Tuesday Night Open Mic for April 13, 2010

As I begin working on the open mic topics tonight I find that I am really struggling to write responses to articles that are as coherent and tangible as I would like them to be. I don’t know where I misplaced my writing skills this evening but I have the following four open mic topics written and I am not happy with any of them! It has thus far been a hectic week of housework. Farmer’s market and planting bushes on Saturday. New porch lights and planters on Sunday. Monday was running a new outlet and transformer for new landscaping lighting, including burying wire until 11:00pm. And today was work (the regular kind). But with weather in the 70’s, there is no better time to work on the yard, and I love working in the yard. I am working on a few new articles that are going to be good. I know it has been slow on here this week. That will change I am sure. All it takes is the right topic and folks get fired up and ready to debate! As always please feel free to add the topics you want to talk about below. They will probably be better than my selections this week anyway, lol….

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Comments

  1. USWeapon says:

    USWeapon Topic #1

    Doctor Shortage? 28 States May Expand Nurse Practioners’ Role

    A nurse may soon be your doctor. With a looming shortage of primary care doctors, 28 states are considering expanding the authority of nurse practitioners. These nurses with advanced degrees want the right to practice without a doctor’s watchful eye and to prescribe narcotics. And if they hold a doctorate, they want to be called “Doctor.”

    For years, nurse practitioners have been playing a bigger role in the nation’s health care, especially in regions with few doctors. With 32 million more Americans gaining health insurance within a few years, the health care overhaul is putting more money into nurse-managed clinics.

    Those newly insured patients will be looking for doctors and may find nurses instead.

    The medical establishment is fighting to protect turf. In some statehouses, doctors have shown up in white coats to testify against nurse practitioner bills. The American Medical Association, which supported the national health care overhaul, says a doctor shortage is no reason to put nurses in charge and endanger patients.

    Nurse practitioners argue there’s no danger. They say they’re highly trained and as skilled as doctors at diagnosing illness during office visits. They know when to refer the sickest patients to doctor specialists. Plus, they spend more time with patients and charge less.

    Read the rest of the article here: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/04/13/doctor-shortage-28-states_n_536402.html

    I will stop short of saying that this is the beginning of rationed health care in America thanks to the reform farce passed by the Democrats this year. But it really isn’t all that far off now, is it? For now, the outlook is that nurse practitioners will carry the extra burden, helping to fill the gaps left by a Doctor shortage. So step one is that we cannot get access to a Doctor, but can get access to a nurse who is doing a doctor’s job. The next step, in my opinion, will be a reduction in services offered because “we simply don’t have the resources available to treat everyone.”

    Let me first say that I don’t have any problem with a nurse practitioner fulfilling additional duties in order to make health care happen, at least on the practical level. Most of the NP’s that I know are more than competent and can be trusted to make good decisions and diagnose with equal accuracy to doctors. I am sure they will do a great job, but the fact that this is happening is a statement on where we are with health care in this country.

    What I find most amusing is that the Doctors are having a fit over the nurse practitioners who have earned a doctorate using the title. They never protested when those in academia used the title. If you earn a doctorate, you get to be called Doctor. That is the deal.

    What I find most interesting is that during the health care debates leading up to the vote, you never heard those on the left talk about a doctor shortage. They dismissed arguments from those of us that talked about the shortage being a problem already and that an additional 32 million potential patients will tear apart a system that is not prepared to handle them. Yet now that the bill is passed, they are OK talking about the negatives associated with this farce of a bill.

    There aren’t enough doctors. They will be forced to ration care unless they find a way to remedy that situation. At this point, they cannot force people to become doctors. So the only play they have is to allow others in the industry to fill the void opened by the doctor shortage. That will do one of two things, it will either reduce the level of care received (which I deem unlikely so long as we are only talking about NP’s), or it will put a band-aid on a sucking chest wound.

    Articles like this one, which came from lefty world Huffington Post, are in my opinion a first salvo towards conditioning Americans that a lower level of care is acceptable in order to fulfill the agenda of the left. The health care reform will be a disaster, and they are already beginning to do spin control in order to quiet an ever increasing vocal opposition. Mark my words, this is just step one.

    • The AMA says a doctor shortage is no reason to put nurses in charge and endanger patients.

      Seriously..Give me a break. I guess we’re supposed to go see a vet instead. 😡

    • First of all, I have no problem seeing a NP rather than a doctor as I believe they have a similar level of training. In the same way, pharmacy technicians do all the work dispensing medication, the Rx is there just to post his credentials.

      On the other hand, the prefix Dr. is not ascribed to those in the medical field who have PhDs, but are not MDs for a reason. A person naturally trusts a doctor (MD) and giving the title to a person who is not a doctor is misleading.

      I agree about the rationing bit.

      • Buck The Wala says:

        Agreed – nothing wrong with seeing an NP take on more responsibility and more duties in caring for their patients. Oftentimes the NP knows more about a given patient than the doctor does anyway.

        One point though – PhD’s do get to use the term “Doctor”. Technically speaking I can go by “Doctor” as I have a JD. It’s not the norm for a lawyer, and I prefer “Esquire” anyway! If an NP has a doctorate degree, they have the right to be referred to as Doctor as well. I do see a slight concern that a patient could easily be led to believe they are being treated by an MD and not an NP if both use “Doctor”, but this can be easily guarded against by making sure the patient understands they are seeing an NP in those cases.

        • I used to work at a pharmacy. The pharmacist had a PhD (of course), but was not allowed to be referred to as “Dr. Bowles,” because he is not a medical doctor. He gives out medical advise and so is constrained by this rule. The same should apply to nurses.

          An alternative, come up with a new title.

          • Buck The Wala says:

            Definitely an issue in the medical context as people could be easily confused. In general though I have no problem with a PhD being referred to as “Doctor”.

    • A lot of people go to the doctor for every sniffle and scrape because their insurance pays for it. Insurance has to pay for all of these visits, so they pay the doctor less per visit. The general practitioner often doesn’t make enough money to justify the amount of training he has to do, so fewer people are becoming GPs.

      I think more NPs are needed. It makes sense to use a lower cost alternative to MDs for all of the dumb things that most people go to the doctor for, and as long as someone else is paying your bill, you better get used to someone else deciding whether you see an MD or a NP.

  2. USWeapon says:

    USWeapon Topic #2

    Should Child Obesity Be Considered Child Abuse?

    A South Carolina woman was charged with criminal neglect when her 14-year-old son reached a shocking 555 pounds. I am sure that many of you can understand the charge because the example is so egregious. But how do we know this is really the mother’s fault? And if we do decide to charge parents of obese kids with child abuse, where do we draw the line?

    As a Pediatrician and Child Obesity Expert, I see a wide range of overweight children. Some patients are simply 10 pounds overweight while others are more than one hundred pounds overweight. How do you decide who to charge with criminal neglect?

    Many of the parents of my morbidly obese patients have been struggling (unsuccessfully) to keep their kids’ weights down. They beg. They plead. They keep junk food out of the house. They lock their refrigerators. Yet these kids still manage to gain access to food.

    It is somewhat easier to protect a younger child. But even at school, a kid can overeat. All a child has to do is cry that he is hungry and the lunch aides will serve him a second (or even a third) helping. And many a heavy child has begged their thinner classmates for some of their lunch. At the many parties thrown in class (for birthdays, holidays, and “special” days), these kids try to eat as many servings as possible. Even worse, a Mom may give her daughter some money to buy a turkey sandwich and never know that she used it to buy French fries and cookies instead. Parents have very little control over what their kids are eating out of the house.

    and later, wrapping up the article…

    This is not simply conjecture. A family in Britain was on a Social Service’s watch list, at risk for losing their children, due to their kids’ weights. Luckily, Dr. Sadaf Forooqi discovered a gene deletion that left these kids unresponsive to leptin, causing them to live in constant hunger. Dr. Forooqi spoke to authorities and Social Services dropped the investigation. Had Dr. Forooqi not made that discovery in time, this family would have been devastated for no reason!

    So let’s go back to our initial example of the 555 pound South Carolina teen, Alexander Draper. His mother, Jerri Gray lost custody of her son and is being charged with criminal neglect. Gray is facing 15 years on two felony counts, the first U.S. felony case involving childhood obesity, said her lawyer, Grant Varner. Could Alexander suffer from an unknown genetic abnormality? Are we sure that he can control his hunger in a normal way? Alexander Draper hasn’t even been tested for genetic causes of obesity, according to Varner. How can we justify putting this woman in jail for something that may not be her fault? We don’t know what goes on in that house. It is possible that the problem lies within Alexander’s DNA. And how can we punish his mother for that?

    Read the entire article here: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/joanna-dolgoff-md/should-child-obesity-be-c_b_508680.html

    I thought about making this a separate article, then decided that I would simply address it here and see what people were thinking. I will go on record right now and say that when it comes to childhood obesity, I do hold parents somewhat accountable. But not completely.

    As the article pointed out, there are a lot of factors that have to be considered. The parent cannot control what a child does when they aren’t at home. But there is an even bigger culprit in this situation…. the government. As we have discussed on this site before, the actions of the federal government to create a nanny state have resulted in a population that no longer believes that they are responsible for anything.

    The government determines everything from what your child will learn in public schools to what constitutes a healthy meal to be served for lunch. In a world where government is the answer to every problem presented to a dependent class in America, is it any wonder that parents no longer naturally take control over raising their children? They don’t feel that they need to do so. After all, the government will take care of any problems.

    If my child is too fat, the government will ensure that all health problems are taken care of. If I don’t push for my child to learn, the government will provide free supplementary education and pass laws to make sure that a minimum wage is earned regardless of education. If I can’t feed my kids, government will. Parents began the process of ceasing to be parents the second that government decided that they would get into the business of raising our children for us. Is it any wonder that we are in the state we are in?

    And it is awful easy to place all the blame on the parents. After all, there is a laundry list of actions we hypothetically believe these wayward parents could have curbed their children’s weight gain. But should they put their child on a strict diet, punish them too harshly, or refuse to support their over-indulgence in the wrong way, social services will come knocking on their door for a different reason with the same result.

    Given the health problems that come with being obese, how far away is the day when the government will have a mandated threshold as to how heavy a child is allowed to be? After all, an overweight child will be an added cost to the rest of us. That is the justification for being required to have health insurance. It is the justification for all these new taxes and bans on everything from cigarettes to salt. Is it really a stretch to believe that in today’s nanny state the government will eventually dictate childhood weight thresholds?

    As we see above…. there are already folks out there prosecuting parents for this. The world has gone mad.

    • Hi USW,

      I agree that controlling what your child eats when not in the home is VERY difficult. My daughter was born chubby and stayed that way despite my best efforts. When she was at her friend’s house two doors down, she would go after the snacks. I ask the friend’s mom not let my daughter snack. Of course, the friend would still sneak the snacks to my daughter. For school, my daughter would pack her lunch of healthy food. I wouldn’t give her cash. Unfortunately, her friend’s parents gave them ‘mad’ money. My daughter would charm her way into sodas and candy while at school. I was fighting a loosing battle.

      • Not to be rude, but if you couldn’t trust the parents at the friend’s house to prevent your child from eating, why did you allow your child to go there in the first place?

        If they were unwilling to follow your guidelines, then you shouldn’t let them look after your kid. What if they let your underage daughter smoke or drink?

        It would be the exact same thing if your kid had a peanut allergy and they kept giving her peanut butter. Why should you entrust your child to their care when they have an obvious and flagrant disregard for her health and well-being?

        Likewise, if your child went to public school (at least in NY), you can leave dietary restrictions with the cafeteria and they will be strictly followed, whether they be kosher, vegetarian, or caloric.

        • You’re absolutely right. I should have made my daughter a prisoner and not allowed her to leave my sight! Making her life a living HELL over a couple of snacks should have been my number one prority, rather than trying to teach my 14 year old daughter that she is responsible for her own actions. I was so busy sitting on my ass just waiting for someone else to raise my daughter, especially the irresponsible neighbors! I should have quit my job and moved to NY so so the public school could be her nannhy….sarc/off

          Mathius, you obviously are too young to have a clue about being a parent. Your line of reasoning works for a five year old, but teens are a little different than kindergarteners. My parents tried the totalitarian/abuse route with me, and I can assure you all it did was give me an attitude, and make me very good at lying and sneaking. Then when I turned 18, I made a point of doing all the things my parents made my life hell over just to spite them. Since my daughter has a similar temperment as me, I tried a different approach. She’s now 21 years old, and though she’s still a bit overweight, she has learned to control her eating and is in good health otherwise. More importantly, she and I have a wonderful relationship, which to me is much more important than gaininig the approval of the fat police.

          • That was a little hostile, Cyndi..

            I am not accusing you of being a bad mother, nor was I suggesting making her a prisoner. Nor was I suggesting you move to NY (I do not know where you live, but many public school districts would probably offer similar services).

            But I do know that I wasn’t able to go to houses where my parents weren’t convinced I would be safe, or where activities were going on that were deemed unacceptable.

            I’m glad you two have a good relationship. And I am not advocating for the “fat police,” but rather a question of health (what looks good is irrelevant, but morbid obesity as in USW’s examply is a different matter).

            [She] is in good health otherwise. More importantly, she and I have a wonderful relationship. In my estimation, if it keeps your child safe and healthy, it is worth doing even if it destroys your relationship.

            But maybe I’m just too young and immature.

            • am not accusing you of being a bad mother, nor was I suggesting making her a prisoner. Nor was I suggesting you move to NY (I do not know where you live, but many public school districts would probably offer similar services).

              But I do know that I wasn’t able to go to houses where my parents weren’t convinced I would be safe, or where activities were going on that were deemed unacceptable.

              I’m glad you two have a good relationship. And I am not advocating for the “fat police,” but rather a question of health (what looks good is irrelevant, but morbid obesity as in USW’s examply is a different matter).

              [She] is in good health otherwise. More importantly, she and I have a wonderful relationship. In my estimation, if it keeps your child safe and healthy, it is worth doing even if it destroys your relationship.

              But maybe I’m just too young and immature.

              So, am I to believe that available snacks for a child of normal weight is equal to a dangerous enviroment?????? Is morbid obesity the same as being overweight? And what business is it of yours? (I consider vidoe games has mental health hazard and would like to see them banned but that’s another topic.) Call me stupid, but I don’t consider snack foods a threat to anyone. I consider many other things, such as premarital sex, drug and alcohol use much more destructive than say, cookies. Again, my parents tried the tactics you seem to advocate. I know what effect it had on me. If cookies were the worst thing I put into my body, my life would have been very different.

              Yes, I think you are too young and immature. Finally, we agree on something.

              • Deep calming breaths, Cyndi..

                Morbid obesity has a specific definition (roughly 100lbs overweight). I am not talking about being chubby. I am talking about being fat and not just fat, but obese. The heath issues linked to this condition are well established and irrefutable.

                I do not know what is the specific case with your daughter, nor is it any of my business at this point. But if a parent allows his or her child to be come morbidly obese (555lbs?!), then the parent is either incapable or unwilling to do what is necessary to ensure the health of their child. In either case, the child should be removed as surely as if the parents allowed the child to drink scotch from the bottle. It is child endangerment pure and simple. And the health consequences will follow that child for the rest of their lives.

                Snack food is not a threat to anyone if it is just one snack here and there (you know, a snack), but when it is piled up, it can absolutely become dangerous.

                With regards to video games, et al. Get me the kind of consensus that exists on obesity and I will join you in pushing to restrict their availability to children. Since there is no such consensus, they are apples and oranges.

                Adding, since you’re calling me immature at this point, can you please explain so that my feeble young mind can grasp it, what exactly I have said/done that merits this?

              • Hey, I just agreed with you.. You mean you weren’t serious???? My bad.

                With enough anti-video games propaganda, America would loose its beloved games. I believe it contributes to obesity because players spend hours in front of the PC. The electricty WASTED to play video games contributes to Global Warming (cooling, whatever the hell) Also, carpel tunnel is a problem and adds to America’s medical costs and lost work time. Gamers isolate themselves rather than develop healthy relationships with other people and family memebers. Then there’s all the violence depicted in the games which causes some pepole to become desensitized to violence and then commit acts of violence on others…. Do you see where this can lead to? All it takes is for a grassroot or astroturf push and the same arguments that are presently being used to deny other life’s pleasures can be used to deny this one. In fact, I might just plant that seed so your average Obama supporter can get a taste of their own medicne.
                👿

              • sigh…

              • Aren’t you glad that we live in free country?

                :mrgreen:

                Oh wait a minute….not for long, LOL!

    • The blurry line of child abuse with a child’s weight gets even blurrier when you consider different effects of a person’s metabolism. I have a very high metabolism. If someone with a lower metabolic rate than mine were to eat as I did in high school, they would be VERY overweight! Are my parents guilty of neglect? Would they be if I had a slow metabolism and they fed me the same amount?

      I do blame the parents for some of this, though. 555 pounds? Really? Get the kid into sports. Exercise! There is no excuse for not teaching them to be healthy. That being said, the government should not be dictating “healthy.” Taking kids away from parents should be rare and a last resort!

      • I, too, have a high metabolism (though it seems to be slowing down of late), so I find it difficult to speak knowledgeably on the subject of obesity.

        That said, I do know this. A child can only gain weight in relation to how much they eat. There is only so much they can beg and borrow at school and when they are out of your sight. So, unless they are somehow bending the laws of physics as we know it, several hundred of those 555lbs came from food at home.

        Blame the government as much as you want, but the fact is, that the parents are the ones who failed. The government tries to help parents, but it is a far fetched claim to make that they obsolesces the role of the parent. (If someone helps you out at your work, does that excuse you from doing your job?)

        • And don’t blame McDonalds or Burger King or the candy factories….

          simply do not eat it.

          • Exactly.

            They made me fat! No, you made yourself fat. No one was under the delusion that McD’s is healthy. You wanted something that tastes good, so quit bitching when it makes you fat as well.

            That’s like complaining that your poor grades in college are the fault of the beer manufacturers.

            • They weren’t? Damn !!

              • Absolutely not.

                But my mediocre grades were the fault of Coca Cola inc, and whoever makes 151 rum.

              • Hmmmm…remember that I went to college 1965-1969 before going overseas…beer and sex was the norm…all my braincells fried. No marijuana or LSD tho….not bad for a 60’s guy, eh?

          • Go to the store and see what you can buy -that is cheap- that doesn’t have HFCS in it….

            • Everything has HFCS in it……

              • I accept your challenge. I will be sure to take a look next time I’m at the store. (This might be a while since Emilius does all the grocery shopping).

                Adding, what about organic co-op farming? I seem to recall that this is fairly cheap..

              • Sure, if you do the work.

                Time trades for money and money trades for time.

                If you don’t pay for the increase costs at the food store, you pay for it by you digging in the ground yourself.

              • Buck The Wala says:

                I dare you all to find anything in my household with HFCS (expect for the Mrs.’s cereal, and a bit of candy, but that is it).

                It is not hard at all, at least not in my neck of the woods. Just need to put a bit of effort into it and know where to shop.

              • Buck

                The proposition was not all food but CHEAP food.

                We also avoid the stuff as much as possible, or desirable.

                But it increases our food bill substantially.

              • Buck The Wala says:

                In my experience, if you know where to shop, it does not wind up costing all that much more. Some items I get for even less.

                Think we stumbled upon a topic everyone agrees with though! 🙂

    • I recall seeing a documentary a while ago about a 600lb kid who would simply shove his mother out of the way in order to get to the fridge. When he found it locked, he would go to the garage, get hedge clippers and break the lock. When there was no food in the fridge/cupboards, he would steal her wallet (or take it by force) and call a cab to go to the store. And he was 11.

      In some instances, the child is simply beyond the control of the parent.

      But how is this any different than a child who is sneaking drugs? If parent cannot sufficiently control their young child enough to stop them from doing drugs (may of the same behaviors might apply), CPS will take the child away. I know this feels different, but why is it different?

    • It’s the governments fault.

      A Big Mac, Coke and Fries is over 10,000 calories – or about 10 hours of mountain climbing….

      The government’s subsidy of High Fructose Corn Syrup makes sugar cheaper than its packaging.

      As a result, cheap food – with little nutrition – can be made to taste good, with cheap sugar.

      Bad food, cheap chases out the more expensive, healthy food from the market.

      End the Corn subsidy and let the market work

      • Don;t eat it.

      • Isn’t there also a pretty high tarriff on Brazilian cane sugar at the same time that acts as a double whammy?

        On a side note, I found Mexican made and bottled Coke (in real 12 oz glass bottles) at Costco. This Coke is made with real sugar and not HFCS, and the taste is oh so much better. The price foer the case worked out to just a little more than buying individual cans.

        • Yes, and even the cane sugar growers in Louisiana cannot compete. Even the sugar beet growers in West Texas and Colorado are having a hell of a time against the ADM, Cargill High Fructose Cartels. (Did I say that? where is D13 and what happened to him?)

          In Texas, Dublin DP’s are made with real sugar….man the taste is no comparison. Same with Coke made in Mexico. Mexico subsidizes the cane sugar from France.

        • Buck The Wala says:

          I know people who stock up on ‘real’ Coke every Passover — its a dirty little secret that Kosher for Passover Coca-Cola is made with real sugar. Might still be in the stores now.

      • What about personal responsibility? I happen to agree (in part) about the subsidies sharing blame. (I agree entirely that they should be ended). But aren’t the parents to blame, ultimately, for letting the situation get that bad?

        You have other options than HFCS. At some point, you have to look in the mirror and say “yes, there are lots of things that make this more difficult, but in the end, the buck gold doubloon stops here.” No?

        • In the extreme cases, I can see some parental responsibility. But, there have been fat people since there have been people. The trick, I believe, is where the line is drawn…

          • Agreed. Which is why I only can consider backing government intervention in extreme cases like the one USW sited. Being chubby is not a child endangerment issue, but being 555lbs sure is.

            • I would tend to lean somewhere other than government…that is just me…support groups of some kind…there is too much government interference now…

              • Maybe, but support groups have no authority. They cannot enforce their judgment. If the conclusion is that the child is not safe* with the parents, then he/she should be removed. How else to do this with except by government?

                *We can certainly debate what this means, but for now, just go with it.

              • I simply have a problem with enforcement. After all, it is supposed to be a free country, and I assume that means free to eat as much as you want.

                There are many arguments both way, but it is my belief that if…wait for it…personal responsibility were somehow promoted the instances of this would be greatly reduced. But with current mentality that the government will take care of everything, it will continue.

              • USWeapon says:

                Mathius,

                You have fallen into the well. You make the statement, “How else to do this with except by government?”

                And therein lies the crux of the issue. My contention is that if the only way it can be done is by government, then we have no right to do it in the first place. Remove the government from the equation, and what do you have? Community.

                Government is the answer only for those who do not wish to undertake the monumental task of self governance and community responsibility.

              • #16

    • Looking at the labels on literally everything we buy – Yes, I have to go shopping with the wife(shudder) – since I am on this very restrictive heart healthy diet – which I really do not stick to that much (I know I am a bad old fart, but you only live once) – you would be surprised at just how much salt and sugar there is in everything that is processed or packaged. Salt has many different names and forms as does sugar. The range of artificial sweeteners really doesn’t do any good at all due to all the different chemicals used to make them taste like sugar.

      Ahhhh, better life through chemistry!?!

      `Tis a fat world, indeed!

      And now they want to lock you up for feeding your kids Twinkies . . . I guess that makes Mary Poppins “Public Enemy No1” because she sang “A Spoon Full Of Sugar Makes The Medicine Go Down In A Most Delightful Way” . . . Is nothing sacred anymore!?!

  3. USWeapon says:

    USWeapon Topic #3

    Tea Party Opponents Hope to Infiltrate Party, Dismantle It

    Opponents of the fiscally conservative tea party movement say they plan to infiltrate and dismantle the political group by trying to make its members appear to be racist, homophobic and moronic.

    Jason Levin, creator of (URL deleted by USW, as I don’t want to have their site on mine), said Monday the group has 65 leaders in major cities across the country who are trying to recruit members to infiltrate tea party events for April 15 — federal tax filing day, when tea party groups across America are planning to gather and protest high taxes.

    “Every time we have someone on camera saying that Barack Obama isn’t an American citizen, we want someone sitting next to him saying, ‘That’s right, he’s an alien from outer space!”‘ Levin said.

    Tea party members said the backlash comes from ignorance.

    “They can’t actually debate our message and that’s their problem,” said Bob MacGuffie, a Connecticut organizer for Right Principles, a tea party group that also has members in New York and New Jersey.

    Read the rest of the article here: http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2010/04/12/tea-party-opponents-hope-infiltrate-party-dismantle/

    Let me start out with a statement that I know is going to get under the skin of a few folks out there: Something like this could only come from the left. Protest groups on the right don’t have the plan to do ignorant crap like this that is intentionally deceitful.

    I will also add that the fact that this tactic is being taken is a prime example of why someone SHOULD join the tea party movement. If assholes like these guys are the opposition to the tea party movement, how could you claim that you are against the tea party? Do you really want to be aligned with people whose stated intention is to discredit the movement by lying about what the movement is? I urge you not to give his site the legitimacy of a visit. There is nothing there to see but hateful comments and ignorant rhetoric. But to save you the time, here is the stated intention according to the site’s main page:

    How we will succeed: By infiltrating the tea party itself! In an effort to propagate their pre-existing propensity for paranoia and suspicion… We have already sat quietly in their meetings, and observed their rallies. Whenever possible, we will act on behalf of the tea party in ways that exaggerate their least appealing qualities (misspelled protest signs, wild claims in TV interviews, etc.) to further distance them from mainstream America and damage the public’s opinion of them. We will also use the inside information that we have gained in order to disrupt and and derail their plans.

    How fitting! So instead of combatting the Tea Party movement based on logic and reason, the group has decided that the right move is to discredit them by posing as members who are outlandish. Here is the ironic thing about what this guy and his site have done: They have given the Tea Party movement an “out”. Given that there are groups out there publicly stating that this is their plan, how do you view the “crazies” in the tea party movement now?

    Are the racist signs symbolic of the movement, or merely members of this group attempting to paint the tea party as racist? Are the claims of racist slurs being thrown at members of Congress actually Tea Party folks? Or are they members of the crasher group? (for the record I am standing by my belief that this never happened. There is no evidence and no video. I believe that the members of Congress were lying). Every bad thing that can be said about the tea party movement can now be written off as the actions of those who are simply trying to discredit the group by infiltration! Bravo Mr. Levin!

    Besides, Levin has a fatal flaw in his plan to begin with. Those who are not free-minded enough to see past this kind of crap, those who are not in favor of smaller government and lower taxes, would not have looked at joining the tea party movement in the first place. The only people that Levin’s group might persuade, are those that weren’t smart enough to understand freedom in the first place. Dumb people need all the government help they can get. The last thing they would have done is join a group protesting government growth.

    • Good Morning!

      I think this guy Levin has fantasies of being an undercover cop depicted in Hollywood. Like a lamb being led to slaughter, oblivious to his surroundings.

      Have a good day all!

      G!

    • What a bunch of haters!!! What will they think of next? So, the next illogical step will be for Ratigan and Olberman to focus on the jerks and make it a bigger deal. I give 90% of the American public more credit than that.. I think that the closer we get to November the more folks will see thru this kind of garbage. O’Reilly’s strategy of letting them rant seems relevant here. The more they rant the less credibility they will have.

    • I saw this – ridiculous.

      ‘Nuff said.

    • Bama dad says:

      Maybe I will see some of them at our Tax day Tea Party.

      • I actually think they hurt their cause. For a while now, many Tea Partiers have been claiming that some of the craziest voices in their midst are liberal plants. Now they’re getting credence to this theory. This enables the Tea Party to solidly abdicate responsibility for the views of the real wingnuts.

        And so, I have nothing left but the conclusion that these people are actually Tea Partiers passing themselves off as liberals who pass themselves off as Tea Partiers in order to make the Tea Parties look crazy so that they can blame the liberals thus making the Tea Parties look sane.

        It’s so brilliant it barely makes any sense!

  4. USWeapon says:

    USWeapon Topic #4

    Steny Hoyer: Radio host comments ‘dangerous’

    The No. 2 Democrat in the House blasted a Minnesota radio host for calling Democrats lying, thieving, communists at a rally for Rep. Michele Bachmann and Sarah Palin in Minneapolis.

    House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) said he was “very, very concerned and disappointed” by Minneapolis radio host Chris Baker, who spoke at the rally last week alongside the two Republicans, rallying up the crowd by calling Democrats in Washington “lying, thieving … bunch of commies.”

    “I don’t think that’s very useful, not only do I not think it’s useful, I think it creates an atmosphere and a debate that is neither constructive and can sometimes be dangerous,” Hoyer said at his weekly meeting with reporters.

    Hoyer waded directly into the anger that has been bubbling nationwide over the health care overhaul vote, calling on lawmakers to “urge the American people and conduct ourselves in a way that provides an environment for the civility.” While acknowledging differences between members of Congress and political parties, Hoyer said “debate ought to be civil, ought to be constructive and ought to be designed to educate the public, not to incite the public as to the positions of each party.”

    Read the rest of the article here: http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0410/35732.html

    You know, I have always had an issue with the fact that no matter which side you come from, whenever you are the minority, you believe in the mantra that dissent is patriotic. The same Steny Hoyer that was a cheerleader for the dissent is patriotic crowd when President Bush was in office, now finds that dissent from his party’s plans is dangerous.

    Let me be clear, I think that Michelle Bachman is sometimes off the reservation in terms of some of the things she says. And you have to believe that the person speaking along side her is going to say something that the Democrats are not going to like. Here’s the problem with the Hoyer’s whining about Baker’s comment: Baker was right. Here is the problem for Baker and Bachman: The Republicans are the same damn things.

    The biggest piece of hypocrisy in the entire article, though, is Hoyer’s framing this around the idea of constructive debate. Since when are members of Congress interested in constructive debate. Democrats in Congress have been calling the tea party crowds racists and any other thing they think will discredit them. And then they have the nerve to get upset when someone points out that they are liars and thieves. Stop lying and stealing and you won’t get called that!

    As a counter to Hoyer’s comments, I say that HOYER is dangerous for this country. Like all of the uber-statists, he believes that freedom should take a back seat to the party agenda. There isn’t a member of Congress who doesn’t feel that way. As such, I submit that Congress is the biggest threat to this country, period. As the number two guy in the majority party, Hoyer is a bigger threat than most.

    I defended the right of dissenters to say what they did when Bush was President and the GOP controlled Congress. I didn’t think it was “dangerous” to have the term fascism thrown around at Bush all the time. Yet now the same people who did so are saying how dangerous it is to do.

    But I will agree that the things that Baker was talking about are dangerous. They are dangerous to the members of Congress who continue to act in the way that they all do. The American people are beginning to get fed up with all of them.

    • Texaschem says:

      Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

  5. USWeapon says:

    USWeapon reply to Todd

    Todd,

    The other day you asked me to provide some references for the things that I was saying. I apologize for taking so long to get back to you. You made valid requests and I was slow in answering. So first:

    To clarify my first question:

    VERY few of the wealthy are silver spoon kids.

    Do you have a reference for this? It’s pretty vague and depends on so many things. The conditions of your birth can have a big impact on your life – stronger family, better schools, more opportunities.

    I remember where I heard the numbers, but could not find the reference. The numbers I heard, and quoted in my article, were that only 3% of those in the top 1% of wage earners came from parents who were in the top 1%, meaning that 97% earned their money, not inherited it. Where I had heard it was in an interview with Warren Buffett. He was speaking about the lottery of birth, and how it is often something that most wouldn’t trade if given a second chance at the lottery. It was a couple of years ago and I cannot find it again. But I did find the following:

    From a study that was done on wealth transition (the ability of a second generation of wealth to maintain the wealth versus losing it because of mismanagement) we get the following.

    Only 30% of those who inherit wealth are able to successfully transition it, meaning that 70% lost it in the next generation. This article doesn’t offer a citation for the data, but does mention the study http://leadersedge.michcpa.org/julaug09/interest-heirs.asp

    From the award winning book “The Millionaires Next Door” we get these. The authors (Stanley and Danko) did research of data over 20 years and found that:

    67 percent of U.S. millionaires were self employed entrepreneurs who saved over 20 percent of their annual income
    80 percent of millionaires were first generation [i.e. not inheritors]

    Stanley and Danko found that there was an inverse relationship between cash gifts to children and both the net worth and wealth that those children were able to accumulate. Predictably, the ultra successful kids of the affluent who become corporate executives and physicians became even more financially successful because they were not given cash gifts

    It is important to note that those numbers are for millionaires, not the top 1%. As we saw in the IRS figures the other day, the top 1% are those making $388k and above, not millionaires. Given this, it isn’t hard to imagine where Buffett may have gotten his figures from. It is entirely conceivable to me that the percentage of those who who were in the top 1% but not millionaires was much higher than the number of millionaires. It is also conceivable that those making 400k were far less likely to have had the money passed to them.

    While I am not offering the concrete proof that you are asking for in terms of the figure I had in the article. I think that these figures do offer a solid backing up of the sentiment that I was espousing, essentially that the silver spoon kid is the exception among those with the highest income in America. At a minimum, a clear figure of 80% being first generation makes my point. And if only 30% of that 20% who are heirs has a successful transition, we are talking about only 6% of millionaire money making it to being passed to a third generation.

    Those numbers don’t exactly stack up to justification for punishing the wealthy. It seems to me that those that take the silver spoon and do well are doing so by providing jobs and earning a living. The rest are giving it all away by the time they are done without government’s help. So my point stands, when you increase the tax burden on the rich, you are going after the producers, not silver spoon kids. When you punish the producer, you are really punishing the consumers.

    You focus on business owners. There are a lot of wealthy people that didn’t start a business. I’ve never seen a break down of the wealthy comparing business owners vs employees. Do you have more information that shows this?

    No I don’t. It was a generalization. But I would say that the vast majority of people who are in that “wealthy” bracket are producers of some kind. I used the term business owners, and perhaps that was incorrect. But they are producers of some sort. When you are making 388k a year, I would imagine you fall into one of five categories.
    Category 1: You inherited it, which we have shown above is the exception, not the rule.
    Category 2: You are doing something in the world of work that make an employer think you are worth that much money a year, you are producing!
    Category 3: you started a business, and made it work, so well in fact that you are the one providing the 388k a year to the guy in category 2.
    Category 4: You are a sleazy market manipulator, capitalizing on the insane rules the government put in place to make fake “theoretical wealth”.
    Category 5: You work for the federal government.

    Obviously the last two categories are not what I am talking about. But Categories 2 and 3 are, as they are the vast majority of the “wealthy”.

    Would it make any difference if we only taxed wealthy non-business owners? Like Investment & Commercial Bankers, Wall Street Investment Advisors, and Insurance Executives?

    Yes it would make a difference to me, but only a little, because those people only exist because of government. If it weren’t for government, we wouldn’t have those people. But the reason I say only a little is because in the end, they only did what government allowed. Those people are a different argument though, because they are not who I was talking about in my article about taxing corporations. But they are a good point for you to bring up, because they do exist and they are a different discussion to have.

    You say the wealthy and corporations are basically the same thing. When you tax the wealthy, you are taxing a business owner. And corporations don’t pay taxes. They pass them on to consumers.

    If this is true, why are the wealthy and corporations against higher taxes? They can always just pass them on to the consumer?

    I think that Black Flag gave you the correct answer. Taxes have nothing to do with raising money. That may have been their original intent, at least in some folks eyes. But today the tax code is nothing more than a tool to manipulate behavior. The wealthy and corporations don’t like having their behavior manipulated any more than you do. So why wouldn’t they oppose measures that forced their hand one way or another.

    As a further argument, one could say that the business owners don’t like higher taxes because they are a false influence on the invisible hand of the free market. Businesses oppose higher taxes because it is yet another factor eating into their ability to operate their businesses in a way that is market wise.

    • Why should “silver spoon” kids be taxed heavily? What parent doesn’t work hard so that they can help their kids have a better life? What right do you have to take that gift away from them? How does it hurt you if someone is wealthy? The last time I checked, my paycheck does not depend on how much the wealthy make.

      When will we learn to work for what we want and not be so jealous that other people are successful. The poor have NO RIGHT to the wealthy’s money, period.

      • JB,
        I don’t think “silver spoon” kids should be taxed any different. It does not hurt me if someone else is wealthy.

        To me, it’s not about redistributing the wealthy’s money to the poor. Welfare programs are a small part of the federal budget.

        It’s about those that can afford to pay, paying a higher share of the taxes.

        The issue of 50% of Americans paying no federal income taxes comes up here occasionally.
        * The problem is not that 50% of Americans pay no federal income taxes.
        * The problem is that 50% of Americans are not making enough money to pay federal income taxes.

        Do you see the difference?

        The gap in income distribution is huge and getting bigger in this country. That’s not good for ANYONE. The solution is better paying jobs for the middle and working class, not more government redistribution.

        • Todd, excuse me for getting out of context here but you said “Welfare programs are a small part of the federal budget.”

          One hundred billion dollars annually is “small” to you?

          If that is the case, then it is no small wonder that this country is going bankrupt!

          • Oops . . . I meant to add that the feds have dumped most of the welfare costs on the states which have to rely on the fed handout in order to continue funding it, so the cost does actually reciprocate to the feds . . .

          • G. A. Rowe,
            $100 billion is not chump-change, but it’s 2-3% of the federal budget. You won’t solve the debt by eliminating welfare. And there would be unintended consequences – more crime, prison costs, etc.

            If you want to reduce welfare, ‘spread the wealth’ by increasing wages to the middle and working classes, and welfare and many social problems will decrease.

            • I really hate to burst your bubble, Todd, but “spreading the wealth” by government mandating (forcing) small business owners (90% of the employers in this country) to increase wages causes that employer to increase prices to the consumer thereby causing more expenses to the average worker which makes that worker demand that government raise wages again – ad infinitum to the vicious circle, and then you have this mess that we are in today.

              If you want to pay off the national debt, and reduce the federal budget at the same time (along with the welfare rolls), you need to do what was done in the past more than once in recent history. Hoover did it during the “roaring 20’s” and Reagan did it during the 1980’s – It would have kept working if FDR and Bush1 would have continued to do it.

              What is “IT”? It is to REDUCE taxes to the small businesses (and individuals) nation wide. Here’s the reasoning; If it costs less for the business to operate, then that business can expand while at the same time being able to increase wages and benefits to its employees without raising costs to its customers and this increases the amount of taxes that the government receives since more folks are employed and getting paid more and the businesses make more products, etc.

              THAT’S how you spread the wealth, NOT by increasing taxes, but by making it easier for the small businesses to grow and employ more people.

              • G A. Rowe,

                Cutting taxes will not help.

                http://freedomfliesblackflag.wordpress.com/2010/02/05/tax-cuts-without-spending-cuts/

                “Lowering taxes without a cut in government spending merely moves the expenditure<b. into debt financing.

                Currently, the USA is funding most of its new debt by purchases by the Federal Reserve.

                If taxes are cut, without at least an equal cut in government expenditure, the loss of revenue would be made up with an equal creation of new money via the FED.

                Creation of new money into an economy is inflationary.”

              • You know, BF, that I do not write books when replying – I do like my supper . . .

                Therefore I must naturally believe that the reader has some intelligence and would also understand that our government MUST stop all this wacky spending along with cutting taxes and throttling the unions back – Most small businesses in this country will close their doors once Obamacare goes into full swing. Not to mention Cap & Trade . . . . 😦

                FYI – Glenn Beck (like him or not) has been discussing just WHAT needs to be cut all this week on his TV show. If all of his recommendations are put into effect, it will hurt and hurt bigtime.

              • G.A.,

                No cuts are possible – they are politically unsurvivable.

                Cities will burn.

                So, they will delay, avoid and dance – hoping for a miracle.

                It will not come.

                So, the cities will burn – but tomorrow.

        • I have always wondered why so many people think that a large income distribution gap is such a bad thing. If the poor people are starving to death then there is going to be trouble, but if the “poor” people have cell phones and are obese, what is the problem?

          • Jennie,
            Income, and more importantly wealth, are power. Higher income and wealth mean better health care, better schools, and safer neighborhoods. It means you have the mobility to move to get these things if you want to. It means that losing your job will not cause you and your family to end up on the street homeless. It gets you access to others that have power – business, community, and government.

            All of the opposites are true for the lack of income and wealth. Less access to health care can mean poorer health which leads to sick days off from work, lower job performance, fewer raises, fewer promotions, and potential loss of your job. Lower education means fewer options for employment. Mobility is more difficult, making you dependent on your current job or other local jobs. It means living pay-check to pay-check, being just one financial crisis away from homelessness.

            Obesity has a strong correlation to poverty. See the other discussion about HFCS. Cheap foods are low in nutrition and high in calories. This leads to poorer health. See the previous paragraph…

            There are many examples of “poor” people with cell phones, but I’m not sure that’s “normal”. Also, in today’s society, access to the internet is pretty much a requirement for job searches and many functions of society.

            These issues lead to a downward spiral for individuals, and eventually large portions of society. You can blame this on laziness or the welfare state, but when large numbers of hard working people live in poverty and the middle class is shrinking, it is a systemic, not an individual problem.

            We have a consumer based society. When large portions of society are spending all of their disposable income, there is little room for growth.

            If the middle and working class get a 10% raise, they spend it. But when wages increase at a rate lower than productivity increases, the economy produces more than it consumes, because the consumers do not have enough income. The profits from the increased productivity go to the wealthy. Because they already have excess disposable income, they don’t spend it, they invest it.

            This investment is good to a point, but when investment continually out paces consumption, it leads to stock market bubbles and a boom and bust economy.

            • Todd said: “Income, and more importantly wealth, are power. Higher income and wealth mean better health care, better schools, and safer neighborhoods. It means you have the mobility to move to get these things if you want to. It means that losing your job will not cause you and your family to end up on the street homeless. It gets you access to others that have power – business, community, and government.”

              All the more reason/incentive to do better. Take away the incentive with “gifts” then they will always be in that situation.

            • I’m not arguing that it’s not better to be rich than poor. My question is, if you have two systems and in one there is a large gap between rich and poor, but the poor have their basic needs met and even enjoy some luxuries and in the other system there is a very small gap, but the poor only have their most basic needs met, which is the better system? Does the size of the gap really matter? Who cares if the super rich can buy themselves a personal island, if the system produces the kind of prosperity that allows the poorest people to enjoy a very comfortable existence?

              The poor in this country are doing extremely well by world standards. I know because I’ve been in the I’m too poor to pay federal income tax class for most of the last twelve years. If the poor are obese it is not because they cannot afford healthy food it is because they can afford junk food and they make poor choices. Beans and rice are pretty darn cheap and they are very nutritious. Potatoes, carrots, broccoli, cabbage- all pretty darn cheap.

    • Someone explain to me, please, what is wrong with the “silver spoon” generations?

      • Let’s see…how can I explain this………nothing is wrong with them!!!!

      • D13,

        what is wrong with the “silver spoon” generations?

        Do you mean:

        1. Why are they so screwed up?
        Or
        2. What is wrong with being a “silver spoon kid”?

        If #1 is your question, I don’t know…

        If #2 is your question, nothing in my opinion. I just asked USWeapon about his comment.

        I thought your questions was #2, but then I wasn’t sure…probably thinking too hard (and that’s the joke for today folks!)

        • Hi Todd…..there are some that think that being born “silver spoonish” is a pariah and should not inherit…. because they did not earn it and should pay 75 or more % for inheritance taxes.

          I was wondering why people think that way.

          • Because they are twisted…

          • D13,
            75%!! Holy Cow Batman!!

            I don’t think that’s quite correct. And actually, 2010 is a good year to die – there’s no Estate Tax, althought the basis cost is different. Death & Taxes… Death & Taxes…

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

            Year Exclusion Amount Max/Top tax rate
            **** **************** ****************
            2001 $675,000…….. 55%
            2002 $1 million…… 50%
            2003 $1 million…… 49%
            2004 $1.5 million…. 48%
            2005 $1.5 million…. 47%
            2006 $2 million…… 46%
            2007 $2 million…… 45%
            2008 $2 million…… 45%
            2009 $3.5 million…. 45%
            2010 Repealed…….. 00%
            2011 $1 million…… 55%

            • Yeah…a stretch to say the least. But it did get your attention….

              But…answer me this one question. Isn’t 1% too much? after all, this money has already been taxed twice….why should even one dollar be taxed if passed on?

              What would be your rationale? Is it because they did not earn it themselves? So a third tax is justified? Again, I am not talking about the proceeds of money…If I inherit 1,000,000 buckaroos and I invest that, then I would be expected to pay the tax on the return. I don’t like it but understand it….

              But why should any inheritance be taxed?

              • D13,

                But why should any inheritance be taxed?

                Well, I don’t know. Why should there be any taxes? Why are you Ok with taxes on investment income but not inheritance? 🙂

                How do you determine what should be taxed and what shouldn’t?

                Some of the reasons for an estate tax:
                * It affects only the wealthiest 1%
                * They are the ones who can most afford it

                By the way, there are many ways to reduce and avoid the estate tax thru simple planning.

    • USWeapon,
      I’m not looking for concrete proof. These kinds of numbers are very hard to “quantify” and easy to manipulate. They also quickly change over time and economic conditions – there were a lot more millionaires in 2006-2007 than there are now!

      These are interesting numbers – I’m trying to digest and make sense of them – not dispute them. Although I’m sure I’ll offer some alternate views!! 😉

      The issue of Income vs Wealth also plays a role in this.

      only 3% of those in the top 1% of wage earners came from parents who were in the top 1%, (meaning income above $388K) meaning that 97% earned their money, not inherited it.

      The above numbers are related to income. Inheritance is related to wealth.

      If your parents had an annual income of $300K, and your annual income eventually becomes $400K, you’re counted in the 97%.

      If your parents had an income of $300K per year over a long career, their wealth could easily be in the multi-millions of dollars.

      You could inherit $5 million, invest it at 5%, live off the $250K per year income for the rest of your life, and not show up in those statistics…

      Only 30% of those who inherit wealth are able to successfully transition it, meaning that 70% lost it in the next generation.

      Wow, a very sad fact. Might this be a good argument for inheritance taxes? If they’re just going to waste it, why not let the government waste some of it!! 😉

      67 percent of U.S. millionaires were self employed entrepreneurs who saved over 20 percent of their annual income
      80 percent of millionaires were first generation [i.e. not inheritors]

      When you’re talking about millionaires you’re talking about Wealth, not Income. If your annual income is $300K, you’ll be a millionaire (hopefully!!) in less than 10 years. If not, well then you’re living quite the lifestyle (which is your right)!

      Stanley and Danko found that there was an inverse relationship between cash gifts to children and both the net worth and wealth that those children were able to accumulate. Predictably, the ultra successful kids of the affluent who become corporate executives and physicians became even more financially successful because they were not given cash gifts

      I absolutely agree with this.

      Isn’t this another argument for inheritance taxes? The next generation will become even more financially successful because they were not given cash gifts – or expecting a large inheritance?

      It is important to note that those numbers are for millionaires, not the top 1%. As we saw in the IRS figures the other day, the top 1% are those making $388k and above, not millionaires.

      Whoa, slow down there Partner!! The $388k is referring to annual income (and after all deductions, tax shelters, etc). Millionaires is referring to wealth.

      If your annual income is $388K or above, and you’re not a millionaires, you’re living quite the lifestyle (which is your right) or you’ll be a multi-millionaire in a year or two – or probably both!

      To clarify the logic here – at a very high & generic level:

      Incomes tend to move rather smoothly. If your income is $388K, it probably went from $100K to $200K to $300K to $388K over several (or longer) years. Over that time period, you most likely accumulated more than a $1M in assets (wealth). And probably a lot more.

      If your income suddenly jumps to $388K (new invention or the darling of Wall Street or??), it will probably either:
      * Continue to jump as you expand your new fame, so you’ll be a multi-millionaire in a year or two
      * Drop off because it was a fad – which doesn’t really “count” for this discussion

      Given this, it isn’t hard to imagine where Buffett may have gotten his figures from. It is entirely conceivable to me that the percentage of those who were in the top 1% but not millionaires was much higher than the number of millionaires.

      I completely disagree. If your annual income is $388K or higher, you’re a millionaire or you’ll be one soon. See above.

      Those numbers don’t exactly stack up to justification for punishing the wealthy.

      You use words like punishing. But it’s not punishing. That’s just emotional.

      The tax code has been around for a long time. Everyone knows it’s there. If you don’t, you’re probably not making much money. And the top tax rates are at historical lows. Not punishment.

      It’s called paying your fair share to a society that gave you the opportunity to make the money. Everything we do has a “cost” of some kind. The “cost” of living and making money in America includes EVIL government that uses THEFT and a MONOPOLY ON VIOLENCE to collect taxes.

      And that’s my emotional plea for the day! 🙂

      When you punish the producer, you are really punishing the consumers.

      Again, it’s not punishment. And I presented my case of higher taxes on the wealthy not hurting consumers. Want to discuss that?

      This was an interesting story this morning on NPR.

      http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=125918497

      • There is no argument for increased taxes on anyone. The government takes in more than enough to run itself…the problem is that the government is spending way too much…mostly on entitlement programs that could be done away with…and yes, social security, medicare, medicade, welfare, and Obamacare fall into those categories…IMHO.

      • giying your fair share to a society that gave you the opportunity to make the money

        Oh, so society gave me what?? to earn a living?

        How can it give me “the lack of imposition??”

        In your bizarre world – it is a gift NOT to be a victim of theft….:blink:

      • In reality it is no business of society how much money I have, how I got it or how I spend it-We should have a fair tax system that is based in my opinion on what we buy-period-that’s why I like the idea of the fair tax-except for the prebate checks-they have reasons to give these checks based on making the tax system progressive and to try and keep political manuvering out of the process but in my opinion they simply shouldn’t tax necessities or they should be at a lower rate-people would actually pay an equal fair amount based on their being here, (we would be taking into account the fact that some people simply can’t afford to be charged more for the necessities) not on anything else-the government needs to be forced to get the hell out of our personal business. They use the tax code as an excuse to stick there noses into every facet of our lives, to manipulate us, to create class envy and I don’t know what all else.

  6. Raise the Flag!

  7. I have a question,

    With the video of Michell Obama saying that Kenya is her husband’s home country, and the Kenyan Parliment mentioning Kenya as Obama’s birthplace, and still no release of birth or educational records, has anyone changed their opinion of the so-called Birthers? I’m stunned at the lack of curiosity over this issue. Doesn’t anyone care to know the truth?

    • USWeapon says:

      Cyndi,

      I haven’t changed my opinion on the issue at this point. Remember though, that I wasn’t convinced that he was a citizen or that he wasn’t. I was simply in the camp of it doesn’t really matter at this point. While it would answer a lot of questions about the level of deceit in this administration, it wouldn’t really affect the way things are going in DC. There would be far more open opposition to Obama, which would be labeled as racist, regardless of the reasoning. IT would become a very divisive issue, but wouldn’t take him out of office, at least I don’t think it would.

      That being said, I have remained curious throughout. I accept the the Hawaii CCertificate of Live Birth exists. Whether it is legit, I am in no position to answer. I accept that it is just as likely to be fake as it is to be real. However, I admit as well that each incident such as the two you mentioned makes me a bit more curious as to what the real story is. I have to think that in Michelle’s case it was one of two things.
      Option 1: It was a slip up, meaning that she believes his home country to be Kenya. This is highly unlikely given the level of scrutiny that surely must go into reviewing a speech that the first lady is going to give before she gives it.
      Option 2: It was intentional, which could be for any number of reasons. It could be that she knows he is from Kenya and wants to throw it in the face of the birther movement every now and then. It could be that she knows he isn’t, but realizes that it is advantageous for there to be a birther movement out there so she doesn’t want it to die (remember the birther movement is a primary example used by the left to characterize opponents of the President as “crazy”. Don’t think for a second they don’t like that advantage).

      It is hard for me to know the answers. But I am willing to look at whatever is presented to me. I don’t blow off the birther movement as crazy any more than I do the truther movement or any other movement that has a basis in reality. There are a TON of unanswered questions surrounding this President’s past. There must be a reason that it is all being kept from the public. That piques my curious bone. Is he Kenyan? I don’t know. But like anything, I will never shy away from facts that I am presented or logic when I see it. The old saying goes that where there is smoke there is fire. The question remains open, however, on what the cause of the fire is. It could be his birthplace, or it could be something else entirely. But there is no doubt there is a fire of some sort. Otherwise the secrecy wouldn’t be needed.

      USW

      • I believe that if there was any merit to this issue, then FNC and Glenn Beck, not to mention Bill O’Reilly, would be screaming it from the rooftops of NYC.

        Since I haven’t heard anything, maybe it was a real Certificate of Live Birth after all.

        So far I haven’t seen any documentation to cause me to think any different, and yes I have been looking.

      • Ray Hawkins says:

        My wife’s maternal Grandmother was one generation removed from Poland – she was a proud American citizen having been born here and raised here her whole life until she passed a few years ago. She always referred to Poland as her “home country” or “home land”.

        • I’m with Ray on this one (shocker)

          • Uh oh…..(shhhh) I am with Ray, Matt, AND USW on this. Whoa.

            • Buck The Wala says:

              And Buck!

              Been way too busy for this site lately, but I’ve been reading along..and watching…always watching…

        • I’m a first generation American and I refer to myself as, wait for it…..American! Not Peruvian, not Italian but AMERICAN. Call me crazy, but I believe our president should consider himself to be American.

          I do agree with USW though. Even if Obama someday admits to being Kenya born, it won’t make a bit of difference. Maybe that’s why FOX News and others won’t waste their time on it.

          • You did not ask me that question…of course he should be American…Apple pie, ice cream, foot long chili, cheese coneys….

    • I agree with Cyndi. There is too much secrecy about his past. Birth cert, passport, college grades, no “classmates” can remember him. That’s what we do know. We also know of his 20 yrs of radical friends – Ayers & The Rev, etc. Speculation of Soros funding him. I think its way bigger than just a birth certificate. There must be something to hide if he just won’t come clean and answer the questions.

    • I’m with USW on this one, it doesn’t really matter.

      She could have been referencing that his father comes from Kenya.

    • from American Thinker

      Lt. Col. Lakin to face court martial
      Thomas Lifson
      Lt. Col. Terry Lakin, MD is to face a court martial for his refusal to obey deployment orders, pending proof that it is a lawful order, issued by a commander in chief who meets the constitutional requirements of office. Dr. Lakin explained his refusal in an article published April 8th on American Thinker. The American Patriot Foundation writes:

      Army doctor Lt. Col. Terrence Lakin yesterday met with his brigade commander, Col. Gordon R. Roberts, who proceeded to read LTC Lakin his Miranda rights, and who informed LTC Lakin he had the “right to remain silent” because LTC Lakin is about to be charged with serious crimes. Col. Roberts was at age 19 awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor, the only recipient of the nation’s highest honor currently on active duty in the Army.

      LTC Lakin had previously been ordered in writing to report yesterday to Ft. Campbell, KY and then on to deploy for his second tour of duty in Afghanistan. Lakin refused to obey these orders and instead came to work yesterday morning at the Pentagon. Late yesterday afternoon he was confronted by his brigade commander.

      Before the meeting was over, LTC Lakin’s Pentagon Access Pass had been revoked, and his laptop computer was set to be confiscated.

      The message to LTC Lakin is clear; through official channels, he was informed yesterday that he will shortly be court-martialled for crimes (specifically, missing movement and conduct unbecoming an officer) that for others has led to lengthy imprisonment at hard labor.

      Lakin has announced in a YouTube video that has now been viewed more than 110,000 times that he considers it his duty to refuse to obey orders that would be illegal if President Obama is ineligible to hold office.

      Meanwhile, cries mount for proof of that eligibility, but nothing has been forthcoming. The Obama campaign at one point released a copy of computer-generated abstract of information purportedly in Hawaii’s records system, but the source of this information is unclear and need not have been a birth certificate issued contemporaneously and signed by the doctor who attended the birth. Even the document released was only a copy, and the version printed in the Los Angeles Times on June 16, 2008 is on a form only in use since late 2001. Even as it is, the document contains a warning that it is merely “prima facie”–threshold, rebuttable and thus inconclusive –evidence of birth, and the copy the Times printed mysteriously has the certificate number blacked out, thereby rendering the document unusable according to language on the bottom.

      Given the seriousness of the offenses with which LTC Lakin is about to be charged, the American Patriot Foundation today renewed its plea for donations to its legal defense fund for LTC Lakin. Details are available at APF’s website, http://www.safeguardourconstitution.com/.

  8. http://www.americanthinker.com/2010/04/an_economics_lecture_no_studen.html

    An Economics Lecture No Student Will Ever Hear
    By Herbert E. Meyer
    Good morning. Take your seats, turn off your cell phones, and keep them off for the duration of this lecture.

    Today’s subject is jobs. As even the dimmest among you are aware, we’re in a jobless recovery, which means that economic activity is picking up, but businesses just aren’t hiring enough workers to bring down the unemployment rate to an acceptable level.

    Between now and the November elections, Republicans will blame Democrats for this mess, and Democrats will say that it’s all the Republicans’ fault. The decibel level will be excruciating. If you’re among those who would rather argue than understand, don’t waste your time or my energy; get up now and leave through the side door. But if you really want to understand why we’re not creating new jobs fast enough, put aside your politics and let me teach you the one thing about economics you should have learned in high school.

    Just like those cell phones you’re all itching to turn back on — don’t even think about it while I’m speaking to you — an economy has an operating system built into it. This means that you have to do things the way the operating system is designed to work.

    Look, if you’ve got an iPhone, there’s no Republican way to make a phone call or check your e-mail — no Democratic way, or liberal way, or conservative way. Either you do it the way the operating system wants you to do it, or nothing happens. It’s the same for those of you with BlackBerrys or any other model. Can these operating systems be improved? Of course, which is why Apple and the other cell phone vendors send out system upgrades from time to time. If you don’t like the operating system you’ve got, can you change it? Yes, give your BlackBerry to your kid sister and get yourself an iPhone, or dump your iPhone for a BlackBerry. But if you’re trying to use the cell phone you’ve got, either you do it the way its operating system is designed to work or you’re stuck.

    Two Kinds of Economies

    Broadly speaking, a country can choose one of two economic operating systems. It can be a free-market economy, or it can be a command economy. In a free-market economy, businesses work within the rules set by government to sell their products and services, but no one is in charge. In a command economy, there may still be privately owned businesses, but the government’s role is so large that it really calls the shots. Because each country — unlike each cell phone owner — designs its own operating system, no two economies are precisely the same. So our country’s free market is somewhat different from Canada’s, which itself is different from Germany’s, Australia’s, Poland’s, and so forth. Likewise with command economies. Still, the similarities among all free-market economies are more striking than the differences, and all command economies are pretty much the same, whether it’s a left-wing or a right-wing government in power.

    In a free-market economy like ours, it’s the entrepreneurs who create jobs. The dictionary defines “entrepreneur” as “a person who organizes and manages a business undertaking, assuming the risk for the sake of the profit.” An entrepreneur can be world-famous, like Apple’s Steve Jobs, or that entrepreneur can operate a small business like a diner, a hardware store, or a factory that manufactures valves. Your dentist is an entrepreneur, and so’s the algebra tutor your parents made you hire so you won’t flunk that course a second time.

    If you want to create a lot of jobs, create an environment in which entrepreneurs will thrive. They’ll take it from there, because creating jobs is what entrepreneurs do. Here’s another way to think about it: You people drink a lot of milk. Well, milk comes from cows. If you want more milk, create an environment in which cows will thrive.

    And just as it makes no sense to say that you want more milk but you oppose cows because they’re smelly, dirty, and leave their droppings all over the place, it also makes no sense to say that you want more jobs but oppose entrepreneurs because they’re greedy, pushy, and often wealthier than the rest of us. You cannot have it both ways, and if you don’t like how the world works, then go argue with Him, not with me. (And you won’t be the first to squawk: King Alphonso X of Spain once complained that “[h]ad I been present at the creation, I would have given some useful hints for the better ordering of the universe.” Well, he wasn’t present at the creation, and neither were you.)

    Dairy Farmers and Politicians

    Whose responsibility is it to create and maintain an environment in which entrepreneurs — or cows — will thrive? In the case of cows, it’s the dairy farmers, whose job it is to keep the beasts happy and productive. These are the people who assure that cows have enough good land to graze upon, good shelter at night and in foul weather, and the best possible medical attention when necessary. Put a competent dairy farmer in charge of the herd, and those cows will produce a lot of milk. Put someone in charge of the herd who knows nothing about cows, and milk production will plummet. And if you put someone in charge of that herd who actually wants the dairy farm to fail — for instance, a real-estate developer who’d like to buy the farmland cheap so he can build a shopping mall — those cows won’t make it through the winter.

    And whose responsibility is it to create an environment in which entrepreneurs will thrive? It’s the men and women we elect at the local, state, and federal levels whose job it is to create and maintain the conditions that entrepreneurs need to start and expand businesses — low taxes, reasonable regulation, and the confidence to accurately project their future costs and risks so they can make decisions to increase manufacturing, or to launch new products and services, that will result in people being hired.

    Now you can understand why we’re in a jobless recovery: Some of the politicians we’ve elected have no idea that creating and maintaining an environment in which entrepreneurs will thrive is what they’re supposed to do. Others we’ve elected have a vague notion that this is what they’re supposed to do, but no idea how to do it. And too many of the politicians we’ve elected actually want those entrepreneurs to fail so public support will grow for replacing our free-market economy with a command economy — one in which the government really calls the shots.

    Your assignment is to draw up a list of politicians who are making life miserable for entrepreneurs. Include local officials, state legislators and governors, and members of Congress. Write a paragraph explaining why you’ve included, or excluded, the president. Lastly, identify at least one candidate in the upcoming November election who understands how to help entrepreneurs succeed. If you want extra credit — and if you want to be able to find a job when you graduate — volunteer to help out in his or her campaign.

    That’s it. Class dismissed.

  9. I heard this yesterday evening and did not catch the reference or name of the person giving the talk concerning the Euro dollar. He was lamenting on the reason that the Euro Dollar countries are going to have to invest $44 billion into Greece to avoid a Euro shut down. He was further saying that the European Common Market and the Euro dollar was not going to survive the next three years because Italy, Spain, Portugal, France, and he named some smaller countries that have joined this Euro exchange are very close to collapse themselves in the same manner as Greece. According to this person, the rules of the Euro say that a Euro member cannot exceed debt 3% over the GDP. ( I believe that is the term he used ) and currently, Greece is at 113%. Spain is close behind as are some other countries.

    The reason that was stated were that the taxes were excessive and the entitlement programs were too expensive and that there was no incentive for business to succeed and create jobs. He said that there was a sentiment over there in most of the countries that they (the workers) are entitled to 30-45 vacation days per year not counting holiday time and personal time and that the actual working days per individual was 277 days and that most workers only work 6 hours per day. it was also mentioned that the wealthy classes are moving out of those countries into lower tax havens around the world and it is NOT the United States that is drawing these people.

    He further stated that we, the United States, has caused people to scratch their heads and wonder why we (the US) is going the way of Europe when it is clear that Europe is on the ropes and has been for centuries. He further stated that the VAT is not working in Europe and that it is one of the main reasons for the downfall of their system. Business’ are simply moving. He mentioned that Spain and France and Italy are talking about legislation that will not allow a business to close. It must give 24 month advance notice and fully fund their employees for a period of ten years and life time medical in order to close and move without its assets being confiscated.

    He said America needs a wake up call….a serious wake up call and replace those legislators that want to change America to that of Europe. He also said that America has always been a beacon of hope in the world as a Nation that did not wish to fall in lock step with the other governments of the world but be innovative and independent. American, he said, needs to go back to its roots and be a leader and give up this insane approach to wanting to be liked.

    America will never be liked because success is not liked the world over. It is world jealousy and America should be oblivious to world opinion and be independent once again.

    I don’t know who this guy was but I do know that he is European and he is dumping his Euro dollars now as are most of his investor friends. I will try to find more reference to this person by calling the station that ran this interview and get more information. I also found out that several banks in the area are not offering the purchase of Euros any longer. Do not know why yet. trying to find out.

    • Mark Faber?

      But everything in your post is pretty accurate.

      The Euro is in worse shape than the USD$ (hard to believe) and the Greek bailout will prove to Spain it needs a bailout, then Italy and then rest, leaving Germany holding the whole thing up by herself.

      It’s a mess with no way out but pain.

      • Yep…..wonder what Germany will do? I don;t think they have a choice in the matter, actually. They will have to prop it up or drop the Euro as a consistent currency…but wonder what that does to the Sterling, Yen, and RMB? I think it props the USD…But wonder what the real impact will be to especially the RMB.

    • Gerald Celente?

    • Jim Rogers?

      Peter Schiff?

    • Black Flag? 😉

      • LOLOLOL….quit it. I will find out who….it could easily be any one of those….but I do want to know. He seemed really knowledgeable and he did not take prisoners on the questions.

  10. Here is an interesting article about rich people renouncing their US citizenship to avoid higher taxes and escaping increased government regulation. How are we going to pay for all the new goodies from Uncle Sam if the rich and corporations keep leaving?

    http://www.foxbusiness.com/story/markets/americans-citizenship-irs-gets-aggressive-overseas/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+foxbusiness%2Flatest+(Text+-+Latest+News)

    • A Puritan Descendant says:

      From the article:
      “The tax itself is only a small part of the issue,” the Swiss-based entrepreneur said. “It’s the overall regulatory environment.”

      And how often do we hear politicians preaching deregulation? Almost never? One more very big reason why we are all screwed.

  11. The press seems a little pissed at B.O. From the Washington Post

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/04/13/AR2010041303067.html

    • It could be a good start but I doubt they’ll see the light. Ah, one can always hope…

  12. A few posts back, a video about the lack of legal standing regarding income tax was made.

    There was a comment about “Is this true???”

    Please refer to this court document, where the court agrees that the ratification of the 16th amendment was insufficient and the IRS has no authority
    – p.22/23

    But says because it has been so long, it doesn’t matter anymore!

    http://whatreallyhappened.com/WRHARTICLES/SullivanVUSA.pdf

  13. Canine Weapon says:
  14. Judy Sabatini says:

    Hey all

    Trying to catch up on the reading here in between things.

    Hope all are doing good today, and I hope none of you are being plagued by the allergy monster like I have been lately. Been really bad this past week.

    Take Care

  15. from American Thinker

    A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Revolution
    By Robin of Berkeley

    Don’t it always seem to go
    That you don’t know what you’ve got
    Till it’s gone
    (Joni Mitchell)

    There are moments when life crashes down on you like a thunderbolt. And ready or not, you change.

    There’s a before and an after. One moment, you’re one way. And then, in the blink of an eye, you’re different.

    An instant before my parents died, I still felt like a child, though I was knee-deep in middle age. But when they passed, three weeks apart, suddenly I grew up…just like that.

    While that experience was seismic, it doesn’t compare to my sea change upon Obama’s ascension. One minute I was a leftist, despising this country and all it stood for.

    And then, abruptly and astonishingly, I became a conservative.

    I had been enamored of progressivism, socialism, all the other “isms.” But when Obama came on the scene and liberals starting acting like maniacs, I viewed the underbelly of the Left.

    And that was it. In the blink of an eye, I saw that liberalism had rotted away. In time, I discovered that progressivism was a bogus idea to begin with.

    The Left had captivated me with its grandiose schemes. It was a no-brainer to believe that humans — that is, educated, erudite, city folks — could perfect the world.

    And now, two years into recovery, I’m still waking up from the world’s worst hangover. Each day, I shake my head in wonderment: “What in the world was I thinking?”

    Each day, I’m sucker-punched by the people whom I had trusted — the Nancy Pelosis and Obamas of the world. I thought that Leftists were mini-messiahs who would save me. They are, in fact, “power-hungry, delusional demigods,” as Mark Levin put it so pithily.

    And the most recent aftershock: ObamaCare. It’s horrifying that the Left would ram this law through against the expressed will of the American people.

    Our Founding Fathers would be incredulous to see who we’ve become. Our government resembles the monarchy that they fought hard to escape.

    We’ve become a country with little humility or honor. We’re a place of demands and gripes and gimme-gimme.

    Illegals demand citizenship, aggrieved groups demand “justice,” and millions want something for nothing.

    With all this hollering and demanding, it matters little how this power is amassed. If the Constitution is trashed, if the working person is bled dry, so what? The nation is engaged in one big, collective temper tantrum.

    Out of this moral abyss comes Obama. No ordinary Democrat like Bill or Hillary or the Johns (Kerry and Edwards) would do. It had to be someone like Obama.

    Raised by morally deficient people, Obama was spotted and groomed early on. The Left’s movers and shakers recognized Obama’s potential. They simply observed how Obama behaved in Chicago — for instance, his seamless alliance with the corrupt slumlord Tony Rezko.

    Obama force-feeds the public a cornucopia of leftist schemes. If he skirts the Constitution or dispatches SEIU thugs, that’s okay by him.

    With the radicals in charge of the henhouse, I should be dancing in the streets. I should be all Vive la Revolution.

    But a funny thing happened on my way to the revolution. That lightning bolt hit, and I changed forever.

    And now I see that that progressivism is simply children acting out, thumbing their noses at Mommy and Daddy and God Himself. This explains the perpetual temper tantrums and the lost, vacant looks.

    While kids are naturally self-centered, when adults behave this way, they’re narcissists. Growing up means no longer placing oneself at the center of the universe.

    It requires facing the facts: This existence is unfair and imperfect. No human being, no matter how charismatic, can change the nature of reality.

    A few years before my parents died, I decided to let go of the resentment that I had been carrying. First, I threw away all of my journals that detailed childhood injustices.

    Then I sat down and wrote each of my parents a letter of appreciation. In doing so, I chucked my protracted grievances, the resentments that had formed my identity.

    The letters must have meant a lot to my parents. Even though they disliked saving anything, the letters were among their possessions after they passed away.

    There’s another thank-you letter I should have penned years ago — to the United States, a country I have failed to appreciate for most of my life.

    Here goes:

    Dear America:

    Thank you for allowing a fresh start to my immigrant grandparents, so dirt poor in Russia that my starving grandmother would cry at the sight of bread in a store window.

    Thank you for the American Dream, so I could travel across the country and start anew in California.

    Thank you for the countless opportunities, like being able to attend graduate school.

    Thank you for the many freedoms, such as the ability to protest and malign you.

    I apologize for denigrating you for so many years.

    This is my belated letter of thanks to the country I have grown to cherish. It’s a love letter of sorts. I pray that it isn’t a eulogy.

    A frequent AT contributor, Robin is a recovering liberal and a psychotherapist in Berkeley.

  16. US Weapon Said:
    Mathius,

    You have fallen into the well. You make the statement, “How else to do this with except by government?”

    And therein lies the crux of the issue. My contention is that if the only way it can be done is by government, then we have no right to do it in the first place. Remove the government from the equation, and what do you have? Community.

    Government is the answer only for those who do not wish to undertake the monumental task of self governance and community responsibility.

    Mathius Replies:
    Here is the problem: I do not have the authority to substitute my opinion for yours when it comes to how to raise your child. But children still need to be protected until they are old enough to think for themselves.

    Society has decreed that you have no right to beat your children. If you are beating your children, someone has to step in. But if I show up at your door and try to take your child away, you are not going to let me. It needs to be an act of forceful intervention.

    Likewise, if your child is addicted to drugs and you are unable or unable to stop them, someone has to intervene to remove the child from that situation and do what you do not / cannot.

    At some point weight gain becomes seriously, inarguably detrimental to a child’s health. If the parent can’t keep it in check, then some else has to. And that means that someone needs to violate the right of a parent to make choices for their progeny.

    To crack that shell requires (and must require) a very high bar. Morbid obesity qualifies. Being chubby does not. Beatings qualify. Spankings do not. Where to draw the line can be hazy – I recognize that – but there is a line that parents cannot be allowed to cross.

    So who is going to do the actual act of walking into someone’s home and removing their child? You? Me? A group of concerned neighbors? It needs to be someone impartial, with the child’s interests foremost, with recognized authority, and with the force to implement it and back it up if need be. That can only be the government.

    • Buck The Wala says:

      Mathius, while I wholeheartedly agree with you on this issue, take a step back for a second. If we remove government then all we have is community.

      So if community deems someone to be neglecting/abusing their child and that community decides it is necessary to remove that child to protect them, then won’t the community act to remove the child? Now, how will the community act? I would argue that, in this regard, ‘government’ is nothing more than community’s arm of enforcement.

      My point is that even without ‘government’ the community will act to protect the child in much the same way as our government currently acts.

      Or am I missing something here?

      • Judy Sabatini says:

        How about child protective services? Surely they would be able to do something. If you let your child become so obese, barring nothing is medically wrong, then I think it is a form of child abuse, and someone needs to step in and get that child out. Or at least get him/her in a physical program of some kind and follow a diet to help that child lose weight.

        If a child gets that big by the age of 11, what’s going to happen to them when they become an adult. How many people have you seen pictures of that are so grossly obese, that they can’t move or if they have to, they they have to have a crane to lift them out of their house. Not to mention dying way to young because they can’t stop eating.

        • Judy, IMO there are too many instances of government/anyone stepping into peoples private lives. I understand everyone’s concern with the child that is “abused” because of being overweight…but where does it stop? Next it will be because the child has no high speed internet he/she is considered abused…and SOMEONE has to step in.

          There is simply too much government “regulation” in every aspect of our lives…if you were to list what government regulates vs. what they do not, which list do you think would be longer…and growing.

          • Is there anything they don’t regulate? This is a serious question is there. Taxation is regulation. Dang, I can’t think of anything.

            • The “What government does not regulate” is definitely the short list…and growing shorter every day.

    • Mathius and Buck

      You have recognized the thing but refuse to name it.

      You want the easy way out by using govt, because govt is the monopoly on the use of force that must be obeyed.

      Children are the responsibility of the parents and family. PERIOD

      Yep, some may suffer. But not nearly as many as suffer when self righteous crusaders gain the power of government through CPS or H&W or whatever other agency decided when it will intervene.

      • A Puritan Descendant says:

        “Children are the responsibility of the parents and family. PERIOD”

        “Yep, some may suffer. But not nearly as many as suffer when self righteous crusaders gain the power of government through CPS or H&W or whatever other agency decided when it will intervene.”

        I so much agree.

        Where we fall into a trap is when we accept the argument, “the safety/welfare of the child comes first”. Most everyone agrees with that statement, which leads to government intrusion into the family often for little reason. An intrusion that may never let go of it’s grip.

        • Puritan

          We also fail to recognize the effect of govt in this arena has had on the family’s sense of responsibility.

          It seems to me it is like all other things where given a chance to act people reply, “oh that’s the govts’ job”. Just as our resident lefties stated above. We can’t so govt must.

          Pretty soon our responsibility and local cultural norms are lost. Replaced by govt laws and agencies without faces or compassion.

          • A Puritan Descendant says:

            Agreed.

            Relying on the government can be costly. I know of a lady who called social services because her daughter, who lived next door, was being harassed by the daughters ex. This daughter had a child living with her, so the state came and removed the child from the home, for the safety of the child, as the solution.

          • Judy Sabatini says:

            Hi JAC

            So, are you saying that child protective services shouldn’t be called at all? What about if there is abuse going on, or if the child is in danger, then what? What if there is no one else there to help protect that child or children? You read about horrendous things everyday about what’s going on and how a child or children are being abused by either one or both parents.

            And it’s not just parents or family that could be abusing either. Just read in the paper the other day, where a coach at a school was abusing boys, and is now in jail. Abuse comes in all forms, not just letting a child or children eat themselves to death like it appears with that 14 year old.

            That’s just MHO on it anyway.

            Hope you’re doing well.

            • A Puritan Descendant says:

              Hi Judy,

              I don’t know all the answers, but calling CPS could be like asking Satan for help.

              • Judy Sabatini says:

                Hi Puritan.

                Then what’s answer? I thought that’s why they’re called child protective services, to protect children when and if it’s needed.

              • A Puritan Descendant says:

                that may be, but I do know they have a track record of destroying families by playing God.

              • Judy Sabatini says:

                I really wouldn’t know, never needed to use them, just going by what I read and hear.

            • Judy

              You could not call them because they would not exist.

              The family would intervene. The neighbors could intervene by calling the cops.

              If they perceive danger then next of kin are contacted and child goes to family.

              If violence is being done to the child they can file charges against the offending parent and trial by jury will deal with it.

              The family gets the kid if parent is guilty.

  17. A Puritan Descendant says:

    GN all, and remember don’t count sheep, just repeat over and over “Government is Evil”………

  18. A Puritan Descendant says:

    Watching Greta… on FoxNews last evening brought something to my attention as to forecasting the outcome of any future healthcare Supreme Court rulings which might use the commerce clause in it’s ruling.

    Justice Scalia made this opinion in regards to California’s medical marijuana use:

    “Unlike the power to regulate activities that have a substantial effect on interstate commerce, the power to enact laws enabling effective regulation of interstate commerce can only be exercised in conjunction with congressional regulation of an interstate market, and it extends only to those measures necessary to make the interstate regulation effective. As Lopez itself states, and the Court affirms today, Congress may regulate noneconomic intrastate activities only where the failure to do so “could … undercut” its regulation of interstate commerce. … This is not a power that threatens to obliterate the line between “what is truly national and what is truly local.”

    Compare that to Justice Thomas’s opinion which:

    Respondent’s local cultivation and consumption of marijuana is not “Commerce … among the several States.”

    Certainly no evidence from the founding suggests that “commerce” included the mere possession of a good or some personal activity that did not involve trade or exchange for value. In the early days of the Republic, it would have been unthinkable that Congress could prohibit the local cultivation, possession, and consumption of marijuana.

    If the Federal Government can regulate growing a half-dozen cannabis plants for personal consumption (not because it is interstate commerce, but because it is inextricably bound up with interstate commerce), then Congress’ Article I powers — as expanded by the Necessary and Proper Clause — have no meaningful limits. Whether Congress aims at the possession of drugs, guns, or any number of other items, it may continue to “appropria[te] state police powers under the guise of regulating commerce.”

    If the majority is to be taken seriously, the Federal Government may now regulate quilting bees, clothes drives, and potluck suppers throughout the 50 States. This makes a mockery of Madison’s assurance to the people of New York that the “powers delegated” to the Federal Government are “few and defined”, while those of the States are “numerous and indefinite.

    From > http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:O2wgYJlGWxsJ:en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gonzales_v._Raich+%22Scalia%22+%2B+california+marijuana&cd=1&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=us

    In Scalia’s ruling he says “intrastate activities”; I wonder if he would apply that to ‘intrastate NON-activities’ such as failure to purchase health insurance.

    The Fox program implied that Scalia would rule for Obamacare and Not against it, because of his opinion, above. I am not so sure, as there is a difference between an ‘activity’ (such as using marijuana) and ‘no action’ (such as Not buying health insurance).

    Later, gotta run…..

  19. Canine Weapon says:

    SUBTLETY!

    Gotta love it..

  20. This was interesting…

    http://www.lewrockwell.com/maymin/maymin12.1.html

    I think I drew the wrong conclusion however… my answer to both of the questions at the end is the same, and I still support forced redistribution of wealth..

    It was a good try though. Really made me think..

    • You support forced distribution of blood? Are you a vampire? 🙂

      • Yes, but please don’t tell anyone. It’s a secret.

      • Matt has so many titles I don’t think he even knows what to think himself. No wonder he’s a liberal. So far he’s Jewish, liberal, ninja, dread pirate, canine & feline, and now a vampire.

        Hey Matt, that guy over there needs a couple fingers to go with that blood. Help him out. Spread the wealth

        • Naw.. I’m rather attached to my fingers..

          However, if they grew back, I could probably support that too. Unfortunately, I am not part starfish.

          Adding, no, I’m not really a vampire.

          Also adding, I’m not the Dread Pirate. He is locked in my basement. I just channel him from time to tie.

          Further adding, I’m sure I have no idea what you’re talking with canine and feline… 😉

          • DPM….even though locked in the basement…does have allies. 🙂

            • Perhaps, but now there’s a sunken submarine* in the basement with him. Sadly, all hands** were lost.

              *I have removed the nuclear rods and munitions – I do not trust the Dread Pirate with them. We wouldn’t want another escape, now would we?

              **Most hands were actually claws as the deceased crew appears to have been composed largely of raptors***.

              ***The raptors all had odd branded glyphs on their thighs that look something like the letter “D” and the number “13” – I have launched an investigation into the meaning of this. (Could 13-D be map coordinates?)

    • I cannot fathom the support for the forced redistribution of wealth. Does freedom, liberty, and personal responsibility mean nothing to you?

      • It means a great deal to me. Unfortunately, there are other things in this world that supersede them.

        For what it’s worth, I think there is much that could be re-engineered about the current wealth-redistribution system to make it more palatable.

        • I understand that we differ greatly here…to me, redistribution of wealty is roughly analogous to a turd…there is nothing to me that could make that more palatable. (humor intended)

          I have no issue with helping those who cannot help themselves, but with the staggering amount of entitlement programs and handouts that are common today, I have helped enough…

        • Mathius

          “It means a great deal to me. Unfortunately, there are other things in this world that supersede them.”

          There is a word for this. Now what was it? Thinking, thinking………………

          CONTRADICTION

          That’s it.

          Freedom is of great value but other things which destroy freedom are of greater value than freedom itself. Which of course renders freedom as having NO value.

          Live free Matt.
          JAC

          • Sorry, JAC… I have to throw the BS flag at that one..

            Freedom is of great value but other things which destroy freedom are of greater value than freedom itself. Which of course renders freedom as having NO value.

            Just because something has greater value does not render freedom as valueless. The fact that the things which are valued higher are opposed to freedom does not change this.

            I value wood*. Wood is valuable to me. I can create heat by destroying wood. Does this render wood as without value? No. Wood is something I must give up in order to attain something more valuable: heat.

            I see no contradiction here.

            *Wood is not extremely valuable, but it still has some worth – hey, it’s an analogy, go with it

            • Mathius,

              Let’s carefully go over your analogy as I think it is accurate enough.

              Wood has value because you value it.

              Warmth has more value to you.

              You destroy wood – it turns into something of no value to you – ash.

              So JAC is correct.

              You have turned something of value into something of NO value so you can have some thing else of value.

              • ah, I see what you’re saying..

                No. Intact wood has value. Destroyed wood does not.

                Likewise, intact freedom has value to me. Violated freedoms are no longer freedoms (like wood is now ash), and as such have no value.

                So I say that freedom has value to me, that is a true statement. I value the freedoms that could have been (much as I would value wood had I not burned it).. I just value certain things higher.

              • Mathius,

                That is clear – you are a “Positive” Freedom’er.

                “Give me 3-squares a day through my cell door, and I am free”

                The challenge you now have is to remain consistent in your “Positive” Freedom belief – which I have found in the past, you have been wholly unable.

              • I am certainly able. I simply choose a different path.

                I see both sides and have chosen. You refuse to see my way for what it really is.

                I may yet change, but at least I have kept my mind open.

              • Mathius,

                I walked the “Positive” Freedom path already.

                That is why I know you CAN ONLY hold that belief as long as you are inconsistent

                You MUST require this mantra:

                “Freedom for me, but not for you”.

                That is why I discarded it a long time ago.

                It requires that my Rights supersede your Rights.

                However, there exists no consistent argument that can prove why my Rights supersede yours except by the “Might is Right” doctrine

                Thus, it required me to accept Barbarianism – and discard civilization.

                I could not do that.

              • Matt, I do hold out hope for your change. You seem like a really good fellow…a little mixed up (IMO), but a nice fellow none the less. I know that one day you will have an epiphany and realize that liberalism/progressiveism will destroy the best place on earth to live…

              • Okay maybe I’m slow -but what?-I have no idea what you just said-

                “I value the freedoms that could have been (much as I would value wood had I not burned it)”

              • we’re getting a little esoteric here… sorry

    • Buck The Wala says:

      Very interesting indeed.

      After much thought I find myself unsurprisingly with you on this one.

      • We don’t have the right to force a woman to continue with a pregnancy because of the right to privacy but we have the right to force people to give away their life blood-something which we seem to do quite willingly-So please explain your reasoning.

        • People don’t give enough blood. Not nearly enough. There are chronic blood shortages. Further, the shortages drive prices up which make medical care for the 1 in 7 who need blood far more expensive.

          That said, the minor inconvenience of 30 minutes two or three times a year will verifiably, demonstrably, incontrovertibly save human lives. And you will produce new blood without harm.

          We do not all agree that a fetus is a human life. Nor do we all recognize its right to continued parasitism on the pregnant woman.

          • I am not arguing whether or not abortion is okay-I am saying that forcing people to give blood is an invasion of privacy at least based on the argument that is used to argue that abortion is okay.

            • They could both be construed as violations of the “right to privacy,” but I would suggest that it is a question of extent. Blood donations would require a hour or two of your time per year. Forcing you to carry a fetus to term takes over 9 months of your life, massive inconvenience, and then huge added expenses on top.

              Then, if we accept the data from the article, each donation would save 3 people (9 people with three donations a year) whereas carrying a fetus to term would ‘save’ 1 person.

              See the ratio?

              1 person created in exchange for 9 months of severe inconvenience, health risks, extensive costs, and everything else that comes with pregnancy. Not to mention the pain and difficulty of giving birth.

              9 people saved in exchange for 1 1/2 hours of mild boredom with negligible risks.

              To me, everything comes down to cost/benefit. If I’m going to impose on you, I want to get a lot out of it.

              • So -there is no law, no principal that can’t be throw away if you determine that the cost/ benefit fits your math logic

              • So Matt according to your logic if it is for the “common good” and if the “cost/benefit” is within your reason, you have no problem with all of us being plugged into big government with them controlling everything. Reminds me of the movie Matrix, I will pass thank you. Who decides what is too much for the “greater good”, you?

              • I know kung fu..

                (Alex Trebek replies: For the last time, no you don’t.)

              • Who decides what is too much for the “greater good”, you? I cannot make that call. It has to be one of societal consensus. I may be smarter than the average bear, but I am not all-knowing. Society decides through some kind of group-think calculus where to draw the line and what mix is appropriate. Society has decreed that forced blood donations are not acceptable (though I would be inclined to favor them) and so they are not imposed by Big Government.

                You ask an important question, and it deserves a thoughtful answer. I will try to find time to put something together for you.

              • Mathius,

                So you are a “Might makes Right” principled person?

                As long as a group can enforce its demand on a minority, that force and that cause is both a Right?

              • The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few.

                I am working on a response to this issue. (if I can ever find the time)

              • Matuus,
                That is a Philosophy of Barbarians.

                “Might is Right”

              • Fair enough-that is why we discuss things on here-to make us think about each others positions.

              • “a fetus to term takes over 9 months”

                So, let me get this straight.

                If a consequence of free choice creates a circumstance that is “too long” by some subjective measure, you have the right to avoid such a consequence and take a life to “solve it”???!??

                So, only short-term and immediate consequences are valid and long-term ones are rightfully, ethically and morally avoidable?

              • Don’t distort what I’m saying, Flag. You know perfectly well what my point is.

                Smaller, transient trespasses against your rights are better than massive, highly impactful ones.

                You argue absolutes and I respect that, but riddle me this: which is the greater trespass upon your rights? Does it not stand to reason that a higher reward must be attained if the cost is also higher?

                I know you would say no violation is acceptable, but try to view it from my perspective and not just as a caricature of my side.

              • Mathius,

                Don’t distort what I’m saying, Flag. You know perfectly well what my point is.

                Actually, I don’t!

                When you say ….”Blood donations would require a hour or two of your time per year. Forcing you to carry a fetus to term takes over 9 months of your life, massive inconvenience, and then huge added expenses on top.

                ….you are using time to determine consequence.

                You are saying, paraphrased:
                A “little prick of my needle” against your will is “ok”, because it is little – compared to my saber.

                Therefore, the needle is NOT a violation of your right, suck it up or else I’ll use my sword!!”

                NO!

                Whether a needle or a saber – it is a violation of your Rights

                The extent of your violation does not measure my RIGHT – it only measures my response – I cannot justify taking your head because of your needle, whereas I may if you used your saber.

                But your ACTION is a VIOLATION of MY RIGHT. PERIOD.

                Your ACTION determines the MEASURE of my RESPONSE – NOT MY RIGHTS.

              • But your ACTION is a VIOLATION of MY RIGHT. PERIOD. I am not arguing this. Surprisingly.

                I acknoledge you have a right not to be pricked. Where we part ways is that I believe in an overriding right of society to supersede that right and prick you anyway.

                Your rights are still being violated. You see this as a contradiction. I see it as the result of two opposing forces. Gravity vs centripetal force.

              • Mathius,

                Exactly!

                It is two, opposite forces

                Government (Barbarians) vs Civilization (Freedom)

              • And what is this higher reward we get for SELLING our SOAL?

                What do I get in return for the permanent loss of my freedom? Am I to sleep better knowing some travail may be averted in the future?

                No Thanks. I’ll take Freedom.

                Besides, if you show up on my door with your little needle and the blood collectors you will get all the blood you want. But it won’t be mine.

              • I see that while I was gone today the Progressive central planners have finally established a price for our freedom, or our slavery depending on your view point.

                If it only costs a couple of hours of your time you are a slave.

                Now the only remaining question is whether there is some other yet uncovered BREAK EVEN point between the 2 hours and the 9 months. At what cost point is freedom equal to slavery?

        • Buck The Wala says:

          Its not an easy call at all. Despite the author’s insistence that the two issues (wealth redistribution and blood redistribution) are completely anologous – they are not.

          However, after much thought, I would be ok with it as a general rule. There is clearly a shortage of blood. And blood is clearly essential to life. Why not require healthy Americans to donate blood once, or even twice, a year? To implement this, we would have to as a society come up with certain rules and exemptions – perhaps a religious exemption, a standard definition of ‘healthy’ for purposes of donating blood, etc. etc. etc. But purely as a theoretical concept, why not?

          As for forcing a woman to continue with a pregnancy…I’m a bit confused as to why you are bringing up this topic.

          • Judy Sabatini says:

            Yeah, me too, what does that have to do with giving blood?

            • Sorry Judy, I am trying to answer all the questions at once-didn’t want you to think I was ignoring you. 🙂 Hope your having a great day!

              • Judy Sabatini says:

                No problem V, I just happen to see the question that Buck asked, and I was just agreeing with him.

                Day is going pretty good, and I hope your day is going just as good.

          • I am trying to determine on what basis you determine what is or isn’t a right to privacy-I a woman has the right to end a pregnancy because it is her body and her decision -how can you justify forcing a person to give away something that is in their body without saying you are stealing away their right to privacy. Is there any principals you use to determine what is right or wrong or is it solely based on your opinion?

            • One more thing how in the world can you(Matt) don’t know how Buck feels support drug use as a freedom when it can destroy the body which the government obviously by your support of forced bleeding has a right to stop on the basis that someone may need your blood or a kidney or whatever is necessary to promote the greater good.

              • Buck The Wala says:

                I support your freedom to use drugs and destroy your body just as much as Matt. Just makes it all the more essential to provide for a standard of ‘healthy’ for blood collection.

                I’m actually pretty split on the issue of redistribution of blood. I believe I support it, but as I give more thought to it, it does bother me. I feel it is very different from wealth redistribution due largely to the right of privacy you mentioned.

              • Hypothetically if the majority of people decided that they liked being high, so the available blood supply was so low that people were dying would it then be justifiable for society to decide that you couldn’t take drugs.

          • “But purely as a theoretical concept, why not?”

            Because anytime you take away one freedom it can lead to taking away another.

          • It astounds me that you would allow this perverted invasion of privacy. Is nothing sacred to the left?

        • It’s not your blood – to require anyone to give up their blood (by threat or force) is evil.

          Further, we should stop donating blood.

          The problem with blood donations as a concept is that it actually interferes with the development of artificial blood.

          Donated blood has no cost. So everyone wants more of it. But there is a limited supply, so there is always a demand (for free) of a supply (that is limited).

          STOP DONATING!

          SELL IT!

          It will then cost money – hopefully a lot of money – which will drive some entrepreneur to finally develop artificial blood – which can be manufactured on demand.

          Tens of thousands of lives would be saved by this…..

  21. Pretzel 73 says:

    Everyone should read Kent’s blog today. Excellent article on taxation.

  22. Judy Sabatini says:

    [Print] [Email] 
    Hating the government finally goes mainstream
    By: Chris Stirewalt
    Political Editor
    April 15, 2010
    (AP)

    Three years ago, the Republican establishment piled scorn on the presidential candidacy of Ron Paul.

    Today, he is in a statistical tie with President Obama in 2012 polling. His son, an ophthalmologist who has never run for elective office, is well ahead of not only the GOP’s handpicked candidate for Senate in Kentucky but also both Democratic contenders — all statewide officeholders.

    What happened? Did America sudden develop an insatiable appetite for 74-year-old, cranky congressmen from Texas? Is the gold standard catching on?

    Paul will not likely be the next president. And his son still faces the most arduous part of his journey as Democrats spend millions to paint him as soft on defense, lax on drug enforcement and too radical on welfare programs.

    But there’s no doubt that hating the government and the powerful interests that pull Washington’s strings has gone from the radical precincts of the Right and Left to the mainstream.

    It turns out that watching Goldman Sachs, the United Auto Workers, public employee unions and a raft of other vampires drain the treasury at America’s weakest moment in a generation will make a person pretty hacked off.

    After Barack Obama’s election, Democrats assumed that the American people were battered, bruised and ready for a morphine drip of European-style socialism. Republicans, shocked by their stunning reversals, figured the Democrats were right and started looking for technocrats of their own.

    And in a political system fueled by special-interest money, it was hard for the leaders of major parties to imagine anything other than an activist government. After all, if you pay for someone to get elected, you don’t expect him to just sit there.

    Just 18 months ago the leaders of both parties were quite sure that Obama would be the popular, transformative president he aspires to be. The Republicans who emerged from the wreckage of November were certain to look a lot more like Charlie Crist and Mitt Romney than Marco Rubio and Ron Paul.

    But Crist’s embrace of Obamanomics seems to have utterly destroyed his chances at a Senate seat that was once his for the taking. Romney, considered a near lock for the 2012 Republican nomination, has seen his candidacy badly damaged by a populist revolt against the passage of a national health care plan that looks like the one he designed for Massachusetts.

    Obama, who said that passage of his health plan proved that Washington could still do big things, finds himself deeply at odds with an electorate that is not confident of government’s ability to do anything at all.

    His election has turned out to be not the result of a national lurch toward government intervention but his own skill at disguising his policies, the failures of the Republican Party and the bursting of the lending bubble.

    A year ago, the tea parties caught most everyone by surprise.

    It was a conservative flash mob and hundreds of thousands of Americans took to the streets.

    Republicans scrambled to get to the head of the parade and Democrats claimed that it was all a put-up job by their enemies in the special interest wars. The press tried to treat what had been a spontaneous outburst as if it were a traditional political party and asked all the questions they teach in journalism school: Who’s in charge? Who are they opposed to? Is it racist?

    This year, the political parties and the press will not be caught off guard. Republican politicians will address tea party rallies, Democrats will denounce the supposed puppeteers of the movement and the press will look for hate speech.

    But few will glean the real meaning of the protests or the booming support for Ron and Rand Paul.

    It’s not about the Pauls themselves or the guys with the “Don’t tread on me” flags It’s about the people at home who might not be willing to march in the park or join the next Paul money bomb, but who don’t blame the folks who do.

    Libertarian sentiment has finally gone mainstream.

    A movement that said that people should do whatever they wanted as long as it didn’t hurt anyone else couldn’t compete during the culture wars that began in the 1960s.

    But after two wars, a $12 trillion debt, a financial crisis and the most politically tone-deaf president in modern history, Americans may have finally given up on big government.

    • AMEN…

    • I suspect a lot of the support comes from the knowledge that being reasonable, being willing to help, isn’t enough for the government or the left-they want it all-we are unable to give a little and still maintain our freedom-so if the choice is between freedom and the greater good-people will be forced to suffer because the greater good as important as it is-Does not come before the greater good of freedom for all men.

  23. A few tax quotes to celebrate tax day…taken from biggovernment.com

    No. 10.

    “In this world nothing is certain but death and taxes.” Benjamin Franklin. It is hard to start anywhere else. The little known full quote is “Our Constitution is in actual operation; everything appears to promise that it will last; but in this world nothing is certain but death and taxes.” The Founders, who framed a Constitution to protect us from government, did not dare consider an income tax. Franklin obviously did not trust future politicians.

    No. 9.

    “I am in favor of cutting taxes under any circumstances and for any excuse, for any reason, whenever it’s possible.” Milton Friedman. The 1st of two Friedman quotes in this countdown brings up the question: Why the Republican Party is (or should be) so anti-tax? Franklin obviously warned us. Friedman accepted his warning and knew that unless we fought them at every turn, taxes would be more than inevitable.

    No. 8.

    “Anyone may arrange his affairs so that his taxes shall be as low as possible; he is not bound to choose that pattern which best pays the treasury. There is not even a patriotic duty to increase one’s taxes. Over and over again the Courts have said that there is nothing sinister in so arranging affairs as to keep taxes as low as possible. Everyone does it, rich and poor alike and all do right, for nobody owes any public duty to pay more than the law demands.” Legendary Judge Learned Hand. I guess it turns out Joe Biden was wrong?

    No. 7.

    “The power to tax is the power to destroy.” The first of John Marshall’s 2 quotes in the countdown: Simply stated, but sadly not well understood: that maxim also applies to income as well – which is why higher rates result in less tax revenue. Later Alan Greenspan would say that “Whatever you tax, you get less of.” It REALLY is that simple – if only our politicans would learn that lesson.

    No. 6.

    “We have a system that increasingly taxes work and subsidizes nonwork.” Milton Friedman. In just 11 words, Friedman philosophically explains (a) socialism’s internal flaw and (b) how the tax system is used to undermine a nation’s vitality. Churchill was equally smart when he noted that “We contend that for a nation to try to tax itself into prosperity is like a man standing in a bucket and trying to lift himself up by the handle.”

    No. 5.

    “You cannot bring about prosperity by discouraging thrift. You cannot help small men by tearing down big men. You cannot strengthen the weak by weakening the strong. You cannot lift the wage-earner by pulling down the wage-payer. You cannot help the poor man by destroying the rich. You cannot keep out of trouble by spending more than your income. You cannot further the brotherhood of man by inciting class hatred. You cannot establish security on borrowed money. You cannot build character and courage by taking away men’s initiative and independence. You cannot help men permanently by doing for them what they could and should do for themselves.” William Boetcker. Wrongly attributed to Lincoln, Boetcker explains with clarity 10 reasons why welfare state proponents, including Obama, have it all wrong.

    No. 4

    “A democratic government is the only one in which those who vote for a tax can escape the obligation to pay it.” Alexis de Tocqueville. One of history’s most brilliant men, de Tocqueville makes clear, in the early 1800s, the very dynamic that is so badly harming American today: Only 53% of Americans pay income tax. The others are simply voting themselves temporarily “rich” at the cost of our economic health, their own long term welfare and our Liberty. Under Obama, that dynamic will worsen.

    No. 3.

    “Excessive taxation … will carry reason and reflection to every man’s door, and particularly in the hour of election.” Thomas Jefferson. The last 8 Presidential winners was the perceived tax cutter. Is Jefferson’s message not simple enough? Why any Republican ever forgets Jefferson’s maxim is so very hard for me to understand.

    No. 2.

    “The collection of taxes which are not absolutely required, which do not beyond reasonable doubt contribute to the public welfare, is only a species of legalized larceny.” Calvin Coolidge, our last “Libertarian Republican” President, evokes our memories of a time when government was actually limited and people actually believed that people had a right to their money. Coolidge summarized what every Republican should repeat when asked about our tax system: “The wise and correct course to follow in taxation is not to destroy those who have already secured success, but to create conditions under which everyone will have a better chance to be successful.”

    Del Beccaro’s No.1 Anti-Tax Quote!

    “Indeed, in a free government almost all other rights would become worthless if the government possessed power over the private fortune of every citizen.” John Marshall, Founder and seminal US Supreme Court Chief Justice. Without question this is the fine point of the matter. The income tax – instituted by Democrat Woodrow Wilson – is an involuntary tax that requires citizens to disgorge their hard earned property. Since, as Will Durant said, “communism begins where private property ends,” Marshall is right to point that there are precious few rights remaining if government can take away your private property. We must come to understand that lower taxes literally are the equivalent to greater freedom. We can begin to restore our freedom by scrapping the involuntary income tax in favor of a voluntary sales tax.

  24. Taxing Cinderella

    The tax adviser had just read the story of Cinderella to his
    four-year-old daughter for the first time. The little girl
    was fascinated by the story, especially the part where the
    pumpkin turns into a golden coach.

    Suddenly she piped up, “Daddy, when the pumpkin turned into
    a golden coach, would that be classed as income or a
    long-term capital gain?”

    • Windfall profit, but it would be offset by the losses incurred when it turned back into a pumpkin. So there would likely be no tax liability.

      • I think a magical pumpkin would be more valueble then a regular pumpkin. So there is some capital gain.

        • What happens if you’re sitting in the coach when it collapses back into a pumpkin?

          • well obviously if its magical, then you would be ok.

            • Either that or you get tragically crushed to death in your incredible magically shrinking pumpkin/coach.

              What a way to go…

  25. From the WSJ:

    The U.S. Department of Agriculture indicated it will allow a small increase in U.S. sugar imports this year, a decision that is likely to do little to quell complaints from confectioners and processors about tight supplies.

    Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said Tuesday that the department would make “some adjustment” to the sugar quota, which has been in place for decades. Mr. Vilsack said it could be raised by about 24%, or as much 300,000 short tons, from the 1.23 million short-ton level, an increase he described as not significant.

    An increase of 300,000 short tons is less than the one-million ton boost that some sugar users had sought. The USDA uses the import-quota system to balance sugar supply and demand, but many users said the quotas unfairly prevent them from importing cheaper sugar. They argue the restrictions have left the country in danger of running out of sugar.

    The reporters are Carolyn Cui, Bill Tomson, and Ilan Brat. The second sentence of that last paragraph is a strange one. The USDA does not “use the import-quota system to balance sugar supply and demand.” They use it to restrict the amount of sugar that comes into the United States. At least say that the USDA claims that it uses the quota to blah blah blah. What it actually does is enrich a handful of families at the expense of the rest of us. It is a very ugly piece of public policy.

    The reporters do recognize the impact of quotas on the price of sugar. The article continues:

    Meantime, U.S. sugar farmers have successfully blocked efforts to significantly increase imports, assuring them of little price competition.

    Restrictions on imports have caused American users to pay much more than the rest of the world for sugar. That gap recently blew out to its widest in a decade.

    Mr. Vilsack’s comments raised the prospect of increased demand for global sugar and drove prices up 2.7%, or 0.44 cent, to 16.98 cents a pound on ICE Futures U.S. Prices for U.S. domestic sugar dropped 2.1%, to 30.8 cents a pound. That narrowed the gap between the two to 13.82 cents a pound.

    So the world price of sugar is about 17 cents a pound.</b. Here in the US, we pay almost 31 cents, almost double. I’d love to hear the story of how that “balances supply and demand” here in the US

    • Bama dad says:

      But BF you forget, government interference of the free market benefits the masses. Without the government watching out for the little people the mean greedy sugar corporations would gouge the people and cause the price of sugar to exceed its true cost. We need to be protected.

  26. Bama dad says:

    It’s tea time. Off to the Tea party.

  27. In 2001, Argentina’s Government Seizes Assets in Pension Funds to Pay the Government’s Bills

    The Argentine government has said it is to use money held in private pension funds to help pay its bills.

    The move came just hours before Economy Minister Domingo Cavallo left for Washington for talks with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) on Friday in a bid to secure a fresh loan.

    It’s a tough decision and a serious one. It brings a default that bit nearer Juan Aleman, economist: “The people have to remain calm. Nothing new has happened,” said Mr Cavallo.

    The move is the latest measure to be carried out by the government as it struggles to avoid defaulting on its $132bn debt.

    On Wednesday the International Monetary Fund (IMF) blocked a $1.3bn loan deal for Argentina, reviving fears of a default.

    The IMF said it could not hand over the money as it had been unable to complete the necessary financial review.

    Mr Cavallo said the measure would be used to help pay the government’s bills. . . .

    The decision comes less than a week after the government put a cap on the amount of money Argentines can withdraw from their private bank accounts to prevent economic fears triggering a run on the banks.

    Again, this was back in 2001.

    But it happened.

    A year after it happened, the Argentine peso dropped 70% against the dollar.

    But aren’t pension funds private property?
    Yep…but…

    The State has legal violence and that trumps private property.

    A while back, a couple of people posted a question on what to do with their 401(k). I suggested 100% withdrawal. I know of only one who did.

    I wanted to post this – to reinforce that I believe he did exactly the right thing.

    It is the others that are the naive, trusting souls.

    You don’t really think the American government would ever confiscate the assets in my pension fund and exchange them for government bonds. Right?”

    Yes, I do.

    “But that would be theft.”

    Yes, it would.

    “But the people would never approve.”

    They already let the government tax them to buy nonmarketable T-bonds, which constitute the $2.5 trillion Social Security trust fund. Why won’t they accept this when the government does it to their IRA’s to “guarantee a safe retirement”?

    “But that would mean I’m an idiot to have a tax-deferred retirement fund filled with liquid assets.”

    You’ve got me there.

    “But I want you to tell me what I should do with the money in the pension fund. I don’t want to cash it out.”

    Why not?

    “Because I will have to pay a penalty.”

    So, you don’t think confiscation is a threat.

    “An outside possibility, maybe.”

    What is the penalty if it gets confiscated?

    “100%?”

    Correct.

    “But my employer matches my payment. It’s free money.”

    Until it gets confiscated.

    “But you’re saying that the government has deliberately created a system in which people with retirement money are lured into a trap.”

    Correct.

    “But that would mean I can’t trust the government.”

    Correct.

    “That’s just to radical a position for me to accept.”

    Then stick with your 401(k).

  28. Judy Sabatini says:

    The differences of Republican women and Democratic women.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch_popup?v=sXzrUztyd1Y

  29. In all, more than 900,000 households, or one in every 138 homes, received a foreclosure-related notice, RealtyTrac said. The firm based in Irvine, Calif., tracks notices for defaults, scheduled home auctions and home repossessions.

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/36547572/ns/business-mortgage_mess/

    This NEW foreclosures – over and above the past few years.

    It is NOT homes underwater, or homeowners on the edge. This are ones in process.

    It is staggering – it will not be recoverable in 10 years.

  30. “A man and a woman who have never met before find themselves in the same sleeping carriage of a train. After the initial embarrassment, they both manage to get to sleep; the woman on the top bunk, the man on the lower.

    In the middle of the night the woman leans over and says, “I’m sorry to bother you but I’m awfully cold and I was wondering if you could possibly pass me another blanket.”

    The man leans out, with a glint in his eye, says, “I’ve got a better idea… let’s pretend we’re married.”

    “Why not?” giggles the woman.

    “Good,” he replies, “Get your own blanket.”

    • A Woman’s Random Thoughts

      If you love something, set it free.

      If it comes back, it will always be yours.
      If it doesn’t come back, it was never yours to begin with.
      But, if it just sits in your living room, messes up your stuff, eats your food, uses your telephone, takes your money, and doesn’t appear to realize that you had set it free… You either married it or gave birth to it.

      Insanity is my only means of relaxation.

      Reason to smile: Every 7 minutes of every day, someone in an aerobics class pulls a hamstring.

      Women over 50 don’t have babies because they would put them down and forget where they left them.

      One of life’s mysteries is how a 2 pound box of candy can make a woman gain 5 lbs.

      My mind not only wanders, it sometime leaves completely.

      The best way to forget all your troubles is to wear tight shoes.

      The nice part about living in a small town is that when you don’t know what you’re doing, someone else does.

      The older you get, the tougher it is to lose weight because by then, your body and your fat are really good friends.

      Just when I was getting used to yesterday, along came today.

      Sometimes I think I understand everything, then I regain consciousness.

      I gave up jogging for my health… when my thighs kept rubbing together and setting my pantyhose on fire.

      Amazing! You hang something in your closet for a while and it shrinks two sizes!

      Skinny people irritate me! Especially when they say things like, “You know, sometimes I just forget to eat.” Now I’ve forgotten my address, my mother’s maiden name, and my keys. But I’ve never forgotten to eat. You have to be a special kind of stupid to forget to eat.

      A friend of mine confused her valium with her birth control pills. She had 14 kids, but she doesn’t really care.

      They keep telling us to get in touch with our bodies. Mine isn’t all that communicative but I heard from it the other day after I said, “Body, how’d you like to go to the six o’clock class in vigorous toning?” Clear as a bell my body said, “Listen witch… do it and die.”

      The trouble with some women is that they get all excited about nothing and then they marry him.

      I read this article that said the typical symptoms of stress are: eating too much, impulse buying, and driving too fast. Are they kidding? That is my idea of a perfect day.

      If men can run the world, why can’t they stop wearing neckties? How intelligent is it to start the day by tying a noose around your neck?

    • (Hehehe, I have boys)

      Application for Permission to Date My Daughter

      NOTE: This application will be incomplete and rejected unless
      accompanied by a complete financial statement, job history, lineage,
      and current medical report from your doctor.

      NAME______________________________________ DATE OF BIRTH______________

      HEIGHT____________ WEIGHT_____________ IQ__________ GPA_____________

      SOCIAL SECURITY #___________________ DRIVERS LICENSE #________________

      BOY SCOUT RANK AND BADGES______________________________________________

      HOME ADDRESS__________________________ CITY/STATE___________ ZIP_____

      Do you have parents? ___Yes ___No
      If No, explain:
      _______________________________________________________________________

      Number of years they have been married ________________________________

      If less than your age, explain ________________________________________

      _______________________________________________________________________

      Do you own a van? _______________

      A truck with oversized tires? _______________

      A waterbed?_______________

      A pickup with a mattress in the back?_______________

      Do you have an earring, nose ring, or a navel ring? _______________

      A tattoo?_______________

      (IF YES TO THE ABOVE, DISCONTINUE APPLICATION AND LEAVE PREMISES)

      In 50 words or less, what does LATE mean to you?______________________

      ______________________________________________________________________

      ______________________________________________________________________

      In 50 words or less, what does “DON’T TOUCH MY DAUGHTER” mean to you?

      ______________________________________________________________________

      ______________________________________________________________________

      In 50 words or less, what does ABSTINENCE mean to you?

      ______________________________________________________________________

      ______________________________________________________________________

      Church you attend ____________________________________________________

      How often you attend _________________________________________________

      When would be the best time to interview your:

      father? _____________

      mother? _____________

      pastor? _____________

      Answer by filling in the blank. Please answer freely, all answers are
      confidential.

      A: If I were shot, the last place I would want shot would be:

      _____________________________________________________________________

      B: If I were beaten, the last bone I would want broken is my:

      _____________________________________________________________________

      C: A woman’s place is in the:

      _____________________________________________________________________

      D: The one thing I hope this application does not ask me about is:

      _____________________________________________________________________

      What do you want to do IF you grow up? ______________________________

      _____________________________________________________________________

      _____________________________________________________________________

      What is the current going rate of a hotel room? _____________________

      I SWEAR THAT ALL INFORMATION SUPPLIED ABOVE IS TRUE AND CORRECT TO THE
      BEST OF MY KNOWLEDGE UNDER PENALTY OF DEATH, DISMEMBERMENT, NATIVE
      AMERICAN ANT TORTURE, CRUCIFIXION, ELECTROCUTION, CHINESE WATER
      TORTURE, RED HOT POKERS, AND HILLARY CLINTON KISS TORTURE.

      _____________________________________________
      Signature (that means sign your name, moron!)

      Thank you for your interest. Please allow four to six years for
      processing.

      You will be contacted in writing if you are approved. Please do not
      try to call or write (since you probably can’t, and it would cause you
      injury). If your application is rejected, you will be notified by two
      gentleman wearing white ties carrying violin cases (you might watch
      your back).

  31. today, we’ve decided we’re going to get rid of the Department of Education.

    I don’t know why this is such a ridiculous idea. It’s only been really in existence since 1979. We’ll tell you a little of the history of it coming up in a few minutes. It would save us $100 billion.

    Take a look at this graph: 81 percent — 81 percent — of the department’s spending goes back to the states. So, let me just get this right, only the federal government would do this: I take my local money and send it to Washington and then they send it back.

    That doesn’t make sense to me.

    Here to tell us how we can do this and what some of our alternatives are is the director of the tax policy studies at the Cato Institute, we have Chris Edwards, and, of course, he’s the author of “Downsizing for the Federal Government.”

    And Stephen Dubner, author of “SuperFreakonomics.”

    OK, Chris, let me start with you. This is such a sacred cow, and yet it’s a relatively new department.

    CHRIS EDWARDS, TAX POLICY STUDIES, CATO INSTITUTE: That’s right. Jimmy Carter created the Department of Education in 1979 under pressure from the National Education Association, and other teachers’ unions. Reagan came into office in 1980 promising to abolish it. He called it Jimmy Carter’s little boondoggle. Unfortunately, he was not able to abolish it.

    BECK: How did it gain so much power in just that short period of time?

    EDWARDS: Well, the funding started in 1965 when it was part of another department. And all — the states unionized their workforces in the 1960. So, the teachers unions got a lot of power starting in the 1960s.

    It’s a crazy system. We spend hundreds of billions of dollars on K-12 education now, the federal taxpayers have, over 40 years. And the test scores, as you showed, have been absolutely flat for 40 years.

    But then you see what Barack Obama did on like his first week in office, in Washington, D.C., — are you familiar with this, Chris?

    EDWARDS: He abolished or is phasing out vouchers which worked very successfully in the District of Columbia.

    BECK: In the worst parts of town.

    EDWARDS: Yes.

    BECK: It was shoot-out village.

    EDWARDS: Yes.

    BECK: It was a favor, again, to the unions.

    DUBNER: Vouchers in a lot of ways are wonderful, in a lot of situations and a lot of ways with schools in particular.

    What people in education are worried about is the people who use vouchers will skim the cream from the better school, from the worst schools to make the worst schools even worse. That’s an issue with it.

    EDWARDS: Ronald Reagan wanted to abolish the Department of Education. But somehow, today, when you talk about that, it’s seen as radical. And yet, Canada, an advanced, highly high-income country has never had federal department or ministry of education.

    They get higher test scores in international comparisons than we do here in the states. They’ve got more school choice, more vouchers, more charters schools, more innovation. They do not have any federal department of education.

    How is that possible? Because decentralized, innovative, local school boards do better than a federal department.

    http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,591123,00.html

    • Repeat this mantra – for it is a universal truth of effective politics

      Because decentralized, innovative, local (politics) do better than a federal (politics).

  32. Judy Sabatini says:

    Try this out, it actually worked for me. Told me what my age is and the number I picked.

    Subject: Fw: Chocolate Calculator-this is amazing!! it really is.
    YOUR AGE BY CHOCOLATE MATH

    Don’t tell me your age; you’d probably lie anyway-but the Hershey Man will
    know!

    YOUR AGE BY CHOCOLATE MATH

    This is pretty neat.
    DON’T CHEAT BY SCROLLING DOWN FIRST!
    It takes less than a minute …
    Work this out as you read …
    Be sure you don’t read the bottom until you’ve worked it out!
    This is not one of those waste of time things, it’s fun.

    1. First of all, pick the number of times a week that you would like to have
    chocolate (more than once but less than 10)

    2. Multiply this number by 2 (just to be bold)

    3. Add 5

    4. Multiply it by 50 — I’ll wait while you get the calculator

    5. If you have already had your birthday this year add 1760 ..
    If you haven’t, add 1759..

    6… Now subtract the four digit year that you were born.

    You should have a three digit number

    The first digit of this was your original number (i.e., how many times you
    want to have chocolate each week).

    The next two numbers are

    YOUR AGE! (Oh YES, it is!!!!!)

    THIS IS THE ONLY YEAR (2010) IT WILL EVER WORK, SO SPREAD IT AROUND WHILE IT
    LASTS.
    Chocolate Calculator.

  33. From 20 above

    Matthius said: I believe in an overriding right of society to supersede that right and prick you anyway.

    Would you feel the same way if society decided all Jews must be exterminated for the common good? According to your statement, the overriding right of society wins over the right of Jews to not be exterminated…..

    • USWeapon says:

      Cyndi,

      I agree in theory, but not in practice. In theory it appears to be similar, but n practice you are comparing the murder of people to the act of collecting a naturally regenerating product. Giving blood will not harm you in any way. I obviously oppose what Mathius was talking about, but I don’t think the comparison you made works.

      USW

      • Forcibly collecting blood is not the same as murder, but I do believe that the same arguement can used for both. Forcibly harvesting someone’s kidney or a piece of their liver probably won’t kill them either, but if someone really important like president NEEDED that kidney, well then, why not just take it? The country really needs that leader, and losing a kidney won’t kill you. I can see this happening since everyone’s DNA is destined for a government database.

        I think the greater good argument might also come in handy for the Eugenics crowd.

        I’m not liking all the potential uses of the greater good arguement. Maybe I’m just distrustful in nature.

  34. Hi Ya’ll 🙂

    Interesting concept that needs some thought.

    If a complete collapse of the economy occurs, and major civil unrest follows, think of this scenario.

    👿 The government calls for Marshal Law and suspends the Constitution. Our active duty miltary are told to quell the unrest and seize all weapons, use of deadly force is authorized in all cases.

    Does the miltary crush the citizens? Or do they make peace and disobey orders to take the weapons?

    G!

    • Military will crush the citizens. They will follow orders first, think last.

      Army groups are organized in a manner where they are bivouacked away from their home towns and home states.

      They are placed in an area of strangers – who will become hostile, and hostile to army presence.

      They will shoot down Americans without a blink.

      Two historical examples:
      Tienanmen square – the Chinese troops were from South-Central China – most didn’t even speak the local dialect – they had no problem running tanks over the people.

      Moscow putsch against Yeltsin – the Tank division – the famous 1st Armored – made up of local boys from Moscow. They were ordered to gun down the citizens and retake the government buildings. They, instead, parked their tanks in the middle of the square and partied with the people. The putsch failed.

      The US military running in-country operations learned these two lessons very well.

      • BF,

        I agree with your input, they will crush the innercity violence. But what happens after that? Eventually, someone will realize, that they are paid because of the citizens, not because of the Government. HMMM!

        • Once the pay stops, they will go ‘rogue’ – they will become like a hostile government – seizing the goods of the People directly with use or threat of arms.

          The only hope is that they first withdraw back to “home”. Then they may calm down.

          But frankly, its a toss-up. Regardless, Blood will flow.

      • Neither one of you have any concept of what will happen nor do you have the expertise nor are any of you qualified to so dictate. I suggest you leave it to the professionals.

        • D13,

          I disagree with your assessment.

          You, yourself, have admitted you’d follow orders, no matter what – even if they were war crimes.

          “Leaving it to the professionals” will slaughter tens of thousands of Americans.

          • Black Flag….you are fear mongering. Perhaps you need to put my statement into proper context. I will follow all “LAWFUL” orders given me by my superior officers. I have taken an oath to do just that. As a military officer, I am well trained on what is and what is not a lawful order and I am expected to respond accordingly. Never…and I repeat, never….have I said that I would follow orders in the commission of a “war crime”….and if you have interpreted such, then you have interpreted wrongly. And, you do not have a right to determine war crime by your own definition….let me change that to say, YOU have a RIGHT and PRIVILEGE to think anything you want…but your definitions of war crimes may be quite different….and if they do differ, by your interpretation, then you have NO RIGHT to accuse without proper foundation… especially if you have not seen nor participate in the current applications thereof and they have changed……….significantly.

            You are portraying that in a situation under martial law, assuming that martial law is enacted, that the military will just go around slaughtering innocent people. That is and will not be the case. To say so…..is fear mongering and a complete distortion of the truth. There are specific guidelines that leave very little interpretation in the event of martial law.

            You depict soldiers just marching around shooting people. This is hogwash. However, if martial law is enacted, and it cannot be done in the United States at the drop of a hat, there will be very restrictive rules and the rules of engagement are also very restrictive.

            For example,Curfews are usually enacted. If a curfew is enacted and you violate that….then you are guilty. You cannot sit back and say…”it is my right to be out”…and expect that to hold any legitimacy. IF marital law is enacted, and you violate the terms of martial law, then it is no different than violating civil law….except that the law enforcement is military….and under military law, there is no Miranda and Habeus Corpus is suspended….usually. Make no mistake, martial law is restrictive.

            Martial law is enforced, not by regular and normal military units, but by specially trained units just for this procedure. the ONLY time…the ONLY TIME… that regular military forces will ever confront the citizenry is in civil disobedience…which is strictly defined. IF the citizenry rioted or was causing damage and picked up any weapon whatsoever, it is possible that you will then confront regular troops with only one mission in mind… this is where the definition changes significantly. DO NOT pick up a rock, stick, bottle, toy gun, or anything that can be construed as a weapon. Under martial law, the military does not “have” to tell you to put it down. Any weapon in your hand will be considered a threat and dealt with harshly…and legally. If you confront the military with any weapon….expect immediate and deadly response.

            However…..you do bring up a subject that I think most people are not aware and are afraid. I will ask USW permission to write an article on Martial Law, its applications and designs, and its authorities and I can quote exact phrases from the rules of engagement and enforcement. I think the general public should know exactly what it is and how it is enacted and under whose authority. I think they should know what laws are suspended as well.

            Martial Law is a last result and, as an officer, I am not in favor of it. But if so enacted legally….then integrity and ethics dictate that I am morally and legally bound to do so….and will.

            • .you are fear mongering.

              No, I am not.

              200 million dead citizens by the hands of their own government in the 20th Century proves me right.

              Perhaps you need to put my statement into proper context. I will follow all “LAWFUL” orders given me by my superior officers. I have taken an oath to do just that.

              The flaw in such an idea is that you place the determination of such law in the hands of the evil that is willing to slaughter

              “Yeah, we’re the government – what we say is law – is law. Now, open fire.”

              As a military officer, I am well trained on what is and what is not a lawful order and I am expected to respond accordingly. Never…and I repeat, never….have I said that I would follow orders in the commission of a “war crime”

              Examples of Americans committing war crimes is all over the newspapers (not American newspapers, of course, but everywhere else in the world)

              And who says it has to be a ‘war crime’. Civil War is “legal” – slaughtering thousand to put down what the government declares is an ‘insurrection’ is legal.

              For example,Curfews are usually enacted. If a curfew is enacted and you violate that….then you are guilty. You cannot sit back and say…”it is my right to be out”…and expect that to hold any legitimacy.

              Exactly my point.

              You will enforce whatever demand of government on the people. You abdicated your human rights to a machine, and become one with it.

              Anybody disobeying evil government must be in the wrong, right?

            • USWeapon says:

              I would love an article on this topic D13!

              And for the record, I agree with D13. BF, you are talking about something that you don’t understand. I do not believe for a single second that the military would begin murdering civilians. You think them a mindless group when they are not.

              I won’t get into a debate about it here. I will save that for when D13 does his article.

              USW

              • USWep,

                Your proof, please.

                On my side, I have the 200 million dead by their own government, the Katrina episode, US Civil War, Kent State, etc. etc.

                There is NOTHING special about the organization of US government then any other government on Earth or in history.

                It is utter blindness to say “They “over there” are barbarians, but OUR government would never do this to us!!”

    • I will die free.

  35. Jennie,

    My question is, if you have two systems and in one there is a large gap between rich and poor, but the poor have their basic needs met and even enjoy some luxuries and in the other system there is a very small gap, but the poor only have their most basic needs met, which is the better system?

    The second would be best because you have a larger portion of society (the middle class) with disposable income to spend and consume the products that are produced by the economy. The wealthy already are consuming everything they need/want, so as they accumulate more wealth, they invest it in more production. Since the middle class has disposable income, they increase their spending and consume the products that are produced by the economy. This creates more jobs, more production, and the economy grows.

    In the first system, the poor are spending all of their income just to survive, so they can’t spend/consume more. The wealthy already are consuming everything they need/want, so as they accumulate more wealth, they invest it in more production. But if on one (or very few) have disposable income and a desire/ability to increase their spending/consumption, no one buys the additional products that are produced. Since no one is buying, production is cut, jobs are lost, and the economy declines.

    This is why a strong middle class is the key to a strong economy. During all periods of strong economic growth in the past century, we had a strong middle class and relatively smaller wealth/income gap between rich and poor. The 1950’s and 1990’s.

    When the wealth/income gap between rich and poor has increased, it’s lead to economic collapse. The 1920’s and 2000’s.

    This chart shows the history of the income gap and the relationship to the top marginal tax rates and economic growth. Enlarge it so you can read the text.

    The poor in this country are doing extremely well by world standards.

    Yes, but I don’t think that’s a good reason to keep them poor. A shrinking middle class and growing levels of poverty are bad for the economy and bad for everyone.

    I know because I’ve been in the I’m too poor to pay federal income tax class for most of the last twelve years.

    Can I ask why this is? No is an acceptable answer!

    Is it because you’re lazy and not willing to work hard? I’m assuming this is not the case!

    My point is that many times it’s beyond a person’s control because of limited opportunities or other factors.

    If the poor are obese it is not because they cannot afford healthy food it is because they can afford junk food and they make poor choices. Beans and rice are pretty darn cheap and they are very nutritious. Potatoes, carrots, broccoli, cabbage- all pretty darn cheap.

    Yes, people make bad choices. Better education and decreases in poverty do help with many of these problems.

    • CONSUME… This creates more jobs, more production, and the economy grows.

      How very Keynesian of you, Todd.

      The economy does NOT grow from consumption – it grows from an increase in production – either by new products introduced or an increase in the effectiveness and efficiencies (ie: lower cost of production).

      Look at your own life.

      Does your personal economic increases occur when you BUY more things or when you are more PRODUCTIVE?

      The wealthy already are consuming everything they need/want, so as they accumulate more wealth, they invest it in more production. But if on one (or very few) have disposable income and a desire/ability to increase their spending/consumption, no one buys the additional products that are produced. Since no one is buying, production is cut, jobs are lost, and the economy declines.

      You, like all Keynesians, require idiotic investors

      Why would the rich invest when there is no economic return?

      If the rich do invest it is for some economic return – that is, production of a new goods/services that are valued by the market.

      These value is either in a lower price or increase in benefit or both (usually both).

      Sustainable economic growth can only be obtained by increasing productivity – any way else is an illusion.

      Is it because you’re lazy and not willing to work hard?

      Working hard at low productivity gains little wealth.

      Digging a deep hole by shovel, then filling it in is hard work. Doing this work is not an act of laziness.

      It is worthless work, however.

      This is where your economic theory trips, Todd.

      • Economic growth requires both production and consumption. Increases in efficiency and productivity don’t help if no one has money to buy your products.

        If you don’t like my answer (and I knew you wouldn’t), why don’t you answer Jennie’s question?

        • Todd,

          Increase in efficiency and productivity ALWAYS improves the economic conditions.

          You pay $100 for Goods “A” – they increase efficiency and productivity.

          Either the cost GOES down (you now pay $90, saving $10) or the problem they solve is better (you don’t lose as much time/money) or BOTH.

          Increase in Productivity ALWAYS and is the only sustainable way to improve the economy

        • Todd,

          The answer to Jennie’s question is simple.

          Do not judge your economic gains by looking in someone else’s pocket.

          Does it really matter that I may have earned $300,000? Did that improve your income???

          Nope. Not even a little bit.

          Measure your economic gains/losses on yourself. If you are deficit, pick up the pace! Either work harder/better/faster/smarter. Increase YOUR OWN PRODUCTIVITY – and don’t worry about mine or anyone else’s.

          Do not worry about ‘designing society’ – solve your own problems by doing your work better (or work to get a better job). That act – individually – does more good for the economy, the nation and society than all the politicians put together.

        • Todd,

          You are Keynesian.

          I honestly appreciate that you post your thoughts and economic understanding – it is hard work to think, and articulate at times complex interactions and all the while knowing I’m lurking to slash at every word!

          But you do it anyway – and you do it well….for a Keynesian!

          Salut!

    • Since you asked, Our income has been small because my husband has been in college, medical school, and then residency since we’ve been married. I stay home with our children. In another year, we will be jumping into the I’m so rich I can’t possibly have earned this much so take all of my money tax bracket. It will have been a lot of work getting there. My point is that high earners have worked hard to get where they are. If you tax away their income, they will stop being so productive, and all of society will suffer. No one would put forth the kind of effort that my husband has without the incentive of a pretty fat reward.

      • Jennie,

        Since you asked, Our income has been small because my husband has been in college, medical school, and then residency since we’ve been married. I stay home with our children.

        I applaud you and your husband’s focus on family and career. It’s what makes America great.

        In another year, we will be jumping into the I’m so rich I can’t possibly have earned this much so take all of my money tax bracket.

        Congratulations! That’s a nice place to be!

        It will have been a lot of work getting there.

        Anything worth while is!

        My point is that high earners have worked hard to get where they are. If you tax away their income, they will stop being so productive, and all of society will suffer.

        I hear this claim quite a bit, but I’ve never seen an example of someone who said “I’m almost to my goal, but that top marginal tax rate is just so high, I think I’ll just forget about my dreams and goals and go on welfare.”

        To people that are driven to success, taxes are just part of the equation. Sure, minimize them as much as possible. Hire a good account to make sure you are paying the minimum. But stop being productive? Nope – just doesn’t happen…

        Many people I know talked about this during the 1990’s. I even felt this way! But for some reason we all kept on working and being productive – and for most of us, pretty darn successful.

        Quite honestly: Taxes? Who cares. I’ve got better (productive) things to focus my energies on…

        No one would put forth the kind of effort that my husband has without the incentive of a pretty fat reward.

        The reward is still pretty FAT. Just wait until you get there. And if people stopped putting forth the effort to get there, the reward will increase and more people will put forth the effort. Supply and demand.

        Let me tailor your previous example and my answer a little bit:

        you have a system with a large gap between rich and poor, but the poor have their basic needs met and even enjoy some luxuries

        So, we have a system with rich Doctors and many poor people. In this system, how many of the poor can afford to go to the doctor? How much will your husband earn if the majority of his patients (or potential patients) can’t afford too pay for his services?

        A strong middle class, with good jobs and good benefits, will benefit you and your husband more than most people…

        • I’m curious what solution you propose, if not some form of income redistribution. I think this topic would make a great guest commentary. I would love to see what everyone thinks about the income gap, what it means, what causes it, etc. You should write it! Being a stupid, lazy, low class person myself, I’m definitely not qualified.

          • Jennie,

            There is no such thing as an income gap.

            Each and every person has choices.

            No one has the exactly the same choices as anyone else.

            We all have skills and we all have liabilities – each their own.

            Our choices simply to do the best we can with what we have right now.

            Do not make your choices based on someone else’s wallet

          • Jennie,
            A solution is tough. I don’t have the time and I don’t have the knowledge for a comprehensive solution.

            Here is an article from 2003 about the tax-cut and supply-side theories, and what will happen in 10 years if nothing changes. It is pretty much describes our current situation. It’s 10 pages long, but it’s interesting.

            http://www.nytimes.com/2003/09/14/magazine/the-tax-cut-con.html?pagewanted=1

            I’ve posted 2 or 3 long comments about wealth, income, and taxes. I’ve gotten very little response. I don’t see any reason to expect a guest article would receive a different response, so I don’t think it’s worth my time.

            Being a stupid, lazy, low class person myself, I’m definitely not qualified.

            I hope you realize I was not suggesting this is the case.

            • I responded!

              Anyway, the root of the article repeats the same illusions that most people have regarding taxes – leave it to the NY Post to try to explain economics….

            • USWeapon says:

              Guest commentaries always get a good response Todd. And I would highly welcome some from folks on a different political vein than mine. If you don’t have time or simply don’t want to, that is OK, I have no issue with that at all. But don’t refuse simply because you think you won’t get a response. You will.

        • Todd,

          But that is Jennie’s problem or solution – that is, let the market work!

          If he isn’t getting enough customers, he will lower his price.

          If he is getting too many customers, he will raise his price.

          You are the worse possible person to determine this for him or his customers because, simply, you are not a party to either side of the scenario – you are not the supplier nor the customer.

    • Ok first of all, the the first scenario, Jennie stated that the poor were able to meet their needs plus a few luxuries, but you stated that they were spending all their money on survival. In the second scenario the poor were just barely making it. Neither scenario mentioned a middle class. So what the hell were you talking about?

      If the poor have all their needs met and then there is a big jump to middle class who have plenty of money to spend on stuff, and then there is an even bigger jump to the upper class who have more money than god. Even based on your keynesian theory of spending being required for a healthy economy (a truism, perhaps, but not true the way Keynes applied it), that scenario would beat the second scenario where the poor had their needs met and there was a small gap to the middle class who met their needs plus had a tiny bit to spend and then a small gap to the rich who would likely be no higher than the middle class of the first scenario.

      Secondly, wealth redistribution DESTROYS THE MIDDLE CLASS. The middle class ends up being hurt the most. The very wealthy can afford to avoid taxes or even to pay them. The middle class, who would normally compete against the very right for all the good investments and ownership of businesses, etc, do not have enough extra resources to invest because of taxes. They stagnate and eventually join the ranks of the poor. You have nothing un a wealth redistributed society but very rich and powerful, and poor. The only way to take the power of the rich is to introduce competition, the only way to do that is through a free market. Controls always hamper competition, as controls are not dynamic enough to adjust to changes and manipulations.

      • Jon,

        Ok first of all, the first scenario, Jennie stated that the poor were able to meet their needs plus a few luxuries, but you stated that they were spending all their money on survival.

        Sorry, on survival and a few luxuries. But the point is they don’t have any additional disposable income.

        In the second scenario the poor were just barely making it. Neither scenario mentioned a middle class. So what the hell were you talking about?

        In everything I’ve read, the “gap” is between the wealthy and the middle class. From the middle class to the poor, there is usually a pretty smooth distribution of people and incomes.

        A small gap implies a large middle class. That’s the assumption I was using.

        I’ve said many times I do not favor wealth redistribution thru tax policy. And the US does not do that. Welfare is 3% of the federal budget. Do you think that is making the poor rich?

        I favor economic growth where everyone benefits. Like the 1990’s.

        • *COUGH*

          Sorry, on survival and a few luxuries. But the point is they don’t have any additional disposable income.

          What the heck is “a few luxuries” other than disposable income!?!?!

          I favor economic growth where everyone benefits. Like the 1990’s.

          But “everyone” did not benefit.

          In fact, almost no one benefited.

          The “growth” in the 1990’s was fake.

          You are now paying for it, with interest, for that deception.

        • Todd,
          There is welfare, unemployment payments, social security, medicare, medicaid, housing assistance, and a variety of other social safety net and assistance programs that take funds from taxes paid by productive people and give it to those who are not. So called “mandatory spending” is still spending. Social Security is supposed to be a trust fund, but no such fund exists. Budget overruns are all over the place, meaning that, at some point, some of those funds are taken from some and given to others. It is not directly related to what you paid in before you went on the program.

          Furthermore, the fact that all the other services are provided for free to certain people who are poor enough, and charged to those who make more is still wealth redistribution through taxation. The US DOES do that.

          As for the examples, they were hypotheticals, not subject to the injection of information about whatever you have read about the income gaps in the real world.

          On the 90’s more people than average benefitted in the short term because mroe people were invested in the market, and many people who owned property benefitted form the houseing boom. When that bubble burst, all those same people were hurt badly. I don’t see that as a benefit, it just meant that more people surfed the wave and then crashed on the rocks. The current economic problems are part of tha whole 90’s thing. The economy operates in cycles. Its like saying that you like the weather under the summer president better than the winter one.

          Also, how do you address the fact that taxation weighs heaviest on the middle class? That is the real reason for the increasing gap.

          • Jon,

            On the 90’s more people than average benefitted in the short term because mroe people were invested in the market, and many people who owned property benefitted form the houseing boom. When that bubble burst, all those same people were hurt badly.

            There wasn’t a housing boom in the 1990’s. The 2001 recession was driven mostly by dot-com, Y2K, and then 9/11.
            http://recession.org/history/early-2000s-recession

            The current economic problems are part of tha whole 90’s thing. The economy operates in cycles.

            Yes, the economy operates in cycles, but I think it’s a stretch to say the current problems were caused by the 1990’s.

            Its like saying that you like the weather under the summer president better than the winter one.

            No way – I always prefer the WINTER President! 😉

            Also, how do you address the fact that taxation weighs heaviest on the middle class? That is the real reason for the increasing gap.

            I couldn’t agree more! That’s why I advocate for increasing the taxes on the wealthy.

            • Todd

              Can you explain in your economic theory why there are “bubbles” and “pops” – like the Dot-com, housing, etc.?

              • Hmmm, the Pirate poses an interesting question. Do I assume it is an honest question to start a discussion, or is it one of his traps?

                Since his traps are harmless, I’ll assume its an honest question. We’ll see if he proves me wrong…

                Bubbles occur because the system is made up of humans.

                Everyone likes an expanding economy, and no one wants to be the one that brings it down. As an expansion continues and signs of a bubble are seen, those “incharge” may try to slow things down to avoid the bubble bursting. If they act too early or too harshly, they will be accused of causing the burst. If they act too late or too passively, the bubble will burst on its own.

                In the 1990, there was talk about having the system “under control” and avoiding future “boom and bust” cycles. Obviously, they don’t have it “under control” just yet.

              • Todd,

                No trap. Just trying to penetrate your economic reasoning.

                My economics theory explains bubbles and booms.

                I’m wondering if yours does so equally as satisfactorily.

                So, I’ll dialogue a bit and ask some more questions, if you don’t mind.

                Bubbles occur because the system is made up of humans.

                All economics is “human action”.

                But the question was asked by Mises:

                Why do all the economic actors make the same mistake at the same time?

                Booms and Busts are systemic through the economy.

                All the actors appear to have made the same mistake at the same time.

                If it was individual error only small segments – at most – in an economy would boom or bust.

                But it is the WHOLE economy – across all sectors.

                Thus, he theorized the error was not individual, but systemic – at the pricing calculation of money.

                Everyone likes an expanding economy, and no one wants to be the one that brings it down.

                But how does the whole economy expand at once?

                Do you really believe that all sectors, from manufacturing, service, industry, resources etc. simply from individual action?

                As an expansion continues and signs of a bubble are seen,

                What are these “signs”?

                those “incharge” may try to slow things down to avoid the bubble bursting.

                Who is “in charge”?

                How do they “slow things down”?

                If they act too early or too harshly, they will be accused of causing the burst. If they act too late or too passively, the bubble will burst on its own.

                What are the tool(s) they use to know if they are too little, too late, too much or too soon?

                In the 1990, there was talk about having the system “under control” and avoiding future “boom and bust” cycles.

                Who is “they”?

                In the 10,000 years past, many have said they understand the system to manipulate it.

                No one has figured that out yet.

                I would suggest that it is an infinitely complex problem that cannot be centrally managed.

              • I replied on tonight’s Open Mic.

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