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Open Thread Cont. ……

20 Aug

A really good conversation on a myriad of topics has been brewing on the Sunday Open Thread, so I thought we would continue the conversation here.

My partner Mitch had a good post I would like to respond to, and that is our dependence on foreign oil, the need to transition to a greener energy platform, and American exceptionalism, so here goes:

1. We import most of our oil from Canada & Mexico, so the notion that we are still “dependent” on foreign oil is a fallacy. We also have discovered over the last few years enough domestic reserves that we could completely get by without ME oil if we had the political will. That’s a big IF. I do agree with Mitch though that ultimately, we need to transition to a more sustainable, more eco friendly energy platform.

2. American exceptionalism – I think we should all be extremely proud of the fact that this country has done more for personal freedoms and individual civil rights than any other country on this planet in just 236 years – and that is what American exceptionalism is all about. It’s not that we are better people, but our form of governance, our Constitution, and our free enterprise system has allowed for the highest standard of living, the most civil rights and the most individual freedoms both economically and socially than has been afforded to any individual ever. That is why people are still flocking to this country both legally and illegally. Let’s not lose sight of that.

 

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106 Comments

Posted by on August 20, 2013 in Open Thread

 

106 responses to “Open Thread Cont. ……

  1. mitchethekid

    August 20, 2013 at 11:14 am

    Don’t misunderstand me. Other than being a zillionaire and having homes all over the world, there is no place I’d rather live than here. I’m proud to be an American.
    However, some people conflate American exceptionalism with arrogance, that we are better than others and no matter what: we are never, ever wrong about anything. The Germans make better cars, the French are better cooks, the Brazilians know how to live a more mellow life. You see where I’m going. What I meant was everyone, every country has something to offer. No one is “better” in total. But I do agree, that in comparison our strengths out-weigh our weakness; our flaws. But when we have flaws, boy are they a doozy.

     
    • GMB

      August 20, 2013 at 12:43 pm

      “The Germans make better cars, the French are better cooks, the Brazilians know how to live a more mellow life.”

      That may be true to some extent. If I had my druthers, I would like to run that beemer into the ground on a American road. I would rather have that chompignon? At a resturaunt here in the states. I can mellow out all I want out in woods practicing my gun control.

      Flaws, sure we have them but compared to the konzentration lageren and the gulags, where would you rather be?

       
      • mitchethekid

        August 20, 2013 at 1:20 pm

        I am in love with my E36. Just recently I added a 3 gauge A pillar gauge pod.

         
  2. ricorun

    August 20, 2013 at 11:33 am

    Oh shit… I just posted something on the other thread. Is posting another thread on the same topic a naked attempt to garner another 100 comment thread? 😉

     
    • bardolf2

      August 22, 2013 at 7:17 pm

      Good call!

       
  3. ricorun

    August 20, 2013 at 11:48 am

    mitchie: Don’t misunderstand me. Other than being a zillionaire and having homes all over the world, there is no place I’d rather live than here.

    Personally, I wouldn’t mind if I was principally located on Maui. I wouldn’t want my kids born there of course. It would be just another impediment to them attaining the office of the President of the United States, as I’m sure it will eventually be revealed that every facet of the Hawaiian government is part of the Vast Left Wing Conspiracy and has been for years. Fortunately, that ship has sailed.

     
    • meursault1942

      August 20, 2013 at 11:59 am

      “Personally, I wouldn’t mind if I was principally located on Maui.”

      I dunno…I prefer Kauai. What an amazing island! Although it’s been a good 8 or 9 years since I’ve been there, so perhaps one of the things I liked about it–that it isn’t crawling with tourists like the bigger islands–isn’t the case anymore.

       
      • rustybrown2012

        August 20, 2013 at 1:19 pm

        Yes! I love Kauai. Been there a couple times with the wife.

         
  4. ricorun

    August 20, 2013 at 11:53 am

    This is a re-post from the last thread…

    A Republican case for climate action? Yes, it’s possible — so long, I guess, one doesn’t equate “Republican” with “conservative” and/or “libertarian” (though arguably for different reasons).

    http://www.nytimes.com/2013/08/02/opinion/a-republican-case-for-climate-action.html?src=me&ref=general&_r=0

    By the way, that reminded me of a question I’d like to direct at GMB (or anyone else who feels they know the libertarian mindset well enough): how do libertarians deal with transactional externalities? Those are the costs incurred by one or more persons (usually more) who did not participate in the transaction. Transactional externalities include such things as the costs incurred by homeowners surrounding a chemical company which accepted a contract which resulted in them polluting the groundwater, a new meat processing plant which produced a foul odor when they started slaughtering, um… fowl, commuters on a stretch of road that became damaged (resulting in greater wear and tear on said commuters’ vehicles) when a shipping company moved in next door, etc., etc.

     
  5. GMB

    August 20, 2013 at 1:13 pm

    Rico, personally, IIf a chemical plant intentionally polluted the water that I used, I would have to think twice about practicing some gun control on the leadership of that company. If it was unintentional that would be a different matter.

    I think part of this is actually trying to get me to admit that I am a anarchist! LOL. Very close but not all the way. Most conservatives and most libertarians believe in the smallest government possible. We are really not even against your beloved welfare state. Where that welfare state takes place is the issue.

    There is no basis in our Constitution for the federal government to be providing welfare to anyone. This is not true at the state level. Any power that is not specifically granted to federal government is reserved for the states or the people of that state.

    Now most Libertarians, myself among them, will go even farther on this issue. Welfare and the like should be handled at no more than a county level. How does some bean counter in D.C. know what so poor person in Pekin, Illinois needs. However the township commisioner of Cincinnati Township will have a very good idea of what that person needs since they live there!

    Do you see where I am going?

    Now to the foul odor. Was the meat packing plant there before the residential neighborhood or is it vice versa? If the plant was there beforehand and now residents are complaining? Tough cookies, they knew what they were getting into when they moved next door to a slaughterhouse.
    Even if the foul odor only started after the residents moved in, the plant was there first. Tough cookies. Buy the plant out if you can or keep smelling that smell ok there aqualung?

    Something like this actually occurred near my former home. A new residential neighborhood sprung up near a pig packing plant. I do believe they still get to smell raw pork to this day.

    As to road situation. Those trucking companies pay a lot into the tax system via IFTA and the apportionment plate regulations. It can, the last time I had anything to do with the trucking industry, cost upwards of $5,000,00 just to get that plate on the front of the truck. Now that depends on how many miles the owner of that truck estimates that truck will travel in the home state.

    Lets say he is based out of Texas and estimates that truck will travel 80% of it’s yearly miles in Texas. It will then cost the owner $4,000.00 just to get that plate. That money is supposed to go into each states highway fund for road repairs/upgrades, what have you?

    You want to bet that money just gets dumped into the general funds instead?

    Now to top off that apportionment fee each truck is charged a per mile tax on fuel. Yes a tax per mile. You would have to look up what the IFTA standard is, I do not know it anymore.

    So that truck is producing one hell of lot more in tax revenue in a year than that car of yours will do in a lifetime.

    Go pay for your flat tire. Demand that the manufactures produce a better piece of scrap metal or some such nonsense.

    This “moderator” style rant has been brought to you, snark and attitude free, by GMB aka the Green Mountain Boy.

    I would like to thank mom, dad, chocolate creme pie and all my lyal fans for allowing me post this.

    Never have so many owed so much to ME!!!

     
    • ricorun

      August 20, 2013 at 2:19 pm

      GMB: There is no basis in our Constitution for the federal government to be providing welfare to anyone. This is not true at the state level. Any power that is not specifically granted to federal government is reserved for the states or the people of that state.

      That sounds like Amazona’s conception of “constitutional conservatism” to me. As I understand it, true libertarianism makes no distinctions between federal, state, county, or local levels. It would be nice if you would address my apparent misunderstanding at some point, but I also think it’s one of those things that is so complex that it will take time to resolve. Plus, we get to crap on each other in the mean time, which is good traffic for the blog. 🙂 At any rate, let’s proceed…

      How does some bean counter in D.C. know what so[me] poor person in Pekin, Illinois needs?

      Actually, it is my understanding that the “bean counters” in DC don’t have that kind of specificity. My understanding is that “the feds” allocate funds to each state and (within certain restrictions) allow the states themselves to determine how to allocate funds to said “poor person in Pekin, IL”. The glaring exception is federally earmarked funds, that “wonderful” slush fund that certain members on both sides of the aisle use to grease their own wheels in so many “wonderful” ways. If you want to bitch about such things as earmarks, “iron triangle” issues, and the like, I’m all in. In the mean time be careful where you’re going when it comes to the “poor person in Pekin, IL”.

      Now to the foul odor. Was the meat packing plant there before the residential neighborhood or is it vice versa? If the plant was there beforehand and now residents are complaining? Tough cookies, they knew what they were getting into when they moved next door to a slaughterhouse.

      What if it was the vice of that versa? In other words, what if the residential neighborhood was there before the plant was? You didn’t mention that scenario. And how would you feel if the plant itself was there before the community, didn’t emit foul odors for some time, but then changed their business so that they did? Or what if the “foul odor” wasn’t foul at all, but after a long period of time it turned out their emissions caused cancer or other illnesses? Who pays for that? What if the owners of the business were warned, maybe even several times, that their emissions were causing grave illnesses, but decided that the connection couldn’t be proved beyond a reasonable doubt with the evidence at hand at the time?

      Do you see where I am going? 🙂 Maybe you do, maybe you don’t. But you certainly did make my case for me in your response to the “road scenario”…

      As to road situation. Those trucking companies pay a lot into the tax system via IFTA and the apportionment plate regulations.

      What??? They pay into the TAX SYSTEM??? And you’re perfectly FINE WITH THAT??? Well, glory be. Lol!

      Seriously though, I appreciate that you are not an anarchist, and that you appreciate that there are degrees as to which one adheres to even a libertarian viewpoint. I suggest that’s true all the way across the political spectrum, and even suggest that the “spectrum” is actually composed of many different dimensions besides “liberal” on the one hand and “conservative” on the other. I believe it was you (and if it wasn’t you it was Cluster) that pointed out that “not all Republicans are conservatives”. Even if it wasn’t you (or him) that’s certainly true. And all I can say to that is… thank God. Likewise, I thank God that not all Democrats are liberal. I rejoice in the fact that there are some politicians left who consider results far more important than ideology. After all, making the right economic/social decision for the wrong ideologic/party reasons is always better than making the wrong economic/social decision for the right ideologic/party reasons. Don’t you agree?

      And for the record, I’d like a slice of that chocolate cream pie.

       
      • GMB

        August 21, 2013 at 5:17 am

        “That sounds like Amazona’s conception of “constitutional conservatism””

        Please Sir, That is borderline insulting. 😛

        The money still goes to D.C first then based on some bean counters decision gets allocated to the states. So now we have pay another nobleman to count those beans before any gets to the state.

        How about that tax money never goes to the feds and the bean counter who is already being paid by the state decides where it goes.

        Presto an out of work bean counter.

        As far as the slaughterhouse thing goes. Do you have an example of this happening. For me to base an rational reply I would need to see the situation.

        Why was it allowed in the first place. Did the people who live near there have any say in the matter. Did the local government issue a zoning permit against the their wishes?

        As far as this. “And you’re perfectly FINE WITH THAT??? Well, glory be. Lol!”

        When did you ever get the idea that conservatives were against all taxes? What we want is the smallest government possible at each level and that the tax money we send to them be spent wisely.

        Not on vacation “conference” to Hawaii.

        Smallest government possible, focus on what you are supposed to be focusing on. Instead we have politicians looting the public for their own gain.

         
      • ricorun

        August 22, 2013 at 2:44 pm

        GMB: How about that tax money never goes to the feds and the bean counter who is already being paid by the state decides where it goes.

        Considering more red states than blue states take more than they give, I suppose that would make Democrats happy. But that’s just the start. For example, there are already standardization issues which make expanding across state borders a nightmare for some companies. There are significant economy of scale issues which would have to be addressed in smaller states. Etc., etc.

        Look, I think many of us, perhaps a significant majority on all sides of most aisles, want the smallest government possible at each level and that the tax money we send to “them” be spent wisely. I suspect that where we really differ is where we are inclined to draw the line. In my case, I tend to react negatively to BOTH big business AND big government, because I think both of them infringe on personal liberties. But I’m also a realist, and thus I tend to react in favor of pragmatism first, not ideology. Consequently, I find your response: As far as the slaughterhouse thing goes. Do you have an example of this happening. For me to base an rational reply I would need to see the situation. Why was it allowed in the first place. Did the people who live near there have any say in the matter. Did the local government issue a zoning permit against the their wishes? a pragmatic rather than an ideological one. I thus welcome it. The devil is always in the details.

         
      • Cluster

        August 22, 2013 at 3:50 pm

        I think many of us, perhaps a significant majority on all sides of most aisles, want the smallest government possible at each level and that the tax money we send to “them” be spent wisely.

        I really, really don’t believe that at all. I have never heard any Democrat run on smaller, more efficient government. I have never heard any liberal say that government is too big. Look at the GSA scandal earlier this year – where was the outcry of millions, upon million of dollars being spent on parties in Las Vegas? Look at the sequester – which was only a slow down in the rate of government growth – the cries from Democrats were deafening. There are just too many examples to list to disprove your assertion – sorry Rico.

         
  6. cluster

    August 20, 2013 at 1:31 pm

    OK, enough of this common ground love fest over Hawaii – btw, I lived on Maui for about two years back in the 80’s and absolutely love the place, but let’s put that aside and get back to politically ripping each other apart – LOL. Here’s an excerpt from a provocative WSJ article on Hillary that I believe has some hard truth to it:

    Georgia, Indiana and Tennessee have some of the strictest voter ID laws of the more than 30 states that have such laws, yet the Census report says black turnout exceeded that of non-Hispanic whites in 2012 in all three. Where is the evidence that voter ID laws keep minorities from voting? The disconnect between these facts and Mrs. Clinton’s assertions suggests that she is the one playing racial politics. The current narrow Democratic majority is largely a coalition based on gender and racial identity. It requires big turnout among single women and non-whites. As the Obama era winds down, the fear among Democrats is that these voters won’t have the same enthusiasm. Mrs. Clinton can play the “first woman President” card, but she also needs large minority turnout. If she can’t motivate that turnout based on rising economic optimism or opportunity, which is hard given the Obama economic record, she and Democrats will play to racial fears to drive it. She wants a racially polarized electorate.

    I am interested in reading everyones comments on this article. And in my opinion, divisive politics have been the name of the game for too long now – it is time we get past that, and Mitch and I are blazing the way!!!!

     
    • ricorun

      August 20, 2013 at 2:36 pm

      Cluster: Georgia, Indiana and Tennessee have some of the strictest voter ID laws of the more than 30 states that have such laws, yet the Census report says black turnout exceeded that of non-Hispanic whites in 2012 in all three.

      Talk about unanticipated consequences, these voter ID/restriction-of-access laws have been a godsend for liberals. It’s like poking an alligator to try to get him to go to sleep. If I were a liberal I’d say, “keep it up!”. And DEFINITELY keep it in the news. I don’t know which Republican mastermind came up with this program, but it’s great thinking! Comparatively speaking, voting against Obamacare, ad infinitum, pales in comparison.

       
      • Cluster

        August 20, 2013 at 3:45 pm

        Rico,

        I don’t support voter ID laws because they would result in GOP victories. I support the laws because I believe in one “citizen”/one vote, and voter integrity. If that results in a Democrat win – fine.

         
      • GMB

        August 21, 2013 at 5:18 am

        ” I support the laws because I believe in one “citizen”/one vote, and voter integrity. If that results in a Democrat win – fine.”

        Well spoken. Very well spoken.

         
      • kmg

        August 21, 2013 at 4:17 pm

        If you believe in one citizen/one vote, why do think it okay to keep a few hundred thousand from voting in order to maybe catch a number of ineligible voters that you can count on one hand?

         
      • Cluster

        August 21, 2013 at 5:05 pm

        When did I say it was ok to “keep a few hundred thousand from voting”? You need to team up with Rusty. Supporting voter ID laws has nothing to do with preventing people from voting, and everything to do with voter integrity. My question to you is – why do you think people are incapable of obtaining photo ID’s? Do you really think that little of your fellow citizens?

        State issued photo ID’s are free, and acquiring birth certificates has a total cost of $15, a fee of which is waived if the persons income is below the guidelines.

        The argument against photo ID’s is weak, divisive, and offensive to the common sense.

         
      • kmg

        August 21, 2013 at 6:12 pm

        cluster,

        Are you saying that acceptable photo ID is free in every state? Or that a birth certificate is only $15 dollars in all states and all states provide subsidies to everyone to get one (income doesn’t matter when you talk about a poll tax)? What happens when someone doesn’t have a birth certificate? What about college students who are banned from using their school ID, but don’t have a driver’s license?

        If you don’t believe its okay to disenfranchise many, many more people than you may catch, provide your data to prove your point. Show us where the rampant voter fraud is occurring that photo ID would prevent. Show us why the Government should take on the additional cost of providing completely free ID to everyone that asks? Let’s see the numbers behind your cost/benefit analysis.

        If you can’t show that voter fraud is actually a problem, I’ll just have to assume that you fell for the Republican party’s talking points and are too proud to admit it.

         
      • Cluster

        August 21, 2013 at 6:29 pm

        If you don’t believe its okay to disenfranchise many, many more people than you may catch, provide your data to prove your point

        I never made that claim, so again, please refrain from putting words in my mouth. If this country can provide healthcare to everyone, I certainly think its possible to provide a photo ID to everyone. Wouldn’t you think? It is a very small minority of people who don’t have proper identification, and it wouldn’t take much of an effort to provide for that minority, and in my opinion – voter integrity and this country is worth the effort. I am sorry you don’t feel the same. Maybe it is you who has fallen for the Democratic talking points.

         
      • kmg

        August 21, 2013 at 7:57 pm

        So, cluster, the facts are that vastly more people would be disenfranchised by photo ID laws than would possibly be caught cheating. To me that means you think disenfranchisement is okay. If you don’t agree, provide the FACTS and EVIDENCE showing that voter fraud is so rampant that it would be worth the disenfranchisement. Or don’t, and cling to your delusions. Your choice.

         
      • Cluster

        August 21, 2013 at 8:19 pm

        To me that means you think disenfranchisement is okay

        Sometimes I wonder how you tie your shoes in the morning. Let me ask this questions, what level of voter fraud is acceptable to you? Obviously some fraud is ok with you, so I just need to know at what level you would finally object to it.

        And if Democrats believe that everyone can afford healthcare insurance, which some reports show that younger folks who don’t have insurance now will be paying upwards of $200/mo, why don’t you think they can not afford a photo ID? That doesn’t make sense to me. In fact gas prices have been over $3/gal for 5 years now but no concern by the Democrats. Food prices have been rising – no concern; labor force at an all time low – no concern; but Democrats are outraged when thinking that someone might have to come up with a few bucks for a photo ID. Can you explain that?

         
      • kmg

        August 22, 2013 at 4:25 am

        Let me ask this questions, what level of voter fraud is acceptable to you? Obviously some fraud is ok with you, so I just need to know at what level you would finally object to it.

        I told you before, prove there is some level of voter fraud occurring that photo ID would prevent. Maybe I’ll start coming around to your point of view if you can show that 0.1% of votes are fraudulent. Hell, just get it to 0.01%.

        And if Democrats believe that everyone can afford healthcare insurance, which some reports show that younger folks who don’t have insurance now will be paying upwards of $200/mo, why don’t you think they can not afford a photo ID?

        Voting is a constitutional right and requiring people to pay to exercise that right is a poll tax. Nice try at deflecting, though. And BTW, most people affected by the ACA will receive subsidies to help pay for their insurance. Lack of health insurance is a big problem in this country and the data is there to support it, unlike voter fraud.

        You keep claiming voter fraud is a problem, but until you put some evidence behind it, it doesn’t exist. I keep trying to get you to debate with logic and facts, but you keep insisting on arguing by assertion.To paraphrase from Jerry Maguire, “SHOW ME THE DATA!!!”

         
      • Cluster

        August 22, 2013 at 4:48 am

        KMG,

        I consider any degree of voter fraud to be a problem, and I am sorry you don’t. Let me ask you this, how much of your money can I steal before you consider that a problem? I agree that voter fraud is a small issue, but so is people who lack photo ID. The almost violent resistance to phasing in photo ID laws amongst you and other liberals doesn’t the smell test. Something is wrong here. This isn’t an over burden for anyone and is simply a common sense approach when voting for the most powerful office in the world.

        Do actually know what a subsidy is? That money has to come from somewhere right? Not everyone can receive subsidies? A subsidy is taking money from Peter to give to Paul. In order to do that, there has to be more Peter’s than there are Paul’s. You are a Peter and I am a Paul. I think it’s quite noble of you to spend other people’s money, but there is a limit to that, and many people are goi g to be out of pocket by quite a bit when Obamacare is fully implemented. Secondly, health care insurance does not equate to health care, and many reports show that a lot of doctors will be retiring or leaving the profession, so while we may have insurance, we may not have access to much care. Just another unintended consequence. Finally, Obamacare is based on the healthy people who don’t require care to pay in, which will offset the expenses of those who do require care. So you in effect are asking the young to pay for the old – that again really isn’t that fair. Why should some healthy 30 year old pay for my care?

         
      • kmg

        August 22, 2013 at 2:21 pm

        I consider any degree of voter fraud to be a problem, and I am sorry you don’t.

        So to you one fraudulent vote out of 1,000,000 is enough to disenfranchise many, many more?

        Let me ask you this, how much of your money can I steal before you consider that a problem?

        If I have $100 on the table and you take 1 penny, that is not a problem to me. If voter fraud exists that could be prevented by photo ID (and you still having proven that it does) it happens on a much smaller scale than that.

        I agree that voter fraud is a small issue, but so is people who lack photo ID. The almost violent resistance to phasing in photo ID laws amongst you and other liberals doesn’t the smell test. Something is wrong here. This isn’t an over burden for anyone and is simply a common sense approach when voting for the most powerful office in the world.

        The most common form of photo ID is a driver’s license. Fewer and fewer young people are opting to not get a driver’s license, ranging from 34% for 18-year olds to 18% for 20-24 year olds. The next large group without a driver’s license is those over 70 at 23%. When Republicans insist on a driver’s license, but deny the use of a government-issued student ID, the only reason is to make it more difficult for young people to vote. If you and your fellow conservatives were sincere about preventing voter fraud, you would eliminate mail-in ballots. I don’t see that anywhere in the laws passed in the last two years.
        But hey, it’s all about the integrity of elections, right. Photo IDs are easily faked (just ask any 16-20 year old) so let’s use a system that’s foolproof: fingerprints. Why don’t you insist that everyone who registers to vote provide their fingerprints to be entered into a database, then provide their fingerprint on their ballot? Even better, let’s just go with DNA samples. After all, the cost doesn’t matter as long as we protect the integrity of elections.

        Do actually know what a subsidy is? That money has to come from somewhere right? Not everyone can receive subsidies? A subsidy is taking money from Peter to give to Paul. In order to do that, there has to be more Peter’s than there are Paul’s. You are a Peter and I am a Paul. I think it’s quite noble of you to spend other people’s money, but there is a limit to that, and many people are goi g to be out of pocket by quite a bit when Obamacare is fully implemented. Secondly, health care insurance does not equate to health care, and many reports show that a lot of doctors will be retiring or leaving the profession, so while we may have insurance, we may not have access to much care. Just another unintended consequence. Finally, Obamacare is based on the healthy people who don’t require care to pay in, which will offset the expenses of those who do require care. So you in effect are asking the young to pay for the old – that again really isn’t that fair. Why should some healthy 30 year old pay for my care?

        I understand clearly what a subsidy is, but you still haven’t answered my original question? What, specifically is your objection? Should employer contributions to health insurance be outlawed? If Grassley hadn’t passed his amendment, this would be a complete non-issue since congressional employees would still be in FEHBP.

        I’m surprised that you are against all subsidies. Does that include the subsidies provided to farmers and energy companies? Does it also include all tax deductions and exemptions, including for businesses? After all, those are subsidies.

        If doctors are leaving the profession, best of luck to them and thanks for opening the door to new doctors who are more concerned about their patients’ health than their stock portfolio. Now we should work on reducing education costs so those new young doctors can afford to go to med school. Are you with me?

        And yes I am asking for the young to pay for the old. Welcome to civilized society.

         
      • kmg

        August 22, 2013 at 2:34 pm

        And, cluster, can you provide a link to a case where someone voted illegally by impersonating a another voter that phot ID would have prevented?

         
      • Cluster

        August 22, 2013 at 3:38 pm

        Photo ID would stop any and all impersonation at the polls, however mail in ballots would be an issue to resolve. Look, I know “disenfranchisement” is a favorite buzz word amongst you liberals against photo ID, but your argument is just complete bull shit. People need a photo ID to open a checking account, fly on an airplane, buy alcohol, rent a movie, drive a car, etc. – and if we phased it in over ten years, and made ID’s free to those in financial need, then I have no idea why anyone wouldn’t be on board with that. Like I said – it just doesn’t pass the smell test.

         
  7. mitchethekid

    August 20, 2013 at 1:37 pm

    Without going into a laborious dissection of the meaning and intent of the 2nd amendment (my subjective interpretation as a speaker of English) how many more Sandy Hooks, or Aurora Co or Gabby Giffords do we need until there is sane, reasonable gun control? IMO Wayne LaPierre is one of the most despicable wretches on the planet. I’d like to see him defend this tragedy. Are these kids sick? Yes. Are they sociopaths? Most likely. Is society and culture to blame? An impoverished home life? All probably yes, but if they didn’t have easy access to a gun, this innocent, promising young man would still be alive. http://usnews.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/08/20/20102447-2-teens-charged-with-first-degree-murder-in-ballplayers-killing-in-oklahoma?lite
    Chris Rock said it best. Want a gun? Fine. Bullets cost $5000.00 each.Have a home bullet making machine? Fine, they cost $50,000.00, the components to make the rounds are equally expensive and it’s harder to buy powder than it is to get into Harvard.
    Better stock up! Glenn Beck says he saw the helicopters today.

     
  8. GMB

    August 20, 2013 at 1:53 pm

    Ok want say want a gun, the words will only cost you $5,000.00 grand each. Got a tape recorder $$50,000,00 tapes $10,000.00

    What part of “shall not be infringed” is so disagreeable?

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

    The 2nd Amendment was put in place to give the citizen a last line of defense against a tyrannical government.

    Murders are always a tragedy but unless you can make the guarantee that no one will ever be murdered with a knife, a club, bare hands, a two by four, an iron skillet, or whatever, there is no such thing as a common sense gun law.

    Taking guns out of law abiding hands only emboldens criminals more. I direct to the crime rates of both the UK and Austrailia, whose rates spiked after “common sense” control laws.

    One armed responsible citizen could have put a stop to all three episodes you mentioned but since public schools are gun free zones no law abiding citizen had one. I do believe the Jared Loughner situation has been handled by people more knowledgeable than me.

    Maybe you should ask the perpetrators of those crimes why they didn’t follow the gun free zone law?

     
    • ricorun

      August 20, 2013 at 2:54 pm

      GMB: What part of “shall not be infringed” is so disagreeable?

      Speaking for myself, I’d really like an M1A1 Abrams tank with reasonable access to functional ordinance. I can afford it (at least a used one) and I have a place to park it. What I intend to do with it is no one’s business, right? But boy, if I had one I could be mayor of this dump!

      Regardless of the actual veracity of my comment, it certainly DOES go back to my challenge of your statement (on another thread on another site), about how access to firearms is really a “racist” issue rather than a “means” one. Do you care to comment?

       
    • mitchethekid

      August 20, 2013 at 5:45 pm

      Operative words, law abiding citizens. We do not have a tryanical government despite what the teas say.One gun against another? What is this, Deadwood circa 1880?
      Gun control should be manditory. It has nothing to do with taking away the 2nd amendment which, when written had no concept of rapid fire assault weapons, inner city strife or Ted Neugent. I like to shoot. I have a few guns but I would be willing to undergo a liciencing procedure to make sure I am not a wack out nut job screaming with hysteria about the 2nd amendment. And getting all macho and killing a Travon Martin just because the law says I can. This issue has more to do with protecting the darkness in the human heart than it is with a constitutional right written 250+ yrs ago by men who lived in an agrairian society.

       
      • GMB

        August 21, 2013 at 5:33 am

        When the Constitution was written, they most certainly had military grade firearms in mind.

        I do not know of any state that allows convicted criminals or mentally ill individuals to own a fire arm. Do you have any examples?

        “And getting all macho and killing a Travon Martin” Were you there? Did you witness the incident? Do you know for sure that Zimmerman got all “macho” This is pure conjecture on your part.

        Zimmerman, by all accounts was solid democrat in good standing. Obama voter, civil rights activist, and so forth. I doubt he is anymore. If Travon Martin had been white, this would never even been an issue.

        As far as owning a tank. I would go with the M1A2. Better cannon, a smooth bore 120mm vs a rifled 105mm in the A1. The A2 model has a longer range and fires more types of ammo than the A1. I do believe the transmission was also upgraded and several other minor changes to improve combat performance.

        I would not have any problem with you owning a tank. The “moderator” otoh is another story.

         
    • bardolf2

      August 20, 2013 at 9:54 pm

      http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2012/12/the-single-best-anti-gun-death-policy-ending-the-drug-war/266505/

      Universal gun confiscation is impossible, and even aggressive gun control might not dramatically reduce gun-related deaths. But ending our ridiculous and expensive war on drugs could.

       
  9. rustybrown2012

    August 20, 2013 at 1:59 pm

    “I think we should all be extremely proud of the fact that this country has done more for personal freedoms and individual civil rights than any other country on this planet in just 236 years”

    “our form of governance, our Constitution, and our free enterprise system has allowed for the highest standard of living, the most civil rights and the most individual freedoms both economically and socially than has been afforded to any individual ever.”

    I don’t think this is necessarily true and that this line of thinking leads to a false sense of exceptionalism. Don’t get me wrong, I think America is a pretty great place to live compared to most of the rest of the world, just not particularly exceptional in this day and age.

    For one thing, for many indices America has been slipping for some time. Health care and income inequality come to mind, but there are others. Secondly, what exactly are the freedoms we enjoy that, say Canada, Australia, Norway, etc. don’t? There are other countries just as free as us, perhaps more so. Finally, I think this notion of exceptionalism can be a negative thing. It’s fine to be proud of your country but I believe people would do well to put things in perspective. For much of the world, there’s a very strong case to be made that we are one the world’s leading terrorist nations. I’ve never been one to admire excessive nationalism.

     
    • Cluster

      August 20, 2013 at 2:25 pm

      Health care and income inequality come to mind

      First of all, there will NEVER be health care or economic justice – NEVER. The human condition precludes that. We are all different physically, some folks are healthy no matter what they do, others are sick every day with various ailments or die tragically young from cancer etc., and there is just no way to level that playing field. Now access to healthcare can be leveled, but the single payer approach liberals would like to take is absolutely the wrong track. Everyone should have access to quality healthcare, and as of 2009, a poll revealed that 84% of American did so and were happy with it. So the question is, how do we provide that same access to 16% of the population? The Democrat response was to adversely impact the 84% to accommodate the 16% – not exactly sound thinking. What we should have done is expand the government administered healthcare that each state already has to some degree, and increase funding to that with slightly higher fees, taxes etc., on existing health care plans, etc.. This dovetails into what GMB was saying about welfare – when programs are administered at the state level, they are more efficient and more effective.

      What freedoms do we enjoy more so than Canadians, Norwegians, etc.? Financial and class mobility freedoms. It is unlikely that someone like Barack Obama would become Prime Minister of any of those countries and it is equally unlikely that someone like Elon Musk would become a multi billionaire – primarily because those countries don’t have the venture capitalists who take the financial risks necessary to build wealth. The capitalist economic platform is as responsible for the wealth of our nation as the Constitution is for our freedoms.

       
      • GMB

        August 20, 2013 at 2:45 pm

        Rights that we have that Canadians don’t? Don’t know if you really want to consider the right to assembly or the right protest “right rights” as whoppi would say. Lets just asks those smelly hipster that wanted to protest at the Vancouver Olympics what they thought of those “protest zones”

        Can you imagine nanny bloomberg trying to pull something like off. Oh wait, never mind.

         
    • rustybrown2012

      August 20, 2013 at 3:46 pm

      Leading off with the straw man, eh Cluster? I never said there could or should be pure, perfect economic or health care justice, I merely said that those are two areas in which America is decidedly un-exceptional. And that is a fact. There are other countries with better health care outcomes and less income disparity.

      Speaking of health care, you seem awfully dismissive of the mere 16% without insurance. For your information, that 16% translates into nearly 49 MILLION Americans – nothing to take lightly. Some variation of single-payer is obviously the way to go. It’s battle-tested in the rest of the world and while not perfect it’s beyond a doubt better than our system. We’re the only western industrialized country without some type of national health care and the main reason for that is there are enormous profits being made by middlemen leaching away our health care dollars, you know, part of that oligarchy you guys were talking about. Bottom line: SP would remove a massive amount of profiteering from our health care system and SP is more efficient than multiple payers.

      As for your arguments for America’s exceptional freedom – very unconvincing. plenty of other countries enjoy our fiscal freedoms and many countries have greater social mobility than the U.S. Western countries have women leaders, capitalism and plenty of billionaires so your argument falls flat there as well.

       
      • Cluster

        August 20, 2013 at 4:07 pm

        You really are a defensive chap, aren’t you Rusty? Either that or you have a healthy disdain for yours truly. Either way, it’s not healthy for you. I never did say that you asserted there could be healthcare and income utopia. I just pointed out what you and so many liberals don’t understand, legislating fairness is not possible. Legislating equal opportunity is.

        Secondly, I will turn your argument around on you. 84% of the population equals approx. 250 million people who were quite happy with their insurance and care, and of which you dismissed pretty easily in your misguided effort to feel oh so magnanimous and rush to the rescue of those in need – be damned with the rest. A thinking a person would craft a solution for the minority but alas, I don’t give credit to Democrats for being thinking people. One other misnomer you might to want to marinate on – healthcare insurance does not equal health care.

         
      • rustybrown2012

        August 20, 2013 at 4:46 pm

        I’m not defensive at all, but I seriously think you need to take a reading comprehension course for adults. Look, I said:

        “for many indices America has been slipping for some time. Health care and income inequality come to mind, but there are others.”

        You bizarrely took that to mean:

        “First of all, there will NEVER be health care or economic justice – NEVER.”

        …and I then correctly pointed out that I never said there could be. How the hell do you even get that from what I said? I accurately pointed out that America is slipping in those areas – deal with that, don’t just make up an argument that I never put forth. This is getting rather tedious, Cluster. Could you please read more carefully and respond to what I actually write? Anybody else want to weigh in on this?

        Concerning those that are “quite Happy” with their insurance and health care, got a source for that? That percentage goes back and forth but I’ll point out that Canadians consistently have higher satisfaction rates with their system than Americans do theirs, so it’s not true that I’m dismissing the 84% – their health care plans would improve as well. A thinking person would make the health care system better for everybody.

        Who said health care insurance equaled health care?

         
      • Cluster

        August 20, 2013 at 4:50 pm

        Actually chap, if you were honest, Americas “income equality” was far worse in years past – say the late 1800’s when you had people like the Vanderbilts and Rockefellers roaming around while many people lived in abject poverty. I would say we have come a long way.

        And again, I think I really get under your skin and that is kind of amusing to me.

         
      • rustybrown2012

        August 20, 2013 at 5:02 pm

        Fuck you, asshole. you get under my skin because you’re a fucking retard who would rather twist what someone says than debate like a man.

        And oh, what a burn – you point out that income inequality was worse OVER A CENTURY AGO! When I said income inequality is growing I was obviously referring to a timeframe within the last hundred years, you fucking moron.

        No source for how gleeful Americans are with our health care system?

         
      • mitchethekid

        August 20, 2013 at 7:32 pm

        As Tony Soprano used to say “wo wo wo”. Calm down Rusty! No need to call someone an asshole unless they are one. Cluster is not. He’s a man of conviction and for you to flip out reminds me of me. And I have changed. Get a grip, take a pill, smoke a joint and if you still are so upset (and I understand, truly I do) say so in a calm and dispassionate manner. But if you can’t, tell the world to go fuck themselves!

         
      • Cluster

        August 20, 2013 at 5:41 pm

        Well thank you for reasoned response. I learned a lot. LOL

         
      • rustybrown2012

        August 20, 2013 at 5:48 pm

        I proved my point: you’re full of shit. Go ahead and look back at our discussion and see how civil I was until you started being an asshole. I know you’re frustrated because you can’t debate me, but trolling your own blog – that’s just pathetic.

         
      • Cluster

        August 20, 2013 at 5:58 pm

        Look Rusty, don’t let this shit bother you so much. We disagree on nearly everything, but so what? A valid argument can be made that income equality has vastly improved over the last 100 years, the middle class has grown substantially and even many of those under the FPL have TV’s, cell phones, etc..

        That’s why Mitch and I started this blog, to have disagreements without being disagreeable. You don’t have all the answers and neither do I. So lets just agree to disagree and not let that fact raise the blood pressure. Capiche?

         
      • 02casper

        August 20, 2013 at 6:40 pm

        “That’s why Mitch and I started this blog, to have disagreements without being disagreeable. You don’t have all the answers and neither do I. So lets just agree to disagree and not let that fact raise the blood pressure. Capiche?”

        I agree 100%. To not be disagreeable that is. I’m guessing that there are a number of issues most of us do agree on. Why get so uptight about the ones we don’t?

         
      • rustybrown2012

        August 20, 2013 at 6:44 pm

        “that’s why Mitch and I started this blog, to have disagreements without being disagreeable.”

        …then why are you being so disagreeable? And, by the way, I’m fine with disagreement, it’s your obfuscating tactics I have a problem with. You can’t match me in a straight debate, so you take delight in “getting under my skin” – juvenile and pathetic, especially for your own blog. But no worries, it doesn’t bother me nearly as much as you think it does.

         
      • Cluster

        August 20, 2013 at 7:29 pm

        Whenever you actually want to debate Rusty, I am more than prepared for the challenge. As it is in this current go around, like most of the go arounds, you only offer opinions, of which of course I challenge with my opinions. And you know what they say about opinions.

         
      • 02casper

        August 20, 2013 at 6:55 pm

        rustybrown,
        Cluster is Cluster. He will rarely give in or admit he is wrong and he will post things just to piss you off. He can be a pain in the ass. He will also make you think and defend your positions. That’s not a bad thing.
        Enjoy the ride. B4V or the Daily Kos would have banned one of you by now.

         
      • rustybrown2012

        August 20, 2013 at 7:33 pm

        Not so sure Cluster makes me think, he’s pretty easy to rebut. And I guess I won’t need to defend my positions since they’re out there on this thread and he’s incapable of answering them.

         
      • rustybrown2012

        August 21, 2013 at 7:23 am

        Cluster,

        I’ve got news for you: this is all about opinions and opinions can be debated, hopefully backed up with evidence as you go along. If you want a source for my opinions just ask, unlike you, I’ll provide them. As this thread stands, I’ve asked you for one source which you haven’t provided and you have asked me for none. It would appear one of us was interested in a debate, and it wasn’t you.

        Again, opinions can be debated. Your ENTIRE POST is just an opinion; are you saying it can’t be debated? Do I really have to explain to you what your own blog is about?

         
      • Cluster

        August 21, 2013 at 7:36 am

        Rusty, you crack me up. You really think that you are all that and bag of chips – I got news for you, none of us are all that hot. When we were debating the Pittsburgh city’s actions you asked for a link, I provided, and then you glossed over it. I guess I don’t feel the need to give your inquiries too much weight considering that I think your opinions are well…..bizarre. I guess I also give you too much credit for keeping up with the news. But for arguments sake, here’s a poll that supports my opinion – see questions 41, 42, & 43

        http://www.foxnews.com/projects/pdf/072309_poll.pdf

        Keep the blood pressure down and have a great morning

         
      • rustybrown2012

        August 21, 2013 at 8:27 am

        Cluster,

        Here’s another mini-lesson for you on the norms of debate: A person is not obligated to comment on a source just because they asked for one. Oftentimes, as in the case you mentioned, a source is requested not because it’s disbelieved but merely to put their adversaries claims in some perspective, and often the source is unremarkable and unworthy of comment one way or another. Doesn’t mean anything was “glossed over”, doesn’t mean points were scored for anybody. Get it? Remember: I’m here to help!

        Now in THIS case – LOL! In case you hadn’t heard, Fox tends to be a tad biased. Now here’s another take on satisfaction rates that puts the rate at a more modest 58%. Also note that the highest satisfaction is rated for those in Medicare – 73% – a single payer, government run program!

        http://reason.com/poll/2012/03/28/reason-rupe-58-percent-of-americans-sati

        Still waiting for examples to support your claim that America enjoys exceptional freedom (talk about bizarre opinions), or does your silence indicate you conceded that point?

        Have an A1 Day!

         
      • Cluster

        August 21, 2013 at 9:04 am

        So the Fox poll means nothing, and Rusty’s poll citation is accurate? Well I guess then we all know the rules that Rusty plays by – he’s right, everyone else is wrong. A rather elementary playground approach to debate, but considering the juvenile mind that inhabits our friend Rusty, I guess it’s fully expected. Here’s a gallup poll that pretty much says the same thing – please let me know where I am going wrong on this one:

        http://www.gallup.com/poll/123149/Cost-Is-Foremost-Healthcare-Issue-for-Americans.aspx

        And it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to look at the history of America; the individual wealth built, the civil rights extended, the Constitutional guarantees granted, and the number of people risking their life to get here, to consider that this country may be just a notch or two above most others. But I am sure that people are risking their lives to get into Norway as well right? Oh wait ….. Norway and the other Scandinavian countries have very strict immigration laws, which would lead one to think that that is just another area where America offers greater freedoms – don’t ya think?

        Looking forward to your response – always informative

         
      • rustybrown2012

        August 21, 2013 at 10:53 am

        Nobody said the the poll means nothing; I merely said that Fox news is a biased source, a pretty uncontroversial statement. This is why their polling results tend to skew conservative.

        There’s nothing wrong with your gallup poll but it’s a bit out of date (as is the Fox poll, btw); gallup more recently had the satisfaction rate at 67%. Taken with the Reason/Rupe poll which has the percent at 58%, we’re getting a bit far from Fox News’ rosy 84%.

        http://www.gallup.com/poll/159455/americans-satisfaction-health-coverage-slips-slightly.aspx

        And let’s not forget the fact that Americans are CONSISTENTLY much more satisfied with Medicare, a government run, single payer program, than they are with private health insurance. Wow, cheaper to administer and higher satisfaction rate. Guess that shoots down your assertion that we would all be worse off with a national program.

        http://www.commonwealthfund.org/Publications/In-the-Literature/2009/May/Meeting-Enrollees-Needs.aspx

        Now, concerning freedoms, comparing poor immigrants pouring into our country with the lack of immigration in Norway is largely a matter of geography, as a cursory glance at a map will show you. Sweden and Finland border Norway; in case you hadn’t heard their standard of living is slightly better than Mexico’s. Another reason is the stricter immigration laws of Norway that you correctly point out. Gee, when you were writing about how great America is with it’s exceptional freedom I had no idea you were referring to our lax immigration policies – Cluster approves of open borders, who knew?

        No, you of course were referring to other freedoms we enjoy that other countries don’t – you just haven’t been able to name any.

         
      • Cluster

        August 21, 2013 at 11:59 am

        So now you challenge the polls because they are dated, but if you will remember correctly, I stated that back in 2009 when this country embarked on the path to Obamacare, a majority of people were satisfied with their coverage, hence the polls from 2009. But I digress

        I support Medicare for those seniors in need, but there are many problems with the program, the worst of which is bankruptcy. Even the programs actuary has stated that the program could become insolvent as early as 2016:

        http://www.forbes.com/sites/aroy/2012/04/23/trustees-medicare-will-go-broke-in-2016-if-you-exclude-obamacares-double-counting/

        Other problems include slow reimbursement turns and low reimbursement rates, resulting in doctors opting out of the program – so your utopian model of healthcare has some serious cracks in it. The good news is that with some sensible reforms, to include means testing, the program could gain sound financial footing again. The bad news is that your party is reluctant to do anything about it.

        In regards to freedoms (considering that you don’t consider our very open immigration policy to be much more broad than other countries and only a factor of geography)- I give you Mark Steyn:

        http://www.steynonline.com/4409/gagging-us-softly

        Enjoy the read

         
      • rustybrown2012

        August 21, 2013 at 12:39 pm

        I’ll answer the rest in a bit, but let me start by highlighting this quote from you:

        “considering that you don’t consider our very open immigration policy to be much more broad than other countries and only a factor of geography”

        When I said in my LAST post:

        “Another reason is the stricter immigration laws of Norway that you correctly point out.”

        …so I EXPLICITLY acknowledged factors other than geography, SPECIFICALLY our lax immigration laws.

        This is the frustrating bullshit I’m talking about. Look, it’s hard debating with someone who consistently misrepresents your arguments and/or (in Cluster’s case both) refuses to carefully read (or can’t comprehend) the words you’ve written. I’ll answer the rest of your post in a bit, but let this stand as a testament to your inability to understand the written word and the frustration of people trying to talk with you. If you’re too stupid to understand what I’ve written, I’m sorry for you. If you’re too lazy to read my posts carefully, fuck you. Either way, if this bullshit continues, I’m done here because I’m getting tired of repeating myself.

        Anybody else want to weigh in on this? Mitch? Cluster is so dense I feel I’m typing in Swahili…

         
      • rustybrown2012

        August 21, 2013 at 2:44 pm

        Cluster,

        to address your other points, I’m not “challenging” your polls, I merely pointed out that they’re a bit old and I supplied you with more current ones – one from the same pollster.

        And are you implying that the decline in American’s satisfaction with our health care system from 2009 to 2012 is due to the ACA? Since the overwhelming bulk of the ACA doesn’t kick in until NEXT year it seems highly unlikely that Americans, when polled about their current satisfaction with their health care in 2012, would poll negatively due to a policy that has yet to be implemented.

         
      • Cluster

        August 21, 2013 at 2:52 pm

        And are you implying that the decline in American’s satisfaction with our health care system from 2009 to 2012 is due to the ACA?

        Rusty, I am going to insist that you play by your own rules. I never implied anything like that. I have merely stated that back in 2009, 80%+ of Americans were quite happy with their health care insurance and health care, so it seemed a bit odd to me that the solution was to pretty much dismantle the industry to accommodate the 16%. And just for the record, some components of the the ACA have been implemented, and in fact October 1 will see the implementation of some other components, with the exception of course of the employer mandate, which was arbitrarily delayed – some would argue in violation of Clause 5, Article II of the Constitution.

         
      • rustybrown2012

        August 21, 2013 at 3:11 pm

        In regards to free speech, yes, I’m aware of Canadian restrictions which are unfortunate and which I personally don’t agree with. I was hesitant to use Canada as an example for freedom for that reason and since you and GMB have glommed on to it let’s forget Canada, OK? Canada is not needed to prove that America is unexceptional when it comes to freedom. There are many indices that can be used to rank a country’s freedom and here are a few links which show America lacking. Remember: it was your contention that America provided exceptional freedoms unknown to the rest of the world – still waiting for some evidence of that.

        http://www.heritage.org/index/ranking

        http://forum.nationstates.net/viewtopic.php?f=20&t=218513

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Freedom_in_the_World#Country_rankings

         
      • Cluster

        August 21, 2013 at 3:39 pm

        Remember: it was your contention that America provided exceptional freedoms unknown to the rest of the world

        No, that was not my contention, remember you need to play by your own rules here. I specifically said that our freedoms are a “notch or two” above the rest of the world.

         
      • rustybrown2012

        August 21, 2013 at 4:00 pm

        Cluster,

        Can you explain to me the difference between “exceptional freedoms unknown to the rest of the world” and American freedoms being “a notch or two” above the rest of the world? Curious minds want to know.

        Oh, and I’ll remind you of the original contention of your own post, in case you lost track of it (my emphasis):

        “our form of governance, our Constitution, and our free enterprise system has allowed for the HIGHEST standard of living, the MOST civil rights and the MOST individual freedoms both economically and socially than has been afforded to any individual EVER.”

        Especially in light of my recent links to the contrary, still waiting for evidence for your assertion…

         
      • Cluster

        August 21, 2013 at 4:59 pm

        Rusty, I am starting to feel a little bad for you here. Fist of all, you don’t even play by your own rules, and secondly, you’re now playing semantic word games which again, you have wrong. The word “exceptional” implies freedoms far and above those of other countries whereas the phrase “notch or two above” implies modest gains. Try and retain that.

        My assertion however that America offers the “highest standard of living” is also true. The FPL in America is $11,400 for a single adult, an income of which is higher than I think any other FPL measurement worldwide. Also, just 15% of America is below that line, meaning 85% are above it, totaling 250+ million people.

        The assertion that America offers the most “civil rights” is again true and one of which I have already proven, but will do so again. If you can name the country that has a charter equal to the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, then I will back off that claim. The ball is in your court.

         
      • rustybrown2012

        August 21, 2013 at 4:21 pm

        I think you are parsing yourself into a corner, brother…

         
      • rustybrown2012

        August 21, 2013 at 5:28 pm

        Cluster,

        For your edification, YOU are the one to use the term “exceptional” – it’s a cornerstone of your original post. You know, like you were arguing about how America was really exceptional because of its freedoms? It’s all there in black and white, I’m not making this up. I’m really sorry here, but I feel I’m arguing with a mentally challenged person.

        Sorry, not sure if I can carry on with these standards. You can take the boy out of b4v, but you can’t take b4v out of the boy.

        I’ve been asking in vain for other moderating voices to chime in, to no avail. As it stands, this level of discourse is a joke, and a waste of my time. But by all means, enjoy your pajama party.

         
      • Cluster

        August 21, 2013 at 5:40 pm

        Using the phrase “American exceptionalism” is quite a bit different than implying “exceptional freedoms”. “American exceptionalism” denotes the fact that our charter and founding has resulted in economic and social advances that has surpass those of other countries in a much shorter period of time. But I do hope you take your own advice – don’t let the door hit you on the ass on the way out.

        I take that back Rusty. You’re welcome here anytime.

         
      • rustybrown2012

        August 21, 2013 at 5:52 pm

        Parsing to the very end, huh? Equivocating the very premise of your own thread just to try to smear the egg from your face. Seems like that’s the way you snake about in debates. Your style is for the vapid, not for me. But do carry on, you stupid cocksucker.

         
      • Cluster

        August 21, 2013 at 6:24 pm

        You have some serious issues Rusty.

         
      • rustybrown2012

        August 21, 2013 at 7:10 pm

        That may be Cluster, but not as serious as your mental deficiencies.

         
  10. GMB

    August 20, 2013 at 2:48 pm

    Can we ask Mark Steyn about free speech rights in Canada? Please? Pretty please??

     
  11. 02casper

    August 20, 2013 at 5:39 pm

    Since we have an open thread, I thought this might be interesting.

     
    • mitchethekid

      August 20, 2013 at 7:35 pm

      This is even better. Are you a Breaking Bad fan? Or Boardwalk Empire? Or Deadwood?

       
      • bardolf2

        August 20, 2013 at 8:17 pm

        Well Obama did win his first election to the Illinois senate by running unopposed. A ‘volunteer’ in his campaign disenfranchised black voters of his would-be opponents by methodically going through signatures on nominating petitions, throwing out ones which had printed names instead of using cursive as well as other legal solutions.

         
      • 02casper

        August 21, 2013 at 7:14 pm

        mitchethekid
        August 20, 2013 at 7:35 pm

        This is even better. Are you a Breaking Bad fan? Or Boardwalk Empire? Or Deadwood?

        I don’t watch a lot of TV, but I do keep track of it.

         
    • bardolf2

      August 21, 2013 at 10:44 am

      Thanks for sharing, I’ve never seen this video.

       
  12. Cluster

    August 20, 2013 at 5:47 pm

    It’s open season on white boys:

    http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/three-teens-charged-over-murder-of-melbourne-baseball-player-chris-lane/story-fni0fiyv-1226700172461

    I am appalled at this obviously racist attack. I am sure Al Sharpton is on his way to the scene to organize a march, and I am awaiting a press conference on behalf of the President.

     
    • 02casper

      August 20, 2013 at 6:00 pm

      Cluster,
      Why would Al Sharpton organize a march? The guys who probably did the murder have been charged and are in jail.

       
      • Cluster

        August 20, 2013 at 6:11 pm

        Why wouldn’t he? We have to stop these blatant racist attacks against white boys. Here’s just an innocent young white boy jogging along the street and killed in cold blood by two black boys. It’s racial profiling. And forcing another white boy to be an accessory? This is shameful.

         
      • 02casper

        August 20, 2013 at 6:30 pm

        cluster,
        The point is, the persons who did this have been arrested and charged. That didn’t happen in the other case until pressure was brought. If Zimmerman had been charged at the beginning there wouldn’t have been any reason for Sharpton to organize a march.

         
    • Ricorun

      August 20, 2013 at 9:54 pm

      I’m getting more and more confused. Libertarian/constitutional types keep saying that their views on what things are appropriate to meddle in depends on the level of government at issue. Then we have Cluster bringing up an issue that happened in freakin’ Australia, seeming to forget all that level of government crap. I don’t get it, Mr. Putin.

       
      • watsonthethird

        August 20, 2013 at 10:50 pm

        Rico, if you are referring to the shooting of the Australian baseball player that Cluster mentioned in this thread, that happened in Oklahoma. The player was in the US on a college scholarship. Two black teenagers were charged with first degree murder. One of them reportedly confessed that they were bored and just decided to shoot the victim for the fun of it. A truly heinous and disgusting act. The reason Cluster brought up Al Sharpton is because the teenagers are blacks and the victim was white.

        http://www.nydailynews.com/sports/teenagers-allegedly-murder-college-baseball-player-boredom-article-1.1431445

         
      • Cluster

        August 21, 2013 at 4:45 am

        And of course my comment pertaining to this was very sarcastic, and rightfully so. Lets see how much “media time” is given to this horrific event. My guess, not even a mention.

         
      • watsonthethird

        August 21, 2013 at 8:04 am

        Cluster, it was the lead item in Google news for much of the day yesterday and was covered by pretty much every media outlet, including ESPN. That and the arrest of the white guy who shot at an elementary school in in Georgia full of black children.

        Just another day in the life of armed America.

         
  13. GMB

    August 21, 2013 at 5:55 am

    Mitch is a very agreeable person to disagree with. Watson is a very disagreeable person to disagree with. Casper is a very agreeable person to disagree with. Rico is, sometimes I wonder about him however when he disagrees with me he is very agreeable about it. There is not much except minor stuff I have ever disagree about with Bardolf. So that makes him very agreeable by default Meursault1942 is a very agreeable person to disagree with.

    We need more agreeable people to disagree with. Isn’t that the reason why this blog started and why we are here.

    Aren’t we all tired of the insults and hatred from the other place?

    Just because I say something doesn’t make it a universal truth. That goes for everyone else.

    Get over yourself. Listen, Learn, and remember that you are just one individual in a see of opinions.

     
    • GMB

      August 21, 2013 at 5:57 am

      Watson is a very disagreeable. Please edit that. I typed “disagreeable” when I meant “agreeable”

      Forgiveness please!

       
    • kmg

      August 21, 2013 at 4:25 pm

      Man, GMB, I feel left out.

       
      • GMB

        August 22, 2013 at 2:07 am

        Beg pardon there Kmg, you forgot to pay your membership dues. 😛

        Please add Kmg to the list, we’ll comp him until he can pay up.

        🙂

         
  14. GMB

    August 21, 2013 at 12:33 pm

    Ok, the next presidential elections are over three years away. a lot can change over that period. Does anyone have a favorite candidate yet?

    As far as myself, I know who I am not going to support and the list is just two people long. Those two people are the joisey fatman and prince jebward the 467th. If those two crap sandwiches are on the ballot, I staying home and having pizza.

    This list is subject to change without notice.

     
    • Cluster

      August 21, 2013 at 2:53 pm

      If I had to vote today – Rand Paul.

       
      • kmg

        August 21, 2013 at 6:24 pm

        So what is it about Rand Paul? Is it his approval of using drones to kill Americans on US soil?

         
      • Cluster

        August 21, 2013 at 6:43 pm

        My support for him is primarily due to the fact that he understands that Tri Care would not be affordable when offered nationwide.

         
      • kmg

        August 21, 2013 at 7:50 pm

        Really? Please point us to where Baby Paul has ever mentioned TriCare. I don’t believe he even knows what it is.

         
      • Cluster

        August 21, 2013 at 8:20 pm

        You need a better sense of humor. You and Rusty are really way too uptight.

         
      • GMB

        August 21, 2013 at 10:39 pm

        It depends who runs in the primary. I would also vote for Rand if Sarah doesn’t run.

        Three years away though, a lot can change.

         
      • mitchethekid

        August 22, 2013 at 4:36 am

        As you can tell, we have very few rules here. But in the spirit of avoiding flipping out completely, please do not mention $arah Payme again. She’s a delusional fantasist, a pathological liar and a shameless self promoter. She has neither the intellect, the character nor the temperament for elected office.

         
      • GMB

        August 22, 2013 at 5:30 am

        “She’s a delusional fantasist, a pathological liar and a shameless self promoter. She has neither the intellect, the character nor the temperament for elected office.”

        Why are you talking about Hillary that way? Did copies of Rose Law finally show up?

         
    • meursault1942

      August 22, 2013 at 12:00 pm

      “Does anyone have a favorite candidate yet?”

      I sure don’t, but this question also made me ponder when’s the last time I had a real favorite candidate, and I don’t think that’s ever been the case. I just end up having a least-unfavorite candidate.

      Jaded/Cynical 2016!

       
      • GMB

        August 22, 2013 at 12:05 pm

        I have to disagree a bit here. In my opinion Cynical/Jaded would be a much better ticket.

        😦

         
  15. kmg

    August 21, 2013 at 4:55 pm

    Cluster,

    On the Priebus thread I asked you what your beef was with the “subsidy” that Congress voted in before they left town. Do you care to answer?

     
    • Cluster

      August 21, 2013 at 5:23 pm

      Subsidizing well paid staff so that aren’t subject to the mandates of Obamacare. Yea, I have a big problem with that and so should you. This is subsidizing the rich, and subjecting you to a program that they themselves are not subject to. I thought liberals were for “fairness”.

      On another note – uh oh

      Outside of the federal government’s Bureau of Labor statistics, the Gallup polling organization also tracks the nation’s unemployment rate. While the BLS and Gallup findings might not always perfectly align, the trends almost always do and the small statistical differences just haven’t been worthy of note. But now Gallup is showing a sizable 30 day jump in the unemployment rate, from 7.7% on July 21 to 8.9% today.

      8.9%!

       
      • kmg

        August 21, 2013 at 6:23 pm

        I’ll repeat the facts for you:

        I assume the subsidies you are talking about are the employer contributions to health care. Here’s the real story:

        All federal employees are able to participate in the Federal Employee Health Benefits Program (FEHBP), where the Government has been able to negotiate good coverage at good rates based on the size of their employee pool. The Government contributes to a portion of the employees’ premiums, just as any other employer does when that employer offers health benefits.

        Along comes Sen. Grassley, who figures he’s going to offer an amendment to the ACA that would force Congress and its employees, and no other Government employees, out of FEHBP and onto the exchange, thereby treating Congress and its employees differently than every other Government employee. This is like walking into Microsoft and telling everyone in one room they are not allowed to use their employer-provided health benefits, but every other employee can. The only difference is what room they work in.

        Grassley assumed the Democrats will kill the amendment so the Republicans can use it against them. Surprise! The Senate passed the amendment and it made it into the ACA. But as brilliant as Grassley is, he forgot one small detail: he didn’t include language about allowing the affected employer (the Government) to continue providing its historical contribution to the employees’ premiums. The exchanges were designed for people whose employer did not offer health benefits, so there was no language in the law explicitly allowing for employer contributions. Oops. The fix Congress passed was to continue allowing the employer (the Government) to pay a portion of the premiums, just as it does for every one of its other employees who are in FEHBP.

        Subsidizing well paid staff so that aren’t subject to the mandates of Obamacare.

        This is false, because congressional staff are the only federal employees forced onto the exchanges, thanks to Sen. Grassley. Why should congressional employees not receive the same employer contribution every other federal employee receives for FEHBP?

        This is subsidizing the rich, and subjecting you to a program that they themselves are not subject to. I thought liberals were for “fairness”.

        Another false statement. If it weren’t for Grassley trying to pull a trick, congressional employees would not have been subject to the ACA, just as no other federal employee is subject to it and just as over 80% of workers aren’t subject to it, including, I would bet, almost everyone who comments on this blog. The ACA was designed for people who had inadequate or no health insurance, not for those who have insurance through their employer.

        Given those facts. I don’t understand your objection. This is not a subsidy that no other person in America is given. In fact, the majority of workers receive the exact same subsidy from their employer. It is not exempting themselves from a law that they have subjected the rest of us to. It’s the exact opposite. Employees who receive employer-provided health benefits are exempt from the law. What Grassley’s amendment did was subject Congress and its employees to a law they would have otherwise been exempted from.

        So, what exactly are you upset about?

         
      • Cluster

        August 21, 2013 at 6:37 pm

        KMG,

        If you don’t think that we are all subject to the mandates and effects of Obamacare then we have nothing to talk about. A delusion on that level is not even worth addressing.

        I believe the subsidies averaged about $10K per person for those staffers, a subsidy of which I don’t receive as an employer and a subsidy of which those employees who are losing their full time jobs in favor of part time jobs will also not receive.

        You were the one who wanted everyone to receive Tri Care, right? Not thinking that that would bankrupt the country almost over night, so I guess I will forgive you for not thinking this one through either.

         
      • kmg

        August 21, 2013 at 7:49 pm

        Yes, I would like everyone to have TriCare.

        I am not subject to the ACA mandates because my insurance meets the minimum standards. I have no evidence to show that I’m being affected in way by the ACA. The vast majority of Americans are in the same position as I am. The increase in health care costs is slowing and the exchanges are providing better insurance at a lower cost in the states that have bothered to try and make it work.

        With you being an employer, I’m not sure I agree with your statement that you don’t receive an employer contribution. If there are any tax experts around here they can confirm it, but if you provide health insurance to your employees and pay a portion of their premiums, you can claim the same amount paid towards your own insurance as a business expense, thereby making that amount non-taxable as profit. In effect, you would be receiving an employer subsidy. If you don’t provide your employees with health insurance, then its a moot point.

        Employees losing their health insurance by working part time will also receive subsidies.

        Do you believe that no employee should receive an employer contribution or do you just object to Government employees receiving it?

        Finally, the exchanges were never intended to replace employer-provided health insurance and the shame is that these congressional employees were forced to leave the insurance the had and liked by Grassley.

        But hey, don’t ever let the facts get in the way of your delusions.

         
 
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