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Friday, September 5, 2008

Quote of the Day

In this present crisis, government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem. From time to time we’ve been tempted to believe that society has become too complex to be managed by self-rule, that government by an elite group is superior to government for, by, and of the people. Well, if no one among us is capable of governing himself, then who among us has the capacity to govern someone else? All of us together, in and out of government, must bear the burden. The solutions we seek must be equitable, with no one group singled out to pay a higher price.

- Ronald Reagan


H/T Ahab

29 comments:

Anonymous said...

Quoting Reagan? Really? You do know those economic policies DID NOT WORK, right?

DJK said...

Will you be posting some evidence of that claim?

DJK said...

And god forbid we pay less taxes...or have smaller government.

Nikki said...

Read a comment you left on Dooce.com and felt compelled to say something.

I've lived outside of the US, so I feel I have a pretty good view of things. I was a bit perplexed at your comment, where I think you referred to Obama as a communist? Is that who you were referring to?

The country I lived in for 3+ years was a former communist country and they don't use that word so lightly. I think my Czech friends would probably want to re-teach you the meaning of the word "communist." Seriously.

DJK said...

Well, I appreciate you stopping by and leaving a comment.

Well, the cultures might be a little different, but here, when I say that he's a communist well, I mean he's a communist. He has written two memoirs and in one of them he speaks of a "Frank" quite a lot. Frank is Frank Marshall Davis, his mentor for 4 or so years. FMD is a communist in the Communist Party USA.

Obama wants to redistribute wealth by taxing the rich more and spreading it out. He's at least a socialist....maybe "communist" is hyperbole, but it makes a point.

For what it's worth, your Czech friends are more than welcome to come on and give is all a lesson about Communism. While we're at it, we'll ask them how their government felt about firearms. Then we can compare/contrast that to what Obama wants to do with our firearms. Then, you might be a little more in tune with what I mean when I say "communist".

Thanks for coming by... Feel free to comment away...I like the company. ;)

Have a nice weekend!

DJK said...

BTW, save for her politics, Dooce is GREAT! She's a well spoken, well written woman who is HILARIOUS! I was really taken aback by her lambasting of Palin and the GOP.

Nikki said...

Firearms? The Czechs really don't care much about firearms. As a matter of fact, when I was teaching English, one of my classes (all professional adults, aged from mid twenties up to fifty) wanted to watch Bowling for Columbine. Afterwards, they all turned to me and asked, "Is it really like that? Do you really all have guns in your home?" I told them about my parents, who had a rifle under the bed "just in case" and my uncle who has an entire gun cabinet full of every variety of gun you can possibly have. They were all stunned, as was every other Czech friend I spoke to on the topic. They all said, in one way or another, that they would never want to live like that. They don't want guns in their homes, other than for hunting. It's safe to say that every European friend I spoke with, from man countries, felt the same way.

As for freedom and democracy, having lived abroad, I can say that all countries in the EU share the exact same amount of freedom plus some, as we enjoy here in the States.

I find nothing wrong or "communist" with wanting to tax those who have the money versus those who are barely scraping by. (It's my understanding that the highest taxes would be for people who make something obscene like $9b/year?)

In any case, I welcome the debate and find it easier to respect others' opinions when we refer from using words like "douche bag."

DJK said...

Nikki, birds of a feather flock together you know. So, just those people feel that way but that doesn't mean that all of the Czech Republic feel that way. See, when people have experienced communist rule, where their people have been disarmed and then murdered (because they had no way to defend themselves) they probably feel a little different than your friends.
I beg to differ that they "don't care much about firearms". There are at least two firearms manufacturers in the Czech Republic that employ a lot of people and bring a lot of economy to that country. So, I have a feeling that they do care much about firearms. Your friends were stunned because that's the communist education they've received...to dislike and be "stunned" by guns. The government prefers that over the opposite which would be a nation of people armed with the ability to protect themselves....and especially from another communist regime.

DJK said...

"As for freedom and democracy, having lived abroad, I can say that all countries in the EU share the exact same amount of freedom plus some, as we enjoy here in the States."

Nikki, you're not looking very hard.

British people (All of UK) can't own guns.
British people can't wear hats in bars.
British people can't defend their homes.
British people can't take pictures of people that are harassing them or vandalizing their homes.

I could probably go on and on...

But, if you can prove to me that I'm wrong and that the whole of the EU have the same freedoms as Americans...have at it.

DJK said...

"I find nothing wrong or "communist" with wanting to tax those who have the money versus those who are barely scraping by. (It's my understanding that the highest taxes would be for people who make something obscene like $9b/year?)"

Your understanding is WAYYYY off.
INCOME TAX
MCCAIN
(no changes)
Single making 30K - tax $4,500
Single making 50K - tax $12,500
Single making 75K - tax $18,750
Married making 60K- tax $9,000
Married making 75K - tax $18,750
Married making 125K - tax $31,250

OBAMA (reversion to pre-Bush tax cuts)
Single making 30K - tax $8,400 (that's $4,000.00 MORE EACH YEAR)
Single making 50K - tax $14,000
Single making 75K - tax $23,250
Married making 60K - tax $16,800
Married making 75K - tax $21,000
Married making 125K - tax $38,750
Under Obama, your taxes will almost double!!!


I'm not sure how many people make $9B in a year...but whoever they are, I'd rather not tax them into moving their business to another country. I'd rather have them here, in the US, paying a fair tax and continuing to employ Americans, bringing an exponential stimulus to OUR economy. When you start unfairly taxing people who generate great wealth, you start impacting the people that work for them, too. Bill Gates has made quite a bit of money. But, he's also made quite a few millionaires. On top of that he's also employed 10's of thousands of people who have made their livings because of him. Take Microsoft out of America and you're moving all of that wealth into another economy. Not wise.

By the way. "Communist" isn't just a pejorative I use to slant Obama. It's a real word, with a real definition. So, saying that someone is "Communist/Socialist" means something other than, "is a jerk" or whatever. Here's that definition:

1 a: a theory advocating elimination of private property b: a system in which goods are owned in common and are available to all as needed2capitalized a: a doctrine based on revolutionary Marxian socialism and Marxism-Leninism that was the official ideology of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics b: a totalitarian system of government in which a single authoritarian party controls state-owned means of production c: a final stage of society in Marxist theory in which the state has withered away and economic goods are distributed equitably d: communist systems collectively

Nikki said...

I don't have the sharpest memory for facts and figures, so I'll have to look more into that.

But as for the Czechs and "birds of a feather..." I have to say that real life experience trumps reading a few books. I lived there. I lived abroad, I lived in Europe, I've experienced life elsewhere and talked to many, many people. Many of the people I talked to were students (I taught English to professional adults), meaning we weren't birds of a feather flocking together. I was a teacher, being put into a room with people that were not my choosing. We discussed these things at great length and many - MANY of my students - were old enough to truly have lived through communist times. My students ranged from early 20s to late 50s. I actually had one student, a lovely woman named Pavla, who was 65. (She had time, finally, and decided she wanted to brush up on her English.)

There isn't enough news, not enough books or education in the world that can replace a discussion with someone who's actually lived what you read about.

As for what you say makes people in Britain "not free." That's just bull. Not to mention that everyone's definition of "freedom" is NOT the same as yours. Again, having encountered REAL people, some of whom I was very close friends with, they consider themselves free. Even the Czechs, after some discussions with me, would laugh and say, "You're the democracy, why do we have more freedoms than you do?" I had - and still have - very close friends from Portugal, Britain, France, Spain, Germany, Holland, etc. They aren't all "birds of a feather," we disagree at times.

I have seen, firsthand, the socialized health care. I was an outsider in the system and it STILL worked for me. First time I had health insurance in over 4 years, actually, was in going to CZ. And the care I got there, whenever the need arose to go to the doctor or even the hospital a couple times, was superb.

As for "redistributing wealth..." Taxing those with more money isn't exactly "redistributing."

DJK said...

It is EXACTLY redistributing when the money turns into FREE healthcare. It's only free for a few... the rest of us will pay handsomely.

Nikki said...

And as for communism and you're trying to define it... Well. As I said. I lived in a former communist country where we discussed their memories and experiences at length. I was fascinated. I love that we read about it in school or look up a definition online somewhere and think that means we know what it really was, what it is to people, in practice.

In reality, REAL communism is not so black & white. And an interesting fact - I was in Prague for their last big election, July 2006 (or it may have bee 2007 actually). The communist party, still very much alive and kicking, had a rather large percentage of the vote. They weren't that far off from winning.

I'm sorry, but... go ahead, keep telling me how people abroad feel. Have you ever lived anywhere else other than the US? It gives you quite a bit of perspective. For the record, I left the US full of loathing for this country and all that was happening. I had no intentions of coming back, at least not for quite some time yet. Living abroad has given me an appreciation for my home country and a desire to affect change. I work from home and spend MUCH of my free time volunteering, mostly working with less than privileged children. Because I find it deplorable to sit around bitching about how much I want to see change in this country, but to not do anything about it.

Along with an appreciation and a desire to stay in the US and fight the good fight, I have also gained a clearer perspective on the things that I feel are wrong with this country. I expect better. But having lived abroad and having traveled as much as I have, and talked to people from all around the world, I have something to compare it to.

Have you traveled outside of the US? While that question may come off as snide, it's not my intention, I'm genuinely asking.

DJK said...

Yes, I have traveled out of the US. But I guess I'm not nearly as experienced in speaking to the people as you are so I must not have any idea what's really going on out there. I'm glad, though, that you were able to speak to enough people to know what all the different points of view are.

Were you able to speak to any Jews whose families were disarmed and then thrown in an oven? Have you gotten a really good feel for what has happened to people who were forcefully disarmed around the world?

Why should the criminals be able to kill us with guns but we aren't able to defend ourselves with them?

Why were you so disenchanted with your own country?

What is the "Good Fight"?

Do you really think there are many people out there that make $9B/yr?

Why should they have to pay a larger percentage of tax than the rest of us?

Nikki said...

I'm not really sure what the holocaust has to do with anything? "Forceful disarmament" doesn't always lead people to want guns. (But yes, my ex boyfriend is Jewish and had quite a few family members that did and did not survive the Holocaust. None of them, including the older family members, want guns.) As well as the MASSIVE Jewish population in CZ. Prague is the home of the story of Golom, as well as Rabbi Judah Loew the Maharal of Prague. He's buried in the old Jewish cemetary in Josefov (the Jewish quarter), a very sad and depressing place. They also have Terin, the Czech Auschwitz.

I also had a very, very dear friend from Croatia and told the most fascinating and horrifying stories from his childhood. (Now, I hope remember your history lessons about this little place. I've been, and it's stunning. Beautiful beaches. Wonderful people.) He's not what you'd call pro-gun, either. Nor his sister. Nor his parents, etc etc.

There is a vast number of people around the world who don't feel entitled to a owning a gun, or who don't need to resort to violence when something happens or even feel that having a gun will protect them. And, again, I'm really not sure what the Jews have to do with guns... but the odds of any of those people being saved because they had a gun in the house...? A man guarding his family, with a gun, against the force that was sweeping across Europe? Hm.

As for having any idea what's going in countries other than here... A couple weeks here and there simply do not give you a real feel for the culture, the people, the politics.

When I say "fight the good fight" I mean that I now see the value in staying here, in my home country, and trying to effect change from within. By volunteering, by educating, by mentoring, by trying to help give opportunities to children, particularly teenagers, who wouldn't otherwise have them. I mentor a group of 7-8th grade girls in Los Angeles. And I hope that they'll go on to college, wanting to make a difference and knowing that there are people in this country who care about more than just themselves.

Why was I disenchanted? Well, there you go. Because I think it's sad, and disgusting, to live in a country where people make $9b/year and balk at contributing some of that to help those that are barely scraping by. I realize that there are very few people who make that kind of money, but it's enough to make a difference. And how did they make that much money? Oh, right. They live here, in the land of opportunity and loop holes. If I made that kind of money, I would give back. I would give back and help in a heartbeat. Because I could afford to. But I don't make that kind of money, so instead of doing nothing but sitting on my ass arguing politics and bitching about change, I'm doing what I can.

DJK said...

"When I say "fight the good fight" I mean that I now see the value in staying here, in my home country, and trying to effect change from within. By volunteering, by educating, by mentoring, by trying to help give opportunities to children, particularly teenagers, who wouldn't otherwise have them. I mentor a group of 7-8th grade girls in Los Angeles. And I hope that they'll go on to college, wanting to make a difference and knowing that there are people in this country who care about more than just themselves."

A noble thing you are doing.

DJK said...

"Why was I disenchanted? Well, there you go. Because I think it's sad, and disgusting, to live in a country where people make $9b/year and balk at contributing some of that to help those that are barely scraping by."


Do you really think those people (all three of them) aren't paying taxes? Their taxes are more than my entire city's salary every year. My question is why should they have to pay 65% when you and I only pay 17% or 25%? These people create jobs for the rest of us. Why make them want to take those jobs elsewhere? Why shouldn't they just pay the same amount as you or I pay?

I don't think those people "balk" at contributing but they balk at contributing a higher percentage. Of course, I would have no idea what it's like to have that kind of money but don't begrudge someone that does.

DJK said...

"I'm not really sure what the holocaust has to do with anything? "Forceful disarmament" doesn't always lead people to want guns."


I never said it did. I did, however, say that it leads to people being oppressed by the people who have forcefully disarmed them...like the Jews. Hey, who has guns..we want to keep a record....just cuz.

I do I do I do...

Ok, now give them to us.

Ok Ok Ok.

Ok, now get on these trucks and we'll take you to a nice place in the country.

See my point now?

We have the second amendment so that we might protect ourselves from an oppressive government (remember the American War of Independence otherwise known as the Revolutionary War?). Well, there might come another day where a despotic zealot (like Obama) gets into power and decides that he wants to corral us up and put us in the ovens (proverbially or literally). If we have no arms...we have no protection, like the Jews.

That's my point. See it?

DJK said...

"And, again, I'm really not sure what the Jews have to do with guns... but the odds of any of those people being saved because they had a gun in the house...? A man guarding his family, with a gun, against the force that was sweeping across Europe? Hm."


No...but a bunch of those men together? Hundreds or even thousands of them? Again....let us remember our Revolutionary War. Same idea.

http://www.blackwaterusa.com/btw2004/articles/0726sheep.html

DJK said...

Nikki,

What about the right to attorney before you speak to the police? How many of those enlightened countries that you speak of allow you to have an attorney present before they shower you with questions might well land you in the slammer?

I've just read that Japan doesn't allow you an attorney for three weeks. But, they think that's normal since what's what they've been taught.

DJK said...

Nikki,

And speaking of the Jews...

http://thereadyline.blogspot.com/2008/09/must-have-israeli-accessory.html

After being annihilated by the Germans and constantly attacked by the Muslims, Israelis have taken up arms. Why? For protection. These people take their own defense into their own hands instead of thinking that the police can be everywhere all the time.

DJK said...

"In the early years of the Jewish state, gun laws were comparatively strict, a hangover from the days of British colonial rule. But in 1974, an attack on a school compound in Maalot by three Palestinian gunman changed attitudes forever. Mourning the deaths of 16 teenagers, the nation looked for a way to prevent future atrocities, and increased gun ownership seemed the logical answer. Regulations were relaxed and all teachers at schools and nurseries were armed in order to defend their pupils against future aggressions.

Since that time, guns have become a commonplace feature of Israeli life, with few ever questioning the efficacy of the policy. Gun ownership has been credited with saving lives of Israelis under attack on numerous occasions, establishing a firm belief that only an armed community can defend itself against Palestinian terrorism."

Nikki said...

You have a few not-quite-factual statements in there and a lot of things based on stuff you've READ.

Bottom line is, I think a lot of Americans are making too many uninformed decisions.

I've spent my entire adult life chasing down experiences, traveling the world, sitting in cafes and parks having some fabulous, spontaneous conversations about the state of the world with real people who've lived through all the things that you & I just learned about in school or see on the news. I have a different view of things. I see things in the bigger picture. The world goes far beyond our own front doors.

That's not to say that everywhere else is perfect. Nowhere is perfect. However, I find it frightening that there's so much focus on GUNS here in your argument. Guns do not equate freedom, not everyone who is held down wants guns and not everyone needs guns to rise up. Guns are not the answer, the answer lies in all those reasons Americans think they want guns. There are SO many underlying issues that need to be addressed and fixed. But hey, let's just slap a used band-aid on it, give everyone a gun and see what happens. You want to use the Israeli conflict as an argument for guns? Dear god. Hm. Yes. Increased gun ownership for Israel... I remember reading about how peaceful it's been lately since that increase, yeah? I rest my case. Root problems. Guns do not equal an answer.

In the "civilized" world, I don't remember the numbers offhand, but the number of gun-related deaths in other countries could be counted on one hand. Except the US. In the US it was in the tens of thousands. Doesn't that sound like a separate issue that needs to be addressed? Do you know who else has gun-related death numbers similar to ours? Oh... Brazil (Rio), Mexico, Colombia, countries with extreme violence,civil war, and genocide (Africa.)

In any case, guns are simply not the correct focus for any argument regarding our government. Are there not SO MANY MORE IMPORTANT ISSUES to think about today? Things need to be turned around.

And I'd like to point out... communism. "True" communism according to history and not to the dictionary... calling Obama a communist is ludicrous. Let's take the word anarchy, for example. Dictionary definition, fabulous. Not a bad concept. But the reality?

Again, it's hard to respect someone's opinions and argument when they frivolously throw around words with such weight and history. Along with meaningless slings such as asshole and douche bag. Is there not a higher standard than that when trying to prove your point? (I read a couple of your posts.)

The work week has begun and I need to take my focus off these heartbreaking politics. I have future leaders of the world waiting on me for mentoring and positive influence. *smile* (Girls from the parts of LA you & I would not choose to walk through at night... I wonder how many of their brothers and sisters and parents would still be here today if not for all the gun violence in their lives? But anyway.)

Over and out.

DJK said...

Nikki,

Thanks for posting. You are unabashedly smug in your comment about me having only READ something and you haveing BEEN somewhere. Does that fact that you've sat in a cafe or a park and had a chat with someone mean anything? Yes, it means that you sat in a park and had a chat with someone, and that 's it. Makes you no more of a person or an expert than I am.

DJK said...

"The work week has begun and I need to take my focus off these heartbreaking politics. I have future leaders of the world waiting on me for mentoring and positive influence."

Again, noble.

"*smile* (Girls from the parts of LA you & I would not choose to walk through at night... I wonder how many of their brothers and sisters and parents would still be here today if not for all the gun violence in their lives? But anyway.)"

How many of them lost those brothers, sisters, and parents because of their religion or their politics? How many of those people were lost because they were gangsters or thieves? This is where people like and the Brady Campaign fail. Most of those young up and comers from the inner cities that have been killed in a hail of gunfire (or other such nonsense)died because they were bad people. I know their aunties said that they were just about to turn their lives around or they were alter boys or whatever the aunties always say. But the fact of the matter is that most of those kids were killers/thieves/robbers/rapists themselves. Good people don't tend to get shot down for no reason. Do you realize that Chicago is a "gun free" zone? Guns are illegal there. But, a couple weekends ago there were 125 deaths where the murder was done by someone with a gun. Do gun bans work? I wonder how many of those were good people that were just in the wrong place at the wrong time. I'm sure there were a couple. But, in a world where people are being raped/robbed/murdered at such a rate, I'd like to have the ability to protect myself if the need arises. After all, I'm allowed to have a fire extinguisher.

DJK said...

"Again, it's hard to respect someone's opinions and argument when they frivolously throw around words with such weight and history. Along with meaningless slings such as asshole and douche bag. Is there not a higher standard than that when trying to prove your point? (I read a couple of your posts.)"


Please, count up my words. See how many times I use words that you don't like. Divide the latter by the former. I'm sure it's a pretty low percentage - hardly a "frivolous" amount. Plus, I get to say whatever I want about whomever I please here on my blog...and I do. You're a big girl and you're in my yard, buck up.

DJK said...

"In any case, guns are simply not the correct focus for any argument regarding our government. Are there not SO MANY MORE IMPORTANT ISSUES to think about today? Things need to be turned around."

I guess the Constitution just means more to me than it does to you...or at least certain parts of it.

DJK said...

"In the "civilized" world, I don't remember the numbers offhand, but the number of gun-related deaths in other countries could be counted on one hand. Except the US. In the US it was in the tens of thousands. Doesn't that sound like a separate issue that needs to be addressed? Do you know who else has gun-related death numbers similar to ours? Oh... Brazil (Rio), Mexico, Colombia, countries with extreme violence,civil war, and genocide (Africa.)"

Yes, absolutely. Criminal control is what we need. Controlling guns only controls the people that follow the law. That group doesn't include criminals.

We need to stop looking at why people commit crimes and feeling sorry for them. We need to throw the book at violent criminals...and then maybe some special gas.

DJK said...

http://waronguns.blogspot.com/2008/09/another-child-gun-death.html