Faith: Sacred & Profane

The local sheep are in trouble. They are getting too little to eat and are wormy besides. There are too many of them. More accurately, there are too many sheep for the land to support most years, since it is ONLY in an exceptionally good year (perhaps one in five) that there is abundance enough to support larger herds. Human nature being what it is, people call these years “normal” and decry their misfortune in the “bad” times.

The herds should be reduced by at least 30%. It is a good opportunity to cull out the runts and weaklings and improve the general health of the herd. In the one-in-five good years, the herds can expand; with the caveat that they will need to be reduced again and there will be a lot more mutton to go around some years than others.

The worms can be addressed with a readily available de-worming medicine. Of course there is not much sense in investing in those that will be culled or die off. Cull the weaker 30% cure the rest of their worms and look forward to better times ahead. Does this sound like a good plan? Maybe not.

The local shepherds evidently have faith. Despite experience to the contrary, they believe that God will deliver rain in sufficient quantities to maintain their larger herds that everybody agrees are good to own. This cycle of suffering has been going on since Biblical times. It rains just enough to keep people coming back for more punishment.

In Hebrews, St Paul defines faith as “substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen”. Rain is certainly something both hoped for and usually unseen in this desert, but I do not think this is what Paul had in mind. In fact the kind of faith that leads to inaction in the face of crisis is a perversion of the whole concept of faith.

The guy who will not address problems because he is claims faith in God is really tasking God with giving him what he wants. He is putting himself in an untenable position and demanding God save him. We all know that we humans should not put the Lord their God to the test. So obviously the man of true faith relies on the Lord for inspiration as he helps himself.

In our modern world, some people have lost their faith in God, but since it is impossible to believe in nothing, they have often transferred their faith to government. Instead of looking for solutions they can implement themselves, they are sitting on their oversized keisters demanding that their fellow citizens through their government serve them according to their self defined needs. Like the lost shepherds, they are a little confused about who has responsibility to do what.

In our secular faith, we once asked not what your country could do for us but rather what we could do for our country. That kind of thinking seems a little quaint today to some people, but not to me. We need to demand it of ourselves AND we have the right to demand of others that they be active in helping themselves. We all know that the future belongs to the active, so I remain hopeful.

Whether it is shepherds waiting for God to do for them what they can do for themselves or trailer dwelling former residents of New Orleans wetlands still waiting for their fellow citizens to carry them across the line, I hope they will be waiting long enough to learn that lesson.

Posted by Jack at December 14, 2007 11:39 PM
Comments
Comment #240772

Interesting post, Jack.

However, even God declares that we should help those in need. “If we give the least of our bretheren bread, or a cup of water, he considers it giving to “Him”.

I think there are questions that play a part in this, which makes giving “not so simple”.

“What is need?”
“What is want?”
“Who can not help themselves, and why?”

I believe God has everything that anybody needs, in fact, more than they can imagine. It is our responsibility to be good stewards over that which He gives. You are right, though, that faith often requires more than asking. I believe Paul preached that faith without works is quite shallow and pointless.
I think God made it pretty clear that the purpose of work is to obtain skills and goods which can be shared with, and bless, others in need. Becoming wealthy in this sense is a noble cause. Proverbs is a great book in terms of messages on work, diligence, family provision, giving, etc., based upon what God expects. There is a great deal of wisdom in that book.

JD

Posted by: JD at December 15, 2007 1:17 AM
Comment #240778

JD

We have a duty to help & a duty to be able to help, which means you have to work smart.

My point has less to do with charity, or even work and more to do with working smart.

Too many people fix on the one thing they want and are unwilling to change their preferences in the fact of changing conditions.

The secular case I have been thinking re is those people who live in places frequently fooded, where theye demand rebuilding. In fact the smart thing is to move. We should help the move, but give nothing for the rebuilding.

It is our interest and duty to help. It is not duty to help in the wrong way and those being helped have a corresponding duty to do the best they can to mitigate their poor situations.

Posted by: Jack at December 15, 2007 5:26 AM
Comment #240779

There is only one who I believe has the power to save, and it is not the government. Anybody who thinks most liberals have faith in government doesn’t understand what we truly stand for. The roots of progressive politics are in a world where much power over peoples lives were handed over to business interests, who were in turn supported by the government. The government would help break strikes, help support monopolies, and do nothing about terrible working conditions.

People were assailed on all sides by the results of unrestrained business practices. Wages were kept abysmally low, Children were employed rather than educated, collective bargaining, the only way that masses of workers could counter the power of the large businesses, was actively surpressed. Disease ran rampant, and taking medicines and drugs could be an exercise in blind luck. Pollution was an ugly, everyday reality, and natural landscapes were being stripped bare for the sake of business, decimating the natural and aesthetic splendor of the countryside.

The modern progressive movement, and the emphasis on these issues is the result of experience. Everytime Republicans have ignored the experience we’ve gain from the events that prompted the progressive responses, they bring about what can only be called a political backlash.

Many Democrats are religious folk, myself included. The use of the word faith to describe our beliefs, to describe our trust in science is insulting, both on a religious level, in that it implies a certain kind of false idolatry, and on the grounds that it treats the product of experience and scholarship whose disciplines are meant to generate certainty and conclusive arguments from more than just faith as if they were just any assertion.

When have the Republicans truly earned the authority they claim? This more than any other thing spells the reason why Republicans are on the losing side of current political movements. As long as you shy away from testable standards of conduct, question scientifically validated claims without scientific validation for the question, and continue to demand the opportunity to vindicate policies repeatedly proven wrong, the Republican party will be increasingly seen as a party with no serious credibility.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at December 15, 2007 10:56 AM
Comment #240780

Jack,

You make an interesting point, in that what is happening today is that the secularists have made the government into the church. They use the church as a better form of “charity” because they can enforce their charitable dogmas at the point of a gun. A lot of secularists like to point to the evils of the old indulgences of Pope Leo X, selling the promise of “salvation” to the grieving loved ones of those who surely have not lived well enough to go to heaven or bypass purgatory, to line the pope’s pockets. How is that any different than what the secularists force on a society when they decide some course of action is “good” and then use the coercive power of government to get the resources to enact that good whether the people agree or not? Do they not argue that if we do not use the government in just this way we are not being “Christian”? In fact they do.

I ask this question thinking of things like the inexorable expansion of Social Security benefits since the program’s inception and the institution of blatant public charities like Welfare and Medicare, as well as the Bush Administration’s unstated policy of permitting unlimited illegal immigration, but I am mindful that the Iraq war (which I personally support) can be viewed in the same way.

Pope Leo’s folly precipitated the Protestant Reformation, as Martin Luther offered a different vision of salvation. What the secularists are attempting to enforce, as all religions (as human social constructions) do, is a dogma, a blinkered vision in which alternative understandings of the world are either impermissible or so discredited as to be untenable in politically active society.

Posted by: Lee Jamison at December 15, 2007 11:21 AM
Comment #240784

True, there are many that want government to take care of them from cradle-to-grave.

They believe the myth that we can all live at the expense of everyone else.

The result is government bloat, as pandering politicians bribe many voters with their own tax dollars.

It is a serious problem.
It exemplifies an excessive and unhealthy attitude in the nation.

And it may be a contributing factor to the nation’s many problems that are growing in number and severity.

However, the most serious problem facing this nation is oppression and tolerance of it by an overly complacent, apathetic, and disaffected electorate.
These many regressive/oppressive systems did not all come about by mere coincidence over the past 30+ years.
These regressive/oppressive systems are hammering the majority of Americans:

  • (01)Massive National debt: $9,177,372,222,997 being piled up on voters and younger generations.

  • (02) Seen the falling U.S. Dollar lately? Inflation is like a REGRESSIVE tax.

  • (03) Our government is FOR-SALE. An amazingly tiny, tiny 0.15% of all 200 Million eligible voters make 83% of all federal campaign donations (of $200 or more).

  • (04) The ridiculous federal tax system is effectively REGRESSIVE due to numerous tax loop holes. This is why Warren Buffet, the 2nd wealthiest person in the U.S., pays a lower tax rate (e.g. 17.7% on $46 Million in year 2006), than his secretary (who made $60,000 and paid a 30.0% income tax rate).

  • (05) We have too many taxes on too many things that are all like hidden sales taxes. All sales taxes are REGRESSIVE.

  • (06) Caps (e.g. currently $97,500 in year 2006) on Social Security taxes is a REGRESSIVE tax.

  • (07) Illegal immigration is like a REGRESSIVE tax, causing job displacement and many burdens and costs to be shifted to tax payers that already pay REGRESSIVE sales taxes and REGRESSIVE income taxes for the already burdened social services. This is one of the many ways our politicians and greedy employers are selling us out, and pitting American citizens and illegal aliens against each other for profits and votes.

  • (08) Property taxes in many cases are REGRESSIVE, since (like all sales taxes are REGRESSIVE), as income decreases, the property tax increases (as a percentage of income). Also, property taxes are double, triple, quadruple, quintuple, … , N-tuple taxation because it is repeated every year!

  • (09) Unnecessary wars; We have had 7 wars in the last 90 years (about 1 war every 13 years). A war in Afghanistan and in Iraq are ongoing as of late 2007. Some of those wars were probably unnecessary (i.e. Vietnam, and Iraq-2 which was largely based on lies, exaggerations, and invalid intelligence about Weapons of Mass Destruction that was never verified). What is more REGRESSIVE than that? It is not merely REGRESSIVE. It is OPPRESSIVE.

  • (10) The U.S. Constitution is being violated. Since when did ALL 535 Congress persons agree 100% on anything? It is not only statistically strange that ALL 535 Congress persons have chosen to (unanimously) violate Article V of the U.S. Constitution.
We have a growing plutocracy/oligarchy problem in this nation.

A very good example of it is that our government is FOR-SALE, as evidenced by elections that are won 90% of the time by the candidate that spends the most money, and a tiny 0.15% of all 200 million eligible voters make 83% of all federal campaign donations (of $200 or more). The remaining 99.85% of the 200 million eligible voters don’t have much of a chance in out-spending the vastly wealthy that abuse vast wealth to control and influence government.

And why shouldn’t politicians be irresponsible and unaccountable when the majority of voters will reward them for it anyway with 95% to 99% re-election rates?
However, it can not change until enough American votes change do too.
Government will not become more responsible and accountable until enough voters do.
And that ain’t gonna ever happen by repeatedly rewarding crooked, do-nothing, irresponsible incumbent politicians with 95% to 99% re-election rates.

People can prosper and flourish if they are given a fair opportunity and left alone.
Asking for more government, and to be taken care of from cradle-to-grave is merely growing the severely bloated, do-nothing, wasteful leviathan that is oppressing the majority of Americans.

Regardless of your religious beliefs (is it really necessary to bring religion into it?), the best way for Americans to help themselves is not to keep asking government to do something for them, but to ask government to stop oppressing them with these 10 regressive/oppresive systems. And the best (perhaps only peaceful way) is to simply stop rewarding corrupt, irresponsible, do-nothing politicians with 95% to 99% re-electiuon rates. Does it make sense to give President and Congress dismally low approval ratings (some as low as 11%), and then reward incumbent politicians with 95% to 99% re-election rates? Must we wait until anti-incumbent voting reaches record levels again as during the Civil War and The Great Depression? Must we keep learning the hard way? Do you really think Congress is looking out for you? Is there really any doubt in your mind that our government is a plutocracy/oligarchy?

It’s really not that complicated.
Repeatedly reward your children for bad behavior, and observe the results.
Why do you think Congress and government are any different?
Because they are adults?
Keep it up, and see where it gets all of us.
It’s not really that complicated.
There are lots of reforms and things we can do to start resolving our problems, but none of them have a chance in Hell without first recognizing that:

  • (a) We have the government we deserve.

  • (b) It ain’t gonna get better by repeatedly rewarding corrupt, do-nothing incumbent with perpetual re-elecion rates of 95% to 99%.

  • (c) If you think it ain’t gonna ever happen, think again. That’s exactly what happens when things get bad enough. Record anit-incumbent voting levels occur when things get bad enough. So, why wait until things get bad? Why keep learning the hard, painful way?

Posted by: d.a.n at December 15, 2007 12:35 PM
Comment #240788
it is impossible to believe in nothing

Why do you believe this?

In fact, I’m an athiest, yet I don’t think anyone here would find me believing in ‘government’ as an answer…

The reality is that we are all just trying to get by every day the best we can. We focus on our own needs first and those of our family and friends next. We fight injustice when we see it, not because of an invisible man watching us, but because we have empathy towards our fellow humans and do not want to see them suffer needlessly. However we also understand that many people who suffer do so because of their own poor choices in the past or inaction in the present, and we feel the best way to help them is to give them a quick hand up and leave them be to learn from the mistakes they’ve made, not suck them in to a cycle of dependancy.

The problem with government is not that it doesn’t work well in many areas (which is true) or that it is run by the wrong people (which is the case most often) but that the only thing it has to offer over private organizations attempting to solve the same problems is the ability to use compulsion, force, upon other human beings.

And I’m sorry, I just don’t think, as an athiest, that we should be forcing people to do things unless it is necessary to protect other people from injustice or harm. Otherwise I think people should be free to fail and others should be free to help, without the use of force…

Posted by: Rhinehold at December 15, 2007 1:56 PM
Comment #240795

Oh, ye of little faith…if you really believe in God you wouldn’t be so greedy and envious of those who are poor…

Posted by: Rachel at December 15, 2007 4:02 PM
Comment #240798

Can I be brutally honest here?

I think the notion that Liberals somehow believe government is the solution to everything is a gross exaggeration, more valuable as propaganda and justification for going laissez faire, than as a true guide to what we think.

Government dependence is not a curable condition. Take, for example, corporations: their existence, the duties, obligations, and rights are all determined by the government. This even applies to the obligation of leaders in a company not to do things they know will lose the company money.

Corporation exist as legal persons only because the government maintains that legal opinion. Republicans and Libertarians have a tendency to act like these business operate on their own. In fact, Businesses not only base their existence on rules and regulations, but constantly avail themselves of them trying to get a leg up on the competition.

Stereotypically, you might expect me to say that this is a bad thing, but there’s a good and a bad side to all this. Contracts and other exchanges require legal structure to be enforceable. Capitalism itself requires people be able to place a certain degree of confidence in the information that’s out there. Uncertainty about value breeds chaos in the market. It’s doing it right now.

If we want people to remain as reasonable, as rational, and as calm as possible, government must minimize those risks that people cannot reasonably be asked to minimize on their own.

Enron is an example of this. Could the average person be reasonably expected to puzzle out what Enron was doing? No. The average person would not have the wherewithal for such investigation. It took experts, paid after the fact to puzzle it out. Similar things are happening with the housing crisis.

Lax laws are allowing businesses to hide problems, to hide debts and malfeasance, to effectively cheat the market out of its ability to adjust its investment to the quality of the business. They are also encouraging non-productive means of profit-seeking, wherein financial cheating, market manipulations (like what are currently going on with the energy markets), and abusive treatment of employees and customers are taking the place of efficient, useful business activities.

It’s getting to the point where people are saying enough is enough. I think it’s time for the right to reconsider its attitude towards regulation, if for no other reason than to minimize the necessity of bigger government. It’s time for the Republicans to begin compromising with others, rather than trying to force everybody to compromise with them.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at December 15, 2007 4:35 PM
Comment #240803

Jack
You should be careful about agricultural metaphors. So the solution to human poverty is to cull the bottom %30. Do not bother with healthcare(de-worming) as they are to be culled anyway. Pretty harsh but not that far from the RW stance. if one equates “culling” with just ignoreing a large number of people.
The rain,representing wealth,indeed falls steadily but it is diverted to the pools and fountains of the elite,leaving the ground for the rest parched.Enough is allowed to fall to keep us comming back and no more.The Quaint faith is faith of the millions that toil to keep the richest in splendor that someday they may have a chance to enjoy that wealth by winning some lottery.
So much for metaphor.

Posted by: BillS at December 15, 2007 6:09 PM
Comment #240808

It could be a clever scheme to stir it up and make it stink.

Posted by: d.a.n at December 15, 2007 8:39 PM
Comment #240818

I am a Jew and a strong believer in one God but I am not fond of or comfortable with invoking His name in the context of politics. I think our Founders felt the same way. Although, I think even the Christian version of God might agree that well-being is to be earned and not freely distributed by any authority, whether self-imposed or popularly elected.

Posted by: Grant W. at December 15, 2007 11:44 PM
Comment #240833

There is a big difference between maintaining order by applying rules to commerce and government based benevolence. A federal system exists to fill the “need” of regulating interactions with corporations that exceed state lines. This is proper. What is unfortunate is how big gov advocates take credit for social changes when all they did was enforce and repair laws that fell short. The people who belonged to labor unions fought long and hard for better conditions. Government simply did their duty and stopped the use of unlawful tactics used by the business owners that violated the right to form associations. You would almost think that the Government was the civil right movement by their assessment. This was accomplished by plain people who were fed up with our present system. The congress and president at that time were reluctantly dragged into it only by events caused by private individuals. They had to enforce laws. This doesn’t justify big government taking over areas in the private sector.

Government benevolence has been a failure everywhere it has been tried. Our Civic Government should stick to maintaining law and order only. They have enough on their hands with the objects given them by our founders.

As far as religion goes: when you build a house there are secular rules we go by, straight and square. If you are a good carpenter, the amount of money you make on the job shouldn’t affect the quality of your work. The principles are always the same, straight and square no matter what your perspective. So goes civic law. If my Bible has a verse that says you should build things straight and square, an non reader should not be offended by my quoting it. Pointing out the religious part takes away from discussing good points. We should be able to discuss universal truths reasonably and without offence. Everyone has their own personal religion and should be unashamed to discuss the merits without attaching them to civil law. Hierarchy or religious organizations can be a law unto themselves and therefore infringe on people’s rights
(Jim Jones). This is a separate issue from personal belief and the Bible. These beliefs should be openly discussed even in schools. It is called diversity.

Back to benevolence: in America my experience is that dependence is based in two factors. Lack of opportunity is not one of them. The two are laziness and fear. We should endorse things that encourage people to get up and accomplish. Confiscation programs discourage this. They also encourage laziness and fear. The biggest disservice we could do to people is to confine their opportunity to whims of a bureaucrat.
Confidence and motivation is what makes us great.




Posted by: Kruser at December 16, 2007 10:51 AM
Comment #240835
dependence is based in two factors. Lack of opportunity is not one of them. The two are laziness and fear.

Being a child or feeble elderly or disabled or someone who lost a skilled factory job to overseas…or someone who got sick and had to go bankrupt to pay medical bills…

Yup…sheer laziness and fear…

Posted by: Rachel at December 16, 2007 11:42 AM
Comment #240840

Kruser-
I think your post illustrates some of the mixed up thinking that’s causing tons of problems for your party.

You talk about groups rising up and forcing government to “do its duty”, yet disparage those now who you call “big government advocates”.

The thing that mixes up Republican thinking the worse is that the leaders use perjorative language to describe what certain people want, but when it comes down to it, they’re using it to describe many people who folks would agree with, and to describe responses that most people would expect of their government.

The term big government has become standard language for anybody who doesn’t want to shrink enforcement agencies, rollback agency powers, nullify decisions that cost corporate campaign contributers money from their bottom line.

Yet folks appreciate and even expect action on harmful drugs, public health issues, product safety, and environmental matters. Americans might nod their heads at conservative rhetoric, but their expectations and desires seem to be in line with a wish to see public safety, the stability of markets, and now even healthcare become the province of government regulation and even entitlement.

You can talk about confiscation, but it just seems to me that many Republican leaders have an unrealistic expectation about the fiscal system despite years of proof to the contrary, they either expect to starve the beast, reducing spending by reducing revenues, or magically maintain revenues by the economic gains supposedly increased by the windfalls of tax cuts. It hasn’t happened.

Meanwhile, the American people, together, have voted for and maintained these programs. They are willing to pay the money to avoid absolute destitution or being a major burden on their families when they grow old.

What it comes down to is realism. America’s had thirty years of Republicans trying to make their system work, the way they wanted it to. All we’ve gotten in return is a system less and less inclined to help America prosper, and more inclined to suit the whims of special interest groups and loud minorities in good with the GOP. We’re seeing the decisions of the government become less responsive to the will of the majority, more responsible to the various ideological fanatics of the right. We want our country back.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at December 16, 2007 3:20 PM
Comment #240846

jack, I like to think that you are an honest man with a lot of integrity. Yet you speak of people looking to government to take care of their welfare.

I have posted a link in a response to John Trevisani in the far column. It is written by a Wall street and Washington insider. Please read this admittedly long article and let me know your thoughts on it. Particularly in relation to who really benefits from government sponsored welfare. I have copied the link below for your convenience.

http://www.dunwalke.com/

Posted by: Paul in Euroland at December 16, 2007 6:32 PM
Comment #240851

Philippe

I cannot read the whole thing carefully enough to give you the full critique.

My general observations are that I do not believe such a large and disparate group has th capacity to make and carry out a master plan like that. Conspiracy theories presuppose a lot more intelligence and organizational ability among the conspirators. It is easy to see and believe in connections that are simply spurious.

That does not mean that people don’t try make plans. They just cannot make them work on a masive scale. It also does not mean that people are honest and above board.

There are lots of smaller manipulations and they are effective.

My take away lesson is that some people will act dishonestly and power will corrupt most people. That is why you cannot concentrate too much power anywhere. Government is a powerful tool that can and will be used by the powerful. That is why you cannot put too much power into the government.

Generally the rich benefit more from a powerful and active government than the poor. The rich benefit from almost everything more than the poor. This is because they are rich (i.e. simply have money), connected, and often smart (that is how they got rich). Any specific government program runs the risk of being captured by the powerful and abused. That is why you should not have too many of them.

Let me give you my favorite example: carbon taxes. Anybody who really thinks about it knows that the carbon tax will be the most effective counter to global warming. The problems with it are POLITICAL and not the kind of politics you might think. It is not the money paid. The political problem with a carbon tax is that it is not easily manipulated by political powerful groups and individuals. Politicians like to be able to give special breaks to those they can portray as deserving or needy. A simple carbon tax doesn’t allow for that because it is too simple.

Or take our favorite whipping boy – Enron. Enron’s business DEPENDED on government rules. They make there money manipulating and hiding among regulations.

Stronger government regulations provide more opportunity for various kinds of legal corruption. The bigger any human system becomes, the more it can provide hiding places and opportunities for nefarious activities.

I think that my liberal colleagues sometimes caricature conservatives as favoring the free market because we are greedy. The opposite is often true. We are often less interested in getting things. The free market requires a fair amount of effort to get things. As your article points out, the road to riches is through the government. Only government can aggregate wealth and create regulations to FORCE people to give you money or the opportunity to grab money.

The rich and well connected are smart enough to use the poor and other good causes as excuses to do what they want. You essentially have an alliance between “the poor” and the rich manipulators. Neither group is much interested in doing any real work. They manipulate the system to get unearned rewards.

Think of the current example of John Edwards. He is probably the richest man running this year and he made his money by cleverly manipulating the law. Now he poses as champion of the poor. Why shouldn’t he? He already has his pile of money.

Anyway, people will usually behave in ways that support their interests. It is not a bad thing; it is just true. That is why you cannot allow the concentration of power. Government is the most powerful player in the power game. You have to be careful what you ask government to do. Once they come in, they do not leave easily.

Posted by: Jack at December 17, 2007 12:10 AM
Comment #240853

Let me qualify the fear and laziness statement. My family of 8 was abandoned while I was a youth (15). We lived on ADC for a couple years in the biggest welfare area in the US. We got to know numerous welfare people. My mother refused to stay in poverty and was ashamed of handouts. She started a daycare and was told by the caseworkers it was stupid since the money would be deducted from her checks. She worked her way out of that situation. I did the same, refusing to take on the stigma. The people we knew in that situation were either lazy and liked the security with no work or they couldn’t picture themselves out of the situation since government had turned them into dependents. I believe in local emergency funds but not in federal bureaucracies.
My wife and I had to mortgage our home to pay for an emergency appendectomy. We own a business and didn’t have insurance. They treated me well at the hospital. There is no healthcare crisis. When Bush passed the H. S. A. provisions we immediately started a policy. It is a small sum. We also sold our home. My dad recently died of cancer and all his treatments were paid for by private charities. I examined France’s social insurance and it is at a huge cost to businesses. They tax vehicle sales and numerous other things to pay for it. Recently they had to add a monthly sum to the employees to balance their budget. They also tax to pay for the doctor’s education expenses. Most countries get technology from the great medical system we have in the US. (my son is in pharmacy school and medical research).
I recently moved to another state because my home state has become one of the worst in the union for work due to foreign car sales. Having states to relocate to is one of the advantages of living in the US. We miss our home and family but won’t sit and wait for a government bale out. We also wouldn’t expect you fine people to have to pay higher taxes when we have other options. I don’t expect others to take care of me even if they are rich.
A business we owned for ten years was an adult foster care and I have a handle on state and federal funded programs through that experience. We were forced to refuse “state pay” individuals because they were the most work , were ungrateful and caseworkers harassed us to the point of insanity. Private pay were cooperative, paid almost double and became more like family. God forbid that we give our total health care to a state or federal agency.

Stephen, my views are not party line views, they are from life experiences and observations.

We need to encourage people to lift themselves up and not be afraid. Ours is the greatest country in the world. A senator or a president doesn’t make our country great. It is each individual overcoming obstacles as was remarked in my last post. I don’t get this from the liberal side.

Sorry about all the personal info but it seemed best to make the point of my true bias.

Posted by: Kruser at December 17, 2007 12:48 AM
Comment #240858

Jack,

I assume the response addressed above to Philippe was actually intended to answer my previous posting. If you cannot read the whole thing carefully enough, then you can’t really comment intelligently on it. This material is from an insider on Wall Street, and a former Bush 1 administration member. It is only by reading the whole article carefully, that you can see what is really going on. At least you are honest enough to say that you did not attentively read the article.

Posted by: Paul in Euroland at December 17, 2007 7:02 AM
Comment #240859

Kruser-
This might surprise me, but I do not mind that you and yours do not accept handouts. I believe, though, that this should be a choice, not an imposed policy.

I have seen the impoverishing effects and the senseless policies of the healthcare system firsthand, or have heard about it from somebody who has.

To put it plainly, our healthcare system is broken. Even people with Healthcare insurance find themselves kicked to the poorhouse because of illness. People without insurance are forced to suffer, to put aside needed treatments, simply because the system has priced their care out of their reach.

This is a system that’s supposed to operate for the public good, that’s supposed to keep the population healthy. Yet my generation could be the first in a long time to see its life expectancy drop in this country. You can talk about the horrors of rationed, bureacratized medicine, but if you look all around you, you’ll see it’s already here.

In my lifetime I’ve seen the quality of American healthcare deteriorate greatly. I’ve seen the private companies take over hospitals, I’ve seen the doctors have less and less room to do their job. Misery and suffering have increased, and people are dying so unnecessarily that Cancer Society is focusing on Healthcare reform this year, as opposed to any one cancer.

It’s become an economic impediment to businesses large and small for hiring people. It’s become an economic impediment for people, in that they end up massively in debt for conditions they have hardly any control over. It becomes an impediment because people who have developed chronic conditions are often disqualified from getting insurance under the company’s plan.

It’s become a major problem for the quality of American life, and we have gone from having the best healthcare in the world, to ranking far behind other countries. We’re getting less than we use to at far more cost than we’ve ever had to pay. And people are making millions off of this, with policies that often deny people coverage when they first make their claim.

If Republicans and Conservatives like yourself want to do something else, nows the time to speak up and offer effective reforms to this abominable situation. Otherwise, let the rest of us come up with a solution. Lead, follow, or get out of the way.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at December 17, 2007 8:20 AM
Comment #240863

Concerning health care, It should be mandated that catastrophic insurance be paid for by individuals similar to how some states mandate insurance for cars. People are more important than items.
This should be a state issue so if it becomes opressive we can go to another state. We can also see how well one works and try our version.
Our system is still the greatest in the world. My experience with Adult Foster Care and with French foriegn exchange students shows me that Americans live unhealthy lifestyles and pay for it in their senior years. The French people that lived with us were amazed at the garbage we eat. It is no suprise that our expectancy is lower.
Many doctors don’t accept medicaid patients for the same reason we wouldn’t. The welfare people seem to be the most unhealthy also. Just stand at a checkout and observe what is bought on food stamps and observe their weight.
Individual responsibility should be emphasised in our schools and taught by people who care. Dependance brings blight on a society.

Posted by: Kruser at December 17, 2007 9:00 AM
Comment #240864

Jack,

I assume the response addressed above to Philippe was actually intended to answer my previous posting. If you cannot read the whole thing carefully enough, then you can’t really comment intelligently on it. This material is from an insider on Wall Street, and a former Bush 1 administration member. It is only by reading the whole article carefully, that you can see what is really going on. At least you are honest enough to say that you did not attentively read the article.

Posted by: Paul in Euroland at December 17, 2007 9:57 AM
Comment #240868

“Kruser-
This might surprise me, but I do not mind that you and yours do not accept handouts. I believe, though, that this should be a choice, not an imposed policy.” Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at December 17, 2007 08:20 AM

Stephen, you are the definition of “liberal” in my dictionary. What a generous thought that you “don’t mind” if someone doesn’t accept handouts. And you are also a great Constitutional advocate by agreeing that we should not “impose” handouts on Americans. I do find some redemption in your statement however, you at least call it a hand-out and not an entitlement.


Posted by: Jim at December 17, 2007 12:03 PM
Comment #240871

Jim-
Nobody can force charity on you, government or private. But should it not be there? If a majority of Americans decide they want to apply money to helping the poor, the homeless, the mentally ill, those who cannot afford healthcare, or are being denied it, this is a Democracy, and unless there is some real constitutional reason why not, it should be within our power.

This is a constitutional Republic, and at some point, somethings going to get done over your objections, and despite your philosophical disagreement.

If you want that to stop, you have one legitimate recourse: gain agreement. The only way for the Right to gain agreement on healthcare is to reform it effectively.

Unfortunately for your side, you’re spending more time rationalizing the situation than doing something about it. People, meanwhile, are not growing in their admiration of your side’s emphasis on private healthcare, given all the money they’re losing and debt they’re gaining. In America, the joke to remaining healthy is don’t get sick. Unfortunately, nobody can quite manage that trick forever.

Many, myself included, would enjoy staying with a private system, as long as it got the job done right. There is no point in remaining with a dysfunctional private system on principle alone while Americans sicken and die for no good reason.

The Republicans cannot leave people with principle and not results and expect people to just tough it out.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at December 17, 2007 1:18 PM
Comment #240872

Paul

You are right. It was to you. I really do not have the time to read it in detail. I have seen things like that before, however. You would not believe the pile of stuff I get every day.

I would not be too impressed by that insider stuff. The Assistant Secretary of Housing is an ordinary level appointee. It pays about the same as a level one of the SES. This is good money, but not fantastic. A person like that is not invited to the big meetings where secret strategies are discussed. It is not a job for a political insider.

The general point, that you cannot trust government, is a valid one, however. That is why we do not want to concentrate too much power in their hands.

Posted by: Jack at December 17, 2007 1:46 PM
Comment #240873
Concerning health care, It should be mandated that catastrophic insurance be paid for by individuals similar to how some states mandate insurance for cars. People are more important than items.
That’s an interesting point.

People are required by law to have liability insurance because of the damage they may cause.

However, does an illness (or injury) become the responsibility and burden on someone else?

It seems so.

Even illegal aliens are not turned away from our E.R.s and hospitals. In fact, every year in only one city along a 2000 mile border (in Laredo, Texas; population of about 231,000), illegal aliens give birth to 2000 new U.S. citizens every year (at our expense), not to mention the ability for others to now get a blue-passport and become eligible for Medicaid and welfare (as are 32% of all illegal aliens in the U.S.).

And who pays for it? The U.S. tax payers.

Yet, our own politicians are pitting American citizens and illegal aliens against each other for votes and profits.

Jack wrote:The local sheep are in trouble.
Bleating and complaining ain’t likely to change it. And neither is repeatedly rewarding irresponsible incumbent politicians with 95% to 99% re-election rates.
  • Posted by: d.a.n at December 17, 2007 1:58 PM
    Comment #240876


    The goats encourage the lion to devour the sheep. When the sheep are devoured, the goats become the prey.

    Posted by: jlw at December 17, 2007 3:07 PM
    Comment #240880

    Stephen, you missed my point entirely. I am not surprised, liberals usually don’t read thoroughly, they just knee-jerk about the first sentence they find that they don’t agree with. Too bad liberals have lost their sense of humor. I am a very happy American conservative as our numbers keep growing and we enlarge the distance between the big-nanny state and self-reliance. We’ve come a long way since the days of Roosevelt’s New Deal and Johnson’s Great Society thinking. Thank God.

    Posted by: Jim at December 17, 2007 3:52 PM
    Comment #240886

    Kruser-
    I would like to believe we have the best healthcare in the world. That’s unfortunately not the case.

    People are dependent on healthcare whether they want to be or not, whether they can afford it or not. It’s not like Cadillacs, stereo systems, or big screen TVs. It doesn’t spare the virtuous or the hard working. People also don’t grow more dependent as they are ignored by the system, they become more so, as severe sickness and chronic conditions send people to the emergency room, where their care becomes much more expensive than the measure that could have prevented it.

    They also become more dependent because these people, often suffering through what they might otherwise have the good sense to check out, become medically disabled earlier and more often than people who have effective healthcare.

    What are we gaining from having a system like this? People are losing independence, losing autonomy, losing control over their own lives, and becoming substantial burdens to the taxpayers anyways. It’s also making it harder for people to find jobs, especially people who have fought back from severe illness, who the insurance companies will naturally discriminate against.

    If we make the right investments in technology, in preventative care, and in other areas, we can make this work more cheaply than the system we already got. Waiting until the catastrophe only makes things more expensive. Get people tested, get people treated, get people therapy, and get people healthy early, and you don’t have to avail yourself so much of the more expensive options.

    Jim-
    Oh, I do have a sense of humor. I find it funny that you believe your numbers are growing. More people identify as liberal, fewer as conservatives. As for enlarging the distance between the nanny-state and self-reliance, I suppose that’s what you call that big joke of a Medicare Drug Benefit your people pushed through.

    As for America coming a long way since Johnson’s Great Society? I’m not going to idolize LBJ, but I think the Conservatives can’t really make the case that Americans are better off for the Republican’s generation of ascendance. Unfortunately, that’s not such a laughing matter.

    Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at December 17, 2007 5:08 PM
    Comment #240887

    Kruser-
    I would like to believe we have the best healthcare in the world. That’s unfortunately not the case.

    People are dependent on healthcare whether they want to be or not, whether they can afford it or not. It’s not like Cadillacs, stereo systems, or big screen TVs. It doesn’t spare the virtuous or the hard working. People also don’t grow more dependent as they are ignored by the system, they become more so, as severe sickness and chronic conditions send people to the emergency room, where their care becomes much more expensive than the measure that could have prevented it.

    They also become more dependent because these people, often suffering through what they might otherwise have the good sense to check out, become medically disabled earlier and more often than people who have effective healthcare.

    What are we gaining from having a system like this? People are losing independence, losing autonomy, losing control over their own lives, and becoming substantial burdens to the taxpayers anyways. It’s also making it harder for people to find jobs, especially people who have fought back from severe illness, who the insurance companies will naturally discriminate against.

    If we make the right investments in technology, in preventative care, and in other areas, we can make this work more cheaply than the system we already got. Waiting until the catastrophe only makes things more expensive. Get people tested, get people treated, get people therapy, and get people healthy early, and you don’t have to avail yourself so much of the more expensive options.

    Jim-
    Oh, I do have a sense of humor. I find it funny that you believe your numbers are growing. More people identify as liberal, fewer as conservatives. As for enlarging the distance between the nanny-state and self-reliance, I suppose that’s what you call that big joke of a Medicare Drug Benefit your people pushed through.

    As for America coming a long way since Johnson’s Great Society? I’m not going to idolize LBJ, but I think the Conservatives can’t really make the case that Americans are better off for the Republican’s generation of ascendance. Unfortunately, that’s not such a laughing matter.

    Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at December 17, 2007 5:08 PM
    Comment #240889

    A HUGE problem with the current healthcare system is: unnecessary middlemen

    As a result, medical are providers are regretting it too; getting squeezed too.

    The doctors could set up a Direct Pay service from all that want to participate, and cut out the unnecessary middlemen completely.

    So, in the long run, what are these millions of people working in the medical insurance industry doing? Are they providing any benefit to society? Or are they just driving up costs of everything to finance their millions of salaries and stocks and capital gains?

    I also loathe the idea of government running the Health Care System.
    Why?
    HHHmmmmm … well, let’s take a look at the way Medicare is being managed (or mismanaged).
    Then take a look at Social Security. $12.8 Trillion has been legally plundered (borrowed and spent) from it, and it is now essentially pay-as-you-go … and fine timing too with a 77 million baby boomer bubble approaching.

    The problem with asking the federal governmnet to do anything is that the only thing the federal government does well is screw-up everything they touch.

    Especially of late.
    Laws are not being enforced (e.g. immigration laws).
    The Constitution is being violated.
    The Medicare system has hundreds of billions of unfunded liabilities.
    Social Security surpluses are nothing but worthless paper.
    The National Debt is $9.2 Trillion.
    The U.S. Dollar is falling like a rock.

    So, why can’t the American people and the Medical Community try to get together to help each other, and cut out the millions of unnecessary middlemen that are taking a huge cut out of the entire system?

    The myth that we can all live at the expense of everyone else is not working.

    Medical costs can come down when there aren’t so many middlemen making a living off the rest of us, and middlemen are not trying to make medical decisions thay are not qualified to make.

    If your car breaks down, most of us don’t expect someone else to pay for the repairs do we? Automobiles are costly, and maintaining them are costly. But what sense would it make to buy repair insurance for an automobile? Have you ever known these automobile insurance/warranties to be worth the cost? Of course not. Not on the whole. Likewise with Medical insurance.

    There is no reason the Medical Community can not deal directly with its customers; their patients.

    If the Medical Community doesn’t do it, it can look forward to a Nationalized Health Care System. Is that really what the Medical Community wants? No? Well keep dealing with Insurance companies instead of directly with customers, and that’s exactly what they will get, and it won’t improve the healthcare professionals’ situation at all. It will make their situation worse than it already is now, as the government starts trying to control everything the medical community does, and royal mucks up everything it touches.

    I suspect we will see a lot of doctors and health care professionals leave that profession, and we’ll all be even worse off then before we started. Part of the problem is the myth that we can all live at the expense of everybody else. So we start looking to the government and insurance companies, and they are all too happy to use and abuse us. Especially when they know that most of us will reward them for all it anyway with 95% to 99% re-election rates, and ever increasing premiums, taxes, and bloated government growing ever larger to nightmare proportions, printing money like crazy to pay for it all, as the U.S. Dollar continues a steady decline (now worse than the Argentine peso which we used to ridicule).

    Posted by: d.a.n at December 17, 2007 6:39 PM
    Comment #240890

    “Jim-
    Oh, I do have a sense of humor. I find it funny that you believe your numbers are growing. More people identify as liberal, fewer as conservatives.” Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at December 17, 2007 05:08 PM

    I base my statement on the fact that all the liberal TV media is loosing viewers by the thousands. CNN, once the most watched network now trails the upstart Fox Network. CBS, NBC, ABC, all have lost out in the ratings, especially for their news programing. Reason, it’s no longer news they report, but liberal opinion. The vaunted NY Times is facing hard times as their circulation numbers keep dropping like a democrat proposed tax hike. Let’s take a look at talk radio. Rush Limbaugh has the number one spot with millions of American’s tuning in. The number two and three spots are held my Hannity and Beck. Liberal talk shows don’t even register on a national basis. If your liberal philosophy is converting so many Americans why aren’t they reading and watching liberal papers, TV and Radio? Feel free to cite all the polls you wish, but the fact remains that conservative values are sweeping the nation. Even your liberal Demo candidates for president run to the center or right of center to get nominated. Your demo congress can’t get any liberal bills passed because they have no public support. Their ratings are in the shit-can. Religious conservative views will continue to grow and your liberal nanny-state dribble will continue to wane.

    Posted by: Jim at December 17, 2007 7:13 PM
    Comment #240900

    Jim
    In public discourse accepted definitions must be taken as given by all participitants. Customarily a widely used final arbitrator of definitions is the dictionary.
    American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language.


    liberalism:2.a. A political theory founded on the natural goodness of human beings and the autonomy of the individual and favoring civil and political liberties,government by law with the consent of the governed,and protection from arbitrary authority.

    Posted by: bills at December 17, 2007 11:44 PM
    Comment #240902

    Jim says
    “but the fact remains that conservative values are sweeping the nation.” How long Jim do you think it will be before your fellow conservative movement members actually wise up and find out Rush, Sean and those they helped elect to office have played you all for fools? What have your fine repubs elected to office done that would actually support your so called conservative values? Other than talk about your values at election time that is. Do you really think that diagnosing that poor Schavio girl from the floor of the senate was for her benefit? Is misdiagnosing patients a conservative value? Have your taxes shrank faster than your dollar? Do you really think they have made government smaller? Do you think sexual harassment of young pages via Foley is a conservative value. Is convincing 30 per cent of americans that Saddam Hussein had ties to Osama Bin Laden and spending 1 trillion dollars to invade and occupy a nation a conservative value? Yet your heroes of talk radio still have that unwavering support for the repubs. Kinda silly isnt it? Maybe that statement should be “but the fact remains that conservative values are sweeping the nation under the table”

    Posted by: j2t2 at December 18, 2007 12:57 AM
    Comment #240903
    Do you really think that diagnosing that poor Schavio girl from the floor of the senate was for her benefit?

    It was disgusting, interjecting politics into healthcare like that…

    And yet, that’s what we keep hearing from Democrats that they want to do en masse.

    Posted by: Rhinehold at December 18, 2007 1:54 AM
    Comment #240904
    Is convincing 30 per cent of americans that Saddam Hussein had ties to Osama Bin Laden

    Perhaps it was helped by the fact that Clinton told us the very same thing?

    The report of the 9/11 Commission notes that the National Security staff reviewed the intelligence in April 2000 and concluded that the CIA’s assessment of its intelligence on bin Laden and al-Shifa had been valid; the memo to Clinton on this was cosigned by Richard Clarke and Mary McCarthy, the NSC senior director for intelligence programs, who opposed the bombing of al-Shifa in 1998. The report also notes that in their testimony before the commission, Al Gore, Sandy Berger, George Tenet, and Richard Clarke all stood by the decision to bomb al-Shifa.
    At the time, the intelligence community at the highest level repeatedly assured us that “it never gets better than this” in terms of confidence in an intelligence conclusion regarding a hard target. There was a good reason for this confidence, including multiple, reinforcing elements of information ranging from links that the organization that built the facility had both with Bin Laden and with the leadership of the Iraqi chemical weapons program; extraordinary security when the facility was constructed; physical evidence from the site; and other information from HUMINT and technical sources. Given what we knew regarding terrorists’ interest in acquiring and using chemical weapons against Americans, and given the intelligence assessment provided us regarding the al-Shifa facility, I continue to believe that destroying it was the right decision.

    Of course, that is different than saying Hussein was behind 9/11, but it seems that there 30 percent of the population that just can’t grasp the difference between the two.

    Posted by: Rhinehold at December 18, 2007 2:01 AM
    Comment #240905

    Rhinehold says “And yet, that’s what we keep hearing from Democrats that they want to do en masse.” Rhinehold are you trying to equate this ridiculous diagnoses with universal health care? I now understand better why most conservatives are against universal health care however I just have to ask, Is gross exaggeration and misrepresentation of the facts also a conservative and libertarian value?

    Posted by: j2t2 at December 18, 2007 2:48 AM
    Comment #240906

    No, just that belief that using government for things that should be personal decisions between individuals and their doctors is a good idea is something that Democrats can’t seem to get away from.

    I’ll be specific!

    In this healthcare utopia that I hear about, do we use taxpayer money to pay for abortions? For birth control? For circumcisions? When do we have hearings on when we terminate life? Stem Cells? Are we all obligated to be organ donors? If the funding isn’t keeping up and we can’t tax any more, do we start deciding who gets treatement and who doesn’t? Do we keep treating liver patients who drink? Lung patients who continue to smoke?

    All of these things, and more, suddenly become the perview of POLITICS when we bring government into the system.

    Now, how is this an exaggeration or misrepesentation? Or is it just a focused light on the dark areas of giving everyone free healthcare that Democrats want to avoid talking about?

    Posted by: Rhinehold at December 18, 2007 3:45 AM
    Comment #240911

    Jack,

    In our modern world, some people have lost their faith in God, but since it is impossible to believe in nothing, they have often transferred their faith to government.

    I disagree about your claim having no faith in anything is impossible. I really don’t see why everyone *must* believe in something to live.

    Plus I don’t see why to you the most possible transfer target of former “faith” would be government!? Isn’t family circle, friendship, or whatever social network one would resort to in first place an equal good trust targets?

    Posted by: Philippe Houdoin at December 18, 2007 8:36 AM
    Comment #240912
    The secular case I have been thinking re is those people who live in places frequently fooded, where theye demand rebuilding. In fact the smart thing is to move. We should help the move, but give nothing for the rebuilding.

    Danish just called, and they disagree with you.
    Venetians called before, and they disagreed too.

    To move iway is not the smart thing. It’s just the easy one. The smart thing is to adapt to flooding. If danish could do it, everybody could ;-)
    I find sounding that in a former post you also push for another (considered) “smart” thing to do regarding global warming: move north. That’s the easy way. Adapting is not changing your context, it’s learn to live in the current evolving one…

    If people were doing always the easy thing, every people will have fled their countries for the wealthier/safer/freer one (follow my eyes). Instead, many stay and try harder, again and again, until they actually succeed. Many humankind discoveries came from a few people’s perseverance.

    Avoid challenges is not resolving them. Dropping a place as soon as it become more challenging to live there is nothing but like a kid switching its focus as soon as it’s starting to bore him…

    Posted by: Philippe Houdoin at December 18, 2007 8:52 AM
    Comment #240914

    Jim-
    CBS, NBC, and ABC all have better ratings than the Cable News Networks. Among the Cable News Networks, including the Cable News Network itself, CNN has the best numbers for viewers who tune in to actually get the news, and FOX news has good numbers for its evening line up of GOP Friendly Punditry.

    Which obviously, you and others like you listen to a great deal of. But liberals do not count upon television news to tell them what to think, and are perfectly willing to construct their opinions based on straight news, opinions from more than one side, and from online sources, which Democrats have taken leaps and bounds ahead of the GOP and the right on.

    As for talk radio? It’s a dinosaur, and one that leans precariously towards the right because of AM radio ownership, more than any particular ratings advantage. The Demographic skew up towards people in their fifties and sixties.

    And that isn’t the audience the GOP needs to be paying attention to.

    A Democracy Corps poll from the Washington firm of Greenberg Quinlan Rosner suggests voters ages 18 to 29 have undergone a striking political evolution in recent years.

    Young Americans have become so profoundly alienated from Republican ideals on issues including the war in Iraq, global warming, same-sex marriage and illegal immigration that their defections suggest a political setback that could haunt Republicans “for many generations to come,” the poll said.

    The startling collapse of GOP support among young voters is reflected in the poll’s findings that show two-thirds of young voters surveyed believe Democrats do a better job than Republicans of representing their views - even on issues Republicans once owned, such as terrorism and taxes.

    And among GOP presidential candidates, only former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani registers with more positive views than negative with young voters, the poll shows.

    The anti-GOP shift for this generation - which is expected to reach 50 million voters, or 17 percent of the electorate, in 2008 - represents a marked contrast from their predecessors, the Gen Xers born in the mid-’60s to mid-’70s whose demographic represented the strongest Republican voters in the nation, pollster Anna Greenberg said.

    Today, “on every single issue, Democrats are doing better with young people - no matter what the issue is,” said Greenberg.

    I know you want to go on talking without evidence to back yourself up, but if you look at what people are actually saying out there (scroll down a bit), the opinions they actually registering, they are not going with the GOP or with Conservatives.

    As for why people run the way they do? Well you guys did dominate politics for quite a while, at least on the Washington level, so people got into the habit of trying to placate you and yours.

    That can’t last forever, though, not with the youth of this country so thoroughly disenchanted with your party. I mean, do you think 2006 was an accident, a fluke?

    You can continue to insult us, and probably alienate more people in the process, or you can realize that Reagan’s legacy has finally seen its sunset.

    Rhinehold-
    Why do you continue to make excuses for these people? Even if Clinton got it wrong, he had every opportunity and obligation to try and get it right. Instead, he went looking for justifications for a war, and had his people accept anything that even merely cast suspicion, no matter how poorly sourced or verified. Two wrongs don’t make a right.

    Rhinehold-
    I doubt we’ll see necessary treatments ruled out. Elective treatments are another matter, but why not?

    As for all those issues, I think a great number of them have become political anyways. I doubt anybody would stand for somebody leaving somebody out in the cold, but they don’t stand for that now, anyways.

    The real question is, do we save any money by forcing people to persist with diseases they can’t get treated, allowing things to get worse until chronic care is needed, or until things get terminal?

    Also, nobody’s talking about abolishing private healthcare, any more than folks talk about abolishing private schools when they talk about public. If somebody wants plastic surgery or all that other optional stuff, they can go turn to people in private practice.

    Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at December 18, 2007 9:10 AM
    Comment #240917

    Liberalism is based in self pity. This is why I am a conservative. Most of the time while reading liberal posts I feel compelled to email a cleanex.

    Dependants produce a weak society. Every past hero you read about were self motivated and overcame obstacles. Collectivists pass the blame and penalize everyone. This always produces a drain on those who are diligent. You have to have something to give in order to qualify as compassionate. Redistributing other people’s possessions by force doesn’t count.

    Posted by: Kruser at December 18, 2007 9:32 AM
    Comment #240920

    Kruser,

    I examined France’s social insurance and it is at a huge cost to businesses. They tax vehicle sales and numerous other things to pay for it.

    Yep, and in return we get top quality/cost health care system (according to WHO ranking), which cost 16 (yes, sixteen) less than the US one but give an extra 1.5 year of life expectancy.
    And social insurance don’t only cover health, but welfare and retirement too.

    Please, focusing only on cost without looking at result is meaningless. Like with everything today, one should focus on price/value ratio, not only one side.

    Recently they had to add a monthly sum to the employees to balance their budget.

    I’m not sure I know what you’re talking about, but let me state that the french health care system budged is unbalanced *because* the government doesn’t fund it as he agreed he will. Instead, he diverts since years Health Care System money to fund his tax cut policies.
    By your own logic, french defense budget is also unbalanced, so we should privatize our defense and buy foreign technology, aka say bye bye to our national independence…

    They also tax to pay for the doctor’s education expenses.

    Yes. You know, in France public education aim to let everyone access whatever education for a cost as low as possible.
    Regarding french doctors, as they’re far from being unskilled, I guess that’s money well spent.

    Most countries get technology from the great medical system we have in the US. (my son is in pharmacy school and medical research).

    Great medical *industry* you have in the US.
    Which doesn’t means that your own people get the best health care system. According to many ranking done recently, it doesn’t.

    Posted by: Philippe Houdoin at December 18, 2007 10:05 AM
    Comment #240922

    Rhinehold,

    In this healthcare utopia that I hear about, do we use taxpayer money to pay for abortions?

    Yes. Because illegal/costly abortions leads to far more cost otherwise.

    For birth control?

    Yes. Because it cost far less money than abortions. See above for extra intrication.

    For circumcisions?

    For medical reason, yes. Because it cost far less than urinary infection treatment.

    When do we have hearings on when we terminate life?

    Good question. Soon, I hope.

    Stem Cells?

    Under strict ethical council watch, yes.

    Are we all obligated to be organ donors?

    No, as your body is your (only actual) property.
    And as such, no part of your body could be the object of trade. Blood included.

    If the funding isn’t keeping up and we can’t tax any more, do we start deciding who gets treatement and who doesn’t?

    No, you reduce your budget funding in less urgent stuffs, like Big Oil subsidies ;-). Without healthy and educated people, a nation worth nothing, which means some obvious priorities should be made.

    Do we keep treating liver patients who drink? Lung patients who continue to smoke?

    Yes. Meanwhile, you increase hugely taxes on alcohol and cigarettes to fund these delayed health costs. And forbid people to smoke in public place, exposing non-smokers to smoke against their will.

    Now, how is this an exaggeration or misrepesentation? Or is it just a focused light on the dark areas of giving everyone free healthcare that Democrats want to avoid talking about?

    I failed to see the “darkness” of these areas?
    What the issues here? Most of your areas are not utopias in several health care systems world wide…

    Posted by: Philippe Houdoin at December 18, 2007 10:27 AM
    Comment #240933

    Kruser-
    You’re describing Conservatives better than Liberals. Liberals don’t need special news channels to cater to them. We may complain about unfair treament in the media, but we don’t use that as a reason to disregard anything negative about us in the press. In fact, we have the confidence in our politics to actually confront and expose hypocrisy in our politicians, rather than nervously fear that taking it on would bring back our political opponents.

    We don’t see ourselves as victims. We see ourselves as people willing and able to stand up for ourselves.

    Everybody’s dependent on somebody for something else. Sometimes it’s expertise. Sometimes it’s labor. Sometimes it’s capital, sometimes it’s a wage. We specialize so we can more fully devote ourselves to our professions and occupations, and thereby become dependent on others to take care of those things we decide not to become proficient in.

    Democrats and Liberals recognize that not everything is reducible to individual action and people operating by their own rules. while we respect people’s autonomy, and aren’t so inclined to barge into their moral or religious business, we also respect the fact that autonomy has its limits in the real world.

    The central tenet of modern liberalism is this: Moderation of arbitrary power by a government which is in turn has its power moderated by civil liberties and internal regulations. In essence, the great powers in our country held in check, kept honest, kept more a force for good than not, by the political will of the people.

    We don’t implicitly trust the government. If you didn’t notice, during all those years, Liberals and Democrats were no less safe than Republicans in being exposed by the media.

    If you want to maintain the myths of the far right as your perspective on Democrats, fine, but in the end, such misperceptions are part of what’s drained the power from your side.

    Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at December 18, 2007 11:18 AM
    Comment #240934
    I failed to see the “darkness” of these areas?

    The fact that you have no problem dictating the answers to those questions as obvious when in a politically charged atmosphere they are not and then not seeing the ‘darkness’ of putting all of these things, and many more, up for public debate when they should be between an individual and a doctor ONLY is where the darkness is.

    France likes to talk about individual liberties, just like Stephen, but in the end the country is nothing but a progressive utopia. One I would like for the US to avoid, personally.

    Posted by: Rhinehold at December 18, 2007 11:35 AM
    Comment #240941
    The fact that you have no problem dictating the answers to those questions as obvious when in a politically charged atmosphere they are not and then not seeing the ‘darkness’ of putting all of these things, and many more, up for public debate when they should be between an individual and a doctor ONLY is where the darkness is.

    First, in France and major part of Europe these questions are not politically charged that much.

    Second, most of your questions where about money (funding), not medicine (patient and doctor). I fail to see how money, bill, cost falls under Hyppocratic Oath, sorry.
    You may have notice that I’ve not *dictate* an answer to the few that were not related to cost but only to medicine ethic, like euthanasia, stem cells or organ donation. Which are, indeed, up to individual decisions.

    Funding a nation health is not an individual policy, by its own definition. You’re for individual caring themselves for their health. There is several national experience world wide that show how bad it works. Preventive medicine has the best cost/result ratio on people health, but individuals fail miserably at preventive healthy behavior. Many because they don’t even know about it, others because they think they’re not concerned (yet, if ever), the rest because they rather like an irresponsible lifestyle, hoping to escape future consequences, financial ones in particular.

    But in the end, the average health under such libertarian system is worst, AFAIK. But feel free to show us one factual proof that they’re more effective…

    And I’m not even talking about the huge industry who rely on people, always more people behaving unhealthy. Yesterday it was Tabasco Giants, pesticide or asbestos producers, now it’s Drug Industry and private health care insurance companies, tomorrow it will be doctors themselves (delayed the right diagnosis to boost extra consultation bills - don’t laugh, it happens already…).

    Last, I answered using the actual french health care system situation, not an utopian one. I’m not dictate answers, but replying with the agreed positions of french people. Your mileage may differ…

    Posted by: Philippe Houdoin at December 18, 2007 12:30 PM
    Comment #240948

    “Meanwhile, you increase hugely taxes on alcohol and cigarettes to fund these delayed health costs. And forbid people to smoke in public place, exposing non-smokers to smoke against their will”

    Which is govt dictating how an individual lives their own life, something which is frowned upon by many Americans and the US Constitution.

    Americas acceptance of universal socialist healthcare will be the final nail in our once free country’s coffin.

    Posted by: kctim at December 18, 2007 2:09 PM
    Comment #240949

    kctim-
    Pardon me, but if the world, our freedom, and our Democracy ended as many times as you have predicted due to somebody taking a position not associated with the right, America would long ago have become Mad Max territory.

    Civilization will not fall simply because you folks don’t get your way. God knows your people have done enough damage trying to save the rest of us from ourselves.

    Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at December 18, 2007 2:23 PM
    Comment #240951

    No Stephen, America would not have become Mad Max territory, due to your party’s lack of respect for individual rights and freedoms and our Constitution. It would have, and has indeed become, a socialist territory with barely any resemblence to the Constitutional Republic it once was.

    I know civilization will not fall, but the United States of America as it was founded, is falling.

    My people? I really doubt Republicans like to be associated with me that closely. But, they are good people, so I don’t mind.

    Trying to save the rest of us from ourselves? Like saving us from using our own money in planning our own retirement? Like saving us from evil guns? Like saving us from being responsible for our own actions? Like making us victims when we knowingly make foolish mistakes? Like saving us from using our own money to pick the healthcare we deem best? etc… etc… etc…

    Pu-leez!
    If there is one main difference between liberals and those to the right of them, it is that liberals believe it is their right to get something for nothing and those to the right believe it is their right to be able to try.
    With, liberals believing govt should do it so they don’t have to and those to the right believing they should do it themselves instead of waiting for govt, coming in a close second.

    Posted by: kctim at December 18, 2007 2:56 PM
    Comment #240956
    “Meanwhile, you increase hugely taxes on alcohol and cigarettes to fund these delayed health costs. And forbid people to smoke in public place, exposing non-smokers to smoke against their will”

    Which is govt dictating how an individual lives their own life, something which is frowned upon by many Americans and the US Constitution.

    Tell me where it *forbid* people to smoke or drink? It doesn’t. People who want to are free to do it as much as they want to.

    What it does is forbid people to push smoke in other people lung against their will. Which violate their freedom to *not* be harmed by smokers.

    Smoke (or drink) as much as you want, I don’t care UNTIL you do in MY lung.

    Americas acceptance of universal socialist healthcare will be the final nail in our once free country’s coffin.

    You’re in democracy. Make your voice against this heard. As a french, mine is void in America, as your is in France. Fair enough, right?

    Posted by: Philippe Houdoin at December 18, 2007 3:51 PM
    Comment #240960
    Like saving us from using our own money to pick the healthcare we deem best?

    On such claim, kctim, you should first define your “best” criteria before any debate. Best on what ground? Personal responsability? Cost effectivness? Average health? Life expectancy? Cost/average health ratio? Economical sustain of private care insurance and drug industry?

    Without such definition, it’s a pointless debate.
    If you need inspiration for a set of criteria, you could seek WHO selected ones for example…

    Posted by: Philippe Houdoin at December 18, 2007 3:59 PM
    Comment #240964

    Philippe
    Many cities are “forbidding” smoking in so-called “public” places. Business owners are not allowed to open a business and run it how they want. etc… Govt is dictating how individuals run their life and many of us do not like it.

    “What it does is forbid people to push smoke in other people lung against their will”

    If you walk into a business which allows smoking, you are agreeing to allow that smoke into your body. It is not being pushed or forced. The freedom to chose is yours.

    You are correct, we are now a democracy, which is why “majority rules,” not “individual rights and freedoms,” now determines the path this country takes.
    Had we not deviated from the Constitutional Republic path layed out for us, we would not be having this conversation.

    Fair enough, right? Not for me, I have tasted freedom and I loved it.

    Posted by: kctim at December 18, 2007 4:09 PM
    Comment #240971
    Smoke (or drink) as much as you want, I don’t care UNTIL you do in MY lung.

    Except you do care, don’t you? Because the cost of healthcare increases with bad preventative medicine. You yourself said that it is the right of the state to dictate good preventative behaviors because the individual is not good at it. So how long before it is no longer allowed to eat fatty foods, drink too much alcohol, smoke cigarettes, etc. Those will no longer be individual choices and you state that you don’t want them to be, because individuals are not good at taking care of their own health.

    Preventive medicine has the best cost/result ratio on people health, but individuals fail miserably at preventive healthy behavior.

    BTW, I understand and accept that our nation’s health may not be the best because we are free to make those decisions for ourselves. Some people choose to enjoy their vices today for the cost of 10 or 15 years without them. That should be their choice. The same in many other aspects, including economics.

    But, for the most part, they are still free to make those choices for themselves. It is becoming increasingly harder to do though. But there is still some philisophical meaning to the phrase ‘Give me liberty or give me death’, it’s just that too few who expouse a desire for liberty actually understand what liberty means. It is not freedom from tyrants, it is freedom from government. From outside influence into our lives.

    If we are violating another’s rights to the same, we should be free to live our lives as we choose. That is the libertarian view. And funnily enough, most people still agree with that simple statement, but when it comes to their own personal agendas, they’ve been fooled into thinking that they can have their cake and eat it too. But in order to have that freedom you have to be willing to allow others to have theirs, which is where it all falls apart in modern society, no one wants to give up control over other people’s lives.

    Posted by: Rhinehold at December 18, 2007 4:29 PM
    Comment #240973

    kctim-
    Before social security, the only security most people had from desititution after retirement was living with their children. I agree that some entitlements are debateable, or in need of reform to do better, but I do not share the pathological hatred or loathing that the Right has for anything that requires people to set money aside for the common good.

    I believe I know my history reasonably well, and I cannot recall such a perniciously self-centered view of government working towards the common good. The fact of the matter is, anytime government decides to work for the common good (which should be often, or otherwise what’s the point of a government), there will be disagreements about what the common good is. That’s true whether we’re talking about social welfare, or about military matters, foreign policy, transportation, etc.

    The desire to move past politics is understandable. Some want to do so because they, like everybody else, wants things a certain way, and wished things could be that way without argument. Others hate that the process because secondary concerns, like the horsetrading people do up in Washington, or the desires of special interests overwhelm what they want.

    Either problem, though, fails to remove the necessity for our Republic to function by negotiating settlements that create majority coalitions able to pass the legislation and move the policy. It also fails to do away with the hard reality that sometimes you are part of that minority.

    The Republicans and Right can’t seem to get past the politics, get past wanting their way, and wanting it exclusively, even at the expense of what the majority wants.

    I don’t believe in getting something for nothing. If I believed that, I wouldn’t believe it necessary to pay taxes at a sufficiently level to fund all these things. It seems that the Right have been the ones happiest spending money that they don’t have, all the while excoriating the average liberal for their real and imagined excesses.

    The real difference between Modern Liberals and Republicans is the willingness, when faced with a problem that confronts us as a nation, to bring government along to help. Republicans dismiss this out of hand, at least in their rhetoric, just as they reject withdrawal from Iraq or raising taxes to actually pay for all the spending they’re unwilling or unable to eliminate.

    The standard Republican policy is rejection of liberal policy, usually with your same defamations, your usual dire warnings about how this country, which rose to primacy in the world under a new deal/progressive paradigm, will see a reduction in freedom and prosperity if we don’t go your way.

    To be blunt, I’m sick of that crap. I’m sick of the standard response to arguments being this toxic stew of insults and fear-mongering about our goals and intentions. The Republicans have come closer in the last few years to destroying America’s power, prestige, economic, and military strength than any liberal congress or president.

    It’s time to start treating the other half of the country with some respect.

    Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at December 18, 2007 4:37 PM
    Comment #240977

    Stephen
    The point of our govt is to run govt, not individual lives.
    And I have no problem with majority groups joining together to pass policy, as long as the rights of ALL are protected and respected. It is your refusal to accept this fact, that makes you tired of all the “crap.”

    You are tired of the insults over your goals and intentions? Want them to end? The best place to start would be to prove the accusations are false.

    Not everybody against your agenda is against it simply because it comes from your side.
    Many of us have read your agendas. Many of us have watched your agenda in action. And EVERYBODY can watch TV and see your agenda at work and many of us do not like what we see.

    So quit flattering yourselves by thinking its the messenger and not the message that is being rejected. We are not brain dead partisan drones who need you think for us. We see what is going on, what we are losing and we do not like it.

    Respect isn’t given, its earned. And you guys have done a really piss poor job of earning it. Take away those whom you have made dependent on you and liberals wouldn’t even be a viable party.
    Real Democrats would and then we would have a choice.

    Posted by: kctim at December 18, 2007 5:16 PM
    Comment #240978
    Many cities are “forbidding” smoking in so-called “public” places. Business owners are not allowed to open a business and run it how they want. etc… Govt is dictating how individuals run their life and many of us do not like it.

    Nobody is forbidden to open a private club restricted to smokers, sorry.
    Smokers freedom stop at my breath organ. As they can’t stop their exhaled smoke to enter into it when we’re in the same place, they are free to do in their own private place, private smokers club included. They’re not forbidden to smoke, that’s not true, and you have to bring proof to sustain such claim. But they’re forbidden to force non-smokers to inhale smoke. Which is the non-smokers right that was violated before. Freedom stop where other start.

    If you walk into a business which allows smoking, you are agreeing to allow that smoke into your body. It is not being pushed or forced. The freedom to chose is yours.

    Yeah, the former smoker dictatorial state, in which smoker “freedom” were weighting more, unbalanced by non-smoker “freedom” respect.

    As many non-smokers, I choose to NOT enter this kind of business. Guess what? This business wants me (well my money or my skills) and instead choose between smokers freedom and business pragmatism: they reject smokers outside…

    A few business are now targeting smokers only. Everyone get his freedom, not only smokers.

    Once again, one freedom stop at other one.

    Fair enough, right? Not for me, I have tasted freedom and I loved it.

    I have tasted smokers dictatorship, and I hated it. My freedom value no more than anyone else, *but* not less.
    Posted by: kctim

    Posted by: Philippe Houdoin at December 18, 2007 5:32 PM
    Comment #240980

    Rhinehold,

    Except you do care, don’t you? Because the cost of healthcare increases with bad preventative medicine. You yourself said that it is the right of the state to dictate good preventative behaviors because the individual is not good at it.

    Nope. I didn’t said that. I said preventative medicine is the most cost effective health policy. I dind’t say state has the right to forbid you to behave stupid. You’re the one who put the word “dictacte” in my mouth, not me.

    State has the duty to incite (via taxes, but not limited to that only) people to have a more healthy lifestyle, but not the right to forbid people to not follow them. And how could he?

    If people want to smoke, drink, don’t lock their seat belt, eat too much fat, nobody can’t stop them.
    But it has not to be *free* as in beer. All these unhealthy behaviors are costly on the long term, a cost that is too many often a burden on the whole nation. This cost must be funded somewhere then.
    High taxes on cigarettes, alcohol, transfat, expensive tickets for not wearing seat belt doesnt remove any freedom to do it (no jail here), just less cheap. You want your freedom, buy it. Freedom is not free.

    So how long before it is no longer allowed to eat fatty foods, drink too much alcohol, smoke cigarettes, etc. Those will no longer be individual choices and you state that you don’t want them to be, because individuals are not good at taking care of their own health.

    I don’t made such statement, you did.
    I state that these choice should no be as cheap as they used to be because that’s not their real price, that’s all.

    Freedom is not free. Why the freedom to destroy your health against all warnings that it will cost a lot in the ends, your very personal right indeed, should be free as in beer?

    Posted by: Philippe Houdoin at December 18, 2007 5:52 PM
    Comment #240981

    There are private businesses which smoking has been banned, whether the owner wished to or not. You want to bring private clubs up to support that its not govt dictating? Fine. Liberals can create a private club to pay for healthcare. Problem solved.

    “and instead choose between smokers freedom and business pragmatism”

    Which is how it should be in the US. Instead, govt dictates whether a business can have smokers or not.

    Smokers dictatorship? Now thats funny!
    Business allows smokers if they choose, patrons choose whether to enter or not. It doesn’t get much harder than that.
    The business has the freedom to choose. The smoker has the freedom to choose. You have the freedom to choose.
    With your nazi idea, NOBODY has the right to choose. You just don’t have to, and thats all you care about.

    Posted by: kctim at December 18, 2007 6:05 PM
    Comment #240983
    You want to bring private clubs up to support that its not govt dictating? Fine. Liberals can create a private club to pay for healthcare. Problem solved.

    That’s called private health care companies, AFAIK, and it already exists and used by people who don’t want to rely on government healthcare system.

    Which is how it should be in the US. Instead, govt dictates whether a business can have smokers or not.

    Maybe because its discriminate workers from accessing these business owned by smokers (which is there individual rights) because they only wants smokers as workers (which is plain discrimination).

    Smokers dictatorship? Now thats funny!

    It’s not. It doesn’t make me laugh, believe me.

    The business has the freedom to choose. The smoker has the freedom to choose. You have the freedom to choose.

    In the past, *every* business where allowing smokers in their wall. Where was non-smoker freedom to choose then? The freedom to have no job in order to not have nicotine in their lung?

    Stop kidding yourself. We have choice now only because only a minority of business keep allow smokers to smoke in their working place. When it was the large majority, up to late 80’, choice wasn’t possible.

    I called this the smokers dictatorship, and I really don’t find it funny. At all.

    With your nazi idea, NOBODY has the right to choose. You just don’t have to, and thats all you care about.

    Yeah, called me a nazi for defend my freedom to not been *gazed*, to follow your paraphrase. How nice, clever and very classy of you.

    Smokers like everybody else have to chose too. Between smoking freely *but* without exposing non-smokers to their smoke *or* be ready to non-smokers attacking them for violating their freedom to not smoke against their will.

    I’m as entitled to NOT smoke as a smoker is entitled to smoke. Both freedoms must be warranted.
    Unfortunately, smokers used to not allow non-smokers freedoms to no smoke without losing their job, their free access to public space, their right to travel in common transportations etc, while non-smokers were not taking away any specific freedom, aka taking smoke away from smokers lungs in whatever place.

    That was unfair toward non-smokers.

    Posted by: Philippe Houdoin at December 18, 2007 6:41 PM
    Comment #240987
    It’s time to start treating the other half of the country with some respect.

    Sure is! I’ll fall over dead if I ever see either side do that though…

    Never mind us poor independants/3rd party folks, we understand we usually get the yellow rain…

    Posted by: Rhinehold at December 18, 2007 7:33 PM
    Comment #240989
    otherwise what’s the point of a government

    The point of government is to protect the rights of its citizens from within and without.

    Other than that, there is absolutely NO reason that ‘the common good’ can’t be addressed by non-governmental agencies. You mention Social Security, isn’t it better to educate people to provide for their social security and get, oh let’s say, MORE than 1% return on their investment than it is to create people who do not supplement their social security with their own retirement plans because ‘the government will do it for me’?

    It’s *NOT* the job of government to take care of people, it is the job of government to protect the rights of people and promote the general welfare. Not provide it, promote it. That can only be done by ensuring freedom and liberty exists, not creating programs that only exist to take money from one person and give it to another for no other reason than they have more of it.

    Posted by: Rhinehold at December 18, 2007 7:41 PM
    Comment #240991

    It’s not easy trying to live at the expense of everyone else.

    Having said that, it is also not easy to live with so many regressive/oppressive systems that did not all come about by mere coincidence.

    Don’t kid yourself. The vastly wealthy control our FOR-SALE government. So, what sense does it make to reward it with 95% to 99% re-election rates?

    Posted by: d.a.n at December 18, 2007 8:01 PM
    Comment #241000

    It is an individuals responsibility to keep himself healthy. Some things take another generation to observe the failures of the past ones. Neither of my sons eat sweets for instance. Their wives are also careful with their diet.
    It doesn’t take additional laws to curb bad behavior, sometimes it takes teaching something more than political correct history and global warming in our schools.
    My high school had a student smoking area. We have sure changed that behavior. The laws have only slightly changed but enforcement and education by the schools was stepped up.
    The French obviously take pride in their health. This isn’t due to a better healthcare system, as our research dollars benifit them. It is due to the desire not to tax others with their bad behavior and that is what Americans need to learn. It doesn’t take taxes,laws or social systems.
    Stephen,
    You confuse a fair exchange of services with dependants (look at the tax term). Liberals believe in “taxing the rich” rather than paying as you go and becoming independent of relying on handouts.
    Bureaucrats do a terrible job at managing any business as is evident with our present congress. I worry about someone who would use my health program as a tool to gain wealth and influence through votes. The promises will be ungodly. And the burden once again shifted to “the rich” or just us guys who want to get ahead.
    I am a conservative but certainly do not agree with the republican spending.
    Stabilizing Iraq is a priority though. It is one of those things, had your guy enforced the UN resolutions and bypassed the saps who were enriching themselves with the situation, we might be on opposite sides today.
    Many of my freinds and I disagreed with the news as it was obviously biased. I watched as Bush 1 was shown all stressed out because of the up and coming !Bill! He was elected totally by the media. I wish the clips could be reshown. We just quit watching. All twenty four hour cable is boring and repetitive but at least Fox gives both sides. (remember Dan Rather). The examples are inexaustable. I like listening to people who are admitingly biased better than pretend objective (either view). The only reason we are writing today is because of our biases. It is a healthy honest thing.

    Posted by: Kruser at December 19, 2007 1:21 AM
    Comment #241002

    Kruser,

    The French obviously take pride in their health. This isn’t due to a better healthcare system,

    Great Okam’s razor denial…
    They have a good health, but their healthcare system have nothing to do with it. Sounds too much logical.

    as our research dollars benifit them.

    But your own healthcare system doesn’t as well?!?
    Nonsense.

    It is due to the desire not to tax others with their bad behavior and that is what Americans need to learn.

    I guess you didn’t read any of my comments then, as otherwise I can’t explain myself why you still think french aren’t taxed regarding health whatever their behavior!?! Every french worker contribute the same percent of their income to fund the healthcare system.

    Meanwhile avoiding bad behaviors is incited by making unhealthy behaviors more costly, to stop offsetting their real cost on the long term.
    Maybe that’s also what american should learn to do, paying more for more expensive behavior…

    Stabilizing Iraq is a priority though. It is one of those things, had your guy enforced the UN resolutions and bypassed the saps who were enriching themselves with the situation, we might be on opposite sides today.

    Even the corrupted UN Oil for Food program succeed to prevent Saddam Hussein to rebuild his WMDs stockpile. Ask your soldiers, they found none after having destabilize Irak because they were told they will find many…

    You might be on opposite sides today if your leader weren’t plain wrong about Irak WMDs, period. If you want accountability, seek for the one choosing to go in Irak, not UN (which oppose it, may I remember you, and warm US on possible aftermatch, may I remember you - again?), which, sorry to insist, was preventing Saddam Hussein to get his WMDs back, as proven.

    But keep playing the Irak War blaming game, you may in the end fall on the guy who actually choose it, you never know…

    Posted by: Philippe Houdoin at December 19, 2007 2:44 AM
    Comment #241004

    The problem, Philippe, is if the UN knew he had no WMD, why didn’t they end the sanctions that had taken the lives of millions of children?

    Is that not an indictment against them that we choose to ignore?

    The reality is that we didn’t know one way or the other and because of Saddam’s actions we couldn’t know one way or the other. Had he not messed with the inspection process so blatantly he would have been free of his sanctions, that he wanted to be rid of desperately, years before.

    Oh, and not shooting at US/UK planes or funding international terrorism would have helped… But I’m just picking nits.

    Posted by: Rhinehold at December 19, 2007 3:49 AM
    Comment #241005

    The “problem”, Rhinehold, and you perfectly know it, is that UN suspected *indeed* he had no WMD anymore, a suspicion that UN inspectors on the ground were working hard to confirm or infirm. But US unilateral attack on Saddam Hussein stopped these inspectors right in time before they could eventually concluded against the will of White House (remember, Iraq War was planned *before* Bush even entered the WH…).
    Ironically, one year later, the very trustful American Survey in Iraq made the same conclusion, but with american taxpayers dollars only this time…

    And I’ve no doubt that in confirmation case, sanctions would have been ended, being successful but too cruel on iraqis.

    The reality is that we didn’t know one way or the other and because of Saddam’s actions we couldn’t know one way or the other.

    You like to think about this that way. The reality is that UN inspectors were not worse than american ones, and that there suspicion were funded, as proven since, and that this same suspicion was largely enough to avoid war.

    Had he not messed with the inspection process so blatantly he would have been free of his sanctions, that he wanted to be rid of desperately, years before.

    Yeah, Saddam attacked US, right, it’s all its fault for the war, right. The ultimate messing was made by the unilateral attack which de-facto void the inspection process. Someone lost his patience and nerve, and it was neither UN neither Saddam, so stop blame them for everything, and take responsibility on the consequences of your leader decision. You can brag when the output is positive and blame others when it’s not, sorry, it doesn’t work like that, and it’s perfectly fair it doesn’t…

    Oh, and not shooting at US/UK planes or funding international terrorism would have helped… But I’m just picking nits.

    And the no-fly-zones being legal under UN will have helped your nitpicking point. When China shooted an US spy plane, I didn’t see US attacking China…
    Avoiding the most funding international terrorism state at time, aka the “US oil friendly” Saudi Arabia, is also a nice nitpicking from your side, indeed.
    And in both case we all know that you know it too.

    Anyway, you can blame as much as you want UN and Saddam (or even France, that big traitor, if it make you feel better about your inconsequently attitude since) for Iraq War, your were warned about breaking Iraq down (loved your “destabilized” neologism!) and unilateralism built-in responsibility.

    You just can’t pass the buck to people who disagree with your decision, sorry.

    Posted by: Philippe Houdoin at December 19, 2007 5:12 AM
    Comment #241015

    Philippe
    I have heard of businesses not hiring smokers, but I have not heard of someone not hiring non-smokers. I would love to see those stories though.

    I know smokers can be rude. I have experienced it myself, many times. But that is no excuse to dictate how a person lives their life or runs their business.

    “In the past, *every* business where allowing smokers in their wall. Where was non-smoker freedom to choose then?”

    Where was it? It was there when they chose to open the door and frequent that business. At that time, the non-smoker, chose for himself.

    “I called this the smokers dictatorship, and I really don’t find it funny. At all.”

    That makes sense. Many people refuse to see the hypocrisy in believing it is ok to take away the rights of one in order to please another.

    “Yeah, called me a nazi for defend my freedom to not been *gazed*, to follow your paraphrase. How nice, clever and very classy of you.”

    Philippe, slow down and read all that is placed on here, please. I said “nazi idea,” I did not call you a nazi.

    “I’m as entitled to NOT smoke as a smoker is entitled to smoke. Both freedoms must be warranted.”

    Of course you are and you can make that decision before you enter a business. It really is not a hard thing to grasp.

    “That was unfair toward non-smokers.”

    Yes it was and it was fixed to accommadate non-smokers. But it was then abused to the point where now, business owners do not have the right to run their business as they wish and that is wrong.


    Posted by: kctim at December 19, 2007 9:53 AM
    Comment #241018

    kctim,

    I have heard of businesses not hiring smokers, but I have not heard of someone not hiring non-smokers. I would love to see those stories though.

    They didn’t. Instead non-smokers had no other choice to protect their health than quit. My sister had first hand experience it. Being younger, I didn’t, but I used to have to work in a smoking office and was considered quitting as my unique exit. Which was not fair, as my own behavior didn’t force smokers into make such strong choice.

    I know smokers can be rude. I have experienced it myself, many times. But that is no excuse to dictate how a person lives their life or runs their business.

    Again, smokers CAN smoke. Still. AFAIK, no law in Europe or US forbid someone to smoke. They can push nicotine into their lung all their life as much as they want to. But only into *their* lung, not other people ones. That’s NOT dictate how a smoker should lives it life, BUT that’s dictate how a smoker should NOT dictate how non-smokers should tolerate smoke in their lung against their will.

    Now, business owners, smokers or not, are not free regarding health risk they are exposing their employees, sorry. Or would you claim those industries who voluntary exposed in full knowledge their workers to unhealthy stuffs were free to do it and nobody should dictacte them that they must NOT harm workers health voluntary?

    And how is that a different situation when it comes to smoking office here?

    Where was it? It was there when they chose to open the door and frequent that business. At that time, the non-smoker, chose for himself.

    That was in France in the 80. And now, both smoker s and non-smokers have both choice to enter or not a smoking or non-smoking place. The *only* difference is that now both have to chose, when before only non-smokers had.

    Many people refuse to see the hypocrisy in believing it is ok to take away the rights of one in order to please another.

    Can’t agree more. And it works as great with smokers vs non-smokers than with non-smokers vs smokers. Ironic, isn’t it?

    Philippe, slow down and read all that is placed on here, please. I said “nazi idea,” I did not call you a nazi.

    You called *my* idea nazi. How is that not calling me a nazi?! IIRC, nazism is an ideology, and people agreeing with it are called nazi. I failed to see how calling my idea a nazi one is not saying I’m agreeing with nazism…

    Anyway, apologies accepted. Yes, I don’t care you didn’t offer any officially…

    Of course you are and you can make that decision before you enter a business. It really is not a hard thing to grasp.

    So can the smokers, too. They’re not more victims than non-smokers here. People have hard choice to do in order to live according to their will. I welcome smokers to join the movement, for a change, that’s all.

    “That was unfair toward non-smokers.”

    Yes it was and it was fixed to accommadate non-smokers.

    Not to *accomadate* but to restore their smoking-free-lung right.

    But it was then abused to the point where now, business owners do not have the right to run their business as they wish and that is wrong.

    Business owners never had a blank check to run their business as they wish. Mostly because it’s well-known that as soon as they would, they will abuse it. As proven so often in human history. Abuse works both way you know. Plus, explain me again how smoking in an office is vital to run a business?

    Last but not least, I’m sure hardcore smokers who want to run their business according to their smoking lifestyle still have the choice to do it, using whatever loophole (private club, family-only business, whatever private business loophole). And I’m not even talking about the always open possibility to move to a more smoker-friendly state, as IIRC US borders are not close like old dictatorships, right?

    Dictactorship is when you have no more choice. It’s not the case. In both camps. The only change is the choice offered is now more balanced.

    Posted by: Philippe Houdoin at December 19, 2007 10:45 AM
    Comment #241021

    Philippe & Rhinehold

    I am going to jump to the bellicose point. I believe Saddam was a threat and explained at length in a post a couple of years ago why. Others may disagree. BUT …

    It looks like we are going to win in Iraq. What that will mean is that we got rid of an evil dictator, who had attacked four of his neighbors and truly wrecked a promising country and replaced him with a reasonably democratic and stable country that is not a threat and has a chance to develop into a splendid country. In a little while all this WMD debate will matter about as much as whether or not the Carthaginians really provoked the Second Punic War or if it was a Roman setup all the way.

    What really matters in wars is not how they start but how they end. If we win, our cause we be seen as just or at least inevitable by future generations. If we lose, we will be dogs.

    Did you know that the Romans provoked the conflict with Phillip V, King of Macedonia? Or speaking of the Iraq region, is it true that Muslim armies had no legitimate grievances against the Byzantines or Persians? Does anybody really know or care. It mattered a lot more who won and what resulted.

    Nobody can feel bad about the end of Saddam.

    Posted by: Jack at December 19, 2007 11:27 AM
    Comment #241025

    Although I am a conservative. I have to agree with Philippe. My dad died of smoker induced cancer. My Brothers an I started smoking and inhaled with no coughing because both our parents smoked. (It lasted only a couple years for me)
    My sons and I had to quit going to the outdoor events in our county because smokers surrounded us (high per capita in welfare areas)and we couldn’t stand it. Our “do you mind” was responded by threats of bodily harm.
    Smokers are oblivious to what they are doing to themselves and others and therefore need controlled by local authority. We have to make laws sparingly and only when there are transgressions.

    Posted by: Kruser at December 19, 2007 11:56 AM
    Comment #241026

    Philippe

    “They didn’t. Instead non-smokers had no other choice to protect their health than quit.”

    You conviently left out their other choice: Don’t take a job where they allowed smoking.

    “Again, smokers CAN smoke. Still. AFAIK, no law in Europe or US forbid someone to smoke.”

    I have no idea of European laws, but in the US, many cities dictate that a business must be smoke free with no regards as to how the business owner wishes to run their business. Smokers are forbidden from smoking in an establishment that wishes to allow smoking.

    “They can push nicotine into their lung all their life as much as they want to. But only into *their* lung, not other people ones”

    Absolutely! Which is why it is best to let it be a choice. Nobody’s rights are violated if it was a choice for all.
    Bar allows smoking? Go to a bar which does not.
    Bar bans smoking? Go to a bar which does not.
    Problem solved.

    “Now, business owners, smokers or not, are not free regarding health risk they are exposing their employees, sorry”

    Owners cannot force an employee to work under hazardous conditions without the employees knowledge. Advise the employee that your establishment allows smoking and if they accept the conditions, nobody is unknowingly put at a health risk.

    “The *only* difference is that now both have to chose, when before only non-smokers had”

    Not true for the US. In many cities, smokers have no choice.

    “Can’t agree more. And it works as great with smokers vs non-smokers than with non-smokers vs smokers. Ironic, isn’t it?”

    It would be ironic, IF that was the case. We have taken away the rights of smokers to run or frequent a business which allows smoking. We have placed the rights of the majority above the rights of the minority.

    “You called *my* idea nazi. How is that not calling me a nazi?!”

    Because one idea or belief does not make what a person is. I believe strongly in gay marriage, would you dare call me a liberal? Liberalism is an ideaology and I probably agree more strongly about gay marriage than many liberals. Does that make me an ultra-liberal? Would you, in your wildest dreams, ever consider me to be a liberal?

    “Anyway, apologies accepted. Yes, I don’t care you didn’t offer any officially…”

    Not unofficially either, to be honest. Language barrier? Maybe. One of the pains of communicating online? Maybe. Apologizing for what I said? Nope.

    “So can the smokers, too. They’re not more victims than non-smokers here.”

    Can non-smokers go to the bar and watch the game without being bothered by smoke? Yes.
    Can smokers go to the bar and enjoy a cig while watching the game? No.

    “I welcome smokers to join the movement, for a change, that’s all.”

    Why would smokers join the movement to ban smoking?
    I welcome non-smokers, such as myself, to join the movement to allow smoking and non-smoking establishments.

    “Not to *accomadate* but to restore their smoking-free-lung right.”

    They have their “smoking-free-lung right,” some just fail to exercise that right. I have a right not to get shot, but that doesn’t mean I’m going to go have a picnic on a firing range. Nor does it mean that I should expect the firing range to stop allowing shooting because I want to picnic there and the shooting endangers my health.

    “Plus, explain me again how smoking in an office is vital to run a business?”

    Its not! But keeping the right to run your business and your life as you wish, is very vital.

    “And I’m not even talking about the always open possibility to move to a more smoker-friendly state, as IIRC US borders are not close like old dictatorships, right?”

    Now thats a good question. But, if we are going to say this is a state issue and the federal govt has no say in it, then we must do that for other issues, like abortion.

    “Dictactorship is when you have no more choice. It’s not the case. In both camps. The only change is the choice offered is now more balanced.”

    I don’t like smoking so it is my right for ALL places to be smoke free?
    Yeah, thats real balanced.

    Posted by: kctim at December 19, 2007 12:00 PM
    Comment #241028

    Kruser
    “Smokers are oblivious to what they are doing to themselves and others and therefore need controlled by local authority”

    It’s 2007, no matter how many smokers play dumb in order to win court cases, they know damn well what they are doing to themselves.

    If the county is running the events, then they can say it is smoke free. But if John Doe is running an event, then he, not the county, should decide if it is smoke free or not.

    We don’t need more govt control, we just need more respect and common sense.

    Posted by: kctim at December 19, 2007 12:12 PM
    Comment #241033

    Jack,

    It looks like we are going to win in Iraq. What that will mean is that we got rid of an evil dictator, who had attacked four of his neighbors and truly wrecked a promising country and replaced him with a reasonably democratic and stable country that is not a threat and has a chance to develop into a splendid country.

    Except it was not a threat at first, that nobody could predict how splendid or not Iraq will be in the future and that I only remember Kuwait and Iran as being attacked by Saddam, the later being de-facto label as more “evil of both” by westerners. But, anyway…

    In a little while all this WMD debate will matter about as much as whether or not the Carthaginians really provoked the Second Punic War or if it was a Roman setup all the way.

    I really hope it will take less than 2000 years…

    What really matters in wars is not how they start but how they end.

    Agreed.

    If we win, our cause we be seen as just or at least inevitable by future generations. If we lose, we will be dogs.

    I fear you’re overestimate world opinion on US winning Iraq War. At best, it will be seen as you country broke it *but* fixed it.

    The noble inevitable just war is way out of your league, even on Historical scale.

    It mattered a lot more who won and what resulted.

    What even mattered far more above everything is what resulted, alone.

    Nobody can feel bad about the end of Saddam.

    Even Saddam had a family, you know.

    Posted by: Philippe Houdoin at December 19, 2007 12:25 PM
    Comment #241036

    Phillipe

    Saddam did not have much of a family because he tended to kill them off. His two sons went to hell a bit earlier than the old man.

    World public opinon tends have a short memory. Look at the examples of China or Russia, or even Saddam himself. After something has ended or changed, most people forget it was ever anything else.

    When Iraq is stable and resonably Democratic, people will just think that was inevitable. They will also think the U.S. victory was inevitable. We will get no credit, but there will no longer be blame either. And a peaceful Iraq will make the whole world better off. If we all are better off tomorrow, who cares what people think today? The result will determine the opinion. When you ask people what they THOUGHT, they will even give you the wrong answer - and believe it.

    Let me give you a prediction that you can write down. If the Iraq adventure turns out well, most people will claim they knew it all along and that they sort of supported the action.

    Posted by: Jack at December 19, 2007 12:36 PM
    Comment #241038

    kctim,

    You conviently left out their other choice: Don’t take a job where they allowed smoking.

    I’ve already answered it: every business at this time (aka before smoking in public place was legally banned) *were* allowing smoking.
    Which mean the only choice I had then was to become jobless or unhealthy. Leaving my country was not an option, as it was the same worldwide too.

    “Again, smokers CAN smoke. Still. AFAIK, no law in Europe or US forbid someone to smoke.”

    in the US, many cities dictate that a business must be smoke free with no regards as to how the business owner wishes to run their business.

    Same here. And?
    Since when business is all life people have?
    Since when not being able to smoke at their business stop them to smoke when they’re not?

    Smokers are forbidden from smoking in an establishment that wishes to allow smoking.

    This establishment just need to become a private club, and voilà. But until it’s open for public, not just smokers. Otherwise, it’s discrimination.
    What next then? Business that wishes to allow open racism? Sexism?
    If you’re open to public, you should allow every people undiscriminating. Otherwise, it’s a private business.

    Bar allows smoking? Go to a bar which does not. Bar bans smoking? Go to a bar which does not. Problem solved.

    Except that in the past, thanks for majority rule and basic market share calculus, such bar banning smoking were nowhere to be found.

    Owners cannot force an employee to work under hazardous conditions without the employees knowledge. Advise the employee that your establishment allows smoking and if they accept the conditions, nobody is unknowingly put at a health risk.

    Again, it works *only* when alternative are available. As explain and history proven, it was not the case before, business were all allowing smoking.

    In many cities, smokers have no choice.

    Of course they have. They have the choice to smoke in their private place or stop smoking.
    Cigarettes are not outlawed, aren’t they?

    We have placed the rights of the majority above the rights of the minority.

    No, we have place the rights in public place at the same level for everyone: your freedom should not harm other’s one.

    Can non-smokers go to the bar and watch the game without being bothered by smoke? Yes. Can smokers go to the bar and enjoy a cig while watching the game? No.

    Of course they can. Just not one open to public.
    And? Smoking is a private, individual behavior. Why the public space should *accomodate* (now it’s the good place to use this word) a private individual behavior?

    Why would smokers join the movement to ban smoking?

    The movement I was talking about is the “make a choice” one. Before, only non-smokers have to make one, while smokers didn’t have to, enjoying de-facto their freedom without having to make any compromise to get it. Now, as non-smokers before, they too have a choice to make. That’s the movement I’m talking here.

    They have their “smoking-free-lung right,” some just fail to exercise that right.

    You keep deny that before the law, no business was not allowing smoking, which leads to jobless or unhealthy working place. That not the definition of a right or a freedom, but constraint.

    I have a right not to get shot, but that doesn’t mean I’m going to go have a picnic on a firing range. Nor does it mean that I should expect the firing range to stop allowing shooting because I want to picnic there and the shooting endangers my health.

    Except that you don’t need to have a picnic to sustain your life, and that not all picnic area are a firing range. Again (and again and again, because you keep avoid that issue) before ban law, *every* working place were allowing smoking, de-facto. Like if every picnic are were under firing range, and without picnic you die.

    But keeping the right to run your business and your life as you wish, is very vital.

    Smokers could smoke during their private time as they wish. Business are regulated, in particular the one targetted at public audience. Follow that rules or move to private customers business model, ans stop whining.

    I don’t like smoking so it is my right for ALL places to be smoke free? Yeah, thats real balanced.

    Not ALL. *Public* places. You know, the one were *everyone* are allowing to access.
    You do what you want in private area, business included.

    Posted by: Philippe Houdoin at December 19, 2007 1:06 PM
    Comment #241039

    kctim,

    We don’t need more govt control, we just need more respect and common sense.

    Respect is not free. And common sense is not that common.

    Jack,

    Saddam did not have much of a family because he tended to kill them off. His two sons went to hell a bit earlier than the old man.

    Nice strawman, except his two sons were killed by US, not him.

    We will get no credit, but there will no longer be blame either.

    Exactly what I said previously. You will get credit for fixing what you broke, but you wont be blame for breaking anymore.
    Agreed.

    And a peaceful Iraq will make the whole world better off.

    Oh, so Iran, North Korea, Afghanistan aren’t anymore the new threat to world peace?
    Please, be serious, we both know that *after* Iraq US will seek the US enemy to fight. US does this since WWII (and one may wonder why…).

    Since when US didn’t have any official enemy?

    Let me give you a prediction that you can write down. If the Iraq adventure turns out well, most people will claim they knew it all along and that they sort of supported the action.

    In the first couple of week after the invasion, I used to think “damned, France was wrong and indeed US succeeded without minimal side effects”. But then came the no-aftermath-plan, and I change my mind.

    As I said already, fixing what you broke doesn’t get you any reward. The blame will just stop, which will be fair.

    Posted by: Philippe Houdoin at December 19, 2007 1:19 PM
    Comment #241044

    Philippe

    I don’t deny how things used to be. We had millions more smokers then and it was more accepted. But times have changed.

    You don’t believe businesses should have the choice on whether to accomadate smokers or not, but you do believe businesses should be required to accomadate non-smokers.
    You don’t believe people should be the ones making their own decision about being around smoke, but rather that it is govts job to make it for them.

    Me? Well, I believe everybody can make their own decision and that limiting their rights because of that, is wrong.

    Must be the European democracy in you and the US Constitutional Republic in me.

    Guess we will just have to agree to disagree.

    Posted by: kctim at December 19, 2007 2:02 PM
    Comment #241088

    kctim,

    What are you talking about accommodate non-smokers?! Accommodate to what? To the fact they exhale air, water and CO2 like, well, every human since forever?!
    What effort is required to *accommodate* them??? They do nothing special which needs any accommodation, that’s non-sense!

    That’s smokers, since start, who do some extra thing, on their will, on their individual choice but enforcing it on others: exhaling the usual *plus* carcinogens as well as other toxic components.

    May none of this toxic gases ever escape their lung after they inhale the smoke, I’ll have nothing against smokers. But they don’t keep most of these gases trapped in their lung, far from it.

    And *this* needs accommodation. From them, as they’re the one who chose to do it, they’re not forced to make that choice. With choice comes responsibility, I guess you will agree with that, right?

    Well, I believe everybody can make their own decision and that limiting their rights because of that, is wrong.

    Saying smoking is a *right* is plain BS. It’s a freedom. Which is never free. And one that hit very quickly, thanks for many smokers not respecting non-smokers in the past, the far more natural *right* to not being push toxic gases into our lung, aka poisoned.

    And stop pushing yours words in my mouth: I do believe people are free to chose to smoke or not, I’ve several times state I’m against forbidden smoking. People should be free to chose.

    But people who chose to smoke *must* face the consequences of their choice: it’s an expensive unhealthy and disrespectful of non-smokers rights behavior. With their choice comes consequences, that they must face, as it’s their individual choice.

    May smokers have shown themselves a large respect of non-smokers rights, we will never have needed a law to enforce them to this respect. In majority, they didn’t. Their choice. Their disrespect of others right.

    They still are free to smoke.
    They just are not free anymore to smoke into others lungs too, as most did before ban. It’s sad we need a law for that, as it’s very telling on smokers attitudes in the past…

    The only ones to blame for this law are smokers themselves.

    Posted by: Philippe Houdoin at December 20, 2007 2:44 AM
    Comment #241109

    Philippe
    A man owns a bar and has 100 customers a day.
    80% are smokers, 20% are not.
    Next door, a man owns a bar and has 100 customers a day, but his establishment is smoke-free.
    Smokers have a pro smoking place to go for enjoyment and non-smokers have a smoke-free place to go for enjoyment.
    But, rather than let these businesses co-exist, a law is passed so that the non-smokers can have two places to go to for enjoyment. 80% are told they cannot do what they like and 20% now have two options.
    Before the law, BOTH groups had a choice. After the law, only one group does.
    That, is accommadating non-smokers.

    “With choice comes responsibility, I guess you will agree with that, right?”

    Of course I do, which is why I believe it is perfectly ok to two separate establishments. One can choose to either enter the one that allows smoking or the one that is smoke free. Not giving people that option though, takes away their choice.

    “I do believe people are free to chose to smoke or not, I’ve several times state I’m against forbidden smoking. People should be free to chose”

    But, you do support punishing them for their choice. By taxing them extra and outlawing them from opening a place to gather with others who share their interest.
    Rather than saying ok, you can smoke but only in places which have chosen to allow it, you say they can smoke, but they can’t choose where because a non-smoker shouldn’t have to choose between a smoking and non-smoking place.

    My town still lets the people decide. We have places which allow smoking and places that do not. Guess what, IT WORKS!
    I do not smoke and I can choose between eating at a place that is smoke-free OR, I can choose to breath smoke and eat at a place that is not smoke-free.
    My friend smokes and he can choose to eat at a place that allows smoking or choose to not smoke and eat at a place that is non-smoking.

    “They just are not free anymore to smoke into others lungs too, as most did before ban. It’s sad we need a law for that, as it’s very telling on smokers attitudes in the past…”

    I agree, they were pretty inconsiderate.
    But, the answer to their disrepectful behavior in the past is NOT to be disrespectful to them now.

    There’s enough room for both groups and people are smart enough to choose between entering a smoking or non-smoking place.

    Posted by: kctim at December 20, 2007 10:42 AM
    Comment #241117

    kctim,

    Before the law, BOTH groups had a choice. After the law, only one group does.

    Blatant lie. Before the law only one group had a choice, smoking or not smoking in a bar, while non smokers didn’t have any choice as smoke-free bars didn’t exist at all, against all free-market-magic prediction.

    Of course I do, which is why I believe it is perfectly ok to two separate establishments.

    Yeah, let’s double everything to accommodate smokers.
    Then double these establishments again to accommodate man (or woman, depends on your gender).
    Then split all these establishments into christian, muslim, jew or whatever religion to accommodate every spiritual people. (don’t laugh, muslim wants Sharia-compliant banks…)

    Then split every christian establishment into evangelist, creationist or whatever christian church to accommodate every christian people flavor.

    Etc etc etc.

    In fact, I’m waiting right now my new non-smoking atheist man-restricted hospital. Should be a reality any day now.

    Oh, how I love communitarism.

    you do support punishing them for their choice. By taxing them extra and outlawing them from opening a place to gather with others who share their interest.

    Punishing? You mean cig should be free for smokers, funded by non-smokers!?!
    Stop kidding yourself. Smokers *chose* to smoke. It comes at a price. Period.

    Plus I’m not outlawing them from opening a place to gather with others smokers. It just can’t be anymore defined as an *public* place, as they clearly can host non-smokers people without poisoning their lung.

    Smokers can open private smoking club business as much as they want, I don’t care.

    you say they can smoke, but they can’t choose where because a non-smoker shouldn’t have to choose between a smoking and non-smoking place.

    Yes. I fail to see why non-smokers should make all the effort to help smokers in their choice to smoke. Exaclty like smokers in the past, while a majority, didn’t make any effort to help non-smokers in their choice to not smoke.

    Maybe it’s tit for tat. And?

    We have places which allow smoking and places that do not. Guess what, IT WORKS!

    NYC has the most strict smoking ban. Guess what? Bars and restaurants saw their business growth since. IT WORKS too. *And* move the smoking choice consequences on smokers elbows only, which is fair when compared to the previous situation.

    I do not smoke and I can choose between eating at a place that is smoke-free OR, I can choose to breath smoke and eat at a place that is not smoke-free.

    Will your kids (if any) have a voice here?
    What if they don’t? Who will protect them from smoking? Smokers builtin respect, as so well unproven by the past?

    Like I said, the smoking ban should NOT have been necessary if smokers were making effort to accommodate non-smokers. The law is the symbol of their failure to do so.

    It’s not a case of symetric opposed freedoms. One’s freedom pollute the other, but the reverse is not true. Non-smokers choice never force clean air in smokers lung.

    It’s asymetric and before the law only non-smokers were suffering from it.

    The fact smoking ban law could have been avoid if smokers had became respectful of non-smokers right put the “blame”, if any, on them only.

    I agree, they were pretty inconsiderate. But, the answer to their disrespectful behavior in the past is NOT to be disrespectful to them now.

    Being disrespectful to them now will be to force them to stop smoking against their will, like in the past they force non-smokers smoking against their will.

    It’s not what the law does.

    There’s enough room for both groups and people are smart enough to choose between entering a smoking or non-smoking place.

    Say that to kids trapped in their smoking parent house. Or car. Smokers being smart!? Sounds like an oxymoron…

    After all, they’re drug addicts.

    Again, why non-smokers should be supposed to accommodate to their polluting fellows. Why?

    Non-smokers were asked to make all effort, to accommodate all the constraint created by smokers, and meanwhile smokers had no constraints !?! Illogic. Unfair.

    Fortunately, this nonsense ends. It could have been driven by smokers changing their attitudes regarding non-smokers right, but sadly it take a law instead. They got like forever to become respectful of non-smokers but in majority didn’t.

    Stop blaming the ban law. Blame their selfish attitude which lead to this law.

    Posted by: Philippe Houdoin at December 20, 2007 1:28 PM
    Comment #241123

    Philippe
    First, thanks. I am enjoying this immensely. It is nice to talk with people with different govts and experiences. The US moves closer to your style of govt every day and your views help give Americans an insight of where our country is headed.

    “Blatant lie. Before the law only one group had a choice…”

    Not a lie PH. People were free to open non-smoking establishments back then and today.

    “Then double…
    Then split all these establishments into…
    Then split every christian establishment into…”

    Fine. IF there is a demand for such, do it.

    “In fact, I’m waiting right now my new non-smoking atheist man-restricted hospital. Should be a reality any day now.”

    Why wait for someone else to do it for you, when you could lead the way by working towards that yourself? Another difference between a socialist democracy and a Constitutional Republic.

    “Punishing? You mean cig should be free for smokers, funded by non-smokers!?!
    Stop kidding yourself. Smokers *chose* to smoke. It comes at a price. Period.”

    Please read what I typed. You think its ok to tax tobacco at unfair levels, I do not.

    “Plus I’m not outlawing them from opening a place to gather with others smokers. It just can’t be anymore defined as an *public* place, as they clearly can host non-smokers people without poisoning their lung.”

    PH, you cannot “host” someone unless they make the choice to come and your lungs cannot be poisoned if you choose not to enter a smoking establishment. Its really not that hard to understand.

    “Yes. I fail to see why non-smokers should make all the effort to help smokers in their choice to smoke.”

    But they are not making all the effort. Smokers choose whether to visit a smoking or non-smoking place and non-smokers do the same.

    “Exaclty like smokers in the past, while a majority, didn’t make any effort to help non-smokers in their choice to not smoke.”

    It is 2007, not 1957.

    “NYC has the most strict smoking ban. Guess what? Bars and restaurants saw their business growth since. IT WORKS too.”

    Ok, then why care if one bar allows smoking and another does not? They both work, right?

    “Will your kids (if any) have a voice here?”

    Sure, when I consider them to be mature enough to make their own decisions.

    “What if they don’t? Who will protect them from smoking?”

    That is MY job, not yours or the govts.

    “Smokers builtin respect, as so well unproven by the past?”

    It is 2007, not 1957.

    “It’s not a case of symetric opposed freedoms. One’s freedom pollute the other, but the reverse is not true. Non-smokers choice never force clean air in smokers lung.”

    It is about personal freedoms for ALL, not some. Well, at least in the US and we are losing that day by day.
    Become a smoker or don’t become one. Open a non-smoking business or open a smoking business. Sell moon rocks or don’t sell moon rocks. ALL are individual choices and whether to give that establishment you business or not, is also an individual choice.

    “The fact smoking ban law could have been avoid if smokers had became respectful of non-smokers right put the “blame”, if any, on them only.”

    Its 2007, not 1957.

    “It’s not what the law does.”

    Maybe not, but law is supposed to be applied equally to all.

    “After all, they’re drug addicts.”

    Yes they are.

    “Again, why non-smokers should be supposed to accommodate to their polluting fellows. Why?”

    They aren’t. They can choose to not give a smoking establishment their business and give it to a non-smoking establishment.

    “Non-smokers were asked to make all effort, to accommodate all the constraint created by smokers, and meanwhile smokers had no constraints !?! Illogic. Unfair.”

    In 2007, not 1957, the only effort non-smokers must make is in choosing whether to go into a place which allows smoking or one that is smoke free.

    Posted by: kctim at December 20, 2007 3:05 PM
    Comment #241133
    So obviously the man of true faith relies on the Lord for inspiration as he helps himself.

    Everyone knows that the GOP likes to talk a lot about faith in God, but the result of all that talk has been shown to be hollow, meaningless and empty.

    Some good recent commentary on the “faith” of the GOP:
    Hard-liners for Jesus

    Huckabee: The GOP’s Cynical Use of Religion Has Come Home to Roost

    In our modern world, some people have lost their faith in God, but since it is impossible to believe in nothing, they have often transferred their faith to government.

    In my view, whether people believe in a God or not, we should still be able to reach an agreement that American government can and should effectively stand up for basic human decency. After all, the people who comprise the government are in fact Americans, too. So, it really doesn’t require religious faith of any kind for us to collectively reach consensus on certain ideas and concepts. For instance, on the idea that Americans shouldn’t starve to death. Or have to lay sick and dying because they can’t afford the high cost of health care. Or that it is acceptable that any of our citizens should have to live in rat infested slums, because the people there don’t matter at all.

    Being able to reach such a consensus shouldn’t have anything to do with partisanship or religion, yet somehow it has. Obviously Republicans want to talk only on religious terms of faith, because it seems they have absolutely no faith in their fellow citizens, or in the idea of an American government that can reflect the collective values that all of us share.
    Sad. And yet, this attitude must have something to do with the falling poll numbers of the GOP. Americans seem very tired of Republican “faith” and what it has brought to the country.

    Posted by: veritas vincit at December 20, 2007 7:14 PM
    Comment #241141

    Conservatives have faith in individuals ability to excel without dependence on a government program’s whims. Government benevolence is wasteful, manipulative and inefficient. We as a people create and take advantage of opportunity. Collectivists take them away.
    “Collective values” is another phrase that means “vote for me and I will confiscate people’s hard earned cash and perpetually give it away to those who vote for me. It is a waste that degrades independence. It also has no compassion since stealing someone else’s money to help another doesn’t qualify as such especially when there is influence attached (votes).

    Posted by: Kruser at December 20, 2007 8:52 PM
    Comment #241168

    kctim,

    It is 2007, not 1957.

    True. What are the major changes since 1957?

    Two things:
    a) nobody now contest anymore that smoke, second hand included, hurt health;
    b) Smoking ban law have to be passed in the last years, after 50 years of free-market-magic and individual responsibility failure to respect people right to breath clean air.

    Nothing change during 50 years of unregulated smoking, 50 years during self-regulating never happened.

    It’s 2007 indeed, and it doesn’t take 50 years but a law to end it. Sad. Smokers could have avoid it. They are the one to blame for it, non-smokers gave them half a century to change their attitude, half a century during which they were forced to accommodate them, while they were free to behave as they wanted too.

    Now *that* was unfair.
    And yes, I think it’s okay to tax tobacco at high levels, to fund the healthcare which generate.
    You call it *unfair* levels because you disagree. I call it *high* because I think smoking cost on the long term is way costly than the cheap cig price we used to have in the past.

    “Will your kids (if any) have a voice here?”

    Sure, when I consider them to be mature enough to make their own decisions.

    So if you chose to enter with your all family into a smoking place, you will force poison into your kid lung not mature enough to oppose it!?
    How nice attitude.

    “What if they don’t? Who will protect them from smoking?”

    That is MY job, not yours or the govts.

    Seeing what you said just above, you fail miserably at doing it. Your kid too as a right to not be poisoned against its will, even when he’s not mature enough to express it. Even more.

    Become a smoker or don’t become one.

    Non-smoker *become* smoker. Smoker *become* non-smoker. BUT non-smoker DON’T *become* non-smoker. That their initial, unchanged state. For many, since their birth. They made no change, no choice.

    You keep presenting both sides as making a symmetric choice, but it’s not.
    Between a non-smoker and a smoker, the only difference is that the later exhale smoke, which is the only source of the issue here.
    If it was not the case
    (and I’ve said repeatedly it), nobody will care about people smoking.

    “Again, why non-smokers should be supposed to accommodate to their polluting fellows. Why?”

    They aren’t. They can choose to not give a smoking establishment their business and give it to a non-smoking establishment.

    We tried this method during decades. Didn’t work. Again, we’ve enough proof that it didn’t work. I fail to see how continue to do the same will give different results now…

    In 2007, not 1957, the only effort non-smokers must make is in choosing whether to go into a place which allows smoking or one that is smoke free.

    Instead, the law chose to put the only effort required on the elbow of the one creating the issue at first: smokers must make the effort to chose between moving into a place which allow smoking and not smoking in place who doesn’t.

    Which sounds far more fair and in line with the “with choice comes responsibility”.

    Anyway, and to close this quite long if interesting off-topic posts, such issue resolving is why we do have a political system in our society.

    And today, the trend is that smokers are considered responsible for the issue - exhaling poison smoke - they create, as as such must support all the consequences.

    Trend change. But, as you said, we’re in 2007.
    See you in 2040 to see how the trend goes…

    Posted by: Philippe Houdoin at December 21, 2007 3:05 AM
    Comment #241183

    Philippe
    “True. What are the major changes since 1957?”

    1- Smoking is no longer accepted as the norm.
    2- It is easier to get the money to open a business.
    3- More people, which means a more diverse group of customers.

    It is not about contesting it affects, its about choosing whether to allow it into your body.
    We do not need to ban smoking, we only need to ensure both groups have an equal opportunity and they do. Well, except in places where smoking is banned.

    “And yes, I think it’s okay to tax tobacco at high levels, to fund the healthcare which generate.”

    I know you do, you are for socialized healthcare, even if its a self inflicted problem. I am not.
    I believe that when a person chooses to do something like smoking, they are also choosing to handle the consequences.

    “You call it *unfair* levels because you disagree.”

    No, I call it unfair because what another person chooses to do with their body is none of my business nor is it govts business.

    “So if you chose to enter with your all family into a smoking place, you will force poison into your kid lung not mature enough to oppose it!?
    How nice attitude.”

    My kids, my choice, not yours or anyone elses.
    You call it a “nice attitude,” I call it freedom and yes, freedom is indeed very nice.

    “Seeing what you said just above, you fail miserably at doing it.”

    I do? How many smoking establishments do I visit? How often are my kids subjected to being around smoke? Answer: You don’t know.
    You think you know what others do and that we need laws to take away their rights and freedoms in order to protect them, but that is not valid reasoning to do so.
    Let me live my life how I wish and I’ll let you do the same.

    “Your kid too as a right to not be poisoned against its will, even when he’s not mature enough to express it. Even more.”

    My kids are my kids. Not yours or anyone elses. They live according to my rules and decisions until I feel they are mature to make their own.
    You have no idea of how I parent them, so quit thinking you have a right to tell me how to.

    “They made no change, no choice.”

    Entering a place that is smoke free or not entering it, IS a choice.

    “You keep presenting both sides as making a symmetric choice, but it’s not.”

    Yes, it is. BOTH sides have the ability to make the choice of being around smoke or not. I believe it is their choice, you believe you and others should use govt and make that choice for them.

    “We tried this method during decades. Didn’t work. Again, we’ve enough proof that it didn’t work. I fail to see how continue to do the same will give different results now…”

    Because it is 2007, not 1957 and you said yourself, that in NY, businesses made even more money when they were forced to become non-smoking. In 2007, there is a need for non-smoking establishments and smoking ones. So, if somebody see’s the need for a smoking establishment, they should have the freedom to open one and give it a shot.

    “smokers must make the effort to chose between moving into a place which allow smoking and not smoking in place who doesn’t.
    Which sounds far more fair and in line with the “with choice comes responsibility”.”

    With the smoking ban, smokers do not have that choice. Instead of one door which reads smoking and another which reads non-smoking, they now see two doors which say non-smoking.

    “Anyway, and to close this quite long if interesting off-topic posts,”

    Which have been a blast for me.

    “such issue resolving is why we do have a political system in our society.”

    In a democracy, yes. But in a Constitutional Republic such as ours used to be, our system was also supposed to protect the rights of all.

    “Trend change. But, as you said, we’re in 2007.
    See you in 2040 to see how the trend goes…”

    Maybe. Depends on when the govt allows me to use the computer, and if I am still free to think for myself or not.


    Posted by: kctim at December 21, 2007 9:56 AM
    Comment #241192

    kctim,

    its about choosing whether to allow it into your body.

    What justify non-smokers are forcing to make such choice!? Because a non-smoker one day made the choice to become a smoker, all non-smokers since “have to” make a choice too!?

    No way.

    It’s like in your pleasant town a new factory is built. One day this factory start to emit poisonous smoke all over the town. Your position is that inhabitants now *have to* chose between allowing poison to enter their life or leaving their home and build a new polluting-factory-free town???

    My position is that the polluting factory, the one creating issue at the first place, is fully responsible for their choice and is the one which have to chose between keeping their pollution trap within their property limits and stop polluting the whole town.

    Polluting responsibility is in polluter, neither the pollution victims neither shared between both.

    I believe that when a person chooses to do something like smoking, they are also choosing to handle the consequences.

    Me too, except I consider smoking consequences aren’t limited to the smoker body. Not until smokers develops the ability to trap all the smoke in their body…

    An ability I’ll welcome, as it will end this stupid fight between us. Not that we don’t have others available, though…

    My kids are my kids

    Nice tautology. And? Doesn’t mean you *own* their lives! You can’t do whatever you want to them. You can’t rape them. You can’t sell them. You can’t kill them. You can’t torture them. You can’t put their health in danger voluntary.

    When *one* chose to enter a smoking place with *his* kids, that what he does. When *one* chose to smoke at home near his kids, he does. He’s enforcing *his* choice *on* his kids. Because, as you said, kids have no voice. As adult smokers did for decades on adult non-smokers, because their voice was in minority. Exact same kind of disrespectful abuse.

    If parent smoking are harming their kids health, who will protect the children? Obviously their parent wont. Do you agree that kids have no choice then, but nobody should be allowed to do whatever in order to protect their parent “right” to smoke?!?

    Let me live my life how I wish and I’ll let you do the same.

    How graceful of you. I guess the reverse must be true, or it only works when you’re the one in control?

    Anyway, your life doesn’t include your kids lives. Their are distinct lives, and while you can do whatever your want to *your* body, you can’t with their. As you can’t with anybody else body. Non-smokers included.

    Entering a place that is smoke free or not entering it, IS a choice.

    When smoke-free place don’t exists and you have to enter the place because you need to work, get a train, eat or whatever, it’s not anymore a choice but a constraint.

    With the smoking ban, smokers do not have that choice. Instead of one door which reads smoking and another which reads non-smoking, they now see two doors which say non-smoking.

    Which still leave the choice between enter and don’t smoke there or stay/exit outside and smoke.
    Smoking ban don’t remove their right to smoke, that’s bullshit and you know that. What it remove is the everywhere free pass they used to enjoy *and* abuse before.

    Of course they’re not used to *have to* do a choice regarding smoking, as before that was non-smokers who had to do it, hardly them.

    They will get used to. They’re, in fact.

    Posted by: Philippe Houdoin at December 21, 2007 12:03 PM
    Comment #241196

    “It’s like in your pleasant town a new factory is built. One day this factory start to emit poisonous smoke all over the town. Your position is that inhabitants now *have to* chose between allowing poison to enter their life or leaving their home and build a new polluting-factory-“

    No Philippe. A bar does not pollute the whole town, it only pollutes the bar.
    Its like a new factory which only pollutes on its property. By agreeing to enter that property, you are agreeing to breath in that pollution.

    “How graceful of you. I guess the reverse must be true, or it only works when you’re the one in control?”

    It does work in reverse, that is the beauty of it. I am in control of my life and you are yours. I don’t care what you do and you should not care what I do.

    “Anyway, your life doesn’t include your kids lives”

    Yes it does. My kids life is a direct reflection of what I allow and do not allow. I provide for them, I care for them, I teach them and I love them.
    The fact that others like you don’t like the idea that they be subjected to smoke sometimes, doesn’t mean crap.

    “When smoke-free place don’t exists and you have to enter the place because you need to work, get a train, eat or whatever, it’s not anymore a choice but a constraint”

    But, you said NY, in 2007, had the most stringent ban on smoking and businesses were doing better? In 2007, smoke-free places can, and do, exist side by side ones which allow smoking.

    “Smoking ban don’t remove their right to smoke, that’s bullshit and you know that”

    You really don’t understand personal rights and freedoms over there do you?
    To force 20 non-smokers to have to endure smoke against their will, because one person wants to smoke, is wrong. Forcing the 20 non-smokers outside if they don’t want to breath the smoke, is wrong.
    To force 20 smokers to not smoke against their will, because one person doesn’t want to breath it, is wrong. Forcing the 20 smokers outside, because the one person doesn’t want to breath smoke, is wrong.

    To give ALL of them a choice, is what is right and fair.

    Posted by: kctim at December 21, 2007 12:34 PM
    Comment #241314

    In our modern world, some people have lost their faith in God, but since it is impossible to believe in nothing, they have often transferred their faith to government. Instead of looking for solutions they can implement themselves, they are sitting on their oversized keisters demanding that their fellow citizens through their government serve them according to their self defined needs. Like the lost shepherds, they are a little confused about who has responsibility to do what.
    Posted by: Jack


    How true, Jack.
    In 1 Samuel Chapter 8: 10-18, God told Israel what the consequences would be for turning their backs on God and relying on their own chosen ruler.
    Somewhat prophetic for our times as well.

    10 “And Samuel told all the words of the Lord unto the people that asked of him a king.
    11 And he said, This will be the manner of the king that shall rule over you: HE WILL TAKE your sons, and appoint them for himself, for his chariots, and to be his horsemen; and some shall run before his chariots.
    12 And he shall appoint him captains over thousands, and captains over fifties, and will set them to ear his ground, and to reap his harvest, and to make his instruments of war, and instruments of his chariots.
    13 AND HE WILL TAKE your daughters to be confectionaries, and to be cooks, and to be bakers,
    14 AND HE WILL TAKE your fields, and your vineyards, and your oliveyards, even the best of them, and give them to his servants.
    15 AND HE WILL TAKE the tenth, (this has become about 4/10ths), of your seed, and of your vineyards, and give to his officers, and to his servants.
    16 AND HE WILL TAKE your menservants, and your maidservants, and your goodliest young men, and your asses, and put them to his work.
    17 AND HE WILL TAKE the tenth, (this has become about 4/10ths), of your sheep: and ye shall be his servants.
    18 AND YE SHALL CRY OUT in that day because of your king which ye shall have chosen you; and the Lord will not hear you in that day.

    Jack, we have made our own beds, and now we must sleep in its stench.

    You’ll notice that God says nothing about the king giving anything except to “his officers” and “his servants”, but only taking as much as possible from everyone else to pacify his own wants. The clever king, however, knows when to drop a few crumbs under the table to keep the pets in obedience, coming back for more whenever dinner time, (election time), rolls around.

    God must watch and think, “Foolish people! Trusting in men rather than God!”

    JD

    Posted by: JD at December 23, 2007 3:20 PM
    Comment #241319
    You really don’t understand personal rights and freedoms over there do you?

    I understand that we tried during the last 50 years to give smokers their freedom to smoke while hoping their wont remove others.
    It failed. Since, smokers wheel has turned.

    Get over it.

    Posted by: Philippe Houdoin at December 23, 2007 6:41 PM
    Comment #241323

    kctim,

    Don’t know if you’re from the Gov. Rod Blagojovich “UNBRIDLED LIBERAL POWER STATE” of Illinois, but as of January 2008, smokers will not have the right to smoke within 15 feet of any place of business, if my sources are correct.

    This means not only will they have to go outside to smoke at lunch or on break, but they will also have to walk perhaps, into the middle of the parking lot or nearest street in order to exercise their right to light up. Many sidewalks are only 10 to 15 feet wide in most big cities, which puts the smoker into the street if they want to smoke.

    Looking on the bright side:
    There could be a big windfall for some imaginative entrpreneur who creates a bumper sticker saying “I brake for Smokers!”

    JD

    Posted by: JD at December 23, 2007 8:18 PM
    Comment #241358

    Philippe
    Sorry, but I believe in equal rights for EVERYBODY, so I doubt if I will “get over it.”

    JD
    I am on the other side, KS and MO. But, I have alot of family in Ill and I am aware of their deep desire to be like California.

    Posted by: kctim at December 24, 2007 10:51 AM
    Comment #241466

    kctim,

    You have rights and individual liberties because the rest of society agrees that you have those rights and liberties. If you don’t have a right or liberty, then you must convince everyone to give you that right or liberty. - “Social Contract”, Jean-Jacques Rousseau

    Seems that after 50 years of smokers’s individual liberties abuse, the rest of society don’t agree anymore that smoking everywhere you want, enforcing passive smoking upon others, is a right anymore.

    And so far, I’m not convinced enough to give it back. Before, I’m for giving smoking ban more time in order to see how it turns out for everybody.

    Posted by: Philippe Houdoin at December 26, 2007 5:04 AM
    Comment #241491

    Of course you are for giving the ban more time Philippe, you believe in “socialist contracts” where the majority dictate what rights and freedoms people are entitled too.
    In the US, our Constitution used to protect us from that thought.

    While socialism will not be the end of the world, it will be the end of the Constitutional Republic know as the United States of America.
    Really sad.

    Posted by: kctim at December 26, 2007 2:52 PM
    Comment #241505

    Social contract, not socialist:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social_contract

    It has formed the theoretical groundwork of democracy. Stop crying the wolf each time you think you’ve seen the word socialism. In particular when there is none!

    And I’m not *for* the smoking ban because it’s a ban or because you think you know me so well that I can’t be anything but for a ban.
    I’m just enough intellectually honest to acknowledge that 50 years of unrestrained freedom to smoke everywhere never stop to violates non-smokers rights. That’s factual.
    Maybe legitimate where smokers can smoke will do it more effectively, protect smokers their freedom to smoke but in the meantime, and at last, protect non-smokers their right to not being exposed to it. As I’ve said several times, we should have not needed a ban in the first place if smokers weren’t so blatantly selfish regarding non-smokers rights since so long…

    You still haven’t show proof that under ban smokers will lost their freedom to SMOKE, only their freedom to smoke ANYWHERE.

    Posted by: Philippe Houdoin at December 26, 2007 8:03 PM
    Comment #241508

    The Rousseau quote you provided is true of a socialist democracy, which you support and live in, correct? It is not part of a Constitutional Republic such as ours used to be. It is hard to be crying wolf when speaking only of the facts.

    I do not know you at all personally and don’t even pretend to think I do. But, from your own words on here, you are for taking away rights of some if it makes others happy.

    I too am honest enough to acknowledge that smokers were and still can be, unthoughtful when they smoke and have stated so.

    You really don’t understand the smoking ban, why people are against and individual freedoms at all.
    It is NOT about smokers being able to smoke ANYWHERE they want. It IS about smokers being able to have the same convienences, freedoms and rights of non-smokers.

    Now, I could understand where you are coming from IF smokers were wanting EVERYPLACE to be smoking, but that is NOT the case in 2007. Smoking and non-smoking places are needed and both can co-exist. There is no need to make all, one or the other.

    Posted by: kctim at December 26, 2007 9:28 PM
    Comment #241531

    kctim,

    Re Social Contract being socialist, I really suggest you to read about it more deeply. It’s way more general than that, and along Rousseau, Thomas Hobbes and John Locke were the most famous philosophers at its origin. Their central point in social contract is the notion a sovereign will, to which all members of a society are bound by the social contract to respect. Depending of society form, this sovereign will could be a King (monarchy), a Council (oligarchy) or The Majority (republic or democracy).
    Those three lived in 17th and 18th century. The first country to move their sovereign will to the majority will be the US…

    John Locke’s writings on the Social Contract were particularly influential among the American Founding Fathers.

    Calling Social Contract theory socialist doesn’t make it true. Or does everything “social” have to be socialist in your mind?!

    It is NOT about smokers being able to smoke ANYWHERE they want. It IS about smokers being able to have the same convienences, freedoms and rights of non-smokers.

    This is easy: smokers must keeps their smoke IN their body or within their strict individual sphere.

    Sadly, since forever, they failed to do it blatantly.

    Now, I could understand where you are coming from IF smokers were wanting EVERYPLACE to be smoking, but that is NOT the case in 2007.

    *Because* of 50 years of non-smokers hardwork to make their point known. Because smoking ban make smokers rethinking their public behavior, noticing where they used to smoke unconsciously but failed to self-restrain doing it.
    That why they NOW wants these places, not before the ban.

    Why smokers didn’t want smoking place years before? Because they didn’t needs one as they were self-restraining to smoke where they would have exposed their smoke to public people, or because they just didn’t care as they could and were smoking everywhere?!

    It took a smoking ban to make smokers realize their public disrespectful behavior. Sad, but true.

    Smoking and non-smoking places are needed and both can co-exist. There is no need to make all, one or the other.

    Agreed. But as everybody start their life as non-smoker, smokers and only them make the choice one day to start smoking. Their choice, their freedom comes with responsibilty. Their choice should not force non-smokers to change their behavior, to force them into a constrained choice.

    Freedom - Responsibility = Anarchy, Responsibility - Freedom = Slavery, Freedom + Responsibility = Liberty.

    Smokers should take their responsibility. They are the one needed smoking places. They should stop whining about the ban and start making those…

    The ban should not restraint them to do it, though, as I’ve already state.


    Posted by: kctim

    Posted by: Philippe Houdoin at December 27, 2007 5:24 AM
    Comment #241537

    Philippe
    Believe it or not, I do read alot and have read about the “social contract.” I agree that there is much more to it, but only IF we are living in the past and not the present. AND, if we are not talking about the US and its very unique form of govt. In other words, it fits very well with a socialist democracy of today, but not so much with a Constitutional Republic.

    “Smokers should take their responsibility. They are the one needed smoking places. They should stop whining about the ban and start making those…

    FINALLY! That is all I have been saying and is all smokers in 2007 want, a choice.

    “The ban should not restraint them to do it, though, as I’ve already state”

    Well, you stated they should be restrained from having the choice in public, actually. But since this has gone on for so long, I’ll take it.

    Posted by: kctim at December 27, 2007 9:19 AM
    Comment #241540
    I agree that there is much more to it, but only IF we are living in the past and not the present.

    The quote was made in that past. While I think it still apply today, the original quote was never made in a socialism democracy context and, as such, can’t be declared tinted that way.

    Which is my point.

    In other words, it fits very well with a socialist democracy of today, but not so much with a Constitutional Republic.

    “Of today”. Doesn’t make a past quote a socialist one.

    “Smokers should take their responsibility. They are the one needed smoking places. They should stop whining about the ban and start making those…

    FINALLY! That is all I have been saying and is all smokers in 2007 want, a choice.

    No, what you’re saying is that both smokers and non-smokers should take their responsibility, on which I disagree, arguing that only one make a choice on their free will, the non-smoker to become a smoker, and is the one responsible to face his choice consequence.

    “The ban should not restraint them to do it, though, as I’ve already state”

    Well, you stated they should be restrained from having the choice in public, actually.

    Yep. Public places are open to everybody, which means some people there should not exposed to smoke against their will. As smokers had shown since decades they can’t take their responsibility for smoking and not exposing others to their smoke, I fail to see how they can start doing it now without being forced into their responsibility. Smoke should stay in private space. Smokers bodies or smokers-only private circles.

    Posted by: Philippe Houdoin at December 27, 2007 9:53 AM
    Comment #241573

    The quote speaks for itself and whether he defined it then as a “social contract” or socialism, makes no difference.
    In a socialist democracy, the majority give rights and individual liberties.
    In a Constitutional Republic, our Constitution used to give us our rights and individual liberties AND protected them from abuse.

    “I fail to see how they can start doing it now without being forced into their responsibility”

    Very easily and it is proven to work.

    Put a sign on the door which reads: Smoking Permitted OR Non-Smoking.

    Smokers can choose to go to smoking bar and smoke, or go to non-smoking bar and not smoke.
    Non-smokers can choose to go to smoking bar and breath smoke or they can go to non-smoking bar and not breath it.

    Non-smokers are not being forced to breath in smoke, like they were 50 some years ago AND, smokers are not being forced into isolation for their choice.

    One smoker doesn’t ruin it for everybody AND, one non-smoker doesn’t ruin for everybody.

    Doesn’t get any easier than that.

    Posted by: kctim at December 27, 2007 2:50 PM
    Comment #242146

    kctim,

    “I fail to see how they can start doing it now without being forced into their responsibility”

    Very easily and it is proven to work.

    Until ban, it was proven to NOT work. It take one to make it work.

    Anyway. Have an Happy New Year!

    Posted by: Philippe Houdoin at January 4, 2008 5:53 AM
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