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Thursday, September 25, 2008

Is the IRS an immoral agency?

I have been having an interesting debate over on my friend Christopher's blog http://networdblog.blogspot.com/ But since I do not want to hijack his blog I had hoped to move the debate over here.

The debate has taken several turns and I expect it to continue but right now we are discussing the idea of taxes and the IRS. The crux of the debate appears to me to be the idea that what the IRS does, since if you do not pay tax's you get arrested. Me opponent feels that the threat of arrest means that you are being forced to pay these and therefor it is an immoral and criminal action on their part.

My basic position and one I am trying to flesh out is the feeling that since I receive services in return for the money I pay in tax's it is not theft. If I did not receive services in return for the tax's I pay then yes I would feel that it was theft. I suppose if their was a way to not pay tax's and in some way opt out of receiving these services then I might be inclined to consider the possibility. But for me part of living in a society is paying for and receiving these services, that is part of being in a society.

I would love for any and all of you to come and join in the debate, and once we solve this issue :) perhaps we will move to an easy one like why we should continue to fund the United Nations.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

It is all about Perspective

I found this interesting. I am not saying it is all true it is just thought provoking. Comments?

The Spin

Black teen pregnancies? A 'crisis' in black America.
White teen pregnancies? A 'blessed event.'

If you grow up in Hawaii you're 'exotic.'
Grow up in Alaska eating mooseburgers, you're the quintessential 'American story.'

Similarly, if you name your kid Barack you're 'unpatriotic.'
Name your kids Trig and Track, you're 'colorful.'

If you're a Democrat and you make a VP pick without fully vetting the individual you're 'reckless.'
A Republican who doesn't fully vet is a 'maverick.'

If you spend 3 years as a community organizer growing your organization from a staff of 1 to 13 and your budget from $70,000 to $400,000, then become the first black President of the Harvard Law Review,create a voter regstration drive that registers 150,000 new African Amerian voters, spend 12 years as a Constitutional Law professor,then spend nearly 8 more years as a State Senator representing a district with over 750,000 people, becoming chairman of the state Senate's Health and Human Services committee, then spend nearly 4 years in the United States Senate representing a state of nearly 13 million people, sponsoring 131 bills and serving on the Foreign Affairs, Environment and Public Works and Veteran's Affairs committees, you are woefully inexperienced.
If you spend 4 years on the city council and 6 years as the mayor of a town with less than 7,000 people, then spend 20 months as the governor of a state with 650,000 people, you've got the most executive experience of anyone on either ticket, are the Commander in Chief of the Alaska military and are well qualified to lead the nation should you be called upon to do so because your state is the closest state to Russia.

If you are a Demoratic male candidate who is popular with millions of people you are an 'arrogant celebrity'.
If you are a popular Republican female candidate you are 'energizing the base'.

If you are a younger male candidate who thinks for himself and makes his own decisions you are 'presumptuous'.
If you are an older male candidate who makes last minute decisions you refuse to explain, you are a 'shoot from the hip' maverick.

If you are a candidate with a Harvard law degree you are 'an elitist 'out of touch' with the real America.
If you are a legacy (dad and granddad were admirals) graduate of Annapolis, with multiple disciplinary infractions you are a hero.

If you manage a multi-million dollar nationwide campaign, you are an 'empty suit'.
If you are a part time mayor of a town of 7000 people, you are an 'experienced executive'.

If you go to a south side Chicago church, your beliefs are 'extremist'.
If you believe in creationism and don't believe gobal warming is man made, you are 'strongly principled'.

If you cheated on your first wife with a rich heiress, and left your disfigured wife and married the heiress the next month, you're a Christian.
If you have been married to the same woman for 19 years with whom you are raising two beautiful daughters you're 'risky'.

If you're a black single mother of 4 who waits for 22 hours after her water breaks to seek medical attention, you're an irresponsible parent, endangering the life of your unborn child.
But if you're a white married mother who waits 22 hours, you're spunky.

If you're a 13-year-old Chelsea Clinton, the right-wing press calls you 'First dog.'
If you're a 17-year old pregnant unwed daughter of a Republican, the right-wing press calls you 'beautiful' and 'courageous.'

If you kill an endangered species, you're an excellent hunter.
If you have an abortion you're not a christian, you're a murderer ( forget about if it happened while being date raped)

If you teach abstinence only in sex education, you get teen parents.
If you teach responsible age appropriate sex education, including the proper use of birth control, you are eroding the fiber of society.is interesting. I am not saying that it is all true just that I found it interesting.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Is $700 Billion worth it?

The last time I checked, America was not a Socialist nation. But, if we are not Socialist, then why is the federal government moving forward with a plan to bail out the financial market. Such a move amounts to nothing more then corporate socialism.

I am not here to blame President Bush for this nor am I here to make excuses for the presentt administration. I think that this problem is coming from years and years of bad financial policy and criminal behavior by the banks and corporations that are now in trouble. So the problem does not lie just with him. It lies with the American government as a whole and people who insist on taking loans out to buy things that they can't afford and do not need.

The action that is being planned by the government goes completley against what America was founded on and will do nothing but reinforce continued bad behavior by the parties involved. I do not have a solution except for to live within my means and try to work my way out of the school debt and life debt that I am in right now.

I just hope that this does not spell the start of another actual depression for us all.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

How Do You Tell When A Politician Is Lying?

Simple answer: There lips are moving. It is sad to me that it really does not seem to matter to politician's if what they are repeating or even what they are talking about is the truth or not. They conveniently forget what they have said in previous speeches or interviews and depending upon who they think their audience is they will say something completely the opposite of what they have said before. Then when they are caught in the lie. They just put the deny machine in motion, knowing that the American people will soon forget or get caught up in the latest reality tv craze.

It does not seem to matter either which party the candidate is from either. The goal appears to get elected and the cost to ones soul is not an issue. The link in the title is an article about McCain and all the hoopla surrounding Obama's "Pig in lipstick" comment about Sarah Palin. The phrase is one that gets used alot and is not a sexist remark. But as per usual the opposing side will run with it trying to get all the traction they can to get themselves a few extra soundbites on the tv.

Everything is so corrupted right now it makes the bile rise and makes me want to wash my hands of the whole process.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

The List: McCain’s 10 Worst Ideas

This is part II of the Foreign Policy magazines article on McCain and Obamma's 10 worst ideas.

"Creating a League of Democracies

What he said:“We have to strengthen our global alliances as the core of a new global compact—a League of Democracies—that can harness the vast influence of the more than one hundred democratic nations around the world to advance our values and defend our shared interests.” Speech at the Los Angeles World Affairs Council, March 26, 2008

Why it’s a bad idea: As Thomas Carothers argues in the July/August issue of FP, “[T]he idea that democracies naturally align is only half right and risks being a dangerous oversimplification.” Carothers and other critics have noted that such a league might further weaken the United Nations. For the most part, world leaders have been cool to the idea, and rightfully so. A previous iteration, the little-known Community of Democracies, founded in 2000, has stumbled into irrelevance."

For me this just highlights how out of touch McCain appears to be when it comes to foreign affairs. And really how out of touch most Americans are when it comes to things like the United Nations and what it is that they do. It isn't that the United Nations is without flaws because we all know that, that just isn't the case. The United Nations is rife with scandal and abuses but if we as the USA one of the founding member of the group do not stay involved and work to fix these problems then the United Nations will become far more of a problem for us then they are now. I do not think the answer should ever be throw your hands up in the air and walk away.

So that is it for me, please read article or parts of it and let me know your thoughts.

The List: Obama’s 10 Worst Ideas

I read pretty regularly a magazine called "FP: Foreign Policy". I find it very interesting and since I am a political science major and am involved in Model United Nations at school it often has information that I find useful for papers and other things. Along those line they just published a list of Obama's 10 worst ideas and McCain's 10 worst and I hoping to highlight both lists in no particular order and am hoping that some of my readers will share their thoughts on it as well.

"Renegotiating the North American Free Trade Agreement

What he said: “I will make sure that we renegotiate. … I think we should use the hammer of a potential opt-out as leverage to ensure that we actually get labor and environmental standards that are enforced.” Democratic primary debate in Cleveland, Feb. 26, 2008

Why it’s a bad idea: Trade agreements take years to negotiate, and Mexico and Canada would almost certainly seek new concessions of their own in a new round. Obama is right to argue that more economic development in Mexico will lower illegal immigration; he’s wrong to think that bashing NAFTA is the right way to address the Rust Belt’s economic woes. Happily, since the Ohio primary, Obama has backed off his harshest criticisms of the agreement."

I agree with this assessment to a certain point but I feel that NAFTA has not benefited America as much as it has benefitied Mexico and Canada. I am also in favor of the idea that to help control and limit illegal immigration the goal needs to be to help Mexico build its infrastructure and use its boundless mineral resources rather then just continue to have a government that is completly corrupt and unwilling to help themselvs.

Please follow the link and read the rest of the 10 and let me know what you think.

On to Part II and McCain's 10 worst.