May 15th, 2013 | Politics
If the goal of the IRS is to find people who are evading taxes, isn’t it logical to start with those groups that are openly and vocally anti-taxation?
I’ll take it further: if that’s your job, and you don’t start there–aren’t you either stupid or negligent?
I’ve not been following the case, so I don’t know if some actual crimes were committed, but if they simply set their sites on conservative groups who they thought were high probability targets for evasion, then I don’t see the problem.4 Comments »
A few of his main points:
- It’s not moral to prolong the lives of the poor who are suffering when you could be alleviating their suffering instead.
- Amusing the poor doesn’t help the poor, and in fact it’s mean, as it binds them to their subordinate place.
- The worst slave owners were the ones that were nice to their slaves, because it kept slavery from being seen as evil.
- Charity is ultimately inhumane, as it usually gives only the appearance of help without actually helping. You should not use private property to alleviate the crimes of private property.
Watch the video to get the full ideas.
I’ve written about this for many years. One of my recent arguments has been that, for many conservatives, charity provides the moral permission to separate emotionally from the poor. Another argument I’ve had is that it’s immoral for privileged liberals (conservatives tend not to care) to sit by and watch the poor propagate superstition and a lack of education on to their children–knowing almost for certain that it will create suffering in them and those around them.
There, instead of charity as a shield, liberals use political correctness. “Oh, I don’t presume to know what’s best for everyone…that’d be arrogant of me.” Sure, and because you don’t want to feel uncomfortable you’re going to have millions of people smash themselves against the rocks. It’s sickening.
Example: having kids without holding good jobs. Having kids without having a good education or a good trade. We know these are recipes for failure and for suffering, yet we’re unable to say anything because it’d sound bad to do so.
Basically, we have millions of middle-class 20-somethings with college degrees, and THEY can’t get jobs, yet we’re not going to lean over and tell the family of four where the parents have no education, living off of a McDonald’s wage, that having more kids is nearly guaranteed to bring suffering to that child in the future. It’s borderline criminal. Our unwillingness to address this issue is reprehensible.
So, like the video points out, the answer isn’t food stamps or “more assistance for the poor”. No, that’s extending death from torture by giving a litte pain medication. The answer is to fix poverty, which is the goal of the progressives.
In short, the only way to help the poor is to have there not be any. They must be brought into the middle class through comprehensive education programs, etc. And yes, those who are doing well should pay for that. It’s not just the right thing to do–it’s the practical thing to do.2 Comments »
An informal fallacy is an error in reasoning that does not originate in improper logical form. Arguments committing informal fallacies may be formally valid, but still fallacious. An error that stems from a poor logical form is sometimes called formal fallacy or simply an invalid argument.
There are many different informal fallacies, but a few basic types. For instance, material fallacies is error in what the arguer is talking about, while Verbal fallacies is error in how the arguer is talking.
Fallacies of presumption fail to prove the conclusion by assuming the conclusion in the proof. Fallacies of weak inference fail to prove the conclusion with insufficient evidence. Fallacies of distraction fail to prove the conclusion with irrelevant evidence, like emotion. Fallacies of ambiguity fail to prove the conclusion due to vagueness in words, phrases, or grammar.
Some fallacies are committed intentionally (to manipulate or persuade by deception), others unintentionally due to carelessness or ignorance.No Comments »
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National rates of gun homicide and other violent gun crimes are strikingly lower now than during their peak in the mid-1990s, paralleling a general decline in violent crime, according to a Pew Research Center analysis of government data. Beneath the long-term trend, though, are big differences by decade: Violence plunged through the 1990s, but has declined less dramatically since 2000.
Image by Ronald Grant
If I hear another right-wing idiot with a book phobia talking about how 1984 was a warning and not a user guide, I’m going to fucking bite someone.
George Orwell was a socialist.
His novel promoted the human right to privacy. He was against out of control nationalism that hinges on false or magnified enemies for the purpose of controlling the population with fear. He was against the government being 100% up inside your life trying to tell you what you can and cannot do in the name of morality and decency.
Anyone who thinks the liberals are the threat to those values is patently delusional.
Liberals want seatbelt laws, they want the environment to be safe from profit-driven corporations that would destroy it, they want an end to unjust and deceitfully promoted wars perpetrated in the name of profit, they want government to force companies to put labels on the food and drugs they make, they want free public education for everyone.
In short, they want the government to control malicious entities for the benefit of the people, to provide services that ensure the betterment of all, and they want government OUT OF THEIR PERSONAL LIVES.
Many conservatives, on the other hand, are for controlling who can and cannot marry, they want to dictate how people can have sex with each other, they want to define a national religion to the exclusion of others, they are pro-war, they thrive on demonizing their enemies, and they virtually fetishize conformity.
Now, I ask you, which one of these sounds like a path to 1984?
The basic problem with these tea-party types is that they are ignorant of the facts related to their topics of discussion. They don’t know that Adam Smith actually warned against unchecked markets and recommended regulation to defend against it. They don’t know that the founders of the United States were worried about large factions acting in their self-interest to the detriment of the people (see corporations), and they don’t realize that 1984 was a book warning against a dystopia that their actual political platform would bring about.
But it doesn’t help to tell them these things. They don’t care about facts. They don’t want the truth. What they want is to continue believing what they already believe, and the only way to do that is to cherry-pick these key texts rather than actually read them. They make me sad.34 Comments »
I saw a thread on Reddit recently about gun control laws and thought the gist was worth capturing here.
If gun control legislation was actually effective, wouldn’t there be a ton of data we could point to as evidence of that fact?
Not necessarily, but probably. There are many factors at play with such things, including highly varied gun laws across short distances, etc.
Unfortunately, we don’t know right now because the NRA effectively shut down the study of gun legalization effects a long time ago.
Takeaways From This
- Whatever the question, the NRA is the wrong answer. Whether you like guns, hate them, think everyone should have 20 of them, or are an anti-violence tree-hugging vegan–whatever your stance–the NRA is not good for anything but the NRA. The’re bad for gun owners and bad for America as a whole. This is extremely clear from the fact that they alone have stopped increased background checks from happening, which countless gun owners, former military (including myself who is a former military gun owner), all agree is an essential step to making progress.
- We cannot make true progress on this conversation until we have data, and we can’t have data until we study the situation. What’s stopping that? The NRA. See #1.
Because insurers are paid a fixed percentage of the claims they administer, they have no incentive to hold down costs. Worse than that, they have no incentives to do their jobs with even a modicum of competence. To take one small personal example, I have reached the age of Medicare eligibility but, because I continue to work full time, have primary health insurance coverage through my employer. Blue Shield, of course, wants to be sure it doesn’t pay for any claim it doesn’t have to, so I was asked to attest to the fact that I have no other insurance. No problem there, except such attestations seem to be required on almost a monthly basis—requiring my time on the phone (and on hold) with Blue Shield’s customer service, an oxymoronic term if there ever was one, and also requiring my doctor and laboratory to call me, call Blue Shield, or both, and thus also waste their time and resources.
This story and the many others of the same sort but even worse, magnified across the millions of people subjected to private health insurance companies, is why American health care costs so much and delivers so little. Unless and until we as a society pay attention to the enormous costs and the time wasted by the current administrative arrangements, we will continue to pay much too much for health care.
I would go beyond this to say that the problem is a devotion to capitalism. The problem is greed.
The right looks at a middle man making billions of dollars off of healthcare, at the expense of the people who actually need the services, and they say, “That’s a beautiful thing–those companies making money. That’s what America was built upon.”
Conservatives are essentially morally retarded by the paint sniffing that is profit worship.
Once we address that, then we can find all the places where huge profits are made, and the incentives are not to give better services, or to do so at lower costs, but instead to RAISE costs so that stockholders and CEOs can profit.
Once we have identified those areas we can address them by moving to something more like the Mayo model, which focuses on more equal pay, bonuses based on outcomes, and eliminating waste cause by inefficiency or greed.53 Comments »
Republican Roy Blunt Revealed As Senator Who Snuck ‘Monsanto Protection Act’ Into Spending Bill | Disinformation
April 10th, 2013 | Politics
Which senator pushed the rider into the bill? No one stepped forward to claim credit. But since then, Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) has revealed to Politico that he’s the responsible party. Blunt even told reporteer David Rogers that he “worked with” Monsanto to craft the rider. The admission shines a light on Blunt’s ties to Monsanto, whose office is located in the senator’s home state.
Is this from an episode of House of Cards?112 Comments »
See the full post here.
I’m all about what Obama represented fighting the much worse idiocy of the right in the last election. I remain confident that we’d be far worse off with Romney/Ryan than with Obama.
That stated, Obama’s similarity to the right on so…many…issues is simply unsettling.
The time has come to simultaneously acknowledge that he’s better than the alternatives, but that compared to the Obama that he was supposed to be, or that most people think he is, he is a poor substitute. And he needs to be called out for these things.
Look, I have enough sophistication to know that I don’t (can’t?) grasp the details of most of these issues on this list, i.e. there are things in play that force his hand, and actually result in his position being the one that results in the greater good. I accept that is probably true for some, or at least one, or maybe all.
But what frightens me is that I get nothing from him. I get silence.
What I need to hear is, “Ok, so I made a lot of promises on these 25 core liberal issues, and I appear to be doing the exact opposite…let me explain…”
But I hear nothing. Instead I see drone strikes, GitMo still open, patriot act redoubled, etc, etc.
I want answers, and it’s time we start demanding them.129 Comments »