A Post for Mia

Recently, researchers did a study interviewing 87,000 people asking about their eating, sleeping, and smoking habits.   The point of the study was to ascertain the causes of obesity.   Researchers concluded that people who get less than six hours of sleep per night have a higher rate of obesity than those who get at least eight hours.

The knee jerk reaction to this data is to recoil surprised assuming those who are up more are burning more calories, correct?   The study showed that people who get six or less hours of sleep per night are much more likely to eat more so whether or not they are burning more calories is beside the point.  

Managing a plant that runs three shifts I often find myself up at weird hours and I often get less than six hours of sleep.   I often find myself at the twenty-four hour drive through for a quick bite at three in the morning.   In spite of the fact that I have always had a fast metabolism I now find I could lose a few pounds.   I have complete faith in the veracity of this study.

News outlets have been reporting this study for weeks and on my drive into work today it was reiterated.   After explaining the whole story the news anchor culminated, I don’t believe it, people who sleep less burn more calories!

The news anchor completely missed the point.   Burning more calories is clearly unimportant when the benefit of burning more calories is completely mitigated by an increased intake of calories.

I can only imagine what the head researcher of this study would have to say to the recalcitrant news anchor, Listen dipshit, did you understand a word we said?

When someone elevated to the position of television news anchor, supposedly bright and educated, can’t even grasp the simple concept that increased calorie intake equates to weight gain, how on earth does one confront the esoteric arguments encountered in political debate and communicate convincingly to readers the philosophical beliefs that are embraced by each side of the political spectrum?  

From time to time, instead of commenting on news of the day, I recklessly venture to engage these philosophical debates.   In Liberalism’s Tragic Soul I attempted to explain the ideology behind contemporary liberalism and contemporary conservatism.   My style is to use analogy and metaphor to make my writings entertaining and colorful.   For that I receive consistent comment critical of my opinion suggesting I use ad hominem and straw man arguments, yet I am rarely engaged on points.

This column has certainly attracted detractors but rarely have detractors and I managed to engage particular subjects whereby we might move forward in mutual understanding.   Declaring that our Founding Fathers were liberals says nothing about what liberalism is today.

Conservative ideology, at its zenith, endeavors to preserve the character and theme embodied by America’s Constitution.   Conservatism recognizes the Constitution cannot be a living document , to recognize it as such allows its character and its theme to be changed.   Conservatism, as America’s Constitution, establishes government subservient to individual freedom and allows government limited power for altruistic ambitions.

Democrats do not embrace this ideology and few among today’s class of Republican politicians do either.

Contemporary liberalism bills itself the great champion for injustice, but selectively subjugates its citizens to transfer power from the people to the bureaucrats, manifestly in opposition to that character embodied by the Constitution.

I ask detractors to consider these points:

The Declaration of Independence boldly includes, they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

Life is not coincidently set first, liberty second, and the pursuit of happiness third.   If one of these inalienable rights conflicts with another, the latter shall yield to the former.  

Furthermore, government does not have jurisdiction over these rights; they are endowed to us by God.   Government does not have authority to arbitrarily assault one’s liberty to ostensibly save another’s life.   Government’s only role can be to establish the societal framework which guarantees all citizens their inalienable rights.   Additionally, citizens cannot arbitrarily trade life for liberty creating quite a quandary for that mother intent on abortion.      

Contrast this philosophical intent with liberalism’s insistence that government shall have authority over anything it (it being government bureaucrats) deems worthy and righteous.   This is the same statist philosophy embraced by tyrants Mao, Stalin and Hitler.  

Consider the contemporary liberal positions on abortion, taxes, religion, and guns.   Each is designed to subjugate morality, God, and individualism in favor of the state, all the while professing to work for the greater good.  

Sex should include no more consideration than drinking a glass of water.   Stalin advocated such ideology not bent on promoting some liberating philosophy, but to break down society’s moral fiber which holds allegiance to God and resists unethical dictate promulgated by the state.   Only by creating an immoral class can government wrestle allegiance from God.

It is fine if American citizens don’t like their Constitution and want to change it, conservatism only asks to make such changes using the provisions included within the document, Article V.  

Liberalism attempts to usurp the Constitution by infiltrating our educational and government institutions encouraging those institutions’ officials to make law and skew policy without consenting the governed.  

Liberalism says it wants to take guns away from people to protect them, yet every study shows in those communities where concealed weapons are prevalent crime is lower, never mind we have a 2nd Amendment which guarantees the right to bear arms.

Liberalism says it wants to provide health care for the poor and destroys our health system for all.   Many California trauma units have been shut down because government insists they provide services without payment.   Now, fewer services are available due to government policy.  

Liberalism wants to takeover healthcare from unethical insurance companies because healthcare is too expensive and not available to all.   All examination shows that when government controls healthcare it still is not available to all because it is still too expensive.   It then becomes rationed and bureaucracy dictates for who and when healthcare shall be dispensed.

Liberalism says it wants to eradicate poverty yet the more it spends the more dependent souls government creates.

Liberalism says it wants the rich to pay just a little more, Hillary Clinton says that number should be 39% and Barack Obama says it should be 52%, yet when taxes are raised the rich change their behavior to make less money shifting the tax burden further to the middle class.   When liberals say they embrace the philosophies of our Founders, remind them that Ben Franklin thought it quite harsh that government would take as much as 10% in tax from its citizens.

Liberalism says business is evil and it subjugates the little guy.   Investigate McDonalds, Microsoft, or Amway and see how many millionaires those businesses have created; then do the same investigation of our federal government to see how it stacks up.  

Liberalism wants God out of the school.   Liberalism wants citizens unable to defend themselves.   Liberalism wants abortion on demand.   Liberalism wants unfettered access to your earnings.   Liberalism wants private property up for grabs by those developers and bureaucrats who believe they can obtain greater receipts with that property than you do.   Liberalism wants citizens subservient to the state.

Regardless what rhetoric it uses, liberalism endeavors to subjugate the Bill of Rights.

Why?

Because liberalism is an ideology which abhors individual excellence and individual independence outside constraints of the state.   Individual power is a threat to bureaucratic power.  

Individual power comes from excellence and achievement.   Bureaucratic power comes by towing the party line.  

Bureaucrats are made up of people who can’t succeed in the arena where excellence reigns supreme, they succeed in the arena where allegiance to party is paramount; excellence, achievement, and superiority are only meaningless details that little people bother with.

The venerated Supreme Court Justice, Antonin Scalia, was recently interviewed on 60 Minutes where he lamented, noticeably dejected, I keep repeating myself.

I guess I’m in good company.

 

 

Mia has generously contributed comments to this website at our post Liberalism’s Tragic Soul.   Her arguments are emotional and polite, quite a departure from my aggressive and acerbic manner.   She originally arrived here searching for information describing differences in liberal and conservative thought.  

Ultimately, ideology must be appraised not by its promises but by its results.   Not by rhetorical guarantees but by plenary examination of intended and unintended outcomes.

Capitalism, the ideology embodied in America’s founding documents where the individual would never be subjugated to political whim gave us the most prosperous nation on earth.

Socialism, Communism, and Statism, the ideologies embraced by Mao, Stalin, Hitler, and today’s liberalism gave us the Holocaust in Germany, history’s greatest state sponsored eradication of citizens in China and Russia, and a modern United States, militarily impotent, economically teetering, morally bankrupt, and financially desperate.

Liberalism cannot insure that no one will suffer, but it may insure that no one will prosper.

 

Copyright 2008 Jim Pontillo

40 thoughts on “A Post for Mia

  1. I just wanted to say that I am impressed by some of the information in this blog. There are points that I strongly disagree with, and others that I may be slightly swayed. However, I am glad that you addressed many of the basic differences between the conservative and liberal ideologies. I just feel a little hopeless in my endeavor to decide how I feel about them. I don’t think I can back either way of thinking fully. When it comes down to it, I just need to address each topic individually. I can’t make my decisions based on what a conservative or a liberal would recommend. I guess what I always believed is true, at least for me. I can’t just pick a party and go with it. As people love to say, things are not black and white; liberal and conservative. I can only go with what I Know And with what I Feel. We are seeing and feeling human beings, and I don’t think you should choose one over the other when it comes to politics. Thanks again for the info.

  2. ““Sex should include no more consideration than drinking a glass of water.” Stalin advocated such ideology not bent on promoting some liberating philosophy, but to break down society’s moral fiber which holds allegiance to God and resists unethical dictate promulgated by the state. Only by creating an immoral class can government wrestle allegiance from God.”

    1) Morality is not absolute. Muslims believe that drinking alcohol is wrong and evil, does that mean that every working man who drinks a beer at the end of the day is “breaking down society’s moral fiber”? Many of them also think that women having equal rights is morally wrong and evil, is it? People, unsurprisingly, have had sex for millions of years, and yet, society never broke down! Morality never broke down! In fact, sex has been happening since before “society” was ever created!

    2) Using Stalin as your example is a dirty way to smear “liberals” and does not actually prove your point – It’s like comparing Bush to Hitler.

    3) You might be putting words in his mouth, too. How do we know Stalin actually believed that? For that matter, if he did, should we listen to a man who intentionally starved millions of people?

    4) How does the “contemporary liberal position” on sexual freedom “subjugate morality in favor of the state”? Excuse me if I don’t understand how “Sex is not a sin” translates to “The government owns you”.

    “Liberalism attempts to usurp the Constitution by infiltrating our educational and government institutions encouraging those institutions’ officials to make law and skew policy without consenting the governed. ” I had no idea that Liberals controlled the education systems. Could that be why so many school boards are trying to ban evolution being taught in science class? Could that be why so many school boards, and the federal government, are trying to ban sex education and replace it with [chortle and guffaw] abstinence education?

  3. “Liberalism wants to “takeover” healthcare from “unethical” insurance companies because healthcare is too expensive and not available to all. All examination shows that when government controls healthcare it still is not available to all because it is still too expensive. It then becomes rationed and bureaucracy dictates for who and when healthcare shall be dispensed.”

    Where are the conclusive studies? You don’t seem like a healthcare industry professional. EVERY OTHER COUNTRY IN THE FIRST WORLD has government-run health insurance, and they are all doing quite well! Naturally there are problems here and there, but not problems as significant as a large section of the population being completely uninsured! You’re exaggerating this into some sort of mid-eighties dystopic film plot.

    “Liberalism says it wants to eradicate poverty yet the more it spends the more dependent souls government creates.”

    Prove that this is a cause-and-effect relationship, and not a mere correlation. Actually, prove that it’s a correlation first!

    This post reminds me of something that’s always bothered me about your arguments. Even though I disagree with some of it, most of what you put forward is ideal theory and philosophy. The only time you really move past ideology, though, is when you remind everyone of the harsh, non-ideal truth that the super-wealthy break the law, get away with it, and WE SHOULD EXPECT THAT. You never condemn it, you never say that it’s wrong, you always blame the middle class for increasing their own tax burden.

    Even if the tax rate was 10% [which it never, ever will be because the army costs so damned much] the rich would STILL squirrel away as much money as they want. The problem isn’t that taxes are too high, it’s that powerful people break the law and get away with it. Can a middle-class worker cheat on his taxes and hide his money? Yes! Can he get away with it? Not bloody likely, how’s he going to afford the best [read: crookedest] lawyers?

  4. “Liberalism says business is evil and it subjugates the little guy. Investigate McDonalds, Microsoft, or Amway and see how many millionaires those businesses have created; then do the same investigation of our federal government to see how it stacks up. ”

    The government is not in the business of making millionaires. If the government was only interested in turning a profit then it could never serve the best interests of “the people”; as soon as the People’s interests clash with making the most money, the People would lose. It is an unfair argument to say that profit-oriented businesses make more money than the government – they’re supposed to.

    What’s wrong with taking God out of the public schools? Religion is a private matter, not a public one; that’s one of the central concepts of the Reformation.

    The only party whose members tow the party line is the Republicans. The Democrats are splintered and ineffective.

    The biggest, most worthless bureaucracy in years is the Department of Homeland Security. Thanks a lot, President Bush! Wait, sorry, I meant liberals.

    You create exaggerated effigies of “Liberals” to joust with. For “liberals” to be as bad as you imagine them, the world would have to be a carbon copy of the film Brazil – and that would have to change completely every four years when a venerated worshipper of the individual [such as Ronald Reagan with his war on drugs/individual liberty] comes to power.

  5. Lastly: The United States was doing very well militarily, economically, “morally” and financially during the 1990’s. Then the “liberals” were ousted from congress in 1998 and Gore was kicked to the curb in 2000, and things changed. Things like the military being stretched too thin thanks to total war in two countries. Things like the treasury being raided to finance occupations. Things like industries and pollution being deregulated, allowing the mortgage crisis to begin and the environment crisis to continue. Things like torture and the suspension of habeas corpus being declared “moral” goods. Things like slashing taxes, reducing government income during an economically weak period, and at the same time driving America into bewildering record debt to Mao’s successors. I think it was worth it!

  6. “Socialism, Communism, and Statism, the ideologies embraced by Mao, Stalin, Hitler, and today’s liberalism gave us the Holocaust in Germany, history’s greatest state sponsored eradication of citizens in China and Russia, and a modern United States, militarily impotent, economically teetering, morally bankrupt, and financially desperate.”

    What the hell are you talking about? Which party opposed Guantanamo bay? Which party opposed the Patriot Act? I think you’ll find it was those hated oppressors the liberals. And which party decided to override the ancient liberty of free and fair trial for all humans? Why, it was your heroic champions of freedom the neoconservatives of course!

  7. Crumb,

    You are quite adept at copying my words. As usual, however, you do not engage my points. It was not the point to recognize Stalin to suggest sex is immoral; it was the point to recognize that Stalin’s regime immediately subjugated the Church and persecuted religious devotion in order to gain allegiance to the state. That quote was representative of the tactic.

    Liberals clearly control most parts of the media and most upper positions in academia. Even liberals won’t argue that point.

    The fact that so many school boards (supposedly, but I am not aware of such a rapacious movement) are “trying to ban evolution in the science class” is clear indication liberals ALREADY control the science class; you prove my point.

    You and your buddy Matt clearly don’t seem to possess the ability to recognize cause and effect, and you guys dream up your own realities.

    Your insistence that health care works so great in all the other countries and Matt’s that rich people are criminals for not paying more in taxes shows neither of you have ever picked up an economics book.

    Here is a quick primer:

    If you want health care cheaper turn it over to the free market. Wal-Mart is having greater effect on lowering health care costs than all politicians in the United States by using the free market.

    If you want the rich to pay more taxes, drop their rates. This is why revenues surged to the federal government, after Coolidge, Kennedy, and Bush dropped income tax rates.

    In other words, lower rates brought more money.

    Finally, my whole column was directed not at liberals who are mostly confused emotional people who don’t really understand the ideology, but LIBERALISM which has no interest in helping the poor but subjugating the successful to government’s bureaucrats. The fact that they want to raise income tax rates is proof of that.

    I’m getting quite tired of instructing you when you don’t even bother to investigate my facts and prove me wrong.

    You’re very good with that copy and paste button though.

     

  8. “Matt’s that rich people are criminals for not paying more in taxes shows neither of you have ever picked up an economics book.”

    I don’t think they are criminals for not paying taxes. I don’t blame them for keeping all their money to themselves. I just think they can afford to pay a lot more than an impoverished single mother, that’s all.

    I have read aconomics books, thankyou very much. But you seem to think all of these books will tell you only one thing, which would appear to indicate that you aren’t particularly well-read yourself. Surely your view of economics depends what economics book you pick up. Read Marx’s ‘Das Kapital’ and you’ll get something rather different than if you read Hayek’s ‘Road to Serfdom’.

  9. Matt,

    Marx was a bitter loser who dreamed up a pitiful ideology to encourage other bitter losers to join together against all the people who figured out how to succeed and provide bitter losers with jobs.

    And you’re probably right, I’m surely not so well read as you…I have no desire to contemplate all the ways I might not succeed.

  10. One more thing Matt.

    They do pay a lot more than an impoverished mother who actually gets money back, and pays nothing.

    The richest 1% pay 39% of all taxes, and guess what?

    That’s 2% higher after the dastardly George Bush took office and lowered the tax rates.

    Once again:

    Go get an economics book.

  11. “I’m getting quite tired of instructing you when you don’t even bother to investigate my facts and prove me wrong.”

    Here’s the most important comment anyone will ever leave on this site: the burden of proof is on the person making the claim [i.e. you] not anyone else. Schoolchildren know this.

    Re: Stalin. You were not using Stalin as an example of anti-religion, but an example of “corrupting morals”.

    You are a hypocrite to tell me to address your arguments when you ignore my rebuttals to your arguments. I questioned why “morality” [i.e. 1950’s White Anglo-Saxon Protestant morality] is important at all, when more important and universal ethical violations are being caused by the conservatives you hold up as champions of individual rights.

    Furthermore, the rest of your response to me is a retread of your own argument that completely ignores what I said. You do not address anything I said at all. For example, when I pointed out the small fact that every other nation in the First World has a functioning public health care system that treats all citizens without bankrupting them, you told me that I was an idiot because DUH THIS TEXTBOOK SAYS YOU ARE WRONG!!! Nevermind the fact that I have stated, over and over, that I live in one of these nations and have first-hand experience of the system! Your textbooks clearly do not describe reality, because I live in that reality, and everyone around me can see quite clearly that it is real!

    Address my points before you go telling me or anyone off.

  12. Another thing: here is proof that you cannot be arguing with “superior logic and wisdom”:

    “The fact that so many school boards (supposedly, but I am not aware of such a rapacious movement) are “trying to ban evolution in the science class” is clear indication liberals ALREADY control the science class; you prove my point.”

    1) You pay less attention to American news than non-Americans are are not aware of the huge push to denounce evolution in public schools and replace it with intelligent design. You are not wise enough to see the trends in the country around you.

    2) You are saying that “Liberalism attempts to usurp the Constitution by infiltrating our educational and government institutions”. You insinuate that Liberalism is corrupting America through the school boards because schools try to teach science [evolution] in science class. You blame Liberals for Science teachers who teach Science. Do you see the problem here? Science doesn’t NEED “liberals” to force it to be logical and teach the logical theories. Science does that by itself! That’s what science is!

    You go so far as to say that “Liberals” are already in control of the classroom, and, according to your rhetoric, they must be removed. But according to you, Science class is some sort of weird Liberal propaganda! I’m sorry, but if conservatism rejects logic [science] and wisdom [being informed about the world around me], then I want no part of it!

  13. 1) Morality is not absolute. Muslims believe that drinking alcohol is wrong and evil, does that mean that every working man who drinks a beer at the end of the day is “breaking down society’s moral fiber”? Many of them also think that women having equal rights is morally wrong and evil, is it? People, unsurprisingly, have had sex for millions of years, and yet, society never broke down! Morality never broke down! In fact, sex has been happening since before “society” was ever created!

    Address this; what is wrong with liberal sexuality and other expressions of individual freedom, such as homosexuality or never going to church?

  14. Crumb,

    You say you won’t investigate my facts because the burden is on me and I am a school child, then you spew out an argument acting as if it is fact I must believe. (You’re not a school child or a hypocrite, but I am? Breathtaking!)

    How can anyone prove anything? It is impossible to argue with someone who has no integrity and will not engage a subject.

    Canada has rationed care. You cannot get any medical procedure anytime you like, but in the US you have a much better chance of doing so. Why do Canadians keep coming down here for medical care? You will reply that’s not true.

    Governments which interfere with the free market have less access to all services and have a lower standard of living than governments that embrace the free market. You’ll disagree with that too.

    As for the sex comment about Stalin, you have tried to move the argument to make me answer why homosexuality is immoral or wrong. I never suggested it was. The comment was included to demonstrate a method used by communist regimes to steal citizen loyalties to a religious devotion, and force them dependent upon the state, similar to the liberal position attacking religious devotion in American culture. This is the third time I have reiterated it and you will not engage. I am beginning to wonder if you know how to read.

    I am sure I will look forward to three more unintelligible replies because you cannot engage arguments and your only weapons are confusion and obfuscation.

    The real truth is people like you are envious haters who will do anything to try and bring down people more successful than yourself. You don’t engage arguments because arguments are beside the point. Your method is to lie and pry at the emotional strings of fellow losers whether or not the policies you promote make your own lives worse.

    They call that biting off your nose to spite your face.

  15. I did engage your Stalin argument. You cited his sexual policy as “to break down society’s moral fiber which holds allegiance to God and resists unethical dictate promulgated by the state. Only by creating an immoral class can government wrestle allegiance from God.” I asked how that logically follows. Are religious people somehow not obedient to the state by virtue of believing in God? Is there something wrong with acting according to one’s own will and not a religious commandment? How does atheism lead to statism? How does religion remove the issue? Keeping in mind that the conservative parties in the West, especially the Republicans in America and the Christian Democrats in Europe, get empowered by the Religious Right! Keep in mind that the Republicans have been steadily increasing state power since their election!

    I am NOT saying that the conservatives are the only ones at fault for increasing state power. I am saying that conservatives AND liberals do it, but they do it for different reasons.

  16. Also keeping in mind that the most rabidly devoted patriotic citizens of any country tend to be conservative.

  17. Crumbunist you idiot, the most “rabidly devoted citizens” in our country are the far left liberals, and they are not patriotic. They hate America and what it stands for. FREEDOM.
    And, although Jim would not say it, I will, but I’m speaking for me and no one else. Homosexuality is immoral and wrong. Why? Two reasons. 1)Because the bible tells us so. 2) No matter what your beliefs (or non beliefs) are, there are two sex’s for a reason.

  18. Love your site–both well-thought and well-said. I work for http://www.outloudopinion.com. We create and host professional recordings of Creators Syndicate columns, including articles by Dennis Prager, Michelle Malkin, and David Limbaugh. The podcasts are free to download, and we update five times a week. Check us out–we’d love for you to link to our site, too!

  19. “rabidly devoted citizens” implies that they are rabidly devoted in the field of citizenry i.e. being American.

  20. Mia, as you say, liberal/conservative is not black/white. You can’t just pick a party and go with it. Leaving aside all the mud-slinging, you need to decide what you are comfortable with. Personally, I don’t want to decide your life and I don’t want you deciding my life. Therefore, I make certain choices. Those who like others to make the decisions or who like to make decisions for others will make other choices.

    IN GENERAL (yes, I’m shouting) conservatives tend to let me make my own decisions. IN GENERAL, liberals tend to want to make those decisions for me.

    IN REALITY, no one political party, organization, or other person will EVER agree 100% with what I personally feel is best for me, and the corollary is true. This is where compromise needs to step in. Consider two political candidates. I may only (probably!) agree with a small part of either candidates publicly avowed positions. I then need to decide which is the lessor of two evils and vote accordingly.

    Crumbunist, I don’t know where you are coming from. I do know that my Father-in-law and his wife now live in England rather than the US because they liked it’s health care system. However, I would NEVER personally care to give up that much of my personal volition for that kind of security. And right now I’m living in constant pain with a chipped tooth. I’m making payments to a dentist, and when I get halfway paid he will fix the tooth and then I will make payments until paid off. My son has impacted wisdom teeth. He’s making payments also. Is it painfull? Hell yes! Would I like to be able to wave a magic wand & fix the teeth? Hell yes! But I’m not willing to pay the price.

    I won’t even try to engage you on the “science in schools” piece. Obviously, the news you are hearing wherever you are is NOT about the schools where I live, where science is no longer taught and the youngsters that I work with think that “Science” is what they see on CSI.

    Personal Choice.

  21. Crumb,

    Just a quick question. Where do you get the idea that Christian Democrats derive their power from religion? When I was in college, we were told by a Croatian professor that Europeans were generally much more pagan than Americans and that Christian Democrats is more a misnomer as it had nothing to do with religion at all.

  22. Crum,
    You are correct, we probably won’t see the days of 10% taxes again. But I doubt it is because the “army costs so damned much” but I would argue that liberals and their infiltration and infestation of our media, education and academia have created a population that wants a “nanny state”.

    They want the government to take care of them and this can only go one way—bad.

    Oh and to remind you crum, the military spending as a percentage of GDP is at historically low levels. We spend more and more on health care, pensions and social services than we ever have and it adds up to more than we spend on the military. And, oh joy, our precious government health care scheme hasn’t even been added to the mix.

    Crum, you mention that our military is being stretched to thin by “two total wars”….. explain to us what two “total” wars we are in please. As I am beginning to believe you have no idea what a total war is…

  23. I used the army’s expense as an example of government expenses that will not go away because it is one that conservatives support. Taxes can only go so low because the government has to fund the military, national defense, the FBI, CIA, police forces, firefighters, missile systems, NORAD etc. From a “Liberal” perspective [a social welfare perspective], the government has to fund food stamps and welfare benefits and medicaid for those unfortunate Americans living under the poverty line.

    Just as you may argue that the welfare system is abused by lazy people, I argue that the military establishment is abused by conflict on interest in the government [Cheney/Halliburton etc.] This doesn’t mean that both should be abandoned: the military does genuinely help people through aid missions and peacekeeping, and welfare does genuinely help people who have potential for greatness but need a kick-start to achieve.

    It’s also common knowledge that the military is being stretched thin by wars in Iraq and Afghanistan that have almost limitless funding because Congress is a bunch of spineless sissies.

    The point is that no matter who you are, taxes seem too high, but I don’t think you’d want to sacrifice the things they buy the country [social security or material security].

  24. Oh boy oh boy, my turn to use cut and paste…

    Crum – “the government has to fund food stamps and welfare benefits and medicaid for those unfortunate Americans” I love this one, “unfortunate” as if there is something inherently unfair in their life and causes them to be “unfortunate” and that it is not their own failings, drug/alcohol abuse, irresponsible parental upbringing, etc. that is causing them to be “unfortunate”.

    I wish we could line up all the people living off the proceeds of productive people (the unfortunate ones) and have you pick out the ones that only need a little kick start to achieve greatness. LOL, hell they don’t even have to achieve greatness to be worth something to me. I would be happier than hell if they would just pay their own way in the world.

    Having almost limitless resources while at the same time being stretched too thin don’t reconcile with me. Please explain.

    Taxes don’t “seem” to high, they are too high.

  25. I have also never understood why the receipt of welfare does not come with some sort of work stipulation. For example, “Mr. Unfortunate, you can pick up your paycheck funded by taxpayers next week after you successfully complete your work detail. You are assigned to Work Team C”

    Send them out to do WORK in exchange for that check. I have never understood why that is not the case.

  26. Earle,

    I may be incorrect, but I am under the impression the basic concept of our government is we appoint politicians who share similar beliefs and will vote accordingly. And as much as I hate others making decisions for me it is necessary to keep this country running. For example, in every family, church, school, business, community there are leaders making the decisions. Otherwise there would be complete and utter chaos. Although I can not easily pick a party and go with it, I know I lean more to the left. My reasoning behind this is my beliefs when it comes to the environment, gay rights, women’s rights, welfare, and health care. In General (IF you are a straight man) conservatives tend to let you make your own decisions. I agree, I vote for the lessor of two evils, however, I get the feeling we would PROBABLY disagree on which one that would be. I commend you on your ability to just get down to your thoughts with out some of the colorful phrases so many of the people on here like to use. I admit I was pretty impressed by some the word usage on here, until I realized most of them are just parrots repeating phrases from popular books on language to use during political debates.

    Raul Reddy and Sake Mike,

    Crumb is making a reference to blogs I posted in response to Jim’s Blog Liberalism’s Tragic Soul. I discussed my personal experiences with federal assistance, and how it helped me. I half heartedly agree with Raul about a work stipulation. However, many if not most of the people on forms of welfare already work at least one job. They just don’t receive a wage that allows them to meet their basic needs.

    I am confused by the people who complain so much about taxes. We all benefit in different ways from taxes. It should be expected that we would all have different perspectives on where it should go, but the point is that everyone benefits. I have heard a man with no children complaining about a tax increase for schools.

  27. Jim,

    You have stated that you never said we should get rid of welfare, so does that mean that you don’t think we should get rid of welfare? Also, you stated that you never said homosexuality is immoral or wrong, so how do you feel about gay rights? I’m curious because these are a few key topics that make me believe I lean more towards the left. One more thing, I just wanted to say that Crumb didn’t actually call you a school child. He was explaining that even a school child knew one of the key rules while making a claim. Just something I noticed being misinterpreted.

  28. Mia,

    You don’t grasp that taxes (as much as liberal politicians suggest they are levied to help you) are levied by the left to shift power from the individual to the state. When President Bush dropped the tax rate on the wealthy the wealthy reported more income and actually paid more income taxes. The top 1% paid 39% of all income tax after Bush’s tax cuts, and only 37% of all income tax before he reduced the highest rates.

    Make taxes flat at 17% where everybody pays something (if we are all really in this together) and the government will have even more revenue to work with. Why don’t they do it?

    Because taxes are about control and power, not about helping people.

  29. Mia,

    I didn’t misinterpret Crumb, the “even a school” child comment was clearly an assault. Don’t con yourself.

    I also didn’t state that we shouldn’t get rid of welfare. I just stated that I never said that we should get rid of it.

    As for gay rights, this forum does not allow space for a whole discussion about the first Amendment, God’s influence on our culture and our Founding documents. That being said I have no inclination to discriminate against gay or lesbian people, but if your assertion is that they should be allowed to marry, I must then ask if you believe in separation between Church and State?

    If you say yes, then I must ask how you can support gay marriage when marriage is a religious sacrament under authority of the Church?

    I would enthusiastically support any measures to give gay and lesbian people all of the rights and legal protections of co-habitation that are enjoyed by married people, but I would stop just short of calling that union marriage in deference to religious sensibilities that are integral to our culture and our Founding.

  30. The schoolchildren comment wasn’t an attack, but a frustrated reminder.

  31. Jim,

    To be perfectly honest with you I am not sure the best way to decide on tax rates and who pays what. I do know that we need taxes to provide many different services that we all use everyday. I have a feeling you know perfectly well all the different directions our tax dollars go, and most of them are necessary to all of us. However, it seems that many people don’t grasp the concept that our tax money goes to schools, transportation, protection locally and nationally, etc. They just know they want to keep all their money, but still send their kids to school for free, drive on paved roads, call the police in emergencies, be protected by our military, etc… I could obviously go on forever.

    As for the welfare subject, you stated you never said we should do away with welfare, but you also never said if we should keep it. You never answered my question. Do you think welfare should be done away with?

    I’m very confused by people being so passionate about the right for gay couples to marry. You state that “marriage is a religious sacrament under authority of the Church”, but how many marriages end in divorce? People are allowed to marry multiple times as long as it is with the opposite sex. Most couples engage in premarital sex, but they are still allowed to be married. It seems rather hypocritical to me that we can just pick and choose when to take things literally, and when we can bend the rules. I personally am in no hurry to be married. I believe that love and commitment have to do with your heart and not a piece of paper. However, if two people really love each other and want to show their commitment to the world by being married, who are we to stop them??? Why do you want to stop them? It would do everyone more good to try to support a more committed lifestyle in the gay communities.

  32. Jim,

    I just wanted to say I’m happy to hear you “support measures to give gay and lesbian people all of the rights and legal protections of co-habitation that are enjoyed by married people”.

    I have an odd question for you. I know that your main argument for supporting the conservative perspective is giving less power to the government and more to the individual. So, do you want the Church to be more powerful than the Government? What Church is the right Church? I’m just very confused by the whole thing. Your statements suggest that you believe we should decide individual rights based on religious beliefs. The meaning of marriage all depends on who you are asking.

  33. Mia,

    You missed the whole point, government doesn’t have jurisdiction. If it attempts to exert its authority in this venue then it runs afoul the First Amendment and ostensibly “separation of Church and State”; the Holy Grail for liberal ideology.

  34. But civil marriages are completely divorced from religious marriages. City hall can host your wedding.

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