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Everything posted by ParanoiA

  1. Good god, 20%? Added? Just to be meaningful? The VAT is particularly disgusting and I would like to see a lot of protesting about it. I would support shifting the tax structure and eliminating income taxation, which is incredibly invasive to our privacy and way too easy and tempting to vote the burden on a minority. But as an added tax? Screw that. It will never go away. If it did all the good the taxocrats claim it will, and we paid off our debt and balanced the budget, then we'll get the appeals to how much good it could do to keep it and "we're already used to the tax" so no need to eliminate such a "success". How many have experience with this at the state level? How many "temporary" taxes have you seen eliminated after it satisfied its ends? It's just like the ole conservatives and their "small government" diatribe, while they never shrink government.
  2. Yeah, ewmon, I think that's common ground. Haven't seen you before. Hope you stick around.
  3. UFO's are unidentified flying objects. Are you saying that people are crazy if they can't identify every flying object? And do you have anything recent on Ron Paul and this race war thing or are you still pretending as if he believes this today? And further, what is it about this prediction that you find fault with? Does it suggest racism to you, or just naive paranoia?
  4. Oh well sure. We see (or hear rather) this on his show daily. Cherry picking when to follow principle and went to think around it' date=' based entirely on his ideology. But noting his hypocrisy misses the point, in this case anyway. He still, as far as I know anyway, is virtually the only commentator willing to step so firmly on victim advocates and reject the notion they are somehow too precious to be assailed, despite whom they may be assailing themselves. It's the social commentary that I find more value in. His hypocrisy, and most of the politicians in the single party dual-wing system we live under, is something I've had to learn to live with. I don't accept it, but I live with it. I apologize if I'm still missing your point. Maybe I'm just thick headed (my wife certainly wouldn't disagree with that). I think you're talking about a carefully laid out plan of action to implement my dream libertarian federal level government. I think that would require a level of expertise and experience that I and most of us here don't have. And I really thought I spoke to your point, but maybe it didn't seem so obvious. When you say "...can adjust and respond to unexpected side effects" it seems to imply - and correct me if I'm wrong here - that as we eliminated government programs for instance, that we must "do something" if we get poorer performance here and there. And that's why I was trying to explain in my previous post that I'm not as concerned about performance of government. I accept the advantages and disadvantages of intense individual liberty and the natural compliment of free market economics. For instance, if we wiped out Social Security and that resulted in an inflated quantity of destitute seniors, I don't believe that is for government to fix. If I understand your point at all, it means to fix such a thing through government predicated on an "unexpected side effect" resulting from eliminating SS. I have no interest in evolving government and growing it to fit around us to solve our problems. Centralized external force is a need produced because of our imperfection, and is something to be ashamed of, not to be invested in and proud of. My philosophy focuses on the human. It's the human that should evolve, not the government. It's the human fault that causes us to need government in the first place, thus it should be the human that undergoes the change. The onus for evolution is on us. Individual freedom is the only way to get there. Maximizing individual freedom empowers the individual and the absence of force, itself, forces humans to cooperate more fully to reach expected ends and goals. It better polarizes tolerance, forcing us to respect each other, because we cannot discount each other's beliefs by appealing to a central coersive power forcing compliance, creating resentment and failing at changing hearts and minds - fails at improving the human. The ultimate end is self governing. To eliminate the corruption and malice of human nature to the point that humans don't need government - in its ideal of course, which will likely never be reached inside of a trillion years. Just like we aim for zero crime, we should aim for zero government. When humans don't need laws to be decent to one another, I believe we will have maximized quality of life and ultimately happiness. Everyone does as they please, and they hurt no one. Beautiful. All of that is why I really don't care about the unexpected side effects, short of total national chaos and destruction. We resembled this framework before, and we had side effects and foolishly let those lead us down a path of eliminating individual liberty incrementally over time. We fought off the greatest army on earth - twice - and built a superpower of the world in about 150 years or so. We know what to expect. What we don't know, is how in the world we suddenly decided that those side effects were worse than freedom.
  5. *facepalm* yay, someone else pretending as if they don't know what libertarians stand for. And double yay, bascule still conveniently ignores the smaller government detail again, to protect his crumbling argument. Yes, bascule, we can cut taxes, cut spending and SHRINK THE GOVERNMENT DOWN to constitutional size, which of course, is another dynamic of cutting spending dramatically. As long as you insist on centralized, bureaucratic micro and macro management of the population you'll need to rob them of all of their property to balance your books. Your philosophy won't allow such individual accountability, so it appears impossible to you. That's fair. But it's not my philosophy and thus I am not bound by it. Maybe someone should introduce you to Hauser's Law. Empirical evidence kicks ass. You want to increase revenue? Increase the GDP. You want to increase the GDP? Lower freaking taxes. Not eliminate, but lower. Thoughtfully. As for Regan and company, I find it curious. I've always heard that it was the spending. I guess it just depends on which ideologue you're talking to and what they're currently promoting or ridiculing. The republicans have never shrunk government. Ever. They grow government as much as the taxocrats, err, democrats do. With Reagan I'm a bit more forgiving. I appreciate waging economic war instead of bloody war. We just see things 180 degrees different. You say you "get" the strategy, but it's not been tried. Parts of it are tried, here and there, but every administration and legislature grows the government and its power and responsibility. Your idea of backfire and bite us, probably is my idea of a homecoming. When government actually gets smaller, then we may just have something to track. To me, the american people have made a grave mistake, generations ago. We were warned by our framers, and my second sig spells it out, but we've taken on these moral roles at the federal level while eroding the sovereignty of the states, further centralizing a collective government that offends the rights of the individual. We're seeing that more and more - personal choice being "judged' and then taxed or some such nudge by the citizenry to dissuade behavior through law. So for me, I feel more compelled to argue personal choice to people and challenge their assumptions and impulses to judge each other's behaviors, from homophobia to hating the rich. We rationalize so much rotten treatment. That's the only strategy I can get my hands around for such an ominous, impossible doom. In my opinion, of course. What a classless post. You'll get no respect from me, ever.
  6. Love those pics. Especially the little girl, that one really makes a terrific point.
  7. Isn't that what you get from "normal" folk though? Most people aren't all geeky about politics like we are, or bound by some thought out, consistent philosophical code. So you would expect exactly this kind of "non focused" message - diversity in "enough is enough". I don't think this is a good reason to discount them, or decide that they're too stupid to be important enough to listen to at all, or that their concerns are rubbish. And interestingly too...isn't this an example of "nuance"? Wasn't that considered an asset when Obama was running for president - that he had nuanced positions? But it ain't cool for tea partiers? They want a deflated government and they want massive reductions in spending, lower taxes - that's the nuance we get from them - a complete withdraw of what we're doing right now. They may not be consistent person to person on any detail, but I doubt they'd be out there holding rallies and protesting if that general philosophy was realized in some form.
  8. I'm so yesterday... I'm currently into Rise of Nations: Thrones and Patriots. I only play the Conquer the World campaign. I really wanted a modern graphic version of Risk, that provided some level of strategic battle control and this is as close as I've found. I do enjoy the battles, and the control, once I have an army built. Although, I really wish I didn't have to do the tedious nation building for each battle. It's kind of stupid. I go to all this trouble to build an army and conquer some territory - then, next battle, they're gone. I'm back to having virtually no army, and having to build another one. I don't get that. Ruins the strategy when maneuvering forces on the map.
  9. I didn't. Sorry. I probably would have though, if that means anything. By the way Gilded, that is still my favorite avatar. I wish I had the full sized pic.
  10. Excellent post, Pangloss. Totally agree. They're conservatives. They want conservative policy. I don't know why anyone is scratching their heads about this. Their platform is modern conservatism. Small government and a balanced budget are the logical ends of their complaints about government expansion of power and out of control deficit spending. They're freaking the hell out. And so are a lot of us. Hypocrites? Well of course. They're conservatives. No need to wrestle with the logic of how they could oppose government intrusion economically, while they simultaneously support government intrusion socially. That's just the right wing of the federalist party for you. There is that small percentage of libertarian leaning folk, but they are outnumbered and I'm not sure how many of them find a camera. The "Tea Party" is more about "enough is enough" than it is about ideological consistency. The only consistent "message" to be found really is that they're sick of all the BS, and the numbers we're throwing around willy nilly are way too big to be throwing around willy nilly. Conservatives getting nervous. Not a chance. About 30% might believe that - based on the 28% polled that endorsed Ron Paul. This is nothing new with conservatives.
  11. Good link Severian. I like Single Transferable and Preferential. I have no experience with anything other than FPTP. I'll be watching this thread. I'm sure Skeptic will have some input and should be interesting.
  12. Of course that violates the general welfare clause too. Even by the supreme court's extremely liberal view of general welfare it still requires it to be "general" and not local. I'm sure they've found a way to rationalize it as "general" somehow, as it is left to the discretion of congress to qualify legislation as general welfare in first place. Merged post follows: Consecutive posts merged Yes. Excellent addition. My school district actually asks the residents here - all of us, no matter our financial situation - to apply for lunch assistance for our kids. The more approved lunch assistance we have, the more money the district gets in other areas too, according to their little flyer. Go ahead and look up the Blue Springs school district in Missouri. We don't need the money, trust me. We have excellent schools with plenty of technology and they tax the hell out of us for it. We even have a brand new fancy building full of adults (only) to handle the handful of schools in our district. And that's still not enough? It's essentially immoral for us to claim we need "lunch assistance" thereby steering funds away from other school districts that really, really need it. Disgusts the hell out of me. It's pork. For sure.
  13. Exactly. Ron Paul got in trouble for this, because he wants to eliminate ear marks yet feels he's ripping his constituency off if he doesn't participate in them while it's standard practice - he knows that refusing to ear mark anything doesn't reduce revenue or the tax burden in his district, rather it just ensures his district's money goes to someone else. One must do ear marks to keep money in the area - at least in theory, that is until the whole method is eliminated. The first question I have is...do we have a better result now that we have social security? What kind of problems did we have before that, and has that improved enough to justify the program? And we must be careful not to confuse the benefits of social security with the benefits of pensions, 401K's and other retirement programs that have evolved and improved with time. The fact my grandmother lived off of her pension, and social security essentially paid for groceries only, I'm not so convinced those SS taxes couldn't have been put to better use in a private retirement account.
  14. No, I don't think you're wrong at all. I've never heard anyone really attack his character either, other than through his position maybe on Israel and the palestinians. I just brought it up because it's an example of how a man can be measured with some balance between his political personality and his personal actions and contributions to the world. I'm not sure. Political leanings can't be put aside to answer that question, because they have a lot to do with it. Take the pluralized environment we currently live in. Right now it's trendy to promote bipartisanship and cooperation. If you don't compliment that trend, as a political commentator, then you're divisive, hateful, objectionist...blah blah blah - and thus your character can be "disputed", such as Rush. But if Rush got on the radio and talked about how we all need to get along and work together and compromise to solve America's tough issues and problems, and offered nothing more than "pretty logic" then his character would never be in question. He would be a "swell guy". Yet, that kind of Rush does nothing for the world, in terms of his commentary. Just fluff and snow. Rush contributes socially, more than politically, in my opinion. This is where I find value in him. One of my favorites is his refusal to cave in to the "victim advocate". And he's been assailed so many times for this. It's a chickenshit technique to trot victims out in the political arena, taking a particular side, and then acting all shocked and offended when Rush takes them on for being "wrong". As if these victims can't be expected to be taken to task for their position - like we're all supposed to just shut up and let them talk without countering them - or if we do, we have to walk on eggshells beginning every sentence with some spill about how sorry we are that they're a victim. Rush takes the heat for that. Globally. And I thank him. I appreciate that someone out there is willing to stand up to these traditional, offensive political techniques. I don't agree with how Rush is characterized generally (like hateful), and I challenge some of the supposed negatives, like "divisive", as being negative. Rush is wrong on so much of what he believes, that appeals to false charges aren't really necessary. Just like Obama is plenty wrong without making believe he's a muslim terrorist without a birth certificate. We just don't need that.
  15. Well we can argue about the classical arrangement of business owner/worker and who is doing for who, but what seems to miss the point is this constant appraisal of the giver. Why do we care if they've "sacrificed" or not? Why does that matter...at all? I'm bothered by this focused attention on the donor and concern for their motivations - when it's the social need they're augmenting that deserves all of our attention. It's odd how this "sacrifice" jab just seems so necessary to include.
  16. And Jimmy Carter who actually swings a hammer (or at least did at one time) to build houses for Habitat for Humanity. That man is repeatedly persecuted for his politics and his presidency, but there's no disputing his character. In the interest of clarity, I wanted to add that I think it's important for people to consider the roles that are played and needed. We need money bags out there, just like we need hands-on workers. It takes people that care, but only have their hands as well as people that care, with deep pockets. Each of those roles has their own associated motivations and while it's universally despised to exploit giving for vanity, it's also an exercise in resentment that completely ignores service of the social need when that becomes an objection.
  17. Very relevant. Their parents should have an excellent looking tax return for 2010 after such a donation to the public good.
  18. Of course not. If someone says they are a better person because of my son's treatment of a teacher, then I would point to his volunteer activities, among other things, to serve as counter evidence to that judgement. You said "And yes, I think that makes me better than people who are laughing at this suffering or using it to reinforce their message like Pat Robertson does." So, I'm saying that it doesn't. Emotionally, I get your point. Logically, I do not.
  19. Not true. Donating time is just as important. We have churches in my neighborhood that provide plenty of money and food for the local "homeless pantry" here. But someone still needs to drive the trunks, unload them, sort through it all, set up to receive the homless and needy in our area and put together boxes of this stuff and distribute it. Money doesn't do that. People do. People like my wife and kids. We don't have money to donate. But we do have two teenagers that use this kind of volunteer work to get out of grounding, or to earn some time out of a punishment. (Instead of punishing them with volunteer work, I flip it around...seems to work, for now anyway) Not the purest of reasons to help, but it does a service for our local community by providing labor that really can't be secured any other way. If you're doing something, then you're helping. My point was sitting around "caring" doesn't do anything. I just wanted to put some perspective on how someone is being judged. I'm not impressed with intentions. I'm impressed with results. When someone cares very deeply about something, yet actually does nothing to that end, then I question the character of that same person to judge someone else who actually is doing something about it. It's the best kind of attention seeking. "Looky at me everybody, I'm helping someone - aren't I wonderful". Instead of "Looky at me, I have shiny gadgets." Or "looky at me express my individuality, my pants are saggy and I got my hat on sideways, yo", Or, "looky at me I'm pwning this dude!!11" Of all the ridiculous vanity in our culture - this is the one that offends you so much? Disingenuous charity? It doesn't even reach my radar.
  20. Charity is tax deductible in that it is deducted from your taxable income, meaning before taxes are calculated. So it's not subtracted directly from the taxes, rather it shrinks your taxes by shrinking the number used to figure your taxes. http://nonprofit.about.com/od/fordonors/tp/taxdeductionsforcharity.htm I have no earthly idea on the other counts. I suspect a nervous accountant turning in either of those deductions.
  21. Yeah I suppose so. Of course, I couldn't disagree more, that nail was driven a long time ago, minus armageddon.
  22. I understand your sentiment. Now, what does it do? As I said yesterday, Rush donated $400,000 dollars to help people with blood cancer, and turns his show into a fund raiser once a year for this effort. Not to mention his donations and participation in the Marine Corps-Law Enforcement Foundation that provides scholarships to children of marines or law enforcement officers that died in the line of duty. (That's where the 2.1 million dollars went from the Harry Reid letter that he auctioned off on ebay). That's what he does. Now what do you do? Rush makes the essential point that results count, and that merely giving a shit and caring is substance free rationale that doesn't help a single person. While I give you credit for caring, what is the result of it? So, if we're measuring people...shouldn't I stick with results and actions over vocalized intents and emotions? Of course, none of that excuses the tasteless jab. Although, I have come to expect it. Sometimes it serves a useful purpose. I fail to see any useful purpose in this case, at all.
  23. Oh I didn't even catch that first part when I listened. Yeah, that's exactly what that is. Typical Rush stuff. He's playing off Obama's quote. The Daily Show would easily run the same thing if Bush had said that warrantless wiretaps hadn't caused the earth to open up, there's no armageddon out there, the birds are still chirping - we'd probably first see footage of Bush making that speech, then they'd switch to the volcano footage while Stewart contorts his face in "confusion" of the apparent conflict of his words and reality. And it would be kind of funny. But not when you take yourself too seriously, of course. Don't let it bother you. It's not much different from your parents shaking their heads about your music choices. The last time I had to explain the method or motivations behind an entertainer like this was when I had to convince my mom and dad that Metallica and Iron Maiden are not "satanic occult" bands and that the media doesn't understand metal.
  24. I don't know what to say. "Doctor of Democracy" - "America's Truth Detector" - 'All-Knowing, All-Sensing, All-Everything Maha Rushie" and then topped with "and an all around good guy" - if you guys don't see the comedic tone of all that then nothing I say is going to shed any light on it. These are all the same slogans you hear on the show daily, usually stated by an announcer where the comedic value is a bit more obvious. (Do you not hear the proverbial boxing announcer in that intro? ) I am genuinely surprised though. He always says that people don't "get" him and what he's doing, but I always thought that was just the usual marginalization of the opponent "they don't understand us" logic. But you guys are making me believe that maybe it's true. All of this cartoonish hubris is manufactured and again, is all about poking at "the elitists". It's conservative fun and it's liberating to listeners to hear a proud, boastful conservative that "outsmarts" the "elitists". If you're not familiar with it, I guess it all looks like serious commentary. It may help to remember that Rush comes from years of rock radio working as a DJ before he got into commentary and considers himself a radio personality first, and political figure second. It's part of his speech about "they don't understand what I/we do here" and why liberals can't get a successful counter show on AM radio without government subsidy. Rush is very similar to John Stewart actually, in that he mixes humor with his commentary. John is far more dedicated to comedy though, and Rush a bit more to his political philosophy, but he uses comedy, satire, shtick, heavy on the pretenses and tongue-in-cheek jabs at anything left. It's part of the unashamed, proud, intelligent conservative radio personality bit. He loves being his audience's super hero for their beliefs.
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