July 25, 2006

Onward Christian lawyers

The Bush administration is quietly remaking the Justice Department's Civil Rights Division, filling the permanent ranks with lawyers who have strong conservative credentials but little experience in civil rights, according to job application materials obtained by the Globe.

The documents show that only 42 percent of the lawyers hired since 2003, after the administration changed the rules to give political appointees more influence in the hiring process, have civil rights experience. In the two years before the change, 77 percent of those who were hired had civil rights backgrounds.

In an acknowledgment of the department's special need to be politically neutral, hiring for career jobs in the Civil Rights Division under all recent administrations, Democratic and Republican, had been handled by civil servants -- not political appointees.

But in the fall of 2002, then-attorney general John Ashcroft changed the procedures. The Civil Rights Division disbanded the hiring committees made up of veteran career lawyers.
...
At the same time, the kinds of cases the Civil Rights Division is bringing have undergone a shift. The division is bringing fewer voting rights and employment cases involving systematic discrimination against African-Americans, and more alleging reverse discrimination against whites and religious discrimination against Christians.
Because God knows that if any group is really struggling to get by, suffering horrible discrimination, and being held down, it's white Christians.

Sadly, this is only one of literally thousands of such under the radar actions which have been occurring for the past 6 years in a blatant attempt to subvert rules and propriety in order to worm more fundy, conservative people into every facet of government, the same government they routinely demonize and characterize as useless and unnecessary.

25 Comments:

At 7/25/2006 10:34 AM, Blogger IHG said...

Oh, the shame! We had beter have an investigation of this unmitigated attempt to subvert the civil rights of all in this country.

 
At 7/25/2006 12:41 PM, Blogger tiz said...

If we don't protect white Christians, the terrorist win. Don't you get it? :)

Wouldn't it be ironic if the ACLU sued the Justice Department's Civil Rights Division over their hiring practices? I can't imagine the pool of conservative christian lawyers is that ethnically diverse.

 
At 7/25/2006 11:34 PM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

IHG, interesting, though not surpirsing, that you think diverting resourcse from prosecuting actual civil rights violations to do with minorities to ridiculous efforts at misguided ideological goose chases is no big deal.

I'm sure minority voters would be glad to hear your indifference.

 
At 7/26/2006 9:47 AM, Blogger tiz said...

If he can't get enough of his fellow bible-thumpers and misogynists to vote him through a primary why would he care about minority voters?

As for the (admittedly facetious) suggestion of an investigation - good luck. Chimpy has been getting bold enough to stop those before they can start lately.

 
At 7/26/2006 12:55 PM, Blogger IHG said...

Dope, you get stranger and stranger with every key-stroke. Maybe less suits have been filed because there is not as many voting-rights problems taking place.

So someone decided that career civil rights people may not be the answer and you think that this is a Federal crime.

I would be thrilled to put my day-to-day actions specific to race/ racial reconcilliation in front of anyone. I'd love to compare it with yours...oh, but wait, I cannot because you are anonymous...again, convenient to throw stones when no one knows who you are.

 
At 7/27/2006 1:11 AM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

ihg,
I'll give you the benefit of the doubt and assume you're selectively simple-minded.

It must be nice to adopt a child-like simplicity when it comes to very large and complex issues, but then again, that seems to be all the rage on the right.

(and I know you don't like long comments, but hang in there. It'll take a couple minutes, tops.)

How can you dismiss this by assuming that it indicates that "Maybe less suits have been filed because there is not as many voting-rights problems taking place" ?

That must be it. (cough)

You can't simply "wish" away entrenched social problems, much as you and others on the right may want to, and as much as you try to do so by simply asserting they don't exist or are no longer major problems. ("Mission Accomplished" and "the insurgency is in its last throes", among hundreds)

Following that unique way of thinking, maybe the reason the Bush administration has industry lobbyists in charge of regulating their own industry's pollution levels is because mining and power companies don't pollute anymore?

Yeah, that's the ticket!

I suppose you believe that racial discrimination is pretty much a thing of the past? It's been eliminated to the point where it no longer requires any government action?

Why only focus on the small voting rights area of civil rights?

The fact is that in the real world, the civil-rights division of the Justice Dept. is involved in MUCH more than just voting rights cases.

But since you do focus on it, are you expecting us to believe that there's not as many voting rights violations now??

It's hard to not be aware of the rampant voter rights violations in the last two presidential elections, many clearly to do with race. (Kathrine Harris' infamous "felon purge" and many others in Ohio in '04 and many others) If anything, there's far MORE cases of voter discrimination and disenfranchisement, not fewer.

Which is, I suspect, precisely why the administration is cutting back and studiously ignoring them, while assigning ideologue lawyers to deal with mythical discrimination against white Christians, and perhaps why you're making a lame attempt to excuse and defend it.

As to your record with minorities, I'll be the first to say that I have no idea what it is. You could be a charter member of the NAACP for all I know. And I'd hasten to point out that this isn't a "mine's bigger" contest to do with who's more sensitive to racial issues. (though I have the sneaking suspicion that if we could carry it on, it wouldn't be long before you'd start naming people you know who are black.)

Perhaps you've worked long and hard to bring development to the west end of Rock Island, who knows?

But your opinion on this matter clearly demonstrates a lack of knowledge and concern about the role of the government in redressing instances of civil rights violations. If you felt that it's crucial that the government serve as a real deterant to racism, then you'd not be as flip about this issue as you are.

If the government shouldn't investigate and prosecute civil rights violations, who should? Or should we just ignore it and maybe it will go away?

Are you, praytell, suggesting that this is a better use of millions of tax dollars than investigating and prosecuting real cases of civil rights abuses and voting rights violations of actual minorities?

It seems that you are. And that, I must say, is a rather fanciful notion, to put it charitably.

I feel confident that no one who is involved with or concerned about the rights of minorities in this country shares your dismissive attitude about the fact that government lawyers are being replaced by right wing ideologues more concerned with defending majority white Christians than actual minorities, who, it appears you may not know, have a long and demonstrated history of having their civil rights violated.

It appears that you think this isn't too bad of a problem anymore, or at the least, that the government can afford to cut back on investigation and enforcement of civil rights violations against minorities in order to cater to the bizarre notion that white Christians are more worthy of civil rights protections.

If you think that particular group is oppressed, of which I consider myself a member, by the way, then... well, I wouldn't call anyone else strange.

That's ideological blindness and willful ignorance, and amounts to a policy towards real discrimination towards minorities of benign neglect.

I find it interesting to hear your always creative defenses of the indefensible. I trust we'll hear more in the future.

 
At 7/27/2006 7:57 PM, Blogger maybesomeday said...

How can there not be voting rights problems? Huh? What about Florida and Ohio for starters??

This is further proof of how much this administration has damaged our future and fractured our democracy for years to come.

 
At 7/28/2006 11:26 AM, Blogger IHG said...

What is this, every time a Democrat loses an election in a particular State, there has to be voting rights issues? Dang, talk about sore losers...

Specific to the issue at hand...does the fact that there are less cases brought specific to the voting rights of women mean that the Civil Rights Commission needs to hire more women attorneys? No, maybe it just means that there are less infractions.

Why is it so tough to accept that there may be less infractions against voters of color?

Dope, the problem with ultra-liberals like yourself is that you indeed think that it is the governments role to deal with predjudice and racism. It is not. One cannot legislate how people deal with one another.

It is people dealing with each other on a personal level, regardless of color, not government intervention that is going to change racial issues. It is primarily white groups like Christian Friendliness, Hoops 4 Hope (and many others) going into West Rock Island and investing time, effort, money and love in the black community - that will change divided communities.

People will do this, not government. If we as a nation cannot understand this, then we truly do have a bleak future. GOVERNMENT CANNOT SAVE US FROM OUR PREDJUDICES.

 
At 7/28/2006 2:51 PM, Blogger IHG said...

maybesomeday,

A little overly melodramatic wouldn't you think? "fractured our democracy for years to come" because the Civil Rights people that 'you' think are not appropriate were hired, come now.

The Right thought that Clinton damaged the democracy over the Lewinsky issue and they were equally as wrong.

The REPUBLIC will be fine through all of these issues, even if you do not get to approve every federal hiring.

 
At 7/28/2006 6:52 PM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

IHG,
So now we're supposed to accept that "faith based" organizations can take care of all the ills of society to do with racism and violations of civil rights, alleviate injustice and inequality, mitigate the hardships of economic inequality and help those who invariably are harmed by the whims of the free market?

Or what?

Put the poor and disadantaged in the position of accepting Christianity or starve?

Accept the gospel according to some group or not be able to start a business? Surely you jest.

This isn't a theocracy, yet, and I think the public will wake up and put an end to the clearly unconsitutional mingling of church and state in short order.

So your faith based group is going to step in, investigate cases of clear discrimination and violation of civil rights laws and take them to court?

Is this why we don't need justice department lawyers to do so. (while spending their time and our money to investigate instances where poor put upon white Christians are suffering injustices. That doesn't even pass the laugh test.)

Why, oh why, oh why do you always sidestep reality to argue some fantastical version of theocratic bliss?

And thanks for the side-splittingly hypocritical statement, "One cannot legislate how people deal with one another."

Is that why you're foresquare in favor of outlawing gay marriage, and denying them the rights enjoyed by heterosexuals?

You can't legislate how people deal with one another??

Do you realize how ignorant that statement truly is?

Are you protected in your business dealings by hundreds of volumes of business and contract law?

What's that? It's legislation regulating how people deal with each other, is it not?

If I sell you a property by temporarily covering up major structural defects or hiding the fact that it's built over an old coal mine and sinking 6 inches a month, are you saying that the government shouldn't do a thing about it?

What are you going to do then? Call a church group?

I don't think you're thinking rationally at all. (which is why there's a clear difference between the definitions of "faith" and "reason".)

I suspect you meant to say you think that the only remedy for poverty, discrimation, racism, systematic exclusion and fraud in order to prevent minorities (or anyone) from equal access to the ballot, and all the miriad of REAL genuine problems which exist should be, and can be, solved by leading them to Jesus, the government is useless.

Only one problem. You got the wrong country. If you want to live under a faith based government, try Iraq, Iran, or Afghanistan. You'd be happy as a clam.

In THIS country, we base our government on the CONSTITUTION, NOT someone's particular interpretation of the Bible or any other religious text.

We try to legislate based on reality and reason, not wishes and beliefs based on a particular version of a particular religious faith.

And I see that you're extremely selective in your choice of what Biblical admonisions you choose to honor.

All that "brothers keeper" and "the least of you" stuff is tossed out the window and safely ignored?

Because if we as a country believe in that as a principle, then our collective effort, as expressed by law and government policy and enforcement, had better play a role.

You state that you can't legislate how people deal with each other.

Yes you can. As a matter of fact, without just that, there IS no government or society. It's anarchy.

What is law, other than rules for how people deal with each other?

Snap out of it.

If people in poverty want to have the opportunity to rise above it, they should never be required to accept religious prostelitizing in order to receive an opportunity.

That is blatantly unconstitutional and has NEVER worked in the past, which is, not surprisingly, why the country moved away from the idea in the first place. (we don't have poor houses anymore either, though I feel confident that if we followed your positions, we soon would again, and could "homosexual readjustment camps" requireing homosexuals to be "cured" through faith be far behind? There's some interesting stories about when that's been tried which I won't go into.)

And if churches don't have the resources or ability to spur economic development in blighted areas, then... what? Tough luck?

If some locality starts imposing poll taxes or some other method to discourage or prevent minorities from casting a vote, under your scheme, would you have them call a church group?

Get serious here.

If you want a theocracy, please pick another country.

In the meantime, let's enjoy the religious freedom this country offers and stop trying to dictate what others must believe, and stop trying to insist that government be managed and run according to your particular religious beliefs.

Thanks a bunch from the majority of Americans.

 
At 7/31/2006 9:10 AM, Blogger IHG said...

Dope,

I made a simple statement that 'individuals, not government, have the responsibility, and the ability, to deal with racial issues' and you go into a tirade about Christianity...

Where on earth did that come from?

If one would speak about anyone or anything with the vile contempt that you speak about Christianity, they would be labeled,

*narrow-minded
*bigotted
*hate-filled

would they not?
You went off on Christians because I happened to mention a couple of groups that reach out to the black-community...apparently, SHAME ON THEM!

Please, I understand that you think that government, not people, need to deal with every social problem that exists, however, is it not acceptable if people at least reach out to one another - even if it is via faith?

 
At 7/31/2006 1:45 PM, Blogger IHG said...

Dope,

Again, I only said that "INDIVIDUALS, NOT GOVERNEMENT, ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR DEALING WITH THE RACIAL ISSUES" and you turn this into a debate on faith-based initiatives.

However, as the faith -based initiatives that I mentioned have done far more to help in the racial-reconcilliation of West Rock Island than any government program (with no federal dollars suplimenting them), I would suggest that your (continued) argument holds little worth listening to.

Keep trying, but, I just don't see how you can justify government failures at great expense to the taxpayer over faith-based efforts that cost no one but the people of faith carrying them out. Might be entertaining to watch you try though!

 
At 7/31/2006 1:46 PM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

IHG,
Yes, someone could try to put those labels on my comment, if they wanted to dodge the issue. I could be called those negative names by you and others... but with the important distinction that they'd all be utterly false labels and merely an attempt to sidestep the points my comments raise.

I'm not any of those things, nor were my comments. But since you have an unfortunate habit of trying to dismiss them by simply putting invented names on them, so be it.

When someone advocates eliminating government civil rights enforcement and replacing them with faith based organizations, yeah, I think that could justify some discussion of Christianity, since the right isn't too keen on the other brands of religion. (the clearly unconstitutional spending of millions of tax dollars on "faith based" organizations already done by this administration has gone exclusively to Christian groups)

And to suggest that I think it's shameful for church organizations to try to help the poor is just so shabby as to be laughable.

I certainly had a right to express my views re: those who feel that "faith based" efforts should replace government efforts and enforcement.

I guess that subject is taboo, lest those like yourself decide that it's "hate filled" to even discuss it? Or an I only "bigoted", "small-minded", and all the rest if I disagree with it?

Government may be wasteful at times, and ineffective at others, but I submit that so are private efforts, including "faith based."

I'd also point out that the money wasted or mis-spent on social programs is but a speck of dust compared to the corrupt squandering of literally billions and billions on inflated defense contracts and various other fraud and waste in the DOD alone.

I simply believe that the ends of social justice justify the means, even if it's not perfect.

And I'm convinced, as are many others, that it's certainly more effective, and more constitutional, than funneling government tax dollars to faith based (read Christian only) organizations to try to do the same thing.

If churches want to be involved in good works, then that's tremendous. If they have a positive effect on those who are struggling, then that's fantastic and should be encouraged and applauded.

But they shouldn't get a dime of tax dollars to do so, nor should they be pointed to as a substitute for government action and money being spent to help provide opportunity and emergency aid to the less fortunate.

That's it.

If you want to interpret that as some hateful attack on Christianity, have at it.

But it's clearly just a means of avoiding dealing directly with what I say by trying to label me as some hateful creep.

It seems clear that you have a great deal of difficulty dealing with anyone who disagrees with your views and provides reasons why.

Trying to throw around irresponsible labels is the refuge of those with can't offer a rational debate.

And I could go back through all the issues we've discussed and I could point out with evidence how you've consistently been unable to debate the issues but rather simply attempt to call names, take your ball and go home.

 
At 7/31/2006 2:05 PM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

IHG,
I'm not sure what makes you think so, but simply repeating a view does not make it right.

Individuals can do a lot to stem racism, but it doesn't follow that government has no role to play.

Are you suggesting that church groups or indiviuals should be the ones investigating and prosecuting instances of housing discrimination, job discrimination, and voter fraud based on race?

Get real here.

Government spending and programs which touch on race are only there to help encorage and create situations where individuals are ensured equal opportunity and that they are not denied rights or services based on the color of their skin.

Do you disagree with that?

So your entire premise, which you simply repeat without evidence or proof (which I guess puts it in the catagory of opinion) is that idividuals are the only solution here.

Again, that's simply a fuzzing of the issue. Of course individuals are the ultimate place where racism is defeated. But in the meantime, someone needs to ensure that it's not allowed to harm people.

And Church based groups just ain't gonna cut it, nor do they even want to get involved in that aspect of things.

The difference here is that you're condemning any government action whatsoever with the goal of punishing those who discriminate and ensureing justice for all.

That I find to be rather disheartening and un-Christian.

And you're suggesting that faith based outfits can step in and do just as good if not better.

I, on the other hand, am saying that church groups are great, even essential to the mix, and for the most part, offer useful and important services to the under-priveleged.

But they simply can't replace the government. And this entire discussion is based on the actions of the justice department.... law enforcement.

So just where do you get off saying that faith based groups can better handle that?

There's a logical disconnect in the very idea that government can be replaced. It's truly "faith based" in that it relies on wishes that it might be true.

I suggest that if you were allowed to have your way, it would have disasterous consequences, tear the constitution as we know it to shreds, and result in far more suffering for those whose plight we're discussing.

They would for the large part have no where to go if they were blatantly discriminated against, no recourse but to go talk to someone who might then tell them that if they only come to Jesus, things will be just fine.

Somehow that doesn't quite cut it as far as ensureing justice.

For starters, what if this individual who has been harmed simply doesn't care to "come to Jesus"? Does that even matter?

Do you grasp why it's not OK to substitute government programs for faith based programs on the premise that everyone is guaranteed freedom of religion by the constitution?

Unless "faith based" programs are strictly non-denominational and have absolutely no requirements that the person receiving help attend any sort of religious indoctrination programs and don't have to make any declaration of faith, it's patently unconstitutional and contrary to the very ideals this country was founded upon.

You can reply and again restate your premise, but seriously, that's not an argument or a support of your case, in case you don't realize that.

And since you once again, as always, simply declare that you won't listen, like a child plugging their ears and going "nananananananana!" to avoid hearing something they want to pretend isn't being said, it's a question if it's even worth trying to debate or discuss anything.

You simply can't talk to a person who refuses to listen.

 
At 7/31/2006 2:24 PM, Blogger IHG said...

Dope,

You stated -
"When someone advocates eliminating government civil rights enforcement and replacing them with faith based..."

WHAT? Are you kidding me?
How on earth am I, or anyone else, supposed to take you seriously if that is the game that you are trying to play?

Where did I even come close to saying this?

Let me go slowly for you...INDIVIDUALS, NOT THE GOVERNMENT HAVE THE RESPONSIBILITY AND THE ABILITY TO AFFECT REAL CHANGE IN RACIAL ISSUES" -

I do not say the 'sole' responsibility.

I do not say abolish the Civil Right Commissions.

Please, read the words for what they are. Please do not read everything with your slant on them. Thanks.

 
At 7/31/2006 3:10 PM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

You didn't dispute that premise any of the other times I mentioned it. Did you just notice it now?

I'm glad to hear you don't want to eliminate government programs and efforts on civil rights.

I think I could be forgiven for assuming that was what you were advocating, by such statements as,

"Dope, the problem with ultra-liberals like yourself is that you indeed think that it is the governments role to deal with predjudice and racism. It is not."

and

"People will do this, not government. If we as a nation cannot understand this, then we truly do have a bleak future."

Gee, wonder how I ever got the idea you didn't want government involved in issues of prejudice and racism??

How could I ever get that idea?
(cough)

As to putting my slant on things, though I'm sure it would be more pleasant for you if I put YOUR slant on things, just the same, I think I should stick to my own slant rather than someone else's whom I vigorously disagree with.

After all, what you dismiss as a "slant" is simply another person's sincere belief and opinion.

If you were familiar with my writings here at all, you'd realize that I'm not some party hack who mindlessly sticks to whatever it is that favors one side or the other.

If that were the case, I wouldn't have several Dems obsessed with trying to attack me.

But of course, it's much easier to spend most of your time trying to dismiss my views rather than either stating yours effectively or refuting mine using any sort of reason or logical support.

 
At 7/31/2006 3:25 PM, Blogger IHG said...

Dope, what part of the governments role in our lives escapes you?

The 'Great Society' was launched over 40-years ago and over $50-BILLION (of taxpayer dollars) has been spent and guess what - we still have poverty - and we have it in greater abundance than ever before.

We spend increasingly greater amount of taxpayer money on education - and we continue to see a slide in our education system - and it's results.

So you will have to excuse me if I do not accept the premise that government will be successful (or could ever be the lead player) in eliminating bigotry and racism by suing guilty parties. This is a 'heart' issue, not a legal issue.

We have a difference that I do not believe can be bridged - you think that government can solve our society's problems when I look at the last 40-years and see that government involvement in our lives (in an ever increasing manner) has only increased the problems. Bottom-line, I DO NOT BELIEVE THAT GOVERNMENT SOLVES PROBLEMS - GOVERNMENT CREATES OR INCREASES PROBLEMS...you, I am certain, do not agree with this assessment.

 
At 7/31/2006 3:37 PM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

To that I can only say that the increase in poverty is directly due to tax policies that overwelmingly favor the very wealthy, policies which are being exacerbated and made even worse by the Bush tax cuts, and changes to the inheritance taxes.

It's simply a fact now that such policies will lead to a class of ultra wealthy who have done little to deserve it other than pick the right parents.

There are many other policies favored and pushed almost exclusively by the Republicans which further serve to widen the already enormous gulf between rich and poor in this country.

I've never believed that government can "solve" any social problem, but I certainly believe it's necessary to try to mitigate their effects and to try to ensure justice is done where possible.

And I'd have to ask if you truly think that if you handed faith based organizations a few billion dollars and asked them to attend to the tasks that government services now address, if they wouldn't make things just as bad, if not worse, over a period of decades.

After all, we can all see the great results deep religious beliefs are having in Lebanon, Iraq, Israel, and the greater mid-east.

Religion isn't always the answer, and more often than not, it seems, leads to strife and conflict when it becomes mixed up in government.

Unless of course, you're against any government funding of church based groups. Is that the case?

 
At 7/31/2006 3:57 PM, Blogger IHG said...

"Tax policies that overwhelmingly favor the very wealthy" - Huh? Over 40% of the people in this country DO NOT PAY INCOME TAXES - so what on earth are you talking about?

Please, we have given far too much through our welfare system, so much in fact that President Clinton even believed that the system had to be overhauled. Are you suggesting that poverty exists because we have not given enough to the poor?

ARE YOU INSANE? Wjhat part of my last comment did you not understand?

We have given OVER $50-BILLION through the welfare system since 1964 - and POVERTY HAS GOTTEN WORSE. So, your answer is (1) tax those dirty rich bastards (who HAVE DONE NOTHING TO GET THEIR MONEY) and give more to the poor (let's see, if we gave $50-BILLION over 40-years and that only made the problem worse, how about we give $100-BILLION over 20-years).

"Taking" from those who are earning it - and "Giving" something to someone who does nothing for it DOES NOT WORK!

Never has.
Never will.

Dope, it is called HISTORY.

 
At 7/31/2006 6:03 PM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

I have no idea what selective version of history you rely on, but as far as I know, this country has done pretty damn good under the system we currently have. The most prosperous and thriving economy on earth.

Are you suggesting that since WWII this country has been a shambles economically?

Who's insane?

You can throw around selective data about ONE form of tax (income tax) while utterly ignoring the dozens of taxes that most affect the working poor and middle class, such as payroll taxes, sales tax, and a host of others, but it's a false argument based on a false premise.

When all government taxes and levies are factored in, the very richest in the country pay only a few percentage points more than those living in poverty.

Taxes on the richest few percent of our country, those making several million a year, have been declining at a steady rate for decades, while those paid by the poor and middle class have been rising.

I'd be happy to provide citations and proof of all of this.

You take your Limbaugh talking points and plant your flag. But be aware that it's stuck in sand.

And aren't you the pious guy that has complained about how we evil liberals and others always resort to name calling and can only indulge in personal attacks? I could have sworn that was you.

You seem to have a penchant for it yourself. Go back in this thread alone and count the dozens of derrogatory epithets you've thrown around to try to duck the issues.

But then again, hypocrisy no longer comes as any shock.

By the way, once again, do you support the blatantly unconstitutional taxpayer funding of religious groups?

 
At 8/01/2006 7:02 AM, Blogger IHG said...

Dope, I am sorry, it seems as though we are at a stalemate. I ask you specific questions - and you change the subject.

I now understand that indeed we will never agree on much of anything, as I am a Fiscal and Socal Conservative - and you are a hybrid-Socialist.

You want the government to:

Educate your kids,
Dictate the economy,
Take from the rich,
Give to the poor,
Solve poverty,
Solve racism,
Solve discrimination,
Solve healthcare,
Pay for everyone's retirement,
End crime,
Etc.

Although all worthy goals, I just happen to believe that our country is the greatest country on earth because of the FREE MARKET SYSTEM and COMPETITION, not becaue of government.

You seem to disagree with that assessment.

 
At 8/01/2006 4:40 PM, Blogger highxlr8r said...

Jim,

$50 billion over 40 years with supposedly nothing to show for it?

What about the over $300 billion spent in the past three years in Iraq, and the continued insurgency threat? Has that money made the situation better?

I think 50 billion to keep people from starving and freezing is a drop in the bucket in comparison.

 
At 8/01/2006 5:15 PM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

Well, I certainly never harbored any illusions that either of us would somehow convince the other to change their views. But only to state my case and some reasons why I believe that the radical changes you advocate aren't productive or necessary.

As to my not answering a specific question, the only question I see above is some rhetorical BS about what part of your comment didn't I understand.

Otherwise, what questions haven't I answered?

I find this another interesting false dodge as no more than a half inch above you accusing me of avoided your questions is this very specific question which you STILL haven't answered.

By the way, once again, do you support the blatantly unconstitutional taxpayer funding of religious groups?

And that's only one example. Shall I list more?

It's not responsible to publish a laundry list of what you think someone else believes, and this time it's no exception.

Of course many of the things you suppose I beleieve are misleading and reflect a certain ignorance of reality.

You guess that I want government to:

Educate your kids,

Yep. A good public education for everyone, and find a way to equalize funding to reduce disparity between schools.

Funding private religious schools is NOT the way to improve public schools.

Dictate the economy,

Nope. Just regulate the economy for fairness and overall prosperity, just like government always has, preventing some from gaming the system or cheating (SEC) or gaining monopoly power, etc.

Clinton's Rubin managed the economy and it turned out extremely well across the board, despite Republicans saying their measures would wreck the economy. They, as usual, were dead wrong.

Take from the rich,

Nope. Just NOT allow the very rich to pay little or no taxes, and hide their income through loopholes, and hide money outside the country.

The rules as they stand were written for the political donor class who are extremely wealthy, with thousands of perks which allow them to both under-report income and avoid paying taxes.

And yes, I expect those who have prospered to the point where there's no way they could spend all their fortune in 20 lifetimes to give back to the country who's government programs, regulations, and political system have allowed them to prosper.

The fact is that many very wealthy people think Bush's tax breaks are crazy, counter productive, and damaging to the country.

Bill Gates Sr. and Warren Buffet have both been outspoken in the idiocy of eliminating the inheritance tax, for example. And I think it's fair to say that they both stand to leave a fairly large estate.

The top rate for the very wealthiest citizens has already been nearly cut in half. But I think it's perfectly reasonable to expect them to pay a higher percentage than those in the middle or bottom of the income pile.

Why should someone who makes 175 million a year be able to report 50 million, hide the rest, and through tax schemes and loopholes, end up paying maybe 2?

While the couple making $100,000 gets stuck paying about three times the taxes by percent of income when you factor in all the various taxes, most particularly the alternative minimum tax which blatantly shifts the tax burden off the rich and onto the middle and upper middle class (including yourself)

In short, I don't believe a flat tax is either possible nor desireable, as it would never work the way it was intended. If we must radically change the tax system, perhaps we should jack up the sales tax many times what it is and eliminate income tax.

Give to the poor,

Yep. What's more Christian than that? It's a moral imperitive, and a legitimate and worthwhile use of the collective wealth of the country.

Or should we continue as we are and end up spending more for military purposes designed to kill people than everything else combined? Which one yeilds a more productive and peaceful benefit? One kills and inflames conflicts for generations to come, one uplifts individuals and relieves the suffering due to poverty and economic disparity.

What would Jesus do? Bomb the living hell out of more countries? Or feed the poor?


Solve poverty,

There you go again.

I simply can't get over the dim view you and other righties have of humanity and government.

(Which of course, you spend an enormous amount of time and enegy attempting to be a part of, yet another mind-boggling contrdiction. What is it? Join the government to kill it?)

It seems most of your goals seem to be premised on, "We (and WE ARE the government, lest you forget) shouldn't even try anymore"

What a hopeless message that is, and it runs through nearly all your thought.

I've specifically stated that government can't "solve" poverty any more than we can "win" a war on a tactic (terrorism). They're both conditions, not objective things which can be "solved" or "won".

Government should devote more resources to alleviating grinding and dangerous levels of poverty, especially helping to prevent innocent children from having to suffer the life long effects of poor nutrition, crime, unhealthy conditions, etc.

Health care can and should be provided to all children and guaranteed to all.

This would cost about what Bush's tax cuts will cost the country if it's made permanent.

Solve racism,

Again, as impossible as "winning the war on terror" a silly pipe dream not bsed on reality.

Government can't "solve" racism, but should be a force for justice and to punish those who are proven to have discriminated based on race or religion in housing, etc.

I'm not aware of any government programs designed specifically to "solve" racism, are you? So what the hell are you saying?

Government should, on the other hand, be the enforcement arm to prosecute violations of civil rights. Do you disagree?

You on the right are fond of saying that racism isnt't that bad of a problem anymore. If that were the case, one thing is certain. It's more due to government laws, policies, and prosecution of civil rights violations than to people's "hearts" or religious efforts. Period.

Black churches and other religious organizations played a pivotal role decades ago in bringing about the governement laws and policies, but I don't see fundementalist churches making racism a huge priortiy. I've never heard Jerry Falwell even mention it, for instance.

Solve discrimination,

Same thing.

Solve healthcare,

No, wrong again. I guess the churchs can do that, right?

I think government is a natural way to provide consistent health care and intervene to break up the current economic system which has broken health care and made it unavailable or simply unaffordable for millions.

There is no reason that any child or adult for that matter, should have to suffer for lack of quality health care. The insurance industry, among others, is an impediment to this, and will never willingly change to "solve" the problem.

Therefore government is needed to smooth out the costs across the many and thus bring down costs to a rational level. This isn't socialism, it's simply common sense.

Despite propaganda to the contrary, nationalized health systems have worked effectively in other countries and could surely work here.

It will not be long before the public literally demands it, at any rate.

Pay for everyone's retirement,

You have a vivid imagination.

I do believe that there should be government involvement in ensureing that pensions promised are paid. There is a very pernicious trend of corporations simply defaulting on their pension systems, and some measures should be in place to ensure that the funding is in place and protected within corporations.

Companies who make a contract with their workers should be made to honor them, not leave workers who have devoted their lives to the company sitting there in their elderly years without a dime.

End crime,

You mean get rid of the Bush administration? Yes. That would help.

Etc.

Yes, I'm solidly in favor of etc.


You simply can't function without being able to catagorize an individual and tell THEM what they think, then say you disagree.

And for the third time, do you favor the blatantly unconstitutional tax payer funding of religious organizations?

 
At 8/02/2006 8:20 AM, Blogger IHG said...

Dope, I am very sorry if I have missed your question before, but it is so difficult to read through any of your lengthy posts as (1) they are so mind-numbingly ultra-liberal (hybrid-socialist) and thus (2) quite boring. So, if I missed your question, I will ask for your forgiveness.

Most certainly i believe that funding anything that feeds the hungry and clothes the poor is proper. To clarify, I do believe that this does not necessarily have to be the governments role, but as long as it is, why should it make a difference whether this is being accomplished via secular or Christian organizations?

Let's face it, any reimbursements that religious organizations receive for doing this is only a drop in the bucket of what they actually do in these areas.

Why on earth would you oppose such an effort (as I suspect and hope that you are in favor of feeding the hungry and clothing the poor), other than the fact that you are a HATE-MONGERING, BIGOTTED, anti-CHRISTIAN. I thought that these attributes went against everything that you stand for?

Hate someone of color, of course that is wrong. Hate a Jewish person and your are an anti-Semite. Say anything against anyone and you are 'intollerant' - unless it is against a Christian (as you have so graciously modeled for us).

Dope, you have shown your true colors. God bless...

 
At 8/04/2006 5:00 AM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

Mowen,

I'm sorry your reading habits are arrested at the "Dick and Jane" level, and that apparently you're incapable of reading anything but what you want to hear, but try to focus.

Thanks for the blessing, but you're no more a Christian than the man in the moon, in my opinion.

I think your rant stands for all as proof of what a narrow-minded, intellectually weak, theocractic radical you are.

Your defenses of your positions always amount to "why not?". For a person who held themselves out as a worthy representitive for ALL the people of the 17th district, you sure the hell don't have much depth to back up your views.

You dance around before saying that yes, you think our tax dollars should go to religious organizations, which is clearly unconstitutional, not to mention an extreme and radical notion, and amazingly you can't find anything objectionable about it.

That shows your intellectual shallowness. You can't see why it's not proper to mix religious prostelitizing with helping the poor and using tax dollars from everyone to do so?

Seriously, you don't see the problem there? Or are you just willfully ignorant?

If you or anyone else wants to support church efforts, then YOU pay for it. (Myself and my family has given thousands to church based social service groups) It's worked just fine that way so far, why mess it up?

Generations of Americans have had no problem understanding why church and state should not be mixed. It both damages government as well as religion. Why can't you grasp this self-evident premise?

And would you be just fine if millions in tax dollars went to Muslim groups? Wikkan groups? Hindu groups? Islamic organizations?

No? Well if that's the case, then why the hell should those of other faiths support exclusively Christian church groups? Try explaining that one.

You won't answer, of course, you'll just get frustrated at your inability to rationally defend it, throw out a bunch more absolutely stupid labels, get ugly, and think you've accomplished something.

No American should be required to pay for any sort of religious efforts, period. It would open a can of worms that every generation of Americans has understood should be avoided, until the fundy brigade decided they should run the country for all of us.

The fact that you can't grasp that simple concept is proof positive of what we already knew, which is how amazingly lucky we all were that you failed miserably in your campaign.

But then again, perhaps it would have been better if you had won the primary. Then you're beliefs would be more exposed to scrutiny by a wider audience. And after losing the general, your political aspirations might go away.

After all, running to push a narrow and rather radical agenda not supported by the majority of your constituents usually isn't a good idea.

You can insist on using ridiculous, inflamatory, labels in EVERY single one of your replies, but it shows you to be both intolerant and ignorant. (not to mention collossally hypocritical in your denounciation of "name calling", while doing little else yourself.)

I DARE you to explain just how I'm in any way either bigotted, "hate-filled" (perhaps the stupidest and most lazy one of all), "ultra-leftist", or any of the other oh-so-Christian names you've tried to hang on me.

Tell us all why you think I'm any of those things and give examples.

But most of all, I challenge you to explain to us all just how I'm "anti-Christian".

I think when you throw around reckless and inflamatory labels in lieu of actual rational thought, you at least owe myself and others some evidence of how they're justified.

If you can cite one instance or any evidence whatsoever that I'm "anti-Christian", or any of the rest of your juvenile labels, you win.

If you can't. You're nothing but a blow-hard fraud.

You can't defend yourself. You're weak. Your childish response to those who disagrees is to say you somehow can't understand English, blindly accuse them of being HATE-FILLED, or ANTI-CHRISTIAN, or other nutty notions, declare victory and run.

What a sloppy, dishonest, lazy and vacuous excuse for debate.

Throw all that crap around over and over as you do, but anyone with a brain can see how you operate.

You're shallow, stuck out in far right field, frustrated, and defensive, because you can't muster an arguement or defense of your views worth a damn. If someone doesn't accept your views based on your simply asserting that they're correct, you have no idea what to do next.

I understand your frustration, and I'm glad folks can see your inner ugliness in black and white.

Remember, love Jesus or go to hell. And of course, never forget that anyone expecting you to defend your theocrtaic notions must be some crazy radical worthy of vitriol and scorn, thus avoiding having to defend yourself at all.

After all, anyone who disagrees must be a God-less heathen anyway.

What a dangerous way to think.

 

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