What, Really, Are our Values?

I want to ask both Republicans and Democrats a “values” question. Do we not both want the poor to be provided for, the sick tended to, the fruitful encouraged, and the dishonest chastened? Of course, we of both parties want those things.

The values issue is very close to my heart. I am convinced the essential values of the vast majority of people in the U.S. are essentially the same, but we are all caught up in a system in which the day-to-day control of the parties that are supposed to represent our views defaults to office holders. Their reason for being in a given party differs fundamentally from ours. To them the party is a mechanism for gaining and maintaining political power. To us it is a mechanism for gaining a redress of our concerns. There is terrible irony in this.

I recently was reading an old book containing something of a prequel to the story of the Egyptian god-king Osiris. In it Osiris comes before the then-ruling king, who has been duped by jealous advisers into condemning his military general to death, to stand up for justice. The king is enraged at being challenged in a series of statements by this visitor to his kingdom. Only when threatened with the spear of the king does the persistent stranger reveal himself as a god and prove that he could snuff out the ruler at a whim. With one great difference we, the people, are like that. Like Osiris standing before the king we have the power to face rulers as both an enabler and a destroyer. Unlike Osiris we have allowed ourselves to be ignorant of our power. This means our office holders can hold our issues hostage if they choose to do so. This the office-holders will happily do to keep and increase their power. As long as we fail to reveal our knowledge of our great power they have no need to worry. They keep us distracted with issues that do not threaten to educate us or disempower them, issues that do not go to the heart of why the republic was formed in the first place. In the Republican Party this is exactly what is happening.

Our problem is that, with our parties focusing the debate on irrelevancies, we are distracted from our most fundamental goals and led to believe we are enemies. Admittedly, in this environment we have deep disagreements on the “how” of value politics, but at some point we must learn to bypass the hijacked party system and realize that our disagreements on the “what” are not large at all. Secondly, and more importantly, we must accept the responsibility of our own power.

Each of the parties has a rigid culture of its own and each attempts to force coalition partners,such as poor blacks or women's groups in the Democratic Party, or business interests and Conservative Christians in the Republican Party, to conform to their culture. Far from being a “far-right” party, for example, the dominant back-room culture of the Republican Party is a wishy-washy dead centrist one that is essentially value-free. This is characterized by “leaders” like Presidents Taft and Hoover , Gerald Ford, Bob Dole, John McCain, and everybody’s favorite, Richard Nixon.

Speaking as a conservative, though, what are my values?

The first and most important of these values is the sovereignty of the individual citizen. That is to say that we protect the people who actually live, work, and vote- LEGALLY- in the United States . This is the real foundation of the sovereignty of the United States , not the military which can be turned by a corrupt government against the nation’s people. George Bush pushed for, and John McCain sponsored, the legislation which would systematically dismantle protections of the very citizenship that is the bedrock of our liberty.

Citizenship (which I characterize as a literal property right, like the ownership rights conveyed by voting stock in a corporation) conveys protections to us by giving us the power to affect, and change, leadership. If a stock corporation decided to simply sell additional voting shares without a vote of the owners the officers could be prosecuted for violations of their fiduciary responsibilities. So should it be with OUR officers. Likewise, if the corporation's board allowed anyone who simply stated they were someone who owned stock to vote those shares, with minimal or no proper identification, the board members would be called corrupt and prosecuted.
The floodtide of illegal immigration the current stubborn president has forced on us has diluted not just our power to affect policy, but also the economic bargaining power of the poorest and least skilled workers in our economy. This has, on one hand, the two-fold effect of reducing market pressures for wages to increase and reducing incentives to use technology and education to make existing laborers work more productive. On the other hand it has the perverse effect of making the rich richer and the nation’s poor poorer. From a “Republican” point of view it seems almost cynically calculated to hand talking points to the opposition party.

In one issue then, protection of citizenship rights, one can see a direct relationship to both issues of political empowerment and issues of economic empowerment.

On other areas I was recently challenged over the notion that my values would have something to do with policies concerning gays. If you’re small-minded enough to be distracted into waving a pom-pom for the way someone uses their sex organs- and voting on that enthusiasm- so be it. You deserve the government that vote buys you. In any event I would remind you that the right to vote both unhindered and undiluted what your concience may be in this area is crucial to having a real voice as politics deals with the issue.

The same commenter also challenged me on women's rights. The term “womens rights” is often used as code words for abortion. Whatever else you may think about abortion, from a purely legal standpoint that debate turns on the definition of a “human being”. Currently, for nothing more than convenience in dealing with this issue, the courts have blatantly seized the right to define what is human from the people. Now, people who find unborn human beings an inconvenient population are pleased with that situation. Of course, in the past other populations have had their humanity defined away and we judge harshly those who thought Jews, or indigenous Americans or Australian Aborigines, or native Tasmanians, or Tutus were (or are) similarly inconvenient. For now, though, most people feel secure that they will not be found inconvenient in the same way.

Should you be so secure? Be reminded that the choice has been handed not to all the people in each state, but to only NINE people in the whole U.S. Look at Pervez Musharraf’s actions in Pakistan and you will see how a determinedly corrupt political machine can turn those nine people we have given the power to decide whether we are human or not to their advantage. Here again what has happened is a matter of powers belonging to the people being usurped by the government.

Can’t happen here you say? Germany was arguably the most civilized nation on Earth early in the 20th century. Go ahead. Bet your life on it.

Another area of our values deals with education. The Constitution has nothing to say about the education of the people, which means that any time the federal government mandates that the states do anything about education it should be considered unconstitutional under the 10th Amendment. Because we citizens have forgotten our place and have allowed the Federal government to creep into powers reserved for us, however, more and more money goes, less and less effectively, to programs that take both money and power from us. As the son of a well-educated family I can bear witness to the fact that schooling has far less bearing on how much one gets from the availability of information in a society than that one bears witness to one's children to the way the life-long embrace of learning gives life meaning. I am personally badly dyslexic, and could not read until I was in the fourth grade. Schools were a help, but it was my family's determination that I should get the benefits of learning that pushed me to the point where reading, and other forms of learning, were worth the distress they caused me.

The manner in which teaching is done in response to the mandates of the Federal Government actively interferes with the public dissemination of this fulfillment that makes the pain of reading worthwhile. The result is that fewer and fewer people really do read recreationally and the culture is inexorably "dumbed down". Eventually this will return the deeper cultural benefits of reading only to an elite of people raised in extraordinary families! There is absolutely no question that education in the United States has suffered substantially in the years since the establishment of the Department of Education. There is no question, either, that we will continue to get more and more of a BAD "good" thing.

The economy is another crucial value. In our world it is the lynchpin of all the things we wish to do. We hear all the time about "jobs", but jobs are meaningless in an economy that does not produce the stuff we need in great abundance. We live on goods and services, not jobs or dollars. The policies that reduce incentives to be productive will, regardless of how they redistribute dollars or create jobs pushing government paper around, make us poorer. Remember that in the late 1920s every German was a billionaire- a billionaire in fear for where his family's food would come from next week.

In the matter of healthcare, mentioned in the opening paragraph, the economy is a crucial issue. Healthcare is, as far as the society is concerned, developed out of the excess of the larger economy. We may, and should, debate how the process is organized and how we build the right combinations of incentive and distribution into our healthcare system, but it will never lead the economy. We must not take it for granted. We must not place demands on the healthcare system that make it a burden the rest of the economy will demand we jettison. Again, don't bet it can't happen here.

There is a tendency in the political parties to use jealousy as a distraction, and for office-holders to hold out the hope of punishing the "rich" as a reward for the votes they need to be re-elected. the "rich", however, are the people whose organizing and management of the production of goods and services feeds, houses, and clothes us and whose need for workers provides the best jobs and opportunities in the economy. It is also they whose philanthropies provide our great schools, hospitals, cultural organizations, and non-profit foundations. The twisting of our society to the point we hold the "rich" in near contempt is one of the blackest marks against our culture, obscured only by our failure to recognize blatant greed and avarice in our governmental power structures.

That gets me down to a matter of perspective as a value. People who want money for the sake of greed are really just after power. I've had people try to explain how that is any different for people trying to get governmental influence and power. Face it, folks. It's the same damn thing.

I also see value in religious principles. For me this is primarily a matter of being able to see the full equivalency of each other human being and myself. I am not more human than they, nor am I more significant. I see this from the perspective gained from being an artist. God puts a full measure of creative effort into each of us. To treat another person (or part of the creation, for that matter...) as though that were not so dishonors him. It is not up to me to determine which of his "artworks" he likes more or which less. I love to talk to agnostics and atheists and probe their ideas on what they believe or don't believe (and I don't believe they are necessarily going to "Hell").

From this perspective my notions on the Earth are derived. Many conservatives hold that the Earth was given to us to have dominion over. Well and good. Let us say of that that where a business is established it must always be maintained- no matter what. If your neighborhood falls into such disrepair that your place of business will die, so be it. Were that how we insisted businesses lived our cities might be different places today. Unfortunately many on Earth today run the place over which they have "dominion" as though when the neighborhood went bad we could move away. I have it on good authority there are no good neighborhoods in the suburbs beyond Earth. It is time we all work on making our place of business in this neighborhood a benefit to everyone.

Well meaning people want good things for everyone, that they will be healthy, happy, well fed, well housed, socially connected, and spiritually and intellectually fulfilled. As long as we leave it to politicians, who are really parasites on this process, to determine how we address these issues, though, all that will happen is that we will re-elect them and they will continue to distract us.

Posted by Lee Emmerich Jamison at February 3, 2008 7:15 PM
Comments
Comment #244563

Cutting services to the poor and sick while cutting taxes on the rich…I guess that’s just good old Christian compassion.

Posted by: Rachel at February 3, 2008 10:31 PM
Comment #244564

“for example, the dominant back-room culture of the Republican Party is a wishy-washy dead centrist one that is essentially value-free.”
“the courts have blatantly seized the right to define what is human from the people.”
“The twisting of our society to the point we hold the “rich” in near contempt is one of the blackest marks against our culture,”


What drivel. Watching the Reagan comservatives run the country into the ground and then claiming its not us its them they are not conservatives is getting to be ridiculous. the repubs havent been centrist, the courts have been doing what they were appointed to do despite your objections to the contrary, and the rich have had their run at the country every since the repubs came to power. This is such a typical conservative distoration of the facts that its pathetic.

Posted by: j2t2 at February 3, 2008 10:39 PM
Comment #244572

Lee
We do share similar values on more issues than is given credit. On abortion,you would be hard pressed to find any liberal that thinks abortion is a good thing. Abortions are tragedies. What our arguement is about is wether or not people involved in these tragic circumstances should be treated as criminals .
Where we can come together is helping reduce the number of abortions. Encouraging adoptions,sex education,making available prophalatic measures,etc. I have seen this willingness from the left more than the right.Get it together.

Posted by: Bills at February 4, 2008 1:29 AM
Comment #244574

My political affiliation started as a republican, then a conservative. But, in the last 2 years I realized I really am just an American, which means I believe in the principles in which this country was founded on.

As far as helping the poor, I believe our founding principle says it is the responsibility of each American, not the government, to help the poor. If more Americans stood up to help the poor we wouldn’t need the government.

As far as abortion goes, our country was founded on the principle of life (life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness). Abortion supporters can defend the woman’s right but who’s defending the child’s right?

Finally sovereignty, our founding principle is that we protect America and we control who and how many enter our country. Good post!

Posted by: Joe Godfrey at February 4, 2008 6:52 AM
Comment #244577
Lee Emmerich Jamison wrote: Speaking as a conservative, though, what are my values?
We would all be much better off if we STOP doing certain things.

That is, many of our problems arise from something we should STOP doing, more than something extra we should do.
For example:

  • (01) STOP lawlessness; enforce the laws and uphold the U.S. Constitution; stop the abuse of the pardon process that put politicians above the law;

  • (02) STOP starting unnecessary wars (and stop the fear mongering and lies as an excuse to start wars);

  • (03) STOP plutocracy/kleptocracy, pork-barrel, corporate welfare (such as tax subsidies for EXXON with record $44 Billion in profits), graft, bloat, peddling influence, waste, and other abuses of power (e.g. such as Congress giving itself 9 raises between 1997 and 2007);

  • (04) STOP illegal immigration which is costing tax payers an estimated $70 Billion to $338 Billion annually in net losses;

  • (05) STOP election fraud, stop blocking access to ballots; stop Gerrymandering; implement common-sense election reforms, and give voters a printed verifiable receipt of their vote;

  • (06) STOP the borrowing, spending, and growing the massive $9.2 Trillion National Debt; stop plundering Social Security surpluses ($12.8 Trillion borrowed and spent from it);

  • (07) STOP regressive taxation;

  • (08) STOP the abuse of the monetary system; the Federal Reserve is a pyramid-scheme that has far-reaching negative side-effect on our economy and society; the Fed create money out of thin air, and the Fed and member banks receive interest on it, and then converts money created out of thin air into real assets and property from confiscation via foreclosures and defaults, predatory practices, and usury;

  • (09) STOP the misinformation and ignorance; an educated electorate is paramount; an ignorant electorate will be abused and exploited;

  • (10) STOP the unnecessary middle men (i.e. government and insurance companies) and fraud in the healthcare system; stop killing 195,000 per year by medical mistakes; also, if the 9 problems above were adequately addressed, it would reduce the pressues on the healthcare systems; today, it was reported that 9 veterans’ deaths in the V.A. hospital in Illinios were directly linked to negligence, mistakes, violations, and poor medical care; what does Congress do? It gives itself another raise, like its 9 raises between 1997 and 2007; while our troops go without armor, medical care, and promised benefits;
Of course, stopping those abuses is easier said than done, since most voters don’t seem able to STOP repeatedly rewarding incumbent politicians in the two-party duopoly with 96.5% seat-retention rates.

Lee Emmerich Jamison wrote: The economy is another crucial value. In our world it is the lynchpin of all the things we wish to do. We hear all the time about “jobs”, but jobs are meaningless in an economy that does not produce the stuff we need in great abundance.
See # (08) above.
  • “Some of the biggest men in the United States, in the field of commerce and manufacture, are afraid of something. They know there is a power somewhere so organized, so subtle, so watchful, so interlocked, so complete, so pervasive, that they had better not speak above their breath when the speak in condemnation of it.” - Woodrow Wilson, President of the U.S. 1913-1921.
  • In 1913, the struggle for a better monetary system was lost when President Woodrow Wilson signed the Federal Reserve Act, giving the privately owned international banking cartel the power to create the United States money. Later, Woodrow Wilson stated: “I am a most unhappy man. I have unwittingly ruined my country. A great industrial nation is controlled by its system of credit. Our system of credit is concentrated. The growth of the nation, therefore, and all our activities are in the hands of a few men. We have come to be one of the worst ruled, one of the most completely controlled and dominated governments in the civilized world, no longer a government by free opinion, no longer a government by conviction and the vote of the majority, but a government by the opinion and duress of a small group of dominant men. - Woodrow Wilson, President of the U.S. 1913-1921.
Lee Emmerich Jamison wrote: Well meaning people want good things for everyone, that they will be healthy, happy, well fed, well housed, socially connected, and spiritually and intellectually fulfilled. As long as we leave it to politicians, who are really parasites on this process, to determine how we address these issues, though, all that will happen is that we will re-elect them and they will continue to distract us.
That’s right. Repeatedly rewarding corrupt incumbent politicians in the two-party duopoly in Do-Nothing Congress with 96.5% seat-retention rates isn’t working is it?

Unfortunately, that is the Voter Paradox:

  • Most voters whine and complain, and give Congress dismally low approval ratings (as low as 11%),

  • But most voters then do a very strange thing: most still reward corrupt, irresponsible incumbent politicians in Do-Nothing Congress with 93%-to-99% re-election rates.

Lee Emmerich Jamison wrote: Another area of our values deals with education. The Constitution has nothing to say about the education of the people, which means that any time the federal government mandates that the states do anything about education it should be considered unconstitutional under the 10th Amendment. Because we citizens have forgotten our place and have allowed the Federal government to creep into powers reserved for us, however, more and more money goes, less and less effectively, to programs that take both money and power from us.
Not only is education in math, science, and technology important to compete in a global economy, but insufficient education about government, human nature, and the many abuses and manifestations of unchecked greed described on this page, is equally disastrous and leads to the failure to recognize the importance of Education itself, Transparency, and Accountability, which results in Corruption:
    Responsibility = Power + Conscience + Education + Transparency + Accountability
    Corruption = Power - Conscience - Education - Transparency - Accountability
Conscience is the hard part, but Eduation can help compensate for insufficient Conscience. Education such that people put emphasis on Education + Transparency + Accountability to reduce the painful consequences of Corruption. Education helps to learn the smart way, instead of alway the hard way.

You won’t learn that in public schools.
You won’t learn about the monetary system, regressive taxation, lies told by your elected officials, election fraud, or these many abuses in public schools.
You won’t learn about human greed and ways to minimize it via Education, Transparency, and Accountability in public schools.
Most (if not all) incumbent politicians don’t want smart voters.
Ignorant and uneducated voters are much easier to manipulate, control, exploit, and bribe with their tax dollars.

In a voting nation, an educated electorate is paramount.
Otherwise, the uneducated and the ignorant, as usual, will be abused and exploited.

At any rate, voters will get their education one way or another, and the voters will have the government that they deserve.

Perhaps voters will be less apathetic, less complacent, less lazy, less partisan, less blindly loyal to THEIR party, and less manipulated by fear-mongering when they jobless, homeless, and hungry.
An economic collapse due to the 10 abuses above is not far fetched.

Posted by: d.a.n at February 4, 2008 9:43 AM
Comment #244580
Joe Godfrey wrote (on his blog): Although I always try to stay positive, and ignore many of the people that hate this country, once in a while something happens that is so disgraceful to this great country that I have to discuss it.
An economic collapse due to these 10 abuses above is not far fetched. Do those 10 things qualify as ” so disgraceful to this great country that I have to discuss it.” ?
Joe Godfrey wrote: My political affiliation started as a republican, then a conservative. But, in the last 2 years I realized I really am just an American, which means I believe in the principles in which this country was founded on.
Me too. All of the circular partisan-warfare is (by design) a distraction from the incompetence and corruption of the irresponsible, corrupt, FOR-SALE, look-the-other-way incumbent politicians in the two-party duopoly in the Do-Nothing Congress.

But that lure of the partisan warafare is very powerful.
Why?

  • Because it is easier to blame the OTHER party, than admit the politicians in THEIR own party are so corrupt, FOR-SALE, and irresponsible that there is really no difference.

  • Because it is easier to blindly pull the party-lever than do the work to research the candidates, much less their voting records.

  • Because it is easier to delude ourselves that we need to be more fearful of the OTHER party and must therefore blindly pull the party-lever.

  • Because it is easier to let THEIR party do their thinking for them.

  • Because it is easier to delude ourselves that OUR party knows best, than to question it.

  • Because it is easier to delude ourselves into thinking the experience of the incumbent is important, despite most of that experience is about the politicians’ own self-gain.

  • Because it is easier to ignore the fact that 90% of elections are won by the candidate that spends the most money (usually the incumbent).

  • Because it is easier to ignore the fact that 99.85% of all 200 million eligible voters are vastly out-spent by a very tiny 0.15% of all eligible voters that make 83% of all federal campaign donations (of $200 or more).

  • Because it is easier to ignore the nation’s pressing problems, growing in number and severity, than to understand those problems and hold their elected officials accountable, for fear that the OTHER party might win another seat in Congress.

  • Because it is easier to ignore the fact that the incumbent politicians in the two-party duopoly in Congress enjoy a cu$hy 96.5% seat-retention rate (on average, since year 1980).

  • Because it is easier to ignore or rationalize the crimes and unethical behavior of THEIR politician (consider Rep. William Jefferson re-elected despite being video taped taking a bribe, and $90K later found in $10K bundles in aluminum foil in his freezer).

  • Because it is easier, for many, to not vote at all (40% to 50% don’t vote).

  • Because it is easier to wallow in the circular, divisive, distracting partisan warfare. And politicians love to fuel it, and know that 93% to 99% of them will enjoy re-election for a very long time. So, why not vote themselves a raise every year and some more cu$hy perks and superior benefits at the tax payers expense, eh?
That is how the incumbemt politicians cleverly tap-into the voters’ laziness, apathy, complacency, fear, and blind loyalty, and pit voters against each other, pit American citizens and illegal aliens against each other, and divide the voters, so that a majority can never exist to vote them out of office.
When will it change?
When it finally is no longer easier.
When it finally becomes too painful.
When doing the same thing over and over, and repeatedly rewarding irresponsible incumbent politicians with 93%-to-99% re-election rates, finally becomes too painful.

Posted by: d.a.n at February 4, 2008 10:19 AM
Comment #244591

BillS,
Abortion is one of those badly distorted issues. I advocate a change in Roe v. Wade not to outlaw abortion, but to open the issue back up to the people throught their elected representatives. This is too important an issue (the definition of a human being) to place in the hands of a tiny few.

Posted by: Lee Jamison at February 4, 2008 1:19 PM
Comment #244593

bills

“We do share similar values on more issues than is given credit. On abortion,you would be hard pressed to find any liberal that thinks abortion is a good thing. Abortions are tragedies. What our arguement is about is wether or not people involved in these tragic circumstances should be treated as criminals .
Where we can come together is helping reduce the number of abortions. Encouraging adoptions,sex education,making available prophalatic measures,etc. I have seen this willingness from the left more than the right.Get it together.”

exellent point, i again find myself in agreement with you. i have to say though that the left seems to agressively act to protect what they believe is the right to destroy human life. while i don’t believe for a second that making it illegal would change anything, i do believe that both parties need to take a bigger look at the picture as you mention above. i don’t see either side willing to give any ground, and so it seems that nothing will change any time soon. what a shame.

Posted by: dbs at February 4, 2008 1:25 PM
Comment #244594
right to destroy human life

Talk about hyperbole.

not to outlaw abortion, but to open the issue back up to the people throught their elected representatives

This shouldn’t be turned over to anyone but the woman and her doctor. Educate, support, reach out. Not laws to criminalize.

Of course you want to outlaw abortion, that’s your whole point. To hell with anyone else’s belief.

Posted by: womanmarine at February 4, 2008 1:46 PM
Comment #244595
Now, people who find unborn human beings an inconvenient population are pleased with that situation.

“Unborn human beings”? When you have to butcher the language to make your point, that ought to be a red flag indicating your logic may be a bit tortured. And you are creating a straw man. Even you, mired in your rhetoric, must see that there is a conflict of rights between the fetus, a potential human being, if you will, and the mother, an actualized human being. To suggest that pro-choice people find fetuses merely “incovenient” trivializes the debate and only serves to demonize those who disagree on where the resolution of this conflict lies.

Of course, in the past other populations have had their humanity defined away and we judge harshly those who thought Jews, or indigenous Americans or Australian Aborigines, or native Tasmanians, or Tutus were (or are) similarly inconvenient.

Uh, are the Tutus the women who practice ballet? Perhaps they are the issue of Tutsi/Hutu marriages.

Posted by: mental wimp at February 4, 2008 1:51 PM
Comment #244598


Lee: You say that abortion is to important an issue to be left in the hands of a tiny few. On another issue that is as great if not greater is Iraq. Bush is seeking a long term millitary commitment by our country in Iraq. He is negotiating with the equally if not more corrupt government of Iraq for what he calls an agreement and what the Iraqi government calls a treaty. Bush says that this is a far to important issue to be debated by the peoples elected representatives and that he alone will make this decision. Bush also says that he alone has the authority to make this treaty with out the consent of the people despite the fact that a large majority of the people want nothing to do with it.

Posted by: jlw at February 4, 2008 2:15 PM
Comment #244601

jlw-

A treaty requires advice and consent, an Act requires Congressional approval. Neither are in place with respect to Iraq. So how does Bush’s “agreement” that Iraq calls a “treaty” rise to anything other than foreign policy (which the President sets) and how does it survive past January 20th, 2009?

Roe V Wade, on the other hand, has survived 35 years.

Posted by: George in SC at February 4, 2008 2:40 PM
Comment #244604
This is too important an issue (the definition of a human being) to place in the hands of a tiny few
There SHOULD only be two people involved in the issue, and that would be the woman and her Dr.!!! Only exception would be the father.

Sorry womanmarine, you beat me to it, but the point bears repeating !

Posted by: Jane Doe at February 4, 2008 3:22 PM
Comment #244606

Something finally clicked
Joe Godfrey said (sorry if I misspelled your name)
As far as helping the poor, I believe our founding principle says it is the responsibility of each American, not the government, to help the poor. If more Americans stood up to help the poor we wouldn’t need the government

The right doesn’t get it

The Govt IS (?) the people

Ironically because it was a Repub that said
“that government of the people, by the people, for the people”


“it is the responsibility of each American,”

so the republicans, who normally are all for efficiency in corporations, would prefer that we all try individually rather than combine the power of our collective money and efforts to work on National Problems.


These words indicate an attitude toward the govt as some “seperate entity” and perhaps we have allowed it to become that.
But, to me, the liberal attitude is that the govt REPRESENTS the people, and can work as the collective power of the people to help other citizens (among other things)

We can have 6,000 charities all competing (and wasting money doing so — out of necessity) for our $$ (and time) or we can work to have the existing resources of the federal government help out — if not directly than with our tax dollars.

funny
it is shown to be cost effective for people to have good housing, proper nutrition and access to proper education and health care.
It will ACTUALLY PAY OFF if we make sure these things are taken care of.
But they are too limited in their vision to see it.


Health Care
Heaven forbid that “we” pay for “them” so no proper health care (especially not “socialized” health care)
Enghhhhhhhh!
Wrong dude, its hear — de-facto
no health care, so the poor resort to ER health care, the most expensive there is — and not only that, they wait until their disease is so advanced it required extended hospital stays (and restays, and revisits etc) to take care of.
and since they can’t pay, and the law requires at least minimum care (which is STILL expensive) be given to these people (you can’t just let them die of these sort of treatable afflictions)just whom do YOU think IS Paying????
1) why do you think Health care costs are going up so rapidly??? how else do you cover a segment that doesn’t pay?? — charge more to those who CAN pay.
2) Some of the services ARE covered (reluctantly and with some difficulty) by a variety of existing government programs — but again, due to the nature of making sure people “qualify” they are another contributor to the expense of the health care system. You should see all the rules, regulations, qualifications, caveats, exceptions, what-ifs etc etc etc — it takes a full time staff just to deal with all the ins and outs of this stuff.

So in our ZEAL to make sure we don’t fall prey to the evils of “socialized medicine” and that them thar free-loadin’ bums don’t get any free rides, WE get to PAY a heck of alot more, anyway!!
WE get saddled with an inefficient, ineffective, counterproductive health care system that just keeps exploding in costs!!
Wow, you guys sure have made sure “we” “won”!!
So if “we won” why do I feel so sore in my backside??

Posted by: Russ at February 4, 2008 3:27 PM
Comment #244614

We know the current administration’s values don’t include the elderly nor the poor:

The $3.1 trillion proposed budget projects sizable increases in national security but forces the rest of government to pinch pennies. It seeks $196 billion in savings over five years in the government’s giant health care programs — Medicare and Medicaid.

The government is supposed to be US…WE take care of ourselves as a mass community of people…entitlements are what we deem necessary so none of us fall thru the cracks…

Let’s take that massive increase in “defense” spending and spend it on people instead…we’re worth more that excess profits for Halliburton and the cronies.

Posted by: Rachel at February 4, 2008 4:42 PM
Comment #244615


George:I made the mistake of only commenting on one aspect of the agreement that Bush seeks with the government of Iraq, long-term commitment of U.S. troops. The agreement seeks a long term economic, political and security agreement with the corrupt government of Iraq, not the people of Iraq, which “might well commit the next president to long-term obligations in resources and money that can’t easily be abandoned.”

In addition, the declaration of principles of this agreement makes the promise that the United States would aim to protect the Iraqi government from “internal and external” threats which could allow the president to commit U.S. troops to take sides in a civil war. Another way of putting it is that the president could use our troops to protect the corrupt Iraqi government from it’t own people. Also, if the corrupt Iraqi government were to become embroiled in an altercation with Iran, this agreement could be used by the president to authorize a U.S. invasion of Iran with out the consent of the U.S. Congress.

I would not call this agreement an every day run of the mill foreign policy decision by the president.

If Bush is allowed to enter into this agreement with the Iraqi government and then the Iraqi government signs the Bush oil deal which would authorize the oil companies to expatriate 75% of the oil profits out of Iraq, I believe that to stay in power, the Iraqi government would have to suspend the elections and the U.S. military would have to protect it to keep it from being overthrown.

Posted by: jlw at February 4, 2008 4:50 PM
Comment #244617

Lee
“…to open the issue back up to the people through their elected representitives.”

That is yet another example of the great contadictions of the right. You express a reasonable suspicion of government but then want to allow politicians to control what goes on in my wifes uterus.NO. What the law says now is that it is none of your business and that is how it should be.
Another all too real point that restricting or outlawing abortion does not result in stopping them. What is outlawed is SAFE abortion. We will not go back to the coat hanger or poison concoction. I spend a good deal of time in a forign country where abortion is illegal.Every public market offers poisons that work by nearly killing the mother. Quack abortionist abound.Is that what you guys want?
This debate is becomming rapidly irrevelant due to scientic advances . Morning after pills and other advances in birth control are changeing the dynamic in many cases. Still there are nutballs out there on the right that want to outlaw them also.
This is a class issue also. The Rich always have had and always will have access to safe abortions for their mistresses and erring daughterseg. the well paid and “understanding” family doctor, the trip “abroad” etc.The financial pressures that often lead to abortion do not apply. Another thing you guys do not get is that an increase in the minimum wage is more likely to decrease the abortion rate than any laws.

Just another question for the right: The Rep controlled FCC is fining ABC 1.4 million dollars for showing a butt on TV. If one turns the channel they could watch plenty of butts on the National Geo channel. Does this ruling mean that it is illegal only if a broadcaster shows cute butts? You guys just baffle me.

Posted by: BillS at February 4, 2008 5:01 PM
Comment #244618

jane doe

“There SHOULD only be two people involved in the issue, and that would be the woman and her Dr.!!! Only exception would be the father.”

what about the right of the unborn child ? why is it the left seems to object any time legislation is proposed to treat the violent criminals who beat a woman and cause her to lose her unborn child as the murderers they are ? that seems to be the inconvenient truth. is the killing of an unborn who is wanted by his or her mother not murder? why should a teenage girl be able to have an abortion with out the consent of her parents, except in certain cases, when she needs that very same consent for any other medical proceedure? you claim the right is unwilling to bend, but fail to see you’re own unwillingness to find a comprmise which would not prevent a woman from making that choice, but at the same time encourage adoption, or other avenues which would save human lives, and help lower the overall rate of abortion. lets face it abortion has become a form of souless contraception.

Posted by: dbs at February 4, 2008 5:02 PM
Comment #244619

So, govt should not control what happens in a womans uterus, but govt should pay for what happens in a womans uterus?
Just trying to understand the position clearly.

Posted by: kctim at February 4, 2008 5:17 PM
Comment #244620
As far as helping the poor, I believe our founding principle says it is the responsibility of each American, not the government, to help the poor.

I keep hearing Conservatives say this is one of our founding principles, but I as of yet been able to find it in our Constitution or the Declaration of Independence. I’ve read countless other books about our founding father’s and I’ve never been able to find such a reference?

As far as abortion goes, our country was founded on the principle of life (life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness). Abortion supporters can defend the woman’s right but who’s defending the child’s right?

Right or wrong for the vast majority of abortions, the cells constituting a potential to be life, aren’t considered life as of yet. That is a scientific definition, but personally I agree with the people who have commented that this is a personal decision of the potential mother and father.

Finally sovereignty, our founding principle is that we protect America and we control who and how many enter our country.

Another founding principle; This one is especially odd considering all of our founding father’s families arrived similarly to how illegal immigrants arrive today. It wasn’t until late in the 19th century that we started to enact laws to stem the flow of immigration. Prior to that we had this:

“Naturalization Act of 1790: Stipulated that “any alien, being a free white person, may be admitted to become a citizen of the United States “


Posted by: Cube at February 4, 2008 5:26 PM
Comment #244623

“I keep hearing Conservatives say this is one of our founding principles, but I as of yet been able to find it in our Constitution or the Declaration of Independence”

You haven’t? Its right above the section that says govt will forcefully take from one and give to another and its 3 sections above the part that says govt is required to provide money and healthcare to ALL individuals.

Its hard to believe you missed those. They are the very principles our country was founded on and all.

Posted by: kctim at February 4, 2008 5:42 PM
Comment #244631


It is also two sections below the section that says that those who disagree with the will of the majority have a right to appeal to the majority for reconsideration of the decision of the majority.

Posted by: jlw at February 4, 2008 6:54 PM
Comment #244633

dbs
So the young woman is a victum of incest and she has to get permission from her rapist to terminate the resulting pregnancy? Better she should just commit suicide? That is the path some take,even now with abortion available. If a daughter does not trust her parents enough to talk to them a law will not make her. Think maybe she should go before a judge to get permission? Do you really believe most troubled young girls would be capable of doing that?Will you guys be satified with any solution besides the coat hanger?We can get together and aid adoption,sex education,and contreception. Much has been done already,no thanks to the right, to make abortion safe legal and rare but there is more to do.Rather than continue to argue about how many angels can dance on a pin ,to move forward we must start with reality.Pregnancies will be terminated,law or no law. What is the best way to lessen the number?
The right talks a good game about less government interference but most want plenty of laws to govern peoples personal lives.We can’t bring sanity to our drug laws because of the right.We can’t pass death with dignity laws because of the right.Goldwater was pro-choice. What happened to the Goldwater conservatives?
Another question: If you believe that all human life is sacred then how can the right support the death penality,even delight in it? If all life is sacred how do you guys support war? I do not think much of the Catholic Church but at least they are consistent. They oppose abortion and the death penalty. Most righties want to pick and choose.

Posted by: BillS at February 4, 2008 7:42 PM
Comment #244634

bills

“So the young woman is a victum of incest and she has to get permission from her rapist to terminate the resulting pregnancy”

did you read my ENTIRE post? i’m guessing not. BTW what should a parents right be?


“We can’t bring sanity to our drug laws because of the right.We can’t pass death with dignity laws because of the right.”


i agree with most of this, remove the word RIGHT. funny how you choose to blame the right for all of societies ills, but refuse to even consider the possibility that the left may also be part of the problem. funny how i acknowlege your statement and actually agree with most of it, but rather than take what we can agree on and work from there, you choose to attack me, and lump me in with all the others whom you have no common ground with at all.

“The right talks a good game about less government interference but most want plenty of laws to govern peoples personal lives”

who is it thats trying to dictate what types of food people can eat, and what type of cooking oils restaurants can use? ban the use of trans fats, interesting. just let me know whats in what you prepare, and i’ll decide whether to eat it or not.

who is it that wants to dictate to me what kind of transportation i use or own?

both the right and the left seem to have thier own idea as to what part of peoples personal lives they should control, and i don’t like either of them. let me know when you’re done with the partisan hate speech, and then maybe we can find some common ground to work from. BTW where have posted my opinion on the death penalty? just curious, or is that just another unwarented attack?

Posted by: dbs at February 4, 2008 8:13 PM
Comment #244640

Russ,
You said-

“it is the responsibility of each American,”

so the republicans, who normally are all for efficiency in corporations, would prefer that we all try individually rather than combine the power of our collective money and efforts to work on National Problems.

The problem with collectivists is that they can only accept the particular collective emphases they design and institute themselves. I have real issues with people who hold a gun to my head and tell me they are doing a good thing and if I object I’m somehow evil or not living up to the values of the country. The example of the very poor execution of President Bush’s African AIDS initiative and all its inherent bureaucratic inefficiency and stupidity. The Methodist Church is doing as much or more good with less than a thousandth the funds. (That is a collective effort, privately and voluntarily organized, you may note.)

Cube,
It is mighty conveient to say that once there was no law, as though that delegitimizes the laws that have, for cause, been insisted upon by the people since. We have also, several times, changed elements of our Consititution. Would you insist that those changes are illegitimate?

This is not such a bad idea, from a Constitutional standpoint. It would get rid of the IRS, the Department of Education, and more et-ceteras than I can count off the top of my head.

As for the principle on the poor, it is a simple one. If the Constitution does not say the government has a power it does not have that power.


jane doe,

“There SHOULD only be two people involved in the issue, and that would be the woman and her Dr.!!! Only exception would be the father.”
This is what I mean about this really being about the definition of a “human being”. If your one-week-old is too hard for you to handle and you may be psychologically harmed by the burden of keeping it, because it is a human being protected under the laws of the United States and the various states, you don’t have the latitude to kill it. Eight days earlier the same being is, for all practical purposes, fair game, though there is little practical difference in the organism itself.

Who, indeed, speaks for the child?

dbs and BillS,

See how easy it is to fall into habits imposed by the politicizing of the discussion, particularly the tendency to label positions as “left” or “right”.

The point of the article is the values we hold in common, though our deepest instinct is to magnify our disputes and seek an advantage in some contest. This tendency is literally a feature of human genetics. We are wired to detect subtle differences and key in on those tiny contrasts. It is part of how we maintain tribal order. Well, partizanship is a form of tribalism.

We need the discipline to focus on the common values so that we may win the good those values would have us do, rather than the subtle differences for which we seek and advantage and victory.

and BillS,
Unlike many conservatives I have no objection to “morning after” pills. There is a real difference between a literal collection of a few cells days old and a being with a functioning central nervous system five weeks later. Still, I am uncomfortable with making the decision on my own where human life becomes human on behalf of others without their collective and voluntary elective consent. (Did you get that, Russ?)

jlw,
Iraq really is “foreign policy” and that policy will only last as long as presidential will allows. But, as long as we’re pulling out of places, what of Germany, Japan, South Korea, and any number of other places where we are committed as a matter of “foreign policy”? Or are we serving some purpose there?

I think world peace qualifies as a value as well, and one we need to have a serious discussion, not a tit-for-tat on.

Finally, j2t2, read my previous article. I’m willing to toss the people who claim to represent me, but don’t, out. I’d much rather struggle with my political enemies than pull the knives of my supposed friends out of my back.

Posted by: Lee Jamison at February 4, 2008 10:10 PM
Comment #244641
Still, I am uncomfortable with making the decision on my own where human life becomes human on behalf of others without their collective and voluntary elective consent.

So that means 100% right? At what level of government? Down to where you get total agreement? Some states have tried to pass more restrictive laws and when the population got to vote those laws were rejected!

You keep raising a strawman argument, like the “eight days earlier”, presenting it as when most abortions are performed and the reason. Bull.

Until you can prevent every unwanted pregnancy (by men keeping it in their pants) then you have no right to say when it is human. Religions don’t agree and science doesn’t agree. Who the hell are you to say or a group of you to say? If it is a religious belief, let it be between the woman and her higher power.


Posted by: womanmarine at February 4, 2008 10:23 PM
Comment #244642


It is mighty conveient to say that once there was no law, as though that delegitimizes the laws that have, for cause, been insisted upon by the people since…If the Constitution does not say the government has a power it does not have that power.

Jamison

I have no problem with new laws or legislation; on the contrary it seems to be the Right who has this problem. Since it is the Right who constantly points to imaginary phrases in our Constitution as proof in their convictions. Then they vacillate to the position that if a phrase does not exist, the government does not have a particular power. In the case of Government help, the Supreme Court has decided the phrase does exist.

Congress may spend money in aid of the “general welfare”. Constitution, Art. I, section 8

NO. 910.—OCTOBER Term 1936
Supreme Court Ruling


Posted by: Cube at February 4, 2008 11:02 PM
Comment #244643

dbs
I really do not know your death penalty position. My question re.death penalty was exactly that,a question,not an attack. I am baffled by people that can profess some great regard for human life at the same time as they applaud the taking of it.All I can figure is Orwellian doublethink.Anything better?
I had no idea that eating toxic cooking oils was so important to you.As for transport,by all means drive anything you want provided its street legal (safe),does not tear up OUR roads or pollute the air we all breath.
I must admit I get a little hot under the collar about reproductive rights. I have seen first hand the damage some of the rights policies have had directly on people and nations promulgated by Bush’s gag rule,nor will I ever accept the moral authority to oppose abortion of anyone that has not adopted an unwanted child. They have no standing.God bless those that have.

Posted by: BillS at February 4, 2008 11:41 PM
Comment #244645
This is what I mean about this really being about the definition of a “human being”. If your one-week-old is too hard for you to handle and you may be psychologically harmed by the burden of keeping it, because it is a human being protected under the laws of the United States and the various states, you don’t have the latitude to kill it. Eight days earlier the same being is, for all practical purposes, fair game, though there is little practical difference in the organism itself.

lee..look at what you’re saying. Where are you getting anything about “full-term” abortions?? See, that’s how shit gets started……check your research or watch your writing.

Posted by: Jane Doe at February 4, 2008 11:59 PM
Comment #244651

Cube,
You wrote- “In the case of Government help, the Supreme Court has decided the phrase does exist.”

Exactly! The SUPREME COURT, not the people, has made this decision. For convenience the Supreme Court has decided the extraordinarily vague term “public welfare” shall mean something it did not mean for well over a century. Nine people, not all the people, made the government substantially more powerful. So now nine people, not all the people, have arbitrarily drawn a curtain on the definition of a human being. We have not ratified this sort of coup. We’ve simply sighed and stupidly thought we couldn’t do anything about it- and let is stand.

For yourself, womanmarine, and jane doe (I am aware it is more difficult to GET a late-term abortion than it once was) the fact of the matter is that it is the arbitrary desision of only nine people that a baby in the womb is not human while a baby outside the womb is. In the hands of a corrupt government those nine people would be imminently manipulable, but we have granted them powers that would have horrified the Founders.

Face it. Give a small group the power to decide some inconvenient population is not human and the same small group can decide YOU’RE not human. In the Federalist papers (I don’t have my copy here so I can’t quote chapter and verse at the moment) James Madison plainly states that the Judiciary was intended to be the weakest branch of the government. We, by default however, have conceded it to be the strongest.

Here, too, our concession of the day-to-day control of the parties to the office-holders has contributed to the weakening of the people’s grasp on their power. They find it convenient to hide behind the cloaks of the court, saying they “can’t do anything about it” and using their very powerlessness (which would go away in a heartbeat if they saw it standing between them and re-election) as a reason to stick with them as they learn the maze of the power structure in government. It’s a shell game in which we are played for fools.

Posted by: Lee Jamison at February 5, 2008 7:40 AM
Comment #244653

womanmarine,
You wrote- “So that means 100% right? At what level of government? Down to where you get total agreement? Some states have tried to pass more restrictive laws and when the population got to vote those laws were rejected!”

The decision to legalize or not should be left in the hands of the states, and your example is exactly why this is so. Some, if not most, states will reject greater restrictions. Some states may have virtually no restrictions at all. Others may have very tight restrictions. It would be the choice of the voters and their representatives in each state. And, of course, that does not mean 100% agreement. If people wanted nothing to do with the policy of the state in which they lived we are free to migrate to states that better reflect our own views.

We can vote with our vote and we can vote with our feet, only, the way things are now, we have no vote at all.

Posted by: Lee Jamison at February 5, 2008 7:53 AM
Comment #244657

The morning after pill simply doesn’t allow the embryo attach to the uterus wall. This happens frequently with a number of normal conceptions. the pill increases the likelihood.

Value doesn’t mean what is important. It means what is valuable. A human life that is genetically separate from the woman and her uterus happens to be valuable to conservatives. It is that simple.
Most people, if they budgeted, could easily afford health insurance. It just isn’t a priority over entertainment. They have no problem asking me to make their healthcare a priority however.
A business and disciplined people will make priorities. Confiscated money has less value to the recipients then earned money.

Posted by: Kruser at February 5, 2008 9:28 AM
Comment #244659

Lee, All this far right horse puckey about the SCOTUS is unjustified. The justices rule on law. That is their job. AT any time a law is deemed to be unconstitutional our lawmakers have every right to modify said law to make it constitutional.
I have heard the ACLJ and their far right logic on this issue for quite some tome. It has never made any since and still doesnt. The SCOTUS is an important part of our government protecting the minority from the majority and should be defended from those that want a theocracy in this country. Just because these judges have ruled against your position on any given issue doesnt mean they are activist judges that make laws yadayadayada.., its extremist far right drivel meant to misinform their followers.

Lee said “If people wanted nothing to do with the policy of the state in which they lived we are free to migrate to states that better reflect our own views.”
Well Lee the same could be said for those that want nothing to do with the policy of the Country in which they live.

Posted by: j2t2 at February 5, 2008 10:08 AM
Comment #244661

“It has never made any since and “

sense not since. sorry.

Posted by: j2t2 at February 5, 2008 11:13 AM
Comment #244662
“The ultimate test of a moral society is the kind of world that it leaves to its children.”…Dietrick Bonhoeffer

War, genocide, starving people, jobs gone, lack of medical care, using food for fuel, profit at all costs, obscene CEO salaries while wages fall…

Hmmmm…

Posted by: Rachel at February 5, 2008 11:22 AM
Comment #244666

womanmarine


“Until you can prevent every unwanted pregnancy (by men keeping it in their pants) then you have no right to say when it is human.”


HUH ? he has no right to state his beliefs ? since when ? BTW we could also avoid unwanted pregnancies by women keeping thier legs together. whats the point of this remark other than to blame men for unwanted pregnancies. i guess women are always just victims of EVIL MEN.

Posted by: dbs at February 5, 2008 12:01 PM
Comment #244669

DBS: not when he wants his belief to be law. And sorry, but it is the men who rape, perform incest, etc. They also are the ones who mostly believe that birth control is the woman’s problem. Even to a point that some pharmacists are refusing to fill birth control prescriptions. Lets just call it like it is. It’s also not men who have to carry a child to term. But it’s mostly men who seem to want this control. The word Evil was yours, not mine.

Posted by: womanmarine at February 5, 2008 12:35 PM
Comment #244670

bills

“I had no idea that eating toxic cooking oils was so important to you”

once again you completely miss the point, or choose to ignore it. instead you make the above comment. it’s not the the TOXIC cooking oils. it’s the gov’t telling me what i can and cannot consume. IMO this is just another cheap shot.


” I have seen first hand the damage some of the rights policies have had directly on people and nations promulgated by Bush’s gag rule,nor will I ever accept the moral authority to oppose abortion of anyone that has not adopted an unwanted child.”

so this always seems to go back square one( your absolute hatred of george bush). BTW why should my tax $ be used to fund abortion in other countries, and if you don’t want the gov’t deciding what happens in a womans womb, why should the gov’t pay for it? i thought we were talking about OUR values. so unless you have adopted a child you have no right to have a position on the destruction of human life. interesting. by your logic i should not accept the decision of a president to, or not to go to war unless they have served in the military, and actually been in combat, or the the opinion of anyone without the same quaifications for that matter.

when your ready to talk about the things we actually agree on, and work to solve these problems let me know. once again you ignore our points in common, and instead choose to attack me.

Posted by: dbs at February 5, 2008 12:38 PM
Comment #244672

womanmarine

“it is the men who rape, perform incest, etc. They also are the ones who mostly believe that birth control is the woman’s problem.”

this is only a small portion unwanted pregnancies. men who commit these crimes obviously don’t care about birth control at all, thier criminals. what this has to do with the majority of unwanted pregnancies i don’t know. i mean those where the act was consensual, and resulted in pregnancy. i used the word evil because the impression i got from your post was ( it’s the mans fault, and women are poor inocent victims), and we both know this is not the case.

as to the other comments, you can go to another pharmacist. i myself have heard of very few instances like the one you describe. i would think that would be most likely to happen in a private hospital pharmacy. same said hospital can also choose to not allow abortion on its premises. i know plenty of women who don’t believe in abortion, and i haven’t found great variance in the # of men as opposed to women who either oppose or favor abortion. keep in mind i have never said it should be illegal, only that it’s all to common, and seems to be a IMO a brutal form of birth control.

Posted by: dbs at February 5, 2008 1:00 PM
Comment #244675

DBS:

That’s why you’ll see in my previous post about education, support, etc. These are the most important ways to decrease abortion. If you don’t think it should be illegal, then what’s all the fuss about?

I also think there should be less abortion. I just think it will never be eradicated, like poverty, and the idea is to educate, support and not make women and doctors into criminals. That doesn’t help.

As to when a baby becomes “human”, I have seen some advocate that when a fetus could live outside the womb should be the criteria against abortion. Problem there is that doctors don’t know. Many strides have been made medically but the certainty is not there enough to make me comfortable using this as a criteria.

I too want less abortion. The problem is bringing religious belief into it, as though it were murder. This also does not help solve the problem. Take these women and educate them, support them, convince them of your argument. Educate the men that birth control is THEIR responsibility, and to respect women of all ages.

Passing laws and trying to take control of reproductive rights of women is NOT the way to go.

Does that help explain my position? We are both arguing from emotional standpoints, I hope I have been able to tempter my emotional response to you.

Posted by: womanmarine at February 5, 2008 1:38 PM
Comment #244679

womanmarine

“Passing laws and trying to take control of reproductive rights of women is NOT the way to go.”

i agree. education, and support are important. i would also like to see some sort of counseling for women considering abortion, not to advocate one way or the other just to let them know all the options available. i would also like to see mandatory counciling for minors seeking abortion, and some type of mediator that would help determine whether parental notification, or a waiver of parental notification is appropriate. i do not want to see minors who are raped, victims of incest forced to confront those who have victimized them. at the same time i don’t believe parental notification should be cast away simply because she fears her parents will be angy. there is a difference between fear of violence or corporal punishment, or just not wanting to get in trouble with your folks, and i don’t see the one size fits all approach to make sense. there needs nto be some adult oversight whether parental, or ombudsman type counseling. my personal opinion is that in most cases where abortion is for sheer convenience, it’s wrong, but that is my opinion and i would not force someone to live according to my beliefs.

Posted by: dbs at February 5, 2008 2:11 PM
Comment #244680

Jamison

One could assume that you have a problem with our form of government. You suggest usurping the powers of SCOTUS, which would leave us with only two branches of government.

The reality is, the problem you have with SCOTUS is that you disagree with some of their decisions. The following is a quote from you in this present blog:

Here, too, our concession of the day-to-day control of the parties to the office-holders has contributed to the weakening of the people’s grasp on their power. They find it convenient to hide behind the cloaks of the court, saying they “can’t do anything about it

In the previous thread you are questioning the Courts and the politicians who abide by their rulings. The following is a quote from a thread you started on Oct 10, 2007, when you said:

No less effort has gone into the opposition to George W. Bush’s most recent originalist Supreme Court nominees, but the left has not been able to overcome the philosophical clarity forced onto the debate by conservative media. The nominations, though hotly opposed by liberals, have advanced fairly quietly. Open debate in a brightly lit public square made this possible.

In this thread, you are applauding the stacking of SCOTUS with jurists who hold opinions similar to yours. It can be easily argued that these same jurists will only reflect the opinions of a small minority of Americans. The majority of Americans believe in some legal forms of Abortion, Gun control yet the right to own guns, Federal involvement in Education, and government assistance. These are moderates who hold a cross-section of ideals from both liberal and conservative camps. I can only say on behalf of moderates, how mighty hypocritical of you!

Posted by: Cube at February 5, 2008 3:04 PM
Comment #244710

Cube and j2t2,
You should read “Federalist #78, in which Alexander Hamilton states, among other things, the following-

It can be of no weight to say that the courts, on the pretense (my empasis) of a repugnancy, may substitute their own pleasure to the constitutional intentions of the legislature. This might as well happen in the case of two contradictory statutes; or it might as well happen in every adjudication upon any single statute. The courts must declare the sense of the law; and if they should be disposed to exercise WILL instead of JUDGMENT, the consequence would equally be the substitution of their pleasure to that of the legislative body.
This is also the paper I noted this morning in which it is stated that the Judiciary is the weakest of the branches.

Elsewhere Hamilton goes to great pains to state that powers the document does not state and grant specifically to the various bodies of the new government simply don’t exist. He is doing this initially to overcome the calls for a Bill of Rights and is clearly stating the understanding of his fellows in the writing process.

I am simply hoping we can have a Supreme Court that sees the plain language of the Constitution knowing what the words meant to the people who wrote them and stands by those words.

We have had a court of usurpers since the second Roosevelt administration. Such a body takes power from the people and creates structures that are not authorized by any law approved by the people or their representatives (and, yes, I am hard on politicians but, unlike federal judges, we CAN fire them if we dislike what they do…). The usurping Court we have today is, quite literally, a long, slow, coup d’etat.

This is not merely wanting a court that “agrees with me”. It is wanting a court that understands that true “rule of law” depends on law being accessible to those people willing to understand the framing of the constitution and the word with which it was crafted. The jurists on the court can never be the final protectors of our rights because it only takes five of them to conspire to take those rights away. Only we, the people, can serve that function. The more we allow jurists to convolute the document and all its niggling interpretations the farther we are from being able to perform our most solemn duty as the preservers of our own freedom.

womanmarine,
I do oppose abortion. My strongly conservative mother does not, and mostly for the same reasons you state. That is why, while I want Roe v. Wade overturned, I would not support any court ruling which would outlaw abortion. That would be just as usurping and outside the bounds drawn by Hamilton above as Roe was in the first place. As ugly and messy as the political process for resolving these most contentious issues is, it keeps us all involved in the issues that hold the greatest potential for government sneaking in on the citizen’s preserve and taking what is ours without some communal consent.

It is not hard to imagine a scenario in which at some time in the future public medical care has come to cost so much that a future court decides that people in the midst of dementia are as human as a fetus. After all the money that goes to care for them could be used to educate some poor kid, or feed some poor kid, but it is tied up in expensive medicale care. What will they care?
That’s the thing. Right now, inherently, the fetus is not us. The old codger who can’t remember his own face in the mirror is not us, either. Well, not for the time being.

Posted by: Lee Jamison at February 5, 2008 10:33 PM
Comment #244711

Dadgummit…
Here’s the link for “Federalist #78.

Again, folks, it sure is easier to see our differences than our agreements, but, still I think the fundamental values are very close.

Posted by: Lee Jamison at February 5, 2008 10:44 PM
Comment #244717
As to the second point, it is impossible, by any argument or comment, to make it clearer than it is in itself. If there are such things as political axioms, the propriety of the judicial power of a government being coextensive with its legislative, may be ranked among the number. The mere necessity of uniformity in the interpretation of the national laws, decides the question. Thirteen independent courts of final jurisdiction over the same causes, arising upon the same laws, is a hydra in government, from which nothing but contradiction and confusion can proceed.

Still less need be said in regard to the third point. Controversies between the nation and its members or citizens, can only be properly referred to the national tribunals. Any other plan would be contrary to reason, to precedent, and to decorum.

Alexander Hamilton Federalist Paper #79

Posted by: Cube at February 5, 2008 11:56 PM
Comment #244720

Lee,

What you wrote makes sense. We should ALL be concerned about each other. We should ALL share in the defense of our country.

Then come the facts:

Beginning with Saint Reagan’s presidency taxation was shifted more towards the middle class.

Bush #2 closed a few gaps. He added more unaffordable spending to the Medicare budget with part D, and now he’s proposing “cuts” in spending AFTER he leaves office.

Republicans continually stonewall efforts to reduce the costs of meds for seniors.

Well, I can’t go on. Seizures suck.

Posted by: KansasDem at February 6, 2008 1:15 AM
Comment #244722

Look Lee its hard to beleive you have anything in mind other than supporting a far rightwing agenda. This drivel about the SCOTUS being ” a court of usurpers since the second Roosevelt administration. Such a body takes power from the people and creates structures that are not authorized by any law approved by the people or their representatives (and, yes, I am hard on politicians but, unlike federal judges, we CAN fire them if we dislike what they do…). The usurping Court we have today is, quite literally, a long, slow, coup d’etat.” is just that, far right wing drivel. It is by design that the justices are not elected but appointed. It shields them from the wingnuts that seek to destroy them for upholding the law as they see fit. These judges were vetted as required by law and confirmed by the elected representatives of the people of this Country. Get over it, civil rights for the blacks happened. Roe V. Wade happened. Bush happened. The ridiculous right wing theocrats and revisionist that falsely accuse the courts of legislating are wrong. They do this for political gain and power to control the sheep that follow them. These people , their supporters and their values are not the kind of values I can support. So if these are the values you speak of then no we do not share values afterall and therfore we have a divide and a political difference that wont go away until such time as the right wing arrogance and false sense of superiority are curbed.
Sorry but no matter how you word it, or try to hide the meaning of what you are saying its the same old crap- blame the liberals. Well Ive tired of turning the other cheek at the insults of the past 2 decades from conservatives, right wing hacks and their followers. Your “values” have been tried since Reagan was president they have been found wanting and it seems the people of this country are wising up to the failures of the conservative movement, the dominionist, the corporatist, and the authoritarians and are looking for a change and rightfully so. For the wing nuts to blame the current condition of our country on the liberal judges, liberal politicians and liberals in general is the ultimate in delusionary foolishness. Once the righties decide to accept responsibility for their part in creating this dishonest malfunctioning government we are burdened with then perhaps we can talk about values because until then the right wing has no values they only talk about values as if they have them. Of course Lee this is just my opinion, albeit a closely held opinion.

Posted by: j2t2 at February 6, 2008 2:21 AM
Comment #244724
It is far more rational to suppose, that the courts were designed to be an intermediate body between the people and the legislature, in order, among other things, to keep the latter within the limits assigned to their authority. The interpretation of the laws is the proper and peculiar province of the courts. A constitution is, in fact, and must be regarded by the judges, as a fundamental law. It therefore belongs to them to ascertain its meaning, as well as the meaning of any particular act proceeding from the legislative body.

Federalist Paper 78, by Alexander Hamilton

With apologies, my previous quotation came from Federalist Paper 80,
not 79.

Posted by: Cube at February 6, 2008 4:42 AM
Comment #244731

Cube,
The point you are trying to make from Federalist 80 concerns state court interpretations of NATIONAL laws. This was, of course, one of the fatal flaws of the Confederation, which lacked a central court for dealing with disputes among the states. It hardly applies in the sense Hamilton was addressing in the case of STATE LAWS.

If your assertion held all state laws that disagreed with other state laws in the same areas would be found unconstitutional and the Tenth Amendment would be the height of folly. In fact, though, we find that some states outlaw the death penalty and others do not. The Supreme Court upholds those differences. Some states permit felons to vote after their terms have been served and others do not. The Supreme Court upholds those differences. Some states hold that water rights belong to the individual landowner while others hold such rights as commonweal. In spite of the vested interest the Federal Government has in making water available to western states the Supreme Court upholds these differences. These state-to-state differences are legion, but are upheld in the vast majority of cases when carried to the Supreme Court.

The Supreme Court has absolute jurisdiction in disputes among the states in matters deriving from FEDERAL LAW.

j2t2,
Civil rights for blacks has NOT happened. The Civil Rights movement was taken over by whites in the Democratic Party in the 1960s. One can see the result of that in the war zones and insurgent havens that are our inner city Democratic congressional districts. Until the black community feels free to express the only legitimate diversity, that of opinion, there will be no real freedom for that community. Conservative leaning blacks are ostracised today and denied even their own racial identity.

You also use the term “upholding the law as they see fit”. That is what Pervez Musharraf is doing. It is what Vladimir Lenin did. It is what Mao Zedong did as well. We do not want judges upholding the law as they see fit. We want them upholding the law as the law is writ. Where the law is vague, as anything written by humans will be from time to time, they must make the best sense of the law, but that does not give a court the latitude to create a convenient sense where naught IS writ.
J2T2, think of it this way. For the time being you like the results of Constitutional amendment by judicial fiat because it seems to favor your political affinities. By default it appears I oppose such fiat because I don’t like what it has done. In fact, however, there are a number of Federal programs I would not wish to eliminate which are, by the letter of the Constitution, illegal. It is not at all impossible for a national crisis to so shift the opinions of the country that a far-right activist court is appointed. At that point I can guarantee that you would become deeply appreciative of the amendment process provided for in the Constitution itself.

If we stopped accepting this fiat process the political will to properly change the Constitution would be bolstered and we could get back to being a nation of laws and not of “men”.

KansasDem,
Sorry to hear about your seizure issues. My mom was showing me a new medicine (new for her) that helps with hers yesterday evening. Remarkably, it helps her to THINK better!

As to the substance of your post I would repeat something I posted on the string of my last article- “I staunchly avoid idolizing Ronald Reagan.

Had I had the chance in 1980 I would have voted for John Connolly. Early in ‘84 I liked John Glenn.”

Republicans have been profligate spenders and have lacked the courage to simply tell government they work for us and must live with the same sort of fiscal discipline the private sector must endure. It is not that government per-se is our enemy. Rather, it is that people who are unaccountable to us are our enemy. Those people can be found in big business, in non-profits, in healthcare, and, most egregiously, in government.

We can’t improve the quality of our government’s efforts by permitting them to become LESS accountable.

Posted by: Lee Jamison at February 6, 2008 9:45 AM
Comment #244732

J2t2,
One of the things I think is GREAT about Barak Obama is that he is a very real threat to take civil rights out of the hands of whites (though the Kennedy endorsement bothers me in this regard) and put leadership of the issue back in the black community where it belongs.

If McCain is the Republican’s man I would be pleased to vote for Obama. Not so much so for Clinton II.

Posted by: Lee Jamison at February 6, 2008 10:00 AM
Comment #244733

So where does abortion rights come in the interperatation of laws? The point is that neither popular support or federal law existed for the Court to interperate when it comes to abortion. It was a state’s rights issue for decades.
The Dread Scott decision during the Lincoln era declared that blacks were not human. They don’t have a good civil rights record.
Conservatives prefer to have the laws made in legislature before opinions are given to interpret them. You must have the former for the latter.

Posted by: Kruser at February 6, 2008 10:14 AM
Comment #244735

On the abortion front I want to add a little something. I have a cousin “born” as the result of an abortion performed in the 1930s to save the life of her mother, who was in the grips of pre-eclampsia. She was a miracle baby in that she was only at 27 weeks or so at the time of her birth.

Having refused to die she went on to grow up, teach blind kids, become a teacher of the year in Louisiana, get a PhD, and head up a Texas regional service center’s program for the education of severely handicapped children. She is now retired and is a member of my church.

Pretty good for someone who would not have been human under today’s understanding of the Constitution.

Posted by: Lee Jamison at February 6, 2008 10:58 AM
Comment #244739

One question:
Men: How many of those here who oppose abortion rights have adopted a child?

Until you can say “I have”, stay out of an issue you know little about.

I know more about this than any man here could or would ever guess. I lost my mother due to an illegal abortion.

Posted by: Linda H. at February 6, 2008 11:34 AM
Comment #244740

Good question.
It seems some topics are huge magnets for hypocrisy.

Posted by: d.a.n at February 6, 2008 11:40 AM
Comment #244742

“One question:
Men: How many of those here who oppose abortion rights have adopted a child?

Until you can say “I have”, stay out of an issue you know little about.”

I’ll play your game Linda. Let me ask a similar question.

How many of those here who oppose the war in Iraq have been involved in combat?

Would your next statement be valid?

Posted by: BOHICA at February 6, 2008 11:57 AM
Comment #244745

Jamison

The passages I’ve used are in reference to the Constitution and Congress, and makes the argument for one national court. In Hamilton’s arguments, he discusses the importance of empowering this national court with the right to interpret our nation’s laws and the Constitution. Ultimately Alexander Hamilton in Federalist Papers 81 refers to this national court as the “Supreme Court.” In Federalist Papers 81, Hamilton addresses the potential problems that the Supreme Court may have, that you are also bringing up, and I am surprised or perhaps not that you didn’t reference Federalist Paper 81 instead of 78. Since as we all know Hamilton plays Devil’s advocate in the Federalist Papers, by mentioning a potential problem and then offers why it is not a problem after all.

This would all be amusing if reality wasn’t so distressing, if one looks at the makeup of the present Supreme Court and looks at the history of the appointees. One sees a court that has been stocked with Conservatives, nevertheless the Right is not satisfied. Their obsession is to create a Court that will uphold their ideals and interpret the Constitution to the detriment of the opinions held by the majority of Americans. I’ve read a very good book once about the Supreme Court. In this book it jokingly defined an “activist Court” as a court which interprets the Constitution contrary to how you would interpret it. This certainly seems to be the malady that you have.

Posted by: Cube at February 6, 2008 2:28 PM
Comment #244747

BOHICA, apples and oranges.

Posted by: Jane Doe at February 6, 2008 2:39 PM
Comment #244750

Jane & Linda,

Perhaps, but the point remains the same.

There is no inherent moral authority needed for anyone to participate in the debate on an issue. If you want to qualify the ability of an individual to make a valid, convincing point based on their experience, background, race, gender, sexual orientation, net worth, citizenship, religion (or lack thereof) that is your right and in some cases can be a good way to evaluate information. However, the right to participate in the debate as we can see in many different ways all day long on these sights is not limited to anyone. Traditionally in the U.S. when we have asked people to stay out of a debate, it has encouraged them to jump in.

Posted by: Rob at February 6, 2008 3:55 PM
Comment #244754

jane doe

“BOHICA, apples and oranges”

sorry, actually a valid point. one does not have to have actually done something to have a valid opinion or point of view on said subject. if this were the case most of us would not have the qualifications to have an opinion on anything, now would we.

Posted by: dbs at February 6, 2008 4:57 PM
Comment #244758

“jane doe

“BOHICA, apples and oranges”

Please explain the difference jane. Linda said that if you haven’t adopted a child then you know little about abortion and should not debate it. I say that by that logic, if you haven’t fought in a war, you know little about Iraq and should not debate it. What’s the difference?

Posted by: BOHICA at February 6, 2008 6:05 PM
Comment #244763

Cube,
I have, at various times past, quoted from each of 78-85 depending on the specific issue. Because I had earlier referenced the lines in 78 (and errantly ascribed them to James Madison) which specifically addressed the relative strength of the judiciary as a branch, I was looking especially for that.

I also wanted to shy away from the discussion on the Bill of Rights, frankly because it was imposed on the writers of the Constitution particularly by one state’s intransigence. Hamilton saw it as a pollution of their efforts, and not without cause. In fact, precisely the complaints he had against the additions have come true as they opened the door to the suggestion that powers were posessed by the government which must be held at bay. As you can see in his own pleadings he tries to make the case that the unenunciated powers don’t exist.

Now we are three generations or more into courts mad with unenunciated powers.

If you follow the Republican presidential campaign at all you will note that Warren Rudman, who is credited with having vouched for David Souter as a conservative to Ronald Reagan, is a vice chair of John McCain’s presidential campaign. Souter is arguably the most liberal justice on the court since his having been seated there. One can imagine why conservatives trust McCain about as far as they can spit, or perhaps vomit, him.

Of course Reagan tried to appoint Robert Bork, perhaps the most stellar single justice in recent judicial history. Certainly he was the greatest jurist to be denied, for purely political reasons, a seat on the Supreme Court. Bork’s written opinions from the D.C. Circuit were NEVER overturned. His confirmation hearings were a vicious act of political lynching for a man whose opinions were the wrong color.

His replacement, the milquetoast Anthony Kennedy, is not fit to sit in Bork’s shadow. (even if I do disagree with Bork on privacy rights. There’s an argument that would be good for the Constitution…)

Posted by: Lee Jamison at February 6, 2008 6:42 PM
Comment #244775

Jamison

You make my point for me; I’m trying to defend the Supreme Court while expressing concerns on how it has recently been stacked. And you complain that one of the Conservative appointments isn’t conservative enough, while complaining of how the Supreme Court Justices have conducted their duties. Nevertheless if you have time, look up the Segal-Cover score on Wikipedia. I accidentally discovered it doing some research for another thread.

I can’t comment on the accuracy of this chart, but it is an attempt to rank/grade the ideology and qualifications of past and present Justices. Oh and I’m sorry, but of course I disagree with your opinion of Bork.

Posted by: Cube at February 7, 2008 3:33 AM
Comment #244778

Cube,
Disagree all you want with me, but understand that your position also empowers the court far beyond the boundaries envisioned by Hamilton and his fellows. What you call “stacking” is an attempt to reduce the power of the judiciary by forcing the courts to live within the letter of the law, rather than conjuring ennobling spirits that transcend the written word.

It is out of that concern that I disagree with Bork on privacy. There is no right to sex in the Constitution, nor is there a right to corporate ownership. All kinds of things are not in the document. Bork’s position is a threat to his own ideals. Hamilton’s original notion is far better.

I’m in a rush, but I will try to get to the score you mention.

Posted by: Lee Jamison at February 7, 2008 7:11 AM
Comment #244779

Jane Doe,
Look at comment #244735 above. Not to minimize your loss or the pain your mother and you must have endured, but I think my cousin would have you trumped, in as much as she WAS an aborted baby. Even an illegal abortion entails taking a conscious risk. Being aborted is all imposition by some outside authority.

Posted by: Lee Jamison at February 7, 2008 7:41 AM
Comment #244784

Lee,

“Not to minimize your loss or the pain your mother and you must have endured, but I think my cousin would have you trumped, in as much as she WAS an aborted baby. Even an illegal abortion entails taking a conscious risk. Being aborted is all imposition by some outside authority.”

What an incredibly callous thing to say.

Late term abortions, which is what your cousin would be called today, comprise less than 1% of all abortions, and no sane person would consider a “late term abortion” a means of birth control.

I would imagine that any woman seeking an illegal abortion couldn’t possibly take the procedure lightly, and it’s truly a shame that Linda’s mother died as a result.
Without knowing the circumstances of her situation, you seem to believe that she did.

That your cousin lived a talented life is remarkable. But in no way does life “trump” death.

Posted by: Rocky at February 7, 2008 10:45 AM
Comment #244793

Some of us embrace and fight for the “sovereignty of the individual citizen” and the freedom to believe and live as we want, while others fear it and fight for “govt control of the individual citizen” so that they can dictate how people believe and live.

We lost Lee. Accept it and join the village.

Posted by: kctim at February 7, 2008 12:43 PM
Comment #244803

Lee, Kctim, you both make a fundamental mistake in assuming that the threat to your “sovereignty” (sp) comes solely from the government. I say this because I have never heard either of you complain about the threat to your sovereignity from the powerful, monied interests that run this country.
Think about power being stratified rather than a hierarchy. You, as an individual, are not vying or competing with the government on any level; that is left to these large, monied interests who clearly see government, at all levels, as being a threat to their interests.
When you hear people on the tv talking about how we have to get the government off our backs, they’re not talking about YOUR back, they’re talking about theirs!!
Large corporations, through their policies, products, services kill hundreds of thousands of Americans every year and, every year, they injure millions more. Individuals running these corporations lie, cheat, steal, all the while hiding their own personal liability behind a corporate shield. (Stop and think about all the crappy things that must have gone on over the last few years with these sub-prime mortgages. How many people have gone to prison for their actions?) Do you two seriously think that you, as “individuals”, can play on a level field with the big boys? Do you think that the big money is afraid of you? Do they worry that you will think badly of them or take any possible action that would result in a cost to them?
You have to know, kctim and Lee, on some primal level if not an intellectual one, that the money doesn’t give a rat’s ass about your “sovereignty” (sp) and if there ever came a time when they wanted to take something from you they would just do it and not think twice.
Government is YOU. You elected the people who hire the bureaucrats who make the decisions that affect, restrain and protect you. The government is the only entity, big enough, powerful enough to balance out the tyranny of big money.

Posted by: charles ross at February 7, 2008 2:27 PM
Comment #244809

Charles
When a business starts forcing me to give it money so that it can give it to someone the CEO thinks needs it more, then I will start speaking out against business controlling my life.
When a business starts dictating how I live my life, then I will start speaking out against business controlling my life.

And yes, I can, and do, play on a level field with the “big boys” everyday. How? By using my freedom of choice, something I cannot use when playing with the govt. Get a mortgage that I know I won’t be able to afford to pay in 3+ years? No thanks. There is only person to blame for sub-prime mortgages being a problem, and that is the idiots who agreed to them.

I am well aware that businesses only want my money, but I do not fear them as you all seem to. I do my best at voting for candidates whom I believe will keep them under check, but will not hinder them.

Govt is no longer of the people and for the people. It has evolved into a govt of special interests, which use it to force their personal agendas onto the masses.

At this point in time, “tyranny of big money” is nothing compared to the tyranny of big govt that controls our lives.

Posted by: kctim at February 7, 2008 3:33 PM
Comment #244820

kctim said “And yes, I can, and do, play on a level field with the “big boys” everyday. How? By using my freedom of choice, something I cannot use when playing with the govt.”
Why cant you use the same freedom of choice you exercise on that big level playing field your on with the government kctim? At least the feds have a constitution and bill of rights they have to pay lip service to which is more than can be said for the corporations that control the government.

“I am well aware that businesses only want my money, but I do not fear them as you all seem to. I do my best at voting for candidates whom I believe will keep them under check, but will not hinder them.”
Isnt that freedom of choice on the federal government level? I agree its the same candidates that use the front money of the corporations to get elected or they dont get elected but thats what the “tyranny of big money” is about.

“At this point in time, “tyranny of big money” is nothing compared to the tyranny of big govt that controls our lives.” Seems to me the “tyranny of big money” is controlling the government already. Of course it can get worse but how long do you propose we ignore the problem and claim its all the governments fault?

Posted by: j2t2 at February 7, 2008 4:45 PM
Comment #244824

J2
“Why cant you use the same freedom of choice you exercise on that big level playing field your on with the government”

Let’s see? If I don’t agree with how a business uses the money I willingly give it, I can stop giving them my money. Can I do that with govt? Or is govt the only “business” that is authorized to take my money by force?

“Seems to me the “tyranny of big money” is controlling the government already. Of course it can get worse but how long do you propose we ignore the problem and claim its all the governments fault?”

As long as it takes to end overtaxation and govt intrusion into personal lives.

How long are you going to ignore the nanny-state we have become and stop blaming the evil rich for every problem?
What do you think is going to happen first:
McD’s passing a law saying I have to eat a Big Mac every night?
OR
Some group trying to pass a feel-good law telling me I can longer eat a Big Mac if I so choose, because they know whats best for me better than I do?

Do you think a hospital is going to get a law passed saying I have to use their services, even if I don’t want to?
OR
Do you think its more likely that the govt will pass a law saying I have to use a certain hospital, no matter how I believe or feel about it?

Mega-Mart isn’t taking away your rights and freedoms, your govt is.

Posted by: kctim at February 7, 2008 5:17 PM
Comment #244835

I think it’s cute that someone still thinks that his/her vote will get them what they want. Just like that, I don’t like this or that, I’ll vote for him or her and it will all be better. Hoo boy.

Posted by: Ray at February 7, 2008 7:25 PM
Comment #244838

BOHICA, dbs, Lee, and others,

First off:
The Iraqi War wasn’t a decision made by military personal. This decision was as a result of mis-information as a result of our present administration. Those serving in the war are doing so because that is the Job they have been assigned to do, regardless of whether they agree with the reasoning or not. They simply have no choice.

An abortion on the other hand is an extremely personal matter. This decision should not involve anyone other than the woman, the father, and her doctor. The father, only, if he willingly, legally, financially, and unconditionally intends to participate with the child’s future life. The only other exception I would make would be if the girl is under the age of 16, and would need and receive supportive parental help and guidance. Unfortunately, there are many “parents” who could not and would not do this.

There are those on this site who already know how deeply I feel about the Mother’s Right to Choose.

Not only have I lost my mother as a result of an illegal, coat-hanger, back-room botched surgery, which in case anyone cares, I watched at the age of 9, I now work with children who have come into this world who are and were unwanted. I speak for these children. The ones who honestly wish they had never been born. I felt that way until I was nearly grown. This is hard enough without trying to second guess the rights of a child who has never been born.

These children are not only suffering the abuse, hatred, and,depravity from their “parents”, many are continuing the cycle.

These are the children I care for. Which children do you care for - the ones you think might turn into Abraham Lincolns, or the ones who lead horrific,tortured,sad, and unwanted lives, many of whom will undoubtedly continue the same cycle until they finally die from the lack of loving.

These children do not know LOVE. They do not know to receive it or how to give it.
To me this life is worst than anything any human can do to another human being. I know what it is like to be raised without love. I was fortunate that after the age of 12, my father was able to give me the love I needed. It took years for me to learn what it was, let alone express. Frankly without love, I would rather be dead. This is one of the main reasons why teen girls want babies - they want someone who will love them - and only them.

BTW, your cousin is not an aborted baby. If she was, she would not be alive. She is the product of a failed abortion, which I am serenely gratefully. She has overcome many obstacles. I’ll bet she didn’t do it alone.

Posted by: Linda H. at February 7, 2008 7:57 PM
Comment #244841

Linda,
I was responding to your post:

“One question:
Men: How many of those here who oppose abortion rights have adopted a child?

Until you can say “I have”, stay out of an issue you know little about.

I know more about this than any man here could or would ever guess. I lost my mother due to an illegal abortion.

Posted by: Linda H. at February 6, 2008 11:34 AM


You seem to know quite a bit about abortion. Certainly more than I do. That however does not make my opinion invalid. And I find the notion that unless you have adopted a child you don’t know about abortion to be absurd. How about the many people who have had abortions? Do you think they don’t understand them?

I probably know more about war than any woman here could or ever guess. I was in the infantry in Vietnam and lost many very close friends.

That doesn’t stop any woman here from having an opinion of the war. By the way, I fought that war so that you could keep having those opinions.


“First off:
The Iraqi War wasn’t a decision made by military personal. This decision was as a result of mis-information as a result of our present administration. Those serving in the war are doing so because that is the Job they have been assigned to do, regardless of whether they agree with the reasoning or not. They simply have no choice.”

What country do you think we live in? In the United States, Military personel don’t make the decision to go to war. They follow orders. Those serving in the war are doing so because it is a job they volunteered to do. Every last one of them. Some did it for money, some for education and some actually do it to preserve freedom.

“An abortion on the other hand is an extremely personal matter. This decision should not involve anyone other than the woman, the father, and her doctor. The father, only, if he willingly, legally, financially, and unconditionally intends to participate with the child’s future life. The only other exception I would make would be if the girl is under the age of 16, and would need and receive supportive parental help and guidance. Unfortunately, there are many “parents” who could not and would not do this.

There are those on this site who already know how deeply I feel about the Mother’s Right to Choose.”


And you have no idea what my position is on abortion (it might surprise you), yet you want to stiffle my opinion because I haven’t adopted anyone.

Posted by: BOHICA at February 7, 2008 9:04 PM
Comment #244846

“Let’s see? If I don’t agree with how a business uses the money I willingly give it, I can stop giving them my money. Can I do that with govt? Or is govt the only “business” that is authorized to take my money by force?”
kctim how many times have you actually had your money taken by force? Or anything else for that matter? See I like the idea of voluntary taxes too but it just doesnt seem to work. Would you vote for the candidate that offered voluntary taxes? With the government your choice comes in at election time which in my view is much better than the way a corporation is run. Besides that whole thing of going elsewhere for the service you dont want from the corporation is getter a lot harder isnt it? Do you actually think that keeping your money from the corporation is that effective?

“As long as it takes to end overtaxation and govt intrusion into personal lives.” What rate do you consider overtaxation? Ive been thinking about it and I cant remember the last time the government has intruded into my personal life. Give me some examples of how they have intruded into yours. Now I cant go a night without at least 4 corporations ringing my phone and wanting to sell me something though which I consider to be an intrusion.

What do you think is going to happen first:
McD’s passing a law saying I have to eat a Big Mac every night?
OR
Some group trying to pass a feel-good law telling me I can longer eat a Big Mac if I so choose, because they know whats best for me better than I do?
How about none of the above, well at least not before Mc D’s runs enough ads on the TV, radio at schools, everywhere causing my grandkids to “force” me into taking them there cause nothing else will do after the corporate brainwashing they get.

“Do you think a hospital is going to get a law passed saying I have to use their services, even if I don’t want to?
OR
Do you think its more likely that the govt will pass a law saying I have to use a certain hospital, no matter how I believe or feel about it?”
well once again none of the above, at least not before the hospital sends out the propagandist to make certain most of us beleive that line of crap about being forced to use the only hospital and doctor under a single payer system.

“Mega-Mart isn’t taking away your rights and freedoms, your govt is.”
Well the govt may be doing it but its only because Mega Mart owns our elected representatives because bribery is considered to be a free speech right. Now of course that may be different if you work for Mega Mart because then you have very few rights to be taken away. But of course the chances of working for Mega Mart in this Country is slim to none because they shipped the jobs overseas to communist China.

I guess the difference between us is I dont look at Multi national corporations as people where it appears you do. I know by crook they have rights but its been all downhill since then hasnt it. Well except for the 60’s and 70’s.

Posted by: j2t2 at February 7, 2008 10:24 PM
Comment #244847

Charles,
Even as I write this my mother and brother are arguing about the morass that has appeared where once the Republican Party stood. This is, in fact, because business has made a strident effort to crush the conservative wing of the party and then assume we will be dragged along out of a terror of Democrats holding the White House. I will not be terrorized by the spectre of an Obama or Clinton into being the pawn of those who have hijacked the party.

International big business considers this country to be a nuisance. The work G.W.Bush has done on their behalf has substantially weakened our borders so that the nation will eventually be weakened to the point that we can no longer resist this international business community’s prerogatives.

My personal outlook is that I distrust all large organizations. It matters not whether they are public or private.

And, kctim, in 1981 my employer, Bolton Ford of Lake Charles La., a private company, FORCED me to give to the United Way with the admonition that if I did not I would be fired.

I will NEVER IN MY LIFE EVER GIVE ANOTHER DIME TO THE UNITED WAY. Ever.

Posted by: Lee Jamison at February 7, 2008 10:32 PM
Comment #244848

And you blame United Way? Interesting.

Posted by: womanmarine at February 7, 2008 10:47 PM
Comment #244851

womanmarine,
You may not be old enough to remember that the United Way was caught up in a national scandal over just this sort of rigged “giving” in the early ’80s. The national president of the organization was ousted, I think around ‘85, and there were congressional investigations, etc. I don’t think anyone was actually jailed, though they should have been since it was clear extortion on a grand scale.

Yes. I blame the United Way.

Posted by: Lee Jamison at February 7, 2008 11:34 PM
Comment #244852

Lee said “International big business considers this country to be a nuisance. The work G.W.Bush has done on their behalf has substantially weakened our borders so that the nation will eventually be weakened to the point that we can no longer resist this international business community’s prerogatives.”

Lee such wise words. Im impressed that as a conservative you can recognize this problem of the corporate state and are doing so with out blaming it on the liberals. In fact Im very impressed. I may need to change my opinion of conservatives somewhat. It seems we may have some values in common afterall :)

Be wary of Clinton though, her coffers get filled through corporate donations and she hasnt meant a corporation she wouldnt take money from.

Posted by: j2t2 at February 7, 2008 11:38 PM
Comment #244855

Re: United Way, I’m with Lee. I have more respect for someone who would stick a gun in my face and demand my wallet than an organization that steals donations under the guise of charity.

Posted by: charles ross at February 8, 2008 12:16 AM
Comment #244873

I’m sorry, but unless you worked for United Way at the time, they were not the ones who would have fired you. It was your employer, who deserves at least half (if not more) blame. Is the United Way blameless? Perhaps not. But not entirely to blame either.

Posted by: womanmarine at February 8, 2008 9:30 AM
Comment #244888

BOHICA

I’ll play your game Linda. Let me ask a similar question.

How many of those here who oppose the war in Iraq have been involved in combat?

Would your next statement be valid?

I know that military personal don’t declare wars. I was attempting to keep the military i.e. the troops out of the fire-line regarding the US involvement in Iraq. I have always supported our troops. You are the one who brought up the Iraqi War. I never mentioned it. You are assuming I am against this war. Nothing in my statement says anything about how I feel about Iraq. You might be surprised about how I feel about this war.

As for what I did say:

You are the one who implied that I was playing a Game. If you don’t like my answer, that is your problem.
It should be obvious this is NOT a game to me.

I never said you weren’t entitled to your opinion, merely that you don’t know what you are talking about in regards to an actual abortion, or the mental after effects, on a woman. No man knows what the effects of an abortion can be. That is a biological FACT. As for the belief that life starts at conception, as this has not been proven or disproven, you certainly have the right to an opinion.

My point is the argument about the rights of the unborn child. I work with children whose parents wished they had never had. I know I what that feels like to an unwanted child.

I have never met any Pro-lifer, who has ever thouhgt about what happens to the baby once it is born. If our adoption process were not so nearly impossible to pass, and we had an overwhelming supply of babies in our country, do you really think that some many parents would go overseas to adopt?

It takes TWO to create a baby. If more males used protection, didn’t rely on the female, and were willing to support the child they ALSO helped to bring into this world, I’ll bet you the abortion rate would have a massive drop. Until then, either quit S#$wing around, or adopt. That is also a fact. This applies to females as well.

I remember Vietnam all too well - I lost family and friends in that so-called ‘Police Action’ ((UGH!!! A war is a war).

I must admit, that I have never served in a war, nor have I ever had an abortion. I have however been strongly affected by both. I’ve also had two close family members die in Iraq.

Thank you for serving. It is you, however, who seems to need to be reminded about why you served. So we both can have an opinion, no just you.


Posted by: Linda H. at February 8, 2008 12:13 PM
Comment #244911

Linda H

linda i never said you or anyone else didn’t have the right to choose abortion, thats your choice. that being said, telling others on this blog that unless they have adopted a chid, they are not qualified to have an opinion, or that thier poinion is invalid is nonsense.


here is my reply to jane doe earlier in this thread.

” one does not have to have actually done something to have a valid opinion or point of view on said subject. if this were the case most of us would not have the qualifications to have an opinion on anything, now would we.”

please tell me where i’m wrong.

Posted by: dbs at February 8, 2008 5:56 PM
Comment #244916

DBS:

I’ll tell you, you’re not wrong. I really hate strawman arguments no matter who posts them.

Thanks for your thoughtful response to my post. We are much closer together than I had previously thought. I bet we could come to a meeting of the minds. Too bad the politicians and extremists can’t.

Posted by: womanmarine at February 8, 2008 6:14 PM
Comment #244922

womanmarine

thank you for yours. my brother in law and my son in law were both marines. my son in law got out last summer. many of his friends are currently serving in afganistan, and also did a tour in iraq. i’m assuming your in, or were in the service. if not sorry for assuming. if so, SEMPER fI, and thank you.

Posted by: dbs at February 8, 2008 7:33 PM
Comment #244932

DBS:

Ask them. Once a Marine, always a Marine!!

Semper Fi right back at you. May they stay safe!!

Posted by: womanmarine at February 8, 2008 10:22 PM
Comment #244953

dbs,
If you will read post ##244888, I believe that will help you understand what I really meant to say.

There seem to be a minimum of three issues regarding abortion: rights of the Mother, the laws of the land,and the potential rights of an unborn fetus.

I should have addressed my comments towards towards those who adamantly believe in the rights of the unborn child, superceed those of the mother. Those who are totally against abortions because they believe the fetus is a living human.

Because the information regarding whether a fetus is a sentient human being is still very uncertain, there is most definitely room for opinions. I did not mean to imply that one shouldn’t and couldn’t have an opinions regarding the rights of the unborn fetus, only that until men can experience an abortion, and the after effects, they can’t truly understand the problem.

It has also come to my attention that most “right-lifers” do not think any further down the road about the life of the child, once they’ve convinced the mother to keep it.

This is only one of the challenges I ask of the ‘right to lifers’ to consider. They must also be willing to continue to pay attention, even to the point of being financially capable to care for the child they have forced to live in the world with it’s parent(s),presumably. This would also allow Right to Life groups to gain much more credibility.

If they were to offer to care for the children and the mothers, once these mothers have given birth, and especially after, until these mothers can find employment, and even possibly even later, These groups of people might discover their creditability has increased.

Perhaps these groups would be willing to donate, financially, to help the parent(s) for the next 18 years,or take even more drastic measure of adoption.

I believe this is the only way to handle the abortion problem should it become illegal, again.

Posted by: Linda H. at February 9, 2008 4:49 AM
Comment #244964

Linda H

i don’t believe it should be illegal. making things illegal, especially things that are going to occur anyway, only serves to make criminals out of normally law abiding people. i would like to find a way though to save the lives of more unborn children. setting up support systems, and education for the mothers would be a start.i would though prefer to see it done through private charitable orginizations as opposed to gov’t programs. this would be where the prolife orginizations could step up to help reduce the number of abortions.

Posted by: dbs at February 9, 2008 10:53 AM
Comment #244981

dbs
So dealing responibly with the inevitable outcome of policies you yourself promulgate is simply too much to ask? I repeat; No moral standing in the debate what so ever!

Posted by: BillS at February 9, 2008 8:03 PM
Comment #244983

BillS

what is it your trying to say? plain english please. seems you just want attack me. hell, even when i agree with you, you attack me. why so much venom? i don’t like abortion it doesn’t mean i think it should be outlawed. i’ve tried to present some of the ideas i feel would be helpful in saving some unborn children, and at the same time not take away the personal choice. this is obviously a problem for you.

Posted by: dbs at February 9, 2008 8:25 PM
Comment #245023

LindaH,
“It has also come to my attention that most “right-lifers” do not think any further down the road about the life of the child, once they’ve convinced the mother to keep it.

Wait a minute! Let’s talk about “down the road”. How many people live a lifetime of grief and self-loathing over having killed their own child? Don’t tell me they don’t because I know damn well otherwise!

Furthermore, my nephew is over in Iraq protecting his country with the Marines because his birth-mother decided she could not kill her child. She gained the support of family (both sides, hers and his) and from her church. It does take the support of people committed to life to save these lives.

To touch on another point, there is no qualitative definition of “sentience” for a living person outside of which you could not find some people now fully protected by our civil rights. People keep trying to find clever ways to avoid seeming arbitrary in defining a person, but ultimately the decision to use the law to take away the personhood of a human must be arbitrary somewhere. It is common sense that an embryo with an unclosed notochord is probably not sentient. It is common sense that a seven-month fetus capable of surviving birth probably is. But there is no common sense red line dividing the two. To say there is is playing God.

Posted by: Lee Jamison at February 10, 2008 4:52 PM
Comment #245029

I believe abortion is wrong. But ask yourself what do you want - less abortion or anti-abortion laws. If it’s the former, improve the economy and the state of the poor in this country. Law don’t stop abortions nearly as well as a paycheck. There were fewer abortions when Clinton was President than when Bush #1 was and probably when Bush #2 - still waiting for the numbers.

Posted by: Dr. Tom at February 10, 2008 7:13 PM
Comment #245030

Lee,
You made my point.

She gained the support of family (both sides, hers and his) and from her church. It does take the support of people committed to life to save these lives.

Your Aunt was one of the very fortunate ones. What about all the unlucky, unsupported women who don’t have the support of their families or church. The female children (all women are the children of someone)who are told “you made your bed, now go lay in it.” I’ve heard this type comment from so many families it now nearly literally makes me sick to my stomach, as well as at heart.

I admire your Aunt and your nephew, but I find I must ask you what have YOU done personally to ease the life of those who experiencing an unwanted a pregnancy,one who doesn’t have the support you describe? What children have you personally tried to might life better for- especially those who were unwanted?

I still maintain, that until we ALL reach out to help those women faced with an unwanted pregnancy, the abortion legal, or illegal will continue. I would like to at least save the life on at least one of those involved. If it must be only the life of the woman, then so be it.

I truly wish abortions would go the wayside, by if we as humans can’t learn to care for those who are living, now, we simply don’t seem to be capable of caring for the unborn as well.

Dr. Tom,
I’m with you. More education, money, I also believe and caring would go a long way in solving the problem of abortion.

Posted by: Linda H. at February 10, 2008 8:40 PM
Comment #245135

J2
I apologize, battling the flu here and am slowly getting back on my feet.

“kctim how many times have you actually had your money taken by force? Or anything else for that matter?”

Every payday.

“See I like the idea of voluntary taxes too but it just doesnt seem to work. Would you vote for the candidate that offered voluntary taxes?”

No, I would vote for the candidate that offered taxes for limited govt, just as the Constitution grants it.

“Do you actually think that keeping your money from the corporation is that effective?”

Only to me personally. If I do not like how a business operates, I do my part and do not support them. I do not complain about the company and sit and wait for govt to do something for me, while shopping there though.

“What rate do you consider overtaxation?”

Any rate which is above what govt needs in order to run govt.

“Give me some examples of how they have intruded into yours.”

Seatbelt laws, smoking bans, every payday, helmet laws etc…
You see J2, its not about if govt intrudes on MY personal life, its about if govt intrudes on ANYBODYS personal life.

“How about none of the above, well at least not before Mc D’s runs enough ads on the TV, radio at schools, everywhere causing my grandkids to “force” me into taking them there cause nothing else will do after the corporate brainwashing they get.”

Nope. Take the recent transfats craze. Govts are banning places from using them which is basically dictating what you personally eat.

“well once again none of the above, at least not before the hospital sends out the propagandist to make certain most of us beleive that line of crap about being forced to use the only hospital and doctor under a single payer system.”

Sigh, Ok. Is it more likely that a hospital will force you to use only them or that govt, for effiency, will eventually end up dictating which to use?

“Well the govt may be doing it but its only because Mega Mart owns our elected representatives because bribery is considered to be a free speech right.”

And what affect would that have if govt did not have the control over us that they now do? How would people be able to vote for a corrupt candidate if he couldn’t “promise” them more freebies?

“I guess the difference between us is I dont look at Multi national corporations as people where it appears you do.”

Corps are corps which employ millions. Some are good, few are bad and for the most part, they are held accountable for their actions.
Our govt no longer is and is running all over us.

Posted by: kctim at February 12, 2008 2:05 PM
Comment #245154

kctim When I asked “kctim how many times have you actually had your money taken by force? Or anything else for that matter?” I meant by the feds, I to have kids and grandkids but I really wasnt including them in the question.

Some of these laws they restrict your/ours freedoms are from state and local government. The constitution tells the feds what they can do and what is left to states. So I dont understand are you saying that states have violated the constitution by passing laws that seem to restrict rights?

Take transfats as an example. Resturants use it as a substitute for butter and cream for coffee as well as in most baked goods. Yet they do not make that clear so what is the solution. Of course the resturants could be upfront and put a big ” FU we use transfats” sign in the window but they dont. So because they refuse to take responsibility someone has to IMO. No one refutes the dangers of transfats they choose either to ignore the health complications or not use it. We should have that choice not the resturant owner. Yet through their callous disregard for their customers health they hide the fact. So its local decisions not federal mandates made necesary by practioners of the “free market” who abuse the system yet you blame those forced to make the rules not those that cause the rules to be made.

Without laws to protect the consumer people would and have done a lot worse. How is our freedom, ours not yours not mine but ours violated? We have elected representatives that pass laws to serve all of us not just a few. To ignore the issue doesnt make it go away. Probably if the resturant owners would have voluntarily indicated what they use we would not need laws. However they choose to watch out for #1 and then complain when laws are put in place that prohibits them from injuring others. What would the libertarian do in this situation?

I feel run over more by corporations than Government. I use to agree with you but since the corporate takeover of our government the wheels on the bus are being driven by the corporatist not the feds. Blame the driver not the bus.

Posted by: j2t2 at February 12, 2008 10:05 PM
Comment #245158

kctim said “Sigh, Ok. Is it more likely that a hospital will force you to use only them or that govt, for effiency, will eventually end up dictating which to use?”

Well kc in Canada, France and the UK you can use the hospital/doctor of your choice. The propaganda you hear about the single payer government run system is just that propaganda. So this is a no brainer, as the Insurance companies dictate which hospital you can use if you want your insurance to cover it. Try going out of plan with Kaiser or one of the other providesr and see how they treat you when it comes to paying the bill.
Your unusually high level of distrust of all things government is showing. Take a look at the movie Sicko it may enlighten you on how insurance companies work today.

“And what affect would that have if govt did not have the control over us that they now do? How would people be able to vote for a corrupt candidate if he couldn’t “promise” them more freebies?”
Well if the libertarians or conservatives ruled the world Im sure the corporations could then cut out the middle man under the “free market” guise and not have to deal with such nonsense as rights.


Posted by: j2t2 at February 13, 2008 12:49 AM
Comment #245173

It is more than a little unfortunate that the discussion here has devolved into a debate over abortion itself. Since I started out to have a values discussion I want to remind you all that abortion, as the argument has developed in America since 1974 is really .

Issue #1- Abortion itself. I think we all agree that an Abortion is an undesirable outcome. LindaH is absolutely right when she notes that if the people who clamber to overturn Roe would muster the societal will to support crisis pregnancies and adoption we could come close to eliminating the issue. Those who want to use the courts to provide a legal interdiction for abortion really make the same mistake abortion proponents make in blindly supporting Roe- they want GOVERNMENT TO STEP IN TO SOLVE THEIR PROBLEM. And that brings us to -

Issue #2- Using hot button issues to break down the checks and balances the nation’s founders saw as crucial to good government. It is terribly dangerous for so small a set of people to be able to make law without being answerable to us. I want to see Roe overturned because it is very bad governance. At the same time it would be an equal horror for the court to declare abortion illegal! I am agnostic as to what the individual states do with the power returned to the people by the elimination of this dreadful ruling.

Think, though, about what would happen in state elections in the aftermath of Roe being overturned. The people’s choice would suddenly MEAN SOMETHING. Their interest in the STATE election process would be magnified by the fact that they would really be doing something that affects them VERY PERSONALLY. If you really want people to take an interest in the election process empower them by ending fiat amendment of the Constitution.

Posted by: Lee Jamison at February 13, 2008 10:44 AM
Comment #245174

J2
Yes, some of those laws are passed by the states, many from special interest bullying and threats of holding back money from the fed. You know, do it our way or no money.

“Of course the resturants could be upfront and put a big ” FU we use transfats” sign in the window but they dont. So because they refuse to take responsibility someone has to IMO. No one refutes the dangers of transfats they choose either to ignore the health complications or not use it. We should have that choice not the resturant owner”

The individuals could also take responsibility and just say, “F them, they use transfats,” right? Or one could even just ask if they use them or not, IF, they are worried about it.
You see J2, we DO have that choice, we are either just too lazy to make it or we just sue somebody for making us have to make that choice.

I am not saying we do not need laws to protect the consumers and I have not seen anybody say that corps should have free reign to do absolutely anything they please. To suggest that all who believe in personal responsibility are for this, is ridiculous.

“Probably if the resturant owners would have voluntarily indicated what they use we would not need laws…What would the libertarian do in this situation?”

I only know what I would do and IF I was worried about transfats, I would ASK before I ate. I would limit my consumption of transfats. I would find a place that did not use them.
Basically, I would take responsibility for my own actions and make a choice, rather than wait for or expect, govt to make that choice for me.

“Well kc in Canada, France and the UK you can use the hospital/doctor of your choice. The propaganda you hear about the single payer government run system is just that propaganda.”

I was not talking about what others say about it. It was an example of which is more likely to happen.
Govt programs create dependency and this causes the program to grow and grow and grow. After a while, they start streamlining in order to be more efficient and when they do this, they limit and dictate your choices. When a company does this, you go to another company. When govt does it, you are forced to comply.

“Try going out of plan with Kaiser or one of the other providesr and see how they treat you when it comes to paying the bill.”

I have made the choice to go out of plan before and since I take my families health serious, I have a health savings to compensate for such choices. Seeing how health is so unpredictable, I for the life of me, cannot understand why “bling” is more important than doing that.

And if Kaiser says here’s our plan and I agree to it, why the hell should I expect them to pay when I choose to break that agreement?

“Your unusually high level of distrust of all things government is showing.”

Not ALL things govt J2. Just the things that are not part of govts job.

“Well if the libertarians or conservatives ruled the world Im sure the corporations could then cut out the middle man under the “free market” guise and not have to deal with such nonsense as rights”

Or if liberals ruled the world, we could just cut out everybody but govt and live as we are told, right? Come on.
How is the plan which gives people freedom of choice “not dealing with such nonsense as rights?” But your plan, which forces people to obey as ordered, respecting rights?

As I said before J2, when Mega Mart starts taking my rights and dictating how we live our personal lives, I’ll be right there fighting with you. But until then, I’m going to fight against the corrupt entity who is doing it today.

Posted by: kctim at February 13, 2008 10:58 AM
Comment #245180

j2t2 and kctim,
Sorry for not reading your exchange before making my last post. What the two of you are really talking about is very similar to issue #2 above. How much power do we want to give government and what checks an balances do we remove from the process to grant our employees power over us?

I would say there is a good deal of danger in allowing the federal government powers over what we eat, where we eat, how much we eat, etc. If people want to give such powers to local jurisdictions, so be it. But I am hotly opposed to the federal government telling me what to eat.

For example, I have, for more than a decade, been on a low-carb diet. It has helped me to maintain a fairly steady weight where regular diets had routinely failed. But, for agricultural and industrial supporters of political campaigns low-carb diets have a big downside. They work. People eat less and the foods they eat are less profitable than the starch-and-sugar-filled mainstays of American industrial food giants. If the government were to be given the latitude to decide not what we should be told to eat, but what we MUST eat do you think they would opt for the thing that would limit the profitabiltiy of their big-money supporters?

You’d be a fool if you did.

j2t2, because I know people in government are every bit as corrupt, power-hungry, and venal as people in private industry I don’t want them deciding what I MUST do. We are far safer keeping them limited to telling us what we must not do. Believe me, that is onerous enough.

Posted by: Lee Jamison at February 13, 2008 11:18 AM
Comment #245187

j2t2


“Take transfats as an example. Resturants use it as a substitute for butter and cream for coffee as well as in most baked goods. Yet they do not make that clear so what is the solution. Of course the resturants could be upfront and put a big ” FU we use transfats” sign in the window but they dont. So because they refuse to take responsibility someone has to IMO. No one refutes the dangers of transfats they choose either to ignore the health complications or not use it.”

they could also just make a notation on the menu, and put an asterisk next to the items that it is used in. the trans fat thing IMO has been overblown anyway. if you eat food cooked in these oils everyday your probably gonna have problems. many things in excess can be harmful, but we don’t need the gov’t telling us we can’t have them. alcohol is extremely harmful when to much is consumed, but we’ve learned from experience that prohibition doesn’t work. should the same retaurant put a sign in the window that says FU we serve alcohol? drinking to much water can be deadly. should we limit how much we can purchase, or run out of our tap at home? BTW the water thing has actually happened, it happened last year i believe it was, and a young woman died in a who can hold the most water contest. maybe you’re familiar with this story. what about smoking? think you can outlaw it? bet that won’t go well.

it all comes down to how much freedom are you willing to give up in order to be safe from your own action, and the actions of others. keep in mind each time you allow gov’t to make another decision about your life, you have less control of it yourself. personnaly i’ll take my chances.

Posted by: dbs at February 13, 2008 12:43 PM
Comment #245192

dbs its not only food that is cooked in these oils it is in the food and the condiments as well. Like I said its a butter substitute. dont beleive me? next time your in a resturant look at that little pad of “butter” that comes with your toast. See if it says butter or hydrogenated someting or other. While your at it look at the bread its just as likely to be in there. Next look at the half and half container used for your coffee its just as likely to be hydrogenated oils as milk and cream. Now why as a consumer should I have to wait until Im sitting at a table to find this out and then only if its in a container that is labelled. The bread usually isnt and some times the butter isnt. Put a sign up at the door so I can keep walking it saves me time and the resturant the frustration of having to seat me then have me “get in their face” for serving me this crap and then walking out. Thats not so hard is it. Now Ive actually asked for substitutes but most places dont have them for the coffee creamer or butter. So if you want my money dont serve me something thats 1 molecule away from plastic and tell me its food.
Of course they dont do that so the libertarians call it a civil rights issue and blame the government but once again its the resturant that hides this, chooses not to fix it and then whines when a law is made. In fact its only some of them as some are now informing us on the menu, mostly by saying they do not use transfats. The responsibility should be on the resturant not the consumer. What freedom am I giving up by having this law, the freedom to ingest a near plastic substance in my food? Come on guys its real simple if you serve transfats be proud of it seems there is a market for it so when you advertise tell me you proudly serve transfats, and put a sign in your window. Then the law would be unnecessary. See dbs I dont mind if you choose to ingest transfats as much as you want, that is a choice you certaingly should be able to make for yourself but you should be educated on your choices and you shopuld have the choice but the resturants refuse to give you that choice (by hiding it)unless there is a law. The question is who should make the bad decisions for your younger children that are unable to exercise free judgement, you? the resturant? the govt? your wife?
Im more tolerant than most IMHO and dont even mind paying for a real single payer socilaist health care system that would allow you to receive the care you need when your arteries are finally closed up from the transfats. We all make bad judgements in one way or another so most of the time they even out.

Posted by: j2t2 at February 13, 2008 1:16 PM
Comment #245195

“should the same retaurant put a sign in the window that says FU we serve alcohol?”

Most do. However alcohol is already regulated and in fact is considered healthy in small quantities. However check out the required labels on the containers. Should they decide to add transfats to it to make it taste better then yes they should disclose this so we can make the choice.

“drinking to much water can be deadly. should we limit how much we can purchase, or run out of our tap at home?” No, well unless they decide to add transfats to it to make it taste better then it should be disclosed. However some education may be necessary as this is not a well known fact. Who do you think should do the educating ?

“what about smoking? think you can outlaw it? bet that won’t go well.” No I think the whole smoking restriction has went to far. Not smoking in certain areas was needed but when it gets to open spaces I dont agree that restrictions should be in place. But then again the risks associated with smoking is well known look at the notices on the packages. That should have been voluntary but unfortunatley the cigarette companies chose to fight, which caused us to get to where we are today with the more extreme regulations. Once you get an interest group up and running its hard to get them to stop so excesses happen, especially when your wrong and your product is cigarettes and you fight them tooth and nail. Of course it is better to blame the government not the companies that refuse to do anything that would cost them financially.

Posted by: j2t2 at February 13, 2008 1:40 PM
Comment #245198

kctim “I am not saying we do not need laws to protect the consumers and I have not seen anybody say that corps should have free reign to do absolutely anything they please. To suggest that all who believe in personal responsibility are for this, is ridiculous.”
kctim Im all for personal responsibility myself. What I think we have is a “money is the root of all evil” problem here with the transfats. It is used because it is cheaper. It is a fact that it is very unhealthy to people that consume it long term. I say why put it in the foods we eat now that it has been determined to be unhealthy. They say well cause its cheaper and we dont give a rats a## about your health as long as we can make more money, others do it and so on. You say well I want the freedom to choose what I want to eat. Well so do I. Before I enter your resturant inform me that you serve transfats instead of butter or creamer. Allow me the choice to go elsewhere. Dont waste my time. But they say “wait then you and your party may go elswhere and we lose business so we dont want you to have that choice”. So some local governments have decided to be the referee as our (yours mine and theirs) responsibilities and choices conflict. Of course they make a decision based upon input from the locals living in the area. Whats the easy way to do this - ban transfats. easy to enforce, easy law to write because they to are people. Seems to me its all because the resturants wanted it all their way and lost the battle. Perhaps a compromise would have been in order but that didnt happen. So consequences are suffered because they chose not to accept responsibility for their actions.

Posted by: j2t2 at February 13, 2008 2:05 PM
Comment #245202

J2
Why not inform yourself, before you enter “my” restaurant? Why expect me or govt, to do your homework for you?

Govt discovered transfats were bad if consumed long term. Govt let us all know about it.
Restaurants now know transfats are bad and it is now their choice on whether to stop using them or not.
Individuals now know transfats are bad and it is now our choice on whether to consume them or not. If we don’t like that a cafe uses them or will not tell us if they do, we have the freedom of choice to go somewhere that doesn’t use transfats or lets you know.
If a person cares about what they eat, they should care enough to know what they are eating before they eat it.

“Seems to me its all because the resturants wanted it all their way and lost the battle”

More than likely, its all because a small group of people who think they know better than everyone else and believe others should live their lives as they do, push their own personal agendas and laziness onto everybody else.

Posted by: kctim at February 13, 2008 2:53 PM
Comment #245207

Lee said “because I know people in government are every bit as corrupt, power-hungry, and venal as people in private industry I don’t want them deciding what I MUST do. We are far safer keeping them limited to telling us what we must not do. Believe me, that is onerous enough.”

Lee I would agree people are people suffering the faults of people. Im not argueing for an unlimited government those words just get put into my mouth by others because they consider me liberal and they have these preconceived half truths and distorations of what liberals want. Im all for small government just as most people regardless of their political bent. I dont want the government rstricting my rights nor telling me what I can and cant do, However I do realize the need for laws. We are a nation of laws. What I argue for is a “checks and balances” on the greed and avarice of people and corporations that would abuse others for personal gain.
Seems to me we have to take the good with the bad. Government seems to expand due to the expanding greed and avarice of the individuals of this nation. With rights comes responsibilities, which to me most seem to forget. Your right to carry a gun comes with the responsibility to not aim the gun at me. Im sure we can agree on that.
Well the same applies to the food we eat as well. Your right to sell me food carries with it the responsibility to not sell me unhealthy food. When you choose to not accept your responsibility then either I must step in and hold you responsible for your actions and then force the consequences upon you, which as we know is anarchy, or the government must step in and hold you accountable. The other option is that you step up to the plate and acept responsibility for your actions and stop selling me the unhealthy food. Well by doing so this effects your livelyhood and interferes with your rights to sell what you want to sell and becomes a problem for you.
So what are the options? We can agree to a compromise that would be acceptable to both of us. So we agree that you will post signs saying we sell these items that may be unhealthy at the front door of your establishment. All is fine its a win win and the government is not involved. Those that want the unhealthy items can get them. Those that dont can go elsewhere. If it were this easy then Government could be smaller as enforcement would not be required.
Unfortunately the guy next door to you says compromise never I will do what I want when I want and wont tell you what Im doing, thats my right. Maybe it is his right but he is trampling on mine rights by not exercising his responsibility to others. So now we have to get others involved. Who? Well my special interest group. I protest, I contact my elected rep and ask him for help. What can he do? well either picket with me at you neighbors or seeings he makes laws for a living he can write a law. Which is easier? Yep write a law. And so it goes. All because we choose to use our rights but not our rsponsibility.
So my friend how do we make Government smaller when we all refuse to be responsible for our actions? We have elected conservatives running on the small government platform for almost 3 decades yet the government is not smaller.IS it the government fault? The conservative that said if elected he would make government smaller? The liberals for well whatever you blame them for? Or is it us for not accepting the responsibility that comes with rights?

Posted by: j2t2 at February 13, 2008 3:24 PM
Comment #245214

“The other option is that you step up to the plate and acept responsibility for your actions and stop selling me the unhealthy food”

You forget the most valuable and effective option: You could step up to the plate, accept responsibility for your own actions and stop buying unhealthy food.
Your rights are protected. Others with differing opinions are protected, AND, the rights of the individual who owns the restaurant, are protected.

Posted by: kctim at February 13, 2008 3:59 PM
Comment #245216

“Why not inform yourself, before you enter “my” restaurant? Why expect me or govt, to do your homework for you?”
Well if its your restaurant and you want me as a customer why dont you just put a sign out front to tell me you have made the decision to use/not use transfats instead of butter or half and half. Exercise you responsibility to inform your potential customers so that you can exercise your right to serve what you want. Seems the quickest and easist way to do it. But like most businesses why should you have the liability for your business when its easier to blame the consumer. Oh except when the consumer then has to go to the government for relief and then you can complain about the size of government and the loss of “rights”. Trust me kctim I will still do my due dilligence but the best time for that is after Im already seated. Do you really want the ruckus that goes with a dissatisfied customer walking out complaining after being seated?
But you sorta prove my point as to why government is not getting smaller. I dont know if my theory is right but it seems to be.

Posted by: j2t2 at February 13, 2008 4:04 PM
Comment #245219

j2t2,

“When you choose to not accept your responsibility then either I must step in and hold you responsible for your actions and then force the consequences upon you, which as we know is anarchy, or the government must step in and hold you accountable. The other option is that you step up to the plate and acept responsibility for your actions and stop selling me the unhealthy food.”

The most effective control on bad foods is an educated marketplace. Remember that it was only after reading Upton Sinclair’s THE JUNGLE that Theodore Roosevelt fought for the creation of a federal food safety commission. We, as a people, believe private enterprise should not sell us unsafe foods. The result is that American food processing facilities are generally well policed for sanitary conditions and we have good systems in place for tracing sources of contamination (like the field of spinach which had been invaded by feral hogs and became contaminated with e-coli a year of so back). That system works well. If we want to police local restaurants and stores that should be left up to cities and states.

In your quote above is it not an expression of our collective will to provide safety in foods and drugs that we don’t let certain substances into the food supply? 120 years ago people could buy pills containing mercury to provide that “healthful glow” people liked to have… People can’t do that now. That is not the government, some separate entity, that is the government, US, expressing our determination to protect ourselves. There is, however, a difference when the government starts reaching in to tell us that we should eat such-and-such, or saying if we weigh “too” much (and forcing such discretion on operators of private businesses). We should be protected from that which imperils us against our will, not put at legal peril for a failure to do, for ourselves or for others, that which is good.

Let me put this another way. There are two famous expressions of the “golden rule”. One is, of course the one given to us by Jesus which states- “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” The other is that which Jesus modified to arrive at his. It comes to us from the Jewish teacher Hillel the Elder. It is different in a significant way- “That which is hateful to you, do not do to your fellow.” Jesus’s rule is, I think, better guidance for the making of a godly person. Hillel’s rule is, however, better for the making of good LAW. The worst sort of government is the one empowered to MAKE its people good.

I haven’t read the whole string on trans-fats but, in as much as- 1, trans-fats are not a necessary constituent of food, but are a post war engineered food adulterant formerly thought safe but now known not to be so, and- 2, there are (less economical) fats which are currently thought to be “safe” and can readily be substituted for trans-fats in food processing- I can’t understand why anyone would agitate for trans-fats. For goodness sakes, LARD is less bad for you than trans-fats!

Posted by: Lee Jamison at February 13, 2008 4:20 PM
Comment #245221

“Your right to carry a gun comes with the responsibility to not aim the gun at me. Im sure we can agree on that.”

I agree in most cases. If I violate your right in this manner you will either have me arrested, sue me in court or kill me in self defense.


“Well the same applies to the food we eat as well. Your right to sell me food carries with it the responsibility to not sell me unhealthy food.”

Unhealthy would have to be defined here. Who would make that determination? Are my 4 large cups of coffee unhealthy? Probably, but I damn sure don’t want the government telling WalMart or Maxwell House not to sell to me.

“When you choose to not accept your responsibility then either I must step in and hold you responsible for your actions and then force the consequences upon you, which as we know is anarchy,”

It seems to me that YOU are not accepting YOUR responsibility for yourself. It is YOUR responsibility to take care of YOUR property, including your body. Don’t take MY choice away because you are too lazy to ask.

“or the government must step in and hold you accountable.”

If I am breaking any laws then I agree. As stated above, either have me arrested, sue me or kill me in self defense. You already have legal remedies on the books.

“The other option is that you step up to the plate and acept responsibility for your actions and stop selling me the unhealthy food. Well by doing so this effects your livelyhood and interferes with your rights to sell what you want to sell and becomes a problem for you.”

Another option is for you to READ the label at the supermarket and ASK at resturants. As a suggestion you could do pretty much what I do here at Watchblog. I keep a list of “unhealthy” posters and I don’t respond to them. You could do the same at restaurants. But I guess for you it’s easier to take my choices away.

Posted by: BOHICA at February 13, 2008 4:23 PM
Comment #245222

“More than likely, its all because a small group of people who think they know better than everyone else and believe others should live their lives as they do, push their own personal agendas and laziness onto everybody else.”

Well kctin I sure wouldnt want to disagree with that. But Im sure they look at it as exercising their rights the same as the rest of us. But we either cut off all types of people from the government, continue to enlarge government or mitigate the effects of people that would do things like this. I dont think that people that want to outlaw each and every thing they disagree with will go away soon. I dont think we want a government that would not deal with any of the issues nor a governmwent that deals with all the isues. So again we have a need to compromise as people before we escalate the issue to the lawmakers. How can we allow all people their rights without government interference. Well again those with rights have responsibilities and they should exercise these rsponsibilities. By doing so all parties have exercised their rights as well as their responsibilities and government is not needed or not needed to interfere as much as when all parties refuse to budge off just exercising their rights and not their responsibilities.
A lot of problems could be solved just by asking ourselves to say the word responsibility whenever we say the word rights. As an example
I have the right to drink alcohol but I also have the responsibility to not drink to excess and then drive my vehicle.
Or as in this case:
I have the right to sell whatever food I want to but I also have the responsibility to inform those I sell to what I am putting into the food.

To summerize all of this it seems to me, kctim, that libertarians are saying
I have the right to drink alcohol as long as it doesnt interfere with your rights.
Is that just me misinterpreting you or is that how you see the world?

Posted by: j2t2 at February 13, 2008 4:36 PM
Comment #245233

BOHICA sez “Unhealthy would have to be defined here. Who would make that determination? Are my 4 large cups of coffee unhealthy? Probably, but I damn sure don’t want the government telling WalMart or Maxwell House not to sell to me.”

Im not argueing quantity here nor am I argueing that a product sold in the store and labeled as to what is in the product should be outlawed. In fact Im not argueing that transfats should be outlawed. Im saying that as a way to keep the government at all levels out of the problem is to identify that your restaurant uses transfats as the primary cooking oil and as a condiment substitute. Im saying that by using the responsibility that is associated with your rights you could help to eliminate aditional government regulations.

“It seems to me that YOU are not accepting YOUR responsibility for yourself. It is YOUR responsibility to take care of YOUR property, including your body. Don’t take MY choice away because you are too lazy to ask.”

Well that is true but IMO extreme. It seems you dont agree that with rights comes responsibilities. The way I look at it I am taking responsibility for my body by not wanting to eat the transfats. But are you accepting responsibility for your actions by not informing me that you are using transfats in your foods. In fact if you would be so kind and put a sign at the entry telling me if you do or dont then it could save us both time and effort. However if you would at least indicate on your menu what has transfats and what doesnt that to would work. Its just that once I find out you use them I will probably choose to go someplace else to eat. Most of the time you choose to not do either and then I consider that to be you not accepting responsibility for your actions.

“Another option is for you to READ the label at the supermarket and ASK at resturants. As a suggestion you could do pretty much what I do here at Watchblog. I keep a list of “unhealthy” posters and I don’t respond to them. You could do the same at restaurants. But I guess for you it’s easier to take my choices away.”

Well BOHICA that really a no brainer regarding reading labels at the store. At restaurants why dont you try asking because I have and at least half the time they waitress doesnt know. I look at the butter and the creamer to make the determination myself but ya know by then Ive ordered and then I find out its transfats. So then Im stuck with a bill and with the transfats. So what has happened to my choices cause aint none of them pretty. If the restaurant advised me before hand then its shame on me but when they didnt it seems they have taken away my choice. Yet you make it sound like Im the one taking choices away. So this appears to be why government is as big as it is and needs to be involved in more aspects of our life than it probably should be. Everyone wants their rights but no one wants the responsibility that comes with them. Then they want to whine about someone taking their rights away when the start a SIG and gets the government involved. Go figure.

Posted by: j2t2 at February 13, 2008 5:16 PM
Comment #245237

J2, you’re theory is right, but one-sided.

“I have the right to sell whatever food I want to but I also have the responsibility to inform those I sell to what I am putting into the food”

What about the rights and responsibility of the individual J2?
I have the right to buy whatever food I want, but I also have the responsibility to know what is put into that food.

I need that right and I can handle that responsibility, I don’t need some special interest group doing it for me.

“Is that just me misinterpreting you or is that how you see the world?”

I do not know what libertarians are saying, only what I am saying.
It is your right to live your life as you wish and it is your responsibility to live with the results of your lifestyle. It is not the govts right to push your lifestyle onto others, to make them support your choice or to make them pay for your mistakes.

Posted by: kctim at February 13, 2008 5:24 PM
Comment #245238

Lee I would agree that restaurants shpuld be a stae or local issue not a federal issue. I am aware of how Teddy started the feds looking at meats and such. I think it is and has been a useful government function but it seems there may be some trampled rights involved but I will let the libertarians address that.
The issue is more about rights than transfats we are just using transfats as an example of rights being trampled by government actions and the special interest groups that get the government involved. Seems we cant agree on values so far as it appears that while rights are a value responsibilities are questionable as to their value.

Posted by: j2t2 at February 13, 2008 5:26 PM
Comment #245244

kctim “What about the rights and responsibility of the individual J2?
I have the right to buy whatever food I want, but I also have the responsibility to know what is put into that food.”


KC who knows best what is in that food the cook (who by the way is an individual)at the restaurant or the customer eating the meal. Im not suggesting that I have no responsibility but should my responsibility negate the responsibility of the restaurant to provide reliable accurate information preferably before I enter the restaurant but at least on the menu when it comes to things like transfats?

Posted by: j2t2 at February 13, 2008 5:43 PM
Comment #245253

j2t2,
“Seems we cant agree on values so far as it appears that while rights are a value responsibilities are questionable as to their value.”

You may mangle spellings, but you do have an inspired way with words.

Posted by: Lee Jamison at February 13, 2008 5:59 PM
Comment #245257

I want to restate something that shouldn’t be buried. It’s a simple idea-

We should be protected from that which imperils us against our will, not put at legal peril for a failure to do, for ourselves or for others, that which is good.

Responsibility has a high value, but as a positive action it is the product of a person’s individual ethical and moral foundations. It’s awfully hard to legislate.

Posted by: Lee Jamison at February 13, 2008 6:11 PM
Comment #245271

“You may mangle spellings, but you do have an inspired way with words.”
Lee I find spelling easy to mangle, it takes me much more time to mangle the grammar in such a fashion. I write like I talk, my mouth is always faster than my fingers and usually running long before the brain is in gear. What I was trying to say is:

“Seems we cant agree on values so far, it appears that while rights are a value responsibilities are questionable as to their value.”


Posted by: j2t2 at February 13, 2008 9:21 PM
Comment #245277

j2t2,
It has more than just “a” value. Early in my tenure here I wrote an article in response to a report in the Wall Street Journal on a paper put out by the World Bank. The gist of it was that the trust we have in each other is worth about a half million dollars per person in the U.S.

Responsibility is a key aspect of that trust.

Posted by: Lee Jamison at February 13, 2008 10:22 PM
Comment #245294

Lee you get no arguement from me on this issue. I of course was referring to the progress we were not making in the rights and responsibilities discussion. Seems libertarians beleive in only the individual responsibilities to oneself. But that just what I have gleened from the conversation so far.

Posted by: j2t2 at February 14, 2008 12:41 AM
Comment #245299

A lot of the libertarians I know would like to be anarchists, in that they resent anybody making rules, but are afraid they wouldn’t like a world in which only the fittest survive.

Posted by: Lee Jamison at February 14, 2008 7:09 AM
Comment #245303

J2
I would say it is that they do not believe in legislation to protect oneself from their individual responsibilities.

Lee
People do not resent the making of rules, they resent the making of rules which violate the rules that were already in place and working.

Posted by: kctim at February 14, 2008 10:08 AM
Comment #245347

I thank you, Lee for acknowledging my points.

It does seem to me that a large amount of room has been wasted on transfats - however if that is what you meant by values, I concede.

I sort of thought you meant more substantial ideas such as, oh:
the right to die with dignity
or the right live without governmental interference (I.e. wiretapping);
or perhaps, the rights to carry arms,
to judged by ones’ peers,
and especially the the right to worship or not as one please.
I sort of thought you meant those types of values.

While I don’t particularly want the government to tell me what I can and cannot eat, whether I must wear a seatbelt (so my state can get highway funding), etc. it seems to me the more important emphasis needs to be placed on some of the above values I just mentioned.

If we spend all our time worrying about the little stuff, the big stuff will be lost in the bickering.

Posted by: Linda H. at February 14, 2008 6:38 PM
Comment #245358

Sorry Linda I was just using transfats as an example on this post and it just sorta mushroomed. Your right there are bigger issues that should be discussed.

Posted by: j2t2 at February 14, 2008 8:31 PM
Comment #245387

I too was just using it as an easy example to follow Linda. You could take what I have written here and apply it to any and ALL of our rights.

I think far too many people now only care about their rights and personal responsibility when it affects one they care about and don’t care at all when it is one that is not.
That is why we have given up so much and why we have morphed into an intrusive nanny state.

Posted by: kctim at February 15, 2008 10:03 AM
Comment #245474

Linda H,
I hope you’re still checking in. The points you make are valid ones, but the problem arises when one tries to express moral positivism in law. The right to “die with dignity” for example strikes me as an imminently abusable concept.

A month ago my brother-in-law, after more than a decade of being beset by ever deepening complications of diabetes, decided to request that efforts to keep him alive be halted. He was given morphine to contain his pain and, with his family at his side, he slipped quietly into death. (He was dying of pneumonia, so the respiratory-depressive action of morphine was not merely incidental to this process) That was HIS choice.

The problem with “death with dignity” is that we might grant to a third party to decide who needs the benefit of “dignity”, at which point convenience will inevitably be confused with dignity. Eventually economy will be confused with dignity as well.

My point is that, at least in Texas, I can bear witness to the existence of death with dignity, a dignity founded in the choice of the person whose dignity (and life) is at stake. So keeping the choice of how such things are to be handled in the hands of the individual states, as opposed to the federal government, keeps local standards of ‘dignity’ closer the sensibilities of the people they affect.

Wiretapping: This has become a straw man. No one has the right under any U.S. law to tap the calls of private American citizens to or from parties anywhere not suspected of terrorist activities or communications with terrorists without the authorization of a judge. The current controversy is over the surveillance of communications from around the world which pass through American trunk lines and can allow the capture of communications between known or suspected criminal and terrorist organizations and (possibly) American citizens. The reason this is a big deal is because news organizations who make a habit of developing contacts within terrorist organizations don’t like knowing they can be subject to having their communications compromised by Republican-controlled programs. It is now, of course, widely known that the Clinton administration had an extremely invasive surveillance program called Echelon that could capture specific words and phrases of virtually all the world’s electronic communications. At the time, and since, the theory of such programs has been upheld because there is no human surveillance of individual communications until the machine programming flags certain communications for cause. At that point, according to the theory espoused by the Clinton administration, there were specific due process steps taken to establish the context in which the flagged terms were being used before individual phone numbers could be surveilled.

As to the law that the current Congress has allowed to lapse- the effort currently afoot is not to eliminate the capacity to tap communications. It is, rather, to hang over the head of communications companies the threat that they could be held liable for “illegal” wiretaps. At first blush this sounds reasonable. In fact it is an attempt to undermine national intelligence by the creation of a stealth EX POST FACTO law. No company would engage in tapping of communications when they had not been told by the administration such taps were legal, but the congress is attempting to hold over the head of such companies the threat that a future change in the interpretaion of current law would expose the company, and even its officers, to possible criminal prosecution. If Democrats succeed in this unconstitutional ploy companies would balk at any tapping at all because any future administration could change the interpretation of the law and then prosecute companies for their “illegal” activities.

As to all the other rights you mention, yes they are substantial, but they all hinge on the determination of citizens to maintain their own control over the government through their citizenship rights. Nothing written in the Constitution means anything if we citizens allow the document to be protected chiefly by those whose powers are defined by the Constitution. given the chance, no matter how well-meaning they may be, those “good” people will eventually write us out of the government.

That, Linda, is the deepest truth on which a set of values must be founded. Whatever your views on life, or death, or dignity, or arms, or juries of peers, or right to, or not to, worship, if you choose people to control the government based on any of these values AND THEN LET THEM DO AS THEY PLEASE, you will lose the right to control the government.

A vigilant citizenship is, without any exception at all, the highest value in American governance.

Posted by: Lee Jamison at February 16, 2008 10:02 AM
Comment #245497

Lee,

I totally agree with your points about vigilant citizenship. As for local governmental control, better that than a more and larger Federal Government.

Posted by: Linda H. at February 16, 2008 1:40 PM
Comment #245513

LindaH,
A good friend of mine is an astronomer. In her field of study observations are made of a place so vast that our movement in the space is essentially nil. We get exactly one, and only one, point of view of the universe.

The constellation of human experience is like that. Each of us has one facet of the jewel of existence through which we may see the interior. Not admitting to the experiences, the differing points of view of others, can lead us to errors of parallax. We can imagine that something that is closer to us is bigger than it really is in the grand scheme of things.

I appreciate your openness to the views of others. Hopfully I have been open to your views and point of view as well. If you catch me being closed-minded call me on it.

As a country we have become distracted from attending to why we are separate from the British Commonwealth. The current election campaign is not about empowering the people. It is about empowering government to do stuff, and in the process we are neglecting to preserve the carefully crafted checks and balances that give us the power to check those who want to be in power. That frightens me.

The technology available to government today is so great that if we lose control of the government in the United States the prospects of our ever getting it back will be essentially nil.

What greater humiliation could there be to eons of history to come than to be the generation who lost the liberty and promise of the United States to tyrrany? The discussion earlier was of responsibility. The freedom and hopes, literally of the whole world, rest in our hands. What greater responsibility could there be for any common person than to be the bearer of the title “citizen of the United States”?

Posted by: Lee Jamison at February 16, 2008 4:37 PM
Comment #245519

“The current election campaign is not about empowering the people. It is about empowering government to do stuff, and in the process we are neglecting to preserve the carefully crafted checks and balances that give us the power to check those who want to be in power. That frightens me.”

Leee I think the unitary executive concept that we have seen played out the past 7 years is a very good example of the loss of checks and balances you speak of. To me it seems we lost our way when the house, senate and the white house were controlled by the same party as happened during the past few years. Im sure you can recall the concerns of many of the people that post here on watchblog. In now seems to me that some of us who may not have seen this as a problem have “saw the light” as the primaries move along. In my neighborhood that’s called a “come to Jesus moment”. Im sure as the election cycle continues we will see many more people having such a moment.
I wonder, now that the cat is out of the bag on the unitary executive theory will it remain as popular as it has been the past 7 years?

“What greater humiliation could there be to eons of history to come than to be the generation who lost the liberty and promise of the United States to tyrrany?” well if we manke it to 20 january 2009 it will appear that we have dodged the bullet for the time being. But it will be time for the people to learn from these past 7 years and hound our elected representatives into undoing the damage caused by our lack of responsibility. Hopefully people of all political persuasions can pull together and make the adjustments necessary to ensure our liberties for the next generation. I beleive that is the hope people hear when Barack Obama speaks.

Posted by: j2t2 at February 16, 2008 7:58 PM
Comment #245522

“The reason this is a big deal is because news organizations who make a habit of developing contacts within terrorist organizations don’t like knowing they can be subject to having their communications compromised by Republican-controlled programs.”

Lee a free press is essential to liberty. we should protect it at all costs as its one of the first rights to go when a dictator takes over. Irregardless of political persuasion its a government controlled program and we have been warned about this by the founding fathers. It should not be taken lightly.

“No company would engage in tapping of communications when they had not been told by the administration such taps were legal, but the congress is attempting to hold over the head of such companies the threat that a future change in the interpretaion of current law would expose the company, and even its officers, to possible criminal prosecution.”

Checks and balances Lee checks and balances. Myself I think its good that these corporate types should be hesitant to breal the law. With proper judicial oversight like we had in the past this could be handled with a court order. This seems to work out well and should be maintained. As you say liberty once lost is never regained, do you really want to lose this checks and balances over a terrorist group threat? Besides when government and corporate interest merge we end up with a dictator and fascism thats not what we want, Lee, if we are to retain our liberties for future generations.

Posted by: j2t2 at February 16, 2008 8:16 PM
Comment #245532

j2t2,
In the bowels of any explanation of the current law one can see that there are, in fact, judicial checks. What is not immediately checked is the capacity to respond immediately to an emerging threat. There is a judicial review on the use of gathered evidence for criminal prosecution but there is also a reasoned effort to interdict disaster. This has succeeded several times and saved many lives. You should know this stuff.

As for your “free” press, nothing gathered in these taps has been used to prosecute members of the press, has it? Yet many agencies of this press seemed more than willing to crawl into bed with Saddam himself when he was actively restricting what the press could report with threats to Iraqi, and even foreign reporters! Did CNN not self-censor their own reports? In fact, they did! Did they ever pull out of Iraq in protest of his intimidations? In fact, they did not!

Finally, the path Congress is threatening is a tool of tyrants. Today a thing is legal as best anyone can tell. Tomorrow your head is on a pike pole. If you fall from favor the interpretation of the law changes and, LO AND BEHOLD, you and your allies are criminals. It is merely a thinly veiled version of the caprices played by Mao and Stalin to keep their allies and enemies quaking in fear.

If you like that idea you’re just a fool. If Conress wants to make surveillance illegal let them do it plainly and take the consequences like grown ups. If they take this coward’s way out (because they’re really just playing to the hard left and don’t seem to have any principles at all)perhaps we’ll get lucky and the first thing we’ll all miss because no one wants to stand up to the sneering threat that “we may change our minds about whether this was really legal or not later and then we’ll get you…” is the conspiracy to blow up the Capitol while they are in session.

Justice is never that poetic, though.

An ex post facto law, however you dress it up, is not a check and balance. It is terrorism in a velvet jacket.

Posted by: Lee Jamison at February 17, 2008 1:27 AM
Comment #245539

“What is not immediately checked is the capacity to respond immediately to an emerging threat.” Wow Lee how many days you need to get a warrant? They had what was it 3 days they just simply chose to ignore the law. But I guess thats ok with the conservatives. But the problem is that damned peice of paper protects all of us Lee not just the conservatives. Fisa was set up to deal with this strawman you present.

“This has succeeded several times and saved many lives. You should know this stuff.” Well Lee I havent taken the koolaid today so no I dont believe it prove it. Prove the many lives were saved comment. Its just more conservative propaganda and liberty for just us not them crap. See Lee their is libeerty for all then there is taking liberties. They are not the same thing, but most conservatives seem to have this problem.

“As for your “free” press, nothing gathered in these taps has been used to prosecute members of the press, has it?” So what Lee does that mean we should allow the government to intercept our conversations? Do we in fact know what the government did without any oversight. Just think if a liberal was in charge Lee that might put it into perspective for you. Now ask yourself this Lee what if a whistleblower was caught and fired because of this? well this liberty thing sure is hard when then damned liberals get in the way isnt it. Tranperancy in government is a good thing Lee.
“Yet many agencies of this press seemed more than willing to crawl into bed with Saddam himself when he was actively restricting what the press could report with threats to Iraqi, and even foreign reporters! Did CNN not self-censor their own reports? In fact, they did! Did they ever pull out of Iraq in protest of his intimidations? In fact, they did not!”
Once again Lee where did they do this. In Iraq right. NOt here. So I guess I can see your point though. We should eliminate freedom of the press because they went to Iraq and self censored as they reported the air attacks from our military on their city. So you think we would allow a network from Iraq to come over here to report on the Iraq military bombing one of our cities without any censoring? Besides what does this have to do with our government and our free press rights this happend in Iraq…Oh CNN I see seems you prejudices are showing Lee. That must be it because you really cant be saying that because Saddam did it we should deny freedom of the press are you? maybe you are afterall we were told by the administration that he tortured people so what did we do…

“Finally, the path Congress is threatening is a tool of tyrants. Today a thing is legal as best anyone can tell. Tomorrow your head is on a pike pole.” well except that it was illegal then, what they are doing Lee is trying to get their illegal activities covered up now. So I dont know what your smokescreen is all about but lets face facts if it wasnt illegal then why would they want protection now?

“If you like that idea you’re just a fool. If Conress wants to make surveillance illegal let them do it plainly and take the consequences like grown ups. If they take this coward’s way out (because they’re really just playing to the hard left and don’t seem to have any principles at all”
Well Lee your principles seem to be lacking if Im understanding your arguement here. Lee all this talk about liberty had me fooled I thought you actually meant it. Foolish me. Your just worried because the dems may win this election. Yet like sheep to a slaughter you were quiet while this administration usurped the liberties of all of us. NOw that the winds on change shift the political parties I would hope you can remain quiet now. Because you had your chance and instead of doing the right thing you stuck to the party line. shame on you. Remember there is adiffernce between taking liberties with the constitution and liberty for all that is guaranteed by the constitution.
Get a grip Lee its only a posibility that the liberals will take over the executive branch of the government.

Posted by: j2t2 at February 17, 2008 3:37 AM
Comment #245601

j2t2,
The point of the post I made is that the Democratic leadership is holding out the threat that companies who, in good faith, believed the Constitutionally authorized administration when they told them tapping phone calls and other communications for national security purposes was legal now must face the prospect of being terrorized by a Congress that really doesn’t care about what the Constitution authorizes.

This is an attempt to establish an ex-post-facto law, in clear violation of the explicit text of the Constitution itself. You can SAY wiretaps were illegal all day long, but there are sound legal minds who disagree for principled reasons. What matters in this discussion is whether we can take an opinion that prevails politically after a regime has changed and then apply their values backward in time on those who believed, and acted on, the former regime’s legal assertions.

The Constitution states clearly that we can’t do that. If this Congress’s gambit succeeds the possible terrors opened up for us are legion. Imagine, to use a small example, people who took part in executions being imprisoned for murder after the death penalty is outlawed. Imagine, instead, the same thing happening to abortion doctors. Shouldn’t they have known what they were doing was murder, in spite of the assertions of the legal authorities of the day?

People will say they absolutely should have known.

j2t2, I’m not saying you are being disingenuous in your assertions of values. What I am saying is that values do not negate other values. In places prerogatives overlap and there must be ways of dealing with the conflicts.

There are very legitimate concerns over surveillance. I do not discount that. You claim that assertions that intelligence has averted attacks is propaganda. What is a more important target for terrorists, America or Spain? Why did bombings happen in Spain, then, and not here? Why has the British government said intelligence developed from surveillance activities helped avert attacks? Has Labor, the Democratic Party of the U.K. turned into flaming right-wingers? We can argue and assert all day long but you can’t prove your negative any better than I can prove mine. What we can do is put the best possible legal protections into a law that provides a mechanism for responding to immediate threats to the safety of large numbers of people.

We can’t do that by establishing a Stalinist legal policy in the United States for the sake of political expediency.

Posted by: Lee Jamison at February 18, 2008 9:42 AM
Comment #245608

“This is an attempt to establish an ex-post-facto law, in clear violation of the explicit text of the Constitution itself.” Sorry Lee but its not an Ex Post Facto law they are hammering out. That is extremist right wing propaganda, which I believe to be a terrible value, used by this administration to cover up past illiegal activities.

And Please Please Please never again say “sound legal minds” when referring to Alberto Gonzales it simply destroys and credibility you may have after defending this Administration.

“The point of the post I made is that the Democratic leadership is holding out the threat that companies who, in good faith, believed the Constitutionally authorized administration when they told them tapping phone calls and other communications for national security purposes was legal now must face the prospect of being terrorized by a Congress that really doesn’t care about what the Constitution authorizes.”
Lee this is exactly why the FISA court was set up. All that was needed was to follow the law. Just because you assert the administration lied about this to the corporations, and their lawyers who should know better, doent mean this activity becomes legal. This blatently false strawman arguement you put forth in order to get a retroactive law to protect these corporations isnt selling. What a scoundrel Lee hiding behind the constitution like that.
“What is a more important target for terrorists, America or Spain? Why did bombings happen in Spain, then, and not here? Why has the British government said intelligence developed from surveillance activities helped avert attacks?”

Doesnt that depend , Im sure you believe that its America Lee but if you want to instill fear into the Spanish people for having troops in the middle east then perhaps an attack in Spain would be in order, but like your conclusion thats just a guess. Lee like my previous comment just because the British say it doesnt make it true. Transperancy in government is a good thing. Without particulars who is to say what is working. Im not willing to give up any liberties because the governments of these 2 nations say its working Lee. I feel giving in to the fear caused by the terrorist is counterproductive in the long run and allows the terrorist to win. Funny how Bush fell into that trap so quick isnt it.

“We can’t do that by establishing a Stalinist legal policy in the United States for the sake of political expediency.” Now we have some agreement Lee I to feel that bypassing the FISA laws is Stalinesque in nature. I agree that this is exactly what happened and now Stalin 43 is trying to protect those that did wrong. The baloney about ex post facto is without merit. Judcial oversight was required it was clear and had been practiced for years yet here come the “sound legal minds” (oh you conservatives and that reaganspeak) to destroy the checks and balances established by the constitution and because they danced its now time to pay the fiddler. Remember Lee, Stalin44 could be a liberal you dont want this kind of precedent established for them do you?

Posted by: j2t2 at February 18, 2008 10:40 AM
Comment #245616

j2t2,
First, I am the first, and so far the only person I have seen or heard speaking of ex-post-facto. I heard a description of the Democrat’s plan from a Democrat and it took less than 20 seconds to know what the scheme was.

Second, Plain and simple- your position and that of the Democratic Congress puts the burden of deciding whether or not the executive branch, authorized under the Constitution, is following on the law in the hands of private citizens and corporations, acting on their own authority. It then places them in legal peril, based only on whoever has the political upper hand TODAY.

Should you get your wish, I hope you can perceive the sword hanging over your own head.

Posted by: Lee Jamison at February 18, 2008 1:00 PM
Comment #245627

“First, I am the first, and so far the only person I have seen or heard speaking of ex-post-facto. I heard a description of the Democrat’s plan from a Democrat and it took less than 20 seconds to know what the scheme was.”
So Lee does that mean you are on the “cutting edge of investigative journalism” or the “bleeding edge of tin foil hat conspiracy where there are none conspiratist” ? While I admire your keeping a keen eye on the dems in congress I would ask that you open both eyes and see the whole picture. From my point of view the Administration knowingly went to far and are now hiding behind the flag. Im sure they didnt realize how soon the fearmongering would wear out and that once it did someone would need to be brought to task for it. Well it happened in ‘06 and again when you dance you gotta pay the fiddler. This adninistration has went to far and needs to be reined in. Of course in keeping with our longstanding traditions we Americans will heap praise and honors upon the guilty while throwing the bystanders under the bus. Those in the telcom industry have the ability to misuse their positions as information handlers in an information age. To think they dont know the rules is well… they know the rules Lee. If we allow them to get away with their transgressions its just as bad as alowing the government to do so. So, it probably will end up with a slap on the wrist to the corporations and a library named after the guilty and maybe just maybe the next group of thugs running the white house will think twice about it.

AS to your second point Lee the Congress writes the laws, the Administrative branch signs then into law. What we have here is an Administrative branch rewriting the laws and then giving themselves a get out of jail free card. Unfortunately for them thats not the way our government is set up. We got rid of the aristocracy a couple of centurys ago for good reason. They must obey the laws of the land just as the rest of us must do. Just because this administration has choosen to load up on a bunch of extemist far right mis readings of the constitution and pervert the meanings of the constitution to their own gain does not make them correct. We have seen this proven already, in fact a few times, well many more times than previous administrations anyway by way of SCOTUS rulings against them. So after this mess it would seem that those confused buckaroos at the forefront of this mess would asppreciate a written document to tll them its legal. Now how could we solve … Oh I know follow the existing law, get a FISA court order and bingo the problem is solved. You know trying to subvert the law and become the judge and the decider may be a little to much for one branch of government so you really have to respect the wisdom of the founding fathers when they chose this system of checks and balances to prevent just such an occurance. Perhaps instead of weaseling around the constitution the administration should consider doing its job and protecting it, by working in a positive manner with the other 2 branches of government and facing facts. Maybe a little less “activist judges” crap would help convince us that they have good intentions. But that just MHO.

Posted by: j2t2 at February 18, 2008 2:47 PM
Comment #245635

j2t2,
Indeed we used to throw the nobility under the, uh, wagon when the king was overthrown, but we didn’t usually grind the baker up with them just because the king had forced the man to listen in on the cobbler. You’re letting your Marxist tendencies get away with you. You seem to just want to throw capitalists under the wagon willy-nilly.

FISA has not interfered with presidential war powers at any time in the past, even according to the Carter administration (with no war to fight) and the inimitable Janet Reno. And the new AG, Judge Mukasey made a point of ruling that any supposed “torturers” would not be prosecuted precisely because they were covered under the prior opinion of the previous AG that harsh interrogations were, in fact, legal. That is, he says what happens under legal cover stays under legal cover.

Let’s see. Who do I want to cross, the administration which runs the justice department which either would or would not prosecute me, or the Congress which can make laws, but has no device for prosecuting me? Yeah, it’s a catch 22. You want to throw people in jail for being afraid of the wrong people.

Posted by: Lee Jamison at February 18, 2008 3:58 PM
Comment #245687

Lee,
“Let’s see. Who do I want to cross, the administration which runs the justice department which either would or would not prosecute me, or the Congress which can make laws, but has no device for prosecuting me? Yeah, it’s a catch 22. You want to throw people in jail for being afraid of the wrong people.”
How about neither Lee. Although there are 3 branches of the government it is all 1 government. Again this would be real easy with a court order would it not. Just like it would have been real easy for the telcomm companies to say when can we expect the court order? They didnt, they chose to circumvent the court set up especially for this reason. Go figure. Now they are saying “its all to confusing for us we didnt know what to do” when in fact nothing had changed.
So it would seem that our president should not expect the congress to go along with this law as it is written. You know Lee you speak of values and then drop yours as soon as your party embarasses it self once again.
A real statesman would step up to the plate admit the error of his ways, his willful trampling of the constitution, and take his medicine. Instead we have a politician who…

BTW do you mean Groucho Marxist then yes I have to plead guilty. That Karl guys not nearly as entertaining though I dont like him much. :)

Posted by: j2t2 at February 19, 2008 12:48 AM
Comment #245705

j2t2,
Look up this testimony before Congress by the assistant Attorney General. It makes a number of very interesting statements that run directly counter to what you have been saying. To wit-

“…it is important to understand that the rules and methodology for criminal searches are inconsistent with the collection of foreign intelligence and would unduly frustrate the President in carrying out his foreign intelligence responsibilities.”
“These rules would defeat the purposes and objectives of foreign intelligence searches, which are very different from searches to gather evidence of a crime. Physical searches to gather foreign intelligence depend on secrecy. If the existence of these searches were known to the foreign power targets, they would alter their activities to render the information useless. Accordingly, a notice requirement, such as exists in the criminal law, would be fatal.”
“Intelligence is often long range, its exact targets are more difficult to identify, and its focus is less precise. Information gathering for policy making and prevention, rather than prosecution, are its primary focus.”
“…requirements for the purpose of the search and ultimate notice to the person searched simply cannot be squared with the clandestine nature of searches directed at foreign powers or their agents.”

Take particular note of the phrase “or their agents”, which could ensnare witting and unwitting American citizens. What PRESIDENT CLINTON’S justice department is saying here is that it is not just illogical to treat intelligence gathering like criminal investigation, it is dangerous.

You have several times accused me of forsaking my own values in taking the stance I have, claiming that I am bent by partisan affinities. Nothing could be further from the truth. The Constitution places the physical welfare of the nation in the hands of the president, and then trusts the people to choose the president to whom that great latitude will be given for four years. whether you agree with their choice or not, and I did not agree with the choice of the people who wrote the opinions stated above, we are, four years at a time, committed to that choice. If you think the activities of a given president are illegal convince the House of Representatives to impeach him (or her) and then have the Senate remove the president from office.

Don’t start up a Soviet-style system of legal terrors to paralyse the private sector when the Constitutionally-authorized Executive requires them to cooperate in programs you abhor. We need to contain the system and improve it from within the system. No one benefits from a Cromwell.

I believe the Constitution can be improved. I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that the law can be improved. Our world can be made safer and fairer. But if we treat foreign intelligence the same way we treat criminal activity in America we will lay ourselves open to enemies foreign and domestic. Worse yet, if, in the pursuit of some more perfect regime, we expose the private sector to legal terrors for acting in good faith at the request of the Executive, we will erode the very foundations of civil trust that our whole society is founded on.

Look at the situation in Russia or Iraq today and you will see how difficult it is to build such foundations anew after they have been destroyed.

Posted by: Lee Jamison at February 19, 2008 10:23 AM
Comment #245727

Well Lee it boils down to how much liberty you are willing to give up for security. It seems we differ on the acceptable amount of liberty to give up. The constitution is pretty clear on searches and SCOTUS has determined the right to privacy. You wont here me say “well what have you got to hide” because its not my business what you have to hide.
We have been through this in the “war on drugs” and have been forced to give up liberties for security under the last Bush. Now its the “war on terror” and the new Bush and somewhere we need to draw a line in the sand. I am grateful that for once the dems in congress, of all places, stood their ground. About time. More power to them. If Bush cant do the job unless he has everything handed to him then he should remember what his secretary of defense told those he sent to Iraq “You go fight with what you got and blame the dems” (paraphrased of course). Well 43 use what your given or step down and let someone who can do it without watering down our liberties get on with it. If Bush would have been more willing to work with the other branches of government and willing to compromise the bill may have went through. Because it was to be permanent Im glad it didnt. If they wanted to re up it for a year or so maybe.

Why would you be against amnesty for illegals aliens and yet be for amnesty for illegal acts by a corporation?

“You have several times accused me of forsaking my own values in taking the stance I have, claiming that I am bent by partisan affinities.”
Sorry Lee some times I just get going, so please accept my apologies. I realize our opinions differ and that you are expressing yours.

Posted by: j2t2 at February 19, 2008 2:49 PM
Comment #245735

j2t2,
I know you really believe what you are saying. The point of the discussion is to state the issues as we see them until one or both of us see areas where we really are contradicting ourselves.
Here is another article on the issue. This time it is from the Wall Street Journal.

Who will punishing these companies help? It’s not a small question. You can say it is “us”, that we all benefit. That assumes that you are right and there is no real danger, that it is all trumped up by the president to make himself more powerful. Yeah, that worked… What if there is a danger? What if he meant well?

Democrats are never wrong. Don’t worry.

One of the ironies of the Iraq war was that Saddam held out and refused to cooperate prior to the invasion because he believed G.W.B. would repeat the same sort of attack President Clinton had conducted. He could handle that. All Americans are the same, don’t you know. They really are, in the eyes of many people elsewhere in the world. We show weakness and they think we’re weak.
The same thing happened in 1937 when the Japanese sank a navy vessel, the U.S.S. Panay, in Chinese waters. We made lots of noise, did nothing serious, and they took the lesson that we were weak.
Similar things happened prior to the war with Mexico in 1847. We show the world irresolution because we’re not serious until people are really killing us. Things are so easy here. Life is cheap right up until it’s ours, or could be.

j2t2, the law the president wants will come. It will probably be much more invasive and far reaching than anyone wants today. It will come to us washed in blood.

But, only if Democrats, who are never wrong, are wrong.

Posted by: Lee Jamison at February 19, 2008 3:47 PM
Comment #246253

Values are an individual, personal thing. No single party can truly represent the values of say, 60 million people.

Our founding fathers never envisioned that US Politics would be dominated by two parties or by a small group of extremists in said parties.

Who would have thought that the Republican party would run a guy for president that ran around New York City dressed as a woman? Or individual’s that support the 45 million plus genocide against the Unborn called abortion? whose values are these?

I expect this from the left but not from the right.

At last I understand that my values as a conservative are not necessarily represented by the Republican party and are almost never represented by the democratic party.

Posted by: Stephen at February 24, 2008 1:20 AM
Post a comment