Democrats & Liberals Archives

Self Reliance

A Republican blogger named Jack, who loves Bush and his policies, has asked Democrats to list all their complaints against Republicans while he listed all the things that made him proud to be a Republican. Naturally Democratic visitors could not resist and piled it on. So you see, Jack said, Democrats do nothing but bitch. Even when they list good things they are really complaining.

What was the purpose of this exercise? To show how grand Republicans are and how terrible Democrats are? The very exercise was extremely divisive. And this Jack is complaining that Democrats are divisive?

I think the sniping between the major parties was started by Republicans who made "liberal" a dirty word. Of coursee, Republicans like Jack believe the Democrats started it. Regardless of who is right we have all fallen into the habit of denigration of those we disagree with.

Some say such conflict is natural. But what is so natural about finding fault with those you disagree with? We have been doing this for so long that it feels natural. But it is ruining our society. This bad blood among politicians has spread out into other areas. We seem to always be arguing about something. Don't get me wrong. There is nothing wrong with candid debate. But we find ourselves tearing apart the character of our opponents. Why?

Instead of asking members to list the things they like about their party and dislike about their opponent's party, why not ask them to list what they like about their opponent's party? Surely Democrats can occasionally see merit in what Republicans do, and Republicans can occasionally see merit in what Democrats do. Maybe doing this will bring us all closer together as Americans.

I'll start the ball rolling. What I like about Republicans is that they encourage everyone to be self reliant. Self reliance is a major characteristic of almost all famous Americans - scientists, engineers, businesspeople and yes, even politicians. It is very difficult for a person to accomplish anything big if he has no self-reliance.

Take Barack Obama. He speaks constantly of us helping each other. Yet, he has self-reliance. He's got it in a big way. Who else at his tender age would have even tried to challenge a well-established candidate such as Hillary Clinton?

Self reliance is a great virtue. Everybody needs it. I believe in it so much I have written a book, Design Your Future, which talks of having a vision and then living according to your vision.

But I'm not a Republican, because I know there are situations when you may not be able to paint a vision, and when circumstances - such as sickness, family considerations, accidents - make it impossible to realize your vision. You should rely on yourself as much as possible. But it is no crime if you can't. We must help the unfortunate among us, we must work for the common good.

Posted by Paul Siegel at February 25, 2008 5:20 PM
Comments
Comment #246422

Good try Paul. Yes, conservative republicans do believe in self-reliance. No, conservative republicans are not selfish and are ready to help those who are willing to help themselves contrary to your statement. We are also against a government that, thru taxation, attempts to manage social policy and redistribute wealth.

I have voted democratic in numerous elections in my lifetime when the party still had a moderate and slightly conservative philosophy. The party of Jack Kennedy, Everett Dirkson, Zell Miller and others accomplished much for our country. Unfortunately the liberal progressive wing of the party has taken over and I can no longer recognize its greatness.

Posted by: Jim M at February 25, 2008 6:14 PM
Comment #246425

Paul,
I think Obama is attempting to talk past this sort of rhetoric, but we can’t really know what kind of president he’ll be.

Personally, I think the Dems and Reps are wings of the same party. The sniping is a result of a lack of principled arguments that anyone will believe. Instead they feed red meat to their loyalists and intentionally distort their opponents stands.

I was drinking 12 year old scotch with a couple of typical white racists here in Texas on Sunday. They commented that America would likely elect a “b****” like Hilary rather a “n*****”. When i said well it’s looking more and more like Obamna could win, they said, “He’ll be assassinated”. I noted that the Secret Service had stopped the Dallas Police from continuing to search people attending his rally in Reunion Arena.

The two guys were red meat Republicans up until a year or so ago. Now they just don’t care.

Frankly, I find neither party appealing or dealing with issues honestly. Given these kind of voters, I’m not surprised.

Posted by: googlumpugus at February 25, 2008 6:34 PM
Comment #246426

paul

i recall the story being about why he was proud of his country. he then gave the democrats on this blog the oportunity to tell why they were, or were not proud of this country, and then to list the positives or negatives. looks like another missfire paul.

Posted by: dbs at February 25, 2008 6:39 PM
Comment #246428
What was the purpose of this exercise?

I think the sniping between the major parties was started by Republicans who made “liberal” a dirty word.
Some say such conflict is natural.
I’ll start the ball rolling.
Instead of asking members to list the things they like about their party and dislike about their opponent’s party, why not ask them to list what they like about their opponent’s party? Surely Democrats can occasionally see merit in what Republicans do, and Republicans can occasionally see merit in what Democrats do.


I like my opponent’s self destruction. I like my opponent’s constant adherence to a belief born in the past.
It’s too bad ignorant people rule this country. They are “We the People”. They are the boss.

I’ll just wait.

Posted by: Weary Willie at February 25, 2008 7:15 PM
Comment #246430

Great topic, Paul.

Paul >What I like about Republicans is

1. Most of them are in favor of less government.

2. Most of them are in favor of less governmental intrusion into our day-to-day lives.

3. Most of them do not believe it is possible to cut taxes without cutting spending, and still hope to have a balanced budget. Most believe budget deficits and out-of-control federal debt are undesirable.

4. Most believe as long as someone is not harming others, they should be free to do or say as they wish.

5. Most believe the state should stay out of the operations of the church and the church should stay out of the operations of the state.

6. Most believe that we are each entitled to privacy unless a judge can be convinced that privacy must be compromised to prevent a serious crime.

7. 99.9% of them can resist disintegrating into personal attacks of name-calling when discussing contentious subjects, such as occurred on the “Festivus” discussion you referenced earlier.

8. Most of them recognize the need for at least some limited government functionality and do not subscribe to the unfortunate slogan “Government is not the solution; government is the problem”.

9. Most of them recognize the validity and need for moderation. Most do not adhere to the unfortunate Bob Dole quip to the effect that there is ‘nothing in the middle of the road but road kill’. Most do not put ideology before practice.

10. Most do not engage in personality worship.

Posted by: spongeworthy at February 25, 2008 7:37 PM
Comment #246432

Rpblcns have been good at espousing political theory, although what they actually do when elected has little relationship to it.

Posted by: ohrealy at February 25, 2008 7:59 PM
Comment #246433

Paul-

Define common good. If you define it as as a community, city or municipality then then that’s one thing. To take it out to 300m people and 3.5m square miles is a little much.

Posted by: George in SC at February 25, 2008 8:23 PM
Comment #246438

Paul,

There is nothing stopping people from getting together and helping those that need help. Why there is such a desire to violate the limits expressly put into the constitution in order to force everyone to help others irregardless of their own personal situation or ability is frankly beyond me. Yet, it appears to be the basis of why so many people allow the progressive wing of the Democratic Party to pee all over the Consitution. :(

“The construction applied… to those parts of the Constitution of the United States which delegate to Congress a power “to lay and collect taxes, duties, imports, and excises, to pay the debts, and provide for the common defence and general welfare of the United States,” and “to make all laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into execution the powers vested by the Constitution in the government of the United States, or in any department or officer thereof,” goes to the destruction of all limits prescribed to [the General Government’s] power by the Constitution… Words meant by the instrument to be subsidiary only to the execution of limited powers ought not to be construed as themselves to give unlimited powers, nor a part to be so taken as to destroy the whole residue of that instrument.” —Thomas Jefferson 1798

“[We] disavow and declare to be most false and unfounded, the doctrine that the compact, in authorizing its federal branch to lay and collect taxes, duties, imposts and excises to pay the debts and provide for the common defence and general welfare of the United States, has given them thereby a power to do whatever they may think or pretend would promote the general welfare, which construction would make that, of itself, a complete government, without limitation of powers; but that the plain sense and obvious meaning were, that they might levy the taxes necessary to provide for the general welfare by the various acts of power therein specified and delegated to them, and by no others.” —Thomas Jefferson - 1825

Posted by: Rhinehold at February 25, 2008 9:46 PM
Comment #246446

Paul

It is better to be talked about than not talked about, but best to be talked about accurately.

I gave liberals a place to air their grievances, since they seemed to have many. I also asked for a list of thing that AMERICANS can be proud about. I did that because too many contributors just made lists of reasons why their country sucked.

To their credit, many liberals came up with some good lists. The only way it was a divisive exercise is that it divided those who love their country from those who don’t.

If you think what was in my own quick top ten list from recent decades such as - Restructuring of U.S. economy in face of oil shocks and foreign competition (1980s), Welfare reform, Openness of U.S., Generosity (during tsunamis & earthquakes), Entrepreneurial spirit (Internet, alternative fuels), Resilience after 9/11, Millennium challenge & PEPFAR, Opportunity for all (Obama is good example) & Stable political system is a “Republican only” list, I am depressed.

I think we should all be proud of America. If that has come to be associated with Republicans, it is not my fault nor my preference. People should come home if they feel lost. Americans are always welcome in America.

BTW - your list. I have a theory of common history, to wit: after some time has past, history belongs to whomever wants it. I am proud of Fraklin Roosevelt, Harry Truman and John Kennedy. They were MY presidents. Most Americans (and probably most democrats) are proud of Ronald Reagan, now that he is dead. They are part of our common heritage. We see that as we pull away from the passions of the moment.

Posted by: Jack at February 26, 2008 12:01 AM
Comment #246450

Paul:

A Republican blogger named Jack, who loves Bush and his policies, has asked Democrats to list all their complaints against Republicans while he listed all the things that made him proud to be a Republican. Naturally Democratic visitors could not resist and piled it on. So you see, Jack said, Democrats do nothing but bitch. Even when they list good things they are really complaining.

I guess no one bothered to take note of this, but I not only resisted, but refused to play Jack’s silly little game. Instead, I simply listed the things that happen to make me feel proud as an American the way that Jack did. I immediately saw what the purpose of that post was (aware as I’ve become of the Neocon play book) - it is ALWAYS a BS attempt to diminish those of us who stand on the Left. To paint us as Un-American.

Instead of asking members to list the things they like about their party and dislike about their opponent’s party, why not ask them to list what they like about their opponent’s party? Surely Democrats can occasionally see merit in what Republicans do, and Republicans can occasionally see merit in what Democrats do. Maybe doing this will bring us all closer together as Americans.

It would be nice, but I have to admit that it is hard to get close to people who only shove us away with both hands.
However, I do see one benefit to having people who stand on the right side of the aisle. It’s often a highly necessary factor, and unfortunately, it’s the only one I can think of at the moment.
It is this: Liberals and Progressives are not at all afraid of looking at things straight on, seeing where a change in attitude or ideas is needed, and then acting to make those changes reflect our times, and our unfolding situation.
Republicans and conservatives, on the other hand, hate, fear, and dread change of any kind, and must always be slowly dragged by Liberals and Progressives, step by step, into the future.
The reason the drag they place upon us is often beneficial is because we would likely create many changes too quickly without them there to check our progress. Their plodding pace moving forward tends to give Liberals more time to think things through a bit more cautiously and carefully.
While this might make some of us exasperated and impatient at times, the truth is, usually by the time we are finally allowed to affect the transformations we know are necessary, the entire country has caught up with us, and will get on board without too much fuss.

I’ll start the ball rolling. What I like about Republicans is that they encourage everyone to be self reliant.

I think it’s far more important to remember that the vast majority of people in this country wouldn’t have had any opportunity to succeed in any significant way at all, or even live in any sort of decent manner unless a great many Liberals and “Radical” Reformers hadn’t fought tooth and nail for so damn much of what we have.
The self reliance the Republicans speak of, as well as our own, wouldn’t have been at all possible if not for those who blazed the way, risking their lives to stand up against the same old, cold, aristocratic moneyed interests who greedily, callously and inhumanely have always treated the men and women who produced their wealth like little more than brute slaves who were mindless and expendable.

Aside from those souless aristocrats, there isn’t an American alive who doesn’t owe a huge debt of gratitude to a bunch of dead and nearly forgotten Liberals. Once in awhile when we’re feeling so self reliant and pleased with ourselves, it might behoove us to recall that if it wasn’t for some bloodstained Wobblie with a severely limited education and a large set of cojones, our families histories and our own lives might have been a whole lot different than they are now.

Posted by: Veritas Vincit at February 26, 2008 1:00 AM
Comment #246452

Well said VV….!!

Posted by: Jane Doe at February 26, 2008 1:57 AM
Comment #246457

VV

I admire your passion and insight. Well said!

Posted by: RickIL at February 26, 2008 6:59 AM
Comment #246458

What I like most about republicans is that without them it would be difficult reaffirming why I am not one. ;)

Posted by: RickIL at February 26, 2008 7:02 AM
Comment #246459

VV >I guess no one bothered to take note of this, but I not only resisted, but refused to play Jack’s
VV >silly little game.

I noticed and did likewise. But Jack took a satirical list of things I posted:

Me >Here’s the list I thought you might come up with:

Me >1. The paradise on earth our nation created in Iraq and Afghanistan at the cost of only trillions
Me >of taxpayer dollars and deficits
Me >2. Rush Limbaugh
Me >3. Tom Delay
Me >4. The impeachment of the Slickster
Me >5. The national debt
Me >6. The solution to the social security crisis discovered, designed and implemented by the Bush
Me >administration
Me >7. The rapid, professional, compassionate conservative response to hurricane Katrina
Me >8. The massive stratification of US society according to wealth
Me >9. The rapid, professional job of tightening the nation’s borders in response to elevated terror threat
Me >10. The bridge to nowhere in Alaska

Me >Seems like I was pretty close to what you came up with.

But Jack proceeded to pretend this was a “festivus” list of grievances, not once but multiple times:

Jack >Congratulations on the Festivus listing however. I think you are best so far.

Jack >Intentional or not, you are playing Festivus very well, although I think Spong has the edge for now.

So I would add the following to my list of things I like about Republicans:

11. Only very few Republicans are so intellectually dishonest that they find the need to quote out of context or put words in the mouths of their opponents to make themselves look better.

Posted by: spongeworthy at February 26, 2008 7:31 AM
Comment #246460

I AM PROUD to be a liberal. Sometimes I am proud to be a democrat but not always. Like now when this congress won’t stand up to the the president.

I was proud yesterday when I heard Barack’s response to the repubs when they questioned his patriotism. That made me proud to be a democrat.

What do I like about repubs. I like my friends that are repubs especially when we agree not to talk politics. As a party, I don’t like them, their politics, or their policies. Individually there are many fine repubs but they get lost in the over scheme of a party that is continuing to try and control through Carl Rove politics. When they denounce this, excommunicate him from the party-then we’ll talk about things to like about the repubs.

Posted by: Carolina at February 26, 2008 7:41 AM
Comment #246463

Jim M, Everett Dirksen,
http://bioguide.congress.gov/scripts/biodisplay.pl?index=D000360

was of course a Rpblcn, not a democrat like JFK, while Zell Miller had to take a right turn after the stars and bars became a political football. The Rpblcns became a majority by running to the right of every Democratic candidate in the south, no matter how conservative the Democrat.

Posted by: ohrealy at February 26, 2008 10:36 AM
Comment #246464

12. Most Republicans are comfortable enough with the quality and excellence of our nation that they do not criticize those who do not drink gigantic vats of ultra-nationalist Kool-aid and who do not feel compelled to wear their love of country on their sleeve. Most realize that they shot their patriotism wad with “You’re either for us or for the terrorists” and the shameful swiftboating of former congressman Max Cleland.

Posted by: spongeworthy at February 26, 2008 11:02 AM
Comment #246467

There doesn’t appear to be any significant difference (based on deeds and actions).

Incumbent politicians in the two-party duopoly in Do-Nothing Congress love to fuel the circular, divisive, distracting partisan-warfare, and too many voters are all too happy to wallow in it (oblivious to being cleverly manipulated, while Congress gives itself another raise, such as their 9 raises between 1997 and 2007, while our troops risk life and limb, go without armor, medical care, and promised benefits).

Yet, most voters somehow find a way to overlook and rationalize all of it.
Especially if THEIR party is doing it.
And what ever ain’t right in the world, it is the OTHER party’s fault, says the politician while he rewards himself with another raise. Cha-Ching!
And no one seems to notice that it doesn’t matter which party is the IN-PARTY / OUT-PARTY.
The nation’s problems still grow in number and severity, and too many voters still reward incumbent politicians with 93%-to-99% re-election rates.

The politicians in the IN-Party and the OUT-Party are simply taking turns abusing most Americans (for 30+ years), and too many voters do a strange thing:

    the voters continue to reward those incumbent politicians for it by blindly pull the party-lever, and then wonder (afterward, when nothing changed) what the hell went wrong?
Is that working?

Then why do it, over and over and over?
What do they say about doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result?

And sadly, this voters will most likely forget all about Congress, and sabotage the next president, who ever that is, with the same, do-nothing, corrupt incumbent politicians in Congress, despite no one for years being able to name 10, 20, 50, 100, 200, much less 268 (half of 535) in Congress that are responsible and accountable.
Thus, the next new president, who may truly want change, will be sabotaged again.

At any rate, the voters will have the government that the voters deserve.

Posted by: d.a.n at February 26, 2008 11:55 AM
Comment #246473

clarencec and jack,
does it give you some kind of a twisted high to intentionally and venomously lie about what “we” say??? There is no Democrat posting on here who has ever stated that we have nothing but love for our country. If your rose-colored (i.e. koolaid stained) glasses let you see different, then that’s your problem!
Oh, we can, and do hate alright. What this last administration has done to our country that will take years to mend and correct would be at the top of the list. Bushco, specifically, would be an all-encompassing explanation.
Just use your own words and thoughts….quit trying to impose either one on us.

Posted by: Jane Doe at February 26, 2008 1:32 PM
Comment #246477

Jane Doe >There is no Democrat posting on here who has ever
Jane Doe > stated that we have nothing but love for our country.

Jane, you’re right about that. The issue Jack (and others of his ilk are) is having trouble with is the semantic difference between “loving” one’s country and “being proud of” one’s country.

The whole thing stems from Michelle Obama’s statement last week about being really proud of this country. She has since apologized but yet the furor continues.

At the time, I pointed out that though he was calling her on the carpet for that, he had oddly neglected to explain why he himself was proud of this country. I challenged him to do so. On the next day, he posted 10 things for which he was proud of this country, claiming to have spent 90 seconds writing them down.

It’s kind of like we’re back in Nazi Germany in the 1930’s when everyone who didn’t wear the armband and do the salute was a traitor.

Posted by: spongeworthy at February 26, 2008 2:19 PM
Comment #246478

Jane,

That would be easier to buy if it weren’t for all of the posts in the previous thread telling us how bad capitalism was and how socialism made people more happy and hey, shouldn’t we move towards that.

I’m pretty sure that if you want to make such a fundamental change to a country as that, that it is most likely that you don’t like it very much, not because you think it is the bomb

Posted by: Mayor of Whoville at February 26, 2008 2:22 PM
Comment #246486

Jane Doe, when the content of a post is so completely ignorant, it is not really necessary to respond to it. People who post like that have no intention but diverting discussions to their own agendas. Do you really think you are going to persuade someone who posts nothing but lies? Did you notice how more liars came in to attack you? The topic of this thread is Self Reliance, a topic of much concern to a great American, Ralph Waldo Emerson, who influenced a lot of people who came after him.

I’m a Demcrat, but I was also offended by Michelle Obama’s comments. Welcome to the year of Smug.

Posted by: ohrealy at February 26, 2008 3:07 PM
Comment #246488

I’m not sure if this fits the criteria of the question, but I would say the arts is my favorite contribution of liberals. Most, if not all, of the music, performers and writers I like are liberals. Two of my favorite bands came straight from SF. I can be turned off if they use their platform too much for political purposes (Sean Penn) but some are just too funny to “quit” (Alec Baldwin).

Also, I am not in favor of the death penalty. So not much but I am willing to concede this country would be less interesting without liberals.

Posted by: andy at February 26, 2008 3:42 PM
Comment #246489

I don’t really know too many Republicans, since I live in the San Francisco Bay Area. But joking aside, that the Republicans and we of the left wing of the Democrats are entitled to exist and argue and disagree by the fundamental philosophies of this country is one of the most precious aspects of the US. The continued existence of this diversity means that no matter how bad the policies of the government, we still can hope to get the country straightened out.

I refuse to consider this country and the current government synonymous. I see no conflict between loving my country and its promise and not being proud of the country’s current government’s policies and behavior. Only when both language and concepts are reduced to a simplistic shorthand is there a conflict.

Posted by: dana at February 26, 2008 3:47 PM
Comment #246491

The Rpblcn party was pretty respectable when I was growing up. Many were opposed to the war in Vietnam. We still have a lot of respectable Rpblcns in IL. They can’t get away with a lot of their national tactics here. I don’t vote for them, because I know they will end up supporting people like Bush, if they go to Washington.

As far as I am concerned, Ford was the last good Rpblcn. Dole was OK, and McCain is probably trying to follow in their footsteps. Maybe they have just bottomed out with Bush. Bush makes Reagan look good by comparison. Reagan made Nixon, the most liberal Rpblcn POTUS, look better.

Posted by: ohrealy at February 26, 2008 4:21 PM
Comment #246492

Ohrealy >I’m a Demcrat, but I was also offended by Michelle Obama’s
Ohrealy >comments. Welcome to the year of Smug.

OK, but would you care to elaborate as to why you were offended?

I can absolutely accept the fact that you and a lot of others were offended. I just do not understand why. What does smugness have to do with it?

Posted by: spongeworthy at February 26, 2008 4:32 PM
Comment #246494

All
Apoligies for being off thread but wanted to say goodbye for now. Me and fam are about to emmigate to that farflung province of the American Empire, The Philippines,for good. Over the years I have come to appreciate many of you and have enjoyed our lively debates,especially with Arch Nemises,Jack. We often disagree but it always seemed that if we sat down next to a pond with a few beers we could solve the worlds problems. Of course then the problem would be getting the world to realize it. I have come to regard many of you quite highly and garner hope from your varried perspectives.

Regards Bill Scanlan

Posted by: BillS at February 26, 2008 5:15 PM
Comment #246495

“For the first time in my adult lifetime, I am really proud of my country, and not just because Barack has done well, but because I think people are hungry for change.”

She wasn’t really proud when she went from Whitney Young to Princeton? or Harvard? Smug is a reference from South Park, a show familiar to other posters here.

She grew up as a part of the Daley machine in Chicago, and if you really look at her, you will discover that she is almost a complete hypocrite.

Having vented all that, you might be surprised to know that I will most likely vote for Obama. I live in Illinois, and I am sure we will get a lot of good stuff out of the deal. I am sure that friends of Michelle at the U of C will do really well too. They’ve contributed enough to his campaign. That doesn’t mean I want to listen to BS from now until November.

Posted by: ohrealy at February 26, 2008 5:25 PM
Comment #246498

There’s really nothing to like about them. Call me crazy, but I find nothing admirable about this party that has bankrupt my children in the name of over the top cowboy ideals that have nothing to do with America I once knew.

Posted by: Max at February 26, 2008 5:54 PM
Comment #246502

Ohrealy >She wasn’t really proud when she went from Whitney Young to Princeton? or Harvard?

OK, now why should she be “really proud of my country” when she did those things? Her country didn’t do those things.

And if you’re going to come back with something like “Well, 30-40 years ago she wouldn’t have had that chance…”, my response is that instead of being proud that black people in this country have opportunities like that now, opportunities their ancestors never had, they should have had that equality all along - and that’s nothing to be proud of this country for.

Ohrealy >Smug is a reference from South Park, a show familiar to other posters here.

Thanks for the cultural reference, I am familiar with South Park but obviously do not watch it often enough. Nevertheless, without more information, I still don’t get what you mean by juxtaposing

Ohrealy >I’m a Demcrat, but I was also offended by Michelle Obama’s
Ohrealy >comments.

with

Ohrealy >Welcome to the year of Smug.

In fact even googling “year of smug” was absolutely no help.

Ohrealy >Having vented all that, you might be surprised to know that I will most likely vote for
Ohrealy >Obama.

Not at all, it’s the right thing to do.

Ohrealy >That doesn’t mean I want to listen to BS from now until November.

Exactly. Personally, I love this country as much as the next guy and probably more in most cases, but when I heard what she said, I wasn’t offended; I just wrote it off as typical political BS emitted in a hubris-filled moment. I actually wondered to myself “What is she proud of right now?” Her husband winning a primary or two? So what?

BTW, I noticed you never really explained why you were offended. But that’s OK, neither has anyone else, Jack and the Rep/con talking-head smear machine included. So I’ll let you off the hook at this point.

Posted by: spongeworthy at February 26, 2008 7:58 PM
Comment #246503

Jack >The only way it was a divisive exercise is that it
Jack >divided those who love their country from those who don’t.

Nope, not true at all, Jack, and you know it.

In the first place, the verbiage you used was “proud of this country”, not “love their country”. That is two very different things.

In the second place, you started in on Michelle Obama about her statement about being “really proud of this country”. Then, when I called you on the fact that YOU didn’t bother to name reasons why you are proud of this country, you started a new discussion with the preposterous reference to “festivus”. Then, when I rebutted your 10 points of pride, including satirizing what I expected you to come up with, you pretended my satire was a serious entry to your contest.

In short, you deliberately conducted an exercise in divisiveness and you were divisive from the first sentence of the first discussion.

Don’t now come here and act innocent, because you’re not.

Posted by: spongeworthy at February 26, 2008 8:34 PM
Comment #246504

Jack >The only way it was a divisive exercise is that it
Jack >divided those who love their country from those who don’t.

Nope, not true at all, Jack, and you know it.

In the first place, the verbiage you used was “proud of this country”, not “love their country”. That is two very different things.

In the second place, you started in on Michelle Obama about her statement about being “really proud of this country”. Then, when I called you on the fact that YOU didn’t bother to name reasons why you are proud of this country, you started a new discussion with the preposterous reference to “festivus”. Then, when I rebutted your 10 points of pride, including satirizing what I expected you to come up with, you pretended my satire was a serious entry to your contest.

In short, you deliberately conducted an exercise in divisiveness and you were divisive from the first sentence of the first discussion.

Don’t now come here and act innocent, because you’re not.

Posted by: spongeworthy at February 26, 2008 8:37 PM
Comment #246505

BillS

Good luck for you and your family with your new endeavor. Your knowledge, expertise and unfaltering support of the working class person will be greatly missed here. But I am miffed. Surely you will have access of some sort to the internet.

Posted by: RickIL at February 26, 2008 8:54 PM
Comment #246506

Nice mess there. It’s not really necessary to cut and paste parts of other people’s posts into your own. The people you are responding to know what they wrote. It’s in the thread already.

The offensiveness of Michelle Obama’s remark is in the comment, that’s why I included it in my post. It’s ready to wear, like when she said that she did not know if she would vote for Hillary if her husband didn’t get the nomination. She is smug and hypocritical.

In her defense, I do not think that the wives of the candidates should be interviewed at all. I have no interest at all in anything Cindy McCain has to say. If they have questions about the business connections of the wives, they should ask the campaign, and not expect to question a person who is not a professional BS artist.

I am not on any hook, so I do not need you to let me off of it.

Posted by: ohrealy at February 26, 2008 9:21 PM
Comment #246509

OK, back on the hook you go.

Ohrealy >The offensiveness of Michelle Obama’s remark is in the comment, that’s why I included it
Ohrealy >in my post

There is nothing offensive in her comment. You have yet to explain why you find it offensive, other than apparently ‘It’s offensive because it’s offensive.’

Ohrealy >She is smug and hypocritical.

It also is not smug. Hypocritical? Hypocritical in essence means ‘It’s OK for me to do something that I think you should not do.’ What in the statement

M. Obama >“For the first time in my adult lifetime, I am really proud of my country, and not
M. Obama >just because Barack has done well, but because I think people are hungry for change.”

makes you call it hypocritical? I’ll tell you, nothing because it’s not.

Ohrealy >Nice mess there.

Glad you like it.

Ohrealy >It’s not really necessary to cut and paste parts of other people’s posts into your own.

No, actually it is necessary because if I respond to your stuff and do not make clear what you’ve said that I’m responding to, it is confusing to anyone trying to follow the discussion because they don’t know what remarks I’m responding to. It’s a practice “familiar to other posters here” and I’m surprised you aren’t acquainted with it.

Ohrealy >The people you are responding to know what they wrote. It’s in the thread already.

Sure, the people I’m responding to know, but other people who may be reading don’t want to have to go back and figure out who said what when. If I copy/paste your stuff into my post and mark it with your ID such as I do, it’s clear to everyone what I said and what you said, as well as to which comments of yours my particular comments are directed to. Make sense? It’s really not that difficult.

So anyway, I guess you are just offended by her remark but you are incapable of expressing why. That’s OK, no one else can seem to do it either.

Posted by: spongeworthy at February 26, 2008 9:58 PM
Comment #246510

BillS…..same from me.
If I remember correctly, Cebu is your destination. I’ve been there and done that and while the weather leaves a great deal to desire, there is some pretty country and the people generally love Americans.
Good luck and Godspeed….. Do try to stop by occasionally and help keep some of these right-siders honest !

Posted by: Jane Doe at February 26, 2008 10:06 PM
Comment #246514

Nice mess again. Everybody consists of 15 people, 3 of them trolls, half the rest are Rpblcns, all of whom can presumably read, which would be the main requirement for being able to post. What is “familiar to other posters”, is that your posts are a nearly illegible mess. Just write what you have to say. Does the person to whom these comments are addressed understand to whom I am addressing them? Do you get the concept of having a conversation in writing, without repeating what the other person said?

Michelle Obama’s remarks prove her smugness and hypocrisy. She was kissing up to Hillary before, saying that she was the woman she admired most, but now she would have to look into it, to see if she would vote for Hillary if her husband does not get the nomination.

You dismiss her country as not being responsible for her going from Whitney Young to Princeton, and you are 100 per cent wrong. We the people are her country, in which she lives very well, and always has. The topic of this thread is Self Reliance, something that Michelle Obama knows very little about. Say something about the topic, preferably in your own words, without copying and pasting.

Posted by: ohrealy at February 26, 2008 10:39 PM
Comment #246519

Ohrealy >Michelle Obama’s remarks prove her smugness and hypocrisy.

How’s that? Just because you say that does not make it true. Explain what you mean by her “remarks prove her smugness”. There’s no proof there, pal. Do you even know what it means to prove something? Now you’re talking to a mathematician here, so don’t come back talking out of your hat.

Ohrealy >She was kissing up to Hillary before, saying that she was the woman she admired most,

Well maybe that’s still true. Nothing in her “really proud” remarks in any way changes that. Hardly hypocrisy and certainly no smugness.

Ohrealy >but now she would have to look into it, to see if she would vote for Hillary if her
Ohrealy >husband does not get the nomination.

Where’s the hypocrisy? Is she requiring Hillary to vote for her husband if he gets the nom, but refusing to vote for Hillary if she gets it? That would be hypocrisy but if that’s what is happening, it’s news to me. Where’s the smugness?

Ohrealy>The topic of this thread is Self Reliance,

Actually, if you go to Paul Siegel’s original post, he says

Paul >why not ask them to list what they like about their opponent’s party?
Paul >I’ll start the ball rolling. What I like about Republicans is that they encourage everyone
Paul >to be self reliant.

So that is where the title of the piece came from. I don’t see where he said he wanted everyone to post about self-reliance, do you?

At any rate, if you go here you will see that I have in fact already posted on the topic of the piece, 10 things I like about Repukes. Now, if you want to discuss them or the two I added later, bring it on. But be sure and copy/paste the one you’re talking about so I’ll know.

Ohrealy >Self Reliance, something that Michelle Obama knows very little about.

If you say so. I don’t know why you would make a statement like that without even attempting to back it up, but whatever; I’m starting to get used to it.

Ohrealy >You dismiss her country as not being responsible for her going from Whitney Young to
Ohrealy >Princeton, and you are 100 per cent wrong.

Oh I see, you seem to be one of those “It takes a village” liberals who think that no one succeeds on their own. I think you’re wrong about that. Granted if she was in another country she might not have done as well. But was it not she who went to school day after day, week after week, year after year and made the grades and progressed through those schools? I really wish you would provide some proof of these quite outlandish claims rather than expecting us to simply take your word for it. Again and again, you make unsupported statements and I’m just supposed to say, “Well Ohrealy said it so it must be true.”

Sorry pal. How’s that for talking about self-reliance without cutting and pasting?

Posted by: spongeworthy at February 26, 2008 11:13 PM
Comment #246520

From the contents of your post and the style in which it is written, I would have to say that there is more familiarity with numbers than words, but you might be more considerate of the reader by occupying less space repeating things.

Hillary will be voting for Obama if he gets the nomination. You are posting without doing any research into what you are talking about. Try reading before writing. “What I said so it must be true” are the facts. Are facts true? Maybe not in mathematics. Have a nice night.

Posted by: ohrealy at February 26, 2008 11:37 PM
Comment #246521

OK, well in the first place I have never heard anyone complain about it except you, and in the second place many other posters, including editors of watchblog.com use the same technique. So, once again, you make an unfounded comment about my writing style and technique without offering anything in support or proof other than “Ohrealy says so.” Really starting to get old.

I’d like to know how you personally know who Hillary will be voting for and if you plan to accompany her into the voting booth to ensure she keeps her word. What about Bill, since we’re really talking about the spouses of the candidates?

As for reading before writing, I have done a good deal of reading on the “really proud” flap and I know of which I write. If you’ve got alternate information, it’s real easy to post links to it. Why don’t you? It would be a lot better support for your statements than “Ohrealy says so.”

You said I was 100% wrong about Michelle Obama being responsible for her own success but you offer no proof, no sources, no alternate information. They are not facts if the only thing you’ve got to back them up is “Ohrealy says so.”

And finally, apparently you are not familiar with proof in mathematics, which is far more strict than anything you’ve offered here and stricter than what passes for proof in day-to-day life. It certainly is orders of magnitude more reliable and factual than “Ohrealy says so.”

You have a good night too. Maybe next time you’ll have more success buffaloing people than you’ve had this evening.

Posted by: spongeworthy at February 26, 2008 11:53 PM
Comment #246524

How’s that for talking about self-reliance without cutting and pasting?

Posted by: spongeworthy at February 26, 2008 11:13 PM

You were being ironic, right?

Posted by: ohrealy at February 27, 2008 12:02 AM
Comment #246525

Hey, I thought you didn’t like copy/pasting, then there you went and did it yourself. Now that’s hypocrisy.

No, when I wrote that, I meant this is talking about self-reliance without cutting and pasting:

Oh I see, you seem to be one of those “It takes a village” liberals who think that no one succeeds on their own. I think you’re wrong about that. Granted if she was in another country she might not have done as well. But was it not she who went to school day after day, week after week, year after year and made the grades and progressed through those schools? I really wish you would provide some proof of these quite outlandish claims rather than expecting us to simply take your word for it. Again and again, you make unsupported statements and I’m just supposed to say, “Well Ohrealy said it so it must be true.”

Posted by: spongeworthy at February 27, 2008 12:08 AM
Comment #246529

Jane and Rick, thanks so much.

Sponge,

Like you, I don’t believe that what Michele Obama said truly bothers or offends anyone here either. I’m certain that this manufactured outrage over her remark is only a pose being struck for political reasons. On the right, it’s being cynically and deliberately used as yet another Rovian excuse to paint the Obama’s and all other liberals as “Un-American.” On the left, it is clear that this manufactured ire is merely an extension of the desperate desire Hillary’s supporters have to defeat Obama and his amazingly well run, superbly organized, and fantastically energized campaign.

the verbiage you used was “proud of this country”, not “love their country”. That is two very different things.

Oh for pity’s sake, are you still splitting hairs on this? Look sponge, aren’t some of the things you love about this country often the exact same things that make you feel very proud of our nation when you stop to consider us as a whole?

For instance, you went on and on about how I had no right to feel proud of our Independence Day; but just for a moment imagine you had a foreign house guest who knew nothing about our 4th of July, and you were going to bring them along to experience that day with you…

Wouldn’t you feel a touch of pride to be able to give them a day full of fun, great food, and a spectacular fireworks display? Just because the way we do it is so quintessentially American? Wouldn’t you feel a little pride in explaining how it is our yearly celebration commemorating our fight for independence, our defiance of English rule and our ultimate victory to become an autonomous, self governing nation? A nation where the Rule of Law was made to take precedence, rather than the arbitrary “divine right” of a King?
Maybe you could even give your guest that wonderful quote from Paine’s Common Sense: “—there is something very absurd, in supposing a continent to be perpetually governed by an island.”
After all these years that’s still both hilarious AND true!

You said that because you personally had nothing to do with any of that, you can’t see how pride could be taken in Independence Day. But the way I see it, the pride inherent in our history, and in the yearly celebration of our philosophy (which remains intact to this day), and indeed, in the whole idea of being an American, is something to definitely take pride in.


PS to Bill Scanlon: I wish you all the best. I’ve enjoyed reading your comments, and am truly hoping you’ll choose to return to contribute again very soon.

Posted by: Veritas Vincit at February 27, 2008 1:23 AM
Comment #246537

VV >Oh for pity’s sake, are you still splitting hairs on this? Look sponge, aren’t some of the
VV >things you love about this country often the exact same things that make you feel very proud of
VV >our nation when you stop to consider us as a whole?

No, they’re not. Look up the definition of love then look up the definition of proud or pride and you will see they are two very different things. If you’re unable or unwilling to to do so, I’ll do it this evening when I get home for work.

Suffice it to say that the difference between love and pride is the very reason pride is considered one of the seven deadly sins and love is not.

VV >For instance, you went on and on about how I had no right to feel proud of our Independence
VV >Day;

I never said you didn’t have the right to do so; I just said it is illogical and irrational to do so. There’s a big difference. You pretty much have the right to do anything you want in your mind, but it doesn’t make what you do in your mind correct, much less logical or rational.

VV >the pride inherent in our history,

Again, I refer you to the definition of pride or proud, which carries with it a measure of feelings of personal self-worth. If I had to do with making history, personally, you might logically feel pride in our history. But, as I’ve said before, the fact that a bunch of dead white guys put together the Constitution and it happens to work pretty well, does nothing whatsoever in terms of my feelings of self-worth. If it does something for you, hey whatever trips your trigger. Just don’t take me to task for not feeling the same way - that too is both illogical and irrational.

You know, Jack tried this stunt earlier - trying to pretend like what he was really talking about was loving this country, not taking pride in it. If M. Obama had come out and said in effect ‘for the first time in my adult life I LOVE THIS COUNTRY’, there wouldn’t have been any controversy in you and Jack and others reviling her. I probably would have joined you in doing so. So don’t come crawling back here, what 4 or 5 days after Jack started the furor, and try to change what you said or pretend you meant something else than pride. That’s called intellectual dishonesty, pal. As I said before one of the things I like about MOST Repukes is that they aren’t intellectually dishonest.

Posted by: spongeworthy at February 27, 2008 7:57 AM
Comment #246538

VV >and in the yearly celebration of our philosophy (which remains
VV >intact to this day), and

Honestly, do you think even a simple majority of Americans stop and think for even a fraction of a second between their beer-swilling and their fireworks-igniting and their potato-salad eating to “celebrate our philosophy”? I doubt it. What does your family do on the fourth, gather around the campfire to listen to grandpa read from the Federalist Papers? Sure you do.

In any case, any pride I might have would be in the philosophy, not in the so-called yearly celebration of it.

Posted by: spongeworthy at February 27, 2008 8:43 AM
Comment #246539

All
I am proud that I can provoke so much thought among my liberal friends. I know you enjoy saying how bad things are, that is why I gave you the chance. I did not expect it to spill over so far, however.

Re Michelle Obama - if you read all of what I wrote, after I heard she appologized, I let her off the hook and spoke of it no more. It was just a dumb comment and she is now forgiven. I did not bring it up again. Now you guys are doing it. Again, spill over.

Sponge

You were playing the game very well. What did you expect as a response? You made very excellent gripes.

All (again)

Remember what Emerson said, “People seem not to see that their opinion of the world is also a confession of their character.”

Some people are just half-full types of guys; others are half-empty.

Posted by: Jack at February 27, 2008 9:02 AM
Comment #246541

I am, of course, one of those “it takes a village” liberals. I know who Hillary will be voting for because she will support the candidate of the Democratic party, and has said so. If you are cynical about Hillary, then just use logic. She is a Democratic senator from NY. She will vote her own interest.

“Proof of these quite outlandish claims”? What outlandish claims? Reality that exists apart from the websites you visit? The mainstream media, and I am not talking about Fux here, was saying that M.Obama would have to apologise. I do not think she should apologise for her opinions. I just don’t happen to like them.

She used to publicly mock her husband’s speaking style. She has stopped doing that, but she apparently hasn’t drunk the Obama kool-aid herself, although she is willing to serve it for others.

On style and posting, people should have more respect for the reader. I still have this site in a folder marked Research, but the articles written here have declined considerably from 2 or 3 years ago. They have in fact been dumbed down.

There was a topic recently, “ten things I hate about Hillary”, in which the originator deeclared “the details are irrelevant here” In another, the originator likes truthiness better than the truth.

I came back in here in January for the primary election cycle, hoping for some discussion, but very little of that happens here. When a topic requires research, nobody posts. Most of my favorite participants no longer post here. When the primaries are over, this site is going into my recycle bin.

Posted by: ohrealy at February 27, 2008 9:31 AM
Comment #246546

It is funny how present democrats if the individual freedom vs. government intervention argument. If you read the history on any big accomplishment in our society, it didn’t start with a passionate politician or a party platform. The stories all have the ingredient of a dismissive government and passionate individuals who formed a movement that the government could no longer ignore.
The conclusion of this is that democrats are good at taking credit for individual accomplishments but their present policies are destructive to our way of life.
One of a million examples: My grandfather was a part of the coalmine union wars and tells us stories about it. There was a march in West Virginia where union workers went to protest the non union in the southern part. They wore red bandanas on their necks (where we get the term redneck). The sheriff shot fifty of them and had machine guns set up. The national guard was called out and the union leaders arrested because they defended themselves. A jury acquitted them. The publicity generated by this caused the government to react with protections. Government is reactionary only. Individuals are causal.
Go ahead and say you fought for causes and were in the trenches. Truth shows that present liberals are users that take credit for other’s accomplishments to justify controlling our lives through socialist policies.

Posted by: Kruser at February 27, 2008 9:59 AM
Comment #246551

Sponge:

No, they’re not. Look up the definition of love then look up the definition of proud or pride and you will see they are two very different things. If you’re unable or unwilling to to do so, I’ll do it this evening when I get home for work. Suffice it to say that the difference between love and pride is the very reason pride is considered one of the seven deadly sins and love is not.

I don’t believe in “Hell”, and you’re still missing the point. We’re not talking about a person here, we’re talking about the country as a whole. You can love a person, and be proud of them at the same time, can’t you? Well, the same is true of the country of your birth. You can love it for many unique and individual reasons, and you can be proud of it for many unique and individual reasons also. Sometimes the love and the pride overlaps.


I never said you didn’t have the right to do so; I just said it is illogical and irrational to do so. There’s a big difference. You pretty much have the right to do anything you want in your mind, but it doesn’t make what you do in your mind correct, much less logical or rational.

I think it’s illogical and irrational NOT to feel any pride the notion of American Independence, all it stood for, and all it continues to stand for.

But, as I’ve said before, the fact that a bunch of dead white guys put together the Constitution and it happens to work pretty well, does nothing whatsoever in terms of my feelings of self-worth.

Actually, it does. Though perhaps you’re completely unaware of it. The way this country was founded, and the government those “dead white guys” set up has had a profound and lasting affect on the character of the American people.

If it does something for you, hey whatever trips your trigger. Just don’t take me to task for not feeling the same way - that too is both illogical and irrational.

Oh, now I’M THE ONE taking you to task? :^D

You know, Jack tried this stunt earlier - trying to pretend like what he was really talking about was loving this country, not taking pride in it.

I’m not pretending any such thing. I still mean taking pride, though I’m aware you’re having trouble understanding why.

So don’t come crawling back here, what 4 or 5 days after Jack started the furor, and try to change what you said or pretend you meant something else than pride.

Nope, I still mean pride, and I never crawl. Personally, I’m amazed that you’re still going on about this.

That’s called intellectual dishonesty, pal. As I said before one of the things I like about MOST Repukes is that they aren’t intellectually dishonest.

I’m not intellectually dishonest. The only problem is that you’re having trouble understanding what I’m talking about.

Honestly, do you think even a simple majority of Americans stop and think for even a fraction of a second between their beer-swilling and their fireworks-igniting and their potato-salad eating to “celebrate our philosophy”? I doubt it.

It doesn’t matter what people are thinking about on that day. Every day in America is a celebration of our philosophy whether people grasp it or not. It’s simply part of who we are as a people.

What does your family do on the fourth, gather around the campfire to listen to grandpa read from the Federalist Papers? Sure you do.

No, I hail from a very long and passionate line of agitating Liberals. Naturally, they chose put the words of Thomas Paine in my hands when I was about ten years old. :^)

Posted by: Veritas Vincit at February 27, 2008 11:50 AM
Comment #246554

Kruser:
Wow, — way to help the spirit of this thread!!

by the way, who exactly was the institution that finally (due to efforts by the people) enacted the protections that you refered to??
National Govt
Other “socialist policies”
Women’s voting rights
Minority voting rights

Sorry you are being “forced” to recognize the rights of others

Posted by: Russ at February 27, 2008 12:23 PM
Comment #246557

What I like about republicans

We might want to rethink this
should we look at “Republicans” and “Democrats” which both lables cover quite a wide range of philosophies??
or Conservative vs Liberal
Which again covers a wide range of philosophies??
Are any of these really meaningful?
and aren’t these labels simplistic, sterotypical and allow (and encourage) the type of divisiveness we currently are saying we are trying to rise above??

I consider myself Liberal
Mainly because I abhor what the label “Conservative” now encompasses.
I used to ascribe to “Conservative” — I followed and respected Barry Goldwater — started moving away (but still supported Nixon) but Reagan, his policies, his administration (especially his war on the environment) was what made the final break for me (funny that now he is the conservative Icon!! — Barry would be rolling in his grave!!)
By the 1980s, the increasing influence of the Christian Right on the Republican Party so conflicted with Goldwater’s libertarian views that he became a vocal opponent of the religious right on issues such as abortion and gay rights.

anywho
I too once fought about “the welfare state” and those worthless “welfare lazy people” — but then I got an upclose and personal indoctrination into the reality of the lives of the majority of that population (as opposed to the sterotyped generalizations normally used by those opposed to “the welfare state”)
anywho, bit by bit, it became apparent to me that the “conservative” label no longer reflected the ideals, policies, and morals that I felt were proper and right — they seemed selfish, meanspirited and uncompassionate — and the liberal label seemed to better reflect the sorts of philosophies I could support.
However — I do not agree with many stands that others under this label do — Just as I neither reject all of the positions but forward by those under the conservative label — but what is one to do??
Do I need to have a 30 page document to provide any time I try to explain what I believe in??
Not too practical.

I guess we are stuck with lables, but can we not confuse the simplistic label with real people??

we have all done it
those repukes say….
those liberal commie Bstrds ALWAYS……
krusers latest blurb is just an example

Truth (???)shows that present liberals are users that take credit for other’s accomplishments to justify controlling our lives through socialist policies

but it is easy to see it for the BS it is
Other times not so.


Sooo, hows about
if we really are interested in having dialogs re: various issues that (from here on) we present our position, with something to back it up
and present our objections to the opposing position — without labels
“Liberals only want to……”
“Right-wingers always say…..”
and stick to the topic, the issue at hand and present YOUR position and YOUR arguements against, and if SOMEONE SPECIFIC said or did (or does) something you disagree with — then address THAT SPECIFIC PERSON OR DEED — NOT SOME LABEL BUCKET YOU ARE CHOOSING TO PLACE THAT PERSON IN.

DISCLAIMER:
I HAVE BEEN JUST AS GUILTY OF THIS AS ANYONE, BUT IT DOESN’T MEAN WE CAN’T ELEVATE THESE DISCUSSIONS.
AND PERHAPS THE BEST WAY TO ACCELLERATE THIS ELEVATION IS TO BOYCOTT (REFUSE TO RESPOND TO) ANY POSTINGS THAT VIOLATE THAT POLICY.
(GOOD LUCK, BUT WORTH A TRY??)

Posted by: Russ at February 27, 2008 12:54 PM
Comment #246559

Jack,

Some of us think the whole affair is spurious and poor political rhetoric.

It didn’t spur thought, but the usual nonsense claims of patriotic Republicans and traitor Democrats. It is devisive and not at all patriotic, but destructive of clear political thought. Hence my post about Sam Johnson.

Good job at suckering some into this crap.

Posted by: googlelumpus at February 27, 2008 12:58 PM
Comment #246565

russ


kruser said- “If you read the history on any big accomplishment in our society, it didn’t start with a passionate politician or a party platform. The stories all have the ingredient of a dismissive government and passionate individuals who formed a movement that the government could no longer ignore.”


russ said- “by the way, who exactly was the institution that finally (due to efforts by the people) enacted the protections that you refered to??
National Govt
Other “socialist policies”
Women’s voting rights
Minority voting rights

Sorry you are being “forced” to recognize the rights of others”

where did he say voting rights were socialist policy? funny how you read that in to his statement. i would have assumed he meant actual socialist policies such as welfare, and other gov’t entitlements that require the taking of others property in order to give it to someone else.


Posted by: dbs at February 27, 2008 1:18 PM
Comment #246567

Isn’t it great how liberal policies are good at ‘taking from the rich’ and ‘giving to the poor’, when in reality all it does is hurt the middle class, the forgotten man, who is just trying to get by as best he can for him and his famliy but is labelled ‘selfish’ if he wants to have some semblance of control over his finances to help cover the ups and downs of his life?

The middle class gets screwed from the left and right, yet they still look to those two for answers because most of them just want to do avoid the appearance of selfishness. Since when is it selfish to want to be able to help when you can, not have it taken no matter what your current fluid situation is? All to help people who more often than not do not even take the basic precautions that would prevent them from being where they are? Insurance, savings accounts, minimized or zero debt, etc.

I saw a great billboard today for the Dave Ramsey show… “Live Your Wage” it said. Ah, if we just would encourage that thinking more…

Posted by: Rhinehold at February 27, 2008 1:26 PM
Comment #246568

dbs
you make my point exactly
kruser referred to “socialist policies” — using that boogeyman term “socialist” without addressing specific policies he might have some objection to
which left it open to me to present what I CHOOSE to apply it to
and then
You CHOOSE to respond for him in what YOU thought he might be referring to
We are both most likely wrong
in some way

If he chose to address some specific policies that he labels “socialist” then we could have a meaningful discussion
I did supply some specific examples — and you were able to then have something to work with.

again, notice the use of labels to generalize quite a wide range of philosophies, and policies,
which leaves it open to a wide range of people nodding their heads in agreement to quite a diverse number of actual issues.

Yep we can all agree on those awful “socialist policies”
like
Police
Fire
Libraries
Public Schools

What, that is not what you meant by “socialist”???
You are Not AGAINST Police, Fire, Libraries, and Public Schools (the concept, specific schools you might have objections to eh??)


This is what I am objecting to
The use of labels to conveniently place into one bucket a wide ranging sample of issues that might invoke a diversity of response
Wait, I am a liberal — but I am not for “Taking guns away”
Wait, I am a conservative, but I believe in Gay Rights (Barry Goldwater for example, — is he not considered a Conservative??)

I am a liberal, but do not consider myself, nor any thing I support as being “socialist”
but gee whiz, having discussions on the specific issues would take work — and I guess it is easier to debate when you can use ridicule, generalisations and sterotypes to try to discredit the position of your opponent.

It seems we do have some intelligent posters here, it would seem that we are capable of elevating the level of debate on these threads — is it that we just don’t have the desire??
Are we then just an extension of the lack of dialog in the country as a whole??
Are we doomed to remain behind our respective lines and reduce ourselves to hurling bricks at the other side??
Please say it ain’t so Joe!!

Posted by: Russ at February 27, 2008 1:34 PM
Comment #246571

Rhinehold
I am interested in your statement
“Isn’t it great how liberal policies are good at ‘taking from the rich’ and ‘giving to the poor’, when in reality all it does is hurt the middle class,”

You seem to apply blame to one side of the equation.
Why is it that you feel the blame for burden of the taxation laws falling on the middle class are because of the programs that are supported by some people?

Why is there not a similar objection to the policies of others that allow people above the middle class to avoid paying toward those programs (i.e. tax cuts)

I find it interesting that some people argue for tax cuts for the rich so as to not discourage people (or punish people) for being rich, or getting ahead.
But then there are the arguements (by the same group?? — maybe not?) who want fiscal responsiblity (i.e. balance the budget) but then also complain when the burden for actually PAYING the budget ends up falling to the middle class.

Just who is going to pay?
I guess we cannot ask the rich, because that would be “penalizing them for getting ahead”
we cannot ask the poor, because they don’t have the money.
So it falls to the middle class, but then the blame gets to fall SOLELY on the “liberals” because they want to have the government use its resources to help people. (Policies that are passed by our national government after a long torturous process INVOLVING BOTH SIDES)

Horse Hockey!!
“liberal” policies (if enacted to the extent some would envision) WOULD “take from the rich and help the poor”
Doesn’t it appear that it is NOT “liberal” policies that are then responsible for having that ending up “screwing the middle-class”??


There are some “Liberal” policies that call for upper income people to pay a fair share to the tax system
Just as there are “Conservative” policies consistently calling for tax cuts, — and recently those tax cuts have been directed mainly at those above the middle class.

Takes two to tango Rhinehold
I know you kindof try to indicate that you distribute blame “gets screwed from both the left and the right” — but nice little throw out as a second thought, the main tone of your posting is “those liberal policies” used, as typical, to represent something “baaaad”

wow, the thread sort of has strayed Waaaay off course — and it only takes a very short time to revert back to complaining about those dirty rascals in “the other labeled bucket”

Posted by: Russ at February 27, 2008 1:51 PM
Comment #246572

This whole “forcing me to help someone else out who doesn’t deserve it” arguement sure does make my liberal blood boil.

it is such a misrepresentation of
Many of the situations involved
the intent of many of the programs that are being attempted to resolve the situation
and the fact that for many things, it just makes sense to use a centralized effort to address these problems
Again, it is a simplification that reduces the arguement to boogey-man level.

No one is FORCING you to help an undeserving low-life. (for example Haliburton)

You are FORCED to pay the taxes that are imposed by legislation passed by BOTH PARTIES.

Those taxes are then distributed to quite a variety of programs and budget items
There are people who are misusing and abusing those programs and are undeservedly benefiting from those programs
Neither you nor I would do that — but the fact that we wouldn’t nor that they do, is the not the fault of the program, nor of the desire to help people who deserve help.

Katrina
Hundreds of thousands were ruined, and displaced, and there are many examples of assistance being provided at ALL levels — individuals, local governments all the way up to (almost) the Federal level. — but the scope of the problem would overwhelm any individual or local effort to really address the entire problem — and the Federal effort COULD AND DOES complement, assist and make more efficient the other efforts
Many deserving people benefited from some of the federal programs, but some were also harmed because many of these programs were incompetently implemented (by an adminstration that populated these organizations on the basis of political loyalty rather than competence)
Also there were many people who scammed the system and tried (and succeeded) in benefiting altho they did not deserve it.
Does that make the intent or the effort “wrong” and as such should not even be attempted???


Is it your belief that the answer is always to throw the baby out with the bathwater??

Rhinehold, it appears that you are making a generalization that ALL people that require assistance do so out of their own choice or bad decisions, or judgements.
Do you REALLY believe that oversimpification of the situation?? of the people caught in the situation??
I am trying to avoid extrapolating your beliefs beyond the simple statements you provided.

I know of many instances of people who do need a chance, and one that can only be provided by a common effort at a national level.
Not all need comes from poor decisions or lack of self-reliance — and not all of these situations can be adequately addressed by “volunteer individual effort” — but neither can it be done by the government alone. It can best be done by a Team.
The society and our country as a whole, actually BENEFITS from these efforts. Does it advance our country or our society to allow them to stagnate in poverty?
Is your answer “let them eat cake”? do you remember what happened to the government that applied THAT philosophy??


Many of the programs that try to address the problems ARE aimed at trying to provide an OPPORTUNITY for people to raise themselves out of their situation — these programs are imperfect, are abused, misused or not implemented as intended.
Does this mean we should not TRY to help these people?
Educate, provide assistance so that they can gain education, which means helping with
child care
health care
food
survival
While they raise themselves to the point that they might be self-sufficient??

However many more are helped and DO benefit from these programs, there are MANY examples of people who come out of these programs and end up going to the highest levels of our society!

Don’t we all end up benefiting if we help a huge segment of our population raise themselves out of poverty??
Wouldn’t there be less crime? less health problems, more productivity, more innovation.
Why is only the “bad” side of assistance programs put forward??
Why cannot you see that — if implemented properly and with assistance from “both sides of the aisle” we might be able to develop something that actually does what it was meant to do, and that we all would see benefits because of that which we cannot even dream of at this point???
Guess not
It is interesting that “liberals” are labeled as only finding what’s wrong — but in situations like this I find the opponents only looking at the bad, the wrong, the abuse, and totally ignoring the good, and the benefits that flow to them and society as a result of these efforts.
Talk about hating your country.

Posted by: Russ at February 27, 2008 2:34 PM
Comment #246575

Russ the problem is this: the libertarians and conservatives are all for liberty and justice. The liberals, liberty and justice for all.
While we are all close in wants, and we all want liberty and justice everybody has a different view of what that means.

Posted by: j2t2 at February 27, 2008 3:28 PM
Comment #246577

Again, too vague
and by your statements are you inferring that Conservatives and Libertarians do NOT believe that all should receive liberty and justice??
If not, who gets to decide??

Liberty?? need some definitions
I know when I get into discussions about “property rights” — many of the conservative and libertarisn bent say they want to “do what I want with my property without government interference” — but if you propose that might allow his neighbor to put in a toxic waste dump, or junkyard, — THEN they decide to modify their stance.
Well, in THAT case, but I didn’t mean THAT, “you know what I meant”
no
I can provide MY interpretation to what you say.

Liberty?? how far? — The liberty to torture someone??
Justice — lynching of a child molester??

Regarding your statement above
I would say that going toward the “liberal side of the fence” people believe in varying degrees of trying to provide equal OPPORTUNITY (and again we will get into a discussion of the line between opportunity and “handout”)that might otherwise be denied to them for any of a variety of reasons.
The woman wants to go to school, but cannot afford daycare and therefore either has to remain in the bad marriage, remain on welfare, or remain in bad jobs to pay for childcare AND all the other subsistance expenses.
without some help, she will remain in poverty, her children will suffer (and maybe not do well in school and just continue the cycle) and we will all be the worse for it — that is the PROBABLE outcome.

Will there be exceptions?? You bet. — but its not the safe bet.
Will providing day care ensure that the woman is successful — no, but it provides her with the opportunity to try.

The people who lean toward the conservative side have made statements that APPEAR to not support providing this assistance to opportunity at a national level. — but maybe I am wrong and still being too simplistic about it.
help me out here — please someone on “the other side” explain the “conservative” approach/belief.

Posted by: Russ at February 27, 2008 3:44 PM
Comment #246578

I apologize if some of these postings appear off-topic, but I believe they are not “off intent”
It seems Paul is trying to jump start a better way of debating the issues and conducting these discussions without reducing them to the simplifications and generalizations and name-calling.

I think I am trying to promote that and I am trying to engage in a discussion in a manner that I proposed.
it is tough.
I hope we can all adjust.
Thanks for bearing with.

Posted by: Russ at February 27, 2008 3:49 PM
Comment #246587

No need to apologize Russ, I think you asked some very valid questions, and they do, in a way, deal with self reliance.

The new approach is nice too.

Posted by: kctim at February 27, 2008 5:52 PM
Comment #246594

russ


“The woman wants to go to school, but cannot afford daycare and therefore either has to remain in the bad marriage, remain on welfare, or remain in bad jobs to pay for childcare AND all the other subsistance expenses.
without some help, she will remain in poverty, her children will suffer (and maybe not do well in school and just continue the cycle) and we will all be the worse for it — that is the PROBABLE outcome.”

not nessesarily, it also depends on the mothers character. if she is of good character she will see that they complete homework, teach them to be decent responsible human beings. many people grow up poor, become good people, and productive members of society. if she is not of good character, the kids are on thier own no matter how much we try to help.

first question— who’s fault is it that she finds herself in this position? i think it makes a difference. many people find themselves in bad positions because of bad personal decisions.

second question— who should pay for the child care, schooling, etc. using tax money is probably not the answer. forcing another to pay for someone elses mistakes is hardly fair. the most reasonable answer IMO would be through a private charity. that way there is some accountability when it comes to how the money is spent. try to tell the gov’t you’re going to withhold some of your tax money because they are spending it frivolously.

third question— how many second chances should this woman recieve? giving someone a hand up the first time seems reasonable, but to many seem to keep returning for a hand out. doesn’t make sense to me, and probably won’t end the cycle.


Posted by: dbs at February 27, 2008 7:25 PM
Comment #246607

My mother was on welfare for a short time due to abandonment during her eighth pregnancy. I was one of the older ones. We lived in the highest welfare area in the nation. She despised the shameful treatment she got from caseworkers and quickly started a daycare to support us. We hated being designated as poor folk. I worked odd jobs from fourteen. None of my family has used assistance since.
Normal functions of a republican form of government would be law enforcement and capital related regulation. Pooling resources (fuel taxes) for infrastructure isn’t a socialist function but a normal thing for any large industrialized country with a volume of traffic. Taxes from income and penalizing success for entitlements, putting rich against poor, blacks against whites, woman against men are the modern liberal manipulations that I despise. The world would be wonderful place if every one were middle class, mullatto hermaphrodites I guess.

Posted by: Kruser at February 27, 2008 9:52 PM
Comment #246609
You seem to apply blame to one side of the equation.

Then you are making assumptions…

Why is it that you feel the blame for burden of the taxation laws falling on the middle class are because of the programs that are supported by some people?

It is not because of one side or another that taxes fall upon the middle class, that is just a statement of fact.

Why is there not a similar objection to the policies of others that allow people above the middle class to avoid paying toward those programs (i.e. tax cuts)

First, they don’t pay them anyway, they are just passed on down. Second, why are you assuming that I am not against those as well? Just because it was not part of the discussion, so I didn’t comment on it, doesn’t mean you should assume that I believe one way or another about it… That’s a pretty major fallacy.

I find it interesting that some people argue for tax cuts for the rich so as to not discourage people (or punish people) for being rich, or getting ahead. But then there are the arguements (by the same group?? — maybe not?) who want fiscal responsiblity (i.e. balance the budget) but then also complain when the burden for actually PAYING the budget ends up falling to the middle class.

Not sure what this has to do with me or anything I said… If you could point out how it connects, I would be glad to comment.

Just who is going to pay?

Who always pays, the Forgotten Man. So we should be aware of that any time we implement a new program, that the cost will be born by the middle class who are just trying to get by… Perhaps people would second guess implementing the program if they accept the fact that it will further burden the middle class…

I guess we cannot ask the rich, because that would be “penalizing them for getting ahead”

You can ask, but they will recover that money by passing the costs of it on to the middle class and poor.

If you are making 35,000 a year and paying 8,000 in taxes and someone came along and told you you needed to pay another 2,000, and you knew you could increase your salary by 2,000 to pay for it, wouldn’t you?

We cannot ask the poor, because they don’t have the money.

Yup

So it falls to the middle class, but then the blame gets to fall SOLELY on the “liberals” because they want to have the government use its resources to help people. (Policies that are passed by our national government after a long torturous process INVOLVING BOTH SIDES)

Horse Hockey!!

Well, it is, because you are making assumptions again…

Takes two to tango Rhinehold I know you kindof try to indicate that you distribute blame “gets screwed from both the left and the right” — but nice little throw out as a second thought, the main tone of your posting is “those liberal policies” used, as typical, to represent something “baaaad”

This block just makes no sense at all, to be honest.

You know my mind all of a sudden?

The topic was pretty specific that I commented on. Had the discussion been about imperialism and the cost that it puts onto the middle class, or the blocking of free markets by the right costing the middle class so much for corporate bailouts, I would have blamed the right.

But, as I remember it, we were discussing liberals… So that is what I posted about.

*shrug*

Posted by: Rhinehold at February 28, 2008 12:59 AM
Comment #246610
This whole “forcing me to help someone else out who doesn’t deserve it” arguement sure does make my liberal blood boil.

I don’t believe I said anything about ‘who doesn’t deserve it’. You start off by creating a straw man and then spend paragraphs railing against it. It’s a shame that you couldn’t have just read what I wrote…

it is such a misrepresentation of Many of the situations involved

Actually, it isn’t. But you have to understand the issue at hand, which you clearly don’t.

the intent of many of the programs that are being attempted to resolve the situation and the fact that for many things, it just makes sense to use a centralized effort to address these problems

The intent is good. The result is evil.

I will be posting an article in the middle column in a day or two (I had it almost written today and my system ate it, argh) that might help clear some of this up so I am not going to go into too much detail…

But, if the majority of people want to help someone, they can do so. It can be ‘centeralized’ and efficient. The *ONLY* reason to ‘make a law’ and use government is to use force. To force those who for whatever reason do not want to help the individual help, you are choosing the needy over the un-named individual who you are taking money from. That person could be a rich CEO, or could be a single mother working two jobs to try to put her two sons through school. You don’t differentiate, but you choose. You don’t let THEM choose. You don’t give the woman who is doing what most people would say is the right thing a choice to say no for now and help later if she has a bad couple month stretch.

Again, it is a simplification that reduces the arguement to boogey-man level.

No, it is exactly the opposite. It is shining a light on the oversimplification of ‘if you don’t support forced charity, you are selfish’ arguments that progressives make.

No one is FORCING you to help an undeserving low-life. (for example Haliburton)

Yes, they are.

You are FORCED to pay the taxes that are imposed by legislation passed by BOTH PARTIES.

Yes, that is correct.

Those taxes are then distributed to quite a variety of programs and budget items

Really? I hadn’t realized… *rolls eyes*

There are people who are misusing and abusing those programs and are undeservedly benefiting from those programs

When you institutionalize charity, it is inevitable, yes.

Neither you nor I would do that — but the fact that we wouldn’t nor that they do, is the not the fault of the program, nor of the desire to help people who deserve help.

You know, it has NOTHING to do with ‘welfare cheats’ or whether someone is deserving or not.

The *ISSUE* is that by making it a law that we are forced to help people without being able to make a choice as to whether the individual is deserving or not, we choose the needy over the unknown individual. We do not allow the individual to have the choice because we do not trust their decision.

Does that make the intent or the effort “wrong” and as such should not even be attempted???

The intent is not wrong. The implementation, using force, is.

Is it your belief that the answer is always to throw the baby out with the bathwater??

No, my belief is that the answer is to use our smarts and find a way to solve the problem that both helps those who are in need and doesn’t violate the liberties of the individuals who work hard to to make a life for themselves. Using force is a cheap, easy way out, it requires not having to think or work harder to find a better solution for all. Just ignore the damage that the programs do and focus on the few successes. Never mind that level of class warfare has risen over the years because of the contempt and resentment that people who are forced to provide charity without being able to make the decision on their own, those people are just selfish, remember? We don’t care about the middle-class taxpayer who works possibly two jobs to make sure that he does not have to rely upon anyone else to survive and advance their livelyhood, they’re just selfish…

Rhinehold, it appears that you are making a generalization that ALL people that require assistance do so out of their own choice or bad decisions, or judgements.

That is the generalization that YOU want to make so you can make the arguement that you want to make in an attempt to dismiss what I am saying.

Feel free to do so, but if you are actually interested in learning what I am talking about, perhaps take your partisan blinders off and realize that I am not a republican to start with… Then perhaps we can go forward.

Do you REALLY believe that oversimpification of the situation?? of the people caught in the situation?? I am trying to avoid extrapolating your beliefs beyond the simple statements you provided.

You fail more than once…

I know of many instances of people who do need a chance, and one that can only be provided by a common effort at a national level.

Great, sounds like a job for all of the national level charities that exist for precisely that purpose.

What benefit does the government bring to the table, Russ? What specifically does the government have that, say, a United Way doesn’t or can’t provide?

When you seriously try to answer that question you might find some enlightenment.

Talk about hating your country.

No, I love all of my country, not just some of it. I don’t ignore the Forgotten Man, I don’t put the needs of the needy above the needs of the quiet, the unassuming, the non-whiner.

I don’t put one individuals needs over another without letting them be the one to make that decision.

Progressives, on the other hand, assume that they know better and do not want to leave that decision in the hands of the individual. They choose whos needs are addressed over others and think that they are doing good. Instead, they are just sewing evil.

Posted by: Rhinehold at February 28, 2008 1:29 AM
Comment #246625

Rhinehold

I find you to be one of the most cynical people I have encountered. I do not say this begrudgingly. Cynics play an important role in presenting alternate viewpoints to argued presentations. I understand your apprehension with being strong armed by a governing body to support ideals you do not necessarily believe in. You want and expect the right to determine how our government spends your money and intrudes on your life. I think in a perfect world we all would love that scenario.

I also do not care for the close intrusion of government in my life. But I do see in these times of large corporate powers and money soaked special interest groups for a means of oversight and a degree of regulation to protect the rights of those of us who do not have the means to fight the establishment with anything other than words and the vote.

The last few decades have shown all too obviously just how corrupted a government can become when the influence of money and power become its main motivating factors. I think people in large expect government to raise their level of integrity above those of the corporate world and look out for our interests. We see this as the only real means we have of fighting against a conglomerate of corporate induced policies which will ultimately leave the rest of us by the wayside and essentially living by standards they impose upon us through governmental influence.

I am at a bit of a loss here trying to imagine how the idea of less government influence in our lives can realistically be actuated as a betterment. Oversight and regulation are tools of government intervention and of course require that it dictate to some degree how we operate and live. On the other hand non intervention insures that the wealthy will determine how I live. How do we compromise these issues?

Maybe we should be given the option at tax time to donate a portion of our taxes to a cover all welfare or charity fund or even specific funds. Much like the presidential public financing fund only in a larger amount. Perhaps even an option of differing amounts. In this fashion people who do not wish to help at least have an option.

Posted by: RickIL at February 28, 2008 9:47 AM
Comment #246627

RickIL,

Let me put two of your statements together and see if I can explain…

First, you say that you are upset about the corruption of government by business interests. Then say that you have to have all of this power in the hands of government in order to fight that corruption…

Do you not see that it is BECAUSE of the increase in power centrally located in the one organization that has the ability to legally use force on the citizens of the US that attracts those with ill will and corruption to it like a moth to a flame and GIVES them the power to do the things that we want to stop them from doing?

If the government did not have such a toehold into our lives, telling us how we can and can’t live our lives, then the corporations could not USE that toehold to further their power over the citizenry. Without that power a business can not force anyone to do anything at all! Walmart cannot come to my home with a policeman and tell me that I have to go to their store and by $150 a week in food, they do not have that power. But they can use the federal government to enact policies that make it more attractive for me to do so without costing them anything and putting constraints on their competitors. They also can have US foot the bill for their business endeavors. Why do they need us to come into the store if they can get our money from us through the tax code by force and never have to have us leave our houses!

The government should be using their power to protect our rights to live our lives as we choose, as long as we aren’t violating another’s right to the same, and ensuring that the marketplace is free from monopolies and trusts. They should be using their power to ensure that people who interact with each other do so in honest ways (anti-fraud) and that both sides of a contract are held to their ends of agreements.

Other than that, why do we want to give ANYONE else such dominion over our lives that could be abused by any interest, business or otherwise?

As for being a cynic, I am *in this issue* because ultimately what we are talking about here is giving someone with a gun the power to tell me what to do when I am not harming another person. I rankle to that, yes you bet. I find it incredible that someone else wouldn’t care that they are basically indentured servants or perhaps indentured subjects is a better term.

In all other areas, though, I am quite the optimist and have great incredulity in the still untapped potential of the human being, their spirit and their ability. It saddens me to see that we are holding those things BACK by an oppressive government bent on limiting our liberties and preventing people from exploring all of these new uncharted areas of possibility…

Posted by: Rhinehold at February 28, 2008 10:14 AM
Comment #246645

So Rhinehold
You know How I feel at being strong-armed to support this corrupt administration!
The funds being funneled to Haliburton
finance torturing prisoners in Gitmo and sending other detainees to torture in Egypt.

You are also strong-armed to pay for highways in parts of the country you will most likely not visit.

That is why I stated the obvious — it is NOT liberal policies that are strong-arming you for anything
You get strong-armed for the whole pool — which all of us have some objection to parts of it.
That distribution of the pool is determined by representatives of BOTH parties.

Many of these programs are safety nets, and are there for YOUR benefit should you so choose.

There are MANY people besides your mother who utilized these services for what they were — a temporary assistance thru a hard time.
Your MOTHER is not the only one who took that opportunity and ran with it.
She is one of many success stories
There are also success stories from the people who do as what you (or was it someone else??) commented on about “being of good character” —
what makes you think these people aren’t — or that I implied that raising good kids required just money??
It has been shown that malnourished kids do poorly in school, regardless of the home life — that’s part of it, but I would hope that the parent(s) do their part, but it is always easier if you get some help while you are trying to better yourself.

I also noticed that you completely avoided the question as to which better benefits the country??
Are you so concerned with “being right” and “damn it they SHOULD BE SELF-RELIANT” etc etc etc that you would prefer a situation that does more harm to the country — rather than trying to better the situation??
If volunteerizm COULD address the HUGE problems in this country — they would have, but we have changed as a nation — that is partly why we have representatives — many times we are so wrapped up in our selfish local interests we refuse to see where something that we might not care for is for the good of the country as a whole.
I know this is not economic, but the Southern States believed in segregation, and their local attitudes and interests were NOT in the best interests of the citizens of this country as a whole.
In an Ideal world (which we are not) our representatives Would be the people that SHOULD be looking out for the national best interest — above and beyond any petty local resistance.
There always needs to be a balance tho and finding that balance would be tough even in an Ideal World (Solomon??) but thro in the $$$$ and lobbyists and interest groups and forgetaboutit.
anywho
I felt the “bridge to nowhere” was a bad use of taxpayer money, I let my representatives know and raised stink thru the political process — but
if the national representatives had decided that there was a pressing need for some citizens up there — and that in their judgement (which I am not real confident in at this time, but then this is only an example) it was in the best interests of the country, then I would expect them to fund the bridge over my petty local objections.(and my limited foresight into the overall “big picture” benefits that I might be ignorant of)>

By the way, many of your statements about my statements were off as well
The one about what made my blood boil
That was not directed at you, nor at anything you said — pretty arrogant to automatically assume that??
dbs made a general comment, but it was directed at the generic comments I hear from those who object to “welfare programs” and generalize the people on them as “welfare cheats”

(by the way, the real welfare cheats to me are the Agri-business and Oil Industry that are receiving HUGE subsidies while they are also raking in record profits — and yet there are many people who choose to focus on people who get maybe 10,000 a year on food stamps — talk about priorties mixed up — ignore the billions and go for the nickle and dimes!! — do you guys even realize what a miniscule portion of the US budget goes to this sort of “welfare” (you know to help the poor, not the kind that helps the rich) — you could completely eliminate it and still not eliminate the deficit.)

Not all of my posts are directed at you Rhinehold.
and in the posts that WERE directed at you, it is interesting that you could not connect the dots and the connections to what you DID say (and implied by HOW you presented it)

I love it — you use language that is disparaging of “liberals” and then disavow that that is what you were doing!!
Poor Innocent Rhinehold.

Posted by: Russ at February 28, 2008 1:30 PM
Comment #246654
So Rhinehold You know How I feel at being strong-armed to support this corrupt administration! The funds being funneled to Haliburton finance torturing prisoners in Gitmo and sending other detainees to torture in Egypt.

We are in agreement on these points…

You are also strong-armed to pay for highways in parts of the country you will most likely not visit.

Actually, I am not. The highway money comes from a usage fee, through the tax on gasoline. I use gasoline to drive the roads and that money is used to pay for the roads. It’s a clear one to one usage fee and I am not forced to pay for it if I don’t want to use the gas….

That is why I stated the obvious — it is NOT liberal policies that are strong-arming you for anything

You are wrong.

You get strong-armed for the whole pool — which all of us have some objection to parts of it. That distribution of the pool is determined by representatives of BOTH parties.

Yes, liberal policies and conservative policies. Again, you are trying to make a point that is invalid, yet you continue to try to make it.

Many of these programs are safety nets, and are there for YOUR benefit should you so choose.

And I should have the choice to fund them as well. I’m not sure why that is so hard for you to understand…

There are MANY people besides your mother who utilized these services for what they were — a temporary assistance thru a hard time.

I think you are confusing me with someone else, I never mentioned my mother and I would appreciate her being left out of the discussion, thank you.

I also noticed that you completely avoided the question as to which better benefits the country??

Could you repeat it then, because I must have missed whatever point you were trying to make while you were attacking a straw man…

Are you so concerned with “being right” and “damn it they SHOULD BE SELF-RELIANT” etc etc etc that you would prefer a situation that does more harm to the country — rather than trying to better the situation??

You assume I am not trying to better the situation. I am. In fact, I work very hard in local and national charity efforts, as well as individual efforts with the people who receive the help that we provide.

I just do not think it moral to chose one person over another. That choice should be left to the individual to make. Using force is one someone who is not harming or violating the rights of another is immoral. No matter the intention…

Remember what the path to hell is paved with…

If volunteerizm COULD address the HUGE problems in this country — they would have,

When 41% of all income in this country is being sent to the Federal government, how are people going to afford to be as generous as they need to be to solve the problem?

It seems like a self-fullfilling prophecy to me…

But the REAL fact is that money is not the answer anyway. If money solved the issue there would be no poverty, we have plenty of wealth….

The problem is that we need to educate, to mentor and to do any number of other things to convince people that they need to WANT to become self-reliant.

but we have changed as a nation — that is partly why we have representatives — many times we are so wrapped up in our selfish local interests we refuse to see where something that we might not care for is for the good of the country as a whole.

And sometimes we are wrapped up in ‘noble deeds’ to see that our solutions are killing us from the inside and actually making the problems worse.

I know this is not economic, but the Southern States believed in segregation, and their local attitudes and interests were NOT in the best interests of the citizens of this country as a whole.

They were also a violation of individual rights. And the government should have stepped in a whole lot earlier to solve the problem. But the real issue is that government CAN’T solve the problem. You can’t force people to be not-poor or not-reliant any more than you can force people to be non-racist.

It takes education and a change in mindset, something CANNOT be solved by just throwing money at it, so throwing money at it is a waste of that money. And thinking that forcing others to help pay that money is immmoral.

In an Ideal world (which we are not) our representatives Would be the people that SHOULD be looking out for the national best interest — above and beyond any petty local resistance.

No, our representatives should be the people looking out that we are free to make those choices in our own lives, not make laws forcing us into whatever social mold they think we should live in.

That’s the problem, isn’t it? We are not putting control of our lives into the hands of a supreme being who knows magically what is best for all of us. We are putting control of our lives into the hands of individuals who may, or may not, have our best interests at heart, but are just human and will make mistakes.

So who is best to determine how you choose to live your life? You or someone else? If you say you are, they why, why, why are you so willing to give up control of your own life to someone else? For what good? What sort of return are you getting for giving up that capital?


(by the way, the real welfare cheats to me are the Agri-business and Oil Industry that are receiving HUGE subsidies while they are also raking in record profits — and yet there are many people who choose to focus on people who get maybe 10,000 a year on food stamps — talk about priorties mixed up — ignore the billions and go for the nickle and dimes!!

Again, assumptions. All welfare should end, forced charity is immoral, whether it is to help the poorest of the poor or to help the richest of the rich. Putting a gun to someone’s head and forcing them to help someone else is, again, immoral.

— do you guys even realize what a miniscule portion of the US budget goes to this sort of “welfare” (you know to help the poor, not the kind that helps the rich) — you could completely eliminate it and still not eliminate the deficit.)

Yup, about 34% the last time I looked.

Not all of my posts are directed at you Rhinehold. and in the posts that WERE directed at you, it is interesting that you could not connect the dots and the connections to what you DID say (and implied by HOW you presented it)

The way you wrote the comments they appeared to all be directed at me. Perhaps it had something to do with my name followed by a long string of statements with little paragraph space or obvious changes in direction…

I love it — you use language that is disparaging of “liberals” and then disavow that that is what you were doing!!

No, again you get it wrong. I was making a statement about how the progressive policies end up eating their own and put us in a worse position, re: the middle class. You then accuse me of only disliking liberal policies, which I plainly do not. THEN, you say that I am disavowing that I was disparaging liberals, which I clearly am doing…

It is as if you can’t comprehend that my views are not ‘partisan’ but ‘principled’ instead.

Poor Innocent Rhinehold.

I am neither poor nor innocent…. At least you got my name right.

Posted by: Rhinehold at February 28, 2008 2:28 PM
Comment #246660

Rhinehold said “And I should have the choice to fund them as well. I’m not sure why that is so hard for you to understand…”
But not even the president has line item veto Rhinehold why should you? We have representatives that make these decisions that is the form of government we operate within.

Posted by: j2t2 at February 28, 2008 2:46 PM
Comment #246662

And a constitution with hard limits that our representatives are suppose to operate within. They choose not to and we let them.

Which is why it is upsetting, we are actually subjecating ourselves to the politbureau, letting it happen without standing up for it. We allow the majority to rule the minority, violate their liberties and freedoms, all for good intentions that miss the mark.

But the real question is this. Why do people feel it is a good thing to give up control over their own liberty in order to be able to have a say, however small, in being able to control someone else’s liberty?

What sense does that make? Especially when as long as we have been doing it, the problems have been getting WORSE?

Posted by: Rhinehold at February 28, 2008 2:53 PM
Comment #246663

BTW, when I said we should have a choice to fund them, I do hope you understand that it was not a governmental agency that I was wanting choice to fund. I’m pretty sure we all know that there is no choice when it comes to government. Just power and force.

Posted by: Rhinehold at February 28, 2008 2:54 PM
Comment #246664

“All welfare should end, forced charity is immoral, whether it is to help the poorest of the poor or to help the richest of the rich.
Putting a gun to someone’s head and forcing them to help someone else is, again, immoral.”
Not to mention a gross exaggeration of the facts. Welfare is now workfare and not charity Tsunami relief is charity. At gunpoint! when Rhinehold, by who?

Posted by: j2t2 at February 28, 2008 2:58 PM
Comment #246665
“All welfare should end, forced charity is immoral, whether it is to help the poorest of the poor or to help the richest of the rich. Putting a gun to someone’s head and forcing them to help someone else is, again, immoral.” Not to mention a gross exaggeration of the facts.

Actually, it is not. That people fool themselves into thinking it is is mindboggling…

Tell me, j2t2, what would happen to you if you did not pay your taxes?

Welfare is now workfare and not charity

Welfare was reformed, but not by that much. It is also still taking money from one person and giving it to another against their express agreement at gunpoint.

At gunpoint! when Rhinehold, by who?

By the federal government. Ask Wesley Snipes, Edwin Shiff, etc… What happens in the US if you do not pay those taxes again?

The ultimate power that government has is the legal ability to use force on its citizens. No other organization has that power and it is necessary power to operate the functions it should. But because it has that power and can be influenced by those who are either incompetent (hello, loook around) or bent on ill will, it must be LIMITED. We should not be using force on our own citizens. We do it every day, and people like you DEFEND it just like those on the right defend spying and using torture. It is all the coin.

Posted by: Rhinehold at February 28, 2008 3:05 PM
Comment #246671

j2t2

” At gunpoint! when Rhinehold, by who? “

last i checked you could still be put in prison for not paying your taxes. when your taken away to serve your sentence whether it’s from a courtroom or your living room, the men who come and get you carry guns. why do you suppose they carry guns? the obvious answer is to show overwhelming force so won’t think about resisting or fighting back. yep, sounds like AT GUNPOINT to me.

Posted by: dbs at February 28, 2008 3:56 PM
Comment #246673

Rhinehold

The government should be using their power to protect our rights to live our lives as we choose, as long as we aren’t violating another’s right to the same, and ensuring that the marketplace is free from monopolies and trusts. They should be using their power to ensure that people who interact with each other do so in honest ways (anti-fraud) and that both sides of a contract are held to their ends of agreements.

Other than that, why do we want to give ANYONE else such dominion over our lives that could be abused by any interest, business or otherwise?

I agree wholeheartedly that we should be limiting governmental constraints. However the obstacle to what the government should be doing is what the government is doing. Regardless of what we think they should be doing they are pursuing their own agenda. That agenda consists of pandering to the influence of wealth first and foremost. The fact that they realize this and refuse to acknowledge it and pursue serious reform leaves us in a sort of catch 22. We are left to do nothing but complain to ears that listen with minds that ignore while business continues as usual.

Eliminating all social programs because a few are being allowed to exploit the system is like punishing the whole class because Johnny didn’t do his homework. We are supposedly an advanced society of intellect and high moral values. There is need for social programs. There is not a good reason in hell why social programs can not work efficiently and benefit those who truly need them. It is a matter of reform and holding our nations managers to the highest degree of character and accountability. The problem is not that we have allowed government into our lives but that we have allowed government to slip into an amoral abyss in which greed speaks louder than need. We the people in a state of blind trust and apathy have allowed our government to slip into this sad non productive state of false promise and ineffective governance.

I recognize and understand your ideals. While they hold merit I do not believe them to be the answer to our problems. I think the answer lies somewhere center of both of us. One thing is for sure, none of us will realize a fix until our governmental employees are held to the highest degree of accountability.


Posted by: RickIL at February 28, 2008 4:05 PM
Comment #246675


“Tell me, j2t2, what would happen to you if you did not pay your taxes?”
You go to court to determine who is correct. Then if found guilty you pay the penalty for the crime you were convicted of. Now should you become violent during the process then Im sure the situation would be different but it would be by your choice Rhinehold. There is a peaceful method to all of this should that path be choosen by those called to task by the government. Seems to work most of the time.

“Welfare was reformed, but not by that much. It is also still taking money from one person and giving it to another against their express agreement at gunpoint.”
Again a gross exaggeration of the facts Rhinehold. It is your choice to cause the violence or not.Your position that it is the governments is wrong. Their is a process for a peaceful resolution to any criminal acts associated with tax avoidance. Taxes are not illegal. They are abused by those we intrust to spend them but even thats not illegal. Its up to us to cause the necessary changes to prohibit unnecessary spending of our hard earned dollars. But to say its against the constitution is just not correct. Remember the saying “no taxation without representation” which was one of the rallying cries for revolution. We have representation my friend we may not have good or wise representation but thats a whole different arguement.

“We should not be using force on our own citizens. We do it every day, and people like you DEFEND it just like those on the right defend spying and using torture.”

Rhinehold in the best of all possible worlds of course we wouldnt use force on anyone in this Country citizen or not. However to restrict any law enforcement personnel from having the means to do so would be rather foolish in this world. Its my opinion that in most cases those charged with enforcing the laws do not use force unless they meet resistance. So your point of a gun line is exaggerated.
Your example Wesley Snipes, has had previous convictions for weapons. Should our Country just not do anything to uphold the law other than send out letters asking for the tax protestors to voluntarily pay their fair share? Sound sorta silly to me.

Posted by: j2t2 at February 28, 2008 4:17 PM
Comment #246679

j2t2, the reason people pay their taxes is because if they do not they will in the long run, by force.

You make a nice little story, but the result is the same. In the end, you either pay your taxes OR you will be facing men with guns who will make sure you do. That is, by definition, by force. If you don’t have the option of saying no, I don’t see how you think it isn’t by force.

In fact, ALL laws are enforced (heh) by the use of force…. The tax laws are no exception. There is no ‘gray’ area, there is no nice alternative. That you choose to avoid the inevitable result by acquiescing does not make the reality any less real.

Again a gross exaggeration of the facts Rhinehold.

Again, not it isn’t.

It is your choice to cause the violence or not.

Right! You either pay or you are forced to pay. You either follow the law or you are forced to follow the law. It is by force!

If you are carjacked by a man with a gun, i fyou freely give over your car to him because you do not want to suffer the penalty for not doing so, are you then NOT being carjacked by force?

Jeesh, it’s not hard, j2t2. No amount of attempting to ‘whitewash’ the reality of the situation is going to make the result any different, government is force. The *1* single thing that a government can do that no other organization can, is legally use force. That is what it is all about.

Your position that it is the governments is wrong. Their is a process for a peaceful resolution to any criminal acts associated with tax avoidance.

Yes, you pay the taxes or you will be forced to. We’ve been over this. You have the choice not to be forced to by acquiescing. That is, by definition, being forced to do something.

Taxes are not illegal.

No one is saying they are. In fact, I made it very clear that government is the only organization with the LEGAL right to use force on someone.

They are abused by those we intrust to spend them but even thats not illegal.

Again, no disagreement.

But to say its against the constitution is just not correct.

It is not the taxation that is against the constitution, j2t2. It is what the government does with the funds that is, IMO.

Remember the saying “no taxation without representation” which was one of the rallying cries for revolution. We have representation my friend we may not have good or wise representation but thats a whole different arguement.

Again, you have gone onto another topic, one we don’t disagree on. I have never said that taxation was unconstitutional.

Posted by: Rhinehold at February 28, 2008 4:30 PM
Comment #246680
Rhinehold in the best of all possible worlds of course we wouldnt use force on anyone in this Country citizen or not.

We need to not use force in the worst possible worlds as well, unless someone is violating the rights of another. It is immoral.

However to restrict any law enforcement personnel from having the means to do so would be rather foolish in this world. Its my opinion that in most cases those charged with enforcing the laws do not use force unless they meet resistance. So your point of a gun line is exaggerated.

It is not exaggerated. Why do people not resist the police? Is it because we are all good people inside or is it because when faced with the possiblity of being FORCED to comply, we acquiesce?

What is that OTHER than being forced to comply? That physcal force was not used does not mean that it wasn’t an implied threat by the police being authorized AND armed to do so.

Again, back to the carjacking. If the carjacker shows his gun and ‘asks nicely’ for your car, are you having it taken by force or not?

Your example Wesley Snipes, has had previous convictions for weapons. Should our Country just not do anything to uphold the law other than send out letters asking for the tax protestors to voluntarily pay their fair share? Sound sorta silly to me.

No, of course not! The government NEEDS the power to use force in order to enforce the laws. But it is why we should NEVER enact a law that that does anything other than protect the rights of citizens. Because only then does the use of force by our government become moral.

Why do we have laws against things that only affect ourselves? Why do forcibly take money from people only to give it to someone else? Are these things we should be asking our policemen to use force against us for?

Posted by: Rhinehold at February 28, 2008 4:39 PM
Comment #246683

“Should our Country just not do anything to uphold the law other than send out letters asking for the tax protestors to voluntarily pay their fair share? Sound sorta silly to me.”


i thought we had a voluntary tax system in this country, at least thats what i’ve heard from the likes of ted kennedy. funny thing though i don’t ever remember volunteering. as far as paying a fair share, what would that be?

we fund many things through tax in the form of fees for things like roads, and other infrastructure. for the most part though you can choose not to pay those by not driving or using a peticular service. this seems fair you use it, you help pay for it. taking my hard earned money to give as charity to another against my will, whether it be a us citizen or aid to some foreign country is not fair.

Posted by: dbs at February 28, 2008 4:43 PM
Comment #246684
There is not a good reason in hell why social programs can not work efficiently and benefit those who truly need them

And there is not a good reason in hell why social programs can’t work in a voluntary manner. We do not need to be forcing people to be charitable, to be choosing for them what they should be doing with their own livlihood.

Posted by: Rhinehold at February 28, 2008 4:45 PM
Comment #246720

>>And there is not a good reason in hell why social programs can’t work in a voluntary manner. We do not need to be forcing people to be charitable, to be choosing for them what they should be doing with their own livlihood.

Posted by: Rhinehold at February 28, 2008 04:45 PM

Rhinehold,

Yes, we do, because volunteers are too few and too far between. There are too many folks who depend on the ‘other guy’ to carry his load. Kinda like the assholes who refuse to leave a tip for good service just because he thinks the establishment should pay a decent wage. That thinking helps neither the server nor the establishment. Sometimes the ‘greater good’ is worth the price of being forced to contribute.

Posted by: Marysdude at February 28, 2008 11:16 PM
Comment #246724

Sorry, Marysdude, but you are just plain wrong in two areas.

1) You provide nothing to back up your assertion that there are too few volunteers. The fact that these things can become a low means that the majority want to give their money to these people. That is a LOT of money, though I contend that money is just not enough (that’s the dirty little secret, there will never be ENOUGH money because money is not the answer, but that’s a digression…)

2) It is immoral to take from one to give to another by force. The price of being forced to contribute is potentially your life, how is that worth it? Irwin Schiff is a perfect example, he will most likely die in jail because of his advanced age (80 this year) and the jail’s blocking of his medicine while keeping his jail cell around mid-50 and giving him only a single small blanket… (We treat those at Guantanamo better).

Posted by: Rhinehold at February 29, 2008 12:48 AM
Comment #246726
There are too many folks who depend on the ‘other guy’ to carry his load.

Hmmm, my thoughts exactly…

But, kidding aside, what do you say to the single woman of four who works two jobs to make sure her kids get a good education in private school. Should she be forced to provide charity without concern about her own personal situation or which months are harder than others, etc? Shouldn’t that be HER decision?

As for those that you see as ‘not carrying their own weight’, (I’ll assume you AREN’T talking about those that refuse to be self-reliant…), isn’t that their decision to make? Their right? It is their property that you are deciding, without knowing ANYTHING about the person you are taking money from or the situation they are in, and giving it to another person who, again, you do not know ANYTHING about…

What a completely idiotic system…

Posted by: Rhinehold at February 29, 2008 12:53 AM
Comment #246739

“It is immoral to take from one to give to another by force.
When done on an individual basis you are correct. Robin Hood was immoral while fighting the immoral actions of the king. go figure. However when authorized by the law of the people it is not immoral. In fact what is immoral is witholding your fair share at the expense of others. You are in fact immoral as you compel others to pay more to cover your lack of responsibility. No one every said liberty and justice for all are free Rhinehold they cost.


The price of being forced to contribute is potentially your life, how is that worth it? Irwin Schiff is a perfect example, he will most likely die in jail because of his advanced age (80 this year) and the jail’s blocking of his medicine while keeping his jail cell around mid-50 and giving him only a single small blanket… (We treat those at Guantanamo better). “

This is a perfect example Rhinehold of the blame the government crowds logic. Mr Schiff made choices to get into this position did he not? Who forced him, the government or him? Did they force him to not comply with the law? Did they enact a retroactive law? No these were all choices he made himself yet you continue to blame the “immoral government” for enforcing laws that pertain to all of us. The aristocracy must comply just the same as the rest of us peasants must with these laws. It was his actions and his alone that put him in the position he is in. Yet the libertarian/anarchist would defend this man as a hero because they believe in avoiding their responsibility to defend the rights of this nation. They break the social contract (which is also immoral)and then scream foul when they are required to make amends for the error of their ways. But hey thats just my opinion.

Posted by: j2t2 at February 29, 2008 11:05 AM
Comment #246741

Well, now who is misrepresenting who’s view, j2t2?

I never said that anyone should avoid a law. If a law is a law it should be followed. I never said at all that Schiff was not complicit in his prediciment.

What I did say was that the government uses force to enforce its laws. All of them. That means that even its foray into charity is done with force.

If the ‘government’ were to enact a law that said it was illegal to watch TV in the dark, it would be a law aimed at ‘bettering society’, since it would avoid costs of the optomitrists and help ensure people’s sight was better. It would be a good thing, would it not? Of course!

Well, why do we NOT have this law? Why do we NOT arrest people and FORCE them to not watch TV in the dark?

Do you accept that any law is enforced through the use of force, j2t2? Will you actually accept that fact, I wonder?

If so, then you have to accept that the decision to enact a law must be weighed against the knowledge that its enforcment WILL use force to do so.

BTW, the ‘libertarian/anarchist’ comment was not only invalid but also pretty lame. Should I say that your opinion is ‘progressive/communistic’? Would you agree with that label as you have attempted to label me an anarchist? I have never once ever stated we should not have laws. I have only stated that those laws are an employemnet of FORCE and we must not forget that when we vote for them. And that using force for the single purpose of taking property from one person and giving it to another is immoral. Just like if it were land, re: the recent trend of using emminent domain laws to take property from individuals and giving it to developers, there is no difference… We take land from people as it is needed for the running of the government, that is an unfortunate reality. Taking land to give it to someone else is immoral. That you want to try to justify it by trying to convince people that it is not force is sad…

Posted by: Rhinehold at February 29, 2008 11:25 AM
Comment #246746

Marysdude,
A combination of public funding with private charitable contributions generally works best.
The government will never provide enough funding specific to the needs of individuals, but private contributions involve priorities towards members of the same group who set up the charity.
If you have some specific need, it is best to contact local church groups, like Catholic Charities. They may also be able to direct a person to other possible sources of aid. Each organization has some little quirk which may be problematic.

Posted by: ohrealy at February 29, 2008 12:39 PM
Comment #246800

“Well, now who is misrepresenting who’s view, j2t2?” Good question Rhinehold who is doing that?

“I never said that anyone should avoid a law. If a law is a law it should be followed. I never said at all that Schiff was not complicit in his prediciment.”
Rhinehold I didnt say you did say that. However you did bring Mr. Schiff up as an example.

“What I did say was that the government uses force to enforce its laws. All of them. That means that even its foray into charity is done with force.”
Right I understand Rhinehold however I disagree, as I previously stated that social welfare programs are charity. Further I say its not forced unless you turn violent first. It is your actions that determine when force is used. You have a choice to make it violent.

The government has the right to use force to ensure compliance with the social contract we have all agreed to. Should you not comply with the law then of course force can be used against you. But it is the last resort not the first as you would have me believe. In some countries it is the first method and it is “at the point of a gun”. Here in this country it is the last resort and used to combat violent acts that you perpetrate for the most part.

“If the ‘government’ were to enact a law that said it was illegal to watch TV in the dark, it would be a law aimed at ‘bettering society’, since it would avoid costs of the optomitrists and help ensure people’s sight was better. It would be a good thing, would it not? Of course!
Well, why do we NOT have this law? Why do we NOT arrest people and FORCE them to not watch TV in the dark?”
Wow I dont see the relevance here Rhinehold. Lets save this for a different day.

“Do you accept that any law is enforced through the use of force, j2t2? Will you actually accept that fact, I wonder?”

I accept that the use of physical force is a right reserved to the government that may be used, usually as a last resort by the government to enforce the laws of this nation. The difference, in a nutshell, is this Rhinehold- Using the mob as an example the enforcer for the mob convinces you to pay up by physically putting a gun to your head. The government does not. So that is why I believe your comment “Putting a gun to someone’s head and forcing them to help someone else ” is an exaggeration of the facts. Which is what started all of this.

“If so, then you have to accept that the decision to enact a law must be weighed against the knowledge that its enforcment WILL use force to do so.”
It MAY use force Rhinehold not it WILL use force. You would think that our justice system is a violent and brutal process but for the most part its not. Just because an officer carrying a gun comes to your door doesnt mean he is going to shooot you Rhinehold. In fact I would bet most officers havent used their weapon in the line of duty. Yet to hear you I get the impression that its a constant and widespread method used in this country. The vast majority of people pay their taxes without the taxman coming to their house and putting a gun to their head in order to collect the taxes due them.

The use of the term “at the point of a gun” is a gross exaggeration Rhinehold, not a lie. IMHO.

“BTW, the ‘libertarian/anarchist’ comment was not only invalid but also pretty lame.” You are right Rhinehold my apologies.

“And that using force for the single purpose of taking property from one person and giving it to another is immoral. Just like if it were land, re: the recent trend of using emminent domain laws to take property from individuals and giving it to developers, there is no difference… We take land from people as it is needed for the running of the government, that is an unfortunate reality. Taking land to give it to someone else is immoral. That you want to try to justify it by trying to convince people that it is not force is sad…”
Now who is putting words in the others mouth Rhinehold? I dont believe Ive said that.

Posted by: j2t2 at February 29, 2008 8:11 PM
Comment #246802

dbs “last i checked you could still be put in prison for not paying your taxes. when your taken away to serve your sentence whether it’s from a courtroom or your living room, the men who come and get you carry guns. why do you suppose they carry guns? the obvious answer is to show overwhelming force so won’t think about resisting or fighting back. yep, sounds like AT GUNPOINT to me.”
dbs do you not see the exaggeration in that statement? Just because an officer carries a weapon doesnt mean they are putting it to your head to collect taxes. Should you become violent of course they need to defend themselves,wouldnt you agree? If you dont think its an exaggeration perhaps in the future you can use it any time you write about anything as everything we do can be considered to be “at the point of a gun” perhaps then you can see the real purpose of the exaggeration. It seems the libertarians only use “at the point of a gun” when referring to taxes and social programs they are against.

Posted by: j2t2 at February 29, 2008 8:39 PM
Comment #246837

j2t2

the gun on the officers hip is a show of force. i other words, resisting is not an option. you do not need the gun pointed at your head to realize the implications of the wearing of it.

Posted by: dbs at March 1, 2008 11:45 AM
Comment #246846

dbs, I agree that the weapon on the officers hip puts you into ther mindset that “resistance is futile.” However you still have that choice. The weapon is holstered and its your conduct that determines the outcome.
My only point from this entire go around is the comments “Putting a gun to someone’s head and forcing them to help someone else is, again, immoral” and ” It is also still taking money from one person and giving it to another against their express agreement at gunpoint.” are an exaggeration if not a misrepresentation of the facts.

I dont disagree with the point that the government has the right to use reasonable force to compel a person to action. However to say that we are forced at gunpoint to pay taxes etc. precludes the many additional steps in the process and puts us in the same category as 3rd world didctators that actually use this force as the first step in the process to compel the people against their will. While it is a convenient argument for those that want to put the government in a bad light I find it to be disingenuous argument.

Posted by: j2t2 at March 1, 2008 12:51 PM
Comment #247007

j2t2,

Then you are being delusional in order to keep supporting the policies that uses force against the citizens of the US. That’s your decision to make, but you should make it with full knowledge, not in a state of self-delusion.

The fact is, you are forced to pay your taxes, there is no, no, NO way to deny that fact. If you choose to refuse, you will be forced to pay. That is all there is to say to that. That we use other means to try to convince you to do so before we get to the nitty gritty just means we are more civilized in our use of force, but make no mistake, force it is.

Posted by: Rhinehold at March 3, 2008 8:38 PM
Comment #247008
It seems the libertarians only use “at the point of a gun” when referring to taxes and social programs they are against.

Then you are projecting or just not paying attention or understanding what is being said.

“Everything the government does, it does so with the legal use of force behind it.” That means everything, not a selective subset.

Tell me, where do ‘libertarians’ deviate from this acknowledgement of reality?

Posted by: Rhinehold at March 3, 2008 8:41 PM
Comment #247031

Rhinehold
““Everything the government does, it does so with the legal use of force behind it.” That means everything, not a selective subset. “

Everything the government does, it does so with the THREAT OF legal use of force behind it.”
would make your comment true. Your comment is an exaggeration IMHO. Which of course has been my point all along.

“Then you are projecting or just not paying attention or understanding what is being said.”

Then perhaps you can show me a post of yours on this blog site from the recent past that would contradict what I have said. Im not saying there are times when I dont pay attention or fail to understand what was said but I havent seen the “force of a gun” thing except for taxes and forced charity.


Posted by: j2t2 at March 4, 2008 9:35 AM
Comment #247050

No, it is not an exaggeration, as I pointed out before. If I rob a bank at gunpoint and THREATEN the use of force, but do not actually force anyone, am I using force?

It is the same type of word game you attempt to play here, but it is not reality. If you have a decision to make, to not do something, knowing the end result will be that you are forced to do it anyway and just going ahead and doing it, you are being forced to do it.

As for posts of mine, I am sure I can. Why, just a few articles ago in regards to privacy:

Privacy has its root at the very center of our lives. As we know, knowledge is power. And as those who crave power learned long long ago, coupled with a legal use of force that government enjoys, knowledge of a person is power of that person.

Jefferson very wisely stated:

There are rights which it is useless to surrender to the government and which governments have yet always been found to invade. These are the rights of thinking and publishing our thoughts by speaking or writing; the right of free commerce; the right of personal freedom. There are instruments for administering the government so peculiarly trustworthy that we should never leave the legislature at liberty to change them.
Posted by: Rhinehold at March 4, 2008 1:53 PM
Comment #247078

“No, it is not an exaggeration, as I pointed out before. If I rob a bank at gunpoint and THREATEN the use of force, but do not actually force anyone, am I using force?”
Rhinehold this is apples and oranges but what the heck. Yes you are using force and you are using the threat of force. However this does not compare to what we are discussing. Well unless each and every time you buy something you are paying the sales tax only because the person you are buying from has a gun pulled on you. Or each and every time you pay income tax you do so only when the IRS agents come to your house with guns drawn and take the money from you. Which is why is still consider your comments “Putting a gun to someone’s head and forcing them to help someone else is, again, immoral” and “It is also still taking money from one person and giving it to another against their express agreement at gunpoint.” are still an exaggeration of the facts.

“As for posts of mine, I am sure I can. Why, just a few articles ago in regards to privacy:”

Yes this post you refer to from mid Janurary was a great post and I believe that I told you so. However “And as those who crave power learned long long ago, coupled with a legal use of force that government enjoys, knowledge of a person is power of that person.” was not what I considered to be an exaggeration. In fact its comparing apples and oranges again. What I said was “It seems the libertarians only use “at the point of a gun” when referring to taxes and social programs they are against.”
You seem to proved my point however as I didnt notice “at the point of a gun” in your comment and it wasnt about taxes nor social programs you are against. Im sure if you look long enough… but then wouldnt that be the exception that proves the rule?


Posted by: j2t2 at March 4, 2008 9:04 PM
Comment #247080
Well unless each and every time you buy something you are paying the sales tax only because the person you are buying from has a gun pulled on you.

Wrong! In fact, when you purchase something yo do so because you have a choice in the matter. You don’t have to buy it or you can buy it from someone else, etc.

But, when it comes to income tax, you have no choice.

Or each and every time you pay income tax you do so only when the IRS agents come to your house with guns drawn and take the money from you.

No, you pay income tax because you know if you don’t then IRS agents WILL come to your house with guns drawn and put you in jail (or kill you if you resist) *AND* take the money from you.

So you avoid the outcome you know will happen.

That is no different than paying protection money, isn’t it? And the last time I remember looking it up, protection rackets were a use of force…

Which is why is still consider your comments “Putting a gun to someone’s head and forcing them to help someone else is, again, immoral” and “It is also still taking money from one person and giving it to another against their express agreement at gunpoint.” are still an exaggeration of the facts.

Of course you do, because you don’t *WANT* it to be true. But it is.

So, answer this question, do you find a protection racket to be a use of force? The goons (IRS Agents) are just coming to collect their protection money, there is no force going on here… right?

Posted by: Rhinehold at March 4, 2008 9:13 PM
Comment #247095

Rhinehold we are just going around in circles. You have not convinced me that the statements in question are not exaggerations. Its like calling school vouchers “opportunity scholarships” in reverse. Just another form of reaganspeak used to confuse the issue. All these strawman arguements serve only to further confuse the issue.

“If I rob a bank at gunpoint and THREATEN the use of force, but do not actually force anyone, am I using force?”
OK you are asking me if you do not actually force anyone are you using force? Yet you are robbing a bank at gunpoint, but not actually using force. Is this one of those “what sound does one hand clapping make” questions?

“Of course you do, because you don’t *WANT* it to be true. But it is.”

No its that you want “at the point of a gun” to be true. Just remember I didnt say it was not true I said it was an exaggeration of the facts. It PC talk for the income tax is illegal crowd. A little bit of fact and a lot of fiction.

Rhinehold the problem this type of rhetoric creates is we spend more time arguing about nonsense like “at the point of a gun” instead of how do we rein in uncontrolled spending and borrowing at all levels of government. Of course this is just MHO.

Posted by: j2t2 at March 5, 2008 12:36 AM
Comment #247096
You have not convinced me that the statements in question are not exaggerations.

I don’t really expect to, your political views will not allow you to see the reality of what I am saying.

All these strawman arguements serve only to further confuse the issue

First, they are not strawman arguments. I can give you a list, a loooong list, of people who have been physically damaged and/or killed for this exact issue. But more importantly it goes to the mindset of what government is. It is not a collection of like minded individuals deciding to do something, that can be accomplished without the use of government. The only thing that government provides that private organizations cannot is the ability to force those in the minority to do what they want. That force is real, not imagined and not an exageration. Finally, it is the dismissal of what government is and how it functions that confuses the issue. We should not be using these things on principle, just as we should not be treating criminals badly or torturing or spying, etc. It is all the same issue that the partisans on either side convince themselves are entirely different…

Is this one of those “what sound does one hand clapping make” questions?

Nope, it just shoots holes in your argument that ‘because you don’t actually use force you aren’t forcing people’ arguement.

It PC talk for the income tax is illegal crowd. A little bit of fact and a lot of fiction.

Except, the income tax is legal, I have never said it wasn’t. It is immoral, that’s a different story though… But the US is no stranger to doing immoral things…

instead of how do we rein in uncontrolled spending and borrowing at all levels of government.

Those are good things to discuss, but IMO it is like saying ‘we should be trying to stop talking badly to terrorism suspects’ when all the while we are torturing them. We are acting immorally, creating resentement and class hatred, and fueling separatists revolutionary groups who see the reality of what we are doing to our own citizens and wondering why people are DEFENDING the use of force and when they will be the next ones targetted…

Posted by: Rhinehold at March 5, 2008 12:59 AM
Comment #247116

Rhinehold “I can give you a list, a loooong list, of people who have been physically damaged and/or killed for this exact issue.”

Of course you can Rhinehold. But the list of those that werent physically damaged or killed yet had to deal with the Taxman is much longer. What is the difference? The choices each made.

“But more importantly it goes to the mindset of what government is. It is not a collection of like minded individuals deciding to do something, that can be accomplished without the use of government.”

Well Rhinehold in Utopia of course we would all think alike and there would be no need for government. However in this world there is no such thing as like minded people.Liberals often disagree with liberals, libertarians with libertarians and conservatives with conservatives, let alone the disagreements amongst those with differing political mindsets. So government serves as the means to allow us to coexist as peaceful as we allow ourselves to.

“The only thing that government provides that private organizations cannot is the ability to force those in the minority to do what they want.”

No it also gives those in the minority a voice in the decision, a chance to be heard. The government also protects those in the minority from the majority. Private organizations do not do that being they are not democratic.


“That force is real, not imagined and not an exageration.”

Well the force we allow our government to use can be real, it can be imagined, and it can be exaggerated. It can also be misused, misdirected and misguided. It can also be appropriate for the circumstances.

“Finally, it is the dismissal of what government is and how it functions that confuses the issue. We should not be using these things on principle, just as we should not be treating criminals badly or torturing or spying, etc.”

I agree, Rhinehold, that government should use force only when absolutely necessary. But if you dont pay your taxes what should the government do just say OK and that is it. Or should they have a process that allows you chances to make a better choice. Or should they just come and shoot you for breaking your end of the contract? When you say “Putting a gun to someone’s head and forcing them to help someone else ” and “It is also still taking money from one person and giving it to another against their express agreement at gunpoint.” It is an exaggeration IMHO of what the government actually does.
“We are acting immorally, creating resentement and class hatred, and fueling separatists revolutionary groups who see the reality of what we are doing to our own citizens and wondering why people are DEFENDING the use of force and when they will be the next ones targetted…”

We are acting immorally only if you believe the use of any force is immoral. Of course these groups you mention all seem to hate the government for the use of force and show their resentment by using force.Which tells me they have a different agenda and arent seeing reality at all. But once again, JMHO.


Posted by: j2t2 at March 5, 2008 12:44 PM
Comment #247145
Rhinehold “I can give you a list, a loooong list, of people who have been physically damaged and/or killed for this exact issue.”

Of course you can Rhinehold. But the list of those that werent physically damaged or killed yet had to deal with the Taxman is much longer. What is the difference? The choices each made.

Again, we’ve already established that the THREAT of the use of force is force. That people have acquiesced to that fact does not mean that the force is not in place. In fact, we are both saying the same thing, but you are rediscent to admit it.

“But more importantly it goes to the mindset of what government is. It is not a collection of like minded individuals deciding to do something, that can be accomplished without the use of government.”

Well Rhinehold in Utopia of course we would all think alike and there would be no need for government.

AHA, you see there, you just made the statement that backs up what I am saying. It is because you think that those who disagree should be forced to follow those rules that government needs to get involved in.

So government serves as the means to allow us to coexist as peaceful as we allow ourselves to.

I never disagreed. It is to the EXTEND that government is involved in our lives that I am discussing. I’ll get to that in a second in response to something else you say regarding protection of rights…

“The only thing that government provides that private organizations cannot is the ability to force those in the minority to do what they want.”

No it also gives those in the minority a voice in the decision, a chance to be heard. The government also protects those in the minority from the majority. Private organizations do not do that being they are not democratic.

BUT, since they are in the minority, their voice is ignored, is it not? They can say what they want, but that doesn’t require government, other than to protect their right to do so. Actually having a say, on the other hand, is not provided.

“That force is real, not imagined and not an exageration.”

Well the force we allow our government to use can be real, it can be imagined, and it can be exaggerated. It can also be misused, misdirected and misguided. It can also be appropriate for the circumstances.

I have stated several times that there are actual needs for this use of force. But that doesn’t mean the threat of force is not there in everything the government does. Any law is followed because the result of NOT following results in the loss of liberty, safety and possibly life itself. Every single law has behind it the threat of force or it isn’t a law, it is a ‘guideline’.

“Finally, it is the dismissal of what government is and how it functions that confuses the issue. We should not be using these things on principle, just as we should not be treating criminals badly or torturing or spying, etc.”

I agree, Rhinehold, that government should use force only when absolutely necessary. But if you dont pay your taxes what should the government do just say OK and that is it. Or should they have a process that allows you chances to make a better choice. Or should they just come and shoot you for breaking your end of the contract? When you say “Putting a gun to someone’s head and forcing them to help someone else ” and “It is also still taking money from one person and giving it to another against their express agreement at gunpoint.” It is an exaggeration IMHO of what the government actually does.

Again, that we put in mechanisms to save people from the ULTIMATE result of violating a law doesn’t mean that the end result WILL BE FORCE. You completely ignored my last comment regarding the protection scheme, which is very much like what I am talking about, and I suspect that is because it hit close to home.

Those who employ protection schemes do not want to hurt those that they are providing the protection for. They would rather give them several opportunities to see that the end result is that they will pay the money so they give them ever increasing examples of that ultimate force. That doesn’t mean that the victims are NOT FORCED to pay the protection money, they are. It is just the process allows for the victim to avoid the use of force by acquiescing. There is no difference with the government, other than they are legally allowed to do it.

“We are acting immorally, creating resentement and class hatred, and fueling separatists revolutionary groups who see the reality of what we are doing to our own citizens and wondering why people are DEFENDING the use of force and when they will be the next ones targetted…”

We are acting immorally only if you believe the use of any force is immoral.

Aha, but I did not say that, did I? I have been very clear about what is immoral here… Do you not think that the use of force to take private property from one person and give it to another is immoral?

THAT is what I am talking about, not that the use of force by the government itself is immoral, it is necessary in many cases, including the use of force to protect the rights of the citizens of the country. It is when this use of force spills into our private lives or is used to take private property from one private individual and give it to another private individual that we cross the line into immorality…

Of course these groups you mention all seem to hate the government for the use of force and show their resentment by using force.Which tells me they have a different agenda and arent seeing reality at all. But once again, JMHO.

They all use force? Which ones exactly? And remember, self-defense is not the same as initiating the use of force, so perhaps your view of ‘these groups’ is a bit skewed by not understanding what they are really standing for? Like for example the Libertarian Party that, in order to become a member of the party, you are required to take a non-inititation of force pledge…

“To validate my membership, I certify that I do not advocate the initiation of force to achieve political or social goals.”

But, I agree, there are some that do. And those people should be put in jail if they initiate the use of force on another individual as they are violating that individual’s rights. That is a perfect example of the MORAL use of force by the government, to protect citizens from the use of force against them, including things like protection schemes…

Posted by: Rhinehold at March 5, 2008 6:10 PM
Comment #247238

“we’ve already established that the THREAT of the use of force is force. That people have acquiesced to that fact does not mean that the force is not in place. In fact, we are both saying the same thing, but you are rediscent to admit it.”

If the threat of force is no different than the use of force Rhinehold wouldnt you think the criminal penalty for say armed robbery would be the same as for uttering a threat?

“AHA, you see there, you just made the statement that backs up what I am saying. It is because you think that those who disagree should be forced to follow those rules that government needs to get involved in.”

Only if we live in Utopia however Im living between Oregon and Nevada not Utpoia. I dont think anyone should be forced Rhinehold but unfortunatley no one has come up with a better way to compel those that are disinclined to follow the law.

“BUT, since they are in the minority, their voice is ignored, is it not? They can say what they want, but that doesn’t require government, other than to protect their right to do so. Actually having a say, on the other hand, is not provided.”

Not ignored just not acted upon favorably to those in the minority in most instances. Through our representatives are voices are heard. In theory anyway, However since political bribery has become free speech that has changed somewhat.

“Aha, but I did not say that, did I? I have been very clear about what is immoral here… Do you not think that the use of force to take private property from one person and give it to another is immoral? ”
No I said that Rhinehold, of course I didnt say you said that. We are a nation of laws Rhinehold, should the judge make a determination that this property is to be forfeit then one must make the right choice. This includes appealing the decision and perhaps encouraging Congress to re write the law.

“They all use force? Which ones exactly? And remember, self-defense is not the same as initiating the use of force, so perhaps your view of ‘these groups’ is a bit skewed by not understanding what they are really standing for?”

Yes you are right Rhinehold, that is an exaggeration and speaking of exaggerations so are the statements that started all of this. :)

Posted by: j2t2 at March 6, 2008 9:19 PM
Comment #247525

I like that Republicans have enlarged the dept and increased the size of goverment and become the democrates of the 60s.
This makes it easier for those of us who think for ourselves, ie independent, to make a case for another party.
The only goal of the Republicans and Democrates is the beat eachother in the next election.

Posted by: Free Voice at March 10, 2008 11:37 AM
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