Subject or citizen?

Are we citizens in a free country or subjects made to serve the rule of those in power?

My political philosophy is simple. Government is not my master. It is not my parent, my lord, my savior, or my nanny. What it should be is the protector of my freedoms and gaurantor of my right to choose the path I walk in life. I demand the right to believe and choose as I will not as a government official chooses for me.

In this respect I am a libertarian. Government must be limited in order to preserve the liberty of individuals. This is a defining element of our political heritage, the very foundation of American democracy. But it is not anarchy. There can be no liberty in anarchy. You must have limited government. A balance between controls and freedoms.

But what is government itself but the greatest of all reflections on human nature? If men were angels, no government would be necessary. If angels were to govern men, neither external nor internal controls on government would be necessary. In framing a government which is to be administered by men over men, the great difficulty lies in this: You must first enable the government to control the governed; and in the next place, oblige it to control itself. A dependence on the people is no doubt the primary control on the government; but experience has taught mankind the necessity of auxiliary precautions.

James Madison, Federalist Paper No. 51


Unfortunately, our country is becoming a place where every moment of your life will be proscribed, examined, probed, and controlled. Government control of Healthcare will greatly accelerate this trend.

Through the control of Healthcare the Federal government will then have entree to begin regulating the heath of those recieving the benefits of Federal healthcare. The decisionmaking power passes from individuals to the government. When you are to go to the doctor will no longer be a matter of choice but a matter of law. What you eat and how often you exercise will no longer be a choice but a matter of law with the attending punishments for disobedience.

We are already bombarded by local and state governments who see no problem in regulating anything no matter how small the activity or how intrusive the enforcement would be - often in complete disregard for any sense of what civil rights are. Believe me, I live in California.

When politicians speak of an era of responsibility they speak with the forked tongue of Orwell's Big Brother. What they mean is that more nannystate is on the way. They believe we are their children, to be guided, led, and scolded as they see fit.

When it comes to greenhouse-gas emissions, Energy Secretary Steven Chu sees Americans as unruly teenagers and the Administration as the parent that will have to teach them a few lessons.

Speaking on the sidelines of a smart grid conference in Washington, Dr. Chu said he didn’t think average folks had the know-how or will to to change their behavior enough to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions.

“The American public…just like your teenage kids, aren’t acting in a way that they should act,” Dr. Chu said. “The American public has to really understand in their core how important this issue is.” ~blogs.wsj.com


This is not the change we have been waiting for.


Posted by Eric Simonson at September 24, 2009 7:55 PM
Comments
Comment #288457

So, Eric, you fundamentally oppose the democratic rule of government. You oppose a majority having any say that does not comport with your own “beliefs and choices”.

Thank you for making that abundantly clear in saying

My political philosophy is simple. Government is not my master. It is not my parent, my lord, my savior, or my nanny. What it should be is the protector of my freedoms and gaurantor of my right to choose the path I walk in life. I demand the right to believe and choose as I will not as a government official chooses for me.

So, let’s call your belief what it is, shall we: either Anarchy, if everyone is entitled to be free of majority choices and rule in government, or authoritarian, if government is led by you and your belief, or another agent reflecting your beliefs and choices.

That is philosophically, the belief system underwriting the views of so many on the Right, like those calling for secession (Gov. Perry (R-TX) or, Sarah Palin’s hubbie, (anarchists) or those many Republicans who defend GW Bush’s end run around the Constitution and laws as justifiable (authoritarian rule).

Your candor in this matter is laudable. And you have every right in America to believe as you do and express these beliefs as you do, here. It is one of those liberties and protections the current government affords you under law. I do hope you continue to appreciate it, as I do.

I am also appreciative of the majority who do not subscribe to your beliefs in either anarchy or authoritarian rule of the one or minority.

Posted by: David R. Remer at September 24, 2009 9:08 PM
Comment #288458

“You must first enable the government to control the governed; and in the next place, oblige it to control itself.”

This is true Eric, but we have a government that not only cannot control itself, but rather is completely out of control. I blame both parties and I blame Bush for contributing to this highway of destruction. I believe it is too late for our nation. Yes, there will be a revolution of angry voters next year, and the democrats will take the brunt of it at the polls, but the damage will already be done.

But your message falls on deaf ears. Rather than admit a problem exists, the left would continue to bring up the same old names. Bush is no longer president and hasn’t been for 9 months, and Sarah Palin was defeated. Obama is in full control of this baby. The sad thing is he was elected, but he’s still running for office, and even though he’s at the helm, he cannot make a decision. He has not made one decision since he took office.

Now, if Bush was responsible for violating the constitution, what is Obama guilty of doing? It would be a waste of time to rehash every move Obama and his administration, Pelosi, and Reid have done to destroy the constitution. The left worships at the altar of Obama. He is the messiah and can do no wrong. He will take this country down the path to complete destructon, and he will do it with a following of coolaid drinkers, praising him all the way.

Posted by: propitiation at September 24, 2009 10:13 PM
Comment #288459

“our country is becoming a place where every moment of your life will be proscribed, examined, probed, and controlled”

What country are you talking about here? Paranoid-schizophrenic-land?

and “What you eat and how often you exercise will no longer be a choice but a matter of law with the attending punishments for disobedience.”

As opposed to now, when large corporations try to determine what we eat?

This and the other statements you make are based on exactly what? The rhetoric of PFMs like Beck or some other Jeremiah?

Posted by: ohrealy at September 24, 2009 10:46 PM
Comment #288461

Eric said:

My political philosophy is simple. Government is not my master. It is not my parent, my lord, my savior, or my nanny. What it should be is the protector of my freedoms and gaurantor of my right to choose the path I walk in life. I demand the right to believe and choose as I will not as a government official chooses for me.

David quoted this and retorted:

So, let’s call your belief what it is, shall we: either Anarchy, if everyone is entitled to be free of majority choices and rule in government, or authoritarian, if government is led by you and your belief, or another agent reflecting your beliefs and choices.

There is absolutely nothing in what Eric said that suggests “Anarchy,” unless you side with King George in the dispute with his former subjects who wrote the Bill of Rights. These were other Americans who didn’t want to live under the absolute control of any government—not a foreign government and not even their own. Eric specifically said that the government should guarantee everyone’s rights, not just his own, and part of that contract is to have a system of law in place where we are free not only from the absolute control of the government but from the lawlessness that comes with anarchy.

Posted by: Paul at September 24, 2009 11:09 PM
Comment #288462

I’ll also add that David’s description of democracy as majority rule which supercedes individual liberty comes far closer to a description of actual anarchy than Eric’s.

So, Eric, you fundamentally oppose the democratic rule of government. You oppose a majority having any say that does not comport with your own “beliefs and choices”.

The majority has a “say” in the life of an individual only up to a certain point—if the rights of the individual are subject to the will of a mob, that is true anarchy.

Posted by: Paul at September 24, 2009 11:19 PM
Comment #288465

Judging from David’s response, we live in a democracy. Herein lies the difference between liberals and conservatives; we were formed as a republic and not a democracy. The liberals want democracy, with majority rule, as long as it is agreement with their goals of totalitarianism. As a republic, we elect representatives to represent us, but when they get to Washington a morphing takes place. They become intoxicated with power and unlimited monies, hence instead of represented their constituents, their own interests now motivate them.

ohreally said in response to Eric’s statement concerning government control over our lives:

“As opposed to now, when large corporations try to determine what we eat?
This and the other statements you make are based on exactly what? The rhetoric of PFMs like Beck or some other Jeremiah?”

Again, liberals cannot intelligently discuss problems. This is “Playground” mentality, where children argue on a playground. The statement was that government is intruding more and more into our lives and the liberal tries to change the subject by accusing “large corporations” of doing the same thing. What do large corporations have to do with a real time government intrusion into our lives? Secondly, if they can’t answer a question with a question, then attack the person by accusing them of being part of a “vast right wing conspiracy”. I’m assuming you are referring to Glenn Beck. Since the responsibility of a free press is to question the actions and motives of ALL politicians and since the press has chosen to support liberal politicians instead, from where do we get accountability? People like Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Michele Maulkin and many others are doing the job of a failing press. They ask the tough questions, why else would Obama appear on every news outlet, during a weekend media blitz, except Fox News? Could it be that he did not want to be asked tough questions? Instead, he appeared before the “star struck” news media, who blatantly worshipped him, rather than ask questions.

Posted by: propitiation at September 25, 2009 9:41 AM
Comment #288469

Mr. Remer wrote; “It is one of those liberties and protections the current government affords you under law. I do hope you continue to appreciate it, as I do.”

I sure hope I am not reading his proclamation wrong, but to me it suggests that we should appreciate the “current government” for allowing us to enjoy the liberties guaranteed by our constitution. Hogwash.

Comparing a big corporation to big government is an exercise in duplicity. What corporation can, by force of law, inflict its will on anyone? We have seen many of our corporations either file for bankruptcy or go out of business. Not government though…they simply keep expanding and spending indifferent to economic principles or restraints. Our federal, and many of our state governments are simply out of any fiscal control.

Any fool knows that a government in control of our health care will issue edicts and regulations that carry with them legal punishment if not obeyed. Stop smoking or loose you health care. Loose weight or loose your health care. Exercise more or loose your health care. I could go on but certainly you get the point.

One of the ways liberals in congress use to bring the cost down for public health care is to rob Medicare of 1/2 trillion dollars. Imagine that, take $500 billion from a program that is already some $30 trillion in debt from unfunded liability to jump-start another ginormous federal program. Only a jaded and idiotic person could come up with such an irrational idea.

In addition to that, these brain dead people want to lay more costs for Medicaid on the states, many of which are already in or facing bankruptcy.

Posted by: Royal Flush at September 25, 2009 1:49 PM
Comment #288470

I just took a “random” urine test for the company I work for.

It took me three days of delaying the inevitable to finally consent to this. It irks me to the bone to have my livelihood threatened this way. Especially when it is done under the farce of safety. A friend of mine works for the state and drives a state vehicle. He has never had to take a urine test.

I actually did have a wreck in a company vehicle a few months ago. I was blocked into a construction site by an excavator and hit the dozer blade, which was below my field of view, as I attempted to back out in the tight space left to me. I had to pay for the repairs since the company has $1000 deductible. I didn’t mind that, it was my fault.

Funny, though, no one asked me to take a urine test. The logic of all this escapes me.

I have no issue with paying my social security, or FICA. I understand these programs and appreciate them. I don’t have a problem with a public health insurance program. These are things only government can and should do. The rest of the modern civilized world seems to get that.

It does bother me when I see cops hidden beside the freeway claiming to be enforcing safety, but actually generating revenue. I think smoking bans are stupid and discriminatory. I think red light cams which are a profit making scheme by private companies, are nothing but revenue generators.

Funny, though, the most intrusive and egregious invasions of privacy and interference in my life seems to come from the private sector.

Jailing protesters at the drop of a hat, or creating fake terror alerts doesn’t seem to bother Eric. But he sure is scared of the health police. It must be that agency next door to the Death panels.

Posted by: gergle at September 25, 2009 1:57 PM
Comment #288474

Royal
“One of the ways liberals in congress use to bring the cost down for public health care is to rob Medicare of 1/2 trillion dollars.”

Add to that the blatant violation of the constitution by the BHO administration by threatening the insurance companies if they inform their policyholders about the cuts in Medicare. Is BHO now Chavez and do we live in Venezuela?

gergle:

So you have a problem with mandatory radom drug testing, but you don’t have a problem with a government run healthcare system that will intrude into every aspect of your life? Go figure?

Posted by: beretta9 at September 25, 2009 3:15 PM
Comment #288480

“liberals cannot intelligently discuss problems. This is “Playground” mentality, where children argue on a playground.”

No, that’s what this article by “Eric Simonson” is doing, “propitiation”. I’m asking for evidence beyond the paranoia of the lunatic fringe:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ioqrAbPW9x8

“People like Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Michele Maulkin and many others are doing the job of a failing press. “

Has it ever occurred to the right wing followers of these persons that they do what their employer tells them, and that maybe that agenda right now is to help bailout Obama by making his opposition look like complete idiots?

Do you know anything about soap operas? There’s no real history, no past, except when the writers need to pull something out of thin air to try and justify the current storyline. That is what the scripts being written for Beck and the others are about.

On corporations, once upon a time in the 1950s, a McDonald’s was built in between a Tastee Freez and a motel with a nice restaurant. The townsfolk were pretty amazed by this phenomenon, and the sign which said that millions of their hamburgers were being sold. Who would buy this garbage when there was better food available on either side of it? Sometimes, adventurous children would go in and buy something and we all looked at the product in amazement. Who would want to eat this stuff? The same weak minded people who would later listen to television commentators and thank Santa Claus for them? I’m still thanking Santa Claus for a toy car carrier I got when I was about 7. The little cars were so cool, especially the Citroen.

Posted by: ohrealy at September 25, 2009 5:15 PM
Comment #288482

Eric,

You tout your belief in complete freedom, but this is merely lip service that somehow makes you feel better about the choices you make. It doesn’t matter what others think, especially, the government, you want to continue to have the right to do as you wish.
However, you do not extend that same courtesy to anyone that feels differently than you, not even if they are the majority.

If you think all should be allowed to make their own choices, then why do you prevent homosexuals from choosing to marry.

If you think all should be allowed to make their own choices, then why can’t somebody else choose to have an abortion instead of an adoption. They aren’t hurting you.

If you think all should be allowed to make their own choices, then why can’t some people choose government health care for themselves. It’s got nothing to do with you. Just pretend they’re going to the post office while you can still go to Fedex or UPS or use a frickin’ bike courier.

If you think all should be allowed to make their own choices, then how come you can dish it out, but you can’t take.

Your looking for freedom based on an economic perspective while you curtail and control social freedom through your churches and your proposition 8 and your tea parties.

The 9th amendment states that “The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.”

Who says health care isn’t a right? You? Who the hell are you to tell me what I do or don’t have a right to?

Posted by: Fred at September 25, 2009 6:32 PM
Comment #288484
These are things only government can and should do.

Only government can? What a crock. Can you explain exactly WHY only government can?

Posted by: Rhinehold at September 25, 2009 6:56 PM
Comment #288488

David,

Anarchy is what John Locke described as the state of nature. No law but the law of force.

This is not what I am saying. Anarchy is the opposite of conservatism is it not?

Is majority rule absolute? Whatever the majority decides is right and moral and must be obeyed by all?

Posted by: Eric at September 25, 2009 7:16 PM
Comment #288491
Who says health care isn’t a right? You? Who the hell are you to tell me what I do or don’t have a right to?

Healthcare is less necessary to live than food, shelter, and clothing. You have the “right” to any of those things and more so long as you get them for yourself. I hope you do get them and I don’t care how you do so long as I don’t have to pay for them for you. You have other rights too. Such as the right to bear arms. But that doesn’t mean that the taxpayers have to buy you a gun.

Posted by: Paul at September 25, 2009 9:43 PM
Comment #288492
If you think all should be allowed to make their own choices, then why do you prevent homosexuals from choosing to marry.

Is this really your doing, Eric? I had no idea. Between that, preventing abortions, and all your churches and tea parties, you must keep very busy.

Posted by: Paul at September 25, 2009 9:48 PM
Comment #288493
Who says health care isn’t a right? You? Who the hell are you to tell me what I do or don’t have a right to?

This is a basic misunderstanding of what is meant by ‘rights’ and not having a clear vision of natural rights, what they mean or where they come from.

But to put it simply, no one can have a right to anything that requires someone else being forced to do something.

You don’t have a right to make your neighbor mow your lawn. You don’t have a right to make your neighbor make you dinner every Thursday. You don’t have a right to make your neighbor pay your medical bills.

No ‘natural right’ can exist that requires force to be used on another human being to enact it.

I hope that was clear enough, if you want to get further into it, we certainly can.

And, as you can see, there is therefore no ‘natual right’ to have someone else provide you health insurance at the point of a gun.

Posted by: Rhinehold at September 25, 2009 9:55 PM
Comment #288494

“Herein lies the difference between liberals and conservatives; we were formed as a republic and not a democracy. The liberals want democracy, with majority rule, as long as it is agreement with their goals of totalitarianism. As a republic, we elect representatives to represent us, but when they get to Washington a morphing takes place. They become intoxicated with power and unlimited monies, hence instead of represented their constituents, their own interests now motivate them.”

SO props what is the answer? The constitution calls for a representative democracy, we elect the best representatives corporate money can buy and we end up with conservatives in government forcing us to buy health care because it is in the best interest of the health insurance companies.
On one hand conservatives espouse liberty and freedom yet they condone and support political bribery in the name of freedom.On the other hand these very same conservatives would perpetrate the “Patriot Act” upon the American people and complain when many of us remember longer than 9 months ago. Go figure.

To complain that liberals want totalitarian government while supporting nation building in Iraq makes for a weak argument on your part.

Posted by: j2t2 at September 25, 2009 10:10 PM
Comment #288495

Eric, Republicans made the obvious choice of ignoring health care issues for many years. They refused to get involved. Procrastination seems to be a large part of their mantra. “Don’t worry about nothing and nothing will be all right” All the while the health care industry took advantage of that lack of concern and oversight to annually propel their industry to an increasingly unfair and unaffordable option for many. Please tell us where you in your so called conservative wisdom would draw the line. Would you allow the trend to continue in its status quo to a point in the future that the only people who might be afforded health care are the wealthy? As I understand it that is the general direction the industry is taking. When and how do we alter that trend? Seriously, I have heard no viable options from the conservative side. At least none that would alter the course of an industry out of control. An industry with many flaws that obviously is motivated by greed. Greed that apparently has some deep reach with our good legislators.

I hear, read, and see a lot of extremist crying about big brother and the follies of allowing him into our lives. The people of this nation elected Obama because they realized that some radical change in the way this country operates is necessary to allow us to blend into this new global society. Can you folks please explain just how we will manage as a society to grow into the demands of an ever expanding population with diminishing resources, while maintaining the status quo under so-called conservative policy. A procrastinating conservative ideology that largely allows the ultra wealthy to pull all the strings. A conservative policy that many would argue is responsible for the tragedy that has led us to our current state of affairs. What is worse, ignoring the problems or attacking them head on?

It is not big brother I am frightened of. It is a big brother that caters to the needs of a select few at the expense of the rest of us that scares the hell out of me. Our problems can not be simply broken down to a matter of conservative or liberal. We are in a class war. One side wishes to maintain strict distinctions in who wields the power and maintains the wealth. While the other merely wants a fair shake. How do we find the compromise necessary to take us as a country in the proper direction. The status quo, further procrastination or no direction will do nothing to attend our current and future needs.

Posted by: RickIL at September 25, 2009 10:21 PM
Comment #288497

Rhiinehold,

I have no issue with paying my social security, or FICA. I understand these programs and appreciate them. I don’t have a problem with a public health insurance program. These are things only government can and should do. The rest of the modern civilized world seems to get that.
Only government can? What a crock. Can you explain exactly WHY only government can?

Because there is no instance where that it has occurred in such a broad manor, without government. I’d like to believe it could happen without government involvement, but history holds a different reality. Which private social security and health care programs nationwide were you referring to? Which program doesn’t leave people dying in the streets?

That’s the rub, I tend to look to reality, not idealism.

baretta9,

So you have a problem with mandatory radom drug testing, but you don’t have a problem with a government run healthcare system that will intrude into every aspect of your life? Go figure?

Where will it intrude in my life? This is the problem. You guys keep throwing out this death panel fear. Yet, there is no substantiation for it. Don’t lose track of my point. My friend works for the state…no urine tests. I work for a private company….invasive urine tests.

I will grant you this: it was local government that created the excuse for this business wide, by making city subcontractors engage in a drug testing program. I have no idea if any federal employees are required to engage in random drug testing. In fact, it was “conservative” politicians that most pushed for this.


Posted by: gergle at September 25, 2009 11:34 PM
Comment #288498
Eric, Republicans made the obvious choice of ignoring health care issues for many years. They refused to get involved.

I’m not a Republican but this is a bit of rewriting of history, don’t you think?

They have in the past tried to enact tort reform and eliminate the ‘can’t cross state lines’ nonsense that ends up with defacto monopolies in many states where health insurance is concerned.

You may disagree with what they attempted to do, but you can’t say they didn’t try to do anything. Of course, then it was the Democrats blocking it on behalf of the trial lawyers and big insurance…

It is not big brother I am frightened of.

I’m not frightened of Big Brother. I just refuse to accept BB’s authority over me. I have a feeling that is going to result in some kind of clash in the near future…

One side wishes to maintain strict distinctions in who wields the power and maintains the wealth. While the other merely wants a fair shake.

LOL, that’s some good stuff there…

The other side are evil bastards but our side are great defenders of truth, justice and the American way!

Except that is the view of both major parties.

And they are both wrong.

Posted by: Rhinehold at September 25, 2009 11:36 PM
Comment #288500
Because there is no instance where that it has occurred in such a broad manor, without government.

First, it has. Why don’t we have a governmental agency making sure our electronic appliances aren’t dangerous? Oh yeah, we have the Underwriters Laboratories for that…

But even if it weren’t the case, you’re argument is that because we haven’t done it then it can’t be done?

So, we can’t put a man on Mars because we’ve never done it. We can’t make a car that gets over 100 MPG because we’ve never done it. We can’t run our society off of green energies because we’ve never done it…

And because of your view, we aren’t going to even try. Nice…

Your argument is not good enough.

If it can’t be done then you should be able to tell us why. Or, since you can’t, or won’t, do that, then tell us what the government can do that a private nonforprofit can’t.

There is only one right answer, btw. And I will be interested to see if you are willing to write it down.

Posted by: Rhinehold at September 25, 2009 11:42 PM
Comment #288501
I have no idea if any federal employees are required to engage in random drug testing.

They are. Especially the ones who wear uniforms…

Posted by: Rhinehold at September 25, 2009 11:46 PM
Comment #288502

j2t2

“SO props what is the answer? The constitution calls for a representative democracy, we elect the best representatives corporate money can buy and we end up with conservatives in government forcing us to buy health care because it is in the best interest of the health insurance companies.
On one hand conservatives espouse liberty and freedom yet they condone and support political bribery in the name of freedom.On the other hand these very same conservatives would perpetrate the “Patriot Act” upon the American people and complain when many of us remember longer than 9 months ago. Go figure.

To complain that liberals want totalitarian government while supporting nation building in Iraq makes for a weak argument on your part.”

Well first of all, corporate money is not the only money supplied to politicians. Unions support politicians, lawyers are among the largest supporters of politicians, PACs are big supporters of politicians; so pick your poison, but don’t lay all the blame on corporations. Which political party supports political bribery?

Secondly, 87% of Americans are satisfied with their health insurance and 82% of Americans on Medicare and Medicaid are satisfied with their healthcare:

http://www.gohealthinsurance.com/blog/coverage/entry/20090902

So your argument that the government is forcing us to buy health insurance in the best interests of the insurance companies is unfounded. How can you say insurance is being forced on us when 82-87% of Americans are happy with their own insurance?

Thirdly, there is nothing wrong with the concept of the “Patriot Act”, providing there is safety features built in to protect the rights of citizens. Within the last 2 days, 4 potential acts of terrorism have been foiled in the United States. How much of the information gathered was the result of the Patriot Act? Can you answer that? The question is, what is the price of thousands of lives?

Lastly, I’m sure you will find a very large percentage of conservatives who are against nation building. So the concept of nation building is not a conservative ideology. Americans have a history of being basically isolationist. We never, as a people, got involved in war unless attacked. The concept of nation building is a political ambition, thought up and instituted by politicians, and even you have conceded that politicians do not always represent the will of the people. I personally, believe we have no business in Iraq or Afghanistan for any other reason than to destroy those who are responsible for attacking us. These people are fanatics and no amount of talk or western influence will ever free them while religious zealots mentally imprison them. The Muslim religion is not tolerant of any other beliefs and without religious freedom; there can be no other freedoms. Freedom of religion was the foundation block of our own republic, and was the reason the first settlers came to this country. They will never allow it, therefore they will never embrace democracy in any form.

Posted by: propitiation at September 25, 2009 11:46 PM
Comment #288503

With regards to the assertion of Libertarianism being anarchy. While I disagree that is the intent of Libertarianism, it IS the logical consequence.

We’ve just seen what happens when there is complete de facto lack of regulation in financial markets. They become disorderly.

When Libertarians wish to reduce government to a size where they can drown it in the bathtub, they indirectly advocate anarchy. The history of Libertarianism is based on a frontier society that simply could not afford big government. As population has grown and frontier dwindled, we’ve found, in every instance, a need for greater regulation. That doesn’t mean a loss of belief in individual rights. There simply are more conflicts and imbalances to deal with.

Posted by: gergle at September 25, 2009 11:47 PM
Comment #288504
While I disagree that is the intent of Libertarianism, it IS the logical consequence.

No, it isn’t, if you actually understand Libertarianism.

First, what happened to the ‘deregulated financial market’ is your first incorrect assumption.

http://www.factcheck.org/elections-2008/who_caused_the_economic_crisis.html

Second, a market can only be free as long as there are no monopolies. Therefore we need to have anti-monpolistic regulation.

Libertarianism IS NOT EQUAL to no regulation. Only limited, precise, strong regulation to protect rights and markets.

When Libertarians wish to reduce government to a size where they can drown it in the bathtub, they indirectly advocate anarchy.

Again, this is not true if you understand Libertianism.

Obviously, you don’t. Usually we like people to understand what they are arguing against if their views are going to hold any weight.

As population has grown and frontier dwindled, we’ve found, in every instance, a need for greater regulation. That doesn’t mean a loss of belief in individual rights. There simply are more conflicts and imbalances to deal with.

BTW, this inane argument that ‘libertarian views’ that our forefathers held were only valid when the country was a ‘frontier society’ ignores things like ‘New York’, ‘Philadelphia’, ‘Boston’, etc. You talk like there were no large cities 200 years ago. Imagine that…

But the real reality is that when you are living on top of one another, that is when individual liberties are needed the MOST, not the LEAST. Who needs their individual rights protected on a 2000 acre farm that no one hardly goes near? Or is it more likely that 100 people living in an apartment complex are going to have their individual rights threatened more that the farmer who is living mostly a lone existence?

Posted by: Rhinehold at September 25, 2009 11:56 PM
Comment #288505

Rhinehold:

Of course UL uses what standards to test electronic equipment? Oh yeah, government standards.(not that UL doesn’t assist with some standards)

Beyond that UL has no legal authority. You can legally buy non UL labeled items.

If UL is wrong, can you sue them? Nope. Their label implies no warranty.

Not quite sure how UL applies to SS and national health insurance…..but…

So, we can’t put a man on Mars because we’ve never done it. We can’t make a car that gets over 100 MPG because we’ve never done it. We can’t run our society off of green energies because we’ve never done it…

Ummm….private companies? Nope. Universities funded by federal grants, NASA, and green energy ain’t happening in the private sector. Maybe if Jimmy Carter had just suggested it….oh…he did.

Nice try though.

By the way, I didn’t say those things can’t be done, just not without government involvement. The resources required are too large for private companies and won’t please stockholder time horizons.


Posted by: gergle at September 26, 2009 12:01 AM
Comment #288507

gergle:

I work for one of the largest companies in the country and belong to one of the largest unions and both union and company worked together to require drug testing. I have never had a problem with the alcohol or drug testing because it not only is a safety factor for us, but also for the passengers we haul. I have never considered it an infringement on my rights, any more than any other safety program.

Death panels are the result of fear of the government making the decisions that doctors should make. Can you promise there will be no rationing of healthcare? If a government healthcare plan is based upon, or patterned after the Canadian or English plan, then do seniors have a right to be worried? You make your accusations that the right is using “death panels” as a fear tactic, and yet there are no guarantees that a government healthcare plan won’t end up just as broken as the English or Canadian systems.

Posted by: beretta9 at September 26, 2009 12:12 AM
Comment #288508
Of course UL uses what standards to test electronic equipment? Oh yeah, government standards.(not that UL doesn’t assist with some standards)

No, they don’t use government standards, unless you have access to information I don’t?

UL develops standards and test procedures for products, materials, components, assemblies, tools and equipment, chiefly dealing with product safety. UL also evaluates and certifies the efficiency of a company’s business processes through its management system registration programs. Additionally, UL analyzes drinking and other clean water samples through its drinking water laboratory in South Bend, Indiana.
UL has developed more than a thousand Standards for Safety, many of which are American National (ANSI) Standards, and evaluates nearly 20,000 types of products. A typical standard for electronic products includes not only requirements for electrical safety, but also spread of fire and mechanical hazards. UL evaluates products for compliance with specific safety requirements. UL certification does not guarantee the product will perform acceptably or that it is safe under all conditions (such as product misuse). UL develops its Standards to correlate with the requirements of model installation codes, such as the National Electrical Code.

So… your sources that they use Governmental standards are?

Beyond that UL has no legal authority. You can legally buy non UL labeled items.

YES! You are so close! Come one and say it, gergle, what *IS* the difference between something like UL and the government again?

I know, it’s a frightening thought, giving people the right to make their own choices, but that really is what the crux of ‘liberty’ and ‘freedom’ are all about. The freedom and liberty to make the wrong choice, to fail. Without that, there is nothing…

Perhaps I’m being to taoistic for you to comprehend what I am saying? I will have to ponder this…

If UL is wrong, can you sue them?

Nope. You can still sue the original maker of the equipment though. All UL is offering is an unbiased examination of the product.

If the government is wrong can you sue them? Nope, not very often, if at all, depending on how the statues are written.

Not quite sure how UL applies to SS and national health insurance…..but…

I didn’t expect you would.

It called an ‘example’ of what a private company can accomplish if people aren’t looking to ‘government’ to solve a problem. People should only be looking to government to solve problems that government is UNIQUELY capable of solving.

And what is that UNIQUE capability?

Ummm….private companies? Nope.

Private companies can’t? Really? You’re SURE about that?

You don’t think that companies like Konarka and Tesla are finding ways to actually do ‘green’ things without government? That companies competing for the X prize aren’t advancing ways for private citizens to achieve space flight?

Are you really that myopic in your views that you can’t see the potential lies not with the government, but with the people? The government gave us the power to tax people who wouldn’t have wanted to or could have given freely to such a cause so we could achieve them sooner, perhaps, but it was inevitable that it would happen irregardless of whether the government was involved or not because it is the individuals, who had liberty and were free, that achieved those things.

Government just gives us one thing, one single thing, that we can’t get from a private organization.

Are you willing to admit that now?

Posted by: Rhinehold at September 26, 2009 12:14 AM
Comment #288511

Rhinehold,

Ah, you apparently didn’t really read the factcheck analysis. While I disagree somewhat with the blame everyone theory that they aver, if you actually read the analysis, they do blame deregulation. They just don’t focus on Glass Steagal, which is certainly fair.

The reason “everyone” is to blame, is because of the free-for-all that occurred in a unregulated market(Sort of like anarchy). But thanks for supporting my point.

We do agree on trust busting.

UL does use ASTM and ANSI test methods(among others) and standards. I work for a private testing laboratory. These are internationally recognized standards and are sanctioned by NIST a government agency. Many industry and governmental participants contribute in writing and rewriting these standards annually.

Again, the most important point, is this doesn’t compare with SS or National health care insurance. No one is stopping the abject failure of health care in the US, as it stumbles towards anarchy.

Houston area loses another hospital:
http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/health/6638029.html

Yes, I understand the difference between private and government. You fail to answer the basic argument, though about who is going to do this. No private company can or will. I won’t go into how this contradicts the anti-monopoly issue.

NYC population 1776 : 5000
Philly: 30,000
Boston: 14,000

US population: 2.5 million.

OK, if that’s a big city to you. I’m in College Station, TX. The student population on campus at A&M is more than those cities. Heck, their football stadium holds 82,000. I think they had 75,000 at the last football game. While I’m sure it takes some traffic control and a little crowd control, I don’t recall a need for large government services. I’m kind of enjoying small town life here. When I tell people I’m from Houston, they say, “I’m sorry” with a sympathetic smile.

Yes, Rhinehold private companies can do things. But the X prize hasn’t led to a moon mission has it? I think someone beat them to it in 1969. You know, when hippies were big. Now that’s innovation!!

I do think private companies have a roll in green tech. But again, you miss the point. Carter defined this as a national goal shortly after the moon mission. Look how far private companies have come since then!!! Still completely dependent on Oil, aren’t we?

There’s a reason for the line about promoting the general welfare.

baretta9,

Ah, yes there will be health care rationing. Kinda like there is now, only it won’t be rationing based on your wealth. See the above article on the closing hospital. Think old people need to worry about this?

Posted by: gergle at September 26, 2009 8:41 AM
Comment #288512

Rhinehold:

You are right that the potential lies with the people. The problem is that you think the government isn’t “people”. It is us people coming together to form a more perfect union and attaining larger goals than we can individually.

Libertarianism has become “the government is always evil” rather than seeing the positive role it can and does play. I used to work for state government and know that most of my fellow state employees took that role seriously.

Posted by: gergle at September 26, 2009 9:01 AM
Comment #288519

Gergle, sorry for the late comment above you mention private sector, work, urnine test and that feels invasive. As a home owner, and not knowing whether you own a home, condo, to me increases in property taxes feels far more invasive in Chicago to pay for expansion of government locally in particular. And it is frustrating to continue to attempt to convince my Alderman that home value should not be correlated with property taxes. Far more invasive to me. And it is harder in in my opinion to move than change companies.

I also feel pretty violated with the increase in alcohol tax here in Illinois. The anti-smoking law too, I don’t smoke cigarettes anymore, but always enjoyed having a cigar at a good restaurant.

I understand your complaint, but it would seem that a business has a right to check you to make sure you can function on the job because they are liable for your failure or mistakes. Government intrusion seems more and more along the lines of social behavior and personal decisions. Workplace invasion seems more along the lines of liability, bonding, and protection … due to regulation. Regulations that say that if your company knowingly hires a drug addict that they are liable to losses injury. Not a bad thing for government to say.

Posted by: Edge at September 26, 2009 2:11 PM
Comment #288520

gergle;

Yes I think old people need to fear a government run healthcare system. The link you pointed to does not really tell why the hospital closed. But judging from the comments that were posted by those who know the area. The hospital was flooded with illegals who had no insurance and were not turned away. The article also said that a percentage of those without insurance did not even have enough sense to fill out the paperwork for free health. I don’t guess the local democratic controlled government saw fit to pump more tax dollars ito the hospital. The comments also said that the health care was below standard, so anyone with insurance would go to a more reputable hospital. Hey, your link, not mine.

Posted by: beretta9 at September 26, 2009 2:13 PM
Comment #288521
Ah, you apparently didn’t really read the factcheck analysis. While I disagree somewhat with the blame everyone theory that they aver, if you actually read the analysis, they do blame deregulation. They just don’t focus on Glass Steagal, which is certainly fair.

Apparently the person who didn’t really read it was yourself. Not only did they not BLAME Glass Steagal, they suggest that it made the fallout from the housing boom less severe.

But, let’s let the readers decide after reading it themselves. Was is some unnamed lack of regulation or was it more due to the actions of the FED creating the situation in the first place? Was it the greedy homebuyers who refinanced their houses, yanking out their ‘paper’ equity and signing on with adjustable rate loans or the lack of management of Fannie and Freddie along with the push to get less qualified homebuyers into houses?

It certainly makes your suggestion look … anemic? OR flacid? I’m not sure which description fits best here.

Many industry and governmental participants contribute in writing and rewriting these standards annually.

So we are in agreement that the government does not write these standards, UL and ANSI do, the government just sanctions them as the standards that everyone should use. We are making progress!

is this doesn’t compare with SS or National health care insurance. No one is stopping the abject failure of health care in the US, as it stumbles towards anarchy.

No, it is being helped along quite nicely by the government over its interaction into the system over the past 80 years.

The government is directly responsible for most of the ills in the system today, this is documentable. And people want to look to the political apparatus that helped cause the problem to be the solution? That kind of ‘logic’ never ceases to astound me.

Yes, I understand the difference between private and government.

Then what is it? I just want you to write it down once…

You fail to answer the basic argument, though about who is going to do this. No private company can or will. I won’t go into how this contradicts the anti-monopoly issue.

It is very simple, gergle. Take away the federal government restrictions on offering health insurance to state lines, allow the best companies (many are nonforprofit, btw) to offer their services to all companies, and allow for actual competition.

Or, do one better, remove the idiotic non-tax-differed status of individual health insurance policies and let people buy their own without paying a penalty for doing so.

These two things would drop the rising cost of health insurance in its tracks.

But that doesn’t give more power to the political class in Washington, so it’s a non-starter for most.

And the topping on the cake, allow for more HSA’s with rollover options (like the one I have) that allows me to pay the doctor directly, giving me an incentive to shop around for healthcare, giving me further incentive to look for cost savings and make the decision if I want to pay more or less for my healthcare, instead of handing that POWER over to government bureaucrats OR HMO groups. It allows for people to purchase catastrophic care for real unforseen issues, use their money wisely and prepare for old age health care costs…

Or is that too logical?

No, wait, it again doesn’t give the power to the political class in Washington so, therefore, ergo, it must not be good.

OK, if that’s a big city to you.

I’m sorry, gergle, but YOU were the one making the case that today’s country is unlike what we saw in the late 1700s. And because of that we somehow didn’t need to adhere to the ideals of individual liberty anymore. Because of a few supercities that have risen up? Most of the country today looks like the cities of Boston and Philadelphia of the late 1700s and early 1800s in site and layout, but you want to throw those ideals away because of LA, Chicago, New York, etc?

And you also ignore that those cities increased in size by expanding the areas that were the city originally. Taking up whole counties now. The communities within those cities are still pretty much like the cities of the past, just not bordered by farmland. Now they are bordered by communities of similar size.

The notion that this all somehow makes the ideals of individual liberty MOOT is one of the most fascinatingly ignorant indoctrinated mantras I’ve seen in recent years.

And you have STILL refused to explain exactly why it is that way. Just that it is and we should accept it. Which a sure sign that someone is just blowing smoke up your skirt.

Yes, Rhinehold private companies can do things. But the X prize hasn’t led to a moon mission has it?

Not yet, but it will. Perhaps before we go back ourselves…

But I already explained why it worked before. Do you accept that that was the reason? Because your next comment seems to step back away from that line of thinking…

You are right that the potential lies with the people. The problem is that you think the government isn’t “people”. It is us people coming together to form a more perfect union and attaining larger goals than we can individually.

OOOO, you were so close and then walk completely away from it…

Government is *NOT* the people coming together… It is a majority of people coming together to tell the minority that they are going to come together whether they want to or not.

If you REALLY want people to just come together on their own and do something together, than government is *NOT* the place to be. A nice nonforprofit foundation like, say, the United Way, Unicef, World Hunger Year, etc are where you should be spending your time (and is where I spend my time and money, thank you, because they are the ones actually doing something good without the evil of compulsion being involved).

However, when you use government, out comes the guns, laws are created, and people are forced to do something that they may or may not want to do. But their choice is removed from them. And except in the cases where it has to be that way, I say we not put guns to our fellow citizen’s heads.

That’s what makes libertarians different than democrats or republicans. Dems and Reps are looking for that power but just want to direct to their own ideals. Libertarians don’t think we should be using that power on each other to begin with unless it is really really necessary (laws against murder, theft, etc…)

The philosophy of the libertarian party is:

* That all people possess certain unalienable natural rights, and that among these are rights to life, liberty, justly acquired property, and self-governance.

* That the only moral basis of government is the preservation and protection of unalienable natural rights.

* That no person or institution, public or private, has the right to initiate the use of physical force or fraud against another person, and that all people are bound, without contract, to abstain from infringing upon the natural rights of other people.

* That all people are entitled to choose their own lifestyles, as long as they do not forcibly impose their values on others.

* That the voluntary and unrestricted exchange of goods and services is fundamental to a peaceful and harmonious society.

So, which part of that philosophy do you disagree with again? Or do you just think that those are nice ideals but the real world doesn’t allow us the ability to actually live by them so we should just forget about it…

There’s a reason for the line about promoting the general welfare.

Yeah, and do you know what it means in the terms of it being used in the Constitution or do you just THINK you know what it means…?

Because when I point to what the founders said about that line, you tell me that I am ‘looking to the past too much’. But you feel free to bring it up when YOU want to because you have given to it meaning that didn’t exist then…

Which points to a flaw in your argument, if you ask me.

Posted by: Rhinehold at September 26, 2009 2:53 PM
Comment #288524

Eric:
You said:
“Through the control of Healthcare the Federal government will then have entree to begin regulating the heath of those recieving the benefits of Federal healthcare. The decisionmaking power passes from individuals to the government. When you are to go to the doctor will no longer be a matter of choice but a matter of law. What you eat and how often you exercise will no longer be a choice but a matter of law with the attending punishments for disobedience.”

I’m on Medicare, and none of what you say has happened to me. Medicare is a government-run program, but all seniors are free to choose their doctor, their medicines, their hospitals, their labs and anything else.

I have COMPLETE FREEDOM, which is more than I can say for many who have private health insurance and when they get truly sick are dropped like hot potatoes. Private health insurance companies have firm control over their “members.” Medicare does not control the actions of seniors.

I wonder, are all liberterians paranoid?

Posted by: Paul Siegel at September 26, 2009 6:32 PM
Comment #288526

PS:

You have freedom now, but you won’t when the system is changed over.

With 500 billion in medicare cuts, through “waste and abuse”, according to BHO; where will the cuts really take place? The majority of those needing health care are seniors. So where will the cuts take place, could it be, with the seniors?

Posted by: beretta9 at September 26, 2009 10:10 PM
Comment #288529

Rhinehold, what a croc.

Let the parsing of words commence.

First, let’s talk about the economic crisis.

While Gramm Leahy, may not have been a main culprit, the overleveraging of CDO’s and mixing investment with banking caused these markets to be created in the first place. I watched a Cspan piece in which Gramm claimed that he had no idea these things would come out of his bill( even though it was a major impetus behind the bill), and went further to blame those who did not put reasonable limits on these type commodities. So Phil Gramm, while claiming innocence, also blames deregulation.

The article, which I frankly find vague and loose with actual fact, and also discussing the election claims, not a current analysis,has this to say further down:

…..# Wall Street firms, who paid too little attention to the quality of the risky loans that they bundled into Mortgage Backed Securities (MBS), and issued bonds using those securities as collateral.

# The Bush administration, which failed to provide needed government oversight of the increasingly dicey mortgage-backed securities market.

# An obscure accounting rule called mark-to-market, which can have the paradoxical result of making assets be worth less on paper than they are in reality during times of panic……

Maybe I’m wrong, but it sure sounds like deregulation (or perhaps lax enforcement, which is de facto deregulation) to me.

What’s even funnier is their descriptions of B of A, Wells Fargo, and Citigroup as relatively stable. Compared to what? Lehman? Geez, what a backhanded compliment. Do you think these banks are stable, Rhinehold? Why did they need bailing out, then?

They do blame Alan Greenspan, which I think is fair, but, I guess I wonder what happened when Ayn Rand’s leutinent figured out there was a problem? Whom and what did he blame? Human nature. How do we keep that from occurring again and again and again? Maybe some regulation might be in order. Ya think?

How long, before you finally figure out locking the door to the banks might keep them from being robbed? Would your suggestion be to apply further deregulation, opening the doors wider? Surely that will keep folks honest. Right?

While the housing and credit bubbles built, a series of factors caused the financial system to become increasingly fragile. Policymakers did not recognize the increasingly important role played by financial institutions such as investment banks and hedge funds, also known as the shadow banking system. Some experts believe these institutions had become as important as commercial (depository) banks in providing credit to the U.S. economy, but they were not subject to the same regulations.[8] These institutions as well as certain regulated banks had also assumed significant debt burdens while providing the loans described above and did not have a financial cushion sufficient to absorb large loan defaults or MBS losses.[9] These losses impacted the ability of financial institutions to lend, slowing economic activity. Concerns regarding the stability of key financial institutions drove central banks to take action to provide funds to encourage lending and to restore faith in the commercial paper markets, which are integral to funding business operations. Governments also bailed out key financial institutions, assuming significant additional financial commitments.

While it certainly wasn’t all at the door of Gramm Leahy, they sure helped things right along with the very smart banks outwitting regulators.

Yes, it sure was all those greedy/land flippers/AMR borroowers. Doesn’t this speak to failed and lax regulation, as well?

As to the Fed being at fault, well certainly. I wonder who would have called for Greenspan to resign if he had yanked the rug out in in the past 10 years? Certainly not you!!! You’d call for him to resign and abolish the Fed every year, regardless.

So we are in agreement that the government does not write these standards, UL and ANSI do, the government just sanctions them as the standards that everyone should use. We are making progress!
umm no, thanks for the words in my mouth, though. The government (NIST)oversees these committee meetings and adopts the results. Kind of like legislation. Why does it confirm bad government to you, when they use experts to write the standards?

But then this is your dogleg to avoid the real issue. Large national undertakings. Never been a private one, doesn’t make sense, doesn’t work.

No, it is being helped along quite nicely by the government over its interaction into the system over the past 80 years.

The government is directly responsible for most of the ills in the system today, this is documentable. And people want to look to the political apparatus that helped cause the problem to be the solution? That kind of ‘logic’ never ceases to astound me.

Start documenting. This is more BS.

It is very simple, gergle. Take away the federal government restrictions on offering health insurance to state lines, allow the best companies (many are nonforprofit, btw) to offer their services to all companies, and allow for actual competition.

Or, do one better, remove the idiotic non-tax-differed status of individual health insurance policies and let people buy their own without paying a penalty for doing so.

These two things would drop the rising cost of health insurance in its tracks.

So would a public option.

Plus you wouldn’t just benefit the employed and healthy. You would also benefit the excluded and poor. Imagine that.

Or is that too logical?

Well, not really, because it really doesn’t give you any power, either. Big Insurance Corporation doesn’t really give a shit what you do individually.

The notion that this all somehow makes the ideals of individual liberty MOOT is one of the most fascinatingly ignorant indoctrinated mantras I’ve seen in recent years.

Then why do you keep making it? I never made that argument. I said we still have plenty of and all the same individual rights, but with a massive population with orders of magnitude larger than 1776, more order is needed, and more power is needed to override Mega huge Corporations. You have no individual rights against billionaires whether you believe you do or not. The one thing that does keep them in check is YOUR government. Mind you it’s been lax in it’s duty of late. Obama is trying to fix that. I applaud that.

You keep telling me they were on top of each other in 1776. I disagree. The numbers are with
me.

The part I disagree with you on Libertarianism, is that it is really, really necessary. Get it?

Posted by: gergle at September 26, 2009 11:38 PM
Comment #288530

Im not sure Obama is trying to fix anything that would help the working poor in this country. Those of us who have spent our lives working out butts of and paying the biggest part of the taxes have seen no return.
I am 55 and unemployeed. I have returned to school to try and get a better payinng job that so when I cannot work any more I can live. I find that a joke really, since when the fall came I lost my retirement. At my age the prospect of having any quailty life when I retire is slim to none. I like so many others in this country am sick of our SS dollars going to so many other places that we are likely to not have it when the time comes.
If the government wants to fix things…..let them take pay cuts, stop spending outragious amounts of money on parties and private chefs. Let them pay for those “business trips” to France and Rome and Italy and all those other tourist spots that most of us will never see.
I love my country, was raised to love and respect our flag and I do with all my heart. But I have no confidence or respect for our Government officcials, far to many of them are out for themselves and to hang with the pubic they serve. It has far long not been a government for and by the people, its a government for and by itself. Call it what it is.. and then pray for change.

Posted by: kathryn at September 27, 2009 12:15 AM
Comment #288531

Eric asked: “Is majority rule absolute? Whatever the majority decides is right and moral and must be obeyed by all?”

Yes, if you believe in a democratically elected system of government where rule of law has any meaning whatsoever via enforcement. Obviously, you don’t believe in such a system. I understand. There are many who would destroy our democratic form of government in order to assert their own minority rules or absence of rules altogether, as you indicated when saying you would not yield to this government controlled by Obama or Democrats. But, I view such a position as just about as UnAmerican and lacking any fidelity to America and her history as I can think of.

I sufferred the Bush years and Republican rule, obeying their laws and rejecting any thoughts of overthrowing that government no matter how mismanaged and compromised the leaders of it were. I guess that is one of the things one learns in the military, that you may not like your commander, but, you must respect the system that that gave him/her that rank and the rank itself. I respected the office of president even though I lost all faith in GW Bush with the invasion of Iraq. I respected and had confidence in our history and government to remove those elected who are not up to the job. The system worked. I love my country, and I will defend my government, whether it is GW Bush or Barack Obama as its president, whether it is a Republican or Democratic Congress majority.

Those who reject this nation’s government based on who is elected to it, have not the faintest notion of what patriotism or love of America is. They have agendas, nothing more, selfish self-centered agendas in place of love of country and patriotic obligation to it. And that is sad for them, and for our founding ideals.

The majority ruled even under the original Constitution, Eric. Then it was a majority of the state’s legislatures or a majority vote of Congress which governed, but, majority rule, nonetheless. Too bad so many of your apologists in this column flunked history to now protest that our nation was not founded on majority rule. It most certainly was, our Republic has always by governed by a majority vote of either the States or the Congress, subject of course to judicial oversight and the veto of the President. F to your defenders without a clue to this nation’s history. Those who know not their history are clueless to the explain their present, and powerless to direct potential futures.

Posted by: David R. Remer at September 27, 2009 12:17 AM
Comment #288532

So beretta, Old people should fear Medicare? Maybe Veterans should fear the VA. I know the Military members should fear the Socialized care they receive. Your statement sounds pretty stupid in that context doesn’t it.

Posted by: timesend at September 27, 2009 12:53 AM
Comment #288534

Eric,
Good Article; however, IMHO I do believe the Government is suppose to protect the Learned and Unlearned of Society from people like me. For why I realize that some on the Left believe the Government if suppose to ensure that ever American gets their fair share and many on the Right believe that they should be allowed to have as much as they can take by any means possible. Yet, I find it sort of funny that the Left or Right will not this Unlearned Unbridled Anti-Authoritarian Child of the 70’s by Freewill and Self-Nature to have it all.

Because why debate Health Care when it is known that no person can guarantee their health let alone another persons health?

Or why not allow Monopolies run everything without regard to other business people?

In fact, knowing that Energy, Food, and Shelter is a Basic Need of All Human would you agree to let me control all three and only provide those goods and services to people I deem worthy?

Now true the current Ideolgies of the Democratic and Republican Parties are not established to deal with the likes of me; nevertheless, having grown up learning to resapect the fact that the Children of the 70’s are doing their best to build a “Better World” I really wonder if “Mr. and Mrs. Corporation” are ready to prove to their children that they are a Person. Because where I stand, both sides have a lot of growing up to do just to become the Equals of Their Children.

Posted by: Henry Schlatman at September 27, 2009 4:56 AM
Comment #288537

Kathryn,

The wealthy pay the largest share of taxes. The wealthiest 5% pay over 50% of the taxes in the US.

The loss of your retirement was likely due to investments that were risky for your age, but that said, the economic downturn was really criminal in nature, in my opinion.

Education is always a key to a better job, but the pay out at your age may not be great.

You are also right about the criminality of robbing the SS fund, but that’s been going on since you were born. I think SS will be there, but there may well come a means test and a likely raising of the age of retirement.

Good luck, and remember…life is an adventure. Let’s hope at least we can get some Healthcare reform so we don’t all become poverty cases when we get older.

Posted by: gergle at September 27, 2009 12:43 PM
Comment #288538

Propitiation said “Well first of all, corporate money is not the only money supplied to politicians. Unions support politicians, lawyers are among the largest supporters of politicians, PACs are big supporters of politicians; so pick your poison, but don’t lay all the blame on corporations. Which political party supports political bribery?”

As you said earlier prop “This is “Playground” mentality, where children argue on a playground.” In this case it is the “well they do it to” argument. This mentality, of course, does not make it right. However it seems you choose to defend the bribery of our elected politicians by corporate America with this argument while claiming “They become intoxicated with power and unlimited monies, hence instead of represented their constituents, their own interests now motivate them”, why is that?

“So your argument that the government is forcing us to buy health insurance in the best interests of the insurance companies is unfounded. How can you say insurance is being forced on us when 82-87% of Americans are happy with their own insurance?”

Stop me if I am wrong, prop, but isn’t the gang of six currently proposing mandatory health insurance as part of the “reform” package many misguided conservatives refer to as “Obamacare”? Isn’t this mandatory insurance scheme similar to that ushered into Mass. whilst uberconservative Mitt Romney lead the state?

Don’t you find it easy to be happy with … well most anything, especially health insurance when your employer is paying for it and is absorbing the increasing costs with no visible impact to you? As for others, such as those on medicaid and medicare being happy with their coverage, well I guess that speaks for itself as far as the government run health care doesn’t it? The plan as proposed by the dems left all of this in place didn’t it?

“Thirdly, there is nothing wrong with the concept of the “Patriot Act”, providing there is safety features built in to protect the rights of citizens.”

Forgetting the oft quoted Ben Franklin quote of giving up liberty for safety for a moment, don’t you find a little irony in the conservatives constant blathering of “small government” whilst they are responsible for the creation of the biggest government bureaucracy yet created. Meanwhile any health care reform would mean “ that government is intruding more and more into our lives” and that liberals want totalitarian government?

“Lastly, I’m sure you will find a very large percentage of conservatives who are against nation building. So the concept of nation building is not a conservative ideology.”

Yet they voted in the same conservative administration (for the second time) that lead our country into Iraq and the continued nation building as supported by the conservative lead Congress and you claim “ liberals cannot intelligently discuss problems”?

Posted by: j2t2 at September 27, 2009 12:47 PM
Comment #288540

How can you really say that the wealthy pay the biggest part of the taxes? They have so many tax shelters and tax breaks that the medium wage and low wage worker does not have. They may pay a lot in taxes but they save just as much. The amount of taxes I pay becuase I am single is rediculous. When I was working I made gross… 1,200 every two weeks but only took home 700 of that. so I was paying more than 800 a month in taxes…. 800 a month? I had no deductions, no shelters to help me.
The thing that annoyies me is that illegal immigrants in the country can get more in aid than I can and Im a citizen. Forgieners get twice the student finacial aid I do because they dont live here. I have workd and payed in my whole adult life, and now…. I cant even get medical help because Im not working. The cost of insurance is through the roof, and that because they are a bunch of greedy butts. A trip to the ER is almost if not more than 1,000 a pop. They cut medicare, and medicade,veterans benefits and housing for the poor. How can anyone think they are doing the right thing? The right thing would be to show the country they are serious about helping us and cut thier own spending for a change! Im sorry but this is something I am passionate about and it just irks me that the government is so out of control.
And just because I am 55 you think I am not marketable any more? Well,, sadly in some casses you may be right, but keep an eye on this lady, I might just surprise you all. I have the desire and the talent to make my mark in the world….so watch out, here I come.

Posted by: Kathryn at September 27, 2009 2:17 PM
Comment #288541

by the way…..thak you for your response to my statement…Im not being ugly…just get all wound up sometimes.
Regards
Kathryn

Posted by: Kathryn at September 27, 2009 2:20 PM
Comment #288542

j2t2

I am not using the “well they do it too mentality”. I am saying you can’t blame corporations for all the ills of the country, when money is being supplied from all directions. So “pick your poison”, both political parties will represent those who pay for their elections.

I don’t care if it is the gang of six or sixty-six, what right does any politician have to tell us what to buy or not to buy? Some people chose not to purchase healthcare insurance, and for whatever reason, tat is their business. If 87 % of insurance holders were happy with their insurance, then why would the government want to change it?

The difference between being a liberal (who is in complete lockstep with their politicians), and being a conservative (with the ability to be a free thinker), is that I am not afraid to say I have no support for Romney or his MA health plan. Just because he is a republican and created a state healthcare plan, does not mean I agree with it.

I pay for a portion of my own healthcare plan, it is not solely provided by my employer. So the cost does have impact on me.

Concerning the “Patriot Act”. What would you propose to do, when we have sleepers in this country, conspiring to create havoc and kill Americans? How would you monitor their plans? Would you rather see your friends and family murdered by a terrorist act, or would you rather save their lives by our security agencies monitoring terrorist’s communications?

“Yet they voted in the same conservative administration (for the second time) that lead our country into Iraq and the continued nation building as supported by the conservative lead Congress and you claim “ liberals cannot intelligently discuss problems”?

This statement is called “profiling”, and we all know how much democrats hate profiling. There are certain guidelines used to be classified as a “Conservative”, and there are many republicans who do not qualify as conservatives. Bush was not a conservative when he pushed for a $750 billion stimulus package. The left is not able to comprehend the word conservative. There is a great battle-taking place in the Republican Party for our identity. The word republican and conservative are not synonymous. As much as you guys hate Sarah Palin; she represents conservative ideology. On the other hand, McCain did not represent conservatives and that was the reason he lost the support of many republicans. As to the second election of the Bush administration, what choice did the American people have? John Kerry was a left wing fruitcake and there is no telling where we would be if he had been elected. So there was no choice, we simply chose the lesser of two evils.

Posted by: propitiation at September 27, 2009 3:03 PM
Comment #288543

Kathryn said: “How can you really say that the wealthy pay the biggest part of the taxes? They have so many tax shelters and tax breaks that the medium wage and low wage worker does not have.”

Kathryn, facts are stubborn. The greatest portion of federal income tax revenues comes from the wealthiest. However, as you allude, the percentage of their income which they pay in taxes is lower than middle class working folks, as Warren Buffet demonstrated in comparing his percentage of income paid as taxes and those of his office personnel.

It is also a fact that the wealthiest enjoy the vastly greater amount of government services at tax payer expense, from the courts, to the FAA for the private jets, to government insured and assured banking, to the courts, and they benefit from myriad contract laws enforced by the government, and the military, all in support of their wealth. If our country was invaded, what would be the primary target after the military, the assets of the wealthy of course. Ergo, the wealthiest derive the greatest benefits from the total cost of government, federal, state, and local, and pay a smaller percentage of income in taxes than the middle class, especially since tax deductions for credit interest and medical expenses were taken away from the middle class by the lackey’s of big business and the wealthy who didn’t want those revenues coming from them instead.

Posted by: David R. Remer at September 27, 2009 4:09 PM
Comment #288544

“I am not using the “well they do it too mentality”. I am saying you can’t blame corporations for all the ills of the country, when money is being supplied from all directions. So “pick your poison”, both political parties will represent those who pay for their elections.”

I don’t think you can blame all ills on corporations, nor did I say that. But when conservatives such as Trent Lott tell us that money given to politicians is free speech I consider it to be part of the conservative ideology you seem to defend despite complaining that “They become intoxicated with power and unlimited monies, hence instead of represented their constituents, their own interests now motivate them”. I hope you still recall Tom Delay and the K street scandal. To think that they are repubs and not conservatives is to deny reality IMHO.

“I don’t care if it is the gang of six or sixty-six, what right does any politician have to tell us what to buy or not to buy?”

I agree props but that is what the conservatives on the panel have determined is a needed part of the reform package. So much for liberty and small government when corporate interests are at stake.


“The difference between being a liberal (who is in complete lockstep with their politicians), and being a conservative (with the ability to be a free thinker),”

Surely you jest props. In one respect I admire the conservative movement leaders and the talk radio conservatives who have been able to sell that nonsense to the uninformed followers of the movement. But then I realize that it is hard to have any respect for the followers that actually believe this type of propaganda as they have not been able to demonstrate the ability to be a free thinker as proved by making this type of statement in anything other than a jest.

“Concerning the “Patriot Act”….”

So it seems we agree that this legislation overstepped constitutional bounds and inhibits our liberty and freedom, which are major conservative ideological talking points? It also seems you have deemed security is a priority over liberty as a means of justification of this Patriot Act.

Instead of focusing on your either/or scenario have you considered that this new government bureaucracy has worked in this latest case despite the conservative claims that government cannot do anything right? Does this seem to contradict conservative ideology?

“The left is not able to comprehend the word conservative.”

I can only speak for myself props but it seems you are saying that the right and the repubs have the same problem with comments like ” There is a great battle-taking place in the Republican Party for our identity. The word republican and conservative are not synonymous.”
As for myself I see a lot of lip service about liberty and freedom coming from conservatives, but when they were in power all we seen was the false patriotism of the flag burning amendment, repression of others in the nation building in Iraq, and a missed diagnosis from the senate leader that lead to midnight sessions called in Congress as they attempted to federalize a state issue. Oh yeah, and borrow and spend economics.


” As much as you guys hate Sarah Palin; she represents conservative ideology.”

Again speaking just for myself I don’t hate Palin in the least. In fact I hope she gets the nod for President on the repub ticket next time around. Her ideology says it all. Lord knows if she is the face of the conservative movement it will only serve the country good. Eventually even the most conservative of the conservatives will see the light with her in office IMHO.


” On the other hand, McCain did not represent conservatives and that was the reason he lost the support of many republicans.”

Well those repubs that did not support McCain had a field of conservatives who were beat out by McCain in the primary. Remember Huckabee, Tancredo, Hunter, Romney, et al.?

” As to the second election of the Bush administration, what choice did the American people have? John Kerry was a left wing fruitcake and there is no telling where we would be if he had been elected. So there was no choice, we simply chose the lesser of two evils.”

So those “free thinking” conservatives were marching in lockstep despite the unfunded wars/tax cuts and the repub version of healthcare reform ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Medicare_Prescription_Drug,_Improvement,_and_Modernization_Act )? Despite the Patriot Act and the deficit? Because as you say “there is no telling where we would be if he had been elected”.

Perhaps props it is time to realize the conservative movement speaks to you with a forked tongue and maybe, just maybe, others in the political spectrum have valid points. Perhaps, just perhaps it is time to consider that maybe others can be “free thinkers” and that maybe their are a few fruitcakes in the conservative movement?

Posted by: j2t2 at September 27, 2009 4:33 PM
Comment #288549

Dittos, Rush!

The fact is, conservatives in the south never forgave the Democrats for backing the Civil Rights movement. What many conservatives really mean when they say they are opposed to ‘big government’ is that they are opposed to government which helps the poor and helps minorities, especially blacks.

Just today, two comments from southern conservatives heard by two different relatives of mine:

“What do you think of that Nigger, Obama?”

“I hope they impeach that black, Obama.”

In the case of the first comment, my relative said that was just the nature of the deep south. “They’ll never change.” The other comment started an argument between the other relative and a long time friend.

No, not all conservatism is based upon racism. There are some independent thinkers. However, when you look at the hysteria over Obama, the sheer hatred and inarticulate rage fueling most of the opposition, the conclusion is inescapable.

Guess conservatives are afraid of those government death panels.

Sigh.

Dittos, Rush!

And if anyone thinks the hatred of Obama to date is impressive, just wait until he attempts to address something that is actually controversial! Just watch the spittle fly when he addresses Global Warming.

Independent thinking? Ha. Only 6% of all scientists identify themselves as Republicans. Most centers of higher learning are considered liberal.

Dittos, Rush!

Posted by: phx8 at September 27, 2009 8:15 PM
Comment #288552

Eric-
You’re trained to speak in glowing terms of freedom, but how long would it be until the glow fades when the subject turns to terrorism, turns to opposition to the Iraq war, or other foreign policy. How glowing are your terms when you speak of the Democrat’s right to govern, having been duly elected to it’s majority, it’s hold on the White House.

Freedom is you getting your way. Anything else is socialism, fascism, whatever bad thing you can call it.

The most galling thing is that you actually think the rest of us are just itching to be rid of our freedoms, itching to be under the thumb of arbitrary government control. You must not have visited any major liberal site lately.

Mister, I’m not looking to be a slave. I’m looking to have a government that enforces rights for the average American that help us shed unnecessary burdens and injustices. Maybe you think it’s freedom to leave government decisions up to the corporations, to let the public welfare be shaped by what’s good for the rich and powerful few, but I think it’s freedom when you really are able to live a halfway decent life while worrying less about what company’s going to screw you, injure you, impoverish you, or kill you next.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at September 27, 2009 9:38 PM
Comment #288553

Perhaps propitiation is more “libertarian” than he is conservative. He sounds more libertarian.

phx8 said:

“The fact is, conservatives in the south never forgave the Democrats for backing the Civil Rights movement. What many conservatives really mean when they say they are opposed to ‘big government’ is that they are opposed to government which helps the poor and helps minorities, especially blacks.

Just today, two comments from southern conservatives heard by two different relatives of mine:

“What do you think of that Nigger, Obama?”

“I hope they impeach that black, Obama.”

In the case of the first comment, my relative said that was just the nature of the deep south. “They’ll never change.” The other comment started an argument between the other relative and a long time friend.

No, not all conservatism is based upon racism. There are some independent thinkers. However, when you look at the hysteria over Obama, the sheer hatred and inarticulate rage fueling most of the opposition, the conclusion is inescapable.”

This kind of talk is offensive and should not be allowed to be posted on this site. It is simply hearsay that leads to race baiting.

Check you history, if it were not for conservatives, President Johnson’s “civil rights” would have never passed. It was the southern dixiecrats who voted against civil rights. These same dixiecrats were also called “yellow dog democrats”. It was conservative republicans who voted in favor of civil rights. Your posts are nothing more than misrepresentations of the truth.

It’s a shame you weren’t equally offended when Senator Byrd of WV (the one time member of the KKK), used the word “nigger” on the Senate floor. The only political party that continually brings up race is the Democratic Party

.

Posted by: beretta9 at September 27, 2009 9:39 PM
Comment #288555

“It was the southern dixiecrats who voted against civil rights”

IIRC, Smathers and Holland both sponsored and voted for civil rights, and were replaced by Rpblcns in their next elections in FL.

Posted by: ohrealy at September 27, 2009 11:39 PM
Comment #288557

Beretta,
Parond me for not spelling it out. It thought it was too obvious for elabotation. You’re right about Byrd. He represents a pre-1970’s version of the southern Democrats. The South was primarily Democratic prior to the Civil Rights movement. This changed. After the movement, the south changed from Democratic to Republican. The GOP called this the Southern Stratetgy. Are you familiar with this? Do you need me to provide sources and quotes on what, exactly, it represented? Maybe you’re unfamiliar with that period of the nation’s history. People had to be of a certain age to understand what Ronald Reagan meant when he advocated “states rights” with a nod and a wink. It was profoundly bigoted policics, just as Bush put forward when he supported flying the Confederate Flag over the capital of South Carolina in the 200 primary, one of the dirtiest primaries in American history. Everyone in the GOP involved understood the profoundly racist message underlying support for flying the Stars and Bars.

It was liberals who passed civil rights legislation, and in terms of political power, it came at a very real price. Over the years, changing demographics have turned against the GOP.

And one more time, not all opposition to Obama is based in race. Most of the people commenting on this site (that is, those who have not been banned) are motivated by ideology, not racism. Many are opposed to Obama simply for the sake of being opposed, as a way of re-achieving political power at any price. But most of conservative opposition is based upon hate. It’s racisist hate, pure and simple. Sorry to call it out, but there it is.

Posted by: phx8 at September 28, 2009 1:01 AM
Comment #288564
First, let’s talk about the economic crisis.

While Gramm Leahy, may not have been a main culprit, the overleveraging of CDO’s and mixing investment with banking caused these markets to be created in the first place.

I don’t think you understand what caused the markets to be created in the first place. Those markets were thought up in the 1970s but no one wanted to do them because they were not worth it. It was only after legislation passed in the late 70s did it become economically viable. Again, another great example of the unintended consequenes of sticking the government’s nose where it doesn’t belong.

(you can read about this here:www.watchblog.com/thirdparty/archives/006535.html

The article, which I frankly find vague and loose with actual fact

Ok, so now you are going to tell me that Factcheck isn’t doing a very good job of … factchecking? Interesting…

An obscure accounting rule called mark-to-market, which can have the paradoxical result of making assets be worth less on paper than they are in reality during times of panic……

Maybe I’m wrong, but it sure sounds like deregulation (or perhaps lax enforcement, which is de facto deregulation) to me.

This is a great example of not knowing what you are talking about to make a political point…

IMO the Mark to Market rules were the main reason we had such a problem with what occured last year. In fact, I wrote about that very thing here in comments last September.

http://www.watchblog.com/thirdparty/archives/006210.html#264418

If you read the comment AND the link that the comment points to you might find it interesting how the change in this accounting rule, brought about by an overreaction and overregulation to the Enron scandal put us in this mess. Had this not been in place, we would not have ‘needed’ a bailout (which I still contend we didn’t need). Of course, the left would have lost their mantra that you keep repeating that it was ‘deregulation’ that caused the mess, but hey, who’s counting? In fact, it wasn’t until February/March of THIS YEAR that the Democrats running congress decided to actually amend those rules so that the mess could help clean itself up, as evidenced by the fact that 1 year later we are still not buying up toxic assets because the accounting rule changes have made them less so.

In reality, the Democrats who wouldn’t look at the issue at the time because they were trying to win an election, put our country through the ringer for political gain.

As to the Fed being at fault, well certainly. I wonder who would have called for Greenspan to resign if he had yanked the rug out in in the past 10 years? Certainly not you!!! You’d call for him to resign and abolish the Fed every year, regardless.

Yup, and I’m still waiting for an audit of the Fed as well, which I doubt we’ll ever see because neither party really wants that…

BTW, your reference to Greenspan as ‘libertarian’ is a laugh riot… Perhaps you didn’t read my article on the topic here:www.watchblog.com/thirdparty/archives/006556.html

A quote from the article:

“Instead of staying the monetarist course, Volcker’s successor as Fed chairman, Alan Greenspan, too often preferred to manage the economy—a fatal conceit, a monetarist would say. Greenspan wanted to avoid recessions at all costs. By keeping interest rates at historic lows, however, his easy money fueled manias: first the Internet bubble and then the now-burst mortgage bubble. “A too-easy monetary policy induces people to acquire whatever is the object of desire in a mania period,” Schwartz notes.

Greenspan’s successor, Ben Bernanke, has followed the same path in confronting the current economic crisis, Schwartz charges. Instead of the steady course that the monetarists recommend, the Fed and the Treasury “try to break news on a daily basis and they look for immediate gratification,” she says. “Bernanke is looking for sensations, with new developments every day.””

Start documenting. This is more BS.

see above

These two things would drop the rising cost of health insurance in its tracks.
So would a public option.

No, no it wouldn’t. Because the power would not be returned to the individual’s hand with an incentive to keeping themselves healthy in order to save money and shop around for medical care.

Plus you wouldn’t just benefit the employed and healthy. You would also benefit the excluded and poor. Imagine that.

Who aren’t going to be helped by the ‘public option’ as they will end up paying the embedded taxes that will be put into place to pay for it, just like they do all increased taxation we have in the United States.

Then why do you keep making it? I never made that argument. I said we still have plenty of and all the same individual rights, but with a massive population with orders of magnitude larger than 1776, more order is needed, and more power is needed to override Mega huge Corporations.

Please explain why, as I have asked over and over again, that an increasing population requires more ‘order’ and more ‘control’ and how that doesn’t not equate to losing individual liberty which, by definition, is being free of such ‘order’ and ‘control’?

You have no individual rights against billionaires whether you believe you do or not.

I have all of my individual rights against ‘billionaires’, as if they were something to be frightened of, because they cannot use force against me, the government can.

The one thing that does keep them in check is YOUR government.

Should I go hide under my bed now?

You keep telling me they were on top of each other in 1776.

Erm, no, that is not what I said. When you re-read the points I made and want to discuss them, get back to me.

The part I disagree with you on Libertarianism, is that it is really, really necessary. Get it?

Oh, I get it. But I don’t think you get it because you contradict yourself in making your ‘point’.

Apparently, we have all of the ‘individual rights’ we need. And if we lose more, it’s no big deal because we need to have ORDER.

We need to be POLICED.

We need a Police State.

I understand completely. How dare people live in a way that you disagree with and may not be the most ‘efficient’ or ‘best’ way for them to live. Who are they to think that they can make that decision on their own.

BTW, gergle, I noticed you completely ignored several points of my comments, but most importantly finding one thing that you disagreed with concerning the view of the Libertarian Party. Am I to take it that you don’t disagree with it, except when it comes to ‘getting those evil billionaires’ or ‘when it goes against what you think people should be doing with their own lives and property’?

Posted by: Rhinehold at September 28, 2009 5:25 AM
Comment #288567

The South was primarily Democratic prior to the Civil Rights movement. This changed. After the movement, the south changed from Democratic to Republican

How come history and votes don’t support this and no one cares?

The Dixiecrats came to be for one Presidential race: in 1948.

My first foray into politics was in supporting Dick Riley for Governor of SC in 1978. He was so strong as a Governor that he changed the no consecutive terms law and ran unopposed in 1982. You might remember him as Clinton’s Sec. of Ed but I just think of him as a great family friend.

Racist Jimmy Carter carried the South in 1976.

Super racist Bill Clinton was elected governor of Arkansas in 1978 and split the South as President in 1992.

Zell Miller (Carville’s buddy) was governor of Georgia through most of the 90’s.

Maybus was governor of Mississippi in 1988. Oh and he’s in the current administration I believe.

Jim Hunt was governor of North Carolina forever during the period.

It was Ronald Reagan, a former Democrat from the southern state of California, that gave a home to Southerners in the Republican Party. And his message was not that of racism unless you are one to believe that it is was all just “code words”. Reagan gave rise to “New Democrats”, “the New South”, “the Republican Revolution”, and Newt. And yes most of those who believed in those kind of things migrated over to the Republicans during the late 80’s early 90’s, but that’s because there was some political expediency to the move.

But what do I know, I’m just a hate spewing white guy from the South. If I mention anything about the 10th amendment, anything about limited government, or the fact that I do not support this cluster of a health care bill, well then I’m just a racist Dixiecrat.

No offense taken.

Oh and about the new lie that the current Republican party is now just a racist southern party.
Check the Election Results by County

Posted by: George at September 28, 2009 9:59 AM
Comment #288574

George, you are forgetting the purge of liberal and moderate Republicans that has occurred over the last few decades. In the 1960s the likes of Clifford Case, Jacob Javits and Edward Brooke dominated the GOP. Today, zero republicans represent New England in the House, only two represent New York. In the senate, Senators Collins and Snowe of Maine are the only remnant of the dominance the GOP once enjoyed in the Northeast. It is this purge of Northern Republicans that has earned the GOP the moniker of a regional party of the South. Yes, the GOP has a great deal of support in Mormon dominated areas, and certain parts of the Great Plains, but these places hardly constitute geographic diversity for the GOP.

Posted by: Warped Reality at September 28, 2009 11:31 AM
Comment #288578

George,

Well, when you call Carter and Clinton racists, and rewrite history to suit your political bent, yeah, I’d have to say your self description is pretty accurate.

Rhinehold,

I don’t really find these parsing exercises very enlightening, to be truthful.

We completely disagree on the economics involved, of course, that makes me completely ignorant. Thanks for your assessment.

I never called Greenspan a Libertarian, I said he was a disciple of Ayn Rand, and he was, if you know anything about his Bio. I think it’s up to you to explain that.

You keep telling me they were on top of each other in 1776.

Erm, no, that is not what I said. When you re-read the points I made and want to discuss them, get back to me.

BTW, this inane argument that ‘libertarian views’ that our forefathers held were only valid when the country was a ‘frontier society’ ignores things like ‘New York’, ‘Philadelphia’, ‘Boston’, etc. You talk like there were no large cities 200 years ago. Imagine that…

But the real reality is that when you are living on top of one another, that is when individual liberties are needed the MOST, not the LEAST. Who needs their individual rights protected on a 2000 acre farm that no one hardly goes near? Or is it more likely that 100 people living in an apartment complex are going to have their individual rights threatened more that the farmer who is living mostly a lone existence?

Besides arguing more disorder is needed in crowded conditions, I think you did say that people were on top of each other in large cities in the 18th century…or at least you were implying there were large cities to counter the idea that the individual liberties of 18th century America, may not be precisely the same as 21st century America with a much different demographic. IMHO, both are completely false arguments.

Sorry, I don’t feel I’m living in a police state. I doubt many other Americans feel that way, either. That’s an extreme position ala Alex Jones.

BTW, gergle, I noticed you completely ignored several points of my comments, but most importantly finding one thing that you disagreed with concerning the view of the Libertarian Party. Am I to take it that you don’t disagree with it, except when it comes to ‘getting those evil billionaires’ or ‘when it goes against what you think people should be doing with their own lives and property’?

You’re going to have to be more specific. I don’t know what you are talking about.

Posted by: gergle at September 28, 2009 1:07 PM
Comment #288579

Arrgh , should have previewed it. Sorry, screwed up the blockquote tags. I’m really starting to dislike HTML:)

Posted by: gergle at September 28, 2009 1:09 PM
Comment #288580

Rhinehold-
A police state, huh. That’s right. All the poor libertarians and right-wingers are censored, their families and them rounded up and put into re-education camps where they are tortured into loving Big Brotther.

It’s an insult to those who actually had to live in police states to call America one at this point, even with as far as Bush and others go.

You know what I think this language is about? Undermining adherence to the spirit of Democracy.

I know, you’ll tell me, we’re not a Democracy, we’re a Republic. Wrong. We are a Republic that chooses leaders by Democratic means, which means majority rule, if not absolute majority rule, exists in this country. And it’s RIGHT.

It’s right, and it must be counterbalanced with rights, not with an absolute disregard for authority when it’s not politically aligned with you., because otherwise, we take turns maligning the duly elected government of this country, to the detriment of all.

You ever wonder why Democrats insist so strongly on civil liberties? Because they are a counterweight to a strong government and its powers.

And you know what? I think it’s adolescent to expect that in any day and age, much less this one, that we can just run things by the seat of our pants. We’ve had our experiment in letting business interests and special interests capture and align government. It doesn’t work.

There’s much more complexity possible in the way the markets and society is set up that people are humanly able to coordinate by themselves. Sometimes that means we’re best advised to let the solution emerge from the rational decisions of the average American, because a million minds working have parallel processing at work.

But sometimes things don’t emerge properly, because the turbulence of the system lets backwaters and eddies of hidden or undercurrents of corruption exist and thrive. In those cases, we have to artificially engineer a solution, reducing the allowable complexity and keeping the system something human beings can actually manage and keep stable.

And sometimes, irrespective of what benefits economic growth, we got to do the right thing, or the economic growth is for naught.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at September 28, 2009 1:53 PM
Comment #288582

Gergle-

Old football injury? Bicycle accident?

Warped-

Mormon dominated areas? Now that’s a good one.

Again, look at any of the graphs that I linked and tell me how that explains the votes. A better theory would be Democrats want to marginalize oppostion to their agenda, so the race card is thrown (and I guess the religion card too) against anyone who objects.

Posted by: George at September 28, 2009 2:55 PM
Comment #288583

For clarity, that last part should be:

Erm, no, that is not what I said. When you re-read the points I made and want to discuss them, get back to me.

BTW, this inane argument that ‘libertarian views’ that our forefathers held were only valid when the country was a ‘frontier society’ ignores things like ‘New York’, ‘Philadelphia’, ‘Boston’, etc. You talk like there were no large cities 200 years ago. Imagine that…

But the real reality is that when you are living on top of one another, that is when individual liberties are needed the MOST, not the LEAST. Who needs their individual rights protected on a 2000 acre farm that no one hardly goes near? Or is it more likely that 100 people living in an apartment complex are going to have their individual rights threatened more that the farmer who is living mostly a lone existence?

Besides arguing more disorder (read as individual liberty) is needed in crowded conditions, I think you did say that people were on top of each other in large cities in the 18th century…or at least you were implying there were large cities to counter the idea that the individual liberties of 18th century America, may not be precisely the same as 21st century America with a much different demographic. IMHO, both are completely false arguments.

Sorry, I don’t feel I’m living in a police state. I doubt many other Americans feel that way, either. That’s an extreme position ala Alex Jones.

BTW, gergle, I noticed you completely ignored several points of my comments, but most importantly finding one thing that you disagreed with concerning the view of the Libertarian Party. Am I to take it that you don’t disagree with it, except when it comes to ‘getting those evil billionaires’ or ‘when it goes against what you think people should be doing with their own lives and property’?

You’re going to have to be more specific. I don’t know what you are talking about.

Posted by: gergle at September 28, 2009 3:04 PM
Comment #288584

George,

No, it was a blockquote injury, didn’t you see me go aaarrgghh?

I’ve rebooted my brain.

Posted by: gergle at September 28, 2009 3:08 PM
Comment #288587

I don’t understand. I said Mormon dominated areas with reference to the states of Utah and Idaho which have Mormon populations of 53% and 28% respectively. These are one of the few areas outside of the South and the Great Plains where the GOP does well; geographically people refer to this region as the Mountain West or Rocky Mountain states, but now that Colorado and New Mexico are blue I need a way to differentiate the states where the GOP does well from the ones it does poorly in.

I have nothing against Republicans from the LDS community, I even supported Mitt Romney when he ran for governor of my state. I wish he kept his 2002 platform when he ran for President in 2008, but I guess that was just wishful thinking on my part.

All I’m saying is that the GOP needs to adapt to the changing demography of our country in order to stay competitive. Just like how the Dems ran Blue Dogs in conservative areas of the country, the GOP needs to learn how to run “Red Dogs” in liberal areas of the country. When I look at your link to the county maps, I see that there is only one county in upstate Maine that supported McCain last November. That is pitiful, I’d like to see a more robust party system in this country and if the GOP cannot fulfill its role as one of the two major national political parties, then another party (hopefully the libertarians) will take its place.

Posted by: Warped Reality at September 28, 2009 3:53 PM
Comment #288588

The Mormons did not recognize blacks as humans with souls until 1970.

Posted by: phx8 at September 28, 2009 4:01 PM
Comment #288589

BTW, I am not a Democrat. My social politics are leftist, but I haven’t settled down on a particular fiscal ideology. Although I voted for Barack Obama last November, I am seriously thinking about supporting Charlie Baker in the 2010 Governor’s election. Charlie Baker is a good sign that the social conservatism that regionalized the GOP may be put aside for other, more valid issues such as fiscal responsibility (but not necessarily lower taxes).

Posted by: Warped Reality at September 28, 2009 4:04 PM
Comment #288649
I don’t really find these parsing exercises very enlightening, to be truthful.

Yeah, backing up your comments with fact and supporting evidence can be a real bitch…

We completely disagree on the economics involved, of course, that makes me completely ignorant. Thanks for your assessment.

No, when you attempt to make infactual references and get caught out on them, crying that you are being unfairly labelled is not acceptable. The changes in the mark-to-market rules were over regulation and were the direct cause of what froze up the lending markets last year. They were NOT an example of ‘deregulation’ that you ascribe to the Bush administration. By not having knowledge of this information and asserting something directly opposed to it you displayed your ignorance to the subject matter.

I never called Greenspan a Libertarian, I said he was a disciple of Ayn Rand, and he was, if you know anything about his Bio. I think it’s up to you to explain that.

Which I did with my quote and previous article about the topic. Saying you are something and doing something else entirely doesn’t make you that thing.

You keep telling me they were on top of each other in 1776.
Erm, no, that is not what I said. When you re-read the points I made and want to discuss them, get back to me.

BTW, this inane argument that ‘libertarian views’ that our forefathers held were only valid when the country was a ‘frontier society’ ignores things like ‘New York’, ‘Philadelphia’, ‘Boston’, etc. You talk like there were no large cities 200 years ago. Imagine that…
But the real reality is that when you are living on top of one another, that is when individual liberties are needed the MOST, not the LEAST. Who needs their individual rights protected on a 2000 acre farm that no one hardly goes near? Or is it more likely that 100 people living in an apartment complex are going to have their individual rights threatened more that the farmer who is living mostly a lone existence?

Besides arguing more disorder is needed in crowded conditions, I think you did say that people were on top of each other in large cities in the 18th century…or at least you were implying there were large cities to counter the idea that the individual liberties of 18th century America, may not be precisely the same as 21st century America with a much different demographic. IMHO, both are completely false arguments.

You seem to have this concept that ‘more freedom’ leads to ‘more disorder’ that I find interesting, as an aside, btw…

But, again, you are missing my points. The views of 1787 Americans as being a ‘frontier society’ when we had large cities and that they were incapable of seeing how their ‘libertarian views’ would be needed or usable in such environments is ignorant of the reality. They knew precisely what they were saying and how it would impact not only the lonely farmer on the frontier (who quite frankly needed little protection from other people) and those who lived in row houses in Boston, living on top of one another, literally.

Sorry, I don’t feel I’m living in a police state. I doubt many other Americans feel that way, either. That’s an extreme position ala Alex Jones.

What would you consider a Police State, gergle? When is that line crossed, in your mind?

Lack of freedom to do what you want with your own body? Freedom from your phone calls and other communications being monitored?

BTW, gergle, I noticed you completely ignored several points of my comments, but most importantly finding one thing that you disagreed with concerning the view of the Libertarian Party. Am I to take it that you don’t disagree with it, except when it comes to ‘getting those evil billionaires’ or ‘when it goes against what you think people should be doing with their own lives and property’?

You’re going to have to be more specific. I don’t know what you are talking about.

So you don’t read my comments in full, including the parts in bold?

http://www.watchblog.com/republicans/archives/006716.html#288521

That’s what makes libertarians different than democrats or republicans. Dems and Reps are looking for that power but just want to direct to their own ideals. Libertarians don’t think we should be using that power on each other to begin with unless it is really really necessary (laws against murder, theft, etc…)

The philosophy of the libertarian party is:

* That all people possess certain unalienable natural rights, and that among these are rights to life, liberty, justly acquired property, and self-governance.
* That the only moral basis of government is the preservation and protection of unalienable natural rights.

* That no person or institution, public or private, has the right to initiate the use of physical force or fraud against another person, and that all people are bound, without contract, to abstain from infringing upon the natural rights of other people.

* That all people are entitled to choose their own lifestyles, as long as they do not forcibly impose their values on others.

* That the voluntary and unrestricted exchange of goods and services is fundamental to a peaceful and harmonious society.

So, which part of that philosophy do you disagree with again? Or do you just think that those are nice ideals but the real world doesn’t allow us the ability to actually live by them so we should just forget about it…

Posted by: Rhinehold at September 29, 2009 3:18 PM
Comment #288650

Rhinehold quoted: “That no person or institution, public or private, has the right to initiate the use of physical force or fraud against another person, and that all people are bound, without contract, to abstain from infringing upon the natural rights of other people.”

I always love to poke holes in this one.

Nobody has the right to use force against another person (including government, presumably), and all people are bound to refrain from stepping on other people’s rights which ARE NOT in a contract or defined, ANYWHERE!

It is the height of absurdity without limits. Who defines those rights? To define them, they must be written somewhere. If they are written, and people are bound to observe them by some enforcement or retributive mechanism, then there is a contract - and yet, Rhinehold’s quote begins with the premise that NOBODY is allowed to force others to that contract, as generally stated.

The breaches of logic and contradictions inherently contained in Rhinehold’s quotation are voluminous for such a short statement.

Thanks, Rhinehold. It is always fun to address this one.

Posted by: David R. Remer at September 29, 2009 3:31 PM
Comment #288651
A police state, huh. That’s right. All the poor libertarians and right-wingers are censored, their families and them rounded up and put into re-education camps where they are tortured into loving Big Brotther.

So, that’s what you consider a Police State, Stephen? Enlighten me if I am wrong, what do YOU think is a police state, if it is not having what you can do with your own body under the perview of the police again?

It’s an insult to those who actually had to live in police states to call America one at this point, even with as far as Bush and others go.

You know what I think this language is about? Undermining adherence to the spirit of Democracy.

I’ll get back to this idiocy in a minute…

I know, you’ll tell me, we’re not a Democracy, we’re a Republic. Wrong.

No, right. And it is important because you even AGREE with my statements later, as I will point out.

We are a Republic that chooses leaders by Democratic means, which means majority rule, if not absolute majority rule, exists in this country. And it’s RIGHT.

‘which means majority rule, if not absolute majority rule, exists’

NO IT DOESN’T. I’m not how you think you can write this nonsesnse, which you then disagree with.

It’s right, and it must be counterbalanced with rights, not with an absolute disregard for authority when it’s not politically aligned with you., because otherwise, we take turns maligning the duly elected government of this country, to the detriment of all.

Sooo, what you are saying is that we have absolute majority rule that is counterbalanced with rights…

I am, quite frankly, amazed that you actually wrote this, Stephen.

What an earth do you think Libertarians believe if NOT just that?

The government is a necessary function of regulating the interactions between individuals but other than that those individual rights are preserved. THAT IS WHAT THE BASIS OF THE LIBERTARIAN VIEW IS. It is not a tilt towards anarchy, nor is it a believe that government is ‘evil’. It is the acceptance that government is the legal use of force on citizens, the only way it can occur, and only using it when necessary, not in order to tell others what they can or can’t do with their own bodies.

But to say that we are a democracy (which is not limited by individual liberties) and then saying that we are subjected to individual liberties (but then dismiss them when they get in your way) is an OXIMORON.

You ever wonder why Democrats insist so strongly on civil liberties? Because they are a counterweight to a strong government and its powers.

Tell me when you guys really get around to insisting so strongly on civil liberties because you are failing miserably in this regard, which is why I LEFT THE PARTY.

When are you going to call for the legalization of marijuana? When are you going to get rid of ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’? How about the taxation of individuals to give that money to other individuals? Kehlo? Spying on Americans?

When are the Democrats going to really stand up for individual liberty and get back to those real honest views instead of abandoning them when they interact with the progressive movement of the party which doesn’t believe in those civil rights when they are a nuisance?

Because when that happens, the Libertarians will come back to being Democrats. And the progressives can go find their own party again…

And you know what? I think it’s adolescent to expect that in any day and age, much less this one, that we can just run things by the seat of our pants. We’ve had our experiment in letting business interests and special interests capture and align government. It doesn’t work.

And what does this have to do with Libertarianism? Quit arguing with me as if I am Republican, I am not. You like to do this over and over again, start off actually discussing something with me and then shift, right in the middle, to railing on Republicans. I could care less about ‘business interests’ and ‘special interests’ hence my focus on INDIVIDUAL LIBERTIES.

Posted by: Rhinehold at September 29, 2009 3:32 PM
Comment #288652
Thanks, Rhinehold. It is always fun to address this one.

Great! So we have no right to privacy (where is that documented again, David?)

It’s always so much fun to point out what an idiotic retort you make and how you never address the obvious result of that, even though it is the exact opposite of what the writers of the constitution stated.

So, you make an argument that is counter to the basic workings of the constitution, think it is a good one and ignore when it falls apart.

I’m sure you think that is fun, but it lacks a bit of … weight.

Posted by: Rhinehold at September 29, 2009 3:37 PM
Comment #288653
Nobody has the right to use force against another person (including government, presumably),

BTW, I love this one when I have stated, oh about a hundred and fifty times I guess, that the only thing that government can do that an individual or private organization cannot is legally use force against the citizens…

It’s like you are just wanting to prove that you really don’t have any real concept about the views you don’t hold and are unwilling to even listen to or accept that those other views are valid.

I think that this past week has been very illuminating…

Posted by: Rhinehold at September 29, 2009 3:42 PM
Comment #288654

OH, and for those who are still thinking that David has a point, you have to realize that he doesn’t actually see the 9th or 10th amendments as having any weight. Which is why I love to bring up the Right to Privacy that bolsters things like Roe V Wade since they have affirmed that those amendments still hold the force of law.

And when you read why they were introduced and passed by the person who wrote it and compare it to what David says it means, its some of the funniest stuff on the web!

Posted by: Rhinehold at September 29, 2009 3:49 PM
Comment #288664

Rhinehold,

Actually, what I meant is that neither side sways or enlightens the other. You claim I have my facts wrong, but fail to provide evidence of such. You simply believe in what I think are fringe economics.

No, when you attempt to make infactual references and get caught out on them, crying that you are being unfairly labelled is not acceptable. The changes in the mark-to-market rules were over regulation and were the direct cause of what froze up the lending markets last year. They were NOT an example of ‘deregulation’ that you ascribe to the Bush administration. By not having knowledge of this information and asserting something directly opposed to it you displayed your ignorance to the subject matter.


Didn’t know infactual was a word, but I guess if you don’t bother going back to the Reagan era and Enron, then you don’t understand the reason for mark to market. That’s convenient, especially for a banker that doesn’t want to show a non performing asset as non performing. No problems there.

You seem to have this concept that ‘more freedom’ leads to ‘more disorder’ that I find interesting, as an aside, btw…


It’s probably my background in physics and observations of how people interact, you know, reality based subjects.

But, again, you are missing my points.

No I’m not, I just don’t agree with them, as hard as that seems for you to understand. Yes, the founders understood how to deal with the situation of cities of 40,000 people. They did not consider the SIZE of government needed for cities the size of 10 million or a nation of 300 million with dwindling resources, to resolve all those conflicts in individual liberty that occur. You know, order. They didn’t need to. They simply annihilated an indigenous people to expand resources and satisfy an expanding population with cheap land.

This is what I believe is your basic failure to understand the scale of the problems that your particular brand of libertarianism brings about, not the failings of the founders.

What would you consider a Police State, gergle? When is that line crossed, in your mind?


Nazi Germany.

So you don’t read my comments in full, including the parts in bold?


No, your paragraph is simply unclear.

So, which part of that philosophy do you disagree with again? Or do you just think that those are nice ideals but the real world doesn’t allow us the ability to actually live by them so we should just forget about it…

None. It’s an application problem. See the above explanation of scaling. It’s the same issue David alludes to. Even Jefferson and Adams had to deal with real applications of these ideas. It didn’t always go so smooth, or follow the Constitution, exactly as they envisioned it. Life is hard.

Posted by: gergle at September 29, 2009 5:59 PM
Comment #288677

Rhinehold said: “Great! So we have no right to privacy”

Straw Man. I never said or implied we have no right to privacy. When you have to invent the premises to critique, you have already lost the debate.

Rhinehold said: “It’s always so much fun to point out what an idiotic retort you make and how you never address the obvious result of that,”

And this is a debate point against what assertion exactly? Throwing labels around is what this comment does, as opposed to debating actual statements made. Again, a blatant demonstration of a loss for logical rebuttal of actual argument and statements. Thanks for the usual demonstration.

Rhinehold said: “BTW, I love this one when I have stated, oh about a hundred and fifty times I guess, that the only thing that government can do that an individual or private organization cannot is legally use force against the citizens…”

A patently false and erroenous statement, as individuals have a legal right to use of force for self-defense. It is not exclusive to government. Destroying your statements is just too easy, because they are so general and all inclusive as to be easily destroyed by specifics in reality and logic construction. The Libertarian Party attracts some people with these liabilities, but, then, so do all political parties.

Rhinehold said: “OH, and for those who are still thinking that David has a point, you have to realize that he doesn’t actually see the 9th or 10th amendments as having any weight.”

And now Rhinehold engages in mind reading rather than demonstrations of what other’s have said. As well as blatantly attempting to dissuade others from examining what David said on the merits of what David said, as opposed to Rhinehold’s mystical mind reading of David’s inner thoughts.

Truly, Rhinehold, you have every right to subscribe to the Libertarian Party, but, your commentary does that party a great disservice in attempting to be a spokesperson for it. It’s a bit like listening to a Neanderthal explain the workings of an internal combustion engine in terms of gremlins and auroral light configurations. Entertaining, to be sure, but, non-sensical.

Posted by: David R. Remer at September 29, 2009 10:26 PM
Comment #288683

Speaking of the Reagan era, I came across this today:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/09/29/AR2009092903840.html?hpid=topnews

Too bad the old man was senile.

Posted by: gergle at September 30, 2009 12:48 AM
Comment #288753

Rhinehold-
A Police state requires that power be centered in the mechanisms for enforcement of state power, rather than delegated to them by the citizens on a revocable basis.

I know, for the sake of argument, that you like to pretend that we liberals want unlimited power given to the government, but the truth is, we want the government limited to using that extensive power to where and when it’s justified, and we want a say in how the government works.

It’s an insult to those who actually had to live in police states to call America one at this point, even with as far as Bush and others go. You know what I think this language is about? Undermining adherence to the spirit of Democracy.

I’ll get back to this idiocy in a minute…

It’s not idiocy, I think, to ask for some perspective from some. We have much stronger regulation than this once upon a time. Most people did not look at this and say to themselves that they lived in a police state.

Let me put this simply: I’ve read about what police states have actually put people through. This is not a police state. Hence, the somewhat sarcastic list of non-existent grievances. The domination of the authoritarian state is what makes a police state a police state. Nobody is silencing Republicans. Nobody is sending them off to camps, their wild-eyed accusations notwithstanding.

Folks who had to suffer through actual political persecution, rather than a downturn in political fortunes, have a greater right to complain. This? This is just overbearing political whining.

There is no police state here, and there won’t be for some time to come. This is a Democracy.

I know, not technically correct. Who cares. We vote for our representatives, our senators, and our President in free elections. We vote for other offices as well, in our federal system. The city councils, the state and national legislatures then turn around, often enough, and vote by majority rules to institute the laws by which all will live.

Sooo, what you are saying is that we have absolute majority rule that is counterbalanced with rights…

When I said ‘majority rule, if not absolute majority rule exists’ I was saying this country runs by majority rule, if not necessarily the absolute kind. And even that imperfect kind of majority rule exists only with a set of rights set out for all, minority or majority- rules like free speech, free assembly, free petition, free practice of religion, without government favoring any one faith with its power. And thats just the beginning, just the constitution.

This is far from a police state. the debate is far from over. Maybe in ten, twenty, thirty years, whenever, the ball will be in your court, and you’ll have your chance. See, there is no defined majority in this country, no collection of people who are guaranteed their political victories forever, or on every point.

Understanding that checks and balance, and the opportunity for others to resist the push of one side for power is natural to the system is part of what helps me keep my calm. You, however, don’t seem to be at peace with the fact that you don’t get to determine things according to your interests. Well, to paraphrase the quotation about Houston weather, if you don’t like the way politics is going now, wait a few years.

America needs a functioning government which follows the will of most of the people in the country, with some exceptions, not constant exception for the sake of consideration of minority rights. The Minority can get some of its concerns addressed, but it is no fair privilege to give them a heckler’s veto on all their interests. The lack of that privilege is the price of being in the minority.

To give them that privilege is to give the fewer number of people power over the greater. If it’s bad to force something on a minority, is it not worse for a few people to force their policies on the majority?

You try to argue your ideology separate from how it works in practice. In practice, the libertarian way of running business lets it run amok, reduces people’s liberties and deprives them of basic rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. I think that this is what you miss in your focus on government power: power doesn’t have to originate from a official source to impinge on individual rights.

It doesn’t matter. The issue of our freedom and liberties is not some simple inverse relationship between the level of laws in people’s lives, and liberty. The lack of some laws make people less free. The presence of some could do the same. The lack of some rights makes people less free, the presence of some rights restricts the actions of others. There are likely times when some police officer might want to arrest a person he or she believes is a criminal. But of course, they cannot just do that, they need a warrant or probable cause to believe a a crime is being committed. The freedom of that officer to act has been reduced.

The greater question is how we organize our laws, our constitutional provisions, and our rights to create the best outcome for the most people.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at October 1, 2009 11:19 AM
Comment #288794
You claim I have my facts wrong, but fail to provide evidence of such. You simply believe in what I think are fringe economics.

Only I DID provide evidence, which you ignored. Ignoring the facts does not make them not exist. And apparently it is ‘fringe economics’ to state the same things as Factcheck, President Clinton, Berkeley economists, thousands of other economists and the current Democratic Congressional leadership that recognized the issue (after the election) and changed the rules…

but I guess if you don’t bother going back to the Reagan era and Enron, then you don’t understand the reason for mark to market.

Who said I didn’t bother going back to Enron when I stated, quite clearly, that this was an overreaction to Enron…

I’m sorry, but I’m a bit baffled on this one.

It’s probably my background in physics and observations of how people interact, you know, reality based subjects.

And my background is apparently not as good as yours then?

Or, is it just more deflection without actually addressing the issue which happens a lot when I try to debate with you?

Nazi Germany.

Sooooo, anything short of Nazi Germany and concentration camps is not a police state then?

Or, do you want to actually answer the question and tell me when that line gets crossed so we can actually debate the term that I used?

It didn’t always go so smooth, or follow the Constitution, exactly as they envisioned it. Life is hard.

And no one is asking for perfection. Just that when an issue comes up we try to find an option that no only solves the problem BUT also honors individual liberty.

No one in either party is interested in doing that because it doesn’t expand their political power.

Posted by: Rhinehold at October 1, 2009 11:26 PM
Comment #288796
None. It’s an application problem. See the above explanation of scaling.

BTW you are STILL not answering the question.

Take a city block in downtown New York. What issues are coming up there can’t be resolved by recognizing individual liberty and WHY do we need to violate the individual liberties of people who DO live in

Talk details, not generalities that are based in faith, not fact.

Posted by: Rhinehold at October 1, 2009 11:29 PM
Comment #288797
Straw Man. I never said or implied we have no right to privacy.

You said “Who defines those rights? To define them, they must be written somewhere.”

So, where is the right to privacy ‘written somewhere’ exactly?

Truly, Rhinehold, you have every right to subscribe to the Libertarian Party, but, your commentary does that party a great disservice in attempting to be a spokesperson for it.

That’s possibly the funniest thing I’ve seen you write on here, David. Between showing just this week that you don’t know much about the libertarian party and have in the past shown even more evidence of this (like trying to tell me that the party started in Indiana), it makes me wonder why you think you are in any kind of position to tell me whether nor not I am representing the party adequately.

As they have asked me to run for the party in the past and I will most likely be running again in 2010 (I am looking into whether or not I can still write here then) I would say it is up to them to make that determination, not someone who is for some reason bent on completely misrepresenting the Libertarian party whenever they get a chance…

Posted by: Rhinehold at October 1, 2009 11:34 PM
Comment #288798

Unfortunately, Stephen, that is not how this country was founded NOR is it how it should be run. Individual rights are not forcing anyone to do anything, that’s the exact opposite of what natural rights, which are the right protected by the constitution in the 9th and 10th amendments. So your suggestion that the minority is using a claim of individual rights to force the majority to do ANYTHING is specious at best.

The majority cannot do anything, through the government, that they are not given expressed permission to do. Everything else is up to the individual, the minority, by definition.

Yes, the Democrats like to say that they ‘defend the rights of Americans’, and they were right for a very brief time for some things. But when it goes against the Progressive ideals? Not anymore… Those days are long past and exactly the reason I am no longer a Democrat.

The fact that the left thinks it is a good idea, let alone constitutional, to mandate that everyone must purchase health insurance, speaks to that by volumes.

Posted by: Rhinehold at October 1, 2009 11:39 PM
Comment #288824

Rhinehold,

Only I DID provide evidence, which you ignored.

So, If I disagree with your opinion, I’m ignoring you? I also provided evidence which YOU ignored.

that this was an overreaction to Enron…

I’m sorry, but I’m a bit baffled on this one.

So closing a loophole that has existed since the S&L crisis and allowed billions to be swindled, is overreaction and baffling to you? That’s astounding to me. Allowing a bank or company to simply assign value to assets makes zero sense, unless you are a con artist….or in such desperate financial crisis, you are left with no other temporary alternative. Notice we both have provided facts here. Am I ignoring yours or are you ignoring mine? I think we just diametrically disagree.

And my background is apparently not as good as yours then?

I made no comment about your background. I simply answered your question.


Sooooo, anything short of Nazi Germany and concentration camps is not a police state then?

Or, do you want to actually answer the question and tell me when that line gets crossed so we can actually debate the term that I used?

I did answer the question. Are you asking me to enumerate every single possibility that defines a police state? I don’t think there is a line. I think there is a continuum, but Naziism and Leninism are pretty good guidelines. I think your definition of paying taxes you don’t like, doesn’t qualify, if that is what you want from me.

And no one is asking for perfection. Just that when an issue comes up we try to find an option that no(t) only solves the problem BUT also honors individual liberty.

We agree. I think America has done that to a large degree.

No one in either party is interested in doing that because it doesn’t expand their political power.

Not even Ron Paul?

Posted by: gergle at October 2, 2009 4:14 PM
Comment #288825

Rhinehold,

BTW you are STILL not answering the question.

Take a city block in downtown New York. What issues are coming up there can’t be resolved by recognizing individual liberty and WHY do we need to violate the individual liberties of people who DO live in

Talk details, not generalities that are based in faith, not fact.

OK, let’s take a stab at it. I’m walking down a street in Manhatten (I should state I’ve never been there). A Mugger comes up to me and pulls a gun. He requests I hand over my money, I ask him to respect my individual rights, he ignores me then knocks me out cold and runs off with my money.

How is Libertarianism going to save me?

Posted by: gergle at October 2, 2009 4:20 PM
Comment #288830
that this was an overreaction to Enron…

I’m sorry, but I’m a bit baffled on this one.

So closing a loophole that has existed since the S&L crisis and allowed billions to be swindled, is overreaction and baffling to you?

No, you not seeing that I acknowledged Enron baffled me.

That’s astounding to me. Allowing a bank or company to simply assign value to assets makes zero sense, unless you are a con artist….or in such desperate financial crisis, you are left with no other temporary alternative. Notice we both have provided facts here. Am I ignoring yours or are you ignoring mine? I think we just diametrically disagree.

No, I never suggested we needed to do nothing because of Enron. I just showed you evidence that the reaction that was the result of that was an overreaction that cost us big time last year. As was pointed out in the evidence I provided (which I still contend you haven’t even looked at), had we been under the same rules when the S&L crisis hit, we would have seen nearly all banks fail and much worse than a depression hit…

Not allowing people to make up worth is a good thing. Tying it to an arbitrary amount based off of what the market says it is worth right then is not. Because when the market says that a loan is worth 0, that causes the loanholder’s books to drop with a thud, making him unable to get lending or do anything to function as a business.

It was an overreaction that put is in worse position in this instance. It wasn’t ‘deregulation’ or ‘Bush’s Fault’ that caused the bubble to damage so many businesses, it was those rules that expanded the problem beyond the people involved directly.

Sooooo, anything short of Nazi Germany and concentration camps is not a police state then?

Or, do you want to actually answer the question and tell me when that line gets crossed so we can actually debate the term that I used?

I did answer the question. Are you asking me to enumerate every single possibility that defines a police state? I don’t think there is a line. I think there is a continuum, but Naziism and Leninism are pretty good guidelines. I think your definition of paying taxes you don’t like, doesn’t qualify, if that is what you want from me.

I am hardly calling ‘paying taxes that I don’t like’ a Police State, gergle.

And I am not asking you to enumerate all instances, just an idea that isn’t at the extreme end. Somewhere at the beginning. Like I said, spying on Americans? Not allowing them to do what they want with their own bodies? Being on CCTV in your homes? Not being allowed to eat the foods you want to eat? Being put in jail for not purchasing health insurance?

What are some of the things that you would list as being a sign that we are entering a Police State? Because if we aren’t until we get to the point of Nazi Germany, I have a feeling that you are willing to put up with a lot of your rights being taken away…


And no one is asking for perfection. Just that when an issue comes up we try to find an option that no(t) only solves the problem BUT also honors individual liberty.

We agree. I think America has done that to a large degree.

Explain when this has occurred in the past 25 years? Especially in regards to healthcare.

As for Ron Paul, my point still stands. When he decides to back off of his anti-abortion stances or gay marriage stances, we may be able to talk…

Posted by: Rhinehold at October 2, 2009 6:56 PM
Comment #288832
OK, let’s take a stab at it. I’m walking down a street in Manhatten (I should state I’ve never been there). A Mugger comes up to me and pulls a gun. He requests I hand over my money, I ask him to respect my individual rights, he ignores me then knocks me out cold and runs off with my money.

How is Libertarianism going to save me?

It isn’t, other than the fact you would be able to defend yourself against such an action if you so choose.

But what we have now won’t help you either. Unless you want a policeman following every citizen walking in a city…

And I don’t see how this has anything to do with being such large cities that we can’t allow people to have their individual liberties as originally planned.

I’m not trying to be a jerk here, I am genuinely interested in a situation that exists because of the size of the city that can only be resolved by stepping on individual rights.

Posted by: Rhinehold at October 2, 2009 7:00 PM
Comment #288853

Rhinehold,

It was an overreaction that put (u)s in worse position in this instance. It wasn’t ‘deregulation’ or ‘Bush’s Fault’ that caused the bubble to damage so many businesses, it was those rules that expanded the problem beyond the people involved directly.

So, free markets are “arbitrary”, but assigning some value isn’t? Woah. My head just spun around on that one. The only reason it had to be suspended was because other regulatory constraints weren’t in place, precisely because of a deregulatory atmosphere, which by the way, your “fact source” only stated wasn’t a primary cause. Repeal of Glass Steagal WAS behind creation of the loan vehicles which DID cause the crisis.

http://www.bizzia.com/yieldingwealth/phil-gramm-cdss-and-our-economy/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Glass-Steagall_Act

I never ignored your “facts”. I simply disagree with them and your interpretation. I referred to these issues, which you promptly “ignored”. BTW, Your buddy Phil was also behind the Enron fiasco, and is tangentially involved with another winner UBS.

I am hardly calling ‘paying taxes that I don’t like’ a Police State, gergle.

You have in the past, by referring to it as taking money at the point of a gun.

What are some of the things that you would list as being a sign that we are entering a Police State?

I don’t think we are, but suspension of freedom of speech would likely be first.

Explain when this has occurred in the past 25 years? Especially in regards to healthcare.

Ummm, since when aren’t you free to buy as much or as little healthcare as you please? Maybe I don’t understand the question.

I’m not a fan of Ron Paul, though I did look closely at his campaign early on. Mostly it was his financial quackery that scared me off. I might read his new book about the Fed, but I won’t buy it.

I’m not trying to be a jerk here, I am genuinely interested in a situation that exists because of the size of the city that can only be resolved by stepping on individual rights.

I never think you are a jerk, but city cams could help arrest the robber, granted after the fact. High taxes could also fund more police officers sweeping up more robbers.

I don’t like the question because it is entirely hypothetical, and I was planning on a step by step set of responses to lead you to a more direct answer, but that will likely take forever.

Let’s say you are Donald Trump. You own most of a Manhatten Block, but Al Bignose, a reputed mafia boss, owns Al’s Pizza and his shop is blocking Trumps development. Trump’s deal will lead to thousands in revenue, thousands of jobs, and a great finacial boon and revitalization of the block. Al refuses exceptional deals for his property. Should eminent domain prevail, or does Al have the right to deny thousands of New Yorker’s such a positive benefit?

Posted by: gergle at October 2, 2009 9:54 PM
Comment #288942

I’d post a response, but as a Canadian with 100% GOVERNMENT CONTROLLED HEALTH CARE (gasp), I have to eat my tofu, do my 100 pushups and run my 5 miles or Steven Harper is going to come over and put a bullet in my head. So I really don’t have the time. Oh woe is me.

Posted by: Ingrid at October 5, 2009 1:59 PM
Comment #288961

What if what you long for isn’t what the rest of the people want?

Posted by: Helen Anderson at October 6, 2009 1:57 AM
Comment #289185

The government is not taking over healthcare! All private agencies may stay! All the reform is doing is setting rules to make sure Americans are getting treated fairly, which those of you out there who are sick no they are not. Your healthcare is not going to get worse, but better. If you read a summarized version of the bill you will realize that. And the reform is well needed. The sick are poor and thus unable to fight the companies, and the plan protects them.

Posted by: Aaron Hughes at October 11, 2009 9:23 PM
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