September 23, 2009
How Do I Violate Thee?

Federal government mandates for health insurance violate the Constitution in several ways.

The most obvious is the Tenth Amendment: Congress has no authority, implied or expressed, to force everyone to get health insurance. Therefore it cannot do it. And no, please don't say "general welfare," as this was never intended to be a grant of power, but a description of the powers to follow in Article I, Section 8. And no, please don't say "regulating interstate commerce," because regulating commerce is not similar to forcing everyone to engage in a particular commercial act.

There's also the Fourth Amendment. I have the right to be secure in my papers: the government has no right to know if I even have health insurance.

Then there's the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments: I cannot have my liberty taken away from without due process. This is admittedly the shakiest of my claims for historical reasons, due to the unfortunate slippery slope of history, but it seems to me that I should have to be proven to have done something wrong in order to have my liberty taken from me.

Perhaps the strongest claim, however, is that the First Amendment guarantees the freedom of association. The Supreme Court has held that this necessarily also implies the freedom to not associate. If I dislike all insurance companies and choose to not associate with them, that is my constitutional right. Similarly, I may decide that having insurance (entirely, or when I have more important uses for the money, such as donating it to an anti-sex slavery charity) is against my religious beliefs.

Cross-posted on <pudge/*>.

Posted by pudge at September 23, 2009 04:37 AM | Email This
Comments
1. Hey pudge, for what it's worth I believe the present participle of 'mandate' is spelled mandating (w/out the 'e'). :) ...have a good day.

Posted by: Duffman on September 23, 2009 05:45 AM
2. Constitution? Obama cares not about it. He is ordering insurance companies to stop sending mail to seniors informing them about upcoming cuts in Medicare benefits. His Diversity Czar said this:

"This... there's nothing more difficult than this. Because we have really, truly good white people in important positions. And the fact of the matter is that there are a limited number of those positions. And unless we are conscious of the need to have more people of color, gays, other people in those positions we will not change the problem. We're in a position where you have to say who is going to step down so someone else can have power. "

Ah... so they are going to determine which white people have to quit/be fired so that gays and people of color can take their jobs.

Constitution? If you look at the actions of Obama with the knowledge that he doesn't give a damn about the Constitution, then everything else he does makes sense.

Posted by: Gary on September 23, 2009 06:34 AM
3. Question for you then Pudge, when are you going to sue to have Medicare eliminated, for it surely meets your same arguments?

Posted by: tc on September 23, 2009 07:15 AM
4. pudge, I think this WSJ Piece By DAVID B. RIVKIN JR. and LEE A. CASEY supports your case. Seems like this could be one heck of a litigation-generator.

Posted by: Duffman on September 23, 2009 07:25 AM
5. Are people required to have Medicare when they reach a certain age?

Posted by: Vince on September 23, 2009 07:33 AM
6. In fact, Pudge, thinking about it even more, the Republican are just plain chicken. It they really don't believe in government run health care, then introduce legislation to get rid of Medicare. They can pay back all the participants what they put in, which will probably be less than what we will outlay in the coming years. One less entitlement and they can stick to their principles. If they don't want government run health care, then they and their supporters should be stepping up to the plate. Let's have a real discussion on this instead of fake platitudes.

Posted by: tc on September 23, 2009 07:34 AM
7. tc, seems to me it all depends on what the definition of 'mandate' is. Do you really HAVE TO sign up for Medicare if you don't want to? :)

Posted by: Duffman on September 23, 2009 07:37 AM
8. tc, do you think the federal government has the authority to make you buy stuff?

I do not.

Posted by: Gary on September 23, 2009 07:39 AM
9. Along these same lines, who here thinks the federal government has the authority to order an insurance company to not warn its customers about... about anything... and to delete such material from its web sites?

Anybody?

Posted by: Gary on September 23, 2009 07:49 AM
10. Gary,
If you work, you have to pay into Medicare. Even Federal Employees, who where covered under CSRS (previous retirement system) paid into Medicare.

I guess you do have the right to not work. You also have the right to not use medical services. I am not sure how someone over 65, who has never paid into Medicare, is handled. Maybe someone else knows. Does Medicare cover them, even if they haven't paid in?

Posted by: tc on September 23, 2009 08:05 AM
11. Good luck with this argumetn in court, when we have mandatory social security...osha...minimum wage...banking legislation and regulation...securities regulation....consumer transactions regulation...antidiscrimination laws....union laws ..... you're bringing up the old due process arguments of the pre New Deal era which have been rejected time and time again.
IF your constitutional reading of the tenth amendment WERE correct, and to be accepted by the courts, it would mean all these other laws would be unconstitutional, too. And recasting it as "freedom to associate" and religion doesn't help, as anyone anytime could say "I don't want to associate with everyone else who is social security" or "social security is against my religion" just like they could say "homicide is part of my religion, how can the state prohibit me from committing homicide?" or "oh wow I just thought of this! Freedom is my religion, so now I don't have to obey OSHA rules! They make particaulr commercial transactions illegal, like telling workers to go into vats of sulphuric acid! That takes away my freedom and I prefer to associate with people who similarly believe in freedom!"

Or how about his one "I want to be free to participate in a Ponzi scheme how can the government make them illegal? They're protected under the Tenth Amendment!"

But hey if you want to associate the conservative movement with 19th century America and the rampages of unfettered capitalism, as in "The Jungle" and workers standing in acidic pickle water, and claim this is in the constitution, good luck with that.

Posted by: Torture Lawyer on September 23, 2009 08:08 AM
12. Gary @9
The issue, which isn't being addressed by the Republicans raising the stink regarding Humera (sp?), is in regards to what a company receiving federal funds can do in relation to the program it is receiving funds for. The communication was to Medicare Part D (Medicare Advantage?) patients, which the company receives federal money for. The federal guidelines specify what the funds can and can not be used for. The issue in question is whether the communication was simply relaying information about the program, or if it was used for political purposes. The federal government can dictate how its funds are used.

Posted by: tc on September 23, 2009 08:10 AM
13. To answer TC's question on the issue of those who did not pay into Medicare, they do not get the benefit, nor can they even enroll into it. My parents immigrated to the US after they reached the retirement age, and they do not get Medicare.

Posted by: DoppioLover on September 23, 2009 08:14 AM
14. tc, that's part of my point. When HHS owns you, it tells you everything you can and cannot do/say. The CBO agress that Medicare benefits will be reduced.
HHS controls your profits. It controls your speech. It controls what medical care you can and cannot get. So what... if a person receives federal money at all, the federal can take away their 1st Amendment rights if they say anything the federal government doesn't like?

Why the hell do people want to just give their power away? It just sickens me.

Next up, when newspapers are bailed out, the President will tell them what they can or cannot print.

Posted by: Gary on September 23, 2009 08:18 AM
15. In other words, tc... we on the Right have complained that when you give the feds more power, you lose freedoms. I point out a case of the feds ordering an insurance company to stop saying stuff, and you excuse it as the feds having the power, since they provide some money.

That's exactly our point. Don't you get it?

This is what happens when you give them more power. You lose freedom.

Posted by: Gary on September 23, 2009 09:14 AM
16. The air force is not in the consitution. neither is the fhwa! how a la carte!

Posted by: acid brain on September 23, 2009 09:40 AM
17. DoppioLover@13
Thanks for the response. How do they pay for medical services, since insurance companies don't offer plans to over 65 patients (only Medicare supplemental plans)?

Posted by: tc on September 23, 2009 09:48 AM
18. Gary @14 & 15
I assume your are referring to my post @12. It also works for you also (e.g., ACORN can't use their federal funds for political purposes either and if they have then should also be reprimanded/punished). So are you saying ACORN should be allowed to use Federal funds for their political speech?

Posted by: tc on September 23, 2009 09:51 AM
19. Even if ACORN didn't receive federal funds, it's a tax exempt organization and is prohibited from engaging in partisan political activity.

The insurance company is not tax exempt.

Conversely, the President struck a deal with Phramas to pay for his political advertising in exchange to limiting their obligation to this effort to $80 billion.

Posted by: Gary on September 23, 2009 10:26 AM
20. Gary,
I am not sure tax-exemption directly relates. I think it depends on type of tax exemption received (like religious institutions). There are plenty of hospitals and insurance companies in the healthcare field that are non-profit, but they fall under a different tax exemption status (I belive). You are correct that the company in question was a for profit company (I believe). I don't know what ACORN's tax status is. I would assume, like you did, that they are tax exempt, but I don't know that (for sure). Any event, the issue relates to receipt of federal funds and what they can be used for, not tax exemption status.

I would agree that Obama has not been transparent on his Big Pharma discussions.

Posted by: tc on September 23, 2009 10:47 AM
21. #17 - They are now on Medicaid because they've pretty much exhausted their retirement savings. They are both in their 80s and have been in retirement nearly 20 years. As for the living costs, even though they are eligible, they do not accept food stamps or any welfare money (for family principles), and their children (me, my brother and my sister) provide monthly stipends for them to live on. They do get reduced property taxes for their small condo and utilities.

Posted by: DoppioLover on September 23, 2009 10:49 AM
22. tc, with the Pharma deal, the federal government told it that it would not make it bleed so badly if it cooperated with its political goals. It's a racket.

This kind of power is what the federal government should not have. That is corruption. That has got to violate some campaign finance laws.

ACORN being tax exempt is not the same as it being in receipt of federal funds. Of course, it violates its exemption anyway.

By the way, how much you wanna bet the Pharma gets stabbed in the back?

Where do you draw the line on what the feds can take over?

Posted by: Gary on September 23, 2009 10:56 AM
23. Glad to see some republicans looking to the constitution again. Too bad they ignore once elected.

Posted by: Lysander on September 23, 2009 11:13 AM
24. Glad to see some republicans looking to the constitution again. Too bad they ignore once elected.

Posted by: Lysander on September 23, 2009 11:15 AM
25. Glad to see some republicans looking to the constitution again. Too bad they ignore once elected.

Posted by: Lysander on September 23, 2009 11:15 AM
26. Pudge, I doubt that failure to comply with the mandate will be a felony. If the mandate is enforced by a tax on the uninsured, that would probably be constitutional. I don't expect you to agree, since you have your own way of interpreting the constitution. But if you look at how the Supreme Court is likely to rule based on past decisions, I think it will pass muster.

On the other hand, the complexity of enforcing a mandate is yet another good argument in favor of a single payer plan.

Posted by: Bruce on September 23, 2009 11:55 AM
27. Gary@22 blusters, "This kind of power is what the federal government should not have. That is corruption. That has got to violate some campaign finance laws."

Since it has nothing to do with campaign finance, it's unlikely to violate any campaign finance laws.

Seriously, what "kind of power" are you alluding to? Any company or industry is welcome to refuse to cooperate with the administration, and any consequences will have to be legislated by Congress (or consistent with past legislation) and, of course, constitutional.

Posted by: Bruce on September 23, 2009 12:05 PM
28. #27 "Any company or industry is welcome to refuse to cooperate with the administration, and any consequences will have to be legislated by Congress"

Speechless.

Posted by: Gary on September 23, 2009 12:07 PM
29. Braking news: "IRS severs ties with ACORN over scandal"

Posted by: Gary on September 23, 2009 12:12 PM
30. If you work, you have to pay into Medicare. Even Federal Employees, who where covered under CSRS (previous retirement system) paid into Medicare.~ tc

Yeah, and look what government did with it. It made it bankrupt by STEALING from the SSI and diverting it to other areas- see General fund- rather than keeping it an independent "trust" fund. SSI is the largest ponzi scheme ever pulled off and it was done by every president since LBJ who instituted the modern day medicare program under the Social security act of 1965.
Republican or Democrat, every single president since LBJ has pilfered the fund to the point that now, it's a matter of years until its bankrupt.

We have witnessed how well government is capable of taking care of YOUR well being for the past 45 years with the medicare debacle. They can't.Let this be a harbinger of things to come when this same inept, bungling bureacracy wants to take an integral role in providing you quality health care. They didn't give a damn about your health then and they certainly don't now. If they did, they wouldn't have used the SSI program as a freakin' slush fund all of these years.

Posted by: Rick D. on September 23, 2009 12:59 PM
31. Yeah Rick, and Social Security will start running deficits next year. Next year.

No wonder the feds want all the old people to go away.

Posted by: Gary on September 23, 2009 01:13 PM
32. So, Rick @30 and Gary @31, I take it you are all for writing your congressman and tell them to get rid of Medicare. While at it, write the Republican Senators on the Finance Committee, and let them know the same. I am sure the Republicans will back this, since they don't want Government run health care. Let them take that to the town halls and sell it.

Posted by: tc on September 23, 2009 01:28 PM
33. tc, I think you misunderstand. Besides the fact that Medicare might collapse under its own weight, as might Social Security, we do not want yet another huge entitlement that will also be unsustainable.

tc, why must this problem only be solved by the central government?

Do you see no other way that the people can manage this?

Posted by: Gary on September 23, 2009 01:33 PM
34. Oh, and I forgot all about the President telling recipients of NEA grants to create pro-Obama political propaganda art.

Absolute abuse of power.

And this doesn't trouble people on the Left? It should trouble everybody.

Posted by: Gary on September 23, 2009 01:44 PM
35. Gary,
I understand perfectly, either you agree with Pudge's post that government mandated healthcare is unconstitutional or not. If it is then, what are you doing to do away with Medicare.

As far as mandate, here is IRS guidelines regarding even the fact that foreign nationals are not exempt from paying Medicare taxes on wages earned while working in the US. The fact is if you work in the US, Medicare Taxes are mandated. Ergo, Medicare is mandated and per Pudge's post should be unconstitutional. I am not given the choice regarding the Medicare tax, other than not working (which isn't an option, since I am not independently rich). To me Medicare Tax is mandatory. Medicare is a government run health program. Where are all those Republicans and town-hallers screaming against government run health care? It is pure hypocrisy on the politicians to state one thing, but in practice run for cover the other way. Other than possibly a Ron Paul, who else on the Republican side has stated to do away with Medicare?

Look, I am just reiterating your argument and asking you to hold it up and abide by it. You are the one so against government run health care. The Republicans are the ones that state let the private industry to itself. Therefore, your question as to another alternative to Medicare is: (1) Stop the tax, (2) pay back to everyone who paid in what they contributed, and (3) let them buy insurance through the private market with these funds. If the private market is such a good instrument, then why can't it be for seniors? Another option would be to stop it at an age cut-off (e.g., everyone X and older can stay in the plan and everyone else, you need to set up your own HSA for future health care expenses).

Posted by: tc on September 23, 2009 01:54 PM
36. Besides the fact that Medicare might collapse under its own weight, as might Social Security, we do not want yet another huge entitlement that will also be unsustainable.

Exactly, Gary. This should be self-evident to most, but some just won't be happy until the government runs every aspect of their lives. No matter how incompetently they do it.

From Rugged individualism to learned helplessness in 233 years...the forefathers would be proud, I'm sure.

Posted by: Rick D. on September 23, 2009 02:12 PM
37. Gary@33 asks, "why must this problem only be solved by the central government? Do you see no other way that the people can manage this?"

I'll pretend your question is not rhetorical and you really want an answer.

Of course there are other ways. Our current system works, kind of. If we keep the current system, our nation will survive. The question is, what's the best way?

There are several reasons for the government to be more involved in healthcare. One is the benefit of spreading risk among everyone rather than dealing with cream-skimming, pre-existing conditions, etc. Another is the widespread belief that no one should be allowed to die for lack of basic healthcare; that can also be stated as belief in a right to healthcare, although libertarians shudder at phrases like that. Another is the practical benefit of giving everyone comprehensive care rather than leaving some people uncovered until they need expensive emergency care. And if everyone is going to be covered, it's not clear why we need private insurance companies involved, along with all their overhead and inefficiency.

Finally, there's empirical data. Medicare recipients are significantly happier with their healthcare than the privately insured, not to mention the uninsured. And virtually every other developed country (and most developing countries) have given the government a larger role in healthcare than we have (and even in the US, I think the government pays for about 1/3 of all healthcare through Medicare, the VA, and more). None of those countries has the perfect system, but by most measures, most work better than ours.

Posted by: Bruce on September 23, 2009 02:13 PM
38. #37 "And if everyone is going to be covered, it's not clear why we need private insurance companies involved, along with all their overhead and inefficiency."

You and Obama agree on that. Please keep your hands off my insurance. It does not belong to you.

Thanks.

Maybe we'll take the efficiency of the Indian Health Services (single-payer) and provide it to everyone.

Posted by: Gary on September 23, 2009 02:36 PM
39. Then again, who cares about the Constitution when school children are being taught to pledge allegiance to Obama instead. Disturbing video here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0aqMTD5UFmU


Posted by: Gary on September 23, 2009 02:48 PM
40. Gary,
I didn't know you were an "indoctrinator." Are you also a "birther?" Already know that you are a "deather." That was demonstrated in past discussions.

Does this mean your also a grassy knoll theorists?

How about UFO's, or the moon landing? Where do you stand on these?

Posted by: tc on September 23, 2009 03:12 PM
41. #40

What?

Posted by: Gary on September 23, 2009 03:15 PM
42. TC,

You do not pay (yet) Medicare taxes on capital gains. If you make your money via capital gains you do not pay Medicare.

This tax is fundamentally unconstitutional for precisely why pudge states - it is effectively a tax on the simple act of living. You HAVE to pay this tax no matter what you do. If you are alive, you have to pay.

NO OTHER TAX is so mandated, there are ways to avoid the tax. Including Medicare. Thus you can structure your life to avoid the taxation. This is unique.

Posted by: Shanghai Dan on September 23, 2009 05:37 PM
43. #40. Maybe I should be more specific.

What?

Posted by: Gary on September 24, 2009 06:11 AM
44. Dan@42 writes, "NO OTHER TAX is so mandated, there are ways to avoid the tax. Including Medicare. Thus you can structure your life to avoid the taxation. This is unique."

Perhaps so, but so what? There is nothing in the constitution that says that taxes are OK only if they are avoidable. (I know, some will argue that the constitution doesn't allow any taxes. But that's irrelevant to this discussion, as well as to reality.)

Posted by: Bruce on September 24, 2009 08:26 AM
45. Oh well then... the CRS has spoken. No need to question that!

This century? What does that mean? The 10th Amendment has expired? When? 2001?

Posted by: Gary on September 24, 2009 07:03 PM
46. That's okay, if you can't pay the fine cuz you lost your job, the Selective Service System has a job for you in Afganistan, Georgia, Iran or North Korea.

Posted by: donbless on September 24, 2009 08:53 PM
47. Acid Brain: why do you incorrectly believe the Air Force is not authorized by Article I, Section 8 of the Constiution?

Maybe you incorrectly believe "raise and support armies" means "raise and support The U.S. Army"?

This is a sophomoric argument. The real argument is whether the Constitution allows us to have a standing military force other than a naval force.


Bruce: Pudge, I doubt that failure to comply with the mandate will be a felony.

And I doubt that this is in any way a relevant point. The Constitution doesn't say "as long as it's not a felony to not comply, the government can force you to do anything it wants to."


If the mandate is enforced by a tax on the uninsured, that would probably be constitutional.

Yeah, um, no. That principle exists nowhere in the Constitution. You're completely inventing it out of (very) thin air.


But if you look at how the Supreme Court is likely to rule based on past decisions, I think it will pass muster.

Yeah, um, no.

On the other hand, the complexity of enforcing a mandate is yet another good argument in favor of a single payer plan.

Which would be even more unconstitutional.

The question is, what's the best way?

Yes, the best way that respects liberty and the Constitution. Obama said in his inaugural address that he didn't give a damn about what the Constitution says, and wants to focus only on what "works." But that's not good enough. Liberty demands more. A republic demands more.


There are several reasons for the government to be more involved in healthcare.

Not one of those reasons counteracts the fact that it's unconstitutional, and one of those has nothing whatsoever even to do with government:

Another is the widespread belief that no one should be allowed to die for lack of basic healthcare

I have serious pity for people who see a problem and then say "well I guess Daddy Government has to solve it." Break out of your bondage, man.


that can also be stated as belief in a right to healthcare

A belief not substantiated by any logic, facts, or history.


Medicare recipients are significantly happier with their healthcare than the privately insured

You're making that up.


virtually every other developed country ...

... is not our country and does not serve as a valid comparison.


Perhaps so, but so what?

To someone like you, who believes government has all power and can do as it thinks is best in all matters, it's not a big deal. To people who believe in liberty, the fact that it is a big deal does not need to be explained.


There is nothing in the constitution that says that taxes are OK only if they are avoidable.

It depends on what the nature of that tax is. If it is a penalty for perfectly legal activity -- the right to not associate with people you don't want to associate with -- then the First Amendment does say that's unacceptable.

There's nothing in the Constitution that says the federal government has the power to take over health insurance, in whole or part. And there IS something in the Constitution that says it cannot do things the Constitution doesn't say it CAN do.

There's also something in the Constitution that says it's none of the government's damned business whether I have purchased a particular legal service or not.


I know, some will argue that the constitution doesn't allow any taxes.

Ummmmmmmm no. I don't think anyone here would say such a stupid thing.

Posted by: pudge on September 25, 2009 05:02 AM
48. Gary @41 & 43
I simply am asking a question since you injected the NJ school video into the discussion. What was your point? Was it to revisit the bogus Obama is trying to indocrinate our school children charge from early Sept?
You see you already demonstrated in past discussions your allegiance to the "deathers" lunacy (e.g., death panels). With posting the video link trying to bring up something outside the discussion, it appears to me that you also are giving credence to the "indoctrinators" lunacy. Therefore, I was wondering what other conspiracy theories you also agree with, like the birthers. A just released poll states that 42% of Republicans believe the birthers. Are you one of the 42%?

Posted by: tc on September 25, 2009 07:44 AM
49. Dan @42
Um, you are technically correct for the small percentage of rich people that don't have to work for a living, but then again they can afford health care, so it doesn't matter anyway. For the rest of us normal folks however, I find it very hard pressed to state that we can earn a living without actually receiving a wage. Capital Gains is a non-issue for a majority of America. The majority earns their income via wages, which are subject to Medicare taxes. I guess you must be one of the rich that don't work for a living.

Posted by: tc on September 25, 2009 07:49 AM
50. #48. tc, the White House admitted that it removed the political parts of Obama's speech because of the concern by people like me. Don't argue with me. They admitted the toned it down, and they also got rid of the "What can I do to help the President" assignment.

What that has to do with birthers, I do not know, but your reaction to *me* about a very repulsive video of 1st graders singing praises to Obama *political* objectives was a surprise to me. They take a song about Jesus, and replace His name with Obama's, and sing about his legislative initiatives?

That is just plain wrong. That makes *me* a whacko in your opinion?

You don't have to a birther to not want your kid to be a singing campaign worker in school for *anybody*!

That video didn't concern you at all? It sure as hell concerned the parents at the school. The Education Commissioner of NJ is looking into it. You can't do political stuff like that with little kids without their parent's knowledge.


Posted by: Gary on September 25, 2009 08:07 AM
51. tc,

I'm hardly rich, but I know that I can legally reduce my taxable income to zero - for Medicare, SS, and income tax. And still have money to put food on the table, clothes on my back, and gas in my truck.

I would leave you with this quote:

Anyone may arrange his affairs so that his taxes shall be as low as possible; he is not bound to choose that pattern which best pays the treasury. There is not even a patriotic duty to increase one's taxes. Over and over again the Courts have said that there is nothing sinister in so arranging affairs as to keep taxes as low as possible. Everyone does it, rich and poor alike and all do right, for nobody owes any public duty to pay more than the law demands.

- Judge Learned Hand. And who is he? Well, Hand has been quoted more often than any other lower-court judge by legal scholars and by the Supreme Court of the United States. In other words, he's the Judge that courts turn to when they need to really figure out how to rule...

Posted by: Shanghai Dan on September 25, 2009 08:25 AM
52. Gary @50
The speech itself wasn't changed and you have no evidence to state that it was. This is an after-the-fact justification for the indoctrinators. What was changed was the Dept. of Ed. optional lesson-plan that was drafted by teachers. The Dept. of Ed. admitted there error in not proofing the lesson plan well in the first place. So, place the blaim where it belongs (e.g., with the Dept. of Education) and stop trying to state that Obama changed anything. Obama didn't direct the lesson plan be developed, nor had input into it. It is plain baloney and the indoctrinators know it and are trying to justify their lunacy with another made up conspiracy about Obama changing the speech himself. Yet, like their first charge, there is no evidence whatsoever that the speech had been changed. The speech matched what the Whitehouse had been putting out all along what it was going to address.

I do agree that the NJ teacher who did the action was plain stupid, for many reasons. There is no indication that the school, school district, nor anyone in the Obama administration directed the song being written. Therefore, why bring it up. Again, I get back to asking you what was your intent on bringing it up, unless it was to revisit the trumped up indoctrinators charge?

Posted by: tc on September 25, 2009 09:48 AM
53. #52.

"The speech itself wasn't changed and you have no evidence to state that it was."

Yes, I do. From the Washington Post:

"When critics lashed out at President Obama for scheduling a speech to public school students this month, accusing him of wanting to indoctrinate children to his politics, his advisers quickly scrubbed his planned comments for potentially problematic wording."

Trumped up indoctrination? Did you *listen* to that song? What would you call it?

Posted by: Gary on September 25, 2009 09:55 AM
54. Dan @51
Well bravo for you. You must be self-employed to start out with, because if you work for an employer, you would receive wages and thus subject to Medicare. Further, even being self-employed, you must not pay yourself wages, because then you would be still subject. I would question how you are getting away with not paying, but I will leave that to the IRS auditors.

Given what you stated, you still don't escape Medicare taxes, because you pay them indirectly via the goods and services that you purchase from others who do pay Medicare. Also, since Medicare Taxes go into the general US Treasury, all taxes (like gas tax -- I am sure you use gasoline) go to pay for this program (in part). This is a common fallacy when it comes to Soc. Security and Medicare and balanced budget. If the budget was truly balanced then these programs would be self-funding and not come out of the general fund and revenues from these programs couldn't be used to state that their was a surplus (e.g., Clinton years -- where the surplus was only because of these revenues).

Again, congratulation on figuring out how to legally screw the rest of us and leave us paying taxes for services you consume (I assume you drive on US Highways).

Posted by: tc on September 25, 2009 09:59 AM
55. Gary @53
Here is the factcheck on the changing of the speech.

Where is the actual link to the WaPost? Please provide the link to the WaPost article.

Posted by: tc on September 25, 2009 11:18 AM
56. #55 "http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/09/15/AR2009091503697.html?hpid=topnews"

You really just think I make this stuff up, tc?

So, what word would you use to describe what was happening to those kids?

Did you not see what the National Endowment for the Arts was doing? They were telling artists that they would get money if they created pro-Obama art. What word would you use to describe that?

Posted by: Gary on September 25, 2009 12:38 PM
57. #54 "Again, congratulation on figuring out how to legally screw the rest of us and leave us paying taxes for services you consume (I assume you drive on US Highways)."

Or maybe some of us don't want to give *our* money to Qaddafi's family. tc, why is your money and mine being taken from us and given to the family of Qaddafi? Do you even entertain the fact that our government maybe, just maybe... is a little bit out of control?

Posted by: Gary on September 25, 2009 12:44 PM
58. Gary @56
Um, the article you linked does not provide evidence that he changed his speech. The only close reference is:
When critics lashed out at President Obama for scheduling a speech to public school students this month, accusing him of wanting to indoctrinate children to his politics, his advisers quickly scrubbed his planned comments for potentially problematic wording.
This is vague and does not specifically state what was changed. As noted in the Factcheck write-up, there is no evidence that the speech itself was changed. The controversy originated over the Dept. of Ed. lesson plan part, but then was taken by the indoctrinators and broadened to encompass the speech also, even though they had no evidence. As I noted and Factcheck noted, no one disputes that the Dept. of Ed. lesson plan was changed. This still doesn't provide any supporting evidence that the speech (or the intent of the speech) was changed due to the uproar. Your link is too vague and lacks reference to justify the stretch to make the case.

Gary @57
Huh? I don't follow the "giving money to Qaddafi's family" bit. What are you alluding to? I do know that the New Jersey citizens and now New York citizens have banded together to make Qaddafi homeless and not allow him to pitch his tent, even thought private citizen Trump had not problem with this until others complained. Rabbi Shmuley has excellent articles on his website regarding the New Jersey fight.

Posted by: tc on September 25, 2009 01:19 PM
59. #58 "This is vague and does not specifically state what was changed."

Of course it doesn't. They won't tell us what they took out. But they took stuff out, tc, *because* of our complaints. Don't you understand that?

I'm referring to Obama granting $400k to his family's foundation. Do you not know this? Do you think I'm making it up? It's in the Chicago papers.
So, are you for or against that?

"...New York citizens have banded together to make Qaddafi homeless ..."

I cannot even believe this. I think I see the problem. You are sympathizing with a man who blew up a American commercial airplane.

So I ask, what of the indoctrination of those children? Are you for or against that? I brought it up and you reacted by calling *me* a whack job.


Posted by: Gary on September 25, 2009 01:29 PM
60. Gary @59
You are losing it, man! (i.e., regarding the indoctrination issue -- "we know they took it out"). The problem here is you want to believe your right-wing nutjobs over the facts. The facts are when pressed the FL politician who was one of the originators of the "indoctrinators" claim did not have any actual evidence on what the original speech contained. He made it up because he believe it must be the case. Therefore, if there was no proof in the first place, there definately cannot be any proof that Obama had changed something. Get on the logic train there Gary.

Regarding the whole Qaddafi $400K State Department grant issue, I am still researching that one. What I have found so far is the origination (scoop) of this piece of news appears to be the NRO's Andy McCarthy. However, there isn't enough in his post to fully verify his claim. On Congressman Kirk's (IL) website, he has this release.

By Congressman Kirk's press release, it states the State Dept hasn't responded yet.

There isn't anything on the State Department's site, nor any major news organization's ticker. So, right now, in my mind, this one is open and pending verification. It could be a scoop by NRO, or it could be a misunderstanding as to what the request actually is and who it is too. Right now, I would agree it does look fishy.

Posted by: tc on September 25, 2009 03:55 PM
61. #60 "...cannot be any proof that Obama had changed something. "

I read it in the Post, tc. I didn't make it up.

"There isn't anything on the State Department's site, nor any major news organization's ticker. So, right now, in my mind, this one is open and pending verification."

Oh. So if a major news organization reports it, you'll believe it? Then why don't you believe the Washington Post when it reports that speechwriters removed the political stuff from Obama's speech because of the push-back? That's also why the Dept of Education dropped the other stupid thing.

And the video? You don't like the word, "indoctrination". I understand. What would you call it, "education"?

You keep coming back at me, without addressing the issue of the kids singing political praises to the President. Would you like your kid doing that? I would not.

And the NEA? That bother you at all? Major news organizations finally reported that one.

Posted by: Gary on September 25, 2009 04:02 PM
62. By the way, the punishment for not buying Obama's health insurance is prison.

Posted by: Gary on September 25, 2009 04:05 PM
63. Gary,
It looks like the fund in question was also supported by the Bush Administration and worked towards compensation to the victims of Pan Am 103

See: http://www.america.gov/st/texttrans-english/2008/November/20081103122306ptellivremos0.2094995.html&distid=ucs

The Bush administration also worked with the group in question regarding Libyan Detainees at Gitmo.

See: http://www.hrw.org/en/news/2008/01/02/libya-serious-abuses-persist

The Bush Administration requested $1.15M in foriegn aid for Libya (http://www.state.gov/documents/organization/84462.pdf#page=516), and Congress approved $1M for the request (http://www.state.gov/documents/organization/124295.pdf#page=13). For 2009, the Bush Administration requested $1.1M in aid for Libya (http://www.state.gov/documents/organization/101450.pdf#page=5).

So, I guess the issue is what is the $400k for. Could Congressman Kirk and the NRO be jumping the gun on what may be simply humanitarian aid. If so, do they think punishing the people of Libya for their foolish Leader will change anything? The jury is out on this issue. More facts are needed.

Posted by: tc on September 25, 2009 04:07 PM
64. Punishing the people of Libya? The money goes to Qaddafi's kids.

Posted by: Gary on September 25, 2009 04:14 PM
65. tc, why won't you answer the question about what you think of that video?

Posted by: Gary on September 25, 2009 05:09 PM
66. TC wrote:

Well bravo for you. You must be self-employed to start out with, because if you work for an employer, you would receive wages and thus subject to Medicare. Further, even being self-employed, you must not pay yourself wages, because then you would be still subject. I would question how you are getting away with not paying, but I will leave that to the IRS auditors.

Hmmm... You do know that you only pay Medicare and SS on your AGI? Get your AGI down to zero, you pay none. See, it's not illegal, it's not impossible.

Again, congratulation on figuring out how to legally screw the rest of us and leave us paying taxes for services you consume (I assume you drive on US Highways).

And as far as screwing the rest of you, how? I'm simply following the statement of Judge Learned Hand, and doing what he plainly and legally wrote: nobody owes any public duty to pay more than the law demands

If you're happy paying taxes, be my guest. Pay some extra! Personally, I'll take the judge's comments to heart, and the findings of Courts throughout time that it is not illegal to use the law to reduce your tax liability. It's what a good steward of resources does.

Posted by: Shanghai Dan on September 26, 2009 09:54 AM
67. tc: The speech itself wasn't changed and you have no evidence to state that it was.

Please, PLEASE, tc, stop lying. There is NO evidence of ANY KIND to support YOUR claim that it did NOT change. In fact, we have two sources -- WaPo and yours from FactCheck -- that claim precisely the opposite. Did you actually read the FactCheck article?

FactCheck used to be worth something. It no longer is. Asked a simple question -- did Obama change his speech due to political pressure? -- the overwhelming majority of the response is centered around the lesson plans, and what other Presidents did, instead of just answering the question. It's trying to make excuses instead of just saying what happened.

The only part of the FactCheck article that has anything to do with the question is this paragraph: White House spokesman Tommy Vietor told us that the speech itself had not been substantively changed: "The President's speech was always going to be about talking with students about the importance of working hard, staying in school and taking responsibility for their education."

And this, of course, is at the very least NOT a claim that nothing was changed. And if FactCheck actually asked Vietor if the speech was changed in response to criticism and this was his answer, then it would actually be an admission that it WAS so changed ... an admission backed up by WaPo.


This is vague and does not specifically state what was changed.

... which is still sufficient to prove your statements wrong: that the speech wasn't changed and that Gary had no evidence that it was. Please stop lying, tc.


congratulation on figuring out how to legally screw the rest of us

You are a totalitarian, tc. You believe that The State has a right to what everyone has and that there is something wrong with doing what you want with what you have, with making your own choices for yourself and your family.

You're the one trying to screw everyone else, tc, by denying our liberty, and you're not even doing it legally: you're trying to get it done by violating the Constitution.

Posted by: pudge on September 26, 2009 10:11 AM
68. Dan@66 rhetorically missates, "You do know that you only pay Medicare and SS on your AGI?"

No, that's wrong. Social Security and Medicare are taxes on gross salary if you are an employee, or on net self-employment income if you are self-employed. "Net" means you get to deduct business expenses, but not other deductions that reduce your AGI.

Of course this is beside the point of this thread. You are welcome to structure your finances legally to minimize taxes. But whether a tax is avoidable has nothing to do its constitutionality -- at least in terms of what the Supreme Court is likely to say. You tried to connect the issues of avoidability and constitutionality, but have yet to offer any support for this legal theory.

Posted by: Bruce on September 26, 2009 10:24 AM
69. Bruce: and NO ONE has offered any evidence AGAINST my evidence that the mandates are unconstitutional.

Posted by: pudge on September 26, 2009 10:30 AM
70. Pudge, I have offered evidence that a mandate would be constitutional -- provided that it is implemented as a tax on the uninsured (which seems to me the most practical way to implement it). There is plenty of evidence that taxes, in general, are constitutional. The federal income tax, for example, rewards and penalizes all sorts of behavior that Congress wishes to encourage and discourage.

Your "evidence" that a mandate would be unconstitutional is without merit. The 1st, 4th, 5th, 10th, and 14th amendments have not, at least in modern times, been interpreted the way you propose. I welcome evidence to the contrary. I have seen some attempts by others at that, but they seem weak.

(As usual, by "constitutional" I mean "likely to be upheld by the Supreme Court". I know you like to point out that you have your own opinion on what is constitutional, which is charmingly irrelevant.)

Posted by: Bruce on September 26, 2009 10:54 AM
71. Bruce: I have offered evidence that a mandate would be constitutional -- provided that it is implemented as a tax on the uninsured (which seems to me the most practical way to implement it).

No, simply calling it a tax doesn't make it constitutional (whoever told you that silly notion?). It does not address a single one of my points. Calling it a tax obviously does not justify taking away my First Amendment right to association, else I could force everyone to join a political party or be taxed. That argument is just stupid, Bruce.

Similarly, my Fourth Amendment right to privacy is not affected by calling it a tax, else we could just say, "you can abort your child, but if you do, we'll tax you." Obviously this wouldn't pass muster either.

And, of course, my argument about my Tenth Amendment right against federal encroachments is not in any way affected by calling it a tax, since the point of the Tenth is about exercise of authority by the federal government, not about how that authority is implemented by the federal government.


Your "evidence" that a mandate would be unconstitutional is without merit.

Riiiiiiight.


The 1st, 4th, 5th, 10th, and 14th amendments have not, at least in modern times, been interpreted the way you propose.

False, actually. We've gone over this before, and in fact, the Tenth Amendment has USUALLY, especially in recent years, been interpreted as I've laid out. We still see many Tenth Amendment cases, where the government is required to justify its actions in light of the Tenth Amendment. If my interpretation were not the one being held, then these cases simply not exist: if the federal government does not have to justify its actions from within the Constitution, then there would be no such Tenth Amendment challenges heard.

(I will concede that my interpretation of the Commerce Clause is not as widely held on the bench today, but that is distinct from my interpretation of the Tenth Amendment.)

As to the First Amendment, the reason I've given is precisely the reason why we no longer have a "blanket primary" in Washington State. We do not have the blanket primary anymore because the people who form a political party have a First Amendment right to not have some person we didn't choose forced upon us as our representative in an election. It's the same thing here: I have a right to not have an insurance company represent me.

(Some may take the EXTREME minority position that our First Amendment rights to expression, association, and so on are only "political" rights that apply in the political sphere; however, since all insurance companies are political, engaging in lobbying and so on, this would not harm my argument anyway.)

As to the Fourth Amendment, the Court has been back and forth on this, but generally upholds our right to privacy. It's extremely odd that liberals would support telling the government it cannot know who I've called on the telephone, but it CAN know intimate details about my medical history.


All you're doing is denying. You're not actually making a case ... probably because you can't.


As usual, by "constitutional" I mean "likely to be upheld by the Supreme Court"

Then you are not arguing against me (and whoever you are arguing with, you're still losing, since you clearly don't understand the Supreme Court, as demonstrated just above). I am using the ACTUAL definition of the word, which is the SAME definition the Supreme Court uses: that the touchstone of constiutionality is defined by the Constitution itself.

Don't be so stupid as to hide behind the Supreme Court, because they agree with me -- at the very least -- on what the word "constitutional" means.

And most of them probably agree with me on my analysis of the applicability of the First, Fourth, and Tenth Amendments, too.

Posted by: pudge on September 26, 2009 11:25 AM
72. Bruce,

My insurance company is a Washington company. I use them only when in Washington. How does the Federal Government have the right to regulate that commerce? It is not between states...

Posted by: Shanghai Dan on September 26, 2009 10:53 PM
73. Dan,
As noted above, you are wrong on what you have to pay SS and Medicare taxes on. Try explaining your theory to the IRS. See Publication 15, Circular E, Employers Tax guide, specifically Chapters 5 and 15.

Posted by: tc on September 28, 2009 10:03 AM
74. Pudge,
Sad, you reverted back to your childish "you are lying" attitude.

Regarding your point that I have not proven that the speech didn't change. I reiterate what I stated earlier. The FL GOP politician (I believe he was chair of FL GOP), when pressed on what in the original speech was offensive, could not come up with actual evidence. You see, it was all smoke, there was no basis for the original claim that the speech contain XYZ. Therefore, you are incorrect in my having to prove anything. To prove that the speech had changed, you must first prove that you knew what was in the original speech. The FL politician failed this base point, and therefore, his argument on the speech changing is moot, as is everyone elses. You can't say something has changed without knowing the starting point for it to have changed from. A retraction from you is warranted.

Posted by: tc on September 28, 2009 10:09 AM
75. tc, the speech changed. I'm very sorry that you don't like that, but that doesn't change the fact that the writers "scrubbed" the more political parts out of it.

If you disagree, ask the Post to retract their story.

Posted by: Gary on September 28, 2009 10:13 AM
76. tc, in #52 you stated: "The speech itself wasn't changed and you have no evidence to state that it was."

The speech was changed. I cited my evidence.


Posted by: Gary on September 28, 2009 10:16 AM
77. tc: Sad, you reverted back to your childish "you are lying" attitude.

You're a liar. I did no such thing. What I ALWAYS do is call out people who lie. I do not waver from this. There is nothing to "revert" to.


Regarding your point that I have not proven that the speech didn't change. I reiterate what I stated earlier. The FL GOP politician (I believe he was chair of FL GOP), when pressed on what in the original speech was offensive, could not come up with actual evidence.

You're lying. Everyone with half a brain knows this claim by you does not even HINT at whether the speech was, in fact, changed. You're either lying or you really are that stupid to believe that whether or not someone can prove the speech changed has any bearing on whether it was changed.


Therefore, you are incorrect in my having to prove anything.

You're lying. You made an assertion. Because you made an assertion -- as everyone with one quarter of a brain knows -- it is your responsibility to back up that assertion. Your exact words were @52 "The speech itself wasn't changed and you have no evidence to state that it was." The first assertion (that it wasn't changed) is baseless and you're lying to say you have no obligation to back it up; the second assertion proved to be incorrect.


To prove that the speech had changed, you must first prove that you knew what was in the original speech.

Correct. But to demonstrate that it has LIKELY changed, we just need evidence ... evidence such as has been presented, that officials SAID it was changed.

Meanwhile, you have ZERO evidence to back up your assertion that it didn't change.


A retraction from you is warranted

It's really not. There is nothing at all for me to retract.

Posted by: pudge on September 28, 2009 10:59 AM
78. Okay Pudge and Gary,
Specifically tell me which parts of the speech was changed. I dare you. You both are full of it because you have no proof whatsoever.

Pudge,
You would not accept such an argument you are making. Live up to your own standards. You have no evidence of what the speech was to originally contain. All the evidence is guesses and heresay. You are totally blowing smoke, and yes your "lying" business is childish.

Posted by: tc on September 28, 2009 11:39 AM
79. tc: Specifically tell me which parts of the speech was changed.

Why? Did either of us say we knew what had been changed? This is a non sequitur fallacy, tc.


You both are full of it because you have no proof whatsoever.

Again, yes, Gary does not have proof. He has EVIDENCE. Which is more than you have for YOUR assertion that it was NOT changed.

(And you're lying by implying I ever said it was changed. I didn't.)


You would not accept such an argument you are making.

You're lying.


You have no evidence of what the speech was to originally contain.

I never said I did.


All the evidence is guesses and heresay.

Yes, which is why I said it isn't proof, but merely evidence.

Try to keep up.


your "lying" business is childish

Shrug. Don't attack the messenger. If you wouldn't lie, I wouldn't say you are lying. Which you are.

Posted by: pudge on September 28, 2009 11:50 AM
80. tc, what? Why must have a copy of the original draft to cite evidence that it was changed? I don't have to know what the original text was to know that the writers scrubbed the more political parts out. I was informed of that fact by reporters. I say again... you have a problem, take it up with 'ombudsman@washpost.com'. Andy Alexander is more than happy to hear complaints. Ask him to retract the report.

Again, you said it was not changed, period. It was.

Posted by: Gary on September 28, 2009 12:05 PM
81. Pudge & Gary
http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/2009/sep/02/republican-party-florida/republican-party-florida-says-obama-will-indoctrin/

This one (Jim Greer, GOP Chair of FL, aka originator of indoctrinators conspiracy) that it rated a pants on fire rating.

Yes, you both do have to prove your fact. You can't throw something out that is false and say is true because you say so. What has been documented is the lesson plan was changed. There is no documented evidence that the speech was changed. Jim Greer never saw the original speech. He made up his charge.

Again, Pudge, you would call me or anyone else on presenting evidence as such as being truthful. Live up to your standard. Again, I ask for a retraction from you.

Posted by: tc on September 28, 2009 12:47 PM
82. Gary,
I already addressed the WA Post article you referenced as your evidence. It doesn't prove anything because the wording (see my post earlier where I quoted the article) is vague. The way it reads, the changing of the lesson plan, which I agreed had changed, could fit what WA Post stated. No where in the WA Post article does it specifically state that the speech itself was changed. The rest of the article wasn't even about the speech, but other items. If you are basing your claim on this, then it is very weak. It is nowhere in the league of the documentation available on FactCheck or PolitiFact. It also isn't specific like ABC's Trapper on the subject, which Factcheck quotes (and provides reference).

Posted by: tc on September 28, 2009 12:52 PM
83. tc, Jim Greer? Why do I care about Jim Greer?

tc, you asked me to provide the source of my Post quote. Why? You asked me for the source of my quote. I provided it to you. Why did you ask for it if you still just say it's not true? Did you think you *caught* me making something up?

How many times must I say this, (I'll make this my last) if you think the reporter was lying, speak to the newspaper. Allow me to remind you what the Washington Post reported:

"When critics lashed out at President Obama for scheduling a speech to public school students this month, accusing him of wanting to indoctrinate children to his politics, his advisers quickly scrubbed his planned comments for potentially problematic wording."

Do you know what "scrubbed" and "problematic" mean? How about "quickly"?

Posted by: Gary on September 28, 2009 12:55 PM
84. Gary,
Do you approve of the Facebook poll on Obama (see below)?

http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2009-09-28-facebook-threat_N.htm?csp=34

This is what the birthers, deathers, and indoctrinators crap has brought us to as a country. It is time Republicans put a stop to this crap, like they did in the 60's to the Birchers.

Posted by: tc on September 28, 2009 12:56 PM
85. tc: This one (Jim Greer, GOP Chair of FL, aka originator of indoctrinators conspiracy) that it rated a pants on fire rating.

You're a liar: no one here (but you) is talking about Greer. What he said has NO RELEVANCE to what ANYONE ELSE here is saying.


Yes, you both do have to prove your fact.

You're a liar: I didn't say the speech was changed.


You can't throw something out that is false and say is true because you say so.

You're a liar: that is precisely what YOU did when you claimed the speech was NOT changed.


Again, Pudge, you would call me or anyone else on presenting evidence as such as being truthful.

You're a liar: I am not presenting any evidence here as being truthful. I am only pointing out that YOU HAVE NO EVIDENCE AT ALL for your claim, and Gary has some for his.


Again, I ask for a retraction from you.

I'll do you (and more importantly, everyone else) one better: if you post one more time accusing people of making false claims, without admitting that you made a false claim when you said the speech WAS NOT changed, you'll be banned.

Posted by: pudge on September 28, 2009 12:57 PM
86. tc, Jim Greer? Who? Why do I care about Jim Greer?

"When critics lashed out at President Obama for scheduling a speech to public school students this month, accusing him of wanting to indoctrinate children to his politics, his advisers quickly scrubbed his planned comments for potentially problematic wording."

Do you need me to define the words, "scrubbed", "problematic" and "quickly"?

When I first posted this quote, you asked me for my source. Why?

Posted by: Gary on September 28, 2009 01:01 PM
87. Gary,
On the Qadaffi thread, what is your opinion on the below (e.g., McCain's praise of Qadaffi)?

http://af.reuters.com/article/topNews/idAFJOE57D0GW20090814

Posted by: tc on September 28, 2009 01:10 PM
88. Better relations with Libya? Sure, why not? McCain praises all kinds of people who stab him in the back, and disses all kinds of friends. None of that article excuses giving cash to Qaddafi's children who welcomed the Lockerbie bomber home in open arms.

Posted by: Gary on September 28, 2009 01:27 PM
89. tc: Do you approve of the Facebook poll on Obama (see below)?

Why would ANYONE approve of an unscientific, meaningless, poll? Without even looking at it, I know that no smart person could approve of it, since it literally has no meaning.


This is what the birthers, deathers, and indoctrinators crap has brought us to as a country.

OK, so you apparently think it DOES have meaning. So so sad.


It is time Republicans put a stop to this crap, like they did in the 60's to the Birchers.

Yes, like the Democrats did to the extremists under Bush ... oh wait, the Dems didn't put a stop to the extremists, they elevated them to top positions in Obama's administration.

Posted by: pudge on September 28, 2009 01:31 PM
90. #84 "Do you approve of the Facebook poll on Obama"

Do I approve? No. I've answered two of your questions today on the first try even though you refuse to answer mine.

You want the Republicans to put a stop to some lunatics on the fringe while prominent Democrats can act just as crazy, and yet they have positions of power?

Posted by: Gary on September 28, 2009 01:41 PM
91. Gary: You want the Republicans to put a stop to some lunatics on the fringe while prominent Democrats can act just as crazy, and yet they have positions of power?

No fair! You're not allowed to use the same arguments the Democrats used when Bush was President!!!

Posted by: pudge on September 28, 2009 01:52 PM
92. Sorry, pudge! I know I stepped of line :)

Posted by: Gary on September 28, 2009 01:59 PM
93. Since I can't respond on one topic, I will not.

On your post 89, yes I do believe the Facebook poll is a reflection of the atmosphere created by the groups I mentioned, by the right wing media types (Limbaugh, Hannity, Beck, Malkin, et al), and by congressman and other elected/pertinent politicians. When you have these individuals stirring the pot, then they also need to be held accountable for their pot stirring. To the media types, it is a ratings game and the left is making the same mistake themselves (e.g., Olbermann, Ed Schultz, etc.). It is time for both sides to have a cease fire and get back to reporting the news instead of the idiotic conspiracies. Both MSNBC and Fox (for example) have become no better than tabloid TV.

Posted by: tc on September 28, 2009 02:27 PM
94. Gary @91
Which questions have I not answered?
If it is in regards to the NJ teacher video, I already addressed that I thought the teacher was stupid.
If it is in regards to the Qaddafi issue, I previously stated that for me the juror is still out on this one. I am delaying judgment until we hear from State as to the purpose of the funds. If the funds are for humanitarian purposes (see my post where I linked to Bush giving the groups money), then I don't have a problem. If however, it is what you state it is, then I would agree with you that the US shouldn't be doing it. For me, there isn't enough information as to State's purpose for the funds to make a decision.

Posted by: tc on September 28, 2009 02:33 PM
95. tc: yes I do believe the Facebook poll is a reflection of the atmosphere created by the groups I mentioned

But ... there is no validity to the poll results. There's literally no reason to believe that.


When you have these individuals stirring the pot, then they also need to be held accountable for their pot stirring.

Yet the left didn't rein in their side during Bush's years, so, frankly, I couldn't care less what the left has to say about it now.


It is time for both sides to have a cease fire

When YOUR side is in power, that obviously comes off as more than a little bit self-serving, unless you said it when the other side was in power too.

Posted by: pudge on September 28, 2009 02:34 PM
96. Yeah pudge, I have yet to see an Obama assassination movie like "Death of a President" was about Bush.

facebook is the worse they can do when we had Al Gore literally *screaming* about how Bush "betrayed our country!"

Posted by: Gary on September 28, 2009 03:22 PM
97. #94 "If it is in regards to the NJ teacher video, I already addressed that I thought the teacher was stupid."

Why? Why is she stupid, and what word would you use to describe what she was trying to accomplish with those students?

I have no problem with the word, "indoctrination". She was indoctrinating her students. Indoctrination is a word that describes a real tactic used by people to make other people think the same way they do, especially those they have authority over. It exists.

What word would you use to describe what she was doing?

Posted by: Gary on September 28, 2009 03:35 PM
98. Gary @97
She was stupid because: (1) having the children sing a religious song (even though words were changed) in classroom (separation of church/state), (2) changing a religious song to a political song (to what purpose), and (3) the revised song(s) where stupid in content.

I think the school district should take action. I don't believe this is indoctrination, however, because there is no evidence that this was directed. All evidence points to the teacher doing it on her own. To me, the word indoctrination would equate to state (state or federal level) program. Like I said, I don't see any evidence that others were involved in this stupid act.

As far as the teacher's intent, I can't really say. My only guess is she was proud of Obama being elected????? There are many better ways to express this than to co-opt a religious song and have your class sing it.

Outside of the words stupid and idiotic, I may use the words naive (thinking that something like this would be okay) and irrational (who would think this would be okay).

OBTW, it should be noted that the Bush also had a song about him sung by school kids. It was a few months after 9/11 and I believe its theme was 9/11 related. That song wasn't a rewording of a religious song.

Posted by: tc on September 28, 2009 03:59 PM
99. Pudge,
As far as I can tell, the point of user-generated polls on Facebook is not for some statistical relevance. The poll in question was user-generated. Typically, these polls are to generate social interaction (and possible drive advertising). You see a friend take one and post comments or like/dislike on the topic. They are basically topic generators.

Posted by: tc on September 28, 2009 04:05 PM
100. tc: She was stupid because: (1) having the children sing a religious song (even though words were changed) in classroom (separation of church/state)

No, it is only a religious song (if it is) *because of* the words. Most of our English hymns were actually tunes from pub songs, and other popular songs. The content is all that matters, and there's nothing inherently religious about the music.


tc: As far as I can tell, the point of user-generated polls on Facebook is not for some statistical relevance.

Correct. And as such, the results ARE MEANINGLESS. For all you know, everyone who responded was being completely non-serious.

Posted by: pudge on September 28, 2009 04:14 PM
101. Indoctrinate:

1 : to instruct especially in fundamentals or rudiments : teach
2 : to imbue with a usually partisan or sectarian opinion, point of view, or principle

"To me, the word indoctrination would equate to state (state or federal level) program. "

To you maybe, but not to the rest of us. The word does not mean the State has to do it. I'll use it in a sentence, "The teacher was indoctrinating her students."

I know, I know... I'm a wacko!


Posted by: Gary on September 28, 2009 04:17 PM
102.
Talk about fringe... here is a group of Democrats praying to Obama... *to* him:

http://www.breitbart.tv/shock-discovery-community-organizers-pray-to-president-elect-obama/

Republicans do not pray to human beings. No wonder the Obama supporters are so irrational. They think he is God.

Posted by: Gary on September 29, 2009 07:01 AM
103. Gary,
I would agree that praying TO Obama is wrong. It is idol worship. I disagree with your statements about Republicans do not pray to human beings (e.g., Sarah Palin's old church).

I agree with Oswald Chambers (His Utmost for His Highest) that prayer's purpose is for us to learn God's plan than for us to direct God about our plan (paraphrasing -- don't have the book here to find the exact day and quote). There is also Abraham Lincoln's famous line that his prayer is that God is on our side, but that we are on God's side.

Posted by: tc on September 29, 2009 07:20 AM
104. Gary @101,
In reevaluating the meaning, I would agree with your definition. There doesn't need to be a formal program for their to be indoctrination. By the definition, the teacher may have been attempting to indoctrinate her students. If this was her intent, then the school district should fire her.

Posted by: tc on September 29, 2009 07:24 AM
105. #104. Good, that makes sense. So my objection to this exercise doesn't put me in the category of "grassy knollers", or "birthers" then? The man was born in Hawaii *and* what they did with those students was wrong.

And there are other such videos emerging. As with praying to Obama, when people start to tell their leaders that they are gods, the leaders will start to act like it.

Posted by: Gary on September 29, 2009 07:33 AM
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