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previous: Michael Tousek [QUOTE]Neither: Arizona.[/QUOTE] -- 1099973695 View Thread

Re: Ours is a just cause

11/9/2004 11:25 AM
Re: Ours is a just cause
"The point is that anyone with eyes to see knows that wherever two or more liberals are gathered together, Christianity will be dissed. "
Moreso the tendency of Christians, especially the Evangeilical types, to try to push everyone into their mold of how people should be and to be overly judgemental about people who are different from them. Ultimately, if they actually read their Bibles, they'd note that God gave people free will, and that Jesus said, "Judge not lest ye be judged".  
"It was Paul O'Neil, who Bush appointed Secretary of Commerce early on and then fired. It was kind of an ugly situation, O'Neil is kind of an oddball, and the book, being the memoir of a disgruntled ex-employee, should be regarded with skepticism. "
He seems pretty reasonable to me, and his revelations about the Bush people line up pretty well with my observations of them. I guess it comes down to who you believe.  
"It was a single statement, a bit of offhand rhetorical trivia. "
Considering that Osama is still out there sipping a martini on some beach and laughing his skinny butt off at us and we're fooling around in Iraq instead of capturing and dealing with him, I'd say that it's a bit more than just "rhetorical trivia". Kerry had the bad habit of not addressing people in sound bites (instead seeing, and verbalizing his view of, both sides of issues), which confused a lot of people. Ultimately, I feel more confident in a leader who is man enough to admit his mistakes and take steps to correct them than to one who stubbornly refuses to admit a mistake and calls it "resolutely staying the course". One can easily "resolutely stay the course" right off a cliff....  
"I'm a free trader because I generally trust American business to make the right decisions. "
I trust American business to make the right decisions for their own short-term profit, and since labor is viewed as "a cost" rather than "people", that means that the labor force is last in their considerations. Ultimately, if wages don't keep pace with the cost of living, there'll be damned few who can afford to buy your new widget, no matter how well you market it. If the private sector took care of business when it came to things like maintaining decent environmental standards, treating their employees as if they thought better of them than cattle, etc., then we'd have no argument, but unfortunately, the complete lack of care on their part for anything but the next bonus is starkly apparant. It's the basest elements of human nature running things: Greed and Ego. It's completely devoid of any Christian morality. I realize that this is a generalization, and that there are exceptions. If you happen to know of any exceptions to this generalization, please forward me their HR Department's phone number off-list....  
"The problem with our healthcare system is that the government do-gooders have "fixed it till it's broke". "
IMHO, a big facet of the problem here is that insurance companies are making money off both ends of the deal: they charge the doctors ever-increasing malpractice insurance premiums, then turn around and charge their patients ever-increasing premiums for health insurance. They get fat while we all suffer. It's also a shame that the lawsuit mentality has such a grip on this country, but it seems that the doctors that f**k up don't want to be responsible, the insurance companies who insure them and the patients don't want to be responsible (that would mean less profits), and the thing comes down to lawsuits to make a judge determine who's responsible for the botch-up. Then, on the other hand, you get the mooks that figure they can sue their way to riches even if there's nothing really wrong. The gov't has done a half-assed job of addressing the problem, and that's putting it kindly. Someone needs to take charge of it, though, as it's a mess that stubbornly refuses to sort itself out. It will continue not to do so, too, due to the health and welfare of the patient being a fairly low priority after things like profit and blame are considered. If only there was a way to remove money from the equation.  
"Then why are our taxes lower now, when we have a deficit, than six years ago when we had a surplus? It seems to me that the best way to cut taxes is just to cut taxes; the rest seems to be beside the point. "
You've got it backwards: taxes aren't lower because we've got a deficit--we've got a deficit because taxes are lower.  
Ultimately, a fair amount of taxes are collected to pay the interest on the national debt. Less deficit means less taxes in the long run, bacause less of your tax money is devoted to paying the interest on the debt. Cutting taxes means less taxes in the short run, but ultimately larger deficits and larger taxes. The bottom line is you have to pay for what you buy.  
"Religious people oppose murder. We have laws against murder. Do these laws then constitute an unconstitutional establishment of religion?"
Non-religious people oppose murder as well, as would murder victims if they were alive to do so. Murder is depriving the victim of his/her right to live. It *is* wrong, and everyone, even including a fair number of the murderers, agrees so. Telling a minority group they're not allowed to marry who they want to marry is depriving them of their right to choose a mate, and is also wrong.  
"How about if I don't believe in subsidizing gay marriage with my tax dollars? I couldn't just "not do" that."
Well, how about if I don't believe in subsidizing the teaching of creationism in public schools? Isn't that what churches are for?  
We *all* pay taxes for things we don't necessarily want in order to get the things we do want.  
An idea (which I figure would *never* get anywhere if introduced as a bill, but what the hey, here it is):  
Have tax support for the big, sticky issues be optional, like the presidential campaign contrbution thing at the end of the 1040 form. Track who supports what, and adjust which government-funded services they are allowed to utilize based on what they've decided their taxes should or shouldn't fund. I guess you could call it free market taxation.  
"A return to limited, constitutional government would be a profoundly elegant solution to so many problems. "
I agree, to a point.  
There are certain elements that the free market refuses to control, as there's no profit motivation to do so. If not for environmental types watchdogging various industries, the whole planet would look and smell like Elizabeth, NJ, and we'd all be drinking water and eating food that wouldn't be fit to feed to dogs. Likewise, the free market is clearly not taking care of the workers that it employs, or everyone who works a full-time job would be able to afford to live indoors and eat at the same time. Upper management and CEOs are constantly faced with the choice: "a raise for the employees or a bonus for me and the stockholders?" and it's pretty easy to figure which one gets done most often if you look at the shrinking middle class and the ever-widening gap between the working poor and the upper-middle-class/wealthy. Labor unions were an imperfect solution, as eventually they ended up exploiting both the laborers and the companies for the sake of the union fatcats having more power and payoff-collecting ability. However, something needs to be done to keep the power that large corporations wield over their employees (and customers) in check. The framers of The Constitution didn't anticipate this particular happenstance (i.e., corporate megasaurs wielding unbridled), so we'll need to figure out something on our own, keeping in mind the gestalt of The Constitution....  
C ya,  

Michael Tousek I really shouldn't be doing this, b... -- 11/9/2004 3:26 PM