Liberal Fraud – Conservative Fraud

There's no avoiding confronting the liberal fraud involved with global warming. You hear about it everyday. And to be clear, the fraud is not whether or not warming is occurring, that's a separate issue. The fraud is that if it is, it's so awful that our very existence is threatened, so we need to immediately curb our rich lifestyles and ruin the lives of people in the third world who aren't so fortunate – you know, for the good of the planet.

But there's also a fraud being perpetrated on us by the right as well – that the rich are overtaxed. Tomorrow's Wall Street Journal is going to have another article on it, and today, Glenn Beck was decrying it, saying that the rich are paying a greater share than ever.

That may be true, but it actually has nothing to do with anything. It may only be a consequence of the rich having a greater share of the wealth than ever. And earlier today, Rush Limbaugh said something I found to be unbelievably shocking.

He was talking about a story in which the head of some particular family with four children was saying that he couldn't make it on fifty thousand a year. He's probably right. But Limbaugh's reply was a stunner – "Get a REAL job!"

Limbaugh then continued on about the evils of universal healthcare (it is), but he went further by deriding people who feel entitled to healthcare. For the record, if you're one of the richest fat loudmouths on the planet, you have no right to talk on this subject.

My position, the one that got me in trouble with psuedo-conservatives, is that if a treatment exists, everyone in this country who needs it is entitled to it, and no one should be bankrupted because he was unlucky enough to be on the wrong side of life's lottery. And if that means taxing the Limbaugh's of the world more, then so be it.

Except that it probably doesn't. At least not until we restore competition to healthcare and make medical savings accounts available to everyone to name just two factors in an eventual healthcare cure.

But to get back to the subject of taxing the rich, the crime is not in how much the rich are paying, it's the fact that someone has to pay, and taking it from people who make fifty grand and have four children is the real crime (although the third and fourth kids could be a crime itself, but that's another story).

And the biggest crime of all is the profligate spending by government that requires higher taxes in the first place – which George Bush presided over more than any other President. And he's now bragging about a lower than expected deficit.

And what would that deficit be today if George had ever vetoed a spending bill?

And can you name a rich person who is no longer wealthy because of taxes?

And am I just a complainer who resents not being more fortunate?.

I can answer the last question: I've been relatively fortunate, but I resent injustice, and so far, I have not been the victim of it, But I could be at any moment as can you. And what's more unjust, a rich guy having to pay more taxes, or a middle class person who needs medical treatment that will ruin her for the rest of her life if she's lucky enough to survive?

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About tedwest

A longtime veteran of comedy and political forums, I decided that I needed a more restful venue because... well... I finally hate everybody. Except my wife that is... and my ex-wife.. and... no, that's about it. I lead about as simple a life as one can, preferring activities that include anything that doesn't involve going out and seeing YOU! And I particularly enjoy what I call "Get the Bitch" movies on Lifetime. You know the ones where the intended victim finally does something so incredibly stupid that she forfeits her right to live, and from that moment on you're rooting for the stalker. Of course, it rarely works out the way you want, but when it does, the feeling you get is... well, there's nothing else like it, other than, maybe, eating chocolate chip cookies. Oh, and I'm proudly anti-wildlife, both foreign and domestic, and anti-environment - especially foreign environments. I think Howard Stern put it best when he said, "If fifty percent of the population died tomorrow, I can live with that." And I feel the same about the other fifty percent, so together, we've pretty much got it all covered.
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24 Responses to Liberal Fraud – Conservative Fraud

  1. X says:

    Hey Ted.I don't have much to say about what you are saying – outside of the family only making $50k and complaining that they can't make it. I don't have four kids, but I do make 50 grand and support a family. And given that low income in my county for a family my size is considered $70k and lower (by 2006 demographics) I think the average American could raise more than 4 kids on $50k.So in otherwords, no need to get too liberal with that sense of justice. Whoever it was that made that complaint was a whiner by my estimation – and likely didn't know how to manage their money.Of course I also agree that the rich need to pay a higher share of taxes, but doubt it is a worthy conversation for the two of us to have.

  2. Scio, Scio says:

    I think that the one thing about healthcare that a lot of people miss
    is that 30 years ago hospitals were run by M.D.s and now they are run
    by MBAs. Is it any wonder that stitches cost $500 and old men are
    sent home after surgery only to develop sepsis and be right back?
    New mothers sent home as soon as they get off the drugs, without any
    sort of medical oversight in the very delicate time after birth
    (leading to such pleasant things as rectovaginal fistula)?

    A conservative will call sick people patients instead of clients,
    protect doctors from spurious legislation, and keep insurance companies
    from dominating the system.

  3. So speaking of taxes and injustice, isn't the tax system itself the real injustice here? I mean, our entire income tax is devoted to paying off the interest on the national debt. We work 3 months out of the year to pay or share of this debt, that we are getting nothing back for.

  4. Indiana says:

    I also agree with Scio's comments

  5. TedWest says:

    I had no idea when I started this thread that it would receive such thoughtful comments. See, I've been used to forums where idiots rule. And there, they would come out of the woodwork to harangue me and tell me what a communist I was.
    So this is another example of how superior Vox is to every other place I've been, and you all deserve a thoughtful answer which will be forthcoming as soon as I have a thought.
    Seriously, I'll get back shortly, I just wanted to let you all know that I'm aware of your comments and that I thank you for your thoughtfulness… and forbearance..
    Ted

  6. TedWest says:

    Hey, Hen…
    You may not believe this, but I think if it were another time and another place.. probably another planet, we could be best of friends because I really like you. Why? Simple, you don't harbor bad feelings… no matter how hard I try to cultivate them.
    That makes you a better man than I, but I'm sure I didn't have to tell you that.
    Anyway, enough with the pleasantries, let's get down to business, shall we…
    "I don't have much to say about what you are saying"
    Yes, I agree that's probably for the best 😉
    But now about the ability to get by on 50k, I think it depends on what one means by "make it."
    I agree that one can provide for a family on that amount, but today, that doesn't leave much, especially for retirement or emergencies, not to mention the kids' college expenses.
    So while everything might look fine to the neighbors, fifty thousand, with four children, merely treads water.
    But you made me crazy by mentioning your circumstances because I didn't want to get into my own specifics. And I still won't except to say that my wife and I have no children, no debt whatsoever, and we are concerned that with the escalating inflation which the government claims doesn't exist, we will have an anxious retirement, especially because one serious illness can ruin us both forever.
    And in that context, I feel for the guy with the four kids. But my anger was directed at Limbaugh because while I don't disagree with him on general principles, he has no business talking about average people's circumstances, much less disparaging them for not doing better.
    Besides that, Rush is the only rich guy I ever heard complain about taxes on the rich, and every time he does, it's in the context of their relative share which ignores so many other factors.
    But regarding the rich paying a higher share, I agree completely, so there is nothing to discuss. However, where we may not agree is that a higher share would not necessarily mean higher taxes if programs, departments and spending were cut to eliminate goverment expenditures in areas where it has no constitutional business being.
    Here's a great example as current as todays headlines..

  7. X says:

    Ted,I am surprised by the pleasantries, but I'll take it. But please don't lose that acerbic wit. It is one of the reasons why I read your posts.Anyway to the point: I didn't mean to cause distress by describing my personal finances, only to shed some light on reality. I certainly don't ask that you divulge any personal info here.The point was that I am within low income for my area, and I can still support my family (only 3 of us total so far) just fine. Yes, I would be more comfortable with more money. I think anyone would. But there is a difference between comfort and need. I think Americans often confuse their true needs with the past generation's expectations for what constitutes a decent standard of living.My family has everything they need and more. We eat well. We are clothed. We live in a small but clean apartment (with access to the best school's in our district). And we have health care (although I must admit to lacking Dental coverage while very much needing it).I have all this in the inner SF Bay Area where people think they need to make at least $150k to get by – which for them includes buying a craftsman bungalow with a backyard, more than one trip to Europe a year, and retiring when 55. If I made that much money, I could retire in 5 years and live well off of the investments.It is all about expectations.I think if I can do well for myself (yes, I am investing for my retirement, and I carry NO debt at all) in a place where $50k is considered low income – that the majority of Americans who live in places where $50k is considered middle income, can damn well suck it up.

  8. TedWest says:

    Scio.. and the guy you paid to back you up…
    I certainly agree with you in the overall sense, but what you've mentioned does nothing for the individual in the short-run. People are being ruined by healthcare expenses. Isn't it enough to be ruined emotionally and physically?
    Fifty percent of bankruptcies are due to catastrophic healthcare expenses, and those people don't care how things were decades ago – nor should they. Yes, the system was corrupted by both business and government, but none of that matters a bit to the guy who lost his wife and is losing his home.
    The factors you mentioned need to be addressed, but they are insignificant compared to the plight of the individual, and amazingly, his plight is slowly being addressed as well – primarily through medical savings accounts and high deductible private insurance.
    Everyone should be outraged that healthcare, for most people, determined by where they work and what mind of policy the employer is willing and able to pay for. That should be illegal, not encouraged as it has been.
    And I'm not eligible for a medical savings account… are you? Instead, I have to settle for a Flex account that requires me to guess how sick we'll be next year and then either spend the money or lose it. That's even more outrageous than employer paid care.
    And there ought to be insurance against ruin due to medical costs – maybe that's the domain of the government.
    But the most important factor – and the one that caused a lot of anger toward me with the pseudo-conservatives was that I consider healthcare to be a right.
    That's right, if you're sick, you have a right to be treated with all available resources.
    I asked a guy who'd become a good online friend of mine if he didn't agree that people have a right to proper treatment if it's available?
    I'll never forget his answer: "Sure… if they can afford it."
    I wonder if he'll ever forget my answer…
    Nothing. I never talked to him again. I don't want to know people that cold…
    Which is why I closed my forum.

  9. Scio, Scio says:

    I agree that healthcare should be available to anybody, but I don't see how it can be when businessmen run our hospitals instead of doctors.Like when I got my $500 stitches. How much did it really cost? Some money for the lidocaine, a couple cents for the thread. My biggest expense in that episode was the doctor (not the resident who actually stitched me up). The doctor came in, looked at my thumb and said I didn't need antibiotics. Gone. $145 bucks for less than 45 seconds. And how much was that really worth?It's oppressive. I've already resolved to use duct tape next time even though I have insurance. I felt cheated having to pay anything more than 20 bucks.And I'm not eligible for a medical savings account… are you? Instead, I have to settle for a Flex account that requires me to guess how sick we'll be next year and then either spend the money or lose it. That's even more outrageous than employer paid careThat is outrageous. It's a tough situation, and I have a feeling that a lot of people have a piece of the answer. I might concentrate on the long-term changes needed in our healthcare culture, but others might better address those immediate concerns you mentioned. Without working towards both short and long-term changes nothing will get done though.

  10. X says:

    Hey Scio,You can save for medical expenses outside of using those medical savings accounts. I brought our medical expenses down significantly by going onto a deductible insurance plan ($1500 per person) and placing our deductible each year into a money market account. So our monthly payments are very low for a family of three, and I simply fill the money market up to $4500 every year (actually much less as I never go to the doctor). The money makes a little over 5% interest and we have immediate access to it with no penalties for withdrawl.You could also do better than I am by having less in the money market and moving the remainder around in your portfolio (basically filling the money market quarterly).

  11. TedWest says:

    Jeremy,
    I was with ya there right up to the almost end!
    The income tax is the modern day equivalent of slavery, and it's amazing to me that liberals are concerned about the Patriot Act, but not the IRS.
    It's also amazing to me that Blacks vote Democratic when Social Security is the single-most discrimination they face.
    But now I'm not overly concerned about the dollar because a weaker dollar is a lot like global warming – it also has benefits and it's unclear that it will be a net negative. And you can't argue with me because my degree is in economics – which, along with psychology is not just a science, it's an art.
    Although I must admit that I wouldn't mind "real money" again as opposed to whatever it is I'm spending now and not getting enough for.
    But now Ron Paul? Dr. Ron Paul? Aka Dr. Nut-job? I'm sorry… I know you like him for the right reasons, but I don't… and my reasons are right too – because I've never met someone with libertarian tendencies who wasn't also wacko, and I sincerely hope you don't go tryin' to prove me wrong.

  12. TedWest says:

    Hen – Scio
    I'm losin' me bleedin' mind 'ere today, so please forgive me for lumping this all together in an effort to catch up.
    Hen, you confirmed what I meant when I indicated that getting by or making it was in the eye of the individual, and it sounds like you are making the most of your resources. You also mentioned another factor – that getting by has a lot to do with where you're trying to do it, and I must say, you are really in a tough place, so you're to be doubly commended.
    Of course, that also explains a lot of your views, so I have to subtract something, but since you have my complete sympathy, let's just put you on probation for a year. I mean, it could be worse, you could be gay!?!
    All right, I don't spend money on anything – I even have dial-up, and what we eat, while completely nutritious is very cheap, and I never eat out. And all of this is by choice. I wouldn't eat richer or more expensive food even if I could, and I hate going out because you don't know what you're eating or how it's been adulterated. I even wrote about the neighbor who had the "audacity" to invite me to his party. Yes, I am the poor man's Howard Hughes.
    My truck is a '79 Chevy Luv, and my wife drives a '91 Honda – both were bought new. And I love them both. But the point is, even though I have no debt and few expenses, I am concerned we won't have a comfortable retirement. Part of the reason is that I have minimal Social Security eligibility, but it's more due to what inflation had done since I graduated from college in the mid-seventies. I made fourteen grand at my first job and was on top of the world. My house payment was $160. Today, the taxes on my house are twice that.
    So when people think about getting by, that's not a static concept. You could never have convinced me in the seventies that fifty grand would be an average income in 2007. What will it take in even ten years? And my wife actually expressed the concern that while she's great at her job, they can get younger people for a lot cheaper. So just because of that sort of thing, we save every penny.
    And I just got this today from my ex-wife and best friend:
    "I still have my COBRA coverage and it's expensive but much better than what my new company offers. And with Joe's heart attack, it would have been catastrophic so I pay the high premium but I have the peace of mind that I'm not going to be paying a HUGE bill. Joe's bills were well over $100,000 and that was just for the bypass. The initial stay in the hospital in November was another $50,000 or so since he was in Critical Care. I don't want to even think of the effect this would have had on us."
    And Joe was in his mid-fifties, so think of what that would do to that guy with the four kids.
    Scio, I hear ya, believe me, and as an ex-credit manager I ask, did you know hospital fees are negotiable? No? That's because they tell you they aren't, and they get quite nasty at times. That's when you have to simply refuse to pay more than, say, fifty percent.
    I would then not pay at all if they refused, but I'm not in your position as I no longer need credit. Still, while I hated being a credit manager, it was a great education and experience.
    And if you have any of those critical care centers where you are, they cost about half of what a hospital does – or less, and there's less wait.
    Well, I must say, this is a most enjoyable discussion, and I wish everyone here well.

  13. Hey Ted, you sound like a smart guy, and you do trump me in
    economics. I took one course and aced it- i think, but I admit that I am
    beneath novice in this area. So what may seem like argument on my part is
    only my attempt at learning a bit more about it. Isn't it true that with legal tender- backed by nothing- the
    more you have that exists in currency, the less the dollar is worth? I
    think I recall a theory about low dollar value being good- something about our
    goods becoming cheaper and more attractive to foreign countries? I could
    be way off base here. But doesn't the depreciation of the dollar make it
    harder for us to pay off our debts? And doesn't having a weaker dollar
    require us to borrow more from the Federal Reserve to pay for things? Having
    a weak dollar printed by our lenders seems to be a vicious cycle. But
    seriously, I am obviously no economics major- so I'll can it for now.
    Thanks for indulging me. Also, global warming is important as well. I don't think
    the two can be compared except to say that they are both problems we a
    facing. Although, if the fed is controlling the money supply and
    influencing media and policy, it is directly related to global warming in that
    we'll have no way to limit polluting corporations and oil companies. He
    who has the money controls the countries, right? Okay, Ron Paul. Yeah yeah, I know the hype about him being
    a nut job and his supporters are wackos, but I rarely hear a good reason.
    I'm not gonna try and explain all the reasons why I think he's the only real
    choice, but I'd like to know why you think he's a nut job, other than the media
    has said so. And I can tell that you form you opinions outside of popular
    conformity, so I am really interested to hear why you don't think he has the
    right beliefs or experience or all other jazz to lead the country? And thanks for responding Ted, it's good to have intelligent
    conversation online. I'm new to VOX, and I’m really diggin it.

  14. TedWest says:

    Jeremy,
    I'm glad you found Vox because there are a group of people here who are the most intelligent, rational and tolerant people I've found on the Net. If only I were one of them, eh?
    But that doesn't diminish my appreciation for them, believe me, and now, you.
    And believe me, I've been around, and I know whereof I speak. No matter how irritated I get at someone, this place is a Haven, where even the nuttiest lefty's are well above their counterparts elsewhere.
    That said, let me turn to your specifics.
    First, while I do have a degree in Econ, I was intending to minimize it, not hold it out as a credential to demonstrate that I know more than you or anyone. In fact, I was attracted to economics, not because I wanted to learn about the money supply and how it affects international relations, but because it dealt with the efficient use of resources.
    So I am no expert on monetary matters though that certainly won't stop me from commenting on what you've said and asked…
    Anyway, I don't want to get into the money supply because I don't have any particular insight. I just know that it's not particularly significant that our dollar is not backed by gold as long as the supply if well regulated, and it's also not as significant as some people think that our debt is held by foreign countries. It could be if they were to dump dollars, but we wouldn't be the only one hurt, and it's likely that the rest of the world, including the dumper would be hurt more.
    A cheaper dollar does make our goods and services cheaper – more affordable to foreigners. It actually encourages tourism and encourages companies – like Toyota, to build things here. At the same time, it makes foreign goods less attractive, and contrary to what you may think, it doesn't make it harder to pay our debt – we still owe the same amount of dollars. Instead, it decreases the value of other countries' holdings.
    It could, however, make countries hesitant to take on more of our debt, but that's not actually a bad thing either. and turmoil will be transitory, and it could encourage us – the government, to be more responsible (ha ha).
    If we weren't the powerhouse we are, all this would be a different matter, but since we are so important in the overall scheme of things, the horror scenarios are akin to that other thing you brought up – global warming – the worst case is a possibility so slim as to be not worth considering in the short-run.
    Which is why, if you want a more detailed answer, you'll have to look elsewhere. I lost interest decades ago when I realized that the worst case scenario was a virtual impossibility. I suggest the Fox business shows – which tickle me with their guests who are always imagining the next collapse.
    A weaker dollar does not require more borrowing to pay for things unless we're buying foreign things. On the other hand, foreign suppliers can't just raise prices to compensate because that would shrink their sales, so a weaker dollar will only cause a small ripple in the price of most foreign goods. In other words, a weaker dollar will actually have more effect on foreign companies' profit margins than it will the cost of their goods.
    Btw, have you seen these BP ads? They get the finest collection of idiots-on-the-street to expound on what they think we need to do about our future energy needs. I blame the public schools and liberals (as opposed to rainy days and Mondays) for allowing morons to believe they have opinions that has worth.
    Now this…
    "global warming is important as well. I don't think the two can be compared except to say that they are both problems we a facing."
    You're right, global warming is a problem. And the problem is that people think it's a problem when it could be one of the most wonderful things that's ever happened.
    But now I didn't get the rest of your point or question. I mean, money does talk, but while that may allow some companies and industries to get away with some bad practices for a while, no one will be able to control the eventual regulations. I suppose you're thinking that whatever they do might be so bad that it will be too late for us? If so, I reject that, and point to other unknowns that are just as, or even more, threatening and unknowable – volcanoes, asteroids, even disease.
    Technology might solve any future warming problem – or disease problem – or even the asteroid problem, but it's unlikely it can solve the problems caused by a supervolcano eruption, so I wish everyone would get scared about that.

    Ron Paul.
    First of all, he looks and talks like a wacko, think Perot². And I worked for the Perot campaign, though I'm proud to say that I left long before his extremes wackiness became apparent.
    Next, Paul holds a view about Iraq that's suicidal – or was. We did the exact right thing by invading. What we did wrong was afterward.
    And I just realized that I should have reversed those two paragraphs because it's the overall looniness that makes him unfit.
    Btw, Elaine Garzarelli was just on Cavuto taking about how the dollar decline is a good thing and how, among other things, it shrinks the trade deficit.
    And one more thing about Paul. We're just talking about him, but there are plenty of other people running who are wackos – Clinton, Obama, that weasel lawyer, and all other Dem candidates. Then there's McCain… although he's not so much a wacko as he is a Bush clone… which is even worse.
    Finally, Jeremy, and this is very important… thanks for using a real name.

  15. TedWest says:

    Jeremy,
    This will be as short as I can make it, not because of anything you've said, but because I already wrote it once – then my screen locked.
    Listen to mom – don't use your whole real name. I was just trying to say that I hate the cute usernames, anagrams, and gibberish that people are fond of. Often, I'll just assign them the name of my choice when I address them.
    Warming.environment. Taking care-good, overreacting-bad. We do the latter all the time and nowhere are fools trying to do it more than with their alleged runaway warming. I wouldn't be surprised if the fires in California right now are made worse because of environmental policy.
    And the real problem is that while reasonable limits are perfectly acceptable, it almost never stops at "reasonable." And it won't as long as there are Al Gores on the planet. They are the real pollution.
    And believe me, environmental costs are not minimal, and they are not born by corporations. They are born by YOU.
    Regarding the dollar. Your concern is esoteric. I mean, it's real, but it's not something you need to be overly concerned with. A wise man once told me that people in Washington can tinker with the economy until they get it running perfectly, and it will only affect you – marginally.
    In other words, worry about your own success and bottom line. That's something I know more about, anyway. As I said, I lost interest in the gold standard debate long ago. Yes, the supply of money does affect inflation, but the government isn't even honest about inflation, so again, take care of yourself and don't fret about what you can't control.
    Elaine Garzarelli – respected stock market guru.
    Fox – I'm curious as to what media outlet you think has more credibility?
    Ron Paul does makes sense, except about Iraq… but he HIMSELF is wacko. You appear not to be too aware of Ross Perot, so allow me…
    Perot made infinitely more sense than anyone at the time. So much so that I signed on. Then I signed off long before he was officially certified a nut because I didn't like the little things I saw about him. And yet he might have governed extremely well. It's just that you don't put a man in the Presidency when you already know he's crazy goin' in.
    That's Paul. But this is academic, because he's no Ross Perot.
    "Maintain personal liberties guaranteed in the Constitution, stop policing the world, focus on our problems at home. Live and let live
    Bad ideas, although some sound great in concept. If we don't police the world, no one will. And if you think they are willing to live and let live, well, do you like how you look in a beard?.
    "Paul's plan to leave Iraq and the Middle East alone- I see this as a hope for peace."
    It's suicidal. These people don't talk. they don't negotiate. They use such things to gain advantage.
    "If you think about it, why have we been attacked…"
    I think you need to give that a lot more thought. And please, don't set up phony reasons and then proceed to dismiss them. It doesn't even matter why we were attacked. What matters is what these terrorists intend to do – spread Islam until the world is under Sharia law.
    "look at Holland"
    Are you kidding? Are you that unfamiliar with what's happened and is happening there and throughout Europe? As a result, they've implemented far more stringent measures to deal Islam and terrorism than we have, and yet owing to their political correctness, they are still losing.
    "if we leave them alone and open up trade with them ("them" meaning middle east and predominantly Islamic countries) to help their countries grow more stable"
    That sees very ill-informed. Not only do we already trade with these countries, we give most, if not all, of them aid.
    "We need to become more reasonable and communicative- practicing diplomacy and not force. Force creates enemies."
    WHAT? You've got it exactly backward. Force and the threat of force has solved every major crisis in history. Diplomacy by itself gets people killed.
    Look, we're all idealists at heart. Thankfully though, We don't have any Ron Paul's in a position of leadership – currently. BTW, Clinton was the closest we've come, and he did nothing while we were attacked time after time.
    "We cannot continue to fight a war on Terror that is taxing our freedoms and resources to the limits"
    That's incorrect. Not only had we better continue to fight, we'd better escalate it. Look what it did in Iraq when we did. Or are you unaware of that too?
    As for freedoms, in order to deal with that better, which ones have you lost?
    As for resources, they're virtually unlimited, but they might suffer if we'd end up having to fight a bigger war – say with a nuclear Iran.
    Which reminds me. how do you feel about Israel?
    "I don't fully know you're opinion on."
    Jeremy, I like you, so that's the best news I've had all day. When you're receptive to how things really are, I'd be only too happy to refer you to appropriate sources and articles.
    "…whom would you vote for if you had to tomorrow?"
    Well, I'd vote for Rudy. Rudy's the best of the bad lot that can actually win. And I compliment you on your use of "whom."
    "Anyone look reasonable to you
    Duncan Hunter.

  16. Okay, Okay. Yeah, I was biting my lip when I said Holland hasn't had a lot of terrorist attacks. I hadn't really researched this before I typed it, but I heard a David Cross joke about it. Anyway, I googled "terror attacks in holland" and couldn't find any reported terror attacks over there. But admittedly, I didn't look past the first page. Here's one quote I found on the first page I clicked on:

  17. TedWest says:

    Jeremy,
    This will be short because unfortunately you're grossly lacking in knowledge and reason at this point. That's not to say you don't mean well, but it does mean that you've come to the wrong place. I don't have the patience to be an educator, especially when someone thinks he's already on the right track. And you may be, but if so, you're on it going in the wrong direction.
    However I will answer one part – I asked you where you got your news. You didn't answer and went off on Fox again. I asked you what freedoms YOU lost, and you answered with a generality before admitting you haven't lost anything. In fact, no one has unless you have a name I'm not aware of? Then we can discuss his particulars.
    I see that you are relatively young, so that explains a lot of your idealism and even the lack of knowledge, but you'll need to make a whole lot of improvement before we talk further. I can't tell if you're open-minded (you may be), because your ability to reason is currently being overwhelmed with idealism. That feels nice, but it's very dangerous.
    Suffice it to say that I don't agree with virtually anything you've said, and the reason that's problematic for you is that I'm probably the most rational, objective, open-minded person you're ever going to encounter.
    I invite you to come back the moment the light bulb comes on.

  18. Hey Ted,I was really hoping we were going to be able to carry on this discussion without falling into insults. It's true we haven't agreed on many points, but I thought this would be a good scenario to cultivate open discussion about different points of view.

  19. TedWest says:

    Jeremy,
    Did you just read my previous comments or had you been stewing about them for days? Either way, I'm sorry if you think I have no regard for you because I wouldn't have taken the time I did if I felt you were just another dope who'd wandereed away from the herd.
    As I always tell people in your situation, I've been where you are and know well the pitfalls of that age (whatever age you are), while you cannot know where I'm at, and once you do, you'll cringe at some of the things you said and wish you could take them back. There are two or three that still really haunt me.
    And it is quite true that a lot of people fail to learn from experience, but you won't know how to determine and judge that until you get there, and if you're one who hasn't learned, you won't even know it.
    Regarding having ideals and being objective, they can be, but don't necessarily have to be, incompatible. The problem is that ideals change. In other words, being idealistic, isn't necessarily a good thing, even in it's own right., and I could see that is one area where you aren't objective at the moment, even if you think otherwise.
    Whereas I am at the ideal age. I've been through it all, had to make life-altering decisions, and have emerged from it convinced of how wrong I was at your age, having held ideas similar to yours.
    But your big mistake may be in thinking mine is an age bias when it's really a bias against people who are ill-informed, think illogically and even irrationally, and who think they know something anyway. And believe me, I was as nice to you as I could have been given what I see are your shortcomings. As I said, I don't have the patience to be an educator, nor do I suffer fools stoically.
    That's why I advised you to return when you had more to work with, since our "discussion" here was about to degenerate very quickly, and I wanted you to leave before I had to start telling it exactly like it is. See, not only is your idealism misguided, your facts, what little you had were incorrect, you were very biased (again without facts being on your side), and what you espouse is both being done (negotiating, for example) and extremely dangerous if pursued as an end in itself.
    Oh, and I certainly didn't try to force my views on you, since I was merely minding my own business as usual. In fact, you presumed either that you had something to offer me, or you wanted to learn something, and since I've already explained the latter, if you thought you could present me with something I haven't encountered previously, that's either arrogant of foolish.
    But so we're clear, and by "we," I mean anyone who may read this, I am still looking for the first rational liberal. To date and over my thirteen years of doing this, I have not met one person on the left who is well informed, objective, and above all else, logical and unemotional.
    You may think I'm exaggerating or that my own bias is in play in forming my assessments, but I have never found a liberal who can argue something rationally… just as you didn't. You not only showed how little you knew about the very things you were citing, but when challenged even slightly, you immediately resorted to generalities – and incorrect ones at that.
    All that said, Jeremy, you are clearly a nice and decent person who is trying to learn and to make proper choices and decisions. I very much respect that, and I am sorry that I felt it necessary to give you a jolt, but I assure you that I was being as gentle as I could have been with people as misguided as you are.
    Still, as a gesture of goodwill, I will also make the same offer I have to others who have made similar complaints – Pick one topic you'd like to discuss and well have a go at it. But I should tell you that I do this in an effort to get people to stay focused and to argue specifics in an effort to show them where they have gone astray – of where I have.
    If you feel up to that, decide where you want to start and give me your premise. It can even be something you've already said. For example: We should be negotiating with Iran. My first reply: we are.
    Otherwise, I admire your moxie, and I'm here whenever you feel the urge to talk to someone who knows something…
    Except I probably should tell you that if you aren't 100% behind Israel and recognize that the Palestinians have, long ago, forfeited their right to exist, we're gonna have big future problems no matter what else we may agree on…
    Warm regards,
    Ted

  20. TedWest says:

    Jeremy,
    You're certainly a nice individual, but if you didn't want to trouble me further, you needn't have said anything, because I wasn't troubled until you attempted to show me the errors in my thinking and then vanish. As I see it, that doesn't spare me, it spares you.
    But you very much misunderstood my offer. It was as much of a goodwill gesture as I could muster, and if you were to accept, I expect you to bring a certain level of knowledge and reason to the table. If you didn't, if what you argued was more of the same, our discussion would likely result in an abrupt termination.
    You mentioned that you offered an opposing viewpoint to a lot of my arguments which made me wonder if I involved in a lame re-enactment of a Python sketch. But the problem is, even more, the "a lot" part. That's why I invited you to pick something, one thing, and we'll see how far we get.
    While I don't know how liberal you are, preliminary indications are that it appears to be considerable, and again, I have never met a liberal who could stay focused on one issue for at least one obvious reason – because I have never seen a liberal argument that can stand up to scrutiny, much less prevail.
    As I said, I'm still looking for one rational liberal. And I should add that I was liberal once, but I became conservative very quickly when I realized I couldn't rationally defend my own liberal ideas.
    So thank you for your comments and please feel free to drop by if you feel I may be of further assistance.

  21. Hey Ted. I think we are both suffering from an inability to relinquish the right of the "last word" here. It's hard to not respond, because the absence of a response can come off as a surrender of sorts. So, i'd only like to clarify that I am not a liberal. I am an individual with varying ideas. I am not compelled to follow a party line or certain way of thinking. Yes, I am a fan of the Earth and believe we need to do more than we are doing to protect our environment. This you see as liberal. But I am not in favor of big government and I am, as it stands, against abortion. These views genuinely considered conservative. But to many, their views are neither conservative or liberal, but are appropriate according to their sincere concerns about our society and our world. So, while I am not arguing any points in this post, I simply wanted to defend myself against any particular label. It makes sense for two people in debate to only seek out opposing view points, but I believe we, as well as many others, probably agree on more issues than you think. And again, those that we disagree on are only disagreements about the execution of concerns and not the concerns themselves. So, until next time. take care Ted.

  22. TedWest says:

    Jeremy,
    You could be right, and if, at any time, it becomes clear that I have misjudged you in any way, you shall have my most profound and unreserved apology. And with it, though I will conceal it extraordinarily well, I will experience an excruciating mental anguish of the sort that's heretofore been seen only in liberals when they are bemoaning virtually anything.

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