Author Topic: Tax Protestor Crashes Plane Into Office Building.  (Read 55056 times)

michaelintp

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Re: Tax Protestor Crashes Plane Into Office Building.
« Reply #120 on: March 29, 2010, 06:44:39 pm »
Curtis, I agree with you on the "sensitivity" point, as to things directed at those whom we agree with.

Battle, as to learning from Obama:  An interesting/strange though just occurred to me.  Much of the support for Obama was grassroots.  Perhaps Conservatives did learn from Obama.

Anyway, I'm out of pocket for a couple of days for Passover.  Have a great week.

Offline Curtis Metcalf

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Re: Tax Protestor Crashes Plane Into Office Building.
« Reply #121 on: March 30, 2010, 06:37:16 am »
Battle, as to learning from Obama:  An interesting/strange though just occurred to me.  Much of the support for Obama was grassroots.  Perhaps Conservatives did learn from Obama.

You know, that is an interesting thought.
Anyway, we'll see you when you get back. What does one say? Happy Passover? Whatever it is, have a good one.
"Seek first to understand, then to be understood."
"Be hard on systems, but soft on people."

michaelintp

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Re: Tax Protestor Crashes Plane Into Office Building.
« Reply #122 on: March 31, 2010, 10:55:27 pm »
Thanks, yep, "Have a Happy Passover" is fine.   :)

During the Passover Seder, when one drinks the four cups of wine one is to imitate the conduct of royalty (who used to recline on a couch when they ate).  So we are instructed to lean to the left each time we drink the four cups.

It occurred to me, last night, that ...

For two nights a year, Michaelintp is actually LEFT-LEANING!   ;D

Haha ... but now Passover is over ...

My son was visiting, and he had a stack of older Wall Street Journals with him, and whaddya know, there was an editorial on March 26th called "Demonizing Dissent" ... and I found one part particularly interesting:

"At a news conference yesterday, Eric Cantor of Virginia, the House Minority Whip, described his own experiences: 'I've received threats since I assumed elected office, not only because of my position, but also because I'm Jewish.  I've never blamed anyone in this body for that -- period. ... A bullet was shot through the window of my campaign office in Richmond this week, and I've received threatening emails.  But I will not release them, because I believe such actions will only encourage more to be sent.'"

Rep. Cantor was of course responding to the guilt-by-association tactics leveled against Republicans that we have been discussing. He makes a very good point. The unhinged individuals who engage in acts or threats of violence thrive on publicity. Elevating such incidents in the Media, drawing undue attention to them, is at best imprudent, if one's goal is to not encourage more of such incidents by the same or similarly-minded individuals. Query whether that is really one of the goals of those making a federal case out of every incident of some nut sending a threatening letter or email or yelling some threatening comment, or whether (as I suggested above) some on the Left actually see political capital in encouraging such incidents (by feeding the egos of those who engage in such behavior, giving them the attention they long to receive). If true, and I think it is, this is terribly irresponsible. Just a thought.

The other thought I had is that, while of course we all agree that threats and acts of violence are reprehensible and must be condemned, that is not the same thing as strongly expressed political speech, intended to galvanize "the troops" to "target" the opposition (yep, in politics, military metaphors are often used, haha).  It is very easy and convenient for The Establishment (those in power) to argue that the intensity, the public outrage, should be taken down a notch, when the effect of doing so would increase the likelihood of those in power maintaining the status quo.  Dissent, by its very nature, usually involves the expression of strong feelings and vigorous outspoken efforts to convince others to join the "cause" to change the course of government and replace those who are presently in positions of leadership. 

Put another way, those holding the reigns of power have an inherent advantage that, if nothing changes, they win. So, of course, they would like the discourse to be as low-key (and from the Opposition, as uninspiring) as possible.

This comment applies to dissent from the Left and dissent from the Right.  It simply reflects the different power dynamic between those presently on the "inside" of Government, and those presently on the "outside." 

So I am a little skeptical, now, of folk objecting to the intensity of feelings being expressed by Conservative Activists, when those very same folk didn't express objections when highly intense feelings were being expressed from dissenters on the Left against Republican Administrations.

And again, of course, when I refer to "Conservative Activists" I'm not referring to the extremist lunatic Right-Wing fringe here, I'm not referring to the crazed hate groups you referenced above, but rather to the vast majority of those involved in the Tea Party Movement, Conservative editorialists and commentators, and the like, who are sincerely concerned and, yes outraged, at the direction our country is headed. For many, the present expansion of Government, including ObamaCare, was the "straw that broke the Camel's back" (though, rather than a straw, it is more like a ton of bricks).   

By my nature I'm inclined toward calm, often pedantic, discourse (which, as you are well aware, is less than inspiring). I liked the fact that in Peggy Noonan's article she did point out the "heat" from both the Right and the Left, Republicans and Democrats. But, at the same time, she didn't address the dynamics of power issue, that I've just raised, above. So I dunno.  It is more complex.

Offline moor

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Re: Tax Protestor Crashes Plane Into Office Building.
« Reply #123 on: April 01, 2010, 06:41:09 am »
Mike,

Would you say, then, that behaviour exhibited by the minority political constituency (right vs. left) during the present and prior administrations has been comparable, in terms of say - tactics and intensity?  Or how would you characterize a difference (if any) between the two?

michaelintp

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Re: Tax Protestor Crashes Plane Into Office Building.
« Reply #124 on: April 01, 2010, 11:22:28 pm »
Mike,

Would you say, then, that behaviour exhibited by the minority political constituency (right vs. left) during the present and prior administrations has been comparable, in terms of say - tactics and intensity?  Or how would you characterize a difference (if any) between the two?

Well, I can describe to you my perception of much of the “agitation” that took place from the Left, during the Bush years.  There were protests, some violent and some involving illegal conduct, but most not.  There were acts of vandalism, destruction of property and death threats. In fairness, the vandalism, death threats etc ... presumably came from a small minority (just as the ones that are being so widely reported and emphasized today by supporters of the Obama Administration).  The illegal conduct, such as blocking access to facilities (etc) was, I believe, somewhat more widespread, but clearly still reflected the behavior of a small minority.

More relevant to the present discussion, was the nature of the rhetoric.  It was downright hateful. The use of Nazi imagery, most notably the swastika, was not uncommon.  With Bush and other members of his Administration being compared to Adolph Hitler and officials of the Nazi Party.  We also saw images of Bush portrayed as the Joker, as a vampire, and so on (with posters at rallies, and published pictures in magazines and newspapers).  Exaggerated claims of war crimes were made, characterizations of our leaders as “war criminals” and the like. There were calls for impeachment.  It was common, even coming from people one would otherwise think were reasonable, to hear the proclamation, “I HATE Bush!” (with a venom traditionally not encountered, repeated like a mantra).  Many expressed anti-religious bigotry.  Some expressed antisemitism in their perception of and approach to Middle Eastern Issues touching on Israel.  Some essentially offered apologias for acts of terrorism, including the September 11th attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, and others for acts of terrorism overseas.  Some defended bigoted totalitarian ideologies.  Some viewed Middle Eastern issues through a racist lense.  Some on the fringe embraced conspiracy theories that the United States Government was behind 9/11 while other lunatics blamed Israel.

Certainly there was a "grassroots" element to some of the opposition to Bush (and support for Obama), and here too there is a strong "grassroots" element to some of the opposition to Obama (and to those others who advocate Big Government). As to other “similarities” - You can draw your own conclusions, regarding how similar or different this conduct is from what we see from the Tea Party crowd. Whether one views the Tea Partiers as "worse" "about the same" or "not nearly as bad" is really in the eyes of the beholder. I imagine, as Curtis points out, this will vary, depending on one’s point of view and ideological loyalties.  Also on how sensitive you are to harsh criticism of those you agree with vs. how nonplussed you are when the criticism is directed against those you disagree with.  

I believe a difference is that much of the opposition surrounding Bush involved geopolitical issues and specifically the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, though there was a domestic component in the form of the USA PATRIOT Act (which was actually a bipartisan bill), and some objection to Bush domestic policies.  In contrast, most of the opposition to Obama pertains to domestic issues and particularly the expansive growth of government, though there is also a geopolitical aspect in the sentiment that he is too soft in dealing with foreign threats. I don't mean to minimize the controversies surrounding the domestic issues under Bush or the geopolitical issues under Obama, just pointing out what I think was and are the major thrusts of the opposition.

But in terms of the tenor and tone of the “debate” over the past decade, the Left certainly cannot be let off the hook.  

What occurs to me is that many of those active on the Liberal/Left were so used to being “on the outside” for so long (where a greater degree of agitation may be needed to garner attention and a following), that their modus operandi did not change after they (to a much greater degree) become The Establishment.  That might account, in part, for the confrontational character of the “public discourse” we are seeing today. (Or ... hmmm ... one could argue that some of the more outspoken Conservative talk radio hosts gained their popularity during the Clinton years, when they were the "outsiders" vis a vis the Executive Branch ...). The Conservative/Right (now the “outsiders” once again) are similarly expressing outrage and attacks.  So we see these major confrontations taking place, a veritable war of words, with a degree of acrimony that makes Peggy Noonan shiver and plead for restraint.

But then, President Obama expressed a contrary view, when he challenged his opponents to “bring it on.”  

We can expect an intense, and harsh, political battle.  This will of course include condemnations of lies and distortions offered by one’s opponents, allegations of Media bias (directed at whatever segment of the Media one doesn’t happen to like), and so on, and so on, and so on.  But it is not going to stop.

I don’t think either side has much justification to whine about it, at this point.

Offline Vic Vega

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Re: Tax Protestor Crashes Plane Into Office Building.
« Reply #125 on: April 02, 2010, 08:19:41 am »


Monkey See, Money Spend?

Hmmm...

michaelintp

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Re: Tax Protestor Crashes Plane Into Office Building.
« Reply #126 on: April 04, 2010, 01:09:50 am »
I prefer these:







I saw reference to the following Mission Statement in a letter to the editor today. It is from the Tea Party Patriots website. Found it interesting:

Tea Party Patriots Mission Statement and Core Values

Mission Statement

The impetus for the Tea Party movement is excessive government spending and taxation. Our mission is to attract, educate, organize, and mobilize our fellow citizens to secure public policy consistent with our three core values of Fiscal Responsibility, Constitutionally Limited Government and Free Markets.

Core Values

•   Fiscal Responsibility
•   Constitutionally Limited Government
•   Free Markets

… [Summary of Core Values] …

Individuals posting on TPP online groups and blogs are expected to self-police, to conduct themselves in a civil and responsible manner, and to refrain from profanity, slander and personal attacks. TPP does not condone and will not tolerate discrimination of any kind, and it will not tolerate comments encouraging any kind of illegal activities.  … While TPP cannot monitor every statement made on TPP online groups or blogs, individuals are encouraged to report violations of this policy to volunteer@teapartypatriots.org.

Offline Battle

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Re: Tax Protestor Crashes Plane Into Office Building.
« Reply #127 on: April 05, 2010, 09:08:13 am »
Just remember, michaelintp...


reagan was an actor pretending to be an American president.


Just remember that.

michaelintp

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Re: Tax Protestor Crashes Plane Into Office Building.
« Reply #128 on: April 06, 2010, 11:39:08 pm »
As for the substance, I get that you are for a minimalist approach to government. Me, I'm for a safety net. The devil is in the details.

Point of clarification:  I too am for a "safety net" -- just not one provided by the Federal Government.  As a just country, and a just people, we must help those in need. I would opt for the charitable route, however, for a number of reasons. Some surrounding respect for fundamental rights, and some regarding fostering positive ethos in our culture. 

I intended to mention this some time ago, but didn't get around to it.  ;)

Offline Reginald Hudlin

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Re: Tax Protestor Crashes Plane Into Office Building.
« Reply #129 on: April 07, 2010, 12:22:29 am »
How come this concern over fiscal responsibility doesn't manifest itself over what we're spending for our two wars?

Offline Francisco

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Re: Tax Protestor Crashes Plane Into Office Building.
« Reply #130 on: April 07, 2010, 07:07:43 am »
How come this concern over fiscal responsibility doesn't manifest itself over what we're spending for our two wars?
Because killing and/or maiming people and creating orphans and widows is good?? :D
Healing the sick and helping out those in need? Frigging communists!! :D

Now seriously. I think both sides just decided to let it go since no matter whoever gets in charge in a few years would be stuck with those wars. I mean the Republicans started it and they won't bring it up for it would basically negate any criticism the can come up with.
Don't get fooled by the bombs that I get I'm still I'm still Saddam from Iraq.

michaelintp

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Re: Tax Protestor Crashes Plane Into Office Building.
« Reply #131 on: April 07, 2010, 07:56:29 am »
How come this concern over fiscal responsibility doesn't manifest itself over what we're spending for our two wars?

Reginald:  Asked and answered several times already. I have to think you are addressing other people on the forum who already agree with you. But ... I will answer your question once again:

National Defense is the paramount duty of the Federal Government.

People reasonably debate whether going into Iraq made sense (particularly with the benefit of hindsight - though what might of been in an "alternative time line" is of course speculative). However, at least President Obama during the campaign, and apparently now, supports our efforts in Afghanistan.  If you wish to pretend that we live in a geopolitical cocoon, if you wish to pretend that September 11th never happened and deny that there are plenty of folk out there who would like to initiate repeats, if you wish to deny that we are at war whether we like it or not, well, I can't stop you.

Virtually all economists agree that it is the nondiscretionary "entitlement" spending that is going to bankrupt the country over the long term. Virtually all agree that something dramatic must be done, and that the status quo is untenable.  Of course, with our politicians' time horizon (two to four years) don't hold your breath. If you wish to pretend that this is not the case, well, be my guest.

Offline moor

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Re: Tax Protestor Crashes Plane Into Office Building.
« Reply #132 on: April 07, 2010, 09:38:03 am »
How come this concern over fiscal responsibility doesn't manifest itself over what we're spending for our two wars?

Reginald:  Asked and answered several times already. I have to think you are addressing other people on the forum who already agree with you. But ... I will answer your question once again:

National Defense is the paramount duty of the Federal Government.

People reasonably debate whether going into Iraq made sense (particularly with the benefit of hindsight - though what might of been in an "alternative time line" is of course speculative). However, at least President Obama during the campaign, and apparently now, supports our efforts in Afghanistan.  If you wish to pretend that we live in a geopolitical cocoon, if you wish to pretend that September 11th never happened and deny that there are plenty of folk out there who would like to initiate repeats, if you wish to deny that we are at war whether we like it or not, well, I can't stop you.

Virtually all economists agree that it is the nondiscretionary "entitlement" spending that is going to bankrupt the country over the long term. Virtually all agree that something dramatic must be done, and that the status quo is untenable.  Of course, with our politicians' time horizon (two to four years) don't hold your breath. If you wish to pretend that this is not the case, well, be my guest.

I have always been bothered by the welfare = bankruptcy argument in the absence of any historical context.  Not one economist can point to the fall of a civilization spurred by benevolent spending. 

Offline Francisco

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Re: Tax Protestor Crashes Plane Into Office Building.
« Reply #133 on: April 07, 2010, 10:52:43 am »
How come this concern over fiscal responsibility doesn't manifest itself over what we're spending for our two wars?

Reginald:  Asked and answered several times already. I have to think you are addressing other people on the forum who already agree with you. But ... I will answer your question once again:

National Defense is the paramount duty of the Federal Government.

People reasonably debate whether going into Iraq made sense (particularly with the benefit of hindsight - though what might of been in an "alternative time line" is of course speculative). However, at least President Obama during the campaign, and apparently now, supports our efforts in Afghanistan.  If you wish to pretend that we live in a geopolitical cocoon, if you wish to pretend that September 11th never happened and deny that there are plenty of folk out there who would like to initiate repeats, if you wish to deny that we are at war whether we like it or not, well, I can't stop you.

Virtually all economists agree that it is the nondiscretionary "entitlement" spending that is going to bankrupt the country over the long term. Virtually all agree that something dramatic must be done, and that the status quo is untenable.  Of course, with our politicians' time horizon (two to four years) don't hold your breath. If you wish to pretend that this is not the case, well, be my guest.

I have always been bothered by the welfare = bankruptcy argument in the absence of any historical context.  Not one economist can point to the fall of a civilization spurred by benevolent spending. 
Because it has never happened.
Don't get fooled by the bombs that I get I'm still I'm still Saddam from Iraq.

michaelintp

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Re: Tax Protestor Crashes Plane Into Office Building.
« Reply #134 on: April 07, 2010, 11:33:53 pm »
Well guys, believe what you wish. But it is wishful thinking.  ::)

The laws of economics cannot be repealed, by either political party.   

The Coming Entitlement Tsunami
by Michael D. Tanner
http://www.cato.org/pub_display.php?pub_id=11666
April 6, 2010


Our major entitlement programs, Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, are all careening toward insolvency.

Social Security faces unfunded liabilities of more than $15.8 trillion. And while that sounds like a lot of money, it is dwarfed by Medicare's looming budget shortfall of between $50 and $100 trillion, depending on which accounting measure is used. Because of its funding mechanisms, Medicaid does face the same type of accounting shortfalls, but it will soon add hundreds of billions of dollars to federal, not to mention state, spending.

As the full force of entitlement programs kicks in, the federal government will consume more than 40 percent of GDP by the middle of the century. Half of that will be taken up by just those three entitlement programs. From there, it only gets worse.

Faced with this rising tide of red ink, the traditional response in Washington is that we must have the "courage" to raise taxes. But think about how much taxes would actually have to be raised to pay for all the government spending to come. And it's not just the "rich" who would get soaked. In fact, if you confiscated the wealth of every person in the United States earning over $1 million per year, you would barely make a dent in our future obligations.

If we really wanted to pay for the amount of spending to come, we would have to raise both the corporate tax rate and top income tax rate from their current 35 percent to 88 percent, the current 25 percent tax rate for middle-income workers to 63 percent, and the 10 percent tax bracket for low-income workers to 25 percent.



[For full article, see link]