Today on Blogcritics
Home » What am I?

What am I?

Please Share...Print this pageTweet about this on Twitter0Share on Facebook0Share on Google+0Pin on Pinterest0Share on TumblrShare on StumbleUpon0Share on Reddit0Email this to someone

I was under the impression that I was a libertarian that leaned a little to the right. Now I’m reading things that make me believe I’m not what I thought I was in the beginning.

Ok, let’s take ten issues that I think should help me define what the hell I am and maybe you can help me out.

Can you help me?

1. Abortion – This seems to be one of the defining issues of our time. My stand here is that I’m anti-abortion, but pro-choice. Make any sense? It’s like this, I believe in the right of an unborn child, but I also believe I have no business telling anyone else what to do with their own body.
2. Same sex marriage – Another one of those issues that weighed in heavily during the last election. I’m against same sex marriage, but I’m for civil unions. I just have a problem with the use of the word marriage meaning anything other than the union between one man and one woman.
3. The Drug War – I think this is one of the biggest wastes of money I’ve ever seen! This country tried something similar back in the early 1900’s, it was called prohibition. It didn’t work then and it’s not working now. Now go roll me a joint!
4. Welfare – How about I steal a line from a famous liberal on this one. “Workfare not welfare” as the Rev. Jesse would say. I can understand the need for a hand up now and then, but damn! If I give you a boost, at least reach for the next rung of the ladder! I have a bad back and your weight is KILLING ME!
5. Taxes – I keep trying to understand the liberal philosophy that because a person makes more it’s fair to take a bigger percentage of what they make. I’m seriously against any kind of redistribution of wealth.
6. Vouchers – I have a real problem understanding why it’s bad for me to have the opportunity to take the tax dollars that are given to a school to educate my child and using that same money to put my kid in a school where I know they’ll get a quality education. This is a bad thing, how?
7. Social Security – I think privatization of SS might not be a bad thing. The problem I have with this whole plan is how taking money out of SS is going to help its solvency in the long run. My big problem with SS is that too many people think that SS is supposed to be their sole means of support after they retire. That was never the plan from the beginning. It was meant as a supplement.
8. Affirmative Action – This was probably a good thing when it started, but I’ve seen too many people, myself included, discriminated against because of it. AA has turned into reverse discrimination. How about equal pay for equal work, or just giving contracts and college admissions based on capabilities not color. I know, I know, I can’t understand it, because I’m a white guy. Poor me? HA!
9. Presidential veto power - I believe the president should have line item veto power. Think how much pork he could shave off of a budget with this power!
10. Lastly, PC BS. This is the one thing that bothers me more than any other issue. Politically Correct Bull Shit! Why does everyone have to be a hyphenated American? Why can’t we all just be American? Why are Christians being nailed to the cross all the time in this country? Why AREN’T Muslims being nailed to a cross? Who attacked this country on September 11, 2001? I went to catholic school for 11 years. Kindergarten through 10th grade. I learned Darwin’s’ Theory and I learned Creationism. My mind is so fucked up now because or it! The part I don’t understand is that if a private Christian school wasn’t afraid to throw out multiple theories, one of which flew right in the face of their own beliefs, how does it hurt your child to learn more than one THEORY? Let’s remember, they’re all theories. Until someone actually builds Jules Verne’s time machine and actually goes back in time to prove or disprove anything, they’re all just theories.

SO, WTF am I? Come on, lemme have it!

Powered by

About Andy Marsh

  • http://darkeroticism.blogspot.com swingingpuss

    How about a rational flip flopper? Loved the post.

  • http://theugliestamerican.blogspot.com/ andy marsh

    Now I’m really confused! I’m a flip-flopper? Should my feelings be hurt?

  • http://jonsobel.com Jon Sobel

    On your last point, you’re reflecting a common misunderstanding of the term “theory.” Scientific constructs, even those as broadly accepted as evolution, are referred to as theories because science doesn’t claim to have complete understandings of complex systems. Evolution is a “theory” because it’s an explanation that seems to fit the facts. The theory itself has evolved and will continue to evolve over time.

    Creationism is not a theory. It’s a belief, or more precisely, an article of faith. It’s not an explanation of any facts. Some people look at the universe and say, “Look at all these complex wonders, how could it all have come about through pure chance?” But that’s just human psychology – a modern version of primitive humans inventing river gods to pray to in hopes the river won’t flood. Our brains, powerful as they are, can’t grasp the universe in its entirety. They’re just mortal biological organs, and we’re just humble humans. Hence the emotion of awe, the sense of discomfort that goes with it, and the inclination to comfort ourselves with belief in higher powers.

  • http://darkeroticism.blogspot.com swingingpuss

    The word you need to read again is ‘rational’. If you didnt flip flopper how about fence sitter? ;-)

  • http://www.templestark.com Temple Stark

    I’m undecided whether I’m a flip-flopper or a fence sitter. I used to think I was indecisive but now I’m not so sure.

  • http://www.elitistpig.com Dave Nalle

    You’re a Liberty Republican or close to it. Your positions match mine almost exactly, and I fit with their platform about 90%, though I’m more pro-war than some RLC members and less pro-life than some. Check out http://www.rlc.org and I think you’ll find a home. In particular look at the platform section of the FAQ and see how you like it.

    One issue you didn’t address, of course, is the War on Terror and the War in Iraq.

    Dave

  • http://halfbakered.blogspot.com mike hollihan

    I’ll give you credit for courage in posting this, Andy.

    You’ve got strong libertarian impulses, but…. Look at what you said about abortion. You list two opposing positions (baby’s right, woman’s right) and leave it there. Something follows from what you’ve said. What is it?

    Also, you list several major government giveaway programs but aren’t opposed to them in principle. That’s not libertarian.

    The cornerstone of libertarianism is private property and the right of ownership. Your money is yours, not the government’s to take. It *is* also yours to give, to whom you see fit as you see fit. But government income-redistribution is inherently anti-libertarian because it is coersive; you cannot *not* participate.

    With some more thinking and deciding, you could become a libertarian, but you’re not quite there yet. You might be what the lazy and derisive call a “moderate.”

  • http://adamantsun.blogspot.com Steve S

    Andy, I always thought you were farther right than moderate, but not right wing necessarily.

    Now I’m reading things that make me believe I’m not what I thought I was in the beginning.

    What are you reading and what is it telling you?

    I just have a problem with the use of the word marriage

    So I don’t get to get married because you have a problem? Rhetorical question, no need to respond.

    I can understand the need for a hand up now and then, but damn!

    The Left I know and believe in, agrees with you and believes social programs are a helping hand not a hand out. The only time I read that the Left endorses laziness and a free ride, is when the Right is speaking, never otherwise.

    I keep trying to understand the liberal philosophy that because a person makes more it?s fair to take a bigger percentage of what they make.

    I always thought it stemmed from humanitarism.

    This is why nobody on the Left is swayed when the Right bitches about socialism. We know why we support our ideology and it isn’t why the Right tells us we do. It has more to do with the moral values of helping the poor, the down trodden, the sick, etc. and as nations grow and time passes, it expands to include employment, education, etc.

    It’s basic humanitarianism, of helping your fellow man. It’s a premise that works best when everybody is on board. The value of materialism and ownership, neatly wrapped up in the value of individualism, conflicts with that, so now what we have is the concept of humanitarianism being perceived by millions to be conflicting with individualism. Now, if you support the humanitarianism of the Left, charges get thrown back at you that you want to oppress business owners or you want communism and the government telling you what to do for a career, and all sorts of garbage.

    Why are Christians being nailed to the cross all the time in this country?

    Example, please?

  • http://theugliestamerican.blogspot.com/ andy marsh

    Is it a wide fence I’m sitting on? Those chain link types can get pretty uncomfortable.

    Who says praying to river gods doesn’t work?

    As far as the war on terror and the war in Iraq goes, I’m certain that the war in Afghanistan was the right thing. I believe that the war with Iraq was the right thing at the time and of course, hindsight being 20/20 and all, I’m not sure we would have done things the same if we knew then what we know now. That being said, I support our efforts in Iraq and I’m very pro military…might explain why I did 20 in the USN!

    As for the abortion issue…if I was partly responsible for the fetus in question, I would want a say in what happened to it. But I also don’t think unwanted children should be bought into this world.

    How does humanitarianism give the govt the right to take more from you because you make more? Shouldn’t a philosophy like that make you GIVE MORE? Socialism always seemed to me to be another word for getting something for nothing. As far as that rhetorical question…we’ve had this discussion Steve. sorry dude!

    Dave – I’m gonna check out your link…we shall see!

  • http://www.elitistpig.com Dave Nalle

    “I always thought it stemmed from humanitarism.”

    Some of the greatest examples of oppression in history originated with humanitarian intentions.

    And in the case of graduated taxes what you’re talking about is ‘from each according to his means, to each according to his needs’ which is the fundamental tenet of socialism and a basic disincentive to be productive and successful in society.

    “This is why nobody on the Left is swayed when the Right bitches about socialism. We know why we support our ideology and it isn’t why the Right tells us we do. It has more to do with the moral values of helping the poor, the down trodden, the sick, etc. and as nations grow and time passes, it expands to include employment, education, etc.”

    etc. being nationalization of industry, the growth of unemployment and a massive welfare state, negative economic growth, devaluation of the currency, imposition of total state control of the economy, the expansion of the army as a method of increasing employment, forced labor camps to deal with unemployment among those not capable of military service, the invasion of neighboring countries as a means of compensating for lack of growth in productivity, and of course the eventual conquest of the world because of growing demand for resources and wealth to compensate for decreased internal productivity and the ravening demands of a massive and non-productive military. Woohoo, liberalism is great!

    –It’s basic humanitarianism, of helping your fellow man. It’s a premise that works best when everybody is on board. The value of materialism and ownership, neatly wrapped up in the value of individualism, conflicts with that, so now what we have is the concept of humanitarianism being perceived by millions to be conflicting with individualism. Now, if you support the humanitarianism of the Left, charges get thrown back at you that you want to oppress business owners or you want communism and the government telling you what to do for a career, and all sorts of garbage.–

    Don’t forget that you want to treat people as groups and make them dependent on the state rather than on their own resources.

    Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach him to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.

    What that old axiom leaves out is that if you give him a fish he’s going to come back every day for another fish, and as long as you keep giving him fish he’ll vote to keep you in office.

    Dave

  • http://www.elitistpig.com Dave Nalle

    Andy, I have to say that you sound awfully sensible on almost every issue. Your positions are the kind of pragmatic libertarian positions which used to be the standard in the Republican party and which I’d like to see the party return to. I suspect that even if the fit with the current Republican party isn’t perfect some of your views are going to make you fundamentally incompatible with any other party.

    Dave

  • http://theugliestamerican.blogspot.com/ andy marsh

    Dave – that’s why my registration card says Independant.

  • http://adamantsun.blogspot.com Steve S

    Some of the greatest examples of oppression in history originated with humanitarian intentions.

    And in the case of graduated taxes what you’re talking about is ‘from each according to his means, to each according to his needs’ which is the fundamental tenet of socialism and a basic disincentive to be productive and successful in society.

    So, Dave to promote your ideology, what you need to do, is convince people that Jesus was a communist.

    As far as disincentive, we have had graduated taxes for how long? Since the founding of our country? And we are the most innovative nation on the planet, are we not? If somebody is going through a ‘disincentive’ to make 100 million (which this country allows them to do), because they will pay 50% in taxes, leaving them with 50 million, so they just accept a 30k a year job, you tell me, is that disincentive or stupidity?

    being nationalization of industry

    vs. corporate controlled government and huge monopolies that have the freedom to make decisions that affect the lives of millions, with no accountability.

    the growth of unemployment and a massive welfare state,

    vs. the entrenchment of classism and a ‘fuck off, I got mine’ mentality.

    the expansion of the army as a method of increasing employment

    vs. the use of the military/brute force to push an ideology upon millions.

    the invasion of neighboring countries

    What? If anybody is assaulting neighboring countries, it is the Right who is passing extremely harmful legislation attacking Latinos under the guise of protecting us from ‘terroristic outsiders’.

    and of course the eventual conquest of the world

    which party is currently trying to create the entire world in it’s mold again?

    Liberal humanitarianism is all about teaching someone to fish, and being compassionate and giving him a meal while he’s learning. Conservatism is about teaching him how to fish and then telling him his credit isn’t good enough to be able to afford a fishing pole. Is that what I just read?

  • http://www.elitistpig.com Dave Nalle

    Steve S:

    >>So, Dave to promote your ideology, what you need to do, is convince people that Jesus was a communist.< <

    Lots of scholars agree with that. He was certainly an egalitarian collectivist, but what he didn't have that keeps him from being a communist is a belief in central state control. I'd call him more of a socialistic anarchist.

    >>As far as disincentive, we have had graduated taxes for how long? Since the founding of our country? < <

    No, since the 1960s. We've only had an income tax since the early part of this century. The income tax is actually specifically prohibited in the Constitution, but that prohibition was overriden by the passage of the 16th Amendment - which there's a strong movement to repeal. The intention of the founding fathers was NEVER to have any kind of income tax.

    >>And we are the most innovative nation on the planet, are we not? If somebody is going through a ‘disincentive’ to make 100 million (which this country allows them to do), because they will pay 50% in taxes, leaving them with 50 million, so they just accept a 30k a year job, you tell me, is that disincentive or stupidity?< <

    The disincentive is at the marginal incomes and especially for entrepreneurs and small businesses. The guy we're concerned about is the one making under $100,000 a year who has to find ways to minimize his income to stay out of the top tax bracket. The system creates an incentive to minimize income, redirect it and conceal it to avoid paying outrageous taxes. There's a similar effect on the very wealthy who are encouraged to change as much of their income as possible into something other than income - to put it in a trust, move it offshore, find ways to put it into tax shelters and do everything they can to avoid paying taxes on it. Lots of loopholes still exist and the rich will find ways to use them.

    Consider this. Would you rather have everyone paying a lower flat rate of say 30% income tax and actually paying it because there would be no loopholes, or have the current system where the wealthy are taxed at a high rate, but have ways to avoid paying anywhere near that amount?

    >>being nationalization of industry

    vs. corporate controlled government and huge monopolies that have the freedom to make decisions that affect the lives of millions, with no accountability.< <

    All companies are accountable to their shareholders.

    >>the growth of unemployment and a massive welfare state,

    vs. the entrenchment of classism and a ‘fuck off, I got mine’ mentality.< <

    The balance of the self interests of individuals creates a dynamic system which encourages invention, enterprise and economic growth.

    >>the expansion of the army as a method of increasing employment

    vs. the use of the military/brute force to push an ideology upon millions.< <

    And where is that happening? You're not trying to say that there's something evil about forcing the Iraqis to be free and have their own government are you, because that would be ridiculous.

    the invasion of neighboring countries

    What? If anybody is assaulting neighboring countries, it is the Right who is passing extremely harmful legislation attacking Latinos under the guise of protecting us from 'terroristic outsiders'.

    >>and of course the eventual conquest of the world

    which party is currently trying to create the entire world in it’s mold again?< <

    Ah, so you admit that the Republican Party is the party of freedom?

    >>Liberal humanitarianism is all about teaching someone to fish, and being compassionate and giving him a meal while he’s learning. < <

    So you believe, yet the evidence of how it is practiced by the Democratic party is not consistent with this

    >>Conservatism is about teaching him how to fish and then telling him his credit isn’t good enough to be able to afford a fishing pole. Is that what I just read?<<

    Don’t know where you read that. I mean, you can make up any description of conservatism you like, but it doesn’t make it real or correct. The basic philosophy of the Republican Party is that people should be encouraged to be self-sufficient and the role of the government is to help make them capable of fending for themselves, rather than making them dependent on endless handouts.

    Dave

  • http://adamantsun.blogspot.com Steve S

    Consider this. Would you rather have everyone paying a lower flat rate of say 30% income tax and actually paying it because there would be no loopholes, or have the current system where the wealthy are taxed at a high rate, but have ways to avoid paying anywhere near that amount?

    Dave, the way you present that indicates to me that the reasoning behind why one chooses an ideology is unexplainable to another. I’m not into progressive taxation in order to ‘stick it to the rich guy, ohh, ohh, close the loopholes!’

    I am all for equality and fairness. The Right has not convinced me that a person who’s income after taxes is 60k has less Opportunity available to them than a person who makes 20k after taxes. I don’t see the oppression.

    You’re not trying to say that there’s something evil about forcing the Iraqis to be free and have their own government are you, because that would be ridiculous.

    No, I’ve often bitched about how the Right twists things, I get dismayed when you do it too, Dave. Just like the Gannon affair, where the concerns about misusing the media are being dismissed under the guise of ‘it’s his own sex life’, what I was talking about was the forced spread of Americanized Democracy throughout the Middle East and you are twisting that to imply that I don’t want Iraqi’s freed from oppression.

    So you believe, yet the evidence of how it is practiced by the Democratic party is not consistent with this

    Dave, if you go back to my comment 8, I talked about the Left and the Right. Not Democrat and Republican. I was talking ideology, not political policy. I was telling you why people adapt the ideology of liberalism, not what political parties may be doing with the ideology. You’re the one that turned this into a political crap flinging.

  • http://adamantsun.blogspot.com Steve S

    adapt=adopt

  • http://www.morethings.com/senate Al Barger

    Andy, what was it here that made you question whether you were a libertarian? You’re perhaps a bit moderate by purist Libertarian Party standards, but pretty much everything you’re saying here goes that direction.

  • http://theugliestamerican.blogspot.com andy marsh

    It was an artical I was reading on rightwingnews.com titled “Republicans Can Only Go So Far To Please Libertarians”.

    So I’m a moderate libertarian and a moderate republican…what’s that make me…an ultraconservative democrat?

  • http://theugliestamerican.blogspot.com andy marsh

    Dave Nalle – I just checked out rlc.org. I will say that I agree with most of what I’ve read so far and I was impressed to see a politician that I’m actually impressed by on their list of members.

    I lived in AZ for about 4 years and got to hear a lot of what JD Hayworth had to say when I was out there. I’ve always liked what JD had to say. Stand up guy.

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    They’ve got some other fine office holders as well. Congressman Ron Paul is cool, if a bit dogmatic. Governor Mark Sanford of Sout Carolina is a good guy too – he’s the RLC choice for President in ’08 right now, though it’s too early for him to declare. I actually see him as a good VP choice with someone like McCain. And I also like Jerry Patterson a lot – he’s our Land Commissioner here in Texas.

    The key thing is that unlike the straight-up Libertarians it’s a movement within a major party, so there are members who are actually in public office and have some real influence.

    Dave

  • http://halfbakered.blogspot.com mike hollihan

    >So, Dave to promote your ideology, what you need to do, is convince people that Jesus was a communist.

    From Acts of the Apostles:
    2:44 And all that believed were together, and had all things common;
    2:45 And sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all men, as every man had need.

    It always amazes me how few people know that’s there.

  • http://www.angel-and-soulmate-selfhelp.com/blog.html Angela Chen Shui

    You’re just one hell of a guy, Andy!
    ;-)

    The only one I can’t see the alternative for in the short to medium term is # 5.

  • http://paperfrigate.blogspot.com DrPat

    The RLC link gets you the home page, Dave, but the “list of state contacts” link seems to be broken, for some states anyway. I wasn’t too surprised when a click on “California” bumped me back to the home page, but Colorado and Ohio, too?

    If you have any “in” there, you might suggest an omnibus page that explains why there is no state contact for those states. Maybe even suggest the viewer might like to create a new RLC group for their state…

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    I’ll email the guy who does the page. If you go to google and search for Republican Liberty it will bring up most of the state organization web pages, though.

    Dave

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    Scratch that last message. I went to the site and the link worked fine for me. You click on the big US map on the lower left of the main page at it takes you to this page: http://www.rlc.org/?p=States which lists the states with links to their info. All the ones I tried either worked or linked you to info for the RLC recruitment director John Reed – who would work with you if you wanted to create your own state chapter.

    California, Ohio and Colorado all have pages there. The California one is highly customized with lots of info on their local ballot iniitiatives. The other two have contact info and links to their web pages.

    Something must not be working quite right with your browser on the site. I’m using Safari.

    Dave

  • http://paperfrigate.blogspot.com DrPat

    Not to hijack this thread, but I’m on Firefox now, and I clicked, not the map, but the text link on the home page, then the text link to those three states.

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    Interesting. I don’t see a text link to the state organizations at all, just the map. Is the map there for you? But I would think that the text list of states you got would be the same one I was accessing. Maybe I’ll have to download a copy of Firefox and see what happens.

    Dave

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    Ok, I found the text link – I just didn’t notice it because it was in the middle of the text on the main page. Anyway, it also works for me and I’m using Firefox now. It takes me to the list of states. When you click on a state link Firefox DOES take you to the state page – or it does for me. However, there’s a rather large delay for the forward, I’m not sure why. It also loads a generic info page first and then forwards to the state page after several seconds. I think that’s where things are probably going wrong for you. Maybe having popups turned off or forwarding turned off or some other setting is screwing with the forwarding protocol they have set up.

    Now, back to our praises of Andy’s sound judgement and fine political wisdom.

    Dave

  • http://paperfrigate.blogspot.com DrPat

    Thanks, Dave, I’ll investigate offline.

    Andy, your list is much like my own. I’ve fought back and forth in my own soul with each of these questions. I did have some help from Ayn Rand on the first; it informed us when my spouse and I had this choice to make for ourselves in 1972.

    Otherwise, your concerns sound so much like mine. Thank you for the courage to put them out here.

  • http://theugliestamerican.blogspot.com andy marsh

    Hey – it’s only fair, the people that I drink with know all these opinions, so you guys should too!!!

  • http://www.antequeravillarental.com alienboy

    1. Abortion – Nobody has any business telling anyone else what to do with their own body.
    2. Same sex marriage – Marriage/Civil Union? This is a bullshit distinction. Same as before, nobody’s business.
    3. The Drug War – A total waste of money
    4. Welfare – Welfare is cheap, but prevention is cheaper than cure.
    5. Taxes – Sales taxes not income taxes
    6. Vouchers – You want Vouchers but not Welfare? At least Welfare tries to help the needy.
    7. Social Security – has to be state run. There is no alternative.
    8. Affirmative Action – Let’s help the poorest 5% or 10%, whoever they are. It’s good to give something back…
    9. Presidential veto power – The pork barrel politics of the American system is a mystery. It definitely needs reform, but, based on track records, the veto might not be the best way to go…
    10. Lastly, PC BS. Bullshit is bullshit, whether it is politically correct or not.

    SO, WTF am I? Come on, lemme have it!

    Just getting by, like most of us… ;-)

  • Sydney

    I have to say I haven’t seen anyone on BC who I agree more with than Steve (and alien boy…a close second).

    Dave,

    you on the other hand are on the opposite side of the spectrum and I have to say you have the nasty habit of twisting liberal ideology into grotesque forms. Your understanding of socialism is just totally out there. You might understand it in a academic sense, the history etc. But you just can’t grasp its nature. AS Steve says, you are always telling us what we think and your just wrong.

    >>Consider this. Would you rather have everyone paying a lower flat rate of say 30% income tax and actually paying it because there would be no loopholes, or have the current system where the wealthy are taxed at a high rate, but have ways to avoid paying anywhere near that amount?< <

    This is outrageous. If that was the tax rate than taxes wouldn’t matter at all because you’d have a world completely run over with American corporations and a society that doesn’t even resemble a democracy. Corporate America has already run wild under the already too-low taxes they pay. Without those corporate taxes there would be no freedom and their would be no democracy. Don't you see that? Corporate America already controls public policy as is. How much control do you concede to a corporation which doesn’t act in the interest of society, but in the interest of it's own profit. Americans are so sick with their private ownership crap. It’s as if they think the only alternative is communism.

    >>And where is that happening? You’re not trying to say that there’s something evil about forcing the Iraqis to be free and have their own government are you, because that would be ridiculous.<<

    This is really sad. America is not there to free the Iraqi’s for Christ sake. Pull your head out of your ass. America doesn’t do anything without stings attached. America wants to instill American style capitalist democracies in the middle east. The Arab peoples of these countries want to decide their own future and America is not leaving them the option. They don’t want American interests in their country. Quit acting as if America is this great ,empathetic, and valiant savior. Makes me sick to hear that shit. I wouldn’t mind so much if you said “ok, were not there for noble reasons, but some good might come of it”. But you don’t — you think your on some moral mission.

  • sydney

    6. vouchers: destroy public education.
    8. Affirmative Action: I’ve been burned by it before as well, just this year in fact. But give me a break, what do you think happens to the Chinese guy or the black guy that walks into an office looking for a job? Same thing, except far more often. The boss says, “he seems alright, but i don’t want to work with him. Rather that white guy”. That’s the reality, and that’s why we need AA until society is a little more integrated.

  • Nick Jones

    It was H.G. Wells who wrote The Time Machine.

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    Alienboy: SO, WTF am I? Come on, lemme have it!

    You’re a generic liberal Democrat. Embrace it.

    Dave

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    Sydney:
    >>you on the other hand are on the opposite side of the spectrum < <

    Actually, I'm not. If your positions are similar to Alienboy's we probably agree on about half of them. We just REALLY don't agree on about a quarter of them.

    >>and I have to say you have the nasty habit of twisting liberal ideology into grotesque forms. < <

    Doesn't take much effort to present the grotesque as what it is.

    >>Your understanding of socialism is just totally out there. < <

    It might be somewhat skewed by all those years living in Europe and the Soviet Union and actually seeing socialism in all its glorious dysfunctionality.

    >>You might understand it in a academic sense, the history etc. But you just can’t grasp its nature. < <

    Want to bet? Socialism is the philosophy of the greatest good for the greatest number. Government's job is to make sure that everyone lives as well as possible, with the most equal living conditions and opportunities. No one is better, no one is worse. Pay is based on what you need to live a decent life. Services you need but can't necessarily afford are provided by the state. Does that sound like socialism to you?

    >>AS Steve says, you are always telling us what we think and your just wrong.< <

    No, I just think about the ultimate implications of what you believe. Like socialism as described above - sounds pretty good, right? But that sort of system also discourages creativity and initiative, encourages dependance on the state and the loss of individuality, leads to the state acquiring more and more powerful as individuals lose rights and freedoms, and ultimately ends in economic stagnation followed by increasingly totalitarian government as the state attempts to control more and more to implement artificial efficiency measures which never quite work.

    >>This is outrageous. If that was the tax rate than taxes wouldn’t matter at all because you’d have a world completely run over with American corporations and a society that doesn’t even resemble a democracy.< <

    LOL, corporations already pay a far lower effective tax rate than the 30% I mentioned. Many economists think that we should get rid of corporate taxes alltogether, because they are in effect double taxation as the cost of those corporate taxes are just passed on to individuals.

    >>Corporate America has already run wild under the already too-low taxes they pay. Without those corporate taxes there would be no freedom and their would be no democracy. Don’t you see that? < <

    No, because it doesn't make any sense. How do taxes keep corporations from doing anything they want? They just pass the taxes on to the consumer in the form of higher prices.

    >>Corporate America already controls public policy as is. How much control do you concede to a corporation which doesn’t act in the interest of society, but in the interest of it’s own profit. < <

    What you seem to miss here is that corporations are made up of people. What benefits the corporation benefits their workers, their investors and even their customers. Corporations are not by nature evil, they are just looking out for the welfare of the specific group of people who are part of their corporate community. The job of government is to use regulation to make sure that their pursuit of their interests doesn't trample on the rights of other people.

    >>Americans are so sick with their private ownership crap. It’s as if they think the only alternative is communism. < <

    The alternative is too horrible to consider, though it need not necessarily be communism. It can be fascism pretty easily as well. But truthfully, if you think private ownership of property is a problem for society there's no basis on which to discuss anything with you rationally.

    >>This is really sad. America is not there to free the Iraqi’s for Christ sake. Pull your head out of your ass. America doesn’t do anything without stings attached. < <

    You need to study some history, Sydney. America has never fought a war for profit or to conquer territory. We may be interested in creating friendlier more democratic countries around the world - and that may ultimately work to our benefit, but America is by nature altruistic. Even if our leaders have other ideas the people will always hold them accountable for leaving countries we deal with better when we leave than when we became involved.

    >>America wants to instill American style capitalist democracies in the middle east. The Arab peoples of these countries want to decide their own future and America is not leaving them the option. < <

    Letting them hold a free election and pick their own government isn't letting them have the option? Come on. You can't really believe that.

    >>They don’t want American interests in their country. < <

    Of course they do. They want their countries to make money. That means doing business with American corporations. They want their country to advance in technology and they're quite willing to take our material aid, expertise and money to achieve those ends.

    >>Quit acting as if America is this great ,empathetic, and valiant savior. Makes me sick to hear that shit. I wouldn’t mind so much if you said “ok, were not there for noble reasons, but some good might come of it”. But you don’t — you think your on some moral mission.<<

    There are lots of reasons why we’re there, but as far as the Iraqi people are concerned, we’re there to help them out, because the more we help them get on their feet, the better a country we make for them, the more likely that they will remain stable, discourage further terrorism, and become a profitable trading partner in the future.

    You seem not to grasp the concept of enlightened self-interest. Helping others ultimately helps us by creating good will, building up economies and creating opportunity for everyone. Yes, we’re looking to benefit ourselves, but the best way to benefit us is to help THEM out first.

    Dave

    (See other comments from the same name, url or both. Experimental: IP)

    Comment 35 posted by sydney on February 23, 2005 08:16 PM:

    6. vouchers: destroy public education.
    8. Affirmative Action: I’ve been burned by it before as well, just this year in fact. But give me a break, what do you think happens to the Chinese guy or the black guy that walks into an office looking for a job? Same thing, except far more often. The boss says, “he seems alright, but i don’t want to work with him. Rather that white guy”. That’s the reality, and that’s why we need AA until society is a little more integrated

  • http://adamantsun.blogspot.com Steve S

    Sydney said: “AS Steve says, you are always telling us what we think and your just wrong.”

    Dave responds: “No, I just think about the ultimate implications of what you believe. Like socialism as described above”

    No, Dave. You don’t know Sydney. You don’t know what Sydney believes.

    Right here you are admitting that you lay the farthest extreme left of socialism/communism upon the whole liberal spectrum. You only see the far end result, but that is not what the majority of the Left is about. One does not need to go ‘all the way’ with an ideology. Most actually don’t, it makes them moderates. Moderate progressives and moderate conservatives.

    So if every time that someone in the Progressive Moderate ideology advocates progressive taxation, nationalized social security, fixing public education rather than bleeding from it, or the like, you are only going to consider the most far extreme end as being the end result, because ultimately everything must reach the far end, I assume?

    Very telling in regards to your unholy alliance with the theocracy-seeking far far Right.

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    >>So if every time that someone in the Progressive Moderate ideology advocates progressive taxation, nationalized social security, fixing public education rather than bleeding from it, or the like, < <

    But Steve, all of the specific issues you mention are already disasters as they stand and the Democratic positions on these issues don't need to be taken any farther than they already are to be completely unacceptable and in fact part of the problem rather than part of any possible solution.

    >>you are only going to consider the most far extreme end as being the end result, because ultimately everything must reach the far end, I assume?<<

    When we’ve already gone too far down a road to disaster – as is the case with Social Security or Public Schooling – and you suggest going even farther in the same direction, then it’s not that I’m hypothesizing the extreme result, I’m just pointing out a likely outcome that’s only a few steps away.

    And BTW, a little bit of oppression and exploitation isn’t acceptable if it can be avoided.

    Dave

  • http://theugliestamerican.blogspot.com/ andy marsh

    I did forget to add in gun control and the death penalty. Since I’ve already completely bared my soul I’ll let you guess on this one. I’m for one and against the other.

  • http://www.thebmrant.com Matt Egan

    Why is it so necessary to find a label for yourself? This one is a conservative Republican, this one is a Moderate Democrat, this one is a social reconstructionist. Jesus was an egalitarian collectivist. (Dave–kudos for using some many words to say nothing)

    Andy–how many posts have you made requesting help in determining who you are? Look in the mirror. That’s you.

  • http://theugliestamerican.blogspot.com/ andy marsh

    Tell me Matt, how many? You don’t like what I write, don’t FUCKING read it!

  • http://www.sadpercy.blogspot.com Queenie

    You’re no friend of mine Andy! I jest….:-)

    Seriously, you’re what i would call an a la carte conservative.

    I think you are a conservative both fiscally – because you don’t believe in wealth redistribution, and morally – because you don’t agree with individual freedom if it changes ‘the way things are’. For example you are both prolife and choice, you are anti-gay marriage/ pro-civil unions. This strikes me as a sign that you don’t want major change in society, but you aren’t convinced enough about the status quo to actually prevent individual choice/ freedoms which may lead to change.

    If you were a European, you’d be a christian democrat (as opposed to a liberal democrat or a social democrat or a socialist or a libertarian.

  • Eric Olsen

    super and fundamentally important post Andy, very honest nd brave, thanks! This is one of the better threads we have ever had because rarely do you see the fundamental differences of ideology stated so bluntly and relatively without rancor. Many fine points on all sides, but what Dave and Sydney said about the fundamental nature of America strikes me as getting right to the heart of a huge divide that explains perceptions of the war, etc.

    I agree with Dave that we as a nation have absolutely earned the right to the benefit of the doubt – not that we are perfect or should be given free rein to do whatever we feel like – our goverment and actions must always be accountable – but our motives should be presumed to be positive until proven otherwise, the opposite of which beign the essence of anti-Americanism.

  • Sydney

    I still don’t agree with him on most points discussed. I’m glad Steve S brought attention to Dave’s grotesque’ vision of socialism gone wild.

    I think those notions of socialism from the old world are not viable in modern discourse. I refer to socialism within a capitalist framework. I.e. Canada, Sweden, etc. Countries that allow capitalism but keep taxes high enough that some basic services are free to all citizens (health care, education..). To me America would be among the best places in the world to live if it would embrace these principles and give up the manifest destiny crap.

    As it is Canada has a far better standard of living and far fewer social problems etc. We need to acknowledge that, and quit calling them wimps or whatever macho insult comes to mind.

    Dave says: “America has never fought a war for profit”

    We study different history books apparently. This is America’s first and only reason for any foreign policy. Again, I lost the link but if you read the document called “project for new century America” or whatever.. it explains clearly what interest the bush admin has in reshaping the middle east. Written by wolfowitz and Cheney and the other neo-cons, it asserts that America needs to do this in order to “maintain its advantageous economic and military position in the world”. This document is the blueprint for their foreign policy.

    With regards to the war in Iraq, we have different ethical positions. I think it is wrong to gain any profit from liberating people. If we decide to help the Iraqi people than we need to say up front that we will leave American business interests out of Iraq and let them establish their own economy. Had we said that, the world would have gladly contributed financial backing.

    Secondly, I don’t see how this is liberating them. The average Iraqi is living in more fear now than under sadamn Hussein. That is clear. There is absolutely no law and order in that country since the war started. Even when the elections are settled, there is going to be ethnic strife and abuses galore.

    Thirdly, if they wanted to free the Iraqi people that they shouldn’t have said this had anything to do with terrorism or WMD’s.

  • http://www.elitistpig.com Dave Nalle

    >>I think those notions of socialism from the old world are not viable in modern discourse. I refer to socialism within a capitalist framework. I.e. Canada, Sweden, etc. Countries that allow capitalism but keep taxes high enough that some basic services are free to all citizens (health care, education..). < <

    Ooh, Sweden - highest suicide rate in the world, absolutely crushes individual initiative, has enormous unemployment, makes entrepreneurism virtualy impossible and has one of the lowest levels of individual productivity in the world and a negative GDP growth. Woah, let's be just like them!

    >>To me America would be among the best places in the world to live if it would embrace these principles and give up the manifest destiny crap.< <

    Apparently you don't know what Manifest Destiny is. Manifest Destiny was the theory in the early 1800s that the US was destined by geography to reach from the east coast to the west coast of North America. You're thinking of the Monroe Doctrine, which also has very little applicability in the modern world, but at least has to do with extending US influence overseas.

    >>As it is Canada has a far better standard of living< <

    Actually, by GDP per capita which is one of the common measures of standard of living, Canada has a GDP/C of $29,700 while the US had a GDP/C of $37,500.

    >> and far fewer social problems etc. < <

    This is a function of living in a vast rural wasteland with a small population. There aren't a lot of social problems in Montana either. And it's changing fast in Canada. With unchecked immigration and a failing medical system there are plenty of social problems coming down the road for Canada.

    >>Dave says: “America has never fought a war for profit”

    We study different history books apparently. < <

    True, as a graduate student in history and then later a history professor I read lots and lots of really well documented history books and primary sources. You, apparently, read Classics Illustrated comic books.

    >>This is America’s first and only reason for any foreign policy. < <

    This depends on how you define profit. I suppose you can argue that it does profit the US to promote peace and prosperity around the world, but doesn't that profit everyone? And I guess there's potential profit in helping countries develop functional economies where Americans could do business in the future. But these things benefit everyone, not just the US. What we don't do is plunder the riches of foreign countries against their will, seize their territory or force them to live under our political or economic dominion. You know this is true, because you can't find a single example to contradict it. Just go down the history of past US wars. Do we control or suck wealth from Panama or Granada or Cuba or Haiti or France or Japan or Germany or any of the countries where we have fought in the past?

    >>Again, I lost the link but if you read the document called “project for new century America” or whatever.. it explains clearly what interest the bush admin has in reshaping the middle east. Written by wolfowitz and Cheney and the other neo-cons, it asserts that America needs to do this in order to “maintain its advantageous economic and military position in the world”. This document is the blueprint for their foreign policy.< <

    Surprisingly, a small group of think-tank Neocons who have some influence in the government are not, in fact, spokesmen for the entire United States, or even for administration policy. That policy ends up being formed based on input from many sources, and while they may have a voice in decision making, there's no indication that their expansionist theories are really being implemented.

    >>With regards to the war in Iraq, we have different ethical positions. I think it is wrong to gain any profit from liberating people. If we decide to help the Iraqi people than we need to say up front that we will leave American business interests out of Iraq and let them establish their own economy. Had we said that, the world would have gladly contributed financial backing. < <

    Actually, we have said exactly that, repeatedly. There are no restrictions on who the Iraqis can trade with and the US has repeatedly stated that we will take no payment or reimbursement for the money we've spent on their behalf. There's a huge difference between profiting directly by plundering or forcing a country to pay you for liberating them and creating a situation in which free trade may allow you to participate in profitable trade in the future. America benefits here not by forcing money out of the Iraqis, but by being the country whose companies are most desirable for them to trade with.

    >>Secondly, I don’t see how this is liberating them. The average Iraqi is living in more fear now than under sadamn Hussein. That is clear. There is absolutely no law and order in that country since the war started. Even when the elections are settled, there is going to be ethnic strife and abuses galore. >>

    So, you’re completely ignorant of anything that’s going on in Iraq right now, I take it. Go read http://www.iragthemodel.com – the latest post on there is all about security and how conditions are improving. Or just read the latest installment of his reports on Iraq at http://www.chrenkoff.com

    >>Thirdly, if they wanted to free the Iraqi people that they shouldn’t have said this had anything to do with terrorism or WMD’s.<<

    Why? Freeing the Iraqi people isn’t the objective, it’s just a given of the process of liberating the country. The US went to Iraq for a variety of reasons, but where we go we bring people freedom as a matter of course. It’s not an objective, it’s just what we do.

    Dave

  • http://counter-point.blogspot.com Scott

    “The US went to Iraq for a variety of reasons, but where we go we bring people freedom as a matter of course. It’s not an objective, it’s just what we do.”

    Except the times that we don’t.

  • http://www.elitistpig.com Dave Nalle

    The times which you choose not to name or specify, because you can’t.

    With the exception of Vietnam where we failed in our mission I defy you to point out an example of a country that’s not better off now after US intervention than it was before hand.

    Dave

  • http://counter-point.blogspot.com Scott

    Well, just why didn’t we bring Iraq freedom in 1991?

  • http://www.elitistpig.com Dave Nalle

    >>Well, just why didn’t we bring Iraq freedom in 1991?<<

    Because our objective was to liberate Kuwait and destroy Iraq’s ability to invade its neighbors again. I think the war was poorly conceived, but it seems pretty clear that the thinking in the aftermath of the war was that knocking Saddam back on his heels would clear the way for a popular uprising against him. Not a bad theory – and it worked in Kurdistan – but a cheapass way to achieve the goal of liberating Iraq. Because the job wasn’t properly finished in 1991 we ended up having to go in again and finish the job properly. Never doubt that George W. was aware that we had left the job of Iraq unfinished and he felt a responsibility to complete what his father started.

    Dave

  • Nick Jones

    “Ooh, Sweden – highest suicide rate in the world…

    Actually, the US pulled ahead a number of years ago.

    And the canard about Sweden having the highest suicide rate is at least fifty years old, and nothing to do with socialism and everything to do with having cold, bleak long winters.

  • http://dumpsterbust.blogspot.com Eric Berlin

    That makes sense regarding Sweden as it’s generally been general knowledge that gloomy Seattle has the highest suicide rate in the US.

    I know I’d go nuts with 24/7 darkness during the winter.

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    Actually, the US is far behind Sweden in suicides according to the latest figures. Sweden has 27.1/100.000 population and the US only has 21.7/100,000. A couple of countries have passed Sweden, like Switzerland of all places and the new world champion, Ukraine where apparently EVERYONE is killing themselves, though Finland is trying hard to catch up despite their efforts to stay drunk 24/7.

    Dave

  • Nick Jones

    Six points is not exactly “far” behind.
    I’ll grant you that the information I had was from roughly 1984-1985.

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    I’ll say this. If I had to live in the 6×6 box that is life in Sweden I’d kill myself.

    Dave

  • Nick Jones

    Let’s see some links for tyhis information you’re posting.

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    Which information? The suicide rates are on the WHO site at http://www.who.int/mental_health/prevention/suicide/suiciderates/en/

    Dave

  • Nick Jones

    “Why are Christians being nailed to the cross all the time in this country?”

    Ooo, ooo, where can I go see this?

    Actually, there is a cult in the Southwest, called the Penitentes, who nail themselves up every Easter. Other than that, I can’t think of anywhere in the U.S. where Christians are being crucified, literally or figuratively – unless you count the White Supremist “Christian” groups, the Christian Reconstructionists, or any other group that dreams of a homogenized U.S. population that follows their brand of “Christianity”. Like one reviewer said of Rush Limbaugh’s brother’s book, if Christians are being as oppressed as the book claims they are, it never would have gotten published.

  • http://www.antequeravillarental.com alienboy

    Nalle: you deploy words like armour, but it’s all devoted simply to STOP any communication.

    You use far too many words, know far too much and believe too strongly to see the truth about anything.

    It is a real problem with certain people at certain times in their lives. They think they’ve lived through some stuff, seen some things, and this somehow makes them an expert.

    I am not a “generic liberal Democrat”, whatever that means. I simply try to see what is out there and describe it accurately.

    You are too busy throwing out isolated factoids to see the truth of anything. Your dogma/principles and sheer PREJUDICE (way beyond bias) get in the way of a meaningful interchange.

    What a shame…

  • http://theugliestamerican.blogspot.com/ andy marsh

    I was just up in the pacific north west. It was actually beautiful up there. Rare for this time of year. I have a couple of pics up on my blog from a place called Ecola State Park. I would say suicides are down this winter.

  • http://www.elitistpig.com Dave Nalle

    I just call it like I see it, Alenboy. And yeah, I’ve got a lot of experience behind me. I’ve had lunch with Al Gore and shaken hands with Richard Nixon. My babysitter when I was a kid was Queen Nur of Jordan (not then, but later), and I’ve sat and had conversations with exiled, unreconstructed Nazis, been in fistfights with members of the Kennedy clan, and judged quite a few Barbeque cookoffs. I’ve been poor as a churchmouse and relatively rich. I’ve lived in a rat infested slum and in a house valued over $1 million. It’s called life experience and it gives perspective. I can tell the truth from bullshit and yeah, I have opinions – the key is they’re informed opinions based on experience and fact, not just something I’ve been indoctrinated into by my peer group or my professors or some book I read. You can tell they’re real because they’ve changed and evolved over time.

    Dave

  • http://www.thebmrant.com Matt Egan

    Wow Dave. I’m so jealous of what a life you’ve had. You’re a regular Forrest Gump, aren’t you?

    You’re degree of self-importance is staggering.

  • http://dumpsterbust.blogspot.com/ Eric Berlin

    Dave – You do sound like you’ve led an interesting life… but your story reminds me of Dr. Evil’s self-referential monologue in Austin Powers, which has been immortalized on college posters… “I spent summers in Rangoon having my testes waxed…” and so forth.

  • http://dumpsterbust.blogspot.com/ Eric Berlin

    Here it is in full… enjoy:

    Dr. Evil: The details of my life are quite inconsequential. My father was a relentlessly self-improving boulangerie owner from Belgium with low-grade narcolepsy and a penchant for buggery. My mother was a 15 year old French prostitute named Chloe with webbed feet. My father would womanize, he would drink, he would make outrageous claims, like he invented the question mark. Sometimes, he would accuse chestnuts of being lazy – the sort of general malaise that only the genius possess and the insane lament. My childhood was typical: summers in Rangoon, luge lessons. In the spring, we’d make meat helmets. When I was insolent, I was placed in a burlap bag and beaten with reeds. Pretty standard, really.

  • Eric Olsen

    “I’ve been a puppet, a pauper, a pirate, a poet, a pawn and a king

    I’ve been up and down and over and out and I know one thing

    Each time I find myself flat on my face

    I pick myself up and get back in the race”

  • HW Saxton

    But hey,that’s what they say,Thats Life.

  • http://www.thebmrant.com Matt

    One time, I touched the boot of King Diamond at a Mercyful Fate concert in Philly. Not as prestigious as some of Dave’s touches with greatness, but hey, it’s something.

  • http://dumpsterbust.blogspot.com Eric Berlin

    I:

    – Passed Rex Reed on the street
    – Saw Mike Tyson at a Knicks game
    – Hung out with Everlast’s bass player one night in North Hollywood

    Word up.

  • http://www.elitistpig.com Dave Nalle

    See, we’ve all got life experiences. It’s a good thing – I hung with Martha, Frank Langella and Brooke Aster once – but that’s a different story alltogether.

    Dave

  • http://adamantsun.blogspot.com Steve S

    the key is they’re informed opinions based on experience and fact, not just something I’ve been indoctrinated into by my peer group or my professors or some book I read. You can tell they’re real because they’ve changed and evolved over time.

    Dave, your life does sound like it’s given you a lot of experience. Not so much by the people you have met, but the experiences/circumstances that would have led you to meet these people.

    I don’t doubt that your life experiences have led you to come by your ideology and I don’t doubt that your ideology is the right thing for you, the right way for you to live.

    What saddens me is that you don’t acknowledge that the same might happen to the opposing ideology. Your quote I put in italics here shows that you think people would be ‘misled’ into liberalism.

    It is my life experiences, like yours, that lead me to arrive at my ideology. At the risk of making this ‘about me’, in my life, I have experienced police brutality; two attempts on my life, one motivated by hatred, which very nearly succeeded; when I was a minor, I lived on the street for almost 2 years and did what I had to do to survive; I probably went through close to 1,000 beatings in my school years, I spent close to 5 years delivering meals and spending time with terminally ill AIDS patients, most of whom had nobody left in the world. I have friends or know people who have lost loved ones to the immigration system, or lost kids to the prison system, or were majorly shafted by corporate America and/or the healthcare system. I never got to meet Presidents, nobility or anybody famous, and I never went to college to get ‘indoctrinated’ by these liberal college professors who are now apparently the next victims in this resurgence of the Salem witchhunts that I see going on. No professor indoctrinated me, and I never was in one place long enough or connected with any one group for long enough to be subject to peer pressure.

    I came by my progressive ideology, the same way you came by yours. Life. Your comments all over the threads here clearly indicate you do not think this is possible for a liberal to do.

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    >>What saddens me is that you don’t acknowledge that the same might happen to the opposing ideology. Your quote I put in italics here shows that you think people would be ‘misled’ into liberalism.<<

    Sure I acknowledge it, Steve. Everyone’s experiences are different and lead them to different discoveries about life. Mine have given me a pretty positive outlook on life, so I tend towards an optimistic philosophy like Libertarianism. I’m not sure why that’s the case given all the wars and destruction and oppression I’ve seen, but it seems like humanity always struggles for freedom even in the worst conditions.

    Clearly your experiences are different and have led you to a much more negative view of the world. Negativism and pessimism tend to lead to identifying with liberalism politically. You’ve got good reasons for believing the way that you do. But despite that I think you came to the wrong conclusions in at least some areas. You’ve identified the problems because of the troubles you’ve faced, but when you went looking for solutions to those problems you found the wrong ones because your bad experiences made you susceptible to those who pander to pessimists.

    Every problem in society has more than one solution, sometimes a lot more. I suspect we agree on the problems. The difference is that we’re looking in different places for solutions to those problems.

    Dave

  • http://canheadrecords.blogspot.com/ L. Cue

    Intersting ….I have that j….t rolled for you over here btw.

  • http://adamantsun.blogspot.com Steve S

    Clearly your experiences are different and have led you to a much more negative view of the world. Negativism and pessimism tend to lead to identifying with liberalism politically.

    I do not go to liberalism because of negativity. Rather, my own experiences as well as the experiences of those I have known in my life have led me to see the need and adopt the principles of Jesus and humanitarianism, which I do not consider a negative.

    Many times do I look up at the stars at night and marvel over the wonders and magic of the world. I have faith that we will find equality someday, I have faith that we as a society will come around and try to do better when it comes to helping those who truly need it. I am filled with faith and hope. I can’t say I am devoid of negativity, no person can say that, certainly you are one of the most negative and closed people I have known when it comes to liberalism, although I do respect you more than many of your peers.

    I suspect we agree on the problems. The difference is that we’re looking in different places for solutions to those problems.

    Not talking about you specifically, but conservatism in general, I believe is a large part of the problem. Conservatism is against solving the problems. Conservatism is against hate crimes, against anti-discrimination laws, against the recognition of my family, against protecting workers, against secularism, I could go on, but notice how conservatism is ‘against’ something at least as often as it is for something. Talk about negative, huh? Ann Coulter? Hannity? Rush? yeah, yeah, the party of optimism.

    Also, the individuals that can gravitate towards conservatism are people usually of privilege, as you yourself attest, and when not actively working to stop protecting the little guy in whatever way possible, just simply fosters an intolerant Good-ole-boy atmosphere that CREATES many of the problems I find in my world today.

  • http://www.antequeravillarental.com alienboy

    nalle, that’s still all bluster.

    There is little that can be counted on in this world, and there has NEVER been any dogma or principle that is universally applicable. Crumbs, even Einstein was only mostly right!

    I really don’t care what kind of life you’ve had, any time any body abandons basic principles for the minutiae of detail to make a case, all perspective is lost. You literally can’t see the woods, or the changing landscape, for all the trees.

    There is no such thing as informed opinion, and there is almost nothing that is always true.

    That isn’t cynicism, it’s just accepting the way things are. Try it sometime…

    It’s refreshing…..

  • http://adamantsun.blogspot.com Steve S

    Dave, consider the recent cap on awards that victims of corporate society can get. It’s now set at 250,000 dollars. No matter what a corporation does to you, you can not be compensated any more than that.

    When the Ford Pinto was determined to have a faulty gas tank that exploded in crashes, killing people, it was discovered that Ford knew about the problem, but left it, rather than replace an 11 dollar part in the cars.

    When a jury awarded a crash victim 144 million dollars, roughly the same amount that Ford would have spent to fix the problem, Ford then took notice and fixed the gas tanks in Pintos.

    With a 250k cap now, Ford has no incentive to fix a similiar problem in the future, and past actions show us they would place more value on the action of not replacing an 11 dollar part, than they would to save lives.

    I suppose in your ‘optimism’ you think conservatism solved a problem there?

  • Joe

    Steve! Does Margret Thatcher have a big dick?

  • Nick Jones

    “Negativism and pessimism tend to lead to identifying with liberalism politically.”

    Geez, and here I was led to believe by the Right that Liberals were naive Utopians!

  • http://www.elitistpig.com Dave Nalle

    >>Intersting ….I have that j….t rolled for you over here btw.<<

    When did ‘joint’ become a ‘bad’ word that needed to be blanked out? Personally I’d rather call it a doobie, being a child of the 70s, but I’m pretty sure you can refer to it on the internet without the thought police descending on you instantly.

    Dave

  • http://www.elitistpig.com Dave Nalle

    >>Dave, consider the recent cap on awards that victims of corporate society can get. It’s now set at 250,000 dollars. No matter what a corporation does to you, you can not be compensated any more than that.< <

    Not true. That's the cap on punitive damages, not on awards. Real damages can still be allotted based on loss of quality of life, loss of life, long-term medical care, loss of salary, etc. Those damages would add up to around $1 million in most cases where death was involved.

    >>When a jury awarded a crash victim 144 million dollars, roughly the same amount that Ford would have spent to fix the problem, Ford then took notice and fixed the gas tanks in Pintos.< <

    Regardless of what Ford's reaction was, that was still an excessive award. No one's life is worth that much money, and no amount of money even one that high is enough to actually punish the corporation. In the case of the Pinto the executives who knew about the defect should have faced criminal charges - that's the proper way to punish that sort of conduct. And as for fixing the problem, that would have happened regardless of the amount of the judgement because of negative publicity which does far more damage to a car company than money can ever do.

    >>With a 250k cap now, Ford has no incentive to fix a similiar problem in the future, and past actions show us they would place more value on the action of not replacing an 11 dollar part, than they would to save lives.< <

    Absolutely wrong. They should be held criminally liable if thye knew the car was dangerous, and the negative publicity of executives going to jail and a car being declared dangerous would force them to take action to remedy the problem. Remember the Corvair? There was no lawsuit at all. Ralph Nader simply made some poorly researched but highly publicized charges about safety problems and the car was recalled and subsequently withdrawn from manufacture.

    >>I suppose in your ‘optimism’ you think conservatism solved a problem there?<<

    The primary target of capping punitive damages was the medical industry, and yes if it brings medical costs down, it will have been a major victory.

    Dave

  • http://theugliestamerican.blogspot.com andy marsh

    I just got an email from a friend yesterday about the Stella awards. Named after the dumb bitch that spilled hot coffee in her lap and successfully sued mcdonalds because she was an idiot. You read some of the winners here and there’s no doubt that something needed to be done!

  • http://theugliestamerican.blogspot.com andy marsh

    check this out!

    5TH PLACE (TIED): Kathleen Robertson of Austin, Texas, was awarded $780,000 by a jury of her peers after breaking her ankle tripping over a toddler who was running inside a furniture store. The owners of the store were understandably surprised at the verdict, considering the misbehaving toddler was Ms. Robertson’s son.

    5TH PLACE (TIED): A man, 19-year old Carl Truman of Los Angeles, won $74,000 and medical expenses when his neighbor ran over his hand with a Honda Accord. Mr. Truman apparently did not notice there was someone at the wheel of the car when he was trying to steal the hubcaps.

    4TH PLACE: Jerry Williams of Little Rock, Arkansas was awarded $14,500–and medical expenses–after being bitten on the buttocks by his next door neighbor’s beagle dog. The beagle was on a chain in its owner’s fenced yard. The award was less than sought for because the jury felt the dog might have been a little provoked. At the time, Mr. Williams, who had climbed over the fence into the yard, had been shooting it repeatedly with a pellet gun.

    3RD PLACE: A Philadelphia restaurant was ordered to pay Amber Carson of Lancaster, Pennsylvania, $113,500 after she slipped on a soft drink and broke her coccyx (tailbone). The beverage was on the floor because Ms. Carson had thrown it at her boyfriend 30 seconds earlier, during an argument.

    2ND PLACE: Kara Walton of Claymont, Delaware sued the owner of a nightclub in a neighboring city when she fell from the bathroom window to the floor and knocked out two of her front teeth. This occurred while Ms. Walton was trying to sneak through the window of the Ladies Room to avoid paying the $3.50 cover charge. She was awarded $12,000 and dental expenses.

    1ST PLACE: This year’s runaway winner was Mr. Merv Grazinski of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Mr. Grazinski purchased a brand new Winnebago Motor home. On his trip home from an OU football game, having driven onto the freeway, he set the cruise control at 70 mph and calmly left the driver’s seat to go into the back and make himself a cup of coffee. Not surprisingly, the RV left the freeway, crashed and overturned. Mr. Grazinski sued Winnebago for not advising him in the owner’s manual that he could not actually do this. The jury awarded him $1,750,000 plus a new Winnebago Motorhome. The company actually changed their manuals on the basis of this suit just in case there were any other complete morons buying their recreational vehicles!

  • http://www.bhwblog.com bhw

    Andy, did you know that “gullible” is not in the dictionary?

    I bet you respond to the chain letter e-mails you get so that you don’t have bad luck, don’t you?

    And as for the “dumb bitch” you refer to, Stella Liebeck had third degree burns on her thighs, genitals, and buttocks and spent 8 days in the hospital. McDonalds’ “we don’t give a shit” attitude sunk them in the trial.

    And here’s some good commentary on why punitive damages are a good thing:

    McDonald’s suffered substantial, but hardly outrageous, financial punishment for its irresponsible practices. Mrs. Liebeck was compensated for her injuries. And folks like me are less likely to get burned.

    That’s exactly how our legal system is supposed to work. That’s also why the insurance, tobacco, and other major industries want to change it. They think it works too well.

    Corporations want Americans to think that huge punitive damages are awarded constantly, crippling businesses and raising consumer prices.

    This is simply not true. Punitive damages are rare, especially in products liability cases. A Rand study showed that 47 percent are awarded in business-against-business litigation, versus less than 5 percent in products cases. And according to a study by Suffolk University law professor Michael Rustad, punitive damages were awarded in only 353 products liability cases (91 of them asbestos) between 1965 and 1990–an average of 14 per year or one per state every four years.

    Most important, punitive damages bring safety. They have forced removal from the market of flammable children’s pajamas, asbestos, tampons causing toxic shock syndrome, defective intrauterine contraceptive devices, and a host of hazardous drugs. They have forced car manufacturers to correct design defects like exploding gas tanks on Ford Pintos, slipping transmissions, and faulty minivan door latches.

  • http://www.bhwblog.com bhw

    >>With a 250k cap now, Ford has no incentive to fix a similiar problem in the future, and past actions show us they would place more value on the action of not replacing an 11 dollar part, than they would to save lives.< <

    Absolutely wrong. They should be held criminally liable if thye knew the car was dangerous, and the negative publicity of executives going to jail and a car being declared dangerous would force them to take action to remedy the problem.

    I don’t think corporate executives can be held criminally liable. That’s the point — they’re personally immune. It’s the company that’s committed a wrongdoing, not the people running the company. How do you punish a company for wrongdoing? You take away some money.

  • http://www.elitistpig.com Dave Nalle

    As I pointed out before, BHW, it’s not the punitive damages, it’s the negative publicity that gets the response from the corporation. If anything, an excessive damage award makes the corporation look more like a victim and gets them some sympathy.

    Dave

  • http://www.bhwblog.com bhw

    First, I think it’s both the punitive awards and the negative publicity.

    But if there is no chance of getting a punitive award, Dave, then people will be less likely to sue. That’s the goal here, to stop the lawsuits. If you stop the lawsuits, you stop the negative publicity.

    Game over.

  • http://www.bhwblog.com bhw

    What’s interesting to me is that if I took a poll, I’d find that most of the people who think it’s okay to try 12-year-olds as adults also think that corporations should be given this new break when it comes to capping their liability for their wrongdoing.

    Just a hunch, but I bet I’m onto something….

  • http://www.elitistpig.com Dave Nalle

    >>I don’t think corporate executives can be held criminally liable. That’s the point — they’re personally immune. It’s the company that’s committed a wrongdoing, not the people running the company. How do you punish a company for wrongdoing? You take away some money.< <

    Not true at all. If they were personally aware that a product they were producing posed a danger to the public they can be held criminally liable. You might have to work to find a sympathetic prosecuter to take the case, but it has happened before quite a few times.

    Here's a case you can check out from the archives of the UT Law School: Sea Horse Ranch . This is the judgement of their failed appeal for manslaughter. You can find lots of others in legal databases or even through Google.

    Dave

  • http://paperfrigate.blogspot.com DrPat

    I think all punitive-damages rewards were tainted by the massive award given to a woman who managed to burn herself with a cup of hot coffee. Clearly, some such lawsuits are driving no improvements, they’re just a way for lawyers and claimants to tap into corporate deep pockets.

    Likewise, I look at medical malpractice suits as a good idea originally, but since pushed to a ridiculous and non-productive extreme.

  • http://www.bhwblog.com bhw

    I think all punitive-damages rewards were tainted by the massive award given to a woman who managed to burn herself with a cup of hot coffee.

    Read my links to that story, Dr. Pat. The awards weren’t that massive, given the evidence of McDonalds’ willful negligence in the case.

  • http://canheadrecords.blogspot.com/ L. Cue

    >>Intersting ….I have that j….t rolled for you over here btw.< <

    When did ‘joint’ become a ‘bad’ word that needed to be blanked out?

    I hear you Dave, I’m just a paranoid liberal :)

    No seriously, I ran into a incident where things I wrote in my blog were used against me, and as I am in the middle of mediation in a family case, I censor myself these days.

    “America the f…, home of the b….”

    btw:: it’s stricly Dutch Masters for me. You should try it! ;)

  • http://www.bhwblog.com bhw

    If they were personally aware that a product they were producing posed a danger to the public they can be held criminally liable.

    Well, it sure doesn’t seem to happen very often. Either that or it doesn’t get much press.

  • SFC SKI

    “Either that or it doesn’t get much press.”

    I think the biggest lesson we all should have learned this far into the 21st Century is that the press coverage is hardly a reliable source for news, or for gaining enough info to inform one’s opinion.

  • http://www.bhwblog.com bhw

    SKI, Dave’s earlier point was that negative publicity is the thing that changes corporate behavior.

    So I was noting that there haven’t been too many high profile criminal cases against corporate execs for product-related negligence.

    In other words, you can’t count on the press to punish companies who do something wrong. That’s what the courts are for, even civil court.

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    >>But if there is no chance of getting a punitive award, Dave, then people will be less likely to sue. That’s the goal here, to stop the lawsuits. If you stop the lawsuits, you stop the negative publicity.<<

    This won’t stop the legit lawsuits, because in the ones where real harm is done the money to be gained is in the real compensation for harm done, on which there is no cap. If I die in an industrial accident and my family sues, what they ought to be suing for is my earning potential in my remaining years more than the punitive damages, and that ought to be a good hunk of change and it’s not limited.

    Dave

  • http://theugliestamerican.blogspot.com andy marsh

    bhw – can I have your email address…you know, I’m always having problems finding that tenth person to send those chain mails to!

  • http://www.kolehardfacts.blogspot.com Mike Kole

    There are all kinds of ridiculous suit awards. My favorite remains the man who used his lawnmower to trim hedges. Picked the thing up and tried to hold it in such a way that would sculpt bushes. You can guess what happened next.

    Anywhere you see a warning sticker on a product, you can guess that the activity they warn you against engaging in with their product, someone has already engaged in and sued the manufacturer as a result.

%d bloggers like this: