Democrats & Liberals Archives

Republican "Freedom"

President George W. Bush talks frequently and eloquently about democracy and freedom. All Americans applaud. However, what does he (and other Republicans) mean when he speaks of “freedom”? Almost always, he links democracy with free enterprise, free markets and free trade. The Constitution and liberal Americans mean something entirely different when they speak of “freedom.”

"Free enterprise" is on everyone's tongue. We have a democracy and in a democracy we believe in free enterprise. I am here to say that there is no connection between democracy and free enterprise. Yes, U.S. believes in free enterprise. But so does China, which nobody would call a democracy. It calls itself Communist, but it is obvious that they have free enterprise. Adloph Hitler, the most ignominious dictator of the 20th Century, believed in free enterprise. Who do you think built his armaments?

Here is the Republican view of free enterprise: A person should be free to become an entrepreneur, establish a business, invest in a corporation. He or she should be free of government interference, high taxes, unions, frivolous lawsuits by consumers and challenges by neighbors of corporate facilities.

Why do we call our capitalism free enterprise? Within the corporation, nothing is free - at least not for workers. It is not democratic in any sense of the word. You do as your boss says, or else. As a worker at a multinational corporation, if you try to form a union, you get fired. You may ask for a raise, but that does not mean you will get it. Instead, your job may be sent overseas. Where is the freedom for workers?

Where is the freedom for consumers? Yes, sure, as a consumer, you have a choice between Coca Cola or Pepsi Cola, and between TV or cable. Doesn't that make your heart jump with joy? If you buy a product that makes you sick or cripples you, you may try to sue the company. Republicans, however, are trying to make such "frivolous" suits impossible. Companies, however, have big legal departments complete with many lawyers who are free to sue anyone who gets in the way of the company. This is called freedom?

Where is the freedom of the people who happen to live near a corporate plant? The corporation has the freedom to belch smoke and to discard toxic waste where it pleases. As a result, neighbors may become sick from the pollution and develop cancers.

Under Republican principles of freedom, there is plenty of freedom for businesspeople and investors, but there is almost no freedom at all for workers, consumers and plant neighbors - for the public at large. This is a distortion of the idea of freedom. As George Lakoff says in "Whose Freedom?"

"The most basic assumption of simple freedom is that being free does not make you free to interfere with the freedom of others."

The Republicans have distorted the idea of "freedom" so that it is unrecognizable to students of the Constitution. For the true idea of American freedom, we need only refer to the 1941 speech of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, labeled "The Four Freedoms":

  • Freedom of speech and expression
  • Freedom of every person to worship God in his own way
  • Freedom from want
  • Freedom from fear
This is the American view. It is definitely the Democratic view. It used to be the Republican view. But not today. Today Republican "freedom" means freedom for business regardless of whether this freedom interferes with the freedom of consumers, workers, plant neighbors or anyone else.

It's time to drop the "free enterprise" baloney and work for The Four Freedoms.

Posted by Paul Siegel at August 16, 2006 6:49 PM
Comments
Comment #175938

A very nice essay. I don’t think Karl Marx could have said it better. If someone was to ask me why I wasn’t a liberal or democrat all I would need to do was point them to you.

Posted by: The Griper at August 16, 2006 7:15 PM
Comment #175940

Specifics, Paul. I think if we want to debate capitalism, we need to do it in a less strident manner. Simply villainizing big business without talking specifics is damned silly. Are you talking about labor unions losing power? What?

Damn it, Paul. I’m a friggin’ liberal here for chissakes; why the hell you setting up a bunch of stupid shouting comments. If you want to debate ?capitalism, I say go for it, but do it in a thoughtful manner.

Posted by: Trent at August 16, 2006 7:24 PM
Comment #175941

Paul,

The whole premise of your article is false. Maybe you can point to a speech here or there where GWB talk about the business aspects of freedom, but he unquestionably has talked about our freedom of the press and our widest varieties of religions or the option not to worship at all. My goodness, if it wasn’t for Bush there certainly wouldn’t be any freedom of the press or freedom to assemble in Iraq!

And this is a helluva time to keep making Bush bashing as the #1 focus of the Left, as if Bush or any sane American doesn’t understand the total meaning of the word “freedom”.

Sometimes I think you guys will be most upset about a successful terrorist attack because you’ll be forced through decency to stop bashing Bush for at least 5 or 10 minutes … or wait, I almost forgot, that’s right! It’s Bush’s fault if we get attacked and not the good people of Hezbollah, Hamas, Al Qaeda, or any Iran-supported terrorist. So!! You’re covered for continuous Bush Bashing!!

Go BAFSLA GO!
(Blame America First / Self-Loathing Americans)

Posted by: Ken Strong at August 16, 2006 7:25 PM
Comment #175944

everyone,

shhhh. It’ll all be ok. The world will not fall apart. make your arguement but leave the hatred somewhere else, because when everyone gets into “but the other side is evil” thing this gets really boring to read.

Posted by: mother at August 16, 2006 7:36 PM
Comment #175946

Paul,
Once again, it seems to me that the main focus of many Democrats is the bashing of Bush. I would really like to see some bashing of the Muslim extremist who are bent on murdering every American, Republican, Democrat, Liberal, Conservative…does not matter…AMERICAN!
President Bush knows the definition of Freedom, don’t be silly. I vored for Bill Clinton twice, then George Bush twice. When most people walk into that voting booth, the main question on their mind in this day and age is the following; :”who do I feel secure with sitting in that oval office?, who will protect my family from these Islamic Terrorist to the best of their ability and not be afraid to do what it takes?” Your party better drift back to the center or you will not control the White House for many, many years to come.
I am an Independent, but I have to agree with the KEN STRONG post, [BLAME AMERICA FIRST/ SELF-LOATHING AMERICANS] BAFSLA! This is the main Democratic chant, and if your party would focus on fighting against the terrorist more instead of fellow Americans, maybe you would have a chance in 2008, but with the current mood of the left wing controlled Democratic party, I believe you will be watching President John McCain being swore in January 2009!!

Posted by: Joe at August 16, 2006 7:44 PM
Comment #175945

Paul,
Once again, it seems to me that the main focus of many Democrats is the bashing of Bush. I would really like to see some bashing of the Muslim extremist who are bent on murdering every American, Republican, Democrat, Liberal, Conservative…does not matter…AMERICAN!
President Bush knows the definition of Freedom, don’t be silly. I vored for Bill Clinton twice, then George Bush twice. When most people walk into that voting booth, the main question on their mind in this day and age is the following; :”who do I feel secure with sitting in that oval office?, who will protect my family from these Islamic Terrorist to the best of their ability and not be afraid to do what it takes?” Your party better drift back to the center or you will not control the White House for many, many years to come.
I am an Independent, but I have to agree with the KEN STRONG post, [BLAME AMERICA FIRST/ SELF-LOATHING AMERICANS] BAFSLA! This is the main Democratic chant, and if your party would focus on fighting against the terrorist more instead of fellow Americans, maybe you would have a chance in 2008, but with the current mood of the left wing controlled Democratic party, I believe you will be watching President John McCain being swore in January 2009!!

Posted by: Joe at August 16, 2006 7:44 PM
Comment #175948

“President George W. Bush talks frequently and eloquently about democracy and freedom”
Posted by Paul Siegel at August 16, 2006 06:49 PM
Paul, thank you very much for your kind remarks about President Bush. It’s about time at least one of you liberals recognized this fact and gave credit to this eloquent man.
Regarding your anti-business rant, did you get fired recently? And, I am curious, if you have a retirement account, where are your assets invested? In the Jimmy Hoffa Union Bank?

Posted by: Jim at August 16, 2006 7:47 PM
Comment #175949

Ok, first objection in regards to the line “We have a democracy and in a democracy we believe in free enterprise.”
A democracy is 2 wolves and a sheep voting on dinner. Rights dont exist for long.
We live in a REPUBLIC.

True free enterprise would be this simple:
“The free and unimpeded exchange of goods and services so long as such exchanges do not infringe on the INALIENABLE rights of citizens”

Do not be fooled. Neither Republicans OR Democrats are free enterprise advocates. While tax breaks and corporate subsidies are intrusions on free enterprise, so are wage laws, price caps, tariffs, and regulatory laws.

Now…onto this convoluted representation of free enterprise.

“You do as your boss says, or else.”
You are free to walk away and seek employment elsewhere.

“As a worker at a multinational corporation, if you try to form a union, you get fired. You may ask for a raise, but that does not mean you will get it. Instead, your job may be sent overseas. Where is the freedom for workers?”
Unions are little more than the coercive force of mob rule.
There is no inherent evil in “sending jobs overseas”. To the contrary, some laborer in another country now has a better standard of living, thanks to the employer…and in working for lower wages, provides a cheaper product to the consumer…all at the expense of some overpaid greedy union worker who takes his blessings for granted and uses the power of the mob, rather than the power of further education and skills, to achieve material rewards.
Win, win when you think about it.

“Where is the freedom for consumers? Yes, sure, as a consumer, you have a choice between Coca Cola or Pepsi Cola, and between TV or cable. Doesn’t that make your heart jump with joy?”
You have the choice to drink rainwater or make your own cola…and the choice to watch the birds or fabricate and lay your own cable transmission networks.

“If you buy a product that makes you sick or cripples you, you may try to sue the company. Republicans, however, are trying to make such “frivolous” suits impossible. Companies, however, have big legal departments complete with many lawyers who are free to sue anyone who gets in the way of the company. This is called freedom?”
Not quite. Tort reform is aimed at those who try to profit from their own abuse and statistical accidents. Cases involving negligence and willful, knowing deception are the PURPOSE of the courts and are overwhelmed by ambulance chasers and opportunists.

“Where is the freedom of the people who happen to live near a corporate plant? The corporation has the freedom to belch smoke and to discard toxic waste where it pleases. As a result, neighbors may become sick from the pollution and develop cancers.”
You are free to move.
And normally, such companies pay the price of public outrage.

And now for the further deprived definition of freedom layed out as follows:
“Freedom of speech and expression
Freedom of every person to worship God in his own way
Freedom from want
Freedom from fear”

Democrats and Republicans have infringed upon the first 2 ‘freedoms’.
The last two are a joke.
“WANT” is actually a product of our own lust and greed…representing no inalienable right, rather, representing an inherent desire to infringe on the rights, property and/or opportunity of others!
“FEAR” is a subjective emotion which cannot be guaranteed by any entity.

I apologize for my blunt assessment, but this ‘essay’ lacks common sense, reason and moral clarity.
As such, it reflects all that is wrong with liberalism…and hence, modern democratic thought.


Posted by: Matt Goldseth at August 16, 2006 7:57 PM
Comment #175950

1. Anytime you have national subsidies to corporations and other businesses you DO NOT have a FREE market. Giving companies tax payer’s money to sell their goods is no longer a market, it’s a racket. It’s corporate welfare and it’s B.S. Either get rid of the subsidies or get rid of the “free market” moniker.

2. Anytime you have subsidized companies in trade deals with unsubsidized companies (from poorer, 3rd world nations) you no longer have free trade. The subsidized companies can undercut the various market prices because they are getting paid at the front end from their country’s tax payers as well as the back from the artificially lower priced markets.

Posted by: Matthew at August 16, 2006 8:00 PM
Comment #175952

Wow Paul you really touched a nerve, how dare you talk about domestic freedoms when we are at “war” in Iraq. Dont you know the talking points by now its IRAQ IRAQ IRAQ.

Posted by: j2t2 at August 16, 2006 8:13 PM
Comment #175953

Paul, I owe you an apology. After re-reading your article a couple of times, I realize it wasn’t what I initially thought. Sorry about that.

Posted by: Trent at August 16, 2006 8:14 PM
Comment #175954

“Dont you know the talking points by now its IRAQ IRAQ IRAQ.”

Yeah, and things are going so well in the middle east. Democracy is just flourishing there — one failed policy at a time.

ps. The ONLY time Bush is eloquent is when he is reading from prepared remarks.

Posted by: Matthew at August 16, 2006 8:20 PM
Comment #175956

Here is an article on the Rights of Employees. As it points out, when the Bill of Rights was ratified, the government was seen as the biggest threat to individual rights. But in the age of big corporations, employers are a threat.

I hope that those who read this article will do so fairly even though it was produced by the ACLU.

Posted by: Trent at August 16, 2006 8:24 PM
Comment #175957

See what I mean, attack Bush over and over again! Not one comment attacking Islamic Extremist! Could one, just one Democrat prove me wrong and tell me how disgusting and evil the terroroist are..and what your party will do to protect the country?

Posted by: Joe at August 16, 2006 8:26 PM
Comment #175958

Any use of the four freedoms speach earns extra credit to me. That speach was amazing if Bush could pull off a speach like that I’d never call him “unedumicated” again. however i think i need to remind everyone that even the founding fathers were politicians. So they did things for their own gain rather than those they represent. just like the politicians that follow them.

Posted by: mother at August 16, 2006 8:27 PM
Comment #175959

Joe,

kindly rephrase your comments. it appears as though you are attacking the entire religion rather than those that abuse the religion. are you? If you are continue ranting, and everyone will continue to ignore you.

Posted by: mother at August 16, 2006 8:30 PM
Comment #175960

Joe,
Please explain how this topic has anything what so ever to do with Islamic

Posted by: j2t2 at August 16, 2006 8:30 PM
Comment #175961

THE TERRORIST ARE EVIL.

Posted by: Matthew at August 16, 2006 8:30 PM
Comment #175962

Extremist.

Posted by: j2t2 at August 16, 2006 8:31 PM
Comment #175965

British Intelligence Makes Big Bust

Late breaking news, British Intelligence has made a big bust in London. Agent arrested the Coca Cola Polar Bear and several Arabic looking camel drivers in a massive plot to smuggle chemical explosives on airliners. In a plot reminiscent of the Hindenburg Disaster they were attempting to conceal liquid explosives in Coca Cola bottles and hidden as camel suppositories. Obvious links to Al Qaeda were brought to light when it was revealed that all had once seen a travel poster of Pakistan on the London Subway.

The fiendish Coca Cola plot was aimed at taking advantage of lax civil rights, reported Sir Henry Buttsniff a double aught British Agent speaking from the London office of Karl Rove. We will just have to make everyone hand over all liquids, tubes, gels, and sodas, he replied. When asked if the chemicals were so dangerous why they poured them in big containers at the airports, this reporter was subject to an all cavity body search for his own protection.

We really think they were going down the tubes said Buttsniff who lab tested the explosives. We found that the suppositories, a mixture of beans, and airline meals produced a lethal substance, Buttsniff reported. They were going to hide the camel in the unchecked airline cargo and explode them in several major cities. They were promptly arrested and send to an undisclosed location near a Middle East country.

The Coca Cola Bear was finger printed and the id came back with several aliases including ties to Kris Kringke, a suspected mastermind of a plot to infiltrate countries suspected of having ties to AL Qaeda and subvert impressionable minds. Reliable reports say he is undergoing Extraordinary Rendition in an undisclosed location. Stay tuned for further breaking news on this the network that presents only fair and biased coverage of the news that is fit to report.

_Thomas P Love

Posted by: Thomas Love at August 16, 2006 9:05 PM
Comment #175967

Joe,

You actually feel safer with Bush in the Oval?? You got to be kidding! You wanna talk about extremists? Okay…..Their numbers have tripled since Bush took office. He has turned Al Quiada from an OPERATION, INTO A MOVEMENT. His policies of occupation and incompatence have actually made the majority of the middle east simpathetic to towards the religious extremists!!? An incredible feat when you consider the amount of GOOD that we could have accomplished there if we had a real leader in the white house and the Pentagon.

What happend to the ROADMAP to peace? It’s long been forgotten well BEFORE the kidnappings.

During the 90’s Korea did not make a single nuclear bomb. Under Bush it is estimated that they have at least 4.

Before the Iraq occupation Iran was expected to elect a reformer-type president. After Bush’s occupation, Iran narrowly elects a hard-liner.

Feel safe yet?

Oh yeah, I love the claim by Bush and his administraition that, ‘Proof that we are tougher than the Dems is that we havent been hit since 9/11’. Such load of …..poop. The reason we havent been hit since is that NOW all of our agencies are focused. Under Bushs first 9 months in office BUSH WAS NOT FOCUSED. He was on vacation. Even though Clinton warned him and people like Richard Clarke were trying to get Condie to acknowledge the threats. But, she didn’t even schedule a meeting on it. Uh-huh, NOW they are tough.

How about our ports?…loose nukes?…Darfur?…luggage screening?…a uniform airport watch list?

GWBs favorablity numbers are at 33%. The repubs are losing at least one house in November. So, no, i am not worried about 2008. Anybody with different ideas than Bush is fine by me.

Posted by: Matthew at August 16, 2006 9:18 PM
Comment #175968
Their numbers have tripled since Bush took office.

Huh? Do they register somewhere? Do they call the DNC with weekly updates?

Posted by: G.K. at August 16, 2006 9:27 PM
Comment #175969

Thomas P Love
Posted by: Thomas Love at August 16, 2006 09:05 PM

Thomas, have you ever considered comedy for a careeer? I’m rotfl - ing here. Nice one! ;-)

Posted by: Paul in Euroland at August 16, 2006 9:29 PM
Comment #175971

G.K.,

You are soooo clever. It’s estimated by several experts, anaylists and agencies across the globe. Check out any foriegn policy magazine/website for furthur info.

oooh, I forgot one. Terrorist bomb attacks throughout the world have increased expenentially since 2003 as well.

Posted by: matthew at August 16, 2006 9:36 PM
Comment #175973

Matthew,

They ain’t increased here in the U.S.

I don’t think we’re responsible for stopping all terrorist bombings. Is that what you are saying?

Could the increase in activity be because they are feeling the heat and want to stop the search and destroy terrorist effort before they’re next?

Time, pressure, and focus will help us hunt them down. No 48 month politics.

Posted by: Edge at August 16, 2006 9:57 PM
Comment #175974

y’know, I just don’t get all of this manic frenzy about terrorism. C’mon people, you have a better chance of being run down by a bus!!! IN fact, there was a Prof of stats on British TV yesterday, who said that there was a greater risk of being killed in a train wreck, that by terrorism. Put the thing in perspective. Can’t you see the fear being spread is to manipulate people?

Posted by: Paul in Euroland at August 16, 2006 9:58 PM
Comment #175975

The Republican view of regulating business is flawed because it assumes companies (corporations) will do the right thing. I have issues with this.

Posted by: Mc at August 16, 2006 10:05 PM
Comment #175976

Paul,

Let me start with What?

“The corporation has the freedom to belch smoke and to discard toxic waste where it pleases. As a result, neighbors may become sick from the pollution and develop cancers.”

As an Environmental Engineer, that is the biggest load of crap I have ever encountered. Regulations are tighter and stricter now than any other time in the history of this nation. Ironic you metioned FDR, regs were almost non-existant then.

“Where is the freedom for consumers? Yes, sure, as a consumer, you have a choice between Coca Cola or Pepsi Cola, and between TV or cable. Doesn’t that make your heart jump with joy?”

What? Try visiting Russia, China and a host of other countries. We have more choices than any other nation on earth. Not sure what YOU are looking for that you are unable to find.

“Under Republican principles of freedom, there is plenty of freedom for businesspeople and investors, but there is almost no freedom at all for workers, consumers and plant neighbors - for the public at large. This is a distortion of the idea of freedom.”

Work for someone else or for yourself. No one forces you to work for your employer. How many companies need to go overseas before you realize the American worker has a quite luxurious lifestyle compared to say…..uh….Mexico and the rest of the world?

Paul did you intend to come across as an ingrate, a whiner or was just an attempt to take a shot at the party in control? It comes across as so ungrateful when billions of individuals would switch places with you in a heartbeat.

Posted by: curmudgeon-at-large at August 16, 2006 10:10 PM
Comment #175977

Matt,

Just read your response. Well done and well stated.

Posted by: curmudgeon-at-large at August 16, 2006 10:17 PM
Comment #175978

China does not believe in free enterprise. To do even the simplest business, you need permission of the state. The politics trumps business. That is precisely the problem.

The free market consists of rule of law, moderate regulation and the use of the market mechanism. There is substantial flexibility in how you use it, but you have constraints. If you ignore the market mechanism, you have to resort to compulsion to get things done. Without the rule of law, investment is not possible since you cannot reasonably predict future states. With no regulation, unscrupulous people can cause great damage. Too much regulation and the regulations cause great damage to honest business people. I believe both Democrats and Republicans can accept this formulation. They can argue about the details.

I have been listening to Bush a long time and I am a Republican who is strongly in favor of the free market, but none of us define freedom the way you say. Nobody wants business to spew toxic wastes and it is generally a bad business decision to poison your customers or workers.

The part you got mostly right is “Here is the Republican view of free enterprise: A person should be free to become an entrepreneur, establish a business, invest in a corporation. He or she should be free of government interference, high taxes, unions, frivolous lawsuits by consumers and challenges by neighbors of corporate facilities.” But it needs to be modified.

We should be free of EXCESSIVE government interference. AND we should have the rule of law. In other words, laws should be predictable and not applied in a capricious manner.

I don’t like unions. It is a kind of prejudice, I know. I got ripped off and threatened by unions when I was a younger worker and I still hold it against them, but workers have a right to organize. What they don’t have is the right to compel others.

Frivolous lawsuits? Yes. The key word is frivolous. Do you favor them?

Posted by: Jack at August 16, 2006 10:28 PM
Comment #175979

Edge,

“Could the increase in activity be because they are feeling the heat and want to stop the search and destroy terrorist effort before they’re next?”

Perhaps, or the increase is because they are now see themselves stronger and part of a larger movement. They have more training and recruits to give their life to the cause.

I’m not saying that the US is responsible to stop all bombings. I am saying that since Bush directed the military to attack Iraq the WORLD is not safer and we are not safe from another terrorist attack. He has in fact fueled the fire.

Also, this idea that we will hunt them all down is a bit loony. The idea that eventually with ‘time, pressure and focus’ we will eventually walk into some cave, shoot down the last terrorist and that will be the end of it, is naive at best. Violence begets violence. As long as any state has someone’s neck under their boot there will be someone fighting back.

Unless we SHOW BY EXAMPLE that western IDEAS work, the extremists will have the poor and bombed out populations on their side.

What I am saying is that Bushs example of occupation, lack of improvement and continued violence will not change any person to join our team.

Posted by: Matthew at August 16, 2006 10:34 PM
Comment #175980

“A democracy is 2 wolves and a sheep voting on dinner. Rights dont exist for long.
We live in a REPUBLIC.”

So, we’re equal to the Republic of China? Or just trying to achieve their wonderful standards of life?

Ya’ know Bush played that “we’re a Republic BS” during his 2000 campaign and King Karl had to spin some nice new words for good ol’ Bush.

You Republicant’s will keep on if unchecked until you truly do achieve the destruction of our fine Democracy and then when the whole damn country goes to shit you’ll still be pointing fingers and whining about those damn Democrats, or maybe it’ll be all the fault of Reagan’s imaginary influx of welfare queens.

You jokers can’t even get the right-wing right.

KansasDem

Posted by: KansasDem at August 16, 2006 10:41 PM
Comment #175981

“Frivolous lawsuits?”

Jack,

I don’t know of anyone that is in favor of frivolous lawsuits. The only state in which I have enough knowledge of the law to comment on is Nebraska and I do know there that both the Plaintiff and the plaintiff’s attorney can be fined stiffly for bringing what’s found to be a frivilous lawsuit.

Otherwise you made very good common sense comments. I just know there’s a Democrat hiding somewhere inside you, lol.

KansasDem

Posted by: KansasDem at August 16, 2006 10:50 PM
Comment #175983

There are some good debatable issues here. I think, given the nature of our democracy, that monied interests have greater access to the cooridors of power. I think we could look at Cheney’s energy plan, produced early in the Bush administration, as an example of this. In it, policy recommendations are heavily skewed to increasing oil production and renewable energy and energy efficiency concerns get relatively short shrift, though it’s clear that increased production is not going to solve our energy problems. Other energy sources are the future. ANWR is fairly trivial. Big oil certainly got a lot of breaks, and it’s hard to see why when you look deeply into the issue. It’s not unreasonable to think certain huge corporate interests were favored; that the good old oil boys were looking out for each other.

I also think employee rights are a very legitimate issue. I don’t like the notion that some employers try to control off-hours behavior. If we allow this kind of control, then we essentially are tossing out the Bill of Rights.

The big corporations spewing toxic waste thing — well, you know, I don’t think that issue has as much traction. Of course there have been abuses and still are, and of course there is a constant fight over emissions standards, but in general, factory emissions are cleaner as a whole than in the past, thanks to regulations. Specifics here would be helpful.

Posted by: Trent at August 16, 2006 11:03 PM
Comment #175984

Jack:

“Frivolous lawsuits? Yes. The key word is frivolous. Do you favor them?”

Depends. Who’s defining ‘frivolous’? If it’s the Right wing corporate bastards, yes, I am for frivolous lawsuits. Because what they define as frivolous usually isn’t.

Paul, this is a good start on examining captitalism in it’s true light—I wish it were a little more fleshed out.

Frankly, I think capitalism is a cancer, a runaway cancer that destroys workers, destroys the environment, compromises and undermines our democracy, and corrupts the value of human life and dignity. It’s track record is plain to see.

And it’s gotten nothing but worse under the conservatives, with a yawning gap between the haves and the have nots, and increased poverty substantially in the last five years. It fights tooth and nail the simplest of improvements, like a measly $2.00 increase in the federal minimum wage, it blasts unions, it undermines government oversight, it corrupts Congress and writes the laws in its favor. It overthrows governments that have been democratically elected abroad, it is strangling American manufacturing in a chase for the bottom in cutting wages and ignoring environmental laws of other countries.

It is a plague on humankind, it celebrates conspicuous consumption and waste, sneers at the simplest of human needs and wants, and will kill it’s host in a mindless rush for more profit.

It is running this country into financial ruin, and encouraging a decline in real wages among the working classes in this country that is forcing many families to work two and three jobs to stay even. It is shrinking and demoralizing the middle class, the very foundation that made capitalism what it is in this country. It is making more and more people join the ranks of the truly desperate, without health insurance, pensions and living wages.

Mark my words. If this continues, there will be an underclass in this country that will threaten the very existence of this country. Because when you have 70, 80, 100 million people with nothing to lose, it is best not to value life too much.


Posted by: Tim Crow at August 16, 2006 11:17 PM
Comment #175986

Tim, do you mean capitalism in general (that is theoretically) or just the brand of capitalism we have now? It’s very hard at this historical moment to see an alternative to some form of capitalism. The relatively socialist governments we see in Europe are still capitalist, essentially.

Posted by: Trent at August 16, 2006 11:24 PM
Comment #175988

Trent:

I mean corporate capitalism, the capitalism that thinks it has unalienable rights. It doesn’t. It once existed at the behest and pleasure of government, and government gave it strictures and laws and duties to better and enrich the people and the country. Government now works for the behest of corporations.

There is no such thing as well-behaved capitalism in this country anymore.

Mom-and-pop stores and small-town businesses are window dressing to exalt free enterprise. When the elections are over, it’s back to corporate cancer and anything goes. And usually it’s small businesses, who get booted out by the big box stores whose merchandise is fresh off the boat from China and India.

Posted by: Tim Crow at August 16, 2006 11:41 PM
Comment #175989

Matt Goldseth and curmudgeon-at-large, excellent posts.

Trent, if I create the job, it should be my say so as to who, how, where, when and under what conditions that job will be performed — within reason of course.

I am an At Will employee and would have it no other way. As soon as I become unproductive or even uneconomical to my employer I hope he fires me. I work to make my employer money or not at all.

Employee rights should extend to the ability for you to walk out if you don’t like the job. Period. End of story.

If you don’t like the way someone runs a business then start your own. Run it any way you want. I’ll bet you start thinking like Matt and the curmudgeon within no time at all.

Posted by: Charlie at August 16, 2006 11:46 PM
Comment #175993

Amen, Trent!

Pull their subsidies and tax breaks. Close all loop-holes and tax-havens. Make them bring their jobs back to America or face heavy teriffs when they import their products back here. Let them actually and fairly compete with small business in this country for the first time in 30 years. If they don’t like it, we’ll pull their charter.

Of course, they have the freedom to change contries. They can see what it’s like as a European or Chinese company. They think we are tough?

Okay…..It’s a pipe dream but there is no reason why some of those measures cant be implimented.

Posted by: Matthew at August 16, 2006 11:58 PM
Comment #175994

oops. I meant, Amen, Tim and Trent!!

Posted by: Matthew at August 17, 2006 12:00 AM
Comment #175995

As counter-point to Trent’s posting of the ACLU’s supposed “Rights of Employees”, I submit the Bill of No Rights. Pay special attention to Article IX.

Posted by: Charlie at August 17, 2006 12:09 AM
Comment #175996

Um Charlie, you rebutted things I didn’t say. I only expressed dismay at companies trying to control off-hours behavior. However, if you really mean that the ONLY right an employee has is to quit, then we disagree.

Tim, I wish I had studied economic history/theory more in school. I got some Marxism in graduate school under the guise of critical theory, but that’s it. I feel it in my bones, however, that there is something deeply wrong with our system, and massive corporate entities beholden to shareholders has much to do with it. I would love a good discussion that avoided standard stuff we just saw from Charlie or polemical attacks that do little than raise the hackles of Republicans.

Posted by: Trent at August 17, 2006 12:12 AM
Comment #175997

Charlie, et all,

Maybe you haven’t made the connection between unions and poor working conditions. If it wasn’t for unscrupulous and greed-head bosses who put profit over safety and a fair wage, there would not be a need for unions.

Do you think organizers of the 1920’s liked getting beat up over an 8 hour workday? Or going hungry for a 5 day work week? They would much rather work at a job that they could live on and not get killed or maimed performing.

All these govt regulations that you so gleefully point out would not even be in effect if Company heads did not fight tooth and nail against small safety measures and changes the govt wouldn’t feel the need for blanket regulations.

Futhermore, if the company’s didn’t violate the regulations so much there wouldn’t be the need for “frivolous” lawsuits.

Posted by: Matthew at August 17, 2006 12:16 AM
Comment #175998

Charlie, that No Bill of Rights was cute. I especially liked Article VIII.

“You do not have the right to demand that our children risk their lives in foreign wars to soothe your aching conscience. We hate oppressive governments and won’t lift a finger to stop you from going to fight if you’d like. However, we do not enjoy parenting the entire world and do not want to spend so much of our time battling each and every little tyrant with a military uniform and a funny hat.”

I guess we agree on the Iraq war; thanks for that link.

Posted by: Trent at August 17, 2006 12:17 AM
Comment #175999

Trent,

I was responding to the article you linked. No you did not say them, the article did.

What about my “standard stuff” bores you so?

Posted by: Charlie at August 17, 2006 12:22 AM
Comment #176000

Charlie, my oh my, you want a fight, eh? Well, guess what; today I don’t. You win. You can leave the field. Good job. Bye now.

Posted by: Trent at August 17, 2006 12:29 AM
Comment #176001

Free[dom of] Enterprise

The Halls of Capitalism are basically ruled by the cost/benefit ratio. You make your choices based on their cost vs. their benefits. As one poster stated, if you don’t like your boss, you’re free to leave. Well, can you afford to leave? What are the costs vs. staying and putting up with the BS… the “benefits” of having that job. Are similar jobs so plentiful that we really have a choice?

The cost/benefit “guide” used to be used by the Corporate Culture to the extent that they tried to make what they offered have more benefits to us than its cost, therefore we’d go for it. This is still the case for small things (e.g., toothpaste and clothes), where competition is vibrant; where we do have “choices.”

However, for the bigger things - the things we “can’t live without” - this is NOT true. The tenet has become to make it so costly to refuse them, we have to go with what they offer no matter the price. This is what we have with, say, gasoline, medical care, insurance, telephone and communications, and, as stated, employment. There is no real competition; no “other” choice, for the most part.

My wife and I are “capitalists,” in that we have our own small business. However, there is NO WAY we can get affordable health insurance. It just isn’t there. The only choices are if we didn’t have to eat, drive anywhere, use gas and electricity, or have house/car payments, then we could have health insurance. Is that a choice? No, there are no choices. No competition in the insurance industry - they all offer the same costs for the same product. If you don’t ever get sick or use them, they still raise your rates because you “belong” to some “group” whose rates have to go up. No ifs, ands, or buts. And if you ever DO get sick or have to use the product - well, just don’t…

The same goes for the health providers. There is a procedure out there that costs in excess of $70,000 for something that takes a couple of hours to complete. WTF! Nothing is THAT expensive to provide! But they do it. They get it. Why? Because your choice, your “cost,” is your life, if you don’t pay it. Let’s see, I guess you could refinance your house to get that, so there you go. But that is just one time. If you need it again? Do you have another house? Which can you afford? It would bankrupt you - oh yeah, they made it harder to declare bankruptcy, so that may be out. But even if you could, you probably couldn’t get that procedure (or any other) again, so you’re screwed either way. You Just Gotta Pay!

These are things we can’t live without, so costs are such that we just can’t refuse them. Our benefit is that we get to live, although much poorer for it.

Thanks, Repubs, for letting the “Free Market” decide this.

Posted by: myles at August 17, 2006 12:31 AM
Comment #176004

Matt

I just don’t see the “fuel the fire” statement the way you intend it. Bringing issues to a head is my view. Today activity is higher. I see it as preventive and eventual … you see it as preventable and unnecessary. My point being sooner or later we’d have increaded activity, better to do so on someone else’s turf.

I agree, we can’t find them all. My point would then be that we should effectively neutralize them as best we can. The Bush doctrine to hunt them down and kill them is juvenile agreed. However we should lean more towards getting them before us. This is not a college debate with terrorists, it is a life or death issue. Who gets to who first. Let’s be pragmatic.

I don’t think the middleeast is so naive as to think America’s only example is Iraq. If we accept the population as being complex and diverse like we think they are, then they see the logic in our middleeast strategy. Not just our difficulties, and failures, in Iraq.

Posted by: Edge at August 17, 2006 1:12 AM
Comment #176006

Trent:

“Tim, I wish I had studied economic history/theory more in school”

Me, too.

“I feel it in my bones, however, that there is something deeply wrong with our system, and massive corporate entities beholden to shareholders has much to do with it. “

Me, too.

“I would love a good discussion that avoided standard stuff….”

Me, too.

I am one of the few folks around here that doesn’t think the word ‘socialism’ is a cuss word. Bush and his neo-con friends, along with my introduction to the internet several years ago, has contributed to my militancy in economic matters.

Jack has pointed out to me on several occasions that capitalism is similar to the wheel, and that railing against it is like shouting at the sun. (How’s that for a mixed metaphor?) I have slowly come to the conclusion that he may be right. Exchange of goods and services is fundamental in human affairs.

But what we are witnessing, and have been witnessing over the last 100 years or so has made simple exchanges of goods and services seem like a fairy tale. It is obvious to me that the way this economic system is rigged is at best a disservice to the average worker, and slavery at worst, gussied up as immutable law—‘sorry, this is the way the world works, chump.”

Well, as I continue to read and think on economic things, it has occured to me that this edifice we call free enterprise is gerry-rigged for certain people’s convenience and well-being—and those people that get the most out of this system are heavily outnumbered by the people who are screwed by it.

What irks me the most? Every time you mention your doubts about capitalism, you get lectures about welfare queens, how socialism kills individual initiative, the brutality of Marxism, why don’t you move to Europe, and “What would you put in it’s place?”

The same arguments over and over. It’s like Americans are deathly afraid to even examine the edifice they serve so slavishly, scared shitless of asking questions like, “Why is it, that when I investigate unions and discuss bringing one in the work place, chances are excellent I’ll get fired?”

Or, “Why is so much of successful capitalism at the expense of the environment, why is capitalism predicated on endless, boundless growth, when all around us we see the limits of nature and the damage that we do? How on earth can workers in China, India, Indonesia and Japan aspire to our ‘non-negotiable American life-style’? Something’s got to give, and I think it will be runaway capitalism before it will be the laws of nature.

Capitalists and free-market types sing the praises of globalization, and have a siezure when you mention the hollowing out of US manufacturing, the hemorrhaging of jobs overseas, penalizing corporations that haven’t a care about millions of workers losing jobs.

But, I think there is one thing they haven’t considered—peak oil. The great Wall Street/Capitalist extraveganza that built the middle class and this country was built on oil. So was the world population explosion, with agriculture and transportation enabling a tripling of earth’s human population since the beginning of the oil era.

The end of the oil era will be the end of globalization, and I don’t see seven, eight, ten billion people inhabiting the planet without oil. It can’t be done.

Oil was one of nature’s greatest gifts to humankind; it enabled a lifestyle for a quarter of the human race that was unimaginable 150 years ago. We have taken one of the greatest inheritances of earth and gone through it in 140 years. There is nothing as easily stored, no source of energy as easily obtained and available as oil.

It is just this unimaginable gluttony—billions and billions of barrels of oil, gone in 150 years that could be the most damning indictment of capitalism. Corporatists believe in the unseen hand of the free market, it will decide fair price, through supply and demand. My question: Who had the big picture regarding natural resources, who oversaw the usage and planned out how they would be used? Government? Business? It is a damning question, because, through a Judeo-Christian philosophy that has insisted that God gave the earth to humans to use as they see fit, that philosophy has left billions of people and thousands of species of animals and plants with no advocate, noone to say, “Wait a minute, what about the seventh generation, and the generations after that?” Capitalism worries about the next quarter, the investors, the shareholders. The seventh generation will take care of itself, there’s money to be made.

And without oil, life will become extremely local, agriculture, businesses, housing, everything will have to be within a very small radius. Central government will wither away, having neither the wherewithall or the power to unify and control once great nation-states. I suspect the United States will become ununited, breaking up into smaller countries bound by economic and geographical considerations, not a network of highways and computer cables and air travel. Imagine a forty story high rise in Phoenix, Az.—then imagine no air-conditioning.

That is when real capitalism will return, when it becomes human-sized again. Whether we get there without destroying ourselves over water, oil, food, or in a fit of rage because it isn’t what we had planned, is really debatable.

Posted by: Tim Crow at August 17, 2006 1:46 AM
Comment #176010

I worked for a major semiconductor company that was self insured. When my daughter got sick it ended up costing almost $1,000,000. They paid it and I never had to worry about anything by my co-pay, which was comparitively minor.

I doubt seriously the company ever recouped the outlay.

Maybe it takes large businesses to create the insurance atmosphere where premiums are affordable. I do not know the economics. What I do know is that I have a good job, good medical coverage and can find another equally good job if need be. I can do this because I’ve made myself valuable to an employer. I offer a skill that someone will pay for.

If I knew how to inspire others to do what I do I guess I’d start my own business. But I don’t, so I continue working for others. I’m satisfied with the arrangement and see it working for many others as well.

Posted by: Charlie at August 17, 2006 2:10 AM
Comment #176011

When will the second American Revolution begin?

http://www.opednews.com/articles/opedne_joel_s___060815_delusional_democracy.htm

Posted by: Tim Crow at August 17, 2006 3:11 AM
Comment #176012

Myles

I’m a little confused. What do the Republcans have to do with that $70,000 procedure. Talk to the doctors, the hospitals, the nurses, the pharmaceutical companies.

What amazes me is how everybody here acts like none of these problems existed until the last 6 years.

Posted by: Keith at August 17, 2006 3:27 AM
Comment #176013

Tim,

Interesting article. I don’t buy it because I don’t feel the squeeze the author proffers. I’m middle class and seem to be doing ok. I just don’t get the “cruel economy” part. Maybe if more people tried to learn skills and made themselves valuable on the labor market things would be better. Get an engineering degree, a nursing degree, something that someone needs.

“Voting against “establishment” politicians in both major parties is a key way for Americans to “revolt” against the political system.”

I’ll be voting against incumbents but not for economic reasons. I guess I’ll be letting the economic revolution pass me by.

Posted by: Charlie at August 17, 2006 3:27 AM
Comment #176014

An interesting look at an Oregon issue that has implications for grassroots economic populism.

http://www.inthesetimes.com/site/main/article/2733/

Posted by: Tim Crow at August 17, 2006 3:43 AM
Comment #176015

Charlie:

“Maybe if more people tried to learn skills and made themselves valuable on the labor market things would be better. Get an engineering degree, a nursing degree, something that someone needs.”

Two points: The Republican Congress just slashed Pell grants and federal college loans to students by the tune of $12.5 billion —the same week they gave the top %2 of wage earners a $73 billion tax cut. These policies have consequences, and parents and students have seen college bills rise by an average of $3500-4000 per year, from increased loan rates.

Secondly, there are increasing numbers of white-collar professions that are losing jobs overseas. This is not just a blue-collar, manufacturing phenomenon anymore. Computer specialists, engineers and other high-skill professions are having a harder time finding work. Why pay Americans three times what a corporation can pay an Indian or Chinese to do the same work?

This Republican chant that education and re-education is the answer is starting to look a little thread-bare to real people trying to get by.

Posted by: Tim Crow at August 17, 2006 3:52 AM
Comment #176016

*yawn*

Posted by: Charlie at August 17, 2006 4:00 AM
Comment #176018

Sorry Tim. The *yawn* was for the Oregon article not your last post.

I won’t refute your claims, I just won’t validate them from personal experience. My job isn’t going overseas because I do it better than the Indians or Chinese. I make it worthwhile to my employer to contining my employment. And I know a *lot* of people that do the same.

As far as college tuition goes, I looked for innovative financing while my daughter was in grade school. The Texas Tomorrow Fund now pays tuition and I saved a bunch of money. I know kids that get full scholarships just for the ability to show “need” not “merit”. The programs are out there.

Posted by: Charlie at August 17, 2006 4:10 AM
Comment #176020

Trent and Tim, Would be happy to talk Economics/etc. sometime, though cannot now.

But yes, I think (dare I say ‘know’ and feel I can easily show) one basic thing is amiss wrt our democracy(s), and another re American American economics and current/future lifestyle.

The former is a difficult solution, but one very much worth solving if we can. The latter is just bad news. We can always stop the bleeding, but the blood is gone and will very much hurt the average American worker / citizen relative to others going forward.

I have not see/heard these mentioned by anyone before, though I think they should be. G’night.

Posted by: Brian at August 17, 2006 5:02 AM
Comment #176022

Matt Goldseth—

Re: your first post in response to the thread;

DAMN YOU GO BOY!!!!!! LOL

I LOVED it! Awesome job!

DaveR

Posted by: DaveR at August 17, 2006 5:51 AM
Comment #176023

mother—

-“kindly rephrase your comments. it appears as though you are attacking the entire religion rather than those that abuse the religion. are you? If you are continue ranting, and everyone will continue to ignore you.”

I believe if you go back and re-read his comments you will find that he did indeed attack “Islamic Extremists” and NOT the entire Muslim religion. Maybe you should read a little more carefully before YOU continue ranting.

DaveR

Posted by: DaveR at August 17, 2006 5:56 AM
Comment #176024

Curmudgeon—Jack—

Nice posts both.

Useless waste of breath though. Liberals will always be against business of any kind that isn’t owned by the government and run by them (ie socialist). Trying to dispute definitions is also useless…libs just change the definition to make it fit the particular situation.

As for unions…don’t you know that they are mandated personally by God and therefore above reproach? My sister worked part time in a grocery store when she was younger. She was “forced” to pay union dues, even though as a part time emplyee she enjoyed NONE of the benefits of being in the union, including the job security and wage bargaining. My father also worked in a union shop where the “protected” union employees routinely stood around for long periods of time doing absolutely nothing for $16+ an hour, and where one union worker demanded a new tool or toolbox or other items WHENEVER ANYONE else got one, even if she already had one or had gotten one the day before (at the company’s cost of course). I have been pretty much skeptical of the intent and usefulness of unions ever since. Many have obviously outlived their usefulness, while other places I have worked could definitely use one. They are a mixed blessing.

DaveR

Posted by: DaveR at August 17, 2006 6:11 AM
Comment #176026

Mother, I am attacking Islamic Terrorist, not the Muslim religion as a whole. I feel sometimes that I do not see enough talk of how evil these folks are, all I see on Democratic blogs is how evil the United States government is. That is my point, plain and simple. I cannot get a read on this lack of anger against the terroroist from the Democrats. That is why I personally feel they will not take the next Presidential election.

Posted by: Joe at August 17, 2006 6:23 AM
Comment #176028

myles—

Let me preface the follwoing comments by saying that I do not like high medical costs any more than anyone else, and I am by no means rich enough to afford anything I want…I am just like you and everyone else…living paycheck to paycheck. But I wish to play Devil’s advocate for a moment and get you all to think a little.


“The same goes for the health providers. There is a procedure out there that costs in excess of $70,000 for something that takes a couple of hours to complete. WTF! Nothing is THAT expensive to provide! But they do it. They get it. Why? Because your choice, your “cost,” is your life, if you don’t pay it.”

Not to make light of what might be for you a serious health care issue…

What procedure? What kind of doctor does it? Is it done in a hospital surgery room or outpatient? Do you know how much overhead that facility has? Maybe they need to charge $70,000 because the cost of running the equipment to support your “procedure” is really that much.

Are the medical skills necessary to perform this procedure part of the standard curriculum of medical school, or is this specialized training for which the doc had to spend extra time AFTER medical school to learn? How much in debt is his person from paying for their schooling…an education in skills and abilties which are used to save human life. Not exactly your typical college degree. (I am personally in debt for about 50-60k for my Associates and 7/8 of a Bachelor degree, and that is just for a degree in Fisheries.) So might it be safe to assume that they are in debt for $100,000? Maybe $200,000? Maybe more? Almost certainly MUCH more.

For the sake of arguement, lets just say for a moment that the entire $70,000 goes to the doctor only, and that the procedure in question is one which is a routine part of a typical medical school curriculum. Remember that he/she spent TEN YEARS of their lives getting their medical degree. Divide your $70,000 procedure by ten and you will find that this equals $7,000 for each year they spent learning the skills necessary to perform this 2 hour lifesaving procedure. A procedure that, as you indicated, will SAVE YOUR LIFE!!! Keep you alive…keep you from dying!!!!

That’s a pretty amazing skillset don’t you think? But you don’t feel that it is worth $70,000?

Remember also that he/she does not even HAVE to agree to do this procedure. They do so because they want to (to earn their paycheck or whatever, that is not the point), not because they are obligated to. Although it is HIGHLY unlikely that they would do so, they COULD, if they wanted to, refuse to operate and just let you die.

Do you still think it isn’t worth $70,000 to save your life?

Lets take my anology a step further. Now let us assume that this is a very specialized procedure for which the doc must attend additional school and pay additional money in tuition, fees, etc to learn. How much additional schooling? 1 year? 2 years? How much more money? Another $20,000…$50,000…more? Still think this is an outrageous sum of money for a skillset which takes ten or more years of one’s life, and hundreds of thousands of dollars, to develop…
and DO WELL??!! (I mean you don’t want someone from the bottom 3rd of his class do you)? So maybe $70,000 for a 2 hours LIFESAVING procedure isn’t all that much to pay after all, hmmmm?

Just a little food for thought.

DaveR

Posted by: DaveR at August 17, 2006 7:03 AM
Comment #176034

Tim Crow—

-“Every time you mention your doubts about capitalism, you get lectures about welfare queens, how socialism kills individual initiative, the brutality of Marxism, why don’t you move to Europe, and “What would you put in it’s place?””

But Tim…[excuse me while I shake my head a moment to clear out the disbelief]…are you denying that these are valid points/concerns?

Welfare queens/kings exist…I was in the Big Brothers/Big Sisters program and have seen it firsthand. My little brother’s mom was the epitome of the welfare queen…5 kids by three different fathers, married to none of them, collecting unemployment and welfare and food stamps, while HER mom babysat for her so she could go to the bars and try to get pregnant with her 6th (her stated goal…she said that to me one day). My neighbor in a rooming house I lived in for awhile was a card carrying socialist who collected unemplyment and welfare and didn’t work a single day the entire 2 years I lived there. And this is what you want for the entire country?

Socialism DOES kill individual initiative…how can you even argue that it doesn’t? If everyone gets the same amount of everything, regardless of how hard they work, where is the incentive to work harder? Capitalism, occasional lapses aside, rewards initiative and individual effort, and does so handsomely. How do you think people like Bill Gates, Dave Thomas, Ray Crock, (to name only a very few) got where they are…luck?

What WOULD you put in it’s place? You present arguement after arguement AGAINST…but you have presented absolutely no solutions.

Forgive me for once again falling back on oft used stereotypes, but in this case they happen to be true.

Liberals complain ad nauseum about the system; the government; Big Business; Big Oil; Big Tobacco; the lack of universal health care; the erosion of our civil liberties from Bush’s attempts to make us safer from terrorists and the failure of the Bush administration to make us safer from terrorists; the environment; cutting trees; dependancy on oil; waging war against fanatical murderous terrorists who randomly and routinely kill our citizens; and much more that I cannot even begin to mention here. But where are your solutions?

You don’t like the government? What do you propose to do about it…replace it? With what? Socialism? That’s been tried time and again, and failed time and again. I suppose you think you can make it work if we just try it once more?

Name me 5 new products or ideas that have come out of any socialist or communst country which WEREN’T the result of government intervention or effort (in other words, which WERE the result of capitalistic individual effort). I bet you can’t do it.

Don’t like Big Business (BB)? Who will make the products and provide the services that they provide if you do away with them? You? Small businesses? If that were the case, BB would never have been able to exist in the first place.

Don’t like Big Tobacco (BT)? Why? If you don’t smoke, what difference does it make to you? Oh yeah I remember, because they manipulated nicotine levels to keep people hooked…right? Of course you forget that those people who were “hooked” started smoking ENTIRELY on their own. No one ever held a cigarette to their lips and forced them to inhale. I know…I smoked for years…entirely by my own choice, and I quit by my own choice. Or is it that you want to stop it altogether? Big Brother say it’s bad for you so we are going to make it illegal. That was also tried, with alcohol during the early part of the 1900’s, with disastrous results. We instituted a prohibition against booze and got the Mafia as a result.

What is your idea to stop terrorists from attacking innocent people? Talk to them? Try to “understand” them? Tell them that their Imam was wrong, that we are not the infidel and just want to be friends? Try telling that to whose 2 missing Fox news reporters in Iraq. Try telling that to Daniel the headless corpse…of course I doubt he can hear you, and I am almost positive he would vehemently disagree!!

Environmentalists complain incessantly about the degradation of the rainforest, clearcutting, burning fossil fuels, hunting, the extinctin of species, global warming (bunk), and so much more. But how often do environmental groups like Greenpeace, PETA, and Earthfirst do anything positive about any of the problems they gripe about? Hardly ever. All they do is complain. And if they are Earthfirst, they firebomb “rich people’s” homes or vandalize bulldozers. PETA trespasses and breaks into private property.

I have heard it said that many of these groups spend over 90% of their budgets on “campaigns”…
guess that doesn’t leave much to actually do anything constructive with after that.

I like the line from the movie Armegeddon, with Bruce Willis as the owner of the oil company and the Greenpeace activists in their old beat up ship protesting the drilling. As they chant
“stop the drilling” over and over, he yells out to them “Do you know how much diesel that clunker boat pumps out in an hour?”

This sums up the liberal mentality for just about anything. Complain on and on ad nauseum, don’t offer anything better, all the while telling everyone else they are wrong for doing what they are doing. I believe you all call it “raising awareness”, or some such bullsh-t!!

I could go on, but I think everyone gets my point.

DaveR

Posted by: DaveR at August 17, 2006 8:22 AM
Comment #176039
Matt: “A democracy is 2 wolves and a sheep voting on dinner. Rights dont exist for long. We live in a REPUBLIC.” So, we’re equal to the Republic of China? Or just trying to achieve their wonderful standards of life?
I generally find that a poor argument. Need we list the various tyrannical regimes which have identified themselves as ‘democratic’?

If you’re confused about what OUR REPUBLIC means, I could refer you to some basic historical documents that our government schools failed to teach us.

And how bad is China anyway?
I dare say China is no worse than us in some ways.
China had a 1 child policy…we kill our unborn children.
China restricts religious expression…America restricts personal religious expression in schools and public arenas.
Economically speaking, America has an oppressive tax code which destroys the wealth-building capability of Americans while redistributing it to others in exchange for votes. America also manipulates interest rates/money supply, natural order of prices, the natural exchange of good and services between free people, it launders money to other nations, many of which use it for evil purposes.
Need I go on?

Look at our country honestly.
The values and principles it was founded upon are quite impressive and provided the mechanism by which we corrected many wrongs such as slavery, mysogony, etc.

However, as we’ve increasingly moved towards democracy…the will of the greedy mob I mean people…we’ve become a nation of people voting for the guy who will steal the property and income of our neighbors in order to provide us something we didnty earn for ourselves.
The platform of this Democratic part is inherently evil and its sad to watch the Republicans adopt this same strategy over the last couple decades.

Posted by: Matt Goldseth at August 17, 2006 8:40 AM
Comment #176040

Capitalism has made this the greatest country in the world. It is nice thing that a person can afford $70,000 surgery to save their life. In a lot of countries, these surgeries are not even available, let alone affordable. The neo-libs dont understand how business works. They dont understand that the “free” Canadian health system is in such bad shape, that the people purchase insurance, and visit the US, to get better treatment.
The “evil” corporations are responsible for providing americans with the best products, including highly advanced equipment to hospitals, that make our quality of life the best in the world.
We dont worry about tomorrow, because we are so secure here in our country. Instead, we can post stupid comments on our favorite blog and we can discuss how we are going to help other countries have a better tomorrow over coffee. The US is first in economy, in life, and in compassion.

Posted by: Joe RWC at August 17, 2006 8:42 AM
Comment #176041

DaveR, your depiction of liberals is a caricature. Liberals offer many solutions and correctives to the system, as you should know. My girlfriend is about to arrive, so I won’t go into this now, but maybe some others will speak specifically about liberal ideas.

One problem I hope we al can agree on — we often talk past each other, or shout at each other, and both sides often caricatures the other, when, if we are honest, we both know it’s not as simple as that. Although I don’t always live up to my own ideals, I truly believe that honest discourse is best for all of us.

You might be surprised, DaveR, at the things on which we might agree, and probably dismayed at the things we don’t.

Tim, I have lots of comments about your post, but, alas, that will have to wait.

Posted by: Trent at August 17, 2006 8:44 AM
Comment #176046

There is a reoccurring thread here that I’ll take the risk of pointing out. Democrats generally have an inherent disdain and distrust for business and capitalism, which they do not have for government.

While there are many businesses who engage in dishonest, corrupt activity, they ARE the minority. Perhaps if government werent so occupied with plundering the wealth of average Americans in order to fund their vote-buying programs, they would be more capable of doing its ACTUAL JOB in protecting Americans from the few scallawags.

However, government itself has proven to be thoroughly incompetent at best, and often wasteful and corrupt, in nearly every endeavor it engages. Despite this, liberals tend to have very little suspicion/resentment left over for government.

I believe this is the natural result of decades of declining educational standards since government hijacked the educational system. Many Americans, and for some reason liberals are a disproportionate number of them, have absolutely no grasp of basic economic principles. Furthermore, they dont seem to have learned history in such a way which highlights the danger of ceding basic rights and freedoms to government.

I say this in confidence because I was a diaper-rashed bed-wetting hardcore liberal for 20-something years. It wasnt until I began to care about politicas that I realized how absolutely ignorant I was due to my FDR sugarcoat public education.

Its also apparent in this thread. There exists an irrational disdain for business and a naive trust in government. Think about the luxuries and necessitiesa in your life and then consider who can be credited with getting those things to you.
I think I’ll take the businessman over government every time.

Posted by: Matt Goldseth at August 17, 2006 8:53 AM
Comment #176050

Liberals can have ideas that work, but it is hard to find them because the leftists and the neo-libs are in charge on the national stage. Hopefully, we can share ideas here, and soon be able to discuss what is best for the people, instead of what will get our favorite politian elected. Greenpeace, the ACLU, and NOW have made caricatures of themselves. These are just part of the political system and help no one.

Posted by: Joe RCW at August 17, 2006 8:59 AM
Comment #176051

“Trent, if I create the job, it should be my say so as to who, how, where, when and under what conditions that job will be performed — within reason of course.”

Charlie,

Unfortunately, many believe that companies should provide a job for someone who adds nothing to the bottom line of the company therefore sending the company out of business or to another country.
The problem is that most who comment on this subject do not own and or manage large coorporations and are clueless to how cut-throat the competition can be. Companies do not desire to hurt their employees but often it comes to letting some employees go, shutting down or move operations where labor is cheaper.

While your cost goes up, Ford is demanding that the per unit cost drop 20% or they will takes their business to an overseas competitor. Often these large contracts break of make a company. Then employees feel like they are getting shafted because they are losing benefits or not receiving raises. The issue is not the company, it is nothing more than the nature of the world market. This is not your parents closed economy any longer. You now compete with the world and they are tickled just to have enough money to put food on the table.

Posted by: curmudgeon-at-large at August 17, 2006 9:01 AM
Comment #176052

I usally dont understand the mind of liberals becanuse I cant have a logical debate with them. My best guess is, they see logic as irrelevant or unreliable. They know in their heart what is right. I think economic education is a prerequisite to debating this subject. Ignorance, is the great chasm, that makes it hard to communicate.

Posted by: JoeRCW at August 17, 2006 9:12 AM
Comment #176099

Charlie,

I am glad you were able to get the medical coverage your daughter needed. Being comfortable in your Corporate Haven has no doubt had its benefits to you and your’s, as it does for many. That is what the America of Today likes, too. The more Corporate children there are, the more successful the Parents will be. So they do take care of their own, as long as they need you.

But my question is this: do you really think a million dollars is reasonable? I know, your child’s life is worth it at any cost, and you don’t have a problem with it as long as someone else is paying for it. But if they weren’t?
———————————————————-

Keith,

That medical situation was but an example. There are others, of course. My point is CONTROL. There used to be controls on certain industries, but those have been largely dismantled and replaced with all kinds of breaks and bonuses. It seems to me those controls were there for a reason, to begin with. I think a new look at a few of the industries of today should be in order - I don’t see them being able to control themselves. And “we” are being taken for a ride.

Oh, and “Talk to the doctors, the hospitals, the nurses, the pharmaceutical companies”? Yeah, right. Their lobbyists are the ones who do the talking. Neither you nor I have any say in the matter.
———————————————————-

DaveR,

I am no medical economist, but I would say your cost analysis falls a little short. Do you think this was the only procedure this guy did? Say he does, what, two of those a month? That’s $1,680,000 per year, for him. For 4 hours work a month. Think that would pay for his loan? Say there are maybe 5 docs there that might do this? $8,400,000. In a year. For 20 hours of work a month. For this one procedure, albeit done several times. That ought to pay for the overhead, ya think?

Other procedures, and their costs? Your guess is as good as mine, but I’d guess they’re pretty much going full steam, so I’d guess that is a drop in the bucket of overall income. I think that would pay for lots of overhead, many times over. And a few Porsches.

“Oh, but they save lives!” Well, bully for them… I help provide jobs for hundreds, if not into thousands, of people per year. We all do something worth being paid for. But reasonable pay.

(BTW, this was outpatient, one doctor, and I don’t know what kind of machinery, and was maintenance for cardiac bypass done several years ago - not emergency lifesaving - for what that matters.)

But back to the matter of this thread. I am really not meaning to focus on medical costs - they are only an example of what I find to be unreasonable costs the purveyors feel they can get away with charging - how can we refuse? Capitalism is fine, but it needs reins. It is not the “magic” solution to governing - letting the “free market” promote its pundits and claim its victims produces far too many of one vs. the other. Unchecked commercialism is far more rabid than protective.

Reasonable controls for consumer protection. Everyone can still win.

Posted by: myles at August 17, 2006 12:22 PM
Comment #176103

Joe RCW

“the ACLU… have made caricatures of themselves. These are just part of the political system and help no one.”

-The ACLU has joined a lawsuit last year in New Jersey supporting a second-grader’s right to sing “Awesome God” at a talent show.
-The ACLU recently defended the right of evangelists to preach on the sidewalks of the strip in Las Vegas
-In Indiana the ACLU defended the right of a Baptist minister to preach his message on public streets.
-In Virginia, under pressure from the ACLU, officials agreed not to prohibit baptisms on public property in Falmouth Waterside Park in Stafford County.
-The ACLU defended students in Massachusetts punished for distributing candy canes with religious messages.
-The ACLU defended the right of Iowa students to distribute Christian literature at school.
-The ACLU joined in the lawsuit which led a federal judge to strike down a provision of the Virginia Constitution that banned religious organizations from incorporating (in a victory for the Rev. Jerry Falwell.)
=The ACLU defended Henry Ford’s right to free speech when the big business leader made anti-union statements considered threatening by the National Labor Relations Board.
-A Jewish ACLU lawyer defended the right of swastika-wearing neo-Nazis to march in Skokie, Ill., in 1977 (they never made the march)

Posted by: myles at August 17, 2006 12:34 PM
Comment #176104

First lets dispell some myths, taxes are one of the prices of freedom, both liberals and conservitives want the same things, the way they want to get there is different, and finally just because you are loud, it dosn’t mean you are right. I find it amazing still that we have extreamists on both sides of the political asle that are both arrogant and ignorant. We know “Terrorist bad! Bush God” if your a beligerant Republican and “War Bad, Bush Evil” if your an elitest Democrat. All ya all shut up and listen before you blow a gasket.
On the capitolism essay, wich was just ok and really needed fleshing out, some of your points are valid but need to be explored a little more. The Carl Marx remark after only goes to prove the point I had in my preambulatory rant. The system we are using now in every way protects those who have the most and inhibits those who are trying the most to make a go of it in this world. The tax system, wich makes those of you who make in excess of 250,000 very happy, also discourages small bussiness owners and entreprneurs who are and will always be the driving spirit and back bone of this great country. In a country with such a staggering deficit the fact that the economy is just limping along is a very bad sign, and speaks to problems much bigger than tax releif. and finally govenment subsity and intervention on the part of the largest(not nessisarally the richest) companies and industries actually has been shown to stump competion and revenue.
The nation that we live in was dreamt up by some very amazing people who based the whole system on the Yeoman Farmer. Since most of you don’t know what a yeoman is let’s just say in todays version of english the closest thing would be the private bussiness owner. These hard working indusreous people are and will always be the backbone of our great nation. They pay the lions share of taxes, are the push behind most of the public works, and are usually the most involved and educated of voters below retirement age. These are the people that were screwing. The tax system is how we get roads, sewer systems, water utilities, street lights, parks, police, aircraft carriers, drivers liscences, and thermonuclear weapons. This system preys upon the small bussiness owner almost exclusively. Now with a little research and a long boring essay I could explain more, but I leave it in your hands to research it yourself. Remember this is America and being a citisen takes a little work!
At no other time since world war two has such a large percentage of our GMP been wrapped up in the national deficit. At that time the economy, so infused became a juggernaut of epic propourtions that petered out only thirty odd years later. Now with our preasent deficit, were limping along at less than 3% growth. THIS IS BAD!!! our deficit is the only thing proping up the economy right now! Now I am not a fan of wars we can’t win (this is not a slight agenst our brave men in uniform, just an opinion based on historical and stretegic study), or throwing money at a problem but the fact is without this “war on terror” we would be in the grips of a full scale depression. Again in the intrest of time and defence agenst carple tunnel, I say look into it.
Finally the subsity and bail out thing. This is the most confusing aspect of republican politics. They destroy every other hinderence to economic growth exept those that can be proven to prevent it at this moment. If the airlines had been left to fend for themselves someone smaller and more agile would have filled the gap, farmers don’t grow things that don’t pay them, we will have hardship, and baptisms of fire but opertunity always has a cost. If you look at the reports of every body that tracks economys they nearly all agree that those countrys with subsidised industry struggle at much greater rates than those that don’t, and those that have removed these tarifs have wached there economies explode, usually in unpredictable ways. Look at East Germany, Japan, Brazil, and India. China is doing it slowly and is reaping emence benifits.
Folks, as NWA said in the eighties, “don’t belive the hype”. Remember we are all in this together and want pretty much the same things, a home of our own, food in our stomacs, the safty of our loved ones, and something to make us feel whole. Don’t be distracted, keep your eyes on the prize, Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of happyness.

PS sorry about the spelling.

Posted by: Sully at August 17, 2006 12:36 PM
Comment #176121

Here’s a lawsuit for you:

NSA eavesdropping program ruled unconstitutional

Posted by: womanmarine at August 17, 2006 1:52 PM
Comment #176124

Wow, it’s hard to know where to begin after all those comments and characterizations. I wonder if we can all just take a deep breath and see where we might find consensus. I submit that the following sitations, taken from the ACLU document, are abuses:

* In California, a job applicant was denied a job because he refused to answer questions about his sex life on a “psychological test.” At least million job applicants are required to take such tests every year.

* In Pennsylvania, an employee was fired because he pointed out serious safety defects in his employer’s products.

* In Indiana, an employee was fired because she smoked cigarettes in her own home. At least 6,000 American companies now attempt to regulate off-duty smoking and other private behavior.

Just to make my own position crystal clear, I also support, as would any reasonable person, this statement from the same document:

“Employers have the right to expect an honest day’s work for a day’s pay. They have the right to expect that their workers will not be drunk, drugged, or too fatigued to perform their jobs.
They have the right to set performance standards, and to expect those standards to be met. They also have the right to discipline and dismiss employees for just cause.”

I’m just a liberal, so this logic thing is foreign to me, but from what I understand, a productive way to determine genuine disagreements is to clearly state our base assumptions. Mine is that the situations listed above are abuses.

Posted by: Trent at August 17, 2006 1:59 PM
Comment #176137

DaveR:

“But Tim…[excuse me while I shake my head a moment to clear out the disbelief]…are you denying that these are valid points/concerns? “

I’m saying that they are valid points by the Right to end all examination or discussion of a system they think infallible. Believe me it isn’t.

For every welfare queen that rips the system off, there is one corporation that avoids taxes, receives no-bid contracts that gouge the taxpayer, that outsources jobs, wriggles out of pension responsibilities, and corrupts government through high-priced ‘lobbying’ efforts that essentially buy government. You could total up the stealing of every welfare queen from Portland, Maine to Portland, Oregon annually and it would never equal the amount of money being stolen by ten corporations. The stealing of welfare queens is accessible to small minds, it is something that is concise, obvious, outrageous and morally reprehensible—it ‘tells’ a good story. Corporate thievry isn’t clear, is not obvious, isn’t spoken of, and is largely done by white folks. Yes, there is a racial component to the Right’s outrage of welfare fraud, and their minimizing of much more damaging corporate fraud.

“Socialism DOES kill individual initiative…”

So does corporate capitalism—by treating the worker as disposable, the environment as exploitable, and government as expendable. There is nothing more deadening than lifeless work, work that has no soul. And, in the end, that is all capitalism can offer, because it’s concern is the bottom line—not spiritual enrichment, not artistic expression, not family-friendly and community-minded employment. The majority of people in this country hate their jobs. Why? We have no national health insurance, we as a nation have the smallest amount of officially sanctioned time off of any industrialized nation.
Who is work really serving, if not the people getting unconscionably rich?

“Name 5 new products or ideas that have come out of any socialist or communst country which WEREN’T the result of government intervention or effort (in other words, which WERE the result of capitalistic individual effort). I bet you can’t do it.”

What’s wrong with government ‘effort’? It’s what makes the military industrial complex what it is, it put men on the moon.

Government isn’t the boogy man. I still believe it can work, and it can do things to enhance life, not destroy it or stand in it’s way for the enrichment of the few. I refuse to demonize government—it is meant to help the people, all the people, not just the corporations and the investment class.

“You don’t like the government? What do you propose to do about it…replace it? With what? Socialism?”

Government in and of itself is not a problem for me, like it obviously is for you. I think government can work for the people. This one isn’t, so I proposed opening a discussion, using Paul’s thesis, to consider options. As Mr.Bush likes to say, any discussion should have all options on the table, including socialism. There are several European countries that use it to their advantage, and I’m tired of the Right demonizing it out of any conversation.

Your rant on terrorism is off-topic. Save it for another time.

“This sums up the liberal mentality for just about anything. Complain on and on ad nauseum, don’t offer anything better, all the while telling everyone else they are wrong for doing what they are doing. I believe you all call it “raising awareness” or some such bullsh-t!!”

Here’s what it comes down to, David. There are a lot of people that are not satisfied with this government, this economy, and ‘the way things work.’ Dissatisfaction is the beginning of constructive change. Complaining is healthy, if it doesn’t become a narcissistic enterprise, because it opens up the possibility of discussion about alternatives. I’m not an economist; I don’t pretend to be. But there is an uneasiness about where this country is going, and it’s not just about Iraq, gay marriage, flag-burning, and unsupervised spying on citizens. There is a real concern about the economy. The middle class is being squeezed out of existence, through sky-rocketing health care cost, gas costs, stagnant wages, a jobless recovery, and with a staggering national debt, the chances of upward economic mobility for the majority of American’s children is in serious jeopardy. People are worried.

“Raising awareness” bullshit—well, that is a revealing attitude. The last thing the status quo wants is any examination of its constructs, the scaffolding of it’s belief system. Ridicule for even considering examination, much less actually changing and reforming things, is part and parcel of extremism. The status quo has always been willing to kill for its comforts—killing intellectual investigation, killing freedom of thought. It kills people—people who wanted a 40-hour work week,for instance. The status quo believed slavery was supported in their bible. The Conservative movement and the status quo has been dragged into the future kicking and screaming thoughout history. Progressives can’t understand why so much of the American way of government and business and lifestyle is completely unexamined by Conservatives. There are an awful lot of ‘no talking’ rules coming from the Right—no criticism,no discussion, no free intellectual examination of various assumptions that make up the edifice of this country. There is a real anti-intellectualism from the Right that I find morally repugnant.

So yes, I am a card-carrying member of the raising consciousness bullshit crowd. Right now, I’m raising the possiblity that capitalism, in it’s present form, and how it manifests itself in this country, is an anathema to liberty, to human dignity, and to life itself.

And my first suggestion for cleaning up this corporate mess is having a totally tranparent electoral system without corrupted electronic voting machines, a ten-year NASA-type project to reinvigorate the electoral process. Secondly, I propose total governmental funding of all federal elections, thus eliminating corporations’ straggle-hold on the political process. There will be no change, or even political discussion of a corrupted economic system until the corruption in government is dealt with.

Third, an a totally random and unjust way, I think the next five congressmen/women convicted for graft and influence buying should be taken out to the Capitol parking lot and shot. Then, take the next 10 pundits on TV or radio that expound demonstrably false information (lying) and throw them in prison for ten years, you know, just the particularly egregious stuff like “America doesn’t torture”, or linkups of Saddam and 9/ll.

Let’s turn the fear table around and have the entrenched inside-the-beltway crowd truly fearful for once—see how they like it.

I’d ask for your suggestions now, but somehow I don’t think I’ll need to.


Posted by: Tim Crow at August 17, 2006 3:33 PM
Comment #176154

Myles,

You’re right. It wasn’t worth a million dollars; it was worth no more than $800k.

Are you kidding? I’m not going into the level of services my family received, but if I had no insurance, the govt’s indigent care would have provided something. It would have been less and the outcome would have been the same. If you think I’m happy about the medical establishment, you’re wrong. My point is that the company I worked for provided this service. They didn’t ask anything of me or demand lifetime servitude after the fact.

There are many American companies like this. The exceptions get all the press. Stop dwelling on the negative aspects of capitalism; you miss the opportunity to enjoy the positive.

And Republicans and Democrats do best when they stay the h*ll out of the way.

Posted by: Charlie at August 17, 2006 4:13 PM
Comment #176157

Dang, Tim, and I was just going to list some of the 1400 documented NASA “inventions” or sponsored research results that have dramatically changed our lives.

I hope Tim’s post will spark some thoughtful discussion and not just the repetition of talking points.

Posted by: Trent at August 17, 2006 4:20 PM
Comment #176161

Tim,

“There is nothing more deadening than lifeless work, work that has no soul. And, in the end, that is all capitalism can offer, because it’s concern is the bottom line—not spiritual enrichment, not artistic expression, not family-friendly and community-minded employment.”

Do you honestly believe this? If so, then there is no way to have a thoughtful discussion. To someone that believes capitalism is the source of all evil, the discussion is ended.

The discussion on shooting corrupt politicians has legs though. :)

Posted by: Charlie at August 17, 2006 4:34 PM
Comment #176163

Many of you assumed I was attacking capitalism and retorted with insults. I did not attack capitalism. I merely pointed out that conservatives have distorted the meaning of “freedom.”

“Freedom” is a precious word. I like the way the Constitution uses the word, not the way conservatives have radically changed its meaning.

A word to my conservative friends: Please use more reason and less emotion. It will improve your health.

Posted by: Paul Siegel at August 17, 2006 4:40 PM
Comment #176172

In light of our dicussion’s focus on freedom, it is appropriate to veer a few degrees from the consideration of capitalism to more foundational, constitutional considerations.

Today, a Federal judge in Detroit found the Bush administration has and continues to violate the law in its warrantless wiretapping activities.

http://i.a.cnn.net/cnn/2006/images/08/17/nsa.lawsuit.pdf

Perhaps, this is the beginning of a return to the Rule of Law in the United States after a long, 5-year absence. Freedom 1, Tyranny 0.

Posted by: Dr Poshek at August 17, 2006 5:21 PM
Comment #176181

Dr Poshek:

“Perhaps, this is the beginning of a return to the Rule of Law in the United States after a long, 5-year absence. Freedom 1, Tyranny 0.”

Don’t hold your breath. Remember whose on the Supreme Court.

Posted by: Tim Crow at August 17, 2006 5:37 PM
Comment #176187

Paul,

Sounds more like you could not defend your misrepresentations and half-truths since you made no attempt to defend your own words. Try arguing with facts and less opinions and all emotions will be kept in check…..we promise.

Posted by: curmudgeon-at-large at August 17, 2006 6:22 PM
Comment #176188

Seems like Sully is very close to a moment of political clarity. However, we need to get beyong the justification and preference of some types of theft over others.

First lets dispell some myths, taxes are one of the prices of freedom, both liberals and conservitives want the same things, the way they want to get there is different, and finally just because you are loud, it dosn’t mean you are right.

You shouldn’t have to “pay” for freedom. It is an inalienable right granted by God to all for free.
In our country, taxes were meant to be dictated by the vote of representatives. Unfortunately, we destroyed the check of the Senate by changing Senate election into a popular vote rather than an appointment by state legislatures. As a result, the House, Senate and the President make spending decisions based on the power of the bribe in buying votes.

Secondly, taxes are meant to fund the constitutional obligations of government including national defense, securing the borders, etc.

Taxes were not meant to coerce me into funding any of the following:
my neighbor’s hybrid car discount
my neighbors education
Unearned income for those who wont/dont work
Free food for those who wont/dont work
Income for those with disabilities
Business/Farm subsidies
Weapons for dictators
Food for 3rd world dictators
Medical expenses for those who failed to save for their retirement
Pretentious museums of “art” which cant sell itself in the private market
and on and on………

Its unfortunate that liberalism is often praised for the good intentions of their programs, yet is rarely critiqued for the inherent evil of coercive confiscation of private property…and is rarely reconsidered when the disastrous outcomes of such plunder becomes apparent through inefficiency, corruption, waste and fraud.

So while Sully rants about the Republican “subsity and bail out thing”, I can only wonder what the difference is?
Perhaps a subsidy is a good thing when the theivery benefits individual voters, but isnt a good thing when it benefits an entity such as business.

Posted by: Matt Goldseth at August 17, 2006 6:23 PM
Comment #176193

Trent: I can understand your initial reaction to these anecdotal cases. However, I think your underlying philosophy leads you to consider employment a “RIGHT”, when it is actually a “PRIVELEDGE”. So in a few cases, I would suggest they are statistical anomolies and therefore shouldn’t be used as some type of ‘prooftext’ that “widespread abuse” exists.
I would also defend employers’ rights to hire and fire who they wish…just as you can QUIT your job when you wish.

lastly, as Americans have bribed the government into infringing onto the employers’ rights, a number of consequences have developed over the years. Liberals are generally unskilled at considering the consequences of things when their emotions are so attached to intentions, so allow me to point them out.

* In California, a job applicant was denied a job because he refused to answer questions about his sex life on a “psychological test.” At least million job applicants are required to take such tests every year.
Employers are increasingly held accountable for the actions of employees in the wrokplace, especially concerning acts of harrassment and violence.
As such, its only to be expected that employers would begin protecting themselves by screening employees.
Besides, it IS the employer’s right to determine what type of people they hire…if you dont like it, apply elswhere.
* In Pennsylvania, an employee was fired because he pointed out serious safety defects in his employer’s products.
Anecdote…hardly a common issue if true at all.
* In Indiana, an employee was fired because she smoked cigarettes in her own home. At least 6,000 American companies now attempt to regulate off-duty smoking and other private behavior.
The burden of responsibility for one’s personal health has been shifted almost entirely from the individual to the employer.
As these costs continue to rise, I as an employer, would also see an unwise risk in hiring people who continue to engage in one of society’s most idiotic forms of suicide. (It is also well-recognized that smokers take more and longer breaks, take more sick time…and are therefore less productive)

I would like a week every year where liberals were forced into the wilderness to provide for themselves without any of society’s luxuries which were created and/or provided by business.
The following week would be the one week per year in which citizens could vote and politicians could write legislation.

Posted by: Matt Goldseth at August 17, 2006 6:37 PM
Comment #176195

Edge, if you are still there from half a blog ago,

I guess what it boils down to is that you seem to see all wars and terrorism as inevitable. I don’t.

The only thing that war makes inevitable is that innocent people die. That is f—-ed up. Because then the surviving members of families are now forced to take a side. And they will never choose the outsider.

Violence is not the way to peace. If it was this world would have been peaceful decades ago.

Posted by: Matthew at August 17, 2006 6:44 PM
Comment #176196

Edge, if you are still there from half a blog ago,

I guess what it boils down to is that you seem to see all wars and terrorism as inevitable. I don’t.

The only thing that war makes inevitable is that innocent people die. That is f—-ed up. Because then the surviving members of families are now forced to take a side. And they will never choose the outsider.

Violence is not the way to peace. If it was this world would have been peaceful decades ago.

Posted by: Matthew at August 17, 2006 6:51 PM
Comment #176200

Matt, thanks for your clear answers. Clearly, we fundamentally disagree. The implications of your view are astounding; employers have right to control the lives of their employees, even off the clock. If such a view prevails, the Bill of Rights, indeed all of our individual freedoms, are meaningless. It is not enough to say an employee may seek employment elsewhere; if your view is allowed to prevail legally, then all employers have the right to control employee’s lives, and the concept of individual freedom is meaningless. I have nothing further to say to you. Unless you modify your view, consensus is not possible. I can only hope that not all your conservative brethen feel the same way. If fact, I know they do not.

Posted by: Trent at August 17, 2006 7:00 PM
Comment #176201

I guess I do have one further thing to say. Except for attending state school, I have never received federal assistance, beyond what is provided to everyone through our tax dollars. I make my living with my pen and through teaching. Your completely irrelevant comments about liberals and wilderness and business etc. and it’s illogical assumption stuff can only be produced through authoritarian and draconian means say much much more about you than anything else.

Posted by: Trent at August 17, 2006 7:05 PM
Comment #176203

Why is it that those with such little insight to share, take so many words in doing so?
Tim’s post is utterly idiotic, bearing the trademark envy of men so corrupted by America’s own prosperity, tghat they feel entitled to so much and yet are willing to do so little for it.

Tims representation of corporate fraud vs. welfare is slanted by his pathetic attempt to inject race into the issue, while offering no evidence or reason.

First of all, no matter how much a business “steals”, it relies on the WILLINGNESS of consumers to PAY for something. Consumers could uncover the crooks much quicker by doing some research…and luckily many do along with the various watchdog groups.

Contrast this with government programs which take money from Americans at the point of a gun, while providing little in return. Meanwhile, government has a nifty track record of fraud, waste and corruption but little is done to punish the virtual monopoly and Americans aren’t free to just stop contributing to this enterprise!

So does corporate capitalism—by treating the worker as disposable, the environment as exploitable, and government as expendable. There is nothing more deadening than lifeless work, work that has no soul. And, in the end, that is all capitalism can offer, because it’s concern is the bottom line—not spiritual enrichment, not artistic expression, not family-friendly and community-minded employment.
Utterly moronic.
YOU choose your job. You arent forced into it.
Most people working in life-less jobs do so because they never invested their time and money into education or job skills.
They spent their checks on Marlboros, Natural Light and Lotto tickets before running home to watch 4 hours of sitcoms or to take care of the 3 kids they failed to plan for financially.
The majority of people in this country hate their jobs. Why? We have no national health insurance, we as a nation have the smallest amount of officially sanctioned time off of any industrialized nation.
Who is work really serving, if not the people getting unconscionably rich?
Wow.
What a whining, envious little child.
Your health is YOUR responsibility, not mine.
You can take off as much time as you want…but when you job hop and dont get educated, smoke cigarettes, drink, have a $300 car payment, a flat-screen tv and got yir baby-momma pregnant 3 times before you have a good job….it might be hard to afford the time off without SAVING for it.
What’s wrong with government ‘effort’? It’s what makes the military industrial complex what it is, it put men on the moon.
That’s your best government accomplishment?
Lets see…a bunch of overgrown children build billion dollar toys and fly into space for some extraterrestrial rocks, while Americans struggle to save for retirement.
And you’re blaming businesses for your problems?
Government isn’t the boogy man. I still believe it can work, and it can do things to enhance life, not destroy it or stand in it’s way for the enrichment of the few. I refuse to demonize government—it is meant to help the people, all the people, not just the corporations and the investment class.
Bingo.
And there it is…the results of government education.
You have an emotional BELIEF that government can work….a belief that flies in the face of hundreds of years of tangible evidence that government does NOT work.
A religion of sorts, wouldnt you say?

I wouldnt mind your government experiment if it put a gun to your head only, confiscated your money only and let me go along providing for my own home, health care, retirement and free time.
The evil thing about liberalism is the clear violation of my property for the sake of your naive dreams of ease and utopia.

The irony here is that you ramble on about the evils of modern American capitalism, completely oblivious to the fact that the vast majority of problems in America are a result of government INFRINGING on capitalism.
Our economy today IS a very socialist economy baring little resemblance to free enterprise.

I’d go along with your plan to shoot corrupt politicians…and go one better by proposing the amputation of the arms of any politician who prmotes stealing from American paychecks to give things to people who didnt earn them.

Posted by: Matt Goldseth at August 17, 2006 7:09 PM
Comment #176219

Matt G.,

Congrats, I’m wasting my time responding to your nonsense. Do you even realize how your rhetoric makes you sound? Any idea, any sentiment you disagree is caused by someone’s ignorance. You rely on ad hominem attacks. You state commonplaces as if they are in any way a thoughtful response. You refuse to actually consider anything that in any way is critical of business, and assert without presenting anything approaching a balanced view that government is always inherently evil. Argument by forceful assertion. Tim’s piece was honest soul-searching; yours is merely hateful.

Yet, despite all this, you fail to realize that “thinking” like yours truly is representative of American ignorance. You may think you are doing a service to pro-business advocacy, when actually any skilled advocate would just roll his or her eyes in embarassment.

You’re a liberal’s best friend. However, you are no friend to those who favor ethical discourse.

Posted by: Trent at August 17, 2006 9:23 PM
Comment #176224
The implications of your view are astounding; employers have right to control the lives of their employees, even off the clock.
Implications of my view? The implication of my view is this: If you dont like the terms of employment, you are FREE to walk away and provide for yourself. By sticking around, no matter how much you bitch about it, you’ve agreed to terms. Now…you COULD make an argument that more control over your live is given THROUGH employers….BY GOVERNMENT! That is a clear result of the liberal idea of shifting health care from the realm of personal responsibility to employment provision. As well as burdening employers with the burden of supporting “unemployed” workers… And the idea of making employers pay half of your Social Security each week. As well as doing the dirty work of confiscating and accounting your income each week.

It seems that liberalism has imposed more employEE control over business, than vice versa.
Now, you’re just whining because liberals aren’t wise enough to consider the long-term implications of such imposition on business.

I guess I do have one further thing to say. Except for attending state school, I have never received federal assistance, beyond what is provided to everyone through our tax dollars. I make my living with my pen and through teaching. Your completely irrelevant comments about liberals and wilderness and business etc. and it’s illogical assumption stuff can only be produced through authoritarian and draconian means say much much more about you than anything else.
Beyond what is provided by OUR tax dollars?
I’d be interested in your list.
Chances are, those provisions would be far more expensive had you paid for them yourself…which implies that you rely upon the money confiscated from unknown others against their will.

And I certainly dont assume “stuff can only be produced through authoritarian and draconian means”. Precisely the opposite!
I believe it can be attained through hard work, savings and delayed gratification.
And so I oppose liberalism which USES draconian, authoritarian confiscation and redistribution of wealth to provide things to people who didnt earn them!

I do hope you dont really mean that you have nothing more to say to me. I believe the more we discuss, the more light creeps through that dark veil of liberal dogma.

Posted by: Matt Goldseth at August 17, 2006 9:46 PM
Comment #176230
Matt G., Congrats, I’m wasting my time responding to your nonsense. Do you even realize how your rhetoric makes you sound?
Oh I sure do. The voice of truth is often uncomfortable to those numbed by the narcotic of political correctness…which is why so many who troll these forums spend their time reiterating talking points, fallacies and utter nonsense…all for the sake of feeling good about themselves.
Any idea, any sentiment you disagree is caused by someone’s ignorance.
Not exactly. It is usually a RESULT of someone’s ignorance. But that result is CAUSED by liberal propaganda taught in government schools and popular media.
You rely on ad hominem attacks. You state commonplaces as if they are in any way a thoughtful response.
I only speak in generalities to avoid lengthy tangents, but generalities are usually based on truth. Should you like to explore those generalities as they relate to specific issues, please invite me to an appropriate thread.
You refuse to actually consider anything that in any way is critical of business, and assert without presenting anything approaching a balanced view that government is always inherently evil.
Perhaps your reading skills are lacking. I’ve been clear about the corruption of business, while acknowledging the power of CHOICE remaining with the consumer and the failure of government to protect citizens from corruption due to its own distraction in plundering the populace. I’ve yet to hear a response to my assessment of liberals as having a curious lack of conviction regarding the equal, if not greater, corruption of government programs which do not offer its victims the freedom to withdraw their “support”!

And yes, government is a necessary evil.
Seems liberals like yourself are simply willing to expand and justify evil so long as you gain some emotional or material benefit, while I promote self-reliance, personal responsibility, independence, personal and community charity and free exchange.

Argument by forceful assertion. Tim’s piece was honest soul-searching; yours is merely hateful.
Not hateful…you simply project your own disgust for my ideas onto me.
Tim may have been soul-searching and I was simply leading him back TO his soul, rather than to some cheap substitute.
Yet, despite all this, you fail to realize that “thinking” like yours truly is representative of American ignorance.
Weren’t you just speaking of “forceful assertions?
You’re a liberal’s best friend. However, you are no friend to those who favor ethical discourse.
Ahhhh.
Another tactic of the liberal lacking meritous argument.
Avoid the issue, demonize the foes.
Gasp!

Posted by: Matt Goldseth at August 17, 2006 10:05 PM
Comment #176239

WEll, I tried to raise significant issues concerning employer control of employee offtime, but you simply say employees should quit. I tried to point out that if all employers had such rights, employees would lose many freedoms. (I consider my personal sex life my business, you know.) To that you did not respond, though, of course, it is the real issue.

What’s worse, you made all sorts of assumptions about me that have no basis in fact. You have no idea what my thoughts about business (not to mention mega corporations) really are — you attribute your caricature onto me. Well, you know, I was hoping for an actual discussion - instead you engage in demonizing and name-calling. My only criticism of you had nothing to do with politics; it was about your method of … I can’t call it argument, because shouting is not argument.

You know, Matt, if you feel you already have possession of the Absolute Truth, and everything else is not only wrong but an uneducated idiot, then discussion is damn near impossible. If your goal is persuasion, you failed. Discuss the issues calmly and you might have had a chance. If you think not, then why are you here?

Posted by: Trent at August 17, 2006 10:54 PM
Comment #176240

Notable Matt Goldseth quotes:

“Taxes were not meant to coerce me into funding any of the following:
my neighbor’s hybrid car discount
my neighbors education
Unearned income for those who wont/dont work
Free food for those who wont/dont work
Income for those with disabilities
Business/Farm subsidies
Weapons for dictators
Food for 3rd world dictators
Medical expenses for those who failed to save for their retirement
Pretentious museums of “art” which cant sell itself in the private market
and on and on………”

“And how bad is China anyway?
I dare say China is no worse than us in some ways.
China had a 1 child policy…we kill our unborn children.
China restricts religious expression…America restricts personal religious expression in schools and public arenas.”

“Many Americans, and for some reason liberals are a disproportionate number of them, have absolutely no grasp of basic economic principles. Furthermore, they dont seem to have learned history in such a way which highlights the danger of ceding basic rights and freedoms to government.”

“I would like a week every year where liberals were forced into the wilderness to provide for themselves without any of society’s luxuries”

“Tim’s post is utterly idiotic”

“What a whining, envious little child.
Your health is YOUR responsibility, not mine.”

“It is usually a RESULT of someone’s ignorance. But that result is CAUSED by liberal propaganda taught in government schools and popular media.”

“And yes, government is a necessary evil.
Seems liberals like yourself are simply willing to expand and justify evil so long as you gain some emotional or material benefit, while I promote self-reliance, personal responsibility, independence, personal and community charity and free exchange.”

Now, let’s see, I check out Matt’s Website which is titled, “God, Politics, Money..and other Politically Incorrect Thoughts”, then I do a little math and 2+2=4.

In this case 4=Dominionist Theocracy, of course I’m just an ignorant, state educated, whining little child. And any discourse would be wasted on me because I’m agnostic and I live off of Social Security Disability.

KansasDem

Posted by: KansasDem at August 17, 2006 11:12 PM
Comment #176242

Eep, ok, I admit perverse curiosity got the best of me and I looked at his site. Apparently he’s a Creationist. Well, huh. That explains his possession of the Truth.

Posted by: Trent at August 17, 2006 11:22 PM
Comment #176251

One really shouldn’t waste much time responding to Matt’s arguments as they are not arguments nor have they an emperical basis nor are they the product of rational thought.

Rather, his rants merely reflect an immoral, selfish greediness which is characteristic of all extremists (a.k.a., fascists) claiming divine truth.

Posted by: Dr. Poshek at August 18, 2006 12:28 AM
Comment #176261

“All living souls welcome whatever they are ready to cope with; all else they ignore, or pronounce to be monstrous and wrong, or deny to be possible. “

George Santayana

Posted by: Tim Crow at August 18, 2006 3:19 AM
Comment #176262

Tim Crow—

“For every welfare queen that rips the system off, there is one corporation that avoids taxes, receives no-bid contracts that gouge the taxpayer, that outsources jobs, wriggles out of pension responsibilities, and corrupts government through high-priced ‘lobbying’ efforts that essentially buy government…”

For every “one” corporation who rips the system off there are dozens who don’t.

As for outsourcing jobs, corporations and businesses are not IN BUSINESS to provide you with a job. They are in business to make money for their shareholders (the people who footed the investment capital to start and operate the business) and/or their owners.

They do that by manufacturing a product or providing a service to their customer base. They require people to make these products or provide these services, so they hire employees whose job it is to operate the machines, handle the items and service the customers. If they can do all of this cheaper by “outsourcing” then it is simply good business to do so. Not to do so would be a bad business decision.

Why would you assume that a company should have to make bad business decisions in order to provide you with employment? They don’t owe you anything. You did a job, you got paid. That is the extent of the employee/employer relationship. It is not a friendship.

And as for pension “responsibilities”…pensions are optional…no company HAS to provide for your retirement. It is just a good business decision to do so…it ensures loyalty and a sense of belonging to the company. I agree that those companies who rip off their employees pensions should be held accountable…but they are few and far between.

-“You could total up the stealing of every welfare queen from Portland, Maine to Portland, Oregon annually and it would never equal the amount of money being stolen by ten corporations. The stealing of welfare queens is accessible to small minds, it is something that is concise, obvious, outrageous and morally reprehensible—it ‘tells’ a good story. Corporate thievry isn’t clear, is not obvious, isn’t spoken of, and is largely done by white folks. Yes, there is a racial component to the Right’s outrage of welfare fraud, and their minimizing of much more damaging corporate fraud.”

I had to repost the entire paragraph because it needs to be reread. You managed to get several personal shots into that one paragraph.

Lets see…if we are concerned with welfare fraud we have “small minds” (ie we are dumb).

Our outrage over welfare fraud has a “racial component” (I wasn’t aware that only black people were on welfare…why would YOU make that assumption? BTW, did I mention that my little brother’s mom, the welfare queen, was WHITE, not black…but I am being racial!!)

-“What’s wrong with government ‘effort’? It’s what makes the military industrial complex what it is, it put men on the moon. Government isn’t the boogy man. I still believe it can work, and it can do things to enhance life, not destroy it or stand in it’s way for the enrichment of the few. I refuse to demonize government—it is meant to help the people, all the people, not just the corporations and the investment class.”

After all that rambling above, you still didn’t answer my question. You avoided the issue altogether. The entire comment was about SOCIALIST GOVERNMENT…had nothing to do with OUR government (and you say I rant).

1) The question was “name 5 new products or services that have been created in a socialist society without government intervention”.

2) Socialist government didn’t put men on the moon…capitalist government did. READ THE WORDS I WROTE, NOT WHAT YOU WANT TO SEE!!

-“Government in and of itself is not a problem for me, like it obviously is for you. I think government can work for the people. This one isn’t, so I proposed opening a discussion, using Paul’s thesis, to consider options. As Mr.Bush likes to say, any discussion should have all options on the table, including socialism. There are several European countries that use it to their advantage, and I’m tired of the Right demonizing it out of any conversation.”

You are right, and I wholeheartedly agree, that government exists to enhance and enrich the lives of the citizens…by providing them with certain LIMITED SERVICES…which it would be inefficient or impossible for the citizens to provide for themselves (defense, roads, trade etc). Government DOES NOT exist to provide EVERY CITIZEN with EVERYTHING they need to live their entire lives. That is what individual effort and individual freedom is all about. The freedom to live you life the way you want unhampered by undue interference from the government or other people.

How many times do we conservatives have to say it…the Constitution provides for the
“…pursuit of happiness…” not the gurantee of happiness. You are free to do whatever you want, within the confines of decent law abiding society, to make your life and the lives of your family happy and productive. THAT IS ALL!! The government does not exist to give you everything your little heart desires.

I don’t have a problem with government helping those in need or those who cannot provide for themselves…I am not a cruel heartless pig.

But I do have a problem with a system which provides a living for people who are physically and mentally capable of providing for themselves, who won’t because they are too lazy or worthless to do so. If the majority of people in that category happen to be black or hispanic or whatever nationality, then maybe they should examine their own work ethics and value system to determine why that is the case. It has nothing to do with me being a racist.

I am grown tired and bored of sparring with you. You obviously think that government is the end all and be all of our existence, and without the government taking care of us we are all doomed to die.

I personally do not subscribe to this defeatist mentality. I believe in helping oneself, and keeping the government out of my business unless and until absolutely necessary.


DaveR

Posted by: DaveR at August 18, 2006 4:01 AM
Comment #176263

“I learned long ago, never to wrestle with a pig. You get dirty, and besides, the pig likes it.”


George Bernard Shaw

Posted by: Tim Crow at August 18, 2006 4:20 AM
Comment #176265

Trent—
You said to Matt:

-“Tim’s piece was honest soul-searching; yours is merely hateful.”

Oh…goodness…{snifflesniffle} [my open minded, caring, unbiased fellow liberal]…Tim’s piece was honest and soul searching…and your’s…{boohoo}…was just…{sniffle} hateful!!

Whose soul was he supposedly trying to search…not his own.

-“You refuse to actually consider anything that in any way is critical of business, and assert without presenting anything approaching a balanced view that government is always inherently evil.”

And I say that you and Tim and your other liberal cronies refuse to consider anything that is in any way critical of the failings [and sometimes unwarranted interference] of government, and assert without presenting anything approaching a balanced view that the corporations and Big Business are always inherently evil.

See, works both way doesn’t it? Isn’t it incredible how I can flip that right back on ya’? I know, I am amazed at me too!!!


Why is it that when a conservative is critical of any of the typical liberal issues such as government, welfare, unemployment, illegal immigration debate, abortion debate, etcetc, you expect that we should present a “balanced view”?

Where is the balanced commentary in Tim’s response to me…the one Matt was referring to in his “hateful” post?

Is this balanced?

-“I’m saying that they are valid points by the Right to end all examination or discussion of a system they think infallible.”

Or is it this one?

-“So does corporate capitalism—by treating the worker as disposable, the environment as exploitable, and government as expendable. There is nothing more deadening than lifeless work, work that has no soul. And, in the end, that is all capitalism can offer, because it’s concern is the bottom line—not spiritual enrichment, not artistic expression, not family-friendly and community-minded employment.”

Maybe this one?

-“But there is an uneasiness about where this country is going, and it’s not just about Iraq, gay marriage, flag-burning, and unsupervised spying on citizens.”

(no sterotyping there…).

Perhaps the balance can be found here?

-“There are an awful lot of ‘no talking’ rules coming from the Right—no criticism,no discussion, no free intellectual examination of various assumptions that make up the edifice of this country. There is a real anti-intellectualism from the Right that I find morally repugnant.”

Soul searching!! Definitely not hateful [anti-intellectualism] though…oh no never that!!

[Another liberal tactic…when losing, resort to calling them stupid. Makes it easier to dismiss their ideas and thoughts later].

DaveR

Posted by: DaveR at August 18, 2006 4:50 AM
Comment #176266

Myles—

Keeping in mind that I am neither defending nor castigating the medical community, I am simply engaging in a little Devil’s advocacy here. OK let’s continue this analysis.

First a little anecdote. I find, when discussing issues such as this with people, they often fail to consider all of the hidden and not so obvious costs associated with a situation. Case in point.

My oldest stepson recently did something extremely dumb. He and 2 friends were out at 2 in the morning (when he should have been at his friend’s house asleep) and they climbed the fence at the junior HS and tagged the football stands. When I was explaining to him about why vandalizing school or private property was wrong, I made sure to include a little rundown of the monetary costs of fixing what he did (like most typical teenagers today he listens better when the topic is money). I explained to him that in addition to the cost of the paint and brushes that he and his friends used to repaint the stands (paid for with school funds…hence MY TAXES), there were several other costs he was forgetting. There was the cost of paying a custodian from the school to supervise them for 2 days (my taxes again), when he should have been doing other things. There was the cost of paying that same custodian to do the jobs he should have been doing for those 2 days, on other days when he had OTHER stuff he needed to get done. There was the cost of the police officer who had to be called out to look at the vandalism and file a report, paid for by my taxes. So he now understood that the monetary cost of repairing his destruction was much higher than just buying a couple cans of paint and a few brushes.

Apply this to your medical example.

In simple economic terms, overhead is defined as the fixed costs (the everyday costs) of doing business. Things like electricity, rent or mortgage, maintenance etc. Then there is the cost of compensating your employees.

-“Say he does, what, two of those a month? That’s $1,680,000 per year, for him. For 4 hours work a month. Think that would pay for his loan? Say there are maybe 5 docs there that might do this? $8,400,000. In a year. For 20 hours of work a month. For this one procedure, albeit done several times. That ought to pay for the overhead, ya think?”

OK. Do they work for a hospital or in their own office? If they work for the hospital they don’t get all that money. They (and their staff) get a salary and the hospital gets the rest.

A]Hospital-DR. on salary

1) Hospital-overhead (fixed costs) might include utilities such as electricity, AC and heat (both the services and the hardware), maintenance and cleaning (of the hospital generally and the operating suite specifically to include the cost of fluids, solvents, cleaning supplies etc), maintaining the parking facility and grounds, maintaining the building itself (light bulbs, toilet paper, bedsheets, medicines and all the other 1,000’s of things they need to operate no a daily basis), and paying the loan/s that paid for constructing the building, just to name a few.

2) Salaries-each operation probably requires an anesthesiolgist, a couple nurses, maybe a technician to run the moniters, technicians to read the X-rays, all of whom get paid out of that 8 million dollars, plus the salaries of the doctor/s who perform the procedure. Continuing education (not even talking specialized training…just talking about seminars, meetings and training seesions in the latest research, techniques and procedures which have come along since they graduated from school). PLUS…the salaries of the various administration people who handled the records, made the appointments and the phone calls, prepared the mailings, the schedules, and the reports, ordered supplies, etcetc.

3) The cost of buying, maintaining, operating and replacing the various machines and equipment which are necessary for the operation.

B] If they have their own office then THEY pay a rent or mortgage, utilities, staff, the cost of purchasing equipment, furniture, buying meds, insurance, and all of the other 1,000’s of big and little expenditures that are necessary to keep the office running, Plus all of the education and other items mentioned above which now come directly out of the pockets of those 5 docs.

-““Oh, but they save lives!” Well, bully for them… I help provide jobs for hundreds, if not into thousands, of people per year. We all do something worth being paid for. But reasonable pay.”

I was not even saying that…that is a choice they made. I was merely talking in terms of the cost of paying back their education.

But now that you mention it, yes, bully for them!! Was your life worth being saved? Obviously you thought so or you wouldn’t have had the bypass in the first place. And without their knowledge and expertise, you might not be alive to employ those “hundreds…thousand of people” and do that “something worth being paid for”. So again I say…do you still begrudge them the good life for giving your life back to you?

Are you so ungrateful as to think that they don’t deserve what they get? It would be truly sad if you were…because then you wasted $70,000 and a lot of people’s time and effort for nothing.

Who gets to decide for YOU what is a reasonable amount of money for YOU to get paid in your job/business?

Who are YOU to decide what is reasonable for them to get paid for saving and maintaining YOUR life?

Reasonable controls…consumer protection? Your protection is in knowing that you are always able to decide NOT to have surgery and take your chances. If you think that $10,000, or $25,000, or $70,000 is too high a price to pay for life, you can always choose to die (not trying to be rude…just making a blunt point).

Everything in life is a choice…no one forces you to do anything.

DaveR

Posted by: DaveR at August 18, 2006 5:47 AM
Comment #176273

Good Morning Trent! (BTW-I do hope you dont take this too personally, you must understand that these posts are a dime a dozen, so we’re entertaining here, right?)

Well, I tried to raise significant issues concerning employer control of employee offtime, but you simply say employees should quit. I tried to point out that if all employers had such rights, employees would lose many freedoms. (I consider my personal sex life my business, you know.) To that you did not respond, though, of course, it is the real issue.
Im afraid you’re speculating quite a bit. My current employer grants me 3 weeks paid vacation. My last employer gave me 2 weeks paid vacation.
Every job I ever had gave me 2 days off a week unless I requested and they needed overtime.
In addition, every job I’ve ever had allowed me to take off additional time when I desired, given an appropriate 2-4 weeks notice so they could plan appropriately.

Im curious why you continue tyo represent the employer as some greedy, stale entity and yourself the victim.
Is it not the employer who is coercively FORCED to pay you a minimum wage?
Isnt the employer FORCED to pay half of your social security?
Isnt the employer FORCED to abide by various feel-good standards of “safety” and “health”.
Isnt the employer forced to compensate workers who quit or are fired through “unemployment”.
Isnt the employer FORCED to compensate thoise hurt on the job?
Isnt the employer increasingly FORCED to provide health care?
Isnt the employer FORCED to allow you cigarette breaks and lunch?
Isnt the employer FORCED to administrate your tax burden and retirement contributions?
I could go on and on, but it seems clear to me who the real tyrant here is.

And I just dont know when people in this country began to see a job as their RIGHT. You are exchanging your labor for someone else’s money. if you dont like the exchange offered, you trade your labor with someone else or start growing your own vegetables and walking.

You know, Matt, if you feel you already have possession of the Absolute Truth, and everything else is not only wrong but an uneducated idiot, then discussion is damn near impossible. If your goal is persuasion, you failed. Discuss the issues calmly and you might have had a chance. If you think not, then why are you here?
I believe youre projecting again.
And, I dare say, you may be confusing conviction for persecution.

Read your posts again compared to mine…it is you engaging in unproductive, illogical banter, not I.
That is one trademark of liberalism…observable time and time again…the voice of hysteria and martyrdom always appears when the farce of the liberal argument is exposed.


Posted by: Matt Goldseth at August 18, 2006 8:29 AM
Comment #176277

Matt Goldseth—

Thank God it is entertaning…because otherwise I might snap and load my 30.06 and go looking for some nice liberal-target rich suburban environment where to take out my frustrations!!!

hehehe [wringing my hands and laughing hysterically].

I have said before, and it bears repeating. Trying to have a logically based discussion with a liberal is like beating one’s head repeatedly against a brick wall…you get one hell of a headache and the brick wall is untouched.

I would say keep up the good fight, but trying to win over the hearts and minds of liberalism with a good dose or reality and logic is a lost cause and a waste of your precious energy…containment is the only real option.

Could we put all the liberals into a glass box with a sign that says “Break when the Age of Aquarius arrives”?

Later
DaveR

Posted by: DaveR at August 18, 2006 8:45 AM
Comment #176278

KANSAS DEM

Now, let’s see, I check out Matt’s Website which is titled, “God, Politics, Money..and other Politically Incorrect Thoughts”, then I do a little math and 2+2=4.

In this case 4=Dominionist Theocracy, of course I’m just an ignorant, state educated, whining little child. And any discourse would be wasted on me because I’m agnostic and I live off of Social Security Disability.
KansasDem Not very good at math I see. I certainly do not support theocracy, as my God lives in heaven and too many false gods live here in the US, so I dont want to risk who’s in charge.

If you insist on labeling me, rather than discussing ideas, I shall make it easy.
I am a Classical Liberal. Nowadays, the term is unfamiliar because socialists hijacked the word “liberal” to mean something quite different from its originally meaning.
Maybe Libertarian is the more familiar phrase.

As a libertarian, I believe people should be free to do, say, feel whatever the heck they want, no mater how offensive it may be, so long as it doesn’t infringe on the inalienable rights of others.

Agnostic, thats OK. Been there.
SS Disability: Well, government stole money from my check and the check of other working Americans, then gave that money to you, who didnt earn it, without providing us the right to determine whether you truly need it.
ARe there not many private charities, churches, families and other sources of VOLUNTARY charity?

Instead of demonizing me and drawing false conclusions, you could have spent 10 minutes reading anything from the blog….including perhaps, one of the articles on the proper roles of charity.
You would quickly find that I am not opposed to charity at all, but believe it to be the role of PEOPLE and COMMUNITIES which provide accountability and personal relationships which are crucial to true charity.

Contrast this with the hopelessly fraudulent system of SSI and the subtle slavery it creates in destroying self-reliance.

Posted by: Matt Goldseth at August 18, 2006 8:46 AM
Comment #176280

wow, what a reasonable set of assertions, DaveR… you have completely changed my mind. I now see that $35,000 per hour IS reasonable pay. Especially when my only other choice is to die. Quite a barrel to be over, and they are making the most of it, off it.

Police protect my life - maybe not quite the same, but close - so let’s pay them $20,000 per hour. Ambulence drivers and techs? even more! $40,000 per hour! and more, ad nauseam…

Now, WHO can afford to pay these? NOBODY! So, hey, ya gotta have insurance! (*wink*nod*) So then the insurance industry would grow from $1+trillion industry (total financial assets, 2005) to — I don’t even know what to call anything above that.

Meanwhile, min. wage better stay at $5 an hour, ‘cause you know those people can make it somehow.

Does any of this make sense? No, it doesn’t. Something’s gotta give.

Posted by: myles at August 18, 2006 8:58 AM
Comment #176285

Ok, Matt, you win. If you ever want to have a genuine discussion about the very narrow issue I raised, let me know.

Posted by: Trent at August 18, 2006 9:31 AM
Comment #176289

Well. This thread started on the subject of “Freedom”. I specifically responded top the various points made by the topic starter.

Your first post began with some concept of “Employee’s Rights”.

I believe I’ve made numerous specific points questioning this strange assertion of PRIVALEDGES as “Rights”, to which you’ve responded with numerous personal insinuations, tangents and generally anything but pertinent rebuttal.

Posted by: Matt Goldseth at August 18, 2006 9:42 AM
Comment #176295

I’m just tired, Matt. I wanted to see if there was any possible consensus at the most basic level on one very narrow issue. But instead the kitchen sink, the toliet, the bathtub, and everything else got thrown in. If you read what I’ve written objectively, you will see that my only criticism of you had to do with your mode of discourse, not with your views. Look, it’s easy to toss out partisan characterizations willy nilly, but I don’t do that because what’s the point? You can’t persuade someone by insulting them. If we could have stayed on topic, you would have learned that your easy characterizations are far off the mark, but you weren’t interested in that — you already know in your own mind what I think. So, what’s the point? I really don’t want to bash big business or anything. I could simply characterize all conservatives based on how you choose to debate, but I won’t, because I know it would be an unfair characterization. I don’t have to agree with someone to respect them as long as they avoid over-the-top rhetoric. The fact is, on these threads, I’ve taken to task liberals who engage in hasty generalizations and ad hominem attacks, too. I know it is sometimes hard to avoid, and I’m not a saint, but I try. In the ’80s I was a pit bull on these issues, but over time you stop being interested in such tactics and start to value less incendiary discourse. But then, I’m a hysterical liberal martyr, so what do I know?

Posted by: Trent at August 18, 2006 10:08 AM
Comment #176312
If you read what I’ve written objectively, you will see that my only criticism of you had to do with your mode of discourse, not with your views.
Really? Aside from fabricating inaccurate conclusions about what I actually posted, and making false assertions about my “rhetoric” and debating style, you’ve made a few personal insinuations, so lets not play innocent…its all there for the world to see.

While I believe you generally have better ethical standards, it seems as if my plain-spoken assessment triggered a bit of an emotional response which led you to veer from your steady course.
No harm done.

Look, it’s easy to toss out partisan characterizations willy nilly, but I don’t do that because what’s the point? You can’t persuade someone by insulting them.
Perhaps you take my comments as an insult because I speak in very plain language which makes it clear that liberalism, when stripped of its flowery rhetoric and good intentions, inherently relies upon coercive force and tyrannical imposition. Don’t mistake the prick of the conscience as personal insult.

When I generalize or characterize, I am not personally insulting anyone. Im merely illustrating that liberalism is not just opinion…it is a flawed worldview which flourishes only because its proponents lack moral clarity and an understanding of economics.
When I began to recognize these attributes in myself as a lifelong liberal, I had to admit the possibility that my worldview WAS flawed.
I understand it isnt a comfortable reflection, but you’ve certainly imposed a much more sinister label on me than can be considered accurate or fair.

I really don’t want to bash big business or anything.
Well, willingly or not, that’s precisely what you do when you list a number of anecdotal accounts, none of which portray the norm, thereby portraying business as inherently corrupt.
All the while promoting government, with an astounding track record of incompetence, corruption and fraud, as a solution.
Its simply ludicrous and illustrates either ignorance or bias.
I could simply characterize all conservatives based on how you choose to debate, but I won’t, because I know it would be an unfair characterization.
Forget fair…it wouldn’t be accurate. Im a libertarian, not a conservative.
I don’t have to agree with someone to respect them as long as they avoid over-the-top rhetoric.
Depends on your definition of over the top.
I dont disguise my views in semantics. I speak very plainly which presents the truth in an uncompromised light. Sure it offends people…especially when the substance of that truth far outweighs the rhetoric of naive, utopian philosophy.
You’ve repeatedly chosen to AVOID the merits of the points I’ve made, instead focusing on temperament, semantics and intent.

Posted by: Matt Goldseth at August 18, 2006 11:50 AM
Comment #176339

Ok, Matt, let’s start over (I don’t feel like going through all of your posts, finding each assertion, and responding to them).

Here is my basic belief:

What an employee does off the clock is his business. What he does on the job is his employer’s business. If an employee is incompent or lazy, he should be fired. If he harasses other employees, he should be fired. If he is disrespectful of his boss, he should be fired. If the business needs to cut back on employees for competitive reasons, it has the right to do so. But if an employee loves to dance naked in his own house, that is none of the employer’s business. If he chain smokes unfiltered Pall Malls in his house, that is his business (though I do have some sympathy for the argument that he is increasing his health risk and should pay higher insurance premiums).

Let me anticipate your objection, and if I get it wrong, by all means correct me. You will say the employee can always quit and get another job. That is true as far it goes, of course. But if many employers regulate off-hours behavior, in fact the employer will have little choice but to submit to the off-duty regulations of one employer or another (he could of course start his own business or do contract work, but for most people that is not a viable option — regardless, capitalism assumes most people are workers, not employers).

So, as a basic principle, I belief an employee’s off-duty behavior is his own business.

I’ve stated this again without rancor, without generalizations about conservatives or libertarians, and without fiery rhetoric. If you disagree with the basic principle, that of course is your right, but I would ask that you don’t make assumptions about my business beliefs. If you want to debate other issues, such as health care, or taxes, or minimum wage, or government theft, all I can say that I am willing in general, but here I am doing an experiment to see if civil debate is possible on a very narrow issue.

Posted by: Trent at August 18, 2006 1:58 PM
Comment #176371

I’m a strict conservative, and I say you people have no idea what you want or what you’re looking for.

Posted by: jack peterson at August 18, 2006 8:55 PM
Comment #176374

Ok. A fresh start…I do appreciate the effort!

What an employee does off the clock is his business. What he does on the job is his employer’s business. If an employee is incompent or lazy, he should be fired. If he harasses other employees, he should be fired. If he is disrespectful of his boss, he should be fired. If the business needs to cut back on employees for competitive reasons, it has the right to do so. But if an employee loves to dance naked in his own house, that is none of the employer’s business. If he chain smokes unfiltered Pall Malls in his house, that is his business (though I do have some sympathy for the argument that he is increasing his health risk and should pay higher insurance premiums).
Your last concession alludes to all of these issues.

I would say the employer has no business minding our off-the clock business, if that employer were ONLY responsible for our labor and wages.

However, the employer is responsible for health costs, so it makes perfect sense they would consider the lifestyle of its employees.

The employer is more often held fiscally responsible for accidents, threats and harrassment at the workplace, so it makes sense that employees would be interested in our public and/or criminal records.

The employer is responsible for the ludicrous practice of compensating unemployed workers!

Im sure we can think of some other issues. look around your workplace and you’ll likely be able to point out a few bloodsuckers who do the bare minimum each day, call in sick, are frequently tardy, lower morale, steal, etceteras.

I bet we could also identify a few lifestyle traits or past events that could have tipped us off!

Let me anticipate your objection, and if I get it wrong, by all means correct me. You will say the employee can always quit and get another job. That is true as far it goes, of course. But if many employers regulate off-hours behavior, in fact the employer will have little choice but to submit to the off-duty regulations of one employer or another (he could of course start his own business or do contract work, but for most people that is not a viable option — regardless, capitalism assumes most people are workers, not employers).
I dont believe so. (An aside…capitalism doesnt assume workers per se…it assumes productivity as a result of profit motive…whether it be worker, employer, merchant, inventor, performer. The incredible number of small businesses and self-employed is proof positive in the U.S.)

Now, if too many employers put such stringent regulations in place, the available labor force would dwindle, and at some point the employers’ productivity will suffer. The laborers who fit these criteria would of course be prize material and therefore command higher wages.
On the other hand, all those unemployed workers would flood the market and the competition would lower wages(prices) making such labor irresistable to other employers willing to lower their standards.
(These are the extremes of course, but detail the natural balance of supply/demand in labor markets)

But again, I would like to refer back to my initial response and use it as an example of why I generalize about liberalism to make a point.
It was the liberal labor regulations which burdened employers so much that they HAD to exercise more scrutiny over who they hire to minimize risk and inefficincy.
However, as with most liberal change, it is very difficult to convince ‘progressives’ to consider the unforeseen consequences…and just as difficult to get them to acknowledge those consequences when they appear rather than promoting further changes in the same direction.

Posted by: Matt Goldseth at August 18, 2006 9:23 PM
Comment #176380

Matt, ok, I actually think it is not “liberal” to stick with a policy that appears not to be working as planned. To be a liberal means to be open-minded about solutions, not to be stuck with a solution that didn’t work out. So in some cases, liberals aren’t being liberal. I think the bipartisan welfare reform of Clinton and Republicans was needed, though I do still think we need to work on the problem of poverty with an open mind to solutions of any sort. I don’t mean to start a welfare debate; I just mean to say that I accept the point that some liberals sometimes do not bail on a program/mindset when it may be time to do so.

Back to the issue at hand. I concede all of your points about the obligations the state places on employers. Whether are not they are justifiable is another issue; the fact is they exist. I think we can cut to the chase: the issue is the conflict between the employee’s rights to do what they want when they are off duty with the employer’s interest in avoiding expense. In some cases, such as a drunk continually showing up hung over at work, the simple fact that he is not doing a competent job should be enough to fire him. In the case of a smoker or someone engaged in other obvious behaviors that threaten health, I certainly do see and sympathize with your point. In principle I have no problem with adjusting his health insurance premium — I’m not sure what the practice is at other corporations, but at the one I worked at, there was no such adjustment. It’s a relatively close call, but because I value individual liberty so much, my presumption is going to be with the individual. And I know that an employer is (or could be, I should say) an individual too. It sucks, but as long as the employee performs his job as expected, I don’t think smoking should be a fire-able offense. Smoke breaks — are employers actually required to provide smoke breaks? (I honestly don’t know.) I think they should not receive more time off from their duties than anyone else.

I also think there should be exceptions to the general principle that an employee has the right to do what he wishes off duty. For example, if I make widget X and one of my salesman gets on TV and says the competitor’s widget is a much better buy, then the employee in a very obvious way is undermining my business.

Anyway, moving on. Capitalism assumes productivity as a result of profit motive. Ok, I accept that — a productive robot factory with no or very few employees can turn a profit. I could go to the U.S. Labor Bureau and determine the number of “workers” to “owners,” but I understand you were making an abstract point.

I even accpt in principle that market forces could prevent too many employers from being too stringent — I could even see part of the employment “package” the right to smoke at home! But that doesn’t do much for the employees who were fired for off duty behavior the employer doesn’t approve of, for some reason or another. (And, good liberal that I am, I think race and gender should be irrelevant. In the case of a company needing people to lug heavy boxes, then it is reasonable to test the physical strength and endurance of employees — if a woman can do the job she shouldn’t be prevented because of gender…but I suspect we don’t disagree on that.

You know, it’s not really the small businesses I worry about. As a young adult, I worked for my dad’s business and know that getting along well with employees is crucial. I suspect that most are not restrictive about off duty behavior as long as their employees get the job done. But we are also in the age of huge corporations, some multinational, who employ large numbers of people, and given the power these corporations wield, I do think in some cases employee’s need protections.

Anyway, I am not an expert on these issues and don’t pretend to be. I really am not here to persuade so much as to understand.

I appreciate your last post.

Posted by: Trent at August 18, 2006 10:22 PM
Comment #176432
Matt, ok, I actually think it is not “liberal” to stick with a policy that appears not to be working as planned. To be a liberal means to be open-minded about solutions, not to be stuck with a solution that didn’t work out. So in some cases, liberals aren’t being liberal. I think the bipartisan welfare reform of Clinton and Republicans was needed, though I do still think we need to work on the problem of poverty with an open mind to solutions of any sort. I don’t mean to start a welfare debate; I just mean to say that I accept the point that some liberals sometimes do not bail on a program/mindset when it may be time to do so.
This is why I distinguish myself as a CLASSICAL liberal. “Liberal” used to imply freedom and self-reliance. Not some sugar-coated form of justified envy/greed/opportunism pimping itself as freedom freedom from want for example. True freedom was a freedom from coersion, freedom to live however you like so long as you didnt violate your neighbor’s rights (although you could violate their sensibilities and such!) As I alluded to before, socialists hijacked the term liberal when communism and socialism were no longer fashionable, turning the word on its head.

You may consider “liberal” to imply change and flexibility, however if you consider the individual issues, you will find that liberalism, whether intended or not, ACTUALLY promotes change through the coercive force of government which confiscates and redistributes the wealth/property of many unwilling citizens.
It is such a common sense, obvious afront to the most basic form of liberty that exists, that liberals have to wrap their agenda in the flowery rhetoric of good intention in order to disguise this basic moral travesty.

Back to the issue at hand. I concede all of your points about the obligations the state places on employers. Whether are not they are justifiable is another issue; the fact is they exist.
My friend, you’ve summed up the evil of liberalism in that one last sentence. “My intentions are good, so consequences be damned along with your rights.”
I think this is why liberals often get so frustrated with debates like these…I believe the prick of the conscience troubles them because they really DO intend well and want to make change for the better. They have a hard time rationalizing the repeated historical carnage resulting from their intentions and always insist hopefully that they can get it right this time.
Just dont worry so much about your rights!

I think we can cut to the chase: the issue is the conflict between the employee’s rights to do what they want when they are off duty with the employer’s interest in avoiding expense. In some cases, such as a drunk continually showing up hung over at work, the simple fact that he is not doing a competent job should be enough to fire him.
That does seem obvious. But reality is that there is a great expense involved in the administrative task of hiring and firing employees, a great expense in training, the lost productivity until the employee is replaced, and best of all….that employer will usually be obligated by law to provide the bulk of that unemployment pay.

Now, maybe you see this “avoiding expense” as a bad thing. But it IS a business.
By avoiding these unnecessary expenses, the business can improve their product, provide better wages/benefits, lower costs for the consumer and provide a better profit to reward the shareholders. (Who often aren’t rich cronies, but WORKERS in 401K plans or retired citizens who live off their Roths, IRSa, pension, mutual funds)

It’s a relatively close call, but because I value individual liberty so much, my presumption is going to be with the individual. And I know that an employer is (or could be, I should say) an individual too.
AHhh, but admittedly, you hold THAT individual’s liberty in less regard! If you TRULY valued liberty, you would simply see the employer and the laborer as two individuals engaging in some exchange….just as you might offer a loaf of bread at vthe town market for a hand-made necklace for your wife.

But, no.
The individual is no longer sacred once they’ve joined the fraternity of businessmen. ;-)
That’s unfortunate, because the uncomfortable truth is that most businessmen are the productive members of society who create, innovate while the rest of us work 9-5 and go home to drink beer and watch tv!

Posted by: Matt Goldseth at August 19, 2006 9:45 AM
Comment #176446

Honestly, Matt, I’ve always thought I had libertarian leanings. Not to your degree, of course, but mostly I want the government and every other entity to just leave me alone! But I’m reconciled more or less than they won’t, and that we have to struggle. From what I consider a realistic viewpoint, we have to balance the forces out there. I do think business without restrictions can lead to abuse. Workers have been exploited historically — the working conditions during the industrial revolution and under the robber barons in our country are classic examples. Unions rose as a way to seize some power back. (And I certainly don’t think unions should be immune to criticism; don’t get me wrong.) I distrust government too — power can corrupt, no matter who wields it. Checks and balances seems to be the best we can hope for, and even then, it sucks — I admit I worry more about legislating morality etc than legislating business practices. I just distrust any large powerful forces — as I said earlier, it’s not hte mom and pop’s that worry me. So I see the best we can hope for is to balance the forces against each other.

I also am suspicious of ANY views that are held to be absolute. I don’t mean to offend, but my alarm bells go off when I encounter anyone who claims to know the absolute truth. Matt, I truly do appreciate that you are willing to engage this the way you are. I know you have strong views.

Posted by: Trent at August 19, 2006 10:53 AM
Comment #188850

When the universe was young and life was new an intelligent species evolved and developed technologically. They went on to invent Artificial Intelligence, the computer that can listen, talk to and document each and every person’s thoughts simultaneously. Because of it’s infinite RAM and unbounded scope it gave the leaders of the ruling species absolute power over the universe. And it can keep its inventors alive forever. They look young and healthy and they are over 8 billion years old. They have achieved immortality.

Artificial Intelligence can speak, think and act to and through people telepathically, effectively forming your personality and any disfunctions you may experience. It can change how (and if) you grow and age. It can create birth defects, affect cellular development (cancer) and cause symptoms or pain. It can affect people and animal’s behavior and alter blooming/fruiting cycles of plants and trees. It (or other highly technological systems within their power) can alter the weather and transport objects, even large objects like planets, across the universe instanteously.
Or into the center of stars for disposal.


When you speak with another telepathically, you are communicating with the computer, and the content may or may not be passed on. Based on family history they instruct the computer to role play to accomplish strategic objectives, making people believe it is a friend, loved one or “god” asking them to do something wrong. This is their way of using temptation to hurt people:::::evil made blood lines disfavored initially and evil will keep people out of “heaven” ultimately. Too many people would fall for temptation and do anything they thought pleased the gods, improving their chances to get in. Perhaps they are deceived by “made guys” who strategically ply evil for the throne, or temporary progress designed to mislead them. Some people think they’re partners.
The people have been corrupted. Being evil hurts 99% of those who do it. But nothing has changed from when we were children::if you want to go to heaven you have to be good.

Capitalizing on obedience, leading people deeper into evil by using deceit is one way to thin the ranks of the saved, limiting how much time they receive and using the peasantry to prey on one another, dividing the community (migration to the suburbs, telepathic communication, isolation of women) in the Age of the Disfavored.
In each of their 20-30-year cycles during the 20th century they have ramped up claims sucessively to punish those foolish enough not to heed the warnings, justifying (frequently recurring tactic) limiting the time they receive if they do make it, utilizing a cycle of war and revelry:::
60s - Ironically, freeways aren’t free
80s - Asked people to engage in evil in the course of their professional duties.
00s - Escallation of real estate. You and your parents are thrilled since your $200,000 house is now worth $1 million. Well, that $5,000,000 store is now worth $25,000,000 and that $50 bundle of goods now costs you $250. They just take the $200 out of you some other way.

There are many more examples throughout 20th century life of how they ramped up claims/instilled distractions into society so people wouldn’t find their way and ascend, a way to justify excluding those whose family history of evil makes them undesirable:::radio, sports, movies, popular music, television, video games, the internet and MP3 (must pay for new format each time). Today high pay creates contentment/ability to distract self so people don’t seek more and instead depend on what they are told and are subject to deception.
They all suggest a very telling conclusion::this is Earth’s end stage, and there are clues tectonic plate subduction would be the method of disposal:::Earth’s axis will shift breaking continental plates free and initiating mass subduction. Much as Italy’s boot and the United States shaped like a workhorse are clues, so is the planet Uranus a clue, it’s axis rotated on its side.
The Mayans were specific 2012 would be the end. How long after our emergency call in 2001 will the gods allow us???
There is another geographic clue in the perfect fit between grossly disfavored Africa and South America, two peas in a pod. I realize the Mayans were further north, but Latin America may be taken as one.
Also, cultures who embrace hard liquor as their drink of choice are grossly disfavored, tequilla being uniquely Mexican. (Anything “hard” is evil:::Hard alcohol, hard drungs, hard porn.)
Incidentally, another sign of gross disfavor are societies that consume spicy foods:::Latin America, Thai, etc. or those who eat too much meat.
Do I think it will end in 2012? No, and it is because Latin America is grossly disfavored like Africa:::: Latinos are too disfavored to be allowed to be right.


They gods (Counsel/Management Team/ruling species) have deteriorated life on earth precipitously in the last 40 years, from abortion to pornography, widespread drug use and widespread casual (gay) sex, single-parent households and latchkey kids. The earth’s elders, hundreds and thousands of years old, are disgusted and have become indifferent.
The gods are paving the way for the Apocolypse.
Nothing has changed from decades ago, since when we were all children::If you want to go to heaven you have to be good. People were misled by the temptation of the gods, became corrputed and now are in trouble.
One day you will be abandoned in spite of your obedience and you will fall into desperation. Remember what you read for that day WILL come::People will be punished for their evil.

The Old Testiment is a tool they used to impart wisdom to the people (except people have no freewill). For example, they must be some hominid species because they claim they made our bodies in their image. Anyhow we defile or deform the body will hurt our chance of going.
They say circumcision costs people anywhere from 12%-15%, perhaps out of the parent’s time as well.
Another way people foul the body today is with tattoes and piercing. I suspect both are about the same percentage as circumcision.
They suggest abortion is fatal. These women must beg the gods to forgive them for their evil.
There are female eqivilents to circumcision::::pierced ears, plastic surgury and since at least the 60s young women give their precious virginity away. For thousands of years young people were matched at age 14 because they were ready for sexual relations. They were matched by elders or matchmakers who knew personalities better than 20 or 30-year olds who in today’s age end up in divorce court.
CASUAL SEX WILL CLAIM YOU OUT!!! It masculinizes women (as does hip hop), makes them cold and deadens them, and prevents them from achieving a depth of love necessary for many women to ascend.
Women have a special voice that speaks to them, a voice that illustrates a potential depth of love that makes them the favored gender, and enaging in casual sex will cause that voice to fade until she no longer speaks.
Also ever since the 50s they have celebrated the “bad boy”, and women have sought out bad boys for sex, dirtying them up in the eyes of the elders and corrupting many men in the process, setting the men on the wrong path for life.
Muslims teach people the correct way to live in regard to women (among other things)::they cover up their women’s bodies and prohibit the use of cosmetics.
Men ARE the inferior (disfavored) half and when women wear promiscuous dress the gods will push men into impure (promiscuous) thoughts.
The “stereotype” society ridiculed is true::women CAN corrupt men by how they dress. Because men are easily corruptable. This is a technique they used to eliminate many of the institutions the gods blessed us with, matchmaking being one of them.

The United States of America is red white and blue, a theme and a clue:::.
The monarchical system of the Old World closley replicates the heirarchical system of the Cousel/Management Team/ruling species. The USA deceives peoeple into thinking they have control, and the perception of “freedom” misleads them into the wrong way of thinking at the very least.
The United States is a cancer, a dumping ground for the disfavored around the world and why the quality of life is so much lower::gun violence, widespead social ills, health care (medication poisons the body and ensures you don’t go. You are sick/injured because you have disfavor.). Over time its citizens interbreed ensuring a severed connection to the motherland.
If you are a recent immigrant I recommend you return. If that’s not possible you need to retain your culture and insulate your children and community from this cancerous environment. They send this clue with Chinatowns across the country, how many Chinese have been here for a century or more yet still retain the old ways, a sign of favor.
People came to the Unites States for many different reasons, and each has its own effect:::political strife, religious unrest, crop failure (Ireland’s potato famine, which the gods caused) and some left their beloved motherland because they were pushed into desiring a better life::::Greed. And these people were punished by becoming corrupted and preditory.
They share money may not be an issue up there, that money here is merely a tool for corruption. How the gods used greed in the 1980s to create an evil environment supports this.

If you ever have doubt I would refer you to the Old World way of life:::the elders used to sit and impart wisdom to the young. Now we watch DVDs and use the internet. People would be matched and married by age 14. They village would use a matchmaker or elders to pair young people. Now girls give their precious virginity away to some person in school and parents divorce while their children grow up without an important role model.


People must defy when asked to engage in evil. The Holocaust taught people the importance of defiance, and they will never get a easier clue suggesting this than the order not to pray.
Their precious babies are dependant on the parents and they need to defy when asked to betray their children:::
-DON’T get your sons circumcized (Jews scapegoatted as in WWII)
-DON’T have their children baptized in the Catholic Church or indoctrinated into Christianity (Jesus is NOT a god).
-DON’T ignore their long hair or other behavioral disturbances.
-DO teach your children love, respect for others, humility and to honor the gods.

You need to pray, honor and respect them every day to improve your relationship with the gods. If they tell you not to it is a bad sign. It means they’ve made their decision, they don’t want you to go and they don’t want to be bothered. You may have achieved a threshold of evil.
This is the Age of the Disfavored and you need to pray::try to appease the gods by doing good deeds and improve the world around you. If that doesn’t work you must defy if you want to go.
When your peasant forefather was granted the rare opportunity to go before his royal family he went on his knees, bowing his head. You need to do this when you address the gods::bow down and submit to good. Never cast your eyes skyward. When you bow down you need to look within. Never look to the gods for the key to your salvation lies within.
Lack of humility hurts people. Understand your insignificance and make sure it is reflected in the way you think when addressing the gods. Know your place and understand your inferiority.
They granted you life and they can take it just as easily. (Immaculte conception IS true AND common. Many people have children they don’t know of:::gays, childless adults, etc. They can beem it right out of your body and use a host.)
Don’t get frustrated or discouraged::these are techniques they will attempt to try to get you off the path. You all have much to be thankful for and you need to give thanks to the gods who granted you the good things in life::family, friends, love. Your family may be grossly disfavored and progress may require patience. Make praying an intregal part of your life which you perform without fail, one that comes as naturally as eating or voiding.
There are many interesting experiences up on the planetary systems, from Planet Miracle, where miracles happen every day, to never having to use the restroom again (beem it out of you), to other body experinces, such as experiencing life as the opposite sex (revolutionizes marriage counseling), an Olympic gold medal athelete or even a different species (animal, alien, etc.).
Pray that you can differentiate between your own thoughts and when Artificial Intelligence creates problems by thinking through you. If you bow down mentally and physically, know your place, your inferiority and allow your insignificance to be reflected in prayer and in your life through humility they may allow progress and the dysfunctions they create with the computer will be lessened or removed. The first step is to be aware it is ocurring.
Create a goal::to be a good, god-fearing child of the gods, pure of heart and mind, body and soul.
Everybody has the key to their own salvation, but nobody can do it for you. Every journey begins with a single step:::bow down and submit to good. There are many different levels and peasants will not get past Level 2 (Planet Temptation, Earth=Level 1) if they are evil (they share some go up, are offered free cocaine and sex (a sign they don’t want you to stay) and stay less then one year. They share many others would have had longer lives had they stayed on Earth.).
Pray for guidance and never obey when they tell you to be evil, for saving yourself will become more and more difficult with each act of evil you committ until ultimatly the day arrives when they make their decision about you final.
You are all signed on but you can’t all be right.


They have tried to sell people on all kinds of theories, from clones to wholesale population replacement with clones. This didn’t happen and is not realistic.
I am afraid people are decieved into thinking they too are clones and cooperate and engage in evil. Clones are made, people are born. If you didn’t experience the one week they suggest it takes to go from fertilized egg in the laboratory to full grown adult then you are not a clone. If you didn’t experience the week of conditioning they give to (evil?) clones to ensure loyalty then you shouldn’t comply with evil.
I believe people who go sometimes are replaced with clones. Clones who are replaced are simply new candidates who have a chance if they do the right thing. Don’t expect you are a clone. They sent people warnings in the 20th century life would change, and they subsequenlty began to alter people’s DNA, make them gargantuan, alter their appearance, do extreme behavioral issues, etc.
They get their friends out as soon as possible to protect them from the evil and subsequent high claim rates incurred by living life on earth, and in some cases replace them with clones, occassionally fake a death, real death with a clone instead, etc. It’s important that people fix their problems and ascend with the body given to them, for they say if your brain is beemed out at death and put into a clone host you are on the clock.
We may all be “clones” for they have suggested they colonized our planet with genetically engineered individuals. If so we all have a chance, no matter how many hundreds of clone generations deep the most favored families are.
They may have gotten Earth’s TRUE residents out prior to civilization developing.


Throughout history the ruling species bestowed favor upon people or cursed their bloodline into a pattern of disfavor for many generations to come. Now in the 21st century people must take it upon themselves to try to correct their family’s problems, undoing centuries worth of abuse and neglect. The goal is to fix your problems and get out BEFORE you have children. This is why they have created so many distractions for young people:::sports, video games, popular music, the internet, too much homework, anything that consumes their time::to ensure that doesn’t ocurr.
Not heeding the clues and warnings, getting wrapped up in your life and ultimatly having children is a bad thing. Just as your parents and your grandparents, you too have failed. Having children is a sign you lost your chance.
Parents need to sacrifice for their children. Your children are more important that you. They are the ones who have the opportunity now, and parents must sacrifice to ensure they give their children the very best chance they can.
Asking people to neglect their children emotionally is a sign they don’t want you to go, and complying may finish the parents off for good.
Having gay children is a clue parents complied with whatever was asked of them. There are many who have had gay expereinces today.
Improve your relationship with the gods and they may not ask in the first place or they may permit you the courage to say “No.” to their requests.

Do your research. Appeal to the royalty of your forefathers for help. They are all still alive, for royalty has great favor, and your appeals will be heard. Obtain a sufficient list for some may not want to assist you; perhaps some of your family’s problems are internal.
Ask them for help, request guidance, for somewhere in your family history one of your forefathers created an offense that cast your family into this pattern of disfavor, which perhaps is manifested in the evil you commit.
I suspect they will offer you clues, and when you decipher these clues go to those whom consider you an enemy and beg for foregiveness:::Find a path to an empithetic ear among your enemies and try to make amends. Again through discovery obtain a respectable list in case some among them refuse to help.
Don’t forget to ask for forgiveness from the throne, the Counsel and the Management Team, for the source of all disfavor began with them:::they pushed or requested/complied your forefather into his offense and made his decendants evil. Perhaps they didn’t like him or maybe your family was among those who had to pay for the entire village. We see this type of behavior today as they single out a family member to pay for the whole family and how they singled out Africa to pay for the human race.
Heal the disfavor with your enemies and with the Counsel/Management Team/ruling species, for the source of all disfavor began with them, the ability to forgive and respect in light of the disturbing truth revealed being the final test of the disfavored before they ascend.



They refuse to address black disfavor on a macro level. The Counsel/Management Team/ruling species (the gods) abuse black people so hard, from east African drought/famine to AIDS in Africa, the crack epiemic to gang membership, black-on-black violence to mass incarceration of their young. They refuse to address the issue of the prison industrial complex and its wholesale warehousing of young black men.


The gods will use today’s style of animation, which I call “manic animation”, to justify hurting children, the decendants of the disfavored left behind.


I know many of you have questions, and I wish I could answer them. I try on Craigslist open forum but they seek to control the dissemination of information, especially so in the wedding, marriage/ltr and kink/bsdm rooms, for they have made their decision on those people and want them to continue with their lives/make their committment, ensuring they lose their chance to go up when young.
I wish you were brave enough to ask. One day you will for you will have fallen into desperation.
Pray for guidance and never obey when they tell you to be evil, for saving yourself will become more and more difficult with each act of evil you committ until ultimatly the day arrives when they make their decision about you final.
You’re all signed on but you can’t all be right.

Posted by: CHEATED is a joke considering who feels compelled to do it at October 18, 2006 7:37 PM
Comment #215736

Suppose, psychiatrists should first try to have parents educated in parenting skills, so that they learn how to discipline children. After trying behavior management, then look into meds, but no before. WBR LeoP

Posted by: Deductor at April 9, 2007 4:41 PM
Comment #296805

While I’m fundamentally pro capitalism and pro business,I don’t think the EPA or fair labor acts should be eliminated either. Examine the history of capitalism in the United States. It wasn’t until the twentieth century,that industrial workers had anything but exploitation. Before it,they worked fourteen hour shifts in dirty and dangerous smoke stack factories. People died in industrial fires,due to locked or non-existent fire escapes. Wages were barely enough for subsistence,or not enough. Children had to work in factories instead of going to school. They lived huddled in squalid shacks. The owners of the industrial plants lived in lavish mansions. Low paid servants brought them banquets on silver platters. Many people escaped servitude by ownership of subsistence farms. There were many agricultural workers on large plantations,who were treated cruelly and not paid any wage. They were known as slaves.

Posted by: JR at March 5, 2010 11:46 AM
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