Thursday, November 01, 2012

We Get to Choose


America and the world are at a cross road.  Americans are uniquely blessed and bear the heavy responsibility to choose a course for our people’s future struggle.

I do not believe four more years of President Obama will destroy America or end the world but he has taken the country in the wrong direction and four more years will only make our journey to success more difficult.

Our economy is worse than it was four years ago.  Our debt, aggravated by reckless spending, has greatly increased under Mr. Obama, and his plan is projected to double it.

More Americans are out of work than at any time since the Carter Catastrophe.  Family income is down and more Americans than ever are on food stamps.

Business is under siege, beset by over-regulation and government meddling.

Our national resources are locked up, our trade deficit soaring, and gigantic new entitlements are bankrupting our country and evaporating opportunities of generations yet unborn.

Just as great a danger is the loss of American’s standing in foreign affairs.  Our country is now seen as weak by our enemies and unreliable by our friends.

We are held hostage by Chinese money, Venezuelan Oil, Islamic terror, Iranian atomics, and Russian Ambition.

A Romney Administration is the best hope to right this slide to disaster.  Self-determination, freedom, free-enterprise, and reduced government power will increase individual opportunity and will solve the economic ills.  Mr. Romney will allow America to utilize its resources, stop wasteful spending, lower taxes for all, and strengthen business and personal prosperity and incentive.

Internationally, America can again take the lead economically, technologically, and stand again as the hope of freedom and peace.

It comes down to this.  Mr. Obama is a weak leader who has led us poorly.  Mr. Romney is a proven strong leader who will guide our American journey to a better future.

72 comments:

MindMechanic said...

I believe Obama will be reelected. I think that is his secret fear and worst nightmare come true. For 4 years he has been allowed to blame every failing on everyone but himself. With '4 more years'...he owns it. He can no longer follow the Bush playbook which he was first critical of and then took credit for. He can no longer cite how he didnt know, or how hard it is, or how the sun was in his eyes, or the dog ate his homework. He cant use the presidential version of the modern day students lament "my computer crashed", or "I sent it...you must not have gotten my email". He owns it.

What that WILL mean is 4 more years of increased government spending. After all...its all he knows. More class warfare...its the only excuse he has left. More deficits, greater debt. More of todays irresponsibility shoveled onto the shoulders of tomorrows generations. Its actually a GOOD thing that so many college students support Obama and his empty promises of today. When they are stuck with the bill, they will have only themselves to blame.

On the other hand...its really difficult to blame someone for being precisely who they tell you they are. Obama makes no bones about his belief in expanding the fed and spending mo money mo money mo money. The blame for his reelection does not fall to him. It falls to those that long ago abandoned the mantra of JFK and instead vote based on what the few can give them...what the government can promise them. Its a recipe for national disaster and ultimately, failure, but then...considering those that tend to vote for Obama, their mindset is "welcome to the party and embrace the suck". Four more years. Once people get past the elation of 'winning', that should make everyone tremble.

Lysis said...

MindMechanic,

Thank you for your post. I fear you will be right. I take some comfort in knowing the Rome survived Caligula and Nero. Then again, I’m afraid Rome never recovered from Commodus .

Dan said...

I voted for Romney, I believe he was the best choice. I do not support everything that the Obama administration has done. However, because of how sick I am of rhetoric, I was wondering Lysis if you could elaborate on a couple points you made.

1. Please explain how business is currently under siege, what regulations and government meddling specifically?

2. In what way are we held hostage by any of the things you list?

3. How are our national resources locked up?

I'd like to talk to each of those points, but would need actual positions on them in order to see where to go with my comments.

Lysis said...

Dan,
Thank you for reading. I must admit that I am rather melancholy at the moment. I am reminded of the lines by John Greenleaf Whittier my dad liked to quote. “Of all sad words of tongue or pen, the saddest are these: ‘It might have been!’”. I am not in the humor for either rhetoric or elaborating, but for you a few thoughts.
Consider these ideas under “business under siege”:
1. Government support and collaboration with Unions – think of the GM Auto bailout, and the power shift to unions and union money, which will doom that company to yet another bankruptcy or bailout. Consider how Obama Care will force small business to shoulder the burden of mandated healthcare or alter employment practices to escape government sanctions. In addition, consider the regulations and limitation to be placed on health care providers and their customers in the days to come. The government has driven down minimum hour for full time employment from 40 to thirty hours. Business, increasingly required to rely on part time workers, are now facing the fact that the needed labor force will evaporate. I could go on and on – the facts are everywhere.
2. As for meddling regulations, beyond the ones touched on above, consider a heritage Foundation report based on the GAO report that points out that Obama added 106 major regulations to business in the first three years of his presidency, close to 4 times the number implemented by Mr. Bush. These regulations, the same Government Accountability Offices maintains added $46 billion in costs to American Business. I remind you that Mr. Obama bragged that his administration would put coal plants out of business through regulation. Again, I only touch on the ocean of examples available.
As for being held hostage by
1. Chinese Money: interest on our debt gobbles up resources that could be invested in American business and wealth, but must instead by confiscated by taxes to pay for unnecessary “gifts’ to Obama voters. We are actually borrowing money from the Chinese to pay off what we have borrowed.
2. Venezuelan Oil: Every dollar paid to Chavez’ companies is money that could be going into the American economy, if we were selling our own oil, rather than confiscated by communists to oppress the people of that blighted state and support our enemies worldwide.
Islamic Terror: Are armies are forced to fight in foreign lands, our resources expended in arming and training our military, to hold at bay those who would kill us in the name of their god.
Iranian Atomics: We find it impossible to prevent the development of nuclear weapons, which will someday be targeted at our friends on interests abroad, and perhaps, through the terrorist Iran sponsors, in our own cities.
Russian Ambition: Russia’s UN veto prevents the sanctions that could curb Iranian misbehavior.
Our resources are locked up when every oil or gas leases on public land are refused or worse revoked, or when any energy company is taxed or regulated out of business. Our resources are locked up when moneys are wasted on phony “green” energy companies. The opportunity to refine Canadian oil into US gas, thus reducing gas prices and freeing our economy, was locked up when Obama nixed the pipeline from Canada.
Dan, I have not the heart, right now, to go into greater depth. You should trust me that I could. For now, I must face the sadness of knowing what might have been.

Dan said...

First, I understand your disappointment, but I think you are being a tad melodramatic.

To the points you make:

The Democratic party has collaborated with and supported unions for decades and decades, this is nothing new, and it doesn't doom any industry. I agree that the auto unions are bad for the auto industry, but what you talk about isn't new, and a different administration wouldn't weaken the unions.

I 100% agree with the ACA mandates on employers.

What regulations and limitations on health care providers and their customers are you talking about. Please be specific.

Full time has been 36 for years, not 40. Though that number really doesn't matter if we can get people to work on reforming the bad parts of ACA, of which the employer mandate is one.

You talk of money that is being 'confiscated' via taxes. Taxes are lower then they have ever been (since the inception of the income tax). Taxes are lower then they were under Reagan, either Bush, etc.. You cannot legitimately or reasonably blame current taxes for the sluggish economy.

Your oil argument is a very common, and insidiously misleading, argument about oil. First, the idea that American oil would somehow drive down the price of oil. False. Second, that American oil is somehow going to be an american commodity. Oil is a world market, and increased drilling in the U.S. does not equal lower prices. That market is highly manipulated by all producers to maintain profit margins, whether it be Exxon or OPEC. The U.S. oil industry won't sell their oil cheaper to U.S. companies then they will to China, India, or anyone else.

As far as Venezuela specifically, 5% of our oil comes from them. Not really a large amount. Consider, the U.S. imports approximately 11.4 Million barrels/day. Venezeula's 11% share of that would be approximately 1.5mb/day. The U.S. exports 2.9mb/day. Mostly to Canada and Mexico. So, like I said, this is a world market. We don't import Venezuelan oil because we don't have enough, we import it for business reasons.

Also, from 2005 to 2012 the percentage of our oil that was imported dropped from 60% to 45%. So, again, I'm not sure how any actual numbers back up your idea that we a)aren't producing domestically or b) are forced to buy from evil dictatorships.

In Utah alone there are hundreds of oil and gas leases that the companies already have in hand that they are not using. Why? Because they don't need to yet. Either they are currently cost prohibitive, or they have enough crude to keep their refineries at capacity.

As far as the pipeline from Canada. I realize that I am not joined by many of my conservative brethren actually worried about the environmental safety of a pipeline that stretches from Canada to the Gulf Coast. That being said, I want our energy policy to be incredibly leery of using tar sands. Tar Sands is perhaps the least responsible way to produce energy that has ever been invented yet.

As far as your Islamic terror stuff goes. It shouldn't have to be said, but Bush II got us into those conflicts (which I supported then and continue to support). In fact, one of the big things I disagreed with Romney about was his desire to increase military spending. So if you have a problem with our resources going to train our military etc., that would have been increased under Romney, so its not really something you can lament in the current outcome.

Dan said...



Russia's veto has been curbing what we want to do since there has being a security counsel. The fact that you put that in somehow denoting that who is in office has anything to do with that is really grasping for straws.

Energy companies taxed and regulated out of business? Energy companies have been having record years for quite some time, so this one is just purely false.

I get that you are disheartened. Hopefully, when you get back into things, you can respond with some actual stuff. Or maybe focus on the ones I haven't refuted. But some of these were so clearly wrong, I can tell you are off your game. Lets whittle away the chaff and get to the substance. Because there are definitely things that we can agree would have been better had Romney won, but you chose some odd ones, and some that flat out aren't true.

Dan said...

Re reading, let me clarify, I 100% agree with you about the ACA mandates on employers, they are bad for business and should be gotten rid of via statute.

Dan said...

Also, clarification. Current income tax rates are among the lowest since its inception.

Lysis said...

Dear Dan,
They say Uncle Tom’s Cabin was melodramatic – sometimes it is an acceptable way to “dramatize” the truth.

Thank you for your comments. Let me give you an interesting story on the “unintended” consequences of Obama Care. For years my school has sold soda pop in vending machines. The school’s share of the profits has long been over $20,000 a year. Almost all of this money was used to pay for copying materials to hand out to the students. Thus their addiction of sugar and caffeine ultimately was turned to their benefit. Under the new regulations, school vending machines are restricted to selling sugar free drinks. Of course, the kids just go down the street and by cokes at the gas station, or bring them from home. Other people make the money, and the school is forced to cut back on printing, hence hampering the students learning.

You ask for specifics on limitations on health care providers and customers. I refer here to “best practices” regulation to be mandated by the “death panels” which will limit treatment for insurance recipients to those which will best serve the economic needs of the system.

You say that someone is going to reform the bad parts Obama Care. Who? Seems that Obama feels he has a mandate to bludgeon through his agenda as he sees fit. The fact remains that employers will need to duck the expenses of mandated insurance on full time employs and will do it by cutting back their workers hours. Fewer hours work means less money to live on – less money to serve as incentive to stay off the welfare rolls.

I do not blame “present” taxes for the sluggish economy. I blame the threat of increased taxes for the sluggish economy. The recession – caused by a train wreck of disasters – is being prolonged by the fear of the increased taxes that Obama brags about imposing.

Lysis said...

Your oil argument is very common, and insidiously misleading. Supply and demand will lower the price of oil – that is free market economics. Who cares if American oil is an American commodity? I would love to see American companies and American workers profit from foreign countries buying our oil – doesn’t seem to have hurt the Saudis that much! Sell American oil to China and India – get their money flowing this way. Make us all rich! Think of all the goods and services those oil workers will buy, think of all the engineers and lawyers those companies will employ. Think of all the taxes!! Let’s go for it!

Your right – we buy very little oil from Venezuela. If America was selling oil on the world market a lot of other people would not buy less Venezuelan oil either. More money for America, less money for the monster. I like these business reasons better.
Are you proud that we still have to buy 45% of our oil from our enemies when we could be selling it to them instead?

You go and talk to the people in the Utah oil industry who got cut out of jobs and wealth because of the revocation of oil leases by Obama. You study the towns and cities who were planning on thriving economies, like the ones popping up in North Dakota, you check out the way the folks in Wyoming are able to pay for their public education without state income tax, maybe then you could see why we need more oil leases. And by the way – think of all the jobs and wealth that could be generated by building more refineries, something Americans can’t do, thanks to too much government regulation!

Lysis said...

You give no reason for your prejudice against tar sand, no explanation for your claim – which flies in the face of oil-produces in Canada – that it is in any way not responsible. The oil sands of Canada will be exploited whether the oil passes through American oil lines and refineries or Chinese. The only difference will be who gets to make the money to support their people.

I don’t blame the Islamic terror stuff on George Bush; I blame it on Islamic terrorists! I have no problem with American resources going to support the military. “Provide for the common defense” is one of the mandates of the Constitution. We need more resources to defend ourselves. Obama cuts them off – Romney would have made them available.

I said we were being held hostage by Russian ambition – I didn’t say when that problem began. I will point out that a weaker Russia – undercut by a loss in its percentage of the world energy economy by US productivity – will be more easily dealt with than on fattened by selling its oil to nations who cannot find American suppliers. When we out “economyed” the USSR we made the world a better place. Let’s do it to what is left of the evil empire.

As for energy companies taxes and regulated out of business – consider the folks mentioned above who were planning to produce in Utah and were cut off, and those who could produce off the coast of Alaska, or the Atlantic Sea board.

Your “energy” my well have put me back in the game, if not on mine.

Dan said...

That's the Lysis I know and love. Good to have you back.

First, I lament the loss of any funding to schools. That being said, I've long had a problem with schools making money off of selling crap to kids. The whole discussion of school funding and responsible spending would take us to a whole new realm of discussion. Suffice it to say, I don't think our education money is spent very responsibly, and i think that 20k could fairly easily be replaced without getting it from selling crap to kids.

The big problem I have with that regulation is that its definitions are intensely stupid, I've heard Rob Bishop speak about it more than once. The regulations for what is and isn't allowed in school for health reasons is asinine. We can agree on that.

First off, even the term 'death panel' is rhetoric. It insults the intelligence of Americans and takes the place of actual discussion. The idea behind those panels (good or bad) is to try to figure out what services are actually working, instead of being run because they can be, or to cover someone's butt from litigation. That panel would have zero authority to step in between the private relationship between you and your insurance provider. So, we can discuss whether or not it is good to do, or something the government should be involved in. But 'death panels' is unhelpful, and your basic point isn't true.

Who will fix the bad parts of Obama care? I hope the republicans in Congress. I hope that they pull their heads out of the sand long enough to realize they wasted time and effort fighting for repeal, and that the idea of compromise isn't in fact a four letter word. I want them to be statesmen, I want them to show leadership. I haven't seen in in years, but I can still hope.

I don't believe your statement about taxes prolonging it. Its not the idea that taxes might go up. Its the uncertainty. If you said tomorrow, the top rate is going back to 38.5%, then people would know and could plan. The top rate was 38.5% under Reagan, and the economy took off like a rocket, 38.5% doesn't prevent economic growth, uncertainty does.

That having been said, the fact that we still have uncertainty shows a big lack of leadership, both from the White House and from the leaders in Congress. Obama must shoulder much of that blame, however, he doesn't write legislation.

Dan said...

In 2007 the world consumed 85k barrels of oil per day, in 2008, the world consumed 85k barrels of oil per day. But, the price of gas from Feb 2007 to June 2008 doubled. I'm sorry, but oil, and gas, are so driven by speculation as to be only marginally touched by supply and demand. Especially since supply can be so readily manipulated to help steady prices.

In 2008 the U.S. produced 4950 barrels of oil per day. By 2011 we were producing 5673 barrels per day, the most since 2003. So, please answer me, if the Obama administration has done their best to strangle the industry. Shouldn't we see a decrease in amount produced during his term, instead of an increase each year? In fact, the last time the U.S. produced more than 6,000 barrels per day was 1998.

So, since 2005 to now, our foreign oil imports dropped from 60% to 45% of our usage in the U.S., and our production has steadily increased from 2008 to now. So, while I understand you are arguing that the Oil and Gas industry has been handcuffed and strangled, the actual numbers completely refute your position. You can disagree with the regulations, you can believe it should be easier, and quicker to explore and extract, but you can't argue against the actual numbers.

The only way U.S. production undercuts Venezuelan oil is if U.S. companies sell theirs cheaper, which they won't do. Your argument makes no logical sense.

You assume that the oil and gas leases that were taken back in Utah would have lead to immediate economic growth. You have nothing to back that up. The Oil and Gas industry have hundreds of leases in Utah that they aren't using. For whatever the reason, having the lease does not equate to using the lease.

Dan said...

You are 100% correct about refineries, there is a problem with not being able to build new ones. I wonder why no one has fixed that, both parties have had administration and both houses in the last 12 years, yet no one has fixed it.

As far as tar sands. Its done by strip mining, highly destructive. It releases high amounts of heavy metals into surrounding ecosystems. Fish in the area have increased deformities and tumors, people in nearby communities have elevated rates of cancer, and the Moose in the area have been found to have up to 33 times normal levels of arsenic such that they are dangerous for humans to eat. Its easy to shrug that off living hundreds of miles away, but if they opened up a strip mine at grassy lake, my guess is it might make more of a stir on this blog.

You say, " I have no problem with American resources going to support the military." Yet earlier you said, "our resources expended in arming and training our military," in reference to how we were being held hostage. So, if you are no longer stating that having to spend more money on training and arming our military, thats fine. But you can't both complain about it about Obama, and point to how Romney would increase spending as a feather in his cap. It has to be one or the other.

I'm still waiting for you to point to any energy company taxed out of business. Its either true, or it was wild rhetoric, if it is true, it should be easy for you to point to even one taxed out of business.

Lysis said...

Dear Dan,

I was “charmed” by your claim that 20K could be easily replaced. Please consider that that is $20K should be multiplied by the number of secondary schools in the state.

Years ago, I worked for the Boy Scouts. I had to spend an inordinate amount of time begging for money to support the council and pay my own wages. Even now – an endless burden and the greatest frustration (next to bears), of my camp responsibilities is making enough in income to cover expenses. Anyway, after 7 years of begging for my pay as a Professional Scout, I decided to change professions. I wanted a job where I could get paid for reading and talking, and one where, if people didn’t pay my salary, they went to jail. So I became a school teacher. Dan, my point is this, only a government employ, paid by taxing on those who actually produce, could ever consider the loss of these funds an easy fix.

As we go into the remainder of your points I would like to quote Cicero, “An argument is better than a witness.” Statistics on all sides of all these points are at your fingertips, so stop demanding “cards” and reason with me.

As for “death panels”; of course the phrase is rhetoric, but what is truly insulting to the intelligence of Americans is taking away their own control of their own health care decisions. As for the power of the “panels” – making people dependent on government money and then denying the money according to the governments assessment of what is good, is limiting the people’s choice. My assessment of the danger stands.

As for taxation prolonging the recession, your quandary over whether it is fear or uncertainty is a distinction without a difference. The “recession” continues. The lack of leadership will sadly be prolonged by Romney’s loss.

Lysis said...

Next, your recitation of oil consumption and production comparisons begs the question (notice I used the phrase in proper context). The consumption flat line is caused by economic sluggishness. This could be remedied by increased production. A growing economy will use more oil, make more jobs, create more wealth and generate more taxes; problem solved

You argue that since 2005 foreign oil imports have dropped from 60% to 45%. What’s your point? Why are we buying any foreign oil at all? Let’s get it down to 0%. The sad truth is that much of that production is on state of private land. Not much of that in Utah. It all boils down to a simple equation, some increase in domestic production good, more increase better.

Here are a couple of quotes from those “in the know” on the subject. I got them from an article in the Salt Lake Tribune. You could probably find it on the internet as well. It, like most that passes for news reporting these days, purports to cover both views. In spite of obvious bias against drilling, the truth comes through.

“We're seeing more exploitation of state and private lands just because companies are seeing that it's getting more difficult on federal lands," said John Baza, director of the Utah Division of Oil, Gas and Mining.

“Even though we've got record numbers of wells out there," Baza said, "they could be even higher if federal impediments weren't there."

Utah Petroleum Association Executive Director Lee Peacock agreed and argued the BLM should lease more holdings.
"Leasing is the lifeblood of the oil and gas industry," Peacock said. "There are certain areas where industry would prospectively want to take a closer look that currently aren't being leased."

The guys who actually EARN the money want to drill more. The folks in the article who were against it cite baseless “environmental” concerns and in no way refute the economic benefits of more leases and greater production.

I am quite confident that there are better ways to save the moose than ban oil production. My experience is that the worst thing done to the moose I love was reintroducing wolves into Yellowstone. I suggest we shoot the wolves and fix the wells.

Dan said...

First things first. " only a government employ, paid by taxing on those who actually produce, could ever consider the loss of these funds an easy fix."

The man who taught me to debate and reason never told me that when your back is against the wall, thats when you pull out the straight to the jugular offensive insults. Maybe you should try to get his intelligence back in the conversation. Its sad that someone as smart as you is sucked into that idiotic belief that government employees don't produce. Its a wonderfully ridiculous position some conservatives have today that the 'government doesn't make jobs'. Great headline, stupid illogical position.

So, with that being said, lets get back to what my point actually was. Yes, 20k per school would be easy to replace if more rationality and responsibility was used in education funding. I'm currently on E.G. Kings community council, we are tasked with spending the state trust land funds for the school. I have seen the things people think money should be spent on. I have blocked stupid expenditures that equaled over 13,000$. And that is just the trust land money that is decided at the school level. That doesn't even get into the incredible amount of waste and duplicative spending at the district level. So, yes, I think 20k would be fairly easy to replace, if someone actually bothered to demand that education spending be done responsibly.

Please provide one iota of proof for this claim, "taking away their own control of their own health care decisions."

The taxation argument you've just fallen back on semantics, it has become a useless discussion. You originally claimed that the current administrations current tax policy prolonged the recession. I showed that taxes are lower then they have been for decades. You jumped to yes but they might go up in the future. I pointed out that is both parties fault, you say its a distinction without a difference. The taxes have been low for the entire recession, arguing that this administrations past 4 years of tax policy has prolonged the recession has no basis in any actual facts. We know what the taxes have been the last 4 years, we know what the economy has been the last four years.

Dan said...

Again, you continue to change the argument.

Your original argument was that Obama's policies were choking the oil and gas industry, and that they were being taxed and regulated out of business.

Those claims are false.

If you instead want to move to what is the best policy going forward, and what you would change about the current policy, that is a totally different argument.

My numbers were in reference to your total adherence to a supply/demand status of the oil industry. Your point is more than likely correct about the sluggish economy affecting consumption. My point was consumption was the same, and the price doubled.

You ask what my point is on the dependence of foreign oil going from 60% to 45%? Because you were equating us being dependent on foreign oil with the Obama administration. And yet we are less dependent then we ever were under Bush II.

Again, you are changing your point completely when it is refuted. You now want to talk about how we should be 100% independent? Won't happen. Ever. And it won't be government that stops it, it'll be business. For the same reason we export more oil than we import from Venezuela. Business decisions.

You hop around like a drop of water on a hot skillet. You keep sliding to the side on the points you want to make. Thats fine. I'll discuss any of them.

I would, however, appreciate that the next time you feel like being insulting you direct it at my opinions or stances, and not at me personally. And please, don't insult me again by pretending that that line wasn't a direct dig at me.

Lysis said...

Dear Dan,
First, it is curious that one would begin an accusation of “ad homonym” with a screed of ad homonyms. I gave a thoughtful, and somewhat self-deprecating, example of how those of us paid by taxes are not the best qualified to condone the throwing away of millions of dollars in legitimate income to school budgets. My point – that taxpayers should know that Obama’s silly regulations are costing them millions and their students’ learning support – was not intended to be an attack on you, but a challenge to anyone who cannot see the damage such silly regulations have on our economy, our children’s education, and our future.

I think the man who taught you how to debate would chasten you for stooping to such words as: insults, sucked, idiotic, ridiculous, stupid, and illogical, rather than providing some sort of justification for this attack on taxpayers and their children.

For the record, I did not attack you personally. I did not suggest that either your services or mine, both rendered at great effort to the citizens, are not worth what they pay us. My point was that those who DO NOT have to make a profit in order to pay their way, are not the best qualified to claim that $20,000 dollars per secondary school could or should be replaced with either more taxes or by the reallocations of funds. Let me remind you that pop is still being bought and consumed, but now this money is lost to the schools and so is the paper my students need. You asked for an example of the harms of Obama’s regulations – I gave you one. By the way, to your one legitimate counter to my claim, your experience at E G King, I would suggest that blocking the waist of $13,000 in spending at one school is only slightly less admirable that saving every secondary school in the state 20K a year in perpetuity.

As to Obama’s tax policy – his policy is to raise taxes, this is prolonging the recession. Please note that justifying Obama’s failure by invoking Presidents Bush is “begging the question”.
If I am “changing” the argument, it is simply my effort to follow your assertions.

On Energy: I still maintain that Obama’s policies are choking oil, gas, coal, and nuclear energy production. Pandering to the environmental lobby, Obama buys votes with gifts taken from our pockets, and from our children’s future. I gave you quotes from the Director of Utah Division of Oil, Gas, and Mining and from the Executive Director of the Utah Petroleum Association. What they, and ,I would change about the current policy is to, as they say; allow more exploitation of Utah’s resources. I’m glad to see you have conceded on the “Pipe Line” thing.

I am not changing my point on foreign oil. I do not claim that we will, or need, to get to 0% oil imports; I simply claim that that would be better than 45%, and we will move in the right direction much more quickly with a new energy policy. We needed an energy policy that is not driven by political agendas and fear promoted by false science.

I do not intend to insult anyone. As a “tax paid government employ” myself, I continue to see the advantages of allowing free enterprise to supplement the burden of spending piled on those who produce wealth. I remain astonished by anyone who would cavaliearly write off millions of dollars, which for generations have supported Utah Schools.

MindMechanic said...

Statistics are truly wonderful things. You can make them say what you want them to say. Facts on the other hand tend to be a little more difficult to manipulate.

According to that very biased Fox News (no...wait...this source is CNN), production IS in fact up...on private lands. It is down dramatically on federal lands including Indian reservations which could MOST directly benefit from increased production. And spin it how you like it, twist it like your sister, there is no getting around the fact that the Obama admin HAS cut permits for new drilling operations by over 37%.

http://www.cnn.com/2012/10/04/politics/fact-check-oil-gas/index.html

Why? Not hard to understand. They dont WANT cheap and accessible fossil fuel production. They want the country to hurt and to demand an increase in green energy production. Who is they? Well...certainly you HAVE to believe the words of Obama himself, right? Gas prices MUST go up. There will be enough government taxation and restriction so as to make the development of new clean coal plants cost prohibitive and in fact make them bankrupt. His words.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g0_yt3S9e2o
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y-aLcbr63ME&feature=related

And those green energy companies...those democrat campaign contributing green energy companies? Well...Solyndra DOES ring a bell...correct? Just one of many failed green energy offerings that were gifted federal tax dollars (thats money from working citizens) in the form of loans which allowed the companies to pay their owners first and taxpayers not at all in case of default.

Lysis said...

MindMechanic,
Thank you for the statistics. They were wonderful. One is forced to wonder when our federal lands became a lock box instead of a treasure chest.

Anonymous said...

Jeff said,

Lysis/Dan,

I was just reading your string. I know I’m behind, and I'm also not smart enough to argue several different topics at once. Like all true capitalists, I choose the one that impacts me most.

Before I dive in, some background. I have two children with Down syndrome. Just wrote a book about one of them. It's on Amazon and Barnes & Noble. The title is "The Rhythm of the Game." Sorry, Lysis, I know that was a shameless plug. Anyway, I tell you so you'll know I'm invested.

Dan, you asked for proof about Obama's socialized medicine taking away control of an individual’s health care decisions. I offer two sources, the first about death panels specifically, the second about Obama Care generally:

1. Death panels specifically. In an interview on ABC on June 24, 2009, Jane Sturm explained to Obama her family situation. Six years earlier, her mother was 99, happy, and wanted to continue. The mother needed a pacemaker to survive. Doctors told Jane that her mother was too old. The woman then found a doctor that would perform the procedure. At the time of the discusion, the mother was 105, six years after the procedure. The woman wanted to know what would have happened under Obama's plan. Under his plan, Obama's answer:

"Maybe this isn't going to help. Maybe your better off not having the surgury, but taking a painkiller."

Google Obama take a pill to see the clip.

2. Speaking in 2009 to the New York Times, Ruth Ginsburg, talking about Roe v Wade’s passage, said, "I had thought at the time there was concern about population growth and particularly growth in populations we don't want too many of."

I know recently she’s tried to distance herself from this comments. Still, one question.

Eugenics?

If I'm not mistaken, Obama Care provides contraception paid for by government. Again, if I'm not mistaken, Obama Care provides federally funded abortions. Those decisions are now taken out of my hands. I can no longer decide. I am forced, by government taking my money, my tax dollars, to support acts that I find to be morally repugnant.

No one in government has the right, whether through cost/benefit analyses, or through transfer of wealth, to make those decisions for me.

Dan said...

Jeff.

I would ask for some proof of the contention that someone wanting a pacemaker at 99 would be told no by the federal government. My insurance will continue to be a private company, so will everyone else's, there is no government option in the exchange.

Second, I would ask for any proof whatsoever that the ACA funds abortions.

Third, to your main point there of the government shouldn't have the authority to 'make moral decisions for you'. So then I assume that you don't believe the government should be able to use tax dollars to do any of the following:

War
Capital Punishment
Food Stamps
Any form of healthcare for the poor, elderly, or children.
EIC
Child Tax Credit
Foreign aid
Student Loans
Prisons
etc., etc..

I have heard people claim all of the above as immoral. I am not arguing about the morality of abortion, I find it repugnant. Though I would be surprised if you truly found the basic idea of contraception abhorrent, my guess is you just don't want insurance companies to have to pay for it, because some people like to sleep around, and you personally disagree with that.

My point is this. The government can absolutely use our tax dollars on things that some of us find morally repugnant. What we can do is vote based on our standards in an attempt to drive public policy. But the idea that the government shouldn't be able to use your tax dollars on something you disagree with is hypocritical, unless you extend that to the federal government should never spend a dollar on anything that anyone thinks is wrong.

Lysis said...

Dan and Jeff,
I hesitate to interject myself into your discussion. Well, a little. I would just like to say that there is more I can do as an American than just vote – and accept the mandates of whoever wins. I not only voted for Romney, I voted for Hatch and Bishop as well. I still have some voice, (Please accept the “I” here as figurative – it could just as easily mean you.) and I have the obligation to speak out. Wars can be immoral, I would hope that I would speak out against such, Capital Punishment is also unjust and I speak out against it every chance I get. I even think I have converted many to my point of view, whole class rooms full of thinkers. Other things Dan mentions, I defend, if properly implemented and morally applied. In a nation of, for and by the people, it seems obligatory to speak out against the things I, as one of its rulers, find immoral, and for those I support. The resulting clash of ideas is the furnace where truth is fired, the anvil on which resolution or revolution are formed. I stand firmly in my determination that government should NOT spend money on the things THAT ARE wrong. I am eager to debate what these things are. I maintain that absolute truth does exist; we must live by reason and faith – and a good dose of debate. I do not think that this makes anyone a hypocrite.

Anonymous said...

Dan/Lysis,

First Lysis,

Enjoyed what you had to say. You are far wiser than I.

Dan,

1. You asked for proof that Obama’s socialized medicine takes away health care decisions from the American people. I can’t offer much more than Obama’s own words. We can spend the time arguing the design of the law if you’d like. I know the law has not yet provided for a single payer system. Yet the law was designed to drive everything to that end. As soon as your company realizes it’s cheaper for them to stop insuring you, as soon as they realize the $2K fine for not insuring you is less than the $8K to $10K it costs to offer insurance, they’ll just pay the fine. Not if. When.

Independent of the Death Panel topic that we’re talking about, that the law was intended to drive to a single-payer system is demonstration enough that health care decisions are being taken away from the American People.

2. Federal funded abortions. Here are two clips from an article in PolitiFact.com. The article was written around 9/24/12:

Handel wrote that Planned Parenthood will receive millions of dollars in grants under the federal government’s health care law, which conservatives derisively call "Obamacare."

"[M]ost disturbing, is the fact that Obamacare will provide coverage for abortions, despite the president’s commitment that it would not," Handel, a Republican, wrote on page 161 of the book.

"Under a rule issued by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, insurance plans within the state health exchanges are required to cover abortions,"

In assessing Handel’s claims, PolitiFact wrote:

Basically, abortions can be performed under the health care law, depending on which state you reside in. Because that bit of detail was not mentioned, we rate Handel’s entire claim Mostly True.

Please read the entire article. I’m not trying to cherry pick. You ought to read the entire article in context. With that in mind, I guess the funding issue depends on the state you live in. Ironic, since Roe v Wade was a states right issue and we all know where that ended. . .

3. Perhaps you misread, or perhaps I did not write clearly. Contraception is intensely personal. As I wrote before, I do find the idea of the government taking my tax dollars and paying for someone else’s birth control wrong. Why should I pay for someone else’s gratification?

I think your final paragraph is telling. Your right, the government can take my tax dollars and do whatever it wants with them. Thirty years ago I lived under a government, and among a people, that wouldn’t do so. That is no longer true. It’s what scares me most.

Alisa said...

Lysis, there is a difference between 'should' and 'should be able to'.

Should the govt. do X? That is a question we should all feel free to ask and vote and protest, and demonstrate and any other way in which we feel we can sway government policy.

Should be able to. That is an issue of actual governmental powers.

The issue was brought up about what the govt. should be able to do. Actually, the claim was made the govt. flat out couldn't do something.

Should the government use your tax dollars to fight War A? A great issue that should be roundly debated.

Should the government be able to use your tax dollars to fight War A? That is a totally different question.

Alisa said...

To Jeff.

You say, "If I'm not mistaken, Obama Care provides contraception paid for by government."

Answer. Depends on how you look at it. The government isn't providing health insurance through the ACA. There is a subsidy for people who make less than a certain amount to pay for private insurance.

Its the same as saying that the government provides homes for me and you, since we get a deduction for mortgage insurance.

Again, you claim about abortion is a bit convoluted. The ACA doesn't provide any services. But it does require those private companies that want to be in the exchange to provide a certain level of services. Again, those private businesses that want to be part of the exchange must meet a certain level of service.

Thats no different then saying, if you want to make and sell cars in America, you must have seatbelts, and airbags, and a certain MPG. It regulates what you have to do if you choose to be in the marketplace.

I don't know if you meant it this way, but I find the comment, " Why should I pay for someone else’s gratification?" rather telling.

There are many, many reasons people might need birth control. But even if someone does just want it so they can be a tramp, frankly, I would rather that person have access to birth control then either a) have an abortion, or b) have a kid they don't take care of.

This is akin to the govt. saying the private insurance company needs to have cholesterol medicine available, and someone saying why should they have to pay so some fat slob can eat what they want and not exercise.

"Thirty years ago I lived under a government, and among a people, that wouldn’t do so."

I'm not sure if you are just being dramatic for effect, or if you really believe this statement, but its intensely naive.

Do you really believe that the U.S. didn't do anything with your tax dollars in 1982 that you would find morally objectionable? The problem is this idea of moral absolutes within the political realm. Basically, you seem to be proclaiming that if you object to it then it is morally reprehensible and the government shouldn't be able to use your tax dollars for it. How many people (who completely disagree with you) do you think believed the government did morally reprehensible things during the Reagan administration? While I am a big fan of Reagan, I know tons of americans who would completely disagree that the government wouldn't do whatever they wanted 30 years ago.

You can absolutely proclaim that the government shouldn't do what it is doing now. But to claim that they shouldn't be able to, is a much, much more powerful statement, that really has to be backed up with why they shouldn't be able to, which would really need to be a legal argument.

Alisa said...

As far as single payer system. I couldn't disagree more. Individual mandate and getting insurance away from the employer are really the only alternative that I see to possibly keep our health care system the envy of the world, and stave off the move to a single payer system. While at the same time providing access to everyone, and keeping it private.

If this country can't keep healthcare private, I believe it will be devastating to not only the U.S. healthcare, but world healthcare. To me, individual mandate and getting it away from employment are the only ways to keep viability in the future.

Dan said...

Holy crap, I just noticed I posted under Alisa's google log in. Those posts were all mine, Alisa doesn't get involved in political debate.

Lysis said...

Dear Dan,

First off, I am a little disappointed it was you, not Alisa who posted. I would have greatly enjoyed her thoughts.

I will leave the particulars of health care to you and Jeff, for the time being.

I just want you to answer some questions:

A government should not enslave black people but it should be able to?

A government should not segregate schools but it should be able to?

A government should not round up and kill Jews but it should be able to?

A government should not confiscate the private property of the middle class but it should be able to?

A government should not establish a religion but it should be able to?

A government should not prohibit the free exercise of religion but it should be able to?

A government should not abridge the freedom of speech but it should be able to?

A government should not abridge the freedom of the press but it should be able to?

A government should not abridge the right of the people to petition the Government for redress of grievances but should be able to?

A government should not infringe on the people’s right to keep and bear Arms but should be able to?

Do I need to go on?

Anonymous said...

Jeff said,

Dan,

Enjoyed your reply. Nevertheless, you’ve moved off the topic. You asked for proof that Obama care takes away health care decisions from the American people. I’ve given you that proof, and you do not respond. Your non-response tells me that you’ve accepted that proof.

As for the rest of your post, it’s all very interesting. As you can tell from what I have written, I think the law is horrible law. Based on what you’ve written, you disagree. Your arguments seem to me to be classic liberal, and I mean no insult. If I may, one fundamental difference between liberalism and conservatism is the role of government. How much of our lives should government involve itself? I believe very little. It seems you believe differently. Right now I guess that puts you in the majority.

Lysis said...

Dear Dan,
I will interject myself into the discussion to this mark.

Tax deductions good – Obama Care bad.

Seat belts good – abortion bad.

Agreeing with Reagan good – disagreeing with Reagan bad.

Truth good – legal arguments bad.

Individual health care good – individual mandate bad.

MindMechanic said...

Dan,

I am intrigued by your comment and wonder if perhaps you can do what to date, NO ONE I have talked to has been able to do. Justify this statement...


"I 100% agree with the ACA mandates on employers"

Why? Based on what logic or reason is an employer responsible to provide for the healthcare needs of their employees and families? What constitutional basis do we use to force employers to provide for anything more than a safe work environment and wages commensurate to services provided in a timely manner? And why, curiously ONLY employers that hire 50 or more people or for that matter, those that work only full time?

No...this is becoming typical of ALL the left dominated responses to problems in America. Task the successful to bail everyone out. You have a massive government spending problem...answer? Tax the rich. Health care costs are extraordinary...dont fix or even address the problems, task the rich to pay for the health care problems. Middle income individuals overextended themselves to buy homes they couldnt afford at inflated prices and rolled all their previously held debt into those loans (loans made available by all too eager irresponsible bankers)...dump debt onto future generations, and then clamor for higher taxes on the rich to pay for bank and mortgage bailout programs. Large segments of society choose not to seek careers and education and instead become dependents...increase government services, expand the future debt, then clamor for the wealthy to pay for them.

The answer is ever and always the same. But...why? Merely because there are SO MANY dependents that politicians know they can rally them and rely on them for political power? What REASON do you possibly assign that makes tasking successful business owners the answer?

Do you apply that logic across the board? If an employer hires 36 people and not 50 should they be exempt from providing for THEIR employees healthcare needs? Or 15? How about 6? If your logic is that it is RIGHT for employers to be forced to provide for the healthcare needs of their employees (when did we decide an employer is now tasked a surrogate mommy and daddy to nurture and care for their 'children' under their employ?) then that logic MUST be applied across the board, correct? Not JUST the ultra successful but ALL employers. After all...how is it 'fair' to the poor employee who has the misfortune to work for Daves Car Service and no WalMart?

MindMechanic said...

Oh...and I should have added...that since you "100% agree with the ACA mandates on employers" have you considered just how high your taxes must necessarily increase to pay for the healthcare needs of every state employee? Every federal employee? Every school district employee? (And yet...NOT most city government, police and fire department employees)

Dan said...

MM, this was right up at the top, I was clarifying what I later realized was a not clear point I made.

"Re reading, let me clarify, I 100% agree with you about the ACA mandates on employers, they are bad for business and should be gotten rid of via statute."

I think the ACA mandate on employers providing coverage is an abysmal idea.

Dan said...

Lysis, before I answer your questions please point to where I said a government should be able to do everything it wants to.

I pointed out the difference between a govt 'should' and a govt. 'should be able to', and what I believe the applicable standard to an argument of either should be. The one, 'should', is based on our own personal opinions and anyone should be able to argue their govt. should or shouldn't do almost anything.

Should be able to, is more of a legal/constitutional argument. This is not to say someone needs to be a legal/constitutional scholar to argue it, but it holds a much higher threshold in my opinion. For example the two questions:

Should the country go to war?

and

Should the country be able to go to war?

Are two very different questions.

Dan said...

Jeff, this was your some total of specifics to back up your claim, " that the law was intended to drive to a single-payer system is demonstration enough that health care decisions are being taken away from the American People. "

I disagree with your base assumption, and furthermore you provide no proof. That you believe it is fine, that you have provided evidence, that is simply not true.

Do many democrats, including the President want a single payer system? Sure. Does the current law provide for a single payer system? No. If, the statement above is the evidence that the ACA takes away choice, please provide some sort of analysis as to why the ACA drives us to a single payer system. Because I fully disagree that it does. In fact I have taken great glee in arguing about it with my liberal friends who want a single payer system and it is that part of the ACA that peeves them the most.

Dan said...

Jeff, I'm going to need some clarification for the following.

"As for the rest of your post, it’s all very interesting. As you can tell from what I have written, I think the law is horrible law. Based on what you’ve written, you disagree. Your arguments seem to me to be classic liberal, and I mean no insult. If I may, one fundamental difference between liberalism and conservatism is the role of government. How much of our lives should government involve itself? I believe very little. It seems you believe differently. Right now I guess that puts you in the majority."

To clarify my position, you are correct on one point, I do not believe the ACA to be a horrible law, I believe it to be a statute that has some great parts, and some horrible parts, and a lot of opportunity for leaders to take it and fix the problems.

You also seem to be confused about my positions in general. You see, I am conservative. Recently the GOP has been inundated with Libertarians, who then attack anyone that is more moderate in the party as being either a RINO or liberal. Conservatism is partially about limited government to a point. But many in the current political climate either purposely or accidentally confuse it with Libertarian thought. I strongly oppose Libertarian thought, and the current Tea Party movement that is much more Libertarian then conservative. I do think that Ron Paul and his followers are neither Republican nor conservative. I'm not a fan of Mike Lee.

I am, however, an active republican, was the state delegate from my precinct. I was appalled that Sen. Bennett was ousted a few years back, and don't support the Libertarian movement in the GOP that spearheaded that fight.

I'd love for you to point to any specific in my argument that you think is Liberal, so that I may correct the misapprehension.

I will admit this, over the years, through a combination of my evolving political beliefs and the ever-right shifting of the GOP to Libertarianism, I have found myself to be a moderate leaning conservative. I know of no one, however, who knows me and wouldn't laugh to hear me called Liberal.

Dan said...

Lysis, two quick things.

First, what is inherently bad about a legal argument? Only when the artifice of law is used to evil purposes would legal argument bad. Of itself legal argument is based in reason and logic within the defined bounds of our society.

Second, I would ask, since it always seems to come down to this. Lets talk about the individual mandate. Please lay out for me why you believe the individual mandate to be bad. I would invite any of those of you in the discussion to go ahead and weigh in. Why are you opposed to the individual mandate?

MindMechanic said...

Dan,

Mea Culpa. On this we agree completely.

Alisa said...

MM, contrary to what seems to be coming across, I don't champion the ACA. First, I have no idea what all is in it, I assume that puts me with 99.9% of everyone in the country. There are things in it I absolutely abhor, the employer mandate being one, the reduction in Flex Spending Accounts being another.

I do truly support the individual mandate. It was great policy in the early 90's when it was the rational challenge to the disaster that was Hilarycare, it was great policy when Mass. did it, and its still great policy. I would love to hear people's problem with it.

Lysis said...

You ask where you said that a government should be able to do everything it wants.

Right here - You say:

“Should the govt. do X? That is a question we should all feel free to ask and vote and protest, and demonstrate and any other way in which we feel we can sway government policy.

Should be able to. That is an issue of actual governmental powers.

The issue was brought up about what the govt. should be able to do. Actually, the claim was made the govt. flat out couldn't do something.”

X is a universal variable!!! I see no limitations in you claim and that is where you say that a government should be able to do everything (X) it wants. The only difference you assert is the term ABLE. This is all semantics. You give your example on war; I give several others using the same format, the variable X being replaced with slavery or healthcare, etc.
I assume you can argue for your war example, either do the same for the ones I ask about or admit that your “Should be able to, is more of a legal/constitutional argument.” and just plain bad.

Governments do have the right even the obligation to fight just wars, they should fight such wars and they should be able to. And by the way, they should not and should not be able to fight unjust ones. They should not and should not be able to: enslave black people, segregate schools, kill Jews, confiscate private property, establish state religions, prohibit the free exercise of religions, abridge the freedom of speech or the press or the people’s right to petition the government, or keep and bear arms. They should not and should not be able to do unjust things. A government which is unjust is no longer a government, it is a tyranny.

Taking a set of words that present a just position in ONE case and applying them to others under the guise of “a legal/constitutional argument” is what is wrong with legal arguments; your definition, not mine.

When legal arguments support what is true – they are not bad. Ergo – Truth good.

Now please answer my questions.

As to the individual mandate: My problem with the individual mandate is the MANDATE part. I do not think that government “should be able” to require me to buy a product I do not want to buy. Don’t try the car insurance dodge. Driving is a privilege. If I want the privilege of driving, the government can require me to have reasonable LIABILITY insurance; my bank can require comprehensive insurance – until I get the lone paid off. But, if I don’t want to pay, I only lose my privilege to drive, or get a lone; I don’t get fined or go to jail. If I don’t pay for health insurance what relevant privilege will the tyranny withhold?

A bigger problem is that federal government involvement in insurance will make it more expensive for all. That is what has happened to college costs, public education, mining operations, and on and on and on. Yes, just government does have some role, but taking over is not that role. And yes, the federal government requiring you to buy the product is taking control.

The biggest problem with individual mandate is that those who claim they cannot pay will be subsidized by those who are taxed. I do not necessarily resent being asked to help children who have no insurance, although I pay tithing to my church to deal with those, and don’t necessarily see the role of government in even that case. But, I do protest at having to pay for those who do not work hard enough or sacrifice deeply enough to pay their own way. Why should I have to give what I have earned (as a hardworking government employ) to those who sit at home watching their cable linked, big screen TV’s while my family’s wealth is confiscated.

Dan said...

" that is where you say that a government should be able to do everything (X) it wants."

No I didn't. You are flat out making that up.

You are completely missing the point I make, and every single example you give is a straw man.

Lets make this more specific. Should the U.S. have gone to war in Iraq. I believe yes. I believe it for reasons very different from most people. I believe that we should have gone to war in Iraq because Saddam Hussein was a despotic tyrant who was killing his own people to the tune of hundreds of thousands of people.

Many people think the U.S. should not have gone to war in Iraq. They think the war was wrong, dishonest, unjust, and frankly many think it was illegal and possibly criminal.

Now, we can all have all our opinions on the should.

The bigger question, that is in itself a different question is this. Should the U.S. be able to go to war in Iraq. That is a much more fact intensive discussion. It involves international law, the War Powers Act, the Constitution, U.N. resolutions, and in the more abstract, what we believe the restraints on the government should be.

My problem is this. To say, "the government shouldn't be able to go to war in Iraq because I think the war is unjust is lazy and hypocritical."

Now, you can sit and post that you think governments should be able to do those things that are good, and should not be able to do those things that are bad. Bravo. I suppose the discussion is done, we have found truth, people and governments shouldn't do bad things.

So, no. I won't answer your questions because they are completely irrelevant to anything that I said.

Now, if we want to talk about why you, or Jeff, believes the government should not be able to use your tax dollars for things you don't believe in, there is a real discussion. What are the limits? Should the government not be able to use anyone's tax dollars for anything that any citizen disagrees with?

You speak of governments being bound by what is true and just as if there is some universally held standard of what that is. Quick question, is it just for a government to tax its citizens? If yes, how much is just? If no, why not?

MindMechanic said...

Dan/Alisa,

I personally am fine with all states passing health care reform. People can and should decide what mandates their state passes and should fund and act accordingly. universal healthcare...horrible idea. Individual mandate on a state level? Sure...why not. Tax and fund appropriately. Of course...addressing abuses at all levels would also help.

Lysis said...

The words about that government should be able to do X is cut and pasted out of your own post. Here, I’ll do it again.

“Should the govt. do X? That is a question we should all feel free to ask and vote and protest, and demonstrate and any other way in which we feel we can sway government policy.

Should be able to. That is an issue of actual governmental powers.”

Should be able to do what??? Obviously X. Your words not mine.
You will not answer my questions because they prove my point. Your “legal arguments” are laid bare by the truth.

You now challenge me by claiming:

“Now, you can sit and post that you think governments should be able to do those things that are good, and should not be able to do those things that are bad. Bravo. I suppose the discussion is done, we have found truth; people and governments shouldn't do bad things.” Your words not mine.

And yes, this is exactly what I claim. This is what the Declaration of Independence claims. Governments are instituted among men to secure the good stuff: life, liberty, pursuit of happiness, equality. When they do the bad stuff they become absolute Tyranny. The Founding Fathers list piles of bad stuff done by the king and parliament that justify revolution, war, killing, suffering, danger, and risking their lives and fortunes to end. Are those just the opinions of folks in America – no better or worse than those of the king and his crew?

Lysis said...

I can’t believe that you want to chuck the concepts of right and wrong just because there are those who might disagree about which is which. If the war in Iraq had been unjust it should not have been fought. That is not lazy; it is recognizing that there are higher laws, eternal, self-evident truths that measure all human laws.

“…international law, the War Powers Act, the Constitution, U.N. resolutions. . .” mean nothing if they are unjust, they are no more binding than the edicts of George III. By your chop logic, slavery was acceptable when the Constitution said it was, killing Jews acceptable because the “Leader” said so.

When man made statutes and resolutions fly in the face of natural law they are unjust; such abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same object evinces a design to reduce them [men] under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.

I am astonished that you would deny the existence of Natural Law in an attempt to defend Obama Care. A better effort would be to present some reasoned arguments as to why Obama Care is just.

It can be just for governments to tax citizens if those citizens are represented in the process of determining those taxes. But, even representatives can be unjust. A great danger of democracy is that when those who take become more numerous than those who give – even that form of government can become destructive of equality, and life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. The precepts of the Declaration of Independence apply to our government as well as to any other. Please consider slavery, segregation, and even the Missouri extermination order against Mormons as examples of the abuses of representatives.

How much should people be taxed for it to be just? – as little as possible.

MindMechanic,

Let our lawmaker address the abuses before they take our money.

Dan said...

"Should be able to do what??? Obviously X. Your words not mine. "

Yes, but the whole you making stuff up comes when you take the next step and say that my position is that governments should be able to do anything they want. That has never, nor would it ever, be in any argument I have ever made. You copy my words, then follow them up with your own that you believe bolster your point.

Again, bravo, slavery=bad, genocide=bad. Your tossing out the easy ones like they prove your point, or disprove mine. They do not.

You answer my question with, yes taxation is just. But here's the thing, lots of people disagree with you. What makes you right?

You say taxation should be as little as possible. What number is that?

Therein lies the real place where debate can happen.

Not every question is as cut and dry as the holocaust. But here's the real difficulty with this argument. You know all those things already. You understand the point I'm trying to make fine. My rehashing of it does nothing to enlighten.

For anyone in this discussion who reads it can see my point, they may not necessarily agree with all of my premises, but you are just pretending to be obtuse.

Slavery, the holocaust, freedom of religion, speech, assembly, the natural rights of man, all are the easy ones. Thats the field you are currently trying to play on, the one of easy victories. I've already granted you that field, if you want to continue to play on it believing you are vanquishing a foe, by all means do, but I'm over on this field a few blocks away from that one, if you are interested, you could come join this discussion.

Now. Here is the final bit. You are very skilled at setting up a whole slew of straw men, I don't know the purpose whether its to muddy the field or to provide the appearance of victory or what. I'm not really interested.

I believe that you are interested in discussion. I truly believe that you truly are. But I'm not going to keep playing this game. You say things like this,

"I am astonished that you would deny the existence of Natural Law in an attempt to defend Obama Care."

No you're not. Because you know I didn't do that. But, it is a very provocative statement, because if I was actually denying the existence of Natural Law in an attempt to defend the ACA, then I would be in an indefensible position. It also of course, forces me to focus on something I didn't say, rather then discuss the actual topic or back up those things I did say. As far as a political strategist, its ingenious. But I'm tired. I don't like the current political climate. I'm not interested in the word games and the straw men.

I would LOVE to continue the discussion. I think right minds should be able to disagree on things like the individual mandate, or the ACA, or almost anything. But I'm not going to. I will discuss it with anyone who wants to, but I will no longer respond to straw men. You know what I said, you understand it perfectly. If you'd like to discuss that, I'm more than happy to. But I'll leave you to place, destroy, and reign victorious over all the straw men you'd like, in peace.

Dan said...

MM, so then, your sole problem with the individual mandate is that it is a Federal mandate? Or rather, you don't believe the federal government should be involved? If I read that correctly.

And just to let you know, I am with you on the abuses. Even the bits of the ACA I like I think are only a very preliminary starting point. Not an ending.

Lysis said...

Oh Dan! What a copout!

Unable to defend you words you deny them. You are the one who made the distinction over what governments do about the word “able” not about justice.

You’re right, questions about just taxation are difficult; just ask the guys who tried to enforce the Stamp Act. But if we give up because things are difficult we lose. The un-just prevail.

I am not attacking any “straw men”. I am refuting your position, your words. If you now realize how silly your claims were, don’t blame me, join me in that realization.

I ask you to defend taking money from those who earn it and giving it to those who don’t. This could be difficult – but so what. Who said being an American was supposed to be easy?

You say you are not playing a game, but you are. You play a word game about “should be” and “should be able” and ignore the justice of what our government is doing.

Minds will disagree on many things, but what is right and what is wrong is not a function of anyone’s mind.

Once again these are your words:

“The problem is this idea of moral absolutes within the political realm. Basically, you seem to be proclaiming that if you object to it then it is morally reprehensible and the government shouldn't be able to use your tax dollars for it. How many people (who completely disagree with you) do you think believed the government did morally reprehensible things during the Reagan administration? While I am a big fan of Reagan, I know tons of americans who would completely disagree that the government wouldn't do whatever they wanted 30 years ago.”

I am not attacking a straw man. You say that moral absolutes with the political realm are changeable based on opinions. That is what I am attacking, this is the position you stated, and I asked you to defend.

These are the words you obfuscated with “legal arguments” about “should” and “should be able” and now desert. I am pleased to have destroyed them and over them I am gratified to reign victorious.

MindMechanic said...

Dan

I am opposed to ANY government legislation that starts with "we have to pass it to know what is IN it". I am opposed to federal legislation passed by elected officials who admit they dont know what they are voting for and vote for passage for no other reason than to get health care passed as a political ploy. Start there.

Now...I am opposed to federal health care legislation because I dont trust our fed to be fiscally responsible. Ive got precedent on my side. I believe the reason so many people in the states cede so much (by way of social programs) to the fed is because it is simply so BIG they can ignore dollar figures and costs because the fed has demonstrated they are willing to bury things in deficit spending and people have a hard time seeing how that can really affect them. Conversely...if it is kept at a state level people see those dollar figures every day and are taxed and have to PAY for it as they go. Tends to make people a bit more responsible. A bit.

Our federal government set the precedent for home purchasers that contributed to the housing crash. New buyers looked at what they WANTED, not what they could afford, and decided if they rolled up credit card debt, car payments, student loans, vet bills, and every other conceivable debt into thier home loan AND took out an additional 10% in cash, all to be paid back at a later date, then they could JUST barely afford to buy that new home. Provided they took a second job. And as long as they ate ramen 2 times a week. And as long as there were no other financial problems. And they were really careful about using utilities. And didnt go on dates. And gas prices stayed low. And no birthday or Christmas presents for 5 years.

OK...Im belaboring the point.

The fed just rolls the cost of every deficit into the debt and passes it on to future generations. No one cares because it isnt REAL money and doesnt REALLY cost them ANYTHING. Except of COURSE it is. And does. It is what makes programs like the ACA such a ticking time bomb.

Roll refunding Union retirement plans into it. Bad idea...not even logical. Additionally, the early retirement reinsurance act is another one of those areas that you just have to scratch your head and wonder 'why????" Why is the federal government providing money to employers and unions to provide retirement health care to employees for the rest of their lives? At what cost to the taxpayers (5 billion? Come on...really? OK...thats the first...what...6 months, maybe a year). And of course then we are back to making employers responsible for health care not just for the duration of employment but for the rest of their lives.

And what IF you happen to have a career with a company that provides 'cadillac' health care plans? Starting in 2018, those cadillac healthcare plans they VOLUNTARILY provided for you are going to be hit with a 35% tax. Why??? And how many companies are going to drop that like a hot potato and go to the minimums?

The preexisting condition mandate...Id be willing to bet that gets tossed and all people with preexisting conditions get rolled into medicare. They will sort of have to...otherwise it will ebt he equivalent of someone wrecking their car, THEN going to a car insurance company and demanding a policy and making them pay for repairs. The costs will be exorbitant AND will be passed on to other policy holders.Of course...in 20 years or so it wont matter because by then everyone will be 'covered' so there will be no such thing as 'preexisting conditions. But in the interim...

MindMechanic said...


Over the top rhetoric is bad of course and Death panels was extreme. How about Health Care Rationing? Much better...right? Just ask people in the UK.

Another problem is the plan to make anyone that makes under the 'poverty line' a medicare recipient. Wow...THAT isnt a disaster in the making. Make less than 29 k per adult per household and you go on the government rolls. I wonder if people even BEGIN to understand how much fraud already occurs not by people that simply CANT succeed but by malingerers who choose NOT to. Now you are going to make them automatic recipients of government support. At some point...there was this pretense this was going to SAVE money...right?

SO much wrong with all of this. SO much people dont know. SO much people havent bothered to read about. And thats just the surface.

MindMechanic said...

I think one of the things that bothers me the most is that we can SEE all around us examples of what happens when you create fiscal debt and social program sinkholes and we REFUSE to identify the course we have taken and path we are on. The ACA is the gateway drug to Universal Healthcare. We are going to recognize, I would bet money by 2016...that the ACA is gosh...a good idea but really...in order for it to work...we need to just go with the universal model, shut down the medicare and medicaid programs, shut down military and VA healthcare programs, shut down all government funding to private hospitals...and just go with a universal system> Oh...sure...you CAN get extra healthcare if you want to pay for it. But no...lets make sure all 360 million Americans and the 20-30 million illegals (they will be absorbed fully by then) are ALL covered first.

Oh...I suppose they COULD have just needed 2000+ pages JUST to pass the "individual mandate." But its not the individual mandate that should scare people. Its everything else that people havent bothered to read about. Its ignoring our federal government operation and our CURRENT fiscal reality and pretending that with this monster added in that somehow NOW everything is going to get all better.

Dan said...

MM, your post is filled with wonderful points. Many of which I agree with wholeheartedly.

My main disagreement is in those things that are used to scare, that I don't think have any facts to back them up.

Would health care rationing enforced by the federal government be bad? Absolutely. Do we have healthcare rationing already? Yeah. Based on inability to pay, perceived preexisting conditions, your employers choice of healthcare plans, etc..

Your post is a wonderful example of why I'm so frustrated with the GOP currently. Instead of attacking, and working to change the parts of the ACA that are truly bad, they focus on what polls the best, rhetoric about the individual mandate.

The idea of the individual mandate, and the idea of the insurance exchanges are market solutions to the insurance problem. Why do we not see Republican legislators trying to bolster such things with better surrounding legislation? It should be obvious by now there will be no repeal, its not going away, so then lets get on the ball and fix the problematic parts and keep the things that will help.

I'm so tired of rhetoric. I'm so tired of elected officials being so clearly more interested in whipping the electorate up into a frenzy then talking about doing what they need to be doing. Problem is, the rhetoric works. Divide and conquer. The people of this country are so busy hating the other side, they never hold their own side accountable. As long as we can say the other side is worse, there is no drive to make our side better.

Dan said...

Delose,

"You say that moral absolutes with the political realm are changeable based on opinions. "

No I didn't. You put my words right there, and its not what they said at all.

But again, if you want to parade around in that empty field of your 'victory', have fun. When you want to discuss what I'm talking about, feel free to come back over here.

Dan said...

MM to speak to this one

"Starting in 2018, those cadillac healthcare plans they VOLUNTARILY provided for you are going to be hit with a 35% tax. Why???"

I know the why, but because I don't know how they define the cadillac plan I have no idea whether or not it is right, I can't and won't defend it.

There are very high end 'health insurance' plans that are a clear dodge to get well paid employees more compensation without that being taxed as income. Thats why. My guess is that the ACA either doesn't, or doesn't adequately or correctly define the cadillac plan. My guess is its overinclusive. Again, I don't support this entire thing, and as you have pointed out, I and most other people, don't even know what it all is in it.

Dan said...

And, Delose, I don't back down from any of the things I've said here. I still believe them all. I don't believe the interpretations you've assigned to them.

MindMechanic said...

Dan...again with the GOP? Of course as a Libertarian you would understand COMPLETELY why I oppse the federal government involvement in Health Care. And I INTENTIONALLY avoided the rhetoric. I dont like the Death Panels talk, but rationed health care is a reality, made worse when it is a government (and often some unknown individual at the end of a phone) balancing cost and care. Recently I spent an hour and a half getting a funded medicaid recipient into a secure psychiatric facility following a suicide attempt. The obstacle was some unknown voice that spent the entire time arguing that it wasnt REALLY an overdose and didnt REALLY require hospitalization. Of course...in England being born extremely pigeon toed isnt REALLY a life threatening ailment and CERTAINLY isnt one that requires government funded treatment...you can live with that.

Is rationed health care a concern? Very much so. Does it become easier when the system is a monolithic beast managed from DC? Of course.

But as you point out...thats JUST ONE of the many concerns.

I dont want to see the ACA massaged and finessed. i want to see it dead and turned over to the states where it belongs. I dont want to see the fed be able to dump my future health care costs on my great grandchildren. Its a bad idea, not made better because people cooperatively sprinkled cinnamon and spice on it.

That being said...I have NO DOUBT (I'm pretty sure I have said this on numerous occasions) that we not only will have the ACA but within 4 years, we will have Universal Health Care.

Dan said...

Sorry MM, let me clarify, I wasn't saying 'this is my problem with the GOP' in reference to 'this is my problem with your rant'. I can totally see why it looked like that.

My problem was, your rant was filled with cogent and important points that should be discussed. My problem with the GOP is that they are more worried about things that poll well, and keeping those in the public eye, using scare tactics, then in discussion the, in my opinion, more important issues.

So, sorry, wasn't applying my problem with the GOP to your post.

Dan said...

I can understand your fears, but the one point that I truly disagree with is your prognostication. I believe that the individual mandate is the one thing that will keep us from universal healthcare. Getting everyone in the pool provides the ability for private insurance to continue to be profitable.

MindMechanic said...

Dan

That assumes its NOT the intent and agenda to ultimately get us ON Universal Health Care. You give politicians more credit than I do.

Dan said...

Oh, on the contrary, I believe that the left absolutely wants to get us on Universal healthcare.

Lysis said...

Dan,
I understand now. Your words are meaningless, your arguments vacuous. Neither is meant to present a point. Everything you say is an “X” that only means what you need it to mean when you need it to mean it.

I guess it all comes down to: “It all depends on what the meaning of the word is is.”

I also recognize your frustration with me. To compare small things with great; here are a few lines from the Apology by Plato.

Socrates – “When I began to talk with him, I could not help thinking that he was not really wise, although he was thought wise by many, and still wiser by himself; and thereupon I tried to explain to him that he thought himself wise, but was not really wise, and the consequence was that he hated me . . . So I left him, saying to myself, as I went away: Well, although I do not suppose that either of us knows anything really beautiful and good, I am better off than he is, -- for he knows nothing, and thinks that he knows; I neither know nor think that I know. In this latter particular, then, I seem to have slightly the advantage of him.”

And I am talking about what you are talking about.

Lysis said...

To Why It Matters,

Why does it matter that words and arguments have meanings, and that those that use them be held answerable for what is said or written? Should we just get on to the topic of the moment?

Consider these points:

1. The second debate, where President Obama, with the help of the “moderator” completely abandoned his, this was a spontaneous attack caused by a movie, because I have decimated Al Qaeda, narrative become, “I said it was ‘terrorism” for the first day.”

2.Susan Rice. Five talk shows saying something that now doesn’t matter because she is a black woman.

We all know what both said, and have a pretty good idea of why they said it, but now they claim they meant something else and we, the citizens, are just too stupid to have got it.

I may go into greater detail later, this might be worthy of an entire post, but let this suffice for now.

Dan said...

Here's the thing Delose. You can continue to rant about it all you want. You can continue to argue against things I didn't say all you want. You can compare me to villains and yourself to great minds of reason. Its your blog. Go ahead and make an entire post about how dishonest I am, or how me and Obama think words have no meaning. It all comes down to very simple things.

I've never claimed any of the things you have said I claimed.

I've shown my direct language to many people, not a one of them thinks I meant anything near what you tortured out of it. Its fascinating how you so vehemently accuse me of what you are so obviously doing.

I'm going to give you the victory, you have pulled me back in I will explain my very easily understood statements. I hope you temper the glee, however, because I don't consider this a reasoned enjoyable discussion. I actually find it intellectually insulting. We both know you are being disingenuous, but for some unseen 'audience' it has become more important for you to win, then to actually discuss this with me. You win. Here we go.

Dan said...

I'm going to go ahead and list the things you made up out of whole cloth about my position. Then patiently explain what I actually said, (not because I don't think you understood, but because you feel justified in being dishonest about my position in an attempt to 'win').

1. "X is a universal variable!!! I see no limitations in you[r] claim and that is where you say that a government should be able to do everything (X) it wants."

I, very clearly, was distinguishing between two different questions. One is should my government do an act. The other was should my government be able to do an act. You think that is semantics, its fine that you think that, but you're wrong. You think by putting out the two different questions, and saying that they need to be treated differently, I have somehow proclaimed that governments should be able to do whatever they want. Lets look at what I actually said.

"Should the govt. do X? That is a question we should all feel free to ask and vote and protest, and demonstrate and any other way in which we feel we can sway government policy.

Should be able to. That is an issue of actual governmental powers."

The first is a question of policy, the second of govt. powers. Nowhere did I claim that govt. should have unlimited, unchecked powers. What I did say was that government policy and govt. powers are two different questions.

Should a government be able to tax? That is a question of powers.

Should the government rate be 35% or 38.5%. That is a question of policy.

Nowhere did I make value statements. No where did I say that policy can be debated but powers must be unchecked. You made those claims. I wasn't even coming to the final answer in either question, just pointing out that those two questions are different. You don't get to decide for me what my next step is.

Dan said...

2. "I can’t believe that you want to chuck the concepts of right and wrong just because there are those who might disagree about which is which."

This was another giant leap that abandoned all logic. I had said,
"Lets make this more specific. Should the U.S. have gone to war in Iraq. I believe yes. I believe it for reasons very different from most people. I believe that we should have gone to war in Iraq because Saddam Hussein was a despotic tyrant who was killing his own people to the tune of hundreds of thousands of people.

Many people think the U.S. should not have gone to war in Iraq. They think the war was wrong, dishonest, unjust, and frankly many think it was illegal and possibly criminal.

Now, we can all have all our opinions on the should."

We can all have our opinions on what government policy should be. Undoubtedly we will all think our opinions and what we believe policy should be is right, and the other guys opinion is wrong. This does not in fact make our opinion right and the other guys wrong. Because right and wrong are absolute. That is why we must have more than 'I think it is unjust' in that argument. Because the liklihood is 50% of the country will disagree with most of the difficult questions. The easy questions are easy, slavery, etc. (I'll get to that in my next one). The difficult ones are difficult, and saying "truth is absolute and so is right and wrong" doesn't solve the problem. Because while those things are absolute, that doesn't mean our opinions of what those are is correct. So, that is why we must add more to the discussion then 'I think this is unjust and so the government shouldn't do it.'

Dan said...

3. "You say that moral absolutes with the political realm are changeable based on opinions."

This was another whopper you told in an attempt to look like the victor.

Here's what I said, “The problem is this idea of moral absolutes within the political realm. Basically, you seem to be proclaiming that if you object to it then it is morally reprehensible and the government shouldn't be able to use your tax dollars for it. How many people (who completely disagree with you) do you think believed the government did morally reprehensible things during the Reagan administration? While I am a big fan of Reagan, I know tons of americans who would completely disagree that the government wouldn't do whatever they wanted 30 years ago."

People have convinced themselves that their political positions equate to universal moral absolutes. So, as I said in the last one, they think that it is enough to say, that is unjust, or that is morally reprehensible. And they think that is enough. Problem is, usually half of everyone disagrees with that person. Does this mean there are no moral absolutes because people disagree? No, and I didn't say that. It means you can't just sit back and say, that is unjust, or that is immoral. Many political policies have been upheld by their supporters as being founded on moral absolutes. It is a dangerous, and lazy position to take. That doesn't discount moral absolutes. My argument is that just because someone claims the moral high ground, doesn't mean they actually have it.

Dan said...

4. "I am astonished that you would deny the existence of Natural Law in an attempt to defend Obama Care"

Yet another. You swim in a vat of dishonest hyperbole.

You also use this one in the same argument, "“…international law, the War Powers Act, the Constitution, U.N. resolutions. . .” mean nothing if they are unjust, they are no more binding than the edicts of George III. By your chop logic, slavery was acceptable when the Constitution said it was, killing Jews acceptable because the “Leader” said so."

This is what I said, that you wildly misinterpret.

"The bigger question, that is in itself a different question is this. Should the U.S. be able to go to war in Iraq. That is a much more fact intensive discussion. It involves international law, the War Powers Act, the Constitution, U.N. resolutions, and in the more abstract, what we believe the restraints on the government should be."

Nowhere do I say that we look to any of the above, and regardless of right or wrong, the discussion is done. I said the discussion should speak to those types of things. I point to the need for discussion and debate because it is lazy, and unhelpful to say the govt. should/shouldn't be able to go to war in Iraq because I think its just/unjust.

You went ahead and said, "If the war in Iraq had been unjust it should not have been fought."

Fabulous, but you're begging the question. I'm talking about the discussion itself. We agree on the outcome, if the final answer is just/unjust our and our governments actions and powers and abilities should be allowed/curtailed based on that answer. But to jump straight to a conclusion on that questions is lazy.

You claim I want to ignore natural law, that isn't at all true. I am proclaiming that we have to actually ask the important questions, understand their differences and have the discussion with something more backing up our position than proclaiming that almighty Zeus is on our side.

Dan said...

There, you win, I jumped back in and acknowledged your arguments, dishonest as they were. It won't do any good, because you aren't looking at my positions honestly with an eye to wanting to move the discussion towards truth. Your motives are victory.

Go ahead and proclaim victory, I can only imagine in what way you will twist and spin my words to support whatever point you wish to make. Have fun with that next post you plan where you talk about me and Obama and our dishonesty in our words meaning nothing. I highly doubt I'll read it. This use to be fun and enjoyable. Not anymore. So enjoy your victory.

Lysis said...

Dear Me,
I must assume no one else is listening.

Let’s go back to the beginning of this argument. Here are the lines Dan posted that gave me concern.

“Third, to your main point there of the government shouldn't have the authority to 'make moral decisions for you'. So then I assume that you don't believe the government should be able to use tax dollars to do any of the following:

War
Capital Punishment
Food Stamps
Any form of healthcare for the poor, elderly, or children.
EIC
Child Tax Credit
Foreign aid
Student Loans
Prisons
etc., etc..
. . .

My point is this. The government can absolutely use our tax dollars on things that some of us find morally repugnant. What we can do is vote based on our standards in an attempt to drive public policy. But the idea that the government shouldn't be able to use your tax dollars on something you disagree with is hypocritical, unless you extend that to the federal government should never spend a dollar on anything that anyone thinks is wrong.”

He assumes that Jeff doesn’t believe government should be able to use tax dollars to do anything that anyone believes to be wrong.

My response was:

“I stand firmly in my determination that government should NOT spend money on the things THAT ARE wrong. I am eager to debate what these things are. I maintain that absolute truth does exist; we must live by reason and faith – and a good dose of debate. I do not think that this makes anyone a hypocrite.”

People’s opinions about right and wrong are irrelevant – what is right and wrong is all that matters.

I have an old editorial by John Leo, as editor of U.S. News and World Report. He quotes a professor Christina Hoff Sommers at Clark University, and goes on to expand on her point. “Sommers points beyond multiculturalism to a general problem of so many students coming to college “dogmatically committed to a moral relativism that offers them no grounds to think” about cheating, stealing, and other moral issues. . . All we can have are clashing perspectives, not true moral knowledge. . . Values emerge as personal preferences, equally unsuited for criticism or argument as personal decisions on pop music or clothes.”

Lysis said...

Above Dan presents –

“Should a government be able to tax? That is a question of powers."

But that is not the question Jeff is addressing. Jeff is claiming that a government should not have the power to act unjustly, including taxing unjustly. Dan’s claim is that if one holds to such a criteria government should not be able to do anything that anybody thinks is wrong. My contention is that what people think does not matter. Truth, Natural Law, that which is self-evident, these are what matters.

My problem remains with the claim that “. But the idea that the government shouldn't be able to use your tax dollars on something you disagree with is hypocritical, unless you extend that to the federal government should never spend a dollar on anything that anyone thinks is wrong.”

How governments should and should be able to act are not based on what anyone thinks, but on Justice. Justice is not determined by opinions, or by majorities, or by governments and their statutes. The justice of all of these is determined by their relationship to “those unwritten laws which everyone recognizes. No knows their origin, they have always been and always will be.” (Sophocles).

Americans might call these the self-evident and unalienable rights of men.

I quote those old boys who have read their Antigone:

“That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, - - That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government. . . “

The position which Dan took, with which I continue to disagree through a labyrinth of claims and counter claims, is: “But the idea that the government shouldn't be able to use your tax dollars on something you disagree with is hypocritical, unless you extend that to the federal government should never spend a dollar on anything that anyone thinks is wrong.”

My point was and remains, what people think is not the issue, what is just, right, and true is.

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