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Voluntarist

United States

#61184 Oct 24, 2013
Frijoles wrote:
<quoted text>
Kindly compare the number of wars that Obama has engaged in vs Bush
0 vs 2
US drone strikes could be classed as war
crimes, says Amnesty International
Joint report with Human Rights Watch judges US attacks in Yemen
and Pakistan to have broken international human rights law
US officials responsible for the secret CIA drone campaign against
suspected terrorists in Pakistan may have committed war crimes
and should stand trial, a report by a leading human rights group
warns. Amnesty International has highlighted the case of a
grandmother who was killed while she was picking vegetables and
other incidents which could have broken international laws
designed to protect civilians.
The report is issued in conjunction with an investigation by
Human Rights Watch detailing missile attacks in Yemen which the
group believes could contravene the laws of armed conflict,
international human rights law and Barack Obama's own
guidelines on drones.
The reports are being published while Nawaz Sharif, Pakistan's
prime minister, is in Washington. Sharif has promised to tell
Obama that the drone strikes which have caused outrage in
Pakistan must end.
Getting to the bottom of individual strikes is exceptionally difficult
in the restive areas bordering Afghanistan, where thousands of
militants have settled. People are often terrified of speaking out,
fearing retribution from both militants and the state, which is
widely suspected of colluding with the CIA-led campaign.

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/oct/22/...
Voluntarist

United States

#61185 Oct 24, 2013
Frijoles wrote:
<quoted text>
Yes, you can make the claim that the TP has a clean ideology, but the reality is much different. As per my links.
Where were these people when the govt expenses was expanding under Bush? As per the size of govt, that has been shrinking since Clinton. Which means the TP is tilting at windmills.
See http://www.nytimes.com/2012/05/05/business/ec...
Its not about the money, its about the social agenda. That is clear. Hence the preoccupation with Ayn Rand.
The tea party was formed around 2007 during Ron Pauls first run.
Voluntarist

United States

#61186 Oct 24, 2013
Frijoles wrote:
<quoted text>
Yes, you can make the claim that the TP has a clean ideology, but the reality is much different. As per my links.
Where were these people when the govt expenses was expanding under Bush? As per the size of govt, that has been shrinking since Clinton. Which means the TP is tilting at windmills.
See http://www.nytimes.com/2012/05/05/business/ec...
Its not about the money, its about the social agenda. That is clear. Hence the preoccupation with Ayn Rand.
Government expenditures are part of the "size of government", and that has not been shrinking and I think it was Bush that tripled the size of the batf.

“Legumes of the World Unite ”

Since: Sep 11

Location hidden

#61187 Oct 25, 2013
Rick Moss wrote:
<quoted text>

As for the size of federal government shrinking, it's a clever argument that government spending is falling as a percentage of GDP since the Clinton administration. However, I can show a Forbes article ( http://www.forbes.com/sites/mikepatton/2013/0... ) that shows a steady increase in the number of government employees since the Reagan years with the first decline in the 2nd part of the Obama administration, due mostly to smaller state and local government spending cutbacks related to shrinking tax bases -- not federal.
That Forbes article skewed the data by dividing by population. Thats not an agreed upon approach. There is no reason why population and government should be linked, and therefore need to be delinked.

But what about this? Note the distinctions between Total Government Jobs and Federal Jobs

http://economix.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/01/06/...
Under Obama, a Record Decline in Government Jobs

"...Employees: The number of federal employees grew by 123,000, or 6.2%, under President Obama, according to the White House's Office of Management and Budget.
Much of the hiring increases came in the departments of homeland security, justice, veterans and defense...."
http://money.cnn.com/2012/01/25/news/economy/...

"....On the other hand, total government employment federal plus state and local has fallen significantly under President Obama after rising significantly under President Bush..."
http://www.aei-ideas.org/2012/09/has-governme...

“Legumes of the World Unite ”

Since: Sep 11

Location hidden

#61188 Oct 25, 2013
Voluntarist wrote:
<quoted text>
Government expenditures are part of the "size of government", and that has not been shrinking and I think it was Bush that tripled the size of the batf.
and yet noone complained until we got a black man as President.

“Legumes of the World Unite ”

Since: Sep 11

Location hidden

#61189 Oct 25, 2013
Voluntarist wrote:
<quoted text>
US drone strikes could be classed as war
crimes, says Amnesty International
Yep, another Bush era innovation. Conceding that Obama is guilty as well, but no worse than Bush. Doesnt support your notion as Obama as more war mongering.

“Legumes of the World Unite ”

Since: Sep 11

Location hidden

#61190 Oct 25, 2013
Rick Moss wrote:
<quoted text>
But, what I find more troubling that the rising government workforce is the rising number of occasions where executive fiat has successfully circumvented congressional oversight. The system of checks and balances is, I believe, much too heavily skewed in favour of the executive. A smaller federal workforce could reverse than trend.

That is also my point, federal government grows steadily regardless of who is office. The system in place guarantees that perpetuation. Government programs can only grow, they can never shrink until, one day, they become unworkable and are replaced by another program.
If you put aside your ideology for the moment - why is that troubling? The IT sector has grown as well, especially in corporations, yet you are not troubled by that. Why is govt sector more holy than private sector that thou shalt inscribe prohibitions? What so special about the government sector? You think GOVT is the only employer who suffers from instiutionalism? You think we as the general public dont suffer from the institutionalization within the private sector?(Ever try to get a human being on the phone with ATT?)You really think its so easy to get fired in the private sector? If so, there wouldnt be any Dilbert.
Rick Moss wrote:
<quoted text>Given that the blame is shared equally between both parties in power, it only makes sense that a 3rd Party (which I believe the TP must become in order to survive ideologically) are the only people with a chance to make any sort of change.
To make an analogy, if you want fewer sex offenders teaching primary school. You would be a fool to recruit teachers from the ranks of registered sex offenders. I'm not naive enough to believe all sex offenders are registered. But you have a better chance hiring those who don't have a proven record than hiring those who do and hoping THIS TIME they won't molest the children.
I still dont buy in to the APOCALYPTIC characterization regarding the scope of the problem (govt spending is SO out of control that you have to burn down the village to save it). In fact, from what I see, the TP has no desire to save the village, rather they want a new type of society.

I do buy into the idea that govt spending can be reigned in, but due to the economic circumstances, this can be staged over time.

And I fail to see how causing a 24 billion dollar hit to the economy is saving us any money in the long run. Most economists would agree that the TP just costed us money.
Rick Moss wrote:
<quoted text>As for TP member being Rand ideologues. I doubt many are that familiar with her ideology. There is copious evidence that Rand herself had considerable problems making her ideology fit into any real-world scenarios. In her later years, Rand was all over the map trying to reconcile issues like anti-war movement, military draft, abortion rights, women's and gay rights into her theoretical structure. That being said, much of Rand's ideology (better explained in her concise non-fiction work than her fictional tomes) is perfectly applicable to real world scenarios.
But yet is has been publically stated by more than a few TP that Ayn Rand should be required reading.

“Legumes of the World Unite ”

Since: Sep 11

Location hidden

#61192 Oct 25, 2013
Rick Moss wrote:
<quoted text>
That is also my point, federal government grows steadily regardless of who is office. The system in place guarantees that perpetuation. Government programs can only grow, they can never shrink until, one day, they become unworkable and are replaced by another program.
BUT maybe back in 2001, if Bush had made the decision to prosecute Bin Laden as a criminal rather than go after him as a terrorist, then we wouldnt even having this debate. To me, it seems the blame should be on him, not on the perceived "Welfare Moochers".

"...Employees: The number of federal employees grew by 123,000, or 6.2%, under President Obama, according to the White House's Office of Management and Budget.
Much of the hiring increases came in the departments of homeland security, justice, veterans and defense...."
http://money.cnn.com/2012/01/25/news/economy/ ...

“Legumes of the World Unite ”

Since: Sep 11

Location hidden

#61193 Oct 25, 2013
HughBe wrote:
<quoted text>
I try my very best and so I am honoured that you appreciate the effort.
Yes, the role of the Village Idiot is always vital to community moral. Someone has to play it. Might as well be you.

“Act Interdimensional ly”

Since: Jan 08

Location hidden

#61194 Oct 25, 2013
Frijoles wrote:
<quoted text>
That Forbes article skewed the data by dividing by population. Thats not an agreed upon approach. There is no reason why population and government should be linked, and therefore need to be delinked.
I'm not sure why. Ratio of population to the number of people it takes to serve said population is a pretty good indicator of how efficient government is.

“Act Interdimensional ly”

Since: Jan 08

Location hidden

#61195 Oct 25, 2013
Frijoles wrote:
<quoted text>
If you put aside your ideology for the moment - why is that troubling? The IT sector has grown as well, especially in corporations, yet you are not troubled by that. Why is govt sector more holy than private sector that thou shalt inscribe prohibitions?.
It's not ideology to say that if an executive branch department takes powers that are not prescribed by law, government by decree, then that is an abuse of the checks and balances system.

Both parties do that, Roosevelt did it when he interned Japanese Americans. Truman did it when nationalized steel production. Nixon did it when he fixed gas prices. Some of these decrees are eventually invalidated by the courts (Truman's steel mill decree and Japanese Internment for example). Individual agencies do it continuously by enforcing laws far beyond their original intent or taking upon themselves powers not even given by law.

The difference between the private sector and the government sector when it comes to abuse of power is that, in the private sector, the market will eventually sort things out. We saw this specifically in the IT/TELECOM sector in 2000 when it had been growing out of control for years with inflated capital valuations and fell apart as the market could not sustain the growth. 2000/2001 was a blood bath in the IT/TELECOM sector.

There is no market limit on government growth. It can only be contained by the limit of tax revenues and not even by that. Deficit spending is the norm and budget ceilings are a joke that no one takes seriously. A government program, once initiated must continue to grow and the market won't stop it. Without artificial (call the ideological if you must) limits on the growth of government, it will continue to expand indefinitely.

“Act Interdimensional ly”

Since: Jan 08

Location hidden

#61196 Oct 25, 2013
Frijoles wrote:
<quoted text>
...But yet is has been publically stated by more than a few TP that Ayn Rand should be required reading.
I'm sure lots of TP member advocate a lot of things. I personally think EVERYONE should read "Walking Dead". It's a great comic.

But, I don't believe Ms Rand's works have achieved the status of Mao's Little Red Book. I don't see people waving "The Fountainhead" in the air at TP rallies. For one thing, it's big, you could hurt someone waving it around.

For most people, Rand's works are the equivalent of Hawking's "Brief History of Time". They look good sitting on the coffee table but no one actually reads them (they just say they do). Rand, like Hawking, is a tough read. She's long-winded, and about as subtle as a H-Bomb. In her faction she will take 35 pages to describe an idea that could be summed up in a paragraph.

“Act Interdimensional ly”

Since: Jan 08

Location hidden

#61197 Oct 25, 2013
Frijoles wrote:
<quoted text>
...I still dont buy in to the APOCALYPTIC characterization regarding the scope of the problem (govt spending is SO out of control that you have to burn down the village to save it)...
I don't consider the current situation as apocalyptic -- an apocalypse would be a hell of a lot more fun.

I don't advocate burning anything down. I'm saying that if you desire a change in the system you can't make any change with the current entrenched leadership in EITHER party. They have too much at stake perpetuating the current system.

Two parties, with different ideological bents, gorging a the same trough.

“Act Interdimensional ly”

Since: Jan 08

Location hidden

#61198 Oct 25, 2013
There, I think I hit all the highlights. We may have to continue this discussion post Shabbat. It's almost candle time here.

“Legumes of the World Unite ”

Since: Sep 11

Location hidden

#61199 Oct 25, 2013
Rick Moss wrote:
<quoted text>
I'm not sure why. Ratio of population to the number of people it takes to serve said population is a pretty good indicator of how efficient government is.
Because not all govt services are needed by all people equally.

“Legumes of the World Unite ”

Since: Sep 11

Location hidden

#61200 Oct 25, 2013
Rick Moss wrote:
There, I think I hit all the highlights. We may have to continue this discussion post Shabbat. It's almost candle time here.
I still have a few hours here. But I will try to be succinct so that you dont feel sandbagged when you come back.

“Legumes of the World Unite ”

Since: Sep 11

Location hidden

#61201 Oct 25, 2013
Rick Moss wrote:
<quoted text>
I don't consider the current situation as apocalyptic -- an apocalypse would be a hell of a lot more fun.
I don't advocate burning anything down. I'm saying that if you desire a change in the system you can't make any change with the current entrenched leadership in EITHER party. They have too much at stake perpetuating the current system.
Two parties, with different ideological bents, gorging a the same trough.
I agree you are moderate, relative to the loonies, and that you dont buy into everything. But I do disagree on the "gorging at the trough" characterization. People have differing opinions regarding what should be essential. The trough is there, the question is how to divide it. I dont see how the system is evil in itself. It seems to me that the TP is afraid of engaging in public discourse in making the hard choices.

“Act Interdimensional ly”

Since: Jan 08

Location hidden

#61202 Oct 25, 2013
Frijoles wrote:
<quoted text>
Because not all govt services are needed by all people equally.
You could say that about any business. Some people need whips, chains and candle wax, while others are served just as well by a quick hand job.

How's that for a pre-Shabbat analogy?

“Legumes of the World Unite ”

Since: Sep 11

Location hidden

#61203 Oct 25, 2013
Rick Moss wrote:
<quoted text>
I'm sure lots of TP member advocate a lot of things. I personally think EVERYONE should read "Walking Dead". It's a great comic.
But, I don't believe Ms Rand's works have achieved the status of Mao's Little Red Book. I don't see people waving "The Fountainhead" in the air at TP rallies. For one thing, it's big, you could hurt someone waving it around.
For most people, Rand's works are the equivalent of Hawking's "Brief History of Time". They look good sitting on the coffee table but no one actually reads them (they just say they do). Rand, like Hawking, is a tough read. She's long-winded, and about as subtle as a H-Bomb. In her faction she will take 35 pages to describe an idea that could be summed up in a paragraph.
I suspect you are correct. Kind of similar to the number of politically active "Christians" who actually have read their bible.

“Legumes of the World Unite ”

Since: Sep 11

Location hidden

#61204 Oct 25, 2013
Rick Moss wrote:
<quoted text>
It's not ideology to say that if an executive branch department takes powers that are not prescribed by law, government by decree, then that is an abuse of the checks and balances system.
Both parties do that, Roosevelt did it when he interned Japanese Americans. Truman did it when nationalized steel production. Nixon did it when he fixed gas prices. Some of these decrees are eventually invalidated by the courts (Truman's steel mill decree and Japanese Internment for example). Individual agencies do it continuously by enforcing laws far beyond their original intent or taking upon themselves powers not even given by law.
The difference between the private sector and the government sector when it comes to abuse of power is that, in the private sector, the market will eventually sort things out. We saw this specifically in the IT/TELECOM sector in 2000 when it had been growing out of control for years with inflated capital valuations and fell apart as the market could not sustain the growth. 2000/2001 was a blood bath in the IT/TELECOM sector.
There is no market limit on government growth. It can only be contained by the limit of tax revenues and not even by that. Deficit spending is the norm and budget ceilings are a joke that no one takes seriously. A government program, once initiated must continue to grow and the market won't stop it. Without artificial (call the ideological if you must) limits on the growth of government, it will continue to expand indefinitely.
I disagree. I see plenty of inefficiencies in the private sector that did not sort themselves out, or not until their was immense collateral damage. The financial industry, for one.

I dont see the downside to govt growth IF they are providing a needed service. Health Care expansion, for example (if we had the balls to go to single payer). Its not growth per se thats a problem. If there IS a problem it might be lack of performance standards/accountability and/or overreach (as you have posited).

However, I dont see this as endemic only to govt (it happens in the private sector as well), nor do I think govt lacks the checks and balances to keep this at bay. Agencies and programs can be reformed or defunded within the existing political infrastructure, without going extra-legislative (like the TP tried to do).

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