The Direction of the Republican Party

republican-symbolBy request I have bumped this post back up towards the top of the page. The discussions have been good thus far and I want them to continue. I originally posted this on February 3, but will try to keep it closer to the top as long as people like. As those who have been along for the last four months know, this journey started with my realization that the Republican Party no longer represented to me what the Party used to. I was feeling a bit neglected by my party and embarrassed by their actions. So I left them and began seeking a better way forward because I felt that a better way forward was not what they were interested in. We have explored the Libertarian Platform, which seems pretty solid to me. But I can’t get the Republican disappointments out of my head. The selection of Michael Steele as the new Chairman of the RNC got me thinking…. 

So here is where I am sitting these days. The Republican party for me used to represent the good guys. It was the christian party. Family values and cutting taxes. National Defense and smaller government. Sure the party had its share of bad guys, but the party always seemed to hold just a bit higher moral ground than Ted Kennedy and the Democrats. I was talking to one of the few people I trust to discuss politics intimately with tonight and she reminded me of what I used to like about the party. They weren’t perfect, but they were certainly better than the democrats. 

elephant-shooting-selfThat is certainly not the case any more. The party has slipped into the abyss and now find themselves on equal moral ground with the Democrats. Republicans have just as many crooked politicians as their opponents. They seem to find ways to justify expanding government’s role just like the Democrats, only from the opposite end of the spectrum. They vote for the same pork laden bills and take the same kickbacks. Realistically the only thing that makes them better than the Democrats is that they don’t have to admit to having that crazy bitch Nancy Pelosi in their party.

1986-reagan-pointingThe last couple of weeks have found me discussing with my many politically minded friends what the direction of the Republican Party needs to be in order to get better again. Should the Christian Right be given far less say in the party agenda? Should they remove the abortion debate (which they will never win out on) go away and stop polarizing moderates with it? What about gay marriage?There are so many platform issues that are out there for the Republicans. So I am asking all of you for your input and opinion. What should the Republican party change in order to “fix itself” and get back on track with its many disenfranchised voters?

So no issue is off limits here. I want to hear from everyone. If you are reading this you surely have an opinion on at least one thing the party should do differently. What are the issues that you don’t like in the party? Not sharing it would be a neglecting of your purpose for reading this blog in the first place. Most of America is somewhere in between the two party platforms, so let’s here where you think the party should go if they want your vote.

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Comments

  1. The Republicans need to stay with their core values (but not fall on their sword if they do not have the votes), push the flat-tax initiative (everyone- even those getting welfare – give 10% of their gross income -thus all the loopholes are closed and the pain is felt %equally by all- I know I would not complain if the billionaires were being taxed at the same rate I was). In addition, they need to get rid of all the means where funds are sent “off-shore”. Lastly, they need to realize that all our efforts since WWII have resulted in is us becoming financially broke and making many new enemies – we are the “beacon” of hope, but not the enforcer of “hope”.

  2. I think it would be fantastic if the republican party would give less power to the ultra-right-wing people. Focus on what can really get people behind the party, not on what makes many, who are pretty moderate, choose to vote democrat instead (abortion rights and gay marriage-main reasons why my friends don’t vote republican). Let’s not make those two issues the spotlight, and I think many more people would vote republican. Personally, I think it would be great if the government got out of “marriage” all together–government should only do civil unions, and then leave marriage to religious groups.

  3. The current administration’s philosophy may be boiled down to four simple guiding principles:
    1. More sin (the deconstruction of Judeo-Christian family values)
    2. More debt (through expanding entitlement programs)
    3. More tyranny (a bigger government dictating our options)
    4. More vulnerability (blind deference to other nations’ rights)

    The republican party simply needs to stand where it has traditionally stood, and in contrast to the current direction of our government policies.

  4. Ragnar Daneskjold says:

    As is sometimes the case in life, politics is the choice between the lessor of two evils…what a shame.

    My Republican friends need to get back to basics…

    1. Help people feel safe and secure they’ll be generally happier. This involves fighting the bad guys and securing our energy supply.

    2. Clear the way for capitalism to do what it does…cut taxes, reduce regulation and allow America to do what America is most noted for…the creation of wealth. We’ve proven time and again that when the path is clear we will sprint down it chasing our dreams and make the world a better place generally.

    The rest of the arguments and sticking points are for another day…If the security and economy of this country are not well cared for then everything will suffer unnecessarily.

    As a business owner, I focus on the basics of what keeps the business healthy and I put everything else off for another day because if the business fails we’re all out of a job. That’ll be a bad day for my family and the 30 other families that are affected by my AND their decision making.

    When the Republicans get these few things on the right track then they can tackle some of the other tasks…until then, FOCUS.

    Thanks to those who took the time to read my point-of-view.

  5. I think it depends. Do you want to stand on your core principles (not defined here) or do you want to win elections? In general I think the GOP needs to move more to the center, especially when it comes to social matters, if it wants to be in power again. By that I mean to strive to position the party as one of inclusion so that more folks feel comfortable with its principles. I would also like to see the GOP get behind the Fair Tax as proposed by Congressman John Linder; get behind the notion that a limited, targeted government is better; emphasize international relations and build good strong coalitions for defense and trade; and support social programs that move people from dependency to self-sufficiency. But first, the GOP needs to cultivate and promote strong, talented leadership that can promote these ideas. I fear that lately the candidates submitted and the leadership in general have been weak.

  6. ….the problem with any person or group getting sidetracked or adrift is in part …they don’t know what they believe. I hope this dicussion leads people to finding out what they actually believe and then resolve to lead , and convince others they are on the right path for America. NOT a discussion of how to win elections ….how shallow , and those people ..( can and will be led by winning) not by principles giving a reason to lead , and a reason for real hope for people to rally behind . Money , and the right use of anyway, can only be seen , from the point of real integrity . Integrated character .

  7. Like you I recently left the Republican Party for many of the same reasons. However, I don’t look at which party is better or worse. I keep trying to figure out what role we as American Citizens play. Have we made the right demands on our politicians or simply abdicated our responsibility? There is nothing in our current system of government that requires us to keep electing the same individuals. As a matter of fact, when you continually keep the same politicians, the result is a power structure that is no longer recognizable as “for the people.”

    I believe that our current congress is made up of too many career politicians. In adddition, there are over 35,000 lobbyist constantly vying for their attention and inflicting constant influence. How long would anyone be able to deflect that level of pressure? The result is, representatives who have lost touch with the average person. Instead of hearing what we are saying, they run polls to give them the answers they want. If you want change in this country, there must be a movement to vote these individuals out and start over. I personally will not vote for any individual who has held office more than 2 terms; whether they are Republican, Democrat or Independent.

    In the event that no great movement of Government reform is ever implemented, I would like to see the Republicans do a few specific things to start:

    1. Pass legislation that states that any person who is a lobbyist or has been a lobbyist for the prior five years or represents any special interest group cannot contribute to any candidate, campaign, political party, PAC or relative of any individual associated with these organizations at all levels of government. Design this how you will the point is we need to stop the money flow of lobbyist and special interest groups.

    2. No lobbyist or special interest group will lobby any level of government, candidate, campaign, political party or PAC on behalf of a Foreign Government, Foreign Company or Foreign Organization.

    3. Pass the “Clean Bill Act” stating every bill introduced will not have additional legislation added including additional laws to be considered or appropriations (PORK/Earmarks). All legislation introduced requiring monetary appropriations must be publicly debated by all members of both the House of Representatives and the Senate. Basically, they must be willing to do away with their ability to pass dirty, PORK laden legislation.

    Thank you for this forum.

  8. The differences between Democrats and Republicans is many.

    The Democrats’ policies are based on emotion, while the Republicans’ policies are based on fact.
    Example: the abortion debate. Democrats tell you sob stories (what about this situation, what about that situation, what about this poor person, and what about that victim). Republicans tell you the facts: abortion kills an innocent human life, and there is no excuse.

    The Dem’s policies are based on ideas that are new and trendy, while the GOP’s policies are based on facts.
    Example: the economy. Democrats use the newer ideas of Marx and Keynes, that the rich are evil and out to get the “working class”, and that the economy needs to be regulated by the government, that interest rates should be tampered with, and the money supply should be managed. Republicans tells you the the facts: that tampering with the money supply causes recessions, and delays the recovery thereof; that the rich are the movers and shakers of the economy, that without them there would be no economy or jobs at all.

    Republicans believe that there is a higher authority, that grants unalienable rights to the people, a moral compass, an unchangable set of guiding principles, and the people give authority to the government to perform the basic function of keeping us secure and getting out of the way. Democrats do not believe in this higher authority, and, therefore, the government must become the higher authority, and the government must grant rights to the people, and the government will determine what is right and wrong, what is true or false, and what our guiding principles should be.

    This is probably the biggest point of all. From this flows all other ideas. Republicans stand for smaller, less controling government, and the Democrats seek more and more power to the government. The GOP is for more freedom, the freedom to protect yourself, the freedom to succeed, the freedom to fail, the freedom to help others if you want, the freedom to worship, the freedom not to worship. A freedom which comes in a higherarchy: first life, then liberty, then property. My freedom of property cannot infringe upon your freedom of liberty (can’t own slaves), and my right to liberty cannot infringe upon your right to life (no abortions).

    The Dems favor fairness over freedom, but the problem is that it is not really fair (again, emotion over fact). They believe it is unfair that some billionaire gets to build mansions while the “working class” (a phrase used only by communists and democrats) are struggling. Therefore, they take more money out of the hands of the rich person and give it to the poor people. The problem with this is that they are punishing the success of the rich man, and rewarding the failure of the poor, which in turn keeps the poor people poor and dependant. In addition, taking money from the rich takes money out of the economy, which hurts and slows the economy, which makes things worse for everybody, whether rich or poor. It keeps the poor people poor and dependant (if you keep giving hay to the sheep in the barn, they’ll never go out into the fields to look for grass). So doing things in the name of fairness actually isn’t fair at all, and also restricts freedoms and grants more power and control to the government.

    To know what the Republicans need to do to get back on track, you must first know why they are off track. This is why: because they have been acting like Democrats the last few years. In other words, they have been pandering to the moderates. No, the Republicans should not come closer to the center because that’s what got them into this mess. The Republicans need to remember that they stand for freedom, smaller government, lower taxes, strong defense, truth and facts, with a moral compass and guiding principles, and the people will come running to them. This is what got them control of the House and Senate back in 1996. They lost control by moving closer to the center.

  9. If the Republicans did what I think they should do, they would be libertarians (unlike the LP).

    Since I don’t care where support for freedom comes from as long as it comes from somewhere, I would say let the “religious right”, who I see as very destructive to individual liberty, go off and start their own party. Start standing up for less government in every area of life, and more liberty (with responsibility, of course) and drop the moralizing. As long as someone is not hurting others, leave them alone.

  10. Vince- I see Republicans use a lot of “emotion” and “feelings” in their current policies. They tell of a murdered innocent person and demand that the killer be killed. “Until a member of your family has been murdered…. etc.” This is not a rational argument, but an appeal to emotions.

    It is the same with the “terror threat”, the “war on (some) drugs”, and many other areas. If facts were used, these things would have to be abandoned like steaming dog turds, but instead emotions are inflamed.

    I agree that they are acting like Democrats. But either half of the authoritarian mindset is going to lead to the same result in the long run.

  11. I have some suggestions:
    1. Become the party of small government. Republicans have been saying this since Reagan, and all Republicans have done is grow it. Sure cutting social programs always makes the right feel good, but each of the following recent Presidents have GROWN government, despite their promises to do otherwise:Reagan, Bush I, GW Bush.

    2. STOP TAX-CUT, and SPend politics: GW Bush’s forecast for budget surpluses, based on his tax cuts, was to be the second quarter of 2002. 2002!!!!! Wow, did he miss!!!!!! He has DOUBLED the deficit!!!!! Supply side economics does not, will not, and can not work!!!!!! It didn’t work for Reagan, Bush I and now the monkey. IT DOES NOT WORK!!!!!!!

    3. STOP FEAR MONGERING: People are tired of being scared all the time. Watch Fox for a half hour, and you’d think there were aliens attackig the country.

    4. GIVE BACK CIVIL RIGHTS: Hey, did the Bill of Rights vanish? It did, however at least now, the rule of law may be back, despite your opinions of the new President. There is NOTHING more sacred to our country than those first ten Amendments….nothing.

    5. QUIT IT WITH THE Free market stuff: Enough! Your economy and country are teetering on a precipice created by the “free Market” People in the Bush administration. EXCEPT: It isn’t so free. Now, despite listening my entire adult life about the wonders of the free market, it is in a shambles, due to greed, hubris, and idiocy. Also, ALL of these bankers, who I am sure voted Republican, are now SOCIALISTS!!!!!!!!!! Just like the Republican leadership. WHY wouldn’t they let these institutions fail, according to the laws of the free market, which they llove so much. So a suggestion here, would be for Republican believers to stop being such hypocrites.

    Well, those are some of my ideas for a better right. My guess is, we’ll hear about all of these things until another Republican wins, and then they’ll cut taxes, balloon the deficit, and start the greed and theft cycle all over again.

  12. Definitely remember how the founding fathers established this country. They gave states more power and limited the feds, thus keeping the bulk of the power, closer to the hands of the people. Since government should only represent the people and not control the people, we need to get back to limiting government programs. Government now has its hands in every walk of our life and uses our money for whatever it wants.

    Conservatives need to focus on limiting government control and decreasing spending.

    However, I will say that I will never support a person that is for abortion and wants it legalized as Obama does. Abortion is murder. There are some great videos you can watch to see how the baby suffers during an abortion – since often the baby is ripped apart.

    What kind of people are we if we will not respect the life of our most innocent citizens? I am pro-choice – if you choose to due the act then live up to the responsibility and/or give the baby for adoption. I have several friends that are trying to adopt but are put on years-end waiting lists (some have even gone outside the country and adopted because of the waiting duration here.)

    In summary, focus on limited government and fiscal responsibilty. I would support a term limited for Congress as well that would help. To me, abortion should be a no issue since it is murder and we should never even be discussing whether or not it is ok to kill an innocent child. But since Liberals are forcing the issue, Reps must stay true to ensure that all people have a chance at life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness no matter how small or young that person is.

  13. The Republican Party’s basic platform should change in two major places:

    1 – Abortions should be allowed for any female during the First Trimester. Period. This would cover young, unmarried females, and in the instances of rape or incest. After that time, abortion could be ordered by her doctor, only, if the life of the mother or child is in jeopardy.

    2 – Same Sex unions should be allowed if a State so chooses — so long as Gays develop other words than MARRIAGE, MARRIED, and WEDDING to describe their unions and situations. We Straights can no longer use the word ‘Gay’ to mean happy and having a good time. Why can’t the Gays do the same to describe their partner-unions? Make up a word and label it anything other than “Marriage”!! That word is sacred to straights, developed centuries ago by men, to protect their ‘legitimate’ children and their property.

    The above are the two main objections that Liberals voice, regarding our Republican Platform. These two changes would eliminate many of the Liberals’ oppositions, but still not allow every woman the freedom to have abortions at will. Gay Rights would no longer be trampled on, as the Gays proclaim. Times have changed, so Republicans have to ‘give a little’ to gain a lot!!

  14. kentmcmanigal said
    Vince- I see Republicans use a lot of “emotion” and “feelings” in their current policies.

    Yes, I agree, that’s why I said Republicans need to stop acting like Democrats. I do not agree that the “religous right”, whatever that’s supposed to mean, is destructive to freedom at all. Let’s not forget that it was the Republicans that freed the slaves, and pushed through both civil liberties acts in the 60s (and signed by a Democrat). It was democrats, such as Al Gore’s father, that filibustered those bills to try to defeat them. While there are many extremeists out there that want to limit others’ freedoms in the name of religion (or, on the democrat side, in the name of suppressing religion), that is clearly not the majority view of the American people, nor the Republican party. To quote Ronald Reagan in a speech he gave back in 1964, the problem isn’t left and right, it’s up and down. We should be less concerned with Democrat and Republican, and more concerned with freedom versus totalitarian. Whichever party comes out strong in the name of freedom versus government control will be the winner, and unfortunately, they are both for control, just controling in different ways.

    Terrorism against the US is a real threat. Let’s not forget that under Clinton we had 6 terrorits attacks, and under Bush we only had 1. Now, whether Iraq was the right battlefield or not is a competely different matter, and honestly, it is not a partisan issue. Congress, with 90% of the vote, declared war on Iraq with 80% approval ratings from the citizens of the country. This is not a Democrat or Republican issue, as I’m 100% sure Al Gore would have done the same thing at the time, but national security is one of the Federal governement’s primary responsibilities.

    kc` – 1. Yes, I agree, we need to cut back the federal Government. It worked under Reagan, as hard as he had to fight Congress. It worked under Newt Gingrich, as hard as he had to fight Clinton. However, the fed kept growing, and has grown tremendously the last many years. Enough is enough! I don’t belong to any party, I refuse, but which ever candidate stands up for cutting the fed, they’ve got my vote. I haven’t really seen anybody like that since 1996.

    2. I agree. While cutting taxes brought more money into the federal government, which is great, the result was then to spend it all away, which really makes me mad. The majority of the increased spending has been on Democrat-favored concepts, such as the prescription drug program for medicaid, and the the No Child Left Behind Act (or as I like to call it, the No Child Gets and Education Act), which was just a huge waste of money. Lower taxes, yes, it’s good for the economy and brings in more money into the government, but this runaway spending must stop!

    3. See above – Terrorism is a real threat. Face it. (and I’m not talking about war in Iraq)

    4. The rule of law and the Bill of Rights died with FDR. While there have been brief moments of awakening since then, the last 20 years have been rough. We need to get back to basics. The constitution means something, but so many these days (like the current president) believe it is unimportant in today’s society (his own words).

    5. We haven’t had a free market since the creation of the Federal Reserve in 1913, and the various new deals throughout history have just made it more and more socialist. What we do have, though, is one of the freeist markets in the world (ranked 6th, I believe). Federal spending, growing the money supply, increasing the deficit, tampering with interest rates, the bailout… all these are Keynesian philosophies touted by Democrats, not free market concepts. Bush has not been free market, he’s been acting like a Democrat – his policies have been the champion of a controled market. And the Democrats have been acting like communists. Even then, what other country in the world has a better economy? France? Russia? China? No economy is as great as ours, and, in fact, all the other economies of the world combined are not as great as ours. What we need is to return to a truly free market, and stop with this socialism/communism/facism/progressive stuff that so many people are pushing these days (Republicans and Democrats, but mostly Democrats).

    Cut taxes, STOP spending, get rid of the deficit, stop inflating the currency, get rid of the socialist programs that DO NOT WORK, and cut the federal government. Did you know that Jimmy Carter started the department of energy to bring about energy independance? Well, it hasn’t worked, so get rid of it. EPA regulating my toilet, light bulbs, and my air? Common on now. I went to USA.GOV and looked up their A-Z Index of U.S. Government Departments and Agencies… there were 587 listings. This is ridiulous.

  15. Black Flag says:

    John Hasnas
    Associate Professor
    McDonough School of Business
    Georgetown University

    What It Feels Like To Be A Libertarian

    Political analysts frequently consider what it means to be a libertarian. In fact, in 1997, Charles Murray published a short book entitled “What It Means to Be a Libertarian” that does an excellent job of presenting the core principles of libertarian political philosophy.

    But almost no one ever discusses what it feels like to be a libertarian. How does it actually feel to be someone who holds the principles described in Murray’s book?

    I’ll tell you. It feels bad. Being a libertarian means living with a level of frustration that is nearly beyond human endurance. It means being subject to unending scorn and derision despite being inevitably proven correct by events. How does it feel to be a libertarian? Imagine what the internal life of Cassandra must have been and you will have a pretty good idea.

    Imagine spending two decades warning that government policy is leading to a major economic collapse, and then, when the collapse comes, watching the world conclude that markets do not work.

    Imagine continually explaining that markets function because they have a built in corrective mechanism; that periodic contractions are necessary to weed out unproductive ventures; that continually loosening credit to avoid such corrections just puts off the day of reckoning and inevitably leads to a larger recession; that this is precisely what the government did during the 1920’s that led to the great depression; and then, when the recession hits, seeing it offered as proof of the failure of laissez-faire capitalism.

    Imagine spending years decrying federal intervention in the home mortgage market; pointing out the dangers associated with legislation such as the Community Reinvestment Act that forces lenders to make more risky loans that they otherwise would; testifying before Congress on the lack of oversight and inevitable insolvency of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to legislators who angrily respond either that one is “exaggerat[ing] a threat of safety and soundness . . . which I do not see” (Barney Frank) or “[I[f it ain’t broke, why do you want to fix it? Have the GSEs [government-sponsored enterprises] ever missed their housing goals” (Maxine Waters) or “[T[he problem that we have and that we are faced with is maybe some individuals who wanted to do away with GSEs in the first place” (Gregory Meeks) or that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are “one of the great success stories of all time” (Christopher Dodd); and arguing that the moral hazard created by the implicit federal backing of such privately-owned government-sponsored enterprises is likely to set off a wave of unjustifiably risky investments, and then, when the housing market implodes under the weight of bad loans, watching the collapse get blamed on the greed and rapaciousness of “Wall Street.”

    I remember attending a lecture at Georgetown in the mid-1990s given by a member of the libertarian Cato Institute in which he predicted that, unless changed, government policy would trigger an economic crisis by 2006. That prediction was obviously ideologically-motivated alarmism. After all, the crisis did not occur until 2008.

    Libertarians spend their lives accurately predicting the future effects of government policy. Their predictions are accurate because they are derived from Hayek’s insights into the limitations of human knowledge, from the recognition that the people who comprise the government respond to incentives just like anyone else and are not magically transformed to selfless agents of the good merely by accepting government employment, from the awareness that for government to provide a benefit to some, it must first take it from others, and from the knowledge that politicians cannot repeal the laws of economics. For the same reason, their predictions are usually negative and utterly inconsistent with the utopian wishful-thinking that lies at the heart of virtually all contemporary political advocacy. And because no one likes to hear that he cannot have his cake and eat it too or be told that his good intentions cannot be translated into reality either by waving a magic wand or by passing legislation, these predictions are greeted not merely with disbelief, but with derision.

    It is human nature to want to shoot the messenger bearing unwelcome tidings. And so, for the sin of continually pointing out that the emperor has no clothes, libertarians are attacked as heartless bastards devoid of compassion for the less fortunate, despicable flacks for the rich or for business interests, unthinking dogmatists who place blind faith in the free market, or, at best, members of the lunatic fringe.

    Cassandra’s curse was to always tell the truth about the future, but never be believed. If you add to that curse that she would be ridiculed, derided, and shunned for making her predictions, you have a pretty fair approximation of what it feels like to be a libertarian.

    If you’d like a taste of what it feels like to be a libertarian, try telling people that the incoming Obama Administration is advocating precisely those aspects of FDR’s New Deal that prolonged the great depression for a decade; that propping up failed and failing ventures with government money in order to save jobs in the present merely shifts resources from relatively more to relatively less productive uses, impedes the corrective process, undermines the economic growth necessary for recovery, and increases unemployment in the long term; and that any “economic” stimulus package will inexorably be made to serve political rather than economic ends, and see what kind of reaction you get. And trust me, it won’t feel any better five or ten years from now when everything you have just said has been proven true and Obama, like FDR, is nonetheless revered as the savior of the country.

  16. I’m a fiscally conservative, socially progressive Republican from the Northeast. I can tell you that if the Republican party wants to gain any traction up here, it has got to give up the Christian evangelical viewpoint on social issues, and it has got to somehow embrace minorities. America is changing; culturally it is much different than even during the Reagan years, and that is not going to change. During the last election, every person who was on the fence up here voted for Obama because of Palin. Leave social issues to the states, and leave religion out of government, otherwise, someday government may promote religious beliefs with which we deeply disagree. The founding fathers were VERY smart and prescient about the separation of church and state. Republicans need to be the party that follows the rule of law, unlike the Democrats who don’t seem to feel that laws apply to them. Stick to small government with an emphasis on a free market economy in which individuals, not government, drives economic growth. Stick to a strong national security. Stick to values that encourage self-reliance and the ability to achieve success through ones own endeavors. Republicans should be the party of immigration reform; not the party of hating immigrants. Otherwise, as the minorities become the majority, Republicans will become completely irrelevant. Our country relies on the population growth provided by immigrants to drive the engine; unlike the economies of western Europe and Japan which will be hurting as their citizens age and there is no one to support them in their old age. So some compromise needs to be reached there.

  17. Kevin and Black flag: Bravo!

    MadMom: Some good points, but I think you’ve been listen to too much liberal propaganda. The Republican party does embrace minorities and immigrants. It is simply a myth, and nothing more, that minorites have no place with Republicans. This includes immigrants and gays. What the Republican part does not tolerate are those that believe they do not have to follow the law; that they are somehow special and should be allowed to illegally sneak across the border. Do not make the error of confusing legal immigrants with illegal immigrants.

    When Palin was first announced, the Republican ticket’s ratings went through the rough. It was only after Palin had poor performances during media interviews did people become turned off to her, and if you really watch those interviews you can see that they were purposely trying to paint her in the worst light possible.

    Lastly, the foundering fathers did not believe in the separation of church and state. Read the Constitution, it’s not in there. What the founding fathers did believe, however, is that there should be no national religion, and that all people are free to chose their own religion, or no religion at all. The founding fathers strongly believed in God, their moral values are plastered every where, and they believed that morality had a very strong place in the government. Just look at our national motto: In God We Trust.

    Mamamary: Republicans will never allow abortion in their platform because it’s wrong. You cannot place the mother’s freedom of liberty above the unborn child’s freedom of life for any reason. Liberals are fighting so much harder for abortion now than ever because they know they are losing. Abortions are decreasing, and more and more polls show support pro-life values.

  18. The republicans need to stand for values,ethics,morality,god,family,low taxes,small government,term limits ,the absence of the prior mentioned are distroying this nation !

  19. the Robin @ 2:23 Feb, 3rd is a different Robin than me in a morning post today . I agree with this Robin in these things are needed except term limits .

  20. Vince, There are elements of the Republican party that come out extremely anti-gay and anti-immigration. Look at the percentage of minorities who voted for Obama, particularly hispanics, who had voted for Bush. It’s all because of the anti-immigration movement amongst the hard right. And up here in the NE, I’ve got lots of gay friends and well, Prop 8 in CA says it all. Gays are a perfect fit for the Republican party, as are many hard working immigrants. But they are turned off by the hard right criticism. As far as Palin is concerned, it’s her social conservativism that did her in with the moderates and independents. Advocating for creationism and abstinence education does not sit well amongst New Englanders, regardless of her interviews. And frankly, she came off as uneducated; some of the questions she botched were quite simple. I worked on the McCain campaign here, and I had the opportunity to speak with many people. The Republicans will not gain any traction in the northeast with views like that. Whether the Republican party cares about gaining votes here and on the left coast is a different question. But clearly, the party is bleeding and needs to change course if it is to remain viable. In terms of having a moral compass based on believing in God; the founding fathers did and I would hope that the Republican party would continue to follow those values. But allowing religion to seep into government is a dangerous thing. 50% of the world will be Muslim by the end of the century. Do we want to support madrases teaching hate, intolerance, and subservience of women in this country with taxpayer dollars? Once government funds are used to support any religious enterprise, it is fair game for all others.

  21. The problem with the republican orgy, I mean party, is that people like that idiot Dave support it blindly–all the points, he listed, all 4, were exasperated by W. and Mr. Potter. We are the weakest we have ever been thanks to their blatant invasions of nations that had nothing to do with our security/lack of; they have bankrupted our nation for a few already-really-really rich white people (I too am white, believe in Jesus–who happened to be kind, tolerant and forgiving, unlike the bulk of the people who call themselves republicans–like davey boy); and, a comment like “blind deference to other nation’s rights”–Jesus Christmas Eve! That could be a snippet from Hitler, Stalin, the dreaded Saddam or Putin!! That was said by Hitler prior to the invasion of Poland in 1939!

    The Republicans are not about America. America, has it was founded, was a nation that although admittedly flawed–slavery, no rights for women–proclaimed that we could/would make ourselves better, more tolerant, stronger–strength via diversity; not strength via inbreeding; not strength via the trampling of the United States Constitution!

    I will give you all a hint–you want your GOP–whose original values had nothing to do with what your party leaders stand for today–to be strong again? Print out the Constitution and realize that it is this document that makes our nation great, not the bible, the koran, the talmud or any other secular notions whose only true good throughout history has been to drive us apart. My God, Jesus Christ, does not go to church on Sunday. He is the Church so wake up, put your hatred away and go back to the basics of what and why our nation was created.

    enjoy my blog http://www.christianfatness.blogspot.com

  22. I have to be honest – I haven’t read most of the comments above because I don’t have the time before I go to work. My opinion is as follows:

    The Republican party needs to stand for lower federal spending and lower taxes while supporting socially and fiscally conservative principles. Unfortunately, GW Bush spent more and grew the defecit and the stimulus package is actually a continuation and expansion of that policy.

    The economy is cyclical and will recover on it’s own. Republicans and Democrats should know that. Some things like the wasteful protectionist spending of the stimulus plan can actually delay a recovery due to the fact that it baloons our debt.

    The Republican party needs to try to convince poor Americans who generally vote Democrat that they can work hard and succeed instead of being on welfare for their lifetime. It has to convince people that they really do know better how to spend their own money than someone in Washington. It has to make all Americans realize that they are not entitled to a living on the government’s dollar. The Republicans need to help people see that they need to pay off their debt by working to make plans for our government pay off ours.

  23. We suffer at the hands of the democrats because the Republicans stayed home. We long for the leadership and vision that Reagan displayed. It was not to be found in either Bush president. It was most certainly not something John Mcain had in him.

    We can win with a cut government, cut taxes, insist on integrity message. Integrity has to go with the free market to make it work. Trust and verify. Trust business to do the right thing and verify that they do it.

    The social issues are a part of our fabric and not really the purview of government. No movement on Gay marriage no movement on abortion. The government can’t make homosexuality or abortion “Right”. They don’t have anything to do with the function of government. You can legally do whatever you want for the most part. Go away already.

    Where I think we have to create a real challenge is to the notion that stealing money FROM someone else FOR someone else is not “Charity”. Voting for welfare is NOT a charitiable act. Giving your own money to the homeless shelter, United way, Church etc. is a Charitable act. Robin Hood was not really a good guy. Revenge is a lose lose situation.

    The Chinese are going to rule the world in a few years. “It is glorious to be rich” is a motto of their new philosophy. They have come to understand that success breeds success. Unfortunately we have forgotten it.

  24. We need to get back to an agenda of less Government. The current Republicans are becoming the same as Democrats, just a “lite” version. The Repubs want a bailout, just less pork. They want the government to intrude on your lives, just make it a bit watered down. The entire country, both parties are going in the wrong direction, the Republicans are just getting there at a slower pace.

    Let’s ask a few questions… What do you think executives and boards are doing right now to strategically position their companies? NOTHING, they are waiting to see what the Government is going to do with this bailout. They are spending all their effort trying to position themselves to get free money. It’s the same as a startup company getting into continual “I need a venture capital fix” to move forward. They eventually fail. We need these companies to be spending all their time and effor on THEIR COMPANY, trying to reorganize, reposition and get it profitable again.

    Do you think the government is good at running and managing things? NO, so why do we insist on turning to the Government in our time of most need. The Government has proven over and over that it doesn’t compete well with private companies. So why aren’t private companies tasked with getting us moving again?

    If the Government said to the companies and the country. There is NO money, you have to figure out how to survive. The private sector would do it faster, better, cheaper than the Government ever will. Sure the Government could give them support in the form of legal frameworks to help them do their jobs. This is what I would like to see the Republicans do.

    But instead of taking this “less is more” approach, the Republicans have fallen into this trap of.. If the Democrats think it’s a good idea, then so do we, we just want to structure it a bit differently.. It’s a “me too” attitude instead of sticking to your guns (and the 2nd amendment) and just saying NO. I have not heard one Republican come out and say “we simply do not need a bail out,” and follow it by proposing a structure to allow the private sector a way to get us moving again. Come on guys, give us something different instead of the same old thing.

    Of course you have to explain and teach the public why it’s a good idea and why it’s the best approach. You have to propose action and BE A LEADER!!

  25. 1. FairTax. If you haven’t heard of it look it up (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/FairTax)
    2. Remake party image as inclusive
    a. Support gay “marriage” but require a different terminology (ex. Civil Union)
    b. Create a path for current illegal aliens (with no criminal record) to become citizens but crack down on future illegal activity (give a little to get a little)
    3. Give up on abortion (except reasonable restrictions). It’s not what the majority of the country wants and only provides the left a way to make us seem anti-woman
    4. SPEND LESS MONEY
    a. Do not vote for any bill with even a single line of “pork”
    b. Spend less money than is received each year. When you have a big expenditure (infrastructure improvements) you already have the money for it and don’t have to borrow from the Chinese or raise taxes
    5. Support some reasonable restrictions on guns. Nobody needs an assult rifle for protection or hunting.
    6. Restructure entitlement programs to encourage people to get a job or work harder for a better job.

  26. Small central government, personal responcability, strong military, strong borders( stop illegal immigration ), flat tax, any government official who has defrauded the government or the american people should definately be held to the same standards we are.
    States should have more power to decide what they want in theire state, instead of making it the federal governments duty to decide on gay marriage, abortion, let the states have a public vote on the issues.
    No more free trade, like mitt said fair trade. manufacturing is what built this country and a big reson we won WWI and WW2. if we trade goods and services with any other country, they should at least be held to the same standards we are with pollution, etc. how can we compete with china and mexico when they just aren’t regulated as much as we are. they still should be able to trade goods and services in the us, but should be taxed the hell out of until the reach our standards.
    Drill for Oil, while persuing alternative forms of energy, i love $2 a gallon gas, but $1 a gallon gas would be better. everyone knows it is going to go up, why not be pro-active instead of re-active.
    I may has missed some stuff but I think its a good start, let the american people solve these problems, its our country and our power those carreer politicians are abusing.

    Thanks for listening, all of the posts on there had some really great things to say. we do live in the greatest country in the world and we have to keep it that way

  27. just reread my post sorry for the spelling mistakes, i didn’t proof read

  28. Black Flag says:

    1. FairTax. If you haven’t heard of it look it up (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/FairTax)

    No such thing as a fair tax. What is fair about someone taking my money to spend it on things I don’t want?

    a. Support gay “marriage” but require a different terminology (ex. Civil Union)

    Why even bother with the debate? Whose right is it to chose or define marriage?

    b. Create a path for current illegal aliens (with no criminal record) to become citizens but crack down on future illegal activity (give a little to get a little)

    Why is it illegal to work?

    3. Give up on abortion (except reasonable restrictions). It’s not what the majority of the country wants and only provides the left a way to make us seem anti-woman

    If a majority of the people want to kill all the left-handed people, this would be ok too?

    4. SPEND LESS MONEY

    How?

    Government programs are designed to be as inclusive as possible. It is impossible to cut a program without inflaming some segment of society. This is by design.

    Government makes laws against smoking at the same time giving money to tobacco producers.

    Government gives money to the poor by taxing the rich, and the gives rich tax money to protect (mal-)investment, and then creates loopholes to avoid tax, while creating loopholes for others to get government money. Everyone wins! (therefore, everyone loses).


    a. Do not vote for any bill with even a single line of “pork”

    You cannot force those that make the ‘law’ to follow their ‘law’. That is a contradiction.

    Look at this example: There was an Executive Order that made it against the law for the President to order an assassination of a foreign leader. So this prevented Bush from trying to bomb and kill Saddam. So, he simply rescinded the Executive order. Now it wasn’t against the law, so bombs away!

    b. Spend less money than is received each year. When you have a big expenditure (infrastructure improvements) you already have the money for it and don’t have to borrow from the Chinese or raise taxes

    What part of the US public are you willing to go into rioting?

    5. Support some reasonable restrictions on guns. Nobody needs an assult rifle for protection or hunting.

    You don’t need a car – walk or a bus or bike is fine for you to travel.

    You don’t need anything more than two sets of clothes – and why bother with color? Nobody ‘needs’ more than that.

    You don’t need anything more than one meal a day of 1500 calories. Nobody ‘needs’ tasty food.

    You don’t need more than about 300 sq. ft. to live. Nobody ‘needs’ more than that – just enough to sleep on.

  29. As someone who is neither Republican nor Democrat, I offer a few observations.

    I’m not sure if some of the commenters above are really Democrats trying to pretend to be Republicans while they give “sabotaging” advice… or if Republicans have fallen so far that they can’t even pretend to be Republicans any more. Either way, I would say if Republicans actually think the way the comments would suggest, then the Republican Party is dead and gone.

    The advice is completely contradictory, depending upon which “conservative” issue is important to the commenter. If the Republican issues were represented by the numbers 1-10, then some commenters are suggesting the Republicans must “return to supporting 1,2,3,4,and 5, while rejecting 6,7,8,9, and 10”. Then other commenters are saying that clinging to 1-5 is what is dragging the Republicans down, and they must “return to pushing issues 6-10”. I think this means there are really two different factions who each think they are “The REAL Republicans”. There is no consistancy demonstrated here. Just my 2-cents.

  30. “No such thing as a fair tax. What is fair about someone taking my money to spend it on things I don’t want?”

    FaixTax is the name of the plan. While you can argue about whether any taxation is fair taxes are inevitable. We might as well have a simple solution with the fewest number of loopholes.

    “Why even bother with the debate? Whose right is it to chose or define marriage?”

    We should bother with the debate because the Repulican party is viewed as catering to rich straight white males. If we can provide the same rights to gays while keeping the traditionally religous word “marriage” to be the union of a man and woman then everyone should be happy. This is commonly referred to as a compromise.

    “Why is it illegal to work?”

    It isn’t illegal to work, it is illegal to sneak in to this country undocumented and earn a wage without paying taxes.

    “If a majority of the people want to kill all the left-handed people, this would be ok too?”

    This example is so inplausible that it doesn’t even deserve a response. I was only referring to the fact that the abortion battle is a losing cause. If the Republican party wants to regain power they will need to make sacrifices in some areas. I believe this is an area where a sacrifice can be made.

    “How?

    Government programs are designed to be as inclusive as possible. It is impossible to cut a program without inflaming some segment of society. This is by design.

    Government makes laws against smoking at the same time giving money to tobacco producers.

    Government gives money to the poor by taxing the rich, and the gives rich tax money to protect (mal-)investment, and then creates loopholes to avoid tax, while creating loopholes for others to get government money. Everyone wins! (therefore, everyone loses).”

    The depth of the conversation on how the government could spend less money is beyond the scope of a blog posting. The US Government is the biggest most inefficient company on the planet. Anybody who couldn’t find a way to trim some fat isn’t trying too hard.

    You cannot force those that make the ‘law’ to follow their ‘law’. That is a contradiction.

    Look at this example: There was an Executive Order that made it against the law for the President to order an assassination of a foreign leader. So this prevented Bush from trying to bomb and kill Saddam. So, he simply rescinded the Executive order. Now it wasn’t against the law, so bombs away!

    I was not talking about making a law. I was referring to the fact that the party should stand together and refuse to vote for anything with wasteful spending in it. Also, the last time I checked the Iraq War was voted on and approved by the House and Senate.

    What part of the US public are you willing to go into rioting?

    It’s called fiscal responsibility. I make a certain amount of money each year, if I spend all of the money I make every year then I will never have a reserve of money should an expenditure arise. I’m not sure what rioting has do to with sound financial judgement.

    You don’t need a car – walk or a bus or bike is fine for you to travel.

    You don’t need anything more than two sets of clothes – and why bother with color? Nobody ‘needs’ more than that.

    You don’t need anything more than one meal a day of 1500 calories. Nobody ‘needs’ tasty food.

    You don’t need more than about 300 sq. ft. to live. Nobody ‘needs’ more than that – just enough to sleep on.

    I was merely suggesting that comprimising on outrageous gun ownership while still protecting the intent of the constitution would probably garner some additional support. Your examples range from humorous to absurd. They are all examples of luxaries afforded to those who can afford them and generally make life easier/better. Owning enough weapons to create your own Rambo movie is really just endangering other people.

  31. There can no more be a “fair tax” than a “compassionate rape”. Theft by any name, and based upon any plan, is still completely, totally wrong. Taxes are not inevitable, but the state would sure like for people to believe they are.

    How do you think these “illegal workers” avoid paying taxes? There is hardly any way to purchase anything or get any service without paying a tax on it in some way, even if it is just because the provider has been forced to raise his prices to cover his tax burden. Plus, if the “illegal worker” steals a “citizen’s” identity in order to get a job, then he is still paying taxes, and paying into the “Social(ist In)Security” program without any hope or expectation of ever getting any of that stolen money returned.

    Only the state and its apologists believe that gun ownership is about hunting or protection from free-lance crimninals. It isn’t. It is about keeping the state afraid enough of the people to prevent tyrannical behavior. It is about retaining the ability to shoot dishonest or powerhungry politicians and bureaucrats. The founders of America had just fought (and defeated) the most powerful military on earth at the time. Do you really think they would have wanted to make certain that government would have superior firepower, or do you think they really meant what they wrote and intended for “The People” to be able to own and to carry, everywhere they went, any type of weapon they chose in any manner they saw fit, without asking permission of anyone, ever? That is why not only is the ownership of semiautomatic weapons protected by the Constitution, but so is the ownership of fully automatic firearms, in spite of the “laws” that have been imposed.

    • Kent,

      As you know I am completely with you on the gun ownership portion of things. There should be absolutely zero laws prohibiting the owning, carrying, or anything else on guns. For me it isn’t about scaring the government, although that is a nice side benefit. It is merely about adhering to the constitution, which says specifically that the right shall not be infringed upon. Period, There are no exceptions in some Appendix to the Constitution.

  32. How would you suggest funding the military or other important programs without some form of taxation?

    I didn’t say they avoid paying all forms of tax, just some that are associated with receiving a paycheck.

    “Only the state and its apologists believe that gun ownership is about hunting or protection from free-lance crimninals. It isn’t. It is about keeping the state afraid enough of the people to prevent tyrannical behavior.”

    How is this theory working out for you? Last time I checked the government appeared to be acting fairly tyrannical.

  33. I read with interest the opinions on how to get out of the mess the Republicans are in, and, for the most part, they are right on. What you are all missing, however, is we need to do more than just complain on blogs. Action MUST be taken. Call your senators and representatives and voice your concerns. My wife and I have called Pelosi, Reed, Frank, etc. (good luck getting through!) and told them what we think. We’ve been hung up on, put on terminal hold, but still come back to haunt them.
    Also, support your favorite causes with money. We sent Coleman a check and were pleasantly surprised when we got invited to sit in on one of his telecoms. Down side of ‘giving’, they sare you name, address and phone number with the entire world. We get 5 or more requests for money a day from organizations we’ve never hear of and the phone rings annoyingly every night (than God for caller ID).

    Bottom line, WE need to do more than talk about it. We need to take our country back and save it from socialism.

    • Luke,
      I agree we need to do more than blog. However, the blog is a starting point. We have to start by educating people on the realities we face. Far too many are caught up in the partisan dogma that exists and get their entire information fed to them by a corrupt media and even more corrupt politicians. The blog is a starting point, not the entirety of my efforts. I am involved on many levels and intend to be running for office soon. What we need is more straight talk and honest debate. The blog accomplishes that. Take the comments throughout from BF. I often vehemently disagree with his position, but can respect the fact that he is honestly discussing the issues according to his point of view. Debating people on an HONEST level accomplishes one of two things EVERY time. It either points out facts that change your outlook or position, or it cements your position and your thinking by being forced to defend it.

  34. John Muncie says:

    This has all been said by other people posting here or elsewhere, and probably more eloquently.

    1.. Support life. Give the unborn the same rights all of us enjoy. After being denied legal representation, aborted babies are tried, convicted and executed not by a jury of their peers, but by the decree of one-the mother. Their protections against unreasonable searches and seizures and cruel and unusual punishments are also denied. The issue is not about womens’ reproductive rights. It is about the individual rights of innocent life whose only “crime” was to be conceived by a woman (and maybe a man) who didn’t want them. Our character as a nation is defined around how we treat our weakest and most defenseless. Our character as Republicans/conservatives now revolves on our willingness to fight for the rights of all our citizens. So far we are not doing a very good job.

    2. Scrap the current tax code in its entirey. We need a national sales tax to get the underground economy involved in supporting this country instead of just being parasites. Perhaps a combination Flat tax/National sales tax. Keep it simple, so the Daschles and Geithners of the country can understand it.

    3. An amendment to the Constitution granting the president a line item veto.

    4. Term limits for Congress. Also an amendment. This and #3 would have to be grass roots efforts over many years. The corrupt do not easily or willingly give up their power.

    5. Freeze all spending at current levels to start drawing down the debt.

    6. Until #2 above is done, lower taxes. This should be done immediately for the quickest impact on our economy.

    7. Repeal the Community Reinvestment Act.

    8. Republicans should stand firm on strict adherence to the 10th amendment and should vigorously opposed any bill that usurps the states and people’s rights.

    There’s more, but that is enough for now.

    8.

  35. Militias cost no money to the government and don’t invade other countries. It’s a win/win situation. There is nothing government does (that should be done, anyway) that couldn’t be done better and cheaper by the free market.

    My take on the reason for the Second Amendment isn’t a “theory”. Read the original writings of the founders of America if you don’t believe me about their intent. The reason the government is acting tyrannical is because some people still want to be “law abiding”. That is the fault of the people; not the fault of the government. When George Washington sent troops to put down the Whiskey Rebellion he should have been removed from office and put on trial. Since he wasn’t, he should have been assassinated. Instead, he survived and it has been downhill since then. The people have dropped the ball of liberty, and have allowed the abuses to go unpunished. This benefits the state, but is not the fault of the state. It needs to change.

  36. John Muncie says:

    Go to HermanCain.com and register and be part of his efforts to bring sanity back to our government. It does require due diligence on all of our parts.

  37. I think this is highly relevent to this discussion: Conservatives… Aren’t

    • While an interesting read Kent, it is unfortunately flawed in that it takes a awful broad interpretation of conservatism. Remember I don’t consider myself a conservative so I am not defending myself here. Do conservatives favor a big government? Yes, but not as big a government as liberals do. Do conservatives rely on taxes to fund the “unconstitutional things they love”? Yes, but they favor more tax cuts than liberals do. The most important thing here is that the author is taking the liberty to define what a conservative is. He is free to do that but because the conservatives in America don’t meet the requirements of his arbitrary definition doesn’t make them not conservatives. His definition is completely flawed.

      The constitution does not allow for a standing army… so he says. I disagree. The constitution allows for the providing of national defense. You can argue the meaning of that statement all day, but simply adhering to his interpretation doesn’t make his interpretation the correct one.

  38. I don’t buy into the “but not as much as” argument. It could be said that Christians are not religious because they don’t believe in as many gods as some other pagans do.

    On another subject, sorta related, I think there are two types of “conservative” that only incidentally overlap sometimes. That they may incorrectly think they are one and the same only complicates matters.

    There are the religious conservatives, who value old-time religion and don’t want any changes to their notions of what that entails.

    Then there are the “political conservatives” who want things to go back to the way the Constitution (or their interpretation thereof) was originally intended.

    These two types are using the same word but meaning completely different things. Yes, there is sometimes a little overlap, but only about as much as there is between ax-murderers and lumberjacks. When you try to get the two to discuss and agree on anything, the differences become apparent and lead to the kind of arguments you see here in the comments.

  39. Black Flag says:

    Jim said

    FaixTax is the name of the plan. While you can argue about whether any taxation is fair taxes are inevitable. We might as well have a simple solution with the fewest number of loopholes.

    Fair tax? Is it fixed amount or fixed percentage or based on need? Trust me, no matter where you want to land your stick in the sand, I’ll show how unfair the position of the stick is.

    However, let’s move beyond that.

    What you fail to understand – after decades against obvious reasoning – the tax code gets more complicated.

    You think taxes is solely a means to raise funds for the government.

    The fact is that income is merely secondary.

    Think, Jim.

    The government can use a multitude of measures to steal from the people – far more effective in seizing wealth than income tax.
    Import/Export taxes, inflationary electronic printing of currency, etc.

    So why is INCOME TAX (vs. any other taxation) so important for the government? Why is it SO COMPLEX? If you were a real business, you make paying money as easy as possible – not make it as complex as possible.

    Income tax is not revenue – it is a POLICY.

    Loopholes exist so to influence the citizens decision into a particular direction of economic purchase that favors some government political design.

    You cannot influence people to move in a particular direction based on “fair” – in fact, taxation must be ever more unfair. It must create an obscene benefit for a particular action in difference from some other action – not based on economics, but on some political reason.

    The more arcane the rules, the more differentiation of action that can be cultivated. Therefore, the more complex and impossible to understand allows more granularity in using taxes to enforce policy. The ultimate eventuality is when the government tells you where to spend your money.

    There is NO REASON for government to make this process simple. None whatsoever. As long as they know they can take 100% or more of your income, it is merely a matter of policy to let you have some portion of it – and use this against you to compel you to act in some political way of their design.

    How can you explain that when even a 4 year old can understand the benefits of a simple tax system, the system moves exactly opposite of simplicity?

    It can only be explained if revenue is merely secondary (or less) of a reason for the existence of income tax. It can only be explained by the fact that income tax is a policy tool FIRST and FOREMOST.

    So your goal is futile.

    “Why even bother with the debate? Whose right is it to chose or define marriage?”

    We should bother with the debate because the Republican party is viewed as catering to rich straight white males. If we can provide the same rights to gays while keeping the traditionally religious word “marriage” to be the union of a man and woman then everyone should be happy. This is commonly referred to as a compromise.

    By what right does government determine the definition of marriage/

    “Why is it illegal to work?”

    It isn’t illegal to work, it is illegal to sneak in to this country undocumented and earn a wage without paying taxes.

    Hundreds of thousands of people earn but pay no tax – legally. So why do you want to make this illegal for the poorest of people? Why do you make some part of society ‘ok’ to not pay tax while earning, but punish the poorest of American society by making it illegal for them to earn a living?

    Are you clear – at all – what you are demanding?

    “If a majority of the people want to kill all the left-handed people, this would be ok too?”

    This example is so implausible that it doesn’t even deserve a response. I was only referring to the fact that the abortion battle is a losing cause. If the Republican party wants to regain power they will need to make sacrifices in some areas. I believe this is an area where a sacrifice can be made.

    ….

    If the Republican party wants to regain power they will need to make sacrifices in some areas. I believe this is an area where a sacrifice can be made.

    Ok, replace “left hand” with “Jew” — is that so implausible that you cannot remember history?

    It is you who claimed that the majority determines life or death of innocent humans. You are the contradiction – because your own philosophy realistically applied contradicts your morals.

    You then go on to rationalize this horror as a matter of negotiation for political power. There can no greater evil than to contradict a human moral right of life against mere exercise of raw political POWER – kill whoever you need to, so that you can gain POWER/

    blockquote cite=””>
    The depth of the conversation on how the government could spend less money is beyond the scope of a blog posting. The US Government is the biggest most inefficient company on the planet.

    Ahh, that is why you are muddled.

    You think government is a business.

    It is NOT.

    Business operates on VOLUNTARY association of suppliers and customers.

    Government operates on COMPULSION and FORCE.

    Government is immune from economics – unlike a business. This is why, when a business leader like Bloomberg – who won his position on the platform of ‘business hero’ fails to make government a business….because government is NOT A BUSINESS.

    When you finally figure out that government is a thief – and you start understanding the actions and reasoning of a thief and apply it to government – is suddenly makes sense.

    Anybody who couldn’t find a way to trim some fat isn’t trying too hard.

    True … if that was your goal.

    But if your goal is power, it is not in your favor to limit your extension of power. Therefore, your action will always increase – not decrease – your reach regardless of efficiency as long as the effect is more power.

    I was not talking about making a law. I was referring to the fact that the party should stand together and refuse to vote for anything with wasteful spending in it. Also, the last time I checked the Iraq War was voted on and approved by the House and Senate.

    It sure was. And it was still a lie, it was still aggression, it was still a war crime. No matter how many for … it remains such.

    It’s called fiscal responsibility. I make a certain amount of money each year, if I spend all of the money I make every year then I will never have a reserve of money should an expenditure arise. I’m not sure what rioting has do to with sound financial judgement.

    Your great illusion is that the government operates within the same reality as you.

    It does not.

    When you cannot pay your bills – you go bankrupt and you lose your assets.

    When a government cannot pay its bills – it prints more money.

    With this one, simple, example – and there are nearly infinite multitude of differences between you and government – you must realize that demanding government to act like ‘you’ is futile.

    I was merely suggesting that comprimising on outrageous gun ownership

    Me too!

    It is outrageous that people should protest on the White House lawn!

    It is outrageous that people should protest outside of “Free Speech Zones”

    It is outrageous that people should expect the legal protection of Habeas Corpus.

    It is outrageous that people expect a right to be a “right”! and not subject to some control!

    The people must be CONTROLLED~! There is no right that can’t be so abused that government must take it away!

    Right?

    Owning enough weapons to create your own Rambo movie is really just endangering other people.

    Yes, this is a belief especially of those that believe they have a right to own those exact weapons and use it against me.

    When government makes it illegal for government to own those weapons, then I’ll agree that I don’t need them either.

    You do not understand what a right means.

    A right does not need to be justified. As long as you believe a right needs to be justified, it will be as I described – you will need to justify everything you have – including your own life.

    How would you suggest funding the military or other important programs without some form of taxation?

    I don’t think that is important.

    So why do you want to FORCE me to pay for something YOU THINK is important?

    What if I think painting my house is important? Can I force YOU TO PAY FOR IT???

    I didn’t say they avoid paying all forms of tax, just some that are associated with receiving a paycheck.

    Like what? They did the work! They earned the paycheck!

    The constitution does not allow for a standing army… so he says. I disagree. The constitution allows for the providing of national defense. You can argue the meaning of that statement all day, but simply adhering to his interpretation doesn’t make his interpretation the correct one.

    USWep, you’re right – there is no constitution against the standing army.

    There is ample documentation from the founders regarding such folly, however. I know you’d like to ignore that … but it is there, like it or not.

    Follow the folly, reap that disaster.

  40. I agree, the Republican Party needs to get back on track:

    1) I have always believed strongly that the abortion issue should not be part of the Republican platform. Though it is a law, it should not be a political issue that divides us as a party. It is a personal issue. Not everyone is going to feel the same about it.

    2) Lower taxes in all areas.

    3) Stress smaller government with more accountability.

    4) Promote energy independence through offshore drilling and drilling in Alaska. We have an abundance of energy here. Let’s go get it. I’m all for alternative fuels, but the science and technology isn’t there yet. We will need fossil fuels for decades to come. It’s used for many other things than just fueling our vehicles. Plastics, etc. anyone?

    5) Family values? That’s fine, but let’s put some distance between the moderates in our party and the far “right-wingers”. I am Christian, but I am a humble Christian and not a self-righteous Christian zealot. This is where the Dems point to us as cuckoos.

    6) Emphasize defense and keeping us safe in a world where terrorism is rampant.

    7) Talk about helping the small business owner and independent entrepreneurs, by lowering taxes and having the government get out of their way.

    8) Please return to fiscal responsibility. All this spending is driving me crazy and making my head spin.

    9) Put America first. Yes, we are a “World Power”, but non-Americans don’t seem to appreciate our constant policing and our “help”. That’s pretty obvious. So, let’s use more of those dollars to help our own, here.

    10) And lastly (though I’m sure I will think of something else later), emphasize that the Republican Party is the party of COMMON SENSE. As someone once said, “Common sense is really not that common”.

  41. I was directed to this discussion from a post in the NYT. I am a Green-leaning democrat, but I like to get out of the left echo-chamber every now and again to see what people who think differently from me are saying. This usually means visiting the Fox forums, but the viciousness of the tone there leaves me feeling hopeless. See, I truly believe that there is a lot of common ground between myself and conservatives. I recently reconnected with an old friend from high school thru Facebook, and I was shocked to learn that she was a Libertarian. But, you know what, we see eye-to-eye on many of the most important things. Interesting, no? Makes you think that the political spectrum isn’t really a line, but a circle. And while both the Dems. and Reps. are crowding each other to get to the “center,” a whole lot of people are actually moving toward the opposite point on the circle.

    I watched both the Republican and the Democratic national conventions last fall, and the thing that struck me most was the rabble rousing at both of them. At one point Hillary Clinton spoke in glowing terms about her Senate colleague John McCain, but then in the next breath, she attacked him. And I had this realization that these people are playing us. They work side by side, day in and day out, and then they go back to their bases and vilify each other. If any of us normal folk did that to our coworkers, we’d be called back stabbers. I believe it is elected officials’ duty not only to represent the interests of their constituencies, but also to learn from their colleagues and to educate their constituencies as to the complexity of the issues, not to pander to their black and white views and knee-jerk reactions.

    So, if we, the people, are going to get any change to business as usual in Washington and make the government work for us, let’s get a couple of things straight:

    1) Democrats are not baby killers any more than Republicans are woman haters. I find it ironic that the people who care most passionately about the issue of abortion on both sides–people of the most tender and sympathetic hearts–cannot give each other the benefit of the doubt.
    2) Democrats love their country as much as Republicans. We love the beauty of this land, the industriousness and basic decency of its people, and most of all the nobility of its principles. Which principles? The ones in the Constitution: Unity, Justice, domestic Tranquility, general Welfare, Liberty. We don’t believe that the purpose of the founding of our country was to pursue individual riches.
    3) Deregulation is a misnomer. No society is free of rules. What goes under the banner of deregulation is a series of rules that has made money trickle up over the last quarter of a century.
    4) Most democrats believe in capitalism, but they doubt that left to its own devices, the market would value the labor of one human being at 350 times that of another. We suspect that somehow the deck has been stacked.

    Thanks. I enjoyed reading many of your comments, and I hope that we can start to take our country back by coming together and learning from each other.

  42. Black Flag says:

    1) I have always believed strongly that the abortion issue should not be part of the Republican platform. Though it is a law, it should not be a political issue that divides us as a party. It is a personal issue. Not everyone is going to feel the same about it.

    As long as people believe they have a right to kill innocent life, government will flourish.

    2) Lower taxes in all areas.

    Lowering taxes is meaningless. Government spending will continue to grow unabated.

    By this lowering of taxes simply means inflation will skyrocket. Inflation completely destroys savings, loans, pensions and fixed incomes. Without a culture of savings there is no capital to invest or loan, and economic growth is stunted or destroyed.

    3) Stress smaller government with more accountability.

    So, fire a whole bunch of government employees, but keep all government programs?

    Or eliminate government programs? Which ones? Which segments of the population are you willing to disfranchise from your ‘revolution’?

    4) Promote energy independence through offshore drilling and drilling in Alaska. We have an abundance of energy here. Let’s go get it. I’m all for alternative fuels, but the science and technology isn’t there yet. We will need fossil fuels for decades to come. It’s used for many other things than just fueling our vehicles. Plastics, etc. anyone?

    The US military, by itself, consumes 1% of the energy of the United States – more energy the the entire country of Nigeria…. more than twice the energy of Ireland ….there are only 35 countries in the world that consume more energy then the US military.

    The US airforce consumes more fuel in one year than all the airforces combined for all of WW2.

    This does not take into account the free oil the US military gets in Iraq and Kuwait.

  43. The first thing republicans need to do is stop listening to the press. start standing up for America. we can not keep concentrating on special interest groups. All this does and has done is keep us chasing our tails and going nowhere. Trying to solve all of our internal problems is impossible. Problems like gay rights and all the other lunatic ideas only serve a very few. These will work themselves out.
    In the first 30 years of my life I saw us move men from the earth to the moon. The second 30 years I saw us move Coors beer east of the mississippi river. Is this progress?
    The country has become stagnate by trying to be politically correct and trying to please everyone and absolutely offend no one. Once again we are going in a circle chasing global warming which is a bill of goods rammed down our throats by the left.
    Republicans can get us out of this but it will take someone committed to making the country great again. We keep voting in people that do not like the country in the first place, and then wonder why they are more concerned about filling their wallets than looking out for American workers. The secular REGRESSIVES are killing us. This country is so great that not only did we put a man on the moon. We did it in the middle of the civil rights movement and the vietnam war all going on at the same time. Focus and committment is how we did this. Something that we have lost along time ago. If we do not get this back we will fail.

    • Al Morrow
      I think we can certainly agree that political correctness is one of the things that is really hurting our country. This is combined with a overwhelming push to make sure we don’t talk about politics with anyone. They are banned from work and shunned in social settings. This is a perfect way to make sure the people never get teh chance to talk to one another and realize that we have more in common than what separates us. Politics being a taboo subject is a great way to make sure people don’t come together and hold government accountable.

  44. The republican party needs to be like the libertarian party to get my vote. When I left the Republican party, I not only left them because they strayed from their ideals, but because I discovered even some of thier original ideals were a bit off. I think that, even traditionally, they gave too much power to the religious side of things. I don’t have an issue with the beliefs that are held by that group of the party, I just have an issue with them being made law. To get back on track (even if my vote did not come with it), the republican party would need to do the following:
    1) Cut corruption. Kick out any persons caught doing corrupt things, force them out of office. Lead impeachment procedures against members of thier own party that are participating if crooked activities. Assuming there are enough of them left to have any positions of leadership at all, they need to:
    2) Cut spending. Get the spending under budget, and use every bit of overage to paying off the national debt. Once that is done, they need to:
    3) Return any leftover money to the american people in the form of tax cuts (not tax credits), and they need to be simple ones, not special deductions. Then, they need to:
    4) Pull the military out of UN related actions and act on the behalf of US defense and US interests only. Join with UN forces only when our allies are threatened.
    5) Support family values and seperation of church and state, get out of the PC business. Polarizing issues like Abortion and Gay marriage are subjects of low importance from a legal standpoint, and they should be explained as such.
    6) Articulate all of these changes and explain the need for them and the benefit of them. Remove restrictions on access to government activities, and make an itemized budget available for people to see who is being taxed, how much, and what it is spent on.
    7) Loosen restrictions on business to allow more powerful growth, and stop bailing out failed businesses, and explain that just because a business fails does not mean that everyone that works there is doomed, much less the country. Nature (and the market) hates a vacuum, and the void will be filled.

    Those things will get the Republican voters back on board. A lot more would have to be done to win me back, but I would like a lot of those things, and would again consider them the better of two candidates. There is a great deal that would still be too totalitarian for me to actually support them, but I think that they would get a lot done that would help the country and increase freedom a lot faster than a new party like the LP could do.

    • Jon,

      I agree with your sentiments here for the most part. The Libertarian party is certainly more in line with my belief system. I think they are in line with more people than most would like to admit. They really have to do something about the splintering that has happened. Embrace the platform and get out there with one strong message. I think it would only take one giant candidate who gets heard to make many people make the switch.

  45. Thanks for the invite and the opportunity to comment.

    First, my background, Born a liberal democrat, came of age in 1963 when Kennedy was assassinated. Thanks to a High School friend, read conscience of a conservative and backed Goldwater. Two years later spent almost an entire summer and fall working on Bill Buckley for Mayor. went in the Army, got married, bought a house and had four kids.

    Goldwater said it all, “A choice not an echo”. If you are going to be democrat “light”, like “light” beer, you will be rejected by regular beer drinkers. Any republican who ever thinks he can do anything to appeal to the lemming like, mindless robotic democrats is out of his mind. Nixon tried, and failed, Bush 1 tried, and failed, Bush 2 tried, and failed. Reagan never tried, and succeeded. Dole and McCain tried for the supposed center and lost, dramatically.

    I’m a conservative catholic, not so much in league with fundamentalists who don’t think much of my church but I would not even think of throwing them overboard.

    Abortion, continue to oppose it. We are making headway. This is a classic states rights issue. The Courts had no business getting involved. Let the court send it back to the states. Then it can be dealt with on a state by state basis. Sure, CA, NY, MA and a host of others will probably have it forever but it is easier to win people over and build grassroots coalitions on a local rather than national level.

    I still can’t figure gay marriage. I am a young 62 yr. old, progressive (in the good sense) conservative with more liberatarian leanings than not but “Gay Marriage”? Be serious here. I still laugh when I hear the term. No way, not now, not ever. Domestic partnerships, equal rights absolutely. Marriage the word and the covenant cannot and must not be watered down.

    The younger folks out there cannot see how things have been chipped away over the years. the b——s wear you down. You have to fight for everything. I am a big second amendment guy and can remember back in the early sixties, as a teenager, being able to buy a rifle in NYC, take it home on the subway, with no case! Today there is the license issue, the age issue, the concealed issue, the type of rifle issue (no more semi-autos in NY) and a host of others. I certainly, at 18, never figured they would impose all these restrictions, none of which had any effect on crime. Guillaini had an effect on crime, but that’s another story.

  46. I thought this would speak to the problem that the GOP seems to be having of late:

    “Today we mourn the passing of a beloved old friend, Common Sense, who has been with us for many years. No one knows for sure how old he was as his birth records were long ago lost in bureaucratic red tape. He will be remembered as having cultivated such valuable lessons as: Knowing when to come in out of the rain, why the early bird gets the worm, life isn’t always fair and maybe it was my fault.

    Common Sense lived by simple, sound financial policies(don’t spend more than you can earn) and reliable strategies(adults, not children, are in charge).

    His health began to deteriorate rapidly when well intentioned but overbearing regulations were set in place. Reports of a 6 year old boy charged with sexual harrassment for kissing a classmate; teens suspended from school for using mouthwash after lunch and a teacher fired for reprimanding an unruly student only worsened his condition. Common Sense lost ground when parents attacked teachers for doing the job that they themselves had failed to do in disciplining their unruly children. It declined even further when schools were required to get parental consent to administer sun lotion or a bandaid to a student, but could not inform parents when a student became pregnant and wanted to have an abortion.

    Common Sense lost the will to live as the Ten Commandments became contraband; churches became businesses and criminals received better treatment than their victims. Common Sense took a beating when you couldn’t defend yourself from a burglar in your own home and the burglar could sue you for assault.

    Common Sense finally succomed to death after a woman failed to realize that a steaming cup of coffee was hot. She spilled a little in her lap and was promptly awarded a huge settlement.

    Common Sense is preceded in death by his parents Truth and Trust; his wife Discretion; his daughter Responsibility and his son Reason. He is survived by his four step brothers; I Know My Rights, I Want It Now, Someone Else Is To Blame and I’m A Victim.

    Not many attended his funeral because so few realized he was gone.

    When political correctness replaced common sense the GOP lost it’s way. The things that are spoken of in that obituary for common sense are what is wrong with this country. You want the GOP back in power? Ressurect Common Sense.

  47. Black Flag says:

    SK Trynosky Sr. said

    Abortion, continue to oppose it. We are making headway. This is a classic states rights issue.

    It’s a classic human rights issue! Who has the right to slaughter innocent human life?

    Marriage the word and the covenant cannot and must not be watered down.

    By what right do you claim for you to define what marriage means?

  48. Black Flag says:

    Common Sense finally succomed to death after a woman failed to realize that a steaming cup of coffee was hot. She spilled a little in her lap and was promptly awarded a huge settlement.

    How myths continue to pervert common sense.

  49. Where did we go wrong? I blame Newt, he walked away in a huff and left the damn thing to Tom Delay. Mr. Delay should probably be in jail. He most undoubtedly some day will be in the 9th Circle of hell. It was in the Delay days that my eldest walked away from the party.All he saw was a party where less and less dissent was tolerated. In ’94 remember when we actually described ourselves as the big tent party? Tom and his ilk sure took care of that.

    I blame Bush 2. What the hell is a compassionate conservative anyway? The stats on charitable donations have always proved we were compassionate. Instead of pointing this out (as many thousand times as necessary) we elected Bush. He was appealing to that middle democratic base. They were never going to stay with us.

    Bush had his war, he appointed Rumsfeld. Boy was that a mistake. Another one who only wanted to hear from people who believed ast he did. If you have any doubt of that, ask someone on active duty at the time. “We go to war with the army we have” what a crock, and he said it three years after into the war where we still don’t have what the troops need. Shades of the guns and butter Johnson days. This is where my second son, an active duty Air Force officer got off the train. Then Bush sticks with the turkey. Republicans like Santorum in PA lost their seats because they defended the indefensible too. Surprisingly, two weeks after getting clobbered in 2006, Bush dumps Rummy. In the space of one month the guy went from being untouchable to being an untouchable. In the interim Bush managed to blow the party out of the water.

    Did George Bush ever hear the term “Bully Pulpit”? For that matter, did he ever hear the word “Veto”. I know a lot of folks like to defend him because of the nature of the attacks on him, but the man set the party back 30 years. Regarding Bush on abortion, I would postulate to you how can a man sell the country on banning abortion when he couldn’t even sell his wife? That holds true for his dad too.

    Back in ’65, many republican friends at college chastised me for supporting Bill Buckley for Mayor. They saw a real chance of electing a Republican, John Lindsay and worried that Buckley would draw votes from him. I didn’t worry about this, I prayed for it. Unfortunately Lindsay won, governed from the far left, gave republicans in New York a worse name (if that were possible) and eventually became a democrat.

    One of the things I really liked about Goldwater supporters after the election was their continued optimism. I remember a guy from California named Alan Bock who proudly wore a pin that had a 27 on it. Months after I met him I asked the meaning. He laughed and said “27 million people can’t be wrong”. We have to be willing to nominate good candidates and lose if we have to. They have to have ideals, be honest and unwilling to compromise on basic issues.

    I don’t know if we ever had a prayer in ’08. The bama was just too good and the Bush fatigue syndrome carried over to every single Republican. Based on the past two weeks we do have a chance for the future. The bama is a petulant child. This ranting about “I won”, “I won”, smacks of Rumsfeld like hubris. He has apparently no intention of being the president of all the people. He sees a mandate where I see only the desire on the part of the electorate to wipe the slate clean of Bush and perceived Bushites. So, I guess it is our job to work to provide the “choice not the echo”.

  50. To black Flag,

    I don’t claim to define marriage, I will let the last 10,000 years of human history and philosophical evolution do that for me.

    Of course life is a basic Human Right. It is just that the folks on the upper West side of Manhattan don’t get that point. However, i like to learn from my enemies. They have been chipping away at our rights. Going state by state is a way of chipping away at them.

    I’m sorry but as a conservative from the dark ages, I have always agreed with Bill Buckley “A conservative is someone who stands athwart history and yells, Stop!” So, until something provably better comes along I will fight to defend what has worked so far.

  51. Black Flag says:

    SK. Trynosky Sr. said

    I don’t claim to define marriage, I will let the last 10,000 years of human history and philosophical evolution do that for me.

    I appreciate your position – but that could be applied broadly – for most of human history women were barely above the position held by cattle too.

    I would suggest that instead merely following a 10,000 year paradigm, perhaps one should re-evaluate the reason the paradigm existed in the first place. I’d bet you’d find that it is the paradigm that is lacking.

    However, i like to learn from my enemies. They have been chipping away at our rights. Going state by state is a way of chipping away at them.

    I would agree. Decentralizing the power will make it easier to fight.

    So, until something provably better comes along I will fight to defend what has worked so far.

    Unfortunately, that tends to destroys anything that will work better – typically, within reason, unless you try it, you can’t know.

    I’m more of a “show me the logic, and let’s do it”.

  52. Myth or no myth, the fact is that common sense in this country long ago fell by the wayside. Why would you only pick that one line? The rest of it is right on the money and I say again if we want the GOP to make a return,ressurect common sense.

  53. To black flag:

    I disagree, you are right about the position of women, for that matter we should remember that actual slavery has only “not existed” for the past 150 years or so. However marriage was established a long,long time ago to create a family unit to protect the cubs. Even I have a bit of a problem with one man, one woman. My position would put me at odds with another hero of mine, Robert Heinlein but I would argue that in the real, practical rather than theoretical world, it is the only concept that works. Before everybody jumps all over me, I’d have to dismiss polygamy too as being disrespectful to women in general.

    I think our educational system is a great analogy for the fallacy of trying something “new” (I’m married to a damn good teacher). Since the fifties, the Educational Industrial Complex (Eisenhower forgot to warn us about them) has annually, it seems, thrown “new” at us. New, yes, improved, no. I have watched these programs come along, one after another. I have listened to my wife pick them to pieces. I a fairly logical empirical guy agree with her. They seem to routinely fail, any successes some have are because the teachers, like my wife, work around them. She is one of those people like Salk and the Polio vaccine who will not sit still and watch an entire class of hers fail in order to test a theory that should have already been rigorously tested before implementation. In any event, the new program is replaced within a few years with a newer program. The only folks who have been successful are a) the textbook manufacturers and b) the education lobby.

    I always wondered why the New York City system, the envy of the world in the 1910’s, 20’s, 30’s, 40’s,and 50’s, a place where all other systems sent their teachers and administrators to observe crashed to the level of a 3rd world country in the 60’s. Most administrators lied about the reasons. Certainly there were no more multi-ethnic, ESL, poverty stricken students in history than NY from 1900 to 1960. The answer can only be the changing of the basics. This analogy can be continued throughout the social sciences. People are not machines, you cannot “reinvent” them as you can a car engine.

    Thanks for the opportunity

  54. While studying European history, particularly Russian, I read many times how the Regan Republican was respected, admired, and feared throughout the world…limits on big government, a strong national defense, and a rising economic system were the bane of communism.

    If one can agree that government does exist, and is not likely to be dissolved in the near future, is it not better to be respected for those common sense principles than to be derided for weaknesses? I am addressing the current situation in America, not the past decade.

    The Republican platform needs to study its own history. Common sense is a resource with which they need to reacquiant themselves and reacquire.

  55. Black Flag says:

    Kristian said

    Myth or no myth, the fact is that common sense in this country long ago fell by the wayside. Why would you only pick that one line?

    Because perpetuating a myth that describes a situation falsely creates false pretenses, decisions, and logic.

    Pick carefully your examples – especially if as you claim there are some many others.

    The rest of it is right on the money and I say again if we want the GOP to make a return,ressurect common sense.

    I do not think you really understand the full implications of what you are asking.

    SK. Trynosky Sr. said
    To black flag:

    However marriage was established a long,long time ago to create a family unit to protect the cubs.

    Ok, so let’s work through this – but are you willing to accept the conclusion?

    Family is not marriage – right?
    A father and child without a mother still makes a family, right?

    A mother and her child without a father still makes a family, right?

    An uncle with his nephew/niece still makes a family, right?

    An adult with an adopted child still makes a family, right?

    (etc. etc.)

    So, where did marriage fit in any of this?

    Therefore, marriage and family are not necessarily co-linked.

    I’d have to dismiss polygamy too as being disrespectful to women in general.

    Why? Isn’t that opinion really important to those acting in that relationship?

    They aren’t ‘doing’ anything to you, are they?

    I think our educational system is a great analogy for the fallacy of trying something “new” (I’m married to a damn good teacher).

    We homeschool – I just couldn’t subject my daughter to a 12 year prison sentence.

    The answer can only be the changing of the basics.

    Or, perhaps, it is the fact that public school’s primary purpose is not to educate but deliver compliant citizens.

    Quote:”A primary purpose of the educational system is to train school children in good citizenship, patriotism and loyalty to the state and the nation as a means of protecting the public welfare,” the judge wrote..”

    People are not machines, you cannot “reinvent” them as you can a car engine.

    But you can run the people into the ground.

    Rowe said
    If one can agree that government does exist, and is not likely to be dissolved in the near future, is it not better to be respected for those common sense principles than to be derided for weaknesses? I am addressing the current situation in America, not the past decade.

    But have all the implications of your position?

    Have you, as would have Bastiat, investigated the ‘unseen’ consequences – or simply focused on the ‘seen’, like Keynes?

    The Republican platform needs to study its own history.

    They had exactly that candidate – Ron Paul – and threw him under a bus.

    There is no hope for any change from the norm. The system actively destroys those that try to change the paradigm.

    • BF,
      So many good points, yet I don’t feel as though it is safe to go back in the water. If I wade in you will revert back to those same tactics and ruin the discussion.

  56. Mr. Flag:

    Bastiat is a fascinating read…Sophisms is “common sense,” as is his reply to Marx in Harmonies. It seems few Americans have heard of Bastiat, Hazlitt, or any of the Austrian economists. The weaknesses are inherent in the current political/governmental system. If one knows it is a weakness, then would not common sense (true logic)dictate a need for change? Ron Paul, I think, will not run in 2012. But why is there no hope that another similar to Mr. Paul will not arise? As the system “actively destroys” those who try to change the system, how does the system change?

    You remind me of my logic professor from many years ago. Sadly, I made a B in that class, so I am quite aware that I am ill-equipped to have debate you. However, I do find your posts quite educational.

    Regards,
    R

  57. To black flag:

    Sophistry and semantics my friend! I would point out that to this day, the media refers to “The Manson Family”. By certain definitions, they too were a family. I fear my mistake was not in spelling out I was referring to a “traditional” family established through marriage, Mom, Dad, cubs, spot the dog and cuddles the cat.

    You were the one that made the historical reference to women being “property” throughout much of history. If some cultures, notably Islam still treat them as chattel then I guess it really should not bother me but it does. Injustice always does. Just to calm your fears though, I would not want to draft you to serve in an army to overthrow something I think is an injustice.

    Despite the outrageous suburban property taxes I pay I have additionally paid (for four kids) the tuition for parochial schools. I too, don’t like or trust Public Schools. I think however that you are wrong, they are no where near good enough to deliver compliant citizens. They can’t even keep drugs and guns out of the place.

    I stand by my comment that people are not machines. You can try and drive them into the ground but it never quite works. That’s why I’ve always felt dealing with liberals is like a bad vampire movie. No matter how many times you drive the stake through their heart, in the sequel, they keep coming back! I can never brook change for the sake of change. My dad used to say that life is like a chess game, you have to be three moves ahead all the time. Therefore, I want to be able to think out the consequences of “change” to the third place at least before I jump on board. Sometimes I might miss the boat but most of the time, I have found that I managed to avoid the Titanic and the Lusitania.

    I wish that there was a Saint Cassandra. I’d like to wear her medal. Unfortunately she pre-dates Christianity. I have always been partial to Priam’s daughter who could see what would go wrong, tell everyone and then be ignored as the dumb A– Trojans wheeled the wooden horse in. I often feel like her.

  58. Black Flag says:

    USWeapon said
    February 7, 2009 at 12:33 am

    BF,
    So many good points, yet I don’t feel as though it is safe to go back in the water. If I wade in you will revert back to those same tactics and ruin the discussion.

    I have a long post that explains my opinion of your thinking.

    I’ve decided that I will email you personally – unless, of course, you want to our dialogue in public view.

    • You are always welcome to email me. Personal communication is good. Sometimes more productivity occurs out of the public eye. While we bicker on the site, I welcome your thoughts on anything.

  59. Black Flag says:

    Rowe said

    Mr. Flag:

    You can call me “BF” – you’re a friend of a friend if you’re posting on this site 🙂

    Bastiat is a fascinating read…Sophisms is “common sense,” as is his reply to Marx in Harmonies. It seems few Americans have heard of Bastiat, Hazlitt, or any of the Austrian economists.

    To the Americans terrible loss.

    Few people like being told or shown the truth – most prefer illusions instead.

    I have a audio of Hazlitt back in 1970 describing the current economic disaster – he even called the year +/- 2 years it would all explode – and he was laughed at – he had just won the Nobel Prize and they laughed at him.

    The weaknesses are inherent in the current political/governmental system. If one knows it is a weakness, then would not common sense (true logic)dictate a need for change? Ron Paul, I think, will not run in 2012.

    His campaign changed the political face of America. His impact will be felt for the next century. He was wise enough to know that was all he could accomplish and left the rest up to someone else.

    He is (and USWep will fall off his chair when he reads this) the only politician I would have broken my 32 year ban of voting for anyone. I would have actually registered and voted.

    But the system saved me 🙂 I continue my unbroken streak of saying “NO!” to the system.

    But why is there no hope that another similar to Mr. Paul will not arise? As the system “actively destroys” those who try to change the system, how does the system change?

    The system protects itself. The change a Ron Paul (or even – with lots of help (mental, philosophical and physical help from freedom fighters maybe -just maybe- USWep) would actually attack and destroy the system.

    The system prevents this – it has organized itself to exclude those that attempt to fatally change the paradigm.

    Consider Ron Paul – he broke funding records – and was denied access to the process – even illegally.

    If he could not do it – with the funding, exposure, etc. only a violent revolution could disrupt the system.

    And I cannot agree to violence.

    Therefore, the auto-destruction that the system creates will have to suffice.

    You remind me of my logic professor from many years ago. Sadly, I made a B in that class, so I am quite aware that I am ill-equipped to have debate you. However, I do find your posts quite educational.

    Fear no debate with me.

    I challenge assumptions and logic – but everyone, even me, can make errors in the mechanics of logic (yes, as a math genius, sometimes I still make addition errors 🙂 )

    Reason and Logic have taught me well and the universe rewards those that use the conclusions of reason.

    Regards,
    BF

  60. Black Flag says:

    SK. Trynosky Sr. said
    I was referring to a “traditional” family established through marriage, Mom, Dad, cubs, spot the dog and cuddles the cat.

    Though I did not include such examples as the “Mason Family”.

    I extended examples of the definition of family, I believe, very reasonably.

    Your further redefining still does not include those that I offered. Does this mean you do not believe those I raised are examples as a family?

    You were the one that made the historical reference to women being “property” throughout much of history. If some cultures, notably Islam still treat them as chattel then I guess it really should not bother me but it does.

    People perverting Islam is no greater then people perverting Christianity.

    You do know that Mohammad in the Koran was one of the first to actually codify women’s rights.

    His discourse over the abuse of women was made when he said “Which of you have not been born from a woman?” — challenging any of those that wished to abuse women – the creators of their life – to rethink their position of .

    Injustice always does. Just to calm your fears though, I would not want to draft you to serve in an army to overthrow something I think is an injustice.

    Sir, even if you thought drafting me into something you believed just would not find me following you whatsoever.

    Your definition or belief of justice holds no weight for me – either for or against – my knowledge of justice.

    I think however that you are wrong, they are no where near good enough to deliver compliant citizens. They can’t even keep drugs and guns out of the place.

    I the definition of a good citizen has nothing to do with killing or drugs.

    It has to do with loyalty to the State.

  61. Black Flag says:

    A bit more of Islam and women – Mohammad was very pro-women’s rights…with great reason.

    He was an illiterate farm boy. He dictated all his thoughts and ‘writing’s to his wife – who could read and write. One can imagine she might have edited a few words here and there 😉

  62. I am enjoying this. Mr. Black Flag out there is very, very good. Makes you think. However…

    1. still stand by the definition of traditional family. Certainly there is room for more, even in my 1964 High School Websters,
    Family, N. a group composed of parents and children: a household group, a tribe or clan, lineage,: a classification of animals or plants larger than a genus but less than an order.
    So, therefore, I am right, you are right and the Manson family was a family too.

    2. Right now, it is the Islam being perverted on the rights of women issue. Christianity more or less has it right at the moment. Mohammad’s view is moot.

    3. That’s probably why I wouldn’t draft you. The right to lead has to be earned, ie: The Fort Benning motto “Follow Me”.

    4. Belief vs. knowledge. Excellent point! I have always explained to my children as my father explained to me that “what I know trumps what you believe or feel”. I however believe that there are absolutes, right and wrong, black and white. It is sort of like my definition of where your rights end. They end where mine begin. Even Robert Heinlien had a problem with this one. There are books (Time enough for Love) where he seems to be an anarchist and one’s like (Starship Troopers) where a personal, voluntary commitment to stand, in an organization, “between one’s loved home and war’s desolation” seem to be at polar opposites. It is a tough one and involves a lot of trust in a “system”.

    5. Can’t figure your final point on my guns and drugs comment. I am merely pointing out the disfunctionality (is that a word?) of our educational system, a point, I think we both agree on. Maybe we got there from different places. Our schools cannot produce kids with any sense of personal responsibility let alone some regimented , mindless clone. I will however, reserve judgment, there is something new and potentially deadly in the schools now, The environment as religion. The little mush heads are being bombarded with bad science and tales of the disappearing polar bears. Their teachers, desperate for something to believe in themselves have become as fervent as any Nazi true believer to pass this “faith” on.

    As always, a pleasure, I think that while we have gone a bit astray from the original intent of this thread we have actually proved a point. That folks of widely differing views can responsibly disagree.

    • SK,

      That is more than the Fort Benning motto. “Follow Me” is the motto of the United States Army Infantry. Benning also houses US Army Ranger school, where the motto is “Rangers Lead the Way”.

      “Recognizing that I volunteered as a Ranger, fully knowing the hazards of my chosen profession….” Ranger School = Best Leadership school on Earth.

  63. US,

    Ah yes, the Benning School for boys. Never went there myself but I have their book.

    Set The Example
    Be technically and tactically proficient
    Know yourself and seek self improvement
    Know your men and look out for their welfare
    Keep your men informed
    Ensure that the task is understood, supervised and accomplished
    Train your men as a team
    Make sound and timely decisions
    Develop a sense of responsibility among subordinates
    Employ your command in accordance with its capabilities
    Seek Responsibility and take responsibility

    Next to the ten commandments,can’t think of any better rules to follow and live by. Have been using them for nearly 35 years with great success. Also the above has become a big part of my jr. leadership training with the Boy Scouts. At the conclusion they all get the Inf. School patch. Unauthorized I know but what a sense of pride it develops.

  64. BF said:
    Because perpetuating a myth that describes a situation falsely creates false pretenses, decisions, and logic.

    Pick carefully your examples – especially if as you claim there are some many others.

    I do not think you really understand the full implications of what you are asking.

    I understand exactly what I am asking. Why is it so difficult for people to use common sense? If you can explain that to me then you are indeed a very smart man. As for perperuating a myth, while the woman with the hot coffee may not have received the money that she was a awarded, a judge did indeed award the money to her. I am certain that the company that was sued fought that judgement and won because it was so outrageous. Tort reform is another thing that would go a long way toward helping America in general. I have no problem what so ever with a company being sued over something if they have done something wrong or been grossly negligent, but even you have to admit that some of the suits that have happened over the years have been outrageous. As for examples of common sense in the previous posting, if you didn’t see any other examples of it then you didn’t read the entire thing. Do you really think that a 6 year old boy should be charged with sexual harrassment, if so then you were never a 6 year old boy. Or teens being suspended for using mouthwash, that is ridiculous! I understand that most, if not all schools have a zero tolerance policy, but that policy should be applied with some common sense. Does it make sense to you that our teachers no longer have the right to keep some kind of order in their classrooms. Should teachers be reprimanded or fired for expecting students to obey the rules, and does it make sense to you that children are in charge? I don’t believe you did read the whole aritcle or you would have seen these things that have killed common sense in this country. No, I don’t believe that I am asking too much for people to use the minds that God gave them instead of relying on political correctness to get them through. They have been doing that for a while now and look where we are.

  65. Black Flag says:

    SK. Trynosky Sr. said

    I am enjoying this. Mr. Black Flag out there is very, very good. Makes you think. However…

    That is my self-appointed job – to make people think! I have great faith in people once they put the minds in gear 🙂

    1. still stand by the definition of traditional family. Certainly there is room for more, even in my 1964 High School Websters,
    Family, N. a group composed of parents and children: a household group, a tribe or clan, lineage,: a classification of animals or plants larger than a genus but less than an order.
    So, therefore, I am right, you are right and the Manson family was a family too.

    Therefore, marriage and family are not co-dependent by example. You can have a family without marriage.

    Now that we have de-coupled (pun intended) family from marriage ….back to the question…

    what is the real purpose of marriage?

    2. Right now, it is the Islam being perverted on the rights of women issue. Christianity more or less has it right at the moment. Mohammad’s view is moot.

    1 Timothy 2:11-14 “Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection. But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence. For Adam was first formed, then Eve. And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression.”
    1 Corinthians 14:34 “Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but they are commanded to be under obedience as also saith the law. And if they will learn any thing, let them ask their husbands at home: for it is a shame for women to speak in the church.”
    Exodus 21:7-8 “And in case a man should sell his daughter as a slave girl, she will not go out in the way that the slave men go out. If she is displeasing in the eyes of her master so that he doesn’t designate her as a concubine but causes her to be redeemed, he will not be entitled to sell her to a foreign people in his treacherously dealing with her.”

    So where do the “Christians” get it ‘right’ from? Certainly not from their Holy Book…

    I offer that women get their rights from the point of a gun and not based on some culture or religion.

    I am student of the history of violence, and I have found that when someone can defend themselves adequately from Power, they become (more) free. Sam Colt gave that ability to women…. not that he planned that….

    That hasn’t yet happened for all women to the same extent in other societies globally.

    I know many Islamic families and the men treat their women with the greatest of respect and love. Therefore, treatment of women has really little to do with religion except as an excuse.

    I am very wary of the oft-repeated mantras of demonizing other religions or beliefs or foreigners on masse. It usually an attempt to demonize an entire people. It is usually propaganda to make them the ‘enemy’ and ‘evil’ and ‘animals’ so that it is easier for ‘us’ to slaughter them.

    The West went to war with Islam centuries ago – and the West barely escaped from being completely overwhelmed – Islam made it to the Spanish-French border, and the gates of Vienna before they were (barely) halted. For generations after, Vienna children were frightened into bed by “boogie man” stories of the Islamic hordes ‘stealing them away’.

    It was the Islamic Mamluks who inflicted the greatest defeat of the Mongols – essentially halting the Mongolian empire (Quote: This battle (Battle of Ain Jalut in 1303) is considered by many historians to be of great macro-historical importance, as it marked the highwater of Mongol conquests, and the first time they had ever been decisively defeated.. Remember, in 1241 the Western knights were utterly wiped out by the Mongols in Poland – so that there was no effective Western fighting force from Warsaw all the way to the Atlantic Ocean. The West was miraculously saved by the death of the Khan and the resulting turmoil of succession back home stopped the Mongol from taking all of Europe.)

    I hope the West avoids such calamity of inciting a religious war. We might not be so lucky the next time.

    The right to lead has to be earned, ie: The Fort Benning motto “Follow Me”.

    The Apache destroyed the Spanish invasion, and withstood the American government invasion until 1914.

    The reason they were essentially un-defeatable is that they did not have a Chief, they had leaders.

    With no ‘head’ to kill, the body survived. When one leader was killed, the body of the tribe continued to fight under a new leader – chosen not by vote or hereditary but by moral action and courage.

    Geronimo, an Apache medicine man, had tired of the killing of his people and he picked up his rifle and left to fight the US government all by himself. He did not compel anyone else to do the same. But if Geronimo was going to go fight, then the other Apache warriors knew they had to fight too.

    The way the US government eventually defeated the Apache was to create a ‘head’ of the tribe. By giving cattle and the right to distribute the cattle among the tribe to an appointed “Chief”, the “Chief” suddenly got political power – and with the centralizing of that power, became easy for the US government to control the tribe.

    It is sort of like my definition of where your rights end. They end where mine begin. Even Robert Heinlien had a problem with this one. There are books (Time enough for Love) where he seems to be an anarchist and one’s like (Starship Troopers) where a personal, voluntary commitment to stand, in an organization, “between one’s loved home and war’s desolation” seem to be at polar opposites. It is a tough one and involves a lot of trust in a “system”.

    Heinlein was an anarchist, no doubt!

    Even in Starship Trooper, he knew the only real use for government was to kill and destroy.

    The difference,'” Rico answers, “lies in the field of civic virtue. A soldier accepts responsibility for the safety of the body politic of which he is a member, defending it, if need be, with his life. The civilian does not”

    What a line! A solider fights for the politics of which he is a member to protect the politics (thus for himself). The civilian opts out of the whole game.

    Maybe we got there from different places. Our schools cannot produce kids with any sense of personal responsibility let alone some regimented , mindless clone.

    That is what is produced. So they are regimented into gangs – either local street gangs, or the big gang in Washington – but gangs nonetheless.

    With no specific purpose of the own life, they subject their life to the whims of others.

    I will however, reserve judgment, there is something new and potentially deadly in the schools now, The environment as religion. The little mush heads are being bombarded with bad science and tales of the disappearing polar bears. Their teachers, desperate for something to believe in themselves have become as fervent as any Nazi true believer to pass this “faith” on.

    The same lesson – listen to ‘us’ and don’t think for yourself – you aren’t smart enough to figure out anything – trust your leaders….

    As always, a pleasure, I think that while we have gone a bit astray from the original intent of this thread we have actually proved a point. That folks of widely differing views can responsibly disagree.

    That’s the fun of conversation – the colorful weave it makes!

    Kristian said

    Why is it so difficult for people to use common sense?

    Because it requires uncommon thinking.

    I’m going to make the rest of my comments on this a post on its own. It holds, perhaps, my biggest antagonism with USWep and so many others – and I hope I don’t insult him in the process.

    If you can explain that to me then you are indeed a very smart man.

    Perhaps the universe keeps some things secret so to keep us entertained forever.

    As for perperuating a myth, while the woman with the hot coffee may not have received the money that she was a awarded, a judge did indeed award the money to her. I am certain that the company that was sued fought that judgement and won because it was so outrageous.

    USWep has a huge post and argument on this site vs. me.

    The nut (from my point of view) is that:
    1) She knew it was hot. But not scalding hot. It was scalding hot.
    2) MacDonald’s makes their coffee much hotter than other restaurants – and much, much hotter than other restaurants that do ‘take out’ coffee (take-out is typically cooler because of the higher incident of accidental spilling). Macdonald’s coffee temp. is scalding hot.
    3) With the scalding temp. and outside the norm, and without informing their customers, Macdonald’s was culpable to her injury. It is reasonable for the customer to assume that Macdonald’s maintains the norm or else notification would be made (we don’t have “Bridge working” signs – we have “Bridge out” signs. Out of the norm must be identified – the norm need not be. Therefore, being out of the norm requires notice to customers).
    4) She had asked only for medical bills and was completely rebuffed.
    5) During the court case, it was shown that Macdonald’s had previous knowledge of the problem (it had occurred many times before) and maliciously ignored it.
    6) The people (the jury) punished Macdonald’s callousness.
    7) She settled out of court for what she had asked and some punitive damages.
    8) Macdonald’s continued the practice – and still did not inform – and got hit again. Similar result.
    9) Macdonald’s now notifies.

    Tort reform is another thing that would go a long way toward helping America in general.

    I believe the problem is minor at best. Most nuisance suits get large press and no court. But the press is rarely interested in seeing the case to the end, so the public assumes a lot of this.

    I have no problem what so ever with a company being sued over something if they have done something wrong or been grossly negligent, but even you have to admit that some of the suits that have happened over the years have been outrageous.

    Judges aren’t stupid (in general). They aren’t going to waste their time playing a fool’s game. These usually are plays for press coverage and if they get to court (rarely) are tossed out.

    An example,
    “Man sues dry cleaning for $50 million over lost pants” – big press. Tossed out and plaintive is humiliated by circuit judge – little press.

    The rest of your post raises requires a far more deeper post than one-off sentences. Bear with me while I compose a reply worthy of the questions you raise.

  66. Perhaps the Republican party should act like the Democrats did during the Bush term
    that is
    act like a bunch of crybabies, complain, fight the president on every agenda, draw impeachment papers on every bogus charge imaginable, call names, act like children.

    Sadly thats what the republicans are currently doing

    Meanwhile the Liberals will have their field day writing books about how dumb and terrible republicans are, and write how unpatriotic republicans are, CNN will be #1 news in the nation, and conservatism becomes the new “dirty label”

    • Kingssmn
      The Republicans could do that but I think what people are looking for is for the party to return to being the party of family values and fair principles. The Democrats have shown, especially with this stimulus bill and their actions over the last 7 years towards Bush, that the party has very little integrity and even fewer morals when it comes to honest debate. But I think they may have overstepped their bounds and perhaps gotten some people to see them for what they are.

  67. BF,

    Thank you for taking the time to give me a worthy reply. I understand now what you meant about the McDonalds thing. That happened at a time when I wasn’t paying much attention to the news. I find myself paying close attention to it now just to see what they come up with next. As far as people using common sense, please explain to me what you meant about that requiring uncommon thinking. That made no sense to me. Please, don’t think me stupid but as far as I can tell common sense is just something that you do. Maybe it’s the era that I was raised in or better, the way that I was raised.

  68. Mr. Flag Sir,

    Point well taken and agreed to on family vs. marriage. Question then devolves to the purpose of a marriage. Here is where I believe that it gets a bit (hah) subjective. Almost everything I’ve read and been taught over the years indicates that the roots of marriage are religious. Since religion predates government what were they striving for? I look at it as a logic issue. How do you protect the most vulnerable in the small tribal group? Well, it seems that a contract would do this pretty well. If the contract is backed with fire, brimstone and eternal damnation, so much the better. Beats the hell out of twenty in Quentin.

    Seriously, back in Catholic High School in the ’60’s Brother Cronan Maurice (may his name be long praised) used to try and make us think. He was famous for hypotheticals in his religion classes. I will remember forever a discussion that went on for days based on the supposition that you have 1,000 unrelated people on an Island. All speak a different language. All have wildly differing cultures. You are going to be there forever, what do you do? Well. the idea that we work up a common language was pretty easy. After that it got tricky. After letting us bumble along for a day or so, he let us in on his answer, invent a religion. This one got argued out a lot. Actually, it continued on in college for some of us. To this day I think it the perfect answer. These are going to be 1,000 very ordinary people. Getting them to cooperate for survival and the common good would be difficult at best. So, we are either going to have a Darwinian slugfest or a “rally round the flag” moment. Since most people seem to have an inate desire to believe in something bigger than them, why not God and a religion? from that, society and government will eventually evolve.

    OK, we have all (hopefully) heard that “God created man (and woman) but Col. Colt made them equal”. It nicely fits in again with Heinlein, “An armed society is a polite society”. I’m all in favor of this. The penalty for incivility should be swift and certain. It will also increase employment in the Sanitation Department.

    I qualified my Christianity statement on women by stating “at the moment”. Unfortunately with Islam, it is also “at the moment”. I do however see in the recorded words of Jesus, an appreciateion and respect for women that may not have carried through to all the gospel writers. Again, in Catholic High School we were told not to take it literally.

    Regarding Islam and the Mongol Empire. Certainly the west owes them thanks but it was as beneficial to them as it was to us. There is a lot of mis-information out there regarding Islam and the west. I find it amazing that my apologists for Christianity, also known as self hating Christians, cannot concieve of the simple fact the Crusades were held in response to Muslim expansion. I always like to point out to them where the gospels originated from. They seem to have no knowledge that Islam displaced established Christianity throughout North Africa and the Middle East. How many know today of Taranto, Vienna, the Hammer? My kids know because they got most of their history education at home.

    The Apache is an excellent analogy, and something I didn’t know. I remember reading a book years ago regarding the American vs. Turkish POW experience in Korea. Our troops were so poorly prepared for the war, physically, tactically and ideologically that they fell apart. The chain of command broke almost immediately in captivity. the Turkish army had leadership in depth, kill the major, the captain steps up, kill the captain, then the lieutenant, and so on, down to the last two privates where the senior private takes over.

    I still think there are a lot more “shepple” out there than gangs. Gangs are created, not by schools but in response to them. It is the breakdown of society and morality that casts kids adrift. Notice how we are coming back to “family” here. There are fascinating articles written during the depression about youth “gangs” on the road substituting for the family that fractured or was unable to feed the teenage members and cast them out. The current youth gangs in Brazil are examples of that. Gang membership is a survival mechanism. Being a “sheeple” is just laziness and a lot easier than thinking.

    From a societal/political point of view today, we are cautioned against the tyrant. Bush was a tyrant, Obama will be a tyrant. Don’t think so myself, both were merely the chief oligarch in a rotating group of oligarchs. Chuck Schumers recent comment that people “don’t care” about pork is the classic proof. The contempt for the “plebs” in his voice was unbelievable. I think society constantly devolves back into fudalism (sp.?). We have the rotating group of to the manor born, purple robed lairds who periodically fight among themselves to elect the king. It has always been a tight group, occasionally letting in new blood (like the Kennedy’s) but is getting tighter all the time.

    Some people in college discovered “Atlas Shrugged” or “Das Kapital”, I discovered “Starship Troopers”. People have laughed at that, imagine, a science fiction book as the basis for my world view. I really like that society. Guaranteed rights and equality for all, with one big exception, the franchise. Ultimately, put up or shut up. Considering that both you and I consider Heinlein an anarchist or at least a rational anarchist, that is quite a step on his part.

    I just see the “troubles” or “crazy times” as Heinlein called them to be well upon us. How long can the vestiges of what the Founders gave us last? I wonder aloud almost every day. When I ask, how foreigners including people we have captured on the battlefield get all the rights of an American citizen the minute they become “feet dry” I get blank stares. Those stares tell me that no one cares. It actually is one of those common sense issues. I think common sense died the same way it did in ancient Rome, bread and circuses. “Don’t bother me now, I’m watching “American Idol” drinking my Bud Light and munching Doritos”.

    Time to do some work.

    • Kieran McCavanagh says:

      Mr. Trynosky, I am curious about your reference to Brother Cronan Maurice. Did you attend Cardinal Spellman HS?

  69. Dear US,

    Your comments to Kingssman are right on.

    We must revert to 1994, we need another contract with America, and an intelligent spokesman who pays his or her taxes on time.

    As Obama appeals to the mass of Americans with his constant references to Lincoln, we too, should take the best the democrats have to offer and run with it. .

    Will someone tell me what’s wrong with reviving the JFK quote “Ask not what your country……”
    for side? Give the credit to JFK show people how far todays dems are from him. Besides Kennedy, by today’s standard,would have fit nicely in the conservative camp. We need a call to service, a call to be for something bigger than ourselves.

    The republican party, in this economic climate should be all over FDR’s “the only thing we have to fear is fear itself”. Even after they won, after they got the stimulus (hah) package through they are still ginning up fear. I think the why is pretty clear. they really want to totally destroy any vestige of individual freedom and initiative. Kill it and bury it, forever. They are doing a great job. Our job is to stick together and show the big lie. Let us quote FDR while we point out their big lies. Let us show how FDR embraced, really embraced hope while his successors have not. Reagan did it well with Carter, point out your opponent is the glass half empty sad sack guy while you are the eternal optimist who always sees the glass half full.

    These people must be taken head on. Collins, Snow and Spector have to go. Actually I have a suggestion. Maybe somebody should organize a petition drive informing the gang of three that we will pledge our “middle class tax cut” of $ 8.00 per week to fund their primary challengers. If we fail in the primary, I’d still be willing to send my $ 8.00 to the democrat running against them. We’ve got to house clean.

  70. Black Flag says:

    I’ve been moving this week – (living what I preach; I’m downgrading my lifestyle by choice before I’m forced due to the economy. There is a big difference between choosing a different lifestyle and suddenly being thrust into one…..)

    My internet isn’t turned on yet (withdrawal symptoms are rampant in our house).

    I’ll respond on more of this posts shortly – I wondering if USWep will pop this thread back to the top – it seems to be going strong.

    -BF

  71. Black Flag says:

    Kristian,

    So what is ‘common sense’?

    It takes three paragraphs for Wikipedia to describe. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Common_sense)

    So let me strip away to the parts I wish to highlight.
    … their common natural understanding.
    … refer to beliefs or propositions
    without reliance on esoteric knowledge or study or research,
    … include intuitions, pre-theoretic belief, ordinary language, the frame problem, foundational beliefs, good sense, endoxa, and axioms.

    So real common sense completely depends on the axioms and foundational beliefs that an individual holds. Since these foundational beliefs and axioms are individual, we can most certainly expect that everyone will probably have some differences in the exercise of common sense.

    I hope now USWep understands why I constantly irritate him with demands for him to expose his ‘foundational belief’ and core ‘axioms’ before I can give him ‘benefit of the doubt’ regarding his ‘common sense’. Without this fundamental understanding of his axioms, the use of the ‘common sense argument’ in a discussion is merely an attempt to misdirect the argument into a fallacy. The ‘trust me – even though I can’t prove my argument’ is never a logical argument for anything.

    So it is uncommon for anyone to actually do the hard work of discovering their foundational beliefs. Many avoid this – because of its work load (and honestly, some simply do not have the intelligence to work logic correctly – these people I never irritate and simply accept their opinions as given) – and the threat that it probably will expose to their psyche and ego that they have been lying to themselves for years.

    But without a firm grasp on your own self’s axioms, how can anyone create their common sense?

    If it is left to – as detailed above to merelyintuition, belief, esotericism – this type of ‘common sense’ has no place where there are demands of reason and logic to prove or explain a personally held position.

    So for many people, their common sense – because it is axiomatic and belief based – is usually learned by rote.

    A mentor tells us what action is right and what action is wrong – and that is what we belief and hold to be true and all without any test (other than respect for our mentor). This started with our parents telling us good vs. bad. Many people haven’t grown beyond this acceptance of authority and power in telling them right from wrong.

    Power knows this, and uses this to easily manipulate the people.

    Many people simply build a very long list of good vs bad beliefs – all generally thought to be common – because many of these beliefs come from Power telling the people what to believe.

    When a new moral dilemma enters their life – one that no mentor (or Power) has told them that is either good or bad –many people simply ‘pattern match’ – try to find a previous common belief that is close to this dilemma, rationalize the difference, and then add this to their ‘common sense’ list. They have no idea to why some morals and beliefs are ‘righteous’ and others are not – other than what someone else told them what to believe.

    Then comes along a Black Flag.

    A post goes up protesting the soft touch a ‘criminal’ gets from the IRS. The Black Flag asks “Why is he a criminal?” – of course the answer comes from the ‘Common sense’ list – Common Sense responded with ‘because he broke the law’. Somewhere in his youth, a mentor taught Common Sense that breaking the law makes you a criminal. He accepted that at face value and never tested the lesson.

    The Black Flag offers a case where another group of law breakers are heroes. “Why are they heroes and not criminals? They broke the law!” exclaims The Black Flag.

    Common Sense becomes uncomfortable. He was taught by a mentor that in this case, what these people did was incredibly heroic and worthy of reverence and praise. They aren’t criminals.

    But since Common Sense never tested why this particular case made them heroes and not criminals and the previous case where the subject is a criminal and not a hero when in both cases they broke the law; he has no idea how to reconcile the contradiction. He never tested either case – simply took by word of a mentor or Power that both were true. But they can’t be both true, he now sees – he is stuck. Thus, he simply retorts – ‘It’s common sense!’

    So why I said all of this requires uncommon thinking is because very few actually do the work of thinking to figure out their moral positions.

    Most simply accept – blindly and in ignorance – what someone else told them. The consequence of this unthinking position always ends up with powerful moral contradictions.

    Then, in the small group that actually tries to figure it out, like USWep, but are appalled at the answers they find.

    So many long and closely held beliefs are found worthless and wanting or worse, evil – but represents the base core of so much of their life and/or livelihood.

    Here are some that are of personal note between myself and this blog owner.

    1) Killing innocent people – he is against it….but killing innocent people is ok if it is collateral damage from his military action, saves ‘x’ more innocent lives then ‘y’ innocent killed, or done by his government, (but wrong if it is done by another government). Why the all differences (shrug), it’s common sense!

    2) Stealing is a crime – he is against it…. But not if it is done by government, then it’s ok. He agrees to the definition of stealing – but somehow, using common sense, it doesn’t apply to government. To try to handle the contradiction, strange theories of ‘implied contract’, duty, ‘don’t like it, leave’… etc. are proposed.

    3) The only justified use of violence is to prevent and halt the initiation of violence – he agrees…. But not if it is done by law… then using violence on non-violent people is ok, because – its common sense! The obvious contradiction of grant of rights (can’t grant a right that you do not have – so how does government get to use violence on non-violent people when government gets its powers from the people, and no one has the right to initiate violence) is handled by…you guessed it… common sense!

    And so on…

    Common sense becomes the cop-out when the test of a held belief collapses under the scrutiny of reason and logic.

    Awhile back I noted on this blog an experience between myself and a magician – I exposed a contradiction he couldn’t rectify – between logic and his faith – and faith won. It usually does, because the alternative – the truth – is often so disturbing in its impact and meaning, it simply cannot be true! It must be some sort of trickery that Black Flags know that is mystifying the minds of common sense!

    “The individual is handicapped by coming face to face with the truth so monstrous he cannot believe it exists.”

    I do not give any claim of common sense any benefit of the doubt. I have found most of them are a contradiction and therefore cannot exist in any realm other than as a mere jingoistic claim of irrational ‘common sense’.

    So when I state – do you understand the implications you are asking – it is that. Are you willing to accept the conclusions’ of this uncommon thinking – the monstrous truth?

    “Pain is the root of knowledge” …. “We must prefer real hell to an imaginary paradise.”

    • Couple of mistakes in your initial analysis. You are attempting to put way too much thought and misdirection into common sense. It does not say that it DEPENDS on axioms, it says that it can include. You do a great job of defining the world the way that you wish to see it. Common sense is common sense. You often find a way, as you have here, to make simple things difficult. How about Mirriam or Webster’s definition? I prefer theirs: sound and prudent judgement based on a simple perception of the facts. Now you see why I refuse to subscribe to your demands of defining every aspect of myself in order to have a simple conversation. And your refusal to give any benefit of the doubt is simply that. Don’t try to confuse folks with some mad reasoning as you have done here. You just decided that I don’t have good intentions or that whatever argument I make I fall on some “evil” side of things. That is the benefit of the doubt that you don’t give, and which I do. That’s OK, you are entitled. As for the rest, as promised I am not going to engage on things there there is little chance of you engaging on logical and honest debate. I will only say that you have, as is your normal twist, mischaracterized my positions above to fit your belief of the situations. You can continue to use your argument, which is essentially “I understand the world in ways the rest of you do not. Because you fail to agree with me, you must therefore be accused of being too afraid or unable to grasp the inherent truth that I possess.” Perhaps that works with others. But not here, and certainly not with me, as you have found out, which it seems bothers you to no end.

  72. AHHHHH Flag I just can’t take it.

    Common sense is like gravity, it is just there and yes, I know, that makes it totally subjective. Hitler’s common sense is not the same as mine.

    I guess that I would say that people, from the same culture and society who are not insane (don’t start with that!) come to certain conclusions about how things work. As in statistics or science plus or minus X percent of the selected population agrees with them. That’s common sense. Not really very scientific because the plus or minus will have to be a fairly large spread and it’s not applicable to different societies. Back to Heinlein’s teacher Mr. Dubois in “Troopers” People are not the same all over.

  73. Black Flag says:

    SK. Trynosky Sr. said
    February 12, 2009 at 5:36 pm

    AHHHHH Flag I just can’t take it.

    I have that effect on a lot of people …. 😉

    Common sense is like gravity, it is just there and yes, I know, that makes it totally subjective. Hitler’s common sense is not the same as mine.

    The subjective component is the axiom that makes your common sense – the root of your belief that you measure all thing against.

    It is important for understanding (and hence peace) to know these axioms.

    It is NOT the case that nine are not ‘right’ vs. yours are ‘wrong’. A long discussion the bottom of this thread with Jon highlighted a great deal on this topic
    (https://standupforamerica.wordpress.com/2009/01/07/and-the-hits-just-keep-on-coming/#comments)

    I guess that I would say that people, from the same culture and society who are not insane (don’t start with that!) come to certain conclusions about how things work.

    All true – these are society paradigms – obeyed by simple rote. But because such paradigms exists does not make it truth, or good. Many of these paradigms are instituted by violence and power to maintain the position of power and dominance.

    As in statistics or science plus or minus X percent of the selected population agrees with them. That’s common sense.

    Yes, that is a part of common sense.

    But does a majority in agreement equal ‘truth’ or ‘right’?

    Can a majority be evil?

  74. Black Flag says:

    .SK Trynosky Sr. said
    Almost everything I’ve read and been taught over the years indicates that the roots of marriage are religious. How do you protect the most vulnerable in the small tribal group? Well, it seems that a contract would do this pretty well.

    .

    I would agree with the contract theory. The contract protects the children by binding responsibility to the father.

    Further, contract theory also supports one of the more historic uses of marriage – politics.

    Marriage agreements bound powerful families either to forestall war, make peace, unify nations, etc. Others use it to extend wealth, influence, advantage, power, etc.

    Further, because of the contract, inheritance was established. In ancient times where men had many mistresses and bastard children, it was the product of the actual marriage that received the inheritance – rarely the bastard children got anything but a pittance.

    But it is a contract – no essential difference with any other contract between any two people, other than its content.

    So why can’t any two people enter into a contract with similar and like content to another contract?

    Since most people seem to have an inate desire to believe in something bigger than them, why not God and a religion? from that, society and government will eventually evolve.

    Interesting hypothesis – I’ll ponder that awhile.

    My kids know because they got most of their history education at home.

    Bravo! Kids love to learn from their parents, I’ve found!

    Time to do some work.

    .

    More unpacking here….

  75. “sound and prudent judgement based on a simple perception of the facts.”

    The problem arises when people latch onto erronious information, or dogma, and mistake it for “facts”. Garbage in; garbage out.

    • Agreed Kent. And the other problem is that there are many who refuse to attempt to look at things from the different perspective. They simply cannot be wrong so they spend all their energy coming up with different ways of attempting to prove so. I pride myself on always looking at whatever argument someone lays out and trying to see if I can logically make it make sense for me. Then I see if it makes more sense than what I believe. If so I admit to being wrong. If not, I will usually attempt at least once to explain my reasoning. No one has to agree with me, but I don’t expect to be slighted or spoken down to simply because I believe differently than you. I seek common ground and understanding. There are those who seek nothing more than to either bring you to their belief or belittle your belief rather than attempting to debate the merits of the issue at hand. Simple common sense works when one attempts to use it. It doesn’t when one attempt to attach so much confusion to the definition that no one can discuss a topic without a dissertation on their belief system before the debate even starts.

    • To further clarify for you Kent, the only flaw I find in your debates is that when someone differs on whether government should exist or has a purpose that is good, you fall to the statist statement. It is your assumption that because they don’t believe what you believe, it is because they are simply a statist who is afraid of life without the state or unable to face a different world. There are times when that is a proper assumption to make. There are others when that is not the case. I don’t consider myself a “statist” any more than a liberal, a conservative, or an anarchist. I simply have my thought process and my beliefs about what is right and wrong. I am not afraid of anything around eliminating the “state”, I just don’t think it would be a better solution. I could be wrong and I understand that. Thus far I don’t think I am. I respect your belief otherwise and try not to label you based on it too much. I respect you for being able to debate your beliefs honestly. I don’t mean for you to think that I am bashing you. Just an observation. I just feel you are a bit too dismissive of some ideas that are out there because you are able to dismiss them based on the “statist” label that you might be a tad too quick to pin on someone. I try to look at all your ideas and ask questions and evaluate them. It would be easier for me to simply label you an anarchist and dismiss you, but I think I would miss out on some really valuable insight that you provide if I did that. Does that make sense?

  76. Sort of, but I admit and accept that I am an anarchist. To me that is the logical conclusion of libertarianism. I am not talking about any of the “false anarchisms” that seek to replace one form of government (“statism”) with another form, but a freedom from legalized coercion. Notice I don’t say a “freedom from coercion”. That is Utopian and unrealistic. I don’t think it is “Utopian” to remove “legal” protections from certain acts of coercion simply because it is the government or its agents committing them.

  77. Jack Webb said it best “Just the facts mam, Just the facts”.

    The problem we are having here is the that there are some of us who believe in absolutes and some of us who don’t. I do. The absolutes to me do not constitute dogma they constitute that which has worked in the past. Some of it may be unpleasant and certainly not politically correct but if it does work, why throw it out?

    If you disagree, you have the responsibility to demonstrate where it is wrong, simply dogmatic or erronious and then postulate an alternative which is not those things and which works.

    The other day I sort of quoted Bill Buckley and said it is the job of a conservative to stand athwart (love that word) history and yell stop!

    These days we have a wonderful opportunity to observe that not only has the educational discipline failed, which we all knew but the brightest and best of our business schools have also failed, and trashed the economy. My opinion would be that these things happened because traditional, successful models were thrown out in favor of “new” and “change”. Nobody who tried to stand athwart was listened to.

    Mr. Flag, it has often been said that after a war, the victor gets to write the history books. So, what may be in them may be one sided. The truth and honesty of, if you will, the majority that won may be questioned. What they wrote may not be right. From our own experience we know that certain “truths” like the extent of German atrocities in WW I were overblown by British propaganda. Yet, the mere fact that the Germans invaded Belgium and France, did make war on civilians and executed Nurse Edith Clavell made it easier to sell the falsehoods and certainly made them less sympathetic. Over time, the truth will always come out.
    Regarding the majority being evil, of course they can be. I could not say that communism ever enjoyed the support of the majority in Russia so as evil as it was, it can not be an example. Fortunately, the Nazi’s enjoyed widespread support and can always be used as an example of evil where the majority went enthusiastically along for the ride. Until about the time the 8th Air Force showed up.

    • SK,

      You wrote “If you disagree, you have the responsibility to demonstrate where it is wrong, simply dogmatic or erronious and then postulate an alternative which is not those things and which works.” I tend to agree with that statement. The problem you will find with BF is that he will certainly do his best to convince you that you are wrong, dogmatic, and erronious, although usually with the tactic of finding some obscure parallel in history and saying if you believe this then you believe they were right to kill Jesus. However, he has not, and will not, postulate an alternative. His belief is that he exists to show us the err of our ways and free our thinking, not tell us what to do with that. He is not interested in solutions, only proving that your thinking is wrong. Just a warning. BF, would you say that is an unfair assessment?

  78. “The problem we are having here is the that there are some of us who believe in absolutes and some of us who don’t.”

    The problem I see is that our absolutes clash. I don’t believe the initiation of force is ever right. I don’t believe that theft is ever right. I make no exceptions for government. There is a clear right and wrong. That is an absolute.

  79. Ok, Lets see if I got this right, common sense isn’t going to work because no one thinks alike or holds the same beliefs about what common sense constitutes. BF I hate to say this but people who think like that are part of the problem, not the solution. I really don’t think you can define common sense just because alot of it is developed by experience, but most people have the same kind of experiences throughout their lives. It’s what they learn or don’t learn from those experiences that determines whether they have any common sense. I think we can both agree on that, but to say that it requires uncommon thinking? No, not really. Most people have a pretty good sense of right and wrong. Most people know that it isn’t a good idea to pee into the wind and that you only believe half of what you see and none of what you hear second hand. The things in that article I posted here are what I am talking about. Because of an over abundance of political correctness and a serious lack of common sense our schools have become ridiculous. I can’t send my daughter to school with cough drops because of a zero tolerance drug policy, and if she misses too many days of school I am in danger of being arrested but if she gets pregnant and decides she wants an abortion, they don’t have to notify me. I am responsible for her legally until she is 18, but I can’t have a say in a huge decision that my minor child may have to make. Does that sound right to you? The way that things are being done now probably won’t have that great an affect on me personally but my children and yours are going to be responsible for taking care of us in our golden years, and right now, I don’t trust them to have the capabilities or the common sense to be able to. Do you?

  80. USWeapon said
    February 12, 2009 at 9:25 pm
    Couple of mistakes in your initial analysis

    Spock: Nowhere am I so desperately needed as among a shipload of illogical humans

    You are attempting to put way too much thought and misdirection into common sense. It does not say that it DEPENDS on axioms, it says that it can include. You do a great job of defining the world the way that you wish to see it. Common sense is common sense.

    Hmm, that is rather circular don’t you think?

    I do believe I offered a link to Wikipedia that showed that it takes three paragraphs simply to introduce the concept of common sense.

    I did extract quite a few segments from their list – and I did not simply apply axiom alone. Please re-read my post. Fundamental beliefs/axioms/intuitions, pre-theoretic belief, ordinary language, the frame problem, foundational beliefs, good sense, endoxa, and axioms.

    I do feel that ‘axiom’ best describes the root of common sense – the need to pick ‘the thing’ from which all other things are measured.

    The matter of common sense is simply that in decisions that are by necessity a ‘snap’ decision precludes the ability to sit down and muddle the logic to see what is the ‘right thing to do’.

    Common sense is that which generally gives the guides posts to make those snap decisions – and generally they are right.

    But it is the wrong tool to use on core systemic beliefs – just like shooting from the hip, a necessary skill when surprised by a gang of thugs – but usually the wrong thing almost every other time.

    You want to use the ‘shooting from the hip’ to avoid the contradictions of your position. I know you’re too smart for me to let you do that.

    sound and prudent judgment based on a simple perception of the facts.

    Works too.

    But to judge requires a measure to judge against. You cannot judge with empty hands.

    Perception is subject and based on an individual’s axiom – that is, ‘where they sit’ on a subject.

    Go back and read Jon’s thread with me – our dialogue nicely highlighted all of this, I believe.

    SK. Trynosky Sr. said
    Mr. Flag, it has often been said that after a war, the victor gets to write the history books. So, what may be in them may be one sided.

    But history changes as we discover truth. It is a process.

    Over time, the truth will always come out.

    Quit stealing my sentences 😉

    Regarding the majority being evil, of course they can be.

    So, a society’s paradigms – held and created by a majority – can be evil.

    Therefore, I believe it is incumbent on every person in society to test the paradigms they are immersed within.

    I believe it is a human duty to do such or otherwise one may find oneself being unwittingly used as a tool of great evil.

    USWeapon said
    The problem you will find with BF is that he will certainly do his best to convince you that you are wrong, dogmatic, and erronious, although usually with the tactic of finding some obscure parallel in history and saying if you believe this then you believe they were right to kill Jesus. However, he has not, and will not, postulate an alternative. His belief is that he exists to show us the err of our ways and free our thinking, not tell us what to do with that. He is not interested in solutions, only proving that your thinking is wrong. Just a warning. BF, would you say that is an unfair assessment?

    Unfair? Depends on your position.

    Inaccurate, yes.

    USWep, contradictions cannot exist in our the reality of our Universe – but most certainly can exist in your thinking. You must know that if you attempt to act with reality upon the contradictions that exist in your thoughts, the Universe will eventually destroy you. Those that act consistently with the Universe will tend to not be destroyed.

    The ‘wrong’ that I see is when you contradict yourself – as exampled, this guy is criminal for breaking the law, this guy is not a criminal for breaking the law – and you defined criminal as someone who breaks the law.
    This is where you are ‘wrong’ – holding on to a contradiction.

    When I demonstrate your ‘wrong’ (ie: contradiction) you get all flustered and resort to irrationalism, emotionalism and pleas to ‘common sense’ instead of rectifying the underlying contradiction.

    As Jon and I dialogued – I am not declaring your core axiom right or wrong as compared to mine. That would be incredibly contradictory to my core principle!

    I am declaring that you holding contradictions in logic and/or contradictions to your core axiom is wrong.

    However, as you’ve desperately avoided disclosure of your axiomatic principles, the only measure is your consistency with logic. As exampled above, it is, at times, lacking.

    Kristian said
    Ok, Lets see if I got this right, common sense isn’t going to work because no one thinks alike or holds the same beliefs about what common sense constitutes.

    “A hammer in the hands of a child, and the whole world looks like it needs a pounding”.

    Common sense is a tool that aids us in ‘snap’ decisions – times where there is limited ability to definitively figure out right from wrong.

    Times like: While driving down a street, a cyclist is not paying attention, and cross into your lane – you don’t have enough time to brake to avoid inflicting serious injury to him. Do you 1) hit him; it’s his fault and why should you risk damaging an innocent person’s car by trying to avoid the collusion or 2) steer into a parked car, damaging your own as well as some innocent other’s car, but avoid seriously harming the obvious perpetrator of this entire event?

    This is not the time to go and Well, my core axiom is freedom – which means ….. and 8 hours later come up with – hmmm, hit the car!

    Common sense here is exactly appropriate. It comes from the gut – it is instant – and most of the time, given the circumstance, is probably right.

    Common sense, however, in defining things as political principles is deadly. This is where the world gets its pounding with its quickie jingoisms and live healthy lives with – “America – love it or leave it” “Better Dead then Red” “You’re for us or you’re against us” – etc.

    Devoid of argument, ripe with emotionalism – and often supported with calls of “well, its’ common sense”.

    No.

    In this realm, drop the hammer and pick up the thinking. Appeals to common sense, where there is ample time to think clearly, with logic and reason – is a fallacy of argument.

    I really don’t think you can define common sense just because alot of it is developed by experience, but most people have the same kind of experiences throughout their lives.

    All of us learn the many of the wrong lessons from experience. Which is why we have large brains – to help us get over the wrong learning. We are not animals of instinct and mere experience – we can figure things out (if we try).

    Most people have a pretty good sense of right and wrong.

    We sure do – like it’s wrong to steal, to inflict violence on non-violent people, to kill kids.

    Then we stumble by supporting taxation and confiscation, gunning down guys carrying basketballs, and dropping 500lb. bombs on women and children.

    Unless one is incredibly clear on right and wrong – there is a real danger of becoming a tool of evil.

    I can’t send my daughter to school with cough drops because of a zero tolerance drug policy, and if she misses too many days of school I am in danger of being arrested but if she gets pregnant and decides she wants an abortion, they don’t have to notify me.

    Do you see why this is happening, though?

    By supporting the assault upon non-violent people, you support the assault on your daughter.

    Because you’re ‘common sense’ says doing drugs is wrong and ‘should be against the law’ – you’ve agreed to attacking non-violent people for behavior that is disagreeable to you. Why, then, are you surprised when others attack your non-violent behavior that they think is disagreeable to them?

    By using the wrong tool – you’ve ended up supporting the very thing you rage against.

    Does that sound right to you?

    Of course not – but that is not what the root of the wrong is….

    “There are a thousand hacking at the branches of evil to one who is striking at the root.” ~ Henry David Thoreau

    It is common sense to avoid doing dangerous drugs, it is wrong to attack non-violent people.

    Do you see this sentence as consistent or not consistent?

  81. I have been a loyal Republican Party member for years and have become totally frustrated with the Republican party antics and now hate them as much as I do the liberal politics. I need a party that mirriors my conseravative beliefs!!!

  82. Barry, you may want to look into the Constitution Party.

    Kristian, it seems those things you mention that are obviously anti-common sense are just those things that libertarians point out as stupid and destructive.

  83. Ok, I give. I am seriously confused. BF, I believe that you may be the most confusing person that I have ever tried to have a conversation with. I’ll just go with what I know and do my best to learn as much as I can. A suggestion though? Try to give your answers without the esoteric gyrations. You may find that more people are willing to listen if they don’t feel they are being spoke to as though they were idiots.

  84. Black Flag says:

    Kristian said
    Try to give your answers without the esoteric gyrations. You may find that more people are willing to listen if they don’t feel they are being spoke to as though they were idiots.

    Soooo… you want me to tell you what is right and what is wrong?

    You can’t figure it out by using reason and logic?

    I can certainly tell you what is right and wrong for you, if I knew what principle you would (and do) live and die for. But I don’t know that (yet).

    The best I can offer is the tool to figure it out for yourself – thinking straight with logic and reason – the very tools the Universe uses to operate itself.

  85. I don’t believe that anywhere in my previous post I suggested in any way, shape or form that I wished for you to tell me what is right and wrong. I am perfectly capable of doing that for myself. I already possess and use the aforementioned tool to figure it out for myself. If I sound like I am a little pissed, then you have assessed the situation correctly. I’ll leave it to you to figure out what you could have possibly said to put me in this state.

  86. Black Flag says:

    Ok, so let’s start small….

    “Do you believe we should criminalize those that consume certain natural and/or manmade substances?”

  87. Ok smarty pants, we’ll do it this way.

    If there is a standing law on the books that prohibits the use of those certain natural and/or manmade substances, then yes they are indeed criminals. Next.

  88. Back to common sense, let us look at it a different way.

    Chester Nimitz said about the marines at Iwo, “Uncommon valor was a common virtue.”

    What did he mean? Something, valor or courage which is not generally found in the majority of people became a regular, recurring aspect of the day to day life of an ordinary marine. Does this make it any clearer out there for anyone? I think that we can extrapolate that the general usage for the adjective common, would clearly mean something that the majority do. Let’s not get into right or wrong here merely look at the meaning of the word in relation to the noun sense.

    Also, all us former coin collectors out there refer to common dates. These are the dates that are not rare, not hard to find and minted in the hundreds of millions. Again the usage of the word implies that they are plentiful.

    All things being equal, common sense then is easy to define and understand. It is something that the majority, at the time, accepts. Making a value judgement on an issue is seperate and distinct.

    Happy Valentines Day!

    So, if I say that common sense says gay marriage is stupid or legalizing drugs dumb, I would be saying that most people agree with me. However neither they nor I are automatically right. If challenged we have to explain why.

  89. Black Flag says:

    If there is a standing law on the books that prohibits the use of those certain natural and/or manmade substances, then yes they are indeed criminals. Next.

    So, a criminal is someone who breaks the law, correct?

  90. Black Flag says:

    Further, if someone makes a ‘law’ that bans any chemicals, in say, a school; why are you complaining about that if, in fact, when you state is “a standing law” prohibits these chemicals is ok?

    Are you not talking out of both sides of your mouth?

  91. Black Flag says:

    SK. Trynosky Sr. said

    If challenged we have to explain why.

    I completely agree. As I stated, many common paradigms of society would contradict the general morals and beliefs of the common person if they actually thought about them.

    Thus, I challenge.

    Please remember, I am not challenging your personal (axiomatic) beliefs or moral principles – I am challenging that the beliefs one holds about the paradigms of society often contradicts these personal beliefs.

    It is because of these contradictions that great evil in the name of the people is done.

  92. Now, see, that is where common sense comes in. By refering to natural or manmade drugs I, obviously in error, assumed that you were talking about controlled substances. Apparently you are including over the counter remedies as well. That tells me that you are not using common sense. Anyone would have made the assumption that I did when asked that same question. A little clarity please.

  93. What is the real empirical difference between a “controlled substance” and an “over the counter remedy”?

  94. A controlled substance would be something that can only be administered by prescription, generally these are substances that can cause different side effects that may hinder judgement or impair the brain in some way. The same could probably be said for some over the counter remedies but those are FDA approved to be sold over the counter. My beef with the schools is that they are entirely too general in what they classify as a drug. Why should a child have to take valuable time from the classroom to go to the school nurse to be given a cough drop? I think that the schools and the government need to step back and take a good look at this policy and revise it so that it isn’t so extreme. I don’t want controlled substances in our schools by any means but a little common sense when applying that policy would be nice.

  95. So, really the only difference is that the government says there is a difference. My parents are on a lot of prescription drugs that don’t seem to affect their judgement in any way, yet it is still a federal drug violation to take them from their prescription bottles and store them in those “pill a day” boxes, and would still be taking a “controlled substance” into a government indoctrination center (“school”) if you possessed them there.

  96. Black Flag says:

    Kristian said
    Apparently you are including over the counter remedies as well.

    By definition, they are either man-made or natural.

    I think I was clear.

    A controlled substance would be something that can only be administered by prescription, generally these are substances that can cause different side effects that may hinder judgement or impair the brain in some way.

    Depending on quantity and person,

    …so does Sugar, Caffeine, Salt, Water, and actually every chemical know to man in some way or another.

    So why do you pick on some and not others?

    My beef with the schools is that they are entirely too general in what they classify as a drug.

    If by mere subjective analysis of what may be good or bad – why not?

    As long as you agree that ‘someone’ can tell another what they can do to their own body, ‘someone’ will tell you (or your daughter) what to do with your (or her) body.

    Why would you think otherwise?

    a good look at this policy and revise it so that it isn’t so extreme.

    Extreme is a matter of opinion.

    I don’t want controlled substances in our schools by any means but a little common sense when applying that policy would be nice.

    Who has the right to set school policy?

    • BF,

      Before you get too high on your soap box. Use a little bit of that common sense that you took so much time defining. There is a very big difference between someone taking a “controlled substance”, heroin into a school, and taking a “controlled substance”, cough medicine into a school. If you break the law then you are a criminal according to the definition. The key here is that common sense should see an amendment to that law to allow someone to take a tested and approved pharmaceutical remedy or tested and approved Mountain Dew.

      This is the crux of what you do. You attempt to boil things down to some technical foolishness to confuse people into believing what you believe. Common sense tells us that if I punch you in the face it is entirely a different matter than if I were fumbling through the dark and hit your face by accident. You like to boil it down to “you either believe that physical contact between someone’s hand and another’s face either happens or it doesn’t”. And that is why your arguments so often fall on deaf ears. You refuse to apply logic and common sense and instead try to use the “baffle them with bullshit” approach.

  97. Black Flag says:

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090213/ap_on_sc/sci_romance_unraveled

    “Kisses unleash chemicals that ease stress levels”

    Everything affects the body – perhaps government/school will ban kissing too – god knows how much trouble that has caused for the world! 😉

    Valentine’s day — who knows who he was? An anarchist!

    He defined the Emperor’s edict of banning marriage – the Emperor felt that single men fought better in the army.

    Valentine thought that was stupid, and continued to marry couples – was arrested and executed for this horrific crime.

    Happy Valentine’s Day!

  98. Black Flag says:

    USWeapon said

    There is a very big difference between someone taking a “controlled substance”, heroin into a school, and taking a “controlled substance”, cough medicine into a school.

    Please explain to me this ‘difference’.

    I’m serious – – you might be able to change my mind. It seems very straight forward for you, so it should be very easy for you to offer me your overwhelming and compelling logic and reason to why you think one is different than the other.

    Gillian: Are you sure you won’t change your mind?
    Spock: Is there something wrong with the one I have?

    Caffeine is a more powerful drug then cocaine. I can find caffeine is a school.

    For sure, I will be able to find an asthmatic inhaler – it contains more powerful drugs than most controlled substances – and kids carry them around all the time in school.

    If you break the law then you are a criminal according to the definition.

    I point back to the hiding of the Jews. These were criminals, and therefore the consequences dealt to them by the government was correct as it pertains to criminals…right?

    The key here is that common sense should see an amendment to that law to allow someone to take a tested and approved pharmaceutical remedy or tested and approved Mountain Dew.

    Why?

    What part of common sense makes you think this? Please enlighten me with your compelling argument from the point of reason.

    This is the crux of what you do. You attempt to boil things down to some technical foolishness to confuse people into believing what you believe.

    Yes, the ol’ Jedi/Black Flag mind trick that I described above.

    There is a school in the Amazon forest that all Black Flag’s go to learn the technique – but it’s by invitation only, so that explains why you didn’t get to go.

    Common sense tells us that if I punch you in the face it is entirely a different matter than if I were fumbling through the dark and hit your face by accident.

    To be consistent, please explain why the former is ‘bad’ vs. the latter merely an ‘accident’.

    Again, I’m not being simplistic – I am driving home a point – if you honestly indulge me, I’m sure you will be very enlightened as will I.

    You refuse to apply logic and common sense and instead try to use the “baffle them with bullshit” approach.

    Logic and Common Sense are not necessarily the same thing, USWep, which is why I put no faith in arguments of ‘common sense’.

  99. John Glinatsis says:

    Republicans need to get back to basics! We have lost focus on every important issue and allowed the current Obama administration to expand Unionism, Socialism and Taxation beyond our wildest imagination. Leave God’s judgment to him in the end and do his most valuable work here! Build America so that it affords people the freedom to chose and speak without censorship or retribution. Promote life but stay out of individual choice, protect our rights to religios freedom but accept that not all share our faith, promote fair and just business, lower taxes, smaller government, strong military defenses and adequate infrastructure to allow American’s to move freely within our borders and close the border to illegal entry so those who come here properly have the rights to explore this great country!

    Keeping the American Dream alive will be the most significant pursuit the party and all citizens can pursue today, tomorrow and decades to come. We have for decades allowed socialism to creep into our lives and we have been alright with it in small doses. Now we have megadoses in our faces and even the moderates and over 30 democrats are going to revolt. Under 30 lacks the mental maturity and should be educated in the long term damage thier idealogy is creating but that is a long term issue that may never subside unless we cut the free programs and encourage them to work for what they get.

    Michael Steele at the helm of the RNC is a solid move but too late, we should have enlisted the intelligent members of the other races with more consistent and open dialogue years ago. Let’s educate our citizens on the fact that had any African American in the last 20 years come forward with an articulate message, void of the usual Militant attitudes, as Barack Obama did his moment in history could have occured much sooner. He is not qualified for the President’s office but he is an excellent promoter and marketeer! I even found myself pondering on appreciation of some of his talking points during the election but I knew then and now that we all have to pay enormously for his ideals. He has not proven us wrong and we have given him a blank check for degradation of American Society.

    If the RNC has not sent a “Pay and Quit” notice to Snowe, Spector and Collins it is time do so! These 3 individuals have assisted in thrusting our grandchildren into debt for decades to come!

  100. John G.

    Well said!

    the problem is the disinformation we have to deal with in the media. Right now Fox reports that the president is mulling an executive order lifting the ban on STEM cell research. Now, here is the fair and balanced network who should know better, echoing the lie that there has been a ban on stem cell research! I heard this repeatedly during the election cycle and can’t as usual, imagine the media being stupid enough to not know the difference between adult and fetal. They know, but they choose to confuse.

    Example 2. ASSAULT weapons. An assault weapon since the Stg. 44 in WW II has been a fully automatic machine gun. A gun, looking similar but firing only semi-auto (one shot per pull of the trigger for the uninitiated) is not and cannot be an assault weapon. Try explaining that to CNN, ABC, CBS, NBC the NY Times and the rest. Are they too stupid to understand, no, of course not. They only want to confound and confuse.

    Example 3. Privatization of Social Security. We all know, because we pay attention, that the recent attempt to have a few shekels diverted for younger workers from standard Social Security to a private investment account would make no difference (negative) to speak of in their ultimate retirement. the media played it as if everything, would go to help out Lehman brothers. Little old ladies would be out on the street. Orphans would be in the workhouse. Did the media know this was a lie? Well, you call it.

    Example 4. The current recession is exclusively Bush’s fault. Barney Frank, Chris Dodd, Freddie Mac, Fannie Mae had nothing to do with it. As a matter of fact, Frank is writing a book on this very subject. How much blame will he take for it? You guess. Want to also guess in advance the reviews the book will receive?

    I could go on forever about press coverage of Goldwater, Nixon, Reagan, Bush 1, Dole, Buckley, Whittiker Chambers but you get my drift. The vast majority, for the past 45 years or so get their news from conventional media sources and will continue to do so. We have to do something about that. I could point out here that one of the biggest Bush 2 failures was that of failing to use the bully pulpit. I fully expect to see Obama press conferences on a weekly basis. I know Bush is a terrible speaker but could not someone have advised him to get a speech coach, have hypnosis, something? anything?

    Even you fall into the GOP-minority trap. Powell could have been president for the asking over a decade ago. Rice is not stupid nor is Clarence Thomas and yet, what type of press do they get? Nobody ever seems to point out that it took the democratic party, the party of the poor, downtrodden and millionaires, this long to nominate a black and frankly, the party did not want to. Obama won because of the cult of personality thing, nothing more, nothing less. Too bad, if the guy had a brain instead of merely being a devious opportunist he has the makings of a great president.

    Regarding religion and individual choice, you are right but.
    Don’t fall into the trap our enemies set. There is no wall of separation between God and the country. There is and should be between the country and religious sects. I guess this should have been example 5 above. The media has again confused the issue deliberately. Regarding abortion, it is an individual choice, and someday those who have made that choice will have to explain themselves to someone at a much higher pay grade than us. In the interim, do we surrender? I hope not. It should be plugged at from a Constitutional point of view. Let it return to the states. Let Mississippi say no, New York yes. Firstly, it is easier to fight on a local level secondly let Planned Parenthood et al. raise the bus fare for the girls from Mississippi to come to NY.

    Also, if you pay any attention to the offshoots of the pro-choice movement you know it is heading towards euthanasia. We can’t be more than 20 years away from post full term birth abortions (Will we then finally be able to call it murder?) A child will be born with a defect. We will then allow it to die citing “quality of life” issues. I can see Kieth Oberman now explaining it to us. If you take fully socialized medicine to its logical extremes, it will result in rationing, there will be no choice. Who do you think is going to go first?

    Sorry for being so long winded here but you have done exactly what was asked show us where to go.

  101. US,

    I can only say that I am sorry. I did not mean for such a huge and confusing debate to be started over something as simple as common sense. I think from now on I will just watch and learn.

    • Kristian,

      No need to apologize. Don’t think that you were the cause of that long discussion. We have those types of dialogues here all the time. Black Flag and are find ourselves there a lot. These debates are healthy and desirable so long as they remain civil and respectful.

  102. Kristen,

    The challenge always exists when using simple, jingoist concepts to determine and evaluate complex human issues.

    Common sense, when it is used to mask logic and reason, is a dangerous tool.

    I am interested to why you did not answer the questions I posed?

    And, further, I’m also wondering why you would send your daughter to school? If they are, as you say, have no common sense (and I agree, by the way), why would you send your daughter, with her “Tabula Rasa” mind, to be trained by them?

  103. SK. Trynosky Sr.

    Re: Abortion

    I wholly agree – the states should take it back. And, yes, abortion is simply the first step to euthanasia and eugenics.

    If mere stages of development of humans determines human – who is to say baby is ‘human’ or ‘child’ or ‘adult’?

    It’s a rainbow of transitions – and as long as the right to life can only be protected depending on someone else’s subjective view of being at the ‘right’ stage, then all of us are in peril.

  104. I read an interesting article that was a dialogue between a Private-money guy and a State-money guy .

    It reminded me of many comments here…. some selections…

    …you know in advance that the guy asking the questions is the guy who will win the argument. This tradition goes back to Plato, where the losers were sometimes reduced to some variation of “Tell us more.”

    PMG: Please describe the ideal monetary system.

    SMG: Where the Constitution bans all forms of official money except gold and silver.

    PMG: Why do we need official money?

    SMG: Because people need to trust the money system.

    PMG: What has this got to do with the government?

    SMG: People need to believe that the money is honest.

    PMG: Because the government is honest.

    SMG: That is correct.

    PMG: But if the government is honest, why limit money to gold and silver? Why not let it declare anything it chooses as money?

    SMG: Because gold and silver keep the government honest.

    PMG: I don’t follow. Are people supposed to have faith in gold and silver because the government is honest, or because gold and silver are honest, and the government is essentially crooked?

    SMG: Both.

    PMG: This is a circular argument. Circular arguments go in circles. Where does your argument begin?

    SMG: With the Constitution.

    PMG: The United States Constitution?

    SMG: Yes.

    PMG: The Constitution prohibits any state from issuing legal tender money unless it is gold or silver (Art. I, Sect. 10). It says nothing about the United States Government.

    SMG: Well, it’s implied.

    PMG: That is not what the U.S. Supreme Court said in 1935, when it certified, 5 to 4, the legality of Franklin Roosevelt’s confiscation of all Americans’ gold in 1933.

    SMG: Well, the Court was wrong.

    PMG: Can the Court be trusted?

    SMG: No.

    PMG: Who has the final say in determining what the Constitution says?

    SMG: The People.

    PMG: And what if the People do not care one way or the other?

    SMG: The Supreme Court.

    PMG: I think we have another circular argument here. The Constitution is sovereign, but the Supreme Court interprets the Constitution as the final court of appeal. We cannot trust the Court, but we can trust the Constitution. Could you clarify this?

    SMG: That is a trick question. {Ah, that Jedi/Black Flag mind trick again – BF}

    PMG: If it is, then it is an old one. It goes back to Chief Justice John Marshall’s decision in Marbury v. Madison (1803), which determined that the Supreme Court has the right of judicial review, something that is not mentioned in the Constitution. The Court can annul laws passed by the government. But the other two branches cannot overturn a decision by the Court.

    SMG: Well, someone has to have the last say.

    PMG: And that someone said, 5 to 4, in 1935 that the government had the right to abolish the gold coin standard in 1933.

    SMG: The gold standard survived.

    PMG: The gold-exchange standard survived, which allowed foreign governments and central banks to buy gold from the Treasury at $35 per ounce. That ended on August 15, 1971, when Nixon unilaterally ceased honoring the law. From 1933 to 1971, the Federal Reserve System issued fiat money and bought the gold from the government. It has never returned that gold to the Treasury, nor has the Treasury returned it to the families from whom the government stole the gold in 1933.

    SMG: Don’t say “stole” when referring to the government. It merely appropriated it in the name of the People.

    PMG: Like Communists used to do in the Soviet Union.

    SMG: That was theft. They were Commies.

    PMG: They were, indeed. How do you define Communism?

    SMG: Any confiscation in the name of the People that is not authorized by the Constitution.

    PMG: Stalin issued a Constitution in 1936.

    SMG: Yes, but it was not our Constitution.

    PMG: You mean the Constitution that established the gold standard for states, but not for the national government, according to the Supreme Court?

    SMG: Yes.

    PMG: Let me summarize. You are saying that in order for people to trust the monetary system, the government must set the terms of the gold standard. This gives people confidence in gold and silver coins. The coins are necessary because people need to hold the government in check.

    SMG: That is correct.

    PMG: The government is reliable because the Constitution is sovereign.

    SMG: Yes.

    PMG: But the Constitution is interpreted by the Supreme Court, according to the Supreme Court.

    SMG: Yes.

    PMG: So, if the Supreme Court declares that the government can abolish the gold coin standard, this is legal.

    SMG: Yes.

    PMG: Then why should anyone trust the government rather than trusting in gold and silver coins?

    SMG: The people should trust in gold and silver coins, not in the government.

    PMG: Who owns the gold confiscated by the government in 1933?

    SMG: The U.S. government.

    PMG: Not the Federal Reserve System?

    SMG: The government.

    PMG: Where is that gold?

    SMG: In Fort Knox.

    PMG: How do you know?

    SMG: Because the government says so.

    PMG: Has this been audited by any outside agency?

    SMG: No.

    PMG: Why not?

    SMG: Because the government is sovereign.

    PMG: Is there any other gold owned by the government?

    SMG: Yes. It is stored at 33 Liberty Street, New York City.

    PMG: That is the address of the New York Federal Reserve Bank.

    SMG: Yes.

    PMG: Then who owns this gold?

    SMG: The government.

    PMG: Then why is it stored at a privately owned Federal Reserve Bank?

    SMG: Because it is part of the monetary base.

    PMG: Who owns the assets in the monetary base?

    SMG: The Federal Reserve System.

    PMG: A government agency.

    SMG: Yes.

    PMG: Has this gold been audited?

    SMG: No.

    PMG: Why not?

    SMG: Because the Federal Reserve System is an agency of the U.S. Government.

    PMG: But the Federal Reserve Bank of New York is private.

    SMG: Yes.

    PMG: Can the government find out what is inside that bank?

    SMG: No.

    PMG: Why not use the Freedom of Information Act to find out?

    SMG: The New York FED says that such a request is a violation of Exemption 4 of the FOIA: an invasion of trade secrets.

    PMG: But doesn’t it carry out the orders of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System?

    SMG: Yes.

    PMG: Then why can’t Congress or the public demand proof that the Federal Reserve Bank of New York has carried out the orders as ordered?

    SMG: That is a trick question.

    PMG: If so, then it goes back to Marshall’s decision in McCulloch v. Maryland (1819), which declared that the State of Maryland could not tax the Second Bank of the United States, even though the bank was privately owned. It was the agent of the sovereign United States government, and therefore possessed sovereignty, making it immune to state action.

    SMG: Well, somebody has to have the final say.

    PMG: The U.S. Supreme Court?

    SMG: No, the Constitution.

    PMG: As interpreted by the Supreme Court.

    SMG: Yes.

    PMG: So, let me get this straight. We need a government-enforced gold coin standard because people need to trust the monetary system.

    SMG: Yes.

    PMG: But the government can lawfully unilaterally abolish the right to own gold.

    SMG: No, that would be unconstitutional.

    PMG: But the Supreme Court said it was Constitutional.

    SMG: The Court was wrong.

    PMG: Should people trust in gold and silver coins or the government, as limited by the Constitution, as interpreted by the Supreme Court, which obviously can’t be trusted?

    SMG: Gold and silver coins.

    PMG: Then why did we need a government-enforced gold standard?

    SMG: Because people need to trust the monetary system.

    PMG: Why not just allow anyone to produce gold and silver coins?

    SMG: They are allowed.

    PMG: But they were not from 1933 through 1974.

    SMG: But they are now.

    PMG: But few Americans have ever seen a gold coin. They do not regard gold and silver as money. They do not think gold and silver should serve as a limit on the government.

    SMG: Well, they used to.

    PMG: Then what do they trust today?

    SMG: The government.

    PMG: Which stole their grandparents’ gold.

    SMG: Don’t say “steal” when referring to a sovereign government under the Constitution as interpreted by 5 out of 9 Supreme Court justices.

    PMG: All right, “which appropriated gold from Americans in the name of The People.”

    SMG: What was your question again?

    PMG: Whom do Americans trust to provide trustworthy money?

    SMG: The government.

    PMG: Which has transferred this authority to a government organization, the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System.

    SMG: Yes.

    PMG: Which has delegated authority over monetary policy to the Federal Open Market Committee, which is made up of representatives of the 12 regional and privately owned Federal Reserve banks.

    SMG: Yes.

    PMG: Whose decisions are implemented by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.

    SMG: Yes.

    PMG: So, everyone is supposed to trust the dollar because an agency that (so far) is immune to the Freedom of Information Act implements policy of privately owned banks in the name of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, which operates under the authority of the U.S. Government.

    SMG: Yes.

    PMG: Do you trust the dollar?

    SMG: Are you out of your mind? I am buying gold and silver coins.

  105. Kristian,

    Do not give up. For whatever it is worth, this is like being under that elm tree in Athens with Socrates before they gave him the hemlock. This is good stuff, makes you think. Thinking has become a lost art.

    “Cogito ergo sum”.

  106. Black Flag says:

    SK. Trynosky Sr. is right.

    I’m not looking for “my answer” or the “correct answer”…

    I’m looking for your answer

  107. Indiana Mom says:

    I, like a lot of Americans have been upset with the Republicans and I guess that is why there are so many Democrats in Washington DC these days. I have to say that I was proud once again when all of the Republicans stood up in the House and voted “NO” to the stimulus bill. They finally were standing up for something again. I think they finally get it. It’s amazing to me that the Democrats don’t realize that they are spending themselves into retirement. It’s just sad that they will be ruining so many lives in the process. Let’s all keep tabs on how much the Congress spends this year. This is so sad that they feel money is the solution to everything. It’s too hard to do what is right and realize that they are not so smart that they can stick their noses in everything and make everything better. Seems that is what started a lot of problems. What do you all think?? TARP was rushed through and now they rush through the Stimulus bill. Are these people crazy???

  108. Indiana Mom says:

    What do you all think about the fairness doctrine? I say if they try to stick there noses into who is on the radio, we should also want them to stick there noses into tv and also in our schools. Make everyone admit to what political party they are associated with and make sure that our teachers are 50/50. What do you think they would do then? Maybe think about this twice??

  109. Dkirby-Michigan says:

    I have long-said that we need a STRONG and formidable third party in this country. I have listened to the Libertarian ideology enough to know that they have the country’s best interest at heart far mopre than the other two parties. I hope they can gain a foothold and start winning elections….in 2010! If they do, I hope they do not become power-corrupted somewhere down the road. I am a conservative, if that matters, and I have lived through every election since Truman. I can therefore say with confidence; WE NEED A THIRD PARTY!!!

  110. BF,

    The reason that I didn’t answer you is because I think you go out of your way to confuse when you give your answers. You speak of common sense and logic and reason as though they were seperate things when they are one in the same. You ask why I send my daughter to school to let these people warp her mind? Well, here’s the thing, I don’t send her to school and I go to jail. I am not in a position where I can home school her and the private schools are as bad if not worse than the public schools. I’m screwed either way I go. I’m not so sure it’s the school itself that has no common sense, alot of her teachers think some of these rules are as ridiculous as I think they are, I think that it is the government, state and federal, that have put these rules in place. And these schools for the most part are very good. My daughter is a very bright young woman with a good head on her shoulders. I believe that she will go far. I have gotten completely off track. Common sense, that was what started all of this. Maybe I define it differently than you do. To me common sense is logic and reason applied to problems and coming up with a viable working solultion. Not PCing myself to death trying not to offend someone. Does that make more sense to you?

  111. Dkirby-Michigan says:

    Kristan, I sent three children through public schools. But, I kept myself in their faces all the time. When my kids came home and told me their teacher said George Washington was a tyrant, dictator, I went to the teacher and told her I re-directed their thinking and she needs to stick to the facts and loose her opinion. I let every arrogant teache know, along the way, that their job was to teach reading. writing, and arithmetic, and leaves the value education to me. My kids are all professionals. Stay informed!!!!

  112. Kristian said

    The reason that I didn’t answer you is because I think you go out of your way to confuse when you give your answers. You speak of common sense and logic and reason as though they were seperate things when they are one in the same.

    Unfortunately, no, they are rarely the same thing.

    Common sense is, as you have said, learned by experience – or as I’ve pointed out – told to us by authority and/or mentors. Neither of these having anything to do with logic and reasoning.

    You ask why I send my daughter to school to let these people warp her mind? Well, here’s the thing, I don’t send her to school and I go to jail. I am not in a position where I can home school her and the private schools are as bad if not worse than the public schools. I’m screwed either way I go.

    I understand your position –

    Common sense, that was what started all of this. Maybe I define it differently than you do. To me common sense is logic and reason applied to problems and coming up with a viable working solultion. Not PCing myself to death trying not to offend someone. Does that make more sense to you?

    And that’s the rub, isn’t it?

    The issue isn’t whether the school should or should enforce ridiculous rules at all – (which is why I asked the question – who has the right to set the rules for a school?) – the issue actually starts well before then.

    You believe that its ok, some of the time, to overrule some people’s self-ownership, and punish those people because they consume certain substances – even though they’ve done no harm to you.

    It’s like a B-movie….

    (Her)oine: We need to stop people from using bad drugs

    (H)andsome (E)vil (V)illian: Yes, but I need your power!

    Her: What power?

    HEV: The right to self-ownership! Give it to me! Give me the right to control what they do to their bodies! With that, I can fix the problem of bad drugs! I can stop them!

    Her: Ok, but you have to promise. You can only use it to stop the bad drugs.

    HEV: I promise.

    Her: OK

    (Thunder cracks…followed by a scream and cackles of laughter)

    Her: There are chains on my arms and legs!

    HEV: Yes, I own you now too!

    Her: But you promised.

    HEV: I kept my promise! It’s just… they are all BAD drugs!!!…ahahhahahahahahha

    As soon as you give the right to punish people for what they do to themselves, you open yourself up to be punished for what you do to yourself as well.

    That’s the logic, Kristen – what you to do another (or grant another to do on your behalf) shall be done to you.

    Do unto others as you wish done unto you… well, you got your wish!

    So it makes perfect sense that banning ‘bad’ drugs ends up splashing back at you – ’cause its all bad, in someone’s point of view. It really shouldn’t matter what their point of view is; however, you’ve agreed they can execute that on some one else too, besides themselves.

    As long as you agree you can use (or grant another to do for you) violence upon non-violent people, you’ll suffer the same thing as they.

  113. Thanks for the encouragement everyone. I do keep up with my kids and what is going on in their schools. I’ve had run ins with more than a few of their teachers over the years myself. The government just needs to stop inserting it’s self where it is not needed.

  114. So basically you believe in the live and let live theory?I don’t have an issue with that theory. I won’t worry about the pothead until he assumes, incorrectly, that he thinks clearer when he’s high and then gets behind the wheel of a car and runs over one of my kids because he was thinking clearly. How about that? Oh, and the drunk driver who runs over a pedestrian or rearends someone, causing them years of pain. There is a reason for all of the laws that are out there. Something happened at some point in time to have someone pass them. I understand that and agree with it. Some of the issues that were brought up in that article had nothing to do with law or other people imposing their will on others. It spoke of a way of thinking that has become all to prevalent in todays society. Did you happen to notice the names of common sense’s step brothers? They were: I Know My Rights, I Want It Now, Someone Else Is To Blame and I’m A Victim. And why do I feel like I’m going in a circle with you?

    • Welcome to the spinning tea cup ride that is attempting to debate with BlackFlag. You are not alone on that ride though!

  115. Kristian,

    So you are OK with any law against behavior that can potentially harm an innocent person?

  116. Whatever one assumes to be logical, can be made to look like swiss cheese by Black Flag. Socratic Method, Devil’s Advocate, “vulcan” logic, or knowledge acquired in that remote place hidden deep within the Amazon – he is truly a master.

    I think by reading his post carefully, one may learn to see exactly where oneself stands in order to be sure of one’s position…logically speaking, of course!

    BF, with your permission, I would like to use the PMG-SMG for my constitution class this week.

    Regards,
    R

  117. Whichever party that will come to the middle and leave it’s fringe (left or right) will get my vote. I hate Bible thumpers and tree huggers in my politics. Fix the economy, protect our nation, find viable alt fuel, reduce welfare and get people working. Those are my main issues.

  118. 1. Make the case for less Federal Government involved in social issues. No wonder the country is so polarized, the Federal Government spends too much time working on the country’s social ills. Regardless of your affiliation liberal or conservative, change can happen without government. We are obsessed with legislating our beliefs.
    2. Go back to conservative economic basics. Economically, the US domination of the world economy has been on a decline. As other nations siphon more and more US wealth we need to either try and compete, or except that the sun is beginning to set. The solution to the first one is to cut taxes and promote US businesses by dramatically lowering corporate and employment taxes. The solution to the second is to cut spending to lavish government programs, because we cannot afford them.
    3. Reform politics. I love all the campaign talk about visibility and accountability, but have never seen a politician that is serious about it. I can think of several ways in which individual politicians could show their commitment to ethics.

  119. WE CAN DISCUSS ALL THE THINGS WE NEED TO DO TO GET THINGS GOING IN THIS GREAT COUNTRY. WE CAN BLAME THE DEMOCRATS AND WE CAN BLAME THE REPUBLICANS. MANY OF YOU THINK YOU HAVE THE ANSWERS SO YOU MOUTH OFF WHAT YOU HEARD ANOTHER DUMB ASS SAY. SO LISTEN UP. IF WE DO NOT GET THE HOUSING AND CONSTRUCTION BUSINESS GOING VERY FAST YOU ARE GOING TO SEE A WORLD DEPRESSION HIT THAT WILL MAKE THE FIRST DEPRESSION LOOK LIKE A HOLIDAY. HOUSING AND OTHER CONSTRUCTION IS THE ONLY INDDUSTRY BIG ENNOUGH TO GET US GOING. MOST OF YOUR 535 CONGRESSMEN AND SENATORS CAN NOT EVEN READ A BALANCE SHEET. THE LARGE MAJORITY ARE LAWYERS I AM TRAINED AS A LAWYER BUT HAVE BEEN IN THE CONSTRUCTION BUSINESS FOR FORTY YEARS AND HAVE SOME KNOWLEDGE IN THIS. NONE OF YOUR ELECTED CONGRESS UNDERSTANDS WHAT IS GOING ON SO PLEASE DO NOT COUNT ON THEM SOLVING IN OF OUR PROBLREMS THEY ARE THE PROBLEM. GOOD LUCK TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF AND YOUR FAMILY. FORGET EVERYONE ELSE.

  120. Cooper Corbin says:

    USWeapon,
    In your thoughts you mentioned reasons why you used to like the Republican party. One of those was that it was the “Christian” party. To keep it a Christian party, would necessitate a constant stand against abortion, embryonic stem cell research and homosexuality. To do otherwise would make it “unChristian.”

    Early immigrants to this country often signed up as Democrats, as they (Democrats) were the party of entitlements. Irish Catholics composed a large part of this addition. Most of the Catholics I know today are very pro-life, yet many of them remain loyal to the Democratic party, which in many ways, by their platform, seems “anti-Christian.”

    It seems to me that many people set aside their Christian values when it comes to politics. The focus may need to be more toward drawing attention to the contrasts of big versus small government, limited mixed economy versus full blown socialism, etc.

  121. Eyeonball,

    We have something in common, I do real estate too. Unfortunatly, we are no where near the bottom. Actually the confidence in the market has been so badly shaken that even after the bottom is hit we won’t know it. We will just keep sliding through.

    I’d be interested on your take on the 89-91 meltdown. Freddie and Fannie were guaranteeing everything in sight. In the Bronx, multi family housing was selling for 2 to 3 times rent. Value could only be calculated that way because nobody in their right mind would build or rebuild in those neighborhoods. Freddie in particular started using appraisals with “replacement value”. They totally upset the market pushing value to 6 to 10 times rent. People scrambled to buy what had been junk, overmortgaged it and then walked away. There were some good actors in the business at the time (like us). We got clobbered when the banks withdrew all lending in a panic. We had three projects in the pipeline, had borrowed at 19% (construction loans) fully rented the properties and were left holding the bag, no end loan in sight. Eventually, we too collapsed. Sort of a self fulfilling prophecy from the banking community.

    Were your experiences the same? Did you ever believe that after that one anyone would be dumb enough to try it again, and on steroids to boot?

    I agree with your final points. Keep your powder dry.

  122. Kent,

    That sounds like a trick question to me. As I said before, there must have been a reason that the law was written in the first place. Some event that made it necessary to put it in writting that you can’t do that anymore. All laws are open to interpretation, any lawyer will tell you that, so I guess it just depends on your interpretation of the law. I think that laws put in place to prevent harmin the innocent are on the whole good laws. Am I wrong?

  123. WOW! Thanks for the invitation and website info.! I’ve spent the past hr. reading THIS blog it’s totally refreshing, respectful and thought-provoking. As a Republican during this election, I went from confused to astonished, from astonished to anxious, from anxious to down-right scared, and from there to MAD. From reading these various comments/responses, the mad is going away, and thinking has returned. My party is flawed, it is fixable, and it is going to be needed (once fixed) in the years to come,defragmenting this country. Thank you all for honest, forthright opinions and the respect you have shown when you commented regardless of how strongly you feel about your views. This is a FIRST for me. Nobody descended into vitriolic, venomous personal attacks.

    And Kristian, youjr 2/5 “Common Sense” post hit me square in the eyes. Thank you! Right now my thoughts are core values, common sense, LESS is best. And, I’m going to pull up the Constitution and refresh my decades old memory of it.

    As a side note, when the First Family took a field trip to the Memorial, and the First Mom read the words of the documents that were the foundation of this country … and Malia (?) asked, “How are we doing on that …?” Guess we know how we are doing on that right now.

  124. Cooper Corbin says:

    Roger- comment on 3 February

    Roger, I have been in favor of a flat tax for a long time now. I have yet to hear a good explanation against it. What could be more fair? Make a dollar, pay a dime. Make a million, pay one hundred thousand.

    Perhaps one of the reasons one could offer against it, would be that the simplicity would eliminate the need for many on the IRS payroll.

    Are there any folks here (financial wizards, economists) who can give me good reasons why we should not have a flat tax? Obviously, there have to be some valid arguments, or we would have this in place already.

    I just read back through many of the comments here. Like Marsha, this is my first visit, and it is nice to see some civility and intelligence.

  125. Cooper Corbin says:

    Coincidental? I just read this article on Pelosi’s visit to Rome. It goes along with me first comment here.

    http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2009/02/18/pelosi-pope-meeting-minds/

  126. Kristian,

    “That sounds like a trick question to me.”

    I don’t mean my question as a trick. I am just saying that according to the idea that laws protect people from harm, anything can be regulated or prohibited. Where do you draw the line? How do you get the state and its “laws” to stay on the proper side of the line? Voting, petitioning, and protesting have not worked.

    “As I said before, there must have been a reason that the law was written in the first place.”

    I agree. There “must have been”. But was it a good reason? Did the law solve the problem? Did it do more harm than the problem it supposedly solved?

    “Some event that made it necessary to put it in writting that you can’t do that anymore.”

    So, since murder is illegal, it never happens because of the law?

    “All laws are open to interpretation, any lawyer will tell you that, so I guess it just depends on your interpretation of the law. I think that laws put in place to prevent harmin the innocent are on the whole good laws. Am I wrong?”

    I believe you are wrong, though I don’t believe it is intentional on your part. Laws are not “put in place to prevent harm”, they are put in place to give an excuse to punish people regardless of actual harm inflicted. All laws use the excuse of “preventing harm” no matter how tenuous the connection.

  127. Marsha,

    I’m glad that post finally made sense to someone besides me. We’ve had quite the debate here as to the meaning of common sense and whether our country has the ability to apply it. I don’t think they do but it sure would be great if they at least tried! Welcome.

  128. Some other thoughts. First, Indiana Mom, I too was proud Republicans stood up solidly in the House and said no. You know they will get a lot of grief for doing so. It pleases me the leading party learned it’s not going to be a free ride for them. The euphoria of the “I won” thinking is going to meet some resistence. “I won” doesn’t necessarily mean “my way, the only way.” I am concerned about the New England Republican Senators who bailed on the stimulus bill. It may have become the “lesser of evils” decision for them. SOMETHING had to be done. Born and raised in the NE, though many years gone, I think it was a huge mistake on their part. There is nothing I can see in this bill (and I’m not even half way through it) that it is going to do anything at all for a section of our country that’s been plagued for years with economic issues and taxation from every governmental entity that COULD tax. My spouse and I left years ago when in addition to other taxes, we had to pay a “right to work” tax.

    I think these Senators lost their focus and their footing BECAUSE they care about the people they represent. The Republican way was not working. They bailed out and compromised themselves and their state(s). I bet they are soul-searching and praying that they made the right vote for their constituents.

  129. Kent,

    Are you serious about that? There have been laws or at least rules in society from the beginning of time and you’re seriously telling me that the law is there so that “The Man” can oppress the little people? I know that you said you are an anarchist and I figure to each his own, I just can’t buy into that line of thinking. I am curious as to what made you start thinking that way.

  130. Rules can exist without government. In fact, even the legitimate laws of the state are based upon the REAL rules that have existed far longer than government has. The problem isn’t “The Man”; it is each and every one of us who whines “there oughta be a law” about every annoyance. You might read about the ZAP.

  131. Kristian, I’m a newcomer here, and it was a total fluke that I even saw the invitation to check it out. Have to admit I thought, “Do I really want to read MORE crap?” 🙂 That’s what I expected. I’m still surprised that I responded and felt comfortable doing so. EVERYBODY provided food for thought, and I’m on my way to a headache sorting it all out. But yes, I’m with you, and your death of Common Sense absolutely struck a nerve with me.

    How, when, where you were raised and your own life experiences, I suppose, determine what common sense is to each of us, personally.

    Your note helped me work through some “cobwebs” with my party disallusionment. I thank you for that.

    I have a toddler theory now about the Republican party. We need to take it back, “System Restore,” to when it was working. Goods and services flowed; people had buying power and didn’t have to over-extend credit to enjoy the life they wanted and could provide. They had jobs, spent money that kept others working in their jobs, too, in the process. We invested. It wasn’t all THAT long ago. Free-market works for this country, but only if integrity is partnered into business. Obviously integrity lost out to greed and the greedy are now getting caught. And we’re all falling off the ledge. That it’s so incredibly EXTENSIVE is what boggles my mind. We never saw it coming.

    Agree with you re common sense. That you were challenged, not attacked here, makes this blog just about the only one I’ve read I would like to come back to. Everyone has different thoughts and ideas about how to. Everyone is on the same page in terms of what we want to see happen for this country. DOWNRIGHT AMAZING!

    In parting, I had to smile about the hot coffee litigation. I’m in the legal field, for many years, and BOY was that an issue for ME!

    In terms of litigation and COMMON SENSE. Hello – you order a cup of hot coffee, your son drives you away; you spill the hot coffee YOU ordered and you burn yourself. You sue McDonalds??? YOU bought the HOT coffee you wanted. Your choice. If you spill it, and in a moving car … well GEEZ. LOL, the 2nd count of that petition could have implied the cup was TOO full. Never mind that. Had McDonald’s done a 3/4 cup for drive-away customers, it would have been sued for charging full price for less. A no-win situation.

    Be really neat if people considered the choices they make and then took responsibility for those choices if it didn’t work out perfectly. We REALLY need to stop blaming everyone else for FREE choice decisions we make. McDonald’s basically advertised hot coffee. That’s what that woman got. I do not work for a plaintiff-oriented firm. And I’m so happy that litigation is NOT my legal field any longer!

    Re your common sense comments, I’ve seen just too darned many half brothers and sisters to common sense. And over time, I’ve heard the wails of people claiming the decisions they made were “Not their fault” when things turned out badly. Well, sorry but it wasn’t anyone ELSE’s fault you made the choices you made. Suck it up and get over it.

    The Republican Party used to have a common sense, take responsibility platform. Now it just seems to be all over the place.

  132. Thoughts on the “Fairness Doctrine” ??? I would like to hear everyone’s thoughts! It’s very disturbing to me. I do listen to Rush and Hannity, ALL the time, and I also have to tell you that I think they sometimes, maybe often, get WAY over the top to push their points home. Though I may grit my teeth hearing some of the broadcasts, I believe essentially, with what they are trying to say and promote in terms of Republican values that SO have gone away. Having said THAT, I don’t like the manipulative quality I feel I’m hearing sometimes. It also bothers me they don’t permit dissenters to speak without shutting off the microphone and … .

    Re the “Fairness Doctrine,” or whatever it will be RENAMED, and probably soon … I think we already have it! It’s called main stream newspaper publications – until they go bankrupt; CBS, NBC, MSNBC, CNN TV. I really don’t think we need to bring back this “Fairness Doctrine.” To do so would shut down radio broadcasts, and it’s the radio broadcasts that are tweaking all the noses. In terms of news – TV – it’s not news, except locally. It’s commentary, entertainment. I would SO love a station – ANY sort of news – that just REPORTS news without any spin on it! Please just tell me what’s going on in the world today. Just tell me the Dow dumped a bunch of points; Iran has a drone plain capable of …; the CDC is REAL concerned about hosptial-generated infections.

    I DO think I’m smart enough to decide if we’re in a good place or a bad place. I would just SO love ALL the media to avoid telling me how I should perceive what’s going on in the life I’m living. JUST the facts, PLEASE. I REALLY dona’t want them to tell me I should worry or not.

    And I do NOT want them to shut down talk radio. As irritating as it can be, and how I sometimes get SO annoyed with Rush and Sean Hannity … .

    I am a Republican, disallusioned, annoyed with my representatives I voted for … know the party is badly flailing, but the party itself DOES have a sound foundation. It just needs to get off it’s ass and DO the right things. The party needs to get past Obama-worship and FEAR and work with FOR the people who put them into the capital.

    If Hannity and Limbaugh’s shows kick the Republican Party BACK to the party it is and should/will become again. I’m darned sure willing to listen on the ride home.

    If it happens in this administration that we lose them – we can kiss the Rep. party good-bye. AND the Libertarians. And then we hide and watch to see what happens to life as we know it now. SCARY!

    I DO have mixed feelings about broadcasting now. I DO like Hannity and Limbaugh, SOMETIMES. But if we’re heading into “fairness,” it better be across the board with the media. Newspapers, TV, Radio, etc. et al.

  133. Marsha,

    I couldn’t agree with you more. Momma raised me to believe that if you play with fire, you’re gonna get burned. So I figured I better not play with fire! Of course I learned the hard way, don’t we all? Responsibility for your own actions! What a novel idea…lol. As to this blog, you are entirely right, it is the only one that I have been to that I don’t have to be concerned about it turning into a name calling match. It’s nice to play with grown ups!

    • Kristian,

      I am glad that you have found that to be the case on this site. That is what I wanted when I created it: a place to discuss ideas for making the country a better place without the name calling and hatred I see on so many other sites. Coming together for the betterment of the country is the only way forward. The two big parties seem to not want that to happen. We may end up having to look elsewhere, time will tell. But I try to monitor the site constantly and get rid of anything that gets disrespectful or hate-filled. I usually jump in with a warning if I think people are crossing the line. But with over 1000 visitors a day, I do miss some. Feel free to email me if you see something that doesn’t fit my relaxed atmosphere!

  134. Black Flag says:

    Kristian said
    So basically you believe in the live and let live theory?

    I find it works a lot better than the “butt your nose in other people’s business” theory 🙂

    . I won’t worry about the pothead until he assumes, incorrectly, that he thinks clearer when he’s high and then gets behind the wheel of a car and runs over one of my kids because he was thinking clearly. How about that?

    Then you must be furious at sober, straight drivers – they kill and injure more people on the highway then impaired ones.

    Oh, and the drunk driver who runs over a pedestrian or rearends someone, causing them years of pain.

    And sober people cause far more accidents.

    However, are you arguing that someone who runs over a pedestrian when sober should not be held responsible?

    Why should we treat different people who have done the same harm differently?

    There is a reason for all of the laws that are out there.

    There are always a reason.

    But, do we know the reason and is the reason logical or valid?

    Should not the natural law of “do no harm to others” suffice for all your examples, regardless of the person or ability?

    How do you measure impairment resulting from …. Arguing with your spouse? Sick with the flu? Listening to the radio? Tired? Not paying attention? Distracted? Just not a good driver?

    Or, instead, isn’t in more logical to simply measure whether or not real harm been or there exists a risk of Clear and Present Danger?

    Something happened at some point in time to have someone pass them.

    Much of the time, it is a knee-jerk reaction without real understanding of what is going on.

    Example, all the anti-impaired driving initiates have had little measurable effect on road accidents – but has successfully criminalized hundreds of thousands of people who have done no harm. But who asks why (other than me)?

    The most important statistic for highway accidents and death is not speeding, nor ‘drunk’ driving… it is age.

    Age is experience. As the driver gains experience, their ability to avoid accidents increases. 16-25 have a huge, disproportionate number of accidents. After 25, the numbers drop spectacularly.

    But no one wants to front the cost of better driver training.

    My personal example: My father was a highway patrolman, and was my first driving instructor. He taught me not only the basics, but many intermediate skills of driving. I spent my own money to get an advanced driver training, and even more money to go on a high-speed driving course. With no surprise, I’ve never been involved in an accident that I caused (I’ve been hit twice, while fully stopped … but that is another story).

    But who is willing to pay for this training? Did you or did you expect the government to pay?

    So, instead, we ignore the real issues of training and pervert our thinking to accept false reasons, and then use legal violence to reinforce these reasons – and 50,000 people die with two million injured– a Vietnam war of deaths and six WW2 worth of wounded every single year.

    Another real example:
    I went on one of those tests to demonstrate the drop in driving ability as alcoholic impairment increased (along with a group of about 10 other people).

    We created a baseline by driving a course successfully as fast as possible.

    After a number of trials, and drinks, while I blew .11 – well over most legal limits – I successfully drove the course faster than anyone else did on their baseline. This embarrassed (a bit) the host of the project. (I did drive it slower than my baseline).

    But it demonstrates my point – my training more than made up for the impairment vs. simple untrained drivers. The most dangerous driver on the road is not the drunk, but the poorly trained.

    They were: I Know My Rights,

    I wish this was true – but I’d be surprised if the vast majority know, let alone understand, their rights.

    And why do I feel like I’m going in a circle with you?

    The pattern merely appears a circle, but with closer inspection, you’ll see we are wandering toward a goal.

    I think that laws put in place to prevent harmin the innocent are on the whole good laws. Am I wrong?

    How do you know something ‘will’ harm vs. something that ‘might’ harm.

    If we use the ‘might’ harm theory – then a law banning cars seems reasonable to you – knowing that driving is the most dangerous activity for the general public – 44% of all accidental deaths comes from cars.

    Visiting a doctor is more dangerous than abusing ‘controlled substances’.

    Yet, according to you, we need laws against drugs because they are dangerous!

    TYPES OF ACCIDENTAL DEATHS, USA 2002
    (MVA = Motor Vehicle Accident)
    ACCIDENT PERCENT
    (1) Motor vehicle (MVA) 44.3%
    (2) Falls 17.8%
    (3) Poison,liq/solid 13.0%
    (4) Drowning 3.9%
    (5) Fires, Burns,Smoke 3.4%
    (6) Medical/Surgical Complication 3.1%
    (7) Other land transport 1.5%
    (8) Firearms 0.8%
    (9) Other (nontransport) 17.8%

    Rowe said
    BF, with your permission, I would like to use the PMG-SMG for my constitution class this week.

    You bet!

  135. Black Flag says:

    Cooper Corbin said
    I have been in favor of a flat tax for a long time now. I have yet to hear a good explanation against it. What could be more fair? Make a dollar, pay a dime. Make a million, pay one hundred thousand.

    Why should I pay more than you for exactly the same government as you?

    That’s not fair!

    Perhaps one of the reasons one could offer against it, would be that the simplicity would eliminate the need for many on the IRS payroll.

    The reason we have income tax is not primarily for government revenue – but as a powerful tool for implementing government policy. There are plenty of income seizing tools of government – like inflation, or excise/import duty, etc. – that are far more efficient than income tax…. if efficiency and volume was the real goal….

    With the use of tax (stick) and tax breaks (carrot), the government attempts to manipulate the economic market place for political (ie: non-economic) goals.

    All the plans for a ‘simpler’ tax reform will never (and I use that word in the strictest of meanings) go anywhere. The more reasonable people, whose only fallacy is to believe that taxes are for revenue, will never get any reform passed. Tax law will go only one way – more complex – so to enable even more granular policy design and economic manipulation.

    For example, Obama is giving rich people money to buy homes as an attempt to kick-start housing projects. How?

    A tax break.

    So let’s think about this clearly – he is no friend of the rich, so why this manipulation?

    1) Who has any money today? Those that are not in debt.
    2) Who are they? The ‘unknown’ rich.
    3) Who is buying houses? Not very many people.
    4) Why?
    5) Banks are looking for strong, asset and cash strong people to lend money to.
    6) These type of people have always been cautious investors and strong savers.
    7) They are hording cash like crazy, instead of spending, to prepare for the upcoming economic disaster.
    8) How do you loosen their purse string?
    9) Bribe them and give them a deal they can’t refuse.
    10) $15,000 tax credit against a house loan.
    11) You need an significant income to need $15,000 tax credit against your income tax. You have to be rich.
    12) Thus, you are the one that the banks are happy to loan to – 30yr fixed rate @5.2% plus you get $15,000 off your tax bill.

    Without a complex income tax system, this government manipulation simply could not have been available.

    Therefore, any flat tax, or ‘fair’ tax, or any simplified version of taxation will not occur. Ever.

    Like Marsha, this is my first visit, and it is nice to see some civility and intelligence.

    Welcome!

    USWep runs a great site. He is able to (anarchastically, in fact! – but he’ll probably not admit it.. 😉 ) maintain a site with strong, polar camps of ideas and dialogue.

    Thanks again, USWep!

  136. Cooper Corbin says:

    Black Flag you strike me as a “glass half empty” person, while I choose to see it as half full. I’m sorry your faith in people has been so deteriorated.

    Of course a flat tax would be fair. While I might want to be lazy and earn little and pay little in taxes, and you may be a hard-working successful person making much, we are both afforded the same opportunities, protections, and freedoms in this country. As Roger said in the first post, the pain would be shared equally.

    We have differing opinions and interpretations of Article 1, Section 8 of our constitution it seems.

    On the tax break business, the last I heard the home buyers’ credit was reduced to $8,000, and our big breaks will amount to about $400.

    You challenged Kristian on law with the difference between “will” and “might.” I’m challenging your “never” with “cud happen” on the flat tax.

    “Anarchastically” is not a real word, but I follow.

    Thanks for the welcome.

  137. Cooper Corbin said

    Black Flag you strike me as a “glass half empty” person, while I choose to see it as half full. I’m sorry your faith in people has been so deteriorated.

    I sure hope you play poker, because the ‘read’ you have on me is exactly backwards! 😉

    I have HUGE faith in people – zero in government.

    I sure hope you aren’t mingling the two!

    Of course a flat tax would be fair. While I might want to be lazy and earn little and pay little in taxes, and you may be a hard-working successful person making much, we are both afforded the same opportunities, protections, and freedoms in this country.

    So why should I pay more, if we get the same??

    As Roger said in the first post, the pain would be shared equally.As Roger said in the first post, the pain would be shared equally.

    I’m really confused by your concept of “equal”… if I pay more, how is that “equal”???

    We have differing opinions and interpretations of Article 1, Section 8 of our constitution it seems.

    First, I’m no supporter of Constitutionalism (though I admit that I use the Constitution against those that appear to be Constitutionists all the time)

    I guess your definition of “Uniform” is different then mine – but, I think you know, no matter what definition you provide for “uniform” (ie: the same), I’ll be able to dispute.

    The reason I can is that ‘tax’ – in its most basic form – must be UNFAIR.

    It is taking from someone to give to someone who did not earn it.

    This, at its most basic core, is unfair.

    So, no matter how you want to word it, whatever method you use, or whatever justification – it must be unfair to someone.

    On the tax break business, the last I heard the home buyers’ credit was reduced to $8,000, and our big breaks will amount to about $400.

    Credit comes off your tax bill, not your income.

    $15k, 8K, $400 — the amount is meaningless.

    The intent, as I laid out, is that tax is a policy tool, not a revenue tool.

    You challenged Kristian on law with the difference between “will” and “might.” I’m challenging your “never” with “cud happen” on the flat tax.

    I held no such confusion – I remind you that I explicitly stated “within the strictest meaning of the word”.

    I know what I meant by using “never”.

    “Anarchastically” is not a real word, but I follow.

    Fortunately, the English language allows us to create meaningful new words ad hoc.

    However, adding “-ly” behind any pronoun is a valid extension of the English language.

    “man” .. manly
    “woman”.. womanly
    “anarchist” .. anarchistly

    (I may have ‘misspelled’ it previously)

  138. A DEMOCRAT FOR 48 YEARS, THEN I NOTICED THE LIKES OF FRANK, PELOSI, REID, DODD AND NOTED THEY WERE ALL LIARS. CHANGED TO INDEPENDENT, WHEN I WAS LITTLE PARENTS TOLD ME REPUBICANS WERE THE WEALTHY AND DEMOCRATS FOR POOR, BUT MY LORD AND SAVIOR SAID THE POOR WILL BE WITH YOU ALWAYS, THIS I BELIEVE AND SO I VOTE THE PERSON NOT THE PARTY. I REALIZE OBAMA HAS LIED REPEATEDLY AND CONSISTENTLY, HE CAN’T OPEN HIS MOUTH WITHOUT LYING. ALSO PELOSI,THE 3RD IN LINE TO BE PRESIDENT, WHAT A BAD DEAL TO START WITH. I HOPE AND PRAY MICHAEL STEELE CAN DO A HUGE JOB AND BRING REPUBLICANS BACK TO QUIT ACTING LIKE DEMOCRATS. I ALSO AGREE WITH MR BECK SOMETHING ROTTEN ON THE BORDER WITH OUR SIDE AS THE 2 BORDER AGENTS CONVICTED AND SPENT TIME IN JAIL FOR DOING THEIR DUTY, IF THAT WAS THE FLAT RULE, WE WOULD ARREST EACH POLICE OFFICER IN U.S. FOR DOING HIS OR HER JOB, WHAT A COUNTRY, LIES, LIES AND MORE LIES. I WORKED IN NEVEDA DRIVING DISABLED BUS FOR SENIORS AND THEY TOLD ME REID A FOOL AND NOT VERY BRIGHT, WELL THAT HAPPENED. NOW HE WILL HAVE HIS TRAIN TO TAKE PEOPLE FROM L.A. TO VEGAS TO LOSE THEIR MONEY. WHAT A COUNTRY, LIES, LIES. SO MANY GOD BLESS AND DECENT, NON-LIARS AND FAMILY PEOPLE WHO TAKE CARE OF THEIR CHILDREN.

  139. There are several areas in which Republicans and/or conservatives need to improve in order to revitalize the Republican party. First and foremost is to instill integrity and a moral compass into the political system, specifically, decisionmaking. This will only be accomplished by stating the truth and the reasons why decisions are made. People are so desensitized to the shenanigans played by politicians who change their stories and their loyalties. Anymore, people accept it because they are tired of trying to keep a score card. Term limits would help because of lobbyists, large donors, etc. This is not an easy fix. In this regard, there is nothing wrong with straightforward and blunt ideas regarding the Left, their politicians (gee, Mary Pelosi and Barney Frank come to mind immediately), and the reasons why they do the things they do. Call them out and no longer treat them with kid gloves. Call a spade a spade. Then, we need to learn a thing or two from the Left’s play book–do a massive dig and find out their ties, where their money comes from and where their loyalties lie. Then educate, educate and educate, regardless of whether people want to listen. Believe me, people who have everything to lose in this administration will listen and respond with their votes and activism. Media blitz. Unfortunately, hardworking Republicans are going to have to start taking an hour out of their workday and begin a plan of action. Make a list of all of the elected officials within your district and become the squeaky wheel. Network. The Left has exploited the void of Republican activism and we have been silent too long. Unfortunately, it has come down to this.

  140. Cooper Corbin says:

    Black flag, the road is before you. It is built, it is available for your use and driving/traveling pleasure. It’s a toll road. $4 for each trip. You use it once. I use it four times. We both pay the $4 fee each time. It’s fair.

  141. Cooper Corbin said

    Black flag, the road is before you. It is built, it is available for your use and driving/traveling pleasure. It’s a toll road. $4 for each trip. You use it once. I use it four times. We both pay the $4 fee each time. It’s fair.

    I have a hamburger, you buy four – you pay four times the amount – that’s fair.

    However, the same number of cops patrol the city for you as for me – you pay $100, and I pay $4,000 — that’s not fair.

  142. Cooper Corbin says:

    Black Flag,
    What is your solution…what you consider to be equitable and just?

    Great faith in people…since your not too high on the Consitution, what about this? “and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.” Wouldn’t faith in people be faith in government?

  143. Black Flag says:

    Cooper Corbin said

    Black Flag,
    What is your solution…what you consider to be equitable and just?

    The Free market – everyone buys what they want in voluntary exchange. No one is forced to pay for someone’s wants or needs.

    Great faith in people…since your not too high on the Consitution, what about this? “and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.” Wouldn’t faith in people be faith in government?

    Copied from my post in https://standupforamerica.wordpress.com/2009/02/19/now-the-tough-part-getting-there-from-here/#comment-1776

    It is NOT supposed to be a government “of the people, by the people and for the people” – that is what got us in trouble. Lincoln was probably the most cynical and destructive President to the United States in history – with Bush a hair-breath close second.

    He knew exactly what he was saying, and turned the country from a limited consensual entity into a activist interventionalist entity.

    The government was never intended to ‘do’ things for the people – it left that for the people to ‘do’ for themselves.

    It is supposed to be a government “deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed” to secure their liberty.

  144. “A government is simply a body of men, usually notably ungoverned”

    I can’t answer for BF, of course, but my observation is that bad behavior is cumulative and gets much worse in large groups. Individuals act much better than gangs do, whether you call the gang “MS-13” or “Government”.

    I remember friends I have had in the past that I got into trouble with. Alone, neither of us caused trouble, but together we just gravitated towards it. Big groups are even worse. Add in the privileges and protections that go along with power over the lives of others, especially when the “common people” have been convinced that the power is justified and authorized, and it gets to be a real problem.

  145. US Weapon, thanks for the lead to the “Fairness Doctrine.” Very helpful!

    I seem to have abandoned Fox since your invitation. Now I have my 5:15 a.m. 1st coffee checking in here, and I am not sorry. I’ve not seen one rotten, off the mark, vindictive, personal attack, but I certainly have seen differences of opinion and perspectives. WHAT a relief. Food for thought.

    But … I still want to know what we can do NOW to push along ways to restore the Republican Party, make it stronger and more viable and forward-moving. I’ve read these great notes, gotten “pinged” by a comment/thought and have jotted reminders to “go check this out,” when someone said just one MORE thing I didn’t know or never thought about.

    Where I live, we’re ramping up to a Mayoral election. The Mayor we have is going out – term limits. He did an incredible job in leading our city. Such a shame, but – I am FOR term limits, and we’ve just tweaked our laws so that this will truly work for voters now. It took years. But, my point is, what do we do?

    Bomabard our representatives? They are accustomed to doing business for us with no interference other than a handful of “nit-picking troublemakers.” Do we all make calls, send faxes, write letters, e-mail, and keep up the pressure on our state representatives and ramp it up from there? Who has TIME for that. Jobs, kids, families … . That’s our first priority. It’s a good start to rattle them a bit which might remind then why they are where they are in the first place and who put them there. It’s not enough. Maybe Steele can pull it together? We have a little time, but we need to start RIGHT now to repair the party and get it moving.

    But now – I have to say one spiteful thing. It just freaks me out that CA with the tax base it has; the people it has, the wealth it has, is in MORE than dire straits and has been for a long time. It’s just come to a head. It’s looking for ways to plug lots of holes in the dike now when they overlooked the telltale trickle for a long, long time.

    Thank you Nancy Pelosi for taking care of and looking out for your state and it’s fiscal business and the people who voted you in. NOT.

    Nancy Pelosi, NOW our Speaker of the House, D-CA, and she sure loves her job and her gavel! Scarey to know this woman is 3rd in line to the Presidency!!!!

    I SOOO hope Steele can pull us up and regroup. All the great ideas and thoughtful consideration means nothing if it doesn’t come into a plan and gets off the ground. I know what I want to see happen within the next 2, okay 4 years. Two yrs. is pushing it given the gravity of what we live with now. I have no idea how to even begin to help. I am not a leader.

    I just do not want to live EIGHT years with this administration. I do not want to become a very old woman down the line, and see how my family has to live the lives they will have to live because of the stupidity of my generation, and the representatives we elected because we got SCARED and sucked our thumbs in the corner and so it came to pass.

    Thanks for listening (like you had a choice).

  146. Black Flag says:

    I can’t answer for BF, of course…

    Kent, if ever I’m at a loss for words, I just have to go to your site for the perfect wording.

  147. revolution2010 says:

    Saving the Republican Party is almost unsound. After everything I have seen, it is hard to think that any of them are clean. There are a few good candidates that happen to be in the Republican Party and I have a much harder time finding them in the Dems, but the fact of the matter is they all seem corrupt at this point. They have all taken the American Tax-payers for granted. I am saddened by it.
    What happened to the days of the Congress being made up of members who were farmers and teachers? Where does it say that the one who has the biggest purse strings is most qualified? In some ways I am tempted to think that voting for the candidate you have not seen a comercial for is a good idea. They don’t owe their vote to anyone. They haven’t been sold.
    The day is coming where all of those people will be thrown out and hopefully those that are put in their place will be normal citizens who have simply read the Constitution and want to do their best to resurect it.
    I don’t think we need to redirect the Republican Party, I think we need to re-direct Americans. We own this land. We need to remember that. The Citizens need to stop listening to the fear mongoring, thinking that everyone deserves whatever they want and holding ourselves personally responsible for every single one of our own actions, after all… this is our fault.
    We will put this country back on track. The Libertarians look like the best option to me for now. It will take longer for us to recover with this spending plan that was just put in place and hopefully it will last longer than 80 or 90 years before everyone forgets the mistakes of losing focus in the “good times”.

    • You know I agree with you on this Revolution. I wanted to have the discussion to get a better understanding of how people feel and what matters to them. Many Republicans are fed up. If the Libertarians want them, they can have them. But they are going to have to get a pulse of what the American people really want. I think their platform is solid and is closer to what America wants than any of the other parties. But right now it is Republicans that they need to go after. A couple years of Obama and Pelosi will make the Democrats ripe for the picking as well!

  148. Cooper Corbin says:

    Black flag,
    Still…any form of government, or any governing body, will be composed of people.

    If you can’t have faith in a government, which is composed of people, but you can have faith in people, what type of people, or more specifically whom, would you be willing to follow?

    (Other than yourself and Kent)

  149. I would not follow Black Flag nor ask him to follow me. Why should we “follow” anyone? Or, if we do, why should we follow any one person all the time, or everywhere for a set number of years, until we can vote for a new leader? I am willing to follow someone if they have shown expertise in a particular circumstance, but as soon as the circumstance changes (which it will daily regardless of election cycles), that person no longer is leading where it is best to go. And if they demand I follow them and threaten me with punishment of some sort if I decline, they have proven that they are not a “leader” at all, but are a Ruler.

    No one knows better how to run my life than I do. At least if I screw up, it was my choice; not something forced on me against my own desires and judgement.

  150. Cooper Corbin says:

    Okay, let me change the words “whom… would you follow” to “whom, then, would you allow to govern?” And then be willing to support them in their leading and governing, and not jump ship the first time you didn’t like a decision they made.

  151. I guess I would need to know exactly what you mean by “govern”. I would probably never support anyone committing the act of “governing” in the common useage. But it isn’t up to me to “allow” it or not. If someone sets himself us as a “leader” and people have a choice to follow or not, it is none of my business. As soon as a person is forced to submit to a counterfeit “law” or has money stolen “for the good of the collective” then the “leader” is no longer a leader, but is a thug.

    I hope by “support them in their leading and governing” you don’t mean me agreeing that they have authority to violate the basic human rights of those around me, even if I personally agree with the leader’s opinion, and acting upon that. That would mean my principles are subject to whims depending upon whether I like the leader or not. My principles are my “ship”. I stay on my ship and don’t jump ship when it is convenient. A leader would have to stay on my ship; not jump off and then blame me for not following him.

  152. Revolution

    What happened to the days of the Congress being made up of members who were farmers and teachers? Where does it say that the one who has the biggest purse strings is most qualified?

    That’s a great question because it exposes the reason and the danger of the growth of government.

    Those days of Davy Crocket as Congressman was back in the days when government had very little impact or influence on the daily lives of the citizens. Most citizens rarely interacted with government at all.

    As soon as government gains power to massively influence the daily lives of citizens, those with the greatest need for power must seize the government – for no less a reason as to protect their own interests from government.

    With such competition for the reigns of power – when this power has great impact on the lives of the citizens – only those that have the endurance and time to commit that is necessary overcome such competition can succeed – which usually means having a great deal of money (so that there is no need actually do real work during the day to pay for their needs, and enough money to bribe supporters).

    As soon as government no longer has influence and command over the lives of the citizens, it will not be attractive to those that need power.

    The day is coming where all of those people will be thrown out and hopefully those that are put in their place will be normal citizens who have simply read the Constitution and want to do their best to resurect it.

    This will never happen as long as government controls such massive power. The normal citizen simply is ‘out-gunned’. Who do you know has the millions of dollars that is need to run even a small campaign?

    Cooper Corbin said

    Still…any form of government, or any governing body, will be composed of people.

    The more spread out the power into as many hands as possible, the less likely such power can be centralized and controlled and turned against freedom.

    Therefore, I support dissolution to ever smaller forms of government;
    I support national government over world government.
    I support state government over national government.
    I support city government over state government.
    I support individuals over city government.

  153. Cooper Corbin says:

    Black Flag, doesn’t sound to me like there’s much chance for you and Kent to find what you want here.

    Maybe there are some uninhabited islands for sale somewhere…

  154. Cooper,

    The sad thing is that I care too much about my friends, family, and even strangers, to abandon them to the bad guys. While I would personally LOVE an island or something like that, I am not one to run away. Not saying that will not change at some point in the future, but for now….. Plus, as the saying goes, I can’t afford to pay attention.

  155. Lower taxes, less government, love of country, pro-life. Keep it short and simple.

  156. Jim – LESS Government, LOVE of country, pro LIVING less is more for sure right now. Go back to the beginning that planted a foundation beneath us growing up.

    I got to thinking when talking to a friend last night. We talked about how much more complicated life had become, and he didn’t know how that happened. How it happened was prosperity that turned into GREED in a way – not intentionally. Just bad decisions made under the best of intentions in terms of planning for his family’s future.

    This hit me last night when we talked. KISS. “Keep it simple, stupid.” We live in a fast paced society and feel the need to keep up. WHY?

    When I just spurted that out … we got to laughing about it. We so did NOT keep it simple, basic and we did NOT pay attention. We saw opportunities too darned good and grabbed at them with the best of intentions. Now we’ve ALL reverted to many years ago growing up and what we learned back then but got away from because it was easy and we did grow and made money and prospered.

    We talked about how we are now making choices in terms of NEED vs. WANT. In the past, we wanted, we did it and made it happen.

    We shared the confidence that we are now LEARNING how to take care of things ourselves, taking classes, just diving in and trying to fix things and OH NO! Scrap it and try again. In the past, we hired people to fix those problems. Well, now we are fixing them, making them WORSE MORE of a mess in the process, but working it out. Where someone in the past would have made a tidy sum to fix a problem in our homes, and made some money, we have lost that person a job because we are now figuring out how to do it ourselves. And, we CAN.

    (OHHHH GADS, I would SO love to call my fix-it for me guy back! Can’t.)

    Thanks for this post, Jim. LESS is more. AND OH yes, we are going to learn that over the next few years.

    In parting – something that has become really special to me … it’s a challenge and FUN to find ways to save and to spend. A learning curve. In the past, if I wanted it, I just bought it, whether I could pay cash or not.

    Not any more! Now it’s deciding a need or a want, and if it’s a true need, it hsppens. If it’s want and if it CAN happen, I’ll find a way to make get it or do without. The new economy has taught me some lessons. Lessons I grew up with and abandoned the minute I could. What goes around, comes back around.

    Thanks, Jim, for the reminder: “Lower taxes, less government, love of country, pro-life. Keep it short and simple.” Marsha

  157. Looking back over the last 14 years or so, it seems to me that we had the right formula with the Contract with America, a set of basic common sense reforms that nearly everyone could agree with.

    Where it went wrong is that the work had only just begun to restore government to working for the people instead of the other way around, and traditional conservatives (ones who don’t like dramatic change, even when it is needed) took over. Then they lost to the far right who really only have a partial birth abortion ban that got stymied in the courts (and is about to be undone right along with the welfare reform) under their belt for any claim to success.

    Those of us who wanted common sense government, fair and globally competitive public policies for long term economic prosperity simply ended up being hosed in the battle over morals; while New Orleans floods, crowded freeway bridges collapse during rush hour along with our financial system.

    The solution, that governemnt needs to be focused on its core responsibilities rather than legislating morality or lack there of is completely obvious to me.

    I’m sorry for those who think that is the main priority. Perhaps it is for another time and place, but we have more basic matters to attend to that affect everyone. Job one needs to be the economy and what we’re going to do to be sure we have a bright and prosperous future.

  158. Black Flag says:

    The solution, that governemnt needs to be focused on its core responsibilities rather than legislating morality or lack there of is completely obvious to me.

    Government’s core responsibility is bashing things over the head with a club.

    It is amazing that so many people feel that using legal violence to solve human problems is their first choice… let’s make a law!….

    Yet, probably every one of them would use violence as the very last choice (if ever) to solve personal problems in their own lives!

    In fact, most moral people – when they see another person using violence to try to solve any problem – cry out with “Shame!” and “Criminal!” etc., ….and then in two sentences later, lament that government still hasn’t been able to solve its simplest problems with hundreds of years of bashing heads….

  159. It is quite simple. They need to build trust. I am currently reading a great book “The SPEED of Trust: The One Thing That Changes Everything” by Stephen M.R. Covey. I would recommend this book for every politician and business leader.

    With trust all things are possible.

  160. Black Flag says:

    Tom Brown

    Tom Br

    It is quite simple. They need to build trust. I am currently reading a great book “The SPEED of Trust: The One Thing That Changes Everything” by Stephen M.R. Covey. I would recommend this book for every politician and business leader.

    With trust all things are possible.

    But how can you trust an entity that claims by force anything and everything you have?

    You are always at risk of losing everything – your family, wealth and your life – to the whims of government.

    No trust is possible – which is why Jefferson originally tried to designed a system that was devoid of trusting government.

  161. Karl from Esom Hill says:

    Marsha,

    I tell my kids that life is full of decisions. You can make good decisions or bad decisions. From those decisions come consequences. Those too have good and bad consequences. You, and only you are responsible for the decisions that you make. No one else made the decisions for you, and no one else should take the blame for them. Sometimes you face bad consequences no matter which decision you make. That is called LIFE. This is kind of like the Republican Party. Theres nothing wrong with their platform, it’s just not being followed. Human greed and, let’s face it, stupidity, has taken over, just like the Democrats.
    Mr. Cooper,
    I believe the only way a Flat Tax system would work is if everyone, and I mean EVERYONE, paid it. From the poorest to the richest with no loopholes to get out of it. Right now the poorer, because they fall under a earned income tax limit, pay no taxes. No wonder they don’t care of Obummer raises taxes. I can say this because I am one of them. However that does’t make it right. Yes, I pay taxes all year, but I get them all back at the end of it. That’s why, to my mind, I don’t need a tax break. The superrich have loopholes and shelters to get them out of paying taxes too. That’s why they will vote for Obummer and Pelosi no matter if they give lip service to telling all the masses that they are going to raise taxes on the rich. Remember he said if you make over $250,000 you wre going to get a raise. What he did’nt say was that the ones with enough money to hire the accountants and lawyers (and Geithner and Daschle) weren’t going to be paying them anyhow. The only fair way to tax is for it to be paid by all across the board.

    • Karl,

      Good point about why you vote the way that you do. Perhaps then, if the rich have their system for not paying and the poor don’t have to pay in the first place, we should be voting for the best candidate without bothering to look at their tax policies. Forget taxes, are Obama and Pelosi good for the country?

  162. Karl from Esom Hill says:

    US,
    I have strong feelings about the Government, Taxes, and out representatives in Office that sometimes I have trouble getting across to others. But let me try anyway. The Government. At this time it sucks and is showing strong signs of getting far worse in a hurry. Taxes. Believe a Flat Tax system would be the most fair, but ONLY if everyone was required to pay. Representatives. I don’t think at this time we could elect much worse. Ain’t none of them worth shootin’. Regardless of party. They say what they don’t mean, and don’t mean what they say. And now for Obama and Pelosi. What can I say US? Nothing I can say can possibly be as bad as they really are. Obummer is going to turn us into good little Socialists and PootSniffer is stuck so far up his ass if he turned a sharp corner it would break her neck. I watched the Presidential Address (just saying that leaves a bad taste in my mouth) the other night. It made me sick just listening to him and watching her and Biden behind him. Clapping like a seal was too mild a term. That bitch had a look of absolute orgasm on her face. While crude to say I believe it apt. We will be damn lucky, US, if we still have a country by the 2010 elections. Or if America Wakes up or even cares enough to do something about it to begin with. As a final note, since I’m starting to rant and rave, I’ll say that just putting the Republicans back in charge is NOT the best solution either. I think we should vote for the best AMERICAN. What Party they belong to should not even be an issue. Maybe they should should just run as a PATRIOT.

  163. Relocated Alaskan says:

    The Democratic Party have become facists/communists and the Republicans are leaning towards becoming socialists. Both parties have become corrupted by the lobbyists and the PAC’s. It is no wonder that a majority of elected officials are LAWYERS! Like Shakespear said,”Kill all the lawyers”. He was ahead of his time. I would suggest looking at the Constitution Party as an alternative. I can not buy into the Libertarians platform on legalizing drugs, will never condone that. The Republicans espouse tax cuts, never really happened under Bush, he just spent like a drunken sailor. Deregulation, tax cuts, closing down the Departments of Housing, EPA, DOT, and Commerce would be a good start. Republicans had an opportunity to clean up the waste in those departments and did NOTHING! The political parties are big business now, although they produce nothing.

  164. Christian Kennedy says:

    Long Live the Republican Party. I dislike democrats and their fear mongering and desire for a bigger goverment. Why cant we just enforce the laws we have ? Democrats ignorance works like this. First, they put the fear of God into youif you don’t believe in the literal word of the Bible, you will burn in hell. Of course, the literal word of the Bible is tremendously contradictory, and so you must abdicate all critical thinking, and accept a simple but logical system of belief that is dangerous to question. A corollary to this point is that they make sure you understand that Satan resides in the toils and snares of complex thought and so it is best not try it. I realize there are lots of intelligent, thoughtful Democrats out there. So why in the world arent some of them writing pieces instead of the people who actually appear
    on tv with Anderson Cooper or Chris Matthews with James Carville ?in the end it’s counterproductive, because it imperils their reputation as the party that assesses threats clearly and speaks about them plainly. Democrats say…Democrats believe that each American citizen should have the right to all of the above things without interference from other citizens or the government, but they always vote on a bigger goverment and more liberal control. Isn’t that contradictory ?

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