Shuck and Jive

Opinions expressed here are my own and do not represent the views of the congregation I joyfully serve. But my congregation loves me!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

The Obamanation of Desolation

I wouldn't be doing my duty if I didn't point out those extra special letters to the editor in our local paper.
Democrats simply can’t understand that Republicans and independents are not as fascinated with gay marriage and abortion as they are. In the end, the election will be decided in Sen. John McCain’s favor because of Sen. Barack Obama’s stands on gay marriage and abortion. These two topics are not getting much attention right now, but they are in the minds of non-Democrats....

Say again? Who is "fascinated with gay marriage and abortion?"

I also enjoyed this one:

People assume Barack Obama is a Christian because he has attended a Christian church for a decade. While the Bible does say to attend church, most people attending church aren’t Christians. To become a Christian one must believe and accept Jesus as Savior and Lord and repent (turn from sin). To God there are only two kinds of people, unrepented/unbelievers and repented/believers (also called Christians).
Thank you, God, for settling that question. Therefore:
  • It’s fair to question based on Obama’s words and actions whether he has salvation through Jesus.
  • Some Christians who know Obama’s stand on the issues call him the “Obamanation of Desolation.”
There you have it, folks. Rick Warren thought he was doing the country a favor by having our presidential candidates submit to a Christian litmus test.

The final letter of the day summed it up well:

I walk my dog every day on the trail around the Science Hill campus and I continue to be appalled at the amount of dog feces that is scattered about...

35 comments:

  1. That first excerpt is just too funny to be the real thing. Fess up, Shuck: you write these "letters to the editor" yourself, don't you? :-P

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  2. I enjoy projection as well as the next guy, but I prefer to have popcorn and a soda with it.

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  3. I had to do a double take on the first excerpt.

    Too funny.

    Ice Cream is not all that important to me. But I could kill for a hot fudge sundae right now.

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  4. You'd think a libertarian would respect the opinion of a man who thinks that it isn't the government's job to make moral decisions for individuals.

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  5. Exactly, flycandler. I am a libertarian and I do not believe that it is the government's job to make moral decisions for individuals. As a libertarian, I support candidates who work to deny jurisdiction to the federal courts over abortion. Roe vs. Wade violates the concept of the government protecting our privacy and rights, and it allows the principle that a doctor can kill a baby even at nine months. That in my opinion, is just wrong.

    But, unlike, right-wing conservatives I oppose a constitutional amendment that bans abortion. It should be worked out at the state level, and the federal government shouldn’t do it. We don’t need a constitutional amendment. My stand on abortion is the same as my stand on marriage and prayer in schools. It should be left up to the states to decide.

    My personal conviction is that life begins at conception, so I consider abortion as an act of violence. As a senator in Illinois, Obama supported live-birth abortions. That is just too hard for me to even stomach. But I have other reasons for not voting for him as well, such as his appointing the war-hawk vice-presidential hopeful, Joe Biden, and other appointees that are a part of the same "military industrial complex" in Clinton's administration.

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  6. Have you listened to Rush Limbaugh lately? He's satirizing Obama as the next Messiah and stating that Barack is God.

    Limbaugh laughs at this and then takes a break, in which we hear the words: Rush Limbaugh, talent on loan from God. It seems that Obama has taught him everything he knows...sweet.

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  7. Well, I thought I had posted this before... must not have gotten the correct word verification or something.

    Go to Libertarians for Life to see The Libertarian Case Against Abortion. It was written by an athiest, Doris Gordon, but Dr. Ronald Nash or Reformed Theological Seminary made it reading for his course on Christian ethics.

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  8. Meh. People who vote for or against a presidential candidate on the abortion issue are, I think, ignoring the fact that no president has ever done anything about abortion in this country. Ever.

    35 years. That's how long it's been since Roe v. Wade. We've had 5 Republican presidents since then (including Nixon who was in office when the case was decided), for a total of 24 out of 35 of those years with Republican presidencies. Every 4 years, another Republican runs on the abortion issue as a sure-fire way to earn money for his campaign, and every time one is elected, they do absolutely nothing about abortion. Why? Well, even Republicans are smart enough to realize that one does not bite the hand that feeds them. If they actually ended abortion, how would they get people to give them money? Well, I guess there's always gay marriage as a fundraising technique...

    And the current president, by far the most far-right from a religious standpoint, with a Republican majority in Congress, and a far-right Supreme Court did what, exactly, about abortion? Oh, right...nothing. Again, nothing. More nothing.

    Now, I'm strongly anti-abortion, but I save my efforts on that issue for things that actually matter, and actually have a possibility of eliminating abortions: working with teens, working with faith-based groups, working to expand adoption options, etc.

    If people want to end abortion, instead of relying on some pie-in-the-sky promise from some Republican politician who only wants your money, put that money where your mouth is and rely on *yourself*, not them. Adopt.

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  9. The president's role in the abortion issue has been over supreme court nominations. Roe v. Wade was not a legistlative matter, but judicial. So some pro-lifers believe that the election of a pro-life president is necessary because it will lead to a pro-life majority on the Supreme Court.

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  10. Um. yeah, I do have above a 5th grade education, and I know the cute little story that people tell themselves. ;) Or rather, the story that Republican fundraising letters tell them. But the question is, just how well has that strategy worked out?

    Oh, right .... it hasn't. At all. Ever.

    One definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, expecting different results. I'd say it's also a fairly decent definition of denial. When people understand that even bothering to care about a President's position on abortion is fruitless, then maybe they'll spend their energies on something that might actually be useful. To be quite blunt, I count those who rely on the President to do their work for them to end abortion to be just as complicit in the killing of the unborn as people that support the right to abortion.

    But, I suppose one could call me a little insane too for hoping, after 35 years, that folks would eventually wise up and figure out what has consistently never worked in this debate ... pinning your hopes on a Republican politician who is only using the issue to make money and win votes. So much for conservatives' famous interest in accountability, I guess.

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  11. Alan, you always make me laugh. I wish we were neighbors!

    The logical way to end abortions is to end the NEED for abortions, of course. That way, literally, nobody gets hurt. My rights over my body are still mine own, and babies/fetuses aren't killed/destroyed (for the most part).

    Health care, education, and all the fun stuff Alan mentioned would be a pretty good start.

    It is all about the money, and about keeping thoughtful and compassionate people from unifying.

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  12. I agree with you Alan that our politicians are corrupt and have been for sometime. It's time for a real change. Ron Pual is different. Check his record.

    Can you believe that for the majority of my life I thought that abortion was fine and moral. I mean that is what our leaders teach us. In fact, when I was pregnant with my first child, a christian/state-based organization subtlely hinted that they thought I should have an abortion. It wasn't until a year ago when I had a life changing experience that I realized just how morally wrong abortion is. Plus, I have friends and family members, who have and some who are still living in guilt because they had an abortion.

    We need a leader who will take a strong position against abortion, not someone who supports abortion. I don't think that Obama or McCain are those leaders. I also don't believe that I have to vote for "the lesser of two evils". If evryone, would wake up and realize that they don't have to obey the mainstream media and billionaires that run the show, then we might put someone in office who actually cares about the little guy.

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  13. Thanks snad. So few people get my humor. :)

    "our politicians are corrupt and have been for sometime. It's time for a real change. Ron Pual is different. "

    :) Yes, yes, of course he is. I'm sorry to be such a cynic, but if you believe that, I've got a big bridge here in Michigan I'd like to sell you. He's a politician. Sorry, but in my view, the Ron Paul campaign is the equivalent of Lucy and Charlie Brown with the football. This time, for sure, she'll let him kick it! And this time, we've found a politician, who, unlike every politician in the world, isn't like every other politician in the world. Sure. Feh. Yeah, right.

    Or as Charlie Brown would say, "Good grief."

    "If evryone, would wake up and realize that they don't have to obey the mainstream media and billionaires that run the show, then we might put someone in office who actually cares about the little guy."

    And, as my mother used to tell me, "If wishes were horses, beggars would ride."

    I really do honestly appreciate such idealism in people; I simply wasn't wired to ignore reality in such a way. At best, I'm a pragmatist, at worst, a damned cynic. And that particular outlook makes it impossible for me to throw away a vote on someone (who will never, ever, ever get elected) on the basis of an issue about which even if he did get elected, he would do nothing about either. Nor do I think it is his job to do anything about it anyway. I'm as interested in Ron Paul's views on abortion as I'm interested in his views on which way the toilet paper roll is supposed to be placed in the bathroom, which is, not coincidentally, exactly the same level of interest I have in Obama, or McCain's views on abortion. Or to put that more simply, "Meh."

    Again, Rachel, as I've written a couple times, I'm not interested in voting for someone based on their abortion views.

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  14. The president's role in the abortion issue has been over supreme court nominations. Roe v. Wade was not a legistlative matter, but judicial.

    Yes, just like desegregation. Had it not been for those damn judicial activists, "we wouldn't have had all these problems over all these years".

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  15. I am a libertarian and I do not believe that it is the government's job to make moral decisions for individuals. As a libertarian, I support candidates who work to deny jurisdiction to the federal courts over abortion. Roe vs. Wade violates the concept of the government protecting our privacy and rights, and it allows the principle that a doctor can kill a baby even at nine months. That in my opinion, is just wrong.

    This is one of the most convoluted justifications for government power I've ever heard.

    The reasoning in Roe is absolutely based on the right to privacy first seen in Griswold v. Connecticut. How can you say that a court ruling that says the Constitution prevents the government from making a woman's choice for her is somehow violating freedom of choice?

    Additionally, Roe does NOT "allow the principle that a doctor can kill a baby even at nine months". It sets up the tripartite system, which is pretty well backed up by science, that it is relatively easy to get an abortion in the first trimester. It is harder to get one in the second trimester. To get one in the third trimester, the life or health of the woman must be at risk and it is incredibly difficult to get.

    Women do not get abortions nine months into a pregnancy because they forgot to take the pill. They get them because they absolutely have to.

    And please stop with this "live-birth abortion" nonsense. The term doesn't exist in either the medical or the legal literature. If a baby is born alive, it cannot be killed without committing murder. That was already enshrined in Illinois state law when Barack Obama refused to vote for a bill that didn't actually change anything (but got the issue into the news). Senator Obama voted for such a law at the Federal level once he got into the US Senate.

    And guess what? The question of whether aborting a non-viable fetus is right or wrong is a moral, often religious question. And in the United States, we have the freedom to believe what we want to and not have someone else's religious opinions made into law.

    My stand on abortion is the same as my stand on marriage and prayer in schools. It should be left up to the states to decide.

    How would it affect your life if your marriage certificate were recognized in Texas but not in California? If you happened to be in San Francisco when your husband had a heart attack, and doctors refused to let you see him or make medical decisions on his behalf? What if your child were taken away from you because California decided you weren't "really" a parent under their law, even though he was in Texas.

    Why should the First Amendment apply in Massachusetts but not in Mississippi?

    The issue of "states rights" really died (or began to die) at the Civil War. It was a terrible price to pay for the lackadaisical "just let the states decide" mentality of politicians from 1789 to 1861, and it nearly destroyed America.

    To paraphrase a wise man, we are not a Red States America and a Blue States America, we are the United States of America.

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  16. Alan, flycandler, and anyone else who plans to vote for one of the two bumbling, front-running candidates, just remember George Carlin's famous words after this country goes even further down the dump in the next four years:

    "....I firmly believe that if you vote, you have no right to complain. Now, some people like to twist that around. They say, "If you don't vote, you have no right to complain", but where's the logic in that? If you vote, and you elect dishonest, incompetent politicians, and they get into office and screw everything up, you are responsible for what they have done. You voted them in. You caused the problem. You have no right to complain."

    "I, on the other hand, who did not vote -- who did not even leave the house on Election Day -- am in no way responsible for that these politicians have done and have every right to complain about the mess that you created."
    source

    As for all the talk on morals, let's just agree to disagree. We are on opposite ends of the stick. For the past two months of talking with several people on this forum, I have come to the conclusion that there are people who believe in morals (right and wrong) and freedom of choice and people who don't believe in morals and who wish to restrict freedom of choice. It seems to me that there is a strong force of people in the world who want to completely erase the idea that there are morals. To me this is evil. I was taught that this is exactly what Satan sought to do in heaven, so God kicked him out. Satan didn't want us to have free will; Christ and God did. Those who seek to take our free will away are, in my opinion, on Satan's side. By having no moral laws, you essentially take free will away from humans.

    Farewell and Peace.

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  17. Hey Rachel,

    Don't go away mad. The person I would like to be president isn't going to make it either. Sometimes as Molly Ivins said,

    "In the primaries, I vote to change the world; in November, I vote for a sliver more for programs that help the needy."

    As far as morals are concerned, there are not two kinds of people. Morals are what we try to figure out, weighing one good against another. We will disagree on the importance we place on one thing over another.

    George Carlin. Well, I liked him. One can always "drop out" and blame the rest of the stupid people for what happens.

    I choose to hang in there and try to make a small difference.

    Peace.

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  18. "For the past two months of talking with several people on this forum, I have come to the conclusion that there are people who believe in morals (right and wrong) and freedom of choice and people who don't believe in morals and who wish to restrict freedom of choice."

    What, Rachel, specifically are you attempting to imply?

    That I don't have morals simply because I disagree with you? What arrogance! On what basis do you have the nerve make such a charge? I realize that the internet allows anonymity, and with such anonymity people feel they have the right to make all sorts of outlandish, rude, and false claims that they would never say to someone's face, but I'm not going to let a statement like that go without pointing out that you'd really better have some really good evidence that 1) you know me well enough to make such a charge and 2) you've got good evidence that clearly makes your case. Otherwise I'll simply call that statement what it is: hogwash, and suggest that you apologize for it.

    I am glad to take responsibility for my actions, including the votes I place. In this country we have the freedom to vote for whichever candidate we want. I'm going to vote for the candidate that I believe best represents the things I'd like to see this country do over the next 4 years, as will you. I am not going to suggest that you have no morals simply because I disagree with your choice of a candidate.

    If insulting people because they disagree with you is what you and Ron Paul are all about, then that's yet another reason not to vote for him. We've seen enough of that with George Bush for the last 8 years.

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  19. I was hoping someone would get mad and ask me what I meant. I’m not even sure what I meant, and I certainly didn’t mean to offend anyone.

    I have been bothered by a statement Snad made the other day on a different thread. She said that most people probably think that homosexuality is wrong because they have been taught it was wrong their entire life. Taking that argument to its logical conclusion, one could say this on just about anything. Maybe adultery, murder, robbery and drug trafficking are wrong because we have been taught they are wrong.

    I suppose my whole point is that I’m not sure I am a moral relativist anymore. Maybe there are objective truths out there. I think something inside of me wants this to be true, and indeed I believe it is true. I don’t have much else to say about it, except go read the Old Testament, the New Testament, the Book of Mormon, or the Koran.

    Please don’t relate my actions to Ron Paul’s or anyone else’s. They are mine and mine alone.

    As for the elections, I think people who vote for the two mainstream candidates are self-centered, so they vote for a President that they believe will give them what they want. Right-wingers and left-wingers are both guilty of this.

    On the other hand, there are those of us who see the corruption of the whole system and choose not to vote, or we vote for someone who will change the system, since this is the only real way to bring about change for the better. On Tuesday, Ron Paul will deliver a momentous speech in Minnesota. Be sure to check it out on Youtube. Here is a peak of what he will say:

    “We’re here today to send a message, not just to the Republican Party, not just to the politicians in power, but to the whole country and possibly the whole world.”

    “The power brokers are convinced that they can maintain control with no serious challenge. They have it wrong!”

    “We will challenge them on all fronts - in every state and at all levels of government. Individual liberty must be our goal. Peace and prosperity will follow.”

    “Change for the sake of change but not doing the right thing is pure folly. Our Revolution must prevail. And it will!”

    Well, I don’t have time for truth searching anymore. School started back Monday, so I will be busy focusing on that and taking care of my family.

    If I offended anyone for anything I have ever said on this forum, I APOLOGIZE.

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  20. I accept your apology, Rachel, though frankly I still don't understand the statements that precipitated it.

    You wrote, "I think people who vote for the two mainstream candidates are self-centered, so they vote for a President that they believe will give them what they want."

    First of all, if what they want is the right thing to do for the country, I'm not sure that's such a bad thing.

    However, (and second of all), let me disabuse you of that notion anyway. I will not be voting for Obama to make my life any better.

    I have great health care at one of the premier research & teaching hospitals in the world, as does my partner. So, Obama's health care proposals mean little to me, personally. I'm voting for Obama so that perhaps, just maybe, someone who doesn't have it, can get it. And I know that isn't a priority for McCain. And Ron Paul has voted against SCHIP, Medicare drug benefits, mental health equity bills, and believe in a fairy tale in which doctors should give away free care instead of getting paid a reasonable fee for it.

    I have a great house, the mortgage gets paid every month, our interest rate just reset to a much lower rate, and we've been lucky enough not too loose too much value on the house because of where we live. So, Obama's proposals to help people stuck in the mortgage crisis won't help me at all. But perhaps there's a family just a hairsbreadth away from losing their home whom his proposals will help. I know that isn't a priority for McCain.

    I honestly don't know anyone in the armed forces. Bringing the troops home will have little effect on me, personally. I'm voting for Obama so that some Moms and Dads can come home to their families from an ill-advised war over oil. And I know that isn't a priority for McCain.

    I'm a graduate student in Chemistry, my partner is an IT professional. We've been fortunate to be immune to the insane unemployment in Michigan (the highest in the country), while the Republicans completely ignored Detroit for 7 years, refusing to even meet with the leaders of the Big 3. So, Obama's proposals to create jobs aren't going to help me. But maybe they'll help someone who needs it. Middle class jobs are not a priority for McCain.

    I could similarly go down the list of talking points, but I think you get the picture. The fact is, very few of Obama's proposals will affect me personally, nor even many folks I know personally.

    Will Obama work to legalize gay marriage? That *would* affect me personally and would be a "self-centered" reason to vote for him! But nope, he won't work to legalize gay marriage. But I also know that McCain won't even work to bring about some half-hearted attempt at some kind of separate-but-unequal, penny-ante civil union legislation. And neither will Ron Paul, nor Bob (I've been married 3 times, but still authored the Defense of Marriage Act) Barr. And on other LGBT issues, Ron Paul thinks Don't Ask, Don't Tell is just fine, that we don't need legislation protecting LGBT folks from discrimination, and he even co-sponsored the "Marriage Protection Act" which would bar people from bringing cases before courts regarding the constitutionality of the Defense of Marriage Act!

    Let me repeat that one: Ron Paul is *for* restricting ordinary peoples' abilities to seek redress in our country's courts for a clearly unconstitutional law that violates the full faith and credit clause! This is a theme with him. He's all about trying to get laws passed that regulate which cases can and cannot go through the court system, instead of having these decisions made by the courts themselves, based on the merits of the case. Talk about an Executive power grab!

    Will Obama work to eliminate abortion? No. But as I think I've made abundantly clear, neither will McCain, neither will Ron Paul, neither will Bob (I'm supposedly a libertarian, but voted for the Defense of Marriage Act) Barr. However, Obama might work to reduce the number of unwanted pregnancies. Yet, we know that the Republicans are against that. We also know that the Republicans are against opening up adoption to all qualified parents, regardless of sexual orientation. Now I'm never going to have kids, never going to get pregnant and therefore never going to have an abortion, so none of that affects me, personally. But Obama's ideas might help some kid find a home someday. McCain won't lift a finger.

    I am indeed my brother's keeper, and I'm voting for what Obama stands for because I think, just maybe, he might believe that too. But far more importantly, in spite of my inherent cynicism, I think his supporters, the grass roots, the people who actually make the change, may actually believe it too.

    So no, my support of Obama isn't selfish nor self-centered. Nor is it pie-in-the-sky idealism, squishy-soft liberalism, or blind party affiliation. It's just simple good, old-fashioned, Yankee pragmatism, based on traditional, orthodox Christian morality.

    Peace.

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  21. Alan, nice job stating your position. I see, you think you are doing good by voting for your candidate and the welfare state. While you and your partner have first class health care, the poor will be stuck with some sorry state healthcare system. If you think state healthcare is high quality, you have to look no further than VA hospitals.

    If you truly want to know what the welfare state does to poor people, please I implore you to visit a local inner-city school or rural school. State welfare keeps people stuck in a statist postion. They become dependent on the system. That is why I don't believe in state welfare. Now charity, or some other system that doesn't make people dependent I would support.

    I don't believe in the nanny state. We don't need it. There is another way to help the poor and needy.

    I have to go.

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  22. "I see, you think you are doing good by voting for your candidate and the welfare state."

    Yes, yes...you've pegged me exactly. Nanny state all the way!

    Feh.

    Again, Rachel, this is exactly the sort of needless divisive rhetoric we've seen over and over for the last 8 years. If you truly want change, I'd suggest you give up those Karl Rovian tactics and talk reality with people.

    I suppose I could charge that you're fine with screwing the poor and letting them fend for themselves in order to let the "market" take care of them. But I realize you're position is probably more nuanced than that, and I think it is more reasonable to discuss those nuances than to just turn your position into some sort of lame Republican-esque rhetorical strawman argument.

    The first place we can change, regardless of party, is in respecting people who disagree with us, instead of demonizing them, as we've seen from Bush et. al, over the last 8 years, and a practice in which you seem keen to engage. I hope people can do better.

    Peace.

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  23. You are right. I need to quit demonizing you and work on my communication skills. I'm just going through a hard time right now because I see so much wrong with the world that other people don't see or don't care to see.

    Tonight after my son goes to bed I will quote a couple of paragraphs from Ron Paul's latest book on welfare and you can let me know what you think of it.

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  24. Alan,

    I said I would share a couple of paragraphs from Ron Paul’s book, The Revolution: A Manifesto. I didn’t get around to it last night, and when I got up this morning I felt compelled to. If you would have spoke to me one year ago, I would have been the biggest democrat you ever met, but since that time my eyes have been opened to a new way of looking at the world.

    In the fourth chapter of Paul’s book, he talks about economic freedom. I don’t have time to cover the whole chapter, but one of the most interesting aspects that I learned from this chapter is that our government regulates about a million of the products that we import/export. For example, take sugar quotas. The U.S. government limits the amount of sugar that can be imported from around the world. The ordinary consumer doesn’t see the effect of this unless they look at the ingredients in their sweet products. Pepsi, coke, ice cream, they all use high fructose corn syrup since it is cheaper to buy. As a chemistry graduate, I’m sure you know that high fructose corn syrup is bad for people. They can eat it and eat it and it and never feel full. If sugar were used I don’t think we would have so many obese people and it sure would taste better! This is just one example where government intervention has gone wrong.

    Paul talks about the welfare state in this chapter as well. His biggest worry is that we just can’t afford it anymore. But that’s no news to anyone. I’m sure everyone knows that our dollar is due to collapse in the next twenty years. If we want to hang onto our dollar, Paul says that “in the short run, in order to provide for those who we have taught to be dependent, such programs could survive. My own suggestion is to fund this transition period by scaling back our unsustainable overseas commitments, saving hundreds of billions from the nearly one trillion dollars our empire is costing us every year.”

    My favorite thing that Paul points out about the welfare state is the effects that it has had on our families and our communities. He offers this thought experiment, “imagine that the programs that constituted the “federal safety” net were all of a sudden abolished, and for whatever reason could not be revived.” (States would most certainly revive them). “How would you respond?” “Would you be more or less likely to volunteer at a food bank or literacy center?” “If you were a lawyer or physician, would you be more or less likely to offer pro bono services?” “We would all answer yes to these things, wouldn’t we? But, we need to ask ourselves: why aren’t we doing these things already? And the answer is that we have bought into the soul killing logic of the welfare state: somebody else is doing it for me?”

    Paul goes on to talk about medical care before the days of Medicare and Medicaid. He said that many physicians offered cut-rate and free services and that health services were affordable for routine visits. He thinks that it is wrong that you have to have insurance just for routine visits these days. Insurance should be for emergencies only, and it would be affordable if it weren't for the government intervening with HMO’s.

    The whole point of Paul’s book is that there is a better way into the future. If you are not aware of how bad the situation is getting for many people, not just in America, but throughout the world due to government intervention in the economy, I would ask that you take a step back, use your imagination, and read Ron Paul’s book. You can also substitute at a local rural or inner-city school. That will be a major shock for you. You may want to blame it on the kids and their parents, but did you think that maybe it is the system? How can you ever know of any alternative to the problems we face if you don’t open your mind to new ideas? I truly believe that in the next ten years the fan is going to hit the floor, and I hope that instead of a totalitarian regime stepping in, that we see some of Ron Paul’s and other libertarian’s ideas. I cringe when I think of my son’s future if we stay on the path we are on. Ron Paul’s ideas are hope for the poor, lower-middle, and working class. They are the ones who suffer in America and throughout the world.

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  25. I just wanted to say that the reason that I have been spending so much time on Shuck and Jive is because I was hoping that I could find some hope in the future with the current system we have. I really enjoyed my time spent with everyone who blogs on this forum.

    With Love,

    Rachel Baker
    rachel.iva@gmail.com

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  26. Well, Rachel, good luck in the fascist state. "Free market capitalism" will ensure that the food your child eats is poisoned, the air he breathes is toxic, the water he drinks may kill him, the police and fire departments aren't obligated to save his life unless he's paid up on his membership dues, and he won't get anywhere near a hospital when he gets sick unless he can put at least $5,000,000 cash down. The State will make sure that all of your personal choices are made within the dictates of government morality, and you will either be impregnated or have your pregnancies aborted as the government sees fit. You will attend only government-approved churches and your attendance will be tracked. If your rights are violated or if someone causes you harm, forget the court system 'cuz it'll be gone for good.

    See how hyperbole works?

    "Welfare state". How 1970s. Denmark and Sweden sure are hellholes, aren't they?

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  27. By the way, I'm still waiting to hear how a "libertarian" can justify having the government dictate religious views on people.

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  28. I was taught that this is exactly what Satan sought to do in heaven, so God kicked him out. Satan didn't want us to have free will; Christ and God did. Those who seek to take our free will away are, in my opinion, on Satan's side. By having no moral laws, you essentially take free will away from humans.

    I was taught this too: in English Lit class. This sounds like a mesh between Donne's Paradise Lost and Blake's The Marriage of Heaven and Hell, with a soup├žon of Dante's Commedia Divina: Inferno.

    Biblical it ain't.

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  29. Tune into the Rally for the Republic on C-SPAN2 right now. Paul speaks at 8:00 ET.

    I'll read your comments later.

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  30. We would have a lot more money to take care of the poor, elderly, sick and disabled if we weren't spending over a trillion dollars a year to maintain our Empire. How do you justify that? Do you think the Obama/Biden camp is going to stop that spending?

    What do you think about the thought experiment? Don't you think people would be more charitable if they didn't always think someone else is doing it for them (i.e. welfare)?

    Flycandler, if you get some spare time please substitute in a public rural or inner-city school so you can see how bad things are for those kids. This is why I am a libertarian. I have been in the schools and I have seen first hand the destruction of our kids. I think one factor might be a mind-set that somebody else is doing it for me. Parents should take control of their lives and their children's lives. Welfare in the United States demoralizes people.

    I don't know anything about welfare in Europe, but I do know that you have to be in the middle/upper-middle class to even think about moving to Sweden, so maybe that has something to do with if and why welfare works for them.

    "By the way, I'm still waiting to hear how a "libertarian" can justify having the government dictate religious views on people."

    Where did this come from? All the talk on religious views were my personal opinion. Unless you are talking about prayer in public school; like I said that as well as abortion and same-sex marriage could be dealt with at the local/state level.

    "Biblical it ain't."

    Feh, okay. Then what did Jesus mean when he said, "19: Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven?" Matthew Chapter Five

    Flycandler, are realities are totally different, but we live in the same world. What a paradox!

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  32. "Don't you think people would be more charitable if they didn't always think someone else is doing it for them (i.e. welfare)?"

    Someone else. Who else? Our government is run by us. Not by someone else. The money that goes to support it is ours, not someone else's. When we ask the federal government to provide a safety net so that children can get decent medical care it is US who is doing that. Not someone else. We ARE them, Rachel.

    This notion of yours of some big, bad, nebulous "them" who run things is completely contrary to the way our government is structured, Rachel.

    If there were any evidence to support such a notion that people would be more generous if they had more money to spend, I'd support it. Evidence. Not happy pie-in-the sky feelings about human beings, but actual evidence. Unfortunately, there isn't. History has shown us over and over that when taxes are lowered people do not give more. Nor do they save more. They simply spend more. I think if you take a close look at those times in this country with the least amount of government regulation over the free market, and with far lower taxes than we have today, you'll also see massive poverty and low levels of private charity.

    This is why I find it so hard to understand idealists like you Rachel. I do try. However, while I wish I could be so optimistic, the facts clearly demonstrate why such optimism is unjustified.

    "I don't know anything about welfare in Europe, but I do know that you have to be in the middle/upper-middle class to even think about moving to Sweden, so maybe that has something to do with if and why welfare works for them."

    So what you're saying is that their standard of living is too high? Because of "welfare"? If that's the case, bring it on!! :) So welfare improves the economy of a country where people are middle to upper-middle class, and that's bad because of "welfare"?

    "abortion and same-sex marriage could be dealt with at the local/state level."

    You've stated that opinion before, and when asked about it, you haven't clarified your position, Rachel. So perhaps this time you can give specifics and clarify how a state-by-state patchwork of marriage laws would work in this country, given Article IV of the United States Constitution. Also, given that there are, literally over 1000 special *Federal* rights given to married people on the basis of their particular lifestyle choice, it's clear that the only thing the federal government *cannot* do is get out of the marriage business. Consider: 1) The government decides to abolish all those rights -- that's still a position about marriage., 2) The government decides to continue all those rights -- that's also still a position about marriage. BTW, does anyone honestly think that heterosexual couples are simply going to give up those tax breaks, social security benefits, inheritance rights, etc., etc., etc.? Also, while you're giving us specifics on Article IV and marriage rights, remember that your friend Ron Paul wants to continue to keep the federal government in the marriage business, deciding who can and who cannot get married, because he supports the federal Defense of Marriage Act.

    Also, how exactly does allowing states to decide their own abortion laws limit abortion? If New York bans abortion, while Massachusetts continues to allow it, don't you think it's likely that people will simply drive to Massachusetts? They do have cars in MA, don't they?

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