Book of Oppositions | Pocket Full of Mumbles |

 

This world is one big game of "Go"-- Black against White, Light against Darkness --and we all have a choice to make: Do we war FOR the Light?

...or against it?




A Taste of Things to Come?

Is one's past actions a fair predictor of one's future actions?


Watch What You Say
--by Monica Crowley


An excerpt:

You aren't allowed to raise Obama's middle name, Hussein. You aren't allowed to say that half of his family is Muslim. You aren't allowed to say that he was born to a Muslim father, which, under Islam, automatically made him a Muslim. You aren't allowed to discuss Reverend Wright. Or Bill Ayers. Or Bernardine Dohrn. Or Louis Farrakhan. Or Father Phleger. Or Tony Rezko. You aren't allowed to point out that so far, the Iranians, the Russians, the Syrians, Hamas, parts of al Qaeda, Hugo Chavez, the Castro brothers, and Kim Jong Il have endorsed him. You aren't allowed to ask him about the vote fraud or illegal campaign contributions being done in his name. You aren't allowed to say he's lying about his tax plan. Or about his past associations. Or his past, period.

If you raise any of these issues, you risk being punished, smeared, and silenced.


Anyone who frequents this blog knows what I think of Obama, but for the record I'll reiterate.

He is a liar. He is a Murderer. He is a Marxist. He is racist. He does not respect the Constitution. He does not believe in genuine free speech.

So, does how one acts now reflect how one will act later? If Barack is lying now, will he lie later? Yes.

If he supports the murder of unborn children now... infanticide... will he support it later? Yes.

If he believes taking from those according to their ability, to give to those according to their need today, will he believe the same later? Yes.

If he writes racist remarks in his books, and sits under the tutelage of racists for twenty years, will he be racist later? After the election? Yes.

If he held the Constitution in disdain a few short years ago, will he hold the Constitution in that same vein of disdain after the election? Yes.

If he spends campaign resources to attack and threaten those who dare to question his past, present, and future today, will he do the same later? After the election?

Yes. He will.

I simply refuse to drink his Kool-Aid. There's just too much blood and filth on his hands, thank you.


posted by ELAshley @ 11:20 PM,

167 Comments:

On October 29, 2008 at 12:28 AM, Blogger Mark said...

I think the reason people aren't concerned about Obama being a Marxist is because they really don't understand exactly how dangerous Marxism is to America.

For all readers, I don't usually visit other people's blogs to promote my own, but I have written a post that I feel is vitally important to help educate those who have yet to understand the dangerous implications of an Obama administration. If you don't know why you should be concerned about Obama's Marxist ideology please visit and be educated.

 
On October 29, 2008 at 5:13 AM, Blogger Dan Trabue said...

Eric. You're fixating. Let it go.

Next week, we'll likely elect President Obama. The world won't come to an end. Life will go on.

Write about something else, you're sounding hysterical.

 
On October 29, 2008 at 5:23 AM, Blogger tugboatcapn said...

Yeah, Eric, stop fighting it, and just relax and take it.

It'll be over soon...

 
On October 29, 2008 at 8:08 AM, Blogger Marshall Art said...

Dan,

That you don't share the "hysteria" shows you to be the chump you are. Obama's bad for the country. No. Doubt. About it.

 
On October 29, 2008 at 8:11 AM, Anonymous BenT - the Unbeliever said...

Instead of scare tactics. Why don't you make solid predicitions of what you think an Obama administration would do?

How much will the tax rates for upper incomes change?

What changes to abortion and reproductive law would be enacted?

What programs targeting minorities would be started?

When you actually think about what an Obama administration might do things are lot less scary and exaggerated.

 
On October 29, 2008 at 8:21 AM, Blogger Mark said...

Bent, while I don't encourage Libs (especially Libs who refuse to be objective) to read my blog, but your question, "Why don't you make solid predicitions of what you think an Obama administration would do?" has been asked and discussed at my place. You can see some of my predictions at
http://leftfieldperspectives.blogspot.com/2008/10/president-obama.html

Also, since you apparently don't understand why Marxism (Communism) is a danger to this country, you might read today's post as well, and be educated.

 
On October 29, 2008 at 9:10 AM, Blogger Eric Ashley said...

Obama's First 100 Days
--by Patrick J. Buchanan

Undeniably, a powerful tide is running for the Democratic Party, with one week left to Election Day.

Bush's approval rating is 27 percent, just above Richard Nixon's Watergate nadir and almost down to Carter-Truman lows. After each of those presidents reached their floors -- in 1952, 1974, 1980 -- the opposition party captured the White House.

Moreover, 80 percent to 90 percent of Americans think the nation is on the wrong course, and since mid-September, when McCain was still slightly ahead, the Dow has lost 4,000 points -- $5 trillion to $6 trillion in value.

Leading now by eight points in an average of national polls, Barack Obama has other advantages.

Not a single blue state is regarded as imperiled or even a toss-up, while Obama leads in six crucial red states: Florida, North Carolina, Virginia, Ohio, Missouri and Colorado. Should McCain lose one of the six, he would have to win Pennsylvania to compensate for the lost electoral votes. But the latest Pennsylvania polls show Barack with a double-digit lead.

Lately moving into the toss-up category are Nevada, North Dakota, Montana and Indiana. All voted twice for George W. Bush.

Not only is Obama ahead in the state and national polls, he has more money, is running far more ads, has a superior organization on the ground, attracts larger crowds, and has greater enthusiasm and more media in camp. And new voter registrations heavily favor the Democrats.

Though Congress is regarded by Americans with a disdain bordering on disgust -- five of six Americans think it has done a poor job -- Democratic majorities are certain to grow. Indeed, with Democrats favored by 10 points over Republicans, Nancy Pelosi's majority could grow by 25 seats and Harry Reid could find himself with a filibuster-proof majority of 60 senators.

Democrats already have 49, plus two independents: Socialist Bernie Sanders and Independent Joe Lieberman. Their challengers are now ahead in New Hampshire, Virginia, North Carolina, New Mexico, Minnesota, Oregon and Colorado, with a chance of picking up Georgia, Alaska, Kentucky and Mississippi.

We may be looking at a reverse of 1980, when Reagan won a 10-point victory over Jimmy Carter, and Republicans took the Senate and, working with Boll Weevil Democrats, effective control of the House.

With his tax cuts, defense buildup and rollback policy against the "Evil Empire," Reagan gave us some of the best years of our lives, culminating in America's epochal victory in the Cold War.

What does the triumvirate of Obama-Pelosi-Reid offer?

Rep. Barney Frank is calling for new tax hikes on the most successful and a 25 percent across-the-board slash in national defense. Sen. John Kerry is talking up new and massive federal spending, a la FDR's New Deal. Specifically, we can almost surely expect:

-- Swift amnesty for 12 million to 20 million illegal aliens and a drive to make them citizens and register them, as in the Bill Clinton years. This will mean that Nevada, Colorado, New Mexico and Arizona will soon move out of reach for GOP presidential candidates, as has California.

-- Border security will go on the backburner, and America will have a virtual open border with a Mexico of 110 million.

-- Taxes will be raised on the top 5 percent of wage-earners, who now carry 60 percent of the U.S. income tax burden, and tens of millions of checks will be sent out to the 40 percent of wage-earners who pay no federal income tax. Like the man said, redistribute the wealth, spread it around.

-- Social Security taxes will be raised on the most successful among us, and capital gains taxes will be raised from 15 percent to 20 percent. The Bush tax cuts will be repealed, and death taxes reimposed.

-- Two or three more liberal activists of the Ruth Bader Ginsberg-John Paul Stevens stripe will be named to the Supreme Court. U.S. district and appellate courts will be stacked with "progressives."

-- Special protections for homosexuals will be written into all civil rights laws, and gays and lesbians in the military will be invited to come out of the closet. "Don't ask, don't tell" will be dead.

-- The homosexual marriages that state judges have forced California, Massachusetts and Connecticut to recognize, an Obama Congress or Obama court will require all 50 states to recognize.

-- A "Freedom of Choice Act" nullifying all state restrictions on abortions will be enacted. America will become the most pro-abortion nation on earth.

-- Affirmative action -- hiring and promotions based on race, sex and sexual orientation until specified quotas are reached -- will be rigorously enforced throughout the U.S. government and private sector.

-- Universal health insurance will be enacted, covering legal and illegal immigrants, providing another powerful magnet for the world to come to America, if necessary by breaching her borders.

-- A federal bailout of states and municipalities to keep state and local governments spending up could come in December or early next year.

-- The first trillion-dollar deficit will be run in the first year of an Obama presidency. It will be the first of many.

Welcome to Obamaland!




Indeed.

Oh, and who said fixation is a bad thing. Isn't that how the industrious gain financial freedom?

 
On October 29, 2008 at 9:19 AM, Blogger Mark said...

"Swift amnesty for 12 million to 20 million illegal aliens and a drive to make them citizens and register them, as in the Bill Clinton years."

Unfortunately, this might also be true if McCain wins.

 
On October 29, 2008 at 9:24 AM, Anonymous BenT - the unbeliever said...

I read your predictions...I think you're off base.

The best thing the federal government can do to juice the economy is spend money. I predict modest to zero cuts in the defense budget. I predict that there will instead be a national public works spending glut in the first two budget under Obama.

You had two other statements that I believe have been debunked elsewhere.

"sit down with insane dictators world-wide and agree to all kinds of concessions"
Obama seems to have a very strong foreign policy support from the rest of the world. Why would he need to make concessions if Germany, England, Canada, Spain, etc support him?

"indoctrinate all children in how to have sex"
You know that sex ed program he funded was to teach children about inappropriate touching? How to not be sexually abused. To tell a grownup. Age appropriate material. I applaud and encourage that!

 
On October 29, 2008 at 9:31 AM, Blogger Mark said...

"Why would he need to make concessions if Germany, England, Canada, Spain, etc support him?"

Uh....because he SAID he would!

???

"You know that sex ed program he funded was to teach children about inappropriate touching?"

I know what the bill said. I read it. All of it.

Apparently you haven't.

 
On October 29, 2008 at 4:55 PM, Blogger Dan Trabue said...

A quick hand count:

How many of you Obama-haters are preparing for revolution? And do your plans include violent overthrow?

 
On October 29, 2008 at 5:04 PM, Blogger Feodor said...

Eric's post is hate mongering.

Pure and simple hate mongering.

Ignorant, willfully ignorant, Eric has given in to swallowing malicious lies and spreads them.

He here engages in destructive hate toward American society, its institutions, its leaders, and toward his own readers and supporters.

He encourages others to do so as well.

He has cracked the door open to his demons and sticks a flag on it.

Shame is a lost art. Shameless is what is read all over at this place.

 
On October 29, 2008 at 5:06 PM, Blogger Craig said...

Eric,

Yeah, just relax and enjoy it. You'll probably get welfare check. Sorry, I meant tax cut.

Dan,

About as many BHO lovers who will riot if McCain wins.

On a more serious note, this is why it is so important (I learned this from dems) that we maintain either rep control or a large enough minority to fillibuster.

 
On October 29, 2008 at 5:13 PM, Blogger Eric Ashley said...

"A quick hand count..."

Don't be stupid, Dan.

 
On October 29, 2008 at 5:27 PM, Blogger Dan Trabue said...

There's a fella claiming to be a priest over at Mark's place who said, and I quote, "If that man wins [Obama], I would like to be one of the first to lead a revolution against him."

And given the dire beliefs that you all claim to have (that he's a socialist, murdering liar who will try to destroy the nation), it seems a reasonable question to ask.

As to Obama supporters rioting, that would only likely happen if the election seems rigged. So, perhaps if going into the election day, Obama is leading by double digits in the polls and it turns out he loses, yes, there may well be some people taking to the streets. And it might be well-deserved.

BUT, that would be in the case of somebody actually trying to undo our cherished democratic system. In the case of McCain losing, it will be because he failed to make his case and then some sore losers wanting to undo our democratic process. There'd be a substantive difference.

From Eric's reaction, I take it he has no plans to rebel against this lying, traitorous, socialist murderer (although if I really thought that, I might be inclined to rebel - hence Feodor's challenging your words as hate-mongering). Anyone else going to pledge allegiance to our country even if this murdering socialist liar steals the election?

 
On October 29, 2008 at 5:29 PM, Blogger Dan Trabue said...

Don't be stupid, Dan.

Eric, you're the one claiming that Obama is a socialist murdering liar and friend to terrorists. And you think it is unreasonable for ME to ask this question?

Don't be stupid.

 
On October 29, 2008 at 5:40 PM, Blogger Eric Ashley said...

Of course I think it's unreasonable. You've been hanging around here long enough to know better.

 
On October 29, 2008 at 5:42 PM, Blogger Eric Ashley said...

Feodor is no one. His opinion of me means even less. He doesn't know me, I don't know him. Let's leave it at that.

 
On October 29, 2008 at 5:46 PM, Blogger Dan Trabue said...

You see, Eric, this is the problem with extremism of the sort that you, Marshall, Mark and others around here engage in: IF Obama is all the things you claim he is, then it becomes morally encumbent upon you to try to overthrow him.

If he's another Hitler, Saddam or bin Laden, then he must be stopped at all costs! It would not be right to allow a murdering, lying socialist who is friends with terrorists to become president. Someone must stop him!!!

But he's not. He's merely another fellow citizen and brother Christian with whom you disagree.

But when you use words as the killing weapons as you are using them here, even if YOU personally don't plan to try to violently overthrow the nation or assassinate the president, you are giving bullets and support to those who ARE prepared to do so.

Loose lips sink ships. Don't sink America, Eric.

Disagree all you want. Voice your opinions. Just don't yell, "Fire" in a crowded theater if there's no fire. It's wrong.

 
On October 29, 2008 at 5:47 PM, Blogger Feodor said...

Words mean things, not least the way we use them indicates who we are. So you have told me who you are. And I in turn.

 
On October 29, 2008 at 5:50 PM, Blogger Eric Ashley said...

As have you, Feodor, but I can't fault your choice of translation. You're spot on in that regard.

 
On October 29, 2008 at 6:17 PM, Anonymous Bubba said...

Dan:

Since you're still commenting here, I would like to reiterate my request for an answer to two simple questions.

1) What, specifically, do you think is a just income tax rate for someone making $10,000 a year, versus someone making $100,000?

2) If you do truly believe that there is a natural stopping point between proportional taxation and taxing people so they are left with the same net income in absolute terms, just what specifically is that stopping point?


At any rate, you're hardly in any position to complain about intemperate language, since I believe that you have asserted that the Bush Administration is guilty of war crimes.

Far, far worse than that, you've defended the hate speech of Jeremiah Wright, who slandered this country by accusing its government of creating AIDS as an act of attempted genocide.

And, beyond that, you attacked Wright's critics by invoking loaded language about "lynching" and "crucifying" the hate monger.

As is so frequently the case, you're invoking principles quite hypocritically, and only when it suits you.

 
On October 29, 2008 at 6:41 PM, Blogger Dan Trabue said...

Bubba, I hesitate to answer any of your questions because no matter what my answer is, it always seems to lead back to, "AHA! You're lying. You believe XYZ (even though you said, "abc") so you must be an XYZ supporter and that means you eat babies!!" or claims to that effect.

As I've noted, you have demonstrated an inability to understand words written down and make claims on others' behalf that they have not made. But, I shall give it a try:

1) What, specifically, do you think is a just income tax rate for someone making $10,000 a year, versus someone making $100,000?

I don't believe a person who makes $10,000/year ought to be paying taxes. I agree with Jefferson in that regard: I don't think the poorest ought to be paying at all. And since it is extremely difficult in these times for a person to survive on $10,000 (much less $9,000 - if they were paying $1000 in taxes), I don't think they ought to be paying anything.

I don't know that there's a magic number as to how much taxation there should be and at what level. I'm open to gradations. My position in general is as Jefferson's: The poorest ought pay nothing and the richest ought to pay a greater percentage (although I don't go so far as to agree with Jefferson in thinking that the richest ought pay it all.)

I'm not too dissatisfied with the levels the way they exist, as I understand them. I'd probably give greater tax relief to the poorest and shift some of the burden to the wealthiest, as Obama has planned to do.

Those below poverty level probably ought not be paying federal taxes (although they are, of course, paying sales taxes and other taxes).

This IRS website shows that those families making under $15k have to pay 10%. I'd probably cut that back to not much - 1%, 0, maybe. Again, I'm flexible.

The chart shows that those families making $15k-60k have to pay over 15%. I might tend to want to reduce that some.

Those making $60k-125k are having to pay over 25%. I'm fine with taxation in that ballpark.

The rest of the chart, you can see yourself, I'm not too dissatisfied with it. I'd probably tend to kick up the rate from that point. I believe Obama's plan begins kicking it up at $250k. See his chart here.

Give or take, that'd be my opinion. But I'm flexible.

I do believe that we ought to be living within our means and IF we need infrastructure, or jails, or prisoner rehabilitation (ie, if we're going to be paying one way or the other, regardless), I'm in favor of raising enough in taxes to pay for what we spend. I'm in favor of cutting wasteful non-necessary programs.

For instance, I'd cut NASA, if I were in charge - not because it's wasteful, but because it's not an essential gov't function. It's a nicety and I think it's pretty cool, but not a necessity. Let private enterprise take it over. I'd certainly cut back on our military adventurism around the world and thereby be able to save money there, too.

Does that answer your questions? Turn about's fair play, now: Where do you draw the lines?

 
On October 29, 2008 at 6:50 PM, Blogger Dan Trabue said...

since I believe that you have asserted that the Bush Administration is guilty of war crimes.

I don't believe so, actually. I believe I tend to say that it APPEARS that Bush may be guilty of war crimes, or IT SEEMS TO ME. War crimes would be a charge that would be determined by a court of law.

I believe that it looks like he sure has committed war crimes or other crimes, but I'm not a judge or lawyer.

Now, it is entirely possible that I have gone beyond that in the excitement of the moment, but I don't believe so. When I did a search on my blog for "Bush war crimes," nothing like that turned up.

 
On October 29, 2008 at 8:00 PM, Blogger Mark said...

Dan says, (Obama's) merely another fellow citizen and brother Christian with whom you disagree.

He can't be, Danny.

Marxism and Christianity are mutually exclusive to each other.

 
On October 29, 2008 at 8:00 PM, Blogger Mark said...

Is it just me, or is the word verification becoming easier to read?

 
On October 29, 2008 at 8:05 PM, Blogger Mark said...

I actually agree with Dan about cutting NASA's budget. I don't see any point in shooting rockets into space. For what? We can't colonize other planets, and we have proven we already know how to get a rocket into space, so I don't understand why we waste our time and money.

 
On October 29, 2008 at 8:11 PM, Blogger Eric Ashley said...

I have to agree on that score. Shooting rockets into space seems like a huge step backward. I hate the idea of cutting NASA however.

 
On October 29, 2008 at 9:44 PM, Anonymous Bubba said...

Dan, I see you didn't acknowledge, much less attempt a response to my second question: If you do truly believe that there is a natural stopping point between proportional taxation and taxing people so they are left with the same net income in absolute terms, just what specifically is that stopping point?

Myself, I would prefer that the government impose a sales tax rather than an income tax, as the former would discourage spending and encourage investment, and the latter would discourage investment as a source of income. If we were to tax income, I don't support a flat absolute rate -- i.e., that each person pays X dollars -- and instead support a proportional tax.

As a matter of justice that proportional rate should be flat.

In a time of relative peace and prosperity, the total rate of income tax or sales tax should not exceed 10 percent. If a tithe was good enough for God under the old covenant, it's good enough for the government now.

Let me be clear, I believe that the TOTAL rate should not exceed 10 percent: local, county, state, and federal combined. If the government at every level has to tighten the belt to limit itself only to 1 to 1.3 trillion in spending, that's too bad: it's not their money, and we do not work our asses off for their pleasure.

Now, either way, with a sales or an income tax, I could support a rebate that would benefit the poor, such as (for a sales tax) a rebate on the first X thousand of spending, or even a means-tested rebate.

But this rebate should be accounted for in the government budget, and -- most importantly -- it should be seen as an act of charity, NOT JUSTICE, because the fact that a poor man may need food or clothing does not mean that he has actually done anything to deserve those things. Our duty to care for him is rooted in the principle of charity, not justice.

 
On October 30, 2008 at 5:25 AM, Blogger Dan Trabue said...

Bubba, on the attack still, asked:

I see you didn't acknowledge, much less attempt a response to my second question: If you do truly believe that there is a natural stopping point between proportional taxation and taxing people so they are left with the same net income in absolute terms, just what specifically is that stopping point?

I did not repeat the question in my reply, but I DID answer the question. Here, I said:

"I don't know that there's a magic number as to how much taxation there should be and at what level. I'm open to gradations. My position in general is as Jefferson's: The poorest ought pay nothing and the richest ought to pay a greater percentage (although I don't go so far as to agree with Jefferson in thinking that the richest ought pay it all.)"

My answer, in case you missed it that time, to your question: "What specifically is that stopping point?" is, "I DON'T KNOW THAT THERE'S A MAGIC NUMBER." I then went on to explain what seems reasonable to me.

You're arguing a slippery slope argument, saying in essence, "Well, if we don't have a specific percentage that we can point to as the RIGHT percentage, then we might start taxing the wealthy at 100%!!! Is that what you want to do??"

Reasonable people can come to a conclusion that it is just to have a progressive tax rate without going to extremes.

 
On October 30, 2008 at 5:37 AM, Blogger Dan Trabue said...

Now that I've answered your questions, answer mine please, Brother Bubba:

Why would we NOT just charge everyone one flat rate? An equal amount that everyone pays equally? That would be the most equal way to deal with taxation.

Bubba also noted:

In a time of relative peace and prosperity, the total rate of income tax or sales tax should not exceed 10 percent.

Okay. That's a random number, but it's a number, to be sure. Is there any reason why everyone should jump to agreement with Bubba? That is, because Bubba has decided that 10% is the magic number that is just to tax everyone, does that mean everyone ought agree with him?

The point I'm making is that there IS no magic rate or number. We're a Republic and we have to decide what rates and schemes make sense for taxation. We have to decide on this together. And we have.

Is it perfect? Heck no. No system of taxation would ever be.

But we, the people, can decide upon some number and scheme different than the one Bubba has deemed Right and still be fellow citizens, still be capitalists, still be Christians. There's no voice of God coming down from heaven saying, "Y'know? Bubba's right. Let's go with 10%"

 
On October 30, 2008 at 5:59 AM, Blogger Dan Trabue said...

Bubba's reasoning for the 10% figure:

the total rate of income tax or sales tax should not exceed 10 percent. If a tithe was good enough for God under the old covenant, it's good enough for the government now.

A tithe was collected in pre-industrial Israel to pay for the priest class of the people who did not own land:

Mosaic law required the Israelites to pay tithes to the Levites, who did not own land, the usual means of support (Numbers 18:21-24). The Levites, in turn, gave one tenth of what they received to the Aaronic priesthood (verses 25-32).

source

So a tithe was apparently sufficient to meet those needs. How far do you suppose 10% would go today? Would we be able to have a military larger than the next 25 countries combined? Would we be able to have all the tanks, planes, helicopters, bombs and WMDs we have?

Would we be able to have roadways? Bridges? Keep our waterways from getting polluted? Our air from blackening? Pick up our garbage? Dispose of our garbage in responsible ways?

Have a police force? Fire dept? A CIA and FBI? A court system? Who would make sure that factories aren't dumping waste in your back yard? Who would enforce them to stop them from doing so?

I don't believe that "I want 10%!!" is a reasonably adult answer to all our needs. We are a large technological age civilization and our lifestyle has some costs.

Now you and I almost certainly don't agree on all those costs and who ought to be paying them, but we are thrown together in this grand experiment in commonwealth and gov't, and we have to work out some reasonable compromise.

And we ought to be able to do so without calling one another fascists or socialists or make any other ridiculous charges.

 
On October 30, 2008 at 7:47 AM, Blogger Edwin Drood said...

ELs post reminds me of when Clinton was running for office. Woman were lining up to tell stories of sexual harasment and whore mongoring. Former aids were lining up to testify to monitary corruption but the press said "nothing to see here" .

We were dragged through scandle after scandle without stop, meanwile al-quida was forming and training on our soil. N. Korea was getting nuculer matterial from us. Iraq was ignoring the ceas-fire agrement and threating any country calling for weapon inspectios with WMDs.

So if Obamas elected it will be great, he will solve poverty problem with a big check once a year (which im sure will be invested wisely) fill the courts with judges who think its their job to change the constatution. Just like JFK, Obama's forien policy will sink us into a war that makes Iraq looks like a walk in the park.

Just like JFK, Johnson, Carter and Clinton leftists still defy logic and proclaim them great Presidents.

 
On October 30, 2008 at 8:07 AM, Blogger Dan Trabue said...

Jumping back to this:

the total rate of income tax or sales tax should not exceed 10 percent. If a tithe was good enough for God under the old covenant, it's good enough for the government now.

As noted, the tithe went to pay for living expenses for the Levites. A further thought: In addition to the tithe, God did institute one other set of what we might call "taxes." God required the people of Israel to set aside part of their goods/food for the poor, the widows, the orphans and the illegal aliens to have access to. This was Israel's "welfare" system.

And, in an agricultural society, it made some sense and seems like a reasonably workable solution.

So, I think it interesting to note that the one and only set of rules that God established for the nation of Israel (rules which Israel repeatedly got in trouble for ignoring and rules which Jesus echoed as the reason for his return when he made his Jubilee announcement, "I have come to bring good news to the poor, liberty for the captives... the day of God's good favor") - the one and only set of "taxes" if you will - beyond the tithe for levites - were taxes set aside to take care of the poor, the widowed, the orphaned and the alien.

(I further think it interesting to note that there is no such notion of "illegal aliens" in God's Israel, but that's a different story, sort of.) There are no provisions for a tax system for a military, for a police force, a judiciary, etc.

Now, when Israel asked God for a king (ie, to move from a judge-ordered theocracy to a human-ordered monarchy) the first thing that God does is WARNS Israel that if they do so - against God's better wishes - the FIRST thing that a king will do is institute taxes to pay for a military and they will draft Israel's sons and daughters to serve the king's needs.

Now, having said all that, do I think that ancient Israel is an exact model for how modern Republics should be run? No. But I do think it instructive and worth considering.

I also think it does not model well for those who'd endorse a military-heavy, welfare-light neo-conservative sort of gov't.

 
On October 30, 2008 at 8:27 AM, Anonymous Bubba said...

Dan, first of all, you're putting words in my mouth.

You're arguing a slippery slope argument, saying in essence, "Well, if we don't have a specific percentage that we can point to as the RIGHT percentage, then we might start taxing the wealthy at 100%!!! Is that what you want to do??"

You are in no position to tell me what argument I'm making, or to tell me what I'm saying, in essence or otherwise.

You complain REPEATEDLY about not being understood, and about my drawing conclusions with which you disagree, the most recent example being a mere two days ago:

Seriously, brother, you should refrain from writing and trying to guess what people are saying. You just don't have a knack for it. I'd suggest if you have a problem with what someone is saying, you should clarify first.

"Dan, when you say, ABC, did you really mean XYZ? Because that's what it sounds like to me."

"No, Bubba, when I said ABC, I meant ABC. I did not mean XYZ. I don't think XYZ."

"Oh, okay, because it sounded like to me you were saying XYZ."

"Nope. Wasn't saying XYZ. Thanks for asking, though."

Like that. It's much preferable to:

"DAN THINKS XYZ!! HE BELIEVES XYZ - HE JUST SAID SO! CAN YOU BELIEVE IT??!!"

"Hold on there, I didn't say XYZ. I don't believe XYZ..."

And so on...


You briefly repeated this refrain earlier in this very conversation:

Bubba, I hesitate to answer any of your questions because no matter what my answer is, it always seems to lead back to, "AHA! You're lying. You believe XYZ (even though you said, "abc") so you must be an XYZ supporter and that means you eat babies!!" or claims to that effect.

But did you ask me to clarify what I believe, just now? No, you did PRECISELY what you gripe about when others do it to you: you presumed to tell me what it is I'm arguing, and what it is I'm saying.

You should treat me how you would like to be treated. This is not only basic Christian ethics, it's simple common sense, and if you can't refrain from telling others what they write, you better well accept as reality the possibility that others will do the same with what you write.


To address the substance, you wrote:

You're arguing a slippery slope argument, saying in essence, "Well, if we don't have a specific percentage that we can point to as the RIGHT percentage, then we might start taxing the wealthy at 100%!!! Is that what you want to do??"

First of all, the spectrum that I described, here, doesn't conclude with 100% taxation: it ends with taxation so that every taxpayer is left with the same amount. Since the end result involves leaving some (arguably arbitrary) amount, the percentage taxed cannot possibly be one hundred.

But, more importantly, my argument is not primarily about slippery slopes.

(It's worth noting that sometimes to slippery-slope arguments are valid. If you dismiss every instance of the argument because doing otherwise could lead to less reasonable instances, you're invoking a slippery slope to dismiss slippery-slope arguments.)

If my primary concern were slippery slopes, I would not be open to the idea of tax rebates for the poor, which produces its own slippery slope.

If I didn't make this clear enough when I asked the question, my continued focus on matters of justice versus mercy should have made my primary concern crystal clear: my problem isn't merely your support of different levels of taxation for different tax brackets, IT'S YOUR INVOCATION OF JUSTICE TO JUSTIFY YOUR POSITION.

You don't invoke mere efficiency or even the ethical duty of mercy to justify your vague position on taxes, you invoke justice, as you did when you wrote quite explicitly that proportional taxation is unjust:

Do you even realize that makes no sense - to suggest that they be charged the same rate? The $10k household charged 10% would be disproportionately affected, inasmuch as they would already be struggling to survive at that income level. Whereas the person who makes $100k would not be similarly affected by losing 10%.

I don't see how one could not see the injustice and immorality in that suggestion.
[emphasis mine]

If you think it's so obvious that proportional taxation is unjust, surely you have clear ideas about what is just, and that's what prompted my questions.

Lo and behold, you answered both my questions with an "I dunno."

1) What, specifically, do you think is a just income tax rate for someone making $10,000 a year, versus someone making $100,000?

I don't know that there's a magic number as to how much taxation there should be and at what level.

2) If you do truly believe that there is a natural stopping point between proportional taxation and taxing people so they are left with the same net income in absolute terms, just what specifically is that stopping point?

My answer, in case you missed it that time, to your question: "What specifically is that stopping point?" is, "I DON'T KNOW THAT THERE'S A MAGIC NUMBER." I then went on to explain what seems reasonable to me.

That second answer is noteworthy because, when I first asserted that there is no obviously just tax system between proportional taxation and taxing to leave the same absolute net income, you dismissed the assertion without giving any substantive explanation:

"There is no natural stopping point between #2 and #3."

Ummm, yes, there is. Progressive taxation of the sort that Jefferson and the majority of patriotic Americans prefer as the most wise, equitable and just system.


But what's just about it? You don't say, and I suspect the reason is, you can't say, because you simply don't know.


What is arguably just about an absolute tax of X dollars per person? People are treated the same, by being asked to pay the same amount in absolute terms.

What is arguably just about a proportional tax of X percent of income? People are treated the same, by being asked to pay the same percentage.

What is arguably just about a tax such that everyone is left X amount of income? People are treated the same, by being left the same amount.

But you want to argue that justice involves treating people differently, not because one committed a crime and one didn't, but simply because one is rich and one is poor.

While there may be a great deal of mercy in such disparate treatment, there's nothing even arguably just about it, and I don't think you can persuasively argue to the contrary.


My main point is, you're invoking the word "justice" when it comes to justifying progressive taxation when you don't seem able to defend that invocation.

(More in a moment.)

 
On October 30, 2008 at 8:56 AM, Blogger Dan Trabue said...

It is unjust to have a flat rate because the person who is making $10,000/year will already be struggling to make ends meet and can't afford to lose $1,000. On the other hand, a person who is making $100,000 who has to pay 10% has more room in their budget for making cuts. In our society, making $100,000 generally means you have options.

Making $10,000 means you have far, far fewer options available to be able to cut 10%.

That is why it is a matter of justice. I believe I've pointed this out before, but I also believe it is self-evident to most people. If it is not self-evident to you and I have not pointed it out before, I apologize.

But now I have defined exactly why a flat rate is unjust. And now you know what I believe most people know intuitively.

 
On October 30, 2008 at 9:09 AM, Anonymous Bubba said...

Now, Dan, you ask:

Why would we NOT just charge everyone one flat rate? An equal amount that everyone pays equally? That would be the most equal way to deal with taxation.

In some cases, such as tolls for roads and bridges, we do -- and should -- charge a flat fee.

For other forms of taxation, such as a sales tax, I'm not sure how you would charge a flat fee.

So, the question has to be limited to taxes such as a tax on wealth.

To answer your question, on a practical level, I'm not sure that there's a flat fee that is A) high enough to cover a government budget, and B) low enough so that everyone can pay.

And, on a moral level, any fee that would be high enough to pay for the business of government would put quite a few people in the position that they give everything to the government (and, depending on how shortfalls are handled, become indebted to the government). Becoming an indentured servant to the government for committing no crime, is an abomination, and not having a certain amount of wealth should not be criminalized.

With the tithe, the Old Testament is clear that, proportional taxation is a just approach, and because it has fewer practical and moral difficulties, it's what I support.


You balk at my proposed tax rate of 10%, saying that it wouldn't be sufficient to pay for a military, bridges and roads, cops and firemen, etc.

First, it's worth noting that you quoted me out of context:

the total rate of income tax or sales tax should not exceed 10 percent. If a tithe was good enough for God under the old covenant, it's good enough for the government now.

What I wrote was this, with the phrase you cut highlighted, since you apparently missed it:

In a time of relative peace and prosperity, the total rate of income tax or sales tax should not exceed 10 percent. If a tithe was good enough for God under the old covenant, it's good enough for the government now.

I accept that, in times of war, tax rates might need to go up.

But, otherwise, I stand by the figure of 10 percent, since 10% of a GDP of $14 TRILLION should be more than enough to pay for government's actual duties in most cases. Heritage points out that we're currently taxed at about 27 percent of GDP, but since more than half of government spending is accounted for by social spending (e.g., entitlements) and by administrative spending like financing the debt, I think that fiscal discipline can bring the amount very close to 10 percent, if not at or under it.

My comparing the tax rate to the tithe is made a bit with my tongue in cheek, but the point is that the principles of liberty and limited government require small budgets in most circumstances, and I don't think that taxing a quarter of GDP and spending a third of GDP is remotely reasonable when we're not engaged in total war.


About ancient Israel, you write:

As noted, the tithe went to pay for living expenses for the Levites. A further thought: In addition to the tithe, God did institute one other set of what we might call "taxes." God required the people of Israel to set aside part of their goods/food for the poor, the widows, the orphans and the illegal aliens to have access to. This was Israel's "welfare" system.

Calling those set-asides taxes isn't quite accurate, because they didn't go to the government for the state to administer. The so-called "system" of welfare wasn't state-run.

And if you're going to go through your little list of talking points about how ancient Israel resembled the Left's ideal state (look, small armies!), I will remind you that God commanded those armies to wage wars of annihilation, and I will remind you that you dismiss those accounts as nearly blasphemous atrocities, and that you do so without a clear and coherent appeal to specific passages of Scripture.

 
On October 30, 2008 at 9:12 AM, Blogger Eric Ashley said...

I would venture to say that should every American wage-earner paid 10% of their income in taxes, there would be more each year going into the federal coffers than under the present progressive rates.

 
On October 30, 2008 at 9:17 AM, Blogger Dan Trabue said...

If you think it's so obvious that proportional taxation is unjust, surely you have clear ideas about what is just, and that's what prompted my questions.

I DO have clear ideas, just not specific ideas. I do not believe that there is one specific number that is Just. Again, I think this is obvious to most people. If it's not to you, then I apologize for making assumptions.

But you want to argue that justice involves treating people differently, not because one committed a crime and one didn't, but simply because one is rich and one is poor.

As noted, it's not simply because one is rich and one is poor. It is not an effort to penalize the wealthy nor to reward the poor. It is the practical matter that the poor do not have the resources to afford a 10% cut in the same way that the wealthy do. And since they can't afford it, it IS a matter of justice.

I'll remind you that in the Bible, one reason that Jesus drove the moneychangers out of the temple was exactly this sort of injustice.

[See here or here]

A flat rate is not always a just rate, even though it is an equal rate, just like a flat amount is not always a just amount, even though it is an equal amount. Circumstances matter.

 
On October 30, 2008 at 9:26 AM, Blogger Feodor said...

The justice of a progressive tax system, as Theodore Roosevelt pointed out long ago, is set up by three realities.

A disproportionate majority of the wealthy are born so and most of the rest were born without barriers to success, like gender, race, looks, access to education, etc.

A disproportionate majority of the poor are born so and so suffer access to health care, good education, infrastructure that supports dreams, etc. Talent and skill avails nothing in the vast majority of cases without programs paid for by other agents (philanthropists, government, corporations).

The wealthy, even those who merit it via talent and skill working their way up from a Brooklyn tenement to found Starbucks, are born or achieve a position where they can leverage the instruments of finance (of whom oversight of government is necessary), broadcast marketing (pipelines of media offered free by the government), shipping (the infrastructure built and maintained by governments) and other public domains and exponentially increase their wealth.

The poor often are the hosts to industrially zoned neighbors and public treatment facilities.

The middle have tons of government funded or subsidized programs to leverage as a means to move upward on the economic/access scale. Student loans, Housing Authority first time buyer programs, tax free transportation programs offered via major employers, tax free healthcare designation dollars via major employers, etc.

Those who have, have a lot more of it in part because of public services. They should pay the highest rates.

Those who have some, have shots at having more in part because of public programs. They should pay the middle rates.

The poor host public slough because nobody else wants it. They do not have enough resources to make use of what little access is available. They should pay least.

Thus, the justice of a progressive tax system.

If one wants to change the lineaments of the structure of the system, like vastly increasing access and capacity down the ladder and make sure programs are a hand up and not a hand out, raising incomes for the bottom 40%, the result would be to change the balance of justice.

One simply cannot want to redefine justice and leave the structure untouched. That's a corruption of justice.

 
On October 30, 2008 at 9:30 AM, Blogger Feodor said...

Eric is only a trillion and a half dollars too optimistic.

 
On October 30, 2008 at 9:40 AM, Anonymous Bubba said...

Dan, in answering your question about what I would propose as a tax rate, I included a specific rate of 10 percent for specificity, but my issues with you are not to ask, what rate or "magic number" you would support, but to ask, how do you determine whether a rate is just?

What's your formula? What's your calculation?

Let's keep talking about the poor man who makes $10,000 a year, and the rich man who makes $100,000 a year.

If the income tax rate is 9% for the poor man and 11% for the rich man, I imagine you would find that insufficiently progressive, right? Well, how do you know?

If it were 2% and 60%, I guess (or hope) you would find that to be excessively progressive, but how would you know?

Since the rich man makes ten times more money, should he pay ten times as much, as a percentage? Should the poor man pay 8% and the rich man 80%?

(What would that mean for the very rich man, who made $1,000,000? Should he (somehow) pay 800%?)

With progressive taxation, we're not just talking about determining a single rate, we're talking about determining multiple rates. Those rates could vary only slightly or vary greatly, so, Goldilocks: I want to know how you know whether the difference between rates is too small, too big, or just right.


You keep arguing that a single proportional rate is unjust because of the outcome on the taxpayer. Earlier, you bemoaned the fact that, "for a household making $10k, to lose $1000/year is a MUCH bigger hit than for the $100k household to lose $10,000 a year."

Now, you again focus on the outcome:

It is unjust to have a flat rate because the person who is making $10,000/year will already be struggling to make ends meet and can't afford to lose $1,000. On the other hand, a person who is making $100,000 who has to pay 10% has more room in their budget for making cuts. In our society, making $100,000 generally means you have options.

Making $10,000 means you have far, far fewer options available to be able to cut 10%.


Well, if outcome is what matters, the most fair tax would be one that results in equal outcomes: take $500 (5%) from the poor man, and take $90,500 (90.5%) from the rich man, leaving each with $9,500.

(That seems like more than enough discretionary money for one person, particularly if the government is using the $91,000 it collected to meet the basic needs of both its wards--I mean, citizens, by providing the food, clothing, shelter, education, health care, and all the other great things that Woodrow Wilson listed in his "second Bill of Rights.")

That is the logic of your outcome-based determination of justice: no matter how great the disparity of tax rates, if the rich man ends up with a greater net income, he still has more options to pay his taxes.

If having fewer options is inherently unjust, the only obvious remedy is equal outcomes.

 
On October 30, 2008 at 9:49 AM, Blogger Dan Trabue said...

Bubbba said:

But, otherwise, I stand by the figure of 10 percent

Okay, but you recognize that it is an arbitrary number, right? Can someone disagree with you and think 15% is reasonable and still be a patriotic, capitalist American? Can someone disagree with you and think 25% is reasonable?

Who gets to make the call? Do we need to agree with Bubba at all? Can a majority of Americans think that 27% is not desirable - and we'd like to see that number reduced and efficiencies in place and budgets tightened - and yet still think it not an unreasonable number and still be patriotic Americans?

My question is, why are those who favor one number (27%, say) "bad," but those who favor another number (10%, in your case) "good"? Who died and made you arbiter of what is and isn't acceptable with our national budget?

What's your formula? What's your calculation?

Well, there's not one. That's what we the people have to work out together. And that is my point in saying all of the above. YOU favor something closer to (the arbitrarily chosen) 10%. I favor something closer to (the arbitrarily chosen) 25-30%. Other people have other opinions.

There simply is no RIGHT answer to this. We can both agree that a 95% taxation rate for those making $1 million/year is excessive and unjust. Feodor and myself might agree that a 10% rate on those making $10,000/year is excessive and unjust.

We have to muddle through all this together. And we can do so without saying that the fella who wants to charge the $10k household 10% a fascist or without saying that the person who wants to tax the $1,000,000 household 40% a socialist.

 
On October 30, 2008 at 9:57 AM, Anonymous Bubba said...

To reiterate, there's a vast difference between justice and mercy.

Christianity is clear that we are sinners who need forgiveness but do not deserve forgiveness: just as needs and deserts are different things, charity and justice are different things.

Charity is giving a person what he needs.

Justice is giving a person what he deserves.

I would not have this issue with Dan, to the degree that I do, if only he would argue that progressive taxation is a matter of charity rather than justice: he either perverts the concept of justice when he argues that justice requires that we give people what they don't deserve...

...or he slanders Western civilization, as the only way to argue that addressing poverty is a matter of justice and not merely charity, is to argue, implicitly, that the mere existence of wealth and poverty is a result of systematic and institutional injustice.

This is an extremely radical proposition, because any real-world system will result in disparities of outcomes, and it invites tearing down even the most free and just societies to replace them with all-encompassing, collectivist dictatorships.

 
On October 30, 2008 at 10:02 AM, Blogger Feodor said...

Charity is the response elicited by moral conscience in a context of imperfect justice.

It may even be unconscious. But it is a gap filler where the existing structures of justice do not meet merit.

Bubba, you build your criticism on beliefs in your own definitions. This is tautology.

We would have to agree on terms before we can argue the same notions.

 
On October 30, 2008 at 10:13 AM, Anonymous Bubba said...

Dan, "fasicst" and "socialist" aren't opposites:

We have to muddle through all this together. And we can do so without saying that the fella who wants to charge the $10k household 10% a fascist or without saying that the person who wants to tax the $1,000,000 household 40% a socialist.

Fascists weren't known for the support for low taxes. The German National Socialists were, um, SOCIALISTS.

Modern American conservatives, such as myself, are the protectors of the "classical liberalism" that affirmed both the value of traditional institutions and the morality of individual freedom. In their radical attempt to destroy traditional institutions, and in their collectivist economics, fascists were diametrically opposed to classical liberals, including the fiscal libertarianis who believe that all people should pay the same low, flat proportional tax rate.

Fascists were outspoken enemies of the free market. As Jonah Goldberg summarized in National Review, "The Nazi-party platform demanded guaranteed jobs, the 'abolition of incomes unearned by work,' the nationalization of all large corporations and trusts, profit-sharing in all major industries, expanded old-age insurance, a government takeover of big department stores (think Wal-Mart), the prohibition of child labor, and countless other 'progressive' reforms."

The American progressives who were the philosophical founding fathers of the modern political philosophy to which you cling, saw both Moscow and Rome as the sites of great progressive experiments, founders of a "Russian-Italian" method to be emulated. They didn't see Fascists as enemies until first Stalin anathematized them and then World War II drew battle lines between them.

Fascism, Dan, was a phenomenon of the left.

I appreciate your suggestion that we don't engage in name-calling, but even the implication that the pejorative of "Fascist" applies to fiscal libertarians is a slander.


And, about your larger point of "muddling through," I would be fine with that if you actually held the position that reasonable people can disagree on what's just.

Instead, you insist, repeatedly, that the injustice of a single flat, proportional tax rate is obvious.

You seem to want to appeal to pragmatic muddling and compromise when asked to defend your own position, but you still seem willing to draw clear, bright lines of moral certainty to disparage the positions of others.

 
On October 30, 2008 at 10:15 AM, Blogger Dan Trabue said...

Amen, there, Feodor. We just about have to wade through all our definitions before we get started in these conversations.

I would not have this issue with Dan, to the degree that I do, if only he would argue that progressive taxation is a matter of charity rather than justice

We might define Charity as money/goods/kindnesses offered to individuals/groups.

We might define Justice is acting with righteousness, fairness and moral rectitude.

For me, not OVER-taxing someone is a matter of justice, of moral righteousness. It is not JUST to tax the millionaire 95% - to do so would be to impose an unfair requirement upon the millionaire.

Do we agree that far?

Likewise, it is not fair to tax the $10k household 10% - it is an unfair burden.

I'm not talking about offering any special money, goods or kindnesses upon folk - I'm just talking about not imposing an unfair requirement upon them. For that reason, it seems a matter of justice, to me.

I don't care especially if you prefer to think of it as a matter of charity, I'd disagree, but you're free to think so. But I wonder: Do you think it is a matter of charity not to tax the millionaire beyond the point that they can afford it?

 
On October 30, 2008 at 10:19 AM, Blogger Dan Trabue said...

Instead, you insist, repeatedly, that the injustice of a single flat, proportional tax rate is obvious.

You seem to want to appeal to pragmatic muddling and compromise when asked to defend your own position, but you still seem willing to draw clear, bright lines of moral certainty to disparage the positions of others.


I apologize. It is obvious to me. It is obvious to all the folk around me. It is obvious to my traditional parents and most, if not all, the folk in my conservative Baptist upbringing. It SEEMS obvious to me. Sometimes, when something seems obvious, it is difficult to imagine others not finding it obvious, as well.

I apologize for jumping to conclusions that it was obvious to everyone. It was simply obvious to nearly everyone I've ever known - left, right or in the middle - so I thought it was safe to consider that a given.

 
On October 30, 2008 at 10:53 AM, Blogger Feodor said...

If, by naming themselves, National Socialism took on the reality of socialist practice, then Democrats are the only party where democracy is safe.

Don't believe the fascists, Bubba, they lie. We just found this out yesterday and are sharing the news.

National Socialism was a political program of state organized but privately owned markets to benefit one group of people only in the nation: ethnically pure Germans. For all others, it was internment camps and death.

Scandinavian socialism, to take but one example, is state organized social safety nets joining with free market capitalism to benefit everyone living in the country. They could be recently arrived Peruvian weavers, but they are counted as residents and they can participate in the market and benefit by the healthcare system.

But again, Bubba, we just found this out yesterday so don't blame yourself.

(psst! and Democrats are the only ones keeping democracy safe for you and me. Pass it on.)

 
On October 30, 2008 at 10:57 AM, Blogger Feodor said...

By the way, Bubba, I listed solutions to your orifice problem.

 
On October 30, 2008 at 11:26 AM, Blogger Dan Trabue said...

Bubba said:

Fascism, Dan, was a phenomenon of the left.

I used fascism and socialism as two representative names - names that are sometimes assigned to the Right and Left respectively. You may be unaware of this, but sometimes, those on the Left have referred to NeoCons as "fascist."

I suppose these folk have looked at the definition of fascism:

a governmental system led by a dictator having complete power, forcibly suppressing opposition and criticism, regimenting all industry, commerce, etc., and emphasizing an aggressive nationalism and often racism.

And found that it fit neo-conservatism, in their minds.

My point was that we can disagree about 10% or 15% or even 30% without stooping to name-calling. Perhaps we can agree upon this?

 
On October 30, 2008 at 11:33 AM, Blogger Feodor said...

A little more on fascists since your description doesn't even meet wikipedia standards.

The Nazis nationalized industry, corporations, and department stores by sticking a lapel pin of the swastika on the owner and managers. Then they collected some cream of the profit to fund the government.

Their economics, barely collectivist, took Germany from the biggest debtor nation in history to an industrial powerhouse.

They did not abolish traditional institutions, they baptized them in an Aryan/Christian syncretism and limited their access to Germans who could prove ethnic purity.

As for Italy, the Catholic church remained but reluctantly joined in reactionary programs.

Fascism is a subspecies of reactionary politics. The inhumane, slaughterhouse far side of conservatism. It is not libertarian.

Soviet Communism is a subspecies of titular classless society but functionally a state owned capitalist economy. The inhumane, slaughterhouse far side of Western liberalism. It is not socialism.

Now if we can just get the socialist and the libertarian to be friends, we'd have something.

Something a lot like the Netherlands, in fact: socialist in care, libertarian in ideology.

 
On October 30, 2008 at 11:51 AM, Anonymous Bubba said...

Dan, I would differentiate justice and charity in the following way.

Justice is giving people what they have earned through their choices and actions, giving them what they deserve. Hence the phrase, one's "just deserts."

Charity is giving people what they need but have not earned, giving them good things that they don't actually deserve. It involves a broader view of the classical virtue of charity -- "faith, hope, and charity" -- not simply alms.

As sinners, we all deserve God's wrath as a matter of His justice: we earned condemnation through our sins.

As saints, we few receive God's forgiveness as a matter of His charity: we did nothing and could do nothing to earn our salvation.

(In this case, justice is still satisfied, in that Christ bore the penalty of our sin: the cross is God's righteous way of declaring the unrighteous righteous, but His decision to bear the cost of His own perfect justice is ultimately an act of infinite charity toward us.)

So, is a lower tax rate for the poor an act of justice or charity?


Before I give my answer, I would like to address this:

I'm not talking about offering any special money, goods or kindnesses upon folk - I'm just talking about not imposing an unfair requirement upon them. For that reason, it seems a matter of justice, to me.

If the requirement applies to the rest of society, an exemption from that requirement is offering the poor a "special kindness," functionally equivalent to giving them special money equal to the amount that they would have otherwise paid. The other taxpayers end up subsidizing the poor.


But even if a lower tax rate for the poor isn't comparable to a welfare check of equal size, I still can't see what a poor man has done to earn that lower tax burden.

Is a lower tax rate for the poor an act of justice or charity? Because I don't see what a poor man could do to earn that lower rate -- and similarly, because I don't see what a law-abiding rich man does to earn a higher rate -- I see the act as a clear act of charity.

Because your argument hinges on what the lowest-bracket taxpayer needs in order to make ends meet, and not because of some act or decision that merits a reward, it seems to me that your argument is an implicit appeal to the duty of charity, even if you mistakenly invoke the duty of justice.


The only argument that could have merit, that I see, is that the rich benefits disproportionally from the security and infrastructure that the government provides, but I reject that argument. In the most dysfunctional third-world countries, and as one can see in Beverly Hills, the rich can afford their own security and infrastructure: their own guards and airstrips. It is the poor who have no recourse but to rely on the reliable provision of low-cost, high-quality goods that is possible through a free market built on government infrastructure; and it is the poor who have no recourse but to rely on the state's police and criminal justice system, in which its rescued would-be victims and its defendants are disproportionately poor.

In order to argue that the system benefits the rich disproportionately, you have to end up slandering Western civilization by ignoring the peace and prosperity that it has provided to the masses.

To call what is essentially social welfare a matter of justice, you have to argue that the mere existence of discrepencies of wealth is the result of systematic institutional injustice. (In which case, it's still not the case that the poor did anything to deserve lower taxes; it's just the case that the rich deserves to get soaked.) But that argument is a thoroughly unjust smear against the system that has, while never approaching perfection, secured more prosperity and freedom and justice than any other.

 
On October 30, 2008 at 12:06 PM, Blogger Dan Trabue said...

Ahhh, we DO have pretty different definitions of Justice, it would seem. You are saying:

Justice is giving people what they have earned through their choices and actions, giving them what they deserve. Hence the phrase, one's "just deserts..."

And

Because I don't see what a poor man could do to earn that lower rate -- and similarly, because I don't see what a law-abiding rich man does to earn a higher rate -- I see the act as a clear act of charity.

So, to you, Justice is something one EARNS?

To me, Justice is something that IS - as the dictionary definition says, "the quality of being just; righteousness, equitableness, or moral rightness"

So, a situation may be just or unjust. It IS or ISN'T. It has nothing to do with earned or no earned.

Taxing a millionaire at 95% is an unjust situation - it has nothing to do with the person or their worthiness; they could be a mean-spirited, hateful miser and it would STILL be wrong to tax their income at 95%. It is an unjust situation, an unjust set of circumstances.

And since your definition is not the dictionary definition or the commonly accepted definition, I'd suggest that our miscommunication has to do with your having a deviant-from-the-norm definition. You are welcome to it and that might change the argument if we were to accept your definition, but then, words DO have meanings and if we just change them, well, it makes conversation difficult. I'd suggest we stick with the common definition.

So, if we do that, then do we agree that it is an injustice to tax a person beyond their capacity to pay? That is, it is an unjust, unrighteous set of circumstances to demand a tax payment beyond what someone can afford within reason?

 
On October 30, 2008 at 12:08 PM, Blogger Eric Ashley said...

"[some on the Left] found that [the definition of fascism] fit neo-conservatism."

Except that "Conservatism" has never held total sway over every public facet of American life. Unlike Nazi Germany.

The word "fascism" has no place in a discussion of what America IS. It's certainly relevant in describing what America can become. But America is not now, nor has it ever been a fascist state.

 
On October 30, 2008 at 12:19 PM, Blogger Mark said...

Dan says, "It is the practical matter that the poor do not have the resources to afford a 10% cut in the same way that the wealthy do. And since they can't afford it, it IS a matter of justice."

You do understand that wealth is relative, do you not?

I've heard wealthy people complain that due to some bad business decision or some embezzler took all their money that now they are broke. But when they say they are broke, they mean they only have $1,000,000 left, when before they may have had 25 million.

These people would say that they can't afford 100,000 in taxes.

When I am broke, it means I have no money left in the bank, no assets I could sell, and no money in my pocket.

See? Relative!

To me, Marshall Art may be wealthy, to Marshall Art, Wealthy may be someone who makes 25 million a year. To that person, wealthy may be Bill Gates. It all depends on who you are talking to.

 
On October 30, 2008 at 12:21 PM, Blogger Feodor said...

Bubba,

Besides getting the translation of 1 Corinthians 13 wrong, you wrongly suggest that taxes are something one merits or does not merit. Taxes are not deserts, they are mutual responsibilities. You go way wrong afield.

Beverly Hills has a responsibility to pay for the air traffic control guiding his or her private plane. If they land at a public airport, the need to pay use fees. A responsibility to pay for taxes for that plane, maintaing the roads on which gas was delivered to that plane. They have a responsibility for the way in which their own security force simply calls the police at the sign of trouble while protecting their client. Their security cannot arrest and prosecute. They also have a responsibility for the doubtless enhanced means their security has to communicate with civil authorities, some responsibility toward the administration of gun and security licenses, which the security firm pays for but to which the client contract binds the buyer.

Mr and Ms Beverly Hills also have a responsibility to acknowledge that a larger GNP benefits them more than Mr and Ms North Philadelphia.

This cannot be denied except by those are in denial.

No man is an island, I'm sure you've heard that.

The poor person, meanwhile, has a lessoned responsibility by hosting incinerators, power plants, sewage treatment plants, and highway corridors running through their neighborhoods, much less being simply a citizen who does not draft off of the GNP like Mr and Ms Beverly Hills.

There is no merit in taxes. There is a greater and lessor responsibility to answer benefit.

Your "logic" is such an inane confusion of the terms, "justice" and "charity" that there is no way to parse out any meaning.

The greek in the text is "agape," or unconditional love.

If you say you are without love, I take your word for it.

But it has nothing to do with taxes. And if taxes are a slander on Western Civilization, then your thoughts are a slander on the brain.

Bubba, you have a thought disorder, I'm thinking.

 
On October 30, 2008 at 12:30 PM, Blogger Mark said...

Feodor, the Socialist says, "Don't believe the fascists, Bubba, they lie"

Yes they do. That's why you cannot believe anything the Marxist Obama and the Socialist Feodor says.

 
On October 30, 2008 at 12:34 PM, Blogger Feodor said...

The core of the problem, it seems to me, is this:

Taxes are a 0 up game, not 100 down.

Start at 0 and then account for a citizen's responsibility to pay back benefit derived from the common good.

NOT take everyone's money away 100% and then give back what they deserve.

Taxes are an accounting for responsibility.

Deductions are earned, however, it's even how we talk about them. They are an accounting for how responsibility is mitigated by other contributions to the economic system.

Taxes are not starting out penalties for being a citizen and thereafter lessened the more one is exuberant in participation.

 
On October 30, 2008 at 12:35 PM, Blogger Feodor said...

Sorry, Mark, you lost me. Whose lies are you lying about?

 
On October 30, 2008 at 12:40 PM, Blogger Dan Trabue said...

Eric said:

The word "fascism" has no place in a discussion of what America IS. It's certainly relevant in describing what America can become. But America is not now, nor has it ever been a fascist state.

Just to be clear, that was my point, Eric. That it would be wrong of those on the Left who call Bush or McCain "Fascists," when in fact, they are NOT fascists. JUST AS it is wrong for those on the Right to call Obama a Socialist, when in fact, he is NOT a socialist.

 
On October 30, 2008 at 1:29 PM, Anonymous Bubba said...

Dan:

To me, Justice is something that IS - as the dictionary definition says, "the quality of being just; righteousness, equitableness, or moral rightness"

Justice is the quality of being just? How utterly devoid of content, and if you're going to gripe at my "having a deviant-from-the-norm definition" of what qualifies as being just, you better be quite sure that my definition doesn't actually appear in the dictionary.

It does in Merriam-Webster

2 a (1): acting or being in conformity with what is morally upright or good : righteous [a just war] (2): being what is merited : deserved [a just punishment] b: legally correct : lawful [just title to an estate]

And it does at yourdictionary.com, which uses definitions from Webster's New World dictionary.

adjective
1 right or fair; equitable; impartial a just decision
2 righteous; upright a just man
3 deserved; merited just praise
4 legally right; lawful; rightful
5 proper, fitting, etc. a just balance of colors
7 well-founded; reasonable a just suspicion
8 correct or true a just report
9 accurate; exact a just measure

And, it does in The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language.

Again: hence the phrase, "just deserts."

The problem with defining just as simply "righteous" or "morally right" is that it doesn't bring a person one step closer to evaluating whether an action is just: It's just because it's righteous, it's righteous because it's moral, it's moral because it's just, all in a circle again and again.

Your lack of a clear idea of what justice means can be seen in a appeal to the idea that justice "just is." I don't think you can explain why progressive taxation is just, which is why you appeal to its being obvious or at least (supposedly) being generally accepted by the people you know.

All you're doing is asserting that progressive taxation conforms to the principle of justice.

Because I acknowledge the idea that justice isn't an arbitrary idea that "just is" and is instead rooted in the evaluation of what is earned -- an idea, I would argue, that conforms quite closely to the Bible's teachings regarding what is just -- I'm not limited to asserting that you're wrong. I can explain why you're wrong.

 
On October 30, 2008 at 1:41 PM, Blogger Dan Trabue said...

And you wonder why I quit bothering to try to talk with you, Bubba. You'd argue that I was wrong if I said "God is good."

Still, fair enough, your definition CAN be found in the dictionary, I gave up too easily. So, ONE of the possible definitions of what is Just includes what is merited or earned.

Then, understand this: I'm not talking about that sense of what is Just. I don't think that instance of what is Just makes much sense when we're talking about taxation.

We're not taxed because we "earned" to be taxed. We're not taxed at a certain rate because we "earn" that rate. We are taxed because we live in a communal setting with common needs. The question then becomes: What sort of taxation is fair? Is Just?

A quick first response would be that we can be taxed too much. If you're making $1,000,000/year and you're taxed at a 99.9% rate, leaving you $1,000, that would be an unjust amount. Not because of anything you've earned, but because it is not leaving you a livable amount of money.

It has nothing to do with having "earned" that amount or NOT having earned that amount. The situation itself is unjust because of how little it left you with.

That is the sense of Justice that makes sense in this context, it seems to me.

 
On October 30, 2008 at 1:43 PM, Blogger Dan Trabue said...

I don't know this to be the case, but it would not surprise me that this "earned" idea of Justice makes sense to you. It would not surprise me that you view taxation as a punishment, not as a responsibility.

Is that the case?

 
On October 30, 2008 at 1:44 PM, Anonymous Bubba said...

And on the subject of the meaning of words, Dan, you write this:

Just to be clear, that was my point, Eric. That it would be wrong of those on the Left who call Bush or McCain "Fascists," when in fact, they are NOT fascists. JUST AS it is wrong for those on the Right to call Obama a Socialist, when in fact, he is NOT a socialist.

In the past, you have insisted that Obama is a capitalist, on the basis that he doesn't oppose the private ownership of property.

But by that definition, most Americans are capitalists, from those who believe in low taxes and very few government regulations, to those who believe in price controls and a massive welfare state.

What terms would you use to differentiate between those two groups?


And, respectfully, I disagree with Eric to a degree: the country has never been fully fascist, but -- starting with Wilson and the two Roosevelts -- certain political movements have advocated the sort of all-encompassing civic religion that shares both historical roots with, and an uncanny resemblance to, fascism. The use of the Swastiska in the marketplaces of Nazi Germany isn't a million miles from FDR's Blue Eagle; and these Progressives employed propaganda and the suppression of political dissent to a degree that over-shadows even the most delusional fever dreams of Nixon and Bush.

It's not that "It Can Happen Here," it's that it already has, to a significant degree, even if the totalitarian impulse is the softer nanny state of "Brave New World" rather than the militaristic despotism of 1984.

 
On October 30, 2008 at 1:45 PM, Blogger Dan Trabue said...

I repeat an earlier pair of questions:

So, if we do that, then do we agree that it is an injustice to tax a person beyond their capacity to pay?

That is, it is an unjust, unrighteous set of circumstances to demand a tax payment beyond what someone can afford within reason?

 
On October 30, 2008 at 1:53 PM, Blogger Dan Trabue said...

In the past, you have insisted that Obama is a capitalist, on the basis that he doesn't oppose the private ownership of property.

But by that definition, most Americans are capitalists, from those who believe in low taxes and very few government regulations, to those who believe in price controls and a massive welfare state.


Most Americans ARE capitalists. We disagree on how much regulation or how much should be spent on this program or that, but we're mostly capitalists.

Most Americans do not believe in socialism, which Merriam Webster defines:

1: any of various economic and political theories advocating collective or governmental ownership and administration of the means of production and distribution of goods

2 a: a system of society or group living in which there is no private property b: a system or condition of society in which the means of production are owned and controlled by the state

3: a stage of society in Marxist theory transitional between capitalism and communism and distinguished by unequal distribution of goods and pay according to work done


We (most Americans, including Obama) do not want "governmental ownership and administration of the means of production;" We do not want "a system of society or group living in which there is no private property;" nor do we necessarily believe in a stage of "unequal distribution of goods and pay according to work done" - although to the degree that such a thing happens (unequal distribution of goods and pay), there may be more of us who are concerned about that. And that concern would be a good thing, a Christian thing, I'd suggest. But it would not make us Marxist or socialist, by definition.

 
On October 30, 2008 at 1:54 PM, Blogger Dan Trabue said...

And if you don't like the definitions, take it up with the dictionary people. I'm just quoting.

 
On October 30, 2008 at 1:58 PM, Blogger Feodor said...

"We are taxed because we live in a communal setting with common needs."

I would nuance that a bit, Dan. Many members of the community are not taxed. Also, I don't feel that I am taxed because I have needs or because you have needs. If food and housing are my basic needs, I could theoretically do that on my own.

Taxes are not about the welfare of individual citizens in that way. Taxes are incurred by the responsibility of citizenship in a society. If I can live completely off the grid and foreswear defense, the theoretical claim of taxation on me is null. Practically, though, we accept defending the off grid pacifists as a matter of course because they are "in our midst." Segregation is practically untenable.

But as a member of society there are larger concerns than my needs. Thus representation with taxation. I have responsibilities to the society of which I am a member, from which I get benefits, and in which I have a say.

Now, as a society we find that not only can we provide for the needs of a whole society which we find beneficial to belong to and utilize, we also find a corporate ability to take care of the unfortunate which has the mixed return benefit of knowing we acted in compassion but also avoid clogging up our public squares and fostering crime and disease and general insecurity.

 
On October 30, 2008 at 2:01 PM, Blogger Dan Trabue said...

I was speaking of common needs, not private needs, but nuance accepted and thanks for the clarification.

 
On October 30, 2008 at 2:03 PM, Anonymous Bubba said...

Dan:

And you wonder why I quit bothering to try to talk with you, Bubba. You'd argue that I was wrong if I said "God is good."

Actually, I wouldn't, but, depending on the context, I might say that the statement is true but insufficently precise for whatever it is that we're discussing.

It's like when you invoke Romans and "overcome evil with good" to argue for pacifism, begging the question of whether war is intrinsically evil.

But, even though I doubt you meant this comment seriously, I would ask you not to put words in my mouth if you're going to gripe as much as you do about when you think I put words in your mouth.

Thanks.


About the question of what a taxpayer has done to earn the obligation of paying taxes, my answer is, he enjoys the public benefits -- the freedoms and security -- that the government ensures, through the careful application of its funds.

There are certain cases, like toll roads, where it's easy and fair to charge those who use it, but since it's otherwise impossible to determine the degree to which an individual benefits -- or disgusting to try to base taxes on that, as if cops should send you a bill -- we shouldn't try to make the tax burden precisely fit the benefit.

The government's role is to provide for the common defense and promote the general welfare, so the citizens should pitch in to fund that effort on an equal basis, either absolutely or proportionally based on income earned or something like purchases made.

With the view of government limited to such public functions, and taxes seen only as a source of revenue for those functions, paying taxes is only a duty. But it does seem to me that people have distorted it into a way to punish the rich.


You have a different definition of what qualifies as "justice", but your definition is too vague to be useful: it can't be used for predictive purposes to determine whether you would support or oppose a particular policy.

It may well be that your beliefs about tax policy come from a careful consideration of what justice really means and an application of the principles that you derive from that meaning.

But, for all we can tell, your tax policy might be completely arbitrary, invoking "justice" as a slogan to advance your political agenda rather than a principle that determines that agenda.

You need to clarify precisely what you mean by justice, beyond the quality of being just, and tie that to your support for unequal, disproportionate taxation.

 
On October 30, 2008 at 2:05 PM, Blogger Feodor said...

Right, "common needs" as members of a society, which is a different order of needs as individuals.

But these "common needs" are chosen, and so not absolutely "needs."

Streets, water pipes, phone lines, electrical lines, sewage pipes are not needs, per se, unless one wants to and chooses to live in a society.

So, by our choice to engage in social needs, we thereby take up responsibilities. And taxes are one such.

 
On October 30, 2008 at 2:18 PM, Anonymous Bubba said...

Dan:

So, if we do that, then do we agree that it is an injustice to tax a person beyond their capacity to pay?

That is, it is an unjust, unrighteous set of circumstances to demand a tax payment beyond what someone can afford within reason?


I'm not sure such circumstances exist, if the government is limited to public functions rather than private welfare, and if taxation is already proportional rather than absolute.

But, to answer the dubious question, I don't think the circumstance is intrinsically unjust: it's unchartiable.

 
On October 30, 2008 at 2:21 PM, Anonymous Bubba said...

Having answered your question, I reiterate mine:

"What terms would you use to differentiate between those two groups?"

That is, what terms would you use between those who support price controls, social welfare, and other market regulations, and those who don't?

What descriptive words would you use to differentiate the economic policies between Barack Obama and Steve Forbes?

 
On October 30, 2008 at 2:22 PM, Blogger Dan Trabue said...

You think it merely "uncharitable" to tax a millionaire at 99.9%? Really?

Okay, then we disagree (IF that's what you think). I think it intrinsically unjust and that charity has nothing to do with it.

 
On October 30, 2008 at 2:26 PM, Blogger Feodor said...

I think Bubba's catching on:

"About the question of what a taxpayer has done to earn the obligation of paying taxes, my answer is, he enjoys the public benefits -- the freedoms and security -- that the government ensures, through the careful application of its funds."

Now all he has to do is to take that next step and say that the person "enjoys" the benefits more, "earns" a greater obligation, and he's there!

Even though "enjoys" and "earns" are rather euphemistic.
___________

It is difficult to remember that we don't actually need society since it is almost impossible to see this in action anymore. But the whole inheritance of civilization into which so many people have poured so much good like medicines, ethical reasoning, automobile engineering, computers, etc. need not be elected.

By the act of remaining in it, though, we are positing a self-election of membership, even if we haven't thought it through.

And so responsibilities accrue that make us conscious of being a member where dues are paid but we don't remember walking in the door of that club. Resentment and anger are the emotions that accompany a continued refusal to think it through.

In a similar way it reminds me how Bubba does not think real estate law, tax law, corporate law, family law exist without the constitution. As if Great Britain is a lawless society because they do not have the constitution.

 
On October 30, 2008 at 2:28 PM, Blogger Dan Trabue said...

That is, what terms would you use between those who support price controls, social welfare, and other market regulations, and those who don't?

Well, if they were both capitalists, I would call one a capitalist that favors more price controls, social welfare and other market regulations and I'd call the other a capitalist who prefers FEWER price controls, LESS social welfare and other market regulations.

As far as I know (and economics is not an area of strength for me), there is not a more precise term.

I suppose one might use terms such as Keynesian, neoclassical, Friedmanian (?) or some such, but I'm not well-versed enough in the differences between various capitalists to know better terms to describe degrees of capitalism, which is what we're talking about here.

 
On October 30, 2008 at 2:34 PM, Blogger Feodor said...

How about one Republican with a slate of self-chosen ideas (somewhat different than other Republican's choices) and one Democrat with a slate of self-chosen ideas (somewhat different than other Democrat's choices)?

They do not fit into labels as they are mixing and matching capitalist ideas of free market and regulatory measures in their own special way.

They are 21st century members of the same economically heterogeneous capitalist reality.

 
On October 30, 2008 at 2:34 PM, Blogger Feodor said...

To posit something else is tabloid thinking.

 
On October 30, 2008 at 2:54 PM, Anonymous Bubba said...

Dan, if you can't determine a way to distinguish a person who supports price controls from one who doesn't, short of listing all their policy positions, then perhaps your ignorance of economic terminology should prompt you to listen more, and talk less, about the intersection of politics and economics. There are significant consequences for policies like price controls, and treating the political differences between fiscal libertarians and statists as nothing more than "degrees of capitalism" is to muddy the conversation and, often, to ignore both the historical roots and the ultimate goals of certain sides of the discussion.


Anyway...

You think it merely "uncharitable" to tax a millionaire at 99.9%? Really?

I will reiterate that what I support is a small government that's limited to strictly public functions, funded by a flat proportional tax, preferably on sales rather than income.

My answer was addressing only those circumstances, and in those circumstances, the government wouldn't tax anyone at 99%.

 
On October 30, 2008 at 3:00 PM, Blogger Feodor said...

Only tabloids would consider Obama a statist in the way that you are, Bubbs.

 
On October 30, 2008 at 3:03 PM, Blogger Dan Trabue said...

But you're not answering the question: IS it merely uncharitable to tax someone at extreme rates or is it a matter of justice?

The correct answer, one on which most reasonable people would likely agree, is that it is WRONG to tax someone at extreme rates. It IS a matter of Justice to many if not most of us.

You are free to think it a matter of charity. I disagree with you, if that is your position.

 
On October 30, 2008 at 3:04 PM, Blogger Dan Trabue said...

if you can't determine a way to distinguish a person who supports price controls from one who doesn't...

Okay, so what do you call them?

Socialist and a capitalist? But you can only do that if you discard the definition of socialist. I'm not willing to do so.

 
On October 30, 2008 at 3:08 PM, Blogger Dan Trabue said...

Which returns us to the ill-conceived point of this post and some of our problem with Eric's ridiculous paranoia: Obama is by definition NOT a socialist. NOT a murderer. NOT a racist.

He may indeed be a liar, to the same degree that McCain, Eric, Mark or Dan are liars. We have all misstated some things at times. But I don't believe any of us are habitual liars (although Mark seems to revel in it to an unhealthy degree and Eric's sure been there in the mud with Mark here lately).

Words have meanings.

 
On October 30, 2008 at 3:11 PM, Anonymous Bubba said...

Dan, I would use the terms I mentioned in my last comment: fiscal libertarians and statists.

But you're not answering the question: IS it merely uncharitable to tax someone at extreme rates or is it a matter of justice?

It depends on what the tax is being used for and what everyone else is paying: if it's funding projects for general defense, and if everyone else is paying either the same flat fee or the same percentage rate, it's not unjust.

The correct answer, one on which most reasonable people would likely agree, is that it is WRONG to tax someone at extreme rates. It IS a matter of Justice to many if not most of us.

That could be because quite a few people have vague concepts of justice.

I could agree that it's wrong, but "wrong" isn't a synonym for "unjust" and the rate could be "uncharitable" instead.

 
On October 30, 2008 at 3:19 PM, Anonymous Bubba said...

What typical, contemptible slime from Dan:

He may indeed be a liar, to the same degree that McCain, Eric, Mark or Dan are liars. We have all misstated some things at times. But I don't believe any of us are habitual liars (although Mark seems to revel in it to an unhealthy degree and Eric's sure been there in the mud with Mark here lately).

It's not that Obama "is" a liar like anyone else: he just "may be" a liar.

And, then, after accepting, only hypothetically, that Obama's a liar to the same degree everyone else is, he still goes out of his way to suggest that Mark and Eric are worse offenders.

 
On October 30, 2008 at 3:22 PM, Blogger Dan Trabue said...

Statism: concentration of economic controls and planning in the hands of a highly centralized government often extending to government ownership of industry

From Merriam Webster.

I don't believe Obama would fit into that definition, nor would most Americans, since we tend to be capitalists.

Or do you have some other definition?

 
On October 30, 2008 at 3:28 PM, Blogger Dan Trabue said...

And, then, after accepting, only hypothetically, that Obama's a liar to the same degree everyone else is, he still goes out of his way to suggest that Mark and Eric are worse offenders.

Okay last one, because you're just being ridiculous, Brother Bubba. Mark and Eric HAVE LIED BLATANTLY calling Obama a marxist, socialist, murderer and - at least in Mark's case - a fascist.

Obama has misstated stuff in the same way that every presidential candidate running for office at least in my lifetime has misstated stuff. Technically, he has lied. Technically, McCain has lied.

But Obama is not making overtly insane claims like "McCain's a fascist! McCain eats babies!! If you vote for McCain, the US as we know it will end!!!!"

There is a difference between the magnitude of the lies, at least in my eyes.

Now I am quite confident you can find something else to spit at me and that's fine. You can rant as you will.

My point remains that the Left ought not call McCain a fascist because he is not a fascist. The Right ought not call Obama a socialist because he is not a socialist. Words matter.

You all can hold on to your desire to make up supersized lies about your political opponents and complain when it happens back, but you do so with no moral standing, since you're engaged in the same acts.

Words matter.

Peace out, y'all.

 
On October 30, 2008 at 4:32 PM, Anonymous Bubba said...

Dan's right, the "overtly insane" rhetoric here is too much, and I do wish that our rhetoric were as moderate, as fair-minded, as even-handed, and as even-tempered as Dan's.

I mean, he doesn't like the GOP, but he didn't smear the party by saying that the convention was a bile-filled hate-fest full of fear, bitterness, hatred, division, demonization, half-truths and outright lies.

That would be crazy talk, waaay too over-the-top for a gentle, peaceful hippie like Dan Trabue.

And it's not like he would approvingly publish a letter from a friend arguing that there would be dire consequences if we elect McCain, whose presidency would only deepen the despair, resentment, and hostility the image of America currently evokes around the world.

Dan wouldn't do that. That's getting far too close to the claim that, were Obama to win, "the US as we know it will end!!!!"

(That's an accurate quote, by the way, and not an exaggeration. As much as Dan resents being misquoted, he's great at treating people the way he'd like to be treated.)

I mean, heck, denouncing Mark and Eric's rhetoric as "overtly insane" isn't intemperate hyperbole, either: it's the clinical diagnosis of a medical professional.


We should emulate Dan and thank him for the Christian example he sets for us raving lunatics.

Dan, if you're reading this, thank you. Fare thee well.

Absence makes the heart grow fonder, and I hope I grow more fond of you with each passing day.

 
On October 30, 2008 at 4:32 PM, Anonymous Bubba said...

Dan's right, the "overtly insane" rhetoric here is too much, and I do wish that our rhetoric were as moderate, as fair-minded, as even-handed, and as even-tempered as Dan's.

I mean, he doesn't like the GOP, but he didn't smear the party by saying that the convention was a bile-filled hate-fest full of fear, bitterness, hatred, division, demonization, half-truths and outright lies.

That would be crazy talk, waaay too over-the-top for a gentle, peaceful hippie like Dan Trabue.

And it's not like he would approvingly publish a letter from a friend arguing that there would be dire consequences if we elect McCain, whose presidency would only deepen the despair, resentment, and hostility the image of America currently evokes around the world.

Dan wouldn't do that. That's getting far too close to the claim that, were Obama to win, "the US as we know it will end!!!!"

(That's an accurate quote, by the way, and not an exaggeration. As much as Dan resents being misquoted, he's great at treating people the way he'd like to be treated.)

I mean, heck, denouncing Mark and Eric's rhetoric as "overtly insane" isn't intemperate hyperbole, either: it's the clinical diagnosis of a medical professional.


We should emulate Dan and thank him for the Christian example he sets for us raving lunatics.

Dan, if you're reading this, thank you. Fare thee well.

Absence makes the heart grow fonder, and I hope I grow more fond of you with each passing day.

 
On October 30, 2008 at 4:44 PM, Blogger Feodor said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

 
On October 30, 2008 at 4:55 PM, Blogger drlobojo said...

My word, strong feelings for sure.
Things won't be the same after November 4th, but it won't be Obama's doing. If President, Obama will only be surfing a historical wave not generating one.
By the way, by my posting here I give you the gift of federal surveillance. Your welcome.

 
On October 30, 2008 at 7:40 PM, Blogger tugboatcapn said...

Because DrLobojo is sush an important person that the Federal Government investigates everyone he decides to talk to.

It is truly special to be in the presence of such greatness, don't you think?

 
On October 30, 2008 at 8:02 PM, Blogger Eric Ashley said...

Federal Surveillance? Are you a criminal? I'm not. Barack Obama's proposed changes DO smack of socialism/marxism. To have it in his power to provide life saving measures to survivors of abortion, and do nothing, Barack Obama IS guilty of murder. To claim that 95% of all wage earners will get a tax cut IS a lie.

Nothing wrong with telling the truth. At least not yet.


"Surrender is Peace. Ignorance is Strength. Freedom is Slavery."


At present Obama is the most dangerous man in America. Why? Because it is perfectly legal for two gay West L.A.er's to hang an effigy of Sarah Palin and suffer no legal repercussions, but two college kids at the University of Kentucky, after hanging an effigy of Barack Obama, are duly arrested.

Why? Because Barack Obama is a hypocrite (among other things), as are much of the black community who sit idly by while effigies of McCain and Palin are "lynched" from trees, but they cry out in hypocritical ire over Barack Obama being hung in effigy. What ignorance! What hypocrisy!

 
On October 30, 2008 at 8:19 PM, Blogger Mark said...

"Mark and Eric HAVE LIED BLATANTLY calling Obama a marxist, socialist, murderer and - at least in Mark's case - a fascist."

I resent that, Dan. I merely analyze Obama's own words and record and determine what ideology most closely resembles them. And Obama's ideology is definitely Marxist.

Obama has so often repeated he believes in principles straight out of "The Communist Manifesto" and Saul Alinsky's "Rules For Radicals" I have lost count. Barack and his wife Michele, both used quotations from Saul Alinsky in their respective speeches at the DNC.

The belief in the ideology of sharing or re-distributing the wealth is totally Marxist. Obama advocates all these and more.

Lastly, Obama has called for mandating wealth re-distribution by the Courts rather than the congress. He has flatly stated the Government should control the people on their own behalf. All these things are absolute Marxist principles.

If he isn't a Marxist, he shouldn't advocate Marxist principles.

Of course, there is always the possibility that Obama doesn't really believe all those things, that he says them merely to get himself elected, but if that were the case, he would have to be arrogant enough to think the majority of Americans want Socialism.

I don't think he's faking it, do you?

If it waddles like a duck and quacks like a duck, it sure aint no Lion.

 
On October 30, 2008 at 8:21 PM, Blogger Mark said...

By the way, if you didn't get the message yet, Dan, let me spell it out so even you can understand.

I. Don't. Lie. Ever.

And I don't appreciate you calling me a liar. Keep that up and you'll never get a comment published over at my place regardless whether you agree or not. I don't lie, so I guarantee you can take that to the bank.

 
On October 30, 2008 at 8:27 PM, Blogger Al-Ozarka said...

"Next week, we'll likely elect President Obama. The world won't come to an end. Life will go on." Deceiver Dan

But America...the one built by our fathers and mothers before us...will.

Don't bother you a bit, though...does it, Dan?

 
On October 30, 2008 at 8:33 PM, Blogger Al-Ozarka said...

Bubba, I've been trying to figure out the way to say what you said to Dan above for years.

Well-freaking-done. You've hit the nail squarely on the head, Mate!

 
On October 30, 2008 at 8:49 PM, Blogger Erudite Redneck said...

Re, "Barack Obama IS guilty of murder."

You coward. If you believe that, if you believe abortion is murder, and you're not out kidnaping abortion doctors, then you're a damn gutless coward.

 
On October 30, 2008 at 9:11 PM, Blogger Eric Ashley said...

Coward! Whose the coward? What do you call a man who refuses to give aid to a child who will die without it?

Kidnapping abortion doctors? You're insane. How gutless are you who won't even call a spade a spade?

(no pun intended)

 
On October 30, 2008 at 9:24 PM, Blogger Dan Trabue said...

Eric said:

Because it is perfectly legal for two gay West L.A.er's to hang an effigy of Sarah Palin and suffer no legal repercussions, but two college kids at the University of Kentucky, after hanging an effigy of Barack Obama, are duly arrested.

Why? Because Barack Obama is a hypocrite (among other things), as are much of the black community who sit idly by while effigies of McCain and Palin


Eric, this is wrong on so many counts.

1. There is no history of white women being lynched. We do have a history of lynching black men. There's a difference, a significant difference. Ask any of your black friends and they will tell you so.

2. Obama has nothing to do with this. He did not do the arresting. He pressed no charges. These kids committed a hate crime and they're paying the price. You going soft on crime?

3. No one that I know of have condoned any of the effigy hangings. They are all wrong. The Obama one is a step further in wrong-ness, but they are all wrong.

4. "Most of the he black community" are hypocrites? Because they "sit idly by" watching the Palin effigy?

Says who? Have you spoken with the Black community and they've informed you that they're cool with the Palin effigy?

And, as noted in point one, there is a difference in hanging a black man in effigy and hanging a white woman. There is no history of hockey mom lynchings. There IS a serious and troubling history (here in my Kentucky and down in your Alabama) of strange fruit hanging from trees.

I'm no lawyer, but that sounds like it goes beyond just wrong and in poor taste, like the Palin effigy, and gets into Hate Crime territory. Hate crimes ARE crimes, whether you want to acknowledge them or not. Or do you think it's okay to ignore laws you don't approve of?

 
On October 30, 2008 at 9:26 PM, Blogger Dan Trabue said...

And I would respond to Mark, but, like Bubba, I think he has his head so far removed from its proper location that it's impossible for him to hear or recognize truth. Suffice to say, that one can CLAIM one is not a liar all one wants. It doesn't make it so.

 
On October 30, 2008 at 9:29 PM, Blogger Dan Trabue said...

Oh, in checking the news story, Eric, it appears the two men were not charged with hate crimes but with other crimes:

LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) — Two men have been arrested for hanging a Barack Obama effigy from a tree on the University of Kentucky campus.

University police say 22-year-old student Joe Fischer and 21-year-old Hunter Bush turned themselves in Thursday afternoon. Both men were jailed Thursday on charges of disorderly conduct, burglary and theft.

=====

So, they committed burglary, disorderly conduct and theft - or at least are charged with these crimes. Do you think they should be given a pass on committing crimes because you approve of their target?

(Actually, I'm relatively sure that once you see that they've been charged with other crimes, you'll agree that they SHOULD have been arrested, if it appears they were guilty, right?)

 
On October 31, 2008 at 7:44 AM, Blogger Marshall Art said...

Dan,

Get real. Eric stated they were "duly arrested". That suggests to me that Eric believes justice was done.

Your statement saying hanging Obama in effigy is somehow "more wrong" than hanging Palin in effigy is clearly racist. Hanging anyone in effigy is equally wrong, and the fact that one race suffered actual hangings due to race is irrelevant. How will we ever get past this racism crap with such dubious comparisons? The simple fact is that you have less of a problem with Palin being lynched.

 
On October 31, 2008 at 7:50 AM, Blogger Marshall Art said...

ER,

It is simply goofy to suggest that one who feels as does Eric about abortion, like myself, would be a coward for, what, not breaking the law himself? Kidnapping is illegal. Unfortunately, killing one's own child is not. Change must come through proper procedures, especially since people like yourself are aghast when someone seeks to destroy abortion mills, whereas reasonable people are aghast when lives are at risk and not just buildings. However, for my part, I do cop to the fact that when an abortion doctor has been killed, I mourn more for the perpetrator for feeling his actions were the right move and putting his liberty at risk, than I do for the misguided doctor who chose to earn his living by killing infants. Both deserve sympathies, just one more than the other, since the one acted to save lives.

 
On October 31, 2008 at 9:19 AM, Blogger Dan Trabue said...

Marshall said:

Get real. Eric stated they were "duly arrested". That suggests to me that Eric believes justice was done.

Your statement saying hanging Obama in effigy is somehow "more wrong" than hanging Palin in effigy is clearly racist. Hanging anyone in effigy is equally wrong, and the fact that one race suffered actual hangings due to race is irrelevant.


Spoken like a white man ignorant of history.

Context is never irrelevant. History matters.

Someone saying "Shepherds SHOULD have died," would mean nothing if someone was just angry at shepherds, but it is a dangerous example of hate speech if it is a homophobe threatening gays (Matthew Shephard, in case you've forgotten your history there). History matters. Context matters. To suggest otherwise is to display ignorance.

It IS a whole other level of wrong to threaten a people because of their race or sexual orientation or religion than it is to threaten an individual you happen to hate for personal reasons. If we were closer to the time in history when some folk killed people here because of their religion and they had placed the Palin effigy on a cross, that, too, would have been more closely related to a hate crime against a group, rather than just hateful actions towards a person.

It is not racism to stand opposed to hate crimes, Marshall.

As to whether or not Eric believes justice was done, he'll have to speak to that. But why would he say:

At present Obama is the most dangerous man in America. Why? Because it is perfectly legal for two gay West L.A.er's to hang an effigy of Sarah Palin and suffer no legal repercussions, but two college kids at the University of Kentucky, after hanging an effigy of Barack Obama, are duly arrested.

Yes, apparently it IS legal to hang effigies in general, as long as you break no laws. If you break no laws, then it is, by definition, legal. The two in Kentucky committed crimes. That would be the difference. Not racism. Not Obama, neither of which had anything to do with these stories.

And Eric, being a reasonable person, I'm sure will agree: the two Kentucky fellas were arrested because they committed crimes, not due to anything to do with racism or Obama. Right, Eric? And the gentlemen in California (their being gay having nothing whatsoever to do with this effigy of Palin, I'm not sure why you insert that, Eric - it's things like that that tend to make people think there may be some homophobia involved), having committed no crimes, were not arrested, even though what they did was wrong and in poor taste, by most of our standards. And none of that has ANYTHING whatsoever to do with Obama being a "dangerous man." And that's all good, right?

 
On October 31, 2008 at 10:00 AM, Anonymous Bubba said...

Dan, I thought you wrote that you were bowing out of this conversation, but I see that you've changed your mind to berate us about honesty.

I do wish you would keep your word, and hold your peace.


If you're not going to do that, you should at least strive to be not so overtly hypocritical. If mentioning the sexual preference of those who hung Gov. Palin in effigy smacks of homophobia, I wonder what to make of your statement that Marshall's comment was "Spoken like a white man ignorant of history."

That strikes me as race-baiting, which you have a habit of indulging.

To attack those who have been critical of Jeremiah Wright, you invoked the imagery of lynching: In the name of civil, reasonable discourse, you viciously smeared us for criticizing a man who viciously smeared our country.

You then started asking how many black friends we have, how many black churches we've attended, and on and on, to make an ad hominem attack against us on the basis of your suspcion (or hope) that our life experiences somehow didn't sufficiently qualify us to criticize a hate-monger who happens to be a different color than most of us.

To top that all off, you invoked the imagery of cross-burning because, shockingly, some of us were getting testy at your accusing us of racism.

All of these are acts for which you have never apologized, and coupled with the rare (and unretracted) instances in which you questioned people's sexual orientation for strongly disagreeing with you, you make absolutely clear that no comment is beneath you.

And if we are to examine your comments with the fervor with which you examine Eric's, we would have to conclude that you are a race-baiter, and -- given the mildness with which you chide Jeremiah Wright -- you are, at the very least, quite comfortable with racist theologies and even racist preachers so long as they join with you to advance your radical, collectivist political agenda.

And if you think we're not supposed to read as much into your comments as you read into ours -- you typically denounce our doing so as bearing false witness, putting words in your mouth, and presuming to have God-like powers of omniscience or mind-reading -- well, that's one more item to add to the lengthy list of how you are a thorough and reflexive hypocrite.

Go in peace, Dan. At least, just go.

 
On October 31, 2008 at 10:18 AM, Blogger Dan Trabue said...

For the record, my comment:

"Okay last one, because you're just being ridiculous, Brother Bubba."

was for Bubba's benefit. Peace be to you, brother Bubba.

 
On October 31, 2008 at 10:43 AM, Blogger Feodor said...

Here we are at a final stand. Dan and I are transfixed at how the boundaries of sense are so blatantly ignored in calling Obama a Marxist or Socialist.

But Eric, Mark, Marshall, Bubbs, and others cannot see themselves as lying. I understand how they do not see themselves as lying. But how they skirt the accusation is a deception. It is the self-deceiving process of maintaining plausible deniability.

By avoiding rational presentations and free thought in the open marketplace of ideas (which I would think at least Bubba would honor since he claims the heritage classic liberalism), they can plausibly say the things they do.

Only by not thinking about the irrationality they infer upon the American people, on the majority of Democrats, on Biden and the leaders of the Democrat Party, on a healthy number of Republicans, only by not thinking about the massive insane irrationality they infer in claiming the labels are an objective analysis...

Only by filling themselves up with the anxious and irrational cheap entertainments of celebrities who get richer the more inflammatory they are...

Only by giving in to the brief surge of satisfactory venting...

Only thus can they write and enjoy and dismiss as ultimately not consequential their time in the mud. Eventually they climb out, take a shower, and say "I'm not a liar."

If they do lie, they tell silly ones -- we all know it -- and they think silly lies are not really lies. Silliness lends itself to plausible deniability.

If they deceive, it is weak deception.

Really all this is a game the play. Like boys who played dungeons and dragons. Or, probably more likely, like boys who thought dungeons and dragons was heresy but were envious nonetheless.

Dan, there is no spiritual war here. There is no battle to persuade fellow believers toward a more compassionate view of the Gospel.

These are games. Games where little boys never really have to admit defeat or fault or mistake.

It's a very safe place to be. When one doesn't know oneself and cannot feel safe in the wider world.

 
On October 31, 2008 at 10:47 AM, Anonymous Bubba said...

How did Dan end this comment that was, he now claims, solely for my benefit?

"Peace out, y'all."

That's an odd way to convey the idea that the comment was the last one to be directed to me, but that Dan still intends to converse with everyone else in this comment thread and at this blog.

Lemme guess, I misunderstood Dan: I read ABC and insist that it means XYZ, and my head is so far removed from its proper location that it's impossible for me to hear or recognize truth, right?

Wrong. I think the intended meaning is absolutely clear when Dan wrote, "Peace out, y'all."

Instead of admitting that he changed his mind and perhaps even apologizing for his inconstant moods, he's now lying about what he wrote just yesterday.

And ya wanna know what's the really hilarious thing, the icing on the cake?

Look at the words that IMMEDIATELY preceded Dan's adieu of "peace out."

Check it out.

"Words matter."

Apparently they do, except when they don't.


Really, whether Dan decides to go as he said he was doing or decides to say is a very minor issue, penny-ante stuff.

But if he can't admit that he changed his mind on such an inconsequential thing, can he really be trusted to be honest about anything else? If he wastes even this opportunity to engender good will by being honest about changing his mind on this tiny issue, can it truly be said that honesty and sincerity are really important to Dan?

I don't think so.

 
On October 31, 2008 at 5:56 PM, Blogger Marshall Art said...

"Spoken like a white man ignorant of history."

Wrong again, Dan. It was spoken like a man who doesn't give a flying rat's ass what color someone is. Who isn't cowed by the mention of past wrongs to people of the past and claims no part in it, nor any obligation to atone for it. My comment was clear: hanging someone in effigy is wrong. PERIOD. I don't condone it as a statement worth honoring.

You have a lot of nerve accusing anyone of racism, unless you've heard the perps of the Obama effigy hanging declare they are acting in that manner because Obama's black. If that is what happened, then those guys are wrong for that attitude. Bad behavior is bad behavior. In terms of harm done, even with racism as motivation, there was no more harm done than was done in hanging Palin in effigy. Do you think she'd be less hurt because her ancestors weren't oppressed? (Likely not, since conservatives aren't wussies and would simply consider the source.)

You play that racism card just like Jesse Jackson and Obama himself. You play it for added ammunition to wrongly accuse, that is, bear false witness, against your opponents, you hypocrite.

And for your info, I DO oppose hate crimes, but because the notion of hate crimes as goofs like you define it is completely stupid and used to silence opposition like the loser cowards you are. Shame on you for your crass dishonesty.

 
On October 31, 2008 at 5:57 PM, Blogger Marshall Art said...

And Feodor,

Where's the lies you claim we've made. None here. Only your inability to defend your lame candidate.

 
On October 31, 2008 at 6:30 PM, Blogger Eric Ashley said...

It's doesn't matter what the facts of the case are. Most people don't bother to dig into the internals, and only judge by what's on the surface.

On The Surface: there appears to be a double standard. White men can hang a national figure in effigy and because she's white, no harm, no foul. But two white men hang a national figure in effigy, who just happens to be black, and everyone screams about hate crimes.

And, pardon my tone, but this is pure horse-squeeze. The men in West L.A. are just as guilty of a hate crime as the men in Kentucky, whether those two men are being charged with such or not.

Where is the line drawn? Can three white men chain a white woman to the back of their pickup in east Texas and drag her a few miles until her body is decapitated, and be charged with a hate crime?

Not likely. Murder yes... HEINOUS murder at that. But a "hate" crime? I just don't see it. Not for a white victim.

Forget the racially charged past for a moment. Is it not fair to say that it takes an equal measure of hatred in one's heart to hang a white woman in effigy as a black man?

As to the effigy in West L.A., where was the outrage from the Obama camp? Out to lunch.

Where was the call to have the display taken down? It never crossed the Obama-camp's mind. Whether or not one was on private property, and the other on school property is irrelevant in terms of hatred.

This is what makes the Democrat Party so utterly distasteful to me, specifically media. Media (overwhelmingly Liberal Democrat) has bent over backward to destroy Sarah Palin. They've bent over backward to destroy Joe the Plumber. That's all they know how to do nowadays... destroy everything that challenges their chosen guy. There is no longer such a thing as institutional objectivity in journalism. Every criticism of Barack is returned with a question about whether the criticism was 'racist'.

Question: Why did Barack Obama order the Château Mouton Rothschild 1999 at dinner?

OMG, YOU'RE A RACIST!!!!

Why!? Because he order "white" wine!? Get real people!

The Left needs to pull its collective head out of its hypocritical collective backside.

 
On October 31, 2008 at 6:50 PM, Blogger Marshall Art said...

And another thing: The Matthew Shepherd case was just a robbery. The defendants claimed they did not know Shepherd was a homosexual. Of course that spoils things for the homosex activists and their supporters.

 
On October 31, 2008 at 7:03 PM, Blogger Feodor said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

 
On October 31, 2008 at 7:04 PM, Blogger Feodor said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

 
On October 31, 2008 at 7:31 PM, Blogger Dan Trabue said...

It's doesn't matter what the facts of the case are. Most people don't bother to dig into the internals, and only judge by what's on the surface.

The facts don't matter? Really?

So, are you suggesting we should let these two Kentuckians who apparently committed several crimes go?

OR are you advocating that we should charge these two fellas in California WHO HAVE BROKEN NO LAWS and throw them in prison?

Which is it? Should we arrest them on trumped up charges when they've committed no crime or should we let the two criminals go?

What is it you're advocating?

On The Surface: there appears to be a double standard. White men can hang a national figure in effigy and because she's white, no harm, no foul. But two white men hang a national figure in effigy, who just happens to be black, and everyone screams about hate crimes.

Who says "No harm no foul"? Has the Obama camp come out in support of the California guys? Has the Obama camp had anything to say about the Lexington criminals?

For most people, I'd suggest facts do indeed matter. We ought not release criminals because Eric approves of their politics. We ought not imprison people who've broken no laws because they offend Eric's sensibilities.

I am relatively sure at your more stable moments, you will agree with at least this much.

 
On October 31, 2008 at 7:43 PM, Blogger Eric Ashley said...

I've had just about enough of you Feodor. From this point on you do not have carte blanche to be an ass.

Even Dan isn't as disagreeable as you've shown yourself to be.

 
On October 31, 2008 at 7:49 PM, Blogger Feodor said...

And now Eric shows his cowardice.

 
On October 31, 2008 at 7:51 PM, Blogger Feodor said...

When you defend men who stone another to death in this country, you're a fascist.

 
On October 31, 2008 at 7:53 PM, Blogger Feodor said...

For staunch conservatives, you guys have little backbone.

 
On October 31, 2008 at 7:55 PM, Blogger Feodor said...

When you start filtering comments, Eric, you end up really making more of a headache for yourself than just defending and explaining your position.

That would be the approach of a stronger mind.

 
On October 31, 2008 at 7:56 PM, Blogger Eric Ashley said...

Cowardice? Says you. But you've done nothing but show your ass since you got here.

 
On October 31, 2008 at 8:01 PM, Blogger Feodor said...

Marshall asks where the lies are. Apparently he can't even read to the second sentence of my comment. Or is it he gets lost when he goes past three or four?

You should look into that short term memory problem.

 
On October 31, 2008 at 8:10 PM, Blogger Feodor said...

Eric misses the point of hate crime laws as opposed to criminal law.

Hate crime laws address crimes committed against someone of ones simply because they are a member of a group.

This addresses to centuries of lynchings, burnings, dismemberment, and display of black bodies. This history is undeniable since even the perpetrators commemorated the events in postcards and pictures. I have a book of them to remind me of what my ancestors and thousands of other whites committed against thousands of blacks, mostly men.

There is no history of the same acts of inhumanity against American women.

So… and effigy of Palin is simply an effigy of Palin. It is shameful, and I deplore it and I don’t really think Eric is asking the “Obama camp” to decry it as much as he is expressing false offense, shamefully using the horrors of the past to make cheap blog points.

But an effigy of Obama is harder to parse. It is political speech, shameful though it is, or is it hate speech. Adding to the difficulty is the implication of fear instilled in all black people who may see such a thing. Women are not universally implicated in Palin’s hanging there on the roof.

Eric doesn’t get this.

But surely neither does he expect a denouncement from “the Obama camp,” for who in the McCain camp decries the Ashley women who falsely claimed assault in Western PA, or who in the McCain camp decries what is on this blog?

If Eric is looking for any plain ole Democrat to say hanging Palin in effigy is shameful, let it be me.

But hanging a black effigy is a different matter. And the laws say so.

 
On October 31, 2008 at 8:20 PM, Blogger Dan Trabue said...

I would point out that the law says so IF there is evidence that the crime was racially motivated. One can't be charged with a hate crime merely because the target was black, at least as I understand it.

And, as it turns out in this case, it does not appear any such charges have been filed against these two.

The difference is, there is the potential for it to be a hate crime. IF there were evidence that the California duo were trying to terrorize all women, I would suppose they could possibly be charged with a hate crime, as well. It does not appear to be the case here.

 
On October 31, 2008 at 8:25 PM, Blogger Feodor said...

Getting into someone's head is impossible.

So, again, when a truck goes down the street in a town with nooses hanging off the corners, the driver should expect to be charged.

Not the same if they are hanging bras off the side.

It's up to the members of the jury to determine motivation by whatever process they have.

I was speaking to the general foundation of hate crime law, not to any case.

Eric uses the two cases to gloss over the foundations.

 
On October 31, 2008 at 8:27 PM, Blogger Eric Ashley said...

Some of us have jobs, Feodor. You're posting hour after hour with little sign of holding down a job. I, on the other hand work two jobs, six days a week, currently 11 hours a day. You presume that because you can spend twelve+ hours a day working your gob around all manner of profundity that the rest of us are likewise blessed, but you're proving yourself to be little more than an ass, in spite of all the crap you have crammed in your skull. What good does it do you if you're little more than an asshole with little or no social skill? I only ask because you're not showing any such skill here.

I know what you're doing here, and I refuse to play any longer. Be reasonably nice or be completely gone.

Dan, for all we disagree with him, is welcome here. Why? Because even though he too can be an ass, he's our ass. We know him, we like him in our own way, and he, even though he disagrees with us is, for the most part, respectful.

This little fete of ours has been going on for quite some time. Everyone has their role, and everyone plays their roles script perfect. If you want to join, change your attitude, because I have no intention of turning comment moderation on... it stifles spontaneity, and I won't allow your bad behavior to kill the discussion here.

So. If you want to keep running up the comments total, go for it, but that's not what I'm in it for.

Suffice it to say I simply refuse to continue in this "my intellect can beat up your intellect" horse-squeeze. And I encourage everyone else to simply ignore you if you cannot be less than the ass you currently are.

 
On October 31, 2008 at 8:36 PM, Blogger Feodor said...

Yes, I'm sure you can only have one liberal mascot at a time. Two is too challenging.

If you are asking what you have done to deserve me, perhaps it is Providence. Post-surgery recuperation just when it's short straw time in election.

God sent me, Eric, to goad you. You should thank him.

 
On October 31, 2008 at 8:40 PM, Blogger Feodor said...

And spontaneous hate is not something to aim for. It circumvents the intellect, one way in which we are made in God's image.

 
On October 31, 2008 at 8:57 PM, Blogger Feodor said...

Think of my role as one that makes you think a little longer and deeper before you post.

Every blog could use someone like that.

 
On October 31, 2008 at 9:31 PM, Blogger Feodor said...

What's obvious is how, Eric, your gut response is to go for defamation first. It looks like a character trait.

And as you Dem Dan keeps saying, words matter.

 
On October 31, 2008 at 10:31 PM, Blogger Marshall Art said...

But he did NOT go for defamation first. He spoke with you, as we all did, in a civil manner. Then you showed yourself to be the ass you are. Personally, I don't much care about that. You are what you are. For example, if your words were in any way memorable, you wouldn't need to slight me with cracks about short term memory. But a more solid example of what might have been said that was a lie, and why you think so, would have been a better course to travel.

As to YOUR short term memory problem, I'll repeat once again, that there is no hatred here except hatred for bad behavior. And that's what we express when discussing all manner of topic. What you're failing to recognize, despite the constant posing as an intellect, is frustration mostly, that we feel after constantly dealing with the same old same old from libs like Dan, and now you. It's never hatred for either of you. Pity is what we feel towards the likes of you for your horrible understanding of things. It makes us sad.

 
On October 31, 2008 at 10:42 PM, Blogger Feodor said...

When have you ever, ever been civil to a liberal view? I have simply joined in the general style I find here. From you, from Mark, from Eric, from Bubba, it pre-exists me.

And I wouldn't call what goes on here as discussion.

It serves my point to merely quote what you posted right there to the left of the comment entry box:

"Dan,

That you don't share the "hysteria" shows you to be the chump you are. Obama's bad for the country. No. Doubt. About it."

Just look to the left for the first comment with your name on it.

So what do you call this if not a self-serving lie?

 
On October 31, 2008 at 10:54 PM, Blogger Marshall Art said...

Dan,

Facts matter only when the facts are relevant. The facts you chose to present regarding the effigy hanging are irrelevant to the point that was made, which is, that hanging anyone in effigy is a lame expression of one's attitudes and beliefs. If the hanging of Palin in effigy was publicized, which it obviously was, then the only defense for the Obama camp for not commenting on way or the other is they were unaware. Were I in your position, and I'm so glad I'm not, that's the first thing I would have said. "Maybe they didn't hear about it."

Now I'd like to remark on hate crimes once again. It doesn't matter why someone murders another person. Murder is against the law. You could say that racial bigotry was a motivation in order to gain a conviction, but to use that to increase the sentence is in itself racist. Racism will NOT go away if race is ever a factor in deciding anything. Racism does not make the murder more painful for the victim. Hate crime is a means of controlling the thoughts of others by force. Racism is stupid. If stupidity is a crime, you and Feodor would be in cells right now. Hate crime legislation is stupid law and entirely unnecessary unless pay back is your goal. Payback is vengeance, justice is not. "...centuries of lynchings, burnings, dismemberment, and display of black bodies" doesn't mean anything except that it was allowed to happen to a group of people. Now, more people find such attitudes distasteful and would not permit such actions to go unpunished. That change in the attitudes of those "more" people should be enough since that is the goal we seek in our culture. To sentence more strongly one perpetrator than another due to some misguided desire to atone for the actions of others toward a particular group diminishes the victim of the other perpetrator who committed the exact same crime for a reason other than race. Hate crimes legislation will never make a difference in the hearts of those who harbor such attitudes except possibly to increase the hatred itself.

 
On October 31, 2008 at 11:02 PM, Blogger Marshall Art said...

"So what do you call this if not a self-serving lie?"

Which part, the "chump" part, or the "Obama's bad for the country" part. I don't see either as a lie. To believe the nonsense Obama spews IS to be a chump. A chump is someone who falls for the slick talk of a con man. Thus, it is accurate. Furthermore, this slick talk alone is bad for the country. But more precisely, Obama's far left attitudes and proposals threaten our economy, our security, the lives of the unborn, and our standing in the world amongst those not drinking the lefty/lib KoolAid.

Now the worst you can say about the above is that it is my opinion and you think it sucks. That doesn't make it a lie. And should Obama win on Tuesday (Gag!), and turn out to be the greatest thing to ever happen to America...BWAAAAHHHAHAHAHHHAHAHAHAHAHAH! that would only mean I was wrong, but not a liar. I'm surprised you couldn't pick up on the distinction!

 
On October 31, 2008 at 11:03 PM, Blogger Dan Trabue said...

Marshall said:

If the hanging of Palin in effigy was publicized, which it obviously was, then the only defense for the Obama camp for not commenting on way or the other is they were unaware.

I suppose you are prepared to show the McCain camp's response to the Obama effigy? The one where they condemned it?

Or, if you are not prepared to show that quote (if it exists), then are you prepared to condemn the McCain camp as you condemn the Obama camp?

If not, are you prepared to admit the hypocrisy in your position?

 
On October 31, 2008 at 11:03 PM, Blogger Feodor said...

Hanging an effigy of Sarah Palin puts terror in the heart of no one.

Hanging an effigy of a black figure, any black figure, puts terror in the hearts of at least black people.

Hate crime laws account for this difference.

This is your definition of civil?"
"If stupidity is a crime, you and Feodor would be in cells right now."

 
On October 31, 2008 at 11:06 PM, Blogger Feodor said...

The self-serving lie is that you think you've ever been civil.

And that is no surprise.

 
On October 31, 2008 at 11:06 PM, Blogger Dan Trabue said...

Marshall said:

Now I'd like to remark on hate crimes once again. It doesn't matter why someone murders another person. Murder is against the law. You could say that racial bigotry was a motivation in order to gain a conviction, but to use that to increase the sentence is in itself racist.

This is your opinion. You are welcome to it. The majority of people have decided otherwise and we have seen the wisdom and the morality of implementing a separate crime - hate crime.


We understand that there is a different crime happening when someone specifically targets a group to terrorize that group, as a whole. And so the hate crime charge was created.

You are welcome to your opinion. We disagree. And, being in the minority, you are disagreeing with the law of the land and that is okay as long as you don't violate it.

 
On November 1, 2008 at 4:56 AM, Blogger Mark said...

Château Mouton Rothschild 1999.

Oh, is that a white wine? I didn't know.

"I never drink...wine." ~ Dracula

"Neither do I" ~ Mark

 
On November 1, 2008 at 5:11 AM, Blogger Mark said...

If a murder is committed by anyone at anytime, it is a hate crime. One has to have a certain amount of hate, at the very least, at the moment, to commit the crime of murder.

One may hate the victim, or what the victim stands for, or in a more abstract sense, hate for the possible prospect of getting caught, among other things.

I never could understand hate crime legislation. It seems to me murder was already illegal. Why sub-divide it based on intent? What's the point?

It would appear the men (and I use the term loosely) who hanged Sarah Palin in effigy probably hate Sarah Palin, though it's hard to understand why. She has done no harm to them personally. I guess then, that it would count as a hate crime per se. Likewise any person who would hang Obama in effigy.

But I really don't like the appelation of anything as a "hate Crime" If an act is illegal, it is illegal. Why bring intent into it?

IMHO, Hate crime legislation is the first step down the slippery slope leading to thought police.

 
On November 1, 2008 at 5:18 AM, Blogger Mark said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

 
On November 1, 2008 at 5:44 AM, Blogger Mark said...

Dan says, "One can't be charged with a hate crime merely because the target was black, at least as I understand it"

Dan, would you kindly supply us poor rubes with any documentation wherein black people were charged with a hate crime against white people? Any at all? Anywhere?

Hate crime legislation was created to lengthen sentences of white people already guilty of murder. It is in reality a crime of opinion.

But never fear, Danny boy, in an Obama administration the thought police will have more power than ever. Soon you may be guilty of a hate crime yourself.

What crime, you may ask? The crime of being white.

 
On November 1, 2008 at 5:45 AM, Blogger Mark said...

In defense of Feodor, he is recovering from surgery. Doctors removed his brain.

 
On November 1, 2008 at 5:47 AM, Blogger Mark said...

And Dan, Calling a statement or act of protest against Obama racist shows just how in the tank for Obama you really are. How many times have we Obama opponents stated we don't oppose him because he's black? If that were true, why would we have gone on record on support for Michael Steele, Alan Keyes, Condi Rice, or Ken Blacwell?

Dan, I wonder if you have the moral integrity to admit that statement about hanging Obama in effigy being racist was just plain stupid.

One more thought. If hanging Obama in effigy is racist, couldn't we say two gay men hanging Sarah Palin in effigy is heterophobic?

Or is that OK in your little world of twisted logic and leaps of fantasy?

 
On November 1, 2008 at 7:23 AM, Blogger Dan Trabue said...

Mark said:

I never could understand hate crime legislation. It seems to me murder was already illegal. Why sub-divide it based on intent?

Yes, apparently you don't understand the concept. Hate crimes do not merely mean an assailant is hateful.

So, we catch a guy who has committed a terrorist act. No one died in the act, so they can't charge him with murder. Merely charging him with assault does not seem to fit the crime. What do they charge him with?

Well, I'm not sure on the laws, but he is guilty of attempting to commit terrorism - which is a different act altogether than merely assault. There are two crimes at play there: One is the actual attack. But we all recognize that there is another criminal act there: The attempt to terrorize a people. Terrorism is a separate action than the assault.

Likewise, hate crimes are a different action than just the assault. Hate crimes have the result of NOT merely harming one person, but of inspiring fear in a whole group of people - a specific subgroup of people: Women, people of another race or religion, etc.

It is a separate crime.

 
On November 1, 2008 at 7:37 AM, Blogger Dan Trabue said...

Mark asked:

would you kindly supply us poor rubes with any documentation wherein black people were charged with a hate crime against white people?

Yes, fairly easily. I googled "hate crime who has been convicted" and my FIRST hit was:

In Long Beach, Calif., a juvenile court judge has convicted eight black girls and one boy of beating three young white women last year. One girl was acquitted of all charges. The defendants range between 12 and 18 years old. The racially charged case included allegations of witness intimidation.

NPR

The fifth link provided a story about a Muslim man convicted of hate crimes towards a Jewish woman:

Attacking a Jewish girl and the friends who came to her rescue has landed a Muslim man a one-year jail sentence. Mustafa Taj must also serve a year of probation following his release for what provincial court Judge Bill Cummings ruled was a racially motivated assault.

Hate crime laws protect ALL groups against the ADDITIONAL crime of hate crime. That is the point.

Can you understand the notion of having more than one crime happen at a time?

Do you understand that we convict terrorists because of their INTENT? It already IS legal - and most folk think appropriately so - to convict someone based upon their thoughts and opinions WHEN those opinions are combined with an actual plan to cause harm.

To sum it up for you: If someone hates purple people, there is no crime.

IF someone hates purple people as the "Great Satan" AND they attempt to assault them because of that, then there are two crimes involved - the actual assault and the terrorism of the motivation.

IF someone hates purple people AND they attempt to assault them, TWO crimes occurred - the actual assault and the perpetration of fear and hatred of purple people (and the consequential result of purple people feeling less secure).

TWO crimes. TWO charges.

 
On November 1, 2008 at 7:43 AM, Blogger Dan Trabue said...

Mark wrongly stated:

Calling a statement or act of protest against Obama racist shows just how in the tank for Obama you really are.

Umm, I don't believe I said that anywhere. What I actually believe (as opposed to what you suppose I believe) is that IF someone is a racist and makes a statement against Obama, it may well be racially-motivated.

But then, surely IF someone is a racist and they attack Obama, you would surely agree that it may well be racially-motivated?

I believe what you're getting at is suggesting that I'm suggesting that criticizing Obama is racist. But that would be wrong. I have not stated that, nor do I believe it. I have condemned folk in the real world for making that leap.

Criticize Obama all day, criticize his policies, his clothes or ears, if you want to be petty, I don't care. What I'm saying in context of this case we're discussing, though, is IF you hang a black man in effigy - given the very real recent history in our nation - and don't be surprised if people start questioning whether or not it was a racially-motivated action.

 
On November 1, 2008 at 8:41 AM, Blogger Mark said...

Good job, Danny!

Now that it has been established by precedence that blacks can commit hate crimes against wite people, the miscreants that hanged Sarah Palin in effigy should be charged with a hate crime. That is the logic in your argument that white men who hanged Obama in effigy should be charged isn't it? Since there is historical precedence, Heterosexual white women are targets, too!

As I pointed out, why should they hate Sarah Palin? Since she hasn't done any harm to them personally, then their crime must be one of heterophobia, which, under your definition, should be punishable as a hate crime.

 
On November 1, 2008 at 8:42 AM, Blogger Feodor said...

I did indeed have a lobotomy. It was the price of admission to this blog and yours.

 
On November 1, 2008 at 8:47 AM, Blogger Mark said...

Since Lesbians tradionally hate men, homosexual men must hate heterosexual women, so their crime must be a hate crime, right?

Before you answer that I can't know the intent of those two gay men so I can't reach that conclusion, let me respond if you try to make that case, you have argued my case for me.

You cannot ascertain intent. Not in white men. Not in gay men. Not in black men. Hate crime legislation is an attempt to outlaw thinking. That is Marxist. Which is probably why Obama supports hate crime legislation.

 
On November 1, 2008 at 8:48 AM, Blogger Dan Trabue said...

Mark unreasoned:

Now that it has been established by precedence that blacks can commit hate crimes against wite people, the miscreants that hanged Sarah Palin in effigy should be charged with a hate crime.

ummm, if there is evidence that Palin's effigy was hung as a hate crime (against women, for instance), it should be prosecuted as a hate crime. Is there any evidence of this?

No?

Then, let's stick to facts (I know facts don't matter so much to some here, by their own admission, but they really are sort of important in a court of law) and charge the Kentucky fellas with their crimes that they actually committed, NOT charge the California fellas since they did NOT commit a crime (sorta reasonable, that way, huh?) and NOT accuse Obama of anything since he really had nothing to do with anything in this case.

seriously guys, take a breath. It'll be okay. You'll come through this just fine. You're being more unreasonable and hypocritical than normal. Relax.

As for myself, I'm off to a spiritual retreat with my church this weekend in the glorious fall woods of Kentucky. I pray for a bit of peace for each of us until Tuesday. Seriously.

 
On November 1, 2008 at 8:52 AM, Blogger Dan Trabue said...

You cannot ascertain intent. Not in white men. Not in gay men. Not in black men. Hate crime legislation is an attempt to outlaw thinking.

We can't ascertain intent? Then I suppose you agree with me that the notion of a pre-emptive invasion of a country is inherently wrong?

But, of course, we CAN and DO ascertain intent all the time. If there is evidence that someone is INTENDING to blow up a church, the guilty are arrested BEFORE it happens. IF there is evidence that someone violated someone else's civil rights due to hatred of their Group, we can charge them with that crime.

It happens all the time, Mark.

Now, peace out, y'all (and by that, I mean to say that I'm leaving for the weekend - meaning Saturday and tomorrow, but back tomorrow night - in case anyone is trying to determine what I mean by that.)

 
On November 1, 2008 at 8:53 AM, Blogger Feodor said...

Hate speech and hate crime is a formal term, Mark, referring not any old hate but specifically to violence or fostering violence (speech) toward someone or someones SIMPLY BECAUSE they are a member of a race or group in addition to or instead of violence toward a specific person.

The effigy of Palin is not about women as a group.

An effigy of a black figure, any black figure MAY about the whole group. If it is a crime, it is a crime of hate speech.

As for your slippery slope of thought police, that is the central criticism of hate speech/hate crime law.

But you cant' take subjective evaluations out of criminal law. You can only try to get to objectivity by a law of averages.

It's called a jury. Most cases are decided by jurors coming to some decision on what each juror "thinks" happened. That 12 people have to do so and end up with a majority is an effort toward objectivity.

 
On November 1, 2008 at 11:22 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

feodor and Dan, I have long ago started scrolling down when I see that you have made a post. I have seen nothing that is worth spending time reading. If both of you are seeking validation, recognition or whatever it is......try going to the liberal sites. I will admit that I start out skimming over the post, but can only tolerate so much before I move on. mom2

 
On November 1, 2008 at 11:50 AM, Blogger Mark said...

"The effigy of Palin is not about women as a group."

And you know this how? I say it is, and my opinion is as good as yours.

Are you one of the gay men who did it? If you're not, you have no way of ascertaining intent. As I said.

 
On November 1, 2008 at 12:11 PM, Blogger Feodor said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

 
On November 1, 2008 at 12:12 PM, Blogger Feodor said...

You're right, Mark. I don't know what was going on in their minds.

I should have said, "The effigy of Palin does not terrorize women as a group or incite violence toward women as a group."

Although, if it was at a workplace, that could be a different matter.

But their acts do not terrorize women as a group anymore than your blog or this one terrorizes Democrats as a group. You're access to free speech is protected.

However, if people start committing violence against Democrats and evidence is gathered that they are incited by your postings, then the line is crossed.

Just ask blogs and organizations that the Southern Poverty Law Center has successfully prosecuted under hate crime law.

This is the difference in the effigies. One is awful, but does not edge toward the illegal. The other is close to what has been successfully prosecuted as illegal.

 
On November 1, 2008 at 1:12 PM, Blogger Marshall Art said...

Successfully prosecuted under bad law. I think we can all agree that just because a majority supports a belief, such support does not indicate the belief is righteous or just. It only means a majority believes it to be so. I say this to hopefully pre-empt any further comments that suggest such a thing. It is irrelevant to the discussion of the righteousness of bad law such as hate crimes legislation.

Crime terrorizes as a by-product of its nature. It terrorizes groups every time, including the biggest group of all, the general public. If an effigy of a black man is hung in a neighbor's front yard, I am terrorized as well even though I'm white. This is because some jackass is messing with my neighbor. It might seem that he's doing it due to racism, but that could be a ruse. Either way, as a friend to my neighbor, I don't care about the motivation, only that my neighbor is being messed with. As a friend of a black family, I'm at risk if the perp is a racist.

But what if my neighbor is white as well, and his house was burglarized? I am indeed terrorized by the thought that my house could be next. If someone is mugged, I am terrorized by the thought of begin mugged as well if I venture into the area of the attack.

Now, it is true that crimes are broken down into subgroups based on intent. If I kill someone, my intentions indeed matter in how I am sentenced, if I am sentenced at all. If it's self-defense, I am exonerated. If I kill someone while driving drunk, it's more of a manslaughter thing. If I plot to kill someone and carry out that plan, it's 1st degree murder. There are other degrees as well.

But in none of those cases do intent count more than determining whether the the perp meant to kill as a primary action. Thus, if race is involved, it only serves to support the notion that the perp meant to kill the victim. It doesn't mean anything else to justice. Hate crimes gives more worth to the victim by saying that there is something more wrong with murder if the victim is black or homosexual, that the sensibilities of black or homosexual groups require greater protection than others who might be emotionally or psychologically affected by a type of vandalism or the hanging of an effigy.

I, on the other hand, as I am sure Mark, Eric and others, feel that blacks and homosexuals are human beings just like myself, no more, no less.

For Dan,

Your accusation about the value of facts has been addressed already. Your continued use of the accusation is a lying.

For Feodor,

As I've mentioned to another opponent at another blog, my "jackassery", as he termed it, is not pre-emptive. Anyone who maintains a civil attitude in discussion will only get civility in return. If you'd like to return to civility, that's what you can expect.

One more thing about hate crimes. You boys can tell yourselves what reasons provoked hate crimes legislation. I doubt they are honest reasons because I doubt that most black people are "terrorized" because of racial reasons. I believe they respond to the perceived threat itself and don't much care why they are being threatened. (This is all my opinion based on the black people I've known in my life, so don't bother asking for proofs) The real reason is that false leaders of the black community, like Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton, and the Rev. Wrights of the world, play the victim card and are looking for special considerations in order to secure their positions of leadership and all that goes with it. They've managed to convince a number of their people of this philosophy, as well as those suffering from white guilt. Thoughtful, reasonable people don't fall for such crap.

 
On November 1, 2008 at 1:17 PM, Blogger Marshall Art said...

One more thing:

"Marshall said:

Now I'd like to remark on hate crimes once again. It doesn't matter why someone murders another person. Murder is against the law. You could say that racial bigotry was a motivation in order to gain a conviction, but to use that to increase the sentence is in itself racist.

This is your opinion. You are welcome to it. The majority of people have decided otherwise and we have seen the wisdom and the morality of implementing a separate crime - hate crime."


It is not an opinion, it is a fact. Anytime you base anything on race, it is racism. Basing law or considerations on race is the definition of racism. So there is little wisdom and absolutely no morality in such laws.

 
On November 1, 2008 at 2:22 PM, Blogger Feodor said...

Hate crime law is great law.

When you, Marshall, defend guys who stone a guy to death - in this country of all countries - then I know what fine, perspicacious law it is.

You yourself are evidence of how morals and humanity can slip off the back side of easy.

It's great, morally incisive lawmaking.

 
On November 1, 2008 at 4:14 PM, Blogger Marshall Art said...

"When you, Marshall, defend guys who stone a guy to death..."

Never happened, Feo.

"If not, are you prepared to admit the hypocrisy in your position?"

No hypocrisy here, Danny boy. I was merely offering a better argument for you. That either camp commented on the effigy hanging of either candidate means very little as far as I'm concerned. Both sides have wackjobs, with some on the right, and the multitudes on the left. I don't expect every jerkwad's antics to be addressed by either camp. Clear enough for ya?

 
On November 1, 2008 at 6:10 PM, Blogger Feodor said...

marshall art said...
"And another thing: The Matthew Shepherd case was just a robbery. The defendants claimed they did not know Shepherd was a homosexual. Of course that spoils things for the homosex activists and their supporters."

October 31, 2008 6:50 PM

This is not only mounting a defense for them, it is wrong on the facts.

These are the kind of guys you trust:

In court the defendants used varying rationales to defend their actions. They attempted to use the "gay panic defense", arguing that they were driven to temporary insanity by alleged sexual advances by Shepard. At another point they stated that they had only wanted to rob Shepard and never intended to kill him. The prosecutor in the case charged that McKinney and Henderson pretended to be gay in order to gain Shepard's trust to rob him. During the trial, Chastity Pasley and Kristen Price (the pair's then-girlfriends) testified under oath that Henderson and McKinney both plotted beforehand to rob a gay man. McKinney and Henderson then went to the Fireside Lounge and selected Shepard as their target. McKinney alleged that Shepard asked them for a ride home. After befriending him, they took him to a remote area of Laramie where they robbed him, beat him severely (media reports often contained the graphic account of the pistol whipping and his smashed skull), and tied him to a fence with a rope from McKinney's truck. Shepard begged for his life. Both girlfriends also testified that neither McKinney nor Henderson were under the influence of drugs at the time. The beating was so severe that the only areas on Shepard's face that were not covered in blood were those where his tears had washed the blood stains away.

(From ABC news and the Associated Press).

You're thinking here is just like David Duke.

 
On November 2, 2008 at 12:28 AM, Blogger Marshall Art said...

Relating the "facts" as I understood them is not defending them, but only relating the facts as I understood them. If my understanding of the facts is wrong, then my understanding of the facts is wrong. But that isn't defending the jerks in any way, since I find their actions reprehensible whether they knew Shepherd was homosexual or not. YOU, on the other hand, seem to have no trouble casting aspersions because of your own prejudices toward me. In addition, I would suppose that it is likely that these bozos would have found another victim if they hadn't thought of, or couldn't gain access to a homosexual. What if they plotted to rob a fat guy, or a geeky looking guy, or a short guy? Would that also be a hate crime in your eyes? It uses the exact same rationale for selecting a victim.

 
On November 3, 2008 at 9:01 PM, Blogger Erudite Redneck said...

Re, "What if they plotted to rob a fat guy, or a geeky looking guy, or a short guy? Would that also be a hate crime in your eyes?"

Well, yeah.

 
On November 4, 2008 at 1:44 AM, Blogger Marshall Art said...

OK, then ER. How about if they plotted to rob corporate looking guys, or guys in fancy clothes, or guys in expensive cars, or rich dudes? Would that be a hate crime?

 

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]