Dog Brothers Public Forum


Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
March 01, 2017, 12:33:40 PM

Login with username, password and session length
Search:     Advanced search
Welcome to the Dog Brothers Public Forum.
100628 Posts in 2362 Topics by 1085 Members
Latest Member: Why We Fight
* Home Help Search Login Register
  Show Posts
Pages: 1 ... 112 113 [114] 115 116 ... 171
5651  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Gender, Gay, Lesbian on: February 13, 2012, 01:30:43 PM
From Santorum thread, I'm not sure why that got copied to race thread?

Crafty wrote: "Of course state consitutions cannot go against the rights guaranteed by the US Constitution, so the real question is the meaning of the equal protection clause.  I think it safe to say that gay marriage was not on the mind of those who passed the equal protection clause; of course it need not to have been for the clause to be applicable-- but Santorum I think is on the right track here: Judicial Imperialism and arrogance.

Surely a certain degree of humility is called for when the people of a state amend their consitution-- especially when this step is to reverse a judicial creation of a right!  My point of view is that gay marriage is not required by the equal protection clause.  A man can marry a woman, and vice versa.

I think the real solution here is for people to be free to be gay and other people to be free to be grossed out by it, with or without God's blessing.

Yes, I am saying that people should be allowed to discriminate.

Anyone wanting to discuss this further, please take it to a relevant thread (e.g. Gender; Gay and Straight)"

My evolving view.  People with an agenda I think exaggerate the numbers, but if you are gay, you are gay.  If you are American, you have a right to pursue happiness.

It is bad business to discriminate against major groups unless there is good reason.  What the laws should be, I don't know exactly.

Marriage is a unique relationship where a man and a woman become husband and wife and make certain lifelong promises to each other.  Heteros screw it up badly enough, breaking promises etc but that is not reason to abandon it or change its meaning.  Marriage is the foundation of family, a man and a woman under one roof is the formula also for continuation of the species.  My grandfather got re-married at 80 so I understand it is not only about procreation, but in their case they did both keep their first marriage promises of until death do we part and chose that if they were to live together the rest of their lives it would be in marriage.

If marriage is a cross gender union, husband and wife, particularly aimed at family structure for child rearing, gays are entitled to their own form of commitments and choices.  I have no idea what those should be just that that other forms of commitment are different, not the same.  What role the government needs to play, I don't know.  They deserve all rights I presume they already have have of being able to will to each other, designate each other for power of attorney on crucial matters etc. just the same as single people deserve rights, but not the right of a spouse of the opposite sex unless he or she consents.

The key difference in marriage is that the agenda seems to be aimed at saying a mother and a mother, or a father and a father, is the same as a mother and a father.  It isn't and flaws in hetero-marriages don'[t change that. 

In housing, a landlord would be crazy to discriminate against great tenants, or a seller to discriminate against a class of buyers. 

In business, same.  You are crazy to eliminate people from employment for something private that has nothing to do with work performance.  OTOH, it should be perfectly legal to discriminate in a private business against people who outwardly make other people, co-workers or customers, uncomfortable, no matter the reason.  Right?  'Don't ask, don't tell' was strangely a perfect solution.  You keep your private life out of the workplace and only then is it none of our business.

Discriminate, not the legal word but to make choices, is what we do all the time.  JDN (who asked the question) discriminates against other states and climates to live in California.  Discriminates against other neighborhoods to choose yours.  Discriminates against other restaurants to choose the one you will take your wife to tomorrow, discriminate against other golf courses for the one you choose, against all other barbers except the one you trust and feel most comfortable with, etc.etc.  What are your reasons?  I don't know.  Those are YOUR reasons.
"My point of view is that gay marriage is not required by the equal protection clause.  A man can marry a woman, and vice versa."

For a gay or a single person, the law regarding marriage is the same for straight people or couples in similar circumstances.  If you fall in love with a person of the opposite gender, no matter who you are, you have the same rights as a heterosexual individual or couple under the law.  If that is unconstitutional then so is our entire, complex,  progressive tax system that treats people differently that are in different circumstances.
5652  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Electoral process, vote fraud: Easy registration. Project Veritas on: February 12, 2012, 01:26:41 PM
Vikings fans are excited to see Tom Brady and Tim Tebow getting registered to vote in MN.

Support ID check.
5653  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2012 Presidential on: February 11, 2012, 05:50:05 PM
Post updated, sorry.
There are other URLs in my computer that could have been worse...
5654  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Housing/Mortgage/Real Estate on: February 11, 2012, 01:50:50 PM
"Government Bailout Actually Hurt Housing Recovery"

Yes.  The real force of the crash came from the size of the bubble.  every poicy I can think of was designed to slow or prevent the correction.  All the underlying causes are still largely in place.

Housing comes back when employment and income comes back.  Of course a big part of the employment problem is zero construction.  If you artificially stimulate that, you re-inflate the bubble.

We learned from that problems of letting the mortgage industry become 90% federal government.  Now it will be 100%.  The Fed is holding interest at roughly zero.  Savings interest is 0.  Energy costs nearly double.  Property taxes up.  5.5 million people left the work force.  Young adults and old adults moving back ini with family.  Fine, but no help for the demand for housing.  Or the affordability.
5655  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Islam in America on: February 11, 2012, 01:38:38 PM
It would take a dislocated Uzbek to not know that turning control of the United States of America over to Joe Biden is a really bad idea friend and foe alike.
5656  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / 2012 Presidential: Gov Romney Addresses CPAC, Also Sen. Marco Rubio on: February 11, 2012, 01:34:12 PM
There are parts of this speech that show me that he gets it, looks like a President and sounds Reagan-like themes.  I like the part where he seems to know where the greatness in this country came from and where it will need to come from again.  There are also times I think where conservatives sense inauthenticity.  All he can do now about that is move forward everyday with clarity and consistency.  These positions are now on tape.  He doesn't need to shift away from conservatism or move to the center, he needs to sell conservatism, make the hard choices of governing within old fashioned constitutional limits.

One point about his background as largely an outsider, just a one term governor, is that he does lack some experience in the  political game, for better and worse. He makes political mis-steps, but so does the President.  Also note that his Republican competitors lack executive experience.  He makes a good point about how as chief executive in success you share and spread out the credit, and in failure you take responsibility.  Obama had no executive experience and sees it differently; governing is a game of always trying to gain personal political advantage.  The speech:

Also his running mate Sen. Marco Rubio at CPAC:

He starts a little off the cuff and speaks without a teleprompter, but when he gets going he is clear and passionate. WATCH IT ALL!  He said he did not want to be Pres or Vice Pres, not ready yet.  By summer he will get it that he cannot save the country in time as 1 of a hundred in the senate waiting until his seniority builds up.  If asked, I think he will serve.  He is not afraid of debating taking on the President and he is not not likely afraid of debating Joe Biden over the direction of the country, lol.  This painful process could actually have a happy ending if these two people could step forward and simply do what they are saying.
5657  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Uninsurenment Camps on: February 10, 2012, 11:49:53 AM
Thank you GM, great post IMO, WOW!.  One of my both favorite and least favorite aspects of participating in the forum is being proven wrong. I hate being wrong but knowing it sooner rather than later helps keep my foot out of my mouth as much as possible as I go about my day.  I have many times said and many times written that there is absolutely no precedent for anything like the individual mandate.  Dead F-ing wrong.  What could be more similar to the individual mandate than having you and your family rounded by your 'liberal' government for internment and more constitutional than having that particular law 'reviewed' by a Court packed by that same President.  This is barely an inconvenience compared to that - hardly breaking new ground.

"So why don’t they cite [this law and this decision]?"  Great question!!

Just like slaughtering your young, it is all "settled law".  If we are going to 'successfully' wage a war against self insurance and market based economics, then it follows that it is 'constitutional' to use every government power necessary win that war!  Instead of fining those who won't insure, maybe we ought to round them up for internment until the war is won.

i was also wrong about the right to an abortion being the only 'constitutional right' that we would want to be rare.  Hardly anyone favors internment anymore for people who have done nothing wrong.  
5658  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Housing/Mortgage/Real Estate on: February 09, 2012, 12:56:04 PM
One of my media issues but I saw a headline in our local paper about "Foreclosure Victims".

Who is the victim in a foreclusure.  One party lends the money with the right to take back the house if timely payments are not made.

One party agrees to make timely payments or give back the house and gets full possession of the house for that period of time until paid in full or defaulted.

In either outcome, I fail to see a victim.  They were maybe a victim of job or income loss perhaps, but a victim of foreclosure? How?

If you can't take the house back - in a timely and cost effective manner, who would ever lend?  How many homeowners would we have then?

I will be attending the award ceremony for JDN on this issue!
5659  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Santorum on: February 09, 2012, 12:49:08 PM
Like GM, I will predict a short-lived thread.  Support steel tariffs, oppose NAFTA etc, pander to the local constituency to get elected like everyone else does... okay.  Then tell us he is different and he lost because he held a strict line on principle?  Not so much.  He took his own turns sitting on the couch with Nancy.  So the purity test failed with all of the candidates.  Now the question will be how to win and get the best policies going forward that we can.

I wrote elsewhere, but Santorum's wins in Colo, MN and MO (plus Iowa) should provide a teachable moment to the frontrunner to go through his own policies and his arguments and get some focus, clarity and backbone before it is too late.
Must say that Santorum's wins this week came as quite a surprise to me.  He is the only candidate that did not reach me through mailers or media and he won the caucus votes from the activists who turned out by almost 3-fold over Romney.
5660  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Tax Policy on: February 09, 2012, 12:34:45 PM
Doug, I was using Mitts (Gov. Romney?) as an example.  Over and over did you notice I acknowledged that in my opinion he did absolutely NOTHING wrong.

Looking for wrongdoing was the lure used to get his private information into the public domain.  Now that everyone has his private information they (you) move to what else can we do with it, even pose hypotheticals that are absurd about what he has not done.  Doesn't fly with me. 

Again, what rate would you quadruple tax illusory incomes at?  Again, the inflation component of a gain is not a again, yet it is quadruple taxed.  Your story did not answer that.  If you can answer with a tax code less than twice the length of the Bible, then we may have an improvement over the current code.

This Crafty quote deserves repeating:

The wage earner does not risk losing money he has already received.  The wage earner does not have to put up his previous earnings in order to get the job.

I would add that the investor has already paid his FICA contribution when the money was earned.  Does anyone even know what the FICA 'tax' stands for anymore?  What are the second and third words??

Federal Insurance Contributions Act - It is an insurance contribution.  Like a pension, would you want Gov. Romney to be taxed all the way up on his income and then federally insured up to all or most of his highest annual income for his old age retirement.  I think not and same with the people who designed the system.

Social Security and FICA have already been partially repealed with the Obama political keynesian move to put a coffin nail through its biggest strength - that is was allegedly fully funded.

If you want to lower the tax on labor, do so!  If you want to further penalize and disincentivize the formation of capital in this country, do that too, but don't expect that the further lowering of investment with even fewer factories and employers hiring will help employment, national income or revenues to the Treasury, because it won't.  It's not rocket science.

Efficient investment is necessary for robust employment.  Hindering it kills off jobs and keeps capital from flowing to its most valuable use.  Does anyone ever look at actual results?  Or just focus group polling to set tax policy.
5661  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: Law Enforcement issues and LE in action on: February 09, 2012, 12:00:12 PM
"Or D*** advertised saying he will only accepted rental applications from females between the ages of 21 and 37?"

I think we should not go hypothetical on actual, traceable posters committing federal crimes they did not commit.  Thank you.  I've been wrongfully investigated and rightfully exonerated before.  The main difference between that experience and being accused of being a Jew in Nazi Germany was that at the end of my long, intrusive, humiliating ordeal, they let me live.
5662  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Tax Policy on: February 09, 2012, 10:34:55 AM
JDN,  You wrote personal and hypothetical about the advantages Gov. Romney had.  Deducting interest which is ludicrous, he doesn't need to borrow to buy a home.  They goaded him into releasing tax returns to look for wrongdoing, found none and then exploited his perdsonal information for political cheapshotting. Romney's homes didn't cause tax burdens to go up on someone else.  Michelle's lifestyle does.  FDR ( a Dem) was winniong WWII with less staff than the first lady.  If the idea is to stay on topic, please post what YOU think the rate for quadrupletaxation rates should be on illusory, inflationary gains.

Comparing with the average Joe (schmuck?)?  The American at the 50th percentile pays roughly NOTHING in federal income tax.  If you are counting FICA and oppose it, then good, let's all work to repeal it.

The poor do not work harder than the rich and I watch that pretty closely.  But if they did or didn't would that affect what tax rates should be?  Should we factor that in as a difficulty factor like they do for gymnastics or figure skating, or ... a wild idea, tax all income of all taxpayers from all legal sources at the same rate, without judgment from the government.

The nice thing about the Mitt and Buff personal stories is that if the rich are not in fact paying a higher rate, why are we so obsessed with continuing that failed policy?
5663  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2012 Presidential on: February 08, 2012, 09:10:46 AM
Santorum swept MN Colo and Missouri caucuses last night.  Big setback for Ron Paul IMO who thought that was his ticket to be a factor in the race and the convention.  Big setback for Newt too who on paper should have been able to sweep these grass roots events.  It is a small setback for Romney who could and should use this as a teachable moment.  The people he needs first are still not sold.  If he enters the general election like McCain did still needing to reach to the right instead of focusing on winning the center of the nation, he will lose.

Very quick update from the caucus I convened last night in MN.  Our group followed closer to the discussions here I thought.  One guy my age spoke passionately for Ron Paul, very strong on anti-tax and anti-big spending.  He conceded that he didn't agree with Paul's foreign policy and that he was unelectable.  He said he would vote Libertarian rather than for one of the others in the election.Two first time voters to be also came out to support Ron Paul.  I tried to talk afterward with one of them to find out how Paul is reaching these people.  One lady spoke passionately for Newt, but conceded the same problems with him that we have seen that accompany his brilliance and his unique accomplishments.  Santorum only had one vote, considered unelectable, uncharismatic but probably the most conservative of the bunch.  Romney won our vote based on a perception he can win; beating the incumbent and changing course was the top concern.  Guest speakers from State officials.  R's won the state house and senate but lost the governorship in 2010.  A very fluid situation here with the thin majority in the Republican state senate particularly vulnerable, but a better situation than usual for one of the nation's bluest states - the only state Reagan never won.  I was reelected co-chairman with all but one vote - mine.  I liked the other candidates better for doing the work of the next 2 years.

I tried to tell the young people supporting Ron Paul that there are differences and their final vote will matter.  Supreme Court picks is the most obvious one, just look at the latest two appointees.  What I didn't get said:  The Supreme Court is kind of a buzz word for social conservatives (and liberals) because abortion etc. but the Court is also where the power for the big government they so strongly oppose got authorized or validated.  Look at the case for and against Obamacare right now for example.  The decision of whether that is a federal power will come down to who is on the Court more than the merits of the arguments (IMO).  There is no clause that says congress shall set healthcare rules and standards.  Standing on principle to not let a Republican lesser of two evils win and getting 4 more years of Obama will move you backwards for generations, maybe forever, from ever limiting the size and scope of government.
5664  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Six Years Since 2006: 5.5 million fewer Americans have jobs = more Dem voters? on: February 07, 2012, 01:15:57 PM
Copying this important line from a WSJ piece(and the Dept. of Labor) I put earlier in Glibness and Fairness to stand by itself in the election thread:

5.5 million fewer Americans have jobs today than in 2007

That would be very troubling if we had a declining population, BUT WE DON'T, so it much, much worse.

Why?  What happened / what changed in Jan 2007?

In 2007 Sen. Obama along with Sen. Biden along with Sen. Hillary Clinton, and Senators Reid, Durbin, Dodd, Boxer, Schumer and Bernie Sanders, all moved to majority power in congress along with Speaker Pelosi and 232 other House  Democrats, they took control of both chambers at once making the scapegoat Pres. Bush truly a domestic lame duck 2 years early and then they took the White House too.  New Mpls Rep. Ellison put his hand on the Holy Qur'an in Jan 2007 and together with his co-conspirators they  promised the transformational destruction of American wealth and they got it.  What they didn't seem to know is that employment involves employers, investors and a healthy, globally competitive business climate.

What is ironic is that there is actually more government money available to redistribute under pro-growth policies than there is under redistribution focused policies.

If Republicans cannot make that most obvious and provable case persuasively now, then we all deserve what we get.  Per GM, buy your ammo and canned food now and beat the hoarders.
5665  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: US Economics, the stock market , and other investment/savings strategies on: February 07, 2012, 12:33:55 PM
" place of "overcorrecting" I would suggest the Rep recapture of the House, thus enabling blockage of the worst of Baraq has much to do with it."

True.  They can block more from coming but they have the power at this point to repeal almost nothing so it is a mixed bag. 

Fluctuations aside, the markets are at the value of what a slow growth economy deserves.  Missing in the index of existing, named, successful companies is the lack of new startups and domestic expansions that should have been taking place the last several years.  Lack of new competition and creative destruction may be good for entrenched players but bad for the economic outlook overall.

Even the massively increasing regulations can be good for the profit outlook of the entrenched players (GE, Goldman Sachs etc.) but thwarting of new competition and innovation and bad for US employment and our economic outlook overall.  That may explain why 'the markets' do fine under Democrat and RINO rule.
5666  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Privacy, Big Brother (State and Corporate) & the 4th Amendment on: February 07, 2012, 12:19:32 PM
Crafty regarding 'Hide from Google' article: "Thank you for that GM."

Ditto!  I have enjoyed the 'free' products from Google especially  web search and searchable email.  I try not to support the company because of differing politics but hey, free is free, and getting information and saving information is valuable to me.

Of course free is not free.  These large players like to get their subscriber base and traffic way up before filling it with ads or starting the fees.  A great and scary line from the article:

"If you're not paying for something, you're not the customer; you're the product being sold."

Unless you want a record of your life kept for sale at private companies, we should all be taking the steps suggested in the article at the very minimum and that will only limit their knowledge of you.

I have warned people about obvious privacy losses on Facebook and the less obvious ones like facial recognition searching.  It affects even people not on the network.  Google holds nearly all of my correspondence back to the first days of gmail.  If the State Dept can be hacked and Stratfor and everyone else, why not these sites.  They don't even need to be hacked; they already admit reading your mail, tracking where you go and selling you off as a product.
5667  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / We the Well-armed People (Gun rights): Wisconsin Open Carry Right on: February 07, 2012, 10:51:56 AM
West Allis (City in Wisc.) pays $30,000 to man arrested for wearing gun

(He was planting a tree in his back yard! In America! "...the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed."??)

The city of West Allis has agreed to pay $30,000 to settle a federal civil rights lawsuit prompted by one of the first tests of Wisconsin residents' right to openly carry guns.

Brad Krause was planting a tree in his backyard in August 2008 -- while wearing a holstered handgun -- when police arrived, drew their weapons and arrested him.

In February 2009, a municipal judge found Krause not guilty of disorderly conduct, and in April of that year state Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen issued a memo advising law enforcement agencies that the mere fact of wearing a gun, by itself, would not support a charge of disorderly conduct.

Krause sued the city in federal court in 2010.

"This is a clear victory for Mr. Krause and Wisconsin residents who wish to assert their rights under the state and federal Constitution to bear arms lawfully," said his attorney, John Schiro.
5668  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The congnitive dissonance of the left on: February 07, 2012, 10:17:52 AM
JDN answered the Obama question, are you better off than you would have been.  The emergency funding to avoid panic and collapse however was in the transition period with Bush, McCain, Obama, Geithner and Bernancke all in agreement. Hardly the policy direction difference that will determine the next election.
5669  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Nobel Lauriate Krugman sharply rebukes JDN: Things are NOT Okay! on: February 07, 2012, 10:08:37 AM
My first time putting Krugman in Political Economics instead of Cognitive Dissonance because he doesn't in this column get to the part of what he would do about it.  (More of the same - much more.)

Op-Ed Columnist
Things Are Not O.K.
Published: February 5, 2012

In a better world — specifically, a world with a better policy elite — a good jobs report would be cause for unalloyed celebration. In the world we actually inhabit, however, every silver lining comes with a cloud. Friday’s report was, in fact, much better than expected, and has made many people, myself included, more optimistic. But there’s a real danger that this optimism will be self-defeating, because it will encourage and empower the purge-and-liquidate crowd.

So, about that jobs report: it was genuinely good, certainly compared with the dreariness that has become the norm. Notably, for once falling unemployment was the real thing, reflecting growing availability of jobs rather than workers dropping out of the labor force, and hence out of the unemployment measure.

Furthermore, it’s not hard to see how this recovery could become self-sustaining. In particular, at this point America is seriously under-housed by historical standards, because we’ve built very few houses in the six years since the housing bubble popped. The main thing standing in the way of a housing bounce-back is a sharp fall in household formation — econospeak for lots of young adults living with their parents because they can’t afford to move out. Let enough Americans find jobs and get homes of their own, and housing, which got us into this slump, could start to power us out.

That said, our economy remains deeply depressed. As the Economic Policy Institute points out, we started 2012 with fewer workers employed than in January 2001 — zero growth after 11 years, even as the population, and therefore the number of jobs we needed, grew steadily. The institute estimates that even at January’s pace of job creation it would take us until 2019 to return to full employment.

And we should never forget that the persistence of high unemployment inflicts enormous, continuing damage on our economy and our society, even if the unemployment rate is gradually declining. Bear in mind, in particular, the fact that long-term unemployment — the percentage of workers who have been out of work for six months or more — remains at levels not seen since the Great Depression. And each month that this goes on means more Americans permanently alienated from the work force, more families exhausting their savings, and, not least, more of our fellow citizens losing hope.

So this encouraging employment report shouldn’t lead to any slackening in efforts to promote recovery. Full employment is still a distant dream — and that’s unacceptable. Policy makers should be doing everything they can to get us back to full employment as soon as possible.

Unfortunately, that’s not the way many people with influence on policy see it.

Very early in this slump — basically, as soon as the threat of complete financial collapse began to recede — a significant number of people within the policy community began demanding an early end to efforts to support the economy. Some of their demands focused on the fiscal side, with calls for immediate austerity despite low borrowing costs and high unemployment. But there have also been repeated demands that the Fed and its counterparts abroad tighten money and raise interest rates.

What’s the reasoning behind those demands? Well, it keeps changing. Sometimes it’s about the alleged risk of inflation: every uptick in consumer prices has been met with calls for tighter money now now now. And the inflation hawks at the Fed and elsewhere seem undeterred either by the way the predicted explosion of inflation keeps not happening, or by the disastrous results last April when the European Central Bank actually did raise rates, helping to set off the current European crisis.

But there’s also a sort of freestanding opposition to low interest rates, a sense that there’s something wrong with cheap money and easy credit even in a desperately weak economy. I think of this as the urge to purge, after Andrew Mellon, Herbert Hoover’s Treasury secretary, who urged him to let liquidation run its course, to “purge the rottenness” that he believed afflicted America.

And every time we get a bit of good news, the purge-and-liquidate types pop up, saying that it’s time to stop focusing on job creation.

Sure enough, no sooner were the new numbers out than James Bullard, the president of the St. Louis Fed, declared that the new numbers make further Fed action to promote growth unnecessary. And the sad truth is that the good jobs numbers have definitely made it less likely that the Fed will take the expansionary action it should.

So here’s what needs to be said about the latest numbers: yes, we’re doing a bit better, but no, things are not O.K. — not remotely O.K. This is still a terrible economy, and policy makers should be doing much more than they are to make it better.
5670  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Fairness Quiz for the President and his Policies on: February 07, 2012, 10:01:35 AM

A Fairness Quiz for the President
Is it fair that some of Mr. Obama's largest campaign contributors received federal loan guarantees?


President Obama has frequently justified his policies—and judged their outcomes—in terms of equity, justice and fairness. That raises an obvious question: How does our existing system—and his own policy record—stack up according to those criteria?

Is it fair that the richest 1% of Americans pay nearly 40% of all federal income taxes, and the richest 10% pay two-thirds of the tax?

Is it fair that the richest 10% of Americans shoulder a higher share of their country's income-tax burden than do the richest 10% in every other industrialized nation, including socialist Sweden?

Is it fair that American corporations pay the highest statutory corporate tax rate of all other industrialized nations but Japan, which cuts its rate on April 1?

Is it fair that President Obama sends his two daughters to elite private schools that are safer, better-run, and produce higher test scores than public schools in Washington, D.C.—but millions of other families across America are denied that free choice and forced to send their kids to rotten schools?

Is it fair that Americans who build a family business, hire workers, reinvest and save their money—paying a lifetime of federal, state and local taxes often climbing into the millions of dollars—must then pay an additional estate tax of 35% (and as much as 55% when the law changes next year) when they die, rather than passing that money onto their loved ones?

Is it fair that Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner, former Democratic Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle, former Ways and Means Chairman Charlie Rangel and other leading Democrats who preach tax fairness underpaid their own taxes?

Is it fair that after the first three years of Obamanomics, the poor are poorer, the poverty rate is rising, the middle class is losing income, and some 5.5 million fewer Americans have jobs today than in 2007?

Is it fair that roughly 88% of political contributions from supposedly impartial network television reporters, producers and other employees in 2008 went to Democrats?

Is it fair that the three counties with America's highest median family income just happen to be located in the Washington, D.C., metro area?

Is it fair that wind, solar and ethanol producers get billions of dollars of subsidies each year and pay virtually no taxes, while the oil and gas industry—which provides at least 10 times as much energy—pays tens of billions of dollars of taxes while the president complains that it is "subsidized"?

Is it fair that those who work full-time jobs (and sometimes more) to make ends meet have to pay taxes to support up to 99 weeks of unemployment benefits for those who don't work?

Is it fair that those who took out responsible mortgages and pay them each month have to see their tax dollars used to subsidize those who acted recklessly, greedily and sometimes deceitfully in taking out mortgages they now can't afford to repay?

Is it fair that thousands of workers won't have jobs because the president sided with environmentalists and blocked the shovel-ready Keystone XL oil pipeline?

Is it fair that some of Mr. Obama's largest campaign contributors received federal loan guarantees on their investments in renewable energy projects that went bust?

Is it fair that federal employees receive benefits that are nearly 50% higher than those of private-sector workers whose taxes pay their salaries, according to the Congressional Budget Office?

Is it fair that soon almost half the federal budget will take income from young working people and redistribute it to old non-working people, even though those over age 65 are already among the wealthiest Americans?

Is it fair that in 27 states workers can be compelled to join a union in order to keep their jobs?

Is it fair that nearly four out of 10 American households now pay no federal income tax at all—a number that has risen every year under Mr. Obama?

Is it fair that Boeing, a private company, was threatened by a federal agency when it sought to add jobs in a right-to-work state rather than in a forced-union state?

Is it fair that our kids and grandkids and great-grandkids—who never voted for Mr. Obama—will have to pay off the $5 trillion of debt accumulated over the past four years, without any benefits to them?
5671  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Political Economics: Thomas Sowell on Minimum Wage Law on: February 07, 2012, 09:55:23 AM
This could go also in Presidential 2012 because Thomas Sowell launches into this as a rip on candidate Romney for an escalating minimum wage statement he made.  Republicans gave up this fight because fighting against minimum wage laws doesn't poll well.  Butur economy and our society suffers and indeing it to inflation makes the damage permanent.  The question should not be how much to pay someone before they develop any skills or positive work habits.  The question should be: who should decide?  The answer is employees and employers negotiating in a free markets, not government, state or federal.

February 7, 2012
A Defining Moment
By Thomas Sowell

Governor Mitt Romney's statement about not worrying about the poor has been treated as a gaffe in much of the media, and those in the Republican establishment who have been rushing toward endorsing his coronation as the GOP's nominee for president -- with 90 percent of the delegates still not yet chosen -- have been trying to sweep his statement under the rug.

But Romney's statement about not worrying about the poor -- because they "have a very ample safety net" -- was followed by a statement that was not just a slip of the tongue, and should be a defining moment in telling us about this man's qualifications as a conservative and, more important, as a potential President of the United States.

Mitt Romney has come out in support of indexing the minimum wage law, to have it rise automatically to keep pace with inflation. To many people, that would seem like a small thing that can be left for economists or statisticians to deal with.

But to people who call themselves conservatives, and aspire to public office, there is no excuse for not being aware of what a major social disaster the minimum wage law has been for the young, the poor and especially for young and poor blacks.

It is not written in the stars that young black males must have astronomical rates of unemployment. It is written implicitly in the minimum wage laws.

We have gotten so used to seeing unemployment rates of 30 or 40 percent for black teenage males that it might come as a shock to many people to learn that the unemployment rate for sixteen- and seventeen-year-old black males was just under 10 percent back in 1948. Moreover, it was slightly lower than the unemployment rate for white males of the same age.

How could this be?

The economic reason is quite plain. The inflation of the 1940s had pushed money wages for even unskilled, entry-level labor above the level specified in the minimum wage law passed ten years earlier. In other words, there was in practical effect no national minimum wage law in the late 1940s.

My first full-time job, as a black teenage high-school dropout in 1946, was as a lowly messenger delivering telegrams. But my starting pay was more than 50 percent above the level specified in the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938.

Liberals were of course appalled that the federal minimum wage law had lagged so far behind inflation -- and, in 1950, they began a series of escalations of the minimum wage level over the years.

It was in the wake of these escalations that black teenage unemployment rose to levels that were three or four times the level in 1948. Even in the most prosperous years of later times, the unemployment rate for black teenage males was some multiple of what it was even in the recession year of 1949. And now it was often double the unemployment rate for white males of the same ages.

This was not the first or the last time that liberals did something that made them feel good about themselves, while leaving havoc in their wake, especially among the poor whom they were supposedly helping.

For those for whom "racism" is the explanation of all racial differences, let me assure them, from personal experience, that there was not less racism in the 1940s.

For those who want to check out the statistics -- and I hope that would include Mitt Romney -- they can be found detailed on pages 42 to 45 of "Race and Economics" by Walter Williams.

Nor are such consequences of minimum wage laws peculiar to blacks or to the United States. In Western European countries whose social policies liberals consider more "advanced" than our own, including more generous minimum wage laws and other employer-mandated benefits, it has been common in even prosperous years for unemployment rates among young people to be 20 percent or higher.

The economic reason is not complicated. When you set minimum wage levels higher than many inexperienced young people are worth, they don't get hired. It is not rocket science.

Milton Friedman explained all this, half a century ago, in his popular little book for non-economists, "Capitalism and Freedom." So have many other people. If a presidential candidate who calls himself "conservative" has still not heard of these facts, that simply shows that you can call yourself anything you want to.
5672  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: US Economics, the stock market , and other investment/savings strategies on: February 07, 2012, 09:42:40 AM
Crafty: JDN raises an interesting theoretical question of import here.

JDN: "Well it seems the financial markets are impressed. [by jobs report]...

I don't look at short term moves as matter of import.  Dow is lower now than when JDN wrote that - about where it began.  The headline sounded positive; the deeper analysis of it over the weekend wasn't.  Stocks across the global economy don't move on one reason only, contrary what headline writers say.

JDN:  Dow finishes at highest since 2008, Nasdaq at highest since 2000

Away from short term hysteria we move to peak and trough analysis.  Another way of saying this is that the Dow is still below levels of 4 years ago and the NASDAQ is still below levels of 12 years ago meaning net negative 'growth' over selected longer periods of time.

The Dow is NOT a measure of the US economy, it is an index of named companies operating globally.  NASDAQ also.  The growth rate in emerging markets is 3 times what it is in America or Europe and these companies are still free to participate in that.

When I ask friends in Dow companies like 3M how business is and they don't tell me about expanding opportunities in NYC or LA.  They are shipping safety equipment as fast as they can build it to the nuclear site in Japan and expanding their manufacturing capabilities in China.  Are you hearing something different?

The market correctly predicted 13 of the last 4 recessions.  Tell me what the market will do in the next 6 months and that is helpful information.  If you announced to the market that the government of 2009 Obamanomics will be reinstalled for the next 4+ years with Pelosi as Speaker writing more laws into healthcare and stricter CO2 bans with Al Franken casting the 60th vote in the Senate and Obama as multi-term President 'growing jobs' at this rate for as far as the eye can see, then tell me what the markets would do.   sad

Markets are up slightly since the crash because of previous over-correcting.  Is it really more complicated than that?
5673  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2012 Presidential on: February 06, 2012, 12:58:34 PM
All true, and his drivel almost makes sense (if you are Rip van Winckle), but...  Is the voter better off now than he or she was $5 trillion ago?  Can Obama run against a do-nothing congress when the do-nothing chamber is still led by his colleague Harry Reid of Pelosi-Reid-Obama fame.  Does the Obama agenda correct anything that is holding us back?  Will the local candidates even campaign with him in the vulnerable districts?

The news may say unemployment percentages are down, but millions leaving the workforce is a force that can't be ignored.  Fewer people pulling the wagon and more people riding on it is a very heavy, double-negative force that can't be papered over with words.

Romney may not be articulate in supply side economics, but he has enough specifics in his plan to actually turn things around if elected and if his proposals were to be enacted.  Also, he sounded quite persuasive to me the other day ridiculing the Obama campaign theme (I can't find the quote) -  a vision in failure reduced to telling us it would have been even worse without them. We can do better than that.

Weaknesses of Mitt or Newt aside, the contrast will be stark.  The excitement level in the black inner city where I frequent is zero.  If they show up they might pull the lever for him one more time, but not for anything historic or for any expectation of bettering themselves or their families. The white vote is admittedly lost for Barack.  The Jewish support is way down.  The Hispanic vote is conflicted.  The youth vote would have to be stupid with blinders on to think the current direction brings jobs to next year's college graduates.  He won't win the Catholic vote by 10 points again!  Best case for Obama IMO is to sound out moderate themes through November, paint his opponents as scary villains, hope for an uneventful economy and eek out some kind of close popular victory - just like Al Gore did in 2000.  wink

This is not the recovery of 1984; this is more like Jimmy Carter's 2nd or3rd term.  You and I might not be impressed with Romney, but the moderates and independents I know are drawing a collective sigh of relief to not have a fire breathing far right winger (like a Bachmann, for example) as their only real alternative to Pres. Obama.
Dick Armey, now President of Freedomworks, has it right (must be reading the forum).  If you are conservative and uninspired by the Presidential choices remaining as most conservatives are, then put your money and energies this year right now into winning the House and Senate where the bills will need to be written and passed.  Margins and victors in congress will be crucial to governing no matter who wins the Presidential race.
5674  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Media Issues on: February 06, 2012, 12:14:24 PM
Then I would head to the microfilm at the library before publishing a story implying that our host who had the rest of the facts correct was wrong.  If LAT was wrong in cover, then there is quite a difference between proving them right and proving they knew better.  We will see...
The NY Times has quite a history of putting out truth much later is very small print buried in a section called corrections that really could be its own major publication. Perhaps a mis-spelling should go in corrections, but correcting falsehoods should be in a size and location equal or greater to the original, unless they are content to leave a false impression in the minds of millions who read the original story.
In a different story of irresponsible reporting, our paper reported a tragic fire a few years ago killing multiple young college students in private housing at the university.  For the first few days the Red Star ran with every story they dig up to insinuate that the landlord must have had some negligence that led to the fire.  He was caught once doing his own gas piping, OMG! (Safe install of gas pipe is not rocket science for an experienced multiple building owner.)

But it turned out in investigation that the victims own friends killed their roommates through drunken passing out with cigarettes burning near flammables, but by then the story was old news and the real story was buried deep if covered at all, leaving roughly 99% of the readers with the false impression, as intended.  To inform is not their mission.  To fit the story into their agenda and to sell newspapers - that is what matters.
Back to Crafty's story:  In MN, it was the previous election where the minor party candidate for Senate rose to 15% of the vote that opened the door for one wrestler without a real party to win the Governor's office in a 3-way race the next time around.

Not covering the minor candidates leads to more of the same while polls keep showing people dissatisfied are with the choices.
5675  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Middle East: War, Peace, and SNAFU, TARFU, and FUBAR on: February 06, 2012, 11:39:38 AM
One problem with Obama's view is that is only accomplishment, killing bin Laden, would not have happened without the execution of the policies he opposed before he became President.

One problem with Ron Paul's view is that it matches the bin Laden / al Qaida view exactly.  Ron Paul's affinity to the founders never mentions Thomas Jefferson sending troops to re-open shipping lanes against the Barbary pirates.  That isn't much different than wanting the Gulf and Straits of Hormuz open for shipping.

One problem with the bin Laden view (former view?) is his use of selective clips from history.  I'm no scholar here either, but this is my understanding: The US helped Muslims resist and drive the Soviets out of Afghanistan, helped other Muslims in southern Asia out of Soviet domination, helped Arab Muslims in Kuwait get their nation back, helped defend Saudi in that same time frame - Desert Shield, helped Bosnians Muslims against the Serbs in 1990s and in Kosova.  Other examples of American projection of defensive force helping Muslims include WWI and WWII IIRC.

The war against Saddam was started by Saddam and the American forces were there to turn power back from a bloody dictator to Arab-Muslim people, not to take or rule the land.  The war against the Taliban was completely avoidable if they had chosen instead to hand over or enable the capture of the perpetrators of the attacks against us.

We were never in any of these places to kill or oppress Muslims or force them out of Islam or to take an inch of their land to call our own.  The only part they remember is the creation of modern Israel which was done by the UN.  Defending an ally against forces committed to destroy them is hardly an offensive position.  The expansion of Israeli borders was a defensive result of resisting the attacks against them, to hold the positions from where the attacks were launched, as I understand it.  Hardly imperialism by Israel either.

During all of bin Laden's adult lifetime the 'American Imperialists' could easily have toppled the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia at any moment and stolen the oil (or condo'd Mecca and built churches and synagogues) instead of being bullied and manipulated by OPEC, but we never did.  At the cost of thousands of American lives and hundreds of billions of dollars to establish consent of the governed in Iraq and Afghanistan, we still have only 50 states and pay market price for oil.

For that we apologize?  And blame ourselves??
5676  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Media Issues on: February 06, 2012, 10:46:11 AM
JDN,  Nice searching.  You might also try to find the first page election summary and see if that is where they had the percentages wrong.
5677  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2012 Presidential on: February 06, 2012, 01:04:08 AM
Crafty, taken from AfPak discussion: "At the moment, it looks to me that Baraq will win."

Polls will back you up on that today and the economy will likely improve slightly more by then.  Still I disagree.  For the last 7 months Republicans have b een shooting themselves more than exposing and attacking the President.  They also have been targeting the right wing, but the centrist seems to have won.  For the next 7 months the leader will mostly be targeting Obama and gradually the rest of the party will jump on board.  There is no enthusiasm on the right for Mitt over Newt or vice versa (low turnout), but there will be enthusiasm for Romney and Rubio turning out the incumbent. 
Funny line regarding Pres. Obama making the same political mistakes as Jimmy Carter:

 " I watched the “Meet the Press” roundtable this morning, and I was struck with the firestorm David Brooks set off by criticizing the Obama Administration’s moves against the Catholic Church... One of the things that turned evangelical voters against Jimmy Carter in 1980 (evangelicals had supported him strongly in 1976) were administration rules affecting the tax exempt status of private religious schools.  It got almost no attention from the New York Times, etc, but was a huge issue for religious voters in 1980, and was a lit fuse that blew up in churches across the country.  I’m amazed at how often Obama seems to imitate many of Carter’s political mistakes. It’s like he was in college or something smoking dope at the time and didn’t pay attention.  Oh, wait. . ."
 - Presidential biographer Steven Hayward writing at Powerline today.

5678  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Media Issues on: February 05, 2012, 10:45:52 PM
When I ran for US Congress for the 36th District of CA, the combined vote of the Libertarian Party (me) Green Party, and Peace & Freedom Party was 10%, well more than the margin between the Dem (Jane Harman) and Rec (Joan Milke Flores) yet Pravda on the Beach refused to report our votes, instead showing the Dem and Rep votes as constituting 100% of the vote.  Oh, and btw, POTB refused to mention us in its coverage of the debates during the race, even though both the Green candidate and I were very well received.

To not list at all what they consider to be minor candidates is an editorial choice - a pretty bad one if those votes were greater than the margin of victory.  To take two scores that total 90% of the vote and say it was 100% is dishonest.  Shame on them.
5679  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Middle East: War, Peace, and SNAFU, TARFU, and FUBAR on: February 05, 2012, 11:53:38 AM
"Mort thinks OBama miscalculated.  Perhaps.  I am not so sure.  Au contraire, I think Obama is quite content with  democracies controlled by Fundamentalist Islamists in the Middle East.   Indeed WHAT evidence do we have that he would be the least bit disturbed by this?"

CCP, you are thinking in terms of security risk to the US, Israel and rest of the world.  He is thinking in terms of his own approval rate on the 'Arab street'.  Completely different concerns.
5680  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Media Issues: LA Times putting lipstick on a pig economy on: February 05, 2012, 11:41:03 AM
"Doug, why criticize the LA Times? " (from Political Economics)

I carry deep seated anger toward our own local Star and Sickle and it surfaces its ugly head when I read falsehoods put out by the government and repeated without scrutiny by other sycophant, agenda driven press.

Sorry for the outburst but there weren't 200k net real jobs created, there were 200k statistically adjusted jobs listed on bureaucratic paper at taxpayer expense.  Everyone else is doing it too is not a defense;  the LA Times was the one quoted.  My wrath is aimed at them not you, but curious, JDN, did you really not know the rest of the story - posted below?

The pattern I see them use is to report a news story falsely to create a different story such as that the economy is slowly getting a little better when it isn't and then poll on that story and manufacture a new news story based on their own poll saying that the majority or some other large number think the economy is getting a little better - in this case, or the rich have too much as another example.  Like clockwork I will show you the second half of that soon.

The LA Times is not alone in it, but if they want to deceive for a living or limit their market for biased, sloppy agenda driven reporting to only half the market then I will enjoy my liberty in pointing out their own eroding market and market share.

You may be right in your 10 year figure but the WSJ did not use to be No.1 and the LA Times while staking out a slant similar to MSNBC is moving the other direction. 

I resent having to go to outside of mainstream sources to find truth, accuracy or critical thinking.  I don't mind the trouble personally, it was pretty easy to find the rest of the BLS data, but am saddened and harmed  by the fact that I share a Republic with people who are largely informed with a storyline from what Crafty so aptly calls the Pravdas.

The real Pravda.Ru probably digs deeper into its reporting than those we accuse here of being state run presses.
Beneath the headlines and not in the LA Times, not even worthy of footnoting while repeating government manufactured drivel is how they got to that number: "Between December 2011 and January 2012, the number of Americans "not in the labor force" increased by  1.2 million." That would be another steep drop below what is shown in this chart.  See if this chart shows the employment situation improving in the 6 years since Sen Barack Obama and the Democrats took over congress first and then the executive branch:

Unreported in the LA Times is a) any information from the chart and b) any analysis as to why the sharpest downward turn occurred.

If they will lie in words and lie by omission, they can take back a little criticism.  "We...suffer from a deplorable lack of curiosity' is what Capt von Trapp said back to the Nazis when everyone already knew what the other was doing and didn't need to ask.
5681  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Politics on: February 04, 2012, 12:52:24 PM
"Coumo will be the Democratic Presidential pick in 2016 (if not Hillary)."

You may be right.  If not Hickenlooper. )

I was thinking the Democrat bench was rather thin, but they will have a nominee.  If any one of them had any cojones, they would run now.
5682  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Political Economics on: February 04, 2012, 12:43:41 PM
"Well it seems the financial markets are impressed."

Nothing boosts productivity and profits in a stalled economy like existing companies (DOW, S&P etc) employing fewer workers. 

If the LA Times is reporting actual job lasses as adjusted job gains because of BLS scoring, that sounds more like a media issue (deplorable lack of curiosity to go deeper than a flawed government report) and a problem with another government agency program.

In better economic news, fewer people are buying that line - the revenues and subscription base of the LA Times is still declining while the WSJ is now number one in the nation.   smiley
5683  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Political Economics - This economy still has the brakes on on: February 04, 2012, 12:21:11 PM
"Implied Unemployment Rate Rises To 11.5%, Spread To Propaganda Number Surges To 30 Year High"

That number I think matches more closely with what people are experiencing.  Remember that when no one seems to be hiring, even many of the fully employed have lost the economic freedom to quit work that is unpleasant or unchallenging/unfulfilling and make a good career move to something more rewarding.

If you are willing and able and not holding a job or earning a full time income, then you are unemployed at some level no matter where you have applied or how long that has been the case.  It is very difficult to measure accurately.  Passing around resumes or turning in applications to companies either not hiring or not hiring you as an exercise to get unemployment compensation is not the only measure or best measure of economic health or sickness.

If Republicans wanted to run up the bad statistics (with this same real economy) on Pres. Obama they should have opened up and extended unemployment benefits for all at least through Nov 6 2012.  Then you would not see the exodus from the labor force.

Economic growth is a better indicator IMO of economic health than unemployment.  (Growth less than 3.1% is considered moving backwards and we are.)  People also leave the employed and unemployed rolls to become entrepreneurs.  How much you earn is more important than whether you are securely working for someone else.  Our entrepreneurial-based economy has the PAUSE button stuck on.

If you are unemployed right now, remember that the new tax on the so-called wealthy (someone other than you) is causing your next potential employer to re-consider whether to expand his or her business.  Just having the idea seriously on the table causes uncertainty, inaction and delays with business expansions. The us vs. them game is really just us trying to work in a fully integrated economy.  You can't take the profits or take the incentives out of business and still grow jobs and grow worker paychecks.  Employers will pay you more when the economy is loaded with opportunities for you to leave and be more valuable elsewhere. Insanity is to not learn that after all we've been through.
5684  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Cognitive Dissonance Glibness - Jesus said to be reconsidering his endorsement on: February 04, 2012, 11:12:42 AM
A Christian President who has joined no Washington church other than his own now claims Jesus Christ to be one of his followers(?)  Taken to task by Peter Wehner at Commentary Magazine (excerpt):

In the same speech in which he quoted Lewis [‘Christianity has not, and does not profess to have a detailed political program. It is meant for all men at all times, and the particular program which suited one place or time would not suit another.’], Obama also said this:

    "And when I talk about shared responsibility, it’s because I genuinely believe that in a time when many folks are struggling, at a time when we have enormous deficits, it’s hard for me to ask seniors on a fixed income, or young people with student loans, or middle-class families who can barely pay the bills to shoulder the burden alone. And I think to myself, if I’m willing to give something up as somebody who’s been extraordinarily blessed, and give up some of the tax breaks that I enjoy, I actually think that’s going to make economic sense. But for me as a Christian, it also coincides with Jesus’s teaching that “for unto whom much is given, much shall be required.” It mirrors the Islamic belief that those who’ve been blessed have an obligation to use those blessings to help others, or the Jewish doctrine of moderation and consideration for others."

For Obama to move from the Biblical injunction that “for unto whom much is given, much shall be required” to higher marginal tax rates on those making $250,000 or more is laughable theology. Why draw the line at $250,000? Why not draw it at $125,000? Or $500,000? And why doesn’t Obama, in the name of Jesus, propose increasing the highest marginal tax rates to 90 percent? In fact, why doesn’t he endorse a plan for the government to take over people’s property and their life savings and distribute it to the poor under the banner of “for unto whom much is given, much shall be required”? Why doesn’t he propose a plan to take money from Americans making $25,000 a year in order to send it to people in Africa making a dollar a day? And why doesn’t St. Barack, in order to set an example for us all, commit that his net worth will never exceed $1 million? Or perhaps the argument being made by the president is that if we read the book of Acts carefully enough, we’ll find that God’s preferred tax rate just happens to be the one championed by Obama.

My point in this exercise is to illustrate what a ludicrous dart game Obama is playing. But it’s actually worse than that. What the president is doing is using the Scriptures to advance a transparently partisan political agenda, and he did so in a setting where past presidents have traditionally stayed away from such stunts.

To be clear: I believe, and have long argued, that people’s faith should help shape their political ethics. But I have also written that Scripture does not provide a governing blueprint and that, while whether the top marginal tax rate should be 70 percent, 40 percent, or 28 percent is a serious public policy issue, neither the New Testament nor the Hebrew Bible sheds light on the matter. The Christian ethicist Paul Ramsey put it best when he said, “Identification of Christian social ethics with specific partisan proposals that clearly are not the only ones that may be characterized as Christian and as morally acceptable comes close to the original New Testament meaning of heresy.”

In the vast majority of cases, what we are talking about are prudential judgments about competing priorities, and we need to approach them with humility and open minds. No president, even Barack Obama, should not pretend his tax policies have been chiseled on stone tablets delivered to him on Mt. Sinai.

It’s no secret that Obama, in order to win re-election, is attempting to divide us by class. But that, apparently, is too restrictive a category for Obama. Now he wants to divide us based on faith, portraying his position on taxes as consistent with the teaching and spirit of Jesus and those who oppose his agenda as being anti-Christian (as well as anti-Muslim and anti-Jewish).
5685  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Cognitive Dissonance of His Glibness: Assault on the Catholic Faith on: February 04, 2012, 09:50:59 AM
Curious, do people think you have to be Catholic to be offended by the Obama administration assault on the religious liberty if it is not your own?  I hope not.
5686  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Forbes magazine: What If Barack Obama And Paul Krugman Ran A Business? on: February 03, 2012, 12:12:04 PM

A little bit facetious but so is the idea presented in the title that (either of) these two ideologues would ever let there ideas be tested in a competitive marketplace.

Spoiling the ending for you:

"Putting workers before profit, it turns out, leaves you with neither."
5687  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Cognitive dissonance of the left: One Sane Liberal - Ed Koch on: February 03, 2012, 12:03:48 PM
Make no mistake, Ed Koch is a liberal, but I enjoyed this piece by City Journal covering his career fairly well.  I admire certain decisions he made along the way to stand on principle sometimes to his own political detriment.
5688  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2012 Presidential, Obama employs Jesus? on: February 03, 2012, 11:59:02 AM
So many threads this could go in... Famous people reading the forum, but the Presidents advisers are taking JDN's reading of the (Christian) Savior supporting a tax and spend agenda as Gospel.  huh

Imagine the MEDIA uproar if this was President Michele Bachmann claiming to have the higher powers on her side.  (Yes she would do that, and no should would not get a pass on it!)

What church in Washington have the Obama's joined (NONE!) so that I might double check his interpretation of scripture.

The President also shamelessly copied JDN's approach to no comment on 'Thou Shalt Not Kill', 'Thou Shalt Not Covet...' or making a distinction between giving and TAKING: 'Thou Shalt not Steal'.

Follow up to Romney's gaffes and the conservative criticism e.g. Charles Krauthammer, Marc Levin) that Gov. Romney cannot explain conservatism, note that his general election opponent will not be heading into the fall contest gaffe-free either.
Here is a link for the quote and some commentary:
5689  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Government programs, spending, deficit: Try $4 Trillion for real deficit on: February 02, 2012, 02:12:21 PM

 Rasmussen: Deficit Closer to $4 Trillion for 2012

Wednesday, 01 Feb 2012 11:33 AM

Pollster and political analyst Scott Rasmussen says the U.S. is in the middle of a worsening fiscal crisis and the federal office charged with estimating the country's debt has missed the mark by trillions.

Rasmussen, of Rasmussen Reports, released this statemen today following yesterday's Congressional Budget Office report on the nation's debt:

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) yesterday reported that the federal budget deficit is projected to reach $1.1 trillion in 2012. That number is troubling enough but the reality is much worse. The United States will actually go about $4 trillion further in debt during the year.

The difference comes from the fact that government accounting procedures simply ignores the cost of benefits being promised for future Social Security and Medicare recipients. While precise estimates vary as to how much these promises cost, they are in the range of $3 trillion annually. It is important to note that the CBO is not to blame for this accounting gimmick. That agency typically does a sound job of operating within the ground rules established by Congress. Unfortunately, the rules often make little sense.

As former CBO Director Douglas Holtz-Eakin explained to Scott Rasmussen, “The debt from the past is a problem, but the future potential debt is a crisis.”
5690  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / The Way Forward for the American Creed, aka Marco Rubio on: February 02, 2012, 12:22:21 PM
"As I said in a speech at the end of last year, we have never been a nation of haves and have nots. We have always been a nation of haves and soon to haves, a people who have made it and people who believe that given the chance they will make it too.  And if we lose that, we lose the essence of what’s made us great in terms of economics."
5691  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2012 Presidential: Romney Gaffe #2 on: February 02, 2012, 12:13:40 PM
Earlier he said clumsily, I like to be able to fire my heath care provider.  I think the correct word was 'choose'.

Yesterday he said he is not focused on the poor or on the rich.

What is missing is the full explanation of how things work.  It is an integrative economy.  We shrink the ranks of the poor with 'income mobility'.  We may not worry abut the rich but we should value the essential role they play and grow their ranks and strength with ... 'income mobility'.

Some Americans are pulling the wagon; some are riding in it  As CCP has pointed out, that ratio has become roughly 50-50.  The best way to support the needs of the truly needy is to give our best pullers reason to pull even harder while enticing those riding who should be pulling to do so.
5692  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Fascism: (Anyone wanna buy a 100w incandescant light bulb?) on: February 02, 2012, 11:00:01 AM
CCP, Andrew,  In my opinion, the Obama opponent will not need to pull against the economy nor will your inner thoughts on that do any good - or harm.  The laws of economics are somewhat predictable, like laws of gravity.

We won't have an optimized economy while we have artificially high energy prices, an amazingly over-bloated regulatory scheme (mandating mercury in light bulbs?), marginal tax rates more than double what they need to be, or with the bureaucratic sector chewing up 40-50% of our productive resources.

A song and a dance even under Greek columns won't  change the underlying fundamentals.

If the growth rate is 2.5% in November 2012, you can be sure that it should be about double that at that point in a recovery.  If the unemployment rate dips under 8% (or U6 under 15%) you can be sure that it should be about half of that. 

You will still need to execute a successful national campaign that involves persuasion in the face of obfuscation, no matter what the most recent headlines will say come November.
5693  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: The Power of Word on: January 31, 2012, 11:38:49 AM
"Where does the bible say no yachts?"

I thought the yacht was the centerpiece of one of the Bible's most famous stories.  You don't protect very many loved ones safely at sea in a dinghy.

"...but the excess.... The millions, the giant houses, yachts, material things, etc. are frowned upon..."

How can anyone devout buy a luxury classic recreational motorcycle and take a non-essential cruise through the mountains when there still are Americans in Alaska without air conditioning?

Regarding the millions, the yachts, etc:  a) There is also a clause about not coveting thy neighbor's house, and b) I am not aware of any provision in the New Testament saying the newer document shall supersedes any conflict that may arise with the 'Old Testament'.

"Millions" (plural) mean $2 million and up?  Is that alone enough to be financially secure for you and your family for the rest of your lives should something unexpected occur??  The answer is NO, not necessarily, and NO it is not determined by your judgment or the government's judgment or your neighbor's judgment as to what constitutes enough financial resources to fend off the future misfortunes and expenses that you may want to guard against.  Same goes for rightsizing our homes.

Crafty's point nicely covers the distinction between giving and taking.

All that about religion allegedly backing a political movement (when it doesn't) and no comment or excuse about the same political movement sanctioning the kill of innocent human life for convenience reasons in the name of 'personal freedom'. Scripture only used when convenient?
5694  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: The Power of Word on: January 30, 2012, 04:08:43 PM
"(Jesus) suggested giving all your money to the poor. Further Jesus says "it is very difficult for a rich man to go to heaven" implying that capitalism is NOT the way to heaven. Jesus had no respect for those who sought material things."

You will find some mixed messages on economics in the Bible if you dig deep enough. Quoting a different verse does not make the first one go away. Giving "all" seems a bit impractical as you would likely starve to death and therefore not give much.  Providing for your own family first is not IMO seeking "material things".  All Christian Bibles I have owned contained both testaments unless labeled 'New Testament' instead of 'Holy Bible'.

Beyond economics, Judeo-Christian liberals will have difficulty quoting where in the Thou Shalt Nots God distinguishes between killing off your young in the various trimesters, killing for gender selection or killing off black babies at 3 times the rate of white babies as is the effect of their policies in the U.S. today. 
5695  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Newt Gingrich on: January 30, 2012, 01:35:06 PM
Thanks CCP but I have only agreed to serve as veep for Crafty, if asked, in a brokered convention.  When they get a good look at my baggage and temperament, Newt's fidelity and focus might look very good.  wink
5696  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Pathological Science on: January 30, 2012, 01:14:12 PM
Those are some excellent posts today by BBG!  I am looking forward to going back and re-reading more closely and saving for reference material.

The earth warmed ever so slightly while CO2 levels reached 390 ppmv or 0.039% of earth's atmosphere.  Causation isn't proved, but what else could it be? The science is settled?  Not exactly.  A large number of other known, poorly understood variables have been nicely identified and posted.

Chuck answered honestly that he didn't know and neither does anyone else, but I am still waiting for the right answer from anyone to my 2-part question - what is the rate of warming and what part of that is directly attributable to the rise in CO2 from human fossil fuel use? (Show your work.) Also if ever answered, what is the margin of scientific error and what then is the change in the global warming rate for each significant political policy initiative as they come up.  For example, the Keystone pipeline was blocked for AGW reasons.  The US will instead buy and ship that oil in from further away while Canada will sell and ship that oil to Asia.  We need to recalculate the new global warming rate taking that important new victory for Robert Redford, Al Gore and 'planetary concerns' into consideration.  They fought and they fought for it and they won.  We lost jobs, we lost easy access to a reliable and abundant source of demanded energy.  We lost a cost advantage for American businesses and consumers and a corresponding enrichment to our neighbor, friend and ally to the north.  So what exactly did we gain in the reduced rate of warming?

Any honest answer to that will lead the reader to why we call it pathological science.
5697  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Newt Gingrich on: January 30, 2012, 12:48:48 PM
Thinking out loud, I wonder if the collapse of Newt in the polls after the budget stand off in the 90's led some Republicans to come up with the compassionate conservative theory which W embraced.   Perhaps some repub strategists concluded too heavy on the strict conservative path may lose the independents.

I am still not sure which way to go.  However I do get the idea that compromise cannot be an answer since there really is no compromise with liberals.  They will chip away till forever.

OTOH I am not convinced that strict ideology will win out either.  I just don't know.  I'm afraid Mitt doesn't either.

Agree.  Also Al Gore was considered a harmless centrist at that point so conservatism was thought to need tempering.  2012 allows more opportunity and more need for a clear distinction between the path we are on and some version of principled and consistent, common sense conservatism. 

Newt's problems in the 90s were complicated.  The ethics charges were largely BS but he left enough running room for his critics to make the smear effective.  On policy, he was NOT too hard line (IMO), but too unfocused.  Clinton took credit for their joint accomplishments and that lasted a decade.  Now Gingrich takes at least some credit back as he should.  Clinton's Presidency would have been nothing compared to what it was without the changeover of congress which was a national opportunity seized by one great politician - the good Newt.  Not the angry one or the unfocused one, which all come in the package.

We don't need compromise with liberals, but we need the right dosage of conservatism to be successfully sold to independents presented the choice.  We don't need a zero capital gains rate, but we need a reasonable one and a 'permanent' one.  We don't need single digit income tax rates on the richest (per Herman Cain) but we do need to show we are moving significantly away from wealth destruction policies.  We don't need pollution spewing, we need environmental gains locked in but with unnecessary and unwise regulations repealed.  We don't need to be the world's policeman, but we are the world's superpower so we need a clear explanation of what peace through strength means going forward.  We don't need to slash a trillion a year in spending (per Ron Paul) laying off government workers all at once to join the construction workers, we need a path forward that balances private sector growth, revenue growth and serious and specific spending restraint, but not the root canal type.

Newt knows all this, but lacks focus.  All those accomplishments (balanced budget, economic growth, a national election victory, etc.) but never locked in baseline budgeting or CBO reform while he moved on, but these turned out to be more crucial now than having formerly balanced budgets.

Ethics violations were largely bogus, yet he goes on to sell himself out to Freddie Mac.  He can't explain his work product or any reason a (psuedo)government employee should get a million a year for part time work undefined.  It makes him the candidate of a nationalized mortgage industry and slimey public-private-partnerships while he tries fight off others for being big government candidates or not pure in their principles.

He needed to pitch a no-hitter to overcome baggage.  He did that through scattered innings here and there but also gave up some grand slams.

The reason he took the Freddie Mac deal was because he needed the money.  They have the Tiffany's bill, then the Michelle Obama-like exotic vacation during a key point in the process.  Like the I-me Obama SOTU speech, I am seeing another it's-all-about-me candidate. 

Reagan for example never made you feel like the election was about him.  It was all about a country that he loved.
5698  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Housing/Mortgage/Real Estate on: January 29, 2012, 09:34:59 PM
"What other professions would those be? There is a serious lack of jobs out there."

Keystone pipeline.  Fracking.  Rare earth mineral mining.  Deep sea drilling.  More secretaries for Buffet? Here's an idea, repeal unnecessary and unhelpful regulations, make energy prices and property taxes globally competitive and stuff here.

Who knew that killing off all job creating investment would affect jobs?

When we get the policies right, jobs will return and so will housing. 
5699  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Outer Space issues on: January 29, 2012, 09:11:57 PM
I used to be among the few who cringed at the space program.  It is to me the epitome of public private partnerships.  It is the answer to the question we aren't supposed to ask: Since we have all this power over other people's money, what should we do with it? 

For the nation, we face a stagnant economy, fossilizing entrepreneurship, mounting deficits and debt, a constitutional, budget and political crisis over impending government heathcare, Arab Spring, Iran going nuke, Chavez offering to host, Iraq into civil war, Afpak! Burma, leadership crisis in N.K, possible war in the South China Sea...  and Newt says, as predicted here by GM: "Oh look, a shiny orbital mirror!"
5700  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Housing/Mortgage/Real Estate on: January 29, 2012, 08:52:37 PM
"there's no iron law that says that we can't have a strong economy with a weak housing sector.  We just never have had, before."

I believe that 99 weeks of unemployment slowed the jump of housing construction workers into other professions.  The car doesn't run full speed with major engine parts removed from the vehicle.
Pages: 1 ... 112 113 [114] 115 116 ... 171
Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.21 | SMF © 2015, Simple Machines Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!