasoned. (Even if based on flawed data. You work with what you have. However, ignoring relevant data gets you dinged big time.)
            • I believe Bush has a poor command of the facts.

              I believe that his "belief system" makes him think he doesn't even need facts.

              I think he is smart... in that Ted Bundy kind of way.

              It is interesting that all of the physicals he had as president never turned up anything to do with the alzheimers.

              You can turn on the TV and see the need.


              Another post filled with ridiculous, unintelligent, ignorant, bullshit. I won't be replying to you anymore.
        • Being not really neutral either, I decided not to participate in this discussion. However, pudge, you really sound totally partisan, to the point that you ignore everything as irrelevant that doesn't 100% match your own thinking.
          • Then you aren't listening very closely.

            I don't mind criticism of Bush. I have plenty of my own (indeed, in that very post you are referring to, I said I disagreed with the very notion of NCLB, which is one of Bush's most prized initiatives, which is hardly something a "totally partisan" Republican would do). But his criticism was mostly bullshit, and I called him on it.
      • Not arguing about the other points... but even an understatement such as: there is some false information in there [sex education] that could possibly rise to the level of a lie denotes in itself a health hazard. Who will pay for the moral, social and medical damage of letting abstinence-only advocates enter the schools [guardian.co.uk] ?
        • Let me put it this way: every public school sex education curriculum I've seen has lies in it, which can constitute a health hazard (for example, I've seen the effectiveness of condoms wildly misportrayed in both directions). And I firmly believe this inevitable when politicians set such policies, instead of local school boards.

          Remember, we started seeing a lot more sex and teenage pregnancy in schools in America under Clinton and his style of sex education. The incidence of such things did not decrease.
          • I hate getting in the middle of this, but I think that teen pregnancy actually went down in the 1990s. At least that's what I take from a quick look at this set of statistics [agi-usa.org] (Table 2 seems to be the most relevant).
            • I didn't want to get into specifics, but I was speaking more of economic/regional data than overall, e.g., that they went up in inner cities and such, where sex is more common, and sex education more relevant.

              That said, yes, overall, pregnancy rates did go down (though sex rates fluctuated, from the data I've seen [which is much less reliable anyway]); and then again, there's no reason to think abstinence education will cause them to increase.

              This gets very complicated, very quickly. For example, most of
              • I think eminem put it right:

                Of course they gonna know what intercourse is. By the time they hit 4th grade They got the Discovery Channel, don't they?

                The human sexual drive and education is the classical definition of invariance :)

                • I am against all school sex education, for my kids anyway. They will get a much better, more reasonable, broader understanding from me at home. I don't need some idiot teacher trying -- poorly -- to explain sex to my child. Another reason to avoid government schools.
  • Look, when you give more than everyone else and people look at you and say you're being cheap, it's going to get you a little miffed.

    Well, yeah, but where are you getting your numbers? Since when is the US Gov't giving more than everyone else? Or more than anyone else?

    I haven't been keeping track, since the issue is pointless political posturing more than it is about actual aid and relief. As I remember it, the initial pledge from the US was $35M, when the other government aid packages were in the

    • Well, yeah, but where are you getting your numbers? Since when is the US Gov't giving more than everyone else? Or more than anyone else?

      Well, clearly the US is giving more than many countries, by any standard. Not sure why you're bothering with "anyone else." But you're missing the context, which was regarding American international aid overall, not just to this one tsunami disaster. That's what TorgoX's original quote was regarding.

      As I remember it, the initial pledge from the US was $35M

      No. They