As I type these words, a cease-fire between Israel and Hamas is going into effect. If it holds, the new Islamist government of Egypt - with an assist from Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton - will get credit.
Posted at 3:39pm on November 21, 2012 by Allan Loudell
I'm wondering if any of you had the same Black Friday experience as my wife and I.
We've been shuffled, pushed, jostled with nary an 'excuse me'. I still remember the fat lady that stepped on my foot last year in her race to get to a flat-screen TV.
MY favorite is when there's a long line at Target at one cashier, a second cashier arrives and yells "can I help the next person in line" which brings a stampede of people from the BACK OF THE LINE to quickly grab a spot in the new line.
What would Jesus say?
Mike from Delaware
Thu, Nov 22, 2012 10:50am
Let each of us stop and take a few moments to silently thank God for whatever it is we personally are grateful for. For each of us, those things may be different. In our busy multitasking world it is easy not to have an attitude of gratitude. Many folks will say we want God to bless America. Fact is God has been blessing America for years. Even America's poor live in a higher standard of living than most of the rest of the world.
A number of years ago, the UN published a book full of photos. Each photo showed the typical median income family from 190 nations with all of their possessions stacked in front of their homes. We in the USA of course had the most stuff and the biggest stuff. Europe, Japan, Australia, had similar stuff, but not nearly as much, and it was way smaller (cars, TV's, etc) than what we have. Russia and places like that had less, but similar stuff. Then came the rest of the world, the Third World (which is most of the world's population, according to that book). They live a some shack, with a clay or steel pot and the clothes they've got on their backs. It's very sobering to see how so many folks in the world actually live.
As the expression goes, but for the grace of God go I. I realize that we are in a tough economy and many in America who want jobs are without jobs. People here are hurting too. I'm not making light of that, but sometimes it's good to be reminded of how much God has blessed America. It's also a good thing to stop and give thanks with a grateful heart, showing an attitude of gratitude to the creator of the universe for what we've been blessed with. So I encourage each of you to stop, right now, take a silent moment to reflect on what you're grateful for this Thanksgiving...........
The second thing we should do after thanking God for our abundance is to ask how and who we can help those who are less fortunate than us. It's not just in donating money (that is important too), but maybe helping out by donating food or clothing to a local church's food and clothes closet. Maybe giving some time to work at one of those food/clothes closets (putting stuff away, serving those who come for help). Maybe making quilts, afghans, mittens, etc., to donate to the various charities in your community, also some do both local and overseas work like L.C.S. (Lutheran Community Services) your local Lutheran Church can direct you on how to contact your local branch or Google Lutheran Community Services. I know they have a program where folks (usually women) make comfort quilts and they get sent to folks in Third World nations where they are a great blessing to those folks we discussed earlier. You get the idea. There are plenty of ways you can be a blessing.
Third thing might be encouraging our government officials, both state and federal, to keep the social safety-net programs that help folks going. I know of a woman, whose ONLY source of income is her very small Social Security check. She worked at minimum-wage jobs, no pension, didn't have the money to do a 401K. assuming she even knew what that was, no other income, but a check from Uncle Sam that's less than $1000/month. So don't believe the hype that those elderly folks are living high (Sure, some are: they had great jobs with great incomes, great pensions, etc.), but there are those others who were not Welfare bums, they worked their entire lives and now depend totally on their Social Security checks. Without that Social Security check this woman would be homeless. So yes, I realize our government needs to cut-back on spending, but let's cut other stuff first that isn't providing essential stuff BEFORE we cut things that truly are helping folks who have real need. There is so much fat and waste in our governments (Businesses would go belly up if they operated in such a manner,) So then, if we still have to cut more, the amount of things we cut that actually help folks in need will be far less than if we'd not cut the other stuff first.
So in closing, besides stuffing ourselves with Turkey and Pumpkin pie, as we watch football on TV today, let's take a moment to thank God for our blessings, then consider how we, who have so much, can bless those less fortunate than us.
Have a blessed, fun, Thanksgiving.
Thu, Nov 22, 2012 10:56am
Teatime: I believe Jesus would say "Come out from among them, and be ye separate". As Christians, we don't need to be getting tangled up in that mess.
MFD: Great Thanksgiving post, couldn't have said it better myself, and I wish you, your family, everybody on this blog, and all of America, the greatest Thanksgiving of your life, and God bless America.
Thu, Nov 22, 2012 11:10am
May all on this blog have a joyful day of giving thanks.
Fri, Nov 23, 2012 9:22am
It happened again. An older man who was sixth or seventh in line at the dry cleaners.....he immediately rushes to the new line which opened. The real next person in line was halfway out of his first line, when he realized he was about to be trampled. He had to go back to his original line.
What would Jesus say?
Fri, Nov 23, 2012 10:04pm
Just goes to show you teatime. The private sector can't police their own property. We now need government to expand itself into the malls on Black Friday.. lol..
On another note, Mr. Pizza's goodwill wish must have worked. I had a wonderful Thanksgiving.
Mike from Delaware
Sat, Nov 24, 2012 2:36pm
Maybe some in the GOP are getting the message that most of America believes the wealthiest 2% should be paying more in taxes. Sen. Saxby Chambliss, R-Ga., is ditching the Grover Norquist pledge of no new taxes.
Maybe this will give other Republicans in Congress the courage or the "stones" to also ditch the Norquist pledge and do what needs to be done to get America moving again.
More Republicans are walking away from the Norquist pledge.
"But with lawmakers and the White House hoping to reach a deficit-reduction deal to avoid the “fiscal cliff” of rising tax rates and automatic spending cuts taking effect in January, some Republicans have suggested they will no longer honor their commitment to the pledge."
Approximately a dozen newly-elected House Republicans have also refused to sign the anti-tax pledge.
...only kavips would wish for more government control on Thanksgiving.
You do know what the real story is right? Even Charlie Brown's friend Linus knows the true origin of this holiday.
Mike from Delaware
Sun, Nov 25, 2012 4:08pm
Mrpizza: Really, traitors? Are you making $250,000 NET, not GROSS, NET each year? You must get tons of OT with the post office and get some fastastic tips delivering pizza. I listened to Obama's speeches and people making $250K NET and those who make more than that will lose the Bush tax cuts. I believe Obama said that the number affected who are actual job-creators is 2%, so the rest of them are getting a free ride since the argument for keeping those upper 2% folks with the Bush tax-cut is that they are job-creators. But only 2% of that group are actual job-creators.
Apparently those GOP congressional folks have done the math (OK, probably had one of their staff do the math for them) and realize Obama is correct and the nation needs that extra revenue to help get this economy and jobs going and to avoid the fiscal cliff, etc., etc. I give those folks high praise that they were man enough (or woman enough if that applies) to realize they were incorrect and changed their position. ONLY an idiot stubbornly sticks to a wrong position once they realize they are in error. So NO, they are NOT traitors, they are patriots in my view.
Sun, Nov 25, 2012 8:04pm
Sorry Mike, but this whole thing about the 2% and the 2% of the 2% is nothing but class envy, which originates from a spirit of covetousness. That same covetous spirit is what inspired Nazi Germany and the Bolshevik Revolution. No, I'm not saying you personally have a covetous spirit, but there's one in operation, and we Christians should not be deceived by it.
Mike from Delaware
Sun, Nov 25, 2012 11:24pm
So Mrpizza, you are saying that it's just perfectly fine that the economic system has gotten itself so out-of-whack that for more than 30+ years, the upper 2%'s salaries have grown megafast like a rocket, while at the same time, their % of taxation has lowered; while at the same time the middle-class salaries have dropped like a lead-weight so they are making far less than they used to as those former good-paying jobs flew overseas due to the actions of those other folks who's salary grew like a rocket.
So the person making less pays more of a % of their money in taxes while the folks with all the money increases (more unbalanced than at any time in American history) pay less and are paying less than at any time since 1941 - that's 71 years ago. That's not class envy, it's robbery. Robin Hood in reverse. Take from the poor and give to the rich. That's no spirit of covetousness. It's the little guy getting tired of always being on the "receiving end" when the "shaft gets placed" hurting folks who can't afford it, as the protected "special" group gets all the benefits, but whines about them having to pay a little bit more that amounts to next-to-nothing given how much they already have. There's such a thing as right and wrong, reasonable and unreasonable. That's NOT covetousness.
Mon, Nov 26, 2012 2:37am
These jobs went overseas because of excessive taxation and regulation by the ever-expanding U.S. government. I know my argument is unpopular, and I don't expect to win it, but I don't care.
The origin of this 2% thing has been circulating as an urban legend simply because Warren Buffet went on some liberal cable-network show and said something about paying a lower tax-rate than his cleaning lady. Has anybody ever "fact-checked" that? What credibility does Buffet have anyway? He's in the same camp with that commie thug Soros.
Make no mistake about it. The achievers in this country are being targeted the same way Hitler targeted the Jews. No, Obama probably won't ship them off to concentration camps or have them gassed to death and then incinerated in order to extract the gold from their tooth-fillings, but the intent here is to plunder their wealth just the same. Do you really want to cheer for that?
Mike from Delaware
Mon, Nov 26, 2012 8:11am
Mrpizza: Being a bit melodramatic, don't you think? Look at the tax rates those upper 2% folks paid during WWII vs. today. It is partly why we have a deficit now. Bush's two unfunded wars that cost Trillions of dollars. The only time we fought a major war and didn't raise, but instead lowered taxes. So if for no other reason, that upper 2%'s taxes need to be raised just to try to pay-back the loans we took out to fight two un-necessary and unfunded wars. THAT's not some Pogrom against the wealthiest 2%; it's just good economic sense and is indeed fair since they are the ONLY group in America who hasn't been paying. Now it's there turn to help their nation. It's as simple as that.
What are you smoking? So you believe that you and I, and the rest of the middle-class who've been on the hook all these years should just continue to be stripped of our incomes so that the "beautiful people" won't have to take one less trip to the Mediterranean in season this year to pay for their extra tax??? THAT essentially is what you're saying. What are they putting in the pizza you deliver? It's affecting your mind.
Then you wonder why Romney lost the election??
We'll just have to agree to disagree on this issue.
Mon, Nov 26, 2012 8:24am
Why not astronomically increase the tax rates on the billionare hypocrites who constantly cry for higher taxes...Hollywood "stars", uber-wealthy musicians, "reality" stars, and sports stars. Go after Michael Moore, Bono(U2 frontman), Sean Penn, and the many others who want to be taxed more and yet produce NO JOBS!
Bono cheats the taxes he owes and yet he wants others to pay their "fair share"
...even the Beatles changed their views on taxation once they actually had money. Ever listen to the lyrics in their songs "the tax man" or "revolution"?
Mon, Nov 26, 2012 8:48am
"After Obama was elected in his first term as president the then Prime Minister of Russia, Vladimir Putin gave a speech at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland in January of 2009. Ignored by the West as usual, Putin gave insightful and helpful advice to help the world economy and saying the world should avoid the Soviet mistake.
Recently, Obama has been re-elected for a 2nd term by an illiterate society and he is ready to continue his lies of less taxes while he raises them. He gives speeches of peace and love in the world while he promotes wars as he did in Egypt, Libya and Syria. He plans his next war is with Iran as he fires or demotes his generals who get in the way."
Even Putin has rejected the Soviet-style economic model...yet we are now embracing it with a big Russian "bear hug".
I think Romney's biggest mistake was that his only issue was the economy...he overplayed his "hand" on that lone issue and little else.
If we have another election in four years I predict we will mirror the UK and see a dramatic rise of the Tea Party (or whatever name the movement is called in four years) The Tea Party needs to rebrand themselves ....Liberals rebranded themselves Progressives. Maybe the Tea Party needs to takeover the Constitutional Party and run a Third Party candidate...the GOP has failed to produce a winner two times in a row.
Mike from Delaware
Mon, Nov 26, 2012 10:20am
EarlGrey: Bono, Michael Moore and the Hollywood Elite as well as Warren Buffet and even Obama would be paying more in taxes as all of them are part of the upper 2%.
Yes, as I've said before ONLY those who actually produce jobs in America for Legal Americans in that upper 2% should get to keep the Bush Tax Cuts. Just as I have to fill out the itemized form to show on my tax form that I did indeed give money and how much money, to charities, so should they have to itemize and show how many jobs they created BEFORE they get the tax break, just like it works for you and me.
It doesn't make sense to give them a tax break on a hope that they'll create some American jobs, but no penalty if they don't. Really? This isn't some scam to make us the Soviet Union. Don't go off the cliff with Mrpizza.
Funny you guys are working class guys who work hard for your income, as I do, yet you have no problem with all of us continuing to get the shaft year in and year out as it gets harder and harder to make ends meet, while you lobby to protect those wealthy folks who don't care a wit about you or I, because we aren't in their class and don't you forget it. They'll not be inviting you to join them on their boat or winter place in Burmuda, or invite you to do Newport in season, etc, for fighting for their best interests while ignoring your own.
Mon, Nov 26, 2012 12:07pm
Mike: I honestly don't care if the upper 2% pay more percentage-wise than a Middle Classer like you and me...my problem is that 47% pay nothing yet receive a large portion of the benefits. If everyone paid something, it would make a larger difference than going after the "upper class". (Even a 1% tax rate on the lower 47% would be a huge amount of "tax revenue"). Sorry, but I am sick and tired of the class warfare this president has created and successfully separated our country in half.
Let's go back to the Clinton Tax plan that was supposed to be fair & balanced (if no one will go back to the Bush or Reagan plans), at least Clinton balanced the budget!!
Remember our own "esteemed" Joe Biden said it was under this administration the Middle Class has been absolutely crushed for the past four years.
BTW, the article I attached on my previous post was from Russia's own PRAVDA and quoted Putin saying just how ill-informed the American voters were to vote Obama back into office after what he did to our country the first four years. Guess we now get to see what American "flexibility" means.
Mon, Nov 26, 2012 12:12pm
And, no Bono will not be paying because he is still a citizen of Ireland who pays no taxes to Ireland, yet preaches to Americans to "pay their fair share".
Buffett and the other billionaires will find loopholes to avoid these higher taxes (that's what the "elite" pay their accountants to figure out)
So, once again, the tax burden will fall on the Middle Class...this is all a giant shell-game...keep your eye on the ball and don't get distracted by the lies or fiscal cliffs.
Mon, Nov 26, 2012 12:53pm
Clinton balanced the budget by taxing the hell out of us, and there were many hidden taxes. I agree with you, the class warfare is bulls--t as is the menacing of the elderly and poor. Yet, as an American, I strongly feel no group should be segregated, and all should be dealt with equally. There is no justification for our tax laws to be tens of thousands of pages. Create a flat tax with no loopholes period. Everyone will pay something, and those that earn more will pay more.
Mike from Delaware
Mon, Nov 26, 2012 1:31pm
EarlGrey: So a family that is not making ends meet, but is working, should have even what little they make, even 1% taken from them, but you say nothing about those wealthy folks who this tax is more of an irritant and doesn't hurt them at all. If that isn't class-warfare, then I don't know what is. It's class warfare against the working poor and middle class, and you've bought into it.
Again, part of that 47% is folks on Social Security, they paid into that plan so they are NOT takers. So maybe we should find out how many elderly are in that 47% and change the number to better reflect who these takers are (from where I sit that should only include those who do not work and get benefits).
So somewhere between 8-15% are unemployed (depending on who's numbers are used). OK, so maybe there are up to 15% unemployed who are at this moment takers, because they are NOT working, so they pay no taxes, don't produce anything, yet get all the benefits from the tax payers. That's bad enough, but no where near the 47% the GOP wants to bash.
As a Christian, I don't envision Jesus saying to take the little income that single mom has to raise her kids as she works two jobs just to keep a roof, food, and clothes for her family while not touching the wealthy fat cats purses as their chests of money continue to overflow. If you can, please find where Jesus supports your point of view for me in the Red Letter part (the words Jesus spoke) or in any other part of the New Testament, or even the Old Testament.
I'm not saying we should spend like drunken sailors, but the least and less of these shouldn't be the first folks always to get it stuck to, while the wealthy just go about their luxurious lives in total denignal of the pain and suffering the rest of the nation is experiencing.
I respect both EarlGrey and Mrpizza and I support your right to your views, but I totally disagree with you guys on this one. Be at Peace.
Tonyi: The only people who benefit from a flat tax is the wealthy. Say we have a 15% flat tax. Those folks on the bottom rung would then be paying far more than they do now, and truly can not afford to pay it. The minimum wage would have to be raised to the point so that folks working minimum wage jobs are above the poverty line, so that they could feed their families with one income, then I might be able to agree with you, but THAT's not going to happen so the flat tax is not fair to the low wage workers. That's why rich guy Steve Forbes was all about wanting a flat tax, the wealthy benefit, not the little guy.
Mon, Nov 26, 2012 2:01pm
"Yet, as an American, I strongly feel no group should be segregated, and all should be dealt with equally. There is no justification for our tax laws to be tens of thousands of pages...Everyone will pay something, and those that earn more will pay more."
Example: we all use public roads, therefore we all pay tolls as we drive across this great country...should we add a lane to all toll stations for 47% of drivers so that they can avoid paying the toll?
Mike: Jesus would say that the church is failing miserably at taking care of the poor but he also said "give to Caesar what is Caesars".
Yes, everyone should have to pay something to have some pride in knowing they contributed towards helping this wonderful country (land of the FREE, home of the BRAVE). Those considered poor in our country would be considered the "elite" in many parts of the world.
Mon, Nov 26, 2012 2:20pm
Mike From Delaware, open you eyes. I also said that all loopholes must be eliminated. These loopholes were rendered by our elected officals from "both parties" to endear themselves to the wealthy, who in turn finance their elections. Their taxes will be more than a smack on the hand. Jesus also stated "Render To Caesar".
Mike from Delaware
Mon, Nov 26, 2012 3:15pm
Tonyi: From all analysis I've read on the flat tax, NONE saw it as a good thing for the poor. So would you be OK, if those poor folks paid $12.00 a year? A dollar a month. At least they paid something. I could accept that for anyone below the poverty level, then once crossing that threshold it would go up until it met what the rest of us are paying in your flat tax plan.
Mon, Nov 26, 2012 8:05pm
In the end, there's only one thing that will work. PUT POLITICIANS ON A FINANCIAL DIET!
Mon, Nov 26, 2012 8:36pm
EarlGrey: At some point you and I may need to seek political asylum in Russia!
Tue, Nov 27, 2012 5:35am
If America falls off the fiscal cliff, it's their own fault. They had their chance to elect a real president, one who truly loves this country and would love and care for it, as well as some top quality Republican senate candidates. Instead, they chose to re-elect the same Maoist government they chose four years ago, thinking somehow it will produce a different result.
Sorry America, but you made your bed, now you must lay in it. When, if ever, will you learn your lesson?
Mike from Delaware
Tue, Nov 27, 2012 8:10am
Mrpizza and EarlGrey: It appears that many GOP leaders are changing their position on taxes. Here's the latest update on this topic. This is the problem with allowing lobbyists to have any say, the wealthy lobbyists get to use far more power than the people, THAT's not Constitutional. Time for Grover (Norquist) to go back to Sesame Street.
Taxing someone who earns just one penny a year, so one can say all people now fairly pay a tax, is pretty foolish. So is taxing someone making two pennies a year, or three…. That I think, is enough to prove any fair tax statement has nothing to stand on.
Then the obvious problem is where to start taxing. Somewhere between 1 penny and $1 Trillion, taxes have to begin…. But where? Wiser people than us have struggled to make that determination…..
Almost all of them agreed. If you have no income, you shouldn't be taxed on the income you do not have…..
The 47% to which you refer, have no income after expenses. Therefore, making them pay tax is unfair.
The fair tax premise is again, false….. It is not fair. In fact, opposite of what you suggest, it is completely unfair.
The wise answer is to divide the cost of one year of Federal Government, which is roughly $2 trillion, and divide it among those making over $250,000 a year… If that comes down to .40 cents on every dollar eaned, then those at the top marginal rate, can all equally pay .40 cents on every dollar earned. That means the person making $250,000 and the person making $250,000,000, pay the exact same rate… That I believe, is what one may call a “Fair Tax.”……… How much fairer can one get than that?
Mike from Delaware
Tue, Nov 27, 2012 6:04pm
Kavips: Well said. Good plan, good luck selling it, but I like it.
Tue, Nov 27, 2012 9:43pm
MFD: Thanks for the Norquist update. Problem is, the debt crisis isn't the American people's fault, regardless of their income level. The problem is that government has spent like drunken sailors. I might be for a tax increase if I really believed it would be used for paying the national debt, but previous broken promises indicate otherwise. If taxes are raised, whether on the wealthy, the middle class, the poor, or whoever, the money will just be used for more wasteful spending. Politicians just can't resist the temptation to not only spend the new revenues, but also to borrow many times those new revenues and create more and more debt. I'm convinced that if they're given more money, they'll just expand the government proportionately. Starving the beast is the only thing that has half a chance of working, and I don't know what it would take to make that happen.
Mike from Delaware
Tue, Nov 27, 2012 10:45pm
Mrpizza: I agree that the government spent like drunken sailors (two unfunded wars during the Bush Jr. years are the main culprits as to why our debt has gone off the charts) after having a surplus at the end of the Clinton/Gingrich years.
From what I've been reading, the idea of lowering the debt is a good one, but needs to be carefully done. The ways to do that are cut spending and increase income. The problem is now our economy is fragile, barely moving. So the top economists seem to believe that as our economy depends on people spending money in stores, etc., raising taxes on the middle-class (the people who actually spend money in our economy) would cause our shaky economy to falter and go headlong into another recession, and cutting spending too much too fast could have a similar effect (Greece is an example they cited - too much austerity too quickly - also Greece can't print its own money as the US can and from what that economist was saying, makes a very big difference in the US favor). It is what happened in, I believe the year was, 1937. FDR and Congress were greatly uncomfortable with the money they had been spending (it had never been done before), so they cut spending and the economy was still too weak to manage the spending cut, which slowed the economy and pushed the US back into a recession, thus prolonging the Great Depression until 1941 when spending again went way up due to WWII.
So cutting spending needs to be done, and raising revenue from the wealthy also needs to be done, rather than the middle-class so that the middle-class keep buying things and spending money to keep the economy going.
The no-raising tax thing apparently has been going on for 20 years (when Grover Norquist first started strong-arming GOP legislators to sign his pledge. What these GOP legislators have noticed, 20 years later, that lack of added revenue has made the debt worse, so that's why they now are saying NO to Grover Norquist. His idea is not working and at least these folks finally realize it and are ditching Grover's pledge.
There are folks far better qualified than I to try to explain it, but this is the best I can do. But bottom-line is the Bush tax-cuts need to continue for the middle-class, but end for the wealthy 2% for the reasons I stated above.
Wed, Nov 28, 2012 2:08am
Cutting the deficit through cuts in services is very dangerous. It would be similar to one of us trying to run a marathon this Saturday. Good possibility our hearts won't make it....
Like a marathon-training regimen, we need to build up gradually.....
Mike is right above. The middle-class needs to keep as much money as possible, and wealthy people need an incentive to invest their money into new businesses. High tax-rates are a great incentive to take one's money and invest it into a new plant, or factory.... thereby keep it from being taxed....
Add your comment: Attention: In an attempt to promote a level of civility and personal
responsibility in blog discussions, we now require you to be a member of
the WDEL Members Only Group in order to post a comment. Your Members
Only Group username and password are required to process your post.
You can join the WDEL Members Only Group for free by clicking here.
If you are already a member but have forgotten your username or password, please
Please register your post with your WDEL Members Only Group username and password below.