Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Obama's Address or Son of Franklinstein (Roosevelt)

First of all, before I get going here, I did make sure my children witnessed the inauguration. They're a little young to really remember, but my daughter can identify the president on sight. Of course, after some of the unfiltered things I'm bound to say over the next four years, that may not be the best thing.

I can say that it was an exciting and moving event, and I was surprised to find myself caught up in the moment. The procession of politicians and presidents, senators and supreme court justices, and the families of the outgoing and incoming president and vice president (including young and yummy Barbara Bush, who I'll miss because Obama doesn't have adult daughters), followed by the pomp and ceremony and music, has always held a special place in our hearts. Even the minor flubfest over the oath (Chief Justice Roberts and President Obama probably should have rehearsed) was very human and brought a smile, followed by a real 21-gun salute pounding over "Hail to the Chief" as the massive crowds cheered on.

Then our shiny and new President Obama opened his mouth and gave his speech. Moment's over.

I could be petty and rip his ass over every other sentence (as half of them were aimed at consoling conservatives), but I think just a couple snippets will do:

The question we ask today is not whether our government is too big or too small, but whether it works - whether it helps families find jobs at a decent wage, care they can afford, a retirement that is dignified.

There's a reason why the simplistic focus on the size of government. And it's not a matter of size alone, as we should all seek a government that "works." However, Obama shoots wide of the real question: "Are the things that government takes on (job creation, wage controls, retirement) a responsibility of a government of the free?"

It's easy (and mentally lazy) to say that people should have good jobs with good wages and money for retirement. It's quite another for the government to impose on those who work and succeed measures and taxes that create a more similar outcome to those who, through their foolish actions, have squandered their opportunities and their money. Part of the price of freedom is assuming some risk. To live is to take risks. Choosing the safe path has never led anyone to a life of significance, of precipitous joy, of greatest happiness. And in measure comes the hard times, the tragedy, and loss.

And to continue to surrender that responsibility, and the accompanying freedom to the incessant encroachment of government will only lead to future problems digging out from under the costs of past government intervention.

Which brings me to FDR. And if he were alive today, his speech would sound very much like this:

We will build the roads and bridges, the electric grids and digital lines that feed our commerce and bind us together. We will restore science to its rightful place, and wield technology's wonders to raise health care's quality and lower its cost. We will harness the sun and the winds and the soil to fuel our cars and run our factories. And we will transform our schools and colleges and universities to meet the demands of a new age. All this we can do. And all this we will do.

Now, there are some who question the scale of our ambitions - who suggest that our system cannot tolerate too many big plans. Their memories are short. For they have forgotten what this country has already done...;


After I got home from work, I ended up watching another documentary on Roosevelt. I still hold that he was a great president. But [emphasis required], no matter what feelings he created over the 13 years of his presidency of helping the country out of the Depression , the New Deal did nothing to solve the problem, may have extended the length of the depression by creating make-work jobs instead, and parts of this are still causing us financial problems today (the FHA (where the government first got into housing (leading to the CRA under Carter, as well as Fannie and Freddie)) and Social Security most glaringly).

Mr President, I have not forgotten. In combating the Depression, FDR, built roads and bridges (the WPA), electrical lines (the TVA and the REA), as well as promised to create jobs, "help" the downtrodden, save the farms, and on, and on, and on. And to do so, he took on massive debt for the government. This is your plan.

He succeeded then in selling this because people were in such a state as there was no opportunity.

We are not in such a state. Instead, we are reaping the harvest of 80 years of increased dependence on the government. We plan parts of our lives (like tax time) around the scraps the government will "give" to us (after taking it with us and playing around with it without paying interest), many of us live in some way off the largess of the government, and far too many of us confuse what is a natural right with what is a government benefit.

So, in the end, the size of the government is directly related to the functions it has taken over for us, to the detriment of our freedoms. To fail to look at the near-century history that has produced our current government, economy, and society is a disservice to those whose industry and ethic will lead us out of this current crisis. And to continue this incessant growth at an exponential rate is to trade more and more of our liberty for safety of every kind. And that leads me to a wise, whoremongering, Founding Father who understood this all too well:

They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.

65 comments:

Satyavati devi dasi said...

to impose on those who work and succeed measures and taxes that create a more similar outcome to those who, through their foolish actions, have squandered their opportunities and their money.

I am so not up to getting in another fight with you at this hour of the day but I would like to point out the blindingly obvious fact that not everyone in financial trouble has become that way due to their own actions, and that just because this

Part of the price of freedom is assuming some risk. To live is to take risks. Choosing the safe path has never led anyone to a life of significance, of precipitous joy, of greatest happiness. And in measure comes the hard times, the tragedy, and loss.

may be true, that doesn't mean we are to desert those who find themselves in hard times, tragedy, or loss.

One of the evidences that Neanderthal man had advanced beyond a purely primitive existence was the finding of skeletons that showed obvious long-term debilitating or disabiling disease. These people would have been, essentially, a burden on the group; they were unable to care for themselves and required the support of the rest of the group to stay alive. The fact that the group was willing, over a long term, to take on the responsibility of feeding, clothing, protecting, sheltering and transporting these people, who otherwise would have perished in the hostile glacial environment shows compassion and marks the shift from 'group' to 'society'.

If we are content to watch others perish and label it as 'the risk of living' then we have degenerated below the level of the Neanderthals. Yes, there are people who make dumbass mistakes. Do they deserve to be completely abandoned? And what of the people who find themselves in serious financial situations through no fault of their own? Are they just part of the collateral damage?

These are some of the questions that define us morally and socially. If we have no compassion for others, we should abandon any claim we have ever made to be a 'society', never mind a 'culture'.

Beth said...

Saty, we can have compassion without having it come through the government. It's called charity, and I find that the idea of charity is much more compassionate than paying more in taxes so that the government can "give" on my behalf.

Patrick M said...

I am so not up to getting in another fight with you....

And still you comment.

If we are content to watch others perish and label it as 'the risk of living' then we have degenerated below the level of the Neanderthals.

When I discuss the role of the federal government, it is within the framework of what the government (alone) should take on as its duty. And that can be summed up in three short sentences:

1. secure our freedom.
2. protect our borders.
3.provide those things that cannot otherwise be produced (infrastructure).

I am vehemently opposed to the idea of just "watching others perish." But there are a multitude of other ways to deal with these problems that do not involve a massive federal government. And we're not even talking critical, emergency items. We're talking about bailouts for defaulted hommeowners, additional tax "refunds" for people who aren't paying taxes (trust me, I know these numbers), and plenty of other things that don't quite fall under the category of necessities (food, water, clothing shelter). In almost every case, those things can be provided at the local level with a hell of a lot less waste.

In the larger sense, it's how we help each other that is the discussion. And the generosity of the American people is boundless (remember those tsunamis?) when people are in need. Government, though, uses these "rights" they define primarily to buy votes, while deciding for people what is "right."

Name: Soapboxgod said...

"may be true, that doesn't mean we are to desert those who find themselves in hard times, tragedy, or loss."

Nor does it mean that we have some moralistic duty to prop up those who find themselves in hard times, tragedy, or loss. What is more, that we are led to believe otherwise without scrutinization of those who demand it of us is itself without moral.

We can. And, in many instances, we do. However, the world owes you nothing. Your neighbor owes you nothing. The man passing you on the street owes you nothing.

There is no morality in convincing yourself otherwise.

Name: Soapboxgod said...

Saty, I presume you find compassion to be a virtue do you not? Equally, I presume you hold love to be a virtue as well no?

Answer me this, what is virtuous about compassion if you hold it equally for a working man and a bum?

What is virtuous about love if you love equally a faithful companion as you would a whore?

Shaw Kenawe said...

Your neighbor owes you nothing. The man passing you on the street owes you nothing.

There is no morality in convincing yourself otherwise.


This is confusing to read. I live in a predominantly Christian nation where I've heard for many, many years from many Christians that this country is based on Christian values.

So can someone reconcile Patrick's assertion along with Soapboxgod's that we are not our brothers' keepers with what a great majority of their compatriots believe? And remember the conservative movement is very closely aligned with Christianity and always on watch for those who try to keep God out of our national dialog.

I am a nonbeliever. But I do think that our government can and should make sure that the most vulnerable and those least able to care for themselves be taken care of.

And I don't resent my tax dollars going for that purpose.

As someone once said, those are the dues I pay for living in America.

And my answer to this (even though it was not directed to me):

Answer me this, what is virtuous about compassion if you hold it equally for a working man and a bum?

What is virtuous about love if you love equally a faithful companion as you would a whore?


Again, I return to Christianity and its teachings for the answer.

Jesus, if I recalled said that it would be easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to get to heaven. So that tells us what Jesus thought of working man/rich man vs. poor.

The second one about the whore? Really?

The virtue in loving the worthy AND the presumed unworthy equally is that it is what a majority of world religions teach.

I'm a nonbeliever, as I said, but I could find it in my heart to love the whore--but more than that--help her/him leave that destructive behavior and find a way to self-dignity. In doing that, I think one shows love.

Don't the Christians always say, "love the sinner--hate the sin?"

I don't see any

Shaw Kenawe said...

Well blogger screwed that up.

the rest of that sentence should have read ...contradiction in loving a worthy mate and feeling compassion/love for a whore.

Arthurstone said...

What a shame the Conservatives weren't able to privatize Social Security. A darn shame the free market wasn't able to work its magic on this, one of the most progressive and impressive accomplishments the US people and its government have yet achieved.

Sorry Patrick.

We aren't going back on this one.

Name: Soapboxgod said...

"A darn shame the free market wasn't able to work its magic on this..."

There never was a Free Market in any of "this".

Name: Soapboxgod said...

"Jesus, if I recalled said that it would be easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to get to heaven."

And, I should say it is for assertions such as those that I left religion by the wayside.

What religion does surprisingly well is advocate ad nauseam the sacrifice of good to that of evil. A man who has by his own accord earned his keep is deemed less worthy by the eyes of heaven than a camel? Dare to question the irrationality of a rising tide bequeathed by a camel (provided the church will let you).

Arthurstone said...

Soapboxgod typed:

There never was a Free Market in any of "this".


You're far too modest Soap.

The free marketers have held sway in Washington DC for the past thirty years. And they have exported their Randian/Chicago School swill worldwide. So here we are. Deregulation and 'financial innovation'. The housing bubble and subsequent meltdown of the banking system their offspring.

Name: Soapboxgod said...

Deregulation? Is that what you call legislative mandates to craft mortgages to individuals who couldn't otherwise afford them?

When it comes to deregulation, I will concede the point with respect to the Federal Reserve who's practice shifted from its rightful responsibility of assuring a sound dollar to that of trying to "tweak the economy".

Shaw Kenawe said...

What religion does surprisingly well is advocate ad nauseam the sacrifice of good to that of evil. A man who has by his own accord earned his keep is deemed less worthy by the eyes of heaven than a camel? Dare to question the irrationality of a rising tide bequeathed by a camel (provided the church will let you).

I'm guessing that the lesson in that saying is that most wealthy people attain their wealth by screwing the little guy.

And we've had breath-taking proof of greed in tsunamic proportions all through our capitalistic history. Wherever there's great money to be made, great larcenous minds will figure a way to grab it all for themselves and the hell with the misery and pain it leaves behind for others.

Name: Soapboxgod said...

"And we've had breath-taking proof of greed in tsunamic proportions all through our capitalistic history."

Is your definition of greed herein defined by the men of production who amass their wealth through their own creativity, inginuity, and their own production and who seek to merely keep the fruits of their own labor whatever they may be?

OR, is your definition of greed herein defined by the looters who pursue an immoral endeavor to stake claim on someone else's earnings?

Be it the latter, I concur. Because quite honestly, there is nothing "greedy" about one's desire to keep that which they have rightfully attained.

Beth said...

Shaw, you may not resent how your tax dollars are used, but I do, and our Constitution was not written to suggest in any way that the role of government is to play Robin Hood.

Furthermore, I don't see taxes as "dues" we should pay to be living here. The dues we pay are in being law abiding citizens and making our contribution to society the best way we can.

When Jesus said "Give unto Ceasar what is Caeser's, but give to God what is God's" I don't think he was advocating giving our money to the government to show compassion for the downtrodden.

Arthurstone said...

No Soapbox wondered:

'Deregulation? Is that what you call legislative mandates to craft mortgages to individuals who couldn't otherwise afford them?'

What you call 'legislative mandates' are certainly part (though by no means all) of the crisis. A pliant congress thirsty for campaign contributions beholden to the mortgage industry eager to write and peddle as much paper as possible is a big part of the problem. So the answer remains yes. Deregulation & the resultant lack of oversight coupled with a congress shot through and through with 'free marketers' (a non-partisan group egged on by a Republican majority for most of the past 15 years) ensure that high rollers and lobbyists fix the rules of the game.

In addition, gut the SEC, load up the Justice Department with political appointees and this is what you get.

dmarks said...

Shaw, the greed of those you attack....those who create wealth and get criticized for not handing it out to the loudest begger... have nothing on the greed of the ruling class. Those who steal the wealth from those who create it, backup up with guns. They promise to use it to help the poor. They sometimes do. But only after they make sure they get a huge cut.

arthurstone: "beholden to the mortgage industry eager to write and peddle as much paper as possible is a big part of the problem."

The industry would not be able to get away with such excess without the government intervening (through Fannie and Freddie and other means) to support the bad debt.

arthuerstone: "load up the Justice Department with political appointees"

Obama is beginning this process now. Just as Bush, Clinton and all the others did before them. That is what Presidents always do.

Patrick M said...

Wow, this teaches me not to leave my computer. Let me wade in:

Soapster: Nor does it mean that we have some moralistic duty to prop up those who find themselves in hard times, tragedy, or loss.

As individual people, we do have a moral obligation to help our fellow man. But we do not have the right to force others, through the police power of government, to do their moral duty.

Shaw: But I do think that our government can and should make sure that the most vulnerable and those least able to care for themselves be taken care of.

I have two questions on this. First, at what level should this obligation fall, in a large central government, or at the local level where there are fewer layers and more accountability? And second, at what point do you draw the line between necessary charity and just strapping people to the government tit?

So can someone reconcile Patrick's assertion along with Soapboxgod's that we are not our brothers' keepers with what a great majority of their compatriots believe?

Read my response to Mr Soap.

Arthur: What a shame the Conservatives weren't able to privatize Social Security.

It is a damn shame. Because at this point, fixing the clusterfuck that this Ponzi scheme that has been substituted for retirement looks no more certain than it has for decades. As it is, I'll pay this shit in for the rest of my life and never see dime one.

The free marketers have held sway in Washington DC for the past thirty years.

Ha, ha. Good one. Let's look at the past 30 years, starting in 1979.

1979-80, Carter, Democrats
81-88, Reagan, Democrats
89-92, Bush, Democrats
93-94, Clinton, Democrats
95-00, Clinton, Republicans
01-06, Bush, Republicans
07-08, Bush, Democrats

Looks like 6 out of 30 for those evil free market Republicans, and considering that government growth, not rampant free markets, were the hallmark of those 6 years, I don't get it.

Free markets died in 1933.

A pliant congress thirsty for campaign contributions beholden to the mortgage industry eager to write and peddle as much paper as possible is a big part of the problem.

So you want to start with Barney Frank?

Beth: ...the role of government is to play Robin Hood.

Government can't play that role, because Robin Hood stole from the government. He was a libertarian.

dmarks: I got nothing to add. I just didn't want you to feel left out. Oh, and I added you to my blogroll today.

Beth said...

Perhaps someone can explain to me how punishing success and rewarding failure is the way to go?

Name: Soapboxgod said...

"Soapster: Nor does it mean that we have some moralistic duty to prop up those who find themselves in hard times, tragedy, or loss.

As individual people, we do have a moral obligation to help our fellow man. But we do not have the right to force others, through the police power of government, to do their moral duty."


Am I immoral then if I fail to provide my brother with a spare winter coat that I have all the while he, as an unemployed SSDI recipient (minor mental health issues which do not prevent him from working) proceeds to spend what money he has on a some software and an external hardrive for his laptop when he could have otherwise spent it towards a winter coat?

Damn me to hell then.

Mike's America said...

What amazes me is that the moonbats like Dick a.k.a. "Arthur" are still so angry.

I thought the sky cleared and the waters parted on Tuesday and yet Artie is still pushing the same sorry load uphil and attacking conservatives and anyone else who doesn't share his sour viewpoint.

Perhaps you can post the video of Obama's banal speech so Artie can get juiced up on changey hopie hoopla. Then maybe he will be inspired to go and help clean up the trash his fellow celebrants left behind on the National Mall.

Arthurstone said...

dmarks typed:

'That is what Presidents always do.'


Except that they don't dmarks. Can you say Monica Goodling? Was your attorney educated at Regent University?

dmarks said...

They do. Always. Obama has already put forth several political appointees to the Justice Department. It is one of the Constitutional powers of the President. President Obama will be neglecting his duties if he does NOT make political appointments.

By the way, Shaw, I saw the "Asshat" thing at the left here. It's no worse than the list of insults Arthurstone used against Bush recently. I just prefer not to insult Presidents.

Toad734 said...

Ok, again, why do all conservatives think that they only pay taxes because some black guy two zip codes away has 10 kids and doesn't work and is somehow happy about his situation and lives a good life??

That isn't where your, my, tax dollars go. When you don't pay taxes, which you don't, do you really have the right to bitch about what our taxes our spent on?? That's the first question, the second thing you need to do is find out how much money the government doles out in farm "aid", aka, corporate welfare for ADM and what not to grow corn. I believe the number to be around 700 billion dollars. Then look at how much we spend on vertical take off stealth jets that are used to kill guys with IEDs in caves. Then look at what the war in Iraq along with all the no bid contracts cost and then take a look at how much money the Feds spend on public housing. And by the way, foodstamps aren't paid for by the federal government they are paid for by the states.

That is the big government you should be talking about, not the part of the government which builds Damns bringing electricity to the south or roads which increase commerce and updating our infrastructure. Not only do those, yes, create jobs, but they are neccesary and probably long over due. If you want McDonalds to get in their "beef" for the day so you can go there at lunch, someone has to deliver that to them in a truck. That truck needs roads and the electricity used to Freeze that meat needs to come from somewhere.

And while you are at it, find out how much local tax revenue was spent in order to build that Wal-mart you go to everyday. Ill bet your local municipality spent more on running power, street access, traffic lights, sewar lines and direct subsidies, on that store than they did on welfare and foodstamps for your entire county.

And when we live in a country of 300 million people, it's going to take a sizeable government to deal with that. In fact, it is going to take a bigger government to deal with that than what we had in the 70s when there was 200 million people. So if the government grows over the course of the decades, it's because it has to keep up with the population.

And stop pretending like you don't want government intervention. You don't mind the government telling someone who they can sleep with, what they can do with their own bodies and reproductive organs, who they can marry, what they can watch on TV, what they can listen to, what kind of art they can create, etc, but you flip out when the government wants Exxon to clean up its oil spill or a lubricants company to clean up all the PCBs out of their land.

I just don't get how the conservative mind works. You only point out and attack the weak and those who are different and assume that the white rich guys who own oil companies are all ok but someone who is black and lost their job is somehow the dredge of society. Our economy isn't in the shitter now because of poor black women having too many kids, its because of rich white guys being corrupt.

That's who you should be raving against.

Toad734 said...

Mike:

Are you going to go help clean up the trash in Iraq?

TAO said...

Ah, been gone too long....

Patrick on Sunday as I was walking on the beach at Venice Beach and letting the waves splash against my legs I developed this urge to call all my northern friends so I could share the sounds of the waves rushing in on a beautifully hot day! Sorry I didn't call you...

So...

"To live is to take risks. Choosing the safe path has never led anyone to a life of significance, of precipitous joy, of greatest happiness. And in measure comes the hard times, the tragedy, and loss."

When you actually think about it that is NOT the economic system that big business has developed for themselves now is it?

The CEO's get fired and they still get their pay and bonus'. Their companies go belly up or need to be bailed out by taxpayers then they still cannot figure out why all the fuss over their pay and bonus'.

Private jets? Caribbean spas for management retreats?

Oh, wax poetic about rewarding the risk takers and all of that but realistically it is small business people who take all the risks and they are the ones that get pushed aside by consumers as they head to Walmart or forgotten by government as the powers that be grovel around the lobbyists.

Capitalism committed suicide in 1933 and without FDR we would have had something much worse for our current economic system. Individual greed killed capitalism in 1933 and it has done the same in 2008.

That is something that is factual and that must be dealt with. What right does the greed of the powerful few have to affect the lives of so many? When companies make bad decisions is it management and CEO's who lose their jobs or is it the lowly worker?

I have no problems with CEO's getting paid well but I think if they are going to justify their pay and benefits then they also need to commit Hari Kari when they fail.

Taxpayers have already pumped in enough money and or guarantees to have purchased every single subprime mortgage that was written at face value and yet our financial system is still going down. Its going down because of the extreme speculation in real estate that has occurred over the last few years and it has affected the home values of every single American.

It has affected every single retirement plan owned by Americans and it will eventually snowball and affect social security.

In other words this greed and speculation has affected the American Dream.

So, how do you deal with the fact that the actions which benefitted a few can affect a whole country? How can one believe that free markets will act any different? In 1933 the markets were free and the results were worse.

When does the demands of the many affect the few?

We will find out shortly.

I also think Toad brings up some real good points....we have no problem with our military interjecting our will on other countries and dictating to them their positions so why are we so adament that our government not do the same thing to our economic system?

If you believe that our government can and will act in our best interests in foreign countries then obviously it is hard to believe that they will not do the same within our economic system.

Oh, and as far as bums go....one study out shows that well over half of the homeless bums are military vets....so, is it a virture to show compassion to a vet?

Satyavati devi dasi said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Satyavati devi dasi said...

Wow.. where to begin?

Patrick: me being not up to a fight because it's like 0400 has never actually stopped me from starting one. Especially if it's the only chance I'll get because I'll be in the salt mine all day.

Beth: Saty, we can have compassion without having it come through the government. It's called charity ...if charity were sufficient, we wouldn't be having this discussion. Especially when the entire economy is so debilitated.. who has money they can or want to just donate to others? CEOs?

Soapbox: Answer me this, what is virtuous about compassion if you hold it equally for a working man and a bum?

What is virtuous about love if you love equally a faithful companion as you would a whore?
... once again it seems you believe that all people who aren't working are bums, whores, drug addicts or somehow, inevitably, are in their predicament due to some character flaw or in some way hold 'blame' for the position they are in. I specifically brought up people who through no fault of their own find themselves in dire financial straits. You have consistently refused to even address this group of people and continue to reason along the line that all people who are not working are not working because they don't want to or because they're some kind of degenerate on a lower human plane than you are. So I would again reiterate my initial question and hope you will answer it according to how it is asked. And in answer to your question: what could possibly be virtuous about only loving a person you deem 'worthy'? Didn't Jesus love the Samaritan woman? Why is it not virtuous to give compassion to all, most especially those who don't deserve it? It's not until you cross those boundaries that you even enter the realm of virtue. And as far as rich men entering heaven? Apparently, the rich in Jesus' time behaved much the same way as they do today. God doesn't give a shit about your bank account. He's more concerned about whether you loved the unlovable, fed the hungry, clothed the needy, and tended the sick, without doing background and credit checks to see whether they were 'worthy' first.

Mike: nothing I saw is worth pasting. Do you EVER make rational sense?

Toad: You don't mind the government telling someone who they can sleep with, what they can do with their own bodies and reproductive organs, who they can marry, what they can watch on TV, what they can listen to, what kind of art they can create, etc, but you flip out when the government wants Exxon to clean up its oil spill .. my God, you rock. This is dead on. I wish I'd written it.

Tao: What right does the greed of the powerful few have to affect the lives of so many?.. again.. this is powerful and true. And overlooked, or, possibly more accurately, ignored.

Beth said...

For the record, I do not agree with corporate welfare at all, so perhaps we can all agree on this?

Patrick M said...

Soapster: Not necessarily. If you have an old coat, you should. But if he's a lazy fuck and you've tried your best, it doesn't bother me either way. That's a specific, not a generality.

Mike: Thanks for adding nothing but the usual.

Arthur: Was your attorney educated at Regent University?

Do you have an actual point here (besides asshat elitism) or are you just moonbatting more now that Mike showed up?

Toad: Somehow you confuse me with a cookie cutter asshat McCain clone. Let me just ignore your usual raging and address a couple of points.

The federal, state, and local governments have been assuming more and more things under their mantle. And more has shifted from the local to the federal. Most of the shit the fed is doing it shouldn't. Some of that should be done privately, some locallly, some by the states. The states need to learn to live within their means, but they're not (leeching off the fed). And I let the locals decide how they want to spend their money, whether they green up and drive out the hillbillies or they give the tax breaks to get the Walmart in next to the dollar store and the McDonalds. And if the government isn't trying to do every damn thing, then perhaps they can get those thins you love (like regulating industries that can't regulate themselves) right.

As for those social issues, cite the post where I support government "telling someone who they can sleep with, what they can do with their own bodies and reproductive organs, who they can marry, what they can watch on TV, what they can listen to, what kind of art they can create, etc" and I'll stand corrected. Otherwise, be smart enough to shut the fuck up.

Tao: I have to read all this?!?!?! Damn, make me work for it.

I'm going to start with a simple statement: In capitalism, there is no such thing as greed.

Let me qualify. The goal in capitalism is to acquire. Therefore, getting what you can get is the point. There are two things I have to clarify though. If it is acquired illegally, or through corruption, I'm with you on nailing them.

Now, another point: the economy wasn't quite free by 1933. There were a few things the Hoover administration had done to fix the problem, but they didn't work. The only difference between Hoover and FDR in that sense is that FDR made us feel good while things were bad.

The source of the Great Depression was a lack of some sensible regulation of a system that had become too large to be regulated by standard market forces, combined with out-of-control credit. The difference today is that the government has too much regulation and, conversely, a complete inability to fairly enforce them.

My point is we need to pare away the insipid intrusions into our lives so that government can focus on what it's supposed to be doing, and, more importantly, what only the federal government can do.

And that includes our military. And we could have a better debate on what we should be doing if there is less the government has to focus on.

Saty: me being not up to a fight because it's like 0400 has never actually stopped me from starting one.

And so you shall:

...if charity were sufficient, we wouldn't be having this discussion.

The economy is not the reason charity is lacking. Two things affect the lack of charity: the loss of faith and morality and the dependence on government to administer charity. 'Nuff said.

As for your endorsement of Toad, I think my reply says it all.

And enough with the greed.
Money is not what enslaves us, because we can choose not to prostitute ourselves for it. But under the police power of government, where what we "should" buy is mandated, there is no choice. Without the "leaders" that prostitute their power, the money is nothing.

Beth: Keep up the short comments!!!

dmarks said...

"We will restore science to its rightful place, and wield technology's wonders to raise health care's quality and lower its cost"

i.e. when science fits the left's political agenda, it is OK. Otherwise, not.

Tao said: "Private jets? Caribbean spas for management retreats?"

That is up to the shareholders who hire the CEOs. It is really not our business. Unless, of course, we are paying to bail out the company. Then it is very different, just as it is also bad to overpay government employees.

dmarks said...

Toad said: "Ok, again, why do all conservatives think that they only pay taxes because some black guy....."

This is a new one. I've never ever seen this complaint from any conservative.

"corporate welfare for ADM and what not to grow corn."

Actually, a lot of this is tax breaks. Tax breaks are not corporate welfare. Stealing less from someone is not a gift.

"And while you are at it, find out how much local tax revenue was spent in order to build that Wal-mart you go to everyday."

That Walmart generates a lot of money from sales and other taxes.

You don't mind the government
telling ... what they can do with their own bodies and reproductive organs"

I never see anyone ask for that either.

"I just don't get how the conservative mind works."

Maybe because, too often, you are think conservatives support things that they in reality support little if it all.

"the white rich guys who own oil companies"

This looks like some sort of racist attack. Why do you care what skin color someone is?

"are all ok but someone who is black and lost their job is somehow the dredge of society."

Now it is clear that you are clearly playing the race card. Most of the unemployed, and those on welfare, are white.

"That's who you should be raving against."

No thanks. I'm not going to put on the tall pointed hood and rave over people's skin color.

Name: Soapboxgod said...

"Soapster: Not necessarily. If you have an old coat, you should. But if he's a lazy fuck and you've tried your best, it doesn't bother me either way. That's a specific, not a generality."

But this is my point. We're told we have some moral duty to help those in need. However, we have not authority to dictate their behavior or their actions. Hence, to give them money or what have you isn't going to remove the fundamental flaw in the equation which gets them to that point.


As to your inquiry Saty, at the same time you talk about that subset who find themselves having falling on hard times "through no fault of their own", you all too conveniently dismiss the fact that the other subset whose apparent duty it is to prop them up are to be saddled with a burden too "through no fault of their own".

Responsible individuals act and behave in such a manner that they often prepare themselves as best they can for less prosperous times. And, they accept that when those times become seemingly too great, they use reason and logic as their means to direct them back to prosperity. As they do this, they place no blame nor do they see themselves as a victim.

Instead, they see themselves as victors against their own unfortunate circumstance.

TAO said...

Ah, Patrick, the trouble with reality is that it is the realm where theory meets human nature.

To say that in a capitalistic system there is no greed is like saying that in a communistic system there is only the common good.

It has been proven over and over that theory, or ideal types, just do not seem to work as well in reality as they do in our minds.

Great ideas never seem to pan out whenever they run into the beast called human nature.

Even Plato realized this in his Republic and that was why he wanted a ruling class that was brought up from birth to lead.
It was his belief that human nature corrupts and thus leaders that were not corrupt had to be raised differently.

Its like dmarks and his shareholders...shareholders don't make decisions the Board of directors do and if you look at most corporations a CEO of one company sits on a board of another company and on and on it goes...so you get the "you scratch my back and I will scratch yours..." It is impossible for shareholders to demand change because the meetings are orchestrated and controlled by the board.

Satyavati devi dasi said...

Responsible individuals act and behave in such a manner that they often prepare themselves as best they can for less prosperous times. And, they accept that when those times become seemingly too great, they use reason and logic as their means to direct them back to prosperity. As they do this, they place no blame nor do they see themselves as a victim.

Patrick and I discussed this concept into minutiae last night.

I guess this would mean that the patient I had who fell from a golf cart and subsequently had a subdural hematoma that has put them into a vegetative state, whose insurance will run out in the next 20 days because it's reached it's maximum, whose family no longer has the patient's income to supplement the family's other incomes, whose savings are gone to take care of copayments and items not covered by the insurance, whose possessions and assets that could possibly have been sold have been sold to generate whatever additional income they could, whose car (granted, they won't need a second car anymore.. not the point) has been repossessed and whose house is now in foreclosure, who has received whatever charity their local church has provided and what motorcycle runs, donut sales, etc., have been able to generate.... was simply not responsible enough.

The family just wasn't responsible enough.

Right?

I must live in a different world than you do. I see this shit every day.

These are real world situations. People and families I come to know as we work with them for sometimes weeks or months, daily.

I guess someone ought to grab that family and let them know they just weren't responsible enough to prepare for a freak accident that led to a catastrophic, permanent, totally disabily injury to a principal provider of the family, who still had a good 20 years of career and income to look forward to prior to the accident, and whose family now finds themselves hovering on homeless and verging on indigence.

Just another bunch of irresponsible bastards, right? I haven't heard any vocalizations of blame nor victimization from this family, just the stark reality that there's no money left, not much to eat, a lot of bills behind, a car repossessed (which will impact future credit), a house about to be foreclosed (also impacting future credit)... and this person is never going to recover: not fully, not at all.

Gee, I wish someone had told them to be more responsible. If only they had been...

Patrick M said...

Soapster: As there is a moral (but not legal) obligation to help others, there's also a responsibility that we make sure that aid goes to those that need and deserve help. After all, we do (oops, should nowadays) possess the right to decide where our money and resources are used.

Moral obligations do not mean supporting those who want to destroy themselves.

Tao: I take the word greed off the table because it's a lazy-assed word. In capitalism, you're supposed to accumulate. And in our government it's supposed to be a government of laws, not people (addressing the problem Plato faced). The multitude of problems cannot truly be fixed until the government is returned to a state similar to what it was intended to be.

Saty: All I can say in response is that there is always an answer. It may not be an easy answer, it may mean making agonizing choices, but these are problems people have had to solve since we started organizing ourselves into groups.

And without the sum total of things available, I can't give you an answer on the case by case basis. And what you see is more the exception than the rule, as you are in an industry that too often sees shitty situations on a daily basis.

But we can't make law based on the catastrophe that the individual faces. We can't live as though government can solve every nightmare situation. And we certainly can't afford it, considering the inefficiency of it all.

And, to get back to the original point of the post, the central problem is giving up our freedom (and the accompanying problems) to be taken care of from the cradle to the grave. Because to surrender all responsibility is to allow those that rule to dictate our behavior. The down side is that some people will suffer. But I would take a few suffering a lot rather than all suffering equally.

dmarks said...

And Toad, find me some of those "direct subsidies" municipalities pay to Walmart....

Name: Soapboxgod said...

Life happens Saty. There is no right to a specific quality of life. Chalk it up with uncompassionate rhetoric if you will but the fact of the matter is that this is reality.

So, what's your solution? Is the prosperity and subsequent wealth I may create and save subjected to the first needy person who comes strolling along only to then leave me nothing but hope that someone else will do the same for me when I might come to find myself in similar distress?

It is unconscionable to me that someone could claim that sort of mortgage on another person's life.

Satyavati devi dasi said...

However, we have not authority to dictate their behavior or their actions. Hence, to give them money or what have you isn't going to remove the fundamental flaw in the equation which gets them to that point.

Let's look at this, which was another topic Patrick and I got into last night.

Charity doesn't have to come in the form of money. If you believe that the homeless person sitting on the cardboard box is there through his own fault and will surely use your money to buy drugs or whatever, that doesn't negate the fact that they're hungry. I've made sandwiches, wrapped them up, and handed them out. Now, as we discussed, if the person I'm handing the sandwich to doesn't want a sandwich, but wants money, I can't help them, because I don't have the money. I do have some lunch. Take it or leave it. I'm doing the best I can by you. Here's a coat. It's beat up. You can have it. If you sell it to get high and your high ass freezes to death tonight when it's 4 degrees outside, I'm sorry. I did what I could for you.

Local homeless shelters require that those who stay there commit a certain number of hours in work. This can take the form of cleaning up, assisting with maintenance, answering phones, working in the kitchen, going out to sell the local Sunday newspapers at traffic intersections, or most recently, going out into the community with shelter staff to encourage the homeless to come to the shelter when the weather turned so cold it could be deadly to those living outside.

Many of the persons who come to stay at the shelter are short-timers, and eventually get to a point where they can leave. Some become dedicated to the work and stay as part of shelter staff. Some go back out to the street. Okay. We did what we could.

Recently, a friend of mine's daughter got involved with a girl who, it was eventually found, was doing drugs. The girl couldn't pay her half of the rent/utilities, so my friend's daughter threw her out. In retaliation, the girl and some of her friends broke into the apartment, stole everything not nailed down including furniture and refrigerator (these get stolen so the copper pipes can be stripped and sold, if you don't personally know many crackheads), and demolished everything else, to the point of shitting on the rug and peeing everywhere they could, including walls, cabinets, closets, etc.

Clothing was slashed, the entire kitchen contents (appliances, even pots, dishes) were taken or destroyed, everything was gone.

My friend's daughter is then in a situation where she has nothing, nowhere to live, and a huge damages bill from the destruction. (Not everyone thinks of renter's insurance. I had it when we were in the horrible trailer because I was convinced it was going to burn down and take everything we possessed. But again, not everyone thinks of this or is even aware such a thing exists.)

All right. Granted, you shouldn't bring in a drug addict as a roommate. She didn't know the girl was a drug addict and thought she had a job, but still. Okay, so if you want, we could stretch all this to say that it's her own fault she now has nothing because she got mixed up with a girl who's a drug addict and paid the price for crossing her.

That still doesn't help. She's continuing to work and attend school, crashing with friends as she can and getting together bit by bit even such basics as a wardrobe.

I didn't have a wardrobe to give her, but we went through what we have to see what we weren't using. I found about four pots that were still in fairly decent condition-old, pretty beat up but still usable, just things we'd replaced because they were old or that we weren't using. I had what amounted to an archaeological expedition through my vastly overstuffed kitchen cabinets and found casserole dishes, baking pans, and a bigass pot, all that I haven't used in so long I forgot we had them. I went through a box we had in the attic (I am a veteran packrat and keep everything) and found our old silverware, which was a conglomerate of mismatched things I'd picked up more or less a fork at a time. (I never had a complete set of everyday matched silverware until like 2 years ago.) I found extra serving spoons. A couple of plates and a bowl, the last few that survived from our old set. And a one-cup food processor I don't think I've ever used since I got it as a wedding shower gift.

I found a quilt I don't use because it got some kind of industrial stain on it (no sleeping on the bed in work clothes!!), and things like milk crates and empty spaghetti sauce jars I keep for things like dry beans.

I brought her all this stuff. She was so grateful she cried and nearly broke my neck with a hug.

The point of all this is, I had this stuff. I wasn't using it. It was taking up room in my cabinets, our garage, and our attic. Giving it away places no burden on us (actually, he's thrilled that I'm getting rid of stuff) and helps her at the same time. Is there a bad side to this? I can't think of one.

Okay. Even if you're willing to consider her 'worthy' to receive a donation of things we didn't need and weren't using, it doesn't really matter who receives this stuff. It doesn't actually even matter what they do with it (although I'm pressed to think of what could be done with old pots and mismatched silver). The point is that we gave it. It would have been equally as valid to donate it to the local homeless shelter or the soup kitchen. I don't think I would have dropped it off with the first homeless person I met, as I can't see what use they'd have for a pot unless it was, as my mother would say, to piss in.

We, as Americans especially, enjoy unprecedented prosperity. I'm not the only person out there who's got a quilt I don't use and pots I have buried so far in my cabinet I forgot they were there. I'm not the only person who has more than what they need or actually can even use. To give it to someone who needs it makes sense. Consider it recycling if you like.

Charity doesn't have to come in the form of currency. It can be done through donating items, through service at a shelter or kitchen or church that does food for those in need. We have a philosophy that no one within ten miles of any temple should go hungry, and collectively provide free meals to well over 30 thousand people, worldwide, on a daily basis, right from our temple kitchens.

Now, none of these things I've mentioned, Beth, necessarily require your tax dollars, unless we move into government assistance for bona fide charity work. This is actually a great idea and supports whole communities, and ought to be done.

But the point of this particular argument is not the tax dollars end of it; it's the concept that people who need have to be evaluated for 'worthiness' first, or that charity comes only in the form of money. The poor widow who gave her last dollar was accounted more virtuous than the rich man who gave of his surplus.

Satyavati devi dasi said...

It may not be an easy answer, it may mean making agonizing choices, but these are problems people have had to solve since we started organizing ourselves into groups.

Life happens Saty. There is no right to a specific quality of life. Chalk it up with uncompassionate rhetoric if you will but the fact of the matter is that this is reality.


Ah, Malthusianism once again rears its ugly head.

All this becomes, in the final boil-down, is passive, agonizing, lingering, horrific euthanasia. Except that actual euthanasia would be quick and painless.

Let me go get the Kevorkian scarves. You can pass them out to those you deem 'worthy'.

dmarks said...

Saty: "If we have no compassion for others, we should abandon any claim we have ever made to be a 'society', never mind a 'culture'."

There's a difference between real charity, from the heart, and the selfish greed of those who claim to be "for the poor" and rob rich and poor alike in order to enrich themselves first.

I am doubting that Patrick M has a problem with the first.

Name: Soapboxgod said...

"(Not everyone thinks of renter's insurance. I had it when we were in the horrible trailer because I was convinced it was going to burn down and take everything we possessed. But again, not everyone thinks of this or is even aware such a thing exists.)"

"All right. Granted, you shouldn't bring in a drug addict as a roommate. She didn't know the girl was a drug addict and thought she had a job, but still...."

But these very things DO exist and I should not bear the burden for one's inability to realize that which exists.

The girl made judgement errors. I've made judgement errors. What I did not make were excuses for them.

I'm not saying that we can't help others or that we shouldn't help others. And, I never implied the only way to do so was monetarily (obviously given the spare winter coat thing I mentioned).

Name: Soapboxgod said...

"Ah, Malthusianism once again rears its ugly head."

Fair enough charge. But dare ask yourself how it is then that by your standards of redistributionist "safety net" policies, to the tune of between $1.03 and $1.53 trillion dollars from the two highest income quintiles to the three lowest in 2004 alone, the welfare state has grown?

Toad734 said...

DMarks:

The City of Denver subsidized a new walmart after throwing independent Asian stores off their land and ended up spending 10 million dollars. This was back in 2003. Same sort of things have happened in Dallas, Scottsdale, AZ,ME, OK, etc.

Walmart tells the town that they will build in the next municipality over if they don't subsidize their stores. Knowing Walmart will put that towns local businesses under either way, they have to agree to their demands so they at least build the walmart within their tax jurisdiction.

http://www.tompaine.com/articles/2005/11/09/walmarts_tax_on_us.php

Again, if these towns were giving this money to poor black women you guys would shit yourselves. But since its a bunch of good ol white boys from Arkansas selling you cheap contaminated dog food, you are either all for it, or don't want to hear about it.

Corporate welfare is the real drag on society, not kids who couldn't eat a breakfast this morning.

Toad734 said...

Patrick:

Ok, so maybe you don't support broad censorship, banning gay marriage, banning abortion (which I actually think you do), etc. but you have to agree that most conservatives do. That's the difference between liberals and conservatives.

I am all for states living within their means, and the Feds living within their means which means not doing shit like invading Iraq and handing out 700 billion to rich white guys who didn't know how to manage the money they had in the first place.

dmarks said...

Toad: Do you have a link to the story about Denver? I'd like to find out if it was an actual subsidy, as opposed to a tax break.

"Knowing Walmart will put that towns local businesses under either way"

That just does not happen. Ever. Wal-mart does not put other businesses under. It can't: it does not own them, or make the decisions for them.

"Again, if these towns were giving this money to poor black women...."

With all these racist comments from you, it is like you have flung an entire deck of race cards in the air and are asking us to play 52 pickup.

"Ok, so maybe you don't support broad censorship"

I've seen the biggest push for censorship for many years now coming from the Left.

Patrick M said...

Toad: To paint conservatism with that broad of a brush and define it as a monolith of one idea is as bad as me deciding that all liberals thing religion is for the dumb (which would quickly earn me Satyavati's wrath). There are some assumptions you can make, as liberals tend to lean to less judgment on personal behavior and conservatives less reliance on government. But I've met no one online who agrees with everything I say. And the only people who agree totally are the lemmings, who would vote for a slab of monkey shit if it had the right letter behind it on the ballot.

BTW, on abortion (and let's not start arguing this again, please), I don't favor outright bans, but doing everything to reduce the number (hopefully to zero) while still preserving the right to control your own body.

I am glad you agree with the idea of government not running deficits out its ass, though. That's one thing that everybody that's commented can agree on.

Beth said...

I can recognize that at any given time there are people in our country (and the world) who need help and can truly not help themselves, some temporarily, some permanently. But when the entitlement mentality grows to include a myraid of things, the number of people in "need" grows, too, and those with real needs get lost in the shuffle.

Now I hate unnecessry spending and waste, and this overload of need I think is wasteful and wrong. So I don't like to throw the baby out with the bathwater so to speak, in other words is it fair to cut of helping everyone because of those who abuse it? (I'm talking corporations as well as individuals here). And it doesn't matter if the welfare is done federally or locally. We need to figure out a better way to wean corporations and individuals off the entitlement way of thinking and be able to identify those in real need. Then charity would be enough to help the people who really need it, wouldn't it? And corporations would be forced to be fiscally responsible. How can anyone argue against that?

Toad734 said...

Dmarks:

I posted a link to it. You do also have google don't you. This is a common business practice; its one of the reasons they are the #1 retailer, they get other people to pick up their tab. This isn't new information are even a secret.

They get both tax breaks, subsidies, and the towns use their tax revenues to build infrastructures for walmart and uses that revenue to get rid of the smaller retailers like it did to that Asian strip mall in Denver. Instead of paying cops, building schools, they build a walmart so your mechanic will go out of business. Brilliant!

Walmart puts them out of business by forcing suppliers to sell to Walmart cheaper than anyone else. Then Walmart puts their prices lower than anyone elses and sell cheaper shit made with child labor in China. When this happens, ma and pa close their doors. So no, YOU put them out of business.

As far as the race card, if the shoe fits...How many conservative blogs rail against welfare to rich white people vs welfare to poor black people? In fact, Patrick, and the Heritage Foundation are the few who do speak out against the 800 billion dollar Agriculture subsidies, which is free money for people who don't deserve it. Bus still, all I hear from the right is "people who don't work, bla bla bla, "My taxes are high so people in the projects can sleep til noon, bla bla bla". And in the case of Patrick for instance and most middle class white people with dependents, they don't pay taxes anyway. In fact, people like me have to pay more taxes in order to educate his children. That isn't fair is it?

Toad734 said...

Patick:

I generalize. I say Asians are shitty drivers. Are all Asians shitty drivers? Of Course not. But a lot of shitty drivers happen to be Asian. Blond yuppie moms in SUVs and old people are a close second, Same thing.

Although we both agree with fiscal responsibility, we disagree when it is ok for the government to spend money and what on. I don't think it was ok to spend billions on Iraq and cut the education budget. That's when the liberal conservative thing comes back into play. Again, I don't mind feeding poor children with tax revenue just as a lot of conservatives don't mind handing out cash to Farmers,Israel and faith based organizations.

Arthurstone said...

Patrick typed:

'I am glad you agree with the idea of government not running deficits out its ass, though. That's one thing that everybody that's commented can agree on.'

And so you agree the past Administration probably should have increased taxes to pay for its military adventurism in the Middle East instead of putting the tab on the nation's credit card? Oh well too late. But hopefully the new President will end some of the tax cuts instituted for the very wealthy eased over the past several years to help ease those deficits we all hate so much.

Right?

dmarks said...

There's nothing that met the definition of "adventurism".

There is no need to end any of the tax cuts. That would clobber the economy (as Obama seems to acknowledge by pushing back his promise for an unnecessary and greedy tax hike). Besides, it would make the defecits even worse because of the economic damage caused by it.

Besides, with revenues increasing during a period of tax cuts, it is quite clear that the tax cuts have reduced the defecit. The problem is that the overspending has greatly exceeded the increase in government revenue caused by cutting the excessive tax rates.

Name: Soapboxgod said...

"...the tax cuts instituted for the very wealthy"

For Christ's sake. Those that shoulder the burden by sheer logic will, in the event of a tax cut, get a larger piece of the pie.

Let me ask you a question.

Suppose we both purchase tickets to [insert your favorite sporting event/ music artist, etc.].

Now, let us suppose that in so doing, I purchase a $250 front row ticket. You, on the other hand, purchase a $50 nosebleed ticket.

Then, let's suppose that a week prior to the event it gets canceled and refunds then ensue.

What would be the proper and just outcome?

Apparently, by your immoral logic, we should each be refunded $150 because God forbid I should recieve a refund which is commensurate with what I paid.

Toad734 said...

Dmarks:

Yes, since Bush cut the taxes of rich people from what they were during the Clinton years our economy has done so well. NOT.

If people were prosperous and our economy grew in the 90s at the 38% tax rate, they will be just fine if it returns to that rate and the dollar and our economy will be better because they deficit won't be so high and we can start to create jobs and invest in new technologies with that money and better fund our schools which will create a higher educated workforce which people tend to like. Your taxes wont go up, you have nothing to worry about.

Arthurstone said...

dmarks typed:

There's nothing that met the definition of "adventurism".

adventurism

n.
Involvement in risky enterprises without regard to proper procedures and possible consequences, especially the reckless intervention by a nation in the affairs of another nation or region:

Patrick M said...

Toad: Actually, I'd define it as assuming, not generalizing just so I can make the cliche reference.

As for fiscal responsibility, it starts by deciding what the government has to fund, including the military (whether we should be in Iraq or not is another topic (irrelevant, we have to fund them if they are there), and spending money on things that are not the job of the federal government (start to create jobs and invest in new technologies with that money and better fund our schools). However, I will concede we need to do more with less in military matters (although that thinking led to Iraq getting messy).

Arthur: Actually, I can think of a whole slew of things they could have not added on, like No Child Left Behind and the Medicare drug benefit. The exploded deficit wasn't all military spending.

And what is it with attacking the people who earn the most money? They already pay an assload while people at the other end are written checks. Especially if they have kids. And if you doubt this, I'll share a few lines of my 1040 come tax time.

Arthurstone said...

PatrickM typed:

'The exploded deficit wasn't all military spending.'

No one said it was Patrick. But waging war at this level and the resultant expenses for vet care, etc. etc. by charging it on the nations credit card has to be addressed in any serious discussion of the budget. No Child... is peanuts by comparison.

dmarks said...

Toad: "Yes, since Bush cut the taxes of rich people from what they were during the Clinton years our economy has done so well. NOT."

Actually, most of the people who had taxes cut were not rich. As a result of the tax cuts, tax revenues increased over time. The economy has not done well, but the tax cuts have helped the situation.

Arthurstone: I looked up the definition before I wrote earlier. It does not fit the events. The only thing risky and reckless would have been to NOT take action against the aggressive terrorists.

Patrick M said...

Arthur: The only problem there is that we are committed in an action, which means we MUST support it financially. And any action we are committed to we must achieve our objectives.

However, it does appear we will be pulling out for the right reasons (all objectives accomplished), which makes all of us happy. And I'd leave it at that.

dmarks said...

Patrick: Good point. Any pullout must be results-oriented, rather than from listening to pro-terrorist ranters like Dennis Kucinich (retreat for surrender's sake).

Arthurstone said...

PatricvkM typed:

'Arthur: The only problem there is that we are committed in an action, which means we MUST support it financially.'


Social Security is just such an action for most of us.



dmarks typed:

'The only thing risky and reckless would have been to NOT take action against the aggressive terrorists.'

There are about three of you remaining who insist the 'aggressive terrorists' were anywhere near Iraq and were any possible threat to us. The generally accepted reason for the invasion has become that we acted out of a humanitarian impulse to free a nation from the rule of a tyrant.

Cheers!

Patrick M said...

Arthur: Social Security is just such an action for most of us.

Unfortunately, you're right. And the result of that is that it will be near collapse (or already dead) by the time I'm supposed to get it, despite the money being sucked out of my paycheck. And therein lies the problem of depending on government.

dmarks said...

arthurstone: "There are about three of you remaining who insist the 'aggressive terrorists' were anywhere near Iraq "

One of them ruled in Baghdad. That's a fact. But there were many good reasons to order the retaliation.

Toad734 said...

Patrick:

If Afghanistan can defeat the USSR and guys with old warheads can almost defeat the US in Iraq, I think we can figure out how to do well with less.

DMarks:

Most peoples taxes went down and the government went broke as a result. What ever Bush has done, hasn't worked, lets do the opposite. And by the way, the rich benefited more than any other group under the Bush tax cuts. Sure, I got $300 in the mail but they are saving millions.

Patrick M said...

Toad: Except getting more boots on the ground was what turned Iraq.